My Story| Who is Leonie Henskie Part one

Today I talk about my childhood, the death of my mother, school and travel

I was the oldest child in a middle class New Zealand family in Christchurch.

We did all the normal things growing up however, it was only once I was an adult that I realised that we did a few more of them in luxury compared to other people.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer at an early age. So I lived with illness in the family from a young age.

My siblings were two and three years younger than me so they did not really know what was happening but in the last year Mum was in and out of hospital a lot.

The year before Mum died our dog was killed on the road.    The day that our dog was killed on the road the school was told and I cried a lot.  That was Standard 1 New Zealand schooling – equivalent to 2nd grade, or Year 3 in modern NZ schooling.  Not long after that the family got another dog which was still alive when I left home.  During this time we also had a cat which we had found as a stray when she had kittens. We had found her under an old house and I had the privilege of naming her and when her kittens were old enough we gave them away to friends.

I was leading a fairly normal childhood at this time, I was doing ballet and guitar, and as the oldest I was allowed to see my mother in hospital as well.  When I had to have my adenoids out in Standard 2, Mum came to hospital with me.  That year I also broke my arm and I had to make the decision to stop ballet or guitar.  I stopped ballet as I was never very good or light on my feet.  Then nearer the end of the year Mum died.  We were told in the morning before we went to school and then we went to school as normal.  We were considered too young to go to the funeral and I do not remember crying again for the rest of my childhood until I was 21 when I finally grieved for my mother.

I started at the school my mother had enrolled me in as an infant in Form 1 or middle school equivalent. I only recently acquired all my documents and in them was the fact that when I was only 1 year old Mum enrolled me in Rangi . I loved school and met some wonderful people who are still friends now. I had seven years at that school and it gave me a lot of privilege. I was able to excel in sciences and we only worked with the boys schools from time to time.

My first form year was also the year that my family decided to give us a taste of travel.  I was the only one over ten and treated as an adult so it was a good time to travel.  My extended family went to California for the August school holidays.  We hired a car and we drove from LA right down to Tijuana Mexico and all the way to San Francisco and everywhere in between.  Memories I have of that trip was my first introduction to hotcakes and maple syrup for breakfast.  Numerous TV Channels which we had never dreamed of, at that stage I believe we only had two TV channels in New Zealand. Going to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, and Universal Studios.  Universal Studios was amazing seeing how props were used on films.  Disney we had a ball of a time going on the monorail each day and one of the rides I will always remember is Small World.  Another highlight for me was seeing squirrels at Carmel on the 90 mile Drive.  An eye opener for us all was when we did a day trip from San Diego to Tijuana Mexico.  We went through the border and drove through to Tijuana.  We had never seen anything like this in our lives.  It was the first time this middle class New Zealand family had ever seen squalid conditions.  We stayed in the car the whole time and couldn’t get back to the border fast enough.  To us this was not a good introduction to Mexico.  The other main highlight of this trip was going to the Yosemite National Park and staying for one night at Lake Tahoe.  One side of the hotel was in California and there were no slot machines or anything else.  The other side of the hotel was in Nevada and the adults were allowed to gamble.  Yosemite National Park was amazing and we went through just before the winter season so there was no one visiting and we had the park to ourselves.  We only drove so did not see much of the park but what we saw was stunning.

The next time we travelled was in my third form year and that was also a car trip from Brisbane to Sydney.  Highlights I remember from that trip were going to the Grundy’s amusement Parlour in Surfer’s Paradise and winning a number of ornaments which I still have to this day.  I remember we stopped in Coff’s Harbour and saw the Pelicans there and another place we went was the Pineapple Plantation on the Gold coast.

That was the last of my international travel until I turned 21 when my parents gave me an 18 day contiki bus tour with some extra days in Sydney for shopping purposes.

School went pretty smoothly I was a B student most of the time that hung out with a lot of the A students.  I was goalie for the school B Hockey team, got involved in Cricket when we started a girl’s cricket team and dabbled in soccer when we tried to convince the teachers it was a good idea.  In my sixth form my parents went away for six weeks and instead of getting someone to look after us at home we all went into the boarding facilities at our schools.  I loved boarding for the short time I was there.  The comradery from the girls was amazing compared to what I was used to.  I only really made one close friend at school and that was Jane whom I see occasionally now and she was my Matron of Honour. I was heavily involved in drama and I did Speech and Drama upto grade 5, I remember in, I think it was the fourth form, doing a recital of Pam Ayres “Oh I wish I had looked after my teeth” in front of the whole school assembly of about 600 girls and the teachers. I think I stopped Speech and Drama in the fifth form however my friend Jane went on to do Speech and drama up to teaching level, and became a speech therapist.  I continued to dabble in drama and was involved in school plays every year whether on the crew or actually on stage.  I even did it in the seventh form when my parents wanted me to stop that extra-curricular activity so I could concentrate on final exams.

I was involved in theatre a lot over the years and even spent time as a prompt and tea lady for the Canterbury Children’s theatre.

Camping was a big part of my childhood. My one set of grandparents were in the local caravan club and when I was young used to go camping often with them.  At Christmas every year the family would take us first to Woodend and then to Alexandra where we would meet up with other relatives.

Another big part of my early childhood was Hamner Springs. Part of my family had a business in  Hanmer Springs so from a very young age we were sent up there for weekends and most winter holidays.  I remember the fun we used to have playing around the grounds, visiting the hot pools  going walking up Conical Hill, doing forest walks and when it snowed using sacks on the hill round by the camping ground.  We spent so many happy times up there totally unaware of what was going on at home.  Hamner Springs was also where we went for our Standard 3 school camp. I loved it as I was able to show a lot of my classmates a lot of my favourite hangouts.

When I was at high school we started camping on the side of Lake Aviemore, one of the hydro lakes in the South island.  The parents had a fully self-contained caravan with shower, and 12 volt facilities so the fridge and all the power could run off the car battery.  My siblings and I had our own pup-tents so we got the idea of proper camping even though the caravan was just beside us. We had a canoe and would swim all day in the freezing lake. Starting in the morning with a wake-up wash and swim.  We had many good years at Lake Aviemore. We even started learning to drive there so we could assist with backing the boat trailer around.

One holiday I remember just before I started high school we did a tour of the North Island, we stopped in all kinds of places and we went all the way from Christchurch, up to Russell in the Bay of Islands where we saw the Treaty House and a few other memorials of New Zealand history, stopping wherever we felt like it in the caravan.  One place that stood out to me was Tolaga Bay just north of Gisborne.  The water was amazingly warm and I seem to remember picking up some very unique shells on the beach.

My parents made sure that we knew our country before we travelled.  I remember from a very young age travelling all over the South Island so later in life we knew what people were talking about when the said the had visited such and such a place.

We also used to go camping or picnicking at a number places within a couple of hours drive of Christchurch. For Easter we would often go to Coe’s Ford and in winter we would go with a group of people to Lake Linden and play on the ice and in the snow.

We were lucky when I was growing up that the indoor ice-skating rink was just around the corner from home, so, I think it was every Friday night or Saturday Afternoon during Winter I would go skating.  I was not any good but it was a fun activity.  We also went Roller-skating with our youth group and other friends once some roller rinks opened in Christchurch.

All of my school holidays were spent working in the family business.  I worked in the family business until my first University holiday when I went Cherry picking with the other students. As a result  I was taught a strong work ethic from a young age.  I did driver’s education through school and as soon as I was confident I was given a company branded Escort van and a weekend job to do.  I was allowed to take the van to school in the seventh form and another friend of mine who lived on a donkey farm and I used to take turns car-pooling. When I went to Otago University in Dunedin to study Pharmacy,  I took the van down with me so I could continue to work in Dunedin.  I was privileged because of this job and had a steady income so I was able to afford to do things all year. I was not the typical struggling student.

Because I had the van in Dunedin I was able to take a group of us swimming regularly up at the main indoor public pool and a few other activities that others might not have been able to do otherwise.  I was also involved in Hockey and Soccer socially in Dunedin so got to see quite a bit of the city by car.  One of the things I remember in Dunedin was the first time that a number of the students in the halls of residence saw snow. They were amazed at it.  Of course to me it was just another hazard I had to deal with when driving, and soon got used to it.

I had a lot of fun in the halls of residence in Dunedin.  The comradery  was great and I made some good friends some of which I still run into from time to time.  Sharing a dorm with another couple of people all year was good.

My second year of tertiary education was in Wellington.  I went to Heretuanga Central Institute of Technology because I was accepted into the Pharmacy school there.  One of my other students from my halls of residence in Dunedin also came up so I knew someone else when I got there.

See Part two for the continuing story

 

Giving | The power of giving

This blog is about the Power of Giving and a Kenyan Family that needs your help now.

The power of giving

This week has been hard for me but also very powerful.  As I mentioned in my posts the other day one of my friends in Africa is struggling. I feel helpless been on the other side of the world and not been able to give him and his family a hug, however I have done what I can this week and given something to them and also promoted their plight.

This week I gave some money to help him out.  The money I gave him will help him with transport for getting back to his workplace but it will do nothing to help pay the hospital bill.  The hospital has officially discharged his daughter but is now keeping her at the hospital until the hospital bill is paid.

This is something I can not understand as in our country we have public hospitals and health service.

I love the power of giving and would give more if I was in the financial position to, however the feeling of being able to gift something, no matter how small,  to a friend was amazing, and I would love to be able to give more and will over time. However I am now putting my energy into putting out the request now for others to assist Peter and his family as well.

I am listening to an audio right now by a minister called Joel Osteen about asking for plenty, and God will provide. He talks about an old lady who Elijah went to see who only had one jar of oil that was of any value left to pay a bill.  Elijah tells her to go to her neighbours and borrow many containers.  When she returns with these many empty containers she is told to start pouring the oil and no matter how many containers she fills the oil never runs out.  The more empty containers you provide the more God will fill them.

God takes pleasure in providing for me and those I love and care for.

This week I found out that my workplace has provided an ambulance for the Wellington Free Ambulance and is looking at ways to make sure that communication in the service is the best that can be.  As this is one of my Whys then this makes me very proud and I look forward to when My husband and I can do this as well.

I am running this business so I have freedom to be able to give to people and charities as I want to and not worry about how I am going to pay my own bills.  I am starting to give so I know the feeling of it more and more even if we are feeling the pinch a bit ourselves because God will provide.

The power of giving

My gift in life is to be able to give to others. We need to believe that we live in plenty and can provide for others as well as ourselves.

Here is bit about Peter and Janet Sifuna and their four daughters

Peter is a Security Guard Manager at a resort 575kms away from the home where Janet and their four daughters live in a mud house.

When something happens as had happen twice this month Peter has to catch the bus home to see his family and each bus journey costs about 2000 Kenya Shillings.

At the beginning of last month Peter had to go home because his mother had cancer and had to have an operation and Peter had to lease the only piece of land he had to rent. So all his reserves were taken up looking after his Mother and Father.  Now a few weeks later his oldest daughter who is only 10 is admitted to hospital with Malaria and he is told the bill for the hospital is 31000 Kenya Shillings.  For those of us in New Zealand that is about 475.00 or in USD about 375.00.

It does not sound much to us but for Peter this is a large amount of money and make matters worse Norlan is basically held to ransom with food and linen costs been added everyday until the hospital bill is paid.

Please talk to me if you think you can help out this family.  I do not want to see them lose their home and for the hospital bill to keep increasing.

This photo shows the four girls and Peter and Janet.

The older girls in school uniform are Norlan and Olivia, The little girl in the pink floral top is Sherea and the little girl with the pink topknots that were Janet’s handiwork is Kim Junior.

The Sifuna Family

Peter has told me that when it rains, and does a lot over the rainy season, that he worries that the mud house house will fall down around the girls.  He has also told me the family struggles to pay the school fees.  So I am going to contribute small amounts to help the family out in the future.

Peter is teaching me Kiswahili the native language and has also just about completely arranged a trip for when we do visit them eventually.  We have built up quite a close online relationship over the last few months and it is painful to see them struggling like this.

If you want to experience the power of giving  please help out this family in their time of need and also help yourself so you do not need to go through this kind of hardship by joining me in this wonderful business which is helping me to grow and be such a powerful person.

Click any of the Banners on this Page, fill out the email form below and connect with me on Facebook, instagram or pinterest.

Have a great day.

Leonie

Attitude | Is your Attitude worth catching?

Is your attitude worth catching? Do you go around in a funk of negativity believing everything is a poo sandwich or do you get up with a smile and face the world with a positive attitude to the world?

Is your attitude worth catching?

Do you believe that you can be successful it just takes some work? Or do you believe that life is poo sandwich and everything is against you?

Your attitude affects your life in so may ways, so take a close look at your attitude.  Is there something that needs to change?

I have a close friend that was bought up to believe it was wrong to be given anything it was taking, that she was worthless at practical things and wasn’t allowed to help in the kitchen or taught anything practical as a child.  She was encouraged in her school work but not allowed to learn to cook, clean or do any of the things our parents normally teach us.  She was also taught that money was wrong, that people that had money were mean.

In the last few years I have seen a major attitude change in this friend as she has realised she is totally capable and it is not bad to accept gifts.  This friend now is an amazing cook experimenting in the kitchen all the time and is a great little housecleaner. And now can accept gifts without feeling bad.  That is a major turn around in attitude.  She is now even running her own business and understands that successful people actually give more by been successful.

I have another friend that has been through illness and hardship all her life but she always has a wonderful smile and believes that life is great.  This lady has had a positive attitude no matter what has happened to her in life and as a result she has outlived so many people that did not have her positive attitude when many times she has been told she has multiple illnesses.

So is your attitude worth catching?

Do you run around thinking the the sky is falling, nothing ever goes your way? or do you look forward to every day? Start the morning with a smile and keep smiling no matter what life throws at you?

Do you think your attitude needs some adjusting?

There are so many wonderful books out there, audios you can listen to and people that can help you with changing your attitude.

I am part of a wonderful team online called the totally inspired living tribe and I have never met such a wonderfully supportive team of people before in my life.  We are all there to support each other not hype, and we read each other’s blogs and videos and help syndicate and teach each other. And it is all because I joined this wonderful business at the beginning of the year.

Through this business I am getting daily inspiration to help adjust my attitude by reading, listening to audios and associating with some of the most amazing people in the world.

If you want to join this wonderful group of people then click any of the banners on this page and together we can work on changing our attitudes.

If you want to know more about changing your attitude and having an attitude which is worth catching then leave your email address below and we can catch up.

So is your attitude worth catching?

If you think your attitude needs adjusting then lets do this together.  Catch up with me on Facebook or leave a comment below.  I would love to meet you.

As an aside, check out this range of tee-shirts.  My husband calls it bad attitude clothing, so it fits in with this idea of what is your attitude and is it worth catching.

Have a great day.

 

How The Totally Inspired Living Tribe Has Transformed My Life

It was only last month that I came across this team but already I am doing things I never imagined I would be doing. I am blogging daily, I am talking with empowering people, I am revelling in everyone’s successes and making more friends every day.

It was only last month that I came across this incredible team but already I am doing things I never imagined I would be doing. I am blogging daily, I am talking with empowering people, I am revelling in everyone’s successes and making more friends every day.

 

Before I joined this team I was spending my life not doing much at all. OK I have achieved quite a lot in my life, I have a good job, a good husband, and a reasonably happy life but I did not have freedom. With this team I am learning every day that freedom is a short time away. I just need to work the system, blog daily and spread the word.

As part of the Totally Inspired Living Tribe I am constantly learning that I will never be alone on this journey. We all want to see each other succeed and bring others on the journey. We are all learning off each other everyday.

I am loving the opportunity I have been granted to speak to everyone everyday and to promote positivity. I love the fact that I am able help people with solutions to their dilemmas every day and I love trying to add more value to people’s lives everyday.

Because of my involvement in this team I have access to daily empowerment materials by listening to the inner circle audios everyday.
If you want to join me in learning daily, talking to people daily about your passion, becoming more like your heroes or mentors everyday then click the banner below, the one about re-programming your brain and you too can be what you want to be.