The Haslip family (Auckland) – July 2017

The Haslip family (Auckland) – July 2017

Dear Haslip family,

I’ve decided to nominate you for best Host Family of the Month because I think you deserve it for so many reasons.
Of course I can never really say how much you guys mean to me, there are not enough words.

For those of you who can’t say that they’re a part of the amazing Haslip/Elson family, you need to know that being part of this host family means being part of the WHOLE family.
Not only am I a part of Nina and Craig (host mum and dad) and Jackson and Hunter’s family. But there is also Craig’s parents, Thelma and Bruce, and his brothers, Gavin and Alan. As well as Nina’s parents, Tony and Clare, and her sisters, Amy, Georgia and Jasmin. They are all a part of my host family.

And, to be honest, I wouldn’t call them my host family. They’ve never treated me as a host. I was always part of the family, from the first day I arrived.
Because of that, I want to thank all of them here.


You make my job that much easier every week. That is, when you’re not off on another trip to Canada or the South Island. You take Jax once a week on so many different adventures, you came to the zoo with us, and you take care of the kids when I am sick. And you look after them when I am coming back on a Monday from a weekend trip away. All of these things have made my time here so much easier and for that I thank you.

You and Thelma let me stay in your bach up north and you said you would pay for my visa if I decided to stay longer. You even came and rescued the whole family when we got stuck on the boat during a family boat trip and couldn’t get home.

You shared your beer with me and my friends (but you wouldn’t let us win in beer pong) when we showed up to bach in Bland Bay. You also cooked yummy dinner for all of us. And if I’m trying to get a hold of Craig at work, at least you pick up the phone when he doesn’t.

You let me borrow all the camping equipment for my South Island trip even though you hadn’t even met me. I was the only one with a proper sleeping bag and it meant I didn’t have to freeze at night.

You and Clare let me stay at your bach in Coromandel with my friends,  you cooked a delicious Christmas BBQ and we have funny conversations on the football field.

We have spent two fun weeks together with the boys. One at the beach over Christmas and one at home. And of course you come once a week to watch the boys so I can have my early finish. Even though I still end up sitting with you and the boys for a chat, it is still helpful to have you watch them.
You’re also my football manager and have helped me to try find my missing boot (okay it’s still lost but at least you tried!). You would have got me new shin pads when I couldn’t find my ones before the game and you always tell me how to get to all of our away games.
You also took me to the Adele concert along with Jas and Chris when Nina got sick and gave me her ticket and you invited me to your mother’s day brunch.

Amy and Georgia:
I haven’t spent that much time together with you but you showed up for my birthday dinner, we shared Christmas together (Georgia and I even shared a room :D), you have given me rides home from the pub and you cleaned up Jackson’s sickies when he was sick in one of my first weeks.

Thank you for telling the others that I wasn’t being rude when I first arrived and that it is just the German way of speaking. You also get me and my friend’s cheap movie tickets when I ask and you used to drive me around in your car (I drive you now so I guess we are even!).

What should I thank you for? For being mean to me and making jokes about me all the time?
Or for being the best host aunty/sister?
You’ve helped me improve my English skills (it is actually really hard to keep in mind that it is “put on your clothes” instead of “take on your clothes”!), and you give me lifts to the airport and the city etc.
You’ve also taken me to football and have helped me to become part of the team (and helped me to understand what exactly Liam wanted us to do at training). You helped me with the boys in my first week (even though we were too shy to talk to each other). Talking to you when you were home during the day made my days a lot easier as well! You’ve given me your boots to wear all the time (because I kept losing mine).  And I can’t forget your super German skills (ich liebe Geschlechtsverkehr) which you had to share with all my friends on Facebook.
I know we’re not really the people who talk about s*** like this but it meant a lot to me to have you around. You’ve kind of been the big sister I’ve never had and you helped me to have a “real” life with doing the sport I love to play.

When I’m thinking of what I want to thank you for, the first thing coming to my mind is the evening when I called you to come and help after I had crashed the wheel on my car. I felt terrible about that but as soon as you showed up, this feeling disappeared and you just laughed and told me not to worry about it. And of course you fixed it for me (and the only thing you wanted to have for that was pancakes).
I could always call you (when you actually picked up your phone) to ask you about weird lights on the car or to come and get me out the car park when I got stuck. And instead of making me feel bad and awkward you made me laugh about my own stupidness (whatever that word is).
You also pretty much planned all my road trips, so thank you for showing me New Zealand.
Typical dad things that you do like complaining about the boys doll houses (which was actually just a normal house) and making decisions about what to eat have made me laugh so often!
You’ve also shown me the Kiwi lifestyle. There has been one time that I have seen you wear jeans!
You like to trick me a lot and because of you I took enough water for the trip up to Cape Reinga and filled up the car completely because you warned me that I wouldn’t see any petrol stations and won’t have access to water, both things being a complete lie.
Craig, it was always so much fun talking to you and spending time with you. Thank you so much for everything, I really hope you find your phone sometimes to shoot me a text when I’m back in Germany.

You’re the most amazing host mum I and every following au pair could ask for!
You’re rocking your career and family at the same time and you do amazing in both of them.
You’ve always been there for me if I had any problems or if I was annoyed about one of my friends or something that happened on a road trip etc. You were the only one I could really talk to in the beginning (it was so hard to understand Craig or Jasmin, they were talking way too fast and mumbling).
I really enjoyed the trips we’ve done together like getting our nails done, going to the movies together, coming to watch my football games and taking me to Rotorua or Coromandel.
We were watching movies and TV series together or sometimes not together (one of us would always be faster in watching Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls or Orange is the New Black).
You were the one I could talk to if I felt sick, who helped me get better by giving me medicine (even if I thought I didn’t need it- in the end I really appreciated and always needed it).
You did the typical mum jobs like keeping the house tidy, keeping the kids healthy, doing the grocery shopping and cooking yummy dinners on the weekends.
And of course you’re the one who’s raised the cheeky little monkeys who are just so adorable!
When I was talking to you on Skype in Germany for the first time I knew from the first moment that your family would be the perfect match for me. I have no idea how you made me feel this way but because of this I wasn’t even worried about coming to New Zealand for a minute!
Thank you for making me feel this way and for being the best host mum in the world!

You’re the cleverest little kid with the cutest smile in the whole world! It’s been so much fun “working” with you and your little brother. It didn’t even feel like work because we had heaps of fun together.
And it was amazing to see how little time you needed to accept me and to make some space for me in your heart. I will never forget our special Lenja and Jackson snuggle times on the couch!
And I will never forget the first day when I came out of my room and instead of running away from me, screaming “no Lenja” you said: “yes Lenja”. I guess that was the day where we started to become best buddies!
We’ve taught each other a lot! You let me know that a coffee table is not called a “desk” and that your “togs” are your swimsuits. And I’ve taught you some German. You can say the most important phrases like “I love you”, “No”, “Yes” and “heads, shoulders, knees and toes”.
We shared adventures like going sailing, visiting museums, going to the zoo and Kelly Tarlton’s, going up the skytower and running around many playgrounds.
It’s been a pleasure meeting you clever little boy and becoming part of your big little world!

Ich liebe dich (I love you) so so much Jackson and I’m looking forward to all the photos your mum is going to send me so I won’t miss out on any of your big days. I’ll miss you so much my little monkey!

When I’m thinking about our time together I’ve got so many different pictures of you in my head.
When I arrived you were such a little baby who couldn’t even crawl and you were so happy just lying on the floor with your favourite rattle. 
This changed pretty much straight away though. As soon as you started to crawl my life got harder and harder, you weren’t the best crawler and it feels like you only crawled for a little bit before you started walking. And as you started to walk we were all so happy (for the first few weeks until we realised how much work you would be!). We keep saying that it is lucky you’re so cute because this makes up for the mayhem you can cause!
Thank you little monkey for sharing the little and big steps with me and giving me a space in your life and your heart.
I’ll miss my little Baba like crazy and I’m already excited to hear about all the things you have done that you weren’t supposed to do!
I love you so much you cheeky monkey!

So why should my family be the Host Family of the Month? Because every single one of them is amazing and I’ll miss them all like crazy! For me they’re not just the Host Family of the Month, they are MY NEW ZEALAND FAMILY!


Lenja Böttcher