Our First Home for the holidays

Our First Home Easter

As the Our First Home TV competition hits crunch time, the stars of the show reveal their unique Easter celebrations.

The Schreuder Family

For many, many years, Easter weekends were all sewn up for the Schreuder family, as the rock’n’roll dancers would spend the holiday at the national junior dancing competition. While Robyn was out shopping for chocolate eggs in the lead-up, Tom – who made each of the family’s dancing costumes – would be busy on the sewing machine. “The comps would always happen at Easter time, but they were good fun,” says Robyn. “All the families would stay at the same motel, and a couple would dress up as bunnies and deliver eggs to each of the motel rooms.” The annual competitions, which were held in a different location within New Zealand each year, did provide a few hair-raising moments for Robyn. “I remember one year, Karen wanted this huge Easter egg and I was wondering how on earth I was going to get it down to wherever we were staying. So after packing the car, I had to look after it like a baby and try to balance it all the way for hours in the car. She was very lucky that I got it down there in one piece!”

The Wardlaw Family

Easter means lots of hot cross buns and eggs for the Wardlaws.

With their three children now all grown up, Mick and Kathy often use Easter as a chance to unwind – in recent years retreating to the Port Waikato bach of their close friend Josh, who is also

a builder and a familiar face on the show. But in the past, Easter was a busy family time, spent with their three children, Jason (30), Tim (26) and Emily (23). It was also an expensive time, according to Mick. “We used to go through a huge lot of hot cross buns!” he says. “And the eggs,” adds Kathy. “All three of them would want these giant-sized eggs – as well as all these

little ones. We’ve trimmed it back a lot these days.” Now, Kathy says if they’re not away, they spend the long weekend catching up on home renovation work. Although this year, she’d love to put her feet up!

The Gourley Family

For the Gourley family, Easter is the spiritual highlight of the year.

For the Gourley family, Easter is a time of reflection and celebration, as the close family – who share a strong faith – gather together in Tauranga. “It is a time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, although having said that, we really do celebrate Easter every week,” says Al. “It’s nice to see new people coming to church for the holidays.” Adds Anne, “For us, Easter is the spiritual highlight of the year, even more so than Christmas.” “But it’s also time to eat lots of Mum’s Easter buns!” laughs daughter Amy, who is competing on the show with her parents. The family say Anne’s hot cross buns are top notch. “I’ll tell you my secret,” says Anne, leaning in. “I have a bread machine!” to which the others erupt into laughter. “But seriously, I push a little rectangle of almond paste into the dough, and you end up with this gooey middle – plus, the little square melts away and you have what is effectively a little empty tomb on the inside.” Amy says that they decorate the buns together. “Every celebration in our family is punctuated by food!”

Goran Paladin

Goran’s father passed away over Easter, so it is a sombre time of year for the presenter.

Easter marks the anniversary of Goran’s father’s death. “This Easter will be 30 years since Dad passed away,” says Our First Home host Goran. “We’ll be getting together as a family, as we usually do.”

Eva Nash & Sara Hartigan

For Eva and Sara Easter means a lovely family meal and an Easter egg hunt.

Eva: The long weekend is a chance for Eva (pictured above left) and her extended family to enjoy a meal together. “Someone always bakes and my sister, who is a dietician, likes experimenting with recipes so there’s always an odd concoction she’s cooked up!” While Easter now centres on food and family, it doesn’t hold the happiest of memories for Eva. “As a child, I wasn’t allowed chocolate because of a health condition – I would get a rare form of migraines. I was only allowed carob – and back in the ’80s it wasn’t good!”

Sarah: This Easter you’ll find property expert Sara (pictured above right) and her family – husband Christian and son Cooper (2) – indulging in an egg hunt. “Cooper goes absolutely mental,” she says. “He thinks it’s just the best thing. And the funny thing is, what he doesn’t know is that while he’s picking them up, I’m re-hiding them! There might be 10 or 11 eggs, but he’s found 74! It occupies him for hours.”

Our First Home airs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays on TV One.

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories