Friday, October 1, 2010

the trip finally comes to an end.

One last post and then we will stop taunting you with photos from our trip.  
We drove up and around the eastern most part of New Zealand. There is a light house there that we had planned to climb up to, but the day was so windy we were afraid that we might lose on of our kids (or our minds trying to get them to cooperate).  So instead we settled for a picnic lunch inside the car, trying to avoid the wind.
This is where we stayed on our last night.  The view was amazing.  
Lastly we need to show appreciation for our two little terrific travelers.  Maya and Max were great on the  trip.  Even with over 18 hours of driving we only pulled out the DVD player once.  
And Max and Maya would like to thank all of the animals along the way who helped kept them entertained, especially this heard of cattle that surrounded our car.  

Thursday, September 30, 2010

proud maya

I took these photos this morning after Maya slept in her big bed all night long. (I don't feel like talking about how nap time has gone the last few days).
We have had the beds for a while, but most nights the kids chose to sleep in their sleep in their travel cots (pack n' plays).  Maya was quite proud of herself when she woke up in the morning.

thank you abby and calla!

I learned a long time ago to never refuse help from young girls who dote on Max and Maya.  

At the end of Sunday meeting I know I can always find my little ones happily entertained by their doting group of girlfriends.  Max and Maya look for them as soon as we arrive at church on Sunday and would love to spend the entire day with them.

The schools are on holidays for the next two weeks and we were luck enough to have two of Max and Maya's favorite friends, Abby and Calla, come over and spend the day with us.   M & M were thrilled with the attention and I was thrilled to have some time to get things done around the house.

friends at the park

Deb and Mel were some of the first women I meet when we moved to Devonport.   Deb (Ethan's nanny) was quick to involve us in all sorts of weekly activities.  It has been fun to watch these kids get bigger over the past months.  We have lived here for more than 9 months.  I can't believe that much time has passed.   

Max, Ethan, Nakita and Maya

hand foot and mouth

Maya had been grumpy for a few days and then not sleeping very well at night, making me grumpy too.  I was starting to worry that she was getting sick, again.  Then last Monday I noticed red bumps all over her hands, mouth, feet and legs.  I called our doctor and the nurse said she probably had Hand Foot and Mouth, a mild virus that often gets passed around pre-schools.  I started to envision spending at least 2 weeks avoiding social interactions.  Thankfully the very next day the spots were almost gone.  We are all grateful for the blessing.

st mary's church, tikitiki

One of the places we stopped during our drive along the East Cape was St. Mary's Church in Tikitiki. The church is set on a hill and looks like a plain small church building from the outside. We had read in our trusty Lonely Planet guide that the inside was stunning, so we stopped in for a look. It was really beautiful with Maori wood carvings, paintings, and flax weavings. There was a memorial plaque to men from the area that died as soldiers in World War I, and the stained glass window at the front depicted Christ on the cross with soldiers kneeling toward Him at each side. It was inspiring to ponder the sacrifices of those who worked to build the structure as well as those who served in New Zealand's armed forces.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

tokomaru bay

After leaving Lake Waikaremoana, we drove east through Gisborne and then north along the coast to Tokomaru Bay where we stayed for two days, celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. We rented a beautiful three bedroom vacation home right across the street from the beach. Almost every room of the house had great views of the ocean and mountains. The yard had a huge fenced grass area where the kids loved to play. We enjoyed sitting on the porch looking out to the ocean while the kids ran around the yard.

This is the beach that was right outside our door. We spent a morning collecting shells and building sand castles. We even saw the nest of what I think was a sand piper.
We enjoyed the beautiful sunrises. Tokomaru Bay is in the East Cape of New Zealand, which is the easternmost part of the country. In a sense (due to New Zealand's location near the international date line), East Cape is where the sun rises first in the world.
We also enjoyed quiet time reading the huge stack of Dr Suess books at the house.
The house even had a jungle gym. It was a bit big for our little ones, but it still helped to keep them entertained.
The kids enjoying cookies and milk after nap time.
We spent a morning at the beach collecting seashells and building sand castles.