Saturday, September 10, 2011

kiwi culture

New Zealand native pukekos make you think that  Dr Seuss must have come here for inspiration.  They have large orange beaks, blue and black feather and very large feet.
Max likes to chase them.  This one would even chase him back once he out ran Max.
The kids had fun exploring a full scale Maori village, while Lonnie hung out in the car with sleeping Trent.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds were beautiful.   The cultural presentation was impressive and the kids were excited to see the Waka.  Which was about when their patience ended.  They could have done without the tour. 
Cute Nana and Papa at Haruru Falls. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


Max: "Mom, what is meat made out of?"
Mom: "Well, Max.....meat is made out of animals."
Max:"No! Meat is made out of popsicles!"

A couple hours later.....

Mom: "Max, what is meat made out of?"
Max"Meat is made out of chocolate."

A couple hours later....

Max:"Mom, we don't eat animals."
Mom:"Do we eat chickens?"
Max: "Yes, but they aren't animals.  We eat dinner chickens and not animal chickens!"

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The people with the loudest votes in our family are Max and Maya, and they love going to parks.  The love even more going to parks with their Nana and Papa....

Mt. Victorica (Takarunga) and North Head......
sitting on mushrooms, exploring old barracks and caves, watching the sun set and enjoying the view.
Onepoto Domain, Northcote....
riding bikes, watching model sail boats, chasing pukekos, playing pirates.
Northboro Park, Belmont....
playing in the sand box, riding on the flying fox, going down the slide, riding bikes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We couldn't have my parents come all the way to New Zealand and not spend time at the beach

Pahia, Auckland......
 Russell, Bay of Islands....
Yes, it was still much too cold for swimming but that didn't stop Max and Maya. 
Tapeka Point, Bay of Islands.....
This lovely spot was just at the end of the road from where we stayed for five days in the Bay of Islands.

Monday, September 5, 2011

auckland whale cruise

We just finished a two week visit from my parents.  We went on lots of adventures and took a lot of photos.  I will try and post them in the next couple of days.  

The day after John and Cookie arrived we went on a Whale and Dolphin Cruise in the Auckland Harbour*.   After a very cold week, we were nervous about the weather, but the sun came out, the skies were clear, and it was a glorious day.  We couldn't have asked for a better introduction to New Zealand for John and Cookie.  We saw lots of dolphins, and we were even lucky enough to see several whales.  Max and Maya were great on the boat, except for the one time Max slipped past all of us and out onto the side of the boat just as it lurched almost sending him overboard.  Trent slept happily in his baby carrier, played in his pram, and was passed around between the four adults.   

*We even found half price tickets on GrabOne.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

father's day interviews

Today is Father's Day in New Zealand.

What is your name?: Max Mercer Elliott

What is your favorite color?: Blue, green, yellow and orange...those colors.

What is your favorite animal?: giraffes, lions, turtle, horseys.....and also I love trucks.

What do you like to do with your daddy?: Wrestle with him, play with him, play with his toys and his game.

What does your daddy look like?: Very big, tall, he does everything.......just that stuff.

What does daddy do at work?: He goes on boats.

How do you know that your dad loves you?: I like to laugh at him.  We like to snuggle together.  

What is your name?: Maya Catarina Mercer 

How old are you?: Three years old.

What do you like to do?: I like to play at Playcentre with my friends: Isla, Austin, Carl and you too Mommy.

What is your favorite color?: Pink and red.

What is your favorite animal?: Zebras and no more.

What do you like to do with your daddy?Play with his game, go to the doctors, go to church.  Sometimes I get really mad but I don't get mad at daddy.

What does your daddy look like?: this size (puts up hands).  He has legs and a tummy and a head, a forehead and eyes.

How do you know your daddy loves you?: Because he does....cause he does.  He gives bigs hugs.  I can talk to him.

What does your daddy do for work?: He stays there.  He eats his lunch.  When he is done he comes down the stairs onto the path and he walks home.  We don't even have to pick him up.