Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lazy crazy Saturday

I heart Saturdays.  It's the one day of the week you can sleep in, stay in bed all day if you really wanted, do just about anything... a day you have all to yourself.

Today was neither a sleeping in or staying in bed day, it was a beautiful day for a hike!  Thomas had the morning off, so we went with our fabulously fit friend Sally to hike the Mt. Somers alpine trek, a 3.5 hr. hike along the the base of the mountain.  We were all ready with PBJ sandwiches in hand, camel packs and hiking boots for our 7:30 am departure time.

When we set out, we were all stoked, ready to seize saturday and make it memorable.  My seizing attitude soon wore off as the hill started up and up and up... then continued up, and then some more.  One would think I would have been ready for this since we were hiking a mountain.  It had the feeling of the bad dream you get when your trying to climb uphill, but never get anywhere, that was me.  I was feeling neither fit nor fabulous.

The good news is that it wasn't all that way, it was a beautiful balance of up and down, walking in stream beds and discovering waterfalls along the way.  As we walked we'd get glimpses of the scenery peaking between the tree branches until we finally came out in a clearing looking right up at the mountains.  In the end it was all worth it, we had such a mixture of feelings between accomplishment and muscle pain, I'd happily do it again.

Thank you Lord for your beautiful creation---pics to come:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wanna be in wanaka?


Here are a few shots from our wonderful weekend away in Wanaka, NZ with our dear friends Morgan and Hayley.  This is the same place we came last February on our trip with Justin and Marla and climbed the Mighty Mt. Roy.  We spent the weekend relaxing, visiting and enjoying the scenery.   
We took a drive down to Queenstown though the Cardrona Pass, a very windy, narrow road that leads you through the Crown Range until you reach the other side and Queenstown awaits you.  I think we went through 6 good rounds of 20 questions on the way.
Hayley and I did some shopping while the boys had manly bonding time.  She introduced me to my new NZ stores, Witchery and Country Road.  It's the closest they have to J Crew here:)

For all of you that have yet to learn, a Kiwi is a fruit, a person and a bird.  Here is an example of the bird:)

Thomas and I took a walk along the Clutha river that runs from Lake Wanaka all the way out to the ocean.  The Easton's holiday house over looks the river and has a greenway path that runs right along the river just steps from their house.  We has 2 little dogs join us on our walk whom we named Ruby and Rosco.  Ruby was med. build and loved to play like Josie, and Rosco was a small white curly haired dog that followed Ruby.  We all walked along the river together for about an hour before they finally wandered home.  Ruby and Thomas played stick almost the whole walk.
  The mountain on the left is Mt Roy.  As you can see spring is in full bloom here and we are gearing up for warmer weather... anytime now.  We have been so blessed to have such wonderful friends here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life of the Party

Our friend's little girl turned 5 last week and they had a princess party on Sunday after church.  
It was a beautiful sunny day, clear blue sky, we were in the park strategically placed right next 
to the playground.  Thought I would share some of my fav pics:)

Muscles!  Thomas, Joel and Ken

sneaking lollies

We had a great time to say the least!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where are you again?

Ashburton, NZ... for those of you who have been wondering, I am here to put your minds at ease.  This is where we now call "home."  I was getting picked on by a very good friend of mine that we don't post enough pics, so here are some of our new home base.  Above you'll see the town at night (amazing pic that I have to admit I did not take).  We were told that this town was formed as an oasis for travelers as the ventured from Christchurch to Dunedin, a 4 hour journey by car with at least 5 rivers to cross.  Ashburton offered a ferry across one of the mighty rivers to help travelers along the way.  My mom always says"can you imagine being a pioneer in a covered wagon traveling along with your family and all of the sudden you come upon.... (insert river/gorge/grand canyon).. what would you do!"  Don't worry mom, the covered wagon can go across now:)

This is a view looking down on the Canterbury plains, we are in a little town surrounded by fields and rivers at the base of the mighty southern alps.  Thomas and I have looked down on this view from the top of Mt. Hutt, it takes your breath away... you're humbled when you ponder that God created all of this.
Today starts week 8 of being here in Ashburton and life is starting to settle down.  We no longer are living out of suitcases, we have a home base, etc.  With slowing down comes the realization that we are here for the long haul, we're not just visiting anymore.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I heart skyping!

I am coming up with a new verb/action word to use "skyping" it's the best!  I just hung up with one of my sisters Carolyn in NY, it's amazing that you can hold a free phone call across the world and see each other while you are talking.  We're were blessed enough yesterday to talk with my parents, Ali (my older sister in Indy) and Thomas' parents in Pa- all right from our little mac laptop.  It's been a skype skype weekend.

This week has been a busy one.  We moved from house sitting into another home where we hope to be living for longer than a few weeks.   It's just down from the Winslow office so we are close enough for me to walk to work if I need to while Thomas is out of town.  We are still in the midst of car searching for me, but we are being patient and it's worked our quite well so far.  This weekend we were able to spend some good quality time with friends- Sally (from work), Paul (from home), Ken & Fleur (from church) and made other new ones as well.  God has truly blessed us by surrounding us with wonderful, genuine people to get to know and love.

Missing everyone at home, we love you!!!  Send up special prayers for my aunt mary as well, she's still in the hospital recovering from some major surgeries.  The cool thing... one of many.... about God is that he transcends time, distance, space.  He's everywhere and with all of us at the some time, it's incredible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baking Adventure

So as you know by now thing are a bit different here in New Zealand.  My latest challenge has been mastering the art of metric... all that stuff they teach you in elementary school would come in pretty handy right about now.  For example gram/cup/teaspoon/pound conversions, they all seem so easy.
I was feeling a bit down so I decided to do the thing that makes me feel the most at home... baking my mom's famous chocolate chip cookies.  I went to the local "Countdown" to pick up all of my necessary ingredients: sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, baking soda/powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and buttered flavored crisco.  New Zealand is seriously lacking in the cookie ingredient department.  No crisco, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and real vanilla so we had to improvise.

250 g. brown/white sugar
250 g. butter (no crisco option)
4 eggs- that's the easy part
----- cream by hand------
2 teaspoons salt, soda powder
I don't even know how much flour
dark chocolate buttons
180 deg. Celsius

Thomas says.... he's can't stop eating them:)

Tomorrow we're off to convince the office soft US "bickies" or cookies are the way to go.