Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas '07

'This is the best Christmas ever' - my family quotes this every year, and we almost always mean it. This is one of the years that I mean it. Kim, Chloe and I had a really special time together. Chloe is a such a blast. At 14 months she is walking and communicating like a professional baby. She has her mother's sweet heart and her daddy's good looks.

This year we got up, opened one of Chloe's 30 or 40 presents then had breakfast. Kim has initiated a family tradition of Beignets (french doughnuts) for Christmas breakfast. We then went to a 10:00 Christmas service at church which was great. We had an awesome time worshiping God with our spiritual family that we love dearly. We then came home for a few more presents before going to lunch with my boss and his family and friends (Paulo and Mara) at their home. Paulo and Mara have 4 beautiful daughters who played with Chloe and Chloe loved them. We then went to Josh and Amy's for Christmas dinner with friends and family from church. We had an awesome time. I have a total of 3 weeks off over the holidays (one of the many attractions of NZ). We've already enjoyed my first week off, just being together and chillin' at the house and with friends. We're house sitting for our adopted NZ family at their home on Bucklands Beach for a few days.

Here's a little video of our Christmas. Music is provided courtesy of our church's recently released cd.
video

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Bump & The Mo

At last, the photo of the bump. So, I've made it to the 7th month of this pregnacy with little incidence. It has been very similar to my pregnancy with Chloe. We've just wrapped up the second trimester and apart from some SI joint issues that seem to be resolving nicely (thank you Jesus!), its been smooth sailing! This baby is kicking a lot and all the time. I do notice it especially at night when I lay down to sleep (hopefully not an indicator of what's to come!). I love the feeling of it....our next little precious is on the move, too! You may also notice a bit of growth in Mike in this photo (no not his belly, his Mo, as they call moustache here!). He grew it for Movember, New Zealand Prostate Cancer awareness month, where all the Kiwi Men go around looking like they're straight out of an episode of Chips Patrol.
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A New Toy

Somebody's been getting spoiled with new toys lately. I think all the Christmas hype in America is paying off big for this little one (smile)! New Zealand also suffers from Christmas commercialism syndrome, but I think its not quite so big as in the US (maybe because there's no place to buy things really cheap!). But, just for posterity, I'll note that this toy cost only US$20, but US$50 to ship! Its no wonder things cost more here....they have to get here! Chloe sure is glad it did. She's been loving it. She's discovered, she can wheel it up to whatever she would like to climb upon and use it for a boost! She's also learning that its a bit slippery for standing on.....

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Ball Pit Fun

At the ball pit, there was a little boy who took Chloe under his wing, protecting her from
bigger kids in the ball pit when they came through. She thought him quite entertaining and funny.

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Climbing Continues

Recently, Chloe got to go to her friend Brianna's birthday party at Lollipop's Playland. What a fun place! Chloe loved the climbing and the ball pit above!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Moving Day

Chloe really enjoyed having all the packing boxes around as we got ready to move.
She was very helpful, cheering us on, and even packing herself I suppose to be sure
she didn't get lost in the move (smile)!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Duck Day at the Domain

Ducklings everywhere! Chloe had the pleasure of feeding them, though she would not feed them the bread. She kept that for herself and tried to give them large tree seeds that had fallen to the ground. They lined up for it anyhow.


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Beach Buddy & those Favored Balloons

We recently caught up with Chloe's first friend, Zane. He's just turned one year old as well. It was a gorgeous day for a beach picnic and since Krystal & Justice were in town they invited us out.
Here Chloe demonstrates her multitasking: sing, dance, play the piano, hold the balloon.
She went around for several days after her birthday party with at least one balloon in her
hand and sometimes one in her mouth as well. She was never startled by them if they popped.
She's pretty tough.
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Chloe's 1st Birthday: Skype Party

Chloe had a wonderful birthday. She especially loved the cake. I made it a baby-friendly banana cake since she absolutely loves bananas! She calls them "Bamamas." It was covered with balloons her other favorite thing right now! The icing, however, was not baby-friendly (smile), but very delicious! We skyped with all of her grandparents, opening their pressies as they watched on, and caught up with her aunts and uncles, too! She received some adorable outfits and some toys that she loves! She may have had the most fun just opening them! Many more pics to view by clicking our albums link on the right of the screen. A big thank you to everyone who sent presents and made time to skype and celebrate her first year with us! We love you!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

in my humble opinion...

...president bush is a wicked, evil man. In 7 years, president bush has used his veto power very sparingly (only 4 times). What types of legislation would result in this highly unusual response from him? To me, it looks like he vetoes legislation that siphons money away from himself or his friends. For instance, if you were to try and limit the amount of money given by the us gov. to rich friends of bush, i.e. defense contractors, tobacco (or any big business), Haliburton, etc. = veto. Or, say you were going to use u.s. taxes towards health care for children of poor AND moderately poor families..?..= veto. It is beyond ironic, it is sick that bush vetoes this legislation because he thinks it encourages dependence on the gov. Who is more dependent on u.s. tax money than bush and his buddies? What proportion of the wealth of the wealthy is federal dollars? Check this out, did you know that 45 million people in the u.s. don't have health insurance? People in the richest country in the world with an annual 'defense' budget of 439.3 billion dollars (not including and additional 120billion in '07 for emergency killing of brown people and oil collection) die from lack of access to health care. These things should not be so. I'm not just going to be upset about this I'm going to change it. I'm going to pray.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Was Edmund Hillary Climbing at This Age?

I was in the kitchen tidying up listening to Chloe play away on her piano.
When I returned to the lounge, I found her playing it with her feet! The
next day, she'd made it to both feet and was hunting for treasure in the
change table's side basket.

*Note: No babies were harmed in the shooting of these photos*
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Misty morning





The view from the top of mount Eden was especially beautiful this morning. This is a view of One Tree Hill.












This is the village of Mt. Eden, rolling back her warm blanket.













La ciudad, still tucked in as the cows get started on breakfast










I wish I had saved the recording I made at this point (I'm going to sue...someone) - the rhythmic sound of the cows tearing the wet, green grass perfectly accompanies the vivid visual scene, sweet smell and gentle breeze.

Monday, August 27, 2007

go the All Blacks


I went to the big game against Australia (mate) w/ Steve and Samir and others. It was freezing cold and pouring rain and we got totally soaked. On the line: the Tri-nations cup AND the Bledisloe cup. In this first picture we see the All Blacks welcoming the Wallabies with the Haka. The haka is a Maori thang - it looks pretty aggressive, however, the main point of the haka, as I understand it, is for the peeps doing the haka to get themselves pumped up for battle, not so much to intimidate their opponent.



Here, Samir, Steve and I are performing our own Haka to greet the dirty Wallabies. I must say we've got it down quite well, but, Samir has missed an important nuance of the haka which is to stick your tongue out as far as you can, as well as open your eyes as wide as you can (he's from London).





Here's a scrum. It's really interesting to watch rugby and see where american football comes from. This is the ancestral source of how each down starts in american football or 'gridiron' as they call it here.











here's a peek of the stadium. Although this was a massive game, worthy of Wimbley stadium, it was played in a stadium about the size of most Texas highschool football stadiums. Remember, NZ only has ~4.5million people in the whole country. This is one reason they're so proud of their achievements on the world stage. It is certain that the All Blacks will be the world champion rugby team this year at the rugby world cup held in France this Sept (note the bottle in the air, mid-picture).




Sunday, August 26, 2007

Learner's Permit Required

Chloe takes her car driving very seriously. Oh, and she thinks she gets more respect as a new driver if she wears her halloween costume. Baby logic...
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Beach Days Kiawah

She has to learn to eat dirt sometime. Our house was about 100 yards from this spot. It was sweet!


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Kiawah con Familia and the Great Tree

Can you tell its 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity?
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