Monday, April 28, 2008

Breakfast with Chloe

Here's a video I've been 'working on' for a long time - the hard part was editing it down from 25 to ~6min. I will say that the first 3min with soundtrack is probably all the viewing you need unless you're immediate family.

This is Chloe from about 9-11 mos.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We've been loved

We have never felt so loved by people who have no obligation to love us. I only captured a small number of the meals our friends brought us after Claire's birth. We didn't cook dinner for about a month because our friends kept bringing us meals. We've been blessed beyond what we could imagine. We had the same outpouring of love when Chloe was born. Kim and I feel certain that one of the things God is teaching us in this part of our journey is how to be better friends. We've been eternally impacted by the love that's been shown to us by our brothers and sisters here. Thank you Mirko and Krystal, Steve and Naomi, Josh and Amy, Luke and Cathy, Vicki and Grant, Adrien and Rebekah, Peter and Shelly, Mary, are God's love personified.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Whakatane - two weeks after K's

The summer here was unbelievable. We decided to take every opportunity to see more of NZ (en-zed). We spent the weekend (a while back) in Whakatane visiting our friends, Christine and Ramon, who moved down there from Auckland to open a cafe. It's a small beautiful little beach village/town which you can see here in the background. Praise God Ramon surfs - he took me out and I finally got to enjoy some nice waves (first time in NZ).
Here's a map

We did a lot of exploring in the area. We drove about an hour to this logging town, Kawerau. From there we hopped on this logging road for about 3omin to this hike along the river to a waterfall. This was a beautiful Sat. afternoon and we were the only people there.

The waterfall was quite cool - didn't get in close enough for it to be spectacular b/c we had to get back and meet Ramon and Christine for dinner.

This is the beach at Mt. Maunganui. We had been here last year and wanted to stop in again on our way back home. This place is magical. Something about the light here is different. It's beautiful. This photo is cool (if I do say so myself). the sky, ocean, beach and lawn make a great contrast; the two diagonals in the middle of the pic are parallel; the breaking wave adds an additional white/emerald line plus some motion/energy. I'd rather the tanker not be in the shot.

This is an even better photo of same beach.

Earlier in the vacation Chloe and I took a walk on the beach at Whakatane. Kim noticed the nice reflection we made.

At some point Kim and I got tired and sent Chloe on ahead. She quickly befriended a dog and his master.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Waitomo for Kim's - a little while ago

We had a beautiful weekend in Waitomo for Kim's
We rented a little cabin on a farm just outside of the village of Waitomo. The owners were so cool - they said they weren't doing this hospitality thing for money, but for the opportunity to meet people. Strangely, however, when I asked them if we still had to pay they said, 'yes'. Here you see Kim and I enjoying a beautiful sunrise from our cabin's porch. Was it really beautiful? Take a look...

it was indeed beautiful.

The cabin was quite nice. Chloe approved.

Waitomo is famous for it's glow worms. These glow worms are a larvae of some kind of fly-ish thing that spin a little web then spark up a light to attract their prey. Their prey of choice is...bad little boys and girls that talk back to their parents! and it gobbles them up, because they didn't listen to their parents. Most suckers who visit Waitomo have to pay $$$ to tour glow worms caves crowded with lots of stinky European tourists. However, we had our own glow worm grotto located five minutes from our cabin front door!

And, as everyone knows, glow worms attract other night creatures...such as...

Possums! These kiwi possums aren't like American opossums. They aren't as big and they don't have the big gnarly tail 'merican opossums have, thankfully.

They sound like little kids crying, which really creeped Kim out. I confess I found it a bit creepy too.

There's lots of cool stuff around Waitomo. We drove ~20min from our cabin then hiked about 15min to this natural bridge. This was a beautiful Saturday in the middle of one of NZ's banner summers and we were the only dudes there! We later found out from our hosts that some scenes from Hercules were filmed there.

We drove another 15min and had another 15min hike to this beautiful waterfall. Again, it was our own private waterfall. Sweet.

We drove to the village for lunch and stopped at the Shearing Shed, where, of course, they shear rabbits.

This is a furry rabbit. It's an angora rabbit that the Germans bred.

Well, you just stretch that rabbit out and go to town with your clippers. The pics might not convey it, but, these rabbits were pretty chilled out about getting sheared, they get sheared 3x/year. And these guys clearly loved their precious rabbits, so no need to notify PETA.

This is the rabbit relieved of its fur.

At night we sat outside and counted the stars. I got up to 200.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chloe and Claire

Oh finally. I've had heaps of technical difficulties uploading this video - que cosas - and it's delayed subsequent posts, of which there are many b/c we've been having lots of fun. So, I leave you with this video and hope to promptly post some of our recent adventures.