Monday, November 30, 2009


I've been thinking so much about Claire lately and how I haven't gotten to document so many of the cute little things she's doing or saying lately. So, here's my chance.

"L-M-N....T!" she sings to the tune of the alphabet and then says, "Chloe's turn." This is the way we know when its someone else's turn.....sing the alphabet through, then switch. She is still quite amicable with this game.

"Pouch, pouch." when she wants to get tucked into our robes like a kangaroo. Chloe then often acts out the older joey version by hopping around the kitchen.

"Self. Self." she's proclaiming at 21 months for everything from putting on her gumboots, which she can do herself, to buckling her seatbelt (she can help), getting into her carseat (she can do, but pretty much won't!), to brushing her teeth. She does happily let me have a turn brushing them when presented with the opportunity for an extra squirt of toothpaste!

"Treat, treat." Though Chloe didn't even start getting treat rewards until she was a little older than Claire is now, Claire is well versed in the world of little treats. She knows a trip to get a haircut means a "Lollipop," that popping into the mall could mean, "ice....queeem!" or that getting into her carseat cooperatively could mean she'll receive a "lolly, lolly" (nz version of candy).

She asks me to sing, "baby, baby," which either means she wants "baby on the bus goes whah, whah, whah" or "you spin me right round baby, right round like a (puppy) baby, right round, round round" (which we sing at roundabouts). She loves singing "whole world in His hands," especially at nappy changes and her favorite answers right now to who is in His hands are, "Qwistal" (krystal), "Ollie" (Olive, Krystal's daughter),"GiGi," & "MiMi."

Claire is in such an affectionate stage, happily willing to give out hugs to apologize to Chloe or when sissy's, "sad. check her." She'll ask for "knee kiss" and sometimes just throws her arms around me at bedtime. She LOVES babies and when we see one she wants to "pet it."

Right now, she and I get to have long chats on our way to pick Chloe up from kindy or after we've dropped her off, when she usually wants to talk about what Chloe was doing when we left: "Sissy, water." I say, "Oh, was sissy playing in the water?" "Yep. Bah-bye." I say, "when we said bye bye?" "Yep. Later gater."

She follows her sister's lead on a lot of things and now wants to try to jump off of everything. She can climb most of the jungle gyms we go to and fearlessly goes down any slide. As Chloe did around this age, she faces the geese hissing at her at the duck pond and pursues them(whilst I stand back and cower!) and Chloe turns to me and says, "I'm afraid those geese are gonna bite me." (I try to say something encouraging to the contrary about how they're just telling us to stay away from their babies, but think the same thing!).

Must go as I'm about to run to pick Chloe up, but hope I've remembered most of the stuff I was afraid of forgetting. I just love and adore our girls and am so happy God's letting me be Claire's momma!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Joey - a baby kangaroo

Who has their momma's smile?
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Does daddy get to carry the joey in his pouch?
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Who's Birthday month was it?

Well...there's three candles on the stack of french toast...however, notice the M&Ms which could suggest one particular family member...

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Oh, it was Chloe's birthday month!  The french toast celebration was on her actual birthday.


Here she is opening one of her many boxes from the US.

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She's pretty excited about this sesame street farm animal book...

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More?  We're just scratching the surface.

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There was so much stuff for Chloe to open that Claire volunteered to give her a present opening break.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Now is it Spring?

Does this look more like it?

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Spring is here!

Except that today was the coldest day of my life.  Very cold - I froze.  Chloe froze with me, but she didn't seem to notice that much (I did dress her in ~ 4 layers).  Kim and Claire went to Salsa lessons and ran errands from about 9:30 this morning until 2:00!!  They probably stayed gone so long because they were staying warm in the car.  I would have done the same.  But three weeks ago it was beautiful.  It was warmish, daylight savings switched on and it stays light longer, the sheep were...calving?...lambing?... hatching baby lambs all over the place anyway and the trees were in bloom.  After church we picked up some burgers and headed to the park for an impromptu picnic at One Tree Hill.  We were wearing our jackets, but there was only a nip in the air - Chloe was barefoot.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

She'll be coming around the mountain

A couple weekends ago we took the babies for a little train ride.

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That's them pulling up the rear.  As you can see it's a mini-train which is maintained by the mini steam-powered train club (below).

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Having tea, like good kiwi blokes.  We are so civilized here in NZ.  Check out the little engine - See the fire in there?

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Here's the coal.

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Oh, it was a fun time.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Wild Geese

And Sheep.

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I'm not sure what's going on in the picture below.  I just want to say that Kim and I are aware of the importance of teaching children about hygiene.

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Two geese looking for trouble...

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...sneaking into the hen-house...a clean, hygienic hen-house. 

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

End of the End of the World Trip - the final chapter (part 1).

On our way home from the end of the world, we pulled through this little village, Opononi which is famous for having a pet dolphin, Opo, in the '50s.  This dolphin was very friendly and would even make you a sandwich if you asked nice. 
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Just down the road is NZs largest tree.  It's a Kauri tree named Tane Mahuta which means 'lord of the forest'.  Very old (~1200 y.o.) and large.
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We also had the pleasure of sampling the 'best fish and chips in NZ' at the Mangonui Fish Shop.
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As most of you know, I'm a bit of a F&C connoisseur.  I found the fare here to be unremarkable.  Even though the F&C wasn't that special, the company couldn't have been better.
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There's no place I would have rather been in the world.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The end of the world - Part IV

When you get to the end of the world there's a lighthouse! 
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Also, there's a tree (arrow) which Maori (native kiwi) legend holds is your soul's exit from this earth, the Maori name for this point translates as 'leaping off place of spirits'.  You and I will call this place Cape Reinga.  If, at the end of the world, you look to the left, it looks like this...
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Not too shabby - it's Cape Maria van Diemen.  A better view of the lighthouse (that's Kim & Chloe at the bottom).
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Look!  LA is only 5,709 miles away!  A short swim, really.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Beautiful baby number 3, El Torro. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tip of the World - Part III

Exploring the tip of the world we stumbled upon what may be my very favorite beach.  Karikari beach.  Of course it was beautiful, with emerald green water and powder white sand, but what put it in my 'favorites' category was the texture of the sand.  It was soft like talcum and brushed right off, like walking on a soft rug.
This is the beach from where we parked..

Chloe and Claire played with a beautiful shell they found.  I meant to bring it home with us as a memento of the trip but I forgot it.  I guess we'll have to go back and look for it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

90-Mile Beach and the end of the world - Part II

Finally.  Here's our video.  Towards the end there's a very small peek of us exiting 90-mile beach by (the only exit) Te Paki Stream (which is more like a river in some parts).  There is still at least one more instalment of our 90-mile beach vacation.

The wild horses were an unexpected highlight!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trip to 90-mile beach and the end of the world - Part I

We loaded up the car with the bare necessities (yes, that's a tiny potty) and hit the road to the Winterless North.
It was ~6hr drive up to Ahipara, which is the jumping-off point to the southern tip of 90-mile beach.  The girls were perfect the whole drive.  Oh, there were some incidents - but they were not the babies fault.  We overfed Claire ~ 1 gallon of milk which she regurgitated (completely regurgitated) for us.  That required a pit stop.  We got a great deal on a huge beach house with a beautiful veiw.  Here's a shot of sunrise.  It turns out that we were about 1km from a world-famous surf break, Shipwreck Bay!  It's a loooong left which my mate Jimmy Kooksley would love.  Si o no, Jimmy?
There were some fun walks along the beach...
and digging in the sand...
and sweet family time...