Thursday, October 20, 2011

From the mouths of babes

Bella asked me the other night how old Nona (her grandma) is. When I told her she looked surprised and said, "Wow, that is almost 70! I heard about two people who just had their 100th birthdays. I thought when you turned 100 you just automatically died".


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First day of school!

I know most parents are so happy when the kids go back to school. It means the return to normal schedules, a routine. But I always find it a bit sad. I remember how hard it was to go back to school at the end of a summer that seemed way too short. I never looked forward to it knowing I had huge amounts of homework in my future. Riley is just like me. He did not want to go back to school. This is his last year in elementary school before he starts middle school (junior high). Bella, on the other hand, was thrilled to go back to school. She has the same teacher that she had for kindergarten because the teacher got moved up a grade.

Both kids are happy with their teachers and their classes so far. Riley is not happy with his homework, but he is dealing with it as best he can.  I have a feeling it is going to be a great  year!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Zealand Part 6 {the rest of our time in the Coromandel}

We loved spending time in the Coromandel with my brother in law's family.  They were so welcoming. We were able to celebrate my nephew, Chase's, first birthday while we were there at Sue and Bernie's (Billy's parents) farmhouse. Here are some photos from our time at the farmhouse and the rest of our time in the Coromandel and New Zealand. It was an amazing trip!

Chase's first birthday party

Bella horseback riding

Hot water Beach


Bernie and Sue's house

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Zealand part 5 {Nakatani Beach}

I need to hurry up and finish posting about NZ so I can post about other things going on in our lives!

Nakatani Beach was amazing!! We had to take a boat (tinny) to reach it. It was totally secluded and absolutely breathtaking. Billy and Ryan ate sea urchins and oysters fresh from the ocean. We swam, kids played in the water and we hung out on the beach. We also went fishing and I caught a fish. I was so excited! It was a great day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Zealand Part 4 {New Chums Beach}

New Chums was an amazing beach. The kind you see in magazines. What made it even more special was the fact that you had to hike over huge rocks and up a hill for about half and hour to get there. It was worth the trek! The kids, Ryan and I loved this beach and had a gorgeous afternoon relaxing there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Zealand Part 3 {Coromandel Town}

After we left Rotorua we drove to my brother in law, Billy's, home town. Coromandel Town is on the Coromandel Peninsula, and is about a 3 hour drive or a 2 hour ferry ride from Auckland.

Billy's parents and brother still live in Coromandel Town, in a house that has been in the family for generations. They own a farm and Billy's brother, Evan, is a fisherman. They are such nice, wonderful people and they were so hospitable!

We loved Coromandel Town. It has one main street with adorable shops and restaurants. The buildings reminded me of those from my hometown in Hailey, Idaho.

Other than walking around the quaint down town, Billy took the boys out fishing and Riley caught a few fish! We also went on a small railway tour of the countryside. Here are some pictures from Coromandel Town and our railway adventure.

 Heading out fishing

 On the railway with Carrie, Chase and Billy

 The railway

Adorable building in Coromandel Town

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Zealand- Part 2 { Rotorua }

Rotorua was definitely the most adventurous part of our New Zealand vacation!

After a 4 hour drive from Auckland, where to my dismay I saw more cows than sheep, we were just getting into Rotorua when we saw a sign for the Zorb Adventure! We had to stop! Ryan wanted to do the Zorb, a big bubble that you sit in and it rolls down a hill. We found out that Riley was old enough to do it too, and he was game, so we signed him up and off they went to the top of the hill. It was fun to watch them roll and slosh around (the put water inside the Zorb so it is basically like being on a waterslide) down the hill. They both really enjoyed it and of course, Riley wanted to go again!!

Our hotel was a bit outside of Rotorua on the shores of one of the many beautiful lakes in the area. Rotorua is known for their geo thermal activity, their Maori cultural heritage and their adventurous activities. We wanted to take advantage of it all and were off to a good start!

We toured some of the geo thermal geysers for part of an afternoon, soaked in a thermal pool for a few relaxing hours and also went to the Rotorua Luge tracks. We took the gondola to the top of a mountain, where we had a great view of Lake Rotorua and the surrounding area and then did the luge ride down to the bottom. It was a blast! We were each able to go a few times and we all loved it!

One night we also went to a Maori cultural show. We were taken to a traditional Maori "village" and shown how ancient Maori people used to live. We also ate a Maori feast cooked in a traditional underground oven. Ryan was chosen to be chief of the visiting tribe and was given special privileges throughout the night, including learning how to perform the famous Haka! It was a really neat experience.

On our last day in Rotorua, we actually drove an hour away to Lake Taupo for the biggest adventure, Ryan's bungy jump!! I was surprised that he did it but it is something he has been wanting to do for awhile. He actually didn't stand at the edge of the jump platform for very long. He just got to the edge, looked out, and off he went! He came back up with the biggest smile on his face! It was a fantastic experience for him and one he will never forget!

Next, off to The Coromandel Peninsula!

The Zorb!

Riley and Ryan before their Zorb adventure

Coming down the hill

Riley and Ryan after their Zorb adventure

Bella and Riley on the gondola up to the Luge track

Ryan, Bella and Riley with a view of Lake Rotorua

Bella and I on the luge

Riley luging it up


Go boys go!

Riley with the Maori warriors

The kiddos

"Chief" Ryan with the Maori chief
Riley with his cousin Chase

View from our hotel room

Ryan befor his bungy  jump- can you say nervous??!!

There he goes!

There he dangles!

The bungy platform over the river

The after shot. I think he is still in shock!