Thursday, July 29, 2010

Random Hugs....

Since we have lived in New Zealand for 8 weeks now, I've taken up walking/jogging to the beach.  I really love going to the beach but have no desire to get close to the water.  I really do not like deep water.  Especially water that I can't see through.  Isn't it ironic that I LIVE on an island, surrounded by DEEP water that I can't SEE through??  Yeah, I think its ironic.  But there is something about the beach that draws me there.  I love seeing the sun dance off the water.  I love seeing how big the waves are.  I love keeping my eye open for just the perfect shell.  I love seeing what might have washed up on shore.  But what I love most about being on the beach is that it is the one place that I can go to get as physically close as I can to the family and friends that I have left behind in the states.  I stand on that beach and picture them in my mind.  While standing there, I menatlly throw hugs to those that I miss.  So the next time you are going about your day and feel a random hug hit you, you know I'm standing on the beach thinking of YOU.  Brace yourselves, I'll be heading to the beach in the morning.  : )

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Sweet Home...

I took this picture of our lounge this morning.  It struck me how much I like this home.  One of my favorite features are the big windows.  They let in so much light on a sunny day.  On a day like today, I can shut off the heat pump and let the sun warm our home. The grey/green chair in the corner is "Mom's chair".  That is where I am right now posting this.  The peace lily on the table next to me is from my Mom.  She always gave me money to buy flowers for Mother's Day.  This year I saved my money and wanted to buy a plant that can be with me where ever we live in New Zealand to remind me of my Mom.  Under the plant are some NZ souvenirs we picked up when we visited in 2008.  The chair next to it has a quilt on it that our church in Williamsport, Indiana made for us when we left that ministry.  Many of our friends wrote heartfelt words on hearts and a dear friend quilted it all together for us.  It has sat across our laps many chilly nights here.  Just to the right of that chair on the wall is our Wiley family pictures.  We look at all those smiling faces and remember good times and feel their love.  Under the Wiley picture is a bookshelf my Dad made years ago.  It holds all our favorite books that I have read to my boys over the years.  Many special memories are in those books.  To the left of my chair is a table with the Gilmore family picture on it.  It brings the same feelings as the Wiley picture.  The couch has become a favorite resting spot for the boys.  They happen to be on it right now playing a video game.  It is 7:50pm (Wednesday) so they will be heading to bed soon.  I might stretch out on it myself in a little while.  On the round coffee table is a scarf that Bryce brought back to me when he visited Israel.  In the basket on it are some of the scrapbook projects I have made for the boys and our family.  This lounge is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  Not only because of the great natural light and sunny warmth but for all the memories that are in this room.  We may have only lived here for 4 weeks but it feels like its always been home.  Home.  That is such a sweet word.  I am thankful for this place we call HOME.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One of many firsts.....

Today our boys experienced their first day of New Zealand school.  They were a ball of emotions when they got up.  Each one quickly dressed in their uniform, ate breakfast, and packed their lunch.  I think they were ready to walk out the door 30 minutes before we needed to!  They were excited to be making new friends but worried that they wouldn't understand their accents too well.  I walked the boys to school and helped them meet teachers and get settled.  When I left, each face was a mix of smiles and nerves.  It wasn't until I was almost home that my tears began.  I was so nervous for them!  I knew they would be fine and that they would make friends quickly but it was still hard to leave them to take care of themselves.  I was anxious for 3:00 to roll around and hear about their day.  It was exactly what I expected.  They were so full of stories that it was hard to listen to just one boy.  Their faces were glowing with huge smiles as they told about the friends they had met and the differences from the school they had known in the states.  All those emotions....all those anxious thoughts.....gone.  Whew....WE made it through the first day!!!  Now for the second day......  : )

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simply Beautiful

I love this picture!  We spent part of the weekend in Dunedin where we will move to live in just over 4 months.  When we woke, the sun was just coming up over the hills and reflecting on the ocean in the most beautiful reds and oranges.  The boys couldn't wait to put on their gum (rubber) boots and run to the ocean.  Their love of the waves, sand, and shells just makes me happy.  They are truly island boys.  I am one thankful and blessed mom.
: )

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some things never change

I love to make cookies.  I like to think my sugar cookies are my signature but I'll make just about any kind. My boys love chocolate chip cookies so of course I make them for them.  For some reason I cannot make a chocolate chip cookie that looks nice.  They always taste OK but they would not win a ribbon for looks!  Maybe not for taste either but the boys sure eat them up.  I made cookies the other day for the first time since we've moved to NZ.  It was a challenge from the start as I had to translate my measurements from cups or "stick of butter" to grams and kilograms to the fact that I didn't have a proper measuring cup!  Thank goodness that my oven has C* and F* temps on it for baking them at 180* instead of 350* and then watching them so they wouldn't burn.  So I've learned that while I'm living in a country where I drive on the other side of the road, take walks to the beach, and I am the one with an accent, some things never change.  Like my strange looking but good tasting chocolate chip cookies!
: )

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A different kind of Fourth

Today was a different kind of Fourth of July.  There were no fireworks, no BBQ's, and it certainly wasn't hot.  I remembered the year we watched fireworks over Niagra Falls in Canada, watching them in Illinois with friends, and the year the boys stayed with my brother in Springfield, IL.  There was also last year when it was so wet we didn't see any big fireworks.  But with all those celebrations, I remember the time spent with family and friends more than the fireworks themselves.  So today may have been a different kind of celebration but I will always remember my first one in New Zealand.  A day where we drove to the mountains and played in the snow and threw rocks into the lake.  I may have missed the colors and sparkle of fireworks but I was still able to give thanks for my freedom and spend the day with loved ones.
Happy Birthday America!!

Cheers!!  : )