Monday, 31 March 2008


Tomorrow we are flying to the USA, to spend a week with Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. We're really excited about meeting some new people, hanging out with Lance (who we hung out with at New Wine in January) and Mike & Sally Breen who are there for 'Hub Week', and the Absaloms, who used to be at St Toms (they are on staff at Bridgeway). It should be a great week, and we're really excited about it. We'll tell you all about it in a few weeks!

A weekend away in Ohakune

We've just come back from a fantastic weekend away with our great friends Brent & Anna, and their son Noah. We stayed at Anna's Dads place which is just outside the ski town of Ohakune. The place was huge, and sits on a massive section, which the children absolutely loved running around! It was a much needed weekend of relaxation for the girls, and hunting for the boys!

The view from our bedroom, looking out towards the snow capped Mt Ruapehu
Wondering what life as a redneck would feel like!

Anna picking blackberries (we had the most delicious apple and blackberry pie made by Brent)
Brent, Anna, and Noah on a walk to feed the ponies
Feeding the sheep on the way to the ponies
Brent & Noah feeding the pony
Gracie & Noah - a match made in heaven!
Walks on the drive!
Sitting in the chairlift at the ski field (it wasn't actually running!)
Gracie playing in the rain


One of the reasons for going away with Brent & Anna was for Brent and I to get out and do some hunting... and that we did! We had a successful first trip, with Brent latching a goat with his Bow. (our plan was to eat it, although it was a boy (with the balls to prove it) and boys don't taste that good. We went rabbit shooting though, and thanks to some stellar shooting from yours truly, we took 2 bunnies home with us. We turned them into a delicious stew which we all ate for lunch the next day. We also went deer hunting one morning, but the closest we got was having one roar at us from a distance.

Our first kill
My rabbits!
Rabbit meat!

Tea Party!

We recently found a kitchen set on the side of the road, so we picked it up and washed it off for Gracie - it has become an instant hit, and here is a cute picture of Gracie and Amelie enjoying a morning tea party!

The Blowfields...

So we packed Granny & Pops onto the Overlander train on Easter Monday, and had a day to reset the guest room for the arrival of good friends Tim & Anna from Chorleywood (my home town). They are doing a tour of New Zealand, and spent 2 fantastic days with us in Auckland, and we had a great time.

On the compulsory visit to Piha!
Out for food at 'Burger Fuel'


We went away for a week with Granny & Pops, and the first stop on our short tour of the North Island was Waitomo, which is famous for it's Gloworm caves! Granny was the official photographer, so hopefully more photos will appear soon, but for now here's a few from a wildlife park, and the famous Angora Rabbit Shearing place!!! 

Our first touch of a lizzard! 

Gracie quite scared of miniature ponies! How could you be scared of this little fella! 
At the Rabbit shearing centre... Before! 
...And after! 

More to follow in a few weeks, once we've got some photos from Granny!

Granny & Grandpops Arrive

It was fantastic to collect my parents from the airport almost a year after their first visit. Gracie hit it off with them almost instantly, and by day 2 there was plenty of giggles from Gracie in Granny & Pops' bedroom over their morning cup of tea! 

In an attempt to beat the jet-lag, on their first full day we drove an hour north and took in some of the sights. We started at the Honey Centre, which is pretty much exactly as it sounds!!! We then visited the Farmers Market at Matakana, had lunch at the amazing Patisserie there, walked at Goat Island Marine Reserve, enjoyed a stroll and a play in the waves at Pakiri Beach, listened to mum playing the pianola in  The Historic Village of Puhoi, and stopped for dinner in Warkworth!!! What a day; Welcome Granny & Pops!  

Out for dinner in Warkworth
Gracie & Granny
Gracie in a 'buzzy bee'at the Honey Centre

The Long Summer

Well, the Auckland summer has continued on for a long time this year (although I think it's fast coming to an end. We've loved the warmth this year, and it's given us plenty of opportunities to get out and about. We recently took Gracie to Point Chevalier (where we used to live) and she thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water.

She has also had lots of fun in her fun size (laughable) paddling pool!!! 

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

House Guests...

This week we have the Amess family staying with us after their holiday in the South Island. It's great to see them again and Gracie is loving having Matilda and Harry around to entertain her. The children have also been excited about an uninvited guest-Mr Hedgehog! We have given our little friend milk and bread although he hasn't returned since- Very rude indeed!