26 October 2009

Life is Good

Today is Sunday. We awoke this morning to two happy kids barreling down the stairs and coming into our room and then going downstairs to watch cartoons together. Dano and I laid in bed and talked for a bit and listened to the kids giggle and talk about the shows. We got up and when I was making breakfast I looked down stairs to see the kids sitting on the same couch snuggling under a blanket. They are good kids. They get along, they talk to each other, they enjoy being together. Dano and I sat at the dining room table and had breakfast together and my parents drove in the driveway. Mom and Dad dropped by to deliver an apple pie that Mom had made before they went and met friends. We have begun our Church Search. We went to Sprucedale United this morning and were pleasantly greeted by my Grade 8 teacher! Also my principal and his wife (Abby's teacher) and their daughter go there. It was so nice to feel welcomed into a church. Our search will continue here in Chatham. After church we got a few groceries and then went and picked up cousin Emma who was staying in Chatham last night. The kids played outside all afternoon while Dano and I put together a wonderful roast beef dinner. Dan's brother and wife and cousin came over for dinner and it felt like we were home. Today I feel like we are home. It feels right.

My last post I was missing NZ and everything about it but life is good here. The feel of today and last few days feels good. There is a commercial on TV right now, 100% New Zealand...advertising NZ. It does tug at our hearts. It shows Milford Sound, penguins, oceans, mountains...all the things that we absolutely love about NZ. I cannot say that when I see that commercial I don't feel somewhat sad that our time there, for now, is over. I do feel more settled and am content here now. I truly feel blessed to have lived in such a beautiful, peaceful place. Our family, our marriage, our lives are better because we made this adventure happen.

The end,

05 October 2009

The End

I have been dreading this last post. I have been putting if off. It is very hard for me to write this as I do not want our NZ adventure to end. I have an empty feeling inside of me. The feeling reminds me of how I feel after closing night of a musical or the day after a wedding. Of the four of us I have been the one that has had the hardest time settling in. I am very glad to be home, to see family and friends, to see our kids hang out with my parents and their cousins. Sam and Abby are loving school, Dano is loving his job. Life is good. But I have this longing feeling in my gut. I am not a crier....I am not. Since we have been back there have been two nights that my eyes have leaked while falling asleep. Even while writing this blog I am getting a little weepy.

NZ has changed our lives. Dan and I were in ruts in our jobs, our life balance was out of whack, too much energy went into worrying about work. Sammer was struggling socially at school feeling like a target each day. As a family we were busy busy busy, just getting by emotionally. NZ has changed all of that. Our 20 months in the south has taught us so much. We found a simple life. A life I want to live forever. The people we were blessed to meet are less stressed, less frazzled people. They put family first, have modest homes and enjoy the beauty of their country. They generously share their holiday homes and are warm hosts. Our Kiwi friends are special people.

I absolutely love NZ and will always hold our time there dearly. The mountains, waterfalls, ocean beaches, penguins are breathtaking and I miss them. We were blessed to meet so many friends in Pukerau and Gore. For now, it is time for us to reconnect with our family and friends here in Canada. Chatham is home again. It does feel good to start planting our permanent roots here. Spending time with the special people here, sharing our new outlook on life with them, continuing to live the simple life, having less and keep doing more is how we will live our lives.

01 September 2009

My Kiwi Adventure....by Sammer

This was one of the best things that have ever happened to me. In NZ I have grown in size and as a person. I have gone out of my comfort zone by doing things like bungy swinging, rock climbing and flying on an airplane for 13 hours! I also petted a seal (don;t ask) and I got up on stage and performed a Canadian Comedy act for Eistedfod at St. Peter's College. These are all things that I never would have done before coming to NZ.

The scenery was breath taking and beautiful. Milford Sound was awe inspiring. Te Anau was such a cute little town and Porpoise Bay was the best beach to be at! I learned how to boogie board on waves and swim with dolphins! The Penguin Place in Portabello was so cool, we were a foot away from a penguin. My favourite penguin was Sam.

One thing I love about the South Island of New Zealand is how laid back everyone is and everyone say HI or waves to you. I feel like I fit in really well in NZ, everyone likes everyone for who they are.

Our schooling wasw great! At Pukerau School there is so few kids that the teachers had time to talk and get to know each kid. Everyone knows each other too. Gore was the closest town to us and it had a beautiful Main Street. There are so many little shops too. We felt safe and happy walking around Gore.

Our time in NZ has helped me understand the guy I want to grow up to be. It has changed me I know that.

Thanks NZ,


26 August 2009

Flights back to our home country... by Abby

Right now we are on our first airplane back to Canada from Dunedin. We got free cookies, free Kiwi lolliymix and Air New Zealand hard candies. When we get to Auckland we have 8 hours in Auckland. We are going to rent a car and go around Auckland. I am looking forward to going am home! I felt scared at first but now I am excited. I really want to see my cousins and Aunts and Uncles. I am also looking forward to seeing my own room. And there will be lots of kids around our neighbourhood for me to play with.

Right in front of me is a baby and it's mother with an older brother. The baby will not stop yelling at his mom thai it is not fair you take of the baby and not me.

Mom just met a friend in teh Auckland Airport, Tara. She is going to Las Angeles and back to BC. Tara was a Gap Student at the high school mom worked at. Gap mean swhen you get a year off school so you go to a different country and work anywhere you want.

There is only 2 more flights counting this one to get to Toronto. After that Grandpa Horton is going to pick us up and drive us back to our new home. There is 20 minutes until we board our plane to Vancouver. We are going to Gate 5. We have gone through security and Dad had to get a double check for anything bad in his two bags. It is 7:04 and we get on the plane at 7:30 so we have 26 minutes left.

We are in Vancouver airport!! We have switched airlines to Air Canada from Air New Zealand. We have just got back from our 13 hour flight. It was tiring but we made it...I watched Miley Cyrus, The Best Of Both Worlds concert, Hannah Montana The Movie and High School Musical 3. For tea I had Moraccan Lamb, kumara and peas and for pudding we got chocolate chunk ice cream.

We are now on the plane that goes from Vancouver to Toronto. We have TVs but Dads will not work and we have to buy earphones. Luckily we have our own. I am watching Monsters VS Aliens. We have an hour until we get to Toronto. I can not wait to see Grandpa Horton. Flying over Toronto I can see all the city lights. There is a big orangish redish ball. From the airplane you can see every light on the road. Here is our timetable that we flew to get home:

August 12, 2009
Dunedin - Auckland 1 hour and 30 minutes
Auckland - Vancouver 13 hours
Vancouver - Toronto 4 hours 30 minutes
Toronto - Chatham 3 hours (driver, Grandpa!)

We are home now and we are all safe. We lost a hockey bag somewhere along the way but I am sure we will sort that out. I am happy to be home, but I think I will miss NZ a lot.

By Abby