Archive for March, 2012

Today we received an email from JD Jackson (the company who is managing our house in Asheville) with bad news.  There was another clog in the kitchen sink.  We have had this issue once before and just had to hire someone to snake the drain to fix it.  Well, JD Jackson called in a plumber who tried to unclog the pipe and dirt came out when he did so.  Apparently a pipe has collapsed under the concrete floor in the garage which is causing the problem.  So in order to fix the problem, we have to hire someone pull up part of the concrete floor and figure out where the collapsed pipe is located.  Hopefully the problem can be fixed without a lot of expense!  But we will definitely be keeping all receipts of repairs on the house thanks to Laura’s tax advice!  Thanks Laura!!  We also wanted to thank Carolyn, Jeff’s mom, for calling the plumber and getting everything together.


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Today I am 25 weeks 3 days and I met with Jodi, my midwife, for the second time.  The appointment went really well and it reaffirmed my decision to go with Jodi over the other midwife.  Jodi gave me  a book called Tummy Talk at our last visit.  I read through it and it was just so informative.  One thing I learned was that birth isn’t completely over once the baby is born. You have to birth your placenta, which can take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour.  I have never heard of any woman mention that before.  The book also went through the pros and cons of different ways to have birth and it included numerous birthing stories.  One thing I found interesting was that some of the women mentioned having forceps used during the birth of their child.  Overall, I really found the book very enjoyable and I learned a lot from it.

Baby Ray should be about 1.5 pounds and 13.5 inches long and his hair has started to grow.  Jeff and I have been wondering what color hair our baby will have since I have blonde hair and Jeff has brown hair.  Red hair also runs on both sides of our family, so who knows.  Jeff is hoping for blonde hair though. He thinks blonde hair is more unique.  The baby’s heart beat was between 134-145 bpm and he seems to be a very healthy boy.  He is more active than ever!  He will just kick and move like a rolling wave for hours at a time.  His kicks/punches are so strong that it moves my entire stomach.  Moving around has started to become more difficult and awkward because the baby is getting so big.  I am also waking up multiple times in the night due to a constant pain in the upper right part of my back.  On a great note though, I am feeling much better and haven’t been sick since week 21!  I do think that being able to take things at my own pace and not force myself to do things while not feeling good has greatly improved my overall health.

On a side note, we had another earthquake last night.  It was a 3.8 and generated in the Port Hills.  Jeff of course slept through it again.  Nothing wakes that man up!…Except his wife’s elbow (Jeff added that part).

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The weather has been absolutely amazing these past couple of days!  On Saturday Wendy and Peter invited us to their “batch” (aka a little house) in Diamond Harbor.  It was about a 40 minute drive from Christchurch through the Port Hills, which is part of the Banks Peninsula.  The views were breathtaking! We stopped at the top of the Port Hills where there was a prefect view of Christchurch with the Southern Alps as its backdrop.  Luckily it was a clear day and the view was picturesque.

  Wendy, Peter, and Jeff admiring the view.

As the journey continued, we crossed over the Port Hills and began to descend into the extinct volcano that is the Banks Peninsula. We went around Governor’s Bay along the coastline until we reached Diamond Harbor.

Once we got to Wendy and Peter’s batch, Wendy decided to take us on a tour of the neighborhood while Peter weed-eated the lawn. Jeff offered to help but Peter declined plus Jeff was wearing sandles which would have been a bad idea. Wendy showed us a few of the views across the bay to Lyttelton Harbor. After we got back to the batch we opened the curtains and the best view of the neighborhood was out of Wendy and Peter’s picture window.

The view from Wendy and Peter’s living room.

It was then time for lunch and so Wendy asked what kind of pie we would like. We asked her what kind she had and she said, “steak, steak and cheese, mince meat, and chicken.” Jeff and I looked at each other with confusion. Then we learned that they serve meat pies only in New Zealand. They are similar to things like chicken pot pie but without the vegetables. After lunch, Wendy hemmed the curtains, which she had bought on Trademe.co.nz which is like New Zealand’s version of eBay. While Peter was reading his book, Wendy asked how Jeff and I met. So we told her the story of how we met and how we began dating, all the way to when we got married. As we told the story, Peter stopped reading his book as he was enthralled with our story. He began asking questions and it was really funny. We asked him how they met and Peter said it was a very short story. He said that they met each other and 17 weeks later they were married.

Wendy and Peter took us back to Christchurch by driving back around Governor’s Bay, and through Lyttelton. On the way, we picked up some ice cream. It was a great day. Peter and Wendy have been a huge blessing to us.

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Prayers Answered

Our prayers have been answered!  We received news yesterday that the apartment we had a letting fee on will now be available because they got their code of occupancy!!!!!  Praise the Lord!!!  We are moving into the new apartment on March 30.

Last night, Jeff and I went with a group of people from Oxford Terrace Baptist Church to view the Hunger Games.  When we received our tickets for the film we were surprised to find that we were each assigned a seat.   This is just one of the differences between America and New Zealand. (We will add more differences in a later post.)  It was really nice not having to stand in a long line with the hopes of getting a good seat, esp on the opening night of the Hunger Games.  We had a lot of fun getting to know some more locals and the movie was spectacular!  The cast was well chosen and the filmography was great!  The writers and producers did an amazing job with making the movie follow the book, which pleased us both.  Of course you can’t add everything from the book into the film, but overall it was a great movie and very well done.  There were a few things added to the film that weren’t in the book, like the Capitol’s perspective, but we really enjoyed those added part.  (To those of you who haven’t read the book, the entire book is from Katniss’ point of view.)  Our only complaint with the movie was that Haymitch wasn’t as big of a character as he should have been.  So if you are looking for a good story, you should check out the Hunger Games!!

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Sorry, I didn’t get around to posting any pictures of our trip on Monday or Tuesday.  Monday I read the entire first book of the Hunger Games.  I had to read it before Thursday because we are seeing the movie on opening night!  I can’t wait to see it and I totally recommend that book to anyone wanting a good book to read.  It was REALLY good.  Then on Tuesday, I spent the day with Wendy who showed me a lot of arts shops in the area.  Here are some photos of our trip to Arhur’s Pass as promised:

Isn’t this just beautiful!

Sheep!!!  BAH!

 Castle Hill

Wordless beauty.

It’s not everyday you see a Kiwi crossing sign!

Jeff and I at the Devil’s Punch Bowl Falls

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Around 1am this morning I was awoken to loud noises and everything shaking.  I wasn’t very sure what was going on because I was still in that half asleep phase.  But then I became very alert and realized it was an earthquake.  Of course Jeff slept through the entire thing and I woke him up right as it ended! It lasted for about 10 seconds.  I’ve actually experienced two earthquakes before (fall of 2005 at UNCA and then the Washington DC earthquake this past summer), but it was the strongest one I’ve ever felt!  Then again around 8am this morning we felt another one, but it was much smaller.  This one only lasted for a split second and barely shook the bed.  As we walked into to church this morning, Wendy greeted us by asking “did you feel them this morning?”  Wendy proceeded to inform us that the first earthquake was in fact two different earthquakes that occurred at the same time starting in Sumner.  They were both a 4 on the Richter Scale.  The second one she said was only a 3 or so.

Yesterday, the weather was absolutely beautiful!!  A lady from church took us to the home of a person she knows who is moving out of Christchurch to Australia and is wanting to get rid of all of their stuff.  So we went and looked and found some nice things so that when we do move into an apartment we will have at least a few items.  After viewing the house furniture and appliances, we took the company car to Arthur’s Pass.  We drove through the Canterbury Plains into the Southern Alps.  It is beyond words how gorgeous this place really is and our pictures don’t do the landscape justice what so ever!  I will hopefully post some photos tomorrow of what we saw on our trip.  It’s amazing how the landscape just changes everywhere.  One minute it’s flat and then next thing you know there is a giant mountain.  Some of the mountains are covered in grass, trees, rocks, and a gray colored type of soil. There was no rhyme or reason to how it was.  You could have a mountain covered in all four and then next to it one just covered in grass.  We made a pit stop at Castle Hill, which is how I would picture Scotland.  It was grass covered mountains where tons of different shaped rocks came up out of the ground.  (I guess the reason why it reminded me of Scotland is because I just finished a book series a couple of months ago called “Outlander” by Diane Gabaldon where one of the main characters, Claire, travels back to 1747 in the Highlands through a rock structure called Craigh na Dun.)

In apartment news, we received an email from the realtor about the apartment we found and loved that we had put a letting fee on.  The realtor informed us that they have pushed back the move in date to mid April, which isn’t going to work for us because that will leave us homeless for a bit.  They said if we wanted to we can get our letting fee back.  So we have started our search over again.  We looked at two apartments today.  We really, really liked the first apartment and hope that we get accepted for it.   Please pray for God’s will with this situation – we know if this apartment doesn’t work out that God will provide something else for us.  I’m sure many people are going to apply for it because it was a great price and a good place to live in.  The second place we looked at today has foundation issues and a lot of earthquake damage (you could see loose bricks coming out of the chimney inside the house!!!!!).  Even though the guy said it was safe to live in, we don’t feel comfortable living there at all.


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Aurecon was really sweet and they allowed Jeff to borrow a company car for the weekend.  We are totally going to take every advantage of having a car!  Jeff did all the driving because I don’t feel comfortable attempting to drive on the left side of the road just yet.  Let me tell you, sitting on the other side of the car is just weird!  Not only that, but the turn signal is on the other side of the steering wheel.  I couldn’t tell you how many times Jeff turned on the windshield wipers on while attempting to give his turn signal.  Even though it was a new and terrifying experience, especially for Jeff, he really did an amazing job and we made it back to the apartment in one piece!  Tonight we decided to drive out to Sumner (it’s located near the Port Hills).  Wendy and Peter took us out here the other day, but we forgot to bring our camera.  There was a lot of earthquake damage there.  Even though there was a lot of damage, the Port Hills are very beautiful.  It reminded us of Rohan in Lord of the Rings (just to point out this isn’t the location where the scenes from Rohan were filmed).  Here are some photos.

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