Archive for July, 2015

Over the last two weeks, Jeff and I have celebrated our birthdays.  E has enjoyed every minute of our birthdays.  On each of our birthdays E would constantly say “Happy Birthday Mommy” or “Happy Birthday Daddy” and sing “Happy birthday” to us.  He was even more thrilled with getting more cake.  Although, he still talks about me not picking out the pink cake for Jeff.

Unfortunately, a few weeks back, C had a traumatic babysitting experience and instantly became very needy for me and didn’t like me leaving his sight.  Lets just say without going into details, that that person will not watch our children ever again.  You are probably wondering why in the world I am mentioning this.  Well, months ago, I had planned a surprise weekend get away for myself and Jeff as his birthday present.  As the days grew closer to our planned weekend trip, C was on his way back to being very confident and independent.  But, when I told Jeff about the plans, we decided to just make the trip a day trip because we didn’t want C to progress backwards.

Our day hike destination was Woolshed Hill Peak out towards Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps.


The first part of the track climbed upwards through a forest.  That part has the steepest gradient and when we emerged from the forest, we were blessed with snow-capped alpine views.


After reaching the alpine views Jeff and I stopped to eat our pies we picked up in Sheffield.


The higher we went, the more valleys we could see.


Along the way up, we discovered two ice and snow covered tarns.


Of course, we ventured off the track to get a closer look.


There is just something about being surrounded by nature that is extremely peaceful.



Looking down on the track it is easy to distinguish which side of the mountain gets bombarded with wind.


My mountain man enjoying what God created.


Us being us while doing what we enjoy doing.


Almost to the top!  Unfortunately, we turned back shortly after I took this photo as the wind started blowing dangerously strong and the ridge up ahead was very narrow.   It was a great way to celebrate Jeff’s birthday.


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C is now 19 months old.

Corbyn 19 Months Old (9)

19 months on July 14th.

C can say so many words and is now putting more than one word together.  Some examples are “here you go,” and “big bird.”

C loves books.  Some of his favorites are Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and The Best Nest.

When asked where parts of his body are, he successfully points to the correct answer.

Every time I sweep the floor and bring all the dirt into one pile, C lays down right next to the pile of dirt, points at it, and says “ooOooOooOO” as if the dirt is the most interesting thing he has ever seen.  If I’m roasting vegetables in the oven, in attempt to cool down the hot oven, C will blow on it.

C loves the playground.  His favorite is the slide.  He now feels comfortable sitting up while sliding down the slide.  He used to just go down on his belly, which was perfectly fine with me.  C also enjoys wide open spaces to run around in.

C often tells me when he has peed or pooed.  But, he calls both poo.

He is very determined to learn how to jump and tries daily.

C still takes one nap a day around noon.  When I give him his 5 minute warning, 99% of the time he prefers to go ahead and go to sleep.  He will even run to his run saying “night-night” and wait for me by his bed.  Sometimes if C needs a nap before noon, he normally will tell me that he wants to go “night-night.”

C now has 12 teeth.

Here is E’s 19 Month Old post.

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Multi-Functional Undies

I never thought how many usages a pair of undies had until this past week.  C discovered E’s stash of undies in his wardrobe.  Don’t worry, the undies are clean.  He spent an entire day playing with the undies.  He carried the stash from room to room, dug up the undies with the digger, transported them in the dump truck, made and wore an undie chin necklace, made and wore an undie bracelet, wore them like a hat, and I really could go on.  Leave it to a child to use an item for a completely different use than what it was made for!  I love it!







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On Saturday (July 11) the weather in the mountains was looking chilly, but fantastic.  It’s rare to get a sunny and wind-less day in New Zealand.  So Jeff and I decided to rehike the Peak Hill Track.  But, this time the mountain was covered in snow.  Last time we hiked this track, the steep parts were very muddy making it very slippery.  The snow added new challenges, but it was a lot easier than the mud!  The hike was a bit more difficult than Jeff and I remembered, but I think that is due to the boys growing heavier.  Despite the cold and the heavy boys, the views from the top are some of my favorite (so far) in New Zealand.


Jeff and E managing their way up the snowy track.


The view of Lake Coleridge from the first knob.


Our final destination is still a wee bit off in the distance.


E had a chance to walk in the crunchy snow.  He didn’t like it very much.


600 meters of elevation change later and this is the view we were blessed with.


Once at the top and after eating food, the boys enjoyed walking around picking up rocks.


C didn’t enjoy being distracted from picking up rocks by me taking his photo.


As usual, Jeff does a heel click whenever possible.


Lake Coleridge.


The rest of Lake Coleridge.


Our usual family photo from the top.


Cute picture, right?  Well, it can be very challenging at times getting both boys sitting and looking at the camera simultaneously.  What you don’t see is Jeff throwing snowballs at them.


Peek-a-boo C.


The wide angle  lens helps to capture family photos.  Although, E’s face is a bit distorted. 

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We celebrated the 4th of July last Saturday by attending the Christchurch American club party.  The party was a social gathering around food (of course!) with fellow Americans.  While there we met an American named Ed who works for NASA.  He was handing out SOFIA, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, stickers to the children.  SOFIA is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) to maintain an airborne observatory.  E was completely thrilled.  He is really into outer space.  E’s interest started with the moon, which quickly expanded during the Jupiter and Venus conjunction when he saw them aligned together in the night sky.  I explained E’s current interest in outer space and asked Ed if we could come see the airplane.  Much to my surprise, Ed said yes and invited us on a tour through the plane.  He gave us instructions to meet him at the airport near the US Antarctic program.


Our Fourth of July family photo.

On Tuesday we met Ed at the security gate with some friends where he led us across the tarmac to tag along with an Air New Zealand tour of the Boeing 747SP.  Lets just say the boys were thrilled!  Although, E was a bit upset that we didn’t fly in the airplane (to Nana and Grandpa’s house, I might add).  Jeff and I told him that if he wanted to fly in SOFIA he had to become a scientist.  Since that tour, E walks around all day saying “I want to be a scientist.”


SOFIA.  The door in the rear part of the fuselage opens to expose the infrared telescope.


Getting ready to enter SOFIA.


E was beyond excited about entering the airplane.  His facial expression is priceless.


So much excitement.


This is the 17 ton, 100 inch diameter infrared telescope.  The observatory operates at altitudes between 39,000 feet and 45,000 feet.


It’s not every day you get to take a family photo with a billion dollar telescope.


E sitting in the pilot seat!


This was definitely a once and a lifetime experience that the entire family enjoyed.


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On Monday, E turned 3 years old!  I seriously can’t believe that he is already 3.

Elijah 3 Years Old (25)

Monday, June 29, 2015

We celebrated his birthday on Saturday though.  We started the morning off calling Jeff’s dad and then skyping my parents.  My parents were able to watch E open the gift they gave him.  Lets just say, E wouldn’t open anything else because all he wanted to do was play with the Gup G (an Octonaut ship) that my parents gave him.

That afternoon we gathered together with friends to celebrate his birthday.  Leading up to his birthday, we talked about him turning 3 and what to expect at his birthday party.  He was super excited about his birthday party mostly because there would be cake (that’s something he only gets on birthdays).  He knows he is 3, but when anyone asks how old he is, he always says 5.  Goof ball.

E loves his new toys and loves reading all his birthday cards (over and over again).


A roaring dinosaur birthday card is the greatest idea for a 3 year old boy.


My parents watching E opening their gift to him.


Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to E.


E waiting patiently for his slice of cake.


Some of E’s friends enjoying the cake.


E is really into Thomas the Train. 

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