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Archive for October, 2015

A Hodgepodge Update

Seriously, where did October go?  It came and went in a blink of an eye!  We’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks, contributing to October’s hasty disappearance.  Here is a hodgepodge update of things we’ve done over the month.

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We’ve expanded the solar system to the driveway thanks to chalk.

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I had a kid free afternoon so I decided to have a cuppa on top of the Port Hills where I contemplated returning to school and getting my masters.  More on that later…

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Hide and seek is currently the number one game in our house.  E and C are taking a moment from the game to admire the stars and planets on their ceiling.

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We participated in a bike ride through the city to raise money for an orphanage in Romania.

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E enjoyed riding on the back of the bike…until I decided to do some unintentional stunts!

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E is constantly asking C if he can hold his hand.  I must say having two children so close in age (a newborn and a 17 month old) was extremely difficult, but stuff like this makes it well worth it.

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I was cooking tea one night.  I looked up and this is what I saw!  Wordless beauty.

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We attended church camp one weekend where I soaked in every word our speaker, George Wieland, spoke.

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Sand and shovels are some of the best forms of entertainment when it comes to children.

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We went for a day hike along the Godley Head Track.

This past weekend was Labour weekend here in New Zealand and I will write about our adventures in a later post.

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This week C turned 22 months old.

Corbyn 22 Months Old (6)

“Hello.”

He can successfully jump off things.  He can jump while standing on the ground, but he finds it funny to just plop down on his bum.

He pretty much runs everywhere.  His running is also nonstop from the moment he finishes breakfast.

C is very close to putting full sentences together.  He is normally missing one verb or an article in his sentence.

E constantly asks C if he can hold C’s hand.  C is not very keen the majority of the time.

Here is E’s 22 month old post.

 

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E: 3.3

I totally forgot to post E’s latest monthly photo!  Ops!

E loves playing hide-and-seek.  He thinks if he covers his eyes that he is hiding and no one can find him, even if he is standing in the middle of the room.

He enjoys listening to music, playing with trains and playdough, riding his bike, and digging in sand.  He requests going to a playground daily.  E is still interested in the solar system.

He is back to taking naps again.  He needs one every other day.

He loves being at preschool, but finds it hard saying goodbye.

Here is the latest lamb photo:

Elijah 3.3 Months Old (22)

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This weekend Jeff and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  Originally, we’d organized a babysitter just for a meal on Friday night, but it changed into a two-nighter about a week out from our anniversary!  Jeff and I were extremely excited about our two nights all to ourselves.  As the weekend drew closer, the weather was beyond prefect pretty much everywhere on the South Island.  We decided to do a hike that would be next to impossible with the boys at their current age.  So we drove the six hours to the Haast Pass to climb up the steep track to Brewster Hut.  We left early on Friday morning and arrived at the trail head around 3pm.

At the beginning of the track, you have to ford a river.  The river wasn’t major (with that said, someone wrote under the comments in the DOC book that the river was majorly flooded as they headed out and the couple had to return back up to Brewster Hut.  So it sounds like the river can flood greatly.) but it required us to remove our boots as the water came up to our knees.

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The river we had to ford.

For the first two hours we climbed steeply upwards through the forest.  The remaining hour of hiking was above the bushline offering amazing views of the Haast Pass.  Jeff was pushing me to pick up the pace after we emerged from the bush as the sun was going down, the wind had picked up majorly, and we still had to walk along the exposed ridge to get to our final destination.  After gaining about 1,000m (3,280ft), we finally made it to the snow-covered hut around 6pm with a good amount of time to enjoy the view and see an amazing sunset.  We ended up having the 12 bunk hut all to ourselves, which was extremely nice.  The only thing lacking in the romantic aspect of the hut was the lack of a fire place.

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The views after leaving the forest.

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A ‘couplie’ with Mount Brewster in the background.

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Taking a breather.

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The ridge we hiked along in the wind.  Also, do you see that river in the valley?  Yes, that’s the same river we forded at the beginning of the hike.

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Almost to the hut!!  You can see the cream-colored toilet slightly left of Jeff in the distance.  Speaking of the toilet, it was oddly far from the hut and on the edge of the mountain.  But, the toilet did offer some amazing views.

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Finally, Brewter Hut.  As the kiwis would say, “it was a hard yakka.”  But, man, it was completely worth it.

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Couldn’t ask for a better place to watch the sunset.

The wind howled all night long and died out rather quickly around 9am on Saturday morning.  At that point, Jeff and I had already finished packing up all our stuff as we decided to head back down to the car instead of staying two nights in the hut because of the wind and we needed crampons and ice axes to explore further past the hut (the Brewster Glacier isn’t far from the hut).  Since the wind died down completely, we decided to not rush down the mountain and explored what we could without crampons and ice axes.

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I absolutely love this photo.

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Jeff and I didn’t feel comfortable exploring past this point without the appropriate gear.  We did find a tarn.  But, sadly the Brewster Glacier will have to be explored another day.

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But before leaving, I had to get a photo of the hut door.  It was massive and about three inches thick! I assume it was to hold back the snow.

We were glad we did head back because we ran into 10 folks on their way up to the hut to spend the night. Even though the hut had 12 bunks, it would have been really tight and awkward as the hut was a bit small.  Plus, it gave us the opportunity to knock another hike off our never-shortening tramping list.

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Jeff leading the way back to the car.

As we made our decent to the car, Jeff and I couldn’t make up our mind whether or not to drive back through the middle of the country making a stop in Mount Cook or finish driving through the Haast Pass to the West Coast making two hiking stops.  We literally started the car and still couldn’t make up our minds which direction to go.  But, in the end, Mount Cook won.  So back through the middle of the country we drove.

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Following the hike, we decided to walk the 2 minutes (from the same carpark) to Fantail Falls.

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This was the first time we saw Lake Hawea.

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What great advertising!  Lambs under the Merino Shop sign, priceless.

We made it to the Mount Cook village around 5:30pm and decided to get a room at the hostel.   I mean, it was our anniversary weekend, might as well splurge a little bit.  We decided to hike to the Sealy Tarns, which is the half way point to Mueller Hut in Mount Cook.  The hike consisted of a steep stepped track containing 2,200 stairs (that’s one way).  I must say, the steps were nicely spaced between each other, unlike the ones back in the Carolinas (USA).  The hike offered amazing views of the Hooker Valley, which contains, Mount Cook, Mueller Lake, Hooker Glacier and Hooker Lake.  Sadly, Jeff and I could only find one of the two tarns and it was too early in spring to see the Mount Cook lily.  We really wish we could have continued onwards to Mueller Hut, but we had to be back in Christchurch by 5pm.  One day!

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2,200 steps later, we made it to the Sealy Tarns.  Normally, the DOC signs come to my hips, but this time I was able to stand on top of one!

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Jeff was more ambitious than me, attempting a handstand on top of the sign. 

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Us at the Sealy Tarns.  We ended up hanging out up there for a little over an hour just soaking in the beautiful scenery.

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One of the best views to chill some wine.

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The only tarn we could find.

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The Hooker Valley.

It was an amazing weekend.  We hiked about 1500m (4921ft) of elevation change over the entire weekend.  It was the first time Jeff and I had a weekend to ourselves in almost 4 years.  It was like a little honeymoon.

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