Monday, December 26, 2011


There are a lot of firsts going on right now.

I just finished packing for our first family camp with the whole denomination. We are flying to the north island and I can't wait to get on a plane again. I love flying. Probably has something to do with living on Guam for two years when I was really young. The only way to travel there is to fly. For whatever reason, I love to fly and am really looking forward to this trip!

I also sent a script into my first competition. It was a minisode (7-10 pages) of a current TV show. It was a lot of fun writing characters I already knew and putting them in my own scenario. If you're interested I wrote for the show NCIS:LA and the logline was: "Christmas always brings surprises, but no one was expecting this."

In a few weeks I am also taking my first trip to Australia! That is exciting because I have always wanted to go to Australia as we have good friends there. Now I am getting to go and meet those friends!

Also in a few weeks I am going to reveal another exciting first! A truly life changing first that has focused me more on God and eagerly awaiting what He has for this next chapter of my life.

What are some firsts that you are experiencing right now?


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas!

"In our world too,
a stable once held
Something inside it that was
bigger than our whole world."
-- Lucy in The Last Battle.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cookie Exchange. Oh. Wait.

Well, I was going to post about the spontaneous Christmas Cookie Exchange. But then we our six-monthly event.....and aftershock......a big aftershock......5.8 to be exact.

Then there was the nearly half hour of continuous smaller (but by no means small) aftershocks. Then came the calming down and breath catching. Then came the slow relaxing. Then came the second, bigger earthquake.

So now we are waiting to see how big that one is and I'm pretty sure the cookie exchange will have to wait until later.


Update: The second was a 6.0.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like.......

Summer? :) It is very different to go into the stores and see the decorations for Christmas up and then drive by the fields and see newborn foals. :D

Being completely spontaneous, Mom and I decided on Sunday that we would host a cookie exchange. So we have busy calling people and inviting them. So far it looks like a good turn out for such a last minute event.

I have decided to make these:

So that is on my list of things to do tomorrow. That and hopefully upload some more pictures to shutterfly so I can post them here.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our King!


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Little Catchup

You must forgive the picturelessness for a while. I am still trying to decide the best way to make them accessible to my iPad.

I am trying to think of how to even begin catching up on all that has happened. I guess the biggest thing is that I am no longer appling for a student visa to go back to school next year, but instead a work visa. The school where I work would like me to continue working there next year. On top of that, when I was sick I had a lot of time to pray and listen. The short version is that I am concentrating much more on my writing (exciting news about that in the near future!) and drama.

I truly believe that in a culture that has strayed so far from the Bible and God that drama is a really positive way to reach them. Lord willing, I will be using drama in a more evangelistic way in the coming year.

Anyhow, remember when I said I was applying for a work visa, well, now I need to go fill out some more paperwork.

It's so good to have access to you all again!


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just trying new things

One of the reasons I have so infrequently posted here lately is that our computer situations don't allow for a lot of internet time and, until now, my ipad has been useless.

So I was looking for a new computer, but wasn't quite ready to get one. Then I discovered an app for wriitng blogs.

So, if you are reading this, be assured that more posts are coming.......and soon!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little Bit Longer

Yes, I know I've not been around or finished the giveaway, but there is a good reason.

I had kidney stone which turned into a kidney infection which turned in sepsis which turned into a hospital stay which turned into a long recovery time which turned into a low immune systerm which turned into getting sick from some of the kids at school. So, I have crawled off the couch, braving the blinding headache, to tell you that I'm adding another month onto the giveaway.

So you have until November 1st, Central Time to answer the questions. Just a note.....there are no rules about not using google. ;-)

I can promise you that pavlova is certainly worth the extra bit of effort! :-)

See you in a bit!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Location, Location, Location........And A Giveaway

At long last the pictures I have been promising. For my birthday, I asked my parents if we could go sightseeing outside of Christchurch. Mount Hood, where they filmed Edoras in Lord of the Rings, was close enough that we could visit in a day, so we went.

The drive up was amazing. The mountains were already snow capped. Just from the car, they were so majestic.

Mount Hood is actually located in a kind of bowl. This is looking over the valley before going in:

As you approach, the road actually stops and you continue on a gravel path.....which will make your car slip and slide. But the truly astounding part about being out here is the completely silence. Nothing, not a single sound. Not a bird, not an animal hiding in the low bushes, nothing. Just silence. As majestic as the mountains and snow and scenery was, the silence was just as awe inspiring.
And then our first glimpse of Edoras. We approached from behind and on the opposite side than they do in the movie, but still it was unmistakable. And breathtaking.
We tried hiking to the mountain, but there was a stream which we weren't prepared for. We plan to go back when it's warmer and we can wade in it. Personally I think a costume will be called for. ;-)
So that was our little excursion, made even more fun by the promise of a Part 2. :)

Now for something a little different:

I've been wanting to do a Kiwi giveaway on my blog for a few months now, but haven't been able to figure out what to do. Then I was inspired. It works like this......I will post a quiz about New Zealand here. Leave your answers in the comments section and on the first day of October (USA Eastern Time) I will randomly draw a name from those who answered correctly. What does the winner get? A container of Pavlova Magic delivered right to your door! (Sorry, but I'm going to make this giveaway only open to Non-Kiwis. :) )

If you are wondering what Pavlova is, my sister, Shannon, posted a wonderful description of it on her blog. It is a Kiwi dessert extraordinaire. The Pavolva Magic has everything you need including the correct measurements.

So here are your questions:

1) If you really like something you say:
a) "Say yes"
b) "That's magic"
c) "Good as"
d) "Not bad"

2) What is the name of the New Zealand basketball team?
a) Tall Blacks
b) All Blacks
c) All Whites
d) White Jumpers

3) How many earthquakes/aftershocks has New Zealand felt since Sept 4, 2010?
a) over 2,000
b) over 3,000
c) over 4,000
d) over 5,000

4) What are the two symbols are on the New Zealand flag?
a) the union jack and the little dipper
b) the southern cross and stars and stripes
c) the union jack and the southern cross
d) the big dipper and the southern cross

5) If you play housie, what are you going to do?
a) play bingo
b) bet on the races
c) play field hockey
d) play scrabble

6) What is a popular home show in New Zealand?
a) Mary Kay
b) Rubbermaid
c) Discovery Toys
d) Tupperware

7) What word do you use if you are talking about a lot of something?
a) megas
b) heaps
c) loads
d) batches

8) After greeting your guests for an afternoon tea, what is the first thing you tell them?
a) where the restroom is
b) where they can hang their coats
c) where the tea kettle is
d) where the strongest doorway in your house is

9) When you turn on a light and it doesn't work, what is the first thing you check?
a) the outlet switch is on
b) the lightbulb is not burnt out
c) the electrical wiring is still good
d) the breaker out in the garage is still on

10) What is the morning break at school called?
a) morning recess
b) morning tea
c) morning rest
d) morning halt

So there you have it. Ten questions, ten answers. Leave your answers in the comments section. Your time starts now!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just in Case You're Wondering

I am not still in the same outfit. Nor is there still snow on the ground. However last week we did have a good snow storm which resulted in two snow days. That was grand fun!

Lord willing I will be back this week with some pictures from Edoras. :)


Monday, July 25, 2011

"Summer" WIFD Day 2

Yay! There is still some snow left on the ground today. However the sun is out and warming things up lovely. That means I could go outside without coat or cape to get pictures for today.

Today I'm wearing:

Shirt: Long sleeve tee
Sweater: Knit crossover sweater gotten at an op shop here
Skirt: Chico's Traveler's Skirt (By the way, this is the best purchase clothing-wise I've ever made! The skirt is flexible enough that I can put a t-shirt or a formal top with it and it looks perfect! It never wrinkles. The flow is amazing. I really like this skirt, in case you couldn't tell. ;) )
Shoes: My "Galinda" shoes

I made my first snowball (although dad rightly pointed out that it's technically an iceball :) ) in years and had fun tossing it around.

It turns out that 10 years in Florida did not prepare me, closet-wise, for a real winter. Hopefully I'll be able to put together enough warm winter things for the rest of the week. :)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Summer" WIFD Day 1

Yes, it is the "Summer" Week in Feminine Dress over at the Sense and Sensibility Forums. However, living down under, we had snow for the first day of the week!

Just a brief description of what I'm wearing:
From in to out: Petticoat
Brown skirt
Bluish/Green cashmere sweater
Red scarf
Green cape

I went with a red and green theme today in honor of the fact that it is the seventh month anniversary of Christmas today. (We are a day ahead here down under.) We just heard reports that parts of the city has 30 cm (almost 1 foot) of snow. Outside our door is about

5 inches!

It was amazing to look up at the sky and see the snowflakes drifting down. Trying to catch them was a bit tricky, but I managed to get a few.

Our backyard currently looks like this.

But the snow is still coming down like this. I can't wait to see the final results.......from the warmth of our house.

And sipping this Pumpkin Soup Mom is making. MMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!


And, no, I haven't forgotten about the location pictures. Soon, I assure you, soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Explanation

Well, after three weeks of moving, losing internet for a week, and my netbook refusing to connect to our internet connection, I am commandeering my dad's computer to post a quick note.

So that the first explanation.

The second is that, although the Kiwis claim to speak English, it often becomes almost like a cryptic message that you must decipher. So for when you come visit us here, I thought I would give you some words and their translation so you can comprehend at least most of what is going on around you.

So, in New Zealand you may hear:

"That building was munted in the February one, ay."

The translation:

"That structure is no longer usable after the February aftershock, don't you agree?"


"Did you bring your togs and jandals?"


"Did you bring your bathing suit and flip-flops?"


"Want some pav?"


"Would you care for some pavlova?"

BTW the answer to this is ALWAYS yes. ;)

That is a few of them, and I'll be back later with some more.


Hopefully I'll be able to put up some pictures we took on my day trip to a local mountain for my birthday to a film location. Can you guess where we went?

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Writing Prompt

Remember the writing blog I talked about here? Well, another prompt has come in and I thought I'd give it another go.

Just to refresh your memory: The author of the blog, Stephanie Morrill, gives the first sentence of a story. You come up with the next 100 words of the story. It's not a whole story, just the next 100 words.

So without further ado:

No one wanted to be there. And yet here we all were under the old oak tree.

The field stretched out to the end of the earth. I looked up and drank in the deep blue sky and wild cotton clouds. The sound of the wind blocked out the words that were being read. I breathed in the fresh mowed grass. The scent of the hothouse flowers invaded the clean, cool air.

Suddenly, the pastor's words dragged me back from my desperate escape.

"Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust."

As my father's shoulders slumped, I held my little sister as she started toward our mother's casket.

And there you have it. I can't wait for the next prompt!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So Big!

Just in case you were wondering how that Cutest Little of Nephew of mine is growing, I've decided to show you some comparison photos.

This picture was taken just after Cutest Little Nephew was born:
The size in the onesie read Newborn, but it reached from his chin to his toes.

It was actually too small to put on him while Mom was there a couple of weeks ago.

So.....How big is Cutest Little Nephew?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baby Conversations

My mom went back to America and was able to visit friends and family. She brought back pictures as evidence of the many conversations babies have. Here are a few examples:

"I know the secret button is here somewhere. Then I will reveal the secret stash."

"Wait! You told her!"

"I can't believe you surprised me like that. Who are you?!"

"Oh, Mumsy! It's you!"

"Okay, fine, you guys can have the spotlight now. But just wait...."

"I know how to steal the show!"

"Oh, you want a look, huh. Well, here's a look."

"Oh, you wanted the 'cool dude' look."

"Hey, that was pretty good."

"But I'm good-er."

We interrupt these conversations to let you know that we don't think you can start too early teaching your children that Pavlova is the best dessert (or that it was invented in New Zealand).

It's easy. After you've used a container of Pavlova Magic, take the empty container and put something hard in it. It closes securely, so there is no worry of the object coming out. Then you give it to your baby as often as possible. The Pavolva energy will be absorbed by the baby and they will grow up loving Pavlova. (You don't have to worry about telling them that Kiwis invented Pavlova....everyone knows that.)

"Tag Rags are the greatest! Thanks, Mumsy!"

"You're pretty funny too, Mumsy!"

"Yeah, we're pretty cool together!"

*blows raspberry*

"What? What was so funny?"

"You really thought it was that funny, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess it was!"

Hope you enjoyed the little visit into the world of baby conversations. They are pretty smart little cookies aren't they? ;)

By the way, here is a close up picture of the tag rag Mom made while she was with Shann and her family:

Friday, May 20, 2011


In the first week we arrived in Christchurch, a wonderful new friend invited me to go with her to a nearby nature reserve: Willowbank. We had a great time! I got to see the illusive Kiwi bird! That made my day for weeks. (I know that sentence makes sense. I just have to find which planet.) Anyhow, I thought I'd give you all an abbreviated tour.*

The main entrance:

You could feed the eels. They would literally slither out of the water onto the dock to get the food offered to them. It was both reviling and riveting.

A very obliging deer. As you can see, he is very photogenic....just ask him.

There was a specific area where many wallabies lived peaceful lives, but this little guy is definitely a rebel. He was wandering around the park and visited the guests. He was the self appointed host....just let him know if you see any of the park staff coming close.

These are his many friends that he had deserted for the nomadic life.

No matter where you go, there are always those who monkey around, even in New Zealand. Fortunately these guys were fun to watch and VERY energetic.

This handsome bird has a dance routine prepared for us. I wish my camera could take video, because it was quite the performance! I was laughing....I mean encouraging him....very hard!

This friendly otter was also very active.....until he suddenly decided he'd had enough and lay down in the middle of the path where his two buddies continued to race around him.

"All right. I'm ready for my close up!"

"Right, like there aren't a thousand other creature you could take a picture of. You had to interrupt my dinner."

Well, there's no story here. Just a beautiful, although small, waterfall.

We saw Kiwis, but they are noturnal and the area where they are kept it kept in "moonlight" so they will come out to feed. But there was a wonderful little display about them before you went in.

I'm not known for choosing normal pets. (I mean, how many people do you know who have a hedgehog for a baby?) After seeing the Kiwis, I've decided I want one of them too. They are just so CUTE! So this is a baby Kiwi:

And all the white eggs in front are Kiwi eggs. The off-white coloured on in the back is an ostrich egg. And the middle one is an emu egg. And the last one is a chicken egg.

This is an adult Kiwi with its egg. They show an x-ray of the egg inside the female and it took up the whole abdominal cavity.

There is amazing wildlife here! You don't even have to go to Willowbank to see it.*


*But if you come to visit, I will take you to Willowbank and you can see all these things and much more!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A School With a View

I have been very blessed to have the most funnest job I can think of. I get to help out teachers in exactly the way I wish someone had been available to help me when I was teaching. I get to work with some AMAZING teachers. I get to see the New Zealand school system up close. I get to work with a little boy and see the visible results of my efforts.

And I get to see this every morning:

The school has two campuses that are separated by the road. I work on both campuses and sometimes, as I'm walking, I literally have to stop and catch my breath from the beauty of these hills. The sun plays on them, the clouds hug them, and the rain hides them. And each weather brings another view of beauty.

No wonder it's called Hillview Christian School.