Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Farm Tour @ the Agrodome

We went on a fun tractor ride that took us all over the working farm at the Agrodome. There are thousands of animals there from sheep, dogs, cows, ostriches, lamas, alpacas, deer and emus. I got a chance to feed some sheep, lamas & alpacas (not the emus..they peck) was quite an experience. They do not say please, they do NOT wipe their lips and they do NOT care if they have to jump on you to get their food. (the boys would have liked it) There is also a kiwi orchard, where we had a taste of some kiwi was quite sweet and tasty.

Thanks for taking me here was a great outing !
Our tractor ride.

Some of the ostriches..they are bigger than I thought.

Feeding time !

Bekah & Seth saying hi to the alpaca.

A really hairy cow ! (this one's for you Bekah)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crockpot Burritos

I am trying out a new recipe tonight..Crockpot Burritos. The boys have swim lessons this week and next from 5:15-5:45, we always do evening lessons so that Dad can tag along too. Since this is right around dinner time, I was in need of some crockpot dinners that don't require too much additional work when we get home. It was an easy one that I can do most of the prep work before hand, which I love, and be able to come home, warm the tortillas and eat. Let's hope that it tastes as good as I am wanting it to! If it goes over well, I'll post the recipe later tonight !

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Alligator Hunting !

Today we had a sweet little girl spend the day with us. It was such a treat to have another girl in the house..the boys just loved having her over. The 3 of them played so well with each other, they were all worn out at the end of the day.

Some of the fun included Alligator Hunting ! After leaving the sprinklers on a little extra long for them to play in, a mud puddle was created. When the water was turned off, it was onto the mud puddle for some fun. They began talking to one another about "hunting for alligators". It was the cutest thing to see them all digging in the dirt, moving rocks and things around and being oh so serious in their adventure. The 3 of them played this game for almost an hour. It was wonderful to see their imaginations at work !
Poking around for gators !
A little spraying always helps.

Sliding in the mud to get away from the gators !

Matthew attacking the mud.

3 successful Hunters !

The Agrodome ~ Rotorua

I think that this was my favorite of all things to see while in New Zealand. The Agrodome is a working farm where they have hundreds if not thousands of animals. What we got to see was a Sheep show and take a Farm Tour on a tractor.

There are 19 different sheep that are shown to you..they show you the dogs that herd the sheep..the host sheers a sheep and hands out can milk a can feed little lambs..and you can go up and say hi to all the woolies! I have to be honest, when my sister said we were going to a "sheep show" I had my doubts, but it was so interesting. I had no idea there were so many types of sheep. It was fascinating to go up and pet them and feed them. The lambs are just so cute, it makes you want to take one home with you. I hope that someday I can take my boys to enjoy this experience for themselves.
Here are all 19 sheep from around the world.
Our guide sheering a sheep.
The dogs herding the sheep & jumping on them.

The grand Merino Sheep. (he's a big one)

Seth & I saying hello.

Getting ready to milk a cow.

A close up with Mr. Wooly.

Playing with the little lambs.

Rotorua ~ Kuirau Park

My sister and I went on a 3 day trip (with Seth) to Rotorua, New Zealand. She wanted to take me to see more of their beautiful island. It was about a 2-3 hour drive from her place..we got to chat, gab & enjoy being together. Seth was a dream boat and slept the entire car ride.

Our first visit was to Kuirau Park, a natural hot springs with mud pools, bubbling ponds and a very distinct odor. That was a smell that hit you in the face when you walked out of your hotel. We got used to it after a while, but there were a few places that made your nose cringe ! Here are a few photos of the park

A sage green pond..very hot water

Me in front of a steam center

A bubbling Mud Pool

Maori Art

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cute Chat

Here's a chat I overheard today...

Ryan : "Matthew, do you want to make a house with me?"
Matthew : "Sure, I'll get pillows"
Ryan : "I'll get blankets, we need lots"
Matthew : "I got the animals"
Ryan : "Let me set this up for you"
Matthew : "Get books to read to me"
Ryan : " Let's lie down and rest now"

The boys love to make a "house" or a soft cozy spot all over the house. They get all the blankets, pillows and animals they can fit into a space and then play there for quite a while. This is one of their favorite things to do. I LOVE listening to moments like these when they are having such fun together !

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Auckland Skytower

This was quite an be up 220 m (roughly 721 feet) and see all of Auckland was simply breathtaking ! It was a beautiful clear day and we could see all around. The Harbour Bridge, that takes us to my sister's home; Rangitoto, a dormant volcano that erupted about 600 years ago; the Auckland Museum, where we were yesterday; and One Tree Hill, where one lonely tree stood until a Maori chopped it down in protest.

the Auckland Skytower

The Harbour Bridge


The Auckland Museum

Rebekah & I enjoying the view

One last fun view from up top is standing on a glass block, that is as thick as a cement block, and looking down to the ground below. It gave me a new appreciation for how high we really were.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kelly Tarlton's, Movenpicks & the Beach

This was a fun day. We took Emma to Kelly Tarltons, which is an Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World. There was so much to see and do. There was the Sting Ray experience, where we saw one that was 6 ft across..they can get bigger; we also rode in a capsule to view penguins; we saw giant sea turtles & walked underneath sharks and hundreds of fish.

After all the underwater excitement we went to lunch at the Kahve Cafe and had a delicious meal. I enjoyed a steak sandwich with wedges. (those were my favorite) And then Rebekah took me to MOVENPICK ! Some of the best ice cream I have ever had, hands down. I wish there was one here.
We even managed to see the beach before it started to rain and have a nice view of Rangitoto..a dormant volcano. It was a beautiful and fun day !

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Auckland Museum

My first tourist spot to see was the Auckland Museum. It was quite lovely ! (a kiwi phrase..I picked up a few of those)
There was so much to see and do....

A view of the museum

A Maori Tiki Statue

Us making faces with the Maori

A display case of butterflies from the children's section

Emma laying on the glass floor to look at craw fish & crabs

My sister and I outside the museum

Emma feeding the ducks just outside the museum

We had a fun time at the museum. It was a great way to start out the trip.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Rainy Day in Auckland, NZ

Since it is winter over in NZ right now , we had a few rainy days on our trip. But that didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves.

Emma and I are reading in our polka dot jammies.

Seth is enjoying his playtime !

Rebekah cooking us something yummy.

Grandma & Emma mixing up some Lemon Bars.

Two Sisters together again !

4th of July..New Zealand Style

My mom and I went on an amazing trip to New Zealand this summer. My sister is living there with her family and this was my first visit to see them since she moved there almost 6 years ago. I had an absolutely wonderful time, she showed me as many sites as she could in 12 days time. Over the next few days I'll be posting photos of our trip. I'll start with us celebrating the 4th.

Here is Emma enjoying her first sparkler!

Craig starting the show.

Fireworks lighting up the sky !

There are a few more photos on this day, but they are on my sister's camera. I'll have to beg her to send me a few to share with me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2 Great Reads !

I LOVE to read ! I have enjoyed reading since I was a little girl and it has grown into "I love to read" now that I am older.
The 2 newest books on my list of must reads are :

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult ~ At first it was a little hard to get into since it goes back and forth between characters, but once you get into it you can't put it down. I finished the last 200 pages or so in about 3 hours ! This is a story of a girl and her family and dealing with a child's illness. It is an interesting read by a great author. Now I am excited to go and see the movie with some friends.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah ~ This was another book that I couldn't put down. I read it while on my recent trip to New Zealand. Each night I would read a chapter or two..but then found myself staying up later and later each night as I couldn't put it down. The last night when I finished it, I was up until around 1:30 am NZ time which is 6:30 am in CA ! That's how much I wanted to read it! This is a good story of 2 friends lives over a span of about 3 decades. If you get a chance to read it, you won't be sorry.

I hope you find my suggestions helpful. I have to thank my Mother in Law for lending me these books. She is always reading a new book and has recommend several to me. Even better, I get to borrow them when she is done. I love book exchanges, they are a great way to expand your library and find a new story to fall into.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baseball Friday

Tonight we are going to see the Rivercats ! Our family loves going to the baseball field in the summer. It's become a family/friend tradition for the last 6 years. We started going with our friends before anyone else had kids (we had 1 son at the time) and now it is family night at the ball park. We go on Family Night..$1 dogs and $1 ice creams..we sit on the Hill on our blanket and enjoy the fun times. This will be our first game so far this summer..we can't wait !

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leaving Today

Today I am taking a 12 hour 45 minute flight to go and see my sister in New Zealand ! I am so excited to see her and her family. She has been there for 5 years now and this is my first trip to see her. The luggage is packed, filled with goodies for my niece and nephew, the pantry is stocked for the boys so they will have plenty to eat while I am away, and the water toys are ready for lots and lots of play time with Daddy !
Next post will be from NZ..see you on Friday !