Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vol. 1 Issue 5

Lake Blanch

Some beautiful photos Steve (Dad) took at Lake Blanch. A ward member called him the Ansel Adams of Colored Photos. I have to agree. It was a challenging 3.3 mile hike, and they carried everything they needed for overnight camping and some fishing. Steve L. is not in Young Men's yet, but he will get to go next year.

The Worlds Biggest Squirt Gun Fight by Steve L.

Saturday we went to the worlds biggest water fight. On the official first day of summer we headed out to a huge field and after a few minutes of explaining the rules hundreds of people (literally, I'm not joking) we started the water fight. The firemen were even there spraying people. Right before we went, we went to the store for water guns. Everybody bought water guns with their allowance, but I had an extra $10 floating around and bought a vaporizer! (As shown in picture.) The event was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest water fight. It was also to raise money for a little girl with cancer. It was cool running around and squirting people where ever you went, with out getting in trouble. He He. Cosmo (BYU's mascot) was even there. He was on my side. IT ROCKED!

A little help from the firemen.
Our friend LeAnn who organized the event. Way to go!

Our friend Megan, who told us about the event. Thanks!
It was fun to see Denise and her family there.

Candy Bar Comics by Steve L.

Sunday Wrestling

A photo taken shortly after we got home from our weekly Sunday wrestling match. (I'm referring to trying to get a three year old to sit still for an hour, when Sacrament Meeting is last, of course.) She was actually pretty good, but Steve was in Canada on a business trip, so I had all five by myself. Does this mean I won the match?


The newsletter is missing Whitney's fun submissions this week. She left early Monday morning for Oakcrest Beehive's Camp, and will return late Friday afternoon. It's the first time she's ever been away from home (besides sleeping at cousins or grandma's house) and we are excited to hear about her experience. It also means that I have been dog sitting all week. It's like having a toddler by day and a newborn by night. I sure appreciate all the hard work she has been putting in training Cooper.

Ice Cream Review by Steve

Cherry Garcia:

I was surprised to find that this ice cream is ranked #1 at the top of this list on B&J’s website. Compared to NYSFC I found this ice cream a little bland in comparison. Maybe it is my aversion to fruit in products. Eat it in it’s native skin or leave it alone. So when I came across the first cherries I found myself thinking of fruitcake and other things I have eaten in my life with fruit in them. Not a good thing for me. I then turned my attention to the ice cream itself, mild cherry in flavor. Again, nothing. The only redemption were the amply sized chocolate chips, which reminded me of NYSFC. So, in final review, I found the reigning B&J champion woefully lacking, in fact I have not even finished the pint. Enough said. An interesting tid-bit on the B&J website is the selection of flavors that haven’t made it, such as PB&J and other seeming should-be-popular flavors. Well, on to the next flavor!

Perfect Summer Day by Noreen

Thursday was difficult, in the hot, boring, lots to do - but nothing really exciting - way. Ellie is very sick with Asthma-like symptoms, and it has house bound the rest of her siblings. I think it was especially anti-climactic following a fun week, and having recently experienced that "perfect" summer day.

Monday morning we spent with our cousins at the pool. Daniel dove for lots of my loose change, and I had fun playing in the deeper end with kids while the girls were in swimming lessons. After lunch we had our favorite new friends over. A neat family from Nauvoo, that happens to have kids the same ages as mine. The boys have especially hit it off, and I got the relaxing chance to visit with another mom! Around 3:00 we parted with our friends and meet Grandpa at the movie theaters. What started as Janey finagling a date with my Dad the night before, bloomed into everyone getting to go to the movies and dinner with Grandpa. What a treat! We came home to a relaxing evening (since we didn't have to cook or clean up dinner) and I topped it off with the perfect nectarine. Nothing celebrates summer like eating the perfect nectarine!

Kung Fo Panda by Daniel

Our Grandpa took us to see Kung Fu Panda this week. I liked Master Shifu best. He was funny. I liked the movie and going to get dinner at McDonald's after. Thanks Grandpa!
Daniel is seen here doing the secret and deadly Master Shifu finger hold, on Grandpa.

Reading Merit Badge by Steve L.

On Tuesday I received my Reading Merit Badge. One of the things I did to earn the merit badge was read 6 six books and write reports on them. My favorite book that I read was The Phantom Tollboth. Another thing I did was read for 4 hours to the younger kids (UGH.) It is my first merit badge, and it felt really cool to get it. It feels like your getting bonus points in the game of life.

Liberty Girls by Janey

For our Liberty Girls meeting this week we read and learned about the book Kaya's Hero. In the book a baby gets sick, but she gets better. I really liked the book. We built a long house, like Kaya lived in, in the winter. Then we moved with our babies to the summer tepee. We learned about how Indians traveled, pick Indian names for ourselves and baked homemade cornbread and cornmeal mush. My favorite was the corn bread. Traveling using our Indian transportation from our winter long house to our summer tepee.
Making Corn Bread with Aunt Laura!

Our First Week in New Zealand By Noreen

(The next installment in a series of articles about our time spent in New Zealand, from Dec. 06 to Jan 08.)

As we drove out of the airport the children’s exclamations were priceless! The trees and flowers and birds were so exotic and new to them they wanted to show each other everything.

Everyone is so friendly and helpful in New Zealand. Even the policemen are delightful. We got pulled over driving to Hamilton from the airport, because the rental car company failed to mention that if you are towing a trailer your maximum speed limit is 90 kph. We were following the speed of traffic at about 113. When the officer found out we had just arrived, he welcomed us to the country, informed us of the rule and bid us a good day. He didn’t even ask for Steve’s licence!

The first day we mostly got settled into our hotel. We went grocery shopping, finding a few familiar foods (imported taco shells and refried beans) and many different ones (Edam cheese, yummy yogurt flavors and totally different breakfast cereals.) We couldn’t wait to try a NZ Gala apple in NZ, but they all said USA Gala apples! The dairy products are delicious and I kept finding Ellie, age 2, (who really shouldn’t be eating them because dairy irritates her trachea) with the fridge door open sneaking yogurt or cheese. That night I caught her under the kitchen counter with a yogurt cup and a spoon.

The second day we visited the Hamilton Zoo and saw many new animals. We loved the big furry pigs with horse tails and our first time seeing Pukekos, black and blue birds with massive chicken feet. Then we went to the car dealership and signed papers on the great 8 seater van Owen Purcell found for us and had shipped down from Auckland. We then we went with the Purcells (dear family friends) to 2 different Labour Missionary birthday parties. Noel turned 70 and Tuts turned 80. What a treat! The food both times was delicious and the children were very well behaved.

Sunday we attended church with the Purcell’s and were invited to a large family lunch at their home in Nawton. In NZ desserts are called “puddings” and they make a yummy chocolate cake with coconut frosting and and something called a Pavlova, which is a meringue cake with fruit. Steve and I love how understated the sweets are in NZ. You can actually taste the flavors instead of just the sugar.

That first Monday we set up our banking set up downtown Hamilton, had lunch at McDonald’s ($41 NZ and we were still hungry!) The rest of the week was filled with preparations for our almost 3 month trip around both islands, and for me, learning to drive on the other side of the car on the other side of the road! A highlight was seeing the NZ Temple Christmas Lights turn on. A beautiful, but bizarre experience for these Utah natives, who are used to seeing Christmas temple lights in the freezing winter, not the beautiful summer!

We then found a camper trailer (caravan) to purchase for our tour around the islands. We had started to panic a little, because we thought we might rent instead of buy, but they had all been rented for the season. The first place we looked didn’t even have any our size for sale. We couldn't buy a newer one because it would be too heavy for our van, but we were blessed to find just the right layout, size, weight and price at the second dealership.

As we all sat on a bench in the small town we found our trailer in, eating our Tip-Top ice cream, looking at the beautiful scenery, I could feel all the stress and pain of moving to a new country with 5 children start to slip away. I guess it’s like having a baby. You forget most of the pain and remember the wonderful parts.

Tut's 80th Birthday party! What an amazing and energetic women. She is a dear family friend of my Dad's family, and we ended up in the same ward. We were so lucky!

Christmas blankets from our dear Auntie Hoki! The children still affectionatly refer to them as their "Hoki blankies."

NZ Temple Christmas Lights

Our new van and trailer that would be our home for almost 3 wonderful months. The trailer was 18 feet long by about 9 feet wide.

End of Vol. 1 Issue 6