May 27, 2009

our last week

video

May 19, 2009

video


May 18, 2009

update


After the TALK last night, we had an epic meltdown. Samuel lost it, and only after we advised him that police would come and take us all away did he calm down. It was that bad. After a few minutes of time-out for everyone, we purged the house of all sugar, and huddled up in the living room for prayer. Mom, Dad and William prayed, while Samuel quietly sat with us. Afterward everyone was much more relaxed, and we played a game that Leighton taught us. It was good. We tucked the boys into bed, and Leighton and I prayed together in our room, again.

Today has been markedly better. Even the boys can see the difference. Leighton and I are still trying to recover. He took the boys this afternoon for a few hours so I could rest. I went for a walk on the beach and just cried. A pod of Dolphins put on a great show in the bay that cheered me up, and I had some quiet time to pray and think. When Leighton got home with the boys he said that they had a great time together. No fighting. They too went to the beach and saw the Dolphins. Leighton is now enjoying a well earned nap.

Last night we talked about how hard parenting is, and that it is probably hard for everyone, but people don't really talk about it. We share all of this so that you can see how badly things go wrong here, but we know that with God's help everything is going to be ok. We also want to thank you for all of your prayers. They are helping.

May 17, 2009

Paihia (Pie-here)

On the road again. Do you see Samuel's look. This is our ever present trouble, and it is rubbing off on William. I read that life with boys Samuel's age can be an emotional roller coaster.



The sign on this overpass says Leighton Works.
I believe it's a construction company, and that they are building a bridge.

My Man William.

All they need are rocks and water.



A visit to some area gardens.


It is 7:30. We have had our dinner and are looking for something to watch on the tube. Samuel is preparing a snack platter. So far it has chocolate, and I don't know what else, but chocolate is a great start. We had a TALK with the boys tonight about their natural propensity to fight. They have spent an unnatural amount of time in time-out, and it doesn't seem to be working. Samuel just walked past and told me, "Don't write that!" So I said, "Well, if you don't want me to write it, don't do it."

I think we might re-route the children's flights to the grandparents so that Leighton and I can have a chance to breath before getting back to day-to-day. We know it's going to be alright, "this too shall pass", but in the mean while parenting is painful. Please pray!

sunrise






Leighton took these pictures in Mt Maunganui, of the Bay of Plenty at sunrise, from our balcony. We are at the Bay of Islands now. We will post more pictures when we find the connection cord. It is lost.

We have ten days left on this trip. William is excited to get back to his babies (stuffed cat and bear) and Bubba and Sissy. Samuel is sad that our time is almost over here, but he is looking forward to seeing his friends. I told Leighton yesterday that I miss cooking for him, and I miss our friends and family. Leighton doesn't talk much about what he misses. He does talk about what he has learned here about God, himself, our family, and his work. I will leave that for him to tell.

It has been really rewarding to share this journey with you all, and it has been especially encouraging to read your notes. Thank you so much for sending your love and support. We love and miss you all.

May 13, 2009

rocks


video

the climb to the top












The family took a hike up to the top of Mt. Maunganui this afternoon. It is an extinct volcanic cone. A map advised that the walk should take about 45 minutes to the top, and about 20 down. We took a little longer. The boys were sure that they would not be able to do this hike, so they were excited when we reached the top. The views are incredible. The mountain is 232 meters to the top, so that's 761 feet.

You can see in some of the pictures that we took a small, rocky path the last few meters, and William was very concerned. The path was narrow, and the drop quite steep. He held on to Dad's hand, and was able to go on with him that way. I think Samuel needed to eat, but did not accept the granola bar we offered, so he was a bit irritable. I remember 10, and so does Leighton.

This trip has afforded us time and numerous opportunities to reflect on our parenting decisions. We want to treat our kids the way we want to be treated. This is the Golden Rule, and how can we teach them the value of it, if we don't live it out with them. That said, they are afforded a greater degree of equality than traditional parenting allows, which has made our job harder. They speak their minds with us. Hopefully they are learning to do so with respect in spite of their feelings at times.

All that said, Leighton and I are tired. We long for a dinner alone. I hate to complain when we are on vacation. It has been amazing, but I miss my husband. Today he said, "I wish we could just have a quiet dinner together." It made us sad because it's not going to happen for another couple of weeks. Ok, I am done with my lament.

Love, hugs and kisses. We miss you all.

miscelaneous...

“God made you weird, you scream like a boy.” William said this to Mom last night. I have lived with Boys for a while now, so I have learned to make my scream less alarming. Instead of a high pitched scream, I have adopted this low, guttural type of scream. It has helped Leighton at least.

I will let you know that I, GC, have locked myself into at least three restrooms since we have been here. Leighton can use the same restroom and it doesn’t happen to him. This doesn’t just happen in NZ. In TC I was locked into a stall at the Hagerty Center during Tyler and Corin’s wedding, for about 5 minutes. I called for Jeanette to save me, but I already had sufficient time to pray, and God took pity on me and released the lock. So, it happens in new restrooms with poorly installed hardware, and in old restrooms that need a new lock or a new door knob, or new hinges. The last place was just after Wellington, and the door knob would not unlock. I tried to unlock an emergency exit, but it had been nailed shut. No one heard my cries for help, no one heard me knocking. I just dropped my head and intensified an already pitiful cry to God for help. A second or two later the door opened. Bathrooms are the devil.

One afternoon, we drove around a small town to hunt for a restroom for Samuel, and we almost wrecked the rental car. Mom spotted a restroom and tried to direct Dad to it. When Dad missed the closest drop spot the whole car erupted into instructions and directions on how to get back. Somehow we ended up back on the main road, in the wrong lane, with a truck driving strait at us. We were too close to the oncoming vehicle to correct our position so Leighton got as far right as he could, we passed the guy on the right (with everyone in the car screaming), and quickly turned into a parking lot. All of the roads signs here exclaim: “STAY LEFT!”. At least the guy was smiling at us. He knew what was going on. It is easy to spot the American drivers here. Like Leighton, they signal to turn with their windshield wipers. It is really funny.

Samuel asked me to tell you his lament. Somewhere in Queenstown we lost his favorite camo hoodie. He said that "I cried until I had no more tears". He would also like to note that he had this hoodie since he was nine, and that PawPaw and GranDebbie gave him .

William wants you to know that: “there’s a bunch of stumps here, with no trees on them.”. Later on he let Leighton into the building after it had been locked and said, “I just helped Dad. I am a powerful kid!”.

May 12, 2009

Mt. Maunganui





A double rainbow.


William's Coke Man.


The boys alternate between this and putt putt golf.



The beach by the condo. It has been windy and a bit chilly, but beautiful.


We took a little hike out to the river.

May 11, 2009

for Mimi and GranDebbi...





Happy Mother's Day. We love you!

May 6, 2009

Turangi






Turangi is a small town, but very beautiful. We had quiet a traumatising ride in. It's just not good to be in a car with the boys too long. The day is a bit rainy, so we went to the climbing wall. This is William's first time, but Samuel is familiar with it. Dad belayed for the boys while Mom sat in the cafe, took pictures and uploaded them for you all. Internet is not free here, so more at a later date! Love and miss you all.

May 5, 2009

Tuesday...


















We went to a botanical garden today. Samuel stayed in the car, but William wandered around with me and took a few pictures himself. He photographed the Pansies.

We also poked around Kai Iwi beach today. Not much to write about; we just relaxed. Tomorrow we are on to a new place, and as usual I have no idea where we are going or what we will be doing. I love it!