Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Own Private Ngaio

The girls and I had an absolutely lovely day today. After a massive wind and rain storm last night, it was still overcast and sprinkling this morning so we thought we'd plan a day of indoors activities. I've been dying to try my hand at baking some good old New Zealand afghan cookies using the Edmond's Cookbook, so we headed to the store for the ingredients.

On our way, we to stopped at the library to get library cards and check out some books. The girls got a ton of books on tuataras, their latest obsession, and I picked up the latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book. I've been so out of it I didn't even know there was a new one coming out! I'm not sure what is more fun, anticipating it coming out and picking up my months earlier pre-ordered copy, or being out-of-the-blue surprised to find it just when I was looking for a good read. (oh, by the way, did I mention we have no tv and no intentions of getting one for the time being?)

By the time we finished at the library and the grocery store, the sun had come out. It's winter here and the sun puts on a good show when the clouds finally part. It's the really low, golden, kind that streams down in shafts. Our house sits on a hill that faces the sun all afternoon and the whole house warmed up in it's radiance and dried out after the soaking from the night before.

We decided to take advantage of the break in the clouds to head to an excellent park very close to our house that we just discovered. I took some pics of the girls going down what has got to be the hugest slide I've ever seen. Kiwi parks and play structures are flippin' awesome.

When we got home, the girls played in the room downstairs that they have claimed as the play room. They mostly read their books and drew pictures of tuataras which they hung all around the room. I made the afghan cookies, and took some pictures of the yard. The plants and trees are beautiful and Haley and I planted some herbs amongst them yesterday.

The girls start school on Monday. We had to buy all their school supplies and put together emergency kits. Zoe is really looking forward to it, but I can tell she's nervous about being the center of attention. I know she's dying to be around kids her age. Haley is a bit nervous. I think she has a harder time imagining what it is going to be like and she worries that she won't know what to do when. I'm nervous for them as well. I hope they quickly master all the little cultural differences so that they can focus on their learning. As much as I crave time alone, I know it will only take a small dose of it before I'm once again missing my girls.

At the end of the slide show are the afghan cookies, er, afghan BISCUITS I should say. They didn't turn out as tasty as the ones I've bought. New kitchen, new recipe, new ingredients in a new country. I'll just have to keep trying. Tomorrow it's scones!

note: the first pics in the slideshow were taken last weekend on our whirlwind tour of the Greater Wellington Area. I belive that is Kapiti island you can see off the coast. The views were breath-taking. We are living on the end of the earth, quite literally.


Patois said...

The house looks gorgeous. It seems like you scored big. And where is that huge dangerous slide the girls are on? Oh, look, it's a kingfisher.

Cathy said...

It is lovely where you live. I can now picture you all moving among the rooms in that great house...and the views! I am "almost there" as you describe it. Thanks so much for letting us see these wonderful things. When I look at the pix of you guys overlooking the is so peaceful.
Love and miss you all,

MLW said...

I want to come over and try one of those cookies. They do look familiar, like I have had them before. :)

Brandie said...

Your house looks great! Congrats on the move and the successful use of your kitchen! Can't wait to come over for an ex-pat dinner! Oh, good to know there is a "slide of death" in your new neighborhood.

mark said...

Gorgeous photos! Wow, I want to see that in person too! :-)