Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

Why I loooovvvvve summer


Ooo I love summer fruits – berries and berries galore!



Picnics! We found a secret garden with a playground and we've been going there quite often. We'll bring a picnic with our matching Nood picnic set and mat and Sophie can run around as much as she wants. Most times Levi's pretty contented in his car seat and enjoying the breeze. There's hardly anyone around too!



Just being outdoors……….

Saying goodbye


Last week was the graduation. Although we were not on the school staff this time round, we made pretty good friends with some of the students. It was pretty hard saying goodbye to them. Some of the staff that have become our good friends are also leaving for good. So, we spent most of our weekend having them over at our place and cooking for them.



We'll miss you dear friends. Till we meet again.

Farm Show in Town


We spent the day at the local A&P show today. It was fun, fun, & fun.


Sophie had a couple of firsts – first cotton candy, first ride in a tea cup and on her own (she used to refuse to go on rides), first time seeing miniature horses, first time seeing someone spinning wool, first alpaca wool sweater…


I enjoyed looking at the antique farming machines and I saw a couple of antique cars driving past. Sometimes I still can't get used to the idea that I'm living in the countryside where farming is the main business. I saw little girls dressing up in their gear and getting ribbons for horse riding. I've only seen those on TV thus far! I even saw a girl pulling along her prize winning sheep with a couple of ribbons round it. So cute!


P/s Btw, A&P stands for Agricultural and Pastoral



Lemme just say it again, NZ is BEAUTIFUL.


We just spent the weekend with my in laws in Rotorua. It's only about an hour and a half away from Matamata. However, the landscape is totally different. It's filled with lush green trees even though spring only just started, many geothermal areas and smells of sulphur.


We went one day at Wai-O-Tapu to see the mud pools, craters, lakes and geysers. You need to pay to get in there but it's nicely built up for tourists and easy to push a stroller. Very safe too. Unfortunately it was pouring so we had to brave through the rain to do the walk. Thank God we brought the Mountain Buggy. Sophie was quite happy to sit in there completely protected by the raincover and even fell asleep towards the end of the walk. James carried Levi in the sling and wore a poncho.


Left: Lady Knox Geyser shoots up to 20m high!

Right: Devil's Cave, a sulphur hot pool


The next day we went to Redwood Forest to do the shortest walk. It was supposed to be a half hour walk, turned out to be an hour for us. Sophie started to whine halfway and had to take breaks along the way but still she made it to the end. It was also drizzling and the heavy rains before made the ground really muddy. I think it'll be great to try the walk again on a sunny day. The trees were so beautiful. It's a very doable walk for kids too.



This was Levi's first trip away from home. We stayed at a hotel. They didn't have a cot so James folded up the duvet covers and made a little "mattress" on the floor for him. It's pretty easy traveling with a newborn since they still sleep most of the time. I think he only had a melt down once prob because he had enough stimulation and was tired of being in the car seat.




We are back from a short weekend trip to Rotorua! Updates soon, meanwhile photos on flickr.




It's still really cold and rainy but I think Spring is ALMOST HERE!


The flowers are starting to bloom! The insects and flies are returning!




After completing the 5km walk on Friday, our butts were a bit itchy and we wanted to get going again. We figured that I don't have long to go before I can't drive long distances. So on Saturday, we decided to spend the day as a family before DiDi (little brother) arrives to go shopping, walk around and just stop wherever we wanted.


We drove 30 mins to Cambridge to check out the farmer's market. Nothing much there but we always enjoy walking around Cambridge coz it's so pretty and the weather was great.


After that, we drove another 20 mins to Hamilton city for lunch and shopping. We managed to get quite a lot done! Got some stuff for Sophie (Pumpkin patch was having sale!), ourselves and baby. We even drove out of the city to Te Rapa Road where there is a huge shopping area with factory outlets and all. Reminded us of Harbourtown in Brissy. HUGE shops.


Finally, last stop at New Save Asian Supermarket to stock up our pantry and the base's pantry. That's where we found out that all the Asians come out at night! Normally when we are there in the day, there are not much people at the asian supermarket but the carpark was almost full that evening.


We finally got home about 7pm. It gets dark at 6pm here so I actually drove home from Hamilton in the dark for the first time. A bit daunting at first but it was alright. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got back and James was wonderful, he cooked dinner and cleaned up. :) All in all, we had a really great time.

Waihou River Walk



We joined the new DTS on their first school outing last Friday to the Waihou River Walk.


The Waihou River walk is only about 30-40 mins drive from our base. It is generally well-known for its clear blue-greenish colour of the water and you can even see trouts swimming. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! The later part of the walk passes some farmland and we got to see some cows really close up too.


It takes about 1 and a half hour to walk one way or you can also walk halfway and turn back. It's an easy trek, even for us city people. I didn't know I could walk 5 km being pregnant and all but it was really quite a nice walk! Even Sophie walked some of the way and was in the stroller the rest of the way. Best of all, the weather was great!

New Duties & Good food



The new school (DTS) just started this week! All the families are here. They come from all over the world – Denmark, New Zealand, Holland, Singapore (YES! another couple from Singapore!) and Switzerland.


But, we're not staffing in the classrooms this term. Instead James is the main lunch cook and I'm staying home with Sophie until baby comes. He has to go in early in the morning to the kitchen at 8/9am to cook for 60 ppl everyday. He also does one dinner per week. I do odd jobs around like rearranging the library (which I LOVE!) and other random stuff.


During the break, James was on a roll and experimenting with different recipes. He made Nasi Lemak and made an amazing sambal sotong (squid) to go with it. Shiok!!!


He's been doing a great job for lunches the past few days and looks like he's gonna introduce more asian food and ingredients into the kitchen. :) He's been sneaking lotsa garlic into the soups too. YUMS, plus it keeps the colds away!

Enjoying the weather



The weather has been great the past few days. It's still cold at 4-15 degrees but lots of sunshine instead of rain!


We celebrated Jed's 6th birthday at the base playground and went to Hamilton with the Freestones over the weekend.

NZ Fieldays



Last week, we went to visit the much talked about NZ Fieldays (about an hr's drive from where we are) – it's Australasia's definitive agri-business exhibition! The exhibition is to the local farmers what the IT expo is to Singaporeans. Where everyone goes to, whether or not you're into IT and where the gadget lovers gather once a year.


Most of the expo would have been boring to city people like us e.g. tractors, milking machines, tools and stuff. But the atmosphere was amazing! I've never seen so many Kiwis gathered at one place before! It's like the whole of NZ was there! Most times when you drive along NZ roads, all you see are cows, horses or sheep so it was pretty unusual to see so many cars and people. Even got traffic jam!


Sophie got to ride on a real huge farm tractor, ride on kid sized tractors, see horses and other farm animals (we even saw a real highland cattle, not cut up in the supermarket! :) It was HUGE!), eat an ice cream, sample NZ's latest gourmet food and beverages (my fav part!) etc…


Gorgeous Weather


The weather was wonderful today! It was 15 degrees but the sun was shining bright and strong.


I took the opportunity to bring Soph out for a sun bathe! She played in the sand pit with Toby and Eli for a long long time before lunch. We spent most of the day outside. It was great fun.