Tauranga, New Zealand Sunday, Feb 27 2005 

We had to hastly write our last blog because we only had 2 minutes.

We were very pleased with Qantus Airlines which we have adopted as our own “Menno” Airlines. Menno Airlines was gracious enough to provide us with a gift of free goodies and most importantly ice cream treat for dessert (Milky Way)! Our flight was long but in the end wasn’t nearly as bad as we anticipated.

We have been under the hospitality of Jenny and Howard Scott, Cam’s parents, which is absolutely awesome! They live in the country in the Bay of Plenty area which is absolutely amazing. There is no doubt that this country is beautiful in its own beauty. It is hard to describe the steep rolling hills on which sheep graze and kiwi vineyards are side by side. The roads are one sharp curve after another and I am well into my gravol supply. The straightest road would only go as far as the length of a football field. Jerry drove for the first time today – steering wheel on the right side of the car – and driving on the left side of the road – with round abouts or driving circles at nearly every intersection – or so it seems.

The Scott’s are amazing people and have been so kind as to make feel part of their family, so much so, that Howard, Tracy and I had some animated discussion which ranged from democracy to theology – it was wonderful and stretching – loved every moment of it. Jenny made an amazing lamb roast for us with all the trimmings – a wonderful home cooked meal – which was wonderful for Tamara.

We went into the City of Tauranga today and walked around some of the neat shops. We then walked around Mount Maunganui which looks out over the Bay of Plenty. There is nothing like the ocean, the sound of the waves, the smell and the breeze coming off the water. It was breathtaking beauty as we walked along the shoreline. Tracy, Cam’s wife, was our guide today and was Jerry’s driving instructor as he drove here for the first time. The speed limit is 100 km/hr but if you travelled at that speed you’d lose all 4 tires around most of the curves.

We will stay here until Wednesday morning and then head for Waitoma Caves and then make our way down to New Plymouth to see the Egmont National Park. We booked our ferry which leaves from Wellington on Saturday to head over to Nelson on the South Island.

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arrived Saturday, Feb 26 2005 

we have arrived and tamara is here with us. We are waiting for Cam to pick us up. The sun is shining and the weather looks great. We had a great time in Vancouver with Dwight and Joanne. Our flights were good but long. We are heading out toTauranga where Cam lives. So until the next time

Heather Thursday, Feb 24 2005 

Just a short update on Heather…hopefully she will be able to come home from the hospital today…her and Greg have worked out a plan to manage her pain…she is anxious to get home…I don’t blame her. Continue to pray for healing and her strength to renew. She can breathe which is what this surgery was all about. It is amazing what our medical profession can do…God uses everything to heal. Thanks for your prayers. God is good.

New Zealand Thursday, Feb 24 2005 

Today we begin our journey to “up over” so they tell me. Our bags are getting packed and clothes are remaining home as there is “no room in the suitcase”. My gravol and anacin are packed!! All is well!!!

We fly to Vancouver this evening where Joanne and Dwight we meet us. We will spend the evening together which will be awesome. We then fly to Los Angeles tomorrow and from there to Auckland. We arrive in Auckland on February 27th at 6:00 am New Zealand time…that is some time on February 26th our time. I think the time change is about 18 or 19 hours…not sure.
Tamara arrives at 12:30 pm…our friend Cam will pick us up and we will head to Tauranga…where he lives. Hopefully we will be able to blog from the airport in Auckland as we wait for Tamara to arrive. New Zealand will never be the same again!!!

Heather’s Surgery Successful… Wednesday, Feb 16 2005 

I talked to my sister Doris at 3:00pm this afternoon and Heather’s surgery was completed and according to Dr. Graham had gone well…she will be in recovery for 3 hours and then moved to a room…we are so grateful…hopefully she will return to health and strength quickly…she has 12 weeks of no lifting and recovery ahead of her, but she should be up and running by June.

Surgery…Prayer for Heather Wednesday, Feb 16 2005 

My niece Heather is undergoing major surgery this morning in Calgary…complicated…working with her heart and lung…pray for steady hands for the surgeons…wisdom for wise decisions…that her body will be strong and will heal quickly…strength for her family around her. Psalms 121 says “The Lord Himself watches over us…”what a wonderful promise for today as Heather is on the operating table, knowing that the Lord is there in all His fullness and greatness, guiding and directing.

What am I learning… Saturday, Feb 12 2005 

This is a phrase or question that I regularly pose to people that I meet with. I am also asking myself that question and it is amazing what I am learning or not learning!!!

Relationships…sometimes I wish they won’t so much work and that they happened automatically…wishful thinking! Back again to my 35+ year relationship with Jerry…you’d think we’d have it all together by now! We are heading out to a romantic Valentine’s dinner at 6:00 pm and at 5:45 pm another misunderstanding and another huge learning curve for both of us. The best part is that we were required to talk to each other as we were served in our intimate Valentine’s dinner atmosphere as there was no one else to talk to. I mentioned a few days ago that I hoped we would never stop learning, however, I am finding that the learning is not always to my liking. Jerry is an amazing husband and he treats me like a queen, but I often take that for granted and don’t tell him often enough how much that means to me and how much I appreciate him. I can get so caught up in the ideas going on in my head that I do not appreciate the wonderful reality around me. I need to be reminded daily to be intentional and show or tell those who are dear to me, how much they do mean to me and how much I do care.

As a final note…this was the saying that made up part of the table centre at our Valentine’s dinner…Jerry thought it was quite funny…”Her lips suck forth my soul” by Christopher Marlowe.

New Zealand…Calgary…Kids Monday, Feb 7 2005 

Three weeks from now and we will be in New Zealand…I am getting excited, believe it or not. The best part will be being with Tamara. I miss her so much…she is travelling Cambodia right now during the Chinese New Year’s break. Just to be able to hang out together and go for coffee and experience a new country together will be awesome.

Matt and Jesika looked after Kieran this weekend and as Jesika said…”he is just the best little kid ever!” Greg and Heather took some time to be together and just relax. There lives have been very stressed and hectic the past little while. It looks like Heather is scheduled for surgery again on February 16th, so it was so good for them to be able to get away for a little while together. Family is so important and we need to be there for each other…I am so glad Matt and Jesika are in Calgary where they can connect with Greg, Heather and Kieran often.

What am I learning… Monday, Feb 7 2005 

Great relationships always take hard work. It is funny how we often don’t really get another person. They think differently; respond differently; feel differently; have totally different perspectives on a conversation; it just amazes me! Communication is so key in relationships…if we don’t talk about these differences and work them through and see life from another’s prespective, life can become very complicated and tense. How can you tell that Jerry and I had to work something through this week…two people in the same room, part of the same conversation with the others in the room…two totally different perspectives…two totally different responses…both angry and frustrated…but about different things.

I have learned that it is never a good thing for me to respond to a situation immediately as the only thing that happens is the situation is made worse by what comes out of my mouth without any thought given to the consequences. Having a good friend to talk it through with helps me immensely which is exactly what I did. After working through all the emotion and understanding why I responded the way I responded, it was then a good time to talk to Jerry about the situation. By the time this came about I was finding it hard to remember what I had been so angry about, but we did talk it through which was good. We are just too funny! We disagree on alot of things, but very seldom do we get angry with one another…this was an exception. Good exercise for us to go through! You would think that after being married 35+ years we would have it all figured out!!! Fortunately we keep changing and learning new things every day, so we have to keep current with each other or we lose touch! Isn’t it great to know that we can learn new concepts and ideas each day! I trust that never changes for us!

What I am reading… Sunday, Feb 6 2005 

I have been doing quite a bit of reading this past little while…all kinds of different books…I am trying to expand my learning capabilities into other areas other than theology and the like. Jordon, Wendy and Mark gave me a book for Christmas “A short history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson. I wish I had the capability of Jordon to read a book an evening…however my brain cannot cognitively work that quickly…in other words it takes me a little bit longer to read a book like this. I have really been enjoying it…as one reviewer says “…an amiable, chatty tour of every field of scientific inquiry from quantum physics and atmospheric science to evolution and volcanology…now you know why it is taking me some time to read…especially since I failed Grade 11 Physics!!! Oh, by the way, I am also reading my Bible…read the Book of Esther today…some Brennan Manning…New Zealand Travel Blogs…newspaper…Chatelaine…Readers Digest…CBC News…to name a few!!

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