Our visit to Australia! -part two

(Zach's May-mid-June 2012)

click here to go to Zach's June-July 2012 page


We've entered the 20th century.... we have an xBox - and Zach likes it! :=) 2012-05-02

prayer pouch lord project

We brought a couple of Lord Projects with us ~ here, he's working on the Prayer Pouch 2012-05-07

voila prayer pouch

Voilà: finished pouch! 2012-05-07

tobruk - shearing sheep

We participated in some homeschooling opportunities during our stay, including a visit to the Tobruk Sheep Station. As usual, he was most interested in the gears (never mind the sheep shearing going on)! :=D 2012-05-09

helping shear

Ah, then he got to help shear the sheep! 2012-05-09

walking a log

Walking a log bench at Tobruk... 2012-05-09

cracking a whip

We also learned to crack bullwhips!! -And to throw boomerangs, too. 2012-05-09

cracking the whip alone

(He did manage to actually crack it!) 2012-05-09

carss park

Another visit to Carss Park with Dylan & Liam 2012-05-10

mother's day hug

A Mother's Day hug in Oz is just as good! :=> 2012-05-13

bfst in bed

Mommy enjoyed a delicious breakfast in bed! 2012-05-13

zach's card

"Happy Mother's Day Mommy! I will give you 12 x's! And 10 o's. I love you Mommy love from Zach" :=) 2012-05-13

mother's day pizza 1

We capped off Mother's Day with delicious deep-dish "Chicago-style" pizza, mmm! 2012-05-13

mother's day pizza2

...Silliness ensued... 2012-05-13

mother's day pizza3

...Continued. :=) 2012-05-13

airport moving sidewalk

...Never a dull moment for Zach. Even an airport is fun! This time, on our way (after some visa fun, arg) to New Zealand :=) 2012-05-14

to NZ

One of Zach's favourite parts of air travel is the TV/movies! :=] (Here, Cars 2) 2012-05-14

auckland volcano

We got to experience (long-extinct) volcanos first-hand, in Auckland! (Here, Mt Wellington) 2012-05-15

bath with shaylow

Zach obliged us and had a bath with Keyworths' previously bath-shy foster child. It worked! :=) 2012-05-15


playing with Tu

Keyworths' home, full of kids :=) -- Zach had fun with Tumenaco! 2012-05-15

more fun with Tu

More fun with Tu... :=> 2012-05-15

zach on ferry

Zach enjoyed the windy ferry ride back from Waiheke Island (despite not seeing a single penguin!) 2012-05-16

fall with Longstaffs

We enjoyed some beautiful New Zealand sights with the Jonathan & Lesley Longstaffs (Zach with Sophie) 2012-05-17

black sands with sophie

More fun with Sophie, here exploring the black sands of Karekare beach 2012-05-17

on our way to hot sands

Zach did a little jig on our way over to the hot sands... 2012-05-18

hot sands pools

Hot sands beach: hot water bubbles to the surface! (and some of it was really hot!) 2012-05-18

hot sands poster

Hot rock, waaay below the surface, heats pockets of water, which seeps up to the surface to produce said hot sands. Wow! 2012-05-18

catching rainbow

....If you look closely, near Zach's hands, you might just see him catching a rainbow! 2012-05-18

stinky crater

Speaking of geothermal wonders, we saw some impressive (and sulphery stinky!) sights at the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland 2012-05-20


Here we are at the very *green* Devil's Bathtub! 2012-05-20

lady knox

Lady Knox geyser erupts daily at 10:20am. Way to go, Lady K! 2012-05-20


More cool wonders -- and a silly boy! :=D 2012-05-20

bubbling mud

We also saw bubbling (boiling) mud. 2012-05-20

silly zach at resto1

The wait for food at this Rotorua restaurant was RIDICULOUS... 2012-05-20

silly zach at resto2

...but it didn't dampen this boy's spirit! :=) 2012-05-20

silly zach at resto3

(Or, maybe finally getting the food is what sillied him up?!) 2012-05-20

volcanic playground

How often do we get to play at a VOLCANIC playground?! :=D 2012-05-20

ninja boys

Zach & Daddy working ninja-ing around 2012-05-20

in our room

...Again, never a dull moment with Zach; he's always got *something* to make-believe! :=) (Those are beaters in his hands. They helped him reel the ship in closer to land.) 2012-05-21

white water rafting1

We didn't buck up for their pictures (nor dare to take our own), but we really did go white water rafting! --All THREE of us! :=D 2012-05-21

rafting sign

(See?? We took a picture of the sign! That proves that we went rafting, right?! :=} ) 2012-05-21

jake & the neverland pirates

Back in our room, chillaxing with Jake & The Neverland Pirates (courtesy of Daddy -- I don't think they had Disney Junior, over there?!) 2012-05-21

lake taupo

Day 8 in New Zealand: a visit 'round Lake Taupo2012-05-22

zach on tyre bike

Zach a) on a "bike" that used to be a car tire, and b) with his new, location-appropriate buddy: Kiwi! :=) 2012-05-22

2hr hike

We went for a (2-hour!) hike around Tongariro National Park. That's a beautiful, snow-capped Mount Tongariro in the background! 2012-05-23

daddy on rocks

Daddy climbed down to get closer to the water 2012-05-23

zach & daddy on rocks

...Then Zach joined him! (Thumbs up!) 2012-05-23

mommy on rocks too

Then Mommy joined them, too. It was a beautiful sight! 2012-05-23

waitomo totem pole

The next day we visited the caves at Waitomo. 2012-05-24


--Voilà! Here we are in Ruakuri Cave. [Despite these being "glow-worm" caves, we did not get any web-worthy photos of them, alas...] 2012-05-24

caves control panel

In true Zach form, his favourite part of the caves tour was when the guide invited him to press buttons and 'magically' open doors! :=D 2012-05-24

mommy & zach

Awaiting our turn for the next cave tour, Mommy & Zach enjoyed some "This is the way the lady rides" :=) 2012-05-24

plane ride home - lambs

Zach and his lambs kept each other company on the plane ride home :=) 2012-05-25

plane ride home - seatbelt

Zach + seatbelt = creativity (it's a slide, as I'm sure you can tell?) 2012-05-25

symbio - kangaroos

At Symbio, we got to see real live 'roos, up close and personal! --Got to feed & pet them, too!! :=D 2012-05-31


:=D Is this Southern Cassowary right out of the dinosaur era, or what?! 2012-05-31

first day at SMS

Zach got to try three days' worth of Southside Montessori School; here's his "first day of school" picture! (P.S. It seems like a good fit!) 2012-06-05

vivid sydney blue light tunnel

We attended our first Vivid Sydney light show ~ Zach's favourite might well have been this very blue "tunnel of happiness"! 2012-06-09

spiral-to-the-Lord project

Zach finished this Sunday School project at home: a "spiral to the Lord", showing what we can do to be closer to the Lord (be nice, share, obey, etc) 2012-06-11

13th anniversary breakfast

Zach helped celebrate Daddy & Mommy's 13th wedding anniversary with a 'becandled' breakfast and a rousing round of "Happy Annivesary to You"! :=) 2012-06-12

typing thank-you to grammy

Very much enjoying his Chickadee magazines, Zach emailed a thank-you to Grammy 2012-06-12

progressive dinner

Little man Zach has had many opportunities to engage with grown-ups! :=) -Here, at the New Church Day progressive dinner (notice that, in Oz, poinsettias are *NCD* flowers!) 2012-06-16

dragon pinata

The kids celebrated New Chuch Day with a seven-headed-dragon piñata! 2012-06-17

bunk beds

Zach's newest "toy": bunk beds! :=D 2012-06-14

magnetic thank-you

Travel tie again. Time to dip back into the Pokemon travel bag stash! Thanks again, Younies! :=) 2012-06-18

dallas airport

Ahh, another airport. Our visit to Australia drew to a close, we headed back to North America to await our permanent resident visas, and then return "for real"! :=D 2012-06-19


A further glimpse into Zach:

- Zach and Mommy have done some weeding of this beautiful, expansive property. Zach to Mommy: "Mommy, don't pull those weeds and leave just dirt. You'll make it unbeautiful!"

- "It's a mickle hygrenator -- it's like a sprinkler, so we use it only in the water, and when we go it sprays water on your feet so you have to make sure you're wearing your bathing suit." :=D Ah! Right!

- Zach just loves to be around *people*! When Mommy pops out to run some errands (Daddy's in his office, two doors down), Daddy soon finds Zach joining him next door in his office! When Daddy pops back home to use the facilities, Zach scoots back home and down into the basement, following Daddy. :=)

- Zach visited the Montessori school for a standard three-day trial. On the third day, he brought home a petri dish with gel and swabs from his mouth, nose, fingers and fingertips -- in first grade!? :=D Wow! Oh, and he was also given two kids' phone numbers. :=) What a friendly bunch!
    click here to go to Zach's June-July 2012 page