Wednesday, August 15, 2012


   That is what most Kiwi's would say when we mention watching the Olympics in the USA. They have never heard of Bob Costas, but he is what we missed while watching the games these past few weeks. I missed the "fluff", that NBC provides with their coverage. I imagine that NBC had a beautiful studio  that was decorated very simple yet classic with a large window that over looked the river Thames. And that he interviewed Michael Phelps, Kerri Walsh, Gabby Johnson and maybe he even interviewed the athletes Mom's. I missed getting to know the athletes through all of the human interest stories from NBC. I like knowing which athletes have sibling with Down Syndrome or over came all odds to make it to the Olympics, I would always cheer harder for those players. Watching the Olympics in NZ was all about the games. There was no studio, nor was there any Matt Lauer broadcasting live from the Olympic village. We had 5 channels  running 24/7 that showed every Olympic event. We watched whole events, there was no skipping around and just showing the highlights. I watched everyone of Valerie Adam's shot put throws, as well as all the other competitors. We were very happy to hear this morning that she claimed the gold. As we were all a little suspicious of the he/she from Belarus, and not too surprised to hear about the steroids!! I was once again proud to be an American after watching the games, and also excited for the 13 medals that NZ won.
  Lindsey and I have been busy touring some of the High Schools in town as she will be starting HS next year. The new school year starts in February. HS starts in year 9 (8th grade) and continues up to year 13 (12th grade). We have some great choices to choose from, and as of right now she has picked the New Plymouth Girls High School. It is an all girls school with boarding facilities. We feel that she will get a broad education with lots of opportunities for vocational training, travel, culture activities, sports and academic competitions in addition to standard academic classes. Most NZ schools require students to wear uniforms. They do this because if the lingering British influence in NZ culture/institutions. While Lindsey and I were sitting in the wooden halls at these school listening to the head students speak about their schools, I felt as if I was sitting at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Witchery. The uniforms with their large crest of arms on the breast and the green and yellow ties and blazers that the boys wore all reminded me of Harry Potter. I even expected to see Quidditch listed as a school sport. Even with my fantasy thinking, I am glad to be a muggle and look forward to Lindsey being a part of Girls High.

"Hanging Out" on a Sunday Hike

 The kid's had a disco at the Oakura Hall last week. The theme was Fantasy and Action. Owen was Captain America-it was a total homemade costume. Not one item was bought for the Captain, and he thought he looked awesome. Skyler was the 3 Musketeer's, and we had to purchase some plastic table cloths for their costumes. And then we had Lady Gaga, who started out as a Snow Queen but then evolved into Lady GaGa. We had to purchase a wig, mask, and boa for her costume. The mom's decorated the hall earlier in the day with some Christmas light and balloons. They sold glow sticks and lollies at the disco, and used an Ipod for the music with some loud speakers. The teachers were on stage singing and dancing to One Direction, and the kids were on the dance floor practicing their dance moves. It was a fun night, the kids had a blast. I remember going to the Disco last year, and us not knowing anyone  and the kids being a little uncomfortable. It is great to of come full circle and see my kids fit in, and be a part of the community.

Doing the Limbo with a Broom stick!
Lindsey had a belated birthday party last weekend, and this is all of her friends. They decided a few days before the party that it was going to be a 60's theme, so they came in full hair, make-up and clothes. They are a great group of girls, they all play netball together and look out for each other. They are also some of the best mannered kids I have ever been around. 

  Winter is halfway over with and it has been quite a mild one. Maybe it just feels that way though because I have heat this winter, whereas last winter we had none!! So maybe it has been just as cold and I don't notice because of our new warm rental. We have been on our paddle boards a few times and waiting for the chance to use our new/used ski gear. The kids Rugby, netball, basketball, and football games all end these next few weeks so our weekends will free up to head to the mtns. for  hopefully some powder turns. We are still waiting to get in a ski and a surf all in the same day. Another one of the reasons we live in "the naki". Happy new school year to my friends at home, and hope the kids have another great year.