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An exceptional weekend

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I have been praying that we would be able make the most of our last few weeks here in New Zealand. This past weekend we did just that. We drank in every drop of the beauty that New Zealand offered us... and it felt nearly perfect. Almost heavenly.

On Friday afternoon Ben surprised the big kids with an overnight trip to the Coromandel for a Saturday morning chartered fishing trip. Max and Maggie each caught two big red snapper that we cleaned and ate for dinner on Saturday night.

I spent Friday and Saturday enjoying time with my little boys. It was an all request weekend. Swimming at the aquatic center, playground playing, movie night and popcorn on Friday. A bike ride in the redwoods and a trip to Paradise Valley Springs on Saturday.

On Saturday evening after dinner we went for a quick bike ride in the redwoods. It was a beautiful evening and the kids were worn out by bed time. After everyone was tucked in, I went to JH Ranch Aotearoa to hear an evening message that was on John 15:5 - a verse that has been significant in my life in the past. It is a long and interesting story on how I ended up there. Perhaps I will share that sometime.

Sunday we packed the car, went to church and then drove an hour to Wairere Falls. It was wonderful... and  might be my favorite day hike that we have done in New Zealand. Picnic lunch in the parking lot. About 45 minute uphill hike - with no complaining from anyone. Glorious waterfall. Lots of cold spring swimming holes to play in on the way back down.

We got home at 5:00 and ate a quick bowl of crockpot chili before our babysitter arrived. Ben and I took off for a mountain biking date in the redwoods. I nearly died and walked my bike most of the way to the Green Lake Lookout... it was magnificent and totally worth the effort. The ride down was a lot more fun.

On Monday, I went back to Tui Ridge for the JH Ranch Aotearoa closing ceremony. It was a powerful experience for me. It sparked something in my heart and reminded me that God really does do amazing and powerful things in the lives of those who are prayerful and willing.

Thankful for an exceptionally lovely weekend. Photos to come.

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