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total chaos

So, we have successfully arrived in NZ!! Several of you have asked for us to start a blog so that we can keep up with everyone. I am excited to start blogging again, just now sure how often I will get around to doing it. However, I do want all of you to get to share in our time out here so I will do my best to keep up with it.  Here is life so far in NZ for the Brays…

I know that most of you thought that I would post some amazingly beautiful scenery picture for the first picture in my blog post. I decided to get practical with you about the things that I am seeing & experiencing right now. Honestly, my camera has not come out of it’s case even once until tonight. Been too busy trying to dig my way out of the chaos that is surrounding me. I decided to give you a little hint of what we are dealing with here. The first picture is of the groceries in my house. Do you recognize any of these brands? Neither do I. I had to put the tomatoes in the picture so there was at least one thing familiar to you. Oh, & that bag to the far left is my meat from the butcher shop. Yep, you read that right – butcher shop. I went grocery shopping down in the village that I live in today & bought it there b/c apparently they don’t sell meat in the regular grocery stores. Huh? Great experience for me & the kids though. It had been raining off & on all day so when the sun finally peeked out we decided to make a run for it. It took us 45 min. to get out of the house so when we finally did it of course started pouring. We decided to make an adventure out of it & walk down to the village in the pouring rain. Fun idea for the way there – not so fun for the way back! We ran down side streets & navigated our way straight into the first bakery we saw. My kids have loved living near the village b/c going down to the bakery has become a daily tradition. We only have one car that Chris takes to work everyday so after he leaves we make our daily trip to the bakery to get some fresh cinnamon buns. After that we did a little bit of shopping & came back with what you see in the picture. I had no clue what I was buying but hey – this is an adventure, right? We think that we found a home to live in that is right up the street. Hopefully signing the lease tomorrow. Only problem is that it is unfurnished. So, I have a week and a half to basically furnish a home off of trademe (the craig’s list equivalent) – got my work cut out for me! So now for an update – In our mad rush to get out here Chris had forgotten to bring his medical school diploma which he has to have to operate here – oops! After a few days of trying to figure out where it is we finally determined that it must be with all of our other things in our storage unit in Charlotte. Bummer – never been in there – have no clue where it might be. SO..my sweet mother-in-law took care of things & hired 2 men to get in there & find it. Although it was like a needle in a haystack, the mission was finally accomplished. My incredibly faithful friend, Courtney, then went by to pick it up & is going to express mail it here tomorrow. Thank goodness for people who love us back home! I know that I am rambling but I just have to say that I absolutely ADORE the people here. Our landlords are out of town currently & they have sent their sweet friend, Moira, to come by to check on us. Everyday she brings something over that is just so thoughtful! The first day we got here it was a plant, gummies for the kids, & magazines for me. Today she came by with an exercise schedule for the gym & a newcomers to Auckland flyer. She has also eagerly been looking with us for a place to live. I mean really – they go above & beyond here! My favorite thing is the way they talk – bloke, mate, cheers, handy. I really hope that my kids talk like this when we get back b/c I am loving it! As for me, I try not to talk too much around the Kiwis b/c they immediately know that I am from the US. I used my debit card for the first time today & a nice man had to tell what to press on the keypad. I guess that I looked really helpless when my card would not work. He said he just knew that I was clueless the second I opened my mouth & the accent came out. Oh my.. I am hosed!  I am still scared to death to drive on the opposite side of the road so thankfully we live within walking distance to everything so the kids and I can walk. After we sign the lease tomorrow I am walking straight down to the school to register the kids. It is time for them to get into school! Summer abruptly ended for us 4 days ago when we got here – it is FREEZING!! Anyhow, I will try to update as often as I can. We do have new NZ numbers if you want them, otherwise our email still works. Miss all of you – Cheers!!

August 8, 2012 - 5:43 am Aunt Mary - Hope- So happy for you to be having such a grand adventure. Reminds me of when I worked in England after college. Know it must be hard to be so far from your family but you will be home before you know it. So happy I will get to hear of your adventures through your blog. Have a wonderful time! Aunt Mary

August 8, 2012 - 6:11 am Katie Rudolph - Reading this brings me so much joy! What an exciting adventure for you and your family. xx

August 8, 2012 - 6:22 am Hope Grayson - Dear Hopie - What an adventure for all of you! I know you'll love every minute of it. We miss you, but time will fly by! Love, Aunt Hope & Uncle Michael

August 8, 2012 - 7:01 am brooke - LOVE!! Glad you arrived safely. Keep the posts coming! xo

August 8, 2012 - 10:49 am Maggie - Yay!! So happy to hear you are there and drowning in your chaos!!! Hahahaha. How typical is it that the medical school diploma was left in the states??? Only Chris!! And by the way, I misss HIM so much. Haven't seen him in a year!! HAPPY for you, hope you will settle in quickly and LOVE LOVE LOVE your time there!!! We love you dearly and MISS you like CRAZY!!! Maggie

August 8, 2012 - 12:25 pm Caroline - You are SO adventurous! I'm so excited you started blogging again. Please keep it up and keep taking pictures!

August 8, 2012 - 5:06 pm Paige - Hopie, I am so glad that you are blogging about your NZ adventure! Love it!! Love you!

August 8, 2012 - 8:32 pm joanne ellison - Still laughing at your blog Hopie!! I remember when your Dad and I arrived in Germany with you, Kat and Billy and couldnt speak the language. Brings back all to familiar memories! So glad about the house and the tomato.

August 9, 2012 - 5:58 am Mary - Hope you are always in my prayers and yes please hook me up with your number as soon as you get a chance! I know you guys will adjust soon and I pray that this adventure you guys have been planning for some time now pours out on your family amazing blessings! I love you all!

August 9, 2012 - 11:04 am Laura Roe - So thankful you are blogging again! Love hearing about you guys and your adventures! Keep 'em coming! Love you guys!!

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