the latest adventures


so I am LOVING having a blog again! I have really enjoyed each & every one of your comments! Please keep them coming as it really helps me still feel connected with everyone. So.. what has been going on lately? Well, too much to write in one blog but I will do my best to summarize. Most importantly, we signed a lease – yipee! We finally will be settling in to life in NZ when we get into our house on Saturday. Our house is going to be absolutely perfect for us & is within walking distance to the school as well as the village. However, our landlord is quite the particular one. I asked him if we could take Chris & Kapo (our awesome friend from Charlotte who is here w/ us) over to the  house last week so they could see it for the first time. Within 5 minutes of arriving at the house the kids somehow found the panic button on the alarm & set it off. Well, b/c we had just gone by quickly to check things out, I did not have the code to turn it off with me. Bummer. Kapo drove me back to the house while Chris stood in the front driveway & met all of the neighbors who came to see what all the racquet was all about. Ha ha  – welcome to the neighborhood, Brays!

Second great things is that the kids start school on Wednesday. I seriously could not be happier. I love my kids but they are starting to drive me  crazy b/c they are SO BORED! Their summer has lasted way too long & they are def. ready for some other friends to play with other than themselves! I had a meeting with the principal of the school today. LOVE their school – seems like all of the public schools here are just as nice as the private schools at home. Seriously, it was beautiful! I felt a little bit awkward being the odd man out though. The principal wanted to take me around to Chase & Ellison’s new classrooms. I was so excited to meet their teachers & classmates – I could hardly wait. He showed me where they would me taking their morning tea & where to buy their sunhats that they were required to wear b/c the sun is so strong here.   He then took me into each classroom & paraded me in front of the class telling the kids that he had brought a visitor to see them. At first I was excited to meet everyone until he asked me to speak in front of them. He had me talk & then asked them where they thought my accent was from. I felt like such a redneck puppet. The little kids raised their hands one by one & guessed that I was from “the States.” Then he made them guess how many medals “the States” had one vs. New Zealand. Huh? In that moment I was not sure if I was supposed to be proud that I was from “the states” or embarassed b/c they all looked at me like I was an alien!  Anyhow, other than that things here have been flawless. It does rain everyday which is kind of a bummer but I think that is only b/c it is winter. Right now I am faced with the daunting task of furnishing our house. I literally have to get onto trademe (ebay of NZ) & bid every few minutes just so that I will have a bed to sleep in when we move in on Saturday. The one thing that I have found out of everything that is the same is church. It is so amazing that no matter how far away you feel from home that Jesus is the same wherever you go –  Charleston, Greenville, Charlotte, San Diego & all the way to New Zealand. We definitely feel God’s presence here with us – no matter how far away from home we are.  It is definitely not what most people would call “normal” life here yet but we are getting quite used to it & think that is quite lovely:)

ps – oh, if you have an iphone then please download the app VIBER. That is the main way that I am keeping up w/ people right now b/c it is free calls & texts back & forth from US to NZ. It will alert me if you download it – cheers!

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  • Amy Savage - So glad to hear that you are getting settled!! I didn’t know that you’re a photog!! Cool!!

  • Anne willette - Have loved keeping up with y’all! Gonna need a pic of the Sunhats!

  • Lynne McIntosh - You are my Mom in reverse! I am your child and remembering my perspective when we moved from England to the United States. I was excited, a little nervous that many things had different names, felt special because everyone wanted to hear my funny accent, and I made friends in a nano second! Have a great time being exposed to a whole new world and bringing a world to the people who you are with.

  • brooke - that pic of the kids is awesome!! love this adventure that you are on. and love that everyone loves your accent. 🙂 xoxo

  • Laura - Love all the updates Hope!! I can relate in soooo many ways!!! Finding lots of similar adventures in Montreal!! Hugs to you all!!!

  • Caroline - Congrats on your house! Did you find their school supplies? Can’t wait to hear how the like it! Chris starts Belle Hall next Wednesday. Just finished downloading Viber.

  • joanne ellison - I am howling laughing. Will forward to Dad. Redneck puppet….. so funny. That’s my girl!!

  • misty winn - hi lovely, love love love that you are blogging, so wanted to know how things are going for you. i love that the kids are having “tea”, what a neat neat experience. keep the updates coming…i’ll stalk you through your blog! love you!

  • Ashley Stipes - Glad you are blogging again Hope so I can keep up with your adventures! I will continue to pray the transition goes smoothly for your family! Let me know if you ever need anything back here! You know I’d love to help in any way.