Monday, 30 March 2015

Thinking about Your Thoughts

Photo taken by Abbie at the Butterfly forest in the Otago museum in Dunedin

Have you ever thought about what you think about?

We probably don't consider our thoughts very often. They are just harmless, simple things, right? No one knows what we think. Except for us. They are ours alone. Private, precious things. They can't hurt anyone or anything. It doesn't matter what we think on.

I am here today to challenge that opinion, ladies and gentlemen. Can I assure you that it DOES matter what you think about - far, far, far more than you or I can possibly know.

Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. 

and the same verse again in a different version (because I love how they both put it!

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Solomon was a very wise man. He was the wisest mortal human ever. His writings have been recorded in the book of Proverbs. Not only was he wise, but since those of his writings ended up in the Bible (which is the infallible Word of God), we can be pretty sure that what is written there is true. And Proverbs tells us to be careful what we think, because our thoughts run our lives (whether we know it or not).

Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

I have found, over my life, that the more I think about discouraging things the more discouraged I feel. The more cheerful, happy thoughts I think about, the more cheerful and happy I feel. And the more cheerful and happy are those around me. Because cheerfulness is catching. And so is discouragement, just in case you were wondering.

What am I trying to get at here? Well, firstly and foremostly, BE VERY CAREFUL about your thoughts. Often if you notice a rogue thought that doesn't agree with what God's word says, that thought can actually be from the devil. 

And our thoughts are powerful. If we allow ourselves to think about the wrong things we will eventually become poisoned by our own thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Have a great day!
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P.S. Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer is a great book on this subject to read.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Day I Overcame My Phobia

Did you know that arsonophobia is the fear of fire?

And did you know that I suffered from this phobia for sixteen years of my life?

You didn't? Well, let me tell you all about it.

I am not sure why, but right up until a few months ago I had never, in my entire life, lit a match before. I know! Crazy, right? I have always been scared of fire. I hate putting logs into our fireplace, I hate dealing with fire. It just freaks me out. And I have always drawn the line at lighting matches.

My siblings thought I was weird. We have a gas element, and it's getting a bit old, and you often always have to light it with a match. Whenever I decided to do some cooking I had to always get someone else to light the element for me. You can believe me when I tell you that my lovely siblings would often politely inform that I needed to get over my fear and just light the matches myself!

There I was, a sixteen year old, old enough to get over this silly fear of mine.... but I couldn't. I tried lighting matches. Oh yes, I tried. But I couldn't. There was something in me that wouldn't let me strike hard enough to produce a flame.

I didn't know how I was going to get over my phobia. I didn't know whether I would have to go through my entire life refusing to light matches. All I knew was that I was scared stiff of the little wooden sticks with red bits on the ends.

And then one day, it all changed.

My family were out for the day. I don't remember where they went; I just know that I had something else on later that day which meant I couldn't go with them. I was home alone. Which I was fine with. Until it came to lunchtime... and I decided to make myself curried eggs for lunch.

It wasn't until I had boiled the jug and sliced up the onion and got out a pot and everything that I remembered. I was scared of matches. Yeah. There was no one around to light the element for me.

By that time, I was in the mood for curried eggs. There was no way a small matter like arsonophobia was going to stop me eating my eggs for lunch! I opened the cream coloured cupboard and took down the little red box that sat on the highest shelf. Every other time I'd done this swept through my mind. Each time I had chickened out. But this time, there was nobody else around. There was just me... and the matches. And my fear.

Facing your fear is a funny thing. I had maintained for sixteen years that nothing would ever make me strike a match. And here I was, about to do just that. I felt terribly courageous.

I held the match up to the side of the box.

Then, with all the courage I had in me, I struck the match.

I struck for myself. For the sixteen years I had feared this very moment. For all the times when I'd chickened out before the big moment. For my love of curried eggs.

And all of a sudden, a flame leapt into life, on the end of the little stick in my fingers.

That was a big moment for me. I was so excited. I couldn't help just staring at the match in my hand, with the flame flickering on the end. I was proud of myself. Proud of what I had accomplished.

And that's the story. I can now happily report that I have lit many, many matches since then. Matches hold no fear for me. I am still a little afraid of fire, but isn't that normal? And at least I can light matches now. :)

Do you have a weird phobia? Or even a normal phobia? (If phobias can be considered normal, lol!) :)
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P.S. I'm excited because this is my 450th post! Yeeeaaah!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

You Asked, I Answer

I was very pleased with the number of questions I received in my Ask Me Anything post from a wee while ago. It was very fun reading all the questions and doing answers. I ended up answering every single question that was asked apart from two (for various reasons). A total of 47 questions and answers. Wow, you sure know how to keep me busy don't you?!

You asked the questions... so here are the answers!

Questions About My Life

What was the happiest day of your life so far?
The happiest day of my life was definitely the day I gave my life to the Lord. :) Other than that, it would have been when I was baptized, probably! 

How does a normal day work for you?
I get up at around 6:45am. I dress, have breakfast and then go for a run. (I don't normally do this but I'm trying to get my fitness up at the moment because of a camp coming up that could end up being quite physically demanding!) I then start on studying - either my law studies or math. Sometime in the morning I practice my violin. Then I have lunch and either go to work for the afternoon or do more study, fold up washing, read a book, do some writing, do a blog post, go to my violin lesson if it's a Thursday, go out somewhere else if necessary... or just whatever needs doing, really! After tea we all help with dishes and then (at the moment) I do some more fitness (situps and pushups and lots of stretching) and then go to bed. Sorry that was a long answer. Of course it's different every day and on the weekends too.

When was the last time you laughed? Why?
I laughed just before when I was playing with Jana and she pulled a really silly face. She's in the cutest stage of life right now! 

What is your fashion/clothing style?
Ummm... just casual, I guess.  I always try to dress modestly. I find skirts a lot more comfortable than jeans so I wear them often. Sorry that doesn't really describe a particular clothing style, does it?!

What do you like doing in your spare time?
Some of the things I do in my spare time are drawing, reading, blogging, making music, doing crafts, taking Baxter (our dog) for a walk or bike ride, doing crossword puzzles and writing.

What was the last thing you ate?
I ate a blackboy peach for morning tea.

What has someone said to you that changed your life?
Hmm... there are several things I'm thinking of here.
1. All the positive input into my life by my family. It's not one sentence or anything that I can pick out, but I'm super grateful for everything they do and say that inspires me.
2. Reading the book Beyond Our Selves by Catherine Marshall. It's not what someone said to me as such, but I'm putting it down here because it changed my life. It's a wonderful book. Highly recommended. 

What time do you get up in the morning?
6:45am usually. 

What time do you go to bed?
I try to be in bed before 9pm, unfortunately sometimes that's wishful thinking!

What were you just looking at? (other than the computer) 
I was just playing with Jana. So I was looking into her pretty face. She has such gorgeous, big, blue eyes. She's adorable!! She's starting to stand up now by herself, not holding on to anything. Before long she'll be walking.

You said once that you have a lot of pairs of homemade earrings. How many homemade earrings do you have versus bought ones? Which are your favourites? Weird question but I want to know.
Haha, weird questions are quite alright! :) I have eight pairs of studs, all bought ones. I have twenty-two pairs of dangly earrings, eleven of which are homemade. So half of my dangly earrings are homemade. Some I made, some my sisters made. My very favourite earrings are a couple of bought pairs, but I have some very special pairs of homemade earrings I love to wear! 

Faith/Christianity/what I believe related questions

Can animals go to heaven?
Goodness me, what a question. Well, I am going to truthfully tell you that I don't actually know. We know that there will be animals in heaven (Isaiah 11:6-9) but whether those are the animals from earth or not, I do not know. I guess we'll have to find out when we get there, won't we? This is good for further reading if you're interested.

Have you been baptized? If so, how old were you?
Yes I have been baptized. Highly recommended for all Christians. ;) I was twelve at the time.

What do you want in a future husband?
Firstly, he must love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. He must treat his parents and siblings with respect. He must be a Godly, committed young man with a focus in life. He needs to be diligent, dedicated, loving and gentle. It would be great if he had a similar sense of humour to me, as well!

What has been the most amazing 'God experience' that you've had?
I really felt that the Lord was near (I guess you could call it a God experience!) when I was on a camp in January. One of the mornings we had extended worship and I had the opportunity to pray for some of my friends. Lots of people (including me!) were in tears. I felt that the Lord was really close and it was just an awesome experience. I hope this answers the question since I'm not completely sure what you mean!

Questions about my favourite things

What is your dream job?
Getting paid for doing what I love.

What's your favourite sport?
Probably skiing. I've been a few times and though I'm not very good at it, I love it!

Favorite drink? (This same question was asked to me by two different people, hence the two drinks mentioned!)
Hot chocolate, with marshmellows. Mmmm. And smoothies. Do smoothies count as a drink? Probably not, but I love them.

Hi Bonnie, what is your favorite hair style?
Hi! For myself, I like having my hair out long or tied up, maybe in a side ponytail. On others, I love experimenting with fancy french braided buns and so on. I would do fancier hairstyles on myself if I knew how. Sadly I can't do awesome hairstyles on myself, just others.

Pen or pencil?
I like pencil when I'm drawing, pen when I'm writing. My favourite pens to write with are ones with very thin points. I love those.

What is your favourite Bible verse?
Psalm 16:11 - You will show me the path that leads to life, in your presence is fullness of joy.

What's your favourite month?
First is May, then December, then September. 

What's your favourite colour? What's your worst colour?
My favourite colour is sunshine yellow, my worst colour... hmm... maybe black.

Dog or cat?
Dog, definitely! Cats are cute but dogs are adorable.

What is your favourite time of the day, and what would you do in it?
My favourite time of the day is the evening. In the evening (as I explained above when asked what my normal day looks like) after doing dishes we have free time before bed. I usually read, write, do something crafty, fold washing or stretch. I have no idea why it's my favourite time of day, it just is!

What's your favourite animal?
I don't have a particular favourite, however, I love butterflies, dogs and dolphins especially. :)

What are your top 5 worship songs?
I love lots of worship songs! I can't pick 5 top favourites, but I love these ones.
- I Exalt Thee
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- As The Deer
- How Deep the Father's Love for Us
- Glorified

Do you like math?
Not very much, no. I do it because I know it's good for my brain. I guess I kind of enjoy algebra to an extent, but I don't like it very much.

What's your favourite takeaway?
Subway, of course!! :)

What's your favourite season?
This is tricky because whenever it's springtime, I like spring the best. And when it's summer I like summer the best! It is definitely one of those two. Maybe spring wins, very slightly. I don't know!

Questions about my blog

How long has your blog been going for?
I wrote my first post on the 7th of January 2013, which makes this my blog's third year.

How would you feel if I hacked your blog?
You couldn't hack my blog. Sorry, but quite honestly, my password is un-hackable. :) If you did manage by some strange way to hack it, however, I would feel extremely annoyed. 

This isn't really a question, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your awesome blog. I love reading your posts, they inspire me! I'm always so excited when I see you've done a new post. Thank you for writing such a good blog. I hope this makes the post even though it isn't a question.
Awww, thank you so much! You've just made my day. You readers are absolutely awesome! There's no way I'd be doing a blog if it wasn't for you. Thank you so much for your kind words. :)

Do you think you will ever stop posting on your blog?
Maybe, if I ever run out of things to say! But I don't think that will happen anytime soon, don't worry. I really enjoy blogging. 

Random questions

How many times have you ever cut your hair (estimate)
Not very many! Probably less than ten times. And all those times have been just trims. :)

What is something that makes you really angry?
This took a bit of thinking about. A lot of things make me annoyed but I can't think of anything that makes me really angry. Something that really annoys me is when people say they are going to do something and then don't follow through with it. 

Do you get to eat free subway? ;)
(For those of you who are confused, I work at a small Subway restaurant near where we live.) 
No I don't get it free, unfortunately! It would be great if I did! :)

Is your family still looking at moving house?
Yes, we are. 

What's your opinion of basketball?
My opinion of basketball is very high. I love sport. I played netball and tennis for years. :) I have never played basketball, sadly. I think basketball would be quite fun. Maybe someday I'll try it.

Would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?
I'm going to have to say both for this one. I love the country because it's quiet and beautiful. And the city is good because you're close to everything you need to be close to. They're both good for different reasons.

If you could change anything about yourself, what what it be?
That is a very good question. Do you mean character or looks? If looks, I would want to be a bit taller. Maybe three inches taller would be nice (just enough to be taller than my younger sisters...!). If character, I don't think I would want to change anything. Not because I think I'm perfect as I am, far from it! But because the Lord teaches me so much from every flaw and imperfection in myself. If I was perfect then I wouldn't need Him. 

Have you ever wanted glasses?
No I haven't. I guess it's because Mum has glasses and she sometimes says that they are really annoying! I think glasses are something that are helpful if you need them but if you don't, then all the better. :) If I ever needed glasses I wouldn't have a problem with them.

What's your lucky number?
I don't have one, sorry!

What is your first reaction to an unpleasant situation?
My first reaction to an unpleasant situation is usually to freak out. :P Disappointing to me (something I'm working on!) but true. Then after a bit I usually get used to the idea and sometimes (depending on the situation) warm to it eventually. 

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Inviting people to freely ask me questions. :P

What has scared you the most?
I am afraid of fire, arsonophobia, I believe it's called. There's a lot more to this story. It might make a good blog post actually. 

Where have you always wanted to go?
I've always loved New Zealand. I live in a beautiful country. If I could travel elsewhere, however, maybe I'd go to Israel. Visiting the Holy Land and seeing where Jesus lived and walked would be amazing!

Did you ask me a question?
Which was your favourite question/answer?
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Happy birthday, Abbie!

Today I'd like to say a massive happy birthday to my oldest sister, Abigail, who is turning

Cool Fonts
this very day!!

In honour of this very special eighteenth birthday, here are eighteen things I love about Abbie.

1. Her commitment to the Lord
2. Her smile
3. Her brilliant cooking skills
4. Her sense of humour
5. The fun she brings to any occasion
6. Her cheerfulness
7. Her heart to serve others
8. All the awesome memories we have together
9.  Her determination
10. How she's so good with kids
11. And horses
12. Her great advice when I'm confused about anything
13. Her compassion
14. Her laughter
15. How she is always there for me
16. Her one track mind (it can be quite funny sometimes! ;P )
17. Her genuine interest in what interests me
18. And lastly, I love that she's such a wonderful sister. :)

Abbie, may the Lord bless you beyond your wildest dreams in your nineteenth year. I love you so much!!!!!

Oh, and happy birthday. :) :) :)
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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bonnie's Opinion: Is Chivalry Dead?

Photo taken by Abbie, our van on the road to Dunedin

I have been on crowded buses many times.

But there was one time that stands out for me and will continue to do so.

I got on to the bus, scanned my bus card and discovered that the bus was Full with a capital F. It was so full there was hardly any standing room. I sort of pushed my way over to a spot where there was a bit of room and hung on to the handrail. Then I heard a voice beside me.

"Here, have my seat." It was a middle aged gentleman who was speaking. He picked up his bag and offered me his seat. I thanked him very much and sat down, grateful to be able to sit down after a busy day on my feet at work.

That was the only time I've ever been offered a seat on a crowded bus. And I will always remember it. It was unexpected, special, a sweet thing for that gentleman to do.

I am speaking for myself here, and I'm sure I'm speaking for many other girls/women who feel the same way as I do.

Chivalry isn't dead. And if it is, it shouldn't be!

I feel like chivalry used to be something that was the social norm.

Little things like rising to your feet when in the presence of an elderly person. Like the man noticing the lady is carrying something heavy and quietly taking it off her. Like anyone going into a building to hold the door open for those following them. And getting into a car, the man first going around and opening the lady's door for her (it's not all on the man's part - the lady should then reciprocate by reaching over and unlocking his door for him).

Why have those things now become the exception, not the norm?

It's due to several factors, I think.

1. Feminism ("I am perfectly strong enough to hold my door open for myself, thank you very much.") on the part of the lady
2. The rise of selfishness in this generation (The man wants his coat because he's cold. Why should he give it to the lady?)
3. Lack of training (Boys don't grow up with the example of a father who acts gentlemanly towards their mother, so they don't know that's what they should be doing)
4. The ladies who aren't feminists and opposed to the idea, not really getting on board and showing appreciation for chivalry so the man thinks she doesn't care

There are probably more reasons. And I'm sure you get the idea. :)

Remember above when I talked about being given a seat on a crowded bus? It made my day. I felt so special. I didn't feel degraded or that the gentleman who offered his seat was doing it because I was weaker or anything like that. I felt very grateful that I could sit down. I also felt respect for that gentleman.

Gentlemen, being chivalrous not only makes us feel special, it makes us respect you more.

Ladies, let's not treat chivalry as something to tolerate or train our men not to do!

Chivalry isn't dead. And if it is, it shouldn't be!

Chivalry will never be dead while there are still gentlemen out there who are willing to act courteously towards the ladies. And chivalry will never be dead while there are still ladies out there who appreciate it.

That's my opinion on the subject. What do you think?
Is chivalry dead?
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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Everyone Loves a Few Good Puns

I came across these puns the other day and thought I might share them with you... because everyone loves a few good/terrible puns, right? ;) 

(Bonus - read my comments under each picture carefully for an extra groan, with my compliments.)

That nacho has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

Artfully done....

That was otter-ly (utterly) good.

I hope his ship is space-cious.

And I also hope your day is wonderful. :)

P.S. Please don't forget to ask me questions!! Go here...

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ask Me Anything!

I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to do a Q + A blog post, answering the questions of my readers.

And I was going to wait until my 500th post to do it, but that's still like 43 posts away! So here it is now. :)

Here's how it's going to work. You (yes, you!) now have the opportunity to ask me any question. You know that burning question you've been dying to know the answer to for months? Well, now's your chance! All questions asked are anonymous. I won't know who asked them. (Unless you put your name on it, of course!) You can ask me anything you like and as many questions as you like. The more you ask, the more I'll answer.

Needless to say, if a question is asked that is in bad taste or that I don't feel comfortable answering, it won't be answered. :)

Other than that, unless I'm asked like a bazillion questions I'll try to answer them all!! :)

All questions will be answered in a blog post that will be coming soon.

What do you want to ask?
If you're stuck, here are a couple of ideas.....

What is your favourite time of day?
Icecream or chocolate?
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
What is your biggest pet peeve?

So... on with the questions.

Have fun!

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

A + A // Curiosity Killed The Cat

- When you are in the middle of doing something and someone calls you away. When you eventually finish what it is you were asked to do, you go back to what you had been doing, and find that you have completely lost your train of thought and must start again.
- Dad talking to one of my lovely siblings: "I think you only close your mouth long enough to figure out which foot to put back in."
- When you are out and about, and a random stranger comes up to you and starts chatting nineteen to the dozen because they have mistaken you for their long lost friend.
- When someone else does something very awkward and it becomes awkward for you, too, very fast, because you don't know what to say.
- Doing a pun battle with Danella about pears. Both of us absolutely running out of puns so getting desperate. Me: "Ap-pear-antly". Danella (busily making up her own rules here): "Coherently". Me: "What? That's not a pun!" Danella: "It rhymes, so that counts."
- When you get told of something that one of your little siblings said when you weren't there... *facepalm*
- Trying to find out someone's phone number. Ringing various random people who you think might possibly know it and finding no one actually knows it! Eventually you ring the right person who knows the phone number. After about seven tries. It appears they don't have a normal landline.
- When your youngest sister's favourite toy is a red onion. Every time she discovers the pantry door open, she immediately goes straight for the red onions and spends ages sucking them. Go figure. :P
- Mucking out Abbie's horse paddock for her, when the horses go over to the wheelbarrow and start sniffing at the sacks and baling twine. Abbie yells out at them, "Curiosity killed the cat!"

- Exciting new opportunities.
- Chocolate cheesecake.
- Being involved in the planning of a camp. It's fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes and what has to happen before camp happens. I'm very much enjoying it.
- After you've finished spending hours bottling pears. Seeing all the preserving jars cooling on the bench afterwards. Such a satisfying thing to see.
- Birthday celebrations in the Smithies household. We have this tradition of taking turns going around the table after the birthday tea (and cake, of course!) and doing what we call "Birthday Blessings", where everyone (even the littlest children) prays a special prayer for the birthday person.
- Our new swing. It's so nice to sit in the shade in the evenings and swing or to sit there reading a book (although I've found if I read there too long I feel a bit motion sick - lol!). It is a great investment. I love swings. :)

- When you're practicing a piece with the orchestra and you just know it's going beautifully. After it's over the conductor absolutely beams at everyone.
- When Abbie's cast for her arm comes off and the doctor tells her that the best thing for her to do to get her arm up to strength again is to wash dishes. :) :P
- When you finish memorising the whole of Psalm 139 and it only took you five days to memorise it all. A very nice feeling indeed.
- When the blackboy peaches and golden queens start to ripen.

Are you into pun battles?
What traditions does your family have?
Do you memorise Scripture?
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Friday, 13 March 2015

Happy birthday, Lydia!

Today my absolutely beautiful sister Lydia Ruby is turning nine!

Nine! Wow! I remember so clearly when you were born. We got up in the morning to find that Mum and Dad had gone to the hospital in the night. They phoned us to say that we had a new little sister and her name was Lydia. We were so excited!

You are such a sweet, lovely and kind girl, Lydia. You'll always be my very favourite second youngest sister. :)

Happy birthday and may the Lord bless you greatly in your next year!
With lots of love from your second biggest sister xxx
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Some thoughts for today

Here are some bonus scenic holiday photos, all taken by me, complete with some quotes and Bible verses and such that I thought might be nice to post.

Photo taken at the Hokitika beach

Photo taken at Bluff hill, looking out to Stewart Island

Photo taken at the Hokitika beach

Photo taken at Riverton

Photo taken (with the special appearance of the talented hands of Danella and Sophie) at the Hokitika beach

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Holiday Photos! Finally!

I am extremely excited to share with you today the photos from our trip down South. For those of you who are familiar with NZ, we stayed in Dunedin, Invercargill, Riverton, Wanaka, Haast and Hokitika in that order. So a bit of a loop around the bottom of the South island, if you like. It was a lovely time away, as you can probably see from the photos!! Unfortunately, we have hundreds (literally!) of lovely photos and I couldn't possibly upload them all. So I've done a bit of a selection for you, and hopefully you can get a bit of an idea of what we got up to. :) Let the photos begin!

Left: Jacob on one of the Moeraki boulders // Right: Lydia and I on the window seat in the place we stayed at in Dunedin

Those of us who went to see Baldwin Street (the world's steepest street!) 

This photo was too cute not to put in. Seriously. I mean, isn't Jana adorable!

Left: Johnny holding a butterfly in the tropical forest at Otago Museuem // Right: Danella and Jana in the butterfly forest, see the butterfly on Jana's head!

We walked to this amazing place called Tunnel Beach. There is a tunnel going down to the beach, which is the only accessway. The cliffs all around are colossal.

Now, on to our Invercargill time. This is Dad and I at Bluff, the southernmost part of the South Island.

Danella, Ben and Sophie enjoying a spa bath in the house we stayed at in Invercargill

On to Riverton now. Riverton is a little beach village about half an hour from Invercargill township.
Left: Looking for paua shells at Monkey Island // Right: Johnny in a random creek
Left and right: Hijinks in Riverton

There was an old train outside the Riverton museum.

Another view of the train

Daddy teaching us how to flax bomb out by the Riverton rocks where we went one evening

On the way to Wanaka we spent the day in Queenstown. This photo was taken by Abbie (which is why she's not in it) at the top of the Queenstown gondola.

Sophie and Danella in front of Lake Wakatipu

On to Wanaka now. Johnny at Puzzling World. Puzling World is awesome!

View of the Franz Josef glacier looking across Peter's Pool

On to Hokitika now. This is Johnny playing in Lake Mahinapua.

On the beach one night watching the sun set into the Hokitika sea

Left and right: The sunsets there are phenomenal!

We took the opportunity while we were in Hokitika to take some family photos, like this one. Isn't it hilarious. :)

The Hokitika Gorge, which has absolutely stunning blue water and is FREEZING cold to swim in - trust me, we know!! :) That's me on the rock in the foreground there.

Lydia swimming at Lake Kaniere in the morning

Lake Kaniere again in the evening this time, we loved it so much we went back again with a picnic tea. Here's Mum and I standing on the wharf watching Johnny, Dad and Ben jump in at once.

Cooking our sausages for our picnic tea that night

Ben shows off a 'perfectly' cooked marshmellow

That's the main highlights from our trip, shown in photos. 

I'm really excited because I managed to figure out how to get photos side by side in the post! You'll have noticed that I experimented with it a bit in the post. It takes of bit of html coding and some trial and error to get your head around it but I did it in the end. :)

What have you been up to?

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