Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Trip to America!

The rumors are true... we are going to California for Christmas!  We leave Christchurch December 9 and fly out of San Fran on January 4, so we have almost a whole month.  I'm especially looking forward to a chance for James, Will and I to spend quality time with my family, as a new family ourselves.  It will be so great for my family to have some time to get to know James better-- we've only been able to spend a total of 3 weeks with my family in our 3 years of marriage so far, and that means they really just haven't had a chance to spend any time with him, or get used to who I am as a married woman.  :)  It will also be so great to have a context for my parents and brother and sister and I to get reacquainted with each other after the huge life transitions all three of us siblings have gone through: for me, marriage and mommyhood; for KT, finishing college, living on her own and becoming a pastor; for Clayton, halfway through his junior year of highschool and having his first girlfriend... yeah, we've all changed significantly in the past three years.  AND I'm really excited for everybody, including Grandma & Grandpa Christenson, to be able to spend lots of time getting to know Will, who gets sweeter and more adorable every day!  

Another huge relief: We just found out today that we have housing here in New Zealand from January through March and probably April too!  It's the same house we stayed in to wait for Will's birth last year-- a big beautiful house in Christchurch, walking distance from a mall, with really cheap rent.  Perfect.  God is so good and so faithful, and we are so thankful!

musical kid

As a musical person myself, I always secretly hoped at least one or two of my kids would be musical, but I'm also wary of putting my loves onto my kids and encouraging them in directions that don't fit them.  So it's exciting to me that Will actually really likes music!  Every time we turn music on at home, especially classical, he gets a big smile on his face and starts rocking back and forth-- usually almost in rhythm!  I take him along once a week to a music class run by a friend of mine, and he loves to play the instruments and listen to everyone singing along.  Hopefully pretty soon he'll start doing the motions too... 

And then today, we were at our Aunty & Uncle's house and I was playing the piano-- actually, the first time Will has really ever seen me play.  He got so excited and crawled over right away, holding up his arms for me to lift him up on my lap.  As soon as I picked him up, he started playing the keys and grinning away and rocking back and forth-- not banging, but really trying them out to see what sounds they make!  He stayed there for a full 20 minutes while we played Christmas carols (I know, season's starting early) and enjoyed every minute of it!  It was so cute... and I am so pleased that he seems genuinely interested in music, and he's not even a whole year old yet.  Yay!  

Sunday, November 16, 2008

picnic on the Waimakariri

soon there will be a video...watch this space... in the meantime, a couple photos of our picnic on the Waimakariri River.  (That's why-ma-ka... oh, forget it!)  It's summertime!







getting better

Will's pretty much over his ear infection, just a lingering cough left... Antibiotics work wonders.  His little thrush infection has cleared up too, so we're in good shape!  

Big news for this week: We're going to America for Christmas!  Hooray!!!  Can't believe we're going on another trip, but it's really our life, isn't it... can't get around it when you live on 3 continents.  Believe me, it's not as exotic as it sounds-- and I have a feeling, the more kids we have, the less exotic it will feel!  But we are so thankful for the richness of our life and we wouldn't trade any of it.  Thank you, Lord!

watermelon!



not so sure about this juicy cold stuff... but it sure tastes good!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

as they say down here, "poor wee man..."

Well, the "mysterious fever and miserable nights" mystery was solved yesterday: Will has his first ear infection.  :(  He also has a thrush infection "down below", which wasn't helping matters-- bad mommy for letting things get to such a pass!  So we went to the doctor yesterday and came home armed with antibiotics and antifungal cream, and today Will was in much better spirits-- although not back to his usual happy self yet.  

In other news, Will has discovered Watermelon!   I took some great summertime photos of Will in his highchair today, in nothing but a diaper and his bib, happily smacking away on watermelon chunks and smearing juice all over his highchair and anything else he could reach... I haven't put them on the computer yet, but stay tuned.  :)  


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

videos

ok, i've made the videos public domain, so you should be able to see them now.  originally i wanted to keep them private on youtube, but i can't figure out how to keep them private and still let people see them on our blog without making you all become members of youtube too!  (anyone know how to do that?)

Will managed to get from hands & knees to sitting up today on his own!  something new every day...

Monday, November 3, 2008

my current personal favorite

had enough yet? here's a few more for the avid fans...


in this one I think he looks a lot like his namesake, Grandpa William Broughton (now with Jesus)

temporarily zoned out

clever boy!

I don't know whether we have an exceptionally clever son, or whether I'm just biased... probably the latter...  but he's learned two new tricks today: maneuvering from sitting to tummy, and pointing at a ball in his book-- first time to identify an object on a page by name!  AND he actually likes brushing his teeth-- licks his lips when he sees me pick up his toothbrush, obligingly opens his mouth and holds it open while I brush top & bottom (all 6 of them).  What a cooperative boy!  

In other news, he's not doing so well on the napping front: down to 45 minutes in the morning, and just 30-45 minute catnaps in the afternoon... no nap for mommy at this rate-- I just doze off, and then he's up again.  ::sigh::  Another phase, I suppose-- the problem is that he's actually still tired when he wakes up after 45 min, he really needs to go longer.  Anyway...

Here's a video (yay!) of our little explorer:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

woohoo!

Yay for me!!  I figured out how to link a youtube video to our blog ALL BY MYSELF!  I am very proud of myself.  ::pat pat::  So, now, you can see videos of our sweet little boy!  Hooray!

By the way, please ignore all the other stupid youtube videos that show up at the end of ours... I haven't figured out how to make our youtube videos private while still allowing us to post them on our blog.  I also have to use the youtube video player on our blog so you can see our videos... comes with a price, I guess.  Just ignore the others!

wrestling with Daddy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

hello, followers!

the Tylenol bottle-- a favorite toy :)

"Sink bath" in Bangkok :)

(playing with "new" toys at Grandma Mary's house, after being gone for a month)

Thanks to those of you who wrote to tell me you were following our blog... definitely motivates me to keep writing!  Here are a couple more recent photos of Will to share-- he turned 11 months old today!  (Where does the time go?)  Recent tricks include: waving goodbye (when he feels like it), scooting the 10 metres or so from the living room to the kitchen, enjoying banging on his new highchair (we broke down and bought one, finally), 

I'm still working on figuring out how to upload videos to youtube and make a link here so you can see them.  Slowly but surely I'm getting blog-savvy... Why does this process make me feel so old?  Also, I'm frustrated that when I insert pictures they always appear at the beginning of the post, no matter where I put my cursor... not sure why that is.  And the fact that when I copy and paste text from word documents, it shows up below the posting window but won't appear in the window itself... grrr.  (Also, I can't use my computer keys to make things bold or italic, I actually have to move my mouse to the blog toolbar and change it manually every time... this blog thing isn't all it's cracked up to be, in my opinion.  Has anyone find a more helpful bloghost?)

I'm still working on a trip summary-- should appear later tonight, hopefully.  Just had to get on and say something-- feel like I need to keep myself oiled or I'll run out of blog-steam! 

Anyway, enjoy the photos of our sweet boy... he gets sweeter every day.  :)  


Thursday, October 23, 2008

in the spirit of...

in the spirit of keeping up family communication, let me recommend my sister's literary blog (to all 2 of you who follow this site): http://potentiallynonfiction.wordpress.com  
kt is amazing.
in other news, no trip summary to post yet-- sorry-- but if you want to be on our email list and aren't, email me at jamcar@cotse.net and i'll add you.  we just sent out an update a few days ago.  more soon...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Safely "home"!

We have arrived safely back in New Zealand, our current "home", completing our marathon trip to Central Asia.  I'll post a summary of the trip in a day or so, but suffice to say that everything went really smoothly-- thank you for praying!  Below are a few pictures of the trip... As you can see, Will is a veteran traveler already!  Six countries in his first year of life... He has done so well.  We are so proud of him!  He's such a special little guy-- he made friends with people in every country we visited!  More on our adventures later, when I've had some sleep... enjoy the photos!
visiting local friends in our old home

Will with a new U friend in Central Asia


Family photo by a lake in Central Asia

Suitcase riding- the new pasttime!



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God's generosity

I am sitting in our air-conditioned hotel room in Bangkok (it's blistering hot outside, so we're thankful for AC), while our precious baby naps next to me in his little cot... he is such a good boy!  Such a trooper while traveling, and an absolute hit with all the Thai people.  He stops traffic!  They all love to stop and smile at him and call him "da'ee" (cute), and ask "boy? lady?" and "how many mun?"  The receptionists downstairs have learned his name-- "Wil-lee-yum"-- and love to shake his hand or tug his little, chubby foot when we push him by in his stroller.  It'd adorable!  Even cuter is his response: he squinches up his face in his cheesy "Aren't I cute?  So...whaddaya gonna give me?" smile, and milks it for all it's worth.  I hate to think what life will be like in another few months when he figures out the concept of manipulation! 

We arrived safely in Bangkok on Saturday night, having already seen God's generosity at work.  We asked the Thai Airways desk in Auckland whether we could have aisle and window seats (leaving a seat in between), but she said it was a really full flight and there weren't any window seats left.  So, I resigned myself to 11 hrs 40 min in a middle seat with a 24lb 10-month-old on my lap, James on one side and a stranger on the other.  ::sigh::  But then, when we got to our gate and were waiting to board, the desk attendant came over to us with 3 new boarding passes in her hand and said, "Broughton?  I have a seat change for you-- 45 A and C."  My hopes began to rise, but we weren't sure what that mean until we got on the plane and found ourselves sitting in...aisle and window seats, with a seat in between!  We held our breath while everyone else boarded the plane-- and no one else sat down!!  What a gift.  So, Will got two good catnaps and a 4-5 hr sleep on his own seat, and James and I got to sit next to each other in our own private movie theater!  (Jealous yet?  Well, long overnight flights do have a few perks-- not many, but a few.)  

When we arrived in the Bangkok airport, at 2:30am our time, here's our son in perfectly happy spirits, smiling away and making friends with the 5 Thai cleaning ladies next to our baggage carousel.  He let them take turns holding him, pinch his chubby legs, exclaim over how cute he was, and take pictures of his squinchy smile on their cell phones.  (Yes, apparently even Thai cleaning ladies have cell phones.  I think every Thai has a cell phone, actually.  It's the 21st century, after all.)  What a little "mish kid"!  "Who cares what time it is or how much sleep I've had-- there's people around!  Let's party!"  This little guy is amazing.  He definitely was made to be in our family.

All in all, a very successful beginning to this big trip.  Thank you Lord!  And thank you to everyone who prayed for that extra seat... God said yes!  

Friday, September 19, 2008

peace, mommy-world & Will's latest tricks

I have surprising peace about this trip.  People must be praying (thank you, people!).  I feel it's coming at the right time, God has organized the easiest possible route, I have people to help me sort our stuff in Asia, Will is still at a fairly easy age to travel (i.e., not very mobile yet, still breastfeeding)... lots of positives.  I'm pretty well sorted with my packing, and was surprised how much room was left in mine/Will's shared suitcase after I took out his bed! (Thanks for the tip, Mom!)  It's only a small 2kg travel bed, but it does take up a third of the room and I was worried for a while I'd have to wear every single piece of clothing I wanted to bring!  I'm not feeling nearly as stressed out as I normally would be the day before a 3-week+ trip, which is amazing... and can only be attributed to God.  :)

I had a thought today as I was pushing Will down to the shops in his buggy... I was reading a college friend's blog last night.  She's a mom of 3 kids under 4, immersed in bedtime routines, sippy cups, preschool, every-day catastrophes, and generally the mundane-ness of life with small kids.  While reading her description of the preciousness of hearing two cute "I wuve you, Mommy"s at bedtime (instead of the normal "I have to go pee-pee" or "I need a dwink"), I had this thought: I still remember what it was like to be a small kid myself, and here I am parenting one?  I am part of the "young-mom" club.  How did this happen? (Ok, no snide comments, peanut gallery...)  I feel like I've plunged into a completely new perspective of being a mom and having a small child, but I can clearly remember what it felt like to be a child myself!  I hardly feel old enough to have one of my own!  I had one of those weird perspective moments where you look at yourself as if through someone else's eyes: from the outside it all appears perfectly normal, and with a shock you realize you're inside your own skin and it's your life you're seeing!

In other news... Will's latest tricks are: pointing, rolling over onto his tummy in bed and getting stuck under his covers, almost-waving (but never on-command), trying out his squinchy "please/thank-you" smile to get what he wants, yelling/arching his back/scratching out at Mom or Dad when displeased (not so thrilled with that one), waking himself up in the middle of the night the past three nights for no apparent reason other than that he decided he was missing the action and wanted to be awake.  Great.  New phase?  Hope not.  Wonderful timing, huh?-- right before we fly around the world.  Here comes our 12-hour flight to Bangkok tomorrow... anybody know of any herbal sleep remedies-that-are-not-drugs-but-have-the-same-effect?

(Sorry no photos-- hope to buy a new camera soon...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

collecting my thoughts

I feel really out of practice.  Apart from the fact that I don't think anyone is actually reading this blog (aside from perhaps my Mom), I'm discouraged by the fact I haven't actually composed anything for anyone else to read in a long time.  College days are dimly in the past, and my journalling is mostly for survival with a chance creative phrase thrown in... I definitely don't feel educated or literate or articulate anymore.  Well, no time like the present to start practicing again-- and practice makes, as they say... 

Another problem is the fact that my perfectionism wants this blog to look perfect before I start really using it, but I can't seem to find the time to figure out how to make it look the way I want-- and who cares, anyway?  I don't want this to turn into a pity party for a witless person who hasn't spent the time to get to know cyber space-- and yet I do feel a bit forlorn at the thought of all the catching up I have to do-- at the tender age of 26!  Why do I already feel the technological age has left me far behind?  I have only vague ideas of how to use youtube or myspace or that other thing-- facebook-- and I'm not actually making the time to learn more.  What am I doing with my time?  Not emailing as many people as I'd like, that's for sure... not making phone calls to people I've neglected... not even spending as much time with my sweet little boy as I'd like... where does my time go?  Into reading Elizabeth Goudge novels?  Isn't that a terrible waste?  Am I really that desperate to escape from my own reality?  

This is supposed to be a family blog.  What am I doing?  Ranting just to rant, to feel I've done something with my evening, I've contributed something to the cyber world of updates... and this isn't even really an update.  ::sigh::  

Ok, so the Family Update is: The Broughtons are taking a trip.  A seemingly crazy but supposedly necessary trip.  And hopefully enjoyable as well.  We are leaving (if all goes well with visa applications) next Saturday, flying halfway around the world with our 9 month old, and then I'm going to tackle 40 boxes of Stuff by myself-- get rid of half of it (hopefully), send some of it "home" to New Zealand, and send the rest across the border to our new home.  (Home.  Gee, what a relative word.  That's a whole post by itself. )  

Am I nervous about the trip?  Yes, if I think too much.  Am I scared?  Yes, well, sort of-- actually, not anymore.  Do I think I can do this?  Yes, if God helps me every step of the way.  No, if I haven't slept well the night before or if it's very late at night.  Am I just being modest and deep down I know I'm a capable person who will love to rise to the challenge?  Well, yes, actually.  So why don't I just be honest about that?  Well, because it doesn't feel right for a woman to feel ok about taking a trip halfway around the world with her 9 month old in tow to sort a bunch of boxes and say goodbye all by herself... but why doesn't it feel right?  It most certainly is ok, if the woman is relying on Jesus and not herself.  The proverbial bottom line.

Hmmm.  Not a lot of thought collecting here... a lot of external processing, though.  If anyone is actually reading this still, I think there will be more to come, and hopefully practice will make-- if not perfect, at least improved.

Friday, August 29, 2008

9 months old today!

Can't believe how fast the last 9 months have flown by... a lot more fun than the 9 months he was inside me, that's for sure! New things happening all the time... I've learned so much about myself from becoming a Mom-- not nearly so unselfish as I thought I'd be, and more unselfish at the same time. James has been a wonderful Daddy-- he was a natural right from the word go.

Now contemplating a trip through Asia with Will in tow... my new Mommy skills put to the ultimate test!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will's latest cute thing

Today I said, "Give Mommy cuddles, Will!" and he leaned his head right over against mine, held it there for a couple seconds, and made this cute cooing sound.  He did it 3 times in a row, too! What a sweet guy!  He's 9 months old tomorrow... I can't believe it.  As much time on the outside as he spent inside!

Still working on getting a new camera... sorry for the delay in new pictures.  Hopefully we'll get one soon!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

cleaning up my act

An image of the bed we left behind... I miss our apartment so much!  Especially now, when tomorrow friends are packing things up for us because our landlord sold our apartment out from underneath us.  That's Asia for you... things happen unexpectedly and you have next to no control over your life at any given moment.  Most days I handle it pretty well-- then there are times (like right now) when it leaves me close to tears.

I've been inspired by reading several blogs tonight of friends I thought I'd lost touch with... I've been totally absorbed in pictures of their husbands, families, children and lives... So much has happened in a few short years!  It's made me realize the value of a space like this, and I want to do a lot more on this blog.  Pictures say more than words ever can... I'm on my way to a new camera so we can do even more than we've been doing.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 21, 2008








Well, the video upload still isn't working, which is such a bummer... but here are some photos of our family at a speaking thing we did last week, just sharing our story and stuff.  My camera is broken, but a kind lady who was there emailed us some pictures.  :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

visit from cousin Tom


Our cousin Tom Broughton visited a couple days ago, and got along really well with Will.  Will got quite a kick out of his beard.  :) 

Friday, July 11, 2008

video problems & Will's first tooth

There's a couple videos I'm waiting to put on here, but Blogger is having trouble uploading any videos at the moment.  Hopefully it will be fixed soon!

In other news...
Will cut his first tooth!  I noticed it today, but it could have come through yesterday-- he only napped 20 minutes at a time all afternoon, and he was pretty fussy... and then he slept from 7pm to 7:45 this morning!  He must have been zonked.  What a trooper.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Christchurch in July


The view from our front door today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

the little emperor


Got my tigger outfit, got my hat... I'm ready. 

visiting cousins in Wellington


It's ok, Will-- they're really nice!



We had a great time with cousins Grace & Lydia and Aunt Helene & Uncle Pete up in Wellington last weekend!


a glimpse of the future

Saturday, May 31, 2008

laughter is the best medicine

video

eating breakfast

video
Here's Will eating breakfast!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Will in Jolly Jumper

video
Look at those twinkle toes!