Archive for the 'News' Category

Week 3 – Exercise

So exercise.  Yeah.  It is tricky being regular with this. So we changed our thinking a little and it has helped.  Used to be concerned about how far we ran (we have a treadmill).  But have decided to concentrate on time instead and calories burnt.  I have discovered that when I walk (at 7km/h) uphill I burn nearly twice as many calories as when i run on a flat surface at 11km/h.  Pretty cool, but obviously I don’t go as far!  Exercise is addictive, totally addictive!

So cutting down on sugar is tough.  But we definitely did a pretty good job.  Daniel did much better than me.  After a couple of days of no sugar, i had a bite of brownie and the sugar hit me really fast and I felt a little sick actually.  That was just from one bite!  And then last night I ate a couple of meringues.  They were good!  And full of sugar.  But all in all, we have found ourselves not being too excited about eating sweet stuff and I can’t buy stuff with artificial preservatives and flavour in them anymore.  Funny how you can train your mind.  It seems that is the key to healthy eating.

The truth about sugar

Here is an interesting article about sugar.

A couple of things I learnt:

  • Brown sugar is basically no better for you than white sugar (it is white sugar with added molasses…)
  • Kids don’t go crazy when they eat sugar – that is a myth.
  • Lactose is the only sugar that does not cause tooth decay!

10 weeks to a healthier us

We are pretty healthy in general.  Don’t eat too much rubbish and exercise regularly.  But compared to our time in Switzerland, we definitely are eating a little worse – and i blame that that on the vast amount of readily available (even 24 hours) fast food.  Again, we probably eat out once a week but even then, that isn’t great. And exercise isn’t a natural part of our day.  Like, no biking to the grocery store, church, work, everywhere really!  It’s just too flippin hard in this county (and biking is too dangerous with kids in tow, seriously!).  So we are using a treadmill – thanks Corina!

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, brought about by Daniel doing a lot of thinking too.  But we eat a lot of food that is really processed and refined and not in its natural state.  So we have decided to change one thing a week, for 10 weeks and see where we end up!

This week we have started eating nothing with any preservatives or additives, colours or flavour enhancers that are not natural.  That is pretty easy but thought it best to start on an easy task.  Most of my curries and sauces, I make from scratch using fresh herbs and spices.  Things like Coke Zero, which I love, is a bit harder to let go.  Pretty much nothing flavoured anymore, only plain rice crackers (some even have added MSG in the plain variety, I don’t understand why!).  Instead some homemade dip or hummus to add a bit of flavour!

Let you know how we go and our goal for next week soon


I was thinking of starting up with writing this blog again ?!  What do you think?  I would like to do this more for me and my family than anyone else –  it is a cool place to keep record of bits and pieces happening in our lives so that we can look back later on and give thanks or go “man i will never do that again!”.   So here we go…

What are you doing while you’re waiting?

I have tried a number of times to write a post but I just end up complaining about South Auckland and making myself homesick for Switzerland. So I have decided only to post stuff that doesn’t involve complaining.

Daniel and I just watched the movie “Fireproof”. It is really cool, awesome even. It is meant to strengthen marriages, relationships.  I think it does that! Ya’ll out there should watch it.  I reckon I would like a copy of the 40-day love dare book and try it out, except I have kinda ruined it by posting that I might try it out.

This song from the movie has inspired me:

While I’m Waiting by John Waller:
I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

Flying with Simon

Wow, we had an awesome morning yesterday. I know, after my last disaster experience with flying you would think I dont want to go near a plane anymore… but I LOVE flying. Can’t ever stop me travelling….  Anyway, Uncle Simon the pilot (sorry Simon but that is what Toby calls you!) took us up in a wee 4-seater Cesna 172 and we did a birds-eye-view tour of Auckland. Auckland is beautiful really. And I can’t believe how many people have pools!

Both Toby and Noah came along. Noah sat on Aunty Missie’s lap and loved singing and hearing himself talk into the headset.

I have to say that ‘driving’ a plane is a lot harder than I thought. Simon trusted me to steer for a bit and I kept climbing higher and higher. I guess that is better than going lower and lower! I am now in awe of all pilots. You are very clever, Simon.

Daniel, what’s up with the chocolate index

Hey Daniel, don’t tell me you havent eaten any Swiss chocolate since I left? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think the index has increased at all. Better get a move on… less than three weeks to impress me! Haha.

I miss you.

A weekend away with the girls

This is a long overdue post.  Well there are about 10 posts that I havent posted that I should have posted.  Doh. 

Not long before I left my beautiful Switzerland behind to return to New Zealand, my ‘Mami Treff’ friends organised a weekend away at Zentrum Ländli on Aegerisee.  This is a wellness resort run by Protestant nuns (who knew Protestant nuns existed? not me!).  It was so cool with great service, a beautiful setting, rooms with cool loft bedrooms and freaky staircases, loads of fresh snow around – the last I will see for a long time 🙁

5 of us (we missed you Simone!) travelled by train, the long way! – can you believe that we were so busy talking that we hopped on the wrong train then missed our stop?  Ok, I know, that is very believable when there are five women involved.  We all left our children in the capable hands of our wonderful husbands and ran away for some much deserved self indulgence.  We didnt just indulge in beautiful meals and relaxing in the wellness centre, but we also spent lots of time talking, singing, playing games, praying and encouraging each other (and a crazy hike through deep snow!).  It was amazing. 

Thank you girls for a beautifully wonderful and refreshing weekend.  Love you all heaps and missing you.  You are always in my thoughts!

Just got back from the airport…

Michelle and the boys have just flown out, and I’m here for another six weeks to finish work, hand over the apartment and tie up any loose ends.

I’m sure Michelle will blog about her trip, and I’ve got a couple of posts lined up (Geneva Auto Salon, and more) so there will still be plenty more to read about here.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying our sunny balcony – something we’ve not really been able to do until recently.

Heading home

One thing that makes travel abroad tricky is having young kids.  And, after fulfilling our dream of spending some decent time in Switzerland, we have decided to return back to NZ.  The problem is, we don’t want to!  But we are – for many reasons (mostly for the kids – schooling, family, church, language etc).  Everything in Switzerland is perfect and great.  We absolutely love it here.  Funny actually, cos I am Swiss and Daniel is not and I was worried that he would get home sick and struggle with the language.  But he is the one even more keen than me to stay longer.

The plan is that I will return home end of March with the boys and Daniel will finish work and sort out the remaining paperwork(!) and head home a month later, just before our one-year return plane tickets expire.  I kind of wish we weren’t bound by these tickets, then we would stay for another summer.  Ah well.  This is life and I am getting very excited now to see all our friends and family again…  Even if it means sitting through another winter (a wet and windy one instead of a dry, snowy one).  There is nothing a mid-winter escape to Rarotonga or Fiji can’t cure though!

The past couple of weeks have been crazy, getting the house sorted, sending a number of registered mail letters informing Spielgruppe, health insurance, cablecom etc. of our leaving.  And then getting sick has made it the most stressful time.  I think Switzerland has been the most relaxing time of my life… until now.

Daniel and I have been doing a lot of reflecting and trying to decide what things we want to bring back, things we want to do differently in NZ, what is really important in life, other goals and dreams we want to fulfill.

Here are just a few things we have learnt – not all are life changing but are important to us nonetheless!:

  • Our need for family, church, God is as great here as anywhere.  Without the wonderful Vineyard Aarau, making friends would have been tricky.  And spending time with the boys has been so good for me as a mother – not working or too busy for once!
  • There is more to hot drinks than black tea or coffee.  There are a million herbal tea varieties (and it is ok for guys to drink them and not risk losing their manliness).  Gluhwein, Apfel punsch are easy to make at home and so tasty!
  • If you eat less at dinner time, somehow you feel better and don’t put on weight – even if you do have to eat 12 kilos of chocolate to keep up with the rest of the Swiss.  And, it is ok to be vegetarian, even for guys!  (there seems to be a theme here…)  Eat out more at good restaurants (no, that does not include McDonalds, Wendy, Burger King, KFC…)
  • Drive less, bike & walk more.  This will be tricky in the land of the sucky public transport and dangerous drivers though.  We do have our heart set on getting a 1950/1960 VW beetle though, so a little bit of driving is definitely on the cards.
  • Speaking of cards – play more games, board games (have you heard of the game ‘DOG’ – it rocks!).  Is it just me or do the Swiss spend less time in front of TV’s and computer games?
  • Plan better – the Swiss are great at being organised.  I haven’t met a Swiss without a weekly planner…
  • Decorate our home more with candles and seasonal stuff – all the beautiful easter decorations out at the moment blow me away.  So pretty and tasteful.  I love how the Swiss are so house proud.

Things that we will really miss:

  • Earning good money – yip that has to be top of the list.  Swiss employers really look after their guys, in every way (well, Daniel definitely has had a perfectly wonderful employer).  And income tax is low.
  • Trains – I don’t know how to tell the boys that Auckland has one train line and no fast trains.
  • The friends and relatives.  It has been so good to meet new and old friends and get to know the grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.
  • The weather – the hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.

No doubt we will be back – one day.