Exploring colors through interactive children's picture books!

Posts tagged ‘family’

Our Family’s Transition from Nepal to New Zealand

Transition is tough.  Our transition as a family of 5 moving from Nepal to New Zealand has been tough.  But it has also been refreshing.

Two months on the family farm out in the wop wops (some NZ lingo for the middle of nowhere!) was fantastic.  Reconnecting with Ben’s family– his mother celebrated her 81st birthday!, the kids rode ponies and motorbikes with their cousins–was full on family fun.  Three years is a long time to be away from family, but oh how we appreciate these days living ‘next door’!

We were emotionally struggling when we first came home.  The transition, the earthquake that devastated Nepal, re-adapting to NZ, etc.  We just need rest, a full stop.  And we received it in the beautiful rolling hills of the family sheep farm.

NZ Sheep Farm

Our Home on the Farm

We also went to a special week of debriefing.  It was incredible just to let the words bundled up in our hearts spill out.  It was safe, it was freeing, it was restoring. We were ready to move on from Nepal and establish ourselves in NZ.

About three weeks ago we moved to “town”.  Living with family was terrific, but we needed something to call our own, something to ground us here in NZ. A nest!  Finding the perfect house for the perfect price in the right neighborhood was  miracle–we feel loved!

The kids have started school.  It was harder for the homeschooling mom than them, I think! They are sick at home this week so I am catching up all the cuddles and quality time, while blowing noses and rubbing vicks on everyone.

And here we are, in New Zealand.

After three months, I finally feel settled.  Our nest is home.  We have a daily routine, we each have our roles and responsibilities and we are moving forward.  So the question is…

Is it time for the My Color Friends children’s book series to live again…?

I was shocked when my son’s preschool teacher asked me if I was still writing books.  I just stammered, “Maybe when we get settled…”

And then she added, “You should keep writing them, they are good.”

I blew off her comments then, ducked my head and ducked out of the class…but later it really did hit me.  Someone actually has read my books! Some one I didn’t know til just now.  Someone in NZ.  A professional in early childhood education and SHE values my early learning ebooks!  Wow.  Encouragement has filled my heart.

I just said I am settled, didn’t I?  So, maybe it’s time to start writing again.  I do have some ideas, I do have the time, I always have my family’s support.  Deep breath, I might be able to do it!  I am struggling with the idea of reinventing myself for a NZ audience or not…One step at a time.

Catch up with the blog, CHECK!

Update my author photo on a million sites, CHECK!

Update Graceful Grey for a Special New Zealand Edition and get it ready to print, CHECK!

It seems the My Color Friends book series is moving forward too!

Thanks for  journeying with me!


Rebuilding Nepal

I am so thankful for everyone who has given to our Sheltering Nepal rebuilding fund!  #HopeinHumanity

$1,000 has been raised which equals about 20 shelters built!  Each shelter can hold up to 5 families, that means at least 100 people have been helped through this giving!

I know many families are still suffering without shelter or food, but I am HOPEFUL that international neighbors and friends of Nepal are sharing their burden and doing more good than I will never know. Because we have seen such generosity, all the thousands of other people who are working hard to help Nepal, they must be making strides to.

Even though the rebuilding process will take time, the little moves we make forward together are life changing for those individuals involved.

I wish I had testimonies and stories to share, names and places of families being helped, but I don’t. And you know why? Because our friends are hard at work traveling and visiting those in need in villages.  They are tired, they are suffering through the heat of the monsoon and they honestly don’t have time to sit and communicate long stories to me…but I trust that lives are being changed! And when the time is right, I will hear those stories and pass it along!

Thanks for being a part of Nepal!  You can give or share our Sheltering Nepal fundraiser by checking it out on YouCaring.com. Click here to see the Sheltering Nepal fundraiser!

Please remember anytime you buy a My Color Friends paperback book, $5 will also go to this fundraiser for Nepali families!

Read more here: My Color Friends Book Titles


Inevitable Change


Change is coming, quite quickly in fact, and I want progress to follow.

On April 12, 2015 we will nation hop (as we do).  We will close the Nepal chapter and open another chapter in New Zealand.  We have been blessed to live in Nepal for almost 5 years.  It is the only home my children know.  But our work is done, for now.  This isn’t an easy change, but it is a welcome one.

Living in Nepal has been adventurous, challenging and inspirational.  It has been worth it, but change is inevitable and often necessary!

New Zealand’s green rolling hills are calling for us to come home and rest.  We need rest.  So we will return to my husband’s side of the family, our NZ heritage, for a year, or two and rest.  And grow.  And progress.

I do want to continue down this path of writing, exploring and creating.  I know NZ all be another place of life-giving  inspiration.  I am excited!

Living in NZ will also have it’s challenges, but together we will continue to walk forward.  Together we write more chapters in our life story.

Thanks for being a part of our story!


Graceful Grey, Asian Elephants at Work and Play NEW on Amazon!

Graceful Grey in Chitwan, Nepal

Graceful Grey in Chitwan, Nepal

Take a ride on my friend Graceful Grey through the jungles of Nepal and discover the uniqueness of Asian elephants compared to Africa elephants.

You can also cheer for your favorite elephant during the elephant races and soccer tournaments at the Chitwan Elephant Festival. And you’ll also meet curious baby elephants at the Elephant Breeding Center in Nepal.

With real life photos taken by the author in Chitwan, Nepal, this book is fun and educational for the whole family! Graceful Grey is part of the My Color Friends book series dedicated to exploring the colors of the world.

Read Graceful Grey Now on your kindle!

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Other colors in the My Color Friends books series include: White Went Around the World, Blue Went to Sea, Orange You Glad, My Friend, Mr. Brown, Pink’s Garden and I Spy…Purple. Join the adventure of reading through the nations today!  Click here to see the My Color Friend Book Series on Amazon.com

Also read White Went Around the World for FREE on Smashwords.com!


Time for a game of I Spy!

Time for a game of I Spy!

It’s everyone’s favorite car game–I Spy! Come play I Spy through great Grandma’s garden, it is now in an ebook for you!

I Spy Purple

I Spy…Purple is a fun and interactive ebook game for your family! Now available at Amazon.com for only $1.99.

Insider Tips: Pokhara, Nepal

Last week we toured around Pokhara with my brother from the states.  With a few lucky finds, I finally felt we actually gave him the best of Pokhara.  2 years of scouting out restaurants, guest houses and entertainment have finally paid off!

Our family friendly tips for your visit to Pokhara, Nepal:

Tip #1: Accommodation

Look no further than The Butterfly Lodge, located near Helen chow, Lakeside.  We have stayed in too many dives down there looking for a deal…we were guided by a friend and found this luxury stay for a sweet deal–$10-15 per room!  Why we loved it:

1. Spacious–our room had a queen bed and a single bed, big enough for our family of 5 and there was a nook for the kids to play in.  The room also had a western style closet and a couch; outside we had a table and chairs for our family as well. Tip: The bottom floor rooms are the best deal.

2. The garden equipped with tables, chairs, lounge chairs, 2 metal swings and lots of room to run, we didn’t have to leave the hotel grounds to entertain our kids!

Butterfly Lodge Bathroom

3. Bathroom–Hot water on tap! Don’t expect hot water anywhere you go in Nepal, even if it is promised.  Most guesthouses that brag about hot water usually have a solar panel on their roof–which is great but it is first come first serve when it comes to hot water.

And this is the first place we have ever found that had a shower curtain between the open space for showering and the toilet.  Keeping the bathroom dry is another thing we in the west take completely for granted. It is my husband’s worst pet peeve about Asia–but The Butterfly Lodge’s shower curtain sold my husband at first glance!

4. Inexpensive and for a Good Cause. $10 for a luxury room can’t be found anywhere else.  And The Butterfly Lodge uses it’s proceeds to run a day care center in Lakeside called the Butterfly Foundation.  Beautiful kids and a lovely way to give back to the community. Tip: Take your kids to play on their super fun playground!  It’s only a small walk up the same street. Our kids visited the day care center every day to play!

Tip #2: Where to Eat in Lakeside:

1. Mike’s is the renowned breakfast favorite! Waffles! Breakfast burritos!  Do I need to say more?  Located by the Fish Hatchery on the waterfront, you can sit by the lake and enjoy your meal day or night.  Tip: Mike’s in open EARLY! This is real bonus considering most places in Nepal don’t open til 10 am, even in the tourist area of Lakeside.  They also have amazing wait staff that speak English.

2. MoonDance, across from the Palace, is our absolute family favorite.  2 items of the menu make our mouths water: the real chicken strips and the Greek salad!  Although you may pennies more per meal, it is worth the quality and care in preparation and flavor!  Tip: Lounge upstairs on their couches for more room for the kiddos!

3. We choose Everest Steak House for inexpensive for huge portions of meat!

4. Boomerang in the center of the strip, has a family friendly playground.  We loiter there often sipping on a coke and treating ourselves to ice cream while the kids play!

Tip #3: Family Fun

World Pagoda in Pokhara Nepal

1. World Peace Pagoda It has an amazing view of the mountains! Tip: Drive or walk up past the peace pagoda until you see a small wall and “parking”, from there you can easily walk over to the Peace Pagoda on the far side, sparing yourself from a thousand steps carrying your toddlers.

2. Devi Falls is great from above during the wet season, and great from below during the dry season.  You can walk down steps to the internal cave of the waterfall.  Tip: Skip the downstairs with the kids, it’s hot, humid and a looong walk, but enjoy the garden above!

3. Boating! Our family favorite is to hire a pontoon on Fewa Lake and happily cruise around in the peace and quiet. The big pontoons come with  sun shades and are big enough for the kids to safely move and not get bored.  You can also hire some one to pedal the boat for you.  Tip: If the crowd is being to bug you, the middle of the lake is the best place to be away from it all!

4. Our new family favorite BowlBowling at Bhat Bhateni!  We just discovered the kid friendly bowling place and arcade at the bottom floor of Bhat Bhateni, located on New Road in Mahindra Pol.  A taxi can easily take you to BB for about 300R. Filled with arcade fun, tokens cost 10R each, the kids will be able to play for hours (at least ours did!). Tip: BB is a western style grocery store, so do your shopping there too!

5. Cha Cha Wee a local fun place located behind the airport is also a great place to your kids! There is a large playground suited for ages 1-5 that only costs 30R! There is a wading pool for about 200R per person and a few carnival rides for bigger kids. There is also a restaurant. Tip: Go on a school day (Sun-Thurs) to avoid large groups of kids.

6. Last by not least is the educational and funky Mountain Museum. It is also a fun half day adventure for the whole family located behind the airport.  In Nepal, kids are welcome everywhere, they can even may noise! So don’t be put off because it is a museum, it is a welcome place for the young and old alike.  Entrance is 300R, kids are free. Tip: The restaurant on site is economical and has great snacks.  Eat, avoid sugar crashes and keep the kids happy : ).

We hope you find these tips and highlights helpful as you live, love and learn in Nepal!


Psalm 23 in New Zealand and…FREE EBook

Psalm 23 in New Zealand and…FREE EBook

Our family farm in New Zealand takes center stage in this FREE ebook.  Our real life photos are set to Psalm 23, a gentle and quiet reflection from the Shepherd in the Psalms.

please click on the link above for your free Kindle copy of Psalm 23 in New Zealand and the Nations by S. L. Poulton. Available for free until Feb 22, 2014.

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