Thursday, July 31, 2008

something's got to give

I've been off the computer this week. Haven't even been checking emails... well not thoroughly anyway. I suppose people out there are still blogging, but I haven't been reading.

Day to day life is really full at the moment. I've barely had a minute to myself.

Just reflecting... This year I started back at work, doing 1-2 days per week. And I didn't loose any of my other commitments. So I'm just doing everything badly. People have been calling my friends to see if I'm okay since I haven't been returning their calls. At 9.28 this morning I was still working out our playgroup program (people arrive at 9.30). I had hoped to write a new song for this unit, but never got to it. I also want to write an adult song. (It's been a while.) I have a germ of an idea but need about four clear, consecutive, daytime hours to see if it has legs.

Oh well. Maybe this is just life.

But I'm getting pretty good at managing 23 five year olds.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a prayer

hold me, father
for I cannot hold you

my weak hands
and weaker will
let go

I slip!

hold me father
or I fall

from christ

sar 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Off to Bundaberg

We're off to Bundaberg tomorrow afternoon for a wedding on Saturday. A mere 380km drive. With 3 kids. One of whom is sick.

The drive back home after the wedding on Saturday night should be even better.

Looking forward to the wedding, though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mr. Independent

My third son. Age 4.5.

M: Look Mummy. I've nearly finished my [lego] man!

Me: So you have!

M: Just need one more piece.

Me: Is it something to go on his head?

M: Some hair.

Me: [brief pause...]

M: You can go now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Over the last couple of days I've spent quite a few hours working on a poem. It was about inner tangles and had some nice lines. I was fairly much into it (read: completely involved in it). But after a convicting talk from our bible study leader this morning about striving for godliness, I've been challenged to put it aside. No. Not put it aside. Throw it away and stop thinking about it.

Can I? Should I?

Last week I posted this poem on weddings. It was fun to write and may amuse someone out there. But I probably shouldn't have written it. It's too cynical.

It's so much harder to write things that are fresh and amusing AND edifying. I don't feel like I'm good enough to do it well.

On dreams and godliness

I'm thinking about dreams. And the relationship between what I think about during the day and what I dream about at night.

Joseph had dreams. Today I told my RE kids the story of Joseph's dreams about his own greatness - you know the dreams - how his brothers sheaves', and the sun, the moon and the stars all bowed down to him... I know that these dreams were God-given and prophetic, but do you think there could also have been a natural element about them? Was it that Joseph was spending a good chunk of each day stroking his own ego, thinking about how he was daddy's favourite and gloating over his brothers?

Is it that our brains are at work while we're asleep filing our thoughts? And are dreams a glimpse into those files? Maybe Joseph needed to repent of his dreams. (And maybe I need to repent of mine.)

Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The troubles of a nearly 7 year old

It's that time of year. The school ball is looming...

Joel: Mummy, dancing with girls is really annoying.

Me: Why, sweetie?

Joel: When you're dancing with them you feel like you love them, and you don't!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On The Contracting Out Of Parenting #1: Swing School

Sick of endless hours pushing your kids on the swing? Exhausted from the constant cries of 'higher, higher'? Tired of people telling you that swing pushing is a stage you have to go through?

Studies have shown that excessive pushing of swings is not only tedious but can also be harmful. Many parents have suffered the discomfort of sore arms and have felt worn out both physically and emotionally after a swing encounter in the playground.

There is an alternative. Swing School teaches children the skills and attitudes they need to become self swingers. Our unique system is suitable for children from six months of age and also incorporates training in swing safety. We specialize in all levels of training: from attitude adjustment for the stubborn child to style enhancement for independent and capable swingers. Swing School also offers advice for parents in managing issues of co-dependency and learned helplessness in the playground. Call us today and talk to one of our friendly consultants about your child's needs.

swing style
swing sense
swing success

swing school

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

love brought you here

Okay, I'm a hopeless fan. Every time these guys breathe online I link to it. But this is a really good song.

It's a love song, a parent-child love song. Sweet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Art with 8 year olds

Tomorrow I'm teaching year 3 at a school that I enjoy going to.

I've been asked to do art with them from 9am-1pm. Whatever art I like.

What should I do? I have no particular skills...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wall*E and Christian Art

This absurdly long Wall*E review is... well... absurdly long. But have a read. It outlines the perfections of all the Pixar movies and explains why Wall*E doesn't quite cut it. Interestingly...

"Pixar has been undone by a great old truth: If you’re more concerned with getting your message across than you are concerned about telling a great story, you’re screwed. I mentioned that I grew up an Evangelical Christian. I also grew up a movie nerd. These two realities were interesting bedfellows.

Every once in awhile, some group of Christians would pool some money and make a movie.

Christian movies suck. Know why? If you’re more concerned with getting your message across than you are concerned about telling a great story, you’re screwed. Ironically, this is why I believe Jesus was successful as a preacher. He told stories with hidden meanings, allowing his listeners to make the connections themselves.

Good point. And not just about movies. Songs (even congregational songs), poems, novels...


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Celebrity Wedding

Celebrity Wedding

The start of love will never be a chore
So I will raise my glass, enthusiastic,
Delight in plastic joy and see no flaw
Laugh and smile and stifle thoughts sarcastic.

I give them six months. Maybe only four
And they will wish they'd taken steps less drastic,
By then he'll start to think his wife a bore
And she will find his vows somewhat elastic.

This time next year her feet will grace the door
Begin the search for someone more fantastic,
The start of love will never be a chore
Again I'll raise my glass, enthusiastic.

SAR 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

how wonderful!

Our friend Helen has just had a baby. Hamish. Can't wait to meet him.

when to name your baby?

Andrew and I have been having a bit of a laugh about this.

We'd like to point out that in the biblical cases where the parents knew beforehand the sex of their baby (or babies), they were not formally given names until after the birth(s). It seems that Isaac and Rebekah had not even considered names before she went into labour... And Jesus was not named until he was 8 days old.

Stupid reasoning? Of course it is!

Name your baby whenever you like.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Come Again

If I lived 400 years ago, I would have broken my heart over this song. I still do. Almost.

Come again,
sweet love doth now invite,
thy graces that refrain
to do me due delight.
To see, to hear,
to touch, to kiss,
to die with thee again
in sweetest sympathy

Come again,
that I may cease to mourn
through thy unkind disdain
for now left and forlorn.
I sit, I sigh,
I weep, I faint,
I die, in deadly pain
and endless misery

Gentle love,
draw forth thy wounding dart:
Thou canst not pierce her heart;
For I that do approve.
By sighs and tears
more hot than are
thy shafts, did tempt while she
for scanty tryumphs laughs

John Dowland

will power

For the last few couple of weeks I've been trying to moderate my intake of all things romantic (why? see these posts). It's meant saying 'no' to many of my favourite books and switching off the TV. I wanted to post one of my favourite poems here, Sophie Hannah's 'The Bridging Line'*. It's beautiful and heart wrenching and... dangerous. Poison in my favourite flavour.

So I won't post it. I won't even open the book...

* don't bother googling it. You won't find it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I don't generally think of myself as an anxious type... but after a largely sleepless night I'm reconsidering.

If a sick puppy (which Andrew was looking after) and concern for my father (he was trying to negotiate international airports) was enough to keep me awake, I think I can consider myself a worrier. Unhelpful, too, most of my attempts to distract my mind.

Why not just pray?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Do you have 9-12 year old kids?

If so, what do they like to listen to? What's hip?

I want specific cds, bands, songs etc.


our little puppy...

... continues to poo anywhere that looks comfortable.

She has two speeds. On and off.

The kids are infatuated. I can see that she's cute. I'm hoping to like her soon.

a kind qantas man

My mum broke her leg on the weekend. Annoying at anytime, but many times more annoying this time because she is in Geneva, Switzerland, by herself. I've spent a couple of hours this morning trying to arrange for my dad to fly over to be with her. I was helped by a very kind qantas man who worked out the best and cheapest way to get him there and back.

Wish I knew who he was so I could tell his boss how good an employee he is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Our house

Kate wanted to see some pics of our house. I did some clever camera work cutting out the messy bits.


Our new little dog is a Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel. The kids named her 'Aravis' (after Aravis in the horse and his boy). We think she's pretty cute, especially when she's not covered in poo.

Things I have learnt today

  • When going to pick up a brand new puppy, 3 children are not a good substitute for an extra adult,
  • 11 week old puppies get very stressed on the car trip home from the pet shop,
  • It's better to have something to put the pup in than just get the kids to hold her,
  • When puppies get really really stressed, they poo everywhere,
  • When puppies poo everywhere they also get poo all over themselves and the child holding them,
  • Husbands aren't always impressed when you arrive at their workplace on the way home from the pet shop with a pooey pup and pooey, excited kids (I couldn't put up with the dreadful smell in the car any longer). But they are often helpful anyway.
Photos of our now clean pup coming soon.


It's today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

dogs again

I've been reading about how to look after a puppy. Not sure I'm up to it.

I thought I was done with toilet training!

It seems that puppies shouldn't be left by themselves or taken out until they are 12 weeks old. How is this compatable with any normal lifestyle?

Give me a human baby instead. I know what to do with those.

A cavoodle is looking most likely at the moment.

The pornographer's dream: or, the problem with contemporary worship

This is worth a read.

spy life again

I have been a busy beaver today. Kids club is well on the way. I've finished the flyer and prepared bible activity booklets - 3 different types - pre-readers, early readers, and readers. All ready to go off to the printer! I was so wanting to tick things off my list that I've also designed t-shirt transfers and name tags.

Don't you love the self righteous buzz that you get from actually accomplishing something? And ahead of schedule! Five months ahead of schedule!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Let me say right up that I'm not an animal person. When I see a puppy I feel no desire coo over it, touch it, or even to look at it again. If birds became extinct tomorrow I wouldn't care. And cats? Itchy eyes and sneezes. But for the last few weeks I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time surfing the net for the perfect puppy.

For many years we've put it off. But we're putting it off no longer. It's time for dog ownership.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  • a young dog (<3)
  • attractive to look at
  • not smelly
  • not needing a daily walk
  • not needing excessive grooming
  • that can live outside
  • small but not too small
  • with some character
  • interested in people, but happy to be ignored
  • good with the kids
  • not too expensive.
Does such a dog exist? A friend suggested we look in toyworld for one that comes with batteries.

We had an Airedale Terrier when I was a kid. I loved her. (She is the only animal I've ever loved, or even liked.) I can't imagine feeling fond of any dog unless it looked a little like she did. So I've been thinking about Lakeland terriers (similar to airedales - only smaller) but I think it's way beyond our budget.

This is a lakeland terrier.

thanks Jean!

We had a growth group leaders meeting at our place last night. We used Jean's fantastic blog posts on honesty to get us thinking about confession of sin and openness in our bible study groups. Thanks Jean! We also thought that Galatians 6:1-5 has interesting things to say on the topic.