Sunday, November 30, 2008

happy happy day

  • house is clean and tidy
  • christmas tree is up (only half of it. We don't have much room so I only put branches on one side so it sits straight against the wall.)
  • church was great
  • drove down the coast and swam and played singstar with a friend
  • all kids in bed
  • my dinner is ready for me to eat
  • hopefully no work tomorrow (really, what teacher is going to have a day off at this time of the year?)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

how to make a smoke bomb

I think the smoke might be a little toxic, but it looks like fun.

feeling happy

Well, thankful actually, which is better. Tonight we had a gingerbread house evening at church with an excellent talk on the prodigal son. Lots of visitors came (40% of the room?) and many of them ticked the best box on the feedback card - including my two friends.

no idol tomorrow night

What should I do?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

spy life is coming!

I love the bellgothic fonts

body pump 68

I've done the new release a couple of times now. Warm up and squats are pretty standard, the chest track is good - doesn't feel as long as some others. I expected the back track to be harder with clean and presses not broken up with rows, but it's actually pretty easy - as far as back tracks go. The 4 clean and presses are all over in 12 seconds (I watch the clock!) and there are only 3 or maybe 4 sets of them. The triceps is different to normal, with no bar work. I'm not sure what I think of it. It's hard to make it hurt because at our gym the heaviest weights you can hold in one hand are 2.5kg. Song is cool. Biceps are pretty standard, though there are no full singles - all the fast ones are bottom halves. Lunges is fun. Right leg with bar, right leg without bar, left leg with bar, left leg without bar, then front squats - where you balance the bar on the front of your shoulders (tricky to do if you're using a decent amount of weight) and squat. The position of the bar makes it pretty intense (but fun!) I can't do the cross hand grip thing, but I don't think it matters. I just hold the bar like I'm going to do a shoulder press. Shoulders, abs, and warm down pretty standard.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Banana Bat #3 - Return of the Banana-i

by Joel R. Age 7.

[this is part 3 of a continuing saga]

Once upon a time people had taken over the banana system. But one day a banana became a banana-i (a banana jedi) and fought the people.

The banana-i drew his freezing light-saber and whacked the human's burning light-sabers.

Fj fj fj fj fj fj fj went the light sabers.

Then the banana-i whacked the human's waist. His body fell off his legs. The banana had won, but not completely. There were ten or so more people to deal with.

F-ching, b-ju, f-ching, b-ju, f-ching, b-ju! Out went the other people with a f-ching!

The banana had won. He went to the banana system and partied.

Watch out for Banana Bats 4 - The people strike back! The people have invented storm troopers, a type of robot built especially for war, dooming the banana-is....

happiness and gratitude

I was chatting with friends today about happiness. Our discussion reminded me of this, which is worth a read.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If you run out of flour...

I was making some biscuits this afternoon. Couldn't be bothered cutting my 500g block of butter into 2 or 4, so melted the lot and figured I'd just bake up big.

After I had added brown sugar, a bit of peanut butter and some eggs, I realised that I only had about one and a half cups of flour. Around a quarter of what I needed. Hmm. What to do... Cornflakes and rolled oats?

It worked.

(Kind of.)

Australian Idol - Wes wins

Would you believe I fell asleep in the ad break before they announced the winner? Woke up at the start of NCIS. Had to look at the website to see who won.

I've enjoyed this series. May even buy a cd.

Now I'll have to find something else to blog on.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just for the record...

... I'd like to say that committees are a bad way of getting things done. Issues take on a life of their own, divorced from the people whose lives they affect. Politics take over and bad decisions are made.

But what's the alternative?

Friday, November 21, 2008

jesus cleanses the temple

Our little one is not so little any more. He'll be 5 next month. He draws funny pictures. This is Jesus in the temple going 'whip whip!'. Jesus is on the left and the 'baddy' is on the right.

have you voted yet?


We're reading Esther as a family at the moment. A good story for the kids - they are enjoying it. I wish it didn't use the word 'virgin' quite so often.

It was interesting to read about King Xerxes in chapter one. The kids had a very low opinion of him. He was a bragger (we're memorising 1 Cor 13 just now so the kids know that bragging is not good), treated his wife as a possession, and thought everyone should stop what they were doing to bow to his most unreasonable commands. I, however, having had a good dose of MD lately, found myself feeling for Xerxes. His wife did show him disrespect by not obeying him in public, I mused... It took the kid's most definite support for Xerxes' wife to make me see that my response was wrong. The text sees Xerxes' 'leadership' as pathetic bullying.

spy life, dyslexia, sherbet, bran loaf and firefly

Have not been posting much later. My mind has been fairly occupied with:

  • Putting the final touches on my kid's club - which I did most of the work on back in July. Kids club starts in 3 weeks and 2 days. Put the first advertising out yesterday and have quite a bit of interest already.
  • Reading about dyslexia. Trying to separate good quality research from pop-psychology and work out how to best help our boy #2. Trouble is, many experts want to blame parents for not reading enough with their kids in the pre-school years and not helping them with their homework once they are at school. Hurts a bit to read such stuff. In our case at least, it's completely untrue. Even now, I would spend half an hour most days reading to Joel and over an hour on homework. I'm currently reading this much more encouraging book. The dyslexia symptoms fit Joel perfectly - but isn't that the key to self-help books? Suck the reader in by sympathetically describing all their symptoms and then offer the magic solution. Anyone have any knowledge about this kind of stuff? Joel is a very bright boy in many ways, but reading is a struggle and his spelling is worse than bad.
  • Working a bit. Today I had year 4's. The teacher left instructions for me to make sherbet with them at 9am this morning. Each kid was meant to make a bagful (containing 20 tsps of icing sugar). I managed to get them to do one between two and not eat it till second break, but even so... Was it some kind of joke the regular teacher was playing on me? Who would feed kids 20 teaspoons of sugar for morning tea and then expect them to function well for the rest of the day?
  • I've also been baking. Trying to find joy in domesticity. Realised that there is no joy for me in following recipies. So I make it up. This week I've made a cornflake slice, a peanut butter, cornflake and apricot slice (was going to be biscuits but I couldn't be bothered), and Bran Loaf. Bran loaf is the healthiest. Here's how I made it. Mix together 1 cup of mixed fruit (sultanas, chopped apricots, whatever you've got), 1 cup of unproccessed bran, half a cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk. Soak for a few hours. Mix in 1 cup of SR flour, put it in a tin and bake it till you think it's ready (40 minutes?)
  • Watching Firefly and wondering if it really is morally wrong to go around the universe stealing things and shooting people. Malcolm Reynolds makes it look so appealing!

Monday, November 17, 2008

big storm in brisbane

Our brother and sister-in-law had a big tree squash their house yesterday afternoon. Praise God they are all safe.

Two work calls this morning. I think many people have cleaning up to do.

Idol Review

What can I say? Wes is great and can sing anything. Mark is pretty good and will go far. Luke needs to go - but could probably sell cds despite his less than perfect voice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

bring on the end of the school year.

Had to go into school this morning to talk to a teacher about an unpleasant classroom issue which was a very big deal to one of our boys. I can normally hold myself okay in conflict situations. Not so those involving our kids. Was no fun, but had a good outcome, praise God.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

worth a listen

I've had many exegetical issues with MD's current sermon series, but this talk is great. Okay use of bible and excellent pastoral stuff.

Monday, November 10, 2008

read better, preach better

Great! A new blog to read! Stimulating ideas from thoughtful people.

Looking forward to following Bruce's ideas on faith. The arguments about how to read pistis Christou have always interested me (is it faith IN Christ or the faith OF Christ?) Anyone else care? (I think you all should.)

alas for teale

my heart bleeds.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Idol Review

Things are wrapping up. Top two are pretty clear:

Wes - Reliable. Always good. Tonight he was fantastic. He warmed into his first song well and What a Wonderful World was lovely.

Mark - Tonight, as good as Wes and possibly more interesting. To see a man with scars all over his head singing 'Everybody Hurts' feels real.

Luke - His voice has character but he still doesn't do it for me (though I like him much more without the goatee). Tuning for the first song was well off, but they could fix that up in the studio.

Teale - Surely he'll go this week! He just doesn't cut through - either vocally or personally. A friend we had lunch with today likes him because he looks like David Beckham.

What do you think?

disappointing holiday reads

Just back from holidays. Beach, friends, family - all great. Books - not so good. Mostly my own fault for not preparing well enough.

In my experience, accidental kisses don't happen all that often. There is usually a degree of intentionality on the part of at least one of the participants. But imagine this situation... You're getting on with life when suddenly a friend, acquaintance, or even a complete stranger falls in your path and what do you know... [xxx] A rare occurrence, I would think.

Not so in my holiday books. Three out of four heroines experienced the 'accidental' kiss. By the third, it was getting old.

Holiday Read #1 - Alexander McCall Smith - The Comfort Of Saturdays
My mum gave this to me for my birthday. I've enjoyed the rest of the series but this one took a nose dive. The Isobel-Jamie relationship is really starting to sound very much like the relationships in the other (trashier) books I read this week. Jamie is far too perfect. Talented, good looking, thoughtful, attentive father who can't get enough of his son, giver of perfect gifts... Charlie the baby is unbelievably 'good'. Never gets in the way. Never stops anyone doing anything they want to. Isobel's inner whine is very similar to those of her paperback sisters. 'I love him so much. Does he really love me?' I found it quite tedious. It had a few moments that I enjoyed - like the Dove saga which continued from the last book. But perhaps AMcS needs a new heroine. Anyone else read it?

Holiday Read #2 - Harlequin - The Marriage Solution
(I read this out of desperation. In our holiday unit it was a choice between romances and westerns. Perhaps I chose badly.) Think Mills and Boon, turn it down a couple of notches and you have this book. Very poor. Pure, thoughtful Katie marries sexy, rich Carlton in order to clear her father's debts. But accidently falls in love with him along the way. Oh no! How can she hide from him the fact that she loves him when he only wants her physically?

Holiday Read #3 - The Wedding Arbor - A heartwarming, inspirational CHRISTIAN romance
Not sure how this one found its way onto the holiday unit bookshelf, but surely a safer choice... Um no. Just need to get a couple of things off my chest at this point.
Miss Sara (heroine), I don't think that lapsed Xn Adam is your divinely appointed guardian, even if he is strong and sympathetic. And I don't think it's God that's leading you to stay in his one room log cabin for a fortnight. Sorry if this shatters your 'faith'.

Holiday Read #4 - Charmed - A Tale Of Two Pipers
About 30% as good as the tv show.

So the books were disappointing. But our dvds were a good choice: Firefly. Brilliant

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amos kids talks

A new family walked into church today just before I got up to do a fire and brimstone kids talk on Amos 3-5. I admit that I considered changing it on the spot. I've been giving a set of talks accompanying our sermon series on the book of Amos. Here's how it's looked so far:

Week 1 - Adults did Amos 1:1-2
I did a talk on King Solomon's bad choice (worshipping idols) and the consequences that it would bring - the split of the kingdom. My visual was a map of Israel which I cut with a stanley knife so the kids could see how the northern/southern thing worked.

Week 2 - Adults looked at Amos 1-2
I talked about bad king Jeroboam 1 and the decision he had to make about whether to worship God or keep on worshipping idols like Solomon did. He chose poorly. Had a visual of Jeroboam 1's head (with a frown and mean eyebrows) which folded out into 12 or 16 (I've forgotten) similar looking kings to show that all the kings continued like Jeroboam 1 until Jeroboam 2.

Week 3 - Adults did Amos 3-5 - so did we!
I talked about how God had had enough. He had put up with sinful Israel for a long time. By the time of Jeroboam 2, the whole country of Israel had gone bad - injustice etc (which is what happens when you stop worshipping God). God had given many warnings (famine, drought etc) now judgment is inevitable. The lion has roared. Israel should be afraid!

Hm. Where to go from here? The series is going well. The kids are remembering the story from week to week.

On Holidays!

We are off on holidays for a week! While you are slaving at home or at work, consider us, sitting on the beach at Caloundra (Sunshine Coast)! I'll consider you, for a brief moment! See you next week.

Idol Review

Micheal Jackson night. Here are my thoughts.

Teale - Billie Jean
Man! He can turn anything into soft rock. Billie Jean as a ballad. Wow! (I still don't like him.)

Mark - Bad
Verses were bad. Chorus good. At least there was no crotch clutching. (But he has nice shoulders.)

Chrislyn - Thriller
She needed an auto-tune plug-in but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Stupid song choice.

Luke - The Way You Make Me Feel
Limited vocal ability should be a problem in a singer, but if you chose the right song it doesn't matter. Great song choice.

Wes - Black or White
He is in a different class to the rest of them. And he can dance!

Order (best to worst) - Wes, Luke, Mark, Teale, Chrislyn.

Could we lose two?

guard your heart

Isn't it funny how our personalities determine the particular bend that our sin will take? Ali and Bec have written posts responding to the wrong idea that 'guarding your heart' means mounting a wall of self protection. I had never considered that it could mean such a thing. My sin takes me in another direction all together.

Just in case you tend towards wall building, here is a fantastic C.S. Lewis quote (from the DesiringGod blog):

Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as “Careful! This might lead you to suffering.”

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. (From The Four Loves, as found in The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis, 278-279.)