Sunday, May 31, 2009

blogging record

70 posts this month. 71 now.

But how many of them worth reading? I think, maybe 12 posts. Probably less.

Here's the month in review: I remain affectionately yours and am still dreaming of jupiter, occasionally telling lies, breaking all the rules for lady teachers, thinking with others about intestinal worms, feeling sad and hating stuff. I've also been repenting in limerick form and obsessing over twilight and teaching a bit. Overall? The wind has been in my face (like the line, hate the poem). Hoping June will be better.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

For men's eyes only

With a title like this, how could I not click?

(And Andrew, this is not a hint. Please don't.)

h/t: craig (who, I'm sure, has already watched it.)

Night at the Museum 2

I took the kids to see this today.

I was cross when Micah woke me up half way through.

I generally don't like kids movies (unless they are disney musicals) but thought this was almost bearable. Possibly not as good as the first one.

The little cowboy guy (Zeb?) is still annoying.

The Pharoh's camp lisp was funny at the start.

The fat security guard (Brandon) was good.

The romance was a waste of time.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I'm on the xxxchurch blacklist. Sorry guys (and girls) if this post has led you astray.

[Kind of scarey. '11 year old' and 'pre-teen' must be trigger words.]

Doctor Who...

.. is on telly tomorrow night. Planet of the dead. 7.30pm.

Yes. I'm a fan.

Careful how you hold your glass!

The way you hold your glass can reveal much more than you might realise, a psychologist has warned.

Dr Glenn Wilson, a consultant psychologist, observed the body language of 500 drinkers and divided them into eight personality types.

These were the flirt, the gossip, fun lover, wallflower, the ice-queen, the playboy, Jack-the-lad and browbeater. [From here.]

Hmm. How do you hold your glass? Guess how I hold mine...

Prayer (1)

PRAYER the Churches banquet, Angels age,
Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth ;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinner's towre,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six daies world-transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear ;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse,
Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bels beyond the stars heard, the souls bloud,
The land of spices, something understood.

George Herbert

[I just discovered this poem in this anthology. It came with an an essay suggesting that the 'houre' in v2l3 is the hour of Sunday morning worship. I think the writer has missed the point.]

Friday, May 29, 2009

Andrew asks...

...Would your ethics be different if you weren't a christian?

I say yes. Maybe not immediately, but give it a week or two.

What do you think?

(It's a good post. You should read it.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

just think you should know...

All the cool people are into union with Christ. And imputation is best understood in this context. I love Con's royal analogy (about 5 minutes before the end). Justification is an outworking of our union with Christ. When marry royalty we become royal. Royalty is shared with us. Similarly Christ's righteousness is shared with us.

no posts today...

I've been too busy playing grown-ups on a denominational committee. Glad it's over, but I drank two cans of pepsi max to get me through it so may not sleep for a while.

How was your day?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Our family has 7000MB data allowance each month before our internet connection slows down. I would have thought this was unusable. This month we've used up to 5749 MB - 82% and there's still a few days to go.

I blame club penguin. Andrew and I both have penguins now. My little fellow must be chewing through the MBs.

Nathan's new friend

Nathan has a new friend from West Africa. Michel Roberts has been orphaned and has a large sum of inheritance money waiting for him. He just needs a little help in accessing it. Nathan, kind and loving as we know he is, is corresponding with Michel and may help him if his views on baptism are legit.

Read about it here and here. Touching.

God Unlimited

God Unlimited, Emu's new kids cd, is almost ready to go. Here's what's on it:

1. I wanna know more about God (P. Sheely)
2. God unlimited (P. Percival/S. Richardson)
3. Three in one (P. Sheely)
4. Don't let it grow (P. Percival/S. Richardson)
5. You chose me (R. Smith)
6. Through this Night (P. Percival/S. Richardson)
7. Forget the rest (P. Sheely)
8. All for Jesus (P. Percival/S. Richardson)
9. It's not what I do (P. Sheely)
10. Mighty Saviour (R. Smith)
11. Nothing else matters (P. Percival/S. Richardson)
12. So great is Jesus' love (P. Percival/S. Richardson)

Ben has done a really cool Doctor Rocktrin pic for the cover. The cd will be available in a couple of weeks.

You heard it first here!


standing on a wall
around, the bottles
no hands will catch them
eyes dart from
side to side

sar 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

stupid facebook quiz...

... tells me that only a couple of you know me.

That's not true.

The questions were just bad.

Here are some questions for you. Go on. Amuse me.

1. Left alone for a week, I would...
2. A book/movie that moves me is...
3. I am most me when...

Monday, May 25, 2009

feeling loved

I have friends who express their love by giving gifts. Today I've eaten a meal prepared by someone else, enjoyed chocolates from Scotland and have had my fridge filled with fresh, home grown vegies. Three big serves of gift-love (from different people) in one day.

Also many nice emails and phone calls. Andrew watched a movie with me and many people have done my silly facebook quiz.

I feel warm and gooey and grateful.


I'm feeling a bit pre-teen

I taught year 6 today. In the class a couple of girls were whispering about what they were reading. It was, you guessed it, Twilight. I joined in but felt a little embarrassed that I'm reading at the same level as those (not especially bright) 11 year olds.

In the staff room, a couple of teachers were also talking about what they were reading. It was, yes you guessed it, Twilight. Again, I joined in. They encouraged me to plough on through the whole series.

I also found out that our local libraries are making the decision not to lend them to kids under 9. I take it that this means that kids under 9 are asking for them. Hmm. How old am I?


... I'm teaching the class from hell at the school from hell. I have nothing to offer these kids. They don't like me, or my books, or my lessons. If we all get out alive it will be a good outcome.

Meanwhile, Andrew is going to the kids' school to speak at assembly and bless a tree [!] in memory of Luke.

Should be a crap day all round.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

a bit pathetic...

I just made a facebook quiz about myself.

Andrew scored 90%. Not bad. Can you beat him?

Have a go. Become my friend if you're not already. I need more friends.

(Is it more pathetic that I made the quiz or that I'm blogging about it?)

what it is

J: I'm going to break up N's lego and see how he likes it.

Me: Sweetheart, is that what forgiveness looks like?

J: No, it's revenge. [And continues talking about what he's going to do.]

Glad we all understand!

Karen on Twilight

I'm a bit behind. Karen has been through the Twilight phase ahead of me. I was contemplating a series of posts about how reading Twilight has got me reliving some idealised adolescence and reconsidering marriage etc etc but Karen's done it all already. I agree with what she's written and feel there would be no purpose in writing my own posts!

What do we do with wanting?

All of us want things we don't have. It's the post-fall human condition.

We want a house, a better house, another house, a man, a better man, another man, a child, more children, better children, a skinnier body, a prettier face, longer legs, more clothes, a different personality, a better job, excitement, cake, change, novelty, stability, friends, understanding, connection, fulfillment, accomplishment, respect, freedom, space, time, security.... and we can't have them.

Discontent and frustration are part of life in this world. So how do we handle unfulfilled and unfulfillable desires?

What do we do with wanting?

[I'm keen to hear your ideas. I might write mine in a few posts over the coming days.]


Had an interesting conversation with friends today about baptism.

My personal view (right now, maybe not tomorrow) is that baptism is about becoming part of the body of believers. Kind of an initiation rite. Baptism is primarily for people (adults or children) who come to faith and join the church. I think that infant baptism (when the parents are believers) is fine, but a little pointless. The kids of believers are already in the church. They are born into it.

What do you think? Am I an heretic?


Okay, so after recommending that this tasty indulgence be sampled in moderation, I've gone and read 430 pages of it in a day. Too much? Yes.

I bought the first book in the Twilight series to read while travelling yesterday. For a book about vampires, there is suprisingly little action. Maybe 70 pages at the end. The rest of the book is dribble with the two main characters stating and re-stating how they feel about eachother. It was a tiresome read, amazingly like a M&B novel. The movie (which I enjoyed) took the best 10 lines of dialogue and scrapped the rest. A shame that Meyer's editors couldn't have done the same before publication.

So, is it a damaging book? Dangerous for women? Girl porn?

Yeah, maybe*. Especially if the bad writing doesn't get on your nerves. For me, the style emptied the romance of its potency. Any love affair expressed like that seems a farce. Less is more.

* more on this in future post

Friday, May 22, 2009

thanks for your prayers today


there is no hope...

... but Christ.

When a boy is lying in a box in front of you, only the promise of a new creation and the resurrection of the dead comforts.

Andrew did well, but it was horrible. The mother has spiritualist leanings and there was quite of bit of that from the family. Andrew preached on Rev 21 and everyone seemed to be listening. It felt so solid compared to the other stuff.

Nathan found the experience difficult. I wasn't sitting with him, which in hindsight was a mistake. The bit at the end left him very shaken. But I'm glad he went, and so is he - Luke's brother is his good friend. We've just had a monster tantrum to deal with.

Hopefully a happy day tomorrow. Early start, then we'll play on the beach in the Central Queensland sunshine - a warm 26 degrees forecasted!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A busy next few days

tonight - proofread text for new emu cd, write sunday school lesson, wrap up birthday presents for Sat and Sun, washing, finish getting things ready for Luke's funeral tomorrow, boil eggs for sandwhiches tomorrow, sort spell-a-thon money (due tomorrow).

tomorrow - gym, get dressed, buy bread from shops, drop child #2 and child #3 to school, make sandwiches for funeral, go to funeral (with child #1), clean up church, pick up kids, go home and cry, get sorted for Saturday

saturday - 6am flight to Rockhampton with kids 1&3. James' birthday party. Fly home at 9.15pm.

sunday - pick up friend from airport, go to church, teach sunday school, organise child #2 for birthday party

A busy few days. I'm going to see how many of tonight's things I can get done while watching tv.

an unexpected day off

...and a large pile of work to do.

Let's see how much time I can waste.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

baby tears

Ben blogged about how newborn babies don't produce tears when they cry.

Ours did. There must be something strange in my genes because apparently I cried with tears from day 1 too. It can be a little alarming at first seeing a newborn with a tears pouring down his face.

Even now when our kids cry there are ALOT of tears. It's a fairly pathetic look, but I'm hardened to it. Strangers have made the mistake of thinking that there's really something wrong.

No. We just look sooky.

water water everywhere...

... but none in our taps!

We lost our water supply for 4 hours today. I was cooking. Tricky.

Brisbane is flooded. Our suburb is a mess and I can't get to the gym.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I watched twilight tonight. How could I not after reading reviews like this?

I loved it.

As a chic flick it has it all: an impossibly good looking guy who is impossibly attracted to an impossibly good looking girl with whom a relationship is impossible. Add an impossible amount of smoulder - vampire lust as well as regular sexual lust, heroic selflessness, superman-type rescues, great scenery and very nice camera work and you have the perfect movie.

(Why am I writing this? I think I'll go and watch it again.)

A few thoughts.

It's okay for this to be a great movie for girls to watch. It's not necessarily bad just because it's fun and girls get into it. (But it might be.)

The reasons why Twilight sucks us in are legitimate*. It taps into what we really want and what we should want.
  • We want a guy who is painfully in love with us. Who loves us so much that he'll deny himself for us and suffer on our account. Of course we want that. We should want that.
  • We want to be able to say 'I'm not afraid' and 'I trust you completely' as Bella did. And that's right.
  • With Bella we long for something more. Another world where the impossible is possible. Now is the time of waiting. We groan with her and we should.
Of course Edward doesn't exist. Mr. Darcy doesn't either. But still we dream of him and our dreams are legitimate. For we are longing for another.

So what of the claim that Twilight is tacky and harmful girl porn?

Maybe the books are tacky - over adjectivised, gushy, sentimental (I don't know, I haven't read them) - but I don't think the movie was. I'm no film critic but I really enjoyed it. Girl porn? Maybe. In the same league as Austen and Bronte and Sea-change. Presents an ideal male for us to lust after, with whom our spouses cannot compete. Harmful? Depends on how you take it and what you do with it. My current thinking is this: Don't deny that you want Edward Cullen. Admit it, but learn to see that lust as an expression for a much deeper longing. And moderation.

I might go watch it again.

* Last year I had a few posts on why Mills and Boon novels work for women. Similar stuff.

teacher's strike today


A day off with the kids.

I've been looking forward to it.

Hope the teachers are listened to. Queensland teachers are the worst paid in the country. (Supply teachers aren't though!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

what I hate

I hate that all the trees have been chopped down where we used to walk to make room for a new road.

I hate that my Grandparents-in-law who died a couple of years ago would now not recognise this area though they lived here for 60 years.

I hate that my kids are growing up.

I hate that everything is temporary.

I hate that there are people going through the most devastating pain and that my life goes on.

I hate that people blame God for all the bad stuff.

I hate this whole one-directional-linear-time thing.

I hate that the trees outside my window can be so beautiful while the creation that houses them is so so sick.

I hate that the sin in me tarnishes everything I touch.

I hate that people say that kids get over grief quickly.

I hate that the new creation hasn't begun yet.

I hate that the sun still rose today even though a little boy is lying cold in a morgue.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


There once was a girl so dim-witted
that she blogged while her brain was omitted
in a moment or two
she was deep in the poo
but still hopes to be one day acquitted

sar 2009

cooking lessons

The kids cook tea on Sunday nights. They also decide what they'd like to cook. One takes charge of the protein component, another the carbs, another the veges. We have some strange combinations. Tonight Joel made us cheese and onion flan without the pastry (2 onions, 2 cups grated cheese, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup milk), Nathan made 2 minute noodles and Micah made vegetable faces with cucumber and carrot. Here's the result:


From my teaching experience, I'm compiling a list of names that parents shouldn't use. Children with certain (dumb) names find it unusually difficult to behave in class. A couple of weeks ago I told you about an unfortunate girl given the singular form of this product* as a name. The name was such a burden on her that appropriate behaviour had become an impossibility. Similarly, a child by the name of D*e*e*-*o*n. That's right. Not Dion, but D*e*e*-*o*n. (Go the hyphen!) With such stupid spelling, how could one not take on correspondingly stupid behaviour?

Parent, parent, parents. Please. Consider your children. Consider their teachers. Consider their classmates. Be sensible.

* I'm using the stars and the link in case the unfortunate children google themselves.

Want kids to listen at Sunday School?

Tell the story of Stephen from Acts 6-7. They may be fidgetty at the start, but they'll all tune in for the violence at the end.


Have been feeling yucky this weekend. Our friend Luke died on Friday morning. Andrew is doing his funeral later this week. No idea where he stood with Jesus at the end. His parents are devastated, as you would imagine.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I have nothing to say

Nothing that I want to say, anyway.

Will blog again when I do.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In my digestive tract... Round-about rhyme #1

In my digestive tract there squirms
a thriving colony of worms
How do I know that they are there?
I can't sit still upon my chair
I feel an itch I have to scratch
And know that there's another batch.
I chewed my nails, they were not clean
And now these brutes, they eat my spleen
But what is this? A little trick
to help my bowel give them the kick?
A tasty chocolate pill to chew
It's laced with chemicals that woo
the wriggly creatures out to feast
then knocks them flat. This poisonous treat
will kill the squatters, dead today
Good riddance to them all, I say!
So let my tummy caution you
Or you'll suffer the same fate too
Be sure to follow Mum's commands
and wash and scrub those dirty hands.

by wendy, simone, nathan, mel, and ben

round-about rhyme #2 (a nice one)

Was that last one more than you could handle? This one is nicer.

Look! What is that I see?
A kitten stuck up in a tree!

Your job:
1. Check the comments to see what stage the poem is at.
2. Write an extra rhyming couplet to go on the end. Rhyme pattern is aabbccddeeff etc. (ie. your lines only have to rhyme with eachother - not with anyone else's)
3. Don't worry about it not being good enough.
4. Post your couplet in the comments.
5. You can make multiple submissions.

See you tonight!

round-about ryhme #1

In my digestive tract there squirms
a thriving colony of worms

(Inspired by some of the kids I teach. Ew.)

Your job:
1. Check the comments to see what stage the poem is at.
2. Write an extra rhyming couplet to go on the end. Rhyme pattern is aabbccddeeff etc. (ie. your lines only have to rhyme with eachother - not with anyone else's)
3. Don't worry about it not being good enough.
4. Post your couplet in the comments.
5. You can make multiple submissions.

If your stomach is not up to my wormy theme, watch the next post for a nicer alternative.

I'm off to work. Look forward to seeing your couplets tonight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

everyone should know...

...that Ben can draw really cool pictures.

Anyone interested in a round-about poem?

I'll write the first 2 lines - a rhyming couplet - and we all take turns to write the rest of the poem, couplet by couplet? Anyone in?

Go on! It's not serious and doesn't have to be good.

Indicate your interest in the comments and if enough people are in, I'll post the first couplet.

Okay? Go on. Amuse me.

more epitahs

More from the Vile Victorians.

Here lies, wrapped in clay,
the body of Esther Ray,
I have nothing left to say but
bless the day she went away,
the third of May.

Our kids are concerningly amused by these. Here's some we wrote ourselves:

Here lies an ugly toad
That I scraped from off the road
His juicy body, flattened, thin
And that is now the end of him.

Here lies Queen Victoria, rotten
dead from head to chubby bottom.
She was short, Her reign was long,
And now we sing this nasty song.

We wrote one about a family member, but decided it was in poor taste. Can you come up with any?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

funny epitaph

[our kids are rather taken with this]

Here lies Sir JOHN GUISE :
No one laughs, no one cries :
Where he's gone, and how he fares,
No one knows, and no one cares.

Dr. Rocktrin 2 Coming Soon!

Exciting days. Emu's next kids cd is at the mixing stage. Each day I get another almost complete song sent to my inbox. I may be biased, but I think it's going to be a good cd.

It's in the Doctor Rocktrin series which is pitched towards older kids (but my five year old loves it too). Musically, it's half rock and half pop. Paul Sheely and Rob Smith have written the rock half. Philip Percival and I have written the pop songs (We've drawn inpiration from the High School Musical movies - but hope that our songs have more content!) Many of the songs are suitable for singing in Sunday School or in other children's ministries. Some of them are especially for kids (and grown ups!) to listen to on their cd players or ipods.

The Doctor Rocktrin series aims to teach kids basic christian doctrine. This cd has songs covering:
  • god's bigness (all the omnis)
  • the trinity
  • election
  • the uniqueness of christ
  • salvation
  • atonement
  • the nature of sin and repentance
  • living for jesus
  • hope and comfort
  • the new creation
Look out for it. It should be available from emu music next month.

Monday, May 11, 2009

new shoes!

Andrew and I had the day off together. We bought new running shoes and went out to lunch. Would be good to go out for a jog this afternoon to try them out, but we're both stuffed from exercise this morning. Will have to wait.

(For those who care... I bought Saucony ProGrid Ride joggers)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a tale of two skywalkers

I'm reading this book by Michael Bird at the moment. Enjoying it. A couple of interesting ideas that I'll blog on sometime...

But. Given the obsession with star wars in our household, let me share this:

Bird, comparing the figures of Christ and Adam in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, offers this analogy:

In want of a modern analogy, George Lucas's six-part saga Star Wars can be called a "Tale of Two Skywalkers", and in many ways mirrors the Adam-Christ contrast of Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, where Adam and Christ stand for the two respective heads of humanity. They are representatives or types of either a corrupted humanity (Adam) or a redeemed humanity (Christ). The first Skywalker (Anakin Skywalker) faced the temptation to give in to the dark side of the force: he gave in to it and death, destruction and chaos followed. In contrast, the second Skywalker (Luke Skywalker) faced the same temptation, but was faithful and obedient to the Jedi vocation, and consequently hope, life and the triumph of good followed. In fact, Luke was able to redeem the first Skywalker, his father Anakin, from evil through his faithfulness (pp. 42-43).

I shared this analogy with the kids this evening. Nathan was rather taken with it and our conversation ended with him saying, 'thanks mum for telling me about that!'

I've thought for some time that we need an Adam vs Christ gospel tract. Maybe it should have a Star Wars cover.

my mother's day wall

The kids made me lots of cool stuff.
  • a portrait (top) - Micah and Joel
  • A super-mum collage cut out and a super mum acrostic poem - Joel
  • an 'm' card - Nathan
  • a clay mad penguin figure pen holder - Joel
  • a school made bath bomb - Nathan
  • a flower card - Joel
  • an 'I love mum' book - Micah
  • a tiara and sparkly 'mum' tag - Micah
  • a pull along box collage boat - Micah and Joel
  • prep-made biscuits - Micah
  • necklace - Micah
  • egg carton candle holder - Micah
  • a big box-collage box...
I did very well! Now. What to do with it all...

motherhood and serving

After spilling my unformed thoughts in the long post below, I had a chat with my mother-in-law. She said something like this: "The christian life is about service. We never know how we'll be called to serve others in the future. It may be by working. It may not be. It's likely that we'll be doing lots of different things throughout our lives." Wise.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Phillip Jensen on Mothering

I've been considering the thoughts of this wise man on mothering - particularly mothering and outside of the house employment.

Here's what he says.

There are 3 different types of work: the career, the job and the calling.

The career - My work is me. I'm going to advance in life through my different employment. Engineer to management to senior management to CEO.

The job - I do the work I'm doing because it puts food on the table and pays the mortgage. I just do a job. Come knock off time, I'm out of here!

The calling - I'm doing the job I'm doing because I love the job I'm doing. Advancement or money isn't the issue. I've already arrived. eg. artist.

Women can be:

1. Career women without children. These women have decided not to have kids for the sake of their careers. Children would be an interruption or distraction. [I would add, some women become career women because they are single or unable to have kids.]

2. Mothers with a career. Kids fit in around the edges of the career. PDJ points out that kids usually realise when this is the case and know they are not mum's #1 priority.

3. Mothers with a job. Mothering is the main thing, but she is required to work to bring in money to support the family.

4. Mothers by calling. The woman is looking after her family fulltime because that's what she wants to be doing. She finds joy and fulfillment (and frustration) in it and wouldn't have it any other way.

I think this is a helpful way of looking at women and work. Understanding mothering as a calling gets rid of stupid ideas that by staying at home looking after your family you are ruining your career, stifling your potential etc etc. What you've done is traded your career in for something better.

Here are my largely unformed thoughts, written down particularly badly.

I don't feel like his description of a 'calling' mum.
I feel looking after my kids is a calling, but not particularly the whole house thing. I wouldn't swap my job of mothering for anything. I want to be the one agonizing over homework and managing the kids' busy lives (even though I'm a scatterbrain and not that great at it.) But when the kids are at school and Andrew's working, my desire to be at home is approximately none. I'll get the washing on (if it desperately needs doing), sweep the floor and wash the dishes (these are essential - I don't leave them undone!), but then I'm out of there. I have no desire to rearrange the cupboards or put more pictures on the wall. I don't bake often. I'll go off to work, off to bible study, or off to a coffee shop to read and write and think.

Can I be a 'calling' mum if I also feel 'called' to other things?
Because home isn't enough for me. I want more on my plate. My kids understand that - it's who I am. I'm living the dream of being a mum (I've always wanted that) but I'm also living other dreams. I go to the gym. I do quite a lot of church stuff. I go to meetings. I go to Sydney for conferences. I work and I like it. [There's no advancement in supply teaching, it's a job in that way... but not unpleasant (actually, sometimes it is.) I think I have a great life. Almost everything I do feels like 'calling' work. Apart from housework. That's drudgery. Well, it would be if I did it.]

Just thinking the categories might not be so simple... Though I don't think that PDJ was imagining them as rigid.

Is it possible to be in category 3, a mum with a job, if that job is one you genuinely enjoy and are doing it, not only for the money, but also for the satisfaction you find in it? And what of the unpaid work - church stuff, blogging(!), hobbies? For me these are more potent distractions than a bit of paid work.

Motherhood and sacrifice
Trying to work out what's not sitting quite right with PDJ's (very good) talk. I think it might be that there's no mention of sacrifice for our kids. (Though I've heard him speak of this elsewhere.) If I'm naturally a career woman and not a 'calling' mum, I can sacrifice my career for the good of my kids. I can (and should) put my natural preferences to one side for a time (like a decade or two) to love and raise my kids as God would have me do that.

Some concluding self-talk

I'm a mum. My kids are my first priority. I will love and care for them. Work (including unpaid work) is another priority and I do it and I love doing it. I have to fiddle with my hours to fit everything in with the family, and this decade and maybe next decade it's likely that I won't work all that much. Overall, I know that this is the right decision but sometimes I feel discontent. I wish there were more hours in the day to do all the things I'd like to do, but I understand that there are not and I need to make choices. At the end of my life I will not regret time spent with my family, but will regret it if I've neglected them. In my choices I should err on the side of too little work rather than too much.

Mary Ann Cotton

We've been enjoying (?) learning about the Vile Victorians. The kids are particularly taken with this rhyme about the mass murderess Mary Ann Cotton.

Mary Ann Cotton,

She's dead and she's rotten

She lies in her bed,

With her eyes wide open
Sing, sing, oh, what can I sing,
Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string
Where, where? Up in the air
Sellin' black puddens a penny a pair.

we got rickrolled

Yesterday I went to Micah's prep Mother's day concert. After a soppy song and a special mother's day rap, the kids did a dance for us. The teacher introduced the item as an 80's song recommended by her teenage son. The teacher said she thought it strange that her son knew this particular song, since it was released before he was born. At that point, I had a bad feeling. I was right. We were rickrolled.

Friday, May 8, 2009

47 comments this week!

Wow! This has been my best week yet for comments. 47! Thanks guys.

For those interested in the gentle art of comment-fishing, here are some hints:

Everyday ethical issues posts draw comments.

Disgusting facts attract I-can't-believe-you-posted-that comments.

Specifically directed help-me posts draw helpful comments. I'm grateful.

Craft posts do okay.

Stupid posts do better than they deserve to.

Poems are a waste of time, comment-wise. I posted two brand new poems this week. They took longer to write than all the other posts put together. But comments? Zero.

Most frequent commenter? Laetitia (or was it me?)

I love comments. So thanks everyone!

I can stop this whenever I like.

I'm not hooked. And I don't do craft (much).

This one still needs to be grouted.

And this is the finished product from the other day.

Mother's day sorted.

Which do you prefer? The green one has mirror tiles in the middle and around the edge.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

asparagus and smelly urine

Sadly, too true!

Rules for lady teachers in 1915

[Part of Historical display at Halls Gap Victoria]

1. You will not marry during the term of your contract
2. You are not to keep company with men.
3. You must be home between the hours of 8pm and 6am unless attending a school function
4. You may not loiter down town in ice-cream parlours
5. You may not travel beyond the city limits with out the permission of the chair man of the board.
6. You may not ride in a carriage or auto mobile with any man unless he is you father or brother.
7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
8. You may not dress in bright colours
9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair
10. You must wear at least two petticoats and your dresses must not be shorter than two inches above the ankle.
11. To keep the school clean you must:
a. Sweep the floor a least once daily
b. Scrub the floor with hot soapy water at least once weekly
c. Clean the blackboard at least once a day
d. Start the fire at 7:00am so that the room will be warm by 8:00am.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A few of us have taken the dumb facebook quiz 'What do people think of you at first sight?'

It's terribly scientific stuff, with questions like : favorite fruit, favorite animal, style of clothing you prefer, what your lips are like...

Strange thing is, the results are not bad. For a few of us (including Andrew - who took the test through gritted teeth to amuse me) it was spookily accurate.

Not sure about my result, though. Apparently I'm cute and people feel they need to protect me.

Have you taken this quiz? I'm into wasting time at the moment. Any other quizzes I can take?

telling tales

Today I made a nine year old cry for half an hour.

She had been dobbing on people all day for stupid little things that didn't matter. After the 5th time I pulled her aside and quietly told her it was bad form. After the 10th time, when she had interupted our class story by dobbing on a boy for putting his hand up at the wrong time, I blasted her. Told her that it was nasty to try to get her classmates into trouble. This time she was in no doubt that I was unimpressed - and with her, not with the kid she was dobbing on.

Her sobbing started quietly and kept on going for a long time. But you can't cry and tell tales at the same time. And given the choice, I'd take the crying.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I've just made my first mosaic thingy. Will grout it in a couple of days. So pleased. My friend Sylvia taught me. She's wonderful.

new hair colour noticed...

... by a boy in one of my RE classes. What a legend. That brings the total number of people who noticed to 4 (and maybe only 3).

telling lies

We do girly warm up questions in our bible study group. A friend brings along a pack of pink and yellow question cards and we answer one each before we get going. Normally they're about movies or clothes or friends.

Today I scored this one: Would you tell a lie to help a friend?

Awful question to have to answer. But I didn't lie.

My answer was 'yes'. I have told lies to 'help' friends. Not often (hopefully). But enough. And not just the 'you're new hair-style looks great' type of lie. Sometimes I've thought of lying as the better of two bad options. What if you're asked an inappropriate question? Something that puts you badly on the spot. Something that if answered truthfully would lead to gossip or slander or some other kind of ungodliness. Is it better to brush such a question off with a quick fib? Or tell the truth and trust God with the consequences? Or say 'I can't answer that'.

Now don't get me wrong. I think that lying is terribly wrong. And all lies (big or little) compromise us and the truth of the gospel.

How would you have answered the question? Do you tell lies to help friends? Should you? Can you think of any bible passages we should consider?

Monday, May 4, 2009

the wind was in my face

"Back from your stroll at last!" she said
"Those reddened cheeks, how stunning!"
"The wind was in my face," he said
"and I wasn't walking but running."

"I saw you from inside," she said
"lying down and bawling."
"The gale was in my eyes," he said
"and I wasn't resting but crawling."

"Better late than never, I guess
come on now, let's get going."
"The wind's still in my face," he said
"it will never stop its blowing."

sar 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

dreaming of jupiter

On Friday, the year 4 class I taught was learning about space. One girl (whose name sounded like a singular form of this product, so what hope was there?) was particularly getting on my nerves because she saw nothing interesting in the topic. I love reading about space. How could she not find the gas giants fascinating?

Jupiter is my favorite planet. It is by far the biggest. Twice as big as all the others combined. It's basically all gas. I imagine sinking down through denser and denser atmosphere. What would happen when you reached the core? Gravity would have pulled you that far... then what? They have some wild weather on Jupiter. But how would a wind storm feel when you're already in thick gas? Jupiter has really long years (12 Earth years) and short days (about 10 hours long). That makes about 10,512 Jupiter days in a Jupiter year. Time would be a different thing.

See? It's fascinating. I feel sorry for that particular girl. If you can't find joy in space, what interest is there in life for you?

A couple of years ago, I was thinking about Jupiter and spun this fairy-tale like song lyric. I still like it. Jupiter is a kind of dream land and at the same time a figure who herself dreams...

Jupiter Dreaming

“Slip through worlds away awhile,”
Said sparkling eyes, defiant smile.
“Away to where impossible is true.”
“Jupiter, so far away,
Tomorrow there is yesterday.
And I can be with you,
And I can be with you.”

Jupiter dreaming...

Laughing, sinking through the air
I kissed her lips and kissed her hair
And watched as moon by moon came spinning by.
“Who cares for water, earth, or trees?”
She said, “Who cares for air to breathe?
For I am here with you,
For I am here with you.”

Jupiter dreaming...

Grown up thoughts inside my head
Drowning dreams until they're dead
And Jupiter a million miles away.
But still she dreams and will arise
Her golden light will fill the sky
And I will be with her,
And I will be with her.

Jupiter dreaming...

SAR 2007

Does space do it for you? Where is your dream land?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

liturgical dance anyone?

We're up to Acts 2 (Pentecost) in Sunday School tomorrow. Thought I'd look on the web for ideas on how to tell the story... instead of just getting on and writing it... (procrastination....)

Here's an interesting idea that I found:

Use Stravinski's Firebird Suite as background music. Encourage the children to interpret the story with their scarves as they listen to the story and music.

Hmm. Maybe not.

affectionately yours

Finally, I've written a sonnet! I've been trying for the last year. You can read my first attempt here. It started as a sonnet and ended up free-verse. Up until now I haven't been able to make the 5 beat thing work for me. Still struggle with it. Four beats are much more intuitive. And 14 lines? That's just odd.

I don't think this one is anything special. Trying to work out how faithful I need to be to the iambic meter (de-dum-de-dum-de-dum). Modern sonnets seem pretty loose with it (as I have been). Also wondering if the internal rhyme I've used messes too much with the end-of-line rhymes...

Whatever. It was fun to do. Truth is, I have a Sunday School lesson to write for tomorrow morning and am procrastinating.

Wendy and others...

for Sunday school tomorrow, I'm after these words in a few different languages:

Jesus is alive

Jesus is the king.

Can you help me?

So many things to do...

...including a Sunday school lesson for tomorrow.

We're seeing family this afternoon and I'm babysitting tonight. There's not much time.

But for some reason, the (frivolous) poem I'm working on at the moment seems the most pressing thing. Maybe I'll post it later.

A new month...

...and if I want to beat last month's blogging record (64 posts), I need to get on with it. Already missed a day. That means 5 posts today to catch up.

Shouldn't be hard if they're all the same calibre as this one.

The more the merrier.

Who needs quality when you can have quantity?