Friday, December 31, 2010

wow. 2010 is over.

A good year. Less angstful than other recent ones - which has probably made for a more boring blog. Thanks for sticking around.

703 posts. That's down a little on last year. I've been busier with work and stuff. Most of the stuff I've posted has been pretty forgettable. My controversial (stupid) posts on schooling drew the most comments (200ish) and probably lost me quite a few friends. But I've been pleased with some of the poems I've written.

Satellite (for Andrew)
Australia Post Does Not Deliver to Mars
The Soprano Will Always Get The Man

Looking at them with a bit more distance I want to put my red pen to some lines and I might, maybe. Remind me to never use the word 'soul' again.

nothing to do tonight?

You're welcome at our place. Fb me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

which natural disaster will it be for the 2011 richardson family getaway?

At the last major get-together we had serious bushfires. Prior to that it was a cyclone.

Next week we head to Christmas Creek. There's been quite a bit of rain. Will we have a flood or a landslide?

dreamworld today

I can live a happy and full life without ever going on another ride.

Really. What's the point? A long wait* followed by a minute of going up and down and around and around.

I prefer my adrenaline served in a different cup.

* two hours for a rollercoaster.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

story by nathan

Santa ran down the road calling for help. He was calling for help because he was being chased by The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™ . But then he saw his evil brother Satan who was holding a big sandwich. He said, “Mum & Dad wanted you to have this.” But little did Santa know that it was actually made by Satan. The sandwich was full of cannabis.

Satan offering his brother Santa a cannabis sandwich
Santa ate the sandwich and had a sudden jolt of energy and he rushed at Rudolf. Rudolf noticed that Santa had a pistol. Rudolf dived down. BING!!! BANG!!!!! BOOM!! Then Rudolf suddenly noticed that The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™  had come. The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™ was made by Satan when Santa started giving out presents and breeding reindeer. The members of  The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™ were Satan, Rudolf, Stinker, Fatty and boomer. Santa saw he couldn't win so went and hopped on his loyal reindeer Hopper and took out his iPhone 4 and called his elves. In about 4 minutes the elves arrived. The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™ saw that they couldn't win but when Rudolf was about to order the retreat Santa fell over. He wasn't shot but had had too much cannabis. When the elves saw this they ran as fast as they could back to the ELF HQ ™.

At ELF HQ ™ the elves planned their attack. The elves stepped out. They realised that The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™ was near. The Major General stepped out and took out a bazooka!! Suddenly the air was full of bullets. Boomer was cutting down elves with machine gun fire. The Major General was hit in the leg and was taken away and treated in hospital. The Lieutenant General wasn't so lucky. He was shot in the head and all his brains fell out. Then he was shot in the belly and all his guts fell out.

Stinker dived for the Major General’s bazooka. “He got a bazooka!!” cried a random elf. A bullet whizzed past Stinker and hit Fatty!! Fatty was not dead but dying. His blood started to make a river. The river of blood swept the elves back to ELF HQ ™.

river of blood

Stinker fired his bazooka at the elves as they were swept away. Then Santa stepped out of ELF HQ ™. The elves got out of the river of blood and started shooting The ANTI~SANTA TEAM ™. Rudolf ordered the retreat. When Rudolf was running Santa jumped on him. Rudolf got out a knife and stabbed Santa and all Santa's guts fell out. When the elves saw this they fled to the elf council in the South Pole.


Pictures by Joel. More here.

pics by joel

reindeer with bazooka

secret underground elf headquarters
about-to-be-dead Santa

next blog

Is it random? I hit 'next blog' 30 times and 28 of them were obviously written by christians. Does google skew it to my interests?

top 5 things about Nathan

It's Nathan's birthday tomorrow. Given his commitment to the blogosphere, I thought it appropriate to mark the occasion here - in list form because nothing beats a list for succinct and interesting briting (blog-writing).

Top 5 things about Nathan Campbell

1. He shares a birthday with Jesus. That's special. He also has other similarities with Jesus, like putting himself out for other people.
2. Nathan (with his omni-competent wife, Robyn) has been a student minister at our church this year. Andrew and I like this.
3. Nathan has a fast mind. Really fast. He can think and type twice as fast as I can think or type.
4. Nathan never finds fault or criticises something without being 100% committed to finding a solution for the problem. In fact, criticising is not really what Nathan does. He put's his mind to work at fixing stuff.
5. He trawls the internet and discovers gold. Without Nathan, I'd never have benefitted from the ministry of this guy.

Happy birthday. Hope you get some presents not wrapped in christmas paper.

top 5 things to do with children unable to contain their excitement over christmas

1. Yell at them. This dampens the mood somewhat.
2. Tell them to clean their rooms to make way for the new stuff the could potentially get. Then tell them to clean the rest of the house as well.
3. Get Daddy to sing his mop-microphone, over-dramatic version of Silent Night. Heck, we're all excited! Not just the kids!
4. Tell them that for every 5 minutes they are unsettled after bedtime, they need to wait an extra 10 minutes in the morning before opening their presents.
5. Give them unlimited electronic time. At least it will keep them quiet.

Wendy suggested this list. I've done all 5 today.

trombone and clarinet

One of the advantages of being part of a small church is that not-so-great instrumentalists can take part. Our basic set up is pretty solid (piano, bass, guitar, drums) and over summer we're adding some kids into the mix. 

10 year old Josh is our summer drummer. He's pretty good. Amazingly good actually. I forget it's him drumming when I'm on piano.

My boy Nathan (10) has also started to join in. He plays one song each week on trombone. I write him out a very simple part that won't get in the way.

Joel (9) will be learning clarinet next year. We brought the clarinet home from school early to give him a head start. He's making his church debut tomorrow with a nice little alto line in silent night. Joel is a scream. He can't read stave notation at all (heck, he can barely read normal writing!) so I wrote out his part in stick notation (ta's and te-te's with letter names underneath). That seemed to be going okay (with Andrew pointing to the notes) but when his music fell off the stand he said not to worry about it because it just made it harder. He then played it perfectly without music.

I need to think hard about how to teach Joel music. I know how to teach kids to read staff notation. Joel can parrot off Every-Good-Boy-Deserves-Fruit and F-A-C-E Face, but if he still can't read the words in a sentence accurately and in the correct order, what are the chances of him being able to read notes? Should I even bother trying this? Maybe I should teach him scales and chords so he understands how music works and then encourage him to just make it up. 

top 5 gifts to give ME when you have no idea what to give

1. Blank book.  I like pretty. Not too small.
2. Nice pen or lead pencils.
3. itunes money or music shop voucher (instrument shop that is, not cd shop)
4. Good socks to run in
5. Anything with an apple symbol on it.

top 5 gifts to give when you have no idea what to give

1. Nice coffee or tea (male or female)
2. Pretty journal or blank book (female)
3. itunes money (either)
4. Lorna Jane cap/drink bottle/socks (female)
5. Borders voucher

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

top 5 songs I'd like my choir to sing in 2011

1. I'll stand by you (Pretenders)

2. Shackleton (Paul Jarman)

3. Something I write. Maybe with a planetary theme.

4. La-ti-do-re

5. Abide with me

top 5

Might break the silence with some lists.

Nathan's doing top 10s. I'll do top 5s. 



with Christmas blogdom.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

note to children

Please try to sort out your own troubles before coming to me. If you come to me we will go through all the steps of Conflict Resolution. It is a long process and it's unlikely that you will be declared an innocent party.

sola panel

I dropped a comment on Jean's post. Couldn't resist.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"In this brave new world of Biblical Womanhood...

...three kids just doesn't seem quite enough some days" says Karen.

For years I felt guilty for stopping at three kids. Or I thought it was guilt that I felt. Then I realised it wasn't that I wanted a fourth child, I just didn't want others to have four kids. How can I 'win' if my friend has more kids than me? The extra child makes her a better mother and makes the non-kid stuff I do not count. How can she be expected to do x? She has four kids! 

Stupid and twisted. It's not a competition! Why should it matter to me how many kids my friend has! I don't care if my friend does x. I don't do what I do to out do her! Her choices are none of my business!

$443 per child

Queensland parents apparently spend an average of $443 on each child's christmas presents.

It seems a lot, but we're spending twice that on just one of our kids.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Two nights ago I had a slightly sore throat and an ache in my left shoulder. I don't get sore throats or aches in my shoulder so I knew it had to be something serious. I put myself to bed early and took some panadol knowing that soon the fever would hit and I would be out of action for weeks if not months.

24 hours later, I was fine. No more sore throat and a shoulder that powered through a solid one hour weights class... making me fearful that I am victim to an even worse condition.

Luckily there are tests readily available for this kind of thing.

It seems I'm in the clear. Phew!

Your Hypochondria Rating:Low
It is unlikely that you are a hypochondriac. You may occassionally fret over your health, but this is not abnormal. Health fears do not dominate your day and cause unnecessary anxiety, and your outlook in this area appears well within the normal range.
Hypochondria Symptoms and Treatment

stuff god likes

An RE idea for second half of term one.

Stuff God Likes
1. Justice (?)
2. Mercy (Mt 18 - parable of unmerciful servant)
3. Grace/generosity (Mt 20 - parable of workers in the vineyard)
4. Faith (Mt 8 - faith of centurian)
5-6. The Cross

Weeks 1-4 could each be represented by a big jigsaw puzzle piece. We put all the pieces together then turn over the puzzle to reveal the cross. Talk about how justice, mercy, grace and faith all meet at the cross.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm 'Humbled'

Actually, no. I'm amazed at how brilliant I am.

Quieting amazement at one's own brilliance does not equal being humbled.

Please don't confuse the two any more.

ps. Being humbled usually involves humiliation.

burn the land and boil the sea.

Finished rewatching Firefly. What next?


Series 4 - The New World will be on in the middle of next year. Like series 3, it will follow a mini-series format with one big connected story rather than jut a different monster each week. It will have 10 episodes. Can't wait.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After doing a little less for the last few months, I'm back into it. Each week I'm aiming for:

- 3x 5km runs
- 2x weights classes
- 3x 1.5-2km swims

The swimming is easy. The kids swim too. It doesn't take much out of me. The running is painful and slow. It only takes 40ish minutes but wrecks me for hours afterwards. Pump classes are fun but more of a hassle to organise around the kids. I've upped my weights a little. In itself, this release isn't too hard but with heavier weights it's a killer. I'm currently lifting 32.5kg for squats, 20kg chest, 20kg back, 5kg biceps, 25kg lunges, 10kg shoulders.

I love summer. Feel like life doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the complementarian/egalitarian debate continues

Click here to see the latest comments.

Or put comments on this post so I don't have to keep moderating them (I moderate on posts more than 2 weeks old.)

Joel's Christmas List (unedited)




(Joel is 9)

I will be really disappointed...

... if I don't get a dvd of Eclipse for Christmas.

Just saying.

last night...

...we heard Peter and Christine Brain speak at a ministry couples dinner.

They suggested that the ministry spouse should aim to be a non-anxious presence.

I like that.

I can do that.


So if there was some great cataclysmic event and you were the only person left on the planet, would there be any point living? What would you do once you had food, water and shelter sorted?

Monday, December 13, 2010

the five love languages for

You know the books. There are many of them: the five love languages, the five love languages for couples, the five love languages of children, the five love languages for adolescents, the five love languages of apology... Gary Chapman has done great work with this series and it's all immensely helpful. But I think he's left one out. The next book that Gary needs to write is...

The Five Love Languages of Pets: How to express heartfelt affection for and commitment to your pet.

I often see my dog sitting outside my door looking so sad. Her love tank is empty. But how do I fill it?

I think you'll agree that this book needs to be written.

My research so far suggests that dogs speak the same five languages of love as do their human owners.

1. Words of affirmation ('Good dog!')
2. Quality time (Come and sit over here!)
3. Receiving gifts (Mummy's got something for you! She's got you a big bone, yes she has!)
4. Acts of service (Walkies? Dinner?)
5. Physical touch (You want a pat. Yes you do!)

I'm still trying to work out my dog's primary love language. How about your precious pooch? Do any of the five stand out? Gold fish owners - what do you think? How does your pet best receive love?

(Andrew has just accused me of big time anthropomorphising. Oh well.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

don't close your eyes

On tonight. Come along!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

clarinet day 2

I played this round with myself.
Still having trouble going over the break. I'm fine once I'm there, but moving from A-B is tricky.

Still having trouble going over the break. I'm fine once I get there, but moving between A and B is tricky.

I just got an email from Nathan (age 10)

My Christmas wish list
Electronic devices
Macbook/Dell laptop
Computer Games
Lego Star Wars the complete Saga Wii
Super Mario galaxy Wii
Super Mario galaxy2 Wii
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Wii
Harry Potter
Star Wars
The 39 clues book 5,8,9,10
Harry Potter Series
Mr. Beans Holiday
The ultimate disaster movie (Mr. Bean)
New essential elements 2000
Star Wars Music Book

Friday, December 10, 2010

clarinet day 1

I'd welcome hints from any clarinet players out there. I'm teaching myself.

One of the keys keeps on getting stuck - the one that I'd manage with the little finger of my left hand. Is this normal? Can I fix it myself?

a new toy

for me Joel. He'll be learning at school next year. I brought his instrument home from school today so I he can get a head start.

I've got an interest in Joel going well on clarinet. The kids had to do a written test to see who'd qualify for the instrumental program. Joel didn't qualify. (Written tests aren't his thing.) He was pretty disappointed - he's been wanting to learn clarinet for ages. I made some noise about it and he was accepted - but I was told that kids who go badly on that test won't be successful on an instrument.

Joel played for half an hour this afternoon. After 10 minutes he knew how to produce a nice tone and play 5 notes.

I started clarinet today as well. My tone is inconsistent and I'm having issues going over the break. I also don't really get what all the little keys do. Brass instruments make more sense.

Holiday Electronic Media Policy

Here is my new holiday EM policy for the kids.

I don't care how much time you spend on Electronic Media as long as:
- you are always polite and co-operative
- you do one hour (or equivalent) of exercise a day (N and J >750m swimming, M>500m, good length bike ride)
- you have reading time (N>1hour, J>30mins, M>15mins)
- you have at least 1 hour of creative time (includes art, lego, music practice, general play etc.)
- your stuff is put away and your room is tidy

Day one and things are going well. Not too much EM happening. Everyone occupied and happy.

What do you think? Do you have a policy?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catapult party

We're having Micah's 7th birthday party tomorrow. Small. We're firing catapults with a few friends. Ammunition at this stage looks like being jaffas, marshmallows and cheezels. We're going for both distance and direction. Then we'll be playing 'bomb the brothers' and firing all sorts of yucky stuff at the big boys (who will be hiding behind card-board box barricades).

Micah doesn't like cake so I don't make him one. If I remember, I'll stick some candles on the pizza I bought from coles.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

awards night over

One school performance left.

Monday, December 6, 2010

started work on a new set of kids songs

I've not written kids lyrics for ages. Thought I'd forgotten how.

Then I was helped.

school report comments

Our kids have been blessed with great teachers this year. Reports came home today. I've enjoyed reading them. The teachers know our boys pretty well.

Those of you who know N, J and M, can you match the comment to the child?

1. It has been pleasing to see ________ working on his sometimes cynical nature.

2. ________ has taken his work very seriously throughout the year.

3. ________ has variable control of language elements such as grammar, sentence structure, punctuation and vocabulary.

4. _______'s specialised areas of knowledge and his willingness to teach his classmates have made him an invaluable member of our class this semester.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Are you happy?

What is happiness anyway? What does it feel like for you? What causes it?

[Please please please don't bring 'joy' into this. I just want to know about happy.]

Saturday, December 4, 2010

how many...

... episodes of Angel is too many to watch in a day?

the meaning of life?

Right now it's Angel.


Friday, December 3, 2010

are we there yet?

this has been a fantastic year

Work has become a bigger part of my life, with the moves from supply to contract teaching, classroom to music teaching, and working in a group of schools to working at just one school. I'm loving it and feel like I'm doing a good job. With the change of address and now living just across the road from school, family, church and work life feels smoother and more integrated. The kids love having me based where they are.

Still waiting to find out if I have a job next year. If I don't, it's back to the supply circuit (which is easy and lucrative, but not as much fun.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ideas for 2011

Can't do another bible musical next year. That's stretching the friendship. And 'Easter - The Musical' is a little confronting. So how about a Roald Dahl musical? The Enormous Crocodile? The Magic Finger? Any other suggestions? Needs to be pretty short.

But what about RE? Need something big to draw things together. How does this sound. An art show. We go hard at teaching all year and try to draw out certain themes, have a few little riffs that we keep repeating (We know God loves us because he sent Jesus to die for us, Faith is believing that God will do what he said he'll do...) then towards the end of the year give the kids our list of themes (God's love, faith etc) and ask them to create an art work depicting one of them. We give them a few weeks (in RE time) to work on it, and offer prizes. We get them to write a couple of sentences about their art work, then mount them up nicely and display them in the school hall (hmm... or church hall). We have a special week at RE where we give out prizes and choose a few paintings to talk about - maybe we'd chose some depicting God's power in creation, God's sadness at sin, God's love in the cross - and give a little talk tying them together.

We could make it a whole family event. Put on afternoon tea or something. Make it look like an art gallery.

What do you think? Would it work? Would it be worthwhile?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A success

Our musical went really well. We had three performances - each got better. Everyone pumped. We've invited the kids to perform it again at our carols service sunday week.

Thanks for your prayers.

Trouble is, where do we go from here?


It's not just me.

I need a disability allowance to pay for a secretary.


I've been living on it for the last couple of months.

I go cold turkey tomorrow.

Pack away the steak-knives.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Musical on tomorrow

Please pray for us. Another week to pull it together would have been nice. The costumes are brilliant - all made over the weekend by an extremely dedicated and capable mother. There are some nice moments in the show. The songs are good but before we publish we need someone who knows about drama and acting to rewrite the narration. It's adequate, but only just.

Tomorrow the whole school is walking to our church (in three shifts) to see the show. Hoping for good things.

Bold and Beautiful

Nathan pointed this out.

I have a soft spot for the bold. When I was at uni, I watched it once a week. On Saturdays I worked in a bakery and the girls I worked with would spend 2 hours telling me blow by blow what happened in the other 4 episodes. This went on for years. I experienced many of Ridge's weddings and at least 2 of Taylor's deaths. I admit to supporting Brooke over Taylor. Probably because I'm a second child. These days I watch an episode each year or two. Good to see that the kids have all grown up and are now a part of the incestuous mix.

Anyone else have an interest?

rehearsal day

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I had an email from a reader wanting me to stop chopping off my head in photos that I post. Here. A photo complete with my head (most of it, anyway.) Thank you photo-booth.

I think we deserve a 'Spirit of Christmas' award

Andrew made a manger today.

An excellent way to remind ourselves of the true meaning of christmas (something about animals, I think.)

narration written

I finished it on Friday in time to give to the kids.

Today we (Andrew and Joel) made a manger. Now I just have to source a baby (the plastic variety) to put in it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

For Christmas...

... I'd like to have Mark B. and Joanna and Michael J. in my lounge room talking through these issues. I'd sit in the corner and listen.

Jo is coming (she's my sister-in-law!). Mark and Michael, if you don't have other plans, I'd love it if you could join us.

Listening to 'Undivided'

My copy came in the mail today. Our songs are first and last. I've not had a first or last song on an adult's cd before. Both dangerous positions. If the first song's a dud, no one will stay around for the rest of the cd and if any of the songs are really bad, the final song could never be heard!

Of the middle eight songs, my favourites are Michael Morrow's Lift Up Your Heads and Trevor Hodge's No Other Name.

Michael's brilliance is that he can take an obscure biblical image - the anthropomorphised gates of Psalm 24 - and make us not just understand it, but feel it. Completely non cliche. We hear the words and have a vivid picture in our minds. And so wonderfully joyful. Why would anyone be glum? Jesus has opened the gates of heaven.

Trevor Hodge's No Other Name is a different kind of song. A bit epic. But I find I'm wanting to keep on listening to it. Think it will work really well in church.

I think Undivided could be emu's best cd yet. I'll be listening for a while.

Anyone else got their copy?

musical narration still not written

Strangely unstressed about it.

4 days out from performance.

Maybe I'll just make it up at the dress rehearsal...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I wish...

1. Musical narrations would write themselves.

2. All parents were like the parent I spoke to on the phone this afternoon. "You shouldn't be worrying about the musical costumes. Let me sort it all out!"

3. The teachers would give me my musical kids for the whole day on Monday so I could rehearse them properly.

4. There was another day in this week.

5. We didn't have to sing a Christmas carol at parliament house tomorrow. (We'll do our normal repertoire as well, but silent night still needs a lot of work.)

6. I had shoes that matched my parliament house-appropriate dress.

7. I had time to rehearse my choir again before our performance tomorrow.

8. I had done all the paperwork for our performance tomorrow.

9. I was better at remember people's names.

10. I was better at asking people for help.

This is me not panicking. 

First things first. Write the musical narration. I can do this. I will do this now. 

[Or maybe I'll blog.]

Monday, November 22, 2010

how to make schools better.

Pay teachers significantly more and expect significantly more from them (us).

Q - How much more should they (we) be paid?
A- 150% of current pay.

Q - What more should be expected?
A - Heaps more professional development - to be undertaken outside of school time.

Q - What would the PD be?
A - Hm. Example. Primary Classroom. Teachers choose a stream that interests them - Maths, English, Science, History, Literacy, Disability, Learning difficulties, Music, Art... whatever, and become experts in their field. They need to re-enrol in an arts/science degree and each year take general subjects (not education subjects) to increase their own knowledge/understanding base. Eg. A teacher might enrol in a Calculus or biology or art history subject. A music teacher might study Baroque music or learn clarinet. A teacher interested in English might study contemporary Australian poets or do a creative writing class. A learning disability person would do some cognitive development psych.  They have to do this study like any other student, with assessment etc.

They'd do one general subject per year and another education specific subject, where they are encouraged [forced] to creatively engage researching best practice for teaching that subject.

They'd need to go to conferences and present papers and listen to others.

What do you think? Would it make a difference?

Kite flying week

This week I'll be flying some kites. Significant thought and effort (5+ minutes) will have gone into the design and construction of each. Feel free to interact.

single adoptive mothers

Should single women who long to be mothers be able to adopt children?

What do you think?

My historical knowledge comes largely from Anne of Green Gables books, but my impression is that in the past single women adopted kids all the time. Before the days of good medicine and abortion there were always kids who needed to be looked after. It was seen (by L.M. Montgomery, at least) as a godly thing for a single woman to look to adopt. So why not now?

I know that adoption is very difficult these days. There aren't that many Australian kids up for adoption and adopting from overseas countries is a notoriously long and painful process.

But if these things weren't barriers? Theoretically? What do you think?

[Single women are able to foster children. In fact, most foster carers are single women.]

'thick' and 'thin' complementarianism

This is worth thinking about.

It is worth examining that convictional pattern just a little. The label ‘complementarian’ has been given to those who believe that there New Testament does place a restriction on roles for women in the church’s ministry. However, there are those who extrapolate from the evidence of the New Testament to a full theory of gender roles grounded in the creation perhaps in the very being of God himself. This is then a ‘thick’ description of complementarianism. A ‘thin’ complementarianism is wary of ontological statements and wants to uphold the profound equality of human beings expressed through the difference of roles indicated in Scripture. It would be accurate to say that most Sydney Anglicans are ‘thin’ complementarians in the sense that they don’t seek to import some view of the essential difference between men and women in the way that some American complementarians have. The risk of a ‘thin’ position is that it seems incomplete. It invites ‘thickening’. After all, as a broad cultural phenomenon we can see how fascinated people are with gender and how confused they are about manhood and womanhood. And yet, thickening the description of gender difference beyond the scope of Scripture may result in a coagulated mess.

Are you thick or thin (or something else entirely)?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I love our new house

We've been here for 2 weeks now and I'm a fan. Here's why.

1. It's lovely. Two bay windows. Beautiful cornices. High ceilings. Fresh paint.
2. It's big. Today we had 20ish people over and it didn't feel crowded. Half on deck, half in dining room (dining room opens onto the deck). I think we could have easily fit another 30. The two big lounge rooms were empty. The other day we had 3 extra boys over. It was raining. They ran around inside and I hardly noticed.
3. It's not too big. It's basically single level so I don't feel like the kids are too far away from me. (I don't like houses where you feel like you're all alone.) Andrew has an office and bathroom downstairs so he can work undisturbed. 
4. It's only 5 steps down to the back yard. You can see the yard from the kitchen, deck and dining room.
5. It's across the road from school and a 5 minute walk to church.



dining room
family room
lounge room

window in our room


reports written!

Friday, November 19, 2010

my new uke

I went to the shop looking for a $30 uke. After I saw some very nice $319 ones, the $30 model wasn't ever going to happen. This one cost me $60.

I have a ukulele!

So much fun!

I feel tropical.

even more sermons and songs

Don't miss any of these.

More sermon titles and closing songs.

I can't leave these ones at the bottom of a comment list.

This is from Mark:


The closing song: WHEN I SURVEY
sermon: Song of Songs: it's all about Jesus and the Church.
Closing song: Lord, you put a tongue in my mouth.

(and yes, that is a real song. Songs of Praise has a lot to answer for.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Falling asleep.

3 classes to go.

sermons and appropriate closing songs.

The sermon title this morning: WOMEN IN THE CHURCH

The closing song: RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD

The sermon this morning: GOSSIP ... THE SPEAKING OF EVIL

The closing song: I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

The sermon this morning: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES # 3 ... EUTHANASIA

The closing song: TAKE MY LIFE

Can you think of any others?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

decoding school reports

some = not very much

developing = not going backwards

will improve with practice = can only improve

getting pretty good at this

11 classes of reports written. 5 left.

Here's a sample. Year 5, A- level.

Alice can read and notate rhythms in simple time from whole to sixteenth notes with a very high level of accuracy. She has participated in drumming activities and can perform a 4/4 beat on the high hats and snare drum in time and is developing the ability to also use the kick drum. Alice's recorder playing is progressing well. She is learning to aurally distinguish between different pitches and play phrases that she has heard. She can perform prepared songs on her recorder with a very high level of pitch and rhythmic accuracy. With practice, her tone will become more consistent. Alice is an engaged and capable student. She is a delight to teach.

And another. Year 5, C level.

Hannah can read and notate rhythms in simple time from whole to sixteenth notes with a high level of accuracy. Hannah has participated in drumming activities and can perform a basic 4/4 beat on the high hats and snare drum with some sense of timing. Hannah's recorder playing is developing and with more practice she will be able to accurately play simple tunes.

Are those comments meaningful to a non-music teacher parent?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

how long can a meeting run?

oh. man.

Thank goodness for pcq wireless internet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

egalitarian? complementarian?

I've just read Jean's Sola Panel post and most of the 239 comments. Phew!

Some thoughts.

1. The whole debate gets on my nerves. We have so much wonderful, rich, exciting goodness in the gospel... Why must we spill so much ink and so many tears over a handful of verses? [Yes. Yes. I know why we must. I just wish we didn't have to.]

2. I'm in the complementarian camp but often I want to go pitch my tent elsewhere. Here are some reasons why.

a. Complementarians often talk about male headship as leadership. The man needs to be the one driving things and making the decisions. He needs to have an alpha male personality - be driven, competitive, bold, confident, aggressive (of course, in a loving, serving way) - in order to be godly. Not so. Many men would need a personality transplant to achieve this. Teaching along these lines makes wives discontent with the very okay husbands God has given them.

b. Complementarians can similarly reduce godly femininity to a certain personality type. Women were not created in such a way as to be able to be driven, confident, assertive, responsible, bear heavy burdens etc. The godly woman will find herself at home. She will have a personality that complements the alpha-male - needing his decisiveness, direction etc. But many women naturally have drive and ambition and are capable of heading up multi-national companies. What are such woman to do on conversion? Repent of their capabilities?

c. A sector of complementarian women are so obsessed with home and kids you'd be forgiven for thinking they are wives and mothers first and christians second (or fifth).

d. Too much talk about male/femaleness makes contentment tricky for single friends. My humanity is more important than my gender. There are more than 5 chapters of the bible that apply to women.

e. The feminist movement was largely a good thing. I'm thankful for my education, my pay, my contraception, my vote...

f. The application of the complementarian position is far from simple. What is prophecy, anyway?

3. But I won't pitch my tent in the egalitarian camp, because

a. I think they are wrong. The bible does say that the husband is the head of the wife. Can't wriggle out of that even if it grates. Need to work out how God can say that and mean it and still be good and fair.

b. Egalitarians can be far too preoccupied with power issues.

c. Feminist readings of ... well, most things... make me groan.

d. When I hear women preaching to mixed groups I feel that they have given in to something I've had to fight in myself. This makes it difficult for me to listen well.

e. If it hasn't already, I think an egalitarian interpretation of Eph 5 etc, will eventually lead to liberalism. At some point we need to work out what we do with parts of the bible that we don't like. Will we accept that God is good and that he has said x even though we don't like it? Or will we try to argue that he couldn't have said x?

4. I appreciated Mark Baddeley's comments. I wish he would become a presbyterian. Please Mark? Please?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Two whole year levels done!

That's seven classes down. Only nine left.

interpret my dream

I had this dream three times last night. Woke up between each.

I need to get to the airport and am hopelessly late - the plane leaves in 20minutes. First time, I'm screaming at Andrew to take me but he's doing other stuff. Second time Andrew can't take me because we have an extra kid with us so won't all fit in the car. Third time, Andrew's out and won't answer his phone. All three times I realise that there's no way I could make the plane. I haven't even packed or checked in yet.

I'm not flying anywhere any time soon. So what does my dream mean? Underneath my cool, calm, easy going exterior could there be an anxious, stressed little bunny? My choir is performing this afternoon. And next week. And in 17 days we are doing my musical (which isn't fully written yet). And I haven't been able to send letters home about it and communicate with parents (except with the one parent who is v.v.v.sad that her girl didn't get the leading part) I have one week to finish assessing my kids and write 420 more reports. And I have 2 sunday school units to write. And a gingerbread event to speak at and...

But I'm not actually feeling stressed. Life is good and exciting. It's just that my resting heart rate is faster than normal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I have a new dress

It's making me happy. Not joyful, of course. (Joy can't be bought for $9.95.) Just happy. But happy is good.

It's green and has sparkly butterflies. Who wouldn't want a dress like this?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have 16 classes of kids to write reports for. No idea how I'm going to get it done. Haven't even finished assessing yet.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

evil lurks in the frigid air

This is why I read blogs.

Truth expressed oh so well.

Jetstar travel story

We got this email from Jetstar today.

At Jetstar we're proud to be helping millions of Australians travel with our famous low fares. But we know low fares are just part of the story. 
Submit your best Jetstar travel story and top travel tip and you could win a Jetstar voucher for return flights to anywhere on the Jetstar network for you and a friend!
There will be a competition winner every day! 
Check out the site now!
I'm thinking of entering. I have several Jetstar travel stories to share. My favourites are the one where Jetstar cancelled my flight out of Sydney which mucked around my mum who was looking after the kids and cost me $200 in mobile phone calls while I was on hold trying to get on another Jetstar flight and the one where our family and another family were trying to get to Melbourne for our sister's wedding and the flight was cancelled and we had to fly with 4 kids at 10pm then drive for 3 hours through country Victoria on the black Saturday weekend.

Seriously, isn't this a high risk kind of publicity? This is an invitation for us to recall all our bad experiences.

moving done.

The piano and internet arrived this morning.

Now, back to life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

things I like about moving house

1. You get a new house.
2. Friends and family help. This is nice.
3. A new house is kind of like a new year. A fresh start. An opportunity to make resolutions and try new things.
4. There's the chance to sort and chuck stuff. I haven't embraced this to the extent that I could have - only a couple of trips to the dump. (Next time we need to downsize so I have to throw out more.)
5. Um...

things I hate about moving house

1. The disgusting state of the house you move out of - under the fridge, under the bookshelves. Yuck. Did I actually live in this filth?
2. The last 15 boxes that are filled with random things. Awful to unpack.
3. The dust that gets in my eyes and nose.
4. The sad look on the dog's face. Can we go home now?
5. The two days with no internet. (Thankful for careless neighbours with an unsecured network.)

I still have to unpack 2 boxes of cds and one box of books and take the pictures off the walls at the other house and put them up here. The other house has a clean kitchen and bathroom but everything else is in a pretty sad state.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New House!

Went over after school today. We've already unpacked all the kids' books and filled the bedroom cupboards with everything but clothes. Tonight I hope to pack the kitchen. Tomorrow the plan is to move just about everything except the big furniture (beds, lounges etc.)

The house is nice and big, but it's a rental property. Give me $2000 and a week and I'll make it much better. New blinds, a lick of paint in a couple of rooms, rip up a bit of carpet... and it would be superb. But it would probably increase the price by $150 a week.

I may be a bit quiet for the next few days. You'll know what's going on. Then again, I might not be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 exciting things

1. My choir has been asked to sing at Qld Parliment house later this month. How cool is that? No other schools. Just us. We'll sing some of our usual repertoire and have been asked to also sing a christmas carol. Which should we do?

2. I started rehearsals today for pp and my first musical Don't Close Your Eyes. It's a little nativity thing. 5 songs plus narration. The kids loved the songs. Someone said 'It sounds like Pocahontas!" Um. Yes.

3. We get the keys for our new house tomorrow.

10 reasons GTD systems are not for me

Watch this.

1. A system is an empty box. What matters is what you put inside it.
2. Systems like this are deceptive. They make you think that you have life and relationships under control. You don't.
3. I enjoy the adrenaline rush of occasionally not being able to find things. It makes me think up creative solutions.
4. Show me someone who has every piece of music is filed neatly and I'll show you someone who can't play without a score.
5. Making and maintaining systems can be a procrastination in itself. Don't make a note that you need to make the phone call! Just make the phone call!
6. Creativity is messy. Did Van Gough have a desk like that? Or Einstein? Or Luther?
7. Systems like this can only be maintained by certain personality types. Others will despair.
8. You will achieve more if you ride the wave of your personality. I manage to keep a pretty tidy house by limiting the amount of stuff I have inside it. The letter box is filled with messy, boring paper that will tell me to do things I don't want to do. The letter box can keep it. So can my pidgeon hole at work. If I'm looking or a bill to pay, I know where to go.
9. ?????
10. ??????

Can you suggest #9 and #10?

10 reasons GTD systems are not for me

Watch this.

1. A system is an empty box. What matters is what you put inside it.
2. Systems like this are deceptive. They make you think that you have life and relationships under control. You don't.
3. I enjoy the adrenaline rush of occasionally not being able to find things. It makes me think up creative solutions.
4. Show me someone who has every piece of music is filed neatly and I'll show you someone who can't play without a score.
5. Making and maintaining systems can be a procrastination in itself. Don't make a note that you need to make the phone call! Just make the phone call!
6. Creativity is messy. Did Van Gough have a desk like that? Or Einstein? Or Luther?
7. Systems like this can only be maintained by certain personality types. Others will despair.
8. You will achieve more if you ride the wave of your personality. I manage to keep a pretty tidy house by limiting the amount of stuff I have inside it. The letter box is filled with messy, boring paper that will tell me to do things I don't want to do. The letter box can keep it. So can my pidgeon hole at work. If I'm looking or a bill to pay, I know where to go.
9. ?????
10. ??????

Can you suggest #9 and #10?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ten disadvantages of fossil fuels

[Taken from Nathan's homework.]

1. They run out (eventually)
2. They create CO2
3. They make interest rates rise (in Oz)
4. They make people not vote for the ALP because of the mining tax
5. Costs a lot to transport
6. Makes pollution when burnt
7. Oil spills
8. Mining coal is dangerous. Many die.
9. Coal mining makes acid go into the waterways.
10. Coal mining makes methane go into the air.

Monday, November 1, 2010

amazing, the things you do when you should be packing the house...

Poor Nathan Bear (Nathan's oldest teddy) was near ruin. His insides were all on the outside and he was sadly torn. After major surgery he is back in one piece. I fear the scars will remain...

Venn Diagram Comp Prize Options!

Good things come to those who wait, and Ben has been waiting for a while. But I've now sorted through my house, and have a whole box of brand new (...well, they've never been used) prizes for him to chose from.  These items have been collected over the years and put into my present store but never used. See something you like? Make sure you enter my next competition!

Ben, you get to chose one of these fantastic items! Let us know your choice in the comment section and email me your address.

1. Micro Agent Listener - Ever wanted to eaves drop on a conversation? This listening device with extendable microphone allows you to hear around corners!
2. Book - What Women Really Need - Lesley Ramsey and other Australian women speak about Jesus.
3. 1L Clear Tupperware jug with blue lid
4. Tupperware dressing or milk thingy. Clear with black lid and flip top.
5. Tupperware measuring cups. Every household needs some of these.
6. Spy Motion Alarm - Guard against spies and catch intruders with this invisible beam sensor!
7. Silver plated compact mirror with pink flower pattern. (This kind of thing.) In gift box. Suitable for wife's handbag. (I gave these as teacher gifts last year and had this one left over. It's pretty.)

Want one of these prizes? Make sure you enter the next competition!

Glad to be moving out

We have new neighbours. A guy is out in the yard speaking on the phone. In the last 3 minutes there's been  about 20 f''ings.

Die Kingston!

The monte-carlo is nothing compared to the orange slice.

But the monte-carlo is bearable if placed next to the delta cream or kingston. In a packet of Arnotts assorted, the shortbread cream will always win.

1. Shortbread cream
2. Orange slice
3. Monte Carlo
4. Delta Cream
5. Kingston

But this is obvious too.

I feel like some controversy

Maybe I'll get it with this post. Maybe I won't.

The idea 'A wife will either half or double her husband's ministry' is commonly tossed around.

But you never hear the inverse, which is just as true: A husband will either double or half his wife's ministry.

A husband who is lazy, overly exacting, tyrannical, angry, undisciplined, demanding, high maintenance, ungodly, burdensome... will reduce his wife's capacity to love and serve her children, friends and church. Of course he will.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Packing is going excellently well. I'm quite excited about it.

This morning I was contemplating spending quite a bit of money buying boxes. ($292.26.) Then the good people at BWS, MacDonalds, Subway, and Mitre 10 kindly donated many, many near-new boxes to our cause. The buzz of saving money got the day off to a great start.

I've now packed all the books in the house. Too bad if anyone wants to read anything. The boxes are labelled precisely - "Bookshelf A, box 4. LHS middle shelf." And there is a helpful picture illustrating exactly where the books should go. Nathan is at the age where he is very useful. He managed to carefully pack all the books from his room (3 boxes) while keeping up with his Saturday ABC News 24 schedule (all work stops during Foreign Correspondent.) The kids also packed the dvds and videos, returning each to its correct case. The cds were a huge job. I still have 15 cds without cases and 20 cases without cds. How does this happen?

All up, we've packed 37 boxes. Here's what remains: (written for my benefit)
- Bedroom cupboards (not clothes). The kids and mine will be fast because I've already cleaned them out. Andrew's will be a task.  (Sunday)
- games chest (Sunday)
- Desktop computer and desk
- Bathroom cupboard
- Bedroom misc
- Linen cupboard
- Pictures off walls
- clothes
- kitchen
- laundry
- the horrible mess that is 'under the house'

personality prayers for my family

Nathan -
* ESTJ: God, help me to not try to RUN everything. But, if you need some help, just ask!
* ESTP: God, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually NOT my fault.

* INTP: Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.


* ISFP: Lord, help me to stand up for my rights (if you don’t mind my asking)

myers briggs prayers

I'm ENTP. Here's my prayer.

Lord, help me follow established procedures today. On second thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes.

Except I wouldn't pray that because I don't want to follow established procedures. At all.

The INTP and ENFP prayers also speak to me:

* INTP: Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.

* ENFP: God, help me to keep my mind on one th-Look a bird!-ing at a time.

These are heaps of fun. Thanks Jean.

the social network

Andrew and I saw this yesterday. Loved it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

right now

Watching: Angel

Listening: New songs from emu's coming cd 'undivided'

Reading: First Term at Malory Towers (again.)

Writing: Year 3 music test paper

Thinking about: Romans 8

Yes. I know. Nothing too profound right now.


how good will the new creation be? (rom 8:18)

how I imagine romans 8:18-21

 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Here's how I imagine it. Think of a fairy tale kingdom. There is a bad royal family. They are mean and nasty and corrupt and horrible. The whole kingdom groans under their rule. No one is happy. People are jailed for no reason. Everyone has to work far too hard. Farms don't produce properly because the rulers skimp on fertilizer and equipment. Taxes are really high. No services are provided. There is no freedom. Nothing is fun.

Then, from within the kingdom, a new royal families arises. A good king. (Perhaps like Prince Caspian.) Suddenly, things change. People start smiling again. Everything brightens. Even the animals are happy now.

We are the kings of the world. Humanity. Because of our corruption, the earth is a mess. But one day a new humanity will be revealed. The Sons of God will rise and be seen in all their glory (they were there all along, mixed in with the others and didn't seem to be anything special) and freedom and happy times will follow.

It will be good.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

beyond stuffed

I have blog posts to write but no energy to type them.

Sorry guys.

[My boy is feeling the same.]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spring Soiree

Our school concert is on tonight. I've spent all day pretending that I'm a sound guy, plugging in microphones and moving them around until the feedback stops. I have no knowledge, so trial and error is my only method.

My choirs are performing. Another hour to practice would have been nice. 1.5 hours before things kick off I am still unsure whether to accompany them on grand piano, keyboard or guitar. The advantage of grand piano is that it sounds good. Advantage of the keyboard is that I can stand in front of the kids and sing at them. Advantage of guitar is that I play in front of the kids so I'm in control and I can jump around a bit to enthuse them. Thoughts?

My year 4/5 choir are singing - Island in the Sun (2 part) and Close Every Door (unison). My year 6/7 choir are singing Love is All Around (2+ parts, drums, saxophone, trumpet, + piano/keyboard/guitar). Good times.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

home home home

in Sydney

I'm staying with Ali this weekend. We've just been op shopping. I have a new pair of jeans! I like them.

all the cool people are writing in 6/8 at the moment.

Maybe I should try it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

reading levels

While I'm reading trashy vampire novels, my boy is reading this.

I should be ashamed of myself.

excited about today.

If you are not coming to Twist, you really should be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MTC 9 years on

Women's bible study still on friday morning!

in sydney

Listening to a piano part being recorded for one of our songs on the new cd. Nothing like last minute. The whole thing needs to be finished and mastered by tomorrow.

The new piano part is lovely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Even Macs...

... need to be restarted occasionally.

Safari was getting very sluggish. It wouldn't let me post to my blog. My first thought was to blame blogger or my internet connection. Then I remembered it had been over a month since I restarted my Mac. All is well again.

going to sydney friday morning...

... completely disorganised.

Don't even have anywhere to stay yet!


Ben has given us the terms blangst (blog angst) and blatisfaction (blog satisfaction). Now I give you blenvy.

Blenvy is Blog-Envy. The act or attitude of envying another blogger her readership, influence, layout or design, writing style, or the comments or praise her blog receives. Blenvy can be experienced in many ways from feelings of personal inadequacy to anger at another blogger. It can find expression in petty ways like withholding blog love (blove) from that blogger (not linking to him, commenting on his posts, blugging etc), to public, real world bad mouthing of him. Blenvy is an experience common to bloggers. It often takes the blogger by surprise and leads to much blangst ('Oh no! I can't believe I'm feeling this way. Blogging is really bad for me!') but should be considered normal. The best treatment for blenvy is usually to laugh it off and try not to take yourself and your blogging so seriously.

What? No WW3?

William Tapely, also known as the Third Eagle of the Apocalyspe and the co-prophet of the end times, told us that the great tribulation and World War Three would begin a few days ago, on October 13. I watched. I waited. No WW3.

But the Eagle has an explanation. Worth watching for its creativity.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

just had our open house

12 groups of people came through.

6 took applications.

One couple have put in an application already.

One couple want to know if a caravan would fit in the front yard. A caravan!

A few left saying that the house is heaps smaller than it appeared in the photos. (Yes it is!)

One family had a kid I taught at a reasonably rough school. He recognised me.

I'm pretty sure we'll get someone. Just need the right people.

potential tenants about to arrive

A couple sitting out in their car smoking.

Is it okay to reject people on the basis that they smoke? Would hate the blinds to get all smelly.

This is getting real now.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Much interest in our house. Praise God! 5 people are coming tomorrow for a look.

Hopefully they won't be turned off by the size or the disgusting bathroom.

pupil free day

I went to a music teacher's day. It was pretty good. Much better than what regular classroom teachers had to endure! Amongst other things, Tripod performed for us. Very funny.

This was one of the songs they did.