Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Kids - Venn Diagram

I CAN change. I CAN! I CAN!

Andrew is preaching through Tim Chester's You Can Change at the moment. I normally dread topical series' but have been looking forward to this one.

I meant to read the book myself, and started to, but have been distracted by other things. But I listen to Tim Chester while I jog. I'm very slow so get through quite a lot. Today, Tim told me the difference between legalistic talk and gospel talk. You see, while I'm in the midst of sin it is not good news to be told that I must not sin. It's bad news. If I'm being greedy and you tell me I shouldn't be greedy, your words are condemnation to me, not gospel. This is legalist talk. Gospel talk, on the other hand, tells me that I don't have to be greedy. I have all the riches I could ever want in Christ. I have a father who provides for me, an eternity of good things waiting, so I don't need to be grasping after more stuff.

I'm going to try to change the way I talk to myself. No more shoulds, shouldn'ts, musts or mustn'ts. Instead - cans and don't have tos. Let's see if it makes a difference.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

more grown up play

I've been asked to consider taking on a particular role on the committee I've been part of for the last couple of years. I'm not sure if I should.

Reasons to do it:
  • I am probably capable of it
  • I would really enjoy 70% of the job (maybe more)
  • It would take a burdensome load off someone else who is already overworked
  • I believe in the cause. The work of this committee really matters.
  • I understand the issues at stake at least as well as most others
  • No other woman in my denomination is doing a job like this. My taking on this job would make our denomination slightly less of a men's club.
  • I'd get to hang out with interesting people.
  • They've offered to reshape the job so that I could do it.
  • It would make me feel important.

Reasons not to do it:
  • I already do quite a lot of things.
  • Doing this should mean not doing something else. I can't think what I'll give up.
  • It is a trellis task, not a vine task. (But the vine does need this trellis.)
  • It doesn't have anything directly to do with people in my church now.
  • It has nothing (immediate) to do with ministering to women. Should I focus on that?
  • It would make me feel important.

Nathan's new and improved British Isles Venn Diagram

His entry in my competition.

Monday, September 27, 2010

British Isles Venn Diagrams

enter my venn diagram competition!

Competition Time!

Okay. Nicole ran a competition over on her blog, so I thought I'd share the joy and run one here as well.

There will be a fantastic prize. Blogdom will be jiggling in excitement over this. Your enthusiasm will crash my stats counter. This will be bigger than a certain education debate...

Here's what you need to know.

Task: Draw a venn diagram that expresses something important(-ish) to you. 

Email it to me (.pdf or .jpg, hand drawn, computer drawn, whatever) by next Friday (8th October) and I'll pick my favourites.

Venn Diagrams aren't hard once you get into the swing of them. Once in the swing, you'll find you're able to express just about anything in Venn Diagram form.


(Don't be scared! Enter!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

9+ months later...

I hurt my foot in December last year. It is finally finally getting better.

Today I ran 6km. It was very slow but I could still walk when I got home.

5 confessions

1. I watched a couple of episodes of Vampire Diaries the other night and... I want more.
2. I'm considering going out and buying the Vampire Diaries books.
3. I'm currently watching X-factor. Idol was tacky. This is tackier, but I like tacky.
4. Yesterday I tried on skinny jeans. People with my thighs should not do this.
5. I'm even more interested in catapult making than my kids. Getting a little obsessed with finding the best table-top model.

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 cards

In the next 2 days we are celebrating:

  • 5 birthdays
  • 1 farewell
  • 1 baptism

Thursday, September 23, 2010

joy venn diagram

I am feeling joyful at the moment. I have a new idea for a song. It's inspired by Ray Galea's book God is Enough and is about how joy is found in God, not in other stuff (like new projects.) Irony alert.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ping Pong Spud Gun

Is it irresponsible to make one of these with my kids?

How to brighten up a boring day.

Go to koorong. Spend up.

I bought the Alpha marriage course dvds and Ray Galea's God is Enough. I'll read the book tonight. I think the title is great.


These are fun.


A day at home.

No projects.

I need to get out of here or I'll go mad.

[Thankfully my kids are like me. We're all ready to go somewhere. Anywhere.]

some thoughts on godliness at home with kids

1.  I wonder if some of our struggles to be good tempered etc. with our kids comes from an unrealistic (and wrong) view of what our homes should be like. Are they to be a haven from the outside world? A place to which we retreat? Or are they very much in the world and a part of our experience of the world?

What would happen if we changed our ideas and expectations of 'home'? Try this. Home is not a place to escape. In this world, there isn't any human relationship or physical place we can go to escape from sin and fallenness. The world is in my lounge room as much as it is in the street or shopping centre. It is in my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my kids and my kids' relationships with my husband and with each other. Wherever I am there will always be sin and disfunction. If I am trying to make my family life look like a page of a scrapbooked photo album, then I will always be frustrated. Patience will be even more difficult. I will always see the things that aren't good.

2. The more temptation I face, the more likely it is that I will give in to it. It is a good idea for me to avoid temptation to sin when I can. We don't learn how to resist sexual temptation by hanging out in certain aisles of a newsagency or navigating towards MA internet sites.  To some extent, I can flee certain sins by sharpening up my home systems. I was speaking to a friend from church who is a Triple P Parenting instructor. I shared the story of a particularly woeful morning where my children and I were particularly badly behaved. Instead of berating me or encouraging me to berate myself, she pointed out a few ways we should change our systems so that significantly less patience was required of me and the children. Practical stuff. Our kids were refusing to get out of bed in the morning and get ready for school. She simply asked why this was happening. I explained that the house was cold. She suggested we warm it up a bit and have all their school clothes easily accessible (duh!). It made a huge difference. Everyone was in a good temper the next morning. Because we had avoided the first round of morning tantrums, I had more energy left for handling the later rounds.

3. I was listening to a Kellar sermon the other day. It was talking about how the bible talks about the FRUIT of the spirit rather than the FRUITS of the spirit. Keller suggested that we need to look at them as a set and work on all of them together rather than individually. A lack of joy may find expression in impatience. I'm thinking about this.

4. I go better at everything when there is freshness. A new project. A new idea. If I'm bored, I'm disengaged and grumpy. I need to inject fun and creativity into most things I do with my kids. This is just how I am.

5. My first point gets on my nerves. It feels so blah and negative and uninspiring. Home might not be the safe haven we may want it to be, but it can be fun and loving. Mine is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

take it off

Son #2 (aged 9) wants to buy this song to listen to on his ipod. It's catchy. It's talks about freaks. All his friends listen to it. How should we respond?


When Nathan was little, I decided that our kids would never play with guns or weapons. That resolution lasted about 2 years. Since then our kids have had swords, guns, bows and arrows, light sabers and more. Here's Nathan's explanation of what we made this afternoon.

Our friend Will's video gives a few more details.

movies today

Going to see Despicable Me. I'm not so excited. I was hoping for the Sorcerer's Apprentice but it's gotten bad reviews. I won't take the kids to see the Cats and Dogs one. It sounds like torture.

Monday, September 20, 2010

At the moment...

Watching: Adventureland

Listening to: Tim Finn - The Conversation

Reading: Sophia Hannah Selected Poems, Tim Chester You Can Change

Writing: Nothing much this week. Maybe have another try at an Ezra Pound couplet some time.

Thinking about: Andrew Katay's criticisms of the Vine and the Trellis


In praise of....

Car Lovers!

The inside of our car was embarrassingly dirty. I got the kids to clear out the rubbish then drove to Car Lovers and spent $2 and in 5 minutes it was clean. The vacuums are great. Much easier to use then the home variety. $1 for 2.5 minutes.

school holidays!

It's raining.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Just booked my flights to Sydney for TWIST next month.

Are you going?

I have no responsibilities. Just going as a participant. Looking forward to the cd launch. We will have 2 songs on the new cd. I'll be there Sunday as well so am looking for a church to visit.


We think he looks like a weeping angel from Doctor Who.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Poetic frustration in venn diagram form

I know, I know. It is a poor workwoman who blames her tools, but...

not getting the Ezra Pound couplet.

I tried to write some of these the other day for Nicole's competition. They are not working for me. All of my attempts feel lame in one way or another: either cliched obvious, obscure or just plain weak. Anyone had any success with this form?

This guy just gets better and better...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

4 things I'd like to do sometime in eternity

1. Study astronomy. What does Jupiter look like up close? Which star is which? How many billions of galaxies are there out there?

2. Watch a movie get made. I'd like to listen in as decisions are made about colours and camera shots and sets.

3. Learn to sing.

4. Walk a really long way. Like across a country or something.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

fair tests

Kids learn all about fair tests in school science. For a test to be valid, you have to keep all variables the same except the one that you are testing. If you were testing kids' numeracy or literacy, care should be taken to ensure that:

  • the children compared are the same age
  • the children have been at school for the same number of years
  • the particular test does not favour one curriculum over another

Grrrr! At least it is not science that these guys are testing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Will someone blog something interesting?

Here's something I'm thinking about. The word ministry. It's vague. 'Doing ministry'. What does that mean anyway? What would we lose if we lost the word ministry from our vocabularies?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nathan, the little garbage monster.

My boy has been off at camp for the last few days. I'm very pleased to have him home again. I need someone with whom I can discuss the finer points of blogging and politics.

Before he went to camp he posted a short story 'Nathan, the little garbage monster.' I think the story has potential. If you would like to head over to his blog and contribute another sentence or two I think he'd be amused.


We're all good at different things. I'm good at QuadraPop. Like any talent, my mad quadrapop skillz didn't come over night. 10% natural ability and 90% sweat.  For the last year I've been practicing daily, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. The kids see how hard I work at it. They learn from me. Dilligence. Persistence. Effort. They know how many hours it has taken me to earn what I thought was dead set legend status at quadrapop.

But now, to my shame, I've found that I am not a dead set quadrapop legend. I don't know the first thing about persistence. So I'm going to point my kids to these guys instead.  

I thought my score of 170,000 was pretty good. These guys are getting 9 million!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

some kind of wonderful

Watched this movie tonight. Played QuadraPop on my phone at the same time.

It was what I should have expected it to be. Pretty much line for line.

Monday, September 6, 2010

faith in Romans 4

Romans 4 is a delicious passage. I love its wonderfully simple explanation of faith.

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Faith is simply believing that God is able to do what he said he'd do. Abraham believed that God would give him a son through Sarah. He believed, hope against hope. Sarah was old, her womb as good as dead. Scientifically there was no chance of her conceiving. But God said she would have a child and so Abraham went out and bought a pram.

This simple belief in him is what God likes. When God says something he wants us to believe it, just like a child believes what his parents tell him. It is not moral uprightness or anything else that God wants from us, it's belief: being fully persuaded that God is able to do what he promised, and is committed to doing it. Such belief was righteousness for Abraham and it is righteousness for us, too.

I've made it this far with sentences and paragraphs. Time for a list.

Six thoughts about faith

1. It's relational. We believe that what God says will happen, will happen, because we trust him. We know he is powerful so able to keep his promises. We know he is true so he will keep his promises. Faith is tied up in our relationship with God.

2. It's concrete. 'I believe in God' can seem really nebulous. You mean you believe in the existence of God? Which god? Does that have any real connection with life? Christian faith in Romans 4 is concrete. God has said specific things. We believe them.

3. It is salvation focussed. Primarily we believe what Abraham believed: that God is able to bring life from the dead. He brought life from Sarah's dead womb, beginning salvation for the world. We believe that he raised Jesus to life ensuring our forgiveness. The bulk of the promises God has made concern the salvation of the world. At the center of our faith is our belief that God will right the tragedy of the fall and redeem us for a new creation. There are other promises (God never leaving us etc) but these fit in around the bible's central salvation focus.

4. It has always been God's way. God has always commended people for faith. Unfaith was the sin of Adam and Eve. Faith was the strength of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Joshua, David etc.

5. It's comforting and burden lifting. I don't need to do stuff. I can rest confident. I believe that God is able to do what he promised.

6. It issues in action. Believing that God's word is true will cause us to live differently. Noah built a boat. Abraham left Ur. Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to a cross. If I believe that what God has promised will happen, I will spend my time and money differently to someone who doesn't believe it. I will think differently. I will do different things. God has made some pretty big promises for future events. If it's not making a pretty big difference, then maybe I don't really believe it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Less is more : 5 things everyone should learn how to do

1. Edit video. Chop out every unnecessary millisecond. Your friends will thank you for it. In fact, if you have edited properly, your friends may still be your friends after the viewing experience.

2. Make wise fonting choices. Just because you have 1000 fonts, it doesn't mean you should use them all. Especially not in the one document. Actually, don't ever use 950 of them. And lose the clipart, too.

3. Write facebook status updates without exclamation marks. Christians seem to have an obsession with exclamation marks. Some say we should just cut down. I say, complete cold turkey. None at all. None!

4. Resist the wonders that are word art and slide transitions. Again, just because they are there...

5. Write a list. Who needs logic? Who needs paragraphs? The list is clean and beautiful.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

parenting tip #539

If, at the end of each day, your child's hair stinks, despite having been washed the previous night, check his school bag for a rotten apple. A decomposing apple in the section of his bag where he stores his hat will result in yucky smelling hair.

10 thoughts from Dr Patricia Weerakoon

I really enjoyed the seminars I went to yesterday and today. I particularly appreciated her scientific stuff about how our brains work. If you have a chance to hear her speak sometime, you should. Here are 10 thoughts from her seminars. Not all she said. Not even her main points. Just 10 things...
1. We were made to feel sexual desire. It is caused by testosterone.

2. What 'turns us on' is largely determined by the sexual scripts that are written in our brains from childhood.

3. There is a progression in sexual desire : Desire, love, bonding. 1. I want to have sex.  2. I want to have sex with you. 3. I have sex with you and we bond. This is a good progression. It all works to make long term married love possible.

4. Pornography messes with this progression. It also writes pretty strong (and unrealistic) sexual scripts.

5. We can't stay in stage 2 forever. It would kill us.

6. If you want to feel stage 2 (limerence) feelings for your now stage 3 partner (spouse!) try to remember the things you used to do together before you were married.

7. It is possible to be in stage 3 (married love) and have stage 2 feelings for someone else. This is normal. We have a way of coping with it. It's called self control.

8. The v... is made to have things put into it. The a... is made to have things come out of it.

9. If you can keep your thoughts pure, m... is probably okay as an occasional stress release. Not good if it becomes compulsive.

10. A s*ex shop might perhaps have something fun to offer (dice, we're told, can be fun...) but it is mostly silly and probably unhelpful.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

mac time

Of course my MacBook is just the coolest machine ever.

But I'm having trouble with a few things. Not the MacBook's fault of course. Mine. And the world's.

My top 10 computer change over issues

1. The delete key is where I'm used to having a backspace key. It's killing me!

2. The plugs. I need to buy an adaptor thingy before I can hook my mac up to a projector or anything else.

3. Ed Qld can't deal with Macs. Not sure what to do about this. The tech support girl at school didn't have a clue. I want to be able to use the smart boards. I want to be able to use the internet from this computer at work. Tricky with a non EdQld computer. Unheard of with a mac. [Today I was given a school laptop. I tried to download itunes. (Necessary for a music teacher.) The computer/internet connection tried for an hour then gave up. Good times ahead.]

4. I'm halfway through copying my music library over. Oh man. Long process. I haven't even started moving everything else yet.

5. I have a long list of blogs I occasionally check. Haven't moved these over yet. Not sure if there would be an easy way...

6. I'm missing CorelDraw already. If I can't live without it, I'll put windows on here and run it through that. But that seems to be defeating the purpose...

7. I don't know where my files are going. I know I'm saving them, but don't have a sense of where things are. Feel like I'm just chucking everything in a big drawer. I know I'll work this out soon, but I miss my old system.

8. I'm still getting used to the touchpad. Right click isn't so easy to do... but I'm told there are key combinations and stuff that make things really fast.

9. I am a little nervous that someone might steal it at work. Not really nervous. Just a bit. There are 260 computers at school (mostly laptops) and no one takes them. But no one would want to.

10. Deep down inside I question whether I am cool enough to have a mac. Am I worthy of it? Down doubts! I have a mac. I must be hip.

listening to music...

... instead of writing my way overdue sunday school lesson.

new profile pic?

The MacBook was worth it just for Photo Booth.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Abortion

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.
Just as the earth puckered its mouth,
each bud puffing out from its knot,
I changed my shoes, and then drove south. 
Up past the Blue Mountains, where
Pennsylvania humps on endlessly,
wearing, like a crayoned cat, its green hair, 
its roads sunken in like a gray washboard;
where, in truth, the ground cracks evilly,
a dark socket from which the coal has poured, 
Somebody who should have been born
is gone.
the grass as bristly and stout as chives,
and me wondering when the ground would break,
and me wondering how anything fragile survives; 
up in Pennsylvania, I met a little man,
not Rumpelstiltskin, at all, at all...
he took the fullness that love began. 
Returning north, even the sky grew thin
like a high window looking nowhere.
The road was as flat as a sheet of tin. 
Somebody who should have been born
is gone.
Yes, woman, such logic will lead
to loss without death. Or say what you meant,
you coward... this baby that I bleed. 

Anne Sexton

on Friday...

... I'm going to this ministry wives function.

Great topic.

Looking forward to it.

Actually, I just love the word 'se*xo logist'. How cool to be able to describe yourself as that!

Home Reader Tragics

My kids and I are writing a new series of home reader books, based on the ones Micah brings home each night. We are concerned that kids who like a bit of excitement will be uninspired by the current books.

Our current reader is Mushrooms for Dinner. You can read the original here. We prefer our new version.

Mushrooms for Dinner.

Father Bear came home and said, "Look! No mushrooms! I did not find one! I'm going fishing."

"I'm good at finding mushrooms," said Baby Bear. "I will go and get some."

Baby Bear went uphill and downhill looking for mushrooms. He went on and on.

"Where are the mushrooms?" he said. "Where are they?"

"I can't see one mushroom," said Baby Bear.

He said to a rabbit, "Will you help me find some mushrooms?"

Rabbit ran down the hill. Baby Bear followed him.

"Rabbit is helping me find some mushrooms!" said Baby Bear.

Rabbit took baby bear to a ring of toadstools.

"Thank you, Rabbit," said Baby Bear.

Rabbit ran away.

Baby Bear picked the grey toadstools and took them home.

"Here you are," he said. "Look!"

"Thank you Baby Bear," said Mother Bear. "They are beautiful mushrooms. You are a clever little bear. We will eat them with our fish for dinner"

The three bears ate their dinner. Then they died. The toadstools were poisonous.

Baby bear was not so clever, after all!

My Friend, My Friend (Anne Sexton)

Who will forgive me for the things I do?
With no special legend of God to refer to,
With my calm white pedigree, my yankee kin,
I think it would be better to be a Jew.

I forgive you for what you did not do.
I am impossibly quilty. Unlike you,
My Friend, I can not blame my origin
With no special legend or God to refer to.

They wear The Crucifix as they are meant to do.
Why do their little crosses trouble you?
The effigies that I have made are genuine,
(I think it would be better to be a Jew).

Watching my mother slowly die I knew
My first release. I wish some ancient bugaboo
Followed me. But my sin is always my sin.
With no special legend or God to refer to.

Who will forgive me for the things I do?
To have your reasonable hurt to belong to
Might ease my trouble like liquor or aspirin.
I think it would be better to be a Jew.

And if I lie, I lie because I love you,
Because I am bothered by the things I do,
Because your hurt invades my calm white skin:
With no special legend or God to refer to,
I think it would be better to be a Jew.

Anne Sexton