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.