Saturday, July 31, 2010

A lost dog is a great way of meeting and bonding with the neighbours

I came home from Grow conference tonight to find our front gate open and our dog missing. Andrew had taken the boys to the football at 5pm. He says the gate was shut when he left. Our dog is pretty and stupid. I feared the worst. I walked up and down our street looking for her but couldn't go far because it was dark. Two lots of neighbours came to the rescue and helped me look for her. My kind sister in law also came over. The man round the corner had her. He had pulled her off the road to keep her safe.

There is community in dog ownership. All the dog owners around us know our dog and us through her. 'Oh, you are Arry's owners!' Kind of like the comments at school, 'Oh, you're Micah's mum!'

I am thankful that this ended well.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ben is fantastic

Really and truly fantastic.

He drew me a Jesus.

I've heard a rumor that there is someone among my precious blog readers who doesn't also read Ben's blog. I don't believe this slanderous assertion. As a group, you are of superior taste and intelligence and so would naturally have Vanishing Point on your blog list. Don't worry, readers. I will defend you against such accusations.To prove me correct, go over and drop a comment on Ben's blog right now if you haven't already today.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

christian bikers...

...make really bad fonting choices.

Come on guys. You can do better than this. Give me some ideas worth stealing!

Swing School

A friend just reminded me of this brilliant idea I had a couple of years ago. There is money to be made! I can't believe no one has marketed it yet!



Sick of endless hours pushing your kids on the swing? Exhausted from the constant cries of 'higher, higher'? Tired of people telling you that swing pushing is a stage you have to go through?

Studies have shown that excessive pushing of swings is not only tedious but can also be harmful. Many parents have suffered the discomfort of sore arms and have felt worn out both physically and emotionally after a swing encounter in the playground.

There is an alternative. Swing School teaches children the skills and attitudes they need to become self swingers. Our unique system is suitable for children from six months of age and also incorporates training in swing safety. We specialize in all levels of training: from attitude adjustment for the stubborn child to style enhancement for independent and capable swingers. Swing School also offers advice for parents in managing issues of co-dependency and learned helplessness in the playground. Call us today and talk to one of our friendly consultants about your child's needs.

swing style
swing sense
swing success

swing school

would you be okay with...

... a Sunday school program that featured a biker drama with characters Biff and Bash (who regularly punch each other) and your kids were given a (temporary) tattoo each week?

A few of us are writing some stuff...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July

My least favourite month.

Still hating it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm a twilight tragic

Yesterday I did this picture with my class at school.

















In case you can't tell, it's meant to be Edward from Twilight. The green one looks a little like him. The others, less so. The kids had to choose a celebrity, draw, photocopy, then colour them.

Last night I made Andrew watch New Moon with me on DVD. He described it as a romance on steroids. I think he has no base line for what a normal romance is like.

Today I saw Eclipse. I enjoyed it.

A few thoughts.

  • It follows the book very closely. This meant there were no surprises.
  • The wolf animation was quite a bit better than in New Moon. (But this isn't saying much.)
  • It was beautiful to watch. The colours and scenery are lovely. Bella is always wearing just the right thing to look amazing against the background.
  • The Bella, Edward, Jacob triangle is a bit hard to handle at times. Eat a packet of banana lollies and 2 bags of sherbet fizz, then try to worry down a big stick of fairy floss. They are all so tragic, wanting to die for eachother...
  • In New Moon, Edward looked weedy next to Jacob. In Eclipse, he looks both weedy and whingey. But Edward looks better lying down in a field of flowers. So he wins.
  • Victoria was unconvincing. Have they used a different actress in each movie?
  • The main issue I have with this movie (and the book) is the idea that the perfect love affair is worth giving up everything for. How you are feeling about this person now is how you will always be feeling about them. It's destiny etc etc. Yes, it feels like that, but if they were to leave, you would get over it. Don't take yourself so seriously!
  • Oh, and there's the issue that Bella can't exist unless she's hanging off some guy. In this movie, she's literally handed from one to the other and back again. I can't remember a single scene when she's by herself.
  • My favourite line: "I'm hotter than you."
Probably more thoughts in the next few days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

that last post...

...was meant for Nathan's blog. He posted it here by accident. I decided to leave it.

Pharaoh - Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Thursday, July 22, 2010

should I be concerned or amused?

Our boy, Nathan, is having fun over on his blog. He has put up a poll where you can vote for who you think will win the coming election. So far only Andrew and I and Nathan have voted. He'd love to get more votes**. Come and join the fun. While you're there, look at his tag line at the top. We hope the federal police don't start monitoring our family over this. Not sure what inspired it. We do read a lot of OT...


** so would I, for that matter.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I write like...



I write like
Edgar Allan Poe
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



First time I did it I got Vladimir Nabokov. This was only based on one short post. I added another post and got James Joyce. I got EAP when I put in most of my front page. I might keep going till I get Stephen King.

ht: Nathan and Al.

Monday, July 19, 2010

If I was desperate I'd...

But I'm not.

So I won't.
By kindly powers protected wonderfully,
confident, we wait for come what may.
Night and morning, God is by us, faithfully
and surely at each new born day.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Year 4-5 RE tomorrow

I'm going to try something different. We're doing the Joseph narratives in Genesis. Before the holidays we got up to the part where Pharoh had the dreams and Joseph interpreted them. This week I need to tell the story from Joseph being put in charge of everything to half way through the brothers bit. I'm going to set up the story by reminding the kids about God's promises to Jacob's family, and say that even in all this bad stuff God was working for the good of his people, keeping his promises etc. Then I'll tell the story of the years of plenty and famine. I have a little dialogue between the brothers that the kids will act - we've run out of food, what should we do etc, then my new idea.

Revolutionary. I'm going to read them the bible. Word for word. I think I'll start at 42:6 and keep going till I feel like stopping. I'll try to stop at a really good bit, tell them exactly where I'm up to and ask them to go home, find a bible and keep reading it for themselves. I have next week to finish off the story.

What do you think? This is in front of 7 classes of kids. I can hold them pretty well when I'm telling the story. Can I hold them when I'm just reading the bible? Would be a big win if I could.

the devil made me fat!

Struggling to keep your weight under control? Nathan's found the true cause of your bulging waistline. Lots of great advice. Like this:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What/Who am I

I am perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, sure, precious and sweet. I revive, make wise, give joy, enlighten and endure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

the moronification of men

I find it hard to get worked up about this. Maybe because I'm not a man... but is any man's ego really hurt by being teased about his sex's incompetence in the kitchen or with paper work, or obsession with shed or car, or ignorance about women's toiletries? These are things that most men would agree don't matter much. Picture men as incompetent at work or in the bedroom and I think that damage might be done.

The argument is that men are making these ads and so wounding eachother. I think men are making these ads because they know they appeal to women. Seeing Dad as a moron when it comes to household tasks affirms mum in her position as domestic queen.

What do you think?

the man your man could smell like

Love this ad.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

cinquains

I wrote this cinquain for my class.

birthday

hooray!
streamers, balloons
celebrate a new year
a new age, one more step closer
to death.

sar 2010


I like this one more.

It seems
That barbed comments
Baited with some small joke
Hook themselves well into the soul
And rip

Sue Marsden


Have a go. 2 syllables, 4 syllables, 6 syllables, 8 syllables and 2 syllables again.

work work work work

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

back to work.

Today I taught year 6 kids the difference between a poem and a group of words on a page.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nothing refreshes like....

... a new idea!

RE this semester is going to be fun!

I've hit the wall

Do any of the following and I may yell at you. Or cry.


  • complain
  • not eat your breakfast
  • not tidy up your toys
  • not hang up your towel
  • begin a craft project (like soap carving) when you should be doing something else
  • not go to bed when you've been asked
  • whinge
  • not notice that I'm actually pretty busy
  • fight with sibling
  • say you don't want to go to school
  • attach the washing machine hose to your backyard hole
  • tell me you have no socks
  • leave your dirty dishes on the table
  • stand too close to me
  • speak too much 
  • speak too little
  • breathe in a noticable way
  • say something kind.


You've been warned. Come near me at your own risk.

Today I'm going to sit in a coffee shop by myself for a couple of hours and try find some calm.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

yeah, yeah, yeah!

It's not just me who hated this book.

Anthony does too. Read his comment.

Home again, home again...

... jigetty jog.

A really enjoyable drive.

Andrew is on the plane. Will pick him up soon.

My Heart Delights In Christ (draft 2)

I think this song needs a chorus. I haven't written one yet but I've cut a line from the second half to create a "pull". An unbalanced verse needs resolution - hopefully a chorus will provide it. (I haven't yet tried to fix all the issues you pointed out in the last draft. And I may have created more!)


My Heart Delights In Christ

1. My heart delights in Christ my lord
my lips rejoice to sing
my mouth and tongue wake to proclaim
the glories of my king.
For he has sought me, reconciled
this guilty one he calls his child
my heart delights in Christ.

2. My heart delights in Christ my lord
his wonders fill my mind
The king of all rose from his throne
My sullen heart to find.
His voice brings comfort to my soul
The cold and broken, warm and whole
my heart delights in Christ.

3. My heart delights in Christ my lord
And I will sing his praise
The weight of guilt, the strength of sin
are nothing to his grace.
Forgiven, blameless, pardoned, free
I'll live with him eternally
My heart delights in Christ.

sar 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

On the move

Andrew is safe in Melbourne.  We are in West Wylong.

Loving the Newell Highway - long and straight and fast. I've got the high beam thing pretty well practised now.

Car tetris is going well too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

idolatry or unbelief?

I'm reading Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. This is a book we brought with us, not one from the holiday house bookshelf. Keller is always good to read. His books have nice big print, thick pages, sparkly covers and one basic idea.

This book is about idolatry, and in particular the idolatry of love, power, money and success and how these 'counterfeit gods' take God's place in our lives. In each chapter, Keller takes a bible story (Abraham sacrificing Isaac, the Jacob-Leah-Rachael love triangle, the rich young ruler etc) and shows how idolatry is at the heart of what is going on. He relates these forms of idolatry to modern day situations and shows how we can pull these false gods off their thrones in our lives.

It has heaps of good stuff. Keller is insightful. His suggestions are helpful. You should read the book.

But I'm not convinced that idolatry should be the primary way that we understand sin, as Keller seems to suggest.

Keller frames the Abraham and Isaac story around Abraham's idolatrous attachment to Isaac:

"This was the ultimate test. Isaac was now everything to Abraham. ... Abraham's affection had become adoration. Previously, Abraham's meaning in life had been dependent on God's word. Now it was becoming dependent on Isaac's love and well-being. The center of Abraham's life was shifting." Keller, Counterfeit Gods, p7.

I think this is a stretch. Genesis and Hebrews interpret this event not as a test of Abraham's love for God over Isaac but of Abraham's belief in God's promises. God had told Abraham that his descendants would come through Isaac (Gen 21:13). Abraham believed this and so reasoned to himself that God must have been planning to raise Isaac from the dead (Heb 11:17-19).

In Genesis 22, it is Abraham's faith that is on trial. God was testing him to see if he really believed that he would do what he said he would do. Unbelief would have been the sin, not idolatry.

I've not finished the book yet, but in the next chapter (Jacob-Rachel-Leah) I think it is a similar stretch to say that idolatry (the idolatry of romantic love, in this case) is at the heart of what's going on.

Anyone else read the book? What do you think?

Jane Eyre trading cards

I'd sell my soul* for the whole set of these.

* overstatement. But only just.

Beechworth

Took the kids for a drive to Beechworth today. Andrew and I rode our bikes there almost 5 years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary. Was sorry he couldn't join us today - he missed a good feed at the bakery. We bought cordial from the brewery and some fudge from the sweet shop.

Despite the hiccups, this has been a good holiday (almost). Nice to be together.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

on the ice

I have been taking responsibility!

Last night I drove 100km on dark roads. I got us home safely and almost kept to the speed limit most of the time. After 30km, Andrew taught me how to use high-beam lights. They make driving in the dark heaps easier.

Today I cooked a barbeque lunch for us (there's a bbbq on our front verandah). I've never independently used a non-park variety barbeque before. I took everything outside, tried to light it, failed, and took everything back inside again. Then I gave myself a talking to - "You're a grown-up. How hard could it be? You drove on those dark roads last night... etc." - then took everything back outside and tried again. I have now mastered the gas bottle barbeque.

I have also had other minor triumphs - I successfully used a front loader washing machine (I'm not good at following instructions) and got the kids to take responsibility for the dishes. On Friday I have to independently pack the car. Andrew is nervous about this one, but given my other successes, I'm hopeful.

If Andrew stays out of action for much longer, who knows what other skills I might acquire?

Thankfully, he can fill in forms lying down.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

home!

Today we drove to Wangaratta Hospital and picked Andrew up. He's doing well. He can walk slowly and he managed to sit in the car while we drove for an hour back to Harrietville. Right now he is snoring (he never snores!)

As always, God heard and answered our prayers.

I'm amazed at the number of people who have offered us help.

Gratitude is a lovely thing. I'm sitting here smiling and satisfied, feeling that the world is a wonderful place.

[Now that Dad's back, the kids have gone crazy. Micah jumped up and down for half an hour. The other two kept poking each other. There was lots of noise. Peeling them off the ceiling and putting them into bed was not easy*. [*keep repeating to self 'You have received an anointing of ease...'] ]

great news!

Andrew is much better than the doctor told us last night. We are going to see him now. He may (possibly) be released tonight or tomorrow. We are very thankful.

The pain will still be considerable and he won't be able to do much, but things are so far better than they seemed a little while ago.

And we are thankful for good care, God's kindness and your prayers.

Joel Osteen's word for today

"God wants you to enter into an anointing of ease." From It's Your Time, p128.

Yeah. Like Abraham. Like David. Like Jesus. Like Paul. Like Peter.

[One of the joys of holidays is reading whatever is on the shelf.]

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not so good.

But better than it could have been. Doctor says he'll be okay... one day.

Andrew has an anterior compression fracture
with 10% loss of height
no posterior column elements
second lumber vertbrae – L2.

He'll be in hospital for at least a few weeks. Perhaps sometime next week we'll be able to move him to a hospital in Brisbane.

Not sure about plans yet. Tomorrow I'll look at moving us to Wangaratta so we can be near him. (Maybe the internet will be faster there...)

Thanks for your prayers and company.

nervous

Still no word.

Somebody blog something to keep my mind occupied.

disaster!

We were tobogganing this morning at Dinner Plain and Andrew took an impressive jump. He landed very heavily (on his bum) and has done some damage to his back. Andrew lay on the ice for about 90 minutes while we waited for the ambulance. They took him to a small hospital in Hotham where they told us it seems he has fractured his 12th vertibrae (? - I have no idea what that means). They think it's probably a stable fracture but have sent him to Wangaratta to make sure.

The boys are I are home (Harrietville) and waiting for news. All feeling a bit nervous and fidgitty. Prayers appreciated.

[I don't think our family and Victoria are a great combination.]

My Heart Delights In Christ (draft)

1. My heart delights in Christ my lord
my lips rejoice to sing
my mouth and tongue wake to proclaim
the glories of my king.
For he has saught and reconciled
the dying soul finds life
the guilty now he calls his child
my heart delights in Christ.

2. My heart delights in Christ my lord
his wonders fill my mind
The king of all rose from his throne
this sullen heart to find
How could he give up honor, ease
for trouble, pain and strife?
The cold and broken, warm and whole
my heart delights in Christ.

3. My heart delights in Christ my lord
And I will sing his praise
The weight of guilt, the strength of sin
are nothing to his grace.
Forgiven, blameless, pardoned, free
the dead are raised to life
from now until eternity
My heart delights in Christ

sar 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

quatrain

My heart is full of Christ and I
will ever sing his praise
the strength of sin can not compare
to the power of his grace.

sar 2010

snow


Saturday, July 3, 2010

travel reflections

  • We didn't have to pay for parking at Parliment House, the War Memorial or at the Art Galleries in Canberra. We did have to pay for parking at the shops. Why?
  • Travelling through NSW, you are never much more than an hour or two away from a town. Not so in QLD.
  • There is a submarine in Holbrook. I don't even want to know why.
  • Albury has far too many sets of traffic lights. It took us about 10 minutes to travel 2kms in the middle of the day!
  • 88 FM is never worth tuning in to.
  • There is a lot of AFL on tv in Victoria.

harrietville!

We've arrived! We can see snow on the nearby mountains. Trying to work out a way that we can go and play in the snow for a day and still have some money left in our bank account after it.

We've enjoyed the driving. Today we listened to half the Fellowship of the Ring on audiobook and the Joseph soundtrack. Good times.

Friday, July 2, 2010

friends are more fun than museums and art galleries.

It was great to see Michelle today.

We're in Canberra!

Yesterday, the War Memorial and Questacon. Today, Parliment house and maybe an art gallery.

Hope you are all well.