Thursday, June 24, 2010

Your children have been watching too much Masterchef when...

...this appears in the middle of the dining room table.

It's a medieval pig roast (cooked on a spit...I saw it hanging on the string attaching the pen to the Magna-Doodle...but didn't get a photo of that unfortunately). Accompanied by pieces of the wooden fruit and vegie set (that's a mushroom on the pig's back) and bits of plastic pizza.

Made by Liam. And yes, he did tell me he was "plating it up."


While I was busy blogging about transitions, this happened...

How ironic.

Off to check out the latest news.


Retirement is still a long way off for me but I had a good conversation with my now-retired manager at work yesterday. A manager for whom I have a lot of respect and admiration.

She took six months long service leave last year because she wasn't sure if she was ready to retire or not. But she had found so many voluntary activities to get involved in she said she was sure it was the right thing to finish her paid working life now.

It made me think about transitions. The old story about one door closing and another one opening. New opportunities to help others have come my way while I have been on maternity leave. Some of them very enjoyable ones. I'm thankful to God for them all.

I do enjoy work, not necessarily the day to day grind of it, but the challenge of helping children and families is rewarding. But this year, time to explore other avenues has given me the chance to enjoy other things too, the most important being time to be with my kids, both physically with them (at home and school) and emotionally available for them. Being honest, I would say that being emotionally available for them was hard at times when I was busy at work.

So I need to pray for wisdom in sorting out my priorities before my return to work deadline early next year. With my older two kids, me going back to work happened without a lot of thought. The opportunity was there, the extra money helped and I enjoyed the work I did. All those things are still true. But there are other things that now fill my time that I need to think about as well.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Off to bed with my box of tissues since Rosie is sleeping too.

Praying for a quick recovery to get to things that are on this afternoon. Liam is saying the school prayer at the Junior Assembly today (unfortunately there is no mention of God in it) and then I am supposed to be going to an afternoon tea to celebrate the retirement of my manager at work.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another week...

...of hearing the lighthouse talk. This morning Liam made it through to the next round of the school public speaking competition. That's the good news.

The bad news is that we now need to find new ways to motivate him to practise it since we've been running with "this is the last time you have to do it" last night and this morning.

Monday, June 21, 2010


From a busy weekend.

Caught up with friends on Saturday at the new park at Palm Beach. They brought their gorgeous new puppy along (a 7 week old labrador retriever, like the dogs on the toilet paper ads). The puppy slept most of the time (so did Rosie!). I crashed on Saturday night...asleep by 8.30. I guess ten months of having to stay up to do a dream feed with a baby at 10.30 does take its toll.

Sunday morning we went to church. The littlies enjoyed making their little people and talking about how God loves all the people we see every day (the shop lady, the postman, our neighbours). We sang a good song about God loving the postman. Next week I need to remember to give them the little eggs and pom poms to shake during the song session so they are not being treated to me singing solo...

Session two of parenting in the afternoon. I came away a bit disappointed since the focus seemed to end up being entirely related to corporal punishment. But at home I found a Christian parenting book that I did like and probably should read again...How to Really Love Your Child by Ross Campbell. The book is an oldie (first published 1977) but what this guy says really makes sense. And he talks about guidance as well as punishment.

So today I am being low key. I am about to try a new recipe for apricot rice bubble biscuits for the kids' lunchbox treats this week. And we have swimming this afternoon, Liam is finally allowed to go back in the pool after his eye injury.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Everyone is pleasantly occupied here...

...which is nice.

Aidan is reading his school library book. Liam is playing with his little pirates and knights and there is a battle of some sort going on between them. Rosie is rolling around the floor chasing blocks.

I am cutting out fiddly little pictures of boys and girls for Sunday's activity for Sprouts, our church program for 18 month-3year olds. And I am reading other people's very interesting blogs at the same time.

Enjoying the brief interlude of serenity...

The minefield of Christian parenting books...

Our church is running some sessions on Christian parenting. One down (on the goals of Christian parenting), one to go (discipline).

So I've been revisiting some of the Christian parenting books I own and reading some articles from past issues of The Briefing about parenting.

None of the books I have myself, have seen reviewed in the past or are available at our church bookstall are particularly inspiring. I know my kids are sinful (like me), I know we have to guide them to understand this and at some point it would be great for them to get it, repent and become Christians. I know we need to pray for help to make this happen since we struggle with it every day and we do it in the context of our own selfishness and sinfulness.

It's the details in lots of these books that bother me, things like long chapters on how to smack your children (some of them even suggest smacking babies!) and suggesting that it's disobeying God if you don't send them to Christian schools. I struggle with this one a lot, since in the church we go to, we are the only family (as far as I know) whose kids don't go to a Christian school.

I think the Bible gives us excellent principles for parenting, but these can look different in practice between different families. I think the best thing to do is to read it and pray for God's help to bring up our kids rather than get hooked into someone else's one true way to successful Christian parenting.

So with this in my mind, I decided not to buy any more Christian parenting books. Then I was reading some excellent posts on a book called Gospel-Centred Family from a blog I follow by Nicole (see here for a sample post on Chapter 9) and you guessed it....sucked in. But it looks very good, it's short (under 100 pages) for time poor parents, and not too expensive either.

I still have a long way to go before I can blog book reviews as well as Nicole does. But I'll keep you posted on what I think.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Solo parenting

Chris has been away yesterday and today. For some reason they have to fly health professionals all the way to Sydney to teach them about communication...

So I have been flying solo here. But so far we've survived. I made it to the school P&C meeting last night with all three kids in tow (child minding provided for the older two) and the morning routine today was relatively smooth, an uncommon event. We aren't cooking dinners because we have a fridge full of leftover food from the past week so that's been really easy too.

I've even had time to write this blog entry, finish a first draft of a clinical education topic for work, buy myself a new pair of pyjamas and if all goes well, I'll be helping with RE at the local special school this afternoon. All very productive really, maybe even more so than usual.

Surely this can't continue. I keep expecting things to come crashing down before he gets home tonight. But there are only ten more hours to get through until then. And for four of those hours I only have one child in the house to worry about.

Friday, June 11, 2010

TWIST 2010

A bit late to blog on this, since it is almost a week ago now, but I went to TWIST Brisbane last Saturday. For those who don't know, it's a music ministry conference.

There was some great singing and I came home with some new music and CDs for both the older and younger members of our family. Aidan's favourite song of the moment is "Nothing Else Matters" . If you haven't heard it before, have a listen, it's really good!

I went to the piano workshop in the afternoon session. The context of my piano playing at church is that I am the "second" pianist, the other one being a music teacher who is very very good. I am a pianist who likes to be given a piece of music already written out for me, that is, improvising is not my thing at all. Since I never did much music theory when I was learning to play, chords (other than the very basic ones) were also beyond me until fairly recently. So a workshop where the main message was "chords and improvisation" was a bit of a challenge. But I am working on it. I think there is always more to learn from those who are more experienced than me.

When I went to church the next day full of excitement and told our music team co-ordinator how good it was and that we should all go next year, the response was "We all went to that already as a team a few years ago." A little discouraging and I didn't have a good comeback...but I enjoyed it anyway and thanks to those who made it happen in Brisbane. Sydney has just been a bit too far for me to go in the past. And I now have some cool new songs to play.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A less than perfect parenting day

I had one yesterday. One of those days that had me curled up under the doona crying as soon as Chris walked in the door after work.

Then I read this most helpful blog post. A great reminder of what it's all about really.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Should Christians buy designer stuff??

Pondering the unimportant questions of life here.

I can't afford to buy designer....insert word here (handbag, clothing, furniture, whatever you like). Most of my friends of similar age/generation can't either. But I know Christians who do buy it, mainly those who are younger than me and (maybe) have more disposable income.

I don't really get why people think they need designer stuff. At the moment, it's not affordable for me, but even when I could afford to buy it, I didn't. I think those that have it would probably argue it is better quality and lasts longer than the cheaper stuff does, but it is a lot of extra money to pay and of course there is always going to be a bigger and better version to tempt us next season to part with even more money. Then it becomes a greed thing and about what we want, which I think is a self-absorbed and therefore sinful attitude to have.

But maybe I am missing something and so I'm happy to be presented with the other side of the argument...