Saturday, July 31, 2010

Good idea

This is a great idea for a baby shower gift. I went to a baby shower this afternoon and somebody gave it to the mum-to-be.

I own other kids' birthday cake books, but the AWW version was always the best of the bunch when I was growing up. I would spend ages going through it choosing which cake I wanted Mum to make for my birthday. The swimming pool was one of my favourites, but I don't think I ever got that one. I suspect the jelly inside was a bit challenging.

I think I did have a lady bird one year though. Not a red one like the one on the above edition's cover (incidentally, we've not yet mastered red icing so any hints on that are most welcome!), but very pretty nonetheless.

Chris is the birthday cake baker in our house, and we are currently trying to decide what cake to make for Rosie's first birthday next Sunday so I may be caught trying to sneak a quick look at my friend's new book this week....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Awkward moment in the federal election campaign

Anna Bligh and Julia Gillard's faces when asked by a member of the press gallery how Anna Bligh's 70% unpopularity rating might affect the federal government's ability to win seats in Queensland.

They eventually managed to talk their way around the question without actually answering it.

It will be interesting to see if their promised rail link to Redcliffe ever gets built. If it does, we'll be kicking ourselves that we didn't try to keep our house at Kippa-Ring.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Highlights from the latest Koorong catalogue

For anyone who's looking for a new one.

Pet Psalms..."whimsical, insightful reflections and prayers" inspired by Herbert's observations of cats and dogs.

There is some good stuff in the Koorong catalogue, but unfortunately it's often buried in the rubbish, which makes it hard to find.

If anyone's read either of these I'd love to hear what you thought of them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And while we are on the subject of iMacs..

Straight after I put up the last entry I found this blog post on the Cult of Mac.

Very interesting. Have we been sucked in?

I do think the purchasing experience was set up as if we were buying into one great big happy family of Mac owners. Lots of smiling salesmen in blue Apple T-shirts oh so keen to sell us lots of very expensive computer equipment and to welcome us (back) into the Apple fold. The way they latched onto us was almost disconcerting...dare I say it was almost cult-like??

We did manage to turn down the offer to have them all line up and applaud as we loaded the shopping trolley and wheeled our new computer and printer out of the shop. That would have been way too embarrassing...

What's not to love about a faster computer though? And hopefully this one won't need all the anti-virus updates that slowly killed off our laptop.

The new computer...

Is up and running. I am in shock at how fast it is.

Why didn't we buy this ages ago??

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We have a new computer

An iMac. Woohoo!!

But it is still sitting in its box because a data transfer from our old computer was included in the deal (which they said they would prefer to do before setting it up) and so we now have to take the new computer and the old laptop back to the shop so that they can transfer the data and set it up for us. We can't do this till tomorrow.

It's very hard to resist ripping open the box after months of dealing with our slow old laptop and lots of wishing that we could throw it at the wall.

I think the laptop knows it is about to be replaced though. Since we have had the new one sitting in the corner in the box, the laptop seems to have discovered speed it didn't know it possessed and is working much better. Good news for me since I am about to hit the recipe sites to find something to make as a main meal for a pot luck Christmas in July...our usual standby curries and macaroni cheeses don't really seem festive enough.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Australia decides...

Whether to watch the debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, or to see the finale of Masterchef.

I'm torn...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Over the last few weeks I've been reading my way through the Twilight series of novels by Stephenie Meyer. I've just started on Eclipse, so I'm just over halfway through.

I haven't been that impressed so far, to be honest. The writing is basic. There's little depth to the characters or storyline. Bella is irritating, although I can see why teenage girls would find the idea of two guys fighting over her attractive. I don't think it's healthy for her to be so obsessive about her relationship with Edward. I'm jealous that I couldn't think of the idea first, since I'm sure if I had I could have written something equally good and been the one to make a motza out of it.

So why on earth am I finding it so hard to put them down??

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The end of solitude??

I stumbled (belatedly) across this essay online a couple of weeks ago. I found it interesting, because by nature I consider myself to be an introvert. I love being alone.

For those who don't have time to read the whole thing, it argues that the internet, and computer technology in general, has created "a culture of connectivity" in which we crave visibility, recognition and connection with others. And goes on to say that this comes at the expense of our ability to enjoy being alone and to spend time in quiet reflection.

Interestingly, the author also makes the point that "the act of being alone has been understood as an essential dimension of the religious experience." I would agree that it is, and that perhaps people's search for connection with others via Facebook friend counts, following celebrities on Twitter, even in wondering how many people out there are reading our blogs (see this post of mine as an example) can, for both non-Christians and Christians, be a search for connectedness that can really only be found through God.

However, Christianity, as I understand it, is not all about solitude. We were made to relate to God, through His son Jesus and his death on the cross. And it is important to spend time in quiet and solitary reflection through prayer and studying God's word. But we are also made to connect with other Christians. And to non-Christians as well. The internet now allows us to do that in ways we would never have dreamed about a few short years ago. But it shouldn't be a total substitute for face to face connection and relationship-building.

The challenge in todays's plethora of computer technology is how to relate to other people without falling into the trap of "craving recognition." And also in not letting technology dominate our time to the extent that we never take the time to reflect quietly and with thankfulness on all that God has done for us.

Marion eliminated from Masterchef

Oh noooo......who will win now??

I think I am becoming way too addicted to reality television shows. My other guilty pleasure at the moment is The's like watching a train wreck but I can't tear my eyes away.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I love my slow cooker

We had osso buco for dinner tonight, cooked in the slow cooker. With polenta. Everyone loved it, even Rosie was gobbling it up and looking for more.

This was the culmination of a big morning in the kitchen. First I spent half an hour stirring lemon butter over the stove (we ate that on toast for dessert tonight), and then I made some biscuits with the kids, just basic ones that they could put smarties on to decorate. Yum.

And when I got the slow cooker turned on after lunch, I lay down on the bed, listened to classic FM, read a book and had a sleep while the boys played and Rosie slept. Bliss.

Oh, and I booked us a holiday in Yamba for the next school holidays as well. Could a day get any better??

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sick again...

Just in time for the school holidays.

Praying for a speedy recovery.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Performing parents... the Performing Arts Festival. And not in a good way.

This morning I went to watch Aidan's class perform at the local festival in the percussion section. I thought I would get there early to make sure I didn't miss seeing him and arrived during the Infant School choir section.

There were several noisy toddlers and babies in the auditorium during the choir singing. One of them was Rosie. As I was moving towards the door to take her out to calm down the MC made a request (politely, I thought) that parents take their young children out if they were making noise because it was distracting for the performers. Common courtesy, you would think.

Well, apparently not. A lady from another school with a young toddler came out behind me and we were waiting in the foyer chatting with our now quiet kids when a large posse of angry looking mothers with toddlers in strollers came storming out, the one in front shouting at the (voluntary and elderly) people co-ordinating the door and ticket sales "Who do I complain to? You made me really uncomfortable in there. We want to see our kids perform. My friend couldn't calm her child down because she was busy taking a dare you ask us to leave..." etc etc. You get the picture.

Clearly for some people, it's all about them and being inconsiderate towards others (and making a scene about it) is perfectly acceptable as long as you're getting what you want. I witnessed a similar incident at the front of the school yesterday when the kids and I (and everyone else in the area) were treated to a Dad jumping out of his car that he was trying to reverse out of the parking area and hurling abuse at a bus driver that really couldn't get out of his way. Mate, if you need to make a quick exit from school as soon as the bell goes, parking directly in front of the gate is probably not a great idea! And then he decided to have a go at someone else whose car wasn't moving quickly enough for his liking. All in front of the wife and kids in the back seat.

Only two more days till the holidays. Hopefully everyone will have a chance to calm down and reflect upon their stupidity. And Aidan's class won the percussion section with a great performance so that was most enjoyable to see!