Friday, June 29, 2012

Firing up the kitchen blowtorch

A few weeks ago, I bought a creme brulee set that was on special at Woolworths. Four ramekins (that I didn't need) and a blowtorch (that I did).

When I opened up the box, I discovered that the blowtorch was empty. Not surprising, I guess, since I assume it wouldn't be safe to ship little blowtorches filled with gas across the world.

So then I had to work out where to go to find some gas to fill it up with. My Google searching suggested that getting it filled at the kitchen shop was the most expensive option, so I thought I would try and find a more budget-friendly option. Woolworths didn't have anything that I could find, so then I asked at the petrol station when I filled up with petrol. The woman there thought that maybe a tobacconist would have it.

I've never had cause to visit my local tobacconist before now (our local one is catchily called "The Durrie Den"). But the guy was really helpful, considering he sells products that kill people to make a living. And five dollars later, I am now the owner of an aerosol can of gas that I can use to fill it up. He showed me how to fill it up and at first, we thought it didn't work even though we could clearly hear the gas hissing out of it. I wasn't impressed at the thought of having to repackage it all back up and return it to the shop, but fortunately when I came home and read the instructions, I managed to get it fixed myself. Fixing things myself is a rarity here so I felt pretty pleased about that.

Now that I know what I need to buy, I will probably try to source a supplier that I am ethically more comfortable with. When I got home and told Chris about it, he said he wouldn't have set foot in a cigarette shop to buy anything at all because he has spent too much time working with people who are dying of smoking related illnesses. I could see his point. I might give Bunnings a go next time (any other suggestions would be appreciated!). Or maybe the kitchen shop will have to be the way to go, regardless of the expense.

So, anyway, I made up the creme brulees this morning and they are now busy setting in the fridge. And this evening, we will all be able to stand around and ooh and ah at the debut of the blowtorch to caramelise the sugar on top of them.

Can't wait.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If you missed Q&A on Monday night....

...then you missed this.

You had to hang in there to the very end through all the political palaver that went on, but eventually after that was all over, Tim Freedman performed his cover version of the Rolf Harris classic Two Little Boys (to quote Tony Jones, "in an effort to prove that daggy is cool").

What a great song. Lovely piano accompaniment as well.

I've just booked tickets to go and see him in Brisbane next month. Really looking forward to it.

Fruity polenta slice

It's pouring rain here today (and the teachers are on strike at school...not such a bad thing since there's nothing worse than doing school pick-up with small children in the rain) so I did some baking this morning.

I'll add a photo later, but I tried out a new recipe I found and made fruity polenta slice. I'm a big fan of polenta in cakes and slices, it adds a lovely crunchy texture to the finished product.

Recipe is as follows:

1 tbsp honey
250ml (1 cup) hot tea
320g (2 cups) mixed dried fruit
180g (1 cup) polenta
250g (1 2/3 cups) self-raising flour
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
200g butter, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Dissolve the honey in the hot tea, pour over the dried fruit and set aside to soak. Allow mixture to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Butter a slice tin, line sides and bottom with baking paper and butter lightly.
Combine polenta, flours, sugars, butter and cinnamon. Rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture has a fine breadcrumb texture.
Add lemon zest, juice and eggs and mix well. Drain the dried fruit thoroughly and add to the mix. Stir until well combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared slice tin and smooth the top.Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set and golden brown. Slice into whatever size you like to serve. It would probably be nice for a dessert with a big dollop of cream on it.

The recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, In the Kitchen, by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis. I think this book has just about every recipe you will ever need in it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is this all there is?

When I started this blog, however long ago that was, I didn't really have any particular aims in mind. It was more that I liked the idea of somewhere I could write stuff down, become a bit more disciplined about writing regularly, and perhaps have something that I could look back on in future years (or show my kids when they are older) so that I knew what I'd done during this time in my life. Like an online diary. I didn't have any niche topic in mind, although it seems that out in blog world, niche blogs are the cool thing at the moment. Blogs like mine about anything and everything don't attract so many followers because they don't cover anything in particular.

So with those less than specific aims, it's probably no wonder that I feel sometimes like my blog is a bit dull to read for anyone who doesn't know me (or even for those who do). Although I've been thinking lately that that is "life actually" for me at the moment.

The reality is, life for us these days isn't full of the excitement and spontaneity that it was when I first met my husband and we started going out, or even when we only had one child and we were learning about how to be parents. Or when we had far more disposable income than we do now. Now it's about looking after kids, changing nappies, doing washing, making sure homework gets done, feeding the baby, taking kids to after school activities, changing more nappies, cooking food, and paying the bills so we don't lose the roof over our head.

I was listening to some people talking at church yesterday about how they had been out for dinner at a restaurant the previous evening with a group of other younger adults from church. And I felt a tiny bit jealous that it's not so easy for us to just pop out for dinner anymore. I know there are people who'll happily babysit for one child, but four? It's a pretty big ask. And, even if someone is happy to do it, all of this requires planning at least a couple of weeks in advance.

I know all of this really is a first world whine. I mean, having to think twice about going out for a meal at a restaurant? I know it's just petty, but I worry sometimes that this blog reflects that my life is actually pretty boring these days. Who would want to read about this kind of stuff? Sometimes I find myself asking if this is all there is to my life in this season.

And then I remember that I am blessed with a great family, a house, a job which has hours that suit my life stage perfectly, and most importantly, I am a member of God's family. The excitement and spontaneity may be a bit light on some days here, but I need to focus upon the many good things I do have. And the joys that those things bring.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Frightening toy....

I have seen this toy advertised in a few of the toy catalogues over the past few months. There is also one that will hold an iPad in it.

I think this is a bit disturbing, to be honest. Why on earth does a baby need to be playing with an iPhone? The outside of it is clearly a baby toy. A baby as young as four months could probably hang onto it. But why would they need to look at what's on a screen at that age?

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends that there should be no television for children under two years of age. I've always assumed that this would extend to any kind of computer activity as well. I certainly wouldn't give one to my baby (and wouldn't it get dribbled on and eaten anyway?).

But obviously there now is a market for this kind of toy. I just think it's sad that anyone would think it's a good idea to expose a baby to this sort of technology. There's no need for it, and it's just another way to avoid interacting with your child. I have a theory that the increased use of technology at increasingly younger ages might have something to do with the increase in childhood development and behaviour issues we are seeing clinically. I would see this happen all the time when I was at work. Parents would turn up with their child for an assessment, park themselves in the waiting room, give their kid the phone to play with and not even speak to them. Then they wonder why their child has all these difficulties with language and play skills. I always wanted to tell them to put the stupid phone away and try talking to the child, or playing with the carefully chosen toys and puzzles we bought for our waiting area.

I wish I could say I was a perfect role model in this department myself. The world of the internet is oh so distracting, and it's all too easy for a couple of minutes on the computer to turn into a much longer time. I like time to myself, and without it, it's easy for me to become cranky or over-stimulated by my kids being busy and active. Giving the kids a phone or iPad to play with or even putting them in front of the television (we don't have the first two options, but I have been guilty of using the television as a babysitter so I can go online), is an easy solution if you want peace and quiet.

But like most things, the quick and easy solution is not necessarily the one that's in our children's long term best interests.

Book Chat: Tackling J.I.Packer in Term 3

Disciplines of a Godly Woman was a big winner. We had nine people turn up yesterday afternoon. Great for discussion. A very challenging book and one that I'll keep dipping into regularly, I think.

I think we might have gotten a bit carried away on the roll of excitement that this book produced. We decided that next term we'll tackle J.I.Packer's Knowing God.

I'm already feeling a bit anxious. I've tried reading Packer before. He's hard work. Packed full of great information (pardon the bad pun) but I've found when I've tried to read his work that I need to read every single sentence about three times before I understand what he's saying. We read another one of his books for Book Chat, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, last year, and had a very low turn-out for the discussion. According to our minister, Knowing God is supposed to be even harder to read than that one.

So I'm wondering what I can do or suggest to make it easier for people. Should we each choose a chapter (any one we like) and report back on what we learned from that? Or are there particular chapters in it that are "must reads"?  Apparently it's based on a series of stand alone talks, so it doesn't sound as though you need to read one chapter before reading the next. And of course, reading the whole book is perfectly acceptable for those who can battle on through the density of the information.

Just putting it out there to the blogging world (Meredith, if you're reading, I know you've tackled it!), are there any particular chapters in Knowing God that you'd recommend for Packer novices to start off with?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome to the pee-wee holiday resort

We have a pool. Great in summer. But it's not heated, so pool ownership in winter here just involves tedious pool maintenance tasks like getting leaves out and feeding it chemicals to keep the water at the right balance.

While we're not using it, a few pee-wees have moved in to take advantage of the low season. I haven't been patient enough to capture a photo of them myself, so I borrowed a photo from flickr.

They have a great time looking at their reflections in the water, dive-bombing each other and having baths, and strutting around the side of the pool enjoying the sunshine.

I almost feel like I want to give them some little banana lounges and mini cocktails with umbrellas in them. While it's nice they're having such a lovely time, the little deposits they leave behind them (and perhaps in the pool as well) are much less appreciated.

Update from an earlier post...

Re this post.

I haven't said anything yet. I'm going in to meet with someone from the school executive next week to discuss nominating the school for an award for an innovative program they have been doing. So I thought while I was buttering them up about the good things they do, I might be able to slip in a couple of innocent questions about Fast ForWord while I was there.

But I think the horse may have already bolted. Yesterday's school newsletter had an update on how the Fast ForWord fundraising was going. They made a couple of thousand dollars at the school disco last week. We didn't send our kids to that because we were having a busy week last week. (And our kids won't dance when they do go so I'm a bit over taking them down there when I know that all I'll be doing is watching them roam around the school hall and fending off requests to buy junk food for them).

The little item about the fundraising also mentioned that the school has now received a rather substantial donation from the local bowls club to put towards purchasing the program.

Now that has happened, I doubt they can suddenly change plans and use the money for something else. I was going to suss out whether they might consider contracting a sessional speech pathologist to come in and work with some of the kids whose parents couldn't afford (or just wouldn't) take them to see anyone.

Frustrating. I thought Simone's comment the other day was pretty much spot on. Because the school is doing lots of good things and computer programs are working well to improve numeracy and literacy in the school, it's easy to think in terms of that kind of solution for all the kids with difficulties as well. One size fits all. Lots of online testimonies and health professionals (dodgy ones) singing its praises. Costs lots of money, so the assumption is that it must be fantastic.

But I just don't think there's any quick fix or miraculous computer program that's going to be able to cure all those learning difficulties out there. Especially when parental support is minimal for a lot of these kids anyway. Even providing therapy in a school setting is a bit pointless if there's no follow up at home. But at least the program can be individualised, and teachers supported with ideas that might be able to be implemented within the conventional curriculum.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Listening to an online lecture

About no-lift policies. For work. The students have to do a quiz next week so I need to be able to make intelligent comments on their answers to the questions.

I knew there was a good reason that I chose to work with small children. I think this could be the most boring lecture I've ever listened to. It was putting me to sleep so I'm blogging in here to stay awake.

Had my first tutorial this afternoon. All the dismal failures I had last semester have been given the boot for now because they have to repeat that subject next year before they can do this one. I have fifteen students in my group. Four of them I already know from last time around. The rest seem nice enough. One super-keen person who wanted to hang around afterwards to ask lots of questions that I couldn't answer properly.

I think it will be an okay semester once I learn how to use the hoist and the rest of the equipment. I had my first practice session yesterday. I transferred Chris from a bed to a chair (and back again) using one of the hoists at his work. He's a big guy. If I can move him around a few more times, I think it should all be cool by the time the hands on equipment session comes around in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Would you say something about this?

Our kids' school is fundraising to purchase a computer program called Fast Forword to use with some of the kids who have learning difficulties (particularly in reading and language areas). They have been a bit computer program happy over the past couple of years, with the kids now using both Mathletics and Reading Eggs that the school has purchased licenses for. The boys really enjoy using both of them.

But I am having a few difficulties with Fast Forword. I am always somewhat suspicious of any computer programs that claim to "fix" reading difficulties or that claim to fix up almost every related skill related to reading.

So I did a search online and discovered a systematic review of all the studies related to Fast Forword published just last year in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. The results weren't promising. The studies don't show that it makes any difference at all when compared with more conventional methods of remediating reading issues.

My question is, do I say something to someone at school about it? Does it make me look like some kind of know-it-all irritant parent who is questioning the school's wisdom after a decision has already been made by someone that it would be a great idea (apparently the P&C has approved it. I haven't been to a meeting since the beginning of this year so I missed the one where it was raised)? I'm not sure how much it costs so maybe it's not that much money down the drain if it's not that good? Or it might work for a couple of the kids and that would be enough? My kids don't have learning difficulties, so maybe it's not my business anyway?

Tonight is P&C night. I'm debating whether to go or not, since we still have billets with us tonight. Possibly not the place to bring it up now anyway.

I just don't like seeing money wasted (especially if we've supplied some of it via fundraising) on something that's not been shown to work all that well.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Billets are on their way

We're such introverted types here that we're dreading it a little bit. But I said to Chris this morning that if one of our kids ever went on a school band tour, I'd want them to stay with people like us. So we should be those kind of people now.

The house is clean (almost). Just the kitchen and dining room table to do. Rosie's toy kitchen, for the third time today. I put all the little plates, knives, forks, spoons and wooden bits of fruit away neatly, and she walked in behind me as I was leaving and said, "I cook now." So it is back to the state it was in to start with.

There was only one book hidden behind the toilet (don't ask). Will have to have a word to the older two about that...again.

Sultana cake with brandy soaked sultanas in it is made and cooling down. It smells amazing. Dinner tonight is fancied up spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread and salad. And chocolate mousse with strawberries on top for dessert.

Praying that we can show hospitality to these guys and that they will like us/we will like them. And that the younger kids can cope with the additional family members for the next couple of days.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Today my baby started crawling

He's been bunny hopping and commando-ing around the floor for a few weeks now. Today he put it together and did three or four reciprocal crawling movements in a row before he face-planted on the floor.

So he's not a little baby anymore. I feel a bit sad.

And he's my earliest crawler. The others didn't get going until at least 8 months. He only turned 7 months last weekend. He was an early roller too. He did that at just over 3 months old (recording it here because I don't have a baby book to put it in...yet).

I wonder if all this means he might walk before he's one. None of my others have. But I think he's just really really determined to join in with all the things he can see they're doing.

And something funny for your Friday

A stairlift for obese dogs. Yes indeed. You can read more about it here.

I wish I could say to you that I had found this while I was searching for information about equipment to assist with daily living activities (what I should be doing to prepare for my work next week) but sadly it was just an amusing distraction that popped up on one of the funny sites that feeds onto my facebook news feed.

I think you'd really have to love your dog (or have heaps of spare cash) to spend 5000 pounds on one of these. If it was my dog, I'd just be saying, "Well, buddy, your days of going upstairs are over."

Play School concert

I thought perhaps after yesterday's pity party, that some positive input to the blog was required. Here it is.

Amongst the craziness that was yesterday, I took the little kids to the Play School concert that was on at our local civic centre. A big day out for many local parents and toddlers. I bumped into some other ladies I knew from church there, so we all sat together, and I saw somebody on the other side of the room that I have been a little bit slack at maintaining contact with, so seeing her prompted me to send a text to see how she is going.

It was great fun. I went to one years ago when the big boys were a similar age. I enjoyed this one a lot more. Maybe because the venue was half an hour closer to home. Short travel time makes a big difference when you are transporting babies and toddlers. But the singing was good too. I like the way they sing songs that most adults and toddlers know and that the little people can sing or dance along to. Rowan had a great time with "Row, row, row your boat" and then got a bit sooky but eventually he managed to put himself to sleep despite the noise around him.

Alex and Abi (pictured above, picture from here) were the presenters yesterday. I think Alex is quite nice to look at. Maybe that's a hangover from the days back in the 80s when he was the resident heart-throb on Home and Away, which I watched for a short period when it was about foster kids being given a loving home with Tom and Pippa.

Hope I'll have another chance to go to one of these concerts before my little kids get too big. I think it's a ritual that all parents should have the chance to enjoy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One of those weeks

Not a good one.

Yesterday I had one of those days where I felt like nothing I said came out the right way. As in open mouth, insert foot. Bible study is not a good place for this to happen. I apologised to someone I realised I may have said the wrong thing to, but there may be others whom I may have inadvertently offended. Sorry.

Today, I discovered a student who was in my tutorial sessions last semester has complained about the way her assignment was marked and has demanded a re-mark. Well, actually, she signed an affidavit so her mother could complain on her behalf. I think that says it all, really. But it still hurts. I wonder if I could have handled her situation differently (probably not), or whether it would have made no difference either way.

The subject I am tutoring this semester (which starts next week) appears challenging. To give you some context, my area of specialty at work is paediatrics, in particular young children with delayed development. This subject involves practical lab sessions where I will be teaching the students how to assist adults with strokes or other physical impairments to transfer and move around in bed, how to prescribe wheelchairs and pressure cushions, and how to use equipment to assist with dressing and eating. Part of the assessment is viva based, so I assess their ability to do some of these things in a practical scenario-based session. Think "blind leading the blind" and you have a pretty good summation of how I'm feeling about that right now.

Chris has offered to set up some equipment at his workplace so I can practise beforehand, and hopefully not look too stupid when the sessions come around. I am filling the shoes of someone who had vast experience with all this stuff. I am not in the same league.

The kids' school was seeking people to take billets from a high school band that is visiting the primary schools in our area next week. They are only billeted in pairs and we only have one sofa bed so I didn't say yes to start with. But when nobody offered to help and they got really desperate, I thought I should stick my hand up to take somebody. So now we have two male trumpet players staying at our house for two nights next week. They're aged 18 and 16. Good in that I'm thinking they've toured before and should be relatively responsible. But they probably eat a lot. And we'll all have to be on our best behaviour for those two days, which means the days after that might not be pretty.

Sorry. That's all pretty grumbly. But that's life here this week. I'd better get praying for patience, calm, and the ability to quickly get up to speed on how to position an adult stroke patient in a bed and chair.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Chat Term 2 2012: Disciplines of a Godly Woman

This is a great book. Every Christian woman should read it. I've known about it for a long time but I resisted reading it for ages because the word "discipline" put me off.

Don't let it put you off the same way. Discipline in the context of this book is not about following rules and being legalistic, but about expressing your love and gratitude for all that God has done for us. This is a book you will refer back to often. It will challenge you to think about godliness and how it is lived out every day.

It would be a great book to work through in a small group Bible study. There are helpful discussion questions at the end of each chapter with Bible references included.

I was trying to explain to someone why it was so good and (as usual) not managing to express myself that well. The best I could come up with was that it's like that passage in Titus 2 where it talks about older women training the younger women in godliness. Reading this book is like learning from a wise and experienced older woman about how to live as a Christian. And reading a book like this always confirms for me why I believe that everyone should read good Christian books. I've heard some people say that they don't need to read anything that's related to Christianity other than the Bible. But when you read a book like this one, which so clearly applies Biblical wisdom to everyday life, then it becomes really clear why it's worth adding at least a couple of good Christian books to your reading list each year. If you're a big reader, it should be more than a couple.

Here's a great post from feminagirls

About neediness. 

Because I can't think of anything much that's interesting to write about today.

It's a very helpful post. But challenging. Some of it hit a bit too close to home for me. That line where neediness crosses over into sin is all too easy to cross.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Too much time inside....

...results in kids who whinge and fight with each other lots more than normal.

On the positive side, our house is much cleaner now thanks to the rather wet long weekend here.

But I've had enough of the rain. We need to get some washing dry. Looks like there's some good news there though. From this evening's weather forecast, it appears that Mr East Coast Low is heading further off shore, leaving some wild waves behind that I can go and look at tomorrow when the kids return to school.

Praying for fellow blogging buddies in Western Australia who seem to have more stormy weather coming in tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Flying solo today

Chris is in Sydney for work. He left here at 5am. He won't be back until at least 8pm tonight.

He texted me when he arrived to tell me it was cold there. I don't think he took a jumper or jacket with him. Not sure why he thought it wouldn't be cooler there than it is here.

Anyway, so far the morning rush has been survived with no full blown fights. Just the two big boys niggling at each other but they got over it without requiring much parental intervention. We are having leftovers for dinner so getting through this evening should be a lot easier than usual.

Chris just gets in and does things that need to be done around here (to be honest, a lot of the time more than what I do....) so I do miss him a lot even if he's only away for a short while.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rosie's new lamp

We bought this while we were on holidays.

One of those holiday purchases that all made perfect sense in the carefree moment of holiday bliss but  when you return home, you wonder if it might have been a bit extravagant (I won't mention how much I paid for it).

It is lovely though. It's kind of funky the way the birds appear when the lamp is turned on. When it's off, it just looks like a plain brown lampshade. Rosie's been told that she's never allowed to touch it because if it breaks there won't be another one. And so far, she's been very good at leaving it alone.

Got offered some more work yesterday

They must have liked me enough. So I will probably say yes to running a three hour lab session once a week. It all starts up again in a couple of weeks (the Uni runs three sessions each year, but the occupational therapy students only study in Sessions 1 and 2).

Not much of a break but hopefully I can have a nice long weekend watching some West Wing and chilling out before things get busy again.

I have just spent a happy half hour...

...playing with picmonkey (thanks Deb!) and editing a couple of photos of the solar system diorama. So much fun.

Here you go. This one is the "boost" lighting effect:

And the outside of the box. Chris left Aidan downstairs unsupervised for all of two minutes while he was  busy painting the words on and he managed to spell "system" incorrectly (he painted "g" instead of "y", which you can see he's tried to fix up):

I think I might be giving picmonkey a bit more of a workout over the next few days.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prairie Dogs Munching on Carrots

I think the title of this video says it all really. But there is a bit of a funny moment about 25 seconds in where one of the little prairie dogs decides to steal his neighbour's carrot, despite the fact there's many hundreds still sitting in the food tray.

Transit of Venus

Almost finished here....

My pinhole projector wasn't particularly effective. The image of the sun was too small for me to be able to spot an even tinier Venus making its way over (the above image is from here).

At least the webcasts on the internet didn't let me down. I watched the last part of it on a web camera based in the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (which had a bit of commentary as well). And I have just learned from the very well informed commentator there that even though there won't be another Transit of Venus in my lifetime, there will be Transits of Mercury across the sun in 2016 and 2019. Cool. If I'm still blogging then, I'll make sure you all know exactly when they're on...

Weigh-in update...

Good news. He'd put on 310 grams in not quite three weeks. I was pretty happy with that, since he'd only put on 350 grams in the two months before we saw the GP.

So no tears happened. Fortunately, it was the lactation consultant I was seeing. I have cried in front of her previously so if I had ended up being a bit emotional, it wasn't like she hadn't seen me in that state before.

I've been trying to slow down and enjoy the breastfeeds more lately. This is the last time I'll be feeding a baby so I need to make the most of however many feeds are left. I'll miss them when they're over.

Thanks to all for the support. And Petrina, yes, avocado and double cream (I sometimes add a spoonful of cream cheese as well) is rather yummy. But one spoonful is really all I can manage to eat myself, it's pretty rich!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We're off for a weigh-in this afternoon

Not for me. For Rowan. This is the test to see if we're going to have to start some formula supplementation to keep his weight on track.

I'm nervous. It's a big test of motherhood, being able to get enough food into your kids to keep them growing. I didn't realise that until I had difficulty doing it (had no issues with the first two, but the third one caused me some grief). And after a good start fourth time around, we've gone off track a little bit. Since we discovered this almost three weeks ago we've had to ramp up Rowan's solid food, I've had to take a pretty disgusting tasting herbal mixture to boost my milk supply and we've been hoping and praying that these things will make a difference.

I think he looks a bit fatter. It might be just me seeing what I want to see. But surely the mashed up avocado and double cream I've been feeding him on a regular basis over the past few weeks must have made some difference?

I hope I won't do something stupid like cry if it hasn't worked. Chris is running a meeting this afternoon at work so I can't  call him if the news isn't good.

I know what you're all thinking. Formula isn't the end of the world. In the end, I guess it isn't. But I worry that it might be the beginning of the end of breastfeeding. And I don't think I'm ready for that yet.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Q&A live from Toowoomba tonight

Off to watch, and to re-discover the joys of the Empire Theatre.

We only lived there for a relatively short time, but there are still times when I really miss Toowoomba...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

Just saw on Facebook that a friend is reading this on her Kindle and described it as being very difficult to put down. I also noticed when I was reading the Sunday newspapers this afternoon that it is currently the top selling book in bookshops.

When I googled for further information, I then discovered that it was originally written as Twilight fan fiction, is very badly written from a grammatical point of view, and contains lots and graphic sex scenes, which could explain why it's such a bestseller.

I don't think I'll bother reading it. Twilight left me very underwhelmed. This sounds like Twilight minus the vampires and werewolves but with lots of erotica instead.

And it always annoys me when people can make truckloads of money from bad writing. But maybe that's just because I'm jealous....

Coming this week to skies near you....

As well as the solar system diorama deadline, there's another amazing astronomical event happening.

The transit of Venus across the sun is happening on Wednesday. It last happened in June 2004, but after this one, it won't happen again until 2117. So not many of us will still be here by the time the next one rolls around.

You can read more information about it here (also where I found the above image of the June 2004 transit).

Don't look directly at the sun though. It's very dangerous. I'm off now to discover alternative viewing options. The above website seems to have sold out of funky eclipse-viewing glasses so perhaps a pinhole projector may be the way to go.

In other astronomy news, the diorama is finished, other than waiting for the paint to dry. Photos later in the week. It looks pretty good. Chris and the kids have had a big weekend working on it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

There's a new blog on the net

And it's very good. Check it out here.

Great to see you blogging Deb!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cold and wet

Looks like we have a rather wet weekend coming up here.

Perfect baking weather. I just made a pumpkin fruit cake but forgot to take a photo of it before I cut it up and ate a piece. Disappointing. It looked very good because for once, I'd remembered to put foil on it while it was baking to stop it from overbrowning on the top.

It's not such good news for healthy eating habits though. It's the sort of weather that always makes me crave sweet stodgy food and enormous roast dinners.

It's also perfect weather for putting together a solar system diorama that's due in next week at school. We cheated and bought a kit from Lincraft so it just needs to be painted and put together. This weather is also great for putting speeches onto palm cards for the public speaking competition at school.

I'm really looking forward to the day when homework can be completed with a great deal less parental assistance than it currently requires.

One to one Bible reading

I caught up with my wonderful friend this morning to read our Bibles together. We decided we'd choose something simple to kick off with, so we've started with Psalms. We read Psalm 2 today.

We followed a question framework from the above book (you can get a copy of it here). And had a great time reading and praying together. Well, we prayed at the beginning and forgot to pray at the end. Something to remember for next time we meet up.

It's so good to make time to read the Bible properly. Lately I've been trying to be more disciplined with having personal Bible reading time. I'm trying to do this in the mornings when I'm not tired and before the day has a chance to run off the rails as it so often does by the time evening rush hour rolls around. I'm also encouraging Rosie to sit up next to me on the bed and read her Beginner's Bible while I'm reading mine. It's pretty cute. Often when she sees me sitting there reading (even if I'm not reading my Bible), she'll say "Quiet time now?" and toddle off to get her Bible as well. It doesn't always work and I often get interruptions while she's there, but hopefully she's getting the idea that putting aside time to read the Bible is an important thing to do.

But reading the Bible with someone else is amazing. I was privileged to share another person's point of view and ideas about a passage. And to pray with someone (other than my husband) one to one. And I was reminded again of God's goodness to us.

"Blessed are all who take refuge in him" (Psalm 2:12).