Sunday, September 30, 2012

Off on holidays for a bit

We're heading off to the beach for the second half of the school holidays. Looking forward to doing....well, not very much. Plenty of books to be read, board games to be played, DVDs to be watched (Series 2 of The Tudors that I found in the library) and fun to be had.

Between now and when we leave tomorrow I have to finish marking five exams and then the exam marking is over except for putting their marks onto a spreadsheet somewhere. Not quite sure what I'm doing with that yet but there'll be time to sort that out when I get back.

And I have to pack stuff.

Unfortunately I have been distracted by this rather nice dress I found in the Myer online shop. A friend at church was wearing the short sleeved version of it this morning. I think I would prefer the shorter sleeved one myself but I don't want to look too much like I'm copying. Although she is one of the people going to our new church plant so if I bought one then we wouldn't be running into eachother in our matching dresses every Sunday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making room for new relationships...

Our church is getting ready to plant a new congregation. It's been planned for a while, but the kick off date for the new church plant is now only three weeks away. Exciting times ahead. And sad ones, as we say goodbye to some good friends who are leaving us.

We are staying with the group who meet at our current location. The new church will be further away from our home so it made sense for us to stay where we were. The last Sunday where we will all be together is in two weeks' time, but we will still be away on holidays then, so next Sunday will be the last Sunday for us in the church as we currently know it.

We've been with this church for almost seven years now. It was very small when we arrived and has grown to become very large over the time that we've been in it. God has been good to us.

One difficult thing that I've found about the growth in numbers over the past few years is that it gets much harder to get to know people at church. In a small crowd, you know everyone and can catch up with them every Sunday. As the crowd gets bigger, it gets trickier. New people arrive and you welcome them and you might want to get to know them better, but if you already have lots of friendships on the go (and if, like me, you cope better with a smaller quota of friends) then it's harder to catch up with all the new people and establish new friendships with them. Sometimes it's just easier to hang out with the old friends, but that doesn't make it easy for the newer people to feel like they belong.

I think it's important for us as Christians to make space for new friendships in our lives. It builds our church as a community, and challenges us to think about how we can serve others and look outwards. It stretches us out of our comfort zones, perhaps more than a quiet type like me would like, but in a way that helps us to grow and become more mature as Christians.

Yesterday we had lunch with some friends from church at the home of a younger couple who only started attending our church in the last twelve months. The wife is a fairly new Christian, and her husband is from a Jewish background, is not yet converted and would probably describe himself as an atheist. He has attended services at our church for special occasions (like Christmas carols) in the past, but yesterday was the first time he had come to a regular Sunday service. Catching up over lunch afterwards was a lovely time of chatting and getting to know them both better. We pray that over time he'll come along to church some more. I hope that building good friendships will encourage him to do that.

Bring on the changes. And the opportunities for new relationships that they will bring our way. Please pray that we'll be open to growing in new directions and reaching out to others.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Difference between dogs and cats....

From here.

After our week of dog-sitting, I still prefer cats. They're more independent. But I think I could now live with a dog...perhaps one without bundles of energy, though!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Now our oven is packing up

After all the fridge dramas of last week, it seems as if our oven is feeling the lack of attention in its direction.

This week it decided to have a "go slow" so that we will notice it. The other night it took ages to heat up and then well over an hour to cook a quiche. This resulted in a family member being late to get to a meeting on Wednesday night.

Not good enough, oven. So I have been out to price new ones in anticipation.

The thing I have noticed over time through many homes with many ovens is that they don't just stop working completely. They gradually begin to irritate by doing things like overcooking or burning (usually just the couple of biscuits in the back corner of the tray, for example), or perhaps by not heating up very fast anymore. The trouble with this is that there isn't the urgency to go out and buy a new one, unlike things that completely die.

Replacing two large kitchen appliances in a short space of time is a bit of a stretch. However, I've been told we can probably afford a new one.

It's very tempting.


This is bloggable because we've had hardly any rain for weeks.

Looking forward to seeing the lawn start to green up again.

An apt description of life here at the moment

From here.

Hooray that school holidays start today, I say.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sorry to anyone else who's been spammed... commenting on any of my posts.

So word verification is back in operation here for a while. Hoping that might put a stop to all the emails about cheap medicines that have been turning up in my inbox.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gardening wins and losses....

Our cherry tomatoes have been pretty prolific this season so far. They are currently growing a second round of new shoots and flowers for a summer crop.

Because I was so excited about how well the cherry tomatoes were going, I thought I'd try growing a different variety. This one is a photo I took of my Mamma Mia tomato plant a few weeks after I planted it.

Sadly, it's not looking this healthy now. I can't bear to take a photo of the plant because it now looks like it is on death's door. I think it outgrew the pot before I realised. Last week I noticed that a lot of the tomatoes had big brown patches on the bottom of them.

This is called blossom end rot. Not good. Caused by a variety of things mostly related to soil quality, and possibly by wet weather on planting followed by a very long dry spell, as we've had up here. And maybe by outgrowing the pot as well. My Google hunting told me that some tomato varieties are more susceptible than others. So I'm going to try again with a different type (and a bigger pot) when we get back from our holidays in October.

Happily, the cherry tomatoes are still producing to make me feel better about the Mamma Mia fail. These are some that I picked this morning. We've also had one or two strawberries coming through as well.

And the herbs are going really well. The rosemary, flat leaf parsley, mint and oregano are looking fantastic.

So all in all, a pretty good gardening winter. Hoping to get some radishes planted over the next little while too.

Hank and Gigi

Our pug guests....

Last night I downloaded over 700 photos from my camera

Prepare for an onslaught of posts with photos...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our new fridge

It's just arrived. I'm waiting for it to cool down so I can start unloading the assorted eskies and bar fridge our kind friends loaned us when the old one gave up on Wednesday.

This one takes up more room than the old one. I bought the old one when I was single and had just left home. We really needed a bigger one, but the fridge space in our current home is a bit on the small side. Access to our house is also difficult. We have steps that turn a corner on the way up. We have discovered this is not good for large appliances like fridges. The alternative access is bit of a cross country route up a straight flight of stairs and around our swimming pool (including two pool gates). I'd forgotten to measure the width of those when I was checking out fridge sizes yesterday. It just fitted through the smaller one.

I've already managed to drop one of the food caddy/shelf things from inside the door onto the wooden floor so the edge of it is now chipped. Fortunately not too noticeable, but it was sad to see it lose its brand-new perfection so soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our fridge just died

After 16 years and 7 moves (maybe more, have lost track of how many times it's been even got lost on one of them).


But I guess it's had a pretty good life.

We're dog-sitting

Our friends' two pugs are staying with us this week. They arrived last night.

So far, they've been getting quite excited when approached by anyone so it's been hard to get a good photo of them. Hopefully later in the week they might calm down so I can get a few shots of the kids with them.

Everyone in our house is also pretty excited about them being here. Well, except for one person, who is showing dissent by refusing to come out of their room or get off the couch if the dogs are inside.

Sigh. I was hoping this could be a kind of trial run to work out whether we might be able to manage a dog as a more permanent pet in the future. Hoping the dissenter might come on board by the end of the week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's it called?

Most of us know this as a trampoline. Our three year old calls it a "jumping machine." We were having morning tea at a friend's house this morning and it was rather amusing listening to her telling her little friend whose turn it was to go on the jumping machine.

I did correct her a couple of times. And then I just thought, well, it's cute. And she'll work out what it's really called sooner or later anyway. Until then, it can be one of those cute toddler things to remember later. Hence this post, since I'm pretty sure I won't remember to write it down anywhere else.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nothing much happening here...

...although I did find this rather funny blog called Removies. It consists of movie posters that have been rewritten with one letter removed. There aren't many of them yet, but the ones that are there are pretty funny.

Like these:

Another person with a bit too much time on their hands, methinks....