Thursday, February 28, 2013

What I'm reading

And this one:

I'm enjoying both of them but I'll need to post a few more thoughts on them when I can collect my ideas into some sort of it might be a while.

Something that I found earlier this evening...a bit of a giggle

From here.

Busy busy busy

I'm glad this student supervision contract is only a short term deal. Two more weeks to go after tomorrow. After that I'm not sure what I'll be doing. I've applied for something else and have an interview for that next week. It's not really my preferred area of work though so I have my doubts on whether I'll get it. And they want someone to work three days. I can only do two because of child care. That's the reason I'm giving them. The real reason I can only do two is because I don't want to do any more than that. More than two days a week of me working tips up the very delicate balance of keeping my family (and me) sane and functioning. So I think I'll have to either blitz the interview and blind them with my outstanding awesome-ness as a therapist, or I'll get laughed at and told to go away.

Time to bring out the negotiation skills for a bit of dusting off, I think.

Just need to mention too that I am in love with my new oven. It takes about three minutes to preheat. After waiting for around fifteen minutes for the previous one to heat (often unreliably) three minutes is sheer luxury. Now I just need to find the time to do some cooking in it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rain, rain, go away....

It seems that we are about to be drenched....again. For the third time in a month. Thanks very much ex-tropical cyclone, east coast low, and now we seem to have something called an "upper level trough and associated upper low" developing off the Queensland coast.

On Friday afternoon, I was stuck in a pretty big storm at the school where I work. High winds, trees blowing down, flash flooding through the school grounds, it was all happening. I had students working in the school library with a few kids and I couldn't get there from the admin block (at most, 5 metres away) to check they were okay. I had a few moments of anxiety about getting us all home safely. Fortunately it passed over and we were able to make it out with a few detours to get past the fallen trees on the access roads and motorway.

Now another downpour is on the way. I am praying that this one is over with by the time work starts for me again on Thursday and that the students will be able to travel safely to work over the next few days with their other supervisors.

But I just want to say that we have had enough rain for now. That is all.

Home from church with sick kids

Listening to this:

I see there is also a companion album called He Will Have His Way for the blokes. Might get onto that one next.

But the girls' one is sublime. Some gorgeous voices singing great lyrics here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One of my kids won an iPod Touch!

From the Summer Reading Club he participated in with our local library. I'm claiming part ownership since I'm the one who encouraged* the kids to fill in their reading logs and I took them to the library every few weeks to hand them in. He was very excited to win. It was lovely to see the look of amazement and excitement on face when they read out his name. Especially since I'd worded them up before we went to the little party this afternoon for the prize drawing that not everyone can be the winner, and that it was just great that they'd participated and had a go.

As it turned out, it was one of those "every child wins a prize" events where they could choose what they wanted from a large table of smaller items so even the non-iPod recipients left happily.

I'm happy too. I said in here a few months ago that the only way we'd end up with an iPad or iPod here was if somebody won one. Sadly our little WiFi thingy that's supposed to connect everything to the internet all over our house isn't working though so we'll need to head off to the Apple Shop over the weekend to sort that all out so we can get other things besides the camera to work on the new toy.

Unfortunately, my happy winner is the same child who has already managed to lose his school folder (quite a large item, I still can't work out how he's lost that) and a library book in the past month. We have had strong words tonight about making sure the iPod returns to the same place

*or harrassed....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our new oven

I posted a while ago that I thought our oven was dying. It seemed to work okay for a while after I said that, but it turned out that those were just the dying throes and last gasps. I cooked a ginger cake in it on Sunday morning for church morning tea and then did Anzac biscuits in it on Sunday night. Last night when we were going to bake up some lamb chops for dinner there was no heat. I think the element has finally gone. It's nice to think it had a good last day of baking yummy treats before it was all over.

So this morning it was back to our friends at the local electrical retailers to find a new one. We have Bosch everything else in our kitchen and laundry, so we are now going to have a Bosch oven joining the ranks. It will hold our biggest tray, and, joy of joys, we are spending a little bit extra to get the pyrolytic cleaning function since cleaning the oven is probably up there with my least favourite household tasks.

I had to compromise on the model I was originally planning to get. That one wasn't going to be available in their shop till the end of next week and not installed until the week after that. To get something in and running by early next week I had to get a slightly cheaper model, but the only things it didn't have that my originally chosen one had were telescopic oven racks and push in oven dials. Not essential features. I was told that telescopic oven racks let you pull the oven shelf out when it has a roast on it and they will hold up the baking dish so you don't have to completely remove it from the oven to give the roast a baste. Meh. I can live without that if it saves me $200. And I liked the dials on the one we're getting better anyway.

One thing I did want to go for was a child lock. We have a little household helper who loves to follow us around the house twisting the dials on washing machines, ovens and whatever else he can get his hands on, which means that too many things get turned off when they shouldn't be. His stealth attacks on the washing machine mid-cycle have been particularly annoying of late.

So the oven is being delivered and installed on Monday. We will be ad libbing meals until then since every meal I had left on our menu plan for the week involved use of the oven. But it's almost cold enough here this week to have soup for a few days. Or, if the weather clears up, we'll do barbecues every night. 

And then when the oven does arrive, the festival of baking shall begin!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I'm listening to

On Spotify. Spotify is my weekend discovery. You should check it out if you don't know about it already. It's very cool.

Boring times

I'm writing a job application. It's not much fun. I'm trying to see if I can just cut and paste from a previous application I did a few months ago but unfortunately the selection criteria aren't really lining up nicely so I can do that. I'm not sure whether I want the job or not which is not helping with motivation.

My tutoring job starts up again on Tuesday afternoon. I'm teaching the same subject as I did this time last year. Referencing is the first topic they cover. The best bit of the whole tutorial is the getting to know you activity at the start where we find out what superpower everybody wants to have and how they ended up in occupational therapy. I'd love to hear a few more creative reasons than "I really want to help people." Not that that's a bad reason to be in the course, but after I've heard it eighteen times I'm craving new ideas. There are a few repeaters from last year, including a few of the spectacular failures from my last group. Fortunately most of them have joined the other tutor's class so I don't have to go through the ordeal of teaching them again.

And the OT students at the school are coming up for their halfway assessments this week. On Friday, one of them was off sick, just as I discovered this person hadn't documented progress notes on any of the work that they had done. This person had been sitting with all the others while they all appeared to be busily writing notes, so I'm trying to work out what he was doing for all of that time. It will be time for some hard words this week if the notes aren't up to date by the time I get back in on Thursday. The word "failing" may have to be mentioned.

I do miss the days of deciding what biscuits I will make, or what book I should read, or which DVD series I should watch, or which room I should think about cleaning (and then not get around to doing it). No more maternity leave ever again. It's very sad.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Life hurts some days. There are a few things going on here that are making me a bit sad right now. Effort feels unrewarded. I'm trying to take in a lot of new information that my poor stuck-in-maternity-leave brain isn't coping with. Feeling close to the limits of my ability to manage everything.

Many of these things are beyond my control. Of course, in my stressed state, I want to control them.

It's one of those times where I need to lean on the One who is stronger than I am. But strangely enough, for me these are the times when I always seem to want to do it all myself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

C.B.R.P. update

I fell off doing the daily readings for a week or two when I went back to work but I'm trying to get back on the wagon. I'm into Numbers now. I have ground my way through the first ten chapters about the census and the Levites and a particularly difficult chapter about a whole bunch of offerings.

And today I've moved onto some more exciting action in the story, the bit where the Israelites send out the advance party to scope out the Promised Land and they come back freaked out about all the tall and strong people there. I always have a bit of a giggle at them being scared off by the tall people. Maybe it's because I have a tall husband.

The Bible Society daily email verses at the moment are also from Numbers so they are lining up nicely with what I'm reading.

Here's the last couple of verses from Numbers 13 (the above image is from here):

32 So (AB)they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and (AC)all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the (AD)Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the(AE)Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves (AF)like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sharing some lighthouse love

I'm not sure how often I've shared with you lovely readers how much I like looking at lighthouses, but I think it's been a while since I talked about them in here so I thought it was time to share the love again.

This is Deal Island Lighthouse in Bass Strait, the highest located lighthouse in Australia at 320 metres above sea level. It's not a tall lighthouse though, at only twenty metres tall. It was deactivated in 1992 after lights were installed on nearby North East and South West Islands.

It is my dream to one day tour the whole coast of Australia to see as many lighthouses as I can. I think lack of funds might put an end to my grand plans, but it's nice to think I might see some of them. I've now seen all the lighthouses on the north coast of New South Wales from Fingal Head down to Crowdy Head but one day I would love to do all the southern state ones.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

An interesting sermon on the Proverbs 31 woman

Check out the link here if the video above isn't working. It goes for a long time. I don't think you need to listen to all of it to get the gist of what he has to say. He does say that women should read their Bibles and fill their minds with the word of God. That part I don't have an issue with. It's when he starts to get into detail about what a woman's life should look like that we depart company.

He spends a lot of time talking about women cooking. Here are some examples:

31:00 Women, are you too busy? You better be too busy cooking because that's what the Bible says you should be doing.

36:12 I didn't let my wife have a TV when we got married. She didn't know what to do with her time because we had no kids and she didn't have a job. I told her "Just cook me three awesome meals a day. Just really hit it out of the park."

37:30 I just wanted my wife to do something that mattered. Like cooking!

38:20 I really just want to give my wife a ton of freedom. Cook what you want!

53:25 A virtuous woman is one who has a plan. She's got a plan for breakfast, she's got a plan for lunch, she's got a plan for dinner.

Okay. So I'm quoting some of this out of context (and some of it I have paraphrased...). But I was left with the distinct feeling that he really wants his wife to get into that kitchen and cook him something. I haven't quoted the bit where he checks up on his wife via webcam when he's away and if she's not in the kitchen, he asks her why she's not there.

And don't get me started on what he has to say about public schools being run by Satan and how the University is filling your mind with scum. When I trawled through some of the comments on this and found a link to his wife's blog (called ARE THEY ALL YOURS?!?? - and yes, the capitals and question marks/exclamation marks are quoted verbatim...) I discovered they are into all kinds of conspiracy theories on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Scary stuff.

I know this probably isn't an indication of a meek and quiet spirit (something else he talks about at length in his sermon) but I did find a little perverse enjoyment in the fact that while I was sitting here watching his video and writing this blog post, my husband was busy preparing tonight's dinner....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Here's a good up to date handwriting assessment

Whenever I have an OT student, I feel this need to make sure I'm actually using the most up to date resources and assessments. It's part of making sure that I'm at least one step ahead of them at all times. That's part of the reason I enjoy having students, although the constant thinking does wear me out ...and may lead to periods of extreme crankiness at home....

Last night's internet searching yielded the McMaster Handwriting Assessment Protocol. It looks pretty good. I'm not sure why I haven't heard more about it around the OT world. I suppose I have been on leave for a while. And I haven't done any professional development on handwriting for some time.

It's pretty detailed. It covers composition, near and far point copying, dictation and writing from memory, as well as giving a writing speed in letters per minute. There are a few Canadian and US-centric words like "candy" and "jar" in it that I might need to change. I don't know if we'll be able to use all of it with each of the kids we need to screen. But I think I might look at using parts of it. It looks like a good way for the students to consider that handwriting is a bit more involved than just copying the "quick brown fox" sentence out once (which I think has historically been standard practice for many OTs, including me....).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Survived the big first day

My four OT students arrived today, so work has ramped up to a new level as I've been busy sorting out their caseloads and putting them into classrooms. I'm about to crash on the couch to recover while my wonderful husband cooks pea and haloumi fritters for dinner. He took the day off today since I won't usually be working on Mondays.

The school was buzzing all day. The new Kindies all arrived for their big first day at school. Lots of photo moments out in front of the school sign. One of the mothers hung around outside her kid's classroom for the entire day because she was worried he might get upset without her. Her husband brought her lunch and a drink at lunchtime. It'll be interesting to see if she's still hanging around for that long by Thursday when I go to work again.

And now for two days off. Although there is plenty of thinking still to be done before Thursday....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

R.I.P. Maz....

Our little purple Mazda 121 has died.

As it turned out, it wasn't just the clutch that had gone. They quoted us around $2000 worth of repairs that would have been essential to get us past this year's registration check. That's more than what the car is worth so it's time to bite the bullet and get a new one. At least we are going to have my income starting up again so we can afford it.

Having a very tall husband has some advantages. When it comes to purchasing cars, many can be eliminated from the shopping list straight away because he won't fit into them. People always thought it was funny that we had the Mazda. It looks pretty small from the outside, but it was a tall car with plenty of head room inside. That's where many of them fall down.

So after all other options were eliminated (too small, too dodgy, too expensive) we decided on a Honda Jazz. We're going to get a broker to do the running around for us due to the inconvenient timing of Maz dying just as I am starting my new job. I'd love a red one, but would be happy with blue. Don't want black, white, silver or yellow (definitely not yellow because our kids have discovered "spotto" which they shout very loudly whenever a yellow car is anywhere in the vicinity).

And it's kind of funky to be replacing Maz with Jazz.

Summer holiday Book Chat: The Hiding Place

Over the summer holiday break, we read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, a great Christian classic. It's a very inspirational story. Compared to many other stories of the Holocaust, this one left me feeling very uplifted in many ways, despite all the horrific stories about how the Jews were treated. God was truly working in many ways through Corrie and her family to bring people into His kingdom even in the concentration camps.

As a child, I remember seeing this book on my Grandma's bookshelf when I was staying with her and being curious about it. I never read it then though. Glad I finally had the opportunity to do so. It's really worth reading.

Our next book is Light Dawns in Nepal, a story of how missionaries entered Nepal back in the early 1950s to establish hospitals for people with leprosy. One of the members of our book group is a young Christian teacher who spent all of last year working in a school in Kathmandu for children of missionaries in Nepal and has now returned home to teach here. She is going to be sharing with us some of her experiences of the country as well. I think this will really help to make the book come alive for us.

And I am eyeing off Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke for later in the year. I think that one will be great for helping me to become a bit more intentional about what I read.

Anyone else read any good books lately that I can add to my list?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday night music

A bit shattered here after my first couple of days of work. And next week I have to do a three day week (fortunately that is just a one off, and I will return to two days per week after that. Two days is hard enough).

Tonight I have to read the second half of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom for Book Chat tomorrow afternoon. And read about the same amount of Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. That one was due back at the library today, I'm hoping if I return it tomorrow I'll escape a fine because it's not ages late. Sadly it's in huge demand so I can't extend it any longer.

Normal blogging service will resume....well, not sure when. Lots to do in the next week or so, but I'm sure I will be checking in at some point and writing something. Don't expect too much exciting news though....

So here is some Piano Guys for your entertainment in the meantime. The bits where he uses his forearm on the keyboard are incredible!