Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Snowy Day

Ethan had Snowy Day at kinder today - yep third time round for me. They've been making skis out of tissue boxes and cardboard the last few weeks and the teachers took their photo and made a ski pass. The room is cleared for Snowy Day and white sheets cover the walls and powder is sprinkled on the floor so they can "ski". Afterwards they have a snowball fight and a special Apres ski snack.
We got to stay at the start to get some photos. I got some goodies then bolted because it was the first opportunity between holidays and sick kids that I've had to get to the gym in over a month. I'm a bit tired now though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Car Free Day

The Boy normally has swimming Tuesdays but he had a shocking cough this morning when I woke up so we gave it a miss today. So we had a car free day. I had to go to the supermarket to get a snack for Ethan to take to snowy day at kinder and something for tea so we walked down.
It's rubbish day so first we have to get the rubbish bins, look at my little helper.
Of course we have to stop off at the park on the way - a little incentive to walk.
He's not letting go of those Strawberry Mallows.

That's about as much shopping as I can carry up the hill from the supermarket. Plenty of junk mail today.
Just making sure the Strawberry Mallows are OK.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Flickr Frustration

The photo for today should have been me picking up the computer and throwing it out the window after spending a few hours (in vain I might add) trying everything to start getting my photos uploaded to my new flickr account ... but I didn't actually throw the computer, costs and everything you know, and if I had I probably wouldn't have taken the time to set my camera up to capture the special moment. Although now I think of it I could have put the webcam to work and got a computer eye view of being thrown through said window. Anyway they have my email and I am waiting for their reply.

My Little Girl stayed home from school today with a cold so I enlisted her for some photography practice taking a backlit portrait with some fill flash. So here's the photo for today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sorry ... Complete Randomness

So I've been doing Project 365 (taking a photo a day) and today's photo was supposed to be a beautiful photo of My Little Girl in her princess costume at our mother/daughter lunch ... or an artfully blurred shot of little princesses dancing ... but My Little Girl had a sore tummy and so we had to go home (not before I bolted down my lamb that I'd pre-paid for). She promptly went to bed and was soon snoring away, meanwhile I'm checking my feeds ... wondering what today's photo will be while nibbling away at these: Mint M&M's. The girls picked them to go in the cookies we were baking and we had some leftover... I know mint chocchip cookies is a bit weird, but these actually aren't half bad.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Go Magpies

Don't be jealous now, Hubby's taken the kids to the footy and I get a nice quiet afternoon to myself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fashion Trends #1

Love to keep you up to date with the latest fashion. Chinese pyjamas, snow boots and an apron. The denim jacket was discarded earlier. The Boy is actually dressed as a kangaroo with the pocket in the front of the apron acting as a pouch. Last week it was oven mitts, beanie, pyjama pants, long sleeved T-shirt, a scarf for a tail and snow boots all in blue to be Pete the Snow Dragon.

Worshipping God in any Situation

Inspiring testimony, have a look.

Breaking Self-sufficiency

In talking about building up the community we often focus on serving others - with good reason because I think for most people our default response if we are left to our own devices is to ask "What's in it for me?". Of course Jesus modelled perfectly the servant lifestyle of looking out for others and serving their needs. I have found though that the other side of the coin is something that's overlooked. Some of us (me) want to think we've got it together and it can be hard to be vulnerable and say look I need some help, to let others serve us, even in the most simple way. Community is formed through mutual service to each other and we build one another up by serving and letting others serve us. I've found that when I ask someone if they can do something for me it humbles me but it also shows trust in the other person and their abilities.

I read "riding the bus with my sister" by Rachel Simon earlier this month. I'd highly recommend it. It's the author's true story of how she spent a year riding buses with intellectually disabled sister Beth. Rachel was concentrated on the "successful life", building a career and that was her life. In her year riding the buses, seeing a different side of life and talking to the bus drivers and her sister she came to see how empty her life was. One thing that caught my attention was the conversations with the bus drivers. These are people often overlooked and they had lots of wisdom to share. In thinking about self-sufficiency I don't ever want to get to the place where I think I can't learn from another person. The challenge is to take the time to stop and listen to people, to their stories and experiences. I often want to get in and offer my opinion, or story instead of just really listening. To watch them and learn from their life.

I was reading Prov 10 the other night and this is what I wrote in my journal:

"I talk too much"

That's pretty straightforward. I'm trusting God to help me learn to accept both wisdom and service from whoever they come.
Edited to add at 12:27PM: Checking my feeds I came across this post Learning From The Little: Who does Jesus Want You to See?.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The View from my Kitchen

The other day Pioneer Woman had a post How I Shoot Silhouettes and I was looking out the kitchen window tonight while starting the tea and thought the sky looked just like in her photos. So of course I put dinner on hold and got a few shots. Here's one:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feeling Sad

Our good friends from church, the ones whose kids are in my little girl's and the boy's small group at Kids church, who we often sit with, who we see at school and go skiing with told us they have decided to go to a different church. They said we should come but we can't. I want to say "stay" but I don't ...

we'll still do all the other stuff but this afternoon I felt sad ... and I baked ...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Manic Morning

Any other mum's out there that have threatened to get a rubbish truck to come and clean out the kids rooms? This morning was one of those mornings. The kids wouldn't get dressed, couldn't find clothes etc, etc. The Boy ended up going off in pyjamas, ski boots, beanie and jacket. My Little Girl couldn't find her tracksuit pants that I put on her bed last night, they were found kicked in under her bed. My Big Girl had no tights but the washing basket is completely empty so I'm guessing clean tights are somewhere in the pile of things "put away" under and behind her bed. Tears were shed for her ill fitting socks and cold legs...lesson learnt?...probably not. Anyway the girls are at school now (only a few minutes late), the groceries are bought and packed away and The Boy is watching some TV while I recover.

Anyway I finished a layout this morning, I just had a couple things to add after nearly finishing it last night. Snowman is for the {writer's notebook} recipes. The journalling was to be written in the style of a recipe.
Journalling: Form up a good sized mound of snow Place a round snowball on top. Collect one old carrot, 2 gumnuts and a couple of twigs. Place them to make nose, eyes and arms and you have your own friendly snowman.

Paper block Templates by Emily Merrett @ WAS
Buttons - Two Sisters Scrapstash Buttons @ WAS
Stitching - Two Sisters Scrapstash Tiny stitches @ WAS
Pink string - Whales and Snails by Emily powers @ WAS
Patterned Papers and Knotty Ribbon - Candied Apple by Kate Hadfield and Emily Merritt @ WAS
BG Paper - Celebrating Colour (White)by GinaMarie @ WWD
Bold Graph paper by Gina Miller @ GMD
Alpha - Plain Old Epoxy alpha by Christina Renee blog freebie
Doodle frame - A Beautiful Mess by Lisa Whitney @ SA

Sanity Saver

Let me share with you my little sanity saver - my iPod.
Kids fighting or whining while you make tea? - Pop in the earbuds, turn it up LOUD, no more problem.
Long to do list of boring household Chores - plug into the stereo, turn it up LOUD.
Struggling up a hill on a run - my running playlist to the rescue.
I love, love, LOVE my iPod, takes me to my happy place everytime.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Birthday Pudding

It was Hubby's birthday yesterday so we had a day at the snow. We had his special tea tonight with chocolate pudding - his favourite.

Toe Warmers

The girls warming their toes after some skiing at Mt Buller yesterday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why does the Sun Move?

The conversation on the walk to school to pick up the girls.
The Boy: Why does the sun move?
Me: The sun looks like it's moving because the earth is spinning.
The Boy: Ah ... (Puzzled look)
This is followed by a quick demonstration where he is the sun and I spin around being the earth
The Boy: Is our world spinning around.
Me: Yes like a little ball spinning around in big space.
The Boy: Is our world on a speck (Horton Hears a Who reference) because specks spin around.
Me: Yes just like that.
The Boy: Ah, our world's on a speck (skip)

and a photo: It Rained Today

I'm an Introvert

By this I mean that when I want to recharge I will usually find something to do by myself. Don't get me wrong - I love spending time with people, chatting, having people over, (Hubby can often be seen giving me the lets wind this up signals when we're out) but I also need time by myself otherwise I end up drained. Something I've started doing this year is disappearing off with my iPod for a walk or run after tea, it's a great stress relief, when I get back I feel like I can have a conversation again. Being at home suits me because I can set my own agenda and just potter around.

Hubby on the other hand is an extravert and an action man, he hates hanging around home. I'm often saying "can't you just amuse yourself?". He's generally understanding of me disappearing for a walk or into a book which is nice.

The funny thing is that my mum is an introvert and my dad an extravert. I remember each weekend dad would disappear off, usually with some or all of us kids and go visiting. He'd drop round to people's houses whereas mum would be doing her own thing at home. It's still the same, dad often pops round for a coffee and he usually does the phone calls too. Mum is still quite social, but likes some time by herself as well.

The thing is lately I've been thinking a lot about the connections between people. I have a growing passion to see the connections between people, in church and in my community go deeper and be stronger, which seems a strange kind of passion for an introvert. So, I'm starting, I'm inviting people over and I'm keeping some slack in my schedule so I've got time to have a chat ... it's fun.

Winter Warmer

Saute 1 onion in large saucepan, add 1l chicken stock bring to the boil. Add 1 pumpkin chopped, 1 sweet potato chopped and 3 zuchini also chopped. Add water to cover plus some red lentils. Simmer 45 mins. Blend, eat. Even the kids love this one.
*this is yesterday's photo*

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cuteness by Donna Duncombe

My designer for this month at N4D was Donna Duncombe and I picked a fun kit of hers called Cuteness. This kit is chock full of bright papers, with plenty of solids and patterns in purple, blue, yellow, orange, lime green and white. The elements are a perfect match for the bright colours with paper stars and flowers, paint splotches, swirls, ric rac, stitches and photo corners. The journalling thought and conversation bubbles are a fun addition and there is also wordart. This kit is great for boys or girls pages. Preview below followed by my layouts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thought for the Day - Brought to You by My Big Girl

My Big Girl: We'd all die if there was no sun.

Me: Yes that's right.

My Big Girl: Yeah, 'cause if there was no sun we wouldn't know what time it was, so we wouldn't know when to go shopping, eat dinner or go to bed ...

I need new shoes

Went to Chadstone to get some three weeks ago ... wandered round for a few hours ... came home ... the old ones are still here on my feet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Walking the Dog

Weekend photos

I know I should have pruned the roses by now, but they started flowering and it's been nice to have some colour in the garden over winter. I really must do them this week though or we won't get a good flowering come spring. Yesterday we went down to Mum and Dad's house at Pt Lonsdale to do some gardening. We have a pleasant one and a half hour drive down, stop at a cafe in the main street for lunch, then when we're pulling into the driveway at the house, Hubby says "He doesn't have the key". At first I fuigure he's joking - I mean that's something I might do but no. Luckily the lawn mowing man has a key and we can get into the backyard to do what needs doing. So the pansies are planted and the fenceline cleaned up. Then the drive home, we stop at a BP for petrol and The Boy's crying he wants a drink of water so we get him a bottle. Then on the Geelong freeway he needs to use the toilet but not just wee so he hangs on and we stop at the Caltex near Werribee. Then we keep going and on the Westgate he says he needs the toilet again so I have to cross three lanes of traffic to get off for the Shell service station at the end. He goes, everythings cool, then in the tunnel he needs to go again. My patience was gone - "No more stops, you can wait till we get home" Memo to self: Do not let The Boy drink a bottle of water on long trips.
The girls are still on holiday today and I have heaps to catchup on after being away, the house looks like on bomb with all the ski gear waiting to be put away but I was hanging out the washing and it is just the most divine day so I think I'm going to put most of that on hold and get out with the girls. Computer is now off.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Falls Creek '08 Part 2

Tuesday 8th July
Today it started really snowing. This is the view up through the buildings from our balcony. It was nice to see the bare patches filling up on the run home.
Wednesday 9th July
We were completely surprised to open the curtains in the morning to see blue sky. Today was one of the best days for skiing that we have had here in four years with fresh soft snow and blue skies.

They kept the snowmaking going during the day because it was still cold, despite the blue skies. This is My Big Girls Junior Workshop class waiting in a group in the middle of the slope. One of the kids in her class hurt his knee and had to be stretchered away. You can see them under the chairlift. That's not a call you'd want to get that one of your kids has been taken off by the medics.
The rest of the class joined another group then waited at the chairlift for their instructor. Here's Hubby at the top of Ruined Castle. This was the first day this part of the mountain opened for the season. There was plenty of carnage at the lift. I'm not sure whether it is standard but at Falls the lifts seem to get faster the harder the slopes. The lift at Runied has a carpet which you ski onto which moves you forward until the chair zooms round to pick you up. At one stage there was a bit of confusion with one chair and the lifty didn't see the guy behind fall over on the carpet so he didn't stop the lift and the chair spun round and smacked him on the head. I'm surprised he didn't get knocked out. Not long after a kid fell and managed to duck under the chair as it came around but they stopped the chair right on top ofd him and had to take his skis off to get him up. Then the lifty is telling the kid to step on the carpet from the side but didn't stop it. If you can imagine this poor kid trying to hop on a moving carpet from the side. It was mayhem. Thursday 10th July
Woke up this morning and the lifts were on wind hold so we got the kids out for some snow play. The wind hold only lasted for a short time so we got up for some skiing in the new snow. The kids had Race Day at ski school which is always fun. They get to use the junior race track with gates and everything. My Big Girl was very proud that she got the fastest time in her group. Little Girl said about Hayley, "Oh yeah, she was crazy, out of control, zooming down!"
Friday 11th July
Had about 50cm snow in the 24 hr period. Here's Hubby waiting with our luggage for the oversnow transport. He went to get the car while I took the kids up to snow school. The Boy went for the whole day while the girls just did a two hour lesson. We managed to get out for a ski on the brand new snow before ski school. It was fantastic, so soft and smooth, now I know why people always talk about skiing on new snow. Hubby wasn't so pleased, it took him an hour and a half to dig the car out of the snow, then there were no parks in the day car park so he disappeared off to Mt Beauty for some lunch then came back in the afternoon to pick us up. After the girls lesson they insisted we go down Fox Trail which is the junior terrain park through the trees. Great fun for them but a bit harder for me. By the afternoon the snow had been pushed up into lots of lumps and bumps.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Falls Creek '08 Part 1

We got back from a week at Falls Creek last night about 9:00pm. I've got a few photos to share and managed to keep up with at least a photo a day. I used a combination of my DSLR, point-and-shoot and camera depending on what I had on me at the time.

Friday 4th July

Got up and left home by 5:30 AM, which was a bit of a stretch for me. The kids had sandwiches in the car and we stopped about 8AM at the Glenrowan McDonalds for hotcakes. We got our first glimpse of snow on the ranges driving through the valley towards Mt Beauty.
We got up to Falls Creek, did the oversnow, got into our apartment and had some lunch in time for a few runs in the afternoon. The Boy had forgotten how to ski since last year so I had to ski him between my skis for a few runs. Then he had a go himself. He informed me "That he was going to do what he wanted" and proceeded to lose conrol down the hill, screaming and stopped by smashing into My Little Girl. The girls had no problems although they said it was boring being stuck on the beginners slope with the boy.

Saturday 5th July

The kids all started ski school and Hubby and I had a two hour lesson in the afternoon with Macca. This is our fourth year skiing and previously we'd always got 7 day lift and lesson tickets but this year we decided to go with just a few private lessons. Macca is a great instructor, he skis backwards sometimes yelling out instructions which I find really helpful. At one stage he said I was hurting his eyes - LOL. That was early in the week, after a few lessons my technique improved - I think. After a hard and cold day of skiing a hot chocolate was in order.
Sunday 6th July
Visibility was shocking in the morning. Trying to see ahead down the slope was a bit disorienting because it was a solid mass of white. Hubby made me lead. This is the bottom of Towers lift.

Monday 7th July
The weather was shocking on Monday. The snow line was around the height of the village which meant that the precipitation alternated between wet snow ans sleet and the winds were gale force. After a couple of hours skiing we were sopping and the snow was getting slushy so we called it a day. We swapped the kids mittens for dry ones at lunch then stayed inside until ski school pickup. After getting dry we went for a drink in the cafe with a nice warm open fire.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

All Packed

So we're all packed up ready to go and this is today's photo. Not the best photo but it certainly shows what I've been doing today.

We had to go out to Dad's shed to pick up the coffin and in the car the kids got talking.

My Little Girl: When you're older you can be a Christian.

The Boy: No I'm not going to be a Christian, I'm going to be a drummer.

MLG: You can be both.

TB: Oh, OK, I might be both then. A drummer and a Christian.

Phew that cleared up some confusion, maybe. Looks like we might need some good sound proofing when we renovate though.

There's Snow

The snow has arrived so we are heading up to Falls Creek tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be sunny with a light wind so we are going to leave early (5AM??) and try to get up there to ski in the afternoon. The kids are pretty excited and I must admit I am too. All the skis and gear is packed I just have to nip out to the supermarket to pick up some food because there's not much available up on the mountain and make some pumpkin soup to take with us.

I've been wanting to do Project 365 for a while now but it always seems like the major breaks in the year come round and I forget, so I've decided to start today. I know it's not even the start of the month but hey, I'll finish next year on July 2nd. I don't have the photo for today yet, I'll take it later this afternoon.

Cheers, I'll be back next week with some shots from the slopes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June's Thought

One of the good things about journalling is it helps me remember the things I've learnt. It's great looking back over the months entries and seeing the main themes and lessons. In June one thing that kept popping up was transformation.
As a Christian I am called to holy living but I know that my natural thought is for myself, for my wants and desires. No matter how hard I try I've found I can't bring about a lasting change in my behaviours. Maybe I am just too lazy or not disciplined but I always seem to fall back into my old ways. Part of the problem is focusing on the behaviour and not the underlying thoughts that are causing it. Paul says:
You were taught,with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness.
Eph 4:22-24

Then the question is how to be "made new". The fact is God has the power to transform me and he wants to. I cannot do it ourselves. When I get close to God, when I spend time with Him, read the bible and think about what I've read, listen to His voice, I am changed. Slowly my priorities are taken over by God's priorities. What I thought was important, I see is nothing and as my thoughts change so does my behaviour. As I spend time with God I start to see Him more clearly and also see myself more clearly.
"My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes"
Job 42: 5-6

For a long time I struggled with being angry and yelling at the kids. As I spent more time with Jesus and thinking about Him, I realised I was angry about heaps of things that really didn't matter and I was trying to control things that I couldn't. I'm not perfect but I don't yell anywhere near as much and it's not because of any increase in self-control but more because my thoughts have changed. God also showed me two other areas of sin in my life that I am really ashamed of but I know from experience now that He can deal with them. I am so thankful for Jesus who loves me when I am a mess and loves me enough to change me.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you"
Ps 63:3