Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Night My Life Changed

I know the title is dramatic, the story isn't that exciting, in fact some will say it's boring, in fact when I brought it up with Hubby about a month ago he didn't even remember it and he was there (he could be blocking it out due to emotional scars), but I look back and I see that's where it began.

My boyfriend then (Hubby now) and I were sitting in his car chatting, now he's not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve and talking about faith is still really difficult for him, and he comes out with this gem "church - you know it's important to me". Me being the sensitive person that I am burst out laughing, so I'm laughing hysterically and he's sitting there with this completely serious look on his face and after about a minute of me cracking up and him all serious I say "you're serious aren't you". Hubby: "yes" ... silence follows then the subject is changed.

A bit of background - Hubby had not at this time made any commitment to Christ and was basically living the full crazy university experience complete with late night clubbing etc.,etc,so you can see why I at first thought he was having a joke. Growing up in the church he knew all about it, obviously thought it was important but hadn't yet taken the stand to say "I'm going to follow Christ". My previous experience of church had been through school and the one person I knew who went to church at school, well she was just weird.

Anyway I thought about this for a little while (about 10mins) and came to the conclusion if we were going to keep going out I should at least find out a little bit about something he considered important.

Why share this story? I think there's a lot of lessons for Christians in sharing your faith.

Firstly you don't need to have it together, be articulate or anything to share your faith. Hubby hadn't even committed himself, he just said a simple, honest sentence and it was enough. Just be obedient, when God says speak, you speak. In the Australia the worst that would usually happen is a bit of ridicule I think we can handle it.

I look at where I was then, I was not looking for anything, I was happy with my life, binge drinking a couple nights a week and basically partying through life, if it could happen to me there's no reason why it won't happen to my friends and family or your friends and family.

Don't presume that because they don't have Christ people are unhappy or dissatisfied - I wasn't. Now I say I couldn't go back to living without Christ but I wasn't looking for anything then and if anyone had come with that line to me then I would have told them where to go. So stay humble when you're sharing your faith.

... and if you don't know Christ go and check Him out - you might be surprised.

Tune in some time in the future for the next installment of my conversion or you can read the short story here.

and a recent layout - yes, that's me and I used my blog name for the title:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bits and Pieces

You know when you seem to have hundreds of thoughts flying around in your head - things to do, stories to tell, I'm feeling a bit like that this week. I'm trying to remember to breathe but there seems to be so many things I want to do, things I have to do, things I should do, I'm trying to find a little space that I can take to spend some time with God and get myself straight again. I really want to take some time to put into words some of my thoughts so I will definately be putting some time aside each day to do this but in the meantime I thought I'd just post some bits and pieces.

A friend and I started group for mum's who are interested in looking into Christianity or who want to go deeper in their walk and also to provide prayer support and encouragement. We're letting the discussions be led by the questions of the participants which should be quite challenging. The first question we are going to tackle is the reliability of the bible, so my small group leader from church handed me a pile of books to help - luckily with the most relevent on top. Hence I have some reading and preparation to do, but I've got a few weeks because holidays are coming up. I've also got my eye on a couple of books our pastor recommended for my own reading and I want to read the third book in the Darkwar series by Raymond Feist.

The Boy had his immunisations that he needed to start school which was traumatic - the doctor said he needed earmuffs, but I'm glad that's done and I don't need to think about it anymore.
Sunday I spent a fair bit of at the church. 9AM service was followed by a practice for the girls for a concert at Kids church in a couple of weeks, so we left there about 11:45. Went home, had lunch and managed to squeeze in a walk with the dog and My Little Girl. She doesn't demand attention like the other two and can often get overlooked. Her little face lit up when I suggested we go for a walk just us. It was really good and relaxing. On our way back her comment - "There's so much to talk about". I'll have to do that a bit more often with her. After the walk I headed back to church for a church forum, big changes planned for the services and of course being a baptist church we all get to have our say, LOL.


Today the girls had Book Week dressup day. My Little Girl had to dress as someone from another country so she wore the dress hubby brought back from China and My Big Girl had to dress as a sporstperson so she went as a gymnast, complete with gold medal of course. In scrapboking news nuts4digi store is still down after the server change so I haven't had any CT duties but I've been doing a few challenge layouts.


I posted previously about the World Wide Photowalk you can see photos taken from the participants here. It's interesting to see the different photos taken on the same walk and also to see the popular views recurring.


Some links:


If you're interested in photography Digital Photography School is a great resource. It's worth subscribing to the blog. They also have forums with challenges, tips, tutorials, there's heaps there and I haven't had a chance yet to have a good look through everything there.


This link was shared over at DST: CoffeeShop Photography has free actions for PS and PSE.

Diappointment and Grace a response to the whole Mike Guglielmucci mess but relating to the disappointment we all feel at our own and others brokeness.
Some food for thought:
Why is hell eternal? or "Will one white lie send someone to hell for eternity?"


That's all from me for now... keep dreaming.
Pop over to the blog train.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

World Wide Photowalk

Today I took part in the World Wide Photowalk. In Melbourne we met at Southbank near the Swanston St bridge at 6:30am - yes you read that time correctly. Hubby was quite amused at me getting up for anything at that time. I roped in a good friend and my mum to come and keep me company. I left home at 5:40am and picked them up, we got there just as the sun was rising. Then we met the leader and had a group photo before we set off for a leisurely walk snapping photos. It was good just to do something totally different and not about the kids. Being winter it was freezing and by the end my hands and toes were feeling pretty sore. Somewhere along the way all the men in the group (including the leader) managed to get separated from the women so we didn't end up sitting down with everyone at the end for coffee and breakfast but the three of us had some yummy pancakes and a great chat afterwards for a couple of hours. Here's my photos from this morning - you can check out the set at flickr.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toenail Etiquette?

Wednesday is the girls swimming night so yesterday we were in the change rooms and a lady is sitting next to us on the bench clipping her toenails. I would have thought that's more a private activity but she's there, clipping away, the toenails flinging off into space and onto the floor. I just think that's yuck. Any thoughts?



The kids have been getting into the Olympics. The Boy got home from kinder yesterday and straight after lunch he says "Can I watch the Beijing Olympics?" of course I let him. He spent a quiet afternoon building duplo and watching a variety of sports on TV - it's only once every four years you know. We have also got a new bedtime routine, instead of stories the kids are opting to watch the Olympics. We all curl up on the couches and watch it together, it's kind of nice, but only a few more days to go. They even got to see the rowing golds by Australia on the weekend which were on about 7PM which was pretty exciting.
Drop by the blog train

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's the Principle

When I was in grade 5 I remember playing British Bulldogs with the whole class at school. One of the girls was clearly out, knew she was out but didn't want to be out, tears followed. I came down on the side rules are rules and we had to stick by them, my reasoning being that what point were rules if all you had to do was shed a few tears to get around them. The other girls in the class wanted to let her keep playing - I stuck to my guns and ended up sitting by myself for the rest of lunch in order to stick by my principles. My dire predictions of lunchtime anarchy never came to pass because although this girl had been "let off" it didn't set a precedent and I can't remember anyone ever trying this again.

Fast forward a couple of weeks ago "Sally" told me a story of how she went to the post office to get some paper. The paper was advertised for $5.95 but when she got to the counter the lady said it was $6.95 in the system. Sally argued (the rule is that they should sell it for the advertised price) and insisted the lady go and get the manager. The lady comes back and says no, it says $6.95 in the system and that's what she has to pay. They both dig their heels in and Sally ends up leaving without the paper but that's not where the story ends. She needs the paper but there is nowhere else in those shops to get the paper so she walks back home, puts the baby and pram in the car, drives to the next shops and pays $8.95 for paper there. Sally admits it was crazy but it was all about "the principle".

These are funny and trivial stories but this idea of I'm in the right can have disastrous effects on relationships. As I've grown I've realised that usually it's better to keep a relationship than be right or even for the other person to admit they were wrong. "Sally" has often said "How can you forgive the hurt when they don't even acknowledge they've done anything wrong?" but for me the alternative is worse. To hold that hurt close and live with a broken relationship that will not just impact me but all the people around me - it's not what God has called me to. I can't change other people but I have a choice in what I do and I choose reconciliation.

Artwork Photoshoot

I have a problem - everytime I get out the camera the kids sprint off and hide which is getting a bit frustrating. My Little Girl came home yesterday with some artwork so I suggested she hold it up so I could take a photo. She agreed - she's pretty proud of her work.
Of course then The Boy wants a bit of the action. Awwh isn't that cute - brother and sister.
Now we're having some fun
My what a big mouth you have...More fun ...
Yep - I think we're all done now.

Catch the blog train

Friday, August 15, 2008

I WON

... the August issue of DAM. Yes that's right I actually won something ... YEAH (punching the air). Nancy was giving away a copy to commentors on her blog and I scored. She often has fantastic giveaways, this is the first time I've won. I'm looking forward to unzipping it and getting stuck into it when I have a bit of uninterupted time - not sure when that will be.

I also completed a layout! I used the template by ChrissyW for her blog challenge.

Credits here.

On the mummy front, anyone else have problems with little people raiding the cupboards? The Boy after a couple of months hiatus has come back with a burst and is taking stuff out of the pantry a couple of times a day. Yesterday he took the packet of sprinkles off the bench, hid them away in his room, then proceeded to cut the tops of the little packets. By the time I caught him the sprinkles were spread all over the floor. Let's just say feral mummy made an appearance, things haven't improved today ... patience ... patience.

Take a visit to the Blog Train

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My hard drive is a mess ...

and after my recent episode with the computer I decided it's time to organise my files and backup properly so if my computer does go gaga it isn't an absolute nightmare finding and restoring the files I need.

Just to give you an idea of what I'm up against I have a folder scrapbooking>scrapbooking supplies that contains my scrapbooking supplies.





...and it keeps going










... but wait there's more









...and don't forget those ones I haven't moved across from my downloads folder. Oh and I also have some stuff floating around on my desktop. I'll probably put these in shop>designer>kit folders and get rid of what I probably won't use again and burn to disc. Phew but wait



what about My Pictures folder? Needs some attention too and I also want to upload to flickr and burn discs.









Finally my layouts need to be resized, flattened and uploaded to shutterfly for yearly albums. I changed my mind and I'll probably try to get 2006 finished first because I think I've already done most of the years layouts:)




Don't even get me started on my bookmarks - takes me a couple of minutes to scroll down to the bottom (only kidding - just) and the rest of mydocuments is probably in a similar state. Make sure you check back next decade - you can check my progress.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Red Blossom

Got home from the picking up the girls yesterday and I still didn't have my photo for the day. We pulled into the driveway and I saw this terrible, twiggy plant in the front garden (the whole front is a bit drought stressed), that had just one twig with blossoms.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Long Weekend @ Mt Buller

The forecast for the weekend was terrible with strong winds and snow increasing to gale force winds and blizzards by Sunday so we were a bit unsure how it would be. Hubby didn't get back from China until 9PM Thursday night so we didn't leave until about 8:45AM on Friday but got up in time to ski in the afternoon. The exciting news was -we could see! A first for us at Buller usually we have struggled to see the next pole leading to the trails. We even had to use sunscreen. Here we are at the top.
The wind was still pretty cold though and The Boy's hands got cold which led to loud wailing ...and more wailing ... take off mittens inside Kofler's... wailing's not stopping ... hot chocolate ...all better. The day ended there for The Boy, My Big Girl and Hubby. My Little Girl and I went for a run down Little Buller Spur which was fantastic but when I tried to talk her round to another go she said no she only came for one run to be kind to me. So my skiing was finished for the day too because I had to take her back home... speaking of home...


Saturday dawned to fantastic conditions - fresh snow overnight, light breeze and good visibilty. We were one of the first down Boomerang and The Chute through all that fresh snow. We had a few more runs then down Summit our friends daughter (10yo) got taken out by a boarder and had to be taken home by skidoo. She was OK, the board hit her hip and gave her a bad corkie though, we thought at first she may have broken her leg when the boarder landed on top of her.


After that we kept going and I did my first black run - yeah! Then headed across to Wombat's for a few runs. This is the view up Little Buller Spur.
Taking a rest break ...
Wozza and his animal friends entertaining the kids after ski school...there's The Boy in the helmet...

and My Little Girl in the purple neck wrap ...can they get any closer?Here's My Big Girl trying to avoid the photo. She had a great day at ski school, apparently she was the only girl in her group and there was some "really funny boys" ... they nicknamed her Strawberry. Her cousin was in her group too. Strawberry and I went for a few runs afterwards ... apparently I don't go fast enough ... I also don't do "shortcuts". Speaking of shortcuts on Wombats I saw a skier come off the run above me, cross Wombats, take off over the lip and do a backward somersault - he even landed it. Cue applause from chairlift.and the view.
Sunday it was snowing and windy but luckily not as bad as predicted. The kids went to half day ski school. We did about 7 runs then went to have lunch before we picked up the kids. By this time we'd had a bit of snow and it was still snowing fairly thickly.


Hubby to taxi driver: "We've got a 4WD will we need chains?"


Taxi driver: "If you can get out of the carpark you'll be right"


A couple minutes later the 4WD in front of us tries to take a bend too quickly and ends up in the bank ... two wheels tip up then luckily it tips back the right way.


Me to Hubby "Can you do this?" ... bite nails.


Hubby: "I think so"


Me: "Are you going to put on chains"


Hubby: " No. we'll be right we'll just take it slowly."
So we reach the car and it's not looking too bad. Hubby cleared the top and put the skis in while I dug a path to reach the road ... and we were off ... more nail biting.

Going down the mountain we saw at least ten cars that had slid off into the ditch at the side of the road. Three we saw happen. Part way down The Boy started to vomit ...but we can't stop because if we pull of the side of the road we'll get stuck in the snow. So The Boy's crying, My Big Girl's crying because he was sick on her jacket ... lots of fun for everyone. The Boy informs us that he had pasta for lunch which by this time I'm well aware of. We get down and stop at a petrol station in Mansfield so we can clean him up, get some spare clothes on him and we keep going. About 15mins from Yea he starts vomiting again but now it's hailing so we can't stop again so we keep going to Yea. This time we clean him up with tissues, pull out the case to get the last change of clothes then keep going. After each vomit he keeps asking how long until we stop at McDonalds. Coldstream he vommits again ... we pull over clean him up the best we can but there's no more clean clothes. He's still asking about McDonalds but we can't stop now so we decide to get drive thru. Another 40 mins and we stop at the closest McDonalds to home... pickup the food ... there's no toys left which is a cause for much complaint ... then head for home. At the corner to our street The Boy vomits for the third time at which point I declare no McDonalds for you ... it's going to be shower and bed with a little bowl of dry biscuits and water next to the bed. I didn't fancy cleaning chicken nuggets and fries out of the bed.



He woke up fine today so it must have just been car sickness.


Harry was obviously all tuckered out from his weekend away at the kennel. Sleeping in the rain.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heading to Mt Buller


Helmet.jpg
Originally uploaded by remtobreathe

We're heading up to the snow for a long weekend so I won't be around. This is my helmet that I picked up today. I decided after our daytrip I wasn't going back without a helmet - it's CRAZY up there. Falls Creek is a little more civilised, most people play by the rules. The weather is supposed to be horrid so fingers crossed we can still ski and don't get frozen in the process. We have toe and hand warmers for the girls to head off the copious tears and wailing that we had last time from My Big Girl when her feet got cold.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

July RoundUp

I decided to start a monthly round-up, you can check it out at Katie the Scrapbook Lady's blog. I'm taking the idea and putting my own spin.

Photography

I started Project365 on 3rd July and managed to complete the whole month. From now on I probably won’t blog every photo but give a summary at the end of the month. July's photos:

I joined flickr but am still having trouble uploading and have so far only been able to upload by email which is a real pain. I desperately need to get up to date with my backups which I’ll be able to do now my DVD burner is fixed I need to remind hubby to bring home the EHD as well.

Scrapbooking

I finished 10 layouts this month:
2 layouts using Donna’s Cuteness kit.
3 layouts using Marg’s Whimsy (note to self: need to blog these)
1 Layout for the journalling challenge @ WST
and 2 double page layouts for our 2007 album.


Books

Riding the Buses by Rachel Simon (blogged here)
What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey - a good book to read if you want to know a bit more about that one special thing that sets Christianity apart from other religions.
The Valentine Legacy by Catherine Coulter and Frederica by Georgette Heyer – 2 bits a entertaining fluff.
Flight of the Nighthawks and Into a Dark Realm by Raymond Feist - have to see if I can pick up the 3rd book in the series from the library.
The Confessions of St Augustine

Faith Lessons

This month a major theme that kept coming up through my bible reading was the contrast between a human viewpoint and God’s. I found myself asking questions:
Am I trying to gain the approval of people rather than man?
Is this just an act or am I letting God change what’s inside?
Is this really important to God or just me?
How does God see this person?
The thing is I want to be totally committed to God and his plans but I can’t help but recognise how flawed I am and how selfish, thankfully God gives us what we need and doesn’t mind using complete screw-ups.

Teach me your way, O Lord
And I will walk in your truth;
Give me an
undivided heart,
That I may fear your name.
Ps 86:11


Special times

We went to Falls Creek (Part 1 and Part 2) for a week in the school holidays and to Mt Buller for a day trip.

Hubby had his birthday. We also celebrated the birthdays of two nieces.


All the rest.

Entertained @ home three times this month.

Had the initial consultation with an architect for our house renovation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back Online

My computer is fixed - thank-you Sean. Luckily the motherboard wasn't fried and we got off fairly cheaply, he also replaced the DVD burner while he was here so I can now burn my layouts/photos to disc and free up some hard drive space. I have a ton of catching up to do so I'll just do a quick Project365 run down for the last few days.

First up for Thursday 31st July. The Melbourne City Skyline

Friday 1st August: That pesky button that is just not working.Saturday 2nd August: The kids spent a large part of the day playing in the packing boxes.Sunday 3rd August: The girls had a High School Musical MarathonMonday 4th August: Our new house has some great old features in it. This is a window in our lounge.and finally for today: Tuesday is swimming day for The Boy.

Join in the blog train on Kelsey's blog.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Computer Dead

My iron caused an overload on our power and killed the computer, so sadly I now have no computer for a little while. Hopefully it is just the power box which will be replaced (cross fingers) next week. Writing this from the in-laws, and hopefully I'll be back to having a computer soon.