Thursday, April 30, 2009

Royal Botanical Gardens

Yesterday I went with Little Girls class on an excursion to the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens. It was an excellent day. We arrived by bus and picked up some tarpaulins from the organisers because it was a bit damp on the grass. It is extremely well run and organised ... someone has used their brain and some commmon sense ... which can be a bit rare these days. The enclosed yard where we ate moring tea also had these benches which doubled as boxes for the girls to leave their bags in so they didn't have to carry them around. They were waterproof as well ... very clever. Here we are ...Barbara was our guide for the morning, she was wonderful, very knowledgable. We started in the Ian Potter Foundation children's garden. First up was the food garden. The summer veges were just finishing ... there were plenty of pumpkins around.
Next we went single file following Barbara around the rest of the children's garden. Some places were too small for the adults to fit through. This is the growing bamboo house.

This is in the grove of Bangalor palms. They were very cold to touch.

After going up the sightseeingwalkway, which was open grating so the kids dropped sand in our hair when they were walking around up there, we headed out to the main gardens. This is a plant that has little flowersin the middle of the leaves ... yes those things that look like bugs are actually the flowers.

The girls also got to plant a daffodil bulb each to take back to school with them.
Here's Barb and the class. Doesn't this tree look like the whomping willow in the Harry Potter films?

Our final stop was the herb garden. The girls had to walk around and find the plants that smelt like lemon, lime, tootthpaste, black jellybeans and pineapple. Then they made a little satchet eac of dried lemon verbena leaves. Little Girl having a smell.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blessed Be Scalloped Paper Pack by Donna Duncombe

Donna Duncombe now has a scalloped paper pack that coordinates with her BlessedBe kit. The pack contains 5 pieces of scalloped cardstock with 4 matching borders.
Here's my layout.

On another note ... The Boy has been getting out of line again. I picked him up from school yesterday and he had been surfing down the muddy hill on the oval with a couple of his friends. The teachers were not amused. Mr Smith had to help the boys clean off their shoes which were covered in a couple centimetres of mud. It didn't help the situation that Prep students are not allowed to use that oval on Tuesdays ... oops. The white skivvy ... who picks white for boys? ... was christened with lovely orange muddy fingerprints. I am back to using nappysan daily with The Boy at school now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Lighthouse by Just Passin' Thru

This month I got to have a play with Just Passin Thru's The Lighthouse. I love the beach and love blue and red so it was hard for me to go past this kit. Bows, ribbons, stitching, brads, charms, flourishes and frames, this kit has it all. All the papers are patterned, some subtly and some with bright, bold patterns. There are a couple of beautiful blended papers in this kit that I didn't get to use, but there is one with a lighthouse blended in and one with a pier, these would make beautiful atmospheric layouts.

HeatherB put my first layout in the Gallery Standouts Thread @ DST
Isn't my boy cute?

For the last layout I used the photos from our walk around the point on Good Friday. I plan to do another page with more photos to make a double page for our family album.

Monday, April 27, 2009

House Cross Country

Big girl had her interhouse cross country this morning. She brought the note home about it last week and promptly informed me that she was going to make the school team. I offered on Wednesday to take her down to the park to run the course but she felt she didn't need to. I wasn't sure how she'd go after her weekend at camp. They got back yesterday afternoon but she had an early night and woke up in good spirits. I helped out on the course. Here she is as she passed my station ... it was one of the early ones.

At the end of 2km ... coming up to the finish line ... is she going to be sick?

False alarm ... she made the finish line ... and the school team.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kids Church Camp

Dropped Big Girl off at 5:00pm today for camp. Excitement levels sky high. Pickup 4:00pm Sunday, unfortunately the weather is going to be horrible ... but has all her friends in her cabin. Apparently she is in purple tribe which is good considering her fleece she was wearing is purple ... she also took some purple stickers ... to stick on her face.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Border Doodles by Donna Duncombe

Check out these cute border doodles by Donna Duncombe. You can pick them up at nuts4digi or scrapbird.They are full size 12x12 borders. I've used them to cut out and edge my paper and photos on this layout. It's really easy. In PSE:
  1. Make sure you've got the border layer selected then use the magic wand to select the area inside the border.
  2. Then select>inverse
  3. Now highlight your photo or paper.
  4. Press Delete.
  5. You'll probably want to merge the doodle and photo layers now.
This summer we got a bumper crop of apricots and here's the layout.

Journalling: Moving into a new house, the first year is a constant surprise in the garden as each season comes around. We didn’t take a lot of notice of what was in the garden so imagine our pleasant surprise when a few of the trees started to bear fruit in spring. The largest was the apricot tree which, although suffering from a fair bit of neglect and what looked to be several years without pruning, was literally covered with fruit. Netting the tree in late November was quite an exercise because of it’s overgrown state but we eventually managed to get the net covering the whole tree. Then we just had to wait. Late January and the first fruits were beginning to ripen. We got home from our holidays at Pt Lonsdale in the middle of Melbourne’s worst heatwave. We knew we needed to start harvesting. The kids took 3-4 apricots in their lunch everyday for the first two weeks of school and came home and had more for afternoon tea. Hayley has decided she no longer likes store bought apricots and I can’t really blamne her. The flavour of our apricots was wonderful. Evenings were spent outside in the garden picking and bottling. Mum took a heap to make apricot jam. We ended up with about 20 bottles of apricots and 15 jars of jam. Finally we took the net off and allowed the birds to finish off what was left, they stripped the tree in 2 days.

I also used Donna's Sunkissed and Sunkissed Doodles

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Uncontainable God.

I read City of God by E.L. Doctorow over Easter. It is one of the books on the 1001 list. So, how did I find it? Intriguing, thought-provoking, frustrating, confusing ... but I really enjoyed it. A word of warning - the plot is pretty much secondary to this book. In fact large portions of the book are tied fairly tenuously to the main plot and there are various threads. Part of the difficulty is that there are several different narrators but it is not necessarily straight forward to work out who is narrating which bits, especially in the beginning. There was a holocaust subplot which I found really interesting.

Throughout the book there are references to cosmology, metaphysics, consciousness, language and of course religion. One of the major characters is a priest who is losing his religion. Doctorow brings great insight to many topics conveying both the beauty/complexity of life that is so often coupled with absurdity but it was disappointing in his treatment of faith that he didn't recognise the complexity inherent in orthodox Christianity. I'm not sure that I can recommend this book to everyone but I found it a worthwhile read.

A few quotes from the book:

That the universe including our consciousness of it would come into being by some fluke happenstance, that this dark universe of incalculable magnitude has been accidentally self-generated ... is even more absurd than the idea of a creator.
Couldn't agree more.

To presume to contain God in this Christian story of ours, to hold Him, circumscribe Him, the author of everything we can conceive and everything we cannot conceive ... in our story of Him?

True - if the Christian story is meant to contain God, constrain Him or circumscribe Him. As Paul says we see "through the glass darkly" and while we can speak the truth about God it in no way comes close to a full description of God. All the pictures, stories and imagery of the bible is a record of the interaction of God, the awesome creator of the universe, with human beings, and because our brains and especially our language is limited there is always going to be seemingly contradictory statements that we hold in tension ... transcendence and immanence, sovereignty and free will etc, etc.

A good example of this is the trinity. Three persons in one God - easy to say but any extended descriptions of the trinity usually end up with unbalanced, unorthodox nuances. Some people will point to that as evidence that Christianity is false ... how does it work?... isn't it contradictory? ... but many of those same people have no problem with accepting quantum mechanics as correct. Mathematically it works but if you try to think about what it means intrinsically ... what does it mean to be both wave-like and particle-like ... we hit a brick wall because are brains are made to think in terms of the normal everyday stuff. Quantum mechanics allows things that are completely opposite intuitively to each other to exist without problem. Why do we expect the creator God to conform to our ideas of what is possible?

I do not deny that much of what is termed religion is on attempt to contain God, as humans we almost have an overwhelming compulsion to contain Him ... make Him safe ... but an encounter with the living God is different, both wild and exhilarating but never safe. Ultimately we need to make the decision of whether we are going to accept this BIG GOD, revealed in the bible if we open our eyes, or reject Him.

Ref: 1% Well-read Challenge, 1001 Book List, A-Z Challenge

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kids back at school

The Boy wasn't too happy going in, there were a few tears. He's a bit unsure about everything after having a few weeks off but I'm sure he'll be fine. With the kids gone I could get a few jobs done today. First up was some supermarket shopping, the cupboards were looking bare. Then I dropped some books back at the library. I actually managed to drop off 6 books without taking anymore out ... it helped that Hubby has my library card.

Then I picked up this ...
an EHD. No, I did not pick the colour, that was all they had in that size. I had hoped to get a new computer late last year but due to the financial crises it's a no go so I've been shuffling files around but space has got critical and the computer is having spasms. I've shifted a whole heap of layouts, scrapping supplies and photos off my computers hard drive so hopefully I won't be seeing the dreaded low disk space message in a while.

I almost forgot ... driving to pick up The Boy from school this afternoon there was a learner motorbike chick on Canterbury road and as I drove past I saw she had a huge plumber's crack happening. You'd think she'd be a bit breezy back there. Yes ... I'm amused by the little things.

Later I went out to get in the washing and saw this near our back door. It's grown up between the house and the pavers.
Tonight small group is back on, coffee and chat night ... chocolate cake in the oven. Yum!

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day

and the bees are buzzing around our rosemary, which happens to be in flower at the moment.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blessed Be by Donna Duncombe

Donna Duncombe has a new kit out - Blessed Be. She is now selling at two stores so you can pick it up at nuts4digi or scrapbird. This kit is very pretty with pastel colours and gorgeous ribbons, wordart and flowers, I love the glitter splatter.
My layout is for the quote challenge at nuts4digi. This months quote is a good one and I immediately thought of these photos I took on the weekend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pt Lonsdale Pier

I've been wanting to get some long exposure photos of water so it comes out all soft abd blurry and finally got the chance to go out around sunset sunday night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Activities

Somehow I ended up with the job of preparing for the morning easter egg hunt ... crack of dawn and all that ... not exactly my cup of tea ... but worth it for the kids excitement.

Big Girl ...Apparently the Easter bunny has chickens that lay chocolate eggs so all he has to do is wrap them and delver them.

The Boy and a cousin:
Grandpa's trying to steal the eggs:Big Girl sharing out the eggs between everyone so it's fair for the younger kids.Afterwards we had our breakfast and the kids got stuck into th easter eggs. We went to church at the Wave in Ocean Grove which is our home away from home when we're down here.
We had a long lunch, most celebrations involving our family revolve around good food and wine ... mmm. Today was roast beef then we sat outside and had cheese and some more homemade hot cross buns coutesy of Tan.and the boys did the dishes.

Learning to bike ride

We decided this weekend would be the weekend for getting The Boy off his training wheels. We started yesterday. A good start, but he needs to stop laughing and squealing so much ... and watch where he's going.

Hubby's getting a good workout too ...and today we have success!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday

We went to church this morning. The message was from Corinthians.

" We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 1Cor 20-21

Good news indeed ... that Jesus took onto himself all the ugliness of this world - injustice, violence, hatred, betrayal even death so that we could be reconciled to God and also each other.

After church we drove down to mum and dad's house at Pt Lonsdale. The traffic was pretty bad but we made it down just in time for lunch. High 5 to dad ... he picked up salmon and prawns at the market as well as some schnapper for the kids. Add some homemade chips and salad ... yum.

We went for a walk late in the afternoon. The tide was so low we were able to walk all the way around te point. We started at the back beach. The Boy was not supposed to get wet.that was the theory anyway.
Big Girl was standing aloof ... not happy about being suddenly dragged away from her favourite TV show. She needs a little bit of advanced warning so that she doesn't think she's going to watch it and then misses out.Rockpools are a little tempting ...
But Big Girl can't help jumping in to participate in looking at caves, this is Buckley's cave ...

Some old war bunkers ...

and especially clambering over rocks ...
and we made it to the front beach.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

My sister and I have been busily baking in the last few weeks trying to find the best Hot Cross Bun recipe. I think we have a winner, taken from The Herald Sun on Tuesday (with some minor variations). In a bread machine in the following order:

1cup milk
30g melted butter
1 egg
500g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
40g brown sugar
50g sugar
2tsp yeast
I have a nut dispenser in my bread machine but I couldn't fit all the fruit in the compartment so I added what I could and then when I heard the door drop I poured in what was left.
90g sultanas
90g currants

When the dough finishes turned onto floured surface, knead and cut into 16 pieces. Place on a tray. Mark tops with a cross then pipe the cross mixture (2 heaped tbs plain flour mixed to a piping consistency with water) on top. Allow to rise for 15mins then bake for 20mins in moderate oven. After cooking, while still hot, brush with a glaze of 1tbs sugar dissolved in 2 tbs water.

Big Girl piped the crosses, I just used a snaplock bag with the corner snipped out.
The finished product ... yum.

Also a reminder this easter buy fairtrade chocolate. Chocolatier's Fairtrade Eggs can be picked up at David Jones and selected Safeway and Woolworths stores.

What's in a Name

I just found this challenge and it was so original I thought I'd join in. I’m in! It’s the What’s in a Name Challenge. There are six books to be read.

1. A book with a profession in the title:
2. A book with a time of day in the title:
3. A book with a relative in the title
4. A book with a body part in the title
5. A book with a building in the title
6. A book with a medical condition in the title

My tentative choices:
1. The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova (I've already got this on reserve at the library)
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
3. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
4. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
5. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
6. Blind to the Bones - Stephen Booth

I'll bold the books I've read as I finish them.