Sunday, May 31, 2009


Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty

Majesty, by Delirious. The words just got me this morning.

Had a fairly quiet day. We've been tossing up what we'll do about the kids ski gear this year because we won't be able to do quite as much skiing as previous years but we took the kids gear from last year down to the shop today to get it checked ...
... and it all still fits. Having small kids that don't grow really does come in handy. At least that's one cost we won't have to worry about if we decide to drive up for the day.

Other than that I planted a few more seeds in the vege patch and gave it a quick weed ... still needs a bit more work ... hopefully I'll get to it later this week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Take a Chance Challenge

Take A Chance Challenge is all about taking chances in your reading. There are 10 tasks in all -- 7 involve finding a book to read in very random ways. The last three tasks are about taking chances as a writer as you are challenged to take on the role of short story writer, poet and movie/book reviewer. The challenge is meant to be fun and no pressure. Complete as many or a few of the 10 challenges as you want. However, the more you complete, the more chances you'll get to win the grand prize. The challenges:

  1. Random Book Selection. Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)
  2. Random Word. Go to this random word generator and generate a random word. Find a book with this word in the title. Read the book and write about it.
  3. Birth Year Book. Find a book that was published or copyrighted in the year of your birth. Read the book and write about it.
  4. Judge A Book By Its Cover. Pick out a book based SOLELY on the cover. First, write about what you expect the book to be about based on the cover art. Then read the book and write about how the book was different from and/or similar to what the cover art led you to expect.
  5. Phoning An Author. Pick a random last name out of the phone book. Find an author with the same last name and read a book by them. Write about it. (I'm flexible ... if the first random name you pick is Xprxyrsss, you can pick again!)
  6. Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it.
  7. Random Bestseller. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2008 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.
  8. Lit Riff (inspired by the book Lit Riffs by Matthew Miele.) Choose a song and then write a brief story that is inspired by or further explains the lyrics of the song.
  9. Poetic Review. Write a book review in three different forms of verse: haiku, limerick and free verse. (You can pick any book you want to write about.)
  10. Movie/Book Comparison. Find a book that you haven't read that has a movie based on it that you haven't seen. Read the book and watch the movie within a few days of each other. Write about your reactions to both the book and the movie and compare the two

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Big Girl Getting Closer to God

The kids had to come to Alpha with me on Saturday night because Hubby is away. Big Girl met some lovely girls at kids church ... she was very excited that she could practice her Chinese with them...Chinese church is on at the same time ... and wants to go back for the rest of the term ... that's right do a double dose of Kids church each weekend.

On Monday she asked me to start reading the bible and praying with her again, she'd gone through a bit of a doubting stage last year. We were walking back to the car today after school and she said "I think I want to get closer to God, I think it's the right time". I had hoped that she would come around but it was good to hear those words. I said she's going about it the right way, reading her bible and praying. It's good when the initiative comes from them and apparently one of her friends that she invited to church and now goes regularly as well is also starting to pray ... good news indeed.

Not the Best Morning

We usually need to leave about 8AM in the morning to get to school on time. You know those mornings when everything goes wrong. First Big Girl said she wasn't going to school because she felt sick. So I had to sit her down and work out what was the matter and it turned out some girls have been being mean. More talking and reassuring with Hayley and a note to the teacher in the diary to see if she can talk to Hayley and sort it out and it is now 7:45 and I realised that The Boy's school uniform was here:

That's right, it rained yesterday afternoon while I was picking the kids up from school and the clothes were still on the line this morning. I hadn't thought much about it till this morning. So I quickly rushed to the dirty bin and pulled out his uniform from yesterday. The skivvy was fine because he hadn't taken off his jumper but unfortunately he must have done a little wee in his pants after he got home from school ... he's a bit lazy that way. After a quick rant about the smelly shorts I then had to rush around in the 10 mins available to try to get the shorts off the line into a semi-dry state. Threw them into the dryer while I did the girls hair and set up the ironing board. Then I gave them a thorough ironing to get them a little dry. They weren't too bad but when we were walking to school from the car The Boy did say they were a little cold, hopefully the last bit of damp will go before morning recess ... and I must remember to get his sport top off the line for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daily Digi More with 4 Challenge

I decided to do the more with 4 challenge at The Daily Digi. I picked the digi-dare #4 and decided to use a story I've shared here on my blog before but I thought it was worth scrapping.


I used the blog post and re-worked it for the journaling:
I know the title is dramatic, the story isn't that exciting, some will say it's boring, in fact when I brought it up with Geoff 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 at who I was and what I was doing then and I can’t help but be surprised about where I am now. If you had told me in the future faith in Christ would be number one in my life I would have thought you were crazy.

Geoff 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". Geoff: "yes" ... silence follows then the subject is changed.

A bit of background - Geoff 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. In fact commitment to faith was completely outside my experience and the experience of any of my friends.

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. To be continued ...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Trusting in God

I was in a discussion with some ladies on Saturday night who are refugees from Sudan and one said after explaining that she came from a bad place, that she has no expectations for the future but all she could do was pray and trust in God. Now you can understand where she's coming from, out of a situation where a person's most basic needs and even their life is threatened, where circumstances are completely out of their own hands, the only thing left is faith in God.

In Australia, because we are so wealthy in comparison and have so many opportunities it is easy to trust in ourselves and our own resources but still many people in our country live in great stress. There's probably many reaons but I see two things. Frustration when something or someone gets in the way of our plans. As a mum I can't help but come to see how much really is out of my hands and when things don't quite work out as I plan, I've learnt to roll with it a bit more.

The other is fear. Fear of what might go wrong in the future. When you're relying on your own resources to see you through life there is always fear that something might go wrong. Any security we think we have through our own effort is an illusion but our security in God is real. No matter what happens I know that in the end it will really work out well because God is in control.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

PJ Party and Soccer

Big Girl had her PJ Party at church last night, she took a friend from school. I was wondering how things would go having to drag the other kids out and about after bedtime so I rang my parents in the morning and they agreed to watch the two youngest while I took Big Girl. Much easier ... I just stayed for the parents info evening running at the same time. The girls seemed to have a good time ... Big Girl was getting herself all excited before we even left the house.
We've been taking The Boy and Little girl to soccer but they whinge and complain a fair bit and they usually don't take part in the fun game at the end of training. Today they got in there ... as you can see
it's no fun at all ...

Little Girl is having a terrible time ...

we really don't want to play.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Photomasks #2 by Donna Duncombe

Donna Duncombe has another set of photomasks. I love the look of photomasks on a layout, they seem to give it a special something.This is my layout for the ART challenge at I also used Donna's Blessed Alpha and Joyful Season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Storytime by Just Passin Thru'

I worked with two kits from this month. Just Passin Thru's Storytime was the second. This is a fantastic kit for book reading, story layouts but it's heap more versatile than that. There are blue, green, pink, brown and cream colours so you can make boy, girl or just general layouts without a fuss. Ribbons. bows, strings and alpha, tags and borders round out the kit. The best thing though is the premade books and clipboard. Many people commented on the book and it's so easy, all you have to do is slot in the photos.
My first layout features The Boy at cross country ... I said it was versatile. The blue and green were a good match for the photos. This is also my layout for Marg's colour challenge at had these photos of Little Girl with dad from last year.

and of course a layout about books. I wanted to make use of the book overlay. This is based on a sketch for this month's challenge at

Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens (again)

The Boy's first excursion was yesterday. The excitement was high ... but luckily there was heaps of parent helpers so I only had to keep my eye on The Boy and one other ... phew. Again they started out with a quick snack before being led around the gardens. The Boy was the last one left eating on the tarp ... didn't seem to bother him.
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First detour was a trip through the hidden paths and a look at the undersea garden.

We saw these on Little Girls tour too. Tiny bananas, that's as big as they'll grow in cold Melbourne.

This is a palm tree that has little tiny coconuts (about the size of a twenty cent piece), they had all dropped now but you can still see the pods they came out of.

Next stop was the oak lawn where the fallen leaves provided a lot of fun.

Now what's The Boy got planned?

Just what I need ... a face full of dirt.

Potting his bulb. Now Little Girl and The Boy will have matching plants.

After this we headed back and had some lunch followed by a play in the children's garden. I took The Boy round and showed the palm forest, observation deck and the tree to crawl under. Then the kids ran free throughout the garden (it's all fenced. By the time we rounded them all up they were red faced and sweaty after running throughout the "jungle". We were all feeling pretty tired on the way home and I once again felt bus sick ... I know ... it's embarassing. Here's The Boy with his pouch of lemon verbena.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009



More than average height, or a story difficult to believe. Show us 'Tall' in your space.

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Best not to be sick at our house ...

or you might get put to work.
This is The Boy's second day off school with a sore throat. He was still asleep at 7:45AM this morning so I didn't want to wake him up to see if he was too sick to go to school. Best to make sure he's all better anyway ... school is a big enough challenge when he is well. He has an excursion tomorrow to the Botanical Gardens. I'm going with him and if you've been reading along you'll know that I went just last month with Little Girl.

The historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first ever vampire book I've read. I've just never been that interested inthem so this is probably a good read for me. While Dracula and his friends do make appearances the focus of the book is an historical quest. As such I found it quite interesting. The narrator changes back and forth between characters and at times I found myself a couple of sentences into a paragraph before I realised the narrator had changed which was a little off putting. The start of the book quickly drew me in, but I got a little bogged down in the middle where it got a bit slow, it picked up towards the end for a satisfying conclusion.

Ref: What's In a Name, A-Z Reading Challenge

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Things

Late Season Roses
Late season roses, it's so good to be able to pick these from the garden when the weather's turning frosty. The roses missed their middle flowering this year due to the heat and lack of rain ... they're making up for it now.

Aussie Pizza

My yummy Aussie pizza ... bacon, egg, homemade tomato puree and gooey cheese ... mmmm.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coldplay and Breakfast at Tiffany's

I'm currently downloading the live coldplay album for free (and legally). Not a bad way to start the day and I get something new to listen to for the weekend.

Breakfast at Tiffany's Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

rating: 3 of 5 stars

After quite a few very long recent reads it was a relief to pick up Breakfast at Tiffany's and read it in a few short sessions at school pickups. I must be one of the few people who hasn't seen the film so I came to the book with no idea of what it was about. The writing style was easy to read and he captured the characters wonderfully. Holly is one of those characters that are both endearing and annoying, usually simultaneously, just like real life people. You couldn't help but like her but I was left wanting to know what happens next. An enjoyable read.

Ref: A-Z Reading Challenge, 1% Well-Read Challenge, 1001 Books List

Friday, May 15, 2009

District Cross Country and April Roundup

Big Girl was picked to be in her school team for the district cross country held today. We had huge drama this morning with tears and complaints of headache and sore tummy but with a bit of sweet talk I managed to get her ready and at school in her sport uniform. I'm so proud of her, she was obviously quite nervous but she went and ran and finished well. It's good to see the kids persevere when things are scary or difficult. Here she is coming into the finish line.
I've had it in mind to do monthly recap pages for our family albums and I finally got started with April's. I had the main design and photos all in as well as the journaling written but I hadn't decided on what supplies to use but when I found out this weeks theme for SYTYCD was going to be project365 I decided to wait to see what Donna came up with. I wasn't disappointed by her kit In This Moment. Follow the link and pick it up for free. So without further ado, here's the month of April:
Journaling: 3 – First term finished. Ethan put on an encore performance of vomiting in the classroom and had to be picked up early. He made a miraculous recovery and was fine for our tea with the Mohammad’s that night. 4 -A big day out for me at the V Festival, held at the Melbourne showgrounds. Tan, Janine and Jez went as well. Geoff got to stay home with the kids. We saw Elbow, Madness, Snow Patrol and The Killers with a touch of Human League. My pick – Snow Patrol. 6-9 Ethan did swimming lessons, he started doing real freestyle. 9 Completed my final batch of Hot Cross buns in Tan and my relentless search for the perfect Hot Cross Bun recipe. 10 - After going to church at NewHope on Good Friday we drove down to Pt Lonsdale for a huge fish lunch which we followed by a walk around the point. Mum and Dad were down as well as Tan and Jez. 11- Ethan started learning to ride without training wheels had success by Sunday. 12 – Easter Sunday: Easter egg hunt, church, followed by huge lunch, Janine even ventured over to join us from Torquay. 13 – Geoff went back to Melbourne in the evening. 14 /15 Relaxing walks and lots of reading for me. 17 - Horse and cart ride in Queenscliffe followed by a walk on the pier. Haircut for Ethan in the afternoon. Geoff returned for tea. 18 - Clean up and head home after fish and chips tea. 19 – Celebrated Colin and Russell’s birthdays. Hayley had a birthday party and I had Alpha training. 20 – School started back again. Leadership Lift for me @ NewHope. 23 – Dinner with the Year 4 mum’s. 24 – Looked after Tan’s kids. 24-26 – Hayley had Kids Church camp, she had a ball. 25 – Anzac Day, and Alpha kick off. Had about 40 people attending. 26 – Ethan had his first invite to a prep party but it got cancelled due to bad weather. 27 – Hayley’s interhouse cross country … she made the school team, I helped on the day. 28 – Tuckshop duty. 29 – I went along with Sara on an excursion to the Botanical Gardens. 30 – Haircut for me.

Included in this kit are zigzag cardstock. I used them in this layout of The Boy learning to ride without training wheels. Absolutely love the effect of the cardstock and so original.

Finally I made use of the kit for it's intended purpose - a weekly project365 layout. The 7 photo frame cluster made pulling this layout together a cinch.

If you've got all the way down here don't forget to pick up Donna's kit HERE.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My photo for photo prompt challenge #16 @ Weeds and Wildflowers - take a photo of something that isn't in it's right place.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Fire by Katherine Neville

The Fire: A Novel The Fire: A Novel by Katherine Neville

rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katherine Nevilles' The Eight is one of my all time favourite books so when I was wondering through the library and saw this, the sequel, I was very excited. The Fire has the same format with linked narratives in different times and references to chess, physics, history, symbols and plenty of puzzles to solve but it wasn't up to the same standard as the original. The main characters weren't as interesting and to be honest Neville didn't really draw you in to caring overly about what happened to them. I got hooked about three quarters of the way in but the ending was disappointingly rushed and also a little soppy. Overall an enjoyable read but I'm glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't buy a copy.

Ref: A-Z Challenge

It's not up to me ...

I've been reading through Corinthians and got to this passage:

So neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

I'll tell you I find this passage a real relief. It's not up to me to make things happens, I just have to either plant the seed or water it. Especially helpful to remember when you're involved in something like Alpha. So Lord just give me the obedience to do what you put in front of me and the faith to trust you to make things happen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pyjama Party by Carolyn B.

Carolyn B.'s Pyjama Party is available @ Full of lovely textured, bright papers and cute doodles this kit is heaps of fun. There is a cute collection of characters to inhabit your pages and bright frames, hearts, jewels and stars. Perfect for all those sleepover photos. Big Girl had a pyjama party for her birthday last year so this was the perfect kit to scrap some of those photos.

I also had this cute photo of the three kids. Big Girl is playing her DS while the two younger ones tickle her back ... ah, the life.