Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dublin: Foundation by Edward Rutherford

Dublin: Foundation (The Dublin Saga, #1)Dublin: Foundation by Edward Rutherfurd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A few years ago a devoured Rutherford's earlier books Sarum, London, Russka and The Forest so when I was looking around for a novel to satisfy the long chunkster challenge requirements I immediately thought of these books and went searching to see what else he had written. I really love what he does in his books, tracing the history of a single place, weaving history into his fictional stories of families through the millennia.

If you love history and historical fiction I would recommend his books and this volume definitely lived up to my expectations. They are long books but I hardly noticed ... except for a few later than normal nights. It also helps that each time period has it's own semi self-contained story.

Monday, August 29, 2011

On our weekend ...

It was play date time. I finally got sick of answering the question "When will he be here?" and sent him to wait out the front.


We wandered down to the park.


They're making a video.


I worked on my essay.


Sunday morning we were late to church ... I haven't been that late to church since I finally realised what time it started. Yep 30 mins late ... on the day they were recording the DVD/CD ... I'm presuming they won't include our late arrival in the final cut.

Face painting for the kids ... pick the odd one out.


Relaxing ...


Zzzzz ...


Flattening the head high weeds at his cousins first birthday.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

This week's links ...

1. Something funny to start off with ... yes ... eat everything on your plate.

2. What we had for dinner last night: Rustic Vegemite Beef and Aussie Ale Pie

3. Week in the Life has finished and I'm in the process of putting my book together. Here's more inspiration on capturing life: Capturing a Day in Photos.

4. Musing on the things of God ... words and photos (warning autoplay music)

5. Printable Foldable Paper Star Wars Toy Figures

6. Cereal Box Marble Run

7. Friendship Bracelet Kit

8. Photography Bucket List

9. Just Let God be God
"You can’t put God on a leash and make him do tricks for you. He is not on your side! God is on God’s side. You and I are welcome to join him on his terms. But don’t suppose that God is some sort of pit-bull you can put on a lead to help you get your way. "

Friday, August 26, 2011

Donna Duncombe's Oh Boy

Donna has released a minikit this week called Oh Boy if you hurry you can pick it up while it's still on sale.

I thought it was just the right colours for these photos. A story from back in 2009, luckily I've got all these recorded on my blog.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

52 Photos: Summer

A summer prompt is a little difficult when we're in the depths of winter but we've had some beautiful warm and sunny weather this August. Not quite summer but warm enough for T-shirts and homemade lemonade.


52 Photos: Light

Low angled winter sunshine makes everything sparkle.


52 Photos: Gather

A few winter flowers from the garden.

52 Photos: Gather

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister E. McGrath

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister E. McGrath

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was keen to read this book because I have enjoyed reading some of Alistair McGrath's previous work and have found his online articles regarding science, evidence and reasoning to be quite good. On finishing this book I was left a little disappointed, probably because I would have liked him to go into some of the points in more depth. He does point you in the right direction to do further reading, so as an introduction to the issues this is a good start but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who wants to delve more deeply.

The first part of the book introduces who the New Atheists are, some of their main ideas and how 9/11 produced the type of climate in which their ideas could flourish. The second part deals with three of the main themes of the New Atheism and the major weaknesses in some of the arguments offered. Most of the arguments put forward by the New Atheism are so weak that it surprises me that they can trumpet their supposed intellectual superiority with a straight face, McGrath makes a decent effort pointing out the most obvious flaws without being too harsh. One section that I think should have been cut was "human reason and the invention of God." The argumentation in this section was weak and distracts the reader from the stronger points in other sections. The book finishes with a look towards the future and a short chapter entitled why God won't go away.

I received this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

GileadGilead by Marilynne Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written as a series of letters by John Ames, minister, to his young son and meant to be read after his death. Quiet, unassuming this novel weaves itself through the lives of three generations of preachers telling his son the things John thinks he might need to know when he's older. I loved the character of John Ames. It was refreshing to see the life of faith portrayed in a positive and realistic manner. Go read it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

On our weekend ...

 but I'm going to start the story a bit earlier on Friday night. I promised you I wouldn't stop boring you with what we are eating and these were yummy. Leftover pork braised in milk and apple cider slaw on a light brioche hamburger bun ... writing that is making me hungry. I did cheat on the coleslaw and bought a packet of finely shredded coleslaw.


The Boy continued his talking fast ...


That's: my tongue is pushing my tooth out.

Morning came and we were in the middle of our technology fast. An early drop off for the Big Girl at the in-laws before heading to Knox for the two youngest to play soccer.



The Boy's tooth fell out during the game and I saw him in the middle of the field holding it clearly unsure what he should do so I called him over. He slowly came until I told him to hurry up ... the game was still going on around him while he mucked around. He put it in my jacket pocket and then I noticed he had no mouthguard ... it was in his bag. With his mouthguard in I pushed him back onto the field.

Here he is later showing off his gap.


Three clowns about to make spiders ...


Followed by a walk to the park ... Little girl stayed home ... she was in the groove with her project ... yes, she likes homework.


He arrived back from China at 10:30pm.


After church and lunch we hit the park for some training for the Little Girl and tried to tire them out.


Followed by homemade lemonade.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Tech Fast

Last week I posted the layout form 2009 when we did our tech fast for the 40hr famine and it's that time of the year again. Starting tonight we will be going tech free, with no computers, TV or handheld games (Big Girl will probably be exempt and allowed to use the computer for her project ... she's already had one extension). The Boy is also taking a fast from talking ... with the Big Girl at swimming it's been pretty quiet in the house this afternoon. Anyway, for that reason there will be no links tomorrow. In the meantime I thought I'd show you a new kit from Donna - Summer Escape.

Here's a layout I did using it using some photos from Pt Lonsdale in 2009.


Until Monday then.

Interhouse Athletics Carnival

The girls had their athletics sports on Monday which also double as their trials for the school athletics team. Little Girl won the U10 800m so it looks like she'll be competing in the district athletic competition.


The results:

Little Girl:

  • 800m - 1st
  • 100m - 2nd
  • 200m - 2nd
  • 100m hurdles - 3rd
  • Grade 4 Shuttle Relay - 3rd
  • Grade 4 4X100m circular relay - 1st
Big Girl:
  • 1500m - 5th
  • 800m - 8th
  • 100m - 7th
  • 200m -  6th
  • 100m Hurdles - 4th
  • Grade 6 Shuttle Relay - 1st
  • Grade 6 4X100m Circular Relay - 1st
All the girls participate in the field events so it's quite a busy day, although you wouldn't know it be the way they run around and jump up and down the steps between events ... is it even possible to tire these kids out?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I had intended to ...

engage in some parental boasting today on account of the girls athletic prowess but my day has been a fail, multiple balls have been dropped, so in the interests of attempting to scrape a pass ... at least in being a mother ... if not in any other area ... I'm posting this preprepared post ...

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who opposed Hitler and was subsequently executed. I found the whole book fascinating. Eric Metaxas did a wonderful job of telling Bonhoeffer's story from childhood through to theological studies, his opposition to Hitler's German Christians and his incarceration and death. Never dull or boring, the author made good use of letters, sermons and other writings as well as observations given by the people who knew him.

I found the inclusion of some details of his theology which drove his actions in opposing Hitler fascinating. There was plenty that was thought provoking and I would love to read some of Bonhoeffer's writings.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Our Weekend ...

Saturday morning was a nice early start with the Little Girl playing soccer at Healesville at 9am. Luckily, considering there's one of me and I had three kids needing to be in three different places, another parent had offered to drive a group of the kids up there. So she was dropped off at 7:30am at the home ground (about 10mins away at that time of morning)

Next was dropping Big Girl off at Hubby's parents on our way to MLC for the Science Talent Search judging starting at 9am. The Boy had managed to meet the criteria. We got there about 10mins prior and there were already about 30 in line before us. We got a ticket and sat down to wait. When they called his name he lined up with ten other kids then they disappeared up the stairs to face the judges alone.


Meanwhile I waited nervously at the bottom of the stairs waiting for him to reappear. He has an expressive language disorder that makes this kind of thing quite difficult so I was very relieved to see him come down the stairs all smiles, declaring that "It was good" and proudly waving his assessment sheet.

We got out of there at 9:30am and headed back to the tennis club to relieve Grandpa from babysitting duties. The Big Girl finished tennis and I dropped her off at a friends house for the day, we spent 10mins at home then headed out to pick up the Little Girl. They'd lost 7-4 plus they had to borrow some of the opposition players because they didn't have enough players themselves but that didn't seem to diminish the enjoyment level. When I got there she was happily holding a frill-knecked lizard and was pleased to let me know she scored a goal ... for the other team. THe dad who also helps coach declared that she had been best on ground with up to four opposition players marking her.

The Boy has been very success full in stopping his finger sucking so the three of us went out for lunch as a combination reward and celebration. I'm so proud of the way his going with this.

Sunday was space day at kids church.


Little Girl and The Boy won prizes for their costumes. Afterwards we went to visit a friend who is housebound after an operation on her foot. The kids had a good time playing with her cat while we were there.

It was a gorgeous day and the kids were rather energetic in the afternoon so we walked down to the park.

My creation

Home, my littlest sis came for dinner, bringing yummy chocolate mousse with her.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This week's links ...

1. Gluttony, Justice and Grace - gluttony isn't just about eating too much.

2. Who are the poor? What is poverty? ... Wrestling with Poverty in the US (Part 1). Much of this is applicable in an Aussie context.

3. Is Life Worth It? ... suffering ... and goodness.

4.  An activity to remember for when summer rolls around. Chalk Checkers.

5. Back to School Photo Checklist - make a change from our standard first day of school photos ... although I think I forgot the girl's this year.

6. Another one for summer ... Homemade Mosquito Repellent. Will keep this handy for when we move back to the house and enjoy our alfresco area.

8. This week I made these BBQ Lemon and Chilli Wings  served with Asian Slaw. Both recipes were really good, especially the slaw. For the slaw I just used a packet of the finely shredded coleslaw from the supermarket, chopped up a red pepper, the coriander and the peanuts. I made the dressing as described in the recipe.

9. Little Girl made these White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins. Really easy and they were really moist. Will definitely make them again and would like to try using other flavours.

10. How to turn from hopeless to hero in 5mins:  On Wednesday I found myself making lunches without having anything to offer the kids for their snack ... I felt bad as it was the second time this week. I remembered seeing these instructions for microwave popcorn. Worked a charm, although it took double the time that the recipe said ... and the staples were no problem in the microwave.

11. How to Clean Your Knifeblock. We've had our knifeblock for quite a few years ... maybe I should do this?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Donna Duncombe's Just Me

Donna has a new kit out, Just Me.

I used it to do a layout about our 40hr famine experience. I used two blog posts as a source for the journaling (here and here.) In cases like this blogging is very helpful, it captures my thoughts in the moment which I can use later on my layouts.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

July Wrap-Up

We started off the month with school holidays. The kids did a tennis clinic. We went into the National Gallery for a showing of the Big Girl's painting she did for a special schools program they run each year. The kids and I went into the Queen Victoria Market with dad. The Boy started OT which will hopefully help him at school. The Big Girl went away with a friend for 2 nights to celebrate her friend's birthday. The house now has plaster and is coming along nicely. Hubby went to China for work and turned 40 while he was there. We all went to Mt Hotham for a long weekend.

Looking forward, in August, the Little Girl has orthodontic appointments, she is sitting her preliminary piano exam and we have a mother/daughter lunch for her year level. Hubby is going to China for 10days. We are a few birthdays in his extended family and The Boy presents his poster at the Science Talent Search. I start back at uni for the semester and we need to get a new passport for the Big Girl.

Project Progress

Books Read and Progress on 2011 Reading Challenges:

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - Christian Non-Fiction Challenge (2/12)
The Last Superstition by Edward Feser - Chirstian Non-Fiction Challenge (3/12)
Silverthorn by Raymond Feist - Take a Chance Challenge 3 (4/10)

In August I will by finishing Bonhoffer and Gilead and I have Dublin and Last Orders on loan from the library. I also have two books I've received to review. I have A darkness at Sethanon on reserve at the library.

39 Things -In July I skied a black run (#11), finished the world jigsaw puzzle (#38), and made photo kaleidoscopes (#37) (10/39)
I also worked towards completing #6, #7,  #14, #17 and #19. In August I will continue working towards these five tasks and also #31 and #33.

52 Recipes - I completed this project.


I completed the layouts for our Singapore album. Will finish resizing and send for printing this month.

I did three layouts for our 2011 album.

and four layouts for our 2009 album.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WITL: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

From Friday:

My creation

1. Hubby was here (broke the door right off and gave me a huge fright at 6:30 in the morning) 2. Morning drop off. 3. The smell of coffee. 4. I checked the radar and it looked like there wasn't going to be rain. 5. Welcome to mainly music. 6. Wave those scarves around. 7. They let me do the AV ... 8. and make coffee. 9. Yay, my towels dried outside. 10. Watching. 11. Get into that chicken. 12. Finally Hubby's birthday cake ... toblerone ice cream cake.

My creation

1. U9 soccer match. 2. LIttle Girl and The Boy are in the same team. 3. Meanwhile the Big Girl has a tennis lesson. 4. Midday movie and popcorn. 5. Violin practice. 6. I see the bottom of the ironing basket. 7. Dropping the kids off at his parents. 8. A lilt birthday shopping. 9. Before Harry Potter. 10. We went 3D. 11. Yummy dinner at Monk and Me. 12. Finally finished.

My creation

1. Put the stock on before we go to church. 2. It's jeans day at kids church. 3. The approach. 4. Wrapping presents. 5. They've put locks on the doors now so we can't get in. 6. First go over the floor is done. 7. Nice thick layer of mud all round the building. 8. Can't wait for them to render the front as well. 9. Unwrapping presents. 10. The Boy loves the excitement of present time. 11. Making soup for tea. Auntie Janine is over. 12. No photo, I got slack and only took 11 photos for the day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This week's links

1. Birdfeeders - a pretty, fun and useful? activity for the kids.

2. I'll attempt not to illustrate this for my kids this semester - Stages of Procrastination

3. I'm in love with fennel but it's not something I eat that often. We had this shaved fennel salad last weekend with roast beef and potatoes ... yummy.

4. I made this toblerone ice cream cake for Hubby as a belated birthday cake. Jules' promise of a luscious creamy ice-cream without a machine came through. No multiple whipping here. It is very sweet and very rich.

5. The boy made this Easy Chocolate Slice all by himself except for putting it in the oven. Recommended as an easy recipe for kids, it's fast too and good for lunchboxes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

WITL Wednesday and Thursday

A selection of photos from Wednesday:

My creation

1. It will be good to have a functioning dryer back before the rain comes again.  2. Choosing a reader.  3. Car park on the eastern freeway.  4. First class of semester. Intro to the Hebrew bible.  5. At mum and dad's looking after their admin, the view from my "office".  6. Running into piano lessons ... he's keen  7. I feel like i'm living in my car. Had afternoon tea, now i'm reading my book and she's playing DS while we wait for The Boy.  8. The reader.  9. The drill: swim with a cup on her forehead.  10. He's swimming now.  11. She's diving now.  12. Bread ready, now it's time for bed.

and from Thursday:

My creation

1. Not an early bird.  2. Big Girl: "Can you pack my swimming bag for me?" Me: "No" Her: "Why not? You're not doing anything today" For future reference, not the best way to get someone to do something for you.  3. The colourist: "It's been a while" Me: "I know"  4. Picked up more coffee beans ... would hate to wake up one morning and find we've run out.  5. Noooo!! The dreaded dHE error again.  6. Cooking chille con carne.  7. Piano practice.  8. The younger kids soccer practice was cancelled so I convinced her to do squad today instead of tomorrow before the forecast cold front comes through tomorrow. Best to take advantage of the warmest start to August on record.  9. She's still cold after, but 19 degrees is better than 12 degrees.  10. Filled up.  11. Nachos, the kids second favourite dinner.  12. I remember doing my homework on the floor too, but it's time for bed now.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

52 Photos: Body

The prompt for week #26 was body which was kind of a hard prompt. We have small group on Tuesday night and I asked for prayer for my Wednesday morning ... I may have been having a little bit of a freak out. The washing machine service people had run to say they were going to be there at 7:30am to fix the washer/dryer and I need to leave by 7:45am to get Little Girl to choir on time otherwise she gets a cross against her name ... three crosses for the term and you're out. Hubby couldn't help because he had to leave for the dentist at 7:40am. After that drop off I still had The Boy to drop at his school and then I needed to get into Whitley by 9:30am for my first class of the semester.

7:15am on Wednesday morning Hubby answers the phone ... it's one of our group members offering to come around and take the kids to school. He jumped at the offer and she came and took the girls to school. That's the body of Christ in action.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WITL Monday and Tuesday

I started my week in the life on Monday. I've been using instagram to take photos and record some journaling. Here is a small selection of what I captured on Monday:

My creation

1. Get the right lunch in the right lunchbox. They're not happy when I make a mistake; 2. Grab your bag and shoes we're going NOW!; 3. A day for using the clothesline, it's a welcome change; 4. Orthodontic checkup; 5. She needs X-rays and since it was only 15mins from Armadale to Albert Park and she was already out of school anyway we decided to get them done now; 6. Driving ... ; 7. Restock the cupboards; 8. some of the washing didn't quite dry ... he's helping his mother; 9. That's the plan; 10. disclosing tablets. Recommended by the dentist as an aid to teaching the kids how to clean their teeth; 11. Home from a parenting talk at the girls school; 12. Piano lessons (this one's out of order).

From Tuesday:

My creation

1. On my bench this morning; 2. Dinner's on. come back in 8 hrs; 3. Tennis time; 4. Choosing carpet; 5. Small group prep while waiting in the car at school pickup; 6. Anytime is cereal time round here; 7. After school sport finished; 8. Using up some excess energy; 9. Little Girl: Oh, look at the sky, it's beautiful. I'm looking puzzled. Little Girl: *sigh* look out the other side. 10. Little Girl's swim squad. 11. The reader; 12. Peach buckle ready for small group to start.

I've been uploading 20-30 photos per day so far and that seems to be giving me a good overview of each day.