Sunday, 30 November 2008

More holiday pics

I realised I've hardly put up any pics of our recent holiday to Melbourne, and my poor blog is looking a bit boring, so here are a few pictures from our trip to the museum with my gorgeous nephew J. How cool is that big window?

Balancing Act

I've been thoroughly enjoying reading Jean's blog lately... she's been talking about some of the issues Christian women encounter trying to balance the different demands of life, which I've found challenging and encouraging.

In a recent post she asked people to share their thoughts on balancing "ministry" (or "doing things for God" as I prefer to call it ;) ) inside and outside the home and I thought rather than just commenting on her blog I might as well get a blog post out of it myself!

Some random thoughts on the topic:

* It's important to realise that everything families do is going to involve costs and benefits - it's not just "ministry" that makes demands on families. Every family makes sacrifices for the things they regard as important (eg kids doing more household chores because both parents are working, financial restricitons to make sure the kids have music lessons, waking up early to get little Johnny to cricket on Saturday morning). For me it's important that the sacrifices my family makes are for the things God thinks are important. I feel a bit concerned that people will think some of the decisions my family is making are asking too much of my kids so I need to remind myself that every family makes sacrifices... they're just different kinds of sacrifices for different things.

* Another thing I've been thinking about is the tension I feel between letting kids feel the cost of having God's priorities - because there IS a cost, the Bible is clear about that - and my instinct as a parent to try to protect my kids and shield them from anything difficult. Being a Christian isn't easy; alot of the things the Bible says seem downright wierd, if not completely stupid to the rest of the world and it's a really hard thing to be thought of as a wierd or stupid person. If I want my kids to grow up with a real faith in Jesus I need to prepare them for the "cost" part of being a Christian.

* There are so many ways to do things for God that I'm only limited by my own imagination and flexibility - there will always be more opportunities than I can possibly hope to take up, so the challenge is to find the ones that will have greatest benefit without too much cost to my family. I don't really feel very limited by my small children ... I just need to think outside the box a bit to find heaps of worthwhile things ways to serve God.

* Something I've realised is that if my family is going to make sacrifices to do what God wants us to, I can't expect my family to also make sacrifices for too many other things (eg my hobbies, my slackness or disorganisation). For me this means I don't get nearly as much time as I'd like to to do the various crafty things I'd love to do, and I've had to make a rule for myself that the computer doesn't go on while the kids are awake.

* I think that the parents (not the kids) should cop the brunt of the "making sacrifices" part of serving God. One hard thing for Jeremy is that this means he hardly has any leisure time and one hard thing for me is that we never get time to do any maintenance around the house or garden.

How it looks for me / my family at the moment:

* Aim to have time to read stories, play games, talk, sing, tickle, chase and generally enjoy my kids every day.
* Aim to be home for a midday rest for everyone.
* Prioritise my relationship with Jeremy - I figure if our marriage isn't strong then everything else will fall apart.

I do:

* Make meals for people
* Mind other peoples' kids
* Get my house ready for a bible study every week
* Stay awake for said bible study even though I'm usually exhausted
* Try to have a rest on the afternoon of the bible study so I'm not completely exhausted (obviously this is only semi-successful!)
* Help my husband make plans to study theology full time next year
* Try to read the Bible and pray every day
* Ring my sick Grandma and visit her as often as possible
* Try to be cheerful when I have to get up at the crack of dawn every morning with my kids
* Go to church every week
* Teach the toddler Sunday school class 1/3 of the year

I don't:
* Go to my mothers' group anymore because playgroup at church is on the same morning and I think it's more worthwhile
* Go to the womens' bible study at church because my kids get really distressed when I leave them in the creche
* Iron our clothes (I do wash them though!)
* Visit many people without kids because I'm worried my kids will ransack their houses. I want to work on that one though
* Get as much time as I'd like to do things with Jeremy, or with our family of 4
* Have people over as often as I think we should
* Care for the people in our Bible study group very well (eg with emails, phone calls, socialising)

So there you go, there's some thoughts on the topic, and how it looks (in part) for us at the moment. There's obviously alot of room for improvement, and we're about to enter the impoverished world of student life next year, so that will be a new challenge... I'll have to see how we go with that!

Anyone have any thoughts to add? I'll keep thinking about this and post again soon.


Some good free patterns I've come across lately:

Baby pants

Baby shoes

Itty bitty baby dress - the site isn't working at the moment, but there's a bigger version here which would be easy enough to downsize until the original is working again

How to draft an A Line skirt

Cute doll pattern

It's obviously baby present season!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The first day of the rest of my life

It's been an ..... interesting... week for us this week. First there was the devastating storm last Sunday, and the days of power failure and associated food-throwing-out, mess-cleaning-up, shopping-in-horribly-crowded-shops and stressed out / feral children (yes, mine!). In the middle of all the mayhem we had a peadiatrician appt for JoJo to try to sort out some of her ongoing issues, and he got me to take her for a blood test... it was good that the Dr took me seriously, but awful to have him agree that there is something amiss with JJ.

On Thursday night the Dr rang to tell me that JoJo's readings for coeliac disease all came back off the scale, so it looks like we're heading into gluten-free territory. She needs to have a biopsy done, which I am praying will be able to be done very soon because I need to keep her on a normal diet until it's over. It's just killing me giving her food that I know is making her sick, especially when I have to look into her pale little face as she tells me she has a tummy ache and make her keep eating :( I just want her to be well, and it's pure torture to delay starting the diet that will almost certainly make her feel alot better.

I know it's not really a big deal in the scheme of things, especially compared to what it could have been, but it feels like a big deal at the moment. It's good for me to know that God loves JoJo more than I do and that he's got it all under control... it's just not what I would choose for my family.


1/8 cup polenta
1/4 + 1/8 cup tapioca flour
1/8 cup brown sugar
175 mL buttermilk
15g melted butter
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 egg

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

After the storm

It's a very strange feeling around our suburb at the moment. There are chainsaws and mulchers going all the time, helicopters flying overhead (news choppers having a gander at the destruction left by the storm) and when I went out this morning to take JoJo's kindy application form to the child care centre (my little girl is going to kindy! excuse me while I freak out) there were soldiers - SOLDIERS!! - and army trucks everywhere. Very bizarre. The CC centre J will be going to has had to delay its opening because it had a whole pile of trees fall on the roof of the brand new buildings. I'm just so glad it didn't happen on a day that the centre was open.

On the plus side everyone is being very friendly to each other because they have something to talk about. I've talked to more random strangers in the past few days than I have in ages!

The pic above is what we saw when we went to the library yesterday - that's not even a particularly dramatic example of the debris that's everywhere at the moment, but it was easy to photograph!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Power to the people!

We've just spent a fun (ha!) few days since a huge storm tried to tear our house apart on Sunday afternoon. We only had our power restored at about 3am today, which made for two very dark and unpleasant nights. Mum and dad saved the day by letting me use their house as a base yesterday and letting us use their stove for the past 2 nights. We did lose pretty much everything in our 2 freezers though, which was a bit sad.

Anyway, I'm SO glad to have the power and the phone back (not to mention the internet!), but so exhausted from all the to-ing and fro-ing and cleaning of the past couple of days.

Xander has been left with a fairly severe fear of rain / storms though - he cries if he gets wet in the rain now, and tonight he grabbed my hand during dinner when he noticed it was raining and said "pray... God.... rain" because he was scared!

Friday, 7 November 2008


We picked these flowers at a semi-disused train station in Daylesford. I was maybe just a tad over-excited about it as we have to buy this kind of flower in Qld.

My husband (behind the flowers) on the other hand I picked from a crowd of guys at Uni - and he's the kind of quality you just can't buy anywhere. Far more excited about that acquisition in the scheme of things, but the flowers were pretty cool too!

A great Christmas idea...

Check this out... you can contribute without it costing a cent :) What a great idea!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Oh wow oh wow oh wow!!

I just discovered that I can now do my grocery shopping online!!!! Oh boy (insert sounds of me hyperventilating with excitement) this could change my life :D

(It may help provide some context if I explain that I got home from the grocery shopping this morning with the worst joint pain I've had for a month or two, which is saying something.)