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Showing posts from August, 2008

Spring is Here

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The weather is warming,



The flowers are blooming,

Trees are budding,

And spirits are lifting.

Everything is singing, "Spring is Here!"

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and in recent days we've felt its promise. Today has been gorgeous and we decided to walk along the river bank with The Most Adorable Granddaughter and feed the ducks. One problem: we only saw one duck the whole time. We managed to entice it over after throwing a slice or two of bread its way:


The Most Adorable Granddaughter planned to follow the duck until she realised that she was stuck in the sticky mud flats:


Since there were no ducks to feed, she fed Kielsie the bread and then shared my water bottle with her:


After all that fun, The Most Adorable Granddaughter started to tire so it was time to head for home:


While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22, KJV).

Savour Every Moment

As I write this, Son#2's plane is probably taxiing down the run-way. We saw him off two hours ago at the airport where he flew to the Capital, where he was to get his connecting flight. He should be almost in the air now.

DH and I got to spend a few hours with Son#2 after seeing his girlfriend off at the bus. It's been a busy week and I've felt that I haven't really had a chance to catch up with him in the five or so days that he's been home so it was nice to have that time.

We went to a cafe for lunch and did some shopping and just enjoyed being together. It went all too fast though and before we knew it, we were saying goodbye and he was boarding his flight.

Driving home, I commented to DH that everything is changing. It won't be too long before it's just DH and I home together, rattling around in our big old house.

In the meantime I'm going to savour every moment that I have with my boys. I'm going to love more, laugh more and listen more. I'm go…

In the Round Again

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I've recently completed another jumper - this time for Son#3. He's still deciding if he likes it or not (he's not used to clothes that are close-fitting). For someone who's not sure, he seems to be wearing it a lot!

This one took longer than the other one to complete because I had to wait for more wool to arrive after running out just as I was about to start the yoke. I obviously miscalculated somewhere along the way!

I used the same set of instructions as I did for Son#2 but changed the patterns that I used. Part-way through knitting the yoke, I also decided to change the patterns to ones that I thought would go better. I was unsure about the colours at first, but now am pleased with the way it turned out. The collar is a mock turtle neck. I didn't plan this. It was to be a crew neck with the neckband folded in half, but Son#3 prefers it this way. I can always fold it in half later and slip-stitch it in place if he changes his mind.

I was waiting to see if he liked …

A Matter of Style

I've recently been reading a book that supposedly answers a lot of questions that Christians have. I don't agree with everything in the book but it has caused me to think about some commonly held beliefs that I hold and whether they truly do fit with what the Word of God says, while other sections have caused me to consider issues that I've never really given a lot of thought to before. So it's been valuable reading for me - one way or another.

An issue that I've been sorting through in recent years is the issue of dress. The book was emphatic that women should wear dresses and quoted this verse in support: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5, KJV).

I don't have a problem with wearing dresses. I wear skirts at least 90% of the time. If I agreed with the author's premise I would wear skirts or dresses 100% of the t…

Uninvited Guests

We have uninvited guests.

Lots of them.

In the kitchen.

I'm ashamed to admit it but we have ants.

We never had a problem with ants inside in Australia. We had the big Green Ants and the Bush Ants and the Honey Ants that could all give a nasty sting, but they stayed outside where they belonged. The only time we ever had the small black house ants inside the house was when one son hid his Christmas candy stick under his bed! Once the candy stick was gone so were the ants.

But here it's a different story. We often have ants inside despite diligent house cleaning. In fact, I suspect that they actually like the orange-oil in the cleanser that I use to clean down benchtops and other surfaces because they just keep on coming.

I've blamed the boys for not being meticulous in cleaning up food messes in the kitchen but when I've taken over the task these guests still keep coming. They don’t congregate in the pantry or the cupboard with the rubbish and compost bins or any place where f…

Spring is on its Way

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I love the miracle of Spring time as the days begin to warm and there are surprises to be found everywhere as tiny buds unfurl to become leaves and flowers.

I had one such surprise last week. I was standing in my kitchen and looking out the window at the hedge (for no particular reason other than it's opposite my window and the view is better than looking at my neighbours' properties) when I noticed white blossom on spindly stick branches that I'd never seen before. We often get seedlings popping up in our hedge but they either die or are pulled out. But this one had survived (I obviously haven't done any weeding for a while) and had burst into blossom. I went for a closer look and had another surprise. It appeared to be a plum tree!

Now it doesn't take a genius to work out how it got there. My first guess is that one of the men in my house threw his plum pip in there sometime in the distant past rather than put it in the compost or the rubbish. My second guess is t…

Power, What Power?

Son#1 (the electrician) is here today connecting up lights and power to our new sub-board. I've been told that the power will have to go off for an hour or so later today.

Do I need power?

Let me see: what do I usually do on a Saturday?

Washing (laundry). All those school uniforms have to be washed and Son#4 had a nose-bleed this week all over his white shirt and green jumper.

Ironing. I need to get it up to date today so that I can clear the spare bed for Son#2 who is coming home tomorrow. He could always sleep on a mattress on the floor but it would be cold.

Baking.I wanted to make some biscuits for a family I know of who are hurting this week. It would also be good to have something in the house in case we get visitors tomorrow.

Computer time. I wanted to get some work up to date.

Naw, I don't need power. Not at all.

Wait. The computer. I can't live without my computer. What's that? The power's going off soon? But I'm not fin

More on 'A Crowning Glory'

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I was reading a book last night that had another angle on the verses from 1 Corinthians 11 that talk about headcoverings. The author suggested that the 'scarlet' women in Paul's day would have cut their hair to advertise their trade, whereas the remainder of the female population would have kept their hair long. When these 'fallen' women converted to Christianity, they couldn't grow their hair overnight (wouldn't it be good sometimes if it did grow that fast?) so they were instructed to wear a covering in church until their hair grew again. Women with long hair already had their 'covering' and didn't need to wear a separate item of apparel.

If this view is correct, I wonder what Paul would think if he were to walk into our churches today? Obviously short hair on a woman no longer has the same connotations that it did in his day (according to this author) but it's an interesting thought. I suspect though that hair would be the least of his co…

Happy Birthday

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There's going to be a number of 'Happy Birthday' posts in the next few months. Our family didn't spread its birthdays out over the whole course of the year. Instead we managed to squeeze almost half in between Christmas and the end of January and then none again until August. And then we have August, September, October. When the last October birthday is over then we start to think about Christmas. But not before.

Today is Son#2's birthday. I'll ring him soon (I know that he's probably not awake just yet - he has always loved his sleep, even as a baby). He's so far away. We can't have cake and candles today but he's flying back up here tomorrow (though we won't see him until Saturday) and is here for one short week. We'll definitely have to make an effort to have a family dinner with cake and candles before he goes back the following weekend.

The Bible says that children are a gift from God and each of our sons are definitely precious gift…

A Morning at Home

Rushing out the door this morning to go to work, I suddenly realised that Son#4 wasn't with us.

"Where's your brother?" I asked Son#5.

"In bed."

Oh dear. I had known that he wasn't feeling well but the last time I'd seen him he'd been walking around the house with his white school shirt in his hand (our students all wear school uniforms) looking lost (probably looking for the iron - or his socks). I'd already told him that he could stay home but he'd said he was okay. Now as I was about to leave for work, I discovered that he wasn't okay and felt too sick to go to school.

I rarely take sick-leave for myself so I knew I had some leave I could take and stay home with him but I had also been told that my supervisor would be late so I had to at least go in until she arrived. Thankfully I was able to come home after the first hour since this morning is the day I do non-contact (paper work) and I'm not needed on the floor.

Son#4 was looking…

Most Embarrassing Moment

Recently at a weekend conference we were asked to tell about our most embarrassing moment. My mind went blank and I couldn't think of anything. I know I've had embarrassing moments and that I've managed to humiliate myself on far too many occasions but at that particular point in time I couldn't think of a single thing.

Well I've remembered one now and by writing about it I hope that I'll be able to remember it for future such questions.

A few years ago I was in a crowded car park, trying to reverse our van out of a tight parking spot when suddenly over a loud speaker I heard this voice say, "You've got plenty of room. Keep coming back."

I looked around and spotted a red truck, resembling a fire engine, waiting for me to reverse. The driver was a man I knew through work (though I don't think he recognised me thankfully) and in his hand he had a loud speaker.

He boomed out instructions and I followed:

"Keep coming. You've got miles of room.…

It's in the Genes Part 2

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Last weekend I was rushing around trying to get the house super clean for the Bible Study that was to be held at my house. An hour before it was due to start, the study was cancelled. Most of the members were either sick or away. I didn't mind, but it's meant I've had to clean my house again this weekend.

Bible Study or no study, I would've cleaned the house anyway. But because my oven is now working again (in a manner of speaking) I decided to do some baking. My camera's still putting green lines across the centre of photos but with a little bit of editing I think I've managed to get rid of most of the green.

First recipe of the day: Oaty Chocolate Chip Biscuits.

This is a favourite recipe that makes about 70 or more biscuits. It freezes well too (in fact my kids like to eat them frozen - and so do I!)

250g butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats
2 3/4 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
at least 3/4 cup dark chocola…

A Crowning Glory

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If I were asked why I wear my hair long then I would have to say it's because I love long hair. I've tried short hair and it just doesn't feel 'right' - it's not 'me'. Recently on two long hair forums that I visit the question was raised: Long hair: Religious or personal reasons?

The answers once again caused me to reflect on my long hair journey.

I penned these words when I started my long hair journey over two years ago: I think long hair is a blessing. Down throughout the ages – almost without exception – women have worn their hair long. In the Bible the apostle Paul described long hair as a woman’s ‘crowning glory’. And I still remember the time a friend referred to mine the same way. Even now it still makes me glow!

I believe it is a privilege – a God-given privilege – for a woman to be able to wear her hair long. I’m not saying that every woman can or should have long hair, just that it is a special gift that God has given to women. My goal now is to…

A Little Bit Shouldn't Make Much Difference

Last weekend DH pulled out my linen cupboard to make way for a new sub-board that we need to install if we are to upgrade our electrical wiring. We have lived without lights in our bathroom for a few years and our sons have been without lights in their bedrooms for far too many years (the boys have still had power to their rooms and have been able to use lamps so it's not as if they've been living in total darkness). Because of the age of our house we haven't been able to connect any new wiring into the old board but that's about to all change.

DH 'shaved' only a small amount from my linen cupboard for the board, before putting my linen cupboard back together. This morning I started stacking sheets and towels and linen back into my cupboard and was surprised at how much difference just a small amount made and how I had to re-arrange stuff to get it all to fit back in.

It reminded me of a story I read a while ago. I keep a copy of it above our breakfast table and …

A Heavy Load

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I mentioned to DH and Sons#4 and #5 yesterday that I had a difficult day ahead of me. It's the day The Most Adorable Granddaughter comes in to work for three whole hours! What can I say? It's a heavy burden I bear but someone has to do it! LOL

In case you're reading this blog for the first time, I absolutely enjoy every moment I spend with The Most Adorable Granddaughter. When she comes into work it's as if someone has just turned on the light, and when she goes, part of me goes with her. I just love spending time with her.

However, yesterday was difficult. But not because of The Most Adorable Granddaughter.

Our centre caters to families from a wide cross-section of the community: two-parent families, single parent families, and teenage mums; professional parents, struggling-to-make-ends-meet parents, and still-in-study parents; indulgent parents, sticklers-for-routine parents, authoritarian parents, and discipline-is-not-in-our-vocabulary parents. But all are parents. A…

What Next?

Last weekend it was the oven that broke down. And the camera. Today it's the TV.

I don't know what we'll do about the TV. We don't watch a lot of TV (though we have been watching some of the Olympic Games) but we do like to watch DVD's. We've started going through our collection of Creation DVD's again but we can't do that with no TV.

On a good note, Son#1 fixed my oven. Well, sort of. He had a quick look at it the other day when he was here and realised that by switching some wires or something he could get my bake function to work but I'd lose the grill function. I hardly ever grill, so I was quite happy to make the sacrifice. We celebrated by having baked kumara for tea.

Sadly, I don't think my TV is going to be quite so easy to fix. Perhaps it's time to buy a new one. Now there's a novel idea! In over 24 years of marriage we've never bought a TV. We've either gone without (the best year in all our lives - just ask our sons!) or …

It's in the Genes

My mother tells the story of my maternal grandmother washing all the curtains in her house when the church members were meeting there for a prayer meeting. My mother always kept a tidy neat house but she couldn't understand why anyone would wash curtains prior to a prayer meeting. As she told it, everyone should've had their eyes closed anyway and the state of the house should have been the last thing on their minds.

I suspect I'm a little like my grandmother.

Our Bible Study group will be meeting in our home tomorrow afternoon and I've been running around trying to clean up. I couldn't just stick with the weekly chores. I also had to get rid of all the cobwebs hanging from the beams in my living room. I wish I felt well enough to attack the cobwebs in other rooms too. I know they're there, and that bothers me.

Anyway, our Bible Study group isn't coming here to judge my housekeeping skills (well they shouldn't be) but to study the Bible. It's just that…

Homesick

I hate it when this happens. I'm tired. I've had six hours sleep. I want more. I've been sick and I'm on antibiotics and I need my sleep. But I'm an early morning person and once I'm awake, that's usually it for me. After lying in bed staring up at the dark I realised that I wasn't going to get back to sleep.

So I'm here instead.

Last night was the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games. I didn't stay up and watch it since it was going to continue into the wee small hours of the morning and I needed my sleep. I didn't know when the Australians were going to be marching, but the New Zealanders were going to be toward the end. It was going to be a long night.

This is the fourth set of Games since we moved to New Zealand. We get coverage of the Games but from a New Zealand perspective. And when New Zealand gains a medal we see the winning race again and again and again (it's a small country and it doesn't usually win that many medals so th…

Greying Gracefully: To Dye or Not to Die

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No, it’s not a spelling mistake. With studies and articles pointing to the danger of hair dyes, it can literally come down to a life-and-death situation. Many of the chemicals in permanent hair dyes (especially the darker colours) have been linked to non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma, bladder cancer, breast cancer, childhood cancer (if used during or just prior to pregnancy) and rheumatoid arthritis. Why would anyone take the risk?

Because we’re women and there’s something inside each one of us that wants to be beautiful. In a society that’s dedicated to the worship of youth and beauty it’s difficult to go grey naturally and gracefully. I know of women who have done it and I admire them exceedingly. But I have to admit that it’s a personal struggle of mine at the moment and one I sometimes feel that I will never win. Grey hair is seen as ‘dull’ or ‘aging’. Worse still, those with grey hair can be accused of ‘letting themselves go’, being fashion ‘challenged’, or of just not caring. Such critici…

Stay Out of the Kitchen!

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Three lids but no containers. One container but no lid. This is the state of my kitchen cupboard (I figured that it's so messy anyway that a few green lines down the middle isn't going to affect the picture that much).

I went to work and left the cupboard like this. I told the boys that we'd clean it up this afternoon. What's that? Oh, they suddenly remembered they had hockey practice. Yeah right!
The mess is still sitting there. I'm working up the courage to attack it. It's not something I want to do.
Neither is cooking tea (the evening meal). Especially now that my oven has also gone kaput. DH seems to think we can survive without an oven until we renovate our kitchen. Knowing our track record with renovations, that could be years away!
Every woman I talk to understands that I cannot live without an oven. But my men can't see that it's a problem. Perhaps if they have to live on rice and vegetables for the next year or two they might change their minds! Es…

Is This Terminal?

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This will probably be the last photo I upload for a while unless it's to use some that I already have on file. This weekend our digital camera suddenly started to insert green lines on our photos where no green lines should be. Argh! This photo was taken sometime in the last month so it's not that old.

Friday was the first of the month and on the first of the month members of long hair boards measure their hair. Religiously. Except I didn't.

I measured mine on Saturday.

I wish I hadn't.

My hair hasn't grown half an inch like most people's hair does over a period of a month. It hasn't even grown a quarter of an inch. No my hair has decided to go backwards!

I did have a small (very small) trim last month so I have to take that into account but it's also obvious that I didn't get any growth at all last month to compensate otherwise I wouldn't be going backwards.

I haven't had regular growth since I hit waist. Before that I got a steady half inch (1.…

Abbreviations and Terms

A friend posted a Kiwi/American dictionary on his blog a while ago so I'm not going to double up on what he's translated. I will say though that while he's got a lot of it right, there are a few misconceptions. "G'day" is a common phrase that means "hello" but it's origin is Australian, not Kiwi. Ditto for "Good on ya!"

Some other common words and phrases that might require translation:

Aussie = Australian

Dinner = a hot lunch as in Christmas dinner or Sunday dinner. However Thanksgiving Dinner (the same friend introduced us to an American Thanksgiving) is the evening meal.

Esky = chilly bin = picnic cooler

Fair dinkum = True, absolutely. If it's asked as a question as in Fair dinkum? it means Is that true? (I have a friend who says I say this a lot but I've never heard myself saying it yet).

Flat = dead as in My battery's flat or This torch [flashlight] is flat.

Fringe = bangs

Kiwi = New Zealander. Also the flightless bird that is…

Introducing the Family Part 7: DIL#1

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Today we saw Son#1 and DIL#1 off on the train. They're heading up north to pick up a vehicle they've just bought and will drive it home tomorrow. Meanwhile we have the joy of looking after The Most Adorable Granddaughter for a WHOLE weekend!

DH and I know just how blessed we are with our family. Not only do we have five wonderful sons but we now have a beautiful DIL and of course, The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World (who is meant to be going to sleep right now).

DIL#1 first entered our lives about six years ago. She belonged to a group of friends that Sons#1 and #2 hung around with, and within a few months, Son#1 had fallen hard. I don't think he's ever fully recovered!

DIL#1 was not raised in a Christian home but committed her life to Christ some time in her early teens. I had the privilege of leading DIL#1 and her mother through a study on baptism and saw them baptised on the same day along with DIL's brother. We're still praying for DIL#1's father…