Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wedding 1 2018

On Saturday 5th May, we attended the lovely and very joyful wedding of Bethany and Joel in Albany. Both the ceremony and the reception were on a farm in a shed that has been specifically converted and hired out for weddings. Beth went to our church until recently, and she was an absolute godsend last year after my surgery. She stayed at our house several nights a week, helped with the boys, drove me to town, and was fabulous company.

It was just an all round beautiful day.







Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Upsetting the Happy Apple Cart

We said goodbye to Shadow the weekend before last. Sadly, it just wasn't working out. Gypsy kept attacking him (she now seems to dislike all other dogs, except Maya), he was too rough and hyper for the boys and they were terrified of him, I tried to train him, but was having no success and there are no dog training classes available locally. At times, it felt like I was running a prison exercise yard - the boys would stay inside while the dogs where in the yard, because they were too terrified to go outside with Shadow, then the dogs would go back into their yard while the boys came outside to play. The logistics were a nightmare. Plus I'd be constantly yelling at Gypsy to leave Shadow alone.

Duncan contacted Shadow's former owner to let him know it wasn't working out, and if he'd like to find another home for him. He found a new owner in Fitzroy Crossing, of all places. When I heard where he was going, my first thought was, I hope he's not going to drunken deros who already have fifty half-starved dogs. Thankfully, she is a 50-year-old teacher and apparently is a lovely lady. Shadow's former owner picked him up and took him to Perth to be flown to Fitzroy Crossing. No doubt it will be a bit of a temperature change, but I hope he'll be very happy in his new home.

Sometimes doing the right thing still hurts.

I'll miss you, Shadow. Have a wonderful life.

Flynn was braver around Shadow when
Shadow was occupied with a bone.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Get On Your Soapbox #31

This one is for the stay-at-home mums....

I'm totally over the obsession with encouraging mums to work from home. I've lost count of the number of times I've been told I should do party plan. I just don't sell things! I'm hopeless at at. If you've ever been convinced to buy something because I recommended it, please let me know as I'm extremely sceptical I have any gifting in that area.

I've been told that I need to do something for myself, and that setting up a home-based business is the way to do it. It's marketed as the ideal lifestyle, that you can spend time with your kids while working and contributing to the family income, that you can fit work around family.

I remain completely resistant to the idea and it doesn't show the other side.

You see, if really pushed, some WAHMs (work at home mums) admit that it isn't easy.  It's a juggling act. You can't be working and spending time with your kids AT THE SAME TIME. It usually involves mums on their phones, promoting whatever they're selling via social media, while they're kids play in the park. That's not spending time WITH your kids. Other mums have admitted they do get stressed to meet sales targets, or to go out and do parties or demos, you need to find someone to babysit. The trouble with part-time work is that there are no set hours; it's easy for it to overtake your family time and harder to set boundaries. Often people work until stupid o'clock at night, trying to get everything done. Or they have to palm their kids off to the grandies to get everything done.

I've been there, I've tried it before. It didn't work. It's really hard. I'd rather have less income and a tighter budget and more sanity. I already 'do stuff for myself' on Tuesdays while Flynn's at daycare and Rory's at school.

It's different when you have school-aged kids. You have regular time alone to do it. But with toddlers and babies, it's a nightmare.

I get that it does work for some. Maybe they have really easy kids who like to play alone?

So, why am I ranting about it?

Well, I just think some people should be more honest. It's not what it's cracked up to be. No mum can do it all at once. There are different seasons of life. Being a stay-at-home mum is valuable in itself, and you don't need a pay packet on top of that.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Brewster the Rooster

It took a while, but we have secured a new ruler for Cluckingham Palace after Solomon's passing.

You see, we had to wait to find out if a young chicken, owned by another family on the farm, was indeed a rooster. Brewster the Rooster was hatched from an egg we brought back from Duncan's parents' farm (his father is their handsome Rhode Island Red rooster) - one of only two eggs that hatched out of nine. After his 'deep clucking', long legs and tail feathers started to indicate he was not a hen, I picked Brewster up and brought him home to his new wives.

Brewster (named by Rory) has started to settle in. At first, he was very shy and his wives treated him more like a naughty grandson than a husband. But now he stands his ground, has started to fill out and become less 'leggy' (although maybe it's just his winter feathers), and sees me as a bringer of food, and not an enemy.

He is a fine young cockerel, who did his first crow last week. Duncan is eyeing him off for the pot, but he is all talk.



What are you looking at?
The TV show he was named after.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Aunt Polly in the Church

Hands up if you've seen the 1960 version of the movie, Pollyanna, starring Hayley Mills (the best and ONLY version in my book).

Some of the scenes which have taken on new meaning as I became a Christian and gotten older are the ones where Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman) tells Reverend Ford (Karl Malden) what to preach on. It becomes clear that Aunt Polly is part of the Harrington dynasty - a family ruling over the small town named after them. Despite Pollyanna declaring, "She doesn't own the church," it is clear that Reverend Ford is only a figurehead.

 If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you've probably come across an Aunt Polly or two in your congregation - those who are not official leaders, yet have an enormous influence. At church meetings, they announce that they aren't happy with something and use their family ties to try to change it to their liking. "My grandfather started this church," they moan, "Or I started this church."

Well, so what? What does that make you? A queen?

Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He gifts and appoints some to be pastors, teachers and elders, but these people are there to lead His church for HIS glory and the good of His people. Not to get their own way.

I rejoiced at the look of horror on Aunt Polly's face in church when Reverend Ford gets up to the pulpit and DOESN'T preach what she wants him to.

Image from here

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

5 More Movie Scenes Which Made Me Cry

Here are my first five (way back in 2010):

1. Philomena
Philomena's son Anthony is taken away from her.

Image from here

2. Pollyanna (1960 version)
The whole town comes to see Pollyanna after her accident.

Image from here


3. Marley and Me
Marley dies.




4. The Neverending Story
Artax sinks into the swamp of sadness.




5. Bambi
Bambi's mother is shot.



Friday, April 13, 2018

Double Figures


We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary yesterday.

It's amazing to think my blog has recorded all of it (and before).

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

5 More Scary Movie Villains

Check out my first five and my second five. I couldn't resist adding five more:

1.Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in The Shining

Image from here

2. Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg) in Ghostbusters II

Image from here

3. The killers (it's that horrible mask) in Scream

Image from here

4. Gmork (Alan Oppenheimer) in The Neverending Story

Image from here


5. The Skeksis in The Dark Crystal

Image from here

Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday Funny

Happy Friday! These give me a chuckle:






Tuesday, April 03, 2018

More Than A Carpenter

This is the last of the evangelistic books I'll review this Easter.

Josh McDowell was a hard-headed sceptical university student when, confronted with the evidence, surrendered his life to Jesus in 1959. Since then he's been speaking on university campuses in the US, trying to persuade others of the truth of the gospel.

This is a book for your sciency friends, the ones who like to argue and debate, the academic ones. Whereas A Hell of a Life is more for your average, everyday Aussie, More Than A Carpenter will resonate more with those who want proof.

That's one of the key points of the book - Christianity is a not a blind faith. So many people demand proof and scoff that it can't be proved by science. Well, not everything CAN be proved by science. But they can be proved by history, by reliable documentation of the past. Nobody alive today was around when Queen Elizabeth I reigned, but we all believe she existed. How? We believe the accounts of those who were there and recorded it for us.

Josh McDowell's evidence-based approach is balanced with his own moving testimony at the end. You can mock Jesus, but He changes lives.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Quote of the Day

At this point, many people ask the question, "Why couldn't God just forgive?"
An executive of a large corporation said, "My employees often do something, break something, and I just forgive them." Then he added, "Are you trying to tell me I can do something that God can't do?"
People fail to realise that wherever there is forgiveness, there's a payment. For example, let's say my daughter breaks a lamp in my home. I'm a loving and forgiving father, so I put her on my lap, and I hug her and I say, "Don't cry, honey. Daddy loves you and forgives you."
Now usually the person I tell that story to says, "Well, that's what God ought to do."
Then I ask the question, "Who pays for the lamp?" The fact is, I do. There's always a price in forgiveness. Let's say somebody insults you in front of others and later you graciously say, "I forgive you" Who bears the price of the insult? You do.
This is what God has done. God has said, "I forgive you." But He was willing to pay the price Himself through the cross.
- Josh McDowell in his book, More Than a Carpenter (pages 115-6)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Hell of a Life

This is one book I'd recommend to the Average Joe wanting to find out more about Jesus.

John Dickson writes in a very down-to-earth way, as if one might when talking to a mate. He uses plenty of analogies to make his point. Although the book is a bit outdated (it was written in the 1990s and refers to Madonna and Michael Jordan as the big superstars of the time), it still manages to convey its message that Jesus is bigger than any celebrity. He's had more books written about Him, more websites dedicated to Him...and it was His life that defined the modern calendar. At the end of the book, there are testimonies from people from all walks of life, saying what Jesus means to them and how we can trust Him, too.

It's Dickson's own testimony that really resonates. Raised in a single parent, non-Christian home, it was his Scripture teacher in high school that made a big influence on the self-confessed ratbag teenager and his mates.

This book shows the real Jesus, recorded in the gospels - not the love and peace, robe-wearing hippie that many people tend to think He is.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Quote of the Day

An atheist once said to me, "Why doesn't your God come and physically show himself to us?"
I replied, "He did. And they nailed Him on a cross."
- Ken Ham

Monday, March 26, 2018

Harmony

It was an odd type of concert to be going to - Eskimo Joe teaming up with the WA Symphony Orchestra.  The result? A night of absolutely amazing music at the Perth Concert Hall last month.

There were two types of people in the audience - those (like my friend Sarah and I) who would go to see Eskimo Joe and those who would see WASO. I think everyone would have come away appreciating both types of music.



Monday, March 19, 2018

5 Hopes For 2018

It's mid March already, so I'd better post this. Here goes nothin'.....

1. Press on with my dream of becoming a published author. I plan to submit short stories to competitions to hopefully build my writing 'resume', as well as not give up on getting my novel published.

2. Start riding my bike.

3. Build my fitness. I've already been swimming laps at the local pool on my childfree day once a week (man, I'm unfit). When the pool closes for winter (it's an outdoor pool), I'm going to go to Zumba once a week.

4. Go hardcore on DIY projects. I'm in the middle of fixing up my verandah railing (cutting off old wire, sanding, repainting, and putting up new wire). Then I hope to paint the verandah surface with some non-slip stuff I saw in Bunnings. Our verandah gets terribly slippery when wet, and despite my continued warnings, the little fellows run on it, slip over and hit their heads. After that, my scungy outside laundry needs repainting, as well as some of the doorframes and window frames inside the house.

5. Make a serious dent in the huge pile of unread books next to my bed, on my shelves, in my bookcase, and in the drawers of my bedside table. I love books, but I feel like I'm drowning in them (note to self: STOP BUYING BOOKS). Those that I don't like will either be sold, given away, or placed in my in-laws' Perth house (where we stay when in Perth) for other guests to read.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bible Verse of the Day

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Forging a Real World Faith

It took a while for me to put into words what this book was about. At times it seems disjointed and disconnected, but at the end, everything really clicks into place.

It's about how to live as a Christian in the real world - beyond the church, beyond the 'safety' of any Christian gathering.

What we can do to sharpen our faith, like a refiner of silver. This takes guts and effort.

Our responsibility to grow our faith, and not remain stagnant.

Gordon MacDonald frequently examines the life of Daniel in the Bible, as the example of someone who made a real impact on the culture without compromising his faith in God.

It's a challenging book, but a bit dry in parts. The use of the term 'self-mastery' throughout irked me, until I realised he meant self-discipline. I think it falls short a bit on God's grace and the power of the Spirit in changing us (it's not all up to us).  Possibly a bit more balance was needed here. But it's worth a read, and for those Christians living in a bubble (it's easy to do), it's good shake-up.


Thursday, March 08, 2018

How Social Media Ruins Friendships

I'm sure I could easily come up with at least 10 reasons why social media is beneficial for friendships, but my experiences over the past five months with Facebook and friendships have left me shaken, anxious, paranoid, angry and bitter. I won't go too deeply into the events that caused this reaction (you never know who is reading after all....although part of me wants to just put it all out there), but enough so you know what has caused this extreme reaction.

I've written about this briefly before, but in early October last year, I went to message a friend and my heart leaped as I saw the 'Add Friend' button on her profile. Since I consider this person a 'real life' friend, I messaged her via Messenger, asking what I'd done wrong. I considered maybe her kids had been playing with her phone, until I got the dreaded message. Yes, she'd done it. The reason? She 'didn't agree with some things I post'. I asked her to elaborate. This isn't someone from high school who I haven't seen in 18 years, so it could make any in-person encounters awkward. Last year I posted about how it's usual habit for many Facebook users to unfriend anyone who disagrees with them on anything! I tried to recall if I'd shared any controversial political articles recently. I eventually learned the reason.

I was unfriended because I was sick.

Yep, it was because I posted about this incident.

Then I was re-added by this person a couple of months later as if her actions hadn't had any effect on me at all! She knew I'd been upset about it, but I didn't mention the extent. That whole saga about being in hospital with abdominal pain meant I lost more than just my health temporarily. My parents didn't believe me and acted like it was a massive inconvenience for them, and now a friend of mine had unfriended me because they just didn't want to know (they said they cared too much, but I would never turn my back on a friend in need, even if I was worried about them). I even asked some other friends of mine (not mentioning this person's name) and they thought it was very weird behaviour.

So I still have a yucky taste in my mouth months later and I'm wary about what I post. But then the rebel in me, declares, Who cares what they think!
  • There is no Facebook/real life divide when it comes to friendships. I'm sick of people behaving waaay differently on social media to how they would in real life. If you're rude to me online, that affects our real-life friendship. I'm not just going to forget about what you said because you forgot I'm a real person behind a computer screen. I've seen people write, I'm doing a massive friend cull on FB, getting rid of negative people in my life, then declare that they still want to be real-life friends with the people they unfriended, and not understand why those people were hostile. Ummm yep, it IS personal, buddy. You shafted them out of 500 people and wonder why they're pissed off. And if they're so 'negative' online (which is usually code for they don't agree with everything their friend says or does), why do you still want them in your life?
  • If you're unfriending someone because you're jealous, then YOU'RE the one with the problem. Unfriending/unfollowing someone you're jealous of won't solve the problem, because it's raised heart issues for you that you need to deal with.
  • If someone wants to post 'personal' things, let them. If they want to post often, let them. I've heard people complain, "Mary posts so much on Facebook,". Well, how do you know Mary posts a lot unless you're always on there reading it?
  •  I've had enough of women using Facebook to be bitchy and exclusive. I get sick of seeing mutual friends post stuff about being 'best friends' with someone and liking one person's every post, while completely ignoring other people.
  • If you're don't like or are not interested in what someone else posts, just scroll on by. Unless you're really concerned about this person and what they're posting, just let it go. People like different things. Get over it! Life would be pretty boring if everyone was interested in the same things.

Related posts:
Fakebook
Facebook 'Friends'
Facebook Etiquette 
Faceless

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Maya is 10

Maya dog turned 10 yesterday.

I couldn't have asked for a better first dog.

Loyal, faithful, gentle and true, she has grown from a timid puppy who used to wet herself in fright, to a wonderful old girl.

I will get her a big bone the next time I visit the butcher.


Friday, March 02, 2018

Quote of the Day

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
- Dita Von Teese

Thursday, March 01, 2018

My Snuggle Monster

His love language is definitely physical touch.

It wasn't just the fourth trimester. He continues to love his cuddles....and I love mine from him, too.




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Five Love Languages of Children

This is another book a friend lent me. It is the children's version of Gary Chapman's bestseller among the Christian and secular world alike - The Five Love Languages. I have the original book, but it is another one that's been sitting in my bookcase, waiting patiently to be read (I'm hoping to read it with Duncan one day). Even so, I consider myself quite well acquainted with the love languages - physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. The idea is that we give and receive love in different ways, so that while we may think we're being loving to someone, they may not feel loved, because we aren't speaking their love language. We usually have a primary love language, although often enjoy giving and receiving using more than one. Just as we need to speak our spouse's love language, we also need to with our children.

There were a few things I learned/were reiterated from this book:
  • A child's primary love language often changes. At the moment, I think Rory's receiving love language is quality time and Flynn's is physical touch.
  •  If their behaviour is not great, it is often because their emotional needs through their love language are not being met. We need to fill their 'emotional tanks' with love.
  • Using someone else's love language might not come naturally to us (because we have a different love language), but we need to persevere.
  • If you aren't sure of your child's love language, you should observe them carefully and ask them questions which may show which way they're wired. For example, for a five-year-old (Rory's age), I might ask, "Would you like for me to bake you an apple pie (acts of service) or for us to take a walk in the park (quality time)?" "Would you rather wrestle (physical touch) or read a story together (quality time)?" "While I am out of town for two days, would you rather I bring you a present (gift) or write you a poem about what a wonderful boy you are (words of affirmation)?" (pages 111-12)
  • When you keep your child's love tank full with unconditional love, you will be able to discipline them with the best results. For example, if a child's love language is quality time, punishing them by isolating them may crush their sense of being loved.
I felt some of the book was a bit guilt-trippy in places, and this is something most parents don't need as we are sincerely doing our best in this very tough gig. There is a chapter about anger (which I struggle with). Overall, I felt as if this book was mainly what I already know.

Monday, February 19, 2018

It Will Pass

This makes me sad:

I won't always cry, Mummy, 
When you leave the room,
And my supermarket tantrums
Will end too soon.

I won't always wake, Daddy,
For cuddles through the night,
And one day will miss
Having a chocolate face to wipe.
You won't always wake to find my foot
Is kicking you out of bed,
Or find me sideways on your pillow,
Where you want to lay your head.
You won't always have to carry me
In asleep from the car,
Or piggy back me down the road,
When my little legs can't walk that far.
So, cherish every cuddle,
Remember them all.
One day, Mummy,
I won't be this small.
- Unknown

 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Five Year Re-enactment

Surely it cannot be five years since I had my first precious cuddles as a new mum?
 

Alas, it is.  My big boy celebrated his fifth birthday on the 19th January.

Since we were away at the time, he had a couple of parties - one with family and friends in Dunsborough, and a low-key barbecue in Perth.  Plus there was a very exciting trip to Scitech on his birthday. He and Flynn both threw tantrums when it was time to leave - partly because they were having so much fun, and partly because the lights and noise were overstimulating.


He wanted a dinosaur cake, so I made him 'Stella Stegosaurus'
the Australian Women's Weekly cake book.


Scitech



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Annual Leave is Almost Gone

Duncan took three weeks off after harvest finished just before New Year. We spent a few days in Albany, just under a week in Dunsborough, and a week in Perth.  He also spent just shy of a week at home, assembling our new chook house.

That's most of the annual leave gone now. A great time was had by all, though.


Flynn enjoying the swings in Albany


The customary ride on Grandma's gopher
I took Flynn to a play centre in Perth to catch up with one of
my friends from the Mother Baby Unit and her daughter
Kings Park