Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hey, Ben, you could integrate your coffee table and your bonsai.

From here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nose to the grindstone

I've had two days back at work this week.  A lot is new to me even though I've taught at this school before. I've never taught Year 12 before and I'm working with a whole stack of new people and living in a new office and grappling with a new course.  Yikes!

That said, it's been a really pleasant couple of days.  That might possibly be because there are no students yet and so I haven't actually had to teach or mark anything so far.  Come Monday and it'll all be on for young and old.

My first lesson with my new class is a triple (3 periods) - two and a quarter hours of Philosophy with yours truly.  A baptism of fire for us all.  If I haven't resigned by Monday afternoon, then I guess the year will pan out okay.

Meanwhile, this is what stands out from the last couple of days:

* I like my job.
* I like the people I work with a great deal.
* I'm really proud of the way our school operates.
* Moving the home economics room into temporary accommodation makes everything crazy.
* The first staff day back each year takes off 2 more years of life from the poor IT guys.
* Schools love forms.  We have a form for everything.  Everything.

And the other thing that stands out from today is the Year 11 & 12 meeting where they reported on last year's results and tertiary entrance scores.  We did great and all that.  But the big cheer came when the Year 12 coordinator said, "Every student was offered a tertiary place of some kind, even ____."  I found it really touching that the staff were most excited about how all the students went, not just the high achievers, and particularly cared about the achievement of a student that had struggled.  It wasn't till sometime later they also mentioned who got into medicine.  These are good folk who really love their students.  I'm proud to teach alongside them.

Enough with the soppiness now.  Back to Nietzsche.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Boys will be boys

all for the boys

If you have little men in your house, All for the Boys is a great blog to visit. Piles of crafts and activities to get their energy buzzing in good ways.  Truth be told, most young girls would have a ball doing the same things.  However, it can be hardly to find crafts that appeal to boys and this site really taps into stuff boys like.  Just a resource I thought I'd share.


This NZ company makes excellent jam.  I'm deeply in love with this particular choice.  Available at Woolworths.  Very much like homemade.  They make chutneys too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

From whom all blessings flow

A late addition to today's thankfulness: my dear friend gave birth to a precious baby boy today.  Not my story to tell except to say it's been an extraordinarily complicated and difficult pregnancy and I'm so thankful this little fellow is in the world.  Hooray!

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today, I’m thankful for today - this day.  Don't know what's coming tomorrow.  But I know it's not my job to worry about it just now.  Prepare for it maybe, but not worry.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own (said a really wise guy called Jesus).

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 am

At the moment I'm getting up at 5 am on weekdays.

The cat doesn't even get up that early.

I know it sounds crazy, but there is method in my madness.  A few years ago, when I was trying to finish writing a Sunday School curriculum with young children still at home, I found it was the only way I could get my writing done and off to the editor.  Night time did not work because my brain refused to cooperate after 7 pm.  Then the writing was finished and I went back to normal life.

Since then, I've still tried to get up at least half an hour before the kids.  If I get up before the kids, and get a cup of tea and orient myself to the fact that I'm now awake and have a day in front of me, then I am much more civilized when the children begin their morning.  Otherwise, I'm not so pleasant.

However, this year is looking daunting.  In a moment of sheer madness, I consented to take on a new and challenging teaching role.  Nothing else seems to have slackened off to compensate (I might need to note for future reference that nothing ever just "slackens off" unless you actually do something about it) and I have no idea how part-time work will actually work out in practice for our family.

Deep breaths.  Calm blue ocean.

Hence the 5 am starts.  The getting up has been so far less painful than I remember from the last time I did it.  But then it's not winter yet.  However, I'm finding a have another problem later in the day.  At about 12.30 pm, I have this overwhelming need to nap.  The kind that just takes you off to your bedroom and plonks your head on your pillow with your shoes still on hanging over the side of the bed.  So I lose maybe an hour there by the time I nap and wake up properly.  The hour after that, I'm a bit groggy and not at full steam.  So that's two hours all up.  If I'm going to lose two hours of productivity at lunchtime, does that then cancel out the two hours pre-dawn?  It's a worrying thought.

I haven't given it enough time to be sure of it's value yet.  So let's see how we go in another couple of months.  I'm concerned about my willpower dropping off and the temptation to hit snooze.  But I have a back up plan for that.  If I get too lazy, I'm going to try this method.  Pure unadulterated motivation.

So any of you super-early risers?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Dear Blog,
I know I've been neglecting you.  I will write again after I have written my curriculum and sent the kids back to school.  Hang in there, Blog.  You are still my favourite way to waste spend the day.
Love from your faithful owner.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A present

Just received this huge book from my kind husband.  Very excited. I did a fair bit of war history at uni and I love collections, artefacts and museums.  Oh happy day.

Australian War Memorial - author signed copy

Friday, January 18, 2013

I don't mind reading Satre

... but reading Nietzsche is painful.

I have three problems with him:

1. his sentences are strangely constructed (even allowing for translation)
2. his style of argument is unusual and at times very hard to follow and
3. I happen to disagree with much of what he says.

The last is the least of my worries.  The first two irritate me no end.

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today I’m thankful for my new job preparation starting to come together.  Honestly, at the start of this week, I was starting to panic.  I was reading and working and trying to make sense of everything and still not sure of where I was going.  I'm not finished yet, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to welcome a new minister

Our new minister arrives this week.  Meanwhile, Simone has been moving to Cairns, and my brother-in-law has been taking up his first parish in outback NSW.  So there's a lot of church welcoming going on in my little world.  To this end, I give you the The Ten Commandments for Welcoming a New Pastor.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today I’m thankful for old friends.  I'd lived in 13 houses by the time I was 13 and had a different school for every year of primary education.  I never saw myself as the kind of person who would end up with "old friends".  Yet here I am.  Yesterday, a delightful "old" friend dropped in for morning tea.  What a blessing.  Two of my oldest (in years of friendship, not age) are in the same country as me at the moment after years of living overseas. And some of my "new" friends have been around so long now...that they are really "old" friends.  Oh what joy!  And unexpected too.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gift idea

This was the surprise hit of our Christmas presents this year.  It's a kit that allows you to use loops and a square loom to weave potholders.  The loops are like giant stretchy hairbands and come in brilliant colours.  It was given to our nearly 9-year old and she had a ball with it.  However, our nearly 7-year old boy eventualy stole the kit and made a couple of potholders of his own.  The instructions are easy and the whole project comes together very fast.  It's a great craft project for kids who don't yet have the stamina for more long-term projects like a cross-stitch kit.  I'm planning on buying a couple more kits for our present tub.  I paid too much instore for my kit but they are easily and more cheaply obtained here at the for about $16.  And you can also buy refills of the loops.  I'd say an age-range of 6 - 11 years.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ABC Splash

The ABC has launched a new educational website that is a worth a visit if you have kids kicking around your place at the moment.  Called Splash, it's focused on educational clips and games.  While ABC2 and ABC3 have content that is geared towards the programs they are showing, Splash is a mish-mash of clips mainly drawn from it's ABC for Schools programmes like BTN and For the Juniors.  Some areas of the site are light on content right now as it's only in its beginning stages but I think we can expect a host of things to be loaded over the rest of this year.  But there's quite a lot of interesting stuff to play around with already for junior primary kids.  My preschooler was able to enjoy himself on a couple of games because there's an audio option for non-readers.  I can see it be a useful resource for school assignments in the future too.  So click on over.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Socrates (in the spirit of New Year resolutions)

He is not only idle who does nothing, but he is idle who might be better employed.
Ouch.  Harsh, Socrates, harsh.

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today I’m thankful for too many things to choose just one.  We had our 15th wedding anniversary this week.  Thankful for being married to such a wonderful husband.  My parents-in-law are both spending the weekend home at their own house for the first time in over two months and my mother-in-law's health is continuing to slowly improve.  My friend's difficult pregnancy has stabilized somewhat and the prospects are becoming more hopeful by the day.  I spent all day today studying for my new job and remembered that I love my work and God is so good to give me more of it to do.  And I have friends coming over to play Settlers of Catan tonight.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I really want to blog

...but I can't because I have to start reading instead.

No points for guessing what Year 12 subject constitutes my new job.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The loud music I don't mind so much

But the VERY large fireworks being set off next door are another matter.  Not happy.

And, yes, I am blogging at 12:22 in the morning.  Funny that.