Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My lovely mother-in-law went home to glory last night after a long illness.  Things might be pretty quiet blog-wise for a little while.  See you in a bit.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

International Downs Syndrome Day

I missed International Downs Syndrome Day yesterday.  But Gary didn't and he posted this awesome video which (though I obviously steal all my best stuff from Gary and ought to be ashamed of myself) is too beautiful not to repost.  Enjoy, possibly with tissues if you are a cry-er like me.

Imperfect friends

I had someone tell me this week, “You are a good friend.” 


I could argue that point.

I am of course actually a frequently forgetful, self-centred friend. I regularly find myself so engrossed in a conversation with a visitor that I make a cup of tea in front of them and begin to drink it and forget to ask them if they’d like one! Truly! That’s happened three times this year already. I often let people down. I often prefer my needs above others. Sometimes, I confess to my shame, I am even glad to see others fail because it makes me look good. There’s lots of ways I am not a good friend, although some days I manage to do okay.

Imperfect creatures that we are, we will not get it right all the time. However, I can think back on many times in my life when I’ve been wounded or burdened and a friend has come alongside and been that encouraging voice that lifted my head and helped me to press on just that little bit further to the other side of whatever stretch of trial I was going through. So thankful for those people. So grateful for those words, those actions, those prayers. What a blessing they were to me!

In reflecting on this meeting of needs by imperfect friends, my heart turned to this thought: how much more so Jesus. If my friends are with me in a trial, how much more so is Jesus? When I am grateful that others have not forgotten my sorrow, how much more so has Jesus kept me close to his heart? When others have prayed when I no longer knew how, how much more so has Jesus spoken on my behalf (Romans 8:34)? When others have meet needs and brought food and carried burdens, how much more has Jesus promised to carry those loads I just can’t bear (Matthew 11:27-29)?

So, thank you, dear friend, who spoke those kind words. They were an encouragement to me. And let me offer some encouragement in return: if I have been a friend, how much more so Jesus! Praying for you and your not-very-well little fellow. Love, Deb.

Language is a wonderful thing

10 Cool Words That Don
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Friday, March 21, 2014

And I'll be my brother's keeper

The recorder

Dear Junior music teacher,

You are doing a great job teaching my child music.  But please know that in our house, the practising of Ode to Joy on the recorder at 8 in the morning is, quite frankly, an oxymoron.

Yours in squeaky patience,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I can't watch Q & A much

If I watch Q & A too long, I inevitably end up shouting at the telly.  It doesn't do me any good in terms of trying to wind down to go to bed so I avoid it.  But occasionally, I watch a snippet if I am flicking channels.  On Monday night, I caught about 2 minutes.  I couldn't watch any more because of the urge to shout, but I did manage to catch this exchange:

BILLY BRAGG: No. No. No. But the very fact that he is trying to engage with the world as it is, rather than the spiritual temporal world inside the Vatican, I think that's very positive for Christianity because I think in a modern society - I mean, you mentioned the number of people who are more Christians - becoming Christians. That's certainly not true in western Europe. Christianity is declining in British society. It's falling away. Church attendances are falling away in a phenomenal rate.

MIROSLAV VOLF: Not in London.

BILLY BRAGG: Well, the people in London tend to be Africans in the churches in London. There’s a big - you know, there’s a big...

MIROSLAV VOLF: Go to HTB in London and you will see a vibrant - vibrant, very educated churches.

BILLY BRAGG: But for a religious figure to engage with the elements of Christianity as preached by Christ in the New Testament, you know, the Christ who threw the money lenders out of the temple, that kind of Christianity, I think, still resonates with a lot of people. If the Pope is going to talk about equality, not just humility, then I think, you know, that is a genuine, positive thing for people of all faith. 

 Now here's the thing (the thing that led to the urge to become shouty).  Did he not just insinuate that the growth in church attendance in London does not count because those people are "African"?  In other words, it's not a real growth in Christianity because people of African descent either don't really count as Londoners or aren't really "British society". I'm not sure why he thinks Africans don't count.  Maybe he's trying to suggest that in a "modern society" Christianity is declining except amongst people whose cultures are different from the majority.

I've heard that argument in different forms so many times.  Someone will say, "Oh, most people don't believe in God anymore. Christianity is declining."  And then you say, "Well, actually in terms of numbers, it's growing,"  and then they'll say, "Oh, yes but only in places like China and Africa."  What is implied is that they don't really hold the same status as a Western believer because they aren't something (clever, modern, sophisticated?) enough to make a rational decision about faith.

I can't believe that someone can make such a statement about cultural superiority and get away with it!  And no one seemed to pick up on the fact that he'd just said, "Well, the people in London tend to be Africans in the churches in London.  There's a big- you know,..."  A big what?  Difference????  How rude!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Googling: totally a verb.  It's my go-to habit for all things medical (don't judge me), historical and locational.  If I can't Google it, it's not worth knowing.  But there's good Googling and bad Googling.  And there are lots of clever tricks for improving your Googling.  This infographic is awesome and will improve your Googling success rate by at least 73% (totally made-up random number).

But on a serious note, I learnt how to specify a type of file (like pdf) and how to specify time frames etc.  Very useful tips.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Climbing trees

One of my children scored the first broken bone in our family today.  Fell out of a tree.  Right arm.  Waiting to hear the rest when my husband gets home from emergency.  You just never know what a Saturday might bring.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Soft-toy semi-circle of emotional support

Jerry Seinfeld on modern parenting - skip and start at 3.50 and finish at 5mins.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I don't think I'd last long in Japan as a mother.  Certainly not if my lunchbox creativity was the test.  The bar for lunchboxes is set way, way higher over there.  Would you take a class in how to make cartoon characters out of rice?  Have a look.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Costello on parenting

Episode image
Being interviewed for Family Confidential on the ABC, Tim Costello said the following:

"My children rarely did what I told them.  Interestingly, they've ended up doing what I do.  And I think every parent should take heart from that."

It certainly encouraged me today.