Showing posts from February, 2011


Here are some fairly unformed thoughts about busyness.  It's a pretty common belief that it is possible for us to control how we manage our time, but I quietly wonder if it is not all that straightforward. Here's my theory.

There are different types of busyness in my mind.  The first category is the busyness that is 'self-imposed'.  Busyness that I choose - knowing that it will make me busy but I have control over the choice.  I cope the best with this kind of busyness.  This includes commitments that are energising even if they fill up a lot of my time (eg. work/uni study).  I can also choose to add to or reduce this type of busyness fairly easily - the control is significant in the way I'm impacted by this busyness I suspect.

Another category is the 'shoulds' - things I should do because I feel they are the right thing to do with my time.  They aren't as energising, even though I do have some control over them.  It often involves pushing myself to do …

been a bit quiet ... in blogland but not real life

Apologies for my silence, but it has been a crazy week.  Do you  want to know why? Well, possibly not, but hey, it's my blog after all!

Sunday - church (on creche), couple from Rowan's work for lunch, Bible study, Aidan to a new youth group (liked it - yay!)

Monday - gym at 6am, No 3 child to choir at 8am, school drop-off, playgroup, shopping, lunch, school pick-up, homework, dinner, husband out until late.

Tuesday - gym at 6am, school drop-off, hang out washing, scripture, lunch, cooked food for nights I'm at work, school pick-up, pick-up child from sports training at 4pm, take her to kid's club at church, pick her up at 5pm, go to open night at local high school, followed by band info night at primary school, dinner about 8.30pm

Wednesday - wake up at 6.30am to wake up No 2 child so she can be at school for 7.30am band, everyone else to school by 8.30am, off to work, got upset at work (oh dear - first time in 5 months), back home at 7.08 pm (other things happened without…

Great book news for those with reluctant readers

I'm very excited to have found another series of books like the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series.  I'm often asked if there are other books like them (which are hugely popular among boys in Year 3 and 4 - for many of them, these are the only books they've read recently).  I've often asked myself, as a children's librarian, if there are any other books like them.

The books are called 'Big Nate:  In a class by himself' and 'Big Nate strikes again' by Lincoln Peirce.  Big Nate was originally a comic strip published in the New York Times.  Another book is due out in August 2011.  They are very similar to 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' - have that level of irreverence and naughtiness that appeals to this age group.  Big Nate also has an island on Poptropica - the popular online game for this age group.  Lincoln Peirce was apparently a hero of Jeff Kinney's (author of 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid') and Kinney has always looked up to him.

So if y…

Cooking with Kids

The title of this post probably gets you all excited at the prospect of some brand new ideas for cooking with your children.  Or not.  Perhaps it just makes you feel a little unwell, and then guilty because you  don't actually like cooking with your children.
Well, folks, if you're in the latter group, I'm right on there in it with you.
I know I should like it.  It's one of those "Good Mother" type of activities (like craft) but I find it stressful.  Especially with the preschooler who loves it but then makes a giant mess and so 'cooking' ends up taking me 10 times longer than it would have if I had done it on my own.  I try to limit her contribution to 'putting the patty cake cases into the muffin tin' but this is starting to not cut it (see photo).  On the weekend I let her use the electric beaters and put the mixture into the cases, so I don't think there's any way of retreating back to the less messy options now.
I have offered 'r…

Life with less screens

Here's an update on a fortnight with significantly reduced screen time.
Children numbers 2, 3, and 4 have suffered little withdrawal.  They have happily replaced screen time with a giant weekend long, Lego fest (see the photo), books, a two-hour Monopoly marathon, and lots of imaginary play.  Two of the kids went on a long bike-ride yesterday with Rowan - in the rain - quite an adventure.  There's just more time - they aren't trying to fit in all their Wii/TV/screen turns.
However ... the number 1, almost a teenager, child, is having some struggles and is politely protesting with well articulated arguments.  He and his friends at school have been discussing strategies to convince us to modify this 'radical, oppressive, overprotective' crackdown!  I respect a well thought out argument - we may modify it for him, to show that we're listening to him and willing to compromise.
The number 5 child is struggling too.  She gets tired so screen time is an easy fall back po…

Why go to church?

There are some Sundays when I don't want to go to church.  I feel tired, overwhelmed, too busy, grumpy with someone - the list is endless.

But I go. Why? (and I've asked myself this a lot over the past few years).  Mostly so I don't forget.  Mostly so I keep remembering.  So I keep remembering that I can't do this life on my own.  That I need to keep trusting in Jesus.  That God really does love and accept me.

I don't go because I love religious institutions.  I don't go because I think that hanging out in a daggy building from the 60's will make me acceptable to God.  I don't go because I worry that if I miss it I'll somehow get into trouble.

My friend Keith wrote these words in an Anglican newspaper last week about reading the Bible regularly.

"So much of the Christian life is about remembering - being reminded again and again of things that we know, yet somehow have forgotten or have failed to appropriate in our experience... We are reminded…

The ultimate MK horror story

Over the summer I enjoyed reading a book called 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's not a new book (1998) but it was recommended to me a few times in the space of a couple of months so I thought I should read it.

This book is the story of a Baptist missionary family- dad, mum and four girls (age range 15 down to 5) who move from the States to a village in the middle of the jungle in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) in 1959.  The country is on the brink of gaining independence from the Belgians and they enter into a political minefield.  They are the only non-Africans in the village, they cannot speak the language (which creates all kinds of problems), are a very long journey away from the nearest town, making them dependant on an unreliable pilot to fly in their supplies.  After they arrive in Africa, the family discovers that the father has in fact only a very tenuous support from the mission agency.  When he refuses to leave the country after independence is …

Put your hands up in the air like you just don't care

I'm not a hands up in the air kind of girl.  Let's just get that clear.
Yet I keep being told that I should be putting my hands up.  I go to a Christian conference - come on everyone, if you're truly joyful, let's get those hands up in the air.  Let's show how happy we are.  I'm happy thanks - don't tell me how to show that I'm happy - that I'm joyful.  By implication apparently I'm not joyful because I like my arms hanging down.  I'm probably repressed or something, but I'm still happy. I'm also an introvert, a fairly private person who likes to contain her limbs within a certain distance of her torso.  
This morning I even get it at the gym.  It's 6:15 am and I am not properly awake and I'm being told to get my arms up in the air - YEAH, WHOOHOO - let's go - I want to see everyone with their arms in their air.  Apparently we're not just doing a cycle class at a ridiculously early time in the morning - we're actual…

New teachers and classes

Found out today who the kids will have as their teachers for the year.  I'm not concerned by the whole thing - they get who they get - they're in a class with the kids they're in a class with.  Sometimes great - sometimes not - but they always survive - learn things from the hard things.

Anyway, I was feeling happy for my No 4 child because he's got a lovely teacher but all he was excited about telling me (many times) was, 'But Mum, the classroom has a smart board in it'.  My little computer junkie.

So apologies to the real life educator - she's a bit of a side interest to the technology!