Showing posts from November, 2011

TV show: Friday Night Lights

It's a show about a high school football team in a small Texan town.  Excited?  No?

Ok, so I have had a few challenges convincing others that this is a great show.  I've been watching the first season on TV for the past few months, but I think the box set will be making it's way onto my Christmas list.

It's actually a show about the players on this football team, the cheerleaders, school and their messy lives in a dysfunctional town.  Surrounded by dysfunctional relationships, the team's football coach, is the stable, sensible, 'good guy'.  It's also about Coach's marriage, his relationship with his teenage daughter and the fact, that while he plays the good guy, it's not all smooth sailing for him and his wife either.

Mindless, easy to watch, no great complexities!  Perfect for me to fall asleep through on a Friday night.  Plus there are five seasons of the show made so it will keep me going for a while.

So chilled out (well, relatively)

For some amazing reason, I feel cool about Christmas this year.  Usually (see past posts) I totally struggle at this time of the year.  I normally feel totally overwhelmed and daunted by all the jobs that need doing.  We have two birthdays in December, normally in the same week as speech day/preschool concert.  Music concerts, absent husband, extra events, lots of cooking, cards ... I usually have this list cycling through my brain.  But it has gone.

I haven't quite worked out why this year is different, but here are some guesses:

1.  I'm determined to enjoy the Christmas season this year.  I have much to be thankful for and I felt grumpy and resentful last year that Christmas was overtaken by my stress.  My friend Caz gave a great talk at our gingerbread house making event this year, using the story of Mary and Martha, to remind us that allowing time to listen to Jesus in the midst of all the craziness is the best thing we could do.  I found that a helpful reminder and chall…

Don't you love these?

I love the idea of these little libraries.  It works on a swap basis. They could bring so much that is good to a community.  Sharing of material possessions.  Trusting others in your community.  But best of all - the sharing of BOOKS!  How fabulous.

You too can have one of your own:

Arrgh - sooo close ...

I wanted to celebrate with you today the completion of my uni prac and the end of my degree.

But alas, no such celebration.  With two days of prac left, factors out of my control meant that I couldn't go back.

So I'll be fitting those extra days in somewhere in between the end of the school year and the lead up to Christmas ...

Career path of the Day: Personal Trainer

I am so not an entrepreneurial type (I'm a librarian for goodness sake)but I find myself occasionally day dreaming, considering schemes where I could manage to work from home (but not having to sell any type of plastic product).

Today's idea came at 6am when I was at the gym (all the 'great' ideas come when you're not quite awake and the reality of the demanding offspring aren't actually there). I thought I could start a business as a personal trainer to mums. I put on loads of weight during all my pregnancies and really mostly managed to fluke losing it through good genes. But I have been consistently doing regular exercise for the past 8 years. So I could have some good before and after shots for my brochure.

I do genuinely feel lots of passion for mums getting into exercise. Not obsessively in a 'I need to look like Posh Spice' kind of a way, but mostly because it has kept me sane in the midst of raising a multitude of small children. If I exercise…

Sometimes an apology can help

Earlier this year you'll remember that I discussed my toilet cleaning traumas with you about my boy's bathroom smelling like a urinal.
This ad comforted me. I am not alone!

Under $10 gift ideas: 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds

Whoops almost forgot to add some more present suggestions! Might help you as you try to buy age appropriate gifts in the lead up to Christmas.

4 year old girls:  baby dolls - little bottles to feed a baby milk and juice, textas and a notebook, jewellery, dress up shoes,
4 year old boys: Thomas, drawing stuff, bouncy ball, magnifying glass, tape measure, small watering can

5 year old girls: stickers, drawing stuff, hair bands and hair clips, ink stamps
5 year old boys:  duplo, plastic dinosaurs, tornado tube (see picture)

6 year old girls: stationery, paints and drawing book, pastel crayons, sticker book,
6 year old boys:  Lego, silly putty, tornado throwing thing (see picture) frisbee, pencil case, sticker book, post it notes, blu tack

7 year old girls: craft packs, stationary, hair bands
7 year old boys: Lego, games - eg. UNO, Blokus, make your own craft packs, dominoes, marbles

Book review: Going public: Your child can thrive in public school

So how do you feel as a Christian if you end up having to send your child to a public school?  Or choosing to send your child to a public school?  In some circles this can be seen as the 'less Christian' option.  It can be a polarising issue.  I often get asked about sending my kids to public schools.  'Are you happy with it?  How is it for your kids?'.  There's a desire to be reassured that our kids will be OK, when there are so many other apparently more Christian options out there.  It can be hard to feel confident that our kids can still be Christian in a public school.

And this is where this book comes in.  The Pritchards are parents to eight children so often people assume (especially since it is American) that they would be homeschooling.  But after much prayer and discussion with others they decided to send their first child to the local school and haven't looked back.  And they are very, very committed to Christian parenting (much more than I would ev…

Book review for kids: York's Universe

My friend Heidi Goh has written and illustrated this beautiful kid's book, launched in September here in Sydney.  Heidi and Ben have two little boys (7 and almost 5) and it is reflected in her story.

'York's Universe' is the story of York who lives in an apartment block in the city.  A new teacher comes to York's school who is from the country and tells them all about the country.  After this conversation, in his imagination, York moves out of the city (Sydney) into the country and then out into space, out of the solar system and into his universe.

It reminds me of all those complicated conversations I've had with my 7 year old boy about space and maps and suburbs and cities.

It is a lovely book - lovely to read and lovely to look at.  I've read it with a few groups of kids in the library and they've enjoyed it.  Especially the 5 to 7 year olds.  They love talking about space and they love imagining different worlds.

You can buy it from…

How long will the kids be staying?

In yesterday's paper there was an article on Gen Y saying that 25% of 25-31 year olds still live with their parents. I kind of knew this already since Rowan works with uni students and a large percentage still live at home. But I thought that by the time they were getting to their late 20's they'd be out of there.

I'm kind of counting on the fact hope that my kids will be moving out a lot earlier than that. In my head I was thinking during uni sometime or if they don't go to uni, when they get a job. I hadn't factored in signing up for long term financial support of their lifestyle or their bid to save up for a house.

Now I'm starting to wonder if (as they say) I'm dreamin'. Is it fair enough to expect that my children should be moving out?  Or is this one of those 'wait until they're older and you'll see' type of issues?

So are kids not moving out just because it is too expensive? Are kids not moving out because their parents like …

Book review for kids: Con-nerd

I loved this book (but it's really meant for primary age - to early high school children!).  Connor is in Year 6, and is facing the selective schools test in a few weeks time. The selective schools test is a big deal in Sydney. It enables bright kids to get into academically selective government high schools. It means a free, reasonably good education (this is the perception anyway - my son is in a selective school so time will tell if they live up to their expectations). It is especially a big deal in migrant families.

The author, Oliver Phommavanh, is from a Thai family and totally went against his own parent's expectations by pursuing comedy. He also happens to be a primary school teacher in Sydney. So he knows the educational system and the pressures of life in a migrant family first hand.

Connor's dad died when he was little and he is the great hope of his wider Chinese family. His mum takes him to the hospital to meet doctors 'to inspire him'.  But he secre…

Not convinced by this full time work gig

This month I'm working full time. It is taking a village to make it possible and I am so grateful to Rowan, my in-laws and many friends who are doing school drop offs, pick ups, looking after our youngest, doing the crazy after school runarounds. I haven't been looking forward to this time at all, but I just need to do it to finally complete my course.

It is proving to be as horrible as I expected. I don't think I will be able to work full time for a long time. Of course the prestige and money that comes with a full time job is appealing, but these last few days have convinced me that I won't be able to go down that track.

I miss time. I miss time with my kids. I need time to talk to them properly. Not just get a potted summary of the day. I miss time to help my friends. I miss time to think about others. All my time goes into what I'm doing during the day, eating dinner and saying a quick hello to my own family. I miss time on my own so that I have energy for othe…

new shoes? Yes!

I was quite chuffed that I made it to the shops, bought shoes quickly and even remembered to take a quick photo for you!  I had a great time at the wedding, saw lots of old friends and saw some blog readers too - who all commented on my shoes.  I have no secrets!

to buy new shoes or not

We're going to a wedding on Saturday.  I'm reusing a dress (which I hope fits still - should probably check!) but the dilemma is whether or not I need to buy new shoes.  I don't need new shoes (of course).  But are the ones I've got so out of fashion now that I can't get away with it anymore.  They are my one pair of high heels.  Dilemmas, dilemmas!

blog silence

My apologies for my silence blog friends.  I've just started four weeks of full time work so that I can do prac for my uni course and keep working at the same time.  Not much fun.  Especially for my family and especially my patient husband.  We are all ready for this degree to end.

But I'll be back ...