Showing posts from November, 2012

Librarian joys

Let me bore you for a short moment with a high point of my teaching year so far.

I take this Year 7 class once a fortnight for a library lesson in one of their English periods.  Still, today, they arrive late for their last lesson of the year having 'forgotten' that it was library.  They are totally off with this fairies this group.  We've certainly had a few low moments along the way.

Today their class teacher insisted that they choose a book to borrow for the holidays.  They don't love reading (um, understatement).  This pronouncement was greeted with their usual moans and groans about anything resembling schoolwork.

But I managed to get them to all leave the library having borrowed at least one book and many of them had borrowed more than one.

I was able to talk to them for ages, recommending new books that I had read over the year that I thought they would enjoy.  All the hours I've spent reading young adult fiction that starts to sound the same, paid off. …

When your boy won't go to bed because he's reading ...

He has been reading on his own for ages, but not really getting into it with all his being.  'Beast Quest' has done it.  I would like to take the glory on this one, but his classroom teacher read the first one to him and he's hooked.

I'm sure he'll get sick of them soon enough, but so pleased!

2012 picture books

Here are some of the picture books that I've loved sharing with my classes during 2012.  My favourites are books that are great to read aloud (and should be yours too if you have to read the books that you choose to buy/borrow many, many, many times!).

Mozzie and Midgie by Doug MacLeod - This is partly my favourite because the illustrations are so cool but also because of the reaction my Kindy class had to this book.  One of the characters tells the other that he looks 'stupid' because of the silly hat he's wearing.  My class reacted with 'Oh, but Miss you said the 'S' work' and turned around to look at their teacher with open mouths.  Hadn't quite realised how delightfully conservative my school is!

Lazy Daisy, Busy Lizzie by Mary Ellen Jordan is just funny and silly and everyone has a good laugh.  This is one dysfunctional farm.

All through the year by Jane Godwin.  Illustrated by Anna Walker (just beautiful) tells the story of a girl and her family…

Christmas memory creating

I'm sure I've written about this before but every year I struggle with the pressure to be an uber mum and have some kind of Christmas craft decorating the house.  Instead I end up with a leaning Christmas tree that the kids have decorated themselves (certainly not going to make the cut for a Myer catalogue), with lights that drove the husband to distraction to untangle.

There's a trend (especially in Christian circles) to create family traditions.  And I'm a total believer.  Good, healthy childhood memories and traditions have been shown to be very significant in developing high levels of security and resilience.

But over time the memories/tradition trend seems to have developed into some kind of Pinterest Christmas competition.  No longer is the knitted nativity scene that Aunty Pip bought for us from the Mother's Union stall in 2003 enough.  It needs to be done by me.  And this is how my family will unite, bond and be functional.

The problem is, this time of t…

Summer reading lists

Hoping to pull together in the next week some reading lists for you and your kids.  Especially as you face those long shopping lists in the lead up to Christmas! 

And hopefully after you've done all your shopping you can sit down and read a book or two for yourself (while the children are suitably occupied). 

I always like to buy my kids who can read, long books in the hope that I will be left in peace for at least a couple of days after Christmas.  For the not-quite-fluent readers I like to buy large boxes of lego that keep them busy.  And if I had smaller children it would definitely be a long DVD that they want to watch lots of times!

So ... reading lists in the pipeline.

My trip

Been a bit quiet here recently as I'm madly trying to get both organised for my trip overseas and have everything done for Christmas before I leave.

I'm going to Florence, Italy to visit some dear friends of mine who are missionaries, working with university students.  They've lived there for 10 years with their four children and I've always wanted to go and visit but many years of small children and limited income have meant that wasn't possible.

So when my friend suggested that I should now come and I thought about it, and thought why not?  All a bit spur of the moment, but I felt that there would always be reasons why I couldn't do it, so I decided to just go for it.

It's meant creating a long list of things to do, like get a passport, decent luggage, some thermals - I don't know why but the list seems long!  I really always believed it was possible to just jump on a plane and go, but apparently not so.

And I'm getting home on Christmas Eve so…

Hey mums, did you know we're all ONE in Jesus?!

Galatians 3:26 -28.  So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.

I've been reflecting on this verse in light of the many ideas I ponder in the world of Christian parenting.

When Paul wrote this verse to the Galatians he wanted to remind them to not give up the freedom that had been won for them on the cross through Jesus' death.  Instead of embracing freedom they were being tempted to follow the old laws, rules, regulations, structures.  It was almost like the freedom was too much.  They wanted more structure, more control.  More boxes to tick and cross that would assure them whether or not they were 'in' or 'out'.

But Paul reminds them that only faith in Jesus' work on the cross brings you into God's family.  Nothing more, nothin…

And my mid life crisis continues ...

Grey hair transition (aka my mid life crisis) update.

Where did the ordinary go?

On the weekend I was thankful for the ordinary.  And then it kind of evaporated!

Monday I pottered off to work like normal and by lunchtime I was on the train home to pick up my 10 year old from school who had vomited in her classroom.  Poor teacher.  Three kids threw up in her class on the one day.  When we got home she continued to vomit on and off for hours.  Since then she's been half asleep on the lounge.  Poor chook.

I stayed at home on Tuesday and awoke to my very own special set of cold sores.  Not one.  But two.  On my top lip.  By the way, a very helpful discussion on Facebook resulted in me trying a vitamin supplement with Lysine in it.  Wonderful stuff.

My body does not like me doing too much (as I did on the weekend - going away with 50 women on a conference for women who have husbands doing Christian work among uni students from across Australia - we talked a lot).  It packs it in, despite my mind being willing to keep going and pushing on.

Then to put the icing on…

More on my mystery outing

Can you guess where I'm going? 

Have a look at this photo taken when I was pregnant with our No. 1 child.

On being thankful

In the last few months I've felt the heaviness that comes with friends around me struggling with hard times in their life.  It can be overwhelming at times, feeling the weight of sadness and the mess that our world is in.

Last weekend sharing with my friends (of whom many have had some seriously difficult times), one of the women said that she is just thankful for everyday that is normal.

So normal is good.  Each day where I get up, rush around like a mad thing, move through another crazy, overfilled day is good.

I like it.  Loving the normal.

Why we chose our local high school (and why it is unusual)

Our number 2 child starts high school next year.  I've written more about our decision here. All we did was tick the box on the form for our in area state school.  We like the school.  Principal seems on the ball.  Teachers like teaching there.  Kids we've met from other families are loving it.  But only three kids from her primary (in area for this high school) school are actually going there.

It seems to have got to the point that actually going to the local is unusual.  Sometimes what you know always seems worse than the unknown in this case.

Have you seen the kids truant?  Well they do that everywhere.  Have seen kids hanging out the front smoking?  Sorry to say this, but that also happens everywhere.  Have you heard kids swearing as they wandered home from school?  Also everywhere.  Welcome to the world that is the joy of adolescents.

So if you're thinking about high schools, don't dismiss your local too quickly.  I'm surprised by the number of people who h…

Big news (noooo ... I'm not pregnant)

Guess where I'm going for an adventure?  On my own.  For two weeks.

It will be cold.  I will be on a plane (for a loonnng time).  Obviously, I will need a passport.

More to come ...