Showing posts from April, 2013

Buy cards - change lives

So in the boxes are 1800 Kipepeo cards that I've bought to sell!

The cards are made by women in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.  A good friend of mine is living in Nairobi with her husband and she has got involved with this project.  The project enables the women working there to provide a better life for their children and gives them a skill set.

I'm really excited to be involved with this project.  I'm not making any money from selling the cards.  By having volunteers sell the cards, it cuts out the cost of overheads and the money all goes straight back to the project.

I think the cards are absolutely amazing - all handmade, lots of beautiful detail and a bargain at $2.50/each.  There are cards for all occasions - babies, kid's birthdays, blank cards for men and women, unique African designs, Christmas cards.

If you're interested in buying some cards (if you're in Australia), contact me and I'll happily post you some (and just add the postage cost). …

What's in the box?!

Mystery boxes near my front door!

9 signs of a workaholic pastor*

1.  You aim to work more hours than the hardest working lay person in your church. Yup, DEFINITELY a stroke of genius to base your working life on a person who is doing such a top job of the whole 'work/life/family/balance' gig.  You will provide a most excellent model to your laypeople of how to get that balance all sorted.  (Ed's note:  pick up sarcasm here...)

2. You are sick all the time.  'But Jenny', you cry (between coughs), 'it's go hard for Jesus (*cough, cough*) or go home'.

3.  You have some small people living in your house with you.  You are not quite sure who they are or where they came from, but they seem to do good things for your reputation as a 'family friendly pastor'.

4.  You like to drop into conversation how long it is since you had a day off (obviously the longer it is, the more impressive you look).

5.  When you are questioned about how much you are working, you deny it and add, 'besides, there is so much of the Lor…

Grey hair - one year mark

So here I am, one year into my hair journey.

What's been hard? Having stripey hair. Wearing my hair pulled back all the time when I like wearing it down. Struggling with feeling old because it is ageing me. Being a bit alone in the process.

What have I enjoyed? Extra time and money not being spent at the hairdresser. Feeling like I'm being freed from societal expectations to look a certain way. That my true hair colour has helped me engage with the reality that I am in fact getting old (not always enjoyable).

I've also learnt that my hair grows painfully s l o w l y.

But now at the point where the painful process makes me want to keep going. Curious how the end product will look.

School holidays: my best friend

This is my best friend in the school holidays

because it deals many times a time with an astounding pile of washing up that accumulates.

School holidays Tuesday 8:43am

The power of an extra person staying over who is not related is quite extraordinary.

The fighting has been significantly reduced (not, of course, that my children would ever fight!)

Ten tips for getting the balance right with kids and food

Where on the 'food spectrum' do you sit as a parent?

There is the 'anything goes' approach to food.  The 'Soft drink in the baby bottle won't hurt them will it?' end of the spectrum.

Then there's the other end.  The 'I've grown every ingredient for this snack in my own backyard' and 'My kids don't know what sugar is' end of the spectrum.  This is the end of the spectrum I am personally more familiar with and the end of the spectrum that induces the most parenting guilt.

You do spend a lot of your time thinking about food as a mum.  It's starts the minute they are born and on it goes.  I learnt a lot about the impact of food chemicals when my eldest child was diagnosed with a significant number of intolerances and allergies.  It simplified our diet immensely and in general gave us a healthier diet.

I do find parental anxiety about food, a little worrying though.  I think by making a big 'thing' of food, we pass tha…

And today I made ...

... ok - so it's nothing new, just variations on a theme!  But still fun.

PS  I am almost a craft blog - exciting!

Teenagers want their parents around (but will never admit it)

I recently reduced the number of days I'm working from four to three.  I did this mostly for my kids so I could be around more in the afternoons.  I also wanted more time for myself so I had more energy for   the time that I do get to spend with them.

Even though my kids are now all at school and two of them quite independent high schoolers, I'm still feeling that they need their parents around just as much as ever.  When I look at other mums of teenagers, many are pursuing significant careers now that they don't have little ones.  So I've wrestled with these feeling of needing to be around.  Am I just too soft? Too maternal? (and just quietly, a bit pathetic?!)

But I'm more convinced than ever that it's important to be available as much as possible.  Mostly because you can't always predict when they might want to talk.

My 14 year old spent all the summer holidays with me, but it wasn't until the afternoon of the first day of school, that he starts to…

Been building any idols lately?

I've been thinking a lot recently about idolatry. Especially what idolatry looks like for me.  It's not comfortable territory to spend a lot of time in.

Reading Deuteronomy this year has got me thinking.  Deuternomy 6 and 7 is especially challenging. There's a lot about idols and living in a way that makes the Israelite people separate, different from the idol worshipping nations around them.  He wants them to take drastic actions 'Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire' (Deut 7: 5).  'Do not covet the silver and gold on the idols and do not take it for yourselves or you will be ensnared by it' (Deut 7:25).

Why all the dramatics?  The next verse explains.  The people have been chosen out of all the world to be his 'treasured possession' (Deut 7:6).

We are told in the New Testament that Christians are 'a chosen people, a holy nation, God's special possession' (1 …

I've been sewing - and its been such fun*!

For a while I have wanted to teach myself to make little purses and pencil cases to give as presents.  My girls are all at the age where anything to do with stationery is very exciting - and actually, now I think about it, my 8 year old son is into it too.

So over the weekend I revisited sewing and made these little zippered purses in a variety of sizes.

The two things that help are:
1.  Nice material
2.  The zipper sitting nicely (this I am yet to totally master).

But they look alright and apparently:

1.  Everyone (friends of the girls) wants one for a present
2.  I am very admired amongst the Year 7 girls because I made them (finally ... I have so been waiting for that level of adoration!)

It was sooo great for my mental health - really relaxing and satisfying and I've been thinking about different configurations and designs in my spare time.  Excellent for my brain and stress levels.

*Also been watching the TV show 'Miranda' ...