Monday, April 16, 2012

thank you, readers!

i don't know who most of you are, but for some reason my stats counter keeps rising.

i feel like my blog is pretty boring, so i'm grateful to have a bit of an audience. the stats tab has a map of the world showing the countries all my readers are from. apparently, lots of you are from the u.s., germany, russia, and, of course, australia!

i wish i knew who you all were..... leave a comment, don't be a stranger ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

alcoholics anonymous

dr michael car-greg is a magazine psychologist. if you've ever read any magazine, from girlfriend and dolly to cosmo or the woman's weekly, you'd have to know who he is. he's pretty powerful, so his point of view counts. and right now, his point of view is that we need to increase the legal drinking age to 21

i don't know if that would help much. it doesn't seem to have done much in the us, but hey, every country is different.

i know something that i think really would help; taking high schoolers to aa meetings. 

my stepdad worked in prison ministry for most of my childhood, so i spent a lot of time accompanying him on visits to silverwater jail. i've heard more stories and testimonies from current and former drug addicts and alcholics than i can count on two hands. their stories were empowering and informative for me, because it was impossible not to be impacted by their stories about the children they hurt, the money they lost, the friends they betrayed, and the dreams they crushed. i knew that most addicts had started off as angry or bored kids, many of whom had no idea what they were getting into. 

i was warned, and informed, and i learnt compassion.   

last week, i went to an aa meeting with a good friend of mine, who is an alcoholic. (one who has been sober now for nearly two years. what a champion! )

i was so inspired by the format of the meetings. alcoholics, some sober and other still struggling, share their stories. they begin by introducing themselves and acknowledging their alcoholism, and then they talk. and talk and talk and talk. 

i wish more teenagers could hear what they have to say. no-one could have left that meeting still thinking that drunkenness is funny or harmless or cool.

and kids would learn heaps. they'd learn how to identify an addict from a social drinker, what factors increase your chance of becoming an alcoholic, how alcoholism will ruin your life, and how to help out a  friend who drink too much. 

i don' really know if it's a plausible idea, but i do know that education and wisdom are more useful than prohibition

Monday, March 26, 2012

i love inspiring school movies based on true stories....

...and i really want to see this one. even the ad inspires me.

i am equally inspired by the true story of another man going back to school in his 70's. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


sometimes i question my decision to be a teacher. like today, when i realised i'd missed out a lesson plan in my assignment, and needed to write it by midnight tonight. all well and good except that it was based on the only shakespeare play i've not read and devoured; romeo and juliet.

 i've performed monologues from othello, directed a hypothetical production of as you like it, won first place in the shakespeare festival for my portrayal of a witch in macbeth, read the tempest three times, played the angry dad in a midsummer night's dream, read (and loved) his entire collection of sonnets and tutored students through units on the taming of the shrew.  but i've somehow missed out on ever reading his most classic and timeless work. which i now need to teach to a year 8 class. awesome.

but the truth is i love teaching. i live for that moment when you realise a kid is mastering something -and loving it- because of you.

this week i'm particularly proud of one of my precious kidzoners. she's an enthusiastic, affectionate trouble maker who has had one of the hardest childhoods i can image. she's in year 6 but reading at year one level. and she decided she wanted a big, speaking role in our upcoming play.

 i agreed, making a mental list of all the other kids who would be able to fill in for her when she inevitably gave up/couldn't do it. which sounds awful, but i've learned to be practical. how can a kid who can barely read learn pages and pages of lines in just a few weeks?

well, it turns out, she can. because every spare moment she got, she was chasing after me, waving around her copy of the script and begging me to run lines with her. because she highlighted words she couldn't understand and sounded them out over and over. because she took the words she couldn't remember, and drew tiny pictures above them.

like the word hammerhead. she drew a picture of a hammer and a big dot, and now she can even spell the word.

i can't even explain how proud i am of her, or how happy it makes me to see her loving rehearsal. i especially loved when she told her brother "i've learnt all me lines, and i get to be up on the stage, and genna's proud of me" - and turned to give me a big, glowing smile.

the best part? now that she's mastered her own part, she's helping the other kids too.

i hope i can spend the rest of my life witnessing such miracles.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


yesterday my big sister rach rang me sounding super excited. she told me too look up deuteronomy 14:22-30 because she'd just discovered that tithing in the biblical sense was all about putting aside money so you could throw a big party. something they usually don't mention in church ;)

to paraphrase the passage, farmers were commanded to put aside 10% of what they grew in their fields to eat and enjoy in the place where GOD put his name. but if that place is too far away and they had too much to carry, the passage stipulates, then they could sell it for money and use that money to, and i quote, "buy whatever your like" so that the whole household could have a party.

what i love best about this is that the israelites were commanded to share this bounty with widows, orphans, the foreigners, and the levites.

the whole concept is pretty cool, in my opinion.

of course, we are not israelites living under the law, and now we have pastors instead of levites to support, but i still think that throwing a party and sharing food is an awesome way to be generous with our resources.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

mike baird, nsw treasurer

on monday night i went to a fundraising dinner where the state treasurer spoke about christian engagement with politics. i don't know much about mike -(not nearly as much as i should, as someone who professes an interest in politics) but judging him from his talk, he seems a very wise man.

once upon a time, mike studied theology and hoped to be a minister, because being a church minister seemed (to him) to be the best way to serve GOD. then he realised that GOD requires his people to be stewards of the earth, and everything in it, and he decided that he could do that as a politician too.

mike talked about the movie "what's eating gilbert grape". he talked about how sometimes, christians are like the obese lady, who rarely left her comfortable food-filled home. he talked about the need for christians to engage dynamically with the world - every sector of it.

he described the position of state treasurer as an opportunity to wisely steward this states financial resources.

i pray godspeed to him in this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


well, a girl has to have standards, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


i love this video so very much.

she gets me! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

what the dog did

so yesterday i went outside and found this


my first thought was that i'd left something out for her accidentally. like last week when i left my wallet outside on top of the bins (doh!) and she ATE my savings card.

thankfully, we found a handwritten birthday card with the corners chewed off that revealed the whole mystery


the torn beanie and fairy floss (which maddy obviously LOVED, by the way) was meant to be a birthday present for the little girl next door, but the postie delivered the package to the wrong house. bad times.

luckily, we were able to replace everything, right down to the exact same wrapping paper, by examining the tags and remains. everything had been brought from the one shop. (thank GOD!)

her parents thought the whole thing was hilarious, and thanked us over and over for replacing everything.

we rung the post office and told them not to drop off any packages- even ones actually meant for us - ever again!

all's well that ends well :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

perpetual kid




this year, i'm buying everyone's presents from well, maybe not, but it would be fun if i did :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

if fetuses aren't people

you don't need to know much about babies to realise that they don't change much on the day of birth. they don't go from being a blob of limbs and blood vessels to a tiny human being once they leave their mummy's tummy. and almost no-one, not even the most ardent pro-choicer, is going to try and say they do. 

this is a fetus. looks like any new babe, right? 

pro-choice people have been saying for a long time that these little ones do not really have a right to live. not until their born, or until they reach a certain number of weeks gestation etc. i suppose i can understand- not agree with, but understand - the latter argument. unfortunately, it doesn't take much reasoning before this happens. 

yep. two australian ethisists from monash and melbourne university are now arguing for post-birth abortions to become an excepted practice. seriously. 

they say that " Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her." 

in other words, until you can articulate that your life means something to you, you don't really have the right to live one. 

"Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal."

a newborn with downs syndrome, via the age

the article goes on to say that children with serious disabilities such as down syndrome will be a burden to their families and the economy. since when did "being a burden" become any kind of reason for not allowing someone to live? can anyone say "fascism"?

 if we're talking about people who don't contribute financially to society, then there goes old people, seriously ill people, and chronic drug addicts. and this slippery slope just got steeper still. at what point does a normal, healthy infant become a person with rights anyway? do we really need to wait until they can say "i want to live. my life means something." 
this makes me so, so sad. 

fav pics this week


via kindnessgirl (neat idea, huh? ) 

via top design mag (yes, that's an elephant) 

via 640 pixels (tis a tulip farm. pretty! ) 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

highlight from a really great sermon

"In beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work , 
sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and 
kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the 
power of God; with weapons of righteousness... through glory and dishonor,
in bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters; known, yet 
regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful,
yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich, having nothing, and possessing everything" 2 Corinthians 6

these were the words of the missionary and apostle paul. he claims to have had nothing, and at the exact same time, to have possessed everything. confused? our pastor at telopea church of christ wanted to illustrate the difference, so he told us he owned a piano and played a short, easy tune for us. it was kind of awkwardly bad :(  then he played a video of a great pianist who played so beautifully that the congregation started to clap even though mr great pianist wasn't actually there to receive our accolades. he might not have owned the piano he was playing; but he certainly possessed it! 

GOD commanded the israelites to possess israel. because he had given it to them. i have to remember this. how many gifts has GOD given me that i have yet to possess? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

why girls are obsessed with cameras

it's settled. i know there are a few boys out there who are a bit keen to star in every picture, but i think the average tween girl makes the backstreet boys look tame. i pulled out my camera today and the girls went stir-crazy. some of them started yelling to "get that thing away from me" - fixing their hair and plastering pretty smiles over their faces in the same breath. one threatened me with a water pistol, & a couple others stuck to my side like we were peas and carrots, jumping in front of the lens at every chance.

the boys just continued stuffing each other into cardboard boxes and downing cheese-and-vegemite sandwiches.

i don't think all this is because girls are vain. i think sometimes it's because they have learned to place a high value on their appearance, and they're insecure about that value. and other times, because pictures can be fun and silly and creative, and because capturing memories appeals to our sentimental side.

i hope that i can use my shoddy little camera in a way that is positive. the girls are pretty, but that's not what i love about taking photos of them. it's their enthusiasm, their creativity, and their vibrant smiles. if i could bottle up their liveliness and bounciness and sell it to the world, i'd be a rich girl.

speaking of enthusiasm, whilst we were hanging out and talking about other things, one girl, taylor, asked me why pastor tony has a tattoo. she (rightly) pointed out that there is a verse in the bible where God tells his people not to mark their bodies. i figured i knew the answer but that she should ask the pastor herself. she bounced off and about one minute later raced back into the hall, repeating his response word for word in one breath. she told us that jesus came and died and rose again so we would be free from the law. (that was the gist of it, anyway).

theology aside, her eagerness to learn makes me smile :) i made the girls promise me that they will continue reading their bibles, praying, asking questions, and finding answers. i reminded them that sometimes i or their parents or even our pastor will get things wrong, and that they need to always keep reading and learning and thinking for themselves

i hope taylor never loses her curiosity. i hope i don't.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

who said it?

“i do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

“in questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”

“mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

"passion is the genesis of genius.”

yep. galileo is one of my favorite, favorite scientists in history. he said all of the above quotes (minus the facebook ones, obviously) and some other stuff i love too. john lennox, an oxford professor of mathematics who is also my adopted grandfather, (though he doesn't yet know it) writes about galileo in God's undertaker;

"Galileo wanted to decide theories of science on the basis of evidence, not of arguments (based on) the authority of Aristotle....Galileo, who believed in the Bible, who was advancing a better scientific understanding of the universe, not only against the obscurantism of some churchmen, but (and first of all) against the resistance of secular philosophies of his time who, like the churchmen, were disciples of Aristotle".

sometimes, like the churchmen and academics who opposed galileo, i assume i'm right without stopping to humbly question and reason my way through a topic. i'm lucky to be surrounded by people who challenge my views constantly, because defending what i believe requires critical thinking and deeper learning. i'm also thankful for god's word, which, (although my understanding and interpretation may sometimes be lacking) is in itself, absolutely perfect.

you rock, galileo!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

things you should do

you should....

1. read this book.

because it's hilarious, and also because it's smart. my favorite part is where the moirs explain that all boys start off as baby girls, until partway through the pregnancy when an ocean of testosterone washes away neural connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. seriously? boys are missing parts of their brain? who knew? this also explains why boys often can't do as many things at once - it's because they are always using exactly one half of their brain at a time, instead of both. on the flip side, it means they can concentrate better and achieve more in a narrower field. next time my brother-in-law asks how my sister and i can carry on three conversations at once, i'm going to explain that its because an ocean of testosterone never washed away all our vital neural connections

2. make coconut ice

if you have a sweet tooth like me anyways. it's really easy but as you can see mine turned out super crumbly. next time i will add more copha :-) aside from that, its the easiest thing in the world. mix two parts icing sugar to one part shredded coconut, dig a well in the middle & add 1-3 egg whites, plus a drop of vanilla essence. mix it all in with melted copha (i used 125 g, more next time). its easiest to mix it with your hands but you WILL make a mess. unless you're my mother and you never make a mess :-)
next, smooth out half the mixture into a greased pan, & colour the other half pink. smooth out the second layer, leave it to set for a half hour, and you're done. takes about five minutes to make a whole heap.

2. go for a walk. every day.

not to be preachy or anything... ;) i used to wish i could be the kind of motivated person who goes for a walk every day. then i got this biggish dog who lives in a smallish courtyard and goes crazy if she doesn't get her walk(s). but i seriously love it. we see such pretty things. like these spiders webs. aren't they lovely?! we've also made friends. their names are jack and bear. jack is human. bear is canine. whenever maddy and i set out, she whines if we don't head towards the oval where she knows jack and bear might be. jack is a bull terrier and almost as crazy as maddy. they jump and growl and chase each other. its all a bit scary really, but when they get tired they snuggle up together so we know they're mates. its a shame they got their bits cut off 'caus i think they'd make cute babies.

4. some uni work.

.... or is that just me?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

secret zeke

pics speak for themselves, right?
he's perfect!

names like roses. because the name of my blog shouldn't matter as long as it reads sweet.

this year it looks like a lot is going to change. i have always wanted to keep a journal, and have been sort of good at it, but i've never seriously tried keeping a journal that is open to and of some use for those interested enough in me to take a peek. (hi, mum!)


it seems sort of fun and this way, i can update all my friends who live overseas and sprawled across oz at once.

i spent the last three days with friends in the cute city of newcastle. i've heard people say that australians aren't very good at hospitality. i don't doubt it, but i think an exception needs to be made for the people of newcastle.

i stayed with the mackay family, and they treated me very, very well. one night they served a delicious dinner with prawn cocktails, white wine, and a dish made from
chicken, camambert cheese, and cranberry jam. yummy!
i loved it. i also loved catching up with some friends i met over a year ago at nextgen.

this is candace.

she is an opera singer, and kind of a walking juke box. she is amazing.

i caught up with emma, who has recently brought her
own little house and is busy rennovating it. she came home from night shift in surgery, and cooked breakfast for my friend sam and i - including bacon and eggs, hash browns, toast, and tea. it was perfect! emma is a natural hostess, even while she's exhausted and entertaining in a not-quite finished home. sadly, i forgot my camera so i have no photos :(

nor did i take any pictures of bron and paul, who i also met last year at nextgen. as a matter of fact they met each other last year at next gen too and now they are married! i couldn't have picked it but they make an awesome couple. they gave us a tour of their home, which is an old courthouse. jail cells, docks, and jury seat included. it is one of the most interesting and beautiful houses i have ever visited.

sam was my official tour guide, and showed me all the important sights in newcastle. beaches, beaches, and more beaches. plus a whole lot of restaurants, many many ships, and some magnificent old church buildings. newcastle would be perfect if it weren't for the mozzies. ouch! thankyou, sam, for showing me around :) i had so much fun!

just look at that sky and sea! (yeah, i finally remembered my camera....)

anywhoo, i have to get to bed. i don't know how good a night's sleep it's going to be with sarah aka 1 am sleepwalker having a "sleepover" in my bed but its worth i'd say it's almost worth it just for the cuteness factor. and because the sooner i get to sleep, the sooner i get to wake up and meet my newest nephew who is in the process of being born as i type. yay!