Friday, February 12, 2016

surviving a teenage birthday party

Every three years we have a party for the girls - 3, 6, 9, 12, 15....

This year it was the fifteenth birthday of the oldest child.  Much planning. Many fairy lights. I over-catered a bit.  Well, a lot.  Those teenage girls eat like birds.  If the birds were tiny and not naughty ibis. (On a side note, I had my children convinced that the proper name for the garbage bin birds known as ibis was 'Naughty Ibis' for years after one of them stole a sandwich right out of Gab's hand at a picnic at Southbank one day).  We had baked potatoes filled with mince and coleslaw, salad and cheese and stuff- an excellent meal to feed lots of people with an indeterminate number of gluten frees, vegetarians, vegans and carnivores.

 45 of her closest friends all came dressed as something starting with 'A'.  There were Assassins, Allsorts, Athletes, Angels, Amigos, Aphrodite, Ants, Athena, an Award, ANne of Green Gables, Aurora, Arwen, Ariel and A person.  Annika went as Audrey Hepburn.

I was pretty proud of my hair and make up job - although she raced off before I could get a close up photo of it.  We found her dress and jewellary at an opshop.

There was music and some dancing and many many selfies and photos taken by the girls.  I probably only embarrassed my children a few times by dancing or trying to crack jokes with their friends.

I dressed up as an Angel.  I thought I would hairspray my hair out from my head so it would be like a golden halo of light.  This is what I thought in my head.  In reality, coupled with the extremely red face I got from cooking in a hot kitchen all night for the party, I looked more like Asylum Escapee.  Oh well.  That wasn't embarrassing for my teenage daughter.  Dum de dum. Not one bit.

Happy birthday my very grown up person who is kind of a mini me - but taller.....

It is so lovely to see her growing up and becoming the person God designed her to be.  And phew - done grade nine with one girl.  One down, one to go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

spartan terrified

So I have been part of a fitness group for the last six months.  We do boxing and running and push-upping and lunging and squatting and crunching and planking.  I am not very good at it.  My report card would say 'Trys hard, with minimal progress.  Significant difficulties with running, may need specialised support'.

The fitness group has enrolled in the Spartan Race.  I got caught up in the impulsiveness of it and the peer pressure and entered.

Now I am terrified.

I have been googling and youtubing.  I have realised this race is for Actual Fit People who like to go through very crazy obstacles.  Not middle aged women who break into a jog when the threat of missing a plane happens.

What I think I may look like in my mind

What will probably actually happen.
I don't even know quite how to train for this thing.  Maybe I will wander around work vaulting over fences and tuck rolling into classrooms.  Practise on the monkey bars in the playground.

I figure the worst that can happen is that I sink slowly into a mud pool and have to be rescued by young fit things with official shirts on.

Or I walk away from it in the middle and say 'I'm done.  Finished.  Off to have a Breaka Choccy Milk.'  I think my pride can probably handle that.

Spartan Terrified......stay tuned

Monday, January 11, 2016

Flashback - Carols 2015

Carols at church 2015 was super fun and praiseworthy.


Choir - I think I had a much better handle on conducting a choir this choir - it sounded pretty awesome.  We sang "Mary Did you Know" - recently made popular by Pentatonix (google it - so awesome - no regrets).  Our choir did a great job - five weeks practice (less for most of the tenors), by memory and with some slight choralography.  Already plotting 2016...

Drama of Luke 1-2 - two unexpected babies - John then Jesus.  Excellent performances by a very introverted cast

Gab loved the dance.  I saw several loungeroom performances before the actual event.

Chris spoke about the joy of Christmas.

Repeat the sounding joy.

So so good.

Repeat the sounding joy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ok that's so gross

Gross story alert.

I had noticed a bad smell around the linen cupboard area for a while.  I assumed something had died under the house - we have a wooden floored house on stilts - then about a metre gap to the dirt below.  It's not unusual for rats and mice and possums to breath their final gasps under the house or in the garden.

I had hoped that he ants would do their regular clean up job and the smell would dissipate after a few days.  Honestly, there are so many ants around our house that if someone slipped the mortal coil in the garden the evidence would be gone lickety split.

Anyway, the smell lingered and lingered, wafting through the hallways and not going away.

Until we tracked the source.

A rat had died in the roof eaves cavity ABOVE the LINEN CUPBOARD and dripped it's dead icky rat juices INTO THE LINEN CUPBOARD all over the quilts and sheets and towels and tablecloths.  Well probably just the top shelf of linen as it mopped up most of the DEAD RAT JUICE, but I wasn't taking any chances that the other linen hadn't copped it.

I had to wash and dry clean EVERYTHING.  And stash it in random spots around the house until the smell had gone from the cupboard.  Which it still hasn't.  So we are retrieving linen from under beds, the bathroom cupboard, piles on the floor....actually almost business as usual.

Come on ants.  Do what God designed you for.  Nature's clean up crew.

Monday, January 4, 2016

just keep swimming

For much of 2015 my view was a watery black line as I trundled up and down a pool.

Mostly this pool.

And sometimes the 25m pool at school where I joined the intermediate squad and swam with the 12 year olds.  By the end of the season they had accepted me into their pool posse and we had squad jokes.  Trendy young things in hipster bars talk about their 'squad' - I had a proper swimming squad with flicking of caps and perishing goggles and groans about butterfly laps.

Swimming was my exercise of choice in 2015.  I find it such a rhythmic calming activity, no screens to look at, time inside my head (which can be a dangerous place), time to pray.  I swam in lots of 200m.  Kicking down the kilometres.

Sometimes at the pool there were elite swimmers churning up and down - so fast and sleek.  Like skinned seals.  That should be the name of their squad - Skinned Seals.  Maybe not....

Swimming has got me massive trapezoid and deltoid shoulder muscles, a back swimming tan, very chlorine damaged hair and much lighter body mass.  Thanks swimming.

Swimming has helped my mental health and calmness in 2015 - I get agitated without pool time now.  Thanks swimming.

I plan to continue.  Until I can swim out of my current swimmers into a smaller pair.  And then swim some more.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year.....resolutions

It has been a looong time since I have visited here.  So much so that I forgot the password....(or the combo of numbers and letters I regularly use)

It's a new year.  I don't know why I find January 1 so reflective and forward thinking at the same time.  It's really just another day.  But maybe it's because I have packed up the Christmas tree, and started my yearly chuck out rampage through the house that I think about what has gone and what will come.

2015 for me was great.  I even ticked a few of the New Year's resolution boxes - something I have never really done.
- I read War and Peace - long but good and much as the title suggests - a tale of war and peace.  Now all my history knowledge of the Napoleonic war in Russia in the 1800s comes from that book.
- I didn't buy any new clothes for most of the year (fell short by three days in Melbourne!) - after being convicted about trying to do my small part about the clothing industry and workers making cheap clothes
- I lost more than twelve kilos through the crazy strategy of 'Move More Eat Less'.  Although with my cheese consumption pretty high over the festive period I've taken a couple of steps backwards
- I swam a kilometre consistently for about 3-4 times a week all year, even in winter!
- I completed a mini-triathlon

2015 also contained some great memories - visiting Tonga on a short term mission trip, conducting a choir again for church carols, great holidays with friends in Stanthorpe, seeing kids blossom at work after patient and consistent input, performing with choir in some really interesting concerts, doing heaps of puppet shows, family weddings and going to the Boxing Day test in Melbourne.

But I think relationships, as they always are, are the best life can hold.  Deepening relationships and friendships, children growing up (BREAKING NEWS: ONE GIRL CHILD THROUGH GRADE NINE), families growing, new sisters in Christ, and ticking over 20 years of marriage to the most excellent Chris.  Sometimes they have been hard work, and I can always get better at them - more time, more attention, more love - but I know that furthering my relationship with God will spill into making my people relationships hum.

hmmmmm, goals for 2016
- blog at least twice a week
- continue on the downward weight path
- be able to slowly jog all of Park Run (5 km!)
- do another couple of triathlons
- read all of the books in book club
- continue to shop ethically

- and set my heart for forgiveness

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Gap Disappears

There's a lot of good stuff to be said about the girls becoming older.  They can dress themselves, mostly feed themselves, look after their belongings (I live in hope with hats and memory sticks), contribute to the household, be left alone for a little while, have a good conversation and laugh at my jokes.

But recently I have noticed one thing.

The Gap has disappeared.

The Gap between when I go to bed and when they go to bed.

The Gap where I can watch some bad telly, chill out on the couch, write blog posts, hang around on social media, chat with Chris, read War and Peace in peace (side note - this is our bookclubs book for this month - BRING IT) and eat the secret cupboard chocolate.

They are going to bed at the same time or AFTER me.  It is late at night and there are still children wandering around the house.

I know I have to get used to this - if I want them to grow to be adults then they should probably have more freedoms and responsibilities.

I will have to find another time for my Gap activities....

and never reveal where the chocolate is.