24 February 2011

A new family photo

It's been 17 months since the last one!

23 February 2011

Two New Widgets!

It's almost as exciting as new underpants!

If you look over there on the left, just below the blurb about me which none of you need to read as you have formed your own conclusions, and yet you still keep coming back ... << over there << ... you will find a little widget that you can click on to Google Chat with me.  If you want.  And if I'm online.  And if I can work the thing, once one of you decides to take the plunge and chat with me.

And over there on the right below The Killing A Fly Story which is most certainly very dull and is rarely read suggesting I should probably put all my Post Labels into something more usable instead of burying them in the text ... >> over there >> ... you will find a widget that is helpfully showcasing three random posts from the past.  I wanted to put that there because I have been reading some of my old stuff, and some of it is mildly interesting.  You might find it mildly interesting too.

It will be a real Forrest Gump Box Of Chocolates in that widget though.  I estimate that only a fifth of the links will be entertaining, but every now and then, you should find a gem.

Like this post about when baby Jessie was too quiet.  There are some darling photos of her little baby legs.

There is this post, where Buzz demonstrates a lack of manners, instead relying on an innovative method of getting what he wants.

Or this post about stupid injuries, which I was reminded of recently when I did myself the very same kitchen-scissors injury for the umpteenth time, wondering how I could be so stupid.  Again.

I only wish the widget was so discerning.

22 February 2011

Jessie, we need to talk.

My sweet, it is quite one thing to get out of bed and trash the room if you can't sleep.

It is another thing to fall asleep in the mess, with your face resting on a coat hanger.

But falling asleep in a plastic box?

Surely can't be comfortable.

19 February 2011

Burning down trees

Mum, I'm trying to burn that magpie tree down with my x-ray vision.  I know I have x-ray vision because when I stare really hard, I see arrows in the sides of my eyes.

Good, son.  Don't set fire to the blinds or the window or the house while you're doing it.

13 February 2011

Running Away From Home

My sister has blogged recently about Harpo running away from home.  This reminded me of the time I ran away from home back when we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom weatherboard home in a small country town in Queensland.

I was about seven years old.  On the day in question, I was greatly disenfranchised by a recent parental oppression and I was angrier than usual - a tiny black thundercloud, tightly coiled and ready to unleash an as yet unthought-of explosion of fury over all who had so grievously wronged me.

I finally straightened my rage-twisted thoughts out long enough to form a cunning plan.  I would run away from home.  That would make them all sorry.

I marched straight out of the driveway and stood on the footpath.  I considered storming off up the street towards the town.  I considered stomping off the other way, towards the school.  Neither option seemed particularly safe, but my wrath boiled on and demanded an outlet.

Momentarily abandoning my plan to run away from home, I devised a master plan so cunning that you may be surprised to know that such a brilliant plan came from one so young.

I decided to sell the house.

Sure, they could send me to my room, but I could sell the house out from under them.

Storming back into the house I found a piece of cardboard, some sticky tape and a black marker.  With the marker I scrawled the words, "FOR SALE" on the card and stomped into the back yard where I found a small eight-inch wooden stake.  I used the sticky tape to stick the card onto the dirt-encrusted stake, and strode out the front again to find a good place to position the sign.

I quickly found that the ground was too hard to drive the stake in, and moved my project to the gravel driveway.  The gravel was too shallow and loose, and after balancing it vertically in a small pile of gravel for a minute, I watched as the sign itself gave up on the sale and fell down flat in the driveway.

I stood back for a minute and waited for a buyer who would come and purchase the house.  I imagined how gratifyingly remorseful my parents would be regarding their callous behaviour towards me, tearfully apologising as they carried their belongings outside in large cardboard boxes as I stood by unforgiving.  "Well Mum you should have thought of that before you told me to go to my room."

After two or three minutes it became apparent that it wasn't a seller's market, and I trudged disconsolately back to the house.  The house remained unsold and I had failed at my one and only attempt at running away from home.

To this day, I have never again tried to run away from home, or sell a house without a Real Estate Agent's license.  Which is probably for the best.

11 February 2011

The Lesser Known Mubarak

Egypt has been in the news, specifically Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.  We've heard a lot about Hosni Mubarak in recent days, the name of Hosni Mubarak has been on everyone's lips and Hosni Mubarak has been on every news site.

I have heard the name Hosni Mubarak many times.

So why is the name Lenny Mubarak going around and around in my head like an annoying song?

Lenny?  Mubarak?  Seriously?

Does this man look like a Lenny to you?

Umm, actually yes, I think he does a little bit.

"Eh Lenny, you whack that guy?"

"What do you mean, whack that guy?  We just had a little conversation, we didn't agree, the conversation is over."

10 February 2011

Moreover the Dog

When I was in high school, our youth group had a competition: Find the most unusual name in the Bible.

You can imagine the entries: Mephibosheth, Abimelech, etc.

B's husband (before he was her husband) won the competition with the name "Moreover."

It's from Luke 16:21, speaking about a poor man named Lazarus.  The verse in the NKJV goes, "Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores."

We didn't realise that it was dogs plural - we all thought it was "Moreover the dog" which is of course, a pretty awesome name.

And now, every time I hear the word "moreover," I think of old Moreover the Dog.

I think that if I ever got another dog (perish the thought,) I would have to call him "Moreover."

"Morrie" for short.

Thanks for listening.

06 February 2011

Audience of One

Today I found myself leading our Sunday School without my other two teachers.  One has a full-time job and has had to step down for a while (and does so with our blessing) and the other has an unusual rash and was advised by her doctor not to have contact with children this week (and does so with our blessing.)

This meant that it was down to me, and whichever helpers turned up.

Praise be given: regular helpers Celina and Chelsea turned up (bless their hearts,)  Mr de Elba volunteered to stay in and help me (bless his heart) and a very new friend Alison volunteered herself and her friend, so they came to help us too (bless their hearts.)  Some talented and wonderful Mums stayed in and helped, including Kylie (bless all their collective hearts) and so I had a small army of volunteers to cut, stick, and provide crowd control.

I also had a small army of volunteers to watch me stuff up (if I was going to,) commit one of my hideous unintentional spoonerisms (if I was going to,) and jiggle and wobble all through the actions to the songs (if I was going to.)

It's times like these that I am reminded that I am playing to an Audience of One.  I'm really only doing this for God, and it's only His approval I seek.  Much as I would love to wallow in embarrassment regarding potential and actual stuff-ups, spoonerisms and jiggling/wobbling, I don't let myself do it.  It will only drag me down and stop me volunteering for these sorts of things.

The morning went quite well.  I can only assume that God would have smiled fondly if I'd stuffed up (which I didn't,) chuckled behind his hand if I'd said that "Phod told Gilip to so gouth on the resert doad" (which I didn't,) or called his angels around to crack up at the sight of me jiggling and wobbling to the actions (which I can't be entirely sure didn't happen despite wearing two bras, if I'm honest.)

The credit can be placed at the door of my wonderful helpers listed above.  Without them, there is no way I could have presented the material to 56 small children.

But there were many instances of me struggling bravely to control 56 three-to-six year olds during the songs, story and craft.  I attempted to put glue on the backs of 10 children's paper objects so they could stick them into their paper suitcases - while trying to take 3 little girls to the toilets - while trying to sort out the scissors from the big plastic boxes of colouring pencils after realizing that some girls had butchered their crafts - while trying to engage a shy little wallflower - while trying to manage the tantrums being thrown by two of my own children who were clinging onto my legs and moaning.

A casual observer would have thought it was a shambles.  I felt like my weeks of preparation APPEARED to have counted for not-much, despite the mammoth efforts of my wonderful helpers (did I mention they were awesome?)

But, as I continue to remind myself, I am only doing this for my Audience of One.  It didn't matter if the watching parents thought it was a bit ill-conceived.  It didn't matter if it was a scramble of children, paper, glue, pencils and the odd pair of scissors.  My Audience of One saw the preparation and the outcome, and I think He would have been pleased.

After church, I was pottering about my kitchen, thinking that in the end, the morning had gone quite well.  Then Mr de Elba said, "Er - you have a rip in the back of your pants."

I looked.  There was a massive 4 inch tear in the seat of my (old) 3/4 jeans out of which my three year old tangerine and aqua striped undies were all too glaringly visible.  (I don't get new clothes all that often.)

My Audience of One?

I can only assume he was rolling about in the clouds paralytic with laughter.

05 February 2011

Spot The Differences

Left: Buzz on his first day of Prep last year.  Right:  Buzz on his first day of Year One this year.

Can you find 10 differences in the pictures above?

1. The shorts on a prep boy cover his knees.  Over the next 12 months, they cease to do that.
2.  In Prep, a boys shirt comes quite low on his torso, but markedly less so by the next year.
3. A Prep boy's shirt is clean, and a Year 1 boy's shirt is rarely so.
4.  Ditto socks.
5.  A Prep boy wears the regulation school hat.  By year 1, the floppiness of the brim has frustrated him so much that he's graduated to a generic hat with a stiffer brim.
6. In Prep, he wears his first pair of school shoes.  In Year 1, he wears his third.  Or fourth.  Or something.
7. The garden behind a boy has grows considerably between the first day of Prep and the first day of Year 1.
8. The mother of a prep boy actually took The First Day Of Prep photos on the second or third day of school, but by Year 1, she's organised enough to photograph many children, have all the lunches ready and bags packed on the actual first day.
9. And she is much more smug for it.
10.  On the first day of Prep, a boy is lovely and little to cuddle.  On the first day of Year One, there is much more of him - he is longer and leaner, and gives tighter cuddles before racing off to "do his thing."

04 February 2011

Predictive text fail

Sorry for all you who came here to read something side-splittingly hilarious about predictive text fails. I find that predictive text fails are much less funny than autocorrect fails.

They just cheese me off.  I guess that if you have a phone with predictive text, you are cheesed off my the same autocorrects that I am: "good" instead of "home," "of" instead of "me," and "he" instead of "if".

And it seems to me that predictive text despises people's names more than other types of words.  "Joey" becomes "Knew", "Nat" is "Oct" and "Anna" comes out as "Bomb."  I am always "Late," my Mum is "Nun", and some of my poor friends are known to my phone as "Lodge" and "Spiraglla" while others are not known to my phone's tiny intellect at all.

I really feel for my friend Brooke though.  My phone would disagree, but I believe that the name "Arnold" doesn't suit her one little bit.

Epic Fail.

What's that, phone?  Huh?  Who is Eric and why does he fail?

I've got one more of these.  I'm loving them.


And check this out from Parents Shouldn't Text.

03 February 2011

So far I have blogged ...

... every single day this month! This is a record! And it's all thanks to youtube.

That's cheating, isn't it?

Yasi has done its worst.  So far there are no reports of loss of life or serious injuries, but the damage is extensive.  As always, updates can be found on ABC News and The Courier Mail.

Yes, things are quite extreme in Australia right now!  It is normal for us to experience bushfires, floods and tropical cyclones at this time of year, but the weather patterns this year have been quite extreme.  I only know one family living in Far North Queensland, so as I traipse through my pleasant sunny days in the south-east corner, I think of them and wait for an email to say they are okay.  I don't expect to hear from them for a while though - communications are quite extensively damaged up north.

02 February 2011

Disasters. We has them.

To my lovely readers from across the sea,

You have probably heard about the floods we've had in Queensland.

Did you hear that there were floods in Victoria as well?  And what about the bushfires in Western Australia?

The bits that weren't affected by all that continued with a heatwave.

And now, there are about 60 minutes until a giant tropical cyclone hits our coast.  Its name makes it sound like 5 giant dice are sitting offshore waiting to roll over the north-east part of the continent...

Not actually Tropical Cyclone Yahtzee, although I think that about 50 times a day.  Cyclone Yasi, which promises to be bigger than anything we have seen in our lifetimes. 

In the next 24 hours or so, our news sites will keep you updated.  ABC News, The Courier Mail.

This is a little graphic that compares the cyclone we are expecting with the devastating Cyclones Tracy (1974) and Larry (2006) and also Hurricane Katrina (2005) which was undoubtedly the largest, although Yasi is expected to deliver faster wind speeds and heavier rainfall.

So if you're a praying person, would you mind getting your praying gear out for the people of Far North Queensland over the next few hours?  It will be a long and scary night for them.

If you are reading this ...

... it means that nothing that happened today was funnier than this, which I scheduled last night because it was so darn funny!

01 February 2011

Wild Side!

I have been enjoying these! Do we get them in Australia? If I actually watched some TV instead of sitting at my computer, would I catch any "Walk On The Wild Side?"