Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sugar high

I gave myself Christmas Day off from fructose-free eating. And probably consumed more sugar than I have in the whole rest of the year combined. 

I fell into bed exhausted at 9pm, got up about 15 minutes later, brain racing, and it's now 12:15. 

Tiredness and sugar-withdrawal crankiness will likely characterise my next few days. Sorry everybody. 

Can you please remind me of this next time?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On the opening of Christmas presents

There seem to be two distinct present opening methods at Christmas time. I'm going to call them 'One-at-a-time' and 'Everybody-in.'

I come from a family of predominantly one-at-a-timers. One person was designated 'Santa,' handing out gifts in an orderly fashion. Everybody was expected to ooh and aah over every gift. Often we paused for photographs.

In the years of the biggest Christmas gatherings, this must have taken a long time. But I don't remember it being so. Perusal of the opened presents and anticipation of those still in the pile helped to fill in the time while the adults opened up their underwear and calendars.

Dave's family are predominantly everybody-in. Oh, the joy of opening present after present after present, all for me. The thrill of all that paper and noise and energy. The sea of chatter as gifts are opened all around. No chance for boredom here!

Two families of origin, with different ways of doing things.

This Christmas, this is what present-opening looked like for us:

One-at-a-time at home before church. One gift each for four people, two of whom can't open independently. It didn't take very long, and we just had time to sit and read a chapter of SP's freshly opened 'The Enchanted Wood' before church.

After church, it was everybody-in with the extended family. We did presents before lunch this year, which worked really well. It meant that SP had new things to play with between courses (particularly his mower), and F could participate in the presents then go to sleep after the entree. I'll admit to getting a little frazzled, as I tried to 'help' F open her gifts, and open mine, and keep the Present Book*, without lagging dreadfully behind everybody else. And I have very little idea of what other people gave each other. But one-at-a-time would have made lunch quite late.

One special one-at-a-time gift, kept back from the others, was opened over lunch. Even if the earlier gifts and their givers were blurred in SP's mind, we wanted him to know that his uncle and aunt in Melbourne were thinking of him and wished they could be there. This is the nativity set they gave – highly recommended.

I guess it doesn't make much difference either way, really. Gifts were given and received, and love was shared. But I like to think things through, and make them as pleasant and meaningful as possible. I'm always searching for a better way. The best way. Though probably it doesn't exist.

So now it's your turn. What did your family do this year? What's your ideal?

*A household notebook where every gift, at every occasion, is recorded. Originally designed to help in thank you card writing, but I like looking back over the years as well.  

Christmas in numbers

One baby waking us in the too-early morning...

One little boy excited for the day...

Two children who waited until after breakfast and Morning 5 to open presents (I wonder if they'll have that much patience next year)...

One Christmas church service...

One conversation with a twice-a-year church attendee - next time I'm praying to hit her much harder with the gospel...

Nine guests at family lunch...

Many, many more presents unwrapped...

Two plastic lawnmowers keeping Aunty Bev's lawn spick and span...

Three yummy courses of lunch, lasting most of the afternoon...

One slightly cranky drive home...

One abbreviated evening routine (not much dinner needed!)...

Two tired children in their beds...

Two tired parents cleaning up and heading to bed too...

One Saviour whose birth we celebrate. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

We're meeting our neighbours

We've been in our current house for our whole married life, nearly 6 years. Yet we only know a few of our neighbours. For a few years now, I've wanted to deliver little Christmas gifts, to get to know some more. This year, we're making it happen. 

We've only done a few deliveries so far. Lots of people not home, and a couple of teenage boy recipients, who were hardly likely to have an indepth conversation. 

But this afternoon, the family of one of the teenage boys left a gift of their own on our front steps. We went over to thank them in person and had a lovely chat.

I was quite chuffed. 

Hopefully we'll meet a few more people tomorrow afternoon. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little angel

We didn't take any photos ourselves during the carols, so other people's are just starting to trickle in. Here's one my favourites so far... 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Our church said goodbye to Andrew & Simone today.

I was an 18 year old baby Christian when they arrived, and my life has been enriched in so many ways by their 10 years of faithful ministry. 

I've spent half an hour trying to draft an appropriate post, illustrating the impact they have made, and I'm getting nowhere. But I've already made a speech and written a letter, so maybe they've got the message ;)

Today's farewell lunch was so encouraging. I wish we'd marked their anniversaries along the way. Why do we only celebrate people's contributions when they're about to leave?

Praise God for blogs. They won't be so far away.

6th Anniversary

Dave & I were married 6 years ago today. Six wonderful, fun, challenging, lovely years.

Apparently the appropriate gifts for a 6th anniversary are iron and sugar. So part of my gift to Dave was a big cup of Deb's Superstar Chocolate Fudge Sauce. Made with dextrose instead of sugar, and poured over a spare helping of Dave's semifreddo (like icecream), it looks, acts & tastes exactly like McDonalds chocolate sauce on a sundae. Yummo!

He bought me a new slow cooker. The best useful gifts are those that I haven't asked for. Thanks honey, and thank you for the last 6 years.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

He gets it, but does he really get it?

SP is pretty good with the Christmas story. He knows all the answers he should. Including the whole 'animal feed trough as bed' bit. As long as it's in its nice sanitised Christmas story context.

Earlier today, we were reading a farm book together. With a picture of a farmer putting feed in a trough. 

So I asked "would we put a baby to sleep in there?" 

He put on his 'that's ridiculous' face. "No!"

"Even if we cleaned it out?"
"No! That's where they eat from."

"But that's what Mary & Joseph had to do with baby Jesus..."

Suddenly he saw the story in a whole new light. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The most exciting night of the 3 year old's year

Carols night, including Church4Kids / Playgroup Christmas Pageant. 8 primary schoolers & 20 littlies. Whew!

The big kids were awesome. We've got some lovely singers. And the little ones had a ball.

SP was a very quiet sheep, a bit over-awed with the whole thing I think. And F spent most of the time on Nana's lap in the front row of the audience, rather than on the rug with her fellow angels, but she was mighty cute. 

If I had my time over, we'd spend 3 times as long rehearsing the big kids with parts, and 1/3 as long practicing the nursery rhymes with the little one. A lesson for next time. 

Praying especially for all the playgroup parents/grandparents/friends who came, many of whom may have heard the gospel for the very first time tonight. That makes it totally worth it. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Yes, we know it's been light-on for posts lately. We've been a bit busy (isn't everyone at this time of year), and my current success with Getting Things Done has meant more productivity, less time randomly cruising the internet, and less time blog posting. 

This is not a catch-up post. Just a 'this is what I'm doing right now' post. 

SP has been enjoying a Babar book we got from the library. So I've had a quick look online for videos from the old series. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Words, words, words...

No, not having an Eliza Doolittle moment.  But I do have a question for any who care to comment:

In writing something for a church to sing today, is "verdant" too old fashioned?

I think it's a better fit for the current draft, but if it's a turn-off for congregations, then maybe I need to get over myself and rephrase it.

No, you can't see it in context, yet :)