Saturday, April 27, 2013

Psalm 71 update

I zipped through the first 6 or so verses of Psalm 71. I'd written my tune, and once I have that I find it pretty easy to get the words into my memory. 

Then I ran out of tune, and didn't write more. And since the tune was 'The Plan', I let the whole thing slide. 

Officially, the Psalm 71 challenge is over. But I've just picked it up again. Wisely, the ladies at Do Not Depart planned that May would be spent revising. Or still learning, as the case may be. 

June to August is going to be 'Memory Classics,' 8 most-memorised passages, like Psalm 23. I'm going to try having SP learn along too. And I'm going to try not setting the words to music, because I think that's actually been my downfall this time round.

Having the next project in sight in so helpful for getting this one finished off...

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Kids Book

I just read about this one over at Girltalk. They're doing a giveaway - can anybody think of a funny thing one of my kids has done so I can enter? Or maybe your kids are the funny ones and you'll win...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Call the Midwife clips on YouTube

Are you watching Call the Midwife? It's my one show at the moment. Love it. 

I came across this video on Facebook yesterday - Comic Relief with the cast of Call the Midwife & a cameo from Dr Who, created to raise money for Red Nose Day in the UK. Worth watching if you're a fan. 

There's also this one about using prosthetic babies - I love this behind the scenes sort of stuff:

I also discovered there's a soundtrack CD & an official companion book. I'm tempted by the CD. I've always been into soundtracks, and 50s & 60s albums are great to clean to. 

And it turns out that the book is in the library. I'll put a hold on it once the series is finished - I'd rather not be spoiled if I can help it. So perhaps I'd better stop poking around the internet...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does God wear shoes?

Specifically, did God and Jesus wear shoes before they made the world?

We read 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' this afternoon, and SP asked at dinnertime why the people went to the shoemaker to get shoes instead of going to a shoe shop. Cue discussion about handmade local goods vs modern factories, transportation etc. 

I thought we'd covered it all pretty well. Then the above question was raised. 


I'm sure there was an easy way out that I didn't take. I headed down the 'God is a spirit' road. Way too confusing. Then he flits from shoes to clothes, and is imagining everyone in heaven running around nudie. And the usual 'I don't think the Bible tells us' wasn't cutting it. 

Soon I was getting my Bible out and flicking through Revelation. Bear in mind that this is all happening in the middle of dinner, and Dave is working lates this week. Not very conducive to theological somersaults. 

We ended up talking about white robes and crowns, but it wasn't very satisfactory for either of us. 

Help me out - what would you have said?

Reading the Bible with SOAP

No, I haven't been taking my Bible in the shower with me. But I have started using a new technique in my Bible reading times: S.O.A.P

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across it here. I don't know where it originated, and a quick google gives lots of explanations & resources. 

The basic idea is: 

S: Scripture - write it out. 
O: Observations. 
A: Applications
P: Prayer 

When I found this, I was feeling pretty uninspired in my readings, and trying something new nearly always helps with that, so I gave it a go straight away. And I'm loving it. 

I've been taking the Bible readings from church (1 Tim and Titus), dividing them into 6-7 parts, and reading one part each day in the lead up to the sermon. 

Since I'm doing my Bible readings first thing in the morning. I'm finding that the simple act of writing out the passage goes a long way towards waking me up and focusing my attention. I may be bleary eyed at the start, but by the time I've copied out a couple of sentences, my brain is much more engaged than it would be if I'd just been reading them. 

I write my observations, applications and prayers too. It keeps me focused, and at the end of my quiet time, I look at the page of notes I've written and feel like I've accomplished something. 

And there's one more thing that's been adding value to my Bible reading time: 

Our house has a lot of doorways and not so many doors, so using this little beauty (from IKEA) rather than the overhead dining room light means the children don't feel so inclined to come and join me. 

I'm still not really enjoying getting up to read the Bible, but I am enjoying being up. Praise God. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I hadn't realised how much tidier 3 1/2 year old play is, compared to younger kids. Yes, SP makes a mess, but his messes are generally in defined areas, and thus easy to clean up. And he (sometimes) helps. 

F, on the other hand, has just discovered the joy of carrying things around. So there's interesting bits and pieces spread everywhere. I had forgotten this phase, but now I remember. 

Or not

Back to The Enchanted Wood at rest time :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


SP is showing signs of moving on from his obsession with The Enchanted Wood! 

It all started when we bought him a beautiful full-colour copy for Christmas. Although he originally assumed he was too little for it (it's the first chapter book we've read him, apart from a few chapters of Winnie-the-Pooh), he fell in love very quickly and has requested it almost every rest time and bed time (and other times) ever since. We've probably read it through close to 15 times now. He's acquiesced to a few chapters of some other Enid Blytons here and there, but it's always been The Enchanted Wood at bedtime. 

Yesterday, we started reading Dick King-Smith's 'The Sheep-Pig' (aka Babe). It was deemed suitable for bedtime and rest time reading, and it's only 12 chapters, so we finished it today. This evening, I was holding my breath for The Enchanted Wood to be requested again, but no - he wanted to start the Sheep-Pig back at the beginning. 

When we're chatting about it, it's obvious that quite a lot of it has gone over his head on the first read-through. But some things go straight in and ruminate - he's been asking tonight if somebody else would be his foster-parent if his dad & I were gone and he got a bit lonely, like Fly is Babe's foster-parent. 

What books are your kids into?

God made babies just the way they need to be

A while ago I said I'd share some tidbits from the books I'm reading. Since then, I've marked many pages, but none have turned into actual blog posts. Until now. 

Here's one little gem from Dr Susan Prescott's 'The Allergy Epidemic,' which I'd recommend to anybody who has even a passing interest in allergies and their recent increase. It surprised me by its readability, which perhaps the following quote (from the middle of one of the more technical chapters) doesn't demonstrate very well. But bear with me. 

... exposure to allergens through the oral route (the gut) is more likely to induce immune tolerance... there is some evidence that immune cells in the gut are more likely to suppress allergic responses, compared with the same kinds of cells in the skin or the respiratory tract. (pg 49)

Did you catch that? I'll paraphrase:

The immune cells in our guts are better at telling the difference between things they need to react to and things they don't, than the cells in our skin or lungs are. 

Which means that the best and safest way to teach our immune systems to operate properly is to get lots of different particles in our mouths. 

So what do babies do? Put everything in their mouths. Yes, it's how they learn about objects, but now we find out it's teaching their immune systems too. 

God really has designed human beings very, very well.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Oh, the debris!

I took the long weekend off. We had plenty of responsibilities at church and still had children to feed and clothe. But I let the non-essential housework slide, in favour of things like family bike rides and sitting on the couch reading a book. It was good to have a break. 

And then this morning arrived. And, predictably, the house resembled a bomb site, the regular housework was way behind, and the kids just wanted me to sit on the floor and read to them all morning. 


I considered my regular plan of action: Pick a room, and tidy it til it looks lovely. Excellent, one room down. Start on the next one. But the kids seem to realise that this process could take a while, so by this point they're usually clamouring for attention. Then I get annoyed with them for wanting me while I just want to get things done, and try to keep working. Unsurprisingly, their behaviour deteriorates, my frustration levels rise, and... you can guess what happens then. 

Today, a slightly different tack. 

I pick my first room, then set my trusty timer. Actually, it's my phone. 5 minutes. It's effective motivation - I tidy fast. The timer goes off, and things in that room are looking pretty good. The kids are happily playing, they'll do without me for another 5. Let's move on to the next room, and set the timer again. This room is BAD. My 5 minutes is over before I know it, and there's still a lot to do. But I know the perfectionist trap I'm about to get caught in, so I tell myself that I can come back later and move on.

Another 5 minutes and F is asking for a story. Having accomplished 3 rooms already, I'm fine with that. We read. And read. And SP joins the party, and we read some more. But that's ok, it was part of the plan. 

And so we continue on. There's still sibling spats, and a time-out, more mess being created in the rooms I've just done, and a moment's annoyance when it comes to morning tea time and I haven't tidied the kitchen from breakfast yet.

A little later, I glance at the clock. It's 10am. The house looks reasonable. We're sitting on the upturned coffee table sailing to the beach for a plastic bread and pizza picnic. We've enjoyed each other's company and done a reasonable job of having everybody's needs met, conflicting as they may have seemed 3 hours ago. 

Housework with little ones is a slow process, but today, I'm ok with that. 

Now to maintain that attitude for the afternoon. The floor's overdue for a vacuum, the shower's getting slimy, dinner won't cook itself... Here we go again...