Monday, June 30, 2008

Too busy to post!

What's with that? I have had the most hectic day and I didn't even THINK about blogging! That has never happened before!

Today was the last day of the financial year, and with steel prices set to rise by quite a bit in the next financial year I was under all sorts of pressure to get all the machinery orders sorted for 2009. It was a huge task, but it's left me with a feeling of accomplishment. I worked late today but left my desk tidy and organised, with just a few loose ends to sort out tomorrow.

I discovered a definate "up" side to Pink splitting up with her boyfriend on the weekend. Corey was lovely, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against him. But on Sunday we went out to lunch with friends with just us. Just our family. That hasn't happened in quite some time. Last year we had a friend's daughter boarding with us and our family grew by one, then along came Corey and we were thinking about getting a bigger car! Now it's just us again, and it's nice. I didn't even realise I missed it.

And the BIG news...... drum roll please..... Robbie played his first game in the forward lines on Saturday and he got a goal! We could tell he was really excited, but trying to play it cool. Pink was really proud of him and gave him a big hug in front of his friends which he pretended was really embarrasing but he was pretty chuffed. He loves it when she gives him approval.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Today I'm a bit sleep deprived and just a tiny wee bit grumpy.

I'm feeling a bit let down by my netball club, I'm not sure if my feelings are unfounded or not, but they are what they are.

All I'm asking for is a little support. Ok, maybe more than a little, but a little would be a good start.

I play (ok, reality check here, I used to play, now I coach, umpire, support) for a great club. We pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming and trying our best to make sure everyone gets a fair go. At the moment, I feel as though this responsibility has been left entirely up to me.

We have four senior teams which are graded by ability into A, B, C and C2, with the A grade being the really good players. You need 7 players to fill a netball team, and currently our club has an abundance of numbers. As coach of the C2, I am really feeling the weight of these numbers, as our higher grades are choosing to play with 8 in their teams. That leaves me with 11. We have had two injuries in the higher grades and still they have managed to shuffle themselves without pulling one of my girls up and giving them a go.

Currently I am having sleepless nights trying to juggle these girls so that they all get equal court time and to be honest I'm pretty much at the end of my tether. I am frustrated, and dissapointed and just down right grumpy. The most difficult thing is that I am coaching the girls on the lower rung as far as ability goes. A lot of these girls are young, with great potential, only I don't have time to really teach them because I spend so much time trying to juggle them.

I had a dream last night that I stood up to say my coaches speech at the end of the year at our presentation day and gave them all a really good telling off. I woke up in tears. I'm more than a little surprised that this is getting to me so much. I think what really bothers me is that I feel like I've just been left to my own devices and forgotten. The other grades just don't seem to care and that hurts, because I really thought we were better than that.

Lord, please help me to be the best coach I can be to these girls. Help me to play them in a way that they can be successful and fair at the same time. Please help the netball club see that this is a whole club issue, not just the bottom grade. Please help me with my frustrations and show me the best way to handle this situation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Please Pray

Pink has found herself at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. She has the opportunity to go away to complete her schooling next year and the year after. She would board with friends and go to a much bigger school which offers the art and music programs she wants.

Yesterday on the way home she told me she wants to go. Now.

Then she thought she could wait til the end of the year.

By dinner time she didn't want to go at all.

At bed time she wasn't sure what she wanted.

I of course have my own concerns. While I can see fantastic opportunity for her at this new school I worry that she will be home sick. Even though she will board with friends there is a significant cost involved, she would want to come home regularly and being 600km away that comes at a price. Then there is the new school uniform, fees, books, and I would of course pay board to our friends.

She is concerned about leaving her home for the first time. She worries that she won't fit in or will have trouble making friends. She worries that Darren and Chris (our friends) won't let her go out (assuming she makes friends!). She worries about Darren and Chris's small children and whether she will cope with living with small people.

So, there is much to consider. I'd appreciate your prayers while we go through the decision making process.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

I know this is no great revelation to most of you, but it really is that simple.

I tend to over think, analyse, worry, justify when all I really need to do is look up.

Last night I tore myself away from my blog to go sit and spend some time with my bible. I dug out my bible quote journal and just started reading and taking notes.

I started where I left off last time, in Hebrews, and isn't it amazing that I was reading about perserverance, faith, don't give up, hold on to hope. Of course I shouldn't be surprised, and I'm not really surprised, but I'm certainly grateful that the Lord prompted me to read those passages when I most needed them.

Nothing startling happened. I had no great revelations, or visions, just a feeling of peace.

So there is a lesson for me. Next time I hope it doesn't take me three weeks to pick up my bible, but I had a strong sense that I just didn't want to do it. I need to learn to recognise that for what it is, and pick up my bible anyway. Satan had me convinced that it was just a book, and wouldn't offer any comfort or help, I had even stopped taking my bible to church and reading along with the bible readings.

Lord, thankyou for perservering with me. I pray that in the future I can recognise Satan's interference in my life and look to you to help me overcome it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We talked in church this morning about building walls around our hearts, and not letting Jesus inside.

I feel like I've hit a wall lately. I don't know why exactly, and I can't pinpoint the problem, but I feel stuck. I don't even know what my wall is, I just know that I've hit it. And at the moment I just don't have the energy to try to climb it or go around it.

It's not work, I'm enjoying my new job, and it's not home, everything is calm and peaceful here (for the moment).

The fact that I've not picked up my bible in three weeks could have something to do with it. I have kept my prayers going, but I've let life get in the way of spending time with the Lord. Even at church this morning I felt disconnected, and had to make a conscious effort to speak to people. Worship even had some of my favourite songs with my favourite leader, and still I felt, I don't know, just not really there.

I feel like I'm letting Satan win at the moment, and I just don't have the energy to fight.

I want to pray, but can't find the words, so if someone out there can help, I'd appreciate it.

Beautiful Girls

Well, I certainly think they are beautiful. Here is Pink (on the right) about to do battle on the netball court opposing her cousin. These girls have grown up together and are roughly the same age (Pink is a few months younger). They are chalk and cheese. One is fair, the other dark, one is quiet and the other is loud (that would be Pink!) but both share the same wicked sense of humour.

It seems like yesterday when they were fighting over toys and running around in nappies. And now look at them. Beautiful young ladies.

I am pleased to say that our team won the game yesterday after what was a pretty shaky start. We came back from being 8 goals down to win the game by 13. I was a bit worried, but very pleased to see my team pull together and come from behind. I was really proud of them.

Thats about all I have today. My brain is feeling a bit fuzzy. Sinuses are playing up again. I think I may go take a nap! I do love Sunday.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Many of us here on Eyre Peninsula are feeling a bit forgotten by our state and federal governments.

The government has come up with a new Community Health plan which will see our hospital downgraded to not much more than a first aid station and which will make it even more difficult to attract and retain a doctor. This would also mean that we would have to travel to Port Lincoln or Whyalla for any accidents, emergencies, serious illness and child birth. That's an hour and a half away. It could just be me, but I think if my husband (heaven forbid) had a farming accident, or if my son came off his motorbike (again)that having to travel 90 minutes to seek help is a little unreasonable.

And it's not just health that is under fire. Our school is also under attack. The government wants to change the staffing arrangements and scrap their previous promise that class sizes wouldn't exceed 27. The average class size at our school is currently 30 and the government now wants to take this agreement away entirely, which could see classes climb up to 35. Blind Freddy can see that this is not an ideal environment for our children to learn. Our teachers recently went on strike about this issue, and the fact that South Australian teachers are on the second lowest wage in the country. The media, of course, reported that the teachers went on strike because they want more money without commenting on any of the other issues.

Add to that the fact that our church is about to lose it's minister and I have to say that I'm feeling like people have forgotten that South Australia doesn't finish at Adelaide.

Logically I know that we will be fine. We always are. If there is one thing that we are good at it's standing up and fighting for what we believe in, and fight we will. It just makes me a bit cross, so I figured a good old fashioned rant would make me feel better.

And it has. So thankyou for listening!

Lord, thankyou for this wonderful community that I live in. Please watch over our government officials and influence the decisions that they make in regards to the people in the country. Please help us be heard, and help the policy makers come up with an equitable way to resolve the conflicts we are currently experiencing. Also I pray for our church community. I pray that we will find a new minister to join us soon, but if that isn't to be I pray that our congregation can pull together and fill the void.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Orthodontist check up

Fisherman, Robbie and I spent the day in Port Lincoln today. It was time for Robbie's second check up and tightening of his braces. He still had a baby tooth in the way which he has had about six months now to wriggle out. Suffice to say he has done precious little wriggling.

Dr Gallagher told him he was going to give it a bit of a wobble to see how much it was hanging on by. The only person who didn't see the next thing coming was Robbie. Within seconds the offending tooth was out and poor Robbie had a look or complete horror and surprise! He couldn't believe that this nice kind old man would do such a sneaky and devious thing! He was even more put out by the fact that his mother and his aunt (who was also the dental nurse) were falling about laughing at his expression. It was just priceless.

So, now that the baby tooth is finally out of the way his adult tooth will be able to come down and be straightened into position.

The remainder of the day was spent browsing the shops and just spending time together. It was lovely. We bought Robbie a chocolate milkshake to make up for having his tooth pulled out, he forgave us eventually!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Computer cat.

This is Boris. He is my Russian Blue. My kids are both a little disturbed that they have been replaced by a cat. And I have to admit that sometimes I love him more!

As you can see, Boris isn't too keen on flash photography, I couldn't get him to keep his eyes open. He has a bit of a thing for the computer. He loves to sit on your lap while you surf the net, and at the point where he feels that you are paying more attention to the computer than him, he simply sits on the keyboard. And smiles. I swear he is smiling.

You may have noticed that I am a cat person. I like dogs ok, but cats are just really cool. They are so independant and self reliant. I like that they spend time with you when they choose to, I love the way they move, and I love the way cats live life on their own terms. The thought of doing something to please a human is completely alien to them. You never own a cat, a cat chooses to live with you. And if you are really lucky, you get one like my Boris. He is an "in your face" kind of boy. He demands attention, he loves nothing better than to lick your nose in the morning and pur in your ear while you are trying to sleep. He is completely secure in the knowledge that he is the boss, and that everyone in this family adores him.

And Zsar Boris (he has to be a Zsar, he's Russian Royalty) has decided that I've been here long enough. He is constantly pushing buttons and chasing my fingers on the keyboard. So since His Highness has spoken I guess it means it's time for me to go.

I've scared you all now haven't I. There you were thinking I was this normal, sane person when really I'm in training to be a scary old cat lady!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My blogging voice

In browsing through my favourite blogs this week I've come across a bit of a theme. What is my motive for blogging? Is it about me or is it about Jesus? Also is the blogging me the real me?

Upon pondering these questions I think I've come up with some answers. When I orginally started blogging it was purely for me. It was an avenue for me to share my thoughts, prayer requests and general happenings. It wasn't long before I discovered that through my blog I could bless others, and that has been an amazing experience. Having said that, I think I need to work on my blog becoming more Christ centred. Because I need to work on becoming more Christ centred.

As for my blog being the real me. I like to think it is. It's a more eloquent version of me because I have always been far better at expressing myself through the written word. I have people I know who read this blog and they haven't started viewing me as though I have a split personality so I'm hoping that's a good sign!

I read other's blogs and they bless my walk with the Lord so much. I truly beleive that the Lord led me to the blogging world (with a little help from Lightening!) so that I could come into contact with some amazing, honest and Christ centred women. I don't feel that I am spiritually mature enough to hand out advice, but I'm really enjoying gaining knowledge and encouragement from you lovely ladies. I hope to one day be able to contribute to others lives in the same way that you have blessed mine.

Lord, thankyou for introducing me to this wonderful blogging family. I pray that I can let you dwell in my heart permanently, and that I can learn to look to you in all things. I pray that I can come to a place where I know for certain that my decisions and my life is led by you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Camp Oven Tea

First you need a camp oven. These can be bought from camping and outdoor shops and are usually made of cast iron. Ours is home made by Fisherman out of a cut down stainless steele beer keg. It's quite a bit larger than the standard ones you buy, and we are thinking of getting one of those. This one is great for feeding a crowd but a bit big for just the family.
We light a fire (didn't show you a photo of that, I'm pretty sure you have all seen a fire before!) and let it burn down to hot coals. Then dig a hole and put some hot coals in the bottom.

Then we put the bottom half of the camp oven in, add some water in the bottom of that to keep the meat moist and sit the meat on top of a rack. Here we have chicken, beef and lamb ready to be slow roasted.

Here you can see Fisherman putting the lid on and making sure it is sealed.

Then he puts some more hot coals on top. It takes about 4 hours for the meat to roast and Fisherman checks it every now and again. If its cooking too fast he takes some coals away, too slow means he adds some more.

And there you go. It's pretty simple really. I meant to take a photo of the finished product but I got side tracked with eating it! You can cook almost anything in a camp oven. I have steamed puddings, made lovely slow cooked casseroles and some lovely damper.

We all enjoyed our dinner and the lovely time of sitting outside around a camp fire on a cold winters night. The weather was calm and clear which was just perfect. We got the kids to make banana dream boats for dessert which they all enjoyed. For those of you who don't know you make a banana dream boat by slitting the banana down the middle (with the skin still on) poking alternate marshmallows and chocolate squares in the slit, then wrapping it in alfoil. Then you put in in the hot coals to let the banana go all squishy and the chocolate and marshmallows melt all through it. Served with icecream it's really really really yummy. Not to mention extremely bad for you! But sometimes its best not to think about that!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Decision time.

Well, I finally stopped procrastinating and made a decision. I wrote a letter (an email actually) to our District Officer in the Education Department. I have dealt with this man before and frankly I don't have a great deal of faith in him, but I've done my part now, we will see what happens from here.

It took me ages to click send on that email. It's a big deal when you could be affecting someone elses life. But I feel that my biggest concern should be for my children, it's my job to protect them so I have put Robbie first.

Hopefully this will mean that this teacher will get help. She has many emotional issues and I really hope she gets help with this. She was a wonderful teacher, I just hope she will be again one day.

Dear Lord. I pray that my decision today will help with the situation at Robbie's school. I also pray for the teacher in question. I know she doesn't believe in you but I pray that she will seek help and overcome her issues. Thankyou that Robbie is now learning in a loving and kind environment. I pray that he will continue to enjoy his learning and make up for lost time.

Something to look forward to

I decided earlier in the week that it would be a good idea to give Pink something to look forward to on the weekend.

So, with that in mind we have invited two wonderful families with teenage children to our place for tea on Saturday night, since we have no football/netball this week. Pink is really looking forward to it, and so will I, once I have the house tidy!

We have decided to have a camp oven tea. A camp oven is like a dutch oven, made of cast iron. You light a fire and once it has burned down to coals you dig a hole and put your camp oven inside, then let it slowly cook for about 5 hours. We are going to roast some lamb and chicken and vegetables in one camp oven, and in the other I'm planning on steaming a golden syrup pudding.

Being able to have a camp fire is one of the many benefits of living where we do. There is nothing quite like sitting around a fire on a cold night, toasting marshmallows and just catching up.

Hopefully it will do the trick, and give Pink a lift. The families we have invited are the parents of two of her dearest friends so she should have fun. And so should we!

I'm hoping to take photo's (if I remember) and post the whole camp oven process tomorrow.

But first.....I have to clean the house! Nothing like inviting guests to make you clean properly!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teachers can be bully's too

I'm in a bit of a quandry. Robbie's teacher from last term and last year has been removed from the school for this term because the principal felt that she was emotionally and verbally abusing the kids, Robbie in particular.

It has now come to light that the Education Department (in their infinate wisdom) have offered her the same position for next term. She says that she doesn't want to come back to school yet, that she doesn't feel school is the right place for her at the moment. She is right, but I want to be a bit more sure of whats going on than that.

The principal is very stressed and feels that he has stuck his neck out to protect the kids and all it has achieved is one term. There is no guarantee that she will come back, but the fact that the Department have offered her the position is a kick in the teeth for him. He feels as though he has been put through the wringer for nothing.

Both the principal and the current teacher (who is wonderful) are putting pressure on me to write a letter to the department expressing my concerns. My problem is that I'm not really sure what my concerns are. The previous teacher taught Pink in year 6 and was fabulous with her, and while Robbie has come home saying that he hates school and he hates Mrs...... I don't feel I have anything really specific to complain about. Robbie isn't the type of kid who will tell me exactly what someone said or did to make him feel bad, he just reacts by not wanting to go to school, not doing any work and generally misbehaving.

I can definately say that the change in Robbie has been immense. He is enjoying school, he is doing his homework. He hasn't once said this term that he doesn't want to go to school.

If the previous teacher has decided not to come back this year then I am tempted to let sleeping dogs lie. Robbie will change schools next year and head to high school but if she really is that bad I feel guilty about inflicting her on any other kids.

I don't know. I will pray and hope the Lord points me in a definate direction. He has to be obvious though, because I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Day Back

Pink has just come in from school. Smiling. Such a beautiful smile.

I spoke to her around lunch time and she was pretty low then. Hadn't spoken to or seen Corey and was busily avoiding him in the lunch break.

So, while she hasn't actually faced him she has survived the day, and she has had support from a couple of lovely friends. I think she is "letting sleeping dogs lie" and has decided that she will speak to Corey when she congratulates him on finding a new girlfriend! I'm not sure this head in the sand approach will work, but for the moment he is happy to just let things coast along.

Thanks everyone for your continued support and prayer. I do beleive the worst is behind us in this matter but I would appreciate further prayer just to be sure!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Please Pray

Ok, six days later and she is still crying. I feel completely helpless and it just breaks my heart.

I think a big part of this is that she isn't just losing a boyfriend, but a group of friends also because he integrated her into his social circle, while isolating her from her own. I don't think he did this on purpose, Pink was more than happy to feel she belonged with his group. But now she feels lost and isolated. The fact that she instigated the break up (by kissing another boy - oh the drama's of teenage love) makes it all the worse for her because she has guilt as well.

I've talked to her about why she kissed the other boy (whom has been a close friend of hers for several years). She says she was feeling smothered, and angry that BF was telling her who she could and couldn't be friends with. This was her way of rebelling. I don't think she foresaw (is that a word?) the consequences.

The end result is that all his friends have rallied around him as the "wronged" party, and she is being painted as the scarlet woman. It's been a tough lesson to learn and I fear that the lesson is far from over. She is yet to face school.

Please pray that she can get through this week at school, and that she can learn from this experience and move forward. Please also pray for the Lord to watch over her, and help heal her hurting soul. Also please pray for me. I just want to keep her home and protect her, but I know that isn't the answer. She has to face up to BF and his friends tomorrow, I just pray that it won't be too traumatic for her.

That's it. No more boyfriends. I'm sending her to a convent.

Lord, please use this experience to bring Pink closer to you. Help her to know you are there and look to you for comfort. I pray that she can carry herself with dignity tomorrow and not say or do anything that will make matters worse. Please guide her tongue and let her speak with wisdom and honesty.

Snickers bar

Kelly over at Chatty Kelly wrote a post about what type of candy you are. In my usual smart alec fashion I commented that my family is a snickers bar, I am the chocolate holding together a bunch of nuts.

That's probably a bit harsh! But with all the drama's we have been having with miss Pink I was feeling a bit sarcastic.

Ok, so I've been thinking what kind of candy bar would best describe the members of my family?

Robbie would have to be a caramello koala (sorry to the folks in the US, a caramello koala is a koala shaped chocolate with a runny caramel centre). Cute and cuddly, but too much gives you a tummy ache!

Pink would have to be sour worms (that sounds terrible doesn't it!) but it suits her. Sweet and tart often at the same time. The tartness makes you crinkle your nose but the sweetness keeps you coming back for more!

Fisherman would be 85% pure dark chocolate. Soothing, calming, quality all the way.

And me, well to honest I think I'm all the nuts inside the snickers bar, and Fisherman is the chocolate holding me together.

What kind of candy are you?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Parenting Issues

It has really hit me in the past few days just how much influence I have over my children, and what a huge responsibility it is to give them the right advice at the right time.

I have to admit that at the moment I'm not really feeling up to the task. Pink is looking to me for advice on how to handle the breakup with her boyfriend. I have no clue. I married my first boyfriend, I have no life experience in this area whatsoever. She is very vulnerable at the moment, and what advice I have offered her she has taken on board, which brings me to the point of how much advice do I give her? I'm advising her to do what I want her to do. I have an agenda here. I want what I believe is best for her, but I'm wondering if what I want for her is what is best for her? Or am I just trying to make sure she avoids making the same choices I did?

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband, my family, and for the most part, my life. But at Pinks age I decided not to go away to school, then not to go to university and not to pursue my career of choice because I wanted to stay here with my boyfriend. Luckily for me it all worked out well, but I still have regrets. I want her to avoid those regrets and "what if's" I want her to get out there and experience life and explore her talents.

So you can see, I'm a bit biased. Her boyfriend (in my opinion) was holding her back. He had already advised her against going away to school next year. He plans to stay here once he leaves school and get an apprenticeship. I want so much more for her (or me maybe?).

Dear Lord, please help me to give Pink the right advice that is right for her life and her situation. Help me to not let my past experiences and regrets cloud my judgement and offer her helpful words that are purely for her own good.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Pink and I have returned from our trip to Adelaide, completely exhausted.

The trip had it's ups and downs to say the very least......

There were some interesting career options for Pink to consider. She really enjoyed the hairdressing and the naturopathy, and found the architect really interesting, although was put off by the 5 years at uni. I don't think she has come to any decisions, and a lot of the time she wasn't in the right "headspace" to be thinking about her career options which was unfortunate.

On Tuesday night Pink broke up with her boyfriend. I was quietly relieved because I worried that having an older boyfriend meant that she was wanting to grow up too fast. Pink was ok at first but by Wednesday afternoon I had to take her back to our hotel because she just couldn't hold it together. Then she seemed to pick up again and decided to join the class for movie night. Thursday she was pretty good all day, but like I said wasn't really "on channel". On Thursday night we went out shopping and bowling with the class and on the way home she just fell to pieces again. Today she has been ok, but quiet. I'm finding it hard to console her, how do you go about telling them that it's not the end of the world without trivialising it? To her its a really big deal. This is her first breakup. These emotions are painful and new.

What I'm afraid of now is that he will decide he wants to get back together again, and then we will get back on this emotional roller coaster for another ride.

This parenting teenagers is just one crisis after another sometimes!