Friday, August 17, 2012

The Other Grandpa

This handsome devil is my other Grandfather, George. He is four years younger than Grandpa Bates in my previous post. A spring chicken at 89.

On Tuesday, completely out of the blue he passed away while at home, sitting in his favourite chair. He wasn't unwell, or in any pain, and had his wife and daughter (my mum) with him.

He isn't the Grandparent we've been worrying about!

Grandad was a war hero. Although you would never hear him say that. He fought in world war two, came home and never spoke of it again. He never accepted his medals. It was a chapter of his life that he just didn't want to acknowledge and we had to respect that.

Grandad was an awesome dancer. He taught me to waltz, some of my fondest memories are of going to dances with my grandparents.

Grandad made the best cup of tea EVER. He passed on his love of a good pot of tea to me, and to Stephanie. I remember very early on feeling very special with my very own cup of tea brewed for me by Grandad.

Grandad was funny, gruff, sarcastic, witty, grumpy and kind. There were a lot of people who were a bit wary of Grandad, he was gruff, but he had a heart of gold, and he didn't scare me. Mum says right from when I was a toddler he would growl and grumble and I would just climb into his lap and that would be grumbling over!

On Tuesday Kym and I will fly to Queensland to say goodbye to Grandad. It's bittersweet. I will see family that I haven't seen in a long time, but saying goodbye will be hard. We were planning a big birthday this year when Grandad would have turned 90, and Steph 20 on the same day. It was only yesterday that we had a party for their 10th and 80th birthdays.

Dear Lord. Please be with Nana, and Mum and Dad as they prepare for the funeral and adjust to life without him around. Please be with all the family as we travel to and from Queensland. Amen

Monday, August 13, 2012


Poor Kym got a bit of a fright yesterday.

He decided it was a nice day to go fishing so went to our favourite beachside town where the boat is kept in Grandpa's backyard.

He knocked on Grandpa's door to say hello and got no response so went ahead and got the boat ready to take out. While doing that he heard a crash so went and found the spare key and let himself in to investigate. He found Grandpa passed out on the floor, eyes open, barely breathing and not responding to Kym at all.

So the fishing trip turned into an ambulance trip to hospital where Grandpa is resting now. He's really tired and just wants to sleep but they didn't find anything actually wrong with him.

Grandpa is fiercely independent, and very stubborn.At 93 he is living at home on his own, cooking for himself, and looking after himself. He even still drives (which scares the life out of me). We are going to have to revisit the "you shouldn't be living on your own" argument which we have had a few times now. But seriously, what would have happened if Kym didn't decide to go fishing yesterday morning? Doesn't bear thinking about.

Kym was a bit shaken up by the whole encounter. He thought Grandpa had died, and it really scared him. Didn't scare Grandpa at all though, he knows where he's going, and is well aware that his days on this earth are numbered.

But we aren't ready to let him go. Not yet.

Here is Grandpa on his 90th birthday 3 years ago. He's not just Grandpa, he's Great Grandpa to Steph and Scott, and Great Great Grandpa to my nephews little girl. In the background are photos of his great grandchildren (Steph on the left as a baby, then Steph and Scott). He is so loved and cherished, a wonderful, kind, softly spoken, God fearing man. Such an example to us all.

Dear Lord, thankyou for sending Kym to Grandpa's yesterday so that he was able to help him when he needed it. Please help the family do what is best for Grandpa, and not what is convenient for them, please be with him as he rests in hospital today and help him recover quickly. In your precious name. Amen.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Australian Coat of Arms...

The Australian Coat of Arms depicts a kangaroo and an emu.

Today the Australian Coat of Arms is not my friend...

Kangaroos are in plague proportions around our property at the moment. There is a lot of green about and that means happy kangaroos and very unhappy farmers. And drivers. VERY unhappy drivers.

I have one particularly unhappy driver in my house tonight. His beloved car is now sporting some rather fetching scratches all down one side, a damaged bumper, and a missing rearview mirror. The kangaroo is fine. He dodged that and went into the bushes. Sigh. I'm grateful he's ok. But it's a hassle. And he is one VERY unhappy camper at the moment....

Lord, thankyou for watching over Scott and keeping him safe. I know that cars are replaceable and lives are not. May he learn from his mistakes and take our sometimes dangerous country roads a little slower and more cautiously in the future. Thankyou for bringing him home in one piece. Amen.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if it is really too much to ask to have both my children happy, content and independent. I'm not saying I want them to be rocket scientists, or neurologists, or the prime minister. Just happy and independent! Seriously, is that so much to ask?

It would appear so. One of my children is happy and almost independent. The other is miserable and extremely dependent. He is skipping school (again), being sullen (still), and has been in a bad temper since 2009! I'm over it! We have tried punishment, encouragement, bribery, tantrums (from both of us), tears (mine), predictions of doom (you won't get a job, you will be living with your parents forever), and I'm all out of ideas.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at the school (again, soon I will get my own parking space). I'd really appreciate your prayer as we try to nut out where to from here.

Lord, please speak to Scott's heart and fill him with your love and power. Help him find direction and purpose and the will to follow the path that you choose for him. Help me with the right words at the right time. I place him in your hands Lord. Amen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beginnings and Endings

Today was Steph's first day in her new job as a receptionist. She enjoyed herself and is really happy to have finally found full time work.

Her happiness is tinged with sadness at the news over the weekend that one of her friends died on Friday night after a fall. He'd been drinking, but wasn't drunk, tripped and fell, hitting his head in exactly the wrong spot. He was 18 years old.

Mike wasn't a really close friend of Steph's, but he was someone who always had a kind word for her, always asked how she was going, and just genuinely cared for people. He touched the lives of many of his peers and was just one of those all round nice guys.

I can't imagine the pain his parents and family must be feeling. Steph is at a loss as to how to comfort her friends who were really close to Mike. It's just a terribly sad time for the youth of the community.

Dear Lord, thankyou for Steph's job, and thankyou that she enjoyed her first day. Please be with all those touched by Mike and who are dealing with his death. Please be with his family and friends and offer them comfort in this sad time. Amen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Proud Moments

Last night Scott was partner to a young lady for her debutante ball.
After all the frustration and worry this boy has caused it was lovely to just feel proud, and when I saw him all dressed in his suit, and behaving like the perfect gentleman I was indeed proud!

Here he is putting Kelsey's corsage on her wrist.

Walking down the hall, standing up straight, hand behind his back, just like he was told! He IS capable of doing what he is told! There is hope!
And here he is with his big sister.  I love these kids so much it hurts sometimes.

Dear Lord. Please keep Scott and Steph safe, please speak to their hearts and let them hear your voice, feel your presence and be drawn to you. Amen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


It's never easy when a relationship ends.

Steph has recently broken up with her boyfriends, which I was actually quite pleased about, and they seemed to handle it very well. Both of them. They were still talking, still friendly, still very civilised.


Today it all went a bit pear shaped. She found some things out about him that were probably best left in the past, confronted him, and got very angry. She was ok, but now is feeling betrayed and angry. I've said all the things that I'm supposed to say. It's in the past. Leave it there. Just confirms that she's made the right know...all the wise words.

Didn't make any difference of course. She's still very angry, but she's kind of accepting as well. Personally I think she's dodged a bullet, and a little pain now is better than a whole world of it later on.

So I'd appreciate prayers for her as she heals. And prayers for her as she looks for a job.

Lord, please be with Steph as she deals with whatever has come up from the past. Help her understand that there's nothing she can do to change it, and it needs to stay behind her. Please be with her when she attends her job interviews tomorrow, and help her find a place where she feels at home and safe.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Skipping church

I skipped church this morning...I do that way too often. It's selfish, and the "easy road" and it makes me feel a little empty for the coming week.

I skip church for several reasons, today was just plain exhaustion, and longing for a day at home. Sometimes it's sport or family commitments, sometimes it's because we have gone away, sometimes it's to please Kym and spend time with him. He used to be quite jealous of the time I spend at church, he's not really anymore but I still sense a resentment at times. So at times I take the easy way out.

So now I'm feeling a bit empty, and a bit detached. Obviously the answer is to spend time with the Lord in prayer and in reading my bible. Which I will do. Right now :)

Dear Lord, please help me stay close to you. Please be with Scott, Stephanie, Kym and Alex now. Please help Steph settle in her new home, and find work. Please help Scott find faith and focus. Please be with Alex as he adjusts to life without Stephanie, and help him get his finances under control. Please be with Kym Lord. I see steps toward you and then he pulls away again. Please help him turn to you. In your precious name. Amen.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cracked Pot

I'm a cracked pot.

I've got cracks, chips and chinks in my armour but I'm trying really hard to put on the armour of God, and not let my lack of faith and feelings of unworthyness get in the way of my relationship with my Lord.

I know that my day is always better when I start it with a conversation with the Lord. And yet, even though I know what I SHOULD be doing, and I know that I will feel better for it, I still forget often. It's just like dieting. I know what I should be doing....sigh.

So I shall start again. Starting right now.

Dear Lord, help me to start, finish and live my entire day for you. Help me make you not just my number one priority but my only priority, because if I put you where you belong then I know that everything else will take care of itself. Help me to remember to look to you always, praise you always, honour you always. These things I pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have a little faith...

Hello folks! Yes! She lives!

I've decided that I need to get the thoughts out of my head, so obviously I need to get back into blogging.

To catch you up.... Steph moved last week back to the Eyre Peninsula (which I firmly believe is an answer to prayer). She broke up with her boyfriend (who she moved in with against our wishes) and decided that she just wanted to come home.

Sounds simple enough. Not. She's fine, feels she's done the right thing, and I'm inclined to agree with her, but it's not a simple transition. She gave up her job and is now job hunting again, which is frustrating for her. She also signed a lease with the boyfriend so we are still paying rent in Adelaide until he finds someone to live with him. Their internet account is in my name which needs to be transferred. None of these are insurmountable issues, but a hassle. Alex was fine, co-operative, civilized about the whole thing. Was. Now he's texting Steph saying he's sorry for whatever he did and can she just come back, he's TERRIBLE with money and she has been propping him up for months and now he's scared he can't cope without her. I'm annoyed with him, but I do feel bad for him too. He needs to learn some hard lessons, like how to manage his money, how to prioritize, save, budget etc but I don't want him to suffer. He's an atheist, but he's not a terrible person!

Steph is very stressed out, she's feeling terrible for the financial burden she has caused (even though I've reassured here that her happiness and safety is more important than money). I just hope he doesn't wear her down and guilt her into going back. I don't think that will happen, but you never know.

So some wise words would be very much appreciated ladies! I have to say, having Steph not far away (she's about an hour and a half drive now) makes me rest easier. I hated having her so far away. I don't know how people get used to that.

As for the other child, he's still being stubborn, non communicative and difficult. Teenage boys. Ugh.

Dear Lord, please watch over Steph, Scott and Alex tonight. Please be with Steph as she adjusts to her new home and looks for work, please help her find something soon. Please surround her with the people that she needs to be with Lord, to point her to you. Please be with Scott as he spends time with his friends, help him remember that it's a huge responsibility to be the one driving the car, and that he has his friends lives in his hands. Please help him find focus and show him a clear path. Also please be with Alex tonight as he comes to terms with the changes in his life. Help him let go and move on, and learn to manage his finances and his life successfully. Please show him your love, and that you are the only path to true peace. In your precious name I pray. Amen.