Now what…?

August 15, 2012

Ooooh! Just been reminded that I have this…I think I should write again…Woohoo! :)

Identical Souls? Soul Mates?

July 14, 2009

I may have been reading and watching too much sci-fi lately because I am wondering if a human were cloned would it have a soul?

I don’t know how to be sure of an answer to this…What do you think?

Marking Time!

May 12, 2009

It’s marking time again! Which means, I am going a little nutters. Here’s the evidence:

And that’s how I’ve been marking my time.

Sad. I know.

How have you been marking time? Any creative pursuits?

Drinking from the Cup – Which Cup?

April 5, 2009

I’ve been listening to The Beautiful Girls lately, an Aussie band, and one of my favourite songs of theirs is ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ which is actually a cover of a UB40 song. It’s a cheery little song talking about sharing a drink with a friend who cares a lot but has never actually stated how he feels about the woman he is sharing a drink with. The lyrics go like this:  

Did I ever say, how I feel about you
I think I never found that easy to do
The things that you do, don't need to be heard
You know your actions, girl, speak louder than words

(CHORUS)

I've got the bottle, bring me your cup
Pop the cork, and try a sup
And when you're empty, I'll fill you up
We'll drink it down till the sun comes up

I'm heading home, like a steaming train
Foot to the floor, in the driving rain
My head is aching and my mouth is dry 
I've got a thirst only you can satisfy

And I love the song! It speaks of a close relationship between two people in which their love is shared and known  through their actions. It’s beautiful. 

But I’ve been reading about another cup lately too. One that has also been downed in love by one whose actions speak directly to my heart, loudly but also with words. 

This morning I read in Jeremiah 25 that every nation of the world is to drink of the cup of God’s wrath: 

15Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”

This is particularly terrifying because to drink from God’s cup means to be judged and after years of being reminded to turn back to God, God then says this judgement is to come to everyone. You can read about it in Jeremiah 25.

At this time of the year in our approach to Easter, I am reminded of how Jesus really understood the terror involved in drinking God’s cup. For in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before Jesus was to be crucified he prayed, through bloodied tears and sweat, 

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

And he prayed this prayer – that he would not have to drink from God’s cup – THREE times that night. Three times! He truly must have known the torment associated with drinking the cup of the wrath of God. But he did it. Knowingly, Jesus drank. And he experienced the consequences when he cried out on the cross just before he died, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

For Christ, drinking God’s cup meant taking on the wrath of God that was due to the WHOLE WORLD because we have ignored God and tried to do things our own way. Jesus drank from that cup and was cut off from God, like we should have been. Instead of us. It’s amazing.  It’s incredible. Now, because Jesus drank from this cup, we don’t have to! Because he took the judgement of God for the world, we don’t have to! Because he rose from death, so can we! It’s amazing! 

So I was thinking, The Beautiful Girls song ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ kinda reflects, in a small way, the relationship we can now have with God. God has shown us how He feels about us through Christ. He has spoken clearly, with actions and words. At the cross we see how God feels about us ignoring him and doing things our own way – He hates it! And it deserves punishment! Severe punishment!! – but He loves us and takes that punishment himself so we never have to experience the judgement that separates us from Him. God has made it very clear how He feels about us.

God has filled the cup and passed it to Jesus, He drank, took the consequences and through obedience came through having won a way free of judgement for us – if we acknowledge that Jesus took the punishment that was really due to us! Thank God! And now Jesus offers to fill our cup with water from the spring of life, not judgement but life,

6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life…” (Revelation 21:6&7

And you know that just makes me feel like “heading home, like a steaming train, Foot to the floor in the driving rain, [because] my head is aching and my mouth is dry, I’ve got a thirst that only [Christ] can satisfy.”

But Revelation shows us that if we don’t take the cup Christ offers us, we must still drink the cup of the wrath of God…for if we don’t accept that Christ has drunk it for us, then we’re left to drink it for ourselves.

I thank God I’m drinking from the cup of life this Easter and forever.

I’d rather listen to cars crashing…

April 5, 2009

…than the sound of some of the native birds in our front yard.  Actually, some of the native birds sound very much like cars crashing.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because, quite frankly, I’m a little jealous. Kim posted about a sweet little pirate bird, a sparrow, who serenaded her quite sweetly outside her window while she worked. At the moment in which I read of her beautifully melodic distraction, I was also being serenaded from outside, not so dulcetly. *sigh*

Allow me to demonstrate by introducing you to some of the birds in our front yard.

The Maggies: 

The Magpie
The Magpie

The Magpies don’t look too pretty but make one of the nicest sounds of all our little visitors. My boys like to talk to them as the handfeed them by gurgling water and cooing simultaneously. It works. The magpies reply. They sound like this

Our pretty birds, the Rainbow Lorikeets, sound rather well…let’s just say looks can be deceiving. 

Tell me what you think of their song

Next we have the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos:

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

These guys look pretty and take part in all kinds of clownish fun. However, they are also known as ‘The Screechers’ and if you listen here you will discover why. *sigh*

Wait it gets better…

The birds that truly drive me insane are the Corellas. Gah! They are so very, very grating. 

Poor little guys. They are rather unattractive too. They look like they’ve been beaten up and are constantly sporting blackeyes. They probably are the bullied birds of the burbs and when you hear their song, cry, screams, you’ll understand why they probably have been beaten up by the other birds. Gah! And that was a tame sound file! Often we will have MASSES of these little guys in the gum trees out the front all screaming together. They sound like brakes screeching, metal twisting against metal and wicked spectators laughing at the scene of a gruesome accident. Actually, the sound of a car crash would be more soothing. These are the birds I was listening to while Kim was being serenaded by a little pirate-ish sparrow.

*sigh*

I Sank A Canadian Today

January 31, 2009

…and am now soooo exhausted!

I Swam With the Groper!!!

January 24, 2009

Yesterday I went snorkeling at Clovelly. Sydneysiders know Clovelly as the home of the beautiful blue groper: an enormous vibrant blue fish. Because of the beautiful protected marine life, Clovelly is an excellent snorkeling location and yesterday I was lucky enough to swim with the groper! We took an underwater camera and documented our day. I just HAD to share a couple of pics with you! 

pict0035

The beautiful blue groper who lives at Clovelly.

 

pict00281

Meeting the groper at the bottom of the sea!

You get some idea there of how big he is! It was such an amazing sight!

Researching Bluey, I discovered that “[a]ll gropers are born female, with a grey-brown colouring, and some turn into bright blue males as they age.” He just gets more incredible all the time! We saw a lot of smaller grey-brown gropers, so it looks like there will be plenty in years to come. I know I’ll be going back regularly to check.

National Handwriting Day

January 24, 2009

Although it is now the 24th of January here and technically it is not OUR (Australia’s) National Handwriting Day, I could not resist such a fun post. So, as requested by Kim, here is a sample of my handwriting taken from my Bible reading journal from the 23rd. 

p24-01-09_1457

A snippet from my journal.

And a happy National Handwriting Day to all!

Happy New Year!!!

January 6, 2009

 

New Year's on Sydney Harbour

New Year's on Sydney Harbour

I have resolved not to make any New Year’s Resolutions. How about you?

How did you welcome the New Year?

search words used leading to hits on this blog…

January 6, 2009

guppies, grass, long grass, hokusai lesson plan, esv vs niv

Yes, that’s right, this is clearly a blog of substance.
*sigh*

Woah!

January 6, 2009

I have returned to note the new setup of WordPress.
Not quite found myself on her yet…

More Ferocious Than Any Crocodile: The Wrath of an English Teacher. Alternate Title: If You Are Small and Are Playing a Fun but Grammatically Incorrect Game, I Will Probably Make You Cry.

September 10, 2008

I made a little girl cry yesterday. I felt pretty bad about it and I didn’t mean to do it but I just couldn’t help it. You see, Kindy and Year 1 Kids were playing ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’ in the sandpit before school and I was the teacher on duty. The little ones were all hanging off the playground equipment singing,
“Crocodile, Crocodile, what’s your favourite colour? If not, why not? Your favourite colour is?” and the ‘Crocodile’ would shout “GREEN!!!!” and everyone wearing green had to run to a new part of the playground and get there without getting tipped – which incidentally was no one since the school uniform is red, blue, grey and white. However, inevitably some child would run anyway and someone would chase. I explain all this so you get some idea as to the seeming disregard for ‘correctness’ of play.

Anyway…I sat there watching this game, making sure they didn’t turn on each other as crocodiles do, or stand on top of the monkey bars and jump off expecting to fly away from the terrible crocodile, and the longer I sat the more unsettled I became.

You see, what these little ones were saying MADE NO SENSE! It was grammatically incorrect in a big way! Gah! I had images of these sweet little things growing up to be Year 10 students in my English class, writing atrocious sentences all because they became accustomed to bad grammar through ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’. Not only that but also enjoyed bad grammar because of pleasant childhood memories of ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’.

But they are just children and they’re enjoying their game, and it’s only a game and there is plenty of time for proper grammar, I thought as I sat there listening, every repetition slicing through my English teacher tolerance like a crocodile’s jaws through tender flesh. I wanted to scream in pain.

Then another image hit me. It was an image of me standing out the front of a class full of these delighted children, 8 or 9 years from now, looking at them, trying to correct their grammar as they all pointed their sweet little fingers back at me in blame saying,
“But Miss! You used to watch us play ‘Crocodile, Crocodile,’ and we always said it like this [insert a choir of Year 10 students singing their grammatically incorrect taunt] and YOU NEVER corrected us!”
It was more than I could bear. To turn a blind ear to such a desecration of language certainly left me culpable. They were right. Not only would they grow up to be illiterate but arrogant too. I had to do something.

I walked hesitantly to the edge of the sandpit and called all the little ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’ players towards me and as they looked at me with their perfect shining faces, I explained how what they were saying really made no sense. The shine dulled. Their now matt faces fell and the once happy ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’ players shuffled their feet and looked at the sand. Quickly I tried to replace the words I had taken with new, more correct syntax. I explained that when Iwas their age I LOOOOOVED to play ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’ but I played it a different way *ahem a way that made more sense ahem*. We recited the new words,

“Crocodile, Crocodile, may we cross your golden river? If not, why not? What’s your favourite colour?”

We repeated them. Then I released the students from my generous tuition to play a new, more fun, grammatically correct game of ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’.

To my surprise, my little scholars didn’t thank me. They dispersed looking somewhat bewildered and uncertain of how to regroup and begin the new improved – really tried and true, old school – version of their beloved game. They wandered aimlessly looking lost like intrepid explorers who had set off excitedly in search of new land but instead lost their way in a dark swamp and were now being devoured by all manner of marsh flies and mosquitoes. Then some brave soul tried to begin the game again but became self-conscious under my expectant gaze and abandoned the sentence like he had stumbled upon a river infested with crocodiles. I sighed. Meanwhile, one young child ran off crying inconsolably to her mother and I assure you, these were no crocodile tears! I cringed. I had killed ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’. I was a meanie.

New images flashed hauntingly into my mind. The sandpit became my classroom, a dark dank swamp infested with the miserable shadows of these children nine years on, faces haggard with despair and a deep hatred for grammar. What have I done? I thought. This must be how martyrs feel.

I wanted to be fed to the crocodiles.

I wanted to be fed to the crocodiles. 

Then, a lone voice rang out, “Crocodile, Crocodile….What’s…May we cross your golden river?…”

I held my breath…

“If not, why not?…”

So far so good…

“Your favourite colour is?”

 

 

It was a compromise. With the right inflection it made sense. Phew. Slowly the little ones joined back in. Hesitantly at first, then as delightedly as they had been playing before my intervention. The bell rang and I returned to the Senior School to await the repercussions of the many parental complaints I expected to receive, completely convinced of the many reasons I would suck at being a Primary teacher.

Since then I have been pondering the following questions:
1. How far should one go in defense of grammar?
2. Is the scorn received when issuing benevolent correction part of the price one pays for standing up for that in which one believes?
3. Has anyone else ever made someone cry when correcting grammar? (Please tell me I am not alone!)
4. Whatever will I tell the parents when the call up? *gulp*

All responses welcome, especially if they are in my defence.

He is Lord: So Sings My Soul

August 24, 2008

Oh blessed Lamb once slain
Will reign for evermore
His hands once bound now save
Our God will never fail

He is Lord
He is Lord
Sings my soul
He is the Lord
And He lives
Yes He lives
I’m alive
Cause Jesus lives

‘Tis at the cross of Christ
Where earth and heaven meet
Where sin is overcome
To God the victory

And now
Let the earth resound with praise
For our Saviour God He reigns
He is high and lifted up
Arise
For the King of glory waits
He is coming back again
He is coming back again

Here Ends A Small Forever

August 24, 2008

It’s been a small forever since I last updated this blog. Sorry about that. I have missed you all. Much. And much has happened, so this will henceforth be known as ‘the catch up post’.

Lidia Update:
Lidia has returned to school! It is sooooo completely amazing that the doctors, who told Lidia’s parents 10 times that she would surely die, are describing her recovery in terms of a miracle. And it is. We know it. We see it as she swings upside-down on the monkey bars, as she draws us pictures and writes ‘I love you. Lidia’ on the bottom of the page. As she talks and laughs and runs and skips and plays, our hearts do likewise and we know this is a miracle performed by our Almighty God. Our God who cares and loves and never ever withdraws. Praise Him!

In other news,

I crashed my car last week.

It was rather spectacular. I was tired, sick and stressed and as I approached a row of cars banked up at a set of traffic lights I made a very bad braking decision: I accelerated. Hmmm. Not the best choice to make but despite my repeated attempts to find the brake, I just couldn’t and only ended up planting my foot more firmly on the accelerator, the result being my car ploughing into the nice new Mazda in front of me to the accompaniment of a cacophony of grating metal and smashing glass. Our cars ended up entwined in some kind of grotesque embrace, causing passers by to slow and stare, creeping by as if tiptoeing through the shards of metal and glass littering the road.

I was on my way to a meeting I was dreading and found the crash somewhat satisfying. The noise, the impact, the disruption all seem a fitting reflection of how I was feeling, of how I felt the meeting would go and to have it played out so graphically outside my tormented heart was comforting. It was a good crash. It felt like, in some Shakespearian sense, the world understood and empathised. The crash is a symbolic marker ending a significant time in my life. I feel like now, a new episode has begun. I emerged whiplashed but fine.

The people at the accident were lovely. So nice and gracious.
“Don’t worry about it. You’re ok, that’s all that matters,” said the guy whose nice new car was now a mangled remnant of its former self.
“It was an accident,” comforted the smiling woman in the car in front.
Their grace too is like a harbinger of the good to come, a peaceful ushering in of a new time.

I’ll keep you updated.
How have you guys been?

Aaaaannndddd…

June 11, 2008

Lidia walked unaided!
And eats.
:)

It is truly amazing!

She is getting better at an incredible rate.
The doctors are astounded.
We know we are loved by and serve an amazing God. The God of life.

Keep praying.
And pray for Kim’s friend’s little girl too.

Guess what?!

June 9, 2008

Lidia woke up!

Singing with tears & pleading in the dark.

May 10, 2008

A little girl at school has been in a terrible car accident. Her family’s car was hit by a semitrailer as they were driving a few weeks ago. Until now I have had no words to write about it. 

Little Lidia is a beautiful girl! Her and her twin brother were in Kindergarten with my eldest son. These three played together almost everyday despite the language differences. Lidia and her brother repeated at the end of the school year by way of enabling them to develop greater fluency in English. My Dear Siah was pretty sad to go on to Year One without them. He is now in Year 4 and they are in Year 3. 

The car accident occurred in the recent holidays. While the family all sustained minor injuries, Lidia has suffered a great amount of brain damage. We’re all shaken. Her family is devastated. Yet through it they have had so much unwavering faith, strength, hope and reliance on God. They have prayed, we have all prayed for Lidia. We have begged God desperately to heal her, to restore her fully, to return her to her family, to us and to school. We hope and pray for a miracle. We ask that the God of life will give life back to this little girl and be glorified. We hope. 

It’s really hard. I have cried so much, begged and pleaded and simply cannot understand why God would not heal her. He can do it. Anytime He likes. Now….or now…He can. I know it. But as days turn into weeks and Lidia shows only the barest signs of life, we wonder, what is God doing? As people pray and talk about God bringing good out of this my heart cries “Where? Where’s the good?” I can’t see it. 

My little Mmoo (7yrs) prayed for Lidia and said, “God we thank you that if Lidia comes back to school we will be happy and we thank you that if Lidia goes to heaven her family will be happy that she is with you. But we thank you because we will be happy if she comes back to school” and I thought…perhaps either way is good. Terribly devastatingly painfully good. And though the darkness closes in I try to sing through the tears…

But it’s hard. He gives and takes away…and it’s so hard when it’s a child.

So still we pray and plead and beg in what feels like a great darkness and I know my heart refuses to believe how serious Lidia’s condition is…maybe it’s hope…She could still be healed. She could. 

I wish it was still Rebecca‘s month of petitionary prayer so I could say, “Pray with us!” I’ll say it anyway and I think I’ll call it ‘missm’s call to desperate impassioned prayer’. Will you join us? 

 

Adaptation & Appropriation

May 4, 2008

Gerard Gennette once said everyone who truly loves books must hope at sometime to love two at once, or something like that [actual quote pending – where is that book?]. This love for two texts is a love I hope to instill in the hearts of my extension English class as we study adaptation and appropriation this term. So far I have a short list of possible texts for study, however, I know there are so many more out there and I know you know of them. So I’m making a list and am asking you to help me add to it. So far I have the following:

 

The Taming of the Shrew – Shakespeare

& 10 Things I Hate About You

 

The Odyssey – Homer

&  O Brother, Where Art Thou? 

 

Lady Windermere’s Fan – Oscar Wilde

& A Good Woman

 

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

& Bride & Prejudice

or Bridget Jones’ Diary (Which I hate and thus want to ban from my list. Blah!)

 

Twelfth Night – Shakespeare

& She’s the Man

 

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy - Laurence Sterne

& Tristram Shandy

 

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

& Bridge to Terabithia 

My list contains mostly appropriations because that is what I like best, however, it would be good to have some adaptations on the list as well like, well anything Jane Austen that has then been done by the bbc. Adaptations are interesting because often tiny changes are made to the text to make it relevant for contemporary audiences even though a fairly ‘true to text’ approach is taken. For example, did anyone notice how the teacher in Bridge to Terabithia makes reference to the internet even though the movie is set in the 1970s and this reference, as well as being anachronistic didn’t appear in the original text?
I plan on teaching adaptation and appropriation as a continuum and proposing a range of texts along this continuum for the students to choose from. We will then focus our studies on how changes have been made from the original text and what these changes say about context, audience, worldviews and values.
 
SO, I’m wondering if you can help me add to this list? What are your favourite adaptations and appropriations of texts? What do you like about them?

In retrospect: It’s all about me[!]me[!]

May 4, 2008

My friend David, who I kinda went to school with – same school though he was about a million years above me…ok 5 or so – but have never really met, tagged me for a meme. And surprise, surprise, it’s all about me.

So, I’m supposed to wade through my past posts and select one representative of each of the following themes (one link/theme, I think): family, friends, me, something I love and anything I like. Pretty much, this is what my whole self-indulgent blog is about but here we go…my selections are as follows:

FAMILY: I have a lovely new Poppy! And more very funny little people. I adore my family. 

FRIENDS: The ones who do things like this and inspire this response are awesome. 

ME: a post I wrote from my old blog – the second one actually… the one I began after deleting the first on some serious but rather impulsive whim – by way of obscure introduction. Here I strangely assert that I am from Bullfrogs and Butterflies – more precisely, the album. Those of you who grew up with the tapes will know what I’m talking about. Oh! How I loooooved Nathaniel the Grublet!

SOMETHING I LOVE: Besides Nathaniel the Grublet… the sea, books, reading, books, coffee, music, beach, family & friends, study, when the weather compliments my mood….oh! How am I supposed to choose ONE thing?

ANYTHING I LIKE: How about reading indulgently and learning through literature.

 

So I cheated. I linked to too many past posts…I’m not one for rules. However, one of the rules I DO like is the tagging rule. So, these people are it – and I don’t mind if you include multiple links for each theme either – Kim, Kim, Ellen, Beck, & Island Sparrow

I see through your kiss! ;)

April 22, 2008

For Project Looking Through

This photo was taken while playing around in Photo Booth. Oh how I love Photo Booth! It’s soooo fun! It enables me to kiss my little man on BOTH cheeks at once! Isn’t technology great.

My dear friend Kim is playing and I thought I’d join in. Here are the details as posted at Mark’s blog:

Project Looking Through

The only requirement is the sensation of looking through something. That keeps it specific enough to keep us focused, but vague enough to free up everybody’s creativity. I figured Project Looking Through — PLT for short — is a good name.

So, join in if you like, and please use the Mr. Linky form in my latest Project Looking Through post to add yourself to the list of participants.

There’s your invitation so come & play along with us!!


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