Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Convention

Last Tuesday night (technically Wednesday morning) I finished marking my assignments. What a relief! I have decided that this will be the last subject I'll mark for a few years. There is just too much on in my life already! I had to stay up very late, many days in a row in order to be ready to go away. I had Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to wash, pack and clean and then we were off!

We stayed with our cousins, the Davidsons, whose company we enjoy so much we ask them to squeeze us in for the long weekend. On Good Friday morning we all, except for Guy and Huw, went up to Katoomba for the beginning of Katoomba Easter Convention to hear the first talks by Don Carson and Dale Ralph Davis. The kids all went to programmes according to their age groups. Guy and Teen took turns attending the talks and Teen very kindly looked after Bethany in the evenings so Andrew and I could both attend the evening talks (primary school has an evening programme so Joss and Tobes came with us).

We have been to many conventions over the years but decided last year that we would attend Easter Convention every year if possible, as a family tradition. The kids saw children they had made friends with last year and all had such a wonderful time. For us, it is a delightful long weekend away - great talks, lovely family and we always run into friends as well. I didn't take any photos! Thankfully, Andrew did.

We had an Easter egg hunt on Sunday afternoon.

Toby and Hamish were distracted from the chocolate by their DS' - they're clearly not girls.

While Briony and I hid the eggs in the garden, the others had to find interesting ways to keep from looking outside.

When all the eggs had been found (we think) we went through the Easter story with the Resurrection Eggs.

It rained two of the four days we were there, which is part of the mountains' charm. When the weather was lovely, the kids played outside. I do wish we had a pretty autumn like this in Wagga.

We went out for coffee one afternoon with our old friends, the Hamiltons. I was very pleased to have a cappuccino as there was no coffee cart at convention this year! There are 2000 adults there (1100 kids in programmes) so I realise it is very hard to cater for coffee snobs. The tea was fine. Jossie had an enormous mango smoothie.

She worked it off by walking home backwards.

With eleven fabulous talks we learnt so much. I'll give you a quick run down in disjointed sentences taken from my notes :)
Don Carson: Hold firm to the gospel without grumbling. Rejoice in the Lord always, being content in all situations. The man's responsibility to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and the woman's responsibility to submit to her husband is dramatically opposed to self interest - it is for the good of them both. Jesus is the conquering king and suffering servant and his grace transforms us.
Ralph Davis (excellent Old Testament teaching): Grace has always come before the law. Sometimes it may look like what is happening just doesn't make sense (Abraham and Isaac) but God knows what is in the darkness and keeps his promises. Don't fuss about God's will for your life in terms of what job, who to marry, where to live etc. - God has been very clear about his will for our lives in the Bible! As for me, I will serve the Lord! God's purpose is sure.
Simon Flinders: There is no condemnation for those in Christ (God is not and never will be angry with me because of what Christ has done on my behalf), the sufferings in this world, no matter how terrible, do not compare to the glory to come (like comparing an ant to an elephant) and nothing can separate us from God's love. If God is for us, who can be against us?

We got home around 8.15 last night and spent today, the last day of the holidays, washing, cooking, shopping, buying uniform parts and then having afternoon tea and a ride with friends. Back to school and work tomorrow but now I need to catch up on Saturday night's Spooks!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking a break

As it happens, no real surprises, it is almost impossible to mark while the kids are home with me. Very, very late nights it is then. Still, breaks in marking, or attempting to mark, are good for blogging.

Last Saturday we went to the Farmers' Markets where I was thrilled to discover that Wagga has a chocolatier. Sadly, she only sells at markets but that's something at least. It was so hot that I was getting quite uncomfortable and the chocolate lady was in quite a panic about her precious chocolates melting. I took this photo of the lagoon.

The very next day the warm weather disappeared completely and I suspect it won't be back until Spring. We're not big on Autumn and Spring in Wagga, we prefer it to seem like we go straight from Summer to Winter.

School holidays mean school holiday programmes for libraries. This particular school holidays also means re:generate, which is a youth festival. Why did we agree to run four events?! Laser Skirmish was fully booked out with a waiting list (50 teenagers shooting each other with lasers), henna was also fully booked but we had some spaces for the circus workshops so opened them up for slightly younger kids. That meant that Joss and Tobes could join in.

This afternoon we went for a ride. Sadly, just as we were about to leave, I realised that my bike is still at work (it was very rainy at 5pm on Tuesday) so poor Toby stayed home and I rode his bike. After Bethany rode around Lake Albert yesterday with Andrew, I knew she'd be up for a good ride close to home. This dirt road is not far from us.

Bethany looked up at this point and said "I can see Africa!"

Are you sick of Hipstamatic photos yet? I'm not!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sydney by Hipstamatic

Yes, life has been a bit busy. The school holidays are now here and with the four events the library is holding for the Re:generate youth festival, along with several other events, work is a bit manic. The kids are on holidays but I am not! In half an hour I will receive the first of twenty five assignments I need to mark before we go to Katoomba next Thursday and I am out almost every night this week! Take a deep breath Amy. So, I need to post now as I may not get much opportunity in the coming week.

I had such a lovely trip to Sydney last week. The Futures Forum I attended at the State Library was excellent. Dr Mitchell Whitelaw was a highlight and I think many of us went away to reorganise our picture books collections like Darien Library.

After my last trip to Sydney Sarah asked whether I ever stay overnight and it occurred to me that I could make my flights for the following morning and catch up with her and Janice in the evening. I had a few hours to kill in between the end of the Futures Forum and meeting Janice and Sarah so I walked to Newtown from the State Library.

Once in Newtown I ordered an Earl Grey at Max Brenner and read Perelandra, the second book in CS Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy.

It was so good to catch up with Janice and Sarah, I don't think I have seen Sarah for ten years or so. I do hope we can do it again!

And, just because all good posts have a funny Bethany photo......

See you after the marking, or maybe in a well earned break.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bethany's best ever weekend

It started with having a friend over. Jossie and Toby didn't have friends over, just Bethany. They got crafty, ate chocolate biscuits baked by Jossie, watched a movie and had a makeover, patiently done by Joss. Here are the before photos.

After hair crimping and make-up they looked like this.

We dropped Bethany's friend home in the late afternoon and drove to Lake Albert for fish and chips with the Shepherds. Toby and Joss rode all the way around the lake with Israel and Eleanor and Bethany learned to ride her bike all by herself!

She finished this glorious day with a ride on Mr Shepherd's motorbike.

The joy did not end there. Bethany went to Hannah's after church for a play and,  after weeks of being very wobbly, her first tooth came out (with a little help from me) on Sunday night.

Bethany said it was her best weekend ever.