Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things I Love Today.

I love that our staff starts every morning in prayer.

I love that Tuesdays is prayer triplets day.

I love the challenge one of my "triplets" presented this morning about being humble before God, rather than people (still mulling over this one).

I love that this morning my "triplets" prayed that the rain would hold off while we walked to our excursion destination (it was pouring at 8.10)

I love that I was able to share that answer to prayer with my kids as we walked, dry, to the train station 20 minutes later. (God is good)

I love that my kids love to pray, even when we're standing at a train station.

I love that my kids are so amazing.

I love that they are such great performers. Oh so cute!

I love that even when we haven't practised enough & I throw things at them at the last minute, they looked like we'd been rehearsing for months!

I loved that they were able to collectively improvise when they were asked for an encore, and an encore, and an encore, and 3 more. (ohhh so proud!)

I loved watching them interact with the old people. (Some even skipped the ice-cream so they could get back to chatting).

I loved watching their faces light up as they gave the gifts they had been making for the past few weeks to the elderly people.

I loved the responses the kids got. The community centre workers are already planning what we'll do for Christmas next year :)

I loved the unselfishness of the kids, who were so thoughtful and grace-filled.

I love how easy it is to take my kids anywhere. Such a great bunch of people.

I love the staff I work with.

I love how quick they are to offer to help with stuff when you're overwhelmed...

I love Christian community.

I love catching up with church friends. I really should do this more often.

(I don't love that my computer crashed, again, while I was writing this... but that's another story)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ahhh Weekend

So on Friday my plans for the weekend were to shop & babysit on Saturday & run Kids Church on Sunday. But it ended up being quite a fabulous weekend!

After school on Friday my lovely friends Ann-Marie and Lou & I went out for coffee/super early (like 4.30) dinner. I love catching up with these two. I always come away from our catch ups feeling encouraged, challenged, convicted (in a good way), inspired and full (and not just because we ate a lot of good food). I seriously work with the most amazing people in the world. Who gets to work with their besties? (Just incase you forgot - I do have the best job in the world).

So, Saturday... my pay didn't go in. There was some glitch with the National on Wednesday, which meant our staff pay has gone on a massive backlog list of things the bank needs to sort out....hopefully that will be done by Tuesday... Anyway that meant shopping wasn't an option. I didn't really mind too much because shopping is one of those things I actually don't like doing. I have cheese and bread, that's all I need. haha.

But then, while Phineas and Ferb were building a spa in their backyard I got a text from Leah! She and Cute Morgan came over to sew capes. It was a hilarious few hours as we used Leah's $30 sewing machine (um... it was pretty... but not super amazing at the sewing job) to sew a shiny red cape, while Morgan coughed, laughed, chewed, rolled, drooled and said "rabbit" (yeh he's pretty advanced for a 7 month old...hehe). So this was Leah's first sewing adventure. Pretty impressive hey!

How cute is Morgan?

Anyway, I was meant to babysit on Saturday night so my friends could go see the Jets vs L.A Galaxy soccer (football) game. But an hour before, I got a call to say the kids were really sick so their mum was going to stay home with them... but did I want her ticket to the game?! Woo hoo! I love soccer, but it costs so much to go, so I haven't seen a lot of games. And this was the game with Beckham!

So our little Energy Australia Stadium was full to capacity (except the new bit, which isn't finished yet) & it was such a fun night.

How nice was this sunset!
Oh and look, there's Beckham, he was like 20metres away from us (well when we were sitting in the seats that weren't really ours).

Also, we won! Well the Jets did. woo hoo!

I love how effortless they make soccer look. Like it's easy to kick a ball 100 metres down a field, to direct that ball exactly where you want it to go, to keep running for 90 minutes, to fall, tumble and get straight back up... um yeh they are not easy things. But watching them play it made me feel like I could do that! (and then I remembered the 8 years of soccer I have played....hahaha)
I was thinking about this on my way home when I was following an L-plater who made staying in their lane look like the biggest challenge in the world. I was even beginning to question how I was managing to stay on the right (left) side of the road between those suddenly narrow lines.
It was an interesting juxtaposition. (Is that the right word Ann-Marie?)

This morning Kids Church was so fun! We read the first part of the Christmas story and made angels. The kids today ranged from 2-10 yrs and 5 out of 10 of them had never been to our church before. They were such great kids & even the boy who normally prefers just to watch, made an angel decoration (though it was decorated with skulls). haha. Oh I love Christmas!

I had lunch with a bunch of friends from church & got to hold a sleeping baby for 3 hours....mawww! I think holding sleeping babies is probably my most favourite thing to do. They're so serene and soft and snuggly.

Yep. That was my weekend! It was fabulous!

This week is the last full week of the year! Tomorrow we're starting work on our Garbage Bag Formal outfits! Mine is going to be so pretty!

We have 2 excursions, year 4 graduation, the g'bag formal, seussical rehearsals & the "official" launch of our new playground this week! woo hoo! I think I may sleep through next weekend.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Orientation day

Yesterday was our Junior School Orientation Day. All the kids who are starting at our school in year 1-4 next year came for the day and rotated around the classes with our current kids to do some fun activities. Then in the afternoon the new kindies came too & we had a magic show (the guy we got this year was so good! such a great performer!)

It was such a fabulous day! Orientation day is usually the day I am in bed by 5pm, but we did a few things differently this year and it was so relaxed!

My room was the art room. We made Christmas decorations...

(oh my classroom looks so boring these days, since we've taken everything off the walls)

Also yesterday my new smartboard was installed. It's massive!
BUT the biggest news is... our playground is finally finished!!! How amazing does it look (and only 7 weeks late! oh the dramas)! We're going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. The kids haven't had a playground since July, so it's going to be sooo fun to see their faces when they get to play on Monday!

Hmm I have heaps more to write, but I really shouldn't still be in my pyjamas at 11am, especially when Leah's coming over soon (with cute Morgan) to make capes!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Week of Tears

So for the past few days I have felt a tad ripped apart at the seams. I have cried more in the past week than I have since January (when I was dumped for the first time), but I'm not sure why... the dumbest things have made me fall to pieces & I have become cranky, emotional Kaye who is not a whole lot of fun to be around. I don't particularly like this side of me. And I even more hate that people are seeing this side of me.

However, there are some amazing things God is teaching me through (& also despite) this...

- I am human. Who would have thought?! This is actually a hard one for me. In my family there is not a lot of room for error. Perfection seemed to be the expectation when we were growing up, and on the outside my sisters and I didn't stray too far from the ideal our parents set for us. But this mindset doesn't help when I do make mistakes... which does actually happen from time to time (ok, actually quite frequently). Being wrong is so hard. I am realising how much pride there is in my life. It's quite disgusting.

- I am so quick to judge. Arrrgh! In the past few days I have been noticing how quick I am to blame someone else for things. For the way I'm feeling. For things not working out. For... well everything. I so easily see the errors of others & hold it against them. I am realising how often I count the 'good things' I do for others and mentally create a picture of what I am 'owed'. How sinful is this behaviour! I'm embarrassed to write about it.

Earlier this week I wrote this in my journal "My house gets dirty so quickly. I just let one thing slip, then another. I don't remain vigilant with all that needs to be done and gradually the little becomes so much. Similarly in my life I let some 'small sin' slip in, I spend less time in the Word. I become complacent. Soon I am overwhelmed. Or so far gone. I don't remember purity anymore."

I feel that right now I am at a point where I need to really stop just travelling along like everything is ok. I need to be raw before God. Last night I prayed that God wouldn't just help me to stop crying, but to dig into that deeper part of me and tear it out. It hurts to see my sin laid bare. So much of me wants to hide from God, from those around me. But this needs to happen. now.

- I'm learning about grace. again. Undeserved forgiveness. Fresh starts. Unconditional love. From amazing friends (thank you, thank you, thank you) who don't give up on me and from a God who... well where do you start!

- I'm learning that the devil uses my own insecurities (if only that list was a tad shorter) to trap my mind. Actually I learnt this from watching Harry Potter yesterday. Can God teach you things through Harry Potter? um... well He did. There is this one scene where Ron and Harry need to destroy a horcrux. Ron is poised with the sword ready to attack. However, when Harry opens the locket, the spooky spirity things (um) come flying out and start telling Ron all sorts of untruths about Harry and Hermoine, which (as the audience you can recognise) are things Ron has been contemplating for weeks, and despite Harry's best efforts to tell Ron that the horcrux is lying, he still stands there and lets these lies wash over him for a while. The horcrux didn't say "you have ugly hair" or anything like that, though that may have offended him, instead it cut him deep, where it hurt. The lies it told reflected that which he was most insecure about, things he feared. I think in someways this is how we make it easy for the devil to get a foot-hold, by not being secure in the God we trust. So often I spend too long dwelling on thoughts of inadequacy, of failure, of what might/might not be, instead of knowing that God knows the plans He has for me & being confident in that.

- One other thing, which doesn't seem to fit with everything else that is going on in my life right now (but in someways fits better than anything else) is this verse that I have been mulling over since last night. It has really challenged me. "You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." - James 5:6. This passage is talking about "the rich" and how by living their (our) lives of luxury have been passively murdering others. I've never really thought about it like that before. How do I fix this? How do I give an account to God for the lives that have been lost through malnourishment, curable disease etc on my watch?

I'm not really sure how to end this post.... so...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You Can Always Find Another Use for a Box

Ok, so I think I'm back! (if you can read this I am)
I've had to down-grade to the old version of blog-writing because that new post thing still won't load.
The past few days have been ridiculous. It is report season, which is usually ridiculous (I have easily done an extra 30 hours work in the past 2 weeks), but I am also still recovering from my dumb cold and... my computer also got really sick. Arrghhh! I won't bore you with dumb computer details. Oh and there's also only 9 more school days... which is exciting but also super-overwhelming when I consider the bazillion things I need to organise in that short time. eeek!

Ha anyway, so the past few days I have been in crazy land. But tonight. My reports are handed in (well mostly), and I have refused to do any work just for one night! Ahhhhhh!

Well, I promised you a fun story. It's probably not as fun 4 days later, but here it is...
Ok, so it was 10:45 am Saturday morning, Phineas & Ferb was on (I LOVE that show!) and I was cooking pancakes in my pyjamas ... when there was a knock on my door (which NEVER happens). It was a girl from school (year 1) who lives down the road & her dad (who I haven't seen in 4 years...long story). Arrgh! Yep I greeted them in my pyjamas with an egg in my hand.

So C started telling me some story straight away, when her dad interrupted and said "so it's ok if she stops by for a bit? I'll pick her up at 12." Eeeeeeek! My house was disgusting (um this week's excuse is... I was sick). So anyway I spent the next hour and a bit with a 6 year old. We made pancakes, stuck up my snail chalkboard, drew on it, made some Christmas ornaments, played with my cat, sang along to our school cd and talked about the romances of Year 1. It was actually fun, despite my "arrgh I need to get started on my reports" and "my house is so messy" brain.

It turned out this little person was a bit of a blessing in disguise. She concluded that it was because I didn't have a husband that my house was a mess (haha), and at her house she is good at cleaning so she could 'easily fix this.' She quickly started making piles and pushing things against the wall of my lounge-room. My favourite moment was when she picked up an empty tissue box and said "you can always find another use for a box!" and then picked up my junk mail catalogues, rolled them and stood them up in the tissue box. hehehe

Here. Now you can share the joy of my catalogue-holding tissue box.

Don't be jealous, I can share, we can take turns. I could probably even make you one!

So that's how my weekend started.

In other news:
-I think my cat has finally realised that she is a cat.
-Today when I had to come up with an on the spot lesson plan I gave my kids a blank piece of paper & told them to do whatever they wanted with it to respond to this morning's BTN episode & Origami Documentary. It was amazing! They had so many unique ideas.
-I love sunsets
-James is a great book, full of so much goodness

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Informed You Thusly

Well this week I have been sick.

Last weekend was my Grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years is a long time! Apart from coming to the sobering realisation that I will never have a 60th wedding anniversary (well it's highly unlikely) & that I am the oldest child-less cousin (even my baby cousin is expecting his 2nd child in April), it was a fabulous weekend! I really wish I got to hang out with my aunts more often, they are so fun and lovely!

The down-side of the weekend was that sharing a room with my sick sister meant that I caught her cold/flu/horrible illness. This week I had 2 days off work. I never have days off work. Actually, that's a lie, I did have 2 days off in June also, but 4 days in one year is the most I have had EVER! I got so bored! I watched so much tv and checked my emails and facebook way too much and took everything I could to get well as quickly as I could. I love work so much!

Because I haven't blogged in a whole week here is a summary of the things that have happened since last Thursday:

Funniest conversation:
This happened while I was teaching my kids how to sew buttons today
"Miss F, I have a bit of a problem with this..."
"Oh, you've missed one of the holes in this button"
"No I haven't" (I love when actual facts are not relevant)
"Um... look closely, see you've missed this hole."
"No, I remember I definitely went in all the holes"
"It's ok, we can fix it, see how you've gone through three of the holes, but this one..."
"I don't know what you're talking about"
(I reached frustration point soon after this)

Funniest work sample of the week: (they had to fill in the missing words)
Daniel was thrown into a lion den because he was caught by mischief by some of the king's helpers. But God protected him by keep-ing the tigers away from him. When King Darius saw this he made a law that everyone should behave and he threw his officials into the den. They were immediately angry.

Dumbest thing I've done all week:
I fell off my lounge. I was sitting on the arm of the lounge as part of my "oh I'm sick, so I should clean my house" window cleaning frenzy... and somehow overbalanced and landed on the floor, on my back, with a sore arm. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. No-one was watching, so I did both.

Verses I've been pondering this week:

James 4:1-4 "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill & covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." A good friend was sharing with me what she learnt from these verses the other day. I love that God can teach us each something different through the same passage. I have been really challenged about my motives in asking God for stuff. Especially about my future husband and kids. Why do I want to be married? I think honestly a lot of it just for social acceptance, to be part of the 'married' club. hmm

Jonah 4:2 "I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." This verse makes me laugh because it is said in anger! He's mad because God gave Ninevah a second chance... um hang on Jonah, didn't God give you a super big second chance just a chapter ago? I love that the accusations he brings against God are his kindness. hehehe. You're such a human, Jonah.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." So true! How many things to I cling to that are keeping me from God's grace!? hmm...
I do wonder what Jonah was thinking as he prayed this in the fish? Was he thinking of his own selfishness, or others? 

Proudest moment of the week:
My gorgeous soccer gala day girls! They were absolutely beautiful! They had the best attitudes all day, it didn't matter if they won or lost they were lovely & had fun! They encouraged each other and helped out with carrying things and took care of their sick teacher-who-technically-should-have-been- at-home-but-really-didn't-want-to-miss-the-gala-day. I love my kids!

Most encouraging words of the week:
From lovely Cass...
"My favourite thing about you.. you are always happy - even when you're not! You are totally open about being insecure about some things & it makes you come across as the most secure person in the world!!!"
mawww! I have the loveliest friends in the world.

Anyway, that's my week. Sorry this post was long. It's hard to summarise a whole week.

PS There's only 12 more teaching days, 3 excursions, 1 graduation day and 1 party day to go till I'm on holidays again! eeek!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheese-cake & Cheesy-jokes

Sometimes, after school, Ann-Marie and I make yummy Mars-bar cheesecake. Well, actually just this one time... and it happened to be today!

Mmmm so tasty!

We really should be on Masterchef...haha

Of course, cooking in the staffroom meant we were not short of helpful taste-testers...

Haha... after taking this photo of myself I said 2 things "Oh, that's right I have a sun painted on my face!" & "Wow! Look how red my ear is!"
See! It's really red!
Maybe it was too close to the sun... haha (yep cheesy joke!)

Why did I have a sun painted on my face I hear you ask. Well today my class performed at the local shopping square. They sang "why does the sun shine?" which I've talked about at least twice already . So of course we had to have suns painted on our faces! My girls also did a beautiful performance of "Butterfly" from the Hannah Montana movie (they choreographed the whole thing themselves!)

It was probably not the funnest performance ever, there were only about 15 people shopping between 11 & 12o'clock today it seems. It was raining most of the day (but not while we performed, thank you God!) so everyone was probably staying at home in bed.

We did, however, do an encore performance for the office staff. The girls made some of them teary (they do look super sweet), and the exec are going to try and fit them into the Presentation Night schedule!

I am so tired.

Tomorrow it's Seuss-Friday again! My kids are running assembly, we've decided to do the whole thing in rhyme... just because that's what we do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boy Germs

Today my kids had a "dance" assessment. For the past 3 weeks we have been teaching them the 'evening 3-step'. Today they had to pair up with the opposite sex. It was hilarious!

The other Year 3 and 4 class got over themselves fairly quickly and actually seemed to enjoy it. Not my kids though! For the past 3 weeks they have been planning ways to break limbs (one girl actually did injure herself badly enough yesterday to need crutches), lose teeth, vomit etc so they wouldn't have to dance with each other....

So as I put them into pairs this afternoon I was met with groans and moans and horrid (maybe horrified?) faces and even a spot of dry retching. 2 of my boys worked themselves up to a state of tears and they all generally did their best not to touch each other (ah the good old waltz-hold-by-correspondence). It was hilarious. I am the meanest teacher in the world.

One of my girls, afterward, said "Miss F, girls and boys DO NOT MIX! It just ISN'T RIGHT!" hehehe I love that my kids still "have germs"!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Notable Night

This evening the amazing 5/6 Think-track class held a "Night of Notables". Basically each kid had to dress up as a "notable" person from history & present a 3 minute speech in 1st person. Each character had a little stand set up with props and the audience moved around the room to hear their choice of the 13 speakers who were presenting at one time. Each kid did his/her speech 4 times, taking turns with a partner at their particular stand. (hmm it makes sense when you're there, I think I failed at explaining it though... sorry)

It was so good! 

"Guest speakers" of the night included Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary MacKillop, Moses and Bindi Irwin. The kids did so well stepping into character and presenting the information that they had researched. I was like a proud parent, I had taught at least three-quarters of the kids at some point of their Junior School experience (as their Kindy, Year 1, Year 3 and/or Year 4 teacher... I sort of progressed through Junior School with them :) ). They were so cute and grown-up! I took so many photos and made sure I wrote on as many "comments" forms as I could.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see all of the speeches (the being in 26 places at once is always a bit of a challenge), but their beautiful teacher has invited my class to come to the encore performance tomorrow! I'm looking forward to learning more about history from my ex-students!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Show Your Working

Today my class did their yearly Maths test (while there was a thunderstorm crashing around us).
These tests are hard.
My kids did really poorly at their half yearly...and I have the smart kids. So I've been teaching them over the past month how to show the strategy they used, so that even if they got the wrong answer it would be possible for the marker (me) to see where they were going and give them some sort of credit for the attempt.

It was so interesting to see how the kids think! There were some kids who used the traditional strategies I had taught them, some who had completely forgotten that I had taught them anything and used half a page to work out that if 7 balls cost $56 then 1 ball cost $51..., and there were some whose mathematical thinking was so superior to my own that it took me a while to figure out what they were doing and how it led them to the correct answer!

My favourites were the kids who didn't know how to 'show' what they had done, so they wrote it instead:

"I plused the hundreds then I plused the tens then the ones then I plused the answers and !" 
(I love that her "ta-da" answer was in the form of an "!")

I just minust 254 from 567 simple!

I worked it out by doing this strategy [vertical algorithm] but I didn't remember half of it so I just worked half of it out on my own.

The best was this one:

Which was accompanied by a diagram to show that she had indeed worked it out in her head...

Hahaha! I love my kids. They are hilarious.