Thursday, March 31, 2011


Gah! There's so much I want to blog about, but I have been mega busy & have a ton of work due tomorrow... (well technically due 4 weeks ago...but really really due tomorrow) so I'll have to wait till tomorrow night to tell you about the adventures of my week (or you can just read my class' perspective...oh it's funny).

Anyway, like I said I have a million things to do so I will leave you with this amazing film-clip. It has finally been youtubed! This is my amazing friend Ann-Marie. She wrote & recorded this song & my sister made the film clip (and I was there...haha).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dangerous Details...

Today my kids started our class blog. Ok well so far all it has is a title, so don't bother reading it yet. But please know that it took 25 minutes of of negotiation to get that far... "Dangerous Details of Discovery" was a compromise between the girls wanting to call it "Little Details" (so cute!) and the boys wanting to call it "Dangerous Discovery" (the girls thought this might make people think that we are robbers and not want to read our blog). I was so impressed that they worked out a compromise that 20/25 of them were happy with, on their own. The boys won over 2 girl votes for the font type for the title... (I hope you appreciate the work and decision making processes that are going into this blog)

Stay tuned for many exciting posts from my 8-10 year olds on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Orphans and Couples

This morning I went to my friend's church to hear a friend of a few friends (actually we have 22 friends in common according to facebook - from all sorts of different areas of life, so I'm pretty sure we'll be friends soon) share a dream that has been on her heart for years and is now beginning to be put into motion.

The core of her story was how her heart aches for orphans. There are almost as many 'full-orphans' (as in they have lost both parents) as there are people in Australia. And about 163 million 'single-orphans' many for whom the loss of one parent means they no longer have a primary care giver. I was crying along with her as she shared how much each of these kids needs a family to care for them. Kids in poverty and pain break my heart.
She talked about how difficult and costly it is to adopt in Australia. Seriously! It's ridiculous! I know a few people who have adopted and it takes forever and costs more than a family sized car. It makes me so sad that last year only 50 kids were adopted in NSW, a state with over 7 million people can only take care of 50 orphans? Our government's website says that there are not many orphans needing adoption these days & there's a waiting list of 3-7 years because countries are taking care of their own - I TOTALLY believe that countries should take care of their own orphans in their own culture, but when this fails and there are orphanages struggling to cater for the hundreds of kids in their care, and when babies haven't been outside & felt the wind by the time they're 12 months old, when 3 month olds have learnt that crying is pointless, when by one year old kids have learnt to steal food to survive... um I think there is a need for another solution?

This beautiful woman is now working towards changing this, taking back the church's role from the government & taking care of the orphans through starting an international adoption agency (at the moment all international adoptions are done through the government agency). It was so cool to hear her passion and see the steps she is taking towards this incredible goal. I can't wait to see it come to fruition!

Seeing her passion reignited my own dreams. My heart breaks for babies and kids. I absolutely love that I get to work with kids every day! I love that I get to hang out with my boys every now and then (I got to hang with Morgan and Hayden today! woo hoo!). But maybe there's more?  Will I ever be married? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm not meant to be, and that's ok (most days). I would love to be a mum, but there is more than one way to be a 'mum'. I would love to adopt or foster kids in the future. I was thinking about this all day & pondering how much having a child around would change my life.

Something that made me so happy, was that during church I got to hold Morgan for a lot of the time (he is so much fun these days), and then just after I gave him back, Hayden's dad walked across the room and put Hayden in my arms. He and his wife were on Kid's Church & having Hayden as well was too tricky. I love that they trust me with their kid, and out of everyone in their church family I got to hold him. I felt sooooo honoured! I love my boys!

At lunch a few of my beautiful friends were talking about the characteristics they have passed on to their kids. My heart broke for my imaginary adopted child who would never know the weird webbed-toe/double-jointed finger/daddy's nose type characteristics he/she shared with their parents.

At my friend's baby's dedication this afternoon I wondered about dedicating an imaginary adpoted child... It was bitter-sweet imagining. How accepting would my family be of adopted or fostered kids? Would my mum still treat them like her own grandchildren that she craves so much?
 Oh emotions, life would be so boring without you.

After the dedication a friend was talking about the home church she's been going to lately "It's just a group of about 6 couples..." that word stung so much - 'couples'. I didn't see it coming. Singleness hasn't bothered me for months, but tonight I found myself crying over this one word! It wasn't said in spite, she was just stating a fact. Why did it hurt so much? It's such an exclusive group 'couples', but a group most people who are 28 belong to. I don't think I care so much about being single (or maybe I'm in denial), I love being able to do 'whatever I want', to hang out or help out anyone at a moment's notice. I am not lacking love or purpose or dreams. I don't get lonely (usually) or scared (except when there are snakes). I don't need a relationship to fulfil me. I just hate the social stigma of being old and single, I don't belong.

What if I was old and single with a bunch of kids that weren't mine?

Today has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. It's sort of funny. So many thoughts swimming around in my head. So inspiring & convicting, but at the same time huge and overwhelming. hmm

In other news: Yesterday Louise and I watched 3 movies at the cinema in one day.
Tomorrow school is back to normal (i'm sure the kids won't be though, after so many weeks of rehearsals and performances)
Next weekend I get to hang with Leonard for the whole weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seuss Day #2

Well, we're now three-quarters of the way through Seussical! I can't believe we only have one show left.

Today we put on a Matinee and a Night performance. The Matinee was almost full - since they brought 75 Senior School kids over & tonight was sold out! Tomorrow night (finale) was sold out last weekend. Crazy!

All but one person I have talked to have absolutely raved about the show (and that one person is cynical about EVERYTHING!) & tonight I got to watch the whole thing! They did soooooooooooo well! I so wish we could've taped it so I could show the world how talented my people are! (dumb laws and stuff)

I could probably talk about Seussical for the next week non-stop! So many highlights. But here are my top 3 from today:
1. Getting to work with so many different kids, parents and teachers. I love that I work in a K-12 school (well apart from the big kids give me attitude in the playground). It has been fun getting to know kids that I don't teach as I paint stripes on their faces & I have loved catching up with kids I've taught in the past.... my first Year 1s are now in Year 8 (SO OLD!). Doing a musical has given us a chance to relate to kids in a different way, supporting and serving them & giving them a chance to shine (which I guess is what we aim to do every day... but it's a little more literal in the musical sense than the classroom sense)

2. A message I got from the girl who played JoJo tonight. She had to share the role with her sister, so tonight was her last show. I can imagine sharing a role could cause tension between sisters & I can see how it would be easy to feel sad that she wasn't in all the shows... BUT she (and her sister) have had the BEST attitudes the whole time (I can't say the same about the rest of actors...we have had a few divas and a number of meltdowns in the past few days).
I facebooked her to tell her how great she was tonight and hinted that she must be sad that it's all over after all the rehearsals. Her 11 year old reply blew me away

"i know but i am glad because we have made so much progress and i have so much more cofidence and i have improved in my acting alot! Oh and i have made a whole lot of friends." 
I love this girl's attitude!

3. This photo:

These girls were waiting to go on stage. But this one little girl couldn't help herself, she just started dancing. It wasn't to show off, she wasn't even aware that anyone was watching her, or that I had my camera handy - soooooooo glad I did (not that this is the most spectacular photo, it won't mean anything to anyone but me). It was a spontaneous expression of the excitement that was charging through her body, and it was beautiful!
Similarily (see how just used that conjunction to add more to point #3...hmmm maybe this post will go forever), last night, after the first show, our Junior School kids did not know how to deal with the energy and adrenaline they were experiencing from being on the stage. As they ran backstage they were just yellllllllling and clapping and jumping and cheering. I love the rawness of their emotions. They haven't yet learned how to internalise that feeling (and in someways I hope they never other ways, this is not practical behaviour for normal school days. haha). Instead of subduing the kids, and reminding them of proper backstage etiquette, we joined in - giving them high-fives and cheering, their joy was infectious.

There are so many more things and pictures I want to share. But they are my "3" highlights from today.

Oh, here is a random tip from Leah & also Ellen : 60 minutes is a good show to watch after you eat dinner while you are waiting to go swimming

Oh, ok... here's just one more picture...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The day I broke a nail.

This morning as I lifted some boxes out of my car my left thumb nail broke.
It didn't hurt & it's really only about 2mm shorter... but I realised today how important that thumb nail is! I didn't realise how often I use my left thumb nail. While I was make-upping the Whos and Bird Girls I had to get other people to open the compacts, my right hand just wasn't up to the task. Similarily when I was helping some little girls get their shoes back on after the show, it became apparent that I have only ever trained my left thumb to undo double knots. I miss it! Oh dear!

Something that I am reminded of every time part of my body breaks is the importance of little bit playing it's part! (even thumbnails) As I walked through the theatre tonight I was amazed at all the different things that were happening. There is no way one person could wrap their head around every detail of everything that was happening in that theatre - from costumes, props & choreography, right down to what shade of foundation each bird girl needs, where the safety pins are for Lucy's dress & who is taking Jessica home after the show. Seriously there were so many things! I was overwhelmed when I thought about it!

Tonight was Opening Night. The kids were sooooooooooooo excited. I was amazed, not just at the performers (though they were soooooooooooooo good!), but also at the awesome demonstration of Christian Community - everyone playing their part to contribute to the big picture... just like my thumb nail... sort of.

I love my job! Can't wait to do two more shows tomorrow (my parents are even coming to watch)!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seuss Week!

Tomorrow is the opening night of our school performance - Seussical! The kids have been practising since mid-last year & are super excited!
Today was our first rehearsal at the Performing Arts Centre & tomorrow is a whole day, full dress, make-up and everything rehearsal! eek! Everything is coming together really well! I can't wait!

This afternoon, after the 'Eggs cast' rehearsal, I did some cooking with my kids. Oh so fun! We made these cute cookies. 
I got the idea off this site
(ours didn't turn out quite as pretty as the originals, but they were still fun). We made them for the teachers who have put alot of work into the musical and made little encouraging notes (which the kids covered in my scratch and sniff stickers, no I actually mean covered... my colleagues could probably scratch and sniff for the rest of the year and still have stickers they haven't touched!). It was such a fun afternoon, oh I love my class! I am not really sure how I'm going to go back to normal lessons next week... I think we'll miss the Seussical rehearsals, weird thrown-together classes, wearing cute costumes at school , doing strange jobs &  making biscuits on a Tuesday afternoon.

Other fun things of this week:
- I found my testamur and transcript!!! woo hoo! But then i kept looking, because one thing that really annoys me is when people say "It's always in the last place you look", well duh! you don't (normally) keep looking after you find what you were looking for.
Incase you're wondering it was in my garage on the top shelf of the bookcase under my stamp collections from when I was a kid... (of course!)

- This cute frog can to visit me while I was sewing the other night... he was covered in fluff, so I had to wash him (eeek just remembered I need to do laundry) & pull all the fluff off him.

- I went shopping with my cute little friend Hayden (who of course is sideways...). He developed quite a strong little crush for a little girl while we were shopping. it was so cute! He chased her down the aisle (as fast as his new crawl could carry him) & pulled at her pink gumboots. She in turn offered him a smartie. mawww!

Anyway I really need to do last weekend's laundry or i shall have nothing to wear to Seussical!

The Story of a Hoarder.

Last week my boss' PA sent an email requesting that all teachers need to submit a copy of their University testamur and transcript to the office ASAP. Sounds simple enough.  Well the only problem is I haven't seen mine since I moved house in 2006.

I realised tonight as I tore apart my bedroom, my spare-room, my lounge-room and the horrible flood-damaged (um when was that flood again? I think perhaps 2007?), insect-infested cardboard boxes that I am a hoarder. Ok so I already knew this! But seriously... I had EVERYTHING (excepy my Uni certificates). There were art-works I did as a kid, plane tickets, chip packets from Africa, every phone bill I ever got between 2001-2006, my high school pencil case. I chucked two huge boxes full of junk as I searched. Hmm I really need a good 'stuff-cleanse'... maybe next weekend, or in the holidays....
I also realised how much I value words. I love letters. I have letters and postcards that I have kept since I was 6. I love re-reading things people have written (slight distraction from the testamur hunt).

Anyway, I still don't have my transcript. Things are "always in the last place you look", except for today. The last place I looked was full of books, my birth certificate & letters from a boy... hmm really should throw those out. I hope I find it soon, cos it costs $100 to replace such things & even though I think my school is not likely to kick me out after 8 years, there are also other 2012 dreams that may need this too. hmm

2 more sleeps till Seussica! Woo Hoo! The kids were super excited today (not the best day to make paper cranes with them...). Night world.

PS my class blog starts in about a week.. it'll be way funner than the story of my lost transcript.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

Last Friday I went to the wedding of my best friend from high school.
Alex and I caught the same bus and train 1.5hrs to school everyday for 6 years. We were in the same grade & same Maths and Japanese classes. We worked at the same supermarket when we turned 14 & 9 months (such a random age for starting work). And we even went to our Year 12 formal together. So many crazy adventures!

Here's a little trip down memory lane (for me really, you probably don't care a whole lot)
This photo is at our work Christmas party at Laser Zone back in 1999. I'm in orange (such a fun colour) & Alex is in the back left. I think we were doing our tough team faces...
This is the pre-formal photo taken in my lounge-room. Fun times!  
So... we finished school 11 and a half years ago! Arrgh! I feel so old! Alex moved to Canberra for uni, I stayed here.
We don't catch up heaps often these days, so I felt soooo honoured to be invited to his wedding to Lara!

It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to! So much raw emotion - Alex, his sister & his mum all cried in their speeches. I loved that during the ceremony the celebrant recounted the story of Alex & Lara, not only was this super handy as I had never met Lara, but it was also so so so sweet to hear the story of them! (I love stories!) Sooooo lovely!

A few pictures of the fun day:
Super-calm (hmm) Alex & me before the ceremony. It was so good to catch up (in those little bursts of catch up you have a weddings). Oh and look, I got cute new hair this week.               

Mawwwwww! How pretty is Lara! I love this photo. They said their vows real quietly, just to each other. It was so intimate.
This is my sister, Alex's sister and I... It is up the right way on my computer but flips when I upload it... It's super cute so I wanted to include it anyway.
Oh it was such a nice night!

Some random information about the wedding -
- The table we were on was entirely made up of Lara's friends from uni.
- We realised that 'what do you do?' could easily be relplaced with 'are you a public servant?' and learnt that the appropriate follow up question to this was 'which department do you work in?' Seriously! I only met two people who didn't 'work for the government' and those two were in politics... hmm
- The DJ didn't play a single Britney Spears song, even though Alex and Lara both said there were heaps on the playlist (Alex was known for his Britney obsession back in the day)
- The food was so yum & fancy & also kept coming and coming! We were so full after the 4 courses (actually we were full after the canapes - chicken & macadamia tenders in honey sauce and zucchini balls... mmmmm)
- Below the reception centre was a really cute tea cafe where we spent the hour between the ceremony & reception

Ok seriously... I don't know what the go is with side-ways/upside down photos today.

This is my sister.

This is me... with the cup our brownie came in.

Such a fun adventure to Canberra!

It was such a great honour to be there at 'my best friend's wedding'.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today was a good reprieve from Seussical rehearsals...
All of Year 3 & 4 went to 'Empowering' it is a one day Christian Conference for Year 3 & 4 kids. A bunch of the local (local as in within 2 hours drive) Christian Schools get together for a day of worship and learning about God.
Despite there not being a jumping castle this year, it was a real good day!
This year's guest speakers were Natalie Miller the ventriloquist & Colin Buchanan the kids performer who used to be on Play School back when I was small. Natalie was amazing. Not only her skills in speaking with her mouth closed (seriously! how do people do that so well... I had to remind myself several times that the puppet wasn't real), but I was so impressed with her skills at knowing exactly what topics would get 8-10 year olds laughing.

Our kids took a little longer to warm to Colin. It seems that all the other school use his songs at school, so they were singing along right from the start. But once there was confetti falling from the roof & giant beach balls flying around there was no stopping the fun!
My favourite Colin moment was when he held a competition between kids who knew a specific song of his and kids who didn't. "Ok, kids who don't know this song, you go first" (they lost)

When there was an altar call it gave me goosebumps to see 80% of the kids go forward. But more than that I loved watching the undecided kids. The ones who were actually really thinking about what it meant to be a Christian, who weren't thinking about whether their peers were out the front or in their seats, but were wrestling with their own hearts and minds. Wow!

Side note: I also figured out today which child I won't be sitting next to on our next super long bus trip! B seriously talked at me for 55 minutes without stopping (even when I was talking to someone else) until I showed her how to play sudoku on my phone (that gave me about 4 minutes of silence).

Back to Seussical rehearsals tomorrow. eek, not long now!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sometimes when my twin comes over we paint things.

Yesterday my twin* came over.
We painted a cute background for Seussical photos. (It's only 16 days till our mega-huge production hits the stage!)

 And then we tested it out...

What do you think?

*ok so we're not the kind of twins that both have the same parents or DNA or anything. And technically we've only been twins since we were 16. But we were both born on the 9th of J and are 28 and have 2 little sisters and like pink doughnuts and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory... I think that what actually counts with twins.


Sooo the last few weeks have been INSANE... and the next two aren't going to be a whole lot easier.

It is only ten days till our College Musical - Seussical Junior. So everything has been in full swing to get that sorted. I have 2 main roles (make-up and photos), but I have also been working on choreography, props, ordering things, logistics, logisitics, logisitics, crazy lists that took days to sort out, collating notes, fielding parent emails...oh and the normal teaching, lunch duties etc. Add in a K-4 disco (which was my job to organise), programs due date, a horrible parent email (followed by a horrible scene with a student) & leading staff devotions and you have my last 5 days!
I was actually in bed by 5pm on Thursday.
It was one of those weeks that drained me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I have realised a few things about myself this week.
The biggest is probably that I am actually super selfish. um...yes it's taken me this long.
I realised that as I took on extra jobs it wasn't necessarily just to help people out, but also because I felt like I could do them better than someone else could. I hate that my head thinks like that! How prideful! I'm sort of glad that I reached breaking point. I really needed to realise how unhealthy that view is.
I have really been loving/been challenged by James 3 this week. The first verse is pretty scary - 'Not many of you should presume to be teachers...' the responsibility is huge, and I don't feel like I've been living up to this calling lately.
Verse 2 'We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect...' was of great comfort when I got the horrible parent email. It was all over a miscommunication and I felt sooo yuck. I also used this verse in my class devotions this week. It sparked some great conversations.
Verse 9 is one of those verses that gets me everytime 'With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.'
And verses 13-14 really challenged me about humility. Soooo need to work on that one.

I'm so grateful for God's grace and goodness and also for amazing friends.

Hmm sorry, this isn't a super fun post.
I'll post a funner one next.