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Friday, 27 June 2008

From My Wall Friday

"The true way to be humble
is not to stoop
until you are smaller than yourself,
but to stand at your real height
against some higher nature
that will show you
what the real smallness of your greatness is."

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Bloglines


I used to find that even reading half a dozen blogs was very inefficient use of my time. This is because by the time I'd clicked through to each blog I read and waited for it to load up only to find that there weren't any new posts I had used up a lot of time effectively doing nothing.

I guess if every blogger posted at regular intervals this wouldn't be a problem but some people post multiple times a day whereas others may only post two or three times a month. Even those who have a predictable pattern such as a daily post don't post at exactly the same time daily.

Enter Bloglines.

Since discovering Bloglines a couple of months ago (thanks to Buffy) my blog reading is much more efficient and much less wasteful of time:
  • I can see instantly which blogs have new posts so don't need to look at each blog.
  • If I want to comment on a post and can't (for example if I'm feeding while nursing Little Girl and she's a bit too wriggly or if I just don't have time) or I want to refer back to the post for some reason, I can tick the "keep new" option. This then means I don't have to go searching back through people's blogs to find old posts.
  • When I missed a month of blog reading, each blog's posts were on one page meaning I didn't have to click back through loads of pages and Bloglines kept track of what I had and hadn't read so I didn't have to keep track myself.
If you read more than a couple of blogs, I would definitely recommend giving bloglines a try.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

I took the Worldview challenge

I found this challenge on Crystal's blog.


It was grouped into topics and I did well on Family, Education, Religion, Social Issues and Science but not so well on Civil Government, Economics and Law. I guess to some extent it's a reflection of what is the main focus of my life (except Science which used to be a significant part of my life) but it is a challenge to make sure I have thought properly about these other areas too.

Click on my "certificate" to take the test yourself.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Broad Beans and Reading Under the Covers

Thank you to all the people who gave me broad bean suggestions. Unfortunately thanks to my overzealous spam filter and my just reading the comments when Blogger e-mailed them to me rather than logging in to Blogger I missed some. However, fortunately that helped me work out why I've not been receiving all my comments by e-mail so hopefully it's fixed now. In the end I went with Toni's suggestion of cooking them with the meat so I popped them in the slow cooker with the lamb. They turned out very tasty so I would recommend that method although they didn't look the greatest visually.

I don't know about other people but when I was a child I often used to read books under the covers by torchlight after I had gone to bed. I really love reading and can find it very hard to put a book down. (I am better at stopping these days.) Anyway, when I was at my cousin's wedding, one of my uncles (well technically my mum's cousin but we just call them all "Auntie" or "Uncle") was telling us stories about his mum (my Great Auntie) and her sister and brother (my Grandad) growing up. They grew up on a farm and lived in a wattle and daub house with an earth floor and a thatched roof. They had gas lamps downstairs and candles upstairs. Apparently my Great Auntie used to read under the covers at night too - with a candle in a thatched cottage! No wonder she likes modern conveniences.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Broad beans

We get a veg box delivered from a local farm alternate Wednesdays. (Hence why I do my menu plans on Wednesdays.) This week we got some broad beans. I don't think I've ever actually come across broad beans before (just frozen) so I've been hunting on the internet to find out how to cook them. There are quite a lot of them but we are having a family from church round for lunch on Sunday so I figure that would be a good time to do them.

However... I don't know about other countries but the only place I've ever come across broad beans is in frozen packets of mixed veg and they seem to be the thing that no one likes. I found a couple of sites with some broad bean recipes on them ( and but not ones that I think would go with a roast dinner.

So, if anybody knows any good ways of doing broad beans, do post your recipes/ideas in the comments.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Men and Women are different

Some of the comments on my "productive day" post got me thinking about how different men and women are. I enjoyed the process of what I did and had great satisfaction in doing it. Surfing the web I have come across dozens and dozens of websites about homemaking and they have all been written by women. Presumably they would not be writing about these things if they did not enjoy them.

In contrast, if my husband finds it necessary to do some household task, he finds it a chore and whilst he is glad to get it done, he does not take any great satisfaction or pleasure in doing or completing these things. I have never come across a homemaking website written by a man.

Of course I am making generalisations. There may be some men who enjoy these things and some women who don't and even if we do enjoy homemaking as a rule, there are always going to be some things we do not like (washing up in my case) however, this apparent natural tendancy for women to prefer these tasks compared to men seems to me to fit with the Biblical role of women as described in Titus 2 and Proverbs 31.

It's such a shame that our culture in trying to avoid "inequality" trys to pretend that men and women are the same and should therefore fulfill the same roles and have the same aspirations. As far as I can tell, this actually has the opposite of the intended effect as it implies that traditionally female occupations like homemaking are inferior and that women are selling themselves short if they "just" look after the home/children.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Since out internet went down last month, quite a few things have happened or changed:

  1. Baby Girl dropped her 10pm "Daddy Feed" and now sleeps through from 7 to 7. (Although with a few blips while we were away.)
  2. As a result of dropping that feed, she stopped having her short morning nap so just has her long (2hr) afternoon nap.
  3. We changed dinner so we all eat when Hubby gets home from work (around 5.15/5.30pm) rather than Baby Girl having her dinner then and us having ours after she's gone to bed.
  4. We went on holiday.
  5. We went to my cousin's wedding. It was nice to meet relatives who I have not seen for about fifteen years so only knew through their Christmas letters. I got to hear some interesting stories about some of my ancestors and others in my family tree.
  6. We bought a washing machine.
  7. Baby Girl has started helping to tidy up when I say "tidy up".

Hopefully I'll be blogging a bit more about some of these things soon.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Sorting things out - a productive and satisfying day

Since we came back from holiday, I've noticed loads of things I need to sort out or deal with that I hadn't gotten around to doing for a while. I think partly getting ready for and returning from the holiday meant I let things slip and also having not seen things for a couple of weeks made me notice them when we came back. So for the last week and a half I've been trying to sort stuff out.

First off I did some minor tidying in the living room and then decided to haul out the boxes of stuff from my teacher training (which are kept in Baby Girl's room). A small amount of it I am keeping as it could be useful for home-educating and the rest has either become scrap printer paper (if it was single sided) or recycling (if it was double sided). I guess Baby Girl must be keen to start looking as she started perusing the file of stuff I'm keeping as soon as she saw it:


Today I decided it was time to sort out our bedroom as the combination of things which hadn't been dealt with/put away etc and things which had never been properly organised meant it was getting cluttered and difficult to keep clean and tidy.

First off I made a little enclosed area for Baby Girl to play:

In general I don't do this but I wanted to be able to work without having to keep constantly watching her. Here she is installed in her little play area:

From our door there is a "U" shaped walkway around our bed ending at my bedside so I decided to start there and work along that wall. Here it is before:


You can't actually see the heap of stuff inside the bedside cabinet which needed dealing with but you can see the heap of skirts which hadn't been put away. After getting started I realised I needed a few things:
  • basic cleaning equipment (Feather duster, rag and vinegar spray - just for rough cleaning I wasn't getting side tracked by doing any "proper" cleaning)

  • boxes for various categories (things which need dealing with, things which need putting away, things which need to go downstairs etc)
  • paper and pen to write down any things I realise I need to do (this avoids me getting sidetracked onto some project which is unecessary to the overall aim of the tidy up)

While I was getting down to some serious sorting and tidying, Baby Girl was "sorting" the clothes from the clothes box onto the floor.

Every so often she would run out of space for herself so I would put everything back for her again. It took me an hour to get along that first wall after which I stopped to play with Baby Girl and had lunch and then resumed when Baby Girl went for her nap.

After completeing the first wall, I decided to start from the other end (by the door). Along this wall there is a desk, our main computer, the opening to a built in wardrobe and then in the corner a computer cupboard (housing our second computer). The space inbetween what I had just done is the wall with a window and a radiator and this is also where Baby Girl had been playing earlier. As you can see, beforehand it was very cluttered:



When I was lifting a box off the top of the computer cupboard I found these cards:


I made them ages ago and left them under a box to help stick the bits down and I had completely forgotten about them! This side of the room took almost an hour and a half as there was a lot more stuff to deal with but it was worth the effort:



When the main computer is not in use, we usually cover it with a throw to make our room look less "officey":


I was now left with the following:
- a bin of recycling

- a small bag of paper to be shredded and a suprisingly small bag of rubbish

- a "pile" of ironing

- a box of postage envelopes and packaging to sort out (this actually came from another room originally but I had brought it in here to sort and not yet done it)

- a basket of stuff to go downstairs

- a box of things to put away

- a box of stuff which needs to be dealt with in some way or another

I sorted out the packaging to result in a pile of rubbish/recycling and a much tidier box to return to its home:


Once I'd dealt with all those thing (except the boxes of stuff to "deal" with as they're more time consuming things) our bedroom looked like this:




I was so pleased because I'd managed to make a big enough change that when Hubby came home he could actually tell that I'd made a difference (which is quite unusual)!

Although I think I should work through my two boxes of stuff to deal with first (and I think I picked the easiest room to do first), I feel inspired to work through the rest of the house now.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

An Apology, an Invitation, a Note on Comments, and Future Blogging

(Please note my "discussion" with Candy has closed. I left a comment here telling her I had written my final words on the matter here and I meant what I said.)

Although I have always intended my recent actions to be godly, biblical and loving, I am a sinner and may have got things wrong despite my good intentions. I am aware that some people have accused my of attacking Candy and of behaving like a two year old. If I have done either, I am truly sorry as that has never been my intention.

If you believe I am or have been wrong in my views or actions, please tell me in the spirit of Matthew 18v16. I realise we may still disagree and there are issues where we must just agree to disagree but I would appreciate anybody taking the time to explain to me how/why they think I have gone wrong. I am sure I have a huge log in my eye and would appreciate any help in removing it.

A note on comments
There are a few comments which I have not published. To avoid any offence being caused I would like to give some of the reasons I may not have published a given comment:
1. It was a link to an anti-Candy site which made fun of her personally. (There has only been one comment like this and quite frankly I was shocked that someone thought I would be interested in it.)
2. It made some criticism of Candy which while perfectly genuine and not attacking in any way, was not entirely accurate and I therefore felt it would be unfair to publish it as it could be misconstrued and it could look like I agreed.
3. I haven't gotten around to publishing my comments.
4. I was unsure whether the person would want me to publish it and the main purpose seemed to be communication to me rather than public discussion so erred on the side of caution by not doing so.
I hope that is helpful.

Future Blogging
I will not be making any more posts relating to this matter in any shape or form. My blog posts from now on will be as normal.

Friday, 13 June 2008

What is Love?

You may remember my mentioning here that I needed to make a wedding present for my cousin. Well I managed to get it done and we went to the wedding at the end of our summer holiday (vacation). As I said, I usually write some appropriate Bible verse(s) using calligraphy and put it in a frame.

Up till now all the wedding I have been to have been weddings of Christians (except for when I was very little - I never went to any weddings between the age of about 6 and 24) but my cousin and her fiance (now husband) are not Christians. I don't really know my cousin well enought to know her views on Christianity but as they were getting married in their local Anglican Church, I figured they couldn't really have any objection to my giving them an approriate framed piece of Scripture. (I do have friends who are atheist who I would not do this for as it would be rather antagonistic.)

Usually I pick a verse (or verses) which speak(s) specifically about marriage but for my cousin I decided to use 1 Corinthians 13 v 4-8a. I also decided to use the NIV version of this even though I usually use the AV simply because for this particular passage it is easier to follow.

So here is the finished product:


Re-reading it now reminds me of what a high standard God sets and that we must strive to come as close to it as we can even though we all fail each and every day. Although I am sure some people may think it is a bit of soppy sentimentality, to me it is an awesome challenge and a reminder of both God's greatness and my sinfulness.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Post removed.

This was a post titled "Why I am removing "Keeping the Home" from my blogroll". I have removed the content of this post but in the interest of integrity, I am leaving this in it's place rather than pretend the post never existed.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I'm back

I've been back online since Saturday after having to buy a new router so have been catching up on blogs, e-mail and other such online stuff. I've got loads of stuff to post about but seem to be really busy at the moment so might not get posts up very quickly. Just realised that makes it sound like they're really exciting posts which they probably aren't really so don't get too excited - I just have lots of things in my head but not the time to transfer them into the blog at the moment.

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