Tuesday, July 31, 2007

5 things about having a preschooler......

Here are five things that I thought of tonight that celebrate life with a preschooler - for I only have two more weeks of life with a preschooler - and then both of my wee ones will be Big School Children. I keep expecting to become emotional about that; not so far; but then she who types this is the one who booked tickets to see Chris Tomlin in Belfast the night before Child # 2 undertakes that rite of passage that is The First Day of School. We'd have been over the ocean at 9am if it wasn't for a quick change of flight to the first plane out of N Ireland......

Anyway - here are five things that mark these last few weeks that will be forgotten about in a few years time, when my children hurtle towards the teen years; in fact, readers with older children will probably go "ah yes, I remember that"

5 things that mark out the preschooler years:-

* You've Been Framed on a Saturday night becomes a powerful weapon in "you will eat your dinner" battle.
* having to read Thomas The Tank Engine (dire stuff)
* five pairs of jammies a night whilst toilet training the male of the species
* ominous silence equating with worry (what are they up to?) or fear (are they still breathing?)
* snails provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment

What marks or marked out preschooler years for you?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Today I....

...............joined Facebook.

How cool am I?

(my friend Elaine in Australia invited me in)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Great Day

Just back from a wonderful wedding of friends, Adam and Chloe, here. (anyone recognise the town?)

It was a really special day, full of friends, hope and promise, and I wish them God's richest blessing on their lives together (tho' they won't be reading this; they have two hours in their hotel before checking in at the airport at 4am!!!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Preparing for the beginning...

.....of 130 children for a week long holiday club, culminating in some silly stuff where we showcase the week's activity with a family BBQ and fun night. It's perhaps my most favourite part of the club as the children bring their parents along - last year we fed 328 people that evening with elastic hamburgers and sausages.....
I am blessed with a large team, and new this year - a support team. Wonderful!
In three years the numbers attending the club has doubled, which is a little scarey and exciting. We have no advertising now and the club is full by June 30th.

But I am always, always blessed and humbled by the way the church pulls together. I think that's why these kind of projects/missions (call it what you will - I like to think of it as KA - Kingdom Advancement) are so good for the church, because everyone can get involved in helping or praying, if they want to. Tonight someone was offering to paint traffic cones (a task even more horrific in my eyes than dusting), the guys who made the scenery last year came out to check it was all OK for me and the team before they go away, someone else is sending all the consent forms out for me, others are making icebreakers etc

My beamer-pal and sometime reader of this blog always puts together a great AV show which we use at the BBQ and the guest service, I know for a fact that it takes him hours to do....(this is why I continue to act daft around movie maker software - it's too hard!)

God placed children in families - deliberately - for me to reach their parents :-) Much as I love the children, I also love their families :-)

Very sadly, I heard of someone who now doesn't want their child to attend Christian holiday clubs because their child enjoyed themselves so much last year, was singing the songs for weeks, for example, and wanted to know more about God - and the parent could not answer their questions nor feed their spirituality. Back to the old Hay and Nye book on the Spirit of the Child - it needs nurture.

My only need is for an experienced sound engineer for one day - so if anyone reading this knows of someone who can help.......please do email me!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm back

Back from Spanish holiday. Hope to blog about some of the more fascinating aspects of this trip, rather than the "went to beach, went to pool, siesta'd, went out for dinner" ....but first - a picture of some young ruffians by the pool.....

Major achievements of this holiday -
Numero 1.
Got 3/4 of the way through THREE books (plus one Heat, one Cosmo and one Reveal; that doesn't count; it was left behind by someone else on the 'plane)
The books are a major achievement; due to the children sleeping every afternoon for a couple of hours because we emulated the Spanish way of doing things and went out to eat very late.
Books were: Crow Road by Iain Banks (It has been discussed while I was away on another blog! I'm "of the moment" for once!!!)
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (hmmmm)
Captivating by John and Stacey Eldridge (double hmmm)

Major achievement number 2:
Managed to get into a medical emergency. Was snorkelling and got spiked by either an urchin or a fish with a prong - cue loads of blood and crying with pain as my foot went purple and throbbed with intense pain. (i.e. Something Was Toxic). The creu roja (lifeguards) looked and said "get thee to a hospital". Have you ever tried not to whimper in pain while your two children look aghast and determine the sea must be nasty and dangerous. Had to be tinnily upbeat about the wonders of the waves whilst wanting to sob like a...a....a....baby!

There ensued a rapid drive by hubby to hospital with me kind of going: "hurry up, hurry up, its so sore; labour wasn't this bad" in a town we didn't know where people didn't speak English, for which of course, I hold no malice. We chose Spain. We stopped to ask three pedestrians the way to the hospital and managed to make out from gesticulations that it was "along there, up there, then turn there".

Arrived at the hospital to be refused treatment (I presume, as I wasn't greeted with tender loving care) because ...well, I don't know why. A group of white coated individuals with pursed lips talked quickly in Spanish with many head tosses and cusses directed towards the Creu Roja who sent us there (could understand that bit). Maybe cos I didn't have a credit card with me? Drove back to beachside, found a lifeguard who spoke English, got directions to nearest "clinica" who then wouldn't treat me till I paid them, saw a doctor who couldn't speak English and - you'll love this - I'm having to charade what happened i.e. it wasn't a crab or lobster but something with a spine that pierced me and it must be poisonous - had to grab her pen and draw a bottle with a skull and crossbones on it....!!

I had private travel insurance but that was not acceptable and they wouldn't accept E111 card either.

GOD BLESS OUR NHS I really mean that. I gained a real appreciation of the service, care and free availability that we have in the UK.

Here's the best bit: after two hours from biting/spiking/poisoning; the pain disappeared completely and I was left with a tiny puncture wound. I had to grit my teeth and get straight back in the sea to show the kids there was nothing to be afraid of.

Major achievement number 3: We got into an altrecation (first ever on holiday!) with "El Presidente" - a retired English bloke who lived in the small community of houses and who took it upon himself to police the pool and the gated entrance. He told us and another "renter" family that armbands and rubber rings were not allowed as the Rules Said: No Inflatables.
Yet the Spanish families (the majority) seemed to swim with inflatable paraphanalia unhindered. I can't abide inequality and double standards like that so I kept out his way (just as well I wasn't there when he first spoke to Mr HIWWC about it; I'd have lost it probably) but Mr HIWWC did take exception to his unreasonable and intimidating request - and El Presidente replied: "I'll call the police and you can explain your law-breaking use of small plastic swimming aids down the local nick. Oh and translation will cost you 75 Euros an hour". This is seriously what he said. I struggled all fortnight with putting him high up on the plonker scale (can I say that?....just checked with dictionary.com, yes I can: person with Little or No Knowledge (of small children and swimming pools)As you can see I am walking in complete forgiveness in this area ::::grimace:::: .....I was daily reminding myself of what I try to teach and practise: forgiveness is releasing the other person into God's hands for him to deal with. Doesn't mean it's alright; doesn't mean you have to be best friends; just means you relinquish your desire for revenge.....

Major Achievement Number 4:
had more searches and belongings scrutinised than ever before. Hand luggage unpacked, searched and tested four times out of four (we would carry drinks for the children and electronic games for two flights lasting all day ::::::::sigh::::::::) Was also patted down twice. Can't help but concur with news report today that the tight regulations are not the best use of resources as thousands of innocent people are inconvenienced but I do not grudge any checks that are fairly applied across all ethnic groups.

Had a great time though.

And so......how have you spent the last two weeks?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Page 161

Brodie has tagged everyone to take the book nearest to them that they have been reading, and type here the fifth full sentence on page 161.

Pretty cool idea!

He urges us not to pick up the book that we may feel is the coolest, but to pick up that which honestly reflects our current reading. OK then.

I was fairly serious when I mentioned Heat mag to another blogger :0) I'm on holiday!
If I'd gone for my copy of Cosmo it would have been worse as the quote would probably have been rude.

But that which is nearest me, and I have REALLY been reading it, is:
Scottish Geographical Education, Teachers, Texts and Trends (be still my beating heart, eh?)

page 161, 5th sentence reads:
Specific coverage of the Scottish Studies syllabus, examined in Paper 1 and worth 40% of the mark allocation, mainly come from two groups of books and related teaching material from the mid-1970s.

Anyone still there.............?