Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some things just get me going....

Because this really gets me clenching my teeth and making fists I'll send you over to Melinda's site to read all about the Australian sex party getting caught out in attempt to hide reality of teen porn titles. Teen porn - those to words together just makes me angry. AAAHHHHHH!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day 2010




Smothered with screen

Snacks packed

Snags for BBQ

Water sufficient

Perhaps not for some

Car spot on the hill

Park full of friends

Life guards alert

Police all around

Phew!

No riots this year

Sticky and sweaty

No sand or surf for me

Sand dance hilarious

All who dared

Jumped and ran

Shade not enough

Smiling I began to melt

Good bye, farewell

Another party to attend

Sleeping beauty in back

Air con car for rest

Cricket set up

BBQ lunch

Lunch it was not

Food saved for afternoon

Quickly wilting

Attempting survival

Willing the breeze

Praying for rain

Heat overcame

Packed up

No food for me

Flaked on bed

Exhausted delirious

Refreshed by swim

Filled with food

Sun kissed skin

This day would do well

To celebrate in the cool!



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Speaking Out

Warning – the link is not suitable for children’s eyes




Sometimes I feel like I have no control over what is happening in this world, but instead of getting paralyzed with emotion and anger I now choose to do something. I can speak, I can write letters and I can share things with you.

'Women blindfolded and gagged: the latest in men’s fashion from Roger David'

Recently you may have seen or heard something about the T-shirt that Roger David is selling.  Melinda Tankard Reist explains it all very well here.

The reason I am blogging about this is to encourage you to make a noise for what you believe in. If you agree with Melinda (and me) please contact Roger David.

Sexual abuse is not OK and will never be OK.

Protect your children and teach them what is OK. They need to know that ‘No’ means ‘No’ and not, as some are promoting that ‘no sometimes means yes’

It’s a heavy subject so I will leave it to Melinda to write about at length. I have read her book ‘Getting Real’ – it’s fantastic, though parts are hard to read. I highly recommend it for you to read and resource yourself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Turned Off

Friday Flash Fiction

It had been three days since the accident and Louise was showing no signs of improvement. The time was set, all her family was in the room. Today was the day soon all life lines would be turned off.


The questions on everyone’s minds were huge. Will she make it? Will she by some miracle breathe on her own? Will the damage to her body in the accident some how be repaired? Will she live?

It was midday, the doctor returned to the room. Louise’s family watched as every switch was turned off. Her brother, sisters, parents and grand parents were standing waiting. Their hearts were being ripped out with every moment that passed, watching for the unknown, unable to do anymore than hope. Hope was all they held onto. The machines became silent.

The doctor’s face was emotionless. The nurses stood close by, in support.

The family waited. There was nothing. Louise’s chest lay still. Her mum willed her to breath. But there was nothing, only stillness, quiet and pain.

After waiting for what felt like an eternity Louise’s chest moved and the monitor showed life in her heart.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Writing a Mission Statement

For a Bible College assignment I am to write a mission statement. This statement should be short, approximately 25 words long. The lecturer said if you can fit it on a T-shirt it would be the right length.



This is a really hard task. Last year in another subject I did the ground work for writing a mission statement but … oops I didn’t follow through and actually write it. So I’ve used the assignment from last year, pulled out key words and I threw them into a short statement. This is what I’ve come up with.



“To encourage significance. Be God led, faith filled, living extensively and generously. Advocating for women and children, speaking out for injustice. Loyally devoted to my husband and children.”

Well it’s 28 words long, and really it doesn’t cover everything. I think I need a mission statement for each of the hats I wear. If I left off the last sentence, this statement covers ministry. It doesn’t cover who I am as a writer, mother, homeschool teacher or friend.
I guess because this is a Bible College assignment it does need to be ministry focused. So I think this statement will be the one I hand in for my assessment.

Do you have a mission statement?

Feedback on my mission statement is welcome.

Love hope and grace


Michelle

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Lady Beetle

I get really excited when my kids direct their own learning. It’s one of the fun parts of home education.


Miss 6 found a lady beetle in the garden that she carried around with her for hours. She named it Lily and it was her new pet. We found a plastic container to house her new pet, punched some holes and added some grass. Sometimes when the kids find something interesting like this we open out books and do searches on the computer.


I thought this was going to be one of those moments. So I rummaged through our animal, insect and bug books ready to delve into the interesting world of the lady beetle.
Miss 6 it seems was more interested in the other things on the pages of the books. Lily was way more interesting to play with than to read about. Lily was in and out of the plastic container like a yo-yo. Even miss 2 carried the bug around for a while.

I guess one thing she learnt is that it’s hard to keep a lady beetle as a pet. Later in the day Lily flew away. Thankfully it didn’t upset Miss 6.

We were also happy that we’d snapped some photos to remember Lily. Overall I think Miss 6 enjoyed observing, talking and playing with the little lady beetle.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Wedding Dress

Thea has a thing about wedding dresses. You can read all about it here. So to add to her joy I'm posting my wedding dress - like she hasn't seen them before!! [hehehe she's my sister]

I loved my wedding dress - I felt like a princess.


I wore little girl shoes that were just so comfy

Hubby and I had the best night!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Meow

Friday Flash Fiction

‘Meow.’


The cat’s purr, vibrated the pages in the book I was reading. My cat never stops purring to meow. I was vaguely surprised.

‘Meow,’ said the cat again.

I looked down at him, he was purring once more. I looked back to my book.

‘Meow,’ the cat stopped purring and looked at me.

‘Everything OK puss?’ I asked.

‘Yes fine thanks,’ he said.

I looked around the room, realizing that I was the only one there and I wasn’t looking at the cat when I heard words.

‘Did you just talk to me?’ I asked.

‘Meow,’ he said

Hmm, I pretended to look at my book and asked another question spying intently out of the corner of my eye.

‘Are you hungry?’

‘No.’

I saw it, he said it, I know it and I bet you won’t believe it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

12 Days now available

'12 Days' is now available to purchase here.

24 Authors contributed to Jim Wisneski's 12 Days project

Why am I advertising it? Because my story '9 Ladies Dancing' is in it.

You can read all the stories here on the 12 Days's blog.

Although I receive no monetary reward this is my first piece of writing in print - yay [doing the happy dance]

2010 is my year of getting published !!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Camp

School camps or church camps or any kind of camp for children under 10 without their parents in my world is a big deal.

I was quite young on my first school camp and I remember being scared and relying on my big sister to help me but she didn’t want me hanging around. I wasn’t the homesick kind of kid but I sure remember feeling pretty overwhelmed and unsure. Could this be old scars from my childhood haunting me?

When we pulled our kids out of school I was quite happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with school camps. The distance ed school we go through offers camps and parents are encouraged to go along – that’s a great idea – I thought.

Every year my Church runs a high school camp and a young adults retreat but this year they added to it. They decided to run the first ever ‘Octane’ camp for upper primary kids.

My inner conversation went a little like this…

‘No, he’s not going!’ ‘Can I say he’s only in grade 4?’ ‘Should I offer his Dad to go and help?’ ‘It’s a bit pricey, we just don’t have the cash’(lie1 – not pricey … lie2 – we have enough) ‘Could I say no, you can go next year’

No, I couldn’t, it would have broken his heart. The fact is he is nine and a half. He is going to be in grade 5 this year. He is growing up and I cannot, and will not stunt his growth.

We dropped him off Monday afternoon in style… the whole family there to wave good bye. The thing is he did look and act like he belonged there. Tears? None from him but I had to blink a few times while driving away.

Homeschooled children are with their family pretty much all day everyday. They do have play days and we allow them to have the odd sleep over at Grandma’s or a friend’s house. I know it’s important to keep them growing independently so they are OK when they’re away from us, but boy have I been questioning my parenting since I dropped him off.

My inner chat then was a little like this…

‘What if he gets scared when it’s bed time?’ ‘What if I forgot to tell him something really important?’ ‘What if he drops all of his dry clothes in the shower?’ ‘What if he can’t get his sheet on the bed?’ ‘What if something goes wrong and he's too scared to tell someone?’

I haven’t had a phone call, so I guess nothing major has happened. I have missed him – he is just the sweetest son anyone could ask for. He has such a balancing affect on our household. He is a peace keeper, a helper and a great big brother.

We’re off this morning to pick him up. I hope he knew enough to survive. If I’ve missed something I hope I can learn and teach my girls before they are faced with a camp.

Am I the only mummy who gets all sappy over this kind of stuff?



ps He managed just fine, had an absolute blast and I was worried for no reason!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Please welcome - Cara Salley

This week I've asked the lovely, amazing, Cara Salley to guest blog for me. Cara was one of the first friends I found on Twitter, she is inspiring, positive and filled with awesomeness. She has reviewed one of my favourite books.
Please feel welcome to pop over to Cara's blog.


The Passionate Pursuit of a Life Worth Living:

My take on “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

by Cara A. Salley


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte captured my heart as a young college girl. It was given to me as a gift, amongst a small stack of other classics. I picked it out, and always being a little reluctant to read works of fiction, non-the-less classic works of fiction, picked Jane Eyre (more than likely because with a female as the main character, it held promise of romance). I set in to read and was captured immediately. The plain and ordinary nature of the heroin was so easy to relate to. I am sure this is why I first found it to be a favorite. I was young, nothing out of the ordinary to look at, and a helpless romantic at heart. As I perused the pages of this book, I saw a young woman with passion hidden deep in her soul. She was misunderstood by many, abused by some, but kept a fire burning within her and did not let it expire until she saw love’s true end.

Over the years, I have picked up Jane Eyre time and time again, usually over the Christmas holidays with a blanket and a warm cup of coffee. As a wife, mother, and minister, I tend to spend most of my time reading the Bible (my favorite in terms of timeless truth and value), or self-improvement (of which I have many that top my chart), but Jane Eyre is my candy. Every time I pick it up, I find myself engrossed in the rhythm of its words.

Charlotte was a master craftsman, ahead of her time in thought, and truly an inspiration in writing. It seems, as well, that I find a new theme come to light each time I pick it up. Jane is so relatable on many different levels. When I read it as a young girl, I was conflicted as I read of her pursuits of love and it’s injustice to her. As I entered ministry, I saw the repeated themes of religion exposed. I picked up Jane Eyre again over Christmas (this time, at the suggestion of my husband, in audio form through librivox.org. Who has time to snuggle with a blanket and cup of coffee to read a book when you’re a mother!). This reading, or rather hearing, nearly made me cry as I saw the abuse of children that rang loud as a reoccurring theme through the book. My heart swelled as I saw how Jane was mistreated by her own family, how religion abused and ultimately killed so many in her school, and how the little girl she tutored was born into a broken family and disregarded by her own mother. My heart swelled with compassion as a mother as I read Jane Eyre this past time, and it danced and sang once more as I saw justice and passion had their reign once more in Jane’s life.

If you have not ever picked this one up, I highly recommend you do. If you are not usually fond of classics, this is a great beginning piece. If you are not a woman (which you probably are if you are reading this blog!), my husband read it this past Christmas too and was absolutely enthralled with it. On a final note: I am a professed romantic at heart, and Jane Eyre will always speak to me of the passionate pursuit of a life worth living.


p.s. I’m @csalley…oh yeah, and my husband is a real “manly man.” He just happens to like classics! http://reflectionsbycara.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Favourite Photo

Tagged again - my sister Thea, has tagged me - 'A Favourite Photo'
Seriously - how can one have just one favourite photo with 4 delicious children and a hot hubby when I live in paradise!!!!!
So, because Saturday is my Family day in bloggy land I thought I share this one with you.

I know, I know you are all very envious, yes I do have the hottest hubby in the world, and the most beautiful children!!!
Truth is I think we have 3 photos with all 6 of us since our baby was born - this one was taken last month at a family wedding.

Consider yourself tagged! Go on - find a favourite photo and comment here with the link to your blog.

The Winner is.....

Thank you for reading, thank you for following,  and thank you for entering my little competition to celebrate my 50th blog posting. I'm sure you've already scrolled down to see who the winner is, so it's pointless me writing anything else here! Except you can be assured that I love to celebrate and give things away.


So the winner is...



Out of all who entered...



CONGRATULATIONS...




Narelle Nettelbeck

Narelle has a lovely book published called 'Moments for Mum' you can check it out at her blog by the same name.


Narelle, email me with your choice of jewellery and postal address.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 Things that make me happy

TAGGED! By Thea at doireallywannablog

10 things that make me really happy…

Not in any order.. just as I thought of them really


1. Hot drinks (with aircon in summer so I don’t sweat while drinking them) Tea – regular, earl grey, chai, herbals mmm I love Tea. Coffee – Fair trade and usually decaff. Mmmm I love coffee. Hot Chocoate, even hot water???!!

2. God. My saviour, my rock, my confidant

3. Water – from the sky, from the shower, to drink, rivers, creeks, pools, oceans. I love water. And I just realized last week how inspired I get to write when it’s raining – happy happy

4. Dining out – mainly with my hubby, I love having his uninterrupted attention for an hour or so.

5. My Hubby – he’s hot!

6. my kids – Joyful happy smiles every day! ( ok mostly in between their tiffs)

7. Air conditioning – I love 24 degrees Celsius!

8. Writing – JOY joy to my soul

9. The computer – I wouldn’t be a writing if I had to handwrite or type. Happy happy

10. The internet – email, facebook, twitter, blogging. I’m amazing with the connections I’ve made overt the last 2 years. Connecting with people makes me happy.


Now that I’ve thought of ten I could probably go to twenty… my church… my friends… my Tarago… the farm I grew up on…my extended family… children getting sponsored… [somebody stop me!]



Now you are tagged! Go for it!

I look forward to your 10. And remember to tag 10 ten of your friends.

Cath Oehlman at Squigglemum

Karen at Novels During Naptime

Kelly Burstow Be a Fun Mum

Narelle Nettleback at Moments For Mum

Debra Weiss http://www.debraweiss.net/

Laura Eno at A Shift In Dimensions

Michele Emrath at Southern City Mysteries

Dulce at sweeter poetry

Kathryn Brown  at Crystal Jigsaw

Monique N at Your Cheeky Monkey Your Cheeky Monkey

PS  ... an after thought... I don't want to just limit the tagging deal to 10 people. If you feel the urge post 10 things on your blog and comment here with your link. I'd love to read yours as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recycled paper

18 months ago we made some recycled paper as part of social studies. Out of the blue miss 6 asked to do it again. It’s fun and easy.


Get a bowl, half fill with water.


Tear newspaper or old papers into small pieces – 1cm – 2cm squares or shapes. Let them soak in the water for a couple of hours.


Squish and squeeze making it look as much like soup or porridge as possible.

Use a baking dish turned up side down.


Squeeze out the water and push the mushy paper onto the pan.


Use a rolling pin and roll in out pressing down firmly and letting excess water run off.






Put in the sun until it’s baked hard.









This one was made just last week and it proudly sits on our table as a place mat.










Monday, January 4, 2010

50th Blog !!

Happy 50th Blog!

Yes it seems I’ve been posting quite a bit since the kids have been on holiday! I'm sure I'll slow down again once the school year begins.

I want to celebrate. I want to thank my regular readers. And encourage more regular readers.


WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN



As you can see I have 3 pieces of Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery from which the winner can pick their favourite. It’s all pretty girly so guys I guess you can pick one for the lady in your life. Choose 1 of the above. The ring (size 20), the silver neclace or the gold bracelette. (sorry I'm not a photographer - pics don't really show off the jewellery

Love hope and grace
Michelle
xx

Conditions

There has to be conditions.

Competition runs from 5:30pm Monday 4th January until Friday 8th 5:30pm [times are SE Qld, Australia]

You have to start following my blog, and comment here so I don't miss you.

If you already follow just comment that you follow on this post and that will count.

Tweeting a link to this blog posting with @michelledevans mentioned will give you another entry

The winner will be announced Saturday morning.

Do you live in the greater regions of this world? This give-a-way is open to my lovely international friends as well as Australia.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Guest Blog


Please welcome my guest blogger....

My sister Thea who writes on her own blog Do I Really Wanna Blog?

Thanks big sis! Please feel welcome head over to her blog

I asked her to write something about writing, and this was her response ...

I've never considered myself as a writer. I've never even wanted to be a writer at any point in my life. My sister was always the one who wanted to write. I, on the other hand, thought I hated writing. I hated writing assignments, I hated even more having to write stories. Fiction is not my thing, I just don't have the head for it.

Recently, however, (well, less than a year ago) I discovered a little blue bird called Twitter. Twitter has become a big part of my life as a stay-at-home-Mum. I slowly discoved and came to understand this thing called blogging which many of my tweeps kept tweeting about. At first I pffted at the links and was slightly annoyed that my tweeps weren't actually tweeting but promoting something. Then I started to read some, and then some more, until I became hooked and started to follow the ones that made me laugh or nod my head. I got to the point where I was starting to feel a bit inferior. These bloggers seemed so eloquent, witty, clever...and I was just a stay-at-home-Mum who at best could string together something mildly amusing within the 140 character limit on Twitter. I wished I could be eloquent and witty and clever, too.

The thought kept rolling around in my head until I actually believed I might be able to do this blogging thing myself. So one day, I bit the bullet and my blog was born. I appropriately called it, "Do I Really Wanna Blog?." And it seems I do have quite a lot to say, and I can string together more than 140 characters, and people really are interested in what I have to say. I have followers and regular readers and a ridiculous number of hits. It's the most liberating, upliftting feeling. I feel I have my confidence back, I belong back in the world (not just in my home), and I feel smart and clever and witty (sometimes, anyhow).

So now I do call myself a writer (of sorts) and a blogger and I'm very proud of it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gifts that continue to Give

I’ve been tossing up whether or not to post this blog so I’m putting it up but I may just remove it again. We’ll just see how we go.



For the last two years we’ve given Gifts of Compassion to extended family members. Last year it was like an add on gift, and this year it was the main gift with a little something attached. I was somewhat disappointed when most of the family opened the Compassion card to discover we’d given them a goat, a chicken or a taxi licence and read it like it was just another Christmas card. Some of them looked disappointed. It was like they were expecting more.



I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on this over the last week and I’ve decided not to give this style of gifts to our extended family next year. I will keep these gifts for our children, myself and hubby. Maybe I’m simply pushing my passion onto my extended family too much.

I know my idea of a great gift isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I love everything about Christmas and that we give gifts because God gave us Jesus. But gifts are where Christmas sometimes gets me down a little. I like to give to my favourite charities at this time of year but I still have to keep within a budget. I guess gifts that keep giving like Compassions ‘Gifts of Compassion’ in my eyes are a win win deal.


Yes my husband earns good money but we have only got one income, college fees, four children and a cat. I ask myself, should I pull back in giving to charities just so we can give gifts that family are asking for? Am I being stubborn or selfish in not giving them their wishes because I want to give to my charities? Is a gift a gift when it’s not what the receiver wants to receive? Has our society commercialized Christmas so much that only the expensive self indudging gifts carry any value? Am I doing what my sister does and simply over thinking this one too much?


Please tell me, what are you honest, raw thoughts on gifts that continue to give?

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Dark Mossy Park

Friday Flash Fiction

At the end of a long and winding road was a dark, mossy picnic spot in the rain forest. From the loan picnic table you could feel the moisture in the air splashing horizontally from the waterfall. You could hear the gushing water spilling over the rapids. You could see the birds singing a fragrant tune.


Lola sat, at that lone picnic table, saturating her senses, wanting to be washed over by nature. All that she’d put into her body, all that she’d spewed up over the past year. She was wiping the slate clean. It was a fresh start year.

Another car pull up, parking in the car park. Lola swayed between running into the bushes or back to her own car. There had been many murders in this park, and now she wished she’d brought her dog with her, her Mum, Grandma - anyone.
 What was she thinking coming out here alone? Freedom. That is what she wanted. Freedom from substances, freedom from people addiction and free to be.
 Lola didn’t move, she sat frozen and watched the cloaked body step out of the car. The tall object walked straight towards her. Fear fled from her like water down the waterfall.


If she was to be the next victim, she would still find her freedom.