Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Life-Rhythms That Never Change

I have been making school lunches for 15 years.  Fifteen years of getting up before the kids and getting their sandwiches made in the peace of a silent early-morning house.  When Miss Sunshine was in Prep (first year of school here) I remember getting six months and thinking "I'm going to be making school lunches for the rest of my life".  Well...15 years down the track I only have another three to go before they're all finished school.  That just seems a little bit wrong!

I was making lunches this week for the two still at school.  There are so many days when I really wish this wasn't part of the every-day deal, yet this week I found a small measure of comfort that there is in something that is constant in your life when everything else is changing.  Even when your lunch-making routines change slowly, they are still there.

Our lunches right now consist of wholegrain wraps (from Aldi) topped with Chipotle aioli (from Costco), grated cheese, sliced chicken and mixed salad leaves.  They get rolled, chopped in half and boxed in Tupperware sandwiches boxes.  I have a stack of these and the kids have two colours each to claim as theirs.  They know which one to pick up when they pack their bags.  I put the grated cheese directly on whatever the mayo is at the time, because the cheese sticks and doesn't fall out.  It was a whole thing!  Cheese falling out just doesn't work that great.

On the days when there is nothing left to make wraps with, or I lose the plot and refuse to make another wrap for the week I head down to the bakery and buy Hawaiian pizza rolls or some other savoury scroll thing.

Monday, 17 August 2015

IF Equip study on Nehemiah....

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I have been using IF Equip for my morning devotions for a few months now, and I love it.  All the other daily devotionals I've used seem to have a focus on the commentary of the writer, rather than the passage of Scripture being considered.  IF Equip flips that focus so that that the Scripture is the main thing.  And the commentary is in the form of a 2-minute video clip.  Not to share stories that vaguely link to the text, but to discuss how the text is impacting their understanding of God.

I have learnt to slow down in the text and use my critical literacy skills to think more deeply about what I am reading.  I journal often.  I never used to do that.  I can dive into the comments and read others' thoughts.  Or not.  I was doing that, but I feel like my time is so limited at the moment that I've been skipping it.  Also, because I'm doing this about 12 hours after its posted I come in on the tail end when the conversation is kind of over.  Time zone issues!

I have always really struggled to figure out this daily quiet time thing.  Yet my Dad was always such a great role model.  I have found that I am a breakfast-time reader.  I will read pretty much anything in front of me during breakfast.   Because I'm a slow learner on some things I finally figured out that breakfast time was a perfect time for me to sit with the Word and ponder it.  Right now there is no one else up and about when I'm having breakfast so the house is beautifully quiet.

The study on the Book of Nehemiah ... A Call to Restore... starts on Monday.  Well.  It's Monday here now, so it starts tomorrow.  I don't know, you'll have to figure it out for your time zone.  But for me, tomorrow morning it'll be waiting in my inbox.

Join me?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Best Uni Assignment Ever

Miss Sunshine was recently invited to accept an Early Entry into her target degree from the Associate Degree she began in February.  After a flurry of early-semester withdrawals and re-enrollments she's now all settled into the big-girl version of University study and is well on her way to becoming a Prep-Year 10 teacher.  This is the result of complete indecision on her part.  Rather than choosing now, whether she wants to teach in Primary or Secondary, she's studying to be qualified in both.  She can choose where she ends up later.  I was never so uncertain.  The younger the better!

To that end she is taking up Health as one of her Secondary methods and the timing of it all is just completely brilliant.  Her semester-long assignment requires her to identify a habit that could be healthier and enacting a plan to change the habit for the better.  She decided on eating healthier.  So she has to plan our menu, help me shop (that's my two cents worth!) and then sort out who's doing what on which nights.  I just show up at the supermarket with the money and she makes the rest of it all happen.  She planned on fruit salad for some of her breakfasts, so I suggested she just make a huge container to keep in the fridge - everyone got to sneak a bit here and there through the week.  She had also planned on a roasted vegetable salad for some of her lunches - again, she made more than enough so we shared that too.

You know what?  I can't go ahead and plan or shop for this week till she's available.  Am I sad about this?  Nooooo.  Someone else planning something for me?  Yes please!

Now, if I could get her interested in sourcing some more healthy baking recipes Mr Busy would be all set and we could enjoy something sweet without adding to our winter insulation!!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

On Being Disconnected

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Life here Beyond My Picket Fence is at full tilt.  Things in the classroom are feeling more settled - for me, and for the kids.  My own kids are valiantly holding up the dinner end of the day like the complete and utter champions they are.  Despite being busy and tired and getting home later than I have ever done since.....well....ever, I am discovering there is one major downside to working full-time:  being disconnected from your people.

We had parent-teacher interviews for Miss Mischief the other night.  Year 12's have them earlier than everyone else, because they're nearly finished with their coursework for the year.  And as we sat with each of her teachers I realised how much I miss my tribe.  We had to catch up with each other before we could catch up about Miss Mischief.  I've missed that I can't just pop into the Library and chat with my very dear friend, who is the Library Tech.  And I can just have a spur-of-the-moment cuppa with my friend up the road, or have a quick five-minute chat in the car park after school.  And a weekday breakfast with my book club gals is now off the table.  I just feel a bit disconnected, and I'm not sure how to go about getting that back.  I desperately need my tribe.  They are my go-to people when things are great, and not great and everything in between.  They are the people we pop in on spontaneously when we have a couple of hours to kill.  The people we have dinner with.  The people we camp with.  The people we celebrate our family accomplishments with.  We all need a tribe to belong to.  We have had a period of time when we were practically tribe-less and it was a pretty lonely kind of place to be.

But how does one keep connected to their tribe when their days are full in a place that is away from their tribe?