Friday, July 15, 2005

Oh the wonder of being able to sleep-in of a morning! I’d almost forgotten how lovely it feels to not be a slave to the alarm clock!

Matt’s been on school holidays for the last two weeks and although I did start the time off by getting up at the same time – as usual – it wasn’t long before I started to realize that a nice sleep in wouldn’t go astray … and it hasn’t.

I’ll have to start breaking back into the routine though, or it will come as quite a shock when Matt goes back to school on the 25th July and the alarm goes off at 5.30 again. Still, I think I must have needed the little bit of extra rest these later mornings have given. I must admit that I was feeling fairly worn out before the school holidays came around.

Normally getting out of bed early doesn’t bother me in the slightest. But it is mid-winter now and that does put a bit of a different slant on things. That first step out of bed is a lot harder when you know it’s a bit on the nippy side on the other side of the covers.

Brrr!

We’re almost at the halfway point for winter though, so spring is getting closer with every passing day. Although it’s been a fairly mild winter really, I still can’t wait to see those first blossoms appearing.

We’re also about to hit another landmark on the calendar as well – and that’s the one year countdown to Kylie and Nathan’s wedding. It’s just a day away and we’re taking great notice of the weather so that we have an idea what to expect next year – although with weather, you can never be sure. But even the daylight factor is something to keep in mind – I think the sun sets just a few minutes after 5 now.

Kylie has been getting things very well prepared. Things she has taken care of since last month are the photographer, limousine and reception. She even went out and bought enough fondue sets for each table at the reception. She has wanted to have chocolate fondue as a treat for everyone for a long time. She’s been doing some investigating about invitations and wedding cakes, and has a fairly good idea of what she wants – for the most part fun and bubbly (just like her). So everything is coming together, which is great.

It’s also my nieces 18th birthday the day after the one year countdown to the wedding, which is so hard to believe – particularly when I realize that means that our own “baby,” Matt, will be turning 18 in September. He finds that pretty hard to get his brain around as well. Being 17 still feels like a kid, which he quite likes. But 18 is a whole new ballgame. At 18 the adult responsibilities start to kick in, and whereas Kylie just took them in her stride without a second thought, Matt is a little more hesitant about moving into this whole “grown up” thing.

Well, a day or two has passed since I started writing this, and it’s now a year exactly until Kylie and Nathan get married. She didn’t have much time to think about that fact though as the day started with a bit of a bang. It was her first day off in five days, so she was hoping to spend it getting some things done at home. But Nathan rang early saying that the water heater in his apartment had apparently packed it in during the night and there was water right through the place.

So Kylie gathered up an armload of our old towels and went off to help soak things up.

Thankfully the landlord arranged for a carpet cleaner to come very quickly and suck up the worst of it, and a plumber came this afternoon and fixed the heater. Good to know that everything has been put right fairly quickly.

Matt has just come in from getting the car washed and is thinking about going off with a friend to a skate park (to ride their unicycles); Steve is about to come in after finishing off the day with some work in our garden (always nice); and Kylie is just preparing her lesson for the children for Sunday School before she heads off to do some babysitting. It’s a bit like everyone will collide for a brief moment and then scatter again until later this evening.

Actually, it was rather nice on Saturday when the photographer was here going through his package with Kylie and Nathan. They took a quick walk around the garden after they were finished talking and the photographer said our garden was a photographer’s dream. Another reason Kylie is blessed to have a gardening daddy.

I’m just about to get the final bookwork done for the end of financial year (which is 30th June in Australia) so that I can send it off to the Accountant. Oh I just LOVE this time of year. Pray for me! For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may remember my headaches with all this last year. Hopefully it will be a lot easier this time around.

I went and had my eyes re-tested and they have deteriorated slightly – so my new glasses should be ready fairly soon. Once they are, I’ll put these ones in and get new lenses for them as well. I’ve really come to understand the value of having a spare pair on hand in case of emergencies. I’d have been in a bit of a pickle if anything had happened to these ones over the last couple of years. My eyes have definitely relaxed since I’ve been wearing my glasses virtually all the time for the last two years. Now it would be very hard to try and manage without them.


When I last wrote, I was getting ready to share the message at church and, as usual, wondering why. It's one of those things where the lead up is always a time of major tummy-wobbles - particularly at the thought of possibly not being able to remember how to put it all together and making the number one mistake of reading straight off the notes. But then God very graciously takes over (as He should) and it all turns out just right.

This time around I spoke on the subject of Building Toward the Vision, and it did seem to be an encouragement to the congregation - which is how God best uses me. I'm not a preacher, just an encourager.

Anyway, other than that, there hasn’t been a great deal happening throughout the last month – things have been very busy, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Can’t say I mind that too much.

So I’ll finish here and get the newsletter ready to send out. Have a wonderful month!

Love, Deb

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hi everyone. As always, the time is racing by and I’m a little stunned that we are virtually half way through the year. Winter is definitely with us now, and the mornings and nights are quite chilly, but for the most part the days aren’t too bad.

As many reading this will know, winter is not my favorite time of the year, although I’ve grown to respect and be grateful for the season of rest. This year, the bite of winter hasn’t really made itself known yet, so with just two and a half months of it left, who know? Maybe I won’t notice it at all.

One winter evening type of thing that the whole family has become rather fond of over the last couple of weeks, is a new type of hot chocolate on the market (by Nestle, I think). Kylie picked up a packet of it when she was getting some groceries for me a couple of weeks ago. A lady was demonstrating it in the supermarket and Kylie thought it was rather nice and got a packet for us.

Now the house regularly resounds with the sound of a certain male calling out, “Could someone put the jug on?” (Not mentioning any names … but it isn’t Matthew.)

By the end of winter we’ll all probably be quite sick of it, which may be a good thing at the rate we’re going through it. Apparently everyone else in our area must have taken to it as well, as our supermarket is regularly sold out of that particular brand. So whenever it’s in now, we buy about four boxes to carry us over.

Well, At LONG last – our tax refund has arrived. Not bad, coming just a month and a bit before we have to start work on the next tax return.

It went astray (our accountant apparently sent it to the wrong address) and what a hassle trying to track it all down. We should have actually received it in February, but in the end it arrived at the end of May. We were really hoping and praying that it would arrive in time to pay the plumber’s bill – and thankfully, it arrived with a week to spare. Phew! The timing was perfect!

As I said though, now I’m only weeks away from getting started on all the bookwork for the end of financial year. Oh, whoopee!

Enough about that though … hopefully it will all go smoothly with no hiccups (although I suspect my e-mail will be running hot to my “lifesaver” at our accountant’s office.)

Kylie finished lectures at University a week ago and is now off for the mid-year break. I’m not exactly sure how long it is, but I don’t think they go back until the end of July. Nathan used a few annual leave days from his work last week, and they both enjoyed a few days off together.

Matt only has a couple of weeks left of second term at school and is, once again, really looking forward to having a few weeks off. He finishes the term off with an excursion (field trip) for photography, so it will be a nice way to round off the second quarter of school for the year.

It was the Queen’s Birthday public holiday last Monday, which has really thrown us out for the rest of the week. I keep thinking it’s a day earlier than what it is and am finding it hard to believe that it’s Friday tomorrow. This week has zipped by.

Steve and I decided to go for a drive into the City and visit Botany Bay – the place where Captain Cook first landed in Australia. About seven years later when the First Fleet arrived out here from England, they weren’t quite as taken with that particular spot and decided to move a little further on. I don’t know what it was like back then, but have to admit that there are probably a lot more scenic spots in Sydney now. But it was a little touch of our history, so that made it interesting.

There’s an ad on the History Channel where they show a person in very ordinary surroundings, but then show a film background of what happened on that spot in history and the slogan is something like, “Know Where You Are Standing.” It’s quite a dramatic way to get the point across that history happens and has happened, everywhere. I guess that’s how I felt on Monday as we stood in this very historic Australian spot. It was one of those moments where I stopped and thought about what it must have been like for all those who were there before – aboriginal Australians, as well as the European visitors.

Well, it’s now Friday morning … I actually started this on Wednesday night (can’t rush these things), and I’ve just come in from getting some groceries before Matt left for school with the car. It means shopping at 7 am, but it makes it easy for us all. The worst thing about grocery shopping is the putting away once you get home. It always seems to take about as long as the actual shopping did.

Anyway, I guess I’d best finish writing this and get on with the rest of the newsletter, before July arrives.

Have a wonderful month and God bless!

Love, Deb


* * *

Jo’s Favorite Forwards

NINE GIFTS THAT WON'T COST YOU A CENT ...


1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING...

But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...

It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...


A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal," can make someone's day.

6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really it's not that hard to say, “Hello” or “Thank You.”

9. THE GIFT OF SALVATION ...

It doesn't cost us a cent but it was paid for in full at the price of God's own Son, Jesus. "The gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ, our Lord." But, in order to receive this most wonderful of all gifts, you have to accept it through faith.




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