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2007 February » Philoxenos



28th February 2007


This is one of those things that I’m just not sure is going to translate very well into writing. But I’ll give it a try.

Last night (or was it the night before?) my husband and I were cleaning up the kitchen after the kids went to bed. I was talking to him about how I was excited to actually be making some meals that require more than just one pot, after what seems like weeks of hamburgers and hot dogs and a few-too-many takeaways. I explained that I believe the key was, of course, my menu, and then actually putting a bit of forethought into my day, the night before so I made sure to defrost meat.

And he said “So you’re using thaw-thought.”

In writing that looks really stupid, but you have to remember that he has an accent that is different to mine and any word that ends in -aw (like law, or thaw) come out sounding like -ore (like lore, or thore).

So when he said “thaw-thought” it sounded like “thore-thought” which is remarkably like what I actually said, which was “forethought”. And of course he was referring to me having some forethought in remembering to thaw the meat.
Okay, this is totally lame. But if you could have heard it, it was really funny.

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27th February 2007

impending addition to the family

If my nesting instinct is anything to go by, this baby is coming in the next couple of weeks. The last two days I’ve had an amazing amount of energy and have been highly productive, considering my advanced pregnancy and the hot weather. You know you’re nearing the end when the maternity clothes that you were practically swimming in when you first started wearing them are on the verge of immodest from either being too tight or not covering your belly completely anymore.

The ironic thing is that the doctors at the hospital have decided to schedule my c-section for 3 April. You have got to be JOKING if I’m going to last another five weeks. I won’t go into the details about why I’m having a c-section, but this will be my second one and I can guarantee it was a much better idea than doing it naturally again, as I did with my first. When I went for my scan at 20 weeks the technician declared that I had my dates wrong and said the baby was only 17 weeks along, thus moving my official due date from 22 March to 12 April. This is a tremendous difference. I have no problem with plus or minus a a week or so, but three weeks? Come on. I’m not a complete dufus. I do have some idea of what’s going on with my body.


My midwife has been sticking with my original due date because she’s sure that my size and everything is consistent with that date. The doctor, however, decided that she’d rather schedule the surgery for later, just in case I’m wrong. That way the baby doesn’t get taken out too early, which would lead to possible complications. I understand this. I really do and I think that’s a good idea. However, considering that I have gone into labour at 38 weeks with my other two, I sincerely doubt that I’ll go that long. It also makes it very difficult to arrange for helpers because I don’t really know when it’s going to happen. Of course, that’s the way it is with most women, isn’t it? So the helpers are on call.

But I’ve got the freezer stocked (Husband and I did a freezer cooking session a couple of weekends ago when the kids were staying with their grandparents), I’m working on a routine (I feel like I’m always working on a routine - anyone used Managers of Their Home?), overall feeling pretty good, and just waiting for the bomb to go off. You’d think after two other pregnancies I’d be old hat, but no. Definitely not. I’m excited about the new baby, a little bit worried about all the normal things like his health and my recovery, wondering how the other two kids will adjust, not looking forward to the lack of sleep thing.

My brain has gone out the window, so I think I’ll finish and post this. Obviously I’m really into editing. More quality writing to follow.

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26th February 2007

dried playdough

Anyone know how to get dried playdough out of the carpet?

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23rd February 2007

Rivers of snot

And now something a little more lighthearted than my last post. Snot.

I’ve got a little girl on my lap that weighs about 25 pounds and, at the moment, is probably 5 pounds of snot. Both of my girls are sick and the youngest one hasn’t learned the trick of blowing her nose yet. Whenever she sneezes, a veritable river of snot comes pouring from her nose. I’m not kidding, I’ve never seen anything like it. She sneezes and is covered in goop. Then she looks as me as if to say “What is this stuff coming out of my head??” I have to get in there quickly to wipe it up or she’ll stick her hands in it and then things get really gross. So if I’m in another part of the house and she sneezes, I have to waddle over as fast as I can to clean things up and I’m not always quick enough.

We’re doing a lot of hand-washing around here.

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23rd February 2007

BSF, Lesson 2

Yesterday morning was Thursday morning, which around here means BSF!!! For those of you not familiar with Bible Study Fellowship, please follow the link on my sidebar to discover the most wonderful Bible study I’ve ever been involved in.

On a less spiritual note, the chairs where we meet are the most uncomfortable chairs I have experienced in a long time. I am not lacking padding in my bottom area so it’s not like my bones are grinding into the chair, but boy, it sure feels like it. After sitting for 45 minutes in my small group, there was no way that I could last another 45 minutes during the lecture. I very quickly decided that it was going to be less rude to sit on the floor than to constantly be switching and twitching in my seat. That turned out to be a good move. Heavily pregnant women get a bit of a leeway when it comes to sitting arrangements.


Our lesson this week focussed on Romans 1: 18-32, which talks primarily about the wrath of God (side note: in NZ, they pronounce wrath as “wroth” which I find very strange). You know, you don’t hear about the wrath of God much anymore. It’s just not, you know, cool. These days we’re much more likely to hear about the love of God or something else, like how we should all be green. Is it because we’re afraid that we’re going to offend someone by telling them that God hates sin?

The thing I got from lesson is that God’s wrath is 1) much deserved and 2) it’s a righteous anger. His anger is not even close to the kind of anger I experience, which is a result of sin. His anger is because he is a just God and cannot stand sin. But at the same time he is angry, he still loves us more than we can even imagine. He loved us so much that he sent his only son, perfect, to earth to die in our place, as a penalty for our sin.  So when God tells us that we are sinners, shouldn’t we listen?

The other thing that I still haven’t gotten my head around was there is a phrase mentioned in this passage of scripture THREE times. When God says something three times in a short passage, it pays to listen. It says in the NIV “God gave them over…” and then lists a different kind of sin. “God gave them over” indicates that he has let go of them, leaving them to experience the natural consequences of their sin. Which makes me ask the question - does that mean that He is actively involved in NOT allowing some consequences? Doesn’t that seem like interfering with free will, which is something I’ve always taken as a given.

I don’t have any answers on this one. I’d be very interested in hearing what other people have to say. Have a read of Romans 1:18-32. Tell me what you think. And if my husband is reading this, can you comment too? You had some good things to say last night and I don’t want to forget what you said.

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21st February 2007

Go listen to this

I had an afternoon by myself while my husband took our two girls on a two-hour drive to Auckland to pick up his brother arriving from England. Unfortunately his flight arrives tomorrow and not today and he didn’t discover this until he’d been waiting three hours. This was not his fault - he was given incorrect information. It’s the kind of thing bad dreams are made of.

Anyway. I’m alone. I’m enjoying it.

While I was enjoying my time off alone, I turned on I like listening to Christian radio programs so I checked out Family Life Today and they had a couple of broadcasts featuring Sharon Hersh, author of “Mom, s*x is no big deal”. In her book she talks about how moms can talk about s*x with their daughters. I realise it’s a subject that has been written about before, but for some reason these two programs really spoke to me. I recommend that you go have a look here and have a listen. I believe it will be worth your time.

Let me know what you think.

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20th February 2007

The juice of paradise

One thing about having lived in three different countries and travelled quite a bit is that I have discovered some really delicious food and drink from around the world. One of those things is from my own native country - A & W Root Beer. When I was very little (like four) there was a man in our church that owned an A & W Root Beer stand and lots of us would congregate there after church on Sunday night. I don’t remember lots of details, but I sure do remember the root beer.

Last night we had some new friends over for dinner, one of whom is a recently immigrated American. She and I were talking about things that we can or cannot find here. I mentioned A & W Root Beer. She said - I found it! And told me exactly which shop I could find it in. This morning I happened to be driving past this particular shopping centre (and of course you know I was plotting how I could possibly make that happen) so I realised that in an effort to save fuel I needed to stop right then so I wouldn’t have to waste gas to make a special trip.

After nearly running over an old lady that was getting out of her car slower than a snail, I found a carpark and waddled over to the shop. I found the root beer and was thanking God for answering my prayer because it ws in the refrigerator so was already in the perfect state for drinking. I paid $2 for one can (and of course I bought three, so I paid $6). Normally a can of soft drink is $1.20 but I didn’t blink an eye at the extra change.

I got in the car and prepared to drive away, but before I did, I popped the can and took a long swallow of paradise. And then promptly burped, which is what I always do when drinking root beer.

As I drove home I enjoyed every last drop of that root beer. I put the other two cans in the fridge to save for later. Since it’s now three hours later, I decided to open another can. And I can almost promise you that the third can will be gone before I go to bed tonight. But don’t worry, it’s caffeine-free :)

***updated to add: Yes, the third can was enjoyed about 9 pm last night. I don’t regret a single swallow.

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20th February 2007

Eating leftover birthday cake with a Bob the Builder fork

Leftover birthday cake, you ask? Who had a birthday? I did! On Sunday I turned 30. And then my husband followed my spectacular day with his own birthday blowout on Monday, turning 33 (Fortunately the term ‘blowout’ has a completely different meaning when applied to a 33 year old, as opposed to a 1 year old). We figured out once that, had we been born in the same year, we would have been born at almost exactly the same time because of the time zones. *cue twilight zone music*

Because our birthdays are only a day apart, I only ever make one cake. Although I do like cake, no one really *needs* two cakes. I suppose no one really needs a cake at all but our three year old daughter now associates birthdays with cakes and she simply couldn’t let the day pass without a cake being made. I also discovered that she was horrified that Daddy wasn’t getting a present with paper on it, which of course she would have graciously removed for him because his newly-acquired geriatric state would have made it impossible for him to do it himself.

Anyway, back to the theme of the post…

I’m sitting here at the computer, enjoying a piece of birthday cake while the kids peacefully slumber during nap time. Today being one of those days when for some reason all eating utensils have disappeared from their proper drawer, I am forced to eat delicious chocolate birthday cake (honestly, the best I’ve ever made) with a Bob the Builder fork. This is one of those forks that come with the plate, bowl, cup, spoon set. And you know what? It’s completely useless. The tines are so dull I can’t actually pierce the cake and it’s so small that I can’t scoop the cake up. So not only does it fail as a fork, it also fails as a spoon. So what is it good for? I think it would work really well as a digging implement in the garden.

And the spoon that came with the set has already been relegated to the rubbish, after someone stepped on it and broke it. In this case, when Bob asked “Can we fix it?” The answer was most definitely NO.

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18th February 2007

Soporific effect of children’s books

Before I begin, I first learned the meaning of soporific while reading a Beatrix Potter book. Go look it up. I did.

Getting on with the subject… we read aloud a lot around here. Probably close to an hour a day in total. We have certain rituals surrounding naptime and bedtime, which includes reading two books. My oldest daughter has been known to tell me that she’s ready for a nap at 11 am just so she can get some books read to her.

Just a few minutes ago, after we finished an early lunch after church, my oldest daughter announced that she was ready for her two books because she was tired. Considering that her dad and I were quite keen for a bit of quiet time, we were happy to oblige. It was my husband’s turn to do the reading.

I was sitting at my computer, listening with one ear as he read her two chosen books - one on Marie Curie and another called Corduroy. While he read about Marie Curie, I heard the volume getting softer and softer and some of the words were getting a bit slurred. I turned to look at him and sure enough, he was falling asleep while reading! This is not the first time this has happened. one time he actually started snoring!

He blames it entirely on the books. After all, they are bedtime stories. I just didn’t think they worked on the 30+ age bracket!

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15th February 2007

What are we known for?

Thursdays are probably the highlight of my week. Thursday is the day that I take my oldest daughter with me and we travel into the city to go to Bible Study Fellowship. We leave about 8:45 in the morning and drive about 20 minutes. She goes to her class, for 2-5 year olds, where they study the same passage of scripture that the ladies are studying. I walk into the sanctuary and prepare to play the piano for the ladies as we sing.

Our group is rather small in comparison to some of the large groups in other countries. They have a maximum class size of 500 and there are some locations that have to cap numbers and they have a waiting list. Our class is really happy when we have about 70. This year attendance seems to be really good. We just started back last week and we’re studying the book of Romans for the entire year. I am stoked!! I’ve been looking forward to this study for seven years, which was the last time they did Romans.

BSF is by far the best Bible study that I have ever participated in. It requires a commitment, although not huge. It requires me to use my brain, which isn’t huge. It also requires my faith, which isn’t huge.

Today, we were discussing the questions that we answered on Romans 1:1-17, as well as hearing the lecture on the same passage. Paul writes in his greeting that the faith of the Romans is known throughout the world. Jacki, our teaching leader, challenged me (us) - for what are we known? Is my faith so great that people remember me because of it? Hardly.

But then I think - how does one develop that kind of faith? What IS faith? What does it look like? So I walked away with more questions than answers.

But I also walked away with another huge challenge. Paul also writes in Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes…”  Does the way I live reflect that I’m not ashamed? Or am I secretly ashamed? Why would I be ashamed of the greatest thing to ever sculpt history? Is it my pride that keeps me from being more bold? Or is it (and I’m afraid this might be more accurate) do I simply just not think about it?

Lord, challenge me. Bring me opportunities to be bold, despite the perceived consequences.  May I be known for my faith, that it might change the world, one little diaper at a time.

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