Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The start of the change

I just recieved a message from my husband which has caused me chills. His boss was made redundant this morning.

We know the department has been in trouble, we know that the industry has been in trouble. That there are too many over qualified and underpaid people working in a break even number of jobs. We know that there have been meetings and discussions about the future of the team. Things don't look too good.

But we are thankful to God that he still has a job for now and that my current income and our savings can keep us out of trouble for a little while. There are options if things take a turn for the worse.

God will provide, this we know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wedding ThankYou Card Update

I am very excited. I have nearly finished stage 1 - writing all the thank you cards. I am cheating and doing them on a computer format, but it is still taking a loooong time! I have just tipped over the half way mark!

I still have stages 2-5 to complete;
2. stick fancy paper ribbon on each and cut out
3. add photo and place in envelope
4. address and stamp
5. post

I am determined to be finished this task by Sunday!

Menu Plan Monday

This Week's Menu at the Lord Household

Monday; Burritos with chicken

Tuesday; Pasta bolognaise and vegies

Wednesday; Out for Bible Study

Thursday; Honey and Garlic chicken thighs with rice and vegies

Friday; BBQ Steak and Sweet Potato Chips

My husband is mostly home alone this week as I am flitting out to church music rehearsals and work parent meetings, so everything has been prepared and instructions left for assembling each meal, which I can reheat when I get home. We have also been very diligent preparing our own lunches for work this week in an effort to save money on take out and be a little more healthy.

I keep a shoping list and menu plan in my household notebook to remind me of how the week will fall together and have a Command Centre on the fridge to help my husband keep track of the week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Organisational Nightmares

I am a right brainer. I am one of those people for whom logic is what you call those puzzles in the newspapers, not something you use on a day to day basis. I make decisions based on feelings rather than fact, manage by trust and expectation rather than edict, get distracted in the middle of things and always try to do more than one thing at a time.

As I've got older and have more responsibility and tasks to achieve, my right brainedness (or right brainedmess as some would probably call it) has been at the forefront of the difficulties I have in my work and home life. It seems that since I moved out of home some years ago, I have been surrounded mostly by left brainers, particularly those who do not have even a clue that there are right brainers on the planet!

I am living in a world that requires organisation, deadlines, priorities, and plans. In my head is a world of notions, half-baked ideas and a love of changing thought patterns every few minutes. ... actually in the middle of that sentence I checked my bank balance and updated my facebook status...

I am trying to be organised. I have all the gear, planners, books, noteboards, highlighter pens and postit notes. I have read books on Organisation for the Creative Person and Time Management for the creative person (Creativelee Speaking). And they were helpful, its all very helpful. And I do things in creative ways that achieve the same result as my left brain partner, friends and family.

My house has boxes, bowls and jars for items you might not think are decorative. Like a large coffee jar with no lid which I use as a store-all for all my paints and brushes. Or the back of the door in the spare room which has coathangers with all my hair ribbons and headscarves pegged on it for ease of choice.

There are very leftbrained sections of my home. Like the shoe rack and boxes for my 'special shoes' and the rack with handbags and hats organised by size.

I menu plan weekly with my husband to avoid overspending, carry a household notebook with budgets, shopping lists, rosters, calendars and Bible verses that inspire me.

In one sense I am an organisational over-achiever! But I find that if I don't have these measures in place I will simple fail to achieve all the tasks I need to to have a balanced brain.
I still slip, probably multiple times a day, and become side-tracked in my own little world of lovely right-brained funness. But I am trying to keep my mind disciplined and hopefully, I will develop the ability to scuttle between the two without loosing my unique and creative passion for life.

Over the next week I will be holding Right Brainer Gets Organised Week. I will post picture of my organisational systems around the home. Hopefully I will help some other Righties out there who struggle to function in a left brained working world!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Help Around The House

I am still in the midst of wedding thank you cards, and preparing for my brother's wedding in 6 weeks time. Work continues to run ahead of me and the list seems ever longer - instead of shorter.

There is still much to be done in our home - especially in our guest room/office/computer and entertainment room - and some of this is waiting on the next paycheck to be able to afford furniture. But I am very blessed to have a husband who is willing and able to help me around the house.

I know in a traditional sense the house is the wife's domain, and it still predominately is. But it has been nice to know that when I am working flat out and tired, there is someone to help.

And help he does. He is even better at most household tasks (thanks to being raised in a matricarchal household of four boys) than I am! I believe when men are doing something they are happy to do, they really do often excell beyond that which we can do as women. Now I'm not trying to stake a take on feminist theory or anything like that. But there are certain realities of the physical design of the male body - its strength, core muscle power, its generally larger stature, that place men in the position of being able to achieve wonderful things - especially when they actually desire to help.

In my experience, my husband has always (even in the years we were friends before dating), all but tripped over himself to provide for me and to do things with and for me. When we were on our honeymoon in Malaysia, my new husband fell violently ill and spent four days in hospital. It was the first time I had ever seen him (necessarily so) so internally focussed - he is a giver and a provider, and it was almost unnatural for him to be this way. When he gives, he does so willingly and (usually) without keeping score!

During that time I read For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. This book is the result of a large survey that took place for Christian and non-Christian men, inviting them to explore areas of their being, their needs and desires. It was fascinating to see some of the responses that men gave to her questions and I was amazing how much I learned about my husband of only a few days. I am still reaping the benefits of that understanding weeks later. Shaunti explores men's need to provide for their families - something that made me put down my guard about letting my husband help in "my domain" of the household! There are still inner designs that make me more likely to see the pile of washing and him less so (or prehaps we both see it and I am more motivated to do soemthing about it at the time?), but when he can do something for me, it builds him up internally. It is truly inspiring to watch him serve.

In my work with young children I have been taught to treat boys and girls as having the same strengths and skills. I struggle with this, because even from a young age, those behaviours and preferences that we say are only learned, seem to emerge on their own and in very familiar patterns.

The boys do spend more time with the block construction, the way they play with playdough is different, their writing or cognitive tasks like puzzles are often a solitary event, and it is usually more difficult to coerce them in to finishing their Mother's Day craft.
The girls have a more social take on cognitive activities, often selecting to do them together, role-playing games are focussed around family and everyday tasks.

There are expections, everyday and for every child. But those overall patterns still emerge even after years of early childhood settings providing open, inviting expereiences for all children. I struggle to think that our differences are a problem. I truly believe that God created us to complement and strengthen each other's differences.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freezer Blues

I am feeling a tiny bit defeated today. Its silly, but simple accident of the freezer door being left open overnight has zapped all my energy. I have thrown out... well, a freezer of food, which makes me a little sad. I am trying to work a little harder at being an organised and prepared wife... and this set me back a little.

But I do have things to look forward to... like meeting my husband in an hour to shop at the discount grocer Aldi, and at the local discount fruit and meat warehouse. And the fact that just three days ago I recieved a $10 off your next purchase voucher in the mail for the fruit and meat place! Thanks God :) And that that I read some other blog posts today which built me up and reminded me God's grace can even extend to shopping - you just wait til I get praying over that trolley!

But for now I'm going to curl up for a very quick nap and then get ready to have fun shopping for our 'new' freezer (which has been defrosted, wiped down and frozen up again ready to go).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thank you kindly!

Wedding thank you cards have become my new reason for living. I have so many to do! I am thankful for organised bridesmaids and my mother for keeping meticulous lists during the present opening stages of our engagement, kitchen tea, girls night party and wedding.

I have created a control list which I have printed A5 for my household notebook and will use as a tick page as I complete each card. I also wanted to include a photo with each card - thats about 80 prints! But I have found a website (Australian) www.snapfish.com.au which will print the photos cheaply and in wallet size (four to a 4x6 inch page).

I am hoping to knock these over in the next 4 weeks. There seems to be so much to do once the house is settled...

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

I am a morning person. As soon as the sun comes up, I begin to ease out of my light sleep, and start to think. Once I start thinking conciously, I am done for. I will be unable to fully get back to sleep. I can lie there for a while but its really quite pointless as I am a restless person and have a drive to start getting things done from the moment I wake.

My darling husband of just 42 days is a very heavy sleeper by way of contrast. He grew up on a main road in a very busy part of the suburb he is from and has the ability to sleep through just about anything. I realised last night that me pushing him to lie on his side, to prevent his snoring from waking me actually doesn't even register for him. He just doesn't even remember it. But I can recall every time he has bumped or elbowed me awake!

When I wake in the morning, I am awake. I think clearly almost instantly, start planning, make lists in my head, make decisions and start to feel hungry. My husband takes some time to wake up fully, up to three hours in my opinion, sometimes longer. He can function and go to work etc, but his mind really doesn't start firing up for some time. At night however, as I fade over a period of hours into a useless mess, he gets brighter and brighter, and can out stay me for hours.

I have decided that neither of us is more efficient than the other, we are just efficient in different ways. A list of tasks left for him in the morning is not even noticed, but at night he will complete everything with relish.

I am loving this time of exploring the differences between us and how God can use them to make us even more useful for His purpose, and grow even more love between us.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Its the end of another long week at work and home and I am left once again wondering what I really want to do with my life. God has been so generous in His provision, I am amazed by a loving husband, beautiful home, wonderful family and friends and a job that allows me to express both my creativity and organisation.

But I have been challenged recently about my life purpose. About whether to change jobs to take on the new offer God has placed before me (I have accepted a transfer to another child care centre in the same organisation which will allow me to explore my passion for family grouped child care), about when to try to start a family, when to seek a new church, what to be involved with in our current church.

I have many things to think about, and was reminded of this verse from Proverbs 19:21 " Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."

I am unclear about how much of my life's purpose I am to be responsible for.