Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year with God by R.P. Nettelhorst

 I recently received this book from Booksneeze.

A Year with God is a devotional which, funnily enough, covers a year. Each page has the bible passage for the day, with a devotional, reflecting upon that passage.

 The year is divided into topics. Topics include:
  • Hope and Fear
  • Love and Hate
  • Perseverance and Quitting
  • Faith and Doubt
  • Loyalty and Betrayal
  • Companionship and Isolation
  • Mercy and Judgment
  • Forgiveness and Anger
  • Joy and Sadness
  • Peace and Conflict

The different topics allow you to choose a subject suiting your situation or your mood.

A Year With God, follows each reading with insights and applications to help explain the context and nuances of each text.  However, the author uses different bible translations (CEV, Holman, Message, NAS, NIV, NKJ, NLT and NRSV) for each day, making it a patchwork, rather than a consistent message. Many people like the jumping between different translations, I am not one of them.

The devotional takes about 5 minutes a day to read, which is a great length, not too long that you forget what you read, but not too short, so you reflect on what you have read throughout the day.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Christmas Blues

I love Christmas!

But then there is the cleanup afterwards.
I usually leave the tree up until the 5th of January, but this year I took it down on the 27th of December... having an 8 month old does that to you.

This year was wierd for me, the last 8 years I worked in retail, which meant that Christmas was a very busy and prolonged business for me. And this year, well, it really didn't feel like Christmas without working in retail.

I know, I know I am odd

I loved Rona's first Christmas, the joy and enthusiasm of a child really makes Christmas more special.

So I am going to eat the last of the turkey tomorrow and plot for next year :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Craft at Church

Rona had a great time doing craft for the first time. She was at church and there was organised craft activites for the kids.

There weren't many kids, so Rona got to join in, even though she is a little young


She got into the paint and tried to eat it


But it was so fun, and now the magnet decoration that she made is displayed in the study :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rona's first Christmas


Rona really enjoyed her first Christmas, especially the wrapping paper!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Tonight we went to my Church's Carols service.

We had a sausage sizzle, craft for the kids and then the service.

Rona got to do craft, making sleigh bells and a magnet for the fridge. She got green paint everywhere, but it was so very cute.

The carols were good, but a bit too loud, we had to move them inside due to the rain.

It is finally starting to feel like Christmas.

My last eight Christmases have been with me working in retail, and so it doesn't feel like Christmas really, but now I am officially a Stay at home mum, I will be getting used to it :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gratituesday - First Christmas

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Today I am so very grateful for my beautiful daughter Rona, and her first Christmas!

I love every special moment I get to spend with her

Like decorating the tree

And teaching her about the real meaning of Christmas

Monday, December 20, 2010

A sad time for our family

It has been a sad time for our family recently.

Husband's Uncle Kenny died just over a month ago, then Husband's Uncle Graham died 2 weeks after Uncle Kenny.
This has caused a lot of grief in Husband's family, these men were sick for a long time so we are happy they are no longer in pain, but it is still terribly sad for us, for they are sorely missed.

Then my great uncle has had a heart attack and has been in hospital for the past 2 weeks. I am not sure how long he will be in there. The hard part is that he is in New Zealand, and I am in Australia. So we cannot visit.......... and cannot afford to visit either.

So this is a hard time in my family, with so many people sick and gone, especially during the Christmas season

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Baking

I love baking!

And I was recently in a baking mood, so I made:

*3 gingerbread cakes (actual cakes, not like gingerbread men)
*1 lot of cherry ripe slice
*2 tea cakes
* and 2 banana bread batches

It is so very satisfying to bake so much, and now I am working on giving it all away

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent book by Holy Experience

I love the blog by Ann, it feeds my soul

And she has available an advent book that can be downloaded.

It goes from the start of December until Christmas. It is a fabulous resource and I love it.

Just click here

Seriously..... click here

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas preparations

Yes, Christmas is just around the corner....


Our tree is up!


And I am teaching Rona about the true meaning of Christmas.
I LOVE this nativity set!

This is Rona's first Christmas, and I am loving every minute of the preparations, and cannot wait for the actual day :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weather troubles

One fine day, the sky turned black in seconds


Rain and hail fell noisily against the house


The baby cried in fright


The garden was shredded


But then it stopped and we enjoyed the cooler air

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Late at night...

Husband is at the moment at a music concert.... and it is very late at night. And I cannot sleep.

I have tried, lying in bed, but sleep does not come.

So I am up.... and blogging

Rona is asleep, has been asleep since her bedtime, she went to bed without any problems. So I cannot blame her for my lack of sleep.

I am not afraid of being in the house late at night without Husband, that isn't the reason that I cannot sleep.

I can't blame it on the thunderstorm outside, I love storms and they are soothing to go to sleep to.

So.... I really don't know why I am awake

I will try some warm milk and go to bed

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Today my friend, Rona and I went to see Eat Pray Love.

I did enjoy the movie, it was very eastern philosophy, but I had assumed that seeing that the main character was going to spent time in India. And it was a happily ever after movie, which I enjoy.

Rona did get bored by the end, if it was a 2 instead of a 2.5 hour movie, she would have been fine.

I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of gratuitous sex scenes which seem to be obligatory for all movies in these "modern" times. Yes, there was a shot of a bare bottom, but the rest was hinted at, not explicitly shown.

I also like the idea that we don't have to be tied to the modern western life ethic - Work, Work, Work, Buy, Buy, Buy. And that we don't have to be completed by a husband/boyfriend, you can be whole by yourself, but it is good to be part of a couple if you want to.

I try to live my life differently to those around me, not to the point of moving overseas for a year, but by smaller degrees, but in more radical ways.

By radical, I mean that I strive to live according to God's will, not my own. Instead of "getting in touch with myself" or "Having god in me, as me", I have the Holy Spirit to guide me. True, I sometimes have a hard time listening, but I know if I do listen, my life will be so much better for it. And the best thing about having the Holy Spirit - you don't need to go to India or even to the next town to get guidance.

I will use this movie as a reminder that if I listen, He will answer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A snapshot part 2

While the situation for Husband's work isn't quite as dire as my previous post, it is still bad.

He works 6 days a week most weeks (sometimes we are lucky and get him for a whole weekend), and he also works "back late" quite a few days a week.

The "project" will end.... eventually, yes they are getting closer.... but it is a long and tortuous journey, one that I am sick of.

We thought the project would finish before last Christmas, and then we thought it would finish before Rona arrived..... and now...... goodness knows when.... maybe it will be like Duke Nukem Forever

So, hopefully the project will be done soon, and Rona can spend some more time with her Daddy, as I know that he regrets all the time he misses with her.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A snapshot of how hard it is to be a spouse of a game developer

DISCLAIMER: Husband DOES NOT work for Rockstar, I am just using this as an example on how.... extreme a working place is a game development company

Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees have collected themselves
On Gamasutra

To whomever it may concern,

In response to the unfortunate circumstances, some wives of Rockstar San Diego employees have collected themselves to assert their concerns and announce a necessary rejoinder, in the form of an immediate action to ameliorate conditions of employees.

The turning for the worse came approximately in the month of March of 2009. Till present, the working conditions persists to deteriorate as employees are manipulated by certain hands that wield the reigns of power in Rockstar San Diego. Furthermore, the extent of degradation employees have suffered extends to their quality of life and their family members. Though it is presumed, this unfortunate circumstance is due largely to ignorance and unawareness of most, with enlightened knowledge, action must be taken to protect the rights of employees and those who depend on them. Realizing that such broad claims could hardly spark any interest to take a stand, a better illustration of the wrongs made unto Rockstar San Diego workers is necessary. Futhermore, the detailed descriptions about to be given can serve as a starting point as it will provide a clearer direction for change.

Initially, as work pressure in the office increases, so do the stress levels of employees. Recently, with the amount of stress that has been built up, there have been physical manifestations caused by stress making health a concern. It is known that some employees have been diagnosed with depression symptoms and at least one among them is acknowledged to have suicidal tendencies. These will not be ameliorated with a full time masseuse and will only worsen if no change to improve conditions take place and managers continue with their dishonesty of deadlines. There are understandably times when crunching in work is needed and extended working time is expected. However; as with all systems known to man, there must always be an effort for balance. Ergo, where there are times of acceleration, there are other times of deceleration in order to recuperate. This is not being practiced though, and instead of valued employees, a sentiment grows that they have lost not only the sense of being valued but turned into machines as they are slowly robbed of their humanity. The managers at Rockstar San Diego continue in their dishonesty, pushing their employees to the brink promising temporariness fully equipped with the knowledge of another deadline just around the corner. The reigns whip again, and it becomes mandatory to work close to twelve hours a day including Saturdays, regardless if an employee has finished all his duties prior. These, yes all these are horrendous, yet what makes it unacceptable has yet to come. The fact that these conditions, the same ones that have been proven time and time again to worsen the mental, physical and emotional parts of employees, are also met with further obstruction of employees rights. That of even any effort to retain any health still owned by the employee by seeking medical attention on a Saturday, because on Sundays most medical offices are closed, they must call in sick. Furthermore, not only is it not received with sympathy and understanding rather the must endure an attitude presented to them that they pose a hindrance! No, such core hours step outside the law and will not be accepted as the norm!

In the last years, there have also been many cuts on benefits despite the increasing demands on employees. After dedicated hard work on a project, weeks of comp time were offered as a reward and illustration of appreciation and understanding. Far from what is currently being met by the employees after nearly a year of constant strenuous activity. Little is there to motivate continuation as they also have lost a free vacation week between Christmas and New Year. Without time to recuperate and no efforts made to alleviate the stress of such conditions would procure on an employee after a period time, serious health concerns. Yet, now the health concern becomes another financial concern as the stripping of medical benefits surfaces to realization. It becomes rather worse rather than better as employees gain experience and become "senior". Instead of appreciation, numerous non-exempt designers and artists have had their overtime pay cut as a result for being "too senior". Looking to upper management provides no comfort rather the contrary. With unsuitable behavior from a newly promoted studio manager that vulgarly speaks the F word in most sentences and those who refuse to look at the workers' faces as they pass in the hall, it is clear their attempt to ignore the injustice they have implemented on their once valued and appreciated employees. Perhaps it should be them who explain to our children and loved ones the absence of their increasingly frustrated fathers.

Yet and still, there is more to be said of the working conditions that Rockstar San Diego employees have had to suffer. While managing to endure through the trying times, they still were hit with more blows. Again balance is denied, as working conditions worsened with no appreciation. Working harder, longer, faster, yet there was never a guarantee of a bonus nor if there was any earned, when they will be received! Moreover, bonuses could significantly be reduced based on ANYTHING management comes up with, while the employee would have no way to know about it. Thus bringing to light, the current Rockstar management has grown a thirst for power as it enables itself to grow in the Rockstar's structure. Besides bonuses, financial appreciation has lacked in other aspects as well. For four consecutive years, salary raises have not adjusted properly to cover inflation. This is especially unjust to those who significantly contribute to projects. Further than unappreciative, employees are disrespected when lied to as a whole on how Rockstar games does not generate money and as claims of justification for unappreciated employees are made pointing to the deficit, meanwhile the last Grand Theft Auto game made over a billion dollars of revenue. “Over a billion dollars of revenue”, so where is the recognition and appreciation to those of whom, without them, such success would not have been made?

Conclusively, if these working conditions stay unchanged in the upcoming weeks, preparation will be made to take legal action against Rockstar San Diego. This is the course that naturally presents itself, as either these conditions were manufactured from unawareness and actions to improve conditions will prove such innocence. Or if no action is seen after this letter, it clear that other aspects are the cause of the deteriorated conditions of Rockstar San Diego employees and must be further addressed. Rest assure, all that is desired is compensation for health, mental, financial, and damages done to families of employees.

With all due respect,

Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees.

Friday, December 3, 2010


When someone is injected with, or swallows, a vaccine, their body produces an immune response in the same way it would following exposure to a disease but without the person getting the disease. If the person comes in contact with the disease in the future, the body is able to make an immune response fast enough to prevent the person getting sick.

I dislike having Rona vaccinated, as it makes her feel not well and cry. But I think there is great value in immunisation.

Immunisation means that we no longer get smallpox or polio. It means that few people catch, and even fewer die of those communicable diseases that we get immunised for.

Rona has gotten immunised for:
Hepatitis B
Pertussis (Whooping cough)
Influenza (B)

And most of these more than once. She has had 8 needles so far in her 6 months (poor thing)

At 12 months (yay, we get a 6 month break from needles) she will get vaccinated for:
Influenza (B)
Meningococcal C

While I wonder sometimes how much dead diseases I am getting pumped into my baby's body, I cannot help but wonder how worried I would be if she wasn't immunised.

Back before children were immunised so many died or were disabled I cannot imagine how worried those mothers would be when a particular disease "broke out" and worrying if your child would get it, and then if they did, whether your other children would get it....... and so on....

So this morning I praised God for allowing scientists to discover immunisations, and baby panadol. And will continue praying that Rona comes through this round of immunisations without too much discomfort.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Links for December

Some crafty links for December

Crazy Mom Quilts

So many more Quilting Blogs

A fabric doll house tutorial

And a fabulous felt dollhouse tutorial

I cannnot decide which of the tutorials to follow, I am leaning towards the felt one, will wait until Rona is a little older though