Friday, November 20, 2015

More for Little Readers

These new titles have landed on our bookshelf recently.

Reindeer's Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky and Sue deGennaro

A sweet and gentle tale that follows Reindeer as he delivers presents to his friends. Then heading home Reindeer is blessed with a special surprise of his own. A perfect little book to share with reindeer and present lovers alike. Some nice repetition of language to engage the younger reader on retellings/readings.
Details - Allen & Unwin October 2015, RRP $19.99 HB

Gawain Greytail and the Terrible Tab by Cornelia Funke and Monica Armino

The mice of Raven Castle are under attack from the Terrible Tab. Their lives and livelihoods in ruins they are rescued by the fearless Gawain Greytail who teaches them all how to fight with a needle. The illustrations in this book have a collage meets animation feel to them. Great action and a wonderful adventure tale, unless you are one of the humans or cats that dares to try and get ride of the mice at Raven Castle.
Details - Faber Factory Plus October 2015, RRP $22.99 HB

Adelaide's Secret World by Elise Hurst

This book has a gentle and dreamlike quality. The words and images are soft and other-worldly. The story is about being an observer, a dreamer, a watcher and about the wonderful things that can happen when we step outside of the expected. It is a story about finding our voice. The paintings are particularly wonderful.
Details - Allen & Unwin October 2015, RRP $24.99 HB

We also got The Cow Tripped Over the Moon by Tony Wilson and Laura Wood from the library the other day.

This is a really delightful adaptation of the Hey Diddle, Diddle Rhyme. Bounce picked this up and we laughed our way through its gorgeous rhyme scheme and all of cow's attempts and failures to get over  the moon. Very sweet for sharing together but I think it would also be interesting to use as a writing inspiration with older children and challenging them to adapt/expand a well known fairy tale.
Details - Scholastic RRP $24.99 HB

Thursday, November 19, 2015

47/52 Yeah I Made It.... actually I wrote a book

Since I’ve had babies I’ve wanted to build traditions around Christmas. I’ve dreamed about the sense of holy wonder in our home as we contemplate together the rough stable, those young parents, the scrappy shepherds, the choirs of angels.
I’ve wanted a Christmas build up that has felt like Christ-mas. God with us.
It seems that little kids are offered all sorts of tinsly, glowing, baubly bits but there hasn’t been much for wondering on. So I wrote a book for families with children who are aged 3-7 years old.
A book where each day is based on a word like – chosen, generous, myrrh and each day includes a Bible verse and a very simple activity and a reflection and a prayer.
A book where the information is sound and meaningful.
A book where the activities are actually achievable.
A book that works when you miss some days because the grandparents came to stay and the cat vomited on the carpet and we all had a meltdown.
I wrote this book for every family that’s wanted something more than tinsel and jingle bells.
I wrote it for busy parents who want to do something well but don’t have time to do all the thinking.
I wrote it for children, my children, and for so many little ones who are very dear to me and to whom I want to give the gift of wonder, delight, depth and meaning.
This book is currently free as a kindle e-book, just for a few days. Then it will be about the price of a good hot chocolate.
When I pray for this book I pray it will bless you. I pray it will encourage you and I pray that you will find it practical, Biblical and tradition building.
If you want your own copy you can go here. Here’s the official description:
24 opportunities to reflect on an element of the arrival of Jesus 
• Simple and inspiring activities and reflections 
• Assistance to build a Biblical understanding for children aged 3-7 about the arrival of Jesus 
• Create a wonder-filled and worshipful attitude in your home as you lead up to Christmas
Written by teacher, speaker and communicator Miriam Fisher. Motivated by a desire to provide theologically sound, simple, and meaningful ways to celebrate and anticipate Christmas together.
Meaningful, Achievable, Biblical, Joyful
This is my Christmas gift to you. Wrapped in my love for the honour and glory of Jesus.
x Miriam x

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

week forty six

Making the most of our last weeks here in Adelaide and enjoying every day it isn't over 30 degrees.

Scheduled to be 38 degrees today.... urgh.

New Zealand I miss your weather.

love you more than an invented game xxx

Friday, November 13, 2015

Reading - all about the laides

So I've recently completed another couple of reads which makes we feel better about the rate at which I seem to be accumulating books at the moment!

Hester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers

Reading this book was like settling into a old comfortable couch with a perfect cup of tea and a really good slice of old fashioned cake. The story is a mystery that begins with two 50-something sisters discover a young mother and baby, of questionable European origins, at a bus stop on Christmas Eve.... the story unfolds with a cast of eclectic characters drawn straight from a small English village/town. As the story unfolds things get more and more complicated and sinister. This is a gentle mystery with well rounded imperfect characters and some lovely relationships. Great for curling up with on a dark evening - preferably one with rain.
Details - Allen & Unwin October 2015, RRP $29.99

Black Widow by Carol Baxter

A true account of the infamous case of Louisa Collins tried for the murder of two husbands in Botany Bay in the late 1800s. Being unfamiliar with this case meant I could read it with no prior ideas about the it. The story is really well written and much more readable than many non-fiction reads. Baxter manages to write in a more novel like style and uses direct quotes from the court transcripts to bring life to characters and give them personality. A truly interesting read particularly in regard to the politics around gender and capital punishment. It made me realise just how much change has happened in the general appraisal of women and their capacities, in a relatively short period of time. Really thought provoking. I think anyone looking at the history of capital punishment or women's studies or any person interested in law and history would really enjoy this.
Details -Allen & Unwin May 2015, RRP $29.99

Thursday, November 12, 2015

46/52 Yeah I Made It.... From an Old Curtain

Now I realise you may be rather tired of seeing iterations of the Ruby dress by Sew Simple... but hey, you read the blog you get the dresses!!

I bought a large net curtain from an op-shop a while ago and I felt like this would be a good way of using it.

I chose a blue I really love in broadcloth and used an invisible zip up the back.

The Atlas took these photos in town, under duress, after we'd caught a sneaky lunch date together. We took these photos in the Adelaide Arcade which is beautifully tiled and has some super funky little shops.

love you more than a $4 net curtain xxx

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

so.... 2 years in Australia

Nearly two years ago we left New Zealand for a two year contract The Atlas had accepted in Adelaide, Australia. We left a beautiful set of people we loved, family members and friends. We left a great home for an unknown adventure. We didn't know a single person in Adelaide. The Atlas had been there once four years before for a conference the rest of us had never been there.

As our time in Adelaide draws to a close we have made the decision to move back to Christchurch. There are still questions for us about what the future holds (aren't there always?) but this is the move that we've decided to make.

Our time in Adelaide has been great. We have had to lean into each other because initially we didn't know anyone else.

For me the first part of our time here was really hard. My heart ached for the lack of relationships that were more than 'acquaintances that may turn into friendships'.

The first couple of weeks after we arrived Adelaide recorded the most days over 40 degrees and the highest temperature on record since 1986. It didn't go well with this heat hater, there were tears - on a number of occasions, and it wasn't just about the heat.

With two boys at a new school I was alone a lot which is tricky for someone as extroverted as me. I had to get my head around a new school system and a school community where we didn't have friends to play with or people we knew well. We also didn't have a church community to belong to in the first few months. For me, a church community is my happy place and not having one really affected me too.

As the first year unfolded we found a church and made friends. We were welcomed into social circles and the temperature slowly, slowly!! dropped. I got busier being involved in things, did some volunteering, started doing some writing, bought a sewing machine, started doing some consultancy work... you know stuff.

This year we moved to another part of Adelaide and our dear, sweet boys were new kids again at a new school. But 2015 has been a much easier year for us. We have carried over some friendships from last year and met a whole new set of beautiful people to share our lives with. Our new place has ducted air conditioning which has made me a happier person to be around.

Our boys have made new friends and they have really fitted in so well - it's been great to see them happy to go to school each day and involved in 'football/soccer' teams.

This year I have done a lot more work, a lot more writing, a lot more socialising. It's been good for me - busy, hard at times, but mentally stimulating and creatively exciting.

The Atlas has had some real wins in his work environment and I am really proud of the good stuff he's done here.

We're excited about going 'home' to New Zealand but I will be really sad to say goodbye to Adelaide. We are going to miss the school we are at, the friends we have made, living across the road from school, the socialising, the togetherness experiencing new things... it is going to be sad. I'm going to miss Adelaide. I am definitely not going to miss the heat. I am definitely going to miss the central markets.

Most of all I'm going to miss people. People are always it for us - the rich relationships. We are incredibly blessed to be sad because we have some good, good people here in Adelaide who have loved and included us and made and effort - even though we weren't necessarily a permanent feature.

It's going to be strange going back to people and places that have two years of things we haven't been involved in. We are going to have to find our place again. We're going to be new and old at the same time. Wee Bounce will effectively be starting his third new school in three years (he only had six weeks at school in NZ before we left).

We've been through lots of changes of a family over the past few years. A new chapter unfolds.... We're together and that's the most important thing for me.

love you more than a shopping spree in the central markets xxx

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

... the final straw

Even a super-duper Patty Simcox has her limits:

1. socks - hanging on the line and pairing

2. bibliography writing - seriously? Can I not just write down the ISBN and the page number? Let's be honest - you are never going to look up the quotes to check anyway.

3. referencing in a different way to the bibliography - are you interested in my thoughts and learning or just in turning me into a drooling foetus in the corner?

It is very important that I am never required to face these three things in one day. The camel will break. (Just so you know).

love you more than a day without socks, bibliogropahies or footnotes xxx