Friday, December 29, 2006

CHECK OUT my Inklings blogsite link

I'm painting like I'm a real artist! Ha ha. Seriously, the garage stinks of turps and linseed oil, a lovely combination, and I have about five canvasses on the go at the moment. WOULD LOVE YOUR COMMENTS if you can spare the time.
Go on, you know you want to! You'll have to check back regularly there, because THAT's where I'll be in the coming days. . .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Day

Oh well, it's over now, but it was grand! All the more for the fellowship with family and hearing by text from my dearest friends at intervals through the day. What did we do before cellphones?
It was a fine, if grey day, but perfect because it wasn't too hot and a gentle breeze kept playing with the surrounding foliage and keeping it cool. Food consisted of various salads and chicken kebabs, lamb meatballs, some ham. Followed by old-fashioned grape trifle, strawberries and pineapple, jelly. Endless chocs. Helen's deep verandah is perfect to spread the table along and enjoy a taste of the outdoors.

Liam was pretty busy, and hard to keep still. This was a snatched glimpse of him alongside the tree where he was counting his remaining presents. . .

One end of the table. . .

and the youngest member of the crowd was Reece, my cousin's son, who is just old enough to really enjoy it now.

I bought for myself this hammock, which has been used solidly since purchase. When I'm in it, it is put to the test as far as strain is concerned. When Jemma is in it, it's hard to tell it's not empty!

Well, now all that remains is to clear up the mess, tidy away the presents, and start walking off the food. Gulp. Hope you all have a good break.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost the night before Christmas. . .

Well. . . HO HO HO, it's almost done! The presents wrapped and under the tree. The food shopping done and waiting in fridge for transformation into delicious Christmas fare (I still suffer under that delusion), and now, today, all that remains is to make the little spicey sugar 'cookies' (biscuits) from this magazine clutched in my hand. I'm sure they will look just like the picture.

Last night, Helen and I took Liam out to see the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood - a very pleasant activity entirely apart from commercialism (apart from the odd bucket by the gate), and a simple well-attended family activity which some kind souls have gone out of their way to make possible.

Upon my return I visited Tracey who was spreading Christmas cheer in the form of a funny dangly Christmas headband and some delicious fat Christmas mince pies and hot tea. Delightful.

An evening or two ago the most delightful PINK sunset filled the evening sky - captured here above the garage next door. It drew me from my present wrapping to see it.

Before heading off to make my biscuits, let me go a little deeper and share something of what's really happening inside - surface stuff is all very well, but the real JOY and PEACE of this and every season is something far more real and profound:
"Am I not enough, Mine own? enough,
Mine own, for thee?
Hath the world its palace towers,
Garden glades of magic flowers,
Where thou fain wouldst be?
Fair things and false are there,
False things and fair.
All shalt thou find at last,
Only in Me.
Am I not enough, Mine own? I, for ever
and alone, I, needing thee?

-Gerhard Tersteegen, 1697-1769

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Barbecue

Just had a great night enjoying friends, food, and the Christmas 'spirit' - a bbq which was potluck so we had so much food, all of it wonderful, and everyone sparkling and happy. Yay. This was us when the first arrivals came, and we crammed on the porch until the numbers got too large for that.

John Cowan and I. . .

the wonderful food. . .

another funny face and I. . .Gene Nicolson

had my chinese lanterns out, adding to festivities, and this is a portion who sat beneath them.

Outside was very pretty too, with fairy lights and candles, but you can only see a glimpse here, past Robin and Tracey

Some more folks by the tree

AND on the day after, these two dear friends who both came from opposite ends of rural Auckland/Waikato and had (foolishly) opted to stay over, and DO DISHES etc, were around for a spot of left over lunch. Bless them. That's Helen there too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

New painting. . .

I've been having a moderate amount of success selling paintings on TradeMe, so I now have to create a few more. . . this is the first of a series. Like the woodcutty style so very much. I pieced together a house I liked with a background I liked and this is the result.
Oh, to be able to move there. . .

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's another life, a higher life

It's hard to believe, but I'm back here again, at my desk, in my studio, wondering if it was all a dream. . .

But I guess not. . .I have CDs of glorious messages, pictures of some saints standing with me, and a slightly increased waistline after eating good Southern Cooking, so I guess I was really there a few days ago. Actually, I'm sure there are more changes apparent on the inside, which will only become apparent as the days go by.
It was SO WELL WORTH IT - the trip.
Back to work. . .

Friday, December 01, 2006

Aw, I'm still here in Atlanta, GA

I'm still here, unbelieveably, still in Lithia Springs, the place I lived for three years back in 1996 - 1999. I can't begin to describe what an all encompassing experience it has been to return here, and see some faces I have longed to see for so long, and some new ones. To hear the things we've heard, to feel the spirit stirring within, and to have all aspects, body, soul and spirit refreshed, overwhelmed by experiences. I was met at the airport by these lovely faces:

Then we had lots of arrivals over the next few days, and a walk or two in Sweetwater Park, where we came across more of our group:

My beloved roomies from previous life were there, and were equally stirred up - note the poster behind us.

Gene was well for the duration of the conference, which was HUGE. We were thrilled to have him, and he spoke so well, and we are grateful that he was able to get through four days of being with us without a collapse. Words cannot describe what this man has meant to us all. He spoke on the Lord and he spoke again on the Lord, and then he spoke on the Lord again.

One thing I have longed to do for so long: just sit on a swing seat and chat to Sarah. I got my wish.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Latest photo of the church

Well, NOT LONG NOW, and I'll be in Atlanta, GA, with some old friends and family. Yippee. This was last weekend, at our place, for the church gathering. I love that having so many children makes our group look pretty big. It was a good meeting, much of it taken up with planning for the coming weeks, and for my trip to see Gene and the other folks from churches around the globe. Hard to believe it's happening.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Guy Fawkes Night

Well, last Saturday the church met at the Boyds for the Annual Guy Fawkes extravaganza. I think we had 9 kids and similar number of adults. Barbecue first, and then a gumboot throwing contest. FINALLY it was dark enough to start laying out the fireworks. THis could be the last year New Zealanders get to fire off their own personal supply, so it had to be good!

The adults look on from a safe distance. . .

while the kids pick through the loot and select the most prestigious ones: "Fiery Balls of Fire from Dragons Breath" titles etc.

Our own resident pyromaniac instructs the children on care around fireworks. . .

while those who are less agile sit quietly and wait. . .

while pyromaniac begins the demonstration. .

slowly working closer and closer towards us with the lethal display. This is the catherine wheel attached LOOSELY to the nearby tree

while Jan and others look on. . .

and Helen and Wai watch from safe distance. . .

Here they are then . . .

you can just make out the shape of the manic fire starter who had lost it by then!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The brothers skit last Sunday

Last Sunday afternoon, we had a meeting wherein we had PAUL (in chains), Titchycus and Epaphras present - and a teddy bear called Onesimus. Yes, the brothers finally put on their skit, and we had ELEVEN children present to watch it (until they grew bored), and they exceeded the number of adults in the audience. The bros did very well, and said that they themselves learned a lot about the whole Ephesian story just by putting the skit together. It's a shame that they couldn't find a larger sheet for Mark!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Labour Weekend

Just had a great three days down country, enjoying the delights of Ngaroto Nurseries in the Springtime, and Hamilton gardens and the river, with Peter who had a few days off as well.