Sculptures By The Sea 2015

Just a few photos of our Sunday at Cottesloe Beach the other weekend. Every year they host Sculptures By the Sea. We haven’t made it out to the event since we moved here, until this year. Unfortunately, we had to go on the weekend with a thousand other people, but it was still nice to see some of the Sculptures and spend time on the beach.

Eden tripped on the way to the beach (we had to park at a bit of a distance) and scraped her knee, so it didn’t start out very well, but thankfully she got over it quickly!

I should note that there were signs everywhere that said don’t touch the art…..

This one was beautiful

This one was beautiful

Eden liked how the person on top was upside down (sorry...not in pic)

Eden liked how the person on top was upside down (sorry…not in pic)

Little poser

Little poser

It was really cool how big a lot of them were, it must have been quite a feat installing them in the beach.

I liked this little one

I liked this little one

It's too bad we all couldn't get in this one, as there were two more holes. There was just way too many people there though.

It’s too bad we all couldn’t get in this one, as there were two more holes. There was just way too many people there though.

The flock of flamingoes were pretty cool

The flock of flamingoes was pretty cool

There was a whole bunch of them

There was a whole bunch of them

It wasn’t really a relaxing day on the beach, but it was interesting none the less. I’m glad we went, but I wouldn’t go on the weekend next time.

Getting their toes wet

Getting their toes wet

Our favourite one and we almost missed it. Really interesting with the faces in the charcole.

Our favourite one and we almost missed it. Really interesting with the faces in the charcoal.

Having a little snack to keep us going

Having a little snack to keep us going

Such a beautiful beach

Such a beautiful beach

We live in a stunning place

We live in a stunning place

Testing the Waters

I’ve got an idea I want to run past you. I come up with a lot of ideas – a quick glance through the Reminders app on my phone brings up such prompts as “Mnemonics on Demand”, “the selfies they would have taken”, and “tempted by the road less travelled” – but most end up being discarded. Nearly all my ideas have a creative or artistic component to them, although some are more practically oriented (patent ideas, or technical solutions); unfortunately, most never make it past their entry on the list. Eventually enough time passes that I lose the vision, or in some cases forget what it was even about!

Tonight I want to throw an idea out and I’m keen to get your feedback. If you read this post, I expect to receive some kind of answer from you one way or the other; silence is not affirmation. I think this idea has potential to motivate me in a big way, which I hope could lead to Miss Rumphius’ third objective being accomplished in my life: doing something to make the world more beautiful. If it all goes well, it could have potential to bring some joy to your life as well!

The idea is about music. For me, music is a beautiful, universal language. The older I get the more I appreciate the power of music to convey stories and meaning, with or without lyrics, whether delivered by soloists or symphony orchestras. Music moves and inspires me. It brings depth, energy and clarity when life starts to feel tedious or mundane.

Public guitar at the Bluff Knoll Cafe

Public guitar at the Bluff Knoll Cafe

The idea is also about stories. I’ve begun to realise that the uniting factor among many things I’ve felt most passionate about in life – at present or in the past – has been The Story. I love a good story!! When I was a child I formed a writing club with my friends, in which I developed a series of (hilarious, in retrospect) stories called “The Adventures of Brian Landers.” When I switched from a Physics major to Geology in university, it was largely the unravelling of the Earth’s stories that got me hooked. In the latter years of my degree I got into blogging, beginning with LiveJournal, where I chronicled my adventures in Labrador. This was followed by a shift to WordPress when Kathryn and I got married. While I’ve been inspired by Gordon Lightfoot for as long as I can remember, in recent years I’ve developed an increasing appreciation for good story-telling, with or without music. There’s nothing to better to spice up a day in the office than a podcast of DNTO, and the Vinyl Cafe is pretty great too; I have been unable to find Australia equivalents.

It wasn’t until I arrived in Australia, specifically whilst working away from home in the Pilbara, that I began to express my own thoughts and experiences through songs, most of which sit unknown in a tattered ring-bound scribbler in my bedside table. Kathryn thinks I should record some of these songs, and I tend to agree. Obviously I’m a bit self-concious about them, particularly since they expose some pretty raw parts of my being, but I like the way most of them sound and I suppose other people might, too. I had an epiphany the other day too, which, like most epiphanies, doesn’t sound as dramatic when put into mere text, but it went something like this: these are My Stories, and these are My Songs. Nobody else in the world has these stories to tell, or these songs to sing – if I don’t do it, nobody will.

So this is what the idea comes down to: I want you to help me tell my stories. A couple years ago I picked up a nice little condenser mic called the Zoom H4N, which came with some basic mixing (Cubase) software. This allows me to record decent-quality sound in multiple tracks, which can be layered and adjusted individually.

Zoom H4n Mic

A Zoom mic like mine

 

I’ve also got a beautiful guitar (Martin DCPA3) which I often feel unworthy of. I think the Zoom mic actually does quite a nice job of capturing the depth and range of its sound. Lastly, I’ve got time – not much, but enough to chuck a few hours in per week, at most. Here’s what I lack:

1) A sense of urgency (i.e. motivation) – for several years I’ve been telling myself I’ll get around to recording more, but it hasn’t happened yet

2) Experience recording music – I’ve done a little, but I have a lot to learn and I don’t intend to pay anybody to record/mix for me

What if I had a group of friends who was willing to give me some accountability and feedback when it comes to recording (and even writing) my own music? Like an online songwriters’ circle, but more. I’m picturing this: a separate blog and accompanying YouTube channel where I post regular updates on song(s) I’m working on, hurdles I’m trying to overcome, sound and/or video clips of the recording, editing and producing process, and lastly the finished products. I’ll share with you the stories behind the songs (à la VH1) and the experience of recording them, and you help me by sharing your honest feedback on what does or doesn’t work (for you of course, since music has a large degree of subjectivity).

Once the songs are written, recorded, and mixed to my (our?) satisfaction, you would be the first – and possibly only people ever, haha – to have access to the full tracks for download, of course!

So, if you’ve stuck with me through this entire post, does that mean I can count on you? I need critical mass here – sorry mom, but I’m not going to commit to this project just for you ;)

If you’re keen, please let me know via comments below, or Facebook. If I can build up enough support that I think it’s worth pursuing, I will send you all the details/links in the next few days. If you know someone who isn’t too distantly removed from me who may want to get involved, particularly someone with song writing/recording experience, feel free to share this post… sometimes it’s easier for people who are slightly further removed to provide constructive criticism, but mostly I want to be among friends.

Cheers everyone, looking forward to your responses.

Inspiration for the week

It’s true that I probably spend more time online then I should. I’m much more productive in my life if I switch off my devices and tune in to real life. However, as a Stay-At-Home-Mum, life can get a little…mundane. I can think up creative things to do with my girls, crafts, lego, imaginative play. I can read an unlimited amount of stories until my throat is dry and all I want to do is fall asleep. I can make endless meals and snacks (the snacks are usually consumed more readily, popcorn anyone?). I can go to parks and play outside. Sometimes (maybe too often) though I just check out. I think it’s a form of survival really, from the boredom.

Don’t get me wrong I love my girls and would die for them. I want their lives to be enriching and interesting, I want them to love life, themselves, and God. I want so many things for them but I think you’d be lying if you said (as a SAHM) you weren’t bored from time to time or that you never wanted to escape your current reality. I am thankful that I’m not cleaning poopy diapers any more (though still wiping bums…does this ever end?).

So I read blogs and listen to podcasts to escape, to get a glimpse into someone else’s reality, to be inspired by the amazing work that people spend their lives doing. I hope that someday I will inspire others to be a better version of themselves, to serve others, to make the world a more beautiful place as Miss Rumphius would say.

Here are some of my favourites that I’ve read recently.

Revelation Wellness has been inspiring me lately I love what they do and their mission. You should follow them on Instagram and get their emails! I loved this blog post: Should I or Shouldn’t I Work out today?

IMG_8271

This blog post by Kelle Hampton, if you’ve never heard of her she’s a mum, one of her daughters has Down Syndrome, and she’s a champion. Just read it.

Inspired to Action is a must listen to Podcast for me. I recently listened to this podcast and was inspired to be more intentional with my girls. I’ve started Sense of the Resurrection with the girls to prepare for Easter.

My friend Melinda posted Making Ethical Fashion Choices, on FB recently. It’s written from a Christian perspective but I think it applies to EVERYONE living in first world nations. We are too quick to grab a deal, to buy junk from dollar stores without pausing to think of the actual cost, the human cost of the deal we scored. This issue doesn’t only have to do with fashion but with pretty much every industry. If you want to make better chocolate choices this Easter then check out Traffik Free Easter, their website has a wealth of information (not just on purchasing chocolate).

When it comes to human trafficking I feel sick. It’s easy to ignore global issues that don’t personally affect us but some of my friends back in Canada have recently become passionate about spreading awareness of this problem and trying to affect change. A21 campaign is actually freeing people who have been trafficked yesterday and prosecuting people who do it. This is something that I’ve seen first hand. I was in Northern Thailand with YWAM in 2003 and we were working in a village building some infrastructure and helping in various ways. I noticed that there were NO girls between the ages of 4 and …? old women. They were all sold to the bigger cities with the hope that they would be going to a real job so they could send back money to their families. In reality they were working in brothels and it made me weep, it still does. It’s easy to feel hopeless when sex and slavery is such a huge industry but I believe if one person is freed then it’s worth it.

The team

The team in Thailand

To end on a hopeful note, MercyShips is an amazing organization which provides medical care for the least of these. This video is one that I shared on Facebook but it worth sharing on here. It’s moving and full of hope. Women’s Health Program.

I almost forgot, you should check out this art. If you have Instagram you should follow Gracelaced. It’s beautiful and inspiring.

Rooted+and+Established+In+Love+WEB

So what makes you feel alive? What escape do you have from the mundane? What do you do to make your life not solely about yourself and satisfying your desires? Whether you’re a SAHM or not, I think there’s something in all of us that realises life isn’t just about us and we can’t just turn a blind eye to some of the major issues in our world. We are raising global citizens after all, what will their world view be?

Oh and if you’re wondering, I like reading the “hold in your hand” type of books too, but my children are neglected and household chores are forgotten when I get into a plot. So I try to “limit my intake” at this point in my life.

I’m looking forward to your comments.

Creationism and the Grand Conjectural Canyon

Creationism and the Grand Conjectural Canyon

K & T:

I sympathise with the desire to unite scripture and scientific inquiry, but I have to admit that I agree completely with the author of this post. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Young Earth Creationists have reached the point where they are disingenuously casting doubt on things that are plain to see and straightforward to interpret, given what we know in modern times.

There is a big difference between healthy scepticism and the kind of misleading/distracting techniques employed by so-called creation scientists. I believe the Earth is very old because of the vast amount of evidence I’ve observed firsthand in the rocks, not because of ideological bias or philosophical reasons. In fact, I would prefer the earth to be young, for the simplicity of harmonising it with scripture, but if that is the case then there is an extraordinary amount of misleading data in the rocks!

Anyway, hope you enjoy the article and feel free to share your thoughts.

Tim

Originally posted on Age of Rocks:

“The writing on the wall”

It was a Friday afternoon like any other. Katrina pulled into the driveway promptly at 4:30 PM upon returning from her weekly exercise class and a much needed shopping run. For Katrina, it was a three-hour sanctuary in which she could recuperate from the constant demands of Molly, her energetic toddler. That role was temporarily assigned to Sarah, a young neighborhood girl with comparable creative energies.

“How was she?” asked Katrina, while struggling to close the door through a web of heavy shopping bags. “Did she cause you any trouble?”

“Not at all,” replied Sarah, “I think she finally fell asleep.”

Carefully nudged against the cracked door, however, Katrina’s motherly peer was immediately stolen by an unfamiliar disarray. “That’s not wallpaper…”, she thought silently to herself. With a slight rush of adrenaline, she nervously flipped on the light to find the new ‘Ivory White’ paint job ruined by chaotic swaths of…

View original 1,792 more words

Beach

I recently realised that we’ve barely gone to the beach this summer. Which is pretty ridiculous since we live in a place with access to some of the nicest beaches in the world. It is a bit of a chore to get there (if you don’t have young children you have no idea) but definitely worth it once you see the Indian Ocean in all her glory. Here a few pics of our day that I snapped.

Eden told us that she didn't want to go to the beach or swimming.....

Eden told us that she didn’t want to go to the beach or swimming…..

Snack time in the beach tent :)

Snack time in the beach tent :)

Stunningly clear water with a shark net so we don't get eaten, bonus!

Stunningly clear water with a shark net so we don’t get eaten, bonus!

Not a bad place to enjoy the morning

Building

Building

Not a bad place to enjoy the morning

Big warm hugs to those in the Northern Hemisphere.

My baby is THREE!

Well… almost three. Tomorrow is the big day but we celebrated today since it was a public holiday!

We had a few friends over to our house for a nice low key party and celebration. Kate got to open presents all day starting in her pyjamas.

Eden "Helping" Kate....

Eden “Helping” Kate….

Kate concentrating really hard.

Kate concentrating really hard.

We had some yummy food and it was actually a nice day! We could drink tea mid-morning without sweating (I think around 26 degrees)!

Colour

Colour

Worms in dirt...I think the worms were picked out pretty quickly

Worms in dirt…I think the worms were picked out pretty quickly

Lots of girlies!

Lots of girlies!

The Men

The Men

We had a little scavenger hunt around the yard for hidden bugs (plastic ones…).

Searching for bugs in our pumpkin vine that's taking over.

Searching for bugs in our pumpkin vine that’s taking over.

We also had a piñata, it’s become a bit of a tradition for birthdays in our house! Easy and entertaining!

Kate wanted Daddy help

Kate wanted Daddy help

Danny doesn't need any help!

Danny doesn’t need any help!

Of course we had some cake :)

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

Creepy crawly garden cake :)

Creepy crawly garden cake :)

3 years old!

3 years old!

She loves spiders

She loves spiders

Mama cuddles

Mama cuddles

Sisters

Sisters

Juice!

Juice!

We have some lovely friends who celebrated with us. This is one of my favourite photos from the day.

Not the most flattering one… sorry Wolf!

Mama and baby love

Mama and baby love

Post party "no more pictures mom..."

Post party “no more pictures mom…”

For Kate this year we decided to get her a new bed. We got it second hand but it was new to her! She has been sleeping on a trundle, basically on the floor and we thought it was time for a big girl bed! I think she liked it and I think a certain big sister was a little jealous from all the gifts.

Not on the floor any more!

Not on the floor any more!

All tucked in after a big day :)

All tucked in after a big day :)