Wednesday, 30 December 2009

visiting with Sonya (and a new camera)

Ant and Mum and Dad bought me a new camera for Christmas. I have been playing with it and both Ant and I have been getting tutorials from Paul. I took it with us on a visit to Sonya's home (away from home) where we had a wonderful lobster dinner. (More about the food over on my food blog.)

Sonya and Kevin's children didn't remember us, but who can blame them since it's been a year--and that's a large proportion of their lives so far! Claire was keen to help me make cookies, which turned out rather well considering the mistakes I made.

Max handed Ant a book and then climbed on his lap. Ant began to read about Thomas the Tank Engine and both Max and Claire were enraptured.

Later in the evening Kai slept in my arms while we four adults chatted.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Merry Christmas

How wonderful it is to be with family for Christmas. My mother was hosting the big dinner this year, and she did a great job. Grammie supplied the mince pies (above) and a few other key items. Mum made the turkey and I helped a bit with the vegetables. Ant fluffed the mashed potatoes, Dad cleaned the whole house, and Paul moved furniture. There were fifteen of us and it was wonderful.

Two games of cards were set up after lunch. In the living room Ant and Grandad took on Linda (and Glenn).

In the kitchen Paul is chatting, while at the cards table in the dining room Dad and Lillian were playing with...

...Grammie and Katherine. I was happily reading and observing from my easy chair. Thanks to God for Jesus, his indescribable gift. And thanks also for all the gifts he has given us, including family and food.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

no, I am not ignoring you

Christmas time is always busy with special church events, gift buying, and parties. But I have more reasons (or "excuses") than these for neglecting my friends and family. Ant and I are moving this weekend and the whole flat is in total chaos at the moment. There are half packed boxes in most rooms and big piles of things to give away in the corridor. The fridge is becoming bare and there is paperwork littered everywhere. Trying to sort it all out while still working full time has proved to be a challenge.

But there is another excuse for my blog-post-less-ness. My laptop's hard drive has crashed. When I switch it on there is a clicking noise as the needle searches for the disk like an old LP trying to find the groove (or at least that is how I imagine it!). On Saturday Ant and I managed to use the boot disk to turn the computer on. We tried to use the "disk repair" utility only to discover that the computer thought it no longer had a hard drive at all. Next we managed to prise open the case--yes, the hard drive is still there, and no, it is not working at all.

I have ordered a new hard drive that is meant to arrive today, so hopefully I will soon be back in business. But all my photos, music, and personal files are probably lost. (Consider yourself told: Back up! Back up! Back up your files!) You think it will never happen to you and then--wham--the needle is knocked off the track and everything is gone.

Well, things are looking up. We will soon be a bit more settled in our new home (pictures to follow!) and my computer will be restored to new-born health. More updates when those two things have happened.

PS. Don't tell Ant that I wrote this post at work today in my down time. He has banned me from doing this becuase it makes my productivity go way down (duh!). But he hardly ever reads this blog, so please don't tell on me! :)

Friday, 4 December 2009

maths department

Today we took a group photo in the maths department. At lunch time we all met up in Scott's classroom and posed in front of the whiteboard. (You can see the posters of Pythagoras' Theorem and the area and circumference of a circle, so check back if you ever need to remember them!) We've got a great team of teachers in the department and I feel privileged to be working with them all.

I know that I winge (:complain) about teaching quite a lot, especially in person. I try to tone it down online.... But I realised today how much I love my job and it's mainly the pace and pressure that can get me down. I have been making more resources lately and noticed how much I enjoyed devising and creating them. And I have turned a corner (almost, I think, she said tentatively) with my most difficult class, so I am starting to feel a great sense of satisfaction with them. If they do well in their GCSE mock exams next week I will be really pleased. And my colleagues are great to work with. I wish we had more time to share ideas, both maths related and otherwise. What a great team.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

moving house

We have exchanged contacts on a flat to buy! We are so excited and it all feels a bit surreal. The exchange was on Friday last week and our completion and moving date was set for exactly two weeks later. So we are starting to think about packing... but to be honest each evening when we get home we are so tired that it seems insurmountable. Sigh. The weekend will be busy!

Matt is coming with us for a few months and then after that we'll convert the current lounge (pictured above in its current state with our vendor's furniture) into a dining room and the front bedroom into a lounge. We can live in the flat as a one bedroom property, but then convert it back to two bedrooms when we come to sell.

I'm happy that we'll be moved in just before we leave for Christmas. Matt will get to live with all the boxes while we are away visiting family in Halifax. We may just collapse from exhaustion when we get there.