Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy bir'day 'Nannyhouse'

Last week we also celebrated my Mother's birthday. My Mom is a good friend to me and a fantastic Granny, who goes out of her way to serve and bless us, without any request for reward. We love having her around the corner, and miss her when we have not seen her in 24 hours. We are very spoilt indeed! Happy Birthday, Granny!

What's the 'Nannyhouse' all about you may be asking? 'Nannyhouse' is the affectionate name Jarryn gives to his Granny, my Mom. It all started when we were carting Jessica backwards and forwards to TAFE at the beginning of the year ( she now goes by bus) And very time we neared our home on the way back Jarryn would yell, "Nanny's house!" This meant, "I don't want to go home I want to go to Granny/Nanny's house." We pleased him all too often. And eventually Granny became 'Nannyhouse' all the time! He can say Gran, Granny or Nanny with the greatest of ease, but most most often reverts back to his affectionate 'Nannyhouse'. Here is Jarryn waiting for Granny to come and have her cake! He is patiently singing Happy Birthday.

And here at last is cake time!

It was wonderful for Ruth to be with us for some of Mom's birthday but sad that we had to say goodbye to her too. So some of Mom's Birthday photographs were taken at the airport...

Happy Birthday Tim

Tim has just turned 6 over the long weekend past. We nickname him 'Tim Tam', as he is as sweet as Tim Tam chockie biscuits. His two year old brother calls him, Minty! And he is as sweet as a minty lolly too. Jarryn faithfully considers Tim his best friend whatever the weather! We always open presents early in the morning but Tim was not interested in opening presents until he had had breakfast (our kids always chose their own special breakfast for their birthdays) and had played on the computer (another boy birthday treat!) Eventually he enjoyed opening presents!

As Tim's birthday fell on a Saturday we had a party for him on the day. As with Emma we took a bunch of wonderful kids across the road, had a treasure hunt, and party games like pass the parcel, and then did races and had a feast. On your marks get set......go

The boys had glorious moments of 'wildness' which is still a bit beyond my understanding as I only have a sister. We came home and had leftovers, sausages and the men and big boys went to get us some hot chips for dinner. The kids all did their own face painting....pirates and spider men etc gruesome and bleeding they emerged to shock us. The girls seemed to enjoy it as much as the boys, I must say!

Note the soccer ball candles; Tim got a soccer ball and a bike for his birthday from us.

Tim embraces life with exuberance... He loves to read and his favourite books are Tin Tin and Asterix! (A typical Murray boy! They have all loved these books as soon as they first start reading and still do! ) Outdoors he jumps and jumps on the trampoline, plays soccer and of course rides his bike as fast as possible- watch out, here he comes! He loves to be with his friends, eat good food, and enjoys swimming and running. Red and orange are his favorite colours. He is a talented young lad, his greatest difficulties are to not pout when things go wrong and to stay humble and kind and generous, but even that he is getting pretty good at!What a wonderful gift our Tim is to us, what a blessing! We are so proud of him and love him so much. He delights us and amuses us, he charms us and challenges us, he makes life interesting and much we love him!

Be warned the face painting photographs below are quite shocking, you may want to skip them!

The pimply pirateThe boy whose brother fought with him
And believe it or not this is the hearty and gruesomely injured pirate, Emma the artist, who just could not resist as much face paint as possible! Ha, ha, ha ,ha!

Athletic's Day

Last week we had athletics day with our distance school.  More than showing who had stamina and skill and sporting  ability, it showed up personalities and graces or lack of them! Jarryn, 2, lacked the most graces as he was bored and grumpy most of the day, afterwards I came down with a tummy bug and realised he probably had tummy cramps contributing to the misery of his day. But he did a 100m race and came second....there were only two running! But his brothers and sisters were so proud of him. All the kids got some placements. And I was so proud of them, but I pointed out a little girl who came last every single time, but had the most joyous smile ever, every single time.....I recon, she was the champion of the day! All had stamina and determination that surprised me...Emma ran 800 metres, which for a petite 8 year old was amazing to me! Jo did every single running race except the relays as we left early and just as well too- it took us 3 hours to get home due to traffic, being the beginning of a long weekend. Jonathan and Erica, we discovered run short distance well, Josh is our long distance champ. Jo and Erica are good all rounders trying out most of the following...discus and shot put, long jump, basket ball shots, football kicks etc. Tim as a typical 5 year old kept looking at his competitors, how they all run forward with their faces looking sideways or behind, I do not know!

I thought I had left my camera behind, only to discover I had been lugging it around all day in my handbag/nappy/etc bag . Of course I only discovered it right at the bottom of my bag when searching for a peppermint/bribe as we were packing the car to no photographs, as I sadly do not have a clue how to put them onto the computer with my phone having no blue tooth?? I think I can send them to Doug and he can download them. In the meanwhile you can see Erica on our friend's blog!

And of course any running races are a reminder that our lives are like a running race....1 Corinthians 9: 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oupa sings with the angels:

My dear grandfather has made his final journey home today. He lived to be 90, and is much missed by family. My Ouma has been his faithful help meet for many, many years and will miss him dearly.

Oupa became a Christian when my mother was in her teens or early 20's. He turned from a drunkenness at the time of his conversion, and his life was transformed. I will deeply miss his daily prayers for me and for my family too. Deeply etched in my memory is the time my sister and I stayed over with my grandparents and saw Oupa waking up at 5 AM on a freezing cold morning to pray. He and Ouma literally kneeling next to their beds to pray, Ouma inviting us two little girls to kneel beside her. ( How my little knees ached after a minute or two!) I wonder how many pains we have been spared by the grace of God through their prayers!

Oupa lived through a war, the depression, apartheid, and phenomenal changes in technology and South African politics. He is of Jewish descent, and is the last of his siblings to go to heaven. He has worked in the South African navy, built railways in Rhodesia, and worked for the South African post office for many, many years. He has been involved in the same church for something like 40 years.

I have sadly not seen my Oupa and Ouma for 16 years, as have been unable to travel due to family commitments and the financial limitations of travelling with a big family. I am deeply saddened not to have seen Oupa for so many years, but I know I can look forward to being with him in heaven one day. My favourite memories of him are when he jovially teased. When I was sweet sixteen, I had never been kissed before and how he teased me! Each visit would have a teasing session. The last time I spoke to Oupa was no exception....He always asked me on the phone, "so Joy, do you have any news for me" ....meaning, "if you are pregnant be sure to let me know first!" Sometimes he would even ask, " so is it a boy or a girl?" way before I was even pregnant again.

One of the saddest aspects of immigration is that my children do not know Oupa, and also that we will not be with family at this time ...I grieve for my children that they cannot grief fully for the man who has prayed for them and loved them for so many years. I have grieved for 16 years now, over not seeing my Ouma and Oupa. And now I grieve that I will never see Oupa on this side of heaven. We are the poorer without him, he is the richer in heaven and free of pain, filled with pure joy and happiness. May we rise up to pray faithfully as he did!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The only effectual reformer of the world!

(From Grace Gems again!)

The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, "Serious Reflections on WAR" 1757)

"When He comes--He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!" John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent--
legislators may make laws against crime;
philosophers may reason against vice;
ministers may preach against sin;
conscience may remonstrate against evil;
the divine law may prescribe, and threaten hell;
the gospel may invite and allure to heaven;
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears--all will have no effect--all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed--and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything--but only God, who makes things grow!" 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world--until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone--who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace!

It is He alone--who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence!

It is He alone--who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world--what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
to break the heart of stone,
to enlighten the dark mind, and
to comfort the desponding soul!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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