Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Best News

15 years ago today, Christian and I shared our first kiss. 10 days later we were engaged, and 5 months after that married. Yes, it was and still is a whirlwind romance, with two real tornados thrown in for good measure.

Today, we share our seventh child, a wonderful blessing to all of us.

Her name is: Bethany Anne.

She was born at Wodonga Hospital at 8:44am on Tuesday November 8th 2016, weighing in at 4.4kg or 9 lbs 11oz.

Bethany means House of Song, and we pray this little lady will love singing praises to our great Father and our King Jesus, as much as we do. Anne means Grace, a reminder of God's great grace to us through Jesus, but also after my mother, who has been so gracious and caring during all seven of our children's births (and of course as they grow also). We look up to you a great deal, Mum. and pray our daughter gains some courage, strength and faith in hearing your story.

Yes, this is Sarah Joy's 7th caesarean section, 2nd surgery for this year and 10th surgery since we have been married. Recovery is hard, but God is with us and continues to sustain us.

Visiting can be arranged through Christian.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Circulatory System

I have recently started a Khan Academy course on the human anatomy and physiology and have decided to write blog posts on the different systems of the body, so here is the Circulatory System.

The Circulatory System includes the heart (pump) arteries (outflow pipes) and veins (inflow pipes). The heart acts like a pump to push oxygenated blood around the body through arteries to give the cells food and oxygen, and to pump deoxygenated blood back to the heart through the veins. So let's see how it works.

Let's say you're an oxygenated red blood cell and you're starting your journey in the Aortic arch you will go out to the lower body in one of the three arteries. As you go through the body the arteries will start to branch off and get smaller. You will go past lots of cells and tissues giving them your oxygen and they will give to you their carbon dioxide. You will then go into a vein and make the journey back as a deoxygenated red blood cell. Eventually you will come to the Inferior Vena Cava (if you had gone to the upper body will have come to the heart through the Superior Vena Cava) from there you will go into the Right Atrium (this is from the person who owns the heart's perspective) and when the Tricuspid valve opens (the valves opening and shutting make the lub dub (S1 S2) sound you hear)  you will be pumped into the Right Ventricle. From there the Pulmonary Semilunar valve will open letting you be pumped into the Pulmonary trunk (anything with the word Pulmonary means it has some thing to do with the lungs). From the Pulmonary trunk you will branch off into either the right or left Pulmonary arteries, You will then go into the lungs. Passing by the alvioli you will get oxygenated and give the lungs the carbon dioxide which it will exhale out. You will then be an oxygenated red blood cell again!

From the lungs you will be pumped back into the heart via the Pulmonary veins. From there you will make your way into the left atrium. When the Mitral valve (here the Bicuspid valve) opens you will go into the Left Ventricle and finally when the Aortic valve opens you will be back inside the Aortic arch ready to go back in to the body many more times (unless your owner is a crazy one and cuts him/herself and you find youself outside the body but lets hope that doesn't happen).         

Well that is the Circulatory system for you and I hope you go back just that little bit more smarter.

By the Tiger

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Alastor Adventure by Princess

Auntie Annette tending the fire.
Me on the throne of Alastor.

We got ready to go to Alastor (a special family place) with Grandfather, Uncle Danny and Auntie Annette. We got in the cars and began driving. We were in the Blue Mountains. We drove straight through Blackheath and down a winding road into the Megalong Valley. 

Daddy on the throne of Alastor.
We parked the cars and began walking. It was so extreme and adventurous all at the same time. After two hours of extreme bush bashing we were starving hungry, exhausted and desperate to get there. 

We sent two of the adults to get the cars and walked further down the road. When the cars came we drove up the road and to find a place to have lunch but before we could have lunch Grandfather found Alastor. 

Some of the beautiful fungi we found.
It was beautiful, and we were successful! There were cliffs towering majestically overhead. To the right a stream bubbling softly over rocks. To the left the queenly moss covered throne of Alastor. There was a name tree with names carved into the tree, and a moss fireplace. 

We had lunch and went to explore our superb scenery, with moss covered boulders, fungi and rainforest trees. It was so wild yet so beautiful. We stayed for a few hours before we left. We had so much fun. Finding Alastor was really an adventure.
Can you find the A in the cliff ?
Written by Princess

Alastor by the Tiger

Fungi and moss on the side of a tree.
In the Blue Mountains,.. near a town called Blackheath,.. there is the Megalong Valley,.. it has a steep winding road,.. and a few metres down from the road is... Alastor!  Alastor is a secret family place discovered and made by my great grandfather when he was 12 years old and it was there that his mother taught him the Christian faith. And we recently went there with grandfather and the Wotherspoons, (Uncle Danny and Auntie Annette).

The fire...on which we are drying the kids clothes because
they got wet in the creek.
We came down the deceivingly scary winding road and after a while parked the cars on the side of the road, then we went into the valley. We had decided before that we would park a little away from Alastor so as to go for a bush walk to find it, but... we had calculated wrongly and so we were walking (or rather bashing) our way through the extreme and exhausting bush of the valley for hours not knowing that we were going the wrong way! Whilst we were walking Uncle Danny taught us lots of stuff about the plants and scenery around us. We found lots of different kinds of fungi and lichen.

We decided eventually to go back up to the road and Daddy and Auntie Annette walked back to get the cars while we walked down the road. When the cars came we drove down the road and discovered that we had gone too far down the road. Whilst we were driving we saw two lyre birds on the side of the road.

Daddy resting on the Throne of Alastor
Eventually we found it and the scenery was beautiful with majestic cliffs and boulders with wonderful ferns and moss. There was an amazing tall tree with names carved in it and a queenly throne made out of a rock that was surprisingly comfortable. We think that the throne was where my Great Great Grandmother sat whilst talking to my Great Grandfather. There was also a fire place in which we made a fire. We went exploring and built a dam in the small creek that was flowing through the valley.

We had a wonderful time there and I can't wait to go there again. We didn't take enough photos because we were all so exhausted from the walking.

Written by the Tiger

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


We were in the Blue Mountains, in the Megalong Valley. This is a picture of me near some fungus. This fungus was orange and white and was on a green stick. There was moss on the stick, because most rainforest sticks have moss.                
Mushrooms are fungus. You can find fungus in every different colour. They grow in the rainforest. In a creek, in a big cave there was a big colourful fungus that was above the water.

Written by Tank

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Distracting Children in Worship!?

Kids need people who love them -
This is one of our surrogate Aunties.
Children! Oh we love them, but they can be SO distracting! And so messy! Especially when we are trying to have a quiet moment soaking up God's word, or during the prayers in church. Or worse still children fighting with each other in church! And the messes they leave behind! Little sultanas in places that are just so hard to vacuum. Why can't those mothers just control them? 

Kids love to get involved.
Well you know, I know that it's just not possible. I'm not saying that we should have children running around the church and playing races in the aisle, but I am saying that sometimes this needs to be overlooked for their benefit. Even my darlings fight in church...apparently even on Good Friday! So what are we to do with them? Should I take my children out of church at the slightest infraction so that no one else is further distracted by them? What is this teaching them? Unless they are perfectly behaved the church wants nothing to do with them! Whoops...not quite biblical!!

Jesus too had a problem with distracting, noisy children. And like us, the disciples had enough. They told those children where to go. Jesus was angry with his disciples for doing this. Angry. The bible uses the word "indignant" which means to show or feel anger at unfair treatment. Jesus told his disciples: "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such is the kingdom of heaven."

In Matthew 18: 3-6 Jesus says:

Being a part of God's family should be a joy.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

Jesus takes the business of the distraction of children pretty seriously. Children have always been messy, unmannered and noisy...but Jesus still commands us to welcome them...just as they are. You know why? Because children know they are dependent on us adults...but we adults forget what it's like to totally dependent, and we need the constant reminder of children that we are to be like this with our heavenly father...totally dependant on him, on Jesus grace, on his forgiveness.

Good Friday Kids Talk
Good Friday wasn't all about Jesus. When he walked the Via Delarosa he wasn't the main attraction. He was just another criminal, just another crucifixion. This was a common place thing. Jesus was getting in the way of the religious people having their special religious festival of the Passover...so people were still trying to get about doing their Passover shopping, tipping the local beggar, making sure they had their last preparations done, and worrying about the Roman soldiers on every other corner.

It's still like this if you walk the Via Delarosa today, except the Roman soldiers have been replaced with Israeli ones with AK47s. Jesus death was messy, noisy and just another distraction. 

Don’t try to over spiritualise...be realistic. Jesus died...so what? For what? For those children making a noise a the back of church. For that baby who won't stop whinging. Jesus died for them! Praise God for his death and resurrection that sets us free from our religious accusations.

Okay, so they are not "all mine"...three families, 6 each.
2 pastors and 1 future pastor. Pray for us.
Please pray for all our children in church.  It's not easy parenting in a world that sees children as little people who should be seen and not heard. We in the church need to be different. Please pray for the parents. Engaging the children in happy conversation before and after worship time builds relationship and trust and then the ability to offer help. We need all the help we can get in bringing our children to faith in Jesus. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Our Trip To Canberra

Recently our family visited Canberra for a two day holiday. One of my favourite parts about the trip was watching the people we pay to shout at each other, (by that I mean Question Time at Parliament House). It was really amazing to see how our country works and is run. We saw the two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. We also saw Australia's Replica of the "Magna Carta" or "Great Charter". While there we drove around looking at the High Commissions and Embassies. The U.S.A.'s Embassy was HUGE taking up a whole block, and it had extra security.

We also visited the Royal Australian Mint where coins are made. At the Mint there was a stair case with 5 cent coins in it. For a coin to be made they have to first come up with a design, then the design is put on to a computer where they add words and numbers before programming a machine to engrave the design onto a stamp. Then they put the stamp into a machine which stamps the blanks (coins with nothing on them) with the design, and then you have a coin!

We had a great time in Canberra and I can't wait to go there again.

By Tiger

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Princess' Morning Tea

A new party skirt that Mama made.

Our Princess turns 11 today. We delighted her with a lovely high tea inspired morning tea with her cousins and dearest friends (actually they are all her dearest friends).

She is growing up to be quite a special young lady. She is kind and generous. She has a beautiful serving heart, and helps with her younger siblings in a lovely way (I can hear her teaching Joybug piano right now). Sure we have our moments, however she recovers quickly. She is growing in her relationship with Jesus and loving telling others what she learns. I particularly love the way she takes her responsibilities with homeschool and the chooks seriously.

We love our little Princess...who is really not so little any more!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Eric Liddell Book Report

Eric Liddell was born to missionary parents in China in 1902. When Eric and his family went to their home in Scotland on furlough (a break for a missionary) he and his brother Robert  were enrolled in Eltham Collage where most of the missionary's sons went to get an education. Eric and Robert excelled in athletics. When WW1 started most of the older boys went to fight and Robert went to university.

Eric ended up training in the finals for the Scottish athletes in the Paris Olympics. He was amazingly good at the 100 meters. But when Eric got the race timetables he found that the 100 meters race was on a Sunday. So he refused to run the 100 meters race. But he amazingly won the 400 meter race setting a new world record at 47.6 seconds. He had (before the race) decided to go back to china to serve as a missionary, but the boat to China left 15 minutes after the race so he had a taxi packed with his stuff waiting close to the finish line so that he could keep running to the taxi and go to the docks. But as he passed the finish line the band started playing "God Save The King" in honor  of him, so he stopped out of respect and waited for the band to finish but just as he got to the taxi door the band started playing the French national anthem in honor of the man who came second, so he stopped again. Eventually he got to the docks but the boat was already about 20 meters of shore so he tried signaling the captain but the people on board didn't recognize him. Then a wave pushed the ship closer to the docks so Eric hurled his luggage on board and made a running leap to the boat, he made it and a news reporter saw him and the next day he was in the headlines as "The Flying Scotsman".

Eric went to the same missionary station that his parents had worked at. His father and mother now lived in a mansion in the British section of Tientsin. Another interesting story from his life was when he had to get coal to a hospital but he kept on being robbed of the money for the coal, so he hid the money in a loaf of bread. He also had to transport injured people to the hospital because of the war between the Japanese, the Communists, and the Nationalists.

Eric was married to Florence (Flo) McKenzie on the 27th of March, 1934. Eric sent Florence and their kids to Canada because of the war. Eric was taken to Weihsien Internment Camp with some other people. He died there on the 21st of February, 1945, just days before the American GI's liberated the camp. In 1981 a biographical film called "Chariots Of Fire" was made about him.

I got these stories and information from reading the Christian Heroes Then and Now series book titled: "Eric Liddell, Something Greater Than Gold". It's a very interesting and well written book by Janet and Geoff Benge. I liked his remembrance of the Sabbath and his courage in the face of war.

Written by Tiger 

Monday, February 1, 2016


Here is a cat-head I found
Cat-heads grow flat to the ground and they have seed balls that have sharp pointy bits sticking out that hurt you a lot when you step on them.

It's important to get them out of the ground because then you can walk outside with no shoes.

The seeds spread easily when they are dead. We try to get them before they seed. We pull them out with their roots on so then they don't grow again.

Cat-heads have yellow flowers that turn into the seeds. The seeds produce more of the cat-heads.

Cat-head seeds and leaves
    I can recognise cat-heads by their leaves. They have leaves like the pepper tree leaves. They are oval shaped and small.

Dictated by Tank