Friday, December 25, 2015

An Australian Christmas: Part Two

Christmas Tree 2015

Happy faces at Christmas

Engine's getting hot,
We dodge the kangaroos,
(No, there aren't kangaroos ALL over the place in the Australian suburbs.  And no, we aren't all that good at dodging them sometimes either.)

Ian gets some present- unwrapping support from Ryan.
Ryan's gift and Daddy's hat!

The swaggie climbs aboard -
He is welcome too.
A swaggie is an itinerant ranch hand with a bedroll or swag.  Don't have many of those in the Brissy suburbs either.  But there are some rather ratty looking young guys with long hair that I mentally apologise to as I pass by them with my kids in the car.  Maybe they aren't on drugs and maybe they aren't dangerous but I have promised my husband I will not take that risk ever since I stopped and got out of the car on Route 1 in Connecticut to help a man who had fallen out of his wheelchair and everyone else was just passing by.

Looks like I won't be the only one snapping pictures soon! (Although I can't be the only one who thinks that face belongs IN FRONT of the camera!0
Have we told you about the rocks?!
Look Meka - Air Hogs!

All the family's there, 
Sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way, 
By the barbeque.

Ian  lost amongst his pressies.
Hey!  Everyone else is getting toys and I am trying to look happy about this!
No words.

And that, mates, is how it's done!

Ian engineered the cars to jump OVER the ring of fire.  (Note the green truck UNDER the ramp to give it more height.)
And Dad gets to fix everyone else's toys.

As I post these photos, I think back about what we are worshipping at Christmas.  And it isn't the toys.  It is the joy and the magic.  And I think Jesus would have been okay with that!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Australian Christmas: Part One

Time to translate an Australian Christmas classic into English

Santa in shorts!
Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden ute.
Kicking up the dust,
Esky in the boot.

Who needs a sleigh?!

Kelpie by my side,
Singing Christmas songs.
It's summertime and I am
In my singlet, shorts and thongs.

Santa arrives in a firetruck.

Dashing through the bush
Running out to Westfield Shopping Centre at the last minute.

In a rusty Holden ute.
Holden is to Australia what Ford is to the USA and a ute is a pickup truck.
(Note: this does not translate into anything comparable anywhere in Europe!)

Aidan, Matthew and Liam at Little Athletics Christmas party.  Who needs snow?!

Kicking up the dust,
What dust?  It's usually raining at Christmas-time!

Esky in the boot.
An esky is an igloo in the USA or a cooler anywhere else. 
(Note: these are usually not needed in Europe in December.  Just put your beer out on the balcony!)
(Note to Americans;  a boot is the trunk if a car.)

Christmas carols in Dayboro.

Kelpie by my side.
A kelpie is an Australian cattle dog.  But it's probably a pit bull.

Singing Christmas songs.
Or AC/DC and Olivia Newton John.

Matthew plays Jingle Bells at Swaggie's Christmas in Dayboro

It's summertime and I am 
In my singlet, shorts and thongs.
A singlet is a called a wife-beater in the USA.  (Watch COPS and you'll figure out why.)  For Europeans, it is the undershirt you wear under your suit and tie.  You wouldn't answer the door in it, but the rest of the world isn't so kind.

Really.  Don't miss the snow at all!

(Because Australians see no need to finish the really long words.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 in Review - On God, Found Dayboro

When Tracy told me she'd read my blog recently, I felt a stab of shame.  Not because I haven't written all year, but because of what I HAD been writing before I stopped.  Oh dear, this written record of my inner struggles is how new people I meet are getting to know me!  As if I'm not perfectly capable of scaring them off in person!

They ALL look like angels at Christmas-time!

What I remember of 2014 is anger and fear.  I was not in a good place - physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I'm afraid to look back at what I was writing.  Two blogs I had to remove because they were hurtful.  I wasn't funny.  I was bitter, nasty and sarcastic.

Now the question is whether a happier me will actually be boring and proselytising.  

Hold on a moment while I go look that up and see if it means what I think it does!

God Aidan (and Captain Matthew and his warriors) backed up by brother Ian.

Nope.  To try to convert to one's particular religion or sect of a religion.  Definitely not what I had in mind.  Although we HAVE joined the Church of Christ this year.

Now the question is whether a happier me will actually be boring and moralizing?  Or if I need to haul out a thesaurus.  And if I should be spelling that with an s or a z.  Still pronounced zee in my head, not zed.  So that I think I will stick with it.

The other question is whether my wandering attention span is a sign of attention-deficit-disorder or a stroke of brilliance.

Tayah and Andrew narrate the story behind Christmas.

Ahem!  Attention!  Over here!  To think , write or speak about matters of right and wrong, often in a self-righteous or tedious way.

Who ME?!

Romans 5:3-4 on adversity:  "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope..."

I don't know about that, Romans.  I bitched and moaned through my sufferings.  My suffering produced hypothyroidism, anemia, adrenal fatigue and bitterness.  

Dayna watches over the angels!

Did I endure?  Certainly not in a sense of fortitude; the ability to endure with patience.  I am NOT patient. I am whining and snivelling and demanding.

But I am still here.  And I DO have character.  Or AM a character.  But I am tired of getting up off the sofa to check the dictionary. 

Scratch a warrior, find a lover!

What I do have - for 2016 and for good - is hope.  I have no doubt that Dayboro, Australia is the haven I have been searching for.  Heads up Penn Vet - turns out I was looking farther east than Africa!  

So yes, Gary,  I have finally opened my gift.


In the words of my four boys:  "I have these gifts for you.  They're up in my bum."

If God really IS anything like Aidan (who portrayed Him in our Christmas nativity skit this past Sunday), 2016 will be filled with madness and mayhem.  But also lots of hugs and love.

Turns out God uses a toilet paper roll covered in tin foil to view the earth!

Oh, and have I mentioned the rocks?!