Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Worst Analogies

These always make me laugh without fail, so I thought I would bring a little merriment into your day.  :P

Worst Analogies Ever written in a High School Essay

The following originally appeared as winners of a
"Worst Analogies ever written in a High School Essay Contest"
in the Washington Post Style Invitational" 
  • He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
    Joseph Romm, Washington 
  • She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
    Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
    Russell Beland, Springfield
  • McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup.
    Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.
    Roy Ashley, Washington
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
    Chuck Smith, Woodbridge
  • Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
    Russell Beland, Springfield
  • Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake
    Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
    Jack Bross, Chevy Chase
  • The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
    Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring
  • Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man."
    Russell Beland, Springfield
  • Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
    Jennifer Hart, Arlington
  • The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.
    Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.
  • They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth
    Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
    Russell Beland, Springfield
  • The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
    Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria
  • His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free
    Chuck Smith, Woodbridge
  • The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Notes of Encouragement

I was looking in a Bible dictionary this morning that used to belong to my Nanna.  (When she passed away, Pa gave a lot of her books to us.)  I found a piece of paper with her writing on it.  I don't know what it is from, whether they are her notes from her own Bible reading or if she was speaking in church one day;  but I wanted to share it, because we all go through hard times and need encouragement.  Nanna refers to verses in her notes, but I don't know what chapter they are from, so I'll just put down what is written and if you figure it out, let me know!  :)

Putting on my Sunday best (47/8) Monday through Saturday I can't take a rest.

1) I'm praying for you (1) I heard about your struggles - I know you're feeling troubled.  I want to tell you...

2) Find strength in Him - Ready to bring salvation, needed consolation - A haven for weary souls... verse 4 - When your heart's well is dry, turn to the Living Water.

3) God's love never changes - His love never fails.  When the world is shaken, we can find our faith in knowing that His love wil never change.

Let the dreamers dream (4)  How can I limit the plans He has for me?  He sees with eternal sight.

There is peace (5) in Jesus.  There is rest in His love and when we trust in Him to lead us, our hearts can be still.

Constant refuge (6) Shelter me from si and strife - Grant the peace in my heart is seeking giver of eternal life.

To God be all the glory (7) To Him be all the praise from the early dawn of morning to the end of the day.  May the words of my mouth, etc.

Don't throw away love (9)  When you feel that your heart is dying... Jesus can hear you crying.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


My patchwork so far...
Lately, I have been doing some sewing.  I would love to be able to do dress making, but that is a little off my radar at the moment, I am sticking to patchwork.  The funny thing is that I only get time to do it while Mum is reading aloud and so I obviously can't run the sewing machine while she is reading aloud.  So I am doing it by hand - seam after tiny seam. Hopefully, it will one day be a baby's quilt.

I used to not like sewing.  It was something I wanted to learn, but I just hated it.  I think it was because the books I tried to learn from always started me with sewing down lined paper, and I got bored.  Then, when I'd just about given up, a lovely friend of mine, gave me a gentle push in the right direction and helped me to make a little dress for Rose and a couple of skirts for myself.  Now I really enjoy sewing.

Rose stuffing her cushion
I am acctually not minding the patchwork by hand either.  As I said to Dad, "It feels very Little House on the Prairie-ish."

"I don't know that feeling," he said.

I feigned shock. "What?" I exclaimed.  "You have never got the team out and dug up the backyard with a stick?"  LOL!  :P

Rosie watches me as I draw the needle in and out of the patches and she asks me if she can do some sewing.  Finally, I gave in and got two of the patches from my patchwork and, selecting a relatively blunt needle, I threaded it and sat Rose in my lap to help her make stitches in the fabric.  It wasn't easy, especially as I am right-handed and Rose is left handed.  One of us was moving awkwardly the whole time.  Sometimes I would do a bit just to move along a bit, but Rose would always whisper up at me over Mum reading, "Can I hold the meedle?" 
Rose with her finished cushion

I would whisper back, "Yes, darling, but it's a needle, not a meedle."

Yesterday, we finished five sides of her sewing so I turned it inside out and set her to stuffing it with cotton balls.  I sewed up the opening and Rose is very delighted with her little cushion.  :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Chalk and Cheese

Ever since she was a small baby, my little sister Rose (3), has been the most pleasant, easy girl.  She would go anywhere, sleep anywhere - we could do anything anywhere, and as long as she was dry and fed, it was fine with her.  She is a people person.  A total sanguine in every way, she never stops talking and is not sure what to do with herself if left alone.

Annie (21 months) is almost the complete opposite.  She has an extremely sweet nature, but she takes a while to warm up to people and can be a bit precious if things aren't exactly the way she likes them.  She tends to be fairly quiet too, preferring to read a book than play with noisy toys.

Another big difference between Rose and Annie is the fact that from when she was a few months old, Rose has been terrified of animals and anything that depicts a living creature other than people.  We could never even give her a rubber ducky at bath time without her screaming the place down.  Annie, on the other hand, is fascinated by living things.  She loves birds and trees and plastic animals that she can examine. 

Today, I witnessed an interesting and rather amusing scene.  I was trying to teach Rose how to play snakes and ladders while Annie played with the farm set.  After a while, I looked up to see what Annie was actually doing.  She had discovered a small moth in her mat and was walking behind it, trying to pick it up with her small fingers.  She had a very concentrated and interested look on her face and was very much absorbed in trying to to retrieve the moth off the floor.

Just then, Rose noticed what Annie was doing.  "No!"she exclaimed.  "The moth scares you!"

Rose crawled cautiously near to where Annie was examining the moth and watch fascinated from a respectful distance as Annie allowed the moth to crawl up her arm.

"Would you like to pick it up, Rosie?"  I asked.

"No!" was the emphatic reply.  "It scares me."

As I said,  chalk and cheese.  :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Happy Mole Day!!!

Yes, it's mole day, but I'm not referring to a small furry mammal with no eyes that digs in the ground.  Nope - this is chemistry and so that you aren't totally confused (if you aren't already!) I am going to try and explain the mole to you.  And I really hope it makes sense because I have to do a test on it later today...

Behold, the periodic table:

Hopefully, one of the first things you noticed on the periodic table was that for each square, there are two numbers and one-three letters.  The letters are simply the abbreviation of the element that 'owns' the square, for example the top left square that says H is hydrogen.  The 8th square, O, is Oxygen.  Sometimes, element abbreviations use the Latin names instead, like number 26, Fe, is iron.  This may seem totally confusing, but it really isn't when you get used to working with the elements and their abbreviations.

By now you have probably figured out that the top numbers in each square indicate the position each element has on the table.  They have another purpose as well, but that is beside the point right now.  What I really want to show you are the numbers under the letters in each square.  For oxygen (O), it says 16.00.  For Hydrogen (H) it says 1.008 and for iron (Fe) it says 55.85.  These numbers are the amu of that element.  Amu is the shorthand for Atomic Mass Unit.  Basically, amu is what we measure the weight of atoms in, and as you are probably anticipating, it is a very, very small unit of measurement.  Infact, convert one amu to grams, and you get 1.66 x 10-24  grams.  If you're not sure how small that is, another way to write it would be 0.00000000000000000000000166 grams.  According to my chemistry book, that is about one trillion trillions of the weight of a house fly.  

So what has this all got to do with moles?  Well amu is so small that it is really awkward to work with it all the time.  And so we owe much thanks to an Italian scientist named Amedeo Avogadro who worked out a relationship between amu and grams.  He discovered that the amu numbers on the periodic table in grams always have the same amount of atoms in them.  That means that 16.00 grams of oxygen (O) has exactly the same amount to atoms as 1.008 grams of hydrogen (H) and 55.85 grams of iron (Fe).  That it is that number that we call the mole.  Asking a scientist for three moles of carbon is like going to Donut King and asking for three dozen donuts.  It represents a number.  

You are probably wondering what that number is.  One mole is equivalent to 6.02 x 1023  atoms or molecules.  So 16.00 grams of oxygen will always contain 6.02 x 1023  atomsof oxygen.  Pretty amazing, huh?

The same works for molecules.  If you have one mole of water, that would be two hydrogens to one oxygen.  Add up the amu numbers and you get 33.08 amu.  Switch that to grams and you have exactly
6.02 x 1023  water molecules.  Below are examples of one mole of different elements and compounds.

So that's that.  You now know about the mole.  You may be wondering why today is mole day.  Look at Avogadro's number again.  6.02 x 1023  is a mole.  Scientists use the mole so often, the twenty-third of the tenth month became mole day... but it didn't officially start until two minutes past six this morning!

One more thing.  You are probably wondering why I did a whole blog post on Mole Day.  When I first found out about mole day, it was less than a month since the last one, and I have been waiting all year to be able to use it, so HAPPY MOLE DAY!!!!  :P

Wile, Jay L. "Module Five." Exploring Creation with Chemistry. Anderson, IN: Apologia Educational Ministries, 2000. N. pag. Print.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

My Familiar by John Godfrey Saxe

Don't we all have friends like this?  :P

Again I hear that creaking step!--

He's rapping at the door!--
Too well I know the boding sound
That ushers in a bore.
I do not tremble when I meet
The stoutest of my foes,
But Heaven defend me from the friend
Who comes--but never goes!

He drops into my easy chair,
And asks about the news,
He peers into my manuscript,
And gives his candid views;
He tells me where he likes the line,
And where he's forced to grieve;
He takes the strangest liberties,--
But never takes his leave!

He reads my daily paper through
Before I've seen a word;
He scans the lyric (that I wrote),
And thinks it quite absurd;
He calmly smokes my last cigar,
And coolly asks for more;
He opens everything he sees--
Except the entry door!

He talks about his fragile health,
And tells me of the pains
He suffers from a score of ills
Of which he ne'er complains;
And how he struggled once with Death
To keep the fiend at bay;
On themes like those away he goes--
But never goes away!

He tells me of the carping words
Some shallow critic wrote;
And every precious paragraph
Familiarly can quote;
He thinks the writer did me wrong;
He'd like to run him through!
He says a thousand pleasant things--
But never says, 'Adieu!'

Whene'er he comes--that dreadful man--
Disguise it as I may,
I know that, like an Autumn rain,
He'll last throughout the day.

In vain I speak of urgent tasks:
In vain I scowl and pout;
A frown is no extinguisher--
It does not put him out!

I mean to take the knocker off,
Put crape upon the door,
Or hint to John that I am gone
To stay a month or more.
I do not tremble when I meet
The stoutest of my foes,
But Heaven defend me from the friend
Who never, never goes!

Monday, 21 October 2013

As a Rememberence...

This is going to sound like an Easter post, but it something that stood out to me recently. 

The original von Trapp family
Last Monday when we weren't very well, we sat all day and watched the Sound of Music - all three and a bit hours of it!  I got all re-inspired by the von Trapps and  went and dug out the autobiography by Maria von Trapp and have been reading it off and on all week.

The von Trapps were Catholics, and their story is not only about their musical journey, but their spiritual journey as well.  As you read the book you can see them developing in that area and by the end of the story, there is no doubt that they truly were saved by the blood of Jesus.  Yes, they made mistakes, but don't we all?  :)

What stood out to me, however, is the way they celebrated Easter.  They would go to church on Friday very solemn and sad.  The church would be in darkness and the usual tools of ceremony (the cup, candlesticks, etc.) would all be knocked over in disarray.  The only thing left standing was the cross, and people would take it in turns all weekend long, so that Christ might not be alone.  Needless to say, everything was rejoicing again on Sunday.

This made me think.  They acted as though Jesus died every year, and - what a relief! - He rose again on the Sunday.  I can only imagine the sorrow and the stress they put themselves through to mentally crucify Christ every Easter.  It doesn't have to be that way, and Father God never intended it to be that way.

 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,  from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.  But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.  (Hebrews 10:11-18)

If Jesus had to die more than once for salvation, we would never be quite sure that we were saved.  Also, it just wouldn't have worked, because if it didn't work the first time, it wasn't sufficient at all.

I think this is the reason Jesus Himself gave us such a simple way to remember His death.  The Lord's supper was intended to show us the way in which we can quietly and meaningfully remember the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ and thank Him for it.

Because we have communion, we don't need all the fancy rituals and the signs and sadness and gloom (not that there's anything wrong with adding more to it, it just isn't necessary.)  Christ said, " this in rememberence of me."  We do it to remember Him, and it is all we need, because He has died once and for all and is living with and inside us today.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

We Three Kings of Ominous Are...

Today Jess, Grace, Joy and I tried to do some music together.  This is always an interesting exercise as we are all of very different temperaments and each have our own idea of how to learn something as a group.  In the past, we have tried to learn hymns together (we called ourselves "Hers playing Hymns") but it never got very far.  So today, we decided, would be the day.

As it is coming up to Christmas, we chose "We Three Kings" with Grace on the piano, Jess on cello, Joy on violin, and me on the flute.  The very first verse threw us into turmoil.  It is obviously the three kings singing together, so we had to play together.  There was only a melody line and a scant harmony written in on the music.  

"Don't worry," I said, the ever-optimistic.  "I'll just write a harmony in.  GRACE WOULD YOU STOP PLAYING PLEASE!!!!"  And yes, believe it or not, I yelled that bit.  (Grace has a tendency to get bored when we aren't playing and starts to play her own thing loudly over everything else.) 

"Noooooo... don't write a harmony now!!!"  the girls beg.  I promptly sit down at the piano, pencil in hand, ready to do the deed.   Grace and Joy go outside in frustration.  Jess sits there and plays on the ipod.

15 minutes later...

"I'm done!"  Everyone comes back and I proudly display my three part harmony - for the first verse.  I inform them that I will take care of the chorus later.  They groan, but we start playing the new music.
"Stop, stop, stop, stop, STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!"  I call.  "It doesn't sound good right now!!!"

Grace's head makes contact with the music rack as Joy complains, "I'm sight reading."

"We're all sight reading," Jess says dryly. 

"Look,"  I say logically.  "Let's run through our parts separately." 

Grace groans again and leaves the room.  "Call me when you're ready."

Joy, Jess and I practice separately and then together.  We call Grace back, and she accompanies us on the piano.  It sounds good - the first verse.  The chorus is a wreck, but we figure we play the chorus through once for each verse, so we have plenty of time to figure it out.

Joy takes the part as the first king, the king who offers gold.  We convince her that the violin sounds much better if she stands up, instead of sitting on the floor, but she brings up another problem.  "I haven't got anywhere for my music," she says.  We are starting to get desperate, so we blu-tack the music to the glass sliding door near the piano, and that does the trick.  (You know they say that necessity is the mother of invention!)  Joy is only part way through her verse when I stop her again.

"Joy, stop.  You are playing a king - A KING - he is a vigorous king, not a weak person about to cry.  And use your vibrato - it sounds so much better."

"I hate vibrato."

"Do it anyway.  That's better."

I am the frankenscence king, and as I know what I want out of the verse, it goes off without a hitch... ;)

Jess is the myrrh king and plays her verse nice and deep on the cello, accompanied by deep chords played by Grace.  Dubbed the "death verse" by its gracious cellist, it has a tendency to make us start giggling in the middle of it.

We finally worked out the chorus and were really happy with how it sounded.  We played it through a few times and were starting to get comforable with the harmonies and the parts when Mum came in the room.

"The harmonies sound really good," she encouraged us, "but there's something wrong with the timing.  It is supposed to be in 3/8 - I think you are playing it in 2/2." 

We were.  How we managed that, I'm not sure, but Grace says she can't play it in 3/8 and so now we have to wait until she can figure it out.  I know she can do it, she just needs to practice.

So that was our music session for the day.  I would love to master some more pieces together - we'll have to wait and see.  :)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Gmail Blues

Ring Ring!!!  It was eight 'o' clock in the morning, so I was surprised when, upon answering the phone, it was my aunty calling.  She explained to me that she was giving an art class that day and that she really wanted a photo of the painting she had given the James to illustrate the line drawing she was going to talk about.  She told me it would be easiest to take the photo on Mum's ipod and then use the ipod to email the picture to her.  After a couple of tries and discovering that opening the blinds makes the photo come out so much better, I had a decent shot to send to her.

There was no messaging account open on the ipod.


"That's OK." Aunty K. said.  "Just attach it to the computer and I'll give you my gmail address.  Just email it through."  That ought to be easy, I thought.  I carefully wrote out her gmail address on a slip of paper and hung up the phone.  The picture downloaded on the computer and I attached it to an email.  I typed in the address, breathing easy once I got to the "" bit - after all, every gmail address ends like that.

I pressed SEND.

Instantly, I got an email in my inbox.  "The recipient address was rejected."

Rejected?  It couldn't be!

I typed out a silly little note under the same address and tried again.

"The recipient address was rejected."

I was not sure quite what to do now.  I double checked the address.  It was so simple - how could I have got it wrong? I reread it.




I had made a typo in the most simple part of the address - no wonder it wasn't going anywhere!  Lesson learned, photo sent, day saved.  *sigh*  :D

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Christmas Songs

Currently, our church is preparing for the annual Christmas production which takes place on the first of December.  Since the usual director has packed up and gone traveling, Mum was asked to organize and direct the show.  This is a big job for those of you who haven't done it.  We have listened to so much Christmas music so far and it is only going to increase, I imagine.
'The idea behind this year's Christmas spectacular is to tell the story of Christmas through the songs.  Obviously we can't do it detail for detail - the night would go far too long - but we have grouped the shepherd songs together, the angel songs together, and so on.
And what some beautiful songs we have!  One of my personal favorites is Mary Did You Know? 


We have also discovered the Christmas album of an extremely talented man by the name of Lincoln Brewster.  He is an AMAZING guitarist.  This is my favorite song off the album.  It is an instrumental and is a touch lengthy, but please listen to it - it is INCREDIBLE!!!!


 So we are full in Christmas mode already.  Scary when you think about it.  But the time comes and goes and we continue to get older.  Oh hum!  :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Hello Again! :D

Hi everyone!  We are back from our holiday and what a week it was.  I had intended to give a diary account of our bay side holiday so that you could share the experience, but unfortunately, I fell sick on the first day and others quickly followed suit.  So instead I will post photos of the good times we had and tell you about those.  We our concert skits were filmed too, but I have got them yet - Mr. Camera-man is still trying to get them through to me.  When I do get them, however, I will put them on.  Until then, I won't post the photos so that you can have a full and interesting post to look at.  :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and that the Lord reveals a new depth of His love to you in a way you never thought possible.


Saturday, 5 October 2013


Ariel shot of our camping spot - nice, huh???
Well, it is the long weekend in Australia.  I'm not quite sure what this one is for, but I'm happy to take it anyway!  :)  Sorry if this post comes across a bit vague and disjointed, but it is only ten minutes past six on Saturday morning.  I have been up for a while with a stuffy nose and baby Annie who decided to start yell at about quarter to six.  So, being the wonderful daughter that I am, ( :D) I thought I would let Mum sleep in.  Unfortunately, Annie woke Rose up, so now Mum is up and I have Rose on my knee asking me what I am doing and why I typing and so forth.  (Honestly, the child will make a perfect 21st century female Socrates one day! :)  )  Now she is asking me if I am nearly finished.  Ahhhhh.....

We are going for a bit of a getaway next week.  Next weekend  is our church's family camp so we are going early and spending the week.  We love our camping spot as we aren't really big on roughing it - we still need a bathroom, bedrooms, a bed for each person, and fro heaven sakes - give us a kitchen so we can make pancakes for breakfast and lasagne for dinner!  We are also known for taking our coffee machine and milk-frother to camp.  :)   (Now Rose is singing,  "If you're happy and you know it, stick out your tongue...  If you're happy and you know it, do it like this. *collapses faint against my shoulder* )  So anyway, we are very much looking forward to our holiday.  On the Saturday night of camp, our church has a talent concert.  We kids are doing two skits - Grace, Joy, Elise and James are doing one about Charles II sentencing a man who stole and destroyed the crown jewels, and Jess and I are doing a skit in which Mozart and Beethoven are arguing over who was the greatest composer that ever lived.  They are both really funny.  I'll see if I can arrange for them to be videoed so you can see them!  :)

So that's that.  I may get another post in before we go away, but when I don't make any noise for about a week, you'll know where I am!  :)

Have a great weekend and a terrific week next week.  :)

Love in Christ,