Monday, July 6, 2009

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...........

As I have mentioned before, the author of Mary Poppins (P.L.Travers) was born in Maryborough, and our little heritage town has made her a bit of an icon. :) Because we are 'Mary'-borough, and our river is the Mary, etc, Mary Poppins has become special to the town. Remember this post? Each early July weekend is the annual "Mary Poppins Festival" which has been growing and getting better and better each year. This year it was attended by over 5000 people which is quite a substantial number of visitors! Lots of locals of course, but many tourists as well. Queen's Park is transformed into a mini fair-ground with lots of rides and entertainment for the children. Market stalls line Wharf Street and the Portside parklands, and street theatre performers entertain the crowds. Recognise one of these chimney sweeps?

Stuart joined the 'Merry Mary Troupe' (there's that name again....) recently and is enjoying it. They dress up and perform for various things happening around town. He is in the middle above!

Actually there were lots of people in costume, all over town.

Any excuse to go through our clothes and dress-ups and join in the fun!

Oh how I wish I could dress my children like this every day. :) They do too!

It was like going back in time for a day. We all loved it!

The highlight of the day was joining in the Grand Parade- not something we had planned to do but when we found out anyone in costume could join in, we couldn't resist! And our efforts (no sacrifice really - what a great experience for the children, and they loved every minute of it) were rewarded as we won the runners-up prize for the best dressed family!! The prize pack was eagerly opened by the children and included the Mary Poppins movie on DVD (which we own-would anyone like a copy?!), family meals at McDonalds and a family pass to ride on the Mary-Ann train (our local steam train). Fun!

Elijah got quite tired after the parade while we waited for the judging, and lay down on the road. He was absolutely adorable and was noticed by the cameraman for the local paper- and subsequently wound up in the newspaper today, tummy down on the road with his head on his fists and a sweet smile on his face! I will endeavour to scan in the photo sometime to show you.

Next up was lunch under the trees....... then the Chimneysweep Championship, which Stu was keen to enter! What would it involve? He had no idea, but wanted to join in anyway!

Half an hour of chimneysweep acting and showmanship followed, and yes he wowed the crowds with his charm and character. :) And won that too. SO, now we have a voucher for a flash restaurant in town and will be having a date night sometime soon!

All in all a great day. Oh, did I mention that last Friday night was watching Mary Poppins under the stars down at Portside (a parklands by the river)? Part of the whole Mary Poppins week of celebrations! We went along with Stu's sister, husband and boys who were up for the week, and had a great, cold, night. :)

You can just see the screen on the left in the first picture. We were so rugged up!! The children loved watching the movie on the big screen under the night sky! How wonderful that the major event held in our town each year is based on a musical. How appropriate and how blessed we feel to live here! :)

After yesterday's activities, we stayed home today. Stuart went to work for a few hours but the children and I stayed in by the fire. Cool day again! My main goal for the day was sorting through all our homeschool resources and getting organised for school starting again next week. That included stationary- a massive job. I must have sharpened over 200 pencils this afternoon! And threw out a big bag of dry textas, after testing every single one of them. The children did help for awhile....... but really, it was a long long job. Once Stuart was home he read outside in the hammock while the children played in the yard and I finished the sorting. :) And now, it is done!!
This is what the table looked like half-way through the process. Iwill take a photo for you of our new pencil / texta/ lead pencil / crayon tubs soon. So much better.

And the books are sorted and in a new basket which I'm planning to keep handy to the big table where we will do our work. I have a few new resources for Elijah who is oh-so-keen to join in with lessons, and we have just ordered a wonderful multi age P-12 history curriculum which we'll get in the coming weeks (I hope).


We had some church friends over last night to watch the movie Fireproof. If you haven't seen it, it's worth tracking it down and watching it with your partner or friends. A challenging and emotional Christian movie starring Kirk Cameron (remember him?!). Definitely watch it if you can.
Two verses which have been on my heart this week are.........

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."


Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Are we spending time thinking about what is lovely, what is pure, what is right? Are we dwelling in the positives or the negatives? What about guarding our minds? Our hearts? Are we protecting them? For the Word tells us to "guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" Philippians 4:23. This is clearly so important! What are we watching? Reading? Listening to? Who are we listening to? What are we doing with our time? I have been so challenged with this.

What about our children? Are we seeking to guard their hearts and minds? Are we paying close attention to the things they watch and read? Are we discerning about the kinds of games they play?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
'Watch your thoughts, they become your words;

Watch your words, they become your actions
Watch your actions, they become your habits
Watch your habits, they become your character;

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.'
How wise we would be to remember this! And to teach this to our children also. We are working on some habits with Saraya at the moment. Some improvement though still some struggles. It is an ongoing journey- and one through which I have the challenge as well as the opportunity to show her grace as she ultimately works to guard her thoughts, words, actions and habits. It is nice to pray with her about these things. We had an issue with forgiveness this week over a broken keepsake, and I was able to show her some verses which did help. Her favourite one was "If you forgive the failure of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matthew 6:14). :)
I am using scripture more and more as the children grow, and am realising the true value of spending as much time in the word as I can! This certainly makes it easier to teach and train the children- the verses are already there in my mind or in my notebook, ready to draw on as we need them.
My goodness, this has been a looong post! My new routine seems to be to post every 4 or 5 days- and make up for lost time. :) I would love to post more regularly but just can't manage it. I will try not to post such long posts, but I will have to slot blogging into my new schedule for next term somehow! I still think though, once or twice a week will have to be my limit. :)
Until next time, goodnight and God bless! Oh, and if you want to come along to the festival with us next July we'd love to have you come stay for the weekend!


Theresa said...

Oh it sounds like you had so much fun out and about as a family. I loved the Mary Poppins Festival and I am glad to see that it has been on again. Loved the costumes you all looked really good.
I jumped over to the Fraser Coast Chronicle website to check out Elijah's picture... absolutely adorable:)

Sandra said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time. And all those prizes to enjoy as well! Fantastic.
And some good advice on how to help guard your children. I might use that strategy myself!

Renata said...

Well it's lovely to catch up on all your happenings & I'm the same finding I can only post a couple of times a week.
Thanks for sharing your heart - I really enjoyed that quote about thoughts leading to destiny - I'm going to copy it out!!
Congrats on your prize (& prizes for Stu) - you all looked fantastic & it's sounds like such a fun time!!!

The doubts you asked me about are really is this the right thing - even though I know it is I've been getting so tired & irritable with the children, but I think it was because I was unwell as I'm feeling much better now.
Now I've written a long comment to match your post - LOL!!!


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