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Season's Greetings - 2005

25 December, 2005 11:04 PM

Christmas Greetings friends.

Well Christmas has come and is about to go with it being 11pm now.

V and I have been on the go today since early on.

We started by exchanging gifts early this morning, quickly followed by the arrival of V's Dad and brother for a breakfast of French Toast. We then jumped into the car to one of V's friends for a flying visit on the way to her mum's for one of the biggest lunches I've ever encountered. It was a great spread with roast ham, pork, turkey and chicken and an array of roasted vegetables as well as an entree of avocado, salmon and caviar. Dessert was plum pudding and a pavlova (something I made :-) ).

I couldn't move after lunch for a considerable amount of time but we were on the move mid afternoon for a visit to V's uncle and aunty where her cousins and grandparents were.

After that we were off to my parents where my sister and brother in law (just back from their honey moon) were also. Dinner was a lighter affair than lunch but still included three meats, salads and potatoes followed by a selection of desserts.

So yes - food featured pretty heavily in today's hectic schedule!

Tomorrow V and I area off to Noosa (two states north of where I live) to laze beside pools, sit on the beach, enjoy some hot weather (we're told it'll be 35 degrees (Celsius) most days this week and to read some of the many books that I got for Christmas.

I'm looking forward to a relaxing few days.

Life this year has been quite like our day today - full, fun and a little hectic. As I look back on the last 12 months I feel very fortunate (and a litte tired). We've bought our first home (and moved), taken a trip to Europe for a month, seen LivingRoom grow from 1 to 3 groups, been involved in marrying more couples that I can count, transitioned from being a theological student/paid minister/church planter to being a small business owner who overseas a church etc.

As I look at 2006 I do so with a little fear and trembling. There are many new things ahead of us both in work and personal life. I'm looking forward to having a little time in the coming weeks to do a little thinking and planning for the coming year and hope to share more of where we'll be heading once I've done that.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas and a good New Year in a week.

Christmas at LivingRoom

22 December, 2005 7:00 PM

This week at LivingRoom we had our Christmas celebration. The night was a good way to end the year.

Each of the three groups came prepared to lead the rest of us through a reflection/activity on Christmas. Our group focused in on Christmas Carols and had some discussion around what resonated (and didn't resonate) for us in a variety of carols. Another group brought a reflection on Christmas in the wider community and then looked at an acronym for the word Christmas (you can read it at Kitty's blog). The other group showed a visual presentation of images from around the world (places where many in that group have been traveling lately) with a reflection on Isaiah 61.

After that we had a thanksgiving time where we reflected upon the things we were thankful for in 2005 at LivingRoom.

Lastly we shared a Kris Kringle gift swap (I got an icecream shop voucher - wooooohoooooo!)

Now LivingRoom has a few weeks off as many are away for their Summer Holidays and the three groups are getting together in January as one larger group for some semi-social nights. We kick off again properly at the beginning of February.

Introducing 'A Dozen Steps'

10 December, 2005 10:09 PM

Many of you will know that I've joined with three other bloggers to start a blog network in the past few months by the name of b5media. In partnership with quite a few other bloggers we've launched over 50 blogs already on a wide range of topics. The latest one to launch is one I'm very excited about. It's called A Dozen Steps and is a blog about 12 step recovery programs written by Anne Wayman.

This is the type of blog topic that I'd like to see added in numbers to b5 - a blog that has the potential to bring life to those strugging with the issues that it faces. If you know anyone that you think might benefit from Anne's wisdom and encouragement feel free to pass the URL along to them.

Rediscovering the Little Things of Life

7 December, 2005 6:04 PM

When I was in my late teens I scrimped and saved every dollar I earned from my job down at the local supermarket stacking shelves (I liked to call myself a 'shelf technicial') to buy my first SLR camera. This is back in the early 90's before the rise of the digital camera.

I bought myself a Minolta 7000i - a trusty mid range camera which I soon become inseperable from.

I never really had any formal photography training but due to practice became reasonably good at using it - to the point where many of my friends got me to do the photos at their weddings.

Unfortunately due to the busy nature of life and a period where I found it difficult to afford to buy film and pay for processing I slowly let my photography slip.

Of course I took the camera on holidays and overseas trips in more recent years but day to day life became too crowded.

The past couple of months I've realised that I needed to find more 'me time' in what has become quite a busy life.

More specifically I've felt the need to find more 'creative me time'. As a result I've done a number of new things (for instance I started a vegetable patch in our new backyard) but along side the new I've also rekindled the old buy buying myself a new digital SLR. Once again I scrimped and saved my allowance (V and I work on a system where we get a little money each month to spend on what we like (I save mine, she spends it quickly... but well). My purchase was a new Canon.

Since this time I've gradually put more time aside to reaquaint myself with words like aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc.

I'm totally loving it. Friends have started asking me to take photos for them again (now its of their babies..... how times change) and I'm finding myself thinking about road trips to scenic places again.

I'm particularly enjoying honing in on the little things around me. Whereas I used to spend a lot of time looking for grand vistas and scenes - now I'm loving zooming in on the smaller often unnoticed aspects of life.

I've enjoyed it so much that yesterday I placed an order for a purpose built macro lens which should come in time for Christmas and a trip V and I have planed for the beach between Boxing Day and New Years Day.

In them mean time I've been using my current lenses to zoom in nice and close to the world around me - like this shot of a bee in our backyard today.

It's by no means the perfect shot but boy was it fun to follow this little critter around today. There is something so theraputic and almost meditative in it that I feel like a little bit of me that I allowed to die has come back to life again.

More photos over at my flickr account if you're interested. I've decided not to post too many at this point and no pictures of the people in my life, but there are a few shots that I've enjoyed taking.