noah's arkOur church hosted a wonderful "Kid's Church" event this morning.  Rather than being an adult-oriented worship service, the whole service was done for the kids.  After some opening worship songs with the kids invited to the front to sing, dance, and clap, the kids went to the craft tables set up at the back of the church where the adults helped them create animal masks.  Donning the masks the kids returned to the front of the church to participate in the telling of the story of Noah's Ark.

noah's arkPastor Mike (as Noah) and a few other adults did the narrating from a cute, well-written script, along with help from some puppeteers which included Peter.  There were more kids than they had masks for (heaps of visitors!), but all of them (the animals) did fit in the ark when called in by Pastor Mike (see Karl and Dane both passing in front of Noah in the photo).

At the end, Peter pulled the string and the rainbow which was sewn by Lanette unraveled from above, and Pastor Mike told the kids about how God keeps His promises. (Notice the "Noah's Ark" stain glass window at top right in the photo.)





One night we where invited to the Rathjens and Mr. Rathjen is our princibal.  At there house we played on their play station and played footy and I won against Karl 21 to 10 and we had pumpkin sup and it was good. We stayed up intill 12:00 am.

I really get a kick out of the greetings I get from my junior school classes.  The audio clip below is of the response I get when I greet my class with "Good Morning" (or Good Afternoon).



This was from one of my Year 1 classes.  If you didn't catch the words, it's "Good morning, Mr. Schu-ma-cha.  God bless you. Shooby-dooby-doo do wha!"

 

CruxThe night sky in Western Australia is totally unfamiliar to those of us from the Northern Hemisphere.  I find it a bit disorienting to not be able to look up and see the Big and Small Dippers and the North Star.  It's an almost daily reminder to me that we're a long ways from home.

In not too short of time here, I've mastered the locating of one constellation in the night sky.  It's the constellation Crux, or the Southern Cross, and it's the most easily found constellation in the Southern Hemisphere sky.  The early Portugeuse navigators saw the 4 bright stars that make up the Crux (pronounced "krucks") as a symbol of their faith.

The Crux is visible year around in the evening Australian sky.  In May it's at its highest point in the sky and its axis points directly south.  Apparently it's even high enough at that time to be visible from Miami, Florida.

The "Emu in the Sky" in Aboriginal astronomy has its head nearby the Crux.  The Emu is an interesting example of an Aboriginal constellation that was not marked by stars but by dark clouds of dust in the Milky Way.

I've been using the really terrific Stellarium application to learn the location of the stars in the Australian night sky.  Stellarium is a free open source program for Windows, Mac and Linux that you can download from http://www.stellarium.org/.  Using snapshots from Stellarium, you can see the view of the night sky from here as we're seeing it tonight. See our view of  the sky from Perth tonight by clicking on one of these links:  with constellation labels or with constellation drawings

We're keeping up fairly well with our favourite baseball team - the Minnesota Twins.  With their recent streak of really great play, I broke down and paid the MLB.tv subscription in order to be able to watch any MLB game live or from the archives at a later time - all via the computer.  It's not quite the quality of watching on on normal TV, but it's close.  Because of morning game times for us, we haven't caught much of their play during the week.  But on a Saturday morning, it's fun to wake up and connect my computer to the TV screen and watch our Twins while we eat breakfast, and actually hear the Minnesota play-by-play team of Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven.  MLB.tv actually lets you divide the screen and watch 6 live games at a time, so we're keeping on eye on the Twins rivals as well.

We're following a Perth native, Luke Hughes, who's showing lots of promise in the Twins minor league system this year.  He was just invited to the MLB All Star weekend Future Stars game.  Luke is a friend of one of our college staff members, Patrick, who played six years in AA ball in the states (after attending Concordia College - Seward) and still plays ball at the highest level in Western Australia.  Patrick will be helpful in getting our boys into baseball when the summer season starts up in October.

Here's our three favourite Twins bobbleheads...

Peter   Karl   Dane

Perth CBD at Night from across the Swan River. 7 July 2008

 

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After attending church down at the Mandurah/Halls Head campus 30 minutes south of our house, we stopped by the beach near Halls Head.  The waves were breaking hard on the rocky shoreline.  Watching the repetitions of the waves can be mesmerising.  View a map of where these videos were taken from here.

After attending church down at the Mandurah/Halls Head campus 30 minutes south of our house, we stopped by the beach near Halls Head.  The waves were breaking hard on the rocky shoreline.  Watching the repetitions of the waves can be mesmerising.  View a map of where these videos were taken from here.

After attending church down at the Mandurah/Halls Head campus 30 minutes south of our house, we stopped by the beach near Halls Head.  The waves were breaking hard on the rocky shoreline.  Watching the repetitions of the waves can be mesmerising.  View a map of where these videos were taken from here.

After attending church down at the Mandurah/Halls Head campus 30 minutes south of our house, we stopped by the beach near Halls Head.  The waves were breaking hard on the rocky shoreline.  Watching the repetitions of the waves can be mesmerising.  View a map of where these videos were taken from here.

After attending church down at the Mandurah/Halls Head campus 30 minutes south of our house, we stopped by the beach near Halls Head.  The waves were breaking hard on the rocky shoreline.  Watching the repetitions of the waves can be mesmerising.  View a map of where these videos were taken from here.

Looking south on the Warnbro Sound beach path near our house. 11 July 2008

 

Click on the image to view full size

Peter & RainbowIt seems we're seeing rainbows down here much more frequently than we would normally see them back home in Minnesota.  Lanette and I were talking about this today.  We were remarking about how often we each could say we had seen rainbows multiple times in a day.  I haven't been counting, but it seems like I've been seeing rainbows 2 days a week on average.  The photo here is of Peter.  We had just quickly run off late in the afternoon to watch the surfers at Secret Harbour.  As a brief rainstorm approached, we saw a beautiful rainbow, and even the hint of a double rainbow for a moment.

But we can't call this the Rainbow Coast because that nickname is already taken.  The south-facing coast of Western Australia is known as the Rainbow Coast.  They claim they're at just the right latitude (42°S) for the prime angle of the sun to cast frequent rainbows on them, especially in winter.