23 November 2008

Getting real close to Jesus

Today Clare made her first Holy Communion.
We have been working up to this for the last few months. I have been part of the parish team who taught all the children wishing to have their first Confession and Communion. Clare has joined me in all the lessons, which was some special "time with Dad" time.
The parish has a great programme whereby the children attend the classes with at least one of their parents. We know that it is really important for the parents to learn what we are teaching as much as we want the children to learn as well. After all, we only are able to share the faith with them for the 6 lessons, their responsibility is to pass on the faith full time.
The trick is to pass on the fundamentals of the Faith in a manner which the children can understand but also opens up the Faith to the adults.
For example, Clare asked me, "Why is Jesus fully God and fully man?" Good question. We then went through salvation history where God made a deal (covenant) with Man from Adam (a couple), Noah (a family), Abraham (a tribe), Moses (a people) and David (a Kingdom) and each time the human side of the deal was broken. But God still had to make a binding deal with Man so we could get back with him after the Failure of the first Man, Adam.
So Jesus became fully Man, while still being fully God. Therefore he was able to uphold both ends of the agreement and we were able to get past the impasse of fallen Man.
That made sense and Clare was OK.
It was fun teaching the children. My method of teaching is very much question and answer format, getting the children to think about what we are discussing. And I am the type of teacher that catches napping students by asking them for an answer using their name.
One question I asked the children was '"How do you know you have a soul?"
No one knew how to answer. So we went through our material senses - sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
"Can you use these senses with anything at all?" I asked.
"Sure!" was the reply.
"Ok. Where are you?" I asked.
They all pointed.
"No, that's your nose. No that's your cheek. No that's your belly button."
The children looked perplexed. Where were they?
"If you chopped off your leg, where are you then? In fact, your whole body you call YOUR body. So YOU must be somewhere that you can't get at with your material senses, but obviously you are here because we are talking to each other. So you must be more than just the material bit. You are body AND soul."
So after all this Clare had her special day. She wore a very fancy white dress (as you can see) and sat in a special seat right at the front of the pews during the Mass. Rose had a special red dress so she could enjoy the day too. Clare has been so excited she would inform us each day for the last two weeks how many days were left until her First Communion.

8 November 2008

DMC Bankrupt - not long to go ...

The administrators of DMC have announced that they will extend the deathwatch by 4 months.  The other two parts of DMC have been dismantled and sold off.  The time for potential buyers to put in their bids has been extended to 21 November, and the final decision is deferred to 5 March 2009.

Basically the levels of debt prior to this period of administration has compromised the chances of DMC coming out as an operating entity.

The same issues that were in existence at the start of administration that I mentioned before are still in place, but now you can add a likely downturn in the market as well.  So if the business has high levels of debt, a downturn in trading terms (via Exchange Rate differences), a downturn in the market (less sales) and trust in the company reduced by the troubles in the company the chance of coming through alive are low.
This will cause a huge change in the Cross Stitch market, especially considering a huge portion of the kits come standard with DMC colours and coding.  Also, many non DMC threads are still based on DMC dyed threads and blank/white stock.

The photo is a fine hangman's noose in DMC colour 316.

3 November 2008

A Model Son in Law

I received a phone call from a lady in our Parish when I was working away from home a few weeks ago. This lady began to explain to me how she was organising a fundraiser to provide funds for maintenance of the parish church. She thought a Fashion show would be a good idea and spent about 20 minutes building up to the question, "Will you be one of the models?"
I could see this coming and said, "Sure. Are you desperate for suitable volunteers?"
She breathed a sigh of relief and said she would be in touch for the fitting and other details.
I immediately emailed Lana with what was happening. About half way into the email I included a photo of me using my webcam looking very "Model-ish" and the comment "Stop laughing!"  (The picture above is me in "Model mode")
I was right! She was laughing very much and so was Ariel who was looking over her shoulder.
About a week or so later our neighbour who works with a fellow parishioner was told he was going to the store to pick up some clothes.
"Don't you have enough clothes?" she asked.
"No. I am in a fashion show. With David."
"David?" she asked.
"Yeah, David your neighbour."
A picture came into her head of me doing the model thing and she began laughing and had to take her break. She figured it was all a joke until she visited Lana who confirmed it all.
That weekend Lana's Mum asked Lana, "How's my model son in law going?"
Friends that visit us each week also were amused and wanted to come, too.
All up I ended up with a support team of 14 people. And Lana secretly made up little flags with "David" on them to wave when I came out to show the fine clothes.
The night finally arrived and the first outfit was casual. The children couldn't remember me in shorts and flip-flops/thongs - it was a sight to see. The white legs certainly were impressive.
I didn't know about the little "David" flags until I first came out and saw a wave of flags waving.
The next outfit was smart casual and the third was a "James Bond" style outfit - Tuxedo, with white shirt and bow tie. A suitable "Oooh" was heard when I walked out. Now that was more like it.
The last outfit was a winter sporting outfit with beanie and it was very hot - but also something I never normally wear. The children thought it was all great fun seeing Dad dress up.
The Fund raiser went very well and over $2,000 was raised to assist in Church maintenance. And I am left with the seemingly never ending "supportive" comments relating to my very fashionable modelling career.