what can I say?

I start off well then slide down the slippery slope of “I’ll do it later” and of course later never comes. However as I want to continue this for some weird reason of my own I will add into my current session.

A cancer scare this past few weeks with a great diagnosis – benign, made me realise that my busy life just has to fit in time to keep my writing going. A .4 teaching load has just about brought me to my knees and that does not include full time Seminary teaching. Add in a dachshund of uncertain temper who is determined that his needs are to be met and my life flows over with demands.

However there are some great ‘gems of life’ in among all this, friends who help care for the hound and me, grandchildren who make my life a joy, learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and living where I do at the beach is the ‘balm of Gilead’ I need.


My son Nicholas Shaw (Houston, Texas) asked me to comment on how members ministering to me has helped my life. My first experience of ministering was the efforts by Chris Barnard and his wife Merran, Chris was the Sandy Bay Branch missionary leader and his wife was serving in the Primary (children’s) organisation. This was for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tasmania.

I was a married non member with a little 3 year old daughter, Samantha, and a husband serving in the Australian military forces. He was away on exercises and further training on the Australian mainland at the time. Samantha and I were new move ins to Tasmania as George had been posted to Hobart following the collapse of the Derwent Bridge.His role was to operate the landing barges taking motorised civilian vehicles and emergency vehicles across the Derwent river to save a 2 hour trip to Bridgewater and back down to Hobart from Rosny. Hobart and Rosny faced each other on opposite sides of the deep and fast flowing Derwent river; the trip by barges took approximately 20 minutes plus loading and unloading.

Chris came into our lives the first time I attended church at Sandy Bay Branch, he taught the Gospel Essentials class and made sure I knew enough about the Sacrament service to understand it. Merran took Sam under her care, introduced her to her children and inserted her into the Primary program. Sam enjoyed that experience having only me on weekends and early years child care of a morning to experience play with other children.

The Barnard’s continued to fellowship with us  inviting us to their home on Mount Wellington, in winter conditions which included snow; and unheard of activity for someone from northern NSW/Queensland border regions. Chris made sure to challenge me to read the Book of Mormon – in total; in exasperation one Sunday afternoon he told me to read it as a history book and I remember replying that I couldn’t as it wasn’t just history but God’s word to us. Even then I knew this was no light weight book.

On another occasion in a Sunday School class Chris told the other investigators that I knew this was the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I was already a member just not yet baptised. I remember looking at him and recognising that I had made a decision without formally identifying it to myself.

Events passed and I decided I wanted to be baptised, the missionary Elders asked who I wanted to do this and after awhile I stated that it was to be Chris Barnard, Brother Barnard, and so on the 16th June 1977 I was. Chris continued to work with my husband and that was a trying affair for all of us, but he ever gave up. On the Saturday before Stake conference at a Leadership meeting, Chris grabbed me in a big ‘bear hug’, and said “congratulations I hear George is to be baptised after Stake conference”. I must have looked a little shocked because he hugged me again and said, “it’s alright kid, it will happen you know”, and it did.

From then on we became, and remain close friends. Both Chris and Merran have lead us in our desire to attend the New Zealand Temple; Chris was my driver to hospital when I went into child labor for 3 of my children starting from Nicholas. In fact sometimes the hospital got George and Chris mixed up as which one was my husband. We preceded them in moving to the mainland, and we met up twice on our travels from the Northern Territory via Queensland to New South Wales.  About a 4000 km trip of meting up and going on as if we lived down the street. On one trip we met them in a Brisbane hospital where Merran was recovering from a venomous spider bite. Chris and George administer to her again and promised her that she would recover, as the Lord saw fit.

They preceded us in serving a senior couple mission, the Barnard’s to Indonesia, the Shaw’s to Malaysia. We considered them our first mission trainers as we corresponded by email from the time they went and when they visited us in Kuala Lumpur on ours. They went on to serve another mission in Indonesia.

Both ministered to my late husband George while he was in the Darwin hospice for 2 weeks, and to me as I went through the mourning process of loosing my best friend from this earthly life. We continue to meet up when ever our travels bring us near, that means across the continent of Australia!!!! and they will be with is when we scatter some of George’s ashes on Freycinet Peninsula,Tasmania in January 2019. We catch up via social media and phone calls/texts, on a regular basis and they arrive here in October for a holiday and ‘old people having fun activities’.

Ministering – its what you do without thinking about it, to love, care for and nurture others at all their times of their and your life.

PS. I still want some of Chris’ batik hand painted shirts once he joins George in the spirit ministering world ,to create a quilt with. It will hang along side George’s T shirt quilt.

My second laptop in 2 months!

Well the latest HP died of hard disc failure so the next best in store was this Lenovo idea pad 510. All my data will now belong to the Chinese secret ‘squirrels’ so that by the time I finally arrive to visit or teach there I will be well known. Only joking everyone. I must admit it is a larger screen and lap top so it makes for easier reading/working, that is if I finally load everything and find my way around it.

Uni starts next Monday so on with the new and upgrading my brain in 2017.

‘the unfolding of me’

On Saturday the 10th December I flew over from Adelaide to Perth for an extended holiday with Thea,Stew and ‘their patch work’ family. It has been wonderful with some stormy patches of “my way is the best way of doing something”, yet through all the ‘argy-bargy’ of Christmas, New Year , job loss, new house build finalising, summer school holidays etc we have gotten along very well. OK so I found myself drinking far too much diet coke vanilla and eating M and Ms.

Despite this I found myself once again wrestling with the Lord about what he can see for me and what I can see and want for me. He’s correct 100% of the time, I get that. However on a warm pre -Christmas day I found myself sitting on a beach at Bouvard, watching Thea and Stew setting crab pots out in the estuary while granddaughters and their friends tried to catch crabs in plant baskets nailed to poles by screaming and leaping in the air. I thought it was a fascinating and new way of crab catching, deafen them before scooping then up into the buckets they were towing.

It was then that as I looked across the water that I realised that I wanted to live here and that it was alright to do so, that the ‘footprint of George Shaw’ now lay lightly upon my soul and the land.I then set out to look at places for rent and talk to old colleagues about employment opportunities here in Education. I have wrestled with myself overt his and come to the conclusion that I need to make a decision and then take it to the Lord and wait on his answer as I move ahead with creating a new stage of my life.20161223_105619

I don’t fear living alone, in fact I think that this stage is part of my unfolding, a necessary ‘Aunty Peg’ phase of independence and making my way in life. Little did I know that when I was flying over what was to befall me. How was I to know that the combination of sea, water ways, WA plants and people was to find their way into my soul.

Scaffolding Clipboard

ESL Deverell

“Solving a problem simply means representing it so as to make the solution transparent.” – H.A. Simon

My professor made the following statement that gave me pause for thought. “Scaffolding is teaching. Teaching is scaffolding”.

I found it remarkable that she would find it conceptually useful enough to make such a de-facto statement, and it was my cue to researching scaffolding further.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article:

Instructional scaffolding is a learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning. Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student achieve his/her learning goals (Sawyer, 2006)…The best and most effective use of instructional scaffolding helps the learner figure out the task at hand on their own. It is best to think of the use of instructional scaffolding in an effective…

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A vision about me.

Mid week while in a sleep/wakefulness moment I dream pt about myself and a person who had decided to make me her enemy. We were outside the Albury Chapel in our cars and then standing beside them, she said something and my reply was, and this I remember quite clearly, though I paraphrase it 4 days later. “I know who I am, and I know who this church belongs to, and it is the Savior. You cannot move me or get me to be what you were trying to manipulate me into being, I know who I am and I know who my Savior is. What has gone before is now gone there is no carry on as if nothing has happened, I know who I am” I woke about this time and the dream/vision was so strong that it has stayed with me. I told President Clacy today about it as I know I can trust him. We both recognised that I have ‘found myself and my identity again after the period nursing George and going through bereavement for his loss to me. But now I am moving, and I feel quite quickly towards who I want to be and who my Father in Heaven wants me to be, to help his children on this earth. I have a loving, kind heart and on occasions it overflows with love for my fellow brothers and sisters. I want them to have what I have, a deep and abiding knowledge of who we are and of our Heavenly parents and the role our Savior plays in this ‘plan of happiness’ we are in on earth.