Monday, October 26, 2009


There's this fake and dangerous thing going on in the world.

People are PRAISING others' achievements.

The guy with the flash car, the money, the big house, the powerful job - he's praised for his achievements.

BUT what is his character?

I believe we should learn to naturally and comfortably praise our children's CHARACTER - often!

Scroll down the page on this site and print out the Character Qualities chart.

Actually, print out two.

Laminate them.

Put one on the fridge.

Put the other in the wall in the bathroom, or somewhere else that your family might read it.

Encourage the children to praise their siblings for good character qualities.

And if you are brave enough, seek God's help to humbly ask your husband or wife if they will gently point out the character traits that you are lacking in.

Then work on them :o)

The Mummalady

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This morning just before 8 o'clock I went into the children's room to see if our little girl was awake.

She was - had been for a while, and she was reading. Snuggled and warm and quiet.

Oh we LOVE home education!

If she was going to school she would have been rushed out of bed into the bathroom, got dressed, rushed through her breakfast, lunch packed into bag, into the car and off to school.

Then she could do her reading in a crowded, noisy classroom.

I am not sure how this child has learned to read so well. I remember the same thing happening twice before with the older boys!

We read a lot out loud.

Our children are "reading" books themselves, and having them read to them, almost from birth it seems. We love reading and we love books.

When this little girl was about 6 I realised she wasn't ready for formal reading lessons, so we left it. We still did lots of other good fun things, but there was no pressure for her to read. What's the point?

When she was about six-and-a-half she said that she REALLY wanted to read. We got the "Succeeding At Reading" book out and started at the beginning. She FLEW through the lessons.

She now loves to take a book to bed, and to read out loud to me during our special times together.

I know of other children who have learned to read, seemingly by themselves anywhere from age 4 to age 10.

There is no use in teaching a four month old how to crawl up stairs. They are not ready. They don't need that skill.

However, when a baby starts to crawl and one day comes to the stairs - then that's the sign that some "stair lessons" might be profitable! Or maybe a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs!

So back to the reading in bed - little girl finished the chapter, happily got out of bed, had her breakfast and now she is playing with her puppy while Mummy finishes on the computer. Then we will do our singing, and reading out loud ...

We are VERY grateful for home education.

If I can encourage or inspire anyone else to save their children from the school system it makes me very glad.


The Mummalady

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This afternoon I was able to put the meat in the oven to roast!

This evening I sat with the family at the table, and had a tiny plate of food in front of me!

When Daddy prayed we all held hands and our little 2 year old was beaming. Mummy was back!

It's been about 4 months since I was able to sit at the table with the others when they ate and not feel horribly sick.

I am rejoicing!

Must be halfway through now if I feel like this.

In a couple of weeks I will be VERY WELL!!!

"Morning" sickness (bad in the mornings, worse mid-afternoon and terrible in the evenings) is something I am used to, this is the sixth time. I have learned a little how to cope with it, but once or twice I found myself falling into the sin of self-pity while I have felt so bad.

That is the worst thing I can do. "Give thanks in all things". And so I do. :o)

I have a dear friend who does not have an appetite for food. That only happens to me when I have morning sickness and it's not pleasant at all.

Food, and taste buds are a wonderful gift from God. It's easy and awful to abuse the gift with gluttony - and that doesn't just mean eating THE WHOLE PACKET of chocolate biscuits. It means having four biscuits, when one or two would have been entirely sufficient. It's also awfully easy to abuse the gift by eating food that is over-processed, over-fatty, over-sweetened, over-flavoured, genetically-engineered, chemically treated ... what have I missed?

While we love to eat good organic food most of the time, we are still on a journey to get it right. We have a grain mill and make our baked goods (without or with very very little sugar) with our freshly ground wholegrain wheat, we are starting our vegetable garden up this year finally, the children have very little dairy - we substitute cow milk for Rice Milk, and I am always willing to research and learn how to take care of these precious children, and my darling husband better.

So all that has been very tricky while I have been sick.

But it's nearly over now. It was just a season, although it seemed long when I was in the middle of it :o)

If you are going through a trial I would encourage you to give thanks in all things. We don't need to understand WHY are going through this trial. We don't need to understand WHY we are giving thanks! But we give thanks, and the grace of God will surround us, encourage us and get us through.

The Mummalady

Friday, October 16, 2009


Hi followers and other interested dropper-inners.

New Zealand is currently in the middle of "NZ Book Month".

On the envelope of my bank statement I see "Kids, read NZ books and we could take you to Auckland Zoo and "Shortland Street" !

First up - kids can't read. Kids are young goats.

Secondly - Shortland Street (from my vague memories of it) is a New Zealand soap opera with adult themes, conflict and drama - not the sort of thing children need to be watching. So why would a child be excited about winning a trip to see the sets and meet the actors?

But most disturbing to me is the fact that I have done a little research into "Young Adult" fiction just recently - due to the fact that I have written (and am continually adding bits to!) a Young Adult fiction novel.

I was interested to see what other New Zealand authors were offering our youth.

And - by the way - Young Adult fiction is, apparently, read by 12 - 18 year olds.

A helpful librarian was ready to show me some recently published New Zealand Young Adult fiction books - but I stopped her and said "No fantasy." She hesitated a minute and said "Ok - right, that narrows it down quite a lot."

In the end I came home with five books for my initial read-through.

These five books were published from between 1999 and 2007.

None of them are books we would let our children read.

The first had a plot based on deception. It was very boring to slog through the story waiting for the character to be revealed as a fraud. None of the characters was particularly likeable, there was a lot of sneering and rudeness to each other. One out of ten for slightly humorous situations.

The second book might have been classed "edgy" or "gritty" - but even for an adult it was awful. Inapproriate relationships, crude language, dope smoking, suicide. Zero out of ten.

Third up - started out with historical interest went straight into foul language, inappropriate comments, moved into the occult with ghost speaking to our main character. Zero.

Fourth - Interesting setting, character finds a ring in a rockpool - when she puts it on she can't stop telling the truth even when it should be kept hidden. She finds a tarot card reader who helps her find out about the ring ... Occult. How easy for our children to be introduced to these things through books like these. Zero out of ten.

and the last one for this session - the main character had no redeeming qualities, she was snarky, self-centred, full of self-pity, moody, nasty to others, the other characters were shallow. A bit too wordy and descriptive for me - heaps of descriptive bits about estuary birds which I skipped over and I wouldn't think there would be a great number of young people who would read all that word for word. Near the end there is a potential for a plane crash, but main character saves the day - however it took 10 pages to describe the near crash and the safe landing. Another Zero I'd have to say.

Am I too hard to please?

Probably, but I only want the best for our children.

That's why our children don't read fiction from the public library.

We read a really good story the other day about a man who had a big army, but God told him there were too many, and to send the ones who didn't want to fight home. Well, in the end there weren't many men left - but the battle was won!

Let's be very choosy folks. VERY choosy.

The Mummalady

Friday, October 9, 2009


Before we had our fifth baby we started to learn about Infant Potty Training, or Nappy Free (Diaper Free for outside Aus and NZ!) or Elimination Communication.

Rather than me go into lengthy detail (my little girl is intent on designing and gathering things for her homeschool Pet and Hobby day entry, so time is limited for other less important issues like blogging!) I would like to point my readers to some interesting things I have read about this issue.

One of the first websites I found and then continually returned to is by a lady called Charndra in Australia. There is heaps of information here.

I've read a couple of books - and just recently found, on the Pearl's website, there is an audio by Shalom which you can listen to here.

Shalom's method is quite different to the others I have read about, and I wonder if it might have worked better with our last little man.

We were going great with nappy free till he was about 7 months when he started to protest loudly about it all, and we backed off a great deal.

He is now nearly 2 years old and we are starting training again, but we are not using a potty as we've learned that sitting to "eliminate" is an extremely unhealthy way do to things.

It is only in "civilized" cultures that people use a "porcelain throne", and it would seem that it's mainly in "civilized" society that people have "elimination" issues - from piles to colon cancer.

I would like to come back to these subjects for another post - but right now we are discussing the design and manufacture of a miniature chicken A-frame, garden shed made of iceblock sticks and other exciting things.

The Mummalady

Thursday, October 8, 2009


A very, very dear friend of mine spent a lot of time last year in hospital with her darling little fifth baby. He had multiple issues - and the strain on the family was more than they believed they could bear on their own.

When baby came home and family were all together again, the Mummy shared with me that the God had kept them in a "bubble" so they were able to survive without falling apart.

They had the opportunity to speak with, and share their faith with many people during this time.

After a few years of listening to many messages by Ray Comfort of Living Waters ministries, and since hearing how our friends shared their faith - we have been more conscious of opportunities to minister to others and share our faith as we are able.

Last week we bought some "Million Dollar Note" tracts from Living Waters NZ and yesterday I handed my first one out to a lady who works at our local shop. She was a Christian! I never knew that!

My next opportunity to share really hit me without warning (as they do).

The lady at the petrol station who was helping me fill our van with petrol (the smell of petrol is something that I would prefer not to inhale right now!) suddenly said to me "You have a lot of children."

I said "Yes!"

She had a lot of pain in her eyes as she said "What a terrible world to be bringing them into."

It transpired that she had a son of 26 who was murdered and she said "If I had my time again I would never have children - I would never bring them into this awful evil world."

I started to speak to her about the fact that yes - the world IS evil, but we don't have children FOR THE WORLD. We have our eyes on eternity.

We don't have children for our own pleasure - but the Lord blesses us by giving us a great deal of pleasure from our children. We have our children to honour and serve God.

And then she said to me "But will THEY survive the tribulation?"

Wow - it was certainly a very deep conversation to have, standing next to a petrol pump, while customers came and went all around us and she seemed oblivious to anything else but our conversation.

Afterwards I was stunned that I had the right words to say to her - I shouldn't have been. God has promised that he will give us the right words, at the right time.

From Luke 12: 11 and 12. " ... , do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour, what you ought to say."

Words from sermons came flooding back to me, and God's messages from His word about the manna in the dessert, and Paul's words to the churches and more.

I guess that having our sixth baby is putting us out there - not quite living in a glass house - but people know that something about us is different, just by looking at us.

And I am excited about the next opportunity that God gives us to share.

The Mummalady

Monday, October 5, 2009


In the last few weeks I've been thinking and researching about web pages and auto responders and web hosts and membership lists and all kinds of things.

My head was spinning at first, I had no idea what was what - well, ok, I knew what a web page was.

I've been listening to a lot of Cindy Rushton's mp3 messages, and I am inspired to (as she says) "step up to the call".

I know I am a writer (a writer is "Someone Who Writes") and I know I have things to say (rather too much at times).

I understand that being able to write is a gift, and I desire to use this gift for the glory of God.

And so, things have been brewing quietly here and I find myself now in need of some technological knowledge.

I guess it's good for us to go over our heads once in a while and try and learn something new. It reminds us how the children must feel when faced with the unknown.

This morning I was talking to my middle ones (4 and 7) about the character trail of being orderly. I nearly laughed out loud when I looked at the face of my sweet little 4 year old. He was straining to understand, but he didn't get it at all! Darling boy. I came at it from another half a dozen angles and at last the light turned on and he completely got it and we sang a tune I'd hastily arranged for 1 Cor 14:40.

It also reminds us to be patient with ANYONE we come across who doesn't understand what we are talking about (I'm thinking specifically of some husband/wife conversation where one just doesn't understand the other!).

The Mummalady

Friday, October 2, 2009


Dear Readers

We think about this a lot actually.

We invite things into our lives. We buy things: groceries, shoes, clothes, appliances, animals ... we're given things: toys, games, art equipment, tools - and everything that comes into our lives requires work.

We need to find a home for it - shoes go in the shoe cupboard (not under the deck); art equipment goes into to the library and used freely and lavishly (not saved for a rainy day!); toys are put into baskets and boxes (not left in the garden, or for Daddy to trip over at bedtime); the washing machine that won't fit into the old hole needs to wait till Daddy makes the hole bigger; food needs to be neatly stored in the pantry and fridge till it's consumed - and on the list goes.

And then we need to maintain these invitees: the dogs need their nails trimmed, coats brushed, cages cleaned, food purchased for them (and teeth taken out when their baby teeth stay firmly fixed in their mouths even after their adult teeth have come through); the washing machine needs its filter cleaned; the vacuum cleaner needs to be emptied and have ITS filter cleaned; shoes need to be kept clean and in PAIRS; containers that held food need to be washed when they are empty - and on and on and on that list goes.

And often, new things into our lives come with or become rubbish. Empty packets need to be thrown away - not everything can be recycled, bits break, paper and cardboard that have been scribbled arn't kept forever.

Most people have experienced the feeling of wanting to "dejunk" or "declutter". It's an amazing feeling and can leave you feeling very free and suddenly the house is lighter and larger!

But a battle goes on when you come across something that was either a gift (and you don't use it even though it was very nice) or something that you paid a lot of money for (but don't use now, or it is broken). And something inside us screams "YOU CAN'T GET RID OF THAT." But you know what? You can. If you don't you'll probably need to find a place for it - and maybe even continue to maintain it.

One of the most sneeky evil things that can creep into people's lives comes via the television. You may not even realise you are inviting it in. As soon as it gets switched on - you've invited it. And your children may be sitting there taking it all in, processing it and being damaged by it.

Speaking about television it reminds me of a song we sing around here:

Whatsoever things are true
Whatsoever things are honest
Whatsoever things are just
Whatsoever things are pure
Whatsoever things are lovely
Whatsoever things are of good report
If there be any virtue
and if there be any praise
think on these things.

That kind of rules out pretty much most if not ALL of the stuff on TV.

(The tune is one that I made up, but the words are Gods :o) - Philippians 4 verse 8)

So we try to think VERY carefully about inviting things into our lives. And it helps when we remind each other.

Whether it's something major like a swimming pool (yes please!) or a 12-seater van (OH YES PLEASE!), or a packet of cheese - we don't allow JUST ANYTHING in.

The Mummalady