Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We enjoy using this "Bible Stories to Read" book by Rod and Staff, with accompanying colouring book available in New Zealand from Creaky Corner. After reading a story from this book we read the account from the ACTUAL Bible - King James Version.

Mr Five Year old was listening to Mummy read the story of Samson.

Being five, he is going through that rather grizzly stage where little boys like all the gruesome details of history.

He was rather intrigued by the Philistines taking out Samson's eyes.

"Argh!" he said greatly horrified and interested at the same time. "Those terrible Philistines!"

Later on, I was wondering how much of the story he remembered.

Mummy: "Who was the story about that we read earlier?"

Mr Five: "Samson."

Mummy: "And what happened?"

Mr Five: "They took his eyes out."

Mummy: "Who took his eyes out?"

Mr Five: "Um ... ah .... " (look of intense concentration on his face ....) " ... ah ... " (a sudden smile and eyes sparkling " The Philistyrenes!"

Clever boy.

The Mummalady

Sunday, September 26, 2010


There is something very satisfying about using crayons.

Coloured pencils are neat and tidy, felt pens are dense and often messy (especially if you are 2 years old) - but crayons are soft, responsive, versatile and smell good! Especially Honey Sticks crayons made from beeswax!

A small child does well to have only a few colours of a good quality, and a shallow tray to put the crayons into. Teach your child to respect all art equipment, and to put it away when finished.

Borrow some books from the library on crayon work - or art with pastels - to give you some ideas if the children are looking to you for help.

And have a go yourself!

Happy crayoning.

The Mummalady

Friday, September 24, 2010


As mentioned previously, our family love our reading aloud sessions.

But its sometimes a problem to keep the little ones quiet when we read aloud.


Mummy has devised the following scheme.

Take some shoe boxes.

Put stickers on the boxes (we have two boys using this system at the moment so we have 1A 1B, 2A 2B, 3A 3B etc)

Put a collection of toys in them (1A may have three wooden blocks, a car, a tractor, a small doll; 1B may have some polished stones, a wooden bowl, a basket, a silk scarf, a small boat ... )

It goes without saying that we DO NOT put these type of things in our boxes - whistles, drums, clicky cars ... although some children have a knack of making ANY toy noisy! If that is the case, just keep training. :o)

Store the boxes in order.

When reading time comes put a blanket down for each child (not touching each other!) and say "Blanket time!!"

One child is the "A" child.

The other child is the "B" child.

"A" child gets box 1A

"B" child gets box 1B

They sit nicely on their blanket, and wait while Mummy puts the boxes down.

Mummy gets comfy and says "You may open your boxes".

Mummy reads, the other children draw, colour etc and the little boys play with the toys in their boxes.

When "A" child has been through all the "A" boxes (we have eight) he becomes the "B" child, and goes through all the "B" boxes.

The boxes do not come out unless we are reading, so the toys stay special.

The children also have a pillow or cushion on their blanket, so if they don't want to play with the toys they can cozy down and just listen to the story.

The Mummalady


When our children were around 8 months old, till they're about 2, they've always liked the game where you carefully put the rings onto a post.

In the past we've had plastic ones that get broken.

But putting my "natural" thinking cap on I came up with this alternative which has been fun for everyone!

I found a "coffee mug tree" and asked a handy passing saw-user (one of the big boys) to saw the sticking out bits off.

And now when we do our op-shopping we are on the lookout for any sort of wooden rings: curtain rings, or napkin rings etc. Quite hard to find, but exciting when we find them.

The Mummalady


That's right - our hen is the size of a dog!

Sometimes you can't believe everything you read.

Sometimes you can't believe everything you see.

In this case, both my words and photograph are truth.

But a wise reader will use DISCERNMENT and, hopefully INTELLIGENCE in processing the information I have shared here: that our hen is, in fact, as big as a dog.

This reminds me of the importance of teaching our children to be THINKERS!

With a sense of humour too - very helpful :o)

The Mummalady

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Maths doesn't give me a headache any more!

When I was in school "maths" was something I didn't understand.

Well - sometimes I understood it briefly, but as soon as I got home and looked blankly at the page of questions I doubted that I had any intelligence at all!!

I was blessed to have a Dad who worked through my homework with me, and made it a bit more understandable.

Right now our oldest two are doing maths that is REALLY beyond me - but that's fine - Math-U-See has a DVD where kind (and funny) Mr Demme explains each new concept. And best of all - Daddy is overseeing the boys maths!!!!

So I get to play fun games with the smalls at maths time.

"If I have 16 walnuts, and I wanted to divide them up equally into the four compartments of this wooden tray - how many walnuts would I have in each compartment?"

The Mummalady

Friday, September 10, 2010


It was time for Mummy to do some art!

Inspired by a wonderful post by Harmony Art Mom - I had a go at the same sort of effect using our new block crayons.

These crayons smell wonderful (they are beeswax) and can be used in so many lovely ways.

First I did the background colour using the sides of the crayons, then doodled around with some spirals and flowers.

Little girl did one too.

Then, while I was cooking tea and seeing to little boys all at the same time I ruled lines on the back of the picture. Well, I tried to rule the lines, but got it all wrong and had to re-rule them!!

Then I cut the picture into little pieces.

NOTE: This is not the same as when our 5 year old cuts his artwork into little pieces! Those pieces normally end up on the floor/ in the bin / stuck to something - or being quietly chewed by the dog under the couch.

Because I was in a hurry (I usually am!) I didn't set the pieces out to make sure they looked good BEFORE I glued them. Setting them out is a good idea. I just figured it would look ok as long as I didn't have lots of the same colour together. :o)

The Mummalady


It is so much fun now that our little girl is getting older!

She was very excited to make bread this week, and she did most of the work.

Of course it wasn't really "work" it was just Great Fun.

We started mixing the bread in our cake mixer with dough hooks, but eventually had to get it out and knead by hand as the recipe called for 6 cups of flour and we knew our little mixer would not be happy trying to mix that amount!

Kneading was made MUCH easier by using this lovely kneading board that Daddy made for us. And you can see that Little Girl is using the table Daddy made too - it's far more pleasant and more efficient for children to have sturdy, workable tools to suit their size.

Here's a close-up of our lovely kneading board - it is excellent for rolling pastry and biscuit dough out too.

If you would like one, and are not able to make one yourself we will be selling these in our business, Willow Cottage, very soon!

After I took the photo above I realised that now the world can see we have no cupboard doors and drawer fronts in our kitchen!! But we are blessed to have a kitchen. :o) So who needs cupboard doors!

The smaller loaf was completely gone by the end of afternoon tea - the boys loved it!

We saved the larger loaf to show Daddy, and enjoyed it with jam after tea.

The Mummalady