Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Did we ever report back to you with our "Bug Town" project?

As a reminder, here is the "Bug Hilton" that we saw at EcoFest.

And HERE is OUR version:

Not quite as tidy, but extremely habitable for lots of lovely bugs nevertheless.

We have been careful not to touch it since making it, but we're watching keenly to see what emerges.

The Mummalady


We have the BEST toys for our children!

Little Baby Muffin Man loves to watch the clothes going around. I wonder what he's thinking.

The Mummalady


A wise mother-of-many once told me that if we have well-meaning friends and relations then we should de-clutter EVERY WEEK!

We had left it a bit long I think.

I encourage everyone to have a really good mental attitude towards STUFF. Some stuff is good and useful and helpful. Other stuff is annoying, cluttering and hard work!

We like "living with less" but we still have a lot of STUFF. But an ecletic home educating mummy will find that it comes with the territory. It's great to have books, and paper, fabric and art supplies ... we need to keep them tidy, USE the art equipment instead of hoarding it, and constantly cull out the rubbish.

The old 3-box system works beautifully for de-cluttering. One box for keeps, one for give-aways and one for throw aways.

The give-away boxes can be taken to the Re-Use shop, or charity shop on your next trip out.

Like we did.

And we felt so much lighter on the way home. :o)

The Mummalady

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Imagine there is a man you admire for his intellect and his eloquence – Professor Clement Peacefilledman. He is a great scientific mind, a speaker, a debater, a well of knowledge and inventions. His research into specific aspects of natural health show him to be extremely industrious and blessed. He is a man of God, steeped in the word and led by the spirit.

You have followed The Professor's studies, books and lectures for many years and agreed with all he says, and been blessed greatly by his works.

You have an opportunity one day to meet The Professor!

His personal assistant of 10 years has contacted you and asked you to follow them around for the day, helping to set up a conference in this area. Of course you leap at the chance and spend much time in mental and physical preparation.

The day comes. You meet the assistant, a capable, friendly man who obviously admires The Professor. The gentle, reverent way he speaks about him shows his love and respect.

The assistant directs you to your first task. Your mind is on the job so you don't get it wrong, but your head is spinning as you await you first meeting with the Professor.

As you work in the busy auditorium, helping to set up the stage you turn and see The Professor. He is sitting in the front row of the auditorium listening to his assistant with a look of calm confidence, smiling and nodding. His assistant is respectful and relaxed, going through a long page of instructions, with a few questions here and there – never addressing The Professor by his given name - Clement – always “Sir”. The assistant quickly notes down any thoughts The Professor may share, and any questions or requests. The assistant stands and smiles and thanks The Professor, as he goes to work on that list.

Maybe this is your chance to meet The Professor? You start down the steps from the stage, but you notice that The Professor has dropped to his knees and is deep in prayer.

Realising that this is not your appointed time to meet The Professor you tip-toe back up the stairs but are SHOCKED to hear a screech ring out across the auditorium:

CLEMENT! Have you fed your budgie yet? I can hear the thing halfway across the carpark from that cramped little campervan. I told you we should have hired the six-berth. My neck is killing me from sleeping in that tiny bed. You'd think by now someone would have realised that you can't possibly be relied upon to make a decision on those sort of things. Mind you, I suppose I'm the bigger fool – married to you for 40 years and still letting you make the arrangements. And here's me giving up this whole week to travel with you and attend these lectures which I've heard hundreds of time when I'd rather be at my Women's Retreat. The speaker this year was someone I SPECIFICALLY wanted to hear and she won't be back in New Zealand for another two years.”

As the shouting gets closer you see a tiny little woman striding down the aisle of the auditorium, waving an umbrella and holding a book.

And you went and forgot these didn't you. Ha! It was only 20 minutes ago you said you'd need an umbrella today for that bit in your talk. My, my. What you'd do without me I just don't know. And I don't suppose you've had your tablets today have you? Humph ... Just as I thought, here you are then. I saw some of the bottles were open on the bench - but you'd got distracted half-way through hadn't you. So I don't suppose you can remember which ones you HAVE taken? Can you? Hmmm? Here you are then. Yes, yes I've got a bottle of water for you ...”

The Professor, by this time, has risen from his knees and is standing, head hanging, mumbling something and putting out his hand for his umbrella, book and tablets.

It's too hard to watch. You turn and walk away.

How could she? Doesn't she realise what a wonderful man he is? How blessed? How full of the spirit. Filled with wisdom and using his gifts for the glory of God?

Doesn't she see?

Eph 5:33 ... and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The Mummalady

Friday, November 19, 2010


Winter was over, it was spring for a week or so and now suddenly it's summer!

Poppy has shed her winter coat and looking decidedly thinner. The photo above was taken while she was still trying to get rid of all that beautiful natural insulation.

We haven't had rain for a while and I believe that is causing a lot of problems in the farming and horticultural world. Our grass is looking very thin and whispy whereas normally we have thick fat green blades this time of year.

Might be having to buy water this year! We know the Lord will provide though - whether he gives us rain, or money to buy water. According to His perfect will.

The Mummalady


During this time of intensive research for the book our family is writing on Home Education, I am able to revisit lots of old "friends".

One of these is "Teaching the Trivium" by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn.

Just thought I would share a few portions as time permits.

Here's the first one:

... If there were some simple but accurate diagnostic test to assess whether the mind is physically ready, we might recommend them. As it is, the best test we know of on the market is the parental assessment - the homeschool hunch - a carefully designed method whereby mom and dad, after working with the child, come to agree, "yep, he's ready for this," or "Nope, we're going a bit fast, we'll hold back a little here." Please notice that the parent is being trained through his process as much as the child. We suspect this was the original design.

From Chapter 10 - page 290
Used with permission from the Bluedorns

In New Zealand "Teaching the Trivium" is available from Hefnet on sella or trademe

The Mummalady

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's not that we're afraid the potatoes will escape!

We need to keep our potatoes safe from our chooks.

Since we let our chickens go free-range we are having so much fun. It's a much healthier idea to let the chickens go free, but pen the vegetables in.

This potato cage was made from bits and pieces around the place, some compost we'd made - some compost that wasn't ready yet, and some soil.

After constructing it we left it open on one side and the chickens helped themselves to any goodies they wanted, scratched it around, spread it, composted it ...

Then the yucky little doggie came trotting out happily with a mouthful of something mucky ...

We will put the potatoes in the soil today, under the compost.

As the plants grow we will throw hay onto them to encourage more growth.

I will take some more photos later in the season to show how this experiment is working!

The Mummalady

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


To some people it might just look like some bits of cardboard with numbers on them ...

But to us, this is a valuable game that teaches and reinforces:

- number recognition

- taking turns

- following instructions

- making neat piles of cards

- understanding rules

- matching numbers

- waiting patiently while other people learn

- laughing together

- congratulating each other

- waiting till other people have finished the game before starting another.

Not just a few bits of cardboard.

The Mummalady