Saturday, December 31, 2011


The local op-shop had a rack of four items of clothing for $1. I found a lovely striped skivvy there, washed it, cut it up and made this little guy for our little guy.

He loves him!

The Mummalady

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have one of my copies of "Created To Be His Helpmeet" out because I'm going to let a friend borrow it (the other copy is currently being borrowed by someone else - it's a VERY popular book).

I flicked through the book and saw this bit that I didn't remember but it was a timely reminder:

"God is not looking for happy women to make them into help meets for good men. He is looking for women willing to be true help meets to the men whom they married, so He can fill them full of joy."
Page 97

and then

"Ask God to help you know and appreciate your man. Pray that God will give you the wisdom and grace to share your man's dreams so it will always be you that he dreams about."
Page 98

The Mummalady

Monday, December 12, 2011


I've never been a particularly "cat" person, but our new kitten Charlie is so beautiful and wonderful.

Our oldest said "I know why you like him Mum".

Keen to hear his thoughts I said "Why is that?"

"Because he looks knitted - all home made and home spun."

He's right.

And it helps that Charlie is a little darlin'.

The Mummalady


Daddy made this beautiful recycled Rimu posting box for our littlest one. He loves it!

He likes to slide the lid on and off, he likes to post EVERYTHING through the biggest hole, or if he's feeling up to the challenge he will post the items through the most appropriate hole!

We regularly go around the house and find new things for him to post through the holes so the game has new challenges.

It's a wonderful toy that we cherish and will take care of so our grandchildren can play with it in years to come.

Let us know if you'd like a box like this, so you can collect beautiful things to post through the holes. :o)

The Mummalady

Friday, December 9, 2011


When we first started looking at the whole Christmas thing we went back to
the very beginning and found that actually it STARTED out being pagan, so
not surprising that it's been taken back by the pagans!

What we have found out is that some pagans had some sort of terrible festival
on the 25th of December, so the Catholic church came along and more or less
said "let's claim this date for our own, and tidy it up a bit, and pretend
it's a Christian thing."

Then they said "We know! Let's say that the 25th of December is the day we
celebrate Jesus' birth!"

If they had said "Let's call the 25th of December JACOB DAY or ISSAC MASS or JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY" (or something else) then people MAY have said "God has not said we should
celebrate this day - why are you creating this day?"

We don't know what real Bible-believing, God seeking Christians said back in those days, but the 25th of December turned out to be a real success (especially
amongst those SELLING things!!!!) and was taken up by most people.

Even to the extent that they ignored this warning from God:

"For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

Jeremiah 10:3 and 4

When we read this we looked at each other in surprise and wondered HOW we
could have missed it before!

I think the whole "The Real Reason For the Season" and "Let's give Christmas
back to Jesus" sort of thing is a smoke-screen really - it makes people feel
cross with The World for making Christmas so commercial and frenzied and
Santa orientated, and people don't see that the whole 25th of December
started out pagan, and then was created/changed by the Catholics who are a
very dangerous cult (we have just finished reading a historical fiction about John Wycliffe who was a man brave enough to teach God's pure, undefiled word in the face of persecution from the very powerful Roman Catholic church).

There are actually many reasons we were happy to stop being involved in
Christmas - one was the stress of presents, another was the children getting
too many things at once and having an appetite for more and more ... the
biggest one for me was because I was so excited by the lead-up to Christmas,
always have been ... and then on Christmas afternoon I feel very low, like
it's all over for another year and what's the point of even going on.
Well, not quite that depressed, but because I'd been so excited then I would
tend to fall rather flat and find it very hard to get going again.

We haven't had any celebration on the 25th of December for several years now.

This year we have made a count-down calendar marking off the days until
Daddy's holiday starts. He is home for three weeks (and has a list of jobs
to do which is about six weeks long!!!!).

We really feel that God does not want our family to celebrate Christmas, so
that is the bottom line. We ask God for His direction, His guidance and His
wisdom which is going to be FAR superior to our own wisdom! And we want to
obey his direction and live in the peace of his guidance.

The Mummalady

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Out for a drive in the country, we saw this fellow walking along the side of the road.

What a treat to see one actually walking! The children were amazed at the length of his legs.

We have a game called "Hedgehog" that your family might like to play.

First you make up a story with gaps in it.

i.e., "Mr Popple looked out of his ..... and saw that the next door .... was leaning heavily over the fence and threatening to drop on his shiny new ...."

Then you make a whole lot of cards with words (adjectives and nouns) on them such as "soggy toast" "rotten egg" "beautiful rose" "squeeky wheel" etc. Make sure you have a lot of cards that say "hedgehog". That's why the game is called Hedgehog.

To play: Hand out the word cards. Mummy or Daddy reads out the story, and when you come to a gap in the story have one of the players read out their first card. When you get to the next gap, the next player reads the words from their first card etc

i.e., "Mr Popple looked out of his squashed banana and saw that the next door feather duster was leaning heavily over the fence and threatening to drop on his shiny new hedgehog."

The same cards can be used with many different stories. Made by you, or borrowed from elsewhere.

If we have enough requests we might package this game up and sell it! But in the meantime we just enjoy playing it ourselves. The children are always asking for another story to use with the cards.


The Mummalady

Monday, September 26, 2011


Savvy marketers know that if they make a product in pink then it will sell to someone who might not ordinarily buy one.

Like a pink computer, a pink cellphone, a pink camera ... I'm not a super-consumer but I have those things!! Two years ago I bought the computer - 2nd hand and a real good bargain. The cellphone was purchased nearly 4 years ago with flybuys points, the camera was an "old model" about three years back so it was marked down by $100 ...

I am still amazed that God provides all our needs (food, air etc) - and often he provides things we don't necessarily NEED but he knows we will like.

And he gave me this photo of this beautiful magnolia flower.

It was free.

It's made by God.

And it's pink.


The Mummalady

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This little boy loves the dolly Mumma made. When I look at the dolly I see the mistakes I made with the head, the lack of stuffing in the chest ... but he doesn't see any of that.

He watched me making the first dolly for his big brother, and then patiently waited for his own. When it was finished he named it "Daddy Joffa". We don't know why!

Yesterday we had a lovely walk together as a family - Daddy Joffa had to be wrapped in a blanket because he didn't have any trousers. :o)

So this morning I made some snazzy purple stripey trousers and because Daddy (the real Daddy) was home keeping the little ones busy with a project I was even able to find time to make this baby carrier for our little man to tote Daddy Joffa around in.

He loves it!

The Mum

Friday, July 15, 2011


This hard-boiled love-heart gave us a smile and helped us to remember to spread a little more love around.

The Mummalady

Saturday, June 25, 2011


NO READING AT THE TABLE is a very fine and sensible rule.

Trouble is, when nobody else is sitting with you it can be boring getting breakfast into you, and so if your book isn't borrrowed (from The Library, or from a friend), then maybe it's ok ... maybe?

We have lunch together as a family normally (except Daddy - he's at work), and tea is ALWAYS together - around the table - which apparently is quite unusual in today's culture.

But breakfast is often taken in shifts while other family members are using the bathroom, or doing chores.

And when children are brought up with a vast but carefully chosen selection of books, it's kind of comforting and a bit of luxury for our 15 year old to sit for 10 minutes, reading quietly while he chews on his muesli.

The Mummalady

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm not afraid to get messy, and that's a blessing for a Home Educating Mumma.

Sometimes, of course, living in a small space with 6 children we get FAR TOO MESSY - and that's a sign to de-clutter, tidy up, organise - all hands on deck type thing (we get seriously messy and cluttered sometimes - believe me!).

But on the particular day shown above we had the table clear (!) so we thought we'd do some art! We got out the nice soft pastels - drew a design - and then painted over with lovely swishy, puddly watercolours.

We are aware that the fun is in the DOING not the end result, but we still end up with heaps of pictures to put up on the pantry and laundry doors!

For the LONGEST time I have been meaning to get Mona Brookes book "Drawing With Children". Well - I've finally bought it and have finished thoroughly reading the introduction and the beginning lessons and have taken the children through the first lesson.

It was great fun, and we are very, very excited about doing further lessons. So right now I should not be on the computer, I should be sitting with the children in the lounge, fire lit, rain falling on the roof doing some more ART!!

The Mummalady

Monday, May 9, 2011


Yes, it's been a while since we posted - there are a couple of reasons for that.

Number one: We've been busy. Had friends staying actually. What a blessed time we have had - for eight weeks!

Number two: Our internet connection has been slow and getting a blog posted takes a LONG time which leads me onto number three.

Number three: I have been cutting down a lot on my computer time - some days I am only on here for minutes! Sometimes a half an hour ... not more than that.

The Mumma of our visitors and I had long discussions about the computer stealing time from our families - the horrible THING that happens to Mummas when they are on the computer and they ignore the children, or brush them off with a "wait a minute" type of comment.

So I've been teaching our 17 year old about running our family business on-line - he's getting the hang of it.

And in the meantime Daddy has been busy in the workshop with a couple of orders. The stool in the photograph above was designed by a client and made by Daddy.

Better go and get my precious little ones into bed. I am turning the computer off right now and will go and read to them instead.

The Mummalady

Friday, March 11, 2011


Once upon a time a not-so-small boy found a discarded old toy in an op-shop toy box.

"Wow! One of those!"

"What is it?" asked Mummy.

"A Smelly Belly - they had them when I was little."

Apparently he'd wanted one when they were the Latest Thing - some years back, but at $6 each this Mumma had decided they were not a wise purchase.

Especially because they came inside a plastic egg, so you could never tell what sort of Smelly Belly you were getting inside. That's a nasty marketing scheme if you ask me. Introducing the children to gambling.

But now that Smelly Bellies are not so popular, they can be found in the bottom of op-shop toy boxes all over the place! And there is no gambling involved because you can see what you're getting!!

So, now that the not-so-small boy has a little money of his own, he rummages in the bottom of every op-shop toy box he comes across rescuing more Smelly Bellies. He likes them. They generally cost 20 cents. Ah well - could be worse.

And if you were wondering - the beautiful wooden shelf unit is available from Willow Cottage!

The Mummalady

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Collect lovely things.

Store them neatly.

Bring them out from time to time.

Ensure your children play with them respectfully.

Put them away for another day.

You will be providing, facilitating, modelling good stewardship, training ... and being a great Mummy. :o)

Our 3 year old was playing this game quietly by himself for about 20 minutes.

The Mummalady

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I never knew there was a name for it. But that's what we've been doing, more or less, for the last 17 years.

Incidental Learning.

And it works.

The children learn incidentally. Almost accidentally! But they sure learn.

My job I've realised, my calling - other than a wife to my darling is Mummy and FACILITATOR.

Did I spell that right - better go and google it ... yes, not bad - but why did I doubt?

And there's a funny thing too, excuse me while I run off on a rabbit trail.

Today we were blessed to meet with some folks from our church in a "small group" setting where people get to talk and share. The group leader asked a question and immediately an answer came to my mind, but I kept quiet because I thought it might be the WRONG answer.

Now that actually is pretty bad, because there was no WRONG answer, but why did I feel that way?

So I sat and had a little think about it, and I KNOW that it's because of the way I was schooled. I was indoctrinated with the idea that there is a right answer and a wrong answer. There needs to be. Otherwise how does the teacher know if you pass the test.

And that's funny - yes, because for the last 15 years or so (our first little guy didn't start speaking till he was 2) I have encouraged the children to "think outside the square" and to discuss all options etc etc ...

So much so in fact that the first time they came across a "multi-choice" quiz they were hard pressed to give an answer because it could have been "a" or "b" depending on how you looked at it.

Great Stuff.

So back to my precious job as a facilitator - I gather, store, keep neat(ish), and bring out lots of equipment and fun stuff as appropriate (as small as a library card, as big as a heavy old hand-cranked Singer sewing machine!).

I watch the children for signs of interest, I discuss, I ask them questions. And it's completely natural when it's and intrinsic and exciting part of our lives.

So I was delighted to find it had a name. Incidental learning. I like that.

And the photo? One day we were reading the account of the Tower of Babel from Genesis. While Mummy was reading the little boys were making a tower of blocks. After we finished reading they started to make a city of blocks which lead to Mummy reciting "Block City" by R L Stevenson.

And then it reminded me of the old City of London so we talked about how the buildings were so squashed in that the upper levels of the houses were almost touching across the street, and the Great Fire, and the plague and "bring out your dead" ... all this had been from MY incidental learning. I don't remember any of it from school.

I had, however, just finished reading a book about William Penn so I had gathered some information from that.

So facilitators need to be available to learn things for themselves at times too, to pass on to others.

It's never boring.

It's hard, but never boring!

Happy Facilitating.

The Mummalady

Monday, January 24, 2011


A very good friend of mine has organised some sales for us to Australia. (She's very clever too - please check out her website)

We are excited to be "international" now :o)

Our Willow Cottage Double-Ended Spoon and Triangle Teethers will be flying over to Australia to be chewed on by little Australians. That's lovely.

So while we are talking about teething babies (and while the memory of last night with a crying little man not going to sleep for hours and hours ... and walking up and down ... singing ... putting him in the swing .... is still very very fresh in my mind) I thought I would just share a few teething hints that we've used over the years.

We have used Weleda Teething Powder - just a little on a spoon and into baby's mouth. We also give this to older children whose teeth are hurting - either losing teeth or getting new ones. However, our current little baby is dairy-free and because this powder is in a lactose base we're better off to use our next choice:

Naturo Pharm Teethmed Relief Spray. After a little research and discussions with people I still really don't know where I stand on the sometimes controversial topic of homoeopathic remedies. But I include this spray on my list because it seems to work very well, and gives babies relief.

Another great idea is to give baby a clean cloth to chew on. Or you can wet a corner of a facecloth (boiled water if baby is very little, or if your water is not the best). Squeeze facecloth out and put into a plastic bag in the fridge (freezer if baby is older). When the facecloth is cold (frozen), take it out of the bag and give it to baby to chew. Remember to replace the cloth with another so you have one for later.

Distraction is a wonderful tool too. Playing a game with baby, reading to them, clapping and singing (we were doing our Cozy Time this morning and singing and dancing. Every time the children stopped singing and dancing our baby started to cry again because he remembered his teeth were hurting him).

Baby Carriers! Teething babies OFTEN want to be held. All day. Use a sling, a frontpack, a backpack, a wrap ... whatever you have and whatever you find to be comfortable. If you have a baby carrier that pinches or hurts your back then please try and find something else. Unless you have a very bad back/shoulders/neck then there is usually some sort of carrier that will work for you and your baby. Ask my friend! She knows heaps about baby wearing!!!

An indoor swing is a fantastic resource. We have a wooden, rope and canvas swing which we were blessed to find at a fundraiser sale and it's had so much use.

Daddy has put big strong hooks in the doorway so children can swing inside. Heaps of fun, and it's been used for teething babies, and children with a fever etc. If a sick child is happy to swing quietly we just tuck their feet up into the swing when they fall asleep and leave them there! We keep an eye on them of course!

Babies who are dribbling a lot may get a very sore rash on their chins. Dry it carefully and apply a little Tui Bee Balm - this is a natural and very effective barrier/healing balm.

Dribbling babies don't need to wear bibs all the time to keep their clothes dry - some parents like the look of a bandana worn cowboy style.

Oh! Have I mentioned Willow Cottage Double-Ended Spoon and Triangle Teethers???!!! Very effective, safe and absolutely beautiful to hold and feel.

We think our Amber Teething Necklace works too. One day I had forgotten to put our (then) 2
year old's necklace on. He was scratchy and horrible all day. When Daddy got home he said "Hasn't he had his necklace on?". Why did I forget?!?!?

We purchased our necklace from Nadine28 on trademe. Here is one of her current auctions.

We don't give our babies solids until they are around one year old, so they don't have rusks or anything till then. Our latest baby has had a little food - some avocado and some slippery elm, but he's not really very keen and I'm happy to wait till he's older before introducing food properly.

Also - MUMMY MILK! Mummy Milk has natural God-made painkillers!! Let your baby nurse as often as they want. Ensure that Mummy has a good, moderate, healthy diet with no alcohol, drugs or anything nasty (like caffine or chocolate... sorry! but these things are not good for babies!!!!!!!!) :o)

I'd just like to add here the most important thing we can do for our babies and children, from pre-conception onwards; when they are well, when they are sick, when they are happy, sad, disappointed, hurt, confused, irritated ... always - pray for them, pray WITH them, and tell them that you love them. You love them so very much, and that God who made them, and knows them so well loves them even more.

Please let me know if you have any other hints to help babies cope through this very painful time.

The Mummalady

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Here's a picture our oldest son did to celebrate the fact that WE ARE NOW SELLING TUI BALMS!

Roll on over to our website and have a little look at the range of Tui Balms we stock.

Totally natural, effective, pleasant to use and very cost effective.

And yes - Bee Balm is just the thing if you find yourself suffering from a little sunburn.

The Mummalady


Little girl and a brother stayed home with Daddy, while Mummy took some of the other children to a country craft fair.

When Mr 5 got home from the fair he was keen to tell about what he'd seen.

"There was a man selling soap ..." he was struggling to recall, " ... and a man with no shoes selling the stuff that he put on my bee sting ..."

I think, at this point, he realised that even though there was a lot to see, he hadn't remembered much at all.

So - to make the story more interesting he "invented". He lied.

" ... and there was a big fat man with poppy eyes selling dog hair!"

His older brother had a strong visual image of this, so he kindly drew it for us. He reckons that city-folks might buy the dog hair to scatter around their inner-city apartment rugs to give their home a "country-fied" air (he was remembering the story someone told us about people in the city buying spray-on mud to decorate their 4-wheel drive vehicles ...)

So we had a discussion about saying things that weren't true.

Some people call them "embellishments".

Actually they are lies (like pretending your 4-wheel drive has been off-road, and that you own a dog when in fact you don't.)

Black and white. Truth and lies.

Mr 5 now knows that if he wants to say something that isn't true because he thinks it would be funny he needs to say "And I think it would be funny if there was a big fat man with poppy eyes selling dog hair ..." or whatever his funny thought would be.

Truth is important. God said so.

The Mummalady

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We're still using our beautiful silky scarves!

This time I looked at some little wooden napkin rings we had, and a sudden idea popped in to my head.

These two pirates had a fine game, and their "pirate hats" stayed on!

We just need to get Daddy to make us some swords now, our pirates have decided they want to be soldiers .... watch this space!

The Mummalady


A bongline? What's a bongline?

String a line up - washing line, skipping rope, anything you have spare.

Hang up some items that make a nice noise when you hit them.

Give your child a stick, and instruct them that they should TAP the items on the bongline - make sure they understand that they are not to TAP the chickens, dogs, brother, sister ...

Our favourite tune on this bongline was Old MacDonald. Very musical :o)

I'm glad this is an outside game. :o) :o)

The Mummalady


Not all children do this - but it's wonderful when they do!

We had a book from the library about musical instruments. Little girl read it. The next minute she's hunting in the recycles box for a tin can.

"Where are our balloons?" she said.

"May I have some sellotape please," was next.

She went outside to the driveway and chose some little stones.

The stones went into the can.

The balloon was cut, and after a few false starts and discarded balloons, this beautiful instrument was made.

She then had to make two more for two little brothers who were watching the construction.

You can either make "music" by pinging the balloon on the top, by tapping it with something, or by shaking the can and listening to the sound of the pebbles inside.

These instruments were popular for many days - the rougher the child, the shorter the life of the instrument of course! The 3 year old's instrument was the first to break. Followed closely by the 5 year olds one!

So the pebbles went back on the driveway.

The cans went back into the recycles box.

The balloons went into the bin.

And everyone agreed that it had been great fun.

And all I did was give a child a can and a balloon.

It's precious when things work like this.

The Mummalady

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Too Cute!

Mummy Chicken is actually a grandmother this year, but she is still having her own chicks!

She chose a beautiful sheltered, quiet spot under some bushes in the shade to sit on a whole clutch of eggs. We don't know how many there were, and we're not sure how many have hatched - at least four that we've seen.

This beautiful little cute yellow chick just popped out to say peep peep.

We will watch her tomorrow and see if she takes her chicks out for a walk.

Just thought I'd share because we are still excited by the miracle of new life.

The Mummalady