Thursday, November 15, 2012


Our daughter was emailing her 2nd cousin to tell her about the "Parcshal Eclipse".  I love how she has a really good go at spelling new things!  She has confidence that I didn't have.

Before the partial eclipse our 17 year old gave our little ones a reminder about the sun, moon and earth - using a torch to represent the sun, a model of the moon that he got from somewhere in his room and the globe.   Our 10 year old understood the whole thing because it's not the first time she's come across this information.  Our 7 year old was listening and will remember some bits (especially as he is going through a "space/solar system" phase).  Our 5 year old was more impressed by the fact that we'd drawn the curtains and were sitting in the dark at 9.00am.  Our 2 year old was listening ... sometimes ... probably.

Our big guy had made us a couple of "cereal box viewers".  Just as well our favourite cereal was on special last week - we normally don't get the stuff in the boxes!

This is the image on the bottom of the box that we saw through the "viewing hole" at the top of the box - about 20 minutes after the partial eclipse started.

Our little girl had a go at taking a photo of the view (her pink camera still works!).

A little later - probably at the peak of the partial eclipse this was our view of the moon blocking the sun.

Did you know that when Jesus Christ walked on the earth as a man HE looked at the same moon we look at?

And He created it - because He is God.

God Bless you all who call on Him sincerely
The Mummalady

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This is my "old" camera.  I love it.  It's pink.    :o)

But sadly it seems to have come to the end of it's very short life.

Most of the photos on this blog were taken with my lovely little pink camera - photos like:

However, the other day I went to take a photo and ... oh dear!   It was all WHITE!   I checked the settings, adjusted everything, went back to "factory settings",  got our 17 year old to check it - but urgh - look:

This is supposed to be a shot of some darling little purple gumboots.  The man in the shop tells me that THE END has come for this camera. 

However, every cloud .... silver lining and all that ... we had a family conference, piggy banks were emptied, pennies were counted, bank accounts consulted ... and now:

We have a new camera - one we can have a lot of fun with - not just a point and shoot.   I used to have a good camera before I had children - a proper one!  A Pentax!  And I loved photography.  But over the years other things have been more important, so I've been happy with whatever camera I could afford, and whatever would do the job.

But in this season with a smidge more time to spend on arty things we are going to enjoy our new camera A LOT!

I just need to keep reminding myself to take the LENS CAP OFF!  Keep watching this space for some more beautiful photos.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Saturday, October 6, 2012


This poor little doll had terribly neglected hair with a stuck-in hair band,  and worse than that - she'd been left stranded in her underwear!

We bought her for $1 from the re-use shop then attempted to give her a  makeover.

Most modern dolls have hair that frizzes in a second, and is ruined forever.  However, we managed to brush this doll's hair, wet it thoroughly then plait it tightly.    We wrapped her fringe down firmly with a strip of fabric.  After the hair dried, we carefully unplaited it, and were very pleased with the result!  Even the fringe was behaving itself!

Although we are not talented seemstresses we managed to make a modest little dress for her, and now our $1 dolly is called Gwendoline.

We see a lot of unloved dolls in re-use shops or op-shops.  However, we are VERY choosy about which ones we rescue.   Some have distorted features, distorted body shapes or the look on their face is rather smug or knowing.   Others have pen all over them or limbs missing!   But when we see a nice one, we'll bring her home and help her out a little.  It's great fun!

God Bless
The Mummalady

Saturday, September 22, 2012


This gentle, natural home education thing isn't always neat and tidy.

In fact, children often get the most out of life when it involves a bit of mess, dirt, water, sand or all four.

I've been doing more and more research on gentle, natural home education.   "Mainstream" is doing so much damage to the children of the world.

"Alternative Education" is becoming more and more attractive to the discerning, caring, aware parent.

But there are dangers there too.

Research carefully, or ask me!

I'm no "expert" but I'm right there in the thick of it - and I've learned quite a lot.

Those little sandy feet are so cute - and they belong to an absolutely darling little boy that I am so blessed to be loving, teaching and raising for God.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Have you ever had an idea for a craft, and you had a really good try at it, but it didn't work out like the picture in the book, and you felt deflated and useless?

I'm so glad my children don't have that problem.

Our 9 year old made the little fellow in the picture above - she designed it, embroidered the face, sewed it by machine then stuffed it.  And even though she knew he looked a bit odd, and figured out what she might do differently next time - she was still pleased with the result.

That's PRECIOUS!!!!

Please don't compare your projects with THE ONES IN THE BOOK!   The people whose work is put in books have been honing their skills for a long time - otherwise they wouldn't be in a book.  Would they.

And don't pass a bad attitude on to your children about comparing your work with THE ONE IN THE BOOK!   

Encourage them to be confident in having a go, trying again or moving on when they've had enough!

God Bless
The Mummalady

Thursday, September 13, 2012



Just a note here about something that pops up regularly amongst home educators. There seems to be a natural desire for “order”. I guess it's because the opposite of “order” is “chaos”. A chaotic life is the fastest way to burnout. And so when a home educating mum reads encouraging or informative home ed books she will often gladly and sometimes desperately grab at things headed: “lesson plan”, “curriculum”, “scope and sequence”, “daily planner”, “easy-plan system” and on it goes. I KNOW this to be true because I have done it myself! Usually in the depths of winter, when everyone is suffering from cabin fever, the washing basket is overflowing, damp washing adorns all hangable surfaces, the rain has been relentless for weeks, our house feels a lot smaller than it did last year, the clutter is taking over even though I was sure we'd just had a major clean-out, our routine has gone completely mad, nothing is being accomplished and nobody is able to settle nicely to a task.

Order is from God. He didn't create the world in chaos. That wouldn't have worked! And we need order. But before you send away for an expensive lesson planner, or a new curriculum in a desperate grasp to retain some order think REALLY hard about what you are doing now that isn't working and WHY it isn't working. Talk to someone about it – often you'll figure out a plan all by yourself! Many people put down their precious money on SOMEONE ELSE'S IDEA OF WHAT YOUR CHILDREN SHOULD BE LEARNING – when they could have better spent that money on a massive Lego set or a scientific microscope!

There are people who call themselves “Planner Junkies”. If they are happy, I'm happy for them! If you don't believe me just google “Homeschooling Planners” or “Household Planners” - people are making LOTS OF MONEY from this racket! And other people are sitting at home looking at a great big thick binders with pretty covers, full of pages that require you to write down every item of clothing in your wardrobe so you never waste money on doubling up, or losing something in the back of your drawers. Or a weekly plan for teaching your child each letter of the alphabet/a specific colour/character trait/ – with a poem and a song for each one, from now till 8 months ahead. Or a master shopping list and how many of each item you still have in your pantry at any given time ...

Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little. But you go and see for yourself what people like to plan. If you see a planner you like and you KNOW you will use it, please get it!

However, if, like me, you desire order and simplicity, and are attracted by terms like FRUGAL, EASY and JUST FOR YOU - read on!

This is pretty much the easiest and cheapest organising system I've used or seen.

Get a ring binder, a lined refill and some dividers. Beccause we have a small house, with very few available surfaces to keep my folder open on I have used an A5 2-ring binder. To fill it I bought two A5 pads and neatly punched holes in them. This was a lot cheaper than buying ready-made A5 paper with holes already punched in it. Then I bought a pack of coloured cardboard and made my own dividers.

Name the dividers something like:


In WE LIKE ask your children what they like to do and make lists! Come back to it again the next week and add to it. Add to it during the following weeks as something comes up in natural conversation. Note down what the children like to play with at certain stages, and also if you notice something you'd like to buy for them, or save up for that they would enjoy.

Record visits to friends, outings to various places, shops, library, great books you've enjoyed, things you have listened to etc. Go back through this list from time to time to remind yourself what the children liked doing/seeing/listening to. This can also prompt you to organise yourself a little better to make visits that will tie in with interests your children have i.e., visiting local historic sites, beachcombing, local walking tracks, photographic outings, bus trips, train trips etc. You might like to stick tickets or photos in here too.

Another really great thing to put under this section is a list of all the meals and favourite snacks and baking your family likes. This list may change, everyone may go off anzac biscuits one day (I don't think so!!). You can cross it off if they do, but cross it out neatly because later everyone may decide they like them again.

It can be fun looking at lists you made ages ago (not shopping lists that are designed to be taken out to the supermarket – not left on the kitchen table – used, then thrown away - unless you are wise enough to make a MASTER SHOPPING LIST which you photocopy - highly recommended!) but REAL lists, like one I found on the pantry door under some lovely artwork that I'd stuck over the top: finish deck, plant trees along south boundary … These were jobs I hoped would be finished by 2006 … most of them have actually been done now (six years later!) – that gives me a feeling of progress! If I had made that list in my folder I would have put it under the following section:

WE WANT TO DO - yes, make lists! Things to do around the home – short term and long term; places you'd like to visit; friends you want to catch up with; notes taken from books, websites, blogs or ideas/inspriation you gain when talking to friends. If your children are going through a phase – say cryogenics - then get them to draw a picture of what they think a cryogenic laboratory would look like, date it, and put it into this part of your folder!

If you hear of a book/website you might like to read, write the title and author/other details down here.

A list of Bible references to verses you'd like to memorize can go here too. Tick or cross off when you have written them onto an index card and got them into your memorization system.

Just a note here about getting good ideas from books: I have been inclined, in the past, to read a book too quickly. If it looks good after the first chapter, I'm so excited about getting good information that I run through it, promising myself that I will come back and make notes on the very best bits so I don't forget them. Well, inevitably something else catches my attention when I have finished the book and I never get back to it to make notes. Learn from my mistake! Don't do this!! If you're reading something encouraging or inspirational STOP AND MAKE NOTES – put them in this “WE WANT TO DO” portion of your notebook. Many times I have read a book – for example a book of art activities for children – and I have found ONE good idea that I'd like to try sometime. Well, this is the place that I will now record this amazing idea before it gets lost in time and space!

THINGS WE SAID OR DID should be available to quickly write down precious things the children say or do that you know you will forget! The other day I was organising everyone for a trip into town. I called down the hallway to one of our older boys “Do you have any library books that need to be returned?” Our 2 year old, who was already buckled into his carseat called out from the van “No! I'm too little!” Now I won't forget that because I've written it here! We actually have quite a large quantity of “Childlike Quotes” - I haven't written them all down - we only remember them because the older ones think they are so funny they repeat them from time to time. Much safer to write them down I think!

You might like to quickly note major achievements here also – riding a bike on 2-wheels, putting own gumboots on, tying shoes by self, showing great patience and hospitality with a difficult visitor ...

PEOPLE etc is like an address book, but give each person a decent amount of room – say quarter or half a page. Write their name, address, phone number, email, children's names, any birthdays you know of (and also note down ideas for presents as they come up naturally during the year - such as “likes beads and wire to make things with”)

The “etc” of this part is for any other information you might need to refer back to such as user names for various websites, a list of organisations you like to donate money to and their bank account details …

OTHER INFORMATION well – my section here is blank, but it feels comfortable to have a “safety net” where I can put information that might not fit anywhere else!

HEALTH My system involves a bit of double-handling, yours doesn't have to – and of course, you might be the sort of person who loves to put this on the computer. Once again – I stress that you should do what works for you and your family!

I have a page for each person, and then a page for the whole family in date order showing who was ill and when, and if we needed to take anything for it. When people have a cold I just write “A cold” but if it's more serious I write more detail. It's ever so easy to forget how long ago things happened if you don't write them down. If I was asked when Daddy cut the top of his thumb off at work I might guess … 2 or 3 years ago? But looking on Daddy's health page I see it was 5 years ago!

Setting up this sort of system can be time consuming; or fun, depending on what sort of person you are! One of our children loves to read back through to see what we've been up to! It actually makes more sense of “time” when a child can see what happened and when during their lifetime. And that's another page you can insert here somewhere – perhaps under OTHER INFORMATION: a timeline showing your life as a family: when the first child was born, when you got the cat, when the dog died, when you had a big holiday or moved house, when the next baby came along, when the goat had a kid, when the first chicks were born ... We once made a similar timeline that we put on the wall for a while, but a page inside your planner would be neat and be there longer for the children to read/add to. Yes, excellent idea – I'm just off to do that right now!

This simple and easy little system won't work UNLESS YOU USE IT! Have your folder out where you can see it all the time. Keep a pen or pencil RIGHT WITH IT all the time.

This planner might seem too simple for some people. Well – it is simple but it works! Feel free to make it more complicated/detailed if that suits you better!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Here's a wee peek from my soon-to-be published book.  I would GREATLY appreciate any feedback!  Thank you!!


      Having your children work alongside you slows you down and often makes more work – but it's often like a game for a small child! The long-term benefits of doing this are major and something that you can lose sight of during the early years.
      I like having special index cards (you can either write or draw quick pictures) showing jobs that small children can do by themselves that you have lead them through step-by-step quite a few times: i.e., tidy the shoe cupboard, clean the door handles etc.

      Add to the cards as you teach new jobs. Some children love the cards, others might like a list on a clipboard with a pencil they can use to tick items off, or a little notebook.

Please remember that we all need three things to complete a job correctly and well:

  1. The knowledge of how to do a job
  2. The correct tools for the job
  3. A good attitude!

      Please tell your child this gently and often so they can be confident that if they lack any of the above they can ask you for help. Here's a quick rundown on my thoughts on those three points:


     You can make it a whole lot easier for your child if YOU work out how to do a job properly for a start! Do you want your child to take responsibility for emptying the kitchen rubbish each day? Do it yourself a few times noting what makes it easier or harder. Are the replacement rubbish bags in a jumble in a drawer or are they each to reach? Is the lid of the rubbish bin outside hard to take off? Can you reach the bin easily? Go through step by step YOURSELF before taking your child through the steps. You can then be more confident when they come to ask you a question about the job.


      Once again go through the job yourself with a mind to WHAT you use that is efficient and makes the job easier and more pleasant. Have a bucket of tools that the child is allowed to use i.e., a toothbrush to clean in the corners of the shower, a squeegie to dry the walls round the bath. Think about whether you want to use all natural cleaners (HIGHLY suggested!) or a spray bottle of something from the supermarket?

      “Correct Tools” comes down to baskets and boxes to put things in also. When you're doing a major tidy-up in the whole house put a box outside each bedroom/cupboard door in the hallway. As you pick things up from around the house put them into the box of the room/cupboard they belong in. This saves having to actually enter the room, and find a place to put the item. Start in the kitchen, removing items that should be in another room, then go to the lounge and move down the hall from there. If you run out of time to complete the cleanup then you can just move the full box into the right room and leave it there for another day.

       The “tools” for this job are simple enough – a box for each room – but without the boxes the job is much harder!


      If a child is really struggling with their attitude towards work I suggest praying about it because if a child (or an adult) has to find a good attitude from “within” when they're not asking God for help then they're possibly going to have a real uphill struggle finding one!

      Check that your expectations are realistic and pleasantly work alongside your child as much as possible. This goes a long way towards a good attitude from children.

      Although many times it may seem easier, quicker and involve less conflict for you to do the job yourself, in the long-run it creates bad feeling, cheats your child of a sense of belonging in the family, a sense of purpose and also stops them learning valuable skills and hidden things about themselves that they might not have uncovered if you hadn't taken the time and energy (and sometimes it requires a LOT of energy and patience from you) to have them working within the family.

      As indicated before we have “Job Cards” (see resource section – Steve & Teri Maxwell's  Managers of Their Homes). Although these took a bit of work to set up, I am very grateful for them now. They work for us – when I am faithful enough to follow-through and train diligently with our children. I have been very grateful for these cards and the training that I have put in so far – especially when I had to spend time away from home recently and Daddy was in charge – his job was made easier by the fact that the children knew what needed to be done at what time of the day.

      Using our job cards within our normal schedule gives the children greater comfort knowing when they will be expected to complete jobs, and when they will have time for free-play.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I am getting quite good at this Mummy thing - some days.

However, the computer baffles me.

I thought I had started a new blog over at our website, but it appears it's DISAPPEARED!!!!

So please stick with me while I spend as little time as possible on the computer achieving as much as I can in that short time.

In the meantime we wanted to share a great idea for a poster - shown above.   Draw a line down the centre of a huge piece of cardboard (the back of an old advertising-type poster is good to use).  Stick pictures of "Living Things" on one side, and "Non-Living Things" on the other side.

And now I am off to do what I do best ... the Mummy thing.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Saturday, July 14, 2012


My focus of late has been entirely on being a wife,  mother and finishing a book I am writing.

If you've enjoyed any of my blog posts I think you'll love the book!

I've also started a blog over at our website  which hasn't got much on it yet because I've been too busy.

But I guess this is my "Signing Off" blog - when the book is printed and done (and before I start on the 2nd Edition!) I will endeavour to post some more encouraging blogs on the Willow Cottage site.

And so, dear readers, I leave you with a piece from my book.

God Bless
The Mummalady


Don't forget that a few carefully chosen toys are better, and lead to greater creativity, less clutter and more peace!

I have often read that a good toy is 90% child and 10% toy - that it will be adaptable to many uses and inspire many different imaginary scenarios, not based on television shows or movies;  sturdy, long-lasting and become props for creative/dramatic play (at this point I would also say that I strongly suggest you get rid of your television if you want children who can think, reason, play and learn efficiently.)

More than the quality of the toys, it is the time we spend and the relationships we build with our children that they will most remember.

I'd just like to really confirm the fact that parents and children who play together have a chance to observe the other quietly, and a parent can see how a child is coping with life – both physically and emotionally. Many interesting conversations take part in the relaxed atmosphere of play, and some precious thoughts are shared.

If a child can't decide what to play with then the parent should decide. A child who is bored, destructive or annoying others may be helped by simply starting a game with them. Pull a box off the shelf and set up some farm animals and a tractor – or gently wrap a dolly in a blanket, get a wooden bowl and a spoon and pretend to feed her some breakfast.

Would you child or children like you to set something up for them? Here are some ideas for role-playing.


Friday, March 23, 2012


Try, and try again!

If you look at the photo in the last post you will see my early attempts at doll-making.

I kept going! I'm getting relatively good at it now!

This beautiful little girl is for sale on Trademe.

Our 2 year old has changed his sleeping pattern - he doesn't have his nap till a bit later in the afternoon then of course he isn't tired at 7.30 when the others go to bed! So I have been staying up with him, and while he potters around with toys and drawing things and getting into stuff in the kitchen, I try and do a bit of sewing.

My mum taught me to sew, but I never really took it up until a couple of years ago. It is now one of my favourite passtimes!

I have some hints for other Mums who would like to do some sewing:

- collect suitable (cotton or linen - your preference) clothes from the "free" rack at your local op-shop. Wash the clothes, cut them up to get some decent-sized chunks of fabric and then sew and sew. Make little bags, make dollies, make teddies - just sew and sew.

- get lots of sewing books out of the library and read all the hints and tips. File them away in your mind for when they are needed.

- if you have trouble with something like putting a zip in see if you can take your project to a friend who can sew. Have the project at the point where you get stuck, and watch them do it.

- sew and sew some more.

- check garage sales and re-use shops sewing machines - the ones from the 1980's are usually excellent quality and will last for years. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $20 - $80.

- thread is expensive - see if you can gather spools of thread from op-shops or garage sales.

- sew and sew some more.

- set yourself up with an embroidery hoop and some of your spare fabric and have a go at embroidery - this neatens your hand sewing.

- make a list of the things you'd like in case someone asks you what they can buy for you i.e., embroidery hoop, scissors that actually cut fabric, pinking shears, embroidery floss etc.

- sew and sew some more.

Let me know if you love to sew too!

God Bless
The Mummalady

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


A couple of months back Daddy spent the morning in the workshop with Miss 9, Master 6 and Master 4.

They were so excited that they had designed and "helped" Daddy to build this tractor and trailer for their little brother.

Just thought you might like to see :o)

God Bless
The Mummalady


Had a bit of a run on making softies again!

These guys are for sale on Trademe.

If anybody wants a VERY special, unique present just click on BUY NOW!!!!

Thought you might like to see them.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Our little girl is a very Imaginative and Doing Things sort of a child.

A few weeks back she directed and organised her younger brothers, and they formed a group called "Animal Search and Rescue."

Daddy allowed them to clean out and use the old Donkey Shed (it's never housed donkeys and I can't remember why we called it that - but it's always been The Donkey Shed) for their headquarters, and Mumma and daughter doodled around and came up with a Logo which big brother made into a badge and some letterhead.

So - the children were all set to SEARCH AND RESCUE!

They got their kits organised - scissors, "bandages", buttons, hair clips, note pad, pencils and various other essential paraphanalia.

However, nothing needed to be Searched, or Rescued.

Today Little Girl's friend came to visit. She is also a keen animal lover, and avid bird watcher. They did some Searching, but no Rescuing was required.

BUT! Just before bedtime we went out onto the deck, Little Girl, Little little Pomeranian doggy Bobby and Mumma - to trim Bobby's nails.

Trim, trim, snip, snip ... PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEEP!

Urgent peeping issued forth from the direction of the old bathtub situated at the back of Animal Search and Rescue Headquarters.

Little girl's keen animal saving instincts jumped into action and in one glance she had taken in the situation.

There was Victoria (Little Girl's own lovely tame white hen) clucking anxiously around the bottom of the bathtub and the PEEEEP PEEEP noises were accompanied by some wild flapping of tiny little banty wings and then nothing.

"Quick!" I shouted "A chick has jumped into the bathtub!"

Like lightning, Little Girl SPED across the paddock - elbows pumping, feet pounding, pinafore flying behind her.

She reached the bathtub, scooped up a soggy wet banty chick and held it close, carefully running back to the house.

"HURRAY FOR ANIMAL SEARCH AND RESCUE!!!" I yelled. (I was very excited! God allowed us to be outside at that EXACT moment when the chick had flown up into the bathtub, and He had called our attention to it. How cool is that?!? What an awesome God.)

We wrapped the soggy banty chick in a bit of cloth and gently dried it, then Little Girl rounded up the other chicks and Victoria and got them into their A-frame for the night.

The soggy chick was a bit shocked and didn't know what to do, so Little Girl tucked it under Victoria, and it soon settled down.

We're not sure if the soggy chick actually swallowed any of the old bath water, so Animal Search and Rescue will have to go and check on it first thing tomorrow.

Daddy has covered the bathtub so nothing else will fall in tonight, and the Big Boys will empty it tomorrow onto our feijoa trees.

Little Girl took these photos (the lower picture shows two chicks poking their heads out from underneath Victoria's feathers - very cute) and asked me to put this story on our blog.

That's enough excitement to last for quite a while! Ah! And now ... it's bedtime. :o)

God Bless
The Mummalady

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Little Brother Joffa hopped down from the table after tea and ran to the bathroom. He carefully washed his hands and thought about what to do next.

"Maybe I should go outside - it looks like a lovely evening."

But - oh dear - on the way outside he got distracted by all the lovely threads, pins, braid and ric-rac in Mummy's sewing box.

"What is that beautiful orange stuff?" he wondered. He was just about to pull it all out and play with it but he remembered that Mummy had told him to Leave It All Alone.

"I must obey joyfully!" he said. "Obedience brings joy. Disobedience brings trouble!"
Little Brother Joffa jumped off the table and ran outside singing happily to himself.

The first lovely thing he stopped to look at was the fuschia plant. Some of the flowers were open and they were bright pink with purple in the centre.

"Shall I pull some flowers off?" thought Little Brother Joffa. "No! That would be naughty. I think I'll go and see Harry."

Little Brother Joffa had a nice plump clover flower to feed to Harry.
Harry gobbled it up gratefully.

Just then Little Brother Joffa saw Bobby so he stopped for a chat, but Bobby just licked his ear.

"What beautiful dandelion clocks!" said Little Brother Joffa.

He took a big breath and BLEW AND BLEW! All the little fluffy bits went dancing up into the air and floated gently down to the grass.

"Where shall I go next?" Little Brother Joffa wondered. "Perhaps if I climb the silk tree I will be able to get a better view."

He carefully climbed up and up until he could see all around the section.

"Ah! The strawberry patch! I'll just go and see if there are any strawberries."

Little Brother Joffa carefully climbed down the tree, ran to the strawberry patch and hunted around for strawberries, but he couldn't find any ripe ones.

Next he visited the lavender patch and spent quite a while listening to the bees and smelling the lavender.

Next to the lavender were the towering sunflowers. They were much much taller than Little Brother Joffa.

"I wonder what this is?" puzzled Little Brother Joffa.

"Ah! This is an almond in it's fuzzy jacket." He said.

"And some juicy plums nearly ready to pick - but I won't pick them. Oh no! I won't! That would be VERY naughty."

"These apples arn't quite ready yet."

"Oh! What beautiful flowers! I wonder what they are called? I will ask Mummy."

Little Brother Joffa felt rather puffed out after his tour of the section, so he toddled inside to chat to Mummy about everything he had seen.


I hope you have all enjoyed this tiny little tour of our section.

I just finished making Little Brother Joffa today - I was going to sell him on Trademe, but when I finished I was rather embarrassed about my sewing. It is definitely Family Quality - not Selling Quality.

So Little Brother Joffa won't be sold. He will live here. And I think he'll have quite a nice life.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Friday, February 3, 2012


These two little men had a busy day and were fast asleep minutes after they got into bed.

I didn't know that our 4 year old had made a bed for his dolly - all by himself. I almost melted when I saw how lovingly he had tucked Daddy Joffa in.

Actually Daddy Joffa has been helping us discuss obedience. Daddy Joffa was going to jump out the window! He had chosen to be disobedient and naughty.

Our 4 year old listened to Mummy telling the "jumping out the window" story with wide eyes, and when we got to the bit where Daddy Joffa was just about to jump out the window he snatched him away and held him tight. He didn't want his dolly to make the wrong decision. He helped him to obey.

Obedience brings joy.
Disobedience brings trouble.

God Bless
The Mummalady

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FAMILY QUALITY vs VISITOR QUALITY (subtitled An Apology To My Sister-In-Christ)

It's not like we pretend to be something we're not. People that know us know that. What we show to the work is what we are.


But one of our boys just pointed out the "Family Quality vs Visitor Quality" thing, and I have started noticing it too!

The plate of blueberry mini-muffins above were the Visitor Quality ones.

The muffins on the brown plate were Family Quality.

And they were perfectly acceptable as you can see.

My frumpy old grey and pink striped apron is Family Quality.

My floral apron is Visitor Quality.

A while back I gently admonished a friend who was wearing her old (very old) worn out dress around the house because it didn't matter - it was just family who were seeing it. I said that it did matter - her children had to look at her in that dress all day!!!

As often, when I give "good advice" it comes back to get me!

I sometimes glimpse at myself during the day and wonder what my children see when they look at me. What do they notice? It's not usually what I wear. It's what I am to them, how I love them, how I speak to them. And if I smile when I look at them.

Nobody here has ever complained about having to look at my boring old grey and pink striped, slightly stained apron.

And nobody minded the blueberry mini-muffins that had blueberries spilling out all over the place.

I'm sorry I told you off sister (I know you're reading this!) about your favourite ripped old blue dress. Your children love you and they would never have noticed.

Love you sister!

God Bless
The Mummalady


Well - ok , I put my sewing machine away, but I still have the sewing softies bug.

Handsewing is much easier to pick up and put down, and doesn't interfere with the children too much. However, there is a certain desire to finish a project once I start!

And then to go ahead and make three more to sell on Trademe!

Too cute.

God Bless
The Mummalady