Sunday, April 29, 2007

Kindred Spirits

I am blessed to have a fantastic friend in Jess from Oh My. We get togther most weeks and are building a close relationship between ourselves and our whole families. Jess' is in many ways my opposite...she is bubbly and extroverted, a little bit messy and hugely fun. Despite being a mummy of four under four...and being exhausted most of the time Jess has a happy, joyful spirit.

Last week on Anzac Day our wonderful hubbies took most of our kids to the zoo for the day and Jess and I hung out watching Sense and Sensibility and The Office (Whaddaya mean? Of course they go together!!!), talking, eating and crafting. Our baby boys, three weeks apart in age, rumbled, laughed and generally looked incredibly cute.

Here is Jess busy on the sewing machine trialling a bootie pattern that she has since realised was flawed fom the outset and needs a major Jess revamp.

The coffee table...usually clear of clutter when the kids are all around.

A cutesy elephant T that I appliqued...I loves it...and I am soooo not a pink girl!

Our beautiful babies...E and J

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Penelope Tree

I just have to share an amazing, beautiful and heartwrenching blog with you...
I have met Rebecca once a long time ago...when her babies were just that and the world of Autism was barely a shadow on the horizon.

Reasons to Have Kids #1 and #2

Free Labour...then again if it wasn't for the kids there wouldn't be food, playdoh, crayon and more smeared all over everything.

To read stories to the younger siblings so mummy can update the blog.

Monday, April 23, 2007


We once were travellers...back when we were recently married, had two incomes and no kiddos in tow. Now I have to live vicariously through my memories and my future dreams to once again roam.

We were fortunate to be able to travel through Holland with my parents as part of a large overseas trip. This as very special to me as I had always wanted to experience some of my Dutch Heritage.

I have chosen just a few photos to show you how beautiful it was in Holland in the winter.

Amsterdam at night...we LOVED Amsterdam..despite what you hear about the drugs and the Red Light district it really is a very picturesque city and we felt completely safe walking at night to get an icecream or some pancakes or just to wander around the vibrant streets. That is J and I walking ahead of the photographer (Thanks JEB!)

The view from the window of our hotel...I do love canal houses...charming and crooked, narrow because the buildings were taxed on their frontage...with the hooks and pulleys to haul furniture into the higher storeys.

Wherever I go I HAVE to visit art Galleries...much to J's horror. And when you have the chance to see Rembrandts Nightwatch in all its glory at the Rijksmuseum you don't pass it up! We traveled up to Friesland to stay with relatives and awoke the next morning to an amazing snowy scene. Breathtaking!

One of my dreams is to one day take our children to see where their Opa was born and to travel by bicycle and canal boat through Northern ticket anyone?

Friday, April 20, 2007


You Are Expressionism

Moody, emotional, and even a bit angsty... you certainly know how to express your emotions.
At times, you tend to lack perspective on your life, probably as a result of looking inward too much.
This introspection does give you a flair for the dramatic. And it's even maybe made you cultivate some artistic talents!
You have a true artist's temperament... which is a blessing and a curse.

I love quizzes...I did the muppet quiz and found out I was Scooter and then I went and wasted some time and found this one...and it is me to a T...I even got an A in Expressionism in Stage 2 Uni Art History!

I now pronounce my Postarama over...and I will endeavour to post at least twice a week from now on!

Baby Shower

Now I love Babies...I love making Baby gifts...but I really DON'T like making gender neutral stuff...anyway...I am off to a Baby Shower tomorrow so spent most of this evening (in between my postarama!) making this gifty for the new baby...

All packaged prettily in one of my many gift boxes I have kept to re-use. Somebody once told me I was cheap for doing that...but I reckon it is a) environmentally friendly and good stewardship and b) means I can spend more on the gift!

I had this fabulous idea of using old books which were beyond mending for here is a pic from an Enid Blyton book that I coloured with my kids trusty colouring pencils...and glued to a metallic purple card.

I already had some wipes made up in my gift-stash (I always have wipes ready...they are so handy for a quick and useful Baby pressie...don'tcha think? ) and I thought the little green giraffe was super cute so I copied him and made a wee apliqued and embroidered T which I hope is okay for a girl or boy.

The giraffe is a piece of terryfleece, hand embroidered with red,gold and aqua spots and appliqued it onto the T. I then added aqua antlers, tail and a fringey my only question is...Do giraffes have manes?

P.S. Did you like how I tied in the card with the whole theme of the gift? Now I only hope the recipient likes never can tell. When you have put your heart into creating something it is of more consequence whether they like it...well it is to people-pleasing-everyone has to be happywith me-me

Welcome to our Mobile Library

So what do three young'uns do while mummy and daddy clean out the shed? Why, turn the dashboard of the car into a display for some of their favourites books of course!

We have a stash of books in the car all of the time...all of the children love to read in the car.

O5 usually picks Tintin...and we often hear exclamations such as "Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles" eminating from the rear of the van.
C2 has moved on from his well-loved and very tatty Richard Scarry's 'Cars, Trucks and Things that Go' to 'Curious George'.
A2 often chooses 'Treasure Hunt' or 'The Baby's Catcalogue' by Allan Ahlberg...she also has a penchant for "meowmeow book" otherwise known as 'Slinki Malinki'.
E8 months has to be satisfied with a rattly toy and the occasional glance at a page thrust into his face by a sibling eager to share his/her favourite story with Bubba.

The Grand Masters at Work

My little lovelies A2 and C2 have FINALLY got past chewing on everything and now can be trusted to actually draw with coloured pencils rather than create an interesting salad meal with them! The two of them just adore O5 and clambered up to the table as soon as O got out his Narnia activities.O loves Mazes, Wordsearches and Dot to Dots. He is super quick at completing all of these things...he has a real gift for anything that involves spatial skills or patterning.

C and A were very excited when mummy showed them how to draw around their hands on the paper...and mummy was ecstatic when they both recognised their own names written onto the paper. It satisfies the ex-schoolteacher in me when we all sit up at the table and "do work" together...the cool thing is that my children don't distinguish between learning and playing as many kids at school do from an early age.

In our house reading, drawing, learning to count and add and subtract, doing puzzles and writing letters to friends is all as much fun as jumping on the trampoline, going to the park or making a construction site in the sandpit...learning is fun and playing is learning.

I AM a Nana!

Who would ever think I would be excited enough to take pictures of knitting, sewing and worst of all an old tablecloth I picked up at a secondhand store? I admit it...I am a craftaholic...I spend far too much time poring over craftblogs and I have to stop myself buying more wool and fabric everytime I go out!

I have almost finished these longies for E8months...I LOVE the is Tekapo variegated in lovely muted autumn colours...perfect for my redheaded baby boy.

I have to show off a wonderful gifty I got from a friend...we have only met IRL once, but she knows what I like so well...Look at the gorgeous wee bag ...fully lined...the sparklies are knitting stitch markers and they go in the bag...and the wool is my absolute most favourite wool ever and I put it next to the gifties to show you how perfectly Sharon has chosen the colours I love.

I once started a country quilt...each square was a basket...needless to say I have moved on from the early nineties and no longer have folkart stuff around what to do with the blocks I had completed...aha...perfect pincushions...complete with flowerheaded pins.

I have made four and have about 6 more blocks left to do...can you see I lost the urge to make the quilt pretty quickly?.

I don't think I have shared my fabulous felted kntting bag...there is a Martha pattern somewhere...but I can't find it on the web anymore...anyway...basically I semifelted a big old man's sweater, cut it up, sewed it into a bag shape and then felted the heck out of it...and now it holds a small portion of my wool stash in a little spot on my bookshelf next to the chair where I *would* knit if the downlight wasn't broken.

I was inspired to make this after Rach made about a million trillion bags. See her collection here.

And my old tablecloth...I got it for $5 and it is a huge circular tablecloth with only a few teensy is destined to make a summer dress for my A2 and with the scraps I plan to Beebeemod some T's shirts for gifties.


I have so many pics to post...but am not feeling the blog love very often at the moment...typical! I tend to get really excited about things and start with a hiss and a roar, then something else catches my eye!

I have a trillion ideas for projects running around in my head, plus a desire to continue to dejunkify our eating even more, a craving to look for "the perfect house" on the online real estate sites and other random things...oh yeah, and I have four little children who want lots of mummy cuddles and stories, puzzles and games.

And don't even get me started on all of the housework I am neglecting. I DID read that this generation of children are in danger of being immunocompromised because we over sterilise their I am doing my bit to ensure my children's future health by not vacuuming the crumbs of the floor more than once a week (okay maybe twice...but I used to do it EVERY day at least)..waiting until the clothes are really grubby before throwing them in the wash (see I'm saving the environment too by not wasting electricty and water!)...and leaving the dust on the furniture to avoid everyone breathing in all of the dustmites that get disturbed when I try to dust. I have forgottne what my mop looks fact I am not sure where it is even.

So while I am in the mood I am going to post all of the things I have been meaning to for the last week...

So keep your ears on posts coming throughout the day!

Monday, April 16, 2007

High Ideals and Sanity

As I sit down to write this three of my children are snuggled on the couch watching Curious George on DVD. it is almost 3pm and we have already been to visit a sick friend, stopped in for lunch at our bestest buddies, played in the backyard, had a tea party in the pop up tent house and read Bible Stories on the couch for half an hour... not to mention hung the washing, made all of the beds, countelss trips to and almost to the toilet and scraping porridge off all manner of surfaces after breakfats...but yet I feel guilty for taking some time for me, especially on the computer!

Mama is all kiddoed out and so on goes the mindless distraction. I have this continual struggle between my high ideals and my sanity. I have read the research and seen the effects of too much media on kids young minds and I endeavour to limit how much screen time my kids have and we are definitely discriminating in the content of what they watch...but sometimes it just is easier...and I am trying to get my head around that it is ok!

In an ideal world when mama needs her quiet time the children would all sit quietly involved in their own pursuits, reading, playing snakes and ladders, drawing ...and they do do all of that, but a 5 year old and 2x 2 year olds plus a super crawling 8 month old need a lot of supervision to avoid the tears,screams and random wall drawings.

I wonder what did mothers of preschoolers and only just turned five year olds do to remain sane in the "olden days"? Are we just too used to having an easy option in media, fancy toys, car travel to friends/parks/museums/zoos? How did Carolyn Ingalls keep her sweet demeanour in that tiny little prairie home (I know ...rose coloured glasses and tv dramatisation!). Am I just being self-indulgent and not sacrificial enough or should I be thankful that I have the option of technology and modern amusement to use wisely?

All I know is that when Mama aint happy, aint nobody happy...and if it means a DVD three or four days a week to help me remain functional the rest of the time, maybe it is a trade off I am willing to make at this stage of our lives.

So... tell me, what are the must haves for our children's DVD collection?
Our favourites at the moment include:
Curious George
The Railway Children
Monsters Inc
Little House
Anne of Green Gables
Jungle Book
The Wind in the Willows
Hairy Maclary
The Berenstain Bears (or Berkenstain Bears according to O5)

Monday, April 09, 2007


Over the last four days we have done the obligatory thing and eaten a LOT of chocolate and Daddy has been home from work for the long weekend.

We have also indulged in the good old Kiwi tradition of DIY on Holiday weekends. Our bedroom is now stopped, sanded and painted, rearranged and de-cluttered...and hopefully it will remain that way for, oh at least a day or two before the odds and ends start sneaking their way back into every available corner.

As a family we have begun to focus more on what the Easter holiday means to us. We have read the Easter story in the week leading up to Good Friday and then again during the weekend, munching on Hot Cross Buns and reminding each other of the significance of the cross. I had planned on making Easter resurrection cookies on Saturday night to eat on Sunday morning...perhaps next year, when J and I aren't sleeping on the lounge floor and everyone is sleeping through the night (we averaged about a dozen night wakenings, equally spread between our youngest three kiddos, ever night over the long weekend...phew!!!!).

O5 has shown his understanding of the significance of Jesus death on the cross in his comment about sin..."Mummy, Jesus died on the cross so we don't have to be in trouble for our sins eh?""Yes, O." "OK, sin is when I don't listen to you and do what you say, eh Mummy?"...

Ah, from the mouth of babes...I'm glad that my little guy has such a simple concept of sin...albeit true, and doesn't know the evil that pervades around this prayer is that as he grows and sees the good, the bad and the ugly of life that he would remember that there is victory...that sin and death were defeated and that Jesus rose from the dead and intercedes for us at the right hand of God.

One last thought...should I be a teensy bit creeped out that O was playing at being Jesus while supposedly reading sories on the couch and organising his little siblings, A2 and C2, to be the robbers? Fortunately he didn't have his hammer and nails handy!

More Beach Pics

O5 and his good friend Z4
Beautiful Princess A2 and her Daddy
Boys on the Beach
Lovin' the Harbourside
Trees were made for climbing.

And there ends our holiday at the beach...we hope to make it an annual event and to share the memories of the kids all growing up together, enjoying the creation and each other in a special corner of the world.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Banana Slide

Isn't this just the most fantastic artwork???? I LOVE it soo much. Mike came and visited me during the blog party and I have fallen in love with his blog. he sells his original images...and for us over the other side of the world you can buy the jpeg file rather than have to wait for a hard copy...too cool.

Wouldn't this make such a groovy little T for a kiddo?

Beach Pics

More beach that my broadband is back up to speed!
Hanging out with everybody at the Estuary...such a great spot for the kids to wade and splash.

Even at the beach you just sometimes need to craft...right? Bubba E had an absolute ball crawling around and looking fact he got blisters on his feet from crawling so much on the wooden floors.I LOVE this pic so much, C had so much fun with his Friend E...don't they look gorgeous? If you can't tell, they are running off down to the beach holding hands.
A and C learnt to share the big car and found out that working together is great fun.