Monday, April 30, 2007

Exchange Rate

I'm not big on economics but apparently the currently high NZ dollar is bad for our economy. I still remember working for an international aid agency and the great excitement when the NZ dollar crept up, knowing we could buy more US dollars for work overseas.

Now, and the NZ dollar are my friends. I bought books. Only two books...but oh my...they're so nice!

First See and Sew arrived. Daughters and I poured over this with delight. It has a real Milly Molly Mandy sensibility which appeals to us.

Look at her. She even looks like Eldest with dear departed Cat.

A winter making sock dolls. I think so.

Today, The Crafter's Companion hit my letterbox. I want to be a Crafter, badly, desperately, with a feeling that makes my tummy tight. This book is half inspirational but half crippling. I mean, look at that Craft Room. She has a Craft Room. A Room of Her Own. Sigh...
Ah well, onwards into a Winter of Craft accompanied by my books.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


As a family, we are exploring what it means to truely observe Sabbath. We're currently resting from our large faith community on Sunday mornings and enjoying just being together as a fivesome. We all get a lot of pleasure from spending time outdoors in God's creation.

Of course, we must worship at the Alter of Caffeine too!

Friday, April 20, 2007

French Romantic

When I was young, my parents and grandparents would buy me little bits of china, sometimes even real Limoge to celebrate a good report or passing a piano exam. As I grew older I didn't feel the love anymore for the flowery, romantic, old-fashioned cluttery business of all this china and it got chucked into a box once I'd left home.

However, I still carried the memory of the pride they had in me. I believe it is so important to show our pride in our children for their achievements and for just being them. We love to tell our kids how proud we are to have them as members of our "team" and show excitement when we see them.
Now, I've relapsed into a major dose of the floweries and love to have my plates hanging on my bedroom wall and the wee knick knacks on my dresser, including two pieces Mum and Dad bought for me in Paris after I had Maggie. I think those ones are to show me how proud they are I've made them grandparents.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Our School Yard

Not only is this our school yard, it's practically my backyard as well. We walk through the back fence of the Mc's four doors down and here we are!

The Hutt River is pretty tame at the moment.

We enjoyed going for a walk, sitting in the sun, eating morning tea and listening to the story of Moses in the basket as part of our Ancient Egypt subject we've been doing. We took advantage of the Egypt: Beyond the Tomb exhibition at Te Papa earlier in Term One. I'm learning so much!
Nothing like letting the Biker Gang burn off a bit of steam riding up and down the Stop Bank.

After a morning out in the fresh air, what better than to commandeer The Reading Spot for a bit of Little House. I so get this girl!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Family and Food

We enjoyed another, what I hope isn't the last, burst of Indian Summer today. My parents were visiting from out of town. A great excuse to get the family together around food out in the sun. There is something very special about breaking bread together, especially with those we don't see often enough.

Plus I always love an excuse to show off our beloved cloth nappies on the line.

My baby brother, with his baby...already walking at only 9.5 months! Yes, she does it unaided too.

My Dad with his youngest grandchild of seven. He was born to be a grandfather and it is always such a joy to see him with the kids even though they wear him out nowadays.

My budding gardener is always determined to dig about in my complete embarassment of a garden. Time to get some more soil and get cracking on a winter crop.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bangladesh, been there

My Bengal of Gold,
I love you.
Forever your skies,
Your air set my heart in tune
As if it were a flute.

Husband of Mine found an interesting travel blog this morning to scratch my itchy travelling feet a little more. Fred has recently travelled to Bangladesh, a country that has a little piece of my heart, and encountered some difficult questions around poverty and inequity. It made me ferret around in the depths of my wardrobe to find a few of my not-very-good photos from the trip Husband of Mine and I made in 1995. Please excuse the photos of photos.

We, too, visited the prawn industry in the southern part of Bangladesh and met groups of men farming in co-ops. What is that boy in the background now doing eleven years on? Farming prawns? Is he a husband and father now? Did he make his way to Dhaka lured by the brights lights of the city?
Is he still living in a house like this?

Does his wife carry their child across a bridge like this one? (Does this even deserve the title of bridge?)

In my travels I was always drawn to the women and children. Sometimes it was difficult to get access to them but it was always such a humbling privilege to sit and talk with them. They were, without a doubt, always the catalyst for change in their communities. Mother-love is a very powerful motivator.

In my defence

OK, so I'm only supposed to be knitting with wool out of my current stash. Somehow I managed to order more hanks from The Wool Company. In my defence, you can only really tell what the new colours are like if you see them in real life, right? Also in my defence, I'll be knitting the green Seaweed and Blues up on behalf of another non-knitting mama. Again, in my defence, it's always handy to have pretty girl colours on hand in case someone has a wee pink flavour baby, and the new soft pastel Opals are my colours. And again, in my defence I can't resist the feeling of accomplishment from being able to knit a whole premature baby ensemble in the white 4ply from the patterns published in the latest Knit World catalogue. Can a girl really have too much stash?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Reading Spot

My son has discovered the magic of The Reading Spot.

There is nothing better after all that Easter Sunday chocolate than to bask in the autumn sunshine with a big pile of your favourite Maisy Mouse stories.
Mummy likes The Reading Spot because it's in the sun, I can see my washing drying on the line, and the green hills that we live nearby.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Maundy Thursday

"Infinite, intimate God;
this night you kneel before your friends
and wash our feet.
Bound together in your love,
trembling, we drink your cup
and watch."

Tonight, we watch and contemplate as Jesus moves towards His Crucifixion and Ressurection. It's not a time to celebrate...yet.

We haven't spent as much time as I wanted doing Easter crafts and baking. We made simple Easter baskets for Sunday's chocolate eggs. We decorated Easter eggs...ok, we cheated and used these films that shrink onto the blown eggs. I think they're still pretty.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Smoke and mirrors

On a day that is criminal to keep children indoors, my fellow homeschooling mama and I took our combined eight to the library, then a picnic at the playground. We both needed to mainline Rescue Remedy just trying to get them plus food plus library books in and out of our respective cars.

It made me think back to my childhood and I can never remember my mother being particularly stressed. Was she just not stressed or did she hide it better than I with maternal smoke and mirrors? What will my children remember? The effort Mama (with a dash of yelling!) went to or simply these experiences? I hope and pray they carry the same warm afterglow with which I remember my childhood.

(Yes, we've let off enough steam.)

(Intently watching the big digger and truck.)