Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thank God for the Sallies

Book haul from the Salvation Army Second Hand Store this morning.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Current WIPs

Some more Picky Pants Longies in The Wool Company Sunset. These have been put on hold while I do some Big Girl knitting (sorry Charlotte)!

I can't remember the last time I knit myself something - I think when I was a teenager over 20 years ago! I'm tackling the Hourglass Sweater in Cascade 220. Except not being an Hourglass figure I am attempting to reshape it into a Pearshape Sweater;-) This is a pleasantly easy "watching TV" knit.

Other pressing things on my schedule are to complete Miss 6's "Application for Exemption from Enrolment at a Registered School" before a truancy officer come a-knockin'.
What I really want to be doing is working on the cafe structure of I6's new Lego. We did the beach house yesterday, and apartment building this morning. I'm now having manic thoughts about buying myself an Indiana Jones Lego set for our upcoming wedding anniversary. Haven't convinced Dh that it would be a great marriage-strengthening activity - yet!

Some thoughts on Mothering

I've been totally uplifted by Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family this week. I read it in a couple of sittings and have been dipping back into it frequently. Again, great to read something that affirms directions our family has chosen. There is plenty of inspiration for crafty ideas as we approach our hibernating winter time.

I've been mulling over the term "mindful parenting" as I don't consider myself to be a particularly natural, maternal-type mother or always present with the kids. This is a challenge as we have a philosophy of living life together. But I wonder if too often I'm expecting them to come along for my ride without mindfully participating in theirs?

One day this week I noted moments of mindfulness when pressing autumn leaves together, simply observing them working on their nature pictures, standing excitedly watching a huge crane at a Wellington construction site, waving at police cars leaving the station. And as always our read-aloud time each day.

How do you be present in the moment with your children? How do you shut out the clamour of the dishes, getting laundry dry, keeping the fire going, deciding on then making dinner, vacuuming up meal detritus, writing home-school exemptions, the need for space to yourself?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Birthday

Miss Six opening her birthday loot in Mama's bed. More craft supplies methinks.

We've entered the wonderful world of Lego! Guess who spent two+ hours constructing the house? Fun!! Mummy did her usual over-thinking of gift purchases and finally bought the house that doesn't have a car garage and I'm pretending the roof windows are solar panels;-)

Daddy-made cake. Pink strawberry icing - all the good totally undone by the red food colouring lollies! Plenty yummy.

Our usual birthday portrait. I like Birthday Girl's face in this one - SO her.

Out for dinner to The Flying Burrito Brothers. I cannot recommend them highly enough for a family dinner! Superb food and even better service.

Best buddies!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008


Husband and I have long been fans of Stroopwafel, or Stroopie as they are affectionately known around here. Recently, my Dutch friend totally blew my mind with the "proper" way to eat them. You put them on top of your hot cuppa, then they get amazingly warm, soft and chewy. How did we not know this before?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

It is a good thing to take the opportunity to honour the role of Mother in our culture. I like a good lie-in, brekky in bed and the lovingly made gifts from my children, and was blessed to get these yesterday.

To be honest, in amongst the busyness that was my day, my mind kept turning towards the mothers struggling to ensure their children's survival in Myanmar. Last night on the news I watched pictures of a mother lying with her very newborn baby, and couldn't help thinking that baby would have been better off in the safety of her womb until international aid can reach them. Imagine the power of Mother Love required to keep many, many thousands of children alive right this minute.

If you're the praying kind, please pray for a break-through in the hearts and minds of the leaders of Burma, to allow experienced aid professionals in to help their people.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wholegrain Sugar

Our family is not up for the sugar-free challenge. However, we do try to limit how much we consume, particularly the highly processed stuff. We were fascinated to watch when Peta Mathias toured the Chelsea Sugar factory years ago to see just how processed brown sugar is - they add the brown colour in at the end of processing!

We like to have jaggery on our porridge now, instead of brown sugar. It suits us as an Indiaphile family. And look! It's "Health Plus" too! There's nothing so wholegrain has having to pick bits of sugarcane out of your teeth while eating your oats;-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Whole Lotta Wool

The Husband and I had a wee giggle recently when we were both waiting on tenterhooks for our online "wool orders" to arrive. Mine is much prettier than his. His is of the practical variety. We've long been at the mercy of poorly insulated rental homes. Thankfully, Husband earned some extra money recently and we chose to spend it on decent wool insulation for above A3's bedroom. We can remove it when we move on from this place. It feels very good to be doing something with the long-term in mind.

Be Aware!

Some issues that are weighing on my mind:

Myanmar - devastation from Cyclone Nargis.

Fair Trade fortnight.

International Composting Week.

Monday, May 5, 2008

In Defence of Food

I've just finished the extremely enjoyable read, Michael Pollan's In Defence of Food. It links so nicely to my favourite read of 2007 - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Pollan provides some one-liner tips to help us follow his seven word mantra: Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much. I'll just throw a few at you to whet your appetite, so to speak:

Eat Food: Food Defined
* Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognise as food.
* Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c) more than five in number, or that include d) high-fructose corn syrup. We are currently using What's in Your Food as a guide to help us with this one.
* Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. He's a big supporter of farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture co-ops (CSAs).
Mostly Plants: What to Eat
* Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. He's not a big fan of the shift towards a grain-based diet. Interestingly, I caught a brief interview on TV last night with the author of Going Against The Grain, who posits a shift away from grains too.
* Eat well-grown food from healthy soils.
* Eat wild foods when you can. I'm feeling mildly smug about our meat consumption of wild venison, goat & pork - because Michael Pollan says it's ok;-)
* Eat more like the French. Or the Italians. Or the Japanese. Or the Indians. Or the Greeks. "There are of course two dimensions to a traditional diet - the foods a culture eats and how they eat them - and both may be equally important to our health." I often comment to Brings Home the Bacon that I like us to "eat like peasants". There seems to be some wisdom in this desire.
* Have a glass of wine with dinner. Who can argue?
Not Too Much: How to Eat
* Pay More, Eat Less. He is definitely quality over quantity.
* Eat Meals. More smugness here - family meals are a very important part of our family culture.
* Consult your gut. Apparently Americans judge when they're full by whether their plate is empty or TV show finished, rather than listening to their internal hunger signals. I suspect Kiwis are much the same.
* Eat slowly. He promotes "deliberate and knowledgeable eating promoted by Slow Food..."
* Cook and, if you can, plant a garden. Feeling very affirmed by this guy;-)

Go and see if your local library has a copy - highly recommended read!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mummy-Daughter Date

Eldest and I got to spend a special day and night together in the Capital staying in a swanky hotel. We caught the train in on a chilly day.

The view from our 14th floor room.

Lunch together in one of my favourite cafes.

They sell stunningly gorgeous cupcakes there and I am not going to tell you how much this one cost us!

Fun in the pool. Mum spent more time in the spa...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

We ate in the nice hotel restaurant. M8 had a lot of fun peeking over the back of her seat at the barman making cocktails...a necessary skill for any budding spy. New clothes for the young lady too.
What stay in a hotel is complete without breakfast in bed! "There are eight pillows on the bed, Mum...and a pillow menu!"

We'll be living on rice and lentils for the next wee while (not a bad thing) but it was totally worth it!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hello, New Baby

Meet my New Baby - my Bernina overlocker that I bought yesterday. She signifies a big transition in my life. I could only afford her because I sold our wooden cot, change table, cloth nappies and other items that I've used with my real live babies. So it's goodbye to that stage of my life until I get to be a grandma.
I love looking at other people's crafting spaces. Mine is unexciting, except for my treasured stash of knitting'n'crafting books underneath. One day I'd like to replace my project list whiteboard with an inspiration board.

I neglected my children to whip up a new pair of PJs for A3 on my New Baby this afternoon.

Yes, Mama is still all about the cowboys for her young buckeroo!