Thursday, August 28, 2008

I found this tutorial online and I just had to try it. This little dress is made from a men's button shirt that I bought at an op shop. It is really very easy, adding the ruffle to the bottom took longer than making the rest of the dress. What a great way to recycle clothing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Yesterday I cleaned the house. While that may seem like an everyday kind of comment, this was no everyday kind of clean. Here is some of what I did: cleaned the cupboard under the sink; did the bathroom; mopped; vacuumed; stripped the sheets, washed, dried and made all the beds; washed 6 loads, folded and put them away; cleaned up the back yard; watered the garden; made some custard tart for morning tea; organised the kids toys; dusted. This was all in addition to the everyday tasks of preparing meals, dressing children, bathing & changing. I went to be absolutely exhausted, but as I put on my clean pj's and climbed into my freshly made bed, I as so pleased. A feeling of pure satisfaction.

As you could appreciate not a lot of sewing happened yesterday, but Sunday on our way to church I realised that Miss A. needed something to help her look presentable. I quickly whipped up this headband. It was so easy and the pattern worked beautifully. She looked lovely and was given lots of compliments.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aliyah's skirt

A friend asked me to sew a skirt for her baby to wear to a wedding this weekend. I hope she likes it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy birthday, Mum!

Mum will not like me telling people, but tomorrow she is turning 50. Sadly, due to many different reasons, we are not able to be with her on her birthday. I so wish it was not so, how I would have loved to have shared this day with her. Instead I thought I would write a little about the things my mother taught me.

1. Girls who sit on the table will never get married. (I proved her wrong, but I can still hear her saying it.)

2. If you lay down when you eat you will grow horns. (Not entirely true, but I now say it to my kids.)

3. That it is worth unpicking and redoing it. It will look better and you will be a lot happier with the end result.

4. That is doesn’t matter so much how far you come in this life as long as you are in a right relationship with Jesus, and make it to heaven.

5. The being a stay-at-home mum is a honourable and God given occupation. Mum never made excuses for being home and raising us 4. She did it well, teaching and training us to love and follow Jesus. Now as adults all her children are in a right relationship with Him.

6. To always have a few dollars hidden in your wallet for those unexpected things in life. Plus it makes for a nice surprise when you happen upon it one day.

7. To keep a home that is open and inviting and to always have space at the table for one more.

8. How to be a good wife. When Jouke and I first got married I struggled to make him the first person I would turn to in a crisis. It was easier to ring mum or to talk to a friend about the things happening in my life, as this is what I was used to. Mum reminded me that that should be Jouke’s role. Mum and Dad have got a wonderful marriage (of 32 years). The love, devotion and support she gives dad everyday has been so powerful.

9. To spend quiet time with God. I don’t remember being told that daily devotionals were important, but I remember “catching” mum reading her Bible many a times.

10. To have dinner at the table with my family as often as possible

11. The rules of tennis

12. Mum is a brilliant seamstress and any bit of ability I have got I owe to her.

13. How to love my children.

14. You don't need a pantry full of food to serve up a great meal. Tinned corn, some leftovers, eggs and green beans is all she needed to feed an army in 15 minutes flat.

15. Many, many countless things. I find myself doing more and more things like you would have. I even sound just like you at times.

Mum, when I think of you I think of Philippians 4:5 that says: Let your gentleness be evident to all. Your gentle spirit draws people to you and provides a safe place for us all. You are a true Proverbs 31 women, ever striving to be more like Jesus. I will forever be thankful that I can call you Mamma. You will always the voice in my head teaching and guiding me as I now seek to raise my little ones to know and follow Jesus. I am so glad that you are their Ouma and I have full confidence that any time they spend with you will be filled with only good things.

Happy birthday mum, have a wonderful day! I love you!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dare to discipline

Don't you sometimes get tired of hear your own voice? Of asking the same thing 3, 4, 5 times before somebody responds? I find this to be particularly true when you are a parent. A friend suggested that I try disciplinary measure that uses pegs and it has work wonders!
Here is how it works: Place 10 pegs onto a coat hanger. Explain to your child that 20 pegs are the goal and that they can be earned through positive behaviour (listening the first time, talking kindly, sharing, etc). Once this goal is reached some type is reward is then given (ice-cream in the park, small toy, etc). They should however understand that unacceptable behaviour leads to pegs being lost. There is to be no negotiation and no warnings, the aim is immediate obedience.
So far Mr T. has responded well. He likes the visual reminder and loves that he is seeing the fruits of good behaviour. So far he has dropped as low as 7 but currently he is sitting on 17 and a trip to the shops in imminent. We are very quick to reward good behaviour at the moment but plan on raising the bar as he get better at listening and obedience. I am amazed at the change in the atmosphere in our home - less yelling and a whole lot more praise. That has to be a good thing!

Friday, August 15, 2008

3 great things

I thought I'd sum up the week by letting you know 3 great things that has happened:

The snowman built on the trampoline

How Frosty died - Labradors will eat anything!

1. Sunday morning we woke to snow, in our backyard! This lead to an adventure into the pine forest looking for more and one of the most magical days in a long time. The whole day was filled with building snowmen, watching the snow fall and generally enjoying each others company. All of us can't seem to get enough of the white stuff.

2. We have a new addition to our family: a little girl Labrador, Narrah, who needed a new home. She has had very little training and is leaning toward being destructive and jumpy, but she has a lovely nature and I am sure with a little correction will be a loving pet. Toffee cannot believe his luck!

3. I got the chance to go see Mama Mia (for the second time). I just cannot get enough of that movie. It is the scenery, the music, the overacting and corniness, and the great mood it puts me in. If you haven't yet - go see it!

What are 3 great things that happened to you this week?

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I find immense pleasure form digging through other people's blogs and getting ideas and inspiration. There are some really talented and creative people in this world and I could but hope to borrow some of their genius.


I see you!

Yesterday I stumbled upon this smocket pattern and I just had to sew it for Miss A. It is so easy to make and brings me great joy. The original pattern had ties at the shoulders, but I added some buttons and also a pocket to both sides to make it reversible. I now hope to make it in a smaller size for baby girl and it will definitely be used for a few birthday presents in the future.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just for show

I took come photos of Anja yesterday to show some of our op shop finds. I came home with two bags filled with wonderful things including shoes, clothes, Tupperware, puzzles and Anja's new favourite toy - Little Bear. But while I am posting I will take the opportunity to show off a little - aren't they just lovely?

Soon, soon...

Slowly I have started sewing a few things for summer. This little dress for baby girl took less than an hour to put together, but that is why I love it - simple and sweet. Oh, I cannot wait for warmer days!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Four things

Just for fun...

4 jobs I have held

1. Babysitter
2. Working in a deli
3. Cook/cleaner during a cotton harvest
4. Waitress

4 movies I would watch over and over

1. I am Sam
2. How to lose a guy in 10 days
3. Mama Mia!
4. While you were sleeping

4 places I have lived

1. South Africa (all over)
2. Warren, NSW
3. Armidale, NSW
4. Naracoorte, SA (married my sweetheart there!)

4 TV shows I watch

1. 60 minutes
2. All Saints
3. Anything medical
4. Dr. Phil ( I know, I know, but its the psychologist in me)

4 places I have been

1. Kruger National Park, South Africa
2. Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia
3. Sentosa Island, Singapore
4. Rotorua, New Zealand

4 favourite foods

1. Roast dinner
2. Chocolate, in all its forms
3. Ice-cream
4. Mango and other tropical fruits

4 places I'd rather be right now

1. In bed, fast asleep. All I want is 1 night of unbroken sleep.
2. Some island, somewhere on a beautiful, deserted beach with my husband
3. At a water park, having fun with the kids
4. In heaven, where there will be no more pain or sorrow and where I will be in the presence of my Lord and Maker!

Join the fun and let me know 4 things about you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

first taste

It feels like only yesterday that I got to meet our little girl. I remember all too well what it felt like to hold her little wet newborn body and to see her little face for the first time. And even though I know from experience that the baby days are so fleeting, I secretly wished that this time the days will pass just a little slower. Maybe it is because we are starting to think that our family may be complete, or because she really is a very content baby full of smile and giggles, but I am really hating that she is getting older.

I am feeling nostalgic tonight because today she had her first go at solid food. This is in reality the first step to weaning and independence. From the day she was conceived until today my body has been providing all the nutrients she needed to grow, but solid food marks the start of a new stage. While I am not sure that I am ready for this, a small part of me is a little excited that I am getting my body back (though it is not quite the way I remember it) and that I might have a little more freedom.
Now I better get busy making some purees...