Joint Birthday Parties

Monsters-University-2013-Wallpaper-HD-for-Desktop[1]My son turns 2 in Oct, and about 12 days later my nephew (we share a house with his mum and him) turns 3.

Oh, it gets worse. My daughter has her 10th birthday on the 4th and my niece has her birthday in the middle of all this.

So most years at least a few of these birthday’s get joined together. This year we’re combining the 10 year old girl, 2 year old boy and 3 year old boy together. All together!

So I thought I’d share our plans, because I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position.

Monsters at the Zoo is the theme. In honor of the first movie the boys watched at the cinema – Monsters University.

We have a blue and green theme going, Sully and Mike.

Blue and green balloons, plates, streamers, and so on.

The main benefit of using a recent release movie is that there is merchandise everywhere. Even at the local supermarket.

We’re organizing the party at Mogo Zoo. If you’re ever going to have a party in a venue that costs money having it while the kids are still free is great. Mogo Zoo has a ‘3 and under go free’ policy.

My next thought is about presents. With two boys close in age in a small town where there are very few shops, is it ok to create a gift registry?

My sister and I settled on ‘yes’. With the condition that we only mention it only if someone says, ‘what should I get?’

However after a bit of searching the only online registry for kids gifts I could find was Amazon and postage to Australia would be quite high. So we scrapped that idea.

Does anyone know of any others?


Camp blanket


It doesn’t look like much but this is destined to be my dd’s camp blanket, the hood, for cub scouts.

As with all activities I think the people make the cub scouts a good or not so good activity for kids. A great group of people makes for a great Cub Scout pack and the same can happen in reverse.

In my daughters current pack the things I am nervous about include that cubs and the younger kids, the Joey scouts, are run seperatly but on the same night. It makes for caos! Noise and not much learning.

On the whole though, I believe cubs is an activity that can help kids learn about themselves. Cub scouts can learn leadership and problem solving and team work.

Escape your reality… Just for a little while

So the online young adult adventure ‘Kemla‘ is running a chapter hunt and we are very excited to be involved.

The book is available for free as a pdf, so you can pop it on your e-reader, or you can read it in bits online, and it is also available as a paperback through Blurb Books. The softcover is only $11.20, a good price for homegrown talent.

Mummy On A Learning Curve is at the beginning of the chapter hunt, which basically means we’re reviewing the beginning of the series. If this catches your interest click the links below and follow on to discover more about the novel, the world, the characters and the writer.

If you’re successful at navigating through the hunt there is a reward at the end.

Kemla is a powerful character, she is independent, has a strong sense of loyalty to her family and is gifted with magic which scares her into ignoring it.

Her world is medieval, horses and swords type stuff, and her life is upended when she rescues her sisters from slave traders but is unable to free herself… this doesn’t happen in chapter one though.

Here’s a bit from chapter one…




13th year of Air

In the years of rebellion.

Book one in the Kemla trilogy.

Cas Webb

Chapter 1

Life as a hunter.

My life is hiding, hunting and being hunted.

I try to ignore the new cramp in my foot as I watch a group of men wander past.  This is completely inconsiderate of them, they have no idea how long I have been waiting here – not for men, but for food. They should seek death elsewhere.

I am sure they mean to escape death, not meet him, but I doubt their chances of success.

With swords drawn and darting gazes the men move as if something is about to jump out and grab them. From the looks of their rough clothing they could easily have run here from some other hardship. I’m in no danger from them, except perhaps of starvation if they keep scaring the wildlife away.

They stumble downstream not realizing that my loaded arrow is aimed at them. Not that I’m planning on shooting one of them, but they are food for something and I don’t want to be next. They continue around the corner, but I don’t move, just waiting.


… waiting alright. Waiting for dragons to almost kill her, waiting to rescue two kids who are practically still babies, waiting to fall in love and when she eventually does it’s with a slave trader. Cross your fingers for her, ‘Life’ is about to take some wild turns.

So grab your sword, bow or horse – or all of the above. And ladies lets find us a cute, young slave trader to fall in love with.

Hunt Question.

Who is the main character in LIFE?

A. Karly.

B. Kemla.

C. Me???

NEW YA fantasy story

Pun intended… the title of the book is NEW. I know I’m not very imaginative with my titles. The main character is Kemla, so the series is KEMLA and the theme in this book is new, new work, new love, new fears. So the book title is NEW.

It’s available here:

And here’s the opening chapter…

Pain stabs down my arm and up into my neck.

I hiss. Laying still is the only safe thing to do.  Stupid slave traders, stupid bandits, stupid shackles … but what a strange dream. It can’t  have been a dream, that had to be real. Ma really was there – or here – or wherever we were/are.

I blink the sleep out of my eyes. I’m laying on the ground, in the mountainous bandit filled forest of Trand Realm. My attempts at using magic to remove the shackles from my wrists and ankles practically knocked me out. I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

Lii is chomping on clumps of grass. It’s near midday, time for lunch, if I had anything to eat. Otherwise I am alone. Leon is gone. Alive I hope, but not near me. He let me go, he let me escape – why didn’t he come with me?

I curse myself for the thought. He’s a slave trader, of course he wasn’t going to escort me to safety. I should just be grateful that he let me go.

How are you feeling, Kem? Lii asks, her interest still on the grass.

I sigh, I’m going to have to get up sooner or later. I have more strength inside, but I’m sore and stiff on the outside.

What’s our next step Kem? Are we going back to the Summers Mountains?

What’s on my book shelf

I’ve recently gone back to reading an old favorite… actually it’s many old favs. As a teen I was hooked on the books by Tamora Pierce, her stories are ya fantasy and they captured my imagination.

Over the years I have collected quite a stack of them, not with slightly yellowed pages I’m re-reading them and I love them just as much.

Try them for yourself….

Happy reading.



It’s not working. None of it is working. You watch tv and see people getting help, they go to their doctors or their friends or a professional and they get their life back on track. Mine is not.

I’m sitting at work right now, which is my own business so this doesn’t really count as slacking off, wondering why?

Why everything because I don’t have the energy to separate out all the little things that are driving me nuts.


Like why, after me wanting to move a year ago are we only now moving?


And why did it take so much effort just to make the decision to move?


And why can’t I meet the good people in the world?


Why do I have to trust the wrong people?


So, let me give you the story since you have loyally listened thus far to the rambling.


My partner and I took a job 4, perhaps close to 5, years ago co-managing a holiday park. I had two half day’s training then I jumped in head first running the office side of things.


My partner took a location which was run down, I mean even the lawn was going wild it took him days just to work out where the grass should have ended and the road should have started and put a nice edge between the two.


We worked. Boy did we work. I, without question, did 10 hour office days, no breaks, no lunch, and then when the office closed I went out to cabins to clean and check that they were properly stocked or strip them. Then after that I spent time in the laundry making sure everything was washed etc. And I LOVED it.


We both did. We stayed up until midnight doing paperwork and painting and redesigning etc.

We won silver awards in our first year.


Our poor puppies, they weren’t walked for weeks at a time – and I regret that.


My daughter suffered, we had no time for sporting or school events – and I regret that the most.


But we were achieving so much. Until one day I took on a staff member who simply did not want to work. Rather then politely resign she made life hell behind my back and soon I was being micromanaged by the property owner.


One day I sat down and did the maths. We were earning less than $5 an hour. We simply couldn’t continue like that and with our son on the way we needed to rethink our priorities.


Somehow, in amongst all of this, we thought we were being good employees, doing the best possible job, and that we were valued but what we were really being was cheap doormats.


Up until last week I, completely unpaid, would check in and answer the door to guests after hours. Dinner would burn, the kids would be waiting for bedtime, and I would be serving strangers with no benefit to myself. Why?


Why did I trust the boss? Why did I look up to him and value his opinion when all he has done is walk all over us?


Why can’t I be one of those people who could say this to him and get a good result?


I am not one of those people. I would love to speak with the man, but it would come out all wrong and my partner, who now solo manages the park, would feel the aftermath.


I watch as other staff members steal and lie and cheat and stand around being a chimney and getting paid for it whilst my partner sacrifices his day’s off to catch up on work because we simply will not check a customer in to our holiday park knowing we could do better. We, personally, can not work any harder. Though of course the place is not perfect because staff and resources are also not perfect… here I am rambling again.


So I decided to move out. A difficult decision. But at least then the kids would have a real home, and not be worried about strangers letting themselves into the house or people outside their windows at midnight etc. And I would not be working for free for someone who doesn’t value me.


Then two days ago the boss comes around and has a go at my partner. Telling him that he doesn’t care what domestic issues he’s having he needs to lift his game.


Jaw dropping moment. What domestic issues! We have employment issues.




And more importantly what now?


How can I meet people worth knowing? Find employment with a boss worth working for? How do I know who is worth trusting?

The school year is just about to start here in Australia, I am already chewing my nails.

Diary of a Public School Teacher!

“Hi, my name is Lisa, and I am a teacher-parent”.  Sigh. I remember when I started teaching in 1984, my principal had a son that was in Special Ed. I recall all too well my reaction,

“How could her son be in Special Ed, she is a principal of the gifted program?” I, (in my naivety),was quick to judge this woman, who had probably done all she could to help her child. I assumed that because she was an educator, that her children should be, not just smart, but supersmart! Able to leap academic standards in a single bound because Mom was a TEACHER! How many times, before I had my own kids, did I judge teacher-parent kids (Pssstt…did you know her Mom’s a teacher?)

Fast forward, and  children of my own, and my view has changed drastically! I have come to realize that being a teacher-parent doesn’t make your…

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