The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Pearly Pig and other treasures from a Mother's Heart by Helen.

Dear Friends, Welcome once again to the lovely circle of dear ones that surrounds Annabel's Blog. I wanted to share with you a lesson gleaned years ago.
My darling Mum, always loved The People's Friend, a Scottish Journal that is published weekly.  It's motto was that it would never contain anything that you would be uncomfortable with a child reading in your home.

About fifteen years ago, it had a beautiful story that ran for about six weeks which was later published as a book.
It was called " The Pearly Pig".
It was the lovely story of a mother, who kept a beautiful china pig on the mantlepiece of her kitchen.  The story follows the course of her life and the growing of her children.  As needs would present themselves, she would reach up to the mantlepiece and pull down the pearly pig and empty out the coins to help with the need.
This was a home, rich in love, but poor in this world's goods.  This mother's thriftiness and wisdom was able to propel her children into being able to meet needs and goals.

As we drive along the highways here in Australia, some of you would have seen the sticker on the back of caravans, motorhomes and cars.  It goes something like this"  I'm spending my children's inheritance".
It's meant to be humorous and I understand that.  However, it's the opposite spirit that was evident in the mother of this household with the pearly pig.
If you are a mother...what are you doing to provide for your children?  Or if you have received a gift or a blessing from your parents or grandparents...what was it, and how did it change the course of your life?
The Bible tells us in that wonderful book of Proverbs ..."A good person lays up an inheritance for his children and his children's children"  13:22
I have been giving this some thought as we are parents of two wonderful sons.
House prices in Australia are very high.  It's a desire of their hearts to one day own their own home.

We started two years ago with our eldest son, to set aside $25 per week towards that goal.  With our youngest son, we started at the beginning of this year.  They also add to the amount, and every few months, send us a thank you letter and a copy of how their account is going.
To date...our eldest son has $4000 saved and our youngest has $1500.
I know that some of you reading this, are on slim budgets due to illness, job loss or other challenges.  What I wanted us all to think about was how can we invest in our children's lives?  For some of us, it will be cooking, or gardening, or child minding, or saving a little here and a little there.
But we will know....that when we see a need in our child's life, we have the means to step up and meet some of them.

We have only had full time employment in our home for the last six years.  Consequently we have lived on small budget for our family.
On Thursdays, I pay all the bills and do the banking.  This is a weekly habit in our lives, and I believe it's heavily contributed to us having savings.
We have no debts, so our bills are usually just one or two at a time, and I set them on the coffee table to be dealt with on Thursday morning.
This is my financial routine.
1. Look at all bank balances daily to check for discrepancies.
2. Pay current bills due on Thursdays.
3. Set aside savings
4. Live on what is left
5. Keep your spouse informed if you are married
6. Near the first of each month, we sit down together as a couple and look at our financial picture.

One tip that may help.. is that if you have an income of $500 per week, think and talk in terms of having $480.  That extra $20 is the start of your " Pearly Pig Project".

Please share what you are doing for your family to provide an inheritance for your children and children's children? I know that together we can come up with all sorts of wonderful tips and ideas.  Amongst us surely are some  stories of being blessed with words or deeds or finances from people that loved us.
Maybe some of you may want to start your own " Pearly Pig Project". What a thank you that would be to the author of the Pearly Pig!

Love Helen x


  1. Dear Helen,

    Thank you for such a beautiful post! I know exactly the bumper sticker you are talking about. You're right that it's meant to be funny, but at it's core it sadly reminds us all of the prevalent me, me, me attitude. The story you've shared is beautiful. About 2 years ago, I became very convicted about legacy and inheritance. What is my legacy to my children? To their children? What inheritance will they have? Bill and I married at 39 and 40. We have blended our families, started over, and have some huge expenses. But this is our hope and dream and live pleasing to God, that our children will be blessed so they in turn can be a blessing to their future families. We hope to achieve this by teaching through example the importance of tithing one's income, time, and talents. Last year we began helping the children with goals. Needs versus wants are a natural conversation daily. We don't budge on character issues, it is huge in our family. We live and teach that character simply is who you are when no one is looking. We never go to bed without family prayer. I keep mementos/photos/records for the children and they each have scrapbooks that they will be given when they are adults. We started saving for each child individually, and when they marry/move out/etc, we intend to bless them with may not be much but it is from our hearts. I have an envelope system. I save for specific things throughout the year (car registration, Christmas, school clothing and supplies, kid's birthdays, emergency fund and anything extra goes into a little slush fund). I'm able to bless my family from this fund in unexpected circumstances, unforeseen needs, a short payday, etc. It's the blessing of my life to think and plan ahead for the little and the bigger needs. It's brought me more joy than I can express.

    I cannot wait to read all of the responses to this post!!! Thank you Helen for such a beautiful thought! xxx Colette

    1. Helen and Colette I am replying here to you together as I cant be a commenter on the blog, it wont let me lol
      I love this post. There is so much truth and wisdom in it.
      I cant even see how young people now can get a home unless they start saving and working early and are encouraged and helped and even then it mightnt be possible in the big cities. Sydney for instance the prices are frightening. But in the country it is much cheaper... but you have to have a job!
      Aside of the security of housing and education I think we are laying down the groundwork for future generations. Pray now for your children to marry good spouses! That is such a big part of a happy life and the future of your Grand children! Pray for your Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. They don't have to be born yet! We can be praying all along.
      We are laying the foundations now in everything we do in the home. We are laying foundations now in what we feed our family. Nutrition is a big thing. How can people go ahead and be healthy and work etc fed on artificial food and chemicals? So many things we do everyday are laying a groundwork for generations.
      I have a real sense of my Great Grandparents influence on me and a great one of my Grandparents. There was a lot of prayer there I know.
      Like Colette I save and cherish mementos and records. As you would have noticed when I got out five generations of handmade family baby clothes! Harper is the sixth generation in the baby clothes collection!
      Then Harper was named after her Great Gran (my Mum) and her Great Great Gran (My Nan) as well!
      good legacy lasts generations. But a bad one can too. There are lots of things I will forgo to be busy helping the generations of our family. We have been really blessed with a wonderful legacy so far.
      This is a wonderful post Helen. xxx

    2. Opps I forgot... I want to say if you have a good family legacy that is wonderful, pass it on.
      But if you don't if you have anything negative or nothing at all that you know of YOU can be the start of a wonderful new legacy to pass down the generations. xxx

    3. Dear Colette,
      You really do write such wonderful comments. I always light up when I look down and see your name.
      You are living the Pearly Pig Life Colette. When I read your list of how you bless your family with their needs and a little extra being met, along with the importance of character, integrity, faithfulness and graciousness.
      It's so empowering to meet women who multiply what is in their hand. Last night I was sharing this principle with my son's girlfriend, how when I am a little short, I'm really happy, because it is then, I start thinking and making decisions that are wise. Laura said to me " Limitations lead to innovation". I thought that was wonderful for a 19 year old to have grasped.
      I'm planning on making a list from the responses Colette, and you have really launched us all with your beautiful answer.
      Love Helen xxx

    4. Annabel, I often feel that when I am talking with you and asking you about things, I am hearing from generations of women in your family....along with good men like your father.
      Very often when reading older fiction books, one of the driving dreams in people's lives is to have a home of their own, no matter how humble and to sit by their own fireside.
      I really believe Annabel that the heart of your blog is to show women that they can have a happy, beautiful, clean home that shelters their family and friends with ingenuity and hard work.
      And absolutely people can change their family tree. I hear it on Dave Ramsey all the children deciding that their family is going to live a life that is a legacy for their children.
      Thank you my beautiful friend for allowing me the space to share some of my thoughts.
      Love Helen xxx

    5. Helen, Colette and Annabel,

      I could not post a reply to your comment, somehow, but hopefully this one will work. I LOVE THIS POST, HELEN, AND YOUR COMMENTS, Collette and Annabel! Unfortunately I only have this brief moment in which to say "thank you!"


  2. What a wonderful post - and comments so far. I love that magazine as well. I can sometimes get it from the op shop here.
    What a blessing you are to your children, providing them with some funds towards a house purchase. I have just been setting money aside in an account, not for any specific purpose. We own our farm now, after lots of years of scrimping and saving, so are able to put aside some extra now. I may have to follow your example and put a specific amount aside for each child. House prices, even rural, are getting scaryily high, so every little bit would count. It is become too common for people to just rent their whole lives and there is no security in that.

    1. Hi Jayne, Thank you for your lovely comment. It's not often that I encounter someone who knows the People's you have made my day already!
      Your family has done so well getting to a place where your farm is your own. It's true what you say, the basic security of knowing that your shelter is paid for is just huge.
      With our eldest son Tom, we initially started it with $20 per week. At that time, he was working and our youngest Andrew was still at University and we were helping with his living costs.
      What's really lovely Jayne is that they don't expect they are grateful for the help and it makes Glen and I feel really good.
      I think that when we do something like this, it means everyone gets blessed.
      Have a wonderful day, and thank you so much for taking the time to write.
      Love Helen

  3. Lol Annabel that you couldn't post on your own blog. Computers!

    Helen a lovely post with loads of warmth and heart. I cannot tell you how much you and Annabel and other ladies on here are working in ways that resonate with me. I have this goal in my mind always and yes I have seen the i'm spending my kids inheritance stickers and I think to be honest they are tacky and foolish.
    I have set up a managed fund for my brand new grandson. Without sounding overbearing, I have told them that I will retain control of it, add where I can and it will be given to him at some point in his adult life. It won't be for a fancy car or holiday, but for real estate. by the time he is in say his mid 20's it should be worth a tidy sum.
    Fi xx

    1. Oh wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing what you are doing. All of these comments are so helpful to us building our homes and our families. We too, set some guidelines, and it has been great. It keeps everything clean, and the boys are grateful for the help.
      Have a lovely day, and thanks so much for contributing.
      Love Helen

  4. First of all, thankyou for mentioning the People's friend. One of my Grandma's read that and I still love to look at them if I see them at an op shop.
    When my sisters and I turned 18 my Grandparents gave us each $500, this was 30 years ago so it was worth more then. I was so thrilled and promptly wasted it all on frivolous things :-( It turns out though that the money wasn't the legacy afterall. It was the spirit in which they thought of our future and sacrificed to be able to gift us. My husband and I have put away money for our kids and have a separate amount put away for them each to do a mission trip. I have a heart for my children to put others first and mostly they do.
    I love where Annabel says to pray for your children's future spouses, children, grandchildren etc. I truly believe that it was the prayers of my Grandfather that eventually brought my Dad to a saving faith - even though my Grandfather didn't live to see it.
    I continue to pray for my children's spouses and future generations, my kids are well into their teens and they still love for me to pray over them this way.
    Character is the best legacy that can be passed on.
    Bless all you beautiful ladies and your families and your work.

    1. Hi Del,
      I absolutely agree with you Del. It's wonderful to meet ladies where you find yourselves with the same goals in life.
      We have been on mission trips with our children, and they tell us that they are the memories that are extra dear to them.
      Thank you for telling me about your grandparents. You're right $500 was a significant amount then.

      I think as you rightly point's being young and learning lessons isn't it?
      I love that Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachael Cruz have bought out Smart money Smart kids.
      If I had little ones, I would be doing the online classes or reading the book for sure.
      It's a delight to meet someone else that knows The People's Friend Del.
      Have a beautiful day, and thanks so much for your lovely comment.
      Love Helen

  5. My dad's mom taught me to love the kitchen and cooking, my moms mom taught me to love crafts and sewing, they both shared their gardening with me. They shared their stories and histories. They left an incredible legacy. (my moms mom just passed in November at 102!)
    My parents loved each other and us, they had little money (I come from a long line of farmers) but oh what a wonderful childhood I had. We took trips to see family and we worked hard on the farm and we all knew we were important. My dad is in heaven but my mom is still with us and the knowledge that they loved me, no matter what, was and is priceless. (I still call my mom when I need a little boost!)
    Life is different these days and it is harder for kids to get going early on in their lives, and I hope I can help my kids somewhat, I would like to leave an inheritance. But just in case I can't give financially I hope I remember that they are all three good young men and have married fine young women and are beginning God fearing families - so maybe I managed the important things! (they still call now and then when they need a boost too!)
    When it comes to giving to the kids I have one piece of advice, If you want them to have it eventually give it to them now unless you are using it- we have had much fun giving each of the kids some of our treasures that we still love but are tired of dusting, it means something to them that we chose it for them and we get a lot of joy out of them having it to enjoy.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      What a treasure your comment is. Your description of your family, is truly what real wealth is.
      I still call my mum when I need a boost. I remember when our first child left home, I went home to Mum and Dad for a few days, and as I opened the screen door at the front and saw my Mum, my eyes filled with tears.
      I was home!
      All the fear and worry had somewhere safe to lay. Mum simply told me that everything would be alright. And it was!
      Your boys and your girls sound like treasures themselves. Thank you for reminding us to share the joy now and give them the things from home that they love.
      Your comment was full of so much thank you Kathy.
      Love Helen x

  6. Dear Helen, another lovely and heartfelt post. I replied yesterday, but it didn't post for some reason.

    My mother in law used to set aside $2 each for all of her 13 grandchildren each pension day and put that into accounts for them all until they were 18. She passed on 21 yrs ago, so her little contribution had 10 percent or more interest p.a. Plus compound on it. So for that era, a little nest egg for them even though she only had limited means.

    I am doing something along that line for my first grand daughter and will continue on with any future gc we are blessed with. We probably will have limited means in the future, but will be putting something aside just like their dear great grandma would have done.

    We have 3 daughters, so putting aside for their weddings has also been part of our savings plans.

    No matter how small a contribution in a monetary sense, the love and care that is shown is not quickly forgotten by future generations. These are the threads that weave and bind our lives together. xoxo

    1. Dearest Kaye,
      I have that happen sometimes as well! Thank you for the beautiful story of your mother in love. For surely that was what she was. I am getting filled up with ideas thanks to you all.
      Kaye, I hadn't really thought about doing this for grandchildren, but you have given me the idea. We too are saving for weddings:)
      I don't know when they will be, but I thought whatever I can put aside will be a help.
      You are so right, it's not necessarily the's the support, wisdom and ability to meet our families needs.
      Love Helen xxx

  7. Hi Helen

    As always a great read and some wonderful tips.

    To help put money away for us and our daughter, we have 2 money boxes hidden away. I always put $2 in each at the end of the week as well as any other loose coins I have in my wallet. I split the coins between both. This helps us to have treats over the summer holidays, such as an icecream day out or a movie day at the cinemas. As for our DD5 her's goes into the bank. My mum also does the same for DD5 as she is older and her other Grandaughter has had almost 17 years of things that DD5 has not so she wants to help with DD5 bank account. We greatly appreciate this.

    The small things can make a big difference as the cost of living out here is way through the roof and with none of the Aldi stores in reach of us the 2 major supermarkets sure know how to sting, also there is the cost of fuel running back and forth to town.

    We also save money by taking our own snacks on the road trips to town and even though I buy the occasional coffee this is the only treat we usually have. We make as much as possible from scratch. We collect eggs from chooks we are feeding while friends are away, giving veggie scraps to those friends each week in return for eggs to save a little more.

    Our next major plan is to have some windowsill boxes and plant some veggies and herbs in them so we can have some fresh produce.

    Regards Aly

  8. Hi Aly,
    I know what a saver you are Aly....and so I really appreciate hearing your tips. The beauty of starting with your little girl so young, time is on her side to really make those loose coins count.
    I have spent nearly all of my life in the country so I can well appreciate what you are saying about the supermarkets and the cost of fuel being factored in.
    One of the things that I used to do Aly when we lived out of town, was to have a huge shopping day once a month.
    In some ways it was a killer, but your food has to last and it seems to go further.
    I hope that helps....and be encouraged. You are doing a fabulous job for your family!
    Love Helen

    1. Thank you Helen

      Yes we do have a major day in town once a month, but I am also finding with on line shopping it is actually easier than trawling the supermarket. We do have to go to town each week for DD5 dancing. I just wish we still had our little fruit and veg shop here as that was so much easier and made the shopping once a month much more achievable

      Aly xxx

  9. This is a wonderful post, and I appreciate reading all the comments from so many frugal, wise, and kind women. This post has given me ideas of things to do for my children and grandchildren, plus, it has brought to mind the things I have done. Not so much in the way of giving money, but I have been writing down childhood memories for my grand children and sending to them. I think knowing the heart and soul of one's relatives is very important, especially after they have passed on and you sit and wonder what they were like. Also, making things for your children or grandchildren, is a way to pass on a 'physical' inheritance, something they can hold in their hands and know it was made by your hands, especially for them. This post has inspired me to work more towards these goals. So many good ideas here, and I had the thought that if I were to meet these ladies who comment, we would have so much in common, and we could be good friends. Thank you for this blog, it is like a friendly conversation between women across the world.


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