Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Report time...

Yep, it's that time of the year again. End of the school year and report time.

This is the first year all the girls have been in school. Hope & Briahna started school half way through the year, and Aimee continued to attend the special school. I am so pleased with their reports, I was quite anxious that they get good ones. I don't know what it is about being a mum, but I always feel somehow responsible for my children's behaviour and grades.

I am especially proud of the effort part of all three girl's reports. Jonathan and I, both, are greatly encouraged when our girls do their work with a good attitude, and work ethic. Briahna got A's in all her subject's for effort - WELL DONE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is

Get your Christmas Elf Name at

Pretty hilarious, eh! :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

thank you teacher!

I wanted to swing so high in the sky
the other kids could I wanted to try
I sat down alone and held on tight
I kicked my feet with all my might
but the swing stayed still it didn't sway
and I learned a special lesson that day

Sometimes we need a push to start
a gentle nudge from a caring heart
You saw in me the potential to soar
You encouraged me to try so much more
Whenever I struggled, kicking my feet
You never let me give me up in defeat

So thank you, teacher, for giving me
the push I needed for all I could be

And the class prize goes to....

drum roll please...


We are the proud parent's of a very special girl who has been recognised for all the hard work she has put into her school work this year! GO AIMEE! She also got the best school report we've ever had for her.

She was a little overwhelmed because she had no idea that she was going to win.

Monday, December 03, 2007

save me from myself - Brian 'head' Welch

I have just finished reading the above book after borrowing it from Josh. It was a great read, and although I've never had the "dramatic" testimony that he has, I found myself relating to a lot of what he had to say. Especially the stuff about depression. I've suffered on and off from a malingering depression, most of the time brought on by a visit from my folks or a remembering of my childhood. Anyhow, I was most moved at the end of his story and I will copy the excerpt here - I highly recommend you all read this book!

Save Me From Myself - Page 214-215

...But then one day I finally realised that screaming at God and begging him to take away my pain wasn't going to work. So I completely surrendered myself and stopped fighting him and I asked him what he wanted me to do.

He said:

And that's what I did.

I cried and worshipped the Lord in stillness and silence, listening to worship music and laying on the ground in his presence. It was time for God to do all the work, and it was time for me to be quiet. That's what got me through those dark times. Because God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3), and he was right there with me the whole time. He taught me that the only thing I needed to do was to be still and quiet while the pain surfaces, and then I could just cry it away...... .....It was very hard to cry so much during that season, but God helped me by showing me that the divine light of his Spirit was shining in my soul, burning away all of the junk from my pas, and replacing it with the wisdom of his unconditional love - which was exactly what I needed in my soul - love.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

flowers, flowers everywhere!

Today brought back many memories of flower show day's of years past. Every year my school would make us endure a day of flower arranging to be judged. I hated the scrutiny, but today found me wishing better memories for the girls as they faced their first one. Briahna got a highly commended for her little seed owl! Hope's all looked great, and if I was the judge she would have won a prize for her fantasy tray!

Here are the pic's:

Briahna and Hope had their hair done to go with the theme... [flowers from our garden!]

Bree's Winning Bird!

Bree's Table Arrangement;

Bree's Pressed Flower Candle;

Bree's Pressed Flower Frame;

Bree's Grassapillar;

Hope's Unusual Container;

Hope's Pressed Flower Frame;

Hope's Fantasy Tray;

Hope's Grasshead;

Well done to both of them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

softies; ugli monsta #1

If you've known me a while - you know that I get really intense about what interests me. I find something I like and go go go for it for the next week or two, then the interest dies off and I don't pick it up for months. I love projects that are quick and easy, otherwise they end up in the unfinished basket...

On Monday I began a new adventure making soft toys! I have no idea what I will eventually do with them, prolly give them away... Like the one pictured which was my first attempt at a monsta!

Since then, I have made 4 different soft toys and the girls have made a whole load too! I will try and take photo's of our attempts and post them soon! The blue monsta has a new home at Jonathan's work...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Because of you

"Because Of You" - Kelly Clarkson

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
Because of you

Friday, November 09, 2007

i've been thinking: parenting

yep! I've been at it again ... thinking, pondering, wondering, supposing.

It all comes from having my parents to stay last month.

I don't really want to go into what kind of parents they were to me, but they weren't great.

It all made me think about what kind of parent I want to be, and also what is really required of us to be the best parent we can be.

I came up with two words that I think encompass what it means to be a parent.

What is required of us?

nurture & protection

At least, that's what I think anyhow. These two words encompass everything good and everything my parents didn't do for me. I don't mean (by nurture & protection) that you stunt your children by not allowing them to become independent. You allow your children to become independant by being relevant to appropriate age and development. By simplifying my parenting style, I feel like it's not such a hard thing to be a good parent. It has empowered me to love my children for who they are where they are. They are not some label to be worked out by reading a book. I get to read them myself, as individuals. They really are gorgeous girls, who have so much neatness about them!

I think that the biggest mistake my parents made with me was that they never really wanted to KNOW me. They didn't bother to find out who I was, to unravel the real me.



pro·tect [pruh-tekt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
2.Economics. to guard (the industry or an industry of a nation) from foreign competition by imposing import duties. provide funds for the payment of (a draft, note, etc.).
–verb (used without object) provide, or be capable of providing, protection: a floor wax that protects as well as shines.

[Origin: 1520–30; <>prōtéctus, ptp. of prōtegere to cover in front, equiv. to prō- pro-1 + teg-, s. of tegere to cover (akin to toga, thatch) + -tus ptp. suffix]


nur·ture [nur-cher] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -tured, -tur·ing, noun
–verb (used with object) feed and protect: to nurture one's offspring. support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster: to nurture promising musicians. bring up; train; educate.
4.rearing, upbringing, training, education, or the like.
5.development: the nurture of young artists.
6.something that nourishes; nourishment; food.

[Origin: 1300–50; (n.) ME norture <>nourriture <>nūtrītūra a nourishing, equiv. to L nūtrīt(us) (ptp. of nūtrīre to feed, nourish) + -ūra -ure; (v.) deriv. of the n.]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

what colour am i?

you are lightskyblue

Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You're conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn't even suspect.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

these small hours

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don't you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don't mind
if it's me you need to turn to
we?ll get by,
it's the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

Monday, October 15, 2007

RIGHT brain v LEFT Brain

Is she turning clock-wise or anti-clockwise? CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE HER TURN!

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

I am a right brainer... interesting!

Monday, October 08, 2007

I began another bad day today... Didn't take much, just the taxi forgetting to pick Aimee up for school, and it made for a bad start. Bree is sick still.

Anyway, as I was driving to the doctor's I remembered this song, that we had my sister sing for us at our wedding. I am reminded of the love Jonathan and I share - he is a great support to me, even in the darkest times... I am grateful that God brought him into my life!

lyrics 4 bad day...

Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
You tell me your blue skies fade to grey
You tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces everytime
And I don't need no carryin' on

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Well you need a blue sky holiday
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on

You had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day

(Oh.. Holiday..)

Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know
That you could be well oh that strong
And I'm not wrong (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeah)

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

(Oh, yeah, yeaaah, yeah)
Had a bad day
(Oh, had a bad day)
Had a bad day
(Oh, yeah, yeah, yeeeeah)
Had a bad day
(Oh, had a bad day)
Had a bad day...
Had a bad day...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

you had a bad day....

:) I haven't posted on here since July - eek! I am still alive, just !!! Image shack has lost my title image.... weird, so I will get on to the man about designing me a new header, see you all soon - promise!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

booties galore!

What can you give people who've had a baby, when it seems like everyone around you is having them?! My solution = booties.

I have been busy the past week knitting some sweet booties - gosh, they look so small! I trialled 2 patterns before deciding on one I liked, and I have knitted 6 pairs so far. The 3 to the side are ones that are to be given out tonight at cession.

Here is my favourite bootie pattern, so I won't misplace it in the real world! hehehe!!!

Cast on 34 stitches and knit 12 rows.
On the next row, knit 20 stitches, knit 2 together and then turn.
*Slip a stitch (with yarn in front), purl 6, purl 2 together then turn.
Slip a stitch (with yarn in back), knit 6, knit 2 together then turn.*
Do the above set 8 more times, so you knit back and forth on those centre 6 stitches, picking up 2 together on either end, for approx 10 rows, or until you have 24 stitches on your needles. (take a count each row to make sure)
On the last one, knit to the end of the row.
Create an eyelet row for ties: Purl first two stitches, yo, knit 2 together until the end of the row.
Now, knit 20 rows to make the rollover cuff. Cast off.
Stitch the bootie from toe to cuff and turn the right way.
Add ribbon, crocheted yarn or knitted yarn for ties.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Love Language Test

Here are my results after doing the love language test here:-

Love Language
8 - Words of Affirmation
5 - Quality Time
7 - Receiving of Gifts
8 - Acts of Service
2 - Physical Touch

I read the book a few years ago - and it's interesting as my languages have changed a little - I never much used to be an acts of service girl. But look at the physical touch one... lol, couldn't get much lower there! I think that the test reflects the fact that I am a busy mum of 3.

Anyway - go check it out! See what you come out with. Is it fairly true of you?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

loving SCHOOL

Knowing you've made the right decision isn't the same thing as feeling great about it. At least that is what I've been learning lately.

The girls absolutely LOVE school, which I'm glad about. Still, I miss them and it's very quiet - overwhelmingly quiet! I could, however, get used to the silence - I like it. But it's been 11 years since I had any peace - so it could take a little time to get used to it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

time flys a.k.a. what i've been up to

well, 2 weeks have flown by - school is back tomorrow (for Aimee anyway). The other 2 start school on Tuesday. I think I have everything covered (needs wise - we took them out shopping for shoes & lunch boxes etc on Thursday). The girls are very excited about it all!!! I am, however, feeling conflicted - I think I am going to miss them terribly, and I am going to have to get used to my own company. It's not a bad thing - just different.

I have been busy this holiday's doing crafty things. I knitted 5 hat & scarf sets, and discovered how easy it is to make little felt covers for hairclips - I have currently made 10 pairs of hairclips. I will at some stage post the pattern for the hat I made - mainly so that I will always have access to it. I lost the last great hat pattern, forgot completely how I made them. I promise to get a photo up of the hats too!

I recieved my favourite things swap parcel from my swap partner Liz. All I can say is YUMMY japanese candy - mmmmm! mmmm! I haven't read the book yet though - I guess I will have a lot more time for reading now the girls are going to school, so I will get to it!

Friday, June 29, 2007

list|things i need to organise before the girls go to school

I like lists - I write them once, and remember what I need to do. It enables me to spend less time worrying about the things I may have forgotten to do.

So here goes the start of my list of things I need to do/organise before the girls start school in just over a fortnight.

* new lunch boxes/drink bottles need to be purchased.
* new uniforms need to be purchased (this is going to happen the day before they start).
* decision needs to be made about which uniform items need to be purchased.
* new black shoes need to be purchased.
* find out the girls birth certificates & immunisation certificates.
* organise taxi to stop bringing Aimee home, I will be picking her up on the way to get the girls each afternoon.
* I need to start thinking about lunch ideas and how we will organise the days ie. lunches made and uniforms out and ready before bedtime. Everyone in this house would be considered anti-morning people - so we have to put thought into such things.

It's so exciting - Hope spent last night asking, "Am I really going to school Mummy?", every few minutes. She just can't get it out of her mind.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

breaking news|hope & bree are going to school!

So... A lot of you know that we home school, we have done for almost 4 years now. I have really enjoyed nurturing and teaching my children. They both really love learning, and it has been a both wonderful and sometimes challenging journey.

Our reason for home schooling in the first place, was based almost entirely on the fact that we live in a pretty bad school district. Hope was not being challenged educationally, and was in her words, "bored". She had started school knowing how to read (she was reading chapter books at the time), knowing basic math (how to add & subtract), but by the end of her first year she had lost a lot of the knowledge she had begun with. The school she was attending, did not want to encourage her too much, and told me that they very rarely, if ever, move a child up a class level. Also, as our house backed onto "said school", I was hearing things I didn't think were appropriate over the fence. I could hear Hope's teacher yelling at the class - which is, I think, totally reprehensible! No child deserves to be yelled at, especially not by someone they are supposed to be learning from. So, at the end of 2002 we took it all into our own hands, and decided to home school. It was scary for us, especially because we had a picture in our minds of home schoolers being a real odd bunch - were we willing to become part of that?!?

When Aimee turned 5, we began to home school her - it was a real struggle and I didn't quite understand why, until she was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder at the end of that year. I was not sure what to do, and so we put her into school. The same school that had been so terrible for Hope. At the time, I didn't know there was any other option, and I was basically just reacting. She now goes to a satellite class which is under a special school. I am hoping that at some point we will be able to put her into a mainstream school. She is doing so well now academically.

Briahna has never been to school. She has never had a problem educationally, and it was very exciting when, last year, she learned to read! One of my proudest moments, as a home schooling mum, I would have to say! Hope was a self-taught reader and Aimee learned to read at school. Being the youngest child in our family, Bree is a bit of a mummy's girl and has needed some encouragement to come out of her shell around other people. I love her to bits though! I have been lucky to have been blessed with 3 wonderfully different, unique girls - and I love them all!

Hope came to me at the beginning of this year, and told me that she wanted to be a doctor more than anything else, when she grew up. It gave me a scare, because how was I going to teach her all the things she needed to get into medical school. Science has always been a scary subject to me. What to do?!? I want to support my children in whatever endeavour they choose, so I had a dilemma. To begin with, I didn't want to think about school. I KNEW, without a doubt, that my children wouldn't be going to the school next door. I had no idea what school, if any, I would feel comfortable about sending the girls to.

Once, I had come to terms with the idea that home schooling might be coming to an end for us. I decided I needed to find the right school. We couldn't afford private education - unless we won the lottery - and so we were stuck with looking at public school or christian school options. It seemed every option we looked at in the christian sector had a waiting list 50 feet long. So that was, at least for now, a no goer. I had, by this stage, decided that it was an all or nothing thing - both of the girls would be put into school. I wanted to find a school that took both age-groups. Hope will be intermediate (middle school) age next year, and it would be nice not to have to travel to more than 2 schools, for now.

About a week ago, I was chatting to a friend of mine on the phone - she just happens to be a teacher - about my school worries, when she suggested a certain country school that she had taught a music class at over term 1 & 2 of this year. She said the teachers were fantastic, and that the principal was a christian guy. So, I looked the school up on the internet - great thing this internet is, for researching schools. I emailed the school secretary and set up a meeting time - we went yesterday. It has all happened so quickly - because we signed all the forms for their enrollment and they start school on Tuesday, 17th July, after the holidays. When you KNOW something is right, things can happen seemingly fast.

The school is awesome. It is a little country school (it has a roll of 154 students). They have calf day, a flower day and bible-in-schools. The classrooms go no bigger than around 20 students, and it is about 15 minutes drive away from our front doorstep. Truly AMAZING!

My little cling-on (Briahna) was very taken with the school, and I am left thinking that it will be me crying when I leave her at school. She is going to have a ball.

I believe this is the completely right way for our family to go. We have discussed whether or not I will return to work, but at present I am going to be a "lady of leisure". Yeah right, hehehe, actually I already have most days booked out to do things. Mainly Music, Children's Church, coffee groups... and no stress about whether the girls are doing enough "book-work". I will definitely miss them during the day, it's going to be quieter and tidier. I can put the school room into better use - a big craft room - YEAH!

For Chosen Mothers

Blogger doesn't always tell me when people comment on my blog - and it's a shame because I just discovered a really great post here, after someone read this post I made.

Below is a poem that she has on her website:- (be warned - it's a tear jerker)

For Chosen Mothers

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of a child with special needs. Did you ever wonder how mothers like this are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia. Rudledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint... give her Jude. He's used to profanity."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a child with special needs."
The angel curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy." "Exactly", smiles God. "Could I give a child with special needs a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asked the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a seal of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it.

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world She has to make him live in her world and that is not going to be easy."

"This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angels gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?" God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she's to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'. She will never consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says "Mama' for the first time she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or sunset to her child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice... and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, her pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday MUM!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Muuuuuuuum
Happy Birthday to you

Hip Hip Hooray!

I hope you have a fantastic day

Friday, June 22, 2007

NEWS|Protein mutations link to autism

Boy with autism
Autism impairs social interaction
From BBC World

Scientists have discovered how mutations in two key proteins may lead to autism.

They have shown one protein increases the excitability of nerve cells, while the other inhibits cell activity.

The University of Texas team found that in normal circumstances the proteins balance each other out.

But the study, published in Neuron, suggests that in people with autism the balance between the proteins is knocked out of kilter.

Understanding how the autistic brain is different to the neurotypical brain will have significant implications for education and intervention
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
University of Cambridge

The findings back the theory that autism involves an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory connections between nerve cells.

The proteins, which serve to physically link nerve cells together, were discovered by the team at the university's Southwestern Medical Center more than a decade ago.

However, until the latest study their exact function had been unclear.

Lead researcher Dr Ege Kavalali said: "Mutations in these proteins have recently been linked to certain varieties of autism.

"This work provides clear insight into how the proteins function. We can never design a therapeutic strategy without knowing what these mutations do."

Bridge between cells

The proteins - neuroligin-1 and neuroligin-2 - create a physical bridge at the junction - or synapse - of nerve cells, enabling them to make connections with others.

In studies on rats the researchers showed that raising levels of both proteins in nerve cells led to the creation of extra synapses.

Neuroligin-1 was associated with excitatory connections and neuroligin-2 with inhibitory connections.

When they introduced a mutant form of neuroligin-1 thought to be carried by some people with autism the number of synapses fell dramatically - and the cells became significantly less excitable.

Infants are born with far more synapses than survive to adulthood. Active synapses proliferate during development, but inactive synapses are culled.

The latest research suggests that carrying a mutant form of neuroligin-1 may depress the number of synapses that make it into adulthood.

This could hamper the ability of nerve cells to make the usual connections, and lead to the deficits seen in people with autism.

It affects the way a person communicates and interacts with other people.

Communication problems

People with autism cannot relate to others in a meaningful way. They also have trouble making sense of the world at large.

As a result, their ability to develop friendships is impaired. They also have a limited capacity to understand other people's feelings.

Autism is often also associated with learning disabilities.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, said research into the role of neuroligins in autism was important.

He said: "We need to know more about both the genes that code for neuroligins, and the neuroligins themselves, to establish if they play a specific role in the cause of autism spectrum conditions and in which subgroup.

"Understanding how the autistic brain is different to the neurotypical brain will have significant implications for education and intervention."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

hello my name is...

I love my husband! He surprised me last night by bringing me home a copy of "The Princess Bride". I LOVE the movie, and have been wanting to read the book for forever!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jonathan - My Sweetheart!!! :D

After 4 days of sick children, I really needed a pick-me-up. This is one of the best things I have ever been given.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My new phone|Big YAY!

So, I've got a new phone. And, it does all I want and more! :) And, it didn't cost a cent - we got it free with our new X Box360! And, I'm excited - did I tell you that?!? It can play MP3's, record video - low quality, take photographs, and it reminds me of the 80's, as it is under the walkman name! I used to have one of those, but it never could ring my husband or take pic's of my gorgeous kidlets!!! (Not that I had any of them in the eighties!)

So, Yeah, I'm one HAPPY chicklet!

The Lost Art of Querying

I have just read this post over at The Kitchen - A Faith Community in Action and I have decided to "post/copy/steal" it here so that I/we can all be reminded about this great lost art.

How many times do we, instead of listening, feel the need to ADD to conversations with our own slant - "Oh," we say, "that happened to me before..." and before we know it, we've hijacked the conversation back to us.

Jacob was saying on Sunday that we all need to do a course on Social Skills 101 - we need to get back to learning the art of communication. I agree. Hmmmm! Something to ponder!

Anyway, read-on, to see what this community did to highlight our ineptness at truly listening. It would be a hard lesson for some of us - me - I'm sure.

"When people think you’re dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just…instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?”

When I first heard that quote in the movie Fight Club, I was so embarrassed. I realised how true it was for me – and it scared me even more to think that everyone else was the same! It seems like we sort of become so self obsessed and individualistic sometimes that we loose the ability to know how to care beyond saying “that’s sucks bro” - and then awkwardly cough.

But not today! Because we’re going to practise the long, lost art of querying…

We’re going to spend 5 minutes where the other person talks and you just query – and listen – I mean really listen. And then you’ll query some more. You’re not allowed to bring the conversation back to you - or give them your opinion on the subject - but you get to know the person and let them be known to you. You’re asking questions to go deeper into who they are.

This will be incredibly hard for some of us. No doubt some of us will find it easy to talk about ourselves, but hard to ask questions and care. But today you’re going to try and scratch beyond superficial conversation…

Others of us will hate talking about ourselves and find it scary to reveal bits of ourselves to a person we might barely know. But drop your guard! It’s something we need to do more often…

Would you believe that some people are even gifted at this whole querying thing? When they spend time with someone things just flow our of them from the queries they ask. But that takes practise, just like any art form. So today we’re learning the ancient art of querying, and starting our journey towards becoming query masters.

Pick and random question from the list below, ask your partner the question, and then continue querying from that point for a full, literal 5 minutes. You ask questions and listen, they talk. It’s fine for your talk to wander– these questions are just starting points in your queries. After that five minutes get your partner to pick a new question and swap roles. You can do this as many times as you’d like to - or with as many different people as you like.

After you’ve queried each other, stop and share with the group or each other by answering this question.

“What is God up to in the midst of your partners life?”


What specific question would you most like to ask God?
What thing most worries you in life right now?
What aspect of your mum do you see in yourself?
What aspect of your dad do you see in yourself?
What’s something new you’ve discovered about God lately?
What was your childhood like?
What specific occasion as a kid do you remember being most happy?
What’s something you’ve recently become interested in?
What is your secret dream or aspiration?
What is one thing you want to do before you die?
What puzzles you about God?
What is your family like?
What Stresses you out? How do you unwind?
When do you feel that God is far away?
When do you feel closet to God?
What does being Gods creation, made in his Image, mean to you?
What’s the thing you’re most proud of achieving?
What’s the thing you most want to change about yourself?
What did you do in the weekend? What are you doing this weekend?
Is God challenging you to change any aspect of your life?
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do regularly, but just can’t seem to get it together?
What’s something that you regret not doing?
What do you feel most pressured to do in your life?
What do you like most about Jesus?
What scares you most in life?
When was the last time that you felt that God was speaking to you? What was he saying?
What would you most like to change in the world?
How do you deal with people that annoy you?
Have you ever forgiven someone?
What other career path would you also like to have taken?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

women's stuff...

I have, for some time now, felt ill every time I get my period. Not physically, but as I am becoming more environmentally aware and my wallet is a whole lot lighter these days - I get sick of paying money out every month knowing its all going to the landfill.

So today, when good old Aunt Flo arrived, I decided to make some cloth - reusable sanitary pads. I used a pattern I got from the internet (which I can't for the life of me find now! :( ). There are numerous patterns available, and the one I got is excellent - has wings, and lining so there are no leaks. I have done a quickish search and to no avail... can't find it.

It feels good to be doing something right! And they look pretty good too - not that anyone else is gonna see them... LOL!

PS. I re-used fabric, by making them out of 3 old t-shirts, an old cloth diaper, half an old towel, and some plastic cloth that has been hanging around for a bit. YAHOO!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am still learning...

and it's good! Aimee and I have been going to a social skills group every Tuesday, this term. There are two weeks to go and I have been amazed at the amount of knowledge I have gained. The children are learning social skills and us Mum's are together learning how to cope.

I have learned so much about "theory of mind" and what to do about some of the issues that we are dealing with. It's funny because I have done similar courses before and not gained anything spectacular from them, but what is different about this course is that this time all the children involved are girls with aspergers. Girls exhibit autism so differently from boys - it is so nice to be able to discuss their unique differences with other Mum's.

The woman that facilitates our group has explained autism as "the brain being scrambled - like eggs - the messages are not going through properly". It made for an easier way of explaining to the other children, why their sister doesn't always handle life well. They seem to be more understanding of her lately - and that's good news, because Aimee has been having a bad time of it. :(

We are constantly having to put off having a babysitter, because of her behaviour - I don't want to lose our current sitter, and she is almost at her limit with Aimee. Still, we will try again tonight, when Jonathan and I go to the movies tonight.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Funny cartoon =)


Friday, May 04, 2007

my Holland

I have been a little quiet on here about my personal "Holland" story. I have been in the midst of living it, wondering where and what I can do in my Holland. Especially, since I bought all the guide books for Italy...

I knew what I wanted out of this experience called life. I have been disappointed most times with what life has thrown at me. Not with the people I have been given to care for, just the expectations I had of who I would be...

I feel overwhelmed with the task of being the best mum I can be, whilst retaining who I really am. Who am I anyways?

What does this life require of me anyway? Who should I be? Where is a guide-book when I need one?

welcome to Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip -to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

" Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ...about Holland.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mika - Grace Kelly

This is my new favourite "pop" song... I just LUUURVE it! Jonathan thinks he doesn't compare to Freddie, but I think he's better... LOL! Mica rocks!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sesame Street Pinball Cartoon

More memories of my youth to share with my children... :D

Aimee LOVES this one!

The Wombles - Remember You're a Womble

I couldn't resist putting this video on my blog - hehehe! I remember this from my early youth!!!

my visualDNA - kudos to Vania

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Autism Awareness Month (In the States anyway...)

It is Autism Awareness month in the States, and I have found a really cool slide-show about a boy (Teddy Willis) who is 11 and has Aspergers Syndrome. Aimee would like you all to take a look at it, as she says that he feels the same as she does.

The end quote of the slide-show was very moving to me;
"I just want people to treat me better like one of the other normal kids. If many people knew about Autism, then they might think about what the person's good at and not what the person isn't good at" Teddy


Anyhow take a look here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

easter bunnies 2007

Happy Easter Everyone!

Now, what to do when you need to give an easter gift to children that are food intolerant to all the yummy easter egg's... This year, I decided to get a little creative and make these cute little match-box bunnies, which you can find a how-to on kidscraftweekly. I managed to find some really cool badges for the kid's. A really neat find, I think! And they turned out so awesomely!!!

I hope you all have a blessed time this easter!

:) Hugs to you all!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

YAY for broadband & school hol's!

Yippee! Yes, we finally bit the bullet and got broadband! :D {big HUGE wide grin}

And today is the last day of school before the easter school holidays - 2 weeks of having all my babe's at home. I LOVE it! I miss Aimee so much when she is at school, and this term has been particularly hard for her. She has spent a lot of it extremely stressed-out, with all sorts of new behavioural problems to boot. I know that when she is on holiday ie. having a break from all/most things social she is a different child. So YAY - we will now have 2 whole weeks together.

I am so loving being able to download podcasts and am currently listening to a podcast from Willow Creek Community Church.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hands & Feet Project :) (& other news)

I feel like I should give you all an update on how my project for our local Stations of the Cross installation is going. Especially since I have been rather silent over the past week - I have an excuse, life got busy!

It's going well. I have painted around 40 (or more) can's - have a few idea's for a couple more, but I'm unsure if I will get the time. Especially, since I am going on a retreat weekend from Friday through Sunday. Easter is coming so fast, I feel I might miss it if I blink.

I am in real need for this weekend. It is run by Recreate, for mum's of special needs kids (aka, in my life, Aimee). It is going to be held at St. Francis Retreat Centre in Hillsborough, and I've heard the food is fantastic - which is, of course, all I am worried about...

While I am away, Jonathan will be looking after the girls, and hopefully taking them to an Easter Egg Hunt (run by Cession) at Lloyd Elmsmore Park. I know he will do well. He is awesome for looking after them, and is going to do it again in May/June when I go to the Mainly Music Conference and also down to Christchurch to see my lovely nephew and sister (and brother in law too!). What a good man I married!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Whats my theological worldview... :)

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan








Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic


Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal


You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

rik catlow|Crushed Can Artist

the art of Rik Catlow has been very inspiring to me - take a look here and here


these are the stencils I have been using for the project. they were made out of plastic ice-cream and yoghurt containers (more re-cycling :)). I am pleased with the results...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007



crushed can art|Charles Kaufman

Isn't this fantastic! WOW! This guy's art is amazing - love it!

His name is Charles Kaufman and you can look at his work here and his blog here...