Saturday, 31 May 2008

Secret Project...finished

Here's what I've been working on this month.


Last year Trish Reed and Tara Nelder approached me to organise some kits and layouts with instructions and of course I said YES!! This was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about putting elements together and then thinking about how I put a layout together so someone else could copy it. That was the biggest challenge because most of my scrapping ISN'T planned.
I'm also pleased that the kits have already sold out!!

Secretly, I was scared of putting myself out there. I think most people are happy to do what they do - plod along and make themselves happy. When someone asks me to put my creativity "on the line", I get a little stage fright and forget why they probably asked me in the first place. I forget my style, try to pre-empt what I think they expect of me instead of just doing what it is that I do!!!!!

(okay, that probably made sense to only me.....I've only had one coffee this morning)

Needless to say, nothing else has been accomplished this month in the scrapping sphere and I felt obliged to Bon because I had the guest DT spot this month. I still have until the end of today to use the paper of the month!!!!! Thankfully I have the photo (actually TWO photos) ready to go, and photoshopped using some cool techniques from Scrapbook Creations. Yep, they actually work!!!

Yes, my first-born turned 7 on Thursday. He FINALLY got a Nintendo DS from us and some Lego and Star Wars transformers and Lego and more Lego!! The house is quiet now - he had Rory, Joe and Kyle for a sleep-over ("Not a slumber party Mum. Only girls have those!" - ah, go figure!!). I don't think they've ever been to a sleep over because the behaviour was a little "out there". The PACK MENTALITY is surely ingrained at an early age, regardless of school, state or religious affiliation!!! It's just GENETIC!! Xx
He was a little sad he couldn't go to Rory's for a play today, but we have another fabulous event to go to this afternoon. I'm busy downloading pics from google to get Rainer ready. Should be unreal.

So happy this is going ahead. Neighbours are looking after Rainer while we take Mackinley (and a whole group) to Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
We love our (other) football!!!!

for Rainer, now waiting for results. It's been a stressful month - hair analysis, stool, urine, blood tests, reading and cooking batches of food ready for SCD. I wanted to start tomorrow, but I just want everything to be "perfect" (I really need to get over that, don't I!!?). Not just for Rainer, but for me and the family. We're all making changes and that means ALL LEGAL FOODS. I'm leaving nothing to chance!! The pantry and fridge are being cleared out on Monday and stocked with legal treats and foods, which of course means I'll be killing myself in the kitchen this week!!!!

Thank God for my Mums though. They're excited about the foods and can't wait to try all the sweets in the recipe book! I secretly think they just want my coffee, as usual. It makes a difference when your friends are cheering you on and picking you up when you really can't face another tantrum.

and lastly
Here I am in the latest Scrapbooking Memories.....

It's still strange seeing it in a mag.

brighter and buoyant....

Saturday, 17 May 2008

where does the time go???

I can't believe it's already Saturday. Lovely dinner last night at Food n Soul at Aucheflower. Divine Double Cooked Duck (yummmmo, you have NO idea how YUMMMMOOOOOO).

I've been good this week and have made it back to the gym regularly (even this morning after half a bottle of vino...wino!!). Core strength is returning as is the glow in my cheeks (heehee).

The book arrived "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" which I have to read before we start Rainer on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. A little technical, but I remember learning all this stuff about digestion in High School!! I'm finding it really easy to read and understand why we have to do this for Rainer and as a family. Up to Chapter 5 already!!

Finding it difficult to get into SCRAP-MODE (grrrr). Not helpful when you have deadlines....or is it????

Thank goodness for sweet, sweet music. More home-grown talent "VAN SHE" found on Triple J, with a tune I find myself singing a lot of the time.

Very 80's (right down to the electric keyboard and the porn-star moustache!!) Get flashbacks to Cafe Neon in Paddington or maybe the early early days of The Underground when it closed at midnight on a Sunday but then you walked up Caxton St to Puzzles Cafe because it was the only thing open after midnight. Ordered your 10 bowls of hot chips and danced some more. Staggered home (trying not to wake the parents) and get going to work by 8.30am!!

Ah, those were the days!!!!

"you can blind me with your foxy lips...." (the lyrics are a little dirty!! or just get into the!!)

brighter and buoyant

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Visual Delights and Blessedness

Okay, this post is dedicated to some visual "ta-da" work while at the Scrap Therapy retreat.

Love these Collections Owls (class with Relsi)

Noice Tag book for all the photos (another class with Relsi)

Class with Belinda (a 8.5x11 layout converted to 12x12)

Class with Natalie but layout was by Julie - who couldn't make it :((( (another conversion to 12x12)

One challenge was to create a layout using some stuff from the Goodie Bag

Another was to create a card from the same Bag


I'm feeling a little blessed about now. I've pretty much won a prize from every challenge I entered last month.

I've just been told that I won the Monthly WORD inspiration challenge at Scrap Therapy for my "I had an Idea" layout with all the Fancy Pants pp!!

It's one thing to be published, but there's nothing like being judged by your peers, people who you know and who know you and think you're doing okay with all this PAPER, SCISSORS, GLUE thing!!

A little overwhelmed right now but oh-so thankful!! (for once I'm a little lost for words....just a little)

There are photographers.....and then there's RACHEL!!

Rainer's was lucky (and I mean LUCKY) enough to have the immensely talented Rachel Richter photograph his AEIOU centre. It's a brave photographer to work with typical children, it's another level of commitment to leap into the world of ASD!!!

I met Rachel briefly that day and then she emailed me to say that Rainer was a little challenging to photograph.

And then she produces this......




I cannot take my eyes off it and can't wait to have a canvas printed.

Working hard on meeting my deadlines now. The back has had another go at the Chiro today after being in pain for the last 3 weeks.

Brighter and buoyant......

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day ~~~

I've been singing this chorus for weeks now....I bet you won't get it out of your head either.... (evil, aren't I???)

Our friend overseas is doing well. They've brought him out of his induced coma and can name people but hasn't worked out where he is. So far he's "been" in many cities and countries except the one he's actually in. He can't remember the last month of his life! There's no sign of damage to his spinal cord, but some vertebrae may need fusing, his ribs are healing but he's in a lot of pain. He's breathing on his own and the bleeding has stopped in his brain.

It was touch-and-go there for a while, but thankfully all our prayers have been answered. If he makes it through this, he'll have his wife to deal with!!! He may NOT survive that. He may not be home for another month.

Keep praying. It seems to be working....

I WON a prize...for the 123 Challenge for April!!! All this goodness is coming my way and I am supremely buoyant. I just love creating and being challenged by different criteria that it doesn't matter if I win a prize anymore. I'm enjoying the journey - and that's the main thing for me.

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love the peer accolade and the fact that I can now go on a spending spree at KittiQ. These comps are always a win-win situation for me. I get to create something unique every month and the prize is an added bonus. I think Charmane and Karlene do a fabulous job on their site.

AND I made it to their "Who's in the Spotlight". The photo was taken on ANZAC DAY, before I had 10cm chopped off the length.

Another post tonight with visual delights!!

toooooo much to do
and not enough time
not enough time.....

Thursday, 8 May 2008

bureaucracy ~ jumping through hoops ~ blah!

(be warned, this is long with doses of sarcastic-crankiness in bits...but I hope you'll read on)

We're on the trail finding a suitable primary school for Rainer. My brain is in "stand-by" mode as I try to process all the different levels of specialist teachers and aides that are available to children with special needs.

We always just presumed - like most parents - that all our children would go to the local catholic schools and get a really good education not only academically, but also learn how to be compassionate Catholic boys.

Hasn't that been flipped on it's head!!!! It's no longer a "given" that Mackinley's school has the resources for Rainer. It seems Catholic Education's "philosophy" doesn't extend to the early intervention needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. They still don't have an AVT (Advisory Visiting Teacher) for Autism - there's one for Intellectual Disablilities, Hearing Impairment and Vision Impairment - but not yet for ASD. (Don't worry, I've already asked if we could classify Rainer as Intellectually Impaired....and the school's tried in the past luck.)

The mind certainly boggles. On the one hand I understand how a man in an office who I'm not quite sure has even been a teacher or sat in a classroom lately, could sprout a whole lot of THEORY on how kids will be alright if you just leave them in a classroom with regular kids. Just give the teachers a little bit of in-service and "she'll be right!!".

Yeah, right. (warning...sarcasm ahead!)

If that's the case, why don't we send all primary teachers to learn other specialist areas like Japanese (or any other language), Music, Art, etc. Surely (if we're following that line of thinking) if a teacher only needs "a little in-service" to teach a child with a complex and varied condition such as ASD, my God, learning another language should be a walk in the park!!!!!

Am I the only one seeing a GAPING HOLE here in this theory?????

All I ask is that children who have the potential to sit in a classroom and function and learn with typical children, get some one-on-one time with a specialist teacher/aide in Prep, Year 1 and Year 2. Slowly fading the time the older the child gets and the more competent they become. I think most parents would welcome such a plan and the recurring cost to the community would be minimal. The way things stand, we would have to employ an Aide for Rainer to ensure his successful transition to the Catholic school.

Do I feel a sense of ENTITLEMENT?? You betcha. After being educated at Catholic institutions through primary, secondary, university and then devoting my entire teaching career to Catholic Education, heck, I'm even on the Reading Roster at the parish!! - I'm told there's not enough support or resources for my child.

The saddest part is I'm not upset with the school. They would have him in a heartbeat. But then I look at their faces and I know their hands are tied. They've fought for one-on-one classroom time for ASD kids and to have an AVT for ASD. It's Catholic Education who put up the walls.

Happy to put all this on record (it's my blog, after all). Happy for Cath Ed to call me and arrange a meeting to find ways to address these issues (Lord knows they have my number!). Happy for Archbishop Bathersby to sit with us too (I'm sure he's got my number too). I am a dangerous woman at the moment. I am armed with decades of Catholic teaching and now armed with information on the benefits of EARLY INTERVENTION for Autistic children and children with other disabilities.

I am cranky and DEEPLY DEEPLY disappointed in the office that services the faith school that I love so much and is so much a part of my life.

How does it go again???? That which you do to the least of my brothers,
so you do unto me.

Wouldn't Jesus be one cranky Jew right now!!!!!!! (yes, he was a cranky man, just re-read Mark's gospel...whoa...super crankiness!!) Okay, let's not get into a massive Christological debate - you know what I mean. (if not I think I still have my teaching notes...hehe)

WHERE TO FROM HERE???? A meeting with the Principal of the local State School. I have 3 of those to choose from, lucky me! One of them has a fantastic inclusion philosophy. So if it means being there for a few years and then moving back to the Catholic school, so be it. Rainer's development is the most important thing right now.

So where's my scrapbooking from the Retreat??? Ah, still sitting in the pizza box of course! How does your house look after your hubby's been in charge for 3 days???? PMSL....I'm still catching up! At least the boys were happy.

And I am happy....just one more of life's little hurdles that will be overcome..(sing it with me)..some day...oh deep in my heart, I do believe, we will overcome some day. (did that bring back memories for some people?)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Very Excited..!

Guest Designer for Bon's Scraps this month! YAY!! Had a stint with Bon's last year and had a blast, so I'm very giddy that I'm being honoured once again. Thanks Bon {mwah}.

Here's the aforementioned layout, from last month's competition - to use the quote "Delight in the little things" by Rudyard Kipling, somewhere on the layout.

Used the GORGEOUS Prima Paintables, my Francheville watercolour pencils and the fantastic AQUAPEN (by Pentel). Other elements are from Fancy Pants, Scenic Route and MM.

This month - being all things about MUMS, use a photo of your mum, or you as a mum.
AND you must use a QUOTE or a JINGLE/ CATCH PHRASE for your title. I think I have a few of those photos lying around (hehe). Go HERE for details.

SCRAP THERAPY RETREAT - had a BLAST. Thanks to Natalie, Relsi, Belinda and Julie for putting together some awesome classes, challenges, food and "entertainment". This was my first ever retreat and I must admit, I was very very nervous b/c you're never quite sure how people you meet online will actually be in real life. I had absolutely nothing to worry about - all the ladies were fantastic and the DT kept the mood buoyant and the momentum rolling along nicely.

Already have plans for the family for the retreat next year!! Will post photos when I catch up on real-life stuff (read=washing, cleaning, blerk!!!).

Also, need to upload photos of Mum's 70th. Went very well. Lots of laughter (Mum had to read the Riot Act to Gab, just in case) but Rainer was sick, so I spent most of the day with him. Poor Vanessah was insanely jealous, but just have to teach the girl to come to me if she wants a hug!!! Thanks to my beautiful sisters for taking the photos while I was nursing my boy.

VERY SAD NEWS.....praying for our dear friend Andrew who is in the US for work, who was involved in a very serious accident overnight. Not many more details yet. Young family, major house renovations, just not good. We pray and pray and pray - can you add one to yours tonight please!!

Also working on a couple of kits and layout instructions for some ladies in Melbourne. Wish me luck!!

INKREDIBLE CLASS has been rescheduled for the 24th May at 1.30pm. Something very tricky in store. Here's a sneak, but you can see the full layout in store or in an upcoming newsletter.

as always....