Something to think about!  

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Another favourite quote of mine!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Helen Keller

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Barack/Beyonce single lady spoof!  

Friday, 30 January 2009

The kids showed me this, it's excellent, I've seen several spoofs of this video, but this is my favourite to date...he's surprisingly good!!!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


T-Mobile advert 'life's for sharing'  

Love this advert, it would certainly brighten a journey to work!

Even better, my cousin Luke Wells, is one of the dancers!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Overthinkers anonymous!  

I recently saw this book and felt that I just had to buy it. As a lifelong ‘over thinker’ it seemed perfect for me. I spend hours laying awake at night, over analyzing everything, making metal lists, wondering how to improve things in my home and the world, worrying that something I may have said or done might have hurt someone else…so this book seemed like something I could relate to.

I wasn’t disappointed.

It is an impressive book, with a lot of research into how and why women overthink just about everything.

I need to get my husband to read it now, he might just understand me a little bit better and stop telling me to “just switch off/just relax/chill out/let it go, and my personal favourite…don’t worry about it until you have something to worry about.”

I think I learnt a lot about myself reading this book.

Will it cure my insomnia, my over analytical nature…maybe not straight away, but I’ll try what she suggests and see where it takes me!

Take care

Sal xxxxxxxxxx

“Groundbreaking research . . . Women Who Think Too Much tells why overthinking occurs, why it hurts people, and how to stop.” —USA Today

It’s no surprise that our fast-paced, overly self-analytical culture is pushing many people—especially women—to spend countless hours thinking about negative ideas, feelings, and experiences. Renowned psychologist Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema calls this overthinking, and her groundbreaking research shows that an increasing number of women—more than half of those in her extensive study—are doing it too much and too often, leading to sadness, anxiety, and depression. She challenges the assumption—heralded by so many pop-psychology pundits of the last several decades—that constantly expressing and analyzing our emotions is a good thing.

In Women Who Think Too Much, Nolen-Hoeksema shows us what causes so many women to be overthinkers and provides concrete strategies that can be used to escape these negative thoughts, move to higher ground, and live more productively. Women Who Think Too Much will change lives, and is destined to become a self-help classic.

“The question of whether Nolen-Hoeksema is onto something was slam-dunked by the ‘I know exactly what she means’ reactions of women who caught sight of the title.” —The Washington Post

“A must read for any woman who has ever felt stuck in her life, and any man who has been confused by why the women they love get so ‘caught up thinking’ they can’t enjoy life. Nolen-Hoeksema offers practical methods to self-diagnose and pathways toward greater emotional freedom.” —William S. Pollack, Ph.D., author of Real Boys, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her award-winning research has been funded by major grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and several private foundations. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and son.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese Wisdom  

Another great life lesson.
.
"Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom."
.
Ancient Chinese Proverb

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


A little kindness goes a long way.  

Thursday, 29 January 2009

I am just writing this blog, because I was touched today by someone’s simple act of kindness.

The day didn’t start off great; Deion had a couple of hospital appointments; we had our usual two hour wait for the first and our usual tussle over results at the second, I left knowing nothing more than I did before we went.

Then as we had an hour to spare between the hospital appointments and Deion’s Physio therapist appointment, I took Deion shopping so he could spend his birthday money.

We inevitably ended up in the game shop, because somehow he ended up with about seventy thousand pounds worth of game card vouchers (slight exaggeration!) for his birthday.

I then got his feet measured and had to hand over roughly the equivalent of our monthly shopping budget for a pair of trainers just because they were a particular brand and colour…great.

We then gave up in pound land, as the isles are too small for his wheelchair to get around, of course we had the requisite number of doors slammed in our face, the usual amount of people moaning about Deion getting in the way and of course I had expended an extraordinary amount of energy in NOT thumping at least twenty people for being so bloody rude!

So I just didn’t have the energy to argue when he asked for a MacDonald’s for lunch. He couldn’t believe his luck when I didn’t lecture him about trans fats and nitrates (yep, I’m that sad), but instead just held the door open for him to go on in.

While we were trying to fight our way through the crowds of schoolchildren (that surely should have been in school anyway) Deion got walked into, banged and scowled at about ten times. The usual really… people just don’t see him, they are only looking at eye level I guess!

Then a lady who worked there told us to go and sit down and she would get our food for us to save us queuing. This was new to me, and not something that is normal practice in MacDonald’s I believe. But we followed her to a table, she wiped it down, asked Deion what he wanted, and then went off to get his happy meal. She came back literally a few moments later, gave us the food and handed me my change.

Deion and I, dumb struck, thanked her profusely.

She told us it was her pleasure, she has a daughter in a wheelchair and knows how hard it is, but it was so refreshing, because she actually spoke to Deion instead of over him, instantly knowing the wheelchair didn’t make him stupid. She was lovely and it made a huge difference to what is normally a nightmare of pushing and shoving and ‘excuse mes’ into something quite relaxing.

I’m sure to her it was nothing more than a small act of kindness, but to us it was beyond nice, and she made Deion feel really special.

“Wasn’t she a lovely lady mum,” Deion said as we left.
“Yes she was,” I said.
“I wish more people were like her don’t you mum?”

Yes I do!

Take care

Sal & Deion xxxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


A Time and a Place!  

The news shopper plopped onto my doorstep last night, so I picked it up to have a read.

The front page headline read ‘GET BARACK TO BASICS’ the article was about how the Mayor of Lewisham spoke so long about Barack Obama’s election as US president in a council meeting, he had to miss talking about some of the pressing issues that are affecting our residents.

Now I for one am a huge fan of Barack Obama, I am proud and excited about him being the 44th US president. I also think the message his election into office has sent to the world is hopeful and fills many people with promise, and I firmly believe that the victory will filter down and affect everyone.

But until it does, Steve, please deal with what you are paid to deal with! By all means Mr Bullock, congratulations are in order, to mention it and to show support is fine…but residents got very frustrated when this little speech went on for over twenty minutes, and there was no time left to talk about some items on the agenda.

So perhaps it would have been more suitable to talk about the pressing issues that families in Lewisham have to face on a daily basis. Yes, Barack Obama, a man of mixed parentage being elected into office, the most powerful office in the world sends a world wide message, but there is a time and a place to give a speech about it. Maybe in Mr Bullock's own time!

If you want to read the article and the related comments, please click on...


.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese Wisdom  

Still honouring Chinese new year, a great quote.

"Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Pungent, all must be tasted."

Ancient Chinese Proverb

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Bungeeeee!  

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

As many of you know, I've been involved in fundraising for some years now...so I thought I’d show you a few pictures of me doing a death defying leap for charity. This is the first of the two bungee jumps I’ve done…all in the name of charity.

I’m that tiny dot high above the ground…if someone had zoomed in enough you’d be able to see my mouth wide open, mid scream/curse/whatever.

Although I’m not suggesting that I didn’t question my sanity when I peered out of a tiny cage, three hundred feet above the ground with nothing more than a glorified elastic band attached to my ankles!!! It was great fun, its over so quickly though, I just wanted to get back up there and do it again….

The second one was a little higher, but less fun as the elastic band was less springy and I didn’t bounce so high. In the first one here, I bounced so high, I was actually higher than the cage at one point…fabulous.

Although I wouldn’t say I’m an adrenaline junkie, I’ll pretty much give anything a go. Hence the fact that I’m also doing a parachute jump later in the year.

I’ll post photos of course…well, unless I have a parachute malfunction and end up a big splat on the ground!!! Although I must stop saying that in front of my mum, she does the sign of the cross every time I mention it. She almost had a heart attack the day me and two of my brother’s bungeed the first time… perhaps I’ll slip a couple of valium in her coffee for the parachute jump!

Take care

Sal

xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese Wisdom!  

A great lesson to live by in honour of Chinese New Year.


"Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still."


Ancient Chinese Proverb

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Reflections of a Peacemaker.  

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

I wanted to tell you about a truly inspirational book that I read a couple of years ago. And have read several times since.
My sister-in-law bought me this book the same year Aaron passed away. Mainly because Mattie had the same condition as Aaron.
It is an incredible and inspiring book, the wisdom this little boy shows is heartwarming. You actually sense him growing up in the book as you get further in and it is an incredible journey.

The strength of spirit that both he and his family show is nothing short of courageous.

I really loved this book, so did my children; and we recommend it to anyone, I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved or humbled by this amazing little boy….but I warn you, have a box of tissues handy.

Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs

by Mattie J.T. Stepanek With Reflections by Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Maya Angelou, and Jimmy Carter

Mattie J.T. Stepanek lived and died a child, but he had the spirit of a giant. Affected by a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease, Mattie died in June 2004; however, during his almost 14 years of life, Mattie spread a message of peace, love, and optimism in the face of disability through his Heartsongs poetry series—spanning five New York Times best-selling volumes and selling more than one million copies worldwide.
Reflection of a Peacemaker is Mattie's final collection of Heartsongs, which he was working on prior to his death. It includes the last poem Mattie wrote, titled "Final Thoughts," and a special collection of 250 new poems, along with unpublished photographs and artwork spanning the decade from when he began writing Heartsongs at age three. Edited by Jennifer Smith Stepanek, Mattie's mother, with a Foreword by Oprah Winfrey, Reflections of a Peacemaker is arranged in themes such as Festive, Stormy, Sacred and Final Heartsongs, with each section beginning with a personal tribute to Mattie written by the likes of Larry King, Maya Angelou, former President Jimmy Carter, Jerry Lewis, Jann Carl, and other notable public figures.
The book's publication is slated to coincide with the Muscular Dystrophy Association's national telethon over Labor Day weekend. A portion of proceeds from Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Mattie Fund for medical research to help find treatments and cures for childhood neuromuscular diseases.

As Mattie's mother explains, "Before he died, Mattie asked me if I would continue spreading and nurturing his message of hope and peace for him, including the publication of his final two manuscripts. Through this book we are given more than a new collection of poetry—we are offered a window into Mattie's life and spirit. I believe this to be Mattie's most important work yet."

A second book by Mattie titled Just Peace: A Message of Hope was published in February 2006 and contains essays and e-mail communications between Mattie and Jimmy Carter on the subject of Peace. Mattie prided himself on being "a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played." In speeches, he reflected, "I write about anything that touches the essence of my existence. What I witness, what I feel, what I think, what I fear, what I treasure. I write about life, which is our greatest gift."

About Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Mattie J.T. Stepanek was a poet, peace activist, and a prominent voice for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He authored five volumes of New York Times best-selling poetry, and he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and many other national media programs. He died in June 2004 at age 13 of dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, the same disease that his three older siblings died from and his mother lives with as an adult.
.
.
Eternal Echoes
.
Our life is an echo
Of our spirit today.
Of our essence
As it is.
Caught between
Our yesterday
And our tomorrow.
It is the resounding
Reality of who we are,
As a result of
Where we have been,
And where we will be
For eternity.
.
By Mattie Stepanek 2000
.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese Wisdom.  

Another incredible quote in honour of chinese New Year.

"If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. if there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world."

Ancient Chinese Proverb

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Before I Was A Mum  

This is another poem that came around via e-mail and made me smile. I think this mum speaks for the majority of us!
Before I was a Mom
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.

I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom -
I had never been puked on.Pooped on.Chewed on.Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Author unknown.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese Wisdom!  

Monday, 26 January 2009

Seeing as its Chinese New Year, I thought I’d post a great quote.

"We count our miseries carefully and accept our blessings without much thought."

Ancient Chinese Proverb
xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Chinese New Year  

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, will begin today, 26th January 2009. It is the main Chinese festival of the year and is not a religious event.

As the Chinese use the lunar calendar for their festivals the date of Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February. Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest celebration of the year.

The Year of the Ox

The Chinese calendar is different from that used in the United Kingdom. It is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them being named after an animal. This is very much like our signs of the zodiac. Some people believe that people born in a particular year will have some of the characteristics of that animal. January 26th 2009 marks the start of the Year of the Ox. On the Chinese calendar the new year will be 4707.

As thousands of people greet the Year of the Ox today, many believe a little help from the animal's hard-working spirit may be just what's needed in the months ahead.

According to Chinese belief, the Ox is a symbol of wealth and success through hard work and resilience -- a welcome sign right now considering the country's economic difficulties.

Over a sixth of the people in the world celebrate Chinese New Year. Customs vary in different parts of the world, but everywhere the main idea is the same....
It is a time to remember the family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Trojan and I videoed our own new years message. So we can look upon this as a chance to restart all our failed new years resolutions!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Pimp My Ride!  

I don’t know about you, but I often moan about equipment and wheelchairs being so bloody boring. We want colours and style, so when someone sent me the name of this company ‘colours in motion’ I thought I'd take a look…they are a company specialising in really cool chairs…the sports chairs are like nothing I’ve seen before, take a look if you’re interested.

They do a big range, for all abilities. Here is an example of just one of their chairs. The suspension looks great.
This is how wheelchairs should look.

http://www.colourswheelchair.com/idx_vision.htm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Finish Strong  

Sunday, 25 January 2009

This is one of the most inspirational and motivational things I have seen in a long time.

Click on the link below and see if you manage to have dry eyes at the end of it..I didn't!

http://getresponse.com/click.html?x=a62a&lc=XLhR&mc=3&s=mgNMG&y=F&

What an amazing guy, It certainly puts things in perspective.

Take Care

Sal

xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Kids' Bible Studies:  


I love the way kids look at things, I love the innocence. And I thought this was very funny.

These humorous homework lessons were submitted by children from various Catholic schools:

"In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so He took the Sabbath off."

"Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was Joan of Ark. Noah built the ark and the animals came on in pears."

"Lot's wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night."

"Sampson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah."

"Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles."

"Moses led the Jews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread,which is bread without any ingredients."

"The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments."

"The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple."

"The Seventh Commandment is Thou shalt not admit adultery."

"Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the Battle of Geritol."

"The greatest miricle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him."

"Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines."

"When Mary heard she was the Mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta."

"When the three wise guys from the East Side arrived they found Jesus in the manager."


I hope this made you smile today too...

xxxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Silent Boy  


He Was a Frightened Boy Who Refused to Speak - Until a Teacher's Love Broke Through the Silence


After reading Torey Hayden’s 'Ghost Girl' last year and being moved by it, I decided to read a few more of her books. I have read ‘One Child, Just another child and Beautiful child’. Each book is different and each one draws you in to the characters, making the books hard to put down.


I read 'Silent Boy' last night, and was not disappointed.

I have to say I cried most of the way through it. Silent boy is a tragic, heartbreaking and frightening story about love, hate and all the things in between. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, although obviously, not children!


This is a great book - brilliantly written and heart-felt. Torey Hayden is an amazing writer with amazing stories to tell, she has such commitment to each child she works with and that shines through in her writing!


I shall be seeking out another Tory Hayden title tomorrow!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Freedom Of Information.  

Saturday, 24 January 2009

This is something that many parents will find helpful. We are so often left in the dark as to why decisions are made about our children, and often find it hard to get our hands on results e.t.c and who is responsible for them.

I have had to go through this process a few times over the years, and I only knew I could because Dave's brother works within the system and opened my eyes to my options.

The information should be more freely available.

So here I am doing my little bit to try and make sure that other families can access the information they need.

I hope someone finds it helpful.


How to make a request

Any person can make a request under the Act - there are no restrictions on your age, nationality, or where you live.
All you have to do is write to (or email) the public authority that you think holds the information you want. You should make sure that you include:
your name
an address where you can be contacted
a description of the information that you want
You don't have to mention the Freedom of Information Act, but there is no reason not to if you want to.
You should try to describe the information you want in as much detail as possible - for example "minutes of the meeting where the decision to do X was made", rather than "everything you have about X". This will help the public authority find the information you need.
Public authorities must comply with your request promptly, and should provide the information to you within 20 working days (around a month). If they need more time, they must write to you and tell you when they will be able to answer your request, and why they need more time.

What you can ask for and who you can ask

The Freedom of Information Act applies to all 'public authorities' - this includes
central and local government
the health service
schools, colleges and universities
the police
lots of other non-departmental public bodies, committees and advisory bodies.
You can ask for any information at all - but some information might be withheld to protect various interests which are allowed for by the Act. If this is case, the public authority must tell you that they have withheld information and why.
If you ask for information about yourself, then your request will be handled under the Data Protection Act instead of the Freedom of Information Act. You have slightly different rights to this information, different fees apply and public authorities have longer to respond to these requests.

What it costs

Most requests are free. You might be asked to pay a small amount for making photocopies or postage.
If the public authority thinks that it will cost them more than £450 (or £600 for a request to central government) to find the information and prepare it for release, then they can turn down your request. They might ask you to narrow down your request by being more specific in the information you're looking for.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Something to think about!  

Here is one of my favourite quotes, it thought it would be nice to give you something to think about for the day..

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Picture Perfect!  

Friday, 23 January 2009

A couple of people asked me just how accurate the tattoo of Aaron is.

So I thought I'd let you see for yourself.

Here's the original cheeky grin!

What a star.

xxxxxxxxxxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Special Needs Children Failed By The System!  

Here is an interesting article that was posted on the Telegraph web-site last November By Julie Henry, the education correspondent for the Sunday telegraph.

Special needs children failed by the system

I have just received a call from the worried grandfather of an autistic boy whose parents are being forced down the route of a special educational needs tribunal in a bid to secure the right school for him.
The boy had, up until now, received one-to-one support in his mainstream school. He is at the high achieving end of the autism spectrum and seems to have a special aptitude for maths.
Because of cut backs however, that support has been withdrawn, making it very difficult for him to cope in a run-of-the-mill school. Yet the special school that the council is proposing for him is totally unsuitable. Children there have a range of profound needs and what they are taught has only a passing resemblance to the national curriculum.
The boy's parents are convinced their child would go backwards in such a school and they are probably right. The grandfather is paying for legal representation, which is increasingly vital if families are to have any chance of success at a special needs tribunal.
It is a heartbreaking case, highlighting many of the frustrations felt by thousands of parents with special needs children.
Inclusion in mainstream schools, while a laudable aim, has been seriously underfunded, leaving many children feeling lost and isolated. Special needs schools have been closed, with the loss of thousands of places. In some areas special needs provision has been merged, bringing together children with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities, making it more difficult for teachers to deliver lessons that meet children's needs.
The human cost is evident. Parents worried sick by the prospect of a child regressing after so much hard-won progress has been made and a grandfather spending his life savings trying to ensure that does not happen.

To see the article itself and a response it received from a reader, click on


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/julie_henry/blog/2008/11/26/special_needs_children_failed_by_the_system


This is a direct example of how the system is getting it so very wrong…again!

No-one is considering the child or their families when they make the decisions with regards to special schools.

This story is only too familiar to me.

My son Deion is 11, and he has done very well in a mainstream primary school. Mostly due to the fact that is an excellent school and the teachers and staff go that extra mile for all their pupils. Deion is a child with very obvious difficulties. He is a wheelchair user, triplegic, has little trunk control and is incontinent. Yet it was still a struggle to get him the (very obvious) support he needed.

Now we are going through the secondary transfer process and are embroiled in an even bigger fight.

Inclusion may be the 'catch word' for education at the moment, but unfortunately the concept has not filtered down to the people designing our ‘mainstream, special needs inclusive schools.’ The toilets are inadequate, the classroom sizes, though big enough have not allowed the right access, the lifts are small and the corridors too narrow in most cases.

It is going to involve a lot of work to make it possible for children like Deion to attend.

And as the response above states, it is far too much to expect a teacher to take on the role of special needs teacher on top of already teaching their oversized classes. But at the same time, this should not be the parents concern, parents cannot be expected to allow the system to just ‘dump’ their kids in a ‘special’ school’ simply because they have a child with a 'special needs' label.

And that’s one of the things that is failing. The term ‘special needs’ to someone in the education department just means ‘disability’ it seems to be a blanket term for everything ranging from mild autism to severe cerebral palsy, and everything in between. They just do not seem interested in a child’s particular needs. To the family involved, special needs is a very personal term. Personal to the individual child.

Stop trying to lump all our children together as if one term fits all…we’re sick of it!

And sadly, what it all boils down to is money, the education department want to find the cheapest way possible to school our kids, but still be seen to be doing the right thing.

Well they can’t have it both ways!

What is needed is more money; but first, it’s the attitude that needs to change. Then the basics need to be taken care of with regards to suitable access and toileting facilities. Then there need to be key workers, one to one care enabling children with special needs to go into mainstream schools with the proper support.

And although it is true that there are parents who will manipulate the system, for reasons only they know, maybe it is for significance or to lessen their own responsibilities. But what I do know is, children and families who really need the support cannot be punished because of it.

Yet, all that appears to be happening, is education making cuts where the money is most desperately needed.

Regardless of disability or special needs, our children are this country’s future. Education needs to top trying to make out that disability or special needs are a burden and start looking at individual children, realise that they are productive and valuable members of society and give them all the education they have a right to.

Yes, I understand that the money has to come from somewhere, but investment in the future, is surely the way to go. And that means investing in our children…all of them.

And as much as I don’t wish to tell the government to do their job (well…!!!) perhaps the £10 million pounds recently allocated to training SENCO’S (special educational needs co-coordinators) to be teachers as this article from the guardian states, could be put to better use within the system!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/02/specialeducationneeds-schools

I'm just one parent, but I know I am not alone in the way I think.

Sal xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


My Cup Runeth Over  

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Trojan and I frightened ourselves last night.

It was salsa night, so off we went to strut our stuff. As it’s winter…and England, it was obviously cold, and even the hall was a bit chilly, so we decided to have a quick nip of Baileys before the class started…purely for medicinal purposes you understand, and just the one.

So we ordered ourselves two Baileys, a minute later the lady came back with our drinks and put them in front of us. Both Trojan and I looked down at the glass, then up at each other in horror and said “where is it?”

“Is that seriously one measure? I asked him.

“It must be,” said Trojan looking just as dejected as I felt.

Crikey, I had no idea a measure was that small, we couldn’t stop laughing, when Trojan and I pour a baileys, we pour half a glass, here we were with less than a mouthful. It was barely a taste, and we both had to resist the urge to run our finger around the glass to get the last of it out.

We laughed about it, but it was a little scary to think we would pour about twenty measures in a glass and call it one drink!

So, it would cost about a thousand pounds to actually get drunk on Baileys in a bar…is that right?

Take care

Sally and Trojan!
xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


OUR DEEPEST FEAR!  

Today, I thought I’d share with you something that Dave quotes a lot, and is one of his favourite poems.
I hope you find it as inspirational as we do!

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

This widely acclaimed poem is actually not a poem at all, but an excerpt from A Return To Love, a book by motivational speaker and author Marianne Williamson. The passage has such inspirational power that it is now a ‘stand-alone mantra’ for a generation of exceptional individuals who wish to motivate themselves and others to live up to their fullest potential.

The words "deepest" is often replaced with "greatest" in reprints of the passage, "Our Deepest Fear", as it is best known, is a cultural phenomenon as it is quickly becoming one of today's most well known quotes from an author who is still living.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Fighting fit  

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Up until I was pregnant with Aaron, I used to go kick boxing; I really enjoyed it as a way to keep fit. And it was great for relieving stress…or what I thought was stress! When I look back now at the things that stressed me out when I was 15/16/17, I realise I may have been a tad dramatic about things.

Mostly, I do stick to Yoga, but I’ve gone back to kick boxing several times over the years, and seeing as life is a little stressful at the moment, especially what with the test results e.t.c. I thought I’d give it another go. I joined a gym quite a while ago, and am sorry to say, I do not take full advantage of that membership. I don’t get there every day, even every week; there are days when the only exercise I get is from going back and forth from the fridge, or from lifting large bars of chocolate to my mouth. But hey, its all exercise right!!!

The gym has a punch bag, so I dug out a track suit and gloves from the back of my closet and headed out. I bypassed the running machines (I’m too clumsy, I fall off them), bypassed the gym balls (I’m too clumsy, I fall off them), ignored the rowing machine (I’m too clumsy, hit myself in the jaw with the handle) and went over to the punch bag like a woman on a mission.

One thing I realised is, that the same way we are advised not to go to do the grocery shopping while we are really hungry to avoid buying your body weight in chocolate; you shouldn’t go to the gym while you’re angry. I got a tad carried away and literally beat the crap out of the punch bag. I think a few people were concerned. Maybe because I was muttering and swearing under my breath… And I think I heard a couple of people deciding whether or not to call a psychiatrist, failing that an exorcist!

The good news is, I got rid of a lot of pent up anger and frustration…the bad news is, I can barely move. Like I say, I overdid it just a smidge, my arms are killing me, they shake should I so much as try to lift a cup of tea to my lips. And climbing the stairs, forget it; I had to go up on all fours.

But I’m ready to fight another day…bring it on…okay, so I may still be getting a little carried away!

Take care

Sal xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Dreams from Obama!!!  

Monday, 19 January 2009

Seeing as tomorrow is the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, it seemed fitting to talk about his book "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" which I originally bought for Dave for Xmas, but somehow managed to get my hands on it first.

I found the book to be an inspiring story about some of the different influences and events that helped to shape Barack Obama into the man he is today. It was written almost ten years ago now, so you are left wanting the next installment as it were. Barack openly discusses trying to come to grips with his racial identity; he speaks about a period of rebellion that included drug us and a party lifestyle.

He talks of his love of political science and becoming a community activist in Chicago. Obama is candid in his account of the racism, poverty and corruption in Chicago. The book ends in 1995 when he enters Harvard Law School, and provides a great insight into Obama's history up to that point.

As a mum myself, I would have loved him to spend a little more time writing about his mother and the influence her side of the family has had on him. This is something Obama acknowledges and expresses regret over in the preface. He talks about his mother’s help with the book even though she was ill, giving us a glimpse of the strong woman had to have been to have raised the man she did.

Obama also talks of traveling to Kenya to try and understand his father's past. He talks of his time in Kenya and how he discovered a nation with forty tribes, each of them with stereotypes of the others. I found this to be quite powerful and emotional.

This book is a very worthwhile look into the personal background of the new US President. I would recommend it, and now my son, Jordan is reading it. Dave will manage to get his hands on his present soon I should think!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


The Results Saga Continues  

Well, I have still had no news of the results. I phoned the hospital every day last week, and also this morning, but they could still tell me nothing.

The interesting thing is, the neurologists told us that until they had the results from these tests, they could not determine the next step, they couldn’t decide on the what follow up tests were needed and so on.

So I was more than a little surprised when I got a letter in the post this afternoon from the clinical neurophysiology department at Guys hospital, asking me to take Deion for muscle and nerve tests in a couple of weeks time.

I rang the department to find out more, they were very helpful with regards to telling me what the tests entailed/sedation/consent forms e.t.c. But all they could tell me about the reason for said tests, is that they were ordered by our own neurologist based on results from Deion’s previous tests.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone could phone me, or alternatively phone Deion’s GP or Community Paediatrician, so they can tell us those results? As usual, as parents, we are the last ones to find out.

I guess we are a little confused, the doctors said the tests were necessary, they said we shouldn’t wait, that he may have a treatable condition….this is why we went ahead, and this is why it feels like it matters so much to get the results and move forward.

So I guess its good news that we have our next step, I just feel as though I have no clue what is going on, and he’s my baby (although he’d kill me for saying that). Maybe I’m wrong to feel as though I have more right than anyone else on the entire planet to know what they ‘think/suspect/know’ is going on inside his body!

Its not easy for us parents to place our trust in doctors, are we expected to do this without question? Are we supposed to feel guilty for questioning their methods?…perhaps if someone could re-send a copy of the rule book with regards to what we can and can’t ask these doctors about our own children, that would be great!!! I seem to have misplaced mine.

I seem to continually annoy doctors’ by asking questions about my own children...if I ask a question about the next step…or god forbid, time scales, I get looked at as if I’ve just suggested ritual animal slaughter or told them I listen to Barry Manilow records, either way, they look at me like I’m quite mad for questioning them.

I doubt it will put me off though, unluckily for them!

Take care

Sal xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Wonder Woman Rules!  

Sunday, 18 January 2009

She did it, wonder woman kicked Batman’s butt… and Superman’s!

Deion got a new game for his birthday, its called Mortal Kombat v Dc, it’s a variation of the original fighting game, but this time you get to be all your favourite superheroes.

Deion and I ended up in quite a heated argument the other day about how fabulous Wonder Woman is. Okay, so we were at the child development centre, and several other families were all looking at us like we were mad, but I couldn’t stand by and let Deion bad mouth Wonder Woman, that just wouldn’t be right.

So yesterday, we got to test the theory. The characters are great, graphics frighteningly real. And as I knew would happen…Wonder Woman won. Deion has had surprisingly little to say on the subject, despite me goading him mercilessly!

So there you have it, undisputable proof…GIRLS ARE BETTER THAN BOYS!!!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Happy Birthday Deion  

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Deion’s birthday has arrived. He’s happy, I’m knackered. I scoured the whole of south east England to find the game he wanted for his PS3, I had a scuffle in the PC World sale for the last gaming chair, I managed to find a yellow, car shaped cake (as he decided two days ago this is what he needed), I’ve arranged to take him and 12 of his friends bowling, and don’t hold out much hope of getting through the day without hitting the brandy.

He'll never guess what it is!!!

Deion has some lovely friends, but there is one in particular that drives me to drink, he’s a lovely kid, but has to be the only person on the planet that talks more than Deion. So this should be fun.

But as long as Deion has a good day, that’s all that matters. He’s had a long year in one way or another, he’s worked hard at school and he is after all my cutie pie!


He is as we speak trying out his new chair and his new game, and I can’t wait to have a go, in this particular game, get to be Wonder Woman! Yay! Of course Deion is getting a bit above himself, telling me he’ll be Batman and kick my butt…he doesn’t know much, as if Batman can beat Wonder Woman in a fight, he hasn’t even got special powers…goodness me!

Have a great day

Sal xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Trojan’s Corner  

Friday, 16 January 2009


For those of you who follow the blogs in any way, you’ll know exactly who Trojan is. For those of you who are brand new…

Trojan is a close friend of mine, and he is the one behind the whole blogging idea. We work well together because he has all the technical know how and I just have plenty to say! Trojan strongly believes in what I do with the t-shirts and the charity, and will be getting more and more involved in both those things as time goes on.

For as long as I’ve known Trojan, he has been into taking photos; he always has his camera with him and snaps away all the time. This is great for recording those memories for those of us who always forget our own cameras, or forget to use the bloody thing even if we do have it.

Of course, it’s also a bit of a pain in the arse because Trojan has a love of ‘natural shots.’ Which roughly translates into him catching people in embarrassing moments or while they are yawning or stuffing food in their mouths. And if you want to get up to anything slightly illegal/immoral, forget it if your with Trojan! It will recorded in glorious, immortal Technicolor!


I’m not going to pretend I always got it, often he’d be snapping away and I’d be all like “erm...Trojan, it’s a gate!” to which he’d just smile and continue with shots of wildlife/flowers/buildings/lampposts. But once I saw the photos and what he’d done with them, I got it. He has a great eye, and seems to be able to capture art through the camera lens. Something I admire because about 80% of the shots I take are of headless people, my own thumb or look like they are taken at midnight...in a snow storm…in gale force winds!

To show off some of his brilliant photos Trojan has a blog. It’s called Trojans Corner, and not only are the photos of the places he’s travelled brilliant, it’s a great way to find out more about him and those places. Its fun and informative, he talks about many of the things that interest him, and he has many interests and strong views and is certainly worth getting to know.


So take a look at his blog on http://trojansgallery.blogspot.com/

Take care

Sal xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


ONE HUNDRED!  


I have just realised that the last blog was actually my hundredth.

I know when we started this a few months ago, we said it was going to be a weekly blog, so by rights, it should have taken two years to complete a hundred.

It seems that I may have got a little carried away. Partly because we underestimated the positive response we have had. And partly because I underestimated how much I was going to enjoy writing it. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the last four months with you, and I have been overwhelmed by the positive response and support.

So a big thank you for that. And I hope you keep reading and watching the blogs.

Heres to the next hundred!

Sally and Trojan xxx

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


what women should have and know!  

Thursday, 15 January 2009

My good friend Wendy sent me this poem today, it is wonderful, so I thought I'd share it with you.

I hope you love it as much as I did xxxxx



Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race and Angelou captivates audiences through the vigor and sheer beauty of her words and lyrics.



'MAYA ANGELOU'S'

BEST POEM EVER

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE . a youth she's content to leave behind....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE . a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. one friend who always makes her laugh.. and one who lets her cry...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a goo d piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for
a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a feeling of control over her destiny..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK
AWAY...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. . whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table.. or a charming Inn in the woods.... when her soul needs soothing...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. What she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...
AND REMEM BER: ..GOOD FRIENDS ARE LIKE STARS. YOU DON'T ALWAYS SEE THEM, BUT YOU ALWAYS KNOW THEY ARE THERE!!!!!!

Be yourself...everyone else is already taken.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post Email this post


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
 

Design by Amanda @ Blogger Buster