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Busy December 15, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Craft Projects, Family, Friends, Holidays, Kids, TJ.
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It’s been pretty busy here of late.

Saturday was spent changing our junk room study and Miss Lou’s room over. Now that she’ll be spending more time at home leading up to her moving back home, we thought she should have the bigger of the two rooms.

There were boxes in the study from our move into this house 18 months ago. Books drifting everywhere, tonnes of craft supplies and stuff that I have no idea what the hell it was for.

Sunday was spent freezing my ass off watching TJ compete in the local swimming carnival.

And today I’m meeting a lady at the kids school to see if there is anything in the clothing pool that would fit her kids for next year before I make the 2 hour drive to meet Miss Lou’s train to pick her up for the holidays.

We are going to do a little shopping on the way home – how could we drive past a Spotlight store and not stop for a stickybeak? lol

We do need a few things though – material for new curtains for one and Miss Lou has a few projects in mind that she’d like to have a go at over the holidays.

Hopefully we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging by Tuesday!

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Sporty Saturday November 29, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Kids, TJ.
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TJ loves his sports.

He loves riding his bike up and down the road out the front of our house. He and CJ often go for rides around our block (which in a large house block size area makes for a rather large size street block).

He loves playing cricket in the backyard.Although I have had to buy premade metal stumps that can’t be seperated to stop him from attempting to use them as mini javelins and taking out someone’s eye. Probably his own.

He loves playing footy with his mates at school. Or soccer. Or handball. Or…….. well you get the idea.

He loves playing Saturday morning soccer during winter. He tends to hang back a little, but that is more a reflection of his poor eyesight than his ability to run, aim or kick. When you are a little short sighted in one eye, rather long sighted in the other eye, have a slight astigmatism and hate wearing your glasses when running around, it can be a little difficult to see other players or the ball coming at you.

He loves doing Little Athletics during summer. He doesn’t really like running, cos he’s a bit slower and just doesn’t like running that much, but he gives it a go and he really likes the field events. We have real shotputs and discuses at home that CJ used for training and  he was throwing them all over the yard last week ……….. as hubby discovered when he ran over one with the lawnmower and stuffed the blade…… He’s does really well with the throwing events. More than makes up for not being quite as fast on the track as most of the other kids.

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He also loves swimming. He’s a real water baby. We had to take him to swimming lessons as a toddler because he was fearless and we needed to reassure ourselves that he was ok in the water so we didn’t have a heart attack everytime he saw it and jumped straight in!

And he’s good at it.

He’s always had a lot of upper body strength, which helps with swimming and he doesn’t have to worry about seeing where he is going because he’s just sitting in his lane and will hit either his hand or head when he gets to the end to tell him to stop.

So one year we tried swimming club.

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He really enjoys swimming club and having that goal of improving his time each week really motivated him to practice his strokes during the rest of the week which boosted his fitness, improved his times and increased his confidence.

This year we registered him for the club training squad. He now trains for between 30 and 40 minutes, 4 days a week after school swimming laps with the squad. So far this season he has learnt bilateral breathing (breathing on alternating sides on every third stroke instead of the same side on every stroke when swimming freestyle), tumble turns and today I saw him doing a very reasonable imitation of butterfly which he’s never previously learnt.

I was very impressed.

He was very pleased with himself.

Long may his love of sports continue!

damn! November 15, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Blogging stuff, Hubby, Ramblings, TJ.
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You know what else I hate about warmer weather besides the bugs?

Cricket.

Yup you heard me.

And if you think that it’s unpatriotic of me then you can sod off.

Time to start hiding the remotes from PSLS …………………..

Meantime Guera tagged me for this meme ‘Sixth and Sixth’ where you post the 6th photo in the 6th folder on your computer (or Flickr account or picassa account or phone or wherever you keep your photos).

Easy peasy huh? So the sixth folder is September 08 and the sixth pic is this –

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Ah yes, a pic of the storm that I was driving into coming home from Dubbo one afternoon. Oh that’s boring, I’ve already posted about that. Hmmmm oh hold on. Trisha has a very similar meme going too – same principle, but the Fourth and Fourth. Let’s have a little looksee………

Ahhhh the train being loaded……..

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Trains aren’t a common sight around these parts now with all the line closures.

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When we spotted this train being loaded on our travels a few weeks back we grabbed the camera to take pics for TJ who we knew would be very interested in the machinery they use to shift those containers.

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We must have sat for a good half an hour watching. I was just disapointed that they didn’t load a container onto the section of train just in front of us. Where they were loading was blocked off.

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But still, pics of them moving the containers in front of us were found to be just as fascinating by the small man.

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Now do I tag six people or four? hmmm

How about you tag yourself if you’d like to do either one?

Menu Plan Monday November 3, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Blogging stuff, Menu Planning, TJ.
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A few days ago Lightening wrote a post about doing a pantry challenge and I really need to do the same, I also need to do a freezer challenge and use up most of what is stored in there so I can defrost the stupid thing.

So looking at my pantry and freezer this week I have the beginnings of a menu plan

Monday – Marinated chicken drumsticks and stir fry vegetables

Tuesday – Chicken salad bowls

Wednesday – Rissoles, mash, peas and corn

Thursday -Lamb chops and vege

Friday – Home made pizzas

Saturday -Spag bol

Sunday – Tacos or bacon and eggs or whatever else they can find from the things that don’t quite have enough left for everyone.

Double Choc Chip Muffins

Double Choc Chip Muffins

I’ve already done some baking this week making double choc chip muffins and coconut slice cupcakes last night, but am planning on also making a few other things through the week, just haven’t planned what yet.

Coconut Slice Cupcakes

Coconut Slice Cupcakes

I am trying something a little different for school snacks for the kids this week too – TJ isn’t big on fruit, so last night I cut up a heap of vege and cheese fingers, popped them in snack bags and stuck them in the fridge. Hopefully this will see him upping his fresh food intake considerably. He was quite enthusiastic this morning when shown his new ‘treat’ so fingers crossed!

Anyhow, head on over to visit Laura at Organizing Junkie for more great menu plans and ideas.

Simple Pleasures Sunday November 2, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Funny Stuff, Gardening, Goals, TJ.
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So yesterday evening we got out in the garden and harvested some of our produce

I was very pleased to be able to cart a bucketful of veges back down to my kitchen

TJ was quite fascinated with the whole project. It’s one thing for me to try to explain what grows under ground and how, but quite another to him to be able to actually see them being dug up

He kept exclaiming in wonder how ‘FRESH!’ everything smelt. lol

I reckon we ended up with nearly a kilo of onions, 3 kilos of spuds, a kilo of carrots and 6 good heads of cauliflower plus a couple of punnets of berries yesterday. Not bad at all

And no chemicals, no transporting, no cold storage, no nothing

Just Read More October 16, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Kids, Learning Difficulties, TJ.
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Is what TJ’s teacher told me when discussing with him about school reports and ways to help him with his English.

*exhales*

TJ has more books, comics and magazines under his bed than cars, loves word puzzle books, doesn’t spend all afternoon sitting in front of the pc or Nintendo, is encouraged to write emails/letters to family members and friends, plays lots of board games using language and maths skills (boggle for instance) and is struggling with his English.

Earlier this year I discussed how as a little tyke he had a very limited vocabulary, and how I thought this was impacting his reading development now. What I didn’t discuss at the time was that he also has some organisational issues and concept issues. He finds it difficult to look at a task and break it down into steps that make the task easy to finish. He had to by physically taught things like big, little, under, over, all those little concept words that are the beginnings of our descriptive language.

These three problems are now having a great impact on his writing.

We all know there is a bit of a process to writing. We get an idea in our heads, we start roughing it out. We take a look at it and might flesh out some of the paragraphs a bit, fix up the spelling and grammar, tie it all together at the end.

Now imagine trying to do that and not instinctively having those steps in your head and not knowing all the words you need to get the picture or idea in your head onto the page.

Then imagine the frustration you would feel when you tried what used to work with your spoken language so substitute a word you know instead, and then you try to put all your humongous ideas on the page in no particular order, only to find that despite all your effort that it doesn’t work because your writing just ends up making no sense at all when you read it back to yourself and then mum tells you that you don’t have enough descriptive words in it anyway (like your teacher asked for) because all those descriptive words are incidental to you.

‘Just get him writing more’ is the response to that discussion.

You’re telling me that I should force him to spend more time doing something that he finds so incredibly difficult that he starts throwing his books around the house in frustration and that will be helpful?

Come on!

Any kid experiencing that kind of frustration with a task really learns to loathe it when forced to do it. I don’t want him to loathe writing.

And he needs a procedure dammit!

And I’m not a trained frickin’ educator. I’m just a mum struggling to explain a process that I instinctively do to a child who doesn’t always think the way I do.

When the task put to him is clear cut, like questions relating to find dictionary meanings, or synonyms or answering questions after reading a text or punctuating sentences, he’s not too bad. But like any other task that requires organisational thinking, story writing just throws him for a loop. I’m even seeing his maths starting to frustrate him as the working out for the questions becomes more involved with extra steps and this is the solid, clear cut stuff that he’s always been good with!

And the vibe I’m getting from his teacher is that he thinks I’m not putting in the effort to help my son.

*shakes head*

I got his NAPLAN results back on Monday and just wanted to cry, then I wanted to scream with frustration. Just reading more and just writing more obviously isn’t working. His results, while not as bad as they could have been if I truly was an uninvolved twat of a parent, weren’t great, weren’t even good.

Perhaps the speech therapist will have better luck explaining to his teacher that my son is wired a little differently when it comes to language. I got in touch with her yesterday and he’s back on the waiting list.

Two to three months she said. Oh well, it’s better than the six months it took to get in the first time round. It’s quite usual for kids with TJ’s problems as a little fella to be impacted by them again at about this stage of their schooling she said. I wish someone had told me that earlier, but at least I can stop mummy guilting myself now because it really isn’t all my fault.

Edit – I have talked to some other parents since posting this and we have come to the conclusion that perhaps this teacher, while GREAT with the kids, isn’t too sure of himself when dealing with their parents so doesn’t come across well. It’s a pity, but it happens.

All Better! September 6, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Funny Stuff, Hubby, Kids, TJ.
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My boy is obviously feeling better this morning.

I can’t shut him up!

His noise control is at maximum volume and refusing to down shift.

PSLS wants to know what on earth I’ve fed him to make him hyper.

*shakes head*

He simply has 4 1/2 days of missed play to catch up on.