Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday 26th September

Can you believe it is the end of September already?  Only 3 months until Christmas!

This week I am thanking God for:

- a spot of Christmas shopping done;

- gift cards and encouraging words that arrive in the mail;

- a Thinkspace Minecraft workshop for Emma and Audrey to enjoy.  For some reason I feel less guilty if they spend the whole day playing minecraft at a museum rather than at home - some how it makes it seem more like an intellectual pursuit;

- a trip to Max Brenner with some lovely ladies from my bible study group;

- new AFOs for Ashlea;

- a clear endoscopy and thorough eye examination under anaesthetic for Ashlea;

- a bit of summer weather to enjoy during the school holidays;

Ashlea has been asking to play under the sprinkler since mid-winter - she
finally got her wish

- a local source of respite found for Murray.  One of the main areas effected by Murray's brain injury is his ability to initiate activities.  If left to his own devices he will sleep all day and then watch TV most of the night.  In an effort to keep him from becoming completely nocturnal I have signed him up for a disability support service that involves going on social outings once a week. I am in two minds about it as Murray is by far the highest functioning person in the group.  I am trying to encourage him to think of it as a way of giving back - almost as if he is a volunteer helper - rather than seeing it as a source of despair that he is unable to work and has been shipped off to respite.  I hope I'm doing the right thing - we can only try it and see;

- good Christian books to read and good Christian friends to think through Big Ideas with.  You're all welcome to weigh in on the Big Ideas discussion.  My current question is What does it mean to do things in God's strength rather than your own? How do you actually do that?;

- Christian friends who don't shy away from telling you the truth when you need to hear it;

- great quotes from authors who get it.  I love this quote from Nancy Guthrie - given in response to that old chestnut "I don't know how you do it - I could never do what you do".  This is what she says:
You're right.  You couldn't do it...God has not given you the grace for it because you don't need it, at least not right now.  But know this: when you do need it, he will give you all the grace you need.

Thankful Thursday 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday 19th September

This week I am thankful for:

- paperwork signed for the bathroom renovation - work should start next month;

- a random cold virus that made me lose my voice and be just sick enough to have a day off work (can't answer the phone with no voice can you?) but not so sick that I couldn't enjoy reading a book with my feet up while having that day off;

- talking and praying with someone who gets it;

- lots of offers of help and support after my last post;

- the opportunity to finally meet a lovely internet friend in real life;

Please come again soon Bron!

- dinner out with kindred spirits - other mums who get it;

- school concert night WIN.  Ashlea rocked her performance in band in spite of this face at rehearsals in the morning;

- Audrey and Emma also did well in their performances.  I may have had to bring out the big gun bribe incentive of offering Emma the following day off school if she got through it all - but hey - whatever works right?

My 3 Performers

- that Emma not only WENT out on stage but STAYED on stage for her entire performance.  Her dance routine was OK but when it came to band it looked like she was ready to bolt from the stage at any moment.  Picture 40 kids on stage standing as still as statues except for their hands drumming .... and Emma ... fidgeting and twitching and nearly dancing a jig amongst them while the band teacher hissed from the wings 'STOP IT'.  Seriously I don't know what I'm going to do with that child.  It was hilariously mortifying to watch.

Thankful Thursday

Monday, September 16, 2013

Get Back Up {Writing Prompt}

Sometimes I wonder if Ellen is psychic with the writing prompts she puts out.

Get back up is what I feel like I've been telling myself for months now.

Get back up and get into your life.

Get out of this rut.

I haven't been blogging much (you may have noticed).  I have only taken around 10 photos in 6 months when usually I would take 100s.  I just don't feel like doing any of the things I normally enjoy.  It all seems like too much effort.

And don't even get me started on important jobs like parenting my children.  Emma is an out of control minecraft addict at the moment.  Do I have the will to discipline her and rein her in? Nope.

No willpower.  No energy.  No motivation.  It all seems like too much effort.

Last week I read this article on burnout.  Whoops.  It appears I have all the symptoms.  Everyone who recommended the article thought it was great because it gives practical ideas of what you can do if you are approaching burn out.

But it's just not that simple is it I want to shout at them.

Slow down the article says.  Yes but if I slow down all that happens is that my to do list grows longer.  My life isn't going to slow down just because an article told it to.

Get support the article says.  Again easier said than done when support involves getting people to take on your caring role, when it involves respite carers, when it involves patients who don't want to go to respite and when it involves a carer who can't even think of what sort of respite would be helpful.

Reevaluate your goals and priorities the article says.  I suppose it is a sign of burnout when your only goal is to 'just keep swimming'...

So, I have kind of realised I think I am suffering from burn out.  I just can't work out how to get back up from it.

I want to get back up.

I just think I'm going to need a little help.

{Ellen Stumbo Writing Prompt}

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday 12th September

Today I am thankful for:

 - the continued gorgeous weather we are having in Sydney;

- the chance to hang out with some kindred spirits on the weekend - and see their ducks;

- the chance to test drive their power chair.

What do you think - not bad for a first attempt.  She did go round and round in circles for awhile - I'm not sure if she was stuck or doing that deliberately.

- the random things I learn from Ashlea ever day - like that it IS possible to crawl with your fingers in your ears;


- seeing Emma get her merit award at assembly on Monday;

- Emma earning a distinction in English in the ICAS tests (I do not understand how that child's brain works - she scored in the bottom 10% for spelling and writing but got a distinction for English?)

- only 6 more school days until school holidays;

- for those who've asked me R U OK today (it is R U OK day here) and been willing to listen to the answer.

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday: 5th Sept - SO MUCH WIN edition

This week I am very thankful for:

- a win for Emma achieving her second Principal's Award at school;

- our generous friends who helped us raise $900 for Kidney Healthy Australia by sponsoring our Big Red Walk;

- a flexible job that allows me to duck out and see Ashlea receive her sports carnival ribbons at assembly;

Clearly Ashlea and I feel the same
way about assemblies...

- our home modifications have been APPROVED and FULLY FUNDED!!!  We will be getting an accessible bathroom sometime in the next few months - YEEHAA;

- tickets secured for the Lord Mayor's Picnic on New Years Eve - we haven't been for a couple of years so we are very excited to get tickets this year;

- baby chicks at yesterday's farm excursion.  Ashlea had been talking about chicks NO END in the lead up so I was very relieved that they had some;

I want to hold a chick!!!

Give Me The Chick Lady!

- no chicks being harmed during the excursion;

- the cleaner finding my lost glasses.  Out the front.  On the grass.  Four days after I lost them...;

- gorgeous spring days like today.

Thankful Thursday

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thank You!

Today was the Big Red Kidney Walk.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored us - we raised $790 - which considering we didn't expect to raise anything is pretty good going!

Team Ashlea ready to set off

Ashlea meeting Billy the Kidney.
What's the kidney doing she asks?
Is it making wee...???
And of course she hadn't forgotten that there is a carousel
at Darling Harbour... We were not allowed to leave without
having a ride!

It might seem like an odd way to spend Father's Day but for our family it was perfect.  Ashlea is thriving due to the life giving gift of a kidney given to her by her Dad, so it was lovely to be able to honour all kidney patients and their families - and for those who have received transplants to honour their donors too.

Kidney disease doesn't get much attention in the media or much funding even though on average 50 people die of kidney related disease every day in Australia.  Thank you to those who sponsored us:  my sister's boss, Jen from WA, Julie, Monique, Grandma, Anonymous, Bron, Kate, Frances and Jen from Canada (how exciting - an international donation!).

The fundraising page is open for another 2 weeks if there is anyone who still wants to donate: