Monday, February 28, 2011

Theatre

An empty stage makes me creative.
I sat there in the theatre, on the balcony, and saw the stage that's so familiar.
I've danced there so often.

How great it would be to create a choreography there (again).

But this evening it was the turn of my kids and their schoolmates and exchange partners.
All classgroups performed either songs, dance or something else.

Because at the school of the girls it was said the other countries were far better they invested a lot of time and energy in creating something nice.
They did very well.
The boy who is the exchange partner of one of the girls and who ignored her had boasted when he was at our house that he played electronic guitar very well.
He couldn't. 6 chords and he lost it halfway the piece. It was good a teacher was playing along, so not much was lost. He dared to shout in the microphone. That was his success.

Among the other pupils there were some huge surprises. Maybe not technical miraculous, but spontaneity and enthousiasm sparkled. That was so good to see.
We enjoyed it to bits.

When we went home we met some nice new people and then were so terribly tired.
Still a few days to go.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

School learns

The past week has been very interesting.

One of the girls has a lovely exchange partner and her friend too. So they did quite a lot together.

The other girl had a boy as an exchange partner and it has been a disaster.
He treats her like a lower species.
He doesn't stick to the rules at all, but plays nice guy to the grown ups.
After the first days he was still a jerk at our house, so we reported it and said that maybe he would behave better at the family where he sleeps. There a classmate sleeps too and it's boys with boys. he behaves far better there, maybe because his classmate will talk with his parents when they come home and he's afraid his parents will hear about his behaviour.
They will anyway, because we and school decided our daughter won't stay there when they go to Istanbul. They may be nice parents, but their son can't be trusted at all.

Yesterday evening they had a party and his classmates were sneaking away to drink alcohol and there are strongs signs they smoked hashish.
When he noticed my daughter knew, he approached her and told her, not asked her, but told her, to keep it silent as it was a secret.
She hates secrets, and she doesn't accept being ordered around by boys.
So she told us, and we called the school.

Our plan was to pick him up at his sleep family and bring him to the teachers, but he was already away to town with other boys.
Someone forgot to inform our daughter about those plans.

Well, we agreed with that family he'll stay there, so that's it.

It's such a pity that her exchange is a disaster,
In spring a friend offered me and my daughters a stay at his home in Istanbul to get some quiet. I wish we would have done that.
Istanbul should be seen with a good feeling in mind, not with bad experiences.
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Good equipment means a lot

One of the boys is to another meeting of the army reserve.
They're organising camps for young people and practical training for older people.
You should see their uniforms and their equipment.
Yesterday, before leaving, he showed me his new glasses and his bushnell binoculars.
Bushnell is famous for it's optical quality of its products for over 50 years, and their customer service is outstanding, as my son and his collgues have experienced.
They got very good advice when they were looking for new binoculars.

My son needs good equipment as an instructor, but also because he's their photographer.
As his night vision equipment is very trustworthy he can preset his cameras and make photos no one else can make.
That way he catches training situations which can be discussed later, both by the staff and the people directly involved.

Because some of the people there are very experienced guys, he has learned a lot in a very short time.

Interesting is that he's very humble about what he does there.
But he does a lot, I've heard that. And his efforts go well beyod what is expected from him.

In that way he resembles my dad, who died when he was still a baby.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Monday, Monday



1. How does your day usually go on Monday?

Well, I have to tell you that our mondays start far too early. I think sunday should last two days or even three.

The girls have to wake up at 6, so that's when the day starts.
Unless their brother has the early morning shift at the hospital and needs to be up at 4. I'm his alarm. Ugh.

Breaksfast, shower, or the other way round. Cleaning and tidying. Laundry. Maybe some work, maybe coffee with a friend. Making dinner ready in the afternoon, welcoming the girls back from school. Then one of them leaves soon again to go to ballet.
That means the others will have dinner and she'll eat it later, or those at home have a small bite and we dine all together when the balletgirl comes home.

Monday isn't my favorite day.

2. Who was the last band you saw live?

Dunno. I guess band at one of the open air concerts in the summer. I remember dancing at a rock band two years ago... Oh wait!!!
The last one was a very good african band from south africa. Rather young kids with a very strong political message. They were good.

3. When was the last time you purchased something over $50?

Yea...yesterday. Trousers for my autikid.

4. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?

Hihi....no.
I'm a psychologist, I have to be able to talk about everything and at my age I've heard quite a lot of everything.

5. Do you wish you were someplace else right now?

Yep... in a rockingchair in my own scottish home.... ah...I'm such a dreamer.

6. Tell us about the last wedding that you attended.

She was a friend... at least, I considered her to be a friend.
She really wanted my kids to be there, even though I told her that my autiboy couldn't cope.
I dressed up the girls. There were 3. Oh, they looked nice in their white with red roses dresses. They boy looked neat too.

Then we saw that all those people who attended the wedding were in black. It was like a funeral. Turned out they were from some serious religion and we should have been in all black too, not in festive clothes.

7. What's annoying you right now?

The exchange. It's a disaster with the turkish boy. He treats my girl like a third class citizen.
Well, I just had a call with a teacher and they're not happy either.

The other girl has a terrific time. Their exchange is almost perfect.

8. What is your best skill/ability? Why?
Writing. I'm able to write a good article in a short time. I had one of the best teachers.
Organising. I love to organise events. Did that a lot in the past and I'm still able to get things running. I'm very good in getting ideas and in problem solving.
Teaching ballet. I've been a dedicated ballet dancer and I love teaching. I gave classic lessons on the music of the back street boys. LOL!

9. If someone asked a friend of yours, "Hey, what is one thing your friend is exceptional at?", what would they say about you? Why?

Depends on which friend.
Some would say bagpiping, some would say I'm a very good psychologist, because my assessments are always right. Others would say I would make a good doctor, others that I'm a great singer.
I'm a lucky person to have so many talents, but it's a pity there's not enough time to use them all.


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Friday, February 25, 2011

Lack of sleep

This week we didn't only have the exchange, but we also had to deal with strange waking times for one of the boys.
He works as a security guardian in the hospital, thus finishing the last part of practical work of his studies.

He needed to wake up at 4 in the night to be in time at his work. He needs to go on his bicycle, because the busses or not on the road that early.
Problem is that he has difficulty waking up, so he needs assistance.

Imagine mamma calling him after she slept only a few hours....

His early morning/late night shifts are over, so I might be able to relax a bit and sleep well, but I just feel like I have to watch the alarm so it will sound in time.
Sleep is far away.

I'm not a person who grasps tablets or pills, but in this case I would love to use the best over the counter sleep aid to get enough sleep and wake up refreshed.
I look so pale I'm sure I'll frighten any ghost.

With a guest in our far too small house, I want everything spic and span, so I try to give all sanitairy items a quick clean before going to bed, have the laundry done, etc etc.

Don't tell me I should take time to relax. I know.

I think I will after everything has returned back to normal.
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Trousers

Today we decided to use the morning to buy our autistic son some new trousers.
As he has a special size we needed to go to a shop that is more expensive than others, and I kept my fingers crossed they would have sales.

THEY DID!!!

The expensive trousers were 10% of the normal prize! Woohaa. Just for a couple of days.

It took our son 3 sets of fitting before we had the right fit.
The backpart needed some adjusting, but shops like these do that too.
So I had the service for trousers of 200 euro. Me oh my. I felt so lucky and lazy.

We bought him 3 trousers. All a tiny bit different, and a very nice sweater.
Everything together was far below the amount of money we expected to spend.

His father bought a pair of trousers too, 2 blouses and a vest.

I was so delighted they had such a good choice that I forgot to have a look at the ladies' part of the shop.

Isn't that stupid?
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day 4

It's like we're in the exchange for ages...that´s how tired we are.
We have to look at the paper to see which day it is.

Yesterday we had to do such a lot that it seemed like we were walking the clock all day.
One of our sons helped out by cooking part of what the school needed. We had to make a main dish for 12 people at a school dinner, and we had to make dessert for the same amount of people.
We decided to buy applepie with whipped cream, as we had no time to bake them ourselves.
Our son made pancakes with all sorts of fillings, and had people translate the ingredients in different languages. Just marvellous!

Again one of our daughters came home with complaints about the boy.
Teachers had forced them to work together, but he gave no input and when she finally wrote down her vision on the subject he copied the lot.
If there's a thing she hates it's copying.
I can only hope he copied her language mistakes too.

The picture about him is rather clear. My daughters suffers more and more because of his rude behaviour. She can deal with quite a lot, but it looks like she's becoming an outsider in her own group due to him.

Instead of doing my work and blog about all sorts of subjects, including colon cleansers, fashion shows and photography, we went to school to the mass dinner.
The pancakes and applepie disappeared soon. People liked them. So that was great.
We were hardly able to fetch something, because it was so crowded and by the time it was our turn most was gone. We managed to get something our friends made and it tasted very well, even though we had to eat standing. There were not enough chairs. We had subscribed for 8 and came with 4, so we wonder how much we would have had to eat if we all had been there.

The boy looked me in the eyes at a certain moment, but he didn't bother to say hello. When my daughter went to him he was gone.
She tried, oh yes, she tried.

Then suddenly the dinner was over. On our way out one of my former clients approached me as a fellow mom. She knows my daughter is a very lovely social young women and she told her not to think it was due to her.

At home we found out he told the teacher she was not saying anything to him!
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 3

Yesterday was a marvellous day.
The boy stayed after the dayprogram at the other family and we had the girls.

We had lots of fun and even though the girls were very tired, they enjoyed themselves.

The experiences with the boy in another town were not good. He ignored our daughter and behaved very rude.
He clearly doesn´t now how to behave.

After hearing everything our daughter wanted to vent we decided to call school.
The teacher said we were no longer responsible for him. They had spoken about his behaviour too.

It was a relief.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guest 2, day 2

Guest 2 arrived a lot later than expected.
She's a lovely girl.
Already on internet she and my daughter established a relationship and when they saw each other both were happy.
Because her mom is a teacher she arrived too.
It was very nice to meet her. Such a lovely lady.

Things went very smoothly. The speech at school was short and to the point. And within no time we were on our way home.

It was such a difference from yesterday.

Ofcourse we had to get used to each other, but we all were trying and soon we felt like the girl had been here all the time.

They both went to ballet.

Things got complicated when my other daughter arrived home with her guest.
He seemed to have lost his little ability to communicate altogether. He lost his ability to pronounce words properly. No, it was not tiredness, because when one of the boys asked him something he was able to answer well.

When the girl asked him something about his time of arrival he ignored her twice. The third time her southern temperament sounded through. She had lost her patience with him already.

When it was time to bring him home none objected.

Because the decision to have the girl sleep here, we had improvised things and not everything was the way I wanted.

After some homesickness we got a hug and soon all three girls were sound asleep.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Continued...

On sunday our first guest arrived.

In the morning the people where he would sleep called and within a few moments we agreed on times, him having dinner there on tuesday because that fitted best on the program, and some other minor things and we had a lot of laughs.
The woman on the phone sounded like she was my best friend.

Then we went to school to get our guest.

We were in the car going home when we were called on the cellphone. The classteacher told us to call the family where the next guest would stay. The girl was expected to arrive the next day.

The classteacher told us the family wanted a meeting to reach an agreement about times and such.
I expected problems so again I checked things, the classteacher agreed with me and I told her we wouldn't be able to meet those people because our first guest had just arrived. We agreed to call.

So later they were called by the father of the kids.
I thought it better he'd do it, because sometimes women react better.
He got the man on the phone.

At first things sounded well, but then I heard: "That would mean my daughter won't be able to be alone with her guest at all, which is strange, because it's not your daughter's guest, but my daughter's guest."
Some more was said, and it sounded like the other party had plans and there was no way we could adapt them to our needs. So it was not about reaching an agreement, but about making us obey them.

Then something else unwanted was said and my daughter started to cry.
She came to me and I talked with her a bit.
On the phone both men tried to convince the other. The party in the other town kept saying we had to do it their way and their plans were best, and our side tried to reach some private time for our daughter with her guest.
Turned out the first day they wanted the guest to go to them straight after arrival and my daughter was not allowed to take the girl to her own home, as we agreed with the teacher.

Suddenly I was fed up with the whole situation, and said loudly: "Gentlemen, the situation and disagreements are over. She's going to stay with us and sleep here, even if it means sending our own children elsewhere.
If the host is not allowed to show her own home to her guest, not allowed to introduce her own family to the guest, and there's no consideration for the fact that she can't bycicle and certainly can't deal with the distance of an hour from home to school, and you won't allow us to bring her by car, I have to step in and I have to end this conversation before people are going to say things they don't want to say."

So while I was trying to communicatie with someone who could speak about 10 words of english, I was thinking how on earth I would be able to create a decent sleeping place for our other guest who was about to arrive a day later.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Through the wire...yep, that one.

Yesterday we were confronted on the phone by someone who stood high on the ladder to be able to look down on us. Or maybe it was just ego talking to non-ego.

Yesterday we heard from the exchange student that she was able to bicycle, but only short distances. When my daughter asked how long she said: "about 30 minutes"
That's not long here as from home to school is about 45 minutes.

Last week we bought a car. A second hand. To bring the kids during these interesting weeks to where they need to be. A friend who's car mechanic adviced us, so we had a good buy. Just in time.

As things were hectic here, we had no time to inform the family where she would sleep, but it wasn't a real problem, because we could fetch them in the morning, bring them to school, etc etc.

The suddenly that woman called. So we said it was nice she called, and informed her about the new developments.
I won't go into all the details as you might fall asleep while reading.

She didn't agree with bringing the kids to school. First she was angry that the girl told us and not her, and secondly: none dies from bicycling.
Apart from that she had some other rules...eh requests, which involved more time at her house, and also all the time at her house at the first day.

I tried to be reasonable, listened well and found out that the school requested meals at her place for our guest. Huh????

I tried to come to an agreement, saying that I could imagine my daughter wanted to show her guest her own house, but the woman got so very irritated.... and angry... I was in utter amazement.

When I said she wanted to go to ballet with my daughter I was called irresponsible etc etc.
The girl in question loves ballet and has about 10 lessons a week. She asked to be able to dance with my daughter.

I stayed firm...it's the request of a guest, and the result was that she decided to call the classteacher to ask for permission. ??????

So the teacher called....

I explained matters and we agreed ballet should stay in and the girls would go to the sleeping place at a reasonable, read early time.

Will be continued.... I'm soooo tired!
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gimme Three Steps



1. Has anyone ever got angry with you for flirting with their partner or date?

No.

2. What is your favorite movie line or speech? (Set the scene so we appreciate it in context.)

The movie: Out of Africa.
The scene: overview of the wonderful nature.

"I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold."

It's not as much the quote as the feel that caught me.

Another quote from that movie:

"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"

3. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?

I always watched my father shave in the morning. His alarm would wake him and me. I would go up and get something decent on and walk to the bathroom after he passed my room.
One day I went in front of him. A moment later the marble lamp fell down, crushing everything on it's way.
Would I have walked that day after my father, as I always did but that time, I would have been dead.

Another miracle happened when I was born and my gram came a few hours later to see me. She was talking to my mom and felt weird. She walked to my crib and found me all blue and not breathing. She revived me.
Thanks gram!!

4. What do you try to stay away from?

Alligators, for instance.

5. What is it too late for?

Finding a true love.
I know some older people meet their soulpartner. But I think I've missed him.

6. If you could write three newspaper headlines, which would come true, what would they be?

  1. Peace all over the world
  2. Cause of autism found and treatment possible
  3. genetic diseases not inheritable anymore


7. When was the last time you apologized to someone?

Don't know. Must have been a while ago.

8. If you to find out now that you would very well known after you die, what do you think it might be for? (Feel free to pick an accomplishment that you have yet to do.)

Influencing politicians in a very tactical way to change important issues for people with special needs.

9. Are you easily angered or able to handle every situation calmly?

No, I'm not easily angered.
I don't handle every situation calmly... the past weeks really got to me and this evening someone was dealing with a situation very egoistic, without any consideration of children, and it really got to me. It was on the phone and I stamped my feet. I suddenly remembered that the last time I did that was when I was a small child. I had to stamp though, otherwise I had pulled the person who stood at the other side of the phone straight through the 10 km of wire between us. On her ear. While whistling on the phone. With all force. In a fraction of a second.

You get it?

That's not me.
I'm a very kind person. But I fight for the kids, if needed.

Will blog about it later or tomorrow.


Have a great weekend!



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Part with half the group?

During the exchange two boys celebrate their birthday and the hosting family throws a party for their exchange kid and have invited the other birthdaykid along, with the class from abroad and half the group of our daughter.

To complicate the matter even further: the party is at the other side of the border, in the neighbouring country.

What would you do?

My daughter is not invited, but her exchange student is.

I've written the parents, giving them a way out by suggesting that they might not know that half of the class hasn't received an invitation, maybe due to.. and a few reasons.
I've send a copy to the contact persons of school.

I'll wait until monday (I think now) to contact the teachers. These two weeks are heavily subsidised weeks, ment for people to get to know each other. Not to exclude each other.
We are responsible for our exchange student and we take that very serious. Well, the same way as we want the foreign parents to take care of our children.

I feel I can't be responsible for someone I don't know when he's unseen at a party in another country about an hour driving away.
The german police is very firm with people from his country, so in case something happens there's trouble around the corner.

What do you think?
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Musical performances

Many singers show a vast difference between studio recording and life performances. Even very famous singers are among them.

I've always admired Alicia Keys & Beyoncé. I thought them to be among the top, but after today I don't think so.
I heard a life recording of "Put It In A Love Song" and I was shocked. Not only were they not able to listen to each other and merge their voices in one, they just sang bad. Their singing technique was far below that of an intermediate amateur. Awful!

Maybe those better performances of them we can hear online are the result of a good sleep, no smoking and a colon cleanse, I don't know.

Then I heard a life recording of Keri Hilson. Just voice and guitar and it was great, as was a life recording of Train accompanied by a Ukelele. The last was awesome. And a sheer delight.

It makes me long for the days in the past that we just sat down and played our songs and sang our hearts out. Wish one of those friends came here for an evening with his guitar to take me back in time.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Contact, at last.

After bringing to the attention of the teachers that one of the girls can't establish proper contact between her and her exchange student, he suddenly was available today for a long time.

No ridiculous answers anymore, but a serious exchange of facts, so we know a bit more about him now.

He's not practicing religion and he's allowed to eat pork, so we threw our dinnerplan away and opted for normal cooking, so he'll be enabled to learn how we live, bake and cook.

Now the arrival of the exchange students is just days away there's a certain tension observable.

One of the girls had an accident at school yesterday.
I don't understand why the gymnastics teacher didn't opt for a ballgame or something like that but took the trampoline to practice.

The kids are so very tired of pushing a complete month of lessons and homework in too little time that accidents could be expected.

It's very unlike my daughter but she forgot to grasp her knees when making a salto and one of her knees smashed in her face.
Ofcourse the teacher did nothing more than asking of things were OK.
It's the teacher who said that we were members of a sect...so you know how observant she is...haha :((((

My daughter came home with a very painful knee, pain in her face, jaws. Today she still had problems eating.
She doesn't have broken her jaw, but it's bruised badly.

Ofcourse we pampered her..
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sun, sun...SUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Waiting for a severe sunstorm to hit the earth we saw...sun!
Not a minute of sun,
not 5 minutes or an hour,
but hours, complete hours of sun!!

Yes!!

Crocusses and narcisses can be seen everywhere.
It's spring!

The nights are still freezing cold, but who cares?

It was a pity that I didn't have a camera with me when we came from the shoppingcentre, because the moon was extremely large and wonderful.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some days....

I had plans for today.
They ranged from cleaning, to shopping, to lots of other things. And I was sure not to forget to fetch my meds.

Well, I did some laundry and the vaccuumcleaner can't complain about loneliness, the dishes were done, the kids had enough good food to eat and I even spend hours helping them with their homework.

The shopping lasted 30 minutes, because the shops closed.
The mds are still somewhere on a shelf. But I've got enough here, so don't worry.

And I gave attention to many people who needed it and tackled quite some issues.

So this day was well used... but not in the way I wanted.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dentist

Today I had to go to the dentist again.
The second step of the implant.
When I arrived there were private security guards outside, a few posh cars and the waitingroom was completely empty.
So somewhere in the building would be at least one important patient.

One of my sons is a security guard in training, maybe that was the reason I was the only patient allowed in the building. Who knows.

There was no waitingtime, and the assistant and I had the time to have a talk before the dentist came in in a very cheerful mood.

He made an incission above the implant, took the screw off and replaced it with a cap.
Next appointment would be thursday, but I didn't want that.
Manipulating my gums always results in inflammation and I didn't want him to work in there so soon after the incission.
He agreed, so I'll go a month from now.
Penty of time to heal.

By that time the swelling will be gone and when they made casts for the final tooth it will be closer to the gums.

When I walked through the waitingroom it was loaded as always. Outside the posh cars and their passengers were gone.

Last friday a friend of my son had a severe accident and he's at home with wounds, a swollen hand and a leg from top to bottom in a cast. He and his friend who was in the accident too, had at least been on the road in the pouring rain for half an hour, and they had been in hospital without warm covering for at least two hours.
His mom is away and he asked me to keep an eye on him.

So when I came back from the dentist I paid him a visit and inspected the wounds and his leg.
His wounds are healing properly, but he uses the hand far too much. It's still too swollen, so I gave him instructions how the bring the swelling down.
Yesterday my second son gave him the firm instruction to put his leg higher and he was sitting properly now.
Another friend of my son arrived there too and we all had a good talk about friendship and being yourself.
I've known these young men from the time they were babies and it's such a delight to see they're such sensible guys. They really care for each other.
For the girls too.

As one of the exchange students is still an unpleasant mystery they said they would support her anytime she needed it. So I'm sure there will always be a boy to bicycle her home.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Count Down - 20 - the day

Thank you for your support. It means a lot to us.

We arrived at the court in time, sat down, saw the guardian and his teamleader pass and then the lawyer who was with us the last time.
He stopped and I explained why we didn't contact him, told him what happened. "You can do it yourself very well", he told me. He's such a kind guy and his smile really made me feel confident.

We had to wait an hour.

Then the girls were called in by the judge one by one.

They came out very content. They'd been able to say what they wanted to say, ehich had not been the case the time before.

Then it was our turn.

Youthcare said they wanted to end guardianship because the girls did well and it was difficult to work with us because a lot of energy went in dealing with our feelings about the way we were treated by childcare. (They said it in different words, but this is the content of what they said.)

Then childcare had their say and ofcourse they didn't agree. They still clinged tremendouly on what that teachers had said and they completely ignored what youthcare had said.
Now suddenly they stressed psychologic assessment because the girls might function well but there might be underlying problems (haha) and I was happy to be able to say that the therapist of one of the girls didn't see an indication to do a psychologic assessment and I don't see that either, that I was the one who proposed it to childcare so they would see the girls were not the way those teachers said they were (depressend and fearful), and that has been fallen away not the school states the girls are doing fine.

They said they trusted what was said about the girls by the former teachers, because they had signed statements. And I tild the judge that a signed opinion doesn't say that opinion states a true fact. It still stays an opinion and nothing more. The judge smiled.

Well, now we have to wait again until the judge decides between believing those who are clinging to their mistakes and youthcare who has spoken with school and other people and who want to end this farce.

So it didn't feel like Valentine's day at all.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Count Down - 19 - the day before

The bag is packed with all the paperwork we might need.
With the tape of the conversations, because in the letter to the court it was stated that we remembered our conversations in another way than they did. The tape proves who remembers well, and it this person.
With photos of the girls and friends from the past years, to show that what was written about the lack of social contacts of the girls was a complete lie.
With summaries of the last parents meetings, which say the girls are allright.
And with all the emails sent to and fro.

We're not going to take a lawyer with us. We just can't afford one. School requieres too much money and a lawyer is too expensive.
We want the girls to participate fully at school, so it left us no choice at all.

As far as necessary I'll present the case.

I know everything about our family and I respect court enough to speak the truth, even though the last ruling was a huge mistake.

I'm nervous.

I want the truth to win, not people with egos and a job they want to keep.

We're a good family and I want that acknowledged by the court, not denied because other people lie.

I hope child protection will refrain from objecting against the decision of childcare to stop guardianship.
Otherwise I have to reveil their lack of interest in finding the truth. They just accepted what those 2 teachers said and based everything upon their statement. One of them was not taken serious anymore after it was discovered we were not members of a kind of sect, as she stated. Pity it was discovered after all their interviews, because they looked at us from a frame of mind that didn't fit our situation at all.
The teacher that was left for them to use to make their case has been told at school he won't be a groupteacher anymore and he's not allowed to speak with parents anymore. He also has to refrain from characterising his pupils and to leave that to psychologists.

He said our girls were depressed, were afraid to go to school and had no social contacts. We asked childprotection to wait until the school started again so other teachers could have their say too. But childprotection was in a hurry to get us in court and to get the father out of the family.
When the guardian spoke with school matters were settled.
He heard the kids do OK, are very social kids, not afraid, not depressed and they had never been that. He referred to bullying.
Yes, one of my daughters was bullied, for instance because she has an autistic brother, but she could deal with that. She was not a victim because she was bullied that way. The bully was the nutcase, not she. The guardian tried to make a point but the teacher was very clear: failing teachers are not the fault of pupils. There were things very wrong in the group due to the teachers and my daughter shouldn't be held accountable for that.

That meeting was crucial to everything, because it turned out that all the way we had spoken the truth.

We've never seen the guardian since then. But we got a letter stating he would ask court to stop guardianship.

I so hope that the judge will make the right decision now.

We're all tired of fighting against the injustice we've encountered.
we want to go on with our lives with the feeling that we're just ordinairy people.
I know there are far worse parents that we. We're good parents and we're a good family.
We now want the rest we deserve so the children can grow and develop themselves in a balanced way.

I don't mind people watching what we do, because we do it well.
But I do mind it when it's done because a judge belieed people who were not speaking the truth... and I bet each and everyone of them was well aware they were not speaking the truth at all.
As a buddhist all I can say they'll get the karma they deserve.
We will too in the end.

See you tomorrow.
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I Saw It on TV



1. What new TV show rocks your world this year?

hahaha..."rocks your world". None. It takes a lot more than a TV show to rock my world.

2. What is your least favorite ethnic food, and what makes it your least favorite?

I don't do negative ones, so I don't know.

3. When does liking someone a lot become loving that person?

There's not a fine line between these two.

4. Is there a job you would do for free, and is it your current job?

It's not my current job, but I would like to be a traveler journalist.

5. What is one person/thing that inspired you to take action of some sort?

I find my inspiration by injustice and standing up against it.

6. Though you might not believe in it, would you like fate to exist?

No.

7. Tell us about a news story that truly shocked you.

There's so much in the news that shocks me daily.
There's so much injustice in the world. So many people with huge egos who think they know it all. They male wrong decisions, wrong laws and act in the wrong way and they don't even (want to) realise it.

8. What's something you're looking forward to?

A vacation, wherever it may be, whenever it may be.
And moving to Scotland, ofcourse, whenever that might be.
I hope it'll happen before i can't walk anymore and I'm too old to see all the beauty.

9. What characteristics do you despise?

Egoïsm and egocentrism.


Have a great weekend!



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Friday, February 11, 2011

First signs of spring

I love spring. It's my favorite season and each year when I hear the birds whistle after the winter I feel deeply grateful.

This morning I heard them.

No lovesongs yet, but they were talking to each other like they owned the world. I'm sure they did.

A quick walk through the garden learned that the yellow flowers, not forsythia but little flowers growing in a ball on long straight stems, had small green leaves.
I also saw green from some bulbs and I'm sure there was a lot more, but it started to rain and I didn't want to stay outside too long in a t-shirt.

Ofcourse I felt the urge to work in the garden, but there's enough to do inside, so I want to give that all my attention first.

Today I prepared the monday morning event by collecting the last mails and sending them for printing.
I can't do anything more now and it makes me nervous.

Lots of laundry was waiting. It's all on the lines now.
And lots of chores.

The work here is never done and I wish it would be.

After cooking I left the dishes to be attacked with energy by someone else.

It's raining now, tomorrow the north will be dealing with icy roads and maybe even a bit of icerain or snow. The soputh will have temperatures in the double digits. 13 degrees celcius.
They say it's going to rain.

The girls have to be at the open house of school. Maybe we'll have a chance to go to the shoppingcentre. I badly need new shoes for daily use. Maybe I can find something at a low prize.
Keep your fingers crossed.
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We need to dresh posh

When the exchange students are here we need to go to a theatre evening dressed posh.

That means that half of the family won't go. Which won't be a problem, you won't hear me complain.

I'm all in for dressing up.
During the years I've collected some nice pieces of clothes. I'm sure the girls will fit them and I doubt if I can wiggle myself in them. If I can I'll look like a stuffed sausage and I'll need help to get out, if that's possible at all. LOL!

I need something I can put on quickly and looks marvellous.

So I gues it'll be black trousers with something nice on top.
And lots of blingbling.

More suggestions?
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Sport Edition Stroller

When my children were born we still used large prams.
I was one of the lucky mothers to have a lightweight one that allowed the bed to be taken off.
I've never discovered the "lightweight", as the wheels alone were quite heavy. The bed was 7 kilo without baby.

When my thrid baby was born we bought a modern stroller: two wheels in front, two in the back, a seat that could be converted to a bed, but very lighthweight.
I enjoyed the thing to bits, and when another baby was born I bought the bed that belonged to it, so I finally had a lightweight pram.

Sonce then the whole design of strollers has changed.
They're far more ergonomic for the child, and driving is easy. Very easy!
With one wheel in front short turns are made without any problem and lifting the wheel on the pavement can be done without any real effort.
I bet the new parents won't have as much muscle ache and backache as we had in our time.

Today I saw the bob revolution se stroller.
Me oh my, what an interesting stroller that is.
SE stands for sport edition.
It's firm and can deal with all sorts of terrain.
The child can be in it very confortably, under a generous canopy.
The footrest offers perfect protection for all weather. I can't tell you how many burned feet I've seen during summers, because parents weren't aware that babies can suffer from sunburn there too.

With a stroller like this one can walk for miles, but also jog on uneven terrain.
Let's hope the baby enjoys that too!
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Bad journalism this evening

This evening we've witnessed very bad journalism.

CNN announced that Mubarak would step down. They has a truster source...

Well, we've all seen that the guy didn't step down at all.

As a reaction we got that there had been some miscommunication.

????

Is this an example of "journalism 2011"?

Why on earth risk bringing false hope to almost a complete country?

Why not check the message of your informer?
Why not translate properly what he says?

Or was CNN too eager to be the first to bring the news?

I value the attitude of the BBC who clearly stated that it was too early to draw any conclusions from the fact that Mubarak would adress the egyptians on TV.

Some journalists are now turning and turning to talk their mistakes in the right direction.

All I have to say is that the media should follow and report, not create news.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Diet in different countries

We're preparing for a student exchange and we're looking into the different ways of cooking.
In different countries different ingredients are used.

Here our diet is ruled by the vegetables of the season. When one eats the dishes of the season, with enough variety, one eats healthy, it's said.

But now the girls are moving to countries around the mediteranean sea, they will be confronted with different vegetables in their food.
Do they need diet supplements?

There's no one who can answer this question, but it's interesting to hear the different views of people.

Some say that we must follow the habits of the country and all will be well.
Others say the girls must substitute to the limit of our food, and there are also people who tell me not to worry, as the time they spend there is limited.

I tend to say that it's only important to take supplements when they're suffer from intestinal problems.
The countries they're going to are known for a high rate of vomiting and diarrea. So I've warned the kids for what happens when they're not completely hygienic with their food, and how they should solve the problems.

I think that's enough. What do you think?
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Uniform and a caring machine

Our son is a security warden in traning at the hospital and university.
He looks so handsome in his uniform, even though his face is still one sided paralysed.

Today he has a nightshift again.

His uniformblouse was dry just in time.

So it was almost a disaster... and it was due to me this time.

When his father and I worked at the hospital and university our labcoats and other workclothes were washed in the central laundry.
We never had to care for it and one way or another I had the same feeling about the uniformblouses of my son.

Oh, yes. When I'd made the button on his blouse and put the blouse in the washing machine I was right of mind. No problem then.
But that was as far as it went.
The blouse stayed in the machine and I forgot all about it.

OK, plenty of excuses this week. Too much to do.
But that inner voice only started to talk half way this afternoon instead of early in the morning.

By that time the temperatures outside were high enough for our heating to stay cold.
The son was burning at the roof, where the central thermostat is, so it didn't do anything. Even not when I put it on 23 degrees, 24...25...

An hour before my son wanted to dress up it was still wet.

I do have a dryer, but I hardly use it.
This time I had to.

It often malfunctions, telling me that the waterbox is full, whereas we have a pipe, so the water is removed immediately.
I was nice to the machine.
I even told it I wouldn't mind if it worked on 40 degrees, just for this once. To be nice.

This time the machine cared and did what it was supposed to do.

My son put on his blouse, which was shrunk only a little bit.
He sensed it.
I was still holding my breath when he said he would go to the clothing department to ask for a larger size of blouse, because at cold days he wanted to wear a t-shirt under it.

Phew....

He's now walking through the corridors I walked so often during the night.
Sometimes because we had to work on an experiment, sometimes because I was called in for an emergency.

In my mind I walk with him.

Memories of long ago.
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Our Count Down - 18 - counting down

We're truly counting down now.

The date has been set for the new courtsession: on Valentine's Day.
Not the best of days, as one of our sons and his friend from school have an important exam and his father wanted to bring him and his friend. Now they have to go alone by train and have to find the location for the exams by themselves.

But it's getting near now and I hope the days won't be too long.
Yesterday I suddenly realised it's next monday and the nerves had a free game.

The girls have difficulties concentrating at school. Like us they have lost their trust in these socalled professionals. We've gone through so much injustice because of them.

I try to keep our spirits up, that's all we can do at the moment.

Much time at school is taken by the preparations for the international exchange. It starts about two weeks from now with our foreign guests arriving here.
I wish we knew someone who speaks turkish, because they all are at facebook and the discussions of the boys there don't sound well when taken through the online translation sites. I do know how my own language comes out when it's translated from english, which is very straightforward, so I don't think I'm getting the right impression.

Well. We won't take a lawyer with us next monday.
We're still paying the bills from the former one, and he didn't do us any good.
When the judge doesn't trust the opinion of youthcare and doesn't want to hear what we say for a second time... where are we then?

In court we all should have an equal say, so it's our turn to be heard now.
And I think I can say it myself well and clear enough.

So we're counting down and hope this ordeal will come to an end and finally justice will be done.

Please, your prayers and good energy are very welcome.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another meeting about the exchange

We had another meeting about the international exchange.
None of us wanted to go, but we had to.
We were lucky that a friend of the boys was able to bring us by car and fetch us too, so we were not on the busses at all. Saved a lot of time.

We were not the only people who didn't feel like going. We didn't say anything, but some other parents did.
Most of the information this school gives can be send by mail.

Well, it was nice to be together after all, as we met the parents where our exchange student sleeps and I met some other parents who were very nice.

No new info.

For the large dinner we have to make dessert, so I can do with some very good recipes of you. :)
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Safety for teenagers on internet

One of the main issues here is safety on internet.

The school almost forced the girls to take a facebook account, because it was such a great way to communicate.

Well, parents, watch your teenagers!

One of the issues are photos.
Some kids think that nothing happens with those photos. But I've discovered that they can be taken from their profile and used in a kind of photo collection with photos of who-knows-who?
I've filed a complaint against this at facebook, so we now can wait and see what they do with something like that.

Another issue is that teenagers listen to our warnings and guidelines for using facebook and that not all of them see the need to show desidered behaviour.
Me oh my, what I've read on facebook from rather nice girls... Pooh. A dirty mind can be hidden behind a lovely face, let's say that.
They're now aware that everyone can read it, and it can be read many years later too.
Like I said to another parent: their future employers, their future friends, they all can look it up. Long after they've lost contact with the boy they like so very much now.

It worries me too that school stimulates children to use their own name on internet.
I don't think I need to write much about that.

The aim to improve communication between the exchange partners is nice, but not realistic.
One of the girls already has a very good contact with the girl she'll meet in person two weeks from now.
The other girls is hardly able to talk with the boy she needs to exchange with. he doesn't speak proper english, and we don't speak his language. He's presenting himself as a person which can't be liked, so I guess we have to treat the boy for culture shock when he comes here.
The whole facebook thing is for that daughter a complete disaster, as she isn't looking forward to the exchange at all. We've even promised her that we'll take the next plane to istanbul when it's necessary.
She's a realistic, sensible girl, and she knows how to deal with people, so we trust her in her judgement.
But first the guy will be visiting here, so we can see if he's the person he seemws to be from internet.

Maybe the old fashioned way of polite letters before the exchange was far better.
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Those flowers are gorgeous!

I don't often "like" pages at Facebook, but I did when I heard about the special offer of Proflowers. With today's flower order you'll receive a glass vase or a discount on a premium vase.
Isn't that great?

I absolutely love Purple Dendrobium Orchids and I've seen they're among the favorite
flowers in San Francisco too.

Next week it's Valentine's day, a perfect opportunity to surprise a loved one with flowers.
Proflowers offers them in every price category.
I've even seen a bamboo, shaped in a heart, but also lovely white roses and gorgeous purple tulips, among traditional pink and modern multicoloured bouquets.

Don't forget to surf the whole site, because there are also multi-day gifts (what does chocolate mean to you?) and options for fruit, cookies, wine and spa baskets, among all sorts of other presents.

I advice you to slip some information about Proflowers into the pocket of your lover. He;d better make the right choice!
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

To a stormy sea!

Because we still had 4 tickets for a day free on the trains and the last day to use it was yesterday we went.
We is the oldest son, the girls and me. A perfect combination to travel and enjoy our time, we have found out. The others rather stayed at home, so they did.

When traveling to Amsterdam, on our way to sea, we heard someone say there was a complete airplane in the hall of Amsterdam Airport. So we changed our first destination without any problems.

It was not a complete airplane, but parts of it. We could have a close look in the cockpit and the girls even sat there. What a great preparation on their international exchange next month.
Ofcourse we had a look outside. We've been there before, but it's always great to see the airplanes landing, standing and taking off.
The storm was quite fierce, so the flights of the larger airplanes were cancelled, but it was interesting to see what happened there anyway. One of the planes had quite some problems landing, but it all went well.

Then we went to Amsterdam, because the oldest had to fetch something. When we arrived there we had a look in a very nice shop with felted hats and other etnic items called Shirdak.

We also payed a visit to the Tibetan shop and to our favorite, what we call, buddha shop.
After looking at some more shops we went to Subway to get what we call here "healthy bread" and took it with us to the train.
I consider those half breads with vegetables and a slice of meat far too expensive. But they tasted nice.

And then we arrived at sea.

It stormed.
The sand blew like a sandstorm and we girls protected out faces, but the man in the company didn't. So he ended up with a good facepeeling which was a bit overdone at some places. He didn't mind though.

I walked close to sea, so the sand couldn't get at me.
For years I've been longing to be at sea during a storm. It wasn't as bad as the day before, but well enough.
In the past I've been at sea with my father during a fierce storm that left some sailers ill, so I've got a great respect for that force of nature.

I enjoyed it all such a lot, that it's clear to me where I have to move.
Like I said before it'll be the west coast of Scotland, if possible. If it ever happens maybe the Hebrides. Being as close to nature like being at sea in this heavy storm seems something very natural to me.

We all enjoyed out stay.
It wasn't cold for most of the time. At the end of the afternoon the temperature went down though, and we had to leave anyway.
I hope to be back soon.

On our way back we left the train and were lucky to get our food at a very good place. We've written the adress in our booklet, because it's well worth to go there again.

The storm at sea did me well.

It gave me lots of inspiration, plans and ideas.
It also gave me the chance to be with some of the children without any disturbances.

Thanks for all the congratulations and nice words.
They're forever linked to these memories.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

25 years anniversary of motherhood

Today is my oldest son't birthday and it makes it also my 25th anniversary of being a mom.

Far too many meories go through my head.

At first we were told we wouldn't be able to get children.
That was by a professor who made a serious mistake, as we know.
I praised myself lucky to be able to know enough about research and medical subjects to start my own research review. I found out that he overlooked something, and due to my discovery We were able to have children.
The guy didn't like it, but I was pregnant and gave birth to a lovely baby boy.

Our second baby died the second day after birth.
It took me from the pink cloud and I never crawled back on it, because it also made me far more aware of what motherhood really is.

Looking back on my life as a mom makes me feel amazed.
How did I manage with so many small children?
Breastfeeding, 4 with special needs, twins.
If it would have been someone else I would have called her supermomma.

But before I wanted children I prepared very well.

My gram was a mom of 7. One of her son has a serious medical condition that required much attention and care, but she never failed to give all her children the feeling they got everything they needed.
"Embracing one, enables to you to smile to another and listen to the ones behind you too.", she used to say. I think multitasking is genetic.

My studies were also of great benefit.
Psychology and pedagogics made me aware of what a child needs, should be able to do at a certain age and what it requires from parents.
My specialties were autism, learning difficulties and some more subjects that were precisely what I needed for my children. Wow, was I lucky!
My medical studies, even though not finished because my oldest was born then, proved to be perfect. I didn't spend unnecessary time in waitingrooms and emergency departments, and our doc knew that when I called he'd better hurry.

I've been a loving, caring, but also a responsible mom.
Every decision was based on thinking.
It was important to me to be able to tell why I did something, and later precisely that enabled me to advice other parents.

The strong inner self confidence of being a good mom was the product of a long process. I doubted myself oh so many times. Did I well? Did I give my children the best?
When they grew older and people dealt with my children I got many, many compliments and finally I had to accept these.

And then, about a year ago, things started to happen because at a school children were bullied and my daughter stood up for them.
Some grown ups rather lash out than acknowledge their failures.
Things were said that never should have been said, we were blackmailed, and our parenthood was questioned.
Unbelievable!
And unbelievable things happened.

It gave me insight in a world that was never part of my life.
Insight in people I'd never met, and I suddenly understood so much more of what's going on in our country.
I'm sure this has made me into an even more understanding psychologist, and even though I don't think I'll play a role on the political theatre, I know I can play a role in bringing injustice and misuse of power to the attention of those who can make changes. I have to.

When all goes well, things will be set right again the 14th of february. Please send us your prayers and good energy, and wisdom to the person who decides.
We're good parents and our children are well, and that should be acknoeledged by now.

I love my family and each of my children.
We're a great bunch together, and I'm sure my children have received the loving and caring basis to fly out in the world.

They all say they've had a happy youth and that means a lot when children tell you that spontaneously.

25 years of motherhood have changed me a lot.
But I've never lost touch with myself and I always stood straight for my family.

I've experienced pain and grief, but also lots of happiness and joy.
I gave up a lot. But I received so much more.
I'm so glad I decided to be at home for my children. We've never been rich in money, but oh so much more rich in love and care.

And that's what motherhood is about.
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Margaritaville



1. Tell us about a time that you had way too much Jose Cuervo.

I don't think I've ever had too much as I don't know what it is.

2. Do you agree with the following statement: "The older you get, the faster time goes by."?

Yes, I do.
I've always lived intense, so it's not at the moment that it seems to go faster but looking back, or at the end of a day... Sometimes it scares me.

3. What do you usually do during your "down time?"

I almost never give in. I don't like self pity, so that helps.
Most of the time ,usic helps, a cup of coffee and writing things down. Other times it helps to write a businesslike letter or an angry letter to politicians about an important issues. Crawling out of a pit makes me very straightforward.

4. When it comes to the opposite sex, do you feel you have a grasp on 'em - or do they continue to just surprise you?

Men?
Ahaha!!

5. What is your home town famous for?

A lot of things historal and sportive.

6. How many romantic relationships have you had?

Who cares?

7. What's the best concert that you've ever been to?

I bet you don't know the group.

8. Which famous person would you like to meet? Why?

Right at this moment? I don't know. There are so many people I would like to say something to.
Maybe the chairman of the european human rights commission. I don't know if he's famous enough for your question, but ofcourse we bloggers can make him famous. :)
I would talk about the violation of human rights and especially children's rights in the western world.
Parents are more and more seen as labour force and not as the people who bring up the future of the country. The way some countries deal with children and parents... ugh!! And it's getting worse.

9. Has a newspaper or television reporter ever interviewed you? If so, what were the circumstances and what did you think when you read or saw what you said?

Quite some times. Yes.

One of my first television interviews was with a friend.
We were told they would make a trial version first.
So we had our interview, which was much shorter than expected.
Then we sat down for the real one and we were told we were already good on tape.
When we saw the interview on TV we were furious, because they mixed questions and answers in a rather strange way.
Let's say I liked the make up. I looked wonderful!

The best interview on TV was by a famous interviewer who followed our family for a whole day with his camera team. The cameraman turned out to be family. Which was fun.
The interview was great.
Pity was they rebuilt the whole room to get the lights good enough.
He wanted me to read a poem and wanted special lights.
It was gorgeous.
But some important person died the day it was broadcasted and they let the poem out.
He loved the take so much that he put it in a program a year later (to honor the deathday of my daughter), but I didn't see it myself.
I got loads of reactions.

The best interview in a paper was by someone I worked with when I was younger.
It was a few days before his retirement.
He also made the best photo of me, but I never got it.
Peopel stared at me weeks after the interview wherever I went. It was strange in the beginning but in the end I didn't care any more and I kind of liked it, because I started to talk to people who stared and was able to interest them for the cause.


Have a great weekend!



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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wasted time, effort and money

Sometimes I wonder if schools know what they are doing.
They invest a lot of time in things that have no use at all.

Take this evening.

One of my daughters wants to become a nurse.
She has looked up information, she's talked with nurses, she's been in hospital, etc etc.
Her second choice was investigated the same way and her choice was clear.

Still she was forced by school to go to an information evening.

It started at 19.00 hours, so we had to hurry with dinner to be in time.
Her homework wasn't finished, I had no time to eat.

It was out of the wuestion to have her go alone, because the school she had to go to was in the outskirts in town, and I can tell you, it was dark there. Very dark.

We arrived there...sat for hours at different places, listening to people who were reading aloud their premade powerpoints. Half of the information was given three times.

The only positive of the evening was that we had a talk with a maternity nurse who told my daughter she expected her to see at hospital in such a lovely way that I could have hugged her.

We arrived at home at 22.30 hours, and homework still had to be done.

Why didn't that school put those powerpoint presentations online, instead of sending one or two people per subject to that far away school?

It was wasted time, effort and money.
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Broken earring

He's autistic and he hates to go to the shopping centre.
But now and then he feels he has to go and my birthday was one of this occassions.

Making a choice is a huge problem, so he asked me a list of gifts I like and the places where he could buy them.
His father gave him money.

He was all set to make my birthday special.

Waiting at the shopping centre was a nice girl who studies for pedagogic worker and who meets him every week for about an hour to talk about subjects he needs to learn to talk about with other people. like money, where he wants to live, finding something to do in his spare time etc etc.
All subjects he can talk about at home, but we had the feeling he needed to learn to talk with others about those subjects too, as we won't be around all his life.

I asked to girl if she did mind to shop with him for a birthdaypresent and she said she like that a lot.

To my surprise he came home with...nothing.

She wanted to talk about living elsewhere, a subject we welcome as he needs to find his place in society.

The girls offered to get something from the list and he made the choice for a bag with 10 jewelry pieces from the sales. A kind of a gamble as one never knows what's in it.

He gave me the bag with a big smile that looked like a bit of victory. He managed to get a present, even though it was not the way we intended.

In it two sets of gloves: grey black striped one with half fingers, and black ones with fingers. Very nice and welcome.
A pair of earrings with christmasstockings,
a small hairband (immediately used by one of the girls) and some other small items.
And a pair of earrings...which were broken.

His face clouded and he almost started to cry.

It was a small moment of tragedy, and he blamed himself for not going to the shops himself.
He said sorry so many times we got bored.
The earrings can be brought back and exchanged for other ones, as they were from the sales.

So I'm thinking of making them into something else, but at the moment I don't know anything else than trash...
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Studying online

For quite some time now I've been thinking to follow some courses online.
At the moment we need the money for the exchange program of the girls, but I hope that we'll have some extra money after this schoolyear.

A friend followes a massage therapy program online and another one studies for medical coding specialist, both at the Allied Health Institute.

I'm not quite sure what course would be best for me.

Health care management is one of the courses women of my age take, but I would like something that is either in the direction of ultrasound assistant, or one of the professions at the ED.

With enough backing up I would love to study for a medical degree. I think I would do far better than in the past, but I don't think I stand a chance to be accepted, as this government is against people taking a second or third study.

Studying online seems the best option for me at the moment. I can take the time I need, at the time I need, and there are so many useful videos that there's no need to go to the university to see live presentations.

Some courses have extra requirements. Most require additional clinical training, but in a town with two hospitals that won't be a problem.
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A stone

A year ago a soldier was stabbed to death near a disco.
Some easily ignited person pushed a knife in his neck because he thought the soldier had eyes for his girl. Which was not the case.

11 months after the stabbing the stabber is brought to court.
It's not the first time he's there.

He was convicted before.
Abuse, threatening people, distroying property and several traffic incidents are on his name.
He was also jailed for fraud and before he stabbed the soldier, he was just free again.

Today a stone wqas set in the pavement at the place the soldier died.
As a signal that violence is always wrong.

Red roses were laid as a sign of respect.

If we would put stones with the names of the deads of useless violenence in the pavement everywhere our careless walks would be much different.
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Binding books

Today I assisted a friend who has written her thesis.
She got the first printed version a week ago and I've been proofreading it all.
As the thesis was on psychology I had no problem reading it to find typing errors and errors in logic.
It was quite a job, as I've got more to do, but I think all mistake were found.

Today she got the final printed version and it looked amazing.

To save costs she decided not to go for a normal bookbinding but a Velo binding.
That's a plastic binding through holes at the side.

We had the opportunity to use a combined punch and bind machine, so we asked the printer to deliver the paper there, which was no problem.
In the past I used velo bindings and it was a lot of work, as each step of punching and binding was an individual one.
Now we only had to put the paper through the machine and the complete book came out.
Marvellous!

We were ready so much faster, and I didn't have painful fingers as I used to have.

At the room we put the ones that needed to be at the university in the internal university mail. She had prewritten envelopes with her.

Het son came to take the rest home.

Tomorrow we'll send these and then she has to wait until she's invited for the first review by her professor.

That will be well.
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Computers and exams

Children at the age of 12 have to take a series of tests at school to assess their abilities and skills, so a good advice for the next school can be given.

Children with dyslexia are allowed to take the test at the computer.

But the first day of this series of tests the computers for dyslectic pupils were not working.

It's ridiculous that the reason they gave was that they didn't expect so much participation.
Schools get extra money for children with dyslexia and other learning- or behavioural problems, so the organisation that takes these tests could have known how many children are dyslectic.

Each year there are problems which seem to be too silly for words.

This was just one example.
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Who makes their totebags?

The girls are preparing for the student exchange.
Just a few weeks and the young students will arrive here, and then, a few weeks after that, our kids will leave for their international destinations.

They're looking forward to their first experience on a plane.

Yesterday one of them asked what kind of bag she'd best take with her on the plane.

I think s cotton bag with lots of pockets and a good zipper, with a special place for passport and tickets, one for money and one for medication.

Now she wonders who is going to make such a bag....
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Iced roads

The girls made it home in time before the weather changed, but one of the boys had to cancel his visit here, because the roads were one mirror of plain ice.

Yes, winter hit again.

And it doesn't matter if you have a cheap auto insurance or one of the most expensive, you're having the same risk at the moment.

All over the country accidents are happening as I write.
Some roads are closed, others have limited speed orders of 50 or even 20 km per hour.
People are asked to stay inside their homes.

As the expectations are that the freezing cold will continue until half of the morning I wonder how the girls will get to school.
It's so hard to leave the neighbourhood under these conditions.
The main road will be OK, but the neighbourhood of the school is just as inaccessible as ours.
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