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Showing posts from June, 2014

Winter holiday reading list

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Once upon a time in a universe far, far away, I used to write about books on a blog I had.  Oh - hold on. That would be this blog!  I feel I have let some of my long term readers down in this area this year.  Time for a new list for 2014 to meet the needs of those on winter holidays in the Southern hemisphere (and of course for my northerners, you can make it a summer reading list for your purposes!). It's a bit of an eclectic mix.

Flight behaviour  by Barbara Kingsolver (2012). 
Barbara Kingsolver's book 'The Poisonwood Bible' (1998), was a pretty crazy ride with a missionary family in Africa in the '60's going terribly wrong.  'Flight behaviour' is totally different.  Set in the Appalachian mountains, the story opens with young mother, Dellarobia climbing the hill behind her small home, seeking to escape the monotony and poverty of her life, for an affair with another man.  But when she gets there she sees an incredible sight - the hillside is covered …

Encouragement in the midst of the lows

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Life has been a bit overwhelming recently.  It is hard to approach the end of another school term with a child who is still sick.  There have been moments when we've seen improvements, but they're only small. We're at the point where we're getting into a serious run of medical appointments and it is tiring organising them, chasing up people, working out how to fit it all in.  Trying to keep some vague sense of 'normal' for the rest of the family is hard.  Just getting along to the parent teacher interviews for five children over this past week on top of the usual stuff has felt tiring.

Add into the mix a new bout of health problems for myself.   I wrote about this last year (read about it here). I've had nine months pain free but then I've had the pain return more significantly over the past few months. This means a whole set of extra doctor's appointments, ultrasounds, specialist appointments, multiple phone calls and an ongoing uncertainty about…

My year of less is more: what's happened with a slower schedule?

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We got rid of a lot of extra curricular's in January and so many times this year I have thanked God that I felt OK about making that decision before this crazy year had even started.  We're at the point where we feel so spent from the stress of coping with a sick child, that when yet another 'Great opportunity for our kids to SHINE!' gets announced at school, we want to weep (and sometimes do weep).  Getting the shopping done each week somehow feels like reaching Base Camp.  Getting kids to a concert feels like climbing the summit.

What's been interesting to me is that the kids aren't complaining that they have less on.  They seem to find what I would consider the basic stuff - school, church, kid's club - makes their life quite rich.  Three of the five kids play a musical instrument - last year I had five kids doing either one or two instruments each.  A couple of them do a bit of sport.  We've had to say so many times this year 'Sorry kids, but …

My year of less is more: the roller coaster

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I proudly announce on Facebook that she is well enough to leave the house!  Yay! To visit her school friends!  She is so excited!  Is ready and dressed an hour before we are due to leave!

I suggest I pick her up after two hours.  She starts crying because that feels like a babyish amount of time. So we negotiate (against all better judgement) that I'll pick her up after three hours.  I want her to spend time with her peers ('Important to not become isolated from peers' says Blog 1 on the blessed Interweb) but I'm so nervous about her getting tired ('Don't let them think they can do more than they're capable of' says Blog 2).

I pick her up and I know it hasn't gone well.  I ask her how she is.  'Tired'.  What did you do?  'We had dinner, talked, played handball", ("HANDBALL?!!" I mentally shriek.  But Blog 3 said 'No exercise otherwise it will set them back').  'But not much handball - just a few hits' (I …

My year of less is more: not quite the halfway mark I had in mind!

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Well, this is not at all what I had in mind when I started this year off in January! That's the problem with making bold declarations in public forums.  You can't even pretend it's what you had in mind!

Not of course that having a chronically sick child is on anyone's radar.  It kind of just happens.  And there you are.  That family with the sickness.  Just an ordinary family.  Not doing anything particularly hopeless or anything particularly amazing.  And now increasingly desperate for answers, yet the answers seem so elusive. More elusive as time passes.  Elusive because your brain can't kind of keep track of all the different symptoms and ailments and appointments and tests.  It becomes more about what today's been like.  Or what the last doctor's appointment raised.  Over time it's hard to hold onto it all.

Things haven't been going very well.  She's been off school for the past six weeks after attending a few days at the start of term and…