Category Archives: Success

Summiting a bucket list hike…

#AngelsLanding #ZionNationalPark #Utah

Advertisements

The audition…

My elder son has always been keen to perform in shows/plays/musicals, but when it comes down to it he looses confidence when he is put in the spotlight. He did an amazing job in the school play earlier this year as part of the drama club, & has talked about wanting to take his ambitions further. However, although he is a very confident child for his age I’m not sure if in reality performing will suit him. Every other year the school puts on a musical & casts grade 4-12, which he is eligible for this time around. He found out about the auditions while he was away at camp last week & was very keen on putting his name forward. While we were with his teacher my younger son over heard that his big brother wanted to audition & immediately jumped on it asking if he could too. The disappointment on his face when he was told he was too young was so sad. But, it turned out that he could audition & if the drama teacher thought he was up to it, she may allow him to perform.

Over the weekend I asked elder child to sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ – the song they had been told to sing, but he was unable to do this comfortably in front of me, & couldn’t do it in front of friends. He got better over the weekend but sadly didn’t really show the confidence that he really needed. He has been given a couple more days because he had a soccer tournament today. On the other hand, little brother totally nailed the song & the amusing poem he chose to recite, telling & singing to anyone who would listen, &… totally nailed the audition! Apparently the grade 9 & 10 students stood next to him, also auditioning, couldn’t even remember the words to the song, & , it turns out he is the youngest student EVER to audition. I am so proud of him for just putting himself forward. We’ll just have to wait now to see what happens…

Stubborn or stupid?

I have just had my first painkillers of the day at 8.20pm. I am very uncomfortable. I have rested up a bit this morning & played my guitar, but then I sorted out the camping equipment for the weekend (yes I am going so don’t try & stop me, I found an axe in one of those boxes so be warned). Made lists – of course – then insisted on going with hubby to the store to replace a stove & gas cylinders. After that we went straight to pick up the boys from bike camp. Then I cooked dinner, sorted the boys out for camp tomorrow, which included doing some laundry, & then I collapsed in a bath. Now I hurt – quite a lot actually. Isn’t it good to get back to normal?

I also stripped down my wound dressing last night to expose it to some good old-fashioned air. I can see now that it is about 2½ – 3inches long but looks pretty good, & hopefully it will fade to just a line (wishful thinking I know). It wasn’t quite healed in a couple of places so I dug out some steri-strips (paper stitches) to cover those edges up for another day or two. I’m still not getting it wet, which is awkward, but I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid any risk of infection. My surgeon has also left the two ends of the continuous dissolvable stitch quite long so they are catching on clothing. I did chop one off because it was driving me mad, & hubby said that was ok to do so, & he should kind of know. Hopefully the rain & cooler weather will stay away now until it is properly healed so I can wear shorts/skirts.

Mornings are getting a little challenging now, it’s 5 weeks since my last injection & my body is starting to stiffen up. If the surgeon is happy with my wound & progress on Thursday I think I’ll get in touch with my rheumatologist & beg him to let me start taking them again, otherwise it’s another 2 weeks before I see him again.

Off to see my physio tomorrow, it will be interesting to see what he makes of the knee findings…

Proud mum moment…

I have had to work hard throughout my life to achieve even the smallest of rewards. I am not academic; in fact, I was told in high school that I was unlikely to qualify as a nurse. My mum always told me that as long as I know deep down I did the best I could at the time, then I should be proud. It took me until the age of 30, but, I have two nursing qualifications & a first class honours degree in health care. I/we have the same approach with our kids.

However, it isn’t just about achieving good grades, if children don’t grow up knowing & understanding how to conduct themselves in society they are not going to get very far in life. They spend a significant amount of time in a structured learning environment with their peers, a very influential place where they begin to learn how to conduct themselves around others. As I have mentioned in a recent post, my elder son was rewarded in his first term at his school in grade 3 for displaying those qualities expected from the students. At the end of every term one student from each class is chosen to receive ‘The Principal’s Award’. At the end of the year one student from each class is chosen to receive ‘the Principal’s Book Prize’ for consistently acting with integrity & honesty; respect for themselves & others; taking responsibility for their own actions & shows dedication to the school by proudly wearing the uniform & always being willing to help others over ALL 3 terms. So when I received an email last week from our younger son’s teacher inviting us to the award ceremony where he will receive a book prize, you can imagine how proud & emotional I felt.

There are other awards of course, & you don’t know until that moment they call his name which one he is going to get (& of course he has no idea). My husband & I sat their, after all the other award categories had been & gone, still waiting for his name to be called knowing that there was only one prize left. The award that not only shows what great kid he is, but the award that also reflects us as parents. We all think we could do better as parents; it’s probably the hardest job in the world. But, when your child is singled out for displaying all of the qualities mentioned above, not just for one term but the entire school year, that isn’t just him, or the school, it’s us as parents. I think we can be really proud of ourselves for providing the initial building blocks of life that both our children have used to the best of their ability, & definitely warrants raising a glass – or two!

A final farewell…

It was the last assembly today for our current principal, who is retiring after a long successful career in teaching & 15 years as the head of our school. There are not many principals that stand out in all weathers to greet the students & shake their hand. He knows each & everyone of the students by name, which grade they are in, who their siblings are (even if they were not at the same school), & of course the parents too. Although we have only known him for the last 3 years, we are still sad to see him go. We had tried for a couple of years to get our elder son into the school but spaces were competitive. For the first year that my younger son attended the junior kindergarten, his elder brother remained at the local school in our old neighbourhood. Every day we walked my younger son into school, my elder son would still shake the hand of the principal. It was very obvious he didn’t attend that school because they wear a uniform & his school did not. It mattered not, he was welcomed like every other student, & was also bid a good day when we left to then drop him at school. He did that for one year.

During that school year he was fortunate to be offered a place for the following school year, & I still remember walking up the street towards the principal (who was stood outside the senior school) on that first day of the new school year. He didn’t receive my elder son with just a handshake, no, he welcomed him with open arms, addressing him by name & declaring how pleased he was to finally have him aboard – that hug, at that moment, gave my son the identity he had been missing at his old school. After the first week of school you would never have believed he’d attended anywhere else.

Both my boys love school. I can’t recall an occasion, at this school, when they have not wanted to go to school. The structured learning environment in which my boys are thriving in has great teachers, but they require good leadership that is constructive & positive. That leader sat today with tears in his eyes, not afraid to express his emotions in front of hundreds of people who have had the privilege of being a part of his legacy. He has left his mark not only within the bricks & mortar, but also on the hearts of thousands of families. We might have said farewell to him as principal, but he will remain an inspiring influence to families & students past & present.

Tuneless torture…

So I’ve been learning to play bar chords since March, & to my great disappointment I rapidly discovered that they have nothing to do with ordering large glasses of wine! My guitar teacher introduced me to a Jack Johnson song that is terrible (which he agrees), but quite good to practice to. I was actually relieved to miss last weeks lesson (he was doing a gig) because frankly even my ears were finding it painful whenever I practiced. Even up until yesterday I was embarrassed to say I could still only scrape through the introduction. Then suddenly something clicked & I played the whole song (well, apart from the bridge in the middle which seems physically impossible). I did it a couple more times & even hubby thought I’d improved. Fab! I could go to my lesson today & feel like I’d progressed…

We always chat a bit at the beginning of the lesson, & to be honest it’s my mouth just trying to save me from the extra humiliation of my tuneless strumming. Sadly my teacher has got wind of this & actually said that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I was honest & said I was having trouble with the bridge – which he expected as everyone does in the beginning – so we went through that a few times with & without the music to follow. I kind of felt ok at this point, knowing I would still be bad, but more confident than if it had been the previous week…

OMG! It was terrible!! It was as bad as it would have been last week – maybe worse. How was it that I could go through it however many times & think I’d nailed it then my fingers made me out to be a liar? Apparently I’m being really hard on myself, he thought that I had improved greatly, & at least now could recognize which chords I was supposed to be playing along with the song, so yes that is definitely an improvement. I was so relieved when he said we would just work with it for another couple of weeks then move onto something else I can practice over the summer – Phew!

However, he is now on the lookout for a song I like that ALSO has bar chords for me to practice – NOOOOOO! Save me from myself & further humiliation, not to mention subjecting my loved ones to more tuneless torture!