#PointShoot Week #41

30 January 2018

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then #PointShoot could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. 

You can share days out snaps or a fun, special, or touching moment from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.


This week's featured post comes from Ross @ Isablog with this gorgeous capture.



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A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Friday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!






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Week in Photos #17

29 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my Photo series #PointShoot. A look back at our week in photos. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.




The beginning of the week started off well and I decided to ditch the housework and work on me. After cleansing my body I headed off to the beach to cleanse my mind. On Monday evening I went to the cinema with my friend to watch; The Greatest Showman. I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it and loved the music so much that I've downloaded the soundtrack. It's impossible not to sing along to it.

My big lad has needed a lot of support this week. His exams are in full swing and he is really feeling the stress! We had a meeting at school and they are also very concerned about his anxiety at the moment. I have arranged for a support worker for him and we met her this week, she seems lovely. Fingers crossed this will help relieve some of the stress around homework and moving to secondary school.  But he needs more professional help too and I am busy trying to arrange this now. 

A chill out and movie night was just what we all needed on Friday evening. 






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Silent Sunday

28 January 2018


One Photo No Words




20 activities to get children enjoying Nature

26 January 2018

Dear friend,

Did you know that inmates spend more time outside than kids? I was shocked when I saw this report from BBC Newsnight. Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris spoke to BBC Newsnight about their book, The Lost Words.

The Lost Words explains how all over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood and sadly this vocabulary is being lost.

Children need to spend more time interacting with the natural world. A recent study of 2,000 parents commissioned by the Eco Attractions Group found that just half of children have built sandcastles at the beach, with a similar number saying they've never had a picnic outside.



Nature is good for kids’ minds.

  • It builds confidence 
  • It promotes creativity and imagination 
  • It teaches responsibility 
  • It provides different stimulation 
  • It gets kids moving. 
  • It makes them think 
  • It reduces stress and fatigue

Children who play outside develop better language skills, are fitter and have fewer behavioural problems. Research shows that children also use five times as many words when they play outdoors and we know that there is a direct correlation between obesity and lack of time spent outside.

I have two computer mad boys but every weekend we get them out from behind their screens and explore nature. It enables us to spend quality time together. I think it is a really important part of our family life and miss our adventures if the weather is too wet or one of us is sick. Getting out into nature doesn't need to cost a lot either. There are plenty of activities you can do that cost nothing.

20 activities to get children enjoying Nature

  1. Camp out
  2. Go Bird watching
  3. Go on a Treasure Hunt/Scavenger Hunt
  4. Share a skill; skim a stone, make a daisy chain, blow a grass whistle
  5. Be a Nature Detective
  6. Take Photos
  7. Make a bird feeder
  8. Collect seeds, pine cones, nuts for a craft activity
  9. Make a mud kitchen
  10. Go for a picnic
  11. Put on wellies and splash in puddles
  12. Plant a garden
  13. Go on a MiniBeast hunt
  14. Make a nature map
  15. Build a fort
  16. Watch the clouds
  17. Climb a tree
  18. Go for a bike ride
  19. Make a collection
  20. Make a nature notebook

What would you add to the list? 

#PointShoot Week #40

23 January 2018

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then #PointShoot could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. 

You can share days out snaps or a fun, special, or touching moment from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.


This week's featured post comes from the lovely Catherine at misspmeetsworld I just loved this idea of an annual family photo!



Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!





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A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Friday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!









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Week in Photos #16

22 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my Photo series #PointShoot. A look back at our week in photos. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.



The word for this week has to be Change. There has been such a lot of change for our family so far this year. The boys are adapting well to the changes in their carers, in particular our big lad has thrived with having some extra responsibility. Being back in the routine of school and work has also helped us all cope with the changes. 

The big lad started his tests this week and so far so good! We have kept things very quiet and stayed in the routine at home to enable him to feel as safe and secure as possible. 

You may remember that one of my goals this year was to practice more self care and I did fit in a trip to the hairdresser this week. I plucked up the courage to go for the chop and had some highlights added too. It was nice to be pampered!

On Saturday my mum celebrated her birthday. Being an EXPAT is sometimes hard, I would have loved to have been able to celebrate with her. My in-laws also celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary on Saturday and Pa was well enough for us to join him in a piece of cake. These occasions are taking on a more significant meaning for us all now. 

There is also Change occurring on the blogging front. Due to my current difficult family circumstances and then an upsetting online experience, I have reassessed my commitment to blogging. I have decided to stop hosting #MummyShot and #ablogginggoodtime. 

Despite this being a really, upsetting and difficult week there have been moments I have been grateful for:
  • Hubby making egg sandwiches for breakfast
  • The support of wonderful blogging friends
  • Daffodils and tulips
  • Southern Comfort
  • My son saying; 'Mummy you look younger' when I returned from my haircut
  • The dishwasher being fixed
  • Cuddles from big lad (these are very rare)
  • The kind gesture of a colleague
  • Time with family
  • Time for me











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Silent Sunday

21 January 2018

One Photo No Words


Autism: Don't say my son looks normal

17 January 2018

Dear Friend,

My son has autism, he is doing his best to fit into a world that can be extremely confusing to him. Problems arise when we meet new people because his disability is invisible. 

Although, I don't want my son to have to wear an armband or badge to show his disability I do tell people we meet, that he is autistic, in the hope that they will show patience. 

Often the person will reply with: He looks normal or Really, you can't tell or some other platitude...

Contrary to what you may think, platitudes are not a compliment. 

Initially, I wanted to reply; Well, you look intelligent... 
or 
I didn't know that you were a child psychologist?

There is no mark of autism, no tell tale sign. Hans Asperger noted that many of his patients were strikingly beautiful with large eyes and Scientists are conducting research into identifying autism using facial scanning techniques but to the naked eye there is nothing to see.
Saying my son looks normal is at best stereotyping and at worst shows you are ready to judge people simply based on their looks.
This is what autism looks like in our family...

 

We went through a long and very difficult process to get the right diagnosis for our son. We did not do this lightly. We recognised that he was having problems that were affecting his day to day life in a big way. I do not need to list my son's autistic credentials to make you believe he is autistic, we know he is...
By saying my son looks normal, you are trivialising his difficulties and questioning my parenting!
But I honestly believe that by saying, you can't tell... most people (in a clumsy way) are trying to show support.

Actually it shows ignorance.

In 2015 the National Autistic Society carried out a YouGov poll and found that more than 99.5% of people in the UK had heard of autism... BUT... In the same YouGov poll just 16% of autistic people and their families said that the public had a meaningful understanding of autism. 
By saying my son looks normal it demonstrates a basic lack of understanding of what autism is
It is time that we challenge the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that mean that 79% of autistic people feel socially isolated. If you do not understand something then ask.

I love this quote from the inspirational Maya Angelou:
If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be. 
My son is unique, an out of the box thinker, has an eye for detail, is funny, caring and tenacious, he is anything but normal, he is amazing!
Isn't 'normal' overrated? 
Perhaps my son does appear 'normal' to you but you spend a short amount of time in his company and he is very clever as he has learned how to behave around others, how to respond as expected. I know how much effort and energy this takes out of him. It must be exhausting spending your life acting the way people want, following the many social rules that seem like a foreign language.

Occasionally the act slips or he makes a mistake then people react with disappointment. Why is he behaving like that?
He has autism!
You can make a change. If you meet someone with autism. Be kind, be patient and smile. And don't belittle their challenges by normalising them.

Next time someone tells me my son looks normal, I'm going to say;
 No he isn't Normal he's extraordinary!
Autism is our normal...

More posts about autism...

#PointShoot Week #39

16 January 2018

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then #PointShoot could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. 


You can share days out snaps or a fun, special, or touching moment from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.

This week's featured post comes from Susan K Mann



Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Friday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!







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Week in Photos #15

15 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my Photo series #PointShoot. A look back at our week in photos. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

The word for this week is hope. In fact my word of the year is hope.

Hope is the only thing stronger than fear...



This has been one incredibly difficult week. We spent our time waiting and hoping for a positive outcome for my father-in-law but in our hearts knowing there was only one possibility. Still hearing the word terminal turns your world upside down!

My focus has been the boys as always. All at once their world is different as Opa and Oma can no longer take care of them. This has meant change to routine and also that they have had to become more self responsible.

It’s such a difficult and deeply personal choice, deciding what they do and don’t need to know and that has been a real emotional struggle this week. I don't want to introduce them to words like terminal and cancer just yet, I want to protect them (eldest has important tests coming) but I don’t want to lie either. They know Opa is sick and that is all they need to know for now.

A few things have got me through this week; the support of my family and friends in the UK, the normality of work and being grateful. Despite everything there have been many things to be grateful for:
  • Brilliant medical care
  • Friends who listen
  • Family who always have your back
  • Bosses who care
  • Working with children (children have an innocent way of helping without knowing)
  • People offering help
  • A sense of humour
  • Online shopping
  • Mobile phones, allowing us to keep communication open, wherever we are
  • Blogging friends who offer support
  • A warm cup of tea made by someone else
  • Walking my dog
  • Being organised
  • Brilliant neighbours
  • Hugs...

Life goes on... We haven’t had much quality time as a family since New Year, so decided on Sunday to take the boys to the zoo. A perfect way to spend the day.









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Silent Sunday

14 January 2018


One Photo No Words


A Glimpse into our Autism: Winning

10 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Yesterday, he lost...

I could feel his frustration building during the game. It was a simple game of luck, one which he had no control over.

With each spin of the dial he moved further away from safety and edged closer to a meltdown.

My boy has never played fantasy games, he has never played with figures or toys. Except for a dizzy (from Bob the Builder) which he took everywhere with him and constantly spun the bucket. He lined things up or whizzed cars down a ramp over and over again.

But as he got older we purposefully bought board games that we could play together to support his social development.

He has always had a deep seated desire to win, a need to be right.

We first noticed it when he was very young. Initially I blamed myself. Had telling him to always do his best been counterproductive?

But I knew it was more than that...



His rigidity of thinking means that to him it is essential to always win and that anything else means failure. He simply does not understand that not everyone can win all the time.

It isn’t always fun for us, especially for his brother. We have tried to explain that Alex would like to win sometimes too because he lacks the theory of mind to see this himself.

Seeing his anxiety build is heartbreaking but it also makes me feel frustration. Again we are denied a peaceful afternoon of play. Again my son is left distraught. Again my youngest son is distressed, confused.

My son is trapped beneath the immense weight of his own expectations.

Yesterday he lost...
We all lost!


A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore the impact autism has on our family on a day to day basis. Disclaimer: this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.


More autism awareness posts...

#PointShoot week #38

9 January 2018

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then #PointShoot could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. 


You can share days out snaps or a fun, special, or touching moment from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.

New for 2018: Facebook group for all #PointShoot Bloggers.

I would love you to come and join me over on Facebook. Here we can share posts, tips, ideas and generally make more of our community. It is nice to see so many regulars joining up here and I hope we can support and get to know each other better over on Facebook too.

This week's featured post comes from Renovation Bay-Bee


Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Friday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!








Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Week in Photos #14

8 January 2018

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my Photo series #PointShoot. A look back at our week in photos. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.


The word for this week (or rather 2 weeks) has to be health. This has been a quiet Christmas break for us. We have spent a lot of time together just the four of us, snuggled up watching TV, playing games or on the computer. It has been nice and relaxing. 

The boys really enjoyed Christmas morning, opening their gifts and we had a fun Boxing Day at my brother-in-laws with all the family playing on the switch together. We have also made it out for a few walks between the rain and storms and we went bowling.

Our good friends, who we had planned on spending time with were sick (the Netherlands has had a flu epidemic.) Then suddenly, on New Year's Eve, my father-in-law was rushed into hospital. We are awaiting the results of more tests but he is extremely ill. An incredibly worrying way to begin 2018.

I was hoping that we could have a family adventure over the weekend before returning to school but just to top our holiday off,  hubby came home from work on Friday with flu and we had to cancel our theatre tickets.

Your health really is your wealth!

I hope you all had a happy and healthy holidays and wish you a fabulous 2018.

Even in the most challenging of weeks there have still been some magical moments...









Happy Days!

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Silent Sunday

7 January 2018




One Photo No Words


Feel Good Friday #2

5 January 2018


Dear Friend,

Are you sick of listening to bad news? Do you feel weighed down by all the negativity? Are you looking for a large portion of feel good news to take you into the weekend? Then look no further...

Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard University Professor and leader of the class “Positive Psychology”, encourages his students to be an active agent in finding happiness. One way to do this is to read some positive news every day.
Positive information benefits us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It can contribute in a meaningful way to a happier and healthier life.
Good news has been proven to increase our ‘good mood hormones’ and even strengthen our faith in humanity and it is no coincidence that major news providers such as the Guardian and the Huffpost have good news sections now. 

Here I hope to inspire you with feel good stories that I have found across the web. It is time for Feel good Friday...

I came across the following video on youtube and it really made me smile. The message is such a powerful one and one I really believe in. The video is made by the Liberators, their mission is;

To involve people in participatory acts of freedom that allow us to see that beyond our differences there is love and humanity.

There are so many lonely people in the world now and a recent study showed that loneliness can be a bigger hazard to our health than obesity. I was really moved by the samaritans campaign Small Talk saves lives too. This shows the power talking to someone can have, it really can save lives. Lets put our phones down and talk to each other or better still dance!





Have a fabulous Friday!


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