Sunday, 27 July 2014

Living with a Bunch of Animals

So far, the kids and I have managed to keep busy this summer and can you believe it? We're almost at the midway mark. We're halfway through and I'm still sane. But, earlier this month, I did a not so sane thing. I took all three kids to Serengeti Bush Camp; a one night stay at the Metro Toronto Zoo. 

We had a walking tour of the African Savannah where we enjoyed a behind the scenes look at the rhinos (who we later 'had dinner with'). At dusk, we scampered around doing a scavenger hunt. And after finishing our night off with songs and stories by the campfire, we followed a moonlit path to where we would lay our tired little heads for the night. Then there was nothing between us and nature but the canvas of a Nairobi safari tent!

All three kids had a blast, but being the animal lover that he is, Carter was particularly in his glory. And now that I'm caught up on my sleep, I can happily admit that it was tons of fun, something we will always remember.

Click here or below to take a look:

We've been home from the zoo for some time now, so why is it that I still feel like I'm living with a bunch of animals? Ah well, Hakuna Matata!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Year in Review (Happy Belated Blogiversary!)

Throughout the busy-ness of winter, I missed my blogiversary! It was on March 25th, but I was in the middle of my TESL course at that time. So, without further ado; happy belated blogiversary to me (cue the party streamers and confetti)!

As I look back over my second year of blogging, it's with some regret that I didn't stay fully committed to my blogging goal.

I did however, manage to get twenty-five posts written for my Not Being Able to Speak series and I'm proud of those posts.

It was around this time last year (June to be more specific) that I stopped contributing to my Not Being Able to Speak series. I blamed summer because let's face it, when you've got three kids around all the time it's more challenging to get anything done let alone be able to write on a regular basis.

Then came my 40th birthday (yes, I'm that old!), and with it a renewed desire to do something more with my time. I volunteered, I job searched; I even submitted a few resumes, but to no avail. And then I made a very last minute decision to go back to school in January.

I finished my course on April 11th and successfully obtained my TESL Certificate for teaching English as a second language. While I would like nothing more than to move on to the next stage of my plan (get a job), we are once again at that time of the year when I will soon have three sets of feet stomping through the house; three active children out of school and looking for things to do. So, I'll continue to be patient and hopefully find employment in September.

People always say how time flies and it's true. Through this brief overview of my year from March 2013 (my 1st blogiversary) to March 2014 (2 years since I started this blog - unbelievable!), I've realized I don't alway recognize the changes (big or small) that are happening around me until I consciously reflect on things. I'm grateful that this blog forces me to do some purposeful reflection because it helps me to see the progress that Carter has made. He's come a long way.

Carter has been in his new school for three years now and he continues to surprise us with his accomplishments. He's becoming quite a young man whose sociability continues to grow. He wants to be included in everything and he loves it when he is.

A huge highlight for Carter this year was being part of Jack's hockey team. The team got him a jersey with his name on the back and he was given #10 in honour of his tenth birthday. His job was to high five all team members before they went on the ice at home games. He loved it and so did I.    It. Was. Awesome.

Here are a few more pictures from some events with the kids that I didn't get a chance to post:

Adapted skiing. Cool helmet Carter!

(hockey boy bleached his hair for play-offs)

Happy 9th b-day Jack. Leafs vs. Detroit

Picture day for dance. The big recital is coming up.

Lawn mower season is back! Sweet new lawn mower, Carter!

Best pals.

Big B spent a lot of time in various arenas this winter - that look says it all (bring on summer already).

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Back to School

It's a biz-busy time of the year. 
With the kids and my hubby
And back to school for me, I'm trying to stay in good cheer. 
It's a biz-busy time of the year. 
It's the cray-craziest time of them all.
With readings, assignments and placements and testing, 
It feels like I may hit the wall.
It's the cray-craziest time of them all!

In my last post, I mentioned my busyness and I eluded to the fact that I would be taking an exam. Yep, I did it! I registered for the TESL (teaching English as a second language) program at Seneca College. It was a six week long adventure!

I wrote the exam on Valentine's day and I've been enjoying two weeks off ever since. But, on Monday I start back for another six weeks to complete part two of the program.

Once I'm done that, I'll be able to teach ESL to adults!

I won't lie, juggling school full-time and all things family wasn't easy. It felt like we faced every challenge known to families during those six weeks. Weather, sickness and injuries were a few of the highlights that resulted in bus cancellations, traffic jams, and visits to the walk-in clinic and emerg. But, I lived to tell about it and in the end it was worth it (I think). I'm looking forward to starting part two of the course because when I finish, I'll be that much closer to getting back to teaching with a renewed focus on communication.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Breaking Bad Does AAC

I've been meaning to write a post with an update on what I've been up to lately, but what I've been up to lately has me so busy I haven't had the time!

So, in a week or so (after my exam - oops, did I spoil it?) I'll fill you in. In the meantime, I'll leave you with something else I've been meaning to share.

Have you watched the Emmy award winning series, Breaking Bad? We quickly became addicted in this house, after watching just one episode. We're anxiously awaiting the release of seasons six on Netflix (or for the DVD fairy to drop it on our doorstep).

Not only is Breaking Bad a wildly popular series, it has won points with disability advocates everywhere thanks to RJ Mitte, the actor who plays the son of main character, Walter White. RJ is a phenomenal actor who just so happens to have cerebral palsy. 

But here's what got me: Breaking Bad actually features a character using AAC!

Take a look at this scene where DEA agent, Hank Schrader has been brought in to the station because his colleagues believe that Hector Salamanca, former high-ranking drug runner with the Juarez cartel (rendered speechless due to stroke) is going to reveal critical information about a current drug ring. 

Hank should know better - Salamanca is old school and wouldn't be caught dead snitching. His message put a smile on my face though as it showed AAC (with a little reading between the lines) in its true form: being able to say exactly what you want to say when you want to say it.