Monday, November 30, 2015

A Coming of Age Celebration (Turning 13)

A coming of age celebration: turning 13

A long time ago - so long ago that I can't even remember when it was - I remember hearing Ian Grant (from Parents Inc) talk about the importance of creating "marker points" for our children as they grow.

He remarked that our culture doesn't do this particularly well, we have no Bar Mitzvahs or coming of age ceremonies to mark the point where a child becomes an adult. This leaves teenagers drifting, acting like overgrown children, when in so many other cultures they are seen as young men and women from the age of 13.

I found vintage travel posters online and added my own sayings

Somewhere, maybe from this or maybe from somewhere else, I got the seed of an idea to borrow the concept of a 13th birthday Bar Mitzvah and make it our own.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm the Mother of a Teenager (Help! Send Wine!)

It's official. I am now the proud owner of my very own teenager. Our eldest son turned 13 yesterday, and I'm a patchwork of emotions: I don't know whether to be nostalgic, proud or completely terrified.

The first thing I feel, as always, is WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?

Me and my boy - 13 years ago and now

Truly, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was rushed into the operating theatre for an emergency C-section and my world changed forever. I'd never felt such strong emotions as at that moment when my son entered the world and I was through the looking glass to the other side: I was a mother. 24-7, 365-a-year, no days off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bringing Christmas Joy to Kids in the Philippines

Bringing joy to kids in Manila this Christmas

Christmas is getting an early mention today on my blog - which is something I usually try to avoid, but in this case I'll make an exception.
This year I am excited to be partnering with the amazing team at Children's Garden in Manila to help bring Christmas to kids who usually wouldn't get one.
My part in this venture started back when we were in Manila in August, and I was chatting to the wonderful Sharon (CG director) about ways I could help. Because the kids in Manila got under my skin, bigtime.

Seeing as I do love Christmas (in theory) I asked her how it is celebrated in the Philippines and she told me that each child has a Ninang (godmother) and Ninong (godfather) who gives them gifts on Christmas. I asked, do the kids at CG have a Ninang/Ninong?

No. They have never had one.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cheer Up

Cheerleading is an incredible sport

Today I got sent a link to some photos taken of Miss Fab's cheerleading team at their competition last weekend, and as I clicked and saved them, I felt inspired.

I was inspired by the smiles, inspired by the teamwork, inspired by the sheer athleticism of these girls.

Miss Fab has been doing Cheer for nearly two years - and I wasn't always a fan.
The pageant-y makeup, the skimpy outfits, the glitter and bows - it all felt alien to me: un-Kiwi and overly-American.

There are plenty of misconceptions out there in the world about it as well. Many people are under the impression that it's like the Cheer teams on things like High School Musical and Glee: all pompoms and high ponies and backstabbing. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fifteen Years on the Rollercoaster Together

Wedding day - 4th November 2000

Today is the 4th of November 2015 - it's fifteen years since that rainy day back in 2000 when my man and I said "I do".

My hubby - Always good for a laugh (and willing to dress up)What a rollercoaster ride it has been! But we are still here, together, which is not something we take for granted - many others (stronger and cleverer than we) didn't make it. Sometimes we take a shuddering breath when we think how close we've come to calling it quits. Oh yes. Marriage is not easy. It's not all champagne and roses. Blending two opposite personalities together can be very tricky (and we are SO OPPOSITE - I'm INFP, he's ESTJ).

Marriage with kids is even trickier - marriage with kids who have special needs is trickier again. Especially when the kids have gotten their special needs from someone (and that someone is the mummy and daddy). Oh yes. It's not all fun and games then.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Bit of Shameless Self-Promotion - My Etsy Shop

Greatfun Design Etsy Shop - raising funds for Children's Garden orphanage

Childrens Garden in Manila will receive all profits paid by Direct CreditDid you know that I design and sell personalised party invitations on Etsy? No? Well I do, and I thought it was about time I updated you all on some of my new designs - as well as the exciting news that MY ETSY SHOP IS NOW NON-PROFIT.
I have decided to donate most of the proceeds from my shop* towards the work of the Children's Garden in Manila, after my recent trip there. It's something small I can contribute to this amazing work.
So now when you purchase one of my designs, you're also helping feed and clothe orphans and street kids in the Philippines.

*All proceeds paid by direct credit go straight into CG's account. Orders paid by PayPal help keep me in books.
Here are a few of my new styles: