Updated the list of links to manufacturers websites, down there on the right hand side in my side bar. There are almost 80 links there and I know for sure that they won't all be there.

I want to thank Jo for giving me some more links to add on, I also used the shop by manufacturer list at A Million Little Things as a prompt.

Anyhow, if you have any fave manufacturers (Scrapbooking based, stamp manufacturers okay if they are generally used within scrapbooking too, but me I am a paper lover through and through!), just let me know who they are and also a web page link if possible as some of those links too an age to find!

Glittery stuff

Just finishing off my layout project for January edition of Creative Scrapbooking. And just wondering if there is such a thing as too much bling on one page? I'm covered in glitter (as is half of my craft room) but I have had so much fun just playing!

I have Joshua off sick again today, I think he has a similar bug to that which I had last week, though I wasn't physically sick and he has been. He does seem a little brighter today and we have sat and giggled through Chicken Little together.

I am also waiting for the man at the garage to ring for me to walk on and collect the car once he has repaired it and then take it to the MOT garage for it to be re-tested. Typical timing eh? No car the last couple of days has meant I have had to leave Josh alone in bed poorly whilst I have walked the girls to and from school. Luckily my FIL is here pottering around in the garden today so Josh won't be alone whilst I sort the car out.

Remembering and being Grateful

I don't go to Church. Somehow I don't feel comfortable there. But that isn't a true reflection of my beliefs, I just don't do the communal thing too well.

But this morning I accompanied Chiara for the Rembrance Sunday service (she had been asked to go as part of the Brownie congtingent, though it was a very poor showing from the pack).

I always cry during Church services, weddings, christenings and funerals alike. And I always cry at Rembrance services on the television, so you can guess what I was like in Church for the service (and I forgot tissues).

I found it a very emotional and moving experience. The service and sermons were beautiful, the hymns too (though I had only previously heard of a couple). Then a gentleman played The Last Post and another old soldier read out the Roll Call of Honour. It was heartbreaking how long the list was for such a small village, especially when so many names from the same family were called one after each other. There were younger names in there too, a reminder that wars continue down the generations. A reminder of the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many people over the years. A sacrifice I am grateful for every day.

I know it's simplistic to wonder why we can't have peace in the world. But I am a simple girl.

My Feet!

Were killing me yesterday but I had the greatest day!

Lots of thanks to Claire and Orlando for letting me play (I mean work) on their Card Fairy stand yesterday at the NEC. It was great fun meeting them again, together with MG Claire and Theresa.

Lots of yummy things on their stand and I got to see Claire in action with stampboard (which I am now the proud owner of, plus more stamps and the new matte and crackle glossy accents, they give a fab effect and I can't wait to try them out on some ATC's I have to do). I know Claire doesn't shout about it, but she is Senior Educator for Hampton Art Stamps and gets to do workshops on their behalf in the US - they are always sold out and I know why! Creative, fun and zany is Claire so I can but imagine what a fabby time everyone has in her workshops.

I saw some UKS girlies, my mate Kathryn came by just a few times to show me her latest scrummy purchases, and I also saw Trish, Jo, Sarah, Tracy and a bunch of the ladies from the Hobby Horse crop. Thanks for stopping by to say hello :)

My plan to have fun and chat to people without spending much money seemed to work, I took £50 cash and came back with £10. Although I was given time off for shopping, I kept getting lost within the maze of stands. I bought a few things from Art from the Heart, Craftwork Cards and Oyster Stamps. More papers and then a few other bits too. Got yet another white gel pen from Dyan's stand in the hope I can get this one to work better than the other dozen or so in my drawer!

Get Ready .....

Well I should be getting ready for the NEC tomorrow but I've been piffling about again!

I decided at lunchtime to go into Derby and get my hair cut. Not really an excellent idea because I didn't know what I wanted and you can tell. Now it DID look nice when the girl did it, but I am unconvinced it will look anything other than a mess when I attempt to do something in the morning. I bought a colour and highlighter kit to do tonight but things conspired against my time and it will have to wait until another day.

Did buy some new clothes though (a rarity for me) but did think I ought to try and look more presentable whilst I was representing Claire and Orlando on their stand tomorrow.

Josh went to his first High School disco tonight. He hadn't mentioned it to me, but when I went to pick Chiara up from her friends, the brother was sat all ready and waiting to go at which point Josh decided he might go after all! He came back not overly impressed other than the fact they they spent a small fortune on snacks and drinks and pigged out all night, though he did confess they did a little bit of dancing (rather, as Josh said, they tried to dance!)

Anyhow, I've done the wages, filled my hot water bottles, given Len instructions to wake me up when he goes out in the morning, so I am going for an early night .... well that was the plan but I notice it really isn't too much earlier than normal!

And thanks to everyone for your encouraging and kind words on my post about Mia, it made me feel a lot less lost.

Looking Forward

After recovering from a brief but nasty virus which had me knocked off my feet (so bad in fact that there was no way I could get the girls to school yesterday) I feel a bit better which is GOOD because I'm really looking forward to Friday.

I'm off to the NEC as I have managed, somehow, to sweet-talk my way into helping out at the Card Fairy stand. I bought yet more of the lush Danelle Johnson/Art Warehouse/Limited Edition stamps which are so new I can't even find them on the Limited Edition site to give you a preview. Anyhow, they are fabby unmounted clear stamps, circles and diamonds. Cos I can't find a piccie of them anywhere, and can't be bothered to take one myself today, you will just have to come along to the stand yourself (if you are lucky enough to be having a day out) to see what is so special about them!

I had a little weep this morning. I took the car for the MOT and it failed on some rear coil thingymejig, so have got to get that fixed next week and re-tested. But it wasn't that; I got back home to the report from the Speech Therapist assessment Mia undertook last week.

Mia is my angel, my baby, she is beautiful, funny, charming, caring and adorable. And she has *developmental delay*. Something I spotted from a very early age. Well straight away. When she was born she wouldn't stay awake at all, certainly not long enough for a proper feed, meaning she lost loads of weight when she was only a wee one to start with. Then at a few weeks I realised her basic reflexes just didn't work. She didn't flinch at loud noises nor blink if you quickly moved your hand in front of her eyes. The standard stuff. She went through tests and they couldn't find anything wrong, but over the years, she has been *behind* the others at the major points of development. Sitting up, crawling, teething, walking, potty training (not achieved until she was almost four) and talking.

No-one took me seriously until she had been at school for a term but thankfully, since then, she has had one to one sessions with a speech therapist. This has really helped but her latest assessment still puts her between one and two years behind her peers in terms of language use (which is coming on) but more worryingly, her ability to process information continues to be very poor. Simple understanding such as first, next, last, has her flummoxed. Ability to remember things stays poor (we can go through her word list of and, said, go, the, time after time and she will still not get them right for several weeks). This impacts all areas of her life, from understanding conversations at home, to following instructions at school.

We have a special needs assessment lined up for the end of the month, I really want the assessor to recommend that she needs to continue having extra one to one help in the classroom and am really worried about how she will progress (or not) as the current help is due to end at Christmas. She is an adorable little thing, everyone tells me they love her and that (more importantly) the other kids all love her too. But for how long? I can remember how cruel children can be as soon as they realise that someone is a bit different. I know in the scheme of things, Mia's problems are miniscule, but to me they are the world.