Kung Hey Fat Choy 2011 7

Welcome the Year of the Rabbit!

LionHawaii’s population is approximately one third Chinese according to one of the writers for Examiner.com although that number includes those who are of mixed race like my children.  Therefore, like many homes in the islands we celebrate Chinese New Year.  Three years ago I even learned to make gau, a sticky brown sugar sweet treat made with rice flour to bring sweetness to the new year and help the family to stick together.  My mother-in-law makes the jai , a Chinese vegetarian dish for celebration of  the new lunar year.   

I am grateful for my multicultural family and that we live in Hawaii where children grow up respecting multiple cultures.  The Lion belongs to my son.  My children used to pretend to perform a lion dance and ask for money from us when they were younger.  Traditionally feeding the lion money is supposed to bring one luck and wealth.  Now our lion is mostly for decoration although my two still like getting money.  Lia see is the custom of giving lucky money in special red envelops to unwed children as a symbol of good luck and wealth.  For more about symbolism and Chinese New Year celebrations you may read: Symbolism holds sway for Chinese New Year – Hawaii Features – Staradvertiser.com.  And/or Life is Good| Changing Times blog, staradvertiser.com | Honolulu, Hawaii.

May you and yours have a year of harmony, joy, health, and prosperity!

Project Gratitude 4

Today I am grateful for so many things.  My son, who was home sick earlier this week, is well and no one else in the family is ill.  My husband returned safely from a business trip.  I live in the state with the best weather in the nation, and humpback whales visit us every winter.  I have two wonderful dogs.  I got to participate in a whimsical blog hop yesterday and I still get to read more fun responses from my blog friends this weekend.  

I hope all of my wonderful friends both in and out of blogland have a wonderful weekend!

Today I am Grateful 8

It is time for my 2011 weekly Project Gratitude post.  Information about Project Gratitude can be found at:

Riding the Roller Coaster: Project Gratitude.

I am grateful there are still parents who instill kindness in their children.  I hope and pray there will be even more who do this soon.  I am especially grateful for the bystanders who stand up to bullies and tell them that yes, he or she is my friend.  The more bystanders stand up to bullies, the less power bullies have.  I am glad some people are getting this message.  I am grateful to all of the people including parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and children who are working to make this the standard instead of the exception.  I am posting links to some of the ones I found today.       

Kind Campaign highlights problem of female bullying.

Goddard School asks Could We All Be Bullies?

The following post is an example of a total failure on the part of a school, the children who go there, and the parents of these children, but I am grateful that the girl is speaking out instead of taking her own life.

Payton Spinney: Friend of Phoebe Prince, Who Was Bullied to Suicide, Is Being Taunted for Asperger’s Syndrome – ABC News.

I wrote a blog about accountability back in October and finally some people are being held accountable for their actions just as I have said they should be.

Accountability for Protecting Our Children | dswalkerauthor.

One more good and bad together.  This one is about adult bullies, and I am grateful this story is being reported, and the man who posted threats was arrested.  

Opinion | The trolls and bullies must not stifle community engagement | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Let me know what you think about the recent developments.

Value of Pets to Those on the Spectrum 6

Day 13 Gratitude Post:

It is time for my 2011 weekly Project Gratitude post.  Information about Project Gratitude can be found at:

Riding the Roller Coaster: Project Gratitude.

You all had such kind things to say after my posts with my pets pictures, and I truly am grateful for all the animals that have shared my life and for a dad who allowed me to have animals growing up.

First a disclaimer, today’s talk is strictly my opinion based on my experience with my pets and with random reading on the subject, but yes I do believe a pet can be a good thing for those on the spectrum or really for anyone.

The reason I believe a pet can be a good thing is because over my lifetime I have talked more to my animals than I talk to some people and believe me when I say I do talk.  Remember I grew up in a rural area, so while I did spend time at my friend’s house on weekends, if I got upset about something during the week I frequently  went for a walk in our pasture.  When I happened to see my horses on this walk I stopped to pet them and somehow even without words they seemed to understand that I was upset about something.  They were there for me with a nudge of their nose to tell me it was going to be okay.

Or, if I stayed in the house, my dogs would come up to me to make sure I was okay.  When I was in the yard, my cats were there.  Even our wandering Tom Cat seemed to understand.  My children have that relationship with our dogs as well.

That is why in a world where those on the autism spectrum can feel so misunderstood I think having a pet can be a wonderful thing.  I know there are many who believe in “horse therapy,” and if that is you I say great, but I know not everyone is comfortable with horses.  I guess what I am trying to say is, try to find a pet that your child is comfortable with if you do decide to get a pet.  Hopefully, you can also find one that fits your life style as obviously some pets need more attention than others.  I also know that pets aren’t for everyone, and if they aren’t for you and your family maybe you can find a substitute calming influence like music or whatever works for your child and your family.

Do you have pets or did you have them growing up?  What is your opinion on the value of pets for those on the spectrum?  I eagerly await your responses.

Aloha,

Sue