Blessed and Grateful in Hawaii 24

Pictures from my camera 086 - CopyLast night was a sleepless night at our home as we gathered our water and checked our hurricane supplies in preparation for the Tsunami.  Yet, we are still very blessed.  While the first appearance of the bare reef off Diamond Head caused fear, Oahu only had minor damage to our boat harbors.  Maui and the Big Island had more damage, but still minor compared to Japan.

I am also aware of how fortunate I am to have so many people who care about me.  Many of my follow bloggers, old friends, and family reached out via Facebook and e-mail to offer prayers and/ or good wishes as they held my family in their thoughts.   My family called me first thing this morning to make sure we are okay.  I am grateful for all of those who reached out.

Hawaii is truly blessed as we were spared devastation from a Tsunami.  I know many of you have already seen footage of Japan.  I ask that you continue to send them prayers.  Many in Hawaii have family in Japan and many Japanese are frequent visitors here, so their loss will be felt here as well.

With Much Gratitude and Aloha,


A Sibling Is a Gift 9

I often tell my daughter that her brother is the best gift I ever gave her and I honestly mean this. Of course having an older sibling is also a gift. There are several reasons I believe having a sibling is a gift.

The first is that you have someone who shares many of the same life experiences. They know exactly what you mean when you refer to a funny family story. Plus, when you want your parents to change a rule, you have an ally, and if Mom and Dad seem unreasonable there is someone to agree with you.

Siblings are our first friends and they help us to learn valuable life skills. We learn negotiation skills and tolerance of differences by working to resolve disagreements that arise with our siblings. Working together to get something you both want also gives you team building skills.

People may think being the younger sibling of someone on the autism spectrum is hard. However, my son and I both know that the hardest part of our lives has never been related to his sister’s diagnosis. The hardest part has all been related to the bullying.

This made my son much more aware of bullying issues than many of his peers. He talks to me about things that happen at school because he knows he can trust me to try to help him resolve issues. He knows keeping quiet or allowing someone to get away with abusing someone is wrong. He still has trouble with not wanting to “tattle,” but he does realize the value of the bystander and that “reporting,” people who harm others is important. These are all things he learned from having a sibling.

The value of siblings does not end after you are grown either. I am grateful for my brothers still. Two of them were there for our parents when I was far away. The third was also far away; therefore, I have someone who understands how hard being away from home was as my parents aged. My husband and I have implemented plans to try to diminish the burden on our children as we age. Still, I think they will be grateful for each other when the time comes for them to take on the responsibility of making hard adult decisions.

Project Gratitude 2011, Day 56 8

Pictures from my camera 013

Today I am grateful that this Geico Gecko lookalike lives outside my home and not in it.  Lizards are common in Hawaii and the name gecko did not originate with  Geico who adopted them as their mascot.  I love them when they are outside my home as they eat insects including termites and cock roaches.  I am not so crazy about them when they make their way into my home.  They are also featured in Hawaiian legends.  You can read more about them by clicking on the link below:

Guardian Geckos – History, Facts & Lore Behind Hawaiian Geckos.

Additionally, I am grateful because I am a featured writer this week over at Help! S-O-S for Parents in the When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens series. 

Danette over at Help! S-O-S for Parents is an amazing individual who puts together a monthly Best of Best Edition on the fifteenth of every month that features topics of interests related to children with invisible special needs.  She is always looking for new bloggers to submit posts on featured topics.  Go over and check it out for more information.  She featured two of my articles on bullying related to school issues last week, so I am very grateful to Danette. 

However, Danette’s contributions do not end there.  Please visit her site for more details as she truly has a wealth of information to share.  Here is a hint; she will have featured book reviews in April with book give-a-ways including Delightfully Different.     

Addendum: S-O-S joined with OJTA in February 2012 to form