Monday, July 30, 2007

Good news, middling news...

Good news~ William can get the foil lid off his chocolate pudding all by himself!
Middling news~ He was so proud of himself, he put the lid pudding side down on the carpet. Good thing I have some great carpet spot remover.

Enter for a chance to win some Signing Time! season 2 volumes!

I am sooooo excited!
First you'll want to read Rachel's blog for some hints. Then you'll want to head on over to Youtube to see a clip from one of the new shows. That gives you a big clue to the name of one of the volumes.

After that, you should go to the Signing Time! forum for other hints. Sign up there to be a member of the forums too! Check out the Music Player on the Signing Time! site and listen to a new song there (which Rachel sang to my oldest son on Saturday).

Finally, go to this Signing Time contest and answer the questions correctly for a chance to win Series 2, Volumes 1, 2, & 3 on DVD!

But hurry!!!! The contest ends July 31st at 10am MST! The winner will be drawn from all entries that answered all three questions correctly.

Don't ask me if I know what the new volumes are called... I got the easiest question wrong because I didn't watch the YouTube clip first.

Sign up for the new Promotions email newsletter , even if you already subscribe to their regular newsletter. With the Promotions e-letter, you will:
1. Receive exclusive coupons and discounts, which are only sent to the promotions email members
2. Be the first to know about online specials and other great website deals.
3. Learn about upcoming product releases and changes to existing products.

And, finally, don't forget to enter the Share Your Signing Time! Success Contest ~ This contest ends on July 31 also!

Why are you still reading this? Go... enter now!!! Go on! Quickly now... go win some Signing Time! products!!!

Flutter by, butterfly

William gets so excited when we see Butterflies around. Or any of the wildlife that lives around us. I love butterflies too~ the way they flutter, the colors, their simple beauty.
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I love how the wings, though so thin, have different colors on the outside & in. This one has a little nip out of its wing.
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Sharing with a Bumble bee
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This one has been through a bit too
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Plenty of room for two
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The next day, there was this...
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I have spent hours just looking out at the butterflies and other beautiful creatures that live outside of my home. Last year, there was THE coolest dragonfly I have ever seen~
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Seriously... isn't it the coolest?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

In the quiet late night hours....

I'm relaxing in bed, looking over at William, who decided that since Daddy wasn't home tonight, he wants to sleep in the big bed. He feel asleep while I was in my weekly Signing Time! Chat. I had XM radio playing on the tv, and he climbed into bed after he was finished with Sarah reading to him in her room.

When I was finished with chat, I put him in his room, then went down to the kitchen to make a nice little snack of cheese, crackers, grapes and green tea. The little voice I heard coming from the top of the stairs made me realize that William was out of bed, probably in need of a trip to the toilet, and was probably going to want to get into the big bed afterwards.

I watch him sleeping, and marvel at how big he's gotten. His face so serene, his breathing easy, not a care in the world. Yesterday he was in the tv room jumping off the couch onto the floor, and then kept jumping around the room. Because he could. After I told him, for the 5th time, to please stop jumping, I chuckled to myself. This is the little boy who, less than 2 years ago, couldn't jump with air between the bottom of his foot and the floor. His jumps were more akin to 'heels in the air, toes on the floor, the heel comes down with noise' jumps. Remembering that, I smiled and just sat there, listening to my boy jump.... and jump... and jump. He clears the floor very well when he jumps. No pseudo jumps anymore.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pray for Parker

Yesterday Parker had an echocardiogram but the results did not yield the answers everyone wanted to hear. Tammy emailed Melody at Slurping Life with the results. Please read Melody's blog and leave a prayer in the comments section.

If you are praying, have prayed, will continue to pray and still want to do more, please take the additional time to make a donation to Parker's Fund. Afterwards, return to Slurping Life and leave a comment to be entered into the prize drawings. You may enter until Midnight EST, July 27th. Last night I emailed Melody with some items I am donating to the list of prizes.

I am donating a Baby Signing Time DVD Gift set, autographed by Rachel Coleman of Signing Time! herself. Signing Time! is an award winning series that teaches American Sign Language to children of all ages and all abilities. You can read more about it on the Signing Time site, and details of the Gift set can be found by clicking the link~ please feel free to include as much of the details of the gift set as you would like. Rachel will be autographing Volume 1 of the Baby Signing Time gift set.

I am also donating a Certificate worth $39.95 towards the purchase of a Creative Memories StoryBook. StoryBooks feature a durable, long-lasting stitched binding with a high quality linen or leatherette material cover. There are many themes to choose from with exclusive Creative Memories designs. The $39.95 certificate covers an 11x8.5 Linen Cover, with or without die-cut window, with 20 pages. Additional costs (extra pages, personalized cover, leatherette cover) and shipping are not included.

Please, please keep Parker in your prayers and thoughts. If you can spare even just $2, please make a donation to help his family pay for the medical equipment and therapies that their insurance refuses to cover.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Love for Parker

Last March, when I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, visiting friends, I got to meet Tammy, mommy of Parker, who happens to have Trisomy 21, and also several other medical issues. I didn't get to meet Parker, since I had just come down with some head congestion and did not want to take even the smallest chance of having him get sick.
Due to issues with their insurance company (refusing to pay for necessary medical equipment, supplies, services) and being ineligible for Medicaid for Parker, friends across the internet join in from time to time for fundraisers to help offset the costs associated with Parker's care.

Melody at Slurping Life will be holding a fund raising drive offering prizes as incentive for monetary donations to Parker's fund. Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard, she will be donating a digital camera/printer/accessories package retailing for approximately $430. All who donate will be entered for the drawing of all prizes. The minimum donation amount will be $2 with a heartfelt plea that will, hopefully, have many donate more. The money will be paid directly into an account accessible by Parker's parents, which is a fund created under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act, and will be used to for medical bills as well as speech and physical therapies. Visit Slurping Life for all the details of the fundraiser or click on the button here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New Signing Time Episodes

First there were little hints in Signing Time! Chat on various Wednesdays a few months ago. Then in the Signing Time! newsletter in April, they announced they were having a casting call, looking for children for future Signing Time! productions. After that, Mothering Heights had a blog where they featured a picture of Rachel's daughter Leah wearing the tiara that Rachel won as part of the Mothering Heights first Mother's Day essay contest . The picture of Leah wearing the tiara was a promo from an upcoming episode of Signing Time!

Recently Rachel posted on her blog and on her myspace blog with what her hints have been, along with a few pictures from the next 3 shows. She also posted about her elbow, which she broke a few months ago.

There's a clip about it on You Tube about her arm, which is going to be part of the special features on one of the new episodes. You'll even catch a few new signs of what to expect in upcoming shows.

Oh, and since I'm talking about Signing Time!, there is still time to enter their summer contests!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

John Mayer

Last night, Robert, Jim, Steph and I went to Hartford, Connecticut to see John Mayer. The last time Robert & I went to see John Mayer (February, in Amherst MA), we brought Steve & Brittany with us. What a show! I only wish I hadn't been dealing with a migraine for a day and a half, but by the time it was done, my head was numb so it didn't matter. I love watching that boy play! And did he play! He was trying to make up for cancelling the show last year in Hartford~ he sure did!
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I have more pictures on my flickr page, so just click any pic to go there. We got home just after 12:30am.

Signing Time! Summer Contest

Never one to miss an opportunity to talk about Signing Time! , I wanted to make sure if you've come across my blog that you have the opportunity to Share Your Success Story about Signing Time! with Signing Time!
Here are the details:
Share Your Signing Time Success Contest
Many of you have shared your wonderful success stories as well as your love for Signing Time with us over the years. Now it is time to share them with others through your BLOG or by emailing your friends and family.

There are two ways you can enter:

1) Email your success story to at least 10 friends and family including a link to http://www.signingtime.com/ between June 14th and July 31st. Submit your entries by emailing a copy of your email to success@signingtime.com including your Full Name, City and State in your email entry.

2) BLOG your success story on an official BLOG site including a link to http://www.signingtime.com/ between June 14th and July 31st. Submit your entries by emailing your BLOG URL to success@signingtime.com including your Full Name, City and State in your email entry.

Prizes:
Weekly prizes may include but are not limited to autographed, flashcards, board books, and DVD’s.
Join for us a live community chat at www.signingtime.com/chatroom July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 1st 2007 where two winners will be announced each week.

The first winner will be drawn randomly by Lucy Coleman, Leah’s younger sister, from all eligible entries. The second winner will be selected based on the content of the entry. Each winner will receive a prize, selected randomly by Lucy, from our prize box.

Eligible entries must include:
*Your Success Story
*The Signing Time URL http://www.signingtime.com/
* Your Full Name, City and State
All entries must be submitted by email to success@signingtime.com. All entries must be sent/posted between June 14th, and July 31st 2007.
All BLOG’s must be on a public BLOG Site. Sites not avaible to the public such as “invitation only” sites will not be eligible.
Note: All entries become property of Two Little Hands Productions, and may be used on our website, in newsletters and/or in other marketing and promotional
materials. Employees of Two Little Hands Productions and their family members are excluded from this contest.
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So, there you have it. The first winner of the contest, chosen July 11th, was my friend and fellow chatmate from www.signingtime.com/chatroom , Cathy . Congratulations Cathy!!
Also winning a prize is Hollie ~ Congratulations to you Hollie!

I know that a lot of my friends have success stories about Signing Time! and their kids~ so WHY haven't YOU entered the contest!!! Don't put it off!
Where's MY story, you might be thinking? Well, it's been on my blog before, but you can see it here on the testimonials video on the Signing Time! site. And sometimes, I get to go hang out with Rachel
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Time Flies...

When you don't turn on your computer, you actually can accomplish a lot of things that you've been putting off. When Robert took the week off after my birthday, we tackled our tv room. We had been talking about it for so long, and finally decided to just get what we needed and get to it.
Here's how it looked before:
Oct 2005 This is when Rachel of Signing Time! came with her family for the event we won and hosted in October 2005. Rachel even brought along some of the shows they were working on so local fans (and those who had come from NJ, PA, ME, CT & NY) could preview them!

Oct 2005 See the stacks of videos & dvds behind Rachel? It's been driving me nuts forever!
William sure loves his Signing Time! TV Room Before We had the tv in the corner of the room TV Room Before
The door and trim before:
TV Room Before
Since we have a modular home (comprised of 6 pieces), the tv room and the room next to it (the sun room) are in 2 different sections, so the wall between them is double the depth of a regular wall. Robert & I thought about putting built-in cabinets to hold the dvds. He designed it in autoCad and we had 2 cabinets built according to his specs.
Finding the right spot:
In Progress
Robert cut the drywall out for the first cabinet
Holey wall!
I was painting the ceiling while he was cutting the spaces out.
Both areas prepped, and painting on that wall done!
No going back
Painting so fast, I'm a blur!
Painting painting
Doug helps Robert put the first cabinet in
In we go!
Securing the cabinet
Securing the cabinet
Cabinet 2 with dvds in it! The Cylon painting is the one Jim did for my birthday present~
Filling it up
We bought our favorite movie posters to put inside the cabinet windows~
Poster time
Our favorite
I'm ordering a Luke Skywalker Lightsaber replica to mount over the Star Wars poster. I bought the Braveheart replica sword for Robert for Father's Day, but we have yet to find the perfect mounting hardware to put it up with.
Now you see it
And the dvds are nicely stored!
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We put up window shades, and I've since painted the trim and put up drapes. The Signing Time! poster is from the event we hosted in Oct 2005.
Corner blocks
We decided to use Focal Point products for our Crown Moulding and Door Casing. Their Quick Clip system make it easy to install.
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Crown Moulding
TV Room
Door trim
For the moulding and trim, we chose Ralph Lauren Regent Metallics in Ambassador Sterling.
Door trim The panes will eventually have artwork and movie quotes on them.
TV Room The oak video cabinet is to house the vhs tapes we had boxed up in the basement.
And since no tv/movie room is complete without one....
One of the finishing touches
I ordered a popcorn machine!