Archive for November, 2008

Nov 28 2008

Let’s Get Ready for the Benefits of Baby Sign Language

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When a baby’s brain develops the area that understands visual information develops sooner than the area that understands auditory information, so a younger baby may be able to understand what they see earlier than they can understand what they hear.  Adding the visual component, the sign, to the auditory component, your spoken words, may help babies to understand more. This may improve their receptive language abilities.

Children learn language by interacting with others.  When they interact, they are able to make mistakes, get corrective feedback, learn and expand their skills.  I can remember a time when my own daughter was about 13 months old. She has been signing since she was 11 months old and had about 5-6 signs.

One of her favourite signs (and play objects) was BALL. One day she pointed to an orange on the counter and signed BALL. I followed her lead and picked up the orange and showed her the sign for ORANGE. She looked at me like I was crazy and signed BALL back to me! I quickly peeled and cut up the orange into little pieces, gave her a piece and signed ORANGE. This was her first bite of orange and she loved it! I must have given her 30 little bits of this new fruit and signed ORANGE each time. Towards the end of the orange she was signing ORANGE back to me to request another piece of her new favourite thing to eat! 

The mistake she made, introduced an opportunity for me to teach and she then learned a new word.  A word is a word, whether it’s signed or spoken!  There were countless times that our interactions in sign led to learning opportunities, because she could sign before she could teach.  For example she once pointed to a thermostat and signed “LIGHT”.  I took that as an opportunity to teach her the sign for “WARM”.  By the time she was 16 months of age, she had 80+ words: 20 verbal words and 60 ASL signs.  Most babies at 16 months of age have 10 spoken words.

A Reduction in Problematic Behaviours like Tantrums Resulting from Frustration:

Babies and toddlers are able to express emotions and will eventually point or gesture towards things that they want.  These are language milestones we’ve all gone through.  When a toddler is able to use sign language before their speech develops clearly they are able to be clearly understood.  Their symbolic language, their signs, is much clearer than vocalizing or pointing.

Many of the challenging behaviours that you see during the ‘terrible twos’ period is because a toddler isn’t understood and is unable to clearly help you understand them.  If a baby is pointing at the top of the fridge and clearly wants something there, a parent may need to play 20 questions to find out what is wanted.  If a baby can sign ‘BANANA” because she’s sees the bananas that a peeking out from behind two boxes of cereal.  When a toddler can sign, when their speech is not yet clear, to make a request, e.g., signing “WANT MILK”;  get your attention, e.g., signing “MOMMY LOOK” or to escape a situation, e.g., signing “FOOD FINISHed.  UP?”, less challenging behaviours will be seen.

Improved Parent-Child Relationships:

A number of moms from my past classes have stopped me in parking lots and coffee shops to share their stories just on this topic.  After taking a baby sign language class with me with their babies, they felt the need two years later to thank me and to let me know that their toddlers seem so calm and happy because they are understood.  Calm and happy toddlers make calm and happy parents!

I remember clearly the times that my son at 11 or 12 months would sign for something that he wanted, e.g., a COOKIE or a drink of MILK.  Often times, I could tell from his face that he was happy that he got what he wanted but I could really tell from his smile and the sparkle in his eye that he was so proud that he could make himself understood.

Signing with babies and, especially, toddlers allows parents to more clearly understand their children.  Any time you are able to clearly communicate with another person in your life you are able to connect with them and those continual connections bring you closer together.  Signing with babies, toddlers and preschool children also parents and other caregivers to get to know and connect with their children earlier and with more clarity.

Sara Bingham is the author of the award-winning The Baby Signing Book and the founder of WeeHands, a sign language program with instructors across North America. She is a frequent contributor to parenting magazines and baby-related professional websites.

Since 2001, WeeHands has taught thousands of families and caregivers across North America to sign with their infants and toddlers. Get the latest news on baby sign language at www.weehands.com.

211 responses so far

Nov 27 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Published by under Uncategorized

141 responses so far

Nov 26 2008

Heal Yourself Magazine is the official magazine of Heal Yourself Talk Radio

Heal Yourself Magazine has brought together some of the finest authors, products and reviews for the health and wellness industry.

Heal Yourself Magazine was founded by Rebbekah White host of Heal Yourself Talk Radio, the popular internet and Boston Radio show that focuses on healing your mind, body and spirit. It is our hope that the online magazine will bring more enlightenment to those who are actively searching for answers.

Check out all the wonderful articles, tips, teaching videos, inspirational videos, music and freebies on the site… http://www.healyourselfmagazine.com

Be sure to use our RSS or sign up for our Heal Yourself Network newsletter as the magazine will be adding new content at least 2 times a week.

464 responses so far

Nov 24 2008

Let’s Get Ready to Help a Friend Adopt!

This letter is from a dear friend of mine – and I am proud to say that I donated to such a worthy cause.  One more opportunity for a forever family for a child that will be loved beyond words:

Eric and I have been presented with the opportunity to adopt a baby boy that no one wants because of his racial heritage and because he has been exposed to drugs in utero.  He is due in 3 months.  The adoption fee and birthmother expenses add up to $25,000 and we need help in order to adopt this child.  We are asking our community to support us in our “One Dollar for One Life” campaign.  If 25,000 people would donate just $1 to this cause then this child would have a forever family at last.  We have until January 15, 2009 to raise the funds.  We would like to ask for your help by spreading the word about this campaign.  If you, or anyone you know, would like to donate to this adoption, we are asking that all donations be sent directly to ABBA Adoption at 4608 Colvert Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223.  Please include “Eric and Leslie Hutsler” in a note or on the memo line (if sending a check) so the agency knows which account it’s for.  You are welcome to call me at 479-799-9484 or my husband, Eric, at 479-283-7182 for more information about this adoption.  You are also welcome to contact Kandi Cox, the director at ABBA Adoption to verify this information.  We are standing in faith and believing that if we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.  With God ALL things are possible.  God bless you and thank you for your support.

Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that the word about this adoption campaign is getting out!  We have people from Maine to California (literally) working to help us spread the word.  We even have people in Australia helping us!  So, to everyone who has forwarded emails and passed out flyers – THANK YOU!!!  Our accounts at ABBA Adoption and Grace Haven are officially open.  We also have a new PayPal account set up at our new website.  Please feel free to forward this website to your friends and family.  The web address is http://onedollarforonelife.homestead.com
  
In Christ’s Love,  
Leslie Hutsler

13 responses so far

Nov 21 2008

Mighty Mist Miracle Spray has Worked Wonders in Our House!

My kids love this “magic” spray!!!  They have sprayed the “Good Thinking & Pay Attention” spray before leaving for school in the morning.  WOO HOO!  They believe in the power of the spray! 

I work from home and have heard them fighting in the background when I am on a call.  By the time I get off the call they have already worked out their differences.  When I go investigate, my 9 and 7 year-old explain that they solved the problem by using the “Cooperation & Sharing” mist! 

Last week before heading to a family party my girls sprayed the “Kind Voice & Good Manners” mist before leaving the house.  In the car, when Daddy started to remind the girls to be on their best behavior, our oldest daughter, Heidi exclaimed, “Don’t worry Daddy; we have extra protection today because we sprayed a lot of the ‘Kind Voice & Good Manners’ on us to help us be on our best behavior!”  They believe — and that’s what makes it work for our family!

Click Here for More Information.

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Nov 19 2008

Let’s Get Ready to Inspire Me Today!

Guest Post, Used with Permission, from Gail Godwin of InspireMeToday.com:

InspireMeToday Brings Inspiration to Iraq

Inspiration has always been a very special part of my life. For many years I’ve listened to upbeat music on my iPod when I worked out aerobically at the gym. But, on the mornings that I did weight training, I would listen to books on tape- inspirational messages from people like Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer or one of many others. Those morning inspirational messages shifted my whole attitude, increased my creativity, productivity and overall attitude throughout the day. It didn’t take long to realize that the quality of my day was directly tied to the quality of my morning inspiration. Just like we feed our bodies in the morning, I believe that it is necessary to feed our soul too.

Once I realized the impact quality inspiration was having on my life, I searched for new information continually. My personal need to be inspired became a part-time job. I didn’t want to listen to the same information or even the same person over and over again, so I expanded my search to include a wide variety of amazing luminaries. Friends and family started borrowing my library and I watched as their lives improved as a result of this inspiration. From that experience and my passionate desire to share inspiration with others, I booked the name InspireMeToday.com in 2004.

But it’s funny how sometimes God seems to have different plans for us or our timing just isn’t right. My daughter, Carly, has always been incredibly talented musically, being offered a role in Les Miserable on Broadway at 7 years old, to acting in commercials for Hallmark, Kodak and others. She was even on the Wonder Years as a child. However, her great talent, love and passion was singing. She has the crystal clear voice of an angel. I’ve always promised her that when the time was right, if it was something she wanted, I would move mountains to help her achieve her dream of being a top recording artist. As she graduated from college in 2004, the time was right. She moved to Nashville and asked for my help.

Financially as a single mom, things were tight at times, even though I had real estate assets. Knowing how rare her talent was and believing wholeheartedly in her commitment, I sold my dream piece of real estate, Dreaming Bear Ranch, in Montana, to fund my daughter’s music career. I started working as her manager and formed a record label in Nashville to promote her, called Dreaming Bear Music. Billboard Magazine wrote a story where they talked about the Goodwin family literally “bet the farm”, or in this case the ranch, on Carly’s success.

In the fall of 2004 I woke from a dream in which Carly, by then a rising Nashville recording artist, was performing on stage, singing a song I’d never heard before, repeating it over and over. I scribbled the song in my journal while half asleep at 2am. In the morning I found the almost illegible song, called my daughter, and shared it with her. She was less than interested in hearing it, but despite her constant reminder of, “Mom, you’re not a songwriter… I live in Nashville and hang out with songwriters: keep your day job, I flew to Nashville and met with Carly and #1 hit songwriter, Gerald Smith. In 15 minutes our song, Baby Come Back Home, was complete.

Within days the song was recorded by Carly and with the help of Mark Victor Hansen and Alex Mandossian, was released as an audio postcard on the Internet. The song, sung from the perspective of a soldier’s wife to her husband in Iraq, honors the unrecognized, often unnoticed, sacrifices of a soldier’s wife. Baby Come Back Home became an “anthem” embraced by military families around the world. Within a month there were more than half a million web hits on Carly’s site. Invitations started pouring in from troops and their families for Carly to perform all over the country.

After many visits to military bases throughout the country, we were invited to Guantanamo Bay. During the first trip there, a young Marine named Chris shared with me how he felt unappreciated by the average American. This was during the prison trials at Gitmo, when the Marines in Cuba were on trial in the court of American opinion. President Bush and his administration were losing the support of the American people more each day. Chris was doing a difficult job and felt unappreciated and unloved by America. As hard as I tried to convince him otherwise, he didn’t believe that the average American could differentiate between support for the Bush Administration and our policy in Iraq, versus support for the troops. Chris felt like America didn’t support him personally.

Determined to show Chris and his fellow troops the love and support of a grateful nation, I came back to Nashville with a plan. The Baby Come Back Home Soldier Scrolls were launched in Nashville at the Country Music Festival. We unrolled the tail end of an unprinted newspaper scroll, spread it across a table, tossed out a handful of colorful Sharpies and invited the public to write their own personal message of love and support. In just 4 days of continually rolling scrolls and multiple trips to get more paper, the scrolls grew to an astounding SEVEN MILES long. I was beyond impressed, surprised and very inspired! I also realized we were on to something. By looking to be of service, magic was happening.

A sample of the scrolls

A sample of the scrolls

On the third day, someone waiting in the long line to sign the scrolls asked Carly and I what we were going to do with the scrolls when they were full. Without missing a beat I answered that we were going to deliver them to Iraq, to the troops that needed to see America’s love and support the most. Surprised by my answer, Carly looked at me with one of her Mom, we should have talked about this first looks. She thought I was crazy. What she didn’t know in that moment was that I was as surprised by my response as she was. Sometimes I wonder where that answer came from. We had no military connection and Iraq was half a world away. Who were we to do something like this? How would we get to and from Iraq safely? I just knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do and that somehow, the answer would show up, even if I didn’t have the foggiest notion as to how.

Over the next month, we partnered with Southwest Airlines to allow more people across America to sign the scrolls. Carly performed concerts in airport terminals around the country while I invited people to share their gratitude with our troops, by writing their own message of love and support. Friends and family joined us and supported our efforts. The scrolls grew and grew. Phone calls were made, momentum increased and an invitation came for us to visit our troops in Iraq and deliver the scrolls.

Just two weeks before we left for a 29-day tour of Iraq and 6 other countries in the Persian Gulf, the scrolls were signed by members of our Congress in the U.S. Capitol building in DC. On that momentous day, lying on a very long table at the foot of a 20′ tall painting of George Washington, the scrolls broke 18 MILES in length! I think George would have been proud of us.

In January 2006 after two years and visits to many US bases, three trips to Guantanamo Bay and regular ongoing visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit with the wounded troops, Carly, her band and I set off on a tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf. We took our prized scrolls, broke them into 18 sections of at least a mile each and delivered one to each of 18 bases on the 29-day tour. We literally wrapped each base with more than a mile of messages of love and support from America.

As the scrolls were unfurled, troops gathered around to read messages from “I miss you Daddy, Love Scooter”, to “I want to marry a Marine” with a young girl’s email address. The scrolls contained messages from celebrities and regular folks alike, from 2 to 100 years old, from 48 states and more than 13 countries. No matter where they were from, our troops got to experience a little bit of home. As one soldier said, “Wow, that person is from my hometown!” And for that moment in time, even though he was in the middle of the desert of Iraq, he was home. In his mind and in his heart he had something tangible and something familiar. He felt loved and appreciated. He felt “Home”.

Soldier Scrolls in Persian Gulf

Scrolls delivered to the USS Pearl Harbor in the Persian Gulf

What this experience proved to me is that when the dream is big enough, doors will be opened. I had no idea how I was going to keep the promise I spontaneously made to deliver the scrolls to Iraq, but I didn’t need to know how it would happen. It was much more important to know THAT it would happen rather than HOW it would happen. The Universe had it figured out and all I had to do was show up and do my part.

At the most remote base, Al Q’aim, I met a young man named Jesse. Because we volunteered to visit bases that had never had entertainment, we were at a very remote base in northwestern Iraq just 6 miles from the Syrian border. This was so remote that the 3000+ Marines stationed there had never had entertainment in the 3-1/2 years since the base had opened. They literally built a plywood stage the day before Carly’s concert and were still hanging camo nets on the concrete walls trying to create a good acoustic quality.

After Carly’s show a young man named Jesse came up to me in a very shy way and asked me for a “mom hug”. He explained that he’d just turned 19 and that it had been 9 months and 4 days since he’d been touched. He was actually able to tell me the exact date of his last hug. He missed his mom. He missed home. Jesse explained to me that he’d been off base for the last month and had just arrived back on base less than 15 minutes before we met. I was so moved, smiled and reached out to give him a big hug. He stepped back, put his hands up and told me that before I said “Yes”, I needed to know more. He proceeded to explain that his job required him to live in a ditch- alone for 30-40 days at a time. He was one of more than 800 Marines who guard this stretch of desert, coming back to the base for a few days every month or so. Jesse apologized and told me that he hadn’t had a shower in 37 days but asked if he could still have his hug. I pulled him close and gave him the biggest, warmest “Mom hug” that I could. We were both moved to tears. It broke my heart when he told me that I smelled like home.

We talked for a bit and I asked Jesse how he survives a month at a time, living in a ditch with no interaction with other people. I explained that I didn’t think I could live in my house for 30-40 days with no interaction, let alone in a ditch in Iraq. He smiled, reached back into his backpack, pulled out his iPod and said, “I’m always looking for good inspiration, Ma’am”.

I felt like God literally tapped me on the shoulder- big time. Although I’d booked the name InspireMeToday.com in 2004, I hadn’t taken the time to build the site yet, as I was working with my daughter on building her career. Jesse and the 800 others like him inspired me to provide them with quality inspiration. I returned home and set things into motion.

Carly presenting scrolls at Ali Asalim

Carly presenting scrolls at Ali Asalim

Carly was now married, living in Nashville and following her dream. My son Max, although he was still young, was a junior in college in California. When he turned 18, I felt free to live wherever I wanted to live and do whatever I wanted to do. For the first time in my life, it was about me. I could follow MY dream, so I relocated from California to the mountains of Colorado and founded InspireMeToday.com. We launched on April 6th, 2008.

From the beginning, in the spirit of giving before receiving, it has been our intention to select a good cause each year and provide free inspiration. Because of Jesse’s simple request which was the motivation I needed, we gave each of our 2.5 million active troops a free Premier Membership to our site. Many days I’m motivated by the thought of Jesse being able to come to InspireMeToday.com and download unlimited inspiration to take back to that lonely ditch. Because of so many that make InspireMeToday.com possible, Jesse isn’t alone in his ditch any longer and that makes me smile.

We’re planning to return to Iraq in the spring of 2009 on an inspirational tour and to deliver more “mom hugs”. This time we’re assembling a roster of inspirational leaders to speak with our troops. “Inspiration is the number one thing our troops need now. With the extended tours, being away from families has taken its toll. We would welcome the Inspire Me Today inspirational tour as soon as they can get to Iraq”, said First Sergeant Anthony Page, former commanding officer at the Al Q’aim base in Iraq.

Each day I bounce out of bed full of energy and joy, knowing that our site is making a difference, not only to Jesse and his buddies in Iraq, but also to the single mom in Iowa, the corporate exec in California or the entrepreneur in Florida. Through the inspiration of our Luminaries, people’s thoughts and attitudes are changing. Lives are changing. And from that, we can change the world- one morning, one person at a time.

Baby Come Back Home

Married you four years ago, became a soldier’s wife.
Knew one day, you’d have to go, and I’d miss you in my life.
In seven weeks, our baby’s due; you’re half-a-world away.
Know our country’s needin’ you, but all I have to say is
Baby, come back home, I need you too.
Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.

Next-door neighbor’s son was there, fightin’ the same war.
We just heard the news today; he won’t be home no more.
Freedom never has come free, there’s a price to pay.
Lord knows, I’m proud of you, but I miss you more each day.
Baby, come back home, I need you too.
Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.

Until you’re back home, Darlin’, and in my arms to stay,
I pray God watches over you, every minute you’re away.
Baby, come back home, I need you too.
Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.

Honey, I love you.

You can listen to Carly’s song at:
http://www.inspiremetoday.com/gail/2008/10/inspiremetoday-brings-inspiration-to-iraq/

p.s. Please feel free to send an email to our troops through our friends at www.eMailOurMilitary.com. eMail Our Military is a charitable organization supporting our troops through morale boosting email, cards, letters and care packages. Please send email to: messages@emailourmilitary.com. Thank you!

119 responses so far

Nov 17 2008

Let’s Get Ready For a Barbie Party!!

We invited a group of girls ranging in age from 7-9 to watch Barbie and the Diamond Castle and they loved it!  It’s about friendship and best friends, so this group of friends and best friends enjoyed watching it together! 

Barbie and the Diamond Castle tells the story of best friends, Alexa and Liana who lose everything during a storm. Their friendship and love of music holds them together.

After a chance meeting with an old woman, they meet Melody, a girl locked inside an enchanted mirror. Melody holds the secret key to the Diamond Castle and embodies the last chance to defeat the selfish Lydia from ruling.

Alexa and Liana help Melody journey to the Diamond Castle, defeat Lydia, and release the Diamond Castle from her rule.

Another wonderful movie from Barbie!!!  WOO HOO! 

Click Here for More Information!

4 responses so far

Nov 11 2008

The Society’s Vacation Rental Giveaway

This past fall a friend of mine received the opportunity to visit one of The Society’s incredible vacation homes in Vail. Thanks to The Society and Peak Properties, she spent two luxurious days in a multi-million dollar home with a gorgeous mountain view. The Society, a new travel company, puts travelers in any one of a number of luxury home and condo rentals in beautiful resort destinations around the world. They focus on giving travelers a home away from home in their vacation destination.

With the holiday season upon us, The Society wanted to offer families a chance to getaway and experience one of their beautiful properties, for free! Even in these hard economic times, families still want to get away for a memorable vacation that is high quality and reasonably priced. A home rental gives your family a chance to connect while cooking dinner in your own kitchen, cozying up to a movie at the end of the night, or running into locals in the neighborhood to give you insights into great things to do in the area.

In order to help preserve the American family vacation, The Society has called upon their partners and fellow entrepreneurs to brighten the upcoming holiday season with a series of ten 5-night vacation giveaways. The Society and their Luxe Alliance members have collaborated to offer luxury stays in amazing vacation rentals and villas in locales such as Cabo San Lucas, Telluride, Sedona, Vail, Keystone, Orlando and more.

Between November 5, 2008 and January 28, 2009 participants can sign-up here (www.thesociety.com/giveaway) to register and become eligible for one of the ten vacation giveaways.

Additional entries can be earned by those who complete The Society Match Maker Request here.

And, all participants will receive a 5% discount coupon off their next booking, provided by The Society.

If you would like to receive an opportunity to visit one of The Society’s beautiful homes with your family, enter to win here!

10 responses so far

Nov 10 2008

Let’s Make our Laptops Green!

Everyone nowadays wants to reduce their eco-footprint and show off that they’re green, and here’s a low cost way to do it.

Powered Green provides $16 wind energy sponsorships for laptop computers and provides an attractive/stylish sponsorship emblem for the owner to visibly display on her computer that it’s ‘powered green’ and carbon neutral. The sponsorship certificate and emblem arrive in compact and attractive eco-friendly packaging that could easily fit in any gift bag.

The sponsorship pays for wind turbines to produce the amount of energy a laptop computer uses over the course of its lifetime, stopping more than 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from reaching the atmosphere. Each sponsorship comes with a unique and stylish ‘Energy Seal’ emblem that visually represents and certifies that the renewable energy has been produced to offset the computer’s energy and carbon footprint.

Energy Seal sponsorships are brand new but are already generating a tremendous amount of interest and a devoted community of supporters.

Please visit www.poweredgreen.com or call for more information.

356 responses so far

Nov 07 2008

Let’s Get Ready to Help Some Moms!

Do you know a mom who needs help? 

My dear friend,

Hannah Keeley has a new show on PBS that was just picked up to go national this Spring. WOO HOO, way to go Hannah!!  Hannah is a homeschooling mom of 7 as well as a media star with appearances on The Today Show, Fox & Friends and Rachael Ray.  Hannah is looking for some desperate moms for her new PBS series, “Hannah, Help Me!” If you feel overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities as a mom and are ready to take charge of your life, then she may just show up at your home next. In this show, Hannah visits a mom for two days for a one-on-one boot camp to help her develop the skills get control over the chaos.

http://hannahkeeley.com/hannah.html

10 responses so far

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