Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ben's Brigade Fundraiser and Open House

This year we are starting the fundraising  for the 2013 Step Up for Down Syndrome walk a bit earlier, by hosting a couple of smaller fundraisers.  
This fundraiser will feature Barefoot Books, Signing Time and a variety of Crafts. 

Barefoot Books is a collection of high quality children's books that feature amazing artwork and culturally diverse and earth friendly messages.  This book line is new to our area, so if you have not ever heard of Barefoot Books, you should check them out.  Even if you can not attend the event you can still participate in this fundraiser on-line.  If you are local to Southeast Nebraska browse the titles here and send an email to with a list of books you would like to order.  If you are not local, you can order on-line to have the books shipped directly to you for a small fee.  

Signing Time is a series of products that help teach ASL Sign Language vocabulary to children.  Babies as young as 6 months can communication via sign and they love being able to share their feelings! Older children enjoy moving while they learn, which increases retention and can even help boost IQ. Ben has used sign to communication since he we 18 months old, and we found out that he was learning to read from the Signing Time videos that he was watching.  Because of Ben's success I became a certified Advanced Sign Language Instructor, an offer teach classes to families with young children, do story times at the local library and do workshops for parents and teachers.  Signing Time products include videos, flashcards and books.  Now until March 31, 2013, sign up for their Sign an Learn Club where for as little as $9.99 a month plus shipping, you can get a video sent directly to your home each month.  Or you can choose from entire sets of Signing Time products at wholesale prices.  This is a limit time option.  If you have ever considered starting a Signing Time program at home you should really look into the Sign to Learn Program while it is available.  Click here for details.

There will also be crafts like genuine stone necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Crocheted fashion scarves, dish cloths, blankets. girls tutu's, barrettes, and hair bands, Down Syndrome awareness jewelry, and calendars, hand made cards and much more.  
Please join us if you can, and  if you are not local, please click on the links and consider supporting Ben's Brigade on-line.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love to All This Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

While today is a great day to celebrate the romantic  love in your life, it is also a great day to celebrate the love of family and friends, who are special to your family.

We have been blessed with wonderfully supportive people both near and far and for that we are thankful.  I hope you feel how much you are loved this Valentine's Day.

This year Ben will be celebrating at school with his class.  I could not think of a more appropriate Valentine for him to give to his friends than Signing Time Valentines.  Hopefully he does not try to pull all the gummy Life Savers off before he hands them out.  He got to sample them as we were putting them together, and found that he loved them.  I hope the rest of his class loves them too. 

Two weeks ago, when I was buying the candy for Ben's Valentines, I asked Noah, "Do I need to buy candy or Valentines for you to give to your class?"  He answered no with a look that told me that he was way to old for such childish things.  That's fine, I thought, he is ready to grow up, so I won't push it.  I forgot all about it until last night at 10:10 when Noah frantically asked "Mom, Where are my Valentines and treats?  I need to have 30 for my grade!"

What the #$%^@?

He had just been in Lincoln with his Dad at one of his basketball games.  He could have easily picked something up.  But No!  Not my procrastinating kid.  I quick did a search of the cupboards to try to find something for a treat.  Due to food allergies at the school we are not allowed to make homemade treats, so I needed to find something packaged.  Then I spotted it, the 60 pack of hot cocoa mix.  Not the most conventional treat, but it is still winter in Nebraska, so hot chocolate is not that far of a stretch. Right?  I made a quick trip to the storage room and found a box marked Valentine's Day where I scored a whole bunch of old Valentines including some NBA ones.  Perfect for a 10 year old who loves basketball.  So 20 minutes later, the Valentines were made out, attached to the hot cocoa packets, and little mister procrastinator was off to bed. 

Then this morning I got up to find a huge box of chocolates and a lovely card on my computer from my loving husband.  What a great way to start my day.

Ben and I are off to the library now to do a Signing Story Time with a Valentines flair.

Love to all!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yeah for Ben!

Today when I picked up Ben from school, the teacher wanted to talk to me.  This is usually not a good thing and is generally to report some sort of behavior issue.  To my surprise she said " Ben had a really great day, and I want to show you what he did".  She pulled out his worksheet and showed me where Ben traced his name, for the first time, all by himself at school.   I know that for many, tracing some letters is not that big of a deal, but for us this is huge.   Yeah Ben for working hard in school and making progress!

Potty Training Update

I have been a bit leery of posting a potty training update for fear it will jinx me, but it has been going very well lately.  Ben is in underwear all day every day and only in a pull up at night.  He rarely has accidents, and when he does, they are generally due to aiming miscalculations than not getting to the potty on time.

  I am happy to report that for 5 of the last 6 nights he has been dry in the morning.  Yeah!   He gets up at 6 or 6:30 when Daddy or the boys start stirring and turning on lights.  Goes then crawls in bed with me for a while (usually to warm up) and sleeps for another hour or two. 

OK, I know since I posted that he will be wet every morning for a week.  But it is such an accomplishment!  I can certainly see the light at the end of a very long and sometimes dark tunnel. 

Way to go Ben! We are proud of our big boy!