Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Bright Spot's Grand Opening

We are so excited for our grand opening! Check out our listings at http://www.onebrightspot.etsy.com/. Below are some of our new items just posted to give you a sneak peek. The first seven people that order tomorrow get a free card, handmade by our very own Rebecca! Comment here and tell us your favorite product and why and we will put your name in a drawing for a set of London Vintage Page Pebbles! You can comment as many times as you like and your name will be in the drawing that many times! So, tell your family & friends to check us out! Drawing will close October 2nd at midnight! Thanks again for all of your support. It means a lot!
Hugs, Jen and Becca One Bright Spot

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Switching Places

One of the common questions that Becca and I get as twins is "Have you ever switched places?" Have we? ... today I think we may have. :) Check out Becca's creative juices flowing (http://beccagrinder.blogspot.com/)! Actually, I think she has been pulling our leg this whole time! Cause while I am sitting at the computer listing items on our shop for the last five hours, Becca is at home making more! Check out the new listings on www.onebrightspot.etsy.com! Come to think of it, most of the new listings are Becca's new creations! She has been holding out on us!

Hey, Becca, can we switch places tomorrow? You can take care of a sick almost two year old and I can pretend like I know something about insurance. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Signing Time and Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association

What an amazing time we had last night! The Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association (http://www.wvdsa.org/) put on a Signing Time concert at Morning Star Community Church. While we were sitting waiting for the show to start, one of the leaders of the association came up to us and asked us if we were a part of the press. Of course we kind of stand out with our camera sitting next to us. We explained that we were just there as a family. I thought they were going to ask us not to take pictures, but it was the exact opposite! The foundation wanted us to take pictures for them and for Signing Time! Dave was able to walk as close as he wanted and take pictures. As we looked around it was amazing to see all the children with special needs there signing. It really pulled on my heart. We are so thankful to have a child that doesn't have special needs... but I was thinking that if I did have a child with special needs what a blessing it would be to have a door open for my child with ASL. To be able to communicate with your child, no matter what the age or what the disability is indescribable. I know that when I taught, the preschoolers responded to sign and those that I worked with with autism - well, there is no way I can describe the way ASL helped them and me communicate. At the concert, there were children there in wheel chairs unable to talk verbally but able to sing along in sign. It was truly a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
I was thankful that Becca came because the concert started at Ethan's bedtime! So, needless to say he was tired. But every time Rachel started to sing, he sat up, sang, and signed. It was great!

Afterwards, we were able to meet Rachel and get photos with her. We even got an autographed photo and the WVDSA gave us a free video for helping them out! It was so nice of them; they said that we were an answer to prayer. It felt good to do something good for someone else. (I will post more photos when Dave gets them edited and rotated) Plus, keep looking at Signing Time's blog for pictures at http://www.signingtime.com/blog/.

Ethan loved Rachel's tape on her fingers.

I love how the photo is right next to the restrooms! Ha!

The only way to take a photo of Ethan when he is tired. :)

Rachel's Visit to Salem Heights Elementary


Friday, September 26, 2008

Looking Through the Eyes of a One Year Old

The things that Ethan saw on his walk today:

1. Fred Girod's State Senate sign fell down. "A-Oh!"

2. A grasshopper was sitting on top of a blackberry bush's leaf.

3. A rock.

4. Another rock that was better than the first.

5. Trucks sometimes make noise that is very loud. (At least the ones that are steam cleaning the house it's parked next to).

6. The fire station's sign has letters. "C-H-I-L-I A-N-D B-A-Z-A-R-R S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y 9-27"

7. "A-Oh" A Pacific Telephone Company truck pulled over on the side of the road so that the driver could go across the street to the market. It was not a good thing that there were trees laying down on the back of the truck (telephone poles).

8. It's ok now, and he yells across the parking lot to the man, "Bye! Bye!" while waving.

9. The man is nice but his truck can make loud noises! (The man pulled his horn to say "Bye!" back)

10. The man at the thrift store has red and green lollipops.

11. A decaying leaf is cool but hard to hold with a lollipop.

12. Candy can make your fingers sticky.

13. The sign by our house has letters too. "S-T-A-T-E S-E-N-A-T-E!"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ducks, Bread, and a Nature Walk

Becca laughed today when I told her that we are so done with apples. Dave laughed when I said that we were started our "new unit" today. Hey, once a teacher, always a teacher.

Since the new season has arrived, I can't help but get excited all over again. This year will be Ethan's first pumpkin patch, leaf kickin', hot cocoa drinkin' autumn! For the next couple of weeks we will be looking at leaves and Fall. Today we started our morning with a nature walk. We usually take our daily walk down to the lake to feed the ducks, but today we made a stop first. On the way we stopped on a trail and I got Ethan out to collect "treasures" for our bucket. At first, all he was collecting were rocks. Well, we were standing on gravel! I took him over to some trees and showed him the fallen leaves. He then said, "Wow!" and began his hunt. He did a pretty good job although we still got quite a bit of gravel. At one point he found a huge rock and started to try and put it in the bucket. I laughed because he was picking it up while struggling! I finally convinced him it was too big for the bucket!

I loaded him in the stroller to head down to feed the ducks. As we arrived, I couldn't see any of the ducks anywhere. Ethan must of sensed it too because he started to yell, "DUCKS! DUCKS! BREAD! BREAD!" I started to laugh - but then I heard quacking! I turn ahead and there they were running toward us in single file line, all quacking as if to say, "We are here!" I got Ethan out and heard the rest of the ducks climbing out of the water all quacking too. I felt a little bad since we only brought two pieces of bread, since we didn't have any old bread to bring along. Well, actually only one and a half. Ethan tends to eat more than he throws.

Signing Time in Salem

I really have been so excited about Friday's concert at Morning Star Community Church! I found this article on Signing Time's blog about a little girl that goes to Salem Heights Elementary. You have to read it! It's great! http://www.signingtime.com/blog/2008/09/rachel-performing-in-salem-oregon/

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just a Little Clarification

When Becca and Sarah came over Friday, they couldn't wait to have their apple tart. I ran to go get them and Becca argued with me about eating it before dinner. I raised my eyebrows and said, "It's not like it's going to fill you up..." When I handed it to them, they both started laughing. I guess they thought my post was a little deceiving. They thought it looked like... well like an apple pie. But no. The ones I saved for them were the size of my thumb. The one that is on the right was for Josh. Twice as big as the other. I think they thought it was a jip... I mean could they even taste it? Well, how big are tarts really?

The Boy and the Grasshopper

I had to post about Ethan on Friday! I mowed the lawn during Ethan's nap and I got so excited when I found a grasshopper. I caught it and put it into a container so that Ethan could observe it later (have to have some science time.) Well, I forgot that Ethan is... well... a boy. I felt sorry for the grasshopper. I mean, Ethan couldn't stop picking it up, hitting it with his boot, and pushing it along. But what was most alarming is the fact that the grasshopper wasn't even hopping away. It was like it didn't mind being mutilated by a one year old boy for science.

Thankfully, the grasshopper escaped... maybe not soon enough...

A Better Day

Since Ethan is sick again today, or at least we think so because he is covered in hives, Dave let me go to church while he stayed home. It was so nice to get out of the house. I went the store afterwards and grabbed a hair magazine along with bread sticks for Dave's famous alfredo sauce. During Ethan's nap, I was able to cut my hair. Dave was a little frightened and asked if I was ok... I told him this time I'm not crazy! I am completely sane. I love it! I am going to get some texture cream and have fun with it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ornament Class Update!

Sarah and Becca just left with their finished ornaments! I think they did a great!. It being Sarah's first mixed media ornament she did an amazing job. I hope she had a good experience to write about for her paper.

Sarah didn't know that a requirement for this project was to cut her finger nails to stubs before she came. I never have a problem with ribbon, jump rings, or small gems because I have no nails... (I hope I don't get points deducted for that on the paper...)
Becca's lil' man is so cute! Can't wait to see him on her tree... (sigh...)

Look at Sarah's! Wow... Barbara, aren't you impressed? If you want to help me get more brownie points on the paper, leave a comment and tell Sarah what a great job she did! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mixed Media Ornament Class

Becca and Sarah are coming over on Friday for a Mixed Media Ornament class. Sarah has a paper to write for school about learning something new. Since she isn't crafty she wanted us to teach her something that she can make for a Christmas present. Becca wanted to learn a little about mixed media too. So, here is mine. What do you think?

An Apple a Day

Today we made apple-pie with small tart tins. I have had these tins (for years) that I bought at an estate sale. This is the first time I have used them! I love it. They are so cute. Maybe not filling but totally cute!

1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

8 medium sized apples (a medium apple = about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Try to keep the size of the slices even.
Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl.
Stir in apples.
Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
Dot with margarine.
Cover with top crust leaf.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ethan's First Fort

I couldn't help taking these pictures of Ethan in his new fort that Dave built for him. We call it a "tent" since he knows what that is and signs it in ASL. He crawls in with a book and his milk cup and just sits and talks inside.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Bright Spot Update

Can I just say that our designer for One Bright Spot is AMAZING! If you would like to check out her Etsy store here's the link (http://www.thompsondesigns.etsy.com/) It's great to look at what she can do.

She just sent us the design for our blog ad. What do you think? Becca and I have been working hard the last few days trying to get product done to sell soon. We will keep you updated on when our grand-opening will be.

A Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was very relaxing. We had Becca and Josh over Friday night for dinner. Dave made an amazing dinner and even impressed Josh. (Josh has eaten at some really great places so that is a compliment if he says Dave "out did himself"). Becca said to take a picture and so I got the camera out. We were all laughing but Josh says that Becca takes pictures of food all the time. It did look good... Well, if no one else appreciates the picture I know Kati will. Becca helped clean up so that we could try and get some stuff done for One Bright Spot. We didn't get a lot accomplished - no surprise there! Ha!
Ethan in the kitchen, helping out!

It does look good, doesn't it?
For those who have been to our house have noticed that all of our furniture is used or hand-me-downs from parents. When we got married Dave's parents found new chairs and a sofa at a garage sale and gave us theirs. Well, anyone that has sat in our recliner has known what it's like! It leans back and it feels like it's going to either collapse or get ready to launch you into space! It cracked me up when I heard Dave in the family room sitting down in the chair. The picture below I am sure will make you laugh!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank you Mr. Magic Eraser!

Today started with banging on the door to the bathroom while I was in the shower. It was a different kind of banging - more like scraping. When I opened the door I found Ethan with a crayon coloring! I always keep the crayons up so that he can't get into. One must of been under the sofa and missed getting put away.

I followed the trail of crayon into the open kitchen drawer.
Then, to the kitchen floor.

To the fireplace floor tile.

To the masterpiece in the living room. There was crayon on the side tables, windows, and windowsill. I heard that Magic Eraser removes crayon and so it does! I love you Magic Eraser!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Bright Spot

Some of you might have heard that Becca and I are going to open an Etsy shop (all things handmade) online soon. We had a great etsy artist design our banner. Go to www.onebrightspot.etsy.com to check it out! I can tell you how much I love it!

Trying to Keep the Lil' Guy Busy

Ok, I am so not one of those "ditto" parent/teachers. I mean give me a hands-on activity any day! But, when Dave came home last month with a phonics preschool set of workbooks, CD, and DVD I thanked him. I mean he was totally thinking of Ethan. But, come on he is 18 months old. So, I put it on the shelf.

Well, this week Ethan has kept me going! He surprises me every minute of the day. As a teacher I know that "boys are wired different than girls." I also know that "school was made for girls and not for boys." I also have experienced the "boys are more active" scenario. But it is different when you have an active boy ALL DAY LONG! I mean come on! On some days it was great to send the kids home at 11:30am... and there were a few times I would go back to my classroom and collapse on the floor. Wake up call! Moms don't get time to even make it to the floor to sit down let alone collapse.

The problem is that I would be expecting Ethan to play like an 18 month old. I honestly think that he was born late and I really have a 2 1/2 year old. All he wants to do is read letters, color with crayons, read numbers, read colors, and throw a ball here and there. I have to get over it and realize that Ethan needs more. So, I am trying all of these activities to keep Ethan busy.

I actually pulled the phonics books off the shelf and we are on letter C. Look how he found the "c" and colored it in himself. Crazy!

We played a game that he made up for his alphabet blocks - but I used numbers on apples. I asked him "Where is the 3?" He looks at my hand using ASL and he finds the number. He usually points at the right apple, yells the number, and claps for himself.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Apple Week (new pictures added)

This week Ethan and I are having "Apple Week." We are doing several projects with apples and I will continue to post the final projects. This morning I woke up before the little guy and picked apples from our apple tree.

When he woke up he saw all the goodness in the sink and asked for a piece. I love his reaction!

I began washing the apples and he had to wash his piece too!

We did an experiment called "Smiley Apples" by cutting a face in the apple. I hung it by a string. We will watch the face shrink in the next few weeks. I love how he pointed out where the apple's eyes, mouth, and nose were.

He helped put the cut up apples in the crockpot to make applesauce.

He painted with half an apple to make an "apple star." We took the seeds from the apple to save for the next craft.

It's hard to believe that he made this by himself!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Projects Underway

I was able to do a few small Christmas projects today. Funny how much of a mess I made when all I did was make a few little things. Right when I get the house cleaned too. (Smile*)