Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A plea to help Wolfie

UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who donated. Wolfie now has his bike!


I'm stepping out of my normal postings with this. As many of you know, I'm a member of an online community called NAMEREDACTED.  On there, I've met many wonderful parents of special needs children. Earlier this month, one of them was trying to win a contest for her son. All anyone had to do was click 'like' on a Facebook page, then click "vote" next to her son's entry. There are over 14,000 members on NAMEREDACTED, yet Wolfie only got slightly over 300 votes. Ya'll, this infuriated me. People are always commenting, liking, etc when they think they can get something for free, but they wouldn't help a SN kid get a grant for an adaptive bike? Well, this is where I come in.



I want you all to meet Chris aka Wolfie. Chris is a 16 year old young man with many special needs. He has microcephaly (by history) with Dandy Walker variant, Eosinophillic Esophogitis, mod MR, autism, a disorder of the hypothalamus, mild cerebal palsy, severe ADHD, multiple severe food allergies, and more. He's also First Class Scout in Boy Scouts and was recently elected Patrol Leader. He has won several gold medals in the Special Olympics and has played Challenger Baseball for many years. He is also very active in the Best Buddies program at school.

Now, the reason for my post. Wolfie desperately needs an adaptive bike. The following is from his mom, Cindy:

"Chris has eagerly wanted a recumbent trike ever since his Scout Troop visited a shop that sold them about four years ago. He has poor balance and the two sides of his body do not coordinate well together because of a malformation in his brain, so a traditional two-wheeler has been out of the question. When he sat on that three wheeled trike that day, the grins were evident to all!

In the following year, his PE teacher got a grant to buy one bike like this for school. Chris started right away, learning how to ride it. He has gradually worked his way up to being able to ride more than a mile on flat surfaces now, increasing his confidence and his pride in himself. Over the past year, his awareness of the need to be physically fit and healthy has greatly increased. Through diet and exercise, Chris has been able to slim down by 26 pounds and is still working hard.





He would love to have an adapted bike of his own, so he can continue to ride in the summer on bike trails with his brother, on bike hikes with his scout troop, and to help keep up his new healthy lifestyle.

Without this bike, he won't be able to take Cycling Merit Badge, which is required for him to reach Eagle Scout. He's currently finishing up Star rank, and moving forward quickly on Life rank, the last one before Eagle.





He is motivated, he needs this adaptive equipment for several excellent reasons, and his family cannot afford to get him one. Please help Wolfie's dreams come true ... of making Eagle Scout, keeping healthy, losing weight, and owning a bike that lets him ride like an ordinary kid ... just like any one of his friends or peers. Thanks!

Besides, you'll be sparing his poor mama the trauma of being hounded 24/7/365 about all things related to bikes, recumbents, trikes, places to buy them, cost of shipping, prices of bikes, features, and much more!"



So, will you help me help Wolfie? A fund has been set up to raise funds to get Wolfie a bike. I've started it off by donating $50. Will you donate? Even a dollar will help us reach our goal of getting him a bike by his birthday. If you can't/won't donate, will you share this post? Link to the fund is in the widget below, or you can donate here: An Adapted Bike for Wolfie  You can also learn more about this awesome family at: Wolfpack3Rus

UPDATED: You can also support this fundraiser by buying Scentsy! A wonderful friend of mine has organized a Scentsy party for this fundraiser and will be donating her commission to the fund! Order through this link: Scentsy fundraiser for Wolfie

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Today is a day of remembrance. A day we remember those who gave their lives for this country. For freedom. May those brave souls rest in peace. It's also a day to remember those who serve today, those who served in the past, and those who will serve in the future. My Grandfather served, two of my uncles served, and my husband served.
Sigh. I miss seeing this. 

We saw TWO, yes two, parades today. Erin was in one with her Girl Scout troop. The other went right by our house. Erin's having a great time with GS so far. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

I promise you, if you look close, you can see her. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

How do you ...

How do you express thanks enough to show just how grateful you are to people you've never even met in real life? To someone who is a complete stranger?

This is something I am trying to figure out today. Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to raise money to replace Alvin's iPad that he broke. A dear friend L*** spread the word high and low. She plastered it all over Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Another friend, S*** plastered it all over groups she was in.We have 19 different contributors to the fund. Each and every donation is precious to me, but I have to single out one. The final donation. A person I've never met, never heard of, and didn't know at all, finished our fun for us. FINISHED IT!. We're talking over a $100. This is amazing.

Then, this morning, another dear friend E**** won a code for the Apraxia Picture Sound Cards Parent app and gave it to me! As you all know, Alvin has Childhood Apraxia of Speech. His SLP recommended this app to us to help him at home, since children with CAS need extensive speech therapy. However, did you see the cost of that? It's a $180 app. Yes, you read that right. A ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DOLLAR APP! This is going to be a complete game changer for us.

So, how am I saying thank you? I'm posting this for the whole world to see. The world needs to know that even in this day, there are people out there who are on the good end of karma. That we should still have faith in humanity. That there are people who are willing to give, without expecting anything in return. So thank you L, S, E, and everyone who donated to Alvin's iPad. (Both this time, and before).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flower planter from an old door

Yep. That's right. I turned this pile of stuff into a planter. Sort of. I like it, but you may not! So, here's how I did it, and how much it cost.

1 old door ($10 on a local buy/sell/trade site)
1 window planter kit ($15 at Home Depot)
1 set of window box holders ($9 at Home Depot)
1 hanging basket hanger ($6 at Home Depot)
1 hanging basket ($15)
various flowers ($5)
1 small bag of potting soil ($4 at Home Depot)

Total cost: $64  You could do this cheaper if you already have some of the stuff.

It was very easy to do too. It would have only taken me 15 mins, but I had to wait mid project for my drill to recharge. So...

1. Attach box holders and basket hanger to door. It should look something like this:
2. Plant the flowers in the window box.
3. Stand door upright and place window box and hanging basket.
4. Admire your creation!

This is what it looks like in my own flower bed (which is still a work in progress)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day


I can say neurofibromatosis, can you?



So, what is NF? Well, here's the answer! In honor of NF Awareness Day, I participated in Fancy Dress for NF. I dressed up in an outrageous ballgown, and headed to the zoo! to spread awareness of this condition. Remember, there is no cure. There is no treatment.

Oh the things we'll do for our children! I love you Alvin. I will do whatever I can to teach the world about NF for you. Hopefully, one day there will be treatment or a cure. I love you very much!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jewelry from JewelsZevnik - Giveaway #4 (Worldwide)

Finally, I'm giving away both a jewelry set and a bracelet/anklet. Leslie, the owner at JewelsZevnik made this gem over the last week, and now I'm offering it to you... with a twist.
The first place winner will get to pick the color: either blue, purple, pink, or orange. They'll also get to decide if they want a bracelet or an anklet. The second place winner will also get to pick color and whether they want a bracelet or an anklet.

Also, you'll be able to earn EXTRA entries to the contest by having people 'like' both JewelsZevnik and (Wild) Rice for All Seasons. Simply have them 'like' them, and comment that YOU sent them. I'll add the entry into the Rafflecopter for each person you that does this for you. Contest is open worldwide. It runs from today (May 16, 2012) until June 1, 2012.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dot Collector - Giveaway #3 (Worldwide)

The developer from Ellie's Games was nice enough to donate 5 codes for his app: Dot Collector! It's a great app! Contest runs from today (May 16, 2012) to May 25, 2012. Contest is open worldwide.

Dot Collector is a simple visual tracking, finger isolation game. Tap and hold the dot, then drag it to the black hole. Once it disappears, more reappear. The farther you go, the more challenging it is to collect the dots. Like all of Ellie's Games, Dot Collector contains bright colors and sound to stimulate a child's interest in the game. There are NO ADS ever in Ellie's Games, which makes this perfect for infants and toddlers. 

How to Play: Like mentioned above, tap/hold the dot, and drag it to the black hole. Each time you collect all the dots on the screen, more will appear.

Specifics:

Cost: $0.99
Size: 4.0 MB
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, running iOS 3.2 or later.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dunkin Donuts card - Giveaway #2 (US only)

That's right you caffeine fiends, I'm giving away a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card. Like the iTunes cards, this is valid for US residents only. :(  Contest open from today (May 16, 2012) until 12:01 am EDT June 01, 2012.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

iTunes Cards - Giveaway #1 (US only)


So, one of the first giveaways I'm having is for two different iTunes cards. They are for $25 and $10. They are only valid for US residents. I am sorry for that. However, there will be other giveaways valid for EVERYONE!
The giveaway is open from today (May 16, 2012) until 12:01am EDT on June 1, 2012.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much for your support!

I hit 50 likes on Facebook!


Yes. I did it! Thanks to the amazing support of JewelsZevnik and A4cwsn, I hit 50 likes for my Facebook page today. So, because of this, I will be having some giveaways. I'm going to be listing them all in separate posts, as well as listing them in the Giveaways tab.  So, look for the next few posts! Thank you so much for all of your support. It really means a lot to me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lanyard Giveaway: Winner!!

We have a winner!

video



Congrats! Please send an email to wildriceforallseasons@gmail.com with your shipping address. Thank you so much for supporting both me and JewelsZevnik! Stay tuned! I have ANOTHER big JZ giveaway coming!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Em's Spring Concert

Emali's spring concert was tonight. I'm truly amazed at how far the kids have come since the fall. They've only been playing since September. Tonight they played 9 different tunes, two of which were full-length. Em is doing well at playing her flute. I can only hope that she'll stick with it as she gets older. 
 Emali and the ONLY good picture she let me get.
The rest were all like this. Goober.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cheesy Ranch Chicken Lasagna

I saw this recipe all over Pinterest. It thought it looked good, but I also thought it'd be better with some tweaks. So here is MY version.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 (1oz) packs of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix (NOT dip mix)
2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk
2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1 (32 oz) container of ricotta cheese
1 1/2 boxes of lasagna noodles, cooked (I used 12 -14 noodles)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Combine 1 package ranch dressing mix and both cans of evaporated milk into 3 qt. saucepan. Heat on low until dry ingredients are completely dissolved. Simmer for 20-25 mins. Stirring frequently. Pour on to shredded cooked chicken and stir well.

3. Combine mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, and last package of ranch dressing mix. Stir until well blended.

4. In well greased 9x13 baking dish, stack layers. Start with noodles, followed by half the chicken mixture, more noodles, cheese mixture, noodles, the rest of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

5. Cover and bake for 30 mins, or until bubbly and golden. Let set for 5-10 mins before serving.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Looking for a great teacher gift?


Or maybe just something for you? Look no further! A dear friend of mine has opened an Etsy shop called JewelsZevnik. She handmakes custom jewelry for every occasion. She only uses only the finest quality gems. Each item is made with 49 strand beading wire for strength and durability. I'm not one to wear much in the way of jewelry, but I've bought SEVERAL items/sets from her. The products are simply amazing. I've spent twice as much on shoddy jewelry. JewelsZevnik's items truly are impressive. Here are some of the items she has made for me:
Tangerine Love: Made with river rock shell stones, Tibet silver, Swarowski crystal, Czech glass, and resin beads. 
Moonstone Bracelet: Made with moonstone, rose quartz, Unakite stone, Tibet Silver, and Czech glass.
Neurofibromatosis Awareness set: This set included a necklace, bracelet, and keychain. I'm only showing the bracelet. Made with Czech glass, Tibet Silver, Turquoise, and ceramic.



Now that you've seen what she's capable of, here's YOUR chance to own one of her creations. I'm giving away this black and silver lanyard. Made with Czech glass, Tibet Silver, Black Onyx, Hematite, and Black Banded Agate. This is a $20 value! Here's how you enter: (You must do both)

1. Like (Wild) Rice for All Seasons on Facebook and comment that you are entering the lanyard giveaway. If you already like, just comment to enter. 

2. Like JewelsZevnik on Facebook and comment that (Wild) Rice sent you for the lanyard giveaway. Once again, if you already like, just comment to enter.

**UPDATED**
3. Get a friend to like both! Simply have them 'like' both pages, and have them post that you sent them from (Wild) Rice! You'll get 1 extra entry for each friend that likes! 

That's it! The winner will be drawn on May 15th. Good luck! Giveaway valid worldwide. Remember, you must do BOTH things, or you won't be entered in the drawing.

Fancy Dress for NF

May 17th is World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day! In honor of this day, I will be participating in Fancy Dress for NF. What is this? Well, what is being asked is that you wear either your fanciest or silliest clothes that day. If people ask you why, you tell them about NF. In an effort to get knowledge out, I will be wearing my fancy dress to the zoo! I will be passing out this flyer:

So, since you are still reading, would YOU participate in Fancy Dress for NF to spread NF awareness? If you won't, will you at least wear blue on the 17th in honor of those suffering with NF?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce



Ingredients:

1 lb of ground beef, turkey, or chicken
1 pound of sasuage (we used Sweet Italian)
1 large onion (we used a sweet onion)
4 cloves of garlic
4 various color bell peppers
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce ( the biggest one they sell!)
1 package of fresh mushrooms, or 1 large portabella

Directions:

Step One: Dice the oinion and sautee it , over low heat, in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. While it starts to sautee, dice the garlic and add it to the pan.

Step Two: While the oinion and garlic sautee, dice up the peppers and mushrooms

Step Three: Add the ground beef and sausage to the garlic/oinion in the frying pan. Heat over medium heat until browned. Do not drain.

Step Four: Add it all into a large stock pot with the jar of sauce. Simmer for 1 hour stirring frequently.

Step 5: Boil your choice of noodles or rice, and serve! Garnish with shredded cheese if wanted. Yum!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bakes

Ingredients:

1 cups graulated sugar
4 TBSP cocoa
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 TBSP vanilla extract (1/2 TBSP if using real vanilla)
3 cups quick oats (do not use regular oats)
Waxed paper

Directions:

1. In a heavy saucepan, bring sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 min.
2. Pull mixture off of heat and add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until blended.
3. Add hot mixture to oats. Blend well.
4. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Sit until cool and hardened.

Notes: Do NOT double. This recipe is very particular and doubling mostly leads to a failure to set properly. Also, high humidity can cause the cookies to fail to set.

Just ask!


Reggie Bibbs has neurofibromatosis (NF). NF can be mild and hardly noticed, or like in his case, NF can be disfiguring. In an effort to get people to ask, rather than stare, Reggie started the Just Ask! movement. The Just Ask! movement is his one-man crusade to spread NF awareness. More information about Reggie, and NF, can be found at:

Neurofibromatosis Cafe
Neurofibromatosis Cafe : Wordpress
Neurofibromatosis, Inc
Children's Tumor Foundation

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happiness is ...




National Doodle Day is May 10th



I'm sure you're wondering, "What is National Doodle Day?" 

As part of NF Awareness month, celebrity doodles are available for auction on Ebay from May 10-20 this year. These doodles are important because the funds raised go to support the NF, Inc, Network. An organization dedicated to providing support for individuals and families affected by neurofibromatosis. Little known fact that Gillian Anderson's brother had NF. (Yes, from X-files). He unfortunately died in 2011 from the disease. She remains an advocate for NF research and awareness. (link) Last year, Eric and I won a set of doodles from Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams Paisley. Eric's favorite country singer. They are framed and hanging proudly in our living room. 

This year, the list of celebrities includes Gillian, Paula Abdul, Roseanne Barr, Neil Gaiman, Bill Nighy, Adam West, Betty White, and many, many others. The doodles can be seen here: 2012 Doodle List.