Have We Made A Difference For You? ~ A Letter to You, From Me

Dear Friend,
 
Here at Two Little Hands, we have been told by TV executives that our newest shows are too educational for television. I don’t think our shows teach too much – I think most TV shows teach too little.
 
So, we’ve decided to take our new show, Rachel & The TreeSchoolers, directly to you through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter!
 
What is Kickstarter?

  1. It’s a website where anyone can pitch an idea for a project.
    In our case, we are pitching our new show, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers.
  2. If you like the idea, you can “back it” by making a pledge.
    Whether you donate $1, $10, or $10,000, every bit helps!
  3. If you “back it,” you get a reward.
    You can get DVDs of Rachel & The TreeSchoolers. The more you pledge, the more exciting the rewards. At one pledge level, I’ll even write you a song!
  4. If we reach our goal, the project gets funded and you’ll get your rewards. Our funding goal is $50,000. (If we go beyond and reach $500,000 we can complete all 12 TreeSchoolers shows!)
  5. If we don’t reach our funding goal, we get nothing, you don’t get a reward, and you won’t be charged. It’s all or nothing.

 

We are committed to making shows that:
  • Engage children through movement, music, and language
  • Empower and educate children
  • Teach values
  • Make a real difference

 

The truth is we can only continue to make shows if we know there is a demand for them. If our shows Signing Time and Baby Signing Time have made a difference for someone you love, now you can make a difference for the next generation of children by backing Rachel & The Treeschoolers on Kickstarter.

CAPTIONED HERE

 

Thank you!

 

Potty Training with Rachel and Signing Time!

Signing Time launched a decade ago and within months we started getting requests to make a potty training DVD. The requests for potty training help have never slowed down. I admit, I resisted it. I kept telling my sister Emilie, “That is not MY job!” and “There are a few signs I won’t be teaching… ever!” Heh heh. Well, the good news is when I resist something it usually only takes about 10 years to break through to my good senses. (That’s for you Rebecca)

On Thursday we launched Potty Time! and we did a good deed by purchasing that domain name because I won’t even say what used to be on it… (not kid friendly, enough said) so if you use WOT or something similar to keep your internet use safe, you might find that our site has a poor reputation there, your positive rating will help. You know me, just cleaning up the internet as I go!

So, yes, we now offer potty training powered by Signing Time! and it’s TOTALLY appropriate, and doesn’t confine potty training to just what happens in the bathroom. I teach your children that their bodies are amazing and that it’s important to listen to their bodies. I mean, when your body tells you that you are hungry you go get something to eat. So, when your body tells you that you need to use the potty, it’s pretty simple you stop what you are doing and go use the potty.

Pick up Potty Time at www.pottytime.com there is an introductory sale that ends tonight, SUNDAY November 6, 2011. So don’t wait!

The signs you will learn are: Grow – Love – I Love You (ILY) – Help – Amazing – Body – Eat – Drink – Sleep – Wake Up – Diaper – Potty – Wipe/Clean – Flush – Wash Hands – All Done/Finished – Water – Soap – Stop – Go – Underwear – Accident – Try – Careful – Celebrate (*there is a special feature for parents where we cover Poop and Pee and I know some of you will buy it just to see me teach that! Though the “PSA” about not using too much toilet paper is pretty classic, just because I know how many takes were needed to say it without getting the giggles.)

Don’t miss the Potty Time app for Android devices. You’ll get a kick out of it, I promise. You have no clue how many of my girl friends have already messaged me to let me know that I keep calling them to congratulate them on their toileting success. (iPod app is coming soon)

We had a lot of fun making Potty Time and I have to say that I get frustrated sometimes because I work really hard on these shows and for some reason, all you see in the end product is the very “zipped up”, Signing Time Rachel in her television box. When the editing process was over I again sat there scratching my head wondering why I did all of that crazy stuff when we were filming… the crazy, fun stuff that no one would ever see. So, I pulled rank;) and said, “I want a special feature!!” It also helps that I am married to one of the editors. Here are the outtakes and some of my “finest” moments~

It’s Buddy Walk Season!

UTAH, NEW YORK, WISCONSIN, OHIO, & VIRGINIA I’m coming your way! (scroll down to register for these upcoming events)

Here it comes! I am staring down the barrel of September and October and you know what THAT means… It’s Down Syndrome Buddy Walk Season!!! Yes, it’s time to celebrate and fundraise and meet and sing and sign with the many families who love someone with Down syndrome. Around here, my kids just say “good-bye” to their Mama every weekend. I wish there were more weekends in September and October so that I could actually accommodate all of the requests I receive each year. (Note to Buddy Walk Organizers, we are ALREADY getting requests for 2012)

At each event this year I have created a “Team Signing Time!” for our fans who may not necessarily know anyone who has Down syndrome, but who would still love to participate and see a Signing Time event in their area. If you are coming to a Buddy Walk for a Signing Time performance, PLEASE register for The Walk and participate, I guarantee it will be an experience you will never get over. One Buddy Walk organizer told me that their registrations went up 20% the year they had me perform, that’s good news for everyone! So yes, you are welcome to attend and participate, plus I’ll have tattoos and stickers for Team Signing Time and we’ll take a Team Photo together.

Here are the Buddy Walks and Awareness Walks were you can find me this year:
Sept 10, 2011
UDSF – Utah Down Syndrome Foundation Buddy Walk
West Riverfront Park
South Jordan, Utah
8:30am Buddy Walk Registration
10:30am Performance by Rachel Coleman
11:30am Buddy Walk
Click HERE to join for Team Signing Time! in Utah
*Be sure to say “Hi!” to Leah and Lucy at this event!

September 24, 2011
National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk

Great Hill in Central Park, NYC
Registration and activities begin at 11:00am
Walk begins at 12:20pm
Click HERE to join Team Signing Time! in New York City
*Look for Aaron, Rachel, Leah, Lucy AND Laura at this event!

Fox Cities Wisconsin Down Syndrome Awareness Walk and Pre-Walk Activities
September 30, 2011

PreWalk Event (I’m speaking and sharing my family’s story… bring kleenex)
Perry Hall, UW Fox Valley, Menasha
Time: Doors Open at 6:30pm
Presentation Begin at 7:00pm

October 1, 2011
2nd Annual Fox Cities Wisconsin Down Syndrome Awareness Walk
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin
Riverside Park, Neenah
Click HERE to join Team Signing Time! in Fox Cities Wisconsin

October 2, 2012
Greater Toledo Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk

12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Rocket Hall, University of Toledo
Click HERE to join Team Signing Time! Toledo
*Toledo’s Buddy Walk site is back up! REGISTER NOW!

October 15, 2011
Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia Buddy Walk
Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA
8:00am – 2:00pm
Click HERE to join Team Signing Time! NoVA

A few things you may not know… We have been donating products to Buddy Walks since 2003. My very first Buddy Walk appearance and performance was for the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia Buddy Walk in 2006. Two weeks later I performed for the Manasota Buds in Bradenton, Florida.

Last year Signing Time partnered with The National Down Syndrome Society. We donated over $9,000 worth of Signing Time DVDs and products to Down Syndrome Buddy Walks across the country in 2010 by offering a free Signing Time Gift Set to every Buddy Walk that was officially registered with NDSS. This year, we are doing it again! Every Buddy Walk that is registered with NDSS can get one free DVD gift set (just pay shipping). The set includes Leah’s Farm, The Zoo Train, and The Great Outdoors, as well as the accompanying music CD to use in their raffles, silent auctions, or to give to a family in need of communication. It’s one per Buddy Walk, and all they pay is shipping. Have your Buddy Walk organizer visit www.signingtimefoundation.org/buddywalk by October 31st.

DVD Gift Set for each Buddy Walk

So, while you are all taping fall leaves to your front windows and carving pumpkins… I’ll be taping orange and blue electric tape around my fingers because around here THAT is the first sign of fall.

2010 NYC Team Signing Time


2010 Massachusetts Team Signing Time

We Are BACK!

Just two years ago I announced that Signing Time had gone off the air.
In 2008, my sister Emilie and I did not renew our contract to keep Signing Time on public television because:
We didn’t have a sponsor
We didn’t have a grant
We couldn’t come up with the production capital (a million bucks per 13 episodes) to keep cranking out episodes of Signing Time.

The real bummer was that stations and fans were still requesting the show. You just love us, don’t you;)

Not much has changed, we still don’t have a sponsor and we still don’t have a grant and we’re still paying off that loan AND we still have public television stations asking us if they can air Signing Time. At every single outreach event I have had over the past two years, no matter where I am singing and signing, someone asks when we are coming back to public television.

And so…

(drum roll please)

Turn on your TVs folks because beginning October 4, 2010 (THAT’s TODAY) we have given your public television stations the right to air Signing Time for the next two years!! I think we should all stand up and do The Diaper Dance!

The shows have been remastered and our Presenting Station is Vegas PBS. Please swing by and show them some LOVE!

What this means: Well it means that over the next two years your stations CAN choose to air Signing Time, it does not mean that they WILL choose to air it.

If you really want to express your desire to see Signing Time then do what you would naturally do. And I KNOW what you naturally do because I work at Two Little Hands Productions. Every day at Two Little Hands Productions we get the most amazing, tear-jerking stories that are totally unsolicited. EVERY DAY we get them… beautiful, amazing, touching stories. Your stories.

DOs
Send your photos and send YOUR story to your local station. Share what Signing Time has done for you and what you see it would contribute to your community if it was available in your area on public television.

DON’Ts
I DO NOT recommend that you put together a “Get Signing Time on the Air Campaign.” I really don’t. First of all, it is just a bother to the stations and it looks so fake and orchestrated. Even if it’s not fake, when it is orchestrated it looks fake. So, please don’t do that.

And finally… If your station is already airing Signing Time, be sure to thank them!

I don’t know about you but I’m going to do The Diaper Dance again, just because I can!!

Babies, Buddy Walks and Blogs

It’s that time of year again… the time of year when my siblings and friends have a ton of babies all within weeks of each other! I know. Weird! It’s also the time of year called “fall” and that means I am galavanting around the country with colors on my fingers and singing and signing with some of our most devout Signing Time Fans… because it’s ALSO the time of year for Down syndrome awareness walks!

WAIT!!! — remember what happened last time everyone I knew was going into labor and I was performing at Buddy Walks?

I remember.
It was 2008.

It started with Baby Asher then came Baby Ryan and even Baby Carter came along too! (But he was born in Georgia… SO far away from me)

The grande finale was Rachel & Natalie’s Excellent Adventure in the midst of all of that I went to Oklahoma, Oregon, and Denver… and then… then Leah’s hat caught on fire.

Oops!

Well, that was 2008.
…And this is 2010

My sister Sarah had Baby Oslo

weeks later my sister-in-law Danielly had Baby Zoey.

A week later my sister-in-law Katie had Baby Brody. (They are in Las Vegas, so I don’t have a photo of Lucy holding him… YET.)

And for the GRAND FINALE… my sister Emilie, yes THE Emilie, had a baby girl on September 20th!!! (a little girl who is yet to be named, but big deal, they didn’t name Alex for three weeks and he turned out all right)

I’m happy to report that Baby Girl Brown attended her first Signing Time Owner’s Meeting yesterday. I held her while Emilie and I held the meeting with others via Skype. Being the boss is boss!

I was able to be at all of the births I was scheduled to be at… and likewise I was not at the births I was not expected to be at… that’s how birth should be.

In the meantime… here is my Down Syndrome Walk schedule :) I already performed in Salt Lake City… and New York City… you were either there or you missed them. Either way you can see photos of the SLC event on my Facebook Fan Page and you can see NYC photos there as well. This weekend I head to Fox Cities, Wisconsin and the following week I will be in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

We have created Team Signing Time for each of the events this year so all of you Signing Time Families can hang out, get freebies and walk together.

Utah Down Syndrome Foundation Buddy Walk
When: Saturday, September 18 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: West Valley Cultural Celebration Center, located at 1355 West 3100 South just off Redwood Road
You weren’t here, but we were!

Rachel Hopkins and Leah

If you weren’t there, then you missed THIS magical moment:

Caterpillar Dreams - Lucy

The National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk in New York
Team Signing Time NEW YORK
When: Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
Rachel will perform at The Great Hill, Central Park, New York City

Team Signing Time NYC

You also missed this magical moment…

Darth Vader's Angels

Wisconsin Down Syndrome Awareness Walk
Team Signing Time WISCONSIN
I will be giving a keynote address on Friday, October 1 at 6:30pm at Elks Lodge No. 337
(1103 W College Ave, Appleton, WI)
I will be performing at The Awareness Walk on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 1:45pm at Riverside Park, Neenah, Wisconsin

The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress Buddy Walk
Team Signing Time MASSACHUSETTS
Where: Buddy Walk at in Wakefield, MA at Lake Quannapowitt
When: Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

FAQ: When is Rachel coming to perform in MY town?

FAQ: When is Rachel coming to perform in MY town?

Yes this question is only second to “Why does Rachel have colors on her fingers?” With the ease and access that is now available through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook the frequency of questions along the lines of “When is Rachel coming to my town?” are putting the color-coded finger question to shame.

There is no quick and simple answer to the first question but, I will try… The answer is this- I am not on tour. I am not coming to your town unless YOU, or someone like you makes it happen.

Generally, it is an organization that brings me out to speak or perform for their conference, expo, workshop, or community event. If you are involved with an organization who is putting together an event and you want me there, have that conversation with the people organizing it. Put them in touch with us.

Sometimes it is an individual who makes it happen.

Two weeks ago Ronai B. raised $2,500 for her Signing Time Community event in Maple Grove, MN and she sold over $2,500 in Signing Time products that day. Her goal is to raise $3,500 next year so that the Twin Cities can count on an annual Signing Time event. (While I was in Minnesota we had a community concert, two story time events and I even got to visit Super Fan Gracie who has been in the hospital since last fall.)

It's Signing Time with Gracie!


Hey, I’ll go anywhere as long as the costs are covered. I’ve been from Fargo, ND to Abilene, TX and even Yucca Valley, CA three times. Remember my trip to Klamath Falls, OR? There is only one airport with one or two flights each day in Klamath Falls. Lisa D. put that trip together because she wanted me to speak to their Teachers and Special Ed. Dept. She was adamant that they hear my message about communication for all children of all abilities even though the Board told her they could not possibly cover my fee and travel expenses. So, Lisa held car wash fundraisers and sold the bulbs from her garden! She asked local business for donations of $1000 and when they said “no” she asked, “Well how about $500?” And if they said no she asked for $250 😉 Get the point? She ended up raising $6,000 for her Signing Time Event in Klamath Falls, OR.

This actually reminds me of a lesson I learned a few years ago. We had been invited to go to Ghana with Signs of Hope International. The folks at SOHI really wanted Alex, Leah and me to come interact with the deaf children at residential schools in Ghana Africa. I told them, as soon as we had $25,000 in The Signing Time Foundation we would go. I waited for more than a year and surprise, surprise… no one mailed us a check for $25,000! Not one person or organization in an entire year sent us a big fat check like that! See! I was right. We couldn’t go to Ghana. (SIGH) 😉

And shortly after that I was in a seminar about Money. One of our homework assignments was to ask someone for an amount of money that makes you uncomfortable and it needs to be for a cause you believe in. Yikes!
Before walking out of the seminar that night I knew who I would ask. I knew the amount that made me uncomfortable. I even knew the cause. We had a week to complete the homework.

Seven days went by and I hadn’t done it. I had almost dialed the number, but then I thought better of it. Hours before I was going to be driving to my seminar my sister Emilie called. “Did you do your homework? She asked. We were in the Money Seminar together. “No.” I said.
“I did!” She was excited.
“No way… who did you ask? What happened?”
“I was leaving the office and there was only one person there who didn’t work for us, so I knew he was the last person I would even see before our seminar, so I asked him. I asked him for a thousand dollars for The Signing Time Foundation so that you and Alex and Leah can go to work with deaf children in Africa and he said yes!”

Now, I wouldn’t say I am especially competitive with my siblings, but in the world of seminars and homework, I was not going to be one-upped by my big sister. I got on the phone and made my call. My plan all along had been to ask for $1000 for The Signing Time Foundation too. The homework assignment was not about getting the amount you asked for. The assignment was simply to ask. People could say “yes” or “no” and your assignment was complete.

One hour before my seminar began, I also got a yes.

Suddenly my eyes were opened! We hadn’t received any donations because we hadn’t asked! We hadn’t even told anyone what we were up to and what we wanted to accomplish and NOW we were two for two with little to no planning! I mean, Emilie just asked the last guy in the building!

The result was amazing. We kept asking. Some people said yes. Some people said no. They weren’t saying no to me. They weren’t even saying “no” forever. In fact one of the biggest, most embarrassing “nos” I received ended up funding a second trip to Ghana single handedly.

In a matter of weeks we raised the entire amount for the airfare, visas, vaccinations, ground transportation, food and board!

And we went to Ghana.

So when people say that they would love to have a Signing Time event but they could never raise the funds. I smile. Because I know they are right… you never get the things that you do not ask for.

For more information about creating a Signing Time Event in your community please visit The Signing Time Foundation.

Why We Have Sisters – A Birthday Blog

Is it cheating to write a blog, post it elsewhere, and then link to it from your main blog? No. I think not and so I shall. You know how I don’t send Christmas cards, well I don’t send Birthday cards either, this is all I’ve got.
GO! Click! Read!

From Rachel: Happy Birthday Emilie!
I was four years old and she was eight when we decided that we were best friends.

“You’re my best,” she said.

“You’re my best, too.” I answered.

And that’s how it was.

In some ways it was a simple rendition of the reality-TV show Survivor – Emilie and I had an early alliance. We had to, you see; in a family of nine kids, there were ongoing battles with the other siblings, and even though it seemed that it might be easier at times to join forces with the stronger ones, Emilie and I instinctively stuck together.

I was good at flying under the radar. Emilie was not…

(Seriously! Click now!)

I’m Pretty Much an Astronaut!

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a marine biologist, as well as the typical stuff, a vet, a mom, a teacher etc. I also wanted to be an astronaut. Sure, the astronaut stint was around the time the movie Space Camp came out. I saw that movie ten times, at least.

My dreams of space faded when I found out just how much math is involved with becoming any scientific type and way back then we didn’t have computers easily available to do our math for us… “When I was a kid we had to count on our fingers, instead of downloading iPhone apps to do it!”

With that my NASA dreams faded… that was 1986.

…UNTIL…
In the year 2009 I received a call. NASA wanted me! I had arrived! No, they didn’t want me to go to space, but they wanted me to come to The Kennedy Space Center and speak at their Spring Diversity Program, “It’s About Ability!” – There wasn’t even math involved!

And… the coolest part (although there are A LOT of coolest parts in this story) was that after my presentation, I was invited on a 4 hour, VIP tour of NASA. (Move over Space Camp! You can keep your freeze-dried ice cream!)

Aaron and I arrived at Cape Canaveral. (I could bring one assistant and my current assistant (sidekick) is in school full time, AND this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so what better side kick than my spouse?) The morning of the event we checked in at security, earlier in the month we had to provide al kinds of personal information in order to obtain security clearance. Let’s just say that I now have government clearance… probably top secret too, except I am not really allowed to tell you that… so shhhh, keep it on the down low!

NASA has THE BEST dot matrix photo ID printouts I have ever seen. Not kidding, Costco has nothing on NASA. My Season Pass at Snowbird looks like a child’s scribble compared to the perfection NASA produced. The worst picture ID card is from our neighborhood Recreation Center, and no, I am not saying that only because they took the photo AFTER I had worked out. (blech!) I am just saying they could REALLY learn a thing or two from NASA!

Once we got through security (we actually had to take a paper number out of one of those dispensers, which reminds you- oh, yeah, this IS a government agency like the Post Office) Bonni (should I have changed your name to protect the innocent?) took us to our first event.

NASA has a daycare.

The Child Development Center

The Child Development Center

Luckily it says Solar System, not Planets

Luckily it says Solar System, not Planets

Yep, scientists and technicians and engineers have children too you know. We pull up to the Day Care and the fire alarm goes off. (Luckily it’s only a drill) They passed the drill and everyone went back inside. When the kids were settled again we came in. Once inside, I heard whispers “sh, sh rainbow lady shh shhh rainbow lady” and then the noise got louder and clearer. “The Rainbow Lady!! THE RAINBOW LADY!!” They shouted.
T H E R A I N B O W L A D Y ! ! ! !

Hmmm… I’ve never been called that before, but it works. I came in, talked with the kids, read some stories and then asked them if they knew any Signing Time songs… they answered by bursting into song; “DO YOU KNOW THE COLORS OF OUR RAINBOW?” –at the top of their lungs. They sang the whole thing a ca pella. I stood there grinning. Their teachers were beaming. This was awesome!

Next we went to an auditorium, where the event, for the adults, was taking place. The auditorium holds a couple hundred, but my presentation would be filmed and broadcast over NASA TV where more than 10,000 people could access it. (just breathe)

I shared my family’s story and shared with them the amazing things that Leah and Lucy have taught me about how to treat people with disabilities and how each time I meet someone with a disability I get to learn something about myself.

Half-way through my presentation the 4 year-olds from the daycare came and showed off their mad signing skills, by performing “Colors of The Rainbow” with me for all the grown-ups. They did great!

I ended the presentation by sharing part of an interview I did with Lucy. I had asked her how it is to be in a wheelchair. Lucy’s insight continually blows my mind. She has a perspective I may never have and she shares it so brilliantly! She said, “I think when people see me, they see a little girl in a wheelchair, but when I see myself, I see a beautiful little girl!”

I could only follow that up with “Caterpillar Dreams.”

Then it was time to start our VIP tour! As we started out, we were told, “Feel free to ask any questions.”… I said, “I don’t even know enough about this to have any questions!”

Serious International Space Station!

The name says it all

The name says it all

This is a real model of the space station, but not THE real space station

This is a real model of the space station, but not THE real space station

Our VIP tour took us onto THE floor of the International Space Station Processing Facility.

The Leonardo

The Leonardo

Holy Orbiter Batman!

One of three buildings for processing orbiters

One of three buildings for processing orbiters

Aaron and I were under, over and right next to the Orbiter Discovery. Too cool!

Above and facing the cockpit

Above and facing the cockpit

Underneath Discovery

Underneath Discovery

The wings are covered to keep them protected

The wings are covered to keep them protected

Cargo area

Cargo area

Everyone in Acronyms!

Vehicle Assembly Building

Vehicle Assembly Building

We went through the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) one of the most recognizable buildings at The Kennedy Space Center. The stars on the American flag up there are 6 feet from point to point and they say you can drive a bus down those stripes… if you could get the bus to stick at that angle.

Next we went out to the shuttle launch pads. Both the Atlantis and the Endeavour were on launch pads, it’s pretty uncommon to see two shuttles on the launch pads at the same time.

The Endeavour is ready to go

The Endeavour is ready to go

The Atlantis is also ready to go

The Atlantis is also ready to go

Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?

Move along little turtle

Move along little turtle

While driving from one launch pad to another, we stopped to move a turtle off the road… this is the sign for TURTLE. We joked that most likely, after we moved it to safety, it was snapped up by an alligator. We really did see alligators on the property too. Ah, the circle of life.

All Day and Night Crawler

This thing is massive!

This thing is massive!

Each cleat weighs 1 ton

Each cleat weighs 1 ton

The Crawler is about the size of a baseball diamond. It weighs 6 million pounds unloaded. It takes the shuttle and the mobile launcher platform from the VAB to the launch pad very, very slowly. One mile per hour! When loaded up with the shuttle it weighs 12 million pounds… and that is just way beyond my comprehension… too many pounds, just too many.

All I have to say is this, anyone who really believes the whole landing on the moon thing was a hoax is a complete dingbat… or else this is THE most elaborate government cover-up known to man. Who’s going to build 3 orbiters and pretend to service them for years and then fake a bunch of launches and landings? (Don’t answer that… just don’t.)

Thank you Bonni, Stephanie and Eric and all who took care of us and made this event so memorable! (Including you Tim!) Thank you NASA!

My Space Camp desire is currently quenched, with little to no mathematics. My 12 year-old self is at peace.

Who knows… maybe next year I will be invited to speak at Area 51. You know, they say it’s easier to cross a signed language barrier than a spoken language barrier. So, let me at those extraterrestrials, I bet I could teach those Aliens a sign or two!

Here I Go I’m On A Plane

Here I Go I’m On A Plane
Spring and fall.

I love spring and I love the fall. It gets crazy around here in the spring and in the fall.

Remember last September and October? (Natalie I know you are smiling… or cringing!) I was flying back and forth from one Signing Time event to another, stopping in Salt Lake City for the birth of a baby, or two… or three. Aaron and I rented a car and drove all night, arriving in Colorado just in time to grab a coffee from Starbucks and do my sound check at the Oh Baby Expo, while my friend Natalie endured how many days of labor??? Three? I don’t even know… but it was long enough for me to start out in Oregon, come to Utah, drive to Colorado and then fly back to Utah in time for the birth.

The busy season is starting. The calls are out to Marcus. My flights, cars and hotels are set.

This Friday I take off for 10 days. Then I come home for 4 days and leave again for 3 more days. Thankfully, I love traveling and the uncertainty of wake-up calls. I love highly chlorinated pools 😉 and fresh towels and fresh sheets every day. I love the view from hotel room windows, no matter where I am. I also love seeing new places and familiar ones. I love meeting all of you, hearing your stories, and sharing mine.

Here’s the run down for April and May. Hopefully I’ll see some of you out there!

Friday, April 24 – 4:00 pm
YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY

57098 29 Palms Hwy in Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Join me for our 2nd annual singing, signing and story event at The Yucca Valley Library.
This is a free event, open to the public.

Saturday, April 25 – 11:00 am
Sunday, April 26 – 11:30 am
BABY & TWEEN CELEBRATION LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, Hall K
Join me for my 3rd annual appearance at this fun and funky baby expo! I will be singing, signing and sharing how sign language is beneficial to all children of all abilities.
After each performance I will be at The Signing Time Booth for autographs and pictures.

Tickets: $10 per adult
For more information, please visit Baby & Tween Celebration LA

Thursday, April 30, 2009
I will be in Florida for a private and REALLY cool event! SHHHHHHH! I can’t wait until I can tell you all about it and show you the pictures!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 – 1:00 pm
BABY TIME EXPO – LAS VEGAS

South Point Hotel – The Events Stage
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89183
Wondering How To Sign With Your Little One? I will be sharing the benefits of signing with your babies and toddlers and walking you through how to start. Signing and signing included, of course.

Tickets: $6 per adult
For more information visit Baby Time Expo Las Vegas

Friday, May 8, 2009 – 7:00 pm
Vegas PBS Ready To Learn Family Concert

The Rainbow Library Amphitheater
3150 N. Buffalo Dr., at the corner of Buffalo and Cheyenne
Join me and Hopkins for our 3rd annual Vegas PBS event! This is one of my favorite events each year.

Bring a blanket and bring a picnic to this fun outdoor show. The amphitheater has limited seating, only a few thousand so PLEASE be sure to arrive early. I am not kidding. We fill it to maximum capacity every year and once the fire department even stopped by because they were worried had let too many families in!! What can I say? Signing Time and Vegas PBS Ready To Learn sure know how to throw a party!

Stick around for meet and greet opportunities after the concert. I mean, haven’t you always wanted to meet Hopkins?
For more information please visit: Vegas PBS Ready To Learn

Saturday, May 16, 2009 – 10:00 am
Association for Deaf Children 5K/1 Mile Walk

Draper City Park, North Pavilion
12500 South 1300 East
Draper, Utah 84020
Hopkins and I will be performing after the run, before the medals ceremony.

ADC sponsored my second trip to Ghana, Africa in 2008. This is great organization that that provides activities and services for deaf children in Utah.

For more information visit: www.dodeaf.org to sign up, volunteer or donate!

So…. Where IS Rachel?

Every single time I do an event… within 24 hours of that event, someone will email, or post, or call, or tweet saying, “Hey I would just love it if you did an event in _________!” (fill in the name of the town where I JUST performed). To keep this from happening to you, we have provided a number of ways for you to figure out where I am going and when I am performing…

1. Check our Signing Time Events Calendar for shows near you. This is found on our home page at www.signingtime.com

2. Visit our Signing Time Forums and read the thread “Where Is Rachel?”

3. Subscribe to the Signing Time Corporate Blog

4. Subscribe to our Signing Time Newsletter and we will send you an email letting you know when I am traveling near your town. Just enter your email address on our home page where it says “Newsletter and Promotions”

5. Follow ST_Rachel on Twitter.com (This is where I gave away free tickets to Baby & Tween Celebration)

6. Subscribe to my blog www.signingtime.com/rachel

7. Come to The Signing Time Chat on Wednesday nights 7-9 pm Mountain.

8. Join the Signing Time page on Facebook. The official page has a picture of me, Alex and Leah with the Signing Time logo in the corner. It says Signing Time (website)

If you do all of the above and you still miss me when I show up at your child’s elementary school, local educational conference, or Down syndrome Buddy Walk… I will be shocked! So, please stay on top of it and check back often :) Because, I just cannot remember where you all live. Sorry. I just can’t. 😉

The flip side is, if you or your organization book an event, we put the word out about it through all of those Signing Time channels. Cool eh? Oh, and if you want to book me in spring or fall… or winter or summer for that matter… get in touch ASAP!

And so my friends, my orange shoes are packed and I am putting together my/your set lists. Yes, I fly with scissors (and blue and orange electrical tape) in my carry-on. That’s how I roll;)

Another Word About Public Television

Those of you who read this blog know that Emilie and I took Signing Time off the air because we do not have a sponsor and we cannot continue funding TV production without one. For those of you who are new to this conversation here is a brief recap of my previous post.

• As of October 2008 Signing Time is no longer on public television.

• Having Signing Time on public television has been a WONDERFUL experience. The stations and our distributor American Public Television have been fantastic to work with. You, the viewers have been loyal and supportive.

• Two Little Hands is not paid to be on public TV, in fact we pay to produce the episodes.

• Most children’s shows that are on public TV have a sponsor–a company or foundation that pays for production. To date Signing Time has not secured a sponsor.

• We simply cannot afford to produce episodes for public television without a sponsor.

• Many of you have asked what you can do to help. If you have a relationship with a business or foundation that you believe would be a great sponsor for Signing Time, share your experience with them and invite them to consider sponsorship.

• We hope to have Signing Time back on television!

As you know from reading my blog or attending outreach events all over the country, public TV stations are our partners. They chose to share Signing Time with their viewers. Our distributor American Public Television and many of the stations are disappointed in losing Signing Time, too. Many have told us that they want Signing Time back on the air. We are so thankful for their support! They have gone the extra mile to support the mission of Signing Time. We hope you support your local public television station and thank them for airing great shows like Signing Time.

If you, or your friends or family members are upset about Signing Time going off the air, please understand that it is not because stations cancelled the show. It is because Signing Time needs a sponsor (or to win the lottery! 😉 If you need to vent, vent here on this blog. If you want to write a letter, write it to an organization that you believe would be an appropriate sponsor for Signing Time on public television.

We love you guys! Thanks for your support of the mission of Signing Time!

Rachel & Emilie