"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

God doesn't want us wandering around broken. God doesn't want us breaking others. He wants the best for us. He wants us whole, and he desires us to want the best for others, as well. He desires us to lift others, as he has lifted us. He desires us to bless others, as he blesses us. He desires us to be kind, as Jesus was. Choose kindness. Choose grace, Choose mercy. Choose forgiveness, gentleness, compassion and understanding. Let us choose the peace of God and give him thanks today for every good gift we have. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Regional Signs shared by Master ASL

First, I want to thank you, Dear Reader and Follower for reading my posts, stopping by and commenting, for the private messages as well as for all the times you've shared a post that resonates with you. I appreciate you. Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Joyce Edmiston, Xpressive Handz

It's time to give thanks for all our many blessings. I wake every morning giving thanks for all my own many blessings, but somehow, I am even more thankful each year this time as we as people share and give thanks together.

Here are some signs by ASL students. No captions are provided because these are used for students learning ASL. Providing captions would be "cheating" and not helping with their ASL studies. However, I think if you watch this, you will pick up a sign or two simply by recognition and similarities between many of the Signers.

If you haven't "liked" Master ASL on FaceBook, be sure to do so if you wish to enhance your own Sign Language skills.

They do a great job, don't they?

Monday, November 25, 2013

3 Things You Should Never Do When Communicating with the Hearing Impaired by Rachel Strella

I was introduced to Rachel and her husband Pete at a meeting where she was presenting to us the importance of using Social Media for business. We quickly struck up a conversation about hearing loss, hearing aids and insurance. Rachel kindly took me up on my offer to write a guest post, just in time for the holidays. Share these tips with your family, friends and co-workers to help them communicate more effectively during the holidays with friends or loved ones who have hearing loss.

3 Things You Should Never Do When Communicating with the Hearing Impaired

I’ve lived with hearing loss for close to 15 years.  In that time, I’ve had a lot of interesting interactions with folks who learn about my disability. Here are three things that you shouldn’t do to a deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH) individual.

Shout.  Just because someone has difficulty hearing, does not mean it justifies shouting. Do you want to speak a little louder, slower and clearer than when you interact with others? Yes.  But there is no need to shout.  Clearly communicate what you want to say and be sure to make eye contact with them.

Talk to them in ‘slow-mo.’ Visualize the TV screen when you hit the lowest level on the rewind button of a VCR. That’s talking to someone in slow motion and it’s unhelpful when talking to someone who is deaf or HOH. There is no need to over enunciate or over exaggerate words or expressions. Talk in a normal voice, and again, communicate clearly.

Put them at the kids table.  As the holidays approach, that’s my sarcastic way of saying: don’t avoid people with hearing loss! We want you to communicate with us and we want to feel like a part of the conversation despite our limitations. You might need to speak a little clearer, but that’s certainly no reason to avoid someone with hearing loss.

We have become a society of bad communicators and I’d like to see that change. Consider how well you’re communicating the next time you converse with your spouse while looking in the fridge, talk with your hands in front of your face, or carry a phone conversation while the TV is blaring.

Rachel Strella is the owner of Strella Social Media, a Harrisburg-based company specializing in social media strategy development and management. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Answers Come Unexpectedly in Surprising Ways

A few years ago, Little Fellow mumbled a request to our Heavenly Father somewhat inaudibly. Fabulous husband asked him what he was praying for. He mumbled something or other. Fabulous Husband kept asking, and Little Fellow kept mumbling. Finally, realizing that Dad was going to keep asking until he spoke up, Little Fellow said loudly, "A bunny. I want a bunny rabbit."

Fabulous Husband explained as simply as he could that we don't make requests like this and we aren't going  to be collecting or raising pets other than fish. Little Fellow was ok with that, and he really knew this already, but he was sincerely making his request known to the One who is really in charge, The one over the heads of Mom and Dad. He knew what our answer would be, but it didn't stop him from taking it to our Superior.

Either the next day, or the day after that, it had snowed and school had been canceled. Little Fellow was looking out the window and shouted, "A bunny! There's a bunny outside!" I went over and stood next to him and we watched the brown furry critter hopping around  the yard. I text Fabulous Husband and told him Little Fellow and I were watching a bunny outside in front of our home. Fabulous Husband filled me in on the details of the prayer request.

I laughed at first, then I pondered what I was being told. This was a great opportunity to discuss how God sometimes answers a prayer in an unexpected way.

"You can't have any more pets, but God sent a bunny to visit you." It just seemed to be the thing to say.

Sometimes God will answer our prayers in ways we don't expect. He hears all our prayers. No prayer ever goes unanswered, sometimes we just don't recognize the answer when it comes. Sometimes we get a "Yes", sometimes a "No", other times "Not yet" and often we even get  "Here is something better, instead". Most of my greatest answered prayers have been answered in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times.

Twice since the first sighting this bunny has appeared in front of our car as we drive along toward Church street. He actually hopped along the road in front of our car. Today, he not only hopped along in front of us, he also hopped along side us before turning and dashing off into another neighborhood, much to our Little Fellow's delight.

I believe God hears and answers the prayers of the little children in ways we grown ups have forgotten, or brush off as coincidence. I'm certain it is one of the ways God teaches a child to learn to trust that He hears them and sends them surprises to build their faith in Him.

Isn't this what we do for our children, ourselves, sometimes answering their request in unexpected and surprising ways?

(this was originally posted winter 2011)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Deaf Workshops in Hershey, PA November 15-17, 2013

I received this email from Jenice Wolgemuth of Deaf Konnect to spread the word about the conference happening this weekend. The conference agenda and times are below. Their home website is posted at the bottom.

Subject: Deaf workshops - Spread the word

This weekend, Nov 15-17, there is a fantastic conference, The Eastern Christian Conference, at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.  It begins on Friday night with a worship time that is interpreted.  Then on Sat there is another interpreted worship time followed by a series of workshops especially for the deaf.  The evening has another interpreted worship time and then on Sunday is another interpreted worship time.  The main meetings are in the rooms to the left of the main entrance to the convention area (facing 322).  ($35/person, $50/family is a GREAT price for a weekend of signing practice and learning about signing music for the deaf!)

The deaf workshops will be especially interesting for all deaf and those involved in serving them.  Attached are information sheets about this weekend.

PS - there is another women's conference to the right of the main entrance

Hershey Lodge and Convention Center - Hershey, PA
 Friday Evening
7:30 PM – Main Session- Reach the Lost Right Here, Right Now – Interpreted
Gene Appel, Sr. Pastor, Eastside Christian Church, Anaheim, California

Saturday Morning
7:30 – 9:10 AM – Breakfast items for purchase in Exhibit Hall
8:00 – 9:00 AM – Bible Study
9:15 AM – Main Session- Be the Change Right Here, Right Now – Interpreted
Gene Appel, Sr. Pastor, Eastside Christian Church, Anaheim, California
11:00 AM – Workshop Session 1: Phil and  Melody Choate - Reaching Up with Ministry in Music with the Deaf
Saturday Afternoon
12:15 PM -  President’s Luncheon (all invited – interpreted???)
2:00 PM – Workshop Session 2: Phil and  Melody Choate - Reaching In with Performing Music with the Deaf
3:30 PM – Workshop Session 3: Phil and  Melody Choate - Reaching Out through Performing and Interpreting Music
4:45 PM – General Planning Session (open for anyone to attend) (maybe interpreted??)
Saturday Evening
7:30 PM – Main Session- Be On Mission Right Here Right Now – Interpreted
Greg Nettle, President, Stadia Church Planting Solutions, Massillon, Ohio

Sunday Morning
Please check out of your room before going to the worship session.
*On Sunday morning, the teens and adults will meet together in one session in the Chocolate Ballroom.
7:30 AM – 9:25 AM – Breakfast items for purchase in the Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Bible Study
9:30 AM – Main Session- Bring the Love Right Here Right Now – Interpreted
Josh Burnett, Lead Pastor, Revolution Annapolis, Annapolis, Maryland
11:15 AM – Conference Closes 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Free Veterans Meals and Military Signs Demonstrated by Travis

We LOVE these demonstrations by Travis. Please note that these videos are made for ASL students, and as such it is not appropriate to have them captioned-just as when taking ASL courses voices are "off". This is a technique of "language immersion", however, the signs really are quite clear, and there are hints along the way.


I honor my Fabulous Husband who served 20 years of his life in the Air Force, as well as every person who has ever served. I also honor the families of veterans.

Here is a list of restuarants providing free meals and discounts to those who are serving or who have served our country:

Be sure to call ahead to make sure that location is participating and BRING ALONG YOUR MILITARY ID !

Thursday, November 7, 2013

HLAA-Lancaster County Meeting, Nov. 19th

Tuesday, November 19th at 10:00 a.m. is the next Lancaster County Chapter Hearing Loss Association of American meeting. Come join us, everyone is welcome! Captions (CART) and loops are provided!

The speaker will be Pam Reiher, editor of HLAA-PA's HearSay quarterly. Pam will be sharing her experience of using two cochlear implants (bilateral).


Village Center Building
Fellowship Hall (lower level)

Brethren Village Retirement
3001 Lititz Pike
Lancaster, PA

We hope to see you there!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children's Project is Approved!

My friend, Jennifer Raucsher works for the Harrisburg School District, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She is the "teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing children". While Jennifer has 17 students on her caseload, she has another 4 that she monitors and consults with. Her students need hearing aid tools and maintenance. From now until Nov. 8, all donations made with the code "INSPIRE" will be matched in equal value up to $100.00!

Here is Jennifer's project and request in her own words:

Subject: My students need your help!

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning charity.

I'm asking for donations of any size to help my kids. For the next week, any donation you make to my project will be doubled (up to $100). If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank yous from our class.

Here's my classroom request:
Hearing Aids

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the promo code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through November 8, 2013.

My students and I greatly appreciate your support.