Dream Day Vacay Update

Family Channel shared the short video they made to sum up our amazing day in PEI.

Thank you to all who voted to make our Dream Day Vacay a reality!


-Jennpup

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Lucky Ontario family enjoys free – but short – fun-packed P.E.I. vacation | The Guardian

It was “Anne” day like no other for the Beckett family. Chris and Jenn Beckett of Waterloo, Ont., and the couple’s children, Delphine, 14, and Quincy, 8, packed a full Anne of Green Gables-themed Tuesday together on Prince Edward…

Source: Lucky Ontario family enjoys free – but short – fun-packed P.E.I. vacation | The Guardian

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us to go to PEI with the Family Channel’s Dream Day Vacay Contest!! We are so appreciative!!

Now we wait… ❤

UPDATE: WE WON!  Thank you to ALL who voted! We had the most wonderful time on our PEI Dream Day Vacay!

Thank you to Family Channel and to Prince Edward Island! Local businesses rolled out the red carpet to welcome us!

Thank you to the Confederation Centre of the Arts for comped tickets and a meet and greet with the Company of the Anne of Green Gables Musical on stage, the Holman Grand Hotel who upgraded our room to a harbour view suite, the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company for a private lunch room, passes to the Butterfly House and for looking after the Family Channel’s Dream Day Vacay production team, the drivers, video crew, Mavor’s Restaurant, COWS Queen Street, PEI Guardian Newspaper, Air Canada and West Jet.

Family Channel made every moment of our big day so special.  We are forever grateful!

Our trip segment should air on August 13th, and a longer format video will be available on Family Channel’s social media outlets.

XOXO,
-Jennpup

THANK YOU

Please Vote for My Family

A few weeks ago we spotted the “Dream Day Vacay” contest hosted by Family.ca. The contest asked for a written submission by our children sharing why our family deserves to win a summer day (24hr) vacation to anywhere in Canada… the prize is worth up to $10,000 and makes that dream vacation come true! Plus, they will film the day so there will be a video memory to treasure.

We have been dreaming up a way to get to PEI and see the “Anne” sites and also see our local Kitchener-Waterloo star AJ Bridel as Anne in the Charlottetown Anne of Green Gables Musical, so we submitted our entry.  We have not been able to go on any big family vacations since my son was diagnosed with autism at 2, but if you know me, you know I am resourceful!

We were so surprised to find out WE MADE IT to the TOP 5 FINALISTS!!!!!!  

But, in order to win, we had to make a 45 second video AND Our Video Has to Get the Most Votes… So, We Need Your Help!

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO VOTE FOR OUR VIDEO

The Voting begins Monday, June 25 at 10am ET and ends on Monday, July 9, 2018 at 10am ET over here on Family.ca.  Clearly, I am not a professional videographer, but we did our best in a tight time frame and the video was made with a lot of love. ❤

Here’s the original Video we submitted… The link for voting is below.


Vote here: Family.ca/contests

Here’s an Eventbrite Event I created so you can easily add a voting reminder to your calendar (it is a daily vote). Thank you! If you can vote daily or as often as you remember, it will really help!

Up to 4 members per Canadian household (all ages, or 13+ in QC) with unique email addresses can vote per day!  Rules: http://promo.family.ca/contests/dream-day-vacay/voting-rules.php

When you vote, YOU get a chance to win a
$500 Transat Travel Gift Card!
transat card

successWhen you successfully submit your vote, you will get a SUCCESS
screen (see the sample image above) – if  you don’t, please resubmit!

I don’t know what the outcome of the contest will be, but THANK YOU for being a part of the FUN!! =)  I’ll keep you posted!

❤ ❤ ❤ 
– The Beckett Family of Waterloo, ON

P.S. Family.ca did not sponsor this post, nor am I affiliated with them in any way.

vote for us please u could win

The World Needs YOUR Family

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Comedian, actress and YouTube entertainer, Lilly Singh, inspires 20,000 attendees at the inaugural WE Day Family in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on October 19, 2016. Photo Credit: Maria Gagliardi for WE Day

Last year, I read Craig & Marc Kielburger’s book The World Needs Your Kid: How to Raise Children Who Care and Contribute and was inspired to help my children find their own ways to give back in our community.  Then in April of 2016, Ontario announced a cut to services for children with Autism over the age of 5 (a decision which did not impact my son with Autism, but greatly impacted his same age peers), and suddenly, my daughter and I were off and running. We marched in a rally in our hometown, headed to Queen’s Park for a protest and attended Question Period, and we helped organize a small protest at a local MPP’s office. We engaged on social media (#AutismDoesntEndAt5), posted signs, printed and distributed flyers in parking lots along with many other families across the Province. Thankfully, the government reversed its decision, but for our family, teaching our daughter that she has a voice and can use it, was the best outcome.

Craig  and Marc Kielburger were raised in a family who practiced seeing the world through a lens where they were active participants in making the world a better place. At a young age they were moved to create Free the Children (now WE.org) and worked tirelessly to create a world where child slavery could be a thing of the past. Over the years, their effort has morphed into the WE movement. Children all over the world earn their way to attend WE Day events by fundraising and participating in volunteer projects and initiatives.

The first ever WE Day Family!

Many local school children participate in WE Day clubs and volunteer to earn their ticket to WE Day. There they are inspired to do more and find their own way to change the world. Kids come home from WE Day pumped up and excited, and they bring this enthusiasm home to their families. Families were looking for direction and ways to support their children and get involved.  This was the inspiration for the first ever WE Day Family event, held in Toronto on October 19th, 2016.

My daughter and I were honoured to join over 20,000 people at the Air Canada Centre where we were treated to inspirational talks from speakers such as Chris Hadfield, Rick Hansen, Nelly Furtado, Paula Abdul, Lilly Singh and music from The Barenaked Ladies, Gord Downie and Hedley.

WE Were Inspired to Spread #GirlLove

Lilly Singh (aka YouTube sensation IISuperwomanII) shared her #GirlLove movement and the Rafiki bracelet she created while visiting Kenya on a WE Villages trip. Sales of her GirlLove Rafiki bracelets help girls in Kenya access primary education. Lilly wants to end ‘girl-on-girl hate’ and spread #GirlLove!

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Rafiki bracelets are handmade by women in Kenya! Purchasing Rafiki bracelets through the ME to WE store helps a variety of causes such as access to clean water!
newrafikiwaterMy daughter, was inspired to help communities access clean water and proudly purchased a WE GIVE CLEAN WATER Rafiki bracelet. She also picked up a #GirlLove Rafiki bracelet!
rafiki-water

WE were Moved to Tears

Gord Downie is lending his voice to furthering the cause of the Reconciliation movement in Canada. Gord delivered an emotional rendition of “The Stranger” from his Secret Path concept album/Graphic novel collaboration with Jeff Lemire.  Gord sang of the tragic death of Chanie Wenjack, who died while fleeing a residential school and attempting to walk to his home (not knowing it was over 400 miles away). Gord walked the stage as if Chanie, falling to the stage floor – a move that left many of us in tears. After the song, Gord was joined on stage by Chanie’s sister Pearl Wenjack, who sang a heart wrenching song. Although Chanie died 50 years ago today (Oct. 22, 1966), his sister’s ever present pain was evident in her voice.

TAKE ACTION: Tune in and watch as a family, then start the difficult conversation of Reconciliation in your home. The Secret Path will be broadcast by CBC in an hour-long commercial-free television special on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 9pm (9:30 NT).

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Gord Downie, Mike Downie, Pearl Wenjack and William Wenjack inspire 20,000 attendees at the inaugural WE Day Family in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on October 19, 2016. Photo Credit: Maria Gagliardi for WE Day

WE Were Encouraged to Aim For The Stars

Astronaut Chris Hadfield joined the Barenaked Ladies to play his guitar and sing along with “If I Had A Million Dollars”, then joined a room full of children and Mom Bloggers for an inspiring Q&A. When he was little, there was no such thing as a Canadian Astronaut, but he didn’t let that stop him. He dreamed big and achieved his goal through hard work and determination.

His time in space inspired his commitment to WE.org – having a space-eye view of Earth, taught him the “WEness” of us all. WE are all in this together, and WE can make a difference to the lives of others around the globe.

barenaked-ladies-and-chris-hadfield-we-day-family-2016-maria-gagliardi-for-we-day

Juno and MMVA Award-winning alternative rock band, Barenaked Ladies, and astronaut, author, professor, musician, first Canadian to walk in space and command a spaceship, Chris Hadfield, perform for 20,000 attendees at the inaugural WE Day Family in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on October 19, 2016. Photo Credit: Maria Gagliardi for WE Day

Paula Abdul shared her story of achieving her dream to be a dancer and a choreographer, cleaning a dance studio in exchange for lessons and not letting her petite physique keep her from mastering the grace of ballet. Now she is a WE Ambassador and has traveled to Kenya.  Her message was about taking action to achieve your goals, which really resonated with my daughter (who dreams of Broadway).

paula-delphine

Yes, she is the nicest celebrity you’ll ever meet!

WHY Should WE Get Involved With WE.org?

If you need a reason to get involved as a family, studies have shown that by engaging your children in WE Movement charities “youth experience profound academic and professional growth and develop critical 21st century skills, including leadership skills, as well as collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, all of which contribute to creating better prepared students and job candidates.”

By living “WE” at home, families learn how to make a difference through their everyday actions. Families bond over causes that matter to them, and raise children who become caring and compassionate adults.

HOW Can WE help?

If you only do one thing today, take a minute and join the WE movement, visit WE.org and take the WE pledge. $10 will be donated for every pledge taken, up to $1 Million dollars will be donated to support charitable domestic empowerment programs and sustainable development programs in communities oversees.

we-pledge

TAKE ACTION: WE Scare Hunger Campaign

One of the action campaigns my Tween wants us to take on as a WE Day Family, is called “WE Scare Hunger.” With materials available online, we have all the resources we need to organize and collect food for our local food bank on Halloween. A few days before Halloween, we will be delivering notes to our neighbours, so they can be ready for us to collect non-perishable donations for the food bank when we visit them for Trick-or-Treat.
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This is also a great way for kids who are starting to feel a bit too old to Trick-or-Treat to stay involved with the Halloween fun!

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We Day Family was proudly sponsored by RBC. Check out their Make 150 Count campaign and share how you would use $150 to make a change!

The world needs your family! WE Hope You Will Join WE

❤ Jennpup ❤

P.S. Check out Canadian Living’s Me to We Family Award winners, the Bodanis Family here.

We send our heartfelt thanks to  Erica Ehm’s Yummy Mummy Club for tickets and Media Access to We Day Family, Toronto 2016. Thank you to Canadian Living Magazine, Craig and Mark Kielburger and the WE.org staff for an unforgettable and inspiring event! 

 

Adventures in The Deep End: Finding Dory

finding-dory
As a mom of a child with autism, I have a ready list of worries relating to him being out in the world. I recently took my eldest child to see an advance screening of Pixar’s latest release, “Finding Dory” which we both enjoyed immensely. I chose not to bring my son with autism, because an advance screening means a big crowd, long line-ups and sometimes a late start. It is potentially too overwhelming for him, so it felt safer to keep him home.

He won’t miss out – Cineplex in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada is offering a sensory friendly screening of Finding Dory on July 2nd, so my partner will take my son to see Finding Dory then, when my son can move in his seat, make noise and we can ‘relax’ that we are in an audience of people who “get it”.

But this is just one of the ways that having a child with autism impacts our family. I worry about him every time we leave the house and go out into the community, and even in the house I worry – we have baby gates and high bolts to help keep him from wandering.

I worry about how he’ll do at school, if he’ll be able to attend integrated ‘typical’ classrooms or if he’ll be separated. I worry about potential bullies and people who might harm him due to his sweet nature and trust of other people.

In “Finding Dory”, the main premise is that Dory remembers she has a family and that she misses them, so she sets out to find them. Through flashbacks we learn about her parents Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) and how they worried about Dory.  charliejennyDory suffers from Short Term Memory Loss and if she leaves home without her parents, her parents are afraid (and rightfully so) she won’t be able to make it home on her own. They practice playing ‘hide and seek’, devise a way of leaving shell paths to help Dory find her way and come up with songs and rhymes to try to help Dory retain important information so that she can be safe when away from them.  Dory wants to learn and tries to learn, but her disability prevents her from being successful. Her parents spend every day practicing these drills over and over again, not unlike how we work with our son at his IBI therapy. I can completely relate to their worry about Dory, how hard they work to try to help her and how proud they are when she accomplishes her goals.

Unfortunately, Dory’s parents fear is justified. Dory does get separated from her family, and she does encounter many dangers in the ocean, but luckily escapes harm. She meets Marlin and later Nemo, who end up taking her in to be a part of their community and family. They offer her support and patience and do what they can to keep her safe and help her be included in their community.  They accept that she can’t help but wake them up in the night and that she makes unsafe decisions, and they love her anyway.

dory marlin nemo

I hope my child with the support received in his childhood is able to be an independent adult who can find companionship and form a family of his own. I hope that he can be gainfully employed and help make the world a better place with his beautiful spirit. I worry about him and hope he makes it safely through the world into the future I dream of for him. I am hopeful that there will be community living options for him should he need them, such as those offered at the organization I work for*, and I will continue to advocate for a more inclusive world for him, not unlike the reef Dory lives in with Nemo and Marlin (her chosen family).

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In her community, Dory finds acceptance, inclusion and a feeling of independence while being supported. These are the things that help me worry less while advocating strongly so this future can be a reality for children like mine.

❤ Jennpup ❤

-*Jennifer works in KW Habilitation’s Residential Services since 2013. Her son was diagnosed at age 2 1/2 with autism and benefited from KW Habilitation’s ELCCFR Special Needs Access Point (SNAP) program which brought additional supports in to his daycare, to address his early social and communication needs, prior to and following diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

 

An open letter to Kathleen Wynne, Part 2.

Our family also ‘dodged the bullet’ – we were discharged in April, effective at the end of June. Great Post, had to share!

crcrsmommy's Blog

Oh, KathleAllYouNeedIsen. What. Have you. Done ?!

After hearing the recent changes announced by the Liberal government, regarding the Ontario Autism Program, I felt inclined to write to you again. Forgive me for having not written sooner, but you dropped a bomb on us Kathleen. I needed some time to crawl through the rubble.

I am the mother of a child with Autism, and I firstwrote to you back in June 2014.

Kathleen, you humiliated me. You humiliated all of us that believed you, when you promised additional support and shorter waitlists for our children with special needs.

My husband and I tuned into our local news station, along with other eager parents in the Autism community, on March 29th. The $333 million in funding sounded promising ! I mean really, how could an announcement for additional fundstowards supporting our children with Autism, be bad…

View original post 982 more words

Win A 3 Night Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel & Park Tickets!

Check out this amazing contest from OneSmileyMonkey.com!

We love everything Disney and we have a magical time every time we visit Disneyland! Our last visit was just in February but it already feels like forever ago and we can’t wait to go back!!!  Now we want YOU to experience the magic and thanks to Park Savers we are giving away an amazing prize pack…

Source: Win A 3 Night Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel & Park Tickets!

Welcome To The Show!

I can’t imagine my life without music! Without Squeeze and without Walk Off The Earth! So proud of this new venture! Please follow, share! 🙂

Music Mommas

This is it, the big day here at Music Mommas – launch day.  I admit that there isn’t a lot to see here, yet. We still have to decorate and move in all of the furniture, but with a little patience, we will get there.

What can you expect to find here?  You can expect to find three moms (hence the name) who love music, who find solace in music, who believe that music is life.

Our goal is to share the stories of people who bring music to life. Full-time musicians, teachers, technicians, and people who run venues will join us to talk about music. If we’re lucky, we might even convince a few musicians to play some music for us.

The postings will be slow at first; most of the Music Mommas have full-time jobs and will post when they can. We are also working on securing more…

View original post 180 more words

MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS: FRIENDSHIP GAMES Review & Giveaway (CAN, no QC 10/29)

We’re pretty excited here about the release of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games!  I took my daughter and her Brony friend to see the 2nd installment in theatres, and they loved every minute. My daughter thinks this is the BEST of the three movies and really ties together the series. In this story, fans get to learn more about the magic of the Equestria Girls and how they ‘pony up’ (transform with pony ears and tails when they tap into their magic).

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My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games is available NOW on DVD, Blu-ray combo pack and on iTunes for immediate digital download!

Check it out, it’s awesome!

My followers have the chance to WIN the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack!  To enter, please follow the Shout! Factory Facebook and Twitter pages and complete the entry form below:

<<ENTER HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE Blu-ray/DVD/Digital COMBO PACK>>

Good Luck!!  Tweet every day for bonus entries!

❤ Jennpup ❤