Susan Layton

Film Producer - ASL Performer - Life Learner

Category: Blog (page 2 of 5)

Election Education in ASL: “Who’s Running?”

There is a lot of “Election 2016” information in the media  … but not much of it comes to us in ASL.  Good news though! The Deaf and Hearing Network just released this video with some great preliminary education on the upcoming “Election 2016” … in ASL!  (Also interpreted in English).  Check it out!

Election 2016: Who’s Running

Elections Photo

 

Emergency Fitness #1!

We all know that emergencies can be absolutely exhausting and physically demanding, to say the least!  It all starts with the adrenaline that rushes through you – and that alone can take a toll on your body. But it usually doesn’t end with just an adrenaline frenzy!  There is usually many hours of walking, building, shoveling, carrying, lifting and so much more that is required of us during an emergency.  Time to rest usually doesn’t’ come until long after the emergency has subsided.  So … PHYSICALLY preparing for an emergency should be on the top of our “MUST DO” and “START NOW” list!

Join Emergency Elle in getting yourself physically prepared for whatever emergency may come your way!  This fitness regimen is unlike any other fitness program you’ve seen or done before!  This is “Emergency Fitness”!  Not only are we working on building strength, but we’re also focusing on endurance and stamina! (Because emergencies require a lot of that from us.)

Invite your entire family and friends to join you and Emergency Elle, in getting physically ready for “that” emergency that WILL come our way!

Emergency Fitness #1

Equipment Required: Backpack, water bottles and walking shoes.

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Have fun!

 

BACKPACK USED IN THIS VIDEO:

Emergency Elle uses a Large Backpack from Emergency Essentials.
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Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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This is a great book: Just Dutch It! Book  – Learn how to use your food storage – dutch oven style! YUM!!!  Recipes that can include several food items or just a few!  Tips for successful dutch oven cooking are included!

 

 

 

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Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

The Spirit of America Stood Right Before My Eyes!

It’s Memorials Day.  And like every Memorials Day, I sit in tears.  Tears of gratitude for living in a country where honorable men and women have fought and continue to fight.  They fight out of love for this country – they fight for me, for you, our families, our freedom, and our peace.

Last week my family went to an airshow.  There were experiences there that will go down in my history books as moments I will never forget.

My oldest was admiring the little booklets that were lying on the table: “Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States”.  I asked her, “Don’t you have the Constitution memorized?”  Veterans1She said, “No, not all of it yet. But hopefully I’ll be able to recite it all someday by memory.”  Then she continued her way down the table to admire the soldier tools, garb and other equipment.  A Veteran came over to her with one of those little booklets in his hand and said, “Ma’am, I would be honored if you would have this!”  He proceeded to hand her the booklet of the Declaration and Constitution.  She thanked him and thanked him for his service to our country.  He said, “Ma’am, it was my privilege to serve!”   …   The spirit of America was standing right there in front of me!   … And I stood there in awe, with a full heart.

Just days before this airshow, the air grounds erected a flag pole.  Today they would dedicate it.  These Veterans raised the flag on the pole, shot a two-gun salute and lead the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  The sounds of “The Star Spangled Banner” on the bugle began to fill the air.  Veterans2I was filled with emotion as I interpreted this sacred music for my husband.  Then we stood and waited for the fly over.   The crowd was quiet.  It was solemn.  In these brief moments of holding my hand over my heart, I was reminded that this was not “just a flag pole”.  This held one of the greatest blessings we enjoy in this country.  It held the very thing that stands for our peace and our freedom.  It is what faithful men and women have fought for – and still fight for – on a daily basis.  I am thankful for what this dedication taught me! The spirit of America was standing right before my very eyes, once again!

Fighter planes, military jeeps, mines, MRE’s, Veteran3bazookas, helmets, blankets, scriptures, photos, and so much more filled our day.  These Veterans and soldiers filled our day with education and more importantly of gratitude and love of this country!  I can’t say it enough … I am grateful for these men and women – they have fought and still fight, have died and still live – for our country, our freedoms, our peace, our families, for me, for you.  We are so blessed!

This ‘Happy Memorial’s Day’ means a lot more to me!  Thank you to those who serve and won’t come back to be with us.  Your spirit is felt.  Your service will live on!  We remember you!  We honor you!  WE THANK YOU!

 

“Mother!” Need I Say More?

Motherhood is a great responsibility.  As a kid, I thought, “Motherhood. A piece of cake.”  Oh yeah, my perspective has changed since becoming a mother. *You’re laughing, I’m sure. Me too!*  I’m grateful for great examples of amazing mothers, because without them, I don’t know where I’d be! … Probably a mess, trying to figure it out!

SistersMomI think of my mom and I am filled with joy.  She radiates goodness.  She is one of the most hard-working people I know.  She is caring, patient and loving.  She exudes talent – she is brilliant with sewing, journaling, teaching, entrepreneurial everything, family history/genealogy, and crafting.  I am grateful for my mom.  I am grateful for the love she has for my dad and all 6 of us kids (and all the grandkids too). SistersMom5I strive to be like her.  My mom speaks often about her amazing heritage.  She talks of her mom and her grandmothers with great love and honor.  I know she had beautiful examples of motherhood from those she holds near and dear.  It is evident.  What a blessing for her … and for me!

Alongside my mother, I look to many others for their great examples of motherhood – my mother-in-laws, my sister-in-laws, aunts, good friends, etc.  But the ones I look to most would be my three sisters.  Each one of them possess qualities of amazing mothers.  Each of my sisters have had different challenges, experiences, and findings as they have trekked through motherhood.  For me, it has been beautiful, as I have learned from and grown because each of their examples.  I have much love, respect and gratitude for each of them!

SistersKristin1My oldest sister, Kristin, is strong, smart, and loving.  When I look at Kristin, the words that stands out the most are: PERSEVERE and LOVE!  She has faced challenges, head on, that I don’t know I could ever get through had I been in her shoes.  What I love about Kristin, and a testament to me of the responsibility of being a mother, is that though it all, her driving force to keep going has been her role as a mother and her love for her children.  When you talk to her, you can feel the immense gratitude and love she has for her kids.  Her love for them is so deep.  It’s beautiful to see her relationship with them and her children’s love and respect for their mom.  Her children are smart, caring, service-oriented, talented and hard-working.  Not only  has Kristin persevered, but she is more radiant because of it! I know Kristin’s role as mother has been a shining force behind it all. Her example makes me want to be a better mother.

In our younger years, my younger sister, Julie, and I were always thought to be twins.  I loved having a twin! (She was definitely the cuter half, for sure!)  As she married and started her own family, it has been beautiful to see Julie in her role as a mother.  I think of Julie and I think: BIG HEART and LOVE!  In society these days, we often see our “big (and soft) heart” get in the way of discipline and structure.  I am grateful for Julie’s example that one can have big heart AND maintain the balance of discipline, structure and a fullness of love.  Julie has homeschooled her children, taken care of her aging in-laws, participated in church and community projects along side her family.  As a result, her children are smart, respectful, loving, helpful, hard workers and always have big smiles.  I can see when I go in their home that “Love is spoken here”.  I know that Julie is behind it all!  I want to be a better mother, because of what I see and feel in Julie’s home.  And for that, I’ll take being her twin, any day!

SistersSarah1My youngest sister, Sarah, is nothing short of amazing.  I have seen the challenges that she has faced as a mother and the fight and drive to make JOY and LOVE the underlying and overriding factor in her home.  You know success when you see the young people say and do the things they have seen their parents say and do.  SistersSarah2
I see that in Sarah’s family.  You see her children remember to pray, to serve and be kind to family, learning to accept the consequences for their actions – which ever way they stand, and share their love for their parents.  These wouldn’t happen without the example Sarah has given to them.  She is a stalwart mother.  I want to be a better mother, because of the kind of mother Sarah is.

I’m grateful for these mothers in my life – looking to them has made it easier … because being a mother is hard work.  Each of us have different lives, work responsibilities are different, our children have different personalities, challenges and abilities.  We have all been exposed to different examples of motherhood.  The philosophies of ‘how to mother’ are as numerous as there are mothers.  But if there is one thing, well, make that two things we all have in common, it would be: We want to be a good mom.  We want the best for our children.

SistersFam3I don’t know all the answers of how to be a great mother.  But I keep trying – I get up every day and strive to be a better mom than I was the day before.  Although I don’t have all the answers, I can say for sure that two things have shown tried and true for me: PRAYER and LOVE.  Sometimes I wonder how to keep going – and the peace, the love, the support, the answers, the drive have come only through getting on my knees.  I am grateful for prayer in my life as a mother. I have also learned that when love comes first, I am more patient, I am reminded of my children’s potential and why they were placed in my care, I see I can persevere, I feel the joy, and the love is stronger – for my kids and for my responsibility and opportunity to be a mother.

The world we live in has become more challenging – fluctuating values, responsibilities, expectations, and even the status of parenthood/motherhood.  Our challenge as mothers is a great load and responsiblity. But God has given us this responsibility, and He knows we can do it … and that is a great honor and a great comfort!

SistersFam7One last thing that tugs at my heart and I want to share. There are several women in my life, growing up and also since starting my own family, who I (and my family) have been very blessed to know.  These women have made an impact on me throughout my life and as a mother.  Some of these women have not had the opportunity to have children of their own. But I am grateful that that didn’t waiver their decision to help me, guide me, and walk beside me, cheering me on along the way.  I am grateful that whether or not they had children of their own, they still loved me, my children, my family and have planted hope and love in our path.  These women, all of them, have made a lasting impact on my life.  And I am grateful!

“Mother!” Need I say more.  My sincerest *MWAH* to all the mothers (of any kind) out there!  THANK YOU!
Question: How has your mother (or other women) made an impact on your life?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or on Facebook (and be sure to tag them!).

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I’m Inspired: Justin’s Victory!

Justin20Today was the final victory for Justin Osmond as he reached his goal: To run 250 miles in 7 days.  The prize at the end of the snow, sleet, hail, rain, sunshine, blisters, IT band flare ups and the like was being able to give the “gift of hearing” to 25 kids in Southern Utah through “Run4Hearing“.

When we arrived at the park this morning, it was cold and rainy.  I thought, “This is not that fun”.  But then I thought of Justin and my attitude and thoughts quickly changed to: “This is worth it! This is going to be amazing!”  Running this 5k in the “cold”weather was the least I could do to show support for this amazing cause, the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund‘s “Run4Hearing“.   My family,Justin6 along with a large part of the Southern Utah’s Deaf community, as well as many other supporters were there, all in the best of spirits!  There was a special, positive vibe in the park.

Once we started running, the rains stopped, the very chilly weather warmed up, and the clouds stayed around to keep us comfortable.  After the 5k and the kids run, we waited for the arrival of Justin.  His family came and stood behind the finish line with their ‘250-mile’ banner … and then … THERE – HE- WAS!  Justin came running over the hill with his wife, the Mayor, his running coach and many other close-to-the-cause people.  He ran through the cheering crowd towards the finish line.  As he Justin7crossed the long anticipated finish line, he embraced and wept with his family and the crowd cheered, in sign and with whoops and hollers.  It was sweet to see him victorious! It was a really special thing to witness.

We all followed him over to where he would share a few words of gratitude.  (I was so upset because I thought I was recording and after his sweet and tender intro, I looked up and realized it wasn’t recording! Argh!)  He sobbed, “I kept running, even through the toughest moments those moments that I almost couldn’t go anymore, but I did because I remembered what it was for: the deaf kids! … I kept reminding it will be worth it in the end, because it is for these deaf kids, the true Super Heroes! … So I kept on running!”Justin11Close

He invited his family, sponsors, his running coach and the ‘Super Hear-O’ recipients up and paid gratitude and tribute to each for their contribution and purpose to the cause.  Justin said, “Can you imagine, driving 250 miles going 2-3 miles per hour?? My mom and my dad did just that! Just to support me!”  (I love when people publicly express gratitude to/for their parents!  It’s just so cool!)  I think the moment that stood out most to me was when he invited Marie Osmond, his Aunt, up to the mic to “sing a song”.  Everyone laughed.  No, she didn’t sing.  (Drats! Ha) But she did share this: (“ish” – because it’s from memory. Smile.)

Justin14“My mom’s family was all girls and one boy.  Then she had her own children and it was all boys and one girl.  But what’s special is that her only brother was deaf, and two of her own sons were deaf.  Before she passed on, she expressed the one thing she wanted most of all.  She wanted to leave a legacy of helping the deaf.  My mother asked Justin to carry that legacy on.  Not only has he done just that, but this very day commemorates 11 years since her passing.  Yesterday, I kept thinking of Justin on the home stretch, and I felt my mother poking me from the other side saying, “Marie, get your booty down there!” So I’m here! I really believe my mother was with you on this run and cheering you on along the way! I’m sure she is looking down right now, very proud of you as you continue the legacy she wanted to live on!”

Beautiful!  Better than a song!  But I still would’ve really enjoyed a song too! (Haha)

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Then Justin lined up for pictures and interviews. Excitement continued to fill the air long after it was “over”.  This event has been the talk of the town, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook for many, as well as for six excited people in my car.  But the cause and Justin’s journey couldn’t be more worthy of it!

Learn more, give some, tweet about, like them, or whatever else: Olive Osmond HearingFund.org and Run4Hearing.com.

I guess my take away from this is: Be Inspired!  Find inspiration.  Be the inspiration.  All of us don’t have an “Aunt Marie” or a “Mother Osmond” … but we don’t have to wait or side-line an opportunity to be inspired or to inspire others.  Just go for it, put your foot forward and race towards your finish line. A world out there is waiting to be inspired!  … Yup, THAT’s what I learned!

Justin8 Justin1   Justin3 Justin4  Justin16Justin5

Question: Who has inspired you and how? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook page.  

Photos Courtesy of: @SpectrumJenkins, @DJBolerjack, @TasminMahFuz, @MeadowSigns and @HiyaSusieQ

JUST IN: JUSTIN’s RUNspiration and ME

Who got to run with Justin Osmond?  ME!
Run - Justin Osmond 1

 Yeah, my story went like this:  Drop off the little guy to preschool.  Come home.  Slump in my chair.  Sigh, “I wish I had something cool to do”.  Got on Facebook (isn’t that where we all go for excitement? Ha).  First post on my feed: “Justin Osmond is “here””.  I thought, “Oh, a run with Justin would be cool! 250 miles is a long way! It’d be fun to keep him company for a couple of those miles.”  So I hurried and changed my clothes and set off to search for Justin and his crew.  By the way, he’s a running beast!  I kept searching in the area I “thought” he’d be.  He was MUCH farther down the way than I expected.  But I found him and parked a half a mile up the road.  I ran back to where they were and started my run with him.

(You might be wondering, why is Justin running a crazy 250 miles?  The cause is awesome: It’s called Run4Hearing – raising funds so deaf kids can have access to hearing aids, FM systems, etc.  Check out his website!)

Run - Justin Osmond 2On my run, I learned first hand that Justin is a genuine guy with a heart of gold!  This fundraiser is really important to him – these deaf kids are really important to him!  He said that one day, he thought, “I want to make a difference  for deaf kids”, so he came up with a plan.  And because he loves to run he wanted to incorporate running into the fundraising idea. He asked me, “When you found out about my idea to run 250 miles, did you think I was crazy?”  I said, “No, I didn’t think you were crazy at all! I just thought it was WAY COOL!”  He said that the other day, near the beginning of this fundraising run, he was running through the freezing cold, sleet and rain. The only thing that kept him going was thinking about these deaf kids who will benefit from this run.  Hearing aids, FM systems, and assistive listening devices are expensive. Justin wants to help make sure deaf kids have what they need. This run will make a difference!

Talking with Justin made the run easy.   I left inspired!

It was interesting, this morning I was listening to a podcast by the amazing Michael Hyatt about how to get things done, even when others tell you that you’re crazy or the idea is too ambitious.  One thing that just kept repeating in my head was the idea to THINK BIG and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.  Have a plan and just take it by the horns and do it.  Justin was a PRIME example of this.

I got the pleasure of running with Justin for 2 miles.  (I had to turn around and run back to my car cuz it was time to get my little guy.) My run with him was short but it was worth the crazy notion to change my clothes and scout him out.  It was an inspiring run!  And dang it, it was just fun – and the weather was absolutely perfect!  It really was awesome!Run - Justin Osmond 3

Good luck Justin!  I hope all your dreams and the dreams of many deaf kids come true!  My family is looking forward to running at the Super Hear-O 5k on Saturday in support of this tremendous cause!

Check out and support Justin’s 250-mile Run Fundraiser for Deaf Kids: Facebook.com/Run4HearingRun4Hearing.com and the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund 

 

 

Motherhood – It’s Glorious!

This week we celebrate Mother’s Day.  If you are a mother or if you’ve seen one or if you have one, you probably can agree that being a mother is a difficult task.  Understanding the physical, spiritual and emotional complexity of being a “mother”, may differ depending on the role you play to that title.  Regardless of where we stand to understanding and feeling the great responsibility of mother, we all can probably attest that that calling is like no other.

Sometimes, I think, “life can’t be better than this”… and then it gets better.  Sometimes I think, “nothing is harder than this” … and then it gets harder.  But throughout all these times, the really good and the really-not-so-good, I am reminded that life is meant to be glorious! And as Mother’s Day approaches, I am once again reminded that motherhood, my mother, my web of beautiful mothers who I look to as shining examples, and my own opportunity to be a mother truly is GLORIOUS!

“Glorious” in ASL 

 

 

Laugh, You Will!

Darth1

How do you know you’re a true STAR WARS fan?  You celebrate May 4th with corny jokes and movie-marathons!

Oh yes, I think I would be sent to the dog-house if I didn’t add a Star Wars themed post to celebrate this day!  My hubster and kids are big Star Wars fans!  Okay, okay … I must admit, I kinda like them too, even though it took me a few years into marriage.  Ha.

So, to celebrate this day of days, here are a few Star Wars jokes that we love …
And “May the FOURTH be with you!”  (Yes, I had to get that in there!)

 

Q: What program do Jedi use to view PDF files?
A: Adobe Wan Kenobi

 

Darth2

Q: What do you call Chewbacca when he has chocolate stuck in his hair?
A: Chocolate Chip Wookiee.

 

Q: What is a Jedi’s favorite toy?
A: A yo-yoda

 

Q: Which Star Wars character works at a restaurant?
A: Darth Waiter

 

Q: What do you call a pirate droid?
A: Arrrrr2-D2

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Q: What do you call potatoes that have turned to the Dark side?
A: Vader Tots

 

Q: Where does Qui-Gon keep his jam?
A: In a Jar-Jar.

 

Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant with Darth Vader?
A: An ele-Vader.

 

Q: Why should you never tell jokes on the Falcon?
A: The ship might crack up.

 

Q: What did Obi Wan say to Luke when he tried to eat bantha pie with a spoon?
A: “Use the FORK, Luke.”

Darth4

 

Q: Why was yoda such a good gardener?
A: He had a green thumb!

 

Q: Where does Princess Leia go shopping for clothing?
A: At the Darth Maul

 

Q: Why shouldn’t you ask yoda for money?
A: Because he’s always a little short

 

Q: What do you call 5 siths piled on top of a lightsaber?
A: A Sith-Kabob!

 

Q: How is Ducktape like the Force?
A: It has a Dark Side, a Light side and it binds the galaxy together.

 

Do you have other good Star Wars jokes?  Share them on my Facebook page!

DEAL: FREE Deluxe Grain Mill

4/29/15-5/2/15

Emergency Essentials has a GREAT deal this week …

Spend $125 and get a FREE Victorio Deluxe Grain Mill!

 

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