Friday, September 18, 2009

favorite thing friday (and 994 silicone bracelets)

**Edited to add: Because someone was fiddling around with their blog settings, they inadvertently turned off all the comments. Oops. That's definitely not the thing to do on a day when you launch a new contest and in order to participate, people need to leave a comment.

The problem has been rectified and those responsible have been sacked.


If you were unable to leave a comment previously, you can do it now. Thank you. An abundance of apologies. Also: May the sun shine on your spirit, always.

*** Edited to add (part deux): I have been awake since 3:45 this morning and have driven more than 300 miles in the past 14 hours. And now, for reasons that completely elude me, my computer is having a tantrum. Until I can fix the link in this post that would take you directly to my fundraising page, please click through by clicking on the button that is brightly present on the left side of my blog that reads, "I'm Walking 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-Day!"

Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.

(Name that movie!)

Thank you again. Another abundance of apologies. Also: May those that love you, love you and may those that don't - may God turn their hearts. And if he doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so you can tell them by their limping.

******

When I was a child, my best friend's mother was a Montessori teacher.

I always loved going to Amy's house, because she and her brothers had the most wonderful wooden toys to play with. But what I remember most of all, were their wooden blocks. They were smooth, solid blocks that were fun and easy to handle. And even though I didn't know the first thing about geometry or proportions, I knew that I loved playing with these incredible toys.

It might sound crazy, but I clearly recall playing with my friend's blocks, and a feeling of peace would descend over me. The great Maria Montessori nailed it when she wrote,
"The toys and materials in the home and school for this period of development should be of the very best quality to call forth self-respect, respect and care from the child toward the environment, and the development of an appreciation of beauty."

Even before I became a mother, I've been looking for the same quality blocks. And although you can buy toy blocks just about anywhere - I had no luck finding any that had remotely the same appeal as what I remembered from my childhood. I was beginning to think that maybe I'd dreamed up the whole "proportional, beautiful, good quality" block thing.

(Just like I had dreamed up the notion that my family had promised me a pony when I was 10.)

But then. A few years ago, thanks be to the Glory of the Internet, I stumbled upon a company that makes high end wooden toys. They use solid maple and the corners are smooth. They are proportional and beautiful and although I was 36-years old at the time, I couldn't wait to have my very own wooden blocks and build something magnificent.

With the children, of course.

Because these blocks were really for them.

So, I ordered the starter set of blocks - that came in a beautiful roll away cart - and when they were presented on Christmas morning, I felt like I had provided my children (and husband and myself) the best gift of their entire lives.

Our blocks are kept in a central part of the house and it is no exaggeration to say that our children play with them every day. Sometimes, they build things like towers and bridges and roads and tunnels - and sometimes they hide stuffed animals beneath the blocks and pretend that they are in caves.

Every so often, the kids will dump all the blocks out and have fun piecing them all back together like one huge, interactive puzzle.


Seeing my children embrace order and organization, does things to my brain that I just cannot adequately explain.

The fact is, these blocks encourage creative imagination unlike any other toy that we own.

I love these blocks.

The kids love these blocks.

And if you are between the ages of 3 and 100, you will love these blocks, too.

Which is why I am giving away a set.

Because I need to catch up to my fellow teammates on their outstanding fundraising efforts, I am going to be giving away one Introductory Set with Storage Chest.

These beautiful blocks are valued at $305.00 and would make an awesome Christmas / Hanukkah / Enter the Holiday Here, gift for anyone on your list.

Here are the details on how to enter...

For the past several months, I've been trying to figure out how I can host raffles on my blog without breaking any laws. The only thing that I can come up with, is that for every $5.00 donation people make directly to our fundraising efforts, I will send them a silicone bracelet and enter their name in to a drawing to win a prize.

So, you aren't really entering a raffle - you are buying a bracelet.

(Or 20. You can give them to everyone you know!!)

And, you are being entered in to a drawing to win a prize.

Is there an attorney in the house?


If my interpretation of the law is wrong, and what I am doing is illegal, please don't tell me.

To buy a bracelet and be entered in to what I believe is a totally legal contest - please leave me a comment on THIS post telling me the amount of your donation and what size and color bracelets you would like.

  • The size choices are large (8 3/8" around) medium (7 3/8" around) or small (5 7/8" around).
  • The color choices are hot pink, forest green or royal blue.

Now, if you want to enter this contest and make a $50.00 donation (so that you will be entered 10 times), but you only want one bracelet (and not 10), just tell me in the comments what size and color you want.

Or, if you only want a bracelet and don't want to be entered in to the contest at all (because you already have an awesome block set or don't like blocks at all), leave me those details in your comment.

Then, and this is the most important part, go make a $5.00, tax deductible donation, by clicking through to the button on the LEFT side of my blog that reads, "I'm Walking 60 Miles in the Breast Cancer 3-Day!!"

If you need to make up a pseudo name to protect your identity, that's fine by me. Please just make sure that the name you leave in your comment on THIS post matches the name that you leave on your donation, so that I am able to figure out who is who.

Was that confusing enough?

Fantastic.

(Please send me an e-mail if you have any questions. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.)

Winner will be announced Sunday, October 4.

That's 10-4 big buddy.

Over and out.

45 comments:

  1. I wish you all the luck and fun in your walk for a cure.

    My donation has been made and would like to order the following bracelets:

    1 large blue
    1 medium pink
    1 small blue
    1 small pink

    Thank you!
    Donna Funk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just wanted to say all you do is awesome. I donated and would like a medium in Forest Green.

    susieg

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm donating! $25 (2 green, 2 blue, 1 pink- all medium please!)- you should see it pop up in your donation site anytime now. I walked in the 3Day in Dallas a couple years ago and it was amazing!! The stories we heard from other walkers have stayed with me and inspired me all these years. I'm proud of you for doing this! And on a different note, I LOVED those blocks when I was little!!!
    Laurie Garrett

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have a fabulous time doing the event! I would like 2 medium, one in pink, one in blue.
    DJTFL

    ReplyDelete
  5. I thought it might have been something like fiddling with blog settings...I was also equally convinced that I was just overtired myself and couldn't figure out how to leave a comment.

    My donation has been made and I would like to order the following:

    1 large pink
    1 small blue
    1 small green

    Am so excited, and really hope we win!

    Andrea Snavely

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just made my donation. I would like to order the following bracelets:
    2 medium pink
    2 small pink

    Those blocks are great! Please enter me in your contest to win those!

    So good to see people 'walk the talk'. For all you do, you ARE amazing!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I emailed you my info, but I'll put it here too.

    I donated and would like to receive
    1 large pink
    1 medium pink
    1 large blue
    1 small blue
    1 medium green

    ReplyDelete
  8. delurking just to say: Monty Python & the Holy Grail!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I, too, think all your fundraising efforts and marathon running and breast cancer walking is really awesome.

    I'll have 1 large Pink, 1 large Green, and 1 large Blue.

    Thanks Jen!

    ~Stacey Jenks

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish you all the best and I admire you so much. I donated and I would like a small in blue.

    Nicole F

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Jen,

    I just donated $20, but will only take 2 bracelets. 1 medium green, 1 small pink.

    You Go Girl!

    Laura Beun

    ReplyDelete
  12. please keep the 3 bracelets from my donation...but i want to be entered for the blocks!!!! thanks!!
    kara

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please keep or give away the 3 bracelets from my donation...but i want to be entered for the blocks!!!
    thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wish I lived closer so I could join you on the walk!

    I would like:

    2 small blue
    1 small pink
    1 large blue
    1 medium pink

    Off to make my donation :)

    Kate
    D,J,Z 8/8/06

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just donated. Can I please have 1 medium pink. THank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those blocks look EXCELLENT! You are so awesome for doing this walk.

    Here's my donation:
    1 small blue
    1 small pink
    1 small blue
    1 medium pink

    Thanks!
    Samantha Cleys (Piskor)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jen,
    I just left a donation ($100). I only need 4 bracelets - let's do 4 small pink. Thanks for doing the walk and the fundraising - you are an inspiration. Good luck!

    Steph A

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good luck with your fundraiser - thanks for offering the great blocks - my son would love them!
    I would like a small pink & small blue.

    Barb Coomans

    ReplyDelete
  19. I donated $25.

    2 small pink
    2 small blue
    1 medium pink

    I'm thinking Greg wouldn't want to wear a bracelet, so that should do it!

    Hope the cookie sale went well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are working so hard! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm in UK. Do you accept international participants? :))

    ReplyDelete
  22. Enter me 10 times! Those blocks are awesome (and my mom used to teach the RECORDER at Montessori...how 'bout that! Funny.).

    I'm on my way over to make my donation which will entitle me to 10 entries right now. I'd love a rockin' sweet medium pink bracelet, too! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can't quite recall if I've ever posted here, but I've been meaning to if I haven't already.

    Before I forget, I'd love to have
    1 small blue
    1 small pink
    1 small green

    I don't even have children yet, but I find your blog to be so inspiring. I've been combing your archives for the past few weeks and love that I get to experience the full range of emotions as I read it. Thank you for your intelligent, honest and humorous stories and thoughts. Even more, thank you for being so generous for this cause. I'm amazed and inspired by you and Charlie's willingness to spend so much of your own personal money for giveaways for this cause. Thank you for being such an incredible example of how we can and should help our fellow beings.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Um, is this non-competition open to UK folk? Not that it would stop me donating, but just wondering...

    ReplyDelete
  25. My UK friends: Although Community Playthings has a presence in Europe, it looks like the cost of the blocks is considerably higher.

    Thanks to the plummeting value of the American dollar, unless I am using the online currency calculator incorrectly, it looks like these same exact blocks, in British pounds, would cost $543.00 American dollars, which is about $200.00 more than what they would cost here.

    WOW. Did I calculate that right?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello Jen,

    We donated $20 for our family of four, Connie Hargreaves, AZ. Bracelets:
    1 Large Green
    1 Medium Pink
    2 Small Blue

    I also sent you an e-mail last week, not sure you got it.
    Have a great walk and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Kim Morrissey9/23/09, 11:31 PM

    Jen,

    I have just donated $25. Please enter me into the drawing and I only need 2 bracelets:

    1 small pink
    1 medium pink

    Thank you!
    Kim Morrissey

    ReplyDelete
  28. Our donation has been made for $10, and we would like 1 large pink and 1 large blue.

    Jennifer Manly

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Jen,
    I just donated $20. Thanks for doing this. You amaze me! I'd like the following bracelets, please:

    1 lg. pink
    2 med. blue
    1 med green

    If you need to substitute colors, it's fine by me! :)
    Kim
    PS LOVE your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank goodness for Saturday nights! :) I FINALLY had the time to sit down and donate $25 to your awesome cause ... wohoo! My son is going to be 14 months next week and all he plays with are his soft cloth blocks! I know he would go crazy over these fabulous wooden blocks ... I have my fingers crossed!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Donating now- would love these awesome blocks for my kids!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well I finally found time to make my donation. I don't have any children at home now and I have trouble finding time to get my debit card to make a donation, how do you do everything that you do?
    As for bracelets:
    1 small blue
    1 medium blue
    That's all the bracelet I need but I hope you still have some awesome artwork;)
    Would love, love, love to win the blocks for my grandson.(5 entries)
    Thanks,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi

    I'd like to donate $25 and would like two bracelets:

    1 small pink
    1 small blue

    I live in the LA area and am hoping to do the walk in the next year or two. Maybe I'll see you out there!

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  34. You are such an inspiration! I have been reading your blog for a while now, and think all of your fundraising efforts are wonderful! I did the 3-Day Walk in Boston years ago and it was such a great experience. You will have such a good time! It is a memory I will never forget. I would like to order 1 med pink, 1 small green and 1 small blue. Thank you! Wishing you a beautiful walk! Liz DiStefano

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am so very sorry for your recent loss. I have enjoyed hearing stories about your Uncle Bill through your blog, and am very sad to hear that he is gone.

    I just made my $50 donation, I wish you all the best on your walk. Please send 3 medium green, 2 small blue and 1 small pink.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I just made a $20 donation. Please send me 1 small green & 1 small pink).

    I am doing the Race for the Cure in Austin in November!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am so sorry about Uncle Bill. But he is the catalyst to get me to donate in honor of him and my daddy.

    $25 - 1 large blue
    1 med. pink
    1 sm. pink
    2 sm. blue

    THANK YOU for doing this. And I am so sorry for your loss, I hope the funeral is a time rememberance of the great man he was and not sadness for his death.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jen,
    I donated another $50 in memory of your dear Uncle Bill. I don't need any more bracelets. Thanks.

    Steph A

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm donating $10. No need to send bracelets -- feel free to give them away to others. I did this walk years ago and it was a GREAT experience. Thanks for doing this for women everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I hope i made it in time for the drawing, if not it is worth it. I donated 10$.

    Two small bracelets, not sure what colors are left, they are for b/g twins so one boy color one girly. Thanks!

    Cindy Y.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Rebecca Del Busto10/5/09, 11:39 PM

    I donated $25. I'll take 3 small and 2 medium, any color. I'm hoping I donated in time for the Block Set drawing but if not it's ok. I'm so sorry to hear about your Uncle Bill. What a blessing that you were able to fly back to be with your family this weekend, and your tribute post to him was just beautiful and full of love.

    ReplyDelete
  42. My $20 donation has been made and would like just two bracelets - one small in blue and one large in pink.

    No need to enter my name in the drawing for the blocks. I already have a set and they are my son's favorite toy. We build towers, bridges, buildings, and the like, and he takes great satisfaction in crashing our creations at the end of the day. I know the winner of the blocks will love, love, love them... as my family does.

    Jen, please know that I say a prayer for you and your family daily. You are such an inspiration to me, and your kind words and stories always seem to put a big smile on my face. Good luck with the 3-Day Walk. You will have many, many angels watching over you. God Bless!!

    Katie Z

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm donating $20, would like 2 small pink bracelets (and please enter me for those blocks)!! Thanks :)

    Leslie F

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sign me up for 3 small boy colored bracelets, one large dad colored bracelet and one large mom colored bracelet=$25.

    Thanks!
    lodypgentry :)
    mom to andrew, luke and john 1-08-06

    ReplyDelete
  45. I loved this post it’s exactly what I was looking for.

    ReplyDelete