Christmas Party Shenanigans Ending 2022′ With Some Harmony!!~

Sign Shares International | The Capsule Group

by SS contributor


Sign Shares Inc Sign and The Capsule Group is celebrating Christmas.

Published by Sign Shares  · 11h  ·

Sign Shares International | The Capsule Group

by SS contributor

Where do we begin, it has been a very long time that we congregated together, celebrating together, and spending time amongst each other just embracing life. Closing out the year with warm hugs, fresh smiles, new perspectives, and creative endeavors. We appreciate everyone that came out and share togetherness for an intimate gathering. Hosted by one of our own.

We have all been through a lot, enduring a pandemic, the passing of loved ones, separations, distance, it’s a a rebooted world that we interpret for.

It was such a heartfelt gathering seeing those that could come at the spur of the moment to those that we know well, and those we are now being introduced to happily moving on with our journey. Everyone welcomed each other sharing the support of our communities, our disability communities, and our beliefs of just embracing life with positivity. It shows us that we still stand strong for the love of the community and will always be there for another.

Networking and collaborations were fruitful as we had a fun time doing so. Our event took place at the savory Perry steakhouse at Town Center in Sugarland Texas. Our crew showed us wonderful hospitality and we highly recommend them, and we’ll visit them again. It was a lovely evening with Christmas lights throughout the Town Center. Thanks to everyone who brought a white elephant gift and participated in our reindeer games. Yes, we said it reindeer games!! The ugly sweater contest was optional, but after the pandemic, people just felt like dressing up and getting all sparkly.

We’re a diverse bunch as we featured a known artist highly respected amongst the art community, Mr. Ray Dunlap. Ray, a color-blind local Texas artist, defines his work as being spiritual and sees himself as a Contemporary Folk Artist. Born in Palestine, TX and lived in Tokyo Japan at the age of 21, Ray’s art is influenced by his country and contemporary hemispheres. We were very gracious to receive a piece of Ray’s art that was given away as a prize. Those that did not win the prize will be commissioning Ray’s wonderful work. That’s harmonious!

Congratulations to Mr. William Pool, our prize recipient of an intriguing painting entitled: ‘Paying Tribute To All The Tribes’. The artist, Ray Dunlap, description of his painting: “It’s about everyone’s mixture of DNA and characteristics that speaks volumes of communications that conveys that everyone is one community, one communion.”

We learned it was one of Mr. Dunlap’s paintings from the 1st phase of 15 paintings out of the entire 50-piece series entitled: ‘Awaking of the Whales’. What an honor to learn this from the artist himself as Ray shared with us what his two pieces meant. ‘Awaking of the Whales’ is a long series with a Japanese flair of 50 paintings that are comprised in a mindset while coming into a clarity of sobriety, while acknowledging the checkpoints a person’s life undertakes in a spiritual sense, a life framing experience that we all endure a rapture at some point in our individual paths, and walkways during our earthly lives.

Mr. Dunlap also brought a private piece he had painted that was on display. It was a very heartfelt piece as he painted it live while the person who thought they were commissioning a piece for the event, shared with Ray a personal checkpoint of their life’s tale from the recent past year, to include the pandemic, and all that transpired. Little did they know that Ray was able to produce their expressionism during the conversation. Call it a ‘live’ interpretive collaboration of the minds, and the result was a breathtaking emotion that no longer had to be contained by the person who shared with Ray. That is what Ray is good at, spiritual interpreting, spirit filled awakenings. We had questions from an audience member asking what the Japanese writing meant on the side of this painting. Ray indicated it was a simple poem, which he translated from Japanese into English… {The Flowers are becoming water…}.

Ray currently has art on display throughout Houston, TX with prior shows in Japan where he is quite popular.

Well, that certainly wrapped our event with a bow! The food was spectacular, the ambience was loving, and we thank everyone for creating these fond memories with us! “We all share the same sky. We are all one community!”. Thanks to our Host: Taylor S. our blog contributor, and more. Special thanks: Megan for interpreting for our guests, Perry’s Steakhouse, our Sign Shares International, Capsule Group Crew, and our Creator! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, onward to the next gathering! Love & Light! Take it away Taylor for our next Holiday Blog shenanigans. Artist Web Page: Ray Dunlap @

Special Attendee Thanks To:

🖋💌 Linda Guerrero – Fort Bend Recognized Realtor & First Vice President Board Member for Women’s Council of Realtors.…/Linda-Guerrero-593937a

🖋💌 Patti Molina: Business Entrepreneur & Community Advocate, Specializing in Visually Impaired Community members & Outreach for Women in Domestic Violence Situations.

🖋💌 Shirley Fluker T: CODA – Medicare, Life Insurance and Retirement Specialist For Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community Members.

🤟 Megan Mantey: Specialty Interpreter Sign Language & Advocate. Deaf & Hard of Hearing Proud.

🤟 Taylor Southerland: Our Hostess with the Mostess. Sign Language, Blogger, and more.

🤟 Kay & Bill Arnett: Specialty Sign Language & Advocate. It isn’t a party with out these two. We love them bunches!

🖋 💌 Vic Trammell: Executive Coordinator – Commercial Landscaping Services North Houston Areas. His music tastes are impeccable.

🖋💌 Christina Goebel: Published Author, Administrator, Teacher, & Advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.


Visit On WordPress For More Picts:…/christmas-party-shenanigans…/

The Twelve Days of Christmas Signs

Co-Contributor Taylor Southerland

The Twelve Days of Christmas Signs

Keeping in theme with Christmas, I decided to do an article on some easy Christmas signs. You and your family can learn a new sign, in American Sign Language, everyday for the twelve days of Christmas. The pictures for these signs are from They are so simple and easy to learn. So let’s get to it!


To sign Christmas, make a C handshape, place it in front of your body, and turn towards you moving outward. 


To sign Santa, make an open C handshape, start at the chin, move downward in a semi circle pattern. 


To sign sleigh, take your two index fingers, bend them, put your hands out palms up, and move in an outward and slightly downward motion.


To sign reindeer, use an open handshape, start at your temple, and move outward in a semi circle motion.


To sign stocking, point your index fingers palms down, and move your hands in an alternating backward and forward motion. 


To sign gift, take your two index fingers and bend them, palms facing each other, and move them outward in a slight curved motion.


I do not have pictures for this one. For this sign, your right hand will be a horizontal closed handshape and your left hand will be in a fist. Use your right hand, slightly tap the left hand, and then move it backward in a horizontal S motion.


This is a two step sign. To sign hot chocolate first sign the word hot. To sign hot, use a claw like handshape, start at the chin, and turn your hand outward. To sign chocolate, make a fist with your left hand and a C handshape with your right hand. Put your right hand on top of your left hand, and make a circular motion with your right hand. 


I don’t have a picture for this one either. This is a two step sign as well. To sign ornaments, first pretend as if you are holding a ball, then hold out your left index finger horizontally with your palm towards you, then take your right index finger and hook it vertically onto your left index finger.


To sign jesus, your left hand will be in a vertical closed handshape, your right middle finger will touch your left palm. Then your right hand will be a vertical closed handshape, and your left middle finger will touch your right palm.


To sign angel, you will use a closed handshape with the thumb out, touch your shoulders with your fingertips, and turn your hands outward.


To sign merry Christmas, first you need to sign merry and then you will sign Christmas. To sign merry, your hands will be in an open handshape with the thumbs out, move in a circular motion touching your chest and then move outward again. Then you will sign Christmas.

If you need more of a visual to help you learn, click here for the youtube video. I hope you enjoy learning new signs with your family! Merry Christmas and Happy Signing!!

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

The Twelve Days of Christmas Lights

Co-contributor Taylor Southerland

The Twelve Days of Christmas Lights

I don’t know about you, but Christmas lights bring such joy to my heart. One of my favorite traditions every year is driving around the neighborhood looking at all the beautiful lights. Every year I see people post all over social media looking for the best places to go see Christmas lights. I have decided to make a list, including hyperlinks to websites, of twelve places you and your family can go this year. 


This is a drive thru place of lights.This is great for little ones if you are worried about bringing them around a large crowd. You can stay in your vehicle the whole time. You can even bring your own snacks and drinks! It has four different locations. You can click the city below and it will take you straight to the tickets page. 

  • Katy– 555 Katy Fort Bend rd Katy, Texas 77494
  • Arlington– 1800 E Lamar Blvd Arlington, Texas 76006
  • San Antonio– 1 Retama Pkwy Selma, Texas 78154
  • Spring– 21300 Interstate 45 N Spring, Texas 77373

Dates and Hours

The light park is open from November 4th to January 1st. 

Monday – Thursday open from 5:30pm to 10:00pm

Friday – Sunday open from 5:30pm to 11:00pm 

Christmas week hours- the 19th-26th open from 5:30pm to 11:00pm

Ticket costs

Tickets are available online. The venue charges per vehicle instead of per person. 

5th-8th, 12th-15th, 30th-1st 

Tickets are $39 with a $3 online fee.

9th-11th, 16th-25th

Tickets are $49 with a $3 online fee.

The dasher pass gives you a shorter wait time as well as 4 pairs of magic glasses. 

Tickets for the Dasher Pass are $95 with a $3 online fee.


Tickets are $29 with a $3 online fee.


Preston Wood Forest’s Nite of Lights is a long standing tradition for this Tomball neighborhood. This is their 44th year! It is completely free to drive through this beautiful neighborhood. They have contests and awards for best lights. Award winners will have something in their front yard stating they won. Lights stay on from 6pm to 10pm on week nights and 6pm to 11pm on weekends. I have not personally been to this neighborhood yet. However, I do plan on taking a trip to Tomball this holiday season!


The galaxy lights are absolutely amazing! If you have the chance to go this year, please do. The galaxy lights are at the Houston Space Center located at 1601 NASA Pkwy Houston, Texas 77058. This is not a drive thru. You can walk around and take pictures with all the gorgeous lights! 

Hours and Dates

The galaxy lights runs from November 12th to December 31st.

Monday – Sunday 6pm to 10pm


Ticket cost

Galaxy lights only 

Tickets range from $19.95-$27.95

Adult admission and galaxy lights

Tickets range from $49.90-57.90

Child admission and galaxy lights

Tickets range from $44.90-52.90

Senior admission and galaxy lights 

Tickets range from $47.90-55.90


This is one of my personal favorites! I go see the Pecan Grove lights every year. This is another neighborhood that is known for its holiday light displays. Residents of Pecan Grove are asked to have their lights up by November 26th and they usually stay up until the new year. This one is free to drive through. Most times, residents will be out interacting with people driving by. It is so much fun. To find this neighbor, just type Pecan Grove Richmond into your maps and it will pull right up. I believe the drive to Richmond is definitely worth it!


This place has so many beautiful lights as well as different attractions. It has a festival of lights to walk through and take pictures with. It also has a building that has nothing but cool ice sculptures. Moody Gardens is located at One Hope Boulevard Galveston, Texas 77554.

Hours and Dates

The holiday attractions at Moody Gardens are open from November 19th to January 7th.

Yearly Attractions

Open: 10AM – 5PM Daily

Christmas Day Open: 12PM – 5PM

Ice Land

Peak Nights: 10AM – 10PM

Value Days: 11AM – 9PM

Christmas Day Open: 12PM – 10PM

Festival of Lights

Peak Nights: 4PM – 10PM

Value Days: 4PM – 9PM

(Including Christmas Day)

Ticket cost

7th and 8th, 12th-15th, January 3rd-5th

Holiday pass

Adult ticket is $65 and a child ticket is $45

Festival of lights 

Adult ticket is $25 and a child ticket is $21

Ice Land 

Adult ticket is $29 and a child ticket is $24

9th-11th, 16th- January 2nd, January 6th and 7th 

Holiday pass

Adult ticket is $70 and a child ticket is $50

Festival of lights 

Adult ticket is $29 and a child ticket is $25

Ice Land 

Adult ticket is $35 and a child ticket is $29


This light park is a little different. For this one, you can either drive through or you can park and watch the lights. Dasher’s Lightshow is located in humble at 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy Humble, Texas 77338.

Dates and Hours

This attraction is open from December 2nd to the 31st. 

The hours are a little different for this one. Friday and Saturday only from the 2nd to the 18th the park is open from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. 

After the 18th the park is open Monday through Sunday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. 

Ticket Cost 

For drive through, tickets are $29.95 per vehicle.

For park and watch, tickets are $9.95 per person


The magical winter lights is such a wonderful place to go for lights! It is stunning! However, not only do they have lights, they also have a carnival and a circus. How cool is that? Magical Winter Lights is located at 2525 FM 565 Baytown, Texas 77523. 

Dates and Hours 

This attraction is open from November 18th to January 7th. 

Sunday-Thursday the park is open from 5pm to 10pm

Friday and Saturday the park is open from 5pm to 11pm

Ticket Cost

Festival Admission 

Adult tickets are $25, Family tickets are $88, and child tickets are $17

Carnival tickets

These are $26 per person 

Circus tickets

For general tickets is it $10 and for VIP tickets is it $15


River oaks is a stunning neighborhood filled with beautiful mansions. This is another personal favorite of mine. The lights on these houses are insane! The neighborhood is located at River Oaks Blvd Houston, Texas 77019. It is completely free to drive through this incredible neighborhood. Residents put their lights up by Thanksgiving day and keep them up until New Years Day. Lights are turned on at 5pm everyday and turned off by 10pm every night. I believe this is 100% worth the trip. 


Lonestar Lights is a 17 acre light park. This is a walk through with so many wonderful photo opportunities for all of those lovely Christmas cards! This massive light park is located at 5 Anticipation Drive Huntsville, Texas 77320

Dates and Hours 

The park is open from December 15th to the 22nd. 

Gates open at 5:30pm

Last entry into the park is 9:00pm

The park closes at 10:00pm

Ticket cost

16th and 17th 

Tickets are $35 for adults and $22 for children


Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children


The Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo is such an iconic attraction for the city. You get to walk through the zoo after dark and see all the beautiful lights! This is another place that is great for Christmas pictures. The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Texas 77030. 

Dates and Hours

The zoo lights run from November 18th to January 8th. 

The lights are open from 5:30pm to 10:30pm and it is closed December 7th, 24th, and 25th. 

Ticket Cost 

Tickets range from $24.70 to $35.95


This light park is pretty cool. It has different theme nights including date nights, college nights, and movie nights. It has over 3 million lights, holiday shopping, food, and so much more. It is located at Constellation Field 1 Stadium Dr sugarland, Texas 77498.

Dates and Hours

This is open from November 18th until January 1st. 

Sundays-Thursdays it is open from 6pm to 9pm

Fridays-Saturdays it is open from 6pm to 10pm

Ticket Cost

General Admission 

Adult tickets are $17, Child tickets are $14, Senior tickets are $14, and Military tickets are $14


Santa’s Wonderland is a crazy big park! This is another iconic attraction. This park has so many different attractions as well as beautiful lights. This one is located in College Station at 18898 Hwy 6 College Station, Texas 77845. 

Dates and Hours 

Santa’s Wonderland is open from November 11th to December 30th.

Mondays-Thursdays it is open from 6pm to 11pm

Fridays it is open from 6pm to midnight

Saturdays it is from 3pm to midnight

Sundays it is open from 3pm to 11pm

Ticket Cost

If you buy tickets online, adult tickets are $44.95 and child tickets are $40.95

If you buy tickets at the gate, adult tickets are $49.95 and child tickets are $44.95

I hope this article helps you find great places to look at Christmas lights. Go out and make some amazing traditions this year. Take all of the pictures with your significant other and your family, post them everywhere. Show them off! Maybe you will find a new place that will become your tradition every year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Twelve Days of Christmas Movies

Co-contributor Taylor Southerland

Twelve Days of Christmas Movies

The Christmas season is finally upon us! I don’t know about any of you, but Christmas movies are my favorite! To be honest, I watch them all year long. Watching movies is a great way to spend some time together as a family during the holiday season. To save you the trouble of searching for the perfect Christmas movies, I have compiled a list of my all time favorite movies that I watch every Christmas season. If you start this watch list on December 13th, you can watch a different movie every night for the twelve days of Christmas!


This is my absolute favorite Christmas movie! I love this movie so much. I actually have a tattoo of the grinch on my arm. This is the live action version starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. This movie came out in the year 2000. It is about a man that hates Christmas and a little girl who tries to show him the true meaning of the holiday. The little girl, Cindy Lou Who,  attempts to change the Grinch’s view about Christmas. Nothing works. The Grinch thinks that Christmas is all about the presents people get and the decorations they put up. To try and ruin everyone’s Christmas he goes to the town of Whoville on Christmas Eve and steals all the presents and decorations. When everyone wakes up happy on Christmas morning, despite not having anything, the Grinch realizes that Christmas means more than just presents and decorations. This is a wonderful movie to watch with the kids. It shows them that Christmas is about family and spending time together. This movie can be found on HBO MAX with a subscription, and Prime video to rent for $3.99.


This is a different version of the classic movie “Frosty the Snowman”. This movie came out in the year 2005. It is about a small town that has very strict rules for all the people that live there. The town has been this way for so long, it seems like there is no fun to be had due to the rules. Frosty the snowman comes to this town to restore joy and bring happiness just in time for the holiday season. I believe that every adult needs to watch this movie every year. It shows that there is more to life than just all work and no play. This movie can be found on Peacock and Prime Video to rent for $3.99.


This is another movie that is a retelling of a classic. We all know and love the original Beauty and the Beast Disney movie. This is the Christmas version. This movie came out in the year 1997. It is about Belle trying to celebrate Christmas in the castle. Little does she know, the Beast hates Christmas. He tries everything to make sure Christmas does not happen. However, Belle is persistent. She does everything in her power to make him celebrate Christmas again. It isn’t until Beast finds the gift Belle made for him, that he finally opens his heart to the idea of Christmas. This is another great movie to watch with the kiddos. Especially ones that already love the original. This movie can be found on Disney Plus with a subscription. 


This movie is great for the kids that are starting to think Santa is not real. This will help keep the magic going for a little bit longer. This movie came out in the year 2004. It is about a boy who has stopped believing in Santa. It takes you on his journey upon the Polar Express traveling to the North Pole to meet Santa. The end of the movie allows kids to realize that you don’t need to see Santa to believe in him. This movie can be found on HBO MAX with a subscription or Prime Video to rent for $3.99. 


I watch this movie every Thanksgiving. It is a tradition in my family. When the other two movies came out, we added those to the tradition as well. This movie, starring Tim Allen, came out in the year 1994. It is about this man, Scott Calvin, who does not have much Christmas spirit. On Christmas Eve Scott sees a man, Santa, on his roof and yells at him to get down. Santa gets scared, he slips, and falls off the roof. Scott puts on Santa’s jacket and, unbeknownst to him, becomes the new Santa. The rest of the movie and the next two movies take you through his journey of juggling family like and being Santa Clause. This movie, as well as the other two, can be found on Disney Plus with a subscription and Prime Video to rent for $3.99.


This is a modern take on a Christmas musical. I found this movie by accident one day while I was trying to find something new to watch. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. This movie came out in the year 2020. This is about an inventor who had his inventions stolen from him. Instead of picking himself back up, he falls into a bad slump and alienates everyone. His granddaughter, deserprate to meet him, makes up a lie so she can spend a few days with him. This movie takes you through the journey of this man finding his spark again and putting his family back together. The music and singing in this movie is phenomenal! This movie can be found exclusively on Netflix with a subscription.


This is another Christmas musical. This movie came out in the year 2012. It is about a woman, Holly, trying to join a caroling group that her mom was previously apart of. Holly was rejected from the group and decided to start her own. This movie takes you through their journey of trying to beat out the Bells for the caroling spot at the mall on Christmas Eve. This is a really cute movie with great music! This movie can be found on Prime Video with a subscription, Peacock, Freeform, and Tubi. 


If you love Dolly Parton, you will love this movie! This Christmas movie, starring Dolly Parton, came out in the year 1996. This is about a woman, Ruby Diamond, who has died in a car crash. She has not done enough for other people to get into Heaven. Ruby is sent back down to earth to help put a family back together. The movie takes you on her journey trying to be a nanny for this family while also trying to fulfil her good deed to get into Heaven. This movie can be found on Tubi, Pluto, and Prime Video to rent for $2.99.


This movie, starring Will Farrell, came out in the year 2003. This is about a human, Buddy, who was raised in the North Pole by elves. He really believes that he is an elf and is devastated when he figures out that he is human. Buddy realized that his biological dad lives in New York. He travels to New York to find his father, only to find out that his father doesn’t do Christmas. Buddy tries everything he can to connect with his father and make him believe again. This is such a great family movie. It is a comedy for any age. This movie can be found on HBO MAX with a subscription, and Prime Video to rent for $3.99.


This classic movie is based off the Charles Dickens book. This Disney animated version came out in the year 2009. This is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. This movie takes you on Ebenezer’s journey of seeing the errors of his way. It shows him that being a mean person will only make him end up all alone. This a great movie for the kids to watch. It shows the value in sharing. The Disney version can be found on Disney Plus with a subscription, and Prime Video to rent for $3.99.


Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I am almost 27 years old and I still watch this movie every Christmas. This movie came out in the year 1999. This has three different stories in it. The first story shows what it would be like if Christmas was everyday. It shows the good thing about Christmas being one day a year. The second story is about Goofy trying to show his son that Santa is real. The third and final story shows that it isn’t the gift that counts, but the thought that is put into it. This movie is great for little kids, big kids, and adult kids. This movie can be found on Disney Plus with a subscription, and Prime Video to rent for $3.99.


Now this is a Christmas classic! This, in my opinion, is one of the best christmas movies ever made! This classic came out in the year 1946. This story shows that no matter what you think, you matter to the people around you. This shows the importance of the impact you can make on even one person’s life. This is such a wonderful heartfelt movie that always makes me cry happy tears. This movie can be found on Prime Video with a subscription. 

That concludes my twelve days of Christmas movies! I hope these movies bring light and joy to your family like they have for my family. The holidays are a time to be with family and make memories. Maybe you can make some new memories with your family this Christams with these Christmas classics. 

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Fun activities to do with family and friends this Thanksgiving

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Fun activities to do with family and friends this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only two days away! Bringing with it all the wonderful activities families look forward to at gatherings every year. With covid having such a large impact on our big family gatherings these past few years, it is finally time to bring those activities back around this holiday season. I have scoured the internet looking for fun things to do and this is what I found. Here are three enjoyable activities to make memories with at your family feast. 

Who doesn’t enjoy a great game of family charades? I know it is a fan favorite for me. However, I found a way to make it more festive this year. Now, don’t let me fool you. This wasn’t an original idea. For the original post click here. For those of you who have not played charades before, here’s what you do. Take your thanksgiving words, I will list them below, and write them down on strips of paper. Fold your strips of paper, put them into a cup or bowl, and give it a good shake. Divide into two equal teams. The first person for the first team will take out a paper and act out what the word is. Everyone one that team has to guess the word. If they get it right that team gets a point. The person will continue acting out as many words as they can for one minute. At the end of that one minute, tally up how many words the team got right. Continue the same thing with the next team. Do this until you run out of words. After all words have been acted out, the team with the most points wins! 

Thanksgiving words for charades 

Turkey  Oven  Gravy  Leftovers  Mashed potatoes  Pie  Family  Thankful  Pilgrim  Mayflower  Fall  Dinner  Dessert  Tasty  Cooking  Tablecloth  Home  Hungry  Drumstick  Football  Leaves  Blessing  Feast  Gobble  Wishbone  Centerpiece  Friends  Volunteer  Harvest  Pumpkin  Parade

Scattergories have always been a crowd pleaser in my home. The way to play scattergories is; you have these lists numbered 1-6. Each list has six categories on it. Each person gets a list and a sheet of paper. You roll the alphabet die and whatever letter it lands on has to be the first letter of each word you put down for each category. Set a timer for two minutes and try to get as many categories as you can. After the timer runs out, each person calls out what they had. For each answer you get 1 point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins. I went looking through pinterest and found a thanksgiving version of the game. For the original post with free printables for all the lists, click here.

Thanksgiving scattergories lists


  1. Seen in a holiday parade
  2. At a football game
  3. I’m thankful for
  4. Thanksgiving food
  5. Family members
  6. Cities where family lives 


  1.  Football players
  2. Parade balloons
  3. Thanksgiving side dishes
  4. Places to nap
  5. Fall colors
  6. Thanksgiving dessert 


  1. NFL teams
  2. Thanksgiving traditions 
  3. Family nicknames
  4. Animals with feathers
  5. States 
  6. Reminds me of Fall


  1. Grown on a farm
  2. Black Friday deals
  3. Foods kids hate
  4. What to do with leftover turkey 
  5. Holiday songs
  6. Modes of transportation


  1. Board games
  2. Vegetables 
  3. Family members
  4. Holiday decorations
  5. Found on a dinner table
  6. Places to nap


  1. People in your family 
  2. Seen in a holiday parade 
  3. Football players
  4. NFL teams
  5. Grown on a farm
  6. What I want for Christmas

This last activity is something your family can start on Thanksgiving and continue doing until Christmas day. It is an acts of kindness jar. On Thanksgiving day you and your family will get jar of some sort and decorate it. This will be your acts of kindness jar for the holiday season. Write out the kind acts that you want to do this holiday season on strips of paper, fold them up, and put them in your jar. Each day one person will pull an act from the jar and the family will perform the kind act together. This is a great way to spread joy and kindness throughout the entire holiday season. Listed below will be 20 acts of kindness to start off your jar. To see the original post will more kind acts click here

Kind acts

  1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  2. Rake your neighbor’s leaves
  3. Make get well cards and take them to the hospital
  4. Collect and donate books to the library
  5. Write thank you notes to teachers
  6. Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru line
  7.  Bring balloons to a patient at the children’s hospital
  8. Donate old games and toys to a women’s shelter
  9. Deliver treats to your local fire or police station 
  10. Write thank you notes to the doctors and nurses and deliver them to the hospital
  11. Send Christmas cards to deployed soldiers 
  12. Go caroling at a nursing home
  13. Be Santa for a family in need
  14. Go out to eat and over tip your server
  15. Leave a gingerbread house kit on a neighbor’s porch
  16. Leave a Christmas gift for your amazon delivery driver
  17. Offer to mow your neighbors lawn
  18. Take a friend to lunch
  19. Offer to help put up your neighbors Christmas lights
  20. Write a kind note and give it to a stranger

The holidays are a great way to be together with the people you love. These fun activities are a wonderful way to make even more memories together. Now, these do not have to be the only games you play this thanksgiving. Break out that game of chess, monopoly, go fish! Whatever you want. Just try to enjoy the company you are surrounded with this year. 

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Staying Safe During The Holidays

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Staying safe during the holidays

We all know thanksgiving and black friday are coming up. Christmas and new years are right behind them. We all know that quite a few accidents happen around the holidays. People drinking or driving quickly trying to get parties, family gatherings, or even sales on black friday. People get robbed or get into fights over the last product on the shelf that everyone wants. People set up scam sites on the internet to scam people out of their money. People start acting crazy around the holidays. So, how can you stay safe around the holidays? 

Anyone who travels to different family gatherings can tell you that the roads are crowded with crazy drivers on thanksgiving and christmas. People are speeding because they are stressed out about being late. People have already started drinking at the first gathering but are still the ones driving to the next gathering. During the holiday season it is even more important to go the speed limit and continuously check your mirrors while on the road. If you are staying late at a family or friend’s house, try to stay the night. It is better to drive early the next morning instead of late at night with all the drunks on the road. If you have to drive home late at night, try to avoid the highways on your way home. If you happen to be the one who has been drinking, please get a designated driver for your safety and the safety of those around you. 

We all know that family time can be stressful. Not all families get along. Actually, most families don’t get along. Putting everyone in a room and expecting them to get along is a recipe for disaster. One sibling tries to one up the other. Cousins bringing up past arguments. In laws.. That’s enough said in itself. What do you do when feelings start to get hurt? Do you walk away and cool off? Not usually. Most people stay and argue to the point that things escalate and fights break out. This year, you are going to walk away. Staying safe doesn’t just mean physically or financially. It means staying safe emotionally too. This year put your feelings and mental health first. Walk away. Allow yourself to cool down before punches start being thrown.

If you are shopping in person there are a few things you can do to stay safe. The first and probably most important thing is to never shop alone. Most people out there looking to rob someone prey on the people, mostly women, who are shopping by themselves. Always bring a buddy. Make it a girls errand day. Another way to stay safe is parking. Always find parking in a well lit area as close to the front of the store as you can get. I know it may seem easier to park in the back. However, this is usually where people like to lay low and wait for unsuspecting shoppers to come out to their cars. The last thing you can do to stay safe is always be aware of your surroundings. Look around at the people in the store. Always keep your eye out. Did you see the same person at the last few stores? If you think you have seen the same person at more than one store you have been in that day this is what you do. Calmly walk around the store and try to find a security guard. If you cannot find a security guard, find an employee with a radio and let them know the situation. They can call someone that can walk you out of the store and make sure you get in your car safely. 

There are so many fake websites and scammers out there especially during the holidays. I could do a whole article on just this topic. However, a paragraph will have to do for now. People really need to be careful when buying from facebook or instagram ads. Many people set up fake websites during the holidays. There are a few things to look for when trying to decide if a website is legit or a scam. The biggest thing to look for is spelling errors. Take a look at the web address. If there is a misspelling in the web address, that’s an automatic red flag. The next thing to look for is if there is a way to contact customer support. If there is not an address, email, and phone number, it is probably a scam. The next thing I usually like to do when trying out a brand new website that I have never heard of? I usually go to social media and look for real people who have bought from these websites. If I cannot find any, I don’t buy from that website. Another thing to watch out for are text message scams. Many people will try to text you claiming to be your bank, amazon, facebook, ect. Do not click the link in the message. Clicking that link allows the scammer access to all your information. If you receive a link for your bank, amazon, etsy or anything else along those lines, always call customer service to confirm they sent the text message. If you find that the company did not send the text message, immediately block the number and change your password for that website. 

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. People start to get desperate. This article is to help you try to stay more alert. Drive more cautiously. Walk away before doing something you will regret. Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye for online scammers. Please stay vigilant during this holiday season and keep yourself safe.  

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

image credit

Robinson, L. (2020, December 1). 5 holiday safety tips. Rampart. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from

Stress Awareness

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Stress awareness

When you google how to deal with stress, everything will say the same things. They say breathe, meditate, exercise, eat healthy, ect. However, what if your stress is money, time, or your relationship. How is meditating, or eating healthy, or breathing supposed to help with those stresses. Some of those things could even add to your stress. What if you don’t have time to exercise, or the money to eat healthier? How is meditating going to help with your relationship?  This isn’t your average article about stress. Here we are going to discuss three different topics of stress and how to try to manage those stressors. 

Almost everyone I have ever talked to stresses about money. With increased gas prices and inflation on pretty much everything, money is a huge stressor. How do you start to manage your money stress? The biggest thing is to redo your budget. I started saving over $500 a month just by redoing my budget. You would be surprised how many of us have memberships or subscriptions that we don’t even use or have completely forgotten about. There are many of us that eat so much because delivery is so convenient nowadays. The easiest way to start redoing your budget is to go through your bank account for the last 90 days. Write down all recurring charges to your account and look up what they are for. If it is a subscription that you forgot about or something you don’t use anymore, cancel it. That gym membership you have not used in four months, or that streaming service you started paying for so you could watch that one show, cancel them. You don’t need them. I just did this myself last month and started saving $300 just by canceling unused memberships. The next thing you do is, go through your bank account for the last 30 days. Write down all the charges you have for takeout or restaurants. You will be surprised how much you actually spend in just door dash or uber eats orders alone. I realized I was spending over $800 a month in food. For just two people! I was completely flabbergasted when I saw that amount. Now I know not everyone wants to cook every night or for lunch everyday. However, you will be amazed by how much you could save by only eating out once or twice a week. You don’t have to cut out door dash or uber eats completely. Just maybe don’t order it for every meal, every day. Doing those two tasks will help you save so much a month and will lower your stress when it comes to money.

Everyone always says there aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes it may feel like this when you have a busy schedule. Time management can be very stressful for a lot of people. How to reduce this stress? Make a schedule. But don’t just make the schedule, actually stick to it. Make a schedule for your day. Plan out how much time you are willing to spend on each task that is needed to be done for that day. Now don’t just wake up and make your schedule for that day. Sit down the night before and plan out what needs to be done. You want to do this the night before so you will know what time you need to go to sleep and what time you will need to wake up. Sticking to a schedule will give you a visual on what you actually have time for and what can wait til later. Once you make your schedule, do not add to it. Did friends or family ask for your help with something that’s not already in your planned schedule for that day? Learn to say no. Now, I know we all want to help our friends and family. However,  it is okay to tell someone that you do not have the time. Don’t be afraid to make your own life and daily activities a priority. Keeping a schedule and not adding more to it will help reduce your time management stresses. 

After talking with quite a few people, I found that another big stressor in life is relationship stress. Couples who have been together for 10 or 20 plus years still stress over their relationship. It is very common. Now, did I read this online somewhere? Absolutely not. I asked real people in very real relationships. New couples, long term couples, engaged couples, married couples. It is the same thing across the board no matter what stage you are in. Am I doing my part, is my partner happy, does my partner feel seen and respected? These are questions that people ask themselves throughout their entire relationship. How do we deal with these stresses? This is actually a very simple answer. Keep doing the little things. Don’t spend the whole day stressing over your relationship. Instead spend the day doing something small for you, your partner, or both of yall as a couple. You would be surprised how the little things can make a big impact. Maybe you and your partner are hanging out with friends outside on a cool night. You know that your partner only drinks water. Next time you go over to the cooler to get yourself a drink, maybe take that bottle of water that’s underneath all the ice and put it on top. Your partner will talk about that one small gesture for days. They will have felt seen and know that you thought about them. Is your house a mess after a long week and you have a day off? Clean the house. Your partner will come home and know that you thought of them and did something so that they didn’t have to after a long day at work. They will know that you respect everything they do by not adding something else for them to do. Now let’s say that you are stressing over feeling like you and your partner are not spending enough time together. Does that mean that you have to plan a fancy date night to add to your money stresses previously mentioned? No! Do something small. Plan an evening in. Maybe yall cook dinner together instead of only one person doing it. Watch that show that yall have been wanting to watch, or watch that episode of that show you missed from last week. Again, it doesn’t have to be big. Continuing to do those little things will help reduce the stress of “am I doing enough”.

 Let’s take a beat and talk about how these stresses can impact your life and your mental health. If you are someone like me, when you get stressed you get very anxious. Not dealing with those stresses head on will make that anxiety grow until you feel that it is impacting your motivation to get things done. We all get overwhelmed with our stresses and this can lead to anxiety. It’s not always easy to deal with anxiety. Now, I am not a doctor so I can’t touch too much on the subject. However, I can share a few links at the bottom of this article that can touch more on the subject as well as a hotline you can call to talk through the anxiety you are feeling

Stress is something we all deal with. It can be overwhelming. However, there are ways to try to reduce each stressor. I really hope this article can help you deal with daily stressors. I have attached a link and a few different numbers you can call if the stress becomes too much and starts impacting other aspects. Please do not hesitate to call one of them. You are not alone. There will always be someone who is there for you. 

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Mental health services link

24/7 mental health helplines 


Anxiety Hotline Number, 

Bulgn. “National Stress Awareness Day Holiday Concept Vector Image on Vectorstock.” VectorStock, 9 Oct. 2020,

“Mental Health Crisis Services.” Texas Health and Human Services, 

What Do I Need To Change To Become An Interpreter

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

What do I need to change to become an interpreter?

This is a question that comes up a lot for interpreting students. Especially extrovert students like I was. When I entered my interpreting program, I was a wild child with a loud mouth. As an interpreter in the field now, I am still a wild child with a loud mouth. I was told going into my program that I would have to change many things about myself. I couldn’t have tattoos, I couldn’t show tattoos, I couldn’t have certain piercings, I had to cut my nails, I couldn’t have colorful nails. I couldn’t have a certain hair color. The list goes on and on. The truth is, almost none of those things are true. I mean absolutely no disrespect to my own former professors. However, it is almost 2023. The field is different now. People are a lot more accepting of things. 

I am an interpreter with long colorful nails, bright and loud tattoos (that do show), and colorful hair. I have not changed my appearance or my personality since I graduated from my program. There are many ways to still be the person you are and be professional at the same time. By now you are probably wondering “But Taylor, how can that be?” Well, let’s find out. Most interpreters are women. We are a woman dominated field. Women love their fake nails and colored hair. Most professors will tell you that you cannot have colored nails. They either have to be nude or french tips. Well, that’s actually wrong. Go out and get those bright nails. Go get those designs you want. “But Taylor, those aren’t professional.” You’re right. They are not professional. However, that’s okay. I have worked a way around that. Go on amazon and get some nude color nail wraps. They are super cheap, easy to apply, and will not mess up the nails underneath. If you have an assignment that requires nude nails (contrary to popular belief, not every assignment is strict about nails) stick on some nail wraps and go. It takes less than 10 minutes to go from personality nails to professional nails. Most women often get bored with the same hair color for long periods of time. We like to change it up and try crazy colors. I know at one point I had bright blue hair. How was I able to still do observation assignments? A wig! If you want to have crazy hair but still need to be professional at times, buy a wig. Amazon has some great natural color wigs. Go out and dye your hair pink or blue or purple. You can still work as an interpreter. Just buy a wig. You want a tattoo on your arm but your professor said you can’t get one because it’s not professional? That is not true! Its 2022! The times are changing. Most people do not care if a person has tattoos or not. I did a concert not too long ago and had all of my tattoos showing. My clients did not care. Know your audience and do not be afraid to ask if they are okay with tattoos showing. You have a client that does not like tattoos? That’s fine! Why? Sweaters, tattoos cover sleeves, makeup! The list goes on. There are many ways to cover tattoos now. 

Moral of the story? You don’t have to change yourself for a job. Let me say it louder for the people in the back. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE YOURSELF FOR A JOB! What happens when you lose your personality? You lose yourself. Go get those nails done. Dye your hair. Get that tattoo or piercing. Don’t forget to be you. At the end of the day, no one wants an interpreter who has lost their personality. How are we supposed to interpret a client’s personality if we don’t even have one of our own? An interpreter is not some robot in all black clothing anymore. Be you! So again I will ask, “what do I need to change to become an interpreter?” The answer. Nothing

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor S.

A Closer Look at Brain Injuries

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Because our brain is central to everything we do in life, anything that limits the capacity of our brain to function at less than optimal levels has the potential to drastically impact our lives. Each area of our brain controls a specific function, or group of functions. So one of the key factors that identifies how a brain injury will manifest itself is the specific location of the brain injury.

There are two over-arching types of brain injuries. These are Traumatic Brain Injury and Non-Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury is caused by trauma, also known as some form of impact, where the force exerted against some portion of our head exceeds our body’s natural capacity to deal with that force. Non-Traumatic Brain Injury is a term that covers the many different means outside of an external impact that can damage our brain.

It is estimated that about 1,000,000 people per year visit the emergency room (A&E) for head injuries. Traumatic Brain Injury is caused by events such as vehicle accidents, physical assaults, injury acquired while playing sport, and falls. A feeling of sickness and/or dizziness may be a side effect of this injury. A mild Traumatic Brain Injury is also known as a concussion while a period between 15 minutes and six hours of loss of consciousness or a period of up to 24 hours of post-trauma amnesia would indicate a moderate Traumatic Brain Injury. Durations exceeding those just mentioned above would indicate a severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

Physical after effects of this type of injury may include symptoms such as balance issues, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Cognitive issues could include memory loss. Emotional issues such as anger could follow as well. The force and location of the injury will play a major factor on what symptoms manifest themselves and everyone in the patient’s support circle should be aware of these possibilities in order to protect the patient and themselves.

There are many things that can cause a Non-Traumatic Brain Injury. A few examples would include brain aneurysm, brain hemorrhage, brain tumor, an stroke. While these root causes appear less dramatic at onset, the damage that can potentially be done is no less impactful.

A cerebral aneurysm is the swell in the wall of a weakened blood vessel in the brain; like a blister. This will exert pressure on the surrounding tissue. Most often, this pressure will not present identifiable symptoms. The danger is that if/when the aneurysm bursts, catastrophic brain injury is possible.

A brain hemorrhage can be caused when a cerebral aneurysm bursts. This is also sometimes called a hemorrhage stroke or brain bleed. There are four different types brain hemorrhages.

  1. Subdural hemorrhage
  2. Extradural hemorrhage
  3. Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  4. Intracerebral hemorrhage

A brain tumor is an abnormal mass of cells within the skull.These cells are multiplying at a rate faster than normal body cells. Tumors or either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Malignant (cancerous) tumors can spread to other parts of the body via the blood stream and/or the lymphatic system. Because this spreading can happen rapidly, early detection and early treatment are critical to recovery. Benign (non-cancerous) tumors do not migrate to other parts of the body, but they do continue to grow and that growth exerts pressure on the brain which can cause damage.

A stroke is an interruption of blood supply to some portion of the brain. It’s the oxygen in the blood that the brain needs. There are two different types of stroke. The hemorrhage stroke was noted in the brain hemorrhage section above. An ischemic stroke is one that is caused by a blood clot in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include:

  1. F-Face. Part of the person’s face starts to droop making it difficult for them to smile.
  2. A – Arms. The person cannot fully lift their arms.
  3. S – Speech. The person has difficulty with speech, often becoming slurred.
  4. T – Time. A person displaying these symptoms must receive immediate medical care to counteract the root cause of the issue and limit the damage to the brain to be as little as possible.

We reach out to our family and friends who have suffered this type of injury or who have had someone in their circle go through this experience. “The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” – Dr. Michio Kaku

Texas Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Purchase Assistance

A word map with words such as audiology, hearing, study, aid, deafness, education, medical.
Locating funding to pay for expensive hearing aids or cochlear implants is worth the time involved. photo credit: Ben Taylor55 Audiology via photopin (license)

Texas Health and Human Services has incorporated links for different programs to help Texans pay for their hearing aids or cochlear implants, which may cost thousands of dollars. There are many programs available to adults wanting hearing support, including service members and veterans, people seeking work or studying, or people who have retired or are not working.

Veterans Programs for Hearing Aid Assistance

For active service members, TRICARE coverage will assist with hearing aids as long as the hearing loss is great enough.

For retired service members, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides assistance with hearing aids. As long as you have ten percent of any service-related disability, you should qualify. You may apply in person or online for VA health care.

Assistance for Working-Age Adults

Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services is the provider who assists people with disabilities who are preparing to work or are working.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission’s website, to qualify for services, you must be able to work, need services to help you do that, and have a disability which is a barrier to employment. Hearing loss and deafness are including in this group.

Diagram of a person and the cochlear implant in place.
A cochlear implant is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment available for hearing loss–usually deafness or near deafness–and involves major surgery. Exploring financial assistance options can save thousands of dollars. photo credit: Rfunderburk90 Ryan-Funderburk-1 via photopin (license)

To apply for services, you may apply at a Texas Workforce Solutions – Vocational Rehabilitation Services office, call 800-628-5115 for information, or send your questions via email to The website cautions you to include your name, phone and address including city, state and ZIP code in your email, but not your Social Security Number or birth date.

If you quality, the rehabilitation office will send you to be evaluated by an approved audiologist who will assess your needs and report to them. After that, you may qualify for hearing aids, cochlear implants, or related equipment.

Programs for Older Texans

An older woman puts in a hearing aid.
As we age, the incidence of hearing loss and deafness increases. photo credit: Senior woman with a hearing aid via photopin (license)

Several programs exist to support providing access for older Texans to get hearing aids or cochlear implants. For people who are 60 or older, the state has 28 area agencies on aging (called AAAs). You can contact staff via email or phone at the agency nearest you by using this list of offices across the state. These programs do consider your financial and minority status, and whether you live in a rural area.

Services for Texans not Using Vocational Services for Work

In 2016, Texas transitioned services for Independent Living to the state’s Centers for Independent Living. Scroll down this page and locate the one nearest you to learn about what supports and services they can provide you with in your area. The centers assist with a variety of needs beyond adaptive equipment, such as advocacy.

Nationwide Hearing Aid Payment Assistance

The Starkey Hearing Foundation has a program, Hear Now, for Americans with low incomes. People who meet their criteria are fitted with new hearing aids. Learn more or complete an application.

While your family may make too much money to qualify for other programs, the Audient Alliance for Accessible Hearing Health Care helps individuals acquire hearing aids at lower prices. Call or download their application form.

Community Organizations

Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, and Masons may have local branches that will fund hearing aids. Their website may not list the extent of what they do, so contact your local branch to learn more.

Other Assistive Listening Devices

While you wait to get hearing aids, there are other options to provide some hearing assistance, depending on your needs. Local stores that sell Made-for-TV products have fairly powerful hearing aids for around $20.

Williams Sound offers more advanced equipment for reasonable prices that may help you hear better at home, religious services, recreational events, in restaurants, at school, and anywhere you need to hear better.

Contact Us

Contact The Capsule Group Inc for more support in locating hearing aid or cochlear implant services.