Archive for the ‘Video Posts’ Category

“Hold On” — by Matt Sena and Alexandria Hanson

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

One of the fun things about having a blog is that I can indulge in a proud-mom moment now and then. Here’s Matt playing and singing “Hold On,” a song that he co-wrote with his friend Alexandria Hanson, at his high school talent show last week. I’m proud of you, Matt! (And I love your lyrics, Alex!)

One quick note: The vocal mic wasn’t turned on at first, but it was quickly fixed. (And hey, the Black Eyed Peas had the same problem at the Super Bowl, right?) ;)

Daniel Hernandez: One Amazing Young Man

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

You’re talking with your kids about the horrific shooting in Tucson on Saturday. It’s tough to know what to say. How can someone do something like this to fellow human beings?

One thing you can say to your children is to point out all the good people who helped in the aftermath of such a shocking event. And 20-year-old Daniel Hernandez, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Congressional intern (who possesses a calm maturity the belies his years) is someone you would want your kids to know about.

Hernandez is credited with helping, in large part, to save Rep. Giffords’ life. Here is his interview with CNN. Bless you, Mr. Hernandez, for being a person we can all look up to.

Texting and Driving: Ask Your Teens to Watch This Video

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Thanks to AT&T for producing this video showing the victims whose lives were changed in a horrible instant, and the next of kin of young people who died, after driving while texting.

Watch it. Then ask your teens and tweens to watch it. Heck, ask your kids’ friends to watch it. We can’t stop spreading the word on the dangers of texting and driving. Too many lives are at risk.

White House Employees’ Message to Gay Teens: “It Gets Better”

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

While this country is far from perfect, I am so grateful to live in a place where this video could be made. Watch as these While House employees, who are gay, talk about how they couldn’t imagine, back when they were 13 or 14 years old — or even younger — where they would be in their lives today, both personally and professionally. How they couldn’t imagine how much happier they would be.

I’m happy that President Obama appears in the video, too. We need that kind of support from our president for young people today. If you are a teen who is struggling with bullying or self-doubt, or if you are an adult who loves a young person who needs to see this video, please watch it and share it.

Want to Get in The Holiday Spirit? Look No Further

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

This flash-mob event caught a bunch of lunch-time shoppers off guard — and made everyone’s day. On November 13th, shoppers at the Seaway Mall in Welland, Ontario were surprised by this rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by members of Chorus Niagara.

The event was created by the folks at Alphabet Photography of Niagara Falls, Ontario. (Check out their website for a truly unique gift idea, by the way.) It made me smile and get teary all at the same time. Moments like this just make me feel better about the world.

This is a great one to share with the kids. Happy holidays!

Celebrating the Holidays at Disneyland!

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

We’re all huge Disneyland fans in our family, and I can tell you, the only thing more fun than spending a day at The Magic Kingdom (and California Adventure — I have to have my Soarin’ Over California fix!) is exploring the parks during the holidays.

(By the way, as you can see, I have no problem looking as ridiculous as possible when it comes to either Disneyland or the holidays…)

Well, there is one thing that’s even more fun — going with my brother, Lee, who hasn’t been to Disneyland since he was a kid, and my sis-in-law, Anya, our 6-year-old nephew, Christian, and our 18-month-old niece, Valentina, who have NEVER been there! Seeing all the Disney magic through the eyes of young kids is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Now, in case you didn’t know, Team Sena has been in the World Series spirit, big time. And what better place to celebrate the Giants’ big win than at our favorite place?

(See those shirts on my husband, Randy, and my son, Matt, above?) Apparently we weren’t alone. It was fun to walk around the park and see how many families were wearing their Giants gear after the big win. (And the guys had to pick the ORANGE tea cup, of course.)

So what did we do to celebrate the big win? At Disney’s Holiday Mom Blogger Event,

we created, with the help of Disney’s wonderf

ul camera crew and Disney ambassador Danielle DuBois (who is a total sweetie — and so knowledgeable about all things Disney), a fun video:

After that, Matt (who is such a Disney fan he asks for “behind the scenes” books about Disneyland for Christmas) interviewed Danielle about the Holidays at Disneyland Resort:

Of course, actually visiting attractions like the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World was the best part. They’re both completely decked out for the holidays — along with Main Street (amazing Christmas tree!), New Orleans Square and, well, everywhere else! Check out this video:

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle looks SO gorgeous and magical at night, and it was fun to see the kids’ eyes light up when they saw the fireworks over the castle. (And did I mention the SNOW that follows the fireworks? Christian ran to catch the snow as it fell. Very cool.)

And the Disneyland holiday parade, featuring Santa, of course, is a fantasy come true, with wooden soldiers, all your favorite characters and more.

Matt is 14, so he’s into Space Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion. He pays so much attention to the Haunted Mansion, and how it differs between the “regular” version and the Haunted Holiday version, that he can tell you what items in the mansion got moved each year and what replaced them! Impressive.

And I’m happy to report that we took Christian to the Haunted Mansion (with a bit of a warning up front about the scary part at the beginning), and he LOVED it. (Thanks to the folks at Disneyland, by the way, for providing some of the great pics, here. It’s so much fun to add them to the shots my family took so you can see more cool stuff. Guests aren’t permitted to take flash pictures in the Haunted Mansion, so it’s fun to get to share this photo.)

Now, I like all the attractions, but what really made my socks go up and down this year was a particular treat you can only get at a certain time of year…

Over at Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square, Chef Martha L. Sigala creates the most mouth-watering Mickey Mouse cinnamon beignets with an incredible eggnog sauce. Forget the calories. (Hey, you’ll burn ‘em off walking around the parks, right?) You can’t miss these beignets.

And Chef Sigala has even been kind enough to share her recipe for the beignets (although you’ll want to go to Cafe Orleans to have them with that fabulous eggnog sauce, trust me):

You’ll want to spend plenty of time in New Orleans Square this time of year. Little Valentina loves any kind of live music, and this is a great place to take a break, enjoy a meal (we recommend the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, which Christian scarfed up), and listen to the music.

And New Orleans Square is decorated SO beautifully for the holidays. It’s a don’t-miss “land” for me this time of year.

All the lights and ornaments will dazzle the little ones, too. It was such a treat to see all the babies’ and toddlers’ eyes light up as their parents strolled through this area of the park.

Not to be outdone, California Adventure is in the holiday spirit as well, and Santa is busy greeting kids over at the Paradise Pier Boardwalk.

Speaking as a mom who’s always on the lookout for the perfect Christmas-card photo, I know you can just picture the wonderful shot you’ll have of your child on Santa’s lap in this beautiful setting. I love the Victorian style of Santa’s coat and vest. (Well done, Mrs. Claus!)

Our family has certain “musts” when we visit Disneyland, and that includes the Enchanted Tiki Room. No, the birds and flowers
aren’t decked out in holiday finery, but when you’re with a toddler who makes bird noises whenever she sees any bird, how can you resist?

Even the waiting area outside the entrance is fun, with flowers, water and even fire attractions to entertain you while you wait for the doors to open. Here’s Valentina waiting, with her Uncle Randy, for the show to begin. Yep. She’s lovin’ life.

Of course, there’s plenty to do for teens, too. (Just ask Matt, AKA “Mr. Fast Pass.” His record on Space Mountain in one day — so far, anyway: five times.) And as you can see, the Disney characters are happy to pose for those great shots with kids of all ages. Here’s Matt and Goofy. (It’s now Matt’s Facebook photo.)

Speaking of photos… Here’s something really cool to look forward to in the new year:

In 2011 (starting around late January), Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections, right in the park. At Disneyland, the façade of “It’s a Small World” will be the canvas for the show. (At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the guest photos will be projected on Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom.)

In both locations, Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture guests’ memories during the day, and as many as 500 photos will be used in each location every day. The nighttime show will use the latest in high- intensity projection technology to create vivid visuals.

The company also has launched a website for sharing and viewing memories, and it’s available now. Upload your photos, videos and text memories at DisneyParks.com/Memories. You can even categorize your memories by theme, emotion and location.

The website (also available soon in Spanish and French) has a simple-to-use interface for uploading, viewing and searching Disney memories. The functionality also will be part of the Disney Parks pages on Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. Check it out, then upload your family’s memories!

At the end of our day, souvenirs in hand (gotta get that Disneyland tree ornament each year), great family holiday  memories in our heads — and tons of great photos in our camera — we headed home with tired feet, snoozing kids and happy hearts…

…and visions of Mickey Mouse Beignets with Eggnog Sauce dancing in our heads.

Sesame Street Helps Children — and Their Parents — Grieve

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

“When Families Grieve,” an Emmy-nominated, prime-time television special featuring Katie Couric and the Sesame Street Muppets, will be re-airing on PBS, in honor of Veteran’s Day, this Thursday. (Please check local listings for times.)

The special, produced by Sesame Workshop, presents families’ personal stories about coping with the death of a parent, as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward. Thanks to Sesame Street for tackling a tough topic an providing age-appropriate help for families. Here’s a sample clip:

Why I Won’t be Buying a Toyota Highlander - or Van de Kamp’s Fish Sticks

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Please do me a favor and watch these two ads, then read the post, below. I really want your opinion on this…

I’ve owned two Toyotas in my life. I don’t have anything against Toyotas. But I won’t be buying any car that is advertised with a bratty kid looking up from his video game and saying “I don’t tolerate dorkiness very well. Yet my parents cart me around in a car that says ‘Hi, we’re the geek family.’” The tag line spoken by the kid at the end: “Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you have to be lame.”

Oh, and the young man is walking around pontificating while his hard-working (but apparently lame) dad is working away in the driveway, washing the “dorky” family car.

I know it’s just an ad. But as a parent, I’m wondering… Does Toyota think I’m so worried that my kid won’t think I’m cool that I’ll buy a vehicle because our dear little children “don’t tolerate dorkiness very well”? Give me a break.

Somebody needs to tell Toyota and its ad agency to give the Little Prince a bit less video-game time and to introduce him to a bucket of water and a sponge.

Then there’s the ad for Van de Kamp’s fish sticks. The adorable-looking little girl says to her mother, who just served her fish sticks: “What is this, minced? You feed me minced? You ever catch a minced fish?” After Mom switches to another brand, the little cherub says “This is more like it.”

What scares me the most? The fact that Toyota and Van de Kamp are probably having success with these ad campaigns — which says something about the current state of parenthood. Me? I’ll buy my cars and my fish elsewhere. What do you think of these ads?

A Wonderful Video to Share With Your Little One: Andrea Bocelli Sings a Lullabye to Elmo

Monday, October 11th, 2010

A Little Something to Get You in a Halloween Mood…

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Happy Halloween (soon!) from the Sena Family!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!