Monday, June 29, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 26

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza

Support A Global Cause

In the world:
-Every 3.5 seconds someone dies of hunger.
-Every 11 seconds someone dies of AIDS.
-Every 15 seconds a child dies from a waterborne illness.
-1 billion have no access to clean water.
-2.6 billion live without basic sanitation.
-1.08 billion live on $1 or less/day
-2 million children die each year from diseases that inexpensive vaccines could have prevented.
-11 million children die before they reach their 5th birthday.
-Enough food is produced to feed everyone.

1. Pick a global organization that interests you. The needs are many and obvious.
2. Get involved today.

For our VBS mission project this summer I have chosen Pennies for Schools. This is the foundation started by Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea. After falling ill trying to climb a mountain he ends up getting lost in a village in Pakistan. The villagers take care of him and keep him safe and to thank them he promises to return and build a school for the children of the village. He does that a some much more. I agree with Mortensen, that education can change lives and so we will be collecting pennies and sending them to their foundation to help build more schools in under-privileged areas of the world.

This is OUR world. You, your friends, your family, your co-workers all matter when it comes to changing the statistics. Each one of you can make a huge difference. Choose an issue: Malaria nets, hunger, education, healthcare, violence and then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Sister's Keeper Movie Review

I have been anxiously awaiting the debut of "My Sister's Keeper", the movie based of the novel by the same name by Jodi Picoult. I LOVED the book and couldn't wait to see the movie. My friend, Tammy, and I planned to see it on opening night. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed. I would suppose that if someone hadn't read the book, they would probably like the movie. Of course the movie is about cancer and a sibling who no longer wants to use her body to help save her sister. So, the topic isn't a happy one. But, there was so much more they could have done with the movie. I felt the character development was very weak. Alec Baldwin played the lawyer and he was such a pivotal character in the book, but wasn't as amazing in the movie. Jesse, the troubled brothers character, was also not as developed as he could have been in the movie. But then other external family members were part of the movie who I think were completely unnecessary to the storyline. I think the actress who played Kate was amazing and the makeup used to show her cancer was very realistic. I loved seeing Jason Patric as the father. It has been years since I have seen him in something and he looks as good as I remember him! :) The ending of the movie was the most frustrating. I think any lovers of Jodi Picoult's novels know relish in the twists and unexpected storylines and this movie adaptation ruined that for us. It totally changed the flow of the whole story and really ruined it for me. Again, I think if you haven't read the book, you probably won't be as disappointed. I would love to know Jodi Picoult's take on the movie and her feelings on the storyline. I would give this a 2 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Precious Giveaway!

As a child and an adult, I was in love with Precious Moments. I collected the figurines, the books, whatever I could find. Then 11 years ago this summer, my boyfriend took me to the home of Precious Moments in Carthage, Missouri for a vacation. We toured the area and at the end, we went into the Precious Moments Chapel where, suprisingly, he proposed to me right on the alter! So, the Precious Moments company has been close to my heart for many years.

When I had the opportunity to try out the Precious Girls Club, I was thrilled! If you have a daughter and haven't checked them out, you definately should.

Since the topic of little girls growing up too fast seems to be a concern for Moms everywhere, Precious Moments, the inspirational figurine and collectible company, created the Precious Girls Club. More than a club, it's a way of thinking and being, a safe place for young girls to discover how wonderful it is to be precious.

The Precious Girls Club is based on an all new book series for girls that revolves around the life of Katie Bennett and a diverse group of her friends. Their world is brought to life not only through books, but also through a state-of-the-art virtual world where girls can learn and play in a safe, wholesome environment based on the values embraced by Precious Moments.

Please check out their website and invite your daughter to play around. My 4 year old daughter loves it. She created her own girl and has a room that she has to keep clean and games to play. She loves to play around and I don't have to worry about what she is seeing or doing on this site.

The exciting part is that I have 2 things to offer for a giveaway from The Precious Girls Club! I have the book Operation Kindness by Cindy Kenney and a stuffed precious puppy to go along with it (the brown one on the right).

The story is a easy-to-read chapter book that follows Katie Bennett and her Precious Girls Club members on a mission to help the children who are sick and staying at the local hospital. I loved how the story focused on being kind and generous as well as discussing Katie's faith in God and what He would want her to do in situations. Katie also has a cute guardian angel, Faith, who steps in and helps her follow God's plan. This is a refreshing series of books for girls to read that also reminds them of God's love for them and for others.

So, if you would like to win the book and puppy for your Precious Girl, please leave me a comment telling me what is Precious about your little girl as well as your email address. The contest is open until 11:59 PM on July 13th. I will then use to choose a comment and mail the items to the winner! Be sure to tell all your friends about this great giveaway!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Roberts Recipe

I was fortunate to receive a promotional packet from Roberts Dairy. They are a midwestern company specilizing in dairy products. This is a bit of info about the company:

From its humble beginnings as J.R. Roberts' milk route in Lincoln, Nebraska, Roberts Dairy now has three production plants and 10 distribution plants in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. Roberts is a "full-service" dairy that processes and fills more than 900,000 gallons of milk per week. It operates around the clock, 365 days a year, to provide the freshest dairy products to customers every day. It offers milk, juice, yogurt, sour cream, dips, butter/creams/half and half, cottage cheese, seasonal/speciality items, to go drinks, lemonade, tea, fruit punch, and ice cream.

To learn more about Roberts Dairy and find recipes and coupons for their products go to or

Tonight our family tried the Chicken Enchiladas with Cottage Cheese and they were quite yummy! You can find the recipe below. We also enjoyed the Roberts Chocolate Milk for our drink! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
1/2 cup onion
1- 7 oz can chopped green chile peppers
1- 1 oz package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup Roberts Sour Cream
2 cups Roberts Cottage Cheese
1 pinch ground black pepper
12- 8 inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1-10 oz red enchilada sauce

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add cooked and shredded chicken, onion, and green chile peppers and saute until browned. Then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package instructions.
For cheese mixture, mix sour cream with cottage cheese in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make enchiladas, heat tortillas until soft and place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a small amount of shredded cheese in each tortilla. Roll tortilla and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce, and remaining shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
NOTE: I only used 8 tortillas and there was plenty for our family. I don't think there would have been enough filling for 12 tortillas. Also, the store was out of corn tortillas, so I had to use flour tortillas. I also used the Mexican mix of shredded cheese. Prep time was about 30 minutes and then 30 minutes of bake time. So, plan to start an hour before dinner time.
I hope to try some of their other recipes that they sent, so keep your eyes out for more recipe postings in the future.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 25

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza

Plant A Tree

-1 acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people every day.

-Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

-3 trees planted strategically around a house can reduce energy use by up to 50%.

-Trees add beauty, increase property values, and reduce stress.

-1 tree planted by every family would reduce 1 billion pounds of CO2 annually from our atmosphere.


1. Call your local nursery to get a list of trees that grow best in your area; then determine the type of tree you would like to plant.

2. To plant the tree:

-Identify the proper location.

-Dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball of the tree.

-Place several inches of good soil mix at the bottom of the hole before inserting the tree.

-Place the tree in the hole. If your tree comes in a plastic pot, burlap, or wire basket, remove it from the container without disturbing the root system.

-Fill the hole with good soil and pack firmly.

-Anchor your tree using a tree stake. Use wire and a length of old hose to secure tree to the stake - the hose will keep the wire from cutting through the trunk. Remove the anchor after two years.

-Water thoroughly and fertilize as directed.

3. Give a tree to someone as a gift.

Our first spring in our new house, we planted a tree in our front yard. I had always wanted a flowering crab apple tree and so that is what we chose. Every spring we take the kids picture in front of it to show the trees growth as well as theirs. The previous home owners had planted 2 huge Red Maple trees that now provide us with homes for Robin's nests, shade on the hottest days, and beautiful fall color with leaf piles to jump in in the fall.
Trees improve our air quality, save energy, reduce pollutants, provide homes for wildlife, and add brilliant colors to landscapes. So, go get your shovel and plant one today!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wedding

The wedding weekend went off without a hitch and my nephew Eric and his new wife Ericka are enjoying a relaxing honeymoon in Yellowstone! Bennett did a wonderful job lighting LOTS of candles and Reagan dropped her petals oh so carefully down the aisle. We laughed and cried and danced and partied and just had a fabulous weekend! The weather was perfect, my kids were absolutely adorable, and we made it home in time for Bennett's T-ball game. A perfect weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today, Reagan asked me if there were grass and flowers in Heaven. I said I sure hope there was. Then she asked if you can talk in heaven. I said, I would guess so. Then she said, Good because I want to be able to talk to Grandma Margaret while we are looking at the grass and flowers!

Reagan sure misses her Grandma Margaret. She was almost 2 when she died and every few days Reagan still brings her up in some way. We all miss her deeply but know how proud she is of her grandkids!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 24

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza


-Noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today.
-28 million people have impaired hearing caused by noise.
-Hearing loss is occurring in people at younger and younger ages.
-The law states that the driver of a motor vehicle, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, shall give audible warning with the horn. The law prohibits the use of horns for any other reason, except as part of an alarm system.
-Sound is measured by decibels (dBA). Common sounds include normal conversation (60 dBA), a noisy restaurant (85 dBA), a car horn (110 dBA), and a jackhammer (130 dBA)
-At 110 dBA, hearing damage can occur after 1 minute and 29 seconds.

1. Only use your horn when it is reasonable necessary to ensure the safe operation of your vehicle.
2. Don't use your horn to let someone know you are angry, to tell people you're waiting outside to pick them up, to say goodbye, or as a way of protesting.
3. Get your hearing checked.

After taking several trips to New York City, I can attest that this is a definite problem there. Horns are honking NON STOP. The taxi drivers are constantly honking. I don't think I was ever in a taxi that wasn't honking or that we weren't being honked at. I can't imagine having to listen to that all day long! Here is small town Iowa it really isn't too much of a problem. Maybe on the last day of school or Homecoming weekend, the kids honk their horns as they leave school, but that would be it. I never thought of it being so damaging to our hearing, but definitely remember how loud it was walking down the streets in NYC. Noise induced hearing loss, though preventable, is permanent. Often by the time you realize you are losing your hearing, it's too late.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tomorrow morning our family leaves for a weekend in Minnesota to attend my nephew's wedding. Since my sister is much older than me, my nieces and nephews are closer to my age and I have always been very close to them. This weekend, my nephew Eric is getting married to the love of his life, Ericka. (I know, Eric and Ericka, how cute is that?) I wasn't sure Eric would ever get married because one of his great loves is football. He is a football coach for a college in Minnesota and loves football, fishing, and now Ericka. I have met Ericka a few times and she is independent, beautiful, funny, and bright. She hopes to be an ophthalmologist soon! I can see how well Eric and Ericka "get" each other and I believe there is a great future ahead for them.
Our daughter Reagan is the flower girl this weekend and son Bennett (who is Eric's godson) is the acolyte. As a mom, I am a little nervous to have Reagan walking down the aisle, but I know how very excited she is to wear her "Cinderella" dress and drop the petals. Bennett is taking his candle lighting very seriously and is very excited to wear a tux.
So, today I am packing, cleaning, and making lists to make sure I don't forget anything! I know this will be a fabulous weekend full of many memories, laughs, and tears. I just have to get through today first!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Reagan Story!

Just a few minutes ago, our daughter Reagan (age 4) was talking with my husband. Out of the blue, as most of her thoughts are, she says the following:

Reagan: Daddy, when the four of you die and I am left all alone, I will have to build a For Sale Sign and put it in our yard. Then I will have to go and live with one of my friends.

Of course we told her that won't happen for a very, very long time, but SERIOUSLY where does she come up with this stuff?

Mondays Matter: Week 23

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
1 in 4 teens contracts an STD each year.
50% of the population will likely have an STD at some point in their lifetime.
Nearly 1 million people are estimated to have HIV and 25% are unaware of their infection.
1. Call your Doctor or go to a local testing facility near you and make an appointment to get tested for STDs and HIV. It is anonymous and can be free of charge.
2. Get the information you need before getting tested. Counseling and support is available.
3. Abstinence is always the safest policy.
4. If you test positive, get treated and tell your partner.
5. Don't use drugs.
STDs and HIV are preventable. You need to take responsibility for yourself and others. Make wise choices!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Conversation with Grandma!

Last weekend our daughter, Reagan spent the weekend with my parents. She had been asking for a weekend at Grandpa and Grandma B's all by herself. I wanted to share a funny conversation that they had.
Grandma had been working on a quilt and told Reagan she had to go get a needle. Reagan asked what a needle was and Grandma said it was to sew with.
Reagan: Oh, that was the day you fixed my brother's pillow. I keep all of the days in my head but sometimes when I'm sleeping and laying on the side of my head - some of the days fall out!
Apparantly Reagan was very matter-of-fact and she certainly gave my parents quite a laugh!

Monday, June 1, 2009

We have a winner!

Sorry it took me so long to announce the winner today. It was our last day of school and then we had 2 Little League games, so it has been a bit hectic.

I wish all of you could win. Julie is a fellow book blogger who I have been the recipient of some great prizes! Kathleen is a college friend who I have reconnected with on Facebook and we enjoy some great scrabble games online! Michelle is a cousin on my dad's side of the family who I have also reconnected with on Facebook. Stacy is a friend that I met at MOPS and lives in a neighboring small town.

So, since all of you can't win, the winner of the Energizer Bunny slippers is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-06-02 02:29:57 UTC

CONGRATS KATHLEEN! Email me and I will send them out right away.
Kathleen is a faithful reader of my blog and I appreciate her friendship!

I hope to have another giveaway soon. More and more companies are wanting to hook up with us bloggers and get their products out there! Stay tuned!

Mondays Matter: Week 22

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-73% of firefighters are volunteers, with 66% of more of fire departments staffed 100% by volunteers.
-More than 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year
1. When you see firefighters in uniform, walk up and thank them for keeping you and your community safe.
2. Get out of the way. Pull your car to the right when you hear a siren or see a fire truck with its lights on.
3. Organize your friends, co-workers, neighborhood, or child's class to create and deliver a thank-you card to your local fire station.
4. Donate to firefighter benefits and causes. If you don't know of any, ask your local fire department which organizations support them.
5. Minimize your risk of fires-install smoke detectors, keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, don't overload power plugs, clear brush from around your house, and don't flick your cigarette butt.
In our small town, our fire department is completly volunteer based. Last night we had a dinner party and just as one of the families was coming to our home, the alarm went off and the husband had to go fight a barn fire. No matter what their plans are, volunteer fire fighters are always "on duty" and have to respond whenever the call comes in. Thankfully, the fire was quickly contained and he was able to arrive later and still enjoy dinner and fellowship. My cousin's husband, Mike, is employed by the federal government to fight the wildfires that we so frequently hear about in the news. Mike constantly puts himself in danger and leaves his family for weeks at a time to go wherever there is a wild fire. I appreciate his sacrifice as well as his family's for willing to be apart during those times.
Every day firefighters put their lives on the line to save people and properties. Since the majority of them don't get paid, let's "pay" them by showing our appreciation and letting them know of their positive impact on our communities.