Monday, December 28, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 52, Our Final Week

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza.
Today is your day. Today you get to pick how you want to make a difference. You know the drill. Think of something - and go do it. Pretty simple.
The only catch is...I want to hear about it and so does Every Monday Matters. If you go to and let them know what you did, you will be entered into their contest. Your idea just might be selected to be one of the "Mondays" in their next book.
Everytime you took care of yourself, did something for someone else, protected the environment, gave from your heart, volunteered your time, and donated your possessions, your action had a ripple effect on your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, city, country, and the world.
So, today, tomorrow, next week, go out and make a difference! Let me know what you did in my comments section. Thanks for taking this journey with me over the last 52 weeks. And remember....
To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world. - unknown

I'm Back!

Christmas morning after the kids had torn through their presents from Santa I decided to check my email. I wish I hadn't. I had a email from Blogger stating that my blog had been removed due to SPAM! WHAT?????????? I didn't have any spam on my blog and there was no way to send an email or call someone and I didn't have the time to do that on Christmas morning anyway. How could someone remove my blog on CHRISTMAS MORNING???? It was just fine the night before. I was crushed! It was not the way to spend my Christmas morning and it really set the tone for the rest of the day. I cried over all the memories I had blogged about that I thought were lost and what my friends would think when my blog was no longer there. I was miserable. I felt like part of me was gone and I didn't know if I had the energy to fight to get it back. Then yesterday I decided to take some time to investigate and found on my dashboard a way to "restore your blog". I was elated. So, if this ever happens to your is a computer glitch. They are working hard to reduce the amount of "Spam Blogs" out there (which I am happy about) and the silly computer thought mine was one of those. But, after sending the note that mine was NOT SPAM....I am back and as good as ever! I am frustrated that this had to happen to me on Christmas morning, but the important thing is that I AM BACK!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from me to you!

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Poem


By Pastor Jim Kamerer

'Twas the night before Christmas and

as I looked round my tent,

I couldn't believe all the money I'd spent.

For trains and dolls, for trinkets and toys

Some for the girls and some for the boys.

I looked round once more to be sure things were right;

The kids were all in bed for the night.

I set up the track for the train I bought Ted,

The train went round twice and the battery went dead.

I put on my cap, my gloves, and my coat;

I went to Ames and over to Zayre.

You guess it my friend, no batteries there!

As I left the store a thought came to me,

I had one in the remote of the color TV.

Well, I placed that remote in my wife's favorite chair

I was ready for Christmas with hours to spare.

When out came my wife and punched that remote

And then said to me, "The TV's broke!"

So on with the coat, the gloves, and the cap

Out in the cold about ready to snap.

I went to K-Mart and stood in that line

From 8:35 'til a quarter past nine.

As I came to the checkout, my heart leaped with glee--

There was that one lonesome battery just waiting for me.

When from my behind I seen this hand slip

And grab that battery with a real tight grip.

I wheeled around and what did I see?

This giant of a man glaring down at me.

Well, I remembered an ad I had seen on TV

Buy a Big Mac, get your batteries free.

So, I bought me a burger I didn't want...

They were out of batteries, so on with the hunt.

I finally found one at Servi-Star,

Paid for my purchase and made for my car.

When I entered the door of my humble shack,

My wife said, "What's this battery for I found in a sack?"

I was out there in the press, the push and the greed

To buy me a battery I didn't even need.

At last I relaxed in my easy chair,

When this still small voice came out of somewhere.

"You're ready for Christmas with toys, tinsel, and tree

You've got it all together, but what about me?"

I fell on my knees and cried, "God, what have I done?"

I got caught up in the madness and neglected your Son.

The best gift of all you've given for free

Your Son, Jesus Christ, for sinners like me.

You sent Him to suffer the shame and the loss,

To shed his life's blood for me on the cross.

Well friend, I'll never forget ere I rest 'neath the sod,

The greatest of gifts is given by God.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jesus VS Santa


Author unknown

Santa lives at the North Pole.

JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh.

JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year.

JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies.

JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.

JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa.

JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap.

JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"

JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.

JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO.

JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry".

JESUS says, "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys.

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle,but,

JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree.

JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.

JESUS is still the reason for the season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gifts Ideas That Don't Cost A Penny!

Is a snow storm coming your way and you don't have anytime left to shop? Are you always looking for the perfect gift for you mom, husband, or best friend? Try these ideas and you don't have to wait until Christmas to give them out!

1. The Gift of Listening But you must really listen. Don't interrupt, don't daydream, don't plan your response. Just listen. Just sitting with someone, asking them questions about their life, giving them a chance to talk can be just what that person needed. Refrain from giving advice, telling your story, adding comments.....JUST LISTEN!

2. The Gift of Affection Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends. Give your children hugs, your spouse, your neighbor, your pastor. Let them know they are appreciated and loved!

3. The Gift of Laughter Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you." You can even email a funny story or joke once in a while...just don't fill up their inbox! :)

4. The Gift of Solitude There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others. Giving your spouse the "night off". Let him go into a room, shut the door and read or watch TV without interruption. Ahhhhh!

5. The Gift of a Favor Everyday, go out of your way to do something kind. Just once, say "yes" when someone asks you for a favor and see how good you make them feel and I bet it will make you feel good too!

6. The Gift of a Written Note It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full all-out letter. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime. Yes, email is quicker, but to receive an handwritten note in the mail is priceless!

7. The Gift of a Compliment A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job," or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day. You will never know the impact on someone's day when you offer them a compliment! It could be just what they needed to hear!

8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. The person that might need this right now is the checkout clerks at your local store. They have been putting up with cranky customers all day and they are bracing themselves for the next cranky/tired customer when you walk up Happy, Cheerful, and Kind! Wow! What a relief to them that would be. I just did this yesterday at our Sam's Club. The customer 2 ahead of me in a VERY LONG line was having difficulties at the register as was the clerk. It took a LONG time for her to check out. The couple in front of me was NOT patient. Yes, I was getting a little worried because if I didn't get through soon I would have been late picking up my kids from school, but when the couple in front of me in line got to the checkout, they were embarrassingly RUDE! I could not believe the harsh words they were saying to the customer (with 2 children listening) and to the cashier. So, when it was my turn, I was extra careful to be cheerful and appreciative. I noticed the cashier smiling again when I left and I hope I helped her day go a little least until the next cranky customer.

I know you can't wrap these in a box with a pretty bow, but you can make an effort to change somethings about yourself and give of yourself to others a little bit each and every day. The effect you have may be life-changing for others as well as yourself!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lucky Girl!

I was blessed again with more winnings! Today I received 2 books that I am very excited about!

I received The Stained Glass Pickup directly from author Cathy Messecar! This little book is a gathering of meditations that you could read once/week as there are 52 of them. In this book, you will discover God waiting for you in unpredictable places. Through poignant stories, Cathy points you to the ONE who created you - the ONE who is waiting for you in the details and chaos of everyday life. That sounds like just what I need to slow down and ground my in my daily, crazy life! Cathy's book is available at for $8.79. What a great a"New Year's" gift for someone special in your life! I can't wait to get into my copy!

Cathy Messecar is also a co-author of another book that she sent me. A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts was written by Cathy Messecars, Terra Hangen, Trish Berg, Leslie Wilson, Karen Robbins, and Brenda Nixon. In this book you will discover how to bring harmony to this busy month. Find tips for family traditions, connecting generations, children, gift giving, how to grow myrrh, and more. Try their scrumptions "Cookie Canister" recipes. Read about other families who experienced Christmas firsts. A book to help you uncomplicate Christmas, rediscover the real source of joy, and usher in the celebration of faith, family and a Savior.
I link to their blog site in my list to the right. Check it out at This book is full of quotes, stories, new ideas and yummy recipes. This would be a great gift for a newly married couple or a couple with a new baby....ready to start their own new traditions. Or maybe for someone who is starting over and needs to incorporate some new traditions. Or even for someone like me, who is overwhelmed at Christmas (at times) and maybe needs to new ideas to simplify all the craziness of the season. Just flipping through it this morning, there are so many recipes I want to try and ideas I am interested in reading more about. I have seen this book at several Christian book stores and it is also available at for $13.59.
So, thank you to Cathy for sending me these awesome books. You will likely see future posts about things I have read and related to in these books. Cathy, you have blessed me today!

Mondays Matter: Week 51

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
-12 million deaths have been caused by cigarette smoking over the last 40 years.
-80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18.
-70% of smokers say they want to quit.
-Nicotine can be found in the umbilical cord blood of a fetus during pregnancy as well as in breast milk?
-91.2% of all successful long-term quitters quit cold turkey, without the assistance of patches, gum, hypnosis, acupuncture, inhalers, or prescriptions.
1. Stop smoking - do it today - cold turkey. Don't light up! And if you chew tobacco, avoid even a pinch today. You can do it!
2. Quit with a friend so that you can hold each other accountable.
3. If necessary, use one of the many nicotine replacement therapies.
4. If you are a nonsmoker, "adopt" a smoker. Support them by giving encouragement, exercising together, going out where there isn't likely to be smoking, and providing comfort and accountablility.
This is the absolute best gift you can give someone this Christmas. Quit smoking! You have just added days to your life and to the lives of your loved ones (if you smoke around them). You have brightened up your skin and your teeth, you smell better, and you feel better. You will also have more money in your wallet. I will never understand the addiction to smoking, but the facts are smoking is detrimental to your health. Just for one day....don't light up. See how it goes, then tomorrow, don't light up. Do it for yourself, for you spouse, for your children, for your friends. May this one day off be the first day of the rest of your tobacco-free life.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dairy Winnings!

I recently won this awesome gift pack of goodies from Some of the items included measuring spoons, a cheese slicer, an apron, a coupon organizer and a $25 gift card to Hy-Vee (my favorite grocery store)!
I used the measuring spoons during my baking today and just love them. I will be using my gift card tomorrow to go towards my Christmas grocery shopping. There were also 2 recipe booklets that show recipes using a variety of dairy products. I am anxious to try several of the recipes and especially like that they have included the nutritional information. Once I try them out, I will post some of the recipes that I really liked.
For more information about dairy products go to and Both websites have numerous recipes and ways to incorporate more dairy into your daily nutrition.
Thanks again to Jody and for this great gift!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review: The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike. Although his life had gotten harder -- and money tighter -- since his father died and the family bakery closed...Eddie dreamed that somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning.
What he got from her instead was a sweater. "A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room.
Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don't always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life's most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning was the beginning of Eddie's dark and painful journey on the road to manhood. It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family -- and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell -- to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart.
This was my Book Club read for December and I must say it was definitely what I needed to read right now. This is based on a true story from Glenn Beck's life and makes the reader really step back and take a look at our own lives. It makes us pause and think about the relationships we have with other family members, about forgiveness, about our relationship with God, and how we feel about our own self-worth. The story takes twists and turns you don't expect and is a definite page-turner. What I appreciated was Beck's response at the end of the story. It will make everything more clear after reading the story.
No matter what your political views are, this is a story that must be read. This book has also been written in picture book format for children. I will be picking that up for our children as I believe they need to hear this story as well. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 50

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-There are 2.6 million teachers that teach K-12.
-42% of K-12 teachers are over 50 years old.
-Almost 50% of teachers leave the profession by their 5th year.
-A 15 billion per year investment or a 30% raise for all teachers is necessary to make teacher compensation competitive with other professions requiring similiar levels of education.
-The single most important factor in determining student performance is the quality of his or her teachers.
1. Identify a teacher you want to thank - your child's teacher, a friend or neighbor who teaches, a teacher at a local school, or a teacher from your childhood.
2. Show this teacher your appreciation by:
- Writing a thank you note.
-Bringing a gift like homemade cookies or handpicked flowers, a book on a topic they are interested in, or a gift card for something you know they would like.
-Organizing a class Appreciation Jar. Give every student a piece of paper and have them list all the reasons why their teacher is special to them. Stuff the papers in the jar and let the teacher open one each day.
-Volunteering in the classroom and helping with special projects or field trips.
As a stay-at-home mom I have spent the last 4 years volunteering in each of my children's classrooms on a regular basis. By being in the classroom, I have been able to appreciate all that the teachers do for the students each and every day. I have witnessed a teacher spending hours to create a teepee in the classroom while the children learned about Native Americans. I saw a teacher spend her own money to purchase every different kind of fruit she could find in the stores to give her students the experience of trying different fruits of varying textures and tastes (I was the lucky volunteer to cut/peel/dice all that fruit). I have witnessed a teacher pay for snack-time milk because the child's parent couldn't afford it. I have observed hundreds of dollars of games and supplies that teachers have bought with their own money because the school budget was too tight. I could go on and on. I have a favorite teacher from my childhood that I will never forget her impact on me and I am sure you remember one as well. Teachers in our children's lives are helping to shape their future. Show appreciation to them and let them know they are valued and respected.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Matthew 1:23

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us."

Matthew 1:23

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Frosty Winner! chose our winner this morning................

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-12-08

Anonymous said...
Snazzy the Kitty is the best. We love all the animals at our house and Frosty would get lots of lovin here. Mary

Mary is the winner. Please contact me and I will get Frosty right out to you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 49

Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-The U.S. leads the industrialized world in waste generation, producing 245 million tons annually-4.5 pounds per person per day.
-2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour.
-Producing recycled white paper creates 74% less air pollutants, 35% less water pollutants, and 75% less process energy than producing paper from virgin fibers.
-9,000 curbside recycling programs exist
Only 2 man-made structures on Earth are large enough to be seen from outer space - the Great Wall of China and the Fresh Kills Landfill in New York.
1. Reduce what you use by purchasing larger sizes.
2. Reuse rather than throw away.
3. Contact your local waste management company and find out if they sort trash and recycle. If there isn't a recycling program, create different containers in your home or business for glass, plastic, and paper.
4. Deliver your separated recyclables to a local recycling center once a month.
5. Buy recycled products and packaging.
If you haven't seen the movie Wall-E, that is a great example of what could happen if we don't start reducing, reusing, and recycling. They are key to protecting our resources and preserving our environment for future generations. As the holidays are coming up, how can you reduce the amount of packaging and gift wrap that you use this year? Typically, gift wrap is NOT recyclable. Buy decorated reusable gift boxes or reuse some that were given to you, for example. Reducing is the most powerful technique for eliminating waste because we don't generate waste in the first place. If you can't reduce, then at least reuse or recycle. In my community, we are so fortunate to have a curbside recycling program. It makes recycling so much easier. In fact, we fill 2 tubs every week with recyclables....reducing the amount of garbage bags we set out. How are you going to reduce, reuse, and/or recycle?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Give and Give Again!

The pleasure of seeing others delight from our generosity makes us want to give and give again!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Facing My Fears

Over Thanksgiving, our family decided to take a short vacation with my husband's sister and her family. We traveled to St. Louis, staying in the Drury Inn - Union Station (which I highly recommend). So, since we were so close to the Gateway Arch, the kids wanted to go there and travel up to the top. UGH! This was NOT something I wanted to do. First of all I don't like heights, but have been up on the "Top of the Rock" at Rockefeller Center in NYC and did ok. But, the big thing I was worried about was traveling UP the arch in this enclosed pod like thing. I don't like closed in spaces. So, as we waited to go through security, then waiting to get tickets, then waited for the documentary to start, then waited in line some more for our assigned tram-ride time, I got more and more nervous. FYI...if you go to the arch...plan for at least 3 hours and NOT 45 min-1 hour like the guide book said. So, as we got to the end of the line, ready to go up the arch, underground in this little tiny stairway....I saw the size of the tram our family was going to ride up in....and I started to freak out a little bit. The kids were so excited so I didn't want them to see me being nervous, so I closed my eyes and started praying. I asked for strength and for God to calm my nerves, and to be with me as I rode up the arch as well as back down. Thankfully I was able to calm down a little bit and we took the trip up. I didn't realize how tight the area was going to be at the top. There were a LOT of people up there and it was windy that day, so I could feel the arch swaying in the wind. As soon as I got up there, I was ready to go back down. So, I stood in line immediately while the kids looked out the windows and loved every minute of it. I held myself together, but as soon as we got back in the tram to take our ride back, I let it go....I cried. I did not enjoy the arch, I did it for my kids, I survived, but I will NEVER do it again. So, next time you are faced with something you aren't sure you can do...face strong....pray for strength....and cry if you need to.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winner of Energizer Batteries and Charger!

The winner of the Energizer Batteries and charger is.............................................................

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-12-01 04:09:38 UTC

Andrea said...
I'd use them to charge up the toys coming for Christmas and then to charge my camera back up for our baby due in January :) November 16, 2009 6:13 PM

Congrats to Andrea! I will be contacting you soon!