Monday, May 25, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 21



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

LEARN CPR

-4-6 Minutes after someone experiences cardiac arest, brain death starts to occur.

-75-80% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.

-95% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

-CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.

-CPR can double a victim's chance of survival.

ACTION STEPS

1. Call your local hospital to find a place near you that teaches CPR or to arrange for a certified CPR instructor to come to your school or workplace.

2. Sign up for a class with a family member, friend, or even your kids.

3. Learn CPR. It only takes a few hours.

4. Post CPR guidelines in a kitchen cupboard, your office, your car, and anywhere else you frequent. These guidelines may come in handy during emergency situations. Tell people around you that the guidelines are there in case they need to perform CPR.

I have never been in a situation where I have needed to perform CPR and I hope I never am, but feel fairly confident that I could perform if needed to. We were very fortunate that an amazing woman named Marj performed CPR on my mother-in-law which gave us 6 more months with her. That was such a blessing for us to have that time with her and we would not have had it without the CPR that was performed on her after her heart stopped beating.

What if you needed help and no one around you could help you? Take a few hours today to learn this life-saving skill. It can change your life- and somone else's life-forever.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

GIVEAWAY!


A couple weeks ago, I posted that it was the Energizer Bunny's 20th Birthday. The Energizer company has sent me the cutest Energizer Bunny slippers and has even sent an extra pair for me to giveaway to one of you. So, if you would like to win a pair of these fun, cute and warm slippers, leave me a comment with your email address and tell me what product you use goes through the most batteries.
I will draw a winner on June 1st and notify the winner by email that morning!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 20



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

DONT FLICK YOUR CIGARTTE BUTT

Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item.

They have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales, and other marine creatures that mistake them for food.

Annual cigarette butt litter, end on end, measures more than 2 million miles. That's 337 roundtrips from LA to New York.

ACTION STEPS

1. If you smoke today, don't litter the butt.

2. When you see a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or stranger smoking ask him or her to discard the butt in an appropriate receptacle.

3. If you see someone flick a cigarette butt on the ground, politely ask them to pick it up, or do it yourself.

4. Consider posting the above statistics at designated smoking areas of your workplace.

5. Utilize a pocket ashtray or purchase one for somone who smokes.

6. Don't smoke!

Why is it that people who wouldn't even think about throwing trash into the street don't hesitate to flick a cigarette butt? This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I just cringe when I see someone do it, or driving behind a car and the driver flicks his butt out the window and it lands on my car. When we had our basement remodeled over the winter months, once the snow had melted in the spring, we found bunches and bunches of butts in our lawn all around our driveway where the guys were working. Needless to say, we were not happy. Maybe I should have provided a can full of sand for the guys, but frankly it never crossed my mind. Something to think about for next time. I have never ever smoked, and smoking frankly repulses me. I don't get it and for smokers to think that littering doesn't apply to their cigarette butts, just drives me nuts. I realize that not all smokers litter, but unfortunately, too many do and hence they all get the bad rap. How many forest fires have been started by a dropped cigarette butt? We will never know, but I am afraid it has been many. So, please, if you are reading this and it applies to you, STOP DROPPING YOUR CIGARETTE BUTTS ON THE GROUND! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review and Author Chat: Matrimony

Thanks to www.readinggroupguides.com our book club won an author chat with Joshua Henkin, author of Matrimony.

About the book...It's the fall of 1986, and Julian Wainwright, an aspiring writer, arrives at Graymont College in New England. Here he meets Carter Heinz, with whom he develops a strong but ambivalent friendships, and beautiful Mia Mendelsohn, with whom he falls in love. Spurred on by a family tragedy, Julian and Mia's love affair will carry them to graduation and beyond, taking them through several college towns over the next fifteen years. Matrimony is about what it's like to fall in love when you're young and to try to stay in love as you reach middle age.

This book started a little slow for me, but once the relationships were developed, I became interested and enjoyed experiencing them. The first third of the book relates to their college life and I was frequently taken back to my college days living in the dorms. No matter your college or your major, the experiences with friends are still the same. I liked this description: They were sitting in clusters, and the way they held themselves, the ease of conversation, reminded Julian of college. It made him nostalgic for a time when everyone was just dropping by, the cheeseburger and onion rings eaten on dorm room floors, the hastily organized surprise parties, the years when time unfurled illusorily before them, when there was nothing to do but celebrate one another. Now in my dorm room it was more likely to be pepperoni pizza, but there were drop ins just the same.

We had a great conversation with Josh and he was quite personable and easy to chat with. There were lots of laughs and he even answered our "tentative and hard" questions. We couldn't wait to ask him about Mia's Dr visit where Mia folds her clothes tucking the underwear underneath her clothes. How did he know women do that? We had a good laugh over that.

Since we live in Iowa and a section of the book is when Julian is living in Iowa City and attending the Writer's Workshop, it was an interesting part of the book for us. Two of our book club members have attended the Writer's Workshop and felt his description of that was right on, but we could also tell he had never been to Iowa City. We encouraged him to come to Iowa for a visit sometime! Not everyone in Iowa is so harsh!

Even though the characters were in college and into adulthood, I liked how the author explored the relationships with each of their parents. How our parents raised us and continue to be a part of our lives still influence our growing up. I enjoyed this part of the story.

One member was disappointed hearing less about Carter as the story moved along. We realized that the story was more about Julian and Mia and how once you move on in life and marriage, friendships can take a back burner. When Carter does resurface, I think the author did a great job with the feelings Julian was having during that time.

There were several twists in the story, but like REAL LIFE, the book kind of covered the monotony of everyday married life. Then when you realize after 20 years, you are still married and none of those WOW things really happened and you still are going about your daily life as a married couple, is that ok? For those of us who have been married 10-15+ years, YES! That is real life. There isn't always going to be passion and romance. There will be highs and lows, but the majority of our days, are full of plain old every day occurrences. That is life and I am happy to be in it!

Both before and after our phone chat with Josh, our book club had an excellent discussion about the book, without using the discussion questions. So, since the book was more about characters than about a major plot, it still gave the reader something to think about. Numerous themes were addressed in the novel: marriage, friendship, divorce, trust, forgiveness, and grief and there were all dealt with in a realistic and heartfelt manner. You can tell Josh gave a lot of thought to how his characters would handle certain situations. I enjoyed the book and then even enjoyed it a little more after talking with my book club and Josh last night. I give this book 3 1/2 stars!

We were very appreciative of Josh taking the time to chat with us. We truly enjoyed it. We even got a "sneak peek" at the novel he is currently working on. We are all very intrigued and anxious to read it. To learn more about Joshua Henkin and have him speak with your book group, visit his website at www.joshuahenkin.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 19


Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
ADOPT A PET
There are 4,000-6,000 animal shelters.
Nearly 8 million dogs and cats are placed in shelters each year.
ACTION STEPS
1. Go to a shelter near you to see if there is an animal with which you "connect". If not, visit another shelter or return another day.
2. Speak with an adoption counselor at the shelter about whether your choice of a particular type or breed will be best for you.
3. Only select a pet if you have a realistic understanding of the time, effort, and money required to provide a healthy loving environment for your pet.
4. Enjoy your newfound friend.
One thing about animal shelters that I have learned lately is that they don't just have cats or dogs. Some of the local TV stations feature pets that are available for adoption. The other day they had a rabbit featured. I had never even thought about other pets that animal shelters could have to offer. Guinea pigs, hamsters, and lizards are other pets that shelters could have in your area.
Animals don't care about your age, your looks, or your physical ability; they accept you just the way you are. Consider adopting a pet and you will be rewarded with years of companionship, entertainment, unconditional love, and increased opportunities to meet others.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Keeps going and going and going.....

When I became a mom, I quickly realized that I was a lot like the Energizer Bunny. I could be up all night with a crying baby and still keep going all day long with a baby and a toddler and start all over again. And, I am still going and going and going....


The Energizer Bunny is celebrating its 20th Birthday. Can you believe that cute bunny has been around that long? We are definately an Energizer family. We buy our Energizer AA batteries in bulk from Sam's and we also use the rechargable Energizers for Reagan's Leapster and my camera.

The Energizer Bunny is now of FACEBOOK! You can become a fan and keep up with all the bunny is doing! As a fan, you will be the first to know what is going on with the Energizer Bunny and be in on all the latest deals and promotions. There is also a Mother's Day E Card on its FACEBOOK page that you can send out to all the Energizer Bunny moms in your life! Click this link to become a fan and be in on the latest scoop!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In case you were wondering......

The moving billboard has finally been returned and I have my van back! Eleven days ago, my brand new VW Routan quit working on me. After numerous tests and software checks, they found it needed a whole new transmision! So, hopefully, I just got a bad bug in the previous transmission and everything will run smoothly from here on out! It was a good feeling to be back in my van today!

I have spent most of the last 30 hours in bed. Tuesday afternoon I came down with a nasty bug that attacked every joint and muscle in my body. I have never had body aches like that. Even my toes hurt! I am just glad it didn't last any longer than it did. Unfortunately, I had to miss my Wednesday morning Bible Study and our After School Jams program at church. But, tonight I had the lesson for our church circle meeting, so I had to go. My lesson was on Faith and I plan to print it here in the next few days. I certainly needed faith and strength to get me out of bed and prepare for the evening. Tomorrow morning I also lead storytime at our library, so again, I need to have Faith that God will give me the strength to get through it.

So, that was how my week started...it can only get better, right? I'm off to bed to build up that strength I need for the morning!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mondays Matter: Week 18









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









SHOW YOUR SMILE!


A smile is a universal expression of happiness and recognized as such by all cultures.


A smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent.


Smiling or even seeing someone smile releases endorphins that work in the brain to give an overall feeling of well-being.


Happy people generally don't get sick as often as people who are unhappy.


It takes only 17 muscles to smile compared to 43 muscles to frown.


ACTION STEPS


1. Smile at everyone you see today.


2. Keep track of how many times you smile and laugh today.


3. If you are having trouble smiling, here are a few suggestions to help:


-make faces at yourself in the mirror


-shake your body like its laughing from the inside


-jump on the bed


-hug someone you love


-visit a pet store


4. At the end of your day of smiling, notice how you feel and whether people acted differently around you.


Smiling is contagious. Happiness leads to smiling and smiling leads to happiness. On my cell phone screen I have one word....SMILE! I had read a quote once that said "Smile at everyone you meet" and I try to live by that every day. Each time I look at my phone I would be reminded to smile. You never know what kind of day the person you are meeting on the street, at the checkout, in the waiting room, is having...maybe your smile could make their day.


The following are some of my favorite smile quotes:


Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. Dr. Seuss


Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa


I've got nothing to do today but smile. Simon and Garfunkel


Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been. Mark Twain


Peace begins with a smile. Mother Teresa


Make an effort to smile at everyone you meet today!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Weekend Recap!




We had such a full weekend with many proud moments, that I just needed to share it with you.


Friday morning, our son, Patrick was 1 of 20 to make the 3rd/4th grade spelling bee. When I realized that Patrick was in the top 4 kids who were left, I thought to myself, Wow, he made the top 4. Then before I knew it he was 1 of 2 kids left. The other boy, a 4th grader, misspelled the word "vertical" and Patrick spelled it correctly. He then correctly spelled "glorious" and WON THE SPELLING BEE! We were in shock! Of course, we know he is a smart cookie and a great speller, but didn't think he would win! There were a few tears flowing from the eyes of this proud mama!


Friday evening was the annual elementary school progam. This program includes the K-2nd grade kids. Every year has a theme and this year it was Disney Magic. Our son Bennett did a great job singing and dancing to some of our Disney favorites.



Saturday was our town-wide garage sales which I organize and also have one myself. So, getting all the maps and listings done by Friday morning to get copied and then get my own garage organzied and items marked and put out was my task most of the day Friday, after the spelling bee, of course. Saturday morning was a beautiful day with the sun shining. Many people came to town and found numerous bargains at 29 garages in town! My friend Emily and I hosted one in my garage and we were quite happy with our sales and the smaller amount of items to take back home! Of course I also had to shop at a few garage sales myself and the good thing is that I still came out ahead!


Saturday evening we attended my husband's sister's church. She had been asked to give the message and we wanted to be there. It was a very uplifting message about doing our share to help others. God expects that of us and you can find His thoughts on this in MATTHEW 25. I appreciate Julie reminding us of Jesus' expectations of us and the great needs of the sick and hungry in our communities!


Today we attended our own church and since it was "Camp Sunday" where we talk about the different camp opportunites available to the kids, we also had a meal afterwards. The men at church grilled burgers and hot dogs and the men also cleaned up! We enjoyed some great fellowship with friends over a delicious meal. Our family spent the afternoon playing outside and doing some small tasks around the house and yard. I even went for an hour walk with my friend, Mary. Tonight I made a favorite dessert, Rhubarb Crisp. The neighbor's rhubarb patch is ready for picking and I couldn't wait to find a way to use it. If you would like the recipe you can go here...I posted it almost a year ago http://sincerelystacie.blogspot.com/2008/05/rhubarb-crisp.html


So, as you can see, I had a fabulous weekend. I am such a proud mom and I LOVE Spring. I am looking forward to the upcoming Mother's Day Weekend and hoping for great weather. It doesn't get much better than this!


video
This is not the best video. The first couple words are hard to hear, but you can get the last two words that he spells and his reaction to it. It is priceless!