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Saturday, October 31, 2009

FREE YoCrunch Yogurt



If your kids are going trick-or-treating tonight they may as well get something healthy as well. Get a coupon for a free YoCrunch yogurt by Breyer's when you mail in a candy wrapper from trick-or-treating. You have up to 2 weeks to send in your wrapper. More Info here.

Halloween All Hallows Eve Alternatives



October 31, Halloween / All Hallows Eve. Christians often ask the question about trick-or-treating, dressing in costumes, etc.--Should we or shouldn't we? Of course we would not participate in seances, vandalism, witches covens, or anything satanic. In all honesty I have never met anyone who did such things on Halloween although I'm sure there are some. Most people, young and older alike, enjoy the dressing up and trick-or-treating aspect (emphasis on the treating) on this night. When my children were younger we were fairly legalistic about this and did not allow them to go trick-or-treating except at Fall Festivals or church-sponsored events which they loved. We explained the origin of Halloween and the "dark side" and they were never interested in any of that. Now that I have gotten older, as have they, it does not seem to be such a big deal any longer. I even allowed them to read Harry Potter and see the movies which I also did not do initially. (I watched and read them first just to be safe though.)

If you have never read about the history of Halloween and how it relates to Reformation Day (and Martin Luther) here are two good links to do so.
There are many alternatives to Halloween trick-or-treating. For some, it is a safety issue because of scary things that the news reports. The article in the link above offers many suggestions such as Fall Festivals, pumpkin patch visits with a carving afterwards, arts & crafts parties at home, etc. as alternatives. As Christians it's not good to isolate yourself entirely from the culture nor is it good to totally participate without discernment. The choice, as always, is yours.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Payless Shoes Coupon 50% off today

Go to this link for 50% off everything in the store at Payless Shoes. Expires today, October 30. Sponsored by Oprah.

6:30 p.m. update:
I stopped by there tonight and bought a pair of sunglasses, a necklace, and 2 pairs of sandals for $26.73. LOTS of shoppers, many using their phones with the text code rather than the coupon that I had.

Birthdays, Milestones


Another birthday in our family. Mine was last week and today my younger son turned 15. You can do the math--yes, I was 39 when he was born. Two more years of high school, then college...can he be this old? Some memories never fade, like the day of his birth. As painful as the delivery was, to see his sweet little face when he was handed to me--well, you moms know exactly what I mean. This photo is my older son (5 years old at the time) holding him the morning after he was born. It is my joy to be the mother of two sons who are both walking with the Lord at ages 20 and 15. Training in godliness begins early and I pray often that they will never depart from it.

He and his dad are headed to our church men's retreat this afternoon through late Saturday. It will be his first MEN's Retreat, a milestone in the life of a young man...a Christian coming-of-age, so unlike that of our general culture. He and I were talking this week about how he and and brother are part of the next generation that could influence our wayward society, making wise choices for themselves and their families as they get older. I continue to pray that they will both grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Happy Birthday, Son. I love you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

John Calvin


From nature we know only the hands and feet of God, but from scripture we may know His very heart." - John Calvin

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amazing Grace


I heard a thought-provoking sermon yesterday morning from Dr. R.C. Sproul / Renewing Your Mind [Signs of Revival, Part 1]. I enjoy listening to him on the radio after my morning walks.

One of his final comments was: Amazing Grace... we sing that song often and most of us know the words by heart. But, deep inside, we really think that "heaven just wouldn't be the same without me". Ouch. It brought tears to my eyes and I immediately asked for forgiveness. When I slow down and reflect on the Grace that we have received, truly truly what a marvelous thing.



Handmade Gifts

1Thessalonians 4:11

...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands...


I absolutely love for my children and close friends to make me gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. I have saved a few of my children's handmade items over the years as well as special items that friends have made for me. As my children have gotten older, these types of gifts are fewer and far between. For my birthday this year I had asked my college-aged son who loves to work with his hands to draw something for me instead of buying a gift. He actually did both but I was so delighted when he gave me this lovely card and 3-dimensional glass/wood piece of art that he designed and built. He finished it yesterday while he was here visiting. I have it setting on my piano and continue to be touched by the time and effort that went into this project.

Handmade gifts are cherished far longer than any store-bought item. I encourage you (and myself) to start working with your hands again to create something beautiful for someone you love.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Boomers

This has been a very busy weekend. More on that later, and my husband is tying up our computer all afternoon and tomorrow morning, so here's a fun post for all you baby boomers:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE
1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank
while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on..
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem .
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no cell phones,
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, andthe worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?
~
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daffodils, Children


Someone sent me a long story in my email today which is worthy of sharing with you. I have condensed it a bit. A mother was asked by her daughter to come with her to view a daffodil garden. When they arrived...

...The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns,
great ribbons and swaths
of deep orange, creamy
white, lemon yellow, salmon
pink, and saffron and butter
yellow. Each different
colored variety was planted in
large groups so that it swirled
and flowed like its own river
with its own unique hue. There
were five acres of flowers...
A poster was at the entrance
to the garden...
"Answers to the Questions
I Know You Are asking," was
the headline.
The first answer was a simple
one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "One
at a time, by one woman.
Two hands, two feet, and
one brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
For me, that moment was a
life-changing experience.
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more
than forty years before, had
begun, one bulb at a time, to
bring her vision of beauty and
joy to an obscure
mountaintop. Planting one bulb
at a time, year after year,
this unknown woman had
forever changed the world in
which she lived. One day at a
time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence,
beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil
garden taught is one of
the greatest principles of of celebration.
That is, learning to move
toward our goals and
desires one step at a time–often
just one baby-step at time–
and learning to love the
doing, learning to use
the accumulation of time. When
we multiply tiny pieces of time
with small increments of
daily effort, we too will find we
can accomplish magnificent
things. We can change the world.

This story reminds me of raising children...we plant one little seed at a time over a course of the years they live in our home. As time goes on and they grow older, the blossoms start appearing. We see many of them over the course of our lives with them, as they move out into the world, others see them and of course, Someone sees every single one. What a joy to have had a part in the planting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Staying Motivated when Losing Weight


As you know, my husband and I started seriously working on fitness and weight in August. Since August 1 I've lost 9 lbs; he has lost 13 lbs. How to stay motivated? I saw the cutest commercial on TV last night with Valerie Bertinelli holding a huge pumpkin to illustrate the 40+ lbs. that she lost on Jenny Craig. I tried that for us tonight and got out our hand weights for examples of how much we have lost.

Here is mine (10 instead of 9 lbs.)--I didn't have a 1 lb. weight:
Here is my husband's: 13 lbs.
We each held the weights that represented what we had lost and were amazed that we had carried that extra poundage around with us in just the last couple of months. It was all we needed to help us stay on track. If you don't have handweights, I believe that a gallon of milk or water weighs 8.4 lbs. so a half gallon would be 4.2, a quart 2.1...Try this for yourself. You'll really want to stay on track with this handy visual aid.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Birthdays

Today I turned 54 years old...it's starting out with flowers and cards and surprises and looks to be a lovely day. Time to reflect over the past years and look forward to the future at the same time. So far I've kept my commitment to not color my hair although with each day a few more grays are popping out like little cue balls (since my hair is so dark). We'll see... :)

Just for fun, here are a few photos of me-- at age 1 with my dear dad, age 16 (senior photograph for high school) and today at age 54.
.

Headed to Starbucks after lunch for my free birthday coffee! Chinese dinner with the family (minus one) later tonight. Saturday is Disney with my husband and another couple, then a jazz concert with my husband and older son that evening. It's more of a birthday week! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Needy People

Needy people are all around us. Every time I read the newspaper there is an article about people in our country and all over the world in need, some in true poverty. We have donated at least 3x this year to food drives, plus United Way, the Rescue Mission, etc. The annual Boy Scout food drive is coming up in early November. Sometimes we hear of the needs for "people" and think of them as a non-entity not as individuals.

About 10 days ago a young man came to our front door and wanted to trim our palm tree for $25 that afternoon. It was getting a lot of brown leaves on it so I jumped at the offer. He didn't come back that day which was disappointing and I really forgot about him the rest of the week. Monday night he returned at 6:30 p.m. when my husband was home from work and asked about doing the job. 2 1/2 hours later it was completed and cleaned up, excellently. During the course of his work my husband went out to chat with him. This young man and his wife and 3-year-old daughter had been driving around looking for some work so he could earn money for his family. There were two older children at home with their grandparents while they did so. Their story was really heartbreaking. We paid them double and I gave them a large bag of groceries as well for which they were really grateful.

The "needy people" became someone with eyes and hands and feet that night. I was reminded of this during my Bible reading this morning:

1Timothy 6:18-19
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Found $$

Today I was at Target shopping for my son's birthday and took a phone call. I was going to buy an item from CraigsList and I wrote the directions down to pick it up after leaving the store. At that moment I saw something my son might like and picked it up, not realizing that I had set down the paper I was writing on which had the cash to pay for the item paperclipped to it ($20). I checked out, left the store, drove about a block away and realized I didn't have the directions to the seller's house or the cash. Went back to the store (now 30 minutes later) and no one had seen the money. They even checked their security tapes from the checkout area. I retraced my steps and FOUND IT right where I had taken the phone call. Amazing! $20 in cash just setting on a shelf. I wish I could say I was peaceful about the whole thing but I was pretty aggravated. Thank you, Lord, for being gracious even when I'm being pesky.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Psalm 8, High school


Psalm 8

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.


Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies,

that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.


When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;


What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?


For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.


Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:


All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;


The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.


O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!


When I was in a high school concert choir, our director gave us this Psalm set to music to memorize and sing in our district, then state vocal competitions. Our group scored 1's (the highest ranking) for both in all categories. Since I was not a Christian at the time, I did not ponder the words when we sang them in four-part harmony... it was just a beautiful piece of music. I accepted Christ as Lord four years later, after I graduated from college. Today I rarely read the King James Version of the Bible, preferring the New American Standard version, but now, 30 something years later, these words resonate with new meaning and often I remember that wise director for discreetly using his music selections to touch the hearts of students in a public high school. It has become my favorite Psalm. Thank you, Mr. Bedle.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yard Sales, Fall


What a beautiful fall day in Florida! I got up and it was actually in the low 60s outside. I opened several windows and a couple of the back doors to let the fresh air in. My husband's off to the Gator game in Gainesville today so I headed to a nearby community yard sale and got several items to resell as well as three items for myself.

These are the three items I bought for myself for $5.00 total:
Two cute leather purses ($1.00 each) and this beautiful beaded formal evening dress ($3.00).

Shopping outside sure can be a lot of fun!






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