Showing posts with label Blessings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blessings. Show all posts

Friday, April 21, 2017

Keeping Kids Educationally Entertained on Long Road Trips!

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade.  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

It's nearly summer, and the time for road trips is just around the corner.  My husband and I are hoping to go to the family reunion in Florida (and because of where it is in Florida, it's cheaper to drive, although more time consuming.)  Plus I am hoping to go to an event in Indianapolis where a number of friends from college will be there.  We just returned from a trip to Budapest, Hungary, as well.  As much as we travel, you would think I would be an old pro at it, but I get bored easily, as my husband would readily tell you.

Me having an iPhone 7 and U.S. Cellular which has high-quality national coverage is a sanity saver for my husband.  I have always loved learning and I'm so happy for so many resources on the Internet and apps to help me be entertained while gathering facts I can use during a trivia game at some point! In fact, some apps are collaborative so I can even compete against friends no matter where I am or where they are!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

When Grief Invades Easter

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I wanted to write, again, about grief and the holidays.  Most people think of grief associated with Christmas, but any holiday can bring up forms of grief.

It's important to have compassion on yourself.  Twenty two years ago, Easter was on April 16, the same as the year I am writing this.

A friend went to church with me that morning, and we heard the glorious story of Jesus conquering death.  I Corinthians 15:55 was shouted from the rooftops.  "Oh death, where is thy sting?  Oh grave, where is they victory?" (KJV)  The triumphant songs signaled the ending of Lent and the start of celebration.  The toe-tapping, joyful songs associated with this glorious day.   April 1995 was the last time I sat in an Easter service without grieving.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Budapest Hungary 3-D Art Gallery

Last month, my husband and I returned from a trip to Budapest, Hungary.  This is a first in a series of posts relating some of the things we did while we were there.  I received no compensation for this post, it was a fun experience, and wanted to share this neat idea.

Many places in Budapest close at 6 pm.  Because of jet lag, we were still fully awake of an evening and not really into the nightclub scene so we look at the lobby cards to see if we could find anything open a little later.  There was a 10% off coupon for the 3D Art Gallery.  Those of you who are regulars to this blog know I'm a coupon fan, and to be using a coupon overseas just made me laugh.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

In Memory of Donnie Williams

I don't remember meeting Donnie.  As an active teenager in district events in the Church of the Nazarene in the 1980s, there were all these kids from different churches at events and over time you got to know them.  That's how I met Donnie.  We went to summer camp together, and I think, like many girls, I had a tad bit of a crush on him.  I mean, who wouldn't?  He was adorable, tremendously funny, and had a spiritual side of him that I wished would be shown by the boys in my youth group who were more interested in armpit farts than actually worshiping during the Sunday morning church service.

I never admitted my small teen crush to Donnie, although I often joked with him that I fell for him.  Indeed I did.  The camp tabernacle had a cement floor painted gray.  I remember the ash color vividly.  It was Thursday night of camp, my last camp before heading to college, and I was trying to make sure I said goodbye to everyone before service that evening because I knew Friday mornings were hectic and not conducive to departing sentiments.  There had been a thunderstorm and rain had blown into the area in front of the pews.  We were required to dress up for evening church at that time, and my dress shoes were not a good combo.  As Donnie and I separated from a hug, I took a step back and forgot momentarily about the slick floor. . . until I landed at his feet.  Evidently he had girls falling for him all the time, because by the time social media was invented and we reconnected, he had completely forgotten (or blocked) the incident from him memory.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One SMART word for 2017: THRIVE


FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Last year at this time, I wrote a post about how I always set goals for the new year instead of resolutions.   This year, for 2017, however, I decided to pick a SMART word for the year.  What is SMART?  Attributed to George Doran, SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time based.

Why am I not doing goals this year?  It's not often like me to vary from a tradition.  I usually have a huge list of things I want to accomplish in the next year.  This year, however, is very different for me.  I am not sure where I am headed.  Some might call it a mid-life crisis (or is that what happened when I got married for the first time at age 42?)  But I want the second half of my life to be better than the first half.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Embracing Grief at the Holidays

I think most of us can remember a time we loved the holidays.  Santa Claus. Our grandparents giving us huge hugs -- and even bigger gifts.  The smells of the once a year treats from the oven, and laughter of cousins.  I think for many of us somewhere along the way the magic of Christmas has turned into dread or endurance.

My husband and I didn't put up a Christmas tree this year.  It has always been my favorite part of Christmas.  I love looking through the ornaments and remembered so many good times.  The doll my 2nd grade teacher made out of a pack of lifesavers and a styrofoam ball head.  Yes, I have a roll of 33 year old candy in my Christmas decorations.  I loved my teacher, and the fact she made something for me was so special.  (She made one for each of us in our class.)But then there are the other ornaments.  Childhood creations from people who won't speak to me any longer.  Ornaments bought on years the holidays wouldn't be considered "good".  The year a family member threw out all the gifts I gave him.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why I believe in Giving Children REAL items instead of Toys (when appropriate)


FTC disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

I've always been a bargain shopper.  I also always thought the things my grandmother could do with yarn was absolutely amazing.  When I was about six, I picked up a child's toy "Learn to Crochet" kit at a garage sale for a quarter.  I took it to my grandmother's house and asked her to teach me.  She took one look at it, and threw the plastic hook in the trash and gave me a REAL one.  She said she could never crotchet using that hook and she wouldn't expect me to, nor would she teach me using such a cheap thing.  That was the first time I ever had an adult replace a toy with a real item.  Now, looking back, there is no way someone could have learned to crochet with that little kit I bought, but handing a six year old a skein of yarn and an adult crochet hook?  Absolutely it can be taught.  (And even easier now with youtube videos and such.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

8 Ideas for Keeping Christ in Advent

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

At the church I attended when I was really little, there was little celebration in the way of holidays with the exception of the Christmas pageant and something mentioned in Sunday School.  I still remember my line from the pageant the year before I was in the angel choir.    I'll be a little light too, and quietly shine the way.  I'll do my part, with all my heart, to shine for Him each day.

I didn't realize until just a few years ago that Advent is NOT a celebration, but a longing.  A yearning for Christ to appear.  I have always loved the song "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel".  The tune is so haunting, so mournful.  I always thought after I was a teenager the Christmas season began on the first Sunday of Advent and ended on Christmas Day, but Advent is the time of preparation for the Christ Child.

Advent and Lent have a lot of similarities.  When observed the way that has been done traditionally, there's a lot of focus on what is about to come.

But how in this busy world do we take time out from Christmas parties, shopping, and decorating to focus our hearts?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bible Journaling and Scrapbook Stickers from Faith That Sticks!

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received samples of the products from the company for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

I have been a sticker fan since I was a child.  I can remember counting my stickers by the hour to see how many I had in my collection.  So whenever there is a new sticker product on the market, I want to try it.

I've tried my hand at Bible journaling, and while I love the creativeness of it, my art skill are somewhat lacking.  I often stick to coloring Bibles or when I do Bible journaling, just doing fancy lettering of the Scripture in the margins.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and Faith that Sticks,  I had the opportunity to review their coloring stickers and Bible journaling stickers.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Saving so you Can Give to Others

FTC disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

When I was a teenager, there was about a year that my mother and I had nothing to eat but potatoes because we were trying to make ends meet.  That is when I decided I was going to do what I could to figure out a way we could afford a bit more variety in our food as well as being able to have the heat set above 58 degrees in winter.

That's when I started reading books like The Complete Tightwad.  Although this book has advice from 20+ years ago, much of it is still quite useful, and one I would recommend to be in any penny pincher's library.  I still read my copy from time to time, usually getting it out every two years or so for a refresher course to see if I'm still doing everything I can -- or even if I can implement something new.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On Being Bullied: A Letter to 13 Year Old Me

Dear 13 year old me,

I know it's hard right now.  I remember and I hurt for you.  So much of my advice would sound trite, but please know you have two choices.  You can believe them and wither away or you can remain strong and find a solution.  I know you.  I know which path you choose, and you are going to do amazing things, things you could never begin to imagine.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thoughts on One Year of Marriage (Or What NOT to say to the Happy Couple)

This week marked one year of wedded bliss for my husband and me.  We celebrated by baking a cake the same flavor as our wedding cake once the tradition of year old wedding cake was deemed "gross" with the freezer burn forming puddles of water on top of our actual wedding cake.  We also went out to eat at a restaurant where we had won a gift certificate.  There were a couple kids screaming that had they been drunk adults they would have been asked to leave.  (In fact, most drunks I have ever seen have behaved better than these kids did.)  We killed two bugs at our table, and had mediocre food.  We have decided that after our wedding night in the ER and then later a trip to a resort that looked like it could have staged a 1970s horror film or 1970s porn movie, we're not going to try to do anything special for our anniversary again.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why you MIGHT be Given More Than You Can Handle

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people misquote Scripture.  I was in Bible quizzing in high school as I mentioned in my post about memorizing Scripture. Having memorized so much of the Bible, I cringe when I hear it misquoted.

God will never give you anything you can't handle.

It's in the Bible, right?  Actually it isn't.  Most people think that is what I Corinthians 10:13 says, but let's take a look at that verse in a few different versions.

 13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  (NIV)

Monday, March 14, 2016

3 Tips for Fast, Easy, and Fun Scripture Memorization

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

When I was in high school, I memorized the entire book of Matthew.  All 28 chapters.  Every verse. (There are 1,071 of them, by the way!)  Needless to say, I was the top Bible quizzer in my part of the state, and in the top half in our region of the country.  But it wasn't always easy for me to memorize Scripture.  I had to find the way that worked for me.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips for Familes to Focus on the True Meaning of Easter

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Easter is just around the corner, and it doesn't matter if you celebrate for one day, or for a whole season, with the egg hunts, plush bunnies, and chocolate filled baskets, it's sometimes too easy to get distracted about why we celebrate the holiday.

I have friends who do everything fun on the day before Easter.  They are Protestants, so they have no problem with that.  Personally I would not want to make Holy Saturday a "fun" day but would instead opt for Easter Monday to have the egg hunt, give fun gifts such as candy and bunnies. (And hey, if you want until the day after Easter, if you get up early enough you might be able to take advantage of half off sales!)  On Easter Sunday, they give their children gifts, but they are usually something like a Bible, spiritual DVD, or the like.  You could even give a milk chocolate cross on this day as well.  (Maybe if you stock a basket with treats that are good for the soul you wouldn't even have to have a second gift giving day.  There are plenty of candy with Bible verses on them.  Stickers are always loved by children as well!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Five Favorites: My Favorite Charities

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's Wednesday so that means it's time to link up with Ashley over at The Big White Farmhouse for another Five Favs!

When I was growing up, my dad was a huge volunteer.  He was a volunteer fireman for five decades.  When health problems prevented him from being able to fight fires, he did worked on fundraising and selling raffle tickets.  I grew up seeing him volunteer.  I, too, wish I had even more time than I do to volunteer, but here are my five favorite charities.  You will often find me donating to them through my eBay sales.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Six Ways to Best Use Your Income Tax Refund

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's that time of year again when the tax refunds come in.  Some people seem to think it's Christmas and go out and buy the latest and most expensive stuff they can't afford the rest of the year, but that's not really the best use of your refund.   Here are some better ideas.

1.  Unless you are getting Earned Income Credit, make sure you don't get much of a refund.  Why let the government hold on to your hard earned money all year when you could be using it?  If you like having a "windfall" once a year, start a savings account!

Monday, January 18, 2016

How to Create Your own Topical Study Bible

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

When I was in college, I bought myself a very average, very plain, King James Version Bible.  My friends, after some time, thought it was a Rainbow Study Bible.  To be honest, I had considered that Bible before purchasing my plain one, but there were topics that didn't interest me, and others that did.  So I decided to DIY my own study Bible.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Why you Should Set Goals Instead of Resolutions

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

Tis the season to see tons of resolutions floating around the Internet.  Lose weight.  Read More.  Get out of Debt.  Come February, how many who wanted to lose weight will have given up and spend Super Bowl Sunday celebrating the day that ranks second of the year for calorie consumption.

What did you accomplish in 2015?  Did you fulfill your resolutions?  If you are like most people, probably not.

One reason is GOALS ARE DEFINABLE.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Want to help our own first? Here are some ideas!

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

Want to help those in the USA before you help others?  Well, remember if you say that you SHOULD be helping.  If you need some ideas, here are a few:

1.  Call a soup kitchen and ask what they need.  Buy it, then stay to help serve a meal.

2.  Take an elderly neighbor who is struggling to make ends grocery shopping.  Give them a gift certificate to the store you are taking them to so they can purchase what they need.

3.  Leave a Thanksgiving basket on a family's doorstep who might not be able to afford a turkey otherwise.