Sunday, December 29, 2013

Resolutions…2013


Resolutions…2013

Every year I make resolutions and every year, I seem to fall short of finishing them all. This year, I think I did okay. But not as well as I had planned of course because even now I can’t remember all of them. I tried to stay constituent by blogging about it, but I think I only managed to do about half. I remember that I wanted to read more books, grow closer to God, pay off more of my college debt, and…I can’t remember the rest.


Here are some of my goals/resolutions for 2013:

  • Read more (fiction and classics)
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Read my Bible and do a Bible study
  • Try one new thing each month
  • Pay off my college debt
  • Complete MEPS
  • Continue to be politically active
  • Journal (prayer journal)

So how did I do? Well, I guess not as bad as I thought I had done.

  • Yes I did read more. Read more (fiction and classics)
  • I did not really do this. There was a few attempts, but not as well as I wanted to.  Memorize Scripture
  • I was also bad at being consistent and I didn’t get to do a Bible Study. Read my Bible and do a Bible study
  • Hmmm…Can’t say that I did something new each month, but I did a few new things this year. Maybe I will have to share some of them. Try one new thing each month
  • Still working on this one, but getting closer! Pay off my college debt
  • Graduated and got to go to D.C. as well! Complete MEPS
  • Very much so! Can’t wait to see what happens next. Continue to be politically active
  • On and Off. Journal (prayer journal)

So should I make New Year resolutions this year? I probably will. I enjoy thinking of challenging things. Before we ring the New Year in, I want to do some praying and ask what God wants of me this year. I want to grow closer to Him and in all I do, do it for Him. I pray that as you think of this coming year that you will also put Christ first. All to His glory!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Decemeber 2013

It has been so crazy lately. It seems as though I have either been working, finishing up Christmas stuff (shopping, helping cook and clean), or doing some other random stuff. Since Thanksgiving, the days have seemed to have filled up quite quickly. Right after Thanksgiving, my mom, sister, and I volunteered at some local mansions (yes, mansions!) in our town for their “Christmas at the Mansions”. Then the next weekend, my best friend from childhood got married and I was able to be a part of her special day. After we got home from the wedding activities, we then helped with a fundraiser for a candidate that is running for Governor. This weekend we had one of our family Christmases. This one was for my Dad’s side of the family.

After that family Christmas, we came back to our house and my brother’s family was staying with us. My nephew was playing with his new toys and a funny story came from it…

My 4 year old nephew received a transformer dinosaur that he was absolutely thrilled about. He went on and on about it. Then he said to me, “I have never seen a real dinosaur”. And he kind of went on about it and I was just thinking “of course not”. Then I thought maybe he was saying he had missed seeing them at the zoo (they had the robotic dinosaurs there for a while and my nieces and nephew thought they were real. But then he went on to explain why he had never seen the dinosaurs before. It was because “They had just “stinked” so much that they are not around anymore”. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that they may not have smelled bad, but that they were extinct. It was so funny, but he was completely serious about it. He truly believed that there are no dinosaurs anymore because they just “stinked” too bad!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Days 5, 6, & 7 - Christmas Picture Challenge

The last few day have been busy and I wasn't sure what to post for some of the challenges since we don't have our Christmas decorations up yet. Then yesterday, my mom, sister, and I volunteered at Linden Hills. Linden Hills is an estate with 2 mansions on it. This time of they year, they have what they call Christmas in Mansions. They have them all decorated for Christmas and it is beautiful! So below are a few pictures from our time there yesterday.

5. Santa
If you look closely on this vanity, there is a Santa. 

6. Stockings


7. Snow 
The mansions!

This is the house we volunteered in yesterday. 

See how deep the snow is??? We have over a foot of snow. 

For more information about Linden Hills, check out their website: http://www.linden-hill.org

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 4 of the Christmas Picture Challenge

Day 4 - Traditions

We have many different holiday traditions, but here is just one of them! 

Every year, during the month of December (usually sometime after Thanksgiving) we watch some of our favorite Christmas movies and also try some new ones! There are a lot of fun Christmas movies out there and a lot of them are clean, family-friendly ones! I think that is part of the reason why I love them so much (besides the fact that I just love Christmas)! 

Below is a picture of two of the Christmas movies I have watched every year since I can remember. I think we may need to get new copies soon, these are still on VHS! (My favorite of these is Miracle on 34th Street. The other one pictured is Prancer).


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day 3 - Christmas Picture Challenge

Today I am supposed to post a picture of gifts. I don't know about you, but I think if is a little early for that. So instead I decided I would post this quote I saw on Pinterest the other day. It is about the real gift of Christmas!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Picture Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 is decorations. We don't have any Cheistmas decorations up yet, but we do still have some fall decorations up...and we got a lot of snow today so I thought I'd share pictures of those 2 things!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Picture Challenge - Day 1

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe it is already December 1st! Since it is countdown time until Christmas, I have decide I would take this picture challenge that I saw on Facebook and post one picture each day leading up to the Holiday!

Hope you enjoy!

Here is what you are supposed to post each day if you want to join in the fun!



And for Day 1 - Lights!

(This is the star we have on our house. You can't see it well, but there is a picture of the nativity in the middle. I love this star and we have had it as long as I can remember!)



Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Musings - 11/25/13

Here is one of my favorite Bible verses. 

And one more verse in honor of Thanksgiving this week. 


Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Musings - 11/18/13 - C. S. Lewis

In honor of the 50 years of legacy that C. S. Lewis has left behind, I am sharing some quotes from him. I think he was a very smart man and has quite the way with words. 



For more of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes, check out my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/mjheffron/c-s-lewis-quotes/ 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Musings - 11/11/13

To all of the Veterans out there and their families - Thank you for your service. 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Homeschooling Moms are Some of the Bravest

I truly believe that homeschooling moms are some of the bravest, most courageous women in the world. They are strong women and many of them choose this life style because they want what is best for their children. Even when it might be hard on them. I have the privilege of seeing many of these women at work. We have a local homeschool co-op that I have the honor of teaching at. I get to hear these women share their joys...and their struggles. I see real life! 

My mom has been homeschooling for 24+ years. Both of my sisters-in-law have started homeschooling this year. There are many different moms in all different life stages in the co-op and many other homeschooling moms that I have gotten to know through other means. And someday, I want to be just like them. I admire them greatly. 

While they are sharing their struggles, I am seeing their perseverance. While they are battling their strong-willed children, I am seeing their strength. While the younger moms are tired from their little ones, I see the older mothers encouraging them. While they are rejoicing over their child, the others are sharing in it. Though all of these women are not perfect, they are real. They show me real life and how, in the end, it is God's grace that gets them through and their faith in Him! 

These are the women I look up to. I accept them just the way they are. They inspire me and I want to be that kind of mom someday!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/532198880937216800/

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31:28 ESV

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving first, then Christmas


Halloween is over. And I am glad for that. I do not care for the day.  Instead, I would rather celebrate Reformation Day. So anyway Halloween is over, and that means that Christmas decorations are going up in the stores and it is the next "retail" holiday. But wait, isn't there another Fall holiday that is coming up in between now and then? Oh yes, there is that holiday about the turkey. I think we almost forgot about that one...

Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving. In fact, I love the time leading up to Thanksgiving. It reminds me to be thankful and I think it prepares me for the Christmas season as well. It helps me to be thankful for the Gift of the season. I especially love Thanksgiving Day. The family all gathers around and each person tells something they are thankful for. I love hearing the answers, especially from the little ones! It is a time we set aside to give thanks. It is a great reminder for everyone.

This season, I ask you each to remember Thanksgiving. And more importantly remember what you are thankful for and to Who you are thankful to. Happy giving thanks month!
True
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/532198880937178318/

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Musings - 10/21/2013

Last week, I taught my homeschool manner class about flag etiquette. While searching through some things I came across the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner. So I thought I would share them with you all. I think it is sad that we don't know all the verses.

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 17 & 18

Day 17

Yesterday was one of the days that our local homeschool co-op meets. When I woke up yesterday, my alarm radio came on and the first thing I heard was that the station was giving away Newsboys CDs to the first caller when you heard their song play in the next couple of hours. Well that helped me wake up! So all morning as I was getting ready I was listening for their song, and listening, and listening. Then I would hear their song and call right away, but I would get a busy tone. So they finally announced they had one CD left to give away (by this time we were in the car on the way to co-op). So I tried once more and again...I got the busy tone. I couldn't believe it. I called so early and still missed it. So I thought I would try one more time anyway and...it rang. The lady on the radio answered and told me I was the first caller and I won the CD!!!! I was so excited! I think I may have kinda screamed! So I am thankful for the opportunity to win the CD and have such a great Christian radio station to listen to. 

I was also grateful for the manners class I was able to teach. It was on flag etiquette and being an American! It was great to hear the children say the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Day 18

Today I am thankful for the great concert we were able to attend tonight! We went to the Keith and Kristyn Getty concert! I love the fact that we are able to have bands come so close by.

I also enjoyed seeing some friends thati haven't seen in quite a while! 

   

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 15 and 16

Day 15

I'm thankful for a text message from an old friend that I hadn't heard from in a while. It was nice to text back and forth a little and get an update on what was happening in her life!

Day 16

Today I am thankful for a voice mail message from my niece/god-daughter. She let me know where she had been that day and then said, "We miss you. We love you." It was so sweet and it melted my heart!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 14

Yay! Day 14 and I have only had to do a few catch up days! 

Today I am thankful for the first fire of the year in our wood stove. While I'm not looking forward to cooler weather, I am very thankful for the heat that the wood stove provides! 

Monday Musing - 10/14/13

Isaiah 40:31
http://pinterest.com/pin/532198880936709153/

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 11, 12, & 13

I have fallen a little behind on my thankful posts, the the last couple of days have been quite busy. As I look back on them, I'm not positive what all consumed the hours, but I know I didn't get around to posting anything here. 

Ahhh, now I remember what I was up to. I worked on Saturday and Friday and what time I didn't use catching up on things, was spent reading! :) I read two novels in the last couple of days. So I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to spend some time reading. While I was in college, I didn't have a lot of time for pleasure reading. After I finished college, it took me a long time to get back to reading books that I wanted to read instead of just the books I had to read for my assignments. It is so nice to have found my love of reading again!

I saw this picture earlier today and thought it was very appropriate! Except I would probably be heading to the library. Oh, that is another thing I am thankful, my local library and the wonderful librarians there. I don't know what I would do without them!

What are you thankful for this weekend? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm thankful for...Day 10

Today I am especially thankful for the people that God has put into my life over the years. Even if some of them were there for a short time, they still made a big impact on me. 

A few years ago, a pastor from the local community was one of those people. I barely knew him, but to see the way he truly lived out his faith to the people in his midst was incredible. He was bold for God! 

I also think of some of the friends that God put in my life throughout my childhood and school years. God put them in the places I needed someone to be. 

I am grateful for various family members that have supported me. My grandparents were some of my biggest cheerleaders. And many others in my family have shown support for me in various ways. 

I think of my political friends that have supported me and been such blessings in my life. Thank you, God, for putting them in my life. 

Finally, the last one that comes to mind today is my former boss that recently passed away. While he was only my boss for a short time, I have great respect for this person. He made an impact on me and on the people around him. While not everyone may have always agreed with him, I believe he had a lot of people's respect. 

So today, I am thankful for the people I have mentioned above. So many of them have impacted me in ways that they will never know. I am grateful to God for placing them in my life. 

Who has made an impact on your life? How have you seen God use someone in your life that you only knew for a short while? 

I'm thankful for... Day 9

This is for yesterday (10/9)! Yesterday I was thankful to be able to go shopping in town with my mom and sister. We went to one of our favorite little stores in town, then to the library, and Walmart. It was a fun outing. And even more fun because I got some great deals. At the library, I picked up a couple of books of their book sale cart for just a couple dollars I got 3 novels and a children's book. Then when we were at Walmart, they were marking most of their clearance clothes down...to $1! It was great to be able to get a few different things! I got a course skirts, pairs of shorts, and t-shirts. All for $1 each, such a great deal. 

It was such a fun time!

What are you thankful for? When was the last time you got a great deal on something?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 8

Today I am thankful to be home and for the little things like running water! After being in the woods (camping) for a few days, I am thankful for modern conveniences. 

Another thing I'm grateful for is having Internet access again! :) But at the same time, it was nice to get away from it all.

Book Review - Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren

I loved reading Lisa Tawn Bergren’s third book in her series called the Grand Tour Series. The series tells the story of a young lady and her recently discovered wealthy family as they go on the “grand tour” across Europe. Glittering Promises sums up the series as they come to the conclusion of their tour. As you are touring along with the family, you will wish you are really there!


I could not wait to read this book and after reading it, I was not disappointed. Lisa did a lovely job of wrapping up the series in Glittering Promises. I couldn't put the book down as the story completely held my attention. And there was even a few surprises at the end. I would highly recommend the whole series!

***Here is a link to purchase the book on Amazon. Also, the second book in the series is free on Kindle and other devices, so make sure you check it out! (I don't know how long that offer is good, so make sure you get it soon!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 6 & 7

This past weekend, my family (including siblings, in-laws, nieces, and nephews) went camping. Our Fall camping trips are usually fun family times and there are almost always memories that are made. And this year was no exception! Starting out and even part of the trip, I was not very thrilled to be there. The forecast was about 100% chance of rain and it did rain almost all day Saturday and part of Sunday. So we were all very thankful yesterday when the sun came out! We even got to go riding (4-wheelers and dirt bikes)!


After the sun came out, we all felt so much better. I am also thankful for all the beautiful Fall colors. 

This is looking out over the lake that we camped by. 

Looking at the lake through the trees. 

Did your weekend turn out to be what you planned? What did you do this past weekend? 




Monday Musing - 10/7/13

Galatians 5:22-23
http://pinterest.com/pin/532198880936709133/

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 5

So even though it rained almost all day today and we didn't get to do all we wanted to do, I will still find something to be grateful for! So today I'm thankful for being able to spend time with family. During this rainy day, I played with my nieces and nephews and also played cards with some of my siblings and in-laws. It may not have been time spent outside, but I think we were all able to have some fun family time anyway!

Friday, October 4, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 4

Last night I was looking at the number of hits I have had on my blog and the numbers completely shocked me. Within a 24 hour period, I had close to 90 page view on my blog! And I also went over my total page views of 4,000. 

So today I am so thankful to God for all of you who are reading my blog. Sometimes I wonder if people are reading it and it still surprises me when people tell me they are reading it. I pray that in some way God will use my words to minister to each one of you. 

So to you, my faithful readers, thank you! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 3

I'm thankful for the opportunity to teach at our local homeschool group. I'm teaching a manners class for K-4. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the co-op group that I was able to be a part of growing up. And I hope one day, when I have children, I'll be able to bring them to this same homeschool group! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 2

Today I'm thankful for being able to meet and visit with Author Cynthia Ruchti yesterday. It was wonderful to be able to meet her right here in my small town. I had just recently finished reading When The Morning Glory Blooms by her and I loved the story. It was so inspiring and yet such a beautiful book! I would highly recommend it! 



Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/142673543X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1380742265&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm thankful for... Day 1

"...be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" 

Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Today I am thankful for the fall weather and the pretty leaves that are starting to change. 




A little bit of red in the woods!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Musing - 9/23/13

As Christians, we can laugh at death. For us death is not the joyless end of our lives; but it's the beginning of endless joy!

-Barbara Johnson

The only legacy worth anything is our footprints for them to follow...right up to God's throne. In the light of eternity, nothing else matters.
 
-Barbara Johnson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Musing - 9/16/13

Above All

Above all powers
Above all things
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Chorus
Crucified
Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure what You're worth

-Paul Baloche and Lenny Leblanc

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 - 12 years later


*Photo Credit
I, like many Americans, will never forget that day. September 11, 2001. I remember getting to the TV in time to watch the the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. I remember sitting in front of the TV and watching over and over again the planes crashing into the towers. I remember having a math word problem that day talking about the tallest building in the world. The Word Trade Center was one of the building listed. But it was no longer there, it was no longer one of the tallest buildings, because it was no longer even standing...

September 11th was a day that my generation and the generations before me will never forget. But yet, on a daily basis, it has been forgotten. That day, 12 years ago, was not a day that our country fell apart. Instead, it was a day that the country stood together. We stood in faith and the communities gathered around each other. We held each other up. One of the most memorable quotes from that day was, "United we stand, divided we fall". 
We believed this, so we stood together, we stood united. I believe that statement is the same today as it was 12 years ago. We need to stand together and support each other. 

President Bush's Speech

*photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/savethedave/380610010/">savethedave</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photo pin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>


***This is a post that I'm reporting from last year. My thoughts are the same and we will always remember. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Musing - 9/9/13

"Where did you come from baby dear?"

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of everywhere into the here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I came by.

How they all just come to be you?
God thought about me and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, so I am here.
-George MacDonald

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Musing - 9/2/13

The Months

January brings the snow,
makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breezes loud and shrill,
stirs the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daises at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy damns.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children's hand with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasants,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Minnesota Excellence in Public Service Series (MEPS)

Dear Friends and Family,

Over the past 9 months, I have been a part of the Minnesota Excellence in Public Service Series (MEPS) program. The program is a leadership program that trains conservative women in different forms of public service. Once a month we met and had various speakers come in. We learned many different aspects of politics and other ways to serve in our state and local communities. We concluded our training by attending a National Conference in Washington D.C. We met with groups from other states, visited the U.S. Capitol, and heard from national speakers at the conference.

U.S. Capitol
 As the 2012-2013 program concludes, I would like to ask for your support for me and for the program moving forward. Part of my commitment as a MEPS fellow is to raise at least $500 for the furthering of the MEPS program.

I would really appreciate your financial support! You can donate securely through PayPal.
1. Go to this link: bit.ly/1ce5tIJ
2. Enter the dollar amount you would like to donate and log on to your PayPal account
3. By your total there is a place to "Add special instructions to the seller". Please click on that and then add my name.
4. Then finish your transaction!

Lastly, I would like to thank each one of you for your support of me over the years in both my personal life and in my involvement in politics. I am truly grateful.

Again, I would really appreciate your support for the program! I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Mandy

Picture
MEPS

For more information about the MEPS Series: please go to http://www.mnexcellenceseries.com or let me know if you have any questions, please let me know.

To donate: Please click the link (if donating online, please mention my name in the notes section) or contact me.  http://www.mnexcellenceseries.com/contact--apply--contribute.html 

Manners...Where are they in today's culture?

Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You know how when you ask a question on social media, sometimes you get a lot of responses, other times you don't get hardly any response. Well the other day, I posted a question. I wasn't sure if I would get any response, but I got a ton of comments. Here is what I posted:


"I am going to be teaching a manners class to grades K-3 this fall. I have a pretty good idea of what I would like to teach them, but I was wondering what everyone has for suggestions. What manners do you see missing from kids today or what do you think they should be taught?"
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 The responses were a wide range:
  •   Eye contact (the first one that comes to mind from watching even college students interact with authority)
  • Eating with mouth closed. Elbows off the table. Please and thank you.
  • How to properly greet someone. Both in person and on the phone.
  • How to make simple, polite conversation. 
  • How to graciously accept a compliment.
  • Interrupting adults talking....or any one for that matter.
  • To say thank you when a waiter gives you something.
  • Teach them that adults are called Mr. and Mrs.!
  • Meeting adults' eyes when they greet her (especially in church).      
  • Waiting to eat until everyone is seated and served. Also not using electronics during a conversation.
  • Manners for the flag, ie. stand when it passes in a parade. phone etiquette
  • Hats off indoors.
  • Waiting your turn. Both in line and when it's time to talk.
It seems to me that manners are missing in today's culture. The list above is full of things that people are not seeing, the etiquette that is not being used.

In preparation for this class that I will be teaching, I have been more aware of my manners and the manners people are using/not using around me. I recently worked a booth at our county fair. We had a spin-the-wheel game for the children. I was surprised by the lack of manners that I saw from the children. There were so many children that simply collected their prize and left, without bothering to say a simple "thank you". It saddened me to see such a simple and everyday manner go unused. 

Where have we failed? Why is it culturally acceptable to not use manners, when etiquette used to be a such a major part of culture? What manners do you see missing?


Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Musing - 8/26/13

This is from my "common place" book that I started ten years ago. Originally, I found the poem in a book my grandma had given me.

Mondays child poem
Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
-Charles Perrault 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Musing - 8/19/13

This is on a picture my parents have in their house.

“Excellence is the Result of Caring more than others think is Wise, Risking more than others think is Safe, Dreaming more than others think is Practical, and Expecting more than others think is Possible.”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A David perspective

A few months ago I heard something interesting on the radio. It was the Focus on The Family episode from 4/25/13. Looking back, I can't remember what specifically the program was about, but I do remember getting this out of it. I wrote it down because I knew I wanted to remember this and share it with you. 

"We need a David-perspective. We look at the giant and we think that he is too big to defeat. David looked at the giant as someone too big to miss".

Do we live with a David-perspective? I think so many times we look at things in our life as too big to overcome. Too big to defeat. Maybe it is a health problem, a issue at work, or a family-related problem, but it is something that looks huge to us. We need to realize that God is on our side. And He will help us defeat the giants in our lives.

When I think of David defeating Goliath so many years ago, I also think of the movie "Facing the Giants". While the Biblical story of Daivd and Goliath is a true story and Facing the Giants is a fictional story, I think both show how God can work in our lives if we rely on Him.

So while you and I are pondering whether or not we are living with a David-perspective, check out this movie or read the story!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm not Perfect

While you may have already guessed this... I'm not perfect. I am not a perfectionist and I am not in any way, shape, or form perfect. When I was younger, I had people and even some extended family members that thought I was such a good little girl and maybe went so far as to say I was perfect. While it may be true, for the most part, I acted like a "good little girl", I wasn't all that good either. I was and am a sinful human being. I try to do good, but still I fail, each and every day. It drove me crazy when people thought I was the perfect kid (or maybe I only thought they thought this!).

I was thinking about all of this the other day and then yesterday I saw this on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/pin/532198880936639950/
I know I will never be perfect this side of Heaven. And it is doubtful that I will even become a perfectionist. But I do know this, God is perfect and we should strive to be like Him. So I will strive to be like Him, and have excellence in the things I do. And if by some chance I do demonstrate excellence, I pray that all the glory will be to the One who is perfect and provides us with our talents and abilities.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My (forgotten) love of writing (with a pen and paper)

I had forgotten how much I love writing, real writing, like actually sitting down with a pen and paper and writing! Lately, so much of the writing I do is on my computer or even on my smart phone. So tonight, when I pulled out a notebook and some fun new pens I bought (they are different colors), I really enjoyed it! 



There is just something about writing things down that calms my soul. One of my favorite ways to write is by journaling. My journaling has turned into more prayer journaling than the daily diary type, but I think that is why I find writing to be calming and refreshing. When I journal my prayers, I am taking the time to really think about what I am talking to God about. It is not rushed and hurried. Instead it is as if I am writing a letter to a friend, which is what I am doing. I know God listens to my prayers in whatever form, whether it is a quick prayer, a dinner prayer, or my written letters, He is there with me. 

Hopefully, I will learn to take more time to have quiet time with God. And more time to write things down (with a pen)! 

What is you preferred method of journaling or writing? What have you been doing lately?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Birthday Week

Last week was completely crazy, as most of the weeks of summer seem to be!

The weekend started out celebrating one of my niece's birthday at the lake. We went tubing, wake-boarding, and knee-boarding. It was a super day on the lake.

Then on Saturday, three of my other nieces spent the night. On Sunday, we all headed to church.

The next few days, it was one thing after another. My parents' celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. I am so happy to see the the influence they have been to me and to the people around me. They are truly living their lives to serve God by serving the people around them. I also had a job interview on the same day as their anniversary that was over 100 miles away.

Next it was my birthday and we also celebrated that at another one of the lakes in the area. About half of the family was able to attend and we had a fun day. Lots of sun (and sunburn) and even more playing in the water. I was pretty sore the next day! :)

The middle of the week we spent at home. It was in the upper 90s so we spent time in the pool! And during the hottest part of the day, we watched the movie I got for my birthday: Les Miserables! I have now watched the movie twice (once in the theater) and it has such a message in it. It really makes me think.

Back to the weekend again, we had the opportunity to go to a dinner theatre. I have to say it was one of the most fun experiences that I have ever had. We saw the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

Joseph


Saturday was Niece #10's baptism and then we went to a party afterwards at her house.

Sunday, we went to church and then a family reunion on my mom's side. After we got home, I finished reading a book by Colleen Coble. My brother and his family had supper with us and we had a beautiful evening. No bugs and very nice weather!

MN Mosquitoes...

The last couple of days, we spent cooking for a family friend! We cooked about 7-10 meals for them and several desserts and snacks. It was fun to do the cooking! I am hoping to share a new blog with you all soon that my mom and I will be co-writing on the food we make and share!

Here are a preview of some of the recipes to come:
Chocolate Cream-cheese Cupcakes

Monster Cookies
Ranch Snack Mix
 Hope you are enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

June 2013

June was a whirlwind...

Really the whole first part of this summer has been super crazy. My summer started after we got home from Washington D.C. at the end of May. After we got home I started the job hunt again and then shortly after that, I headed to my brother's house to help my sister-in-law out with their 3 kids. (She was expecting at the end of June). So the first weekend of June, I spent time with her and the kids. Then I came home and celebrated my younger sister's birthday with her and one of my nieces. We went to a water park and stayed over night in a hotel. It was a fun time. At the end of that week, it was Niece #7's birthday! We celebrated that birthday by going to Paul Bunyan Land!
He closed his eyes when I took the picture!
After celebrating birthdays, I headed back to my brother and sister-in-law's house for a week. In between helping out and hanging out with the kids, I was able to spend time with two friends that live around there. It was so good to see them and be able to spend time with them. It was long overdue! Also at the end of that week, I had my last class with MEPS. I was sad to see it end; I will miss the fellowship. But it is onto graduation in the fall. (Also, if you are interested in donating to the program, I am raising money...so let me know!)

About this time it was the middle of June and I came home again and had a job interview and also helped my parents with some remodeling they were doing. They redid all the wood floors in the house and that meant moving a lot of furniture! And now putting it all back. :)

So the end of the month, I was able to work a few days at the job I had worked earlier in the year. On the last day of filling in, I got a text from my sister-in-law that she was having contractions. Finally, the baby was on the way to meet us. So I finished up work early, went home, picked up my younger sister to go with to help with the kids, and then headed to my brother's house again.

My sister-in-law was induced the next day and Niece #10 was born! It was fun to get to meet her and hold her.

While that was the exciting part of the month, there was also a hard times during the month, one that brought tears to my eyes. About two weeks ago, just before my little niece was born, I found out that my 1 1/2 year old cousin has leukemia. She is just a little one and much too young to have to deal with something like this. I ask that you keep her in your prayers. Pray for healing for her and strength for her parents and family members as they struggle through this. I was glad to be able to visit her at the end of June as well.

July was here all of sudden and Independence Day was coming soon. On the 3rd of July, I was helping get ready for the 4th, including making some food for a picnic supper. I went to drain the potatoes that I was cooking and managed to pour some of the boiling water on my leg instead of in the sink... Not much fun... But thankfully, the burn is well on its way to healing!

This float won the award for the best!


On the 4th, we went to a parade. Then we went to a lake and had a picnic while waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to start. From there we went back to the fireworks! I have to say they were some of the best I have ever seen!

Fireworks!

Here is the grand finale!

Since then it has continued to be busy. We are still putting the house back together after floor renovation! And we have also had a chance to go to the lake, go swimming in our pool, and do a few things around the area. Coming up for the rest of the summer we have many more birthdays to celebrate (including my own), we will go to other local events, and spend time with those we love.

*Are you having a fantastic summer? What is keeping you busy?