Sunday, June 28, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #26: Turn off Technology

Log Cabin Day encourages us to step away from a world of computers, electric lighting, and even indoor plumbing to embrace and experience a simpler existence.
After you are done reading this blog post, I encourage you to turn off your computer, put down your phone, turn off the TV and spend time doing something with your loved ones that doesn't require the use of technology. If you can't do it today, schedule at least one day this week to get away for awhile and do one of the following:
  • Go camping, or have a campfire and roast hot dogs
  • Go on a nature hike
  • Go swimming
  • Play a game (indoors or out)
  • Invite someone over for a cookout
  • Sit and talk/listen to each other. Use these MEALTIME CONVERSATION STARTERS (or make up your own) to ask questions and get to know each other better.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Two Years Cancer Free

This is a short post, but I just wanted to share about yesterday's checkup with my Oncologist. It was two years ago on June 19th that I finished my treatments. So, this was a 2-year post chemo checkup. My doctor had three words to say about this visit.


As he gave me a "high five" he explained that I no longer need to return to see him every 3 months. Instead, I will now be returning every 6 months. So, only twice per year now. That is SUCH. GREAT. NEWS. 

(Big smile!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Day is Waiting

When my children were younger, I remember reading them a book by Don Freeman called "Corduroy." It was a sweet book about a stuffed bear named Corduroy that we all enjoyed.

Recently, I found out about another book that includes illustrations by Don Freeman, but it was published after his death.  He had left behind a collection of sketches and drawings that had never been published, so his wife passed them along to be used in making another children's book. Linda Zuckerman, a close friend of Mr. Freeman, wrote the words to match the illustrations that were found. The final product is "The Day is Waiting."

It is a simple book, with one sentence or phrase on each page. It talks about getting out of the house to explore the world around us, enjoying the view, then realizing we always have home to return to.

The illustrations have different styles and don't really give the book a harmonizing feel at first glance. But, I understand the reasoning behind the assorted illustrations, so that makes them okay after all.

It is a nice little book to share with your young ones and discuss what "home" means to them. But, I can also see it as being a special graduation gift for your older child. When they are getting ready to see what is "out there" in our world for them to explore, they can take the book with them and it will be a reminder that they can always return home.

Disclosure:  I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #25: Honoring Fathers

Happy Father's Day!

Mother's Day came first. Then, Fathers could not be left out, so Father's Day was later added to the list of official holidays. It was President Richard Nixon who signed a proclamation in 1972 to recognize the 3rd Sunday in June as a day to honor fathers. For a more elaborate history of Father's Day, go here: The History of Father's Day

Some of this is a repeat from my Mother's Day post, but consider using one of these ideas to think about and honor your father this week. (NOTE:  If your father is deceased, several of these ideas can still be done in honor of him.)

1.  Consider planting a tree in his backyard (or in your own backyard if he is deceased). You could even make a minimum $10.00 donation to THE ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION in your father's honor. Each dollar donated will plant one tree in one of our nation's forests, so $10.00 will plant 10 trees.

2.  Instead of buying expensive gifts, just spend time with him. Play a game, watch a movie, go for a walk, or just sit and talk. If you live too far away, be sure to at least call him and talk to him on the phone for awhile. He just wants to know you care about him.  

3. Write a thank-you note to your dad for the roll he has played in your life.

4.  Ask your father what he wants you to pray about for him, then pray for him daily this week (or longer if you like). 

5.  Make a donation in your dad's name to his favorite charity or religious organization.

6.  Name a star after him at STAR-REGISTRATION.

7.  Tell him you love him.

8.  Watch THIS EPISODE from The Donna Reed Show in 1962 (Season 5, Episode 6), titled "My Dad." Here are the words to the song in this episode, sung by Paul Peterson...

My Dad
Written by:  Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

He isn't much in the eyes of the world,
He'll never make history.
No...He isn't much in the eyes of the world,
But he is the world to me... 

My Dad,
Now here is a man.
To me he is everything strong,
No he can't do wrong,
My Dad.

My Dad,
Now he understands
When I bring him troubles to share,
Oh he's always there,
My Dad.

When I was small
I felt ten feet tall,
When I walked by his side.
And, everyone
Would say, "That's his son."
And my heart would burst with pride!

My Dad,
Oh I love him so.
And, I only hope that someday,
My own son will say,
"My Dad. Now Here is a man."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

GUEST POST: Faith-Based Activities to Suggest to Your Babysitter this Summer

If you’re a parent chances are at some point you’ll be leaving your child under someone else’s care this summer. Of course, anytime that’s the case there is a lot of trepidation. As a parent, you know it only takes a split second for someone to get hurt or upset and then chaos can quickly ensue. Any babysitter you hire will need to be able to handle those uncertainties while also keeping everyone as safe as possible.

            To help ensure your babysitter keeps everyone out of harm’s way this summer, you can gently guide them in the right direction by first supplying them with this swimming safety guide for babysitters. Then, give them some activity ideas to keep your kids occupied and happy. Here are a few safe options that your kids will enjoy.

Clean up a natural area. In its list of fun ideas for parents and babysitters, suggests visiting a local natural body of water to clean up its shores. Of course, you should provide gloves and any other needed protection. Then, once the cleanup is done your babysitter can have a picnic with the kids. It’s a great opportunity to teach the them about respecting God’s earth and also about how to be safe around natural bodies of water.

Play “The Waiting Game.” offers a great game for babysitters to play with their charges. “The Waiting Game” teaches patience and faith. All you need is a ball. Have the children stand in a circle. Toss the ball in the air and call a child’s name. They’ll have to try to catch it before it hits the ground. Then the game turns into tag with the child with the ball trying to tag another child.

Jump in the pool for faith-based “Categories.” If your babysitter is taking the kids for a swim, give the pool game “Categories” a Christian twist. Your babysitter can provide the category—e.g., books of the Bible, names of disciples, etc. Choose a child to be the guesser each round. While the kids will find this to be a lot of fun, make sure it’s played safely. Children should never jump into the pool on or near other children.

Enjoy the outdoors with “Carnival Fun.” Invite the kids to use their imaginations as your babysitter turns the yard into a carnival. recommends creating a “carnival” where folding chairs, picnic tables, and benches serve as booths. Have the kids play faith-based games at each booth and then serve hotdogs for lunch.

            As a mom, I like being able to give my babysitter options for what to do with my kids. It makes me feel better knowing she’s sticking to activities that are safe and that I’ve approved. As a Christian, I love that my kids have Bible and faith teachings available to them each day.

# # #

Lindsay M writes for PublicHealthCorps and, in her spare time, enjoys satisfying her other passions - like cooking, biking and photography. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of twin girls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Good-bye, Dear Aggie Cat

June 1997 - My sister gave us two of the sweetest kittens in the world. They were 6 weeks old. We named them Aggie and Dutchess.

1998 - David and Me with our cats.
1999 - One year old EL sitting in the doorway with Aggie.


2001 - Looking for catnip
2002 - I am pregnant with JJ in this picture. Aggie liked my big, warm belly.
2003 - Aggie joined David and the kids for an Easter picture.

2005 - Aggie was so good around kids.
2006 - This was Aggie's special afghan she always liked laying on.
2007 - Relaxing in the windowsill

2008 - Snuggling on the couch with me and JJ
2009 - Comforting EL when she was sick with the flu
2010 - Sunday afternoon nap time
2011 - EL is laying in the doorway with Aggie, just like they did when they were little.
2013 - Aggie kept me company when I was recovering from cancer treatments.
2014 - Snuggled in her favorite afghan.
June 15, 2015 - Aggie was barely able to walk due to old age. We took her outside to lay in the shade and feel the breeze. This was the day before she died.
June 16, 2015 - On the morning of the day she died. We knew her time was nearing. We were saying our good-byes.
Our final picture of Aggie before she passed.
We had 18 special years with Aggie. She will forever be in our hearts.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Pirates Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson DVD [Giveaway CLOSED]

One way you can spend time with your children this week is by watching a movie with them. My family and I recently watched the newly-released-on-DVD movie, Pirates Code:  The Adventures of Mickey Matson.

In this follow up to Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Mickey and his friends go up against the evil Admiral Ironsides and his gang of modern-day pirates. The pirates' new invention is a weapon of mass destruction that is meant to destroy every electronic device in existence. Mickey and his friends take on a mission to stop the pirates from their evil plans. NOTE:  If you did not see the first movie, like us, you can still understand the story line of this one.

This is not a faith-based movie, but is family-friendly and Dove approved. It is full of action and adventure, which really helped to keep the interest of our 12-year-old son, although it is not limited for an all-boy audience.

You can purchase today from PURE/FLIX. Or, if you would like a chance to win a copy of this DVD, take a moment to fill out the form below. The DVD will be directly sent to the winner by FlyBy Promotions. Giveaway ends Saturday, June 20, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. CST.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #24: Spend Time with Your Children

Children's Day in the United States is not an official holiday. However, since 2007, the governor of Illinois has proclaimed “Children’s Day” to be the second Sunday in June. Other cities in Illinois, Colorado, and Washington have also issued these proclamations. It is a day set aside, like Mother's Day and Father's Day, to give faith, hope, love, and commitment to our children.

Set aside some time this week to spend time with your children. Do something you and your child  both enjoy doing together, remind them that you love them and show them that love. Most important, remind them that God loves them.

Some ideas to do with your child:
  • Go bowling, swimming, boating, camping, fishing, hunting, play miniature golf, or do whatever sport your child likes to do.
  • Go to the park and have a picnic
  • Have a movie night at home with popcorn and pizza
  • Play a game together - indoors or outdoors

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #23: Be Full of Cheer

Monday, June 8th (that's tomorrow!), is UPSY DAISY DAY.

What is this day all about? Its a day to encourage people to get up when the alarm rings and be conscious about having a positive attitude.

That is your ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE for this week! Tomorrow morning when you wake up, don't groan and complain about it being a Monday. Choose to be cheerful, grateful and full of glee.

Try to continue doing the same thing throughout the rest of the week, too! Maybe some of your positivity will rub off onto someone else and you will encourage them to choose gratefulness, too.

Have a great week!