Friday, December 31, 2010
"Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right."
If you chose to be a little cultural this year and celebrate New Years in a different way, here are a couple of traditions that take place all over the world on the 31 of December.
South America - Residents all wear brightly colored underpants. Those who wear red, are hoping for love in the new year. Those who chose to wear yellow, are wishing for money.
Denmark - Many Danish leap off chairs at midnight, hoping to ban all bad spirits in the new year. They also have a very loud and destructive way of celebrating the new year- they break dishes. People throw their old dishes on their friends’ doors on New Years and the one with the most dishes outside their door, usually has the most friends.
Philippines - It is a tradition in the Philippines, that Filipinos focus on all round things. They consume round fruits such as grapes and wear clothing with round shapes such as polka dots. The round shape reminds and celebrates the roundness of coins, as they hope for prosperity in the new year.
Spain - At midnight, Spaniards consume 12 grapes and try to consume all of them by the time the clock stops chiming.
Belarus - In Belarus, unmarried women compete at games of skill to determine who will get married first in the new year. One game involves setting piles of corn and a rooster before each of the single ladies. Whichever pile the bird approaches first, is believed to be the one who is to be married first.
Germany and Austria - Germans and Austrians pour lead as a tradition, which includes using molten lead like tea leaves. The lead pieces are pour into a bowl filled with water, leading the lead to form shapes which predict what is going to happen in the new year. If the lead forms a ball it means good luck, if it looks like an anchor it means you will need help in the new year and if it’s a cross it means death.
Ecuador - Usually when you burn someone’s picture it means bad break up. However in Ecuador, the fiesta includes all the locals gathering together with pictures that represent something you do not want in the new year from the last year and burning it.
Chile - In the city of Talca in Chili, people participate in a mass on New Years Eve and then they all go visit the graveyard, to set up their chairs and wait for the year to arrive with the dead.
Puerto Rico - When it’s New Year’s Eve in Puerto Rico, they throw buckets of water out the window to “clean” the old year out. They also clean their homes and decorate them, as it is supposed to symbolize the “cleaning” of the spirit.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This is the time of year when charities are in full force, trying to take advantage of the spirit of giving that is in full supply during the holiday season. Commercials are filled with reminders and ads making us aware of the poverty that exists outside our doors. Some of the ads get me choked up every single time, like Angel Tree for example. Tears usually fill my eyes as I am "taken back" to the memories of my own childhood Christmas memories.
My dad worked hard but only made about $5/hr and with a family of seven, that didn't stretch very far. So, most of my childhood, my parents depended upon government assistance, food stamps, etc. And when the holidays came they relied heavily on church donations and organizations like Angel Tree to provide the bulk of our Christmas cheer. Our parents would let us know that money was tight and we wouldn't have gotten any presents if it weren't for the church or organization who adopted our family. You might think that my parents shouldn't have said anything to us about where the gifts came from, but I'm glad my parents were honest with us. Being aware of the generosity of others affected me deeply and personally. I believe it made me a more grateful, generous adult.
When I was a little girl, I LOVED dolls. I especially loved the pretty porcelain ones. They usually have fancy dresses and the prettiest faces. I wanted to collect those more than anything, but they were definitely NOT in our price range. One of my most treasured Christmas presents came when I was about seven years old. I opened a box and found a pretty, fair skinned doll with brown hair, dressed like Little Red Riding Hood, complete with the hooded cape, but in baby blue instead of red. I knew she wasn't the expensive porcelain doll, she was only made of plastic, but she was the nicest doll I had ever owned. I loved her so much that I couldn't bear the thought messing her up by playing with her. So I immediately wrapped her in a garbage bag and put her in a safe place. As the years passed, I would take her out every now and then and play with her for a few minutes, but I always carefully wrapped her back up and returned her to her safe place. I still have her to this day. She's still wrapped in the garbage bag to this day. I still take her out every now and then and the emotions of that Christmas morning still flood my mind.
All of that to say, I don't know who my "Angels" were... but if I could, I'd want to thank them, and to be honest, that moment would probably include blubber of the worst kind, tears and snot and all. I'd thank them wholeheartedly for not only giving me the gifts they donated, but for setting the example of generosity that has changed my outlook on life.
Thank you, Angel Tree Ministries, and all who participate in giving to the less fortunate. You never know how a simple gift will impact the life of a little one. I hope to pass along that love of giving to my own children. Although, they don't know what it feels like to be hungry or go without, I hope they will be generous with the abundant blessings their life is full of.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Romans 12:9-13 NLT
Sunday, November 28, 2010
-->> I need your help and YOU need money for Christmas = Win-Win situation <<--
Here's what I need you to do:
1) Follow my blog by clicking that little "Follow Me" button at the top of the screen.
2) Look through the back of your closet and find that gorgeous jem you've been hiding but you're afraid of tossing, just in case Aunt Gertrude asks you if you still have it.
3) SEND a PICTURE of you wearing your ugly sweater to me (firstname.lastname@example.org, mention - UGLY SWEATER CONTEST IN THE SUBJECT LINE PLS) NO LATER THAN Dec 9TH
My responsibilities include:
1) I will choose a winner Dec 10th.
2) I will send an email in return announcing the winner.
3) I will send you the address you will use to send the sweater to me to use in time for my party.
4) If I receive the sweater in time to wear to the party (12/18)... I will immediately send you $20 for you to use as you wish just in time for Christmas. That should cover your shipping costs and give enough to spend elsewhere. :)
5) IF YOU DON'T SEND ME THE SWEATER IN TIME FOR ME TO USE FOR THE UGLY SWEATER CONTEST.. Your sweater is no good to me.. and I will NOT send you money for it!
Let the games BEGIN!!
Don't know what an ugly sweater looks like? Need inspiration? Check this out...
oh... and while you're here... Follow my blog. :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
...Well, I realized very quickly that my job didn't JUST require me to make song sets and sing pretty on the weekends. I had to learn how to communicate vision, create structure, rules and procedures; inspire creativity, counsel hurts; play referee and be the lead cheerleader for my team. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that not only did I love music and the creative world... but I LOVED people. I also learned that without that love for people, I'm miserable and lost. I learned that I have a gift of making the most "closed off" or private person, open up and share their heart. Not because I'm awesome, but because that's how God has gifted me me. I learned a lot about communicating with others, and how important it was to communicate in "their language/style". (Which is quite difficult sometimes). I learned that outside of worshiping my sweet Jesus with other believers, nothing fulfilled my heart more than inspiring others to live a life of purpose, purposefully. I love figuring out what a person's passion is and what they're good at and then helping them accomplish it, by overcoming negative mindsets that have held them back.
So, all that to say, I'm excited. I'm excited because I have MORE to learn. I'm in a new city, with new people, a new church, and new adventures awaiting me. I'm also excited because - I'm about to enroll in a course that will help me to fulfill my passion to empower people to accomplish their goals and dreams. No matter what environment I'm in, in a church small group, in a workplace/office; working as a school volunteer, or even within my own family; I will be able to utilize the skills I'm going to learn about how to bring the best out of people. My hubby is excited because I'll be able to CHARGE for my extended time with people too. hehe
Classes start in January. I have mixed emotions. I'm excited and VERY nervous. But, this is definitely something I HAVE to do. I believe it will help give me the skills I need to take my natural gifts to another level of excellence and effectiveness. I want to use my own journey to inspire others to achieve their own goals as well.
"There are some people who live in a dream world,
and there are some who face reality
and then there are those who turn one into the other."
~ Douglas Everett
Monday, November 15, 2010
Mark my words... We are heading towards a new era. This is very exciting to me... it makes my tummy fill up with butterflies for some reason. This is a beautiful piece of work... I want one!~ :)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Pumpkin Pie Recipe By My Very Own: Nathan
7 seeds of a pumpkin
17 cups sugar to make it yummy
Put the seeds in a bowl and smoosh them. Put sugar in a cup and get it all the way up to 17. Put it in one of those things that put it all together, get it in the oven. Make the oven really hot and then let the pie cool. It takes 7 hours. You can eat it.
Chicken Recipe by Dominick
1 30 pound chicken 2 packs barbecue sauce
2 packs candies (Don’t buy the vegetables. I don’t like vegetables. Buy the candies.)
3 cheese chips 30 cheeses
Wash the chicken in a pan with water. Mix the candy up with the chicken and put barbecue sauce on it. Dip the cheese chips in the cheese. Cook the chicken in the oven for 7 hours at 5 degrees. Eat the chips with the chicken.
Turkey Recipe by: Jacqueline
10 20 pound turkeys 5 bags sugar
3 bottles hot sauce 3 boxes of pepper and salt
10 pounds of white sprinkle cheese 1 bottle of ketchup
3 jars mayonnaise
Put the turkey in the sink and wash it with cold water for 10 minutes. Cut off the feathers. Put the turkeys in a pan on a stove. Cook them for 10 or 20 minutes on high heat. When it’s a round circle with two bones on the side, it’s done. Put the turkeys on a big nice round plate. Put everything on a big round table and if they want it they can get it.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We decided about a month after moving there that we needed to find a church. Well, we tried one, but it failed miserably to give a warm welcome so we moved on. We overheard a neighbor bragging to another neighbor about how her church had a rockband, so of course, I inquired for more info.
From the moment we drove onto the YMCA parking lot we were greeted by friendly people waving us in. They somehow knew we were visitors and directed us to front parking spaces. If that wasn't enough, we were then greeted by the most outstanding front door team. Smiles were everywhere. We dropped the kids off in their respective, high energy rooms, and we were off to the sanctuary (which was actually a gymnasium). We sat down and we were warmly welcomed by a few others. The worship started, and by this time I couldn't get the smile off my face. Then, as if all this wasn't enough, the Pastor came out and gave a relevant, challenge "to take it home and try it and you'll like it" kinda message. I looked at my husband and knew that we were both hooked....we were home.
Bear with me here... I'm having a mushy moment...
So, six years later, as I watch the video, recalling being one of the attendees on those days. I can't believe how fast time has gone. The faces of all the people I've known, the memories and experiences flash through my mind like lightning and the tears flow down my face like rain. All I can say is wow....
Thank you, Destiny Family, for all the amazing things you've taught me. Thank you Pastor Joey, Melanie and Pastor Aimee for pushing me past my fears; into a place of blessing and favor like I've never known. Thank you for helping me find my purpose. Thank you to those of you countless people, who took the time to send encouraging emails my way on a Monday morning, letting me know that you were touched in some way by God's presence during a service; those encouragements came at the perfect time, just when I needed to know whether I was making a difference or not. Thank you Destiny family, for worshiping so passionately that you inspired me to worship with abandon. Destiny Praizteam, each of you have made a huge impact on my life and who I am today. You're beautiful worshipers and I am honored to have been a part of your lives. Thank you front door team for doing your job of giving a warm welcome that first day we came and visited Destiny. If you hadn't done your job, with excellence the way you did, we probably wouldn't have stayed and been able to experience all the blessings we experienced these past six years.
Destiny family... Keep loving, Keep serving, Keep inviting people... Cause you're world changers. You're making a difference. 5000 souls were saved in 10 years. Wow! That's awe inspiring. Countless other lives were changed too... I know, because I'm one of them. Happy 10th Anniversary Destiny!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Check it out:
Simple Mom Blog/No More Shampoo
I have a friend, that told me about this one awhile back...but I had a hard time believing that using olive oil on your face would actually be good for it. I had visions of my face becoming an ache cesspool. But, this info claims otherwise.
See for yourself!
Simple Mom Blog/Use Olive Oil to Clean and Moisturize your FACE
Please tell me if you have tried this. I'd love to hear about it. Or if you think this is a disgusting idea - I'd like to hear that too. :)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
"Jesus, help me to be present in the moments of my life; moments where you are waking me to the beauty of it all. I want to take those moments, when your Word is in my hand, to close my eyes and know you're with me. Help me be PRESENT and to remember that YOU always are... in every moment of my life... MY very PRESENT HELP in time of trouble."
Watch this video... see if you don't want to make a decision to do the same::
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
|From Me and Mine|
My son Nathan, came to me and emphatically asked that I buy him Frosted Flakes the next time I went grocery shopping. He was convinced that this cereal would help him perform at Olympic status when he played in his next football game. Later that day, I saw the commercial that spurred the idea. It reminded me of when I was a kid, I lived and breathed tv. I watched tv as often as I could. I lived vicariously through the lives of the characters that paraded in front of me... no joke. Television played a huge role in how I perceived the world around me.
I went down memory lane when I searched youtube for 80's commercials. I had a complete time warp while watching those commercials! I remember sitting on the edge of my seat, soaking in every commercial! I wanted everything each commercial was selling. I was convinced that the toy they were displaying was going to make me the happiest kid to ever live. I definitely didn't feel like it had been almost 30 years since I'd seen those commercials. (...that's the scariest part of walking down memory lane...)
Here's a good one that I remember like it was yesterday... Jerry O'Connell in a speedo hehe :)
I'm curious... What is your favorite childhood commercial? find it on youtube and share it or describe it! :) I'd love to know.