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Archive for the ‘Celebration’ Category

     Have you ever noticed how a baby can change the whole environment of a room?  You can be standing in line somewhere thinking that you would rather be anywhere else in the world…frustrated beyond belief; and, a mother or father can walk in with a baby and people just seem to smile a little more.  Babies have the ability to change the world.

        If the baby is old enough to interact with those around them…they can lift the spirits of the grumpiest person nearby.  Everyone is that baby’s friend and while they may not want to leave the safe and secure arms of mom or dad to let a stranger hold them…they will generally smile, coo and try to engage those around them.  That baby has already changed everything about life for both mom and dad; as well as those in the life of mom and dad.

         Every baby is special.  But there is one baby that is even more so; it is baby Jesus.  Today is his birthday and he changed the world more than any other child born.  He was born to bring life and love everlasting to the world.  He loves everyone and wishes for them to live in heaven.  For this to happen…we must accept him as our savior; and, live a life that is worthy of being saved-the bible is our road map…it teaches us the way to live.   We live to be of service to others and to worship God. 

         Babies are a gift from God…just as baby Jesus was a gift.  So this Christmas, please remember him in your celebration.  He is the reason for the whole holiday…celebrating Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus seems like an empty holiday to me.  May you be blessed this Christmas and in this New Year!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

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       Do you know a holiday saboteur?  You know who I’m talking about don’t you?  It is the person who agitates others during holidays.  It is the person who argues with everyone…about everything.  It is the person who has a permanently unhappy disposition in life.  It is the person who grumbles about things that really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things..  It may even be the person who checks you out, as you hum a little holiday cheer, while you purchase your gifts.   Bah Humbug!

         Why, for goodness sake…this holiday saboteur may even be a member of  your own family!  Egads…what are you going to do?   Uninvite them immediately…move out of state…get divorced so you don’t have to deal with them anymore?  Surely, you aren’t going to take it that far to avoid the holiday saboteur?

           Assure me that you aren’t going to let them do it this year; don’t let them steal your joy.  Not at the office, not at the local gas station, not in the llllllllllloooooonggg line in the post office, not on the highway…not on the subway, not at the Christmas/New Year’s eve party………most certainly tell me that you aren’t going to let them get to you when you visit them….and definately, don’t let them bring you down in your own home!  Why, that is your happy, safe place…or it should be.

          Instead, might i suggest a little something- something to change it up a bit?  Why not, throw them off balance with a holiday super charged, joyful, in your face celebration? 

          Maybe they will do one of two things…perhaps they will get so shocked by such a display of holiday cheer that they will come over to the dark side and actually CELEBRATE; or, they will get totally annoyed at the lack of indulgence of their perpetually bad behavior; they will get up and leave, when no-one feeds the flames of discontent by politely listening to their moody, morose …angry and controlling ways! 

          Either way…you are free to have a happy holiday get-together any way you choose to celebrate it!  Unless the holiday saboteur lives inside of you….egads…I hadn’t even thought of that…did you?

         

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        Today is a day that I have been looking forward to.  I get to travel some distance to go see my daughter and grandchildren.  I have promised them their first experience of making Christmas cookies with Grandma. 

         They are only 2 & 3 years old…so this will be fun.  Momma is on bed rest due to pregnancy.  So we will take a try over to her and let her help decorate once they are baked.

         The only thing better would be to get to do this also with my other grandchildren who live out of state.  This makes me blue because i would love to do the same wonderful thing with them.  Those grandchildren are a bit older and so the experience would be a bit more artistic.  Maybe next year Grandma will get to see them during Christmas. 

          In the meantime…we are going to enjoy Christmas, cookies, and the gift of Grandchildren! 

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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         Did you ever go to a wedding and just observe the Bride and the Groom closely?  Today, i did just that very thing.  Oh, to be sure…the Bride was beautiful and full of smiles; and she looked the picture of what a Bride should look like.  Youth, beauty, joy and excitement poured forth from her face as she, who is normally very shy, looked everyone in the eye and took her vows.  This was her testiment to her pledge of love and commitment.

          The Groom also looked young and full of love and pride in the bride of his choosing.  There were awkward moments in the ceremony…such as a very loud train rumbling by the church…just as the bride was speaking her vows. Then, they did some wonderfully, unique things in their ceremony.  They took communion during the ceremony which was lovely.  The poor bride got a larger piece of the bread put into her mouth by her groom; which took her several minutes to chew and swallow…which caused her to be somewhat embarassed and caused some good natured laughter in the crowd.

          Part of the unique ceremony took place when the bride was given in marriage by her father to her groom; at that point…the bride and groom took the elevated platform in the front of the church; and the minister then, came out into the congregation and stood with his back towards the back of the church…he faced the bride and groom; who stood facing the spectators.  This viewpoint gave the advantage of watching the bride and groom as they spoke their vows, lit the candles, and smiled into each other’s eyes as they whispered affectionetly to one another.  Then, the groom played the guitar while one of his groomsmen sang a tribute to their love for one another.

           All in all, it was a trusting, loving, innocent step into the future as husband and wife…not knowing what the future holds for them…just knowing that they were taking the beginning step forward, together!  Hopeful for a lifetime journey.

        

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        I became aware of an extreme example of those who have; and, those who have not.  The nation of Swaziland celebrated it’s 40th independence day as well as the King of Swazi’s 40th birthday in an ostentatious way.  The King Mswati was driven around in a convertible BMW flaunting his weath in a country that is overwhelmed with extreme poverty.  The nation has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic; it has the world’s highest AIDs rate.  This means that many households are not able to earn enough money to provide for their families; because many households are headed up by children because of the plague of AIDs.  Those homes that are affected by AIDS may not be healthy enough to work.  Many individuals only get enough food to eat because of international food aid.  This is a terribly sad event.

        This lack of basic necessities limits the average person’s ability to influence powerful changes, in a country that desperately needs to improve it’s quality of life.  In my mind, if the country has that kind of money…i have to wonder, why is the international community forced to provide food aid in the first place?  Those people should be coming first, in my mind, to the King of that country… he and his family should not be living a lifestyle that feeds off of riches…while his own subjects are forced to accept help from outside countries!  That should be considered shameful to the King of Swaziland and it’s officials.  It is, to me, a failure to fulfill his duties to provide care for the people under his rule. (more…)

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       Tonight, a totally moving and strong speach was given by Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for the Vice President of the United States.  This woman i believe could very much be good for our country.  She has given a message that the people of the United States have wanted to hear from their leaders…whether they be Republican or Democrats.

       She is down home, grass roots…and very direct.  She exhibits qualities that hit home with real people…who work hard for their money and struggle to keep it for their families.  She believes in cutting down on government control.  She encourages improving the living conditions for special needs children and their families.  She promises that when elected…those families will have a friend in the highest offices of the land.  She has a sense of humor and she knows how to use it.  She asked what the difference was between soccer moms and a pit bull…she said soccer moms wear lipstick…she classifys herself as a soccer mom!

         She illustrates the difficulties that the American middle class families face with job cuts and taxes that burden families; she declares that she and McCain will cut excess government spending.  She has proudly underscored the strength of the hard working people in the country who do not live as the elite in Washinton DC.

        It is powerful to see this speach take place.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the polls now.  Whether in the Vice President position or not…this woman is going to make a huge impact on America.  She is proud of her son in the United States military, her daughters and her husband, as well as her son with Down’s Syndrome.  I applaud her support of those with special needs.     See related website on special needs: http://www.growingupspecial.com/

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          Do you remember in the old days when someone won gold in the Olympics; they maybe made the cover of a cereal box or got a television commercial?  These days, with all of the open access to micro media (social networking)…a savy person, or someone with the bucks to hire a  skilled publicist, has the whole world at their feet if they so choose.

           Michael Phelps must be either very savy with the micro media, or he has the bucks for the publicist :).  News came right away that he was going to be working on writing a book.   Keeping his name in the forefront of the media is a wise thing; it will help him to sell his book in large numbers; which publishers love!   He has done the traditional celebratory thing and went to Walt Disney World for a colorful photo op.  He has even been making the rounds in the traditional media mags like People who try to dig into his personal life…like the romance department. 

          Evidently, he has been in training for more than the Olympics as he learned somewhere how to evade direct responses to requests for said information on his love life, haha.  I say go for it Michael…it’s is no-ones business unless you choose to make it public knowledge.  Of course, that doesn’t stop the speculators who suggest that he is involved with a former beauty queen from California, by the name of Nicole Johnson.

           Michael Phelps is also keeping busy by expanding his skill set.  He is going to be on Saturday Night Live on Sept 13th.  It appears that Michael is going to avoid that typical emotional let down, that many feel after competing in the Olympics, when all of the attention shifts from the competitors and their accomplishments to other news of the day.  Smart move…it is never a pretty thing to see a role model who is accomplished, wither on the vine, not knowing what goals to set their sights on next.  Good luck Michael Phelps with your exploration of the world; you seem to be enjoying the experiences as you go, as you should!

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       Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States.  The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront.  The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows.  This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.

        It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it.  There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful.  However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.

         Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years.  This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy.  It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.

          The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before.  The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money.  It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist. 

            The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures. 

            Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid  American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy.   CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people.  Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers.  We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up.  The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions. 

              We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws.  We can learn from both the good and the bad.  People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits.  Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged.  Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be.  We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.

               So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight.  Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality.  Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will. 

                America has become a bit off balance.  There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers.  There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t.  Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong.  There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn. 

                The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs.  We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee.  Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities.  That would be amazing!

                We want to celebrate the best of the best.  Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today?  It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on.  Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!

           

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         Don’t take this the wrong way or anything…it isn’t like i am saying she should have won the nomination…because as I have said before…i haven’t been terribly thrilled with any one of the choices we have had, put before us as a Presidential candidate; however, i was in my mind’s eye, thinking how “interesting” it would have been if when Hillary got up to give her speach for unity, if she would have said…ummmm..ya know…i have had alot of support thrown my way and well…i was thinking…maybe i will run on the party of a DemoPublican ticket.  LOL  I will just take my supporters and run with it!  Wouldn’t that have made a statement?  We all know how dissatisfied the Clintons have been with the process.  Still, from all reports, Hillary stood her ground and called for unity…and buried her alledged upset at the situation.

          I just hate the way that this whole thing has played out.  People will vote who they want to vote for and that is as it should be…vote your conscience.  However, i just don’t like all of the political maneuvering that has seemed to take place behind the scenes.  I don’t like all of the celebrity hoopla that has gone on in this campaign.  I am not a fan of let’s play pretend and say that we are a united party when you know, at the truth of it all…there was probably intense pressure, power plays, and promises for future support or endorsements; if only you do this for us…then, we will do “that” for you down the road.  Who do they think they are fooling with all of this circus entertainment?  It is detracting from the candidate and the foundation of his campaign.

            If the point of a national convention is to make the candidate stand out and shine in their moment of nomination…why  do we have all of the distractions that we have been hearing about for the last week?  Trot out the old school and relive the glory days, have the national anthem sung by a former American Idol contestant, negative attack political commercials, bring in the star power endorsements, celebrity poker games to benefit world hunger, twist the arm of a former competitor to push for unity from her supporters, placate her husband and give him a podium to voice a message that we all understand is crucial to our country’s well-being…terrorism…instead of his forte, which some claim is strengthening the economy, pick a running mate that can growl like a tiger…say what you really want to say and take the flack for it, tout the experience of said running mate who is embedded in the old school ways of running the country; all the while, taking the focus off of the inexperience and uncertainty of whether the nominee is qualified to run the country in his own right.  Don’t forget to add a little flash and dance celebration and emotional triggers about how historic this moment is to the evolution of our country to finally have both a black man, and a woman, running for President of the United States. 

           I could buy how far we’ve come as a nation, just for that particular milestone; if in fact, we didn’t pit those two “historic” candidates to run against each other in the same party, at the same time; and, if we didn’t have other members of the black culture calling the black candidate the “N-word” when they should have been extending him the respect he deserved as the candidate of choice.  The Republicans are getting ready for their moment in the sun soon…wonder what we can expect from that particular convention?  Oh man…isn’t it November yet?

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