Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas season and have your dreams, goals, and plans in place for the new year. 

One of my goals for 2013 is to recompile my writing work and actually have a couple projects in progress so will see how the wind of inspiration blows.  One of the directions I have been contemplating is to prepare the In The Trenches material in a manner that can be used for small or large group presentation.  Last May I had the opportunity to speak before a group of over 200 women and although it was a challenge to keep my papers from shaking I actually lived through it without passing out on the floor.  To this end, the blogging has been set aside.  There are many great sites out there so I know that there will not be a shortage of useful, inspiring, information available.  I would appreciate any feedback you might have about what has been helpful and what has not from either the book or the blog.  My email address is on the right column. 

In reviewing this blog today I am absolutely shocked and appalled at how many typos I let go through!  Thank you again for your graciousness and my sincere apologies to all perfectionists.

I am gratified by your continued readership, comments, and reception of the free copy of the book.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year and may God bless you in all things.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree

Looking for a new tradition? This is my family's favorite Christmas story. I received it as a gift in 1963 and we have been reading it ever since. I posted this last year but too late for most people to obtain a copy. This year we are set and ready to go. The family will love it. And for the reader it is a chance to use their stage voices as they express each of the characters.

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree is the story of a man who purchased a giant beautiful Christmas tree that was too tall so he chopped off the top. And, the top continued to be chopped and was passed along to many families until it finally reached a little mouse family. It is a wonderful story of surprises, delight, and making the most of what you have, and being happy! The illustrations make the story AND they are now IN COLOR. Imagine that...

Amazon has both the original black and white drawing and new versions available and both have the same story and illustrator so take your pick. They also have the "look inside" feature if you would like more information.

It just wouldn't be Christmas without Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toys for Tots

"Since beginning the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in 1947, Marines have distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million needy children. This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas."


This information was taken from the Marine Toys for Tots website and the history of the organization is a Christmas story in and of itself reminding us that our soldiers serve our communities in so many important ways.  I had to laugh at the start of the organization:

"Toys for tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came form Bill’s wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did. "  Another reminder of the old saying "behind every good man stands a good woman" and that the Marines just keep making a way where there is no way.

Looking through their website I was throughly impressed.  Did you know they ran a literacy program?  I didn't.  And, their list of corporate sponsors were top of the line.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year to recognize and acknowledge the generosity of others and be a part of it as we are able. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Salvation Army - Hear the Bells Ringing?

It's that time again... 
We've all seen them and in our bustling shopping schedule it's easy to walk right on by. Sometimes we may throw in some spare change as we pass. This year I got curious to know more about the Salvation Army including it's history and impact. What I found amazed and astounded me and if you have a few minutes I hope you too will take the time to learn a little more about this wonderful organization to whom one of the wives of the McDonald's company thought worthy enough to donate $1.6 billion dollars. I know I will dig a whole lot deeper into my own wallet each time I see a kettle.

The Salvation Army is the Number 1 non-governmental charitable organization in the United States and has locations in 122 countries. They have been feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, on the battle fields, and burying the dead after disasters. In 1906 they were there after the great San Francisco earthquake and more recently have assisted 1.7 million after Hurricane Katrina investing $365 million dollars and countless hours in rebuilding the lives of those affected. The list of where they have been and the help they have given is extensive for more than a century.

Amazon Link
Founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom by William and Catherine Booth as a mission organization to reach out to the alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes. While William preached to those outcasts of society his wife spoke to the wealthy gaining financial support for the work. Surprisingly their work was met with the throwing of rocks, rats, and tar along with assaults on their workers because they were affecting the livelihood of the bars and other individuals who profited off their misery. Read more about the history and current outreach in Wikipedia . In Australia alone the Salvation Army has housed over 30,000 needy children. William's goals were simple: Soup, Soap, Salvation.

His passion and mission has encompassed the world providing food, clothing, and shelter to those in need and rapid response in times of crisis. We have the opportunity to participate in this work simply by taking a moment to pause and donate to the kettles and thrift stores thoughout our communities. The story is exciting and encouraging and never more appropriate than in this season of giving.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

  The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln


Happy Thanksgiving