Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2009

Caring for Friends in Need - From Across the Country

One of my dear friends just had a baby and she lives halfway across the country from me. Having a baby is challenging enough, but this is baby #3 in just over 3 years. Her oldest son turned 3 in September, her 2nd son (diagnosed with Down's Syndrome and many related health issues) turned 1 in January, and her 3rd son was born 2 weeks ago. Due to medical complications baby #3 just came home from the NICU a few days ago.

I've been working really hard to find ways to support her family, and I've finally found some avenues that feel helpful. I'm sure some of you are in (or have recently been in) the same boat - looking for ways to care for loved ones far away. So I thought I'd share what we're doing for my friend - not to brag, but to help you find creative ways to love others.

We're coordinating care efforts through a really cool website called Lotsa Helping Hands. It's a free service that allows you to post needs on a calendar that's accessible to…

Radiant - No Matter What the Circumstances

I've been reading through some of my journals today, looking for some words of encouragement for friends that are hurting. I just stumbled on a devotional calendar I put together almost 10 years ago. The entries are excerpts of a book I was writing in my journals titled, "Glimpses of a Sanctuary: A heart of serenity & prayer in a world of chaos". It's actually what I thought would become my first book, but the publishing opportunity hasn't come yet. God's timing for planting and fulfilling (or not fulfilling) dreams is such a funny thing sometimes.

Radiant - No Matter What the Circumstances

“Early on, Amy Carmichael seems to have learned a spiritual secret that caused her spirit to blaze even brighter in spite of the many difficult circumstances she faced” as a missionary in the darkest parts of China. (David Hazard, You Are My Hiding Place) I think she must have read God’s promise, “Those who look to him are radiant.” (Psalms 34:5) That’s the kind of woman…

Motivating Kids to Do Their Best - from MVParents

I like this post on Motivating Kids to Do Their Best from MVParents

Here is Lynette's intro, "You want your kids to do their best. But what is their best? How do you know if your kids are living up to their full potential? Consider these ideas."

And here is a sampling of her ideas - there are many more in her full article:

Notice how much your child is self-motivated. Some kids seem to know what they want and go after it. Others seem to dillydally a lot. Every child has a different amount of self-motivation.

Be aware of the difference between extrinsic motivation (being motivated by others with rewards and bribes) and intrinsic motivation (being motivated internally to do something). Although it’s okay to try to motivate kids from time to time with rewards, try to get in touch with what makes your child motivated from the inside and focus on that motivation.

Look for fun ways to spice up activities that your child doesn’t enjoy, such as certain chores or doing homework for l…

Teaching Children to Wash their Hands Carefully

I just read about a great way to teach children how to wash their hands carefully. See pictures of this tip from LarkSongKnits. (Thanks to Crafty Crow for sending me to this blog!)

Supporting Military Moms during Deployment

I live really close to a military base, so I have several friends with spouses that are deployed overseas. I've never known very much about military life, so I asked my friend Elizabeth (military wife and mother) to coach me through how to support women whose husbands are deployed. She gave me some great advice, and said that I could share it with you.
First, I would recommend that she get a free video that Sesame Street produced for her kids if she doesn't already have it; the first link should take you to a site where you can order it. Make sure that she knows that she can call you whenever for whatever. We have a neighbor whose husband is in Korea for a year; she knows that she can come ask for whatever help she might need, even if it's getting a bird out of her house or watching her kids while she unloads groceries. You might offer to watch her kids sometimes so that she can have a little time for herself. Don't take it personally if she doesn't want to talk a…

Share the Love - Building Assets through Valentine Traditions

Holidays offer a great opportunity to be intentional about building assets, building memories, and having fun together. Valentine’s Day, in particular, is a great time to show others that you care, leading to a more caring school climate, a more supportive home environment, stronger intergenerational relationships and healthier friendships. Here are some ideas you can use in the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day.

Loving Words
• Hide conversation hearts around the room for children to find. Let children hunt and hide them again and again.
• Get sneaky – put mini love notes in each other’s pockets, lunchboxes or on their pillows during the week. On each note, share a specific trait you admire about that person such as, “Your hugs every night make my day,” “I love your ready smile,” or “Thank you for your helpful spirit.”
• Send cards to people you care about. Draw pictures or write poems to tell them why they are important to you.

Loving Hands
• Make Valentines on the computer. Create labels …

Clifford Big Ideas - a Philanthropic Valentine

I received this email today, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's a great opportunity for Clifford-loving kids to consider their values and actions, while having a little fun. And everytime you play, you can know you've helped give money to a good cause - without spending a dime!

HandsOn Network and Scholastic have joined forces to launch a cause campaign with Clifford The Big Red Dog® to raise awareness for how CLIFFORD'S BIG IDEAS can make the world a better place.

Throughout the year, Clifford's BE BIG! campaign will create unique opportunities to promote CLIFFORD'S BIG IDEAS (Share, Play Fair, Have Respect, Work Together, Be Responsible, Be Truthful, Be Kind, Believe in Yourself, Be a Good Friend, Help Others). Clifford's BIG Ideas inspire children and adults to think BIG and act BIG in their communities.

Starting Feb. 2 you can create and send a virtual Valentine's Day Card to Clifford; for every card delivered through Feb. 28, Scholastic will do…

Tape and Glue - Home Essentials!

Every home needs a good supply of tape & glue. In the last 24 hours, we have taped a broken Lightning McQueen suitcase handle together with electrical tape (you can't even see the broken part!), repaired a book and a magic painting page with scotch tape, super glued broken pieces on 2 Precious Moments figurines that my daughter broke (see result below), sutured two hand cuts with super glue (one for me & one for my daughter), reinforced my daughter's bandaid with tape (it would not stay on her hand!), and this doesn't even include art projects, office uses and home projects! I can't imagine life without tape & glue!!Off to Bible study...

Free valentine's newsletter about healthy children and youth

I just published the February Asset Messenger, the Center for Asset Development's free e-newsletter that talks about practical ways to nurture children and youth. This month's issue highlights ways to build developmental assets during the Valentine season. You can get your free e-copy by emailing me at ann(at)theassetedge(dot)net.

Valentine GIft - super cute non-skid socks

I just read a post at Scribbit - Valentine's Crafts: Non-Skid, Full-of-Love Socks. She mentions making some with hearts on the bottom - I think that's a perfect Valentine's gift for grammas and little girls! I tried to buy non-skid socks for my mom last year, but they are a seasonal item at Walmart. So I can't wait to make these! I already have puffy paint, but I need to go buy some socks for my mom. So fun!

Research Says: Eat Dinner Together as a Family!

I just posted an article titled, "Ten Benefits of Frequent Family Dinners" at It contains really powerful statistics that prove the more often children and teens eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink and use drugs. It will remind you about the importance of sitting down to eat together - even in the busyness of life!

Speaking of eating tonight, I haven't planned what we're having for dinner! I need to get myself into action!!

Oreo Balls

Kelly, one of my DH's high school friends just sent this recipe our way. I can't wait to make these sweet treats!!

* 8 ounces softened cream cheese or whipped cream cheese
* 18 ounces package of Oreo cookies, crushed
* 2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
* 1 tablespoon shortening

Mix cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Add the crushed Oreos and beat on high until well mixed. Chill for at least 2 hours in the freezer. Then roll Oreo cookie mix into one inch Oreo Balls.

Next, melt the chocolate chips and shortening with a double boiler or in the microwave.

Dip the Oreo balls completely into the melted chocolate using tongs or a toothpick.

Put on wax paper. After the Oreo balls harden, keep them in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3 or 4 dozen Oreo Balls, depending on the size"