Friday, December 31, 2010

3 in 30


Have you made your New Year's Resolutions for 2011?

  • Does this simple question completely shut you down? 
  • Do you feel you have to come up with yet another new set of resolutions; that maybe, you may or may not be able to fulfill? 
  • Does it ever leave you feeling like a failure when you keep listing the same things year after year? 
Well, my answer to all the above questions is a resounding YES.  Take note, you are not alone.  But, there is hope...

 3 In 30 - Making Goals Reality 3 At A Time

3 in 30 is a joint-venture between Meghan Tucker {The Tuckers Take Tennessee} and Ashley Pichea {AP Freewriting}, overflowing from our own accountability relationship. We want to encourage and challenge you to accomplish your goals!

As lovers of lists, we've found that our lists can often be overwhelming to the point of not successfully attaining any of our goals. So we've decided to team up to keep each other accountable, and we want you to join us!

Let's break down our lists into bite-sized chunks, and let's check up on each other over the course of a month. Together we can accomplish our goals!

It takes 21 days to create new habits. Each month (approximately each 30 days) we'll start fresh with no more than 3 goals we want to work on. Throughout the month we'll provide weekly link-ups and opportunities for daily encouragement and accountability.

Here is how we'll do it:

  • Grab a button and put it somewhere on your blog. (Include this button in your weekly update posts, too!)
  • Add a twibbon to your Twitter profile picture.
  • Brainstorm and make a list of three attainable goals for the month of January. {We will take it month by month, so only pick three for this month, and then we'll move on in February and come up with three more.}
  • Throughout the week, check in with us on Twitter using the hashtag #3in30
  • There will be a weekly link-up on each of our blogs for you to link up your posts about your progress. This will be used for the rest of us to come and visit, read how you're doing, encourage, and support you.

When will the link-up be? Every Friday at midnight CST.

Be as creative as you'd like with your posts. Ask yourself these questions: (1) What are my goals for this month? (2) What have I done this week to get closer to meeting my goal? (3) Have I taken some time to get to know the others involved in this challenge? If so, who have you enjoyed visiting their blog and getting to know? (4) Post pictures if you'd like!

So, start brainstorming - come January 1st it's on! We'll be encouraging each other, making new friends, and accomplishing our goals all at the same time.

We are so excited and cannot wait for you to join us!

~ adapted from The Tuckers Take Tennessee

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Walk

By: Shaun Alexander 

In The Walk, Shaun stresses the importance of order in becoming a mature Christian.  He lays out 5 stages that each person can walk through: Unbeliever, Believer, Example, Teacher, and Imparter.  He states that if a believer were to "skip a stage in the maturity process, error will creep in.  Get ahead of God, and things will start to go wrong.  But follow His (God's) order in  your life, and you will see amazing things happen." p. 21

He breaks each stage down into becoming a Believer, Example, etc and expands on the trials, traps, and victories of each stage.  As you walk through this book, Shaun gives concrete examples not only from his football days, but also real life situations many people can relate to.  He cites Scripture throughout the book, yet many times they are only referenced.  A Discussion Guide is available for small groups to read together.

I feel that Shaun Alexander over-stresses the order of the stages and not enough on the actual learning and living of each.  He does state near the end that different people will proceed through the stages at different rates - some faster than other.

Download the first chapter of The Walk by Shaun Alexander here.

Star Rating - 4 out of 5

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are strictly my own.

This Week in US History

December 26

1776  After crossing the Delaware River, George Washington's army defeats a Hessian force at Trenton, New Jersey.

1865  James Mason of Massachusetts wins the first U.S. patent, for a coffee percolator.

December 27

1900  Prohibitionist Carry Nation begins her campaign of destroying saloons when she smashes the bar at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.

1932  Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City.

December 28

1832  John C. Calhoun becomes the first vice president to resign, leaving office over political differences with President Andrew Jackson.

1945  Congress formally recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance as the national pledge.

December 29

1851  The first Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States is organized in Boston.

1890  The U.S. Cavalry massacres up to 300 Lakita Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

Sioux survivors from the Battle at Wounded Knee.

December 30

1853  James Gadsden, minister to Mexico, signs the Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States buys nearly 30,000 square miles of land from Mexico.

1924  Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces evidence of the existence of a galaxy outside our own.

December 31

1907  A giant ball is first dropped in Times Square to bring in the New Year.

1999  The U.S. transfers full control of the Panama Canal to Panama.

January 1

1863  Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.

1892  Ellis Island begins processing immigrants in New York Harbor.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas....", and we have enjoyed a White Christmas! It was the icing on the cake! Thank you, Lord!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day!

Merry Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas....",  and we have enjoyed a White Christmas!  It was the icing on the cake!  Thank you, Lord!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day!

Advent Reflections 2010


Day 1 – God promised his people that He would send the Messiah, the Anointed One, to save them.  Isaiah 7.14, 9.6-7
Day 2 – God’s timing is always perfect; He knew the perfect time to send JESUS, the Messiah, into the world.  Galatians 4.4
Day 3 – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I, Ellen, am the worst.”  1 Timothy 1.14-16
Day 4 – Remember that Christmas is a time to share our blessings and become generous, honest, cheerful givers.  “…it is more blessed to give than receive.”   Acts 20.35
Day 5 – Jesus has come to live among us.  I am to live each day knowing that Jesus was physically present in my home, always.  Revelation 21.3
Day 6 – As a believer, I am God’s servant.  He can do anything You want with me.  Luke 1.28-30, 47-49, 54-55
Day 7 – Name Him Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) which means “the Lord saves.”  Luke 1.31, Matthew 1.20-21, Philippians 2.10-11
Day 8 – Jesus is the One and only Son of God.  Luke 1.31-33, 1 Samuel 7.12-13, 16
Day 9 – The Holy Spirit brings life to our dead, innermost places when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Luke 1.35, John 6.63
Day 10 – The Holy Spirit helps us recognize Jesus; and when we do, we jump for joy!  Luke 1:41-44
Day 11 – I need to magnify the Lord by having higher, larger, and truer thoughts of God.  This means humbling myself before Him.  Luke 1.46-48 and Psalm 34.3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”
Day 12 – Jesus-born of ordinary parents, from an obscure little town, a teacher-not a conquering king – Our Savior.  God uses simple, ordinary things and people to accomplish His work in the world.  Micah 5.2, 4
Day 13 – Just as God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus; we, too, need to prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus in a fresh, new way this Advent season.  Isaiah 40.3, Mark 1.4, Luke 1.17
Day 14 – When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem for the mandatory census, all the rooms were taken.  Jesus, the Son of God, was born in a stable and laid to rest in a manger.  I need to make room in my heart, my thoughts, and my time/schedule for Jesus to enter in.  Luke 2.1-20
Day 15 – After Jesus was born, He was wrapped in strips of cloth – swaddling clothes- the clothing of the humble and lowly.  I need to be clothed in humility daily.  Luke 2.7, Colossians 3.12, 1 Peter 3.3-4
Day 16 – Jesus’ birth brings JOY to all who accepts Him as Lord and Savior.  Luke 2.9-11, 20; John 15.10-11
Day 17 – God’s glory is revealed in the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  Luke 2.9, 2 Corinthians 4.6
Day 18 – God sent not one, but a host of angels, to announce the birth of His son – the Prince of Peace.  Luke 2.13-14
Day 19 – Christ became poor to open the door to God’s riches---- salvation.  Christmas is about giving, not getting.  What are you giving this season?  2 Corinthians 8.9
Day 20 – The shepherds went to Bethlehem to see what the angels told them.  They left the stable believing in Jesus and sharing the good news!  Luke 2.15-17

Day 21 – On Jesus’ birthday we come and give ourselves and our worship to Him with great JOY!  Matthew 2.1-2, 10
Day 22 – Jesus was born to die for my sins.  When the kings came to worship Him, they brought gold (gift for a king), frankincense (grain offering pleasing to God), and myrrh (to be used when He died).  Isaiah 60.3, 6; Matthew 2.11
Day 23 – Jesus saved me from my slavery to sin.  HE is my Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9.6-7
Day 24 – A virgin will conceive from the Holy Ghost so the child she bears will be holy, and will be called the Son of God.  Isaiah 7.14, Matthew 1.18-25, Luke 1.26-38
Day 25 – Jesus is born!  Micah 5.2, Matthew2.1-12, Luke 1-20

Today in US History

December 25...
1651  By order of the Puritan lawmakers in Massachusetts, any colonist caught observing Christmas with feasts or other festivities is fined five shillings.

1776  George Washington's army crosses the Delaware River on Christmas night for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey, the next morning.

1830  In South Carolina, the Best Friend of Charleston becomes the first U.S. locomotive to begin regularly scheduled passenger service.

1868  President Andrew Johnson grants an unconditional pardon to all Confederates involved in the Civil War.

1896  John Philip Sousa completes his most famous march, "Starts and Stripes Forever."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Today in US History

December 24...
1814  The United States and Britain sign a treaty in Ghent, Belguim, ending the War of 1812.

1906  Inventor Reginald Fessenden broadcasts the first radio entertainment program from Brant Rock, Massachusetts: a Bible reading and violin solo of "O Holy Night."

1923  President Coolidge presides over the first electric lighting of the National Christmas Tree on the White House grounds.

1946  A candlelight service at Grace Episcopal Church in New York City becomes the first religious service televised from a church.

1968  The Apollo 8 astronauts read from the book of Genesis while orbiting the moon.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Baking

The cookie baking has begun....

The aroma of baking cookies brings them to the kitchen!


Do I smell cookies?!?!
Baking cookies is such hard work!
Clean up, clean up, everybody (Mom), everywhere...

Thank you, thank you, Mom!

Ruby Falls

Our homeschool group enjoyed their Christmas party at Ruby Falls this year.  We had a great time... take a look!

overlooking Chattanooga

A column forming..
the stalagtite and the stalagmite have joined!

Ruby Falls... colored lights are used to enhance the experience... we even enjoyed Christmas music in the background!

Ruby Falls doesn't know where the water fall originates from.  Strange, huh!?!?

Today in US History

December 23...

1776  Thomas Paine's The American Crisis is published.

1783  George Washington resigns as general of the Army and retires to Mount Vernon.

1823  'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore is published.

1947  At Bell Labs, researchers first demonstrate the transistor, a semiconductor device that becomes a building block for modern electronic equipment.

1986  Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager land the experimental aircraft Voyager at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to complete the first nonstop, around the world flight without refueling.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Meatballs


Serving Size  : 4    
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Categories    : Freezer Cooking, Meat         


   1      lb            lean ground beef
   1/2   cup          Italian-style bread crumbs
   1/4   cup          milk
   1/2   tsp           salt
   1/2   tsp           Worcestershire sauce
   1/4   tsp           pepper
   1      small       onion, finely chopped (optional)
   1                      egg

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Shape mixture into 20-24 (1 1/2 in.) meatballs.  Place 1 inch apart in pan.

3. Bake uncovered 18-22 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

4. If baking for the freezer, line a clean cookie sheet with wax paper and place baked meatballs on it.  Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator.  When cool, transfer the cookie sheet of meatballs into the  freezer to "flash freeze."  When outside is completely frozen, place them in a 1 - gallon freezer bag.

Cooking Tips:
1.  Use melon-baller to make uniform meat balls.
2.  When baking, a 1 - inch space is not required between the meatballs.

Great versatile recipe... use in spaghetti sauce, meatball hoagies or calzones, or with brown gravy and noodles, etc!

Linked to:  Our Journey to a Simpler Life, Frugal Crunchy Christy, Blessed with Grace, Beauty and Bedlam, and All the Small Stuff.

Today in US History

December 22...

1864  Union general William T. Sherman sends a message to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia: "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

1882  Edward Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, displays the first electric Christmas tree lights in his home in New Yourk City.

1894  The U.S. Golf Association is formed in New York City.

1941  Winston Churchill arrives in Washington for wartime meetings with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1944  During the Battle of the Bulge, General Anthony McAuliffe replies, "Nuts!" to a German demand for surrender.

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