Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Favorite Reads for June

KAREN'S PICK: Mistaken Identity by Don & Susie Van Ryn & The Ceraks

One Family's Anguish is Another's Joy

This book is the non-fiction account, written by the families involved about the mistaken identity of their college daughters. One daughter was killed in an accident and the other survived in a hospital in a comatose state with multiple serious injuries and brain damage. Five weeks went by before the parents realized a mistake had been made in identifying their daughters at the accident.

Both were Christian families who lived their faith. The book is full of how the families relied on God's strength to help them deal with this tragic situation. In this day and age when lawsuits are so frequent, the families did not sue over the huge mistake that was made and caused so much anguish to both families. I applaud them both for this!

I especially enjoyed the view of Whitney, the girl who survived but who wasn't quite the same after her recovery, which was miraculous! This book is co-authored by both families which made it very personal, although it really didn't make me feel any strong emotion which surprised me. It's a very good book that emphasizes the use of scripture and praise to God in coping with a tragedy.

GERARD'S PICK: Please Stop Laughing At Me by Jodee Blanco

If you were picked on in high school and grade school like I was, this book brings back all the painful memories that you NEVER EVER forget! I'm so sorry you had to go through all this, Jodee. I was right there with you! So glad you wrote your book. I wish I had. God bless you, Jodee. Hope you enjoy great success in your life. Can't wait to read the sequel. Jodee is right. Teachers do nothing. Parents do nothing. You are on your own! I finished this book in just two days.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My First Blogging Award!

I never expected to get an award for blogging, but I did! One of my new blogging friends is Jewels of Being Number 5. She also writes the Arduous Nincompoop blog which I enjoy as well and entered pictures of my cats in her 4th of July contest. She is one of my nice blogging buddies who has an interesting blog about her life.

Thanks Jewels, for including me in your special group of recipients of the Arte y Pico award. (HUG)

This award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creativity and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor". Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to 5 others."

What a wonderful way to show some love and appreciation to your fellow bloggers!!!

The rules for passing this honor on:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you would like to award this honor to. (This is the hard part--there are just so many good ones around it was diffcult to choose just five.)

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Here is my list of recipients:

Jazmin's blog: More Than Just Cat
This is a humorous cat blog that is so interesting for cat lovers because there is interaction by interviewing cats of other bloggers.

Banji's blog: Lesson in Life
This is a very good site for learning a lot of useful information. It's so interesting that I spent quite a bit of time on this blog. I think you will too if you check it out.

Melissa's blog: Learning Activities For Children
This blog has many, many different learning activities for all ages of children. It is a wealth of ideas.

Tony's blog: Seeking Things Above
This is a wonderful Christian blog by a family man that has a lot of good articles on it and many interesting things. Definitely one of the better ones I've come across in the spirituality category.

Guardian Angel's blog: Happy Family Matters
This blog contains effective parenting tips, successful marriage tips and other family issues, as well as news and views on how to maintain a happy family.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Organizing Tip of Week 2: Keep Things Handy

Keep things handy that you use often. For example, since I teach Sunday School every Sunday, I have a bag (actually 2 bags) that contain all my Sunday School class supplies that I take every week so all I have to do is grab it. I keep my keys on my dresser, pens near all my phones, litter near the litter boxes, coats near the door, etc.

We Miss You, Omar!

Omar Vizquel was my favorite all-time Cleveland Indian and I was absolutely angry when the Indians let him go. Omar is indeed an all-around player! I even read his biography which was pretty interesting and funny.

Omar was just amazing at shortstop. He made very few errors and had a great range. He could go way deep in the hole and still throw the runner out at first. He could go to the right of second base and make the play or he could go way over by third. I was always confident that we'd get an out when the ball was hit to Omar. Omar wanted every ball. He would even run well into left field to catch a high pop on occasion. (Unlike now, when I hold my breath every time it is hit to short.)

Not only was he outstanding in the field and very fun to watch, but also was fun on the bases. He was very fast and stole often. I always enjoyed his skill at putting down a surprise bunt and beating it out.

At the plate, Omar was a good clutch hitter. With runners on, there was no one I'd rather have up to bat. You could count on him for a hit or at least a sacrifice. It was so exciting when there was a runner on third and he would put down the perfect bunt for the squeeze play (as he did last night but for the Giants now instead of us). Omar loved to play and it showed.

I also liked him because he was a clean-cut guy. He didn't wear his hair goofy to get attention or do a lot of strange extra motions getting ready to hit. He was all about playing the game and having some fun.

Omar Vizquel was and is a truly great ballplayer! He's pretty old now, but can still outplay many, many other younger guys any day!

Why Smoke?

After reading this post at Mama Flo's Place,MamaFlo's Place: Why can't I quit thinking about smoking a cigarette? I thought I'd write my two cents worth about smoking.

Smoking is one of those things that some people do that really puzzle me. Why anyone would start smoking is a mystery to me. There are absolutely no benefits to it and no upside that I can see. But many reasons not to such as the following:

1) It does great harm to one's body and is quite expensive as well.

2) The smell gets into everything and is just very unpleasant.

3) It annoys other people. I even cough from just being near someone smoking--it gets into my throat and yuck!

4) Fires happen when people doze off holding their cigarettes.

5) It becomes addicting very quickly and is hard to stop.

Here is the only good reason that I know of that anyone would smoke:

(That's right, there is none!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On Vacation--Sports Camp

I am on vacation this week to help with Sports Camp at Parma Heights Baptist church. A youth group from Kentucky has come to do the actual instructing and our church people assist them by keeping the records, registering kids, distributing the free gifts each day, providing water while they play and setting out snacks for them. There are two sessions for grades 1-6, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The kids get to choose which sport to do from soccer, basketball or cheer leading. Thursday evening, we have a picnic and special program for the kids and their families. It's a lot of fun and many come from the community.

Along with the skills training and personal instruction, the kids get to scrimmage and the cheerleaders get to do their cheers for the players. About halfway through the session, kids break out into small groups for a short devotional and gospel presentation. Each day they receive a free gift--water bottles, wrist bands, t-shirts and the final picnic night they get a ball or pom poms that go with the sport they chose. The focus is on skill fundamentals and sportsmanship.

Last year my husband and I were the water carriers and it was extremely hot all week so it was very much needed. This year, my husband didn't take off work and I am on main registration.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Joke From Gerard! Ha, ha!

A young boy just turned 16 and goes up to his dad and says to his dad, "I've been thinking about getting a car."

Dad: Okay son, I'll think about getting you a car but you have to do three things first. The first thing you have to do is improve your grades. The second thing you have to do is study the Bible. The third thing, you have to get a haircut.

The kid comes back to the dad after a couple months and says:

son: Well, dad, can I get a car?

dad: Well, I see you've improved your grades and gotten into a Bible study. But you still haven't gotten your hair cut. Why is that?

son: Well, dad, it's like this. I've been reading the Bible and noticed that Samson had long hair. Moses had long hair. Even Jesus had long hair. What about that?

dad: Well son, another thing they had in common is that wherever they went, they walked!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Visiting Cat Sanctuary Today

Today Gerard and I visited Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue. A non-profi organization with a no-kill policy to which I make monthly contributions. They take in abandoned, abused, terminally ill and older cats, including feral cats which other shelters euthanize because they are considered not adoptable. The cats use the whole house. There are over 200! There are separate rooms for the feral cats, older cats, adoptable cats with some behavior problems and one for those without behavior problems, and cats who test positive for feline HIV (who aren't in pain and could be adopted if they were the only cat in the household).

Each room has a wired screen door so you can see into the rooms before opening the doors. Each room is equipped with rows of litterboxes, food feeders and water bowls. All rooms have cat trees, things to hide under, crawl in and tubs for sleeping. All rooms have at least one window. There is also a room for vet care right on site with some cages but mostly the cats are not kept in cages but limited to their room which is shared with a number of other cats. Here is the link to their web site if you'd like to learn more or donate:

I enjoyed our visit very much. There were so many friendly cats that just longed for attention and enjoyed being pet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Organizing Tip 1: A Place For Everything

It amazes me how many people find organizing tips helpful so I will share one of the things I do each week to be organized. Organization comes easily to me. Most people I know will tell you that is one of my best strengths.

Have a place for everything, and put things back where they belong. I believe this starts early in life. Teach your children to put away their toys when they are done playing with them. This is not hard. They can do this. If you name any item in my house, I can tell you right where it is--providing my husband did not move it without telling me which makes me nuts!

If you don't have enough storage space, shelves can easily be built. (My dad had a lot of various kinds he made--see pictures of the things he made for me on my blog all about him at My Funny Dad, Harry).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Loss of A Son--Very Sad

We had a very sad thing happen. The parents of one of the boys in my Sunday School lost their second oldest son in a truck-bicycle accident Friday night. We went to the viewing last night. The hours were from 3-8 p.m. and we got there at 6 p.m. right after I got home from work. The line was out the door and the half the length of the parking lot which resulted in almost a two hour wait. What a long day that must have been for this nice family!

Their son just graduated from high school two years ago and was riding his bike to work when he got hit by a truck. He was taken to the emergency room at the hospital but died later that evening although many people were praying for him. The good thing was that the family was there with him and they are comforted to know they'll see him again in heaven. Still, it's a very hard thing to cope with. Everyone feels so bad for them. Fortunately, this entire family are born-again Christians and have a lot of support from friends from their church. The funeral was held at Parma Heights Baptist Church today, but I didn't take off work to go because I'm taking off four days next week.

When I heard about this, it immediately reminded me of the book my husband and I just finished reading. It was titled "Mistaken Identity" about a family losing their college age daughter in an auto accident, but then not even knowing it until five months later because she was mistakenly identified as someone else and the girl who was in the hospital that they thought was their daughter, really wasn't! They were both Christian families involved in that incident too, and it showed how their faith helped them through it and how many people showed them kindness during that difficult time. It was nonfiction written by both families involved in the mixup.

Death of loved ones is very sad anytime, but I think even more so when it happens so unexpectedly. We need to look at each day we have as a gift from God and really make the most of it by living for Him. No matter if we live to 90 or 7, life is short compared to all eternity and what we do with Jesus now determines how we will spend eternity. Romans 10:13 says, For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

This is my second father's day without my dad. I still see his picture every day though because I keep one on my desk at work and also on the computer desk at home so it's like I still see him. I really enjoy the blog I started which is all about him and my book ( "My Funny Dad, Harry"). Since writing the book, "My Funny Dad, Harry" I think of some other things that I didn't include in the book so can still write about them on my blog.

Today the sky is such a pretty blue. I'm so glad I picked the sky blue for my book cover because I wanted something cheerful and thought that if it was sky blue, I'd think of my dad everytime we had a pretty blue sky which is exactly what happens! At first I picked a dark green to match his suspenders, but I'm so glad I changed it to the pretty blue.

Be sure to let your father know who much you appreciate him while you still can and have a Happy Father's Day!
("My Funny Dad, Harry" is available through and Amazon or Barnes Noble)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whacky Wednesday

Yesterday work went so well and then on the way home, things "fell apart." I usually call Gerard from the bus so he doesn't waste his time waiting long for me at the bus stop but my cell phone didn't work. I just kept getting a stupid message: "Hello, this is Rebel . . . ." We just gave in and got cell phones last Christmas and had problems from the start. It's a good thing it wasn't an emergency! I called customer service as soon as I got home and the problem was fixed in just a few minutes. It turns out, we are supposed to turn our cell phone off now and then. That's all I had to do and when I turned it back on, it worked. I never turned it off since we had the phones because no one told me I should. When the customer service rep told me to try turning it off, I had to ask her to to do it because I forgot what the instruction booklet said (since I never did it). Boy, did I feel stupid!

THEN, when Gerard got back from doing the grocery shopping, he noticed our HD TV cable box and VCR were off. We couldn't figure out what happened. I checked the outlet and we have a extra plug protector that usually has a green and red light lit on it. I didn't see these lights on, so assumed the problem must be with the outlet. We tried unplugging the extra protector and couldn't get it out so gave up and tried calling Handyman Connection. Fortunately, they were closed until 8:00 a.m.

We just watched the basement TV then. Later, when it got darker, Gerard noticed those lights were on after all. It was just such a bright, sunny day that we couldn't see them earlier. So, then I checked the plug and sure enough, somehow it had come loose from the cable box. I plugged it in, the TV reset and bingo, everything was back to normal. All that stewing for nothing! Of course, Gerard blamed it on Spunky Doodle, our cat. She used to go behind the TV stand and walk on the cords so it had fallen out before. Since I baricaded the opening though, she hasn't been back there. Who knows, she may have found a way to cover her tracks. She's a smart little rascal!

I am so grateful that these are our biggest problems we have. Very minor and fixable. Just little bumps in the road.

Campus Crusade For Christ International

I just thought as part of my blog, I would share about some of my favorite organizations that I support monthly. The first one I'd like to share with you is Campus Crusade For Christ International. Please visit their website to find out more at:

Specifically, I have supported The Jesus Film Project which involves translating and showing The Jesus Film in remote areas around the world. This is a fantastic organization that God is using to tell the world about Jesus. I read the book about making the film and it was so interesting. I think it was called, "I Just Saw Jesus."

Its Purpose:
Helping to fulfill the Great Commission in the power of the Holy Spirit by winning people to faith in Jesus Christ, building them in their faith and sending them to win and build others; and helping the Body of Christ do evangelism and discipleship

It's Ministries:
Athletes in Action
Campus Ministry
Executive Ministries
Family Life
Here's Life Inner City
The Impact Movement
The Jesus Film Project
Josh McDowell Ministry
Life Builders
Military Ministry
Student Venture

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our Favorite Books For May

Gerard's Pick as Best for May: Cheer: 3 Teams On A Quest by Kate Torvognick

I'd give this book 10 stars if I could! This is just an outstanding book! It tells the story of three cheerleading teams and what they have to go through. It made me really feel like I knew these people. It's a real page turner. I found myself cheering for them!! Superb job, Kate!!!

Karen's Pick as Best for May: A Bride For Donnigan by Janette Oke

I liked it because both characters were well developed and the plot was unusual about man out west and two of his friends ordering brides from overseas. Three women were matched up with the three men, sight unseen. When the woman arrived, they married right away. It was a fun and interesting read, and revealed the adjustments that were involved in making the marriages work. One did not. Donnigan felt a strong responsibility to teach his children and prepare them for life after death, but had to search the scriptures himself to find out about God and how to get to heaven because there was no church near by. It was a very enjoyable read!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Married Mr. Wonderful!

I was a very satisfied, happy single for a very long time. Gerard and I didn't get married until I was 43 (he was 44), so we were both set in our ways by then. Although our daily schedules were quite different, I am so thankful that God let us find each other through Great Expectations (more about that in another post). August 30 will be our 11th anniversary and neither of us regret getting married. When I was considering it, I really wish there was some sort of guaranty, but there wasn't.

Gerard's been very supportive, patient and understanding about me spending so much time on the computer blogging, so I thought it's time I write about him and us. I thought I'd share just why Gerard is my "Mr. Wonderful" so other husbands can pick up some tips:

1) He usually meets me at the bus stop when I come home from work and we either walk if it's nice or he brings the car if it's cold or rainy.

2) He lets me be my own person. I let him know before I was married I didn't cook and he never expects me to. (He said he's used to cooking for himself anyhow so he didn't mind continuing to do so.)

3) He always opened doors for me before we were married (car, restaurants, church) which at first I thought was silly, but it was nice to be treated so nicely. He still does this if I don't rush ahead and do it myself.

4) He helps me with my jacket or coat when we're out together.

5) He does ALL the cleaning--some everyday, including the basement! He has a weekly schedule that he adheres to no matter what--even if he is sick. Once in awhile, I'll take care of cleaning the computer.

6) He does the laundry every Friday.

7) He takes care of the yardwork. Sometimes, if I get in the mood, I'll pull some weeds or trim a bush, but he really does it on a regular basis. He lets me have the fun of picking out the flowers to plant in the spring, then he waters them all summer long and I watch them grow!

8) He helps me carry things. Usually on Sundays since I teach Sunday School, I have a lot to carry and he'll load the car ahead for me.

9) He does the grocery shopping, usually alone. Sometimes I'll go along with him but not too often since we got the computer.

10) He surprises me with unusual presents and has great taste in clothes for me. Ninety percent of my wardrobe are clothes Gerard bought for me! I let him know what I like and don't like in clothes and he remembers EVERYTHING!

11) He listens to me!

12) He reviews the TV schedule and alerts me to shows that he knows or thinks interest me.

13) As he reads magazines and the newspaper, he'll share articles that he thinks I may enjoy or find interesting.

14) He lets me make out our budget and have complete control of our finances! What trust he puts in me! I'm so glad he doesn't like fussing with banking or investing, because I do. (Before we were married, he was in some credit card debt--I never was in credit card debt so this was a concern of mine. More on this in a future blog).

15) He is a neat freak, which I prefer to messy. He keeps our house in perfect order as much as possible with me in it.

16) He is kind to our pets and is just as attached to them as I am.

17) He is easy to get along with--as long as he has music or a talk show on the radio or is watching one of his Boston sports teams, he's perfectly happy.

18) He lets me make decisions concerning repairs, decorating and social engagements.

19) He's faithful and a steady worker.

20) He loves ME!

What do you appreciate about your spouse?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great Site For Pet Owners--Join Zoo Too

Gerard (my husband) was the first one to tell me about this site. I looked at it briefly with him one day. It had a video of an angry cat that didn't want to be pet and also a video of a animal shelter that won a makeover from a contest on Zoo Too.

After reading a post about it on "The Creative Nerd" blog, I went to sign up. You can list all your pets with pictures, stories, videos, and tell what products they like and don't like. It's fairly easy too and the uploading goes quickly, I thought. I am anxious to go and post more, but the best thing about posting there is that animal shelters benefit.

I have posted my cats: Mr. Moe (R.I.P.), Spunky Doodle and Manny. It's a community of pet lovers who all view these furry creatures as a part of their family. I'm sure I'll be spending more time there. Be sure to check it out at Feel free to add me as a friend using for my email.