Sunday, June 19, 2011

Care to Share? (again)

I spent the 1st half of the morning with these two, and
they had me cracking up!  I ended up being the
spokeswoman, while they provided great backup smiles.  :)
(Photos from my most recent day in sales for PCS)
The "school fundraiser" - some dread it, some crave it, others endure it.  We all have our favorite fundraiser, whether it is something we were involved in as a kid, or what we would prefer for our own children.  It is always difficult for me to "read" people when it comes to their like or dislike of a particular fundraiser, hence this post.  :)
As a young student, even up through high school, candy bars seemed to be the biggest hit, the largest profit, and the easiest to sell.  In our house, there was no choice about the matter when it came to participating in fundraisers.  My parents didn't do the work for us, either.  Mom would take candy bars to the hospital when she did shifts, but we beat on countless doors walking block to block selling candy.  This is just one of the many small things that our parents required of us that I am thrilled about to this day.  Those were our first lessons in public relations and communications, and boy, were they good ones!  The fundraisers also taught us the value of a dollar, and that nice things at school didn't just happen, but were the result of a concentrated group effort.
As fundraising coordinators @ PCS, we analyze several different facets of a particular fundraiser, including the demand for the product, quality of the product, profit margin, ease of ordering, tracking, and delivery.  Anytime a new fundraiser is introduced, we always hold our breath hoping it will be a worthwhile effort.  Very few times have we been disappointed (thank goodness!). 
In thinking toward next year's fundraisers, we already have a few good ideas in place, but I would love to hear your favorite fundraiser, whether as a student, a parent, or a consumer of the service/product.  Do you prefer a service (car wash, etc.), a product (bake sale, discount card, peeler, candles), or a student incentive, where money is donated based on a performance (bike-a-thon, etc.)?  Maybe yours is totally out of the box, which would be awesome! We need either need some fresh, fun fundraisers, or a revival of the 'oldies but goodies'!  Let me know what you think.  I would like to have lots of input from a variety of places, especially those who have been involved in a small Christian school environment.
I was able to spend the 2nd half of the day with Ryan and Rachel.
They are aggressive, friendly, and was great!
***During the morning stint with Allison and Emilee, Alli was very tuned into the whole process.  At one point, a customer responded with, "Sorry, I don't have any cash on me."  The next lady that came by wasn't too friendly, and just simply said, "No."  Allison promptly (and loudly) replied, "She doesn't have any cash on her."  That little gal is great at saying everything that I am thinking! 
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Proverb A Day...

will hopefully yield a healthy crop of wisdom in the lives of our children! 

We are on our fifth day of studies in Proverbs, and have already had some pretty deep discussions about negative influences, peer pressure, adultery, fornication...yeah, I said it was deep!  Read more about our study @ In The Family.
The news over the last 2-3 weeks has been full of the story of the congressman that has recently been exposed (for lack of a better word), and I know that the kids have heard parts of that story (although talk radio is banned for now due to all the innuendos), and  Proverbs chapter 5 has been an amazing tool for teaching them the result of sexual impurity, specifically adultery.  "Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well...let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers...why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress...for a man's ways are in full view of the Lord..."  It doesn't get any more clear than that, and what a prime opportunity to explain these timeless truths to kids who will soon be teenagers.
These summer days will tick by so quickly, and it's important that we use this time to connect with the children on a deeper level than what we may be able to on a typical busy evening. I'm scared and sickened by the statistics that indicate such a lack of discernment, wisdom, and understanding by kids who are growing up in America's homes.  When are we going to realize that a Biblical foundation is ultimately the most important gift we can give to the next generation?  There is a huge misconception among parents that says, "If my children learn to be religious, responsible, polite, good, and helpful, I will have done my job well."  Who are we kidding?  Children can learn a set of behaviors that will earn them "brownie points" in any setting.  What we should be asking ourselves is this, "Do my children know and understand Who created them and for what purpose?  Are they sensitive to His direction in their lives, even in small things and at an early age?  Am I surrounding them with truth at every turn?  Are they able to find consistency through their experience at church, at school, and at home?  Are the messages mixed, or is all teaching pointing in the same direction?  Am I a living example of Christ's love and mercy, as well as His chastening and reproof, in their world?  Is their salvation the most important thing to me?  Do my actions and decisions prove that statement true?"  Those are pointed questions, and they demand answers because our children are suffering from not only a culture of Godlessness, but homes that are deeply inconsistent.  Genuine consistency is extremely difficult, but extremely crucial.
I'm inclined to think that the world can continue to act as it does, being grossly vulgar, wicked and sinful, and our children can still transition into adulthood with purity and strong faith if they see in us the Character of Christ and decide that the prize is worth the sacrifice.  It has to be more than just a way of life that we all take because grandpa and grandma did it; it must be an intensely personal decision to abandon ourselves to the cross of Christ and whatever stigma or reproach it may bring. 
The book of Proverbs is helping us to lay those strong foundations by giving clear principles for today's issues.  God's Word is alive, it is relevant, and it is the only reliable Source for navigating life's course. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recent freebies:

I love receiving free items in my mailbox. I was sooo excited to receive the Glade set (worth probably $15+), and then coupons for the cottage cheese, sweet potato fries, and a full size Cottonelle wipes ( a value of about $10 at Walmart). I have had so little computer time lately, and my freebies stash has thinned a little. I'm anxious to get back into my couponing routine! What is your favorite recent "freebie"?
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Technical Difficulties...

So, I know that sporadic blogging is a sure way to lose readers, and I determined that as soon as school was out, I would not feel guilty spending a few hours writing and organizing the blog.  But...Murphy set in, literally the day school let out!  It began with my laptop catching a virus, and making all of my files inaccessible.  Being completely overwhelmed with a myriad of other responsibilities and frustrations, I put the thing in the bag tried to forget about it for the next 10 days.  A technology diet can be a good thing...take away the computer, and suddenly there are more hours in the day! But because of my varied responsibilities I really needed the thing, and a friend helped us revive it.  I still can't retrieve photos, but hopefully that issue will be worked out soon, as I had taken some pics for one of our high school seniors.  I had just downloaded them the night before, and hadn't had time to print them.  Priceless graduation photos.  :(  
The weekend of the pc crash, we were in MI for the wedding of our niece.  Just before hitching up the 5th wheel to bring it home, Greg took our "new to us" truck to fuel up.  Sitting at Speedway, the battery light came on.  He immediately went to Advanced Auto for a diagnostic, and the battery was fine, but the alternator was on its way out, so the "Burley Bros" installed a new one on the spot.  The truck is a 1999, and the alternator was original.  It was time.
(So, they'll probably kill me for this one...)
Just a couple of hours later, as we were barreling down the highway in Memorial Day traffic, another driver signaled to us that something was wrong.  I checked my mirror to see rubber flying behind us.  Ugh.  This is what we found when we pulled off:

I had no idea a blown tire could do all this!

Poor had to be 95 degrees, his hands were bleeding,
he was putting every ounce of his muscle into wrenching off one of the
lug nuts.  I, on the other hand, was standing at the back of the camper
hoping that my bright red skirt would alert distracted drivers who kept
wandering over the line.  Yikes!
Anyway, we made it home safely - way later than intended - and have been enjoying a different pace...3/4 of the children being with grandpa and grandma sure makes for an abnormal environment in our home!
The morning after our highway mishap, I was working in a public education setting, and was sharing a couple of minutes of small talk to get the adult students comfortable before testing.  I began to tell them about the incidents of the weekend, and then shared how through my frustrations I was reminded of Joplin, MO and Pleasant Grove, AL and how my little laptop of photos and documents was nothing compared to the great losses they had experienced during the tornado tragedies.  Before I knew it, I began to give praise for blessings, and about bit my tongue off when I realized what I was getting ready to say!  It's definite proof that I wouldn't last long as a teacher for the Ohio Dept of Education...there is zero chance of me being able to lecture without prayin', praisin', and preachin'!  Hahaha!  Now I am seriously rambling, so I'll quit and hopefully things will get back to "normal" around here. 
For those of you who had an uneventful Memorial Day, count your blessings!  :)