2-6 IT'S BUBBLE GUM DAYToday is BUBBLE GUM DAY!!!  Every kid who donates 50 cents or more gets to chew gum in school.  The proceeds go to any charity the school chooses.  Kids have fun and raise money for a good cause.

Since it began in 2006, the celebration has spread from schools to libraries, businesses and community centers.  It’s a fun way to raise money for your favorite cause.


Obviously things have changed since I was in school.  In music class, if we were caught with gum in our mouths – we were set in the corner with the wad of gum on the end of our noses!

At my house, if I chomped on gum my mom would say, “You sound just like an old cow chewing its cud!”  Bubble gum wasn’t exactly encouraged at my house.

What are kids doing today???  They are offering to share their bubble gum with the folks at Wal-Mart, of course!

The bubble gum I remember best is DOUBLE BUBBLE.  My second favorite was BAZOOKA because there were comic strips wrapped up around the gum.  To be honest, unless you count EXTRA sugar-free bubble gum, I’ve not chewed it for years.  It was okay to sound like a cow chewing cud when I was twelve, but now…  um – not so much!

 Chew on this fact: nine out of ten people step on bubblegum left by either me or my associates. The tenth person couldn’t step on it because he’s handicapped. But he most assuredly rolled over it in his wheelchair.
– Jarod Kintz, Whenever You’re Gone, I’m Here For You    

I think it sounds like fun to buy the right to chew bubble gum!  Leave it to a children’s book author to come up with such a cute and fun idea!  This video is from a couple of years ago but it’s so cute!


Wanna read a story about gum???  This is cute – check it out!  http://robertmunsch.com/poem-story/gum

I love kid’s stories – and what better subject today than bubble gum???  Wink!  😉





1-6 TWELFTH DAYHa!  You thought Christmas was over, didn’t you???

Remember the Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”?  Well, there are twelve days of Christmas and contrary to popular belief, they begin on Christmas Day and end on January 6!  Today is THREE KINGS DAY, known as the day of the Three Kings (a.k.a. wise men or magi).  If you watch “Touched By an Angel”, you will know their names – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  Their names are in the Bible too – but I retain more information from TV shows.  Anyhow, they saw the bright star of Bethlehem and followed it to the place where Christ lay in a manger and presented Him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

So how do we celebrate this last day of Christmas?  If there are goodies on your tree, it’s time for the kids to eat them – this is known as the “plündern”  (raiding) of the tree.  These days we don’t use many sweets to decorate, but I know some kids who will be happy to eat the candy canes they find!   Then it’s time to take the Christmas tree down and dispose of it.  People used to burn their trees in a big bonfire, but I don’t suppose that’s going on much anymore, especially in America.  I think nowadays, the trees are left on the curb and they come along and make mulch out of it – and you get the bag of mulch.

When December 25th was finally adopted by the Western Christian Church as the date of the Feast of Christ’s birth in the fourth century, it’s believed that this change in date brought about the traditional “12 Days of Christmas.”  While it’s not at all my favorite song (I refer to it as the Redundant Christmas headache song), it’s still interesting to know the history – it helps me cope better.  So technically, we should not begin singing this Carol until Christmas Day – ah HA!!!  Now we know! 

The Western Christian Church celebrated the Feast of Christ’s birth on December 25th and the Eastern Christian Church still recognized January 6th as the day of celebration of the nativity.  January 6th was also kept as the physical birthday in Bethlehem.  In the Teutonic west, Epiphany became the Festival of the Three Kings, or Twelfth day.

I guess it’s like a RIGHT TWIX /LEFT TWIX THING.  The two factories make the same product but refer to the process in different terminology.  But they make the same thing – Twix!  I must be hungry – I’m using food analogies. 

The point I’m making is that we know the birth of Christ took place, and no matter what day we honor the birth, it’s the fact that we honor it that counts – not when we honor it.

The evening before Twelfth Day, prayers are said and dried herbs that have been blessed are burnt, their aroma filling the house.  Entryways are sprinkled with holy water and the master of the house writes C + M + B (first initials of the wise men) and the year above the front door of the house and the barn door – and write “Protect us again this year from the dangers of fire and water”.  Usually the words “Christ bless this home” are written as well.

In Austria and Bavaria, the custom of the Star Singers is still very much alive.  It is to signify the travel of the Three Kings and begins on New Years Day through January 6th.  Children dress as the kings and hold up a large star.  They go from door to door, caroling and singing a Three Kings’ song.  In return they receive money or some sweet treat.  In the old days the collected donations were given to unemployed craftsmen or veterans.  Today they go to organized charities of the church or the Third World countries.

Some older folks still remember when Three Kings Day was celebrated.  The evening of January 6th used to mean a big gathering with Christmas foods, Christmas carols sung around the piano and grandchildren eating the goodies off the tree before it was taken to be burned.


The standard tune now associated with The Twelve Days of Christmas is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin, who first introduced the now familiar prolongation of the verse “five gold rings” (everyone’s favorite part)!

So…  NOW Christmas is over – let’s sing the song together one last time…  on the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me…  (take a DEEP BREATH…)




AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!!!  Along with that – maybe a good pair of earplugs.

Just because I cannot sing does not mean I will not sing.  😉





12-26 BOXING DAY EVERY DAYBoxing Day last year:

Today in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other former British commonwealth countries, they are celebrating a legal holiday known as BOXING DAY!  It’s also known as St. Stephan’s Day because churches opened their collection boxes to the poor.   The holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

 During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.   – JoAnn C. Jones, Guideposts, January 1996

In the Middle Ages, members of the merchant class would take boxes and fill them with food and fruits to give to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate.  Servants worked on Christmas Day, so the day after Christmas they would be given a day off to celebrate.

 Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  – Seneca

Today Boxing Day is celebrated by filling boxes with food and clothing for the needy and doing volunteer work.  Monetary donations to various organized charities are also common.

If Christmas falls on a Friday or Saturday, Boxing Day is celebrated the next Monday.

We are told in the Bible that the poor will always be with us.

  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.  – Mark 14:7

Sometimes people use this verse as an excuse to withhold charitable contributions because they argue that it will do no good – the poor will be with us always.  I think the actual point Christ was making was that He would not always be amongst man on earth in human form.  Yes, the poor will be here, just as the rich people will be here.  Whether we are rich or poor, we have choices to make.  We as individuals will be held accountable for the choices we make.  It all comes down to what we believe is the right thing to do and what we are taught is the right thing to do.

God smiles on His children who share.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  –  2 Corinthians 9:7

We give in secret.  Give quietly and shhh…  don’t tell.

 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  –  Matthew 6:4


While I believe alms refers to the tithes  and offerings given to the church, the same application should be made to charitable giving.  Here in the U.S.A. we don’t celebrate Boxing Day, but we still need to keep in mind that not every family had a Merry Christmas!  We (and I’m pointing to myself too) need to try to find those who are struggling and help them if we possibly can.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to make Boxing Day a day of giving to those less fortunate?

I give because it’s the only concrete way I have of saying that I’m glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing what I love.  Giving… puts our focus back where it belongs – on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities which nurture us.  – Stephen King

People have all sorts of motives for giving (tax breaks, bragging rights, getting on someone’s good side), but remember God knows the heart and the motive.  I have a personal belief that once you are praised by people or receive any payment or compensation, you lose your reward from God.  Humility has to be a key element of real giving – be humble and quiet.  God knows and His reward is sufficient for your life and His blessings will sustain you.  He gives the best rewards, doesn’t He?  To my friends celebrating Boxing Day – have a wonderful day!  🙂


I like the idea that God has a box packed with everything I will ever need – don’t you?

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?


Click on the link below to get your copy!










I think of all the wacky and unusual holidays on the books, this one is my favorite.  MITTEN TREE DAY is so much fun for children, but it’s a great way for adults to teach them about selflessness and  how to put the needs of others above their own needs or wants.  Have you heard the story called “The Mitten”? 

The timing of this special holiday is perfect since it’s so close to Christmas.  I used to have my Sunday School kids make an outline of their hands with their fingers together on colored construction paper – it looks like a pair of mittens.  Then they put their name on the “mittens” and decorate them with glitter or crayons.  Then punch holes in the top of each mitten and run yarn through the holes.  Tie a knot in the yarn and hang the “mittens” on a small Christmas tree.

Once you have a mitten tree and have read the story to the children, you can easily Segway into conversations with them about how blessed we are if we own a pair of mittens – and how it would be nice if we were to give someone a pair of mittens if they do not have any.  Children learn how to be charitable.  It does not come naturally.

We usually talked at great length about how the little boy’s mitten helped all those critters stay warm.  Then we discussed how God has provided warm houses for us to live in and stay warm.  It’s never too early to teach children to count their blessings and be thankful for what they have.

There’s such a tendency in our country to want more and not be content.  Stories like “The Mitten” help us to teach children to think of others and want to share with them.  Let’s teach them about charity instead of teaching them that the government will force them to share.  True charity should be taught and come from the heart of individuals.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  THAT is what Christians teach children – give from the abundance God blesses you with.

May we always be allowed to give of our own free will as God leads – not as government leads.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!


Click on the link below to order your copy!






Kindness Kounts (obviously spelling doesn’t, however).  The Bible makes it clear from cover to cover that kindness matters to God.  My favorite verse is:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  – Ephesians 4:32

Today is WORLD KINDNESS DAY!  How many ways are there to be kind?  We express kindness to others in response to the kindness Christ extended to us.  When God’s Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and impresses on us to extend kindness to someone, it’s imperative we take action.  Somebody in your realm of influence needs a blessing from God, and maybe God is using you to deliver it.

It’s so terribly sad that the whole world cannot (or rather will not) adopt the policy of politeness to others.  Such hate is so wicked and evil.  It’s beyond my realm of understanding why people who want to kill for any reason.  We just have to be the people God wants us to be no matter what – to everyone.  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.  We must be kind – to everyone.

Last week I ate at my local restaurant and saw a Muslim mother with her two small children.  I looked into the eyes of those children – their big, round, brown eyes looked so sweet and innocent.  I told their mother how beautiful I thought her children were and she seemed very pleased and a little proud by my comment.

We see images on television and become frightened of certain races based on others who happen to be radical in their actions.  This woman and her children were not radicals.  It was only a few seconds out of my day, but I wanted to show kindness.  It doesn’t take long to lift another person’s spirit.  We are on this earth to help each other.  Sometimes it means helping someone move from one state to another.  That may take days.  But sometimes it means telling two little children who look very different from you just how beautiful they are.  Be ye kind one to another.  It isn’t that difficult.  ❤




By August 23rd, 1933, New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig played in his 1,308th consecutive game, breaking former Yankee Everett Scott’s record for consecutive games played.  He would go on to play in 2,130 games in a row, setting a record that would stand for over half a century.

Henry Louis Gehrig was born June 19, 1903, in New York City, the only child of German immigrants to survive childhood illness. His doting parents stressed education over sports, and he attended Columbia University on a football scholarship and studied engineering. After his freshman year, Gehrig played for New York Giants Manager John McGraw in a summer league under the name Henry Lewis; he lost a year of eligibility at Columbia when his ruse was discovered. Gehrig was then signed by a Yankees scout while playing first base at Columbia, against the advice of Giants fans who believed their skipper had let the talented slugger get away. Gehrig joined the Yankees in 1923, but didn’t see any action until 1925. According to legend, Gehrig stepped in at first base when star Wally Pipp benched himself with a headache. Gehrig didn’t miss a game for the next 13 years, and Pipp never made it back on to the field. To this day, to be “Wally Pipped” is to be replaced for good.

Gehrig set his endurance record against the Browns in St. Louis more than eight seasons after the streak began on June 1, 1925. He was honored after the first inning, when Browns and Yankees players surrounded him at home plate and he was presented with a silver trophy by American League President William Harridge. The Yankees went on to lose the game in 10 innings, 7-6, in spite of home runs from Babe Ruth and Bill Dickey.

For his career, Gehrig’s offensive output was as extraordinary as his consecutive games streak. The left-handed slugger led the American League in RBIs five times and drove in at least 100 runs 13 years in a row. He led the AL in home runs three times, runs four times and in hitting once. On June 3, 1932, Gehrig became the first player to homer four times in a single game. In the Yankees first golden era, Gehrig batted cleanup, right after Babe Ruth, the bigger star of the two. It was Gehrig, however, who was named American League MVP in 1927, on a Yankee team considered the greatest team in history. He won the award again in 1936, another championship year for the Yankees. In all, Gehrig helped the Yankees to six World Series titles.

In 1938 Gehrig’s batting average dropped below .300 for the first time in his career and he began to experience chronic illness. As his strength continued to dwindle and doctors struggled to diagnose him, Gehrig took himself out of many games. He was eventually diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare degenerative disease now often called Lou Gehrig’s disease. He retired and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939 and died just two years later.


May God bless those with ALS and the ones doing the IBC. Our prayers are with both. Our prayers are also with the firefighters who were critically injured while trying to help students complete their IBC.

My friend, Ally, defines ALS this way:
ALS = AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a nasty, horrible disease. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and is often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. People with ALS eventually become completely paralyzed and are unable to breathe on their own. Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.

I asked my group, A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH what they thought about the Ice Bucket Challenges to raise money for ALS. The general opinion is that if they can have some fun for a good cause, then what’s the harm? I’m glad the money is coming in, but admit that I’m concerned about the challenges where safety is concerned.

Let me just inject something here. This is a friendly observation from the sidelines. The idea is to be splashed with the ice water – not be knocked senseless by the bucket. Ok… then there’s this:

I kept waiting for that big glass bowl to fall on his head. Glad that didn’t happen. 🙂

It seems charities go in waves. Back in the 1960’s the big charity was March of Dimes – anyone remember that one? We literally marched all over the neighborhood collecting change from our neighbors for them. Hey, does anyone remember The Walk for Mankind in the 1970’s? Yep – did that too.

We tend to support the charities that hit home with us the most – it’s only natural. I support the cancer research, particularly pancreas, colon and ovarian. I also support the ADA and AHA.

The ice bucket challenge makes me concerned about safety. People are getting bonked in the head with large buckets – that’s gotta hurt! I just want to play Mama with you guys – please have fun and raise lots of money – but be safe! The last article I read said that there has been over 5 million dollars raised so far. Well done! 🙂




Didn’t Bob Hope teach us all how to live? With humor, trusting that God will take care of us. He gave selflessly and was a blessing to all around him.

No matter how much I give – God gives back to me ten-fold. Now, let me stop right there. By “give” I do not necessarily mean money. I do not mean that if I give a chunk of change to a charity that God will reimburse me. That is NOT what I’m saying. I am not telling you that you will prosper financially. I am, however, telling you that my soul feels greatly prospered when I give of my time, talents and maybe some treasure. My soul is richer for giving. And God gives to me in a number of different ways. He rewards the good work we do.

I’m also not encouraging anyone to give and give to others and ignore your own needs. I don’t believe God would have us do that at all. We do need to take care of ourselves and our families. God has entrusted us with a precious charge when He allows us to be in a family. It is imperative that you first take care of your family. But we do need to be aware of the needs surrounding us outside our own family as well.

The Bible tells us that the poor will always be among us and that’s why being involved in charity work is such a rewarding opportunity. It’s a chance to do for others and lay your own “needs” (which are sometimes actually “wants”) aside to help someone else.

It’s true, you really can not out-give God. This season of giving could be a great opportunity to share what God has blessed you with. Do you have time to give to a lonely neighbor? Do you have a God-given talent for something that you could do for someone? Do you have a little extra treasure you could share with someone else? I’ll bet if you prayed and asked God, He would put someone on your heart that you could help this Christmas season. ❤