Thursday, June 30, 2011

Faith Deployed...Again: Hope and Comfort for Military Wives and Moms

"Hope and encouragement - I can think of no greater gift to give the military home front. Faith Deployed...Again is Christian military wives and mothers...cheering, encouraging, challenging, guiding, mentoring us in our journey to know the Author of Hope, Jesus Christ, while we combat the challenges of the military lifestyle."--Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here

When my friend and former neighbor Kathy Guzzo told me she had contributed to a devotional for military wives and moms, I thought that was awesome!

I've kept in touch with Kathy through the years, and knew that her son Brian had been a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that she is active in supporting the troops and military families at home.

Faith Deployed...Again, by Jocelyn Green, includes 25 contributing authors from every branch of the U.S. military. Each brief but meaningful and practical devotion includes a question to ask yourself and a prayer.

Listen to this 2-minute clip from an interview with contributing author Kathy Guzzo.

Kathy conducts a ministry for military familes called "Hope at Home." To receive her newsletter, e-mail Kathy Guzzo at

From Faith

Kathy Guzzo is the mother of four adult children and the author of several articles for military families, including the brochure, “Deployment: What’s A Family To Do?” Her son served in the USMC from 2004-2008, which included deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. She is the coordinator for Hope at Home Ministry in Rockford, Illinois, serving women with loved ones in the military. She also writes a bi-weekly newsletter sharing encouragement and resources with women across the country. Kathy and her husband of thirty-two years, Mickey, live in Rockford, Illinois.

I'm participating today in Company Girl Coffee--click on the icon for more info!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pink and Green Thursday: Enjoy the Loveliness

I'm participating today in Pink and Green Thursday, hosted by Pink Preppy Lilly Lover. Click on the icon for more info!

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Wearing Your Convictions on Your Face

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow wears his beliefs on his face.

By the way, a lot of people criticize and even hate Tebow for doing this. WHY? If people can wear tattoos expressing anything they want to on their bodies, what's wrong with Tebow putting a Bible verse on his face? He's not threatening anyone with it, or insisting that people convert to his way of thinking. He's simply using his eye-black as a form of self-expression.

If people have a high tolerance for everyone else expressing themselves in any or every way they see fit, then they should have no problem with Tebow doing this. (Hmm...I guess I wasn't so wordless after all.)

I'm connecting today with Semi Wordless Wedneday, hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls!


Photo credits:
Photo 1 (book cover) via--Photo by Jeremy Cowart
Photos 2 & 3 via Tumblr
Photo 3 via

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When was the last time you wrote a letter?


"Will this fading generation... also be the last to write letters? Messages crafted by hand rather than bits of binary code? Writing that carries emotions rather than emoticons?

"...Think of letters and the mind falls on Paul of Tarsus, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Mark Twain; on love letters written during the American Civil War, or letters written to a parent by a frightened soldier at the battlefront..."--
Catherine Fields, The New York Times

Today is Long Letter Day, billed as "a time to stop and write that long letter to an old friend."

Which begs the question, does anybody write letters anymore? Should we? Why?

I myself can't remember the last time I wrote a letter. E-mails, sure. Texts just to say "I love you" or "I'm praying for you." But a letter?

This New York Times article by Catherine Fields, "The Fading Art of Letter-writing," opens with Fields' description of the regular letters she gets from her 75-year-old aunt in England.

Fields writes:

"A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping."

Some of the many letters my mom wrote to me when I was in Bible college in the late 70's--I saved all of them!

As a Bible college student, far away from home in the late 70's, my mother's regular letters were a lifeline. There was no e-mail, no cell phones, so these loving, chatty missives were like cherished gifts showing up in my otherwise-empty student mailbox.

My husband and I were apart for some two months prior to our marriage in 1978. Somewhere in my house are the letters we exchanged during that time--sweet, naive, romantic and probably somewhat cheesey expressions of our love. Do modern couples have this testament to their devotion?

Apparently there are those in the younger generation who are trying to revive the art of letter-writing. Letter-writing clubs like this one are springing up all over the world, where members meet just to put pen to paper to "go back to the old-fashioned way of sending their regards."

Witness blogs like ("where the written word lives on"). Blogger and written-word advocate Samara O'Shea writes:

"...there is nothing—not a text message, not an IM, not a Facebook status update—that competes with the emotional connection made through a letter. Handwritten or typed, snail-mailed or handed over—doesn’t matter. It’s the time you take to choose your words carefully and write them down that becomes a tangible testament to how much the other person means to you."


I doubt that I'll start conducting all my correspondence by snail-mail. But I do feel the urge to bring letter-writing back into my life, at least occasionally!

What about you? Do you ever write letters? Do you enjoy getting them? Do you think it's an art that needs to be preserved? Let me know!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

National Lemonade Day! Homemade Lemonade

Today is National Lemonade Day! And what could be more appropriate that having National Lemonade Day on June 27, I ask you?

To be honest, I'm not crazy about canned lemonade. (Especially now that I have to avoid sugared drinks.)

I do have memories of my parents making juice when we were missionaries in Lebanon (when I was a little girl). I'm not sure if they made lemonade, but I can remember them making orange juice...squeezing the orange juice by hand on one of those little hand juicers. Nothing was more delicious, and I have a feeling the very best lemonade is the kind that's handmade.

I've never made homemade lemonade, but I found this recipe at that looks like it might be wonderful...and couldn't be easier.

Says the author:

"Ah, the taste of summer. This classic lemonade recipe is the one my mom used to make for me when I was little. It's the perfect combination of sweet and tart! When using a clear pitcher, adding a few of the juiced lemon halves makes it look prettier."


6 lemons
1 cup white sugar
6 cups cold water


Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of juice. To make your labor easier, FIRMLY roll the lemons between your hand and counter top before cutting in half and juicing.

In a gallon pitcher combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and 6 cups cold water. Stir. Adjust water to taste. Chill and serve over ice.

Boil some of the sugar/water first?

This recipe suggests boiling the sugar and some of the water in a pan for two minutes before adding the lemon juice.

Sugar-Free Homemade Lemonade

For those like me that aren't supposed to have too much sugar, here's a lemonade recipe that uses Splenda. Interestingly, it also suggests heating one cup of the water before dissolving the Splenda in it, then adding the lemon juice and the rest of the water. I might try this one.

I also saw a recipe that uses stevia. Google "sugar-free lemonade" and you can take your pick.

Do you have a lemonade recipe that you love? Let me know!

I'm participating today in Miscellany Monday and Life Made Lovely. Click on either of the icons for more information!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fabulousness: Pretty Pink

Pink is my favorite color, so I'm sharing some lovely pink images for you to enjoy on this summer day!

I'm linking up today to Company Girl Coffee, hosted by Home Sanctuary. Click on the icon for more info!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: An 11-second video of my grandson

I don't know if Payton is quoting from something here, but I think it's pretty adorable.

I'm connecting today with (Semi) Wordless Wednesday, hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls!
Click on the icon for more info...


Monday, June 20, 2011

From the Archives: My Interview with Drop Dead Diva's Brooke Elliott

Brooke Elliott dishes about body image, working with icons, and NOT being pressured to lose weight

Note: This post was originally published in August 2010, but since "Drop Dead Diva" is back for another season, I thought I'd reprise it!--Cindy

Television being what it is, I never give a blanket endorsement to a TV show. However, I've seen "Drop Dead Diva" several times now, and I've really enjoyed it so far.

OK, it's one of those someone-comes-back-to-life-after-dying premises. We all know you have to suspend disbelief there, so just enjoy the show for what it is: light-hearted fun with some occasionally serious things to say about the weight issues that most women live with.

The best thing about the show? Its star, the delightful Brooke Elliott.

Deb is a slim, air-headed woman brought back in the body of a brilliant but dumpy and overweight lawyer, Jane. Somehow they merge--with Deb getting Jane's overweight exterior and brilliant mind, but keeping her own ditzy personality. Plus, Deb can't seem to remember that she doesn't look like a babe anymore, so she still acts like one.

The lovely Brooke Elliott is absolutely convincing portraying this paradox, and as I told her, it makes me believe that all overweight women should just act beautiful...then maybe it would become a self-fulfilling reality!

I asked Brooke about having a job in which she feels NO pressure to lose weight...what it's like working with famous guest stars like Delta Burke, Paula Abdul and Liza Minelli..and what about the guardian angel, Fred--will we ever see him again?

You can listen to my 8-minute interview with Drop Dead Diva's Brooke Elliott here.

Check out my book blog today, where the question is: Do you like movies made from books?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Fabulousness & Fashion Friday: Time for a Kate Update

Time for another look at the style of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) seems to be adjusting to married life very well--she's glowing. There haven't been very many public occasions since she and the Duke tied the knot, but here are some recent photos.

Besides Friday Fabulousness, I'm also linking up to Fashion Friday today!

Click on the icon to participate in Fashion Friday!

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