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5 Tips for Surviving the Back-to-School Transition

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
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By Theresa Ceniccola, The Christian Mompreneur

As we were waiting for her bus to arrive one morning, my daughter asked me if is it easier to get my work done at home when she’s gone. She said, “Mommy, are you happier now that the boys and I are back in school?” It was an innocent question but her words stung. They pierced my heart with a pain only a mother knows. I was flooded with guilt for somehow giving my daughter the impression that I could ever be HAPPIER without her.

To be perfectly honest, yes, it’s a heck of a lot easier being productive in my home office without distractions. But am I HAPPIER when my babies are gone all day?! Not at all.

Many of my friends throw back-to-school brunches the day they turn their precious treasures over to the hands of beloved teachers after a long summer of “Camp Mom.” I can’t blame them – and I certainly don’t judge them. But I never feel like doing a happy dance on the first day of school. I never feel like toasting the quiet house with mimosas. Or celebrating my reclaimed freedom. Instead, I always feel a deep sadness. The kind of sadness that belongs to one who spends too much time worrying about the future and not enough time enjoying the present.

I’m not proud of it, but I can practically see the empty nest taunting me over the horizon. My ovaries ache at the thought of last child going off to college. And, while I know in my heart that the gift of motherhood is only mine for a season, I can’t help but feel powerless against the breakneck speed of childhood.

So, no, I’m not happier now that my children are back in school. Even though I have six straight hours of uninterrupted productive time. I would say I’m more lost than anything. Floundering through my day, unsure of my next task, overwhelmed by the new sports and activity schedules, sinking in paperwork, consumed with responsibilities that have been put on hold for way too long and confused about my own feelings.

But I have been here before. I know what to do. I know how to find my new normal. It may take me a few days, but eventually I come out of my slump. If you’re feeling a little lost yourself right now, please take a peek at these Five Tips for Surviving Back-to-School Transition:

1. Know that this too shall pass. Allow yourself a couple of days to ease into the new fall schedule. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to celebrate. It’s ok to scrub the house from top to bottom. It’s ok to sleep all day. Cope with the transition in whatever way you feel comfortable. But know that after a few days, you will all settle into a new routine. And you’ll be planning Christmas break in no time at all!

2. Have no sacred cows. When your family is in a season of transition, it’s time to let go of the old and make room for the new. This means reassessing everything – all of the sports, hobbies, activities, jobs, social events, projects, etc. Hold a family meeting and make a list of all of your commitments. Decide if it’s realistic to continue with all of them. And be willing to release anything that doesn’t fit in with your family priorities – even your sacred cows.

3. Put pen to paper.  There is no better way to get clear about your feelings and your purpose than journal writing. Whenever my life gets muddy and my vision is messy, I spend some time writing. Start with a brain dump by simply free-writing for 20 minutes. Empty your mind of all the clutter so you can open it up for clarity. Then ask God to give you direction through the pages of your journal. You will be surprised at what surfaces when you put pen to paper.

4. Love ‘em and leave ‘em.  If you spent the summer relaxing with friends and enjoying some much-needed down time, it may be difficult to get back to work when those friends are still hanging out at Starbucks. But remember, if you’re being called to serve others through your business or ministry, you’re going to have to say goodbye to some friends and activities you enjoy (at least temporarily). You can still love them, but you may need to leave them for a while so you can surround yourself with friends who can support you in your business endeavors.

5. Care for the caregiver. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re busy managing the affairs of a household and a business. Sometimes when we are stressed and overwhelmed, we put our own physical, emotional and spiritual care on hold. But that’s when we need it most! So be sure to do ONE thing every day for yourself. We believe in this so strongly that the first commandment in the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur is “Fill your own cup first and serve others from the overflow.”

So how are you feeling now that school is back in session? Are you falling gracefully into a new normal? I’d love to hear your tips for surviving this transition!

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to moms who are running a business that supports their values of faith and family. As president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network for free and receive the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur toolkit!

Pope’s Top 10 Happiness Tips: Focus on Leisure, Family and Being Positive

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
pope-francis1In the July 27 issue of “Viva”, an Argentinian weekly publication, Pope Francis revealed his Top 10 guidelines for achieving happiness. He advocated for playing more, especially with others and children, and toning down the negativity. He placed importance on caring for our environment and working for peace. Most surprising was #9, an admonishment against religious proselytizing.His advice to Argentinians for finding happiness was translated into English by the Catholic News Service.1. Live and let live. As they say in Rome, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. Be giving of yourself to others. If you withdraw into yourself the ego may isolate you. “Stagnant water becomes putrid,” he said.

3. “Proceed calmly” in life. Strive for the ability to move with kindness and humility, along with that calmness.

4. A healthy sense of leisure. 40 percent of Americans don’t take vacations because they don’t want to get behind in their work. The same fear goads us into checking our phones constantly. Studies show that taking real vacations and leisurely weekends prepare you better for problem-solving and creativity. It leads to happiness too. The pope said parents must set aside time to play with their children, even if schedules are full, and turn off the TV during dinner so you can talk to one another.

5. Sundays should be holidays. “Sunday is for family,” said the Pontiff, who wants a day-off for all workers.

6. Young people should be able to work. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs,” he said. “It’s not enough to give them food.” Dignity becomes a bonus whenever they get rewarded for their own labor.

7. Respect and care for nature. Environmental degradation is like mankind committing suicide, he told the Argentinian reporter, and called it “one of the biggest challenges we have.”

8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “The worst thing of all is religious proselytism. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No.”

10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars (so) the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive”.

Source: goodnewsnetwork.org

The Billy Graham Sermon That Changed World War II Veteran Louis Zamperini

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
A few years ago I heard a sermon about a young war hero who became a Christian later in life through the preaching of Rev. Billy Graham & forgive the people who committed horrible crimes against him during the war. What a story! I went on to read the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand which tell Louis Zamperini’s story in full. Last month the world lost this famous veteran. Later this year Angeline Jolie will share Zamperini’s story on the big screen.– Ashley

Louis Zamperini’s greatest victory came through faith in Christ

By Jamie Dean of worldmag.com

Louis-ZamperiniWhen I met Louis Zamperini at the Billy Graham Library here in Charlotte on a hot June morning in 2011, dozens of eager fans had already formed a long line outside, clutching water bottles and copies of the book that had made the World War II veteran famous.

The decorated war hero — who died yesterday at age 97—was in town to sign copies of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling account of his extraordinary life. Unbroken had already topped the New York Times bestseller list, and it remains on the list today, ranking No. 4. According to Hillenbrand’s website, only four other nonfiction books in history have remained on the list longer.

The book sketches the remarkable tale of Zamperini’s experiences as an Olympic runner and a World War II soldier who courageously survived a plane crash, 47 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean, and two years of brutality in Japanese prison camps.

But in a small meeting room near the back of the Billy Graham Library’s barn-shaped building on that June morning in 2011, Zamperini mostly talked about other people.

Sitting at the end of a long conference table, wearing his trademark navy Olympic jacket and his red University of Southern California hat, Zamperini first talked about Hillenbrand. The author of the bestseller Seabiscuit had spent seven years painstakingly piecing together an account of Zamperini’s life while combating a debilitating case of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Extreme weakness and vertigo confined Hillenbrand to her home, and she never met Zamperini in person while she worked on the book. Instead, she spent hundreds of hours interviewing Zamperini and others by phone, and researching archive materials and official documents via the internet and mail. The pair became friends without meeting, and Hillenbrand once called Zamperini “a virtuoso of joy.”

When the subject of resilience came up, Zamperini talked about Hillenbrand that June morning: “Now that’s a courageous lady.” He was so struck by her perseverance through her illness, Zamperini did what seemed most logical to him: “I sent her one of my Purple Hearts.”

When Hillenbrand, then 43, didn’t have strength to travel for a book tour, Zamperini took on the job for her. The then-94-year-old embarked on a book-signing excursion that took him to stops all over the country, where he spent hours giving media interviews and meeting admiring fans.

Next, Zamperini talked about Billy Graham. The veteran’s appearance at the Billy Graham Library that morning carried special significance for Zamperini: He became a Christian during a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles in 1949.

A huge, black-and-white photo of a young Graham preaching to thousands hung on the wall as Zamperini remembered his conversion to Christianity. He had returned from the war traumatized and depressed from the extreme abuse he endured, and he had turned to alcohol for relief. He initially resisted his wife’s suggestions that the pair attend Graham’s tent meeting, but he eventually relented.

Hillenbrand located the sermon Graham preached that October evening in 1949, and included the scene in Unbroken. As Zamperini battled anger and bitter memories of the hellish ordeal of war, Graham preached: “Here tonight, there’s a drowning man, a drowning boy, a drowning girl that is out lost in the sea of life.”

The next night, Zamperini returned to the tent, and Graham again preached the gospel of salvation from sin through faith in Christ. This time Zamperini responded. He and his wife both embraced Christ.

Zamperini said he was thankful for Graham’s ministry, and thrilled that Hillenbrand included the account in her book. (Hopefully the forthcoming Angelina Jolie–directed film based on the book will do likewise.) Shortly after the release of Unbroken, Zamperini found a letter in his mailbox from Graham. “Dear Louis,” it began. “My associate read me parts of the new book about you yesterday. What a life you have lived. What a description you have in the book of your conversion to Christ in 1949, and the great part that [your wife] Cynthia played in it. … I had tears in my eyes and praise in my heart for what God has done through you.”

I asked Zamperini—who maintained a devout Christian faith and service throughout the rest of his life—how important it was for the story of his conversion and faith to make it into the book. His reply was simple: “There wouldn’t be a book without it.”

Zamperini saw his conversion as the hinge for all that went before it, and all that followed in his long life. He wanted as many other people as possible to hear about salvation through Christ through his own story: “That’s the message of the book.”

The Sermon That Changed Louis Zamperini:

Unbroken Official Trailer:

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

UnbrokenOn a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humour; and brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Unbroken is an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, it is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Now I Lay Me Down

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
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by Leslie Leyland Fields

This last week I had a nightmare: I dreamt I couldn’t sleep. In my dream, I rolled and curled and tossed through the short night. And then I woke up, unsure of how much I’d actually slept, if at all.

I have long lain awake through the night, but the worst was the year I traveled in Africa. My husband and I were traveling from Cairo into the heart of the Congo and then to the Kenyan coast. I couldn’t rest from the start. We drove nearly every day, stopping at a new spot or clearing at night. The ground was lumpy no matter where we made camp. Our two-man tent was claustrophobic, and the nights were short and hard.

One night, as we began the three-week crossing of the Sahara, a camel spider as big as a crab appeared in our campground before scuttling off into the dark. I closed the tent and checked the zipper obsessively from then on. Yet another reason to worry. Once we reached the heart of Africa, there were more anxieties. We were behind schedule. The rainy season was beginning, and one evening we were stuck up to our axles in black muck. I prayed for sleep each night, and it would come as fitful and unsettling as that dream. I could not rest because I felt utterly powerless.

Almost 30 years later, I still struggle with sleep. And though my life circumstances have changed completely, I still feel vulnerable at times. Like so many, my schedule is filled with responsibilities, meetings, and ministry. My sons run to youth group, wrestling practice, and piano lessons—all of which are squeezed between homework and church. We scurry from one event to the next, through fatigue, until we tick off every item on the list. Self-discipline and determination fuel me through every busy day, but at night, such powers fail. No amount of either can lull me to sleep.

Now I Lay Me Down2And my work life? So much like yours. Our work is bleeding over into our leisure, our weekends, our vacations. And yes, we’re tired. We’re not getting enough sleep. Fifty to 70 million adults in the U.S. have sleep or wakefulness disorders. And while grownups need an average of eight hours of sleep a night, nearly one third of us make due with just six.

So here we are in our collective insomnia—millions of us alone on our pillows, staring into the dark. We take pills to help our bodies do what we’re keeping them from doing. At the root, I believe our sleep crisis is a faith crisis. It takes faith in God to close our eyes and loosen our grip on the conscious world. It is our own limits and helplessness that often keep us awake.

Real rest comes only when we believe God is who He says He is and recognize who we are—mere dust. We are dependent beings who will die without food, water, and sleep. But the recognition of these limitations need not lead to despair and sleeplessness. Rather, it is a relief to know we don’t hold the world, even our own little corners of it, in our hands. God is over all our needs and delights in providing them for His children. Here, then, humility leads us to rest when it moves us to the omnipotent One who made and redeemed us—the One who neither slumbers nor sleeps and who will never let us go.

Faith and humility are in short supply these days. But even those in the presence of Jesus struggled with the same. On a hillside after pronouncing blessing upon the thousands gathered, Jesus spoke to their still fretful hearts, urging them, “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25). He showed them the lilies, the birds, the grass of the field. “Are you not worth much more than they?” He chided lovingly (vv. 26-30). “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (v. 34). And the night? What of it? When we take these words to heart, then the night, too, can be free from the troubles of the day.

Now I Lay Me Down3Paul took up the theme as well. Imprisoned and powerless, just when he should have been exhausted with worry, he wrote to encourage his fellow believers and us, saying, “Do not be anxious about anything” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Why not? What can we do when we feel so overwhelmed? The apostle tells us: “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” As we lie on our beds at night, we can transfer our anxieties to God Himself, who welcomes them. Invites them, even, because He alone can carry them.

Sleep is the ultimate act of faith. Not the faith that moves mountains, but the kind that can make a bed on any mountain—no matter where it is. But it’s about more than a better night’s sleep; it takes faith and humility in our waking hours as well. We will not sleep at night until we learn to rest throughout the day. This includes times when we stop to rest in who God is, in all He has already accomplished on our behalf, and all He will do tomorrow. “Now I lay me down to sleep,” the prayer goes. And if we have practiced rest in Him all day, we can indeed. We can sleep because God is always awake.

We can let go of our worries because Christ will never let go of us.

We can cease from our warfare because Christ has already won the battle.

We can lay our yoke down because Christ has taken it up.

As our eyes close, we can say as Julian of Norwich once did, “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Illustrations by Jeff Gregory

Source: www.intouch.org

The Best Way to Organize Your Freezer

August 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted in Advice and Tips
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Have you ever had that “ouch” moment when you open the freezer and some heavy, unidentifiable object hurls out and lands on your toe? I know I’m guilty of throwing things in there wherever I find space, only to have the frustrating experience of trying to dig and unearth it later.

Looking into an organized freezer, on the other hand, always puts me in a good mood — things are packed up correctly so they last longer and won’t go to waste, and I know exactly where everything is. Here are my seven tips for freezer organization that you can put into practice today, and hopefully you’ll be as happy as I am with the results!

1. Know what’s actually freezable.

As much as I wish all foods can be frozen, some just won’t survive the freezing process well. Fruits and vegetables with high moisture content like lettuce and watermelon, dairy products like yogurt, or fried foods are examples of things best kept out of the freezer.

Good candidates for freezing are pancakes, waffles, nuts, berries, muffins, stocks or broths, meats, fish, shrimp, chilis, and stews. You’re more likely to want to eat foods that survive the freezing process intact.

2. Freeze in usable portions.

It might be tempting to just throw the whole value-pack of chicken pieces straight into the freezer, but you’ll regret this shortcut later when you only need a few pieces but the whole thing is one frozen mass.

Instead, take the time to portion out ingredients into usable portions, like eight pieces of chicken or a pound of ground beef, and freeze each portion in a separate container or freezer bag. That way, you can just pull out what you need and thaw the right amount.

Another option is to freeze things in individual pieces first, then consolidate the frozen pieces into one bag or container. By doing this, the pieces won’t stick together and you can just grab the exact number of pieces you need.

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3. Freeze things flat.

As much as possible, freeze things flat. Put that leftover chili in a freezer bag, seal, and lay the bag flat in the freezer until frozen. Flat things of an even thickness are easier to stack or organize upright in a container.

4. Choose the right containers.

Air circulating around frozen foods can lead to freezer burn, so your best bet is to find a container as close to the size of what you want to freeze as possible. If you’re using plastic bags, make sure you use thicker freezer ones, and press out as much air as possible before freezing. If you’re using foil, make sure foods are tightly double wrapped. Doing these things mean you maximize freezer space and keep air out.

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5. Use organizers.

Freezers are usually vast open spaces with very little shelving. While frozen foods can stack on top of each other without damaging one another, that also means that the piles can grow unwieldy.

Invest in plastic tubs or organizers to keep things from falling out, and if you assign a category of food for each organizer, it’ll make finding exactly what you’re looking for easy!

6. Don’t store ice cream in the door.

The door is the warmest place in the freezer, so don’t put high-fat items like ice cream there when it can run the risk of melting and refreezing. Save the door for things like for nuts and booze!

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7. Label!

Taking the time to label and date foods means you’ll never have to guess what’s inside. It can be hard to identify stew from soup, and even opening up the container for a sniff test is hard since there won’t be much of an aroma. The last thing you want is to defrost the wrong thing, so label for your own sanity’s sake!

To take it one step further, measure or weigh what’s going into the freezer and write that amount on the label — perfect when you’re wondering if you have enough of something for a recipe.

Hopefully putting these tips into practice will put you in a happy place every time you go into your freezer!

Do you have any other freezer tips to share?

 

CHRISTINE GALLARYCHRISTINE GALLARY

Christine graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and she has worked at Cook’s Illustrated and CHOW.com. She lives in San Francisco and loves teaching cooking classes and sharing recipes on her personal blog.

Source: thekitchn.com

Who Will You Encourage With One Today?

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Encouragement
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Encourage your loved ones with beautiful scripture and quotes for you to share!

http://www.incourage.me/share#/

TONS of encouraging scripture and quotes from your favorite authors. Share them directly onto social media or send them via email. Who will you encourage with one today?

CHRI Staff Summer

August 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in CHRI
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Dan Adams – Mid Day HostWe spent most of our summer doing family trips and visiting lots family, going to reunions and then we did some fishing with the kids. They discovered the “fun” of fishing. (Mostly playing with worms)

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CareCare Baldwin – Home Stretch Host

Sometimes a summer without any major trips or commitments is the best kind of summer!

This was the first summer for me in a long time that wasn’t booked up before it even started! No play rehearsals 4 nights a week (coordinating the set/props for 9th Hour’s “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce” took up a LOT less of my time); no long vacation; I just found myself doing more of what I enjoy in the Summer months: Whatever I feel like!

It’s nice to have the flexibility for spontaneous get-togethers with friends, beach time, reading time, garage sales, festivals, DYI projects, visits with family, trying new recipes, etc. We also had air conditioning and a new furnace installed… which was a long-time coming!

I have always filled up my summer before spring is even over so this was a nice change – and I recommend trying it!

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TrudyTrudy Connelly – Church Media Coordinator

This July I took a few days to relax and refresh in the Pontiac – Pine Lodge at Norway Bay to be exact.  It’s a rustic family owned lodge built in the 1930’s situated on the Ottawa River at Norway Bay with friendly owners and staff plus great home-cooked food.  It was exactly what I wanted, lots of quiet time to read and sit by the beach, play a round of golf (9 holes only thankfully which was plenty at the pace that I play).  I jogged a little and walked most days.  I read a couple of books, one being “In Step with God” by Dr. Charles Stanley.  It’s a great book that I highly recommend.  The book provides insights into deepening your personal relationship with Jesus.  It helped me reflect on how much He loves me and how important every little thing that concerns me also concerns Him.  Plus I discovered how important some quiet time is to get centred on what is truly important.

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AshleyAshley Elliott – Promotions Coordinator

Summer 2014 has been amazing! Busy but amazing! As you read this I’m enjoying the lovely sea breeze on the red shores of Prince Edward Island, Canada’s beautiful & tiny island that has given the world Anne of Green Gables, famous potatoes & unforgettable Cows Ice Cream. At the beginning of the summer my boyfriend Andrew proposed while we were travelling in New York City, sending us into a giddy planning frenzy. My summer has also been joyfully taken over with plans for the upcoming inaugural Ottawa [free-them] Freedom Walk on Saturday, September 27th. Which all leads me to say my favourite moment of the summer is when I cross over the world’s longest (ice-covered water) bridge leading me to a small, postcard perfect island. Island life is at a much slower pace than capital life. Lazy mornings sipping coffee on the porch watching the gulls play in the waves, afternoons taking a jaunt across the emerald green farmers fields and chasing the crisp blue sky that seems to go on forever and evenings spent eating the local catch of the day while laughing with good friends & soon-to-be family.

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PierrePierre Nantais – Controller

This summer is packed with activities. The two big ones are spending my spiritual time at Temple Israel instead of my church, and doing a massive cleanup following completion of my full-house renovations on July 4th. What an arduous job that is! This is where I truly found out just how much stuff I have and how much I have to get rid of. I knew it consciously but, going through each and every item sort of rubs my nose in it. Symbol that I’ve reached the halfway mark is placing my Japanese cat on his high perch, overlooking the dining / living room.

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ewan_1Ewan Roy – Family Fun Team Coordinator

As a new CHRI employee, a big highlight of the summer has been working at the station and starting up the Family Fun Team! The opportunity to be a part of church and community events is an exciting one, and I look forward to seeing how the team grows and continues to serve Ottawa and the surrounding regions over the coming months. I’ve already done everything from festivals to concerts to a motorcycle charity ride, and I feel blessed to have been part of them and to have met so many wonderful people. As I continue on, however, I’ll be constantly looking for new volunteers to help out at events and be a part of the team. If you’re interested, e-mail me at funteam@chri.ca!

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Monika Kading – Media Traffic Coordinator

My summer fun is looking after my grand-son Princeton, who sure enjoys the Splash-pads, parks and anything to do with the outdoors. He makes my days so much brighter and I realize how blessed I am to be his NaNa.

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BillBill Stevens – General Manager

Growing up we didn’t have a cottage and my parents couldn’t afford basic holiday expenses like gas and food so we just invented stuff to do around the house. There was a lot of construction going on in our neighbourhood so there were always piles of dirt to play in.

As I matured three newspaper routes filled in my summers. Later it was construction jobs and the Eaton’s men’s and boy’s wear department.  So, I’m not a summer holiday or any holiday for that matter kind of guy.

Today, summer to me just means more daylight, better commuting weather and cutting grass instead of shoveling snow. My idea of a holiday is sitting with my wife of 44 years looking over the fields and watching God redress the landscape in a constant flow of seasons. That takes about 10 minutes a day!

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BrockBrock Tozer – Morning Express Host

Firstly, the family and I finally got the chance to go to Calypso, a few weeks ago, which was an absolute blast. My 9 year old son (Zachary) said, at the end of the day, that it had been “the best day of his entire life”. Haha. So cool!

Also, we’re heading to New Brunswick this summer, to see family, which we don’t get to do nearly often enough. I’m especially excited to re-connect with my older brother (Lehman), and his family, since it’s been more than 5 years since I’ve seen him last.

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DianneDianne Van der Putten – Marketplace Ministry

The date is fast approaching and I’ve been anticipating this for months!!!  I’ll be attending the Joyce Meyer Conference in Toronto August 21 to 23 and have VIP seats!!  I’ve never been to a Joyce Meyer conference before OR watched her program on television (I know, shocking) but I do listen regularly to Joyce on CHRI at 6:15PM, Mon to Fri.  I’m so looking forward to this teaching time and know thousands will be attending this conference with me.  Did I mention it’s also my birthday (Aug 20) celebration too!  Doesn’t get any better!

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