Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A life well lived...

Erma Ruth Cassel left her earthly home on December 20, 2010.  She was 103 years, 3 months and 7 days of age.  Her last breath was sweet and filled with peace.  A beautiful end to a life well lived.

Rest in peace Grandma!  I look forward to hearing you sing with the angels this Christmas.  Please let Grandpa when she was little she used to wake and see him watching over her as she slept...now you can help watch over all three girls!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blessing Others...

‎11 days till Christmas and I challenge each of you to do something meaningful for someone outside your immediate family each day. Whether its sending a note of appreciation to someone or dropping coins in the Salvation army kettle. Ready, set, go make a difference!

I'd like to share with you what prompted this status--you see, one of my favorite songs, Me by Plumb, has the lyric "I'm crazy blessed and oh so lucky.." and I kind of took it to heart in my life.  Each day I strive to remember how blessed I am, even when I don't feel that way.  I also encourage my angel girls to always look at their lives as being fully blessed, not coveting others.

Through the years, we have encouraged the girls to serve others--friends, family, strangers--you know you don't have to give money or things to serve!  Simply returning the elderly ladies shopping cart in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, reaching an item on the top shelf for that man in a wheel chair, a hand written note--reminding a friend how special they are in your life; all of those things are service.

A few days ago, we were working on a gingerbread house look-alike for the 4-H cookie competition and needed more pretzel rods.  I was feeling crummy and grouchy, not wanting to park and get out of the car to fight the masses at Walmart.  The girls rode along and Anna grabbed some cash from my wallet and ran in to get the pretzels.  I continued to cruise the parking lot like a circling vulture wishing for the cars to disappear and the people to quit walking in front of me when I heard a voice ask, "Mommy do you have any change?"  I replied in a not so nice voice "I don't know, why?"  It was then my sweet Melissa brought me to tears..."Mommy, everyone is walking by the Salvation Army man.  I know we're ringing on Saturday but this is today.  Can I please go give him some coins?"

Of course I dug all the change from my purse and put in her hand to hop out and drop into the kettle.  Now here's the funny part--Anna was coming out at the same time.  She helped Melissa get to the kettle to drop the coins and they both hopped in the car.  I told her what had taken place and Anna's reply was priceless..."Mom, I thought the same thing--I hope it's okay but I just dropped your change in his kettle before I came to the car"

So my kids both were filled with the same spirit of compassion and sharing--even in the midst of my pity party for myself.  I decided then and there that I needed to change my attitude this season and really take time to remember every day exactly WHY we are celebrating this month.

If you, like me, are CRAZY BLESSED and OH SO LUCKY, please join me in making a difference each and every day!  I'll share again my Thanksgiving week status..."Today I'm thankful for all who have taken a moment to make a difference in the lives of Ted, the girls and me! Even small moments make a BIG difference. Today, get a hammer, nail and a board--hammer the nail in the board, remove it. The board is forever changed by the nail. Every action you make is like that nail; ...good or bad it's forever. Live life so the change you make is positive and filled with love! ♥"

Make a difference this holiday season.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm always excited when this time of year rolls around!  The cold, crisp air--the smells of cinnamon and gingerbread--the excitement in the eyes of the children!  I'm crazy blessed in so many ways.  I'm thankful have the experience of being a full time mom to my kids--being their caregiver and their teacher.  The ah-ha moments and the sparkle in their eyes as they learn something new.

Selecting just the right gifts for everyone is a special time.  Thanks to a 4-H friend, we've found the perfect craft to make for aunts & uncles from the girls.  We found some great boxes in Oklahoma to package cookies, candy and other goodies for gift giving!  But by far my favorite is the Christmas Calendar!  This tradition started 16 years ago with a simple tear-off calendar with just a few pictures of my new baby girl!!  It has grown to have 12 unique pages of pictures with all the dates for our immediate family and extended (Dad and Moms siblings, nephews, nieces--birthdays and anniversaries).  Here is a link so you can see the Cassel 2010 Calendar for some reason Google Docs made the pics a little lower quality but it will give you an idea of what I do.  I've considered doing these for other peopel...what do you think?  I'd have to charge at least $50 for the first calendar with extras for $15 each.