IN SIDER Volume 3 + OCTOBER 2007
The CommunityAmerica Magazine HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE.â€‚ Be merry | Be bright | Be prepared
Welcome to the third issue of the INsider. They say three is a lucky number, and this issue is no exception. We’re going to provide you with the tips and tools you need to make it through the holidays. That’s right, the holidays. After all, even though it may be 60 degrees and sunny out, it’s time to start thinking about them. That’s where we come in. We’re going to help you prepare for the onslaught. So grab your stockings and mistletoe and don’t forget to stock the fridge – it’s time to let the INsider help you have some good old-fashioned holiday fun.
VIEWPOINTS I’ll get right to the point: I LOVE this time of year. From strolling carolers to trees adorned in their Christmas best, it’s a wonderful time of year. If you’ve ever been to the Ginter house around the holidays, you know the love our
[ SOCKY SAVESALOT ]
These aren’t regular socks. These are my friends. In the spirit of the holidays, I figured it was time to introduce you
family has for our Christmas trees.
to a few of my friends. You know, the people who I spend some
Our holiday house is filled with trees
major quality time with in the sock drawer. First, there’s Sunny
themed to represent something special
Shareaton. She’s all about lending a hand. She focuses her efforts
for each member of my family. As busy as the holiday season can get, we really try to make sure we spend time with family and friends. And that’s why we created this issue for you. We’ve filled the pages of the INsider with all kinds of advice, tips and ways to alleviate holiday stress so you can enjoy the
on giving back to people in need. Then there’s Smart E. Spender. He’s kind of self-centered, but that’s okay. He likes to pamper himself. When you bring us together, we’re the perfect combination. You’ve got someone like me who socks away the dough, then you have
season. So while you’re making your
Sunny who shares her money and finally you have
list and checking it twice, grab this
Smart E. who enjoys spending it on himself. This
issue of the INsider …we’ll help make your holidays nice! Sincerely, lisa Ginter
Chief Sales Officer CommunityAmerica Credit Union
holiday season, don’t forget to take a cue from all of us. Save some, spend some and most importantly, share some. Oh yeah, and be sure to pick up your very own Cash ‘N Coins Saver available at all of our branches.
The Sarge Says:
There’s nothing holly or jolly about ID theft. Hello again, soldiers. The old Sarge is back to help arm you with some information that will be vital this holiday season. Let’s face it. We all work hard for our money. Heck, I’m out on the battlefield every day. And the last thing you want is for some punk to come and take what you’ve rightfully earned. It’s time to defend ourselves. Below you’ll find a few ways you can protect yourself and keep the enemy away.
Keep wandering eyes off your card. The enemy is everywhere. Be sure to keep a lookout for people who could be capturing your information. Is someone sneaking a glance at the checkout counter? How about from behind your laptop screen? Just be careful. And if you need reinforcements, give your ol’ buddy Sarge a call.
Put your social security number on lockdown. Got an option to use a number other than your social security number? Do it. The less your social security number is out there, the less likely it will be stolen and used.
Keep your numbers out of the gutter. Throwing out bills or receipts with your account number on them is never a good idea, but it’s even more dangerous during the holidays. Rip. Tear. Shred. Do whatever it takes to terminate that piece of paper.
Secure your mailbox. ID thieves are sneaky. They can strike when you least expect it. One of your most vulnerable targets? It’s your mailbox. Keep a close eye on it. Make sure that any mail with personal information doesn’t go missing. If you go out of town, make sure to put a hold on your mail or have someone pick it up for you.
HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #1
HOW TO SURVIVE A PACKED HOUSE Sure, you love your family, but when brothers, sisters and that one weird uncle roll into town, all the family time can get pretty overwhelming. Here are four things you can do to keep the anxiety levels down and keep your guests entertained when they stay at your house.
Stagger visits and offer an alternative. Have one group visit you for a few days and then have another group come to town. This can be especially handy if you have some relatives who just can’t seem to get along. You could also recommend hotels to the family members with bigger budgets. It’s not a big deal to ask. Everyone understands that the holidays are a stressful time, and they will appreciate the peace and quiet almost as much as you will. Plus, if the hotel has a pool, you could have a family pool party. It will keep your guests entertained while offering you a few hours of relaxation.
Have a seating plan for dinner. You’ll make your guests feel appreciated
with the reserved spots and, once again, you can ward off any uncomfortable conversations by seating people in different areas. You might want to think outside the dining room and create various seating areas throughout your house to help cut down on traffic. You could also have different food stations set up to avoid overcrowding and the inevitable in-law spat.
Plan a daily activity. Now, you don’t need to go into major planning mode, just offer your family something fun to do each day they’re in town. It will be a good chance for you to get everyone out of the house and to keep them entertained and on-thego. For instance, you could have everyone head down to the ice rink to go skating. You could also offer each kid in the family
an opportunity to pick the daily activity. That would ensure that they get to do things they like.
Prepare your house for traffic and destruction. Your family members are great, but when you’ve got 15 of them crammed into your house, a mess is bound to happen. So there’s no need to stress out about cleaning your entire house. After all, it’s going to get dirty anyway, right? Simply focus on the high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Put away any breakables that children may bump, fall or throw something into. Then, buy everyone a simple stocking stuffer – house slippers. Have them put them on immediately. You’ll avoid scuffs on the hardwoods and stains on the carpet.
It’s not only handy, it’s also dandy. It’s our
Survival Guide HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #4
Surviving the holidays is no easy task. From cramped quarters to parties to those pesky in-laws giving you judging looks, there’s enough to make your blood pressure rise to extremely dangerous levels. There’s no need to fear, though. The INsider is here to help simplify things. We’ve got four how-to guides that you can use to get you through the season.
HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #2
How to throw a memorable party Yikes. For some unknown reason you’ve been nominated to host this year’s holiday shindig. Trust us, we’ve all been there. But before you have a nervous breakdown, take a deep breath and look at some of our tips. You’ll find that being a host isn’t as painful as people think it is. In fact, it can actually be fun. First things first. You need to set a budget and stick to it. Holiday shopping can be a pretty big strain on your wallet, and you don’t need to go into debt trying to entertain your friends and family. After the budget is set, it’s time to decide on the three key elements: invitations, menu and decorations. Now, we think this is all a matter of personal taste, but if you
want some cool suggestions, you can visit rachaelraymag.com to get some tips on unique things you can do to impress your guests’ taste buds. If you want to have an itinerary for your holiday party planning, visit marthastewart. com. For Thanksgiving, she has up-to-the-minute schedules you can print out with daily – and even hourly – instructions, tips and recipes. Just remember that there are no set rules when throwing your holiday party. Don’t want to host a dinner? Well, you could always serve brunch. Have guests that are picky eaters? Throw an appetizer party and give them more small-bite options. The key is just to have fun. Now all that’s left to do is to start planning.
HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE TIP #3
How to celebrate the holidays by not celebrating the holidays Some years, you just don’t want to celebrate. So why not just avoid the holidays altogether? That’s right, we said it. No long lines, no overcooked turkey and most important, no stress. There are plenty of ways to still have fun without getting into the holiday spirit. You could hit the beach, the mountains or even a hotel in your own city. It’s just a way for you to enjoy a few days outside your normal routine. You’ll be able to sleep later
and not feel obligated to get the usual stuff done around your house. Think a vacation sounds like too much work? Then how about a two-day movie marathon? Have each family member pick out one or two movies, grab the jumbo-sized microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch. You can always cook a turkey or open some presents. But by rethinking your holidays you might just start a tradition that you and your family will have all to yourselves.
How to carve a turkey You’ve spent hours preparing the turkey. It would be a shame to let all that hard work go down the drain by ruining the flavor and texture. Here are some tips on how to carve your turkey, so you can make it as drool-worthy as possible. Oh yeah, and we figured we’d mention this first before we get to the tips: Don’t forget to remove the bag of giblets before you start cooking. We know it may sound silly, but it has happened.
Grasp the end of the drumstick and use a sharp, thin-blade carving knife to cut through the skin to the joint. Remove the entire leg by pulling out and back. You can also use the point of the knife to help disjoint it. Separate the thigh and drumstick at the joint. Insert a fork into the upper breast to help steady the turkey. Then, make a horizontal cut above the wing joint through to the body frame. Slice straight down with an even stroke beginning about halfway up the breast. When the knife reaches the cut above the wing joint, the slice will fall free. Continue slicing the turkey, but remember to always cut parallel to the breast and to cut at a higher point each time. Mmm… You can almost feel the tryptophan setting in, can’t you?
home There’s no denying it, Old Man Winter can be a jerk. But with these helpful tips, you may be able to fight him off. In fact, you might just be able to send that crotchety old you-know-what packing.
Seal leaks around doors and windows. If you have an older house you’ve obviously had to deal with some cold air blasting through the doors and windows. Make sure to seal them. You can even buy a window insulator kit. It may not look pretty but it can help keep your house warm.
Check the insulation. Proper insulation can make all the difference. Make sure you have the additional attic and wall insulation you need to keep your house warm. Not sure what the right amount is? Check with someone at your local home improvement store. While you’re there, you can also buy electric outlet sealers. These will also help ensure your home is properly insulated.
Check the roof and chimney. Make sure to replace loose shingles, clean the gutters, point the downspouts away from the house, and have the chimney inspected and cleaned. You should also install a screen at the top of the chimney to help keep leaves and other debris out.
Winterize the plumbing and other outdoor items. If you’ve ever had a frozen pipe burst, you know what a pain it can be. Before it gets cold, make sure the water to your outdoor hose is shut off and that the hose is detached. Then, check all your other pipes that pass through unheated spaces to see if they are insulated. If not, you can do it yourself with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation available at hardware stores.
Do a heating system check. Did you know that your heater can lose up to 60% of its heated air before reaching the vents? Now that’s blowing a lot of useless hot air, huh? Poorly functioning ducts are usually to blame. Make sure to vacuum them out once a year and also have them checked to see if they are insulated and connected properly.
Check your smoke alarms. Your winter house inspection is the perfect time to go through and check your home’s smoke detectors. Don’t just hit the test button, give them a real test with a small amount of smoke. The holidays are always a hectic time and you want to make sure that you stay safe and secure.
# Night-Before French Toast Casserole (As prepared in ‘St. Louis Days - St. Louis Nights’)
Now that your house is all sealed up, it’s time to let some of your tasty home cookin’ permeate the air. And what better way to do that than by making a delicious French toast casserole. Use the recipe below to make your nose and your taste buds happy. 1 10-ounce loaf of long thin French bread, 18 inches 8 eggs 3 cups milk ¼ cup sugar ¾ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5 pats ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon Syrup
Grease well a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cut bread into 18 1-inch wide slices. Arrange slices in 1 layer, in bottom of pan. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla in large bowl. When thoroughly mixed, pour over bread in pan. Bread will float on top of liquid. Cut each pat of butter into 4 pieces. Dot each piece of bread with a piece of butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover. Refrigerate overnight, or up to 36 hours. Place dish, uncovered, in cold oven. Turn oven temperature to 350° (325° if glass dish) and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until bread is puffy and light brown. Remove from oven. Allow to set 5 minutes. Bread will rise to top with a layer of custard on bottom, similar to a bread pudding. Serve with maple, raspberry, strawberry or coconut syrup. Makes 8-10 servings. Note: An excellent brunch dish, especially for holiday mornings, goes great with a fruit cup.
Put on your sweatbands. You’re about to get financially fit.
Introducing the CommunityAmerica Financial Makeover. Credit card bills. Gas expenses. Mortgage payments. When it comes to your finances, it can be pretty hard to get ahead – until now. Starting January 1, 2008, CommunityAmerica is giving four families the opportunity of a lifetime, the opportunity to change their financial lives forever. For one full year, they’ll be given a financial coach who will provide them with all the tools and advice they need to help reduce their debt while increasing their savings. And, if you outperform the competition, you could walk away with $10,000. Visit cacu.com for details or visit a branch for an application.
COMMUNITYAMERICA LOCATIONS in kc metro Northland
Englewood Hy-Vee 207 NE Englewood Road Kansas City, MO 64118
Blue Valley 6280 W 135th Street Overland Park, KS 66223
Blue Springs Hy-vee 601 W Highway 40 Blue Springs, MO 64014
112th Street 11125 Ambassador Drive Kansas City, MO 64153
Liberty Hy-Vee 1332 Kansas Street Liberty, MO 64068
Nall 5601 W 95th Street Overland Park, KS 66207
23rd Street Hy-Vee 1525 E 23rd Street Independence, MO 64055
Antioch Annex 5400 NE Antioch Kansas City, MO 64118
North Oak 9310 N Oak Trafficway Kansas City, MO 64155
Olathe 13590 S Black Bob Road Olathe, KS 66062
40 Hwy & Noland Hy-VeE 4545 S Noland Road Independence, MO 64014
Bresette’s Sun Fresh Marketplace 7613 NW Prairie View Road Kansas City, MO 64151
Shoal Creek 8450 NE Flintlock Road Kansas City, MO 64157
Prairie Village Hy-Vee 7620 State Line Road Prairie Village, KS 66208
WHITE OAK 7932 N Oak Trafficway Kansas City, MO 64118
Ridgeview Hy-Vee 18101 W 119th Street Olathe, KS 66061
Chouteau Crossing 4357 NE Chouteau Trafficway Kansas City, MO 64117
Shawnee 16110 W 65th Street Shawnee, KS 66217
Noland Road 3622 S Noland Road Independence, MO 64055
I N SIDER + OCTOBER 2 0 0 7
64th Street 6390 N Cosby Avenue Kansas City, MO 64151
When you sign up for a checking account with CommunityAmerica youâ€™ll automatically get a 6% APY* Savings Account. What does that mean? Well, it means youâ€™ll be able to just sit around and watch your money grow at an incredibly fast rate. Whoever said you have to work hard for your money must not have banked with us.
*Interest rate is introductory for first six months of account, available on first $1,500, and may be obtained by individuals opening a new checking account and Delta share savings account. Base Rate of 0.85% Annual Percentage Yield applies to all Delta share account balances over $1,500. New checking account defined as a new checking relationship with credit union opened between 9-15-07 and 12-15-07. Individuals with an existing CommunityAmerica checking account in their household, or that have closed out a checking account within previous three months, do not qualify for the promotional rate. Dividend rate and APY may change weekly at our discretion. Interest rate will revert to base rate of 0.85% on entire balance after promotional period expires. Ask for details on retaining higher rate permanently. Any account closed within first six months of account opening is subject to $25 early closure fee that reduces earnings. This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.