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summer 2011

pointe!ing the way

The Power of Unexpected Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Thank You Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Adventurous Fashion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

high pointe!s


Women in History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Strong Lady, Tough Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


pointe! in time

College Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Faith in a Bass Boat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 5 Things Men Find Exciting About Women . . . . . . 21

creative pointe!s

Irresistible Smoothies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sand Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Oh, the Places We'll Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Adventures in the Neighborhood. . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Homemade Ice Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

gripping pointe!s

Sprinkler Serenade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Great Bee Adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Pike's Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Reunion Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

28 31 23 EDITORS


Lori Stephanoff Wanda Litchenberg Cindy Van Horn

Sherie LaPrade


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welcome to pointe!

Welcome to the first Columbia issue of pointe! magazine. The vitality and energy you see on these pages reflects the way the women of NorthStar Christian Center approach life as homemakers, wives, mothers and women in the workplace. Our hope is that your life is enhanced in great measure by reading this magazine. This month our issue is centered all around the theme of ADVENTURE and what a perfect time of the year to talk about it! The summer is when all of us are plan different adventures for our families to enjoy and participate in. History is a fascinating subject. What seems like an endless list of facts to some inspires so many of us. We especially love stories of adventurers who dared to turn failed experiments into new discoveries, challenge the beliefs of the day, explore uncharted lands, and follow their hearts. William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark expedition) wrote in his journal on July 19, 1804: “Came suddenly into an open and boundless Prairie, I say boundless because I could not see the extent of the plain in any direction…This prospect was so sudden & entertaining that I forgot the object of my pursuit…” What captivating vistas lie ahead of us? Perhaps a better question is: will we have eyes to see the possibilities for adventure in everyday life? You’ve heard the phrase, “Seeing is believing.” But we're convinced that believing is seeing — what we believe determines what we see. Our paradigms — our beliefs, assumptions, perceptions and values — determine how we see the world. In order to unleash the adventurer in you, you may need a paradigm shift. Think a 26-mile marathon sounds daunting? How about a 100mile run? The Tarahumara Indians of northwest Mexico run everywhere; it’s their only mode of transportation. Their paradigm: 100 miles — no problem, 26 miles — child’s play. What is impossible to do in one paradigm is entirely possible with another. Don’t be surprised if you encounter some resistance when you challenge a deeply rooted paradigm. Just ask Galileo, the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and countless other innovators. Each time we run into something beyond the boundaries of our current paradigm, we have the opportunity to see differently, to find a creative solution, to dream a new dream, to have faith for the impossible. You’ll need confidence to embrace this great adventure of life. Confidence isn’t arrogance; it is true humility. It comes from two words meaning “with faith.” Do not, therefore, abandon

that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward…Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 10:35 & 11:1) It is the optimist, the believer, the adventurer — the one who sees what doesn’t exist but refuses to believe that it cannot exist — that is the person who changes the world. We challenge and bless you to go and be an adventurous world changer. So sit back, get yourself a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer) and enjoy a few moments just for you. We are confident that you will find something in this issue that is useful and meaningful. Because you matter,


Pointing The Way To Jesus

pointe! magazine | northstar christian center | 711 longtown road columbia, south carolina | 803.736.9250 |

Brian & Susan Thomas NorthStar Christian Center { 3

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Women in History

History is full of women pioneers and adventurers! Ones who have fought for their rights, worked hard to be treated equally and made great strides in fields like science, politics, sports, literature and art. Let’s celebrate just a few remarkable women in history.

SACAGAWEA (1788-1812) played an important part in the Lewis and Clark epic expedition to the Pacific Northwest. Sacagawea gave birth to her son, Jean Baptiste, only two months before the start of the expedition. She carried him with her for the duration of the journey (52 months). Not only was her guiding and interpreting helpful, her presence in the journey indicated to others the peaceful intent of the trip. HARRIET TUBMAN (1822-1913) was an AfricanAmerican abolitionist and humanitarian during the Civil War. She was born into slavery but escaped. After her escape, she made thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. A pioneering aviator and inspirational figure, AMELIA EARHART (1897-1937) became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

MOTHER TERESA (1910-1997), born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, devoted her life to working with the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India. At the age of twelve, she felt the call of God and knew she wanted to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At age 20, she took her vows as a nun and for 17 years taught in a convent school. Moved by the suffering and poverty outside the convent walls, she started an open-air school for slum children even though she had no money. In time, her efforts drew international support and distinction. She received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. By the year she died, the Missionaries of Charity order she established in 1950 was 4,000-strong and established in 130 countries. It cared for 7,000 children and treated about four million sick people each year. Mother Teresa definitely left her mark on history through her selfless service. But it’s not just women in the headlines or history books that make a difference in this world. We find the same tenacity and passion in TODAY’s woman! Pushing past barriers, exploring new territory, endlessly giving, and serving others! Do you know one? Thank her! Recognize her, even if she doesn’t like being in the spotlight. Find a way to let her know how special she is to you and others. Want to be one? Make the decision to pursue your passion, dream, or desire – whether it’s finding a cure for cancer or taking care of others, do it with zeal!

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Strong Lady, TOUGH


— Emily Ware Martin

Sometimes an adventure is simply a generation away. Most likely a search into your family history will find stories that will inspire and amaze you. And it may be that the search turns in to an adventure all its own. My grandmother, Emma Rodgers, was an exceptional and remarkably talented woman. The stories that my mother, Juanita Ware, shared with me reveal a life full of strength, faith, moral values and creativity. She overcame significant physical limitations and led a life filled with caring for her family and others. Born in 1898, Grandma Emma was ten years old when her left hand was accidentally crushed in a sugar cane grinder. After the accident, her left arm was amputated below the elbow in surgery that was done on a kitchen table. Later, after gangrene set in, another amputation was done just below her shoulder. She was left with a handicap that she would overcome with a tough spirit and strong love for the family she would one day have. After her accident, Emma went about her normal chores as did her nine siblings. She made good grades in school and eventually became a school teacher and taught in one-room schoolhouses in Missouri and Arkansas. After she was married, she rode her horse to teach school with her first child, Juanita, my mother, in the saddle, too. Grandma Emma’s creative streak was not dampened because of her handicap. She hand-painted tablecloths, stitched hems, made lace by tatting with a shuttle in her mouth and embroidered many things. She cooked delicious meals, prepared lunches for everyone to take to school or work, cleaned house, washed clothes, ironed, canned fruits and vegetables, tended to flower gardens and made all the clothes for her three children. She even found time to teach her own children to read and write before they started school. Grandma Emma was a very strict disciplinarian. She would place her children between her legs – that one arm could really paddle! She raised chickens and sold eggs. She milked their cow and sold milk and butter during the Depression. She helped care for people in need and welcomed many to stay with them. Somewhere around thirty people lived in my grandparents’ home at various times. After teaching Sunday School, it wasn’t unusual for my grandmother to bring home less privileged children to clothe them and wash their

hair. When it came to helping someone in need, she would do anything. She was once asked to provide breast milk for a dying baby and nursed him back to health. The family never thought of Grandma Emma as being handicapped. Her one arm was strong, with double strength in it. She was able to tie bows on her daughters’ sleeves and braided her own hair before bedtime. My mother, Juanita, remembers seeing her baby brother placed on the nub of my grandmother’s left shoulder while doing household chores. And he never fell off. Her doctor was amazed at how she pinned a diaper on her baby using one arm! Dinner guests often asked if they could arrive early just to watch her prepare the meal. She would wrap cabbages and potatoes in a cloth and hold them between her knees as she peeled and shredded them. Her creativity and tenacity were incredible! Way back when my grandfather began courting my grandmother, his family was concerned that she couldn’t perform the duties of wife or mother with only one arm. He quickly replied, “I go to her house every Sunday after church, and I know for myself what she

is capable of doing.” In fact, there were only four things she could not do: tie her shoes, file her nails, crochet and cut up a chicken. Her story is remarkable. So remarkable, and thanks to mother, it’s been published in a book entitled, “Tough Times, Strong Women.” This book is a compilation of stories about women who met adverse times with strength and courage. “Tough Times, Strong Women” was written by Mike Beno, Clancy Strock and Deb Mulvey and published by Reiman Publications and is still in book stores today. My grandmother guided her family through a World War and a Depression while overcoming a series of devastating illnesses. She had a stroke at age 31 and was paralyzed on her left side for several months. She recovered from this but eventually died at age 39 from a cerebral hemorrhage. My mother was only 17 at the time. Unfortunately, I never knew my grandmother. A few people still tell me stories about my grandmother’s awesome strength and courage. She is a wonderful role model. I wonder if she had lived a longer life, what more this wonderful grandmother of mine would have contributed to society? w { 7



— Katrina Spigner

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History holds accounts of instances of major change and transformation after a time period of 40. There was rain for 40 days and 40 nights. A population of people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. In fact, I threw myself one of the best birthday parties ever when I turned 40 years old. However, I recently experienced a providential moment in my life’s history that had been 40 years in the making. I pulled into the parking space in front of the restaurant where our meeting was to take place. Oddly enough, I felt those same jitters in my stomach that I had felt as I stepped off the school bus on the first day of school to begin my third grade year in 1971. Not knowing what to expect and not knowing what I would say, I took a deep breath and stepped through the double doors of the restaurant. Much to my delight, I was greeted with that same warm smile and gentle hug that had been my refuge so many years ago.


n 1971, Miss Trudi Taylor had just graduated from college and was a brand new elementary school teacher. Shaking in her boots, she was stepping into the unknown and beginning her career in teaching in an elementary school in rural South Carolina. Shaking in my boots, I was entering the third grade still reeling from the trauma of an incident of racial injustice which had occurred in this same school the year before. Here we both were – my new teacher with her set of fears and me with my own. However, little did we know how our lives had been orchestrated in such a way that our paths would cross and that we would meet a specific need in each other’s lives.

In many conversations over the years, I would mention the impact my third grade teacher had in my life.

“That was my first year teaching, and in many ways I was clueless. I am not even sure how much I taught them, but I do know that I was in love with my students. For reasons unknown to me at the time, Katrina was one student that captured my heart. In fact, if her parents would have let me, I would have taken her home with me.”

And love, she did. Without knowing the depth of my scars and the insecurities I harbored stemming from my second grade experience, through her acts of love, Miss Taylor innately created a safe haven in an environment that had not always felt safe. Going beyond the status quo of the times and responding to a higher call of duty, she did the unexpected and loved. She not only loved in spite of, she loved because of… After that third grade year, Miss Taylor and I did not see each other again. In many conversations over the years, I would mention the impact my third grade teacher had in my life. Unknowingly, Miss Taylor had been having the same types of conversations regarding me. In a powerful unexpected turn of events several weeks prior, my teacher, now Mrs. Trudi Taylor Greene, was talking to yet another person about a third grade student in her first year of teaching. She stated she had looked for this student over the years, but had not been able to locate her. In the conversation, she mentioned the student’s name, Katrina Eichelberger (now Spigner). Immediately, the person she was talking to stopped her in the middle of conversation and told her she knew me and how to find me. From there, connections were made, emails were exchanged, a date was set, and here we were, my third grade teacher and me, meeting for coffee after 40 years. We spent our time together reminiscing, laughing, crying, and sharing an array of other emotions in between. But what was most amazing is that this was the first time we had the opportunity to share our personal stories from those days in 1971. Those moments of reflecting and listening were tender and poignant. I heard her fears and she heard mine. And as real as the multitudes of our fears were, there was one one truth that rang out loud and clear and resonated in both of our hearts…LOVE covered them all.

QUESTION: How many pointe! readers remember a favorite teacher?

Each presented with opportunities to show love in unexpected ways – a loving response to Each day, day d ay,, we aare r pr re r someone who is hurting, a loving response to someone who has hurt you, or a som loving response to those whom others have considered unlovable. No matter the situation or the circumstances, we are always presented with the option to choose love. You may never know the impact of your love. But then again you may, even if it takes 40 years. That’s the power of the unexpected.


80% { 9

thank you teachers



MAKING learning FUN


time to remember how a child


You Made


DAY Special

as you eased

my fears, pushed me to







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humility & kindness



even knew that I was creative & an artist.

me to be creative & artistic before I


comfort zone of invisibility

fearlessness and strength,


in my life.

are an example of

cared for

"I love you, too" after I had written, “I love you.”


COOL to be smart READING

you made a

making it

OPENING UP the world of



me feel

each time I go through my old papers and see


You made

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SIMPLY PUT, thank you for making me feel


COLLEGE ADVENTURES — Cindy Van Horn & Catherine Thomas

A Mother and Daughter Perspective

CATHERINE (the Daughter) August got here so fast. I couldn’t believe I’d be living on my own. Not really on my own, since I would be living with two roommates in a tiny dorm room. And only fifteen minutes from home. I was excited and a little anxious; I’m the girl who didn’t like to spend the night away from home. I LOVED my parents and my life. So why were they making me live on campus? It was the day of freshman move-in; Mom and I had everything packed and organized. (We have quite a few things in common, most prominently our organizational skills and being able to find a good deal.) We started unloading the car, making our trips up and down three flights of stairs. At some point the football players showed up to help unload boxes, but that didn’t concern me at all. My mind was totally on my roommates. I hadn’t met them yet and the idea of sharing a room with two strangers was nerve-wracking. Okay, I’ll admit it… somewhat scary. We moved everything in, got settled and organized; then realized we’d forgotten a lamp. But no worries, Mom and Dad could drop it off in the morning. They just lived fifteen minutes away. Finally, after meetings, lunch and other duties, it was time to say goodbye. I wasn’t prepared at all for this part. I was so sure it would be an easy transition. But now, I was on my own and reality started to sink in. I was becoming an adult and about to start my own new adventure. An adventure where I was the one in the driver’s seat making all the decisions, and that scared me. But I knew I had to trust God, my parents and myself in this journey.

the idea of sharing a room with two strangers was nerve-wracking

So after a tearful goodbye, I headed back up those three flights of stairs with adventure and excitement in my heart. Besides I knew I would see Mom and Dad the next day. Fifteen minutes away really isn’t that far away, is it? (continued on the next page...) w { 111 1

CINDY (the Mom) continued from previous page

“Remind me again why we’re doing this?” I soberly asked my husband. After all, it was for her benefit. Right? Living in the college dorm was our idea. She was only fifteen minutes from home. We’d prepared for this. It’s time for her to gain some independence and progress towards real adulthood. Who were we kidding? We arrived at freshman move-in day with a truck full of stuff. Things we had picked out together to make dorm life comfy and convenient. We carried load after load up three flights of stairs to a room she would share with two other girls, strangers, at least for now. After the second trip, a group of young men arrived to help. Big guys wearing football jerseys. Yep, the football team. Nice to have the help, but then reality set in. There are boys here. Oh, I knew it before now, but I had been living in denial. Quicker than expected, all her things were moved in and set up. Even with all our careful preparations, we realized we forgot

something, a lamp. Of course there was one in her room at home, which we would gladly bring back in the morning. After parent orientation, a great lunch, tour of the campus and delaying as long as we could, it was finally time to say goodbye. No big deal, right? She’s just down the road…wrong. In one morning, everything in our world changed forever. Now that we were pulling out of the parking lot, leaving our only daughter behind to start her own life and adventure, all I wanted to do was cry. It was a quiet, long night. We got up early to deliver the lamp before her first orientation meeting. With great anticipation, we climbed the three flights of stairs and knocked on the door. She took the lamp, dropped it on the bed, walked us out and back down the stairs. “Thanks! Call you later!” she said and ran off with a big smile, full of life, excitement and joy. With that, we knew she was going to be okay. It would take us a bit longer to adjust. We did adapt to our “new normal” and soon discovered that adult children are a blessing, too!

The Adventures of t h e E V E RY D AY — Juliann Terrell

The word ADVENTURE stirs up different emotions in each of us. For some, it is defined by jumping out of planes, rappelling off cliffs or paddling down white water rapids. With others, jumping in the car or boarding a plane and traveling to a new, undiscovered place stirs up our sense of adventure. For many of us, however, adventure is as simple as getting up in the morning. Most of us view the everyday tasks of living as mundane, trivial, even boring — nothing that makes our heart pound or our palms sweat. Adventure doesn’t even come close to describing the pursuits of a routine day of to-do lists filled with grocery shopping, lawn mowing, bill paying, etc. We naively believe that once these things are accomplished, then the real adventures can begin. We run ourselves in circles with no real end in sight. The lists only get longer, leaving our spirits disillusioned and unfulfilled. p to think about it, it’s true. If we wake up in the morning, The old adage, “perspective changes everything,” sounds trite; but if you really sstop er our head and stay there. But iif we continually choose every morning to dreading the tasks of today, we will want to pull the covers up over open ourselves up to the adventures of the day, we will see life ass God intended: a journey filled with adventure. er how to ride a bike, developing a relationship Perhaps today’s adventure could be teaching our son or daughter with a difficult person, beginning to write a book, or even just changing our perspective on situations his spirit well in his song we encounter. Songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman captures this The Great Adventure: “Saddle up…we’ve got a trail to blaze… get ready for the ride of your life.” Here’s your invitation. Take one step today into the exciting horizon ahead.

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There are 86,400 seconds in day.

ENJOY the moment you are in.

Irresistible Smoothies SIMPLE


Blend ingredients in blender until smooth and serve immediately!

Blueberry, Banana & Peanut Butter

Peachy Strawberry

1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1

1½ 6 1½ 1 1 ½

tablespoon flax seed meal or wheat germ banana cup frozen blueberries tablespoon peanut butter teaspoon honey cup plain yogurt cup milk

Berry-Oatmeal 6 16 1 1 ⅓

ounces vanilla low-fat yogurt ounces frozen blueberries cup water cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats cup KOOL-AID strawberry sugar-sweetened soft drink mix

Basic Fruit 2 10 5 1

cups vanilla low-fat yogurt ounces frozen strawberries in lite syrup, thawed cups cold water, divided packet CRYSTAL LIGHT lemonade drink mix

cups fat-free milk ounces vanilla low-fat yogurt teaspoons CRYSTAL LIGHT raspberry ice drink mix cup frozen sliced peaches cup frozen strawberries cup honey-flavored multi-grain cereal flakes with oat clusters

Cool ‘n Creamy Coffee 1 1 1 1

cup fat-free milk ice cubes cup COOL WHIP LITE whipped topping, frozen  package (4-servings) vanilla sugar-free instant pudding tablespoon instant coffee

Pour milk into large glass measuring cup. Add enough ice to measure 3 cups. Pour into blender. Then add frozen whipped topping, dry pudding mix and coffee; blend until smooth. Sources:,

Low-Fat Strawberry-Banana Yogurt 1 6 1 1 1

cup COOL WHIP FREE whipped topping, thawed ounces strawberry nonfat yogurt cup sliced strawberries medium banana, sliced cup crushed ice

Mango-Peach 1 1 ½ ½

peach, sliced mango, peeled and diced cup vanilla soy milk cup orange juice, or as needed { 13

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I Found My Faith

While Driving a Bass Boat *This is NOT a Country Song and I am NOT a Country Singer — Dr. Linda Karges-Bone

Charleston Southern University

About once a year, I accompany my husband on a fishing excursion in his bass boat. Notice that I refer to it as his bass boat, since I seldom have anything to do with it.


ost of his trips to fish for flounder, trout, and of course the highly desired “spot tail” bass occur with his dad, brother, or likeminded male friends who actually like the bass boat, know how to fish, and can bait their own hooks. I am the default fishing partner, the one who goes along when nobody else is available. Once a year, I volunteer for our annual “let’s try it again” fishing trip. It takes me about a year to recover from the last attempt, during which I got wet, cold, and smelly from helping to wash out the boat. On most trips, I whine about the lack of accommodations, the excess of wind and wet, and the fact that I never catch anything. My long-suffering spouse responds in his usual male way and the day ends badly. But on this unusually warm and lovely October morning, when his buddy chose a deer stand over the bass boat and both daughters were out and about, I decided to go for it. “Take me!” I suggested. This was met with a look of fear and trepidation. “Come on,” I wheedled. “I’m better than nothing.” “Doubtful,” he replied. “The fish don’t talk back.” This comment only cemented my will, and I quickly packed my provisions of carrot sticks, diet cola, and the latest “springtastic” version of a women’s magazine to browse if things got really slow. I never got to open the magazine. After thirty years of fishing famine, the spell was broken. It was amazing. The wind wasn’t too cold. The spray wasn’t too drenching. And best of all, I caught fish every time my husband put the bait on the hook, cast out the line and handed me the rod to hold. Yep. I caught fish, and I liked it. I liked the little tug on the line and then the big pull and then I start screaming, “I got something! I think it’s a fish!” This entertains my husband immensely and even more so when his 120-pound bride attempts to reel in a feisty 27-inch spot tail. It was a fight alright and I won. Actually, the fish didn’t suffer too much. As a vegetarian, I insisted that my catch be released to swim another day.

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It was much better when I actually caught a fish. I didn’t mind the wet, the wind, the smell, the mess. It was all so… invigorating… when I was part of the action. I suppose that was when I started thinking about the comparison between n bass fishing and faith. As dusk came on, we left the productive fishing hole, which shall remain unnamed since it is top-secret secret bass fishing information. I will tell you that it is on a river er and the river is in South Carolina. My husband, in what must have been a temporary lapse of sanity caused by this unprecedented catch of fish, announced that he wanted me to drive the bass boat back to the landing.

QUESTION: Would you participate in any of the following Xtreme Sports?

Parasailing Scuba diving Sky diving Rock climbing Surfing Bungee jumping Spelunking

52% 48% 39% 38% 31% 19% 10%

“Oh no,” I said vehemently. “You need to learn how,” he nodded. “Now that you can actually fish, well, sort of. You need to know how to drive the boat.” “Only you drive the boat, “ I pleaded. “You have the hat.” I was referring to the navy blue “Bass Anglers of the Universe” cap with a fancy gold bass pinned on the front. It looked official to me. “You want to wear the hat?” he queried. “No, I want you to drive the boat, “ I responded. “I know you’re not scared to drive the boat.” That did it. I took the wheel and that’s where the faith lesson began: I really was afraid to drive the boat. I’m not good with mechanical things. Give me words, ideas, people… my forte. But cars, tools, most appliances, and certainly big bass boats with loud motors…forget it. I can’t control things and I don’t like it. Then the epiphany: “This is like faith. This is like me and God.” Going through life in neutral, no waves, just floating something happens. A decision. A circumstance. A situation. I need to act on faith but I’m paralyzed. I have to push forward, trusting God to get me up on the plane and moving fast; but I’m scared to go too fast, or to hit the bank, or to steer between the piers of the bridge that is looming ahead in the dusk. God doesn’t work in neutral. He waits to see if I trust Him enough to get up on the plane of water, give it the juice and step out in faith trusting Him to provide the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to steer, the protection of the Holy Father to keep us safe, and the clear mind of a Holy Christ to make decisions and give discernment. The Trinity in a bass boat... Cool. { 17

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Ocean breeze blowing, feet kick and splash, Ocean waves breaking, on rocks with a crash. Boys f inding seashells, girls sifting sand, Friends building castles, as high as they can. I stretch my arms out, far as they’ll reach Oh, my what fun, on this day at the beach.


Dig a hole down to where the sand is dark and moist, or bring up large buckets of water from the ocean or lake.


Build the foundation by dumping pails full of wet sand into a square or circular shape; then level.


Dump more wet sand and mold it into a wall.


Build towers by forming and stacking sand patties (shaped like thick pancakes). Place larger patties on the bottom, and gently shake the patties from side to side as you pile them so that the sand settles. Seal towers by gently pouring water over them. For easier tower-making, you can purchase inexpensive plastic castle-shaped buckets.


Build walls to connect the towers of your castle.


Carve the tower details, windows, and walls into shapes using tools such as a small trowel, a putty knife or plastic utensils.


Add seashells, seaweed or other treasures you find lying around on the beach.

— Author Unknown

Ah, the joys of summer! Vacationing waterside this year? Time to indulge your artistic side and build your very own sandcastle! Come on, you know you want to and your kids definitely do!

What to bring: • • • • 1.


Shovels Various-size Buckets Carving Tools (putty knife, plastic utensils) Sunscreen Draw or find a picture online of a castle you’d like to build. Don’t worry; no one will know if the finished product doesn’t match or even come close. Choose a site near the water, but far enough away to avoid the incoming tide. Make sure the area will fit your castle design.

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10. Dig a moat around the castle to protect it from breaking waves, small feet, and dogs. It’s easy and loads of fun for all ages! PLUS, it gives you a chance to dream about your knight in shining armor. If you happen to be sitting next to him, lean over and tell how much you appreciate him treating you like a princess! It’s a perfect time to tell your children how your love story began.


Things Men Find

Exciting About Women — Alyce Reeves

What is it that men find so exciting in women? What are they attracted to? After 15 years of working with couples in premarital classes, marriage enrichment groups, and counseling, I’m convinced that men love women. Men find women fascinating, mystifying, confusing, beautiful, and exciting! Both Percy Sledge and Michael Bolton sang about it in “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Using other great love songs, here are five things men find exciting about women:

1. “You Are So Beautiful to Me” ~ by Joe Cocker Number one is the obvious one, our sexuality, of course! It’s the shape of a woman’s body, the flow of our hair, our smile, the way we walk and move our hips. Some women believe men think we should look like skinny super models, but most men say they like some curves and average-sized breasts. Whether you like it or not, your looks do matter to your man, so do the best with what you’ve got. If you need help, grab a friend who’s good with hair, make-up, clothes, or exercising and look good for your man. Your smile always makes you look more beautiful to him. 2. “Only Wanna Be With You” ~ by Hootie & the Blowfish Your enthusiasm for his sport or activity makes life more fun for him. He can play with the guys, but spending time with his lady, doing something he’s interested in is exciting. You can participate with him in his sport but don’t put him down and destroy his ego. Or you can observe him in his activity and cheer him on as your hero. It would be very exciting for him if you would step out of

your comfort zone and try something adventurous with him, even if you have to take lessons.

3. “Baby, I Love Your Way” ~ by Peter Frampton Most men like a feminine woman. Femininity is all about being soft and kind-hearted, understanding, and caring. It’s part of your beauty. He falls in love with you because he feels good about himself when he’s with you. He feels more like a man when your response is more feminine and less aggressive and in-charge. When you’re sensitive to him, he longs for your company, your touch, and your affection. 4. “Sometimes When We Touch” ~ by Dan Hill Whether you’re playing footsie under the table or placing a hand on his shoulder when passing by, men find the touch of the woman they love unbelievably exciting. It doesn’t have to lead to anything, but if it does, that’s even better to him. Choose to make love to him often in the good times and the not-so-good times. This says to your husband, “I accept and love you. I value you.” 5. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” ~ by Stevie Wonder Your words give him life and motivation. All men want to be heroes. Remembering to compliment your spouse on being a great husband and father isn’t always easy in the middle of a busy day, but it really draws him closer to you and makes him feel wanted and loved. It’s more than just compliments. It’s believing in him and expressing your confidence and trust in his abilities and character. A man is attracted to a woman who communicates her commitment and respect for him, as well as her grace for him when he’s made a mistake. He’s listening, so be careful what you’re saying. { 21

I wake up every day at 4:40 am, so I try to go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 pm. But I don’t usually get to sleep until 11:30 pm. If there's one thing my wife, Rach, hates about me, it's my uncanny ability to fall asleep at a moment’s notice. She hates it, hates it so much that sometimes that, when she runs out of creative ways to wake me up, she'll just kick me. (Fortunately, I don't really require a whole lot of sleep.) Bedtime usually goes something like this: 10:15 pm — Fall asleep. 10:16 pm — After just coming out of the bathroom, Rach says, "Hey, babe, can you turn off the bathroom light?" 10:17 pm — Return from the bathroom. Get back into bed. 10:18 pm — Fall asleep again. 10:19 pm — Rach says, "Hey, babe, have you seen the cat? I think she's outside. Can you go let her in?" 10:24 pm — Find the cat. Return to bed. 10:25 pm — Fall asleep. 10:26 pm — Rach says, "Hey babe, can you put Jaxon (our three year old) back in his bed?" 10:28 pm — Carry Jax to his room and return to bed. 10:30 pm — Fall asleep.

— Jeff King

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10:37 pm — Rach says, "Hey, babe, would you rather have another baby? Or a new house?" 10:57 pm — Wrap up that gem of a conversation. Fall asleep. 10:58 pm — Rach says, "Hey, babe, can you rub my back until I fall asleep?" 11:14 pm — Fingers cramped, Rach falls asleep. 11:15 pm — Fall asleep, finally. Last night, I got to sleep about 11:45 pm. It actually took me 2 minutes to fall asleep, though, because the house was so hot. Outside, a balmy 75 degrees; inside, sweltering at 80-plus degrees. I'll explain. Back in November, we had a $400+ electric bill, so we cut off the circuit breaker to the unit. When it's cold, get a blanket. When it's hot, turn on the fan. We decided that we're not flipping the breaker back on until we all look like the cast from A Time To Kill. Remember how sweaty everybody was in that movie?


In the middle of the night, I wake up, lying in a puddle of my own sweat to a phone ringing downstairs. But it doesn't sound like a cell phone; it sounds like an old rotary phone, like the ones from the '60s. Then I remember that Scarlett (our eight year old) told me she was setting her alarm to wake up early. I roll over... the clock says 4:00 am...4:00 am? Really? I go to her room, "Scarlett...Scarlett…wake up, baby." She slowly, confusedly opens her eyes, "What, Daddy?" I said, "Scarlett, your alarm is going off downstairs. I wasn't sure if you had an important appointment at 4 in the morning that I didn't know about. Maybe you should get up and go turn your alarm off." 4:15 am — Back in bed. Twenty-five minutes of sleep is better than nothing. It’s also better than 14 minutes of sleep… 4:29 am — Abruptly awakened by the extreme loudness of "CHIT CHIT CHIT CHICKACHICKA CHICKACHICKA CHIT CHIT CHIT CHICKACHICKA CHICKACHICKA!" What inconsiderate schmuck turned on sprinklers at 4:30 in the morning?!? Who on earth is that crazy? Then I realize the sprinklers are hitting OUR windows. Oh, yeah, Rach was working out in the yard yesterday. We’re the inconsiderate schmucks. I get up and run downstairs, because between the CHITs and the CHICKAs, I can hear water hitting the neighbors' car. It’s still pitch black outside. Even though I barely see, I’m sure I can make out the trajectory of the sprinkler. Keep in mind, it's 4:30 in the morning, and I don't have all of my wits about me. I make it to the side of the house without getting wet. Then, just as I get to the spigot, “CHIT! CHIT! CHIT! CHIT!" and I'm soaked. From head to toe.

h H2O

My — Deanna Leitzke


(adj.) — Being bold, taking unusual risk

Being bold… okay, yea — that’s me! …taking unusual risks… well, let’s see. I have always lived around water — lakes, rivers, oceans and pools at my back door. I don’t remember learning to swim (considering my stroke method, I probably was never taught); I just did! It wasn’t until I was land-locked in Kansas City, Missouri, that I realized how much I missed the water. Which is probably why I agreed when my husband asked me to get certified to scuba dive (continued on the next page...) ( p g )

Wet and deflated, I go back inside, ready to start my day. I head back upstairs first, so I can get dressed like a ninja in the dark. You know, because I wouldn't want to wake up my sweet Rach. As I'm walking up the stairs, I hear a bell tower clanging in my room. Bell tower? What the... why? Apparently, Rach set her alarm for 4:45 am for some reason. I don't think she had any intentions of getting up because she was still sound asleep. See, I told you the love of my life was creative. w { 223 3

Under the sea, under the sea, come with me under the sea…

I would have never thought of myself as adventurous, avoiding routine or boredom maybe, but not an adventurer. So how did I become a scuba-diving, adventure-loving risk-taker?

STEP ONE: The Formalities

1 3

“Where is the pool? And when do we leave for the Caribbean?” Classroom lessons completed. Just a few release forms to finish. Oh more paper to sign. What?!? I didn’t pass my buoyancy doctor didn’t sign the second page of my physical exam…and because I’m 45 and slightly over the weight limit, can you sign this paper as well? Leave it up to paperwork, to bring reality, and a bit of healthy fear right into yourr bold little adventurous heart.

STEP TWO: Yes, I can! You’ll need an extra can of “push through” to be on the “bold and unusually risky” team.


Finally… off to Jamaica with a song in my heart! Unusually bold people have a song to sing on their adventure. We can TEP THREE! call singing loud STEP

STEP FOUR: Dive Day! Mask defogged... Fins on.


Regulator in mouth... (can’t talk!)

Wait... I’m not sure I’m ready!

wow... Wow... WOW! Sapphire blues... Regal purples...

Emerald greens... Fish with plumes that look like ladies going to afternoon tea. Schools of fish in perfect order like soldiers heading into battle. Starfish as big as a dinner plate. Hidden treasures of beauty...

Simply Breathtaking Then my husband slips his hand into mine, turns his head to meet me fogged mask-to-fogged mask, and winks at my heart. He knows I’m in love with the world under the sea and I’m in love with him for inviting me to the adventure. Loving boldly, risking your heart to being loved back, and having the push through to stay on the team!

This is...

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Real Adventure!

Adventurous FASHION


What defines personal style? Is it wearing the latest fashions, as dictated by clothing stores, journalists, and fashion designers? Or, is there more to style than that?

— Brooks Hearn

Have you ever seen someone who defies what the “experts” are saying, yet still looks fashionable? I’ve seen ladies who break trends and those who wear classic, timeless pieces and considered them both extremely stylish. To me, the most stylish people are the ones who wear their look confidently. Maintaining a classy appearance, dressing for your body type, and looking appropriate for the situation are just as important, if not more, than having the most current clothes and accessories. In today’s economy, it seems impossible or at least impractical to buy every item that comes into fashion. So, what do you do? One solution is to keep perennial wardrobe staples in your closet while working in trendy pieces. Complementing your usual wardrobe with trendy items is a simple way to modernize your look. Stretch the boundaries of your usual personal style by wearing these summer trends: are appearing on all items, from accessories such as lightweight scarves and handbags to various clothing items.


are available in numerous cuts, from cropped to wide-leg. Those who dare to wear them should remember to look before sitting down and also make sure your undergarments don't show through!


can flatter many different body types and work especially well with funky, tribal-inspired sandals.


WIDELEG PANTS are suitable for dressing up or down. Taller girls can wear

flats with wide-leg pants, while more petite girls can wear wedges. range from low-end to high-end. Search vintage stores, discount retailers, or accessory shops for clutches in fun colors with beading and other details.


are everywhere at the moment. Although stripes, particularly horizontal ones, are rumored to be unflattering, designers are challenging that notion.


Don’t be afraid to experiment with a new, bold print or throw on a pair of sandals with a little more embellishment than usual. Or keep wearing that blazer that still looks great on you 10 years later; just pair it with a classic or up-to-date look. Regardless of what you wear, smile, hold your head high, and look confident. { 25

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Getting Th ere IS HALF THE


— Letty Parrish

If you had all the money in the world that you could spend, what would you do with it? What would you buy for yourself or for others? A new home or car?


here would you travel and what would you want to see? The Grand Canyon or a cruise to Alaska? Are there countries or cities that draw your heart? Honolulu or Hong Kong? Is there a long-lost friend or relative that craves to be found? Do you want to camp across America and just enjoy all of our Great Land? Are there wonderful foods in special restaurants that deserve to be sampled? Just dream for a while about what you would do if you were actually a millionaire. How would your life be different? When you think about what is truly important in this life, it usually boils down to a few things: serving and loving God, having significance, loving and being loved by others, adequate food and shelter. Have you considered making your own “bucket list” of what is truly important to you? Bill and I planned to retire to Florida about 20 years ago. Our children were in college, and we were free to make that choice. I looked up the writers group in our soon-to-be new city. We also searched out several churches that seemed okay. I planned on having barbecues and gatherings at our new home to get to know our new neighbors. I had family nearby so that was a draw. We found the half-acre lot on the water and looked for a floor plan. My cousin would help with construction and landscaping. All was coming together.


emember, it is never too early or too late for you to write your bucket list.

About that time things started to change, slowly, for the better. We were asked to lead a small group. (Wow, that’s the gathering of friends I had wanted!) We fixed up the house for the upcoming wedding of son number two which was even better than building a new home and not half as much work. I helped start a Writers’ Network within my church. With God’s direction, that has morphed into several publications with more to come. Bill and I prayed and decided to stay where we are and serve here. Our bucket list has been rocking ever since as we search for new ways to fulfill retirement. I filled out my first “goal sheet” in 1972. When we were first married, my bridegroom wanted two cars, a house with air conditioning and a pool in the yard. We were in our 20’s at the time. Please remember, it is never too early or too late for you to write your bucket list. Statistics show that men and women who write down their goals will attain most of those goals. What do you desire? Allow yourself fifteen minutes or so to list anything and everything you want to own, do, see, have, or be. While the initial list may be general, later you may want to define or be specific about things like your spiritual relationship, marital partner, goals for your work, and school for your children or yourself. Write or type until you can’t think of another possible thing. I’ve added to my list over the years. I’ve also deleted a few items that really were not as important at age 40 as they had been at 20 something. God has blessed us richly and yes, we do have two cars and our home has air conditioning. Bill was never specific about the size of the pool, so a kiddy pool sounds absolutely perfect for the grandchildren. What do you want?

Ready? Get set! Write your list!

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QUESTION: If you plug your nose, can you still hum?

ANSWER: You'll have to try it to ďŹ nd out! { 29


— Angie Brown & Dana Stokes

Ahhh…flowers blooming, fragrance filling the air and new life is evident in everything that surrounds us. What a wonderful time of year to be outside…with My first encounter with a bee happened when I was four during a family picnic. Barefoot, I stepped into a beautiful patch of clover and then it happened – a bee stung me! I was traumatized! I thought bees liked me. I used to catch them and put them in jars to study. I even poked holes in the tops so they could breathe. I dramatically told everyone at the picnic grounds that a bee had stung me. Needless to say, since that first sting, I run around like a crazy person any time a bee even comes near me. My family thinks it’s hilarious and actually looks forward to the possibility of being around when a bee does come my way. My friend Dana’s three children had not yet witnessed a bee encounter with me and were highly anticipating the event. They would tease me, “Look, Aunt Angie, there’s a bee!” even when there was no bee in sight. We had no idea THE EVENT would come at such an unforeseen occasion. It was a pleasant 105 degrees in Lake City, SC at the kids’ great-grandmother’s funeral. The pastor conducting the graveside service kept motioning us to move closer under the tent for a little relief from the extreme heat. I preferred to let the family have the shade. And then it happened. I saw the bee! The pastor kept motioning me in, closer to the tent, closer to the family, closer to the casket and yes, closer to the BEE!!!

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one exception, bees! Dana had no idea what was going on. I could tell she was starting to worry about me overheating. She passed her paper fan and water bottle to me. When she did, she realized that overheating was the least of our worries. The bee was now flying around my head! I wanted to scream and flail my arms and run away like I usually did. Dana and I caught each other’s glance, “Oh no. If the kids see this they are going to start laughing out loud, at this family funeral.” In spite of my efforts to become invisible, the bee landed right on my sunglasses. I actually started whispering to the bee, “Go away, go away!” He didn’t listen. He circled around my head and landed back on my glasses. Meanwhile Dana was trying hard not to laugh or let the kids see the bee flying around my head even though they had been waiting to see me react to a bee for the longest time. There was no other choice…I would just have to let the bee sting me rather than create such a scene at this dear lady’s funeral. Thank goodness, it didn’t. Dana’s kids were very disappointed when they discovered they had missed the whole thing. Afterward, I told Dana’s dad that I was going to let it sting me rather than causing a scene. He said, “Angie, sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.” Sometimes, adventure takes you by surprise, in the least likely places!

Into the Unknown — E. Otto Tilley

As a boy, I loved to travel deep into the woods around my home in search of areas I had never seen. When I happened upon a new place, I would pause and make that all-important decision; how deep do I go? The lure of exploration begged me to come deeper. It whispered my name like a lover, tickling my ears, and pulling me closer. Then I would go as deep as I could while still being able to see the path that led me to this new place.

Eventually, you reach the point where you can no longer see the path that led you to this new adventure. Now your heart begins to beat harder and your eyes become wild with fear and anticipation. Will you get lost? Will you stumble upon some terrible thing that means you harm? What if you don’t make it out before it gets dark? The thoughts and emotions create an adrenaline-filled cocktail that pushes you forward with unfamiliar courage. Every sense is heightened as you push deeper and deeper into the unknown. You know that there is a level of danger here, but you can’t turn away from the temptation to lose yourself in this great adventure. Why? Because we were made to explore, to face danger, to be threatened, to be challenged. Because we were made to overcome. It’s in our DNA; it’s how God made us. We were made to go forth and subdue all the creatures of the earth and rule over the land (Genesis 1). That is our original design; even in our fallen nature, the original DNA begs to be heard. Come deeper, push into the unknown — let go of what’s safe.    Safe is our enemy. When we are “safe,” the deepest part of our DNA, who we really are, slowly becomes lethargic and begins to die. It may feel like the life we want, but there is no life in it. A “safe” life is a subtle fragrance that lures us into a deep sleep from which we may never awaken. How safe is your life? What areas are you pushing into that are unfamiliar and dangerous? Have you stopped exploring? Maybe you came to a new place and experienced the thrill of the exploration and then “settled in,” mistaking this place for a new home. In this life, there is no home. We are meant to be ever exploring, ever pushing into our own unknown area of adventure re because b bec e au ec a see that th is what makes us stronger and wiser and more alive! Wake up! to once again explore the unknown! p! It’s It’ t s time tim to break brrea b rea e k camp mp p and and nd begin b   How deep will w de d ep w ep illl you you go? g ? go

QUESTION: Would you participate in the reality show, Amazing Race?

YES 41% NO 59% { 31


t was close to my heart and far from my belief to be able to venture out of my home town. I believed that the only two options I had were school or the military. At the time, neither of these interested me, so I played it safe and got a local job. Every day I still wondered if I would ever get to see the world or even the rest of the United States. The western part of the U.S. was so foreign to me that I could only think of it as if I were a pioneer back in the days of Lewis and Clark. I wanted to prove to myself what kind of “warrior” I could be on my own, but I also believed the only way to find this was to leave everything behind. I had just finished high school and was going nowhere at a temporary job. The day I finally got tired of being hopeless was almost like a bucket of cold water poured over me that woke me up from a deep sleep. Instead of beating myself up with dull thoughts and beliefs, I accepted a new frame of mind. It was the “I can” concept of life. Once I made that decision, more opportunities than I ever imagined came my way.

direction I needed to go in my life. I went through the admission process then headed home to prepare for the year to come. This was my year to get away from everything and to finally find my strength. Once I made it back to Colorado, the leadership school started right away. The program was different and much harder than I expected, but I stayed with it. Each day began at six o’clock in the morning with a hard run and a circuit workout. After our workout, we would get ready for classes that would last the remainder of the day. Following our evening meal, we would meet at an indoor pool for an hour-long swimming workout.

I started to think I was going to be stranded in the middle of the mountain. That moment was the most alone I have ever felt in my life.

The most exciting opportunity came when I was able to take a trip out to Colorado. My pastor invited me to a week-long conference in Colorado Springs that would give me a chance to look at a leadership program that interested me. After meeting people at the program, I knew the

We continued this routine for a month, but the day came when they planned a different workout for us to conquer. We left campus and headed to a steep hill where our workout was running suicides up the hill. Sometime in the middle of our workout, our leader shouted, “Today it’s this hill! Tomorrow it’s that one!” and pointed to the monstrous mountain, Pike’s Peak. Our only instructions were to meet at six o’clock in the morning and bring a power snack for our long hike. It was that next day when I found my strength.

In the morning, everyone arrived to our normal workout spot and loaded up in the vans to head up to the Peak. Everyone except me! I had overslept and was 30 minutes late! Not a good start to my

— Philip Weathers

QUESTION: 32 } pointe!

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What is your biggest fear?

Snakes 28% Sickness 18% Small Spaces 12%

day. When I arrived at our meeting spot, I had to find someone to tell me where to go. Once I had the directions, it still took me an hour to get the starting point of the trails. I took a big gulp of water and started my climb. The foothills were the most confusing part of the climb because I couldn’t see where I was going. When I reflect back on that first part of the climb, I think how symbolic it was of my life. I couldn’t see where I was heading in life, but knew I had to stay on the path. So, I kept on hiking past trees and rocks, looking for someone who knew the way to the top of the mountain.

My mind was made up to reach the top of the mountain. The last stretch of the mountain was steeper than the rest; still I dug in my fingertips and toes to finish with all that I had left. After finishing my 13-mile hike to the top, I laughed at myself as I remembered how lost and worried I had felt. As I stood on the top of that mountain, I was a stronger young man knowing I could overcome any challenge that may come my way.

There were many trails intersecting with the main path and I was worried I would go the wrong direction. But I had to continue, so I chose a path and kept hiking as hard as I could. Not only was I tired and my legs getting weak, I had been on the trail for two hours and not seen a single soul! I started to panic and thought I was going to be stranded on the middle of the mountain. That moment was the most alone I have ever felt in my life. But it was a turning point for me because I made up my mind to stop worrying and go for the peak. I had to convince myself not to stop and turn around, but to push all the way through. With a tired body and an exhausted mind, I started to pick up my pace from a hike to a run. Once I began to run, I passed a whole team of people without realizing it until they started calling my name. I was very excited to see people but couldn’t stop running. { 33

Oh, the Places We'll Go!

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Even the unexpected can make for

Ever planned a summer packed with adventure? Just a little time and creativity will make memories that will last a lifetime — regardless of your budget, family size or days off. Full-time jobs, family demands and commitments play a huge part in your plans; be intentional to get some time away from your regular life. Here are a few ideas to jumpstart yoru creativity:

Nearby Places Play tourist in a nearby town. Check out the Visitor’s Center for information about events, sightseeing, even lodging for a true getaway. Make a decision to go outside your norm – eat, visit or stay only at places you’ve never been. To stretch adventure throughout the year, plan one day each month to visit a new place and eat at a new restaurant. Act outside the box — try something new! Chances are you live close to a beach, the mountains, a lake, park or landmark. Be adventurous — bike through the park, rent a jet ski or hike the mountain.

Far-off Places If money and time are no concern, WOO HOO! You’re on the way to your dream vacation! For the money-conscious, however, the internet is your friend. Spending a little time online can result in discounts on all kinds of travel from cruises, lodging, even restaurants. Travel websites are plentiful, as well as websites providing tips on getting the most for your time and money. Save money by renting a vacation home and sharing expenses with others. Depending on the location, this can add up to huge savings both in the cost of lodging and food. Share the responsibilities of planning, cooking, cleaning and buying food. Group discounts are offered by theme parks and attractions; just plan ahead to make sure your group qualifies. If your vacation is to a familiar place, your adventure may be transportation. This may be the perfect time to check out traveling by train! Maybe you just want to take your chances — get a rail pass that’s good for a certain length of time. If you have a long weekend and a sense of adventure, simply look at travel websites for last minute deals. Many options are available including airfare, lodging, and car rental.

great vacation memories.

Other Worlds Maybe you prefer a vacation that’s truly an escape where your biggest decision is picking from the menu, a list of planned activities or just simply relaxing? Try an all-inclusive vacation package. The planning (and paying) is done before your vacation begins. Your choices range from a resort in your favorite surroundings, a cruise (limitless possibilities based on what you want), or maybe a family spot. A personal favorite – Walt Disney World! Their packages include lodging, tickets and dining plans, plus transportation throughout the “World.”

The Great Outdoors There’s no better way to enjoy nature than camping. Of course, match which type of camping to your personality, desires and abilities. Whether it’s camping with boots and backpack, in a tent or in the comfort of an RV, getting back to nature is refreshing. Many state and local parks offer campgrounds with excellent facilities. If you’re a first-timer, consider a trip with friends familiar to camping. And be sure to practice setting up your tent before you leave for the campground. Unforeseen circumstances may necessitate pitching the tent after dark or in the rain. Go prepared. Other great ways to experience the outdoors include spending time on a dude ranch in the Old West, renting a houseboat, going whitewater rafting or simply going fishing. For short excursions, check out nearby national, state and local parks. Attend a special event or simply enjoy a picnic in the park. Ask about any discounts for local residents.

Education School’s out, but don’t let the kids lose brain power over the summer. Search for camps or classes in areas they’re interested in, visit museums, historical sites or tours. To make the trip more meaningful, have them read up on the subject or site before going. If you’re a sports fan, learn the strategy of the game or how to keep score and statistics. When’s the last time you kept score by hand for bowling or baseball?

Work That’s right — work; but not in your normal place or job. Volunteer for a local charity or organization. Go on a mission trip. When you give your time and energy to help others, you reap huge benefits. Many families are now choosing to spend a week volunteering rather than vacationing. { 35

adventure in the

Neighborhood • FIREWORKS AND FUN — For a shorter gathering, fireworks are a great attraction. Ask a few neighbors to sit outside together and enjoy the show. Provide glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces and don’t forget the sparklers!

• DROP-IN BREAKFAST — Lots of people make plans during the day, so invite them to start their day off with a neighborly breakfast. Or deliver homemade cinnamon bread or muffins the night before so they can start the day off at their leisure.

• OTHER IDEAS — If you’re not a crowd person or won’t be home on July 4th, you can still use this celebration as a means of starting a relationship with your neighbors. Hand-deliver a gift or cards to your neighbors the week before. Anything from homemade goodies, greeting cards or even small flags would be a great icebreaker.

Whether you’re a new resident or have lived in the same place for years, your neighborhood provides a great place for summer adventure. There’s nothing more adventurous than getting to know people on a deeper level. You may know some of your neighbors by name, some by face, but others by nothing more than the house they live in. For each one of us, there is someone that lives close by that we could get to know better. The Fourth of July and summertime provide a perfect setting for neighborhood activities. As we celebrate the birth of our nation, what a great time to spend time with your neighbors. Celebrate the way of life our founders had – one of community, sharing and depending on each other for everyday life. Here are some ideas to get your creative, adventurous side motivated!

• BLOCK PARTY — Invite several neighbors to come together in one place for celebration. Whether it’s a formal gathering or simply a last-minute throw-everything-together event, the goal is fun!

• COOKOUT — Consider inviting a few neighbors with whom you are a little more familiar. (You at least know their faces!) If you don’t know their names, simply knock on their door and hand deliver or verbally offer an invitation.

No matter where you live, you’ll find people in a variety of situations. There is no greater gift you can give someone than to help them feel loved and valued.

• ELDERLY RESIDENTS — Some may enjoy an occasional visit by you and even your children. More than likely, the gift of your time will mean the most. If their family doesn’t live nearby, consider involving them in your family activities, celebrations or children’s performances. There is so much the older generation can teach us through their experiences and life lessons.

• NEW RESIDENTS — Notice a moving truck? Introduce yourself and offer them a cold drink, snack or even just a place to sit down and get out of the sun. A week or so later, you can re-introduce yourself with a gift basket or plate of cookies.

• YOUNG RESIDENTS — Most young people are working long hours, trying to make ends meet. Invite them over for a home-cooked dinner or brunch, sitting around the table, talking and enjoying each other. If their schedule is totally different from yours, deliver a homemade meal for them to enjoy! No matter whom your neighbors are or how you meet them, be intentional and follow up on your initial attempts to get to know them. With the busyness of everyone’s lives, it may take several attempts to connect. Spend a little time each week being creative in how you reach out to your neighbors. Let this summer be an adventure in neighboring!

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Reunion time


1 of out 5 gals will travel over 1000 miles

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If your passion is fun, travel and being with those you love, why not combine them in one


Imagine being with your extended family around a campfire, roasting hot dogs and making s’mores! Or maybe you prefer dinner on a cruise with your best friends? If these sound fun to you, then it’s time to start planning your own reunion! REUNION PLANNING TIPS

Here are few ideas on what to do once you’ve all arrived.

GROUP ACTIVITIES Games, such as Charades, Spoons or Crazy Eights. Eating Contests – “Favorite Cereal” or “Marshmallow” where everyone brings their preferred brand, the entire group tastes to choose the favorite.

Who? Immediate family or any group you’d love to be around.

A “Tacky Walk” – everyone dresses in their tackiest outfit and parades through the group. The winner gets a prize…a tacky one, of course.

When? Any time of year that works for your group. Consider

Auction – Raise money for charity or pay for food at the next event with a family auction. Have everyone bring an item to sell such as something you no longer use or cherished items such as a family photo, Granddaddy’s stool, Nana’s pot or a favorite homemade cake.

Where? If this is a new event for your group, start in familiar

Outside Activities – Plan based on your location. Don’t forget to check for local events!

Whether college roommates or small group friends, a reunion may be the perfect event!

holidays when school is out or maybe around another event, like a wedding, birthday or simply when a distant relative will be in town.

territory close to home. Every group is unique, so plan what best fits their likes. • • • • •

Relative’s house Picnic at a local park Day at the beach Campsite Cruise

Why? Your love of family, fun and travel! How? Several months in advance, scope out a location and make

reservations. Spread the word by e-mail or phone. Make sure you provide all the pertinent information, such as dates, websites for the area around the location, contact information and deadline for lodging reservations. Ask for RSVP by phone or email then be sure to follow up with everyone.

Rainy-day Ideas – Museums or an aquarium are popular choices. Ask about group discounts. Meals – Plan in advance to share the responsibility for food and drinks. For one-day events, ask for everyone to bring food or donate money towards purchasing or catering the food. For multi-day events, evenly divide the meals between family units. Each would then decide on what they want to serve. One important thing to consider is for the “host” family to plan the first meal since others may be arriving at various times. Take LOTS of photos to share!

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— Amelia Earhart

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pointe! magazine - NorthStar, Winter 2011  

Bringing together the best of what women want and need - body, soul and spirit. Presenting new, fun and insightful ways to do daily life, co...