Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Easter 2013: 'Christ Is Risen' musical Good Friday and Saturday & Easter Sunday Services

Brookfield, Holidays, Religion, Special events


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Important Recall Notice this Christmas

Alert, Holidays, Religion

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I wish to alert you to this very important recall notice I received in my email inbox. It is essential that you act on this, because it affects everyone.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include:

  1. Loss of direction
  2. Foul vocal emissions
  3. Amnesia of origin
  4. Lack of peace and joy
  5. Selfish or violent behavior
  6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
  7. Fearfulness
  8. Idolatry
  9. Rebellion

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'The Light of the World' Christmas Musical, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012

Brookfield, Holidays, Religion, Special events

Get in the Christmas spirit this Sunday evening with the Brookside choir and orchestra performance of The Light of the World  The musical.will be a celebration of the greatest Christmas gift of all: God sending His Son to be Savior of the world and reconcile sinful man to God

I am the light of the world.  
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

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Thanksgiving recipe mainstays: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry raw relish, apple, pecan, and pumpkin pie

Holidays, Good food / recipes, Living well on less $

The following is a re-post of What's on your Thanksgiving menu? and recipes from a few years ago with a few additions. Recipe links are below.

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Happy Flag Day! Did you know the observance began in Wisconsin?

History, Holidays, Special events, WISCONSIN, United States

Today is Flag Day, a day that commemorates the Continental Congress' adoption 235 years ago,  on June 14, 1777, "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field [canton], representing a new constellation."

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Good Friday and Easter blessings to you, April 6 - 8, 2012

Brookfield, Holidays, Music, Special events, Religion

"Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ willingly endured the anguish of the cross--then three days later rose from the dead proving His deity and power. The amazing part of this true story is that He did it all for you so that you could personally experience His free gift of salvation."

If you do not have a church home, I would like to invite you to Brookside's church services this weekend. (My church). Find out how Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection can change your life.

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It's Veteran's Day: Thank a Vet, Help a Vet

Holidays, History, United States, Veterans, War

Do you know a Veteran? Today is Veteran's Day, a day set aside "to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans." So make a point of saying thank you for your service today if you see a veteran. You also might want to drop off a pie, cake, or some other treat to express your gratitude. (Saying thank you is appropriate every day of the year to all enlisted and veteran soldiers.)

Another thing you can do that will help veterans and their families is to donate to the Wisconsin Fisher House project. Fisher House, was created to give families of wounded soldiers a place to stay while their serviceman underwent medical treatment at a VA Hospital. In our area, that would be at the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. Just click the link to donate online or mail a donation directly to them: Fisher House Wisconsin, 5000 W. National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53295.

Veteran's Day has always been celebrated on November 11th, but until 1954, the day was originally called Armistice Day, which marked the end of WWI in 1918. It was a day set aside to honor the cause of world peace and all those who served in that great war. The name was changed 57 years ago to Veteran's Day, so that veterans of all wars would be honored. This year's Veteran's Day is unique in that its date reads 11.11.11.

On this day, and always, Thank you, Veterans, for putting your life on hold, and for being willing to risk your life to serve our country.

Past Posts: It's Veterans Day, say thank you to a soldier today
Thank you, Veterans, for the final salute
Thank you & God bless you Veterans and enlisted troops
My Favorite Marine--Thank You Veterans!

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Happy Independence Day

History, Holidays, Special events

Today our nation celebrates the 235th anniversary of declaring our independence from England with parades, picnics, and fireworks. At church yesterday, we were reminded to pray for our nation and for our leaders.

While I'm not planning on attending our Brookfield parade or fireworks, I do hope to get my gardening chores finished early enough to stop in at the Elm Grove Village Park to see the Revolutionary War re-enactment. What a great idea, Elm Grove! Thanks for focusing our attention on the price that was paid for our freedom.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful day and take a moment to give thanks for this wonderful country and the blessings of liberty we enjoy.


God bless America
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

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It's a beautiful Memorial Day

War, Holidays, United States

Today's weather is a very pleasant surprise--often Memorial Day weather leaves something to be desired. But today the sun is shining and the temperature pleasant, considering the cold, rainy spring we have been having.

Yesterday I drove past Wisconsin Memorial Park on Capitol Drive in Brookfield (just west of 124th Street and the shopping center) and saw the American flags furled throughout the cemetery. They used to put them up just along the roadside but now have them displayed across at least the front portion of the park. These aren't just little hand waving flags but rather the huge 9' casket flags that are presented by the military to the families of Veterans. It is quite an impressive and sobering sight.

So today, as you enjoy this beautiful Memorial Day, take a moment and consider the price that was paid for your freedom. If you are a person of faith, thank God for the brave men and women who gave their lives serving their country.

Past Post: Memorial Day Traditions
Thank you, Veterans, for the final salute.

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A blessed Good Friday & Easter to you

Holidays, Religion

Though the word Easter and even some non-religious Easter Bunny themed events have come under attack by the P.C. crowd this year, Good Friday through Easter or Resurrection Sunday still mark the most important 3 days of the year for a Christian. It is during this time that we remember the crucifixion, sacrificial death, and burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then celebrate His resurrection on Sunday.

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Love that lasts a lifetime, still holding hands at 90

Family, Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is Valentine's Day, a day that celebrates LOVE.

It is also a day that makes retailers happy if they happen to sell greeting cards, candy, flowers or jewelry! While those items might help show how much you care on February 14th, the other 364 days are equally, if not more, important.

Shortly after Christmas, I was privileged to witness a very dear couple (my aunt and uncle--both 90 years old) silently express their love for each other after nearly 65 years of marriage. My uncle was in the hospital and not expected to recover; my aunt was sitting next to him holding his hand. Our family was visiting.

There seemed to be something going on between them beyond just hand holding, which was touching in itself. They were playing the squeeze game: One party squeezes 4 times, the other answers with 3 squeezes, the reply is 2 squeezes, followed by a long squeeze answer.

Don't you know this? my aunt asked. We were clueless. No, we said. She joked Oh, you young people don't know everything and explained they had been doing this game for years--even before they were married.

This is the game:
Person 1 squeezes 4X, this asks the question, Do you love me?
The other person, Person 2, squeezes 3X in reply, Yes I do.
Then Person 1 squeezes 2X again to ask, How much?
The final answer from Person 2 comes in the form of 1 l-o-n-g, firm squeeze to say, THIS much.

They sat there and exchanged squeezes for quite some time as we chatted about the fun times we all had together.

The game was just a silly little thing, but it was special for them. I'm glad we were there to witness it. Their game showed that telling each other they loved each other was as normal for them as breathing.

You could tell the nurses thought they were a special couple too. One asked the secret to their nearly 65 years of marriage. Auntie said, Well, we put the Lord first, we're committed to each other--to being married... we love each other.

The book of Proverbs says, A friend loves at all times. And they have loved through good times and bad, through the ups and downs of marriage, a son's serious car accident and hospitalization, a granddaughters long recovery after being struck by lightening, 2 great grandchildren in neonatal ICU, my uncle's and their son's cancer, and financially challenging times. You know, life.

This dear couple would have been married 65 years this February, shortly before Valentine's Day. Unfortunately they didn't make that date; my uncle died the morning after our visit. But their love still lives on and will for eternity.

Be sure those you love know it today, and next time you hold hands with your sweetheart, maybe you want to introduce the squeeze game. XXXX, XXX, XX, X!

On Valentine's Day, Share the Word About the Benefits of Marriage.

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Last chance! See M&I Seiff toy Chrismas display, Today - Jan. 3rd

Just for fun!, Holidays, Special events


Looking for a delightful diversion this weekend? How about visiting The Enchanted Forest at the M&I Bank downtown Milwaukee? Best of all it is free!

Every year the M&I Bank creates a unique winter wonderland, right in its downtown lobby, with a special theme. The display features its extensive collection of Steiff stuffed animals, all sporting imaginative costumes against a backdrop of real Christmas trees and scenery. You are free to walk around and through the exhibit on the pathways provided, but don't touch the animals.

This year the theme is The Enchanted Forest. Each stuffed Steiff toy dons its colorful custom made costume to go along with the theme, complete with fairy wings. It really must be seen to be appreciated.

I stopped in today because sadly, this may be the last year for the Steiff Christmas display. The M&I is in the process of being sold to a Canadian bank, and so the future for the Steiffs is in doubt.

But there is still time to see these adorable animals. Hours are:
  • New Year's Day 9am - 4pm
  • Sunday, January 2nd 9am - 4pm
  • Monday, January 3rd 9am - 5pm
After Monday, it is all over, so do take the time to stop in if you can. I have seen a number of these in the past, but this one was my favorite.

Happy New Year!

M&I Bank Lobby
770 North Water Street (Corner of Water and Wells)

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Christmas celebrates Immanuel: The God with us

History, Holidays, Religion

About 700 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah the prophet of Israel wrote about the coming Savior of the world:

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign:
Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]
Isaiah 7:14 Amplified Version

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Just for fun: What if 1st Christmas were today?

Just for fun!, Holidays, Religion

Need to take a break from the pressures of preparing for Christmas? Take a look at this clever video of the events recorded in Luke 2:1-14 and Matthew 2:1-12, put into the context of today's technology. It sure made me smile.

Note that in the Bible, the Magi did NOT go to the stable in Bethlehem (after all, you have to account for travel time!), but they did go to Mary and Joseph's home in Bethlehem when Jesus was a toddler. The Bible says in Matthew 2: 11: And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

This Christmas, you might want to use this convenient web-page of the Christmas story found in the Bible--its arranged by topic. They also have some ideas for making Christ the center of your Christmas.

OK, break-time is over. Back to work!

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A St. Nick morning surprise

History, Family, Just for fun!, Holidays

In my childhood days, I would have raced downstairs on this morning to check my St. Nick stocking. These days, I often remember the day with a little treat for my family, even though we are all adults.

Somehow, St. Nick always forgets ;-) my stocking, but this morning, I found a very pleasant surprise in my email in-box that put me in the Christmas spirit. Here it is:

"This flash mob was organized by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!" The clip information stated there were over 100 participants in the production. This would be one of the few times I wish I had been shopping!

Happy St. Nicholas Day and Merry Christmas

Do you celebrate St. Nick on Dec. 6th? It's very Milwaukee

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What's on your Thanksgiving menu? & Recipes

Family, Holidays, Good food / recipes

Recipe links below

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It's Veterans Day, say thank you to a soldier today

History, Veterans, United States, War, Holidays

Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside "to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans." So today, if you know a Veteran, be sure to say thank you for your service. I also think it appropriate to say thank you to those currently serving their country.

The USO offers a very easy way to express your thanks today up until Thanksgiving. All you have to do is click the link and send a message. You can designate who you want it to go to: active duty, veteran, family, etc. (They wouldn't mind a donation to the USO too.)

For people of my vintage and older, Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day and was celebrated on November 11th to mark the day World War I ended in 1918.

The website gives a great history of the holiday along with an explanation of the purpose of Memorial Day. There is a lot of confusion regarding the Armistice Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

In a nutshell, Armistice Day was a day "dedicated to the cause of world peace" and to honor those who served in WWI. Then in 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a day to honor vets of all wars. However, the purpose of Memorial Day was to honor those "who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle". Deceased veterans who died as a result of natural causes are to be remembered on Veterans Day, as evidenced by the field of flags at many cemeteries.

So THANK YOU, Veterans, your service to our country is appreciated.

Past Veteran's Day Posts: Thank you, Veterans, for the final salute
Thank you and God bless you Veterans and enlisted troops Includes movie picks
My Favorite Marine--Thank You Veterans!

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A call to prayer for America on July 4th

History, Holidays, Religion, United States

Happy Birthday

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail his thoughts on how this special day should be remembered:

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore."


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Chickamauga National Military Park: A place to remember and forgive

Holidays, History, National Parks, TRAVEL, United States, War

(Written for Memorial Day but a sign in problem delayed posting.)

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A Good Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday to you

Brookfield, Holidays, Religion, Special events

Good Friday through Easter or Resurrection Sunday mark the most important 3 days for a Christian. It is during this time that Christians the world over remember the crucifixion, sacrificial death, and burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and celebrate His resurrection on Sunday.

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Musing about the eve of Y2K and Y2K+10

Just for fun!, Musing, Holidays, Movies & Books

Ten years ago, New Year's Eve was celebrated with a bit of apprehension because of Y2K. I know I wondered if the lights would stay on, or more importantly, if the heat would stay on! Would the technological fabric of our lives would hold together or unravel?

My old Girl Scout motto, Be Prepared, prompted me to do just that: be prepared for what might come. We had our emergency light, heat, water, and food sources in the ready, just in case. Thankfully, nothing happened. Whether we went off grid for a national emergency or just a weather related reason, as we did a few weeks ago, we learned it is good to be ready.

Since our house had a fireplace, we invited my dad and sister to our house New Year's Eve 1999 for a movie marathon. (Well, at least until midnight, if the power went off.) We watched home movies that spanned 40 years, from our childhood days on up to my son's toddler days, and ate all manner of junk food. We had fun.

Thankfully, there was no technology failure and no need for concern. Our movie marathon continued past midnight.

This New Year's Eve, I find myself thinking concern over Y2K was the good ole days!

In 1999, our economy wasn't in the mess it is in today. We also weren't poised to take over the private health insurance industry with an unconstitutionally mandated government system. There was no war on terror, at least not on our soil, as most of us thought the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was more of a fluke.

This New Year's Eve, one thing remains the same as New Year's Eve 1999: the movie marathon. We've done it every year since Y2K. We have upgraded to showing DVD's with a projector on a big screen in the living room though.

This year's picks: The latest Star Trek, the 4th Indiana Jones, G-Force, and maybe Night at the Museum 2. There might also be a home movie or 2 for nostalgia's sake.

Let the junk food and festivities begin!

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Come to Bethelehm and see, Christ the Lord the newborn king


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Last 2 chances to "stuff" Tom Wacker's Salvation Army Red Kettle

Charity, Brookfield, Helping others, Holidays, Special events

I almost forgot to blog about this, but there is still time to help out. Brookfield resident Tom Wacker is ringing the bell again for the Salvation Army at the Pick 'n Save at 17630 W. Bluemound Road, Saturday from noon to 3pm and Tuesday, Dec. 22, from 6 - 9pm.

Tom does a topnotch job manning the red kettle; he is a real pro. Here is what Tom had to say about the Salvation Army:

"...I will be bell ringing again this year to support the wonderful work that the Salvation Army does for the most unfortunate in our world. Not only do they minister to the needs of the most troubled among us, but they do it in a most efficient way with some of the lowest overhead of any national charity.

We all have much to be thankful for and given the condition of the economy, the needs of the most unfortunate have never been greater.

So once again, if you are in the Milwaukee area, I would urge you to stop by when I'm ringing and share a hug and a bit of Christmas cheer. And if you can, toss a little something into the kettle and help your fellow man this Christmas season."

I support the Salvation Army. They not only help the less fortunate, but they also give disaster aid.

Mary Stutzman, the Salvation Army volunteer coordinator had this to say about Tom's past bell ringing efforts:

"The support that you [Tom] and your family and friends have shown The Salvation Army each year is overwhelming! Last year alone, you raised $_! This is the equivalent of providing a weeks worth of groceries from our food pantry to 100 people, 160 nights of shelter for a homeless person, or 20 community meals to 125 people in need in our Community Meal program."

So stop by Saturday or next Tuesday to help Tom "stuff the kettle" or if those times aren't convenient, stuff the kettle without Tom. It all goes to a good cause. You may also contribute online.

Donations are down this year and needs are up. Share what you can.

Past Post: Tom Wacker rings Red Kettle Salvation Army bell again at Pick 'n Save

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Visit O Little Town of Bethlehem, Brookfield

Brookfield, History, Holidays, Special events

To view entire photo album, click first photo, then click slideshow link.

Bethlehem Marketplace 2009

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Christmas at Brookside: CHRISTMAS MUSICAL tonight and Sunday

Holidays, Special events, Brookfield

Looking for something to get you into the Christmas spirit tonight or tomorrow? How about Brookside Baptist Church's CHRISTMAS MUSICAL?

If you've ever wondered if Christ's birth or becoming a Christian really makes any difference, this year's Christmas Musical might help answer those questions. The musical includes "real people telling the real meaning of Christmas" interwoven throughout the program.

One of the many things I enjoy at Brookside is the music. Their choir programs, accompanied by their orchestra, have always been excellent. If last Sunday's preview is any indication, this weekend's presentation will not disappoint.

Brookside Baptist Church is easy to find on Pilgrim Road, just south of Lisbon, in Brookfied. Directions

The program begins at 5pm on Saturday night and 6pm on Sunday. There is a reception after the performance. (Brookside is also known for it's good food!)

I plan to be there Sunday night. See you there?

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Do you celebrate St. Nick on Dec. 6th? It's very Milwaukee

Just for fun!, History, Family, Holidays

Did you grow up celebrating St. Nicholas' Day? If so, you know to hang your stocking by the chimney on the eve of Dec. 5th!

St. Nicholas or St. Nick is relatively unknown in most of the United States. He was a Christian Bishop living in the Roman Empire in the early 300s AD. The holiday is a German custom and very much part of being a Milwaukeean.

When I was a little girl, we didn't celebrate Santa on Christmas morning, but we did enjoy hanging a clean sock up on the eve of Dec. 5th. Since we didn't have a fire place. we improvised by hanging our socks on the drawer handles of the mahogany knee hole desk. Hey, it kind of looked like a fire place!

It was always fun the next morning to see what mom and dad put into our stockings. Sometimes we would get a stuffed animal; sometimes golden foiled chocolate coins*--those were always intriguing. Once they forgot all about St. Nick until we hung up our socks. That year we got bags of home-popped popcorn, a pack of gum? and some quarters.

Why the chocolate coins? If you know the St. Nicholas story, you would know that he was said to have thrown money through an open window of a poor family's home, during the night. The family was poor and had no dowry money for their 3 daughters. Having no dowry back then meant they probably wouldn't marry, which also meant they would be sold as slaves or go into the oldest profession. The money was said to have landed on their socks and shoes drying by the hearth. It is interesting to me that he did this secretly--no pompous show of his generosity.

In remembering St. Nicholas' Day, oranges or apples often were given. They were to represent the gold St. Nick gave. That is why an orange frequently was put into the toe of a Christmas or St. Nick stocking. (Oranges used to be pricey fruit before the days of improved transportation and considered a real treat.)

I kept the St. Nick tradition alive with my son too. Unlike Santa's visit, which occurs on Christmas Eve, St. Nick occurs early in the month. There is no confusion for children as to where St. Nick fits into the nativity story. (It is rather like celebrating George Washington's birthday with cherry pie.) St. Nicholas Day is a just-for-fun holiday commemorating a real person, who was known for his kindness and good work. No need for all the tall tales, deceit, and subterfuge about how St. Nick is omniscient or makes it all around the world in one night delivering presents to good boys and girls.

No, St. Nicks can be celebrated and enjoyed in the full light of the truth and used to illustrate an important biblical truth that it is more blessed to give than receive. In fact, you could incorporate a secret good deed for a needy family as part of your celebration with your children.

Giving, rather than receiving, after all, is a message we all need to remember every day of the year.

Have a happy St. Nicholas Day!

St. Nick's Day Can be a Nice Little Surprise Milwaukee Journal, 1999 - Lots of nostalgia about Winkies and Drews Variety stores. (I still love to visit Winkies in Whitefish Bay!)

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Hey, I'm back in!

Just for fun!, Holidays

Thanksgiving is considered the perfect holiday at our house. On a very superficial level, it is because I live with 2 turkey hounds! (3 turkey hounds if you include the dog.) They never get sick of turkey. In fact, we ran out on Monday, but thanks to a good friend who donated her leftovers, my guys are happily back in turkey sandwiches.  Thanksgiving is also a holiday that is rather casual and there are no gifts involved. Perfect.

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Thank you, Veterans, for the final salute

History, Holidays, Special events, Veterans

Click for 5 photo version

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Taxpayer Tea Parties, as American as Mom and Apple Pie

Conservatives, Holidays, History, Constitution, Government / Bureaucracy, Special events, TAXES

It's Independence Day! A day set aside to celebrate the birthday of our nation.

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This mom says thank God for sisters and aunts

Family, Holidays

Today, I would like to say thanks to all the aunts: the sisters of moms and dads who lend a hand, pinch hit, take the kids where mothers fear to tread, and generally add so much to their nieces' and nephews' lives. Some of these ladies never get a Mother's Day card, tribute, or gift, yet they contribute a great deal to both their siblings and their sibling's children's lives.

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Easter blessings & Saturday and Sunday services

Holidays, Religion, Special events

Christians the world over celebrate Christ's birth at Christmas time. Good Friday and Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday, mark the completion of His mission on earth.

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I thank me very much

Holidays, Just for fun!, President Obama

Remember when Flip Wilson used to say, "The devil made me do it"?

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It's St. Patrick's Day, time to take down Christmas wreaths

Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is St. Patrick's Day!

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Happy Birthday President Lincoln

History, Holidays

Today is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Most Americans have a warm spot in their heart for Lincoln. I know I do. For me, he epitomizes the American dream: that anyone can succeed in this country, even a man from very humble roots. I admire him for his honesty, gentle spirit, and courage. He was a godly man.

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That first Christmas Eve

Holidays, Religion

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It's nice to see a little bit of Christmas in advertising

Conservatives, Holidays, Religion

Have you noticed? Some stores are actually using the word, CHRISTMAS, in their advertising this year. It is nice to see. After all, Christmas is the reason people go out in the cold, spend money they don't have, and brave the crowds!

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Jews and Christmas ala Ben Stein and Mark Levin

Holidays, Truth

Mark Levin plays Christmas music on his radio show. Charlie Brown's Christmas Time is Here puts him in a good mood.

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Little bit of "Christmas" in ads

Boycotts, Culture, Holidays, Religion

I've noticed, have you? Kohl's Department Stores are using CHRISTMAS in their advertising! 

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Cookie marathon nearly finished, 2 hurdles to go

Helping others, Holidays, Just for fun!, Living well on less $

For as long as I can remember, baking cookies has always been a part of celebrating Christmas. My mom would let my sister and I help, even though that meant the task would take longer and the kitchen be messier. It is a cherished memory. 

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Washington State Holiday Hate Speech

Holidays, Religion

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Spread Christmas cheer: help Heart-Fire Ministries

Charity, Helping others, Holidays

Heart-Fire Ministries is one local charity that is sure to warm your heart this Christmas.  This is their 13th year of operating a Christmas Store that is rather unique, but they need YOUR help. The Christmas Store opens this week Tuesday, December 16th. Here is how it works:

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Tom Wacker rings Red Kettle Salvation Army bell again at Pick 'n Save

Charity, Helping others, Holidays

Tis the season! The  Salvation Army Red Kettles are out and about in shopping malls and in front of local businesses.

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Holiday hate speech at State Capitol

Constitution, Culture, Ethics, Government / Bureaucracy, Holidays, Religion, Slipping fast!, Truth, WISCONSIN

Our state capitol in Madison has a Christmas tree (I am using last year's term), a menorah for Hanukkah, and I think something for Kwanza too. I am fine with that. They are holidays celebrated in December by people of various religions and cultures in our state.

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Madison's "Censored" Tree

Common sense, Government / Bureaucracy, Holidays, Religion, Truth, WISCONSIN

Last year, the State Assembly had to fight to get the Capitol Christmas tree called just that, a CHRISTMAS tree. In our culture, if it were not for Christmas, whether you celebrate it as religious holiday or secular, why else would you cut down a tree and bring it indoors?

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Holiday hate speech

Conservatives, Holidays, Religion, Truth, WISCONSIN


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The year before the 1st Thanksgiving

History, Holidays, Religion

Most people are not aware that the Pilgrims arrived in the new world in November of 1620--one year before the day we commemorate as the first Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving gets shortchanged

Culture, Follow the money, Holidays, Religion

It is true; I don't get out much. But even I notice that the retail world goes directly from Halloween to Christmas decorations, totally ignoring Thanksgiving. Every year, the Christmas decor comes out earlier and earlier.

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"Christmas," I saw it in a store ad!!!

Conservatives, Culture, Ethics, Holidays, Religion, THE ECONOMY

 Kohls ad and newspaper bag ad said, Christmas sale.


History, Holidays, Religion

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Christmas Tossmas of catalogs

Conservatives, Holidays, Religion


Merry Athiestmas?

Culture, Holidays, Religion, Slipping fast!

 Fox news why believe in good, just be good for goodness sake, the american humanist association 'Why Believe in a God?' Ad Campaign Launches on D.C. Buses

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Thank you and God bless you Veterans and enlisted troops

Holidays, Movies & Books, Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served in the armed forces. My father, pictured right, served in the Marine Corps in WWII.

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Home Depot figured "...we need a little Christmas"?

Culture, Holidays, Religion, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

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Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays

Culture, Holidays, Religion 

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Happy Birthday America, May You Ever Be Great and Good

History, Holidays, Truth

Alexis de Tocqueville, a French nobleman and political scientist, came to America in 1831, seeking to find just what made America so great. This is what he said:

"I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution."

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My Dad, They Call His The Greatest Generation

Aging / Elderly, Family, Holidays

Last week, I watched The Journey of Natty Gann while making some muffins and cleaning up the kitchen. If you have never seen the movie, it is a period piece, set in the early 1930s, during the depression. An out of work widower must choose between staying with his daughter in Chicago, or going out to Washington state for a rare chance to work. He has little choice but to leave the daughter in the care of a floozy of a landlady. Natty, the daughter (14 years old?), runs away from the bad landlady and rides the rails all the way out to Washington. (Many adventures along the way. It ends happily.)

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Memorial Day Traditions

Good movies, History, Holidays, Special events, Veterans

Do you have Memorial Day traditions? Actually, we don't. July 4th seems to have its usual rhythm: Brookfield parade or auto show at Holz in the morning and fireworks at Elm Grove Park in the evening. But somehow with Memorial Day nothing has clicked.

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Thanks Mom

Family, Holidays, Living well on less $

My mom was an amazing woman. Her priorities were God, Dad, us, others, then herself. She was kind, generous, and a whiz at managing money. Since the economy is in the news so much these days, I will focus on her money management talents.

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National Day of Prayer: Meet at City Hall Thursday,12:20pm

History, Holidays, Special events

Thursday, May 1st, is the National Day of Prayer , a day set aside to pray for our country.

When I look at the problems in our world, nation, state, community, and our schools, it becomes very clear to me that our intellect and financial resources alone cannot solve these problems. Our founding fathers realized this early in our country’s history too.

According to the National Day of Prayer website, “The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln's proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer.”

In recent years, there has also been an open invitation for people of faith to meet on this day at their local city hall from 12:20 pm – 12:40 pm for 20 minutes of prayer.

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Happy Earth Day?

Going Green, Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is Earth Day, a day our family holds in special regard--in a tongue in cheek way.

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Easter blessings to you


Today is the day the Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

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This guy's days are numbered

Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is the first day of spring! Finally!

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

History, Holidays, Just for fun!

Poor Saint Patrick. Almost everything we associate with the holiday today has little to do with the real Saint Patrick.

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Happy Middle Name Pride Day

Holidays, Just for fun!

I am not making this up. Today is Middle Name Pride Day.  

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Easter egg tree countdown

Family, Holidays, Just for fun!

When my son was young, we dyed eggs for Easter. Oh my, what chaos! But he had so much fun, how could I say no? My sister would come over and join in the festivities (and mess). Our favorite dyes were those oily swirl type paints.

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Happy Leap Year

Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is February 29th, a leap year. My son mentioned a classmate of his told him he had a leap year birthday. Poor kid, in actual Feb. 29th birthdays, today is this young man's 5th birthday. It could have been worse though. Had he been born a century earlier, he would have had only 4 actual Feb. 29th birthdays. How would that be possible for a 20 year old? Ask Pope Gregory.

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Happy President's Day! We've come a long way--mostly

Elections, History, Holidays

Today is President's Day. Tomorrow is the Presidential spring primary. It's been an unusual campaign, to say the least.

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New Year, clean slate

Family, Healthy living, Holidays

One week down, 51 more to go in 2008. Already I am thinking, where did the first week go? (I started the new year out a little under the weather, so that may account for feeling I missed out on something.)

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Good tidings of great joy...for all people


I received this very unique Christmas card and ornament from Papua New Guinea. My cousin Jason and his wife Kellie are missionaries there to the Tobo people. I found Kellie's explanation about the ornament touching.

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More blessed to give than receive, so stop shopping!

Charity, Holidays, Living well on less $

A number of years ago, my family decided to quit giving Christmas presents to each other. As my witty husband said, if I want a personal gift, I will buy it personally.

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Hey Sendik's, where's the Red Kettle?

Charity, Holidays

Want a Red Kettle? Try the Pick 'n Save(See schedule below)

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My dog got mail!

Entrepreneurship, Family, Holidays

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"A Day of Publick Thanksgiving"

History, Holidays

Thanksgiving, like many other holidays and historical events these days, is losing its original significance. Christmas has de-evolved into a holiday gift getting frenzy--totally ignoring the birth of Christ, the original reason for the holiday. Easter no longer celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ but instead is a time of Easter egg hunts, bunnies and ham dinners.

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