Girl With Down Syndrome Crowned Homecoming Queen

This has to be one of the sweetest stories I’ve heard in a long time.   Kristin was crowned homecoming queen in Aledo, Texas, while hundreds of people in the stands gave her a standing ovation, cheered, and many burst into tears.  It was a very touching moment that those at the football game will never forget.  And neither will Kristin.  Here’s the whole story in detail with a great video from ABC News.

Help Give FREE Mammograms

If you notice on my sidebar, I have a box about breast cancer.  I would appreciate if you visit that site every time you visit my site.  That will take you to the Breast Cancer Site where it’s free to help sponsor those who can not afford mammograms.

Probably most of you know one person or maybe several women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.  I lost a friend, who had three children, to breast cancer 16 years ago.  I have several friends who are breast cancer survivors, and we thank God for that!

I had a breast cancer scare 15 years ago, had surgical biopsy done, and it turned out to be a non-malignant tumor.  Again, I thank God!  I am in a higher risk category because of that, and so I have my mamograms done every year.  Several years I’ve had to have an additional sonogram.  Last year, I had another scare and thought I was going to need to have another surgical biopsy, but it turned out OK and I didn’t have to have one.  (but that was after 10 weeks, four doctor visits, a mammogram, sonogram, and new digital mammogram)

So again, please visit this site, and I want to stress the importance of every woman having regular mammograms.  They do catch cancer early while it’s treatable!

The Breast Cancer Site

Earth Day in April…Recycle, Reuse, & Reduce (The 3 R’s)

With Earth Day being this month, a lot of people are thinking about ways they can become more environmentally friendly. I went to a teacher’s workshop back in 1988 and learned a few tips to teach my class…just remember the “3 R’s.” (Check to see what your community does.)

  • RECYCLE We’ve been recycling for over 15 years. A truck comes weekly and picks up recycling from our recycling bin which we place out by the curb with our trash can. If you don’t have this option, check on locations of recycling stations in your area.
  1. PlasticsCheck for your area as to which plastics they recycle. I know for our area, they recycle #1-#5 & #7. If you don’t know how to tell what the recycling number is for plastics, look on the bottom of the container and find the triangle. There will be a number inside of it.
  2. GlassOur area recycles clear glass. Check for your area.
  3. PaperOur area will take newspapers and cardboard.
  4. Plastic grocery bags – I don’t put these out by the curb, but there are a couple of grocery stores in the area that recycle bags. I take them to the grocery store to recycle where there is a recycling receptacle for them by the front door of the store.
  • REUSESome items can be used more than once.
  1. Donate – Give things to a charity. (I know someone who threw away a pair of good pants because they didn’t fit her anymore.)
  2. Hand-me-downs – Give something to a relative or friend who can use it.
  3. Reuse paper grocery bags – Use them for trash instead of buying new plastic liners for a trash can. If the bags aren’t soiled, empty them when they are full of trash and reuse again.
  4. Reuse plastic cereal bags – Line the bottom of your trash bag (the paper grocery bag) so it doesn’t leak. Use them for chicken bones and other smelly garbage. Use a twisty to help contain the smell.
  5. Reuse gift bags – My friends and I have done that for birthdays and Christmas many years, and sometimes we would get back a gift bag that we had originally given out. We didn’t care…we’d laugh about it.
  • REDUCE -Reduce the amount of natural resources that you consume.
  1. Reduce paper – Read the newspaper online and help save trees.  I like not having to deal with all the paper accumulation.
  2. Reduce gasoline – Plan errands efficiently so that the least amount of gas is used. Try to group errands together that are close in proximity.  If your destination is close enough, walk or ride a bike (great exercise).  Car pool when possible.
  3. Reduce wattage – Use fluorescent light bulbs that are energy efficient.  We are buying more and more of these bulbs until we have all of our bulbs replaced.  (except for the decorator bulbs)
  4. Reduce heating & cooling – Set the thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer and use ceiling fans or floor fans.  Set the thermostat a few degrees cooler in the winter and wear a sweater in the house.
  5. Reduce water – Use energy efficient shower heads and take shorter showers. (I need to work on this one about shorter showers!)  Only use the dishwasher or clothes washer when full.  A full dishwasher actually saves water versus washing by hand.  TURN THE WATER OFF WHILE BRUSHING TEETH.  So much water is wasted just from this habit alone.  Wet the toothbrush, turn the water off, brush teeth, and then turn the water back on.

There are a lot of other things you can do that I haven’t mentioned or haven’t thought about.  If you have a good idea, I’d love to hear about it!

See the Stars at the Dark Sky Festival

Dark Sky Festival at Harmony’s Town Square, in Harmony, Florida, is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2008 and will start at 7 pm. Started as an event to introduce the public to astronomy and related issues such as promoting the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting, the festival has become as much a community picnic as well. And the festival was given an Honorable Mention from Sky & Telescope Magazine in their national 2004 Astronomy Day awards. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend the festival this year.

These are some of the fun aspects of the festival:

  • Telescopes for viewing the stars
  • Playing in the Cosmic Kids Zone
  • Viewing nocturnal creatures
  • A speaker in the kids zone talking about Myths in the Night
  • Meeting astronomers and other scientists
  • Speakers talking about light pollution
  • Visiting numerous specialty booths
  • Performance of the Silver Clouds Orchestra, a local favorite, at 7:00 pm
  • A free concert at 8 pm by legendary recording artists, Rare Earth, who will be performing their greatest hits including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate”

The aspects the festival is providing include:

  • The value of keeping dark skies to protect wildlife activities
  • Encouraging the development of scientific interest in Florida youth
  • To educate people about lighting fixtures that can help reduce light pollution by focusing light downward instead of upward into the sky
  • Introducing environmentally intelligent lifestyle habits

Press Release:

Get Ready! This Year’s Dark Sky Festival is Out-of-this-World

HARMONY, FL – March 15, 2008 – The 5th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2008. Sponsored by the Harmony Institute, the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau, several astronomy clubs, the Osceola News Gazette and Florida Travel & Life Magazine, the event will kick off at 7pm in Harmony’s Town Square.

“The Dark Sky Festival is intended to celebrate and promote the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of excessive artificial lighting,” said Greg Golgowski, Harmony’s Conservation Director and a key member of the Dark Sky Festival Planning Committee. “Poor outdoor lighting not only washes out the splendor of the heavens, but also reduces visibility at night, wastes energy, and disturbs wildlife.”

As with the past four Dark Sky Festivals, attendees will be able to enjoy viewing the night skies through a variety of telescopes. There also be lots of music and food, numerous specialty booths, an educational zone with presentations from astronomers and other scientists, nocturnal creatures, a Cosmic Kids Zone and so much more.”

Local favorite, the Silver Clouds Orchestra, will start the entertainment portion of the evening at 7:00pm. This will be followed by a free concert by legendary recording artists, Rare Earth.

Rare Earth will take to Harmony’s outdoor amphitheatre stage at 8:00pm for a live concert chock full of their greatest hits including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate.”

“We are ecstatic to have Rare Earth performing at this year’s Festival,” said Shad Tome, president of Harmony Development Group. “We are encouraging everyone to wear comfortable shoes because Rare Earth is known for getting the whole audience up and dancing.”

The festival will be emceed by Magic 107.7’s afternoon drive on-air personality and program director Ken Payne.

The Festival is open to the general public. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend the event this year. The event will conclude around 11:00pm.

This date was selected because it falls on the heels of National Dark Sky week (March 29 – April 4); where people in the United States are encouraged to turn out their unnecessary outdoor lights in order to temporarily reduce light pollution.

For more information, please visit www.DarkSkyFestival.com or call 407-891-8358.

Car Angels

Have you ever wondered how people donate cars to charity? One way they do this is to donate cars to Car Angels, a non-profit company that uses the proceeds to make videos for children and teenagers. They have given away over two million of these videos which are designed to help instill values, and they also make anti-drug films.

If you desire, you can choose the charity organization you want to receive the benefit of your donation. Remember, you will receive a tax deduction receipt.

AutismSpeaks.org

Years and years ago, autism used to be thought of as something rare. But it’s not rare, because one out of every 150 people are diagnosed with some type of autism, a complex neurobiological disorder. Several of my friends have children with autism. It affects their ability to communicate and relate to others. Please watch a beautiful, short video of a precious little girl and her family. Click here to watch.

Hero Sherman Jones & Spade High School’s Last Graduation

Some stories are so touching, and this story was just that…it touched my heart. We sometimes get so caught up in the busy lives we live, that it’s nice to stop and take a moment to hear about a true hero and also about the closeness in a small community. Age does not matter. In this story, an elderly man and high school graduates share a common bond. Click below to share their story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPNS6tMY26o

Cables Plus

Cables Plus ranks 54th in the “top companies in telecommunication,” according to Inc Magazine, and they are one of the companies listed in Inc Magazine’s 2007 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. They have all kinds of cables and accessories such as fiber optic cables, and the really neat thing is that they contribute 10% of their profits to organizations that help the community. They have made contributions to the following organizations and plan to continue:

  • Central Virginia Food Bank
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Disabled Sports USA
  • U-Turn for youth
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center
  • March of Dimes

If you go to their site, be sure and click on testimonials to read their customer reviews. This company is committed to supplying superior performance, quality-assured products, and outstanding service to customers.

Video: National September 11 Memorial Tribute

Plans are under way to build a September 11 Memorial. This memorial will pay tribute to those who lost their lives and will be a place where families and friends who lost loved ones can go….a place where stories of that day will be preserved for future generations. I cannot imagine losing someone I love the way that they did on that horrific day.

We watched the memorial video, and it was very touching. If you have a few minutes, please watch this national video tribute: September 11 Memorial Video Tribute.

Foster’s Home for Children in Stephenville, TX

If you’re looking to make a charitable donation, Foster’s Home received “Best in America,” certified by Independent Charities of America. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States, fewer than 2,000 have received this award. It shows that the charity meets the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. You can check out Foster’s Home for Children and see what I’m talking about.

Foster’s Home for Children is a wonderful place for troubled children to go for healing, nurturing, and learning appropriate skills for interactive living. The home was started over forty-one years ago and has helped countless children and their families. We have given to this home through the years, and it’s a wonderful place if you’re looking to make a charitable donation. They are in the process of expanding, and what a wonderful place to put your donation where it will aid troubled children.