Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day 2014

So you might ask, What is Labor Day?

Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day 



As a frequent weekend traveler, Joel and I decided to make a trip to Katy Mills Mall for him to do some shopping at Polo Ralph Lauren.   Yes it was a successful trip and he has a new wardrobe.  For me, not so good.  I couldn't find anything that I was looking for but I was VERY successful in saving money.   I am obsessed with using a coupon for every purchase or I don't buy.  Thanks to Snip Snap (recommended by my future daughter in law, Karli Powell) and a coupon from Polo Ralph Lauren he was able to purchase 4 slacks, 5 polo shirts, one package of socks and two packages of underwear. Store price was $965.00 and with store sales and coupons we were able to purchase all for $404.00. That is a savings of $561.00.  Now I can't wait til I can make the same trip and update my wardrobe.  If you like saving money there are several i-phone apps that you can use while in the store.   Try Snip Snap, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Another great savings is our American Express that you earn points for hotel rooms for HIlton Hotels.   Well, I looked on-line at my Hilton account and discovered that I could make a room reservation at my favorite Hilton hotel in downtown Houston http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/texas/hilton-americas-houston-HOUCVHH/index.htmlfor and discovered that I had enough points for a FREE room.    Again another great savings.   Evening hors d'oeuvres were included that evening and sodas / water and trail mix were also available for watching the FSU Seminole ball game while overlooking downtown Houston.  The next morning we were treated with a "free" breakfast to include coffee, cocoa, tea, oatmeal, grits, cereals, fresh fruit, pastries, toast, etc. (too many to name).  The only expense we incurred was the parking garage for $21.65.  



A newly opened restaurant was a great treat to find inside the HIlton,   A favorite of mine and Joel's.....Pappasito's.   Yes we did eat there for two meals and both times it was AMAZING.



A few events were occurring if you wanted more to do: 

NRG Stadium http://nrgpark.com/where LSU was playing Wisconsin, just a short metro-rail ride away;

Toyota Center http://www.houstontoyotacenter.comand to see Patty LaBelle;

Minute Maid Park http://houston.astros.mlb.com/hou/ballpark/index.jsp the Astros were hosting the Texas Rangers; 

George R. Brown Convention Center http://www.houstonconventionctr.com/ was hosting a Gun Show and Comicon. 

We opted for spending time at the 12 acre Discovery Green http://www.discoverygreen.com/.  So many "free" activities for families.  A lot of walking trails, kayak rides, soccer, frisbee, reading watching children in the water parks, face drawings, visiting the ice cream truck and so much more.  

This extra large "Rubik's Cube" is an entrance to an underground parking garage under Discovery Green.

Beautiful flowers are throughout Discovery Green



Before leaving Houston to return home, we rented bicycles and rode around in downtown Houston https://houston.bcycle.com/default.aspx   Everything was great until it started raining, but we continued riding in the rain.   Great memories.

So if you are looking for a great weekend away, check out the links above and I promise you will have the time of your life making great memories of a life time.

Until next time, may God bless you and our great country,
"CJS"



P.S.   If you are looking for me after I retire from the state, this might be where I will be staying .  This beautiful condo is overlooking the 12 acre Discovery Green.  It also has an awesome  private resident entrance to the 30,000 sq. ft grocery store, Phoenicia Specialty Foods along with MKT Bar Cafe.

It is a thought!
http://www.oneparkplacehouston.com/gallery.aspx#prettyPhoto


All opinions are mine and I definitely have not been given any money for my reviews.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Things to know about me

A few things you might not know about me that I would like to share with you.

Some are good, bad, ugly and indifferent.

I have three sisters....I'm #3.....Kinda like singing from the hymn book, the third verse is always left out.  LOL

My favorite sister is my baby sister, Amy, which is the only one I claim.

I have one super niece, Camille

I have two nephews, Justin and Jonathan

I have two children, Erin and Sam

I have one grandson, Elijah.....I know....I'm not old enough to have an adorable grandson.

I have a great nephews, Brayden

I have great nieces, Carson, Ella and Lauren

I have never lived outside of the great state of TEXAS

I love Blue Bell Ice Cream...Dutch Chocolate, which is made in Texas.

I am a chocoholic

I love push mowing and I like to change up my lines in the yard.

I detest critters.....snakes, lizards and spiders.
     My daughter was drenched with a glass of iced sweet tea when she attempted to put a lizard on me.  LOL

I truly have one BFF who is Tricia.  We've been friends since 1981.

I am an Misdemeanor supervision officer for Adult Probation.

I've worked since I was 16 years old.

I am OCD

I like for everything to be alphabetized......even my pantry

I've had a total hysterectomy and gall bladder surgery.

I am addicted to Dr. Pepper, Original TEXAS drink!!





PK's

http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2014/02/katy-perrywhy-pastors-kids-go-awry.html?m=1

I read this article, mainly because I am a PK, and just thought it was worth sharing.   Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Katy Perry...Why Pastors' Kids Go Awry

Katy Perry is currently the highest profile P.K. that has gone awry.  In a recent interview, she said she is no longer a Christian and doesn't believe in heaven, hell, or "an old man sitting on a throne."

Katy represents a host of P.K.'s who have struggled with their faith.  Recent stats from Barna research says that...
  • 40% have gone through a period where they significantly questioned their faith
  • 33% are no longer active in church
  • 7% no longer consider him or herself a Christian
What causes this?  Pastors who were asked answered:
  • 28% - unrealistic expectations were placed on them
  • 18% - negative experiences in church
  • 17% - father or mother is too busy at church to spend time with them
  • 14% - faith not modeled at home
  • 9% - influence of friends or peers
What Pastors say they've done best in raising their kids:
  • 37% - introduced them to Christ and maintained a Bible-focused home
  • 21% - spent time with them and supported them
  • 12% - loved them
  • 10% - taught them good values
  • 9% - allowed them to make their own choices and be themselves
 What Pastors said they wish they had done better:
  • 42% - had spent more time with their kids
  • 8% - wish they had been more understanding
  • 5% - wish they had given them more Bible teaching
  • 19% - no regrets, wouldn't change anything
I have a special place in my heart for kids who are P.K.'s because I am one.  I grew up to serve the Lord and live for Him.  Looking back here are a few reasons...

My parents practiced what they preached.  I could argue with what they believed, but I couldn't argue with how they lived what they believed.

My dad and mom spent time with me.  My dad spent hours with me in the backyard practicing pitching with me when I was in Little League.  When I got into high school and played basketball, he was there in the stands cheering for me.  My mom poured her life into me, always there for me.

I was able to see past the negative side of ministry.  Yes, there are negative sides to ministry.  Sheep bite and people are not perfect.  At times there are politics.  The church is made up of people.  People who struggle and have weaknesses like we all do.  But I was able to see past that and see the bigger picture.

I made a personal choice to follow Christ and my faith became my own.  I came to Christ when I was a young child.  It was a very real experience which I can still remember to this day.  When I was in high school, God begin to speak to me about being a Pastor myself.

My parents had never asked me about being a pastor.  In fact, they had mentioned several times I should consider being a school teacher.  And I had personally told God I would never be a pastor.  Yes, I would be faithful to church and serve Him...but not working for a church.

But when God calls...you have to make a choice.  You can say "yes" or you can walk away from His will for your life.  After struggling for months, I made the choice to say "yes" to God's plan for my life.

I said that to say this.  At the end of the day, each person must decide for themselves if they will follow Christ or not.  Yes, godly parents do make a difference and help cultivate the soil, but they cannot make the decision for their child.

Do I blame Katy Perry's parents for the road she has chosen?  No.  She picked this path.  I could have just as easily chosen to go down a path away from God.

If your Pastor has kids in your Children's Ministry, I want to encourage you to...
  • Love them.  They are just like the other kids in your ministry.  They want to know you care about them, not because of who their father is, but because of who they are as an individual.
  • Let them be kids.  They are not perfect.  They are going to misbehave at times and make mistakes.  Don't say, "You should know better.  You are the Pastor's kid!"  This places unrealistic expectations on them. 
  • Don't mistreat their parents.  When you talk about the Pastor or cause strife in the church, you not only bring hurt to him, you hurt his kids as well.  Even if they don't know the details (hopefully their parents are protecting them from the negative side of church), they sense when there is strife and division in the church.
  • Pour into their lives.  Just because their father is the pastor, doesn't mean they don't need other people to teach them, mentor them, and speak into their lives.  Yes, my parents were my primary spiritual influence, but there were also lots of godly leaders who poured into my life over the years.  They all had a part in my decision to follow Christ.
  • Don't place unrealistic expectations on their father that causes him to be gone from home all the time.  Help protect their father's time.  They need a father at home just like other kids.  Don't contribute to them resenting the church because it took their father away all the time.
What are your thoughts about P.K.s?
If you are a P.K., share your experience growing up.
Are you a Pastor or staff member in ministry who currently has kids at home?
What are some other ways we can support and encourage P.K.'s?
What are some other reasons why you believe some P.K.'s walk away from God?