Break

Keep calm and wait … what?

If you hadn’t noticed, things have been quiet around here lately. I didn’t plan to take a break from blogging, but it happened anyway.

And that’s okay.

We need breaks from time to time. We need to relax, to take some deep breaths, and to recharge. We need to try new things, and experience new experiences.

Above all, we need to live.

It’s so easy to get lock into writing. To focus on word counts and deadlines. It’a even easier to get caught up in the business of writing. To spend more time on social media trying to be heard above the din of voices.

We spend so much time on output, we forget about input. Reading a book, taking a walk, singing, or  playing a musical instrument. Talking to our friends, engaging with our partners, or playing with our kids. And then we wonder why the output stops.

No input, no output.

No living, no life.

That’s why we have to take breaks, and that’s why the blog has slowed down and why it will pick up again once I am filled.

Five Minute Friday

And this week, a two-for one (to catch up with both online communities):

Cheerleaders of Faith

Bloggerhood Etc. 3/23/15

Best Idea.There’s A Preschool For Adults To Unwind And Relive Their Childhoods” by Emily Arata at Elite Daily.

Best Guest Post.Mask” by Kimberley Coyle at Little Did She Know.

Best Special Needs Post.Thoughts on Growing Up With a Sister With Down Syndrome” by Melissa Otterbein at Like Birds on Trees.

Best Mom Post.Here We Are Again” by Sarah Bessey.

Best Dad Post.My Real Name, and the Problems it Has Caused Me” by Adam Hall at Tenor Dad.

Best Series.Here Comes the Brides!” by Tamára Lunardo at Tamára Out Loud.

Most Interesting.Why Violin-Makers Adopted the f-Shaped Hole” by Clive Thompson at BoingBoing.

Most Honest.Surviving!” by Gary Mathews at Skippah’s Realm.

Best Reflection.The Transition Time” by Addie Zierman at How to Talk Evangelical.

Best News.We Have Some News!” by Glove and Boots (via You Tube).

“Meh.”

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of next week’s candidates, check out my new Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Bloggerhood Etc. 3/9/2015

Rick & Becky, God bless you!

Photo: Benjamin L. Corey

Best Open Letter.Dear Rick & Becky: I Hope You Get To Read This One Day” by Benjamin L. Corey at Formerly Fundie.

Best Special Needs Post.Letting Go of Self-Sabotage on the Special Needs Journey” by Gillian Marchenko at Not Alone.

Best Story.Lucky Charms” by Tania Runyan, posting at Cara Strickland’s Little Did She Know.

Best Question.What’s the Big Deal About the Dad 2.0 Summit?” by Zach Rosenberg at 8 Bit Dad.

Best List. “The Top Ten Portland Album Covers of All Time” by Ned Lannamann at The Portland Mercury.

Best Commentary.The Argument for a Basic Income” by John D. Sutter at CNN.com.

Best History Lesson.The Story of the Reformation Needs Reforming” by Eamon Duffy in The Telegraph.

Best Portrait of an Artist.Simon Beck: Creating Art with a Compass and Snowshoes” by Andrea Crossan at BBC News Magazine.

Best Retrospective.54 Miles to Freedom” by Paul Murray at National Catholic Reporter.

Best Tribute. Oren Miller, 1973-2015” by Dustin Fisher (via YouTube).

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of next week’s candidates, check out my new Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Cookie Program: There's something amazing inside.

575 Boxes!

500 +

Anna’s final total for the 2015 Girl Scout Cookie Season. She’ll get the pictured patch for selling over 500 boxes, and a whole bunch of prizes and cookie credits.

  • 1+ Box: Participation Certificate.
  • 30+ Boxes: Cookie Theme Patch.
  • 65+ Boxes: Summer Fun Bandana.
  • 100+ Boxes: Cheetah Wrist Pocket and Sunglasses + $10 Cookie Credit.
  • 160+ Boxes: Cheetah Charm Bracelet + $15 Cookie Credit.
  • 225+ Boxes: Savannah Cheetah Plush + $20 Cookie Credit.
  • 300+ Boxes: Wrist Wallet and Samoa Charm Dangler + $25 Cookie Credit.
  • 400+ Boxes: Samoa Pillow and Samoa Spirit Hat + $30 Cookie Credit.
  • 550+ Boxes: Zip ‘n’ Go Blanket Cushion and Wild Side Duffle Bag + $50 Cookie Credit.

Cookie Credits can be redeemed at the Girl Scout Store and/or used to pay for activities like summer camps.

Way to go, Anna!

Reaching Her Goal

Anna in our van with all the cookies

Photo: Julia Ozab

Anna’s first cookie season with Girl Scouts is drawing to a close. We had no idea how well she would do or how tiring it would be for all of us, but it is almost over.

At the start of pre-orders in January, she set a goal of 400 boxes. We weren’t sure if she would make it, but we were determined to help her in any way we could. Anna made cookie pre-order posters for Julia to take into her office, and I reached out to friends, family, and colleagues online. She sold more than 100 boxes before the end of the first pre-order period, and then hit 200 the day booth sales were set to begin.

She was already half-way there. Then came the first weekend. This is the hot time for Girl Scout cookies. People are seeing booths outside stores for the first time in a year, and the sales are huge.

By Sunday afternoon, she broke the 300 mark. But it was wearing on her, and us, and the rest of the troop.

Still we were so close, and we had four booths the following weekend. We knew her goal was within reach.

She sold her 400th box at her second booth on Saturday afternoon and after Sunday she’s closing on on 450. We have two more booth scheduled–one tonight and the other on Saturday. She has a great shot of hitting 500 and being the top seller in her troop.

For her first sale, it’s a great accomplishment. And a reminder to me and to all of us. You never know what you can do until you try, but if you don’t try you’ll never find out.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,” and through him “all things are possible.

Cheerleaders of Faith