Friday, October 30, 2009

Announcing: The 2009 Mom Squad Christmas Luncheon!


It's time! We warmly invite you to the 2009 Mom Squad Christmas Luncheon at Hartville Kitchen.

Heavenly Peace is the theme as we put Christmas hustle and bustle on hold for the afternoon to recharge and celebrate God's gift of Christmas. Brooke Taylor and The Mom Squad host this special event with special speaker Julie Barnhill, music by Praise-Apella, prizes, and a special presentation to one mom of The Vitamix"Willing Hands" Award celebrating a mom who has exemplified Christ-like giving.

Click here to order early bird tickets and more information. See you there!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christian Halloween?

Google never ceases to amaze me. I'm a bit older than most on the mom squad panel and there's a lot I'm still learning.

I'm not against allowing children to dress up for Halloween. After all, I grew up at a time when Halloween was innocent and fun. I can understand why so many parents avoid Halloween. It's become both physically dangerous as well as promoting unchristian images that we might not want our children to see.

So...I googled "Christian Halloween". Google brought up over 4 million suggestions. WOW!

I clicked on a particularly interesting site.

Annie not only posted some cool facts, but she also gave ideas like...

Find a local Church that is having an alternative celebration and attend.
Some Churches have a Bible Character Dress Up Contest.

Wanda shared some of the costume ideas she has used for her daughter. "My Church has gone to a "Fall Festival" theme and my children dress in "Christian" costumes. And oh how they enjoy trying to be creative. Here are some of their past ideas.....the parable of the woman who lost one piece of silver. (my daughter had a long dress on, broom, candle, and coin purse). Another was Sarah when she was old and pregnant. (she had gray hair, a big belly). Pharaoh's Daughter (dressed in purple, with lots of shine, she had a basket with a baby, and lots of make-up). These are some of the ones I can remember."

Why not start a NEW family tradition for October 31st in your family? You can have a family meeting and make the plans for the special evening. Choose some FUN & CREATIVE things to do as a family. Maybe even have a Board Game Marathon. Give each member of the family a special responsibility. Each one of you can do something to plan, prepare and take part in, for your special evening. Family times are too often rare or non existent. Bake some cookies and make some popcorn the old fashioned way. Have some FAMILY FUN. Next year you can have the 2nd Annual Family Fun Night. You can't have the "first annual" because if you think about it, it really has to be the second time to be "annual".

Have a celebration with a theme. How about Christian Heroes and Martyrs? It was on October 31, 1517 that young Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church and lit the fire of the Reformation. How about a Bible Quiz or charades game. Or bring out the Bible Board games like a Bible Trivia game.

How about a missionary evening? Choose the country where you have a Missionary that your church supports. Then use the country to help you choose the food you make and the decorations. You can even have people wear clothing or a hat to go with your theme. Why not make it a potluck dinner? You make the entree and others can bring dessert and side dishes. You are only limited by your own imagination. Why not contact the missionaries by email? Ask them to send you some information or links.

Here is a current email about what one Christian Family is doing:"Annie, I happened across your page while doing research for our annual "Jesus is Lord of Halloween too" party...we are a family who celebrated Halloween for many years until God changed our lives. For the past 3 years we have chosen to celebrate Jesus instead. I would like to share with you some of the things we do at our "party". The children spend the afternoon attaching candy to tracts or bookmarks (whatever we can afford that year) to hand out the trick or treaters. After the tracts are done, we carve pumpkins with crosses or the name of Jesus or any other Christian symbol. We do dunk for apples, we also play all sorts of silly games, some include "finish the bible verse" and "bible trivia." My kids have told me that they have more fun praising Jesus on that night than they ever had "trick or treating" God bless you and your pages! Mrs. F"

From a recent visitor: Our church, East Brent Baptist (not that it matters because there are NO denominations in Heaven), in Pensacola, with about 5,000+ members, has Judgment House for the two weekends around Halloween. That is where Tour guides (me!) and a group of people (usually limited to 15-18) move from room to room where, in each room, actors/actresses stay and reenact the same scene for each group. There is always a message about choices and their consequences and there is always a message about Jesus and loving Him. We always end up in Heaven with Jesus delivering His message through the actor. Isn't it nice to be able to go to "heaven" so many times during the season??!! We have a ball! My whole family is involved in some way. Our sons are actors and my husband is in technical, and we thoroughly enjoy participating. It's amazing what can come from a Judgment House because just recently, some people made it their business to "find" me to tell me that (not really) because of me taking them through, not once but twice, TWO years ago, they came to East Brent because it was a "walking" church, not just a "talking" church and they were saved! Praise GOD! Of course, it was NOT me, but the Lord at work in their hearts! I was just the instrument.

I have other suggestions about how to bring the Bible into this holiday. There are many stories about how Jesus raised the dead and casts out evil spirits and these aren't scary stories with blood and gore! I also try to tell my kids that there is one Spirit, that is not a spook or floating apparition, like in many tales and movies. It's the Holy Spirit! God sends his Holy Spirit to us, as a Comforter, (John 14:26), which is very comforting to know! We can see that in the final days, the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and no longer be able to deceive the world, (Rev. 20:10).

I loved this idea from

Halloween Pumpkin Christian Craft

Supplies:1 - sheet of orange construction paper (or white paper colored orange)hole punch, scissors, markers (green, brown, black, orange).
Instructions:1. Draw a circle on the orange construction paper (this makes the pumpkin head)2. Color a stem on top green or brown.3. Write any bible verse on the back of the pumpkin.4. On the stem write: "You picked a sweet treat from my bowl, so here's a sweet treat for your soul." 5. Cut it out, punch a hole at the top of the stem, and tie it to a Halloween treat.

How will you celebrate Halloween?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You can do anything!!!

This video makes me cry because I'm so proud of this young man.

This video makes me cry because I'm so proud of his dad.

This video also makes me angry. Angry for all the times I've heard people whine about what they can't do or what they don't have. We can do anything if we only realize our potential and the great prize God has put within us.

A Military Mom's Prayer

Dear Lord,

Give me the greatness of heart to see the difference between a mother's love and duty to country.

Give me understanding that I may know, when duty calls them they must go.

Give me a task to do each day, to fill my thoughts when they're away.

And Lord, when they're in a foreign land, keep them safe in your loving hand.

And Lord, when duty is in the field, please protect them and be their shield.

And Lord, when deployment is so long, please give me the support to remain strong.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Words Of Wisdom

This is the remainder of an article I posted on September 22. This wonderful info was written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer newspaper. It was her intent to celebrate growing older and it has been her most requested article. Keep checking the Mom Squad Blog for more pearls of wisdom. Enjoy!

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'dgrab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a fun Video!

This is from Volkswagen. Their site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people's behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it's change for the better.


Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, you'll see it's true,

You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that's why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

"Go into the world and tell them it's true

That I love them all - Just like I love U."

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don't they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He'd like them to know,

But it all starts with U.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are.

There's been a lot of controversy over the new movie, "Where The Wild Things Are." The movie has been anxiously anticipated and many parents were as excited as their children to see the movie. However, many believe the director missed the mark.

If you're wondering if this movie would be a nice Saturday distraction for your family, here's two reviews. Let us know what you think.
The first link is from Moviephone

This review is by Barbara Curtis. She has written 8 books and hundreds of articles. She has a masters in education and she is a devout Christian. She has 12 children (no that's not a typo) Her blog is

I saw Where the Wild Things Are last night with 4 of my kids 16-24 - Matt, Zach, Sophia (home from college this weekend - yay!), Jonny, Maddy and Maddy's friend who just returned home from two years in China (yay!)

You all know I am a big fan of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and have been reading it to my own kids for 40 years. I think it has an important subconscious message for kids, which I have written about here (See Where the Wild Things Are: Teaching kids they can control their emotions).

While I couldn't imagine stretching that message - 48 pages, 338 words and great pictures - into a full-length movie, I was anticipating some pleasant surprises. And my kids were eager to see it, so I tagged along with them last night - opening night.

I'm afraid we were very disappointed. For a movie with such glorious production values, I found much of the movie tedious and dull. Parts were pretentious, straining at Jungian symbolism and just too heavy handed in driving home the message of the wild things being part of Max's psyche.

While much has been made of Spike Jonze innovative directing style, I just felt
like he didn't have enough respect for his audience - as though if he didn't beat us over the head with the symbolism we might miss it.

Jungian? Symbolism? You may be wondering what is going on since we are discussing a movie many assume is aimed at children.

It is not. Parents need to be very clear about this - this is movie aimed at bringing adults back to an understanding of the difficulties of childhood. There are parts that are way too scary and traumatic - in my opinion - for children under 8.

The effects are awesome, the acting - Max and his mother - poignant and
real, and the soundtrack exquisite. Still, Matt (24) and I looked at each other
as the move was winding down and I saw he felt the same way as I did, leading me
to remark that it was one of the worst movies I'd ever seen.

While WTWTA has been getting glowing reviews in the elite media, it left me cold and bored. I just don't think it's worth the price of admission.

I realize I'm going against the flow here - though it's only 69% at Rotten Tomatoes. And I think everyone really wanted to like it.

Very disappointing.

If you've seen this movie please let our readers know what you think.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We Believe in Prayer...Please pass this story on...

This is Maggie Cobb. She's 9 and lives in Texarkana . Her parents are Mike & Kristi Cobb. Maggie has a seven year old sister, Georgia & brother Jackson, (they are twins). She goes to school at Pleasant Grove Elementary & she is in Girl Scouts. Recently Maggie started having vision problems and acting clumsy. Her parents took her to the Dr. On May 21, 2009, a MRI was ordered & revealed a walnut size tumor in her brain. Maggie was immediately sent to Children's Hospital in Little Rock . The tumor is benign, however, it is located in the middle of her brain & is strangling her brain stem. Therefore the tumor is inoperable. The Doctors at Children's have given Maggie 8 to 12 months to live. They said that she will most likely be completely blind in another 1 to 2 weeks & paralyzed within a month. Maggie was then sent to St. Jude's in Memphis , TN. The doctors there agree that it is inoperable & her prognosis is very grim. They are going to be treating her with chemo & radiation in an attempt to shrink the tumor. Maggie is in desperate need of a miracle, please pray to our Lord & Savior that she is granted one. We want to spread the word about Maggie to as many people as we can, in hopes of increasing the number of prayers for her. Please send this info to your friends & family, & post it on your personal web pages & blogs. Maggie has a CaringBridge website, please visit it at: There is a facebook page you can join called Pray for Maggie Cobb.
Also visit This is a wonderful site you can use to connect family and friends regarding health matters of loved ones.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moms are Great!

2009 has been a difficult year for a lot of families.
Many have lost jobs, lost homes, lost retirements and even lost faith. We've watched American values collide with views that make our blood boil and send us to our knees. We are worried about the future of this country and the ability to sustain too much spending and too little accountability.

One woman wrote on her blog...."For the first time in my life I've secretly been wondering if I could move to a deserted island and make it."

But something hopeful is happening. With all the debates on health care, cap and trade, guns and parent's rights - busy families have been forced to talk to each other. Neighbors are beginning to do more than nod to each other when they grab their mail. Neighbors are actually talking. Instead of staring blankly into the morning sun, mother's at the school bus stop are smiling and asking, " do you think about...?"

And leading the way with conversation is the great power of Moms. On 9/28/09 Glenn Beck invited a studio full of moms to talk about the issues. A friend of mine was on that show and was given a mike because, "I think the producers were worried that we wouldn't speak up. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but I don't think the tech guys were sure we were bold enough to have an opinion. Boy was he wrong! We talked and talked and went another 30 minutes after the taping."

Glenn Beck found that these protectors of the future are not shy when it comes to protecting freedom for their children. Like a lioness protecting her cubs, these women are determined to make sure their children's future is secure.

After the taping of that show one mom had an idea to set up an social/interactive website for moms. She designed Within three days it had 4,000 members. After only a week it had 28,000 within 12 days it topped 38,000 members. It currently hosts over 49,000 members and is adding about 1,500 per day. has members from all walks of life talking about all kinds of issues. After reading just a few comments it was evident that these women are serious about protecting the future of this country.

Their enthusiasm encouraged me to write a booklet titled, Mommy Patriots - The New Revolution. Barbara Curtis - author and friend - gave me permission to use some of her photos in the booklet. My favorite one is an older woman with a sign using a phrase so many of us use "Don't make me come up there!"

I encourage you - no matter what your beliefs - to get involved. Be a part of the great movement that's taking place in this country.

I'm so proud to be on the Mom Squad Panel and to be an American Mom!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fall Recipe Contest Winner - Kristina Fey of Akron

What a great day we had testing the three finalist in our Fall Recipe Contest.

Kristina Fey of Akron was our grand prize winner for her Pumpkin Crunch.

Here's a few pictures of the Mom Squad and The Morning Show hosts enjoying the entries.

Debbie baked the winning recipe Pumpkin Crunch by Kristina Fey of Akron. Brooke made Peter Peter's Pumpkin Dip by Annmarie Percic of Parma. Darlene made Homemade Baked Potato Soup by Kelly Milluzzi of Columbia Station.

It was yummy testing the three finalist entries. Brooke remarked that we actually had a little dinner. The Peter Peter's Pumpkin dip was our appetiser, the Baked Potato Soup was our entree and the Pumpkin Crunch was our desert.

Can you tell how good it was?

Brooke has such a beautiful smile - is it her inner beauty or the Pumpkin Crunch?

Len is pretty sure the smile is from the Pumpkin Crunch.

No..., Len!... Wait!... The Whip Cream goes on the Pumpkin Crunch!

To view all the recipes use this link...

The Right Prescription....Learning Rx!

The Mom Squad covers all aspects of womanhood and of course...motherhood.:) A common issue parents face is when a child "turns off" from the love of learning. If homework is a challenge and school is a struggle, we have help for you! Even if you just want to enrich your child's education, Learning Rx can help. We sat down with Chris Schroeder, the owner and director of LearningRx in Akron to tell us how to spot red flags, when to step in, and how to encourage a child who is struggling.

Chris, who is LearningRx designed to help?
CS: LearningRx is designed to help anyone ages 5-senior adult who wants to improve their learning skills. We work with enriched students and struggling students. Students who struggle with focus and attention skills, reading difficulties, processing issues, memory and logic. We also work with individuals who may have had TBI (traumatic brain injury), aspergers and autism.

How do you know when it's time to come in for a consultation, can you tell us some "red flags" for parents to be aware of?
CS: Here are some Red Flags - Homework is taking much too long to complete - Dislikes reading - cannot work independently (grades are a combined effort of parents making sure things are done right) - Losing interest in academics and or dropping out of extracurricular activities - Grades for homework and extra credit are much higher than test grades. When you see these things persist, then it's time to come in for an assessment and consultation.

How do you know when a child should be held back, and how often are those situations something that could be remedied with the help of Learning Rx?
CS: Retaining a child in school usually will not solve the cause of the learning struggle. Building stronger learning (cognitive)skills in most cases can eliminate the chance of retention.

How can parents encourage learning at home, do you have a quick tip (or two) to help students/parents when it comes to learning habits?
CS: Encourage learning at home by example. When your children see you reading, they will want to read too. The more structured the learning setting the better. Have a designated place in the home for doing homework. Make sure the TV is off during this time. Purchase games that make you think. Logic games, memory games, puzzles etc.

To learn more, come to LearningRx in Akron on Saturday, October 10 from 1-3pm. Register to win a "smart moms toy box"! Check out the official website for directions and more information.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Favorite Fall Recipe Finalists!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our "Favorite Fall Recipe" contest. We received some fantastic meal ideas, this is going to be a tasty season for sure! The Mom Squad panel has selected three finalists. Congratulations to:

*Kristina Fey from Akron for her Pumpkin Crunch recipe
*Kelly Milluzzi from Columbia Station for her Homemade Baked Potato Soup
*Annmarie Percic from Parma for her Peter Peter's Pumpkin Dip

Please click on the logo (in the right margin) for all the recipes and thanks again for all the wonderful submissions!
We will conduct a taste-test on the morning show Tuesday, October 5 at 8:15am. The winner will get tickets to see Mercy Me and Johnny Diaz in concert and dinner before the show!