Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something To Ponder

I received this forward and thought I'd share it!

“A good piece of chocolate has about 200 calories. As I enjoy two servings per night, and a few more on weekends, I consume 3,500 calories of chocolate in a week, which equals one pound of weight per week.
Therefore…In the last 3 1/2 years, I have had a chocolate caloric intake of about 185 pounds. I weigh 185 pounds, so without chocolate, I would have wasted away to nothing about three months ago!
I owe my life to chocolate.”

Monday, January 7, 2008

Food For Thought

I received this in an email from one of my favorite sister in-laws.

Five (5) lessons about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others." Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water infront of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will saveher." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away". Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Most importantly..................
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody's watching." I wish I could be more like all 5 of these people Don't you?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Blanshans!

       In case you didn’t know, I (Dale) am the gentleman in the center in the green shirt, surrounded by a lively, intelligent, and, as you can see, very good looking family. If you thought you saw a bit of bewilderment in the expression on my face, stemming, no doubt, from the size and character of the familial crowd there represented, you would be correct. It still isn’t clear to me exactly how all this happened.
       But if you sensed a bit of pride in that look, you would be even more correct. Look at that bunch! Now, I ask you, where could you find anything as diverse, talented, active, and involved, from that good looking grandma right down to those good looking grandkids? Why, even the sons in law are above average.
       Actually, the family is growing up and out so much that I’m becoming increasingly irrelevant. Linda makes more money than I do, Bob is taller than I am, the girls are looking at other men, Billy and Jimmy are on schedule to be way ahead of me in guitar playing, and my grandsons are much more handsome.
       Here’s an update on the major players:
       Linda became the general manager of the Crossroads Panera Bread store, and loves all 60 hours a week of it. She took me on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Panera annual meeting, where I got to do the sightseeing with the other trophy spouses while she attended to business. This summer Linda also got her new house in Rochester, and is happily decorating.
       Bob, included in this letter by virtue of frequent visits and close proximity, wowed Jamaica on his first trip to the island this summer. He works as an activities facilitator at a local care and assisted living center, where, he watches old movies, plays bingo, sings songs, and gets laughs with the same jokes over and over. “I haven’t figured out why they pay me,” he says.
       Polly, a high school senior, started her second year of college this fall. She is in the college choir, traveled with its elite smaller group, Adoration, works at the Family Christian Book and Gift store, and maintains a typical college girl’s social schedule. She had her first trip to Jamaica this summer with her father, and had a great time.
       Peggy, a high school junior, started college this year, the youngest student there. She sings in the choir and was recruited for the college women’s basketball team. She took her driver’s training, sang in the Meadow Park Church Easter musical, and sings with the youth group band.
       Jimmy’s social schedule has expanded greatly. He attended two game banquets, trying frog legs and alligator meat at one and winning the grand prize, a 30-30 rifle, at the other. He’s been pheasant hunting in southern Minnesota and prairie dog shooting in South Dakota. He plays the bass guitar in the youth group band, and was a member of the church’s Easter musical cast and the Bible Bowl team. He also added a muzzleloader to his armament.
       Billy, who says, “nothing really that exciting happened to me,” plays the guitar in the church’s youth group band, has had several trips to Iowa and one to Missouri as a member of the Bible Bowl team, is increasingly relied upon for video projection and lighting as a member of the church worship team, does the layout for the youth group’s page in church papers, and recently completed his second performance as a magician volunteer at the Hope Lodge, a cancer treatment residence in Rochester.
       Being the technologically up to date family that we are, you can, of course, keep track of all your favorite Blanshans at the “” website. You may follow individual members, with the exception of laggards Jimmy and I, by means of their respective blogs, as follows:


       We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you haven’t sent us an account of your 2007, we wish you would. May our circles be unbroken!