important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen


December 2013

Year End Giving!

It’s the last day of the year, so you just have minutes to sneak in those tax deductions. 

I’m sure you have your favorite places to give to – but have you checked out Charity Navigator to make sure that the organizations you are supporting are being transparent, and using your donation they way you would want?   You can check out the site here –

If you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few that we support each year:

International Justice Mission – They take legal action to not only rescue people who have been trafficked or are trapped in forced labor, IJM has a legal team that represents them in court.  Amazing organization.

Blood: Water Mission – Clean water saves lives.  Blood:Water brings clean water to third world countries, as well as builds clinics that supply life-saving medicines and education to help end the AIDS crisis in Africa.

PetSmart Charities – A top charity according to Charity Navigator, and PetSmart Charities is responsible for over 10% of pet adoptions in the US. They invest in over 3000 pet welfare groups in the US!  Your money goes a long way with PetSmart!

Where do you give?  What’s important to you?  Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve – and help some great organizations today!




Holly Cookies!

This was always a tradition – to make these little holly cookies – only around our house we called them more appropriately “Green Toungers”

And you should make them too – they are easy, delicious and quick… and are always a huge hit.  As a rule I always oppose food coloring – except in this one instant.  I figure once a year can’t hurt that much. Right?

Big note here – this recipe doesn’t double well – if you want to make extra, best bet is to make one batch, then start over.

Holly Cookies (Green Toungers)

Melt together:
30 large marshmallows
1 stick of butter (but my mom used 2 sticks!)Green Tounge 1

Once all of the marshmallows are melted stir in:
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp green food coloring

Once all of the color is uniform, stir in 3 1/2 cups of corn flakes.Green Tongue 2

Spoon out tablespoons of the yummy green mix onto waxed paper – and then top immediately with 2 or 3 red hots, or red mini m&ms.  You’ll want to do this one cookie at a time so the candies tongue 3


Enjoy – and merry Christmas!


I don’t want to miss it.

It’s Advent.  Days 1-3 weren’t too bad…these mornings were spent reading my Advent devotional while I was still in bed.  I had great plans to add in listening to some music as well – but that has yet to happen.  But the days have been quiet and the truth of the words, the prayers and the scripture have been able to sink in.  We wake early, so the room is dark – lit only by the backlight of the kindle app on my phone.  

“Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…”

The waiting and darkness and quiet of Advent have been apparent…until today.

I was tense. I was stressed. The weight of work and schedules were heavy on my shoulders.

But today’s homily is about living in 2 seasons.  Both about expectation – but very different expectations.  

Advent about the expectation of watching for Christ.  

Christmas Shopping Season is about being expected to live up to the season.  It’s anxious and expensive and stressful.

Today I was given permission to ask for more peace.  To turn my attention to Christ and enjoy the quiet.  Nothing lies on my shoulders other that just simply showing up, and being open to waiting and listening.

And that made all the difference.

By the way –

It’s not too late to experience Advent.  If you’re looking for a great devotional, this is what I’m reading – The Harpooner by Fr. Thomas McKenzie –

I’ve heard great things about Advent and Christmas with Thomas Merton as well as Watch for the Light which is made up of readings from Bonhoeffer, Eliot, Merton, L’Engle, Lewis, Nouwen, and more

Also – music to me is a huge element of Advent as well…might I suggest:

Future of Forestry – the 3 Advent Eps
Young Oceans – Advent Deluxe
Charlie Brown Christmas
And if you just go in Amazon’s music section and type in Advent, you’ll find a plethora of orchestras, choirs and collections made for the season.

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