Welcome to the fourth installment of Christmas in July 2013. You can read about the purpose of Christmas in July here. Links to the previous posts in the series are located at the bottom of this post. Have you ever experienced frustration, embarrassment, or other unpleasant emotions because your family didn’t discuss or didn’t agree … [Read more...] about Christmas in July: Alternative Gift Exchange Ideas
Welcome to the third installment of Christmas in July 2013. If you missed the first two posts in this series, including the explanation of the purpose of Christmas in July, you can see them here and here. Have you ever received an awful gift? Maybe a tube of anti-aging cream or a parenting book? How about a meat sampler (though it’s … [Read more...] about Christmas in July: Gift Giving Guidelines
In-laws are frequently the object of stereotypes and jokes that portray them in a negative light. The image of in-laws, especially mother-in-laws, as nosey, disapproving, and overbearing is so pervasive that it’s nearly impossible to find accounts of positive in-law relationships. I’m blessed to have very good relationships with my … [Read more...] about Awesome Things About In-Laws
It’s common to see TV commercials portray dads as blundering and inept. The following commercials for Eggo Waffles and T-Mobile are examples. Though an uncritical perusal of these ads may provoke laughter, are they all in good fun or could they be harmful? Let’s consider this question in honor of Father’s Day. (Keep in mind, though, … [Read more...] about Countering TV Commercials’ Portrayal of Dads as Incompetent
My husband and I are familiar with the challenge of staying connected with family members who live far away. We live in Maryland but our families live in and around Florida and Colorado. We aren’t able to travel to see our loved ones as often as we’d like, so we have to rely on other methods to stay in contact. Phone calls and emails … [Read more...] about Creative Ways to Maintain Contact with Loved Ones Who Live Far Away
As I’ve looked at Mother’s Day items in the stores this spring, I’ve been struck by how impersonal the holiday has become. I’m bewildered by the mass-produced, impersonal gift baskets that appear to me to communicate one of three things: The purchaser (1) didn’t know what to get mom, (2) didn’t shop in time to get something personal, or (3) … [Read more...] about Beyond Infrequent, Impersonal Expressions of Gratitude to Mom
Though I really enjoy being creative, I’m not all that skilled when it comes to most crafts. I always picture great results in my mind, but I can only execute my ideas successfully about half of the time! In order to save a few dollars, I try to make greeting cards whenever my husband and I need them. Despite my history of inconsistent … [Read more...] about Easy Handmade Birthday Cards
Welcome to OF THE HEARTH, a blog about faith, family, and forging a difference in our communities. While a hodgepodge of topics are addressed here, all are intended to facilitate growth into Christ’s likeness through the activities of daily life, support cultivation of family, and provide inspiration for making a positive difference in the … [Read more...] about Welcome!