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Archive | November, 2017

Stress-busting speed-cleaning tips for the holidays

(BPT) – It’s no secret the holiday season can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially while guests are on their way.

But with the right plan in place, even last-minute pre-entertainment cleaning can be efficient and stress-free, says Debra Johnson, Merry Maids home cleaning expert.

In an online survey conducted this spring by Toluna, more than half of respondents admitted that most of their cleaning takes place just before guests arrive. With a bit more focus, this preparation can be quick and effective, without stress. After all, the holidays shouldn’t be a race against the clock. They’re about spending time with loved ones.

Johnson shares the following tips to clean smarter, not harder, in the limited time you have before guests arrive.

1. Ready, set … declutter 

The important first step is to declutter rooms. Set a timer if needed to help you stay on track and avoid spending too much time in one room. Put things where they belong, or if they don’t have a home, put them in a room or under beds where no one will see. Once the holiday season passes, you can revisit and declutter those hidden storage areas. Prioritize rooms you use most, so if you run out of time, guests won’t notice an untidy area.

2. Only clean what guests will see 

Join the more than one-third of Americans who don’t bother cleaning rooms people won’t see. You have enough to stress about as the host. Don’t waste your precious time cleaning parts of the home no one will ever see. Simply shut doors to rooms that you want to keep private, signaling to guests not to enter. If you have family staying with you, give guest rooms a once-over, clean the bathrooms that will be used and, of course, the kitchen and living room.

3. Skip the sweep

Don’t spend time sweeping with a dry mop when you can vacuum instead. Vacuuming is far more efficient and faster at removing dust, dirt and other debris from the floors. Keep a portable hand-held vacuum nearby in case a big mess happens, such as a glass breaking during a party. Within seconds, the mess will be gone and you can go back to enjoying the festivities.

4. Speed-clean the bathrooms

All you need to clean your bathroom quickly is a damp microfiber cloth to give every surface a quick wipe-down and a toilet brush to clean the inside walls of the toilet. To freshen it up even more, pour a half-cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and add white vinegar along with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Allow the mixture to bubble for a bit and scrub with a toilet brush. Then, voila: your bathroom is clean, shiny and smelling great.

5. Tackle the microwave mess

You know people will want seconds well after the leftovers are put away, so use this quick tip to tackle microwave build-up: Combine lemon juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl and run it for about two minutes. The lemon water will loosen any gunk or food in the microwave for an easy wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Now guests can reheat their leftovers in a clean microwave.

“Hosting a holiday dinner requires prep work, but if you stay on track before anyone arrives, you can spend more time actually relaxing and enjoying their company,” said Johnson.

If you simply don’t have any time to spare this holiday season, Merry Maids has the resources and experts to help. Find a location in your area by visiting www.merrymaids.com.

With the cleaning under control, all that’s left for you to do is to light a few candles, conquer the grocery list and, of course, enjoy your special guests.

Posted in Featured, Home for the HolidaysComments (0)

New, unwrapped gifts needed for Tree of Hope

 

Donations requested by Dec. 11 to fill thrift store for neighbors in need in northern Kent County

 

Everybody should be able to spread holiday cheer, regardless of income. North Kent Connect (NKC) wants to make the process of gift giving and receiving more affordable and empowering than ever before.

Through its “Tree of Hope” program, NKC is calling on individuals, organizations and businesses in the area to drop off new and unwrapped items at its Northland Drive store in Rockford. Items such as pajamas, socks, underwear, sheets, blankets, towels, winter outerwear, and boots can then be purchased by NKC’s in-need clients at an extremely reduced cost. Parents will be able to shop for their children and maintain a sense of dignity while doing so.

 “We need many items, particularly basic necessities, to place in our Christmas Store so our families have variety and options,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director of North Kent Connect. “Please help us Give the Gift of Dignity this holiday season.” All items should be dropped off to NKC by Monday, December 11.

 The Tree of Hope concept is an extension of NKC’s unique “V.I.P.” model where qualified clients can volunteer (V) or invest (I) their time taking special classes to earn store credits in order to purchase (P) store items. Leftover items from the Christmas Store will be later sold to the public at regular prices, with proceeds benefiting NKC’s food and empowerment programs. (Toys will still be available at no cost through the “Toys for Tots” program to qualified NKC clients.)

 “Programs like Tree of Hope give people a truly unique opportunity to purchase needed items with pride,” said Guisfredi. “Our V.I.P. model has fast become a strongpoint for our clients, and continues to be a success not just for us, but for our entire community—throughout the holidays and all year long.”

 For more information, contact Cassie LaMacchia, NKC Community Engagement Coordinator, at cassie.lamacchia@nkconnect.org or 616-866-3478, ext. 355.

 

 

Posted in Home for the HolidaysComments (0)

Letters to Santa

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post has set up a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. 

Hurry, all letters must be in Santa’s Mail box by Monday, December 18th to reach him in time for Christmas.


I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

To SanTa

FRoM Lily Gunneson

DeAr:: SantA

These r the things I Wot FoR CisMS

I Wot A LOLs Dolls.

ANother Toy. 

I Wot SiA CoCo Doll!

ANd A DollS.

LoVE:: LiLY 

SanTA

I LO

VE Y

OU


 

To SanTa

FRoM TyannA Menefee

DeAr: Sata Cluss, 

I Whant a LOLs doll

I Whant plado.

brbIse

baby doll.

Can I hahv 

Nome Nome.

Crans.

Stamps.

farbooks.

toy food.

frame: Tyanna M.


Dear Santa, 

I would like 

a Paw Patrol toy. 

I love you

<3 Claire Bender (age4)


Dear Santa, 

Please send me a stroller this Christmas. 

Thank you!

Love, David 

Bender (age 1)


 

Posted in Home for the HolidaysComments (0)

Campground host applications being accepted for 2018 season

The DNR is accepting applications for volunteers to work as campground hosts in Michigan state parks and rustic state forest campgrounds during the 2018 season. It’s a great way to camp for free and get a behind-the-scenes park experience.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteer campground hosts in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and rustic state forest campgrounds for the 2018 camping season.

In exchange for 30 hours of service per week, including duties such as helping campers find their campsites, answering camper questions, planning campground activities and performing light park maintenance duties, campground hosts enjoy waived camping fees. 

Both individuals and couples may apply for volunteer positions that begin as early as April and last through October. Volunteer hosts must be 18 years of age and provide their own camping equipment, food and other personal items.

“For many visitors, the camping experience wouldn’t be the same without campground hosts,” said Miguel Rodriguez, promotional agent for the DNR. “These dedicated volunteers engage with park visitors by helping out around the campground, answering camping and park questions and even hosting kids’ crafts and fireside activities. All of this is accomplished while they are enjoying some of Michigan’s most beautiful outdoor destinations.”

Interested volunteers can click on “campground host” at  www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers to learn more about the volunteer host campground program, download an application and waiver, and view a vacancy host campground report, which is updated regularly and indicates when and where hosts are needed in specific parks.

Hosts are screened and interviewed by park managers and selected based on familiarity with the state park system, camping experience, special skills, availability and knowledge of the area. Hosts must participate in a two-day host training session within the first two years of being selected as a host. The 2018 training will take place June 6-7 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon.

For information, contact Miguel Rodriguez at 517-284-6127 or rodriquezm2@michigan.gov.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Gift of Christmas birding

 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

 

You, your family, and friends are encouraged to participate in a day with the birds. The purpose of the Christmas Bird Count held between 14 December and 5 January is for people and for birds. Frank Chapman began the annual count in 1900 as an alternative to an annual event where people killed as many birds as possible on Christmas Day to see who could shoot the most.

This year marks the 118th year for the count. It is the longest and largest existing citizen science survey. Over 40,000 people survey specified count circles each year for comradery with others interested in the gift of seeing birds and to gather population data that assists scientists. Discovering winter bird population abundance, distribution, and changes over time helps us understand bird ecology. 

Some bird species are increasing while others are declining. One aspect frequently reported in the news is the change in where birds are found in winter. Several species are occupying more northerly locations as climate changes. The Christmas Bird Count supplements the Breeding Bird Surveys to provide a more complete understanding for species. Our local count is the Saturday after Christmas.

Mark December 30 to search for birds with the Grand Rapids Audubon Club (GRAC). Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center (WWC), 11715 Vergennes Rd. in Lowell, Michigan 49331. Field teams depart by 8:00 AM. Return around noon for lunch. Joan Heuvelhorst will prepare a lunch. Lunch costs $5.00 or you can BYO. Choose to participate part or all day. 

The GRAC count circle surveyed has its center at Honey Creek and 2 Mile Rds. A radius of 7.5 miles is consistent among all count circles in North, Central, and South Americas. Our group of 40 to 60 people assembles between 7:30 and 8 a.m. to divide into small survey teams. Each team surveys birds in selected portions of the count circle. Experienced observers assist with identification and help participants learn about species’ nature niches. Most birding is done close to the car as teams drive specified areas. Some birders participate during the morning and others continue all day. 

I compile the data and submit it to the National Audubon Society where statistical analysis is addressed over a period of months and years to discover trends and changes in bird population numbers and movements in the Americas. Participation is free but donations are welcome to support the National Audubon Program.

Wear layers of clothing so you can add or remove items to remain comfortable. Binoculars and field guides are helpful but Audubon members will share if you do not have them.  

Plan on having a great time enjoying birds and bird watchers. Make new friends.

Direct inquiries to count coordinators:

Tom Leggett: (616) 249-3382, email tomleggett@hotmail.com or Ranger Steve (Mueller) 616-696-1753, email odybrook@chartermi.net.

Visit the Grand Rapids Audubon Club website (graud.org).

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

Posted in Outdoors, Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments (0)

Fishing Tip: Where to find northern pike in Michigan

From the Michigan DNR

As the temperatures continue to cool, fishing for northern pike will continue to pick up. Pike are extremely popular during the ice fishing season but are readily available throughout much of the year. 

There are many notable northern pike fisheries located throughout Michigan, including on Muskegon, Portage and Manistee lakes and also Michigamme and Houghton lakes. But this species can be found in many lakes and virtually all larger rivers in the state. 

Please note there are many regulations for northern pike regarding minimum size and possession limit. Be sure to read up on this species in the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide. Download a pdf of the guide at http://www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/16MIFW-LR-17.pdf.

Posted in Fishing Tip, OutdoorsComments (0)

Gratitude is not a platitude

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE, Sparta

 

Platitude is a remark or a statement, especially one with a moral content, which has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful. I find this often to be the case this time of year. With the Thanksgiving holiday having been enjoyed and Christmas around the corner, we certainly have plenty of reasons to be grateful. All too often we say to people struggling this time of year, “Look at all the things you have to be grateful for,” or “You should just be grateful for what you have!” True as these may be, it has become more of a platitude. It’s just a statement used to teach some lesson, but is not found thoughtful or beneficial to those hearing it. Gratitude, or gratefulness, flows from the presence and purpose of God. Gratitude can be difficult to express when one struggles to see purpose or God’s presence at work in their life or circumstances. So, a quick platitude about gratitude does not work. 

I encourage you to do two things. Redefine for yourself what gratitude means. Then help others find this meaning also. First, what does gratitude mean to you? For me, as a Christian, it really is a theology, a belief system. It’s understanding and recognizing God’s presence and purpose in every area of my life. It’s believing that no matter what happens in my life, God is still good! Gratitude is ultimately a way of seeing things, a certain worldview, not defined by our expectations, moods or emotions. I did not always think this way. Truthfully, before I gave my life to Christ as my savior, my life had no real purpose and meaning. All the things I sought to bring purpose and meaning in my life left me empty. I was not convinced there was a God, much less Him being good! It all changed when I realized that God was good. Gratitude is goodness, or kindness that exceeds all your expectations. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love (goodness) for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He loved me and died for my sins, while I was still a sinner! So, I am convinced, now that I know him, that whatever life brings, God has my best interest in mind. He is good despite what my circumstances, moods, emotions or unmet expectations tell me. Why? Because, he has a plan and purpose in it all, therefore, I am grateful. Settle your theology about God. God is good, all the time!

Now that this is settled in your heart and life, please share it with others! Many do not see God this way. Many are burdened, stressed and discouraged because unmet expectations have defined their understanding, not of gratefulness, but of God. Therefore, a platitude will not work. Refuse to make statements about gratefulness as a platitude. Make time to understand people’s lives and situations, so that you can speak words of encouragement. Help them find a good God in the middle of it all! Help them see that although we do not understand everything, a loving, good God has a purpose that’s best for their lives. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 – NIV)

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

ROYAL EUGENE COOPER

 

Royal Eugene “Pete” Cooper, age 89, passed away on Monday, November 27, 2017 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Pete was born March 27, 1928 in Kent City, Michigan to Roy and Doris (Rogers) Cooper and lived most of his life in the Rockford area. He worked for his dad until his fifth child was born and then drove truck for Darling & Company in Walker for many years. He retired after spending several years at Kroger Warehouse. Pete married Ruth Joslin on April 6, 1946 and they were married until her death on August 18, 2011.  He was also preceded in death by his son, Donald Cooper and his daughter-in-law, Jeanne Cooper. Pete is survived by his children, Kenneth and Deb Cooper, Helen and Steve Smith, JoAnn and David Fowler, Nancy Samsel, Dale Cooper, and Nancy Sowerby (Don’s significant other); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street in Rockford with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home on Thursday, November 30, 2017 Interment will take place in Blythefield Memory Gardens. Memorial contributions may be given to the Tuesday Senior Music Sessions held at Rockford Ambulance or to Harvest Way in Sparta. Please visit www.pedersonfuneralhome.com to share a memory or sign an online registry.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

DAWN R. KELLY

 

1/30/1965-12/4/2012

They say there is a reason, 

They say time will heal.

Neither time or reason 

Will change the way I feel.

Gone are the days

We used to share,

But in my heart

You are always there.

The gates of memories

Will never close.

I miss you more than

Anybody knows,

Love and Miss you everyday,

Your Family

Posted in MemorialComments (0)

Congratulations Tim! 

 

On December 1, 1977 a then recent graduate of Cedar Springs High School, Tim Chesla, went into business. He bought his first venture, a gymnastics school in Grand Rapids. It became apparent to him that his type of business was necessary for the kids in the northern Kent County area. Almost a quarter of a century ago, he created North Star Gymnastics in Rockford. So congratulations Tim on the anniversary of 40 years in business and kudos to another successful Cedar Springs High School graduate.

Posted in AnnouncementComments (0)

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