March 31 2011

RAAC holds fundraiser at Barnes & Noble

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

On Friday, April 1, the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) will hold a fundraiser at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Woodland Mall, where 10 percent of anything purchased in the store will benefit the arts in Rockford. If you’re looking for something to do during spring break, stop in and buy a latte and a magazine or some gifts for your Easter basket. Be sure to tell the cashier you are with the RAAC. However, e-books and gift certificates are excluded. You’re heading to the beach, you say? No worries! You can shop online at between April 1 and 6, and the RAAC will still get 10 percent of your purchase. Just put in this code number when you check out: Bookfair ID # 10441921. Have fun shopping and supporting your favorite programs like Art in the Park, ArtCapsule, Rogue River Community Theater, and the Rockford Band, Orchestra and Choir. Stay tuned for a new event this summer called Rock the Dam!  

A Message for You

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Winter Remains While Spring Arrives by PASTOR JEFF WILLIAMS Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church With the ice still glistening on the evergreens, prairie grass, bare branches and power lines, spring has not exactly burst upon the scene. There is no clean break it seems between the seasons. Spring breaks are alluring where we can make the change, usually to warmer weather, within a day. But the return home reminds us of the slower changes that are underway within us. In our human time and relationships we don’t just turn our backs on the past and only move ahead. Expecting something new (job, home, relationship) can come with some pretty intense pressure. “Out with the old and in with the new” sets us up for disappointment if we expect a sudden revolution and get instead a slower reformation. Author and educator, Parker Palmer, has observed that we act our way into new ways of believing. That’s why I like the spiritual practices of the church like worship, baptism, open communion, prayer, funerals, fasting, service, reflection and Sabbath. They are reliable practices—in my United Methodist tradition we call them “means of grace”—that shape our expectations and relieve our spirit-mind-body existence of unhealthy anxiety. I like the wise affirmation Renita Weems, author and pastor, makes in her book, Listening for God: “I learned to trust the winter months of faith, when it’s difficult to remember why one ever bothered to believe. I stopped being so hard on myself and demanding that, as a wife, scholar, and writer, I should always feel excited about what I was doing, or that I should, as a mother and a minister, always sparkle with alertness and insight. This was hard to accept in a culture where, at the first sign of dullness or tedium or monotony, it’s all right to give up, walk away, or try something new in hopes of finding new meaning, new thrills, new satisfaction.” May God bless and transform all your seasons and changes with grace.  

Reader tells story of giving experience

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

by LYNN HAMMER Such fun! I love getting my hair cut! Don’t you? But this time, I waited two years to do it, so it meant a little bit more this time around. It also meant more because I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It felt good. But I didn’t do it to feel good. I did it to help someone else feel good. So what is it about hair? People go nuts over their hair and spend lots of money trying to make theirs look just right. It makes us feel good when we look nice. Looks are highly valued in our society, and having great hair is a huge part of that. So when kids struggle with alopecia areata (loss of hair), or a mom loses hers because of chemotherapy, it’s tough stuff. I’m pretty sure it would be difficult for me to go out in public without hair on top of my head, which is why I was motivated to grow mine long. All I had to do was NOT get my hair cut. I wanted to donate it. Locks of Love and other similar organizations make wigs out of real hair for people who need them. Easy, right? But in the end, it wasn’t all that easy. I had become rather fond of my long hair. I had received many compliments on how pretty my hair was. And it was actually easier to take care of. Something I started doing because it was no big deal, turned out to be a sacrifice. I liked my long hair in the end. But you know what? This decision I made two years ago, to forgo haircuts, to do something good for others, turned out to be really good for me. When you give of yourself sacrificially, it feels even better. Oh, but that’s right. I did it so someone else would feel better. I could have just written a check. But I think the lesson I learned is that when you give of yourself, it means so much more. The more you give, the more you get. And I got it good.  


March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Soupal In loving memory of our beautiful baby girl, Jessica Grace Soupal, who passed away eight years ago on March 29, 2003. I saw a little girl today, She reminded me of you. Apple cheeks, rose-bud lips, And pretty eyes of blue. Our eyes met for a moment, I smiled, she smiled too. Then, before I knew it, She disappeared from view. I sat a little longer, Just taking it all in. I really can’t help but wonder, How different life would’ve been. If you were still here with me,Not in Heaven up above. You’d make my life so happy, I’d give you so much love. But that is not reality, Not part of God’s big plan. So I am left just missing you, Until we meet again. Sadly missed and deeply loved by Mom, Dad, Thomas, Laurin and Casey      

Business expands, moves after six months

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Sassy Pants outgrows former location Plenty of people warned her not to do it. Lynette TenBrink had a good job with great benefits, but wasn’t happy working in the medical administration field, so she quit to realize her dream of owning a business. After just six months, the business she opened in downtown Rockford, Sassy Pants Boutique, was going so well she needed more space. “I have a background in interior design and am a people person. I felt I wasn’t using my God-given talents sitting behind a desk,” TenBrink said. Sassy Pants—offering clothing, accessories, gifts and custom décor—has expanded its inventory to now include infant and toddler clothing. TenBrink has finished moving Sassy Pants from the former location at 49-1/2 E. Bridge Street to 51-1/2 E. Bridge Street in the same building. There she has more space to show off the “fun and funky yet sweet and girly” clothing and accessories she finds. TenBrink believes her success, in part, is the result of carrying items shoppers can’t find anywhere else in Rockford or anywhere in West Michigan for that matter. She also tries to stock goods made right here in the United States. The list of vendors with “Made in the USA” products is lengthy and includes Betsy Bee, Blink, Area Code 407, Girl Friends, Nano, Weboos Shoes, Sweet Petunia, Twirly Girl, Purple Pixies, Libertalia, Gypsy Daisy, and many more. TenBrink has always wanted to own a business in downtown Rockford. She is thrilled by the many events and activities here as well as the quality of shopping that Rockford offers. “The support of the other businesses in downtown Rockford has been amazing during my first six months,” TenBrink said. She also appreciates the relationships she has developed with her customers. “When I opened, Sassy Pants was strictly a ‘tween’ shop,” TenBrink said. “I had so many requests to offer smaller sizes that I added 4 to 6X.” TenBrink said she then had requests to go even smaller with her sizes, so she has recently added infant and toddler to the mix. The boutique also now carries baby gifts for both genders. “People call us a young Jade,” said TenBrink, “which is a huge compliment to me, considering the success Julie Cronkright has had.” […]

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