Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Derick’s Tips and Tricks for the Best Possible Thanksgiving

As I’m sure everyone is aware, tomorrow is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. A day that we have all been looking forward to for a while.

National Cake Day.

If you can believe it, National Cake Day is actually a thing. On the serious side, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! A time for us to show thanks for what we have and to gather in good company to appreciate those who mean the most to us. Whether you are gathering for Thanksgiving with close family or sharing the festivities over Zoom, here are some universal tips and tricks guaranteed to improve your Holiday Season. 

The Recipes - What’s Thanksgiving without the good food? Try out some recipes that have been passed down by your parents or grandparents. If they didn’t taste good, they would have never lasted this long anyway. That thirty year old recipe for deviled eggs might just be the key to your Thanksgiving meal.

The Company - Even with the good food, you need someone to share it with! Getting the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins involved means more people to hear those funny stories you’ve been waiting to tell. If relatives can’t come in person, Zoom them in virtually for even more laughs when technology acts up.

The Decorations - Simple decorations go a long way. My family would always bring out the fake pumpkins and plastic leaves to give that homely feel to the place. If you are feeling crafty, hand-traced turkeys are always cute on the refrigerator. 

The Conversation - AVOID politics!! No one wants to get into a heated argument the one time you bring the family together. Let your grandparents tell the “hilarious” jokes they’ve been wanting to share all year. Tell a few stories of all the Zoom Fails you’ve seen this past year. Who knows? You might actually have a really nice conversation with someone.

The Entertainment - Thanksgiving is football time in the Williams house. When you finally get tired of staring at the tv screen, take the best plays and act them out with your family. If physical activities aren’t your style, cards or board games are always a safe option. Seeing someone angrily throw their cards in defeat can be pretty entertaining.

The Dessert - We couldn’t possibly forget about dessert! If I could skip the ham and mashed potatoes for pumpkin pie, I would in a heartbeat. Make sure to put out plenty of additional options like cake, muffins, and candy. The more sweets you have, the happier your household is going to be. Trust me.

The Food Nap - The best way to end your Thanksgiving is a well-deserved nap. We all need a little bit of time for the food to settle after stuffing ourselves. Need a sure fire way to fall asleep? Put on the golf channel. It’s worked for my family for years.

      I hope these tips and tricks give you some ideas for your Thanksgiving celebration! Trying something new and creative can really make this a successful holiday season. Good company and good food is what we all need right now, so enjoy the time you have with family and friends. Let them know just how thankful you are to have them in your life. From my family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. And oh… make sure you share those last pieces of pumpkin pie.

Happy Holidays! 

Derick Williams

State Reporter

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

We're All in This Together

My sophomore year of high school was a pretty fun year. I had a bunch of science classes, which I loved, and we put on really fun theater productions that year. We started off with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for our Fall play. My mom got to be the assistant director for that show and it was really enjoyable to work with her. Just when I thought the year couldn't get any better, they announced what our Spring musical would be. It was High School Musical

It was every theater kids’ dream! Apparently, it was every high school kids’ dream! We had students flock from all different categories in our school. We had theater kids, jocks who had never been in a show before, kids who never did any other extracurricular activity, and kids in between that auditioned. It was basically High School Musical happening right before our eyes. The cast list was posted and not a single person got cut from the show. It was about to be the coolest show Wawasee High School had ever put on stage. And me? I got to be Ryan Evans.

Rehearsals commenced and the show was well underway. We were on track to have our first performance in March and we were all pretty sure we would have an incredible turnout. Two days before opening night, I got very sick. I missed school, rehearsal, and even parent night! Someone had to fill in for me and I was resting up, hoping that I would be fine by opening night. As if things couldn’t get worse, my mom then told me that our head director, Mrs. Thornburg, was in the hospital the day before opening night. I recovered and made it to the opening performance, still not feeling great. Unfortunately, Mrs. Thornburg didn’t make it to our opening night. She never made it to any of the performances, because she passed away the morning after our opening night.

We were all devastated. Our director wouldn’t even get to see the final product of our months of hard work. We had to continue on and do the final two shows, knowing that she would never be in the audience to see them. The community knew what was going on, so they all rallied behind us and our audience was huge. We did a beautiful tribute to her, singing a cut of her favorite song from the show at the end of the performances. There ended up being so much beauty in the midst of tremendous pain. Our production of High School Musical was more than just a simple musical. The key message in High School Musical is that every single person matters and that “we’re all in this together.” It shows that you need to look past yourself and reach out to others. It means reaching out to the quiet kid sitting by themself at lunch. Invite them over, be a friend. I think this is what Mrs. Thornburg would have wanted people to take away from that show. You have a purpose in life, and you are so loved. You are created in the image of God and He loves you more than anyone ever can. And Mrs. Thornburg lived out that love in her life.

Here’s a quote I want to leave you with:

“With one invitation, we can take someone

From outsider to insider

From outcast to beloved member

From unknown neighbor to coffee companion

From wallflower to life-of-the-party

From shortened life expectancy to 80 years of joy.”

Loving BIG,

Evan Coblentz

State Treasurer

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The 10 Things Loren Can’t Live Without

Hey friends! I recently saw on Youtube a video that had famous people going through the 10 things they can’t live without. I thought it would be cool to tell y'all the 10 things I can't live without.

Cows- I cannot imagine life without the greatest animal on Earth. I have been surrounded by cattle all my life and have found a true passion in the cattle industry. Definitely a must have.

Family- Well let’s state the obvious. Without my parents I would not be here, but they are my biggest supporters and I wouldn’t be able to navigate this crazy thing called life without them.

IPhone-  We live in a world that revolves around technology and my phone keeps me in the loop. I’m a big fan of Instagram and Facebook.

Bologna- I would probably never eat lunch in State Office if it wasn’t for having 5 packages of bologna in the fridge. Bologna is the best lunch meat in my opinion. 

Button-up Shirts- I have approximately 77 button-up shirts. I have no idea why I have so many, but I can’t pass up on a great deal at Goodwill. If you see me in a T-shirt, it is probably because all my button-ups are dirty or need ironed.

Gold Bond Powder-  Whatever the use it never fails. I LOVE Gold Bond.

Hats- If I didn’t have hats, I’d go nuts. Ball caps, bucket hats, cowboy hats, and even visors keep the sun and hair out of my eyes and add to my self-proclaimed fashion statement.

Faith- My faith is my rock and my everything. Jesus is king and I can’t live without him.

Farming-  If you think of it literally, “No Farms, No Food,” which means I starve and I don’t get all of my favorite meals. Farming also runs deep in my blood and I’m not sure what life would be like without it.

Cows- DId I ever mention how much I like cows? 

Thanks for checking out the 10 things I can’t live without! Let me know if you and I have any of these things in common!

Your friend,

Loren Matlock