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missing children {where’s Midge?}

missing children

Today is National Missing Children’s Day.

Every mother’s fear. A child will get out of site for just a moment and be taken. It is that easy. And unfortunately happens more than it should. And not just to little children, but teenage children too!

National Missing Children’s Day falls on May 25 every year. On this date in 1979, six-year-old New Yorker Ethan Patz disappeared on his way to school. Although he was never found, he was legally declared dead in 2001. Because his case and a rash of other abductions received a large amount of media attention, Ethan’s disappearance ultimately lead to the formation of the missing children’s movement with a proclamation by U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children annually holds events on and around National Missing Children’s Day to raise awareness of the threat of child abduction, inform families about ways to keep their children safe and support victims’ families. They also have an initiative, “Take 25,” to encourage parents, guardians and educators to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety.

You may be wondering why I chose to talk about this. There are two reasons.

The first is obvious. I’m a mom and child abduction is always in the back of my mind. We go to the park and I’m scanning people before we even get out to the car. Not that all evil people “look” a specific way. No. They don’t. As a matter of fact I think the devil is likely very attractive. Beautiful even. All better to fool us. Right?!

Second. Because there has been a missing girl weighing on my heart for many years. Her name is Madeline Teresa Ponds and she goes by “Midge.”

Missing Children

I was only 11 years old when Midge Ponds disappeared. Too young to really understand all the conversations. Too young to truly process the anguish her parents and friends must have been feeling. Too young to even really help in any kind of way. But not too young to see the fear in my parents’ and my friends’ eyes.

To have someone you know disappear. Just literally vanish…

Midge and I rode the same school bus. She was 17, six years older than me. My brother and Midge were much closer in age and friends. He actually spoke with her less than three hours before she was kidnapped. And although I didn’t know her well, I do remember her being a nice person, even to us little kids. My brother always said she was the kind of girl that everyone liked. No enemies in the world.

As for the story of how it happened, this is an excerpt from her missing children’s poster. “Ponds was last seen working alone at her job at PJ’s One-Stop, a convenience store on southbound Highway 82 in Columbus, Mississippi on November 20, 1986. Her mother brought her some dinner, then returned to their residence. Less than five minutes later, a customer discovered that the store was unattended and contacted authorities. Approximately $600 was missing from the cash register. Midge’s personal belongings were still inside the business and her car was parked in the store’s lot with her purse, wallet, keys and hairbrush. She has never been heard from again. Midge’s mother says it is uncharacteristic of her to leave without taking her things or telling someone where she was going. She believes her daughter was abducted and says her daughter would not have gone without a fight.”

And now, fast-forward 26 years later. Midge is still missing. And I still think of her every time I see an Amber Alert, hear of an abduction or watch a news broadcast where some woman is found alive after years of being held captive (e.g., the three woman recently rescued in Cleveland, Ohio after more than 10-years.)

I pray for her family and peace for her. AND, I pray that whomever was responsible answers to the authorities now and most certainly God later. If you have any information on Midge’s disappearance, or you suspect any child is in danger, call 1-800-The-Lost.

What can you do?

    • Mothers/Fathers/Grandparents – Talk to your children. No matter if they’re six or 16. And use the Take 25 resources to help you.
    • Teachers, Troop Leaders, Coaches, Church Leader – Host an event. Take 25 can help with resources for fingerprinting, pictures and conversation points.
    • Blogger or other site owners – Show the animated rotating missing kids banner. They only have two sizes right now and unfortunately neither fit my blog design, but I’m adding it to this post so you can see it in action. You can review sizes and get code on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website. And hopefully soon they’ll have regular Google ad sizes available. I’m asking!
    • Suspect abuse – tell someone! You can report online at or call 1-800-The-Lost

From one mom to another, spread the word, talk to your kids, remember the missing and let’s help keep our babies safe!

Top image photography credit: istock

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Valentine party punch + giveaway

My Christmas decorations aren’t all put away yet and my brain has already moved on to Valentine’s. I know… it’s just who I am. {snicker}

Over the holidays my sister-in-law made this incredible punch and she had kids and adults alike clammmoring for it. It was fabulous. I took her idea, tweaked it just a bit (thanks Norma!) and came up with this Valentine party punch!  

Here’s what you’ll need per flute serving (punch bowl):

    • 1/3 Sierra Mist Natural (2 liter)
    • 1/3 tropical punch (2 liter)
    • 1/3 scoop pineapple sherbet (1/2 gallon)

Oh, and there’s a GIVEAWAY! {Yay! Free Stuff!} ~ win a Sierra Mist Natural gift pack (shaker, drink garnish/sugars, party glasses) & a $50 AMEX Gift Card

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this page telling me your most creative cocktail/mocktail recipe idea. You never know, it might just wind up on Sierra Mist’s facebook page! Hint. Hint.

Deadline: January 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Eastern Time

Extra Entries (leave a comment for EACH extra entry!):

  • Like Sierra Mist on facebook
  • Like The Celebration Shoppe on facebook (existing and new counts!)
  • Follow Sierra Mist (@SierraMist) and The Celebration Shoppe (@celebshoppe) on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Something like: Head over to win a $50 AMEX card and entertaining pack from @SierraMist & @celebshoppe ~
  • Sign up for The Celebration Shoppe updates through my RSS feed (upper right sidebar); if already signed up just leave a note letting me know.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join us on facebook, sign-up for our daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow us on twitter and pinterest.

{NOTE: This post was sponsored by Sierra Mist Natural, however, all opinions are my own. You guys know I don’t write about things I don’t like. That would be too much like work!}

No purchase necessary to enter. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States. Winner will be selected at random using All entries received after the giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be notified via email. 

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pearls of wisdom


We just shot our deep blue sea birthday party decor on Saturday and yesterday this month’s issue of Family Fun comes in the mail. (I’ve said this before, but if you’re not a subscriber and you love this kind of stuff you really should be.) To my happy surprise it was chalked full of brilliant under water party ideas.

The clam shell cookie idea is a pearl of wisdom. {wink} All you’ll need are some round wafer cookies, pink tinted icing, yogurt covered peanuts or raisens and then a dab of white icing and black food coloring for the eyes.


Next check out this very fun craft idea. All the kids will love making these during your bash. You’ll need (for one):

  • 18 ounce beverage container
  • 10 shells per container
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • Green and blue food coloring
  • Silver glitter
  • Water
  • Mineral or baby oil
  • Hot glue gun

 And here are the super simple steps:

  1. Pour sand and shells into clean bottle.
  2. Mix a drop of blue and green food coloring into 6 cups of water, then fill the bottle halfway.
  3. Add a pinch of glitter.
  4. Fill the rest of the bottle with oil, leaving a little air space at the top.
  5. Run a bead of hot glue around the bottle opening and screw the lid on quickly.

Love this idea!! Leave it to Disney to come up with a cool magazine full of ideas all dedicated to making our kids smile.

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