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A 3D Christmas

Now that all of the Christmas gifts that I mailed have finally arrived and been opened, I though I would share some of the fun things I made this year. Wanting to put my 3D printer to use, I looked on-line for gift ideas I could print. I found several useful ideas. My go-to source for printing ideas is Thingiverse. They have an incredible number or free printing files.

Among Us Ornament. During our Thanksgiving family video conversation, my adult sons wanted the entire family to play an on-line game called Among Us. While I didn’t really understand the game (perhaps because I became a ghost about 15 seconds into the game), the boys seem to enjoy the game. For a creative gift, I found a pattern for making the characters from this game. Thinking that they would make nice tree ornaments, I created a remix of the pattern that had a ring on the helmet to attach some ribbon for hanging.

After printing these, I found out that there are several fun “hats” that the characters can wears. So, I decided to remix some more patterns to make some hats to fit over the ring for each. These were really fun to make.

Can Holders. I would have put individual names on each of these, but the customizer in Thingiverse was not functioning at the time that I made them. There was an existing customized file for the Green Bay Packers. So, I made several of these for family members who are Packer fans. The rest were printed without a label on the handles. These are useful for several reasons (1) keeps a cold can away from your hands, and (2) helps identify which can is yours. I made 18 of these in various colors.

Battery Boxes. In these boxes, the batteries load from the top and the ramps inside feed the batteries to the opening at the bottom of each box. I made 14 sets of these in various color combinations.

Christmas Tree. These trees store flat and add a nice decoration for a small space.

I already have some fun ideas for next Christmas.

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Hidden Hugs

Image result for inspirational quote of hugs

I read somewhere that hugs may be necessary for survival. While that may not be the case, hugs are definitely important for mental health. Unfortunately, in our social distanced pandemic lifestyles, we have become a fairly touch-deprived society. Hugs are avoided for everyone’s health and safety.

I have many young patients, who, when they arrive at my dental office, are eager to give me a hug. Unfortunately, their parents will now stop them and reprimand them for doing so. I miss that part of my job. It was always a lift to my day, especially when the patient was one who had previous difficulty with going to the dentist.

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So, in this pandemic era, I need to look for other ways to “hug” through words of praise, words of thanks, and words of encouragement.

Tomorrow is National Hug Day. To celebrate the day, I decided to make some treats – Brownies filled with Hershey’s Hugs. To make these, I used my favorite brownie recipe, but any recipe or even a box mix would work. Before baking, place a hug into the batter, bake as normal. After they have cooled, you will have a hidden treat – a Hidden Hug.

So, even though real hugs may not be possible, look for the hidden hugs in your life.

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Love Intentionally & Unconditionally

There is a lot of discord in life and some days it can be overwhelming. Lately that has been the feeling I have had. I don’t think that I have radical or controversial opinions, so when I started writing a blog, I never dreamed that people would send negative, sometimes hateful emails. But, I have received numerous anonymous emails from people condemning me for what I write or how I write.

Too often, people say things behind the guise of anonymity that they would never say in person. So, my suggestion to anyone reading my blog. If you don’t like what I write, just move on to something else. If you are following my blog and don’t like what I write, just unfollow me. And, if you are reading this on Facebook and you don’t like what I write, just unfriend.

This unfortunate state of communication is all too common these days. Too often, people think that if someone doesn’t agree with their thinking, then the other person is wrong and they need to be “put in their place”. There seems to be no room for differences of opinion. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, and it seems like now more than ever we need a reminder of that.

The way we interact with others can reflect God’s love and bring glory to him. God accepts us, despite our imperfections, our impure actions and motives. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17). God accepts us, despite our messy lives, impure motives, and irritating attitudes.

My thoughts and beliefs may not be the same as yours. Ultimately, which of us is right or wrong is not something to argue and debate about. This is something between each person and God. This means we accept others’ quirks and look past their faults in order to see individuals created in the image of God.

We need to learn how to accept one another unconditionally, just as Christ accepts us unconditionally. The Bible says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV).