Category Archives for "first Christmas ornament"

December 2011 Top Posts

We’ve reached the end of another month.  December was the BEST month so far at Jon Stolpe Stretched.  Traffic on the blog increased slightly by over 500 page views since November and by almost 300 page views since the previous record month (September 2011)!  Comments continued to roll-in.  And new people joined in the conversation and community.  The blog added TWELVE new subscribers, and the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Page attracted a couple of new followers in its fourth month.  Here are the top 10 posts and top 3 commentors for the month:

Top 10 Posts

1.  On Fire

2.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Movies (the new #1 Ice Breaker question)

3.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Songs and Carols

4.  Surprise!!!

5.  Our Christmas Ornament Tradition

6.  Ice Breaker – On The 13th Day Of Christmas What Gift Are You Hoping to Get

7.  Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know (originally posted on October 24, 2011)

8.  Ice Breaker – Favorite Toy

9.  Leaders Are Readers – Creating My Reading List For 2012

10.  It’s 40!

Top 3 Commentors (We blew by the 1,500th comment mark this month!)

1.  Larry Carter (for the 2nd month in a row!)

2.  Brandon Gilliland

3.  Bill Grandi

I now have 32 regular subscribers.  If you’d like to become a subscriber, see the “Join the Stretched Community” window on your right.  It’s great to see this starting to take off.

Thank you to all of you for reading and contributing to the blog and to the reader community.  I continue to grow a lot through this experience.  *** This month, the top commentor will receive a copy of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  Get your comments in for an opportunity to win!!! ***

As always, I love to share your “stretching” stories on my blog, so leave me a comment if you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Jon Stolpe Stretched.  As a side note, I’d love to see guest bloggers in the monthly top 10 list!

Finally, if you’re a blogger, how did your blog to this month?  What was your top post?  What was your favorite post?

December 10th, 2011 Week In Review…

These weeks keep blowing by at a rapid pace.  This week was a milestone week.  I turned 40 on Thursday, and the Stretched blog is having one of the best weeks ever.  Here’s a recap of the week.

Monday, I kicked off the week with a post about my reading list for 2012.  Thanks to all of you who gave me ideas to add to my list of consideration.  If you missed it, please stop by and add your recommendations.  On Tuesday, I shared about our families Christmas ornament tradition.  I really appreciated hearing about your favorite family ornaments and Christmas tree traditions.  Wednesday’s post paid tribute to my Grandpa and his legacy.  Thursday was my birthday.  I appreciated all the birthday greetings through the comments and on Facebook.  Finally, we finished the week off on Friday with another holiday Ice Breaker where we learned about everyone’s favorite Christmas songs and carols.  As always, I’m thankful for all of you who stopped by and left a comment or just checked things out.

I am so thankful for your contribution to the blog through comments.  Your comments are what makes this Stretched Community!  Please remember to take the time to Subscribe to the blog, so you can have Stretched delivered daily to your e-mail inbox.  Also, don’t forget to stop by the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook fan page.  Become a fan to keep up with some additional Stretched stuff.  Thanks!

A few of my favorite posts from the rest of the blogging community this week:

I’m really excited about this upcoming week as I’ll be guest posting on a couple of blogs.  It should be a blast!

How about you?  How was your week?  If you’re a blogger what happened over your way this week?  Did you read any great blog posts this week?  Share with the rest of us!

Our Christmas Ornament Tradition

My first Christmas ornament from 1971

I love this time of year when we break out the family traditions related to the Christmas season.  One of the traditions that I love is when we put up the Christmas tree and decorate it with special ornaments.  Each year, we give our kids a “special” ornament that represents something about their year.  This year, our daughter received a canoe ornament from the Christmas shop in Mont Tremblant.  This ornament will help her remember the fun we had on our family vacation to Canada this summer when she paddled around a small lake in a canoe with her brother.  Our son received a ski gondola ornament also from the Christmas shop in Mont Tremblant.  This ornament will help him remember our hike to the top of Mont Tremblant and the easy trip down in the gondola.

We’ve been doing this tradition since the kids were born, so they are starting to develop quite a collection of these “special” ornaments.  Each year when we set up the tree, they take turns hanging up their ornaments and reminding us all about their ornaments and the memories that are associated with each of them.  It’s a fun tradition!

They're almost as tall as the tree! How did that happen?

I can’t tell you that Leanne and I thought of this on our own, because that wouldn’t be true!  My parents actually carried out the same tradition for my brothers and me.  I still have all my ornaments from when I was a kid, and yes, I still hang them up every year.  And I think my kids actually enjoy hearing the stories associated with my ornaments.  As we were hanging up our ornaments this year, we wondered if the tradition would carry on to our grandchildren some day.  I hope so!

Do you have any tree trimming traditions at your house?  What is one of the “special” ornaments that you hang on your tree every year?