Hats Off to Moms

 Photos Taken During Mother/Daughter Brunch

Hat Parade 5-3-14

Girls singing in honor of mothers.

Girls singing in honor of mothers.

Men served us at the brunch

Men served us at the brunch

Maizel sharing how to make poupouri sachet.

Maizel sharing how to make potpourri sachet.

Mary and Stephanie, hostesses, speaking with a guest, Dawn Kelly.

Mary and Stephanie, hostesses, speaking with a guest, Dawn Kelly.

Waiting to share about their choices of hats.

Waiting to share about their choices of hats.

Guests visiting while waiting to eat. My mother and sister are at this end of the photo.

Guests visiting while waiting to eat. My mother and sister are at this end of the photo.

A guest with her darling daughter.

A guest with her darling daughter.

Someone discovered the candy!

Someone discovered the candy!

There was no lack of food to serve!

There was no lack of food to serve!

Karen Bowen, seated, and Maizel Dunn, standing, led the craft-making activities.

Karen Bowen, seated, and Maizel Dunn, standing, led the craft-making activities.


On Saturday, May 3rd, our church celebrated mothers with a Mother/Daughter Brunch. We served fantastic Breakfast casseroles, cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, egg and cheese muffins, fresh fruit, and French Toast Bakes. Young girls who accompanied their mothers recited poetry and sang songs in honor of their mothers and all of those who attended. Guests then heard a devotional describing the character qualities of a virtuous woman found in Proverbs 31.

Our theme was Hats Off to Godly Mothers so we invited attendees to wear a hat of their choice to this event. What a wonderful time we had during the Hat Parade as hat-wearers shared why they chose the hat they wore! Guests then selected crafts to create – either a fragrant sachet, tissue paper flowers, or decorating handkerchiefs or hats with trinkets, charms, flowers, ribbons, and scripture. Before closing,  mothers received gifts for certain categories – oldest, youngest, mother who raised the most children, who traveled the farthest, and the most unusual hat and to those who contributed in a special way to enhance the event. All young girls chose a beautiful hair-bow as their gift for coming.

Men served the meal, and did a truly wonderful job in assisting women with drinks at the tables and helping them carry their trays of food. These men enjoyed their meal while the women moved to the sanctuary for the program.

Young girls learned what all duties a mother performs on a regular basis through the poems they shared and the devotional presented. They also learned how the Lord honors mothers and women through scripture, through table conversations during and after the meals, and by watching their mothers interact with other moms at this event.

I enjoyed hearing women fellowship with one another, and I thank the Lord for His creation of women and His institution of marriage and family.

How does your church honor mothers and women? Have you ever attended a Mother/Daughter celebration? Please share with me your experiences and/or thoughts on this topic. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I appreciate you!


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Sticks and Stones…

Over the years I’ve noticed how difficult it is for people to receive compliments. Some suspected I use flattery to manipulate them for my benefit. Most laughed off the comment, or denied it completely. When I took the time to extend a compliment, I meant it sincerely.

I think perhaps people are more accustomed to criticism, and therefore, they do not expect someone to make a positive remark to, or about them. How sad this is! How disappointing it is to me when my compliment is not received graciously! I recently started saying, “Okay. You’re right. I’m just a liar…” This usually gets their attention, and they think about what their response says to the one granting the compliment.

In the book of Ephesians of the Bible, the apostle Paul tells Christians this in 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but instead that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”  If we follow this command, we could end people expecting only criticism from others.

In Acts 24: 10 Paul says “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” Movies, television shows, jokes, Face Book comments, and speech in general would be much more pleasant.

The next time you feel tempted to say something mean-spirited or off-color, think about whether the remark is corrupt, or if it might build someone up (edify) the hearer.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Please leave a comment below about this what I wrote and your experience with granting compliments and the person’s response.

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Focus Friday

I found this website and thought some of my friends could relate to both the poster and her books. This author went through a lot in the process of trying to have a baby.

Focus Friday.

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Mysteries – My Favorite Fiction Type

Searching for Clues

Searching for Clues


There are many types of fiction, but I prefer mysteries more than most. The thrill of collecting clues to solve the mystery holds my interest and excites me as I come closer and closer to solving it. As a writer, I know it’s important to state the mystery right at the beginning of the story. Then, clues placed strategically  throughout the book enlighten readers about who committed the crime. This draws the reader in to the story and gives him or her vested interest in solving the mystery. It would not be an effective mystery if no clues surfaced till the end, nor would it interesting if all of them were at the beginning and none later in the book. For me, the fun of solving the mystery is collecting and analyzing the clues to solve the “puzzle.”

What about you? What is there in a mystery that you like most? As a reader, are you skilled at finding clues in the book? When you finally make your discovery of who you think is the “bad guy,” are you usually correct? As a writer, do you ever have trouble placing clues in your story? I hope you’ll leave a comment. Hopefully, I’ll learn something from you. Thanks for stopping by! I hope to hear from you.

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Introducing your website hostess …Mary Martsching

Mary Martsching - Hostess & Author

Mary Martsching – Hostess & Author

Hello! Welcome to my website. My name is Mary Martsching, and my goal is to encourage you on this site.

Born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, I loved living on the Mississippi River and watching steamboats, barges, and speed boats pulling skiers up and down the water. Trains crossed our river via a swinging railroad bridge and ran through our town daily all day and night.

Though I was a city girl, I married a farm boy and eventually lived on a farm in Yarmouth, Iowa. I learned to appreciate the process of farming from planting to harvesting. How fulfilling to watch something you create comes to full fruition!

I taught middle school, elementary school, and worked as an area education agency consultant. In the last position I modeled  reading strategies for teachers in their classrooms. I also worked with special education teachers about behavioral and academic concerns.

Now I write mysteries and adventure stories for children ages 8-12. This new adventure includes creating this website and writing these posts to develop new relationships with those with similar experiences, values, and interests.

Again, thank you for joining me, and I hope you become part of this adventure!

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Conversation with a Grief Counselor

On Friday, April 11, 2014, I hosted a free conference call for people about ways to deal with grief. A grief counselor, Uma Girish, joined me. We discussed how to counsel my main character, Heath, in my book Finding Heath Young Lighthouse Keeper. Though Heath is a fictional character, he witnesses the death of his parents in the book. As the lone survivor, he struggles with questions about faith, guilt, and identity.

These are feelings many experience since death is a part of everyone’s life. Uma answers questions I pose about Heath, and how to help him cope with all of his grief and new living conditions, and how his guilt impacts other aspects of his life.

Listen to our recorded conversation below. If you,or someone you know can benefit from this advice and possibly more, please leave a comment below. Thank you for your visit!


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Book Signing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Cedar Rapids hosted an Author Day Book Signing Event. I gratefully attended this as a featured author along with thirteen other awesome authors. What a wonderful experience!

I met some incredible people – some authors and attendees! I enjoyed sharing ideas and information about the author profession as well as visitors’ interests in books and the authoring process. Amanda, the Activity Director, attended to our needs. Her arrangement of the authors suited everyone who presented and attended.

I sat at a table next to an incredibly talented young author. Michael Helgens’s science fiction books were amazing. He works for Fun and Games Productions so his book trailers he displayed captured visitors’ attention as they walked from one table to the next. Michael Helgen is someone to watch in the world of authors!

Other authors presented their books on finance, business, Iowa History, romance, the underground ministries of Muslims converting to Christianity, and more! What a privilege for me – a featured author among such a group of professional writers!

Thanks to all who visited me and either spoke with me, or bought my book. A special shout-out to Tricia O’Dell who came. Tricia was one of three BookStub winners (a free E-Book) as you can see in one of the pictures below.

Our friends, Debbie and Kevin Brubaker hosted my hubby and I that weekend. They treated us like royalty from treats in our bedroom and outstanding meals! Thanks so much for their love and friendship! After the book signing event, we went to my favorite restaurant – Red Lobster – with Michael Helgens and some of the attendees. This was a perfect ending of a wonderful day! Thanks to all who support and encourage my author career!


Tricia with her prize for a free E-Book of Finding Heath Young Lighthouse Keeper.


Mary seated with her display, her free candy to visitors, and the basket for the drawing for a free E-Book.


Mary discussing her book with a visitor to her table.


Tricia and Mary

Michael Helgens, science fiction author, seated by me, and Bethany and Andy - two new friends!

Michael Helgens, science fiction author, seated by me, and Bethany and Andy – two new friends!


What a thrill to see my name and cover of my first book on display!!


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