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Carve-o-rama 2012  by Tara


We’re all about family traditions at Linn Area Credit Union and one that many of us share with our kin is pumpkin carving!

In the spirit of Halloween, our social committee challenged each department to carve and/or decorate a pumpkin. The winning department gets nothing, nada, zip, ziltch. You see, we’re super competitive in a sibling rivalry kind of way, so we’re asking for YOUR help in determining who should take the cake (let me be clear that there is actually no cake involved, just bragging rights).

And away we go….


“Eek!” Don’t be scared of our Collections department – they are clearly talented…and seem to be pretty darned good with carving tools… EEK!!!

Consumer Loans

Knock knock. Who’s there? Boo. Boo hoo? It’s just a joke — you don’t have to cry about it. Baw ha ha! Surely no one will be crying over Consumer Loan’s adorable pumpkin!

Edgewood Road Branch

By Jove – is that pumpkin wearing a fascinator?!?! Creepy crawlys are springing from the crown jewel of this bedazzled gem of a pumpkin in an oh-so fashionable way.


Who knew a skeleton face could look so SWEET?!? With flowers for eyes and a sheepish grin, this is one pumpkin that won’t make you cry out for your mama.

Marion Branch

Oh come on, this is the cutest little pumpkin display! Huggable, lovable, kid-friendly pumpkin carvings! Hopefully that’s not a real street sign, otherwise some people are going to be confused when looking for “Marion Street.”


If you need a candy bowl in a pinch and just happen to have a pumpkin and some pipe cleaners laying around, this is your project! (Tip: When transporting your pumpkin from your house to your work for, say, a contest, do not take sharp turns since the pumpkin will most likely ROLL and end up all over the back of your car with wonky ex-spider legs. Not that I have any experience with this…)


Simply spook-tacular. Any ideas on what the boots mean?

MSR/SW Drive Up Branch

Never out of the pop culture loop, MSR/SW Drive up Branch really brought it for this contest. Snooki looks so life-like – even her skin tone is smack on!

SE Branch (Mt. Vernon Road)

The artistry, the attention to detail, the exact replica of our logo! Who knew there was a Master Carver at LACU?!?!

How to vote!

Hopefully you are shivering in your britches after seeing all of our Halloween carvings, now it’s time to vote for the pumpkin that you think deserves bragging rights! There are 3 ways to vote (you can vote one time per social media outlet):

  1. Right here on the Bloggity Blog by leaving a comment below with the name of the department you are voting for and WHY you like their pumpkin the most.
  2. On our Facebook page by leaving a comment under the picture of the pumpkin you are voting for and telling us WHY that department’s carving is the best. (Click here!)
  3. Tweet @LinnAreaCU with the name of the department you are voting for and WHY they deserve to win. (Click here!)

If you don’t give us a reason, the vote doesn’t count! Also, we reserve the right to discount votes from duplicate IP addresses. So no cheating, k?!?!  Voting ends at 4:00 pm CST on October 30th. Muuuuuuuuuuuh ha ha ha ha!

Don’t be a Halloweenie – place your vote now!

Dad-ism Contest Winner Revealed!  by Tara


As dad Shaun Fenton would say, “Hold onto your tootsies!” It’s time to reveal the winner of our Dad-ism drawing!

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite Dad-isms! There were some doozies! Believe it or not, no two dads had the same Dad-ism! Click here to read some of the hilarious Dad-isms and check out the pics of these wise papas with their families.

All of the dads’ names were entered into a drawing and one lucky duck was pulled out on Tuesday morning. The winning dad was…

Tom Worsfold!

Tom’s daughter Amanda wrote in saying:

Whenever we ask my dad (if he can do) something, such as turn up the volume on the TV, he always replies with “Sure, I can turn it up, I can turn it down…” It gets really annoying sometimes, but it’s why we love him. :)

Well, we bet that he can find a great way to spend the $200 gift card! Congratulations to Tom and thanks to everyone who shared their favorite Dad-isms.

Keep your eyes peeled – a new fun contest is just around the river bend! (Anyone else familiar with Disney’s Pocahontas?? Yep, I just sang the last part of this blog post.)

Contest: Dad-isms!  by Tara


Dads say the darnest things. Come on, we all know it’s the truth!

This Father’s Day, we want to hear your favorite Dad-ism. What’s a Dad-ism? It’s a phrase that your dad says over and over and over again; typically hilarious, even if they don’t mean it to be.

“When I was your age, we didn’t (bla bla bla), we had to (bla bla bla) and we were happy.”

“I will turn this car around.”

“Did someone see that duck?” (after passing wind)

We know you’re laughing out loud right now as you think of some of YOUR dad’s Dad-isms! Quick – before you forget – send us a picture of your dad (or other father figure in your life) along with your very favorite family-friendly Dad-ism (keep it clean, folks!). All dads will be entered into a drawing. One lucky papa will be drawn to win a $200 VISA gift card.

How to Enter

To enter, email the following four items to me (Tara) at or mail to 3015 Blairs Ferry Rd, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 Attn: Tara Bross:

  1. A  picture of your father (or husband, grandpa, etc.).
  2. Your favorite family-friendly Dad-ism.
  3. Your Dad’s contact info (full name, address, phone number, email).
  4. Your contact info (full name, address, phone number, email).

The Rules

• All entries must be received no later than 5:00 pm CST on Monday, June 18th. The winner will be contacted on Tuesday, June 19th.

• One entry per household.

• Incomplete entries will not be eligible (see the four entry requirements above).

• Your entry must be emailed to or mailed to 3015 Blairs Ferry Rd, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 Attn: Tara Bross. No other forms of entry will be accepted.

• All people that enter must live in Linn or surrounding counties.

• Linn Area Credit Union employees and their immediate families are encouraged to participate, but are not eligible to win.

• No purchase necessary.

• By submitting an entry, you are giving permission for Linn Area Credit Union to use your name, picture and submission for promotional and advertising purposes, including but not limited to our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Questions? Just shoot me (Tara) an email at

Nom the Mom 2012: Surprising the finalists!  by Tara


Three incredible women. Nearly 300 votes. One winner was determined, but all three were honored. Here’s how it all went down when we surprised each on the finalists on Friday, May 11th:

Judy Brewer
Status: Runner Up

Surprised at: Carlos O’Kelley’s
Co-Conspirator: Elizabeth, her daughter

Judy was already having a fabulous Friday when I came to surprise her. Elizabeth was graduating from college the following day, so Judy’s sister came up for a visit and all the girls planned on doing lunch together followed by a pedicure. Oh la la! I worked with Elizabeth to catch them just after they got seated at Carlos O’Kelley’s. After a series of texts, calls and one really awful parking job, I met Elizabeth outside the restaurant, where she led me to meet the wonderful Judy.

As I approached the table with a gorgeous arrangement of flowers, her mom’s face erupted into a huge smile. I introduced myself and let her know that she was a runner up in our contest. She was extremely grateful and overwhelmed with the honor. Like the selfless mom that we’ve come to know and love, Judy started gushing about how fabulous her daughter is. It was obvious that these two have an incredible relationship.

I didn’t keep the family very long so that they could continue on with the rest of their “girls day,” although I’m certain Judy would have been totally fine if I started sneaking a few chips with salsa and then joined them for a pedi. That’s just the kind of wonderful mama she is!

Karen Brenneman
Status: Runner Up
Surprised at: Her Home
Co-Conspirator: Greg, her son

Surprising Karen was a little bit different. She had taken the day off work, so Greg and I weren’t sure where she would be at any given time. So instead of trying to chase her down, I called to let her know about the little surprise that Linn Area Credit Union wanted to give her. I have to tell you that even after a short convo on the phone, it was easy to tell why she had so many votes of support. Such a sweetheart!

I popped over to Karen’s home in the afternoon and was greeted with a warm smile. She was just as easy to talk to in person as she was on the phone – whew! As we chatted about the contest, Karen started to tell me about how her son Greg can’t keep a secret and told her right away about his story. It was really cute.  8-) As she told me more about her children and how proud she is of them, the tears started coming. Oh man. Even I got a little choked up!

Karen certainly is an amazing woman and we’re so glad that Greg nominated her!

Helen Girard
Status: Winner of the City Looks Salon & Spa Day of Beauty
Surprised at: Truman Elementary
Co-Conspirator: Shirley, her daughter

For the second year in a row, the person your chose as your winner had NO IDEA that she was even nominated. (I swear, I don’t know how people make it happen!) When Shirley heard about the contest, she started to contact not just her own friends and family, but she got in contact with the schools that Helen volunteers at. Many of the votes came from parents and past students whose lives she had touched tremendously. But Shirley didn’t stop there. Nope. She hacked into her mom’s email and managed to get contact info for Helen’s past colleagues and friends from college. Talk about a group effort.

Shirley continued her super stealth moves, determining where her mom would be volunteering that afternoon and then working with that school to allow us the clearance to make the BIG surprise. So at 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon, I pulled into Truman Elementary and waited for the “a-ok” from Shirley. Funny story, as Shirley was arriving at the school, her mom was on the road at the same time. Shirley had to quickly divert to a side street before Helen noticed her!

Once I got the all clear, Shirley and a Truman co-conspirator ushered me to the perfect hiding place off to the side on the gym. Shirley stood with me, shaking with excitement. Literally, the girl was shaking like a leaf. We could hear them bringing in the group of kindergarteners that Helen was working with that day. Helen joined them, none the wiser… cue me and a basket of goodies! (Click here to see the video of how it all went down!)

To say that Helen was shocked is the understatement of the year. In true form, after the initial shock, Helen turned to the group of kids and started to tell them how special each and every one of them are. Sure, her words were directed to the kids that were in the gym at that very moment, but it was clear to me that they applied to every person that she had ever influenced. This woman whole-heartedly believes in the success of the kids, not only in school, but in their home lives as well.

Needless to say, there were lots of tears and hugs.

As we started to give Helen more details about the contest, she was overwhelmed to find out how many people had come out of the woodwork to vote for her. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall when Helen reads all the wonderful comments that people left as to why she was deserving of the Day of Beauty. Hopefully there are many boxes of Kleenex available for that tear jerking experience!

Indeed, Helen is very deserving of some pampering and we’re proud that she will reign as our Linn Area Credit Union 2012 Nom the Mom!

We couldn’t be happier that these three women were our 2012 Nom the Mom finalists. What impeccable examples of love, strength and unconditional love. Congratulations goes out to all of them and their families! A big thank you goes out to City Looks Salon & Spa for putting together the gorgeous basket for our winner. And, of course, thanks to all of you who voted!

Contest: And the winner is…  by Tara


Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all of your wonderful entries in Our Family Tree Contest! There were 65 people entered into the drawing to win a $250 gift card. I printed off everyone’s entries on single sheets of paper, shuffled them repeatedly (like a deck of cards), placed them into a large bin, mixed them up again, and then brought them down to our front line staff at NE to assist me in taking a video of the selection. Well that was a mouth full, eh? Without further ado, here is the winner…

Congratulations to our winner!!!

Contest: Our Family Tree!  by Tara


When did you join our family tree?? Let us know and it could be worth $250 to ya!

The addition of the new Facebook Timeline has caused us to reminisce on our Linn Area past. We would love to see how our family has grown since we first began waaaaay back in 1935! (Click here to check out our Timeline!)

We thought it would be fun to hear YOUR stories and see some pictures of our extended family. Each entry will be put into a drawing. The winner of that drawing will receive $250!

How to Enter

To enter, email the following four items to me (Tara) at

  1. The year you became a member (you can estimate, if you can’t remember back that far!),
  2. a couple sentences talking about why you joined, what you like about Linn Area Credit Union or even share your favorite Linn Area experience,
  3. one picture of you or your family and
  4. your contact info (NOT your account number, please!) so we can let you know if you’ve won the $250!

The Rules

• All entries must be received by no later than midnight on Monday, April 9th. The winner will be contacted on Tuesday, April 10th.

• One entry per household.

• Incomplete entries will not be eligible (see the four entry requirements above).

• Your entry must be emailed to – no hard copies or other forms of entry will be accepted.

• All people that enter must live in Linn or surrounding counties.

• Linn Area Credit Union employees and their immediate families (spouses and children) are encouraged to participate, but are not eligible to win.

• No purchase necessary.

• By submitting an entry, you are giving permission for Linn Area Credit Union to use your name, picture and submission for promotional and advertising purposes, including but not limited to our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Questions? Just shoot me (Tara) an email at WE can’t wait to see all the members of our family tree!

Since we’re chatting about family trees, have you ever dug into your family history? How far back did you go? Tell us below in the comments!

Exclusive interview with the Ugliest Sweater winner!  by Tara


I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat just WAITING and yearning to know who was the big winner of our Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. The time has come to tell you, grasshopper. The votes poured in and the race was tight! But I can tell you that *clearing throat* the winner is FRANK, er, I mean, MALLORY!!!!

Mallory is famliar to many of you loyal blog followers as she is one of our talented contributers! Well it turns out that she can also make a mean ugly sweater. She penciled us in for an exclusive interview where I asked some pretty hardball questions (take that, Barbara Walters!). Enjoy!

What inspired you to make your Grinch themed sweater?
The Grinch has always been my favorite Christmas story so when I Googled ugly sweaters and a picture of the Ginch came up, I couldn’t resist!

That was a pretty crafty sweater you crafted. What sorts of materials did you use? How long did it take you?
I got a sweater at Goodwill and then I bought a lot of felt… too much felt. Then it was just a matter of cutting stuff out and using heat and bond. I used some jewels for bedazzelment, some mini lights and, of course, jingle bells. 

Did you have the “He’s a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song playing on repeat while creating your sweater?
No, but now I wish I would have.

How did Frank react to his part in the theme?
Well normally he loves to get his picture taken, but he seemed as thrilled as Max (the dog he was playing) to have the reindeer antlers on.

Do you see yourself donning this sweater again?
I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. It is stashed away with all my other Christmas decorations, just waiting to be unveiled in the future. 

Your sister launched an all-out online assault to lobby for your win. What did you think about that?
I knew my sister had some techy friends because she works at Apple, but I had no idea how far she would take it! I feel like I owe her big time now. 

Did any of your friends of family give you a hard time about your fabulous sweater?
They thought it was great! They are all big fans of Frank. I’m not sure they even saw me in the picture.

How many poses did you try before you settled on the one to submit?
I had to take the picture the morning it was due ,so I had to get my husband out of bed to be the photographer. He was still half asleep so he was not willing to take multiple pictures. I tried to take a few by myself after he went back to bed, but it just wasn’t working out. So what you see is pretty much the only picture that turned out.

Congrats, Mallory!

A big THANK YOU to the LACU peeps that participated in the contest and a very special “Holla!” goes out to all of you fabulous people that voted! Keep your eye on the blog – you never know when that next contest is going to pop up!

In the comments below, tell us about the ugliest sweater you’ve ever worn!

Our Hearts vs. Our Wallets  by Tara


To say that I LOVE infographs is, quite frankly, the understatement of the century. As I scoured the internet looking for financial news for you crazy kids, I ran across this gem on Wallet Pop. Created by the good people at, this infograph compares how people spend their money. It is ominously entitled “Our Hearts vs. Our Wallets.” Dummm dumm dummmm… Or, let me rephrase, fa la la la laaaa la la la laaaaa!

Round One of this infograph pits Gen Y-ers (born between 1981 and 1991) against the Baby Boomers (birthed between 1947 and 1964). I’ll give you one guess at which generation thinks secret spending is more kosher than the other…

Round Two tests financial tensions within couples. Warning: This round is a real nail biter.

Round Three, the one I personally found the most interesting, examines how four very different types of living situations spend their money within the same six categories. (I’m not going to lie – I’d love to hang out with the single ladies who are spending over $6,000 on travel and leisure annually!)

Check out the infograph below. Did you see anything surprising??

The Word “Fiduciary” Makes Me Snicker  by Ellen


Remember this song from Mary Poppins? As a kid I thought it was the most boring song in the whole movie. As and adult… well I still think the same thing.

If you’ll remember, Jane & Michael Banks go to work with their dad, a banker. Michael wants to spend his tuppence (a coin equal to two British pennies) to feed the birds like Mary Poppins suggested. His dad and his stockholder buddies would rather he invest that money in their bank so they can eventually get richer.

This boring song would never be sung at a credit union because we don’t have stockholders –we’re a not-for-profit and owned by our members. Plus, we’re not as uptight so I think any show tune we sing about saving money would probably be closer to this:

Spotlight: Marge  by Tara


What is it like being a TV star? I’m not. 

How have your family and friends reacted?  They have commented on how good the commercial is and what a good job I did. 

What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you as a result of your new fame? I was in a store one day, and this lady I didn’t know said to me, “Aren’t you that lady that’s in the commercial for the credit union?”

What did you think about filming the commercial? I couldn’t believe how LONG it took for a 30 second spot on TV, plus the amount of makeup a person needs! 

What do you do when your commercial comes on TV? Watch and say “I don’t remember saying that.” 

Do you have a favorite Linn Area product or service? I really like being able to pay the bills for school online and knowing they will be done on time, and it only take about 10 minutes, and I’m finished. No stamps, envelopes or anything. 

What are three words you’d use to describe Linn Area Credit Union? Very very helpful. 

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