Sunday, December 30, 2012

Garden Indoors...

I garden year around.  During the spring, summer and early fall, my garden is outside.  The rest of the year, my garden is inside in a south window of my kitchen, where I have a small greenhouse.  I also have plants scattered here and there throughout the house, that rotate through the greenhouse.

This is my greenhouse- a $29 special, marked down less than half the original price when our local Pamida store closed.  I also use it to start seeds for the garden.  So, it pretty much gets used year around.  During the winter, I scoot it over a tad so that it catches half of a heat register, which at times gets it hot and steamy inside, and the plants love it.  During the summer, I move it over off the floor register so that it does not get the cold air from the A/C, as the plants don't like that as well. 

Some of the things I like to grow inside are onions, garlic and celery. (They can be moved outside later when its spring planting time).

My friend Shery shared this website with me, mommy of a that shows with pictures how to do this with leftovers from store bought celery, onions and garlic.  I thought I would share it with you.  This is a fun activity that the kids will like to help with, and will also like to help eat.

You can also add in growing sweet potato vines, avocados and more!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Power of Prayer & Social Media

I am all for prayer.  I believe in prayer.  I also believe God answers prayer in 3 ways--yes, no, and in his time, not ours.  I take many things to the Lord in prayer.  Some are answered with a yes, others with a no, and others I had to wait for my yes or no.

I am also a firm believer in prayer chains and bringing up requests in ones circle of friends, family or at church.

If you are told something in confidence, leave it in confidence.  Don't tell your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors...If that person wanted the rest of the world to know, they would have told it themselves.

But, I also believe in a persons right to have privacy.  Several times lately, I have seen a persons privacy violated due to too much information being put on a public prayer chain.  God knows what the situation is.  All one needs to say is "be in prayer for a friend of mine who needs prayer right now".  You don't need to say why, their name, or their sex, or their relationship to you.  One doesn't need to say "be in prayer for Jane Doe that lives in town A at 123 Jones Street and works at Acme Rental,  because she has been cheating on her husband and as a result he is now using drugs and beating the children"....

I live in a small town.  What may start out as an innocent prayer request, with too much information given quickly turns into gossip, and the story grows and grows.  People in my town also go to church out of town, and hear prayer requests in the next town over and bring that information back here--"hey, Susie--did you know I go to church with Jane Doe's mother and you would not believe what her mother put on the prayer list today at church."....

Someone I know has been hurt because of a situation similar to the above.  Very hurt.  Rumors flying around, most of it untrue.  Another person I know has been called into their supervisors office at their workplace and ordered to go get a drug test and a physical due to a situation similar to the above-someone read of something on a prayer chain on a church Sunday School board, and in turn told their neighbor--"hey, that person works where you work"--and that person just happened to be that persons supervisor.  So, by violating that persons privacy, they now have a much bigger problem than they had to begin with, and may now also loose their job.

The only being who needs to know the details is the Lord.  And, he already knows, long before you even knew.

Also, leave it off facebook, twitter, texting, emails and such.  I have heard and seen stuff on facebook I didn't really need to know.  I have deleted people as a result, and have seen one family almost divorce because of a comment put on by a mother in law directed to her "lazy stupid "son in law.  Really, go to that person directly, the rest of us don't care to see or hear it.  Even if you delete it shortly thereafter, the damage is already done.  If your old enough to use facebook, then you are old enough to know how to behave in public.  Yes, facebook is public.

OK, I'm off my rant now.  But, really people!!!

Christmas Vacation

For the past 2 years, our family has escaped at some point during the month of December to Branson MO and Silver Dollar City MO (yes, the same place Jed, Granny, Ellie May and Jethro  of the Beverly Hill Billies was from).  We have gone as guest of our minister, who has season tickets and a timeshare in the area.  Last year we went before Christmas, and this year after Christmas.

When we went last year, we went to the top of Inspiration Tower (by Shepherd of the Hills).  The view is awesome on a clear day, and you can see clear into Arkansas.  There is also a Vigilante Ziprider from the top of the tower that runs down the hill.  JD has been talking about doing the zip line all year, along with Elizabeth, and then finally Emily got the bug.  So, yesterday, they zipped, while Rebecca and I watched.  The zipline is 1/2 mile long.

You can barely make out the platform under the tower where they start their zipline trip down the hill.

The ride is gravity fed, and the less you weigh, the slower you go.  From the top, I could see Elizabeth (in the back) kicking the entire way down.  I asked her why she was kicking, and she said because she was trying to catch up to Emily and JD.

At this point, they were almost half way down the hill.
The entire trip down the hill takes around 45 seconds.  They loved it.  I prefer the ground.

Afterwards, we went back into town and ate, then went to the Veterans Memorial Museum located on the strip in Branson .  It is a small building, but don't let the size fool you.  It has ten rooms full of items on display and represents all branches of the military, as well as the Red Cross.

If you take this trip as a homeschool field trip, I would give it at least 4 hours.  Pictures are allowed, so you can take plenty.  I would also take a notebook and pen, as there are several things you will want to write down and study.  One display we want to do more research on was a son's telling of his mothers experience as a Red Cross volunteer.  He had her uniforms, a collection of photos and letters.  He has written a book of her experiences which we plan to get and read.  The book, Mom at War,  is by Todd Parnell.  I am ordering it from Amazon with my swagbucks, as it is one I will want to keep in our home library.

Many uniforms are on display, and most also tell the history of the person who wore the uniform as well.
One of the many war posters on display.

More uniforms
Many guns--the wooden on in the front was a training gun.
Interesting German helmet.  A plumber found this in Dallas TX in 1990 while working under a house.  It is unknown how it got there, probably brought home as a souvenir and forgotten about.

Uniform and objects from one of the concentration camps in Germany.

These are items from a German concentration camp.

Since I am big into family genealogy, I had to check the names on the walls.  I found quite a few from our tree.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The True Story of Christmas

Luke 2

King James Version (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Holiday Message & Free Bible App from Hobby Lobby

If you have a smart phone, you will want to check the very bottom of the Christmas message from Hobby Lobby.  It has a free link to download a Bible.

Holiday Messages : Hobby Lobby - Hobby Lobby

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Homeschool week in Kansas City

Hello! Come explore the Crown Center District as we celebrate our first Homeschool Week, Jan 28 – Feb 1, 2013! The Crown Center District encompasses all the wonderful places you might want to visit while in downtown Kansas City – American Heartland Theatre, Union Station, National World War I Museum, SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium, and more. 

Here’s what you get fromAmerican Heartland Theatre:
Everyone’s a student! All groups of 10 or more get in at the student rate of only $14 each! That’s a savings of up to $16 per ticket! Valid Jan 28 – Feb 1, 2013 for The Hound of the Baskervilles. Call Group Sales at 816-842-0202 x218 and mention “Homeschooler Week” at the time of order. Advance reservations are required. Go to to learn more about American Heartland Theatre.
We hope you will take advantage of these offers – whether it is discounted pricing, a unique learning experience, or a very special added value to your tour. For more information on The District and a complete listing of the offers, please visit:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ellen Barnes, PMP
Director of Group Sales & Special Events
American Heartland Theatre and Screenland Crown Center
2450 Grand Blvd, Ste 314 Kansas City, MO 64108-2516
816-842-0202 x218 * 816-842-1881 fax 

Go to for AHT show schedules.
AHT and Screenland are rentable spaces. Call for details.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spelling Bee for Homeschoolers

Clay-Platte Home Educators
Regional Spelling Bee
Friday, May 10, 2013, 10:00 am
Sherwood Bible Church, 4900 North Norton Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64119
This relaxed spelling bee is for students who want a friendly bee but with real competition. The bee is open to any homeschool student* who is in grades one through twelve. A copy of the rules, guidelines and word lists can be found at: .

To have a successful bee we need judges, so please consider serving your homeschool community in this way. Parents of participants may serve as judges.
Registrations are due May 1st. We need to have at least two spellers in a level to hold the bee for that grade. If there are not enough registered spellers in a particular level the speller will be notified by May 2 and will be given the option of competing at the next highest grade level.
To register, volunteer, or ask questions you may contact Lori Camper at:
* CPHE defines a Missouri homeschool as one that is in full compliance with Missouri homeschool law for ages 7-16. Students outside this age group must receive at least 50% of their education at home, exclusive of enrichment programs and/or college courses. Students from other states should be homeschooled according to their state law.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow Storm??

Depending on what weatherman you follow, we may be getting a major winter storm of 1-3 inches of snow, or we may be getting sleet and ice, or we may be getting both.

I'm hoping all the weathermen are wrong, but friends of mine in KS are reporting snow in their area, while other friends in KS are reporting their rain is now changed into sleet.  So, I'd say at least one of those weather predictions is correct.   I'd rather have neither, but given a choice, I'll take the snow over the iced

We have 3 drivers living at home.  To get in and out of our place in the winter often requires 4 wheel drive.  We have 3 for wheel drive trucks, is currently in the shop.  This could get interesting.  All 3 are due to get their state inspection the next few days and licensed.  It won't be fun driving back and forth to get all that done in snow or ice.  Nor will it be fun to finish up the rest of the Christmas shopping in.

Desert Landscape Image
What I find interesting however, is when I was a kid, a "snow storm" was not defined as 1-3 inches.  It meant snow was up over my knees.  And, yes, my knees were more than 1-3 inches off the ground.  I always had "long legs".  And, it seemed that the snow was always over the top of my boots, getting my feet wet.  To counter act that, my mom would have me wear bread sacks over my socks, before I put my boots on.  However, it usually didn't work...  I remember several deep Missouri snows, but the deepest snow falls I remember from my childhood were those in Indiana.  For some reason the Indiana snows seemed prettier than Missouri snows-probably because they were deeper and stayed cleaner longer.  Memories of childhood.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Looking for a Christian Mens Retreat?

This is for the men, located in Kansas at the Mission Lake Christian Service Camp.

As Iron Sharpens Iron
(Proverbs 27:17)
Speaker: Dirk Scates
Worship: Eric Dannafer
Cook: Joe Krivjansky

Dean: Jim Ruth (, 913-724-2624)
Breakout Groups:
1) Faith in the Park planning (Josh Hall)
2) Leadership in the Church (Larry Wright)
Cost: $30 for registration form

FRIDAY (February 1)
5:00pm Registration Opens
6:30pm Dinner
7:00pm Session 1
The Word
8:00pm Breakout Groups
9:30pm Bonfire / Fellowship
11:00pm Lights out

SATURDAY (February 2)
7:00am Breakfast
Registration Opens
8:00am Devotions
8:30am Session 2
The Word
9:30am Breakout Groups
10:30am Fellowship
11:15am Closing Session
The Word
12:00pm Lunch
12:45pm Dismiss

The Retreat Team includes Dirk Scates (Senior Minister at Tonganoxie Christian Church) and Eric Dannafer (Associate Minister at Rossville Christian Church). 

Prayers again please for the school district

On December 6th, I asked my readers for prayers for my daughters high school.  (I have one who is public schooled, the others we homeschool).  One of her classmates had taken her own life.  Please continue to be in prayer for the family of that girl.

Tonight I ask for more prayers.  An 8th grade boy from the middle school was found murdered, it evidently happened last week but was discovered today.  We don't know who yet, or have a lot of details, but it appears it was a murder suicide, resulting in 3 deaths in his home.  The school has sent out text messages to the parents advising that tomorrow there will be counselors back at the schools again.  Please pray for the students, teachers, staff and families.

A couple months ago, they also lost a teacher, due to cancer.  The teacher worked at both the middle school and high school.

We live in a small Missouri town of under 3000.  This is a lot for these kids to comprehend.  3 deaths, unrelated, in a very short time.

Still need a last minute gift??

How about a digital scrapbook?  You can start it with photos you have, and they can add to it, or you can print it off into book form.  Great for family and grandparents, or those who already have about everything.

For a $10 off coupon for a digital scrapbook software download AND a $10 off coupon for items in the store, use the coupon code STMMMS29337 when you visit.

King Size Bed

 For several years I have been searching for just the right king sized bed headboard for the master bedroom.  Our home is full of antiques, including our bedroom.  The headboard we currently have isn't antique and stands out.  It also came off the husbands old waterbed,  which we have not had in some time, and so, as most waterbed headboards, it was built to sit on a frame and so it has no legs or stands for support.  We have agreed it needs to go, but unable to find what we like to replace it with.   We tried a couple nights with no headboard, and during the night our pillows disappeared, into the vast emptiness between the bed and the wall.  Som the girls and I rigged up a support for it out of milk crates.  Since they are hidden, it works for now, but its not the ideal situation.  

Now I am thinking we may have to make out out of barn wood, or an old farm door or something,  but we need to find what we want first so we can copy the idea.  We want it to be old fashioned and to preferably have a shelf on each side for our clocks. So, I search pinterest and the country decor magazines.  One day, we will find it.

Meanwhile, I was sent today a photo of the first king sized bed looked like.  Notice it doesn't even have a headboard, or pillows, or quilts, electric blanket, or sheets.  Just a simple bed, for the first and only true king.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another School Shooting

Another school shooting.  This time kindergartners killed in Newtown CT at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. 28 dead, including 10 students between the ages of 5 and 10 years, just babies.

When will it end??

My own opinion,

We took God out of the schools.  What was wrong in prayer in schools?  In my class, we had one student who left the room for prayers and pledges.

 We took spanking and other forms of punishment out of the schools. Today, they have suspensions for punishment.  Reading a book in school suspension is NOT a punishment for a kid who doesn't want to be in class anyway. Out of school suspension is a greater reward, they can run all over town during those 3 days off.

We introduced some rather violent video games to our youth, that reveal military and police tatics and reward our youth as they play, killing other players with high points and records to break.  What was wrong with pacman??

Our kids have facebook, cell phones, texting and ways to communicate and keep things stirred up after school and during weekends and breaks. My generation had a spat at school on Friday and you forgot about it over the weekend unless you bumped into that kid somewhere over the weekend.

If we did wrong, we were punished at school AND at home, and home punishment was something to be feared....... Now, most parents don't even care.

Many schools now hand out birth control in the nurses office, and take girls to planned parenthood if they ask-without telling the parents.

In all my junior and senior high years, I recall 1 bomb threat (we had no internet to give instructions on how to build them), one smoke bomb set off in the boys upstairs bathroom, one pig let loose in school, and an angry math student spilling Cinnamon oil in the classroom of  the math teacher who was allergic to it, a few fights and a couple food fights. No weapons, despite half the pickups in the parking lot had a loaded rifle on the back window gun rack, and every male almost carried a pocket knife.

My generation survived it just fine!!

When you talk God out, it allows room for other things to come in.

Another sad day in America.

How our dog thinks.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homemade Window De-icer Recipe

This week I have had 2 people ask me if I knew of a way to make window de icer for car windows.  One asked me in person, and the other sent me an email.  Yes, I do, and even though it is on my side bar, here it is again.

They all work, but number 3 is the one I tend to usually make as #1 and #2 you apply ahead of time, and I usually am not that motivated to run out and put it on at night in the cold.

It also works on other items as well, such as mailboxes that tend to freeze shut.

Deicer/wiper fluid receipes 

#1) 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Put in a spray bottle and spray down your car windows at night. 

#2) Use a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol with 3 drops of dish soap. Apply liberally to the glass with a spray bottle at night. In the morning the ice slides off. 

#3) Mix one part water to two parts rubbing alcohol. Apply to the window. Ice slides or peels off. 

A Farming Sort of Day

This afternoon we spent several hours moving a bull from one pasture to another and working on a fence row.  We had intentions of moving Spot up to the feedlot and into a stall, but after we got him moved into the big pasture where the other cows were, he decided to stop and remind the other bull who the top bull was.

 Both bulls are tame, will come when called, and eat from your hand.  But, when they get in their moods, I'm not about to get into the middle of it.  The lighter one has horns, but Spot outweighs him--so its about even.  I don't want poked or stepped on.

Their idea of a bull fight is to put their heads together and push.  We threw some feed down for them, and that is what started it.....they had to argue over who got to eat first.  Patrick (born on St Patty's Day 3 years ago)  the smaller bull was winning so Spot had to wait his turn to eat.

Then they headed to the pond, and had to go through their ritual all over again to decide who could drink first.  Spot won that round.

Hopefully by tomorrow they will have calmed down enough that we can get Spot moved up to the feed lot and into a stall.

Since we fed (bribed) the cows with feed, we had to feed everyone else as well.

As we were heading back up towards the house and barn, Duke (black lab) came running by with a large cow bone in his mouth.  I've seen the dogs fight over a bone before....but never have I seen a horse want a bone....until today.  Double saw him race by with the bone and started to chase him.  Duke stopped to start gnawing on his bone, and Double tried to take it.  Duke picked it up, backed up with the bone, and Double came at him again....The horse actually tried to take the bone from the dog.  Weird.  This is the same dog that likes to play keep away with us when we throw him his toy.  He almost brings it back to us, then makes us run him down to get it.

Duke does go out into the pasture and chase the  horses.  And, they chase him back.  It is almost like they are playing tag or keep away.  So, I guess the bone was just part of the game.

I also went out to check the other farm.  I found an ever green tree, that has blue berries on it.  Not sure what type of tree it is, but it smells very good. Tomorrow when I go check it, I will take the prunners and bring some of the branches back to decorate with.
The color is off on this due to the bright sunlight--the needles are bright green, and the berries, bright purplish blue.

It also has a birds nest hidden in it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas at the Gas Station

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He ...
didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go." "Not without something hot in your belly." George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. "You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.

"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to
himself. So he put a new one on.

"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."

The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."

George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain."

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked. "None for me," said the officer. "Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"

The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away."

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer." "Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"

"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued. "Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."

"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems."

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"

"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man."

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man.

"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again."

The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."

George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus"

Merry Christmas!!

This story is better than any greeting card.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Prayers for our local high school please

One of my daughters is public schooled.  Last school year she had a rough year with the death of several family members.

This year, the school year has been rocky for her entire school.  A few months ago one of their teachers passed away from cancer.  One of the students father passed away.  Yesterday, one her her classmates took her life.

Please be in prayer for the students and staff of her high school.  This is a small town, and the entire school is smaller than what my graduating class was.

I don't think any adults have a clue what today's teens face.  Peer pressure, being laughed at over small things, driving high dollar cars, latest cell phones and electronic gadgets, drugs, alcohol, sex, dating, being parents at age 16, fights, racial issues and more.  When I was a student, half that stuff didn't exist (cell phones and such).  Yes, we had pressure, but not what it is like now.  Even one of her younger teachers, who is just barely out of college made a comment about how it has changed since she graduated from high school just 6 years ago.

Homeschoolers have the advantage of avoiding many of these pressure points, and the advantage of often having more supervision or observation and one on one time.  If she were to decide to come back to homeschooling with her sisters, it would be fine with me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I received this in my email today.  It is too cute to not pass it on....

My husband and I had been happily
married (most of the time)
for five years
but hadn't been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious
praying and promised God
that if he would give us a child,
I would be a perfect mother,
love it with all my heart
and raise it with His word
as my guide.

God answered my prayers
and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us
with another son.

The following year,
He blessed us with
yet another son.

The year after that we
were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd
been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children,
and the oldest was only
four years old.

I learned never to ask God
for anything unless I meant it
As a minister once told me,
"If you pray for rain,
make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses
of the Bible to the children
each day as they lay in their cribs..

I was off to a good start.
God had entrusted me
with four children and
I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day
the children smashed
two dozen eggs on
the kitchen floor searching
for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding...
when they started a hotel for
homeless frogs in the spare bedroom,
although it took me nearly two hours
to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured
ketchup all over herself and
rolled up in a blanket to see
how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor
rather than the mess..

In spite of changing over
twenty-five thousand diapers,
never eating a hot meal
and never sleeping for more
than thirty minutes at a time,
I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise
to be a perfect mother -
I didn't even come close...
I did keep my promise
to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark
just a little when I told
my daughter we were going
to church to worship God,
and she wanted to bring
a bar of soap along to
"wash up" Jesus, too.

Something was lost
in the translation when
I explained that
God gave us everlasting life,
and my son thought it was
generous of God to give
us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came
during the children's
Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary,
two of my sons were shepherds
and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd
had practiced his line,
"We found the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes."

But he was nervous and said,
"The baby was wrapped
in wrinkled clothes."

My four-year-old "Mary" said,
"That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly.
That's dirty, rotten clothes."

A wrestling match broke out
between Mary and the shepherd
and was stopped by an angel,
who bent her halo and lost
her left wing.

I slouched a little lower
in my seat when Mary
dropped the doll representing
Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying,

Mary grabbed the doll,
wrapped it back up
and held it tightly as
the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward
wearing a bathrobe
and a paper crown,
knelt at the manger
and announced,
"We are the three wise men,
and we are bringing gifts
of gold,
common sense
and fur."

The congregation
dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant
got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas
program as much as this one,"
laughed the pastor,
wiping tears from his eyes

"For the rest of my life,
I'll never hear the
Christmas story without
thinking of
common sense
and fur."

"My children are my pride
and my joy and my greatest
blessing," I said as I dug
through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants,
yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree,
yet they called Him Teacher .

Had no medicines,
yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army,
yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles,
yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime,
yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb,
yet He lives today.

Feel honored
to serve such a Leader
who loves us. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Co-op Break

Today was our last day of homeschool co-op for the semester.  We ended the year with a pizza party.  We will start back up after the new year for our spring semester.   (However, during the break some of us might still meet up for informal field trips or a get together for the kids).

This semester our co-op changed things around, and we had traditional classroom classes every other week (instead of the usual every week).  On the weeks we didn't have class, we met as a group for a field trip.  This allowed our group to take advantage of group and school discount rates.

This week, on the home front my room to deep clean is the kitchen.  The trouble with deep cleaning the kitchen is no one can really tell you have cleaned it.  They can only tell if you don't clean it.  We have a lot of glassware, old bottles, jars and such on top of the kitchen cabinets.  So, deep cleaning entails taking all that down and washing it.  It also involves cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen cabinets, and washing the kitchen and dining room windows.  It is all hard work that no one even notices.  Of course, if I didn't do it, everyone would notice the dust, cobwebs and such.  Sort of like polishing your shoes.  No one notices when they are polished, but they sure notice if they are scuffed up.

Later this week, we plan to put the Christmas tree and decorations up and possibly start making some Christmas candy.