fire

Gooey Good Stuff

This time of year brings to mind boiled peanuts, hot chocolate, apple cider, and s’mores!  Campfires or fire pits, and family gathered around start dancing through my mind.  Yes, it is another fall season and another reason for more family time.

I have found it beneficial to buy these small wire basket-like utensils, with long handles on them.  I know they have a name, but I am never technical about fun stuff.  It has to be the ones which will not transfer the heat to the handles.  Take a note here and learn from my own “hot” experiments.

The baskets keep things like marshmallows, graham crackers, and other food items from ending up in the fire and not in your belly.  There are also enclosed baskets for popping corn too! You can find containers to sit by the fire to keep your warm beverages warm.  And remember that heat should not transfer to the handle.

Where do you find these wire basket-like utensils, you ask.  Any store that sells camping supplies.  Or you can improvise and make your own.  Necessity is the mother of inventors.

Now, you have your special fire cooking utensils and you must decide on the food.  But how do you make it a little more healthy and not so sugary?  Think about food this way, before stoves and ovens, the open fire was the only way to cook.  Anything you can cook inside, you can cook outside.

What about taking the s’mores and adding dark chocolate for milk chocolate, and bananas or strawberries instead of marshmallows?  Ummm, yummy.  Hotdogs can be turkey or vegan and vegetables become soft and tasty when roasted on an open fire.  The limit is your imagination.

But the most important factor is your family. Time sitting around talking, laughing, and enjoying each other. If the kids are younger, you can tell bible stories like David and Goliath.  If the kids are older, talk to them about school and what is happening in their worlds.  Let your children know their importance to you.

And slowing down does not hurt your blood pressure either.

If you need a bible verse suggestion, I think Hebrews 12:28-29 is great for campfires.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our  “God is a consuming fire.”

So much to discuss in one statement.  God’s kingdom cannot be defeated, changed, or shaken.  We should worship God and talk with God in the right ways.  And God is a consuming fire because He wants your love for Him to burn deep inside your heart!

Just watching a fire burn and the heat it releases is how we should feel for God.  Which should be expressed in our actions and our words.  Of course, you will have to decide the level of discussion, depending on your children’s age.

Don’t forget fire safety! Whether it is a campfire or a fire pit, all necessary precautions and permits should be taken care of first.  Then you can enjoy a safe, fun night with your family.

Now, I have to ask you…What are you doing this weekend?

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

Make A Joyful Noise…

While I was in my prayer closet this morning listening to the praise music, the bible verse  Psalm 98:4 came to mind.

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

You and I are both old enough to know there are certain songs that when we hear them our fingers start snapping, toes start tapping, and our hips begin to sway to the beat.  Usually by the time our mouth catches up with our body, there is a big smile and song bursts from it. Did you ever think that the songs your children are hearing today are being stored in their memory banks?

So if the music being played in your home or in your car with your kids listening, has vulgar language, violence, and disrespect in the lyrics; where do you think your kids are learning these actions to emulate?

My grandfather once told my father, after my brother hurled a curse word at him, “He had to hear it to know it.”

Your actions and words are what your kids mimic! Yes they will pick up some things from school.  Very little, if it is not spoken or done at home.

You are their front line of defense in how they will face the world one day.  Be mindful and build them up with positivity! Play praise music.

I love Listener Kids for the little ones. http://www.listernerkids.com. I am a fan!

And you can go to YouTube to find more praise music for all ages, even for moms and dads.

I will end with the video from Listener Kids called, “This Little Light of Mine.”

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

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Leaf Crafts

The leaves are falling! The leaves are falling! And they can’t pick themselves up!

So I found a solution…leaf art.

Below I will list my favorite sites who have craft projects to do with your children concerning leaf art.  I love the leaf light! And, remember that instead of real candles, there are plenty of battery operated candles in all sizes.

So, what are your family plans for the weekend?

15 Fabulous Fall Leaf Crafts for Kids

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/autumn-crafts

http://www.dltk-holidays.com/fall/crafts-trees.htm

http://artfulparent.com/2014/09/10-autumn-leaf-crafts-for-kids.html

Accolades to Schools Who Are Putting Fun Back In Learning!

There is a high school in Texas called Naaman Forest High School, who should be commended not only for putting the fun back into learning, but for their beliefs!

As a fundraiser, they allowed the seniors to pick out and purchase their parking spaces.  The week before school started, the seniors were allowed to decorate their parking spaces and the results are amazing! Huffington Post did an article about the fundraiser and provided pictures.  ( I will post a link at the end of the blog and a link to the school’s website.)

It seems as if education has gotten it all wrong in recent years with their longer hours, no recess breaks, and prison like attitudes.  But then you come across schools who are getting it so right.  They view their students as unique individuals, each learning differently, and have built mutual respect among the students and faculty. It gives you hope.

I have heard all of the arguments about having to have strict rules and measures implemented into troublesome schools.  But what if each child was started out in schools with the focus being on the kids and not on how much paperwork we can give the teachers to do.  Homework should be for those who did not finish the school work during the day. And then an after school study hall to help said students.

The difference in the best public schools and the worst is M-O-N-E-Y!  And until we, voters, start demanding more funding to our educational system and less to their special ventures, things will never change.  The bureaucracy must be taken out of our educational system!

But for now, I want to focus on the positive and the schools who are excelling, despite our government!

Check out the Huffington Post article…  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/high-school-seniors-decorate-parking-spots_us_57c478d5e4b09cd22d91d20c?section=us_teen

Check out Naaman Forest High School… http://www.garlandisdschools.net/page.cfm?p=97

And I want to say “thank-you” for restoring my hope for the future of our children’s education!

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

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Lioness Momma & My Elsa

The first thing that I want to do is give you a little back story. And you should know that I do not believe in coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason, even if we do not know the reason until later.

The picture which is displayed with my article is one I bought around four years ago at a sale. A wildlife photographer had taken this picture of the lionesses and cubs coming out of a crater in Africa.  I am in love with this picture and I have nicknamed it, Elsa.

Now, on to the story…

We had relocated from Charlotte, North Carolina to the Houston, Texas area and I was struggling.  I missed my family and grandkids; and I was  pretty upset with God for not realizing this move was a bad idea. One important reason was because my father’s health was declining and I wanted to be with him in South Carolina. Houston was 18 hours away, didn’t God understand?

So, my husband and I started going to the estate sales and auctions in the area and found ourselves opening a booth in a local antique mall.  It gave us something we enjoyed to do together and would hopefully re-focus my attention.

Around four years ago, we were at a Houston estate sale.  Everything in the home was exquisite but very expensive.  When you are buying to re-sell, you have to know what your customers are willing to pay.  And this was not the sale for my customers. But it was still fun to look around.

I came to realize that the homeowner must have loved this photographer, because  numerous of his works were displayed.  When I saw my Elsa, my heart jumped. She was so beautiful and I had just watched Born Free again on cable recently. One of my favorite all-time movies. I was smitten!

You see my mother had allowed me to watch Born Free on the television when I was young. It was a special mother daughter bonding moment that I will never forget.  I even remember both of us crying when the game warden and his wife were trying to teach their Elsa to live back in the wild.  Oh, and we really bawled when Elsa brought her own cubs back to see them, after she had made it back into the wild.

My heart went from ecstatic to very sad, when I saw the price. The picture was too expensive for me to buy, even for myself.  I took one last look at my Elsa and resigned myself to “it was not meant to be.”

Two weeks later my mind was still on my Elsa. I kept telling myself that someone had already bought it. That Friday afternoon, my husband sent me an email from one of the estate sale companies.  It told about one of the big churches in Houston having their spring sale. The line that caught my attention was…

Estate Sale Items at Yard Sale Prices!

I hoped in the car, plugged in the GPS, and went to the church.  When I pulled up there were things outside which were truly estate sale worthy.  But inside was where the treasures were, three floors.  An antiquer’s dream sale.

Buying a few items on the first and second floor, I decided I should go put them in my car and free my arms for more.  On the way out I noticed a sign, books and paintings upstairs.  Well I had not scavenged the upper floor yet, so I hurried out to the car and deposited my things.  Then I hurried back in, did not want to miss anything, especially at these prices!

And what did I find when I went up two floors? My Elsa waiting at the top of the stairs with a $25.00 price sticker! Tears streamed down my face as I paid for her. It was a moment comparable to my Mom still being with me, saying everything was going to be ok.  Oh yes, it was also my birthday week! I knew Elsa was mine from the moment I saw her, I did not know she was God ordained for me.

God is so very good to me! Yes, I get mad at Him and pout like a spoiled child.  But it is His love for me which I know to the bottom of my soul. And if I let Him, He will show me how much He loves me. Especially if I do His will for my life. Loving a stubborn child can be tough and I am blessed that God never gives up on me.

Elsa hangs over my desk to remind me of how blessed I am to have special moments with my family to reflect back upon each day. And no matter what, if I give it all to God to handle, things will turn out fine. Everything works out for His good!

Special moments with your children may affect them long after you have left this earth. We know dark memories sure do. The immense love they feel at 8, may once again revisit them at 58.  Something parents should always be mindful of and not let your days together pass in a blur of mindless activities.

My favorite statement is, “My children did not choose to be born, I chose them.”

When choosing a precious gift as a child, remember they are always precious. Even during the difficult years. They did not choose you; you chose them!

And just like the lionesses in my picture, who are grouped together to hunt and protect all of their young. Human parents need to form friendships that will assist each other in the protection and nurturing of each other’s children. For the time is now, to come together in love and understanding, if we want to change the future for our children!

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

 

I Am So Disgusted

From time to time this world gets on my nerves.  It may be because we are so connected to instant everything, we see more of the ugliness of evil.  Today, my view was of ugly, loathsome evil running rampage on the children of the world.

It disgusts me!

I am not going to mention the articles and pictures I saw on my new’s page.  Because I believe that breathes even further life into others searching for ways to be more grotesque  concerning children. But I will say this, if ever there was a time when parents, grandparents, and all adults need to focus on Luke 10:27, it is now.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.”

It is not about memorizing a bible verse but living your life based on the bible verse. For in Luke 10:27, there is no room for evil. Your example to your children is how they will live their lives. Give them a Godly example!

And if you know or see something being done to a child, say something or report it.  Because for so long, we have forgotten how to stand up to evil and it runs freely through our streets and neighborhoods. Another fact which turns my stomach is when someone steps forward to say they knew something was happening.

How can anyone turn a blind eye and allow the children to suffer?

Children are a blessing from God! They are our golden nuggets of love and joy!  Parenting is not easy but with God in your life and your home, you can do it.  And this will start the sowing seeds of love and understanding throughout our next generation of adults.

Remember, no action is siding with evil and our world displays these results loud and clear.

Stand with God and protect our children! Change our world!

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

How Would You Handle It?

I recently read an article about a family having dinner in a local restaurant. Their ten-year old is a high functioning child with autism.  And they have experienced meltdowns with him before when out in public.

This time, his older sister was teasing him and he went into meltdown mode. His mother got up, walked over to his chair, and knelt down. She rubbed his back and whispered reassuring words to him. His meltdown ceased.

After the incident the waitress came over to their table with a kind note about the mother and family. The note came from another restaurant customer who also paid for their meal. Most people who give from the heart, do not wait around for the “thank you.” This patron didn’t wait either.

Now the family, had received comments before, like asking them not to come back to the establishment. But never a comment with such a display of kindness and generosity before.  The grandfather was sure the people were really angels sent by God, because human nature appears to render aggravation rather than compassion in these situations.

What would you do or what have you done, when in a similar situation?

I guess because my husband and I are grandparents, our response is more sympathy.  And with me, I would love to go over to hold the child or help the family if I can. Sometimes if they are near us, we reassure the parents it is all part of growing up.

You see, some adults forget they were once children. And usually the ones who complain the most, were probably the more difficult child.

Now, I am not saying reward a child for bad behavior. Children can not learn how to act in public, if they are never given a chance. It is how the situation is handled which makes a difference.

Because there is nothing worse than, when a parent starts shouting at their child.  Which usually causes things to escalate. And then you know who the child models their behavior from, the parent or parents.

Have we forgotten life is an imperfect dance and children especially need a little more consideration under stressful circumstances.  Just like us, they get tired, hungry, and grumpy.  Yes, and just like adults, kids act up too.  Sometimes all that is needed is soothing words or a time out from the situation.

Parents and especially single parents, have a tough job these days. They compete with technology, media, school environments, and social environments. Not to mention the family dynamics. We the spectators, should be prepared to give a little kind consideration or maybe even some help. You can usually gauge a situation by observation and know whether to wait or to jump in and help.

Next time, think about Jesus and how He would handle the situation. Would Jesus walk over and ask them to leave? Or would He pay for their dinner and leave a kind note? Just saying.

God Bless You!

God Bless America!