Sunday, December 27, 2009


As I sit here, lap top propped on my knees, I'm staring out the window near my bed. It is snowing. Actually it is coming down fairly quickly. It was gray this this afternoon when the family got home from church. When I was fixing lunch it was barely spitting snow. After lunch I was in the bedroom for just a few minutes and when I returned to the kitchen I saw a winter wonderland outside! How did that happen? And how did it happen so fast?

What is it about snow that is so lovely? The softness of it? The quiet stillness that the snow brings with it? The way that it blankets the ground and covers up the brown, winter ugly, ground? When it snows the outside becomes a fairy land....where everything seems crisp and still. The snow makes a bluish haze as the light of the day begins to wane.

Sure, I know snow can be a nuisance when one has to shovel it, or when one has to get out of the driveway after the snow plow has gone through and blocked you in. When the dogs pee on it and stain it yellow, or when it gets tracked inside to make puddles all over the laundry room floor....then it can be a pain. BUT, I'm not thinking about that now.  I'm choosing to ignore those things. So there.

Winter Morning Poem
by Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes
Smooth and clean and frosty white
The world looks good enough to bite
That's the season to be young
Catching snowflakes on your tongue
Snow is snowy when it's snowing
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Things That Go Boom In The Night!

Early on Christmas morning I was awakened by a loud crash. When I say early, I mean exactly 3:05 am. The reason I know this is because the crash was loud enough to wake me straight out of a deep sleep, but wouldn't you know that it didn't seem to bother my husband at all? He slept right through it. Go figure.

I laid there for a minute listening to loud "movement" noises. It sounded like a giant was sliding on the metal roof of our house and then a LOUD crash. Scared me to death. What in the world could that be? Maybe huge, terradactyl like birds living on our roof? I didn't recall reading about Ohio having any left over prehistoric creatures, so that idea was out.  Besides, if that were the case wouldn't I have heard them before now?  Hmmm.....genetically altered squirrels that were playing on the roof? Santa's reindeer? Oh no, maybe Santa slipped on our metal roof and crashed to the ground!  I did not want to be known as "the one who killed Santa", so I peeked out my bedroom window...and just so you know, I'm not nuts. I was not thinking clearly. Did I mention it was three something in the morning? Okay, then.

Nothing so exciting. No scary birdlike creatures, no mutant squirrels, and certainly no jolly elf.  Several days earlier it had snowed at our house. We had icicles the size of swords hanging off our deck roof. It all looked so Currier and Ives. Well, in the wee hours of Christmas morning God sent us torrential rain. Nothing like Noah's Ark kind of raining for Christmas! The ice and snow on our roof started to melt because of the pelting rain and big, glacier size pieces slid down our metal roof and WHAM! They crashed on our deck railing and the ground surrounding our deck. Just so you know...packed snow and ice can be VERY loud. Believe me. I know. At 3:05 in the morning. Ugh.

Merry Christmas:)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mary Did You Know?

I love the song, Mary Did You Know?.  This beautiful song always reminds me that Jesus chose to leave Heaven as part of God's perfect plan and come to this earth as a baby. He came to this world knowing that He was born to die. His life for ours. He took our place so that we could have life.

Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth. It is His entrance into this world.  Yet, we would be remiss if we only celebrated Christmas, without remembering Easter. Christ's death and is this event that makes the journey complete. Jesus was born, He died....but praise His name! He lives! And it is because of His sacrificial death and resurrection that we too can live!

"Mary Did You Know"

[Originally written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene]

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Am I The Only One?

I'm going to admit to something. You'll probably think I'm nuts. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I imagine what it would be like to be IN the Christmas movie. I think I'd like to live in the big old house in It's A Wonderful Life...the one where the newel post topper keeps coming off. I believe I'd like to be a citizen of Bedford Falls and be friends with George and Mary. I want to visit the inn and celebrate a White Christmas. I want to be in Vermont when they open the barn doors and it snowing. I want to visit with Santa on 34th Street. I want to be friends with Cary Grant aka "Dudley" in The Bishop's Wife. Wouldn't it be neat if we could transport ourselves into a Currier and Ives print or a Christmas Norman Rockwell? Come on! Who wouldn't love to be all snug inside the cottage in a Thomas Kinkade painting, with the snow quietly falling down outside?

No, I'm not really psychotic. I know that the scenes in the movies are straight out of Hollywood. The characters aren't real. They are paid to act that way. I know. I know. I know. BUT, why do you think that certain Christmas movies or prints are forever in people's hearts? I'll tell you why. Because of how the movies or pictures make people FEEL. Family ties, blessings, friendships, memories being made, heartwarming traditions, solid values, character, and warmth.  The things in life that really matter. The things that the majority of people forget for most of the year....then Christmas rolls around and people remember again.  The majority of people are kinder at Christmas. Their spirit is different. It's just nice.

So, tomorrow I'm having a movie marathon with my family. We'll we watching the movies that I fell in love with years ago, while we drink our hot chocolate and eat popcorn. Making new memories and cherishing the old.  Hey.....I wonder what the weather is like in Vermont for tomorrow?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"They call me CHURA... God calls me DAUGHTER."

Those words are Shafia's.  Shafia was kidnapped, raped, family members killed....she lost so much. But she did not lose her faith in Jesus Christ. Her world could take everything that she had, but it could not take away her Jesus.  Scripture tells us, " No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 37-39

I got my Share Their Voice kit from Voice of the Martyrs yesterday.  Stories of Christians around the globe...modern day martyrs for their faith. Stories of Christians in China, Turkey, North Korea, and Sudan. Christians in Pakistan, and Columbia. People that are kidnapped, raped, tortured, imprisoned, lose their families, their homes....everything. Some people even lose their lives. All this because they refuse to deny Jesus Christ. Their love for Him far outweighs what mere man can do to them. When I read their stories, stories that the main stream media will never tell us, my heart cries out! Lord, forgive me in my selfishness, my excess, my ambivalence to those brothers and sisters in Christ that suffer around the world for You. I am so ashamed that it is easy to forget them as I go on with my daily life. Help me to share their stories with others, so that their voices won't be silenced. Father, I know that You will never forget them.... that You know each of these souls intimately.

These countries are considered restricted nations: Cuba, Belarus, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, northern Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Oman, U.A.E, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,  Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, China, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bhutan, Maldives and Bangladesh.  In these countries there are government policies and practices that deny Christians the ability to obtain Bibles or Christian literature, also laws against Christians that cause them to be harassed, imprisoned, killed, or deprived of their possessions or liberties because of their witness.

These countries are considered hostile areas: Chiapas (Mexico), Columbia, Turkey, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Mindanao (Philippines). These countries have large areas where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population, but Christians are victims of violence because of their witness.

Remember the Christians in these countries mentioned. Even if you don't know them by name, God knows them. Many times pain cannot be avoided by these warriors for the faith, but you can pray for them to have  strength and determination until their journey is done. Pray that no matter what may befall them, that they will be found faithful.

"Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."  Hebrews 13: 3

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Heart Tug

Today I was out in the dining the house.  I was doing my usual stuff, vacuuming and dusting when I turned around and my eye was caught by the Christmas cards I'd hung around the entrance going into the kitchen.  We have lots of Christmas cards.  LOTS.  I stopped what I was doing and re-looked at the cards.  My heart was tugged and my eyes started to get moist (as my son likes to tell me happens often) as I read the messages on the cards.  This year has been a difficult year for my family. Building a house out of state, moving to a new area, totaling my car, my husband's job loss in the midst of all this.... We've learned a lot this year about what it really means to depend on God to provide for all our needs. One thing that I was reminded of today while looking at the cards was how much God has truly blessed me with family and friends. Each one of the signatures on the cards lets me know that there are people in my life who love me. I am not alone. I know that we have hundreds of people all over the country--even the world, that care about us, and have been praying for us throughout this year. That in itself is a gift beyond compare.

I was worried back in the Fall that we wouldn't have much for Christmas this year. I LOVE Christmas and was sort of depressed thinking that because of our finances we wouldn't get to do much or give much this year.  It made me sad. But, you know what? God is good. He is good all the time, no matter what the circumstances. He already gave me the wonderful gift of His Son, which we celebrate this time of year. That alone is enough!  BUT, I believe that God knows my heart. He knows I love this time of year. He longs to bless me. As a parent I enjoy giving things to my children--how much more does God wish to do that for me...for His children? God has "gifted" me with friends who have invited us to their homes for Christmas parties and fun dinners. We have a church family that loves us and we are involved with. I have a mom who sent us a goody box filled with treats to bake throughout the holiday season, family that has sent us gifts or gift certificates so that we can get something special, also gifts for the kids. My heart is tugged when I realize I have so much!  My cup runneth over. And over. And over.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

North Pole

If you have young children that still believe in Santa then this is the site for you! It really is cute.  Santa's village has all sorts of activities going on. There is of course, the section for children...but, they have a section of recipes, stuff for teachers and parents, games, and a place to click on to learn how to make Christmas crafts. All this fun is free, which goes right along with the spending less money for the Christmas experiment thing I've got going on.  Have fun on your trip north!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas In Historic Rugby

I lived in Tennessee for 23 years.  Though I was not a native of that state (having been born and raised in Maryland) I grew to love it. Tennessee became my home and it will always hold a special place in my heart. One of my favorite things to do was to visit Rugby, TN. during one of the first two weekends in December. Rugby was a good couple of hours from my home in Knoxville...but well worth the drive.  Unless one knows about Rugby it is sort of difficult to find. As you wind your way through the mountains of east Tennessee, you head towards the Cumberland Plateau.  I remember driving on a two lane road through a forest of trees, when suddenly it opens up and there you are in Rugby. Rugby is a town that was settled by European colonists in the 1880's. Thomas Hughes was the founder and he had plans for Rugby to be a kind of Utopia.  You can read all about the history of the village, here. You can click on the history, pictures, the Christmas activities page...just look around.

This village is very interesting and beautifully decorated for Christmas, just as it was in the 1880's.  One feels like they have been transported back in time to a Victorian village where ladies wore long dresses and carried hand muffs. The men had coats with tails, and stopped to wish you a Merry Christmas as they walked down the street. You might hear carolers in the distance, or stop by the lantern lit church to hear the Christmas story.  Maybe you want to visit with friends while you sip some hot wassil.

Rugby is not just a historical museum, like Williamsburg, VA. There are actually houses that real people live in. The houses have to look the part, so to speak.  But I think it would be quaint to live in such a place.  There are no grocery stores near by, or movie theatres, or Walmarts. I supposed the residents have to drive if they need the more modern conveniences. The decision to live in a town that prides itself in its history would have to be weighed against being isolated from the more modern conveniences I mentioned.  Still, to visit is a real treat for the senses.  So, if you are ever in east or middle Tennessee during the first couple of weekends in December, why not take a trip back in time? You might just find out that you like it there!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Nostalgia

Last night I was looking up Woolsworth online.   I remembered that store from my childhood and the Santa house that always sat in front of the store during the month of December.  Isn't it interesting how one remembers little things?  I found out that Woolsworth closed it's doors forever in the United States in 1997.  It had a fascinating history. There is even a book written about Woolsworth, that I believe I'd like to read. It was the best five and dime store, long before Walmart ever thought about being a discount giant!

So anyway, I was thinking about Christmas and remembering things from my childhood. I surfed the internet and found a blog that this lady had written about her childhood in the 50's. She talked about what Christmas used to be like before all the electronic gadgets and gizmos.  I really enjoyed her story telling.  It made me nostalgic thinking of my own childhood Christmas'. (not from the 50's though!) My childhood Christmas memories took place in the 70's and early 80's.

Every Christmas Eve my Mom and Dad, and my sister and I would go to my paternal grandparents house. So would all the other  relatives from that side of the family. The downstairs was decorated (which my sister and I had decorated a few weeks before ---like putting a big red nose on my grandfather's deer head that was mounted on the wall) the food was laid out as far as the eye could see! After the kids ate we'd all sneak back upstairs to the living room with the big Christmas tree. We'd "oh and ah" over all the gifts.....because we always got to open our gifts from Mammaw and Pappaw on Christmas Eve night.  Before any gift opening went on we all went to the Christmas Eve service at church.  I remember how beautiful our little stone church looked when decorated for Christmas. The stained glass windows, the greenery and candles.....and it was quiet. There was a hush over the congregation on this very special night.  I remember singing Silent Night, and Joy To The World.  Then it was back to my grandparents for more eating....and opening of presents. Woo hoo!  I remember how exciting it was as a child--the anticipation was half the fun!

Christmas morning my sister and I woke up to gifts under the family tree. There are some "interesting" pictures of us on Christmas morning, with some serious "bed head" going on.  The kind that only young children can pull off!  Pictures in front of the tree....and boy did we have some doozies of live trees. One year our tree looked like a big evergreen bush instead of a tree. The truth is that with decorations and lots of tinsel (which my mom always said needed to be "placed" and not thrown on the tree--which was my idea of how to get it done) the tree looked pretty.

I remember my mom had several big Christmas albums (were they called 78's?). I loved it when she'd get the albums out and put them on the stereo (which was in a huge wooden cabinet). Nat King Cole and Mahalia Jackson would sing songs of Christmas. I can still hear them even all these years later.

After our gift opening---we got dressed and headed to my mom's relatives houses. We ate breakfast at one aunt and uncles, brunch at another, lunch somewhere else and then desserts at yet another. This gave us ample opportunity to eat and visit and look at everyone's decorated trees and gifts they had received. It was a huge day-long extravaganza. I was blessed enough to have all my extended family living near by. I loved that as a child, but oh how much more I appreciate the opportunity I had,  now that I am an adult with my own children!

I remember my Mom's sausage and cheese on rye breakfast treats,  my Aunt D's seafood dinner, my Aunt B's desserts...I could go on and on, but I'm making myself hungry.Looking back over my blog I see that we did a lot of eating during the holidays.  It's true, but man was it good stuff!

Christmas memories. Good times.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vintage Christmas

I just finished reading an interesting article on vintage wrapping paper. The lady writing the article is an artist. She started collecting the paper in the 1980's--and found quite the treasure trove through her own family members. The paper from the 40's, 50's and 60's is especially interesting. The paper can be used for art projects or if someone is really special they might get a gift wrapped in the special paper.  The cheery, simple patterns are a preserved memory of yesteryear. I enjoy that. There is something about the simplicity of the patterns and pictures that appeals to me. I was born in 1968 so I wasn't around in the 40's, 50's or most of the 60's...but I still enjoy the movies, decorations, and spirit of the holidays from that time period. I suppose I just have an old soul.

Some of the same pictures on the paper, mirror actual decorations from that time period. I do remember as a child, the Shiny Brite glass ornaments my mom had for us to decorate the tree with. ( I don't know for sure, but she probably bought them at Woolsworth.) Wow, if I knew then what I know now! Those glass ornaments are valuable now...for collectors, yes....but, much more valuable for the memories. My mom had some beautiful pink, icicle-like tree decorations that were her favorites. I wonder whatever happened to those? Also, I remember the little choir singers in red and white gowns. They were wax candles. (but mom never burned them....they were "for decoration only.") We had a nativity scene that was always a treat to unwrap each year.  One year baby Jesus' arm got broken, and I think a camel lost a leg. We just glued it back on. I suppose Mom could have gone out and bought a new nativity, but it wouldn't have been as good as the old one. One that had been loved on.  Mom, if you are reading this...whatever happened to that nativity? Do you still have it? Just curious. Just remembering.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas...

Well, it snow flurried today. We are supposed to be getting some real snow on Monday. It sure is cold enough! The temps aren't supposed to get above the 30's all week! I say cold weather gives us a  perfect opportunity for hot chocolate and flavored mocha coffee. Hey, a girl has to have some vices....and mine happens to be chocolate. So there.  I'd love for it to snow....BUT before that happens I want the pantry to be stocked. I am all about preparedness. I want to look out the window at the snow. I might even play in the snow. I'll definitely take pictures of the white stuff.  I just don't want to have to traverse slippery roads in the snow. One car accident this year is enough. (it still makes me weepy to think about my Camry. R.I.P)

I thought for today's blog post I would post some of my Christmas decorating pictures.  I love my house all the time...but especially at Christmas. It just looks so pretty.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Sentimental Christmas

The other day I was standing in the living room looking at our family Christmas tree. I've had this particular tree for several years. I think I bought it after Christmas in 2002. Pretty good deal for a nice 7 ft. tree. More than the tree, are all the ornaments on it.  I have a lot of ornaments. I mean a lot. Each one means something to me.  Now, I know there are people who buy a tree and decorate it with color coordinated lights and trim. The tree is an awesome sight to behold. That is NOT how I do our family tree. I have my dog ornament that my mom got for me when my pet, Buster, died in 2004. I have all the handmade ornaments that my son made for me while growing up. To me, nothing is better then all the pictures of  him when he was 3, 4, 5 years old, held together with string and hot glue. What about the moose one from our vacation to Wyoming? I love the decorations my young nieces made for me out of dough. Or the one's I got at Cracker Barrel at the after Christmas sale? My Aunt D. bought me a ceramic Christmas tree and gave it to me the first Christmas I was out on my own, after graduating from college. I've had it on display during the holidays for 19 years!  Each ornament has a memory associated with it. That is a big reason why I enjoy putting up the Christmas tree each year. It gives me the opportunity to "relive" the memories behind each decoration.

When I remarried I bought even more ornaments for my "new" son and daughter. A hockey ornament (because he played hockey), a soccer ornament for her because she started playing soccer ,along with my son, who played soccer since he was 6. After getting remarried I got a his and her bear ornament for the tree. A couple of years ago I had all three kids help me string cranberries and popcorn to make garland for our tree. We had fun doing that (and also cheated and ate as we went).  Our tree is not worthy of Better Homes and Gardens....but that is fine by me, because our tree is mixed with memories, old and new, and strung together with love.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Swag

Do you have a chandelier hanging in your kitchen or dining room? I'm not talking cut crystal or anything like that...I mean just a regular simple chandelier. Well, we have one in our dining room and so I had thought what can I do to dress it up for Christmas without spending any money? For Christmas decorating purposes I had already decided that I was going to hang clear glass Christmas balls on ribbon and tie them to the arms of the chandelier--hanging at different heights for visual appeal. My oldest son had a good idea. He took some greenery and carefully began to weave it through the light, leaving some of the greenery hanging, along with the suspended clear glass balls. Wow. It looks really pretty...and was so simple! We already had the stuff so no money spent. Yea!

Another idea, and a fun craft a pack of the clear, hollow plastic Christmas balls. (not much at the Dollar Store) Pop the top off (where the hook goes in the ball) and put a drop of craft paint in the ball. Put your thumb over the hole in the top and twist the ball back and forth so the drop of paint moves around. You can make some really cool patterns, you can use two different paints if you want, but be careful you don't mix too much or it will look brown instead of showing your intended colors.  After the paint dries, pop the hook thingy back in the top and hang your decoration up!  Wa La! Now you have Art Deco decorations!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Advent Verses

I found this great article in a Christmas edition magazine from Better Homes and Gardens. (2000)

For a quiet time activity that teaches the true meaning of Christmas, gather the family and share the Bible readings below. This compilation of verses includes the prophecy and birth of Jesus, interspersed with favorite Psalms.

Day 1 --Micah 5:2-5a

Day 2--Psalm 72, A Prayer for the King

Day 3--Isaiah 11:1-6

Day 4--Psalm 121, A Song of Ascents

Day 5--Romans 15:12-13

Day 6--Isaiah 7:14-15

Day 7--Isaiah 9:6-7

Day 8--Psalm 98,  Sing a New Song

Day 9--Luke 1: 26-38

Day 10--Luke 1: 39-45

Day 11--Luke 1: 46-50, 56

Day 12--Matthew 1: 18-25

Day 13--Luke 2: 1-7

Day 14--John 3: 16-17

Day 15-- John 1: 14-18

Day 16--Luke 2: 8-14

Day 17--Isaiah 12: 5-6

Day 18--Luke 2: 15-20

Day 19--Psalm 100,  A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Day 20--Matthew 2: 1-6

Day 21--Numbers 24: 17

Day 22--Matthew 2: 7-10

Day 23--Matthew 2: 11-12

Day 24--Proverbs 3: 5-8

Day 25--Psalm 145,  My God and King

Friday, November 27, 2009

Take A Ride

The only money that this activity will cost is a little gas money.  Take your special someone....or the entire family, to look at Christmas lights.  Most cities and towns decorate for the holidays. If you're lucky, you might find whole neighborhoods that go in together to put on a full light extravaganza. It is fun to see which neighbor has the most "over the top" display, or which one is "Christmas classic".

Check out your local paper to see if there are any Holiday light shows or house tours going on in your area. I know when I lived in Knoxville, TN. we had the Victorian House Tour. I loved it! Several houses in Old North Knoxville would be decorated for Christmas. The owners were gracious enough to let us, "looky loos", into their homes to see their turn of the century houses adorned with beautiful decorations.

There are also Christmas parades that don't cost anything to watch....but are plenty of fun!

Plenty of things to do around town...things that don't cost much, but would be full of Christmas memories.  Go look...and have fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I wanted to share something my friend Adela recently wrote for her Facebook status......

This Thanksgiving, we may think we're poor, feel like bums, insecure.
But in truth, our riches astound. We have friends & family we love, We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more than they sell in stores, We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, enjoy what you've got; Realize's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bargain Christmas

Now, I admit I might be a little slow....but, I did not know until recently that Goodwill had shopping online!  If you love Ebay, you'd love too!  I've been a fan of Goodwill for years, but I always just went to the store to shop.  (I have an addiction to   comfy T-shirts with crazy slogans on the front) Anyway, I'm getting off task here.... so, on a recent jaunt to the store I noticed a big sign out front that said shoppers should check out their online site.  Never one to turn down a deal I did as they said and was pleasantly surprised.

Now, if you are a mall shopper, and the thought of recycling items makes you ill then maybe you should not continue reading this post. If trash to treasure makes you uneasy or finding a hidden gem is scary....then this is definitely NOT the blog post for you.

BUT, if you are like me and are up for some treasure hunting and like to use your creativity for good, then you'll love today's Christmas experiment post.  I personally love old things. Things with a story. Things with character. I'm not a big fan of the mass produced if it can be helped.  So, I noticed when browsing the site today that there are lots of holiday decorations for cheap. You can go online and bid for an item--similar to the whole Ebay thing.  I noticed some vintage Christmas balls for the tree, still in the original boxes. Talk about character. They looked beautiful.  They would be perfect for the tree if you don't have young children or pets that would grab them....or in a pretty bowl to set on your table. Or to hang from your windows with a bit of ribbon.  I also saw a ton of nativity scenes.  (Why anyone would want to get rid of their nativity scene is beyond me.) How about pieces for a Christmas village or the piece de resistance...a box of  four Christopher Radko ornaments? (a guy who designs and makes gorgeous glass ornaments) Some stuff is kitchy and not really what I'm interested in, but a true "yard sale junkie" loves the thrill of the hunt for that one thing that makes it all worth while.  You know what I mean.

So, go have some fun. Check it out.  Even if you don't want to buy anything right might get some good ideas.  Who knows you might find the perfect holiday piece, for very little money. With a little TLC you could give it an entirely new YOUR house for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Drinks

A couple of years ago my aunt gave me a Christmas book. ( It is Jeanne Bice's Quacker Factory Christmas book. ) I love it!  It's a simple book filled with family stories and loaded with great recipes and decorating tips for the holidays. Right up my alley, so to speak.

I thought I'd share with you, two of her drink recipes.

Donna's Hot Chocolate---- this is a slow cooker recipe. I love to make it and have the family and I  dip into the pot through out the day. Nothing is better than a mug of hot chocolate on a cold wintry day!  Also great to take to a Christmas party, or to have available after a day of sledding, or an evening of Christmas caroling in the neighborhood.

1 box instant powdered milk (8 quart size)

1 pound box Nestle's Quik

One 6 oz. jar non-dairy creamer

1/2 cup powdered sugar

(the ingredients might cost a little extra money up front...but it makes a lot of mix so you will get many, many cups of hot chocolate out of this in the long run.)

Mix the dry ingredients and put in a container until you need it. ( I use a large tupperware container--the one that is used to keep cereal in.)

To use:  add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry mix per cup of water in your slow cooker and mix it well. Turn the slow cooker to low, and let it simmer.  ( I give it an hour or two....but just taste test it to see if it is hot enough for you:)  You might wish to top with some whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Cider in a Slow Cooker---makes about 8 cups, but is easily doubled or tripled.

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole clove

1 teaspoon allspice

8 cups apple cider

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 sliced orange

Put cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it to form a bag.

Warm the brown sugar  and cider in the slow cooker until the sugar dissolves. Add the spice bag and place the oranges on top. Turn the slow cooker on low and simmer at least 2 hours....Just remove the spice bag before serving.  Enjoy!

By the way, both these drinks are yummy to consume....but also make your house smell absolutely delicious while they are simmering in the crock pot!

I found some more stuff to share for the Christmas Experiment.....guess you'll have to check it out tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Family Picture Wreath

People, the Christmas Experiment is like a snowball. The more I get rolling the bigger it gets!

I saw a super neat idea the other day for a unique indoor Christmas wreath.

Go find an old wire hanger. We all have these hangers around the house....somewhere. (I now prefer the plastic kind, but I still have a ton of the wire ones around....most in the hall closet.)  Bend the wire hanger into a circle to make a form for your wreath.  You can either use original family pictures (of various sizes) or if you don't want to take the chance of messing up your pics, you can make color copies of them (if you have a copier).  Either take some scotch tape or some of that sticky tack  stuff to attach your pics to your wire wreath form.  Arrange the pics so some overlap others.  If you are feeling extremely festive you can get some ribbon and make a bow to hang from your wreath.  Hang your wreath in a place that it is easily visible to visitors. Family will have a fun time looking at your creative wreath full of family memories from years past.

(P.S.) This can also be done with the fronts of Christmas cards if you are just too squeamish to use your actual pictures.  Christmas cards will also be colorful and fun to look at:)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Country Pleasures

The simplest of pleasures is sometimes just a kind word spoken to others......

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.
~Richard Crashaw

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?"  ----J.B. Priestley, novelist and playwright

"At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year." -Thomas Tusser

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." -Dr. Seuss

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." -Peg Bracken

"The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart." -Helen Keller

"Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmas time." -Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas In Black and White

I will admit I am a huge fan of black and white movies.  Christmas movies are no exception.

I love spending afternoons or evenings watching holiday movies during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Watching movies at home is A LOT cheaper than actually going to the theatre. You can make your own popcorn at home if you want the "ambiance" of going to the movies. (and just as a side note I saw on the news this morning, research shows that a large movie theatre popcorn is a whopping 1700 calories! Staying at home to watch movies can save you A LOT of calories! Hey, I'm just trying to keep you informed.)

I started a tradition with my son when he was about 5 years old.  Every year, the weekend after Thanksgiving we would pull out all the Christmas decorations. As we were decorating we would drink hot chocolate and watch "It's A Wonderful Life".  Now my son is 14 and just the other day he asked me which day next weekend, were we  going to make hot chocolate and watch "It's A Wonderful Life" and decorate the tree? Children love tradition....and so do adults!

When I got remarried and gained a new husband and two new children we made some new traditions of our own. This year, even though all our kids are teens I'm thinking we might have a cookie baking/decorating day. It might be a messy endeavor with all the "help" in the kitchen....but it will be something to remember.

So, why not get the family together for some classics? Here is a list of my "must see" Christmas movies. Hope you enjoy!

The Bishops Wife--- starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. 1947 (there was a remake called The Preacher's Wife starring Whitney Houston--I liked it, but not near as much as the original.)

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn---starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. 1942 (the film where audiences first heard the now classic, "White Christmas".)

Irving Berlin's White Christmas---starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.1954 (an all time favorite. Who doesn't love it snowing at the inn in Vermont?)

Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life---starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. 1947 (another favorite that reminds me each year how blessed I really am. "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets it's wings!" )

Miracle On 34th Street---starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn. 1947 (this movie won three Academy Awards in 1947. I know they made a remake of this movie, but nothing is ever as good as the first!)

Christmas In Connecticut--- starring  Barbara Staywyck, Dennis Morgan, and Sydney Greenstreet. 1945 (funny movie)

A Christmas Carol--- starring Alastair Sim. 1951 (although there have been many, many versions of the Charles Dicken's classic, the 1951 version is deemed the best)

Along with the classics, there are some movies that I really enjoy that have been made more recently.

Prancer---starring Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, and Abe Vigoda. 1989 (can reindeer really fly?)

Prancer Returns---starring John Corbett, Stacy Edwards, Michael O'Keefe, and Jack Palance. 2001 (the sequel to the first Prancer movie)

The Christmas Shoes ---starring Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams. 2002 (this movie is based on the #1 hit song "Christmas Shoes" by Newsong.  It is a real heart- tugger.)

The Christmas Blessing---starring Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, and Angus T. Jones. Rob Lowe makes an appearance. 2007 (sequel to The Christmas Shoes)

The Christmas Card---starring John Newton, Alice Evans, and Edward Asner. 2007 (I found this movie last December and absolutely LOVED it. I am a real sucker for the romance movies anyway. The gist of the story is a soldier in Afganistan gets a Christmas card...that changes his life. Now, doesn't that make you wonder? You have to get this movie!)

Hope you enjoyed the movie list as part of the Christmas Experiment. Keep checking in to see what is next!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Give A Cup Of Cheer

This is the simplest of things to do for Christmas....but sometimes the things that are the most simple, simply mean the most.

Give everyone in your family a cup or mug from the kitchen cabinet.  Or you could use jars if you have them on hand.  These will be their "cups of cheer" during the holiday season.  Make sure they are each labeled with the person's name. (Just use some masking tape or something that is not permanent---unless you want to go all out and permanently mark or stencil them.) Have the mugs setting in a community area of the house. (Kitchen counter, living room table etc.) Take a piece (or more) of construction paper and cut it  into thin strips (leave the strips near the mugs). Each member of the family then writes something they love about the other family members on separate strips of  the paper and puts the paper sentiment in each person's mug. The point is to do this and slip it in the person's mug of cheer without them seeing you do it, sometime throughout the day. The person can check their mug periodically or at an assigned time during the evening....whatever works for your family members.

Everyone loves to know that they are loved and appreciated. What parent's heart doesn't melt when a child writes something sweet to their mom or dad or tells them that they are loved? What child doesn't love to read that their mom or dad thinks that they are awesome? ( I don't care if they are 2, 12, or 20 they still love it!)  It could be something as simple as, "I love the way you helped me put the groceries away. You always know when I could use a helping hand."  to " You have the most dazzling smile. I just love when you share your smile with me!"  or "You rock when it comes to baking cookies!"  You get the idea.

The only stipulation for the cup of cheer is that no negative comments are allowed. Stress to siblings that there will be no snarky sentiments allowed AT ALL. The point is to spread love. We can always find good in others if we choose to focus on the positive. No matter how cold it gets outside---the heart of your family members can always stay warm if each day they "drink" from their cup of cheer. This is for the month of December, but you might find it is a fun thing to do and keep the cups of cheer going...all year long!

Keep tuning in for more of the Christmas Experiment........

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bringing Peace To Your Home for the Holidays

Today I've done some more "research" for my Christmas experiment.  I came across an article in "life:beautiful" magazine (Winter 2008-Wanda J. Ventling and Allan Edeker).  It was an excellent article on ways to bring peace home.  I thought, "what a great article!"  True peace only comes from the Prince of peace...which is Jesus Christ. I have fun celebrating around this time of the year, but I don't ever want to forget that the real meaning of Christmas has everything to do with Christ, and nothing at all to do with the glitz and commercialism that society has created.

Some of the peaceful things that were listed in this article are:

1. Get lost in music. ------ Do you know that calming music can lower your heart rate? A great thing to know if you are rushing around this Christmas season. Plus who doesn't love Christmas music?  Don't be afraid to sing. Even if you don't have the voice of an angel--your family will applaud your effort. After all who doesn't smile when singing Christmas songs?

2. Pray.---- You don't have to carry your burdens alone. (Phil. 4:6-7) God knows this time of the year can be stressful. He wants to hear from you.

3. Avoid envy. ----We are all dealing with our own issues. Sometimes people that look like they have their holiday wrapped up in a pretty bow are the very ones that are becoming the most unraveled. Don't fall for the deception.

4. Buy a good joke book.---  Share with your kids. Laugh out loud....laugh until you snort:)The cornier the better.

5. Spend within your means.--- Don't stress yourself out more by knowing that you've maxed our your credit cards. The bill will have to be paid. It is not worth it. Really. You know it is the truth.

6. Count your blessings. Put things in context. Even the poorest of us have so much to be thankful for!   There are always others who have it a lot worse then you do. Why not help someone else?

7. Smile. Not only does it make you look younger, it reduces stress and releases endorphins. Plus others will be drawn to you if you look like you are happy:)

8. Volunteer. Nothing better than helping someone else. Take the focus off yourself.

9. Get enough sleep. Rest restores. Enough said.

10. Make comfort foods. It will make you feel good to make your mom's special Christmas cookies, or grandma's yummy baked macaroni. Tradition is something everyone loves.

A couple of other great decorating ideas I came across.........

Cut out pieces of white paper in 2 in.x 2 in. squares. (construction paper, printer paper, or small index cards cut in half or thirds) Punch a hole in the top of each piece.  Print a letter on each card with crayons or markers until you have spelled out "Merry Christmas".  Take a piece of ribbon, yarn...whatever you have, and lace it through the holes.  Hang the word garland on a mantle, across a door opening, or above a child's bed.  If you feel creative you can make several word garlands with other sayings such as "Winter Wonderland", " Jesus is the Reason for the Season", or " Twas The Night Before Christmas". The garlands are simple but cute. Most children would enjoy helping with this....let them decorate their own.

If you love hot chocolate as much as I do you'll love this little bit of festive creativity. What is better than having a steaming mug of hot chocolate on the cold winter days leading up to Christmas?  Try this little trick for the hot chocolate lovers at your house.  Make your hot chocolate as usual.  Add 2 big marshmallows on top with a little special something!  (The special something is this:  take a piece of paper (about 1in. x 1in.) and make a stencil.  Fold the little paper in half and cut out a half heart. Open it up and you have a mini heart stencil.  Put the little stencil on top of the marshmallow and sprinkle a little bit of the hot chocolate mix, or baking cocoa powder on the stencil....pull the stencil away and wa la! you have a little heart on the marshmallow.) Your kids and husband will notice the little touch. They will think you are so cool. And of course you will agree!!!

Stay tuned for more "Christmas Experiment" blogs!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas!

Sorry for being such a slacker this week with my blog.  In the evening (when I normally blog) I've just been so tired that I kept saying, ""I'll do it tomorrow."  Next thing I knew the week was gone and I hadn't updated.  Shame on me.

So, I've been coming to terms with the fact that we don't have a lot of money this year for Christmas. (not that we've ever been loaded, but this year is especially thin due to the lack of jobs thingy we have going on:)  This is the first Christmas since '07 that we will be able to "full out" decorate.  The past couple of Christmases we have been packing for our big move, didn't feel like getting everything out with boxes sitting all around, you know what I mean.

I have always been a Christmas kind of a gal. I love to decorate, I love the season's music, I love a mix of familiar and quirky, and I'm all about family tradition. So......... this week I've pulled out all my Christmas books and magazines. Yes, I save them. I am one of those weird individuals that DOES save magazines and actually pours over them again and again....year after year. Hey, good ideas are good ideas and classics are classics for a reason!

I'm already making a list of things that I want to do with the family. Things that are free or very minimal in the forking over of money. I know that we are not the only ones out there that are hurting due to job loss, down turn of the economy etc.  Everyone is feeling the pinch. There are so many things that can be done that will make awesome memories for the family and still not break the bank.  I'm viewing this as a fun and festive experiment.  How many things can I do (with the family) that won't cost anything?

THE EXPERIMENT IS ON!  Yesterday I started looking through my magazines/books for ideas.  I won't actually start decorating for Christmas until the Friday after Thanksgiving. (Because I LOVE Thanksgiving too--and have a lot to be thankful for... I don't want to crowd Thanksgiving out of it's rightful place,  I am not one of those people that jump the gun so to speak with the holidays.)

First thing I worked on was my list. The list is an ongoing thing. I went around the house and looked at objects that I already have that could be "repurposed" or dressed up for the holidays.  For instance, the small garden urn that I have can sit on our dining room table filled with old Christmas balls that I might not hang on the tree, but would still be shiney and festive setting in the urn.  Or I could add a couple of pine tree sprigs and ask our neighborhood friend if I could gather some of her pine cones to add to the table urn?

Have any red, silver, gold, or green picture frames? What about framing some of the pretty Christmas cards that you receive? Set the picture frames on a table in the living room or in the hall.  Instant holiday art.

Does your family like to eat spaghetti? Do you  buy the sauce in the jars?  Save the glass jars.  Peel the labels off--and wash the jars well.  Buy a pack of white votive candles (you can get really cheap at the Dollar Store) and put them in the glass jars. Group several of the jars together for soft, warm elegance. If they can use lots of candles for the Christmas holiday at Colonial Williamsburg and have such a beautiful scene, than so can you!!!

These are just a few things......the plan is for me to blog about my "Christmas Experiment". I will add pictures as I go along. So tune in for Christmas creativity galore!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hold My Hand

When the waves crash around me

And I do not understand,

When I feel myself going under

Father, please hold my hand!


When I'm in a dark night

and I can't see the plan,

When the stars no longer shine

Father, please hold my hand!


When life becomes so hard

and all I ask is, "Why?"

When I long to smile,

but only seem to cry

Father, please don't let me go

I want to hold Your hand.


When life has knocked me to my knees

and it hurts to stand

I am so tired and weak

Oh Father, I want to hold Your hand!


I will hold Your hand.

I will not let it go.

You are my strength

and I know you love me so!


Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.  Proverbs  3:5-6





Monday, November 9, 2009

Man Who Snapped? Or Terrorist?

This crazy man who let loose on the soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood last Friday...did he just snap or was he a terrorist?
After hearing what others have had to say about him and his personal activities it really has to make one wonder. It for sure was premeditated. He was giving personal possessions away before this whole thing went down. He was yelling Islamic exclamations before shooting people, and he obviously had back up ammo to be able to mow down 13 people....and wound 29.
I really have about had it with the media telling us that Islam is a religion of peace. My last blog was about the Muslim father who ran over his daughter because she was too westernized. Then Friday this massacre occurs in Texas with the guy yelling "Allah" as he murders everyone in sight.
And the real kicker is the media said over the weekend....the poor man was harassed in the military. Oh, boo hoo! Give me a break! I don't care what anyone said he had no right to kill all those people. None. I think that is all just a ruse anyway. I think he knew full well what he was doing. He CHOSE this for himself.
And by the way, Mr. President where are you during all this? Haven't heard much from you about this awful thing that happened in Texas. You very briefly said something....not a whole lot of sympathy for those who died, or those that lost loved ones. How come?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Her Father Murdered Her

I saw on the news again today that a young American woman of middle-eastern descent was killed by her father.  This is so repulsive to me. HE RAN HER OVER WITH HIS CAR!!!  His reasoning was that she was becoming too westernized.  He rather her be dead then be westernized.  THEN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD WHY DID HE MOVE HIS FAMILY TO THE UNITED STATES????  A child is supposed to be able to depend on their parents for unconditional love, support, and advice.  How terrible it must have been for her, as her last dying thought, to know that her own FATHER was her murderer.

There is far too much of this going on in the world.  These "honor killings" (and I use the word honor very loosely in that description) are right here on our doorstep in America.  All to often I hear on the news of young women whose fathers or brothers have taken it upon themselves to "save the family honor" by KILLING their own daughters or sisters.  Most of us don't see that as honor. It is weakness. When men disfigure or kill women because those women don't agree with them, or aren't living up to some preordained "standards" then those men (a.k.a killers)  are nothing but weak bullies.

Yes, this makes me irate.  This kind of deadly behavior happens in countries around the world.....and now it is infiltrating my country too.  And I for one am mad about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Of Mice and Men...Uh Make That Women Too.

Life is difficult right now for a lot of people. The economy is in a slump, people not being able to find jobs, penny pinching is the norm.  We could all use a good laugh, and because I don't mind using my own fiasco's of life to make for a good story and hopefully some it is.

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile know that my family moved into our new house this past summer. We had built it ourselves (of course with the help of at least a million other people) and are pretty happy with how things have turned out.  Except for the fact that since we built our house in the middle of what used to be open farmland, basically a big field, we have field mice. Okay, so we moved into their territory.....they need to get over it! They invaded our garage in full rodent force.   That was bad enough as I am not friends of rodents named Mickey, Stuart, or Jerry.  Well, really I'm not friends with any rodents. a matter of fact I am an arch enemy. Just so you know where I stand.

So, the fact we had these furry creatures in our garage was bad enough......but when one escaped into the living quarters of the house.....and by living quarters I mean the master bedroom/bath.....this was all out war! So, here is the story from my point of view, others might say differently (namely my husband) but don't listen to them...because I'm telling the story here.

The other night I had to use the bathroom before going to bed. (as God gave me the bladder the size of a pea, that is just my burden to bear) It was a little after 10 and I was tired. I trudged into the bathroom and had just sat down when IT ran right under my feet. At this point my brain has not caught up with my vocal cords.  As I lifted my feet straight off the floor I let out a scream. My brain kicked in when my husband came tearing into the bathroom, at my obvious distress. The fact that I'm sitting on the toilet with my legs stuck straight out, pointing at the corner of the room..... he guessed it was the mouse.  He is a smart man.  I, still perched on the toilet, told him "to get it!"  He grabbed a trap we had (since we had been trying to get the fur ball since the evening before) and he cornered the mouse.  Long story short the mouse got his leg caught in the trap and there was a lot of squealing going on. (by the mouse,not my husband) My husband stood there with a wriggling mouse. He was my hero!  The Mouse Master!

So, he wasn't sure what to do with it since it was still alive. He took it outside where our outdoor kitty saw him and thought to herself, " Daddy, thank you so much! You brought me a night time snack. How thoughtful of you." She took off with it and needless to say the bathroom mouse was no more.

As an ending to the story I had to clean up the mouse "remnants" the next morning. Yuck. I know why I hate mice and their little "presents" they leave behind.  I cloroxed everything. Let that clean aroma be a deterrent to any other rodents that get the idea that they can share my house. The only time I'm interested in seeing a rodent is if it's on TV being chased by Tom.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wanting To Knock On The Door Of Small Town America

It is still a dream of mine. A dream I've had for several years. One I'd like to accomplish before I die. Hopefully, I will have many years to work on the project:)

I've mentioned before that I want to write a book about small town America. I long to travel the entire 50 states visiting the towns that many people have never heard of.  Places that are home to many wonderful Americans. Places that have not lost their appeal.  Places that have survived the years. Time has moved on...but yet parts have stayed the same.  I want to search for the stories that will make readers long "to be there".  Secretly wishing that they just lived down the street.

I want to hear the life changing stories of the well as the mundane routines that get them through the day. I believe everyone has a story to tell.  There are those people that are natural born story tellers that can weave a story that captures the listener from the very first breath. Sometimes a story is stuck inside a person, but with some gentle prodding a real gem emerges. It just requires some polishing before it really shines!  Some stories might make us laugh. Some would surely make us cry. Some would create pride in our collective heart while others might cause us to gasp in surprise. All would make us think.

Many of you might be like  me... and I suspect you probably are. In a world that is at times chaotic, it is comforting to sit down with a good book.  Many times words, whether uttered or written, can be soothing to the soul.


To my readers:  Any suggestions for a small town (let's say 5,000 residents or less) in your state? Where would you suggest I visit?

Friday, October 30, 2009

God In America pt.2

Those that say God has no place in America obviously don't know their history. Or they choose out right denial of  the history of the United States of America.God has been an important part of the United States since the very beginning.

I have a wonderful book entitled America's God and Country-Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer. It is a great book, and it is truly amazing how MUCH God is mentioned throughout our country's history.

" We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."   Samual Adams at the signing of the Declaration of Independence 1776.

"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual....Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no many ought to take from us."  Provincial Congress of Massachusetts 1774 in addressing inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay.

"We the people of the United States, in order to the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity...." The Constitution of the United States  September 17, 1787  ( of note is the fact that virtuallly every one of the 55 writers and signers of the U.S Constitution of 1787 were members of Christian denominations)

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life...."  Declaration of Independence July 2, 1776.

" The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope. "   "The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth."   Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States

"The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."  John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States in his Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

" When everyone seemed panic stricken...I went into my room...and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed...Soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that God Almighty had taken the whole business into His own hands."  Abraham Lincoln speaking to a general wounded at Gettysburg

"Here rests in honored glory and American soldier known only to God. " Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetary, Virginia

"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection..."  George Washington--beginning of his prayer for the United States of America. It appears on a plaque in St. Paul's in New York City as well as at Pohick Church in Fairfax County, Virginia, where Washington was a vestryman from 1762-1784.

"Every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a Godly, sober life." Yale College founded in 1701

What has happened to our country?  As a people, how did we get so far away from God, from our roots? When exactly did it become offensive to mention the name of God in public? When did it become PC to separate The Almighty from His rightful place in the fabric of our country? God never was the one to leave is we, that left Him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God In America

God has His hand print all over America and yet today many "elite" in our society would have us believe that our country was not founded on Judeo-Christian principles....and that separation of church and state means that people cannot speak of God except in church. That is not true. Not even close. They say that God should be taken out of or off of everything because it might offend. Who might it offend? A majority of citizens of this country still believe in God.

Over the past several years there has been a very real assault on Christianity in this country.  No, we are not being killed or tortured for our faith like brothers and sisters in many countries around the world, but some want us silenced.  Silenced in subtle and not so subtle ways. The biggest venues used against Christians seem to be criticism, hatred, argument, ridicule and elitism.  I pulled these quotes from the comment sections of several stories that I have read on the internet in various newspapers across the country. The articles which are being commented on are obviously religion based stories. The overwhelming anger and hatred is stunning.

Here are just a few quote examples that I've come across:

"God needs to be removed from our currency and religion needs to be removed from our politics. I never really thought too much about god being on our currency until about 6 years ago, when I realized a group of unstable people had hijacked the term Christianity. Religion and/or God should be a personal choice and experience. And because not everyone is a believer and the currency is for everyone, there is no reason god should be on money."

"...keep your religion out of the public schools. The only ones who want to hear about it are like minded individuals. These thinly veiled excuses to proselytize are expensive to the taxpayers and only serve to further alienate people from your dying mythology. If you want your kid brainwashed send him to one of the christian schools."

"The reality of morality, virtue and honor is much more than a pledge. <discussing God in the Pledge of Allegiance>  But that reality doesn't always square with the general society's reality....
Frankly, it's the same kind of judgment I make if someone continuously tries to convert me to any religion. F---you.  "If only people would read our constitution.

"We, here, in this country, believe in the separation of church and state. But try telling that to the less rationale, hallucinating bunch."

Or take a look at these article titles:

*Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Not Saying Merry Christmas is like Denying Christ and Denying Christianity

*Atheist Group Files Lawsuit Against Prayer at Presidential Inauguration

*Giving Up on God

These are just a few samples of the many things that can be found on the internet.  What do you see?

Tomorrow I will be writing about America's history, with quotes from our leaders about God.

Monday, October 26, 2009

God and America

In the news last week there was a story about a fireman who was let go because he put a small American flag on his locker.  Another story was an apartment complex administrator that told a couple that they couldn't fly the American flag. (their son is in the service)  Today I saw a story where a man at Home Depot was fired for wearing a pin that said "under God--indivisible" (part of our pledge).

What is the deal people? What is happening in our country? Seems like it is no longer politcally correct to mention God or America. We have to bend over backwards to not hurt anyones feelings. We have to be all inclusive, to the detriment of the majorities beliefs. After all we can't be offensive. Why no! That is not politically correct.

If being PC means I have to tramp on my own country or water down my religious beliefs....then forget it.  Being PC isn't important AT ALL.

I'm going to be starting a short series on our American history. I'm calling it God and America. Make sure to check it out this week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

Okay, so those of you that live in the extreme northern states and are used to cold and snow up to your ears might not find it cold in Ohio. Whatever.  I ventured out this afternoon to get the mail. Our mailbox is not near our house---it's a jog to the end of our driveway and across the road.  I was forced to be out in the wind that seriously cuts through one like a knife. Brrrrr...... enough of my whining.  I do actually like the cold weather---if I'm ready for it! The Ohio weather is warm, than cold, than windy, and calm. I don't have any idea from one day to the next what the weather will be!

When walking back from the mailbox I thought to myself that just the other day while I was walking in the afternoon is was 71 degrees. I had on long sleeves and I was hot. Just a few days later it's now in the low 40's during the same time of the afternoon. What's a girl to do? A thermal shirt? A sweatshirt or sweater? A t-shirt? A jacket or a coat? Who knows?! All I've got to say is, "baby, it's cold outside!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tortured For Christ

I am reading the book Tortured For Christ by Richard Wurmbrand.  (the founder of Voice of the Martyrs)  Pastor Wurmbrand passed away in 2001 after many years of serving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  His story is many times difficult to read....but I cannot put the book down. My heart will not let me..... for it  has become entwined in his words.

I ,myself, have been a Christian for 30 years. I grew up in church surrounded by family and friends who were also Christians. The Lord was real to me at a young age, and I accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior just before my 11th birthday.  Living in the Western world, I've never known persecution for my belief in Christ. I've never faced the possibility of death, or been submitted to torture for my strongly held beliefs.  Having been born and raised in the United States my faith has never been tested under the possibility of death.  Don't get me wrong, my faith has been tested.  I've been forced to walk through many dark valleys in my 41 years of life.  Valleys that I would have never wished for myself......but none of us can know what we will be called to endure in this life.  We live in an imperfect world and that world many times causes hurt and pain.  But never have I ever feared death because of my faith.

I say all that about myself to reference why this book is having such an impact on me.  Mr. Wurmbrand was a Romanian orphan. He grew up in a family that espoused atheism. He was taught that there was no God.  To him the love of God did not exist.  He states in his book, "I was an atheist, but atheism did not give peace to my heart."  An old man had been praying that God would send him a Jew. He wanted to tell a Jew about Christ...because his Jesus was from Jewish people.  God brought Richard Wurmbrand to this old man's  small village---he had no reason to be there aside from the fact that God steered him in that direction.  Mr. Wurmbrand met Jesus during his trip to that village and his life was never the same again. Not long after his wife was also converted.

When the Nazis came to Romania, Mr. Wurmbrand was already the leader in his local church.  He speaks of the terror that the Nazis brought to his land...but goes on to say that the one advantage of enduring the Nazis was this: "They taught us that physical beatings could be endured, and that the human spirit with God's help can survive horrible tortures."  The Nazi terror was great, but it was just a taste of what was to come under communism.

Since Pastor Wurmbrand had been brought up in atheism he had a passion to be able to witness to the Russians.  (Beginning  August 23, 1944 one million Russian troops entered Romania and soon thereafter the Communists came to power.)  Mr. Wurmbrand endured 14 years (1948-1964 in prison with a short reprieve of 2 years in the middle where he was let out)  in prison and was tortured during this time.....and yet, still did not have hatred in his heart for the soldiers that were so merciless to him. He understood that Christ loved them too. That Christ had shed His own blood for them too. That they needed Christ in their own lives.  He hated communism but loved the people. This love could ONLY come from Christ in human could have endured what he did and still love his persecutors....and not go mad.

One testimony especially touched my heart.  A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party led the torture against a Christian man who had been sentenced to be beat to death. The officer said to the Christian, "You know, I am God. I have power of life and death over you. The one who is in heaven cannot decide to keep you in life. Everything depends upon me. If I wish, you live.  If  I wish you are killed. I AM GOD!!!" He mocked the man.

Looking death straight in the eye the Christian man replied, "You don't know what a deep thing you have said. Every caterpillar is in reality a butterfly, if it develops rightly. You have not been created to be a torturer, a man who kills. You have been created to become like God, with the life of the Godhead in your heart. Many who have been persecutors like you, have come to realize--like the apostle Paul---that it is shameful for a man to commit atrocities, that they can do much better things. So they have become partakers of the divine nature. Jesus said to the Jews of His time, ' Ye are gods.' Believe me, your real calling is to be Godlike--to have the character of God, not a torturer."

At that time the officer did not pay much attention to the wisdom of this man who was about to die.....but a seed had been planted in his heart and later this officer came to know this Christ personally.

It would be easy to read this blog, to say that this is indeed terrible but that it happened a long time ago.  To have this attitude would be truly sad....because there are brothers and sisters in Christ that are killed and tortured still yet today.  Men and women that are brave in the face of death, and uncompromising in their love for their Lord. They are falsely imprisoned for nothing more then refusing to stop talking of Jesus Christ. There are many communist led countries still in this world well as Islamic countries that do not tolerate Christianity in any form. Much like the Christians of old, these saints face cruel punishment under the hand of godless dictators and their governments.

Please pray for the Underground Churches all over the world.  Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that struggle with the knowledge that at anytime they can be kidnapped, killed, wrongfully imprisoned, have their family murdered, their churches burned to the ground, stripped of all their possessions, or enduring brainwashing and mental torture. Their Lord has not forgotten them....Let us not forget them either.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Being A Llama Mama

Okay...I've mentioned before that I have "a thing" for llamas.  I didn't know I had such a love of llamas until we moved to Ohio and had an entire pasture of the creatures directly across the road from us. Every day when I go to get our mail I chat with the llamas.  Don't shake your head at me (I know you are).  They understand me. They know I am smitten with them---and they use it to their advantage. They are very curious animals and come right up to the fence to stare at me.  I'm sure I am a sight to behold.  They cock their ears and turn them inward which to me, always makes them look like they are questioning what is going on.  I am totally in love with the teenage llama who resembles a life size cotton ball at this stage of her life.  I've named her Vanilla and the male that was born at the same time is dark brown and I of course named him Chocolate.  The fact that I have an obsession with icecream is totally beside the point.

The other night my 14 year old son and I were out taking a walk. As we passed by the llama field they all started to follow us in a single file line. I sort of felt like the Pied Piper of llama land.  As soon as they figured out that we were not the ones that were going to feed them they stopped and sniffed and decided they would just continue to munch on the grass.  About this time we heard what can only be described as a loud scream. Looking to the left we saw two males (in a separate pen) doing some sort of dominance dance. Lots of chest butting, screaming and neck wrestling going on. I had already done research on my favorite creatures and knew that young males do this kind of thing with each other. It's normal....but boy was it exciting to watch. Kind of like Wild Kingdom in our own front yard. I wish I would have had my camera.

Mama llama got loose the week before last. (She is Vanilla's mommy--and maybe Chocolate's, I'm not sure)  The girl is smart. She's escaped more then once and seems to have a thing for the grass (which at this point is mostly weeds) in our front yard. She prances around as if to say, "haha! I'm over here and you all are still stuck in there!"  Eventually, the owners capture their escapee. She had her fun though....sidestepping her captors on more then one occasion. Of course, I was loving watching the whole event unfolding in my front yard and driveway.  Who says the country life is boring? I've had more fun watching the llamas then watching cable TV.

We've been at our new house (officially) since July. I have not had the courage to go to my neighbors house yet, and introduce myself.  I'm afraid I might come across as the wacko neighbor. The lover of llama drama.  I want to ask them if I would be allowed to pet the llamas or if I should not do that for fear of having my hand bitten off. That would really ruin my view of them if the llamas caused me trauma. I did find out in my research that llamas rarely spit at humans.  Which is good to know. They usually just share that treat with each other. (Females spit a wad at their male persuers to let them know to get away they aren't interested! Sometimes it is a dominance type of thing with the males. Oh the joys of spit!)  So, I might get enough courage to go over to the neighbors house, introduce myself  and start pelting them with llama questions. I might possibly end up with the reputation as the neighborhood nutjob.  Oh well...... there are worse things in life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Creepy Crawly

Okay! I've had it!  The Fall weather has arrived and all things creepy crawly have decided to try and make my home their winter getaway.

Well, they can just forget it! I was in the laundry room the other day and lo and behold, right above the dryer was a BIG spider. Just sitting (do spiders sit?) there on the wall. I knew I could not let that thing live....but I had to make it a good shot or else he'd drop down behind the dryer and I wouldn't be able to get to him and he'd escape.  Then he could possibly pounce on me when I was in the laundry room innocently trying to get the clothes in the basket....and give me a screaming heart attack.  It is my personal opinion that spiders have a bigger brain then most people realize. I also think they have a memory and will seek revenge if given the chance.  This is why my smack with the tennis shoe (that happened to be laying in the floor) had to be spot on.  That furry little guy was going down!!!

BLAM!!!  I got him....but of course his guts left a nasty smear on my yellow laundry room walls. It was a price I was willing to pay. A little soap and water and straddling of the dryer and I took care of it.

We also have these little brown bugs. I have no idea what they are. They don't look like much more then a speck....and I wouldn't know the difference if I hadn't seen one of the "specks" move as I was staring at it one day. Can't do much but squish them. So, I do.  Maybe I'll kill off enough of them that they will be unable to procreate. Hey, I'm willing to take that responsibility on my shoulders.

Finally, the gnat infestation. We've had this problem on and off since the summer. Evidently, a lot of people around here have the gnat problem.  They are harmless but they get on my nerves. We use the zapper on them daily. Some bite the dust....others survive the Zap Master. I put vinegar and dish detergent out for them. I've caught hundreds of those little buggers with that cocktail of death.  BUT STILL they continue to harrass us at ever turn. They must reproduce like rabbits.  I've put some bleach water down the drains trying to kill any of them that are down there.  If anyone out there has any snappy ideas about how to rid a house of gnats, PUH-LEEZE let me know.....before I pull all my hair out......because wouldn't you feel guilty if you knew the secret for gnat extinction and yet didn't tell me---and then I went BALD??!!!   Just think about it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caroline Costa

My husband and I have become huge fans of a sweet 13 year old, French girl (or she might be Moroccan) . She was a contestant in the French talent show "Incroyable Talent" in 2008. This girl has the most beautiful voice and incredible stage presence for a child her age.
She sang many of her songs in English though her native language is French. I can't understand a word of what she is saying when she is talking with the judges of the show....nor can I understand the judges.....but one can read the body language. (Plus I just love to listen to the French language--it sounds beautiful even if I can only pick out a few words I know.) The judges loved her too!

With the confidence and charisma of a true showman, her charm has the audience and the judges eating out of her hand...

Check her out on YouTube at: New York, New York

Christina Aguilara's, Hurt

My Heart Will Go On from Titanic (semi final)

I Will Always Love You

Merci Beaucoup,  Caroline!!!

Nobel Peace Prize--WHAT?!

Just a short blog today. I cannot believe that the president won the Nobel Prize. To me, this demeans the honor of getting this prize. What has Barak Obama done, or should I say, accomplished in this short amount of time to deserve this honor? NOT A THING...that's what! Do you know that the application for this prize would have had to be placed ONLY 12 DAYS into his presidency? What did he do in 12 days to even put him close to being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize? I'd like to know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

I'm 41 years old young.....well past the being afraid of the dark stage.  Well.......okay. Maybe, most of the time.  At least that is what I'm telling you.

When I leave to do my walking at 5:30 am ,with my neighbor, it is pitch black outside unless there happens to be a full moon.  It makes me appreciate the light all the more. That is for sure.  Each morning when I'm getting my sweatpants pulled on and grabbing my jacket and trying to put my tennis shoes on, with out turning on the bedroom light....I will refrain from telling you how many times I've stubbed my toes, or tripped over junk on the floor. Because I am such a loving and kind wife and do not wish to disturb my husband's sleep I suffer in the dark. I will work on gaining his sympathies for my plight later.

I tip toe through the house, which during the day seems warm and inviting....but at night in the dark, the furniture takes on a sinister, dark look. I swear the dining room chair scoots out just to trip me up!  It doesn't help that we have a black cat that enjoys freely roaming around at night, which includes the early morning hours.  Cat's eyes glow in the dark. This can be a little unnerving to a woman who is already lacking in sleep and at 5:30 still has the "fuzzy brain" thing going on.  ("Did I just see green eyes staring at me from a perch on the living room sofa?"  I HOPE that was the cat......")

After manuevering my way through the obstacles of a dark house, I emerge through the garage door. I only have a few steps to the van. I'm to meet my friend for our daily walk. It is dark. It is quiet out here in the country. In the middle of nowhere. No street lights. It is black.  WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!   AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  Heart pounding. I about peed my pants.  I'm sure that the monsters that live in the dark have come for me. I turn around.  Ace, the collie has slipped his collar and is enjoying his new found freedom.  When I've regained my composure I berate Ace for scaring me senseless. He takes it all in stride and precedes to try and lick me to death. What a way to go.

I get in the van and make it to the neighbor's in one piece.  Barely....and covered in dog slobber.

My friend and I have discussed that if anything ever tried to get us while we were walking we would run. We'd run like the wind. Now I might no longer be a spring chicken, but if I think something in the dark wants to eat me I can move it.  This morning I heard a swish, swish, swish in the cornfield to my right....just a few feet away. ( JAWS theme music would be appropriate here) It was coming.......Oh, Lord! There is was!  Wait a minute. It's not very big at all. As a matter of fact it is teeny tiny. It's purr does not sound fierce.  Yep, just a farm cat wanting to give us some company.  We are safe......for now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

No Other god's Before ME

Someone I know posted this statement today--- "Every religion thinks that their's  is the only one that God listens too."  Well, this started a firestorm of comments, as you can imagine.  I added my comment under his entry as I just couldn't help myself.

I will agree that most religions of the world probably believe that they are each the one religion that God deems "the one" and agrees with them, listens to them, blesses them etc.etc. .......... BUT that is as far as my agreement goes. People can pretty much believe whatever they just doesn't make them right.

As a Christian I believe in the Holy Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Each unique, and yet one. I believe Jesus Christ is the one and ONLY Son of God, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life while on Earth, died on the cross to redeem anyone that accepts His gift of salvation, and three days later  He rose again. I believe in salvation by grace alone and not through works.  Christ now sits at His Fathers side in Heaven and  He will one day come again.

I have noticed more and more as a society that people (in general) want to all come together, to unify under the things that those of different religions can agree on. They want to all gather under the umbrella of God's love.  Their philosophy is God is love, he wants us all to just get along. Put aside all the differences in our religions and let's just say we all believe in a "higher power" that wants peace and  love for everyone. Live however you want, because god forgives, he loves, he doesn't expect much from any of us.  It's all good.

Here is my take on it. As a Christian I believe in the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible.  The great ,I AM.  Does He love people? Yes! He has shown His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  God is long suffering and He forgives us of our sin if we only come to Him.

The thing about this whole "unity of religion" thing is this......the more people try to come together on the parts of their religion that is the same, the more watered down the truth becomes.....and I fear that will dilute the true message, until no one knows what the truth actually is anymore.

My God is a loving God. He shows His love to people every day. The very breath we take, the beauty of nature, the ability to think and reason. All gifts from God. His ultimate gift was eternal life through the substitutionary death (and resurrection) of His Son.

BUT God is more than just a God of love. He is HOLY and JUST.  He will NOT be mocked.  If  He watered Himself down so much to please everyone, to make everyone comfortable, than He wouldn't BE GOD.  GOD ALONE. GOD ABOVE ALL OTHERS.   He doesn't need to change or alter himself to make us feel better about ourselves.

The self centered gods of the new age where god is within each of us, or the wiccan mother earth, allah of Islam, or the multiple gods of Hindu. These are not the one true God.  The gods of science and "higher level thinking" are not the Almighty.  The gods of communist government that say "there is no such thing", don't know the Great Alpha and Omega. (the Beginning and the End)

I make no apologies as a follower of Christ/God. (I use God and Christ interchangeably because of the Trinity) Christianity is an inclusive religion in that ANYONE can come to the Father, through belief in Christ . Race, status, gender or age do not matter.  Christ came that ALL might  have eternal life.  BUT Christianity is exclusive because we believe in ONE God. He does not change with the times, He is not wishy washy or a feel good god. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I know that there will probably be a lot of people who agree with me, many who don't, and many more whom I might downright anger. I apologize if my blog bothers anyone....but I will not apologize for my GOD.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Next?

This is ridiculous!  So now a person can't have kids over to their house, or babysit for short periods of time without interference from the government? Without licenses or paperwork........What happened to being neighborly? It's getting to the point where a person can't do anything without permission first.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Here is my Daybook entry for today ~ Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outside my window. . . it is cold and windy.
I am thinking. . . that I love the cooler Fall weather.
From the learning room. . . I'm proud of my kids. They are getting a lot done!
I am thankful for. . . a warm house.
From the kitchen. . . I smell the apple cinnamon candle I am burning.
I am wearing. . . my Tennesse sweat pants and Tennessee T-shirt.  I'm all decked out with UT.
I am creating. . . a "creativity" list.  Artistic/creative things I want to do.
I am going. . .to go walking in the morning.
I am reading. . .so many things. Honestly, I have a couple of books going, plus magazines, plus the internet.
I am hoping. . . that the Lord shows Scott and I what He wants us to do.
I am hearing. . .FOX news on TV...Sean Hannity to be specific.
Around the house. . . I'm bringing out the quilts and blankets for the cooler weather.
One of my favorite things. . .quiet time to myself.
A few plans for the rest of the week. . . checking off things on my to do list.  That always makes me feel good!
Find out more about the Simple Woman’s Daybook at this site.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are People Really This Crazy?

Just when I think this "messiah" mentality can't get much worse. It does.

What are these people thinking? This Little Light Of Mine is a RELIGIOUS song. The song is about how, as Christians, we are to bring light into the world.  These people have so distorted this song because they are replacing the light of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY with the MAN Barak Obama.

I don't care what party a person is, this should be disturbing to all of us.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu

I watched Mr. Netanyahu as he spoke to the UN yesterday.   I found his speech to be bold and direct.  Refreshing, actually.  I wish there were more courageous speeches like his.  He spoke up and told it like it is. Good for him!  Quite frankly, I thought he showed remarkable restraint in his addressing the Iranian dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's off the wall comments.  Ahmadinejad believes the holocaust is a hoax and that Israel doesn't deserve to even be a nation.   This is what Netanyahu and the Israeli people are forced to deal with.

If any of you missed it, please take a few minutes to watch the highlights.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Singing For The President

Several blogs back I talked about some books written about Barak Obama that are specifically targeting young children. I was concerned because I felt like the books were almost messianic in their text. I believe that reading biographies about a president is fine. Children should know who the president is and what he is about....but I also believe that there is a fine line between facts about a person that is in the office of president and making the president sound like he is MORE than just a mere man. Mr. Obama is not a savior figure and I don't like that tone to be used in literature for young, impressionable children.

This morning a friend sent me this video that she had seen on the internet.  This friend actually lives in Europe and she said that she finds this video unsettling. It reminds her of the historical videos of Hitler's youth. (Keep in mind that this friend is not American, she is looking at it objectively as someone not directly involved in the politics of the USA.)

This video disturbs me. It bothers me more than the books. Why? Because the children are singing (actively participating) about the president as if he is a savior figure.  I wonder if these  children's parents had to give permission for them to sing in this  little ensemble? Do the children even know what the words mean or are they just singing to the catchy tune? You better believe that their teacher, or music director or whoever the adult in the backgroud is, KNOWS.  Her political opinion is quite obvious.  Why not sing patriotic songs about AMERICA? Why sing about a single man? I was involved in the education system for 36 years of my 41 years of life.  First as a student myself  in kindergarten through college graduation, then as a public school teacher for 17 years, and now as a home schooler. Never did we have a song elevating a specific president like this video shows. Did we celebrate the office of president? Yes. On presidents day did we study the history of the presidents? Sure.  Over the years there were patriotic celebrations. But NEVER in all those years, in different school systms, in different states, in rural and inner city schools did I EVER hear songs singing the praises of just that ONE  man in particular. I feel this song steps over the line. It is alarmingly close to propaganda.

I believe that the office of president should be respected. As citizens we don't all have to agree on policy. We are allowed to voice our opinion. I do not appreciate that if, as a conservative, I disagree on something that Mr. Obama wants to do...that, that makes me a racist or unAmerican. That is a completely juvenile thing to say, and yet this is what is being tossed about.  I turn on the TV and the media makes me feel like if I'm not on board with the "changes" that are occuring then there is something wrong with me. That is ridiculous. I do believe there is a change alright. Just not a change that we all can believe in.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I just finished reading the newspaper/local TV new site from Knoxville, Tennessee.  I  recently moved from there after being in east Tennessee for 23 years. (Go Vols!) I like to keep up with the news of the area. I saw one article that talked about how liquid Tamiflu for children (or for those who are unable to take pills) is running low. Evidently the liquid they mix the medication with is being depleted.  I guess because of all the people who have flu symptoms and so the doctors give prescriptions for this Tamiflu. The article went on to say that this medication only decreases the flu by maybe one or two days because it keeps the flu virus from replicating.  Well, 2 more days of the flu or a medicine that costs in the 70-80 dollar range? A lot of people are out of work or don't have insurance so I guess if those people get sick they will just be forced to suck it up and tough it out.

The article went on to say that doctors are giving  Tamiflu prescriptions to family members of those that are ill. It is "preventative" to keep the flu from passing through the family. Hmm....... So, the other people in the family take the meds.  The next week they are out in the community (school, church, Wmart) and they come in contact with a person that has the flu (be it the "regular" seasonal flu or H1N1). If they get the flu, they'll need more Tamiflu, right? Since they already took it as a preventative will their Tamiflu medication not work as well this time?  And what again about the expense?

Seems to me that if a person is normally healthy, doesn't have a compromised immune system, or no respiratory problems then shouldn't a person's natural defenses kick in? I know the big Pharmacy companies are probably LOVING this because hey, let's face it, sickness equals money for them....and lots of it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

H1N1 Flu Shot

So, I get up this morning and turn on the news.  I hear that the state of Massachusetts is considering making the H1N1 flu shot mandatory. This is crazy! The H1N1 is not really all that different than the regular influenza. Yes, people die each year from the flu. Most of the time they die from respiratory complications or because they already had health issues that were made worse because of the flu. This is not big news. Unfortunately, this happens. People die. We are not talking the Bubonic Plague ("Black Death") here. The CDC has given the symptoms of the H1N1 virus. Everyone hold your they are......The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. I don't know about you, but anyone that has been sick before feels this way, don't they? I still don't get it.

But why all the hoopla? Why is the World Health Organization calling it a pandemic? Why is our country freaking out over the flu? Why scare the ba- jeebies out of people? If this legislation passes in Massachusetts then officials will have the right to go into people's homes and quarantine them if they didn't get the shot.  If they still refuse, then they can be fined up to $1,000 dollars a day. For crying out loud!!! What is with that?

They want to give the shots to our children first.  Uh, no thank you to that. This particular flu shot is so new....they have no idea what the side effects could be. Does anyone remember the 70's when Ford had people get the flu shots for this same sort of thing, and more people got sick or died from the vaccination then anyone did from the flu outbreak itself!

I have had family members and friends tell me that their family doctors have told them that they are personally not getting the H1N1 flu shot, nor are they allowing any of their family members to do so.  What does that say? If the doctors themselves don't feel it's safe enough for their own families....then I am for sure not subjecting myself or any of those I love to it!

Now, some of you might be all gung ho on getting the H1N1 flu shot. Okay, that's fine. I've gotten seasonal flu shots for years, and so has my family. I'm not against vaccinations in general. I just don't like THIS one. I think amongst all this panic we need to ask ourselves, why? Who would benefit from scaring the public into believing we are in a global pandemic? Hmmm..........