11.30.18 Teach the Children, by unknown author

In the celebration of Christmas, a white-haired, white-bearded man in a red and white fur suit–Santa Claus by name–figures prominently. Is he what Christmas means?

Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn’t help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

“Santa, what’s wrong?” I asked, “Why are you crying?”

“It’s the children,” Santa replied sadly.

“But Santa, the children love you,” I said.

“Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them,” Santa said, “but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It’s not their fault. It’s just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.”

“Teach them what?” I asked.

Santa’s kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. “Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent.”

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. “Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind’s thoughts should turn heavenward as well.”

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. “The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.”

“Red,” said Santa, “is the first color of Christmas.” He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. “Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift.”

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep.”

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. “The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God’s Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ’s foot steps… to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God’s precious children, their light shining for all to see.”

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. “The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God’s promises. The candy cane is in the form of a ‘J’ to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd’s crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life.”

“Teach these things to the children.”

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. “The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.”

I asked, “But where does that leave you, Santa?”

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa’s face. “Why bless you, my dear,” he laughed, “I’m only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”

“I think I’m beginning to understand.”

“That’s why I came,” said Santa. “You’re an adult. If you don’t teach the children these things, then who will?”

(Author Unknown)

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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11.28.18 Dear Grandma, by Terry Cooper

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – Almost 20 years ago I met a special guy named Terry Cooper.  Terry worked at Southeastern and was the person who taught me web page creation.  Terry wouldn’t teach me the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) easy web creation method, but insisted I learn html coding.  I was not happy at the time because that was not easy. Since then I have been so thankful that Terry made me learn it the hard way since I’ve used that in all the years I’ve done web creation.  If the easy way didn’t produce what I wanted, I was able to go into the html coding and find the problem, thanks to Terry!  Even here on WordPress I still go into the coding to make things work like I want them too, thanks to Terry’s teaching! There’s a lot more I could share about what a special man Terry is but what I’m sharing today is the letter he posted recently on his facebook page a letter to his grandmother about his mother (her daughter) turning 100 years old.  You will feel you know this sweet lady after reading this and I hope it puts a smile on your face and your heart as you read this.  Thanks Terry for being who you are and for allowing me to share this with others!

Dear Grandma,

It was a hundred years ago, November 20, 1918, that you gave birth to your seventh and last child, Lura Edith Shelton. Nice name (after your sister?) but throughout her life people would insist on inserting an “a” after the “L” which she would correct politely but with a hint of irritation.

Eighteen years later she would marry Henry Charles Cooper and they would have four boys of which I am the oldest.

Here it is a hundred years later, November 20, 2018, and your little girl is still going strong in spite of some maladies she developed in her 90s: macular degeneration, 40% hearing loss, and dementia. With all that, though, she still does light housework like folding clothes (from the dryer), putting up dishes (from the dishwasher), cleaning the stove (after I make a mess), sweeping the porch, ramp, and sidewalk, and whatever else strikes her fancy.

Two weeks ago she voted in our mid-term elections.

She still does her own personal maintenance with a bit of help from me.

She became an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in the 1950s when her children were old enough to allow her to attend classes. She liked nursing and was a conscientious worker. She was highly regarded by the doctors and RNs with whom she worked and was loved and appreciated by the patients.

She drove till she was ninety-one when her macular degeneration forced her to quit. She continued living alone for a while, then gradually began staying with me. I think she’s been with me full time now for seven years.

It never occurred to me that I would ever have to do something like this or that I would even be able to, but here I am.

And I must say, it is NOT a burden. Quite the contrary, she has been a blessing. It is a privilege and honor to be able to care for her, and if I should live a dozen lifetimes I could never repay her for all she’s done for me.

Six years ago (she was 94 at the time) she broke the large bone in her left leg in 4 places. I remember thinking, trying to hold back tears as they put her in the ambulance, that she wouldn’t come home, that she would not survive. But she did! They put a steel rod in her leg. The next day they got her up and walked her around the bed. The next day she walked (with help) to the door of the room and back. The following day she walked out in the hall.

She continued progressing, went through rehab, and now she pushes a shopping cart through a super market and does light housework.

Repeat: She was 94 at the time. I don’t believe a teenager could have healed faster.

Many afternoons, weather permitting, I put her in a wheelchair and push her downtown, to the park, through the neighborhood, or around the university campus (which is 4 blocks from the house.)

While she can walk around the block or through the house or push a shopping cart through a supermarket, she couldn’t sustain a two-hour walk, hence the wheelchair which, by the way, belonged to her sister, your fifth child, Grace. Thanks to Aunt Grace’s son, Fred Eastman, for lending it to his Aunt Lura.

Usually our excursions last two to three hours. She comments on things she sees: squirrels scampering across the path, a girl sitting on a bench studying for her finals, contrails, phases of the moon, large oaks, people walking their dogs or jogging or running for exercise, parents pushing their toddlers in strollers, and so forth.

For her hundredth birthday her family and friends gathered for a wonderful celebration day before yesterday. It was held Sunday in order to allow those who work or go to school to attend.

Well, Grandma, it’s been half a century since you “shuffled off this mortal coil.” I don’t know where heaven is or what it’s like, but there are people who have touched that “celestial shore” who have been allowed to come back and continue living their lives. Many of them tell us that it’s more beautiful than they can describe.

Your little girl — our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother, matron to a large and close-knit family — has graced this world and our lives with her presence for a whole century. Thank you and Grandpa for such a precious gift. Indeed, thank you for your family: Mom’s sisters and brothers, my aunts and uncles and their families. What a blessing.

Love,
Terry

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

 

11.23.18 Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus!

Friday, November 23, 2018 – Back when I was teaching 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School I found this and read it each year to the children.  It is definitely a thought provoker and the children just absorbed it just like do everything at that age!  The title “Why Jesus is better than Santa Claus” evokes a natural response of “Well, Duh, Yes!” but reading it makes you think of why this is so important!

Santa lives at the North Pole • JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh • JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year • JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies •. JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited • JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa • JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap • JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl,what’s your name?” • JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly • JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO • JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says ”You better not cry” • JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys • JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but • JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree • JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.

It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.

Yes, Jesus is better, He is even better than Santa Claus!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.22.18 Wacky Wonderful Thanksgiving

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season-of-life

The Seasons Of Life

Through the different seasons
In life that we go through,
God still walks there with us
Through good and bad times too.

We don’t need to stop
And ponder why we’re here,
We just need to trust in God
That He won’t leave us there

It is but for a season
That we are in this place,
We need not sit and question it
Just receive His loving grace

Don’t look around at others,
They can’t give you what you need
Just turn your eyes heavenward
And put your trust in thee

Hard times that you’re facing,
The Lord will see you through
To bring you to a better place
That He has planned for you

We may only call on Him
When going through bad times,
But when things are going well,
He’s seldom on our minds

For even in the good times,
We still need to look to Him,
So we don’t become complacent
And let our love grow dim

So trust Him in the times ahead
Even when you do not know
That He is there beside you,
For He does love you so.

© By M.S.Lowndes

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This insane Thanksgiving cake is the new Turducken.

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A HEARTWARMING THANKSGIVING STORY by Coach Muller

beggar2A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.”

There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were.

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”

Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear.

The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS11896139_1022308221159440_2043771649549763688_nmamanuca-islands-fiji great-blue-hole-is-a-large-submarine-sinkhole-off-the-coast-of-belize vertical-forest-amazing-architecture-in-milan-italy 14322756_664864076999454_4423877414221426009_n

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Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

11.20.18 The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything!

A lthough things are not perfect,
B ecause of trial or pain,
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D on’t even think of whom to blame.
E ven when the times are hard,
F ierce winds are bound to blow,
G od is forever able
H old on to Him, never let go.
I magine life without His love,
J oy would cease to be,
K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts you to see.
M ove out of camp Complaining,
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone.
Q uit worrying about the future,
R edeem the time at hand,
S tart every day with prayer
T o ‘thank’  is God’s command.
U ntil we see Him coming,
V ictorious in the sky,
W e’ll run the race with gratitude,
X alting the Most High God.
Y es, there’ll be good times and yes there will be hard times, but…
Z ion awaits in glory…where no one is ever sad…
THE ONE WHO KNEELS TO THE LORD CAN STAND UP TO ANYTHING!

 

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.17.18 New Rocks!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018 – My inventory (yes using a big word considering it’s about rocks) of rocks has dwindled to where I have been using big rocks from our driveway and road!  Living in the country on a gravel road does have it’s benefits! I prefer a little larger rock for my painting creations.

My son Chip and his beautiful wife Misty came through for me and added some new inventory to my rock pile!  On Chip’s day off he took me to Smith’s Landscaping in Ponchatoula and helped me gather many, many rocks.  64 pounds worth.  Here’s photos of me at Smith’s so very happy!

Here’s the first four rocks I painted with these rocks.  Smith’s Landscaping also paints rocks.  When we were there they were working on some strawberry rocks and were selling a bunch of Santa Claus rocks.  I loved their Santas so I tried my hand at copying the Santa rocks.  Mine are above here and theirs are in the second photo below.

Anyone wanting to purchase for me some rocks please go to Smith’s Landscaping and help me out! A girl can hope, right??

I believe I’ve finished painting the rocks for my rock village.  My grandchildren have contributed to the village.  I have it all on the dresser in our bedroom and hope to set it up this week.  I’ll share when that’s done.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.11.18 Chauvin Produce Company ends its 2018 production due to freeze

Monday, November 11, 2018 – Yes, I knew what I’d be doing today! My little venture into gardening is probably over for the year but I’ve learned so many lessons that will help with our spring crops! Recommendations for what we should grow in the spring are welcome!

We picked lots of radishes before Monday but these were the last of the radish crop! I’ve been enjoying them in my salads made from lettuce, cucumber and radishes from the garden!!!

Somehow this photo makes my carrot crop look like the carrots are bigger than they are.  The largest was no bigger than my little finger 🙂 but they will be perfect in a salad.

The little carrots and radishes after being cleaned up

I was growing the turnips for the bottoms. I think they didn’t have enough time in the ground to get nice and large.  Roy however loves the turnip tops so that meant we spent some hubby wife time at the kitchen sink rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing then peeling the leaves off the stems, then rinsing and rinsing some more.  The tiny bottoms will be cleaned up and cooked along with the tops.  Here’s the little bottoms:

Here’s a few of the turnip green tops:

Here’s the two bags of turnip green leaves, and a picture with the tiny turnip bottoms in it, after all the washing and work.  It’s amazing to me that we grew two rows of turnips and MAYBE we’ll get two meals of turnip greens.

We lived in Minnesota for five months our first year on the road.  While there we grew tomatoes, some of which were still quite green when it was time for us to leave there.  We picked them and eventually all turned red and were delicious.  I am hopeful that’s what will happen with all of these tomatoes below.  I did leave a few small ones on the bushes to see what would happen with a couple of nights with freezing temperatures.  I went down the hill to where the watermelon’s are growing and said goodbye to the two little watermelons there.  Aren’t they precious!  Can’t wait to grow some next year at the right time of the year so they can be eaten!!!

The two peanut plants are doing well.  Don’t know how the freeze will affect them, we’ll see!

I left a few green onions, a few small tomatoes, a few cucumbers and all of the new okra so I can see how they do in a slight freeze. Another thing I hope to learn from.

This is all of the cucumbers I picked today.  Guess I’ll be pickling cucumbers this week!  

The small turnip roots all cleaned up (before they were chopped up and in the bag a few photos above) and what’s left of the green onions.  We’ve enjoyed going out to pick a fresh one to sprinkle on top when we’re having baked potatoes. 

I’ll let ya’ll know if any of the vegetables we left on the bush, vine, etc. make it through the freeze and do anything.  The weather experts now say that tonight will go down to 28 for four hours tomorrow night and the following night.  We’ll see!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.11.18 Thank you to all American Veterans!

VETERANS DAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2018

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We all know men and women who have served or are serving now in our military.

I hope you all join me in saying a big

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS!

Thank you soldier for your time spent away from your family serving our country and preserving our freedom.

Thank you soldier for laying your life on the line by serving our country and preserving our freedom.

Thank you to those who were able to share God’s love and saving grace with those in foreign countries while you served.

I especially thank those soldiers who served in the Vietnam War and were never thanked properly by those you were fighting to protect.

Thank you to my son, who served in Iraq.  I am quite proud and thankful for his military service  and desire to share the Word of God with the Iraqis.

To all the men and women I know that have serve, you are all Heroes in my eyes.

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HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

veterans day 1Below are a couple of videos I thought were especially appropriate to convey my appreciation for all Veteran’s service.  Look at the faces of these young men and women as they train, as they prepare to leave their loved ones, as they serve and as they return.  These are our true American Heroes.  They are short videos so take a break and be reminded of their service and sacrifice.

The last video is not necessarily just for Veterans but when I stumbled across it I thought it was something that young and old parents might want to gather their children around the computer to watch and listen to.  Too many of our American traditions are being compromised and Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance is important for our children to hear and learn from.

Click on each picture to connect to the video.

 SO GOD MADE A SOLDIERso god made a soldier

veterans day graphicRED SKELTON’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

When I heard the last few sentences it gave me chills.  We must always keep God in every part of our American life.

red skeltons pledge of allegiance

HAPPY VETERANS DAY TO ALL VETERANS!

thank a veteran

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

11.09.18 I know what I’ll be doing on Monday!

Friday, November 9, 2018 – Well, I know what I’ll be doing Monday.  Starting possibly Monday but definitely Tuesday and Wednesday the temperature lows overnight in our area will be between 29 degrees and 31 degrees which is below freezing.  We can’t leave the vegetables in the garden to freeze!  Too much love and effort has gone into the garden to let that happen.

This is Louisiana so we may have 80 degree weather the following week until Christmas but next week there is a freeze so I have to deal with that.

Monday I’ll be picking all of the tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, turnips, radishes, okra, carrots, and lettuce.  The okra may only be small but I’m going to try to pickle them.  The cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and bell peppers haven’t produced anything yet so they will get to freeze 😦   Our sweet little watermelons aren’t nearly big enough to pick so their life is over too! That doesn’t sound right but I am sure you know what I am saying.

Our blueberry bushes (in their current space next to the fence) just got pruned in this cold, windy, damp weather.  They finally are dormant and now pruned.  Roy will dig them up and transplant them in their new location by the house tomorrow.  The ground in their current space and the new space is soggy, soggy, so it will make transplanting them much easier.

Before pruning – there are five in the back and three in the front.  Four had no leaves and four still had some leaves.  This picture was taken last week so they were minus a lot more leaves when I pruned them.

After pruning

The cucumbers that I pickled (using a refrigerator method) are ready and we are really enjoying them.  They taste just like kosher dills!

Even Roy loves these delicious pickles!!

I’d do them all that easy way but they will only stay good in the refrigerator for one to two month and I’d like to have some around longer.  Since I have to pick them Monday a bunch of them will not be able to grow larger.  I may try making small cucumbers into pickles.  It’s worth a try.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!