Category Archives: Home schooling

Can You Trump this Gettysburg Address from October 22, 2016?

I would like to ask everyone who thinks Trump is unacceptable as a candidate to listen to his speech and let me know where you think he’s “crazy” or totally wrong. He takes a hard line on the issues, and he stands against corruption everywhere, not just abroad but within our own government and borders, but I  don’t personally think he’s “wrong.” If we’re going to recover as a nation, we’re going to have to stop the internal bleeding and take some time out to heal.

If you don’t want to take time to listen to the whole thing but are willing to consider what he said, I took copious notes but then discovered that his entire plan was neatly laid out on his website, so here it is:

“I am asking the American people to rise above the noise and the clutter of our broken politics, and to embrace that great faith and optimism that has always been the central ingredient in the American character. I am asking you to dream big.

 

“What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter – and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington,” he concluded.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP CONTRACT WITH THE AMERICAN VOTER

“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:

  • FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
  • SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
  • THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
  • FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
  • FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
  • SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following seven actions to protect American workers:

  • FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
  • SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
  • FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
  • FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
  • SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
  • SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:

  • FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
  • SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
  • THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
  • FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
  • FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:

1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.

2. End The Offshoring Act Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.

3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.

4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.

6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.

7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.

9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values

10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.

This is my pledge to you.

And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people.”

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding” (Proverbs 3:13. I typically end my posts with a scripture verse, so this is not part of Trump’s statement, but rather my own benediction. May we all seek and find wisdom for ourselves and our countries, wherever we live around the world!)

Abraham Lincoln’s Old Kentucky Home

Abraham Lincoln Memorial.Washington DCTo me, Abraham Lincoln is perhaps America’s most inspirational president. Abraham_Lincoln_by_Byers,_1858_-_cropHe grew up in poverty, was almost entirely self-educated,
was considered unattractive and socially awkward,Steps Leading to Memorial ai Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park and yet rose from obscurity to the highest office in our country. Assasination of Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkHe didn’t even survive one term, and yet I don’t know of any president
who is held more dear in the hearts of American people. Abraham Lincoln QuoteLincoln’s life serves as the perfect encouragement for each of us: Regardless of our background or heritage, we can lead a life of noble service if we’re willing. Redbuds in bloom at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkWhile Alan and I were down in the hills of Kentucky last week,Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Parkwe stopped by the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park Memorial at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Parkto pay homage to his great American hero—our sixteenth president Gettysburg Addressand the man who successfully led our nation
beyond civil war toward the possibility of civil peaceSpringtime and Redbuds Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park(although I don’t think we’ll ever have true peace until Jesus returns). Abraham Lincoln on his grandparents. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkI was inspired by studying again his humble background and austere childhood.Sinking Spring Farm. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park Lincoln was born at Sinking Spring Farm, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809.Pioneer Cabin. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkIt was a simple one-room log cabin, as was common in those days.Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkHis mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when he was only nine, Painting depicting Abraham and Sarah Lincoln's childhood home Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Parkand the family had to move many times because of land disputes.  Log cabin. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkHow did a child with such limited upbringing and experience Pillars at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Parkbecome one of the greatest pillars of our nation?Quote of value of Bible by Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkI believe with all my heart it was due to his reverence for the Bible.Family Bible Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkAbraham Lincoln believed, read, absorbed, Information about Abraham Lincoln's Family Bibleand ordered his life according to the precepts found in the Bible. Pioneer Family.Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkAnd, what about you and me? It doesn’t matter what our background has been. Black and White Barn. Kentucky HillsIt doesn’t matter if  we’re plain and simple. Rundown Barn in Indiana hillsIt doesn’t even matter if you’re feeling old and run down as you read this post.Sinking Spring Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical ParkGod has promised that all those who come to him in faith
and drink in the truth found in his Word (just as Abe Lincoln did)Redbuds blooming in spring near Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Parkwill become beautiful and fruitful! Memorial at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park 1We might not be among the world’s greatest leaders…or maybe we will…Cemetery in IndianaBut, we can all live such that our memory is blessed by those who knew us
and approved by God with a  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1)

(The first two photographs of Lincoln are from Wikipedia, but I took the rest of the photos on our trip last week to Kentucky and Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.)

Homespun Fun and Homemade Lemonade

Family DinnerWhen our third bouncing baby boy was born, Alan and I were encouraged by friends who playfully posited that heaven holds a special prize for parents of three sons. Small children sitting on cousin's feetIf that’s true, I’m pretty sure there might be an even bigger prize awaiting my firstborn son, Aaron, and his wife Carleen, who are now hard at work rearing their brood of four energizer bunny boys!

Folding LaundryWhen you have little boys, there are always mountains of laundry to do, Mother making dinnerand mountains of food to prepare, Mother reading bedtime storiesWith little ones, there are endless books to read, Child practicing pianolessons to teach, Father Son Chess gameand games to play. Small Boy helping Mother in KitchenEvery child needs his turn being mama’s little helper,Making Chocolate Chip Cookiesand—of course—even sons need to know the crucial aspects of survival,
such as how to bake chocolate chip cookies.    🙂  Playing with cousinWhen we visited last week,
I’m not sure if the kids ever held still except when they were asleep, Grandpa and Grandson playing chessand it kept us all totally occupied having fun with them. Little LeagueWe enjoyed Little League on Saturday morning, Family Hike in Californiaand hiking on Saturday afternoon.Sandlot hockeySunday morning we went to church.
(Well, there were a few minutes to spare before we had to leave.)Mother rounding up kids for church(And, when you have boys…
it’s especially hard to keep them clean until it’s time to leave for church!) Mother having tea breakI think there’s something to that old adage: “A man may work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” At least, that’s the way I remember it.Older cousin playing with kidsSunday afternoon we went out for dinner with my brother’s family,
and we were all thankful for Jack, whose boundless teenage energy and expertise in high school wrestling was more than a match for his 4 little cousins!
(Thank you, Jack!) Lemon TreeOne of the special pleasures of living in California now is that Aaron and Carleen have intensely fragrant lemon and orange trees in their yard, Ripe lemon on treeso Alan wondered if he could have some fresh lemonade on Sunday afternoon. Picking LemonsThe two youngest boys helped me pick the ripest lemons, Making fresh lemonadeand then Aaron supervised making lemonade for his dad (and all of us). Squeezing lemonsMost all the boys took a turn squeezing out the tart juice.  Father making lemonade with kidsand it occurred to me that although each event was very memorable and fun…Little boy squeezing lemonsas a mother (and grandmother)… Making juice for lemonadeI was most touched by those activities where the family all worked together.Blue Potato Bush FlowerSince returning home, I’ve thought a lot about our wonderful visit White Calla Lilyand the purity and simplicity of homespun fun. Home Spun FunThank you, A+C, for all the love and energy you pour into making your home life such an abundant experience for your children!

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

(P.S.—Lemonade can be made lots of ways, but perhaps the easiest is to squeeze out whatever lemon juice you can get, add sugar until it’s sweet/tart to taste, and then add water and ice until it’s dilute enough. You really don’t even need to boil water and sugar to make syrup!)

Bless Your Baby: (Ideas for Baby’s Twelfth Month, Week 52)

Dad reading Bible with Baby358. Establishing a Devotional Habit

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” 1 Timothy 2:8

PRAYER: Oh, Father, please build up our family so that we are steadfast in praying.

THOUGHT: Someone has said that familiarity breeds comfort rather than contempt, and there’s definitely some truth in that. The more positive experiences Baby has at a young age, the more likely she is to enjoy new experiences as she grows up. Also, the more good habits you can establish with Baby in the first year, the better chance she has for establishing and maintaining good habits as an adult. Some of the most important habits you can establish for Baby are regular eating and sleeping patterns, daily cleansing, a sincere faith and trust in God, and regular social outlets. Are you developing all these things in Baby’s life? If so, then rejoice! Your child has great hope for a happy life. If not, please consider evaluating what you need to change in order to make this happen, and pray that God will provide the grace for you to meet this challenge.

Devotional TimeACTIVITY: Are you reading God’s Word and praying with Baby every day? Even if you read her the Scripture verses that come with this devotional and lead him in a short prayer, you are establishing the basis for one of the best habits Baby could ever have! Prayer is an exercise of the soul and spirit and can have a calming effect on the youngest child. In the Christian psychiatric hospital where my husband works, I have seen severely mentally handicapped people become wonderfully peaceful during times of prayer, which convinces me that the Holy Spirit can be powerfully active in the lives of even very young children also.

Puzzle359. Puzzling Prowess

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to always remember that you always very near to us, even when we can’t perceive you. Help us to draw near to you and seek you with our whole hearts. When we feel distant, please help us to be quick to repent. May your Spirit search our hearts and bring our sins to mind so that we can confess them and ask your forgiveness. Thank you for your promise that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

THOUGHT: Jigsaw puzzles are absolutely great for understanding spatial relationships and solving problems, and they are a significant help in preparing for future mathematical prowess. I’m a firm believer in keeping kids in books and puzzles. Has Baby shown any interest in trying a puzzle yet? If he hasn’t been interested on a day when he’s feeling chipper, try him on a day when he’s tired and just wants to be a lap baby!

Puzzle 2ACTIVITY: Invest in a sturdy wooden board puzzle that has only one or two large shapes with big handles on them so that Baby can pick them up and put them right back in place. Show him how, and if he doesn’t understand, help him! When Baby’s already tired, it might be a great time to do something very simple and obvious which he can learn to do and that will make him feel good about his accomplishment. If you have some extra cash, favorite photos can be made into beautiful keepsake cardboard puzzles (although that’s usually more appropriate when Baby is two or three.) Or, you can make your own simple puzzles by gluing a picture from a magazine or computer onto cardboard and cutting the picture into 2-4 pieces. Let your little puzzler dazzle you!

12-months360. “The Good Life”

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us lead very productive, integrated, varied, and social lives. (This was my father’s sincere desire for his kids, and all people, and I definitely think these are good values to embrace!)

THOUGHT: The last book my father, Great Grandpa Lou, ever wanted to write was going to be on The Good Life, and it was to have four chapters based on this thought: “The good life is productive, integrated, varied, and social.” So, as part of his inheritance to you, I am passing down the kernel of his book with a prayer for blessing on you, that you will meditate on the ideas and make them realities in your lives. May you practice adding these values into your life so that you and Baby learn to be productive and fulfilled. May your lives be integrated and blessed with variety and a rich social tapestry.

ACTIVITY: Do you remember my telling you about our friend who wanted us to be teaching our baby the alphabet from his first month? We laughed at the time, but by the time Baby is getting to be a year old, you might be able to start exposing him to letters and numbers (although most children are two before they get very far into being able to recite letters and numbers in order). There are all kinds of ways of highlighting letters. For example, you could have a “Letter of the Week,” and over the course of the coming months, you could introduce Baby to each letter of the alphabet. Take an 8×11 paper and draw a large, simple “A” on it, attaching it to a wall near his crib or high chair. Arrange bits of puffed rice into an A shape on his high chair tray, or make him pancakes in the shape of the letter A. You could use refrigerator magnets to help him recognize the shape, or build an A out of dominoes, legos, or wooden blocks. Draw A’s in the sand or with crayons. Shape the letter A from clay or play dough. Find the “A” wooden block and point it out to him. Most importantly, in all your play, have fun!

Family holding Baby361. Building Love for Your Church

“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” Psalm 103:17

PRAYER: Dear LORD, thank you for your everlasting mercy to all who fear you. May I always fear to disobey you, knowing that you will chasten me because you love me, but may I experience that perfect love that casts out fear (I John 4:10) so that I never fear your rejection. Please bless my baby too, Lord. Bless him with your righteousness, and please bless with salvation and goodness all the generations of our family down through the ages until you come again.

THOUGHT: How is your fellowship life coming? Are you securely established in a spiritual family? May you and your family be blessed with a strong bond to your church!

ACTIVITY: Here’s a song that my first-born, Aaron, loved. I used to sing it to him a lot, even when I would rock him to sleep at night. Once after visiting in Sault Ste. Marie, on a return trip to Detroit when Aaron was three, he saw the tall spire of a large, brown-brick, inner city church from the freeway. “Look, Mama!” he pointed excitedly, “Is that the little brown church in the wildwood?”

The Little Brown Church in the Wildwood

“There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood, no lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the vale.

Refrain:
“Oh, come to the church in the wildwood, oh, come to the church in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the vale.

“How sweet on a clear, Sabbath morning, to list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweetly are calling, oh, come to the church in the vale.

“From the church in the valley by the wildwood, when day fades away into night,
I would fain from this spot of my childhood wing my way to the mansions of light.” (—Words & Music by William S. Pitts, 1857)

Baby Feet362. Embracing Your Lifelong Challenge

“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25

PRAYER: Dear Lord of Hosts, our “Jehovah-Sabbaoth,” I worship you for being the Lord of all. You are the one who provides our daily strength and orders our times of rest. May I be as meticulous as Moses in following your guidance. Please be like a cloud by day and a fire by night to show our family the way in which you want us to walk.

THOUGHT: One of the joys and weights of motherhood is understanding what my pastor’s wife told me about children almost 40 years ago: “You can pick them up, but you can’t put them down.” Once you have a baby, embrace the lifelong challenge of loving and caring for another human being. Sometimes it will seem overwhelming, but know that God will provide the strength as you “commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5). Know that we have a “merciful and faithful high priest” (Jesus) who was tempted and tested in every way. He understands our trials, but he will also provide a “way of escape” for us to face and overcome the trial without sinning and without giving up (I Corinthians 10:13).

ACTIVITY: Here’s a little jingle you can use to practice getting Baby used to numbers:

One, two, buckle my shoe. Three four, close the door. Five six, pick up sticks, Seven, eight, close the gate, Nine, ten, start again.” You can play this counting game with Baby on your lap using her fingers or toes, with a set of dominoes, as you’re climbing up and down stairs, counting slats on a fence or boards on a hardwood floor, or as you’re dishing out cheerios, raisins, or some other tasty treat for an afternoon snack. Whenever you have ten or more of something, you can repeat this jingle as you count together!

Playing Ball 1363. Teaching Contrasts

“I have showed you new things from this time, even hidden things,
and you did not know them.” Isaiah 48:6

PRAYER: Oh Father, help me to keep learning and to keep teaching!

THOUGHT: Many times when Baby is cranky, there will be no discernible reason for it, but start asking him questions to see if you can get him to figure out what’s wrong anyway! “Are you dirty?” “Are you hungry?” “Are you tired?” “Are you thirsty?” “Do you want to be held?” As you ask, try to get Baby to respond by gesturing…especially by nodding or shaking his head.

ACTIVITY: If there’s nothing wrong, and you’re not too exhausted yourself, one way to distract Baby and get him to think about something besides his own tiredness or boredom is to practice the concept of contrasts:

“Hi!” (come towards him) “Bye!” (walk away)

“Up!” (pick him up or stand up yourself) “Down” (put him down or sit down yourself)

“In” (place a toy in something, like a cup) “Out” (take the toy out).

“Big” (make huge circle with arms) “Small” (make little circle with hands close to face)

“Wet” (put warm water on baby’s fingers) “Dry” (take cloth and wipe dry)

“Come!” (draw Baby close to you) “Go!” (point away or toss ball away)

“Give to Baby” (put something in his hand) “Give to Mama” (hold out hand to receive object back)

Playing Ball 2“Catch!” (roll the ball to Baby) “Throw” (encourage Baby to roll the ball to you)

Other contrasts you might try are: Stand/Sit; Hot/Cold (not too hot or cold!); Open/Close; Smile/Frown.

Looking at himself in the mirror364. Delighting in God and Life

“For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,
and lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 (NKJV)

PRAYER: Indeed, oh God, you are the Almighty! I delight in you and lift up my face to you: “So our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2). Lord, I wait for you! I cling to the promise in Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Oh, Lord, I desire to live a life of love and goodness. I desire for you to bless Baby and our family with great faith and all the blessings of your Spirit. May we walk in the light of your Word and enjoy sweet peace and fellowship with you and with one another all the days of our lives.

THOUGHT: Delighting in our almighty God will bring you great joy. If you’re struggling, try this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  Matching Hat and DressACTIVITY: If you have a soft baby brush, how about going to the Beauty Shop or Barber Shop for a few minutes today? Arrange your gear ahead of time so the whole process can happen in just 5-10 minutes, and set up Baby’s highchair in front of a mirror and so she can see what’s happening. Start by combing and brushing her hair. Comb it backwards and forwards…so that it looks its best and its worst! If Baby is a little girl and lucky enough to have some hair, try putting in a barrette or some tiny pigtails. If you have any bonnets or caps, either for Baby or that belong to you or your husband, try those on for style too! If Baby wants to get in the act, let her try to comb her own hair. If it’s staticy and dry, see if you can get any of her hair to stick straight up, or add a bit of mousse or hair gel to get it to look unusual. Have lots of fun, and take some pictures!Eye of Baby

The Wisdom of The Time Changer

The Time Changer MovieI was talking to a girlfriend not long ago about the changes in our society, and she recommended and lent me the movie called The Time Changer. It was produced in 2002, so you may have already seen it, and the acting is not stellar, so if you haven’t seen it, I have to warn you that neither the pace nor portrayals are mesmerizing. In fact, I had to wait until Mother’s Day to get any takers to join me in persevering through it, but the basic message of this sci-fi drama did ring true in my heart, and so I want to recommend it, especially if you have young kids in your home. 30-9-330 The Time Changer is a worthy 95-minute, PG-rated movie that might produce some profitable discussion, especially if flavored with a bowl of popcorn.  🙂  The Time Changer The plot and point are simple: A Bible professor from 1890 is transported to the future (present day modern America) and is aghast at what he finds. The biblical principles of morality (on which our country were founded) had been separated from their authority (God) and eventually considered invalid. I’ve lived through the truth of this movie. Although the name Madalyn Murray O’Hair may mean little to those of you born after 1970, she was a notorious atheist and dissident who had a primary role in eliminating Bible reading and prayer from our public schools. I was born in 1950, and we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the Lord’s Prayer every morning at the beginning of our school day. (Yes, in the public schools.) Praying together and any official reading of the Bible ended in 1962-3—my junior high years, and the time when I became a believer. The changes in our school system since that time have been profound, so much so that I went from loving public schools to home schooling my children just to protect them from the degeneration of the public system, not only morally, but academically and socially as well. Since America went off the gold standard, it’s been floundering in a morass of rule by public opinion that’s as unstable and changeable as quicksand. Where there is no God, there is no foundation for moral law. Our country desperately needs a return to godly wisdom.loadimage

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

What’s New at the Zoo?

Siberian Tiger 5.13.15The latest addition to our zoo are two magnificent Siberian Tigers. Did you know there are more tigers living as pets in our world than roaming free in the wild? IMG_2863Whenever our grandchildren visit, I always love taking them to the zoo, Turtle 5.13.15because there’s the perfect combination of familiar sights IMG_0369as well as constant variety and new things to see and learn. Alligator 5.13.15For instance, the kids were especially excited about the alligators this time, because they’d recently visited an alligator farm in Florida, so they had lots of experiences to talk about and things to share with Grandma!Pelican. 5.13.15 JB ZooThe kids had seen pelicans in Florida too, but they’d never seen one with a flap of skin on his beak before. What’s that all about? Lots of teaching moments…and opportunities for wonder and future research! 🙂 Mountain Lion 5.13.15It was a clear, cool morning, and many of the animals were especially active. Watching LionsIn the heat of the day the lions are often impossible to see, Lion 5.13.15but that morning they were in full view and looking as fearsome as ever. Snow leopard 5.13.15The snow leopard is always one of Joel’s favorites. Isn’t he a gorgeous creature? Snow leopard's long tail 5.13.15Despite all our years of admiring the snow leopard, this trip was the first time we realized what an amazingly long tail he had! Their tails are up to 40″ long, which is approaching half their body length. We learn something new every trip! Wart Hogs 5.13.15Being spring, love was in the air, and there was a lot of action between couples, Grizzly bears matingbut some things went over the kids’ heads, and that was just fine too. River Otters 5.13.15The kids have a lifetime to learn about life, and we all just keep learning, right?! IMG_0399_2This time a few of the animals that are usually asleep were wide awake…Monkeys taking nap 5.13.15and a few of the animals that are usually wide awake were sound asleep! Watching ChimpsTeaching the kids about the Scripture is very much like taking them to the zoo. IMG_2767There are many stories that they’ve heard before but are still worth telling again. Chimps eating lunch 5.13.15There are many opportunities to build on what they already know, Chimp eating lunch adding to their understanding of how life works. Secretary Bird 5.13.15Sometimes we need to expose them to completely new concepts and ideas, Grizzly Bear 5.13.15but there are also plenty of teachings that are too hard for little ones, IMG_2821and it’s just fine if some things go right over their heads. Little by little! IMG_0354_2Every trip to the zoo— or into the Bible—is an opportunity to learn and grow. IMG_0425 I hope we’re as intentional about helping our children and grandchildren grow spiritually IMG_0427_2 as we are concerned for their growth in understanding the physical world.

“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
(Isaiah 28:13.
May we and our young ones grow strong in faith and grace.)

Back by (our) Popular Demand: The Birthday Club Signs on for Another Decade

My birthdayCindi, Susan and I started a “Birthday Club” ten years ago to keep our chins up. IMG_4155All three of us had bid teary-eyed farewells to our youngest chicks as they flew off for more expansive scholastic adventures and we ended our tenure as home-schooling moms. 13 copy We quickly noticed that I had a fall birthday, Cindi a winter birthday, and Susan a spring birthday…perfect for celebrating not only the passing of time but the passing of seasons. 2010 60th Our parties were such a hit that we’ve continued them with delighted anticipation ever since, and although we rarely hit the day, we never fail to experience deep pleasure in our adventures as the two non-birthday members develop a plot to surprise and bless our birthday sister! Teepee Tea Party       We’ve pretended to be Indians with a tea party and a teepee in the woods; Cindi, Susan, and Me. 2003jpg we’ve gone Roman toga while feasting on Mediterranean, Victorian for high teas, picnics at the beach, out to fancy restaurants, etc. etc. (as the pictures show). cindi-and-rexs-25th We’ve had so much fun that sometimes we add parties with our spouses. Picnic at Grand Haven In fact, it’s been such a wonderful experience that we’re signing on for 1o more! DSCN8709 (Or, more realistically, I suspect we’ll keep it up until the sad day there’s only one of us left!) Visiting Grace Seminary We haven’t gotten so exotic as to travel more than to another state together, but when Alan and I go adventuring, we often meet couples or groups of women who travel together for fun, and I think we “girls” always dream of such a time when all three couples can travel together to somewhere over the rainbow. Cindi and I at Meijer Garden 03.15 copy Cindi and I were like ships passing in the night this past couple of months, both visiting Maui and Florida…but not at exactly the same week. Almost! img_7601 copy Thankfully, no matter how many years we can continue our Birthday Club, and whether or not we ever get to fulfill our dreams of traveling as a group of 3 couples, we do share the absolutely firm conviction that our last journey will lead us all to heaven and will include eternal fellowship in our Father’s house! Mom's new pics 038 Have you got a group of companions for celebrating life and adventuring together? If not, may I encourage you to think about organizing such a group with one or two of your favorite friends? IMG_3329 copy Have you got plans to meet loved ones in heaven? If not, may I encourage you to think about making plans now? IMG_6408 God invites every person alive on earth today to become his child by faith in his son, Jesus. He wants you to be a part of his Birthday Club by being born again and becoming his son, so that you can live in heaven with the rest of his family whenever you depart this earth. Wanna join in the joy?! The Girls at Meijer GardenFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).