Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been wanting to share this poem since finding it several months ago in Luci Shaw's beautiful book called Harvesting Fog,  I know it's still November (barely), but Christmas is fast approaching. Since I've spent the last few years in Mexico for Christmas, I hadn't noticed so much the way CHRIST has been taken out of Christmas. I definitely notice it here in the U.S. of A. this year. Try to find a "meaningful" Christmas ornament, try to say Merry CHRISTmas to anyone, try to listen (in public) to any Christmas songs relating to the ONE who brought us Christmas, and it isn't easy! I'm not saying it has totally disappeared - at my grandkids' school they will be singing CHRISTMAS CAROLS about Christ, no less, this year (yes, it's a public school!!), and I hope and pray that in every Christian home in this nation there will be objects, symbols, language, ways of being, songs, stories, Bible readings, and I could go on, that depict the real reason we celebrate this wonderful holiday. Christ came, not just to be born in a stable, but to SAVE the world from their sins! It's all part of the Christmas story from Christmas to resurrection, to ascension, to life everlasting.

Let's celebrate JESUS this Christmas!    

Reprinted from Harvesting Fog, Copyright Luci Shaw 2010, Pinyon Publishing.
Used by permission of the author.

In sleep his infant mouth works in and out.
    He is so new, his silk skin has not yet
            been roughed by plane and wooden beam
     Nor, so far, has he had to deal with human doubt.

                        He is in a dream of nipple found,
                       of blue-white milk, of curving skin
                    and, pulsing in his hear, the inner throb
                        of a warm heart’s repeated sound.

            His only memories float from fluid space.
     So new he has not pounded nails, hung a door,
            broken bread, felt rebuff, bent to the lash,
            wept for the sad heart of the human race.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

If you're looking for a fun, easy read, don't pick up this book! It's much, much worse than fiction! MUCH WORSE!

Shelley Breen of Point of Grace says, "As little girls, we're all scared of something. For five-year-old Becky, it was a bomb-setting madman in her daddy's church - with her family as the target. Against the odds she survived and has had to learn that 'forgiveness is the language of heaven.' This is a must reading for anyone struggling to forgive."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hangin' out at the Allems

Jeff and the boys made stilts, and there's been a lot of "stilt practice" since then. Kim still remembers how!

Jeff and Kim Allem with their children Jeffery 17, Jesse 17, Austin 16, Raquel 14, Toria 13, Calvin 11, Clara 9, Quincy 8 and Ada 6. Happy Thanksgiving 2011!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Passing On

I know it's Thanksgiving, and yes, there's so much to be thankful for, but I've also been thinking of all the dear friends and loved ones who have gone on to glory this year and several just in the last couple weeks: my brother Lee back in May, Marjorie Josi, David Ekstrom, Kathy Paul, Kathy Young, all just a short while ago, just to name a few. It brought to mind this beautiful prayer that follows.

Elisabeth Elliot finished her writing of the Newsletter with this: I bid you farewell with words from a hymn written by Anna L. Waring in 1850: 

Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come
I do not fear to see;
I ask Thee for a present mind,
Intent on pleasing Thee.

I would not have the restless will
That hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do
Or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child
And guided where I go.

Wherever in the world I am,
In whatsoever estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts
To keep and cultivate .

That is my prayer tonight, tomorrow and every day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Man Named Dave

First I read The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer. It was rough reading, but I couldn't put it down. Then I read A Man Named Dave, which was just as difficult to read.

"Pelzer...inspires us all. He is a living example that all of us have the capability to better ourselves no matter what the odds,'' is what Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul, says. It's just amazing that anyone who lived through the childhood that Dave lived through could now be a "normal" human being. There's one book that comes before these called A Child Called "It". I don't think I could handle that one!

And there's another one: The Privilege of Youth. I'll be looking for it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Calvin and Duck Tape

Calvin had a birthday and among his favorite gifts were four, YES FOUR, rolls of duck tape - blue, silver, gray and black! Imagine what you could do with that!! Well, here are some of his creations:

First a tie for a handsome dude...

and ties for cousins Mikey and Del...

and in honor of Veterans' Day...

So young and already in the Air Force and Navy??

I spied some slippers around here made by the same young man and you can be sure he'll soon be creating more fun stuff - and buying some more Duck Tape to make MORE "stuff".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What do Herrs, St. Peters and blizzards have in common?

A whole bunch of cousins, that's what! Yesterday and today were full of activities at Herr's Food Factory (potato chips and tortilla chips!), St. Peter's Park and last but not least, homemade blizzards!

We didn't buy the whole store, just a lot of it! After all, we're a lot of people!

What a bunch! Cameron, Calvin, Quincy, Ada, Toria, Del, his BESTEST FRIEND Raquel, 
Josie, Elia, Clara and Mikey!!

I got it Mom, don't worry!

All photos taken "pre" the fall into the water! Only two kids got wet - quite a miracle!
But those that got wet, did a good job of it!

Step right up and get your orders in for a blizzard, or milk shake, or just ice cream!
There's vanilla, strawberry, chocolate!
And besides, there's M&M's, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers,
Heath Bars, you choose!
And lots of whipped cream, extra creamy!
On your blizzard, in your hand, in your mouth, you choose!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cousins! By the dozen - and more!

I have about a thousand pictures I'd like to share with you. But I won't. Maybe only three dozen. Kris and I drove to PA from Indiana so we - and the cousins - could get to know each other. It's been five years since Kim and Kris' families saw each other - which means the cousins really didn't know each other! And Del, age 4, wasn't even around back then!

And today Alan and Beth - with two more cousins - arrived! So that makes a dozen! Tomorrow night Kim's three oldest will be home from Nashville where they're recording at Michael Card's studio, so then there will be 15!

I added some pictures of Longwood Gardens, which is an amazing place, where we spent four hours yesterday. We barely saw a small part of it in those four hours.

 And this is for Ice Cream Grandpa

Sisters Kris, Beth and Kim

Calvin shared his birthday with his cousins - first time I think! 
First, the rules for the treasure hunt....

 Aunt Bethie emptied her bin of Mexican candy! Wow! What a feast!!

And we still have a few more days to enjoy together! Tomorrow to Herrs Potato Chip Factory.Next day? We'll find something fun, for sure! And if you need more pictures, just holler!