As caregivers, we all experience difficult days . Days when you just want to scream, throw rocks, or hide under your pillow until it’s over. Days we are extra worried over aging parents or sick grandkids. Days when the Alzheimers care is so difficult. Those are the days we need to cling to God’s promises extra hard, particularly His promise that someday He will take us to our real home – Heaven, an awesome place full of His light and glory, where there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow. I am so looking forward to that, and so grateful to Jesus Christ for providing the Way to heaven.

“Jesus said…’I am the way, and the truth, and the life;

no one comes to the Father but through Me.’

John 14:6

Here is a lovely poem that wondrously illustrates that point:

Jesus is the key

To unlock Heaven’s door.

He is the only One

Who can take us there forever more.


The last several months have definitely been doozies! Aging parents are calling with valid concerns. Grandkids are wondering why adults are occasionally talking so seriously in hushed voices. The reasons, naming just a few, include the stock market, the economy, the layoffs, the growing unemployment issues, the down and up gasoline prices, the continuing concerns about terrorism, and now the Swine Flu! My prayer list has grown longer. It’s full of requests for grandkids with health issues, friends’ kids in the hospital, jobs for several out-of-state friends including many in the Sandwich Generation, job protection for many more friends, aging parents dealing with new trials , and the list goes on!!!! Oh my!

With all of this, I have been seriously pondering Jesus’ words this week from John 16:33. “In the world you have tribulation…” I did a little research into the Greek and discovered one of the definitions for tribulation includes, “a pressing, pressing together, pressure.” Isn’t that a great description for the way things are going in our country and our world lately? It sometimes reminds me of one of those houses in a cheesy old movie, where the walls get closer and closer, pressing in on whoever is in it.

I am so grateful that isn’t all there is to that verse. The whole verse is,

Jesus answered…"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

Isn’t that awesome! As I continued to think about this passage, I found some other encouraging verses in my study guide that went so well with it:

  • When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God , whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3-4
  • Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances , for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5:15-18
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We may not understand what is going on in the world, but how wonderful to know that, because Jesus has overcome the world, He is truly in control . Because of that we CAN trust in Him and we can be joyful and give thanks in ALL circumstances. That is truly GOOD and encouraging NEWS!

Do you know the three gifts the Wise men brought to Jesus when He was born? I do. Do you know the names of all of Santa’s reindeer? As many Christmas movies as I’ve enjoyed, you’d think I’d know that one, but I don’t. Are you wondering why I’m asking all these questions? My oldest grandchild came to visit today and we had the most delightful time playing a Christmas trivia game she brought home from school. I’m happy to report I got a 75%, which in California would have been passing. When we finished that sheet, we wanted to play another Christmas guessing game, so I went to my computer. I was sure I could easily find a bunch of Christmas trivia quizzes on the internet to print out. Wrong! It took me half an hour and about six different ways of asking Google to find two interesting puzzles. And I can’t tell you how many spammy sites I landed on! I would definitely not suggest letting the kids look for these without supervision! We were quite pleased with the sites we finally came up with and, in order to save you all that hard work, here they are:

One Night in Bethlehem – Unscramble the words to find a message:

Sing a Song of Christmas Crossword Puzzle

The Holiday Zone’s main site has many more games, activities, songs, etc. – As a matter of fact, this looks to be an excellent site to bookmark all year long. They have links listed for almost every holiday on the calendar.

While I was searching, I discovered one other site of interest. This wasn’t a quiz but it would be easy to turn it into one and it was quite fascinating. Woodlands Junior School in Britain has a list of Christmas facts from a British viewpoint. For example, you definitely don’t want to bite into a Christmas cracker in Britain. “A Christmas Cracker is a brightly coloured paper tube, twisted at both ends. A person pulls on each end of the cracker and when the cracker breaks, a small chemical strip goes ‘Pop!’ and the contents fall out. A Christmas Cracker traditionally contains a paper crown, a small gift and a joke written on a slip of paper.” 

All of these would also be fun and easy to do on the telephone as well, or by mail or email. You could email a quiz to a grandchild in another state. They could email you back the answers. Even faster, turn on your instant message software along with your grandkids, and have fun doing it all at the same time and save the cost of the phone call.  I use Windows Live Instant Messenger with cute little nudges that shake the screen. That’s my way of sending them a hug along with these fun activities.

Prefer riddles – here’s a ton of those as well. 🙂

Have fun building more memories with your grandchildren. Merry Christmas.

Happy Harvest Time! Autumn is truly here in much of the U.S. Yesterday I went out in the early morning and it was around 70 degrees. Today, it was definitely in the 60s! And I’m loving it! I love the whole harvest season and now that we are into October I’m seeing more and more decorations going up. So far it’s mostly scarecrows and hay bales which are all my favorites so I’m a happy camper!

A friend sent me the sweet story that has been circulating in emails and blogs for years. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the author is unknown (if anyone does know the author, please let me know). It’s such a great story to read and enjoy and even better if you can ever use it to share the gospel with others. I love to read it to my grandchildren.

The Inspiring Pumpkin…
A lady had recently been baptized. One of her co-workers asked her what it was like to be a Christian. She was caught off guard and didn’t know how to answer; but when she looked up, saw a jack-o’-lantern on the desk and answered:

“It’s like being a pumpkin.”
The coworker asked her to explain that one.
“Well, God picks you from the patch and brings you in and washes off all the dirt on the outside that you got from being around all the other pumpkins. Then he cuts off the top and takes all the yucky stuff out from inside.He removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.

Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all to see.

It is our choice to either stay outside and rot  on the vine or    come inside and be something new and bright.”

Isn’t that great?! In trying to research who the author was, I discovered a great site with several other cute Halloween ideas for you to share with your grandkids. It’s at  and there you will find a variety of Halloween Alternative Resources – a pumpkin prayer activity, a craft, two stories, and a poem which were sent in by Diane Bracher. If you want to explore their site further, they have a wide variety of other craft ideas for general purposes as well as many for holidays. Some require a fee while others are free although I know they’d appreciate a donation. I’ve added them to my Delicious bookmarks and am looking forward to trying some of their projects with my grandkids this fall.

One other cute resource for having fun during the harvest holiday season while keeping our eyes and the eyes of our grandchildren firmly planted on Jesus is found at . There you will find a cute poem, Pumpkins & Jesus. The writer (also unknown) has taken the letters for the word Pumpkins to spell out the gospel message for kids. I’ve enjoyed visiting Annie’s website many times over the years and highly recommend it. You can also find many other Christian-based Halloween and autumn ideas and projects there at .

Have a bushel of fun with all of these fun “harvest” goodies!