Olympic Gold illuminations

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“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”      I Corinthians  9:25   Olympic gold medal winners achieve their goals through hours and hours, days, months and years of strenuous training.  Their time and energy is continually focused on their goal and when they stumble and fall, they get up and try again because quitting is not an option. I admire their courage and perseverance as well as their abilities.  One of the things I love best about sports is when one of the athletes gives Glory to God.  They are an inspiration to many others who watch and hope to follow in their footsteps.  The time they spend training is never wasted because the wisdom they have gained along the way has eternal value.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father in heaven.”      Colossians 3:17  

Our entire world is in love with sports.  If we are not participating in a sport, we like to watch them on T.V. and we encourage our children to be active in sports when possible.

We love watching the Olympic games and encourage our children to watch with us.  Each of the participants is an inspiration for younger children to watch and imitate hoping to achieve excellence.

When our younger son and daughter were in preschool, we attended a preschool Olympic Games night.  The kids really put their hearts into it as you can tell by this picture of our little girl participating in the tug of war.  All the proud parents were thrilled by the presentation of medals and of course every child was a winner.  The children couldn’t have been more pleased if the medal had been pure gold and presented at the real Olympics.  We are also obsessed with being fit and healthy.  We spend our time energy and  money buying exercise equipment, healthy foods and vitamins.  We are all looking for the quick fix that will give us a healthy, disease free body.

But how much time is spent training our souls and feeding our minds with wisdom from God’s Word?  Soul starvation is an epidemic in our world.  What about you, do you spend as much time training and feeding your soul as you do your body?  “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”    Matthew 16:26

When I was looking through some old papers I discovered the words to a song that the ladies in Friendship International sang on Friendship Sunday many years ago. “Friendship International is a gift of Christian love from American ladies to Internationals living in the Lexington area.  The purpose of it is to help make the adjustment to the American way of life easier, to provide activities of interest and to facilitate building cross-cultural friendships.”  There are many Friendship International groups in cities around the United States.  Here is a list of some of the classes that are offered:  Bible Study, Cooking, Crafts, Crochet, Cross-cultural, Needlepoint, Quilting, Scrap booking, English (levels 1,2,and3) and Spanish.   Since the Olympic games are being held this summer I thought this song would be perfect to remember and sing during it.  It only takes one little candle to make a difference so put this song in your heart and let your light shine and brighten the world for everyone.

One Little Candle

  • One little candle burning bright,   
  • One little gleam of radiant light,
  • Shimmering softly in the night
  • Makes the darkness fade away.
  • One little song that’s freely sung,
  • one little bit of good that’s done,
  • Brightens the world for everyone,
  • Like a candle’s golden ray
  • Keep your light, shining bright,               
  • Like a torch of hope held high.
  • Let it glow, let it show,
  • Keep the flame of love alive.
  • One little smile for someone new,
  • One little word of kindness, too,
  • Kindles the friendship flame anew,
  • Soon the loneliness is gone.
  • One little candle flame when shared
  • Spreads through the darkness everywhere,
  • Reflecting in hearts of those who care,
  • And they pass the light along.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,  “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”      Matthew 5:16

The Good Life illuminations

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

But the way that a man thinks in his heart will most likely determine how his day goes.  How do you have a good day when everything seems to be going wrong?  Determine that the moment you think a negative thought about anything or anyone, you will delete it and replace it with a good one.  I’ve found that the quicker I push that delete button in my mind the happier I am.  If you don’t believe it’s possible try this little experiment for a day or a week in your life.  It is found in God’s Word.       Philippians 4:8         “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”     

Think about how a child views life.  He wakes up enthusiastic and can’t wait to begin the day.  He bounces out of bed and begins looking for the next exciting adventure that life may send his way.  He doesn’t worry about the danger or the cost or any of the “what ifs” that older and supposedly wiser people think about.  At night he says his prayers and asks God to take care of him and his love ones and falls soundly asleep in minutes.

The next morning, he wakes up ready to face a brand new day of possibilities. He thinks about what he can achieve. Perhaps he will build a fort or a tree house.   Maybe he will go for a ride on a big tour bus.  Or perhaps he will learn how to pilot a helicopter.   He may even decide to start up a sandbox bakery business.   He doesn’t worry whether he can do it or not or what others will think because he is not afraid of failure.  He is filled with hope and he only dreams about the wonderful amazing things he can and will do.  He hums as he works and his mind is alive with ideas.  His eyes twinkle, his mouth smiles, and he is energized to do great things.

The good life is filled with the energy and renewing power that comes from God.  The word enthusiasm comes from en Theo – full of God.  If you are not sure how to become an enthusiastic person, try praying these two verses for yourself and family  (from the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21) every morning before you begin your day.

“I pray that out of His glorious riches He will strengthen me with power through His Spirit in my inner being so that Christ will dwell in my heart through faith…..and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  

Did you notice that you are praying “to be filled to the measure of fullness of God?”  God wants us to be filled with His power and love so that we can follow His will and discover the wonderful good life that He has planed for each of us.

But if we never take time to talk to God and listen to Him we will never know His plan.  

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”   Jeremiah 33:3   Is this not what Jesus had in mind for each of us when He said we must become like little children?  The unquestioning love and trust of a child is a requirement for living the full life that God intended for us.  But we must also know God and be obedient to His commands in order to live the good life.  Material blessings and wealth can be obtained without knowing God, but His most precious blessings of peace, hope and joy are reserved for His very own children and come from an intimate relationship with Him.

“O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”    Psalm 84:12

Unfailing Love illuminations

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“How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”         Psalm 36:7   

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”   Psalm 103:2-4

Do you feel like your life is in a pit and you can’t crawl out?  Or maybe you’re just caught in a rut and can’t seem to change your direction to a more satisfying path.  Perhaps you were pushed into the pit by someone else and you’re suffering from a divorce, financial problems or have lost your job.  Or maybe you have been digging your own pit with bad health habits, drugs or alcohol.  Possibly the pit is so deep that you don’t see any way out.  But the good news is that there is a Friend who can help you climb up and out.  

Only Jesus can give you the strength to quit bad habits and forgive those who have wronged you.

Only Jesus can heal you of your diseases and forgive your sins.

Only Jesus will take compassion on you and redeem your life with His love.

Only Jesus can renew your life and give you a fresh beginning.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God.”  Psalm 43:3

Take hold of His hand and trust Him.  He will help you.  His love never fails.

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”   Luke 18:27

Backyard Fun illuminations

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“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”        Ephesians 3:20, 21

We decided to take a stay at home vacation this summer.  I usually prefer to go to the mountains where the nights are cool or spend time on the beach enjoying the ocean breeze on early morning walks.  But with the cost of everything skyrocketing, it seemed like a wise idea to stay home. I wasn’t sure how much fun this would be, but I was sure that God always does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”  Following is a list of some of the fun things we’ve done in our back yard during past summers with our children and grand kids.

Big Box Fun:  

My husband brought home a large refrigerator box and the grand kids had a ball rolling down the hill in our back yard inside the box.  It is possible to also use it for a clubhouse cutting out windows  and a door and letting the kids paint it with poster paints.  There are so many things you can make with a big box.  It can be turned into a lemonade stand, a rocket ship or used as a sliding board, the possibilities are unending.

Huckleberry Finn Fun Rafting:

It just takes a little imagination, a few inner tubes and a creek.  We are blessed to live in the woods on a creek and it has always provided fantastic  entertainment for our children and grand kids.  It is only about a foot deep and on hot summer days, it gives hours of fun rafting with just some peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches for a picnic along the way.  Add in a little imagination and oh the wonderful places you can go!

Croquet Games  

Our kids have always enjoyed a good game of poison croquet.  Regular croquet is   better for very young children who do not appreciate having their ball sent rolling away when they were just about to tap it through a wicket.  But the older ones understand the humor and advantage of playing a challenging game of poison croquet.  Our biggest problem is keeping our Golden Retriever from retrieving the balls.

Delicious Dinners

Evenings provide endless opportunities for delicious meals of grilling out  hamburgers and hotdogs which seems to be everybody’s favorite.  Another favorite of mine is shrimp brushed with a little garlic butter and grilled to perfection.  Frozen pineapple chunks make a great accompaniment and so do raw carrot sticks, celery, broccoli and cauliflower served with a sour cream, parsley and dill dip.  Fresh corn on the cob and a few chips finish out an easy summer meal that never requires heating up the oven.  My husband sometimes likes a grilled pineapple ring placed on top of his burger which gives it a taste of Hawaii.  Grilled chicken with pineapple is another favorite of ours.  While waiting for dinner a little down time in the hammock is always great.

Sour Cream, parsley and dill dip,                                                                                 (a favorite of mine)

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1Tbsp. dried minced parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. beau Monde seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried minced dill weed

Stir together and let chill in refrigerator over night to blend the flavors.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe:

Desserts have always been my favorite part of any meal and what could be better than homemade ice cream!  This is the recipe for strawberry ice cream we made when I was growing up and it is yummy!

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • few grains salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pt. half and half cream
  • 1/2 pt. whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 qt. strawberries

Scald 3/4 cup of milk, then add flour which has been thoroughly mixed with 1/2 cup of the sugar and the salt.  Beat the egg with remaining 1/4 cup milk, then add to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly.  Cook while stirring about 3 min. or until mixture coats the spoon.  Thoroughly cool; and add vanilla extract.  Place mixture in refrigerator to chill.  Put strawberries thru food mill to puree.  A blender can also be used but the food mill gets out most of the tiny seeds.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to the strawberry puree (sometimes I add a little more sugar and sweeten to taste).  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.  After dinner pour the puree, custard mixture, cream and half and half into your ice cream freezer can adding a little extra cream or milk until mixture reaches fill line.  Be sure to have plenty of ice and a box of rock salt on hand and mix together according to manufacturer’s directions.  I usually buy an extra bag of ice and extra rock salt just in case we don’t have enough.  Enjoy!  

Basketball In The Driveway

After dinner the kids all like to play basketball in the driveway.  But as for me, I’m usually ready to sit down and relax for the rest of the evening with a good book.  This summer I plan to read “Stillmeadow” by Gladys Taber again.  It is a charming book with some delightfully funny moments .

The grand kids never get tired and after running and romping all day long they only sit quiet for a moment before asking, “what can we do now?”   Lightning Bug Lanterns  

I try to keep on hand a supply of clear plastic jars with lids for these lanterns.  Empty plastic peanut butter jars are great for this.  Cut a few breathing holes in the lid and turn the kids loose to run in the back yard. Thankfully this always gives  the adults some much needed quiet time to relax and enjoy a little dog therapy.

4th of July Fun and Fireworks

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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Psalm 19:1

The fireworks displays on the 4th of July have always been for me the most beautiful and exciting part of each celebration.  A few years ago I was very disappointed that the sky was cloudy and rainy and we were not planing to go see the fireworks.  As the sky grew darker and darker, a great thunderstorm rolled in and we could see flashes of light and hear rumbles of thunder in the distance.  As I watched out my window I saw one of the  best fireworks shows I had ever seen with  bolts of lightning zigzagging across the sky and huge crashes of thunder. I shall always remember it as the year that God provided the fireworks and it was awesomely magnificent!

Fun Stuff For Kids  

In our small town when I was growing up, the 4th of July  celebration began with a parade.  When I was very small I was allowed to ride on the vintage firetruck   at the front of the parade.  It was a little scary when they blew the siren but I was reassured when I saw my father walking along beside the firetruck  and my mother waving in the crowd.  When I was a little older we decorated my doll carriage and I felt very grown up walking my baby doll in the parade.  I always wanted to be a part of the parade and often decorated my bike spending hours using colored crepe paper and winding it in between  the spokes on the tires.

Following the parade the town put on a small carnival in the park and I remember riding a little train and playing carnival games in hopes of winning a stuffed animal.  I don’t think I ever won but it was fun trying.

We always had a wonderful picnic dinner that Mother prepared when I arrived home.  Roast beef on homemade rolls with chips and icy cold deviled eggs and marshmallow fruit salad.  Dessert was strawberry shortcake on made from scratch muffin cakes, divided in half and covered with big scoops of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and a dab of whip cream.    Yum, it was delicious!  This was always followed by the town putting on a fantastic fireworks show about dusk.  We would take a large blanket to the park and lie down snuggling up to each other and ooh and ah after each one went off.  Those sure were fun times

Float Building for the Parade  

After I was married, we moved to a small town that also had a wonderful 4th of July  parade and fireworks. Each year we had so much fun dreaming up and putting together a float that consisted of a wagon and some big boxes.  It was usually pulled by our oldest son on his  tricycle or bike.  One year we did, “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby” with a covered wagon and a rocket ship.

                 Our daughter rode in the rocket ship and her baby brother in the covered wagon and they were quite content with lollypops to stay put.  Our oldest son pulled it on his bicycle and he deserves the award because it was quite a load!

Another year we built a train which we named “The Liberty Belle.”  Our son the engineer pulled his baby sister who rode quite happily in the caboose. 

One of the most fun floats we ever built was when my sister, her husband and son came down to visit and we designed the Pollution Plucker.  It had multiple arms and legs made out of bathroom and  kitchen utensils.  It was a very funny looking contraption and had all the parade viewers laughing as the kids rode by pulling it on their trikes.  It was designed to be a litter picker upper and the two boys were dressed like litter bugs with bits of paper glued to their outfits.  The idea was to harness your litterbugs.  Our daughter dressed in her best white dress was happy to ride inside it.  Needless to say it won first prize which thrilled the kids.  I think every town needs a Pollution Plucker!

Sand Castle Fireworks  

Now that we have grand kids, we have discovered that one of the best fireworks shows is on the beach.  The excitement begins early in the day.            We set up our lounge chairs and watch a beautiful sunset going down over               the ocean.  The children wade in the reflected light along the beach searching   for shells.

Then the Uncles and Dads provide an early display of Roman Candles shot from a large sand castle that they have worked on with the kids throughout the day.  As it grows darker we can see beautiful fireworks being shot off all all along the beach.  Seeing all these beautiful star-bursts in so many colors and listening to the laughter of the grand kids with their faces lit up with light from their sparklers fills my heart with joy. And so I look up and whisper a prayer of thankfulness to my Savior that we live in freedom and I pray that God will continue to bless America and enable all the people of the world to live in freedom. 

Wisdom and Knowledge illuminations

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“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!”  Proverbs 16:16

A Tower of Knowledge  Where do you look for knowledge?  What are the blocks you’ve used to build your tower of knowledge?  Where do you look for wisdom?  If I am working on my computer and ask a question of either my son or husband, I usually receive the  answer, “Just Google it.”   So that’s what I do and what a wealth of information I have discovered on Google! 

I am also a terrible speller and how I love the fact that my misspelled words now have a red squiggly line under them that is not marked by some disgruntled teacher who lowers the grade on my paper. No, my computer wizard marks my mistakes and with a right click on my mouse gives me suggestions for the correct spelling, never criticizing my errors.  We’ve come a long way from looking up words in the dictionary and using white out to cover our mistakes.

You are probably familiar with the G.P.S. global positioning system.  Our grandson  named ours Grace and use to ask the question, “But how does Grace know exactly where we are and where we are going?”  He always wanted to trick her when my husband picked him up from school.  They frequently took different routes home, but she always “recalculated” and gave the correct directions to reach their destination.

And have you heard about Siri?  She is a voice-activated “Personal assistant” on the iPhone 4S.  My son has one and we all had a fun time thinking up questions to ask  her at our last family get together.   Her answers about marriage and her likes and dislikes had us in stitches.  She is always very polite and has knowledge about all sorts of subjects or will provide a Google search list if needed.  Recently I read that Apple is providing her with new databases of knowledge which will include being able to make dinner reservations and retrieve sports scores.  Several automakers are planing to integrate  their new cars with a steering wheel mounted button that will enable the driver to use Siri to make hands free and eyes free calls, play music, compose text messages and get map direction.  Sounds like a very smart thing to have.  I’m all for anything safety related!

But accumulated facts are not wisdom.  And what man calls wisdom is not always  safe to follow.  Several times we have followed our G.P.S. directions and ended up on some country road far from our destination.  Worldly advice may be a trap that leads you to take unsafe risks.  Most of the time man’s advice is colored by his own greed and limited knowledge and is not in our best interest.  The only word we can continually trust is God’s Word.  “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  Proverbs 2:6

The Tower of Babel

The eleventh chapter of Genesis describes how the people became so pride filled  that they wanted to make a name for themselves by building a city with a tower in it that would reach up to heaven.  They wanted to glorify themselves and refused to recognize that only by the grace of God did they have the ability to build a city and tower. “This is the one I esteem:  he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”   Isaiah 66:2b      At that time all the people in the world   had one language, but God hates pride   and scattered them from there over all the earth  and they stopped building the city.  “That is why it was called Babel – because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world.”   Genesis 11:9

Fun Stuff For Kids:   Building a Tower of Babel  after explaining the Bible story.

Technology today seems to have no limits and is constantly changing.  I love being able to stay in touch with friends and family and even meet new friends around the  world by blogging.  Men have come up with some fantastic devices to enable us to communicate with each other and to almost never get lost, but God has given us something even more amazing.  We do not have to dial a number or hook up to the internet or wait for a menu.  He has enabled  us to have instant communication with Him, our Awesome God never makes us wait. God has promised that when we call to him he will answer us and His wisdom is omniscient, omnipresent and  omnipotent.  “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and  unsearchable things you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3

God gave each believer the Holy Spirit to guide him and keep him from losing the way.  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”  Psalm 32:8 

God not only gives the best way to reach our destination, but he has also designed the best way that personally fits each individual.  His system enables us to follow the only way that will bring us lasting joy and fulfill his purpose for our lives.  Whenever you have a problem or decision to make, the best thing you can do is first pray about it and then look in the Bible for answers.  Don’t make a hasty decision based on what men say or your own knowledge.  Only God can guide you to make the best choices for your life. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4   “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:2-5

Father’s Day Tribute

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“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”   Proverbs 22:6

Children love to walk in their Father’s shoes if given the opportunity.  This is a  picture of Shepherd our 8th grandchild walking in his grandfather’s shoes.  We constantly set an example for our children and they will be much more likely to follow what we do than what we say.

I believe that a family that prays and plays together has a much better chance of staying together.  I am thankful that both of my daughter’s husbands provide great examples for their children by the lives they lead.  Honesty and loyalty, love and respect and a strong trusting faith in Jesus Christ is continually taught not just by their words but by their actions as well.

I am also so blessed that my husband is a man who cares deeply about his family and shows it.  Our children and grandchildren know that they can count on him to find time to be there when they need him, to listen to them, understand them and play with them because he loves them with all his heart. 

If one of our children was in a ball game, a recital or school program, he always managed to leave work early to come to it.  Weekends were spent at home playing with the kids and our vacations were some of the best family times of all.  Following you will find a list of wonderful memories with Dad that one of our daughters made a few years ago.  This list was written before she had children of her own and I know that it would be much longer now.

  • roses every Valentines Day  
  • Teaching me to drive
  • Basketball in the driveway
  • building a clubhouse
  • leaving work early to come to my basketball games
  • me and Dad verses Jim in basketball
  • teaching me to play golf
  • buying 5 notebooks even if I needed only 1 (always doing above and beyond no matter what)
  • wedding day – walking down the aisle with him  
  • watching Celtics games together on T.V,
  • watching U.K. games together
  • staying up until I came in at night
  • always glad to hear my voice on the phone
  • Chauffeur when needed
  • going to piano lessons in old car
  • restoring old 39 Ford together and winning prize  
  • letting me play in Cub Scouts car race/camp out and cookout
  • wonderful vacations
  • building all those fences for the dogs
  • building a doghouse for Snoopy with me
  • all his jokes
  • all his laughter
  • always so patient and loving with Mother and us
  • wonderful example and my #1 cheerleader

Two dozen reasons that mean so much and I know that if our other children and now the grandchildren made lists, they too would be able to think of countless reasons why their Dad (Daddo) always makes them feel loved.  And we want you to know that we love you more than you can ever imagine!  Thanks and Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day present craft

Remembrance rock paperweight

  • rock for paperweight ( if your child goes fishing with Dad or plays at a nearby  stream let him choose a rock about 4″ by 4″ with a smooth top for this project) or a small tile for a “surprise project” bought at Home Depot on a trip with Dad would also work
  • Elmer’s glue
  • hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge clear drying sealer and clean brush
  • small photograph of child or child and Dad. VERY IMPORTANT TO USE A STORE MADE PHOTOGRAPH, I tried printing photos on photo paper with my inkjet printer 3 times and even allowed it to dry overnight.  The photo looked great, but the Mod Podge lifted ink off paper.
  • thin piece of cardboard large enough to mount picture on
  • felt large enough to cover bottom of rock

If using a creek stone be sure to wash and dry the rock thoroughly before beginning  this project.  Check to be sure that picture will fit top of rock or cut to fit.  Mount picture on the thin piece of cardboard with Elmer’s glue and let dry.  Use hot glue gun to secure picture to top of rock. Lightly brush several thin coats of Mod Podge over picture and top of rock allowing each to dry thoroughly before adding another.  When finished glue a piece of felt to bottom of rock so it will not scratch your furniture.

Let your child wrap up his remembrance rock in pretty paper and delight Dad with the gift he made him.

Any Father’s Day tribute would not be complete without mentioning my own   wonderful Dad.  He loved God, worked hard, took us to Sunday school and church every Sunday and inspired me to always try to do my best.  I have  many wonderful memories of evenings together with him.  Summertime was such a special time and  I use to love to sit and talk with him while he grilled burgers in the backyard.  Occasionally for a real treat, we made homemade strawberry or peach ice cream with a hand crank freezer.  

Daddy had an on going battle with the squirrels that would raid our bird feeder.   He was always trying to come up with some hilarious invention to stop them and of course the inventions never worked, but provided many laughs when we would watch the squirrels succeed in getting up, over or around the latest contraption.  I wish I could show him the bird-feeder we have now that takes squirrels for a little merry-go-round ride when they try to raid the feeder.  So  far the squirrels have not outsmarted this new design as long as we remember to keep it charged up.  Daddy would have loved it!

When I was little he made a wonderful log cabin playhouse for my sister and me in the woods behind our house.  I usually imagined that it was my bakery and spent hours and hours of fun fixing delicious treats and decorating them with honeysuckle berries.

Be sure to take lots of pictures with your children having fun times with your  parents.  I wish I had more pictures of my Dad, but he was always the one behind the camera.  He loved making things for my children  and once made a car and a boat for them to play in when we were coming to visit.  He also made wooden boats for them to sail down our creek and planted wildflowers in our woods for me to enjoy.  It is such a blessing to have a caring,  thoughtful, loving father, and I just wish my Dad  was still around so I could hug him and tell him just how much I love him.