Tag Archives: family

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . Another Birthday!

So, Tuesday was “The Artist’s” Birthday, and I had spent several weeks seeking out things that went along with his request for drawing materials. REAL drawing materials, artist quality. He noticed that I had bought for myself a set of black sketching pencils complete with one of those kneaded erasers (because I am attempting to learn Zentangle, which I’ll write about in a future post), so I got him a set too, at Michael’s.

Here are a few photos of “The Artist” opening his gift . . .

First, the big box!
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Here are the aforementioned pencils . . .
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And a set of artist quality color pencils he had specifically requested . . .
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“The Artist” also received a variety of sketch books and sketch pads to put his artwork into . . .
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And a book called Cartooning For The Beginner . . .
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Last, but certainly not least, “The Artist” received his much requested Nintendo Eshop card.
2014-02-25 05.04.17, which is now burning a hole in his pocket, lol!

We went out to dinner at a local Chinese place called Tao’s Chinese Bistro, which was quite good, and left enough extra that everyone had more for lunch on Wednesday!

As far as homeschool stuff this week, we were kind of laid back, as I’ve not been feeling well lately. We worked on a couple of review products that I posted about here and here, we did our piano practice (one of these days, I WILL remember to video either the practice or lesson time, or both, and post that), and we went to both Homeschool Park Day and Piano Lesson yesterday. Yes, we are able to go to Park Days in February, and we LOVE that! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, how was YOUR week? Why don’t you blog about it, and then link up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, like I’m doing? It’s really easy, just click the graphic below for the guidelines . . .

Write your post, then go here and link up at the bottom of the post. That’s all there is to it! While you’re there, check out all of the other bloggers writing about THEIR weeks! ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss another update! And, if you do enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you would! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekly Wrap-up . . . A Week Late!

I didn’t manage a weekly wrap-up last week. I’ve been ill off and on for the past couple of weeks, and then last week, I broke my glasses!!! All is well on that front though, this week I got a replacement pair, though I’m still waiting on my prescription sunglasses (a needful thing in a state with at least 300 sunny days per year).

Anyway, back on February 7, we had another co-op day with our church homeschool group. This time, it was all about nutrition, manners, and physical activity.

My friend Aimee, one of our fabulous homeschool moms, was in charge of putting this one together, and she really made it fun! Here, she is teaching the kids what would NOT be good table manners, LOL!
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Aimee discussed with the kids the importance of good nutrition, and of drinking enough water every day, especially living here in the desert.
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The kids learned about the importance of good posture, and in this video, you can see some of them attempting to practice USING good posture!

After all of this, we moved to another room, where we worked on stretching . . .
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Exercises . . .
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And a game to work on good sportsmanship!
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This is one of MY favorite photos of the day, two of our toddler friends! ๐Ÿ™‚
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So, this was a good homeschool day, in the midst of my not feeling well off and on. My kids really enjoy our co-op!

This post is being linked up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. To get the guidelines for the weekly wrap up link-up, click the graphic below:

As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please, go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Church, education, exercise, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Group Monthly Activity, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, Weekly Wrap-Up

Where You’ll Find Me Today . . .

I am being featured in the Crew Spotlight today, on the Schoolhouse Review Crew Website.

You’ll find me sharing about homeschooling being a lifetime commitment, as opposed to a “season in my life”, and I sure hope you’ll find it interesting and informative. ๐Ÿ™‚ To go and check out what I have to say on this topic, please click below, and while you’re there, check out the rest of the site as well!

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As always, I’d love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss an update! And if you do enjoy “My Journeys”, please, go to our Facebook Fan Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Crew Spotlight Post, education, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Special Needs Children, special needs education, unschooling

How My Birthday Went!

Yesterday was my 56th birthday. We didn’t do anything big, but it was a good day. My husband took the day off so he could give ME a day off. We slept in (until nearly 10:00!), and then he dealt with the kids all day. Monday is always one of my laundry days, so he sorted the laundry and kept up with doing it. And there was a LOT of laundry this time, as my older kids had just gotten back from winter camp with the church youth group, and the younger two had gone on an overnight with friends.

I asked that my whole family watch my choice of movie with me, and I chose “Calamity Jane”. Then we watched “Star Trek Into The Darkness”. I received hand-made cards from “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler”, and my husband had gone to my favorite local scrapbook store to buy me some things that were on my wish list. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had take-out from a favorite pizza place, and then before the kids went to bed, we watched the season finales of “Once Upon A Time” and “Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, which we had recorded on the DVR.

It was a good, lazy day, calm, no dealing with bickering children, etc. Best birthday I’ve had in some time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you, Mike! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Is There A Family With Special Needs Children In Your Church?

How well do you relate to them? How well do your KIDS relate to them?ย Here’s the thing . . . when these kids are little, they are cute, and their “issues” are much more easily overlooked. A child born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and mental retardation, who is also on the autism spectrum, gets lots of understanding whenย he or she isย a toddler. Believe me, I know. My oldest, “The Batman”, IS that child. He was adopted at age 2, andย he isn’t a cute little toddler anymore. It’s so much harder for him now, because he KNOWS he’s different now. He regularly asks me (yet again) if his “friends” know he has these disabilities, hoping (yet again) that maybe they don’t, that somehow, he has successfully hidden it. And yes, he does try, so very hard, to act like the other kids who are teens, not really understanding that it isn’t working. He wants to be accepted so very badly, as do all kids like him, as do, in fact, all kids, whether disabled or not.

So. Do you have a kid, or kids like this in your church? Do you know how to treat them? Do your own children know how? Because if not, you need to learn how to accept them where they are, and for the person that they are, even when that means cutting them some slack if they are annoying. Most of the time, they truly do not understand that they are annoying.

If you have a family like this in your church, here are my suggestions:

  1. Befriend them. And I mean for real, not just in the superficial way that so oftenย happens. Befriend them. Spend time with them. Have dinner with them. Take part in other activities with them. We’ve been fortunate enough to find friends in our church here who do want to spend time with us, people who have been to our home for dinner (on holidays, no less!), or who have had us to their homes for dinner. But, we’ve also, in years past, been part of churches where we felt very excluded.
  2. Learn about the disabilities their children deal with. You may find yourself surprised to discover that an awful lot of the time, what you think is bad behavior, annoying behavior, etc . . ., is directly attributed to the disability, or multiple disabilities working together against the child. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times over the years I’ve been told, either directly or in a round-about way that my child would be more pleasant to be around if I would “just discipline him more”.
  3. Don’t just befriend the child/children, befriend the parents. Do they ever get to go out without their children? We all know how important things like regular date nights are to a marriage, but do you realize that most couples with children like this RARELY get regular date nights? Do you know that there is a higher rate of divorce among couples with these children?
  4. Try harder to understand the behavior in kids like this, ESPECIALLY when they have reached the teen years and beyond. ย “Children with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and or self-injurious behaviors may be involved.” My son is pretty high functioning compared to manyย others with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, mental retardation and autism, which has been attributed to the fact that we took him out of school right after kindergarten and began homeschooling him, but even so, he still does, and always will, have serious problems when it comes to social interaction.

My child has battled these disorders for 20 years now, almost 21 years. He has problems when it comes to communication, he has difficulty with timeline, and definitely with social interaction. He is also, when you really take the trouble to get to know him, to befriend him, and help him to feel that he is safe to “be himself” with you, ย one of the kindest, most giving and loving people I have ever known, in my whole life.ย  But, if he feels unsafe to “be himself”, he becomes anxious. He will pull his eyebrows out, and has, at times, pulled large patches of his hair out of his head. He doesn’t “get” social cues most of the time, and often, when someone is “joking around”, he doesn’t get that, either, and thinks they are serious. Sadly, sometimes they actually AREN’T just joking, because they themselves don’t “get it” when it comes to kids like this.

There are children like mine in many, many churches, and if they are fortunate, they are loved, accepted, and have friends. Is this the case in YOUR church? Are these kids included, loved, and treated as though they truly are your children’s friends? Are you teaching your children to be kind and caring, even if those children are “weird”? Because you do your children a disservice if you aren’t teaching them this. In all of their life, both now, and later when they are grown, your children WILL have interactions with people who are “different”. Will they be kind to them? Or will they be intolerant of the differences? Will they stand up for them? Or will they join the bullies, because they themselves fear being bullied?

I have other kids who do not have as significant disabilities as “The Batman”, and it is my goal, which I hope I’m being successful in, to make sure they are learning to help their brother, and other kids like him. To stick up for them, to befriend them, to care about them. I believe this will make a difference in THEIR lives, even later, when they are grown and on their own, which I believe some of them will be able to be. I want my less disabled children to grow up with empathy, and caring hearts.

As believers, I think we need to be aware of these things. My kids, just like all those other kids who are “different”, will never be “safe” to just be themselves in most settings, but more than anything, if you are a believer, I want you to know and understand that outside of their own home and family, the one place they should never, ever have to worry about being able to “be themselves” is when they are with their church family. Look around your church. Are there kids like this? Are they REALLY safe to be themselves? With you? With your children? With their Sunday School teachers? With ANYONE? Because they should be, and if you’re not sure you agree, then maybe you need to read more about Jesus, and how He was with children. The church isn’t just a social club. It is a family.

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Filed under adoption, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, Special Needs Children

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . New Years Week . . .

This week, we had our mid-week service on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. We had a potluck fellowship at 6:00, followed by the service at 7:00. Two of the boys at our church are home from college for Christmas, and they, along with two of the boys from the teen group each were given the opportunity to preach for about 10 minutes each. I thought they did an awesome job! The service ended around 8:30, and we went home to get the boys to bed. In fact, my husband and I did not stay up late, either, because he had to get “The Batman” and “The Artist” up very early, so that he could get them back to the church in time to leave with the youth group for winter retreat, in Colorado.

On New Years Day, the rest of us kind of had a lazy day. I wasn’t feeling real great, and napped off and on, but was better by that night.

On Thursday, friends from church came and got “Mr. Loquacious” and “The puzzler” for an overnight with their kids. I ended up with most of the day yesterday and today to myself!

I told you yesterday what I would be doing with the time, and I did. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve decided to join in with the Pantry Challenge posted by fellow blogger Jessica Fisher over at Good Cheap Eats. As I told I would, I cleaned out and inventoried my pantry, fridge/freezer and deep freezer. I’m embarrassed to say I had to throw out a bunch of stuff. That’s the other reason I’m doing this, so I can learn to keep track of what we have, and use it up, thereby being a better steward.

So, I have rather a lot of odds and ends in the pantry, but very little meat, veggies or fruit. So, before I head out in the morning for groceries, we’ll be going over what we have and figuring out what we need to go with it.

I will update on the pantry challenge at least a couple of times a week. Not necessarily every day, because I have other things scheduled for posting too, but I will keep up to date on this. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find out all about where I got this idea by clicking the graphic below . . .
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Today while the kids were all still gone, I worked on my ministry cards. I have my own tiny ministry at church with my hand-crafted cards. So far, I have eleven ladies and one family on my encouragement list, and I make them a card every week. I bring them to church to give them on Sunday. I really enjoy it, it feels good to encourage others!

I also worked on getting my blog planner printed out so I can either get it into a notebook or have it spiral bound at an office supply store, and printed out the words to the song I’m singing next Sunday evening, so that the pianist and I can practice it.

Then, it was time to go pick everyone up! We got back a little while before my husband got home, and then he cooked supper, hamburgers and hot dogs, the extras we didn’t use on New Years Day. We also had the rest of the potato salad, coleslaw, and some potato chips. It was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

How was your week? Why don’t you write about it and then link up with us over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers? Click the graphic below to read about the guidelines . . .

As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss another update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please do go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under card making, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, Pantry Challenge 2014, Ultimate Blog Challenge January 2014, Weekly Wrap-Up

“Gone, Gone, Gone, Gone, All My Kids Are Gone”!

OK, so, let’s just be real here . . . I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my kids, and if anything ever happened to any of them, my heart would be in shreds. However, as any of you who are moms surely know, especially if you are fellow homeschooling moms, sometimes, we just need a little break. Right? ๐Ÿ™‚

So, my older two, “The Batman” and “The Artist” left yesterday with the teen group from our church for their annual winter retreat to the Cross Bar X Ranch in Durango, Colorado, and the twins, ”
Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” just left a little while ago for an overnight with friends from church who have two kids that are great friends with our kids. I am kid-less until late tomorrow afternoon when the teens return, at which time I’ll be getting the twins back as well.

So what will I do with my time alone, you ask? Well, write this post, for one, LOL!

I will also shortly, be doing an inventory of my pantry cupboard, fridge/freezer and deep freezer, in preparation for joining the Pantry Challenge posted by fellow blogger Jessica Fisher over at Good Cheap Eats.

You can read all about it by clicking the graphic below . . .

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She is doing a two week challenge, with specific goals. My challenge to myself is not for a specific time period, because I am planning to simply have us use up what we have, with a goal towards purchasing only the grocery items needed to round out meals made as much as possible from existing supplies. This will do a few things . . . it will save money, first and foremost. It will also force me to be more creative in meal planning and preparation, and it will help get these three areas emptied out for cleaning. I think it will also serve to show me where I need to make changes in food shopping, either because we have things that turn out to be something we don’t care for, or because it may give me the incentive to try harder to use more “real” foods, instead of convenient, packaged things. It will definitely help us become better stewards of what we have, which, as a Christian, I believe is something we should all learn to do.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what I find in my inventory, and hopefully, how I plan to implement this whole thing, and we’ll see how it goes.

In any event, I’m going to give it a try. Anyone game to join me? ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, I’d just love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and you’ll never miss another update! If you enjoy “My Journeys”, how about a little Facebook “like”? I’d sure appreciate it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, family, food, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Pantry Challenge 2014, Ultimate Blog Challenge January 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . Christmas Week!

As you may recall, we began the week with Sunday, when I sang a Christmas special at church for the very first time ever. Then, we got rolling with our week!

On Monday, the kids and I ran a few errands, which included going to the doctor’s office to pick up paper prescriptions for those who needed them, and going to shop for gifts for the children in the family we had invited to our home for Christmas dinner. That was so fun, because I really didn’t expect to be able to do much, with what little cash I had left, but a combination of two angels from church helping, plus a sale at Family Dollar Store, where they had all toys buy one, get one 50% off, helped a lot! I had really thought the best I’d be able to do would be some little toys from Dollar Tree, so this was so cool!

On Tuesday, I baked more mini loaves of Banana/Berry/Nut bread and Hawaiian/Banana Bread to use as part of our Christmas morning breakfast, part of the gift for the family who was coming for Christmas, and as part of dessert on Christmas. These are the same breads I made to put in gift baskets for our pastor, deacons and church staff.

My husband managed to get off work a couple of hours early that day, because business was quite slow, so he was able to be home and help with getting the kids ready for church. Our church moved the usual Wednesday service to Tuesday, and had a beautiful candle light Christmas Eve service! Mike was needed to run the sound for the service, and to be there by 5:00 pm to do the sound checks, so it helped that he got off work early, that way we could also get supper done and get there on time! ๐Ÿ™‚

After church, we got home, got the kids settled down, watched an hour of TV with them, then got them to go to bed so the marathon wrapping could start! This happens nearly every year, as I tend to need to wait for the payday before Christmas to finish shopping, but it’s also what finally makes me really feel like Christmas, lol! Mike put together the breakfast casserole following a recipe I’ve used for many years while I wrapped, then came in and we watched old TV shows on a retro channel, all Christmas episodes. Think “That Girl”, “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Odd Couple”, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚ After the wrapping was done, we went to bed, we knew it would be an early, long day the next day!

Here’s how nice it all looked when we went to bed . . .

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Christmas morning (controlled)ย chaos . . .

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“The Batman” and “The Artist” had wanted tablets for Christmas. Here is what they found in the top of the boxes . . .

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and here’s what was under them . . .

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For the rest of the morning and early afternoon, here is what we saw . . .

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Then, our friends arrived, and it was controlled chaos again! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Finally, the FOOD!

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We decided to do buffet style. Most of the food was on the table, but there were some things on the island as well, and we had set up tables in our front room with folding chairs borrowed from church. We had a wonderful time together!

Mike posted this picture of our brown Christmas to Facebook, as our friends back home are covered in snow and ice . . .

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Thankfully, this couple of days after Christmas have been fairly calm and quiet, as I have a cold and really needed to rest.

The day after Christmas . . .

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And today, watching the DVD of 40 episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies”, which was one of the Christmas gifts they loved!

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I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that your week was great, too! Why don’t you write about it and link up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers? For the guidelines, just click the graphic below . . .

As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! To do so, please go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the page and enter your email. If you enjoy “My Journeys”, we’d love it if you’d go to our Facebook Page and “like” it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christmas, Church, family, food, Weekly Wrap-Up

Lots Going On . . .

For the first time, in all of the years I have been singing special music at the various churches we have been part of over the years, this year I was scheduled to sing at Christmas! I really love this song, and our youth pastor’s wife Aubrey Granthamย (who is soon also going to be our piano teacher!) did an AWESOME job on the piano! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile, at 8:00 straight up this morning, I called the doctor’s office to get new paper prescriptions for “Mr. Loquacious” and “The puzzler”, as they cannot be faxed or e-filed to the pharmacy. I’m hoping they call me quickly to come get them, I have a few last-minute errands, and really would like to combine the errands with picking up the prescriptions, if possible.

I also need to call the pharmacy itself and check on whether they have ordered a medication for “The Batman”, because it wasn’t in stock for them to fill the other day, and the pharmacist on duty at the time was a floater who couldn’t order anything. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We’re having breakfast, and then I plan to get laundry sorted and started washing, after which, while waiting to hear from the doctor’s office that I can come get the prescriptions, I’m going to work on cards for my wonderful hairstylist, Jody Muniz.ย  She chose different colors than what I used in the samples I showed her, so I’m trying a different look and will make one of each and send the pictures of them to her by text before making the rest of them. I think they will come out nice! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’m also working on a set of cards for someone who won them from a drawing at one of my Close To My Heart gatherings, along with a set of baby scrapbooking pages for a friend who doesn’t scrapbook, but wanted them as a gift for her sister. Which reminds me, as you know, I am a consultant for Close To My Heart, and I want to let you know that there are a bunch of things being retired in order to make room for new, beautiful products! I have seen a sneak peek at the new things, and you’re going to LOVE them, but meanwhile, while you still have a chance to get them, you may view and purchase retiring items here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

As always, I would love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys”! Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the page and enter your email, you’ll never miss another update! ๐Ÿ™‚ And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “like” it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under card making, Christian faith, Christmas, Church, Close to My Heart, family, Mary Did You Know, Mesa Baptist Church, singing

Christmas 2023 . . . Teen Drama At Mesa Baptist Church

This past Sunday night, December 15, 2013, the teens along with our youth pastor and his wife put on our annual Christmas play. This year, it was a drama, to show what Christmas could be like in the future, if our country continues on the path we are walking.

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This play, Christmas 2023, was originally written by Sam Gipp, and was edited for Mesa Baptist Church by Mrs. Aubrey Grantham.

It is the year 2023, and there have been many changes. We have had another world war, and all mention of the Lord Jesus Christ has been outlawed. Children are now removed from the parents when they reach school age and sent to government “boarding schools”, where they are taught humanistic, atheistic views. There are no true churches anymore, all have been turned into social clubs, and the Bible is outlawed.

The Jamison family, upon whom our drama is focused, has been decorating for the “X-mas” holiday, while waiting for one of their own, John, to come home from the government boarding school for the holiday. They come across a box of things from years past, in which they find a nativity scene, Tom’s (the father) old Bible, some CD’s with Christmas carols on it that sing of faith, not of santa. As they begin to reminisce, they talk about the church they used to go to, Mesa Baptist Church, and Pastor Carr, who has not been seen since he was taken away some years previously. At first Tom’s wife is very nervous about finding all of these things, but then, their two other children, David and Susan, begin asking questions, and their parents tell them all about how it used to be.

But then, John arrives home, and sees the Bible. He becomes very upset, and is ready to report them, when the parents convince him that they should go to bed and talk more in the morning. Susan, however, sneaks back and is reading the Bible, when her brother David finds her. The next day, they all talk much about it, including John, and their parents, who had come to salvation many years ago, are able to lead their children to the Lord as well.

During the holiday time, the Jamisons take opportunity to witness to others, including a group of carolers who come to the door. You can watch the carolers in the video below. My son “The Batman” is one of the carolers.

Later, “Santa” comes to visit, as the government has sent a Santa out to all the homes, bearing a “gift”, as you’ll see in the video below. “The Artist” portrays Santa in this drama . . .

The time comes for John to return to his school, and he asks how to be saved, and then declares he will tell everyone about Jesus, and the Bible, no matter the consequences.

I’m doing this post, not just because I’m proud of my boys for being involved in their teen group, or for being in the play, but because the story really touched my heart. I want all of you to KNOW that you need to be saved, if you have never been. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell, but as a Just God, He cannot have sin in Heaven. We MUST either pay for our sins, or we must accept the sacrifice He made to cover our sin, by sending Christ in human flesh, to pay for our sin. Please, watch this video, and consider the truth . . .

If you do not know for certain that if you died today, you would be in Heaven with the Lord, then please, please, speak to someone who can show you the way. If you wish, you can contact me, making sure I have your email.

(before I get comments about the “origins” of the term Xmas, please know that I don’t care about that. In today’s culture, it does not stand for what it may have stood for thousands of years ago. In today’s culture, it most certainly stand for removing “Christ” from the word Christmas.”)
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I would love it if you joined me on all of My Journeys Through Life! Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and enter your email, and never miss an update! And if you do enjoy My Journeys, please, go to our Facebook page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Christmas, Mesa Baptist Church, Teen Christmas Drama