Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Note From Dad--You're In The Game!

For my final post of 2011 on this blog, I decided to share a note I found written by my dad when straightening my desk.  I never noticed it before because it was on the backside of a pink index card invitation to a "Youth For Christ" meeting.  It must have either been some sermon notes he took or else a devotional thought he had.  It was written in pencil so is hard to read, but here is what it says:

Game, Sport
A great many people thoroughly enjoy watching a good game; the most popular seems to be baseball.  Few of us realize that we are in a game ourselves right now, with many people watching us and hoping that we will win.  But some of us we are losing, because we are so much interested in watching others play their game, and forget that it we ought to be much concerned about winning ourselves.  You ask "what game are we playing?"  Our very life is a game, some win, and some lose.  There is always reward for the winner.  The prize for the winner of life's game is of unspeakable value; words cannot describe it.
 I believe his thoughts were based on these two scriptures:

Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith:  who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
God compares our life to a race and those who have successfully completed their journey before us are the "cloud of witnesses" cheering us on.  I wonder if my mom and dad see me from heaven and are cheering me on.  It's kind of a cool thought, isn't it?

The other verses that I think my dad was thinking of when he wrote this are:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:13-1)
What a good message to keep in mind as we begin a new year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am donating .50 per legitimate comment this month to The Cleveland Pregnancy Center.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favoirte Gift Ever and More! (Writer's Workshop)

My dad's favorite thing to do was work with wood. Here is a list of a few of the the neat things he made:

My all-time favorite gift is the secretary that my dad made for me when I was only around 3 years old. I still use it today, 53 years later! One of the games I played was with my secretary and toy phone. Once my dad was sick and stayed home from work that day (which was very rare). I heard him call in sick so I went to my phone and did the same: "Hello Boss, I am sick so won't be in to work today. Good-bye." He was not happy with the secretary because he measured the desk top part wrong and it doesn't come up quite as far as it should when it's closed. I still love it! Later, after the foster kids came to live with us, he even put a lock on it for me although I usually didn't bother locking it.  I don't even know where the key is now.

Among many things dad made for us kids was a jeep, which I mention in my book. It was really, really great! Four kids could sit in it at once. My dad, being the ever cautious, safety first kind of guy did not put any motor on it. Thus, it was self-propelled by pushing it along. We had a blast with it, even though we just used it in our own yard. Here's a very short video clip of it and my brother playing with our dog so you can see for yourself:

(This video was taken off a DVD I had made through CVS from one of our old movies my dad had taken.)
My parents always liked it better when our friends would come to our house and this certainly brought them over. Having four kids all within just two years apart meant that our house was the place to be. Especially with our unusual "toys."

Another kid attraction we got one year to compliment our swing set which included a glider was a little backyard roller coaster! It had one big hill and a bunch of little ones. Only one could ride at a time though but it was a lot of fun too and drew a crowd!

Harry used to work at a box company. One of the best things he made for us was out of cardboard! He made us a robot with only three sides so we could go inside and make its head and arms move! We had a lot of fun with that!

I love the things my mom and dad made for me but these are the most unusual. There are so many I won't list them all here.

What was your favorite gift or the best gift you gave or received? Have you made something cool for your kids?

This is my response to the prompt to tell about your favorite gift that you received. To find more interesting posts or participate yourself, head of to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Nativity Project of 1982 With Help From Harry

In 1982, I was renting the upstairs of dad's double house for just $100 a month (which included meals and utilities!) It was a sweet deal and I knew it and was grateful! 

During the time I rented his upstairs, I was youth director at the Brooklyn Christian and Missionary Alliance Church so would have the youth group over for a time of snacking and just hanging out after the Sunday evening service. Usually, we'd have about eight, but when I started the special Christmas project of actually making a Nativity set for the church, we got more kids to come.

I covered my large dining room table with a sheet so we could just paint on that and I could leave it up all week. (I lived alone up there before I even knew Gerard, my husband.) I bought the pieces and the paint, chalk, spray, trays and dad made a stable out of cardboard that the boys could glue wood onto and then stain it. We worked on this about six weeks and then set it up in the church narthex with the intent of using it every year.

Unfortunately, some pieces got lost and broken so I took it back and use it every year at home.  It brings back fond memories of the teens who made it.  I had to replace Mary and the cow and the angel. To see my post with Spunky Doodle helping me set it up this year, go to Spunky Doodle Helps Set Up Nativity Set. Spunky is the Tuxedo cat I got from dad's when it was just 3 months old.

(All these pictures of making the set were scanned in with my new photo scanner I got for my birthday this year.)

This post is a Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Show us your Nativity Set.

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.