Monday, February 28, 2011

A Very Impressive Letter

This is a letter that Abraham Lincoln wrote to his son's Headmaster. I think it is very powerful and a wonderful sentiment. I want these very same things for my sons.

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader...
Teach him for every enemy there is a

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick... Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books...
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far honourable to fail
than to cheat...
Teach him to have faith
in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him
they are wrong...
Teach him to be gentle
with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon...
Teach him to listen to all men...
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good
that comes through.

Teach him if you can,
how to laugh when he is sad...
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness...
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient...
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do...
He is such a fine fellow,
my son!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

God Gave Us So Much Book Review

I love reading to my children almost as much as they love being read to and this was a great book that we all enjoyed.

The book 'God Gave Us So Much' by Lisa T. Bergren is really three books in one. It has three fabulous stories about the things God has blessed us with and Polar Bears are the main characters. It is primarily for pre-school and early elementary aged children. It has wonderful illustrations by Laura J. Bryant.

The first story, 'God Gave Us The World,' is about how God made different kinds of bears, not just Polar Bears, and how he provided a special and unique home for each of the special and unique bears.

The second story, 'God Gave Us Love,' explains that there are different kinds of love. There is love between mommies and daddies, love between parents and children, brothers and sisters, friends, etc. We can and should love everybody because God made so many different kinds of love for so many different relationships. It also teaches that even if we don't like the things that someone is doing, we can still love them because God loves us - because God is love.

The third story, 'God Gave Us Heaven,' I thought was fantastic! Heaven is hard enough for adults to understand, try explaining it to a child. I think Ms. Bergren did a wonderful job explaining Heaven on the level of a small child.

The illustrations are colorful with lots of detail without being too busy or complicated for younger children. My boys loved looking at the pictures and picking out certain aspects of it and seeing how it changed from page to page (their clothes, their surroundings, etc.).

If you want to emphasize the importance of God to your children, I highly recommend this book. With books like this I am able to reiterate at home, what they learn at church. It opens the door for communication between my children and me.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

*Go to WaterBrook Multnomah and rate my review please.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Day My Cowboy Stopped the Cattle Rustlers - The Final Chapter

...they have a good chance at getting shot at just because they are there. (We have no choice but to protect our own way out here.) So, they probably weren’t able to call for help that way either.

What I have learned from this…(1) there is NO ‘Honor Among Thieves’ (if there was, the truck driver’s companions wouldn’t have abandoned him and left him to take the heat alone); (2) crime doesn’t pay (he got caught, he will have to pay an impound bill and a tow bill – which will be pretty hefty because of where we live); (3) news travels fast (this all happened on Friday night starting around 10:00 p.m – we got a call first thing Saturday morning wanting to know what happened – we hadn’t even had a chance to tell anyone, not even our family); (4) John Wayne always wins (wait, I already knew that).

The moral of the story…don’t take something that doesn’t belong to you.

You can read Part 1 here,
Part 2 here,
Part 3 here.

The previous story was a true story that happened to my family on Friday, February 4, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Day My Cowboy Stopped the Cattle Rustlers - Part 3

...He described the truck to Frank and that was the same truck that was parked at our barn at 10:00 p.m. the same night trying to steal our cattle. He had been scouting out the farm and cattle.

The Truck Driver’s Story…

He had two companions earlier that evening with him, but he had taken them to another town and dropped them off. He got a call on his cell phone that a man he knew had bought and paid for some cattle and asked him to go and pick them up then gave him our address. He was here just trying to do his job.

There are several holes in his story: (1) when the officers checked his cell phone, there was no record of him receiving a call from the number he had given the officer or from man which he said had purchased the cattle and asked him to haul them – actually, there were no calls received at all during the time frame that he gave; (2) if you know anything about cattle at all – you don’t get them up at night – period; (3) if you are unfamiliar with the cattle and if they are unfamiliar with you or if you are unfamiliar with the layout of the farm – you don’t get cattle up by yourself (worst case scenario: you bring help; best case scenario: you get help from the cattle owner, who is familiar with the cattle, the cattle are familiar with him, he is familiar with the farm and how it operates – you know, which gates open in and which gates open out and which cross fences/gates lead to the barn and which ones lead to another field, etc.); (4) if you are hauling cattle, you back your trailer up to the end of the barn to make loading easier, not to the side of the barn - which may hide your truck from view, but makes it much harder to load cattle – or anything for that matter (if you are there honestly on a job, why would you need your truck hidden from view anyway? – just saying).

The truck driver’s companions probably had an interesting and difficult night, if they were with him (which I truly believe they were and they just ran off so as not to get caught). We live way out in the boonies, in the bottom of a hollow. Which, since they had been scouting out our farm probably thought that was to their advantage, but proved to be otherwise.

We live so far out that we do not get cell service within a five mile radius of our house. We do not have very many neighbors (there is only one house that is within sight and that is only during the winter months when the leaves are not on the trees and there is nothing to block sight). So, if the truck driver had two companions with him and they ran off, they cannot conveniently call for help. They would have to walk about five miles up hill either way to get cell service (it was dark and misting rain – that would also make things more difficult or at least more uncomfortable). Since they were from another county, it is possible that they were unfamiliar with the layout of the land (with the exception to the road).

If they were to go up to a stranger’s house that late at night (way out where we live) they have a good chance at getting shot at just because they are there. (We have no choice but to protect our own way out here.) So, they probably weren’t able to call for help that way either.

Part 1 here
Part 2 here
Part 4 here

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Day My Cowboy Stopped the Cattle Rustlers - Part 2

...Frank said, “I have a gun and if you take another step, I’ll shoot.” The man stopped (well at least he has a little sense about him).

Meanwhile, I was on the phone with the Sheriff’s Dept. and giving them as much information as I could and waiting until help arrived. I had three kids in bed and I felt helpless (thank goodness that they slept through the whole thing), I had no idea what was going on and there was nothing that I could do to help. Three patrol cars finally showed up after what seemed like forever (I guess just because I was scared for my husband). I had no idea what he was facing. I didn’t know how many there were, I didn’t know if they had weapons or not, it was pretty scary.

One of the officers recognized the truck and the driver and said that he had just pulled him over earlier that night for not having lights on his trailer. He said that there were three boys in the truck at that time. The officer began to question the driver of the truck about his former companions. According to him, he didn’t have his companions with him any longer.

The officers called in the tags of the truck – he wasn’t from these parts. The deputy found out that the driver was wanted (he had a record already - and theft was part of that record). He was arrested and taken away. One of the officers asked my husband if they could leave his truck and trailer where it was. Frank said that was fine, but he better be escorted by an officer when he came to pick it up because that man was never to set foot on our property again. They decided to haul off the truck and trailer.

The next day, one of our neighbors (we don’t have too many because of where we live) said that he saw a truck about 5:00 p.m. on Friday driving up and down the road. He described the truck to Frank and that was the same truck that was parked at our barn at 10:00 p.m. the same night trying to steal our cattle. He had been scouting out the farm and cattle.

To be continued...

You can read Part 1 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Day My Cowboy Stopped the Cattle Rustlers - Part 1

It was Friday night about 10:00 p.m. and a little rainy, we were sitting on the couch watching a movie. I got up and went into the bedroom and Frank came running down the hallway. I could tell something wasn’t right. I asked him what was going on. He said, “I see flashlight lights at the barn.”

He put on his boots and hat (baseball cap), jumped on his trusty steed (actually we don’t have a horse, it was a Nissan Sentra) and rode to the barn. The barn is about ½ of a mile from the house and it is not easy to see, and with it being nighttime and a misting rain it didn’t help visibility. I opened our bedroom window and tried to watch as best I could. I saw his car lights stop at the barn, then I heard him yell. (Mind you, my husband is very patient, laid back and pretty tolerant, so when I heard him yell – I got VERY concerned.)

I ran down the hall and grabbed the phone and phone book and looked up the Sheriff’s number. Frank comes flying back home on his steed (Sentra) while I am on the phone with the Sheriff. I told him that I had the Sheriff’s Department on the phone and what should I tell them? Frank said, “Tell them to hurry before I start shooting. No one’s going to steal my cattle.” Frank grabs his gun and goes back to the barn as fast as he can. (You remember when I said that my husband was patient and tolerant? Well, he has no patience or tolerance for thieves.)

I found out later (when I was able to get all the details) that when Frank went to the barn the first time that the guys had their truck and cattle trailer backed up to the barn, they had all the gates open and were in the field trying to run the cattle into the barn lot, so they could load them on their trailer. Frank wrote down their license tag number and then he got on his tractor and blocked the would-be cattle thieves’ truck so they couldn’t leave. That’s when he came back home to get his gun.

When he went back to the barn, a man was standing beside his tractor (probably trying to figure out how to get it started so he could move it out of the way and leave) and began to walk toward my husband. Frank said, “I have a gun and if you take another step, I’ll shoot.”

To be continued...

Go to Part 2 here.
Part 3 here
Part 4 here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Unusual Friendship

The Dragon and the Turtle is a wonderful book about an unusual friendship between a dragon named Padraig and a turtle named Roger. It is written by a mother and daughter team, Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark and is illustrated by Vincent Nguyen.

First let me say that as I was beginning to write this review, my five year old son asked what I was doing and I told him that I was writing a book review and he asked what that was. I said, "I have to tell whether I liked the book or not." He saw what book I had in my hand and said, "I love it! It's a great book about friends."

The book is for pre-school children or children in early elementary school. It is very appropriate because this is the age that they are really learning about friendships and maybe even establishing a friendship that may last a lifetime.

Padraig puts off doing some things that he wanted to do for himself to help Roger, a turtle he just met. Roger is lost and needs help finding his way back home. Padraig tries his best to help Roger. If you read between the lines, it is also a book about patience. As Padraig tries to help Roger, he has to try many many times before he is successful.

The book also teaches about the 5 senses. Roger describes his house to Padraig by telling what it looks like, what it sounds like, what it smells like, what it feels like and what it tastes like.

In the story, Roger's house smells like cookies, Chocolate Chip Snappers to be exact. When the friends finally find Roger's house, Roger's mother gives the two friends some Chocolate Chip Snappers. As an added bonus, there is a recipe for the Chocolate Chip Snappers. (If you made a batch of these and while they were in the oven baking you read this story to your child, what a great story it would be. Your children would be able to experience their five senses the whole time.)

I recommend this book for younger children. It is wonderfully illustrated with colorful and delightful pictures, the story is very appropriate for the age it is written and my children loved it. What more could a mom want from a children's book?

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


"The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what that task may be. This is a habit followed by all successful people since the beginning of time. Therefore I saith the surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid."
Og Mandino in "The Greatest Miracle in the World"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at something that is in my work basket. I am also trying to work on my photography skills (they are so lacking - in everything).

I have worked with crochet thread before and the normal yarns, but I have never used thick yarns. I have always wanted to, I just love the texture and the chunkiness (if that is even a word and if not - I'm going to use it anyway and make up my own word) of it.

I found those knitting needles on clearance somewhere (for a little bit of nothing) a couple of years ago (before I learned to knit - knowing that I wanted to learn). I thought they were the perfect size for the thick yarn. It is really easy to work with and I am loving it.

I am using the yarn that I bought for this project. It is LionBrand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Butterscotch. **Just a side note, I still use that decorating idea and I keep adding yarns to it (and taking them away for different projects like the one above). I also change out colors for seasons (reds and greens for Christmas, pastels for spring, etc.). Not only do I like to vary the colors, but also the textures. I am big on texture.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Valentine Hearts

I crocheted this heart using a red cotton and a pink cotton crocheted together (talked about it first here). It is thick enough that I think it could be used as a trivet. You can find the pattern here.

To knit this, I used the pattern that I found here.

I am really enjoying knitting, but crochet is faster. Not sure if it is really faster or if is just me because I have crocheted for so much longer and knitting is still pretty new to me. It is fun either way, but if I want a quick project - I crochet.

Something to think about...

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

I wish I were more of a photographer, but I am not so I apologize for the pictures.

I tried another recipe from Foodie with Family (you can see the first one here). I couldn't resist this one - Hot Chocolate on A Stick! (It just sounds good.) I made it almost as soon as I found the recipe. It is quite possibly the best hot chocolate that I have tried (it is super creamy)!

We filled a basket full and delivered them to friends and teachers. I know that Rebecca did hers around Christmas and shared them (which if I hadn't been so far behind on my to-do list and was able to keep up with the blogs that I follow, I could have done it then too). Well, it is still winter and we are still having cold days, so I made some and shared them.

I think it would be super cute on a heart shaped doiley tied with pink or red ribbon and given for Valentines. You could also cut the chocolate and the marshmallow with heart shaped cookie cutters and attach a note that says "Valentine, you make my heart melt!" Hey, I may just have to try that!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Husband is so lucky!

No, really he is. And not because he married me. About 4 years ago he went to a work-related trade show and entered a few drawings. He won a gun safe (worth over $1,000)!

This year he went to the same work-related trade show and entered a few drawings and won a 32" flat screen TV.

I told him that if I ever wanted to win something, I am taking him along and having him register. (His sister said that he needed to enter the lottery.)

Yes, that looks like computer stuff on the TV screen because it is. I have my computer hooked up to the TV so I can watch Netflix movies.
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