CHRISTMAS 2013

CHRISTMAS 2013
Sawhook Family Christmas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

MAKING WONDERFUL HOLIDAY MEMORIES WITH YOUR FAMILY

MAKING WONDERFUL HOLIDAY MEMORIES WITH YOUR FAMILY

Here’s some thoughts and ideas that will help you make it through with lots of traditions and memories that will last a lifetime.


WATCH MEMORABLE MOVIES WITH THE HOLIDAY THEME:
            Charlie Brown Christmas
            Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
            Frosty The Snowman
            How The Grinch Stole Christmas
            Polar Express
             The Christmas Story
            It’s A Wonderful Life
 ABC Family is doing 25 days of special shows.   Record and save them to view together. 
            OR


READ A HOLIDAY STORY EVERY NIGHT  FOR THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
            The New Testament (Luke, Matthew)
            T’was  The Night Before Christmas
            A Christmas Carol (Movie too)


HAVE A TREE TRIMMING PARTY:       
            Serve hot chocolate and cookies and make it a family affair or open it up for friends or neighbors.
 

            Think of the children who won’t have a Christmas.  Many stores have a box at their store.  Have your child choose a gift and help wrap it and take it to one of the stores.


FIND A MISSION THAT SPONSORS FAMILIES FOR CHRISTMAS
            A mission near our house takes food for Christmas baskets and also adopts out families for people to buy gifts for the children and parents.  It’s something so very special and will give the children something to look forward to share.


BUY OR MAKE A MEMORABLE ORNAMENT EACH YEAR:
            I started when our children were young and when they left home to be on their own or marry, they had a nice selection of memorable ornaments to take with them.  I do this now for our grandchildren.  They have reasonable kits to make them out of fun foam with pictures to insert.    You only have to spend a $1 at the Dollar Store..  Not much to pay for a memory.  (binky)
                            
                             
ADVENT CALENDAR:
            Most families  make their own advent calendar or buy one to count off the days leading up to Christmas. 
            Here’s one I just found out how to do which is really cute.

Supplies:
   Long wide strip of either burlap or red or green felt
   Decorate with holly and berries, bows or little pointsettias
   Red and green foil Hershey kisses
Glue gun

Decorate as you wish and line up the kisses alternating green and red all the way down the middle  (25 of them).
Everyday, alternate your children allowing them their turn to choose a kiss which they can then, of course, eat. 


REMEMBRANCE CANDLE:
            Make it a tradition to remember family members who have either passed away or just can’t make it home for the holidays.  Their lights will shine the whole evening allowing them not to be forgotten.    Use special candle holders and decorate with bows or other colorful Christmas  items.
 (Example:  Samaritan's Purse)
SEND OFF A HOLIDAY BOX:
            Maybe there’s a missionary or friends who have moved away.  Remember them with a special holiday box filled with ornaments, cookie cutters, cookie mixes and sprinkles, candies and little stocking stuffers.  Things that they’re not able to get in a foreign country.


       DON’T FORGET OUR TROOPS!!!
            Give plenty of time for it to arrival on time for the holidays.
There’s Operation Shoebox  --  Operation Home Front ----


SURPRISE A PUBLIC SERVANT:
            Our police and firemen work the holidays in order that we can be safe.  Maybe a platter of cookies, fudge, microwave popcorn,  hot chocolate and packages of flavored coffees and teas can be taken to the fire station or police station early Christmas Eve Day.
            Don’t forget your mailman.  Especially on those cold winter days.


THE SPECIAL CHRISTMAS MORNING ENTRANCE:
            Take a long roll of Christmas wrapping paper and you know how the football teams run out on the field before the game??  Make it a long banner---count to 3  and yell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS”  and let them run through the paper to see what surprises are under the tree.


CHRISTMAS CAROLING:
            Take your children around the neighborhood Christmas Eve and sing carols to your neighbors.  Go to the local nursing homes and do the same the week before Christmas.  They love children and are often so lonely and don’t get visitors.  Then take them for a ride to find the best Christmas decorations.  Nothing like seeing Christmas lights.  I still like to do this when I can round up some grandchildren.


SHARING STORIES OF YOUR MEMORIES:
            Nothing like sitting around the tree with a cup of hot chocolate to prepare the kids for stories about your Christmases growing up.   Do it while you bake your cookies too.  Included in this is:

BRINGING  OUT CHERISHED OLD FAMILY DECORATIONS:
            Nothing more special than all those old family ornaments that have a story behind it.   We have so many on our tree.   I call it a family memory tree.  


SURPRISE YOUR NEIGHBORS WITH TREATS/12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS:
            Keep your identity a secret and begin with 1 item for the first neighbor and build it up to 12 items on the 12th day.   Write notes and reveal your identity the day after Christmas.    It will open up many quiet neighborhoods.   Wouldn’t that be fun?  Especially if there’s a Scrooge in your neighbor that really needs loved and befriended.


SAY “MERRY CHRISTMAS”
     In this day of politically correctness..  happy holidays..  just doesn’t cut it with me..    I saw MERRY CHRISTMAS all the time..   If they don’t like it they can just ignore you … but generally you’ll get a Merry Christmas back and even a smile..   This is what it is..  CHRISTMAS!!!    


CAMP OUT UNDER THE TREE: 

            One night before Christmas, sleeping bags and all.  Shut off all the lights and only keep the tree lights on.. as much as you can do it, try to get at least the heads under the tree and listen to soft Christmas music all night long.   They always remember that special night under the lights. 

 Above all, remember to tell them what Christmas is all about, because 



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Making Pumpkin Seeds From Your Halloween Pumpkin


Pumpkin Seeds

You can use any sized pumpkin you like.  The first thing you do is to cut the top of the pumpkin where the stem is so you can get inside.  

The stores have cheap kits for a $1 that have scoopers and tools inside.   I just use the little paring knife from Pampered Chef to open and design my pumpkin and an ice cream scoop to get all the gunky stuff out as well as the seeds.  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once you have gotten all the seeds out, place  them into a strainer and rinse them well to get any of the pumpkin residue off.  Drain well.  Now put them onto a 9 x 13 cookie sheet and add enough water to the pan to cover the pumpkin seeds.  They will float a little.  But you don't want them to have too much water.     I then take a carton of salt and evenly sprinkle back and forth until all the seeds are covered well.  
Put into the oven on a top shelf.  Set your timer for 20 minutes.   Take them out and check them.   Put in oven with time for another 10 minutes.  (It's really important to keep an  eye on them so they don't scorch or burn).  

 (See the salt around the edges).  With a spatula, turn them over.  They will still be wet a little on the bottom. 


 Spread them out.  Put them back into the oven for 15 minutes.  Check them again and stir them around. 

Put back into oven for the final 5 minutes.  
Remove from oven and 'voila'.  All done.  


Put onto a paper towel covered plate until COMPLETELY cooled.. 

To store either put into a sealed plastic container, or a zip lock bag.  

Enjoy!!!   This only comes once a year and it's a really special treat.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Winter Psalm To You


My Winter Psalm To You
(written 1/24/14)


I woke up this morning with yet again
---more snow
---more cold
---more wind.

I looked at the windows and found gorgeous designs left by Your hand.  ALL uniform and perfect in size.  Not a spot was empty--

And then I thought--

How great your works of creation are!!  It's cold--yes, but yet in this, I see Your hand and know that I'm alive to enjoy this marvelous day.

How I love You!!   Thank you, Lord, for the snow----the cold---AND the wind.  



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Basket and Easter Egg Hunt Ideas


Well, it's that wonderful time of the year again.   Easter, the Lord's Resurrection, the promise of hope forever.   Isn't it great??   And part of the joy of this marvelous celebration is sharing with our families.   Those of us who have passed the time when our  children have grown, now concentrate our efforts on our grandchildren and even our great grandchildren.  

In our home when our seven children were growing up, Easter was taught and shared for what it was.   Sharing the Gospel, the "Good News".   That Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. 

 With my Ukrainian traditions and upbringing, the pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs) were taught to those who wanted to learn and some still do when we can get together.

 But,  we still made it a fun and very special time for them.   I had to use a lot of imagination and ingenuity when planning the Easter baskets.   I usually bought some very cheap ones and saved them from year to year because with 7 kids, it got a little expensive (especially when there wasn't a lot of money).   But no matter what they received, the fun was in finding where I hid their baskets.  (Trying doing that in a 12 x 60  trailer with five children).   But, you know it really didn't matter.   It could be right in front of them, and if it had their name on it, that's what made it unique and fun.  

What to put the goodies in??

You can always, of course, use the traditional straw woven baskets, but don't just limit yourself to them alone.  Think outside the box.  

One year for some of the younger kids, I did something a little different.  I used a paper grocery bag and did some special art work that pertained just for that kid.   It was a little rough around the edges and sort of 'cartoonish', but it was uniquely theirs.

* How about buckets with a shovel for the upcoming summer beach trips?   
*Then there's always different kinds of hats.  
*For little girls the traditional Easter hats
* Little purses.
*For boys, cowboy hats or fireman helmets
   * Baseball caps or helmets.  
*Backpacks with their favorite character on it. 
Use your imagination, the ideas are endless.


Now---what kind of  'non candy' goodies to put into your special container??

First of all, you should definitely make your things age appropriate.   Go to your local dollar store.  My very favorite is the "Dollar Tree".    Don't wait to the last minute because there will be a lot of things you won't be able to get.  In fact, they sometimes start stocking after Valentine's Day.   

Baby/Toddler - little stuffed toys, soft sided Easter theme books, blocks

Preschool - puzzles, sidewalk chalk, bubbles (3 for $1 at Dollar Tree), coloring books, crayons, Play Doh (they come in Easter eggs)

Primary Aged - Some of the same above might be good for them as well as:
Stickers and sticker books
Jump rope
Small toys (boy or girl)
Cheap CD or DVD (they have these at Dollar Tree as well)

Pre-Teen -  Girls always love nail polish, things for their hair, art supplies, a new cover for their cell phone, bubble bath or shower gels and sprays. 
Boys will love new baseball caps, maybe even some sort of sports ball (baseball, basketball, football), video games, get something that they're really interested in.

Teens - Gift cards (they always work) You can get $5 increments for McDonald's, Starbucks.  They don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

Alot of these can incorporated into the plastic Easter Eggs you'll be using on your Easter Egg hunt.   And lots of loose change is also a very good filler for the basket and eggs..  Money makes good in lots of ways. 

When I've spoken at MOPS groups in the past, I've shared some other things that as Christians we can share with our children as well as use in the ministry of Sunday School or Junior Church. 

One of which is the "Jelly Bean Prayer".  Each color is shared along with an explanation of what that color represents.
Here's how it reads:

 Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made. 
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for a new tomorrow.
And handful of jelly beans,
Colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, a promise,
A loved one’s treat!
Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Here's a link to not only get this prayer but beautifully decorated printable cards for you to share and other ideas.  

Also, there's the Resurrection Eggs.  A wonderful way to share the story of Jesus crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection using plastic eggs.   Very easy instructions and you have time to do it even before this Sunday.   

And, then finally the Resurrection Cookies.  An old web friend, Annie, has a wonderful page of instructions and recipe along with the explanation of each step.  I think this a marvelous way to share the message of Christ and His Resurrection to little children.  

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
HALLELUJAH!!  WHAT A SAVIOR!!  HAVE A BLESSED EASTER.   CHRIST IS RISEN!!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

GEORGIA'S PRAYER ROOM / Devotions From The Heart

Welcome To The Prayer Room...

Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
In earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts  as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory
Forever.  Amen!!  

Matthew 6:9-13


What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in PRAYER.


This old song says it so right. You know when Jesus spoke to his disciples that day on the mount (better known as "The Sermon On The Mount"), it was not His intention that we pray those words AS a prayer, but that this prayer be a model of the ones they and we would someday speak to Him. He covered everything from praise, recognizing God's omnipotence, forgiveness of sins, praying for others, strength in time of struggles or temptation, praying for His will to be done in our lives, and having our needs provided.
Prayer is simply requesting something from God...or as I have heard and often share--- "Prayer is talking your heart out to God." For after all, He does know our hearts, doesn't He?
What a wise God we have and HOW much He loves us.

You know, communication is a two-way street. In prayer, we talk to God and through His Word, He speaks to us. That's a wonderful combination. And just like our earthly fathers and mothers, what would there be without conversation in a house. One would talk...and no one would listen or answer. How sad! How empty! But God made a way JUST for us, His children. He WANTS us to talk to Him about ANYTHING...EVERYTHING.....BIG THINGS...LITTLE THINGS... Things that to the world may seem insignificant, but not to Jesus. He loves you and I so much, so very much, that the Creator of the universe takes time to listen to little you AND me! Wow! Thank you, Jesus.

read the poetry, scripture and songs and  then "Come boldly to the throne."


When teaching children to sing, you come across some precious songs. Simply said, but to the point. Here's one that tells how we're to pray..
Jesus and Others and You..

What a wonderful way to spell JOY
Jesus and Others and You
In the heart of each girl and each boy
J - Is for Jesus for He has first place.
O - Is for Others we meet face to face.
Y - Is for You in whatever you do.
Put yourself last and spell J-O-Y!!


Here's another one.
Why worry when you can pray
Trust Jesus He'll be your stay
Don't be a Doubting Thomas
Rest fully in HIS promise
Why..WORRY..WORRY..WORRY..WORRY...
When you can PRAY!!!

Simple and to the point, right? Put Jesus and others first in prayer and yourself last. And don't WORRY. God WILL take care of you.



Here's some helpful tips about the different aspects of prayer.

First and foremost there's ADORATION. Daniel 4:34, "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation;...Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise the extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment...."

Then comes CONFESSION. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to firgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."

Also SUPPLICATION. I Timothy 2:1-3 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and accpetable in the sight of God our Saviour."

Then INTERCESSION. James 5:14, 15 "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, annointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."

And finally last but not least there's THANKSGIVING. Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."


Believing Him; if storm clouds gather darkly 'round,
And even if the heavens seem hushed, without a sound?
He hears each prayer and even notes the sparrow's fall.
And praising Him; when sorrow, grief, and pain are near,
And even when we lose the thing that seems most dear?
Our loss is gain. Praise Him; in Him we have our All.

Our hand in His; even though the path seems long and drear
We scarely see a step ahead, and almost fear?
He guides us right--this way and that, to keep us near.

And satisfied; when every path is blocked and bare,
And worldly things are gone and dead which were so fair?
Believe and rest and trust in Him, He comes to stay.

Delayed answers to prayers are not refusals.. Many prayers are received and recorded, yet underneath are the words, "My time has not yet come." God has a fixed time and an ordained purpose, and He who controls the limits of our lives also determines the time of our deliverance.

--Selected.

  

In His time. In His time
God makes all things beautiful in His time
Lord, please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say.

In Your time. In Your time.
You make all things beautiful in Your time
Lord, my life to You I bring; 
May each song I have to sing
Be to You a lovely thing
In YOUR time..


JUST A THOUGHT!! ASAP!

There's work to do, deadlines to meet, you've got no time to spare, but as you hurry and scurry,
ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

In the midst of family chaos, "quality time" is rare. Do your best; let God do the rest: 
ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

It may seem like your worries are more than you can bear. Slow down and take a breather...
ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

God knows how stressful life is; He wants to ease our cares, and He'll respond A.S.A.P.
ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER!


George Mueller, prayer warrior, from England shares this wonderful devotional for us to learn more about prayer...
"Why are you downcast, O my soul?" Psalm 43:5

Is there ever any reason to be downcast? Actually, there are two reasons, but only two. if we were still unbelievers, we would have a reason to be downcast; or if we have been converted but continue to live in sin, we are downcast as a consequence.

Except for these two conditions, there is NEVER a reason to be downcast, for everything else may be brought to God "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving" (Philippians 4:6.) And through all our times of need, difficulty, and trials, we may exercise faith in the power and love of God.

"Put your hope in God." (Ps. 43:5). Please remember there is never a time when we cannot hope in God, whatever our need or however great our diffculty may be. Even when our situation appears to be impossible, our work is to "hope in God." Our hope will not be in vain, and in the Lord's own timing help will come.

Oh, the hundreds, even the thousands, of times I have found this to be true in the past seventy years and four months of my life! When it seemed impossible for help to come, it did come, for God has his own unlimited resources. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times, God's help may come to us.

Our work is to lay our petitions before the Lord, and in childlike simplicity to pour out our hearts before Him, saying, "I do not deserve that You should hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake, answer my prayer. And give me grace to wait patiently until it pleases YOU to grant my petition. For I believe YOU will do it in YOUR own time and way."

"For I will yet praise him" (Psalm 43:5). More prayer, more exercising of our faith, and more patient waiting leads to blessings----abundant blessing. I have found it to be true many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, "Put your hope in God."

---George Mueller


Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, 
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter's snare
By Thy return..Sweet hour of prayer.


Go ahead now.  Have a little talk with Jesus. He's waiting. He's ALWAYS waiting and He ALWAYS hears. Lord bless you this day and always!  Put on the whole armor of God.