Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is a missionary? Children's sermon

Today we had a wonderful opportunity during our Sunday School hour to have Alissa (Cooper) Sandea, a missionary, and the founder of Heart for Uganda, with us to tell her story from Uganda. Alissa is a former Clarion-Limestone School teacher who heard the call from God to go to Uganda and spread the love of God. In the last 2 years, she has married Pastor Victor Sandea and had little Caleb, and all 3 were with us today. Their mission is Heart for Uganda , where they are working towards a Medical Center and a Children's Village.  But as I prepared for the Children's sermon for during the worship service, I wondered if the younger children really understood what a missionary was, where she came from and what she was doing.

So I took with me a dictionary and a globe. As I started I said that I had heard Alissa speak this morning, but what was she again? A , ah?? (and the kids helped me with the answer) A missionary! When to my surprise, the boy sitting right beside me said real softly "what is a missionary?" Which is what was going to be my next question. So I replied, I wondered that too, which is why I had the dictionary. (Now I had taken a College dictionary because it had multiple definitions) So how do we spell missionary? And the kids started spelling and got the "mission" part but they weren't quite sure of the "ary" part, but we found it in the dictionary. And the dictionary said "A person sent into a newly settled or foreign region to carry on religious, educational, or medical work. Also a person who is trying to persuade others to their point of view." Hum so is Alissa doing educational work? (they answered - Yes) Is Alissa doing medical work? (Yes) Is she doing religious work? (Yes) And is she in a foreign area? (Yes) Okay so she fits the definition, but where is she doing this?
With this I pulled out the globe and we found Pennsylvania. Then where is she serving? (Africa) Yes she is in Africa, but do you remember where in Africa? To which we had some tries but not the answer, so I found Uganda on the globe and talked about it being in the center region of Africa and that it is near the equator so what would the weather be like? (Hot and sunny were the answers that I got) What about snow? Do you think the kids have seen snow - no.

So who can be a missionary? To this one boy answered, that our church had sent out a Mission team to Jamaica. Correct I then asked all those who were on the mission trip to stand and remain standing. But who else, just them? What about the people who have collected cell phones to raise money for missions, would those count? Yes, so if you have added a cell phone to the box please stand and a few more people stood. How about Operation Christmas Child? Is that a Mission? YES! So if you helped in any way with that please stand and more of the congregation stood. And the last one that I think I added was at Vacation Bible School we have a mission project that we collect money or school supplies,or food for the local food cupboard, if you have ever helped with any of these please stand. By this time I had almost everyone in the congregation standing. (Which was my goal) I asked the kids to look at the people standing and explained that we can be a missionary right where we are. Then I challenged them to try to be a missionary this week and to share the love of Jesus with someone, anyone this week.

We then closed in prayer.
So how about you? Are you a missionary in your community? How could you reach someone for Christ this week? Are you up for the challenge?

Phone Books in the car

Have you ever been out and about and need a phone number? A tow truck? A locksmith? How about just someone you know, but only call on occasion. I recently saw a very smart woman who has tucked last year's phone book (yes our phone books are small, not booster seats for small children) into the glove box of  her vehicle. Now if she needs to order supper, call for specific help or call and check on an elderly friend (who could maybe use something from the store) she has their number right there with her. With our cell phones we have phone numbers in our contacts but not always are those the numbers that we might need at that time. So depending on the size of your phone book, you might want to just slip it into the glove box or under a seat - it will come in handy!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Movie Specials at "The Movies at Cranberry"

This month "The Movies at Cranberry" are having a Valentine's Special all month in which they are offering all matinees for $5 except for 3D's and they are $7. This is everyday throughout the rest of the month. (I know I waited until almost the end of the month - I'll try to pay more attention in the future!) Maybe Sunday afternoon would be a good day for a movie! You can always check their listings at

$1 Movies at the Theater!!!

Did you know that on Saturday mornings at "The Movies at Cranberry" they show a movie for just $1 a person? How much fun would it to take your kids to the movies and not cost an arm & a leg? Here's the deal, they do list the movie that they are showing in Friday's paper with the rest of the movie listings, usually these are older movies but - for a $1 why not go watch an older movie on the big screen.  For Feb 26th the movie is "A Bug's Life" and I believe that it starts at 10am.   So take a morning and grab a movie- I bet the kids will be surprised!

Future movies are:
March 5    Pinocchio

March 12 Snow White

Cell Phones for Malaria

view details
And what shall I do with you?
I will help fight malaria!
Our church is joining together with other United Methodist Churches to raise money to help fight malaria throughout the world. We are currently collecting old /used cell phones. We have a place that will pay between .25- $8.00 for old cell phones. If you have an old cell phone laying around and you would like to donate it, let me know and we will find a way to get that phone from you to one of our collection bins. And maybe someday we can eliminate malaria from the world. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

"No Strings Attached"

youthThe Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin had their annual Youth Theatre production. This year they preformed "No Strings Attached" the musical version of Pinocchio. The boys and I went on a "date" this evening and had a wonderful time. The play was about 1 1/2 hours long and there wasn't an intermission, so we went in, sat down and enjoyed the performance. The neat part of this performance is that it is all youth that runs the stage, the lighting, the music and the performers. Robert and Garrett knew several of the people involved with it this year and they were both excited about being able to say that they "knew" them.

There is one more performance of this show, Tomorrow at 2pm in the afternoon.  For tickets or details on other performances at the Barrow-Civic Theatre click this link,

The youth did a great job and it was a kid friendly performance! Thanks for the show!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Robert's School Valentine's

With Robert being in 4th grade, I wasn't sure if we still had the Valentine's Day events or not. We found out on Friday that yes they could still exchange Valentine's. I thought maybe we would keep it simple, but Robert wanted to make the "Gum People" that he had made several years ago from the idea in Family Fun. So taking the opportunity to make these with him (probably for one of the last times :(  ) We sat down and got to work. I did forget to take a picture but thank goodness for sticker backed fun foam pieces. We found cowboy pieces at the Dollar Tree and then we found a "girl" bag that ended up having skirts and tanks for the girls, plus tall boots or high heel shoes.  To understand what we did here is the link to Family Fun for the direction, But mainly we made people out of pipecleaners, 2 sticks of gum and some fun foam accessories. They turned out really cute (again) and I am kicking myself for not taking a quick picture.  Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day and that you had the chance to spend it with the people that you love.

Pirates and Valentine's Day

Garrett was Captain Hook for Halloween and ever since has really been into Peter Pan & Captain Hook. Well Disney channel introduced their new line up today and the new show is  "Jake and the Ever Island Pirates" (that might be the correct name?) anyhow, Garrett was SO excited because it was going to have Captain Hook on too. He has been looking forward to this (thanks to the commericals) for the last week. Last night as I was tucking him in he told me "I'm so excited for pirates, I can't sleep!" But he did finally fall asleep. But how do you combine pirates and Valentine's Day?

Well Garrett got up and was dressed very early and he was offered his Captain Hook jacket but decided he would rather have his pirate ship instead of the jacket today. While he was watching the show, I took fun foam hearts and hid them around the house. When the show was over, I asked if he was ready for a treasure hunt? To which I got an excited "yes." So I gave him a small bucket, that I picked up a few years ago after Valentine's Day, that has a slot in the lid for on kid's desks at school. And off he went looking for his hearts. He really got into this but really it is just an Easter Egg hunt with fun foam hearts. He could have played for hours, but unfortunately I still had errands to run. So maybe we will play more pirate things the rest of the week. But that was how we combined Pirates and Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February is Florida Strawberry Month - Ag Minute

View DetailsStrawberries - red, juicy, delicious and healthy too! Did you know that 8 medium strawberries are higher in Vitamin C that an orange? They are excellent in folic acid, anti-oxidants & fiber. Strawberries have no fat and no cholesterol. Wow all of that in a small red fruit. So with it being almost a perfect shape for Valentine's day, and the perfect color for the holiday - lets look at the STRAWBERRY!!!!

There are 3 basic types of strawberries:
June-bearing - which usually produce fruit for 2-3 weeks and have larger berries and - yes they produce their fruit normally in the month of JUNE!
Everbearing - These berries are not really producing berries all the time, but they typically have 2 times of year that they can be harvested. Usually these are harvested in June and later in the early fall.
Day-neutral - These berries produce as long as the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They are usually smaller than the other 2 varieties but are good for limited space production.

Strawberries are ready for harvest when they turn a deep red not just pink.

Here is a link to some strawberry recipes: but to keep it simple, just pick up some strawberries and a little bit of melting chocolate. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler and once melted, carefully dip strawberries into the chocolate. Let the chocolate set and you now have chocolate dipped strawberries. What a great treat for Valentine's Day or any time of the year!

For some fun activities for the kids check out this link to the California Strawberry Growers for kids  take a trip and learn a little bit about Strawberries in Strawberryville. It is a lot of fun!

Enjoy some strawberries and know that they are good for you TOO!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Teaching basic words?!?

Garrett has recently been asking "What's this word?" or "Does this spell a word?" as he rattles off a list of letters. So I decided that while he is currently interested that we would start a few words and see where we go. I made him a few simple cards on a ring that have 2 letter words on them. We started with "to" and "go." Now in each story we read, when I come across one of those 2 words, he gets to read them. I have also asked him once in a while how to spell each word, just out loud. And I am planning on having him write the words when he writes his name and make sure that he knows which word is which. Then I think we will add a few more 2 letter words, so that he can start doing some of the reading. Tonight at the book fair he was so excited about finding a book that's title is "Go, Go, Go!" and believe it or not it is about Lighting McQueen and is a reading level 1 book. You bet, it came home with us! SO I'm trying to keep ahead of him! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Franklin on Ice

Garrett on a dolphin last year

Robert going for a cold ride
Franklin on Ice is a fun time for the kids to see ice carving and sculptures. This is on Saturday February 12 from 10-4 at the Franklin Park. There is food available and a magic show, (but I don't know when , sorry). Depending on the weather even if you are not able to go during the actual event, we have found that the sculptures last for several days if it's not too hot. We have found that an evening walk through the lit park with the ice sculptures is pretty cool too. This is a free event and it is really interesting to actually watch the sculptors while they work if you get the opportunity.

Keystone Elementary's Winter Carnival

Saturday February 12, from 11-3 will be the Annual Winter Carnival. So start counting your Box Tops for Education as they count as .10 each and make your way to Keystone Elementary for a Saturday afternoon of games and free or low cost activities. Admission is $1 for adults and school aged children. This event is sponsored by the Keystone CATS and Clarion County's Promise. There is also a Chinese auction from 11-2 with the drawings being announced at 3pm.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Fair Re-scheduled Family Night

Due to the snow and ice that we had this week, the Keystone Elementary School's Book Fair has been extended and the Family Night Event has been rescheduled for Monday February 7 from 6-8pm at the school. This is a great time to check out new and fun books!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shrinky Dinks Valentine's

A few years ago, Robert found out about Shrinky dinks - yes they are back! For Valentine's Day treats - not really treats but gifts, he made Shrinky dink hearts that once they were shrunk we either put a pin back on them with hot glue for grandparents or we had put a hole in each one and added zipper pulls for on the kid's backpacks. These turn out really cute and the kids seemed to really like them.

Chinese New Year's

February 3rd is Chinese New Year's this year and it is the year of the Rabbit. We have been doing fun things for a couple of year's for Chinese New Year's. This year the boys were at my mom's a couple of weekends ago and she got them started with decorations. They came home with dragon masks, that were made out of a red paper plate and a piece of ribbon and a spoon attached as the handle of the mask to hold in front of their faces.

Tomorrow we will be having some type of stir fry and chicken possibly sweet & sour and egg rolls. Depending on the weather we might get a few chop sticks and give them a try again . And Garrett and I will be making some type of dragon and probably some paper Chinese Lanterns. But since we haven't made any of those yet, check out some cool ideas for Chinese New Year Crafts here:

Snow Days!

Last year I wrote several ideas of the things that the boys and I did on Snow Days! Ideas from last year can be found at the following links: tents inside and shaving cream painting & snow plows for toy trucks.

This week we have had 2 snow days back to back. So time to get busy! We have been talking about providing little decorations for some folks that we know that are in nursing homes or are living by themselves just as a way to brighten their days. Yesterday was a great day to get started.
I got out the fun foam and the "s'mores" snowman kit that I had purchased earlier this year and off we went. We talked about making the S'mores guys and door hangers so that each of the boys were giving something different. So after about 2 hours of working on them, we have a tray full of really adorable s'mores snowmen and 6 or 8 door hangers that both boys worked on and now we just need to send them or deliver them to the folks we worked on them for.