Eating a Special Food on New Year’s Day?

Eating a Special Food on New Year’s Day?

When I was a little girl, my dad insisted that I eat at least one spoonful of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. It was supposed to bring good luck. I didn’t like them. Eating even a spoonful seemed like a high price to pay for good luck in the new year. Folks from the southern United States eat black-eyed peas on January 1st. Cornbread is another favorite in that section of the country. Eating green, leafy vegetables, supposed to resemble money, bring prosperity. Citizens in Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight. Each grape represents one month of the year. If the fifth and sixth grape taste especially bad, for example, May and June might be a little difficult. Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians—among others—eat pork on New Year’s. Pigs signify progress....

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First Children’s Christmas Party at the White House

First Children’s Christmas Party at the White House

by Sandra Merville Hart President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams didn’t have the warmest of homes at the White House in 1800. Their Pennsylvania Avenue home, built near a swamp, was drafty and cold. Large fires crackled in thirteen fireplaces to warm their home. In 1800, as Christmas approached the President and First Lady decided to host a children’s Christmas party. Their four-year-old granddaughter, Susanna Boylston Adams, lived with them and they wanted to honor her. Greenery was hung to decorate the East Room. Government officials and their children were invited to the party. A small orchestra played while guests munched on cakes and drank punch. They sang Christmas carols and played games. The party was a great success with one exception. One of...

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A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

Did you know …?   A small fir tree, set on a table in a home in Latvia, a country in northern Europe, was called a Christmas tree in 1510. According to legend, Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) saw starlight peeking through the branches of fir trees on a cold December evening as he walked home through the woods. The first lighted Christmas tree After he went home, Martin wanted to capture the look of the starlight through the branches. He tied a candle holder onto a branch of the evergreen Christmas tree in his house. He liked how the flame of the candle looked and tied more candleholders onto the tree. It impressed his family and friends, who did the same to the trees in their homes. The meaning of the Christmas tree Martin saw meaning in the Christmas...

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Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas Crossword Puzzle Puzzle Words The answers are: Partridge doves hens pipers geese swans maids birds ladies lords rings drummers Hints: Across 2. one 6. nine 7. six 9. four 10. eight 11. ten Down 1. three 3. five 4. two 5. eleven 8. twelve 12. seven More Hints: Twelve lords leaping Eleven ladies dancing Ten pipers piping Nine durmmers drumming Eight maids milking Seven swans swimming Six geese laying Five gold rings Four colly birds Three french hens Two turles doves A partridge in a pear tree Twelve Days of Christmas Number Puzzle Try to fill in the missing numbers. The missing numbers are integers between 2 and 10. The numbers in each row add up to totals to the right. The numbers in each column add up to the totals along the bottom. The...

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A Surprising Way to Celebrate Christmas and New Years in the Early 1800s

A Surprising Way to Celebrate Christmas and New Years in the Early 1800s

A surprising way those living in the country celebrated Christmas and New Years in the early 1800s was with Shooting and Raffling Matches. A generous person bought gifts Someone in the community bought generous amounts of coffee, tea, and other goods and wrapped them in many small packages. These goods would then be raffled off at a specific price per chance. Shooting at a target took place during the day with a rifle. Raffles happened in the evening. Raffle winners found by coins in a hat To find raffle winners, copper cents were tossed into a hat, shaken up, and thrown on the table by a chance holder. The most number of heads in a certain number of throws decided the winner of the prize. Shooting New Year Shooting New Year was another surprising annual event. A...

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Even Sea Turtles Praise the Lord

Even Sea Turtles Praise the Lord

Have you ever heard a sea turtle praise the Lord? Well, when they do the things the Lord made them to do, that’s when they praise Him. Did you know that the Lord had a purpose in mind when He made you? Your purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. One way you can do that is by telling Him just how great He is.

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Let’s Go Shopping

Let’s Go Shopping

Do you like to go shopping for new school clothes? How about a trip to the grocery store to pick up a box of your favorite cookies? Or the toy store, where maybe your mom or dad let you pick out something you would really like for your birthday. Each store sells certain items. You would not go to the toy section to look for cookies, and I doubt you would find very interesting clothes at the grocery store. It is the same with magazines. If you are looking for a place to sell your story, you need to send it to the types of magazines that are interested in what you write. Many adult publications feature non-fiction articles or stories. You see them at the check-out counters all the time. The titles address how to stay healthy, plan a family budget, or talk to your...

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Pepe the Parrot’s Predicament

Pepe the Parrot’s Predicament

Hundreds of birds lived in the trees, and they all worked together to help each other. They huddled together in the trees to stay dry when it rained. When there was little food because of the flooding in the valley, they all shared their gatherings of seeds and grain from the fields. But not Pepe. He didn’t share the bananas that were put on his plate daily; neither did he use his ability to speak for them when they needed help. One day, the birds heard a bang and then a thump; a bird fell to the ground. Quickly, the birds in the trees swooped down to see if the little bird survived the fall. Was he breathing? They couldn’t tell as they gathered around him. “Quick, Pepe, go to the window and call for the boy, Ben. He will know what to do.”  Pepe mumbled...

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M&M Fun for Halloween

M&M Fun for Halloween

  You will need: A.      M&Ms or Skittles B.      Cup of water The small letters on M&Ms and on Skittles are actually made with an edible ink and are a little different than the hard sugar coating on the outside. Take a small, clear cup and pour water in it until you have a couple of inches of water in the cup. Place your M&M or Skittle in the water and watch the outside coating disappear. When the coating has dissolved, the little letter will rise to the top and float on the water. You may have to be patient. Sometimes, it takes several minutes to dissolve. Beth...

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Do You Have Your Camera?

Do You Have Your Camera?

Have you ever thought about writing a story? If so you will need a camera. I’m not talking about a real camera that takes pictures, but an imaginary camera that sits right on your shoulder and keeps an eye on your words. This pretend camera helps you see the world through the eyes of your character. In writing we call this: POV) point of view. Place your imaginary camera in your character’s hand. The things he or she sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, feels, and thinks can only be told from the point of view of the person who is holding the camera. Let’s pretend that you and your friend are characters in your story and you are the point of view character. In your story, your friend is drinking a cup of hot chocolate. What are some of the things you cannot...

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Autumn Snack Attack

Autumn Snack Attack

On seeds I’ll feed to meet my need; then share some seed for those in need. That’s my good deed. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29 NIV What you will need: Small packages or 1 cup each of unsalted Sunflower seeds Pumpkin seeds Cashew nuts Almond slivers or any other unsalted nut of your choice 1 packet of Taco seasoning mix (Note: a great place to find varieties of nuts is at Whole Foods or similar markets and stores.)   Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Place nuts and seeds in large mixing bowl Sprinkle Taco seasoning mix over nuts Stir to coat Spread nuts in a thin layer on a cookie sheet   Watch carefully so...

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The Last Supper

The Last Supper

The Last Supper: On the first day of a celebration called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples asked Jesus, “Where would you like to eat the Passover feast?” Jesus told his followers to go into the city and find a man. He instructed his disciples to tell the man He would like to come to his house for Passover. The Jews celebrated Passover, also known as the feast of unleavened bread, since the time of Moses, when the Lord saved all the Israelite babies— including Moses. The celebration is called Passover because God “passed over” their houses, and they were kept safe. During Passover celebrations people didn’t eat or have any bread in their homes with yeast in it. Yeast is what makes the bread rise. Without yeast the bread is flat, and that is...

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Staying Connected

Staying Connected

“Those who know your name will trust in you,  for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10) Over the Thanksgiving holiday I visited my parents. They live out in the country where there is no cable, no internet, and the cell phone reception is kind of spotty. For four days I couldn’t check my e-mail or work on the internet. I lost touch with all my Facebook friends and wasn’t able to answer my e-mail. I was disconnected. I began thinking about how not seeing or talking to friends regularly can cause them to become disconnected. Disconnection often causes friendships to fall apart. As I thought about my friendship with God, it made me think how important it is to stay connected to Him through regular prayer and reading His...

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Jesus and the Man on the Roof

Jesus and the Man on the Roof

A few days after Jesus had touched a man who had leprosy and made him better, Jesus was going from town to town performing miracles. Everyone wanted to see Him. As Jesus entered one of the homes in Capernaum, people quickly gathered around him. There was a huge crowd. People pushed and shoved to get closer.

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Call 911 for Help . . . And Ice Cream

Call 911 for Help . . . And Ice Cream

By Megan Breedlove And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18 After I became a 911 police dispatcher I discovered people call 911 for all different reasons other than an emergency. One lady called demanding that an officer bring her ice cream. Another wanted to report that her pizza had too many peppers on it. People called wanting to know what time it was, when they needed directions, or to ask the lyrics of a song. There are certain kinds of calls that are not appropriate for 911.  But fortunately, there are no kinds of prayers that are not appropriate for God. You can pray any time, for any reason. A test at school?  Not too small for God to care about. Needing to know what to say to a friend?  Not too...

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SOAP MAKING

SOAP MAKING

The Melt and Pour Method   Supplies can be bought at craft stores. dyes fragrance blocks of clear soap Shea butter soap molds and soap cutters or small cookie cutters spray bottle of rubbing alcohol Kitchen Utensils: saran wrap, knife, glass measuring cup, microwave oven Cut off a few blocks, add to glass measuring cup, and melt in microwave.  After the soap is melted, add dye and fragrance.    The fragrance box explains how to mix scents. Pour the melted soap in to the soap mold.  Cut small pieces of shea butter soap with mold.   Add the small shea butter soaps to your large soap mold before it hardens.   Spray with rubbing alcohol to destroy soap bubbles.   Soap hardens as it cools and then, you can pop the soap out of the molds. Wrap the soap up...

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Back Talk

Back Talk

“Not fair!” the kid said. “Don’t you back talk,” the dad said. Has anyone ever told you not to back talk or sass? My dad use to say, “Don’t you give me any lip.” I knew I’d better shut-up! Sassing or back talking means you’ve spoken disrespectfully to an adult. If you’ve been daring enough to back talk, then you may have also heard, “You’re grounded,” or “Go to your room.” Adults expect children to obey and not question their authority. Even when you don’t understand, obey your parents. (Hint…if you ask for an answer respectfully, you may get an answer.) Guess who allows back talk? Your father in heaven wants you to talk back to Him. Of course, you’ll have to keep reading because back talking God is different from back talking...

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Aviation Boot Camp Daredevil

Aviation Boot Camp Daredevil

James was an aviation boot camp daredevil. He wanted excitement and action. He was ready for a life of adventure whatever that meant. He imagined that the pilot could see his body rhythmically bouncing to the strong banging of his heart. His adrenaline was at full force in his small body. “Ready to do some G force maneuvers?” The instructor said excitedly, only adding to the pump James already felt. Danny was an Aviation Boot Camp pilot and loved teaching kids the fun of flying. “This is great!” James shouted into the headset microphone. “No need to shout, You’re right in my ear.” Danny smiled. James lifted off his seat after a steep climb and then a sudden drop as the plane headed toward the earth with a force. “Your seatbelt kept you from hitting...

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Little Flowers with Super Powers

Little Flowers with Super Powers

If you had sailed long ago on the Mayflower, what would you have packed for the trip? Clothes? Food? Toys? Scientists think some Mayflower passengers packed dandelions—little flowers with super powers—to grow in their New World gardens. Little Flowers with Super Powers That’s right. Those fuzzy, sunshiny flowers that pop up in our lawns came to America with the Pilgrims. Today many people think dandelions are just weeds. So why did the Pilgrims bring them? Because even though they’re little, dandelions have super powers. Each part of a dandelion has a super power. Dandelion flowers come out in early spring and feed bees hungry from winter hibernation. Dandelion roots dig deep. They break up the soil so other plants can sink their roots deep, too. Dandelion...

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Recipe for DISASTER!

Recipe for DISASTER!

Breakfast Monkey Bread—Recipe for DISASTER! by Phoebe Leggett and Chef Samantha Your friends will think you’re a genius No longer will you be a bore. But then there is just one more worry ‘cause cooking can become your chore. What you’ll need: 3 cans buttermilk biscuits 1 stick butter 1 cup brown sugar Tear biscuits into small pieces and place in a round pan. Melt butter in a cup in the microwave. Add sugar to melted butter. Drizzle over top of biscuits. Bake in oven 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy. About the Author Phoebe Leggett is the recipient of two poetry awards from Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. Her poems, articles, and short stories have appeared in Slate & Style, Shemom, MS Focus, Who’s DANN, MS...

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Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn

Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn

Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn: What you need: Skeins of light colored yarn. (If it is in a center, pull skein, un-wind it and put it into a loop or loose skein.) Packets of unsweetened drink mix (Kool-Aid or other brand). Vinegar – You will need about ¼ cup per quart of water. Pot for the stove top. Adult supervision required! Let’s get started.  First you will need to pre-soak the yarn in cool water for about 20 minutes and then squeeze out the excess.  This will allow the dye to be more evenly absorbed. Place water in a saucepan and add as much or as little of the drink mix as you want.  Remember, you can get creative here and do some mixing to make up your own colors.  Add vinegar—this doesn’t have to be an exact amount, it just helps your fiber absorb the...

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Moses In a Basket

Moses In a Basket

Moses In a Basket—The family members of Joseph were called Israelites or Hebrews. The Israelites continued to have children until there were too many to count. Most of the Israelites lived in Egypt. There were also a lot of people called Egyptians. A new king who was called Pharaoh came into power in Egypt. He didn’t like it that there were so many Israelites. He feared they would take over the land. So he decided to make all the Israelites into slaves. He made them work from early in the morning till late at night doing very hard work. Even if they were tired the Egyptians wouldn’t give them a break, they would just make them work harder. But, in spite of this harsh treatment, the Israelites continued to grow in number so he decided to make a law. If any...

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

A man asked Jesus, “Teacher, what should I do so I can go to Heaven and live forever?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Bible? What do you think?” The man answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” “That is right!” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live forever in Heaven.” But the man wanted to know more so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus decided to answer this question with a parable to help everyone who was listening understand. Jesus told this story: There once was a Jewish man walking along a road. He was coming from Jerusalem and was heading to Jericho, which was a full day or two of walking. The road was rocky and there...

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Be Bold for Jesus

Be Bold for Jesus

Lucy was so excited! Her family would be hosting a foreign exchange student from Iran. The girl’s name was Farah, and she was sixteen. Even though they were different ages, Lucy and Farah became good friends. Farah would read to Lucy and take her to the park. The more they talked, Lucy realized that her new friend didn’t know about Jesus. So… Lucy began telling Farah about the Gospel, and guess what? Farah decided to give her life to Christ. Have you ever met someone who didn’t know Jesus? How did you share your faith with them? The next time you meet a non-Christian, pray about ways that you can talk to them about Jesus. Dear Jesus, Help me to share the gospel with non-believers so they might come to know you. For I am not ashamed of the gospel,...

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Spiritual Eyes

Spiritual Eyes

In the deepest parts of the ocean there is a sea creature called the colossal squid which can grow up to 45 feet long! This squid has eyes the size of watermelons! God gave the squid large eyes so it can be on the lookout for predators. Having good eyesight is important for a squid, but it’s also important for us in our spiritual lives. We have our regular eyes, but we also have something called “spiritual eyes.” When we see with spiritual eyes it means that we look at the world the way God looks at it. Instead of judging someone for how they look, we can try to look at their heart and appreciate them for their kindness. Or, instead of looking down on someone who is homeless, we can look at them as a child of God and try to give them some help. What are some...

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Anxious for Nothing

Anxious for Nothing

Karen’s mom asked her to do something that seemed impossible—to go next door and invite the new neighbors to church. Karen’s hand shook ask she reached for the doorbell. Meeting new people made her so nervous! But as she rang the bell, she prayed, “Dear Jesus, be with me as I meet this family. Help me to be calm and guide my words as I speak.” Jesus gave her a sense of peace, and it was easy for her to welcome the family and invite them to church. We all go through times when we feel nervous. What situations make you feel this way? Whether you’re nervous for the first day of school, a doctor’s appointment, or a recital, you can always call upon Jesus, and he will be there to help you.   Dear Jesus, Give me peace and comfort when I feel...

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Magnificent Birds – Large and Small

Magnificent Birds – Large and Small

Did you know that there are more than 9,000 species of birds in the world? One of the largest species is the Andean Condor. These massive black and white birds live in South America and can weigh up to 33 pounds. Due to their weight, they have a hard time flying, so they prefer to glide on the wind. When they’re hungry, they soar along the coast, looking for dead fish or whales to eat. Unlike the huge Andean Condor, the Costas Hummingbird is a tiny creature, weighing only .11 ounces. They have a gray body with a beautiful purple head and a long beak for getting nectar from flowers. Unlike Andean Condors, who have difficulty flying, Costa Hummingbirds are experts. They flap their wings 4000 times per minute so they can stay up in the air while eating. Although...

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Have you Heard?

Have you Heard?

McKenna leaned over to Rory in Social Studies class and whispered, “Did you know that Sarah made an F on her math test yesterday?” Rory’s eyes widened. “Really?” he said. He turned around and told the person behind him. The news spread quickly, and by the end of the day, everyone knew about Sarah’s test grade. The next day, Sarah heard a couple of girls talking about her in the bathroom. “Did you hear that Sarah made an F on the test?” they were saying. Sarah wondered, “Why on earth are they talking about me? It’s not even true. I made a B on the test!” She began to cry. Sarah’s classmates were gossiping, or spreading hurtful messages about her behind her back. Oftentimes, when people gossip, the message that gets passed along isn’t even...

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Search and Rescue—Dolphin Style!

Search and Rescue—Dolphin Style!

Did you know that a dolphin only sleeps with half its brain? That’s right! Staying “half-awake” keeps dolphins safe from predators and allows them to breathe while they are sleeping. As cool as that is, there’s something even more fascinating about dolphins that you should know. Dolphins take care of each other when they are injured! A few years ago, a group of dolphins off the coast of South Korea formed a “raft” with their bodies to carry a female that had been wounded. Now that’s friendship! Just as dolphins work hard to help each other out, God calls us to take care of each other as well. Do you know someone in a nursing home whom you could visit? Or, if your younger sister or brother is sick, could you read to them or bring them some soup? In...

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Growing in Gratitude

Growing in Gratitude

Jimmy ran to the window to see if his guests had arrived. He couldn’t wait for his birthday party to start! He helped his mom blow up balloons, then he tied them to the mailbox. As the guests arrived, Jimmy’s eyes widened when he saw the big, shiny packages that everyone had brought for him. When gift-opening time came, Jimmy grabbed a present and tore into it. It was a Lego set! Instead of thanking the friend who gave it to him, Jimmy just grabbed another gift and started opening it. He continued this way, not thanking anyone, until all the gifts were opened. After the party, Jimmy’s mom came into his room and talked to him about what had happened. When Jimmy realized that he had forgotten to show appreciation for his gifts, he decided to write thank-you...

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Ruth

Ruth

In a place called Moab there lived a nice family. Elimelech; his wife, Naomi, and their two sons had moved to Moab because there was more food in Moab. There was a famine where they used to live. After a while Elimelech died. Naomi wasn’t alone. She still had her two sons. Her sons got married. But after ten years, they died too. Naomi still had her sons’ wives, Orpah and Ruth, to keep her company and look after her. Naomi told her sons’ wives, “I am going to go back to where I used to live. I would like you also to go back to your family where you used to live.” She wished them each well and hugged them. All three women cried because they were such good friends. Orpah didn’t want to leave Naomi. However, Naomi convinced her that she would be fine....

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Brave Esther

Brave Esther

Long ago, in a country called Babylon, there was a king named Achashveyrosh and a queen named Vashti. King Achashveyrosh ordered his wife the queen to appear at a party so he could show everyone how pretty she was. She refused. King Achashveyrosh was furious. Haman, one of the king’s advisors, told him that if word got around, no one’s wife would think she had to listen to her husband. At Haman’s urging, King Achashveyrosh ordered that his wife be put to death. King Achashveyrosh ordered a search through the kingdom for a beautiful girl to be his bride. The king’s scouts came upon Esther. She was beautiful, gracious, and kind. Soon Esther was married to King Achashveyrosh. Esther was a Jew. The Jews had been driven out of their home about 70 years before...

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Jonah and the Whale

Jonah and the Whale

One day God asked Jonah to go to a place called Nineveh and tell the people living there to stop being bad. The only problem was that Jonah didn’t want to help the people there. He knew they were bad and he wanted them to be punished for their mistakes. So, instead of doing what God told him to do, Jonah ran away from Nineveh Jonah ran to the sea. He found a ship that was going to another city. He paid the captain, and went below to sleep. While Jonah was fast asleep below, a very bad storm arose. The boat was tossed around by huge waves. The men on board were very afraid. They started to throw the cargo overboard to lighten the load and prevent the boat from sinking. When the captain went to find Jonah, he was still sound asleep. The captain shook Jonah and...

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That Pesky Serpent

That Pesky Serpent

Everything went along well in the Garden of Eden. The weather was always lovely and sunny. Adam and Eve— for that is what Adam finally named her— tended the creatures. They played tag in the trees and ate the delicious fruits and vegetables that grew there. At night, they sat and looked at the moon and the stars twinkling in the dark sky and talked. Adam was so glad to have another creature that talked. Their life was so perfect it was almost too good to believe. One perfect, warm sunny day, Eve was walking through the garden. Suddenly, one the creatures slithered out in front of her. “How nicccccccccccccce to ssssssee you, Eve,” hissed the serpent. Now the serpent wasn’t really one of God’s creatures. He was really the devil in disguise. He appeared...

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Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark

God looked at the world and saw that all the people were very bad. God decided He would wash away all the people and animals of the world with a giant flood. Now, in all the world, there was only one good person. His name was Noah. Noah had a wife and three sons. God told Noah to build a big boat called an ark to keep his family safe from the flood. God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal in the world and put them on the ark to keep them safe. So Noah went out and gathered two of every kind of farm animal. And two of every kind of wild animal. He gathered two of every type of bird, both big and small. And two of every living thing that creeps along the ground. God also told Noah to bring aboard the ark all the kinds of food that all the different animals...

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A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WITH A SLY SNAKE GENESIS 3

A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WITH A SLY SNAKE GENESIS 3

Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us. Not death, not life, not angels, not ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, or anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38) God gave Adam and Eve a perfect place to live. He planted a beautiful garden in a land called Eden. God told them to enjoy every good thing growing in the garden, except He warned them not to taste the fruit hanging from one tree. It was a simple rule. But a sly snake slithered in the garden. The snake didn’t like God or His rules. It came to trick Adam and Eve into disobeying. It wanted them to forget God’s love long enough to make a...

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God’s Creation, Our Home Genesis 1– 2

God’s Creation, Our Home Genesis 1– 2

The sky, the earth and all that filled them were finished. On the seventh day He rested from all His work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. Genesis 2: 1– 3 In the beginning, God painted the sky and sculpted the earth. The earth was dark. No life was found. Then came a powerful, pleasing sound. God’s voice thundered, “Let there be light!” And so there was! It was good, like all our loving God does. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” God drew lines around the oceans. He left land in perfect shapes and places. Trees and plants sprang up everywhere. Fruit holding seeds hung from the trees. God put great lights in the sky. He made a bright yellow sun and a milky white moon. He scattered sparkling jewels over the...

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Captain Stinky Foot

Once upon a time, beside the Caribbean Sea, there lived a young pirate named Stinky Foot. Stinky Foot’s feet smelled bad. Flowers wilted when he walked by.   Stinky Foot’s feet smelled so bad that girls held their noses when he entered a room. Stinky Foot’s feet smelled so bad that tough sailors cried, and fishermen buried their heads in bait buckets. Stinky Foot’s feet smelled so bad that even his own mother would sometimes make him wear shoes to bed and sleep with the window open. Even in the winter! One day Stinky Foot invited Toothless Tina to share his squid sandwich. She told him to go away and not come back until he smelled better. That night Stinky Foot snuck out his window. At the docks he found a leaky boat. Turning his back to the village,...

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The Cure for Grumpiness

The Cure for Grumpiness

Do you ever feel grumpy? Mona the monkey was feeling that way. She didn’t want to cuddle or let her mother pick itchy bugs out of her fur. She didn’t want to play catch-me -if you-can, or jump from tree to tree by the river. Mona was a miserable grump. Sometimes, we get grumpy too and that’s okay. . . if it’s just for a little while. But if we hold onto our grumps they can make us cranky. Cranky leads to crabby, and no one likes to hang around with crabby crabs. Mona’s best friend, Fern, knew the cure for grumpiness. “What you need,” she told Mona, “Is a Whatever.” “What’s a Whatever?” Mona asked with a grumpy frown. “I bet if we look together, we can find one in no time,” said Fern. With a loud sigh, grumbling,...

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I’ve Brought Some Corn for Popping

I’ve Brought Some Corn for Popping

by Sandra Merville Hart This line from the beloved Christmas carol “Let it Snow” started me wondering when the tradition of popping corn began. People have known how to pop corn for thousands of years. Ears of popcorn were found in the Bat Cave in New Mexico that are about 4,000 years old. Found in 1948 and 1950, a penny is larger than the smallest of these ears while others are about 2 inches long. Popcorn remnants discovered in Mexico have been dated to around 3600 BC. One-thousand-year-old popcorn kernels found in North Chile still pop. Aztec Indians in the 16th century used popcorn for ceremonial headdresses and necklaces. Young women danced a popcorn dance wearing popcorn garlands on their heads. Pearls or Nonpareil were names that the kernels were sold...

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Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

by Sandra Merville Hart We sing the familiar Christmas tune, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” every year. If those early carolers refused to leave until they received a serving, it must be delicious. When did folks originally sing this song? The song is believed to date back to England in the 1500s. Carolers sang to their neighbors with greetings of the season. They hoped wealthy citizens would give them a treat, such as figgy pudding, to thank them for singing to them. The song, “Here We Come A-wassailing,” asked for a drink from rich neighbors’ wassail bowl, an invitation to warm themselves around the fire, and maybe a pork pie. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” specifically requests Figgie Pudding. The tradition of making this dessert at Christmas...

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What Did the Magi Eat on Their Journey?

What Did the Magi Eat on Their Journey?

  by Sandra Merville Hart The Bible tells us in Matthew 2:1 that Magi from the east came to Jerusalem after Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It doesn’t give an exact location. Yet northern Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia were considered the “east” by the Jews. What might they have eaten along the way? Nuts, dates, and figs lasted a long time and were easy to pack on camels. They also needed to bring food and grain for their camels. The Magi may have traveled on sand dunes and desert for many miles. They’d also follow the rivers and streams as much as possible so they and their camels had plenty to drink. Folks living in the region likely shared water from their wells. When going through towns, they’d buy fresh bread, meat, fruits, and vegetables for the...

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Happy Birthday, Jesus Cake

Happy Birthday, Jesus Cake

by Sandra Merville Hart The tradition of birthday cakes for Jesus began over 500 years ago when desserts were a rare treat. Children looked forward to baking a cake to celebrate Jesus’s birthday. Moms often hid little gifts inside the batter. Children found tiny toys like marbles or even a coin in their servings. The cake itself contains special meaning. White cake symbolizes the sinless life of Jesus. The cake rises while in the oven to represent His resurrection. Red icing reminds folks that Jesus died to save us from our sins. The light of a single candle reminds us of the star the Wise Men followed to Bethlehem. Candlelight also means that Jesus is the light of the world. I wrote “Happy Birthday, Jesus” on my frosted cake. Ask your mom for red and green...

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President George Washington Declares a Day of Thanksgiving

President George Washington Declares a Day of Thanksgiving

by Sandra Merville Hart The Revolutionary War was over. Leaders wrote a new United States Constitution. The nation elected its first president. Peace reigned again. New Jersey Representative Elias Boudinot asked that Congress pass a resolution to request that President George Washington declare a thanksgiving observance. Congress passed the resolution. President Washington liked the idea and agreed. On October 3, 1789, Washington issued a proclamation that Thursday, November 26th was to be a national day of thanks to God. He reminded Americans that God’s care had led them through the Revolution and helped them establish a new government and Constitution. Washington sent the proclamation to state governors. Newspapers printed it to tell citizens about it. There...

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Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Did you know … Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. Armistice is a big word that means two armies at war with each other agree to stop fighting, at least for a specific amount of time. November 11, 1918 World War I was known as “the Great War” until World War II. At 11:00 am on November 11, 1918, the armies agreed to stop fighting. A Legal Holiday November 11th became a legal holiday called Armistice Day in 1938. Moment of Silence United States citizens honored soldiers of “the Great War” (World War I) with parades. They also paused for two minutes at 11 am for a moment of silence. People pray for the soldiers or think of them quietly during moments of silence. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier A World War I soldier was buried...

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Get Ready, Butterflies! Winter’s Coming!

Get Ready, Butterflies! Winter’s Coming!

When cold winds rattle the last leaves on the trees, we prepare for winter. We snuggle under extra blankets, slurp up warm soups, or even travel south. God helps butterflies get ready, too. In summer, monarch butterflies live just a few weeks, flitting from flower to flower to sip nectar. But autumn monarchs can live eight months. They soar south on the fall winds to live in warm Mexico. There, fluttering black and orange monarchs cover every inch of some trees, making them look like tall, stained-glass windows. When spring comes, they mate and head north. Mourning cloak butterflies don’t migrate. As it gets colder, they shelter under tree bark and rocks. God gave them special proteins and extra sugars to keep their insides toasty warm. In early spring they...

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Aviation Boot Camp

Aviation Boot Camp

by Lori Layne Billy grasped the yoke in his hands and pushed forward slowly. The plane tilted towards the earth and began to race down. He held his breath. “Great job.” The instructor smiled and pulled the airplane back level. Tim was an Aviation Boot Camp pilot with a love for Jesus and Aviation, in that order. This day’s lesson allowed Billy and Tim to get closer to heaven as they soared high in the sky. The writer of Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Tim said, “Here’s a mind-blowing fact about the universe, Billy. If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be the size of a nickel. Do you understand that God made all of this?” “You mean that cloud that looked...

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Columbus Day

Columbus Day

When Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain on August 3, 1492, he planned to create a sea route to India and China. Columbus took three ships Columbus was an Italian explorer. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who ruled Spain, believed in Columbus’s plan to find China so he sailed west with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Columbus landed in the Bahamas Columbus landed in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, but thought he reached the Indies. Most Europeans scholars knew the world was round European scholars knew the earth was round in 1492. They didn’t know about the Pacific Ocean. They believed that sailing across the Atlantic Ocean would lead them eventually to China and Japan. Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean again and...

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Surrounded by Fish

Surrounded by Fish

Mrs. Moses Diary “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14:21-22 (NIV) by Bonnie Beardsley Dear Diary, Pharaoh let us go after the last plague. Even the Egyptians were glad that we were leaving. We could have gone a shorter way when we left but that was not the way God showed with the pillar of fire and cloud for us to go. It led us to the Red Sea. Pharaoh must have changed his mind. His army came after us. The people started to panic. Then the pillar of fire and the cloud moved from in...

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