Countdown to Christmas 2

How did last week go? Did you and the kids make or buy an Advent calendar? Send me a picture. I’d love to see it. 

Tell me about your winter picnic.

This week let’s start looking at the clothes everyone is going to wear. Do you sew or buy new outfits? Before everything is all picked over or there isn’t enough material to purchase for the outfits this is the week to get that organized.

This was two years ago.


For this year I have material to make coordinating outfits for our four grandchildren. I have a black crushed simulated velvet, and a pink satin like  material. The oldest is a  7-year-old girl that doesn’t like frills. I’m making her a long vest. Her brother is 6 and I will make him a vest too. Next is a 5-year-old girl and her almost 2-year-old sister. They will have the black material on the top and the long skirts will be the pink.

Do you all get dressed up for Christmas and Christmas Eve, or go casual? How did you dress when you were a child? Things have changed over the years. In the 50’s people dressed up very fancy for Christmas and church. Now everyone seems much more casual. The important thing is to be together.

Do you dress up or go casual for church? When talking with your children about dressing for church tell them we are to look our best for God. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but we should put our best foot forward. What’s important to Him is that you are in the right frame of mind when you come to worship Him.

Teach the children that when they go into worship that we’re to bring our concerns to Him. To pray asking for guidance, then listen to Him in the worship. To sing, pray, and feel the love of God around them.

Have fun this week deciding what everyone is going to wear. Are you going to be matching, have a color theme?

God bless, and have fun this week. Remember to take some time for yourself.

Give me some ideas to share with others that read the blog.

7 Steps For A Less Stressful Thanksgiving

If you aren’t careful getting ready for Thanksgiving can be very stressful. It seems like such a huge task. There are so many things to plan and prepare. Take a deep breath. You can do it. You need to make a plan for what will be done when. It will make things a lot easier.

  • Start planning now:

Where will the dinner be? Is there a home where you always have the dinner or does it go to a different family home each year?

How many will be coming? Having a few to a large group can make a difference for you if you let it bother you. Remember that the number is just a number, it’s the people gathering that make the difference.

If at your home, how will the table/tables be arraigned? What room of your home is best suited for your gathering.

  • Set a schedule:

What days are free to prepare the house for Thanksgiving? Use those days to start rearranging furniture if necessary.

What days will you be grocery shopping? Plan what you can buy ahead. Start grocery lists for each week with what you can buy.

What days will you get table decorations? Do you usually buy a floral piece for the center of the table? Start looking at what your local florist has. Talk with them about what you are looking for, the size and amount of money you would like to spend.

When can you start preparing the foods that can be done ahead of time? Depending on what you are making, you can make somethings a day or two ahead. This will take some of the stress away for you.

What time are you planning on dinner to be eaten? Once you know that you can look at what cooking you will be doing and the time it takes to prepare and cook.

  • Plan the menu:

What do you want at the meal? What are you planning to make? What/who are you asking for the extra foods?

  • Plan activities or crafts for kids when you need time to take care of something:

Have the kids make table decorations, Have the kids make place cards for the table.

  • Schedule shopping times for food:

Make a complete list of what you need. Look at recipes make sure you have everything.  Start buying the canned goods now to save time later.

  • Schedule times for cleaning:

Start in the beginning of the month for the heavy-duty things you need to have done. Keep up each week with normal cleaning. The day before just a quick run through. Spot wash floors – leave a thorough washing until after the celebration

  • Schedule downtime to rest:

Each day you need some me time. The day before take a little extra me time to reflect on what is ready and what needs to be done. On Thanksgiving start cooking the things that will take a long time or can be done ahead.

Stop and take a relaxing bath or sit in your favorite chair and read for an hour.


Christmas Give Away

Schedule your Central Florida group for a chance to win a free copy of “This Babe So Small.”

Contact Jann at to set up a workshop.

Workshop: Parents and kids

  •  will learn the basics on how to write a story
  • write their story together
  • share their story if they would like to with the group

Story time:

  • This Babe So Small
  • questions and answers with the author
  • book signing

The Word of God

The Word of God is the most important thing we can teach our children. We need to show them how that Word is part of every aspect of our daily lives.

When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is to say a prayer of thanks for bringing me through the night, and ask what God wants me to do today. Saying a prayer over each meal is also important in thanking God for the nourishment of the food to be eaten. As I meet the challenges through the day I ask for guidance. Then before I go to sleep I say the Lord’s Prayer and lift up each member of my family and others that are on my prayer list.

It’s important to lift our daily concerns and joys to God. If we pray without ceasing we will always be in God’s presence. This is something we should share with our children and grandchildren. They need to learn about God, and what he has done for us. They need to know of his great love for all of his people.

Gather your children and pray with them first thing in the morning. Let them add things that they are concerned, or excited about. Encourage them to pray during the day if they are struggling or excited about something. Remind them to pray when they eat their meals away from home.

At the dinner table let each of them add something of their day to the prayer. Use the meal time to talk with them and help them with any difficulties. Then at bedtime pray with each child and encourage them to thank God for watching over them through the day. Remind them that God is interested in everything that happens to them every minute of every day.

What other ways can you share God with your children?


Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Dt 11:19). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.


Teacher’s Conferences

South Carolina Association of Christian Schools Convention

I attended the SCACS Convention last week. I met some wonderful people. I was able to teach two classes, “Helping Children Become Better Writers,” and “Do You Want To Be A Published Author?” Both classes were fun and the students were full of questions and suggestions for the other teachers.

I have a whole new group of friends to interact with and help the children become better writers. I’m always looking for new ideas to share on getting children excited about writing their stories.

Many of the teachers will be working with me through email to help them learn more about where to look for help in their writing as well. It was exciting to hear what they have already started to write. I pray that they will find the connections to gain agents and publishers.

Teaching something you have experience in is fun, a chance to meet new people, and an opportunity for you to learn more in your field. As you do research to prepare for your class quite often you come across something new, this helps you and the class when you share.

I have taught at the Florida League of Christian Schools for four years and this was a wonderful opportunity for me at the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools Convention. I would love to go to other states and share these classes and hopefully more in the future. Do you have a conference where I can meet you?

God Wants Us To Live!

God is always there for us. He wants us to live a full and blessed life. We need to ask for help and to listen for His answers. This is not easy for us to comprehend. We can’t see or physically feel Him touch us.

Learning to hear Him takes time and patience. Praying or talking with God is the easy part. Quieting our minds is much more difficult. We desire to hear back immediately, with a clear answer. He will answer us in His time. This can be right away or at a time in the future. His answer maybe yes, no, or later.

Many years ago, I was praying for healing for my mom. She had cancer and it was getting much worse. I was pregnant with our first child and so badly wanted her to live and hold my baby. The last time I talked to her at the hospital I kissed her goodbye and said that I would be back later that evening. As I walked down the hall I cried out to God, “Please take her from her living hell.” Within a couple of hours, she was gone. The answer to my prayer of healing was “No”, His answer was the healing of “Eternal life.”

I didn’t want her to suffer anymore, but I really would have loved to have her live and get to know and love our children and grandchildren.

Do you have a running conversation with God? I wake up in the morning and thank Him for getting me safely though another night, and hope that He had a good night too. Then I ask Him what we are doing today.

If I am planning on working on things involved with my writing, I ask Him what He wants me to tackle first. Then as I work I ask for guidance and the right words to use. In writing my children’s books, many times I have gone back later that day or the next and read what I had written. Frequently I find a portion that I have no idea where those words came from. Only to chuckle and realize it was God who had given me the passage. It’s really fun when that happens.

Teaching yourself, much less your children how to live, listen, and act on God’s words isn’t easy. Practice praying, then being quiet and attentive to His quiet voice. It can be hard to hear. Once you have learned to be better at listening to His Word, share with your children what you have learned. Work with them and help them to pray and listen. Once you have learned this you will be able to “Live,” in His love.

I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live! Ezekiel 18:32 [1] 



Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Eze 18:32). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

America Strong!


For over 400 miles we saw hundreds of electric trucks, tree removal trucks, ambulances, semis with generators and air conditioners and restoration trucks. We were driving home from Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. to the Orlando area. It was just amazing to see all of them heading home after helping the people of Florida recover after Hurricane Irma.

It gave me such a sense of patriotism, love and caring for others. As Americans, we do reach out and help when our neighbors are in need. The sight of so many people that came to help still gives me a sense of pride to be an American.

Thank you to all of those who reached out!



Faith Isn’t Enough

We can’t just believe in God in our hearts. We have to live our faith. Sometimes this is difficult. We don’t always recognize a nudge from God to do something for Him.

We have to :

  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Act

Stop: One time I was shopping and I picked a short line to check out. Then I saw that the man ahead of me had food stamps to pay for his groceries. I was tempted to go to another cashier. I felt a strong pull to stay where I was.

Listen: I waited and then the cashier said told him that he didn’t have enough to cover all of his purchases. He told her which ones to remove from the bill until he could cover the cost. She put those items aside. And checked him out.

Act: As she finished I told her to put his things on my bill. He started to walk away and I called him back. I said, “Please take the rest of your things.” He kept thanking me. And then left the store. I paid my bill and went out to the parking lot. He was still walking to his car and thanked me again for helping him.

It was such a moving experience to be able to reach out in God’s love and do a good deed for Him. We can do these things daily if we just listen to His prompting.

Our good deeds can be done anywhere and for anyone. We should especially show our children how to reach out in faith and love to those around us. To teach them to listen to the voice they hear in their heart. Tell them it is the voice of God asking them to do something for Him.

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17









Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jas 2:17). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Passing On The Faith

Passing on the Faith

  • Living by faith is easier said than done. Teaching faith to our children is even harder.

In Romans 10:9-10

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord

and believe in your heart that God raised him

from the dead, you will be saved.

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you

are made right with God,

and it is by openly declaring your faith

that you are saved.[1]

We are given words of faith to help us understand what we need to do to be saved.

  • Declare that Jesus is Lord in our life
  • Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead 
  • Trust in our heart that we are now right with God
  • Declare our relationship with Jesus
  • Believe that we are saved


Declare that Jesus is Lord

      We need to share our relationship with Jesus. Tell the people around us about Jesus, especially our children. Saying that He came to earth to take away our sins. We are to model our life after His. Show the children and others how to reach out in love to others by being a good example. When you speak use kind words. If you have to correct your child use a soft voice and explain why you want them to do something in a certain way. When our girls wanted something form the store and I couldn’t get it I explained that I didn’t have enough money for that today. By being honest and explaining your reason others will be more accepting.


Encourage children and friends to read the Bible in several different versions. Also, to read commentaries, that explain the history and words of the passage.


Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead

      This can only be done by faith. Our minds find this hard to comprehend. How can you die and come back again? We have to put out trust in the Word of God. Jesus’ death and resurrection are taught in the Bible. Read the story of his resurrection in the different Gospels. Each writer tells the story differently, from his own perspective. You can read their versions in Matthew 28: 1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24: 1-12, and John20:1-13. Share these different versions so that the children can have a better understanding. We all learn differently and by reading the story in a different way we may learn it better.

Believe in our heart that we are now right with God.

      The Bible tells us that Jesus took our sins away. We are now pure and may come before God. This is a very personal belief, which can be tested daily. I have to stop myself from saying something I shouldn’t when a driver cuts me off is one example. Another would be

to reach for a piece of food I don’t need. That’s when I tell the Devil to go away and leave me alone.

On a frustrating day, we can feel God isn’t there or that we are not good enough to come to him in prayer. Tell your children that He has already taken away our sins, past, present, and future. We have to believe and accept that by faith we are a child of God.

Believe That We Are Saved.

we can go to heaven to be with God when we die because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This gift is beyond human comprehension. I know I have felt like I am unworthy many times. When I struggle with this, I pray asking for help. “Please, Father, let me feel your love, warmth and mercy. To know the peace that passes all understanding.”


Talk with your children.

Share your ups and downs. In this way, they will understand that it is okay to make mistakes. One day I yelled at one of our daughters. What she had done wasn’t wrong. I apologized and told her I was having a bad day. That it was my fault.

Tell the children that they are already forgiven they just have to accept the gift of forgiveness. Talk with them about their questions as they grow on their faith journey.

Once you’ve read the story of the resurrection talk with your kids about their interpretation. Give me their responses in the blog. I love to hear children tell the story in their words.

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 10:8–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Follow What is Good

Follow what is good.

Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. 3 John 11

Finding good examples is not always easy. There are temptations all around us.

  • Money – to buy things we don’t need
    • electronic toys
    • expensive cars
    • homes bigger than we need
  • Food
    • sweets
    • fatty foods
    • larger servings
  • Entertainment
    • movies
    • books
    • concerts

The above can be good or bad depending how many we buy, how much we buy, and what the content of the entertainment is. Teaching children how to follow what is good is important. Teaching by example is the best.

  • Money – to buy things
    • electronics are fine as long as we don’t buy beyond our means
    • cars are necessary, but we don’t need to buy something just for status
    • we also need homes to live in, something that is modest and fits our needs
  • Food
    • sweets are good, but in moderation
    • choose foods that are lower in fat and higher in nutrition
    • restaurants frequently give servings that are way to big, make it a practice to take half home
  • Entertainment
    • make sure content of movies, books, and concerts are age appropriate.
    • try to find entertainment that will teach the message of the Bible

Follow what is good for your children as well as for yourself. Remember when you follow what is good you are leading by example. Parents are the best teacher there is. We all want what is best for our children. We can find help in reading the Bible, going to church and having our family involved in helping those around us.

Those who follow the wrong path will not know God. Let’s work together to help raise children that Follow What is Good! What ideas or questions do you have?


Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3 Jn 11). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.