Sunday, November 29, 2020

It's Beginning...NOPE! It Looks a Lot Like...


It’s looking A LOT like CHRISTMAS at our house!





Yep!  It’s ALL done.  So I thought I would share the fruits of my labor with you. 


Let’s start with the kitchen…my favorite.  It’s looking very GINGERLY!  I do love my GINGERPEOPLE.  Granddaughter M helped decorate the tree…she loves it as much as I do:)


And you’ll find lots of other sweet GINGERS scattered all around.

This little fella is trying to disguise himself as he sits in the window looking for SANTA!

These sweet ladies are sitting in a little red rocker that SANTA brought to my husband on his first Christmas in 1949!  

Gifts from friends & family!  They know what I love😊

SANTA is ready to bake some CHRISTMAS COOKIES

This year I added a HOT COCOA BAR…with marshmallows, of course!

This tiered tray is a new addition…one of my favorite things to decorate with these days.  I added some GNOMES…thought the GINGERPEOPLE needed some friends.  (I love gnomes too!)

Who says you can’t “catch” that devilish little GINGERBREAD MAN?

Looks like I’ve “caught” a lot of them!

*        *      *      *

Now for the rest of the house…

The SNOWMAN tree

Hubby’s Office…HUNTING tree

And even the deer get decorated too!


The FAMILY TREE and mantle…lots of special ornaments from trips, friends, former students, and (of course) made by my kids and grandkids

Now for the OUTSIDE…compliments of a good husband and a helpful grandson

And finally…THE REASON FOR THE SEASON…I always put my Nativity out last so that I can take the time to think of the meaning of each special piece.

There’s even MORE, but by now you are probably on overload!


So…have you finished decorating?

What’s your favorite decoration?


Hope each and everyone of you enjoyed a very BLESSED THANKSGIVING and that the CHRISTMAS SEASON will be filled with much JOY

Note:  sorry for the crazy spacing...Blogger woes!!!



Tuesday, November 24, 2020





*my Christian faith

*my husband who is loving & caring 

*my son, DIL, and grandchildren

*all my family

*my home

*my friends

*my church family

*my Valley Girls & Guys

*my health

*having all my basic needs met

*money in the bank

*my education

*my career as a teacher

*all the men & women who have fought to give me freedom

*my grandchildren accepting Christ as their Savior

*a warm bed to sleep in each night

*all those who have worked so hard to find a vaccine for COVID-19

*health workers, police, and firefighters


And so much more…..


Hope all of you have a very BLESSED Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 19, 2020


Well, it has happened.  I’ve been writing my blog on and off since 2010, and I finally got my first rude comment! 

I was told early on in my blogging experience that this would probably happen at some point.  When I first read it, I was upset.  Upset mainly because I just don’t like anyone being rude to me for no reason (but who does?).  Also, because I would never have thought I would get a rude comment on a post about KINDNESS and helping those in need!!!!  By the way, the comment was from ANONYMOUS.  Listen up, people…if you want to be rude to me at least be above board about it and let me know who you are!    

Anyway…I started to delete the comment and probably should have (maybe still will), but then I decided I wanted to respond.  I tried to figure out exactly what was upsetting this gal or guy, but I’m oblivious.  So I decided to take the route I think God would want me to take in my response.  (Confession:  I did, however, not let this person think he or she could just make me into their doormat and that I was going to shy away from sharing my opinion…I can be feisty like that!)

At any rate, PLEASE take a look at the comment and my response and let me know what you think.  I imagine any further comments from Anonymous will be deleted…I just don’t care to get into that sort of stuff on my blog!!!

Note: since writing this post some of my readers commented they have seen this same comment on other blogs.  Guess somebody is just trolling “baby boomers” and evidently doesn’t like us!  It’s sad that something in his/her life has led him/her to feel the need to do this. 


I am not going to get into a deep discussion of the recent election, but feel I am ready to say my peace.  I voted Republican, but if you voted Democrat I still like you and respect your opinion…and I hope you will feel the same toward me.  I have to say I am disappointed (not because I am in love with the person of Donald Trump) but because I fear the election was not a fair one.  I would imagine there was some wrongdoing on both sides of the fence.  I just would like to know that votes have been counted fairly, and the rightful winner should be named.  I also have to say I worry about the talk of socialism; the thought of our economy and schools being shut down again; the thoughts of total government control over my life and the lives of my family, and especially grandchildren.  It has happened in the past…we can read our history books to be reminded.  And as we can see, socialism has never worked; total government control has never worked but only hurt the people.  I pray, though, that the future holds nothing but good things for EVERYONE in our country.  And I pray that we all will turn back to God and let HIM be the one in control.  My peace is now said and done with!!!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

My son, DIL, and grands always get a head start!  They love their Christmas and so put it up as soon as they think possible😊  However, my son does take it down just about the day AFTER Christmas…for him, when it’s done it’s done.  I will probably start with ALL the decorations (4 trees and then some) next week since my grands are out of school and I will have the help of my very artistic granddaughter who loves her some Christmas decorating, especially my Gingerbread People Tree.  So I’ll be posting pictures.  I hope to visit your blogs and see some too.


And I’ll end with something my mama always taught us:

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!

Monday, November 16, 2020

More Kindness, Anyone???


In my last post I wrote about kindness and again today I was reminded just how important kindness can be…sometimes it can make more difference in a person’s life than we can imagine.  I will explain as best I can.


Recently it was brought to the attention of myself and my Sunday School class that a young mother had moved into town with two young children, a son age 5 and a daughter age 7.  (We live in a small town and much doesn’t happen without a lot of people knowing it!!!)  This family’s story is literally one of the saddest I have ever heard…and with my many years of teaching young children I have known a LOT of sad stories.


I won’t go into details because it’s not really my story to tell in such a public forum, but I will tell you that I had the opportunity to visit this mother at her home today and in all my life I have never been that close to so much poverty.  My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, but today I realized that we were RICH in comparison to this family and many others.  After we left, I found myself in tears and all day I have been thinking that as often as I thank God for all I’ve been blessed with, it’s not been enough. 


As I talked with the mother (along with a counselor from the school), she was very gracious and very accepting of the help that has been offered.  The school will see that the family has a Thanksgiving dinner, and my Sunday School class plans to make sure that the children will have a special Christmas with toys and new clothes😊 


I have no doubts that God was in control of this whole situation today.  I had been trying (unsuccessfully) to get in touch with the mother, and on a whim this morning decided to call the school counselor.  I explained my situation and she said, “I was just about to leave the school to make a home visit to this mother…you can go along.”  WOW!!!  Sometimes God just shows up and shows out…sometimes he just makes a path for us when we don’t see one on our own.  Thank you, God.

Kindness…some people need it more than we can imagine.  So…share a smile and a “thank you” with the tired lady at the checkout counter who may have been on her feet for hours; send a card to a shut-in or someone sick or grieving; bake some cookies for a neighbor who is missing their family; write a letter to a past teacher or mentor telling them how much you appreciate what they taught you; put an extra dollar in the tip jar…add your own ideas to the list!


And remember to always be grateful for every single blessing!



Tuesday, November 10, 2020


William Thackery once wrote: 

 I think  that’s good advice.  But even more importantly the Bible tells us:

I’ve thought a lot about kind words this week, but I’ve also just thought a lot about kindness in recent months.  I’ve been distressed as I've seen grown (supposedly intelligent and Christian) men spew anything but kind words from their mouths for the whole world to hear.   I’ve seen people (supposedly good citizens) riot and protest illegally in the streets and break into stores to steal anything from big screen TVs to designer purses…something they really need, right?)  I’ve seen kindness obliterated in front of my very eyes, it seems.


Of course, I do believe there are still a lot of kind people out there, but do we sincerely give enough thought to being kind to our families, our friends, and even strangers?  Do we strive to find ways to be kind , or do we just wait for an opportunity to show up and then say a few words and think we’ve reached our kindness quota  for the day? 



I feel sure I miss opportunities to be kind; and I know I don’t always go out of my way to show kindness to others.  But this subject really has been on my mind a lot lately.  In the last few months I have experienced the deaths of 15 people that I have had some type of relationship with…some closer than others.  I have seen the brokenness of the families and their need for  kind words and gestures of kindness.  I have sent cards; I have taken food; I’ve tried to be kind, but I’m sure there is more I can do.


Did you know that kindness has power?  Did you know that the effects of kindness have actually been studied by scientists, psychologists, and others?  Mr. Google can tell you all about this; but just to get you started, here are a few things researchers have proven:


* Happiness researcher Sean Achor demonstrated through his extensive research that if you perform random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for twenty-one days, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive.  (Who couldn’t use more positivity in their life?)


*Kindness has been found by researchers to be the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage.  (I'm so thankful for my kind husband...he's so good about telling me thank you and saying other kind things.)


*Kindness begets kindness.  According to Emily E. Smith in an article on  “A great deal of evidence shows that the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.” 

I’ve had a lot on my mind this last week (not happy about the election, but I won’t get into that!)…mostly just some sad things concerning friends and family members.  So, I guess God knew I needed a few kind words myself…and He sent them to me through two sweet people.  I just have to share with you…I’m kind like that you know!!!


First, l-o-n-g story short…I had sent a facebook message to a childhood friend, Brenda, that I reconnected with a couple years ago.  Have only seen her maybe 3 times since we were 12 since I moved away at that age.  I was looking for some information on someone from our original hometown and I knew she would be able to tell me exactly what I needed.  Anywho…a little while after we finished messaging back & forth and the conversation had ended, I heard my MESSANGER THINGIE  (my technical term for something when I don’t know what to call it!) ding.  It was Brenda, and this is what she wrote:

        I remember how sad I was when you left (our hometown).  If you had stayed, I would have been a better teenager.  Anyway, I have always loved you as my first best friend.”

Words can’t express how special that message was and still is to me.  I will cherish it always.


Then today I yet again heard my MESSENGER THINGIE ding!  It was a former second grade student that I taught in 1981/82.  She told me a little about herself but this is the part I want to share with you:

        Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that you did for me.  I turned out to be a good kid and an even better adult.  …I know that all the little bits and pieces I received in my younger years contributed immensely.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that all our 2021 is better than our 2020.”    Love, Beverly

Note:  Sadly I don’t remember all my students (I don’t have enough brain cells for that), but I do remember Beverly.  She was a very sweet child.


These kind words by my friend Brenda and my student Beverly didn’t cost a thing but a few moments of their time, and yet they brought me more pleasure and happiness than if they had sent me a dozen red roses or a big box of chocolates (if you knew me and my love for chocolate you would realize what a statement I just made!!!)


My goal in the coming weeks and months (and hopefully years) is to spread a little more kindness.  There are so many ways we can do this…from a simple smile and a thank you to the gal at the grocery checkout to something a little more industrious like baking a cake for a shut-in (for me that would be hugely industrious!)


From what all those experts (with all their zillions of brain cells) tell us…kindness is like a disease; it’s contagious.  So let’s go out and spread it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

ART is in My HEART



*Note:  this post is actually just a page for my journal, but you are welcome to read if you care to😊


Sometimes in life you get to experience moments that are so fulfilling that you can almost feel your heart swell with emotion.  I had an experience like that today, and I am so very thankful for it.

(Background info)  Years ago my granddaughter (now 14 and very artistic) would often say to me, “Cheri, I wish we had ART in school.”  We had had a wonderful ART program at one time, but it was cut years and years ago when the government cut back on school funding.  I guess this sweet girl “planted a seed” because about two years ago I began (finally) on a quest to try and get a Visual ARTS program put back into our high school and middle school.  I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say I really put in a lot of hours with research and gathering support.  My final leg was to present my findings to the Board of Education.  And, long story short, my granddaughter’s wish came true! 

So now, let me tell you about my day.  We have an awesome ART teacher who asked me if I would come to the high school today and meet with some various groups of students to help them complete a performance standard.  Each group shared about their upcoming project; and although I really know zilch about ART, I was even able to give some of them suggestions that they really latched onto.  (Made me happy!)

As I looked around the classroom I was able to see their artwork, and it was absolutely amazing!  .  I knew there had to be a lot of talent among our student body, but I had no idea just how much talent there really was.  I very much enjoyed seeing so many wonderful finished products, but even more so I enjoyed the conversations I was able to participate in.

As I sat and talked with the students and listened to them, I actually had to hold back the tears.  Each and every one of them told me how thrilled they were to have this class, and how much they LOVED it!  One of the things that really touched me the most was that several of the students told me that they had discovered within themselves talents and creativity they had no idea was there.  This class and the wonderful teacher helped them find that talent, and now they are developing it.  I couldn’t help but think, “Look at the talent that would have been lost had not this ART class and their loving teacher shown them just what they were capable of.”

(Granddaughter & 2 of her besties in Art Class)

As much as I cherished every single comment, there was one that really got me!  One of the students was a young man with long hair that hung over his glasses; I could just tell from our conversation that he was a rather shy kid and that he was just a creative soul with ideas that were not your run-of-the-mill, usual teenage ideas.  I asked him if he liked the class and he told me very emphatically that he loved it.  Then I asked him what was the best thing about the class and he replied, “It lets me be me.”  That’s when I really had to bite my tongue to keep from crying because this is what I had hoped for.   

Many have told me “thank you” for all that I did to help get this program up and running, but I give all the glory to God because I prayed that He would guide me each step of the way and that He would help me find a way.  And I also give much thanks to our high school principal who could have shut me down when I first approached him.  He could have told me there just wasn’t enough money, or there wasn’t space, or there wasn’t a place in the curriculum for ART; but he didn’t shut the door.  He not only listened; he also supported me and my efforts.  I also have to say thanks to a friend and fellow retired teacher, Nancy, who was willing to help with some of the leg work and who gave me the encouragement I needed.

          (Granddaughter's first landscape)


Phylicia Rashad once said:  “Before a child talks, they sing.  Before they write, they draw.  As soon as they stand, they dance.  ART is fundamental to human expression.”      

I am so very thankful that now many of our students (including my precious granddaughter who started it all) are being given the opportunity to express themselves and find within themselves the love and joy of creativity.