Monday, March 23, 2015

Venango County Fairgrounds winter disaster

The winter was long, hard and clod, not t mention all the snow that came our way. But the snow was dry and powdery until it decided to warm up a little and then rain. The snow acted like a sponge and soaked up the rain making the snow heavier and causing a lot of damage. Towards the beginning of March we received a phone call asking for help shoveling off the buildings at the fairgrounds. So everyone got dressed warm, grabbed their shovels and off we went. This was just the beginning of what is looking like a LOT of time at the fairgrounds between now and August1, 2015!

When we got there we found out that the oldest barn on the grounds had collapsed on top of some items that was stored in the barn. But we spent the evening shoveling the buildings off - ok I didn't the boys did.

The rest of the week I went up and took pictures of them pulling items from the collapsed barn and watched the clean-up begin. You might say it was just a building or just a barn, but lots of people have great memories from that barn. I personally remember tying my first calf to the corner post so that she could get clipped before the show. I remember hanging out with my friends during the fair and playing in the rain- after saving their farm photo from the rain that was blowing through the barn. Sitting and just watching people go by, explaining to fair visitiors what we were doing or showing family how we had done at the show.

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Anyhow it was a bitter sweet good-bye to a barn as the guys worked at burning the remains. Then the news can that the insurance company determined that the hog barn was also unsafe and needed to come down. This one is near and dear to Gary's heart as he put a lot of blood sweat and tears into that barn and now he is helping to tear it down.

And at the board meeting the other night they decided to tear down the Bean Barn (the other dairy barn) because then they could start from scratch and begin with drainage and build some bigger buildings that would all work together. The plan sounds like it will provide a wonderful home for Venango County's 4-Her's and open exhibitors for years, the catch will be getting everything accomplished before August 1, 2015- opening day of this year's fair. So here is to a VERY busy Sumer 2015!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pinewood Derby

Today was the day that Garrett had been waiting for- Pinewood Derby race. This year his car was a "Hotdog Car".  He learned how to use the Dremel tool for carving and sanding plus the wood chisels. There were 58 racers this morning, Garrett made it to the elimination rounds, but about 3 or 4 rounds into elimination he had been beaten 6 times and was out.  The other cars were fast, but Garrett did very well! So proud of his creativeness and skills that he is learning!
Garrett and his Hot dog Car!

Robert's Birthday

It's hard to believe that it has been 14 years since Robert came into our lives. Well between his activities and snowstorms we were able to celebrate his birthday this past week. What a blessing he is to our family and to those around him. He was pleased that he had a 2 hour delay for his Birthday!
Birthday Breakfast- thanks to a 2hr delay!

Birthday Supper Dessert

Family gathered

Children's Sermon - Commercials part 3- Eat n Park


This is the finally  Children's Sermon that I've used commercials. This is one that is meant more for the Christmas season and could be used independently.  As the children came forward, I made sure that they could see the screen ( I don't use it very often so this was a little different for me). Anyhow I asked them to watch this commercial for me. And we showed them the Eat 'N Park Christmas Tree Commercial. (You can watch it below)

When it was done, I said you know that reminds me of Jesus. To which they gave me this weird look (which I expected)  Let me explain- The little star is each one of us. We try and try to have a good life and do everything right, but we never make it to the top- to what we truly can be. But you see the tree is like Jesus, and Jesus bent down to earth to lift each one of us up out of our sins. When we accept his help, he changes us- he fills us with light that we can't help but let shine. Not only do we let it shine, but we also share it with others around us. Just like when the tree bends down and picks the star up- it is filled with light and changes color and then it shares it's light with all the little lights on the tree.

This is what we should be doing as Christian's during the Christmas Season- sharing the light of Jesus with everyone around us!

With this we closed in prayer.

Chlidren's Sermon- commercials part 2

As I explained in the last post, I was stuck on commercials for Children's Sermon's for 3 messages. As the children came forward I welcomed them and asked about their week.  Then I asked a little more difficult questions. did they ever feel like people were against them? Did they have enemies? Or had they ever had to deal with a bully? To these, I had a few raise hands or shake their heads yes. Then I asked if they knew what insurance was? They didn't really know. So I explained that insurance was something that adults paid for ahead of time, so that if they were ever in an accident then they would have help paying the repair bill or hospital bills if anyone had gotten hurt.  I asked if they knew that we had insurance that if we accepted Jesus into our hearts that he would help us and defend us from those bullies, but he also would make sure that we were in heaven with him.

Let me explain, you see there has been this commercial playing that once you hear it, it sticks in your head for HOURS. (to this I hummed the Nationwide jiggle- you can watch the commercial I was referring to below:)
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

The funny part is that when I started humming it- the kids joined in! They knew the jiggle. So I asked how was on their side? Nationwide - one answered. Yes according to this commercial they are, but who is always on YOUR side? He will never let you down- no matter what?   Jesus- I finally got as an answer.  Yes! So instead of 'Nationwide is on Your Side"  - the next time you hear this commercial- I want you to think this "God is for us Who's against us?" (Which if you sing it just right does fit into the jiggle.)
State Farm Insurance
But we have a State Farm Insurance Salesman in our congregation, so I added that just because one insurance company is reminding us that "God is For US"- there is another thing to remember. "Like a Good Neighbor, God is Always there."(sung to the State Farm jiggle)

With this we closed in prayer and as they returned to their seats, I hummed the Nationwide Jiggle!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Children's Sermon -"What's in Your Shoebox?"

To begin with the woman who presented the children's sermon a week before me entitled hers "Can You Hear Me Now?" As she was talking, I'll admit I was listening to her, but to the tug inside me saying "Go with commercials- do children's sermon on commercials." So this was the first in what became a 3 part series of Children Sermon's featuring commercials.

As the children sat down , I began with so how was your week and do you know what happens here in 2 weeks? They looked at me a bit odd because to them there wasn't any special holidays in the next 2 weeks. So I asked how many had or were planning on packing a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child- to which most raised their hands. So I asked "What's in Your Shoebox?"( Using the Capital One "What's in Your Wallet" tone) They gave me a couple of basic things that they had either included or had purchased to include, but I had brought with me a "Great BIG bag" of things that could be packed into a shoebox (and I had worked really hard to make sure that some were unusual. So as they gave me ideas, I pulled out the items. "Soap"-"how about a washcloth to go with that?" "Yes" the kids replied. "Toothbrush" they suggested and I asked about toothpaste- "yes." "Hairbrush?"- "and hair ties and barrettes! " They wanted crayons- and I asked about a coloring book and paper- to which they added pencils and I asked about a sharpener and erasers. I started out trying to show the children that somethings need to go together. What good are crayons or colored pencils or markers- if you don't have something to write on?!  We looked at a few other school supplies and then moved to flip flops/ crocks and socks! How about a t-shirt- you all have a couple of t-shirts at home right? Imagine if you didn't own any? Not even 1? Or a hat- boys how many of you have multiply ball caps? You have more than 1 right?

How about a fishing kit for the older boys? Or for the older girls a sewing kit, but you need to include some fabric and scissors too!  Toys are good too! and then we started talking about what could and couldn't be in out shoeboxes. How about hand sanitizer- nope- it's a liquid. I know everyone likes bubbles- nope it's a liquid! (To this I pouted because we all liked having me blow bubbles in church but we can't send them.) How about balloons- YES they can go and they don't take up much room! What about gum?- Yes- just not food- it might spoil before it gets there! How about shampoo and shower gel- NO once again a liquid!. Better than bubbles - how about a Nerf Gun- to which the kids told me NO- it was violent and might remind them of the shooting that could be going on near them! Beach Balls are something that are big once they get air in them, but they are small enough to get into the box. Craft Supplies- how many of you like to make a craft?_ So we could put together or get craft kits to send- just remember no glue or paint, but fun foam crafts with glue dots, beads etc. all work really well!

I showed the kids that they could make a tic-tac-toe game to send, or a fun marbles activity, a bookmark, bracelets, necklaces- whatever they thought that they could share with a new friend!
So I asked them to think about and pray about "What's in Your Shoebox?!" To remember that we all love to get a gift and would we rather have 1 large gift or several medium sized gifts? Did we want to have something that would break easily or something that the kids might treasure.

With this we closed in prayer.

I don't know if I got the kids thinking, but I do know that I had some adults thinking about what they packed, because they came and told me so. But I can tell you that the kids that packed shoeboxes knew what was in them and they were things that they thought would be cool to have themselves.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cub Scout Bears Game for Citizenship and Respect

As we are looking at the Character Connection of Citizenship and Respect, Gary and I were trying to make this discussion more active. When we just have the boys sit and discuss it doesn't seem to sink in as well as when we have them doing something with the information. So tonight , we will be planning a game-
 Citizenship/ Respect True/False
 The boys will need to be in s straight line side by side. This is a true/false game. If the answer is true the boys will step forward. If the answer is false then they will step backwards. I made up 13 situations dealing with making decisions about being a good citizen or being respectful or both. The leader will pull a paper out of a hat or bag, and read it to the boys. The boys will then have to decide if the correct answer is true or false and move in the correct direction. Once the boys have moved from their straight line, we will discuss briefly each situation and what would have corrected the situation in order to be a good citizen or to show respect.
Attached is the situations that I made up, that you can print out, cut apart and use or come up with your own situations for the boys to determine. Have fun!

Citizenship/ Respect True-False Game Situations

I should sit still and wear my hat when the National Anthem is played.

 An Elderly woman is coming out of the Mall; I should open and hold the door for her.

 When my teacher is giving directions, I should talk to my neighbor.

 While watching a parade, I should stand when the United States Flag is presented.

 As part of a colorguard in a flag ceremony, it doesn’t matter if the Flag touches the ground.

 When I am out hiking, I should pick up any litter that I see along the trail.

 When my uncle starts telling his stories about the War that he served in, I should roll my eyes and put in my earbuds.

 Learning about the history of my family and my country should be important to me.

 I should start a fight when my basketball team doesn’t win the championship game.

 When my parents discipline me, I should throw a fit and argue with them.

 When my friend is being bullied, I should walk away and pretend that I didn’t see it happen.

 My parents want to go to a Historical Site for vacation, but I know that I will be bored out of my mind.

My neighbor asks for my help raking leaves and I happily go over and help without being paid.