Saturday, December 15, 2012

On Receiving


Last year Christmas came on a Sunday...and sitting in Church that Christmas listening to our pastor's sermon I was touched by the way children receive gifts. Yes, I know sometimes they can be greedy, and seem ungrateful, and they can be all too transparent when they don't like a gift. But I was struck by something else about their receiving I hadn't thought of before.

Our pastor talked about how the Shepherds came to Jesus with nothing...no gift in their hands like the wisemen who came later. He went on to say how we tend to have trouble receiving when we don't have anything to give back:  There's that awkward feeling when we are given a gift, and don't have one to give in return. But when we come to Jesus that's how we come...empty handed. And that's how he takes us.

As he spoke, I noticed the children sitting in the pew in front of me, and my own children beside me, and I thought of how they accept gifts. They accept them freely without any expectation that they should have anything to give back.  There's something very GOOD in that. I was reminded of the verse that said that if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to become like a child.

"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "
- Matthew 18: 2-4, NIV

That is the only way we can come to him, like a child.  Even the best we have could not "pay him back" for the gift he gave...so we come with nothing but gratitude in our hands...gratitude and repentance and trust.   And we receive the costly gift of salvation...and all the other numerous gifts He loves to give his children. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Blog Button - And a Short HTML Lesson.

I've been needing one of these for a while.  Finally got one!  Now, if you want to link to Waco Mom with a graphic, you can.  Just grab the link code in my sidebar or copy paste the code below!

Thought I'd color code it and take some time to let you know a little bit more about the code below so you can customize it if you want.


<a href="http://wacomom.blogspot.com"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S6IybzjSh0I/UOiQNeOZ4RI/AAAAAAAABuQ/gg1AdAsGcAg/s1600/WacoMom200.jpg" width="150" /></a>


OK, the red part is the part that makes it link to Waco Mom.  The green part is what makes the image show up.  The bolded parts are the URLS...the URL for Waco Mom in red bold, and the URL for the image in green bold.  The blue part is something you can use to change the size of the graphic.   You can change the number there to change the width.  The graphic by itself is 200 pixels wide...I don't suggest sizing it bigger than that since that could make it look bad (pixelized...like old computer graphics).  If you do need a larger graphic, you are welcomed to use the one below.  It's URL is listed right above it.  Just replace the image URL above (the one in green) with that one, and then use the width attribute to size it how you like.


 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-phMa1sq8fvk/UOiSnB0U1qI/AAAAAAAABuk/zF7e2woWM8Y/s1600/WacoMomB.jpg




Why didn't I just use that one in the button code?  Bandwidth...and it takes longer to load. 


If you want to make it centered, just add center tags (in bold black).

<CENTER><a href="http://wacomom.blogspot.com"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S6IybzjSh0I/UOiQNeOZ4RI/AAAAAAAABuQ/gg1AdAsGcAg/s1600/WacoMom200.jpg" width="150" /></a></CENTER>


Not sure where or how to add  this code?  In blogger, you can make a HTML/Java Script section in your sidebar, and then just copy paste this here.  :-)

I am storing some other buttons from this blog, which you are also welcomed to share, here:


If you want to add that...here's the code (centered):

<CENTER><a href="http://wacomom.blogspot.com/2015/08/dining-deals-waco.html"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uFqJmCIIDN0/VfG_1MMDDNI/AAAAAAAAEI0/s1e4tW9x42A/s1600/WacoDiningDeals.jpg" width="150" /></a></CENTER>





If you want to add that...here's the code (centered):

<CENTER><a href="http://wacomom.blogspot.com/search/label/VBS%20Directory"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C1NtanHTgwk/U62cVrsqSrI/AAAAAAAAC2g/39M0_X99uoQ/s1600/WacoVBSguide.png" width="150" /></a></CENTER>








Monday, December 10, 2012

Hard Freeze Coming Tonight

Well, that's it.  I've been able to keep alive peppers, scarlet runner beans, a tomato plant with one lone tomato, and even my basil (though they've been kinda sorry looking) through temps down to 28 degrees, but it's getting down to 23 tonight so I think it's time to throw in the towel.  Time to pick that pack of peppers, grab that lone tomato off it's vine (luckily it's starting to turn pink, so I think it will ripen off the vine), and salvage what's left of the basil.  I don't hold out for these lasting much longer, and I need to make way for a spring crop anyways. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Homestead Heritage Crafts Fair - NOV 23 - 25

Want to do something on Black Friday that doesn't involve getting up at the crack of dawn for full-contact shopping? The weekend after thanksgiving the Homestead Heritabe will be doing it's annual Crafts Fair. Its lots of fun...hay rides, crafts for the kids, really good food. 

This is from 2008, but it gives you an idea of what you can find there:





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fundraiser Night at Sonic - November 15

This Thursday 10% of all net sales at Sonic on 1512 Hewitt Drive will go to the PTA fund for Castleman Creek Elementary! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Speekee Spanish - Get 1 Month Free!


I've been trying to teach my kids Spanish from home.  It's been fun but a challenge, especially because I'm not fluent myself.  That's why I'm excited about having a chance to try out Speekee TV Spanish for Kids.  

Now, not having had a chance to try it out YET, I can't comment on it...but here's what Speekee has to say about their program:  


The world's number one Spanish program for young children.  Speekee TV Spanish for Kids is designed so that children can learn Spanish in their own time and at their own pace.  Easy Spanish learning through video, without effort with the multi award-winning Speekee videos PLUS real-time 'virtual' friendships with the Speekee characters. Available only via the web, Speekee TV Spanish for Kids is loved by children and their parents around the world. FastTrack curriculum for homeschoolers.  

My readers recieve ONE MONTH FREE of Speekee TV - Spanish For Kids Program - through this exclusive link.  http://www.speekee.co.uk/?usfg 

Here's a little example of their videos (sure wish I had had this song when I was teaching my kids the parts of the body in Spanish):





You can find more videos like this on the Speekee YouTube Page.

DISCLAIMER: As a Family Guide Blogger I get a chance to get a 6 months Speekee membership for posting this. Not sure if this is an "I definitely will get it" thing, or a "I might be one of the bloggers that get it" thing but had to give it a shot because this looks like a great program.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are You Voting?

I encourage everyone to vote, not just for the president, but for local and state candidates too.  But please don't vote blindly - research your vote!

Of course we all know who's running for president by now (except maybe some of the third party candidates).    If you don't know who's running locally you can find your candidates easily using the form listed on VoteSmart.org.   The only problem I found with it was that it couldn't determine your school district, so it listed ALL the districts.  Your school district is listed on your voter registration card or you can find it at Who Represents Me

General Texas Election Info:
Texas Elections Page

A few places to to do research on the candidates:

WacoTrib Election Page

Dallas Morning News Election Guide
(Good for Waco too, because you submit your address to find your candidates). 

Project Vote Smart

On the Issues

Free Voters Guide

Fact Check Sites:
These sites help you fact-check candidates statements.  I suggest reading the full articles if you have time since this gives you a really good understanding of the issues.  While these tend to focus on presidential and congressional candidates, you can occassionally find articles on local candidates.

Politifact Texas

Politifact Main Site

Fact Check.org

I'm linking up at...
 









Thursday, October 25, 2012

Temps are Dropping This Weekend! Protect Your Plants!

Funny Collectible Hayfever Flowe Gardening Cartoon Post Card
Post Card by Swisstoons

Temps may go below 40 degrees this weekend, so some of your plants may be in danger of "catching cold."  Below are some plants you'll want to protect (this is not even close to an exhaustive list, so if you're not sure...protect it).  Click here to learn how to protect plants from the cold.

Some pepper varieties may be harmed by temps under 55 degrees (or so one person at Garden Web Forums sas),  while others can handle fairly low temps.  If you're not sure, protect them.  

Basil leaves are damaged by temps under 45, and we're expecting 41 degrees Saturday night.  It  takes temps up to 33 to damage the stems--so they should survive, but you might want to cover them anyways.   Aloe will survive as low as 40 degrees, but I'd pull them in a day early just in case (probably your other succulents too).

Saturday its expected to get down to 39 degrees.    Temps below 33 degrees will kill beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peas, pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon...but I'm not sure what temps will damage them.  

Cold hardy veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, and turnip should do fine.  



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Featured Waco Crafter: Sapone Soaps and Candles

I'm going to start regularly featuring Waco crafters and artisans.  This week I'm spotlighting Bernadette Lee Bennett of Sapone Soaps and Candles.  Her father (who has his own shops: BBCreations and InspriationWorkshop) got her involved in crafting when she became disabled.  Together they design and make  novelty soaps and candles which they sell on Etsy.

"Crafting showed me I had more than one talent and I love making unique things. "

 - Bernadette Lee Bennett, Waco Crafter


Fall Leaves Soap Petals
$5.00

Candy Corn SoapSicle
$5.00

Candy Corn Tealights
$5.00

Spooky Teeth SoapSicles
$6.00

Cucumber Melon Tealight...
$5.00

Mini Autumn Leaf Soaps
$4.50

Wiches Brew Candle Tart...
$4.00

Boney Bones Soap
$5.00

Witches Brew Tealights
$5.00

Tiny Little Pumpkin Soa...
$4.00

Witchy Fingers Soap
$4.00

Cutey Skull Soap
$4.50

Pumpkin Cinnamon Tealig...
$5.00

Gold & Silver Star Soap...
$5.00

Jack o Latern Pumpkin S...
$6.00
Don't you just love  the fun Autumn and Halloween themed items she has in her shop?   I could see using some of these for party favors (if you were careful to let the guests know they weren't candy!)   And the scents sound just scrumptious!


Free Fall and Halloween Coloring Pages



The following are free Halloween and Fall coloring pages.  All except the first two are from the Dover Sampler, which usually expires after a month or so (so save them on your computer now before they're gone).  Happy Fall everyone!

Artistic Fall Leaf
Various Fall Coloring Pages
Bats 
Ghostly Tree
Pumpkin
Halloweenscapes (Various)
Various + Recipe
Halloween Coloring Activities

~~~

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Weekend - Waco Cultural Arts Fest

Waco_Cultural_Arts_Fest_2010-4038

The Waco Cultural Arts Fest is this weekend!  To quote a friend of mine, "WHEEE!  Art. Outside. For Free. And someone else cleans it up."  One of the craft they've had every year since I've gone are the fun crazy paper hats you see above.  There will also be masks, easel art, clay, bubbles and more!  Plus of course lots of arts and crafts to browse through!  A great chance to get your Christmas shopping done early!

 (Oh, and if you want to hit two fun events in one day, you can stop by the weekly Downtown Farmer's Market that will be going on just a couple blocks down the street from the Arts Fest from 9:00 til 1:00 on Saturday).  

Hewitt Sonic Fundraiser Tonight

If you stop by sonic in Hewitt tonight from 5:00 pm til closing 10% of the profits from your order will be going to help Castleman Creek Elementary tonight!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

HEB Read 3


Have some new or gently used kids books your children have outgrown?  HEB is collecting books for children in need as part of their read3 campaign to encourage parents to read to their children 3 times a week.  You can drop them off at bins found at your local HEB.  There's also some fun coloring pages and other goodies on the site.  Click here to learn more.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Lego Kids Quest Coming to Austin

 

Lego Kids Quest is coming to Austin!  Lots of creative fun for kids! If your kids are lego lovers, that's in driving distance (a kinda long drive, but still).  My kids would love this, but I don't think we can afford it this time. 

Dates and Info

Friday, August 31
4 pm - 8:30 pm
Saturday, September 1
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 2
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm
(Note: Each session offers the same exhibits and activities)

Where:

Austin Convention Center
500 East Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX 78701-4121
www.austinconventioncenter.com

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waco Gardening Tips: AUGUST



Flowers and Bulbs
August is the last chance to plant the dormant bulbs of late summer and fall blooming lycoris  and fall crocus (Colchicum), which begin blooming in September.  August is also a good time to buy and plant Salvias.

Roses and Shrubs
You should prune your roses this month to get them ready for the fall blooming season. The exception is ramblers, climbers, and some varieties of old garden roses, which bloom on growth made the year before prolifically in spring and early summer. These should only be pruned now if absolutely necessary now (it's better to prune these type of roses earlier in the summer). Now is a really bad time to plant roses and shrubs, as the August heat is almost certain to kill new transplants.

Trees
This month is your last chance to plant palm trees, which will need time to get established before the cold. The heat makes this a bad time to plant other types of trees.

Vegetables and Herbs
Even though the weather is hot, there are many vegetables you can plant this month.   September 1st is the last day you can plant cabbage, swiss chard, and bush beans and still expect a yield before the frost.  Find out what other plants are good to plant this month in our are here.


I'm just an amateur gardener...not an expert. Most of the information above came from the book Month to Month Gardening in Texas.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Waco Planting Tips for Late June, Early July

  • The first week of July is the last chance to plant okra, luffa, and peanuts.

  • Transplants of Tomatoes and Peppers should be planted no later than July 4th.

  • Plant pumpkins now through early July for Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns.

  • There are many other herbs and vegetables you can plant this month!  Find out what you can plant HERE.

(I found these tips in the book Month to Month Gardening in Texas).

    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    Waco Vacation Bible School Directory

    Vacation Bible School can be a fun summer activity for kids, where they get to play games and do crafts while learning more about Jesus.  There are many VBS programs going on in Waco and nearby areas this summer.  I'm making up a list...and I'm not finished, but since some of these start this week, I wanted to get them posted  (I'll have more listed for late June, July and August soon!).

    There's more listed here (they list summer missions programs too), but they only list the church name and dates, and I can't find more info on a lot of these.  Also, you can learn more about many of the VBS themes here.

    JUNE

    Highland Baptist Church
    Theme: Gold Rush
    Ages:  Pre-school (Age 4) though 5th Grade
    Dates:  June 4 - 8
    Time: 9:30 am - noon
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here 


    Columbus Avenue Baptist Church
    Theme:  Amazing Wonders Aviation

    Ages:  Kindergarten (completed) though 6th Grade
    Dates:  June 11 - 15
    Time: 9:00 am - noon
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here


    First Baptist Church Woodway
    Theme:  Praise

    Ages:  ?
    Dates:  June 11 - 15
    Time: 9:00 am - noon
    Location: Woodway
    More Info Here


    Dayspring Baptist Church
    Theme: Galilee By the Sea
    Ages: Pre-K though 6th Grade
    Dates: June 18-22
    Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm 
    Location:  Waco  (see map)
    Contact Tiffani at tiffani@ourdayspring.org for more info.
    Register Online Here


    Community Fellowship Church
    Theme:  Sky
    Ages: 4 - 12
    Dates: June 18-22
    Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm 
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here


    First Baptist Church of Waco 
    Theme: Babylon (Story of Daniel)
    Dates: June 18 - 22
    Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
    Location: Waco, TX,
    More Info Here


    Trinity Lutheran Church at Badger Ranch
    Theme: Sky
    Ages: Age 3 - Grade 5
    Dates: June 23 - 29
    Times:  (Light supper served before VBS each night at 5:45 pm)
    VBS Times: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Location: Woodway
    More Info Here 



    Woodway United Methodist Church
    Theme: Overboard
    Ages: ?
    Dates: June 24 - 28
    Time: 6:00 - 8:15 pm
    Location: Woodway
    More Info Here


    Emanuel Baptist Church
    Theme: Amazing Wonders
    Ages:  Nursery to 6th grade
    Dates:  June 24 - 28
    Time: Not Stated
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here


    Alliance Bible Church
    Theme: Operation Space
    Ages:  ?
    Dates:  June 25 - 29
    Time: 6:15 pm - 8:45 pm
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here


    First Baptist Church of Gholson
    Theme: Amazing Wonders
    Ages:  Pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade
    Dates:  June 25 - 29
    Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here


    La Vega Community Church
    Theme: Praise
    Ages: 4 years old - 6th Grade
    Dates: June 25 - 29
    Time: 6:00 - 8:15 pm
    Location: Woodway
    More Info Here


    St. Louis Catholic Church
    Theme: Sky
    Ages:  Pre-school (Age 4) though 5th Grade
    Dates:  June 25 - 29
    Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
    Location: Waco
    More Info Here


    JULY



    First Baptist Church McGregor
    Theme: Space Quest
    Ages:  Not Stated
    Dates:  July 8 - 13
    Time: 6:15-8:30 p.m
    Location:  McGregor
    More Info Here


    St. Jerome Catholic Church
    Theme: Operation Overboard
    Ages:  Not Stated
    Dates:  July 8 - 13
    Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here


    Western Heights Baptist Church
    Theme: Amazing Wonders
    Ages:  ages 4 - completed 6th grade
    Dates:  July 8 - 13
    Time: 9:00 am - noon
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here


    Cogdell Memorial United Methodist Church
    Theme: Operation Overboard
    Ages:  Not Stated
    Dates:  July 15 - 19
    Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here


    Peace Lutheran Church
    Theme: Amazing Desert Journey
    Ages:  Not Stated
    Dates:  July 15 - 19
    Time:
       Kick Off Carnival:  July 15, ( 4:00  - 5:50 pm)
       VBS:   6:00 - 8:15 pm
    Location:  Hewitt
    More Info Here


    Brazos Meadows Baptist Church
    (Location:  Castleman Creek Elementary)
    Theme: Unknown
    Ages:  Completed KG - 6th Grade
    Dates:  July 16 - 19
    Time: Not Yet Set
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here 


    Second Baptist Church - Woodway
    Theme: Rockadilly
    Ages: Age 5 - grade 5
    Dates:  July 16 - 19
    Time: 9:00 am - Noon
    Family Night June 19, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Location: Woodway
    More Info Here 


    Central Presbyterian Church
    Theme: Living Waters for the World
    Ages:  Entering KG - 6th Grade
    Dates:  July 23 - 26
    Time: 9:00 am - Noon
    Location:  Waco
    More Info Here








    If you would like your church's VBS added, please let me know.


    And here's a great article by another Waco Mom about VBS


    Friday, June 1, 2012

    GARDENING TIP: Time to Plant Pumpkins!


    Yep, that's right! Pumpkins! If you want to have mature pumpkins in time for Halloween, you need to start planting them now! Pumpkins take three to four months to mature, so you want to plant from June to early July, depending on the variety you're planting and how big you want your pumpkin (the longer they grow, the bigger they get!).  Learn more about planting pumpkins here.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Pirate Treasure


    Summer is coming...the perfect time for Piraty fun!  I've rousted up some pirate freebies, mostly from the Dover Sampler (which are up for a limited time).  Download them while you can to use later!

    Free Coloring Pages
    More Fun Free Stuff

    Recommended Pirate Book  (sorry, this one isn't free)

    Handbook of Pirates by Terry Deary

    I got this his fun nitty-gritty true but still hilarious history of pirates for my 8 year old.  He loved it!  Might not go well much younger than that, as it's recommended for ages 9 and up.  :-)