Category Archives: Family News

Feed My Starving Children

Recently I joined Christopher, Joshua, and Ruthanne as a Feed My Starving Children volunteer, packing nutritious meals for third world starving children. Christopher has done this with Joshua before, but this was Ruthanne and my first time. Grades K-2 require one adult per child. I was thrilled to be part of their team.

The whole Feed My Starving Children packing process is amazing with multiple stations set up in a gym type setting in a church where 8 to 12 people at each one pack meals consisting of vitamins, soy powder, dried vegetables, and rice—measured and weighed for individual packets. Packing is fast-paced, loud, and motivating. After all, we were packaging food that would feed starving children. 

I held the bag under the funnel for the ingredients to be added to, and Ruthanne weighed the bag. If it was overweight, she took some out, and if it was underweight, she put some in until it fell in the correct weight range. Christopher and Joshua manned the station where each bag is sealed. 

Our volunteer slot was for two hours but with training and cleanup, we probably packed meals for 1.25 hours. The group we were with packed enough meals to feed 167 children for one year. 

You can find out about Feed My Starving Children events in your area by visiting this link.

Note: One consideration is that the music is loud and not as conservative as many might prefer.

Trusting in Jesus,

“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and
filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are
needful to the body; what doth it profit?” James 2:16 

Favorite Thanksgiving Books for Children

Happy Monday, y’all! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Anna Marie is sharing her favorite Thanksgiving books. There’s enough time for you to find a copy (either purchasing or maybe your local library has them!) to read with your kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on God’s blessings and focus on thankfulness. It’s also an incredible opportunity to talk with our children about the founding of our nation by a group of Christians who were determined to follow God as they saw laid out in Scripture. They were unwilling to compromise or subject their children to the influence of an ungodly culture. They were willing to endure hardship for the sake of Christ and sang praises to the Lord in the midst of situations I myself could hardly imagine. There are many examples of God’s hand in bringing them to America and providing Squanto to help them learn survival in the wilderness where they settled. We want to be recounting these stories to our children in the same spirit as Psalm 78:2-4:

“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”

I love reading books to the children about Thanksgiving as it approaches but have had a really hard time finding those that give glory to the Lord or talk about the true reason for the Pilgrims coming. So far I’ve come across two that I really like and wanted to share with you.

This is the Feast

This is the Feast (Amazon links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon’s Affiliate link, and Titus2 earns from qualifying purchases, see the Privacy Policy), by Diane Z. Shore, has beautifully crafted, rhythmic flow to the poetic wording that describes the journey and settling of the Pilgrims. I feel like she very tactfully handles the realities of life on the Mayflower and the illnesses that took the lives of many through that first winter in Plymouth, not glossing over them but not being too graphic for young readers. Interspersed through the story are small doxologies of praise to the Lord, such as, “Thanks be to God, our Help and our Guide!” The illustrations are absolutely stunning, with vivid detail and color. I also like how basic identification of some of the trees and plants are woven in. All in all, I would say this is my favorite Thanksgiving book ever.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving (Titus2’s Amazon’s Affiliate link, see the Privacy Policy), by Eric Metaxas, is an amazing story of how God uses trials for His own purposes and glory! It follows the life of Squanto being kidnapped from his Patuxet village and sold as a slave upon arrival in Spain, purchased by monks who taught him about God, then sent him to England where he learned English before finally returning to his village ten years after his kidnapping—only to find that a plague had taken the lives of every Patuxet. He sorrowfully wondered why God would have allowed this when shortly after, the Pilgrims arrived and settled in Patuxet. Knowing their language and knowing the land, he was able to help them learn the best ways to hunt and cultivate. I don’t know how much of the story has been “enhanced,” but regardless, it is a good reminder that we don’t know what God might use trials in our lives for, and we can trust that He does indeed work all things together for good!

Another thing we learned about the pilgrims is that they loved to sing the Psalms, often versified. I’ve been enjoying singing some with the children such as Psalm 23 (see this Hymnary link) and Psalm 100 (Hymnary link). We also have been singing the verbatim Psalm 119 that we have been learning together. Singing Scripture back to God in worship is powerful!

Over the River and Through the Wood

Since I’m talking about Thanksgiving books, I’m also including Over the River and Through the Wood (Titus2’s Amazon’s Affiliate link, see the Privacy Policy), by Lydia Marie Child and illustrated by Matt Tavares. It has nothing to do with the Pilgrims but is a beautifully illustrated story based on the Thanksgiving-themed poem. Our children love following the family in their horse and sleigh over the frozen river and through snow-drifted woods to their grandparents’ house, and it is a perfect book to cuddle up and read on a cold day!

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving season.

Because the LORD our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure.
His truth at all times firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure.

~Anna Marie

Gigi reading to the children

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and
the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5:20

Operation Christmas Child In Action

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week is right around the corner: November 18-25. To find a location near you, visit OCC’s site.

Buying gifts for a shoebox and then packing it is a great way to encourage your kids to share with others and truly understand the meaning that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. You can also include a letter and picture in your box. The shoebox will be a gift to treasure for a child who doesn’t have much. When the boxes are handed out, they include a little booklet called The Greatest Gift. The Gospel message is shared, and that’s exciting. Think about it. A Christmas gift with an eternal impact.

OCC box preparation is in gear around here. From rolling washcloths and securing them with hair ties (practical), to putting together the boxes, to starting the assembly line.

I’d love to hear if you’re involved with OCC!

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion
one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
1 Peter 3:8

Happy Veteran’s Day!

The older man shot up from his seat, stood at attention, and saluted as the American flag marched on in the parade. After it went by, he sat down. Each flag that approached, he repeated the process. It did not matter if someone was carrying it or if it was on a vehicle. He stood.

Fast forward a few years. The elderly man, now fighting late-stage Parkinson’s and dementia, sat in his lawn chair, ready to watch the parade. As a flag came close, he tried to stand, but his arms and legs wouldn’t cooperate. His wife and daughter softly encouraged him that it was okay not to stand. With reluctance, he sank back into his seat. There are times in battles that soldiers have to retreat, and the time had come for this Vietnam veteran to retreat.

That man was my grandpa. He loved his country, and he almost gave his life for it. During the Tet Offensive, a rocket dropped into the building he was in. The man near Grandad did not make it, and Grandad’s injuries were severe. He found out later that the first helicopter who tried to rescue him was shot down. Everyone on board died. They gave their lives for those they were trying to help.

Shortly before Grandad left for the tour in Vietnam where he was wounded.

Freedom is not free. It costs many their lives. May we not take for granted the freedom we have in this great country of ours. If you see a veteran today, please thank him or her for their service.

Grandad wasn’t a believer when that rocket hit the building in January of 1968. His life was spared, and he surrendered to Jesus on October 27th, 1978. Grandad is now with his Savior.

May we take time this Veteran’s Day to remember those who have served our country, and some gave their all.


Grandad and GiGi right before their 50th anniversary

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another,
as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:12-13

Autumn Leaves For the Kids

It’s become a yearly aunties’ playtime to rake leaves from our big tree out back and let the kids enjoy them.

The backyard rang with lots of happy laughter and blurs of leaf throws. Sometimes the girls would have to call for a pause while the pile got re-raked. At the end, leaves were bagged up.


I guess Lydia and Ruthie are preparing for the leaf shower.
Benji preferred to hang out with Ellie and me for awhile. I loved this capture.
The happy crew

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights, with
whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
James 1:17