Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Treat For The Skin!

My mom recently won an assortment of bath products from the Hick Chicks Soap Barn at a homeschooling mom's party, and I have to say I am silently thanking her for it! Mrs. Dalyn's soaps smell heavenly and are so smooth on your skin. Mmm mmm good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Courtship Stories

If you're like me, you really like hearing about love stories that, well, "start" with a happy ending. Here are a few that I've enjoyed:

~Chris and Stephanie's Full Story, told by Chris's mom. To see their story up to the engagement, check it out on their blog.
~Abigail and Taylor's Story (Abigail's younger sister, Hannah, has been my pen pal for about 6 years!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Way Back When...

In 1908 when my father, Sumner Peter Hailey, was 17, he and his two brothers, Cecil 19 years and Homer 14 years, traveled from their parent's farm near Guild, Missouri to purchase cattle. The three traveled 271 miles by horse back, to Kansas city, Missouri. About the time the Hailey boys arrived in Kansas City, a man was robbed and murdered. There was a witness to the crime who hid under a wooden raised sidewalk. From this hiding place he could only see the killer's boots. My dad was seen in town and arrested for the murder, because the boots he wore were the same color as the man's who commited the crime. The sheriff also thought that the money my father had to purchase cattle was the stolen money.

After the arrest, Cecil and Homer got on their horses and rode back home, to tell their parents what had happened to Sumner, and to get bail money. While they were gone, a sheriff of a small town near Kansas City arrested a man for a minor crime. It ended up that he had the same boots as the murderer and the stolen money on him. The man confessed to both crimes, and my father was set free to go home.

Later in his life, he served in World War 1 and was married to my mother, Pernella "Nellie" Mitchell Hailey, and they were married for 66 years. They had four children: my sisters Thelma and Ilene, and me and my twin brother. My father lived to the age of 94, and was never arrested again.

Story by:

My Great Grandfather Mitchell Dan Hailey, as told to my grandfather, Bud Buckles.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ways to Minister to the Elderly

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding" Job 12:12 (NASB)

"Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly." Leviticus 19:32

While working at the retirement center, I met many elderly men and women. I noticed that each and every one had stories to tell, advice to give and knowledge to share. And, each and every one were touched by the smallest kind gesture, word or act. I also noticed that other young people that worked there acted as if their job, whether handling the upkeep of the lawn and gardens, serving food or wheeling a wheelchair, was the most boring and terrible job one could have. There were no smiles, cheery hellos, conversation starters or signs of respect shown. Instead, there were eye rolls, sighs and statements spoken that sounded like they could have been directed to a child who wouldn't know a bird from a fish.

To be honest, I was shocked and saddened. Who do we teenagers think we are? Certainly not smarter than these other human beings who have lived fifty, sixty years more than us? ....I hope not. Out of all the generations living right now, we are the ones that, for the most part, know the least.

You and I, as young people who are aiming to serve the Lord, let's do something a little extra to reach out. It doesn't take much; just a little time and energy. And we, the young and unmarried, seem to have much of that. Wouldn't you agree? I know that many of your families probably already do something for the elderly, but I thought that I'd post a few things that us girls could do.

1. Befriend a sweet, lonely lady you meet (either at a retirement center, or the grocery store :) and become pen-pals. If you're like me, you probably have a good assortment of them already, so you know how letter writing works. The lady I helped loved getting mail, and frequently enjoyed sending out little encouragement cards to her friends as well. Think about how appreciative someone might be if you started writing to them, asking for cooking tips, old stories and childhood memories.

2. Drop off a dessert. If you personally know the person, make sure you know if they have any dietary restrictions. Not everyone does, however, and since many facilities accept donated treats, make a few dozen cookies to drop off (of course being sure to call first).

3. Many nursing homes and retirement centers have chapel times, offered by different churches around town. If you play an instrument, and your church or homeschool group doesn't do this, why not volunteer a little of your time and play (or sing!) for the residents? At the retirement center I was at, a lady would play the piano twice a week during breakfast. Everyone enjoyed it!

4. Offer to visit a lady's home once a week or so, and bring things for manicures, card making or something else she might enjoy doing with you. If you wanted, you could even go big time and volunteer to do it for all the ladies in a retirement or senior center.

5. Have a cards night, either at your house, an elderly person's or retirement home. Many elderly people love playing cards!
And one more idea: Offer to clean once or twice a week for someone. Being young and agile, we're a much better canadite for loading the dishwasher or scrubbing out the shower than a person who has a hard time just walking. One more way to practice our "homemaker" skills!

"Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over..." Luke 6:38

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Young Maiden's Daybook - Entry Number 9

Today... is December 22, also known as Tuesday, which is also known as the day I need to catch up on school, sweep and mop the hallways and stairs, mail cards for my grandma and write a few thank you notes.
Outside my window... I see ice, ice, ice... and a little sun peeking out of the clouds.

I am thinking... about the big box of homemade cookies and chocolates my uncle brought over yesterday. So nice!

I am thankful for... a quiet, cozy morning.

I am wearing... a tan sweater an a long, princess cut skirt. (I love skirts and dresses in princess cut!)

I am reading... So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. That book is a God-send.

I am creating... nothing at the moment. I just finished putting a new nine patch on a quilt where the other one had ripped for an elderly lady down the street yesterday. Once we get our sewing machine fixed, I'd like to make some headway on my own!

One of my favorite things... holiday tea in the morning to calm down that screaming throat.

For education this week... the usual is in store. I've got to practice extra hard for piano, though! Fur Elise, even the simplified version, is definitely a challenging for me. A E A, E E G#...

A keeper at home skill I am using/learning... how to have patience while sewing things by hand. Ugh!

A spiritual lesson I am learning... to be kind and respectful when someone is speaking harshly or is upset at you, even when it isn't your fault.

A godly character trait I plan to work on... kindness.

Scripture I am memorizing... I've backslid on that for a few months, so this week I am reviewing the verses I had previously memorized.

I am praying for... my cousin Kimmy.

For the rest of the week... I don't have much going on. No music lessons, appointments or places to go until Sunday - my weekly shopping/coffee date with a friend down the street.

A picture I'd like to share...

My brother when he opened his gift from me for Hanukkah - a camo bear. :)

Care to participate? Do so here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Was There Advanced Technology in Past Civilizations?

"Popular culture has led us to believe that ancient man was primitive - originating from primates and steadily improving through a process of time and chance. But does that agree with reality? What does the evidence left behind from past cultures tell us? Was ancient man simple and primitive as we have been taught, or did the level of science and technology existing thousands of years ago rival, or even surpass, the level of ours today in the 20th century? ~Donald E. Chittick in The Puzzle of Ancient Man

The above book has really strengthened my faith. I began reading it a couple of weeks ago as my history curriculum, and I've really enjoyed it.

One of the main points that Dr. Chittick makes is that men did not begin living in caves and beating on their chests. Our race began with God. He formed and made us and Adam learned from Him. A little ways down the line: "His brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron." Genesis 4:21 and 22.
Hmmm... if a couple of men in only the fourth chapter in the beginning are creating things from brass and iron, as well as writing music and inventing musical instruments, people had to have had a high form of intellect. We know that we were created the way we are we did not evolve to the level we are at today. In The Puzzle of Ancient Man, the author gives a very convincing argument toward this end. He sites many different ancient civilizations.

When describing several wonders of the world, things that have stumped people for centuries, he has a whole different view of how they came about. He quotes respected and knowledgeable authors, professionals in those fields of study, Christian and secular. When referring to the huge, mile upon mile sketches drawn on the Nazca desert, he quotes an author,

"Regarding the methods employed, the designs of Nazca prove that their creators possessed a highly developed degree of abstract thought. The task of transferring to a desert the figure of a bird, or any other animal, is one that cannot be carried out by a mere enthusiast. It demands rather complicated geometric methods which alone can explain the extraordinary regularity and symmetry of the drawings as well as the proper proportions among their elements. It is quiet certain that the figures of Nazca were not the result of simple visual ad-hoc method."

This is one of many places that others have seen the anomaly of ancient man exhibiting technology that we never thought possible coming from those times. The tower of Babel, Stonehenge, The Incas and Mayans, the great pyramids and many other things are explained in this book.

We think we have come so far. And, really, the internet alone is an amazing thing. But, who is to say that people before us did not do equally amazing things? We have little of what was here before the flood. Imagine if today the flood happened. Everything was wiped away. Nothing was left but one family to go out and repopulate, reinvent and rebuilt. Yes, someone could have brought their lap top and ipod on board, but what if they weren't computer experts (Noah's family were carpenters, after all they spent their whole lives building an ark) and couldn't replicate them? These things would be lost. What they did have, they'd pass on to their children and their children's children, but each society would become experts at different things. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

It's so easy to go with the flow and say, "Sure, I believe in Creationism." But, you need to able to defend why you believe what you do. This book is a surefire way to build your knowledge and understanding as well as increase your ability to back your stance. It's a good read.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Back!

After a nice, long break from Mr. Time Sucker, I am happy to say that he is now sucking my time again. These last few months have been crazy busy for me, but thankfully things are slowly, but steadily, starting to slow down.

At the end of August we started back up in school, which was quickly followed by a few breaks due to the Feast of Tabernacles, among other things. In September I started taking voice and piano lessons, which have been rather challenging, but I am thankful for the opportunity to develop in the area of music. It's something I've wanted to do for a while!

For about the last two months I've been working for a lady at a retirement center down the street from our house, for about eight to ten hours a day. When she originally hired me she had recently fallen out of a van and seriously bruised herself, making it hard for her to get around. Thankfully she is now back up and going again, and doing well. While it was a struggle at first to get used to not being at home, I learned to manage the time that I had wisely to get things done when I was.
The whole "job" was rather a large blessing and answer to somewhat of an unspoken prayer. Just the week before my mom was called up about it, a friend and I were talking about how we were in a bit of a hard situation, because while we wanted to earn a little money, we didn't necessarily want to be fast food girls. I mentioned that it would be nice to learn something that I would be able to do close to my home, or if possible, right at home. Then, this temporary caregiver job was dropped in my lap, which in turn has given me the experience to possibly explore the job as one. While I don't think I would choose do a full time job like this, it is a great opportunity to be able to work for an elderly lady once or twice a week, either right down the street, or someplace else.

Something that also took place in November was an Operation Christmas Child party my mom and I put on. About ten girls came with an assortment of moms, and we surpassed our goal of twenty gift boxes by three. We were able to get a few stores to donate money to help with buying the supplies, and the rest were brought by the girls, myself and Grandma. :)

These first few weeks of December have mostly been spent getting back into the roll of things at home. Also, we are currently right in the middle of celebrating the Festival of Lights, which carries the joys of latke making, dreidle playing and gift giving. Yes, it's true. I'm glad to be back!