Memorial Day

American-Flag-300pxI grew up taking part in a special service followed by a parade and a picnic on Memorial Day. We always listened to the words of the Gettysburg address and other words about freedom.

It’s also called Decoration Day because people place flowers and flags on the graves of soldiers.  It honors people who gave their lives serving our country in the military. It started after the Civil War and began with placing flowers on graves of soldiers. Th Civil War had more American deaths (620,000) than any other war. In WW2, the second highest number of deaths, we lost 415,000 Americans. Continue reading

Vegas: Not Just “Sin City”

Vegas For Families

Vegas For Families

Recently, my husband and I, along with a few of our friends, went to Las Vegas for a long weekend. Before the trip, several acquaintances looked at me in shock when I told them I was going to “Sin City.” What many people do not realize is that, although there are many venues in Las Vegas that rightfully give it the infamous nickname of “Sin City,” most attractions in Las Vegas are actually family friendly.

We attended the “Michael Jackson One Cirque du Soleil” show, which is playing at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Resort. It was amazing! The show features all the hits of Michael Jackson, with acrobats, dancers, and even a Michael Jackson look-a-like who has Michael’s dance moves down perfectly. A screening of the “Thriller” music video had the audience on their toes. The most memorable part of the show, though, was when Michael appeared “on stage” as a hologram dancing with the other dancers. It was eerie but amazing nonetheless.

There are many other attractions in Las Vegas that I’d recommend for families, such as the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, the VooDoo Zipline Package, any Laser Tag and 3D Mini Golf venues, and of course, Madame Tussaud’s. The newest attraction is the High Roller Observation Wheel, which offers a 360-degree view of Las Vegas. At 550 feet, it is taller than the London Eye. You step into an air-conditioned pod that can hold 40 people, but on average, there are only about 12 people per pod!

To the surprise of most, Las Vegas probably has more PG-rated entertainment than any other city except Orlando. In fact, the hotels often cater to children. The Golden Nugget hotel has a three-story waterslide that runs through a shark tank. The New York New York Hotel has a 67-mph roller coaster that takes off from the lobby and rockets around the hotel. This hotel further boasts that it has one of the biggest arcades in the city. Meanwhile, the Excalibur Hotel, although it is showing its age, offers many fun activities for children, including the Fun Dungeon and Tournament of Kings. Parents will also appreciate that this hotel is friendlier on the wallet than most other hotels.

The only downfall for me in visiting Las Vegas is the flight time from Florida. It’s a five and a half hour flight, and I don’t fly well. But other than that, I always have a great time and enjoy seeing the many families who are visiting the city with their young children in tow. Las Vegas really is a magical place; it just depends on what you are looking for there.

Isaiah 61:3 describes how we will one day receive a crown of beauty instead of ashes. However, we should also recognize that there is often beauty among the ashes here on earth. We simply need to look for it.

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Songs about Heaven

Starry Night with Girl10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…Blast Off!

♫ Somewhere in outer space,
God has prepared a place
For those who trust him and obey…♫

Do you remember this song from your Sunday School days?

I can’t find out who first wrote this song, or when it was written either, but I do know it has been around a long time! Continue reading

Reaching young parents and their children

Pray & PlayHow many churches today lament that they have no children or youth in their aging congregation? Sadly, in my small community this is all too common a problem. Recently, however, I discovered two resources that made my eyes light up with possibilities.

Pray & Play: playgroup with a purpose is a book of devotionals for small groups of young mothers with preschool children. These devotions are short and insightful helping both mother and child to grow in their understanding of God and to help develop healthy relationships with others. Play activities are included for mothers and their children to interact with each other making it fun for everyone.

Any Christian woman with a heart for young mothers and their children could initiate such a group. The meeting place could be in a backyard, a playground or park, or in a church or home. Keeping it simple and natural is key to getting off to a good start. Continue reading