Have educational safety talks with kids before school starts



Now is the time to talk as a family about safety education as school starts Aug. 20. Don’t take for granted you know your child and what they would do.

The other night I was watching a show where a person asked a parent if they thought their child would go with him if he approached them. The answer was no. As the man with the puppy approached the children, off they went. While we never think it can happen to our own kids or even happen in our community, it can and does all across American in all sized towns.

I do not want to scare any parent, but this is just one scenario. Puppies, candy, toys and today electronic devices are big attractions.

For those who drive, it is a good time to remind them of the laws. Some may notice there are new school zone signs up as well as crosswalk and other signs.

In this week and last week law enforcement are giving you some warnings. Review giving pedestrians the right-of-way in the cross walks, bus signals and even for the young drivers, permit hours.

These are all great starting points in talking with your family. Don’t forget, young or old, people get distracted. But if you are behind the wheel, pay attention. No texting and driving and all the other things that can distract a driver.

Let’s make this school year a safe and enjoyable one. Accidents happen, but a little prevention now can help.

Accidents hurt more than one family, but all those involved.

Something else can hurt and is much harder to see. There is no blood, scrapes, tears, broken bones or anything but an inside pain. It is bullying, and it’s real and can happen without you knowing it. Make sure your child knows and lets you know.


When to count an overwhelming season of life as a blessing



There come times in life when we don’t feel up to the task set before us.

It’s those moments or days or weeks or months when things just keep coming at you and coming at you and you don’t know the answers to the situations and you don’t know what to do and it’s all just too much and you just

The thing is, I think God actually wants us to feel the enormity of those moments. It’s not that He wants us to feel insignificant or under-qualified, unprepared or inconsequential. Rather I believe He wants to use these times to demonstrate to us how much bigger is He than the overwhelming stuff that’s blocking our view of Him.

The writer of Psalm 8 had the right idea.

“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place­—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—the flocks and herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”

To think that such a God, the creator of all, looked down and thought the world would be better off with little old me in it too just blows me away.

There are numerous scriptures that shows God pays attention to the little things, that He cares about what you care about (Psalm 37:4, Philippians 4:19, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 5:7, etc.—look ‘em up).

Yes, the God I serve is a big God and I know He’s all-powerful, but sometimes I forget how much He actually cares for me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us God has a plan and that plan is for our good.

How I forget at times that my Heavenly Father—the infinite Creator God, someone outside of time itself—has a plan for me and a plan for you. It’s a plan He’s constantly working to bring about and a plan that is far better than any we could ever come up with. I need to be reminded of that sometimes and that’s why I think God allows me to get overwhelmed sometimes.


It’s a long way down the holiday road



Did you ever watch Vacation? For us, it’s one of those movies that we have to watch every time we see that it’s on. No matter what else is on tv, it can’t stand up to Vacation.

It came out the year we started dating and maybe John knows, but I couldn’t tell you if we saw it together when we first watched it.

And I know just what makes it so good. It wasn’t at all like my family, yet it was. For years Mom, Dad and all five of us kids were crammed into a six passenger car. Sometimes Grandma was with us too. Then we got a great big, wood paneled station wagon.

While the Griswolds weren’t fans of their new car, we loved ours! Suddenly a couple of us could be out of reach of Mom and Dad. Of course that also meant that we were closer to the speakers, which Dad had cranked to his country stations. And the smoke reached us all. I don’t think my parents were anything like Clark and Ellen.

We always wanted to drive to Disney Land but it was just too far to go during SDEA. That was the magical time of year that we had a few days off of school and things were slow enough on the farm that we could get away. We didn’t go anywhere exotic or stay in hotels—except that one time when there was an ice storm and our car wouldn’t make it up the hill to get through this one town in Wyoming. But that’s another story.

Our destination was almost always Colorado. We had relatives there. Until writing this just now, I hadn’t made the connection between them and Cousin Eddie. Realistically, we were more likely their Cousin Eddie.

As for a dog, nothing like Dinky tied to the bumper. But one year we did take some poodle puppies along. Both sets of Colorado aunts and uncles wanted a puppy from our dog’s latest litter. Interesting fact: Puppies are really cute but they lose their attraction when you’re cooped up with them for several hours while they are car sick.

Looking at pictures from those family vacations is pretty interesting. Us girls often had matching outfits in different colors. And my brother had some interestingly patterned pants and crazily striped shirts. The year we went to Estes Park, Mom had made us ponchos. They really were great! In our defense, it was the 70s.

I wonder if my kids like those movies. Maybe they’ve never seen any of them. Someday I’ll get the nerve to ask them for their memories of our vacations.

I’m sure John and I were much cooler than Clark and Ellen.

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