Game Coordinator: Use twenty 8" by 11" sheets of paper to prepare in advance cartoonish colored sketches of Turkeys or Santas or Easter Bunnies which fill up the whole sheet. Cut out the individual seasonal characters. Number them 1-20 on the front with a bold marker. On the back write A-T, not coordinating 1 with … Continue reading Spot the Turkeys (Santas, Easter Bunnies, etc.) Game Instructions
If I asked you to participate in the game of FIND THE MISFIT in the following list: The Three Kings, a Wise Guy with a Bow Tie, Wise Men from the East, and The Magi, what would you answer? Let’s examine a familiar Christmas carol, the Holy Bible, cultural history, and family tradition. Then let’s … Continue reading Wise Guy With A Bow Tie!
During Thanksgiving week out-of-town family members travel to my house. While they are in town we have a special family day when those who live nearby and those who live at a distance have a chance to be together. We talk, laugh, share good food, get my out-of-the-box Christmas tree set up, and have creative … Continue reading My Family’s Thanksgiving
My Christmas Cactus always starts blooming around Thanksgiving. To me it is the symbol of life and beauty in the midst of winter. Find life and beauty wherever you are and share it with others. Connie Carlisle Polley, 2018conniecarlislepolley.com
I recently lost a cousin who was my age. We both married fairly young, pursued middle class careers, raised children in suburban homes, and later lovingly invited grandchildren into our lives. Her death has caused me to reflect on what I have accomplished thus far in my life and what my future goals are. The … Continue reading The Silence of a Tomb
Record numbers of voters recently went to their polling sites and in many places stood in line for an appreciable amount of time. They were willing to wait in order to exercise their right to elect persons they felt would represent their concerns on health care, jobs, immigration, crime and more. Most voted their conscience … Continue reading Voting Dilemma
Where do we turn when there is violence all around us? Where do we run to feel safe when there are those who relish shattering the safety of our schools, the sanctuary of our places of worship, and the normalcy of our marketplaces? Run to family and friends and console one another with compassionate words … Continue reading Words of a Friend in Times of Violence
Surely I'm not the only one who has ever done something outlandishly stupid. Maybe you have, too. My now adult son and I look back on an incident that happened when he was ten years old and still laugh as though it is a joke we are hearing for the first time. Growing up, my … Continue reading Certainly Not A Pipe Dream!
We are heirs to a kingdom! / Born from on high! / Children of a Mighty King, / That cannot be denied. / We are heirs to a kingdom! / Filled with God's majesty! / Let no one try to hold us down. / We're heirs, you and me!...
A restless son left his Dad's embrace / To live life on his own. / He turned away from his Father's house / And love he once had known. / He fulfilled the dreams of each desire / But still ached with emptiness. / So, regretting wrongs, he went back home / And smiled through tears when his Dad said...
We seemingly live in a CULTURE OF EXTREME FATIGUE. It is evident from harried moms and dads with busy work and family responsibilities all the way down to our young school children. An example of this is a recent exchange my youngest grandchild had with the priest at her school. While my two granddaughters and … Continue reading Culture of Extreme Fatigue
In times of turmoil around us--hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, mass flooding, unparalleled fires--and within us--sickness, disease, death, accidents, addiction, poverty, crime--many individuals cry out, "Where is God?" Particularly anguished are families who lose innocent children. This is not a new question. And I'm sure I don't have new answers. I certainly will not have answers … Continue reading Where Are You?
The innocent honesty of small children lends charm even to life’s not-so-pleasant inevitabilities. I hope you enjoy the following scenarios. One day when my three children, my mother-in-law, and I were having lunch at a modestly-priced restaurant, it became apparent that my four-year-old daughter was staring intently at her grandmother’s face. “What are you looking … Continue reading Gems Out of the Mouth of a Babe
I had the good fortune of coming from a large extended family when I was growing up. There were so many aunts and uncles and lots of cousins--so numerous that I'd have to stop and count to give you exact numbers! And, on my Mom's side of the family, we all lived within close proximity. … Continue reading Here’s To Happy Trails
Keeping pace in a crowded race / With plans laid out for my stride, / I saw off the path a wounded heart / And I almost passed it by. / Yet while others ran on, I walked alone / Not knowing what price I’d pay / For walking a road never taken before / But with love, I looked for a way...
In my family when we had pets they were always dogs. The first dog I remember had a shiny black coat and dark, dark eyes. He was actually my grandmother's, but since we lived with her from time to time, by extension he belonged to us all. His name was Sparky, and my older brother … Continue reading The Passing of General
Over the years I have sung in a number of church choirs. In fact, Wednesday evening rehearsal, Sunday morning warm-up/choral leadership of worship, and participation in seasonal musical cantatas are a part of my DNA. As such, I have been under the leadership of numerous music directors. Here's a poem of appreciation I wrote for … Continue reading Opus Just Begun / Still More Work To Come
My playful ditty BIONIC NONNY [pronounced NAH'nee} explores the wonderful age of medical miracles in which we live! What surgeons can repair in a broken or degenerate body is amazing! Surgery, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities are certainly not what I think of when I contemplate a pleasant experience or a time of vacation. However, after … Continue reading Bionic Nonny!
When life gets rough some people blame God. They just cannot understand why God would let bad things happen to them. Them... of all people! They were brought up in church. They don't do anything really terrible. They pray. They do good deeds. And then when something overwhelming happens, they look to God as though … Continue reading In the Storm
Astronauts reach for the planets. Movie stars aim for the Oscars, and the Golden Globe Awards. Politicians stump for votes. Teachers have a loftier goal--they touch tomorrow, or in other words, they touch the future through their influence on students in their classrooms. Some years ago I walked into a school hallway and saw in … Continue reading Touching Tomorrow