The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth


A lot of parents, especially Christian parents, shy away from teaching their kids about money. I think they are often concerned that their kids will fall into the trap of loving money a little too much. Personally, I believe that all of the character traits you have worked to instill in your children will protect them from that – Godliness, patience, good work ethic, concern for others, honesty, etc. But in his book, The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me, Richard Paul Evans’ has this to say:  Continue reading “The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth”

For the Right to Learn

At 17, Malala Yousafzai was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Girls in her country of Pakistan hardly attended school to begin with, but then the Taliban totally banned the education of girls (because educated people are not so easy to control). Malala continued to attend school, and also to blog about the importance of education being available for all children. She knew it was dangerous, but kept writing. At 15, she was shot in the face by a Taliban gunman while riding the school bus. Malala survived. She has some life-long injuries to live with, but says, “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.” Continue reading “For the Right to Learn”

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey


Jonathan Toomey, often called Mr. Gloomy, was the best woodcarver in the valley. There were a lot of reasons to call him Mr. Gloomy – he complained, walked hunched over looking at the ground, never smiled, and looked much older than he was. What nobody knew, was the very good reason for his gloominess (this, children, is why we don’t call people names;). One day, a sweet widow and her son asked the woodcarver to replace the lost pieces to their nativity set. Although you might be able to guess what happens from there… the story is beautiful, and the illustrations are amazing as well. The book has won all kinds of awards. And I just noticed this year that there is a movie as well.


It was great – Get the movie! Get the movie!

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Christmas from Heaven

The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber


Evidently, my favorite thing to do at Christmastime is cry! This is another favorite Christmas book that makes me cry every time. Good, happy tears, of course.

In 1948, after the war had ended and East and West Berlin were divided, Stalin blocked ground transportation to the city. To keep the people of West Berlin from starving, the United States and Britain brought food and basic supplies in by air, in what they called Operation Vittles.

One of the pilots, Gail (Hal) Halvorsen noticed the children gathering along the fence. He began dropping the children parachutes made of handkerchiefs filled with candy. As the word spread, donations came pouring in, the military liked the idea, and the idea grew. Hal became known as the Candy Bomber, and there are two schools in Germany today that are named after him.

It’s a wonderful book by Tom Brokaw, and the illustrations are fantastic as well. There are also real photos, maps, and thank you notes from the children included. The book ends with instructions of how to make a candy parachute.

Christmas from Heaven is a bit expensive because it comes with a CD. I have not listened to the CD (we don’t have a CD player in the house any more), but it looks like Tom Brokaw reads the story on that, and there is also music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. I need to remember to take it in the car with me..


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Carl’s Christmas

carls christmas

When my oldest son was almost two, my father was in the ending stages of cancer. Daddy had a hospital bed in his living room, a Rottweiler who was very sad to see him so sick, and my little guy would sit on the edge of the bed and talk with him every evening. My father was named Carl and my baby was Alex.

For Christmas that year after my father died, someone found this book for us. In the book, the dog’s name is Carl, the author’s name is Alexandra, there is a baby, and Carl the Dog is a Rottweiler who takes care of everything. So… all the names were mixed up, but there were a lot of similarities and we enjoyed it.

The artwork in this book is beautiful. There are very few words (almost none), although my big kids still enjoy this book each Christmas. Carl the Dog is left to babysit on Christmas Eve and takes the baby to town, wins a gift, gives it to the needy, visits Santa, and gets the baby back home and put to bed before the parents get home. We have the hardcover, but I see there is now a board book available, which I just bought for my grandbaby. I know he will love it.


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Christmas Day in the Morning


No matter how many times I read this book, I cry.

We all love it. The story is fantastic and so is the art.

In a nutshell, the story is about a teenager from a poor farming family who realized how much his father loved him and found something he could do for his father for Christmas – since he couldn’t afford to buy a gift.


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The Legend of the Candy Cane

You will find different explanations of the beginning of the candy cane depending on where you do your research, but whether this one is the correct history or not, it is still a great way to keep Jesus at the center of our thoughts during Christmas.

It’s a beautiful book with illustrations that my kids love, about a stranger who comes to a small town and sets up a candy shop. Little Lucy helps him unpack, and learns the story of Jesus when she opens the candy canes. We love this book – it was the first Christmas book my daughter asked to read this season.


Christmas Star Game

We have enjoyed our Christmas Star Game for a lot of years. The star is slightly chewed by the dog, but it’s glittery gold and on the back it says, “Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” Continue reading “Christmas Star Game”