Tag Archives: Family

A Day At The Beach


imagesYesterday afternoon I was sitting on a lawn chair on the beach at Grand Bend on the sandy shore of Lake Huron about a thirty minute drive away from where I live. I was between two very good friends that I have had for over 20 years, Carol and Linda. We all see one another on a weekly basis. We attend the same church in the village of Poplar Hill, on the low hill right opposite the one where I live. We usually see one another all dressed up, in our fancier clothes and shoes, with our hair styled and our makeup on, not in bathing suits and flip-flops, with wet hair and makeup washed away, or mascara running down our cheeks.

After changing into our suits in the change rooms, we meandered through the maze of blanket-claimed real estate nearby. We staked a claim of our own on the busy beach by unfolding our lawn chairs. Then Linda threw down a pretty quilted blanket that she said her Mom had made when she was a kid. It had been the family beach blanket since her childhood days, when her family came here, or to one of the other nearby beaches,almost every summer weekend. I imagined Linda as a little girl, sharing a picnic with her family on it, or lying down on it to rest next to her mother, and I thought what a blessing it was to her that she had kept it for all these years.

We talked for a while together about our childhoods, and some of the insecurities we had felt about ourselves as we transitioned into adulthood. These more personal revelations seem to come out a lot more readily when people are stripped down to their swimsuits, and are feeling again the same sort of anxieties about how they may look to others as they did “way back then”. For most women, our

"Eek! Get away! Get away before someone sees!"

“Eek! Get away! Get away before someone sees!”

teenage years were when we were trying to come to terms with what the Lord had or had not given us, in terms of physical appearance. It was also a time when we did our best to camouflage the deficits we believed were there. For someone I knew and loved, it meant the falsies popping to the surface of the swimming pool before she did, after a particularly daring dive off a high board at a town pool. It sent all girls in her vicinity into a frenzy, fleeing in panic, just like in the scene with the floating chocolate bar in the movie Caddie Shack. No one else would assist in the rescue mission to retrieve them, and relieve her of a mortification they feared for themselves, risking guilt by association —except for me. Why? As Wilford Brimley (the Quaker Oats guy) would say “It’s the right thing to do.”

It has sometimes surprised me, when I think about it very much, how different I feel as an adult woman than the young one I once was. You may have noticed in that last sentence that I did not say “old” but rather “adult” woman. I’m not ready for labelling yet! These days labels often include the “Best Before” date, and I’m sure the best is yet to come. I suppose that’s either confidence or insanity. We’ll see. 

Grand Bend "Rollers"

Grand Bend “Rollers”

Finally, after our philosophical treatises were expounded upon, (Read “Gab Fest” here!) we began our hesitant migration to uncertain waters from the relative safety of our chairs. Mine was cutting into the back of my legs anyway, and the frame was sinking at the back into the soft sand as if it was quicksand. “A weight distribution problem?” it seemed to ask.  Linda was the first one to wade in, and when I joined her and began to resume our earlier discussion I got a great big slap in the face! A giant wave had rolled up high behind me. When I turned buoyantly in that direction it nearly knocked off the glasses I was still wearing, as I had originally planned to just wade! I choked on the faceful of lake water and sputtered like an overheated teapot! I had been nearly “tipped over” alright, and the “short and stout” part of that little childhood ditty was probably the appearance I projected upon emerging from the water. The cobalt blue, “Slimming Fit” bathing suit, with its short little attached “Camouflage Skirt” that I had put all my confidence in, had failed me! It had gone from a sassy-for my-age six inches below the butt model, to a Catholic school girl’s nun-approved version of a skirt, as soon as the water hit it! My suit seemed to be experiencing that same “5 pounds of water retention” problem that I had often claimed was the reason I earned so few silver stars at Weight Watcher meetings!

Its extended length had not given me that “long tall drink of water “appearance that lengthier skirts are supposed to project. I looked more like a Damson Plum just fallen off the tree, blue, blushing, and drupaceous. Well maybe not “drupaceous”— just droopy perhaps. Drupaceous is what peaches, plums, cherries and fruits that are fleshy, with a stony heart are called, and everyone who knows me would say that I definitely do not have a stoney heart. In reality these two good friends of mine have seen mascara running down my cheeks plenty of times, when there were no waves for miles. With a big grey towel around my shoulders, to cut the chill of the wind on my bare back, I sat down on my lawn chair. I probably gave the impression of someone at an outdoor Amish wedding reception, except for the skirt’s bright colour and the cleavage. There was barely any exposed leg at all; only after it dried in the breeze did it return to its previous length,

On Sunday mornings we ladies each have our preferred positions in the pews we always sit in, next to our husbands. We are generally fairly rigid in our habits and routines. Whether it is cooking, canning, part-time jobs or volunteering, babysitting or shopping for groceries we have places to be and things to do which have never included lounging together on the beach on a week day afternoon.

For us to just throw caution to the wind, and abandon hearth and home for waves and wandering is practically unheard of, but Carol’s urge to fly was contagious and could not be denied. Tomato salsa-making  and zucchini loaf-baking was put on hold for another day even as the vines that gave the main ingredients became even more heavily laden by the hour. Like three teenaged girls headed off to a Beatles’ concert (yes, I’m that old!) we rushed out of our houses. Rolly was away shopping for canning jar lids and fence posts, and I left a note telling him I was going to the Bend with the girls to cruise for guys. Humour in our relationship is why we’re still happily married after 43 years.

Definitely not the church ladies!

Definitely not the church ladies!

Here we all were, in the midst of a crowd of people— tanned svelte bodies of teenage girls prancing around, older guys in their white socks and black shoes and Bermuda shorts attempting to hold in the consequences of forty years of “fries with that”, little kids pitching sand into the breeze and their mothers’ eyes, around their moat and castle building sites… and us.

We talked about days gone by, when varicose veins, or choice of hair colour to cover the grey were not an issue. We talked about how old we were when we finally had a sense of who we were and where we fit in the world, and the wonder of finally feeling Ok about ourselves. And we talked about why we had never done this before—come to the beach on a summer afternoon just to have fun, just us— for no other reason than the sheer pleasure of it.

As we relaxed in the perfect balance of sun and cloud, breeze and stillness, that can only happen when you feel that same kind of balance within yourself, we opened up to one another about some of those self-deprecating things we were starting to believe about ourselves once again. In those long ago days, when we had the kind of bodies that many of the sun tanned girls strolling up and down the beach between the male life guards’ stands have, we each of us admitted to that being a time of deep insecurities about our body image. We once looked very much like they did, but didn’t believe we were good enough in the bodies we had, we sometimes even felt that we were ugly. The sad thing is that if the beach girls  were given an anonymous survey, many of them would express those very same feelings. It seems to accompany those seasons in a woman’s life when her body changes most , the late adolescent to teen years, and the years when we are, as I think of myself now— “almost old”.

Girls screaming at a Beatles' concert.

Girls screaming at a Beatles’ concert.

The one thing that can save us all is love, laughter, good friends and plenty of screaming. Not shrieking hysteria over our favourite band members anymore, though no one my age ever owns up to having ever done that. Rather, it is just a whole afternoon of life guard-annoying screaming over every approaching wave that does the trick.

At times the big rollers threatened to upend one or another of us, and that was when we grabbed onto one another’s hands.


Imagine This! Imagine That! Imagine A Button Is A Hat!


imagesI was definitely not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was however, born to a mother with a great wealth of imagination, and wonderful story telling abilities. I like to think I inherited that talent from my Mom, so maybe I was born with a silver fountain pen in my hand instead. But the problem with expanding the boundaries on these little idioms is that you never know where to draw the line. The idiom could quickly become idiotic. A steering wheel for my brother Jim who loves NASCAR races? A Scotch bonnet pepper for my bother Don who loves cooking things with heat? What about a chainsaw for my brother Keith who loves cutting down trees? Mom said some of the boys gave her a few problems at birth, but that would have just been ridiculous!

Yesterday my daughter Carrie and I put on a shower. My sister Janice’s first grandchild, a beautiful nine pound baby boy, Brayden, had been born to her daughter Alison and son-in-law Mike. One of the shower games I made the ladies play, was to take a turn telling the whole group a baby story in less than 60 seconds. The catch was that I gave them 20 words that they would have to include in the story. Half of the words were really innocent ones somehow related to babies— baby oil, curls, diapers, burp and so on. The other half of the list contained words such as beer, arrested, jail, NASCAR, salami, and other things you wouldn’t expect in a sweet little story about a baby. My mother’s tale was one of the most hilarious of all, despite the time constraint, and the pressure of fitting in all 20 words. Her 83 years of age hasn’t diminished her wit at all, in fact it has probably sharpened it.

Everybody has something about themselves that they really like, their eye colour, their hair colour, their natural athleticism and so on. One of the things I am most appreciative of about myself is my imagination, which Mom seriously cultivated in all of us eight kids. One of the things that she would do, on a day when we were all underfoot or being a bit too clingy for her to get anything done, was to hand us salt shakers. Then she would tell to go out and catch a sputtsie. For all of my early life I called sparrows “sputtsies”. Then one day my soon- to- be husband Rolly who is an avid nature lover who probably knew all of his birds by age 6, asked me why I was calling them that. I said “That’s because that’s what they are!”  Apparently that’s only what they are to my non- German-speaking mother who was raised by German parents. The reason we kids all ran around like mad in our fenced- in back yard every summer was that we were trying to put salt on  sputtsie’s tails. To succeed would instantly tame the little bird and he would love you so much that he would automatically climb into your hand. So, who wouldn’t want to try that?

Our Mom also called all baby horses ponies, rather than colts. That was another misnomer I used for a very long time. Just not long enough for Rolly to notice, before I became aware of my error. Mom never encouraged us to try to put salt on ponies’ tails or colts’ tails or whatever they were, but I can just picture what would have happened. If she had sent us into a field of wild horses with salt boxes, we could have all become horse whisperers, and our Dad could have become a rich rancher! Anything is possible in the imagination!

Mom was what I would call thriftily creative. She never threw out a lost sock, and she never threw out a single button. When clothes were completely worn out(easy to do when they might have been hand-me-downs in the first place, that then went through 3 boys or five girls) she cut off the buttons and put them in a jar, saving the rest of the garment for cleaning rags. The buttons she sewed onto the mismatched socks as eyes. Then she embroidered on mouths, or even made mouths that opened and shut like a thumbed mitten would. These would talk with their big red mouths that opened nice and wide, made from pieces of old red socks. Dad brought things like groceries home from the store in cardboard boxes, and Mom would save the largest box and cut out  a big windows in it. This made for a great puppet theatre when we crouched behind the table where the box rested on top at the edge. With the tablecloth hiding us from view  we were free to become puppeteers.

Sometimes Mom was the narrator and there were stories about the little girl named Orange, who had a glass dress. Somehow that dress didn’t seem weird to us then, but maybe Mom told us that she wore orange petticoats under it or something like that. Orange had a very cruel stepmother who threw her into the soup when she fell down and broke the dress. (Yikes! It was a really scary story Mom! No wonder I was always trying to sneak in to bed with you and Dad!)  Sometimes we oldest four kids, Marsha, Keith, Jeannie, and I put on shows based on the Punch and Judy shows that we sometimes watched on TV. Naturally our shows frequently ended like the ones they were modelled after, with a big fight, both above and behind the table!

Thanks to my mother diligently saving them for all of our growing up years I have 5 quarts jars of antique and not so antique buttons, which I use as bookends. Like my mother before me, I like to use these buttons when playing with kids, especially my nephews Jacob and Joshua. We sort them by colour and shape and size and pretend they are different things than what they are. Last week, two year old Jacob found one that was a lime green square, with a rather large post on the back. He promptly said “It’s a hat!” and tried to get it to stay on the top of his head. “Has he really been watching Elton John on the music channel?” I wondered. I’ll have to ask his mother! (I have to include that anecdote here because it was so funny, and I want to remember to tell him this when he is a grown up man, much bigger than me. I’ve saved the button for that day too.)

Our house was quite an open one when I was growing up. Any kid in the neighbourhood was welcome to join us around the table, when we grew old enough to be go back and forth to one another’s homes. Mom would often sit down with us and our friends at or big table in the kitchen.(We had another big one in the dining room.) Sometimes in the summer she would spread newspapers all over it for us to spit our seeds out on to, when the mosquitoes were too bad for us to go out after supper, and she would cut up a huge watermelon. We would all spit, and tell stories, and laugh and spit some more, until we were all spit and spent to exhaustion. At those times, no one wanted to get up from the table for fear of missing something. Sometimes there were big bowls of popcorn to share instead, as Mom told us all funny jokes and crazy tales of the adventures of growing up in the big city of Pittsburgh.

Maybe if we’d had all that salty popcorn along with the melon we would all remember more stories! The water retention from the salt would have led to better story retention too, because we wouldn’t have had to run off so often to the upstairs bathroom or the outhouse when the bathroom was busy. There was always so much laughter at the table then, that we had to be careful not to pee our pants, because of the quantity of watermelon juice we had all just slurped down.

Something a lot of kids today will never get to experience is the fun of a good old-fashioned watermelon seed–spitting fight, because the melons available in the stores have had their seeds bred out of them. Seed spitting fights never happened in the house of course! That’s when Mom definitely would have stopped being the big fun-loving kid that she really was inside her little Mom shaped body, and returned to the authority figure again. ‟No seed spitting off the paper! Otherwise you’ll be the one cleaning the floor!” And she meant it too. Even if you were a neighbour kid and not one of her own.

Thanks Mom, for some of the most wonderful years of my life. You are the best of all possible mothers that any eight kids could ever have been blessed with.

Love Vonnie

Driving Myself, And My Sister Crazy!


It was a Sunday afternoon, and I had recently turned sixteen. I had just passed the written test to get my Beginners Drivers’ license and I was impatient to start on a great new adventure, learning to drive! Dad and Mom were preoccupied at that moment with the kind of things families normally deal with on Sunday afternoons— that is, on the infrequent Sunday afternoons when we didn’t have visiting friends or relatives over for dinner. More than a few of them were notorious for dozing away intermittently in lulls in the conversation, and not reading the subtle and not so subtle signs that we were ready for them to go home. Perhaps they stayed in the hopes of being offered a third piece of my homemade apple pie if they lingered a decent interval of time after the second helpings of dessert had been consumed. Or perhaps that Red Devil’s Food cake of Marsha’s with the Boiled Meringue Frosting was the meal’s finishing touch when they visited, and they hoped for yet another piece if they lingered.

Right about then, when Marsha had just turned seventeen,  her signature Red Devil’s Food cake made its debut. Mom taught us to bake in the way that some mothers prepare their daughters’ dowries. It seemed likely that she might very well tell us to take home made pastries to our marriage beds when that day finally happened. Marsha had perfected her masterpiece cake through constant repetition, hoping to  lure for herself one of the neighbourhood guys she had a serious crush on. If only he would respond to an invitation to one of our parties. They always concluded with a midnight meal of all the things Marsha and I cooked best. Desserts were high on that list. As my Mom had severe eczema and a topical allergy to flour, we were handed our measuring cups and rolling pins very early. The outcome was that we had become inordinately good bakers for girls so young. Pies were my particular forté.

But I digress. Good foods, or even thoughts of food tend to cause me to detour. Perhaps “detour” is the wrong word entirely. More likely “yield” is more appropriate. In any case, I was well versed on all my traffic signs that day when Marsha decided to teach me to drive. I had  only made one error on my written test—how far back to stop from a railroad track. I likely said something like 100 feet, which is actually how far you are supposed to run away to, in case your car gets stuck on the railroad tracks. It was likely a subconsciously programmed blooper, because I have always had a fear that a train would derail if mine was the nearest car to the tracks. How can one avoid this predicament? Make a U-turn every time it happens and go to the back of the line? It doesn’t work out too well in grocery stores when you forget where you put your money and want to get out of line and search through your purse for it. People don’t honk at you when you ask them to back up their carts but they might just as well. That would be less rude than their partially audible F bombs. It’s one of the reasons a lot of older people don’t bother to wear their hearing aids—my theory, anyway!

The Graduated License had not yet come into effect when I was young. When it did it eliminated the possibility that those learning to drive could be taught by other very young drivers. Of course we would have said that it was all terribly stupid and unfair, if such restrictions had been put in place when we were striving for our independence, just as teenagers complained when it happened twenty-five years later. Despite its drawbacks, having farm kids learning to drive cars and trucks early back then was a huge benefit to their parents, who quickly delegated many of the farm errands to them to save themselves time. So when my sister Marsha, who had herself only turned seventeen, asked for the keys to take me out and teach me how to drive, Dad quickly answered yes. She promised that we wouldn’t be long, which she likely thought inferred great confidence in the speed with which I would learn. On the other hand, perhaps it was a boast about her own teaching abilities, as in ‟We won’t be long. I am such a good driving instructor. I will instil in her all the knowledge she need ever possess about safe driving, as well as all the finesse of a perfect three-point turn. (and in record time too!)”

If Marsha had hoped to impress everyone with her teaching abilities, I subconsciously sabotaged her efforts— in all likelihood within the hearing range of Dad, who was doing his book-keeping in the dining room, just the other side of the side porch screen door. As soon as I turned the key and put the car in gear I stomped on the accelerator and threw loose gravel in an impressive power- displaying wake  for  three or four feet behind me. “Slow down!” Slow down!” she yelled. “We’re not going to a fire!” I slammed on the brakes and we both flew forward! A few more false starts and we were cruising down Fourth side road, then up to the corner at the Sixth concession. Again Marsha yelled “Slow down! Slow down!” as I cranked the wheel to the right and flew around the corner. By then we were just in front of the Glen Oak Church. A group had gathered at the edge of the road to visit, following some social function after the service, no doubt. As I veered towards them, like some deranged lunatic, they scattered like leaves in a wind storm, with shocked looks on their faces.

“Stop! Stop!” Marsha screamed, and of course, I pushed down on the gas even harder, “OK! OK! Let’s just keep going!” she yelled again, gasping for air after my near miss of  a white-haired old lady with one of those little mink stoles— all their tiny beady- eyed heads flying away from her bosom as she leaped towards the ditch! A few houses further down the road, when I had somehow managed to let up on the gas pedal enough to be going at a little less than fish-tailing speed, Marsha said rather breathlessly “Slow down!” again. We were approaching a neighbour’s house, where the prospective husband, who hadn’t yet come to our party to be enthralled by her dowry of Red Devil’s Food Cake with Seven Minute Boiled Meringue Frosting, lived. I slammed on the brakes, with such enthusiasm at the thought of her marrying and leaving the house, to give me the bedroom all to myself, that I flew forward into the steering wheel and “inadvertently” honked the horn. “Inadvertently” is a very useful word to keep at the ready should you ever need it!

“You jerk! You did that on purpose!” The word “Jerk” is also a good one to keep on hand if you are teaching your sister to drive. Of course I would have only used it in this sense— “Sweetie. Try not to jerk so much when you stop. OK?” I did eventually learn to drive. It only took me another fifteen years!

He Made Us Proud!

Mom and Dad, with 7 of us kids. Number 8 is still just a glimmer in Dad's eye.

Mom and Dad, with 7 of us kids. Number 8 is still just a glimmer in Dad’s eye.

Today is the birthday of a real hero. He is my father William Peter Stephenson. He was born on June 7, 1925 and left this Earth on October 7, 2004. He was a modest man who didn’t ever think that he had accomplished very much with his life. Somehow, he always felt diminished by his lack of education because he was only able to go to school until grade 8. Because of the Great Depression most farmers were too dirt poor to board their children in town when necessary, so that they could attend high school.

It bothered all eight of us kids very much that he couldn’t appreciate in his own mind what a difference everything he had done, in and through his life, had made to those around him. Despite his own feelings of inadequacy, he was in fact quite well educated. He enjoyed reading the entire newspaper front to back daily whenever possible, The National Geographic and Time Magazine cover to cover, and watching the national news every night before bed. He could hold his own in any conversation, and had amazing math skills. I always felt proud to be in the presence of my father, at any social occasion, because he was an honest, honourable and loving man.

The following poem was written for my Dad for another reason, but I want to use it here as a tribute to his life. I am confident that I will see him again one day and when I do I want to tell him that I kept the promise I made when he passed away— to write for him.

To Dad,

Nobody could have ever loved us more than you did Dad

When I think of all the many things in life you could have had,

If you hadn’t always put us first and seen to all of our needs.

You will always be our hero Dad, because of your unsung deeds—

Putting shoes on sixteen feet not counting yours or Mom’s,

Paying at the counter for those dresses for our proms,

Putting more gas in every time you needed to move your car,

Even though we said we never drove it very far!

Paying for tonsillectomies before OHIP covered the cost,

Or glasses or retainers that some of us constantly lost.

Keeping our cupboards full of food, you worked so hard to be able

To provide a bounty for all of us, (and the neighbour kids at our table).

School clothes, class trips, insurance for driving boys,

Christmases unforgettable with special longed for toys

And keepsakes carefully crafted in secret late at night!

Your love for us seemed to have no end to its depth, its width, its height.

And so again on your birthday, we your family express our love.

To have you as our father was a special gift from above!

If you have a Dad, then even if things are difficult between you right now, make sure you make every effort to let him know you still love and  appreciate him. If you are blessed with a great relationship with your father, then surprise him and tell him before Fathers’ Day how much he means to you. It will be all the more meaningful for him because it is unexpected.

Count your blessings and have a wonderful day!



The Gifts We Are Given


Going to Sunday school at the Baptist Church. ...

On Sunday, I had the privilege of attending a little church in Mount Brydges, a small town near where I live. I wanted to be there to witness the christening of my little nephew Ethan, an adorable infant I sometimes get to babysit. He is my fourth great nephew and he has a big brother Joshua. My fifth great nephew was born that very morning, and given the name Brayden. The other two little guys are Finley and Jacob.  I don’t have any great nieces yet, but I am just thrilled that these five  boys are close enough in age to become really good friends. Such was the case in the generation before them. My own two children were born a number of years before my older sister Marsha’s daughter Sarah,and she was a few years ahead of  the mob which followed. The three of them didn’t have the advantage of having a cousin of the same age to chum with at parties, at family events and even for some who lived close, at high school. The thing about cousins is that they are often as much loved as a sister or a brother would be, without having to put up with them all the time. In fact, two of them, Andrea and Carl were so close that they actually did sometimes fight like siblings. Fortunately they’ve outgrown it (at least as far as I know.)

So it was,that in a rather short period of time, my  mother and father went from being the grandparents of  three, to the grandparents of fourteen. They were positively delighted! Just imagine though, if each of  us eight kids had been blessed with a family as large as the one we were raised in. Perhaps Mom and Dad would have been a little less excited after buying the sixty fourth birthday gift of the year.There is no doubt about it, some of us would have loved to have had more than the one or two children we were blessed with, but the circumstances of life got in the way. My having only two kids, who were older than all the rest, allowed me to be available as a kind of auxiliary parent figure, at various times in my life when opportunity presented itself.  This is what I am again enjoying from time to time as a great aunt. Funny, how we get to call ourselves “great” when all we need to do to achieve it is wait for our sisters’ and brothers’ kids to have kids. Thanks Ryan, Sheri, Andrea, and Alison! I couldn’t have achieved greatness without your help,and your spouse’s help too of course! This big mob of nieces and nephews of mine quickly modeled themselves after their parents’ close and loving relationships, and over the years they have shared in one another’s  joys and sorrows much as siblings would.

I am so thankful for this, because I really do believe that we can be what we need to be for whoever  needs us, whenever they need us, in the strength that God gives us to do it.We need to follow the example set for us in Psalm 68:5 that says that God is a father to the fatherless and a defender of  widows. Using the principal of caring for others in whatever ways you can  lends itself to a full and happy life. If you are wondering what needs there could possibly be that you can fill, because you don’t know anybody that needs your help, then you just haven’t been paying attention!  You don’t have to look far to see something you can do; it doesn’t need to be huge. It could be helping an exhausted Mom who needs a free sitter, or taking the time to let a child you know show you his latest accomplishment. Listening to a saxophone solo might show some genuine sacrificial love on your part and you will be blessed by it too, for  “Truly the fragrance of the rose remains on the hand of him that gives it.” Now a personal quote  for my nephew Carl, whose earliest saxophone performances are the ones I hold dearest in my memory “Truly, the sweetness of the music will be remembered in later years.”

These funny stories about children in church came across my desk  just in time to share them with you today. I think back on the christening  service of  last  Sunday with a smile.

The pastor was quoting First Corinthians 13:11,  just as the noise level reached a crescendo due to a group of loud but happy children, some of them having great problems staying in their seats. But not my nephews! They were as good as gold!

I Corinthians 13:11 says “When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, but when I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

A little child in church for the first time watched as the

ushers passed the offering plates. When they neared the
pew where he sat, the youngster piped up so that everyone
could hear: “Don’t pay for me Daddy, I’m under five.”

A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the
service, his cousin asked him, “How many women can a
man marry?” “Sixteen,” the boy responded.  His cousin
was amazed that he had an answer so quickly. “How do
you know that?”  “Easy,” the little boy said. “All you have
to do is add it up, like the Bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse,
4 richer, 4 poorer.”

After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy
suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided to
become a Pastor when I grow up.”   “That’s okay with us,
but what made you decide that?” “Well,” said the little
boy, “I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I
figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit
and listen.”

A boy was watching his father, a Pastor, write a
sermon.” How do you know what to say?” he asked.
“Why, God tells me.” “Oh, then why do you keep
crossing things out?”

A little girl became restless as the Preacher’s sermon
dragged on and on.  Finally, she leaned over to her mother
and whispered, “Mommy, if we give him the money now,
will he let us go?”

Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of
their favorite Bible stories.  She was puzzled by Kyle’s
picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she
asked him which story it was meant to represent. “The
flight to Egypt,” said Kyle.  “I see … And that must be
Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus,” Ms. Terri said. “But who’s
the fourth person?” “Oh, that’s Pontius – the Pilot.

Pastor Dave tells us, “After a worship service at First
Baptist Church in a city in Kentucky, a mother with a
fidgety seven-year old boy told me how she finally got her
son to sit still and be quiet.  About halfway through the
sermon, she leaned over and whispered, ‘If you don’t be
quiet, Pastor Dave is going to lose his place and will have
to start his sermon all over again!’   “It worked.”

Have a happy day today! Call your Mom, visit a friend, send a card, or volunteer. Do something for somebody. Be blessed!