Category Archives: Kids

Kidsprov 123!

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It’s like my son, Casey’s,

Stage 2 Improv…

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/did-you-hear-t…ring-comedians/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/visiting-naple…prov-hilarious/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/its-a-hit/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/stage-2-improv…-of-my-funk-ha/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/my-sons-funny-…s-in-the-paper/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/boo-hoo-stage-2/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/stage-2-improv…back-go-see-it/

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/my-son-gets-funnier-ever-day/‎‎

But for kids!!!!

He’s been working with the Co-Directors,

Mike & Judith Santos

Practicing and video-taping for their shows!!

Check it out!!

And also check out their article in the Oct. issue of

Parent-Child Magazine!!!

http://kidsprov123.com/

http://kidsprov123.com/…/SW-FL-Parent-Child-October-2014000…

“Kids Prov 123© 

is a children’s comedy improv television series

performed in front of live studio audiences.

Skits, songs and games are driven by suggestions from in-studio

and on-line (virtual) audiences.

 The show format includes guest performers,

contests between the performers,

and opportunities for on-line submissions via

YouTube and other social media platforms

which will be judged

with winners being invited to become in-studio audience for future episodes.

Improv may take the form of acting, dancing, singing,

playing musical instruments, creating artwork, miming, poetry, and more.

Improv is sometimes referred to as “on-the-spot”,

“off-the-cuff”,

and “on-the-fly” performing.

It is always unrehearsed.

Kids Prov 123© performers will be spontaneously reacting

to the moment

and responding to their immediate environment

and their inner feelings.

In addition to the entertainment value,

Kids Prov 123©

has strong educational value

for teaching such concepts as multi-lateral and creative thinking,

social skill building,

extemporaneous speaking,

communications and listening skills,

body language,

acting quickly,

team building,

decision making

and non-structured thinking.”

Kids Prov 123©  Concept created by Susan Cunningham  August 1, 2013

I love it!!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Beautiful, Precious Hannah…All God’s Blessings!!

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This was written by our Children’s Pastor…

My good friend, Marla…

About her daughter, Hannah’s birth…

Praying it blesses you!

Hannah’s Arrival

An awesome story of God working in our lives. –Marla-
“Hon…”

I called out to my sleeping husband. 

No response. 

“Hey, hon…”

I called a little louder.

“Huh?  Everything okay?”

he asked groggily.

“Ummm…yeah, everything’s fine.  Could you come here?” 

He stumbled into the bathroom. 

“What is it?”

“I’m not positive, but I think my water just broke.”

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This is not what either one of us was expecting.  It was 4:30 AM on June 2.  Our baby girl wasn’t due for just over another month. Sure, I had felt like she may come “early,” but not this soon!  The nursery was still a glorified storage room.   Hannah’s baby shower was not scheduled for another 3 days.  We had no clothes for her, no diapers, not even a car seat to take her home!  All of those little things we were going to complete in the next few weeks were left undone.  But there was no time to do any of that now.  We scrambled around, made arrangements for Moriah, our older daughter, finished packing for the hospital and we were on our way.

Several weeks earlier I began asking God to give me a verse to meditate on through childbirth and in those often-difficult weeks after, when I knew our lives would be changed forever and we’d be navigating through the familiar but somehow distant waters of caring for a newborn and adjusting to a completely different lifestyle on little—if any—sleep.  I expected that completely changing our schedule and routine, then going back to work, would require extra strength and a greater measure of peace from God.  So I simply made my request known to God for a verse to cling to, maybe something along the lines of “I can do all things through Christ…”  I thought about different verses, but nothing clicked.  Then one evening a passage came to me very distinctly:

 …there was given me a thorn in my flesh,

a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 

But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,

so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

That is why, for Christ’s sake,

delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

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 I read the passage again and thought, “Yeah, having a newborn and adjusting is a bit difficult, but I would hardly refer to it as a ‘thorn in the flesh.’  Sounds a bit harsh.”  But I knew that this was the passage God gave me, so for several nights before Hannah’s birth, I read it again and again.

Once at the hospital, the nurses confirmed that I was indeed in labor and were very sure to tell us that we were having a baby that day.  We were both in shock.  Nonetheless, she was on her way.  A few hours later, at 10:15 AM, we heard the long awaited cries of our little girl.  Due to last minute medications during labor, I was unfortunately quite groggy the first few hours of Hannah’s life.  I held her and looked at her, but failed to pick up on the little details of her appearance.  I could hardly hear the nurses’ comments as they evaluated her.  I remember one nurse asking, “Does she look like your other daughter?”  And I answered that no, she had her own distinct look.

A few hours later, as I was trying to recover, the pediatrician came in the room and brought the news that changed us forever.  He gently told me that they suspected Hannah has Down Syndrome based upon her features and her weak muscle tone.  I was in shock.  Down Syndrome?  We had no idea.  We never imagined we’d be the family with a special needs child.

When Eddie came back to the room, I shared the Doctor’s report with him.  Thoughts came rushing through our minds.  Tears flowed.  Our joy was overshadowed by grief and fear of the future.  She’ll never be like other kids.  She’ll be made fun of.  She won’t go to a typical school, have a normal social life, go to college or get married.  Hannah will always be dependent upon us.  What will happen when we’re too old to take care of her?

Since then, I’ve thought a lot about those irrational fears.  What child comes with a certificate guaranteeing that she will live a successful life, go to college, get married and be independent anyway?  I’ve never seen that certain promise at birth yet.  Our responsibility as parents is simply to give our kids our best in way of care, training, and teaching and to raise them to know and love God.  We simply encourage them to be all they were created to be.

Family came to visit and see her.  More tears.  More feeling of loss of all the little things we had planned for our child.  Wave after wave of grief followed.

It wasn’t until later that evening that I remembered the verse and certain promise God had given me several days earlier:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

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     “Oh, God, I’ve never felt weaker in my life.  I need your strength, your grace,” I prayed through the tears.

 Sleep came sporadically that night.  I was able to visit Hannah in the NICU just a few times before I was discharged the next day.  They had to keep Hannah due to complications arising from her prematurity.  Leaving the hospital without a baby was somehow just not right.  (And in the weeks to follow, leaving her each day left me feeling like I was never home.  Wherever I was—whether with her at the hospital or home with the rest of the family—I was never complete.)  When I walked out of the hospital the day after her birth, my heart was still heavy with the news of her diagnosis.  I was thankful to have her, but somehow still grieving all the dreams I had for her that would never be realized.

Late that evening, I found myself the only one awake in a quiet house.  Seemingly out of nowhere I felt a sudden urge to read the verses God had given me, but in the Message version of the Bible.  I don’t often turn to the Message version, but I appreciate its plain, everyday language and way of putting God’s Word into a fresh perspective.  As I opened to the passage, I was amazed at the wording:

     I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. 

Satan’s angel did his best to get me down;

what he in fact did was push me to my knees…

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. 

Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough;

it’s all you need. 

My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. 

I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. 

It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. 

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer…

I just let Christ take over! 

And so the weaker I get,

the stronger I become.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (the Message version, emphasis added)

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That instant, I had peace about Hannah’s diagnosis.  I knew that her unique and special qualities had been given as a gift, and I should see them as nothing less.

A few days after her birth, I was holding Hannah in her NICU room when the thought occurred to me: I didn’t even know what her name means—I, of all people, who usually obsess over things like this.  I, the mother who long before Moriah’s arrival had researched her name and written a poem based upon it’s meaning, could not even think of the meaning of my youngest daughter’s name.  A few months before, Eddie and I had deliberated quite a bit over what to name her, and finally agreed that Hannah was perfect.  I’m sure in the process I had looked at the meaning.  But sitting in the hospital room with her, I was in shock that I could not recall something so important.  With her in my arms, I managed to get a hand free and search for the name on my phone.  When the results came up, I was in awe.

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Hannah means “grace.”

“My grace is sufficient for you…”  God had promised.

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Whatever the future holds, for every unknown challenge on the road before us, so long as I call Hannah’s name I will have a reminder of God’s promise ever before me.  His grace will be enough to meet every challenge.  His grace will carry us through the frustrations and strengthen our faith in times of uncertainty.  His grace will flow through us and enable us to show grace to those who show ignorance or even cruelty toward her.

And God’s grace will pour out joy upon us as we delight in Hannah’s adorable smile and melt in her hugs.  His grace will sing over us as we cheer her on and take pride in her accomplishments. 

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Most of all, His grace will enable us to fully enjoy the precious gift of our sweet Hannah.
Amen!!

 

Is 65 The New 45??? Gee, I Hope So!!

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Happy Birthday To Me!!

I recently celebrated a BIG Birthday!

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                                            (Me with Sandy and Elle!)

And I now get to show my golden Medicare “ticket” everywhere..

But, now that I’m “mature,”  I forget to do it!!

Hubby’s already on it, so I know it’s fine…

I’ll get used to it!

We already had good insurance…

Thanks to the NJ Public Schools…

My plan after college was to get married,

Teach for two years,

Have 4 kids…

Done!

But, since my son took 14 years to arrive! 

I just kept on teaching…

And, as my sister-in-law advised,

“Stay in teaching long enough to get all the benefits you deserve!!”

So, I stayed!

After 26 years, I retired…

One kid, a pension, and my health insurance…

God is good!

Because of so many years…

Of being blessed with God’s wisdom…

My years of experience…

And my mistakes…

(Thank you for “redos,” Lord!)

I’m such a wealth of information! 

Ha!

So, what do you want to know about???

Growing up in a constantly fast-talking Italian family…

With lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins???

So much fun going to church together…

Everyone talking at the same time…

Very loudly!!

With lots and lots of food!!!

Growing up Pentecostal???

Lots of “You can’t do that!”

But, lots of faith, love, and strong trust in God, too!!

I learned to teach my son about all the things we can do in Christ!

And the joy we experience!

Growing up with an older brother???

“Stitches” in my side as he walked too fast on our way to school…

Joe always said my younger brother, John, and I had “piercing voices!”

Growing up with a younger brother???

Who, as I mentioned in another post…

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/oh-by-the-way-…have-any-gauze/

Slashed my lip with a snow shovel…

While  we were shoveling snow in NJ…

When I was in 6th grade!

But, we never wanted to be apart!

Praying for a sister???

My Mom was 38…

I had to have a sister…

Having two brothers was just too much…

I was eleven when Tina was born!

She went everywhere with me!

So special to me to this day!!

Amen!

God answers prayers!

Wanting to be a teacher since the first grade???

My cousin, Phyllis, who was three years older…

Lived next door…

And was always the teacher…

 I was the best student there ever was!

Dating????

Long term dating…

Too early, too intense…

I would not recommend it today!!

College and  Master’s  Education???

Let me just say…

The tassel is definitely worth the hassle…

Do your homework…

Get an education!!!

Then, ask God to give you a job you’re passionate about!

First Marriage???

Moved to Texas to live with my older brother and his wife…

Married two and a half years…

Divorced…

Came home to NJ!

Divorce???

Low, low point…

Feels like someone took a photo of the two of you…

Tore  it in two…

And ripped your heart out…

You’re deeply changed…

I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!

Second Marriage

To my high school sweetheart…

Thirty-seven years…

Through the best of the best…

And the worst of the worst…

 The key is to go through it…

TOGETHER…

That’s what marriage is all about…

Even when “LOVE” is strong…

  But, “LIKE” is not!!

Amen!

Oh,Yes…

I am difficult to live with…

More than just sometimes!!

Good quote on Facebook:
“In every marriage more than a week old,
there are grounds for divorce…
the trick is to find, and continue to find,
the grounds for marriage!!” 
Thank you, Jesus!
Amen!!
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Ten years of Infertility???

Why me?

All my cousins and friends had kids…

But, God turned my attitude to…

“Why not me?”

And I received a miracle gift from God!

It was totally worth the huge cost and effort…

Of in-vitro…

To have our son!!!

Thank God for insurance!

Coming back to God???

Spent twenty years doing “my own thing!”

But could not fathom…

Raising my son without faith…

He loved Jesus…

Going to church…

Lively worship music…

And Veggie Tales…

And he led me back to Jesus!

Raising a great kid???

What a ministry…

To pour Jesus into your child!!!

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Life???

Yes, they’ll be trials…

But, always accept the Lord’s…

Joy!

Death???

So sad to lose loved ones…

But, we can celebrate their life…

Because of our Hope of Heaven…

And say, “See you soon!”

Parents???

We do our best…

So remember…

Your parents did their best, too!!

Forgive…

Don’t hold onto grudges…

Love!

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Friends and family???

While you can’t pick your family…

You can love, encourage, and minister to the family that God gave you!

Friends…

Chose wisely and love deeply!

Siberian Huskies???

Only God could make such a beautiful face…

My Crazy, Precious Little Girl…

Is lots of work…

And brings, oh, so much joy!!

See her Birthday post!

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/guess-whos-turning-seven/

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Seeing through God’s eyes???

Is beautiful…

And difficult…

Be prepared to listen…

Be prepared to obey!

Religion???

Faith is better than no faith…

Our relationship with Jesus  is everything!

Being retired???

Not HAVING to work is soooo good…

Retirement with a pension is the best!

Ministering to others???

Accountability…

Teaching others keeps you on your toes!

Keep on going for God!!

Eternal Life???

1 Timothy 4:8

“For physical training is of some value,

but godliness has value for all things,

holding promise for both the present life

and the life to come.”

Amen!

 

What Hoops Are You Jumpin’ Through???

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Words From a Father to His Daughter

(From the Makeup Aisle)

self-image

Reblogged from:  http://drkellyflanagan.com/?s=makeup+aisle&submit=Search

Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,

Infallible,

Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,

Age defying,

Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,

Daddy

Like the last letter I wrote to my daughter, I wrote this first for her and the day I’ll eventually read it to her. But I also wrote it for every woman who needs to hear the words of a father. Women, no one else can define your beauty for you. But they’ll try.

My daughter is four years-old now. If her awakening to the makeup aisle comes at the typical age, I figure we have about five years to radically alter the arc of history and the subjugation-by-image of the female gender. We’ve got a lot of work to do. And it begins in the heart of each and every woman.

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Next Post: “The Key to a Man’s Heart (and Why He Gets Road Rage)”

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Disclaimer: My writings represent a combination of my own personal opinions and my professional experiences, but they do not reflect professional advice. Interaction with me via the blog does not constitute a professional therapeutic relationship. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor who can dedicate the hours necessary to become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. I do not assume liability for any portion or content of material on the blog and accept no liability for damage or injury resulting from your decision to interact with the website.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing at Alliance Clinical Associates in Wheaton, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

I agree…

So does God!!

This Is How It Is!!

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E-mail from me:  (to our Pastor’s wife, who heads up our Kids Church) 

“Thanks, Pam, for the Christmas treats you left in Kids Church for Casey & me!! 

We found them today!!

Chocolate for me…Yum!  Yum!!

And I must say, you really do know what my son loves!!

 

PEZ!!!

 

We came to the church to organize the Drama Team Christmas stuff…

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And he starts playing with, and eating, the PEZ…

 

Wondering how to get all of the candy into the dispenser without them all falling out!!

 

Really?

 

‘Mom, do you know how to fill the dispenser?’

 

Something about unwrap slightly…

 

Then hold the paper around it ’til it goes in the dispenser???

 

I don’t know…

 

If I did know…

 

I certainly don’t remember…

 

Does he know how long…

 

How really long…

 

It’s been since anyone has even remotely asked me to fill a PEZ dispenser???

 

He was so intense..

 

So focused on the dispenser…

 

On the candy…

 

And on how hard it was to get the candy in the dispenser…

 

So he could eat it!!

 

Why not cheat…

 

And just gobble it up sans dispenser???

 

No fun in that, huh?

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We had one hour ’til he had to leave for rehearsal…

 

Needless to say…

 

We didn’t get done!!

 

Oh, he was helpful setting up tables…

 

And moving boxes for me…

 

But we could have gotten the whole job completed…

 

If he was focused on what I needed done…

 

Instead of that great gift of PEZ you got him!!!

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Thanks Miss Pam!!

 

Ha!!  Just teasing…

 

Thanks!  We love you!!”

 

This kid of mine is 23…

 

Now you all know why he’s so good at Improv!!

http://stage2improv.net/

 

I love him!!!

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Happy New Year!!! So, Were You At Jesus’ B-Day Party?!?!

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The Story Of Christmas…

As told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand.

(Anyone is welcome to show this film publicly,

but not change it in any way, publish/broadcast it, nor make money out of it.)

Except for Joe. You can connect with his music here: https://www.facebook.com/EzraVine

Check out our prequel: Good News of Great Joy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttInl1…

Our new kids’ film: Star News Bethlehem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBaTUw…

And our Christmas doco: O Little Town of Bethlehem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQDl9…

You can download this film here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ju8ogav90r…

Unless there are too many downloads, then you’ll need to wait a few days.

And you can download the transcript here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rf9q12k92ek…

We all celebrated here!

It was a blast!

And we all agree…

This is the cutest version of the Christmas Story we’ve ever seen!!

We’re Italians!!! We Don’t Know Any Different…Or Any Better Way, To Live!

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I received this e-mail recently, I love it! 

(author unknown…)

Here’s The Difference Between Us…

AMERICAN KIDS:  Move out when they’re 18 with the full support of their parents.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Move out when they’re 28, having saved enough money for a house,and are two weeks away from getting married….. unless there’s room in the basement for the newlyweds.

AMERICAN KIDS:  When their Mom visits them, she brings a Bundt cake, you have coffee, and chat.
ITALIAN KIDS:  When their Mom visits them, she brings 3 days worth of food, begins to tidy up, dust, do the laundry, and rearrange the furniture.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Their dads always call before they come over to visit them, and it’s usually only on special occasions.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Are not at all fazed when their dads show up, unannounced, on a Saturday morning at 8:00 am, and start pruning the fruit trees. If there are no fruit trees, he’ll plant some.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Always pay retail, and look in the Yellow Pages when they need to have something done.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Call their dad or uncle, and ask for another dad’s, or uncle’s, phone number to get it done.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Will come over for cake and coffee, and get only cake and coffee. No more.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Will come over for cake and coffee, and get antipasto, a pasta dish, a choice of two meats, salad, bread, a cannoli, fruit, and espresso.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Will greet you with “Hello” or “Hi.”
ITALIAN KIDS:  Will give you a big hug, a kiss on your cheek, and a pat on your back.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Have never seen you cry.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Cry with you.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on soft mushy white bread.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Eat Genoa Salami and Provolone sandwiches on crusty Italian bread (for breakfast).

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 Ya Gotta Love Us!!!

Don’t miss out…

Go visit an Italian today!!

Once we meet…

You’ll never  be a stranger…

You’re part of our family now, and…

Forever!!

God Bless!

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“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed

on the anvil of everyday living.”  ~ Chuck Swindoll

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Ephesians 1:5

“God decided in advance

to adopt us into His own family

by bringing us to Himself

through Jesus Christ.

This is what He wanted to do,

and it gave Him great pleasure.”

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Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 18 

“These commandments that I give you today

are to be on your hearts.

Impress them on your children.

Talk about them when you sit at home

and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down

and when you get up.

Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight,

so that it may go well with you

and you may go in

and take over the good land

the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,

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