This children’s book for grades 1 – 3 charmed me. It’s the perfect book for an adult to read to or with children. The story opens on Farmer White’s woodsy little farm, a place where animals with frazzled nerves to come and heal. On this farm, the animals seem almost human.
Miss Merino, a wise sheep, tells stories that have lessons for the young barnyard animals. These stories explore values and give lessons about fences, boundaries, and rules. And so she begins telling a story about Sassy Pants, who was once a young rebellious piggy.
Sassy Pants begins life as a teeny piglet in Farmer White’s and Mrs. White’s big house where she has a great feeling of belonging. When she gets old enough, she’s brought to the pig pen on the farm where her mother and her father Boss Hog live. She’s intimidated by Boss Hog’s scary looking tusks and his mean sounding deep voice. Sassy Pants wants to go back to the big house and becomes a little escape artist…unaware there are wild predatory animals beyond the fence in the nearby forest who would love to eat a little piggy.
In addition, she becomes a bully to other animals at the farm and is rude and disrespectful to Boss Hog (her dad). In the section titled “The Last Amend” Sassy Pants apologizes to Boss Hog and they forge a new father-daughter relationship. She also begins doing helpful deeds for other animals at the farm. Her dad has been walking the fence for years and telling Farmer White if there are any weakness that would allow wild predators inside. One day he takes her with him to walk the fence because he feels her former fence escape artist tactics (skills) would make her the perfect one to take over for him in walking the fence as he is getting older.
My favorite part of the story is when her dad wants to change her name to Petra, the rock. She no longer feels like the escape artist, disrespectful little piggy. She feels transformed into a new creature, so she agrees to the name change.
It’s wonderful having Kathy McKinsey here for an interview. I’ve come to admire and respect Kathy as the editor of two of my murder mystery novels. So, it’s a treat to learn about her children’s Christmas book.
Nike: What brought you to write this book/series?
Kathy: I was looking for a project to force myself to write every day. God gave me this gift, one of my favorite of my own stories.
Nike: What do you want the reader to take-away from this novel/series?
Kathy: No matter the troubles we face, we can find joy and comfort from the loving presence of Jesus.
Nike: What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
Kathy: I normally write women’s fiction. I am currently working on another collection of novellas. The stories include a couple of writing challenges I’m giving myself.
Q: What is your fav vacay spot?
Kathy: Visiting my mother and daughters in Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri.
Q: What is your fav thing to eat?
Kathy: A hamburger with all the vegetables I can get on it.
Q: You can live anywhere while you write a novel set there. Where is that? Why?
Kathy: Hawaii. Not as a tourist.
Millie’s Christmas in a nut shell…
Ruthie says Millie will love Christmas. Ruthie is Millie’s best friend, so she’s sure Ruthie’s right, but why does Millie keep finding Ruthie and her brother Jake crying? Millie, an orange ktten, shares about her first Christmas. Her best friend Ruthie, six years old, teaches Millie about Christmas—food, decorations, music, presents, and Jesus!
Millie’s friend Bruce, the family dog, also helps her celebrate Christmas, and sometimes gets her in trouble.
When Ruthie’s big brother Jake breaks his ankle, Millie learns about sad things, like divorce, when Jake can’t visit his mommy for Christmas. Millie watches Ruthie’s family love each other through the sadness and find joy in Christmas.
Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl. She’s been married to Murray for 32 years, and they have five adult children.
She’s had two careers before writing—stay-at-home-Mom and rehabilitation teacher for the blind. She lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children.
Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dog.
Thanksgiving Day is gone, though thanksgiving continues as a way of life for me. So, now I’m thankful that Christmas is coming. For me the day after Thanksgiving is the “official start of the Christmas season” which doesn’t end on December 26th. No, I also celebrate the 12-Days of Christmas and end the season on December 6th with Epiphany.
In my house, the day after Thanksgiving is the day for taking out my large plastic “Christmas bins.”
This year I did some research and I found out surveys show that people who celebrate Christmas early tend to be happy people. All I know on a personal level is that I feel great when I jump into the Christmas season with both feet.
Isaiah 9:6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ~ New American Standard Bible [NASB]
My feeling is that “Christmasy people” enjoy the “Light” the season brings. Even the non religious feel the light piercing the darkness and they like it. I don’t decry the overabundance of lights on houses as commercialism. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph don’t upset me. I know Santa Claus isn’t the baby Jesus. I also know the real St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who gave gifts to the poor. I don’t mistake my Santa figurines as “the reason for the season.” Not for one second. But Santa does make me smile. Still, I know if there had never been a Jesus, there would not have been a Santa Claus.
I love to see smiles breaking out on the faces of children when they sit on Santa’s lap. Too often our children are fretful, feeling the anxiety and weight of the world in this angry time. Laughing when they see Frosty or Rudolph is a welcome break. It’s the Light breaking through the darkness. It’s children being allowed to be children, even for a short time. It’s the joy of the season breaking out. It can’t be contained. Darkness can’t hold it back.
I’m a firm believer that you can’t decorate on an empty stomach.
It is up to the church to tell the story of the baby Jesus. If we tell the age-old glorious story, they will listen. We must tell them.
The Birth of Jesus ~ ~ Luke 2 ~ New Living Translation [NLT]
2 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Christian children all over America will be bringing their bibles to school on Thursday, October 4th. They and their families will be participating in celebrating religious freedom in the USA with this simple act.
Christian children who read and delight in their Bibles, enjoy sharing this very important part of their lives with their schoolmates. On October 4th, these children can let their spiritual lights shine. It’s awesome that American Christian children live in a country where they have the First Amendment religious freedom to bring their Bibles to school. Bring Your Bible To School Day is a visual celebration of this freedom to talk about God’s amazing love for us.
I went to the Trinity Baptist Trunk & Treat event tonight to support my two gal pals Lyn Wood Rix and Deborah Williams (translation = eat their candy). They both decorated the trunks of their cars and gave out sweets, as other adult members of the church did.
Parents and children from the church and surrounding community vote on the best looking trunk and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are announced at the end. Trinity Babtist is a church, a private school academy, and a Christian college.
I first heard of this story on a local Christian radio show, and they got it all wrong. It was a call-in show and the host framed questions to callers in terms of Milo’s homosexuality. At that time I thought CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) had made an unconscionable decision. CPAC is not a Christian organization, but a conservative political one. Milo is gay, a conservative, and an editor at Breitbart News. Surely CPAC knew that when they invited him to be their key-note speaker.
However, that was not the issue at all. What happened is a video surfaced in which Milo seemed to support pedophilia with 13 year-olds. The reporting of this story is an issue in and of itself. It seems many media outlets do not do enough research on the stories they report and/or discuss and they get it skewed.This was the case with the local Christian call-in show.
In the video that surfaced, Milo treated the entire subject lightly and seemed not to know that 13 year-olds are children. Another disturbing aspect of this story is Milo seems to think the notion of consent is “arbitrary and oppressive.” He further quipped that a Roman Catholic priest had helped him develop some of his own sexual techniques. All of this is appalling.
I hated that Milo Yiannopoulos has been shut down at quite a few college campuses and not allowed to speak because he is gay, conservative, and a nationalist. I had supported, on social media, Milo’s First Amendment right to speak in those cases. That radical left students rioted and burned parts of Berkley’s campus was abhorrent.
That said, I applaud CPAC for rescinding their invitation to Milo Yiannopoulos. I feel a burden with regard to pedophilia. I know six individuals who were victims of pedophiles. These injured parties were hurt deeply and had trouble pulling their lives together. One of them spent his life fighting severe depression, two had battles with drug abuse. The others also had problems directly related to childhood sexual abuse and spent years in therapy. In these types of cases, child sexual abuse doesn’t only affect the victim but also horribly injures other members of the childhood family of origin. It impacts the future wife and future children of the child sex abuse victim.
In my opinion, pedophilia is much akin to murder. It kills the victims’ souls and psyches, as well as injuring their bodies in many instances. I believe the penalty for convicted pedophiles should be second only to murder.