“In the 2nd Grade and Learning Lessons”

In the “Second Grade” and Sister Damion was  the teacher- NUN  – – and she was a very good teacher. One of the learning tools that she used – – was a small card with numbers that each student would receive – – each card had a special identifying   number on the back – – so that she could correct our papers against for the correct answers.

When we received this card – you would put that  “card number” on your sheet of paper – – that way – SISTER Damion could correct the papers faster. Each child received a different card – – so therefore – – no one with very good “eye-sight” could cheat – – by looking at some-other student’s paper.  This same card could be used for addition – -subtraction  and multiplication – – as she had the “MASTER ANSWER SHEETS” – – for easy  correction of our papers when turned in.

To be in the “2nd Grade” and to learn so much with these arithmetic cards – – I would have to say… “arithmetic” was  one of the most important things to learn – – in the very early years in school. With these “cards” there was no way to cheat. – – These “cards” were handed out when we were to work out these problems – – and then immediately when finished – these “cards’ were collected. These “cards” were never left out – – and you did not have them long enough to copy – –  – as I do not think that when you are only  “eight or even seven years old”  – – you would ever think to copy these “cards” in order to cheat?

Since I was the oldest of  the three of us – – and each of us only a year apart in age – – each year following me – – my brothers,  Denny and then Tommy would follow – – in the same learning process. “My MEMORY”  of this learning with the “NUMBERS” is so strong, because – – my MOTHER did not like “MATH” – – and when she saw our Report cards – – always marveled…  at how well we each did in the “MATH” department.

NOW… that I am thinking about those early years in school – – I  can only hope that the “TEACHERS” today – – also  work as hard – – in the teaching of words – – pronunciation and spelling – – with the meaning and usage- – – since there are quite a few words  that  sound alike – – but are spelt  differently. WORDS and the correct spelling of  them  – – which… NOW –  make all the difference in the world – – as TODAY – -how can you communicate  – – as everyone is holding in their hands some type of  a hand-held gadget – –  and words and numbers are all that you have… to send an important message – – to the whole wide world – – to see and read – – that is all that there is… TODAY!

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First Sunday in ADVENT…cont’d”

The first “SUNDAY” in ADVENT – – was a very important time for “ORPHANS” – – at the HOME where we were…  as well as other “Children Institutions” in the Saint Louis area. If ever there was a “TIME” in a child’s LIFE – – that will always be remembered – – it will be the “TIME” leading up to  “CHRISTMAS” – – because … there seems to be such  “mystery”  and at the same time… some “great expectations” – – just the waiting with “HOPE” for a miracle!

This trip to the “FAMOUS BARR” store – – had all kinds of suspense in it – – as for new “orphans”  – – who had not been there before…  for this big “Christmas OUTING” for lots of children – – across the Saint Louis area – – this was almost like the best “DREAM” a small child could ever have – – and it would happen again, next year,too!

When  the LIVE Show on the stage finished and the Cartoons  and the “THREE STOOGE MOVIE”  and also lots of Christmas songs having been sung – – – we were instructed on another special part of this visit to  the work-shop of “SANTA” in his “Winter Wonder Land” – – with all kinds of people dressed as “SANTA’s ELVES” – – and it looked like we were really up at the “NORTH POLE!”

The “Elves’ were directing the boys and girls according to age to small windows in the “NORTH POLE” station – – someone asked your age… and then would hand to you – – a  Christmas wrapped gift – – and directed you into another lane to follow – – to where you would be going down the escalators… to the ground floor to where our group had one more surprise.

As each one of  us… would hop off the moving steps… there  were more of  “SANTA’s Helpers” all dressed so special – – and with their arms just full of “stockings of CANDY” hanging … with very quick moves – – each child received a nice stocking.  And…  as each of us children would move past one of these “Elves” – – we  took  the “STOCKING full of CANDY” – – and did our eyes ever light up in a hurry! Still moving and on a pretty fast  pace – – we were directed to the area where our “Grey-hound BUS” was waiting – – and motors all running – – just sounded like being in another world.

Back on the “BUS” and headed for the Orphanage – – we were all talking about everything that had happened. The one thing you could notice  – – that so many of us, kids – – were holding on to the CHRISTMAS GIFT and that stocking full of CANDY!  There were a few of the children  – – that did have to open their GIFT – – and even some that opened their “Stocking of Candy” – – that was something that I just could not do. – I figured that… “I will keep the gift and Candy  stocking – – just as they are – – and wait till CHRISTMAS” – –  since this was ADVENT – – and we had a lesson in school about making sacrifices and doing without some things – – in the expectation of  Christmas.

The “First SUNDAY of ADVENT” was always one of the best things that ever happened to an ORPHAN – – at least in my book – – to have the FUN of the surprise  – – the gift and candy stocking – the day back and forth on the BUS – – singing CHRISTMAS SONGS – – and so much to tell my parents… when I would see them for CHRISTMAS!

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“First Sunday of ADVENT in Orphanage”

Not everyone  will remember some of the things that took place  – – back in the 1940’s and 1950’s – – just because you were not living them. Since… I was living back then – – and was in an Orphanage…  – not many think  of and probably do not  know of  – – because children are “NOW”  placed in homes with foster “PARENTS” – – to develop a better “Family” related style of home-living.

“BUT”  – – “When I was just eight years old – – and only in an Orphan Home for (3) three months – – when the “CHRISTMAS SEASON” was starting… with the  first Sunday of “Advent” …four weeks of preparation… before CHRISTMAS.”

This being an “ORPHAN” was all new stuff to me – – as my MOTHER and FATHER were still alive and very much a part of my life. It was very difficult for me to like any part of this being in this home away from my home with my parents. 

There were some children – – that were in this “home” since  the early  age of two (2) – and they were able to like this place – – but for me – – complete confinement –  – – the school rooms and Church and dining halls and bedrooms all in just this one building and all completely fenced in – – was all…  very strange to me.

This first “SUNDAY” of ADVENT was a terrifically good change in an ORPHAN’s   LIFE – – –  this was a “DAY”   like none other – – and one that  – –   had you  only wishing…   would happen  – – more often.

We ORPHANS would get dressed in our “SUNDAY BEST  dress” – even the NUNS that were traveling with us  – – wore their best Sunday Habits – – all nicely starched – they even looked beautiful. Soon the “Greyhound BUS” maybe … three or four – – were pulling up in the drive-way – -and all of the children and plenty of NUNS boarded  – – numbers of who and where to sit – – so as to keep track of each child – – do not want to miss someone – – when the bus  will bring us back – – just amazing – – how well organized  these trips went.

Off to see “SANTA CLAUSE” at the downtown, FAMOUS BARR” store – Saint Louis – – on the ninth floor – –  and  for a little girl – – like me – this was out of the world stuff  – – this excitement – –  would remain with you – – just to wait for it to happen again next year.

When we arrived near the store entrance… the NUNS had us moving and following the directions of the  employees of FAMOUS BARR – – and into the store – to the escalator steps  – not  all in the moving up  mode – – but we kids were moving very fast – the CHRISTMAS  music playing – – with  so much excitement in the air – just not knowing what…  will be happening – – but whatever happens – – it will be FUN!

In the Auditorium – we are taking our place – – as directed – – and on the stage – -lots of  people talking and then a movie and also following a LIVE SHOW – – lots of LIVE people on stage – – we all sing – – there are other  children  from “Orphan Homes” and Institutions of children – – all receiving a wonderful time – – in the land of magic – – just something to dream about for months – –  just waiting for the next time.

(will continue tomorrow)



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“1st SUNDAY in ADVENT 2016”

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

Christmas Memories

Thinking back on Christmases past is a fun way to reflect on the good old days. The wonderful lights and decorations, festive holiday atmosphere, warm family get-togethers, unforgettable melodies, and jovial Christmas cheer all make for pleasant memories. But, of course, our hearts aren’t merry for these things alone. Christmas is the believer’s celebration of the arrival of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a Servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7).

Hallelujah! It is this Gift of God—His own beloved Son—whom we joyously adore with our hearts this Advent season. Jesus, who took on human flesh so that we might partake of His divine redemption, is the One our Christmas memories turn to, worshipping and adoring Him for all He has done for us. Take time this holiday season to make Christmas memories that last—memories that lovingly honor the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



November 27, 2016

Read Luke 1:1-4 TEXTIt seemed good to me…to write an orderly account for you…that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Mark 11:1-2)

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas this year? I always did. I’d hope and pray, but most years I’d look out the window and only see the same old, brown grass and bare trees. Sometimes we feel that same disappointment in our Christmases. We get our hopes up; we make all our preparations, but then we feel disappointed when the day rolls around.

Maybe our problem is building our Christmas excitement on uncertain things-a white Christmas, the perfect presents, everyone getting along at Christmas time. Luke had something different in mind when he wrote about the first Christmas.

Luke wasn’t your typical writer in the Bible though. Unlike Matthew he wasn’t one of Jesus’ 12 disciples; he never met Jesus face-to-face. He wasn’t even Jewish; he was a Gentile physician from Antioch in Syria. He joined Paul in his later missionary journeys. In Acts 16 notice Luke’s commentary changes from “they went” in verse six to “we went” in verse 11.

To write his Gospel and the earlier chapters of the book of Acts, Luke gathered his information from interviews he had with people who saw and heard Jesus, people who lived with Him, ate and drank with Him. Being an educated man, Luke didn’t get swept away by the ramblings of dreamy-eyed followers of Jesus. He made sure to ask for historical details and evidence from his witnesses-including Jesus’ mother Mary.

Prayer: Almighty God, I want to learn more about the first Christmas. Thank You for leaving us a record in the words of Jesus’ own mother Mary. Help me learn why Jesus was born and why that matters for my life now. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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“Do YOU SEE… What I SEE?”

“WHO in the world… are you?”  – – “DO YOU guys know “WHO” –  I AM???”


“MEOW… MEOW… MEOW… Could you spare some thing good …  to eat… for my  little family of baby kittens???


“Sure am glad…  that I found this “PAD” – – this is like “HEAVEN” – – we all have our own living quarters – – so close together and we are “all”  right here on the “deck” – – so we all get fed first… way before all  of the animals in the fields!




“Does that look like… that  old “TURKEY” that was strutting all around this place – – just like he owned this place?

“yesterday… now…  that I think about it – – I did not hear him waking everybody up – – so….. early in the morning? Some days “HE” would   strut  around this place like he  owned it and would  cackle  – – like the “SUN” was coming  “UP”  –  – at all times of the day!”

“There were days when “YOU” would not know…  when to wake up – – guess the  “People” here – – just had enough of him – –  they must be taking that  “NOISE MAKER” out of him?”

“P.S.”  – – Just so everyone will know – – they have a “TURKEY DAY” – – just to stop all of that getting woke up – – at the wrong “TIME of  DAY” – – just so you all know!

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The finished touch at the DINING ROOM TABLE – – will make a real “Show Stopper” – when you create this beautiful napkin!


When it comes to your Thanksgiving table, it’s the little details that count. And these napkins folded into turkey shapes certainly will have you gobbling up the compliments.

Take a   Chinet All Occasion Napkin®

To make these turkey-shaped napkins, you will need two square napkins for each one. I chose a plain napkin for the body and a patterned napkin for the feathers. I also used paper napkins because they’re much easier to fold than cloth napkins. As you fold, press down firmly to create defined creases.


Start with the napkin for the body. Crease the napkin in half diagonally.


Fold the left and right corners into the center line.


Fold the outside corners once more into the center line.


Fold up the lower tip until it meets the tip at the top.


Fold down about an inch of the front tip to create the head.


Moving on to the feathers, unfold the square napkin so it is a rectangle


Accordion-fold the napkin every one-half inch until there are about three inches remaining.


Fold the napkin in half with the accordion folds on the outside bottom.


Fold and tuck the open ends of the napkin into the bottom accordion fold crease.


Let go and the feathers unfold. Place the feathers on top of the body.


Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself  projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.

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