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Families Again
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Christmas Gift Ideas from Families Again
Topic: Favorite Links

This is a recent email that I sent to my friends and family. I wanted to share it with my blog readers as well. If you want to be added to our email list and be the first to get our prayer concerns and ministry updates, please email us at tink38570@yahoo.com.

I have promised to always be on the lookout for ideas to strengthen families and two of the family companies that I affiliate with are having great sales for Christmas.
The first, is FunAgain.com. FunAgain is a great game company. It has all kinds of unusual and hard to find games and puzzles. We bought our Rush Hour games from there and love them. If you have never played Rush Hour, you have got to check it out! I will add this disclaimer. Although FunAgain is a family company and I have never found any raunchy games, they do have games that include Pokemon, and Harry Potter. I have affiliated with them because even though I will not allow my children to play games such as Pokemon and Harry Potter, there are some Christian families that don't object to them. I will let you make up your mind. Someday I hope to find a company that is Christian and has as great variety as FunAgain. Until then, I feel that the great games that they have far outweigh the few things that I find objectionable. I plan on blogging more about family game nights on  my FamiliesAgain blog in the near future so keep reading.
Have I mentioned before that I love Vision Forum? If I haven't, let me tell you again. I love Vision Forum and they are having another great sale. Some of the new items that I really like are from their new Classic Toys section. There are toys galore from grandma and grandpa's day. Dad, do you remember that old Casey Jr. Electric Train set you used to play with or that red scooter you got that one Christmas? Mom, do you remember that pink tricycle that you used to ride or that Victorian Doll House that you used to play with? Thought that you couldn't get them any more? You still can in Vision Forum's Classic Toy Section. Click on the link and see.

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Posted by tink38570 at 1:50 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 December 2008 2:08 AM CST
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Monday, 15 December 2008
What do 8 Turkeys, 125 Mouths, Float #93 and
Mood:  rushed
Topic: General

What do they have in common? One hectic day in he Tinkel household! And boy am I glad it's over! I'll take each one of the above point by point and hope that you won't get lost (or die of exhaustion).

1. 8 Turkeys and 125 Mouths - That's how many turkeys Sarah fixed and how many mouths Good News Mission fed at our Annual Christmas Dinner last Saturday. As most of you know, Sarah and I run Good News Mission which is located across the street from the low income housing area here in Livingston. Livingston isn't a very big town, and Good News Mission isn't a very big ministry, but there is a need, and God has blessed us by allowing us to help fulfill that need. Every year we have a Christmas Meal for the people we minister to. This year we fed over 75 people in the mission and took over 75 take out plates to local sick and shut-ins. We, thankfully, didn't have to do it alone. We had a local church youth group, and another family come to help. Many other churches and individuals prepared food and desserts, and donated paper goods. A local deli donated all of their outdated desserts as well. Sarah's ladies also helped to clean and get the mission ready. But the turkeys are Sarah's thing. This year she did have help cooking one turkey, but the other 8 were cooked by her over a three day period. Sarah does a fantastic job coordinating and planning this big event. This year we were able to reach out to a new area of primarily elderly people and deliver meals to them. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him. The meal was from 11:30-1:00 but we were over at the mission by 8:00 to make the final preps and accept the food as it was brought in.. Keep that in mind, it will help you with the timeline for the day.

2. Float #93 - That was the float that Sarah, John Allen and Joshua road on during Livingston's Christmas Parade. They were involved in Upward Football this year, and Upward decided to promote their league by entering a float in the parade. John Allen and Joshua road on the float and threw candy to the spectators, but Sarah decided to walk along side. That lasted for about a mile and a half. Please pray for Sarah's shin splints.

Jacob and I parked by First Baptist church and watched with some friends of ours. Jacob loved the candy throwing but he wasn't so sure about the police and fire sirens. Oh well, he had fun anyway. If you're keeping a timeline, we had to get to the float as soon as we could after the mission meal because the parade started at two. There was a slight miscommunication as to where I was supposed to pick them up, but I finally found them around 4:30. When Sarah got in the car I asked her what was at home for supper. After she answered "turkey", we promptly pulled in to the local Chinese Restaurant. We had had enough poultry for a few days.

3. "Exit stage right" - That was one of my cues in First Baptist's Christmas play. I love to act, and the First Baptist drama committee has graciously allowed me to participate in their fantastic plays the last few years. This year John Allen joined me for the three performances. The drama team puts on three or four large productions every year ranging from serious dramas for Easter and Christmas to more fun shows for the "Senior Salute" or the youth fund-raiser Valentine's Day Banquet. For a medium size church, the drama committee does a top notch job that would rival any large church or playhouse production. I have played everything from "James the Good Deacon" in the Agatha Christie spoof "And Then They Had None" (yes, I confess, I stole the coconut cream pie) to the "Ghost of Christmas Past and the Undertaker" in "A Christmas Carol" (there were some quick costume changes in that one). This year I was a prophet at the beginning of the play, a caravan traveler toward the middle, and a shepherd for the rest. It wasn't that bad, only one costume change, then they added or took away accessories to make me look a little different for the rest. There is a small core of us that are in almost all of the plays and we always have a great time from the first rehearsal to the last curtain call. I thank the Lord for the talents that enable me to participate in these great outreaches.

OK, if you are still keeping track, John Allen and I had to be at the church between 5:00 and 6:00 which left little time for eating. By the time we got home around 8:30 we were exhausted and glad that the day was over. It was a busy day, but these are the types of days that we will remember as a family. I did beg Sarah to next year schedule the meal on a different day, though. If not, they me be adding a cooked goose to the Christmas meal menu - ME!


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:58 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 December 2008 12:18 AM CST
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Thursday, 11 December 2008
It's Back! ThanksUSA!
Mood:  cool
Topic: General

In fact, it's been back since Thanksgiving Day!

Many of you have read about John Allen's and my experience with Vision Forum's Jamestown400 treasure hunt. Well, alas, it doesn't appear that VF is going to have another big hunt again this year. But, I found another treasure hunt that, while maybe not as detailed as the VF hunts, is still fun and educational. Thanks USA is an organization started by two sisters (when they were preteens at that!) that raises scholarship money for children and spouses of our brave men and women in the military. One of the ways that they raise money is with their annual treasure hunt. It always starts on Thanksgiving Day and runs through the summer of the next year. Their website gives this description of this years hunt:

           This year's treasure hunt focuses on the fascinating histories of Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota Oregon, and Rhode Island along with the histories of the U.S. Air Force and   U.S. Marine Corps and the history of ThanksUSA.We will tease you, bend your mind and coax you through crosswords, wordokus, word searches, kakuros, anagrams and more as you seek to find the key at the end of each chapter to unlock that chapter's treasure chest. We encourage students, families and individuals to jump into the chapters and learn important historical facts and concepts in a fun but challenging way in hopes of  winning this year's fabulous educational and technological prizes. The clues and puzzles were generated by  several teachers and supporters of ThanksUSA, including two of our past treasure hunt winners and one of our scholarship recipients!

You can register as either an individual or as a youth or school (including homeschool) group. Each hunt is divided into twelve chapters. If you register as a youth or school group, you have to have four chapters done every  three months (the first deadline is Feb. 20). They then do a drawing of everyone who submitted the correct answers for some great prizes for your organization. If you register as an individual, you have until next Sept. to do all 12 chapters. Prizes this year include $1000 gift certificates for the group winners, and laptop computers for the individual winners. The Grand Prize winner gets a $10,000 treasure chest! It's all free, but they do encourage you to donate to their organization. The hunt can be done entirely online or you can print out their puzzle book and send in the answers. Either way, it's a lot of fun and it's for a good cause. Check it out and do it as a family!

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:06 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 11 December 2008 12:54 AM CST
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Monday, 8 December 2008
Are you tired of the Malls? Shop through my Affiliates!
Topic: Favorite Links

Vision Forum is Having Another Great Sale!

Read my post below for details on this great company!

Check out this great new company that I just affiliated With!

Last but not least. Another great company!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:40 PM CST
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Over the River and Through the Woods...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

This is the season for getting together with family and friends. Sometimes that means traveling for long distances. Sometimes it means traveling across town. Unfortunately, this is also the season for heavy traffic and long waits - even if you are just driving a few miles. As missionaries, the Tinkel's have to travel a lot. Sarah and I  learned a long time ago that it pays to be prepared. Unfortunately, we don't always prepare. So, this blog entry is just as much of a reminder to get ready for the trip myself, as it is a blog to share some resources that I have found to help make the adventure a little easier.

One thing that we always do at the beginning of our trip is pray. Recently I read a blog written by a homeschool mom who almost quit homeschooling because it was getting to be a hassle. Her kids would hate to get up and get started, and she would be grouchy. They had lost the focus of why they started homeschooling in the first place. Finally she decided to recommit her homeschooling to the Lord. They began to start the day with devotions and prayer and soon found that the joy of homeschooling began to come back. The kids were more eager and she was less irritable. We've found that the same thing happens when we pray at the beginning of our travels. Not only do we pray for safety, but we also pray for sweet spirits and patience with each other. And it works! I know prayer before the start of a trip seems obvious, but sometimes the obvious is what gets left out. Remember, I'm writing this as a reminder to myself as well as a suggestion to you.

Another thing that we started a couple of years back was the prize bag. This is a bag full of travel type games, foods, books, etc. Some of these things I buy ahead of time, and some I buy along the way at souvenir shops or rest stops. We give the boys a time goal and tell them that if they can be patient with each other and not argue, we will give them a prize from the prize bag when the time is up. They love it and keep asking when the next prize time is!

Many years ago I bought a set of old Lone Ranger radio broadcasts on tape that someone was selling on Ebay. We decided to take them on a trip that we were taking. It was one of the best trips ever. John Allen hardly peeped the entire time and Joshua (a baby at the time) was even content. Recently I found a couple of websites that you can download old records and audio books for free. Kiddie Records Weekly, has old kid's records ranging from "Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood" (one of my kid's favorites) to "Manners Can be Fun" (we're listening to that one soon) to "The Story of Jesus". For our most recent advent night, we listened to "The Story of the Nativity" with Gene Autrey. Two other sites that have books on tape are Storynory and Librivox. We don't have MP3 players yet, but we are thinking about getting each boy one so that we can individualize their listening and perhaps make the trip even more enjoyable.

I recently found Family Travel Gear. I had been looking for a travel site to affiliate with for a long time, but they all had things that I felt were objectionable and would not fit well with goals of this blog. Until I found Family Travel Gear. As I was searching their site, one of the first things that caught my eye were G A Henty books on tape. G A Henty was a Christian novelist who wrote historically accurate adventure books for boys. I figured that if they have Henty books, they are my kind of site. And they are! They have the usual travel gear - things for the car (or plane or train) to make the trip easier, safer, more comfortable etc., but they also have an excellent selection of travel games, books and audio books. The audio books range from simple fairy tails for the younger kids, to classics as well as the Henty books for the older ones. I couldn't find one objectionable thing on the site. Check it out!

I hope this helps in your holiday travels. It was a good reminder for me to begin to get ready now and not procrastinate. Have a great trip and a very merry Christmas and don't forget the real Reason that we celebrate.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:53 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 8 December 2008 11:40 PM CST
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