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Families Again
Saturday, 28 February 2009
Yes the Tinkels are Still Alive!
Topic: Family

My how February has flown by and I realized that I haven't kept up with my blog at all. I will endeavor to do better. It has been a busy last half of the month. John Allen is just getting over strep, Jacob had an eye infection, and Joshua has had the dental problems that I blogged about recently.

Homeschooling has been mixed this month. Some days have been great, other days have been horrible. John Allen is a usual pre-teen and tries to get out of work any way he can. Joshua has to work in small doses but usually gets all of the main work done. Even Jacob is wanting to do work sometimes, which keeps me on my toes.

Ministry has also been mixed. We usually have our Sunday afternoon Bible studies, even when there is bad weather, but we go with the school schedule for our Tuesday afternoon Bible clubs. Unfortunately, we have had quite a few snow days this year, so we are just now really getting back into our after Christmas schedule. However, Sarah and her ladies have been super busy. They have had craft classes, cooking classes, movie days, and Sarah has a devotional with them each time. She also tries to do something with them individually at least once every couple of weeks.

It seems like I have been off my game this month. Some days are better than others, but it has been an unusual 28 days. Thankfully, God divided time into days. Each day is a new day, and each month is a new month. We can leave the past behind and look forward, striving to do better each day. Tomorrow starts a new month, so I am making a "new month" resolution to get back into a good rhythm.

Hope you all have had a great February and have a fantastic March. Sarah has a prayer letter in the works that will be sent out within the next week or so. I've also seen some neat Easter and lent activities that I'm going to pass on to you in a post soon.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:48 PM CST
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Saturday, 14 February 2009
Ghosts of Valentine's Day Past
Topic: Family

I remember, in elementary school, our teacher would send home a list of all of our classmates right before Valentine's Day. I always took those lists seriously. There was no grabbing any old valentine's card, signing my name to it, and stuffing it in an envelope. It was a very thoughtful process. I would lay out all of the cards and pick the perfect one that I thought fit the recipient's personality. It didn't matter that most kids just ripped open their cards and didn't even pay attention to who it was from. I had to make sure that they received just the right one whether they cared or not.

It wasn't until later in life that I became a failure in that area. Not a total failure, mind you, but sometimes not quite as conscientious. There are some bright spots in my past Valentine's Days. One year, right after Sarah and I got married, I heard an advertisement on the radio for a local fancy restaurant. If you ordered a Valentine's Bear from them, they would enclose a $50 gift certificate for their restaurant. I don't think the whole package even cost $50 so it seemed like a good deal. And it was! The bear was nice, but the eatery was fantastic! It was one of those places where you had a waiter that took your order and brought your food, and then a server just for the beverages. They hid behind a post in the middle of the room, but were constantly watching you. I remember taking a sip, and immediately they were over to refill my cup. Sarah and I laughed and giggled the entire meal. We weren't used to such service. We ended up going over our $50 limit so we had to pay some, but it was worth it.

Fancy restaurants were a thing of the past after children were born. Instead we had to start being creative. John Allen's first Valentine's Day, when he was only six months old, was one of those creative times. I concocted a plan while at work and had to stop by a local grocery store on the way home. When I got home, my plan went into action. I helped Sarah get John Allen ready and told her we were going someplace. When she got into the car, a card was waiting for her on the seat. We then drove to the lakefront in Kissimmee and I pulled a bottle of chilled sparkling grape juice, some snacks, and two plastic champagne glasses out of the trunk. I, of course, didn't forget John Allen. I had also bought some fancy apple juice to fill his sippy cup. After enjoying our appetizer, it was off to the restaurant. Along the way, I told Sarah to look under her seat where I had stashed a bag of her favorite chocolates - M&Ms. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable evening for all.

I haven't been that creative for all of my February 14 holidays. Some have just been flowers or going out for supper. It becomes harder to be creative when you have more children. I've already told you part of what happened this year. But, tomorrows another day. I wonder what fun I can conjure up this time? Mmmmm...

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:08 AM CST
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Friday, 13 February 2009
Ghosts of Valentine's Day Present

I really blew it this week. Things just seemed to fall apart all week. Nothing seemed to work. I was stressed. I yelled at the kids too much. Homeschooling was very lacking.

It didn't help that Joshua had an abscessed tooth and had to be taken, kicking and screaming (literally), to the doctor last Friday. Once he settled down he was fine. Aspies are funny like that. It seems that they work themselves into a frenzy about something, and then after they finally calm down, and realize that it isn't that bad, they are fine. I guess we are all like that at times, but it seems to be worse for aspies. I know it was for Joshua! Sarah had to call the Dr's office ahead of time so that they could open the back door for us. Thankfully, they know all about Joshua's problems and are very understanding. They put him on antibiotics, and we found a pediatric dentist in Cookeville (twenty minutes away) who - this is a God thing - works primarily with autistic kids. To make a long story short, Joshua went, teeth were fixed, and Joshua was happy (especially after the laughing gas)!

I also had challenges with John Allen this week. At least I thought they were challenges with him. The more I think about it, the more I think that I am the challenging one. I need to remember what I was like in sixth grade. It's not that he is entirely without fault, but I need to pick my battles and not be so hard on him sometimes.

We even had problems with Jacob. We were a little upset with him after he poured a whole bottle of vanilla (The good stuff from Mexico. Pure vanilla!) along with a whole bottle of vegetable oil on the kitchen floor. We are still cleaning it up, but at least the kitchen smells good.

I say all this because the previous post and the Valentine's Day season has me thinking about my family and how much I love them and how I treat them. I am determined to do better.

I was watching TV the other night when a "Vermont Teddy Bear" commercial came on. Sarah collects teddy bears, so I thought this would be perfect for her. I got on the internet and found an inexpensive one for her that was to be delivered today. I managed to keep it a secret all week. All day long the anxiety was high. I kept looking out of the window. Once I saw the UPS truck go by our house and ran out to meet it. It went down our street, turned around, and drove right past our house. After a while, I got on their website only to find out that they had tried to deliver it but supposedly no one was home to sign for it. Needless to say, I was a little upset. I couldn't find a number for UPS so I called the "Vermont Teddy Bear" people. They were great! They tracked down the bear, and it was delivered during Sarah's cooking class right in front of all of the ladies! I'm glad I decided to do it.

I kind of forgot about the kids though. I don't know where my head was. But tomorrow is another day. We are going to grandma's house after shooting to spend the weekend. It'll be a good day. I'll make sure of it.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:52 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 14 February 2009 1:09 AM CST
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Practical Ways To Show Love

The following article, from TeachingHome , I am able to reprint in its entirety. I'm glad, because it's a good one. It made me think about how I treat my family and others.

Practical Ways To Show Love

by Cindy Short and Sue Welch

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18).

Show love (and teach your children to do so also) in the following ways on Valentine's Day ? and all year long.

1. Words

Words are a very powerful way to express feelings.

The more specific your words, the more meaningful they are. Tell your loved one how much you love him, how important he is to you, and how much you appreciate certain of his attributes or actions.

Look for ways to express what is in your heart in either spoken or written words on a regular basis.

God used words to tell us how much He loves us. We can use words in prayer and songs of praise to tell God that we love Him.


A traditional Valentine (or other occasion) card can be bought or creatively hand made.

Find detailed instructions to make elegant cards using a variety of materials and techniques at Card Making Inspirations or follow links to many card making projects at FindHow.com.

Daily Words of Love

Establish the habit of saying something kind to each member of your family every day. Maybe as you are saying goodnight, you could thank them for specific contributions they made to the family that day, commend their acts of thoughtfulness and kindness, and tell them something you appreciate about them. This can become a special time that your family will look forward to each night and can make a difference in attitudes and actions within the family.

Praise to Others

Let your loved ones hear you praising them to others.


A hand-written letter can be (and usually is) kept and cherished for life. Write to your husband, children, and loved ones to tell them of your love; your hopes, aspirations, and prayers for their future; etc.

Telephone Calls

Phone calls are very inexpensive now. You can call a friend across the country and have a 20-minute visit for under $1. Just a short time to catch up on news and let your friend know that you are praying for her and that you value your friendship can be a tremendous and needed encouragement.

Sharing the Good News of Salvation

If you truly love someone that isn't saved, you will want to give them the Gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).

Gospel tracts and Scripture portions make an excellent aid in witnessing.

2. Time

Time spent together focusing on your loved one, his needs, and his interests is a genuine act of love. Just being together is the best gift you can give to those you love.

In your family, this can be made a regular routine, such as:

? Arrange to drop everything and spend the first 10-15 minutes with your husband when he gets home or go on a walk together. Do not monopolize the time with your concerns; listen to the report of his day.

? Schedule time alone, even 5-10 minutes, with each of your children each day. One suggestion is to have a helper with you for each of your tasks such as cooking, laundry, errands, etc. Use the time together to visit, talk about his interests, but especially to listen to your child.

? Invite a friend or family over for a meal or a neighbor in for a cup of tea.

? Visit a shut-in and ask him to share something about his life.

? And don't forget to spend time with the Lord each day!

3. Gifts

It really is the thought that counts ? your gifts do not need to be large or expensive to be valued as a tangible expression of your affection.

Small purchased or handmade gifts that show your thoughtfulness could include flowers, a pen or pencil, a hair clip or piece of jewelry, a pot holder, a tool, a wallet, an item to add to a favorite collection, framed photo, bookmark, handkerchief, favorite food, etc.

Gifts can remind your loved one of your love for him as he sees and uses the gift.

For those in real need, a more practical or substantial gift would be appropriate. "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (1 John 3:17).

4. Acts of Service

Serving the needs of a loved one really shows that you care.

Do one of your loved one's regular chores, run an errand, do something he hasn't had time to do, sew on a button or mend a garment, notice something he needs and bring it to him, etc.

Opportunities for service to those outside your family might include providing a meal, running errands, doing yard work, or providing child care for the sick, shut-ins, busy home-school mothers, etc.

5. Physical Touch

? Hugs, kisses, and other shows of affection are appropriate for family members.

? A hand shake or hug for a member of the same gender is appropriate for others.

The Five Love Languages

Read more about the ways that you can show love to others in these three books by Gary Chapman:

? The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
? The Five Love Languages of Children
? The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.

Copyright 2009 by www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted by permission.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:35 PM CST
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"I Love You" Scavenger Hunt

The "I Love You" Scavenger Hunt is from the website ThriftyFun.com. I am unable to reprint the instructions, but it's a fun "hunt" that you could do with your kids for your spouse.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:07 PM CST
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