My Top Ten Favorite Hobbies

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Everyone has things they enjoy doing for fun. Here is my list of 10 favorite hobbies. I didn’t include spiritual activities such as Bible study, prayer, and worship, but I love them too. I also didn’t include my ministry activities such as Gospel illusions, puppets, and preaching.

 

10. Playing board games and card games: I love to spend an evening with friends playing games.

9. Dancing: I took 20 years of dance lessons when I was younger.

8. Knitting: I learned how to knit from my grandmother, but I taught myself how to make more than scarves when I was pregnant with my first child.

7. Going to the movies with my husband: I love to watch good, clean movies.

6. Researching my ancestry: This is a lot of fun, and you wouldn’t believe what I’ve found out.

5. Studying history: This is probably why I write historicals.

4. Watching classic movies: I love classic movies, especially movies from the 1940s and 1950s.

3. Traveling: I’ve been to 40 states and 8 countries. Going to the other states and a few more countries is on my bucket list.

2. Reading: I have always loved to read. I remember reading with a flashlight under the covers when I was a kid and supposed to be asleep. When I was a teen, I read classics and Shakespeare for fun.

1. Writing: Writing isn’t really a hobby since I am an author, but I do enjoy it enough to include it on the list.

Tips on Celebrating the Fourth!

by Carole Brown

A summer celebration time that combines fun and patriotism, for kids and adults, with activities and more serious contemplation. Here’s some thoughts on experiencing all this with your family.

  1. Display the American flag. Allow children to attach one to their bike or scooter. Display one from your house or garden. String a row (banner) of flags around the yard for a party.american-flag-free
  2. Obtain a copy of the constitution and read it to your children or family. Discuss it with your family. Explain details not understood. This is an important part of our country’s history. constitution free
  3. Dress up patriotically. Wear clothes that have the U.S. flag design on them, or clothing shoes freechoose to wear the red, white and blue. You can have a lot of fun trying to look as patriotic as possible using just these colors.
    • Have someone to draw the flag on your cheek or hand with washable finger paintpainted flag on hand free
    • Wear a flag pin on your clothes
    • Paint the US flag on your nails
  4. Watch a local 4th of July parade in your community or city. Get into the parade spirit by waving back at the participants or clapping as U.S. veterans pass by.parade cartoon free
  5. Enjoy a barbecue or picnic with family or friends. Get together around at least 1 pm or so to spend the afternoon together. Enjoy the foods of your choice but don’t forget the traditional fourth foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and an American flag cake.Independence day cake free
  6. Travel. Both on the fourth of July and the days around it, there will be a number of festivities, fireworks displays, and other fun you can join in depending on where you live. If you’re traveling, check on the suggestions below for a festive time with family and friends 
    • Boston has six days of celebrations: Take a hike along Boston’s Freedom Trail, watch the annual turning of the USS Constitution, attend Chowderfest, watch the reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the Old State House, and enjoy the annual Boston Harborfest. And there is the holiday concert by the Boston Pops at night plus fireworks.
    • Philadelphia‘s festivities last for around a week. Visit the Liberty Bell, see the historic sites in Independence Mall, and enjoy the 4th of July parade and fireworks.
    • In Washington D.C., you can watch the National Independence Day Parade on Constitution Avenue and enjoy the fireworks displays above Washington Monument and the Capitol while at the grounds for the popular and nationally televised A Capitol Fourth, broadcast on PBS and AFN Television.
    • Visit Valley Forge National Park.
    • Mount Rushmore is a great place to celebrate. You can see the fireworks and mount-rushmore-freeother commemorative events. 
    • In San Diego, head for Mission and Pacific beaches and watch the fireworks after dark.
    • In New York, make sure to attend the Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular event, with live music from the US Air Force Band and Orchestra, fireworks and performances by US artists. Or visit the National 9/11 Museum at the Ground Zero site to honor the victims of 9/11 and the armed forces fallen of recent conflicts. 
    • And don’t forget your smaller town celebrations. Heartfelt and interesting, you’ll find many things to do there too!

         7. Make crafts for Independence Day. If you have children, it’s an ideal time topins stars patriotic free

             make crafts together to celebrate the day. Check Pinterest or other online places                  for suggestions and ideas.

  • Make an American Flag Lapel Pin.
  • Make a Homemade Paper Weight and paint it with patriotic designs and colors.
  • Make a homemade card and use a patriotic theme and colors to design the cover and contents.
  • Make a yarn wreath using patriotic yarn colors.
  • Make glowing star lamp in patriotic colors and hang up at your celebratory party.

         8.  Enjoy the fireworks! It’s an awesome time to spend with family and friends.fireworks

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

7 Reasons Why My Husband is a Good Dad

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Father’s Day will be here in a little over a week, so I thought I’d share why I think my husband is a great dad to our children and how young fathers can emulate his example.

My husband was a great dad to our children. We have grown son and daughter, both married, who don’t live with us. Although they’ve struggled at times, my children have grown up to become responsible adults who love the Lord.

Jonathan and Jenna

 

My son is married and has two sons of his own. He is also a terrific husband and father. He supports his family working as a real estate agent and ministers at his church.

Veronica and DariusMy daughter is married. She will be finishing her Master’s Degree in clinical mental health counseling in December. She currently is an intern at Emerge Christian Counseling Center. She and her godly husband are very involved in their church.

 

Much of the reason my children are who they are is because of their dad. Here’s some of the things he’s done while they were growing up.

He spent time with them. My son and his dad would go to airplane shows, for walks in the park, and to look at race cars together. These were interests my son had, and my husband would take the time to encourage those interests. My daughter and her father would go on dates together. He would do what she wanted to do. That usually meant going out to eat, then going to a romantic movie or shopping. My husband doesn’t like chick flics or shopping, but he loved doing these things with his daughter.

He taught them things. My son knows basic carpentry, home maintenance, and how to do minor car repairs because his father taught him whenever he was doing something around the house. It would have been easier for my husband to fix a car or patch a wall without explaining every step to my son and allowing him to do some of it, but he understood that a good father teaches his children. He also taught my daughter many things like how to change a tire and how a man should treat her on a date.

He prayed with them. Whenever my children had any concerns growing up, my husband would have the same response. “Let’s pray about this.” My children learned that whenever they have a problem, the first response is prayer. To this day, when they have a problem, they will call their dad and hear him say, “Let’s pray.”

AsherHe was a godly example. My husband didn’t get saved until we had been married sixteen years. But even before that, he was a man of integrity. He was always where he said he would be, and I never had to worry about him being unfaithful. After he was saved, he stepped it up a notch by being a godly example in everything he did. He didn’t act one way at church and another way at home. Our children saw what it means to be a Christian by watching my husband.

weddingHe’s a wonderful husband. My husband loves me and shows me respect. He listens to me and supports me. And he’s faithful to me. This is one of the best things a dad can do for his children. He showed my son how to be a good husband, and he showed my daughter what a good husband looks like.

He was a strict disciplinarian. My husband showed his children love, but he also expected certain types of behavior from them. When they failed to meet the mark, there would be consequences. This also showed his love for them because it taught them that morality is the best way and that there are consequences in life.

He taught them life isn’t fair. When my children were growing up, sometimes they would complain that some decision my husband made wasn’t fair or something that happened with their teachers or friends wasn’t fair. Sometimes they were wrong. Sometimes it was fair. But sometimes they were right. Sometimes things happened that weren’t fair.

My husband’s favorite saying during those times was “Life’s not fair.” And it’s true. Life is not fair. Dads help their children most when they teach them this principle. Children need to learn to deal with the unfairness of life without becoming bitter or pessimistic. My husband taught my children that life’s not fair, but that doesn’t give them the excuse to be unfair or unkind or to rebel against authority.

I’d enjoy hearing comments about why your husband or father is a good dad.

 

10 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Sons

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My grandsons have declared war with my husband, Rick

My grandsons have declared war with my husband, Rick

My husband was a is a good father. Because of his example, my son is a good father who is raising his two sons to be godly men. Every boy or man should hear these 10 things from his father by the time he becomes an adult.

My son Jonathan with his 2 sons

My son Jonathan with his 2 sons

1. Treat your mother with respect. She’s my wife.

2. I’m proud of the man you’ve become.

3. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

4. Be a man. Do the hard thing because it’s right.

5. Be a man of your word.

6. Treat every woman as if she’s a lady.

7. Be a gentleman. It will never be politically incorrect no matter what they say.

My son playing with his sons at Myrtle Beach

My son playing with his sons at Myrtle Beach

8. I love you enough to find out where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you’ll get home.

9. Choose a woman based on her mind, personality, and values, not her looks.

10. I’ll always love you no matter what you do.

 

 

10 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Daughters

Daughter Veronica with my husband Rick and me at her college graduation

Daughter Veronica with Rick and me at her college graduation

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My husband, Rick, has a special relationship with our daughter, Veronica. When she was young, he would take her on dates to show her how a man should treat her. Every girl and woman needs to hear these 10 things coming from the lips of her father by the time she becomes an adult.

1. You are beautiful.

2. You deserve a man who will treat you like a princess.

Veronica and her dad dancing at her wedding

3. If any man hurts you, they’ll have to deal with me.

4. I love you enough to find out where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you’ll get home.

5. May I have this Dance?

6. You can be anything you want to be.

7. I’m proud of you.

8. I’m amazed at how smart and talented you are.

9. Would you like to go on a date with me?

10. I’ll always love you no matter what you do.

My Ten Favorite Things About Late Spring

by Carole Brown

Although I still love Autumn, Spring has made hardy leaps and bounds pushing to be my favorite season. This year has been particularly pleasant. Here are a fegrass n dew freew of my thoughts about the season:

  1. Warmer weather. What can I say? Although I use to love winter activities, I’ve moved on and prefer warmer weather ones. The cold is definitely at the bottom of my list!
  2. The joy I feel. Yes, that’s right. The winter is past, and a new beginning is taking place. I enjoy that feeling of renewal starting right around Easter and progressing till the middle of June. Time to let go of the hardship of winter (trials, discouragements, etc.) and move on. Take a brighter look around.
  3. The letree freeafing of trees. Believe it or not, I kept an eye on the trees and watched as they regained life. Leafy trees are a reminder of childhood times spent climbing them and playing imaginary games. Leafy trees remind me of the summers reclining beneath them as a teenager and dreaming teen dreams. 
  4. Release from the indoors. Of course, I go outdoors during winter, but now–during spring–doors and windows are open. The outdoors and indoors meet in a joined effort to give me a enduring satisfaction that life is good.
  5. Gardening! Not that I love the work so much, but I love to see the completed jobs, love the few veggies we grow, love seeing hubby and grandson Jonathan picking the produce, and love the sense of doing a good work. 
  6. little-boy-in-dandelions freeIt’s the time of Picking-the-wildflowers. Is there anything sweeter than seeing a grandson running up to you with a bouquet of dandelions (stems almost too short to stick in a vase or other container)? Or to accept a bouquet of pink apple blossoms or black-eyed Susans from hubby? I think not!
  7. The scents and sights. Is there any better sensation than the sweet, pleasant scent of a rose? The strong, heady scent of lilacs, hyacinths, or lilies? Is there anything lovelier than seeing the lilies of the Valley blooming beneath a pink dogwood tree or the shy purple violets peeking from beneath bolder foliage? What could be cuter than those precious pansy faces?
  8. Repurposing, planning, and projects. It’s the time to change things around. Take that old wood table you don’t want anymore and redo it to make a perfect garden work table to repot flowers, etc. Plan a new garden. Begin new projects you’ve dreamed of all winter. Now’s the time! grill free
  9. The-Firing-of-the-Grill time! Isn’t the first time you do this fantastically fun? All winter the grill has stayed covered or spent its days in a secluded area. Now it’s time for it to shine, to do what it was created for! Look out corn on the cob! Drooling for those chicken breasts, steaks and, the all time favorites: burgers and hotdogs! Yay!
  10. desert island sunset freeFinally, it’s time for vacations. Plan, if you haven’t already. Begin the buying for the necessities, prep the vehicle or buy your tickets. Summer prospects are ahead, and the spring anticipation is as much a part of the fun as experiencing it!

 

There you have it. Ten of my favorite items. I could add holiday celebrations (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day) with family and friends, old-fashion ministry experiences like camp meetings or church camps or mission trips, camping, shared sporting activities: boating, fishing, water skiing, etc., but these are all a given. 

Whatever your favorites are for this season, stay relaxed, keep the peace within yourself, and enjoy. Thank God for Spring for God gives us all of the seasons to enjoy, and I really don’t think he minds which one is our favorite.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?

Happy Days!

6 Steps to Making Your Bucket List Come True

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Bucket lists of what we want to do in life are fun to make, but they are rarely accomplished. Here are six steps to making a bucket list you can achieve in your lifetime.

Step 1: Write down everything you’ve ever wanted to do in life. Now is not the time to censor the list. Even if something is impossible, write it down. There are three types of things you’ll have on your list.

Experiences: These are things you want to experience in your lifetime. You might want to go on a safari in Africa or see the Grand Canyon. You might have always wanted to parachute out of an airplane or see a ballet.

Goals: Goals are things you want to accomplish in your life. You might want to become a published author or learn to knit. Whatever your goals are, write them down.

Milestones: Milestones are stepping stones to larger goals. A goal might be becoming a published author, and a milestone might be to finish writing a novel.

Step 2: Look through the list and cross out the things that are impossible. It’s important to understand the difference between impossible and improbable while you’re doing this.

Impossible is an out of shape eighty-year-old woman who has never been rock climbing to climb Mount Everest. Improbable is a forty-year-old woman who has never been rock climbing to climb Mount Baker in Washington State, a mountain that beginning climbers use to improve their skills.

Don’t let lack of money or resources keep you from crossing out anything. Lack of resources make something improbable, but there is always a chance the resources will come from unexpected sources.

A word of caution – if God has put in your heart to do something impossible, leave it on the list. With God, all things are possible.

Step 3: Circle anything on the list that is very important to you. It might be important for you to travel to Paris, but going to Hawaii isn’t that big of a deal. If this is the case, circle Paris.

Step 4: Narrow down your list to three items, and draw stars beside those items. These items are the things that you wouldn’t feel good about unless you accomplished them in your lifetime. Make sure you don’t only circle goals. You might want to circle one item in each category.

Step 5: This is where you brainstorm. What would you have to do to fulfill these three things on your bucket list.

One or two of them might be easy. If you want to see Paris, and you have the money, all you have to do is plan the trip. Write down everything you need to do to plan the trip.

Others might be more difficult. If Paris is on your bucket list and you have no way to afford it, brainstorm about ideas to make money or determine how much you would have to save out of each paycheck to be able to make the trip.

If you have circled a milestone, write beside it what larger goal you’re going after. That milestone will get you closer to your goal.

If you have circled a goal, it may take time to accomplish it. Write down the milestones you need to get done first.

Step 6: This is the most important part. Write down what you need to do to accomplish your goal or milestone. Break it up into small increments. Then schedule these items on your calendar or daily to do list. For instance, if you are out of shape and want to run a marathon, walking a mile every day or going to the gym three times a week might be your first step.

Before you know, you’ll be able to concentrate on three more items on your bucket list.