Saturday, May 24, 2008


The government, awhile back, calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 and came up with approximately $200,000 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock. And that does not include college tuition.

But $200,000 isn´t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $11,111.11 a year
*$925.94 a month, or
*$213.68 a week.
*That´s a mere $30.53 a day!
*Just $1.27 an hour.

Still you might think the best financial advice is- don´t have children if you want to be "rich". Actually it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $200,000?
*Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
*Glimpses of God every day.
*Giggles under the covers every night.
*More love than your heart can hold.
*Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
*Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
*A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
*A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
*Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $200,000, you never have to grow up. You get to:
*finger paint.
*carve pumpkins,
*play hide-and-seek.
*catch lightning bugs,
*and never stop believing in miracles.

You have an excuse to:
*keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh.
*watching Saturday morning cartoons,
*going to Disney movies, and
*wishing on stars.
*You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother´s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father´s Day.

For $200,000, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
*retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
*taking the training wheels of a bike,
*removing a splinter,
*filling a wading pool,
*coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs,
*and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:
*first step,
*first word,
*first bra,
*first date, and
*first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you´re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and enjoy your children and grandchildren!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Found this in an old notebook where I had copied it from a church bulletin. It is told in first person, but the "I" is not me.

It will certainly make you stop and think. You never know what a kind word or deed will do for someone else.

IT was a cold winter´s day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church. As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He ws almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face. He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet with holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the church.

We all had fellowship for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me. A few moments later church began. We were all waiting for the Preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down. People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit. He took off his hat and coat. My heart sank.

There stood our preacher....he was the "homeless man". No one said a word. The preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand. "Folks, I don´t think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today." Then he started singing the words to this song. "If I can help somebody as I pass along. If I can cheer somebody with a word or song. If I can show somebody that he´s traveling wrong. Then my living shall not be in vain."

Do you care? Are you living in vain?

Hard questions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008



**How did you come up with your characters, Charlie and Brad? A combination of what my brother and I were like as kids, the stories I heard about my husband and his twin when they were kids, and how I imagined my own twin sons acting when they reached eleven years old.
**Do you have experience living or working on a farm? Any funny stories related to that? Everyone on both sides of my family are farmers, doing a combination of growing wheat and raising cattle. Our house was in town, but we spent most of our time, especially in the summer, on tractors, combines, wheat trucks, in pick-ups, and working cattle. The only funny story I can think of about me is helping my dad, mom, and brother one morning feeding and counting the cows. The cattle all came into the lots except one, and my dad told me to hurry and open the gate to let her in before the other cows could get out. As I pulled the gate open and trotted backward, I tripped over a concrete block used to hold the gate in place, and got hung up in the chain. I was stuck at such a weird angle I couldn't get myself loose and all the cattle were rushing at me to get out. I was kicking and waving all over the place trying to keep them back, but my family thought I was panicking because I was stuck. They still give me grief over that one.
**Brad and Charlie have a quirky younger sister who sometimes drives them crazy. Do you relate? I have a younger brother who used to drive me nuts all the time, but we were also the best playmates because we are so close in age. I have friends who were the "younger sister" and I remember them getting yelled at by their older siblings all the time.
**Brad and Charlie stay at their grandparents for an annual summer vacation. What's your favorite place to vacation and why? Honestly, I don't really have a "favorite" place to vacation. We didn't have the opportunity to travel much when I was a kid, so ANY vacation is awesome to me. I love to travel, eat different foods, take in the scenery, watch the people. It's all new and exciting to me.
**As a writing mom, how do you juggle the demands of your kids and your career? With great difficulty. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who gives me time in the evenings and on weekends to write. Usually if anything suffers between my writing and taking care of the kids, it's our house. I'm more of a relaxed housekeeper (fancy title for slob), and I only move on the housework if there are no clean clothes, we have to order out because there is no room to cook in the kitchen, and if I walk across the floors and they crunch.

D.C. Stewart grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, and spent most of her childhood getting into trouble with her younger brother on their ranch. She began writing short stories in high school, and won a writing competition at a nearby college at age 17. After graduating, she attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in History, and also met her husband, Scott. She worked for a church in Maumelle, Arkansas as the Communications Coordinator for five years. After moving back to Oklahoma, she chose to stay home with their four year old twin boys, and six month old baby girl, and to pursue her dream of being a full-time writer. The Stewart’s live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Where Would Cows Hide? is her first novel.

WAYS TO WINAuthor D.C. Stewart is giving you a chance to win a copy of WHERE WOULD COWS HIDE?, and more! Here’s how to enter for a copy of WWCH and to enter the grand prize drawing: 1) leave a comment on this blog post (or on any of the blogs participating in the blog tour); 2) email the contest coordinator at with subject line “WWCH ENTRY”; 3) join D.C. Stewart’s ezine list by either sending a blank email to: or visiting and subscribing through the yahoogroups page. Book winners and the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be drawn on or before May 31st, 2008 and will be notified by email. Please make sure you leave a valid email address on applicable blog posts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

AND we are living longer!!!!

Just wanted to share this with all of you "older folks".

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930´s, 40´s, 50´s, 60´s, and 70´s........

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressings and tuna from a can, and didn´t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or childproof latches on doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no sear belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren´t overweight because

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo´s, Wii´s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no DVD´s, no surround sound, no cell phones, no Ipods, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms.......WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits for these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend´s house and knocked on the door or rang the door bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn´t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If you were born during those years, you are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward this to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn´t it?!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Whisper of Freedom Blog Tour

About the book: Battles heat up…not only those being waged by the soldiers on both sides fighting for Spain, but in the hearts and minds of the men and women who must sacrifice more than their dreams to save the lives of their loved ones.

In this meticulously researched novel, brave and idealistic Sophie, Philip, Jose, and Deion realize their only hope for freedom is escaping Spain's borders.

By continuing the story of this band of volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, A Whisper of Freedom proves that there are whispers of hope and liberty that resonate through even the darkest night.

About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the author of twelve books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana.

Book excerpt:
Buy the book:
Watch the series trailer:
Tricia’s website:
Tricia’s Blogs:

During the tour, you can enter to win one of FIVE signed copies of A Whisper of Freedom by signing up for Tricia's newsletter here!

Here are the MEME questions! I tag all my readers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. List three things you would do with a chest full of gold (assuming you got to keep it!)

2. List three charities/missions/organizations you support (and why).

3. List three ways you have volunteered your time/services.

4. List three things you keep "hidden" when company comes over.

5. List the last three things you've lost.

6. List the last three things you've found.

Here are my answers:
1. List three things you would do with a chest full of gold (assuming you got to keep it!)

First, I would be selfish and take that trip to Scotland I've been planning all my life. Second, I would build a special place where I could do my crafts and writing without worrying about the clutter. And third, I would like to say I would put the rest into savings, but since interest rates are so terrible, I might just dig a hole and bury it.

2. List three charities/missions/organizations you support (and why).

Well, as missionaries we are a charity/mission/organization. We provide used clothing and food to the people we work with here in Costa Rica, as well as sharing God´s Word with them.

3. List three ways you have volunteered your time/services.

I teach crafts to women in situations of domestic violence and extreme poverty. I direct the music service at the church as well as acting as superintendent of the Sunday School classes. I also bring the devotion during the weekly feedings for the children who live near the church.

4. List three things you keep "hidden" when company comes over.

I don´t hide things. People already know that if they can´t stand the clutter they shouldn´t stop by.

5. List the last three things you've lost.

The devotional book I have been teaching out of (thank goodness I had made thorough notes), a receipt for a purchase (I know it is here somewhere because I never throw anything away), and my extra pair of glasses.

6. List the last three things you've found.

An old manuscript that I had been searching for, a half-finished quilt that had gotten packed in the wrong box, and my Nova Menco CD that had gotten buried under the clutter several months ago. (Obviously, I am not a very good housekeeper!)

Okay, Readers......Now it is your turn. Do the Meme.

Three brave "players" will be selected at random to win their own lost gold (Gourmet chocolate coins and all three books in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series). To enter all you have to do is answer the MEME on your blog and then leave a comment on Tricia’s blog tour post here that you’ve posted your MEME. Easy.

Blog Tour Post: please link to the schedule in your blog tour post. Thanks. J

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Etsy Shop Is Now Up

Wanted to share the news with everyone. My ladies ministry now has an Etsy shop called
Little Shop of Hope where we are selling their crafts. Would love to have you stop by, browse through the items (more will go on the shop list soon), make a purchase if you see something you like, pray for the shop, and, of course, tell others about the shop. Your comments are most welcome, and we hope you will visit soon. The site is Looking forward to your visit.
Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 2008 Mission Newsletter

Nolasco News
APDO 129-2350
San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America

May 5, 2008

Greetings to all from Costa Rica,

*As always it is a joy to write to you, sharing news about the ministry and the family. We remember you in our prayers and daily ask God to bless you in all that you do for Him. As some of you know, I am in serious need of extensive oral surgery which will cost $20,400. In a recent letter I shared this great need and asked for help as we have no health insurance or savings (retirement). To date we have received $2892.00 and are grateful. The first of several surgical procedures has been done, and I am having to work with the surgeon on a pay-as-you-go agreement. In other words, without the needed funds, no more procedures can be done. We have served on the mission field for over 22 years and God has never failed to provide. This is the first time we have ever asked for a personal need and are trusting that God will provide through His people as He always has in the past. We ask that you would be much in prayer concerning this need and whether or not God would have you help us. Funds should be sent to our home church and designated for my surgery. That address is: Maranatha Baptist Church; 1111 Outer West Broadway; Madisonville, KY 42431.

*The work here is going wonderfully. After what has seemed a long dry spell, God is certainly touching hearts. The church at Ochomogo is averaging 50 on Sunday mornings. God has greatly blessed in the last two months and we have seen nine come forward for salvation. Ten have come forward asking for baptism and three for church membership. We are planning to have a baptism service the second Sunday in July. One of the members has opened her home to her neighbors on Tuesday evenings for a Bible Study group, and a second group may be started in the coming months. The ladies ministry is doing well, and Kathie will soon be sending out a letter about it. We invite you to visit our blog at There you will find photos of the ministry and of Costa Rica as well as posts about ministry and family. We are presently praying about our upcoming furlough which will likely begin in late February of next year. Later this year we will be in touch about visiting you to give an update on the ministry.

*As always we want to share family news with you. We are blessed in knowing that you care about our children and pray for them regularly. YENI is in Santee, CA, where she is working and going to college since leaving the military. She is active in her church´s ministries to the military in the area. EDEN, Steve, and Olyvia are in Monterey, CA. Olyvia just turned two (yes, time does fly). Steve, who is in the Air Force, just returned from Egypt and we praise God for keeping him safe. Eden is very active with a large group of Christian women there at Fort Ord. LYDIA and Eric, at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL, are well. Eric just returned from Afghanistan and we also praise God for his safe return. Lydia hopes to return to school in the fall. BECCA and Mike are stationed in San Diego and have a tremendous need of your prayers. Becca is five months pregnant. Her due date is in September and will be having a boy. She and Mike are very excited. Mike, however, is being deployed on May 4th to the Persian Gulf. He will not return until near the end of the year, missing the baby´s birth. Please pray for Becca, Mike, and the baby during this separation. ELI has returned to the States and is in San Diego with Becca. He felt he needed to be there with her during Mike´s deployment. Eli has plans to work and go to school while there. Pray that God will open the door to a job for him. KATHIE just returned from a two-week trip to the States. She flew up to San Diego with Eli and visited with Becca and Mike before going on the Monterey to visit with Eden and family. Afterwards, she flew to Kentucky to visit with her mother. She enjoyed her visits but is glad to be home so she can rest. Eight flights in 14 days is a bit much.

*As always, we praise God for each and everyone of you and for the love you have shown us through the years. We love to hear from you. May God shower you with blessings.

In Christ,

Samuel Nolasco