Friday, December 2, 2011

Potato eyes?

Why are those things on potatoes called eyes? My nine-year-old’s inquiring mind wanted to know, and, well, I did too.

I did a bit of research and apparently if you look at a potato there should be an “eye” bud and an “eyebrow” or a vestigial leaf. So maybe the next time you look at a potato, try squinting and leaning your head to one side and maybe you’ll see the eye and eyebrow :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Keep your chin up ...

It’s a popular saying, but one that has real physical ramifications. Typically we say this phrase when someone is having a rough day to remind them to keep a positive attitude. But did you know keeping your chin up and having correct posture will help you feel better physically and can prevent injury? Proper posture can prevent bulged or herniated discs, arthritis, carpel tunnel, and other muscle strain.

As an added bonus, standing up tall gives off an air of self-confidence. You can read more here:

Friday, November 18, 2011


Have you ever wondered about that Karate yell—“HIYA!”
In martial arts and self-defense you’re encouraged to Kiai or Qia (pronounced keeyah) which means “energy,” ”life giving force,” “concentrate,” or “spirit yell” depending on the language referenced. In other words you’re encouraged to yell to help focus, startle the opponent, help you breathe, or alert others to your plight depending on the circumstance.*

You can read more here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I need your help

I learned a couple months ago that MeeGenius ( was having a picture book contest ( Since I have been spending this year converting the scripts I write for my church’s preschool department into picture book manuscripts, this sounded like a great opportunity. Plus, you can’t beat a publishing contract for a Grand Prize.

One of the things I have to submit is summary sentence—which for a picture book is essentially my pitch. I have one that I took to a writer’s conference this summer, and then I tweaked it. Would you please vote for which sentence you like best?

Old: Azariah’s Story is about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three boys who were thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar told from Azariah’s or Abenego’s perspective.

New: Azariah’s Story is about how a king changed three boys names to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but he couldn’t change what they believed.

Most of the writing contests I’ve seen are judged by a panel of editors, other writers, and agents. Not so with this contest. With this picture book contest, if you are a member of MeeGenius, you should be able to vote! It’s just a matter of setting up your account with a username and password—for free! Community voting will be November 28, 2011-December 18, 2011. Isn’t that exciting?

So leave a comment and let me know if you like the old pitch or the new pitch better and then I’ll remind you when voting begins on MeeGenius and you can read Azariah’s Story and vote for me!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Have you ever had to deal with the question of evolution? If your teacher holds different beliefs or views than you, Focus on the Family’s Club House does not recommend standing up in class and arguing. However, if evolution comes up in conversation with a friend or classmate, here are some things to consider:

Miracles of Darwinism
Evolution is taught as a science. But by excluding God, evolution ultimately boils down to the religion of self-worship. Check out these miracles that evolutionists have to believe:
Spontaneous generation of life: No evolutionist can fully explain how life began. Some say lightning; some say spacemen. But life can’t even be created in a lab today.
Creative power of time: Time is the hero in evolution. But adding time doesn’t improve the odds of complex, chance developments.
Persistence of the improbably: Evolution relies on mutational change to create more sophisticated plants and animals. Yet science shows that mutations overwhelmingly impact life negatively.
Punctuated equilibrium: This idea states that species stayed the same for millions of years and then quickly changed, leaving no fossil record. The evidence for this idea is that there is no evidence. Creationists would say the lack of a fossil record for transitional species points directly to a divine Creator.

My Teacher Says Evolution is Fact
Instead of standing up in class and shouting, “That’s not true!” creationist expert and speaker Rich Carroll suggests asking questions.
“There’s very little to be gained by being confrontational,” Carroll says. “The Bible teaches us to be loving and humble in dealing with people. Questions can be the least threatening and most powerful tools in helping to bring up an issue and change a person’s mind.”
When evolution comes up at school or in a conversation with a friend, try asking these questions:
1. If all animals and humans evolved from other creatures, why don’t we find any fossils of transitional forms that are halfway between two creatures?
2. If the universe began as a bunch of disorganized elements, where did those elements come from?
3. Why aren’t fossils of the simplest organisms found in the “oldest,” deepest layers of the earth and more complex organisms found near the top?

Saturday, October 8, 2011


There’s a lot wrong with this world. There are also a lot of super-hero movies out now. Some heroes such as Batman don’t have super powers, but others such as Spiderman have special powers.

I asked my family if they could have one super-power, what would it be and why?
Jordi (6) – wants to fly super fast so she can get to places on time
AJ (9) – wants zapping power so she can stop bullies or zap her sister to her room when she’s being annoying
Ken – wants invisibility so he can gather intelligence
Me? – I want super-speed so I can get my chores done quickly and have more time for fun.

How about you? Would you want super-brains so you can solve the problems of the world or maybe ace that test? Or maybe you’d want to read minds so you can read you teacher’s mind for that test or your kids so you can finally figure them out?

What super-power would you want and why?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bible bullies: Cain

Genesis 4:2-15

Abel was a shepherd. Cain was a farmer. Cain brought an offering of fruit to the Lord. Abel brought the firstborn. While it specifically states that Abel brought a firstborn, it doesn’t say Cain brought the first fruits. Rather than apologize or fix the mistake, Cain took his anger out on his brother. After all God liked Abel better so if he got rid of his brother there would be no competition. Cain was selfish and did not want to give God his first, his best. He did not want to change.

I think Cain became the first bully (as well as the first murderer). He doesn’t show any remorse over any of his actions. How is it that this first son lacks conscience and conviction? Abel had conscience and conviction. Each of their responses, their attitudes, must be a result and combination of parenting, personality and choice.

But that’s not the only thing I notice. Bullies have obviously been around a long time. Due to our humanity we will never be able to eliminate the bully problem. Some people cannot or will not be fixed or changed. That’s why anti-bully programs shouldn’t be about just teaching empathy and sympathy, but also about empowering potential victims and how to react and deal with bully encounters.