Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Years Eve 1951

                                                                  Steve Tom Mark

This is a special time of the year for me.    It's when my eye caught  something like it had never seen before, something that I just couldn't forget.    It was New Year's eve at the Bohemian hall.  I had been there several times before,   but this night my eyes focused on this most beautiful young lady.    She had blond hair and  a great smile.    I asked her to dance and we have been dancing for 57 years.   I went home that night and told my mother "I met the girl I am going to marry".   She is my bride and the mother of four,  grandmother of nine,  great grandmother of four and hoping for more.  I thank  the Lord for Darlene.   She is the best thing in my life.  Things have not always been easy or peaceful but they have been good because God is good.   We made a commitment to each other and we have stayed true to that commitment by the grace of God.    I would like to share something that is hard  but you can do it.    The Lord is a Lord of new beginnings.  He is always doing new things  in our life.    It is a new year ahead of us so it is time to look ahead,  not behind.     Looking back at our failures will kill us.      In Lk.9:62  "Jesus replied,  'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.' "  In Philippians 3:13. "Brothers, I do not consider myself  yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do;  forgetting  what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."   In 2.Cor. 5:17      " Therefore,  if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old  has gone , the new has come."     If you have not accepted Gods love, mercy, and forgiveness for yourself  it would be a good time.    Peace.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


When I was in high school our class would have ice skating parties.  Most of the time we had them in an old river bed north of town.  It was a perfect place to have it because the water was protected from the wind and that meant the ice was smooth, it also protected us from the wind.  One time we had it at a pond in a pasture without any trees for protection and it was rough and cold.  But the times that I enjoyed the most was when my brother and sister and I would get together with some country kids north of us.   Our farm home was ten miles from town. We were in the corner of the county so the addresses and telephone company would change.  There were five farm families that had kids about the same age. We went to three different schools. We did several things together and ice skating was one of them.  If it snowed we would have to shovel the snow off of the ice so we could skate.  We skated at night because most of the time the wind would be still.  We had bonfires to help us warm up and give some light.    One time some one brought a car tire to help the fire out. We went home black and stinking--no more tires!  One of the kids fixed up a pole with two six volt flood lights that ran off a battery. We thought that was great, but the best light would be a full moon "Beautiful".   We would have hot chocolate, and toast marshmallows on the fire.  When it got real cold and the ice was thick we would drive a car on the ice and spin around. Our skates were clamp on skates. I still have mine.   One Christmas we got shoe skates. That really helped.  These five families had two boys each about the same age. We were together quite often growing up.   I have seen some of them in the later years.   Out of the ten boys five have passed away, one from each family.   This was some of my best years growing up.   Thank the Lord for the time spent with them.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What is Christmas to you

I asked our family what Christmas meant to them
Steve &Deb= Christmas is time for family gatherings to celebrate the birth of Jesus and visit  and have a good time
Abby & Kevin= Christmas  is a time with family and the ones you love.   Shyann=Christmas is when you're supposed to  spend time with the ones you love.   Ashly= Christmas is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to spend time with your loved one.   Jeremiah & Tracy=Christmas is a time of giving and being with people you care about.  Jonas & Maggie and Jack= It's time for family gatherings,fun and celebrating Jesus birthday.

Mark= Hope.    Sheldon & Jenny and Max= Christmas is a time to spend with family.  It is a holiday when Christians can come together and reflect on what is important in their lives.

Thom= Homecoming, Love and warmth. Isiah= It is a day to celebrate Jesus birthday.     Steve & Megan, Jada And Joey= Birth of Jesus,celebration, family and friends.

Harold= A time of giving, of celebration. Vicki= Blessed event, family, show love through giving. Cameron= of Jesus. = Courtney Christ is born.

Darlene - Mom= Christmas is the time to remember and observe the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He paid the price we could never pay.  Who would ever have imagined that  God would send a baby to save us?   I'm so grateful for what He has done for us and I'm extremely grateful for the family and friends He has given me whom I love with my whole heart.  Max-Dad= Christ became man so He could take our place for our sins.  He was a Son so we can become Sons. That is Love.  Christmas is Love.    And I love my wife and family very much and also my neighbor with God's help. " We love because he  first loved us."  John.4:19  " By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another"  John.13:35    

I would like to have some of your comments on our blog especially you that visit regularly.   MERRY CHRISTMAS

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas tears

At Christmas time our country school would have a Christmas program. All eight grades would have a part in the program. Before time we would draw names. We would buy a small gift for the one whose name we drew and give them out the night of the program. Then the school would hand out brown paper sacks that had one orange, an apple, mixed nuts in the shell and also hard Christmas candy. All this was bought in the bulk. Each family would buy the teacher a small gift or would make some food to give her. Everybody would have a good time. But there was a time in the program that made me sad. My mother had scarlet fever when she was young and it damaged her heart. This caused her trouble all her life. So I lived in fear all my life of her dying. She was sick and in and out of the hospital a lot. At the end of the program we would all be on the stage and we would end the program by singing Silent Night Holy Night. And I knew mom would cry and that really would hurt me to see her cry. I thought for a long time she was thinking about dying. But I know today that she was experiencing the Joy of the Lord. " But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to YOU: He is Christ the Lord '" Lk.2:10-11. I was 38 years old before I experienced the Joy of The Lord. If you have not experienced His joy just ask Him to be born in your heart. My mom passed away in 1956 at the age of 48. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Look who's in town

They say they're here to hunt rabbits and skunks. But i'm telling you you'd better hide your Christmas presents!! Watch out for the barefooted one with the painted toenails!!

Christmas a sad time?

Christmas time was always an exciting time in my life. I always wondered what Santa would bring this Christmas. We always tried to find where the folks would hide our gifts. Most of the time we would get one big present and one or two small presents like gloves or socks. On Christmas morning we would be up early (4:00 am) and down stairs hollering at mom and dad "we want to open presents". But they were still in bed and they would say if you don't get back to bed Santa won't come. So we would go back to bed and wait until 5:30 and try again. One year the farming was good so my brother and I each got a bicycle, one blue and one red so we would know what one was ours. We had learned how to ride on our neighbors bike so we got on them and rode them down the dirt road to the mail box back and forth. Then mom hollered at us and said come in and eat breakfast. We didn't want to but we did. After breakfast we went back to ride the bikes and a sadness came over us. The dirt road was full of Mexican sand burrs. We each had a flat tire and no stop leak to put in them. We had to wait until the folks went to town (and that was only once a week) to get some stop leak. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

God name is family

Christmas time is family time. Family started with the birth of Jesus, The Holy Family. Time goes by so fast, you wake up and every thing changes, but we can be grateful that God never changes. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Heb.13:8. His promises stand for eternity. Our sister-in-law called and invited us to come to her house for soup supper. She said all the family would be home for Christmas except for one daughter and family. My brother had seven children, two boys and five girls. I was a little nervous about going because I have Parkinson's and when I get in a crowd I get nervous and it slows me down big time. But as always there was plenty of laughter and love there. That brought to my mind how important family is to strengthen each other. "My command is this; Love each other as I have Loved you" John.15:12. It was good to visit with each one of the families and see all the new additions. I guess what he showed me again is: "LOVE NEVER FAILS". Enjoy your family this Christmas. (The wine was good,Gary)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Country school in the winter

Winter could be either a good time or a bad time. The good times were when snow came without the wind. The snow would lie like a blanket and it covered every thing. It was beautiful. My brother and sister and I could walk in the road with out any trouble. The bad time were when the wind would blow the snow and drift the roads shut. Many times we walked to school in a blizzard and the road would drift full so we would have to walk out in the fields. The wind was blowing from the north and we were walking west. By the time we got to school our face and body felt like they were frozen and our food in our lunch pail was frozen. When we got to school the first thing we would do is take off our over boots, coat, gloves and hat and head to the floor furnace. In the middle of the building was a large grate and below it in the basement was a large wood or coal furnace. The teacher would have to come early and start the fire so we would have heat. On real cold days when the wind would be blowing the only place there was heat was to stand over the furnace grate. The teacher would bring soup or hot chocolate on real cold days. By noon our lunch would still be frozen because we left our lunch pails in the hallway where it was cold. In later years the school bought a hot plate so we could bring canned soup and heat it up. The fun time came when we had recesses. We played fox and geese in the snow. When we had a lot of snow we would build forts and have snow ball fights. When the roads would drift with snow we would make tunnels and places where you could sit up in them. We always had a snowman. We would decorate him up good. Some of us kids trapped in the winter and would check our traps before school. You always knew when someone caught a skunk. The school was not near any hills so we would have to ride our sleds at home

Country school in the winter

Sunday, December 14, 2008

School days in a one room country school

I attended a one room country school. I started there in the first grade and graduated from the eighth grade. We had a county superintendant that was over all the rural schools. There was also a music teacher that traveled from school to school and a county health nurse that visited the schools in the county. For sports we would play softball, tag and run races. Then in the spring we would have a district track meet. There would be several schools participate in the meet. There would be several different races, high jump, broad jump, long jump, accuracy throw, sack and three leg races. This event was held on a dirt road and that road is a four lane highway today. It is the Pan American Highway that runs from Winnipeg,Canada all the way through South America. In the spring they would have eighth grade graduation in the city where the county seat was. Our school was on a one acre tract. It had two out doors toilets, one for boys one for the girls, A water well with a hand pump was where we got our drinking water. There was a flag pole and the flag would fly every day of school. In good weather we said the flag salute at the pole. At the front of the school house there were two doors, one for the girls the other for the boys. The doors opened up into a small room which was called the hall way and that is where we kept our coats, lunch pail and overshoes, etc. You did not go through the girls door. We lived a little over a mile from school. We walked every day rain or snow. Most kids had to do chores like milking, feeding pigs, and chickens before and after school. Our school lasted eight months. Most kids would have to help farm. School would start in September and let out in April. To be continued later---

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't let the "Holiday's" steal your Christmas!

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah.7:14
742-- years latter. "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet;" "The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means. "God with us" Matt.1:21-23
We in America think of a holiday as a day off from work such as labor day, fourth of July etc. But this a celebration of all celebrations. We celebrate the birth of Jesus. The day when God became Man. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1Tim.2:5

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We received This announcement with great Joy because he was our first great grandson and his father ask if they could name him after me. So that was something special to me. BUT I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT GIVEN TO ME AT THE AGE OF 38 YEARS OLD. This was the announcement made 2000 years ago and still being announced today: " TODAY IN THE TOWN OF DAVID A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN TO YOU; HE IS CHRIST THE LORD." Lk.2:11. "The thief came only to steal and kill and destroy; (he was doing a good job at that in my life) "I (JESUS) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John.10:10. That is what this birth announcement is all about. With Great Joy celebrate Christ"s birthday. Don't let any thing or anyone steal this LOVE from you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ice and More Ice-- December--2007

Ice storms are bad, especially for farmers with livestock. The water stops, no lights, no heat in the pump house to keep it from freezing. More farmers have generators now and that helps keep some of the necessities operating. Last year when the ice storm hit we were with out electricity. Our daughter and son-in-law asked us to come and stay with them because they have a generator. We stayed for three days with them. It looked like we were going to be several days without electricity. So I called our son in south east Kansas and he said he had a generator that he would bring to Wichita, which is half way, if we would meet him there. We agreed to do that, so we went to Wichita and got the generator. It was about dark, and we were about 1/2 mile from home when we noticed some head lights behind us. As we pulled in our yard here came the electric company and said "Your lights will be on in ten minutes". Praise the Lord! Some people were without electricity for two weeks. We hope this doesn't happen again this winter!

Blessed by our great grandchildren # 2

Max is 1 year and 2 month old and is growing like a weed.
He is a big boy. Walking and jabbering a lot. He is going
to be a great football player or wrestler! They live 700 miles
from us so we don't get to be with them as much as we would like to.
When he has the opportunity Max likes to ride with G-pa on G-pa's
electric scooter. They spent a week with us at Thanksgiving. Fun!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blessed by our great grandchildren

Joey Is the youngest grandson he is always smiling.
He started walking very young. He has a very
long tongue just like his dad. G-pa had to get two
gates for the open stairway, one at the top and one for
the bottom. The stairway has always been a challenge.
for the little ones. Joey and his sister live the closest
to us so G-ma and G-pa hope to see them often. We like that
loving that comes with them.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Hope you know this LORD

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,he will quiet you with his love
he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah. 3:17

Rabbit hunt- Surprising results

One morning my brother and I decided to go rabbit hunting. We had a couple dogs that always went with us. Most of the time they would scare the rabbits out of their nest before we could get there to shoot them. We decided to go hunting by the Indian cave. As we were walking along the dogs chased a rabbit in a hole in the bottom of a tree. The tree was a big old tree 30' or 40' tall. We could see the tree was hollow because it had a hole 2/3 the way up the tree. We decided to smoke him out. LaRoy went home to get some wooden matches I stayed to watch so the rabbit would not get out. When LaRoy got back we got some small branches to start the fire. After it was burning good we placed some leaves on the fire. It was fall so there were plenty of leaves to be found. The fire was smoking good when we heard a noise at the top of the tree it was a squirrel, he came out the hole in the top of the tree running from tree to tree. The tree was just like a chimney, it was drawing the smoke right through it. About that time we could hear mom saying dinner is ready. So we put the fire out the best we could and went to dinner. After dinner we went back to see if he was still there. When we got close we could see the whole tree was on fire. There was a problem the tree was on someone else's property that was not very friendly. Mom never questioned us but I am sure she knew. MOM's knows every thing. PS: We didn't get the rabbit!

Something to think about

Friday, December 5, 2008

Indian Cave served as place to go Sunday

In the 30's and 40's there were visitors every Sunday, and some came during the week. They would have picnics and some came just to visit with other people. There are a lot of names carved on the face of the cliff, some from the 1800's We have had several schools have last day picnics. The local kindergarten class came for many years. Some people came to hunt arrow heads after the fields had been plowed. It was good hunting after a rain, the rain would wash the dirt off the arrow head so you could see them better. There also was a lodge near the cave. The lodge had been destroyed by the Indians from the north. About 1/2 mile south was a burial mound. There are two fire places at the cave. One is on the ground level the other one is about 2/3the way up the cliff. Charcoal corn was found in both places. My brother and I would make kites out of old dried sunflower stalks and old news paper. We made the tail out of string and newspaper. We would go to the top of the cave where there is a rock platform. The wind would catch them and they'd fly high. We would take small pieces of news paper and fold over the string the wind would take them to the kite.

Indian Cave. Where my dad and I, my kids, my grandkids and my great grand kids played

                                                Check the turkey tracks on the wall
                                    Several of these sand stone outcroppings
                                                           Entrance to the cave

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fall a good time many colors

                                                     Hay waiting to be fed to the cattle

                                                                          Sand stone

This is the time of the year we get real busy planting and harvesting.      Planting, you got to sow the seed, or no harvest.    You have to get grain out before the bad weather comes.    Kinda like the Lord you got to plant the seed (LOVE) so he can harvest your labor for His Kingdom.  The body of Christ.       Winter is coming so let us LOVE one another so the Holy Spirit will worm our HEARTS 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Looking in the past

In the late 30's and early 40's we raised turkeys.   In the winter we kept them in a pen that was covered on the top to keep them from flying out.   When spring came we would open the gate to let run free.    They would stay home until they started nesting.   They would hide their nest along the creeks and the Indian cave.   Some would be as far away as 1/2 mile.    They were hiding their nest from us and coyotes and other predators.   We would be playing or fishing and find their nest.   In the fall when it started getting cold the mother turkey would bring their young back home.   They would roost in the trees close to their pen, finally when it got cold enough they go back in their pen.     At Thanksgiving we would dress one for dinner.   We always used the big cottonwood tree to hang them on to pick their feathers

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family pictures

                                                                   Thom family
                                               Vicki family      Below     Mark family

Sunday 30th---home alone

What a great week!!
It all started with Sheldon and his family arriving from Tennessee.   It was the first for Jenny and little Max to visit G-pa & G-ma's farm in Kansas.   Aunt Vicki's family came over to help and visit each day.  With out their help we could not have done it.  Monday uncle Tom came from Topeka, and helped cut
some trees with help from Sheldon.   Tom stayed the rest of the week,and as usual supplied target practice  bluerock shooting.  Then came uncle Mark from Albuquerque N.M to visit every one but mainly Little Max and his family.   Then Steve & Megan and family from Wakefield came and visited and helped with the bonfire.  The rest of the family, Steve's,  from south east Kansas showed up for the rest of the week.   Thanksgiving day Darlene's  niece and family from Wellington,Manhattan,and Kansas City was here for dinner. Rich gave the blessing.  He has done it for years.  We also had a soldier from Mississippi that is stationed at Ft Riley join us as he had no family here.   We had 32 for dinner. It is quiet tonight every one has gone home but the week will be with us for a long time.  I doubt that we will ever have us all together again.   We thank the Lord for being such a great God.   MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU  MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE SHINE ON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU  MAY THE LORD TURN HIS FACE TOWARDS YOU AND GIVE YOU PEACE

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our family Nov.27-2008

                                    Vicki  Thom   Mark   Steve  our kids
                                Grand kids & great grand-below-Our family

Thanksgiving 2008

Our whole family was here for Thanksgiving Day dinner.  (noon)  Also a neice and her family and a soldier from Ft. Riley.  32 of us in all!  We were blessed to have them all able to be here at the same time.  Most of us live in Kansas but some from Tennessee, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Ohio.  We are grateful for the four young military men who were here and by serving our country help to keep us free.  We thoroughly enjoyed our family,  children,  grand children and great grandchildren.  Hope you had a wonderful day, too.  The Lord is GOOD!!