Thursday, December 27, 2012

White Christmas in Dallas

  The snow began gently falling around 2pm in the afternoon on Christmas Day.  My two sons, husband, mom and brother were all in the living room exchanging presents when the snowflakes appeared in the window.  It doesn't snow much in Dallas so it will be a memory to cherish.  Christmas started out slowly as I had the flu and dragged my bones out of bed to put the turkey in the oven around 9oclock.

Michael asked, "Can I help?"
"Yes," I coughed.  "You can make the mash potatoes."

He sliced the entire bag and asked how much butter and milk to put in.  I always have to look it up so we saw several recipes on the internet.  He calculated exactly how much in proportion to the size of the Idaho Potatoes.  We found the mixer and the fluff was coming together.

Alex volunteered to make the gravy as I went back to bed.  He had been experimenting with chicken fried steak gravy so it turned out thick and smooth.  Just perfect.  He also set the table with napkins and china.  I was sooo grateful because I was running a temperature and didn't want to make anyone else sick.

I called my brother.
"Are you sure you want to come over?  I don't want anyone to catch anything."
"We'll be okay, We're coming."

My ninety one year old mom didn't want to miss seeing her grandsons.  She was dressed in her festive red jacket and Christmas Bell.

"Do you want a bell to ring around your neck?"  she always had extra to share for the occasion.

The Christmas Prayer was said as we gave thanks to God before dinner.  Every good thing comes from Him.

My mother is a good thing as we cherish her being with us one more year to celebrate Christmas.

As Uncle Max and Grandma were saying goodbye I said another prayer of safety as they drove home in the snow.

I called my mom to see if she made it home alright.  She said, "Oh Sandra, on the way home a woman was standing in the middle of the road as we got off the freeway.  I closed my eyes praying we didn't hit her.  Max swerved and avoided hitting her by the grace of God.  I was so glad she was okay."

Christmas miracles are around the corner.  God's protection is with us when we call upon the name of the Lord for help.  As I went to sleep on Christmas day I thanked God for my sons so sweet to help in time of need.  I thanked God for his safety as he kept my brother and mom  safe.  God is good all the time even when you have the flu on Christmas Day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grand Canyon by Sandra Kent

I wrote a children's book about the majestic Grand Canyon.  To celebrate my husband's 60th birthday and Michael's 21st we went to Las Vegas.  We had fun meeting friends and family there to celebrate.  We decided to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon just east of Las Vegas.  We saw the Hoover Dam. Lake Mead, and  the majestic Grand Canyon.  I wrote a children's non fiction book using the pictures from our helicopter ride.    I hope you enjoy it.  Download the link.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving
As I was praying last night and thanking God for my blessings, I wanted the Spirit to speak to me through His Word.  I had been sick and watched alot of movies on Netflicks.  My mind had been bombarded with things of this world.  Some of the things I had been watching left me with a sense of hopelessness.    I opened my Bible and turned to Colossians  which gave me a mental picture of  Christians who are in union with Jesus having roots deeply planted in Him.  The overflow of being in Christ is thanksgiving.  The warning from Paul was to be built up in Him, not to follow men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual.

We celebrate Thanksgiving because the pilgrims chose to give thanks to God even when over half of their friends and family members had died in the first winter.  They knew their focus was on Jesus, the author of their faith.  Every good thing comes from God.  The harvest came and gave  food to sustain their bodies for the next winter.  The Pilgrims had roots deeply planted in Christ.  The overflow of being in Jesus gave us our first Thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-10  Amplified version

6 As you have therefore received Christ, (even) Jesus the Lord, (so) walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.

7 Have the roots  (of your being) firmly and deeply planted  (in Him, fixed and founded in Him), being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

8 See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding (the teachings of
of) Christ (the Messiah).

9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form (giving complete expression of the divine nature).

10 And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life  (in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- and reach full spiritual stature].  And He is the head of all rule and authority {of every angelic principality and power}. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Farmers Market Produce is now on Nook Barnes and Noble

Farmers Market Produce by Sandra Kent  is now being sold at Barnes and Noble.
Buy a great holiday gift for the beginning reader in your life.

Children will travel to the Dallas Farmers Market and sample fresh fruit and vegetables bought from local farms.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions

My mom will be turning ninety-one in December.  It is tradition to have Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom's home.  It is a little more difficult for her to walk now but she insists for everyone to still come over.

"The boys like to come over to Grandmas," she explained.  "I may not be able to have them much longer."

We sat the table together in preparation for the big day.  First the decision of the perfect tablecloth was made with lace edged on the sides.  The gold plated dishes came out from the top shelf of the cupboard, used for special occasions. I carefully brought out the Thanksgiving Turkeys tucked away in her secret closet of goodies.  A tree of golden leaves was placed in the middle to match the gold on the ridge of the porcelain china.

The carefully prepared table gave my mom a visual of hope and love as she walked around her home  assisted with a walker.  Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God for your loved ones.  It will be an extra special Thanksgiving because my precious mom is still here with us.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Characters

Classes  decorated pumpkins to show characters from  favorite books.  Red pipe cleaners represented curly hair.  Little Red Riding Hood wanted to bring goodies to her grandma but was met with a wolf in the deep dark woods.  Arthur always teaches a lesson children can understand.  Children's literature takes children on magical journeys creating images in their mind.  Classic stories have been passed down from generation to generation.  My favorite childhood book was the Story of Peter Rabbit.   My grandmother read me the book as I sat on her lap.  As her voice read the exciting adventure of Peter I knew stories were important.  They teach lessons, reveal characters we can relate to, and keep our interest as we want to know more.  As we celebrate National Author's Day November first its a time to say thank you to the people who bring us American Classics.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bringing Hope to Prisoners

Alma is a testimony to life in your seventies can be used to glorify God.  She has been bringing hope to prisoners by sharing truths of faith in Jesus.  If a prisoner requests to see a minister she goes to them to share three lessons in life.  The thirty minutes she uses changes lives.

The prisoners come with  heavy burdens on their minds.  Alma shares hope by explaining  our  body, mind, and emotions are transformed by washing of the word.   We are made of body, soul, and spirit.  The spirit is the inner man, the person you really are.  Your body is, of course, your physical body.  You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.  When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God put a brand new spirit in you.  He is actually the Father of your Spirit just as He is the Father of Jesus' Spirit.  The old spirit, the person you were in spirit who had a sin nature, is dead and gone.  You did not receive YET the fullness of your inheritance which includes a renewed soul and new body.  God tells us to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds.  This transformation is done by reading, believing and doing the Word of God.  Little by little the Word is renewing our minds. The spirit man is free of sin but the soul and body are not yet made perfect.

What do you do if you sin?  If we confess our sins Jesus is faithful to forgive.  When Alma talks to the prisoners she shares her heart.  She says for forty-five years she practiced religion in church but never knew Jesus personally.  She became born again and accepted Jesus as her savior for her sins.   She has found he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins.  Jesus puts our sins in a sea of forgetfulness.  It is an ongoing renewal of our minds.  God give us a free will so you have to make constant decisions about who is going to control your body.  Will it be the perfect Spirit that always wants to be obedient to God or the not-yet -fully-renewed soul that still often wants to do its own thing.  It is an ongoing renewal that is taking place.  When you do not get into the Word and believe it and do it, you are allowing the soul to take over.  Whichever one is fed is the one that will be the strongest.  Feed your Spirit and starve your soul!  The new Spirit, once you are saved, is an accomplished truth.    The renewal of the soul is ongoing during this life, so it is in the present.  Our bodies are going to be made new and perfect when Jesus returns.  That part of our inheritance is in the future.

 "Isn't God wonderful? He has the past, present and future covered."  Alma promises.

Alma's third lesson is to walk by faith and not by sight.  God looks at you for who you are and says
not guilty. She does not imply there are no circumstances in the natural for our actions.  She encourages the prisoners to not look at their circumstances but trust Jesus will work everything for the good.  Walk by faith and not sight is the lesson she shares.  We have been given the power  through Jesus to resist sinning.  We are no longer slaves to sin; we are no longer helpless to keep from sinning.  We do not sin because it is our nature to sin (in the Spirit), but because we sometimes allow our unrenewed soul  to have control.

Alma leaves  prisoners  hope which sets them free.  Her loving presence is like a big hug God sends down from heaven.   Alma's Ministry has brought many decisions to follow Christ.  Her life is useful and she wants to continue to go to prisons because she believes God's truth changes lives.  She is one of numerous Chaplains who go into prisons and bring hope.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let Us Pray For Pakistan Girl Who Was Shot For Going To School

Let us pray for Malala Yousufzai because she was shot in the head for choosing to go to school to get an education in Pakistan.  A Talliban gunman walked up to a bus taking children home from school and shot Malala, a 14-year-old girl,  in the head and neck on October 9, 2012.

The Taliban had imposed a ban on education for girls in the troubled Swat Valley.  Malala wrote about her pain and sorrow in a diary for BBC Urdu online.  The talented writer beat 93 contestants from 42 countries to be nominated for the international Children's Peace Prize 2011.  She has been awarded numerous peace awards for her bravery to write a blog for the BBC's Urdu service to reveal her experiences under threat.

Malala was on her way home from school when two men opened fire, shooting her in the forehead and injuring two other girls.  Witnesses say a bearded man had asked for Malala by name.

This attach on the young girl of fourteen has shocked Pakistan, a nation who does not want violence.  She is an example of courage and hope to put education first for young girls.

Mian Iftihar Husing Husain, the local information minister, said " It is the sign of weakness of Taliban that they have been targeting females."

Schools shut their doors in protest and Pakistanis across the country held vigils to pray for Malala's healing.  Let us unite in prayer to believe good overcomes evil.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Texas Sized Hail Storm in Dallas August 17th

It was a Texas sized hail storm in our back yard late last night.  My husband and I heard the pounding on the roof and looked outside.  Buckets of rain was pouring down with balls of ice clanging onto the iron table.  Clang Clang Clang as the ice hammered the metal.  It sounded like a thousand carpenters hammering our roof at the same time.  I wasn't sure if my camera could capture the magnitude of all the cylinder shaped ice pellets falling from the sky.  I think the flash captured so many ice balls dropping in different shapes and sizes.  The next day all is peaceful and the remembrance of the hail are torn leaves in our pool.  Life is like this.  Sometimes storms come our way and we think there is no end in sight.  But the storm passes and peace comes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ducks In My Pool by Sandra Kent - Read at Barnes and Noble Nook

A family of ducks have been visiting our backyard pool for over ten years.  They had not returned for a while but came back the year my youngest son left the nest for college.  I had bought my first digital camera and wanted to take a good picture.  As I began taking photographs I noticed behaviors I had not observed before.  Momma Duck lays on her ducklings all night long to keep them safe from the number one predator the cat.  She sits by the spa ledge so if one of her babies falls into the pool during the night they can hop out easily.  Many ducklings drown because they can't hop out of the pool.  I noticed the wide blue stripe etched with white lines on her wing as it was out stretched to protect her babies.  Daddy Duck came to visit because he was so proud of his young.  He lay side by side Momma Duck as they took a nap in the warm sun.  As they were sleeping their golden lid shined in the warmth.  Momma Duck taught her babies how to hop out of the water over and over until they got it right.  They followed her every  move as this is a natural behavior called imprinting.  She taught them how to dable for insects in the water.  It was so cute to see their webbed feet sticking out of the water as their heads reached for tiny bugs.  Each duckling had their own unique style of behavior.  One duckling had a tendency to go his own way and not follow the crowd.  When it was time to leave for the creek he got left behind.

My son Michael helped me take photos as they were leaving our pool.  We followed them down the alley, down the path of Cyrpe Mytle Trees we planted the year we moved into our home, we followed them down our neighbors yard and watched the ducklings safely cross our street.  They ducked their heads under a neighbors fence so we lost them.  It was so fun Michael was apart of the experience and helped me take photos.  It was the last year he was home before college so it reminded me of him leaving the nest too.

Ducks In My Pool has many emotions for me.  It was a reminder  we need to stay under God's wing for protection.  To see the love Momma Duck has for her ducklings was a visual of the love God has for us.  He watches our every move and wants us to make good decisions in our lives.  He wants us to stay in the shadow of His majestic wing.  I struggle with the evil that happens to children and adults.  But I know God is always there for us emotionally.  He is the source of peace and love.  He can give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning.  Good always overcomes evil to those that follow His purpose.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday USA!

Happy Birthday USA!

We live in the best country in the world, land of the free.  We can choose where we want to worship God.  We don't have to live in fear of someone putting us in jail because of our beliefs.  The early Christians were under Roman leadership who fed Believers to lions  for deciding to put their trust in Jesus.  But they kept their faith and sang worship songs as they were being led into the arena.  The early founding fathers of our country wanted to keep  freedom of religion alive through the laws they formed.

 They wrote,  "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

We have the freedom to choose our leaders in a democratic process.  We are not thrown in jail for voting for the wrong candidate.  We have the freedom of expressing our views publicly.  Our laws are protected by the interpretation of the Supreme Court.  If there is a dispute the nine judges make decisions about what is just and right.  The judicial process was set up as a balance of power.  The three branches of government, Judicial, Executive, and Legislative,  were created so not one branch overcame the other and became too powerful.

People immigrate to our country because of our freedoms.  God has shed His grace on us.  We are a land of liberty for all.  Let us not take for granted our ability to make choices.  The ability to choose to live wherever we want.  The ability to decide how we want to work, raise our families and go to school.  Education is free.  Think of history when only the rich had the right to go to school.

Freedom is so apart of our daily lives we take it for granted.  Let us not forget this 4th of July the men and women who sacrifice every day so our lives can be free.  Thank you to the men and women in 1776 who had the courage to say we want to form a plan to secure the United States as a place for justice.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red Hat Society in Vegas

The Red Hat Society had a great time at their convention in Las Vegas from June  28th to July 1st.  They were entertained by Toni Morrell the British sensation and saw the famous Jubilee Vegas Show at Bally's.  It was a way for Red Hatters to come together to form new friendships and nurture the old.  There are chapters in 50 states and  30 countries.  It was formed  for over 50 women to network, have fun and learn new topics.  Wherever they go a statement is made with the colors  of purple and  red.   The ladies show over 50 is a reason to celebrate because they still have a great sense of humor and  want to live life to the fullest at any age.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy 21st Birthday Michael

     Michael, my son turns twenty one today, June 27th.  He has been a blessing in our lives from the very beginning we saw his adorable face.   His big greenish blue eyes have such kindness and compassion with everyone he meets.  At five months he started making us laugh by rolling across the floor with great speed to get to the other side.  He was a happy baby and entertained himself by building block castles or making tents under the table.  He loved his super cool bat mobile and ninja turtle helicopters.  He played for hours in the sandbox with his toy cars and dump truck.  When he got older he built entire towns of railed tracks and tunnels with a basket full of Brio Pieces.   In Preschool years, Thomas the Tank Engine was his favorite show as he wrapped himself at night with the cozy blanket with familiar Trains.    All my playgroup friends said, "Michael is so easy going."

     I remember finding his older brother Alex and Michael in the clothes basket pretending they were sailing on a tall ship while eating apples for supplies.  Years later that dream came true because he sailed on a Tall Ship in the Bahamas through Boyscouts High Adventure.  The ship had large sails to navigate the ocean waters and they caught fish to eat.  He had a blast.  When we picked him up from the airport he was covered with blisters from poison ivy.  The scout leader came up and said Michael was amazing because he never complained.   He later became an Eagle Scout doing his community project of landscaping and building a ramp at the Heritage Farmstead Museum.  

     Michael became interested in Science at an early age.  His first Science Fair Project was seeing if ants built more tunnels in the dark.  One ant farm was covered in construction paper. He wrote data and observed the little ants for weeks.  He attached plastic tubing so they had more room to crawl.  He has a desire to go into research with a degree in pharmacy.  He is a junior at The Universtiy of Texas in Dallas with a major in Molecular Biology.  I enjoy listening to him talk about genetics and theories.  His Uncle Max says he can make a difference in this world.  I agree.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remember the Alamo

The Alamo can be viewed in San Antonio, Texas. It was built in 1724 which is fairly old for United States.  It stands glowing as a reminder of Texas history.  Its not just about the men who gave their lives so Texas could be independent from Mexico.  Its preserving the past so we can learn about interesting people who have the same desires and hopes for families and future plans.  The Alamo is about Spain, Mexico and Texas intermingled with important events.  

The mission was established by Catholic Missionaries to help Indian converts live their faith and provide security for them.  Spanish Missions grew their own food, held mass, and lived peaceful  lives.  From 1724 to 1793 the Alamo was called Mision San Antonio de Valero.  

In the early 1800's the Spanish military took over the mission and renamed it the Alamo, meaning cottonwood.  It reminded them of their home in Alamo de Parras, Coahuila.  The commander started the first hospital.  It was home to both sides of Mexico's conflict to gain independence from Spain during the ten year struggle for freedom.  

Texas settlers began establishing farms with the leadership of Stephen F. Austin the father of Texas.  They wanted land which was a very valuable tool in their desire to provide a good home for their children.  San Antonio and the Alamo  played a crucial role in the Texas Revolution and for thirteen days volunteer soldiers held back Santa Anna's army.  The famous Davy Crocket died in the battle along with other brave men.

Sam Houston took over the fight and promised his soldiers land if they continued.  Finally victory  was won in the famous battle of San Jacinto.  The Texans led a surprise attach on Santa Anna's army with the battle cry, Remember the Alamo.  

So why is the Alamo still one of the most popular destinations for visitors visiting the United States for the first time or American  Citizens who  want to show their children what happened on March 6th 1836?  Perhaps because it links the past with the present as it glows with the backdrop of San Antonio skyscrapers.  It tells us not to forget history because its apart of our roots.  It helps us to make sense of the world and not relive past mistakes.  Land has always been a precious treasure for families to build their hopes and dreams.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hawaii The Big Island by Sandra Kent - purchase and read the ebook online now from ePub Bud!

Hawaii The Big Island by Sandra Kent - purchase and read the ebook online now from ePub Bud!

Children will love reading about active volcanoes, enchanting tide pools, marine life and the history of Hawaii, the Big Island if you download this exciting ebook.  When I turned 50 our family took a helicopter ride over an active volcano.  An island was being formed right before our eyes.  As the hot lava hit the cool water steam came forth.  Black sand beaches came from tiny bits of cooled lava broken into  pieces.  We took a jeep ride to discover a wild strawberry next to a refreshing waterfall.  Download the ebook and take the journey with us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Farmers Market Produce by Sandra Kent - at Barnes and Noble Nook

Farmers Market Produce by Sandra Kent -

 Purchase Farmers Market Produce  from Barnes and Noble's Nook   See link below

  Farmers Market Produce is a  great book for beginning readers because it teaches children about fresh produce in a meaningful way.

  Learn how food is sold at a good price because the fresh fruit and vegetables come from local farms.  The photographs show the colorful display of food fresh from the fields of Texas at the Dallas Farmers Market.  

Here is the story about how the book began:  It started with a question............

We asked our son Alex where he wanted to eat as a family.  He was leaving for senior finals at OU and was awarded the chance to choose.

"I want to go the Dallas Farmers Market and eat there.   Mom I think you'll like it there because its a great place to take pictures."  he explained.

Wow I thought.  What a cool place to go.  He was right.  It was a great place to take photos so I made them into this book.  I was amazed with the sights and sounds of local merchants selling their fresh fruits and vegetables.  They are shipped from local farms so the food tastes delicious.  The vine ripe tomatoes melt in your mouth.

 I'm trying to loose weight so I don't have to feel guilty about eating fresh yellow squash or my favorite deep green broccoli.

Bright red strawberries taste sweet for dessert.

Alex had left for OU so my son Michael actually helped me write the words to describe the colorful produce.

 I'm hoping the book will help young children not only remember their fruits and vegetables but also teach them how to read in a fun way.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering Fallen Heroes

Robert Hogan captured in art angels taking fallen heroes from earth to heaven with victory wreaths in hand.  You may view the majestic twenty seven foot statue at Restland, Memorial in Richardson, Texas.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hidden Gardens Fort Worth Tour

     My good friend I've known since 6th grade and I had a wonderful time exploring Hidden Gardens Fort Worth Tour this Sunday.  As we caught up on our latest events in our lives we ventured down winding steps to view cascading waterfalls flowing down a steep cliff.  I was raised in Fort Worth so I've always admired the majestic homes above the hilltops viewing the Zoo and the historic streets of Ryan Place.  The homes made use of every available space on the hillside to plant blooming flora all year round.  The fragrance of the blooming azaleas, roses and hydrangeas took your your breath away.  I wanted to breath in the day filled with catching up with a good friend and viewing God's nature in full bloom.  Thank you to the people of the Hidden Gardens Tour for opening your homes so we could view the gardens of graceful beds, smell the ultra fragrant Lemon Balm Honeysuckle, as we walked under the canopy of majestic Oak Trees.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Check out link on the travel page on Cnn.  My picture of Venice, Italy was published under the travel log,
Fusion Journeys.  Great pictures from all over the world.

The article is about a journey which inspired you.  I talked about my recent trip to Venice and how it inspired me to write a children's book called, Venice The Birthplace of Global Trade.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

OU Graduation From Price School of Business 2012

Great advice was given at my sons graduation ceremony from the University of Oklahoma's Price  College of Business.  The speaker said live your life with dignity and pride and stay true to yourself.  Success can be measured in different ways on our life's journey.  Success may be opening up a bakery, being a good mother and father, or buying your first home.  Thank you OU for giving my son a great education with a double major in management and economics.  My dad graduated from the same school in law many years ago.  My ninety year old mom lived her dream when she could see Alex walk down the aisle and have his diploma handed to him.  Many proud parents were in the audience as they watched their son or daughter be recognized for the achievement of staying the path and completing all the requirements, including Calculus to graduate from the wonderful college of Price School of Business.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

OU Mother's Day Graduation at Ninety

They are asking for stories on CNN I Report for your best Mothers Day Memory.  I chose to tell about the Mother's Day coming up because my son will be graduating from OU with a double major in Economics and Business.  He graduated on time in four years so we are very proud of him.  My ninety year old mom will see Alex graduate so her wish has come true.  Check out the article.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Forth Worth Japanese Garden In Spring

My mom and I went to the Japanese Garden Spring Festival.  We enjoyed Japanese dance, music, martial arts demonstrations, papermaking, and tea ceremonies.  

I had been to Japan in 1980 so it brought back memories of their beautiful gardens.
Every space of the garden was carefully landscaped.
Japanese Maple Trees had leaves of bright red.
Beautiful ladies played instruments of joy.
Each struck each chord in harmony.
As they played in unison the sound filled the gardens.

Their traditional dress was kimonos. 

This sash shows she is married.
Trees reflected in the ponds.

Structures built in harmony.