Category Archives: Kids’ Corner

Loreena Thiessen: Something Old, Something New

by Loreena Thiessen

January is about new things. A brand new year has begun, 2019. The old year, 2018, is in the past.

A new year is exciting. A fresh new snow fall makes everything around you look new. You look forward to what the New Year will bring. You may already have new things, new mitts, a new scarf, and a new toque. Perhaps some new toys and books.

Now you’re back in school. A new term has begun. Perhaps you’ll make a new friend. You may learn a new skill. You’ll read a new book. And this year you’ll have another birthday. You’ll be a whole year older.

New things are exciting. But what about the old things? They are not gone. They remain as important as ever. What are these old things?

First, there are old buildings. Old buildings tell us of a certain time. They have history. What was happening when they were built? Why was a particular building built? Was it an important business that helped the community to grow? What is the style of the building, the architecture or design? What were the materials used to build it? Was it stone, or wood? All of these tell us about that time, perhaps long ago now.

Then there are old stories. Old stories you may have heard many times before. They make you feel good because you know them well. Maybe you feel you are a part of the story because you have experienced something similar. Take, for example, the stories of Winnie the Pooh. You may have had your own stuffed animal you took with you wherever you went. You thought of it as real, a real companion. You may have created stories about it.

Sometimes old things become new again. This means they have a new use. Look through a collection of old buttons. Your grandmother may have some. Is there a particularly pretty or unique button? Put it on a ribbon and wear it as a necklace. An old button can become a board game piece to replace a lost one. An old bottle can be used as a vase. An egg carton can be used to organize and store small items like a pin collection or stickers. Do you have old Christmas decorations? Each one will have a back story. How old is it? Where did you get it? Why is it still important to you?

Old things connect you to the past, to your history. They help build your story; they are a part of who you are, and what’s important to you.

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What about old sayings? Old sayings have wisdom. They are as true now as they ever were. For example, Smiles are free, but they are worth a lot. Or this one, A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Both of these are to encourage you and show what has value.

There are many old sayings in the Bible that are important. One is in James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.”

Activity: Find an old item.

Need: an old item, camera, drawing paper, pencil crayons

Do: Choose one item that is old and is important to you.

What is its story? Find out what it was used for? Where did it come from? Who owned it?

Why was it important? You may want an adult to help you.

Take a picture of it or draw it.

Find a new use for it.

Loreena Thiessen: A Brief History of Christmas

by Loreena Thiessen

Christmas is coming! Are you getting excited?

What if Christmas were cancelled? What would you do?

When Jesus was born only a few people knew who he was. The shepherds knew because the angels told them. The wise men knew because they studied the stars and a new star had appeared. This meant a new king had been born. King Herod knew that if Jesus was a king he was in trouble. He felt threatened that Jesus would take his place. King Herod was so afraid he decided to kill all baby boys just to be sure Jesus would not grow up and would not become king.

But Jesus escaped. Mary and Joseph bundled him up and left Bethlehem. They went to live in Nazareth where no one recognized him. Jesus was safe for now.

Jesus was not ordinary. When he grew up he taught the people about God and that he was God’s Son. He healed the sick and raised them up to live again. People followed him because he gave them hope. When the synagogue leaders saw how popular he was they were very angry. They accused him of blasphemy, lying about being the Son of God, and they killed him. It was a dangerous time for his followers and many went into hiding.

For 300 years the Roman government punished the Christians for not worshipping the Roman gods. One was Sol, the sun god.

In AD 0312, after Jesus was born, Constantine 1 became the new emperor. He worshipped Sol, the sun god, too. One day he was on his way to fight a new battle. On the way God showed him a vision. When Constantine looked up at the sun he saw the shape of a cross over the sun, and the words, “with this sign you will conquer.” He won the battle. Constantine immediately turned to the true God and became a follower of Jesus, and he changed the laws. Christians were no longer punished for believing only the one true God. The Christian church grew and for the first time Christmas Day became a holy day, a holiday, and was celebrated with family and friends. Together they shared feasts and gave gifts to each other.

For several hundreds of years the celebration of Christmas spread from country to country. Celebrations lasted for 12 days from December 25 to January 6. It was a time of feasting and happiness. People decorated their homes with evergreen branches and sang carols. Christmas Day became the most important day of the year.

After a time, in the 1600s, the Puritans, a strict group in the church and in the government, believed the people were celebrating too much. And so they cancelled Christmas. Now celebrating was against the law.

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Many years passed. In 1843 a man called Charles Dickens wrote the play, A Christmas Carol. The play tells the story of families celebrating Christmas together, taking care of each other and sharing with others. It is a story of joy and happiness. The play was an instant success. Everyone loved it. Once again the people began to celebrate Christmas.

Today we have the whole story. We celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth. We know he is the promised Messiah. We know that he died and rose again. We know that he will return for us. “I will come again,” he promised, “and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” This is why we celebrate Christmas.

Read Luke 2: 1 – 14, and John 14:1 – 6.

Activity: Make a mason jar table centre.

Need: 1 small mason jar, I pint size

3 or 4 pieces evergreen branches, each 8 cm long

½ cupful of fresh, or frozen cranberries

1 piece of raffia ribbon or jute string, 60 cm long

1 floating tea light

enough water to fill the jar

Do:     tie the string around the neck of the jar

Place greenery inside the jar

Add the cranberries

Fill the jar with water to about 2 cm from the top

Place the floating tea light on the water

Use the mason jar candle as a center piece or give as a gift

Loreena Thiessen: Lessons from a Tree

by Loreena Thiessen

Your summer vacation is over. Each morning you were up early and ready to go. It’s back to school and that means work, school work.

The sun still feels warm on your face and summer’s leafy trees still provide shade. But not for long. As temperatures cool a change happens.

For trees to provide shade they must grow a good canopy, a cover of leaves, and to grow leaves must have food. Trees need four things to produce food for their leaves. These are sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and chlorophyll.

Rain provides the water that soaks into the ground and is absorbed by the tree’s roots and then travels up the trunk to the branches and leaves. Carbon dioxide is the breath you breathe out which is absorbed by the leaves. These ingredients, carbon dioxide, moisture from the ground, and sunlight create sugar, which is food for the leaves.

This process is called photosynthesis. The green colour of leaves comes from a natural substance within the leaves called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll helps trees use sunlight to produce the food they need.

In fall temperatures cool down and daylight hours grow shorter; in midwinter the sun sets around 4 p.m. Less sunlight and cooler temperatures are signals for the leaves to stop making food.

The chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down and the green color disappears. Leaves turn yellow, orange, brown and red. The tree lets them go and they fall to the ground. It is time for trees to begin their long winter rest.

Fall is a time for change. You begin your new school year and trees begin their winter break.

There are many things we can learn from trees. Scientists find that having trees around us is soothing and helps us relax. They clean the air you breathe by absorbing, or taking in poisonous gases and metals that are found in smoke from factories and car exhaust. In return they give out oxygen, the air you need to breathe.

Trees are a natural air conditioner. Their shade keeps you and your house cool. In a city enough trees can lower summer temperatures by 7 degrees while you enjoy playing outdoors.

Trees provide homes for birds and small animals. They provide food like tree fruits and nuts for people and for animals. A row of trees will reduce noise levels from traffic going by your house or school. They will stop the wind too. And their different shapes and colours make the countryside beautiful.

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One of the first things God did was grow trees. He says he made them for their beauty and for food, except for one, which Adam and Eve could not eat from (Genesis 2:8-9). But they did not listen, and were sent out of the Garden. This brought hardship and sadness to their lives.

In Psalm 1:1-3, God says that anyone who knows and listens to the laws of God is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. He will prosper and have good success.

Activity: Gratitude Stones

 Need: clean stones with a smooth surface, tissue paper, scissors, glossy Mod Podge, paintbrushes.

Do: 1. Cut out small tissue paper hearts. Place one on the smooth surface of a stone. 2. Use paintbrush to lightly spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over tissue paper heart and over the surface of the stone. 3. Allow to dry undisturbed. 4. Flip stone over and spread Mod Podge over this side. 5. Allow to dry undisturbed. This makes a seamless smooth stone that feels natural. 5. At dinner pass the stone around. While holding the stone share something for which you feel thankful.

Enjoy August!

by Loreena Thiessen

August is soon here. A few more weeks and you’ll be back in school.

For now it’s still summer and there are many things you can do. You can have picnics in your backyard or in a park. You can make your own trail mix, s’mores, or sundaes. You can have a water balloon competition—see who can break the most balloons, or who will be the best target. You can blow bubbles: who will blow the most, or the longest lasting bubble, whose will go the highest. You can play bocce ball, badminton, or Frisbee golf.

You can make handprints using tempera paints, cut the shapes out and hang them on the low branches of a tree or on bushes in your backyard. You can read a new book, read it out loud with a friend while sitting on a blanket under a tree or at a picnic table. You can organize a fancy tea party, bake cookies, visit the zoo, ride your bike or go on a hike. You can decorate the sidewalk with chalk art or make one more trip to the beach.

How can you make the summer last? You can record your activities as you go along. Later you can look back and review them. Did you see something special, the ocean, a lake, mountains, a museum, a fun beach or a playground? Did you make a new friend, or visit an old friend, or a cousin? Did you learn something new? Maybe you learned how to swim or ride a two-wheeler or play a new game.

Take photos of your activities. Keep a record in a journal of all the things you do. Mark on a calendar what you do each day and who shared the fun with you. Draw pictures to show your summer. Then you can look back and remember and continue to enjoy it all again in the coming months.

Make sure to review how to be safe. Go to a playground or a park only if your parents say that you may. Go with a friend or an adult only if your parents say it’s okay. Don’t talk to strangers or go anywhere with them. If you feel unsure or afraid, find your parents or another adult you can trust and tell them about it.

Don’t run into the street to get a ball or near the edge of a cliff, a river or creek on a dare or to show off. Only swim where it’s safe and always with a buddy. Let your parents know where you are and listen to their instructions. They will say where and how far you can go. They want to know that you are safe.

Soon September will be here and you’ll be ready for it.

Loreena Thiessen

You are important to God. Jesus says it is good to be a child. A child enjoys play for the fun that it is. A child trusts that life is good, that people are good. A child accepts others the way they are. A child learns easily and forgives quickly. Jesus says adults too must be like this.

Read Matthew 18:1-5.

Activity: Make a photo journal

Need: camera, time for a walk

Do: choose words like:

play                               happy

shadow                         dance

hop                               peek-a-boo

laugh                             jump

share                             friend

silly face                       yellow

Take a walk in your backyard, a playground or a park, or in your house. With your camera take a photo of an object, a person, or a scene, that shows the word you have in mind. Turn the activity into a guessing game with your family or a friend. Show the photo and have them guess which word it is.


Loreena Thiessen: The Happiest Month

by Loreena Thiessen

May is the happiest month. There is much to celebrate. School is almost over and summer is about to begin.

Each day the sun shines warmer. There are colours, green, red, and yellow, where before it was only white. Colours and warmth bring renewed energy. You rush outdoors. You feel the sun’s warm rays on your face. You feel the sidewalk solid under your feet. You feel the smooth pavement as you glide along on your bike.

The air is different, fresh. It’s cool and warm all at once and filled with birdsong. Birds are gathering twigs and grasses in the industry of nest building, soon to be filled with new babies. Squirrels chase each other. Rabbits rest on the cool soft grass while chomping down fresh new dandelion blooms, the long stems dangling out of their mouths. Fat bees buzz. Butterflies flit from flower to flower sipping the sweet nectar.

The neighbourhood comes to life. People lean on their rakes and mowers and chat with each other after the long winter. They dig around flowers to help them grow. Balls and gloves come out for a game of catch. You hear laughter and shouting.

There’s more. On the second Sunday in May you celebrate your mother. You honour her for loving you and taking such good care of you. It’s your turn to do something special for her. What will it be?

Next comes the first long weekend of summer, Victoria Day. Victoria Day was originally meant to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, who was the longest reigning queen in the 1800s. Today we don’t think about her so much. Instead we focus on enjoying the first holiday of the coming summer, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows outdoors, watching sparks rise against a dark night sky from an open fire, and sleeping in a tent or camper. There may even be fireworks.

June follows quickly. Each day is warmer than the one before. This is the month you’ve been waiting for, the end of the school year. At the end of this year you will be a year older than you were last year. Soon a new school year will be here, but first you get to enjoy summer. It begins officially on June 21.

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On the third Sunday of June you celebrate your dad. You remember all the times he has taken you skating, to a hockey game, or helped you shovel the driveway. He does many things for you because he loves you. Let him know you love him too. What does he like? To celebrate you may go fishing with him or play a game of mini-golf, ride bumper cars, or fly a kite and eat ice-cream in the park. A bike ride sounds like fun.

Celebrating and enjoying the outdoors is a good thing. To honour your mother and father is a command. Read Exodus 20:12 and Psalm 104:10–24.

Activity: Make a card for your mother (May 13) and your father (June 17).

Two sheets of paper, one for each card.
Use regular printing paper or craft paper. A pencil, or pen, pencil crayons.

1. Interview your mother and father. Use these questions:
What is your favourite colour? What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite book? What is your favourite activity?
What is your favourite season? Who is your favourite hero?
2.  Draw a picture of something each one has done that you really like.
3.  Make a card for each with your findings. Use a sheet of paper, 8×10, folded in half for each card. Put the drawing on the outside of the card and the answers to the questions on the inside, like this:

favourite colour _______________________

favourite food _______________________

favourite book _______________________

favourite activity _____________________

favourite season ______________________

favourite hero ________________________

4. Inside write Thank you for being my mother, father.

Loreena Thiessen: Take a Winter Walk

by Loreena Thiessen

A winter walk is different from a summer walk. It takes planning. The first thing you must do is check the weather. How cold is it? Is a storm coming? This will determine everything else, what you wear, where you’ll go, what you’ll do.

You’ll be happy longer, playing outside, if you dress appropriately. A sweater over your indoor clothes will keep the cold out. Wear long socks and cozy snow pants and you’ll feel toasty warm. Winter boots will keep out the snow even if it’s deep. Wear water proof mitts to keep your hands dry and warm. Pull a warm toque over your head and ears. You don’t want frostbite. Keep your neck covered with a scarf so the wind won’t blow in. And zip up your parka against the cold air.

There, you’re all set. Now step outside. Take a big breath. Isn’t that refreshing?

Where will you go? To a park? Into the forest? Around your neighbourhood?

Look around. What do you see? Snow has turned everything white and sparkling. The trees are bare. Paths are covered. Did any birds stay for the winter? Do you spot any other animals? Even if they’re not within sight, there may be signs they were here. Look for bird tracks, or rabbit paw prints. There may be the hoof prints of a deer around a tree trunk or going into the woods.

How does the sky look? Is it a winter sky? Any signs that a wind is blowing? Look for branches swaying or the rustle of dry leaves still hanging on.

What can you hear? Are the sounds natural, like birds singing, or the chatter of squirrels? Or are they man-made sounds, cars going by, an airplane overhead, a train whistle or a siren? You may even hear children shouting.

Touch the bark of a tree trunk. How does it feel? Can you find something soft, like moss, or smooth like a stone, or a bench? Is it warm or cold?

Can you taste the air? What does snow taste like? Make sure it’s clean snow.

What do you smell? What does a tree smell like? Choose a spruce or a pine. Sniff a small branch with needles and describe its smell.

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Walking outside is good for you. It’s good exercise. It builds muscles. It will keep your bones and joints healthy. It lowers your body’s blood pressure. Walking among trees and breathing the cool air will make you feel refreshed and light. You’ll be ready to relax indoors, eat a good supper, and sleep well.

Remember, all the things you enjoy God has made. Remember to thank him.

Read Psalm 65:9-13.

Activity: Things to do on a walk.

  1. Take a sled. You can ride it, pull it, or slide down a hill, if there is one.
  2. Make art with twigs and berries. Make shapes. Notice the texture (bumpy and lumpy, smooth or prickly). Draw with a pointy branch. Make a snow angel.
  3. Look for animals or signs of them, like tracks, animal droppings, bark nibbled off tree trunks, digging or scraping for hidden food, tunnels in the snow.
  4. Bring a camera. Take photos of your nature art, animal signs, trees, shapes, light, shadows, and angles.
  5. Name as many plants or animals as you know.

Caution: Always go with an adult. Stay on the path and stay away from roads, fences, or water. Never put your tongue or lips on metal outdoors.

Kids’ Corner: A Surprising Jesus

by Loreena Thiessen

How do you like your hamburger? Do you want it with cheese, tomato and a pickle? Do you want it fast?

At McDonald’s your order comes quickly. That’s why it’s called fast food, one reason you choose McDonald’s. You don’t want to wait.

Still you have to wait for a lot of things. Like Christmas Day every year. Do you wait patiently or impatiently?

In ancient times God’s people waited too. For 500 years they waited for the Messiah God promised would come. They waited and hoped. Their lives were difficult. They needed someone to help them. They needed a Saviour to save them from a harsh government.

They wanted a Messiah to walk and talk with. They wanted a Messiah who would destroy their enemies and remove evil from the earth. They wanted a King. They expected a warrior and a judge. Instead they got a baby in a manger. The people were surprised to hear that the baby born in Bethlehem was their long awaited Messiah.

Mary was surprised by the news the angel Gabriel brought. She didn’t understand when he said that Jesus would be God’s own Son. But she believed him.

Joseph was surprised too and he was worried. He wanted to do the right thing. He accepted the news and trusted God to help him.

The shepherds taking care of their sheep at night were very surprised. Black night suddenly became brilliant with light. A host of angels filled the sky singing loudly. They gave them the news. They instructed them to go and see for themselves, to tell others the good news.

The Magi were surprised to see a new star in the heavens. They knew it meant a new king was born and set out to find him. So they talked to King Herod. Herod was surprised and afraid. He knew a new king could replace him. In fact Herod was so afraid he plotted to kill all baby boys of the same age just to get rid of him. But God had other plans. He instructed Joseph to leave with Mary and Jesus and escape to Nazareth.

As Jesus grew up he seemed like an ordinary boy. He learned carpentry working with Joseph. He went to the temple with his family. But Jesus was not ordinary. One day in the temple he amazed the teachers. He explained that the Messiah is actually God. The teachers were surprised at his wisdom and knowledge.

As a teacher Jesus did many surprising things. He called his disciples from their jobs as ordinary fishermen. He broke laws, made the blind to see, and healed the sick on the Sabbath. He forgave people instead of judging or condemning them. He ate with sinners like Zacchaeus. He welcomed children when they were not welcome. He fed thousands of people with just a few fish and bread. He stopped the storm and walked on water. Most shocking of all was that he was arrested and died on the cross. His followers were devastated. They believed it was over. Their Messiah was dead.

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Then an even more surprising thing happened. Jesus rose from the tomb where he had been placed. Once again he came to the disciples and showed them he was truly alive.

That is the surprising thing about Jesus. Jesus came as a baby, he is God’s own Son, the Messiah, and he rose again and is alive today. God kept his promise of so long ago.

Read Matthew 2:40-49 and Luke 24:1-7.

Activity: find the right answer.

  1. Who is Jesus?_______________________
  2. Where was Jesus born?_____________________
  3. Who heard the Good News first?_________________
  4. Who was healed?____________________________
  5. Who brought the Good News?___________________
  6. Today Jesus is _____________________

angels | the blind man | alive | God’s Son | the shepherds | Bethlehem

Loreena Thiessen: Are You Balanced?

by Loreena Thiessen

Which is your favourite cookie? Oreos? Chocolate chip? Peanut butter?

Would you eat only cookies if you could? All day? Every day?

What would happen if you did? Your body would feel unbalanced. You would need something more.

To be balanced means to have the right amount of different things. Your body needs a balance of different foods, fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy, like milk or yogurt. Together these foods have what your body needs to be healthy and grow.

To be your best you need balance in everything you do. In one day you play some of the time. You stop to eat lunch and supper. You need time to clean up, to get dressed and walk to school. You need time to do your homework, and get your chores done, perhaps clear the supper dishes and load the dishwasher. You can’t do only one thing. To be your best you must balance your time and your activities.

You can find balance all around you. Every morning the sun comes up, the sky gets brighter and birds begin to sing. And each evening the sun sets, the sky darkens and the birds grow silent. The balance of night and day is a pattern, day follows night and night follows day.

Seasons follow a pattern too. Cold weather follows warm. After summer there’s fall, then winter and spring, and once again the warm summer.

It’s easy to see pattern in flowers. Take the daisy. Its white petals grow in a circle around a yellow centre. The petals of the sunflower circle a bed of seeds like the rays of the sun. The rosebud’s petals fold around each other to form a tight round ball.

Take a look at the houses on your street. Do they have a tall pointed roof or a low roof? Do any have a chimney? Are their windows the same? How many have a garage? Are they attached or separate? Look at the cars driving on the street, or parked at the curb. Are they the same or different? Are they different colors or are they pretty much the same?

There’s a pattern to how we connect with each other. When you say “Hi!” to someone, usually that person says “Hi!” right back. When you smile at someone they smile too.

Numbers have patterns too. Count by tens and each number ends the same: 10, 20, 30; 13, 23, 33, and so on.

Languages have patterns. In an English sentence the subject, the thing you are talking about, comes first, followed by the verb or the action. For example, a dog barks.

A pattern is a repetition, something that happens in the same way again and again. Patterns are all around you. They make you feel balanced. It’s easier to go to bed at night when it’s dark outside. You know the sun will be back in the morning. You expect it. You feel there is order. You can predict it will happen again tomorrow.

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God created the earth to have order so we can live on it. He created the sun to give energy to all living things. He created food in the form of plants and animals for all living beings. And he created water for without water there is no life.

Read Genesis 1:1-24 and Isaiah 45:18.

Activity: Find pattern in nature.

Need: One head of broccoli, one blooming geranium plant, a pine tree.

Do: Remove one small part of the broccoli. Is its shape similar to that of the whole head?

Look at the flower of the geranium. Do the tiny flowers, in shape and colour, imitate the large bloom?

Examine a pine branch. Is it similar to the shape of the whole tree? Does it look like a miniature pine tree?

These are examples of patterns in nature where the parts imitate the whole thing. In science this is called self-similar structure, or a fractal.

Loreena Thiessen: Giving Thanks for History

Do you know that history can make you more thankful?

In 1620, almost 400 years ago, a group of 120 Pilgrims sailed from England across the ocean. They came looking for a new place to settle, a safe place where they could worship God and live in peace. They landed in America. They came for the same reasons people still come today.

Only 45 years earlier Martin Frobisher, another Englishman, also set out across the ocean. He was looking for a new passage to India for trade. Instead he found Labrador, the most eastern coast of Canada. It was a rough voyage and very cold. When he was finally able to land he made a feast to thank God for safety and for the abundance of food to share.

After the Pilgrims settled they needed a new leader. The people chose their new leader by voting, each person making a choice. The one with the most votes became the new leader. The people also solved other problems by voting. This is called a democracy.

And they wrote a set of rules called the constitution. The constitution is a set of rules the government must follow. These laws guide the government’s decisions and protect its people.

Today you benefit from both of these events. Since then many thousands of immigrants have come to Canada and the United States from many different countries. They are teachers and doctors, and your friends and neighbours. Some of them may be your family.

Canada, too, has a constitution. Canada’s constitution gives you the right to speak your language, get an education, visit the doctor, and choose your friends. You can also choose your Prime Minister by voting once you are an adult.

A hundred years ago if you got sick you had to pay to see a doctor. A stay in the hospital would cost even more. Not everyone could pay. People used many home remedies. For example, dry mustard was mixed to form a paste and would be placed on your chest if you had a cough. Epsom salts were put on cuts to clean them. Onion halves and garlic were placed on window sills to absorb viruses and bacteria.

Many people did not get well. A man called Tommy Douglas wanted to change that. He believed that every Canadian deserved the right to have good health care if he had money or not. He saw sick people suffer because they could not see a doctor. He wanted to help them.

To help them he joined the government. He made speeches to tell everyone his plan. In 1966 his plan came true. Today you and each Canadian can see a doctor if you are sick.

When early settlers first arrived in Canada there were no roads. People travelled by boat or over trails on horseback. Canada’s first cars were imported in 1898 from the United States. In 1904 the Ford Motor Company was the first factory to build Canadian cars. The factory was in Toronto.

Mr. Henry Ford tested his cars by first trying them out on the rooftop of his factory. He wanted them to be safe for every Canadian family. But roads were bad, full of deep holes, and, cars often had to drive through creeks to get to the other side. A long trip across Canada could take many months.

In 1949 the government first approved the TransCanada Highway. Construction began in 1950 and, although it was officially open by 1962, it was only completed in 1971. Did you know the TransCanada Highway is the longest highway in the world? It is 7,714 kilometers long from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

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Today this highway lets you travel from the east coast, across the prairies, and through the Rocky Mountains in about a week. Stopping along the way to enjoy all the beautiful places would take much longer.

Think about all the things you enjoy. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift comes from God.” What are you thankful for?

Activity: Make a leaf garland.

Need: coloured craft paper, hole-punch, scissors, pencil or felt pen, string, straight twig.

Do: Draw, or trace, leaf shapes (you can use real leaves to trace around) on different colours of paper. Cut them out. Write one thing you are thankful for on each leaf. Punch a hole at the end of each leaf. Pull a short piece of string through each hole and hang the leaves on the twig. Display the twig on a shelf or in a window.




Loreena Thiessen: A is for Apple

Do you like apples? Which one will you choose?

Apples contain many nutrients, good things your body needs to stay healthy. Because of this they are called the King of the fruits. Apples are attractive, shiny and round. They come in bright colours. Bright red apples attract bears. Bears can also smell their sweetness. Some apples are green, others are golden and pink. Choose one. Take a bite. It’s crisp, juicy, and sweet tasting.

Apples are easy to carry with you. You can take one in your pocket or in your backpack. They last and don’t spoil easily. But don’t drop them. If they fall and get bumped a soft spot will appear and turn into a bruise. The bruise will grow and the apple is spoiled.

You can eat an apple anywhere, walking to school, while playing on the playground, or riding along in the car or on the bus. They don’t make a mess.

You can eat apples made into apple sauce, apple pies, apple strudel, and in muffins and cakes. There are candied apples you eat on a stick. You can dunk for apples in a large tub of water, but make sure you hold your breath as you try to grab one with only your teeth.

Apples help digest the food you eat. Apples have vitamins, C, A, and B1, B2, and B6, and minerals, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and iron. All of these help keep your body healthy and strengthen your teeth. Apples are good for your heart and your brain too.

Apples are a good snack. Eating an apple will fill your stomach so you can last from lunch until supper. Even though apples are 90% water, they give you energy. When you play hard at soccer, or swimming, or on a hot summer day at the beach, eating an apple will boost your energy and satisfy your thirst.

An apple will keep you from getting too tired and help you focus. It will help you think better. Eating an apple will help you do your homework.

There’s an old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  All the good things apples have for you are good reasons to eat one every day.

Loreena Thiessen

Have you heard the saying, “You are the apple of my eye”? It means you are the most loved. God’s people are the apple of his eye. They are his beloved. Read Deuteronomy 32: 9-14.

In Psalm 17: 7-9 King David prays for protection. “Keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow of your wings,” he prays. God promises protection if you stay near him.