The Jolly Roger & John the Baptist?

So, yesterday I posted about my interest in pirates, legend and lore so I thought I’d tell you about something I just heard about the origins of the Jolly Roger.


The Jolly Roger is the name given to the pirate flag. It’s the flag with the black field with a white skull and crossbones most often associated with pirates.

So, I was watching “Curse of Oak Island” and an author by the name of Gretchen Cornwall along with a descendant of a Templar Knight suggested that “She believes that some Templar’s became pirates and outlaws, connecting the Jolly Roger symbol of the pirates with the ancient Templar symbol. She says the skull and bones represent Saint John the Baptist, the famous Christian Saint, who was beheaded.” (from She went on to say that the Templar’s had possession of John the Baptist’s skull at some point.

I’m not a historian and I don’t study this topic extensively, but I do keep an ear peeled for this sort of information and this is the first I’ve heard of any connection between the Templars and pirates.

I had always heard that pirates would fly a black flag to indicate that if the ship they were attacking surrendered without a fight they would be allowed to live. If the pirates flew the red flag – “jolie rouge” the “pretty red” flag – then no mercy would be shown.

Well, thank you so much Oak Island and Gretchen, now I have to read up on the Templars.

Well, Santa, you can add Gretchen’s book to my list along with the metal detector. Thanks.

Are you ready for Christmas? I’m going to share with you some treats that I made for the Grandboys!




Wow! Thank You!


I wanted to try to sell a few of my books so I posted on Instagram and Facebook that I could inscribe and sign my books if anyone wanted one. I was overwhelmed with the response!

Thank you all SO much for your interest and your purchase!

I hope you all have a great holiday season!



Little Visit

I’m really enjoying the little visits we’re getting from our kids and grandkids now that we live closer. A few days ago, my daughter-in-law, her Mom and Manny came for a visit while my son was in Mexico shooting a wedding. We had great fun just hanging out and doing Christmas-y things.

Now that we’re living so far from shopping and restaurants, I’m doing more cooking. So, while they were here I cooked Shepherd’s Pie (my recipe) and Joanna Gaines’ Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (with a few changes based on what I forgot at the store and what I had in the house, haha!) It’s from her Magnolia Table Cookbook. A great cookbook, by the way. It’s full of good and real food that you would actually cook and eat.


I also grabbed a Grinch Gingerbread Kit at the local H-E-B and Manny had fun decorating the Grinch’s house.


But I think Manny’s favorite time was spent with Papa. They played and played and wrestled and wrestled.

I think they just like being together.


Hope your holidays are full of little visits and special times with family and friends.




Advent Resources!

I’m in a Facebook group where a mother was asking for help about celebrating Advent with kids. So, I put together a list of resources that caught my eye. Just click on the blue text to get the link.

This is a great resource from LifeWay with a free downloadable Advent guide.

Advent, advent candles, advent wreath

This is a list compiled by my friends who are Pastors at Faith Methodist Church in Georgia

heaven earth

This is from Coffee Cups & Crayons and it gives you ideas for “24 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.” Cool ideas for doing nice things for people during Advent.

Free printable Random Acts of Christmas Kindness calendar for 2018! December version available too! #24racks #actsofkindness #kindnesscalendar #christmasactsofkindness


Here’s another service-oriented Advent idea which I love! It’s from Nourishing Joy. It gives some really unique ideas for serving others during Advent.

Wanting an Advent calendar that helps your child connect to the larger purpose of celebrating Christmas? This DIY Advent Calendar provides simple ways to serve throughout the season - and can be used again throughout the year!


If you have time and you just need a calendar and not the readings or ideas to go with it.  AND you love Legos, how about building a Lego Advent Calendar? This is so creative and awesome from Frugal Fun 4 Boys, but I’d have to get my son to build it, haha!

Here’s one more link to Kids Can Light The World Advent Calendar from Mother’s Niche. More great daily ideas to celebrate Advent.

And one more. If you’re into sharing your family stories and want your kids to know your family history, I’ve written an Advent Celebration just for you! Yes, I’m shamelessly plugging my own book! Haha!

raising disciples advent cover


I hope that helps! Enjoy the Advent season!




Christmas Celebration Resources

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would shamelessly promote two of my books.

The first one is a family Advent celebration. I’m so passionate that families know their family heritage, that I wrote this Advent celebration around that very idea. I thought while we’re remembering Jesus’ birth story, why don’t we take some time to get to know our own family’s story? Each week I give scripture reading suggestions, a devotional to read and then ideas on how to creatively share family stories. I’m excited about this celebration and I hope it can bring families closer than ever before! You can buy it here. 

raising disciples advent cover


The second is a Christmas musical template. What that means is that I provide the script and you provide the music. I wrote this about 15 years ago and had such a wonderful experience collaborating with musicians, dancers, and craftspeople that I wanted to share how to do it with others. I wrote this script about Joel, a boy who made the manger for baby Jesus who grows up to make the cross that Jesus died on. You can get this resource here. 


I truly hope that these resources will help you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!



Advent Celebration, Planning Ahead

I know it’s a little early to be talking about Advent and Christmas, but I wanted to remind you all that I wrote an Advent celebration last year and in case you didn’t get it, you might want to check it out for this year.

I wrote this Advent celebration for families because I have a passion for families to be close, stay close and teach the next generation about their heritage. I want kids to know their family’s stories!

It’s so important for kids to know where they came from and the great people from whom they come. And so I thought while we’re remembering Jesus and the story of His birth, let’s remember our family’s stories, too.

When God calls people to be His followers and servants, He calls the WHOLE family. In doing family research I have found that many families have generations of pastors, church planters, worship leaders, Bible teachers, and the like.

And if you think you are the first generation Christian in your family, then use this celebration to celebrate the beginnings of your faith and the new direction your family has taken.

Begin to influence future generations of your family to follow and serve Christ and impact the world!

Here’s the link to my celebration Raising Disciples Family Advent Celebration. 

It’s only available digitally at the moment, hopefully, you can get it in print in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know.

Please share the link to my blog: with anyone who might like this resource. I appreciate it!


raising disciples advent cover



Natural Light, Fika & the #weekoflagom


So, I’m still torturing all my Instagram followers with #weekoflagom. And again, I’m not really sorry because I’m sure there are some kindred spirits out there!

There are 2 things that I naturally do which I have found to be a Swedish characteristic and practice. One is a love of natural light and the other is the midmorning and/or afternoon snack.

I’ll confess to you that I really don’t care for the winter. Even though my heritage is Scottish and from what I understand it’s really rainy and cloudy there and one would think that cloudiness wouldn’t be a problem for me, I am actually really affected by lack of sunlight. It makes me depressed and it’s hard to get started when there’s a cloudy day which makes it feel like the morning all day.

So, when you come to my house, you’ll find that if I have curtains at all, they are thrown open all day. My walls are painted light colors in an effort to brighten up my house. And according to the book, the Swedes are all about natural light.

The second thing I have in common with the Swedes is the need for a snack or fika. Fika is actually, “taking a break for coffee and enjoying a small treat.” And most importantly, “It’s a moment to relax and “umgas” – hang out together and catch up with family and friends.” All you need is a snack (usually a cinnamon roll), a hot drink (usually coffee) and take some time to stop, relax and enjoy the small moments in life. What a wonderful idea!

I am having a fikasugen (a strong desire or craving for a fika)!

I need a fika right now!

I am going to have a fikapaus (to stop what you are doing and enjoy a fika)!

Have a great weekend everyone!