Christmas Holidays Are Coming Quickly

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Thanksgiving is now a reflection in the rearview mirror and time to begin preparations for the Christmas holidays is rolling around. It slowly slips in and other times it leapfrogs out at me.

Because of health issues we were facing last Christmas, Max and I spent weekdays in the Valley and were home in Pine only during the weekends.
We are small-town bumpkins so spending the holidays tangled in the midst of big city crowds and traffic was not pleasant. But we attempted to make the best of our situation with plenty of help from friends and family.

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Pine-Strawberry home-schooled children received a thrill last week when representatives of Liberty Wildlife hosted a presentation in the Pine Library. The Scottsdale-based organization brought non-releasable wildlife, including wild birds, for the children to see.

On a weekend just prior to Christmas, we gleefully returned home to Pine and wonder of wonders, it snowed.We looked at each other and said, "it's Christmas."That's when the holiday spirit finally hit me last year.

Now, I can't wait for this Christmas to roll around.

DPS Quilt Angels receive Medal of Valor

When Willene Smith attended the annual Tellabration in Pine, little did she know that the evening had some huge surprises in store for her.
The DPS Quilt Angels, a quilting group founded by Willene, sponsored the event held at the Pine Cultural Center Nov. 17.
Late in the evening, Victor McCraw, a storyteller at the event, captivated the audience with his performance. Minutes later, he left the stage and returned in full Arizona Department of Public Safety dress uniform as Lt. Victor McCraw.

he crowd watched in silence, wondering what was next on the night's agenda.

uch to Willene's ewilderment, she was called to the stage. Then, she and the DPS Quilt Angels were presented the DPS Challenge Coin. While tearfully accepting the coin on behalf of her fellow quilters, she modestly proclaimed, "I didn't make all those quilts myself."

If you see Willene or any of the Quilt Angels around town, give them a big pat on the back for a job well-done.

The mission of the DPS Quilt Angels is to sew and patch quilts, which are then given to DPS officers and other first responders. They in turn, use them to comfort victims of fires, accidents, abuse and many other situations.

Most of the time, the recipients are young children.

All who know these ladies say they are really "good people," I say, they are truly angels.

Take Pride to Light up Pine

Take Pride will be decorating Randall Park and the bridge over Pine Creek Nov. 26. This will be the first year they have decorated the bridge and are asking business owners to decorate, adding to the holiday spirit.We have a beautiful small town, let's make it really sparkle.

Nativity Display

Plans are under way for the first nativity display to be held at the Pine Cultural Center Nov. 30 and December 1st. Many of you have visited these displays inther areasndnow how truly spectacular they can be. The hours of this event will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 Music will add to the holiday ambience and refreshments will be served.

To participate in this display bring your nativity set to the Cultural Center 3. to 7 p.m. Nov. 29. For more information call Lynda Howard, (928) 476-3001, Barb Davis, (928) 476-4317 or Janeen Carter, (928) 476-3936.

Christmas tree Auction

The highly popular Christmas Tree Auction will be held Nov. 30 in the Pine-Strawberry School gym. The festivities begin with a barbecued pork dinner, to be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The meal will be followed by the Christmas tree auction, an appearance by Santa, cookies and Christmas card sales. Remember to mark your calendar for this fun and festive event.

Box Tops for Education

Remember when we clipped cereal box tops to earn special prizes? Once again, we can give our school a financial boost by clipping box tops on many products and sending them to the school's Box Tops Education Coordinator. The list of box tops acceptable is available at PS elementary and the post office.

There are three ways to help.

The first is the Original Box Tops for Education fund. To participate, clip box tops on hundreds of your favorite products, each is worth 10 cents to our school.

Then, send them to our school or drop them off in a collection envelope at the Pine Post Office.Twice each year, the school will receive a check worth 10 cents for each box top redeemed, up to $20,000.
The second way to help is at the Box Tops for Education Marketplace Web site at boxtops4education.com. Participating merchants include J.C. Penney, Lands' End and others.

PS Elementary will receive a donation of up to 8 percent from your qualifying purchase, up to $20,000.
The third option is to participate in the Box Tops for Education Book Club. Simply, select books from award-winning authors each month during the school year. Then, turn in student order forms and checks to your school's Box Top for Education Coordinator.

Every dollar spent on books earns one box top for our school, up to $20,000.

Remember, participation in the program is free and you can earn much needed financial help for PS Elementary. Sign up today.

Credit for Kids

he final month ofArizona Credit for Kids tax program is winding down. Taxpayers have only until Dec. 31 to donate to a program that helps fund much needed extracurricular programs for our children.

Credit for Kids gives taxpayers a credit against their state income tax liability for donations to public or charter schools in Arizona.For tax year 2007, the maximum credit is $200 for single filers and $400 for joint filers. Schools must use the donated funds to support extracurricular activities or character education programs and taxpayers may specify which department will receive the funds. Credit for Kids forms list many school programso choose from including field projects, field trips, library club, fine arts, playground equipment, student leadership, athletic/P.E. programs, club/academic enrichments and the general fund.

All taxpayers may donate, you do not have to have children in school, or live in the school district.You need only to be an Arizona state taxpayer.The donation is taken as a tax credit when filing your state tax, and even if you owe no taxes, and paid at least $400 ($200 for individual taxpayers) you will receive a refund for the amount of your credit. Last year Pine-Strawberry taxpayers donated a tidy $57,500 to our school, more money per student than most districts in Arizona.

Credit for Kids is a "win, win" scenario for all of us. It costs taxpayers nothing -- it's a decision you make on your taxes, who you want to receive your dollars, the schools or the Arizona Dept of Revenue.

Because of health issues we were facing last Christmas, Max and I spent weekdays in the Valley and were home in Pine only during the weekends.
We are small-town bumpkins so spending the holidays tangled in the midst of big city crowds and traffic was not pleasant. But we attempted to make the best of our situation with plenty of help from friends and family.

On a weekend just prior to Christmas, we gleefully returned home to Pine and wonder of wonders, it snowed.We looked at each other and said, "it's Christmas."That's when the holiday spirit finally hit me last year.

Now, I can't wait for this Christmas to roll around.

DPS Quilt Angels receive Medal of Valor

When Willene Smith attended the annual Tellabration in Pine, little did she know that the evening had some huge surprises in store for her.
The DPS Quilt Angels, a quilting group founded by Willene, sponsored the event held at the Pine Cultural Center Nov. 17.
Late in the evening, Victor McCraw, a storyteller at the event, captivated the audience with his performance. Minutes later, he left the stage and returned in full Arizona Department of Public Safety dress uniform as Lt. Victor McCraw.

he crowd watched in silence, wondering what was next on the night's agenda.

uch to Willene's ewilderment, she was called to the stage. Then, she and the DPS Quilt Angels were presented the DPS Challenge Coin. While tearfully accepting the coin on behalf of her fellow quilters, she modestly proclaimed, "I didn't make all those quilts myself."

If you see Willene or any of the Quilt Angels around town, give them a big pat on the back for a job well-done.

The mission of the DPS Quilt Angels is to sew and patch quilts, which are then given to DPS officers and other first responders. They in turn, use them to comfort victims of fires, accidents, abuse and many other situations.

Most of the time, the recipients are young children.

All who know these ladies say they are really "good people," I say, they are truly angels.

Take Pride to Light up Pine

Take Pride will be decorating Randall Park and the bridge over Pine Creek Nov. 26. This will be the first year they have decorated the bridge and are asking business owners to decorate, adding to the holiday spirit.We have a beautiful small town, let's make it really sparkle.

Nativity Display

Plans are under way for the first nativity display to be held at the Pine Cultural Center Nov. 30 and December 1st. Many of you have visited these displays inther areasndnow how truly spectacular they can be. The hours of this event will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 Music will add to the holiday ambience and refreshments will be served.

To participate in this display bring your nativity set to the Cultural Center 3. to 7 p.m. Nov. 29. For more information call Lynda Howard, (928) 476-3001, Barb Davis, (928) 476-4317 or Janeen Carter, (928) 476-3936.

Christmas tree Auction

The highly popular Christmas Tree Auction will be held Nov. 30 in the Pine-Strawberry School gym. The festivities begin with a barbecued pork dinner, to be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The meal will be followed by the Christmas tree auction, an appearance by Santa, cookies and Christmas card sales. Remember to mark your calendar for this fun and festive event.

Box Tops for Education

Remember when we clipped cereal box tops to earn special prizes? Once again, we can give our school a financial boost by clipping box tops on many products and sending them to the school's Box Tops Education Coordinator. The list of box tops acceptable is available at PS elementary and the post office.

There are three ways to help.

The first is the Original Box Tops for Education fund. To participate, clip box tops on hundreds of your favorite products, each is worth 10 cents to our school.

Then, send them to our school or drop them off in a collection envelope at the Pine Post Office.Twice each year, the school will receive a check worth 10 cents for each box top redeemed, up to $20,000.
The second way to help is at the Box Tops for Education Marketplace Web site at boxtops4education.com. Participating merchants include J.C. Penney, Lands' End and others.

PS Elementary will receive a donation of up to 8 percent from your qualifying purchase, up to $20,000.
The third option is to participate in the Box Tops for Education Book Club. Simply, select books from award-winning authors each month during the school year. Then, turn in student order forms and checks to your school's Box Top for Education Coordinator.

Every dollar spent on books earns one box top for our school, up to $20,000.

Remember, participation in the program is free and you can earn much needed financial help for PS Elementary. Sign up today.

Credit for Kids

he final month ofArizona Credit for Kids tax program is winding down. Taxpayers have only until Dec. 31 to donate to a program that helps fund much needed extracurricular programs for our children.

Credit for Kids gives taxpayers a credit against their state income tax liability for donations to public or charter schools in Arizona.For tax year 2007, the maximum credit is $200 for single filers and $400 for joint filers. Schools must use the donated funds to support extracurricular activities or character education programs and taxpayers may specify which department will receive the funds. Credit for Kids forms list many school programso choose from including field projects, field trips, library club, fine arts, playground equipment, student leadership, athletic/P.E. programs, club/academic enrichments and the general fund.

All taxpayers may donate, you do not have to have children in school, or live in the school district.You need only to be an Arizona state taxpayer.The donation is taken as a tax credit when filing your state tax, and even if you owe no taxes, and paid at least $400 ($200 for individual taxpayers) you will receive a refund for the amount of your credit. Last year Pine-Strawberry taxpayers donated a tidy $57,500 to our school, more money per student than most districts in Arizona.

Credit for Kids is a "win, win" scenario for all of us. It costs taxpayers nothing -- it's a decision you make on your taxes, who you want to receive your dollars, the schools or the Arizona Dept of Revenue.

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