Since we have been viewing old home movies, it has been a nice reminder of how much our family has grown, in body and more importantly in spirit, over the past decade, or so. When our kids are infants, we express limitless potential for them and hope and dream on their behalf. As they grow into toddlers and gain more control over themselves, we marvel at all they can do on their own, and at their enthusiasm for the simplest tasks. As they begin school and progress to complex thinking, it is wonderful to watch their little minds bloom with newly found knowledge and understanding. When they hit puberty, it frightens us how easily they are affected by intense emotions and rapid changes to what they have so far known in the physical realm.
In a similar sense, we all grow throughout our time as Christians...first by adhering to what is expected for us, then by exerting self control, and growing in our passion for God's will in our lives. Hopefully, we move on to increase our knowledge and understanding, and apply it accordingly. There are times and circumstances that we may allow to alter our path, for better or worse, and we all experience the sudden changes that life can bring.
As I think ahead for what kind of adults I wish our children to become, I think of how our Father still dreams for us His perfect dream, and pray we each find it ultimately fulfilled, so we may meet in heaven, again. And, I look forward to welcoming our kids as brother and sister in Christ, some day.
We heard the beginning of an excellent lesson on 'unclaimed blessings,' this morning, and I am looking very much forward to hearing the conclusion tonight. With the hope and perseverance (our preacher used the word "tenacity") that it takes to accept and apply God's blessings, may we also teach those lessons to our dear children, who do not yet understand what is to come in their lives. Tenacious parenting..I like the sound of that.
Just some food for thought...
Today, I am trying to complete Jeric's packet of registration documents; he is on the pre-approved list, currently. I also want to get his school records on their way, hopefully be the end of this week. Wednesday is registration day for Tessa; I am not looking forward to lines, etc. since I have to go around 4 pm, after work. Thankfully we were able to complete & print her forms online, this year. She is very excited to start back to her 'new' school, and we met one of the first grade teachers Friday, at the library program luau. It was a fun event and we snapped a few pix that I hope to get posted soon. The teacher was telling us that the entire district had their funding cut back and would not be able to buy any new books this year :( That made me thankful for our super library, once more. We also discussed the prospect of utilizing the new spaces at the library for school events, since there is not adequate parking or seating in this elementary gym. This is the older school in our district, with a high percentage of disadvantaged kids who attend there, so it would be nice for them to have the same opportunities as the newer schools. Her Dr.'s check up is Thursday, and we may go spend some time with my cousin's kids at the park afterward.
Jeric received a list of email addresses for kids he was at camp with and is anxious to add them to his contacts and get back in touch, already. Tony -who is the brother that, along with his wife Linda, drove Jeric there, has asked Keith to be involved in helping with the teen activities that will resume in September. They usually get together once a month or so for Bible study & fellowship at a member's home on Sunday afternoons. We have 2 leaving for college, so the group will be smaller this year. I also spoke with a sister yesterday about the home school gym class they attend in Fort Wayne. There is also a waiting list but she said they have turnover every year, so we should be able to join. There are a large number who go to that one, including many middle school aged, so we look forward to getting to know others who home school in our area. I'm not sure how flexible his schedule can be yet, but hope to at least do that and some field trips with their co-op. Keith plans to take on teaching him Bible, and also maybe some relevant history to go along with it. Keith will be teaching the main adult class later this fall on church history, so he is busy researching and preparing, already. If it was unclear from the last post, Keith is also considering going to school for something computer related, to give him more options for work in the future. In the mean time, we would be thrilled if he found something closer to home.
I am trying to finish up a few minor projects before school starts, while getting us back on bedtime schedules, etc. Tessa made 2 more friends and has been out in the evenings bike riding with them, so she will have to start coming in earlier. One girl moved to the neighborhood recently, too. They will all be 3rd graders together. She has latched onto her brother's fascination with the harry Potter series, and finished the first book, already. Sometimes her little brain amazes me...I try to keep ahead of her interests and figure out the next direction I can point her in. She has been helping cook more and plans to continue her letter writing to grandmas and friends. I also introduced her to the art of the French Impressionists, thanks to a great series of junior books we found. They tell a brief, interesting story about the artist's life and include terrific illustrations and photos of their work. We started with Van Gogh, since we have a print hanging in the living room, and plan to learn about Degas next, since he painted dancers.
As for myself, I have been working on VBS planning when I can. We met yesterday to discuss curriculum and have determined the theme,characters, and most of the 'scenes' we want to cover. Each room will be a theme for each Bible person & that lesson, and kids will go from room to room. It is an exciting process and many are getting involved, now that we got the ball rolling. I'm very glad we have a year to plan, however. This will be the biggest VBS I have ever helped with, and we are making our own lessons, art, etc. We have several committees formed, and people have stepped up to be in charge, thereby letting Tracy & I delegate quite a bit. I am the secretary, so that is a lot, in itself. I also will be teaching at least on night of the adult ladies class, on Esther. We will offer VBS to babies through middle school, and ladies that wish to stay, also. We sincerely hope to get several contacts from the community through this effort. We have also had a good number of local visitors coming recently, and its encouraging to see the eldership and members in our personal work groups trying so hard to gain Bible studies with the visitors.
That's the latest...oh, my cousin is doing better, with no strokes or seizure activity for almost the past 24 hours. I stopped by to see her last night after services and she is talking well and had seen her kids earlier in the day. Her parents looked tired but were glad to have a more relaxing day with her on such a positive note. They have been staying with her nearly round the clock and sleeping in shifts, along with her husband who is also trying to still work his third shift job as much as he can. Her sister is returning to work today, as well, leaving the youngest sibling to take care of the toddlers until she gets of work in the evenings. I let them know I was nearby if they need help. I got to visit with them and my Aunt, Uncle & other cousin Saturday night when my brother, his gf & I took some food to them. It was very good to see them after such a long time. As of this morning, Rachel is still in good condition, eating, and may get to move from ICU soon. She will have a long road of recovery ahead to hopefully overcome the right side paralysis, but is young, strong, and determined. Thank you all for the prayers, so much.
Jeric enjoyed camp thoroughly, a fact I'd know by how dirty his clothes are, too! We are almost done with laundry, thankfully. Jeric just rolled eyes at me when I requested that he switch the last load to dryer (but is doing it obediently). We definitely have camp Noah on our to-do list for next summer, and Tessa is really hoping she is able to go, too. Someone mentioned that it would be so nice for Keith & I to have a week to ourselves, and I said "and let my BABY go away that long without me?!" So I am considering being a counselor next year, too. Besides, with his limited vacation time, I might as well.
My kids are reading the days away, and our summer program wraps up on Friday, with a luau party. We plan to go and bake muffins to take. We have received good coupons this year, as well as little prizes, such as stencils, etc. I love our library! The librarian and I are trying to talk Jeric into being on a committee to improve the young adults section, since he does so much there. He is still not convinced. They are expanding the basement level to include an auditorium for movies, etc. and adding computers for kids his age with internet. Right now he has to use the computer bay in the adult section and we do not allow him, unless we can use the one next to his, since they don't have any monitoring devices installed for kids.
We have decided to use an online program for Jeric's schooling; it is a pilot program for Indiana this year, and is free. It is actually considered public school online because they adhere to all the state req's and do testing. I have wimped out in selecting that because I'm not sure about my time commitment for my own school requirements the next 2 semesters. We plan to add Bible instruction and maybe a few other extra's to what he does online, including gym class. We are now looking for an inexpensive used second computer, since we will both need one at the same times.
Tessa has made a few new friends that visit their grandparents across the street from us on the weekends. She also wrecked her bike yesterday and has a few new band-aids to show for it. We have been helping my friend Tania at her house a lot; they are re-modeling. The kids have learned some new skills and been fairly willing to help. We plan to do more baking when it cools down a bit, and get back to each kids cooking or helping a night or two each week. We would like to use our badmitton net 7 play more in evenings but had to take it down and move it, due to construction at the upstairs apt. Hopefully will get it set up later this week. I am trying to teach Tessa some fundamentals of volleyball, so she can play with the big kids & folks at future get-togethers. We have quite a crowd for v-ball from church. Also looking forward to Pierceton days..my hometown little summer festival. My brother sets up his BBQ cart as a vendor and we usually go over for the parade, where I inevitable run into people from my childhood. Jeric may help work at the cart, this year...I hinted to his Uncle that it was time to start teaching him the ways of BBQ. Will also hope to see Jessie and maybe my sister there, as we have not seen them much this summer, due to my sister working 2nd shift.
Keith continues to search for a clsoer/better job but with no leads yet. It is still very competitive in our area. He is exhausted from the combo of working on his feet, in the heat, and the driving time it takes to & fro. Please keep us in prayers that he may find something, soon. I am still cleaning 2 days a week and while I don't love it, it is not that hard, just not fun. The girls I work with are alright but not the Christ-minded peopel I am used to being around, such as at my former job in Jasper. I was really spoiled there with moral co-workers, for the most part.
That's the update for now...let me know how each of you are spending these lay summer days...Jonna, you need to post, lol!
Sonny boy is on his way (probably actually there and unpacked, more likely) to camp NOAH, near Toledo, OH. NO tears or worries sending him off; I just hope he behaves himself and gets the most out of it, especially Bible lessons and fellowship with other kids from Christian homes. Tessa-girl and I went a-visiting and had a nice time popping in on two of our members who are not able to be out much, but are great conversationalists! Last night she helped make an extra peach cobbler to take to one of them...other is diabetic. It was HOT! but we enjoyed AC most of where we were, and are glad to be back home in our cool house. Daddy is napping after working mandatory OT today, and then we plan to have a low key evening, eat leftovers and enjoy having T's friend overnight.
As we have discussed the HS thing more, Jeric is warming up to it. I mentioned building a rocket and using Marvel characters for a study tool...got his attention, at least. I am going to start out with as much hands-on projects and unit studies as I can come up with, and go from there, I have decided. We will be reading some classic literature and he will also be practicing his penmanship and yet learn keyboarding to write longer assignments on the computer. I have not ruled out the IN connections academy, either. I talked to a friend who is going to use it for her daughter who's same age as J. May use it for base curriculum and core subjects, then supplement with units, etc. for other areas he's into. Not sure yet...
Keith has applied for a position with a local manufacturing facility that we hope he at least gets interviewed for..it is very close by and the job is in his area of coatings.
His car is naggging at the backs of our minds and we might have to replace it before winter if he doesn't get a different job...wear & tear of his commute is taking its toll. Unfortunately, that also may mean a second job for him..ugh.
Meanwhile, I am excited about my upcoming fall classes, inclusing Spanish, Economics, and two practicums for Social Work, during which I g work in a community agency, like an internship. I will be tied up 3 nights a week for classes, still working 2 days a week, and homeschooling...what a schedule we're going to have! Still debating about teaching a Bible class on Wed. evenings, too.
We started a VBS planning team for next year at our congregation, which I am now secretary for..am excited, though. I t has been a log time since I helped with a VBS and I think it will be a great success there, for our own members and to attract visitors. We have families that live in several different areas of town, so if wer get the word out well in advance, it should be a fruitful week.
Tessa's friend has arrived, so I'm off to play hostess and super Mommy..we have pedi's and bendaroos in the plan, so far, and maybe a trip to the 4-H fair to see animals, or splash pad to cool off! All for now..hope you're having a blessed weekend!
Here are some things I have been turned on to, if anyone is interested, or has heard of them, please give feedback...Thanks! I am just trying to narrow down the approach we will take, and then I can move on to selecting individual books, etc. Please keep in mind that J gets bored easily and does not like book work...more a hands on learner.