Parenting God’s Special Blessings

This blog was one from last year that I wrote about Faith. She happens to be born during Turner Syndrome Awareness month, so I thought I would share this again. Happy 12th birthday to Faith! She is a miracle every day.

Six wings of fire

Eleven years ago today, God gave us a very special blessing. We named her Faith, and that was before we knew how much her name fit. Faith has Turner Syndrome. This is a chromosomal abnormality that affects only girls. Only 1-2% of babies conceived with Turner Syndrome live to be born, and only around 5% of them survive the first year. In fact, if it is discovered during pregnancy, most doctors would tell you to abort. (which we would never do under any circumstances) Many believe that girls with this can’t live. We even had a nurse shocked to hear from a friend of ours that Faith had Turner Syndrome. She thought that had to be wrong, because they don’t survive. Well, she was the one who was wrong.

Let me tell you a little about our Faith. She is certainly one special girl! Most of the time, there is…

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Simple Reminder

My eldest interviewed her little sister for her blog. So cute!

dancing for his majesty

My sister, Faith, is taking ballet classes at Surrendered School of the Arts this year (the school under Paradosi), and it’s been so fun seeing her grow to love dancing.

Isn't she cute? Isn’t she cute?

Just for fun, I asked her some questions about her class and what she’s been learning. Faith has a very straightforward, simple outlook on life and doesn’t try to complicate things. Her honest, uncomplicated answers are a great reminder of why I dance and where my perspective should be.

Why do you love dance?

“I don’t know.  I just like to.  I like to worship God in a special way with people in my class.”

What’s your favorite part about class?

“My favorite part about class is when we go to one side of the room and dance in a diagonal line to the other side.”

What do you think it means to be a dancer?

“It means to be a follower of Christ…

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A Long Hike

A couple weeks ago, we went on our first family backpacking trip.  Well, 5 of us, since our eldest no longer lives at home.  I was excited to do this, as the family camping trip we planned for August wound up being girls only, as my son’s work schedule changed at the last minute.  Also, I have wanted to try backpacking forever.

Our trip reminded me of parenting.  At first, you get all geared up, and feeding them seems like a really big deal.  (I totally over packed food for the trip)  Then, it is quite of bit of walking where you may feel loaded down.

My gang all set to go!

My gang all set to go!

It’s fun, but it’s a lot to shoulder, and you get weary.  (Think active toddler here) You may wish for rest-good luck with that.  IMAG0460

Then you reach more of a destination.  Seems like you can set up camp here for a while-between age of 7 and 12ish.   IMAG0469IMAG0455IMAG0461Then,things change.  It gets dark.  The kids get hairy and scary.  IMAG0470 (1)Welcome to the teen years.  It also can get cold.  The little one who once said they would always live with you, is pulling away.  Sometimes, that’s okay with you, and other times you just want to hold on to them forever.  It’s a long, sleepless night.  Then, it seems like the next morning, you pack stuff up and carry them to the next location.  Adulthood.  Hopefully, even if the hike was long and hard, you have made good memories along the way.  They will be glad for the times you pushed them to keep going, and for all the times you told them to stay on the trail.

There are still more adventures out there for me to have.

We have had an exciting week here at the airport.  We had the pleasure of hosting people from around the world as they prepare to take off for the Icarus Trophy.  Whole IcarusGroupIt is labeled the World’s Toughest Air Race.  http://www.theadventurists.com/icarus-trophy/  It has been fun to talk with people from the UK, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, and other parts of the U.S.  It has been a mini outreach.  Instead of going to the nations to be a light, they came to us. IMAG0621They all take off from here in paramotors to race down to California.
It is a little crazy to see people strap what looks like a giant fan to their backs with a parachute trailing behind them and run down the runway a bit then take off into the air.  Please pray for safety for all the racers and their support teams as they spend the next couple of weeks off on their adventure!   IMAG0643

This has also provided great exposure of Trinity Aviation Academy to our local community, as many people don’t know what we do here.  They are asking about what we do and becoming interested in the ministry.

One great conversation I got to have was with a guy from South Africa, Cayle, that had served with the UK military.  He is an inspiration.  He is getting prepared to fly in this air race, although he seems less equipped than the others.  He is missing his legs and part of a hand.  He chatted about how much he had loved his military life, and would do it all over again.  Well, except for stepping on a bomb.  He said he wouldn’t want to repeat that experience.  (Can you blame him?) I was impressed that even though he was wounded, he is still getting the most enjoyment out of life that he can get.  He could be sitting around depressed and angry about what happened to him, but instead he said he knows there are more adventures out there for him to have.  Wow!  Sometimes, I sit around angry and depressed about silly things in my life.  We all need to have his perspective, and find out what adventure God has waiting for us.  To read more of Cayle’s story, go here. https://www.justgiving.com/cayleroycembe/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=cayleroycembe&utm_campaign=pfp-share  IMAG0651

It reminds me of the story of Job in the Bible.  His life was ruined in the eyes of man, but in the end he realized this truth about God,  “I know you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted.”  God had more adventure in store for Job.  He has more adventure in store for us too!

Throwback Thursday-leaving home

(Sometimes, I use this blog to write to myself.  I need to be reminded of how I got here. I need to remember that the journey isn’t over yet, even though it isn’t as exciting as it was in the beginning.  I have to look back to move forward.)

After hearing from God in some unusual ways, we got ready to leave our home in Lancaster, Ohio.  We sold as much stuff as we could, gave away a ton, and rented our house out.  Oh, and we had to re-home our pets.  It was sad, but we knew God was telling us He had a plan and a purpose for us that was more important than our stuff.  In, January of 2010, we set out with our mini van hauling a trailer that housed all that was left of our earthly possessions. (first we had to dig our van out of the snow to get out of the driveway)  It was an interesting trip (to say the least) with a 3 year old, a 5 year old, an 11 year old, and a newly turned teenager.  1916590_1235816465557_4441421_nBeing a home school family, we planned to see lots of educational things along the way.  We headed South first with the plan to camp along the way to save money.  Um, that didn’t work out so well as they were having quite a cold spell.  It even snowed in Alabama.  The Lord blessed us though and after freezing one night in our tents, we had a friend call and offer us points for a free hotel stay in Texas.  Then we headed to Tad’s parents in Arizona for a few days before the final leg which would take us to Colorado Springs for our 3 month lecture phase of Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission.  20136_1234635833099_6127370_n18636_1234644873325_4197521_n

Adventures in Homeschooling-Math Month

Wow!  This past year has brought some major family changes.  Our eldest is all moved out and into an apartment with 2 other dancers from the ballet company.  Our son started at a local Technical College this past week.  So, that just leaves me the younger 2 girls at home to teach.  With only 2, I hope I don’t get bored.  Nah!  I have a good year planned out.

You see, I had a rather bright idea when talking to a fellow homeschooling mom last year.  She said kids do better to only learn 1 thing at a time.  Now, I think she meant it a bit differently than I took it, but I sat down and did some thinking.  What if I only taught 1 subject at a time?  We have done it where I just taught a subject for each day of our school week. (Math on Mondays, History on Tuesday…)  But something quite different was brewing in my head.

What if each subject got a month.  Yes, a whole month dedicated to really focusing on 1 subject.  I looked on my calendar and figured out that each subject that I am teaching at home this year could have a month 2 different times during our year.  So, as any good homeschool mom would do, I have set out to experiment on my kids.  I only have 2 left to mess with, you know.

So, September has been Math Month!  We love, love, love Life of Fred Math  math http://lifeoffredmath.com/lof-elementary.php   In fact, we started a bit earlier than we would have for the year, because my girls were begging to get going.  Some days, they keep begging to do another lesson…and another…  We have been playing math games, and trying to use any math that comes up in life.  We have measured to see if Faith was tall enough to get on fair rides yet-converting inches into feet.  (she wasn’t tall enough, but we have special ways of adding a couple of inches:)  IMAG0472 We have used math in the grocery to see if we have enough money for something.  We figured out if we could afford to go to the TobyMac concert.  (We went, and they loved it!)

So, now we are finishing up math for the month.  I have encouraged them to keep on the lookout for math everywhere this month.  My youngest came home from co-op (where they take some enrichment classes on Friday), and informed me that she was shocked that there was math in her sewing class.  She wasn’t too pleased about it.  I explained that really math is everywhere.  She complained that it should NOT be in sewing, because she really wants to sew.  Obviously, she doesn’t want to do math.  Then the next day, she woke up and asked how many lessons of Fred we could do.  I told her it was Saturday, so we didn’t need to.  “But I want to”, she replied.  Hmmm…maybe this is working.  She seems to be getting some motivation.

So far, doing one subject per month is a success!  I love that I can focus on the subject and really find great ways to make it apply to them.  They seem to be doing well with not too many things to focus on at a time.

Worker Bees

A couple of months ago, I had a great idea.  You see, ever since our house was donated a couple of years back, we have been trying to remodel it to make it how we want it.  It seems to take forever to really do much with it with kids, homeschooling, ministry, etc…it gets put on the back burner.  I was lamenting how tired I was of being in a space that isn’t finished when this idea hit me.  What if I had my parents come for the purpose of helping to finish up the main rooms.  My dad loves wood working and my mom has great decorating ideas.  My husband and I don’t really have talents in either area.  So, I invited my parents to fly out from Ohio to visit and help us get some of the work done.

It was a real blessing to have my parents work with us to finish our house.  Especially, to have my dad here finishing up lots of our trim.  You see, we almost lost him in 2007 when he fell in his barn while trying to finish up a room to do his woodworking hobby in.  It was only by the grace of God that he is able to be here and put that hobby to use.  You can read the whole story about his accident and recovery here…http://www.cteministries.net/id82.html.  It is truly a miracle!

Here is some of the work we did…

My cool new kitchen back splash! It's so fun that I can move hooks around to hang stuff.

My cool new kitchen back splash! It’s so fun that I can move hooks around to hang stuff.

IMAG0435

My dad trimmed all the doors and floor boards in our main rooms. It looks so nice now.

Aren't they cute working together?

Aren’t they cute working together?

One thing really cool that happened was that my mom painted a picture for my living room wall.  She used to be quite the artist (still is), and I have been wishing I  had some of her artwork here.  So, we found a picture I like, took a picture of it and got the supplies for her to paint it.  We used a really big old canvas that had a different picture on it and painted over it to create the new one.  I love having it hanging there signed by her.

IMAG0306My girls had to get in on the painting action too.                              IMAG0301 (1)And of course, we did take a day to have some fun!  I took them to the Pacific Ocean.  IMAG0308 (1)It was a great visit!  And now my house is extra special because I have reminders of my parents in it.

P.S.  At home, my parents make adorable life size people that sit on the porch.  They are made in the same barn where my dad almost lost his life.  You should check out their website here…http://www.gardenteaparty.net/