Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Introductions

After reading my friend's Weekly Wrap Ups on her blog At the Well for a while, I decided it was something I would like to do myself.  I'll start with an introduction to my family.

This is Pooh and he is in 8th grade.  In our family each person chooses an area of service.  He has chosen our local soup kitchen.  He volunteers there every other Friday preparing meals, serving, and cleaning up.  This is his last year homeschooling.  Each of my children are given the choice to homeschool through high school or attend the public high school.  He has chosen to go to the public school next year.  I'm really going to miss him!  He wants to take the AP classes; he has figured out that he can graduate just a few credits shy of his Associates by going to the public school.  He also wants to get involved in some of the extracurricular activities.  He will be entering the public school with five high school credits.  We use Crossroads Christian School for our umbrella school, so his credits with transfer.  We've used Crossroads for years and I can't say enough good things about them.

This is our only daughter, Princess.  She's in 6th grade and her area of service is Bags of Love.  Bags of Love provides bags filled with needed and comfort items for children who are removed from their homes and put into foster care.  Each bag has books, toys, personal items, a Bible, and a homemade quilt.  The bags are quitr beautiful and are also homemade.  Sometimes these bags are given to children who have suffered other tragedies, such as their home being lost to fire.  She has become a "right hand man" to the lovely Christian woman in charge.  Princess packs bags, help take inventory, shops, and goes to speaking engagements to tell other people about Bags of Love.  She volunteers alternating Fridays of her brother.

On the left is Barns.  He is a junior at the public high school.  He also volunteers at the soup kitchen over the summer and other times when he can.  He is at the high school for the AP classes.  He wants to be a navy fighter pilot and is possibly looking at a full four-year scholarship from the Navy.  He scored a 93 on the ASVAB in the middle of his junior year.  I know it's not a good picture, but there is a story with it.  I took this one last week when we has six inches of ice covered by six inches of snow.  He and Pooh were heading out to "play in the snow" and I just thought they looked cute all bundled up. The public schools were closed the entire week.  It was really nice having him around.

Tuna is a homeschooling senior.  He has an amazing story which I will share in detail at another time.  He has Asperger's and a few other things as well.  He had achieved at the end of 5th grade more than "they" ever would have expected.  We believe "legitimate causes, but no excuses" and that was what he was taught.  We never set his bar low, and now he doesn't either.  This year he will be graduating with a full diploma, not a special diploma.  He took all of the same required classes as the public school kids.  "They" said it wasn't possible, and in public school it wouldn't have been, but he was determined and I am so proud of him!!!  His area of service is also the soup kitchen.

Our eldest son is a Marine.  Ooooo-rah!  He graduated from the public high school which he attended for the sole purpose of marching band.  He was a section leader his Senior year.  As a Marine, he is with the Amphibious Assault Vehicles.  Those are the tanks that can go from water to land.  He was one of ten young men from his group who was offered the opportunity to go on to mech school.  He has full training on the AAV's but also knows how to do the maintenance and repairs, so he is double trained.  We are sooooo proud of him!!!!  His area of service was the soup kitchen where he volunteered for four years before making his area of service his country.  He still volunteers at the kitchen when he is home.

This is our youngest, our extra little blessing, Boo.  He is three.  This morning he poured his own cereal and milk for the first time.  He has two areas of service, the soup kitchen and Bags of Love.  At the kitchen he greats people when they enter and helped to pass out bags when we were filling them with food for people to take home with them as their Christmas present from the kitchen.  At Bags of Love he tests toys to make sure the boys his age would like them.  He also helped me with a devotional posted here entitled Passing On the Art of Bread Making.  We took pictures for a tutorial he gave me on how to make a PB&J.  I'll get around to posting those sometime in the future.  He is such a sweetie who brings us great joy ... and mischief.  He keeps us all on our toes.

The only people left are me and my husband.  My husband is self-employed and works from home.  Believing that my place was at home raising our children, we stepped out in faith and quit my job when our eldest was nine months old.  We lost our health insurance and about 1/4 of our income. Twenty-one years late, the Lord has blessed us with six children and has been faithful to work through my husband to keep us fed with a roof over our heads and me at home.  We have been married for 22 years.  My husband is the one responsible for our family being so service oriented.  Early on in our relationship he got me involved in feeding the homeless in South Florida where we use to live.  He started a sandwich ministry at our old church where people would get together and make hundreds of sandwiches, wrap them in freezer paper, and give them to the homeless shelter.  Over twenty years later the church still has that ministry and has been recognized by the shelter they've been helping all these years.  He's also known for taking homeless people out to eat and witnessing to them.  Our children have grown up making sandwiches in our kitchen, packing lunch bags, and delivering them to Homeless Park when we lived down south.  The neighborhood kids would come and help as well.

Eight years ago we moved to 36 acres in a small rural area.  It was obvious that he was missing this type of service.  We continued to support the shelter he worked with financially, but he needed more.  When the soup kitchen opened three years ago, we jumped in.  He is an inspiration and wonderful example of Matthew 25:35-40:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me,I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

So that is my family, and we are delighted to meet you!

Linking up to: Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers


Anonymous said...

Love it!!! And yes, that is a fine picture of Mr. Marine...

Chrystal Bliske said...

So nice to meet your lovely family! And my husband (and of course the children whom I swear could chant cadences in their sleep) all say OO RA

Mosaic said...

A, he IS a handsome young man!

Chrystal, I take it that your husband is Marine?

I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33