Wednesday, May 12, 2010

College Bound

I emailed this yesterday to a few people:

Our first thoughts this morning were of PRAISE and THANKSGIVING!!!

As Ericka's most godly friend, Hannah, likes to say...


It *is* so marvelous! Please saturate the Lord's ear with songs, praises and even dancing before the Lord for His MARVELOUS intervention in Job's life!!!

Indeed, our hearts are STILL dancing and singing along this week...praising the Lord like Moses' sister, Miriam, or like ephod-clad King David of old!!!

What exactly is so praise-worthy? Answered prayer!

Background: We have always solely trusted in the Lord's provision for our kids' education. We trusted Him in the choice to home school, even when the private school at our church offered JDS a full scholarship (unsolicited, of course, since we were planning to home school). We have trusted Him all these years, especially as we navigated the sometimes tumultuous waters of high school. We have trusted Him to lead, guide and direct each of our children's paths to the colleges that they would thrive in attending. And we have most assuredly trusted Him to pave the way with the money to pay for that college, being a single-income family of six.

Fast Forward to last week: John Brown University offered JDS a very good financial aid package in April, which had a deadline of being accepted/rejected around the first week of May. Although it was a very good offer, there was still money unaccounted for to pay for JDS's entire first year and none of us felt a "peace" about accepting without knowing about the rest.

Taylor, JDS's admissions counselor, called again last week for our decision. Simon explained the situation to her, asking the college if it were possible to get the roughly $6500 that still remained unaccounted for. They came back with an additional $4000! What a praise-worthy thing!

Side Note: Part of his financial package depends upon his ability to earn/save $3000 this summer, which he has been doing and is already working increased hours this week (30) without having finished all of high school yet. Another part was his taking out a student loan, which we realize is common. JDS, however, has always been taught the Bible teaches not to get into debt and it was firmly in his heart NOT to do so for college. He just felt that God would provide for where He wanted him to go.

Having small loans our first year of college ourselves, we counseled him to do it, which he reluctantly agreed to do after some persuasion. After all, his parents should know best, right?

After the dust settled, there still remained a tidy sum of $2250 unaccounted for.

Fast Forward to Monday this week: I was at my friend, Hannah's, house loving on her new baby and talking about everything. Once we stumbled onto JDS and college, the tears started flowing. You see, Taylor sent an email last week stating she was out of the office Thur. & Friday, so I KNEW that she would be calling that very day (Monday) for an answer. Since nothing had happened, we were going to have to decline the very generous financial aid for lack of $2250. But to add more onto that, I was wracked with guilt over counseling JDS to take a loan for $2500 when we had always taught him to the contrary. I felt like a hypocrite!

So, I fasted and prayed Monday...fervently prayed. I prayed that the Lord would make it CLEAR to us whether JBU was His choice for JDS or not. I prayed that He would make it obvious, like in Daniel when the hand of God wrote on the wall. I prayed that He would provide the money, as I'd always prayed, if this is the school for JDS. I prayed that He would encourage us by allowing someone else to find JDS "worthy" of the investment. And I prayed specifically that IF this is where God wanted JDS to attend school, that He would provide the combined $4750 so that JDS did not have to go into debt. Big prayers. Specific prayers. Hard prayers.

Around 3:30 or 4 PM, the phone rang. I answered. It was Taylor. I asked her to wait until we could get her on speaker phone so that Simon could be a part of the conversation. She said she had been debating about whether to call today or not until her boss called her to talk about JDS. She said that once she hung up with him, she HAD to give us a call!

Earlier that day, some anonymous person called, committing $4000 to JDS for school, as long as it did not conflict with the financial aid award he had already been given through the school!! In addition, it may be renewable for up all four years of college!!!

I immediately began crying tears of joy...and so did Simon...and Taylor!!! We were a joyful, teary-eyed mess of grown ups praising the Lord together for this great and marvelous answer to prayer, which, by the way, made it quite OBVIOUS where the Lord wanted JDS to attend school, to boot!!!

When all is said and done, the only monies not accounted for are a measly $716, which we are going to help him with.

Fast Forward to mid-June: We are planning to take JDS in a month to JBU (for the first time) for early registration and he will move there in August to begin this next chapter in his life.

Please join us in dancing, shouting and singing praises to our Great God and King!!

And please pray that JDS would experience phenomenal growth in his relationship with the Lord as he walks this new path...just the two of them.

Changing Seasons

Above: Pictures of JDS through this first season of his
precious life. What a joy he has been to raise!

JDS graduates on Saturday, May 15th at 6:30 PM,
one of 43 graduates in his senior class of
our home school association.

This next season will find him at John Brown University,
following his passions of art & music, both of which
the Lord has gifted him.

Please pray with us that he would continue to grow
in grace, and, like Jesus, he would grow in "knowledge,
stature, and in favor with GOD and man." Luke 2:52
(Though the stature part he's got down pat.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tremendous Accomplishments

JSS's Cub Scout Pack celebrated the boys' accomplishments last night at their end of the year Award Ceremony. Aunt Angie and Cousin Sara were able to join the six of us as we hooted and hollered for our young achiever.

Below: When the Bear Den passed over
the bridge into the WEBELOS 1 Den,
the new WEBELOS 2 Den (JSS's) help
by giving them their new neckerchiefs, slides
and colors to wear on their sleeve of their
uniform, on which all of their "badges"
(which are really pins) will go once they are earned.
( can earn a total of 20 and in his
first year, JSS earned a whopping 13!!)

Below: JSS's cheering section
(yes, his was the loudest)

Below: Captain Awesome himself (Forrest)
was surprised by a token of the WEBELOS 1
Den's thankfulness for his stellar service.
There was a card signed by scouts and parents
alike, as well as a gift certificate to an outdoor store.

Below: My favorite candid moment
of JSS on stage.

Below: JSS receiving his awards for this
last couple of months. My little man
earned a whopping 7 badges, 11 belt loops, his
Compass Points Emblem with first Compass Point and
the World Conservation Award!!!

Below: Being a good listener
during the Cubmaster "Minute"

Below: Forrest and fellow Boy Scout (a Saroni)
with the Closing Flag Ceremony

Below: We celebrated afterward at Braum's
until 10 PM!!

We are SOOOOO proud of you, JSS!!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Art Festival this Weekend

Though a camera did not make the cut for this Daddy Date, Simon and COS had a most delightful time at the Art Festival this weekend. Here are a few shots from when they got back home.

(In addition to what is shown in the photos,
COS also got to sculpt on a spinning wheel.
They will call in about a week for us to pick up her creation,
after they have fired it for her. I'll post a picture of it then.

Zoos & Scientists

Last Saturday after the AWANA Grand Prix, we went to the zoo with three of the kids. JSS was wanting to finish his Scientist Badge (see requirements below) by Monday, the last day to turn in accomplishments for the last Award Ceremony of the this school year.

Specifically, he was working on requirement #4, which has three requirements of it's own in order to earn! (It's a lot of work being a Cub Scout!)

Above: Up close with an alligator
Below: Dad was with us, so the kids spent
about 45 minutes in the aviary, a place
Mom does not venture unless under duress.
They LOVE it in there & JSS was able to talk
to one of the zookeepers about her job
working with the birds as well as
some hands-on experience.

Below: After the aviary, we visited an underground
zone, which is a favorite of COS. The zookeeper
for that area was actually in there, so JSS talked
to him about his job, as well, which led to...

...him inviting JSS and a parent to see behind-the-scenes
in his section of the zoo, which was almost exclusively
about repiles! JSS loved it!!! He got to touch and learn
about several species he's never had first-hand experience
with, as well as ask a lot of questions. In the end, at this
point JSS very much wants to do what this man does for
a living when he grows up! What a God-ordained experience
this trip to the zoo turned out to be!!

Scientist Badge Requirements

Do these:

  1. Read Bernoulli's Principle. Show how it works.
  2. Read Pascal's Law. Tell about some inventions that use Pascal's law.
  3. Read Newton's first law of motion. Show in three different ways how inertia works.
  4. While you are a Webelos Scout, earn the Cub Scout Academics belt loop for Science. (*see requirements at end of post)

And do six of these:

  1. Show the effects of atmospheric pressure.
  2. Show the effects of air pressure.
  3. Show the effects of water pressure. This may be combined with atmospheric pressure or with air pressure.
  4. With adult supervision, build and launch a model rocket. (NOTE: You must be at least 10 years old to work with a model rocket kit sold in stores.) Describe how Newton's third law of motion explains how the rocket is propelled into the sky.
  5. Explain what causes fog. Show how this works.
  6. Explain how crystals are formed. Make some.
  7. Explain how you use your center of gravity to keep your balance. Show three different balancing tricks.
  8. Show in three different ways how your eyes work together, and show what is meant by an optical illusion.
  9. While you are a Webelos Scout, earn the Cub Scout Academics belt loop for Weather.
  10. While you are a Webelos Scout, earn the Cub Scout Academics belt loop for Astronomy.

*Science Belt Loop

Complete these three requirements:

  1. Explain the scientific method to your adult partner.
  2. Use the scientific method in a simple science project Explain the results to an adult.
  3. Visit a museum, a laboratory, an observatory, a zoo, an aquarium, or other facility that employs scientists. Talk to a scientist about his or her work.