Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Adventures for Andrew!!

After much thought and prayer followed by divine provisions, Andrew is trying something different this year!  He started his first day at Snyder Christian School yesterday!  We are excited for him and he is mostly excited too.  Those who know him best could fill in the blanks here, but he is most disgruntled about the school uniform requirements, haha!  Imagine that, our ALWAYS in jeans, boots, long sleeved shirts (no matter the time of year), just-like-his-dad kind of guy!  We think he looks nice though, wouldn't you agree?



Character?  Speaking of, I told him that even in different clothes, he's still the same...

CHARACTER, who cracks us up!!




Andrew has always been the first student in our home that we would consider anything but home education for.  Our oldest two thrive really well with home education and have also had challenges that homeschool has welcomed with grace and flexibility.  Andrew doesn't have health or educational challenges and has always made friends extremely easily...  quite the social butterfly!  Although Isaac and Abigail are extremely athletic, Andrew's kind of athleticism might lend itself to more team related sports later if he wishes.  

The last couple of years have been extremely difficult for our family and in our home school.  As many of you know, I went through a terrible miscarriage at 10 weeks in December 2014.  I went through what I now realize was extreme (for me) depression. I knew that I was depressed, and did take medication for it, but in hindsight I realize how in dire need I truly was.  The only thing that truly pulled me out of it was writing and sharing, which was a time consuming thing in ways.  My family hung in there and we utilized a lot of online resources for education.  I started feeling much better by September of 2015, and then was happily expecting again by November... which brings a whole other set of challenges because pregnancy has its own!  I didn't mean to carry on about this here, but the reason it's important to this post is that our kids aren't really up to grade-level by age because of these struggles.  We will catch up fine and I'm not really worried about it, but Andrew has needed more out of school for sure.  We have been having conversations this past year concerning his well being too.  We began talking to family members and medical professionals about the fact that he had developed a physical tic.  I have a cousin with tourette's syndrome so was concerned and spoke with my Aunt at length.  I didn't want to consider public school if this behavior was going to affect him socially.  When those fears were dismissed after a conversation with a neurologist, we went through a conversation about ADHD which led us to speak to medical professionals as well as other folks involved educationally in his life.  In all of this I found that it seems like Andrew behaves and thrives better behind our church walls in the programs there and at Tae Kwon Do class than he has at home.  So we began having discussions about how to change the environment for him for school.  Whitley and I talked... and talked.  I had conversations with friends and mentors.  I counted out Snyder Christian School in my head because we just couldn't afford it.  Whitley, however, hadn't counted it out and was more serious about the school and opportunities there than I had realized.  He has utmost love and respect for Jim Palmer, the administrator there.  I most certainly do too, but it was out of Whitley's respect for that wonderful man that the serious consideration came for him, personally.  

When Whitley brought up in May the idea that Andrew might should go to Snyder Christian, I shot it down because, we "couldn't afford that!"  He more or less said, "Watch this!"  He sold his tractor which covered half of the tuition and then our house in Abilene also was finally rented out (after a long stint of it being empty) which we needed to cover the rest of the cost.  We would really need that timely, monthly payment from them though.  Such sad tragedy struck our renter in July.  Her vehicle was hit on I-20 and her 7 year old son perished in the accident.  After prayer, we decided to at least forgive her August rent but didn't have any idea how the first payment for school would work out.  Maybe we'd just use our savings.  One day I was speaking with a friend and mentor who is also a great intercessory prayer warrior for our family.  We were just talking about Andrew's exciting school adventure that was beginning soon.  This person got out a checkbook and in short said, "you have not because you ask not."  Not only was our concern for the month met, but for the rest of Andrew's tuition need.  I'm not supposed to talk about who this person is, and so I will honor that humility as best as I can, but I have to brag on a name I can mention.  --The name that is above all names... Jesus Christ, our Jehovah Jireh.  Tears....

At Snyder Christian School, God gave him a wonderful, patient, relaxed teacher Mrs. Beverly James.


Andrew will also be taught by her daughter, Jennifer Haynes, who I don't have a picture of for this post, unfortunately.  

He also has a small teacher/student ratio which will help him catch up!  

This is his 4th & 5th grade class

We put him at a grade level below where he should be to help aid the transition into a different way of schooling for him, as well as the fact that he's behind where he should be.  He's in the 4th grade at SCS, but Mrs. James also has 5th graders combined in the class so he will be with those peers as well.  It's just better for him than I could have imagined already!  (Tears again!)  Thank you God for taking care of this precious boy and the needs that he has.  I'm sure the year will not come without challenges but he's so at home there. I think the only person he didn't know well already in his class is Mrs. Haynes' son/Mrs. James' grandson which I'm sure is being taken care of as I type.  Everyone else he already knew well from church and Little League.  

You can tell for sure that Griffin and Andrew have already been buds for quite a while!






OH!  And did I mention school is just a few blocks away?  That's pretty fun!  David biked and I walked with Andrew today.






Spread your wings and fly, sweet boy!  We love you so very much!

Love from our family to you and yours!










Friday, August 25, 2017

Victory's 1st Birthday Party!!

This post is overdue, but it's also sweet to look back at pictures and remember Victory's first birthday party!  Her birthday was July 12th, but we celebrated a couple of days early.  




We kept with our family's 1st birthday tradition of 
mama baking the cake... 

Paula Dean's strawberry cake has become a favorite in our family ever since I made it for Abigail's 9th birthday party.  Justin even requested that Amber make that pink cake for his birthday earlier this year.


and daddy making home made ice cream!  



Special Guest
Victory's Smash Cake






The Birthday Song!!

video

Victory Grace certainly approved 
of her first cake and ice-cream ever!!!

video


More fun video...  
As you can see she had lots of "help" with her smash cake!

video








There she is, Miss America!!!




Haha!!!  Maybe not Miss America manners yet, but who CARES!  Kick your feet up, because birthdays are relaxin' fun business!  Love this girl!










Smooches from Luke!  I think he laughed out, "She's so precious!!" 15 times during her party!

Loving care with the card from her sister.





After everyone had left, she crawled for the very first time to this toy!





Victory's birthday party was such fun!  We are so thankful for this sweet girl's life!


Love from our family to you and yours!