This and that.

We finished another level of reading!
(I say "we" because I rejoice as much and as loudly as our children after walking through each and every step with them. It is a joint effort to be sure.)
When I think of where they were a year ago, how they could barely eek out a one-syllable word, I am awed by their progress and sing the praises to the Lord who allowed it to happen.
Who knew that listening to my children sound out FOUR syllable words could be so incredibly satisfying?!?
Thank You, Lord!

~~~ It rained three times this week! REAL rain! (As opposed to the scattered and minuscule drops we generally witness when the weatherman declares, "Rain is coming to southern California!") How refreshing it was to wake up to water falling from the sky and enjoy the heightened color of nature after the heavenly cleansing. I l o v e rain! And the clouds after a rain? WOW! WOW! WOW! I cannot take my eyes off of them!

Another Eastman is now behind the wheel.
Luke passed his permit test. Woohoo!
He has been waiting for this moment since he was about, well, three years old.
Luke is a highly motivated individual in general, but when there is something he wants there is absolutely nothing that can stop him.
He will work harder, longer, earn more money, study - whatever it takes.
Of course, he had to learn the ever-important lesson that PATIENCE is part of the package. Hard work does not make time go faster, money is not waiting on your pillow when you wake up in the morning, and often, there are things that are completely out of your control. All of them good lessons for LIFE!
The "new driver" rule in the Eastman house is simple. The teen spends one month behind the wheel with Dennis - listening, learning, obeying the rules - and then, when he deems the teen a "safe driver" he moves to the Thunder Bus, and drives with me. This is a big deal because he is now carrying precious cargo - his siblings!
A HIGH level of accountability!
It's fantastic!

~~~ Dennis has the privilege of traveling four times this calendar year. This is not a normal itinerary, but we are glad to let him go because he and his colleagues are doing Kingdon Work - and it matters!
This year he will spend time in Lebanon, Canada (Prince Edward Island to be exact!), Jordan, and Cambodia. As always, the team will be training and encouraging teachers and administrators who work tirelessly to serve rescued children.

There is a new and exciting piece to his travels this year. Micah will be going with him to Jordan!
An administrator from Jordan was present at Dennis' "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" seminar (about learning and special needs) in Lebanon two years ago. She went home and told her team, "We need this guy!" A year later they extended the offer for him to speak in their country - and - invited Micah to join him as a voice for students with learning needs! Dennis will speak about the education, science side of learning/special needs, and Micah will speak on the emotional struggles and stresses.
They have already started preparing and Dennis is THRILLED to have Micah join him in this.
Who knows what the Lord has planned for this tag-team adventure!
*** We do have to raise $2,000 for Micah's expenses (most of it plane fare), so if you have any creative fundraising ideas, please send them my way! Other than reviving Camp Eastman, we are drawing a blank. BUT GOD will provide for it was Him who brought this together!

Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie are studying astronomy this year - and they LOVE it!
Living in God's created universe is a delight, but studying about its vastness and perfect design for human life makes us appreciate Him and His creation even more.
(photo: making their own mini volcanoes after studying those on Mars)
We will end our school year with a visit to the Griffith Observatory, and I think I may be more excited than they are about that trip! <grin>
We also get to enjoy a personal tour of JPL in May because P.J. (the Father of our G3) is actually a rocket scientist and invited us to the NASA Lab! That is going to be one great day!

Funny story!
Due to a generous monetary gift from my grandfather at Christmas, we were finally able to replace our old and poorly working television. We need help installing and connecting it, and guess who volunteered? P.J.!
He told us he would call us if he needed us, so Julie and I sat on the couch talking without pausing while he began sorting through the contents and devising a plan of attack.
I was bragging, "I will forever be able to tell people that a rocket scientist installed our television! How cool is THAT?!?"
Just then, he interrupted us. "Ladies, can you help me for a second?"
Now I get to tell people that I assisted a rocket scientist??? This day just keeps getting BETTER!
Julie and I eagerly walked over to offer our fantastic skills, only to hear P.J. say, "I am going to hold the T.V. Can you pull off the box and move it out of the way?"
What? That's IT?
So much for saying I assisted a genius. All I can say now is, "I moved a box." <insert eye roll here>

~~~ Happy Saturday!
I pray you will enjoy a great night of physical and emotional rest so you are able to fully engage in worship with the body of Christ tomorrow.
The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. - C.S. Lewis

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