4.21.2018

This and that.

Happy, happy SATURDAY!
It is a gorgeous day! A bright, sunny, blue sky envelops us, and we have nothing we "must" do. A lovely way to spend the day!

Dennis and his colleagues arrived safely in Lebanon and hit the ground running as soon as the plane landed.
The team was invited to train teachers and administrators how to care for students with special needs as well as present seminars to help educators and parents understand the struggles their students face each day.
It is thrilling because Lebanon is one of the first countries in the middle east to recognize students with special needs. And they are giving it all they've got!
Dennis was honored to be asked to speak at the National Celebration of Special Needs Education on Sunday. How exciting it is to witness a nation not only embrace these students - but celebrate them!

Ministering to teachers, students, and families is a highlight for Dennis because he is able to combine his love of education and teaching with the Gospel. He returns to us invigorated, spiritually refreshed, and blessed after spending time with amazing saints who tirelessly serve the neglected and forgotten.
How thankful we are that he has a heart for this ministry! We miss him when he’s gone, but would never ask him to stay. And hopefully, one day we will be able to join him in his work!

Yesterday, Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie and I were able to spend the morning at a science center in L.A.
The main purpose was to view the King Tut exhibit since we are studying the ancients in history. It was well done, but I fear we must travel to Egypt to get the full experience! <grin>
We are also studying astronomy, so it was a delightful surprise to be privately escorted into the Endeavor Space Shuttle hangar by a lovely docent who took pity on my children who did not possess tickets to enter.
And - WOW! The sheer size is enough to stun you, as are the details of this mammoth spacecraft. A space engineer gave us a private lecture and he was fantastic. I was thankful for such a privilege!

~~~ While we do not make huge and exciting plans when Dennis travels, we do have some simple and fun traditions when he is gone.
●The teens and I always have a Mom/Son date night, usually a movie marathon, complete with their favorite snacks. (i.e., junk food)
●Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie have a sleepover on the couch or in my bedroom. (Why is that sleeping somewhere different is SO exciting to children?!)
●I schedule extra nights of counseling/discipleship and have at least one friend over to enjoy a whole evening of conversation. This time it was my sister, who even spent the night! Such fun!

Two weeks ago we spent our final day caring for baby Josiah. So, of course, we had to do a photo shoot!
Because his mom trusted us with her precious firstborn, our children learned wonderful lessons during our three months with him. Diaper changing, making bottles, and feeding solid foods were the practical skills gained. Serving, sacrificing, putting the needs of someone else before their own, being attentive, and learning how to care for, love and protect an innocent child ... these lessons were invaluable.
We were blessed to have been trusted to serve in this way, and hope and pray we will be trusted again in the months and years to come. #bringonthebabies #prayingfostercareisinourfuture

Our curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year has ARRIVED - thanks to a small, yet helpful tax return - and I am EXCITED!
With the addition of the Bible, missionary biographies, online art lessons, +/- 200 books from our local library, and a few field trips, our 2018-2019 school year planning is complete! WooHoo!
Every spring I am driven to map out the plan for the following school year. Planning, research, assessment, and dreaming of what “will be” makes me happy, and I fully enjoy the process.
But dreaming cannot last forever, so I put away the books and turn my attention back to THIS year and kick into high gear so we can finish strong. And - with enthusiasm!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE homeschooling, and will never cease to give praise for the gift and freedom of being able to do so! #13yearsandcounting #prayingforcontinuedfreedom

Between the covers of this book, I met some wonderful new friends.
I thought I would know at least thirty of the men and women highlighted since the pillars of the Christian faith are well known and spoken of often.
Friends! I was wrong. I was familiar with less than ten!
But now? Not only do I know new names, I have been introduced to men and women who loved God fiercely. So fiercely, in fact, that their lives and witness for Christ were chosen to be listed as people who should be known. By every believer.
As I read the handful of pages which captured the essence of each life, I could not help but feel convicted and challenged. When I have breathed my last, will anyone be able to look at my life, my character, my walk with God ... and say, "You should know Michelle Renee Eastman!"?
"Live so as to be missed." That was the life mantra of Robert Murray M'Cheyne. And after reading this book, I believe he had it right.

~~~ Lord, may this weekend be used to refresh and revive us physically and mentally so we are able to dive into a new week with energy, enthusiasm, and strength. And, please Lord, revive our HEARTS, creating within us an insatiable desire to read Your Word and talk to You, every day, all day. For there is no one and nothing else that satisfies like You satisfy! We love You, Lord. Teach us to love You MORE.

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