This and that.

I have a secret fascination/obsession with fun, cool, fancy cars. I have no desire to own one, but I sure like riding in them! And on the rare occasion when I am allowed to be the driver, I take full advantage of the opportunity.
My nephew recently purchased a Jeep.
Not a regular Jeep, but an it-has-a-gazillion-upgrades-and-there-are-still-more-to-be-installed Jeep. When I saw this gem on his IG feed, I commented, "You're going to let your favorite aunt drive it, right?" He replied, "Of course!"
And when he rolled into town last weekend, he kept his word!
He let me drive around town without any backseat driving, white knuckles, or sucking in large gulps of air in a panic. It was GREAT!
And then Kyle made LUKE'S day when he let him (a 16-year-old with only a learner's permit) drive the prized possession. He is one terrific cousin! Thank you for a memorable family night, Kyle. We love you!

They DID IT!
Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie completed their final Reading Curriculum book.
<insert the longest and most enthusiastic happy dance ever seen>
It took two years.
Uncountable hours.
Dozens of rules, games, stories ... all used to teach auditory awareness, phonics, how to break down words to sound them out, and more.
I never - ever - ever - thought I would be able to teach my dyslexic children to read, but by the grace of God we did it!

~~~ When Caleb was diagnosed with dyslexia nine years ago, the Doctor who served us said something I never forgot. It made me cry when she said it, and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it now.
Caleb was five years old. He had memorized the entirety of Psalm 139 (24 verses) and all 50 states and their capitals, but he could not remember what sound "k" makes.
After she tested him and reported that he was at the lowest point on the dyslexia scale, explaining that she could not promise he would ever read, I asked her, "How is it possible that he can memorize entire chapters of Scripture but cannot recall the sound of one letter of the alphabet?"
She, a believer, looked Caleb straight in his five-year-old eyes and said, "Caleb, God's Word is powerful, and if you keep learning it and memorizing it, He will bless you. Never stop reading "
She didn't focus on what was "wrong" or what he could or could not do. She focused on Scripture. And on Christ.

The Lord has recalled her words to mind countless times these past nine years - and I am thankful.
The most recent recall was about a month ago when it appeared Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie were not pushing past the next hurdle in reading. I was frustrated and discouraged, and then BAM! It may as well have been an audible voice that cried out, "Put the books away and have them read MY WORDS, Michelle!" So, I did.
Now, we listen to praise music every morning during chores/breakfast and begin our studies with an oral reading of the Psalm and Proverb of the day. And the reading barrier has been destroyed!
Though retention is not high since their brains are working so hard to decipher the letters swimming on the page, the Word of God IS flowing into their minds, and He promises that it never returns void. Thank You, Lord!

If you are looking for a way to introduce your children to missionaries - acquire these books!
I read these with the older boys a decade ago, and am enjoying them once again with Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie.
They are excellent introductions to the lives of extraordinary men and women who willingly sacrificed comfort and life for the sake of the Gospel.
Their lives were difficult and filled with hardship, but that is the reality of life. Everyone must suffer, and everyone will die. The question is - how will we LIVE? For ourselves? Or for Christ?

As your children grow, they can read full biographies of their favorites they discover in these volumes, and I guarantee, they WILL have favorites! I read the books out loud after we read Scripture, and just about every morning I hear, "One more chapter, pleeeeeease?" You will laugh, you will be inspired, and you will cry through every final chapter. And along the way, you will be forced to look at how you spend your own days, and what you do for the Kingdom of God. And it will be good.

Below are two quotes by Nate Saint that challenged me.
"And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives... and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."

I would rather die now than to live a life of oblivious ease in so sick a world. - Nate Saint

~~~ Happy Weekend, everyone!
We are looking forward to celebrating our oldest son, Micah, as he walks across the stage to receive his high school diploma Sunday evening. Woohoo!
We have been raising him to become a man, and he is well on his way!
Praise God for milestones we can use as markers in our journey of life and faith.

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