After Nine Months of Unemployment – We Have a Job!

We finally got our breakthrough today! Gary starts his job tomorrow! I’m very excited!

More radical changes are on the way. Here are a few in the last month:

1. Shawn has been working at his job for a month and a half.

2. Patrick is working at Family Dollar. He just started Saturday.

3. Anna helps a friend of ours with cleaning jobs. And Anna is learning Karate, self-defense, assault prevention, etc., and she is now a white belt. She wants to be an instructor.

4. Gary starts a new job tomorrow. A full-time job. With benefits. We haven’t had benefits in about 12 years.

But we never go to a doctor, so it hasn’t been much of a problem.

But the Lord is so good to us. I just had to share. Rejoice with us! We were on the verge of losing hope. It has been very hard lately. But God has answered our prayers. He is faithful. If you have waited a long time, don’t give up. I still have a prayer request that I write every time I give. We want our own home and farm. We are believing God for it. In the natural it is impossible. But With God All Things Are Possible!!!

We are still believing for this miracle. This job for Gary is a sign that our God is with us and answers our prayers. Believe God for great things. Don’t stop believing.

Never, never give up!

Time to Beef Up Our Bible Study

It would seem that we need to work harder on our Bible knowledge, judging by Morgan’s performance today during our Bible study time.

I read to some of the kids several of the main concepts from the Gospel of John today. Then I asked some questions to find out what they had learned.

I asked if John the Baptist was the same as the John who wrote the book of the Bible. None were too certain, so it was quiet for several minutes. Then Morgan said, “Wasn’t Matthew the one that was called “The Rock” after he wrecked and was bit by a snake but didn’t die?”

I stared at him. Was he being serious? Or was he joking? I found myself praying that he was joking.

I told him, “No, Matthew was a tax collector. Peter was called “The Rock”. And Paul was the one who was shipwrecked and bitten by a snake but survived.” “Oh,” he said.

Then I asked the names of John the Baptist’s parents. Nobody said anything, so Morgan volunteered. He got Elisabeth right. Then he tried to think of his father’s name. “Artaxerxes?” I stared at him again. NO! I said, “Morgan, we’re in the New Testament now.” “Oh.”

Nobody knew the name of John the Baptist’s father, so I told them that an angel had told him that his wife was going to have a baby. Morgan shouted out, “Abraham!” My eyes could not open much wider, and my brain could not take much more of this mishmash of Bible knowledge. It was hurting, and I was starting to panic.

But Morgan wasn’t done. He suddenly blurted out, “Then wasn’t it Matthew that fell off his donkey and was struck blind and then the donkey started talking to him because he was beating him?”

He must be doing this on purpose.

To top it all off, he held up his index finger in an “AHA!” gesture and announced, “Luke and Peter – The Thunder Brothers!”

Morgan is a funny guy. And he prides himself on being obnoxious. So I’m not sure if he was goofing around, but just to be sure, we will definitely be beefing up our Bible study from now on.

The questions I asked aren’t even things that are covered in John. They are in the other Gospels. But I thought they were general knowledge that everybody would know. Guess I was wrong!

Huge Giveaway from Knowledge Quest

Here is a huge giveaway of some amazing products. You don’t want to miss out on this.

It is at Some Call It Natural

It includes all of this! Yes, I’m serious!

A Child’s Geography Volume 3 with Wonders of Old Timeline Book ($59.90)
NotebookingPages.com Treasury Membership ($99.95)
Philosophy Adventure Physical set ($89.95)
Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries Intro Pack from Diana Waring ($64.95)
Writeshop Primary Level (winners choice of A, B, or C) plus Activity Pack plus You Can Write A Story ($51.85)
Raising Real Men prize package ($100) Raising Real Men Book, My Beloved and My Friend Book, A Cry From Egypt Book, Boot Camp 9-12, Hero Tales Complete set
A Journey Through Learning $50 Gift Certificate
3 Months A+ Tutorsoft ($49.95)
Lilla Rose (2 Flexi Clips) ($32.00)
See The Light (2 DVDs) ($30)
King Alfred’s English and Baktar (Laurie White) ($25)

Don’t miss out on this chance to enter to win all of these great resources.

Giveaway of YA Christian novel: The Sparrow Found a House

Are you looking for a good book for your teenager that is interesting and relevant, yet teaches good morals and values?

Elisha Press is running a “blitz giveaway” of some signed softcover books. Five copies of “The Sparrow Found A House,” autographed by author Jason McIntire, will be given away on Saturday night. You can enter with just your email address here: http://elishapress.com/blog/sept-2013-giveaway?referrer=penney .

“The Sparrow Found A House” is a Christian novel targeted toward young adults, but advertised to be suitable for all ages. The author is a 2005 homeschool graduate, and homeschooling plays a major role in the story. Here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Rivera is living every teenager’s nightmare. Her widowed mom has married a man who wears his heavy Christian values like his sergeant’s stripes – on both sleeves.

Glenn Sparrow is persistent, immovable, and not afraid to be firm. Worse than that, he’s loving, kind – even fun – and he has Chris, Moe, and Katie completely won over.

But Jessie is determined that she won’t be won over, or give up her “freedom” without a fight. She knows what she wants, and it isn’t what they’ve got.

Or is it?

Reviewers have used phrases such as “realistic,” “true to life,” “believable,” and “hard-hitting but understandable” to describe The Sparrow Found A House. All seem to agree that it’s a little different from most Christian fiction.

Be sure to get your entry in soon, as the giveaway ends at 8PM Central on Saturday: http://elishapress.com/blog/sept-2013-giveaway?referrer=penney .

On their website, you can read the story online for free! I just did, and I really liked this story. It takes you through the process of a family becoming a godly, loving family, as they leave behind the ways of the world. They change step by step, and one of those steps is to start homeschooling their children. Many realistic life situations happen to them as they struggle to make this transition. They encounter turbulence from without and within their family. They face opposition to their efforts, but they continue to pray and ask God for strength and wisdom, and He takes them from glory to glory.

It is a very good story.

I still really like books I can hold in my hand, so I would like to buy the softcover book. I would like for my kids to read the story, and they would be more likely to read it if we have a physical copy of it. I may just read the story to all of them. It’s that good!

You can also get free digital copies of the story at their website here.

One Homeschool Graduate’s Path

Our oldest son is now 22. We homeschooled him through his whole life. He never stepped foot in a school building.

Shawn feeding Patrick

I taught him phonics, reading, basic math and read lots of library books to him when he was young. We did some little workbooks when he was little.

Shawn and Patrick in Box2

As he grew I started reading long chapter books to him. One of the first chapter books I read to him was Tarzan. As he listened to the story, he began to realize that he could picture the characters and action in his mind, and he really enjoyed it. At that point, he realized that reading is fun, and he decided he wanted to do more of it for himself.

Shawn with Kelsey on shoulders 2

But I still kept reading aloud to him, too. We both enjoyed sharing the experience of a good story together.

Shawn reading on swing

As he got older, we continued reading together and the discussions that came with it. We hardly ever interrupted a story because we both wanted to know what would happen next. We almost always read more than one chapter. Then Shawn would usually have lots of ideas and opinions to expound upon. We had some great discussions. He was making connections and building vocabulary and expressing his thoughts clearly and organizing and clarifying his thoughts, exploring concepts, making the knowledge his own, and developing his own philosophy and understanding of life and relationships and lots of other important concepts.

Shawn with Kelsey and Ryan

Shawn and Morgan

The other children joined in on our read-aloud time as they got older, and they would hear Shawn’s discourses and our discussions, so he became my “assistant teacher”.

Shawn as Wilbur

Wright Bros Cast

Shawn and Flat Traveler

He became a really good speaker. And later on, he became a good writer. He was a good thinker all along.

Kids and Flat Travelers and Kittens

He took on the responsibility of making his younger siblings do their chores each day. He held them accountable to do the chores that they were assigned each day. He learned how to encourage them to do things they didn’t want to do first and then they would have free time to do what they wanted.

Kids at Golden Gate pond

Through all of this we continued our read-aloud time. We kept a close bond through this.

Shawn and Kelsey cookies

As a family we went through some confounding, bewildering, disturbing changes as my husband lost his job after 9/11 and we went through a time of living totally by faith, since God told him not to try to find another job. We started praying together as a family every day. Shawn put together a list of scriptures and prayed them every day. He did this so much he memorized them and didn’t need the paper anymore. He became a strong spiritual support for the whole family.

Shawn with newborn twins et al

Shawn and Katie w Newborn twins

Shawn, Brothers and baby Fiona

Shawn camo holding little Fiona

God sustained us supernaturally for 4 years, but then He allowed us to lose our home even though we tried to sell it and did all we knew to do in the natural and prayed for wisdom through the whole experience. We had prayed dangerous prayers for a baptism of fire and that the Lord would change us to be fit for the ministry with signs and wonders following. The baptism of fire consisted of being homeless, having very little money, leaving the place we had always lived, driving to Arizona only to discover that wasn’t really the land of our dreams after all, finally settling in a place that none of us really liked for 3 years in a state of poverty, finally being released from poverty but still not being settled in one place, moving 5 times in 5 years, and more.

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Moving from York 021

Shawn learned that God is our source, He will take care of us even when we are rejected by everyone else, God wants us to get to know Him and His ways, His word is our guide, we need to consult Him about everything, we are in a battle with an enemy that hates us and is relentless, and much more.

He taught his siblings. He taught me. He read from Hebrew writings and learned about deeper things in the scriptures than any of us had ever been taught. He shared with us the things that he learned.

He read books that I wouldn’t even attempt and really enjoyed them. He read the works of Shakespeare, Dante and Chesterton because he wanted to.

He helped with each new baby that came along. He held them, played with them, talked to them, and even changed a few diapers (just the wet ones).

We bumped heads when he was really young, and I tried to make him sit at the table and do workbook pages. But when we changed to mostly me reading good books to him and then having books available that he knew he was expected to finish by the end of the year or so, our days became more pleasant. When he was about 10 years old, he made the decision to just get his school work done and then he could have the rest of the day to do what he wanted. From then on, that’s what he did, and we got along just fine.

We had a difficult time finding a math curriculum that worked for him for Geometry. He did pretty well with the other books I had chosen for him up until we reached Geometry. He never loved math, but he did okay in it.

He couldn’t get past the obstacle of Geometry and stopped studying math for quite a while.

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Then one day, he discovered that he enjoyed learning about financial matters and investment.

He started studying these things on his own. He learned a lot and came to the point where he was ready to invest. I got a little inheritance and gave it to him to invest. We set up an investment account for him, he chose the companies he wanted to invest in, and his investments have been doing very well.

He met a man who had developed a system for trading, and now they are working together on stock market trading. Shawn does the research and finds the trade opportunities.

All along we have prayed that God would show Shawn what He wants him to do as a job or career and guide him. I prayed that God would show us hidden gifts and talents.

When Shawn discovered this love of studying finances, I was shocked. Math was never my strong suit and never his favorite subject, but God answered our prayer and revealed a hidden gift in Shawn.

And recently, a friend at church told us about a job that Shawn might be interested in. Shawn pursued it and they asked him to come to see the place, which he did. Then about a month later, they called and asked him to come and work for them. I didn’t even make a diploma or a transcript for him. Gary did help him put together a resume and a T letter, matching his skills with their requirements. Shawn had never had an official job before, he had no work experience, but he got a job that paid $15/hr!

The fact that he was homeschooled worked in his favor because the man that he works with homeschools his children with his wife.

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Now he’s a working man. He works full-time. He is learning lots of machine shop skills, and getting paid while he learns them. He is learning how to wire things for electricity. He’s learning the things he never had a chance to learn because of the nomadic lifestyle we have lived during most of his life. These are skills that will transfer to real life and prepare him to have his own home and take care of his own family.

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So even though he didn’t go to college (he never considered it), he is getting paid a pretty good wage and learning on the job and still doing the trading and investing while making money so that he can invest more. And he owes no debt. And he didn’t have to go through the corrupt system or endure the false teaching and immorality that fills the colleges and universities.

This is the way that God led Shawn. We give God all the glory.

I tell this story to encourage homeschoolers that we don’t have to do things the world’s way.

Especially now, as Common Core is spreading its tentacles through the whole educational system of America, I want to offer hope that God can take your children by a different way and lead them into a career or business without having to pass tests or jump through hoops or go through the world’s system at all.