Category Archives: Family News

Joseph and John’s First Vehicle

So far none of our children have gotten their driver’s license until they were eighteen or older. That is pretty unusual when most teens drive as soon as they are legally old enough to do so. Our children would have liked to have driven at younger ages, but they had learned to value the income the Lord was giving them. They were making decisions based on the leading of the Lord and being good stewards of the finances He had given to them. Insurance is high for teens so until they needed to be able to drive – usually work related – they didn’t get their licenses.

Sometime before that point, Steve and I would decide it would be good for that teen to get his learner’s permit so that he would have plenty of driving experience with us before being on his own. With our insurance, a driver with a permit does not increase the insurance rates. That means the children can learn to drive without a financial impact to them.

We have appreciated the driving maturity in our children that comes with waiting two or three years beyond the legal driving age to get a driver’s license. Plus the children have saved a great deal of money on insurance by being patient and waiting for the need to arise before getting a driver’s license.

Joseph and John
Joseph and John

Recently Joseph (19) and John (18)  purchased a used truck and trailer in order to begin doing some construction-type work together. The day after the house passed its final inspection in March, the boys went to get their drivers’ licenses.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding” (Proverbs 5:1).

Basement Organization!

What Sarah thought “might” be an afternoon of moving around pallets turned out to be a bigger project. The basement is taking shape, and it’s wonderful to have places to store things.

Jesse did a great job moving pallets of books around. I tried to use the pallet jack, and it made me very grateful for strong brothers to do the job.
Jesse did a great job moving pallets of books around. I tried to use the pallet jack, and it made me very grateful for strong brothers to do the job.
Mary helped too.
Mary helped too.
Cheerful Anna
Cheerful Anna

One invention was a very nifty one by Dad–a way to use extra pallets AND create storage space. Check it out.

Pretty neat! We can store things in the open area and on top.
Pretty neat! We can store things in the open area and on top.

Sarah

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalms 57:7).

Shelf Building, Yard Work, and Sticky Notes

The boys have become very good at building shelves. Our newest set is for the bottom of the basement stairs. It's so nice not to see a pile of items at the bottom of the stairs now.
The boys have become very good at building shelves. Our newest set is for the bottom of the basement stairs. Anna's waiting for a job 🙂 .
Joseph
Joseph
Jesse has been working diligently on the yard.
Jesse has been working diligently on the yard.
Mom has labeled each cabinet in the kitchen, to help us get used to where things belong. It has been a great help!
Mom has labeled each cabinet in the kitchen, to help us get used to where things belong. It has been a great help!

Speaking of Mom, if you think of it, please pray for her. She has a bad cold which is wiping her out and making her feel miserable. She has spent much time over the last few days (and nights!) resting and coughing. (April 9th update–Mom is doing much better today 🙂 . Thanks for your prayers!!) One lady requested we do pictures of the kitchen, and we will try to do that. We’ll wait until Mom is better 🙂 .

Sarah for the rest

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalms 57:7).

School and Housebuilding

In a recent blog comment, a reader asked about how building a house has affected our homeschooling. The past two years, we have not only had the major project in our daily schedule of building a house, but also of three months or so of being on the road for conferences. The children are still on track with their school, and they should be finished or almost finished by our usual school year completion date of Memorial Day.

Joseph, age 19, had graduated from high school before we began building our house so he was available full time to help with the house. John, who is 18 and graduating this year, did bookwork school in the morning and apprentice work with his dad on the house in the afternoons. Since John is planning to work in the construction field, the afternoon school hours were profitable for him as vocational study time.

As a side note, Joseph and John are the ones who initially volunteered to build the house. They said they would build it while Steve wrote books. They since realized that was a bit ambitious and that they needed their dad’s expertise and help continually, but we were grateful for their desire to bless our family and our ministry. In addition, in the midst of building the house Steve and I were even able to write our most recent book, Managers of Their Schools.

The other three children did their normal school and then would help at the house after school. We have a four day school week so everyone helped with the house on Fridays and Saturdays. The children all worked all day on house building projects during the past two summers. Most generally building work ended at dinner time so that evenings were reserved for showers, family Bible time, music practice, and family fellowship.

Jesse and I doing Algebra together.
Jesse and I doing Algebra together.

The children are motivated to get up at 5:45 a.m. so that they can have their personal Bible time, eat breakfast, do a couple of chores, and be ready to start school no later than 7:30 a.m. This allows them to finish school earlier in the day.

Steve is a dad who encourages his family that we work while we have breath, and we rest in heaven (in addition to the Lord’s day). That work is both spiritual and physical. So much of what the Lord has taught us through our years of homeschooling and why we have been able to do what we do plus homeschool is laid out in these books: Managers of Their Homes, Managers of Their Chores, Managers of Their Schools, and Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. We are not “Super Family,” but we do make choices with our time and our activities because we want to do all that we can for the Lord Jesus Christ while we can.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Back to Normal?

Our hearts are full of gratitude to the Lord as we spend each day in the house. Truly, the ministry has room like we’ve never had before 🙂 . No more tripping over boxes in the hallway and side-stepping more boxes to get around the corner.

We’ve been doing odds and ends and living “normal” life again. Yet, is any Christian’s life normal? Each day is a gift from the Lord, and one in which we have opportunities to share Jesus with others and see His working in our lives.

Dad is working on scheduling stops for the Fall trip, and it’s possible we may be doing a West Coast trip and then an East Coast trip. If you’re interested in coordinating a stop on those trips, please e-mail us.

In the process of continuing to settle in, Joseph unloaded and organized Dads shop! The cabinets you see in the background are actually from an old kitchen we tore out years ago. They make great shop cabinets!
In the process of continuing to settle in, Joseph unloaded and organized Dad's shop! The cabinets you see in the background are actually from an old kitchen we tore out years ago. They make great shop cabinets!
Last week, Dad hung blinds!
Last week, Dad hung blinds!
Christopher helped with wiring things in the basement. Nathan and Joseph have spent many hours working on a phone system for the ministry, which will be a real blessing!
Christopher helped with wiring things in the basement. Nathan and Joseph have spent many hours working on a phone system for the ministry, which will be a real blessing!
Melanie continues to be a blessing. Last week, for several days, she helped me organize the ministry things in the basement. We made wonderful progress!
 Last week, for several days, Melanie helped me organize the ministry things in the basement. We made wonderful progress!
Yesterday afternoon, a log splitter was rented. Dad and the boys set to work splitting an enormous pile of wood. This wood came from trees we had to take down that were either diseased or in the way of the building process.
Yesterday afternoon, a log splitter was rented. Dad and the boys set to work splitting an enormous pile of wood. The wood came from trees we had to take down that were either diseased or in the way of the building process.
Jesse was a hard worker.
Jesse
John
John
Joseph
Joseph
Anna helped this afternoon, and one of the boys said she had the neatest stack of wood :-) .
Anna helped this afternoon, and one of the boys said she had the neatest stack of wood 🙂 .
Honey was happy to be outside, and she grabbed sticks whenever she could.
Honey was happy to be outside, and she grabbed sticks whenever she could.

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

The Move Continues

In a way, the last few days have passed in a blur. We are finally able to say we are mostly moved 🙂 . Yesterday was the moving day for the ministry things. To be able to keep shipping website orders, we wanted to wait to move TItus2 until we had the family settled. So Titus2/MOTH came over, and we’re remarkably settled.

Here are some pictures from the last several days.

A very special moment was two nights ago, at the beginning of our family Bible time, when Dad placed the Bible on the mantle. It had been on our old mantle, and we carefully moved it over. The Bible belonged to my grandmas parents.
Dad placing the family Bible on the mantle that belonged to my great-great grandparents which had been on our mantle at the old house.
Since Melanie has spent quite a bit of time organizing our kitchen/pantry, Abigail has been around a lot too. Melanie put Abigail in this box, and we thought she was too cute :-) .
Since Melanie has spent quite a bit of time organizing our kitchen/pantry, Abigail has been around a lot too. Melanie put Abigail in this box, and we thought she was too cute 🙂 .
Mary, helping...
Mary, helping...
A big project that Joseph, John, Anna, and Jesse worked on was building shelves in the basement. Here John and Anna are, ready for their picture.
A big project that Joseph, John, Anna, and Jesse worked on was building shelves in the basement. Here John and Anna are, ready for their picture.
Nailing the supports for the shelves.
Nailing the supports for the shelves.
The basement (and garage) has been our stashing place for items that dont have a home yet. We worked to clean the basement in preparation for Titus2 moving over. Jesse used Cheep Sweep, which is a substance like fine mulch, that you push around with a broom, and it cleans the floor extremely well.
The basement (and garage) has been our stashing place for items that don't have a home yet. We worked to clean the basement in preparation for Titus2 moving over. Jesse used Cheep Sweep, which is a substance like fine mulch, that you push around with a broom, and it cleans the floor extremely well.
Anna carrying boxes outside.
Anna carrying boxes outside.
John
John
The first day or two was hard for Honey, because she wanted to go back to the old house. After that, she has settled in very nicely and loves the new house!
The first day or two was hard for Honey, because she wanted to go back to the old house. After that, she has settled in very nicely and loves the new house!

Things that have happened to different family members

  • The new shower door falls off, but you’re able to grab it, and it’s not broken.
  • You try to tell someone your new address over the phone. “South 15th” was easy enough to say, but “Santa Fe Street”, is harder. After explaining it several times to people on the phone, a helpful brother suggested saying all three words together, instead of going one by one. The suggestion was tried, but the receiver didn’t get it either. Oh well. We’ll keep working 🙂 .
  • When Melanie was over for a meal, she is asked by several different people where things are to be found in the kitchen because she organized the kitchen.
  • Honey slept in Dad and Mom’s room for several years, until we got new carpet, and then she wasn’t allowed on the carpet. For the last five or six years, she’s slept in the boys’ room. Now that we have tile in the main part of the house she can go wherever she wants. The first night, she was in Dad and Mom’s room. The second night, the boys wanted to see if she would stay in theirs. No, it didn’t work. Why? the girls wondered. How did you know she didn’t want to? —- Because, they said, she panted and stood at the door.
  • When you get up in the night, and your stomach feels sick, you head for the kitchen to grab some Tums. You feel like you’re in another family’s house–it still feels so new!
  • Since the house is a reversed floor plan from the old house, several things have happened. For example, you’re backing out the door with a box, and you reach for the door handle, and you can’t find it. Oops. It’s on the other side.

Monday, school resumes and for those who are out of school there is still a lot to do unpacking and organizing 🙂 .

Sarah

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:3).