Tuesday, July 31, 2012

He gave us Himself

Each summer before we come home, we would record testimonies from some of our flock and share it with friends back home as an encouragement. This past Sunday we were able to do that. Andy was able to share what the Father has done this past year in the lives of many. And I am continually amazed at the depths of understanding that our Father chooses to give these young people that He has entrusted to us.

One of the girls shared about her trials in the past year and how she had cried out to the Father time and again and yet her trials have not gone away. It appeared as if none of her requests for her struggles to lessen were granted. Upon hearing this, many mainstreamers would tend to answer, He has His good timing, He is teaching you perseverance, His grace is sufficient etc. all of which are truths. But what is most beautiful is at the end of her sharing, she said, "Even though He didn't give me what I asked, He gave me Himself."

Often times we can try to answer many questions in life with cliches, pop psychology, and even verses in scriptures that are truths and yet miss the big point in all of scripture. I am touched by how my sister has been blessed to see how He alone can satisfy. It is true that time has not come yet for her troubles to go away, it is true she will learn to persevere in all this, it is true that the Father's grace is sufficient to carry her through her tribulations, but in the end, is that what matters? Is the absence of pain and suffering in the right timing what matters? Is my virtue and long-suffering what matters most? Is knowing that He will pull me through with His help and by His grace enough? I too am learning that it is not. I too am being reminded that if my focus is still on the "thing" I am still missing the point, missing the beauty of it all. I too am praying that I can say with joy in the midst of my suffering that though He did not give me what I asked, He gave me Himself. To see and to savor our Creator is the uttermost joy. To the praise of His glory.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer 2012

I've posted some pictures here from our summer so far. Sixteen more days and we will be heading back to Asia...



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New text books

Here are some of the text books I've ordered and received for Caleb's fourth grade homeschool in the fall.

For English this is our second year using the curriculum from Rod & Staff. We have enjoyed the foundation of Wise's phonics book The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and grammar book First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind for Caleb's kindergarten through 2nd grade, and Rod & Staff worked out for us last year for his 3rd grade so we are using it again this year. Though Caleb started reading at a very young age and is an avid reader, going through the basic grammar rules is still important. For the past year, he actually has even started writing stories and poems of his own. He is writing a series called The Adventures of Mary.

For math, we have been using Saxon math since kindergarten and he is on to fifth grade math this coming year. Though he loves science, Caleb is not as much of a lover of math as his parents are. Andy actually got a minor in math when he was in college since he loved it so much!

We have also enjoyed Bauer's The Story of the World series for history for a number of years now. I have learned so much reading with Caleb and have developed a better interest in the subject. We have gone from ancient times to the medieval period to the Renaissance and to the early modern period in a chronological order. We have finally arrived at American history this past year, after having built on a foundation of seeing history unfold not in a self-focused nor myopic way. The books are a joy to read!

For science, Caleb will be doing physics this coming year which includes experiments that we can do at home. Other subjects include spelling, writing (penmanship), art, music, plus a little Vietnamese and Chinese.

For the summer, I've only had Caleb work on some supplemental math practice and keeping up with piano. Other than that, he's just been enjoying seeing friends and family, going to the library, and just soaking up some California sunshine. I do very much look forward to starting the new school year, in a new home off campus in the same town. We have not yet seen the place we will be moving to except for pictures. But we trust this is the place the Lord has led us to and provided for us. And looking back at the past four years of homeschooling, I really saw God's goodness and faithfulness in it all. He has chosen the weak instrument to do His work.



Foods Caleb missed

Since coming home for the summer Caleb's been enjoying these foods that he missed in Vietnam (some fresh and some not so fresh):

Macaroni and cheese, In-and-out burgers, blueberries, raspberries, Jamba juice, Jello's, puddings, frozen dinners, McDonalds, string cheese, quesadilla, Campbell's soup, and more...


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Highlights

We've been enjoying time with friends and family back home for about a month now. Some highlights so far have been time with mom and dad in Hong Kong, my cousin's wedding in June, and Caleb's first camping trip with his little cousin Franklin. Click on links to see more pictures!

Lamma Island
Wedding in San Ramon
Pitching a tent