Congratulations Paul- we are so proud of you!!!

Paul Dunahoo, a friend of Jacob’s (and our family) was recently asked to attend APPLE conference for a week as a “Young Developer”.  He won a scholarship to go!!! He has used his God-given talents and creativity to work all his extra free time into learning to develop APPs. He attended Apple’s conference with a just a few thousand other folk, all there to be on the cutting edge of computer developing…..and people say homeschoolers are unsocialized– HA! Yet another great example of Christ centered homeschooling success!  Way to go Paul we are so proud!!! Click the link below him to watch this news report from the Wall Street Journal of Paul!!!

Paul Dunahoo Young Developer

Mission Minded Kids- part III

While we have many missionaries back home from around the world, we know the importance of teaching our children to stand firm in their faith right here in America.  Important lessons in life don’t always come from a text book, and they can be a lot of fun too.  With a little CREATIVITY and FUN you can teach your children vital truths for their future.

Recently we have had different families over for dinner on a few different nights.  Sean taught the kids a lesson on standing firm in your faith and what the shield of faith is all about.  He passed out shields to each kid, made of foam board and rope handles, and passed out soft foam balls to all the kids. It’s a simple game that ALL KIDS can play, no teams, no big rules or strategies, no big concepts to understand– just guard yourself with your shield and throw the ball at others when able. 🙂



The pictures below are from different nights and different families, but the lesson was the same.  (Note: in one picture Sean is under “attack” from ALL the kids!!! THAT was hilarious!!! Thank you little Joshua for helping protect him with your shield!!)

Mission Minded Kids- Part II

What a great season we are in here in northern CT.  So many of our church missionaries are home for a long visits.  This is not typical, so we are trying to glean as much as possible from their life, stories, faith, wisdom and more.

We recently had Robert & Becky Cooley (their link is to the right on our blog).  They are missionaries with AIM in Lima, Peru.  Not too long ago the Cooley family was living here in CT just like everyone else.  When Robert, as an elder and father, went as a chaperone on a church mission trip.  After a few year had passed, they sold all they had and moved to Peru to build the church there.  Close to their arrival God used a huge natural disaster to open doors for their ministry.  A massive earthquake left many without homes.  The Cooley have used this trial in many lives as a wonderful opportunity for service, generosity, and showing the love of Christ to all people.

We had them over for dinner to share their story with our children.  They have come before and shared WHY they went to Peru, so this time they shared about the some of the hard trials they face in their ministry.  The struggles of helping to heal generational patterns that keep people from freedom in Christ.  They also shared about using everyday things (like STRING) to build connections with children and families.  They taught our kids about STRING FIGURES and how they use it in their ministry.  (there are many free downloads online for free tutorials on string figures to share the gospel)

Becky teaching the kids string figures.

Josiah worked hard to figure out the “Apache Door” which can be used to teach about Straight is the gate and narrow is the path principle with the importance of Decisiveness in life.

Sophie learned the “Broom” or “Crows foot” which can be inverted to a Palm Tree to teach  about Flexibility in trials

Robert showed the kids many photos of their ministry in Peru.  What the people are like and their needs. Some pictures of people who are part of THE WORLD RACE with AIM.

What a blessing to learn and grow some more, as well as build lasting friendships with friends around the world!!!

Mission Minded Children

Recently we had the blessing of having our church missionary friends, Randy & Dianna Smyth, over for dinner.  They are back in the states for a while, but they usually reside in Papua New Guinea.  There Randy is a pilot for New Tribes Missions and Dianna helps run the radio and organize the coming and going of the airplane, shipments, and needs of the missionaries on the field.  They came and had dinner, shared the stories of what God is doing in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.  They shared their personal testimony of how God brought them together as a married couple and how important it is to wait for GOD’s timing in finding your forever mate. They taught our children about the long term committment it takes to bring the love of Christ and the message of Christ’s love just to one tribe.  Sometimes, though each place is different, it can take 7 to 10 years!  Yes YEARS before they even tell them about Jesus.  WOW.  They start by building relationships and learning the language.  Getting the language into written form, since most are oral, and then translating scripture into their native tongue.  Starting in Genesis, they work their way through the whole story of God’s great love, redemption and grace.  Beautiful.


The New Tribes Missions, that Randy and Dianna are a part of, also has a wonderful DVD documentary series written for children in mind.  It follows the everyday life of one missionary family that left the US and all they had, took their four young boys and moved across the world to Papua New Guinea.  The series is called Growing Up Wild

The link to see it is HERE: Growing Up Wild

Each summer we try to pick a theme or something fun and different we might not study during the typical months of the school year.  Last year we did Answers In Genesis apologetics class for kids, plus their Creatures that Defy Evolution series (found by clicking on the Answers in Genesis link above).

This year, we are using Growing Up Wild with our children as a fun, education, adventure for Jesus learning opportunity this summer.  Jungle living, snake battles, crossing gorges, climbing mountains, getting to your home by missionary plane and then helicopter, all while learning a foreign language, creating an alphabet for it, translating the bible and telling people about Jesus…… seriously, WHAT could be better???

Backyard Maple Sugaring !!! part I

We are blessed to share a beautiful property with our church since our church provided housing for pastoral staff.  In gratitude for the wonderful things that God puts in our lives, sometimes right in our own backyard, we share these pictures 🙂 With a little creativity, resourcefulness, diligence, and family team work, we are going to have a bountiful harvest from 7 very large maple trees.  The first 24 hours we collected 7 gallons of sap!  Knowing that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup, we will harvest each day in high hopes to obtain 2 gallons of sweet maple syrup in the end!  LONG LIVE PANCAKES!!!

An activity that the WHOLE family can participate in.  Everyone got to drip a tap or two, hammer in the taps, and connect the tubes to the bucket.

 Jamie LOVED the power of the drill!! She was amazed to see the sap drip out right away.  Little Joanna wanted to help with everything (note the tongue sticking out for concentration 🙂 )


Joel liked the drill and really wasn’t interested in the sap– power tools!!  Sarah INSISTED on pulling the cart with all the supplies.


Sophie was the hole inspector, she has a good eye for detail.  Jacob drilled holes once all the little ones had “moved on” to running in the grass 🙂

Our Sugaring Team!!!


Josiah found a lower jaw bone of a deer.  With a lot of Coyotes on the property, skull bones are found often.  Last month, while on a walk with Nauna & Nat, Josiah found a raccoon skull.




A roasting oven/crock (18 qt)– a busy mom’s way to cook down sap into maple syrup 🙂 Works like a charm- holds a lot, cooks slow, no burning issues, no need to hover. Perfect.


 Look at that glassy surface…… a vision of goodness 🙂

Tune in soon for the end result 🙂

Joy-filled anticipation

Our children remember it clear as a bell, as if it were yesterday.  A young man volunteering his time to serve at the Children’s Institute at our homeschooling conference.  With much enthusiasm, he and his siblings led the little ones in a lesson on pride.  Blowing up a balloon over and over again until it EXPOLDED in his face!!! THAT is what pride does, he and his siblings taught. Pride grows and grows and then explodes in our lives.  Oh our children talked for weeks about that lesson!!! They laughed and gigled remembering the exploding balloon! They will never forget it- never!

What a great first impression!  Our children will never forget the lesson and example the Wilkes children all had as they served that week.  WE, the parents, will never forget the example that MR & Mrs Wilkes set by choosing to serves as a WHOLE family in ministry.

Well, that young man was Joshua Wilkes, along with the rest of his wonderful siblings.  Their whole family taught that week.  And that was how our two families met. We have enjoyed building a friendship with them over the years.  This past fall, Josh got married to Lisa, and our children could not wait to call them “Mr & Mrs Wilkes”. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we have much joy-filled anticipation as the NEW Mr. & Mrs. Wilkes were coming to ur home for a visit!!!  The kids gave them tours, played games, learned a great new game called “Bible Runner” (thanks Josh), colored pictures, and more.  It was simple family fun.  We couldn’t have asked for a better visit!  Thank you Josh and Lisa for visiting our home along your travels.