Melanie —  July 29, 2008

It’s always fun to look back at the end of something important and see how far you’ve come.  Aliyah finished her 100 Reading Lessons Program yesterday, something she’s been working on since September.  She is very excited and is happily reading books to her siblings and Mom and Dad.  We have a party planned in two weeks with her friends to celebrate.  Today she finished the schoolwork she had left for this year and Hannah won’t be too far behind.  I am proud of both of them, and it’s so amazing to see how their appetite for learning has grown.  I really believe that one major goal of early childhood education is instill a love of learning.  To hunger to know and understand is the foundation of education.  So it does my heart good when one of my children asks a question like Aliyah did tonight.  We had read a devotional story about a preacher who preached to an empty church, except for one person.  That person went on to become a preacher and brought many people to Christ.  Aliyah said, “Mom, I have a question.  How exactly do you tell people about Jesus?” We had a great discussion.  Then a really neat time of prayer.  Often it seems like the kids “rush” through their prayers.  The new devotional book gave some really specific things to pray about, which Aliyah prayed for really clearly.  When it was Hannah’s turn, I said, “Just pray to God like He’s a friend right here in the room.”  She paused for a long time and then started, “Hi God.  It’s me, Hannah.”  Then she went on to pray a really natural heartfelt prayer.  Soooo wonderful as a parent to experience these moments.

On the Mariah and Joel front, Mariah’s eye is turning lots of lovely colors but not causing her any pain.  Tonight at bedtime she was stalling and said, “I don’t want to go to bed until my eye is all the way better.”  Nice try.  Milk that injury for all its worth!  She is so sweet and funny.  Joel cracked us all up tonight when he found Mariah’s pacifier and while shouting out, “Pass – pass – pass” proceeded to try to put it in the mouths of everyone in the room.  He also kept putting it in his own mouth (he has never used a pacifier) and doing a little dance in a circle while the rest of us laughed.  These little people are so funny.

It appears that we have found a car to replace our faithful little Astra which has gone the way of all cars now.  It’s been a process but we have found a used Mazda 323.  We should be picking it up on Thursday.  It’s nice to have the looking stage over with.  And we thank God for the way He has provided through a special gift from friends to allow us to buy it.

Peter is out tonight teaching the second part of his “One-on-One Ministry” seminar that he’s doing at a church nearby.  Tonight’s subject was counseling and mentoring.  Next week will be conflict resolution and evangelism.  Pray for fruit.  And pray for him as he’s got a lot of upcoming ministry to prepare for.  This weekend he’ll be at a retreat teaching “Better Bible Study.”  Then it’s time for him to prepare all his messages for the OM Holland conference and the seminars for the conference we’ll be attending in France.  We’re all looking forward to the trip, but in the meantime still enjoying being home.