Legacy Academy Graduation 2015

Musician M’s Graduation

August 1, 2015

Graduation diploma

Graduation from Legacy Academy, August 2015

Dr. P and I want to thank all guests for being here to help us celebrate M and his graduation from our high school program at Legacy Academy. Many of you have not just supported us as we have raised him, but have also contributed to his growth academically and spiritually as employers, mentors, tutors, or as Bible study teachers. Thank you.

On July 19th, 1996, on the opening day of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and in Atlanta, a full term but tiny baby boy was born less than 10 minutes after arriving via ambulance to the hospital during what was termed a “precipitous labor.” It felt like an Olympic sprint.

We won the Gold.

M was quickly whisked to the Special Care nursery for oxygen treatment due to breathing issues. He proved himself small, but mighty, right from the start. During the process of setting up the oxygen tent, M regulated his breathing on his own. He remained in the special care nursery for monitoring for 24 hours where nurses reported that while he was small for full term, he was one of the healthiest babies in that Special Care nursery. As such, he was the only baby available to make a debut in the hospital newspaper for a hospital healthy baby campaign.

M was sick quite a bit as an infant, and yet he rarely cried. So rarely did he cry that I wondered if there something wrong with him. He tolerated without complaint Jonathan carrying him by the neck to play trains.

One day, when he was 6 months old, M got lost in our split level ranch. I could not find him on the main level, which was one open room. He could not crawl yet, and while we did have stairs–he couldn’t crawl. After several concerned minutes of searching, I found him upstairs where he’d stealthily managed to get to his room and had fallen asleep under his crib. We bought a gate for the stairs that evening.

In his toddler and preschool years, we and his preschool teachers quickly noted that M had a sincere love of God, and was always questioning, appropriately, but challenging even those teachers. Why? Why did people act a certain way when they had to know a certain situation was wrong? Why did God create him? Why did he have a sin nature? Why? Why? I often sent him to Peter with questions for which I had no energy for answers.

One day, we were in the car with insane Atlanta traffic and M’s incessant 3 year old questions would not stop. I said “I love your questions, but my ears are going to bleed. PLEASE, take a break.” In that stellar parenting moment, M tearfully said “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I have all these questions, but I HAVE to let them out of my body!” I sighed and said “I know. Carry on. “

We also noted that M had a knack for vocabulary and word play. Out of his tiny frame and his elfen voice often came unexpected correctly used big words. We would say “Wow, M! That’s a big word. Where did you hear it?” And he would say “I read it in a book.”

When we began doing our mandatory yearly standardized testing in Virginia, M’s test scores for vocabulary, spelling, grammar, math, and reasoning skills were far beyond expectation or grade level, even surprising us.

One normal school day morning in our Virginia home, when the big boys were supposed to be getting ready for school, and I was downstairs cleaning the kitchen, I heard a boom and screaming from overhead. Like a level headed (read frazzled) mom of 4 children under 7 yrs old, trying to get the day started, I marched myself fuming up the stairs with an “I told you to…” I was met at the top by M with blood spurting out of his forehead onto the carpet, and streaks of bloody handprints on the walls. We made our way to the ER, where M wowed the hospital staff with his large vocabulary story telling antics as he got stitches in his head. On that day, as the mom of three boys, I knew I better grow more nerves of steel, due to the future ER and urgent care runs that surely have come.

While we were in VA, our boys were part of an Upward basketball league, where the goals were not just learning basketball skills, but also Christian character. In one game, the other kids on M’s team were fairly matched in size and skill to the opponents’, but M was not. The kid from the other team was not giving M any room at all to throw the ball around or over anyone. We could see that M was getting exasperated as he just dribbled and contemplated his strategy. Everyone was yelling “Just throw the ball.” But he kept dribbling. In a sudden turn of events, M passed the ball-UNDER the legs of the competition and into the hands of his team mate, stunning his opponent and his own team. It was genius, and there was thunderous applause and cheering…especially by this proud mother.

A friend who watched the children while we were at a homeschool conference in 2006 shared this story with me about M: “The kids and I were talking about dates, and that Father’s Day was in June. Somehow we were discussing how far something was away, and M said, “That’s 3 times as many days.” I said “Wow M! You are really good at math!” to which he replied, “I know. That’s why my name is MATH-hew. “ And, of course, he said it with the best smile and freckles to go along with that…” Not very long after this we found that M had a developmental vision problem requiring 4 months of twice weekly office based vision therapy. Surprisingly, even with this vision issue, M remained steadfast in his academic challenges and skills, especially math, until it was corrected.

As M entered middle school age, he really liked science and questioning how things worked. One day, his science assignment was to melt chocolate using only a magnifying glass and the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, it was a cold November overcast day here in MI, and as I had younger kids needing attention in the house, I left M with his magnifying glass, chocolate, and lack of sun unattended on the deck, assuming this science experiment would be an epic fail. I looked out the window to be sure he was staying on task, and saw smoke rising off the deck rail as well as a small flame. He had not only melted the chocolate, but the Styrofoam plate too, and was burning a line into the deck rail. M definitely got an A in persistence and for not burning the house down that day. The text book writer also got an email stating that a disclaimer/warning might need to be put into the textbook for future General Science users.

Another school day adventure was the day M came to me and said “You know how that the box for the new stapler you got for the school room says “25 sheets of paper one finger? I think what they meant to say is that one thumb equals 25 sheets of paper.” He stuck his thumb out to me to show me that he had stapled through his thumb and thumb nail, earning himself yet another trip to urgent care and a tetanus shot.

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Interestingly, he even managed to injure himself during the professional taking of his Senior photos.

One day recently, I opened my computer to find that the cord had gotten trapped inside when it got closed. The screen was shattered, and I had nothing showing but the screen of white death and random computer characters. I called Dr. P. to find out what I should do, saying “M thinks he can fix this.” He said “This is outside M’s pay scale. Call a computer repair place.” I figured I had nothing to lose by letting M try, as he couldn’t really make it WORSE. M ordered parts, systematically took apart the computer, and put it back together in working order. He has also repaired little issues on our lawn equipment and vehicles, mostly successfully, saving us a bunch of money with his mechanical problem solving skills.

As I end this, Musician M, I am really now speaking to just you.

3 John 3-4: It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

In the stories I have shared about you, I haven’t even touched on the depth of compassion and service you have for others, your dedication to our family vision, or the way you are a fine example to your siblings, but it is still not hard to discern that you are a young man who has grown in strong character, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

You are smart. You are capable, persistent, and determined. You have a strong work ethic. You are academically prepared, in spite of our earthly limitations.

As Dad and I launch you off into the “REAL” world, what I want to impress on you is this: Continue to walk in integrity and truth. Walk in knowledge of the Bible and His commands. Obey the Lord first. Pray as He directs your paths and carefully listen to Him. While we hope to continue to impart wisdom as you make decisions for your future, our opinion, albeit filled with life experience, is still only an opinion. We are not God, and we do not always discern what God thinks is best. We know that you will need to take risks, and that those risks will be of concern to us because we love you. We do not want to be a stumbling block to your obedience to the Lord. It will not be dishonoring to us for you to make choices we disagree with if those choices are ones that you make as you seek to Honor God. Discern how to Honor Him and seek his will for you, in truth, with your time, talents, and obedience based on diligent prayer.

Go follow the path the Lord has for you.

I love you, and I’m proud of you.

Love,

Mom

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Dr. P and I are really proud.

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Missing Equine J tremendously, but the family is proud of Musician M.

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The family able to be in attendance of the graduation celebration.

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Our family with the T grandparents.

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Musician M with his T grandparents.

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Our family with the W grandparents.

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Musician M with his W grandparents.

 

UPDATE: My husband posted his message on his blog, Legacy Academic, here.

Oops! And Rambling

Oops!

It’s been a few weeks.

Sorry blog.

Really, I’ve had nothing to add and lots to do.

The weather is so beautiful where we are, and we’re enjoying spring!

This past weekend I took our girls to an alpaca farm, which was fun. There was a farm store which had alpaca wool by the large garbage bag full to the tune of $650. It is neither spun, washed, or dyed. It sure is soft, though! There was a beautifully knitted alpaca shawl that only cost $125. This was an astounding “aha!” moment for my dear oldest daughter, Lady L.

Mom! I could NEVER make that kind of money for the scarves and things I make!”

That led to a nice discussion on the quality of goods and the time spent making a well handmade product, versus cheap quality, cheap factory made, or poorly made handmade ones. It was also a reassuring conversation for her that it is reasonable to learn skills on less expensive fibers.

“Yes, dear daughter. You *could* make a well made, beautiful, high quality product and sell it for $125.

Keep working at building your skills and trying new things.”

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A-Grape and Missy E feeding the female herd of alpacas. There are babies in there too.

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One super demanding female alpaca that Missy E enjoyed feeding.

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The male alpacas began clustering at the gate for Lady L to feed.

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This was one very docile alpaca who A-Grape really enjoyed loving on.

Note: See how these lady and gentlemen alpacas are all sheered?

The garden has been started by Thing A.

I am so thankful for his commitment to helping us with our grounds keeping and gardening.

He took his little sisters out to weed and add “Dairy Doo” and mushroom compost to our beds.

He and I will begin planting in a day or two.

Our plants were delivered on Friday.

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Pretty purple petunias for the back deck.


Asparagus has been a fun staple food these past few weeks, and our family is enjoying it!

Over the winter, we began trying different vegetable dishes. We found that we like roasting cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Now that it is spring, and asparagus is available at the farm around the corner from our house, we’ve started roasting it, too!

We take 3-4 lbs of fresh asparagus, snap off the woody ends, wash, place in a single layer on a broiling pan, sprinkle to taste with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Roast at 450 til desired tenderness.

For tonight’s dinner, the only thing fresh and thawed WAS the fresh asparagus! I had no idea what we were going to eat.

Thing A found large boneless chicken breasts in our freezer. There were not enough for all of us, but enough for a skillet dinner or casserole.

Our dinner was delicious, and Dr. P asked that I make it again.

That means I have to write the recipe, so I may as well share it!


Chicken, Roasted Asparagus, Pasta Toss

Feeds 6-8

4 lbs of asparagus cut into 3-4 pieces and roasted as above

16 oz box of pasta shells cooked and drained

4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces and marinated in the following for an hour or two:

  • Minced garlic to taste (we use the kind in the jar, and a honkin’ big serving spoon amount)
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1/3 cup balsalmic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of worcestershire sauce
  • 3 TBL Italian dressing mix (I used Wildtree)

4 cups of our diced tomatoes from last summer’s garden

dried basil to taste

white pepper to taste

  1. Marinate the chicken.
  2. Roast the asparagus.
  3. Cook the pasta and drain.
  4. Saute the onion/chicken and marinade until cooked through.
  5. Add the tomatoes and heat through. Add basil to taste. I used dried and about 3 TBL.
  6. Toss chicken mixture with the pasta and asparagus.
  7. Season with pepper.
  8. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Two of the biggest things I worked on this past week were standardized testing for the younger four children, and homeschool high school transcripts for our two oldest boys.

Standardized tests were mailed back to the supplier today. Testing at our house is never stressful, and the kids actually look forward to it. We reward with Sprite, donuts, Jolly Rancher candies, and Hershey kisses. Later I get unbiased verification of our children’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Usually there are no glaring surprises. The test results back up what I already know.

What is not to love about testing?

All completed work is being sorted, and I’m doing a lot of purging. We don’t need to keep everything, and honestly, we don’t have the space.

A burn pile is currently stacked high in my living room.

I’m also tallying up final grades, using the HSLDA transcript service, and writing up course descriptions for the work that was done and including the books, online classes, and co-op tutor notes as a portfolio to provide whatever schools our boys end up going to. Models I’m using to write transcripts and portfolios can be found at HSLDA and through Lee Bintz, the HomeScholar.

Caps, gowns, tassels, and diplomas are all ordered for our August 1st graduation.

Mechanical M has his senior pictures taken this weekend.

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Mechanical M for Homeschool Prom Night

We’ll get graduation announcements and ceremony and party details in the mail soon.

There is much to do to get ready for our first Legacy Academy graduation ceremony and party!


I was not prepared for what an emotional experience this is.

I was not prepared for the grief process that came last fall when Equine J told us he was ready to spread his wings and try new things.

I’m excited for our boys.

I really am.

It’s just sad for me.

I’ve loved raising these guys, and being done with this phase of parenting came quickly.

On the other hand, I have four more children to homeschool and raise.

I don’t have time to wallow in my bittersweet grief. There a new school year for which to organize and plan.

I’ll embrace the new season, grow, and move on.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Grief is part of the graduation process.

I will feel free to grieve if I must, and I will find joy in the process.

Blessings,

Deb

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:3-6

 

PS. I have a contest going on the LoveLeavingLegacy facebook page. Go check it out! You could win a free Lilla Rose product.

Ask Me What I love About My Job

Go to the facebook page to enter! https://www.facebook.com/LoveLeavingLegacy

 

Holy Smoke!

It is smokin’ at the W-Bunch/Legacy Academy/LoveLeavingLegacy homefront today!

School work…Lilla Rose sale…sending off our tax paperwork.

Whew!

The girls and I are putting out the fires…

There was a slight electrical mis-fire in my heart when someone I love mentioned giving up their business to move their family to Nicaragua, effective immediately.

That fire is out.

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Just putting out the little electrical mis-fire in my heart and the battery operated candle in A-Grape’s hand. NOOOO!

Thank you April Fool’s Day!

Had it been true, I would have been one of the first to pray her family on their way.

Missions is important.

A-Grape is on fire with her reading! It’s so exciting!

Her favorite thing to read is the Bible!
That is not a joke!

Here is another NOT a joke!

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A fabulous sale at Lilla Rose!

This is all kinds of Purple-icious, isn’t it!?

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One day only. Ends at midnight PST! (That’s 3AM for those on the east coast.)

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Wait!? 60% off HAIRBANDS!? What!?

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10% off Bobby Pins (40% off a select pack of 3 pairs!)

But wait! There is more!

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Just released this morning, the Tulip Field, the limited edition Flexi of the Month for April in pinks and purples. 10% off today!

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10% off former Flexis of the Month and the newly released Night Owl badge clip!

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I set up a party link for this sale. 10% of the profit for all orders placed through this party link will be donated to the Howells’ Reece’s Rainbow adoption Family Sponsorship Page (FSP) to help them get their two boys home this year! 

Talk to me about the opportunity to own your own Lilla Rose business.

What a company this is! It is centered around integrity, ethics.
It also does not lack a sense of humor.

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Blessings!

“acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18