Tag Archives: taekwondo

Tests, Chicks, and Roundhouse Kicks

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This week has found us running in multiple directions and pulling some long hours as we work to finish up the school year. Many of our activities are coming to a close as we head into the summer months and the kids are all trying to complete the last of their school work by the end of next week.

Here’s a peek at our week:

On Tuesday we had a Relief Society activity at church. It was a finance class on “Saving for a Rainy (or not so Rainy) Day.”

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The girls went with me and helped me set up and decorate with the other ladies on the committee. Pat lent us her impressive collection of piggy banks to use for our centerpieces.

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One of the men from church taught the class and did an amazing job!

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It was informative and entertaining and we all left with many gems of “saving” wisdom.

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While we attended the class Molly and Grace babysat  the little people in the nursery. They love the chance to snuggle some babies. 🙂

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At the end of the class we enjoyed a large variety of “cheap treats,” snacks that can be made on a shoestring budget.

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It was a great night!

On Wednesday we had our final day of state testing.  We were back at Butler County Community College for Gracie’s Literature Keystone Test. She was a bit nervous, but not nearly as nervous as she was last year when she had to complete her Algebra and Biology Keystone Tests.

She had to check in at 8:00 am so we left the house at 7:00 with books and computers packed so that the other kids could work on school while Gracie tested. We dropped her off and then settled into the college lobby where we made ourselves at home for the day with our friends, the Hudaks.

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The kids worked all day, taking breaks every few hours to play video games with friends or enjoy one of the board games we packed. It was a good day. Grace left testing feeling confident that she did well and eager to tell us about the fun games and activities the teachers had planned for the down time in between the testing sessions.

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I’m relieved we are DONE and we don’t have to face state tests again for another year. 🙂

On Thursday we added two more to the Taekwondo family. Grace and Molly decided to join Rusty and Ozzie for Taekwondo lessons. At the school the boys attend they offer a family rate. Once you have 3 children attending it is the same price regardless of how many family members join, so the girls decided to try it out. Thursday was their first class…and they really enjoyed it. They are all trying to talk Tyler into joining them but they haven’t had any luck yet.

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While at class, Rusty and Ozzie were informed that they were ready to test for the next belt level. In two weeks they will both be testing. Ozzie is especially thrilled at the prospect of becoming a yellow belt.

Now on to animal news…

In addition to this sweet addition to Patchwork Farm

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

we have also added a few more feathered friends this week. Friends from church hatched some poultry eggs in an incubator to give their grandkids the neat experience of watching them hatch. Now that they are all hatched and beginning to grow they asked if we would like to adopt them.

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This week they joined our farm family. There are 3 ducks and quite a few chicks. We look forward to more eggs in our future!

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We also added another batch of bunnies to the mix. We now have 4 litters of bunnies. It is cute to see the bunnies from one nest wander over and snuggle in with the bunnies from another nest. I don’t know how the mommas keep things straight! Here the bunnies from an older litter climbed into the nest of our youngest bunnies. You can see the mix of sizes all snuggled together in one soft, fluffy bunch. 🙂

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And to end a busy week on yet another high note…

Last night was Spring Formal for the girls.

Stay tuned for photos. Needless to say, they had a ball!

A Proud Momma

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My buttons are bursting a bit. Saturday was a day of celebration and a day of giving thanks as we celebrated child #3 and how far he has come.

Rusty competed in his first Taekwondo competition this weekend. Although he has been taking lessons for a while, and has advanced to a green belt, this was his first time competing with his martial arts school. It was out of his comfort zone and required him to stretch himself but he did it, and he did it well.

When I look back at where Rusty was 7 years ago I am humbled by God’s healing hand in his life. As a little boy Rusty was diagnosed with Selective Mutism and struggled so much with social anxiety that for many years he was unable to smile for a photograph, shake someone’s hand, make eye contact, answer a telephone or verbally speak to anyone outside the four people in our immediate family.

At one point he was so paralyzed with fear that we put our desire to adopt on hold, knowing that it would stifle Rusty’s ability to speak in his home (the only place he could speak) if another child was living with us.

For years he depended on Molly to be his voice, whispering words into her ears so that she could speak for him to his friends. With a lot of patience, work, and A LOT of God’s grace we saw him begin to take baby steps toward being verbal. He was able to smile at people, learned to nod his head to answer “yes,” use basic sign language to communicate, write notes to talk to friends, and eventually was able to record his voice and play it for others. Each baby step was an enormous victory that brought me to tears.

He eventually began to whisper and then his small voice began to get louder. By the time he was eight years old, after five years of silence, he was verbal again.

Although he has been verbal for the last five years he still struggles with social anxiety. He is much more comfortable fading into the background than being the center of attention. Knowing this, and being careful not to push too hard, I was delighted when he approached Toby and I about wanting to compete with his martial arts school. He wanted to do breaking. I quickly signed him up and was disappointed to discover it was the same Saturday that I had to drive Ozzie 2 1/2 hours away for school testing for his IEP. It was too important a meeting to reschedule so I set off early in the morning for a long day of driving and testing, with orders for Rusty’s cheer section to take lots of photos.

Around 3:00pm I received an excited call from Rusty that he had done well and had placed 2nd in his division. He couldn’t wait to show me his medal.

When I look back on where we were a few years ago, and the fears I struggled with:

“Would Rusty ever be able to speak… make friends… hold a job…marry,”

I am profoundly aware of God’s grace. Here I sit today, with none of those worries still burdening me. God healed. He answered our prayers. He took what was, at one time, an enormous worry and lifted it completely. It was a long road, but now 5 years later it is like a distant memory.  As I look at Rusty’s struggle it gives me hope that God can lift all burdens and heal all hurts, and that the worries of today will one day be a distant memory, too.

And one day I will look back in awe at how far we have come and how good God has been.

Here is a peek at Rusty’s BIG day!

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Rusty

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Molly...part of the cheering section.

Molly…part of the cheering section.

Warming up...

Warming up…

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2nd place!

2nd place!

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