And a funny: Abby says after we released the poor little tortured frog...crying...whimpering...
"Mommy, I am so sad."
Abby "Because I just lost my best friend...I really loved that frog."
...is the word of the day! All of our homeschool stuff is here and we set up part of the learning center today! The girls were so excited and ready to go! Andrew did alot of work in his extra math workbook. There is so much joy in following the Lord in obedience. I have Max Lucado's book on my heart today "A cure for a common life". He talks about walking in the sweet spot. When you make a great hit in baseball right in the sweet spot...it feels good and the result is great! The same is true in our walk with the Lord...there is great joy walking in obedience...the sweet spot with Jesus! I have our first two months mapped out and we are headed out on our trail starting May 28!
The kids favorite thing in the learning center: washable smelly markers.
My favorite thing: Dry Erase Board and magnetic calendar! (I'm such a nerd but I love to plan!)
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Wanted to share a Go God today! The book I was reading that sparked my conversation with a board member for Hands and Feet project, Shannon, was Kyle Idleman's book Not a Fan. I met him on the plane ride home from our interview in Kentucky. Just got this in an email from Shannon today:
So Kyle Idleman visited Hand and Feet in Jacmel 2 weeks ago and Mark was
able to sit down with him in Louisville this last week and talk about him
becoming involved with us and our ministry. How ironic is that!!
Not ironic at all. Just God. Perfectly orchestrating. Love that. Go God!!
Well we ventured to Cincinnati tonight to use some free tickets we got to see Audio Adrenaline in concert...the whole crew of us! The kids did not think it was nearly as fun as we did especially when three bands played before them and the wee ones were getting tired...so they pooped out before it was over.
We have been praying and researching about homeschooling our children. We will be confidently embarking on this new adventure starting in June. Andrew was so excited he wants to start May 16...the day after they get out of school here in Kentucky. Here is our new name and mission. We voted on mascots and let me tell you that was a hard one...the suggestions were: lions, owls, peacocks, elephants, eagles and flying squirrels. (Personally, the flying squirrels sounded so fun. That was Andrews suggestion)...but after much debate we are going to be the Trail Blazers which seems very fitting.
Our Mission is to train our children to “grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with men” Luke 2:52; teaching a biblical worldview to use as their map through life. A map drawn by the architect of the world who made them in His image. Our desire is to “hunger and thirst after righteousness,” Matthew 5:6, and “whether we eat or drink, in all things that we give glory to God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. We know that “by Him all things were created..all things have been created through Him and for Him,” Colossians 1:15-16. In knowing this truth we are called to teach and train our children to be seekers of God’s truth by intentional academic and spiritual discipleship through this academy. Our prayer is that our children may always continue to be treasure seekers of God’s truth, wisdom and knowledge. We pray they may understand and fully embrace that we are continually in training, being molded into His image here on this earth.
Treasure Seekers of Truth in Training
"In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3
It is definitely a new season in our life. I never thought the Lord would call me to homeschool my children but I can say that as I have surrendered to this new plan that He desires for our family we are getting more and more excited to see all the benefits of it. Surrender. Yes, and lots of it. When I think of the responsibility of academically schooling our children fulltime to prepare them for college it really overwhelms me. When I think of losing a bit of my freedom as a stay at home Mom (nap time is such a great quiet time for me right now) it makes me feel a little sad. But what the Lord has been speaking to my heart is that He is enough. He will supply all my needs. He will be right beside us every step of the way. He will equip us to do all that He has called us to do.
I am learning about all of the wonderful Christian curriculum out there for families to use. I think we have decided on My Father's World. www.mfwbooks.com . It seems to fit our mission the best in that it teaches children to see the world from God's eyes and live according to that knowledge. It also is a format that can be used like a one room school room of teaching history and literature. The boys will be learning the same overall themes but will have different levels of skilled math, science and phonics. We will use the Pre-K material for Abigail starting in June too. We have decided it will be best to homeschool all year long. I love this approach to help structure our days and help stimulate lifelong learning. I am seeing how the Lord is giving us much flexibility in our schedule by doing this to be available to go where He might send us in short mission trips in the coming years. (We are currently praying about a fall trip back to Haiti to start the medical care for the children at the two HAF orphanages this year. We would like to see two big trips coordinated every 6 months and a nurse led small team every 6 months as well for a total of 1 trip a quarter or 4 trips a year just for medical needs.) I really love how this year long of learning approach will enable us to be able to go and see family also when we need to or desire to and not based on a formal public school break schedule. That is exciting to me! I have met a lady in the community that actually runs the HOPE pregnancy center here in Morehead that is a member of the Christian Homeschool Community that we will join. They have about 30 families and meet on Mondays at the library for discussion and activities. Monday afternoons they move to the Methodist Church for PE. We are excited that there is a large group here and they have been very welcoming and informative during our exploration process. I am not sure that homeschooling is for everyone but I do know that the Lord wants what is best for our family during our season in Morehead and that He has led us to homeschooling our children. I am excited to see how it all plays out and how much I learn in the process. Andrew, our funny child, told me "Well, Mom....you have a lot to learn before June." Why yes, I do. I am so thankful that the Lord is continuing to stretch me to have a teachable heart in all things. Well the Cupp Crew is a blazing a new trail here in Kentucky and the T3 Academy is going to be a good, good thing.
As a side note...If you have been praying about homeschooling or have questions about why believers might choose it, I would like to suggest the purchase of a book my sister-in-law bought me about 8 years ago that I just picked up to actually read about a month ago. It is very good. The Heart of Home Schooling: Teaching and Living what really matters by Christopher Klicka. My prayer is that whatever avenue you choose academically for your children you will grasp and truly understand that as believers and followers of Jesus Christ we are called to homeschool our children spiritually all of the time. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 It is our responsibility as parents to disciple our children.
What a great honor that is!
Behold, Children are a gift from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
...Clap your hands! Oh how my heart just smiled today to see this new picture of Darbens! We got a video of him yesterday posted by some missionaries that were at the orphanage this week that was just precious. He was playing with a water bottle and trying to take a drink and he would spill it on himself and get wet and start cackling laughing. Just precious! I don't know how many times Claire watched it... I am so thankful he is so well cared for and can laugh and play.
Well, we are training the littlest princess...Yes, it is that time. No more diapers for this little girl. Even a successful mission at Wal-Mart today. I am not sure why going to the potty in public places is so much fun, but for now it is!
And yes, this is a potty picture. Sorry, but I had to post it because of her face. This is my daughter and that is my expression on it :) As I was taking this picture I thought "Wow, she is really good at that expression...I wonder just how many times she has seen it?" Anyway...pray for us...Mission Big Girl Panties is well under way here in the Cupp Crew's Casa.
Our sweet Naidine is 8 today! I just love this sweet face. When Dustin was in Haiti with the Hands and Feet Orphanage in January he said she was so very shy. She was very unsure of Him but finally warmed up better by the end of his stay. When I look at this face I see hope. I am so thankful we are able to be a part of her life. We are privileged to sponsor her and pray for her and the plans the Lord has for her. Today I long to hug her and tell her we love her and that her heavenly father loves her so. Truly, what a blessing it is to partner with the Hands and Feet Project in Haiti. Happy Birthday Little Princess!
Well, out Abigail Ruth is officially 4! We had a fun day at her request at Monkey Joe's in Lexington (it is a play place with inflatable bounce houses and games), lunch at Chic-fil-a and a cake from Rootabakers Bakery! She wanted Cinderella stuff this year. She is our little drama princess and thus she told us "This is the BEST birthday EVER!" ...well, at least until next year :) When I think of Abigail and the blessing she is I am filled with joy. Her name means "My father's joy". The gift of this precious girl brought such restoration, joy and healing to us. We found out we were pregnant with her on the day we were due with our first child that is in glory waiting for us. I remember just crying and laughing at the same time...God's timing, of course, is perfect. I remember waiting for her the last days until she was here with us as I watched a momma bird make a nest on my front porch in Tulsa. She had eggs in the nest and she was waiting too to see new life.
Abigail's delivery was not easy and in fact very scary. She was very large and Dr. Ross has to assist in helping her come into the world. She was our little girl who brought healing to us but she also needed healing herself upon arrival. She arrived with a broken clavicle and pretty severe hip dysplasia. She had to wear a soft brace for about 8 weeks all of the time. The Lord healed her and he restored us. We are so thankful for this little sister! God has great and mighty plans for her life and we are so thankful he placed her in our family! We love our Abby Roo!
When we first came to visit and interview at St.Claire Regional Hopital in Morehead, KY we were able to spend a day with our realtor Margie and her grandson, Tyler. It was a good day where they showed us the town and some prospective homes. We really got to know them and asked them lots of questions about Morehead. We asked, "What are some spiritual stronghold in Morehead." Tyler took some time to think about it and came back to it at the end of the day with two answers: apathy and lack of discipleship. We believe that the Lord has given us a heart for medicine and ministry that go hand in hand. We knew that the Lord was specifically bringing us to this community and wanted a genuine picture of where it was spiritually and what the need was. We have been praying and seeking what the Lord as to what our ministry looks like here and it has been very interesting to see Him continue to fill in parts of the full picture of His will for us. We have gotten to know Tyler and his new fiancé, Bri. He is a fourth year medical student and will be coming to the St.Claire Family Medicine Residency Program next year. Tyler and Bri have asked us to mentor them and prepare them with some premarital material and bible study. We have never done this before but are super excited about sharing this time with them and pouring into them what the Lord has taught us. We have decided on a study and a 12 week plan. This past week we also met with three other couples and have begun talking about and praying through starting a sunday school class for our generation at the church we are attending. Currently there are only two adult classes for ages 40-60 and 60 and Up. There is a great, great need here and it truly goes back to the stronghold of lack of discipleship. We cannot disciple people without small group bible study. We cannot be fishers of men/families for our generation without a place to plug them into..connect them to Christ...and then help them mature in Christ. The age groups that seemed to have fallen through the cracks in this regard are after highschool to 40ish. We are prayerfully considering to help teach and be a strong and active part of this new class. Another thing that we have been praying through and are just in the seeking it out stage is the option of homeschooling. The boys are really not liking school at all. For many reasons really and so we have begun to pray that the Lord would open our eyes and hearts to what He might want us to do in this season of our life. A part of homeschooling excites me. We are spiritually homeschooling our children right now. Intentionally. When I think of the teaching 4 children academically all day, every day...that totally overwhelms me. I do love to be with my children but the Lord will really have to be my strength and shield if that is what He calls us to do. He keeps giving me Phil 4:13 "I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me." All...naturally means ALL...so, we will just continue to pray and know that He will align our path with His word as a lamp unto our feet.
The kids had been counting down the days until Mimi and Papa were here and made these signs the day before we went to the airport.
This is Roo's happy face when she saw her Mimi!
I love this one...they were waiting so patiently...watching everyone come off of the escalator.
I think they both missed some snuggle time.
One day we all ventured to the pond behind our home to fish.
Even Rastus was enjoying the sport.
Papa, helped us fill the bird feeder and we got to introduce them to our resident Wood Pecker.
Dying eggs on Good Friday
A fun day of hamburgers, ice cream and bowling in Winchester.
Well, to say that we all enjoyed getting to spend time with Mimi and Papa is an understatement. We had so much fun in the time we had with them to show them all over Kentucky...and even a brief trip into Ohio. The kids seemed to soak up the time with them. It was so fun to share with them where we are now and what our life is like here. We were hoping it would have been a little bit warmer but we did have a couple of days of nice outside weather. We let the boys skip two days of school to take in more of the time with them and I think we all got a great dose of a great pair of grandparents. I will have to say that we were all so very sad to see them go. It was harder than I thought it would be at the airport. Claire kept saying, "I just want my Mimi." It is hard to explain to a two year old that the time is up...the visit is over...we are not sure when we will see them again, but we are so thankful for the time we had. I found myself really grieving for the first time the time lost for my children and their grandparents as we have obediently followed the Lord to Kentucky. I was so sad for them not being closer and able to share more life and activities together. I remember my friend and missionary to Kapsowar Kenya, Vanessa Jones, speaking at a Moms 31 Ministry Meeting about the sacrifice of family and leaving to serve overseas. Sacrifice of time...birthdays...holidays, ect. I remember her just crying and crying while reading her story and I got up to stand with her during that part knowing it would be so hard for a mom to do that. I now know very much how it feels. We are not a country away but 14 hours is a long ways away. For the first time we have celebrated birthdays and holidays alone. After Mimi and Papa left, I found that I really needed a couple of days to process and give that over to the Lord. It is a hard part of following Him faithfully. It makes me think of the song of surrender "Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I"ll go. I will follow my Christ who loves me so...Wherever He leads I'll go." He never promises it will be close...or easy...or comfortable...but He loves me and His best is the best for me and my family. Wherever means wherever...Wherever He wants us to go. We trust that He will redeem the time and give us the opportunity to be with our family as much as we can. He alone is worthy! "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19