The Encouragement Walk

Since I posted a few weeks ago, our son (Prince 1) has been through a lot.  We had no idea that when he went off to a Speech and Debate Tournament in Colorado that we’d all be left with a bitter taste in our mouths.  This was a Christian, homeschool function.  Steve and our two oldest sons traveled there and were gone for 5 days.  During that time at the tournament, our son (Prince 1) repeatedly tried to join the circles (cliques) of 46 students attending the tournament.  Each time, they would slowly turn their backs to him and he would be left standing alone on the outside of their circle.  He resorted back to saying in appropriate things, which he took up after moving here and trying to “fit in” to find a friend. This only made things worse for him.  The whole event ended with him not placing in the finals and playing the piano in another room alone while the rest of the group cheered and handed out awards to everyone.  Sadly, they thanked every single parent by name for their help, except Steve who faithfully took out their garbage every few hours, ran to the store for food, and served food to the judges throughout the whole tournament. When Steve called me choked up at how the other students were treating our son, it broke my heart.  Steve is not one to cry, but for him to choke up over how Christian, homeschool students are treating our son, it’s pretty bad.  We know that not all children have been taught how to accept others even if they seem different or talk about things that are not appropriate, but most all 46 students do not know this?  From Christian homes? Even I as a non-Christian growing up was taught to be kind to others. So, it was a tough time for our whole family. Our son is brilliant, but due to some struggles people do not always know/see this in him.  It is my passion to share with others and educate others on special needs and how to work with, teach, reach, and love others with them. Please pray for Steve and I to be a light to others in this area. Thank you to all of you who have so kindly given to our son’s Go Fund Me account.  I have not told him about it yet, but did share with him when he received a sweet gift towards his technology needs!  He was shocked.  His response?  “Are you sure it wasn’t for someone else?” “Really? For me?”  “Who would want to give me something like that?  I was able to remind him again that God provides and He will continue to do so as our son follows His lead. So, whoever you are, you do not know how much it means to us that our son is now much closer to being able to buy the Kurzweil and scanner so that he may read books almost as fast as others.  🙂 We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts! What kind of technology does our son need?  Well, after 10-12 hours of testing with public schools and privately (we needed to do this to request extra time for him to take the ACT college entrance test), it has been recommended that he get a Kurzweil and a book scanner (one that scans fast) that can copy the book pages and then convert it to speech for our son to “read”.  The Kurzweil highlights the lines as they are being read, so that our son can follow along with his eyes (visual) and hears (auditory) the text being read aloud.  This will allow him to read books almost as fast as others, but not quite as fast. It is also recommended he get an iPad so that he can use special flash card apps. to learn/memorize his vocabulary words, dates, etc. for his CNA class/exam, for the ACT, and for his college classes.  Our family does not have internet connections on our old phones, so, that is another thing that he needs to plan on getting as well.  I looked at the prices on those recently and it looks like he is looking at between $250 and $500 for one iPad. Are we buying all these things for him? No, we are not.  We’d love to, but we do have medical bills we are still catching up on from Seth’s hospital stay last fall and Joy’s visits with the specialist last fall.  Not only that, we are still playing catch-up from our barn fire in many ways and of course we just adopted (debt-free) two babies in the last year.  🙂  Oh, and don’t forget that we do feed 8 children, clothe them, etc. while paying our day-to-day bills of gas, electricity, house, etc. 🙂  No, we are not poor, but we do not have the extra money to buy all these things for our son. He knows this and is totally okay with this.  All of our children have known all along if they want to go to any kind of schooling after high school, they will have to pay for it themselves.  Some people think this is our obligation to pay for.  It is not.  At that point our children are adults and if they want something bad enough, they will find a way to pay for it. Both Steve and I paid for our college educations.  I did have the first two years of my college paid for by my parents and let me tell you, I did not study as hard or do as well those first two years as I did with all the other years of my degrees when we paid for them ourselves!  Suddenly, it meant so much more to me if my money went out the door. 🙂  So, we know that God will provide the means for our children as they need it. Prince 1 continues to work as a CNA-in-training right now to bring in money to pay for his college in the future and buy his technological gadgets. An area you could pray for our son in, is his upcoming CNA exam.  He is very nervous about it.  The state of Utah will not allow you to work past 4 months as a CNA in-training.  At that point, you need to have passed the CNA exam or you are out of a job until you do pass the exam.  The 8 week course is being pressed into 2 weeks of reading and learning from two text books, along with clinicals.  Our son is having to study now before the class even starts.  He has found one of the textbooks online and is listening to it daily, along with taking practice tests.  He knows how desperately he needs this job to be able to pay for his college and technological needs.  Please pray for him to learn well and do well on the exam. How does he like his new job? He loves it!  He comes home smiling and happy.  He enjoys helping the elderly at the assisted living facility!  Sadly, many of the people he works with literally hate working there and show it in their attitudes.  My husband walks in at night to pick him up and they just give him nasty looks and don’t even say, “hello” to him.  😦 The other night he(Prince 1) asked the CNAs if he could clean the two toilets that had needed cleaning for awhile.  They told him go ahead.  He did clean both of them.  I told him I am sure the families of the residents appreciate his work ethic! So, he is enjoying his first job! Each day we try to encourage all of our children in their walk. Our prayer daily is that our children will love the Lord with all their hearts, that they will give glory to Him in all that they do in life, that they will marry spouses who are strong Christians, and raise their children for God’s glory.  We pray that our family will continue to stand strong in our faith and that we may be a light to others in this world. Daily, we are on the encouragement walk.

P.S. I just want to add to this post that we are helping our son with his technological needs as best as we can at this point.  All purchases of Usborne books through my link, gives our son my profits towards his technological fund, plus any extra funds we come across.  After I wrote the above post, I thought I better clarify that we have not thrown our son to the wolves, but are walking alongside him helping as we can.  We are still not paying for his college education, but yes, we are helping him as best as we can with the technological needs. 🙂 Most importantly we continue to pray for each of his needs and encourage him in this step into adulthood. 🙂  And he is doing amazingly well!

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