NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network

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Bushnell Family Update

 Fall Winter 2008 /09










Back row:  Zephaniah, Jake, Josh, Tom, Zack

Middle row: Sheela, Mercy Grace, Sherry, and Sheraya

Front Row:  Lynny, ShaHannah, Jayben and Jordan

Middle Row: Sheela, Mercy, Sherry and Sheraya


Family news:

After a whirl-wind summer, we are sitting looking at snow once again outside the office window.

Getting ready for winter was easier this year, thanks to Josh and the boys getting the year’s firewood cut, split and stacked downstairs in our firewood room.  Winterizing the yard, barn and outside tools and toys is simply a matter of putting things away.. Raking leaves and burning weeds. 

Our garden was a real treasure this year.  In early Spring, Sherry had sadly decided to forget the garden, due to the deer population explosion.  Last year we were Bushnell’s Deer Buffet every night after dark.  Josh to the rescue once again.  He offered to build a 7 foot high fence complete with 2 gates around the entire garden area.  This man loves his veggies!

So, with a new fence to protect our growing produce, a roto tiller to help keep the weeds down, and daily help from the kids, we had a nice, productive garden.

The raspberries out-did themselves, along with the squash and tomatoes by the basket full.  We’ll be eating a LOT of tomatoes this winter.

Our cherry trees and apple trees were very generous this year.  Unfortunately our cherries had cherry maggots… and we didn’t really see them until the cherries were good and ripe… and we eat our cherries as soon as they start to turn sort of red… well anyway, Mom decided to ignore the baby flys and use those beautiful cherries in jam and pie filling.  The kids say they hope mom likes cherry pie and jam, ‘cause she’s the only one brave enough to eat it!”  (Honestly, I can eat around a few worms.  I love cherries! Besides, I reason with the kids, “You can use the extra protein to build strong bones.  Jayben and ShaHannah are the only ones who believe me.”)

Tom, after studying with Oakbrook College of Law like crazy all summer, along with managing the NATHHAN / CHASK office phone, took his baby bar exam in October.  Unfortunately he doesn’t know if he passed yet, as we have to wait until December to find out.  He has been taking a welcome break getting all the house projects done that have been staring him in the face.

Sherry took her National Association of Registered Midwives exam in Michigan in October.  She passed and is finishing up getting her certified professional midwife status. (They only made me wait 18 days!)

She is also enjoying sinking herself into the home, cooking, canning and of course, schooling the children. 

Midwifery is a welcome side activity from the sadder end of CHASK.  Sherry carries the bulk of the load in phone counseling, crying and working with birth moms, pleading with them to choose life for their baby with medical concerns.  Being a midwife gives her a chance to work with birth moms one-on-one, enjoying prenatals and birth.  Jake has been working on the NATHHAN/ CHASK’s computer program.  Grandma (Sherry’s mom) who is a book-keeper, has been instrumental in helping us understand the nuances of the program’s accounting structure.  The progress on the system has been slow, because Jake needs to work other jobs in addition to working on the system.  Once the accounting part is complete, the rest should go quickly.

Josh worked all summer for a contractor and saved up enough to buy a full size semi truck at an auction.  It needs minor repair and I have a feeling that our barn has just been turned into a shop for the winter. (No goats this year anyway.)

Zack, 17,  is working at Far North, a local sporting goods store.  Right next door to work for him is the Idaho Community College.  He is getting his GED.

Jordan, our 20-year-old son with Down syndrome, is much healthier this year going into  winter.  He had been battling a systemic yeast infection that manifested itself in skin rashes and fungus on his feet.  He is much more energetic now and is learning his shapes and numbers.  (He forgets them very easily though.) He was very helpful in getting our wood in the wood cellar and can split and stack as good as anyone can. Today he is helping with the shoveling dirt, with the guys as they are installing the new septic tank.

Sheela, our 19-year-old daughter who is blind and learning disabled, is such a sweet hard-worker.  She has taken it upon herself to make sure the details-in-the-dishes are done, (the counter cleaned, stove wiped and food all put away).  Her helpful, happy, heart is a huge blessing to us.  After all that we have been through with her Reactive Attachment Disorder and behavior issues, we can honestly say that the Lord has done a great work in all of our hearts.

Lynny is 16, has moderate cerebral palsy and autism.  She has made several trips to the library lately.  She loves to read at about the 3rd grade level, although she is advancing steadily with practice.  She, Sheela and Mercy Grace share a room and find all sorts of fun things to do, such as put on little “shows”.

Zeph is now 15 and has successfully completed driver’s Ed.  He will get lots of practice with all of his older brothers before he gets his license.

He is also plowing through 10th grade and really likes reading.  Hmmmm...maybe skiing comes first now…..

Sheraya is now 13.  She has taken on more and more of the house duties when mom is in the office.  She also is taking her GED and enjoys reading a lot.  (We are regulars at the library… in fact they know all of us by name!)  She is taking piano lessons again and is finding it challenging with her new teacher, who is both inspiring and asks a little more.

Mercy Grace is 11, and is in the middle of a growth spurt.  She is still her kind, merciful self, although quite the “drama-queen”.  We love her very much!  She is in a children’s choir again this season called Swinging On A Star.  They have several concerts and traveled to Spokane, WA to hear the African Children’s Choir last  week.

Jayben is 7 and has a special job working with our farm animals.  He feeds and waters the animals and collects eggs.  Easy to do during summer…. Not so easy during the winter.  Hauling water is tough!

ShaHannah is now a 4-year-old, big girl.  With so many “mommies and daddies” she can be choosy about who she wants to obey first….(we’re working on that!)  She loves school and is learning her letters pretty fast and can print a few words.  She is having a great time with Jayben collecting the eggs.  She is in Cubbies at AWANA’s and is finding that Wednesdays are pretty much her favorite day right now.  She still loves helping in the kitchen and has figured out who is most lenient with allowing bowl licking, or tasting as you go along.  She LOVES Grandma and will drop almost any other activity to get a chance to go bye-bye with her to her house.

 Our family has been home churching and attending Lakeside Christian Church in Rexford, Montana, once a month or so.  We are very thankful for the Lord’s kindness to us and how He has lead our family in serving Him.

We have learned that being together as a family in service to the Lord is more important than all of us attending church in one place. As our children are growing up, the process of letting go is also upon us.  We are really pleased with our children’s growth in Christ, hammering out their own salvation.  Each of us has unique challenges, habits and of course special gifts.   They combine to create “.

     We trust that the Lord is working in your hearts and lives as well.  Are you  willing to let Him challenge you?  Are you willing to let Him show you what needs to change to conform to His image.

This is our challenge each day.

We wish you God’s very best as you serve Him.  His road may not be easy, but His burden is light.  Please pray for us, as we are praying for you.

Tom , Sherry, Jake, Josh, Jordan, Sheela, Lynny, Zack, Zeph,

Sheraya, Mercy Grace, Jayben and ShaHannah Bushnell