Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan D

Last year, around the time he was graduating high school, Zack decided that in the fall, he would attend the local technical college for his electrician certification. Then, right before the program was to start, he decided to switch to the Aviation Mechanics Program. Then, one day into that program, he decided to work full-time for a year until he decided what he actually wanted to do.

After working at a lumber yard full-time for the past 8 months, he has decided to give technical college a try again. This time he is pursuing a Computer Programming Specialist Certificate. There are five technical certificates that could lead to an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Technology and eventually a Bachelor’s Degree, if he desired. But we just want him to focus on this one certificate at this time and we’ll see how it goes. We are hoping that he can get a decent job to support himself after obtaining a certificate or two without actually having to get a degree (since those general education courses would be the difficult part for him).

We hope that this is a good path for Zack and that he will be successful. We wish him luck! And if this doesn’t work out, there’s always the military!

 

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Praises, The Kids

They’re Engaged!

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved all sorts of adventure, like rock climbing and slack-lining over canyons and surfing in 20-foot waves, that made his mother’s heart stop.

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After his freshman year of college, he spent his summer in Hawaii working at the Salvation Army summer camp, Camp Homelani. It was such an amazing experience that he went back the following summer. It was at camp that he met a beautiful young woman, Kameko, who worked at camp with him. Kameko is half Japanese, a quarter Hawaiian and a quarter Native American.

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And that’s when Anthony’s heart stopped!

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When he first returned from camp after his second summer there we asked if he had met any special girl. He shyly said “there’s one, but we are just going to be friends, since she’s in Hawaii and I’m in Arizona.”

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A few weeks later, he said that she was his girlfriend (thanks to modern technology and the ability to Facetime, text, and talk, their relationship developed over the miles).

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A few weeks later, he said “I’m going to marry that girl.”

So when he came to Jacksonville for spring break, we spent some time discussing their relationship and looking at engagement rings. After figuring out exactly what he wanted, he ended up ordering it online through James Allen.

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When he returned to Hawaii for his third summer, he officially proposed last week.

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They are planning a spring, 2019 wedding in O’ahu, Hawaii. We are very happy for them!

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We know many of our family and friends have concerns with them getting married so young. But we feel that Anthony and Kameko have prayerfully considered their decision and have sought the Lord’s guidance in their relationship. Carl and I were young when we met and fell in love…I was only 17 years old and Carl was 19. Carl says that he KNEW within a very short time that he wanted to marry me. And that seems to have worked out well for us! I believe in and have experienced the benefits to marrying young and learning and growing together. Couples that are older when they marry can be more set in their ways and may not have learned how to compromise as well. So we are comfortable with his decision and fully support him. God has richly blessed Anthony and we know that since they both love the Lord and put Him first, that good things are in store for them both.

We are looking forward to a few weeks in Hawaii next spring as we celebrate the nuptials of these two lovebirds!

Some bonus Anthony updates:

  • Anthony is back in Hawaii for his third summer. This year he and Kameko will be working for the Salvation Army day camp. This means that they will work during the day but be free and return home each evening and weekend.
  • Anthony is living with Kameko and her grandma for the summer. In separate bedrooms :).
  • Anthony will be graduating college early, in December, 2018. He took an extra class last semester and will have an extra class this coming semester in order to do that. He worked incredibly hard this past semester and still managed to make the Dean’s list and have an overall 3.76 GPA. So proud of that boy!
  • After graduation in December, he will be moving to O’ahu permanently. I’m happy for him but sad for us that he will be so far away. But at least we have an awesome place to go visit!
  • No, we have no idea what he will do for a living after he graduates! Having a free place to live with Kameko and her grandma will give him time to figure that out. He has talked about working in the tourism industry for a few years. Time will tell…we’ll keep you posted on that.
Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan C

About a month ago, I told you how Zack had decided to switch from the Electrician Training Certificate to Aviation Mechanic Certificate. Wwwwweeeellllllllll, that program lasted less than one day. When I awoke in Arizona last Monday morning, I had already received a text from Zack in the midst of his first day in the program saying, “I think I’m dropping out of the program.” I’m guessing that they started the day with a “Pep Talk” about how challenging it would be and how hard they would have to work and other realities of life. All Zack focused on was the fact that he had until that Friday to drop out without any financial consequences. So within the first two hours, that is what he had already decided to do.

We gave Zack three options:

  • Find another program to switch to by the weekend.
  • Enlist in the service.
  • Work full-time and pay us rent, car insurance and cell phone.

At first he said he was switching to the Welding Certificate program. Then he said he was switching to the Drafting Certificate program. In the end, unsure of what the heck he wants to do, he has decided to work full-time for at least one semester while he explores his options.

We really wish that he would enlist in the service but he seems to have no interest in that option. So for the time-being anyway, Zack will be working at home and paying bills like a real adult!

Good luck Zack! We hope you figure out what you want to do in life.

Education, It's About Me, The Kids, Traveling

College Bound

For the second time in two years, I made the 28-hour drive from Jacksonville to Tucson in Anthony’s pick up truck.

We drove 10 hours to Lafayette, LA the first day, 10 hours to Ft. Stockton, TX the second day and 8 hours to Tucson on the third day, where Anthony dropped me off at my Aunt Sandy’s house.

We were so blessed to be one day ahead of the devastating hurricane Harvey, as we drove through Houston the day prior. Other than some brief rain and numerous highway signs warning drivers to avoid the Texas coast, we traveled without any difficulties.

I did borrow Aunt Sandra’s car to drive up to Phoenix on Wednesday to visit Anthony at Grand Canyon University and see his apartment.

I took him to Costco to stock up on groceries and household supplies.

We also went to a few Goodwill stores to find a tv stand and two kitchen chairs for a total of $12!

It was good to spend time with the college boy and help him get set up in his apartment.

I wish him a great third year of college!

Education, The Kids

Zack’s New Plans

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Remember when I told you that Zack would be going to FSCJ in the Electronic Certification program? He has decided to instead enter the 20-month Aviation Mechanics program, which is another career that we previously tried to talk him into but he resisted. When Zack first started talking about automotive mechanic as a potential career, he had several adults (Carl’s cousin’s husband and Carl’s brother) try to steer him in the direction of Aviation mechanic instead due to the high demand and higher pay of that field. After hearing of a friend in Minnesota that is entering the US Air Force in that field, I think Zack was finally swayed. He decided to change paths to obtain his Aviation Airframe Mechanics and Aviation Powerplant Mechanics Certification. So he is now enrolled, starting on August 28th. Zack will attend classes at the FSCJ Cecil Airport Center every Monday through Thursday from 7am until 3pm for the next 20 months. It will be hard work but we know that with Zack’s determination and good work ethic, he can be successful. We are really proud of him!

Even better news is the fact that Zack has received a significant scholarship from the Jacksonville Jaguar Foundation which will pay for half of his yearly tuition/fees. Thank you to the Jaguars!

Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Happy 21st Birthday!

Our second child, Anthony, has reached the momentous milestone of his 21st birthday!

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After finishing his second year of college this April, Anthony immediately flew to Seattle to spend two weeks on the West Coast visiting with a friend from college.

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From there, he was blessed to return to Camp Homelani for his second year working for the Salvation Army camp in Hawaii.

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He had another amazing year living just a few steps from the beach on the North Shore, making many new friends, like this guy….

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After camp finished for the summer, he stayed with his friend Josh for another week to celebrate his 21st birthday in Hawaii, the place that has claimed a special place in his heart.

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On Friday, he will be leaving Hawaii and flying to Chicago for a long weekend to visit his birth family. Next Tuesday, he will be returning to Jacksonville for a week. And then Anthony and I will make the 3-day/30-hour drive from JAX to Phoenix with his pickup truck. The redeeming part for me is that I will then get to spend a week being pampered by my Aunt Sandy in Tucson so it will be worth it in the end.

We are so excited to welcome Anthony home next week and are very grateful to God for giving Anthony so many amazing opportunities.

Happy Birthday, Anthony! We love you! We look forward to celebrating with you next week!

Education, Praises, The Kids, The Relatives

He did it!

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Zack actually graduated high school!

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We are so very grateful for Lighthouse Christian School for getting him through his last two years of high school and awarding him his diploma.

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We are not sure how he would have done it without the blessing of that school.

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The extremely small class sizes, personalized educational plan and love and patience of the teachers was invaluable.

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It was just what Zack needed to get through this major milestone.

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We are so happy that 3 out of 4 of his grandparents could be there for his big day.

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Since it was “Red Nose Day” for charity, Grandma Sandy thought it only appropriate that we got one picture with our red noses.

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Zack’s graduation present was his very first suit…something that he has really wanted for the past year. He sure looked good in it!

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Now Zack looks dapper when he asks “who wants to hire me?”

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Congratulations Zack on your accomplishment!