The Caskey Family


News from Utah
October 8, 2014, 10:28 pm
Filed under: children, family news, homeschool, Jeremy, Utah

Such a boring title, however, somehow it just doesn’t seem fair to give any one of the events of the past few months the honor of the title of a blog over another.  As if homeschooling, or traveling or life back in the military, or any recent event deserves the title more than the other.

Our God has been faithful to confirm the call that Jeremy felt starting last year to return to the Air Force over and over since we began our journey out West here to Utah.

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Here is some of the beautiful country we drove through on our way here:

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Within hours of arriving on base, after a sweet long trip across country visiting friends and family (after a hectic DITY – Do-it-yourself move, AKA “the best way to find out how much you really can do in 48 hours”) we were assigned a perfect house on base, next to neighbors with children our kids’ ages, and even a few homeschooling families.  Within minutes of getting keys, the children had all assigned rooms.  Elijah got the smallest room with a view of the Great Salt Lake and the mountains in the West, so he can watch the sun set from his bedroom window – AMAZING!!  (Yes that is his screen. . .another story and another blog about that sometime soon.)

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We prayed hard (it wasn’t long, we really didn’t have long before school started) about what to do about school for our children, we decided to homeschool again.  In another blog I will share more about that for those who wish to be tortured with all the fun details!  Simply put, we are LOVING it to no end!

Jeremy has been able to stay busy and is adjusting well to life back in active duty.  He preaches most Sundays at the Chapel, which he has been most thankful for, and has met some godly men who he can learn from and grow with.

We are learning a lot about the culture here, as it is predominately and historically Mormon.  We are so thankful that we serve a God who does not live in temples built by human hands, and who is not limited in His work by our ideas or understanding!  My heart has grown more thankful in the recent months for the grace and mercy of God . . .

Until next time, grace and peace.



Photo Update
May 19, 2013, 7:56 pm
Filed under: children, family news, Pictures

So here the children are doing some of their favorite things lately: being superheroes, reading, cooking, being goofy with the cousins and playing soccer.

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What if I’m NOT Called to or Able to Adopt?
December 12, 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: children

For many years, our family was not called to or able to adopt.  We have had many close friends who have adopted, or have tried to adopt.  We know so much (but still so little) about the process simply from observation, and we have loved orphans informally, but mostly we have watched.  

At different points, I have struggled with feeling on the fringe.  Like somehow we weren’t as spiritual because we weren’t adopting.  As some of our best friends are on their second adoptions now (or third!) I feel like I’ve become quite the adoption observer, yet I still feel so inept at being any real help.  This sent me recently on a research binge. . .searching the internet, polling friends who have adopted, and asking lots of questions.  

  • What can those of us who are not called to adopt now (or maybe not ever) do to support and love the orphan?
  • What can we do to REALLY help those who are adopting?
  • What can we avoid doing or saying that is a hinderance or discouraging?

I got lots of answers. . . straight from those who have or ARE walking the adoption road:

  1. Pray
  2. Read the book, Adopted for Life by Moore, (we took this advice and it gave us perspective on adoption that helped us understand and better support who are adopting)
  3. Support an orphanage
  4. Support a missionary to orphans
  5. Volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center
  6. Give money toward someone’s adoption
  7. Help with a fundraiser for an adoption
  8. Tell someone who is adopting that you are praying for them
  9. Give specific items needed (ask for specifics if they don’t give them)
  10. Be a listening ear, and ask how things are going
  11. Avoid complaining or reinforcing negative feelings about the process or the birthparents (it’s taking too long, why didn’t that caseworker do something different, etc. etc.)
  12. Allow an adoptive parent to express their frustrations, but respond supportively, “I cannot imagine how hard that is”  “I’m praying for you”  “Is there anything I can do to help?”  
  13. Pray more, for the child’s heart and transition into the new home, for the grief process, for healing, for whatever God places on your heart
  14. Allow the child to tell their own story IF they want to, in their own time (avoid asking either the child or parents for details, allow them to share as much as they feel is right)
  15. Offer babysitting, and other help you can think of, no matter the age of the child, or age of the children currently in the home
  16. Give attention equally to children in the home.  There is the temptation to “ooh” and “ahh” over the adopted child and others in the family feel left out.  
  17. Celebrate with families who are adopting in any loving or creative way you can think of: cards, letters, notes, making phone calls and remembering special days in special ways (the list is endless).
  18. Remember that every adoption is unique, just like the children who are adopted, and so no two adoptions are alike.  Make no assumptions.  
  19. When in doubt, ask what would be most helpful

 



Cow Manure Economics
April 14, 2012, 9:04 pm
Filed under: children, Faith Baptist Emporium

A few days ago I asked some advice of someone at our church about a small garden plan I had.  He gave me the advice that I should build a garden box, and said he had some scrap wood if I wanted it.  I told him I would take it, as long as he didn’t need the wood for something else.  The next day we return home from some errands to find him and his wife building me a MASSIVE garden box behind our house (12X24 feet).  

Elijah really wants watermelons to come out of the garden, and has mapped out what should go in my garden box near the front porch, and what should go in the new big garden.  The little ones are planning on pumpkins in the fall.

Today the weather was beautiful, and so we headed up to a cow farm to get some of their “black gold” and on the way up, the children had some lively conversation about farming. 

Merry said that her teenage neighbor friend’s dad had lots of money because he bought her friend two baby ducks.  Is that all it takes?  Then Micah announced that he wanted us to have a cow.  The cow would live in the house, of course and they all agreed that it would potty in the toilet so the house wouldn’t get stinky.  

Then Merry vetoed the whole idea, “Micah, we aren’t wasting our money on a cow, but you can waste your money on a cow if you want to.”  It seems that “spend” and “waste” are synonymous in this five-year-old’s mind.  Oh yeah, and how did she get the authority to decide if Micah could buy a cow??  Yet no one questions her, not even Jeremy or I, we are too entertained by this conversation to interject some reality.

She seems to be on a kick about buying/spending/budgeting/acquiring lately.  Earlier today while she and Micah were playing, I overheard her saying in a very lecturing tone: “Micah, you can’t have everything you want.”  Watch out Dave Ramsey. . .

Tonight one of the children announced that another one “smelled.”  And they did, but it was a good thing, because they smelled like dirt, and sweat and. . .the outdoors. . .the best smell to this grown-up farm girl.  The island farm girl who’s far from the ocean but strangely back in her element in the warming-up-mountains of the NORTH.



Emporium in Pictures
January 16, 2012, 12:54 pm
Filed under: children, Faith Baptist Emporium, Pictures | Tags: ,

Jeremy and I just across the road from our house and a block through the woods!

Here is a picture of the church taken yesterday from our upstairs window. Jeremy’s office is the first window on the left, and we can see it from our upstairs hallway.

The sanctuary of the church, with the fellowship hall, Jeremy’s office, Sunday school and nursery rooms off to the right.

This is home sweet home, this picture taken before it snowed while we were here candidating.

One of my favorite windows in the house with some flowers one of our members brought to welcome us. This window looks out from our kitchen and dining room to the church.

These are the steps going upstairs to the bedrooms, with some of my favorite people being goofy on them (my children and some of the cousins)

And finally, one of the “coolest” parts of living here. . . SNOW, and clean enough to eat and spend hours sledding on!

I can’t say it enough: we serve a GOOD and merciful God! Jeremy’s first sermon yesterday went well, and many aspects of this move have been better than we could ask or think. We look back and see that God has been leading us here for a long time, and has been preparing this church and location for us. We could never have imagined this in a million years. God is perfect, even if things don’t seem perfect to me, HIS ways, in the end are always right, just, and better than anything my sinful heart and mind could have come up with on its’ own!



Bible Memory Fun
October 12, 2011, 11:37 am
Filed under: children, Discipleship

We have recently enjoyed doing some Bible memory with our children now that they have the attention span to practice. Micah, being two, is probably the most proficient!

Here are some resources we have found to be QUITE effective and simple enough for me to do with our children, even though they are close in age and keep me very busy.

1. The Charlotte Mason method – using a card file box on the kitchen table that has cards that are reviewed at most meals (the daily verse we are working on currently) and others that are only reviewed at one of the meals. An adult in the house will read the card aloud, leaving a few blanks after a few days of just reading the verse/verses and allowing the children to take turns filling in the blank. After a week or two, they usually can say the verse themselves, then we move it back to be reviewed less and less (see details on the CM link above) You can also print the dividers to set up the system on this website.

2. Music – need I say more!! Songs of scripture are awesome and easy to use.

3. Hands-on activities – I just found this cute one that could be put in the back seat of the car for review, or between the front seats for the time you get stuck at a train crossing, or are arrive early somewhere, or are at an appointment (this is also where I keep my catechism booklet for easy access and review with the children.)

4. Memorize as a family! We try to learn the verses they get assigned from church with them, even competing with them (their young brains usually win, of course!) If someone is struggling to get a verse, we like to have one of the more competent ones help them individually. This reinforces AND helps at the same time.

5. Explain the verse – Jeremy helps with this, talking with the children not just about the plain understanding of the verse, but what it commands us to do, and how that applies in THEIR lives as children. We find that they memorize better when they know what the words mean. Hopefully they are working on their hearts in the process, of course, too!

Any other resources you have found out there to help with Bible memory, not just for children, but adults too?? Please post a comment!!!



Self-Promotion
August 26, 2011, 1:41 pm
Filed under: children, family news, Seminary

I was challenged recently at a retreat by the wife of a professor to evaluate how much I am promoting myself or my family. As she said, “just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should” (promote yourself). I guess, along with how involved we have been in living REAL life, I’ve let the blogging slip for the summer. I’m going to make an effort to keep the bragging (self-promotion) down but still keep you all updated on the work of God in our lives.

I have lots of pictures to post (and I don’t intend to quit doing that) but it’s just not terribly high on my list of things to do as I homeschool three, support Jeremy in his last semester in seminary and enjoy being a part of this journey God is taking us on.

I know the big question many of you have is what are you all doing after seminary? GREAT question! We don’t exactly know at this point, so please pray for us and drop us a phone call, we do really like to hear people’s live voices! Our phone number is still 843-819-1332.

Much love to you all, and I’m sorry for the long silence!