Monday, January 29, 2007


My life is a pair of bookends.

Currently, between those bookends are more than 200,000 words that I've typed on two different books. My brain is giving me no relief. I already have the material for two more books in my head.

There are days when a mother of three who home schools begins to wonder if she'll ever get it all done.

So, thanks for your patience, for those of you wondering why I haven't been very active lately on the blogs.

For those of you who have already published a book, feel free to give me any and all advice you have. My current search for a publisher is taxing my poor overloaded brain.

If you happen to run into my sanity any time soon, would you please let it know that I miss it greatly.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Well Done

My kids got a Veggie Tales DVD for Christmas fron their aunt & uncle. This one is about Gideon Tuba Warrior. Of course my Tuba Torquing Husband loves it!

In one scene Gideon tells the angel he was hoping the message from God would be something like 'well done good servant' not 'I want you to fight the enemy that greatly outnumbers you' so the angel simply says 'if you want to hear God say well done, then you need to do what He asks.'

God sure knows how to nail me, and with a kids video! Anybody else wanting to hear 'well done?' Then I guess we better get busy and do what He asks. I think Micah 6:8 is a good place to start.

New Year's Letter

So, I gave up on Christmas cards years ago. I like New Year's Letters much better. This way, you get the whole scoop of what we did at Christmas! This is my fourth annual New Year's Letter. It's a little late because I accidentally ate something I'm allergic to and have had to spend the first week of the new year trying to survive. Forgive the copy and paste, but this is it!

Greetings from the Leukert Family!

You know you are experiencing life when it gets in the way. Such is the case with my attempts to get this Fourth Annual New Year’s Letter in your hands before the first week of January was over. Hopefully, you will still get a blessing from this update on our family.

When we take a moment to look back on 2006, we see it as a year of changes, firsts and amazing discoveries for our family. For the most part, it seems to have all started with our Searcy County Spelling Bee in February. It was Michael’s first spelling bee, and he was representing the home schoolers of Searcy County. Our 10 year old 4th grader did well against the reigning champion 8th grader for several rounds then finally lost. We, the parents, had merely been hoping Michael would make it past the first round, as this was his first spelling bee. By the time it got down to just Michael and the 8th grader, we were a nervous wreck. Michael agreed with us in the end that he was glad he got second place. He wasn’t ready to have to go to the state spelling bee. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to come in second. We were all surprised when he was handed a certificate and an envelope with $15 in it. Needless to say, he’s getting ready for this year’s spelling bee.

March brought green into our family and not just because of St. Patrick’s Day. Several home schoolers in our group decided to start a new 4H club in the Searcy County area. The parents met a few times and finally we had our first meeting with the kids. There are many things we have learned in the past year about 4H, but I appreciate their basic premise: equal training of the head, heart, hands and health.

April is the month when our world to some extent turned upside down. It wasn’t the fact that Greta turned three. It was our transportation. Sharon and our 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan ended up in a flooded creek after Sharon missed the left edge while trying to cross a low water bridge. The van was stopped dead in the water, but good people of Searcy County towed her out and got Sharon to a phone to call for assistance. The hardest part for Sharon was watching other vehicles crossing the low water bridge without incident, even though they were 4x4 trucks and so forth.

Thus began months of being without a vehicle of our own. Generous friends loaned us extra vehicles at different times for which we were grateful. Our insurance agency totaled the van and gave us a reasonable settlement. After searching for a good vehicle that would meet the needs of our family, we finally settled on a 2004 Chevy Venture that needed a little bit of work done on it. When the work was finally completed, we were quite pleased with our new vehicle and thankful for our own transportation again. It’s wonderful having a back seat that can fold down flat and a powered passenger door.

In May, Michael participated in a forestry competition through 4H at the local county level. Michael learned to scale (measuring for lumber, not climbing) trees and identify them. Since Michael has always loved trees, this was a natural for him, but it still took us by surprise when he won first place in the competition. This qualified Michael to attend the regional competition in Ozark, Arkansas. Since the competition landed on Karl’s day off, we made it a family event. Neither of us has ever been to a 4H rally before. Neither of us has ever seen so much green in our lives. It was an unforgettable experience. Michael placed 4th in the regional competition and learned some valuable lessons about preparation and paying attention to details.

Matthew is finally old enough to be a Clover Bud in 4H this year, so he is excited to be joining the ranks of our Caring Clovers Club. It will be several years before he’s old enough to participate in the competitions and so forth, but he’s already learning teamwork, cooperation and paying attention. He keeps asking when his favorite sidekick sister, Greta can join.

This summer gave us a special treat. A friend of ours, formerly from New Mexico, and his new bride were in the Branson, Missouri area for some meetings for his job as a pastor. It is only a 2 hour drive from our house so we met with them on their free afternoon before they left for home. Steve and Heather had lots of stories to tell, including how God has blessed them since their house burned down in a major fire that took many homes in their community. We greatly enjoyed our visit and hope that we will get to see them again in the future.

August brought two of the big events. Michael had approached the pastor and asked to speak with him at length in the church library. The pastor said talking with Michael is like speaking with a miniature adult. Michael said he felt he was ready to give his life to Jesus and be baptized. So, on August 19th, Michael was baptized and became a member of God’s family. It was wonderful to have many friends and family members witness this wonderful event. Michael had been very nervous, but he told the pastor later that all that nervousness left the moment he came up out of the water. Perfect love casts out fear.

The very next day was the first piano recital for Michael and Matthew. They have been taking lessons for more than a year now and were very excited to play in their first recital. Michael had one piece to play by himself as well as a duet with his piano teacher. He also participated in a Celtic band that played several pieces. Matthew played a piece from his piano book as well as his own original composition about Jesus dying on the cross. At the end of the recital, all of the participants were asked to come up on stage all together. Matthew went in his mother’s arms, because he had fallen asleep. A first piano recital is hard work for a 4 ½ year old boy.

In November, both boys had their birthdays. Michael turned eleven and Matthew turned five. We took them to the Mid America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We had a great time at the science museum and even got to play at the circus themed activities that were on special display at the museum. There was even an area with a platform and costumes of all types and sizes where families could dress up and take pictures. Greta was a ballerina and a clown. Matthew was a strong man and a bear and a cannon ball rocket man. Michael enjoyed dressing up as the leader of a marching band and a strong man and a leopard. Karl was a bear and Sharon was a clown. It was a fun experience for the family and we are glad that sometimes birthdays can be celebrated in other ways besides a party.

December brought Christmas in Georgia. We were grateful to be able to spend the Christmas holiday with Karl’s parents in Georgia. The whole family was there, including Karl’s sister, her husband and two sons as well as Karl’s brother and his wife. It was also a treat to spend time with Aunt Luella, Karl’s great aunt who is an amazing story teller. Believe it or not, we managed to get 13 people to pose for a family picture that had everyone smiling and with their eyes looking at the camera. Greta much enjoyed being the only granddaughter and getting attention from her brothers as well as her cousins.

It looks like 2007 will be full of many wonderful things. From our family to yours, may you have the peace that passes understanding and the joy of the Lord as your strength!