As I write we are on a plane over the Pacific Ocean en route to India and Rising Star.

I must say that it has been the most crazy whirlwind trying to get to this point.  I cannot begin to explain all the minutia of loose ends to be tied and check-lists to be crossed off and emotion invested in leaving the three younger kids while we’re gone.  We just finished big-time family time at Bear Lake and at some point I’ll get around to documenting it all. 

But today starts our grand Indian adventure and I don’t want to get behind on this part.  Max, Elle, Dave and I just keep looking at each other with huge smiles stretched across our faces as the wound-up stress of getting here to this point after so many months of preparation begins to dissipate.  Max and Elle keep saying, “Mom, we’re heading on your dream.”  And their smiles tell me that it’s partially become their dream too.  I keep saying silent prayers that we’ll all learn what we are supposed to here and that we will handle it all with grace.  That what we experience will help our hearts be softened and more compassionate.

There will be so much to share after we get there, but I wanted to catch up with the part of the trip that includes Max’s eagle project first. 

Because I have already seen Max and Elle’s hearts open as they have both worked on that thing.  It has been such a neat way to help these kids prepare for such an experience and to watch Max exhibit these emerging newfound leadership skills.  Man alive, it makes me fall head-over-heels in love with the scouting program to see my seemingly shy boy stand up in front of people at church to explain things as well as direct the helpers he has recruited in making the flashcards and collecting books.

Somewhere in the underbelly of this monstrous airplane are three huge boxes of books for the kids at the school (thanks to so many generous donors…thank you, thank you, thank you), as well as a box full of home-made-with-a-whole-bunch-of-help-from-others phonics flashcards, and some extra checks from people made out to Rising Star.  In addition to book donations we bought books in the states with cash donations because I guess it’s really tricky to get multiple copies of the same book in India, and that’s what the kids need as they read along in English together.  There is a good chunk of money left for the school to get additional books for the kids (to be brought over from other volunteers or found in India) and other school needs as they see a need in the future thanks to so many very generous blog readers.  Again, oh how we thank you!

Because so many blog readers have contributed to Max’s project (and you still can if you’d like…directions are in Max’s post back here) I figured I better write a report about how it’s going so far.
We made twenty-five sets of phonics flashcards.  Boy howdy did we ever spend some good time at Staples to get that process.2012-06-25 iPhone summer 56087I really like hanging out with that guy up there:)

He invited all the boys from church to come help laminate and cut.  There are so many people out of town for the summer, but almost all of the oldest group of boys (ages 16-18) came.  I think there were 18 of them.  It was fun to watch Max step up and direct them on what to do.
2012-06-27 summer 528322012-06-27-summer-5282532012-06-27-summer-5282732012-06-27-summer-528303
We still needed more help so Max invited some of Dave’s in-town siblings over to help too.2012-07-01 summer 532702012-07-01-summer-532727
We got a ton done, even with a few minor order-mix-ups Grace is trying to fix here.2012-07-01 summer 532762012-07-01 summer 53284Thanks guys!

Max invited over one other small group to help with the last sets.2012-07-02 summer 532952012-07-02-summer-532987Such nice kids.2012-07-02 summer 53299
Much to Max’s chagrin, I didn’t follow Max and those he asked to help pick up book donations around with my camera, but shucks I should have  (you know I kid about the chagrin part, right?)  And I wish I had a picture of him explaining things to people at church and on the phone, but alas, I’ll have to keep a picture of all that in my mind.

Following all the gathering we packed it all up, counted donations, ordered new books with some of the book money…2012-06-30 summer 53260…and packed ‘em up.2012-07-03-summer-533157
So here we are.  With nine hours down and seven to go before we get to Hong Kong, then another five to Chennai and a three hour drive to Rising Star.

We’re in for quite an experience.

And we can’t wait.

Similar Posts


  1. Absolutely tremendous. Anxious to hear how it all goes. And I think it's beautiful your children have latched on so fiercely to your dream. Best wishes!

  2. This is just absolutely awesome what you and your kids are doing! They will never forget this experience. I can't wait to see all your pictures!

  3. SO excited for you guys! I am in the young mommy stage right now (three under five) so I love to read stories like this and start building my own dreams of things to do when my kiddos get older. Right now we are participating in the Governor's Summer of Service in Utah with my five year old and it has been so fun to find ways to serve together.

  4. How exciting! Many blessings to you and your sweet family as you make this special journey together. I'm sure you will make precious memories together as you bless the lives of others by your Christ-like service.

  5. oh my goodness, i want to know more about how to do this with my big kids in the next few years. how does one c ome up with an eagle projecct? my son is 11.5 and scouting totalloy intimidates me…luckily i've got eagle scouts around (husband and brothers) but i know i'll have to figure some things out as the mom!!! it is an amazing moment to watch our children grow, and watching this just excites me for things to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *