Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Rank Advancement

Yesterday evening was a little special for Matthew, as it was his first rank advancement in Civil Air Patrol!  He had actually been eligible about 3 weeks ago, but there were scheduling conflicts and so he was awarded last night. 

There is an actual curriculum that they have to work through and tests they have to take in order to advance, plus physical requirements as well which for now Matt is exempted from due to his back issues.  He was in good shape to pass everything before we discovered his back problems though, so he feels this is "fair".  It has bothered him a little that he can't fully participate in certain physical activities, so I think that he is working hard to prove himself in all the other areas.  The curriculum involves leadership training and manuals, as well as "modules" which are workbooks with activities that need to be completed regarding various aspects of flight.  When they reach higher ranks the text book is even more intense...none of this is something a kid can just rip through, they have to actually really work at it.  I was quite honored the other day when Matthew brought me a photocopy of notes from one of their meetings on leadership that listed qualities of a good leader, and he pointed to a couple of things and said "Look Mom, this is what you do with us every day!  You are a good leader in our family and I thought of you when I read this." 

Although I wish it were for a different reason, I am looking forward to some one on one time with him on our drive to Salt Lake City.  I always enjoy time alone with any of the kids, and the girls and I had an afternoon Walmart date this weekend and giggled as we talked about all our men as we walked the aisles.  It can be hard to find time to be with each child alone, but it is important that we do that, even if it was like yesterday when Josh and I went for a walk hand in hand around the church gym where Angela and Kenny were practicing with their volleyball team.  His face lit up when I suggested a walk and he grabbed my hand and off we went, kicking rocks and talking about this beautiful facility with 2 separate buildings for youth and a large gym along with the sanctuary.  It was precious to me when he said "But I like our church better, it is more beautiful to me because of the people inside.  We don't need a fancy building with a gym."

Here are photos of Matt receiving his pins for rank advancement:

We are very proud of Matthew's first real accomplishment with Civil Air Patrol.  Without any prompting he worked on his own to complete the requirements.  We are also thankful for the presense of Mr. Steve in his life, whose background and interests fit perfectly with Matt's, and who is a wonderful mentor attending every meeting with Matthew.  The love so many people are showing our children makes a world of difference, and there are many who have given their time to see to it that the LaJoy children are nurtured and supported.  I don't have a clue why we are so lucky in this area, but God has provided a number of amazing folks to cocoon our kids in a community of encouragement.  I hope that over the years, those people can look back and say "I really made a difference in the life of a child." for we sure know that our kids would not be who they are today without so many others caring about them.  Dominick and I also recognize we have a ton of "Pay it forward" ahead of us with the children of others.

We are also very proud of the work ethic of each of the kids, none of whom takes the easy way out. As I was sitting working with Kenny on speech therapy tasks yesterday, I was thinking about the challenges he faces every single day, and how hard he works without a single complaint just to achieve what comes so easy to other kids.  And Joshua who works daily with the expectation that he will knuckle down and perform the same at tasks as his 4-5 year older siblings...and he does!  I take for granted just how easy my life can be due to the willingness to work hard that our children have.  I take for granted that I can present them with a list of school work at the beginning of the week, and other than the subjects I am specifically leading they will have the entire sheet done...usually by late Wednesday if their schedule allows.  Most classroom teachers would consider this group of five a dream to teach when it comes to responsible actions and effort.  I am a very, very blessed with and mother.

This work ethic of theirs will be stretched and tested in an exciting new way in the coming weeks as we tackle our new project...a very adult one.  I'll share more tomorrow about that!


Schlef Baby said...

Great job, Matthew!

Hilary Marquis said...

Way to go, Matthew!

Anonymous said...

Looking so mature! We
are so proud of you Matt!

Mr Steve and Ms Jane

SPM said...

Congratulations, Matt, great job! Igor is also in CAP and has almost everything done for his 1st stripe. He will be doing his drill test this week & should be promoted this week or next.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Matt. You have earned this honor. Each of us who knows you is proud and honored to be in your life.

Love you,
Ms. Lael