Lamplighter Guild – Beginnings

by Funhog Family on June 2, 2020

May 26th-27th, and June 1st,2020

The Beginning

My family loves Lamplighter, and we have known about the Guild for a long time, however, we have always hesitated about going because of how expensive it is. At the end of December 2019, Daddy told me that there would be only one more Guild because Lamplighter was going to open a school. He asked me if I wanted to go and told me that I would have to pay for it. I wanted to go, however I did not want to use all the money that I had saved, and knew that even with that, I had a long way to go before I could pay for it. I talked to Mommy and Chloe about it, and Mommy said that both of us were going and that God would provide the money. I already knew which of the seven categories (Horticulture, Culinary Arts, Photography, Filmmaking, Visual Arts, Biblical Theology and Dramatic Arts) I wanted to be in at the Guild. Chloe and I both chose Dramatic Arts and then had to choose which part of Dramatic Arts we wanted to participate in, some of which are: acting, writing stories, and voice acting. I had only a few days to decide because we had to sign up before January 1st in order to get a slightly better deal than others who signed up later. I struggled a lot with the decision, however God helped me pick the “story category” on December 31st, and then He gave me this Bible verse: For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him. -Job 23:14. And I praised His Glorious Name!

The Preparation

One of my friends wrote me a letter for Christmas 2018, and told me that she was praying the word “new” over me for the coming year. And indeed, new things started happening that year which I now see as God’s preparation for my journey to the Guild. I turned 15 ½ on January 29th, and got my driver’s permit on the 9th of February. Then I took lessons from a friend of ours, as well as practicing a lot with Daddy. In August, I started my first job, babysitting on Monday mornings for a homeschool group called Classical Conversations. I would drive with Daddy to his work, and then drive myself to the church where the homeschool group met. I would babysit from 9am to noon, and then drive back to Daddy and read school books until he was done with work. Then we would drive home together. I did that for 6 weeks, and then Chloe started coming with me. We had signed up to babysit for their whole school year, and so we were still doing that when we started working to go to the Guild. God was starting us off with baby steps, getting us ready for what He had next. It is so cool to look back and see what I couldn’t see then!

The Journey

Daddy thought of ways Chloe and I could make money, and then he wrote a letter for us to give out to people to let them know what we were trying to do. “The purpose is not to get a hand out, but to get a hand up,” he told us. “It is good to let people know about your fund-raising so that if there’s something you can do to bless them, they will let you know because they want to help you, and then it will be a win-win for everyone.” Chloe and I agreed to the letter, and then we gave it to people at our church, and a couple of the ladies at CC (Classical Conversations). We mailed it to others as well.

I am the treasurer and accountant for the two of us, and am enjoying it immensely. I am also the scribe, keeping the records of all the little “glory stories” that are making this trip happen. I am going to list them below so that you can glorify the Lord with us.

  • January
  • Grandma Tuten gave us a check.
  • The Franks gave us a check.
  • Chloe and I babysat for CC for 15 weeks (including the 12 weeks from 2019).
  • I was a “Nannoto Kamoni”-Komoto nanny-for two weeks, three days a week.
  • Chloe and I babysat the Komoto kids after CC at their home.
  • February
  • I babysat Kamela and Kaedan B. Johnson for a day.
  • We made dinners for the Barton family three days a week for 2 ½ months.
  • We helped clean the Hopkins’ apartment.
  • We were the Barton girls’ governesses two days a week for 2 ½ months.
  • We pulled the Prices’ weeds.
  • Mrs. Abney was given a present unexpectedly, and passed it on to us.
  • The Daukas’ gave us a check.
  • Mr. N. Johnson asked if I would be interested in drawing the “Mighty Oaks” (their speech and debate group) logo for a T-shirt. I sketched out some ideas for him and he paid me.
  • We swept and mopped Grantie (great aunt) Bonnie’s house for her.
  • Papa Bob bought a Lamplighter book for Sydney.
  • March
  • Hosanna and Mercy gave me $2. (Mercy said,“It’s 1 and 1, Kendall, so it can be elesen (eleven).” Hosanna said, “It’s 1+1 so it’s 2, isn’t it?” I told Hosanna she was right. Then Mercy asked: “Will it help you go?” And I said, “Yes, Mercy, it will.”) Thank You, Jesus, for my little sisters’ two mites!
  • Elijah gave both Chloe and I some of the tip money he earned when he went down a canyon with Daddy.
  • April
  • Papa Bob bought ten more Lamplighter books.
  • Tirzah gave Chloe and I the last of her piggybank money-$1.80.
  • Mercy gave me another dollar!
  • We mopped Grantie Bonnie’s house again.
  • May
  • I went down a canyon with Daddy and was given a tip.
  • Mr. N. Johnson paid me again for the “Mighty Oaks” logo I drew for him.
  • I cleaned Grantie Bonnie’s windows for her.
  • I struggled with believing that someone would remember to pay Chloe and I for something we had done, but God took care of it and the person reached out and asked if they had paid us yet. God is so good- even when I am faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself- Oh, I thank Him!
  • Tirzah gave Chloe and I each another dollar on her birthday.
  • Mrs. Abney paid me in advance for something I am going to do for her.
  • Papa Bob bought “Jessica’s First Prayer” (another Lamplighter book).
  • Chloe and I cleaned two cars in detail for Papa Bob and Mama Donna, and Sydney helped us. We also cleaned some of their base boards.
  • We mopped Grantie Bonnie’s house a third time.

I want to say “thank you” to everyone who has been praying for us. We are very grateful for you coming alongside us in that way!

So far, we have raised enough for Chloe to go to the Guild, and we have a little over a third of the amount needed to send me. God is providing, and it is beautiful! Hallelujah! Amen and Amen. (And we found out today for sure that the Guild is still happening, and so we are still going! That is from God as well! He is so much bigger than I think He is! I thank Him!)

The Long Journey Home

by Funhog Family on September 14, 2019

Packed and ready to roll

We got up at 4:30a to start our journey home.  The airport was 15mins away and traffic was light that early in the morning, allowing us to drop of the rental car and still make it with plenty off time to catch our flight.  Our flight to Vienna, Austria for a layover was pretty quick as was our layover there.  Then we boarded the nine and half hour flight to the U.S.  Again we were blessed as they upgraded us to business class, so we had plenty of leg room and those little hot towels to freshen up with.  We also got some pretty yummy food for airplane fare.  Austrian Airlines has started sending chefs along on the longer flights, so it was a gourmet experience.

Our fun did not really begin until we landed in Chicago.  Going to Slovenia we got to check our luggage from Phoenix directly to Slovenia without having to take our checked bags through customs in our Germany layover.  Coming back we had to collect all of our bags in Chicago and take them through customs before we could catch our next flight.  I knew it was going to be close, as we only had a 2hr layover in Chicago and getting through customs could easily eat that away.

There was a mass of humanity trying to make their way through the different check points before they got to the place they could collect their bags to go through customs with them.  When we finally got to the carousel for our flight we had an hour left (still enough time to catch our connection).  Then we waited.  Our first bag came out within fifteen minutes, so I was pretty sure our other two would quickly follow.  Then we waited…and waited…and waited.  There were others around us waiting for their bags too.  There was a guy beside us in his sixties that lived in Chicago, so no need to catch another flight.  He got so angry for having to wait that he was screaming at the carousel and telling everyone what he thought of the delay.  

I thought God was in the delay for us, though I could not understand why.  Everyone else got there bags eventually and we were still waiting.  Finally over an hour had gone by.  I looked down at my watch and we were supposed to be boarding our next flight that very minute.  Elijah looks up from his seat on the one bag we did have and he saw another one of our bags in the middle of the airport, sitting on a cart with no one around.  I went and grabbed the bag.  Then Elijah looks up again in a different area of the airport and again one of our bags is sitting on a cart in the middle of the airport.  Our bags were in different areas, no where near our carousel and they appeared the exact minute we should be boarding our next flight (only the Lord).

Getting our bags, we went through the next layer of customs.  Since we had gone to Slovenia, they made us go through a different line, which deposited outside of customs before we were able to check our bags onto our connecting flight.  This would mean we would have to take a bus to the next terminal and then redo all the check in process again.  I asked a flight attendant if they could let us back into customs.  She told me there was no way they would ever do that, but I could try.  I went up to the guard and explained everything, then miraculously they let us back in and we were able to check our bags.

Lights out

We had to wait another 4hrs for our next flight, which seemed to almost double our overall flight time.  Elijah was a dead man walking through Chicago and yet we were thankful for the Lords provision and direction.  We made it home and have been trying hard to get back into the rhythm of life we left.  Both Elijah and I are still waking up in between 1-3a each night, not being able to go back to sleep.  The sleep will come.

Elijah’s Take – We woke up really early and got on the plane after waiting a bit.  Then we stopped at an airport for a bit and then left.  The flight was really long.  When we got off we waited for our luggage for so long.  Then we got on another plane and got home.

Learning Ljubljana – Slovenia

September 13, 2019

Originally we had planned to continue camping the last three days of the trip.  The weather changed and with predictions of 1-2 inches of rain per night we decided hotels may be a better fit.  This would also mean we would not have to pack soaking wet gear to travel home.  For our last rainy […]

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Tourist Time – Solvenia

September 10, 2019

Today Elijah and I decided we would try something we have not done during our whole trip, be tourists.  We started our day off with going on a 11a tour of the Skocjan Caves, with several hundred of our closest tourist friends.  At the entrance they split us up into six groups of 40 so […]

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Wash/Rinse/Repeat – Socca Fun, Solvenia

September 9, 2019

Wash/Rinse/Repeat.  Seems like we have gotten into a cycle on this trip of me doing something with Elijah, then allowing him to show me how to do it, and finally him leading me through it.  We woke up in Italy with the rain clouds gathering.  We knew that it would be raining heavy for the […]

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Basking in the Rio Simon – Italy

September 8, 2019

We got up early to be on our way to the Rio Simon today.  It was a must do canyon on our trip, that is known for its beauty and ticks!  The hike into these canyons always surprises us.  What I am reminded of constantly is that we are in poor shape for hiking in […]

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Lazy Day – Italy

September 7, 2019

Both Elijah and I woke up slowly this morning.  All our fun has left us exhausted, meaning we needed a rest day.  We chose to hang our the lake at our camp ground.  Elijah rented a kayaked and paddled all over the lake.  He had a great time exploring, while I watched from the shore.  […]

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Hand of God – Brussine Canyon, Italy

September 6, 2019

We woke up excited to begin our day with the highlight canyon of the trip.  I was positive our run ins with the Austrian army were over and that we would be allowed entrance into the Fraunbech Wasserfall today.  As we drove up to the trailhead, I saw the red flag was hanging from the […]

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Castle Hunter’s Leaving a Legacy – Austria

September 5, 2019

After a good hearty Austrian breakfast we headed to our canyon.  As I opened the door at the trailhead all we could hear was rifle fire.  I knew the Austrian army does shooting practice one day a month in this canyon, but I was not able to discover when that day was going to be.  […]

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God Speaking in Koritnica – Solvenia

September 4, 2019

It rained most of the night, which helped keep the smoke down.  In the morning we were packed up and gone before the campgrounds started waking up.  On the way out of town we stopped by the pharmacy to buy Elijah a pair of car sickness bands (all those countless twisty roads were impacting him).  […]

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