UTCH eHomestyle News April 2017 Spring Edition

Also in this Issue:

Homeschool Humor?

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?
A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Then, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light. ~Author Unknown

2017 UTCH Convention

The 2017 UTCH Convention was an amazing encouragement to the attendees. Davis and Rachael Carman's love for the Lord and for home education inspired us all. Let's all remember to, " Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise." (Ephesians 5:15). Thank you to all who supported this convention and to all who willingly volunteered time and energy to bless our homeschool family!

Live as Light for the Lord in Utah

Living as the household of faith in a land of religion has many struggles for most of us. Our Christian homeschool group is small, even tiny, compared to surrounding states. Churches struggle to grow both spiritually and numerically. We can feel isolated and without encouragement, may even desire to leave the place God has called us to serve. So, how do we regain a desire to be the light on the hillside that causes our neighbors to ask the reason for the hope within us? To answer that important question, open this link and read from someone with great experience in this area: https://billygraham.org/story/shine/

Save the Date!

UTCH 2017 Graduation
Calvary Baptist Church
1090 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
June 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

UTCH Lagoon Day - Saturday, June 10, 2017

Discounted all-day pass is $39.95 + tax. The pass includes all rides from 10 AM to 11 PM (with the exception of a few pay-extra attractions), the Lagoon-a-Beach water park, Pioneer Village, and the Midway. Parking is $10 per vehicle in the Lagoon lot.

We have the Juniper Terrace Pavilion reserved for our group all day. You are welcome to bring food into the park, and may leave your picnic coolers and bags at the pavilion to return to throughout the day.

To attend: Please mail a self-addressed stamped business-size envelope to Susie Jackson, 1177 Cody Circle, South Jordan, UT 84095 by June 3. Please state the number of discount vouchers you would like. Do not send any money. You will take a UTCH discount voucher for each person to the ticket window when you arrive at the park and will pay then. Hope to see you there!

Volunteers Needed for UTCH Graduation and Reception!

Would you consider serving our 2017 UTCH graduating class and their families on June 3rd between 1 and 5 pm? We are looking for 6 volunteers to help keep the reception running smoothly. Please contact Shelley at cheli5knits@gmail.com for more detailed info. Thank you!

Class of 2017 Graduates

Spring 2017 – Natalie Lauren Amano, daughter of Alan and Julie Amano

Natalie was born on September 10, 1999. She has lived in Utah her entire life, although she claims she is really from her mother's home state of Montana. Natalie began homeschooling at the age of seven, giving her the opportunity to focus on her music, art, creative writing, and relationship with God. Natalie adores music, especially playing the violin. She loves being a part of a band at The Rock Church with some of her best friends and playing in the Utah Youth Symphony. God willing, she plans to study music performance at college this fall. Natalie also greatly enjoys food, daydreaming, the Denver Broncos, and goofing off with her friends. She is blessed to always have the love and support of her family, friends, her heart sisters, her favorite brother Alex (aka "Child"), and especially her amazing parents.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Spring 2017 – Rebecca Elizabeth Beplay, daughter of Jon and Kathleen Beplay

Rebecca was born in Gilbert, AZ and has lived in Kingwood TX, Lubbock, TX, and Riverton, UT. From a young age she has approached everything with creativity and imagination. Homeschooling has been a blessing for her, especially the opportunity to tailor her education to her needs and inclinations. She is self-taught in drawing and has even created her own comic book. She has studied watercolor and participated in Summer Youth Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT. While in Lubbock, she was on the yearbook committee for the homeschool group. Other activities she has enjoyed over the years are church youth groups, church choir, homeschool book club, cooking classes, and working with special needs children at Kauri Sue School. All her moves have provided a great opportunity to explore and learn about nature, history, geography, and government first-hand. Rebecca has always been active in church, and was confirmed in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on May 19, 2013. Rebecca plans to major in Graphic Arts and will start out at Salt Lake Community College.

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." -Revelation 2:10b

Spring 2017 – Megan Faith Bertelsen, daughter of Brad and Shelley Bertelsen

Megan was born in El Paso, Texas to Brad and Shelley Bertelsen. She is the youngest of three girls and her sisters have been her two best friends since day one. When she was 3 years old, her family moved to Utah where she has lived ever since. She started dance at age 4 which she has continued all the way through her senior year and performed her senior solo with Bountiful School of Ballet in May. She has participated in the Nutcracker and various other shows where she performed roles such as Clara, Arabian Queen, Snow Queen, Lilac Fairy, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Although she isn't sure what the coming year will look like, Megan is very excited to travel to Kenya this summer for a 3 week mission trip with her church youth group where she will be able to serve using her love for children by helping in schools and orphanages.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." - Psalm 62:5-6

Spring 2017 – Brady Burt

Brady Burt has lived in Utah his whole life. He was born in an LDS family, but received Christ at age12. He was also adopted by his stepfather and became a Burt that year. He is very grateful to his parents for guiding him into the man that he is today. His sister Kenedi has been his best friend since they first met. They do everything together. Brady has played in a youth band every year since junior high. He also apprenticed a sound engineer at an early age and was recently put on staff at his church as the Technology Producer. Brady plans to finish his associates degree at SLCC then further his studies in sound mastering and engineering.

Brady appreciates your support, and would love to for you to keep him in your prayers during this exciting and stressful time in his life.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romains 8:38-39

Spring 2017 – Kenedi Anne Burt, daughter of Chris and Shawna Burt

Kenedi, born in Utah, began homeschooling in the 6th grade with her brother Brady. She came to know Christ when she was seven years old, and was baptized with some of her family four years later. She is so grateful to her parents for always being there, and for shaping her into the person she is today. Her brother Brady has been her best friend since she can remember and is so grateful for their friendship. She enjoys being around her family and friends, playing softball, reading, and sewing. Kenedi plans to finish her associates degree, and then continue her education in psychology / teaching. She loves children and hopes to teach them in the future. Kenedi enjoyed going to Pioneer Bible Camp, which gave her the desire to go work for a camp this summer. Kenedi would love to have your thoughts and prayers as she moves into the next stages of her life, hoping that she remains close to the Lord and can be a light for others.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Spring 2017 – Leahi Cordaro, daughter of Alan and Miri Cordaro

After spending the past four years of her life begrudgingly studying her way through high school, Leahi is ecstatic to finally be receiving her diploma (she had her doubts).

Leahi recently became certified as an EMT and plans to use her skills to help others and learn more about other cultures in a gap year program, trekking her way through Australia. Leahi was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and until recently she thought that her middle name was Alexandria (it's actually Alexandra).

Leahi has played soccer and basketball since she was seven. She also likes to think that she can play the guitar. Leahi would like you to know that she is a Jew. Leahi would also like you to know that it is not her fault that she mispronounces words and says phrases wrong; it is the fault of her Shebrew mother.

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." - Psalm 139:9-10 (NIV)

Spring 2017 – Jordan Todd Cowley, son of Dave and Caleen Boyter

Jordan was born on February 10, 1999, and was homeschooled from the 5th grade until his junior year, when he took some high school and concurrent enrollment college classes.

Jordan enjoys movies, music, and all types of games, as well as outdoor activities like camping and fishing.

Jordan has been fascinated by science since his first year in high school, when his science teacher sparked his passion for chemistry. Jordan has been accepted to the University of Utah, where he plans to study forensic chemistry.

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36

Spring 2017 – Sarah LaFaye Hale, daughter of Andrew and Erica Hale

Sarah has lived all her life in Utah. She was homeschooled for all but her Junior year, when she attended the Business Leadership program at CTEC. After graduating second in her class, she feels grateful for the opportunity to discover that she is not interested in business. Sarah has played bass in worship bands at The Rock Church since she was 12. She's blessed by her close group of "heart sisters" at church, who have been together through thick and thin. Sarah loves to draw, create, and bring new worlds to life, and works part time at an art studio as a teacher's aide. Future plans include studying Superhero Psychology at Gotham State University. Alternately, when she finishes her work at SLCC, Sarah will major in Illustration and Graphic Design at UVU and draw her adventures instead. Sarah is thankful to her sister for teaching her patience, her brother for teaching her ninja moves, and her parents for always being there when life gets hard. She loves the Lord and is trusting His plans for her.

"Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised." Genesis 21:1

Spring 2017 – Michael David Johnson, son of Mike and Jill Johnson

Michael has lived in Utah all his life and has been homeschooled since kindergarten. During this time he attended co-op classes through The 9th grade, was in AWANA for15 years, took piano lessons for 9, and has enjoyed traveling and competing in speech and debate. Four years ago Michael started working at This is the Place Heritage Park. While there he has learned how to operate backhoes, tractors and snowplows. He also sets up many weddings and special events; he even worked with the Secret Service during the Bernie Sanders campaign rally last year. Michael enjoys learning new things and spending time with friends and his family. In his junior year, Michael started taking classes concurrently both at Cottonwood High School and Salt Lake Community College. His favorite ones so far are American Sign Language, Welding and Business. He is well on his way to getting his associates degree and plans to finish up this fall at Salt Lake Community College.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Spring 2017 – Matthew Thomas Lang, son of Thom and Deborah

Matt was born and raised in Atlanta, GA the first fourteen years of his life. Due to his dad's job transfer, he moved to Utah three and a half years ago. He has an older sister and brother-in-law living in Georgia, where he visits as often as possible. He has been homeschooled since fourth grade. He is an avid outdoor sports enthusiast beginning with BMX racing at the age of four. He earned his black belt in martial arts in 2013 and continued training in mixed martial arts for another two years. He loves snowboarding, mountain biking, BMX biking, hiking and anything that brings a rush of adrenaline. He spends hours working on his car whenever he has the chance. He has enjoyed volunteering at the Utah Humane Society and teaching middle school boys at his church. Matt plans to attend the University of Utah and major in Architecture and Business.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." -James 1:2-4

Spring 2017 – Ruby Charis Norman, daughter of George and Laurie Norman

Ruby Charis Norman came into this world with a bang on July 4, 1999 as the only daughter of George and Laurie Norman. With her brothers cheering her on, Ruby quickly excelled athletically and is an accomplished skier, hiker and competitive soccer player. She is currently active as a soccer referee which has helped to teach her to stay calm during intense situations. She was recently named the Utah Youth Soccer Referee of the year. Ruby has participated in AWANA, a Christian ministry that equips children to know, love and serve God, since her early years and she is on track to receive her Citation Award this upcoming spring. Ruby also competes in Speech and Debate with the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association. She is an outgoing competitor, quick to make friends and always encouraging to others.

After finishing her senior homeschool courses, Ruby plans to study nursing with the goal of becoming a helicopter trauma nurse.

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." - Psalm 61:2

Spring 2017 – Abigail Grace Porter, daughter of Jeff and Brenda Porter

Abigail, whose name means "my father rejoices," is the third of four children in the Porter family. Throughout high school, Abigail has played music in several bands, including her family band, at The Rock Church. She has been very involved in youth group and art classes. Abigail also volunteers at senior centers and gives private music lessons. Her junior year, she attended the Business Leadership Program at Canyons Technical Education Center. Abigail enjoys singing, playing the piano, swimming with her brother, and spending time with her friends and family. Abigail plans to attend the University of Utah to study Music and Theatre Education. Abigail would like to thank her encouraging mom and devoted dad for their loving support, and her mom, in particular, for homeschooling her all of these years. She would also like to thank her wonderful brothers for making their school years so much fun and for always being there for her, and her sweet sister for being her best friend for life. Finally, Abigail thanks the Lord for all of His wisdom, goodness and faithfulness.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:14

Spring 2017 – Benjamin Elliott Verboncoeur, son of Ken and Marianne Verboncoeur

In September 1999, Benjamin Elliott Verboncoeur was born in a pink Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii where his Dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks. The family moved to Utah in 2000. He is the middle child out of three and can attest to being forgotten about occasionally, but still thinks he is the favorite child! Benjamin is a 2nd Degree Level One Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, which has taken seven years to attain. He has played the piano for ten years, cello for five, and participated in NCFCA Speech and Debate for the past five years. He attributes his spiritual growth to his 14 years of participation in Awana. Many thanks to all of his leaders! He loves strategy games, history, government, foreign policy, and politics. This helped him decide on a major in International Studies. He plans to attend Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho and is a National Army ROTC Scholarship recipient. He will be joining the Army after college.

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." - Psalm 18:2

Spring 2017 – Corbin Hunter Whitton, son of Todd and Melissa Whitton

Corbin Hunter Whitton is a kind, caring, and compassionate person, always willing to help out. He was born 18 years ago. His parents are Todd and Melissa Whitton. Growing up, Corbin has shared many good memories with his family; river rafting, camping, hiking, biking, and nearly everything outdoors. He enjoys the outdoors, especially canyoneering, rafting, hiking, and more! He is passionate for Christ and his family, which can often be seen through his interactions with others. His favorite flavor of ice cream is "Death by Chocolate" or cookies and cream. Corbin works at Chick-fil-a, and has discovered more about himself and his passion for helping others. Corbin strives to keep his eyes set on the things unseen and his heart is always striving to bring glory to God.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Spring 2017 – Joshua Kyle Willis, son of David and Debbie Willis

Joshua Willis was born and raised in Utah and has been home schooled from the beginning. His two main interests include skiing and politics. He recently completed a goal of becoming a certified ski instructor through Professional Ski Instructors of America. As a political activist, he has been a member of Generation Joshua for 5 years, serving in various positions in his local club, and gaining political campaigning experience through volunteering on seven Student Action Teams. Josh has also been an active citizen during Utah's annual legislative session for the last 4 years working with Eagle Forum as an intern and the Convention of States Project as a volunteer lobbyist. He hopes to pursue a career in the political realm and is seeking God's wisdom on what to do about college. Joshua is grateful to his parents first and his other mentors that have supported him and helped him be successful. He can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for him in the future.

"‘For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11

We Will Survive: Learning Life Skills
by Lynn Dean

One morning, my friends and I left our cars at a ranger station and hiked into the rugged wilderness prepared to survive with nothing more than our good sense and the items we could carry on our backs. Everything was an exciting adventure that first day, but when I woke to the sound of rain on my tent the next morning, body bruised and blistered, reality settled in. My evolution from comfort-loving co-ed to hardy hiker was an arduous process, but by the time we got back to civilization my 30-pound backpack wasn't the only weight lifted from my shoulders. I experienced a surge of confidence that came from knowing I could take care of myself, and I had a new understanding of how few things are truly essential and a fresh appreciation for those things that make life more comfortable.

Based on this enriching experience, I strongly recommend teaching children life survival skills. Even if your family is more into suburban convenience than "homesteading off the grid," knowing a few survival skills can be empowering. Here's why:

Appreciation of History - Most of our ancestors had few possessions and often risked what little they owned for the opportunity to better their lives. Whether they emigrated from overseas or moved west as pioneers, they relied on adaptability and survival skills to get them through every challenge. The more we put ourselves in their place, the more we understand their motivations, struggles, and the value they placed on freedom and opportunity.

Life-Saving Skills - Emergencies don't give advance notice. Would you know how to survive if you were lost in the woods, if a natural disaster resulted in the loss of technology, or if there was an accident that required first aid? Skills such as orienteering, hunting, shelter and fire building, water purification, food preservation, and first aid could mean the difference between life and death in perilous circumstances.

Self-Esteem - Teaching children how to "rough it" can lead to greater confidence in their own abilities. From tying their shoelaces to tying a half hitch in a tent rope, children take great pride in doing things for themselves. Pastor and leadership expert John Maxwell says, "If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone." Introducing real-life skills may take children out of their comfort zone, but developing self-sufficiency builds confidence, and confidence increases our comfort level—which is likely to make us want to get off the couch and get outside more.

Gratitude - Children will find new meaning in and appreciation for industry when their survival depends on it. Many of the difficulties we've come to expect from children and teenagers—laziness, contrariness, lack of responsibility—are caused, in part, by living in an age of convenience. Exposing children to the wild and what it takes to survive can spark conversation and unparalleled understanding about privilege, luxury, and gratitude.

Family Bonding - Ready to launch out on family adventures? Begin with short hikes and overnight camping trips. This will help develop the group rhythm and smooth out family dynamics in these novel circumstances. Eventually, build up to full-day hikes and extended trips such as three-day canoe or camping excursions. Remember, not everyone will be a "happy camper" at first. Reluctance to try new activities is absolutely normal. We grow when we consider the strengths and weaknesses of others and make accommodations for the good of the group. As a family, this can bring a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of each person and his or her role. No matter the starting point, it's important to get out of the comfort zone once in a while and stretch your survival skills. Your children should come back from each adventure more open and receptive to the experiences. They'll also come back well-exercised and tired . . . two more benefits!

If you're looking for places to begin learning primitive or antiquated skills, here are a few suggestions:

Pioneer Sites - Take field trips to places where you can see how the forefathers lived. Our ancestors were resourceful people, and many interpretive historical sites will let children experience such skills as spinning, weaving, soap and candle making, home building, farming, and harvesting.

Individual Lessons - Friends or relatives are often a fount of knowledge and can teach your children to cook, sew, quilt, garden, or fish. Maybe you have a grandmother who cans garden-fresh produce or bakes bread. Some of my fondest memories are shelling peas and baking bread with my grandmother. Look for opportunities that build skills and relationships.

Other survival skills like drown-proofing, swimming, and first aid are taught by service organizations such as the Red Cross and YMCA. Both the Red Cross and the American Heart Association teach CPR, a skill everyone should know. Check into the availability of summer programs in your area.

Scouting Programs - Trail Life for boys and American Heritage Girls are Christian scouting programs where children can still learn and have adventures like in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Programs like these continue teaching the significance of primitive skills while encouraging personal development in a Christian learning environment.


Support/Contact Groups

Carbon County
Jodie Wells
Sharalyn Paetz
Iron County
Samantha Solo
Salt Lake Valley
Missy Dunn
meets 3rd Sat. of month, 8:30-10:30, Paradise Bakery in Sandy
Sanpete County
Sara Larson
North Sanpete
Jason & Kristen Maxfield
Sevier County Kelle Lambers
Debbie Willis
Mark & Tina Roberts

Jeanette Rhyne
Uintah County
Joanna Wardell
Utah County
Suzzanne Cutler
meets 2x/month, topic discussion & field trip, inquire for specifics
West Valley
Michelle Edwards
meets 2nd Sat. of month from 10:30-12:30, Sonrise Baptist Church in West Valley

Utah Christian Home School Co Op Information

West Valley Co-op
Autumn Hartman

Salt Lake Valley Co-op
Mark and Laura Francis

UTCH Davis/Weber Cooperative
Learn about the cooperative at www.dwcoop.net
(info for 2017-2018 school year updated by mid-April)
info@dwcoop.net for a reply

South Salt Lake Co-op
Caleen Boyter

UTCH Volunteers

UTCH Newsletter Editor
Cynthia Edwards

Field Trip Coordinator
Jennifer Johnson

Digital Newsletter Layout
Micheal Fenton

Mail and Voice mail
Russ and Shelly Davidson


UTCH eHomestyle News

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