JoKars Wild is now nearing three months of ownership of Book & Bean, and over these last few months my authorship on this blog has gotten less and less. But my desire to keep you all up to date has not decreased. So I thought I would take a few moments to fill you in with what is going on with JoKars Wild.

Other than the brief moments at home…what do our lives look like? Well, for me, when I do have a free moment at the store, I am either reading to the kids, reading the many books I have to read for the store, or practicing music since I have scheduled a concert on April 2nd…yikes! I have also written a couple of reviews for a local free paper and have become Book & Bean’s resident graphic designer…lol.

For Joe, when he is not connecting with others in the community or arranging book signings, he is doing school work. Yep, that’s right! Joe, miraculously, is currently working on his master’s degree and will hopefully be done this fall! It has been a major challenge for him to find time to get it done, but he sticks with it and is still maintaining a very good GPA. I really don’t know how he does it.

Josiah, 16, is now full-time homeschooling. He has become an indispensable part of the bookstore. He is in charge of inventory and the used book section. He is also learning all of the bookkeeping and will soon be taking over that job. When he has free time, he is researching flora to use in his terrariums or how to sterilize dirt…doesn’t everyone want to know this? He is hoping to expand his reptile collection since two of his animals have died in the last few months. Josiah is also reading his first Stephen King novel, The Dome. This has led to many a good discussion. In February, Josiah became a licensed driver and has been very helpful in bringing his sister, Michaela, to and from school.

Michaela is attending 3 performance art classes at the local high school. She has a supporting role in the spring play as well as lead role in a homeschool play. She continues to write songs and her novel(s). She has been growing in responsibility in our cafe and has even ran it for a whole day! She leads our Storytime and is trying to build up a regular program for it. Michaela also recently received her learner’s permit…so watch out!

The younger children have been real troopers in being at the store all day, every day. They keep learning and growing despite our neglect. The two boys, Elijah and Azariah, have found that they really can read! Kira and the boys have discovered a love for chess. Kira also has a leading role in a homeschool play. Elijah and Azariah will soon have their first experience at snowboarding along with their big brother. Petra and Hanna have found it delightful to “live” in a bookstore and try to get someone to read to them every chance they can get. Our, not so little, Nehemiah has recently ventured into walking. He isn’t quite sure about it yet, but I am sure he will be running in no time. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

 Actually, it has been a blessing to be here in the community we love so much. From the get go of Book & Bean, we have been here for 60+ hours a week. When we do drag ourselves home, it is usually to go almost straight to bed.

It is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but in mid to late January, we finally were home for a day, and I discovered some food that had been sitting on the counter in a closed container since Christmas Eve. It was horrendous.

Being home consists of maybe getting a bite to eat, doing laundry, taking care of the dogs, and sleeping. And as odd as it may seem we long to back in Prineville when we are home. Many a night, the kids have asked if we could just sleep at the store. I wish.

I am trying not to be discouraged, but I must admit, sometimes this seems too mighty for God. How does He find a place for a family of ten to live in that has no money, bad credit, and has filed bankruptcy? Then I think of all the things He has already done for us. He gave us a trailer to live in, a store to own and run, and a community to love. And that is just a few of the many, many blessings He has given us.

So we press on. We pour back our hearts, our time, our money back into the community we love. And we hope…we cling to the hope…that one day we won’t only be working there but living there, too. And we cling to the hope that all our hard work is not for nothing…that we really are making a difference for the Kingdom…and in the end He will say, “Well done good and faithful servants.”

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