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A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 22:1

Today is historic for the Ramos Family.  Our two oldest boys started their first day of school.  Prior to this, they were homeschool students at the Ramos School for boys under the leadership of the world’s best teacher–their mom.  Homeschooling is something that Judy and I agreed on early in our relationship.  Both of us have a background and tremendous interest in education and spent many hours talking about the philosophy we would take when the time came to grow our family.  When we first began to contemplate the topic, homeschooling was not as popular or common as it seems to be today.  It took time for us to explore the pros and cons of each educational approach: homeschooling, Adventist Education, high-ranking public schools.

In the end, the value that society places on knowledge pressures many parents towards imbalance and an unscriptural approach to learning.  Homeschooling places huge demands on the teaching parent that make real education a tremendous challenge.  Additionally, in the homeschool environment, fear always lingers regarding the child’s social development and the parent’s qualifications to do a job that others are professionally trained and qualified to do.

Fortunately, in our experience, the boys had the privilege of learning from a highly intelligent and well-equipped teacher known to them as their mom.

Even in moments when Judy may have doubted herself, I was always fully convinced that the best educator in the lives of our boys was, has been, and always will be their first and best teacher–their mother.  No one in this world has captured their hearts more than she has.  No one else has thought about, wrestled with, and even obsessed over their development more than their mother.

I am eternally thankful for the investment that Judy has made in the lives of our boys.  Some call her a stay-at-home mom.  I call her an artist who works, not with clay or paint to create pots or paintings.  She’s an artist of a different kind.  She is one who shapes, works, presses, molds, and fashions life and character.  And in shaping the lives of these young boys, she has literally shaped the course of world history.  For, whatever positive impact they make–large or small–it will be because one brilliant mother who could have been anything she wanted be and done everything she wanted to do, decided to take on the world’s most difficult job.

We owe so much to our teachers.  We owe so much to our parents.  We owe everything we’ve got to the parents who make the education of their children their top priority and in their homes impart more than just knowledge, but wisdom instead.

As Manu and Micah move on to the next phase of their educational experience, I am thankful that Judy emptied herself to fully prepare them for what’s ahead.  Our prayer as parents is that God’s grace will make up where our many deficiencies have interfered with His plans in their lives.  Manu & Micah, as you meet achievement and success, my prayer is that you’ll forever remember this: wisdom — the right use of knowledge and ability is true power and more valuable than everything else combined (Prov. 22:1).

Even now, put your fingerprints all over God’s great world as your mother has placed her prints all over your lives!


The coolest memory about our visit to Zion National Park in May 2014 is that the boys were able to receive their first Junior Ranger badge!  Although they completed the program at Arches, we weren’t able to get the hardware because the park closed before we finished the requirements!

This Ford has been faithful to us all around the country — North to South, East to West.

The Junior Ranger Program allows the kids to search the park for a variety of aspects that are unique to that particular area.  It makes learning fun by dividing up the activities into games.  Part of the purpose of the program is to teach children how to care for the parks, nature, and animals.  In each of the park programs that we’ve done so far, the boys had to pick up trash.

Manu with his favorite person in the whole world in one of God’s greatest settings!
Forget the books, let’s play in the water! Daddy and the kids distracted.

Here is a list of some of the things the boys did to earn this patch!

Ranger Micah discovering one of the plants on the assignment book.

1.  Animal Bingo — there was a list of animals which were organized bingo-style on the booklet.  The boys had to try to find four in a row.  The hero of this challenge was Ty!  Because he’s so short, he was able to quickly spot our missing animal–a lizard!  He was really proud of that moment.  

2.  Clean Trash — I was really surprised to find so much litter on these grounds — especially cigarettes!  Each person had to collect five different types of litter.  Cheaters could go right around the trash bins and pick up the trash that people carelessly drop near the trash, instead of in the trash.  You’ll be proud to know that we searched for the trash in hard-to-reach places!

3.  Poop findings — one of the more interesting activities that we did was finding scat.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find nothing out of the ordinary.  It was mostly deer poop!

I don’t know who was more happy — the boys or the parents. They seem to be smiling because it’s all over.

4.  Draw a patch — each of us also had the opportunity to design and draw our very own Zion National Park patch.  Other parks did something similar — design a new park sign, etc.  It was a creative way to get the kids thinking about nature, and reflecting on the parts that are most meaningful to them about the park.

The Ramos-Namm Boys!
The ranger asking the boys questions about their adventure.


Life over the last ten years has been full of ups and downs.  We have experienced life’s most joyous events, we have encountered our most toughest challenges, and we have struggled together to weather our roughest storms. Our journey has taken us to the Upper Peninsula and back.  For three of those years, air travel around the world reached beyond 300,000 air miles.  Simultaneously, more than 150,000 miles were driven on our faithful Freestyle.  Manu enjoyed the luxuries of first class travel while visiting different parts of Europe and America.  And the three boys became men hitting a record 9 hours of driving without potty breaks! Our kids are growing too fast before our eyes.  Soon, they will be making memories outside of our tightly knit family circle.  For now, we have enjoyed every minute with them.  Well, almost every minute. If there is one lesson that 10 years has taught us, it is this: with all the ups and downs, and side-to-side adventures; we’d choose for ourselves the life that God has given us together.  We’d choose it a million times over.

A birthday party for Israel arranged by Judy during the dating years. Justin drove all the way to Ann Arbor from Berrien.
At the St. Louis, MO General Conference Session when we found out that we were having Manu. Seven horns coming out of Adam Ramdin’s head.
Our faithful car. As old as our oldest boy — still running like a champ! The car top carrier — one of our best investments.
Our beautiful home. Fall in the UP. Two of our three boys were born there and we consider ourselves Yoopers for life.
On vacation in Spain with the Iwankiw Family and Steph.
With Africa behind us!
Colors! In Spain.
At Steph and Jeff’s wedding. The only time Judy and Israel appeared in a wedding together.
A Fourth of July that we’ll never forget. At the Shin’s house hanging with Steph, Jeff, and Justin.
Visiting national parks.
One of our favorite pictures.
At Ministerial Meeting, Camp Au Sable.
Messing around in the Yoop!
Entering the culture of triathlon. Judy finishes top 10.
Family at home while Daddy travels. Great supporters.


Touching up Bonnie with some Ramos artwork before heading out to camp pitch
Pastors Rodlie and Ilko during one of our morning worships
Manu came to pitch with Daddy — took a picture of his handy work. He helped Uncle Steve and others build beds for the new cabins
Manu takes a picture of his friend Israel while they work together with Uncle Steve
Teaching Micah and bros how to be a man
Father’s Day
Manu’s class memorizing Bible passages. No one can beat this primary class. No one.
This is how we roll
Loved our set-up. Judy cooking Korean Ramen
During a conversation with Mark Finley, Assistant to the President of the General Conference — check out how he rolls!




The boy’s idea of gardening — making dirt balls.

With the help of Judy’s parents, we upgraded our garden.  For two days straight, we worked until we literally couldn’t move anymore.  We then took Sabbath off and worked again on Sunday.  We cleared trees, tilled some land, made dirt mounds, put up a fence, transplanted Judy’s mom’s plants, and helped the boys plant their own gardens.

All of the materials from the fence were Craig’s List finds. Putting it up made us stronger, wiser, and richer (saved us more than $500.00).

Several things motivated us to expand our garden.  First we wanted to the kids to have the experience for themselves.  That is why Judy assigned them each a lot to work.  Additionally, home-grown food tastes so much better.  Lastly, a cook is not worthy of the name unless they are able to restrict their culinary creations within the limits of what they grow.  Menu items include several variations korean dishes, especially a traditional soup that’s eaten in a cold broth.

Judy the architect mapping out how the garden is gonna look and function. Judy the engineer mapping out how it’s going to flow.

The action first started by expanding the garden we already had.  After delineating our boundaries, Judy’s dad began tilling the land by shovel!  Luckily, we were able to later borrow a tiller from the Boyce Family.  We tilled the lot with our friend Daniel about three times until the soil was super soft.

Mom’s transplanted lettuce.

Then, we ran a work bee with the Namm Family.  Dad and I put up the fence, cut down trees, and transported hay, mulch, and manure.  Mom transplanted lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers.  And Judy arranged the garden by heaping mounds of soil for the boys to plant.  She also mowed the grounds for the first time this season.

The boys love animals and were thrilled to have bunnies in our backyard. They took care of them each day until the bunnies moved out.

Here are some more pics of our adventure.

Micah working it out next to Mama while Israel and Dad put up the fence.
Manu, proud of a job well done.
Ty making his produce selection.
Ty working on his garden plot.
Micah and Ty working on the garden while Manu runs the lawn mower aka Ramos Tractor.

Baby Bunnies in Grace Orchard

This spring, we had the privilege of seeing baby bunnies grow over the course of a couple weeks.  A mama cottontail decided to have her babies in the worst possible place…in the middle of our lawn near our back deck.  Once we discovered the nest and the kits, we made sure Bentley & the cats weren’t let out unless supervised.  Shockingly, there were a couple times when Bentley ran right by the nest and couldn’t smell them!  We rarely saw the mama who only came to feed once or twice a day.  It was a special treat to see these cuties!

Baby Bunnies Video!


Thanks to a tip from our friend Amy and inspiration from the PBS series, “National Parks:  America’s Best Idea”, we embarked on a new and exciting adventure.  Our other good friends Daniel and Kerri recently introduced us to a Junior Ranger program that allows kids to explore these great places while learning how to care and protect America’s best properties.

Ty the Junior Ranger drawing a picture of his favorite place at Arches Park.

There are 58 national parks in America.  If you include all National Park Service properties, the number goes up to more than 380!  Our family goal is to visit as many national parks as we possibly can–hopefully hitting all 58 before the kids get to college.

The cool sand hill at the entrance of Arches.

With no time to lose, we began this new family adventure by going out west.  Most national parks are in California, Utah, and Colorado.  The largest one is in Alaska!  There is only one in Michigan.

A rest area in Iowa

It has been a long time since the Ramos-Lumbreras klan has had a family reunion.  With Mother’s Day approaching, we thought it was a good time to visit my mom.  Our road trip included the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado on day one.  Making so much headway on our first day, we took advantage by visiting Arches National Park.  Among so many other things, Arches is cool because it has a huge sand hill right by its entrance.  This means that energetic boys can wear themselves out by having tons of fun climbing up this very difficult natural playground.

Judy and I only made it up the hill once, while the boys enjoyed multiple trips to the top.  It is hard to believe that climbing up this hill of sand will go down as one of the most memorable things our family has done together.  I have never seen our boys so happy!  It also reminds me of the importance of spending as much time as possible with our growing children.  Before too long, they’ll be out of the house and Judy and I do not want to spend the remainder of our lives regretting all the things we could have done with them, but didn’t because we were too busy majoring in the minors.

Micah having fun at a gas station in Nebraska — shortly after this picture, we hit a crazy lightening storm as we drove through the state!

Road trips are awesome because you can stop whenever you want, wherever you want.  As long as  the pitstops are fun — with a quick game of tag at rest areas, or a some playtime at meals, the kids seem to enjoy the experience.  Our worship in the car consisted mostly of singing and singing and singing.  I will never forget this trip as long as I live.

Another cool thing about visiting national parks is being seeing other crazy families who do the same thing.  Some drive buses, others haul nice fifth-wheels, while others get nice hotels.  From high class to ghetto, part of the adventure is meeting others who have a similar vision.

This picture was taken at a gas stop in Moab. Notice the creative lock on the gas tank.

After this trip, we are convinced that there is no better way of spending vacation time than visiting national parks.  It is tons of fun, very educational, and the kids have an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our magnificent country and God’s awesome creation.  I cannot wait for our next family adventure to an American National Park.  Anyone game to join us?


In Virum Perfectum

Till we all come in the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the son of God.

Unto a perfect man

Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
Ephesians 4:13

To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient One, with the whole strength, and mind, and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being– the body, the mind, as well as the soul–the image of God is to be restored.”

Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty. More and more fully do we become partakers of the divine nature.