Kendrick, three years ago today, you entered my world and changed me forever. I love the cuddles you give me in the morning and the wake up calls flinging open the curtains of "the sun is up!" The unsolicited statements of "I love you to bifinity and beyond" are heart melting.
You are a copy cat and love your brother dearly, but when you do it, it is even more funny than your brother. I am certain that your love of writing utentils will one day be harnessed in the right direction instead of the walls and I look forward to unleashing that creativity. Your imaginary world is filled with monster trucks, dump trucks and race cars.
This year you accomplished so much--your vocabulary has expanded exponentially in a matter of months and you decided this month that it was time to wear big boy underware. Now if only you can conquer the thumb sucking. You have a love of numbers and can count to 13 without skipping a beat.
You are a bull in a china shop, so very physical. There is a new bump, bruise or scrape everyday. I am concerned more and more for your safety after the toe incident this year. But, you have a joy and enthusiasm for life--to take it all in without holding back.
You are independent and stubborn but in the same moment dependent and concerned for others. You feel deeply and are extremely curious.
Your sideways smile, double dimples and big blue eyes are all I need to make my world right. I can't wait to see what God has in store for your life.
This year I have answered God's calling of being a BSF children's leader. As a former teacher, I had been asking God for some sort of outlet for me. This was not the plan I expected, but I believe he has great plans in store for me. Plans to grow my own faith, as well as to share my faith with little ones. I was/am apprehensive about the commitment and work to be done, especially in the fact that we are studying Isaiah this year. Have you read chapters 1-39?
**BSF Spoiler Alert**
If you are taking the class next year, here is either a preview or a warning, if you'd rather be surprised...
The main teaching for the children is done through story telling and it is to be memorized. So, as I was reading Isaiah this summer, I just kept worndering, "how am I going to tell this through captivating story telling?" Well, let's rephrase, "how is God going to tell this story?"
Today, I received my teacher's manual and began skimming through the lessons and was relieved. There are some great storied included other than just Isaiah: Jesus' birth, Walls of Jericho, Jonah, the birth of Samson, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Saul, Moses' "Let My People Go," Paul and Silas in jail, Jesus' sacrifice, Jesus and Peter. Along with these stories there are many from Isaiah that lend themselves more to story telling as well as just more explaining the words God gave Isaiah and what they mean for us. So, for now as long as God can help me memorize (which I do not doubt), I am feeling a bit more confident.
As for the music side of my job, I am jumping for joy! Out of the 18 songs I will be teaching, I know all but 6 of the tunes. And, of the ones I don't know they have a very melodic line, easy to memorize and teach.
I still don't know which age group I'll have, but I am confident God will put me where I am needed and can contribute the most.
I am looking forward to this new experience and also taking Kendrick through the walk with me.
We awoke about 6:15 with showers and began the morning ritual. Cavett asked for biscuits, so Dad obliged and even cut them in the shape of apples. Everything went smoothly and a big thanks goes out to aunt Amber for coming over to watch Kendrick.
Cavett was a bit bleary-eyed when he woke up, but quickly became excited and a tiny bit unsure all at the same time. Backpack was loaded. Pictures were taken on the front porch and off we went. Traffic was fine and not what I expected. We said our good-byes and dropped him off. No problems, worries or tears on either side. He sat right down wide-eyed with the look of "teach me!"
It's going to be a great day!
As it turns out, after I waited 30 minutes in the car rider line, I picked him up and this was what I gathered from our conversation and his day.
#1- He didn't get to play 4 square or hop-scotch.
#2- He learned about the rules today. There will be lots of rules at the beginning and a few in the middle and less at the end.
#3- Music was the favorite and he got to write his name on the really cool, new-fangled digital "overhead projector."
#4- He made one friend, but can't remember his name.
#5- He couldn't find the snack I sent him in his backpack.
Still a good day with a great report on behavior. Let's hope this keeps up. I know the teachers have to establish rules and bounderies, but I'm ready to dig into the learning. Bring on the homework! I know, I know.... I'll be dreading it later on.
Thought some of you out there might want to steal my latest idea. So, I thought I'd share. In a couple of weeks I will have to be making 9 to 11 lunches a week. I needed a way to get organized and keep things balanced. I made up a chart for each kid with 4 categories of food. (Yeah, I can't seem to get veggies going at school.) This way I'm not waiting on them to make decisions groggy-eyed in the morning.
This afternoon I went over the categories with Cavett and we made some choices. Our chart is full and the lunch box ready to go. And, speaking of lunch boxes, here is our favorite. It's from Laptop Lunches. They are way cool and save a ton of money and the environment from plastic bags. They also come with a great recipe book, if only I could get the boys to try some of them....
Stephen drove down to Houston for the day for business, so I decided to make my last free weekday with both of my boys packed with tons of fun! Here's the short list:
Balloons and a run through banner.
A Dance Party in your underware.
Animatronic Ice Age Mammals at the Heard Museum.
Bowling with Kendrick making a strike and a spare!
The movie, Nanny McPhee Returns-a combo of Mary Poppins, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Charlotte's Web and the Sound of Music.
Watching them devour two tubs of popcorn for dinner. Ok, so maybe I helped.
The amzing thing was that besides the movie, everything was minimal for cost. We are members at the Heard Museum (which for you Shreveporters has reciprocal membership at Sci-Port.) And we found out there is a summer bowling program for kids where all you have to pay for is the shoes--Kidsbowlfree.org. Unfortunately, I found it so late in the season, this is only the second time to utilize it. Hopefully, they will do it again next summer.
It was a great day of quality time. I think I spoiled them enough (something I rarely do) and sufficiently wore them out. Heck, I'm worn out!
Tonight was Cavett's "Meet the Teacher Night" at his new school, Cheatham Elementary. It is a brand new school so it was extremely exciting for everyone there. Following the ribbon cutting we headed straight for his new classroom, to find it was the first one we came to-- Room 135 with Mrs. Love. From first impressions, she is a young, energetic teacher and looks like she will help Cavett have the best year ever!
Mrs. Love and Cavett
We distributed his supplies into their bins, filled out paperwork, and looked around the classroom. We then ventured out to find the art room, science lab, music room, computer lab, gym and cafeteria. It's a beautiful, state of the art, extremely large school--K-6th grade. But, I think it will be fine, and if we stay in Allen ISD, we better get used to LARGE. Did you know the Allen High School Band has 600+ members?
Mrs. Gibson, the Music Teacher
At the end, the emotions were this: Cavett didn't want to leave and we had to go say bye to his teacher one more time, and for me, I wanted to do Kindergarten all over again and join him. We are both looking forward to Monday morning. There maybe tears, but they will be of joy because I am overwhelmed with excitement for him.
Today's fun was bright and early before the alarm clocks this morning when we were awoken by the cement pourer over our back yard fence we bounded into the kitchen and saw the sun just start to peep through the slats in the fence. As we continued watching we were intrigued by the shadows on the wall and making our own. There's nothing like a sweet silhouette. Of course, the boys had other ideas like a three nosed man, rabbits and dogs.
Today in the pool, we needed a new game and since Kendrick needs help reinforcing colors and they are into knock-knock jokes, I decided on "Colored Eggs." Remember this one? It goes like this...
Wolf: Knock, knock.
Kids in pool: Who's there?
Wolf: Big Bad Wolf
K: What do you want?
W: Colored Eggs
K: What color?
Each kids has a color in mind and when the wolf calls out your color you swim to the other side of the pool hoping not not get caught by the wolf.
They eventually got the script using funny voices and had good fun. Although, Kendrick at first kept telling the wolf his color. We also gave Cavett a handicap against Kendrick and made him wait until Kendrick was halfway across the pool.
We begin today the count down of "Back-to-School." I found this idea in the 2009 August issue of Family Fun Magazine and thought we'd try it out. Each day Cavett has a little surprise to open. It's mainly school supplies for his desk here at home--pencils, erasers, pencil box, markers, dry erase lined writing board, etc.
We began the early bed times last night and also added in the alarm clock this morning.
It's bittersweet. He's growing up, but this also means I am growing up too. With more responsibility for him, comes more outward, public responsibility for which I am "graded"--meaning no heading out of town every Thursday for the weekend, getting up earlier and having lunches made everyday, making sure he has all his homework done.
It will all be good for him, as well as me. Just as Judah took on the responsibility and asked his father to take Benjamin to Egypt to see Joseph, God has given me this privilage and I will take my sons on this journey into the big picture of life and be responsible for them both.
It is time and we are ready.
Then Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy along with me and we will go at once... I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. Gen. 43: 8-9
The good: Today Cavett completed his masterpiece book he's been working on all summer long. We took the Psalty the Songbook Song "I'm Gonna Hide God's Word in My Heart," and illustrated it. It was great fun and a learning experience delving into figuring out what all those verses really mean. You can get a good preview from the above demo and even order your own copy if you are interested.
The bad: Sunday School today was a disaster. Somewhere in the course of the class there was discussion of Santa Claus. How this even happens, I'm only guessing that it went something like, "Are y'all ready for school to start"...Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. It's all "He said, She said", but here's what I learned from a conversation with the teacher afterwards.
Cavett proceeds to tell the class of first graders and Kindergartners that there is no Santa Claus and that it's really the Mommy's and Daddy's that get up in the middle of the night and give you the presents. While he has it right, he was chastised for his beliefs and the teacher was disappointed that he had ruined it for her daughter that was in the class as well as everyone else. Turns out these might be fairly tough kids and they took him on for a 15 minute debate. The teacher was in the end empathetic toward Cavett in that she seemed to think that he took it very personally and felt that no one was listening to him. But, she also emphasized the fact that we needed to have a lengthy discussion about how we need to teach him that we shouldn't ruin it for other kids (which I thought we had covered already.)
I kind of feel bad, but at the same time, not really. It's such a convoluted subject. The very idea of Santa Claus is well and good in that he was a man that cared more for others than himself, but what we have turned him into and how commercialized the entire season is disgusting.
How can we have our kids believe that Santa Claus is still around today doing this for kids, and later in life turn around and say it is false. It's just the opposite of what we want our kids to believe about our Saviour! Not to mention the fact that Santa Claus isn't at all fair, in that poor kids don't get what the rich kids get.
Shouldn't we stand up for what we believe, especially in church? Call me Scrooge, but I'd rather see my children singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus," and being thankful for what God has provided our family with and sharing with others than making out wish lists, bribing them to be on the "good list" for one month a year and gloating over all that "Santa" brought them. I wish to instill a love of their Lord and celebrate his birth rather than focus on the commercialism of Christmas.
This is the my main job as a parent-lead them spiritually.
Don't get me wrong, it's all fine if YOU want to do it, and we still enjoy some of the "fun" of the Advent season. But this is how we roll. I'm very sorry if my child spoiled it for your child and you have to answer some tough questions to keep them believing until they are 21. But try emphasizing that all things come from God, no matter who gives them to you.