Tag Archives: school

1,000 years

Here I am again. Back to sending off a kindergartener, one of my boys who will never be home all day with me again. Perhaps you remember this post from 3 years ago…

I really, really, really didn’t think I would be emotional this time, and honestly I’m not (well, mostly:) ). However, I decided to go in and look at Elliott after he went to sleep on Kindergarten Eve like I did with Trevor. All these images of him flooded my memory like that Father of the Bride scene (which, by the way, my dad swears he still sees when he looks at my sisters and me. :) ) I remember when Elliott was three and I would say, “you’re my boy Elliott!” and he would reply, “you’re my girl Mommy!” I thought about all the times when he all out punches and attacks Michael when he pretends to “get” me. Elliott is my defender, my Knight in shining armor, my true little superhero. He’s passionate, which when he is angry means he is my little ticking time bomb. But I love that about Elliott, and I know God will shape that passion into great things for his future.

There is something bittersweet about Kindergarten. Elliott is an old five- he turns six in a couple weeks, so he and I both have been ready for Kindergarten for a while now. :) But as excited as we both are, there’s still a heart wrenching ache knowing that this is it. He never again will be home with me all day every day. I nurtured him, prepared him, taught him, and helped him grow for nearly six years, and now I send him off with a piece of me.

I am so thankful for the three souls I have been given to nurture. And in all honesty, I find that THEY nurture MY soul. They have made me less selfish. They have made me learn to embrace God’s plan for life instead of my own. They have taught me that life is designed to move along, not stand still, but to run with joy in each new step.

Whenever the song, A Thousand Years, comes on I tell the boys, “This is my song to you! I have loved you for 1,000 years!” To which Trevor replies, “Mom, you haven’t lived 1,000 years.” :)

But it’s true. The love I have for them gives me even just a glimpse of God’s great love for me. It feels like there was no beginning to it and there will be no end.

So here’s to you my Elliott, my kindergartener, my middle medium boy- may you know God’s love deeply and convey His love to others. May you be a light on a lamp stand, and the salt of the earth bringing out the God flavors of this world.

I have loved you for 1,000 years and will love you for 1,000 more. :)

 

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P.S.  These videos might be the death of me someday.  Two computers, 1,000 cables, and my blog host helping me with server issues later- video is up. This is where my stubborn determinedness comes in handy! Plus, it means so much to Christina who kept asking me when I’d have a video made.  Just kidding, I love the finished product too :)

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the winds are changing

The winds are changing, but I’m not exactly sure where yet!  My mind is racing, and I’ve had many failed blog attempts in the past few months.  I just don’t know what to say! :)

My heart is stirring.  It has been for a while now.  I’ve been in the restless-what-is-the-next-step-for-me stage for about the past year.  My kids are getting older.  Two will be in school full time next year.  I feel the season of change winds blowing! :)

I say this time and time again, but my passion is children.  I love their open hearts and vividness in life.  I appreciate that they say it like it is and they aren’t hardened by the world yet.  I feel like I have appointed myself as their advocate in many ways and I make it my chief mission to make sure adults don’t “snuff out their joy”- (I always say that too)

I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, and I knew I liked children back then, but I had no idea all God would do in my heart later in life.  About five years ago, God began showing me His love for people “not like me”, mostly spurred on by Scott Hodge at The Orchard (see: Not Simply Heart Tuggings…) my passion became Aurora children (I’m still intensely passionate for all children though, I just want to make that clear!)

Long story short, I’m learning Spanish, getting my Masters in Teaching in the Fall, and pursuing my Bilingual/ESL certification!  I can’t wait.

I started journaling earlier this year at the suggestion of Larry Boatright, and I must say its rather therapeutic.  I love to go back and see what I’ve written to God and how He has answered and where He has been silent.  I thought I’d share this little excerpt with you…I’ve covered up some things I’m not ready to share yet, but you get the gist. :)  I’m just trying to take one step at a time (a MAJOR area I need to grow in if you know me at all…)

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Another year

Thanks to our friend Pamm Taylor, we had Trevor’s hands and feet casted when he was three months old.  We found them in one of our “memory” bins and all loved comparing the hand sizes.  I couldn’t help but shed a little tear!

Then I stumbled across this little gem in Trevor’s school journal from Kindergarten.  What a privilege it is to be these three boys’ mother, and I am thankful for the treasured relationship with each.  (I’m praying we are always close friends…I promise often that I will be a rockin’ mother-in-law to their wives!! :) )

Another August, another year of school.  This year we sent TWO off to school!

Our star first grader!

Our super preschooler!

Someone once said to me, “The hours seem so long, but the years go so fast”, and I couldn’t agree more.  Mothering my three boys has been the most challenging, rewarding, draining, amazing, frustrating, heart filling job God has given me.  It daily brings me back to my knees realizing I can only do it through God’s enabling (and my husband’s support).  The minutes of the day at this season of life may be exhausting most days, but I strive to do it with joy and humility because before I know it, they will be gone.

 

A first grading we will go

Trevor had a folder he took two and from Kindergarten every day this year that carried all his work and correspondence to/from his teacher.  We started with a shiny bright folder.

This is what he brought home his last day.

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I had a little laugh when I saw this.  But as I continued to work through the pile of school paraphernalia, I came across this:

And my heart had a little tug on it.  Remember this post?  My initial thought was, uh oh.  But then as I kept staring at the title of the folder, a flood of memories of this past year came rushing over me.  I thought of how God has strengthened Trevor to be bold and independent and truly flourish in school.  I remembered one time when I was helping in his classroom, I watched Trevor as a quick, confident, funny little boy interacting with his teacher and peers and I thought, “Wow, this is my son!”  I was in awe of how God has really blossomed him and carried him through his first year of school.  Sure, Michael and I encourage him at home, but who he was when I was watching him in class that day was all God.

It wasn’t until I looked at this yellow pocket folder until I put that all together.  A reminder from God that He alone carries Trevor, He is with Trevor, and He already knows what is ahead for Trevor.

So to first grade we go.

I already know

“One of the hardest parts of being a mother or a mentor is watching our children face a battle we can’t fight for them. If God is going to raise our children to be mighty warriors of the faith, He must be free to teach them to fight . As hard as the process can be to watch, how can a person experience the exhilaration of victory in a battle they never had to fight?”
-Beth Moore

Trevor turned 5 this month!  Along with age 5 comes the beginning of school.  Now I must say, as we approached the first day of kindergarten and as I read without much emotion all the Facebook status changes about going back to school, I thought to myself man, I’m so strong!  I figured this day would come and go and I would be unscathed.  Maybe because of the draining week of constant redirection and discipline that filled our daily routine, I don’t know, but I really wasn’t feeling much about the start of school.

For the past week or so, this song has been playing over and over in my head.  I really love the words, and I felt God speaking to me.  I thought I identified with it, that God was reiterating the promise that He would never leave me.  It was nice…

I Already Know by Mandi Mapes

I'm closer than you can see
My love is greater than you know
Feel the weight of my mercy
My arms are open

I already know who's gonna save you
I already wrote the end of the story
You were made for me and I'll never leave you
and in the end it's all for my glory

Your life is my melody
Part a song that I am singing
in the dark it's hard to see
but there will be redemption in the morning.

Cling to me and wait
As I cover you with my garments
Can't you see you are my clay
and I'm the potter and you're carryin' my fingerprints

I already know who's gonna save you
I already wrote the end of the story
You were made for me and I'll never leave you
and in the end you will be happy
and in the end you will be with me
and in the end it's all for my glory

Last night, or Kindergarten Eve, I was walking in our loft and my eye caught a picture on the wall.  It’s a close up of Trevor’s profile, at age 2, and all our family and friends had written him notes of love and encouragement on the mat surrounding it. His little face was a chubbier, much younger version than I see today, but he had the same joy in his eyes.  I’ve been with him every day of his life for the past 5 years, so these little changes aren’t as noticeable to me.  But pictures don’t lie, and as I studied his obvious physical changes I couldn’t help but think of all the fond memories we have together.  I’ve been Trevor’s primary caretaker, protector, defender, trainer, affection-giver, praiser, everything- every day for 5 years.  And now I pass some of him on…to teachers, administrators, coaches, and peers.  He’s never again going to be home with just me all day long.  This is it.

As that began to overwhelm my heart, I walked into Trevor’s room.  As he slept peacefully, he seemed so much longer than I remember.  His features seemed so much more boy like than baby like.  His hands were stronger and he even smelled more boyish than before.  I started to run my fingers through his long shaggy teen boy like hair and the floodgates opened.

Somewhere during the snot flying and tears pooling on the bedsheets, I felt two strong arms embrace me.  “You’re a good mom”, Michael said.  No greater words could have been spoken to me at that time.  Having Michael hold me, and just let me cry did wonders for my soul.  In that moment I  thought about how Michael and I were the foundation of this family, it was just us in the beginning and it will be just us in the end.  We nurture our children for a short time, but in time they will go off to be foundations of their own families.  And just Michael and I remain.  Deep for just the night before Kindergarten I know, but I felt God needing to remind my heart of how important my relationship with Michael is and how I need to keep that of upmost importance.  Because he and I remain…

As I cleaned up the remains from my cry fest, I thought of my song again.  And it hit me- this isn’t for me, this is for Trevor!  God has kept this running through my head to be ready to impart His promise that He carries Trevor, that He is with Trevor, and that “Jenni, I already know what is ahead for Trevor!”   It was perfect.  Of course after this revelation more tears ensued, but I felt God holding my heart and His peace covering my mind.  He already wrote the end of the story, He made Trevor for His pleasure, He’ll never leave him…and in the end it’s all for His glory.

So I release him to you God.  I trust that, somehow, You love him even more than I do and even more wholly than I do.  Thank you for the gift of his life and for choosing me to mother him.  Thank you that Your ways are higher than my ways, Your thoughts higher than my thoughts, and that You are SO much bigger than me.

I love you Trevor, Happy 5th Birthday.  I’m so proud of all that you are.

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My first Mother’s Tea

I remember putting on a special Mother’s Day program at school for my own mom, and yesterday I got to be on the receiving end for the first time.  I was absolutely thrilled!  Trevor made me an invitation with a tea bag attached that read:

Here’s a gift for you to say

I’ll try my best in every way,

But when you’ve had your fill of me,

Relax and have a cup of tea!

He told me brothers were invited too. :)

All the kids made special table runners for their tables/chairs and all the moms sat while they served us tea and punch.  Then they sang, and we enjoyed cookies that they all made together (SPRINKLES galore, as you can imagine! :) )  One of Trevor’s teachers told me she thought all the sprinkles were going to start a fire in the oven there were so many!

I just loved this- I know I keep saying that, but I really did!  To see my son so excited to do something nice for me does a Mom’s heart proud.  All the sleepless nights, public tantrums, talking back, not to mention the forever change to my body from having my boys- ALL of is completely worth it.  Our mother/son love is irreplaceable and unbreakable. :)

Here is a video of the singing!! :) Mother’s Tea

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Trevor wrote his name on his artwork!

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Trevor’s teachers

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My beautiful, beautiful window decoration Trevor made for me with dried flowers.  LOVE it! :)