Friday, March 27, 2020

I cried last night. It's been awhile since I've shed that many tears. Last night's tears were not for me, but for my babies. Yesterday in a news conference, it was announced that schools would remain closed for the rest of the year. Something about online learning, blah, blah, blah — I stopped listening after I heard remain closed.

While I don't have a senior in high school, and honestly I can't imagine how they are feeling right now, I have a kindergartener and I feel like her first lasts were robbed from her. She doesn't know we aren't going back to school, yet. I also didn't let myself breakdown until all were in bed asleep. No need for them to see me cry when I'm sure they won't understand, and probably won't until they are much older.

You see Avery's class, well, I'd say 90% of them, have been together since starting at Westwood. Next year we all go our own direction — some repeating at public school due to birth dates, and some moving on to 1st grade. This bond they've had will be broken. And I thought I had two more months to prepare for this. All of us moms have always joked at the end of the year programs that we ball like little babies for the graduating class, and last year it set in that next year it would be our babies. We've been told we will still have a graduation, but it won't be the same.

This was Avery's first real year of school. And we have been blessed with so many wonderful teachers at our preschool, but Mrs. Kim holds a special place in our hearts. To see how far Avery has come in this school year is mind blowing. She LOVES school. And I consider that a gift passed down from Mrs. Kim. She will continue to send us lesson plans daily for us to teach our kids at home, but I'd give anything for Avery to be back in her class learning with her friends.

I know this is for the health and safety of our kids, but it doesn't seem real. As Mrs. Kim said last night, it feels like a TV show and we are watching it all unfold. I just wish it wasn't our reality. Our family is blessed beyond all measures that Lenley will be in Mrs. Kim's class next year. That is one little bit of hope I'm holding on to. I know she will be in great hands with her, and thankful that over 50% of her friends that she's been with will be back with her next year. We've had Mrs. Shannon for the past three years, twice with Avery in 3K & 4K, and Len with 4K. So it doesn't seem right that I won't be dropping a kid off in her class next year. Over those past three years Mrs. Shannon and I developed a great friendship and I'm so thankful for that!

As for Avery, we aren't sure what lies ahead for 1st grade. Is she ready? Absolutely. It doesn't matter if school is over for the year or she had another two months, Mrs. Kim has her prepared and I'm so thankful for that. The problem is — we aren't sure where she is going. We have options, but those options don't feel right. You know that mom gut feeling, well, that's what I have. We've had meetings with the church executive team and other parents who are praying and pushing for a 1st grade to be started at Westwood. All efforts and hearts seem like this is the right direction for our kids, especially Avery. For the first time all year, I had a peace about where she would attend school next year. Right now, I'm still not 100% sure 1st grade will happen. The last meeting was two days before quarantine. But my prayer remains, that our church will help us make it happen for the 20-21 school year.

I'm sure I'll still shed some tears over the next few months about this. And I know I'm not the only one going through this. So hang in there. Whether you are a parent or a student, we all feel your heartache. And for our precious teachers, know how much we love you. We know your year with our babies was cut short, and it wasn't to your liking either. Our kindergarten class will always be a family. And as soon as this quarantine and virus is at bay, we are going to party with our babies and give all the hugs — yeah, and probably cry some, too.  

My how my bucket list has changed!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

 When quarantine is over I can’t wait to...

eat chips with cheese dip and drink the biggest glass of sweet tea. Those Mexican restaurants really know how to make some amazing sweet tea. 
enjoy friends and family time! FaceTime, zoom, phone calls... they’re all nice to have, but I really miss hugs and company. 
take a trip somewhere, anywhere! Beach, mountains, state park, heck I’ll even settle for a hotel suite here in town. I just want a different scene. 
celebrate our eight year anniversary. I was sick on the day of our anniversary and then quarantine happened the next day. 
take the kids to the zoo, water park, we’ll even settle for a lunch at our favorite McAlisters at this point. 
see my little three year old friends at church. I’ve missed their funny stories and hugs. 
see how our city, state and country grows from this. 
tell any and everyone I know in healthcare what a rockstar they really are. 
go through the Chick-fil-a drive through for my favorite ice water on the planet!
take the family to an ice cream shoppe and get a brain freeze!

Homeschool Mom?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Just like many of you, our days and weeks for the past ten days have been interesting to say the least. The virus known as COVID-19 changed our daily lives, especially the lives of our children.

In two weeks the girls have gone from attending one of the best preschools in the state, to being homeschooled by, well, me. Ask all my friends, I've always said that I was not meant to be a homeschool mom. However, I've always said I'd never say never. (I learned that I long time ago because we've eaten our words thousands of times!)

One of my girls is in kindergarten and the other is in 4K. Their brains are little sponges right now, and honestly I just want to keep some normalcy in our lives. So we are having school every morning. Technically this week was supposed to be Spring break for them. It was going to be my Spring break, too. They were going to my parent's house and farm to have some fun, and I was going to get a much need break so I could spring clean, etc. But, alas, the COVID-19 quarantine happened.

We are still having a few minutes of school every morning. I'm talking thirty minutes to an hour. And this week we are taking time to go over things they've already learned this year. I honestly just want some routine for them, and me. We haven't been enforcing bedtime, and we do sleep in. I feel like we need it to keep our bodies well. So we make sure we are getting at least ten/eleven hours of sleep. I say we, but that does not include Terry. He is still going to work daily.

Avery has absolutely loved her kindergarten year with her friends and her amazing teacher, Mrs. Kim. She has taught my baby more than I could ever dream she would learn in such a small time. And I'm still hopeful we will get to go back to finish out the year, though I have my doubts just like many of you. I'm so thankful for her teacher sending out worksheets for us to print so we can keep on learning. Avery loves that what I have her working on is worksheets and pages that she would normally see at school. She wanted to keep her routine of having a snack after her first morning worksheet, and I let them listen to Storyline Online while they enjoy their snack. Lenley is not really liking "playing school" with mommy. She has a different love language than her sister, and honestly, I think this new routine is not her style. But, each day is getting a little better. I'm trying to figure out ways to keep her interested, and usually that doesn't mean giving her busy work. She likes to be engaged with me learning.

So these these days look a lot different than they did weeks ago. I can now add homeschool mom/teacher to my long list of duties being their mom. How long will we continue on this path, I'm not sure. I can say that God has definitely showed me that something that I thought I could "never" do, I can. His way is always best, and we will just have to trust Him and trust this process.

I ask that you pray for all of us parents and kiddos. Not only are we doing things we never thought we would be doing, but we are together 24/7. I'm sure other kids are like mine and missing their friends, teachers, playdates, extra curricular activities like dance and sports, and many other things. It's been ten days and nerves are shot — not just from being with each other every waking minute, but hearing news and health reports, too.

I'll leave you with this...
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

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