Tag Archives: school

We’re A Little Bit Of Everything.

Anna - school

This year, we made the decision to transition our kids to private school. Let me first say, our kids have thrived in public school, and they have been under the instruction of some amazing public school teachers. Our decision to make the change came out of discussions between Kris and I and then with our children. One of the greatest benefits we’ve seen so far (besides only having ONE carpool line a day…..can I hear a shout?) is that all three of our children have opportunities to catch a glimpse of each other throughout the day. Jett will fist bump John Henry every time he sees him. And, we LOVE that. Seriously. Cutest ever.

Having been in a public school environment most of their lives, they are having new experiences they haven’t been exposed to before (and, we LOVE that, too.) Yesterday, Anna gets in the car and first shares that she thinks she might be Pentecostal. But, she doesn’t know for sure…

Anna: “So, today in Bible we checked what denomination we belong to. You know how our church isn’t ‘normal’ and I didn’t know what to check. I remembered hearing Big Mama was Pentecostal a long time ago, so I just checked that.”

John Henry: “We don’t belong to any denomination, Anna. I checked that.”

Anna: “Mom has never told us WHAT we are.”

We actually consider ourselves inter-faith, embracing all denominations. You know….we love grace like the Baptists and missions like the Methodists. Kris prefers the “sprinkling” of the Presbyterians (you will not find him submerged), and now we love the Eucharist like the Episcopalians. The list could go on. Bottom line, we believe every denomination highlights a different and beautiful aspect of the Christian faith. We have never really labeled ourselves, other than “inter-faith” because of this. I’ve sort of taken my dad’s position to always put a comma by your thoughts, because we are forever growing and expanding. We tend to parent our children the same way allowing for freedom of thought and growth. The only thoughts we govern are the ones that surround this scripture:

37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

Love God, love others, and love yourself.

THEN, Anna proceeds to tell us about her communion experience. We have taken communion. I mean, come on. We are no stranger to the sacrament. We eat our styrofoam wafer and drink our white grape juice, so as not to stain the carpets. We’ve even taken communion as a family together at home, drinking wine from the same glass and breaking bread. Apparently, Anna approached the Episcopalian communion the same way.

“I went up and tried to grab the cup from them. They said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, trying to drink the wine.”

“We don’t drink. We dip,” they told me.

“So, with my bread in one hand, I dipped my opposite hand, my FINGER into the wine, and then I LICKED MY FINGER. They looked at me like I was crazy. By the time I got back to my seat I noticed I still had my bread in my hand. So, I ate it.”

Needless to say, yesterday’s carpool pick-up was THE BEST. I laughed, and I laughed. Then, I would think about it again and laugh. This is seriously going to be a fun year.

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His Last First Day.

 

I prayed over them both. I rubbed their backs. I nestled my fingers in their hair. I talked to them about the first day of school. I kissed their forehead. And before I left each bedroom I heard, “Mom, don't walk me into school tomorrow. It's a little embarrassing.”

 

I knew this day was coming. You're just never really ready.

 

Anna's first day of school clothes were displayed across her bed. Every single item new. Every single item very Anna Takle. She knows what she's doing. After all, she's the girl who stops me before I walk out the door with “You need a fashion check?” And, I'm the one who always bites the bullet and says yes.

 

John Henry, on the other hand, had older, a little more tattered clothes poured across his bed. I asked him why he wouldn't want to wear something newer. Something a bit nicer.

 

“Mom, you can't wear your best stuff the first day of school. You can't be the kid who starts off the school year with brand new clothes. I'll throw in some nice clothes randomly.”

 

And, somehow, I actually got it. He didn't want to look like he was trying so hard. I get it.

 

I also get them not wanting me to walk them in. Even if it's a BRAND NEW SCHOOL. Even if I went to bed and cried to Kris and made him relive with me every funny thing John Henry did from 10 months old to age 4.

 

Even if it's the last first day of John Henry's elementary school days.

 

I get it. As much as I love to relive Anna Takle as Super Girl. John Henry as a Buzz Lightyear. Anna yelling out “vuck” to her pre-school class for words that start with V. John Henry peeing on the dog, because, well, it's something to do. Anna telling me, “You're a monster!” John Henry touching home plate and running out to ask, “Did you see that, Mom?” The two of them together playing in mud puddles. Sliding downstairs on an air mattress. Laughing. Fighting. Forgiving. Loving.

 

Being small.

 

As much as I love these years. I know it's better that they grow. That they need me less.

 

Because the less they see their need for me, the more they'll see their need for Him. And, while I will sometimes fail them, He never will.

 

So, grow. Become strong. Become conscious of Who is within you. Become aware that you already have everything you need to do all God's called you to do. Because, HE is with you. Beside you. In front of you. Behind you.

 

WITHIN you.

And, when you need me…..

 

I'll come running.

 

 

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Turning the Other Cheek Isn’t So Easy On the Playground.

We try to make discipleship a part of life conversations in our house.  Sometimes, we see it playing out really well.  You know, we see them practicing forgiveness, being generous, and other awesome things the Bible teaches. 

Other times, we see we need to revisit a thing or ten.

Anna:  “Mom, remember the really mean second grade boy, Shane?  He saw me on the playground today and said, ‘Well, looky here.  It’s Little Miss Anna who’s about to get her butt kicked.’”

Me:  “What did you do?”

Anna:  “I told Mrs. Walker, and she said she was already on it.”

Me:  “Good.  You handled that well.”

Anna:  “And, then I went back up to Shane and said, ‘Well, looky there.  It’s Little Mr. Shane who’s about to get his butt kicked.”

Pretty sure the whole “bless those who curse you” talk didn’t exactly run through her cute little head at that moment.

 And, to be honest, part of me wants to revisit the topic.  But, the Momma Bear part of me?  Well, that part wants to teach her a few of my karate moves.  I feel confident that’s the discipleship route her daddy would take.

I’m just sayin’.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

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Somebody, Please Pass The Geritol.

Earrrrlllly yesterday morning, we had an ultrasound of baby numba three.  I have somehow been labeled a geriatric pregnancy patient, thankyousokindly, so ultrasounds abound galore.  The littlest Takle thought it fun to kick off of my uterus over and over again.  He or she is an energetic one.  I don’t think we make them any other way. 

Which leads me to the 4 year old Takle.  Big brother, self-appointed sheriff of the family, alerted me yesterday that Anna is hitting his first grade friends in carpool.  I called the school to speak with Anna’s teacher who told me she is perfectly fine in her class (sans the panty-less day, of course.)  She did, however, tell me that Anna likes to tell her friends, “My name is _____________” and then fabricate a new name.  Her friends just cackle and call her by her new name.  Anna’s teacher requested she simply go by Anna. 

We instructed Anna on such, and to please, for all that is holy, stop hitting John Henry’s friends.  Or else.  She complied although she was highly disappointed that she could no longer be called “Miley” or “Melly.”

On a sweeter note, Anna completed an “All About Me” poster.  One item read “I am special because ____________________,” and she had to fill in the blank.  I expected a “because God made me” response.  Instead, she finished the sentenced:

“I’m special because my brother protects me.”

He’ll certainly sell her out on hitting his friends.  Because, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.  But he stands with a ready sword to keep her safe.  Well, with a blue light saber for sure. 

Man, I love those kids.  All three of ‘em.

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Phone Calls You’re Never Quite Prepared For.

Our lives are already so full, I can hardly imagine what life will look like when our third makes his or her debut.  The school year has started off well.  I mean, reasonably well.  John Henry’s teacher let me know that he is doing well, staying on task, and working hard.  Anna has been quick to tell me she is being a princess and “didn’t spit at any of my friends.”  Um, that’s good.

I did receive a phone call, however, from her teacher yesterday informing me that she arrived at school wearing no underwear under.her.dress.  Zilch.  Nada.  At first, I blamed her father, and I assured her it wouldn’t happen again.  It was fortunate (and a relief) to hear a laugh or three out of her teacher.  So, now our morning routines will look something like this:

Lunches – check.

Backpacks – check.

Teeth brushed – check.

Vitamins – check.

Underwear – check.

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have dreamed of showing up at school without wearing underwear.  Mortified.  Not “unbothered” by it (to quote Anna’s teacher) like my four year old.  Of course, this dream was hardly as nightmarish as the time I dreamed the Incredible Hulk was chasing me in the church parking lot. 

For real.

Sometimes, I sit back and wonder how my mother felt at times raising a daughter.  Was she horrified when I used the display toilet at Cook’s department store in my hometown?  Was she embarrassed when she carried me out of church to spank me while I yelled to the congregation “PRAY!” and held onto the sanctuary doors for dear life?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say yes. 

Oh, the laws of reaping and sowing. 

“When you have children yourself, you begin to understand what you owe your parents.”  — Japanese Proverb

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First Day For A First-Grader And A Princess.

First day school 1

First day of school. 

My first grader didn’t want me to walk him to his class.

But I did.

First day school 3

My pre-schooler didn’t want me to walk her to her class.

Whatev’.

First day school 2

She also requested that I braid half of her hair on one side of her head while the other side of her hair rests on her shoulders.

Not today.

Perhaps, tomorrow, Miss Banana. 

I had every intention in doing some deep cleaning and organization yesterday after dropping the kids off at school.  I made the mistake of sitting down to rest for a moment.

A moment that turned into a few or a hundred.

They both had a great first day.  Anna told me, “I didn’t do any bad stuff or say any bad words.”  She had documentation to prove it.  She smiled and gave me a certificate that announced, “Here Ye!  Here Ye!  The Royal Courts Declare Anna Takle was a Princess in Preschool Today!”

And, that, my friends, equals a successful day.

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What I’m Praying This School Year.

JH - 2004

Dear John Henry,

You begin first grade today.  I can hardly believe it.  Really, I can’t.  If it weren’t for the fact you’ve lost four teeth, grown another inch, and expanded your vocabulary, I’d swear you are still the little boy in this picture mesmerized by airplanes. 

Airplanes don’t capture your attention the way they used to.  I’m sure it’s due to the constant exposure and your Daddy Kris being a pilot.  Although, I know you still think that being a pilot is cool.  You do, right?

It’s okay if airplanes and other things begin to fade from your interest list.  What’s important is that your pursuit of Christ doesn’t fade.  That being in relationship with your Creator never grows stale.  Never gets old.

That He always captures your attention.

I prayed the usual prayer I always pray over you last night.  But, just before I said, “Amen,” I prayed something new for you.

I prayed you would begin to hear God’s voice

You know that feeling you sometimes get to make a good choice instead of a bad choice?  Or that feeling you sometimes get to give one of your toys to a friend?  Or that feeling you sometimes get to pray for someone?  That’s kind of what God’s voice sounds like at times.

I’m praying that His voice becomes clearer and clearer to you. 

Familiar.

Comfortable.

Natural.

That’s what I’m praying for you this school year. 

I can’t wait to hear what God tells you.  I know He will tell you what I tell you so often:

I love you, son.

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