Challenged By Change

I remember becoming emotionally challenged with continuing to make the decision to walk out of my house everyday, knowing I wouldn’t be home until evening.

I remember becoming emotionally challenged with continuing to make the decision to walk out of my house everyday, knowing I wouldn’t be home until evening.

Which eventually led me to leave “corporate America“. Specifically, I felt challenged to be with my youngest, since the others were in school.

Realistically Speaking

The reality was, I’d still have to find a way to make ends meet financially. My husband was abundantly clear on this!

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All I knew was, my heart was aching to be with them. All the other stuff,was going to take some time to figure out. Before I left my job, my mom had been staying with us, and helping watch her newest grandchild.

Entertaining the idea of our baby going to daycare, was never even a thought! I mean, I didn’t even take her to childcare at church, so c’mon…

Well, Uh…You See

The primary reason was, I got little bonding time in with her before I’d have to go back to work. There wasn’t another second I was willing to miss!

It’s not like anything was lacking with my other three kids, before she was born, to make me not want to be there for them. Actually, I’d been feeling this stirring for a few years.

Challenged to Mature

The life I had when they were younger, when my maturity level was still growing, was completely different. My love for them was just as overwhelming; the biggest difference was that I had been changing.

Knowing the youngest was my last time to be a mommy, made my protectiveness go in overdrive. I had to guard this blessing, and cherish the moments I had.

There’s No Stopping Her Now

Like children tend to, she grew quickly. And now, with the time we had, we were developing an even stronger connection.

When her 4th birthday was rolling around, it began seeming like I heard about pre-k everywhere. Only one of my other kids had gone, but they had all been in daycare.

As I began to learn more about pre-k, I began having a realization, too. My child was in desperate need of other kids to interact with!

All In the Family

Though my mother-in-law was operating a home daycare – which we’d utilize here and there – it didn’t work out to go on a regular basis. We sure did hear our girl tell us about the fun she had, a bazillion times or so, though!

Unfortunately, we were locationally challenged regarding this.

So I made a decision to start looking into what I’d need to do to get her into pre-k! At exactly the same time school was starting.

Challenged By Running a Business

We were barely qualifying, come to find out, because families were requiring being under a certain income for acceptance. Luckily though, I had just began my real estate business.

This came after a couple of other failures attempting to operate different “home businesses”, but it was a “perfect ending”, because I love my career in real estate! I still was able to office from home, accommodating my desire to be with the kids.


So, because I was starting my business, our taxes also was showing our income where it was needing to be, allowing us to proceed registering her for pre-k!

I wasn’t realizing that all elementary schools weren’t offering this, so she’d have to attend the nearest one. The location wasn’t far at all, and I was happy to find out it was a newer school!

We were finally able to get her in just a week late, once all the paperwork was complete.

It was a little rough transitioning her into a whole new experience. She was adjusting to the changes – teachers, “structure” (eh in pre-k, they do what they can).

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After the first week though, she was loving it! The kids were a big part of that, but the teachers were also great.

Progress, Not Perfection

She’d still struggle with days they’d do something different from the regular schedule, like: picture day, substitute teachers, etc. The teachers were brilliant in how they’d calm her anxiety, like bringing her favorite color play-dough to the cafeteria, while waiting for their pictures to be taken.

About halfway through, her teacher came to me, suggesting we establish a meeting with a lady in the speech department. She felt like our girl might need some help communicating.

Socially Challenged

She was able to use words fine; it was her social skills that were lacking. On another note, I was noticing her improvement in many areas, which I’d see by her spelling out everybody’s names or trying to not “scribble-scrabble” while coloring.

I’d love seeing the awesome ways she was progressing! It was quite a thrill, being able to witness a great experience take place for our girl in school.

Preparing For Kinder

In the areas needing improvement, we were chalking it up to her being younger and this being her first time in a group setting. Her birthday falls on the 31st; the cutoff to be four to start pre-k, was on the 1st, so she was the youngest.

The 1st day of Kindergarten

By the end of that year, she was definitely coming around though; enough to get the thumbs up from her teacher. She was ready for Kindergarten!

Summer, Summer, Summertime

That summer, while waiting for the school-year to start, I’d find it nerve-wracking thinking of my “baby” being at a new school. At least it was going to be the same school for the next six years, though.

I’d also get nervous about her going for full days now, and being with a new teacher. Daily, I’d pray for God’s hand being over these things.

The first week of Kinder, celebrating my girl’s 5th birthday with her teacher

I’d always make sure to put on my face of excitement though, when she’d start gushing about school. Then “meet the teacher” night finally came – and that’s when her nerves began kicking in.

All for Nothing

Thankfully, it wasn’t necessary though!

I had been preparing backups, just in case. In case..we felt our daughter was being overwhelmingly challenged.

“Well, if it doesn’t work, I can always try home-schooling her.”
This was an option I had come up with…Except she was as receptive to learning from me, as an Aggie is a “tea sipper”!


The main roadblock though? That part about needing kids to interact with!

Another backup I’d thought of: “I could always look at Montessori schools, for her to have more one-on-one attention.”

Then, I’d remember, money was the issue here. The financial issue wasn’t an easy one to overcome right now.

Thankfully, again..this was all shown to be a completely empty line of reasoning!

“Giving it the old college try” might be what I was telling myself in the beginning, albeit not very convincingly, but let’s be honest – I was preparing for the worst. Instead, I should’ve been waiting expectantly for God to answer my prayers, because it’s exactly what He did.

Chalking it up completely to His blessings, the teacher she got was an absolute dream!

Just A Girl and Her Teacher

There’s no better gift a mother could receive, than the one I got in my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. From the very first moment they met, there was a connection!

Day in, day out, I got to watch this teacher lavishing pure love and excitement on the kids. Then..came the second week of Kindergarten.

Luck of the Draw

The second week, a letter got sent home telling me that my daughter was part of this random selection the principal did, and they were wanting to move her into a different class, to balance the amount of students in the rooms. As I read this letter, my heart began quickly sinking, thinking this challenged us more than I could imagine.

I put a call in to our principal, bringing up my concerns, which was that our daughter had already found an attachment with this teacher! She began asking me if I’d reconsider, and telling me the other Kinder teachers were just as wonderful.

She also told me she’d be happy to talk some more the next evening, at parent night, which I was planning on attending.

Asking for Clarity

Immediately, I began to pray about it, even mentioning it to my daughter, which was instantly shot down. Then I met with her teacher – her current teacher, that my girl had already given her heart to.

I told her about what was going on, and she graciously paid praise to the other Kindergarten teachers; then she told me that I – in no way – had to agree with this. I already knew this, of course, but her acknowledging my feelings brought tears to my eyes!

I’m THAT Mom

I never want to be thought of as the parent unwilling to cooperate with the school, but NOTHING about this sat well with me.

During our conversation, I told my daughter’s teacher she was exactly who we’d been praying for all summer. And what a blessing it was, to be able and feel confident about her care, as I left each day.

She told me I was going to make her cry, which wouldn’t be the only time I’d hear her say this!

I spoke with the principal that evening, giving her my decision – and you know what? I couldn’t be any happier about it..trusting my instincts.

Throughout Kindergarten, her teacher set up many meetings with me (that’d end up being a good hour or so, with all our jibber-jabber) to go over my daughter’s progress, and tell me to work on certain things. There was a lot of appreciation felt for her openness!

She Gets Me

What it really came down to was, I felt – through an unspoken communication – that she could see the hope in my eyes – for my girl’s success. I also got to be her room mom, assisting with things she was needing: parent communication, making copies of papers (I even got a lesson on laminating!) and helping plan classroom parties.

Our talks would be about how she could identify with our daughter, being the “baby” of the class, because she also was an August baby – amongst other topics. She just had a way of bringing peace!

Lasting Impression

We think about her all the time – during summer (after Kinder), and now, in first grade. Though my daughter’s new class is just right down the hall and we still stop for hugs or a wave, we don’t get to see her nearly as much.

My daughter’s heart still bursts with love for her precious teacher though, and words couldn’t do it justice. It’s the actions…I see it in how she spots her across the hall, when we’re on the way to her new class, and then quietly whispers her name with a little grin.

Then there’s the times we’re walking in, and she picks a flower for me and after pausing a second, turns and grabs one more for the other woman who holds a piece of her heart. That’s when I see the love bursting from her..and secretly, my love kinda does, too.

She’s a once-in-a-lifetime teacher, going well over any job requirement, sent to be the angel that we were needing. Though I pray we cross paths with many more great teachers on this journey, my heart tells me, that she was always meant to start this new season for us: a mom, struggling to let go; and a boundary-pushing, spitfire of an August “baby”, just learning to spread her wings.

And So It Goes

Currently, we continue being challenged in our blessings on this parenting quest – with a first grader, a sophomore, a newly-married college student and our oldest, who’s figuring out life on her own journey!

Though they’re never really on their own, are they, moms? We sit back, quietly watching, repeatedly praying, smiling, crying…

Because it’s what we do. Our babies will be okay, as they learn to overcome what their challenged with! And when they need us – they don’t have very far to look.

Tell me about what you’ve done, as your family’s been challenged by whatever life’s throwing at you. Do you have experiences with your own little boundary-pushers?

I appreciate that you’ve taken time joining me on this ride. The subscribe info’s below, if you’d like notifications of my future posts!

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Thank you for reading. God bless! XOXO

“It’s Ok. She’s Ok.”

What runs through your mind when you hear, and then see, terror has struck where your child plays? Well, I got to find out exactly what earlier this morning!

Once again…I’ve been reminded of God’s grace, His provision and of my lacking the knowledge that He has. Why do things happen the way they do? To one person and not another? I don’t know. But He does. And that’s what makes it ok.

Let me go back a little first.
This is a picture of what our daily afternoon looks like: I pick Jocelynn up from school, she gives me a hug, and then she drops her stuff to go play with all of her Kindergarten friends in the courtyard.

Since she doesn’t have a lot of friends around the neighborhood to play with, once we get home, I usually let her stay for as long as she likes on most days. In fact, 4 out of 5 times, we’ll be the last ones walking off the school grounds, without a car in sight – meaning no traffic! (yay!)

When Jocelynn told me she’d be bringing the class stuffed animal home yesterday, I was a little surprised. You see, Beatrice the Bee (a Winnie the Pooh, dressed as a bee) makes her rounds throughout the year. Each child (roughly 24-25 in their class) takes her home for the night, and they have a couple of notebooks in the bag that Beatrice gets carried in which they attach photos, or draw one, plus write a sentence or two about their time together.

Beatrice the Bee

The kids, including my girly, greatly anticipate when it will be their turn to take home Beatrice the Bee. Which is why the last time Jocelynn brought her home, I put my OCD to use and calculated the rough amount of days until the next visit. Based on the above picture, that was taken on March 29th, she should have gotten Beatrice (remember, weekends and holidays) one more time before summer break, in mid-May.

So 19 school days later – with 24-25 kids in the class – seemed early to bring her home again. Whew, we’re all caught up on the timeline, right?

The Day Where Nothing Was Ok

When I showed up to get Jocelynn yesterday, we did the usual and went by the courtyard. She ran around twice, then said she was ready to go. I figured that was due to the wind blowing, (it was over 20 mph!!) in addition to the excitement to get Beatrice home and play.

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I’m the classroom mom, so sometimes I get questions or messages from other moms about things. And I didn’t think much when one of the moms text me at 4:20pm asking for someone else’s number. I thought it was a little odd that she’d put a couple of exclamation points on the text, but no big deal. My family tells me I get over-animated in my messages also.

This Morning 

Today is geared up to be an exciting day for the Kindergarten class! It’s Fiesta day, (we DO live in San Antonio, y’all) and tomorrow there will be no school (Battle of Flowers Parade), making for a 3-day weekend.

So this morning, we were running around getting together the normal backpack stuff (I’m NOT that mom who prepares the night before); plus Beatrice and her bag, then Jocelynn’s Fiesta Float! It was crazier than usual!

She was so excited, especially about showing Mrs. Socha her picture of Beatrice in front of “the beautiful sky that God made” with her. We get in the class just in time (one day maybe I’ll understand why I make things harder on myself – HA!!), and the room was a madhouse, as expected.

Putting The Pieces Together

The mama that had text me yesterday, was talking to Mrs. Socha about how her daughter had gotten some scratches, but other than catching that piece I didn’t pay much attention. After 4 kids, I have to hear the words “blood and guts” to be phased; my husband likes to remind me how I MUST start working on developing the compassion gene I’m lacking.

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Then, the little girl who got the scratches (who’s also a close friend of Jocelynn’s) comes over and starts talking to her about the incident which gave her the wound. That’s what gave me cause to pause.

You see, these scratches weren’t just from running around and rough-housing, as kids typically do. THIS had taken place right out in our school courtyard the day prior…

What We’d Missed

The kids started out doing their normal running around, until it got down to the last 3 of them on the school grounds with their parents – where we would’ve been, had we not brought Beatrice home…19 days later from the last time we’d brought her home. The kids were taking a break, sitting at the blue table in the middle of the courtyard. Meanwhile, the mom’s were over chatting on the sidewalk.

I remember talking to Jocelynn, when we got home, about how the wind was howling outside. It was really making its presence known.

That presence came crashing down, via one of the large trees, which stood directly next to the table that the kids were breaking at. This was the very tree that was used every day after school, for their base while playing tag, that now was splitting off to land on, and over them.

Jocelynn’s best buddy who had the scratches,

was sitting in the small opening of the branches as it split on each side of her – hence, coming out with some minor injuries. Another little boy that’s also in their class, as well as a little girl in another Kinder class, had become lodged underneath the branches and parts of the tree. The boy was the one that required the most effort to get out, which ended up being provided by two dads who walked around the corner of the building (likely coming from their Watch Dog duty) to the women’s cries for help, as the moms were doing what they could, through their own efforts to help the kids.

Wait. What?

As I listened to the little girl continue talking, my supermom senses turned on. I know you know what I mean, moms! When you’re hearing multiple conversations, and observing behaviors, all the whiles having your own wheels spinning..yeah, those senses!

I was listening to the child as I went back to the other conversation,

to listen to her mom who was still talking. Meanwhile, I also was observing Mrs. Socha (whom I love dearly) tearing up. She told us that she thought her heartbeat came to a stop when she heard the commotion from the class, and before walking out to see the mess! She wasn’t aware of who was a part of this at the time, but she knew many of her kids usually would stay longer to play.

I walked over to the window in the classroom, which is directly behind where the tree was, and I felt what could only be described as a strange state of shock. Actually, I had to reach into my memory of the previous afternoon: “Wait. After school yesterday? I was here, wasn’t I? I’m always here. I’m always the LAST one here? Huh?” “Ohhh. No, that’s right…Beatrice. She came home with us.” “Deep breaths. It’s ok. She’s ok.”

It’s crazy that I managed to miss the tree while I was bringing Jocelynn into the school. We have to walk right by that spot to get inside. Funny how much we live, and breathe, on autopilot, isn’t it? Moving from Point A to Point B, day in and day out. Never paying very much attention to the details of life going on around us, like that large tree covering the table that your child sits at daily!

Assessing the Damage

After I left the class and went back outside – the only thing I could do was stare in somewhat of a daze, at the scene where it had all taken place. The mom to the other little girl who was there, came walking up to lay out all the frightening details of the prior afternoon for me again.

You can see part of the seat to the table underneath.

Praise God for the kids being ok, besides a few bumps and scrapes! And mentally shaken, no doubt.

I’m thankful for there being one less child under there. That MY child wasn’t under there.

It’s a little humbling, too.

I thought I knew what was would take place in the future, you know? When Beatrice the Bee would be coming home with us again. But even then, what would seem to be such a minute matter, I wasn’t grasping how I’ll NEVER be able to control things! Because, just when you think you’ve got things figured out…

Danger lurks everywhere. Even in the elementary school courtyard. God’s always one step ahead, though, working things out for His glory.

Deep breath. “It’s ok. We’re ok. She’s OK!!

Be Here Now

What I’ve taken from all this, is to: Live in the now! Right now! Stop worrying about your tomorrows, and think only of today. Thank you for that reminder, God.

“I am leaving you with a gift..peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT