Monday, September 14, 2015

Kennedie Goes to Kindergarten

Well, Kennedie has been in Kindergarten now for almost a month now.  It's just so crazy how fast time goes.  It's like a whole new ball game with Kindergarten.... it's like we left one stage of life over night and entered into a completely new one.

Kennedie is going to a charter school.  We put her name in the lottery last spring not sure whether we really wanted her to go to the school or not.  Lantz and I both spent so much time praying about this decision.  It seemed so unclear what to do.  There were pros and cons to the the zoned elementary and also to the charter.  I spent so much time talking to God (and anyone who would listen & let me hash it out) about where I should send Kennedie to school.  Not just the best place for her educationally, but I also wanted her in the best place spiritually.  I wanted the right place for her to be able to shine her light and share Jesus' love with others and also stand strong in her own faith.  I doubted where the right place for her would be.

I finally laid it all in the hands of God.  I asked Him to show me where the best place would be for my Kennedie.  If the charter school was right for her, then I prayed for her to get in. If the zoned school was best then I prayed for her not to get into the charter school.  I pleaded with the Lord to do what was best for my girl.

Well, there were about 500 Kindergarten applicants for the charter school and only 100 places.  If there are applicants who have siblings already in the school or a parent that teaches at the school then they are automatically allowed into the school.  After all 66 siblings were placed on the Kindergarten list it only left 44 places for other students.  My Kennedie was 22 on the list and so she got into the charter school.

I wish I could tell you how excited I was for her to get in and how at peace I was with the whole decision. Unfortunately, I am ashamed to admit my lack of trust and faith in God in this situation.  I was still so uncertain if this was "right" for her.... or if there was a "right."

Lantz quickly reminded me to just stop worrying because we had spent so much time in prayer.  He said that we just needed to trust that this was where she was meant to be and have faith that she would do great.  {"Besides," he said, "we can always pull her out if it doesn't seem to work."}

So... we dove head first into our charter school experience and haven't looked back yet! So far we LOVE it and Kennedie seems to be thriving (minus the crying, but we'll get to that) and learning so much.

About a week before school started we got an email telling us Kennedie's teacher name (whom I truly believe was hand picked by God just for her.. she has been amazing for Kennedie) & inviting her to Meet the Teacher at their school.  Of course that meant that I cued up my camera & prepared to photograph this monumental moment. :)

After shaking her teacher's hand she got to pick out her own seat.  Here she is:

Here she is with her super sweet teacher, Mrs. Lopez:

And no classroom would be complete without some Minions:

Kennedie came home from Meet the Teacher BEAMING!  She was so excited & loved her teacher!

Fast forward to the first day of school. Here is my girl in her uniform looking so big:

And just for fun let's take a walk down memory lane.  Here's my baby girl's first day of pictures for preschool, KR, and Kindergarten. {Insert tears & tissues!}

She did so GREAT and was SO incredibly brave!  We got to walk her in and of course I took more pictures.

Her classroom:
(We were one of the first ones there.  I was not making the same mistake I did last year on her first day of KR where we were the LAST ones and walked in right when class was starting and I just had to leave her without helping her settle in. )

At her desk coloring:

Pictures with Mommy, Daddy & Sisters:

After the "sister picture" Sawyer just stayed there with her hand on Kennedie for the longest time.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  It was like she knew what was coming and just stayed close to her:

Preslee on the other hand found herself a seat and planted it.  She thought she was staying.  Ha!  She is so 16 months going on 6. 

This is where I would insert a super cute picture of Kennedie and her teacher again, but unfortunately her teacher got in a wreck on the first day of school.  Luckily she wasn't hurt too bad and was able to be back on day three. 
The bad news is that I think that not having her teacher there was REALLY hard on my girl.  She only met one little girl at Meet the Teacher and her teacher.  She doesn't do well in new environments or with new people, and so day one (and every day after actually) was really tough.  Here she is about 2 minutes before we left.... trying SO hard to hold those tears back:

Poor thing.  We had to leave her with tears streaming down her face (and as soon as we rounded the corner I was a sobbing mess myself!).  One of the counselors was there trying to help soothe her.  I got a call from the substitute at about 11:00 letting me know that she hadn't stopped crying yet. She cried pretty much all day.  But when I picked her up, I asked her if she had fun, she said yes and she told me she made new friends.  So, go figure?

On Wednesdays, it's a Spirit Day at school. All the students can wear a spirit shirt instead of their uniform and every Wednesday they have early release at 11:45.  Yes, EVERY Wednesday.  It is my favorite part of her school! I love that Wednesdays are only half days and we all get to eat lunch together and I get a few extra precious hours with my big girl.  It's great too since we have church on Wednesdays and it allows a little less "rush" to the day. Here she is in her spirit gear:

We are a month into school and Kennedie still cries when we drop her off and has cried every single day at school (multiple times a day).  Again, you wouldn't know it though.  She comes home smiling and telling me all about it.  She says she has fun and is loving playing with all her friends.  When I ask her why she cries, she says, "Because I miss you Mommy..."

MELT. MY. HEART. "I miss you too baby... every single day." 

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