I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last posted an update on Dale, his triumphant return to school (at least, in my opinion), and our family's welfare in general. Once again, I plead a crazy schedule........school, homework, church, Labor Day, five children---you name it! Sometimes I am completely overwhelmed with family, duties, activities, and all. But, a full life sure beats an empty one! ;-)
Dale is settling in to his school schedule, as are we all. He (and his teachers) is getting in the habit of writing down all of his assignments in his planner, and he makes sure he refers to that planner as he does his homework. God bless his wonderful teachers who are being so flexible and understanding where Dale is concerned. They are making sure they do everything they can to make his eighth grade year a success. As expected, Dale does take longer to take tests and quizzes, so his teachers are coming up with alternate plans of action---such as oral tests, multiple choice, or simply extra time. These were all suggested by Dale's neuro-psych doctor a few months ago, and we are happy to see our educators working to implement these procedures. God has blessed us with a solid Christian school with caring teachers who we know love our children and have their best interests at heart. I have thanked Him repeatedly over this last year for all the work Dale's teachers had put into him before his accident; Dale's recovery was aided by his solid grasp of basic math, English (grammar and vocabulary), and reading. We'll continue to keep a watch on him closely to see how his learning process is coming along.
My girls are enjoying their school year so far as well. Emily (1st grade) is getting used to being awake the whole school day, making her a bit grumpy in the afternoons. She has already tested out of the first reader and is learning cursive writing too. Ashley (6th grade) is having fun being at the top of the totem pole, so to speak. She is having trouble with vocabulary right now but that may improve as the year wears on. Her vocab homework is hindered right now because the second knuckle of the first finger on her right hand (her writing hand) got whacked with a "sword" (stick) after school today and swelled up painfully. I think it'll look better tomorrow, although she may still have trouble writing. Katie (10th grade) was surprised to find she is enjoying Algebra II, after having seriously struggled through Algebra I last year. She is keeping up in PE (a concern for her---she thought the teacher would run them to death) and looking forward to possibly trying out for the Spring Play with the drama class. Amanda (12th grade) is finding that staying all day at school isn't so bad after all. She really only has classes scheduled for the first half of each day, and she spent a good bit of time arguing to get to go home, which she can't do because I am at school all day and she has no license.........yet. But, instead, Amanda is helping out (as teacher's assistant) in some classes during the last part of the day. Mrs. Rau gets her the last class hour of each day, but she spends two hours with me right after lunch because..........
I GET TO TEACH SCHOOL AFTER ALL!!! Can you see the huge grin nearly splitting my face in two?! We really weren't sure what to expect for Dale in school, and, as such, I couldn't tell Bro. Minge, our principal, how much free time I would have during the day. So, he couldn't assign a class to me to teach full-time until it was known how much or how little Dale would need me. As it turns out, with all the help the guys have been giving Dale and people willing to lug his backpack between classes, Dale has not needed me at all---all day! I (or his sisters) make sure he visits his locker each morning, stows homework books, and puts the first few hours' books in his backpack before walking him to his homeroom. That's the last I see of him until the last bell rings. Someone walks Dale to my classroom, helps him to a seat, and deposits his backpack beside him---and that's the first time all day I see him to ask about his day or make sure he has his homework books to get started. He goes about his school day (almost) just like any other guy, leaving me free to help Mrs. O'Connor as much as she needs. Within the first few days, she had gradually let me take over teaching almost all third-grade subjects, freeing her up to get lots of other things done. And, with the two classes combined, there was a lot of extra work and strategy involved! She is an amazing lady, able to juggle two classes' schedules and curriculum and personalities with patience, grace, and a smile. She took over last year when Dale's accident kept me from teaching and forced the combining of the two classes (third and fourth). She willingly accepted another "chef" in her "kitchen" when Bro. Minge suggested she allow me to assist her this year until we had more certainty how Dale would do in school. But, last Friday, Bro. Minge called me into his office after school and announced that MY HUSBAND, wonderful man that he is, had personally made an appointment to talk with him. The subject: Dale's great first week of school and, subsequently, his lack of need for me to help him during school hours. Chad gave his approval for Bro. Minge to ask me to teach third grade---fully, completely, in my own classroom, YES! I was so excited!!! I could barely sit still for the excitement! Bro. Minge and I decided third grade would stay in Mrs. O'Connor's classroom for one more week while the end classroom (the only one vacant now!) was cleared and cleaned and readied. I'll get the room decorated with my girls' help, and the students will move their desks down there tomorrow afternoon, so that everything will be ready for school Monday morning. Yee-haw! It will be nice for Mrs. O'Connor and fourth grade to have more room in their classroom, and it will great to have a class of my own. We're all looking forward to the move, though with mixed emotions; even in these two short weeks, we've become a family. Still, I'm looking forward to the school year even more now.
I can't help but thank God and praise His name for allowing me to have a class again. To be honest, I wasn't sure there would ever be another time when I wouldn't need to be by Dale's side, tutoring him through school........and life! I prayed non-stop, I think, asking God to work things out according to His plan and give me the courage to trust Him throughout. He has answered these prayers above and beyond what I dreamed. Not only do I get to teach again, but Dale is doing well. God is certainly good! He is continuing to show us how very much He loves us and is involved in our everyday lives, down to the most minute detail. Our God is truly awesome!
If you haven't yet done so, take time today to deliberately stop and thank God just for being Him. He is so wonderful, and He does so much for us every day. Please be sure to tell Him you love Him and are so thankful to call Him "Father." He is surely worthy of our love, our adoration, and our praise.
Revelation 4: 11 "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."