Em’s not in Australia, though one day…This is actually the entrance to our new favorite zoo. It’s in Colorado Springs. When you walk through the gate above, you are actually in the wallaby’s habitat.
Em petting a baby wallaby.
There is a great bird room, called “Budgies” or something, where you can feed them and they land on your shoulder or head, or finger or whatever.

One of our favorites since Em’s favorite color lately is aqua.
Em and her very favorite guy.
Yes, my kid is on a mushroom, but she is not on mushrooms.
Spider legs
So, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is very interactive. Obviously from the above photos. But, you get to actually feed giraffes, which, unless you live in Africa, isn’t something you get to do a lot in the city, or really America for that matter…
You probably aren’t supposed to ride them, either, but who could resist?

So, we went to the zoo on Monday to have a special day with Emily. We were sensing a change…You see, Jason and I have been praying a lot for Emily regarding this school year. Until two weeks ago, Emily was totally opposed to going to any school other than home school. I was great with homeschooling her because I think it’s a unique opportunity, though I do not feel it is right for everyone. Our plan was to home school Em until further notice from the Lord. Well, God has been showing Jason and me that His plan for Em, His divine design, does not include home school at this time. I fought it because there is such freedom and nurturing with home school. I started doing research on our area schools: magnets, charters, public, co-ops, private. I went to several of them to learn more about the schools, interview their principals, go on tours, and peek into classrooms. One I couldn’t even leave the parking lot to enter the offices because I had a horrible shooting/stabbing pain in my gut that would not subside until I drove out of the parking lot. Literally, the moment I hit the street, it disappeared.

Em even sat in on a couple interviews. Here’s how one played out…

Principal: “Emily, how would your friends describe you?”
Em: “I don’t know.”
Principal: “What would your friends say about you?”
Em: “I really don’t know.”
I asked Em on the way to the car why she didn’t know how her friends would describe her. She said, “Mom, my friends and I play when we are together. We don’t sit around and describe each other.” Touche.
Anyway, I was getting discouraged with the process because the schools I thought I liked had ‘no room in the inn.’ I thought, “Lord, how’s that writing on the wall coming?! I know you have put it upon both Jason’s and my heart, so why all the closed doors?” I figured I had just heard God wrong, so I was ready to buy our upcoming year curriculum and settle into a routine with Em. Then, God prompted me to look at the school that is actually in our boundary area. I hadn’t considered it because it is a year round school track and Jason was opposed to that…originally. I took Em and we headed over for a tour. We sat with the assistant principal and shared some of our story, asked many questions, and heard her heart about the 3 different 1st grade classes and tracks. One track had plenty of room and actually could use a couple more girls, but the class that had borderline room, the AP really felt like would be a good fit for Em, having heard our story. I gathered all the paperwork and told her I would go home and pray about it and see what Em’s daddy had to say. While walking out the door, Em said, “Mom, I want to start that school tomorrow morning.” She said what I felt, but I hid it in my heart and prayed. Em and I spent the rest of the day reading, hanging in the hammock and nuggling. Jason and Em and I headed back to the school after it dismissed so Jason could meet the teacher. It was love at first sight! I’m serious! I wish I were enrolling myself! The teacher spent an hour with us, even though we showed up unannounced, answering Em’s questions and all of ours.

So, all that to say, today, Em started 1st grade a little late, thirty years after I did the same thing because of a move from Ohio to Arizona. 1978, baby! Jason and I were a little sad, though we have great peace. Jason’s going to miss her popping into his office every few minutes while he’s trying to work…And me, well, I’m not exaggerating when I say that last week my heart felt similar to the days prior to January 12, 2007. Because of the way I felt, I thought that God must be mistaken regarding sending Em to school. But, God showed me, without a pillar of fire or Gabriel the Angel, but in a more obvious way, that what He was leading us to was a specific teacher not a school. My mom reminded me that God loves Em more than I do and has a specific plan for her life…and that if I seek Him for His will for her, He will lead me as her parent.

And, as far as the year round school, we can still go to Africa next summer for a month without problems, and, whenever Em is home on extended breaks, we’ll do home school, since that is a lifestyle, not a curriculum…And, yes, I’ll probably be the PTO president one day (smiley face)

(And yes, anyone who has been here since Em went to preschool, I am wearing the exact same outfit…2 years later)



16 Responses

  1. Em,
    You don’t know but i read the blog daily! Your mom is a great inspiration to me.
    My boy, Jacob, went to the 3rd Grade today and is super excited! I know that your mom has been led in the right direction and I will say a prayer for you today! I know you will do great, from what I have read you are very smart little lady! Good luck and have fun!
    LaJena, a mom in South Dakota

  2. I am thrilled that God gave you all such peace about the school and the teacher! Our son started 8th grade this year, and we still have that peace. He is in the public school system here, and we are thrilled with it actually. He is surrounded by people of all walks of life, and it has made him more appreciative and more aware. We tell him it’s his government paid mission trip! It’s not for everyone either, as you said about the home schooling, but it works beautifully for us.
    Blessings on Em in her new journey.. no telling whose life she will touch there.

  3. Is it just me or has Emily had a growth spurt! She looks so tall!

    I am thrilled for you guys that you feel at peace with the whole schooling thing. Em looks so happy! I will being praying for you during the day when your little star is at school and the house may seem a little empty.

    Emily Scarlett wanted to tell you that she loves giraffes 🙂

    Praying for you guys!

    Love Carly and Sam ….. and of course the girls! xoxoxox

  4. Ahhhh that is such a cool story! I love it! So great how that plan panned out… not knowing what was next. I pray that these first new weeks in school will start a whole bunch more firsts for her…and others in her path! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  5. I cried the entire time I took my son to school for the first time several years ago. I kept my sunglasses on all the while walking him to his room to hide my tears. The teacher noticed and gave me an assuring pat in the shoulder and said I was not the only parent to do this. I’m glad that no matter which way God led you, that you are at peace with your decision. Em looks so cute in her pretty dress and matching shoes!


  6. I am really glad that Em’s not on mushrooms 🙂 That spider pic of her is adorable. Have a great weekend at family camp, see you next week 🙂

  7. What a huge blessing…and what a comfort to rest in God’s plan for Em. She will love* first grade.(I am completely biased because I was a first grade teacher before I became a Mommy). The sparkle in her eyes says it all. What a gift! Praying for your family, as always….

  8. Congrats to Em! Great teachers rock. Caleb hit the jack-pot of excellent teachers last year, entering school in the 3rd grade after having always been homeschooled. He transitioned beautifully, thanks to Ms. McCannon. ANYWAY, I’m sure Em will have a blast! E 🙂

  9. Adrienne, sometimes we just gotta listen to our kids! I hope Em is having a blast in school and is enjoying making new friends. In Em’s case, I don’t think there’s such a thing as a stranger, just friends she hasn’t met yet!

  10. How wonderful! I am so glad that He led you to this wonderful teacher for Emily! Wishing her a wonderful experience, and thinking of all the lives she will affect as she meets new people! 🙂

  11. Ade-
    I came across this poem on blog I frequently visit (I went to church with this ladies daughter. The daughter gave birth to a still born baby at 31 weeks due to placental abruption.) Anyway…she posted this poem on her blog, and I wanted to share it with you.

    Little One, Hold My Hand

    Little one, hold my hand.
    Show me all the wonders that you see;
    Help me feel His loving touch,
    Lead me gently to His feet;

    Little one, hold my hand,
    Guide me as I seek to learn
    How to do what He wants of me;
    Be my sweet angel leading me.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    Come at night and whisper in my ear
    Of the glorious things that you now know,
    Safely resting in His arms..

    Little one, hold my hand.
    Sit beside me as I weep;
    Dry my tears with gentle breath,
    A breeze that softly touches cheek.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    Angel fingers entwined in mine;
    Pull me gently closer still
    To live in Him in every hour.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    He will help you teach me how
    To be a better person now,
    Change me with His love you bring.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    I need to feel your presence here;
    I’ll try not to hold too tight,
    For I know I’m not the only one.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    Snuggle with me in my dreams
    And sing a joyful song to me;
    I’ll listen and i’ll sing with you.

    Little one, hold my hand,
    Until the day when I come home
    And then we’ll dance and never tire
    And play at Jesus feet again.

  12. I love the CO Springs zoo – one of my favorites. Hard to do when you are out of shape though : ) I just sent Kate off to school a week and a half ago. It’s good and hard at the same time. I LOVE her school and her teacher… and it’s good to remember that God loves our kids more than we do!! Love you.

  13. I LOVE the pink boots, Emily. 🙂 I hope that you really have a great year at school! You will learn so many wonderful things!

    Adrienne, I think of you and your family so often and continue to pray for God’s peace & comfort in your lives.

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