What I know about Middle School

My first middle school orientation as a parent.  Being that I was by far the youngest parent there (jab, jab) I had a lot to learn on my first trip to the big house.

So for the newbies who have yet to dive into the waters of puberty piranas I offer my observations.  For the parents who have been there done that gotten the shirt I offer perspective.  

- Home room is the biggest room in the 6th grade hall.  I don't know why, but it feels like trumpets players are announcing your arrival and it should be that way.

- Classes don't necessarily need textbooks — that is old school.  You know, the whole reading from paper thing kind of left the world in the ice ages.

- some teachers were born the year I graduated high school (might be stretching a bit)

- Other teachers are obviously struggling with "personal summers". Hence the 5,000,000 fans in a 10 x 10 room. 

- Certain people don't always know why they teach, and they really can't hide it.

- 3 minutes between "classes" certainly doesn't give one enough time to socialize.  

- Finding the bathroom is really the first item on your list everyday.  That is after you locate the cafeteria.

- Boys and girls obviously don't sit near each other in class, because most parents do not know who each other are.  

- Reading 6+ teachers blogs everyday really interferes with my design blog reading and I am not sure how I feel about it.

- The orchestra teacher will beginning playing ,randomly.

- and my favorite from the evening - social studies!  How fun is that lady.  She has traveled around the world and "experienced" a lot of different things.  It totally shows!  

School is going to be great this year! 
Perfect no, because both N and I are still learning. 
When you are done learning — then you can call it perfect.  Just never strive to be perfect - that means you aren't learning.  

Tips from the Perfect Parent

My second grader came bouncing out of his Sunday school class this week over the moon happy.  In his right hand he held a tattered relic of a book.  
"I finally got one!" he says. 
"My teacher gave me my very first bible."
There is was, pages missing, cover torn, but it was his to keep.
My fail - to just realize that at almost 8, the child never owned his own bible.  

But it is in the ten steps I take back that I realize it wasn't a fail.

I am not a perfect parent. 
I don't want to be. 

God equipts me to care for my children in the way they need. And while I strive for all tens - it isn't always going to happen.  

That is where HE steps in -- providing "gap holders in times of need.

I'm not saying that it is society's responsibility to raise my children - it is mine. But in all truth, I can't be everything, everywhere, all the time. 

That is why God throws us into community.  A community of trusted people who are there to stand in the gaps, because honestly - there will be gaps.  

As much as I strive for perfection, there is only one perfect person to walk this earth.
Thankfully he has provided people to help this mom along. 

I can only help but picture in my mind, the families that will gather their children to 
"not look" when the Cloudt family runs the halls of church this week.  That really doesn't bother me.  Because I can be honest and transparent that I am not the perfect parent.  

What I am, is the parent that God wants me to be - bible forgetting, sandwich for dinner 2x a week,t-shirt wearing to church kind of mom.  He knows my weaknesses and knows my strengths.  That fact, doesn't give me an excuse --it gives me strength.

We are a mess, a beautiful mess - just dive right in and join my club.  


School's In

The little league schedule tipped my scale.
Who ever knew that u8 ball would throw this ninja mom into tears.

It started a few weeks ago.

The first day of school was announced.
The supply lists were sent.
The church schedules were set.
The dance academy registrations took place.
Consignment sales were beginning.
My husband's insane commute singed its face.
Middle school instrument fairs began.
Three open houses scheduled.
Preschool registration.
Choi Kwang Do once a week. 

Then little league.  

Little league sucked whatever there was left dry. 

I begin to cringe at what life looked like it would become.
A life of missed family meals.
A life of countless hours in the car.
A life that is beginning to blur.

My heart began to harden. 

Then I remember to be thankful. 

Thankful that my little boy is healthy and can play.
Thankful that my big girl has a dance teacher who not only trains her to dance.
Thankful that my boys have a Choi Kwang Do instructor who allows me to join the class and connect with so many wonderful children.
Thankful for our sweet little school and that my children have the opportunity to learn.
Thankful for my husband's new career.
Thankful that my big girl wants explore art. 
Thankful that God provides the opportunity to provide for my family as a Proverbs 31 woman.
Thankful that I can be present for everything.

Thankful that I am aware ahead of the schedule that it can take over our family's life and thankful that I have the full power not to let it.


The start of middle school

Middle school starts tomorrow.

My first born is on her way to 6th grade.

For months, I have been told to be scared, only scared.

When describing middle school the words hell, fear, crazy, died, never again were the only words I heard.  My seasoned friends repeatedly let me know what a living fear they had of middle school.

Wonderful, just wonderful I thought.

Wonderful is just the right word! 

It might be a bumpy road but it will be wonderful.

The lessons my gal will learn will equip her and challenge her - both she is ready for?

How do I know she is ready?
Because her father and I have had an opportunity to equip her to be.

She has God.
She has faith.
She has compassion.
She has empathy.
She has will.
She has a brain.
She has a heart.
She has a healthy body.
She has support.
She has a family praying for her.
She has it all. 

All the tools she needs to take on the middle school world.

No cell phone
No designer clothes
No fancy new backpack

But yet I have full faith that my daughter will endure the bumpy road of middle school and come out a shining star.  

Middle school happens.  No matter how you package it - public school, home school, or private institution it happens.  It happens to every child, every family.  

So before you spend money equipping your children with all the newest and greatest - the quickly fading fads.  Get your children ready to make it thru middle school with tools that will last a lifetime.  Because after all, a Iphone 5 won't fix a broken heart, heal a hurting friendship or create an A on a test.