Saturday, January 3, 2015

Kindergarten Halftime

It seems like a week ago that I nervously prepared to send Luke to Kindergarten. I've practically blinked, and half the year is over! 

Before I let the pictures do the talking, I will say with 100% confidence that staying at home is the best decision I could have ever made to help Luke with this transition. Granted, the fall of 2014 has included MASSIVE transitions for every member of our family, but I'm thankful that I have been able to focus completely on Luke's day-to-day routine! 

Now, truly in no particular/logical order, the year (so far) in review/photos:

School spirit day - is there a cuter Aggie out there? Don't think so! 

Luke's Poplet he created (with help) on his great uncle Alvin, a World War II veteran and hero!

Showcasing his turkey with the six things for which he's thankful: teachers, health, Daddy, Mommy, Kate, and things that eat bees. (As you may recall, he had a not-so-great encounter with a bee on his fall field trip.) 

Grand and I joined Luke on Heritage Day. We had a great visit! 

Showing Grand his school iPad... 

The day they got back from Thanksgiving, Luke's class got to work on their gingerbread houses. One of his teachers sent me a picture of him hard at work. :)

And here's the final product he made with Daddy's help! Adorable! 

And time warp: Luke on the very first day. I don't know if it's just my memory messing with me, but I think he looks like he has grown up so very much. 

I believe I took this pic when I took him and his class treats on his birthday. Cool customer had his backpack on ready to go. :) Stinker.

Another big development since July is that with the help of his ABA therapists at the Brent Woodall Foundation, Luke's made great strides with eating a greater variety of foods. We couldn't do it without our BWF family, and Luke has been so brave! 

We've also enjoyed getting to know some other families through a Facebook group of local autism moms and families. Once a month we've met up at this amazing place in Flower Mound to jump on trampolines, play on bars, and get the wiggles out in various ways. 

Not even five months ago, I was a NERVOUS wreck worrying about whether or not Luke would be in good hands at his school. Now, with 59 hours until he goes back to school for the first time since break... well, given how specific my countdown is :), I think you can tell that I now know Luke has been in expert, caring, wonderful hands. Luke isn't able to come home and tell me about his days, but 1)he goes to school happy and comes home happy, and 2)his amazing teachers communicate with me regularly. One writes me a note in a spiral EVERY DAY about how he does. SERIOUSLY. 

Back in October, we had Luke's annual ARD meeting. These can be very difficult and overwhelming. (Besides the jargon and legal-ese - and this coming from an 11-year classroom veteran - are the emotions and in-your-face reality of your child's differences and challenges. Not trying to be a joy sponge; just being honest.) Though this would have been at least our fourth meeting of this type, this was to be our first with this team. And how did it go? Amazingly well. It provided a formal setting to crystallize what I have seen all school year long: God blessed us with the perfect campus for Luke, with the best professionals and people who have both the heads and skills to work with him along with the compassionate, patient, and loving hearts to help him grow. 

I remember being at a Bible study with my cousins who also have sons who entered kindergarten this year. These ladies were not nervous AT ALL about their babies going, which freaked me out! But one of them said, "Kindergarten is just so good for kids." And you know what? While it hasn't been without its hiccups, it's been great for Luke, too. We're so thankful for a fantastic fall and cannot wait to see the strides Luke takes this semester! We love GES, we love Luke's teachers and paras, and most of all, we love our monkey! :)

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