Preschool 1997...H.S. Graduation 2011

Back in June 1996, I "retired" from homeschooling.  Beth had graduated from my 8th grade and was then attending Xenia Christian High School.  Jeremy was already a freshman at Grace college.  So I was "foot-loose and fancy-free" (relatively speaking)! Then in December, my friend Donna called to tell me that they needed a preschool teacher at Xenia Christian Elementary for the second semester.  The current teacher was having a baby.

I told her immediately and emphatically, "I don't do preschool!"

But she coaxed me with, "But, Jan, there are only 2 four year old boys in the class."

My daughter Beth said,  "Mom, you've got to do still have lots more mothering left in you!"

I thought, "Wait a minute!  I love four year olds.  That's my favorite age!  I can sort of 'homeschool' 2 four year old boys!" So I took the job, insisting to the principal Bob Colaner that I was only going to take the job till the end of the school year.

Well, guess what happened!  I fell in love with those two little boys, Geoff Evans and Adam Bealert!  And I was hooked for the next two years!

That leads to the next school year 1997-1998...and the group I affectionately refer to as my "Dream Team":  Sarah Lusk, Mackenzie Nestor, Jared Holloway, David McNeely, and Patrick Penewit.

And these precious persons are graduating from high school this very year.  How could that be?  How did they grow up so fast?  I know you parents of these dear ones are asking those very questions.

You might ask why I think of this class as my "Dream Team"?  This was a group that I could do almost anything with -- they were so cooperative and enjoyable!

One of my favorite things was to go on field trips. [I always say that I was a "field trip mom" when I was raising my own kids.  They accuse me of making every family vacation into a field trip...and I did!]  Well, with just five children who were cooperative, we could go lots of places and do lots of things:  Bowman and Landes Turkey Farm, Sugarcreek Preserve, the library, and others.  At every place, I remember people commenting on how cooperative these 4 year-olds were.  Music to a teacher's heart!

Now, lest you think these children were rigid and boring, I want you to know they each had a unique personality.

Mackenzie was a born leader-type;

Sarah, sweet & gentle;

Patrick, lively and "Tigger-y";

David, somewhat serious but with a dry wit;

Jared, positive and fun-loving.

I recorded in my journal an interesting conversation three of us (I'll let you guess who) had on the last day of school that preschool year.  We were eating scrambled eggs (not green!) and toast.

One of the children said, "We are a present to Jesus." Another answered, "What we DO is a present to Jesus." I said, "Who we ARE is a present to Jesus." [see John 17:20,24; Ephesians 1:18] The first one said (with a little glowing face), "Yes, who we ARE is a present to Jesus!"

And that's how I think of you dear students, now young adults.  You are presents to Jesus, to your families and friends, to the world...and to Mrs Loyd.  Thank you for enriching my life with who you each ARE.  The memories of that year together stay with me.

And I thank you and your families for your love, prayers, and support during our family crises that very year when my son had cancer and my daughter, surgery.  God used you all in important ways in our lives that year.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,...for I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-4,6

When I was at my grandson's preschool Grandparents Day in February, the children sang a wonderful song that would be just as fitting for my Dream Team's graduation.

So this song comes, dear Sarah, Mackenzie, Jared, David, and Patrick, with wishes and prayers for a future bright with God's promise and blessing.  May each of you follow HIM every day of your lives...because HE IS WORTHY!

I Am A Promise

I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital "P" I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin' to hear God's voice And I am tryin' to make the right choice I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

I can go anywhere that He wants me to go I can be anything He wants me to be I can climb the high mountains I can cross the wide sea I'm a great big promise you see!

I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital "P" I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin' to hear God's voice And I am tryin' to make the right choice I'm a promise to be anything God wants me to be Anything God wants me to be!