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Why I Have No Regrets

My eldest son graduates from Gramercy Christian School in a week.  Fresh from California and in a little bit of culture shock, Owen started GCS as a fourth grader, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Suzanne Israel.  I will never forget his first day of school.  I somehow missed the memo that the first day at Gramercy is always a half-day of school, and so I received the fateful call from the front office and began the mad scramble of loading two little ones in the car and rushing up the road to pick up the two kids I had failed to retrieve on time.  Mrs. Israel met me at the car.  She was worried Owen was behind in math, and I instantly broke down.  In the sweetest, most southern way possible, Mrs. Israel comforted and encouraged this blubbering mother of four, suffering from the stress of a cross-country move and the burden of shouldering the academic and emotional needs of four children whose lives had changed yet again.   Yesterday in the mail my graduating senior, who ...

Good Morning VietMom!

A number of years ago, a girlfriend of mine encouraged me to begin writing a blog.  Blogging was just becoming a "thing" of sorts,  and I gave it a feeble effort.  The title of the blog was "Good Morning VietMom,"  and I chose that title because I was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that being a mother was a serious battle.  At the time, our nation was mired in a war that began on September 11th, 2001, but I was a young mother fighting a serious war on the home front - a war called PARENTING.   This Mother's Day I am reminded of that somewhat silly blog but also of the not-so-silly reality that we face in raising our children in a war zone known as planet Earth.  As the mother of three sons and a daughter and as a full-time educator, I find myself more than ever battling for the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of my own children and the children in my daily care at school.  I am astounded at the difficulties and confusions facing our young peop ...

The Aim of Christian Education

“Arrows are not meant for décor; they are meant for battle.” Erwin McManus For many years now I have considered Psalm 127 a guidepost for parenting.  This Psalm reads, "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord keeps watch over the city, the watchmen guard in vain."  As a young mom, this verse spoke to me because I realized very early on that parenting was going to be a lot of work and I did NOT want my labor to be in vain.  In later verses, the Psalm reads, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons (and daughters) born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."  I have pondered these words for many years and though I am not a bow huntress, I understand enough about this image to recognize that parenting, like archery, requires a great deal of skill and focus.  If my children are arrows and I am the warrior, then I recognize that I must not be shooting haphazardly.  I ne ...

What Happened to Quarter Three?

Is it just me or did the third quarter just disappear in a dust cloud of flu virus and freaky weather?  Wasn't it just New Year's Day?  Perhaps I shouldn't even admit this, but on the first Monday after Spring Break, I actually asked one of my classes to tell me what they did over CHRISTMAS break.  I'm pretty sure they thought I was having a stroke.  Don't worry, I played it off, but I think at least couple of them are onto me.  I know my own kids know.  They know their mom is barely keeping one step ahead of them as we literally sprint toward the end of yet another school year.  With Terra Nova testing, Field Day, prom, and graduation right around the corner, can we just pause for a moment  and catch our collective breath?   In just a few more weeks - and sunny, warm weeks at that! - we will be dropping weather-worn folders, a mass collection of homework papers, and yet another broken protractor into the dumpster on the way out of the GCS parking lot.  ...

Why Christian Education? - Is it Really Worth the Money?

This is the time of year when parents begin considering school options, especially if their child's current school is not meeting their academic, emotional, social, or spiritual needs.  I am a big proponent of Christian education and honestly, it is because I am seeing the benefits of having been committed to this educational philosophy for many years now.  My eldest son will be a Senior in high school next year and has been in Christian school for every year of his education thus far.  I suppose if I did the math on how much his schooling has cost, I might put my head in my hands at least for a moment and think briefly about the mortgage I could have made a dent in, or the trips I could have taken,  or the boat I might be enjoying every weekend.  The truth, however, is that I have never regretted even one dollar we have spent on Christian education, and I believe it is one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.   I grew up in  Texas and went all through the p ...

And so it Begins...

Thanksgiving came and went in a blur of family and food and I awoke Friday morning, November 24th, feeling as if I was already somehow behind.  All my noble thoughts of living bound by thanks and practicing what Charles Spurgeon calls "thanks-feeling" were swallowed up in the black hole of Black Friday. My neighbors, most of whom are retired, already had Christmas lights twinkling on their front porches and I'm pretty sure they were wondering, once again, if my house was going to be the only one devoid of any holiday cheer.   I keep trying to explain that all the life is on the inside. Black Friday bled into Cyber Monday and I spent most of that day deleting emails from random online companies trying to sell me more stuff.  I forced my kids to make Christmas lists, all the time wondering when our lives had become so prosperous that I now have to force my kids to come up with at least something they want.  I've done this before, which is why I have a brand new electric guitar that ha ...

GCS- Raising a New Generation of Leaders

The United States of America and the world at large is crying out for a new kind of leader.  The presidential election of 2016 was enough to convince both Republicans and Democrats alike that our country is in sore need of leaders who are not only smart and savvy, but who are sincere and selfless as well. We need leaders who are willing to labor for more than just their own personal gain and gratification, leaders who will work to help solve some of the most serious problems facing the world today.  As we hear in the news everyday, the world is full of real issues affecting real people who desperately need real solutions, which is why we believe so strongly in Christian education.   Gramercy Christian School is not just raising the next generation of leaders.  We are partnering with parents and local churches to raise a generation of better leaders, young men and women who are grounded in solid biblical principle, who are committed to  serving others out of sincere love, and who ...

Defending the Truth

Winston Churchill made the the following statement regarding truth:  "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." As Christians, such a statement should make sense to us as truth is most certainly under attack, and not just in our country or society at large, but oftentimes in our schools, our churches and even our homes.  Even with the Word of God at our fingertips, it is sometimes difficult to discern what is true, and discerning truth apart from God's Word is nearly impossible.  Still, truth is of utmost importance to both our society and our sanity, which is why Christians are charged to defend the truth.  In fact, Jude 1:3 says this:  "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God's holy people." On Saturday, November 18th, Emerald Isle Chapel by the Sea is hosting t ...

God is Not Boring - Let's not be Either!

A frequent complaint among students is that school, or at least a particular subject in school, is boring.  I have heard these words in some fashion from the mouths of my own children on some occasions and honestly, it wounds me... because I love learning.  In fact, I've always loved learning.  I even love learning hard things, which is good since I have frequently had to learn things the hard way.  I once heard someone say, "the joy is in the knowing..." and I think there is some truth to that, at least in my life.  And although there is much less joy for me in say... a math lesson, when I watch our Upper School Math Lead Denise Story talk about math, I begin to understand what the word "gifted"really means.  Mrs. Story brings actual happiness to a subject that is oftentimes considered tedious at best and the students at Gramercy are better for having studied underneath her.  Personally, I am convinced that the defining quality of a great teacher is a sincere love for the ...

Be Still... and Know!

It is mid-September and school is now in full-swing.  Honestly, by Tuesday evening I'm already exhausted and so are my kids and it's not surprising considering the schedule we keep.  It's brutal!  Most days, I am up by 5 a.m. feeding pets, emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast and prepping for the day.  Kids hit the floor at 6 a.m. and the mad dash begins. Someone forgot to do math corrections.  Someone else needs a permission slip signed. Everyone needs breakfast, but someone doesn't like what I made. Someone can't find their soccer cleats.  Someone else hates the way their hair looks. Everyone forgot to make their bed.  By the time we leave at 7 a.m., the whole clan is edgy and the day has barely begun.  Seven hours of school, three hours of sports, and two hours of homework later, we are all falling asleep on the couch... till we do it all over again. And I don't think I'm alone.  We are just a busy people.  Between the noise of emails and phone calls ...