It’s the first day of school!  You know, it doesn’t quite have the same amount of effect on my life now as it did when I worked in the school, but it’s still exciting.  I had to chuckle over all of the “first day of school” pictures on facebook, rivaled only by the moms bemoaning the fact that their kids wouldn’t pose for them.  I have some pretty great kids, who put up with all of my picture-taking – so great, in fact, that the boys made a point of coming outside to pose for the last “first-day” picture with all 3 of them.

Grades 12, 10 & 9 – they’re not babies anymore.  Last week when I thought about the idea of Katie going to grade 12, it definitely made me a little emotional.  I mean, wasn’t this just a little while ago?
Look at her!  So little and cute.  🙂
So I figured I would be a little emotional today when I dropped her off, but I really wasn’t.  It was all good – went to the opening day chapel and everything – I was a rock.  That is until I dropped her off at volleyball practice tonight.  That’s when it hit how far we’ve come, how big this really is.
This was taken a year ago – first day of Grade 11…
…and this one this morning, grade 12!
This generally would be just a regular little nice trip down memory lane – I’m sure there’s many moms out there doing the same type of thing tonight.  Except it’s different here.  Because this picture was just 5 months ago, almost to the day.
This was taken in Katie’s room in the ICU, which is where she spent a couple of days after she quit breathing.  
5 months.  What is 5 months, really?  It’s nothing.  But it’s also been a lifetime. 5 months from that ICU to going to volleyball practice with the rest of friends.  5 months from not knowing if she was going to make it to deciding what she was going to wear for the first day of grade 12.
Oh, God, You are so good.
So now we move on, we live life, and find out what “normal” looks like.  We have been so blessed by so many – family who has stood with us, cried with us, prayed with us.  Friends who have been there with meals, gas cards, a shoulder to cry on.  Our church, who has prayed with us, loved us, supported us when needed.  And our school – can I brag on our school for a minute?
I was able to walk into the gym tonight and have a conversation with our head coach about Katie’s health, ability, and how being a part of the team is so important, and was never questioned.  Truth is,  that has been sitting for the past 6 months – for a month of that, she was wheeled to the bathroom, she wasn’t even allowed to walk ten feet!  Her muscle tone is gone, her endurance not great.  But none of that matters.  Because at Immanuel Christian School, it’s about the kids as a whole.  Not just their athletic or academic abilities.  It’s their emotional health, their mental health – all of it.  Katie was able to finish grade 11 while in hospital, because of the dedication of the staff and administration of our school.  
Anyone who knows me knows my passion for our school, but over the last months, I have gained a whole new love for ICHS.  It’s more than just a school – it’s community, it’s family.  The family of God.  
It’s been a big day – the first of many to come.  And I’m so thankful…