Friday, May 6, 2011

School Days!

Back in Utah, my kids would be nearing the end of their school year.  They'd be having end of school parties, getting ready for testing, themed days of dressing up and having field days.  Eagle Mountain Baseball would be underway and I'd have 4 kids playing (possibly 5 but I think Ethan missed the cut off this year) - possibly all at once.

This year?  We decided to move to Australia. And since school and seasons are all different, we get to start a whole new school year.  A day after I wrote that post I decided we'd all had enough of no school. We'd been looking in Glen Waverley at houses and we lived in Box Hill so I decided to look around.  On a whim I called a school and decided to give them a call. They were thrilled to have us check them out.

So I pulled the kids up off the couches and 4 very nervous kids followed me (I was pushing the other two in a stroller...) to the school. Jakob thought it would be a great idea to walk instead of riding the bus. We changed our mind after several blocks and caught a bus.   We made it to the school and were given a grand tour. The kids just stared at our kids as they were told we went on 5 airplanes to get here.  We were offered the chance to start the next day and my kids were THRILLED.

Its a hard thing though because of the cut off.  Here the cut off date for the next grade up is April 30th. So Ashley moved to Year 1 but Jakob, Andy and Gavin were not so lucky.  Jakob has been in A.L.L. which means he was doing some 5th grade classes in Utah.  He got stuck back at the beginning of Year 4.  Andy gets to retake Year 2 again and Gavin, who would have started school this year is in the equivalent of preschool. Its actually called Kindergarten but Prep is where I wanted him.  So I have a kinder, and Year 1, 2 and 4 students. I'm hoping to get Jakob into gifted and talented programs.

Growing up in a small town, any new people that came along were instantly the new celebrities. They were the guys that the girls had crushes on and the girls that the guys had crushes on. After being around for a while, some would fade into the background while others stuck out still.

When I went to BYU, I was just one of thousands that started so I didn't stick out. Plus, I was my sister's kid sister in the ward I went to so I was known that way - even though she'd been gone for a year or two!    Then, fast forward to my senior year, and I became the sister of my little sister... So I never had the chance to be the celebrity.

However, when you move to a new country... my children have been well-received and I am thankful.   There are have been rough spots getting to know other kids.  Gavin has had things said about him such as:

"I hate that kid"
"You talk stupid and I don't want to play with you"
And so on.

That was the first day of Kinder.  After that I had parents telling me that their children talked non-stop about him all weekend. Yay!  He still insists that he doesn't have 'friends' but I've been reassured that he does well playing with all of the different groups.

Ashley and Andy have spent a lot of time together. They have their friends but they still play together, which I'm glad about.  Ashley's teacher told her she wasn't allowed to play with Andy anymore. I'm not thrilled about that but I just told them they could play together all they want.

I have also heard that Andy was talked about nonstop and one little boy was excited to see Andy and Ashley on the bus. When his mom asked what Ashley's name was he said, "I don't know but she's tall and beautiful!"

Andy's got a girl in his class that has a major crush on him. He's not quite sure what to do about it. He does blush quite nicely when you ask him about her though. :)

They're all blending in and I'm thrilled to death. The moms of the students have really brought me in and made me feel welcome as well.  They're such sweet people.  Of course, its easy to figure out which person belongs to 'the new family'.  We just broke the record for the most kids in one family in the school - the previous record was 5.  Plus, everyone knows us because of our double umbrella stroller. I may grumble pushing it up the hill but I don't know what we'd do without it!

The kids had the opportunity to take swimming classes this last week and a half.  They loved it - except for the whole Ashley getting fluid in her ear, thanks to her tubes.  She stayed out of swimming one day and it was enough to make her want to swim the next day. She even passed 2 levels this week.  Andy and Jakob did awesome too. They loved it and can't wait until their next session.

And what have I done?  Relaxed. Well, in between the two buses and the walk to and from school... And the wandering around for the two hours between when Gavin is done and the other kids are done. Its a pain to come all the way home just to turn around and go back again.   But in between THOSE times, I've enjoyed a little quiet at home. Heidi and Ethan mostly entertain themselves (the first day was spent stealing and eating the majority of the grapes in the fridge) so I can clean the apartment, do the laundry, wash the dishes, change diapers and play on faceboo - I mean, look for houses.

I am still constantly amazed by these little ones.  They may complain here and there for the walking we've had to do but they bounce right back and keep on moving.  We have our moments of butting heads but I love my little ones!!! People count and ask "Are these all yours?!" to which I want to reply, "Why else would I have six kids trailing me?!"  Instead, I just smile and say "Yep!"  I love it when they see me with two or three during school hours and tell me that I have my arms full.  I just laugh and tell them that this is only half of them.

We're still looking at what's going on with houses. We have one we could probably take if we wanted to but its far away from school so we don't know if we want it. The kids are determined to stay at the school that they're at and I agree - but that means a 50 minute bus ride each way. Today we did that trip... And it made me never want to do it again. Heidi screamed, shrieked and sobbed the ENTIRE WAY HOME.  Also, the agent never called back today about the house, so we're going to look at a few tomorrow in the next town over from here and see if they will work.  We'll see!!

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