Friday, August 14, 2009

It's school time!

This school year has brought about a lot of changes.

Dad always walked the girls to and from school.

Now I am driving them.

Mom always treated them to some extra TLC served with a snack.

Now we get home in time for dinner!

After school today we made one more trip to Parker Uniforms for the infamous tie for formal Mondays. I thought they did not need one or would have gotten them Saturday, as Parker is a LONG way from our house.

But the trip paid off because Annabel's shoes were just too big and the man at Parker really surprised me by swapping them for the correct size, even though she had worn them. That is real customer service and a very nice gesture.

One of the benefits of me driving and the long distance, is we have lots of time to talk.

An explanation of charter schools first.

A charter school is funded with public money, except for their facilities, but they are not under a school district's rules. They are usually established by a group of parents and/or educators wanting something "better" than their district is providing.

North Hills is a charter school. The state funds a portion of the educational costs, but none of the facilities' costs, like the buildings or the grounds, which is probably why the parents are so involved. The teachers earn about 70% of what school districts pay. I know when I taught, about 100 years ago, I initially taught at a private school, Christian Academy of Oak Cliff. My salary was $8600 for the year! The next year I taught at Red Oak ISD and was earned a whopping $13,500 when I left there. So the difference is greater at a private school than a charter or a public school district. So does that help, Betty?

I'm still not sure how many 6th grade homeroom, or advisory, classes there are, but that is the only class that Grace and Annabel share. They have 2 class schedules, called A and B. They alternate their classes each day.

They like their teachers and their classes, but Grace has found some friends, while Annabel is still struggling. Annabel decided today that her "relationship" with her potential friend, whose name she never knew, was probably not going to work out.

I asked if there were any cute boys in their classes and Grace immediately and way too quickly said NO.

Annabel on the other hand has decided she would like to be a boy magnet. They decided that Gillian was a boy magnet because the boy across the street seemed more interested in her. Now Annabel thinks that might be a good thing, a boy magnet.

BUT it is not working out like she expected. She thought she would only attract the better looking, smart boys, who did not travel a lot with girls. I have no idea what traveling a lot with girls means!!

Instead, the boys that want to talk to her are just the opposite! The boy we met at the picnic has continued to try to get Annabel's attention and now a boy in band was really interested. Grace is way too shy right now to even hint that boys exist!

Annabel's stories are pretty long and involved and I get lost in them usually. I remember Grace being at this point, where she really needs more English, but it just isn't there yet, so any story takes forever to tell, while scrambling for the correct words. I just hope that my "uh huhs" are in the appropriate places.

One of the other benefits of the long drive is we pass a LOT of interesting things coming home.

Like "running" by Parker on the way home. It really was not on the way, but it was much closer than starting from home. From there we took a spin through Hobby Lobby while I looked for decorations for Dad's birthday party.

Then just over the bridge was a HUGE Asian market.

Now I know that for Annabel, Chinese food is still her comfort food, so we went there looking for some good eats. They have an extensive produce section and Annabel was thrilled that I would let her buy some lychees. We also stocked up on ramen noodles, the spicey kind, and their favorites.

They actually chose a Korean restaurant, but each got what they wanted: Annabel had something with tofu and Grace had octopus! My stomach has been too messed up to even think about eating either!

By the time we got home it was 8:00.

Mom came over and after a relatively quiet day for her, was shattered with dogs barking, girls yelling, and just an overall sense of confusion. I think they are really glad we never moved into one big house together!

I am ready for the weekend but not sure how Annabel will get her homework done. She has English and Social Studies to do. She is supposed to read the first 3 chapters of a book. Right now we can't get through Hop on Pop. I have contacted the ESL and the English teachers. They are prepared to work with her and provide tutoring to help her in learning. Grace prayed last night that Annabel would learn English quickly. Tonight Annabel took up the plea and also prayed that she would.

One of the things I love the most is the newness still of being called Mommy. Tonight at Hobby Lobby, Annabel wanted to hang right beside me. That is a first, unless of course they are playing chase, and somehow have become the base!

Annabel prays every night for God to take care of Gillian and Darcey when they are not with us. Grace prays that my stomach will fill better and that I quit throwing up! Then Annabel will add one more prayer for the dogs. I just thank God for my two wonderful daughters.

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