Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Enrolled.

I had my open enrollment appointment this morning before work.  I had to drop K off at my mom's house then haul on up to the school board building.

I left a half hour and got there in 15 minutes.  That's good to know travel-wise for school here in a few weeks.  It is a few exits ahead on the expressway.  15 minutes early is good.  It shows them that we take this seriously.

I get to the building, get buzzed in and see someone at the window.  I stand there for a few minutes and finally figure that perhaps I should take a seat.  I hear a lot of, "Well, did you do the online enrollment?"  "Well, I did it on my tablet."  "Do you have this, do you have that?"  It seemed as though this visitor was a bit unprepared.

She steps away and the woman next to me looked to see if they needed her next.  (She was there before me.)  "No, I need Amy now."  I'm up.  :deep breath:  We went over the paperwork.  All the online enrollment was successfully completed.  All of the paperwork they needed for enrollment was sent in back in February.  They just needed to verify all of it.

-- The official birth certificate that we purchased from the county for the bargain price of $22 and had the official embossment on it wasn't good enough.  They needed the original in order to verify it.  Since the original birth certificate took 11 1/2 months to arrive, it is dated almost 2 years after K's birth date.  I figured that they would question it.  I was armed with the actual adoption decree, but it turns out that they didn't need it.

-- Immunization records needed updated.  (There was one shot in April that wasn't on the copy they had.)

-- Residency needed verified.  I had a copy of the house deed, the city utility bill and the electric bill.  Since I sent the city utility bill in February, they just verified that.

Since I was responsible and followed all instructions, I was back out of there in probably a lil over 5 minutes.  The lady thanked me profusely for having my papers in order and having everything handled.  (Adopt a county kid and you become proficient at inches of paperwork very quickly.)

Then she said something that will stay with me forever.  With a smile on her face, "Welcome to S-."

:hand on my heart:

Hoping that this venture in schooling is a wondrously positive change for K.  I pray good things for her.  I pray that she gets past her nervousness about being the "new kid."  I pray that her teachers teach.  I pray that she learns.  I pray that it is a positive atmosphere, as last year definitely was not.

I just want good things for her.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Handing off those school uniforms.

I got a call on Monday that will most certainly change my child's life in some big capacity.  She was accepted for open enrollment to the school system in the city where my in-law's live.

This open enrollment opportunity dates back to the packets of information that I sent out on February 1.  I sent open enrollment packets out to three schools.  By the end of June, we received a denial from our first choice school.  They didn't have the room for K and I knew that.  It didn't hurt to try.  A few weeks ago, we got a denial from our 3rd choice school.  We weren't real jazzed about that school for a few different reasons.  They seemed a lil snarky about open enrollment and frankly, it is an area much, much further over our financial level and basically K would end up being the poor kid.  Since it was already August, I figured by this point that school #2 was toast because we hadn't heard anything and -- IT'S AUGUST!

So the call comes through.  I try to track K down.  Now, I can most normally catch that child at some point, but my MIL and K went swimming.  I tried K's cell.  No luck.  I tried MIL's cell.  No luck.  I tried my FIL's cell.  No luck.  I tried the house phone.  Finally, my FIL answered, but said that they were out swimming.

UGH!

K asked for a family meeting.  We needed to hash out some details about the transfer that would make her feel good.  We assured her that the same drop off/pick up schedule would still apply as before.  I would be able to take part in SOME PTA activities at this school, so she'd still see me around.  We also said that if she/we chose to make this switch-- this is it.  This will be her forever school and we will not transfer her out to another one.  After all of these things, she decided that she did want to go there.

A perk but not a deciding factor?  No uniforms!

We released her to make the information public.  She told some friends from elementary school.  She would have been moving on to the big, scary middle school with them.  We did discuss that though she is moving and it is joyous and there were many, many concerns we had about the middle school, these friends are still attending there and we want to be a lil low level so not to dog on their school.  She handled it well.

We mamas were talking last night and it hit me that the one could probably use the pants I had purchased for K.  I bought them secondhand, so there was no way I could return them and K assured me that there would be no way she would wear them.  (Can't blame her.)  I was running through the house last night at 10 PM gathering uniform pieces to give off.  M asked, "What are you doing?"  "GIVING UNIFORMS AWAY!"  I warned her that almost all was hanging on the basement lines and have a basement smell, but all are clean.  She can use them this year or next, but we were able to pass polos, pants, sweaters and shorts on to someone who could use them.

I don't believe K will ever wear khaki pants or polo shirts again.  Well, not unless a job requires them.

So that leads me to today's adventures.  I will, for the first time, be able to take my daughter school clothes shopping.  We're kind of excited.  We have a few stores to hit to return new shirts we bought and while we're there, we can look at fun clothes!

Aside from the clothes thing and that not being a factor into changing schools, we're taking K from a school system that is suffering into an excellent rated school system.  There are so many opportunities that will be made available to her.  She's going to try to get involved with orchestra and she's looking forward to getting details about swim team.  Academically they are so much stronger and we had major safety concerns about K at the other school.

We prayed.  We prayed that God would do his will.  We told K that this is how God answered our prayer.  I told her that we still need to pray.  She's concerned about being the new kid.  I told her I get it, but we'll get through it.

Changes.  My baby is growing up.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I swear that we still exist!

It's been a few months.  I promise we're still upright and all that.

We were all busy at the end of school just wrapping things up.  K moved on up to :sigh: going to middle school soon.  She ended 5th grade with perfect attendance for the year, honor roll and a President's Education Award.  We're busy adjusting to what middle school is going to mean and the changes that come with that.

My girlie in middle school.  Let's just sit on that for a second.  Every parent sits and says, "Just yesterday . . . "

I had the church rummage sale that ate most of June.

K has been volunteering at the local library twice a week and she's gone a few weeks with M to work to help him as a program volunteer.

My sister got married.  Wishing the union goes better than the felony charges that the two decided to rack up given their penchant for pot.

M and I have gone to a few more concerts.  You see, people usually go out to eat.  Since M can't eat a lot of what is out and about, we have just gone back to going to some occasional concerts.  We went to J Roddy Walston and the Business at Musica.  Oh, it was so good!  M got me a spot in the center front of the stage.  (Short girls up front!)





We stood in this line at Mayhem Fest for M to meet . . . 

 . . . The band members of Hellyeah.  

He's always wanted to meet Vinnie Paul and this opportunity made his day.

We've been a little bit of everywhere, and everywhere has been busy.  We still have one more month to chip away before the rigors of school kick back in.  

No school uniforms. 

Flip-flops.

Lightning bug and butterfly catching.

Mosquito bite itching.

Candy tossers in a parade. 

Birthday parties.  

Family walks at night.

Talks by the campfire.

Cool nights.

Hot days.

Swimming.

Goodies from the garden.

Time together.

:sigh:  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May . . . it be a month of concerts.

It's a month of concerts.  It was that way on purpose and by happy luck.  


We'll start with Hellyeah.  Yes, I went to a band called Hellyeah.  Hubs won tickets from the local music shop he goes to.  He got 4 tickets, so we took my brother Dumpy and my friend Toni.  

This photo from Hellyeah's Facebook page. 
The concert was at the House of Blues in Cleveland.  Such a wonderful venue!  Hubs went to a different concert there in January.  He went to that one on his own.  He has another at the end of the month to go to on his own.  Sometimes I decline going not because I'm a poop about Hubs' music, but because he gets so concerned about me that he doesn't get to see the concert.  I'm pretty short, he knows I can't see.  He watches the crowd to make sure that I'm safe.  (I always am, by the way.  I stand directly in front of him.  He can easily see over my head.)  

Rob Prior was an artist painting while the band did their gig.  The gig was being taped by Yahoo, so we went upstairs to the balcony to watch.  M wasn't really thrilled about being in a pit of people being taped.  (I don't see that it is up yet.)  He also swore that I'd be squashed like a bug.  

The concert was great.  Truly.  While it isn't music that I'd be apt to plunk into my CD player in the car, the sound was great and the guys were really into it.  All of us had a wonderful time!


On Sunday night, I went to see the Pixies with my friends, Toni and Dave.  (Toni is becoming a regular ticket buddy since she went to Hellyeah, too!)  Hubs isn't so much a Pixies fan, so he had me attend this one with friends. 


Worth every cent.  My gosh.  They truly had a fantastic performance.  30 songs.  2 hours.  No gaps.  No talking.  

This one had the most unusual audience I've ever encountered.  Almost everyone sat there.  Almost everyone looked as if they were watching a movie.  In fact, when the concert started, Dave and I stood up.  (That's what you typically do at a rock concert.  You stand, show your support for the band, dance, sway and enjoy yourself.)  We were asked to sit down.  :(  We did and that was fine.  We did stand for the encore.  Even Toni stood with us.  The encore was 2 songs long.  More people were standing there.  But still.  Even the pit was just standing there.  I was stunned at the lethargy the audience displayed.  

So, Hubs has a concert coming up next week.  He'll see Sepultura.  We'll be seeing J Roddy Walston and the Business in June.  (It's a concert that I chose and it is at a small venue.)  

It's a time for concerts.  Not one we planned.  We haven't attended concerts for a long time, but we were busy being all parental.  Now that K is older, we can now go have some fun together or with friends.  That's not a bad thing at all.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wrapping up the loose ends of being an elementary PTA board member mama.



I have been on the PTA board for 5 of 6 years of my child's elementary school years.  I have been:

Corresponding secretary my first year.
3rd Vice President (fundraising) my second year.
President my third and fourth years.
2nd Vice President (school newsletter) my third, fourth and fifth years.

I have handed over the following chair positions:

Book Fair
100 Book Challenge
Garden Fair
Birthday Book Club
Membership

I have trained.  I have written manuals.  I have sent documents via e-mail.

I have shared passwords to accounts.

The last two days were the final BOGO Scholastic Book Fair of K's elementary school career, with her being employed as the "babysitter" of the youngers coming up in her shadow.  She has been raised as a PTA kid.

She has seen me in the halls on a weekly basis.

She is not too shy or too embarrassed to stop and always give me a surprise hug from the back or a quick peck to the cheek.

I think she might actually look forward to my being there.

The staff all knows me.

I leave the school knowing that I've left the PTA in a better condition than it was when I received it.  We were a broken mess that was in the midst of trying to be fixed.

I got our new building to be built bigger than the school district was intending to build it.  They were going to built it for 60 less students than the enrollment at the time because of "2016 projections."  Well, 2016 projections were off because our enrollment remains the same as it has always been-- between 510 - 530 kids.

All those kids?  They basically know me, too.  I praise them over good work.  I tell them how cute their shoes are, how I like their hair doodles, how great they are working together, how nice their smile is and so forth.

I also peek around the corner and bust them for playing in the sinks.  I make them walk when they run down the hall.  I've escorted them back to class after the book fair if they are prone to "wandering."  If they have been unkind to me, I will tell them that they have been unkind.

I and my child have been blessed to have an experience that has been so largely positive in elementary school.  A few years were rough, but the other years were golden enough to knock down the rough spots of the few years of bad.

Soon it will be middle school.  Soon that will be 6th grade.  I'm sure we'll make it, but it makes me sad that this chapter closes.

Gotta let her grow up, though.  I can tell you one thing though, I will never be another PTA board mama.  Oh, I will help.  I have no problem with that.  I would just like to live an existence of being thankful for the wonderful things going on in the school and not have parents continually complain to me about things that they think that the kids should have or do, but about how no one actually wants to help execute their ideas.  This isn't fair or that isn't fair.  I leave a very active and very giving PTA. I'm curious to see how PTAs and parental involvement will continue as K grows older.

Until then, I still have Garden Fair Planting day, cotton candy, baseball game for 5th grade, end of the year picnic, movie day, dance (a very informal one during the school day), 5th Grade Recognition breakfast . . . My duties aren't done yet.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dear Clothing Industry,

I have an 11 year old daughter whom I love more than anything.

She's tall for her age.  She's over 5' 1", which I might add is taller than me.

She is long waisted and the bulk of her weight lands squarely on her torso.  This is not a build that you consider when making clothes. Not everyone is built like a ballerina.

My baby is, well, starting to be a young lady.

When looking for garments for her the other day, I've found that she can wear some in the children's section, but mostly pants.  Shirts are too short.  They give her the Dora the Explorer (first generation) kind of look.  More disturbing though is . . .

. . . why are all of the bras made in junior sizes PADDED?

My baby doesn't need to enhance anything she has.  She needs to be a responsible young lady and to wear proper undergarments, but at 11, she does not need padding, nor does she need wires.  It took me so long to find proper items that I needed for her.

Pajama shopping was a hoot, too.  Children's pajamas are way too short.  Adult pajamas are basically, well, too adult.  I did track some down at Kohl's, but it wasn't without great pains to do so.

It would be great if we had a clothing industry that catered to helping our children to remain CHILDREN and not to enhance what little bits that they have.  I don't believe in having my child dress as an adult.  It would be wonderful if we had an industry who was willing to allow our children to remain kids.  Let kids be kids and not mini adults.  Allow them to dress respectfully, age appropriately and not suggestively.

Just some feedback from a frustrated mama.

Thank you for your consideration,

Amy

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letter Carrier Food Drive- Saturday, May 9, 2015

Don't forget to leave a bag of non-perishable food items for the Letter Carrier Food Drive this Saturday!