Friday, September 22, 2023

First Day of School

The kids all started new schools again this year, which can bring a lot of excitement and anxiety.  Tucker is a Junior.
At this school the kids only take six classes instead of the eight Tucker has been used to.  While it is easier and less homework Tucker was sad about the fact that he didn't get as many electives.  So he decided to take two additional classes online after school this year so he can have more electives during the day.
He had to get up well before the sun and left on his bike to seminary.  I love how he is willing to ride his bike to seminary and school so we don't have to drive him.  
Penelope started 8th grade and is the oldest in the middle school.
She actually had a rough day and was sad about it after school.  I guess all the other kids already had instruments and were playing them in her orchestra class and she did not.  She also felt like she had no idea what was going on all day and it was stressful.  This school literally has 7 times as many kids as her last school.  I will say that after the first few days she was feeling much more comfortable and better about the school.  
Scarlett was the biggest trouper and willing to switch middle schools after this one year if she needed to.  Luckily we were able to find a rental in the same zone as our future house so she can stay at this school next year as well.  She was excited about school and had a pretty decent day.  The only hiccup was that she wasn't put in Strings class at all, but after a few days we were able to get that switched for her.  I felt bad that she doesn't get to take any other electives because she is in a extra reading type class that takes up her other elective option.  Luckily that teacher is really good and she enjoys that class.

They were so happy to get to go together.  Their bus pick up is at 6:43!
Leon was slightly nervous but he has hardly spent more than a year at the same school so he is a pro at being the new kid.
So far things are going well.  He said that his teacher put him into Hufflepuff class which he isn't happy about.  Clearly he is a Ravenclaw.  But he also said the kids were acting up and so the teacher might rearrange "classes."
Calista loved her first day.  She hasn't told me too much about it except that it is fun, her teacher is nice, and she has friends.
Calista and Leon's bus pick up is at 8:23.  I'm grateful we were able to find a rental house with a bus stop nearby.  That was a huge struggle for us in our last house and with both Bob and I working we need to the kids to be able to get themselves to and from school without us.
Beatrix is the last one home with us.  She has one more year before starting public school.  Daycare costs are not really affordable for part time employees like myself.  For all the ones in the area you must pay for full time care regardless if you only need part time.  Full time care cost about the same as my take home pay.  Thankfully a friend is going to watch her on the days I'm working.  She has a three year old girl at home so it is perfect.  That friend also teaches an at home preschool that Scarlett and Penelope went to.  Beatrix is going to go there as well.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

2023 Summer

This summer has been like a dream.  It started with moving to America and doing a jet legged birthday party for Tucker at my parents house.  
We spent most of the summer living with them and hanging out while Bob commuted to work and we looked for a rental house/cars/everything.
We went on lots of walks and played a lot of pickle-ball.  It was great having my parent there to entertain the kids.  Their house and yard are so much bigger than we are used to in Japan.  
Bob was able to buy a truck, trailer, and tractor to get things going on the land.  Unfortunately we haven't been able to work on the land at all.  We have been going through the permit process since March trying to get everything in order.  We thought he would work on it all summer, now I'm just hoping he can get started in the Fall.
Tucker went to FSY and young men camp with church.  He had a great experience at both and it was strange for me to drop him off at a college campus.  I'm not ready for that yet.

We had a watermelon eating contest.
Hiked on Mt. Rainier.

Took Penelope to FSY.  I was so proud of her for going.  She went to this church camp without knowing a soul.  It was very brave of her.  She had a great time.  She also went to young women camp with Scarlett.

The neighborhood school gave out free lunches most days.  I loved it.  We walked to the school and played on the toys and the kids ate.  It got us outside and was one meal that we didn't have to make and clean up ourselves.  The food wasn't great and the kids hated going.  I love my parent neighborhood and think it is so nice that they are within walking distance of the elementary and middle schools.
The kids had a bear picnic with cousins.
We had a zoo day with friends.

Most of my family came in town for a Swift reunion.  I didn't get many pictures but we had a ton of fun.

After that we flew to Michigan for a Woestman reunion.

We saw the Barbie movie (loved it).
We hiked Ape Caves.

Went fishing.

We made several backyard fires where we had hot dogs and s'mores.
Took a trip to Northwest Trek.  Thank you to the library for the summer reading program and the free passes the kids got for completing it.

Tucker reluctantly got his learners permit and is starting to drive.
Talitha caught us all up on much needed haircuts.

More fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

All the kids went to the dentist and the doctor for check ups.  All good there.
Tucker is even going to get braces soon.

We went on a 17th anniversary date to the temple, Cheesecake Factory, and iFly.

I celebrated my 36th birthday.
And lastly we moved into a rental house.
I really loved this summer.  Spending time with family was everything we were missing in Japan.  Not to mention that the weather in Washington during the summer is pretty much perfect.

Tomorrow I'l start my job at Navy Federal here in Washington, and in a couple more weeks the kids will be back to school.  We are still living out of our suitcases and don't expect to get most of our things until mid September.  Tomorrow we are getting our storage things back, so everything we left in Washington that we havn't seen for the past 6 years will show up at our house.  I'm a little scared to see what we left.