Friday, September 06, 2013

School has started - sort of

School finally started for the girls on Wednesday - Sept. 4th.  It's been a long, long time since my girls started school after Labor Day weekend.  I believe it was Preschool?  Everyone else we know started by at least the last week of August - my sister's kids in Hawaii started the first week of August.
And then they had yesterday, Thursday, off for Rosh Hashanah - Jewish New Year.  Which would be great.  If it didn't follow the first day of school. They are back in school today, Friday.  Although we found out that other school districts with higher Jewish populations get today off too.  
So in my mind, school really starts next Monday - September 10th.  Which has made this summer just a little extra long.  Moving to a new place and waiting longer than we are accustomed (IA, Switzerland and CA schools all start earlier) to get into the normal routine has been trying at times.  As I explained to the girls, we are all feeling a little out of sorts and snippy with each other because we're tired of being one another's sole source of company and entertainment!
High School Sophomore!!!
7th Grade at the Middle School! 
See - finally downloaded pictures.  I'll share more eventually but have to sort through everything.

One might think this move would be easier than Switzerland but it wasn't.  Switzerland was supposed to be temporary, CA was supposed to last a while.  So a lot of choices were made based on that - furniture, appliances, investment in the property, etc....  We rented in Switzerland, owned in CA and now in NJ.

We thought CA was full of ridiculous bureaucracy but NJ is definitely more so.  Example:  CA school district accepted the medical physical reports required with the Swiss Dr.'s signature.  NJ would NOT accept the physical reports signed off by a CA Dr.  So even though the girls had physicals under the 12 months required and vaccine's are the same - we had to go get new physicals so that a NJ Dr. could sign off.  For these purposes I'm glad the job change included an insurance change - otherwise we would have had to pay out of pocket for physicals to meet the signature demand.

OK - blowing off a little steam?

Hmmm - air conditioner had to be looked at.  Three gas valves on our range were leaking so we are still (6 weeks later) waiting for those parts to arrive so cooking is still on limited basis (we manually open the gas line to the stove when needed and open the windows but my fear is I'll forget to close the line and what if?? ).  It's humid.  Property, although nicely landscaped, not nicely weeded and most of our lawn is field weeds/crabgrass so we will need to do work there - it was ok to have a weedy lawn in Switzerland but is a mess here. Barbeque is half working.  It's humid.  Needed to re-line furnace chimney.  Sampled and have rugs on order so that Eiger reduces his risk of strains/sliding on the hard wood floors.  Rachel is still on a mattress on the floor until her bed comes in.  Kendra's still waiting for a dresser/desk so her things can get off the floor. It's humid.  My stuff is still on the floor even though my clothes chest has arrived because I need time.  Estimates, quotes, Dentists, Orthodontists - all of these things take up so much time.  It's humid. So it's not so much fun when you move. 

But we are getting there.  And I am really OH SO THANKFUL for : good recommendations for Doctors, Dentists and Orthodontists. That my husband made the decision to have the whole interior painted before I arrived instead of the 3 rooms/ceilings we initially planned on - that was such a gift to me!!! The AC is working fine now.  I can use my oven and since it usually takes me about 2 months to get back in the cooking groove after moving (seriously, I'm not kidding!) I figure I have a couple more weeks and by then the stove should be 100% operational. We are getting someone to help with the lawn.  We did not have to camp in the house like we did to and from Switzerland.  That in spite of the crummy job the movers did on both sides, not more was broken or damaged and we have managed to find most of our stuff in one box or another.  That we have found a great kennel for Eiger when needed - not cheap but it is working out really good.  The furnace chimney is relined and found that our regular chimney flu is leaky so get to have that fixed too - lucky us!  The floors are beautiful and creaky(I like the sound except when Eiger gets up to pace at night - we might have to crate him again) and we are only waiting on 2 more rugs.  We have awesome water pressure here which CA did not.  Internet is super fast here and not interrupted constantly like in CA. 

And I love my new little old house!  Not that it's soooo small but seems so compared to CA.  We went down about 500 squ ft and from 3 car garage to a 1, very tiny, car garage.  CA house had 9' - 25' ceilings depending on the room and large open spaces while this house has 8' ceilings on 1st flr, 7'5" on upper floors and 6.5 - 7' in the basement.  Kendra's CA Youth group leader is 6'9" - John would have a hard time being comfortable/concussion free in our house.  So everything fits a bit tighter here which in most of the house is great - I could see my stuff here.  Closets:  houses built in the 1930's did not have our 2000 mentality in mind and that's all we will say about that for now.  I will post a picture of his and her closets later.  They are NOT in the same room.  :) 

Oh, and much of what was in the 3 car garage must of course be stored in the house now.  I am very thankful for good attic storage space and the basement storage areas are working well.

So it is a lot of work but we are happy to have Bart home a lot (will change soon enough!) and if you could just pray the girls would develop some good friendships here.  They are probably our biggest item of prayer/concern.  Naturally, as parents we want everything to go well for our children.  We know there will be hurdles and just pray they jump over them with dignity and grace and when they fall (because they will and they actually need to sometimes), they will pick themselves up, brush themselves off and use what they learn to continue.

One more thing to be thankful for - very nice neighbors who have introduced themselves and brought goodies and wine and phone numbers and introduced their kids to us!  We didn't know what to expect but the neighborhood have been so welcoming and inclusive.  They even have an annual block party this coming weekend - another great chance to meet and get to know them more.

So I can blow off a little steam but really, the thankfulness will always outweigh the frustration.  Except if I ever post about driving here.  Honestly - is there anywhere you can go now where rules are followed?  :)

Thanks for reading this rambling post as I try to get back into the groove.  Have a great day!

Any guesses on what I will probably not find myself thankful for? Ever.


Makila said...

So good to hear from you. Looking forward to pics of the house.

Sarah said...

Loved reading this update! Eager to see pics of the house, too!

Susan said...

Humidity is a B***H !

But it is the Garden State. So the tomatoes are excellent :-)

We lived in Bordentown for 5 years, Trenton for 2, and Hamilton for 2 - ah the memories. Hang in there - all will be well.

*any moms in touch??

Katherine said...

Oh Susan, I really feel for you moving again so quickly, and the girls changing schools and looking for new friends again so soon. We did that when we moved from CA to France to the UK within a year, having bought a house in the middle, oops... life is just never quite what you expect... God bless your settling in and especially the girls' discoveries of good new friends and activities they enjoy. Lord, provide and protect... Love, Katherine