Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still Looking

We are here in Tucson and we are busy looking at houses. In a post a few weeks ago I posted 2 options for houses - one with land and one without. We looked at the big houses with no land yesterday and they were BEAUTIFUL. There are actually some nice sized lots that back up to the desert - giving the illusion that they are not stacked one on top of the other. We picked out 4 lots that have only 1 neighbor - bottom of cul-de-sac lots. But of course those lots are not yet available - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. We're looking at 2-4 months before those are going to be built on. So, today we go look at the house with land and a few other areas.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the Hunt!

We are leaving in a short 6 hours to the states. The plan is to spend Easter with my parents and then leave the younger two kids with them and head to Arizona on Monday. We're taking Jackson with us - he's excited about getting to help us pick out a new house. I'll try to keep you updated on what we find and if we buy anything.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Project

I sat in the gym with all of the other moms. I could see right off that this was going to be an interesting assembly. The children in Jared's class were going to present the projects they had been working on for the term. The project I talked to Jared about and he said he was doing it at school. When I asked him about the spoken part of his project he replied he was also doing that at school.

I sat there looking at the stage where there were grand pyramids, paper mache sculptures, a wooden sarcophagus complete with a mummified barbie, all sort of fantastic projects to show what they had learned about Ancient Egypt. One girl was even dressed in her best Egyptian costume. It was clear the children had help from home. What had I done? I left my son to do his project all on his own. I let him do it at school and I was genuinely nervous at the results.

The first three boys stood up and presented their projects and what they learned as if they were doing a news interview. It was great - and clearly written by an adult. I am fighting the tears knowing that Jared will soon have his turn and that his project will just not compare. Project after project gets presented and my stomach is just turning.

Jared stands up with his half sheet of paper and a display of plastic pyramids. They are made out of red, blue and yellow pieces that snap together to make perfect triangles. He had made about 15 of them. He stood up and read three short sentences that said he liked learning about Egypt, he had fun making the pyramids and he learned a lot. And he was BEAMING!

One of the other moms turned to me and said "parents should be banned from helping with this project". I then realized just how much Jared had done!! He took initiative. He made a plan and he followed through. His project was complete and done completely by him. He knew what he had done but why did it take me so long to realize it? I was so stuck on knowing that he has difficulties in school. Knowing that he could not produce something as extravagant as the other children. I was so proud of him - he was successful.

As the other classes left the gym they walked by the projects so they could see each one up close. I stood by and listened as kids walked by and they told him how well he did. How great all the pyramids were. I could have cried....again.

Lesson learned, I need to be proud about what he CAN do and what he does do and quit worrying about what he can't.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

World Book Day!

World book day is bigger than Halloween at my house. My kids start talking about world book day as soon as one ends. I'm sure at this point you're asking what world book day is? If it is WORLD book day shouldn't you know about it? Are these the questions you're asking? Well, world book day is a day devoted to books and the best part of it is the kids get to dress up for school. Yep, they get to choose a book character and dress up and have a parade at school - all the fun stuff. In the past I have sent Tom Sawyer, Charlie Bucket, a pirate, a ninja, and Snow White. My kids also had to PROVE the pirate and the ninja before just dressing up and going to school - fortunately books like The Magic Treehouse are good for all sorts of costumes.

This year only 2 of them got to dress up as the 3rd was on a field trip. Jordan had been talking about world book day FOREVER and we had known for quite some time who she would be. Jared's was a last minute decision as he can never decide - I think they make the perfect pair! AND I'm glad to get one last chance for my kid to take an ax to school as we know that's not going to happen once we move back to the states. LOL

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

House Hunting!

I officially do not like house hunting. For 3 1/2 years I have looked at houses online and I usually enjoy it. Now that I'm actually serious about house hunting I hate it! We have our plane tickets and we are headed back to the US for good on August 1st - and we are homeless. I spend way too much time lately on the internet looking at houses, looking at neighborhoods, reading about schools. We know where we don't want to live, I know what school district I would prefer and I know which school district is a NO WAY. I thought I found the perfect new community - we could build a house and start brand new. Of course I then find out the lots are small. If I wanted to borrow a cup of sugar from my neighbors I could practically reach through the kitchen window in to their kitchen window to do it. So, do I want to spend money on a HOUSE or do I want to spend money on land. I could get a house for the same price - but 1/2 the size on a lot 2x as big.

Something like this - 2400 sq ft house on almost an acre - with a pool.
Notice you can't really see the neighbors house?

Or the brand new house - that is 4,000 sq ft:

you can see how close the houses are from the backyard view:

Ugh it is just such a pain. What do we REALLY want? Do I want the BEST school district (new house) or the 2nd best (the other house which was built in 1990). Do I want to start from scratch or move right in? Maybe we'll just stay here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Mum's Day!

Okay, quit looking at your calendars - it's only mother's day here in England. I know I don't want to be called Mum but I'm a bit selfish and I still think I should get to double dip in the joy of 2 mother's days in 1 year. Jordan brought home a daffodil that bloomed as soon as I put it in the window and a few little gifts she had made at school. The boys - well they forgot their stuff at school. I think they get this from their father - who went in to a whole thing about me not being British and that he didn't forget Mother's day because it isn't May. Blah blah blah. I'll get over it though as long as he doesn't forget in May. The kids sang at church today but it was so quiet and a song I had never heard before so I couldn't hear it that well. Not to mention it was the prelude music and my cell phone rang RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of it. Stew was on his way to church when he got called in to work so I then had to hop in the car and go back home and get Jared who was supposed to ride in to church with Stew. Fortunately the kids sang again at the end of RS so I got to hear them again and they were much better. Once again they sang a song I had never heard - but they had learned it better and it was great.

So - happy mother's day to all the moms out there.