Thursday, November 10, 2016

Life of a mom

I recently had a friend of mine say that when her littlest one was still at the napping stage, she could send a quick text to a few of her friends and have them go pick up her big kids from school.
That's great. I don't have a 'tribe' as they call it. I never have had one, and anytime I have had a few friends, I'm sure I'm the one who ended the relationship, or chose not to continue being a friend, for whatever reason.

I am lucky that I have my husband, who's a big supporter, when he's not on route as a delivery driver with FedEx - which, right now, is all the time, but I'm thankful he's not an over the road truck driver. I also have his mom who recently took the kids shopping at a farm store, to get some ice cream and to a park, before she was scheduled to leave town for the weekend, but the kids enjoy going out to 'the farm.' My parents are just 4-5 hours away (when they aren't in Florida).

And while we have a church home, and it truly is a church family, there aren't many - if any - people my age. The majority being 50 and above. So, growth groups, or small groups are few and far between, and don't often happen in other people's homes, but just out at the church, which is outside of town, and not helpful, for those of us who live in town. Would I ever open my home to a small group or growth group? Maybe, but I have kids.

For the past few weeks I've been trying to get my 8yo to clean room - it's a disaster. By disaster, I mean disaster! Do not enter, or you might trip and fall and hurt yourself. I have a 2yo who has yet to learn the art of picking up toys when finished with them, and especially not dropping a toy some random place and picking up another thing or toy or non-toy, etc. and then repeating that 5 or more times all around the house. And I question why there are toys in my kitchen, bathroom, etc. odd places.....

Then there's myself, who while, battling depression is taking care of all of the above, I have church obligations, small business owner, work (I have various clients I have to keep happy, plus other part-time work), and volunteering at my child's school, trying to keep my 2yo in cloth diapers as much as possible, so we can save money and allowing her to use the potty when she wants to - but not really potty training - so when I'd rather binge on Netflix shows than clean my kitchen. Please, someone come over and clean my house! Maybe you can see why I don't have time for a "tribe." My tribe is me and my morning coffee - and if I'm lucky a morning or evening at the local coffee shop with a paint brush in hand and a blank canvas in front of me.

I'm an artist, although I'm not sure if anyone has ever called me that. Crafty, yes, but I continually doubt myself and my abilities.

Monday, November 7, 2016

New School!

So the other night we were able to go into my sons new school building. It's an old public school building.  This summer someone decided to set fire to the old building his school had and completely put the whole school in a state of turmoil for over a month and a half, we were happy to see the 'new' building was ready. Arson is not a victimless crime.
After a few delays waiting while we questioned where we were going to hold the school year after the fire marshall deemed the 'old' building was not to be used this school year.  The school was offered to lease this building for $1 until the end of December. But, it needed work. A lot of work. It had been broken into, vandalized, a fire extinguisher had been set off that made a red carpeted floor an entirely different color. One would think that if the public school was going to lease a building to a non-public school they would have been good stewards and at least cleaned up the vandalism, at least take care of the broken glass. They did move some things out before they let our school have the keys. 

The way it works here is that every student in the state gets money to go to school. Its per student, so if a parent wants to send their child to a private school or even homeschool, they don't have access to that money. A lot of money is moved around between public schools, because students can open enroll between districts. But that money is kept in public schools. So if my local public school gets $6k for my child, the school that he attends sees none of that money. I wish Iowa had vouchers, so I could dictate where that money goes. Now multiply that by roughly 100 students or so, and the school would be in better shape financially. I would love it if the school could pay our teachers what their public school peers get. Tuition is kept low, so that most families can afford it. (we pay a little more than $200/month). That's less expensive than most private schools in the state. For us, its less eating out, doing less activities for the kids and picking up odd jobs when we need to. Its a choice we made a long time ago, not to put our child in public school. He does amazing at this school, classroom sizes are small- he has 13 in his class this year! He has friends that he's known since preschool and kindergarten. He looks up to the older kids, because they are loving on him and leaning on Jesus!

I wasn't able to get in and take before photos, but the 'after' is amazing. This is a neighborhood school, so set among houses that sell anywhere from $40k -$110k.
The school has had volunteers do so much work. Plumbers, electricians, fencing professionals, contractors, painters, cleaners, parents, students, and volunteers with no family ties to the school. But the community has come together in an amazing way.
School was delayed by a week, and there still is the problem of the boiler doesn't work and there isn't a playground. Detail, details. Here in Iowa the school probably has about a good month and a half to get the boiler working, or a new one put in.

The teraazo floors are amazing, most of the classrooms have lockers outside in the hallway. I still haven't found the library, or been upstairs to the second floor or downstairs to the lunch room. Give me a few more weeks and I'll be taking photos when I'm back on my feet.
The great thing about having this building is that everyone is still together, we just have more space. We were using all of the rooms in the other building, and were almost ready to grow out of it.
The school was able to have the curriculum we use professionally cleaned. I'm glad they did thus, because I honestly love the Abekka curriculum that they use!
One thing that was missing from all of the classrooms were computers. I'm positive the smoke would have damaged what few computers they had. Especially having to be shut in a closed building for so many weeks after the fire. Hopefully computers will come soon in this technology driven age!
The fire happened the night of August 5th.
School start date - September 4th - original date
School start date - September 12th - actual date

Our school isn't regulated by the state to keep students in for 180 days or whatever it is now. Its kind of nice not having to start until after Labor Day and ending before Memorial Day! Of the 4 years my son has attended this school, he's never had to attend school in June.

Note: I have no ill feelings toward parents who choose to send their children to public school. I worked in the public school system for 6 years. I have lots of friends who teach in the public school. Hubby and I just realized that when homeschooling wasn't going to work, this was the next best thing.  

I truly think of my child's school not as a building, but the students, volunteers and parents, teachers and staff as family. We are all united in Christ and focused on encouraging the growth of the children to be the leaders in the community. There was at one time over 20 some churches represented in the school. That says so much about the school. For some reason, the school can unite what the churches in town  cannot do.
It's going to be a great year!

Ps. If you want to know more about the school click here.