Thursday, August 13, 2009

School, school, school....literally!

Our two middle children, Casey & Chloe, had "Back to School Night" tonight. The charter school hosted a yummy BBQ and the kids were able to meet some of the teachers and see their classrooms. We're new to this school and I am extremely excited for my two who are able to attend. Caleb (our baby) will still be in our local public elementary until a spot opens up for him in the 2nd grade. We hear he's #4 on the sibling list, so not too bad. I do feel bad that he isn't able to start the school year with his siblings and will be alone (without his sister), but he seems to be handling it very well. The office staff has been so patient with him (and me!). Everytime they see us Caleb asks if he can come to school there. They get down on his level and sweetly tell him that they are trying so hard to get him in and will keep trying. I pray every day for him to be accepted, but I know it's all in God's hands and in His timing. I'll try to be patient.

We went back-to-school shopping after the BBQ to gather a few supplies, so naturally, Chloe is off-the-wall deliriously happy and wants to go back to school, like, yesterday. She'll have to wait till next Wednesday though. To pass the time, she's writing her first entry in her journal for school. I think she's going to be "teacher's pet" already starting on what will most likely be her first journal assignment. Haha!

(Taken from my iPhone)
Here she is writing her name on a composition notebook (her journal).

As soon as we arrived home, Chloe was in her bedroom trying on a couple of her uniform outfits. Casey and Chloe can wear navy, white or burgandy shirts, khaki or navy bottoms, uniform color socks and any shoe as long as it has a back and a strap (or ties). In the photo above you can see her wearing another one of her outfits paired with Airwalk "kicks". A less expensive version to Converse...which I love! I refuse for them to go to school in dress pants with fat skater shoes. Maybe it's just me, but I consider Converse style shoes to be classic and can be worn with dress pants or jeans. Very versatile. The brown mary-jane's are Airwalk, too.

(Taken from my iPhone)

Speaking of shoes, I was able to find some really cute shoes for the kids this year that didn't cost me an arm and a leg. Casey, Chloe and Caleb all received a pair of Airwalk "kicks". Casey has a brown pair with some sort of skull or dragon on the side for $13.00, Chloe has the blue pair for $17.99 and Caleb has the black pair for $17.99. Simple and stylish. Chloe also got the brown mary-jane's for $15.00. Payless is having their Buy 1, Get 1 half off promotion and they recently sent out a 20% off coupon in the mail, too. I had to go to 5 different stores to find the right colors/sizes and each time they printed off which store had what I needed, it came with a coupon. The cashier at Payless either took pity on me or was really nice, but he honored both the 20% off mail coupon and another $3.00 off printed coupon. All in all, I paid $39 and some change for all four pairs of shoes! When I went to the final Payless today with my receipts and coupons, he worked his magic and ended up owing me $3.00! I even asked him if he was sure he hadn't made a mistake.

I only have a few more items to purchase for the uniformed kids. Casey needs a couple pairs of uniform pants and they both need brown/black belts, socks, haircuts and a few more school supplies that we couldn't find today. I'll be heading to Target and Office Max tomorrow for the rest. Purchasing all the stuff for our uniformed students has been a little more expensive than normal, but I'm giddy thinking about all the clothes I will not have to buy.

I was able to buy Caleb a few pairs of Old Navy jeans when they were on sale for $10 each. He will not need much (if anything) for school supplies, but I do need to buy him a few polo shirts. Since he'll be starting (hopefully) this year at the charter school, I'm buying him polo shirts to get him used to wearing them. It's a good thing he likes polo shirts! He's rather picky about his clothing (look and feel) and for a seven year old boy, it's driving me nuts! He's more irritated by the feel, than look, so we have to shop around and let him try things on. Being a seven year old boy, he's not really into shopping for anything but LEGO's, so it has been a challenge, to say the least.

As for my older sons, my amazing mom has offered to buy Brenden and Braden (aka The Twins) their school clothing and shoes. They are going to be expensive, but not because they buy expensive things, just because there are two of them. Luckily, one of my twins likes Aeropostle and I LOVE Aeropostle's sale prices! I will be watching the purchases and making sure they make wise choices. They will be going through the closet and discarding anything that is worn out, then taking note of what they really need before we go shopping. Partly because I want them to be more responsible and partly because they have a knack for charming "Gamma" into what they want. Ahem. Anyway, I'm also trying to instill in them the difference in what they need and what they want. There is a big difference, whether they like it or not. With teenagers it's hard and with my mother it's harder. I saved her lots of money in my "New Waver Thrift Store years", but she will not let me forget the $70 dollar Girbaud jeans I just had to have. What a waste! Sorry mom!

The twins will also have some hefty high school fee's this year, too. Approximately $100 each for basic fee's, $100 each for driver's education class and whatever fee's they accumulate with special class fee's (shop, art, drama, sports, etc).

In the spirit of recycling, all of my younger kids will be reusing old backpack's and totes. This will save us over $50 this year alone! Brenden & Braden will need backpack's because they were not allowed to carry any bags in their last school or wear coats in the halls or to classes. It was a rule put in place to keep the students safe. You know, just in case someone decided they wanted to carry a gun (or bomb) to school. In March, we chose to transfer them to a school a few miles from our home. It was a better school than the one in our boundary, but still riddled with gangs. Up until Tuesday evening, I was prepared to register them on Wednesday morning. That is, until my husband suggested we enroll them in a school next to his work. Was he joking? I couldn't believe he even suggested it. It was the first school I attended when we moved to Utah (I was in the old building though) and I've only heard great things about them since the new building was constructed. I couldn't sleep a wink that night because I was so afraid my hopes would be squashed by them not accepting "Out of Bound" students, but when I called first thing the next morning, I was estatic when they scheduled a registration appointment for the following Monday.

In moving them to the High School near my husbands work, they will have a better education and more opportunities for after school sports, etc. It also will make it easier on Rob when he needs to take them to our church (only a few miles away) for worship practice and High School youth service. Having them so close to their dad will also make it easy for him to take them to school and bring them home. They will not be home until when Rob would normally get home, but I hope that they are able to use the time after school to complete homework, etc.

It all sounds pretty complicated and some may wonder why we don't just keep them in our local schools or even homeschool, but while I had felt a huge relief when two of my kids were accepted into the charter school 10 minutes away, I was still torn because my fifteen year old boys were heading to a school that I was settling on (because it was the closest one to us that was better than our boundary school). Ever since Wednesday morning, I've felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I'm so relieved!


  1. Actually, I think all 5 grandkids know how to get things out of Gamma; but when funds available I enjoy getting them things. Looking forward to taking them shopping next week and getting ready for high school....can't believe I have 2 almost 16 year olds. They are terrific though, great kids as are Casey, Chloe and Caleb. Gamma

  2. wow. your husband seems to be a brillant man. not only did he think about the high school thing all by himself, but he also was smart enough to marry you...

  3. Back to school is so stressful. I have 2 at one school this year and only one at a different school.