Friday, 17 January 2014

january happenings

We are back in the saddle.  The second week back at school and working on a balance between the homework, social and sport activities that seem to run our lives.  Kiddos have started skiing / snowboading lessons again at Mount Hood (a good dumping of snow just a few days before their classes started was much appreciated - long may it continue).  Ruby loved her first lesson, despite initial complaints of hard boots, too many layers of clothes and blustery snow blowing her hair around!  I made a quick exit while she waddled off with the ski instructor and two hours later she was raving about loving it and can hardly wait for her next class.  Success!
Really wishing for snow this year... but not possible where Im at right now. How terribly sad... :(
The most time and mind consuming subject right now is the minefield of viewing Middle Schools for our Luca.  Yikes!  I can recall his first day at pre-school with the tears shed (by me).  Now he's 11 and has been through a Dutch school system, English international school and now IB PYP (InternationalBaccalaureate Primary Years Programme) here in the US.  The next step is here...

Both the Huzz and I were educated in the UK (more than a few years ago!) and it all seemed so straight forward and uncomplicated back then.  You sat your Eleven Plus examination in your final year at Elementary school.  If you passed you went to the local Grammer school.  If you didn't pass you went to the local secondary / comprehensive school.  Done.  I'm not saying that was the best way, it's just the way we did it back in the day!
if you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
The US system is all new to us. There is the Home school - the local public neighborhood school where most children would automatically go with a full rounded program.  Then there are the 'options' schools and small differences in what they offer can feel overwhelming.  Schools that cover the core subjects and then specialise in sciences and environmental studies, heavy on languages or technology or art/drama/theatre/design etc.  Places are allocated on a 50% 'lottery' system and then tbe other half in a second round of interviews.   What is the right fit for your child (not you!)?  Where would they hopefully florish best?  Do you split them up from good friends?  Do you forego Spanish in favour of learning an instrument?  Do you go for an all round education and not specialise?  How long on the school bus is acceptable?  The open house events hosted at schools by principals, teachers and students can range from impressive, informative and welcoming, where you come away with most of your questions answered and a feeling that you'd be very happy for your child to be in that environment every day.  To disheartening, dull, and very unimpressive presentations and drab unwelcoming schools, and wondering if the school is trying to put people off sending the kids there!  Aarrgh !!!

And then of course there are the private schools which is another kettle of fish entirely!

Decisions and an application need to be in by next Friday.

Pass the wine please!

And so….

I have been relaxing in the evenings working my way through two seasons of Girls.  Loved it.  Great characters.  Great writing.  Funny and real.  Four very different 20 somethings in NY, struggling financially, trying to work out their life and their love lives.  Bad sex.  Bad clothing.  Not SATC at all.  Lena Dunham is a great actress, writer and director, and I love the character Adam.   Recommended.
TV: Girls (HBO) Painfully funny and yet sometimes hurts your heart.
And I found this photograph on Pinterest. It bought back memories of a jacket I had when I was in my early teens that was almost identical this this one.  My mum found it at a 'jumble sale' (thrift market) and paid almost nothing for it.  Whatever happened to it?  Oh how I would love to own it now.
faux fur jacket
Hope your week is going well.  And we're nearly at the weekend!  Yay!


  1. Good luck with the school decision. I feel for you. I can elate. The only difference is that we have fewer choices where we are...but still I too have a decision to make for next year middle school.

  2. I went to a private school when I was young, and hated how small it was and how little it offered in extracurricular activities. My kids go to a public school and I'm amazed at how many options they have. For example, my daughter is in a Spanish immersion program, and my son has been taking Mandarin since 5th grade. He is now in 8th. Good luck with your decision, Victoria.

  3. I am not even going to start thinking about the school thing, because, frankly, it's doing my head in. Nothing seems to be straight forward. Meh :-( Good luck!! Dxx


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