Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Hodge-Podge

I've had a hard time writing because I'm in an August funk. While I'm looking forward to having more time to devote to my job and to myself once the kids are in school, I'm not looking forward to all of the schlepping here and there, the homework trauma, and the weekends full of sports.
Jake can relate and he proclaims, "August is the Sunday of the summer."

You nailed it, kid. When I was teaching school I could NOT enjoy Sundays because all I could do was think about what I should be doing to get ready for school the next day.

Adding to our August-angst is my annual pilgrimage down the "Where should I send the kids to school" road? Yes, I know school starts in mere DAYS, and most other parents would have figured this out by, say, last June. I know that if it is causing me stress, it must also be causing Molly (the kid in question this year) stress too. My friends won't even talk to me about it, because they've been there with me before, and before, and before.

I have been praying that God would give me a clear sign about where to send Molly-- to the public school she attended last year, or the private one she attended the 3 years prior. Sunday morning I sat in church and the pastor used a certain word in his sermon no fewer than 15 times, and the word just happened to be the NAME OF THE PRIVATE SCHOOL!

Here's the thing, the school's name is a word found in the Bible, so it's not like the pastor was saying, "Miss Junie's Finishing School," but it's not super-common word like, say, Jesus or Faith. I was taken aback. Like, "God, is this my sign? Seriously? The two schools and school experiences are so utterly different I need a CLEAR sign, Dude."

Now if a brick had hit me on the head as I left church and the brick had etched in it "Miss Junie's Finishing School" I would GET it, but this? I just don't know what to make of this.

So we have that issue.
We also have Molly's Triple-C's. She announced that she HATES "Cats, Clowns, and Canada." I kind of get the first two, but Canada? No explanation forthcoming from Molly, and I would like to apologize to my dear Canadian readers. I promise I am not a Canada-basher. She actually fake-spat when she saw a maple leaf yesterday. I'm so sorry.
Not much else to report except Tom and I are having a stand-off between gray (his choice) and black (my choice) shingles for our new roof. Roof guys are ready to go, but they need our decision. I know black is not energy efficient, but it looks nice. Thoughts? Please weigh in.

If you would like to make our school decision, shingle decision, and figure out a way to cure Molly's Xenophobia, I'd be grateful. Not too much to ask for a Friday afternoon, right?

I know you can do it! I am still laughing over the descriptions you came up with to describe my sitting next to the sex blogger at dinner. Check 'em out in the comments section.


Ellen aka Ellie said...

Where does Molly want to go to school?

Wouldn't black shingles just fade to gray in time?

Canada? What did Canada ever do to her?

Don't you hate it when people answer questions with questions?

Phoe said...

I've got these in 'estate gray'. (I think.)

What color is your house?

Did you make a pros/cons list for each school? Sometimes that helps.

Brandi said...

I'm from Canada and laughed at what your daughter offence taken :)

Virginia said...

OMG. I had the exact same dispute over shingles this spring. I say go with black, because that is what I wanted and instead, we had to COMPROMISE. He wanted light gray. So instead of either of those colors, we got medium gray. AND got into a fight over it in front of the roofer.

Christy said...

I love your overuse of italics and bold. I do the same with ALL CAPS and exclamation points!!! and ellipses...

Where does Molly want to go to school? I vote for black shingles.

Anonymous said...

Black shingles, Miss Junie's Finishing School. Done and done.


Momastery said...

can you tell us more about the advantages/challenges of each school? im terribly curious.

seriously, WHAT is Molly's deal? If I thought you'd let me, I'd ask to take her out for a girls' night. She is so fantastically random. Love her.


Heidi said...

As a Canadian I am totally offended. No, I'm really not.

As for schools...I have no idea. We talk about what high school Annie might have to go to already. She is 7 and I am ridiculous. So, I can't be of help to you.

Black shingles.

Have a great weekend!!

vawriter said...

Black, cuz it will heat up and melt that crappy snow faster. Yeah--it's coming.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Thanks for not being offended, Brandi!

All- Here are some more details:
Molly has informed me that I'm the parent, so I should decide.

PROS for Private: small (15 person) class size, advanced, challenging curriculum without having to test as "G.T.", Christian, same school as Jake, so 1/2 the schlepping for me each day and same school holidays. They get a lot done and she would be more than prepared for middle school!

PROS for Public: free! nice environment, more creative environment (creative writing, reading groups).

CONS for Private: classical Christian curriculum is based on memorization of facts, not Molly's strength. I love the challenging environment, but some of the stuff they learn seems much easier to just Google, if you know what I mean (all the capitals of the Central Asian countries?)I dread the homework, the tests, and having her have to catch up on a missed year of Latin and Grammar. Too much pressure for her?
Could be a bit stifling-- you know Molly's spirit-- I want that celebrated not stifled by the strictness. (Reader Brenda Susan made me think of this in an earlier blog comment, since she sent her boys to private Christian school and had fallout later)

Cons Public School: 29-30 kids per class, no time for indiv attention such as in Math. We had to have a math tutor all year b/c M just did not "get" it in her classroom environment.

She is in a non-gifted class within a gifted center, and I feel that her class gets the shaft regarding level of challenge and resources.

More "girl drama" as M has told me. I think this means she is uncomfortable with the pressure of growing up too fast.

Does all this help or just muddy the h2o?

Mrs. K said...

Med. Gray shingles - compromise?

You asked God for a prayed for a sign. You got your sign at least 15 times during the service and yet you question it. ??? I think you know the answer already :)

Anonymous said...

OK, Anna. Clearly she has not been to Nova Scotia or she could not possibly hate Canada.

I'd go with private since your son is there and it would be easier (if more expensive) for YOU. And I'm all about YOU! But also sounds more challenging and small classes are a very good thing. Also I'm totally sold on private schools since our son's brief experience in public.

No opinion on shingles.

By the way, if the Nova Scotia comment isn't enough for you to know it's me, I DO read (and occasionally comment) on your blog. Loved the cheesecake and wine hope to repeat next summer!

Julia said...

Shingles...Find a very dark charcoal gray shingle that is almost black but not black...and not gray. Your roof will look great no matter what...because it will be new. :)

Private vs. Public...I say Public school. And all the money you save from sending her to Private needs to be socked away for college. College is EXPENSIVE.
Good and bad things happen and children look to us as their safety net. I read somewhere that when adults look back on their childhood, what they remember most is family time, not school time.

And need to get to the root of this. I would love to know what's in Molly's brain when she sees a Maple leaf. ha. Perhaps her heart was broken by a Canadian boy? Or she watches too much HGTV where they seem to tape a lot of shows in Canada? And the way they say "a?" has her growling.

By the way...I am still laughing to myself about the hairy arm....I also married a hairy man...only his is all on his legs and chest...hardly any on his arms. Well, there is a lot on his knuckles. Gotta go...this is starting to gross me out.

xoxo, Julia

Gigi said...

Hi. Dropping in from who remember's where - to weigh in on this great debate. As for the school, look at the child. Our local public school gets very high marks. It was the reason we moved into the area. But when it came time for my son to move into middle school it was apparent that he needed the smaller setting - and the challenges - otherwise, he'd just fall through the cracks. As for the shingles - totally depends on the color of the house. I never even noticed the color of shingles before I had to make the choice.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

I don't know about the school or the shingles or the canada hate (so funny!!) but I do KNOW WHAT YOU SPEAK OF regarding Sundays! Tomorrow is sunday and monday is the first day of school. I'm not even enjoying my saturday! I hope it gets better after the first week :)

Sunday of the summer. That's perfect.

Shannan Martin said...

I don't really know you, so I can't really weigh in. Just wanted to tell you that I'm happy you stopped by and said hello so that I could turn and do the same. I like it here. I like you. :)

anymommy said...

I hate school decisions. I feel your pain.

Gwen said...


Oh, wait, that's where I am. Can hardly afford this international school; don't want to put my kids in Swiss school. What's left? Oh! I know! Unschooling.

There. Now I've solved both our problems.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I love that--August truly is the Sunday of summer. Every day feels bittersweet.

Boy, can I relate to the school thing. I agonized over that with my own daughter two years ago. I would lie awake at night, making endless pros & cons lists in my head. In the end we went with the public school, and I figured I could always switch her back to private if it didn't work out. So far she loves it, and I love not getting those tuition bills every month. Ha.

The Canada thing made me laugh out loud. What in the world?!

Tracie said...

I'm all for looks over substance so I say black. (I'll be having the exact same dilemma next summer.)

Your kids are cracking me up.

kim jackson said...

not a sign....

i imagine canada will become another place, thing, person in time....



kim jackson said...

and i say, go PUBLIC.... :]

Jill said...

Ok, so I'm a few days lot and many dollars short - and by now you've probably already made your heavy decisions. But I'll give you my input anyway - because that's the kinda girl I am.

I am all for the public school education, if and when it fits the child. After doing private school these last 2 years, I can totally appreciate the small classes and individual attention given to the kids.

I am also a big believer in signs and karma. It truly sounds like you got your calling - and I think that you need to listen to your inner self to make the right decision for YOU.

As for the shingles - absolutely no opinion as I own nothing more than clothes and furniture - no house to speak of. Though I know you'll be helping me change that when I move your way in the next 6-8 months.

Which, by the way, I should tell you that I'll be there from Nov 10 - 13th house hunting.

mosey (kim) said...

The fact that I finally seem to emerging from my own August funk means that I won't take offense at your daughter's bias against Canadians. Too funny.

I'm late to this post, but I hope the school sitch has sorted itself. My daughter has been in public school for a year (just starting 1st grade), and I still waffle over the decision.

Mrs4444 said...

haha I definitely thought you were talking about your hair color :)

Was it something I said? You're always welcome to link up to Friday Fragments :)

It sounds to me like you couldn't have gotten a more clear sign from your pastor. After all, he didn't use the name/word of the other school, did he? ;)

offtoworkigo said...

Black shingles = absorbing more sun. If you live in a colder climate, go black. If you live in a warmer climate...well, you'd already know that black was an impossible idea and you wouldn't even be entertaining the thought.

the Hawks said...

this is just way too funny!