Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh, My Heart

Mia has really been struggling. She is having a hard time making friends. It is hard when you move into a small community where everyone has known (or is related to) everyone else since they were babies. The girls in both her church class and school class are happy to simply play with the kids they have known.
I had thought that everything was going well. Jared was the one I was worried about making friends. I had fasted that all of the kids would make friends, but I really focused on Jared. He is thriving. Mia, on the other hand is not.
A few weeks ago, we were having our Family Night treat and I asked the kids to give me an update: what did they like about school and what are they struggling with. The boys were all doing wonderfully. They all really like school and their struggles are simple things, like; I wish I had a longer recess or I don't like to do homework. Mia told us at the table that she hated school and she wished she never had to go to recess. The only thing she liked about South Summit Elementary was her teacher. She didn't have any friends and no one wanted to be her friend. I was pretty surprised.
I had an appointment with her teacher, (it turns out it was for the next day, but I somehow got my days mixed up) so I went in to talk to her. When I told Mrs. Blazzard what Mia was feeling, she said, "Oh. That breaks my heart." As a result, I started to cry. This is my little girl who loves school and now she doesn't want to go. Mrs. Blazzard said that she had been having difficulty already with the girls in her class being friendly and she had put some things in place, hopefully to help them become friends. She also said that Mia has been sitting by boys and she changed that. Mia had a great day the next day. She sat by Molly and they had fun together. I thought things were getting better.
Fast forward to yesterday. When Mia was eating breakfast, she kept saying her throat hurt. I suggested she drink some water - sometimes my throat hurts first thing in the morning. A little bit later, she said her stomach hurt. Being the compassionate and loving mom that I am, I told her that it was probably because she was hungry and for her to hurry because she was going to be late. As Mia and Gordon were headed out the door, I noticed that Mia was crying. She didn't want to talk to me about it. I went with her outside, so we could have some privacy and asked her what was going on. (Sometimes I think I must be so obtuse.) She told me that she hates going to school. That it is too hard to go without any friends. She said that she can't even play 4-square because she doesn't understand their rules. Everything is so different from Fox Hills. My heart broke for her. I thought she would be okay once she got to school (again with being obtuse). I told her that if things didn't get better during the day, I would come and pick her up and she could come home. I didn't get a phone call all day so I thought things were okay. When I picked the kids up from school, Mia handed me a note from her teacher, asking me to call her. Mia said she didn't know what it was about. Then she burst into tears and said, "I'm so sorry!" Of course I didn't know what she was talking about. She said, "I'm sorry. I was feeling so sad and I cut my hair." I just laughed about it - seriously, it is just hair. She didn't like me laughing about her hair.
Anyway, I was trying to figure out what was going on inside her little mind and her teacher called. She told me what I had already figured out - that Mia is really having a hard time at school. We are trying to figure out how to help her make friends. Every part of me wants to tell her yes, I will home school you. I don't know if that will teach her to run from her problems or if it will help her. Honestly, I am at a loss as to what I can do. I hate that she is struggling so much. She came into my room and just started sobbing. "It's no fair that we had to move to Kamas. I just wish we could go back to West Valley." It is a little bit hard for me too, because I can't say that I haven't felt that way since the move - not every day but I do at times feel like I wish we could have just stayed in West Valley. But, this is where we live now and we can either long for what we had or be happy for what we have.
Mrs. Blazzard did tell me that Mia said the only kid she likes playing with is Kameron. I asked if Kameron was a boy or a girl and he is a boy. I asked if he was a good kid and she said he is. I suggested to Mia that she get his phone number and we could invite him over to play. I also put her to bed earlier, since I think that is part of why she had such a bad yesterday. I really hope today goes better for her. I have been tearing up about this ever since yesterday morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fun in Francis

Over Labor Day Weekend, Francis had their "Frontier Days". This is a celebration for the settling of Francis. It started out with kids riding sheep.


I am not exactly certain who to feel sorry for. The kids who obviously didn't want to ride on these sheep or the sheep.

This boy wanted a second try.

See how this mom caught her son as he flew off the sheep?

This boy did the best of all the riders. He rode for so long.

His mom looks exceptionally proud of him. I think they all got a trophy for participating.

After riding the sheep, they brought out the calves. These little calves were so spirited. All of the kids were crying when they fell off. Maybe they thought it would be fun before they got on?

It was a little insane.




After riding the calves, the Rodeo Queen and her Attendants held animals and the kids by varying ages got to catch them. If they caught them, they kept them.

Here you can see Mia and Jared. They are next to their friends, Katelyn and Ethan.

Jared is really hoping for this chicken. He has grand ideas that he will be able to sell it if he catches it. Unfortunately for him, he didn't catch it.

They taped $5.00 to the hind end of this calf. You can see Mia chasing it. She got pretty close and then someone shoved her down.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Emergenseek!

I don't remember all of the details, but I do remember waking up to cute little Jared running into my room in the middle of the night yelling, "Emergenseek! Emergenseek!" and then he told us something about his friend. As a result, when something is happening around here we say, "Emergenseek! Emergenseek!"

The Elementary School here has an Emergency Plan set in place. I received a (3) letter reminding me to send in food for my student in the event that there was an emergency and they couldn't make it home. I don't know if this has ever happened before. I don't know that I really want to know if this has happened before - maybe due to weather or something. I do like that they are prepared and have something in place so the kids won't go hungry. I am to include one of those solar blankets for each of the kids, so I guess they won't go cold either.

I like that they suggested a comfort item such as a note or a copy of a family picture. Luckily the 3 younger kids will have each other too.

I called the middle school to see if they have a similar plan in place. They said they don't. I decided I am just going to make a kit for Jared too, to place in his locker. I doubt that he will need it, but I know both of us will feel a lot better if he does.

School Pickup

The kids generally ride the bus home from school. Wednesday Gordon was invited to a birthday party at the movie theater and in order for us to be on time, I needed to pick the kids up from school. I called the school to ask them to please let my kids know that I would be picking them up. They asked if I would be going through the pickup line. I told them yes. I was a little nervous about the kids getting on the bus because I couldn't see them anywhere.

I got in line behind some cars, while wondering if I was even in the right line and how easy it would be to just park somewhere and go find them.

A few short minutes after I stopped in the middle of the road (the line I was in), the cars in front of me started driving. I cautiously followed them, hoping I was in the right spot. Let me tell you, the system they have for picking up kids from school is so slick! The cars forms a line. All of the kids that are going to be picked up from school go to the front of the line. Some teachers stand with them to make sure they only go with their parents. Cars pull up, get their kids and drive away. They allow about 4 cars to be picking up students at a time. Then the next cars pull forward. Someone is there directing the cars, so you know exactly what to do. It was calm and efficient. I was very impressed with their system.

It was so fun to be watching my kids and seeing the moment when they recognized me. Their eyes lit up and they started waving. I might have to do it again, just for that sweet moment when they are so happy to see me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Triathlon

Jared and Mia wanted to sign up for their first triathlon on Saturday.




This was a hard thing for both of the kids. We haven't trained at all and the first time I tried to see if they could run 3/4 mile was a week ago. They both did their best and didn't give up when things got hard. We learned some things and they are both talking about doing it again next year.

I think this was an amazing experience for them and gave them a boost in their self confidence. It is a good thing to be able to complete something so difficult and feel good about the effort you put into it.

I was really proud them.

Ellis

This little cutie is such a hoot. He makes the funniest faces throughout the day. He has entered the "cheese stage". Whenever I pull out the camera he will smile but he doesn't look at the camera.


I am loving this total cheese face. This is the face I most often see. I love how completely it portrays this stage in his life.

Space Cowboy

Let me introduce to one of the loves of my life. This is Gordon. He would like to have it be known that he "IS NOT A COWBOY!" I know he looks like one and he does live in Kamas, but he is NOT a cowboy.

The other day, since Kamas has a "rich cowboy culture", all of the first grade students were to dress up as cowboys. They already "dressed" a paper doll as a cowboy before school started.

Gordon was pretty upset to have to be a cowboy. He was grouchy about the whole thing and then he was the only first grade student at the bus stop. Some of the bigger kids were looking at him. He defiantly looked back at them, silently daring them to say anything about his clothes. No one said anything but when the bus came, he didn't care to get on it.


The principal brought her horse for the kids to see. I asked Gordon if he liked seeing the horse and he said, "No. I didn't like it. All we got to do was look at it and watch it eat grass." He was completely unimpressed.

At least he got to have a Popsicle and that seemed to have made the whole dressing like a cowboy thing worthwhile.