Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A quick update on housing and schools

The housing update will be very brief.  I had planned on taking pictures and posting them but the financial side didn't get resolved yet and they still haven't cleaned the house.  The financial side should be resolved this week, not sure on the cleaning yet.  Hopefully that will be this week also but short story is we don't have the keys yet.  I will follow up with more info when I can.  For a mental image think of a skinny four story house.  Three rooms on each of the floors and the top floor isn't a full floor, it has gable ends on the front and back of the house so only the middle of the room is full height.  Large for over here but still smaller than our Brownsburg house.

Karl's school website is www.murraypark.co.uk for anyone interested in looking at it online.  As I said before, he starts school at the end of this month and the appeal for the nearby school is first day of regular firearm deer hunting season in the UP.

We checked out Kalle's school today.  It is Brookfield Primary School and doesn't have a website but it is on The Hollow in Mickleover, Derby for those keeping track at home.  And what a check out it was!  I almost left her there to finish the day.  But let me rewind a bit first: Lori received an email yesterday afternoon saying that Kal was accepted at Brookfield so KJ, KK and I stopped by to see if we could take a tour and start the registration process since it has been about 17 weeks since we submitted her school application.  Fast forward to this morning and we are standing in the admissions office and as I explained our situation to the admissions lady our name clicked in her head.  She had received an email yesterday saying that Kalle would be enrolling in school there.  So she starts digging out the registration info as we are talking and at one point asks us when she (Kalle) wants to start.  Jokingly I said today, the lady said how about tomorrow, and Kalle says yes.  Talk about your head spinning out of control.  At this point I start the mental list of everything I need to do and try to listen to the lady as she starts telling Kalle what she will be doing tomorrow.  At one point I almost stopped her to say, I was just kidding you know, but by then everything was just spinning out of reach so I went along for the anxiety filled ride.  By the end of the brief school tour I felt better, the school people were very nice and I think Kalle will be challenged.  (Only on the days she feels like being challenged of course, but I won't get into her psyche.  Mostly because I don't want to incriminate myself.) 

It was too cute at one point tho.  When we were talking to the admissions lady a couple of girls walked up waiting to talk to her.  When the lady figured out that Kal would be in Grade 5 she introduced Kalle to the two waiting girls since they would be in the same class.  FF (slight explanation - when we are watching a DVRed program and it gets to a commercial everyone who doesn't have the remote yells FF at whoever has the remote to fast forward through the commercials.  Unless Lori has the remote, yelling FF at her only makes her crabby so we don't do it to her anymore.) to the school tour and we are standing in the class room meeting the teacher and the class comes back from whatever they were doing.  One of the two girls we met at the admissions office sees Kalle and gives her a big smile and one of those shy girl's arm by the side hand raised half waves.  It was so cute.  And it made me happy since the kids looked genuinely excited to have another American in the class.  By coincidence there is a boy in the class whose dad works at Rolls.  They are here for one year and are from Carmel so that will be neat. 

To be honest I am not that worried about Kalle in a new school.  She would make a friend with a rock if you painted ears on the rock.  She has an awful lot of the Grandpa Jim's friendly personality in her.  It's funny how kids can be so different, Kalle is always willing and ready for a new adventure (including meeting people) whereas Karl needs the day planned out for him otherwise he starts feeling nervous and fidgety.  Karl also goes into total shock mode when Kal walks up to another girl, introduces herself and starts talking to her.  Karl has a lot of Grandpa Bob's reservedness in him. 

Fortunately the school was very understanding of our situation, living out of a suitcase for a few weeks, so they said Kal can skip wearing a uniform this week.  You should have heard the other kids in her class groan when the teacher introduced Kalle then said she didn't have to wear a uniform this week.  I guess uniforms are not very popular in Grade 5.  Now all Kal needs is 2 pound for lunch and she will be ready tomorrow morning.  And she is SO excited.  What an odd girl - she loves going to school and going to the dentist.  I think school is more for the social girl aspect, not sure about the dentist.  I used to love going to the dentist but that was just to see my cousin Joanne, miss your giggling face Joanne!  

Thanks for listening,

PS. Aunt Joanie, hopefully your screen isn't covered in red pen marks already.  I did find the spell check so that will help some, I am not sure what to do about the run on sentences and improper punctuation though.  Miss youse Alstonites.


  1. So excited that Kalle gets to start school!

    We continue to marvel at your capturing of the mood of the activities - we LOL'd reading a good portion of this - especially when you said you didn't want to delve into Kalle's psyche!

    We have several questions/observations about Karl's uniform policy (we downloaded it to show Ben so he can appreciate fully how good he has it). #1)The kids are going to have a rough time with spelling - "jewellery" huh? #2) Nail varnish - love it! #3) Make sure those Finn blonde heads don't go to school with their hair dyed in un-natural colors or patterns -- SERIOUSLY! Grandma Lona wouldn't allow such nonsense. #4) What is a balaclava?? #5) Likewise, what is a gumshield, advised to have for rugby and hockey (I think I know, but want confirmation) and finally #6) I'm curious, what is your "house colour" (again with the spelling) or "community color" - are there several different colors represented in each school? It reminded me of Harry Potty and their "Houses" - and made us chuckle. Keep it coming Jay - we love reading!

  2. Tammy,
    1) Spelling is my biggest concern over here, hopefully the teachers will be somewhat understanding.
    2) We already told Karl no nail varnish. haha
    3) No prob for Karl, he is already worried about standing out since he is an American. Kalle doesn't care, I think she actually likes the attention.
    4) Hood that covers neck and head, oval cut out for face and tucks into jacket. Your dad prorably had one but never called it that, I know we never called them that growing up.
    5) Mouth piece
    6) Red, all of the ties are navy blue and have stripes of gray and the house colors on them. Harry Potter's school very well describes schools over here.

  3. more good stuff, Jay

    I think they use the term "Year" rather than "grade" at least that's what we've noticed.

    Year 5 = 4th grade