Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Honor Roll & Terrific Kids

I did fairly well at school. I was an average student. I probably got mainly B grades. Never exceptional but I got by. There was no scheme/program at my High School that acknowledged all the straight A students or students that consistently performed well. There may be now but there wasn't when I was at school.

In the US, and probably other countries, there is the Honor Roll. I never really knew what it was all about. I didn't get on it when I was an Exchange Student in Michigan and never really paid much attention to it.

Today Z & K came home with their report cards for the 1st 9 weeks of school. K is in 2nd Grade and Z is in 3rd Grade. Z started medication for his ADD the day before starting back to school.

K has been chosen as a 'Terrific Kid' Representative for her class and will be recognized at a 'Celebration Ceremony' next week.

Z got all As and 1 B+ and has made the Honor Roll. He will be recognized at a 'Celebration Program' this Thursday.

Some people may not think Honor Roll is a worthwhile thing or something that accurately acknowledges students hard work but I like it. When I told Z his grades, he hadn't looked in his report card envelope so had no idea, and I told him how proud I was of him and how proud his dad and sister were of him too, he smiled the biggest smile. That made my heart happy. Especially when I know how hard it has been for him to adjust to school in the US and to be on medication. I wondered if I was doing the right thing by putting him on meds. I also wondered if I was doing the right thing when we kept him back a grade when we first moved to Indiana. (We put him into 1st grade but moved him to Kindergarten at Christmas break, not long after we moved over.)

I think we have made the right choices for our kids education.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Christmas. British Style.

It is almost November. I won't mention the fact it will be 73F/23C on Guy Fawkes Night. That will be the warmest November 5th I will ever have experienced.

November brings Thanksgiving but December brings Christmas and there is something that has been part of my Christmas for all of my life and has been missing for a couple Christmases here in the US. (Mainly due to my dislike of American chocolate.)

Today I received in the mail a package from a friend in the UK. It was a lovely surprise and not at all expected but it means that I will be able to have the Christmas experience that I've had since I was a little girl. Now there are 3 calendars and 4 people live in my house.....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween - Have You Got Money To Spend?

It is Halloween soon. Did you know that? I'd never have known. It's not like there is much stuff around in the stores.

Of course I am lying. There is stuff EVERYWHERE! Talk about commercialism! Wow! Costume stores are one thing but when there is something in almost every store you go into it gets a bit much. Can't even go to the store for milk without seeing at least dozen Halloween specific things.

I was just at one of the Wal-Mart stores near me and in the space of a few minutes I saw so much stuff that has been repackaged just for Halloween. It is only for 1 day isn't it? It's not secretly a week long? Is it as big as Christmas or Thanksgiving? I don't think so but the sheer volume of products out there with packaging just for Halloween is mind boggling! Plus most of it is aimed at children. (Although I admit I bought a bag of the candy corn M&Ms today.)

There are whole, and really long, aisles of candy for Halloween. Bags with 10 pieces of candy. Bags with 20 pieces of candy. Bags with 250 pieces of candy!! We don't have any trick or treat candy yet. Last year I bought 2 bags from Walgreens and we only got 4 kids come to the door and 2 of them were my own children! Our neighbor has said that there will be loads of kids this year but I am not sure if we will be home as we will be taking our own kids out trick or treating. hmmmm. decisions decisions!

I have been to a Halloween party this past weekend and K also went to one at her friends house. Z has not gone to a party but he does not seem all that bothered. We are going to be taking them both trick or treating on Halloween night but that is it for us going to parties. My Halloween costume is actually on eBay right now. I got a wedding dress from Goodwill and 'zombiefied' it. Ben got a suit from the same Goodwill and tore it up and rolled around in the dirt. Bizarrely I don't usually dress up, for anything so no idea what got into me this time!
Every year since we have been in the US, I have gotten more and more caught up in it all. First year, no costume. Second year, a lovely polyester black & white stripe prisoner outfit. This year, full on liquid latex, fake blood, lots of make-up, a wig and a customized dress! What on earth will I do for Halloween 2013?!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Comment Moderation & Word Verification

Due to the sheer volume of spam comments I have been getting on this blog I have turned on 'word verification'. I don't get many comments on the blog anyway but I needed to turn on verification because I was getting so many comments coming through to me via email because I have comment moderation turned on. It was really starting to irritate me. So, if anyone ever feels the desire to comment on this blog and doesn't like having the word verification thing there, then you can blame the spammers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Downside

As great as it is living in the US there is always the odd downer. Recently one smacked me in the face. I became an aunt for the first time. My brother and sister in law had a baby a couple days ago and I now have the mot beautiful niece. I have been sent pictures of her by my brother and she looks so adorable. We even share a middle name. I am hopeful to see her before she is one. In any event I am going to be the best aunt she could ever imagine having.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shopping For A Nerdy Girl

Shopping is a national pastime in the US. It is all going to get a bit ridiculous the closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and people go mental at the stores with stupidly reduced discounts on things. I've never been brave enough to go, yet. I am sure I will one day. I am more of a power shopper and do better on my own. I like to get in, find what I want and buy it quickly with minimal fuss. Not an easy thing to do sometimes. I like the ease of shopping online. Perhaps it is too easy.

I am trying to be a bit more grown up and embrace my feminine side a bit more. By that I mean I am going to try wearing heels and try making more care of my skin/appearance. I got an email from JustFab.com offering me 50% off a pair of shoes from their website. (I'm more of a bag lady but thought I'd take advantage of the offer.) I got the pair of boots called Gemma. All I need to do now is practice walking in them.

To counteract the girly side of this recent purchase I also bought some new case for my iPhone. I have been rocking a bright pink retro Game-boy style case recently but decided it was time to try something new. I really pushed the boat out and spent $2.50 on a 3 pack of new cases. I got them from Amazon. You can get pretty much anything your heart desires from Amazon. I am sure Ben will pinch one of these as he had one a while ago but subsequently lost it. I am waiting for another case  with a Union Jack design on it which is being sent from Hong Kong.

While you can buy a lot of stuff online, sometimes you need to go into a store. I mentioned before that we have been invited to a Halloween party. I don't usually do dressing up but have decided to give it a go this year. Wouldn't want to be the odd one out. Plus Halloween is a much bigger deal here than it is in the UK. Last weekend Ben and I were out with K, we'd dropped Z off at a friends house for a birthday party, and we ended up in a local Goodwill store where I think I found my Halloween costume. It is a very 80's wedding dress. It will cost $60 and I would be ripping it and squirting fake blood on it. That's not too bad is it? Unless someones dream is to look like a bride from 1984 then I don't think I'll be ruining anyone's possible future wedding. My plan is to look like a zombie bride. I am planning to go back to Goodwill this weekend and see if they still have the dress. If it fits then I am getting it. (I was at a Halloween party last year and there was a couple there who were dressed like a zombie bride and groom. It was very cool.) I'm sure it would be easier, and probably cheaper, to buy a costume but I think this will be more fun.

I've been looking at YouTube for ideas for make up and I think this is a more realistic one for me to try.

All being well I'll post pictures of dress and the end effect when we go to the party.

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14? Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why. ...