First Day of School 2011

While those of you in the states are getting spring fever and hoping that the last few months of school will pass quickly, way down south (in Arequipa, Peru to be exact), today was the first day of school. Ana was so excited about her first day. It is hard to believe that we have been here almost 3 years and she has been enrolled in a school program from the start. The reason this year is different is because she is with 4 year olds. 4 is the required age by law to begin school here in Peru. She has been enrolled in a preschool the last couple of years and this year is her first time to be with big kids. The school is ages 3-high school.
New things for us this year:

1. We enrolled her in a significantly cheaper school than her preschool. Not because we don’t love her, but because she was with the ritzy kids of Arequipa in her preschool, and we aren’t exactly going for that for her total experience in school. After Greg and I checked the school at last year (and it comes recommended by one of our church members) we decided it didn’t have any major red flags. And to be honest folks, she is FOUR (almost)! When the education really begins to matter we are considering home schooling.

2. We had to buy EVERYTHING. I have never seen a list so long in my life. But today, after dropping her off, we learned that we were supposed to provide a “locker” just for her things. Parents were carrying in decorated boxes. Some brought in large market bags. In our ignorance we had no clue. This happens a lot of you can believe that. 🙂 We will be purchasing a really cool princess market bag in the near future.

3. Ana has a uniform this year. Isn’t she cute? She doesn’t have to wear this sweatsuit everyday so I asked Greg to ask her teacher is there is a requirement (the older kids do have to wear the uniform everyday). Her reply, “Oh, just a plain white shirt.” Do you know how many plain white shirts Ana has? NONE! So I will be making a white t-shirt run when I go for the market bag as well. She is also required to wear white socks and white shoes every day.

4. She goes to school until 1:30 so by the time she gets home, we eat lunch as a family no sooner than 2 pm. This is truly the Peruvian lunch schedule. I was starvin-Marvin today. Eventually I will adjust. Maggie and I are going to start having a large snack time mid-morning.

5. Greg didn’t get there in time today but we have to pick her up early to see what car pooling services are available. We are unsure if anyone has a service to our hood, but the director of the school said it was a possibility and also there is a teacher that lives near us. The cost of the service is cheaper than using the public transportation in the long run. They would pick her up in the morning and bring her home in the afternoon which would be a huge help to us.

That is really all I know for now. I know that this year holds lots of other new things for us. She said she had a great day. She said she met lots of new friends but she couldn’t tell me any of their names. We shall see. I think there are about 10 in her class. Now for picture time!
First day of school smile. (I really like her school colors)

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Random, I know, but a look at our snow capped mountains. So beautiful.

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Ana’s expression doesn’t exactly capture it, but these two love each other. Maggie missed Ana today. After their naps I sat Mags down by her sister and she immediately layed her head on her shoulder. I couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.

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First Day of School 2011

Summer Days are Over

Friday is our family day, and sadly this is the last day to “sleep in” as a fam for a good while. Typically the girls will get up around 8 am or later, but Ana’s school will begin at 8:30 starting on Monday. We took her to get an official shot record today and to buy the rest of her school supplies. I have learned that although we pay a lot less for the school she is starting in we buy ALL of the supplies for her year. I am talking the pens for the teacher to use and the hooks for her backpack and art jacket to hang on. That was a new thing for us this year.

I LOVE hanging out with the girls and it has hit me that this is a phase that I cannot come back to. Ana starts school and I will experience lots more one-on-one time with my little Maggie. That is exciting, but also, Cohen will be here in 2 months. How crazy is that. I will go from 2 to 1 to 2 and next summer will be 3! I look forward to it, but I guess today I just savored that last weekday with the two girls being home on summer break.

Here is a picture I took of us yesterday. We tore up playing in the park across the street. Gabriel and his mother, members of the church here, came to play with us. We had a blast. So, here we are one last time as “too cool for school.” That all changes on Monday.

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Summer Days are Over

March 1, 2011

So can we say “major catch-up?” I have been absent from the family site for most of this month, but tonight I have made several new posts. I am on a new roll. Here is what has been going on:

1. Greg is editor-in-chief of a missions journal that comes out twice a year. This was the month of publication so when I had the time to blog, he usually was using the computer to finish up the journal. I am so proud of him and the board of editors for their hard work on this issue. Here is the website to the journal (totally free). Check it out if you haven’t seen it before: http://www.missiodeijournal.com/ .

2. Greg took a trip 5 hours outside of the city. It is a really neat mission opportunity for the church here in Arequipa. If you haven’t read the article he posted on the team site, you can click this link: http://teamarequipa.net/stories/245-chaclaya .

3. We hosted a Valentine banquet for the church. It was a lot of fun besides all the rain we had that evening.

4. The rain. We have had LOTS of it this month. It has kind of dwindled down lately, but the Peruvians are saying that the rainy season will last thru mid-March. We shall see.

5. One of the women that has attended the library study in Porvenir for the last year has decided to be baptized. She has studied and attended the group that Abraham worships with in the Porvenir community. We rejoice with her and her decision and look forward to hearing the details of when and where.

6. I have written updates on all 3 children. I need Greg to help me post some video footage and we are good to publish. Be looking for those.

7. March is a big month. Our second incentive program for the Porvenir library happens this Saturday. We are hosting a back-to-school carnival for the Porvenir community a week after that. Ana starts school next Monday. And Ana turns 4 on the 23rd!

8. I started language classes again today. I will take them until Cohen arrives.

9. Greg and I are really being challenged in some similar thoughts lately. I will have to say that I am so blessed to struggle thru this step in my Christianity with my partner in ministry. God is molding us together, and that is a neat part of marriage.

10. Nearly 2 months from my due date! Collin, my brother, hopefully finds out his placement for residency this month and graduates from Med school 2 days after my due date. My mother’s hip recovery seems to be going well, and she plans to make the trip to Arequipa to help us after Collin’s graduation. It will be here before we know it.

March 1, 2011