For the first time in years, and indeed EVER for Sam, the boys went to school today.  They were up SUPER early and very excited.  They eagerly got dressed in their uniforms  as quickly as possible, including hat, shoes & socks lol.  We chose stuff for lunches and filled their cool new lunch boxes then added a snack for morning tea as well.  And there was still nearly an hour to go before we needed to leave!

So morning cartoons filled a bit of time.  We left early anyway, as we had to find out their classroom assignments and locate them as well.. not hard to do really since there are only 4 of the major buildings complete on campus yet!   We met their teachers, who seem lovely.  They are in composite classes.. so Sam is in with grades 2 & 3 and Frodo is in with 4 & 5.    Drop off went smoothly, and when Merry & I left, the boys were in their respective classes doing fun little activities chosen to keep them entertained while the teachers met the parents & the rest of the students.

Merry was quite put out about the whole thing... He wants his Sam back!  (he told me this through out the day)  so he & I went to the shops and got a ham & cheese danish from the baker and Merry got his very own blended iced chocolate ;)  He didn't drink half of it... but it was for medicinal purposes.. to wash away his woe and all that.  Then we eventually (after MUCH discussion on his part) managed to choose him some new shoes to replace his much loved Diego sneakers, which are sadly no longer available that we can find.  He changed his mind several times, and even decided at one point that NONE of them would do *sigh* but I finally got him to accept a pair in the end. 

Then we came home.. and it wasn't even 11am yet!  The house was quiet... freakishly, unnaturally quiet.  Merry wanted his brothers... I sorta did too :(  We snuggled on my bed for over an hour just having a cuddle & a chat.  I've been informed now that he wishes to go to kindy (preschool) ... what on EARTH am I gonna do with my time if he keeps that up and I actually have to LET him!?!?! ARGH!

Eventually the time to go pick them up rolled around :D  Merry was quite happy and impatient that they did not come out RIGHT NOW!   Finally they did though, and he gave Sam the biggest hug ever... it was so cute.  Frodo & Sam were all smiles at pick up, they said they had a GREAT day.  They made lots of friends and like their teachers so far. 

Here's Sam with a big cheesy grin as he finds his name tag and explores the classroom a bit!  When I last saw him this morning he was merrily building with some gadgety things :)
Frodo settled in quite nicely, he was chatting up his classmates and working on a word search puzzle when I left.  Funny, when I told his teacher that he would need some gentle guidance on classroom etiquette, as he was homeschooled for 3 years, he said OH but I went to school when I was 5.  As if to say 'don't worry, I got this covered!'  lol

The day was not without drama though,  as we loaded into the car to come home, DH was distracted and didn't notice my ARM sticking through the back door to give Frodo some papers to hold... I now have a nice purple line & raised welt across my tricep where it got crushed by the door *sigh*  Man does it suck to drive a stick shift at a time like this!

All is quiet here in the Hobbit household now... the boys are all sleeping, tomorrows lunches are made (and particularly epic ones at that... must take a photo & share) and all ready to do it again tomorrow!

I'm sure just about everyone that isn't living in a 3rd world country without television knows by now, that 75% of Queensland has had severe flooding.  It's been surreal, and emotional to watch.  In 1992, I lived in Homestead Florida and experienced Hurricane Andrew in all his glory.  I joked for years, that all my stuff now lived in the Everglades.  What little wasn't ruined by the storm, was destroyed by looters & vandals.  WTF is wrong with people, that they will destroy or take, the last few things that remain of a families LIFE, is just beyond me. 

Amazingly enough there have only been about 18 or so arrests for looting at this point. Kudos for most of the people of Queensland for being truly awesome people and helping out their fellow Queenslanders, instead of being heartless bastards.  There have been some amazing stories out of this tragedy, and I have been moved to tears by how amazing peple have been to each other. 

My new job was supposed to be getting underway in the last week, but the suburb where I am to be working, and where corporate HQ is at for the orientation... were in flood affected areas, so that was an obvious no go.  But this week I am getting stuck into training.  DH on the other hand, has nothing to do.  Here comes the awesomeness.  Last week, from Tuesday midday on, it was impossible to work due to massive, unbelievably widespread flooding.  For us, this was awful... dh is a contract driver.. no work = no pay for self employed folks.  He was told today by his boss, that every one of their 7 drivers would be getting paid at a rate of about 2/3 of their avg daily rate!  This is something they have no obligation to do whatsoever.  And dh has been there maybe 2months tops.   The company didn't want to financially disadvantage their drivers because mother nature pissed on our parade (pardon my french lol) 

So,  we will NOT have to hit the govt up for one of their income support payments, and I'm happy about that.  There are people out there with no homes, no electricity, no anything... I am happy to cop a few hundred dollars so that there is more for those that truly need it.
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A friend contacted me today to see how we are doing and I thought I'd best pop in and give an update.  I didn't realize it had been since the end of October that I posted here,  I guess discussing things home schooly was a bit upsetting for a while for me so I was avoiding the subject.   A lot has happened over the last few months...

On Jan 24 both Frodo & Sam will have their first days of school at a 'brick & mortar' school.  I found a brand new school in a suburb we like (and have lived in before) that we have enrolled them in.  I'm very pleased in that the school is starting the year with a total of 80 stufents!  I think that will go a long way towards easing the transition for the boys.  The principal is arranging for Frodo's hearing issues to be evaluated and possibly bringing in an OT if required.  She seems lovely and really loves what she does, and it shows.  Not at all like principals I remember from years past that's for sure.

 Merry is still not going to start school until next year, as he's just too 'young' emotionally.   The boys are actually quite looking forward to it and were very excited about trying on uniforms and checking out the school back pack.  They've got spiffy new lunchboxes that they love, bento type sort of, and are looking forward to a special first day of school lunch here (schools here do not provide meals, so all kids take their lunch.  They do have 'canteen' which has snacky foods available for purchase but they are more a treat thing for most).  We pick up their uniforms next week (very snazzy looking in Frodo's opinion... nice polo's with a school emblem and red microfibre shorts) and must get black sneakers for school shoes this week.  Haircuts were had this week as well :)   

In all honesty, they have taken this far better than I!  It has taken me the last couple of months to really get to a place of acceptance but I have put on a brave face for the kids.  Now I'm *almost* looking forward to it along with them.  I had been feeling very much like I have lost myself somewhere along this journey of learning, and was not coping well with that.  I have a new job, which as soon as mother nature stops throwing her fury around  in our river system, I will start training & orienting for.  It is a night job and I have to admit I really waffled when I got a night job.  I wondered if I'd done the right thing... if I should cancel their  enrollment etc.   But after a lot of talk with DH, we decided  that doing it all (or trying to) is doing me IN.  I had to admit my limitations... I can't work nights, even if it's only 3/4 nights a week, and still manage to educate the kids.  It wouldn't be fair to them, or to me.  So at least for now, we are staying the course we have chosen.   

We will also be moving house in a few months.  Our real estate agents are horrid, so we have decided we will move into the suburb where the kids school is so that we can walk to school and check out this whole school/ community thing.    And I have gotten a copy of my college transcript from the U.S. and plan to apply to go to nursing school when applications open later this year.  (would have applied in december, but the transcript was too slow to arrive *sigh*) 

If anyone still has this little blog of mine on follow, If you'd be interested in me continuing it and updating on our transition from home to school and life in general... please drop me a comment :)    Thank you for reading along on this amazing journey that we have been on.  Know that this is not the end of my children & I learning together...but at least for now, it's a big change in how we do it.  I will continue to be every bit as involved in their education as I can possibly be... and I'm sure the teachers will get sick of me volunteering on my days off LOL.