Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Still Learning the Ropes: From Idaho to Texas (church, school and hair)

We have been in Texas for about 2 ½ months now. Honestly, it feels like we’ve been gone at least twice that long! When I realize we’ve only been here 2 ½ months, I see just how much we’ve packed into that time frame and why some things aren’t quite “concrete” in our lives yet.

So, I think we’ve found a church home. That’s good news. It’s huge. One thing I’ve noticed about the churches here is that most of them have police officers outside on-hand to direct traffic. I had never seen that before! And at our church, at the ladies Bible Study they have water bottles for you. A whole bottle, people! Laugh at me, if you will, but in Idaho, I’m so used to a Styrofoam cup and a pitcher of water. If I want a whole water and don’t want to pay for it? Well, the only places I can think of getting that, is at the bank when you open a loan, or at the car dealership when closing a deal on a car.  My husband went to a men’s event somewhere else last weekend, and he too, got a water bottle! We are uptown now! HA HA

I’ve noticed quite a few differences in schools. They, too, have policemen after school on hand to direct traffic! I can see why, because, well, there is a LOT of traffic. My girls’ school is huge. HUGE. It looks like a college campus sitting atop the hill.  In fact, their school has a welcome center. A WELCOME CENTER! I thought only hospitals had those!  Just look at this picture my daughter took one day of all the kids in the halls going to their next class!

Here, school doesn’t start until 8:45 am. It is SO nice. Back in Idaho, school started anywhere from 7:45 to 8:15. So it’s nice to have a little later start in the morning. But I will say we’ve been adjusting to the later release time. They get out at 4:05 instead of 3:15 – what we were used to. So the evening gets late quickly once you get home, crash a little bit from your day, and eat dinner. Not much time to dawdle!

I think one of my favorite things about schools in Texas (or at least the one my girls attend), is they have two sets of books for the kids. A school set and a “take home” set. So when we enrolled them, they each got these huge stacks of books for all their classes to take home and leave there.  No carrying heavy books back and forth to school! At school, they study out of the classroom set. Then they have a book at home to do their homework in! It’s genius.  They turn them in at the end of the year and of course are responsible for damages or missing books at that time. But I love it. I felt so bad for all my girls used to have to carry; especially when they had a game day of volleyball. They’d have their books, their purse, and their game stuff. Too much. They were so laden down with bags. Not anymore!

One thing I am struggling with a little bit right now is finding a good hair salon. So far, the quotes I’ve been getting for hair are quite a bit higher than in Idaho. And they seem to nickel and dime you for everything. Want to get a trim? No problem. Oh, but you want it washed and styled too? That’s extra. Want a highlight. Okay. But if you want a trim also – extra. So is wash and style or a deep conditioning. Every little thing – extra. So it really adds up. Not only that, quite a few salons have “ranks” of hairdressers. You can have a freshman stylist for cheaper. But once she gets good or passes some milestones set by the salon, then she becomes a sophomore stylist and your prices go up. And so on until she is a senior stylist. So even if you like who you have, your prices will go up immediately when her rank goes up. That’s kind of frustrating. So, still on the hunt for a place I can trust my head with permanently.

Overall, I’m still having a blast discovering all these differences. We’ve been having so much fun looking at the weather (even though we’ve had a cold snap of low 30’s) – because we laugh and smile when we see “home” is -2 or a high of 9. (Sorry, guys!)  And NO SNOW or ice for us yet this winter. That’s one of my favorites!

I think I will grow to love Texas more and more even though I know it’s imperfect. Just as Idaho was imperfect.

I’m so thankful to be here. And just having fun sharing with you all my discoveries.

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