Just about 2 months door to door, not bad! Better than when we went to Togo and it took 4 months to get our household effects, this is practically light speed. Even better, our car is scheduled for the same day. Cars can take 3-4 weeks to get through customs, but somehow ours arrived on the same day as the HHE and made its way through customs at the same rate as the boxes. That means we can give back the Kia Sedona we've been renting. I really like minivans, but not this one. There is something wrong with the headrests, the shifting gears are wonky and there are tons of blind spots. It does have great trunk space and the kids like the second row captain's chairs, but on the whole I'm looking forward to getting my Sequoia back.
The Sequoia is going to need a detailing, and I'm going to have to choke down the miserable gas mileage. We should get more than 11mpg in the U.S. though, and that's a comfort because it's not like we can benefit from the Cash for Clunkers program. Our Sequoia is no clunker, even after being in Togo and India for 4 years. It will be a nice drive for the rest of our summer camp programs (next week is day camp for all 4 kids and the following week is Fencing) and on into the school year.
School started in Chennai today. Here in Prince William County school doesn't begin until September 8th. The kids will have had a full 3 months off, just like Phineas and Ferb. But back to school they will go, and that first day they will be carting what appears to be half of Target with them. Have you seen these school supply lists? When I was a kid a new backpack, a lunch box, perhaps a special pencil case and we were good to go. For my kids, I have a full sheet of supplies for each one, and most of the items appear to be for the general class population. At least I don't think the boys will be using 10 glue sticks each.
Rather than go by kid, here's a combined shopping list for Fall 2009, for 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th graders:
(7) pkg wide-ruled loose leaf paper
(3) black and white wide-ruled composition notebooks
(14) packages #2 pencils
(2) manual sharpeners
(6) regular folders with pockets
(1) plastic binder insert folder [I haven't even figured out what this is yet]
(2) 2-pocket hard plastic folders
(5) wide-ruled lined spiral notebooks, 70-page count
(2) 3-ring notebooks
(2) multiple section spiral notebooks
(26) large glue sticks
(3) pairs of scissors
(1) pair 7" scissors
(2) 24 pk crayons
(1) 24 pk colored pencils
(1) 12 pk colored pencils
(6) thick Expo dry erase markers
(8) washable markers
(3) 12-inch standard and metric ruler
(2) pencil box [I'm having the kids use their own from last year]
(1) standard size clipboard
(2) 1" 3-ring binder
(1) 3" heavy duty binder
(4) red ballpoint pens
(2) pkg blue/black ballpoint pens
(8) book covers
(2) calculator [we have a couple]
(2) math pack [protractor, etc. I bought a second set]
(1) flash drive [We have one of these]
(7) large box of tissues
(2) ream of copy paper
(2) box of sandwich size Ziplock bags
(1) bottle of hand soap
Fall clothing?? There's cash left for that? Mostly kidding there, but no, I haven't gotten around to any cool weather clothing (it is August still and particularly warm this week) or new lunch boxes or shoes yet and every place I've been to so far has been completely out of wide-ruled loose leaf and glue sticks anyway. Oooh, and guess what's still coming, the open house where we get to buy meal cards and P.E. uniforms and and and. Who said public schools are free? Who?!
Pictures from our summer are still to come, promise. Katherine got me a fabulous scrapbook for my birthday last month, so I have the book to fill from our sad Chennai departure to the beginning of school and all the fun in-between. They'll be up on Fickr, hopefully this weekend.