We recently returned from a two week vacation to Washington D.C. and Virginia, taking a northerly route eastward and a southerly route back home. We got to see tons of sights and visit with friends of ours that moved to VA 5 years ago. We had a lovely trip. This was our second long car trip and we are enjoying them and looking forward to our next one.
We are having a hard time with getting back into school since we have returned. I tried something different this time, thinking it might make the transition a little easier. I thought we would ease into it by starting with just one subject a day and then adding more on as we went. That has not helped at all and may have made things worse. I would liken it to removing a very large and sticky bandaid a tiny bit at a time, versus taking it off quickly and getting it over with.
Ben recently had a staph infection on his skin so we had him on an antibiotic and he has had a very bad allergic reaction to it. He has a bad rash and a swollen face in the mornings. The rash is on his face, around his eyes and ears, on his cheeks and around his neck and here and there all over his arms and torso. Just recently it looks as if it is spreading to his legs now. It is very itchy and gets worse if he plays hard and gets sweaty. This is the fourth day and it does look a bit better today. I have been putting prescription level hydocortizon cream on it and he is taking various antihistimines. He is having a miserable time of it though. I did a search online and some people who had this suffered for weeks before it got better. We have an appointment with an allergist tomorrow so maybe she will have some addition suggestions.
When you add the rash to trying to do school, you get no where:). I have not even tried until today but I am going to have them do a couple of things today and they are both very unhappy about it and arguing with me about it. I know they would be acting the same way even if he did not have the rash though and I can tell he is feeling better today. I let them play video games all day yesterday and watch tv to take his mind off of the itching so now I have created a monster and that is all they want to do again today.
We recently bought a trampoline. The doctor-dad had been against them and did not want to get one for the boys but pretty much everyone in the neighborhood but us has one. He had no problem with the boys jumping on other people's trampolines so, after rethinking it through, he decided it was probably ok for us to have one too. The boys are very excited and love it, especially Nick.
The boys are just finishing up a season of baseball and they have really enjoy it and improved quite a bit. They have had some really good coaching and have really learned a lot. Ben is definitely ready for it to be over but I think Nick is still enjoying it.
Ben is still taking piano lessons and he is fine with practicing on school days because it is part of our routine and everyone is busy doing something. He has a really hard time practicing on non-school days because everyone else gets to do whatever they want and he wants to also. He is only required to practice 18 minutes but it feels like a long time to him. I think once he sits down and starts practicing he really enjoys it though. I have told him he can quit whenever he wants but he is really torn about what to do because sometimes he loves it. I try to encourage him but not sure how much longer he will keep with it. Our rule was that they had to take music lessons for two years but they could quit after that time if they wanted. Nick quit right away:). He has a very hard time making himself do something that he does not feel like doing and I already have to butt heads with him at times for schoolwork, so I don't also want to have to fight with him over practicing the piano every day. We'll see how long Ben keeps with it.
Both boys are still taking swimming lessons, although they are on a two week break right now. They will start back next week. Neither of them are very excited about swim lessons these days and I think they would quit if we let them. But they are both at level 5 now and very close to being able to try out for swim team, which we thought they might really enjoy. So we wanted them to at least try it. So we are making them stick with it at least that long. I have mixed feelings about this really (for selfish reasons of we would have more time without the swimming) but we are very close so I guess it might be worth it. One of them might just decide he really likes it and I think they could make some really good friends that way.
We are planning to join our co-op again in August and they are offering some interesting classes so I think the boys will enjoy it. They went to a birthday party recently and saw a bunch of the kids from co-op and I think they really missed it so we will all be looking forward to that.
We have planned a trip to Disney World in Florida for January. It is unusual for us to take two big vacations so close together, as we are usually doing good to get in one per year. But we ended up getting a special deal on the hotel and it was good enough we decided we should go now. We had been discussing when to take the boys because we really wanted to take them before they got too much older so it seems the time is right. We will be flying though because we will have less time. The boys don't seem too excited yet. I think it is too far away for them to get excited this soon. I'm sure they will be around Christmas time though. I'm excited:). It has been a long time since I have been so I am really looking forward to it and it will be fun to see it through their eyes. They are both around 8.5 years old now, in case anyone is wondering:).
We have gotten / are getting a lot of rain here in the past couple of days and today and boy did we need it. I am welcoming it with open arms, although it is very humid these days, but I am ok with that as long as we get the rain.
We have been discussing what kinds of things we might be able to get involved with to serve others as a family. At some point, we would really like to do some mission trips as a family but, in the mean time, I would like to find something we can do locally. I am going to start researching this. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
I finally planted a garden this year. I'm a novice so I am not sure how much of it will produce but I planted a little bit of a lot of veggies. I am excited to see what grows and what doesn't.
Our community pool is open, as of this past weekend, although it is a bit too cool right now. We have had days when it got up to around 90 degrees and I am sure, once this rain moves off, it will probably get very hot again and the boys will be excited about going swimming (they like swimming, just not having to go to the lessons while they could be playing with friends:).
The boys have a very good friend who lives two houses down the block and they play together quite a bit. His family is getting ready to move to Houston so they are really going to miss him a lot. We still have the sweet neighbors that live next door with the 4 and 2 year olds and the boys enjoy playing with them also. There is a new house being built next door to them and they will have boys around Ben's and Nick's age so we will look forward to them moving in. Also, someone has already bought the house of the family moving to Houston so I am hopeful they might have young children also.
Well, that is about it for now. I need to get back to schooling with the boys, or at least try:).