I am way too late in keeping this up to date. Life has been very busy, just like everyone. I read my nieces blogs and they shamed me into making the time.
The kids have started school. That is going OK but not spectacular. Ian was in a class that was sort of on hold because it was over the state size limit so they knew they were going to hire a new teacher and split the class. As a result he came home every day complaining that they were giving him "baby" work to do. I had to agree. All of his teachers agree that he needs to be in a gifted or other accelerated program but the bureaucracy of the county gets in the way. Last week his soccer coach told me he was on the field talking about polarity. First we had to wait for the class re-org to finish, then they told us he can have a preliminary test in late October, then the real test in 120 days. I blew up. Half the year is over by then. We are having him tested by an outside psychologist next week. The $500 will be worth every penny if he can get into a better program.
While I am on Ian. We had his 8th birthday party. We had a beach party at our favorite beach which is locally known as "picnic tables". It was a relatively easy party so we let him invite everyone he knew. With families we had about 70 people. The day was perfect. It was warm, sunny, and the waves were little 1 to 2 footers. Perfect for little kids with boogie boards. Everyone had a blast. It was a perfect Florida party. Ian also just got his yellow belt in junior karate and he is joining the cub scouts. He is a busy guy.
Chenna is beginning to branch into new things. She still goes to dance and Girl Scouts but she has added the volleyball team at her school. She has entered middle school which is proving to be a steep hill for her. She has a lot of difficulty organizing to get to the right class with the right books, assignments, etc. She had to spend last weekend at home catching up on overdue work but she did it. She has come a long way in her reactions to being told to do things she doesn't want to do.
Last night her and Cherie went to the "mall madness". That is a Girl Scout event where the girls go to the mall at closing time and they lock them into the mall until 6:30 AM. Many of the stores stay open (mostly Starbucks) all night. They watch movies, play games, socialize, etc. It sounds like pure hell to me but they had a great time.
We did not get to d0 our usual long vacation this summer due to my work commitments. We did get away for a week to the keys. The kids had never been there. Cherie and I were avid scuba divers pre-kids so we have been looking foreword to the day the kids would take to the reefs. We stayed at Sugarloaf Key which is about 20 minutes up from Key West. The weather was hot but with the AC in the camper and our campsite right on the beach we were fine.
The highlight was a couple of snorkel trips to the reef. As we expected Chenna took to the water with no problem. Ian was very tentative. He wanted to stay next to the boat for a while. Once he looked down he saw a school of about 100 yellow snapper under us. That was all it took for him to be hooked. At one point he saw a 6 foot nurse shark. I thought he would be terrified. He thought it was the coolest thing he had ever seen.
We did a lot of touristy stuff in Key West like hang out at Mallory Square at sunset and go to the pirate museums. It was one of our best trips ever. We will be doing that again, hopefully on a regular basis.