Monday, August 15, 2016

Super De Duper Long Update

It has been over a year since I last updated the blog.  We've had lots of changes over the past year.  We took a 3 week (work-related) family vacation to Colorado last summer.  It was fantastic.

In September, Eric started a new job in Houston.  We sold our house in October, moved in with family for a month, and then moved into our new house in November.

We found a new church and started getting plugged in.

We had a rough start to the new year with lots of catching up with school, and some various illnesses throughout the family.  But once summer came, we had an incredible epiphany.  This was the first spring, in many years, that Rapunzel's skin didn't get infected, or even really flare up at all.

WHAT?!?!  Every spring when the allergens start blooming, her skins gets so flared, that she ends up with an infection and has to be put on antibiotics and steroids to reel it in.  Then, with the summer heat, it's a battle until fall/winter to get/keep it under control.  But this year, her skin has stayed beautiful!  It's been absolutely amazing!  She was able to go to church camp this summer.  I went along as a counselor, because I wanted to keep a close eye on her and her skin.

She has suffered from "hypohydrosis" which means that her sweat glands do not function properly, and so her body has a really hard time cooling off and can get overheated very easily.  Also, anytime she gets wet, her skin gets really itchy and if she doesn't apply moisturizer immediately, she'll end up scratching herself bloody.  At least, that's how it's been every summer for several years now.  But, do you know what?  That girl sweat buckets while we were at camp!  I've never been so excited to see sweat dripping from someone before!  It was "hot as the dickens" out there, and she was red faced like the rest of us, but also drenched in sweat like the rest of us!  She was so perplexed by it too.  "Mommy, is the sweat supposed to be dripping down from behind my knees like this?"  "Yes baby girl, it sure is!" LOL  And while she did continue to use her moisturizer after her showers, it wasn't dire for her to keep it with her and apply everytime she got wet in the pool or lake (or in any of the other many ways they got wet at camp).  Her skin looked fantastic!  I literally broke down in tears at camp when I was sharing this news with another counselor.  I am thankful to God for healing her!  I'm well aware that this does not mean she is forever 100% healed.  She still has eczema, and we still have to take care of her skin.  But this was a HUGE victory!

In other news, all the kids have had a great time finding new things to be involved in since the move.  Belle started taking art lessons and apparently, she's been harboring some mad drawing skillz!

She also just joined the student choir at church and signed up to be a part of their art team.

Rapunzel took part in the kids choir at church and really enjoyed getting to sing on stage.  This year she wants to audition for some solo singing/speaking parts!

Hercules played baseball in the spring.  Their team won 1st place for the season, and finished in 3rd in the end of season tournament.  Go Braves!

And Aurora played soccer this year.  I think she enjoyed making new friends and getting new clothes more than the actual playing.  But she still did great and had fun!

Hercules was diagnosed with Selective Mutism and we started therapy with him for that in April.  We've seen some great progress, and will continue therapy into this next school year.

Speaking of next school year, things are changing around here for us!  Belle and Rapunzel are both going to be taking some classes (English for Rapunzel - English, History and Government for Belle) at a local homeschool organization.  Hercules is staying with me 100% of the time, and Aurora is going to public school.  Lots of changes.  I've gotten a lot of questions about why we are sending Aurora to public school this year.  The short answer is:  I feel as called to send her to public school this year, as I did about homeschooling her last year.

The long answer is:  This past school year was tough.  We started late due to our move, and it took me awhile to get into a groove of homeschooling all 4 of them.  Aurora was constantly begging to do school. but then when it was her turn, she was "bored" and ready to be done.  It was a battle every day.  I was becoming very discouraged and it was a distraction for the other kids as well.  In the past, when I would have a "bad day" I'd end up online looking up public school enrollment, but always ended up getting panicked at the thought of sending them to school.  I'd pray and feel reassured that homeschooling was the right decision for us, and we'd move forward.  However, this time when I would start to look up public school for Aurora, instead of feeling panic, I felt peace.  It was bizarre.  I wasn't really going to send her to school, was I?  No, I am a homeschooler.  I'll figure out how to make it work.  Then our church held a "School Options Panel" during the spring semester.  They put together a panel of people from Public school, Christian Private school, and Homeschool.  It was meant for people who had kids starting school, who were trying to decide what to do.  I decided to go, just because I was curious what they had to say about homeschooling.  I already knew I was a homeschooler, but I was curious.  At the panel, something interesting was revealed.  Each of the three "experts" in their field, had kids, and at one time or another had had their kids in all three different school settings.   Wait, you mean, you can homeschool one year, and then public school another year?  Or have one kid in public school and another in private school?  Or any other combination?  And that is actually, OK?  I mean, duh, right?  But this is what I realized.  So I started thinking about the possibility of sending Aurora to public school (cause we just can't afford private) for real.  I talked to Eric about it, and he was on board for considering it.  I prayed about it, A LOT, ALL SUMMER LONG.  I felt nothing but peace about it.  So when it came time to register her, I did it!  And I am so excited!  She is going to love it, and I feel so good knowing that this is where God wants her to be.  Now, I don't know if she will always be in public school, or if it's just for this year.  We're taking it day by day.

If you made it to the end, kudos to you.  Now you are relatively up to date on the goings on of our family!