Well, winter break is over. The girls went back to school today. They were none to happy about it. On Sunday the 28th we went to the beach for about an hour. One of the neighborhood girls went with us. I was sure the girls would not get in the water, but they went right in! It is a little chilly, but it didn't even slow them down. As you can see from the pictures, Leah had a lovely time. She is never very excited to go to the beach, and she kept stepping on rocks in the water, so she was grouchy. Rachel loves going to the beach. She does not really care about getting in the water, but she loves to walk up and down the beach, and up and down the beach......and up and down the beach. I try to look for neat shells on our walks, but she is often so fast that I just have to try to keep up with her.
Monday and Tuesday Mike worked all day, so the girls and I just hung out around the house and took down Christmas decorations. Wednesday, Mike took off early and we all headed over to Tampa to help Jane celebrate her birthday. The girls LOVE to go over there to see their cousins!!! We got to Jane's, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and called it a night. We all managed to still be awake at midnight, but it was not because we wanted to be. The girls just get so wound up when they are together!
New Year's Day Jane had to work, so we stayed at her place and watched her girls. We loaded everyone up and headed to the zoo where Jane works. It is really nice and we saw lots of neat stuff. It is also fun to have a connection at the zoo to take you behind the scenes. We got to hand feed monkeys, check out the manatees in the zoo hospital, and watch Jane feed the chimps and orangs. It is too funny to see those great apes recognize Jane and try to get her attention. We ate dinner at Jane's and then headed home, getting home around 11:00pm. The girls were worn out!
Friday Mike was back at work. I kept telling myself that I was going to get some cleaning done around the house, but it never happened. Saturday was Leah's birthday. She turned 7!! We did a little party with cake and presents. At first we planned on going to Seaworld for the afternoon, but Leah decided she wanted to stay home and play with her new stuff-a new Wii game. Later Saturday afternoon, we all went biking to a playground nearby-sort of nearby, it take 45 minutes on bikes to get there, be it is a really nice little ride, and the playground is perfect for Rachel. Sunday after church we went to a nearby park and let the girls play on another playground and then we went on the hiking trails that wind around the park. Allison had a great time because she LOVES that kind of stuff. Rachel thought is was great, because she is so into that walking thing. She was walking and giggling. She was also trying to collect sticks. She managed to carry four, before she reached her limit.
Monday the kids just laid around the house dreading the start of school on Tuesday. This morning we jumped back into our routine! I got the kids to school and ran to a dentist appointment. Tomorrow, Rachel and I will load up before dawn and drive to Jacksonville. It is 150 miles away, we are supposed to be there around 8:00am. We are going to the Down Syndrome Center for a check up. They are a wonderful group of therapists and doctors who work exclusively with children with Down Syndrome. They are a great source of information!! They (PT, OT, ST, education specialist and an MD) will do an assessment of Rachel and mail a report to us in about six weeks to tell us the best thing to do for Rachel at this time. Should be an interesting, but long, day.