Saturday, July 25, 2015


Here we are, knee-deep into it, and where have the posts been? It is getting harder to decide what to post. This has been a bit of a crazy summer, and jam-packed with boy adventures.

Off on summer adventures!
Summer is always an odd time for us. Joey's schedule is different. While having a schedule at all is always good, the ups and downs of things being different remains. We have a new teacher this summer, and we originally were told he would definitely be Joey's teacher in the fall; now he has been offered a contract with the regular school system, so we don't know- we have to wait and see what the new teacher decides to do. Will we have yet another transition? How far will Joey be set back if we do?

So the best thing is to fill what we can with other activities, and keep him busy and thinking. It is a battle- Joey versus Anxiety, and we want Joey to win.

Secret Agent Boys. Not so secret, actually. 
Our arsenal is not without tools and weapons against the foe: after all, we have The Pool. Joining a local private pool has been a really good investment for us. Yes, there are some people there who really need some education, but most of the folks now know Joey, so at least they aren't blindsided by him.

It is a great way to keep cool, get in lots of exercise, and have lots of fun. Most years the boys have kind of done their own thing in the pool unless they were the only ones there (which happens a bit when you're in a small, private pool)- but this year, they have stuck close to each other. This is not always a good thing, as like all siblings, they also get on each other's nerves. But for the better part, we have brothers finding ways to connect and play together.

Bumper cars!
Shy Guy wins the race on the Standard Car.
A new tool in our bag is Funland, a local arcade and amusement park. It includes video games, claw machines, those things where you push the coins along the levels (my dad used to ROCK at those), and some rides. I think they also have mini-golf. Some years ago, when we first tried it, disaster ensued- too loud, too flashy, too everything. We stuck to our beloved Chuck E Cheese (which, you should know, serves beer). However, there are not a lot of teenagers who hang out at the House of Mouse- so we eased our way into another go at the bigger, noisier, crazier step up in the world.

The lure was bumper cars and go-karts. Joey's love of Mario won at last.

Joey also had his beloved theater camp. The last couple of years were not a huge success, with the changes in the staff and the issues with dance camps and art camps and Joey's anxiety. This year, the program we had been participating in more than doubled the price, so we were disappointed to have to skip... until we found that the lady who ran the other program before all the mess had started a new program. Better yet, she had secured funding so that all the campers were able to participate for free.
Boy in his Element

Joy ensued.

Joey was back on stage, in a great Sea Adventure!
He did sea creature dances, and made his very own Koopa Troopa costume (OK, it was sea turtle costume... but now that the play is over, it is back to Mario!), and enjoyed himself thoroughly. A big thank you to STEP-VA and Ms. Monroe, for giving Joey an anxiety break for a week. He needed the breath of air.

Proud Boy. Proud Dad. 
Andy also had a camp, so we had some adventures that were just Joey and Mom. I don't get a lot of Joey Time now- school, school, school, all the time. His favorite adventure was going to the pet store, where he could check out the kitties for adoption (and beg for one), look at the fish, and check out the small pets (you know... mice. Guinea pigs. SNAKES.)
He named it "Slippy." We did NOT take it home. 

Taking photos on the ipod. 
Hi, Fish!

 We also took a trip out to see Allan's family in Tennessee. Long drives are always an adventure, but the treat at the end of the road was well worth it.
Hi, Aunt Emily!
We had the biggest sparklers we have ever seen. 
We spent a good bit of time hanging out with Granny Ann, which mostly consisted of playing Wii, petting Granny Ann's cats, and setting off fireworks that are illegal in Virginia. They were pretty cool.

Showing Granny Ann how to shoot tanks.

Joey has decided Allan grew up in a mansion. I think he enjoyed himself. 

And so the summer is moving along, with school days, pool days, and new headgear. The beach isn't happening until September this year, so we have plenty of lazy days ahead. More adventures to be had, more world to explore, and more Minecraft to build.

Ah, the life of a Boy.