Thanks to everyone who has commented. Aunt Kathy; good to see you're still here (and if I never responded to your Easter email, consider it an aberration. Thank you SO MUCH for your email; it was wonderful to read. I know you're supposed to take lacto bacillus with the antibiotics to replace the good bacteria that the antibiotics are destroying, but I don't think the yogurt down here has live acidophilus down here. I found a "natural" store today and will check there tomorrow (didn't have time today).
MB, I'm not even close to bilingual. I sure wish I were. I get by after spending 3 years traveling around the south of South America (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, some of Brazil). I spent 1987 to 1990 traveling and as a result, learned Spanish. That is the best (though loneliest) way to learn a language, IMO, but you might find you will have a "street" grammar. We actually considered a 4WD, but didn't think we'd EVER be on roads we'd need it for. After driving our Westfalia over many roads that required 4WD (but the Westy wasn't), we naturally assumed the Ford would be just as good. I'm sure that all the places we got stuck with the Ford would have been easily passable in the Westy. Course, the Westy couldn't haul anything other than a red wagon, probably. :) If you're thinking about going ANYWHERE remotely off pavement, I'd eat the weight and get 4WD. Never thought I'd say that before. I'd like to come back here; be on the road permanently, but I'm not sure how (other than workamping or hosting a campground) we could financially manage that. We're still thinking about getting a place in Canada for 6mo and Mexico for 6mo, but right now it is hard to see anything further in the future than Jamie getting well. :) Who knows. I'd LOVE to come back next year. Assuming we leave this year. :) I do hope we catch up somewhere along the way. Thanks for the author referral; I'll see what we can find on the Internet. I was thinking of hitting Chichen Itzá but not sure about anything else. We'll see.
Mom and Dad; thanks again for the cake; when Jamie gets better we'll make it to celebrate. Pike said that this was his best birthday! :) He LOVED (as I'm sure you imagined) his present. We went to the bank the next day to get a 100 peso coin - they have recently started State Coins; we got Jalisco. Yes he did get the card; thank you so much!
Several people have asked about schooling. We have always followed an unschooling philosophy, which basically believes that children do not need to be taught to learn. We believe in facilitating their interests and providing opportunities to delve into subjects but don't encourage or force any "educational" moments. That does not mean that they are ignored; rather, we look for interests that they have and try to provide "more" and opportunities for them to explore their interests. They have learned math from cooking and money. They have learned spelling from writing. They have learned writing from making comic books. They have learned reading from being read to. The 10yo is a pure sight reader. He could read "neighbor" before "as". The 9yo is a phonics reader. They have learned history from being read to and from wondering where different words come from. They have learned science because they are curious. :) They have learned about physics from thunderstorms. I think you're getting the idea now? :)