Friday, September 20, 2013

Break Week #1

We've completed our first break week on this new schedule, and it was glorious.  I did not have to grade anything, plan any lessons, review any concepts, or worry about how late Amber slept.  I could get used to this, but then it would be called summer break.

We did accomplish quite a bit this week, even if it was not everything on my overly optimistic list.  I knew in advance that my break week list was too full to complete in one week, but it is all things that need to be done before winter and will be finished in the next few weekends.

Monday I declared to be cleaning day. For Amber this meant using the furniture polish and dusting EVERYTHING she could.  No swiffers allowed... unless it was something that furniture polish would damage.  That little caveat ruined a perfectly simple assignment because Amber and I differed in our understanding of what things could tolerate furniture polish.  Nevertheless, she eventually dusted everything.

Amber cleaning in the dining room.. she was almost finished!
Thunder Down Under (GF dessert at Outback), because who can cook after all the cleaning and a little reward was deserved.
Meanwhile, I emptied and dusted our 7 foot glass and mirror curio cabinet.  I'm not sure who's idea it was to purchase that thing, but it could not have been mine.  Nope, never.  I also cleaned the inside of the windows, arranged for the house to be power washed next week (including the windows), washed every item that we own that could possibly go in the washing machine, vacuumed curtains (the ones that don't get washed) & blinds, cleaned all the ceiling fans (I hate that job; there is no way to keep the dust out of your hair), and thought about taking a load of stuff from the basement to be donated. 

We also had a regular trip to the orthodontist for Amber, with no changes again.  Her teeth are done, done, done.  The orthodontist is waiting on the top 12-year old molars to pierce the gum and show that they aren't going to take a detour. The bottom molars have already been cooperative.  I remember a similar situation.  I waited around for 2 months after my teeth were finished before my braces could come off.  It was annoying.

A little b-ball with Mom and Dad

Amber asked to make a trip in to Build-A-Bear this week, so we chose the mall with both a Build-A-Bear and the only metro LEGO store.   We didn't get much at Build-A-Bear; just accessories really.  However, the LEGO store is another story.  We needed to check on the newest installment of the LEGO Winter Village as I had not yet received the annual release email and it's getting close to the time I normally ordered, before we had a LEGO store.

Turns out, it had just been made available that day for VIP members only, of which we are.  Yay for the good guys.  Amber has every piece of the Winter Village, by accident, sorta.  I thought the first one was cute and didn't know it was part of a series, or even the first in a series.  The second one was adorable too, so we bought it.  By the third year, we just had to get it anyway.  So, here we are on year too-many-to-count, still buying the Winter Village which is more like a metropolis by now.  Thankfully, Amber only puts it out from Thanksgiving to Epiphany.

We also purchased Amber's LEGO advent calendar for this year.  We really miss the Castles / Kingdoms advent calendar, but alas it appears that corporate LEGO was not as medieval happy.

Playing toss-the-puff-ball with the kittens.
Amber's glass fusing project from last week.  (I totally forgot pictures of Amber using the pottery wheel this week.)

This week I had time for some gluten-free baking, instead of just "we need food to survive" meals.  I tried a new banana muffin recipe and it turned out perfect!  I was fairly concerned about the switch because I've always used my mom's recipe and that's the only one that Amber likes.  This gluten-free one tastes almost like my mom's recipe, but worked out better than subbing GF flour for wheat flour in her recipe.

I baked a couple loaves of bread too, none of which worked out as intended. Sigh.  There is a brown bread that tastes so wonderful, but I can't get it to work out as the sandwich bread it is supposed to be.  I think next time I will just make it into dinner rolls.   The other loaf was a new quick, yeast-free, white sandwich bread.  It tastes just fine, but is in no way sandwich bread and was way too much effort for the results.  I think I'll stick with the yeast white sandwich bread recipe that I can get to work out.  I may need to reformulate my GF flour and see if that works better with these bread recipes.

(TOP-L) GF White bread... looks good in the pan, but not quite sandwich bread
(TOP-R) GF Banana Muffins.  Inhaled and gone now.
(BOTTOM-L) More GF Banana Muffins, also gone now.  These were a huge hit.
(BOTTOM-R) GF Brown bread - It is super yummy, just doesn't slice for sandwiches

Amber did lots of music playing, toy playing, game playing and art work this week.  Surprisingly, we haven't watched as much Merlin as I expected during a school break.  Amber hasn't felt great for most of the week and it appears to be another IBS flair up.  I had an accidental glutening last Saturday at a restaurant for dinner and I think Amber might have as well.  Or it could be the ice cream.  We are trying another dairy free stint to see if it helps.

As for my healthier lifestyle:

We ate out for lunch two days and for dinner three evenings. Oops.  Additionally, I ate way too much of the baked goods I was creating. Thankfully, I kept up the exercising and worked quite a bit around the house too.   I think I will be lucky to have not gained weight this week.
  • Processed food: still way down but not gone entirely.  I did buy kale with the intention of making kale chips.  I'm trying to find the will to do it.
  • Cardio exercise: 347 minutes (not including Friday)
  • Strength training: Zero (no energy for it after cleaning)
  • Extreme cleaning / housework: LOTS :)
  • Piano practice: 2 days - but I cleaned the piano one day; even removed the keyboard, dusted the action and inside the harp.
  • Medical:  No doctor calling because it was too stressful for my laid back week.... and missed half my dinner time medication.  Well, that was a total fail.
  • Relaxed every evening with Amber for a couple of hours and cross stitched on my Winter Queen project.  
I guess I'm well fed and rested after this week.

I also took the time to assess how the first six week of school measured up and if anything needs to be tweaked.  I'll write about that later, but all seems to mostly be well.

Happy Weekend!

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  1. I like the shadows in the basketball pictures. They look like they are playing as well.

  2. Great break week Christy. Wow sounds like you did a lot of cleaning. I know she is ready for those braces to come off!!! I'm with Chris, cool basketball pics. Yay for the healthy eating and baking. Hope you find a sandwhich bread you love. What are y'all watching now? We decided to rewatch Monk. We ❤️ Monk. Happy weekend friend. Tell Amber hello from us.

    1. We are finishing Merlin, tonight or tomorrow. Then... probably North and South. I'm still pushing for Stargate, but the likelihood of that happening is low.

  3. All that cleaning must count for some exercise! I love Amber's glass project. I'd love to see the Lego winter village when you get it set up!

    1. I'm sure we'll have pictures of the new piece with everything else after Thanksgiving when she officially "gets" the new addition.

  4. I need to do a cleaning day like that one. Wow! You all got lots done on your "laid back week"!
    Blessings, dawn

  5. You clean a lot. That actually makes me jealous. ;-)

    Grant was just asking me about a LEGO Advent calendar tonight - I need to look into one. I am sure he'll want the Star Wars one!

    Yay for a week off! Have a great weekend!

    1. This year there is a Star Wars, LEGO City, and LEGO Friends advent calendar. Amber had the Star Wars one a few years back when she couldn't get a Castles. Since then it has been LEGO City. This year it was Friends for a change. We are still hoping for Kingdoms or Castles next year.

  6. Ah.. cleaning is my nemesis - I try to save the bulk of it for our week off (every 6 weeks). I've been attempting new bread recipes as well and having issues with them.

  7. Ohhhh, I'm glad we DON'T have a Lego store here, I'd never have any spare change!

    Visiting today from Friendship Friday.