Friday, January 31, 2014

It's FINALLY a Friday!

It's actually Friday, finally.  For some reason, all week I have thought it was Friday.  I guess I knew this was going to be a long week and wanted it over before it started.

Amber has had an up and down week, mostly due to over exerting herself a couple of times earlier in the week.  On Sunday my sister was in town with her two boys so we met them for lunch along with my mom.  Then we took our oldest nephew to our house for several hours while the youngest and my sister shopped.  Amber and her cousin had a blast playing in the unseasonably warm weather outside, but it soon became tiring with the extreme wind.  They eventually settled on playing in our basement play area.  My nephew loves everything sports and Amber loves to play with him.  They must have played down there for hours just pretending to be a famous basketball player and cheer leader.

(TOP-L) Cousins playing outside basketball.
(TOP-R) Mousetrap!
(BOTTOM-L) Indoor basketball and cheering.
(BOTTOM-R) After playing, she's wiped out. Notice the eye bags?

Unfortunately, all that playing wiped Amber out and Monday was an overly busy day.   We did find out from the dermatologist on Monday that Amber's foot has finally healed from the bacterial infection that was first noticed in late September.  No more medication and she doesn't have to keep the foot covered at all times.  Yay!  There is a slight chance it can return, but we have the topical cream that finally worked so it shouldn't get too bad the next time.

Amber also had her weight room orientation class Monday evening.  The local gym only allows children 9-15 on the walking track with a parent.  Children 12-15 can take the one-time orientation class so that they can use the equipment and walk the track with a parent in the facility, but not necessarily on the same equipment.  Amber isn't planning to use the equipment much, but it would be nice if we could take her to walk / run while we use other equipment.  We scheduled the class weeks ago not knowing it would be a puny day.  Oh well.  She survived and I let her have a relaxed day on Tuesday.

Monday was also Amber's baptismal birthday, so we went to Longhorn for lunch (notice a pattern with our safe restaurants?)  Amber should have had bells practice too, but it was canceled by the director so we had a reprieve for one week.  Whew.

I spent some time over the weekend looking for resources that Amber could use on her sick / weak days, so on Tuesday Amber spent a little time going through Crash Course history on YouTube instead of working on other lessons.  It let her rest and still get some learning in.  She must have watched 6+ episodes on ancient history and stopped at the time frame we are currently studying.  She LOVED Crash Course and thinks the guy is hilarious.  At least she enjoyed the change of pace.  Now if only they had astronomy too. 

(TOP-L) Lunch on her baptismal birthday
(TOP-R) Religion lessons.  She enjoys these so much.  Confirmation at church starts this year too.
(BOTTOM-L) Amber and her new phone (and her eye bags... this was Friday).  The old phone was... old and hard to use.  This is a touch screen, but not a smart phone.  Texting is turned off on her phone line, but she can call me when she is at her activities.  That's the purpose of the phone.
(BOTTOM-R) New music stand.  She prefers it over using the piano.

Amber did not do the trial of the coconut milk ice cream until Monday (or was it Tuesday).  She just wasn't ready over the weekend.  But eventually I made the ice cream and I must say it is an entirely different texture from the almond milk ice cream.  Much creamier and it doesn't require as much sweetener.  Amber liked it well enough, but I think she prefers the almond milk ice cream.  She also seems to have tolerated it well too, so for now we will stick with coconut milk ice cream because it has more fat (the good kind) and calories.

We did do a food trial of carrots at lunch on Thursday.  I gave Amber two little petite carrots; you know the ones that are smaller than baby carrots.  It totaled 6 grams (or 2 oz).  Amber savored every bite of those carrots since she used to be a huge fan of raw carrots (but not of cooked ones).  Sigh. You know how this went, right?  By Thursday evening she wasn't feeling well.  She had stomach pain and the rings were back under her eyes.  Still today, Friday afternoon, she has the stomach pain and is puny.  Unless cooking the carrots is going to make a significant difference, they are a no-go for Amber.  Up next, after she heals again, are grapes. Maybe.  Amber is really tired of food trials already, but the poor girl literally has years of trials to do.  

I spent part of Wednesday and Thursday frantically researching flute brands and models. Amber is definitely ready for an upgraded flute, so I had to come up with options.  Thankfully Amber made it easier by loving one of the two brands she was able to try this week. None of the flutes instock met the requirements, but the music store has ordered an upgraded model of the Trevor James that Amber loved.  If all works out, then we will purchase the upgraded model once it comes in.  Amber still really wants the gold embouchure, but Trevor James flutes don't have that option. You can send it out for customization though.  At this rate will be renting the basic flute for another few months.  

(TOP-R) Peanut butter bites, fructose free and gluten free. Amber loves these.
(TOP-L) Coconut milk ice cream. Yum!
(BOTTOM-L) Whipped coconut cream... I think I can find lots of uses for this.
I've also started my curriculum search and preparation for seventh grade.  Ack!  I'm getting a little nervous because this planning leads toward high school so much more than sixth grade.  We might be homeschooling for high school, or utilizing a mix of private school and homeschool.  We aren't quite there in the decision process yet.  I'm still anxious even thinking about planning out high school curriculum and classes.  

For seventh grade it looks like we will be moving to Analytical Grammar from BJU grammar.  I like the way it is setup with seasons and reviews.  If anyone has any personal experience with it that they'd like to share, then I'd love to hear it.  We will also be leaving BJU spelling / vocabulary for Classical Roots Vocabulary.    I've got a few other ideas for small alterations to history and possibly science.  It's all just in the planning phase.  This is the part I love about planning, the research and testing out curriculum.  Even if we decide not to use it, I learn so much from looking at curriculum samples and the ideas of other homeschool families.  

We've got another possible change for our family that is barely in the beginning phase. Okay, not even beginning phase, really just the idea phase.  I'm excited about it though and that's a good sign because I've been mostly apathetic towards this topic for a while.  We might make the first step this weekend.  Prayers would be appreciated because the last time we made a decision like this it turned out to not be the best choice. (When I say we... I mean me.  Once I've decided something I can be difficult if you disagree.  Fred often rubber stamps my decisions for this reason).  I'm trying very hard this time to pray about it and really listen hard to the answers.  But I have the type of personality that doesn't like to take long on decisions, so it's hard for me to wait for answers.

(TOP-L) Watching Crash Course (her iPad was almost out of charge, but she continued on tethered to the power cord)
(BOTTOM-L) The two offending carrots
(RIGHT) Look at that happy face. This was the lunch where Amber tried the carrots.  But we took the picture because Rosie was so cute.  She wouldn't pray for our food though, probably because she knew she wasn't getting any.  LOL.

We are preparing for a snowy / icy weekend here and then the possibility of a major snow storm early next week.   I LOVE snow and I'm not really tired of it; I just wish there was a way it didn't hamper our activities.  

Happy Weekend!

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  1. I am glad that she had fun with her cousin. I am sorry that Amber didn't do well with carrots. That is a disappointment. I hope that your change is a good one.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I know that you are having such a time adjusting to this new food challenges. We pray for you and Amber every night. Looks like her and her cousin had a blast! Amber always looks so happy in all the pictures. And always gets so much done! I am so glad she liked Crash Course. John and Hank Green are 2 of our favorite online people!! Re your World of Warcraft comment. I have always played online games. I played the first online RPG game ever. I was one of only about 5 girls. Well real girls. :) I played WOW for years then stopped because it is so time consuming. Now that Keilee and I can both play we are having a blast. We also play on a PVP server because that is all I have ever played on so it can get a little intense when we get a bit higher. :) Happy weekend!!

  3. Fred is a gamer too. Actually we both played MUDs in college, but he transitioned to WoW and I did not. There was no time. Actually he played Diablo on the PC first. I think he plays some other online games too.

  4. What a bummer on the carrots :(. But, at least you know to avoid them? I never thought of them being a big allergen. Yay for a new phone, and I can't wait to see the new flute! Can you believer we are already planning next year? At least something to get through this lovely winter weather, I guess :). Hope you have a great week.

    1. It's not technically an allergy, but acts like one. It's actually the amount of fructose (or fructans) in food. Amber's fructose receptors in the small intestine absorb zero fructose, so it wreaks havoc in her large intestine when it gets there. The large intestine is not designed nor capable of handling fructose.

  5. I'm glad Amber was able to have so much fun with her cousin! Boy, you can really tell how exhausted she was in that last picture of the first collage! Looks like she perked up for the second collage, though! I can only imagine how frustrating and maybe even scary it must be for Amber to test new foods out, wondering if she's going to end up sick or not! You have me intrigued about the big decision coming up! I'll be praying and curious!

    1. She gets so worn out so quickly. She perks up, you should have seen her Monday evening after the weight room orientation. It really was just showing the kids around so they used stuff safely, but they had to try out each piece of equipment for a minute or two. Amber was done for at the end. Just the smallest amount of exertion and she is wiped for a day. I'm not sure how anyone thought dance was going to be a success this semester.

      Our big decision is big to us, but to others might seem less of an issue. For us, this is huge.

  6. Philip starts his confirmation year in the fall. Our Catechism classes run on the same schedule as the public schools.

    My wife bought herself an upgrade to her student flute when she got her first job after university. She said her only regret was that her student flute had one key offset and her upgrade one doesn't. It was an option but she didn't know it was. She finds with her small hands that that key is hard to press.

    We will pray that your decision is the right one. I find that I sometime rubber stamp decisions as well. Sometimes I feel that now I am a SAHD that it goes the other way. Homeschooling was my decision. I had to convince my wife but not as much as I expected. Sometimes I wonder if she rubber stamped that one.

    1. Our confirmation / catechism classes run the school year too. It just baffles me that Amber could start in 2014. Actually... more on that Friday. :)

      Amber's student flute doesn't have an offset G key, but the Trevor James flute will. Amber LOVED the offset G on the flute she tried during lesson. She mentioned that it was so much easier to press with it being offset.