Friday, March 14, 2014

Where We Stand - Third Quarter

This is a two week wrap up since I really didn't have time or feel like doing much last week.  Today is the end of the third quarter of sixth grade.  It doesn't seem like we could be that far into the school year, but the calendar says that we are.  I thought I'd give a quick roundup of where each subject currently stands.

Spelling is on target to finish with the school year, but just barely. We tend to skip it on busy weeks.  Grammar will complete early by about 3-4 weeks.  Ancient History is mostly on target.  I think there will be a few summer lessons, but I'm not terribly concerned since those overlap with next year's history content.  Writing continues, but I do not have an end date scheduled for it.  We just work with our writing curriculum until it is finished, then move to the next level.  We also do random writing assignments outside of the curriculum.  Literature is on target for us to complete the books I originally listed by the end of the year.

I normally have Amber work on a couple of subjects over each summer, just to keep her mind going.  I don't always determine which subjects until I see how the school year went.  This year I knew one would be science because we are squeezing four topics into the three middle school years.  Our study of Earth Science and Astronomy is still on schedule to complete in the fall.  Math is way behind.  When Amber has a sick, puny, or food reaction day it is the first subject we cut because of the concentration math requires, thus it is now behind.  Math will be our other summer subject.

(LEFT) Homemade GF, LF hamburger buns (halves).  They were good too.
(RIGHT-TOP) Updated version of Sorghum-Teff Thins (GF Wheat thins, but now LF too)
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) Peanut butter almond milk ice cream.  We have found PB2 and LOVE it.  It makes wonderful smoothies and ice cream.

Latin is just there.  Amber still enjoys it some, but she thinks that next year she would like to switch to German.  I'm currently researching German curriculum and not having a lot of luck finding exactly what I want, but I'll find something.  I took six years of German and actually spoke it fluently at one point, so a curriculum like the Latin we are currently using that assumes the parent has no knowledge of the language is not necessary.   I'm trying to avoid Rosetta Stone because, honestly, I've not read great things about it's grammar.  The single most useful thing I took away from all that German was a better understanding of English grammar (and the ability to read through old English).  I won't use a foreign language program weak on grammar.

The past two weeks Amber has had two food food reactions, one of which was a food trial and one was a total fail on my part to read an ingredients list properly.  Last week Amber did a trial of pure maple syrup.  On the food lists maple syrup falls into the category of "possibly acceptable, possibly very bad".  Since we really could use a good liquid sweetener in baking, and Amber desperately wanted something for her pancakes, I let her try it.  It failed, if you hadn't guessed by now.  We ended up doing another intestinal cleanse for Amber this past Saturday.

(LEFT) Enjoying her pancakes and maple syrup.  Too bad it didn't work out.
(RIGHT-TOP) Amber and Rosetta selecting a movie to watch on a food reaction day (this was the corn reaction).  At least Amber watched some Crash Course History first.
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) Another sick / food reaction day.  This was the maple syrup.

However, Amber never seemed to quite recover after the cleanse. She wasn't working right and was having the duodenitis pain again.  After scouring her food logs and re-reading food labels, I realized that a snack treat I was letting her eat had corn flour.  Ugh.   She is ridiculously sensitive to the sorbitol in corn. After four days of only one basic serving each day, Amber had duodenitis again.  Oops.  Another intestinal cleanse on Wednesday seems to have straightened things out... that and I quit feeding her corn products.  Sigh.

Amber did have another GI doctor visit during the past two weeks and participated in research on Fructose Malabsorption.  There has been some preliminary research that may indicate some children with Fructose Malabsorption might actually have sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID).  Amber had a genetic test done from swabs in her mouth and now we wait a few weeks for the results.  If it's positive her care will change a little. If it's negative, then she just goes in the records as a negative.  I doubt anything will change, but it would be nice if we could find the true underlying cause for Amber's FM.

Scootering on a nice day around our subdivision and playing with her poodle puppet on a not-so-nice day.

With the warmer weather coming back Amber has had a few problems with overheating again. She is terrified to go back to dance because by the end of last semester she was overheating to the point of illness almost every dance day.  The GI doctor is concerned about another condition that could tie some symptoms together.  Amber is being referred to a specialist next month.  I'm not sure there is a lot to do about this possible new condition except to be aware of the limitations it poses.

Today Amber is excitedly anticipating the arrival of her new bed.  It was time for a new mattress and we decided to upgrade her from a twin to a full bed.  That meant she got to pick out a new headboard and footboard combo too.  Her room has been emptied of the old bed, vacuumed and prepared for the new bed.  I even found a full size version of her comforter that she's only had for a year, so we didn't have to redesign her room yet again this year. 

(LEFT) Obligatory bunny ears picture
(RIGHT - TOP) Amber's room, minus the bed, with things all pushed around the edges to wait for delivery
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) Artistic evening: drawing while watching TV and playing with cats.  Yes the cat on its back often lays around like that.   He's a little odd.

This weekend, after three weeks of practice, Amber and I play bells in church with the rest of the bell choir.  It will be an interesting experience considering I'm still trying to get the hang of ensemble playing as well as bell ringing.   I am a little bit nervous, to be honest, and we play at multiple services so I have multiple chances to be a major mess.

Otherwise we don't have any big plans for the weekend except to continue cleaning out the clutter in the basement and throughout the house.  I'm so tired of all the "stuff" that has been saved in case we need it someday.

Happy Weekend!

Linking with:

 photo 79396fe0-1f8b-44f8-a90e-f8ca7bfa801e_zpsa74bcc3b.jpg


  1. I am so sorry Amber is having such a time with her foods. We continue to pray for her every night. I know how much she loves dance and I hope that is something she can start back soon. She always looks so happy in her pictures, Keilee finished Crash Course History and started back over. She watches SO much Crash Course. We love the Green brothers. I can't wait to see pictures of Amber's bed!! I know she will love it. Happy weekend Christy.

  2. All things considered, I think it's great that you're as on schedule for the school year as you are. Despite the food fails, it looks like a pretty good couple of weeks!

  3. As always you are in our prayers. I am also praying that you find the root cause of all of this. Good luck with the decluttering. You should have seen our basement before we moved. Ten years of putting anything that me might need later or 'I have a plan for that' left quite a mess.

  4. All your foods look yummy! Please share some of your recipes! I'm sorry Amber had a bad reaction this week! I can really see in the pictures from week to week how she feels. It must be very frustrating for you both. I hope you do get some answers. I love the blue and yellow pants Amber is wearing! They look so pretty and comfy!

  5. I hope all is well! I missed you guys this week!