Friday, April 4, 2014

Back To Almost Normal

This has been the kind of school week that we desperately needed.  Tons of actual bookwork was completed successfully with comprehension happening. There was no brain fog or anxiety from food reactions either.  

I decided to let Amber have several days to recover and try to find a good base with her body before trying more new foods.  She has had a few days of some weirdnesses, but I think that's because she's not having a reaction and we are using BOTH chia seeds and Miralax.  The original idea was to back off the Miralax and replace it with chia seeds, but we were never able to because of reactions.   We are ready to trial yellow bell peppers now, and even have the perfect looking pepper waiting for dinner tonight.  Amber LOVES bell peppers, so we are praying really hard that this one doesn't cause a reaction.  Red peppers have a higher chance of failure than yellow, so we are going to work our way up the colors.  

(TOP-LEFT) Goofing off with a Birthday kitty. 
(TOP-RIGHT) Snickerdoodle Chips. Yum.
(BOTTOM-LEFT) Storms.  She has one cat on her lap and one under the blankets at her feet.  Both in harnesses with a leash.  I had the big boy cat.
(BOTTOM-RIGHT) Loves her her Ponies.  New Rainbow Dash shirt AND socks.

I did make new snickerdoodle cookie chips this week, thanks to a recipe at Gluten Free On A Shoestring that I modified to remove the molasses and switch dextrose for sugar.  Amber simply adored those cookies and Fred even ate some. That is high praise indeed.   I also tried the Texas Roadhouse knock-off rolls from GFOAS.  They were.. not the same.  They were good and Fred again even liked them (what's going on here?), but they weren't Texas Roadhouse rolls.  I guess they had a vaguely similar taste, but not really.  I'm going to try again, because I did the most rapid rise method and perhaps I can get a better taste with a longer rise.  At any rate, they were good and easy enough to be put into our regular rotation.

Would you believe that math happened every day this week?  Astonishing, I know.  It's amazing what Amber can do when she doesn't feel awful all the time.  We also completed another science experiment this week.  We had done one similar to it last year, but only using the Earth model.  This time we had models for Earth, Venus and Mercury.  Now if only I could get Amber to write up decent conclusions. She seems to think that because she told me in detail what she learned that she can write a one sentence conclusion and all will be well.  She has learned otherwise.

Given three environments (similar to Earth, Mercury, & Venus) can yeast survive.  Nothing survived in our Venus bottle, but we got a little bit of air in the balloon from Mercury.  Earth's balloon just kept filling.
We were back to the homeschool group classes this week too.  Amber decided again this week to hang out in the gym playing games with the older kids instead of going to the extra art class.  To be honest, I was a little worried at first because I think she is the youngest in that group.  But they are all good kids and she really needs to burn off some energy occasionally.   

Next week we begin standardized testing using the Standford 10 test.  Testing is not required in our state; very little is required here.  Amber was always tested in parochial school and we have continued for various reasons and it really takes so little effort for us to test.  I am a certified tester for both the Standford 10 and Iowa tests, and as our state allows it, I am able to test my own child.  We may take longer than a week though because Amber has quite a few appointments coming up leaving us with barely enough calm days in a two week time span to complete the tests.  If only I had known what April would be like when scheduling the tests back in January.

We finally got Amber's room straightened out this week too.  The new bed that was to have arrived three weeks ago did come on time, but with the wrong box spring that left Amber sleeping up higher than her chest of drawers. Actually, she couldn't sleep in it all because she couldn't get into it, or out of it safely on her own, and neither could I.  It took them another eight days to get the low profile box springs out to our house.   In the mean time Amber decided she wanted to update a few more things in her room, including the addition of a vanity & desk combo with furry chair from PB Teen that arrived last week but we didn't get it assembled and placed in the room until last weekend.  Gone is the little girl padded toy box that doubled as a window seat. Sniff.  

(LEFT-TOP) New bed! I even found the same comforter set again, in a full size. Whew!
(RIGHT-TOP) New vanity / desk and furry chair.  She LOVES this set.
(BOTTOM) Remainder of the room that still needs to be organized again.
Yesterday was our first taste of this year's storm season.  There were thunderstorms, severe storms, and tornadoes in the area most of the day.  Our weather radio was going crazy at home and my iPhone was sounding off everywhere.  We safely kept our normal schedule without any car damage, but barely.  We had only been home 10 minutes from Amber's band practice before the tornado sirens went off here.  I had just enough time to microwave Amber some Annie's GF mac and cheese before we had to collect the cats and head for the basement.  Fred was still at work so he remained there with his car in a covered garage while Amber and I dealt with three freaked out cats and attempted to eat our dinner in the basement.    I have to say, the iPad was very useful to continue watching live streaming local weather from the basement where we have no local TV.

Wednesday was the first birthday of our youngest cats, Rosetta and Milori.  They are no longer kittens, but I don't think they realize this.  Someone needs to let them know. Soon.  Please.  This weekend I'm going to replace the living room and dining room sheer curtains that those two have torn up over the nine months we have had them.  Actually, they did all the damage in the first 6 months.  I simply refused to replace them until the kittens learned to behave. Biscotti never destroyed things like the youngest two do.  One (Rosetta) is a climber who is not front declawed, but has learned the sound of the spray bottle.  One (Milori) is a chewer that seems to be mellowing, but he is so meek that we just have to act a little irritated and he is contrite.  He's been the easier of the two to tame. 

(First Row) Rosetta in July 2013 (calico Angora)
(Second Row) Milori in July 2013 (gray / white Angora)
(Third Row) Rosetta & Milori (look at that tail!!!) in February 2014   ... and Biscotti on the side
(Bottom Row) Full grown April 2014: Rosetta (7 lbs)- her normal princess pose,  Milori (11.5 lbs) - just looking for a cuddle
That's about it for this week.  Thankfully, we have time for some household chores this weekend and maybe can work outside in the yard.  It appears that Spring is going to stick around here for a while and my landscaping needs help.

Happy Weekend.

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  1. I'm glad you guys had such a great week. The tornadoes must be frightening and annoying, but the routine probably just becomes part of the norm when you are used them. We had three come through our yard about 30 years ago. They took out our entire barn and giant maple tree, but left a lawn chair exactly where it was! One just missed our house. Tornadoes are not the norm in NY so we had no idea what was hitting us until the next day! No tv or radio reception, or Internet back then! The cats are adorable and Amber's room looks lovely!

  2. You all are making so much progress with the diet. I hope the yellow pepper is successful. I love those. Amber's room looks great.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. I have been a little sad about signs my girls are growing up lately too.

  4. What a wonderfully productive week! So happy that she felt so well all week long. I feel those growing pains of my daughters too, my 8 year old is switching rooms with her brother and has chosen a decidedly more grown up scheme than previously. In my opinion they grow up too fast, we want them to grow up and do so as best prepared as we can make them... but why must it go so quickly?

  5. At first glance I was wondering why Amber was wearing a hard hat. Different safety precautions for different disasters. Where I live our biggest fear is wildfires.

    I am very glad that Amber is feeling better and we will keep her in our prayers

  6. I am so behind reading about everyone :-) I just wanted to stop and say that I love Amber's Rainbow Dash shirt and socks. All four of my children are in love with My Little Ponies, and I'm not afraid to admit that I like it too!