Friday, May 2, 2014

A Blessedly Tough Week

It's May! And do you know what that means? It's the month of play rehearsal and performance, the band concert, the final bells performance, the final homeschool group classes of the year, Mother's Day, and my birthday - which Amber and all the blessed stores and restaurants will not let me forget. It's only the very beginning of the month and still my inbox is full of birthday coupons for things I neither need or want.

It also, hopefully, marks the end of a difficult week. I really, really, really (!!!) hope the behavior this week means Amber has started growing again. Amber's sensory therapist told us a long time ago that if she has regressions that sometimes it is due to growth spurts. We've seen the truth in it before, and I am praying that is what we have been seeing this week. Otherwise we've got sensory regression issues to deal with. 

Foodwise, Amber did fine this week. We did no food trials other than slightly increasing her quantity of foods that have passed previous trials. She seems to have handled it all well, you know other than the sensory issues which started before the food increases. 

(LEFT) Fred, the multitasker.  Taking work calls while painting our bathroom.  (See.. I promised it wouldn't be on Facebook... I said nothing about here)
(RIGHT-TOP) Amber and I did finish our landscaping project last weekend. She even found the remains of a snail.
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) I love how this plant looks in Spring.  It's the only time of year it blooms like this. 

School-wise, well, it happened. History again made amazing progress with much interest on Amber's part. I am seriously impressed with her attention to detail in this subject and considering the way other subjects went this week it is down right astonishing. Also I learned something from our history discussion: there really was a place called Cloud Cookoo Land. Seriously, it was right there in one of Amber's books. Ok, so it was a fictional place in a play by Aristophanes, but still it's not just a LEGO Movie thing. So for as educated as I thought I was in classical topics, I apparently am devoid of knowledge about Aristophanes. See, learning happened all around this week. 

And then there was Science.  It had a small stall this week as Amber wasn't interested in the experiments and I am unwilling to let it go as only book work. Thus, we had a bit of a stand off and it might have ended in a draw with nobody getting their way.   However, writing had another phenomenal week and Amber seems to be in a groove using Writing With Skill. Recently, I have been curriculum perusing again and was checking out IEW for the umpteenth time. For some reason I keep wanting to like it, almost to the point of desperation, but every single time I come to the conclusion that it doesn't seem like a good fit for Amber. However, with Amber's recent huge leaps in Writing With Skill I think my assessment has finally been vindicated in my own mind. She truly isn't an IEW kind of girl.  Whew.

(TOP-LEFT) Amber ran to hide from a hail storm that dropped some rather large pieces of ice.
(BOTTOM-LEFT) Rosetta looking adorable watching Biscotti be uncharacteristically kitteny.
(TOP-RIGHT) Biscotti being kitteny.  He even looks small in the picture.  He's an 18 lb Maine Coon mix.
(BOTTOM-RIGHT) Amber with the toy that she used to entice Biscotti

This week I received the new German curriculum for next year. I'm probably as giddy as Amber about this. She decided to give up Latin for a more modern language and picked my language. The one I've wanted to teach her since she was born. She even knows bits of it already. You can't live with me and not know a few phrases.  Additionally, I volunteered to teach German at our homeschool co-op next year. Gasp. I taught intro web development to middle schoolers at Amber's first parochial school, but somehow German feels a little more gasp worthy.  Not to mention that my accent is a mash of American book German, Austrian German (thanks to 4 years with an Austrian German teacher), and my dad's very regional schw√§bisch. Which is all fine and dandy until you try to teach someone else how to speak properly.  I'm equally excited and nervous about this class. Amber and I were new this semester to the whole co-op thing along with this being a new homeschool group, so I'm counting on those parents experienced with other co-ops to guide me in finding a good balance for the tone of the class. 

I've also finished (mostly) my curriculum finalization for 7th grade!  I like to have the ideas finalized around this time of year so I can spend May and June looking for bargains and sales.  Since we start school roughly on August 1st, I need July to get my lesson plans all lined up without feeling overwhelmed.  There isn't a ton that I still need for next year since a few things were purchased during earlier sales and some were purchased last year as multi-year middle school curriculum.  We are also going to try a new idea this year: it's called using the library.  Instead of buying every last book for history and literature, I've checked to see which items our very complete county library carries and will simply have to plan in advance. Amazon is going to wonder if I forgot my password.  The UPS man will probably think we moved.

(TOP-LEFT) Amber in drama class working on a last minute addition.
(BOTTOM-LEFT) Literature... She's not thrilled with this book. 
(TOP-RIGHT) Grammar with her grammar kitty.  He sits there every time she works on grammar, but doesn't always stay for other subjects.
(BOTTOM-RIGHT) Amber's band practice... some had already left.  I didn't want to disturb practice for a picture.
Despite the rough week, I've been feeling inordinately blessed this week.  I've been feeling very grateful for all the little things in my life and ever so honored to be Amber's mother.  I don't know why the rough weeks make these feelings more pronounced, but apparently they do.

It's going to be a busy weekend for us here as the time has come for Amber to demonstrate her skills as a goblin to the whole of the co-op.  We've also got a couple of other small things going on, so I doubt there will be time for any home projects.  Then there is yet another lengthy paperwork list to complete for a project here, plus I still need to deal with some medical paperwork for Amber.  All of it is time sensitive, so of course this afternoon I am shopping for new bathroom rugs to match my newly painted master bath.  When in times of great stress... shop.  Or whatever gets me away from the paperwork mound on my desk, I'm not particular today.  

Happy Weekend!

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  1. I do think that rough weeks make our gratefulness more pronounced -- that a really good point, Christy. I am praying that next week is better.

    And, hooray for German! We have friends in CC who are learning German - mom is from Germany so she is the very best teacher :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I like the photo of Fred multitasking. With my wife's work she is frequently walking around with headphones on listing to a conference call. Occasionally she will un-mute herself and add something to the conversation. She even holds the phone like Fred.

    We have dropped IEW ourselves. The kids found it repetitive and they didn't like rewording the paragraphs in the book. I think they viewed it as a waste of time. Ie Why am I rewording something that is already good. Every year we seem to drift more and more towards unschooling.

    We used to have a Maine Coon can that we got as a stray. At her biggest she was 27 lbs and would 'hunt' the small 8lb dogs in the run next door.

    I will pray that Amber is growing. I am glad that she hasn't had any tummy problems this week and we will pray that that continues.

  3. My three older ones, since puberty has hit, go through tricky patches and then come out the other end more mature than before and even more of a joy to be around. Those tricky patches always coincide with a growth spurt. They are now part and parcel of parenting tweenies!

  4. I think all our kids go through up and downs. Keilee is gun ho about something and then, nothing, nada, zilch. We pray for Amber always and I hope she grows this summer. Love the picture of Fred multi tasking. :) And YAY for German. I wish we were closer and Keilee could learn too. Tough weeks happen but they are sometimes blessings too. You are always so sweet and supportive of us Christy and I appreciate it more than you know! Here's to a busy but LOVELY May. :)

  5. I do hope that Amber continues to tolerate the foods you are increasing. My kids often test me this time of year. I think we all have spring fever.
    Blessings, Dawn

  6. I'm sorry you have been having some challenges. I hope things have evened out by now! Hooray for happy endings to school year activities and to relaxing a little! I'm glad you and Amber are on the same page for language. I love when my kids are interested in learning about what I love.