Friday, October 31, 2014

One of the Good Ones

We've had a great week, even though it had a few ups and downs.  The new schedule where Amber doesn't shower until right before lunch has done wonders for her productivity.  She completed more school this week than any week this school year, and that includes taking off most of today!

Fred has been "working from home" today and yesterday since his company is moving into their brand new building and his office is not accessible.  Tomorrow he does have to go in and make sure everything is put together correctly for his division.  But today we had lunch out together and will all don our My Little Pony themed costumes in a few hours, after pumpkin carving of course.  We are expecting our first hard freeze, tonight of all nights, so it will be ridiculously cold at trick or treating time.  At least Amber won't over heat. 

Amber & Daddy time.  They built a sugar cube castle together. Amber named it Castle Cavity.  It even has a well out back.

As unbelievable as it sounds, Math was back on the acceptable subjects list this week; actually Amber enjoyed math.  It was freaky.  Amber says she was just tired and frustrated that Algebra 1/2 took her so long because of being sick and having brain fog so often. The clean start with Algebra 1 this week gave her hope that she might be able to get through topics. 

Even though our new science curriculum arrived last week we postponed using it in favor of a weather unit which is not included in any Real Science 4 Kids topic. I did convince / cajole Amber into looking at Apologia Physical Science again. This time I had her really read the sample and look at the journal too. She agreed that it didn't look quite as "textbooky" as she originally thought.  So we decided to order and use a couple of modules for our weather study right now and the rest of it for 8th grade.

(Top) Working on a Mardi Gras mask sample for my 50 States class.
(Bottom) Olaf wall clings.  This made Amber ridiculously happy on a very sad day.

This week our weather study has been mostly out of other resources, though Amber did start her weather log for the Apologia module. She tracks almost all the weather stats available each day using weatherbug and her eyes. She also records the forecast for the next day and then notes how accurate the forecast ended up being. In addition to weather observations, Amber also records how she feels and any symptoms that can't be attributed to known events / actions. It is an established fact that barometric pressure and temperature affect the symptoms of people with dysautonomia. We are using our weather log to help pinpoint exactly how it affects Amber. Our hope is that we can eventually predict her some of her "bad days" with the weather forecast. It would greatly help in planning special events too if we knew when Amber was likely to have an episode.

(Left) Morning "bed school", and then afternoon writing with Milori
(Right) Weather log work.  The bottom is a picture I would normally reject, but it is a good representation of how she looks when she's not trying to look peppy for pictures.  She felt pretty awful that afternoon (and depressed the next day).

German lessons have been sailing along nicely. This week we moved into the accusative case for German. I remember struggling greatly with this at Amber's age. I did not have a good early grammar background and have no memory of sentence diagramming until high school.  Yet, for Amber I simply had her help me parse a German sentence which included a sample of the accusative case. She looked at me and said "Oh, it's the direct object. I get it."  And she did. That was the end of the accusative lesson.  Thank you grammar lessons!

In history we've been studying Gutenberg and how his invention affected the rest of history. Amber watched several YouTube videos (silly music video, less silly video) and read various resources. I had a project lined up for her, however she declined and said she felt more bookish this week. That's ok too.

Food!  (Top-left) At lunch today.  Grilled chicken with bacon & salad (lettuce, parmesan cheese, & egg).  Almost normal looking! (Top-right) Waiting for lunch at the mall diner.  They have a dedicated french fry fryer and fresh burgers (no seasoning)! (Bottom-left) Carpet picnic - canteloupe (100 g only), orange bell pepper, cheese slices, yogurt bread with cream cheese, gatorade (not G2) with miralax.  (Bottom-right) Miniature King Cakes for my 50 States co-op class. 

Unbelievably there were no doctor visits this week, which might have helped with the productivity. That means Amber's blood test didn't happen either. But by some miracle (and it literally must be), when I called this morning to badger, umm... ask politely, about the test the technician told me she was just getting ready to call us. We have the AAG antibody blood test scheduled for next week. Not a hopeful maybe, but an actual appointment. Happy dance!  Of course the results will take forever. Still there is no hope of results if you can't ever get the test started.

Next week is another one of those weeks that doesn't look too bad on paper, but I know Amber will be exhausted by Tuesday afternoon. From there on out she will be running on empty and barely keeping up.  I've already canceled one activity, but the remainder are necessary-ish.

Happy Reformation Day (and Halloween)!

(Left) Halloween day.  With a new hat from Grandma.  It even lights up.  This made Amber so happy that she hasn't taken it off since she got it.  (Right-top) Weekly kitty petting.  She had to make her rounds fast though because she was feeling quite poor.

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  1. Yay for a GREAT week! It's going to be SUPER chilly tonight to trick or treat too. Fortunately we head to the Community Center for games, a magic show, cider and donuts, and trick or treat at a few hours. We won't be outside long! How awesome to combine her weather learning with her health!

  2. I am so happy that you all had a great week. I am looking out the window at about 3 inches of snow right North Carolina! That harsh winter everyone is talking about may just happen!
    You are doing such an awesome job figuring out how to help Amber. Good JOB mom!
    BLessings, Dawn

  3. I am glad to hear that Amber had a good week and that the change of routine is helping. I also like that the blood test is finally going to happen. I checked our temperature last night as the kids and I where heading out. It was a couple of degrees warmer here and I'm in Canada but on the West Coast.

  4. What a great week despite a day or two of Amber not feeling up to par. It's awesome that the test is finally scheduled! What relief that must be! I also think that tracking the weather and looking for clues as to how it might affect Amber's health is an awesome idea that will hopefully come in very handy!

  5. You are doing such a great job in meeting Amber's needs. Thank God for home school. And for blood testing appointments! I hope it goes well next week.

  6. It looks like a great, productive week! I hope that Amber's blood work was all good yesterday and I'm so glad it finally happened! I LOVED all of your My Little Pony costumes. It's funny because Keilee said about 3 days before Halloween that she wanted to be Rarity next year. :) I always love seeing pictures of Amber. She is such a beautiful girl! <3