Saturday, July 22, 2017

July Update (Summer Update 2)

We've been enjoying an total break from school work since July began. It's glorious. I don't even encourage Amber to be the least bit studious. Even without specific learning goals, things happen around here.

  • Our botany genetics experiment only made it part of the way through before my inability to keep plants alive won. At least we learned a few things first.
  • Amber has continued to practice her flute with more vigor than during the school year.
  • We never have to encourage Amber to read. She's read a few new books in several series that she has followed for years, re-read a few other books from her shelves, and begun reading the Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber series. (No, she wasn't named for the series, but Fred and I had read and owned all of the books prior to her birth)
  • She's continued her weekly Project Write meetings with extra meetings and practice. The performance is coming up this weekend.
  • We're still working with Amber's friends to sew weighted blankets for Children's Hospital. We have one more summer week scheduled, and then will be receiving a tour of Therapy Services next Friday when we drop off the blankets completed to date (there will be more though).
Our botany genetic experiment before they lost the will to continue.
Project Write performance
Free time reading.
I'd say that's a fairly decent showing for not even attempting school work.

Our July is packed full of appointments, meetings, activities, and fun.  We have not had and will not have a single day that is entirely free for the month. We will almost be happy to go back to our school schedule.  However, our first day of school looks to be delayed because Amber's cousins (my nephews) will be in town staying with my mom. We will be taking them about for fun times the first few days of August as part of the oldest boy's 10th birthday present.  Our official first day of school will be whenever the boys leave - date to yet be determined.

Half-birthday with Grandma
Fourth of July with Grandma
Gaming. She's replayed both Portal games again, and completed Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PS4

Amber has been doing phenomenal this summer. Yes, she still has the exhaustion and still has dysautonomia. However, the difference between this year and any other summer in recent years is remarkable. Controlling her pain definitely turned out to be the key to moving forward. I wish we had been connected to the pediatric pain clinic sooner in this journey, but at least she got there.  We're even considering dropping her PT to once a month! She may end back up at twice a month or weekly when winter hits and her body reacts. Still, until then we might be able to skirt by with monthly PT, which we're giving a trial right now.

I'm hoping to improve my own exhaustion and overall health soon. After much testing earlier this year & into the summer, then a preliminary diagnosis, I now have an official diagnosis - it's Primary Sjogren's Syndrome. It's going to be a long process to find the right methods to manage this considering how far my Sjogren's has already progressed; I'm past the "it's just an inconvenience" phase and into multiple organ involvement. I've been trying a medication that might help slow the progression of Sjogren's, but I'm really struggling with the "mild" side effects.

Lots of visits to McAlister's. And I finally used my Mother's Day present.

Last day of VBS lunch (at McAlister's, and yes it was the last week of June)
Annual vet visit for all the cats, but just Milori and Rosetta on the same day. Biscotti going to the vet is an event, so he gets his own day.

I'm almost ready for school to begin. Curriculum has been received. Lesson plans created and entered. Last year's paperwork and documentation sorted and stored (we don't actually do anything with it in Missouri except store it at home on the off chance we have to produce it).  All that's left is to buy Amber a few folders, and organize her textbook cubbies. Time to move out last year's books and move in this year's.

Biscotti really is the sweetest boy if you are a Christy or Amber. He is a relatively nice boy if you are a Fred (or my mom). Otherwise, please keep your distance. -- See how patient he is with Amber? And he when he wants down he asks politely and is careful of his humans.
That's pretty much been our July so far. One more week of fun with friends and appointments before cousin time and then school. It's gone way too fast for me.

My father had a small portion of his father's books (my grandfather was a Lutheran pastor, and thus was educated in many languages). While my dad didn't have any of the Hebrew books, he did have Latin and Greek lesson books & plays. My sister graciously allowed Amber to have all of those.  We still need to sort through the German books which are more plentiful.
Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. What a fantastic summer so far. I hope you all enjoy the rest and make progress on your own health.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. How lovely to take a break from school and just do the projects and reading that you all want to do. Great to hear that Amber has been doing so well this summer. Praying for you as you work on managing your own health and adjusting medications.