Monday, January 27, 2014

A very full day!

We started off with a NAET appointment for Brianna.  She was cleared of her allergy to 3 hormones in her body, DHEA, Cortisone, and Growth hormone.

Then we headed to the zoo.



This was *my* favorite exhibit, lol!


The baby giraffe keeps getting bigger and bigger!  He is so cute!


We checked out the huts and houses in the African village.







Then we decided it was too cold for our littles, who are still not feeling great.

We headed for McDonald's, well, because they have an indoor playground!





Then it was back to Dr. Brucks, where Brianna and I had back to back appointments in the afternoon.  Since we had 2 appointments back to back, I let the girls bring their tablets to entertain themselves and the littles during the appointment.  

Brianna had caffeine and chocolate allergies cleared.   She is looking forward to having a cup of hot cocoa after this!









This was my first appointment, and the first time I have had muscle testing done on me.  It was very interesting to feel the strength leave my arm, and have no ability or strength to keep it up on things that I have a negative reaction to.  So far, I am allergic to more than Brianna!  AND, apparently, my chronic anemia that I have had all my life, is an allergy to iron...who knew?!

The next step for us, is to order an 'at home allergy kit' to see if we are able to use a similar technique to clear the allergies on our own - and for much less money!  After I do some self treatments, I will go back and see if the muscle testing shows that it has cleared.  At the very least, it should be an interesting experiment!

The plan is that if the at home allergy treatments work, to then use those on everyone else, because it is very likely that everyone has pretty much the same allergies around here!  Otherwise, we will likely have Brianna (who is looking GREAT!) finish up with the NAET appointments.  So...our Mondays, for the next 5 weeks anyway, are very busy!

Park Day

While most of the country is having a very hard, cold winter, we are enjoying a very mild winter.  We have not even had a whole lot of snow!

On Saturday, Christopher took the children to the park...I stayed home and enjoyed some quiet time with God.  For while I was very thankful for!













Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Head Shots

One of the things Cyndi asked me to do was to take 'head shots' of the younger ones, who's swirl we can see.  It is a very accurate indicator of what side dominance should be and of neurological disorganization.

Judah, who doesn't really have a singular, predominate swirl...but rather, has a primary left (counter-clockwise) on the right side, and a small right handed swirl towards the left.


Justice, who has a strange little cow lick in the front (the little curl),


And a cow lick on the side...


And a very predominate right hand swirl in the back.  The trouble here is that he chooses to use his left hand LOTS...always has...and is likely supposed to be RIGHT handed.  I will stop here and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being left handed.  As long as your brain is WIRED for you to be left handed.  From conception, your brain is wired to either be left or right, and that is the hand that you should use.



Then there is Serenity.  Here her hair was a bit wet...


And here it is dry.

She has two primary looking swirls, going in opposite directions.


Cyndi Ringoen wanted us to take pictures of this because as we keep doing therapy on the littles, the swirls will change with the organization of their brains!  I am looking forward to seeing this change and progress.  Here is the before...and I will post pictures again in a few months.  Here's hoping that this will help some of their little issues and quirks so that they can relate better to people, be better organized in their life, and learn more easily!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How is progress added up?

If you need a bit of inspiration, or a pick me up, check out this series of videos of Callie's walking!

This is how we add up progress...Callie started walking right at 2 1/2 years old, but really made no progress for the next 5 months.  Then I took this video, when progress really started to pick up.  We were just trying to get her to go from furniture items around the house.



Then up to 9 feet...



Then to 60 feet!



We have now long since stopped counting feet, and track miles!  Here is Callie just 2 weeks ago on our treadmill:



And working on her gait in the community with her walker at the zoo:


There are times when I wonder if she is still making process.  I miss the little things because from day to day, or even hour to hour, her gait is not changing...but over the course of months, there IS a change!  So for me to go back and look at these videos helps me to see the progression she has taken.

Rescheduling the day...

We have worked hard on getting therapy done for the last 3 1/2 years.  But there have been way too many days that school has not been finished because of it.  Callie is going to need therapy for years to come...so we have to find a way to get school done in concert with therapy.  Our new schedule is to help accomplish that.  Along with our new approach to curriculum, going with a more independent study rather than one that requires my attention and direction.

We are currently using Teaching Textbooks for math, and really liking it.

For the rest of the curriculum, we are using Alpha Omega's Switched On Schoolhouse (or SOS).  We started the twins in an earlier grade, unsure on if there were things they would want them to know that they needed to pick up, or if it builds on each other as far as what is taught each year.  In hind sight, I probably shouldn't have done this at least in every subject, but I did...so now, they are working through grade levels more quickly in order to 'catch up.'

We start our day with activities for younger ones (and home ec for older ones) while I read Bible aloud.


After Bible, we get breakfast started, and the girls work on their lists of things to do. I basically made up the same kind of charts as I use for therapy for everyone so that they can look up what they need to do and get it done.  It is a bit overwhelming for me to look at it all laid out like this...but last week was a really great and productive week, so I think it is helping!

The girls kind of play 'musical computers' throughout the morning.  The TT that the middles use is on just one computer, the TT that the twins use is on a different computer, typing is one yet a different computer...in total, there are 4 computers for the girls to use.  Then there is therapy that is done on the computer, for headphone stories, they can use 2 different computers, or 2 of the new tablets that the girls got for Christmas.  Callie, Justice and Seren also need some computer time to get their therapy stuff done, too!

While the children eat breakfast, I read our together history (a chronological study of history starting with Genesis) and science (again, creation based curriculum).

Therapy is still a family affair, here the twins were teaching Grandpa how to do the table activities with the 4 younger ones, calling them one at a time, while I was also working with whoever I had at the couch...


I work with the littles on the couch, having them listen to classical music, doing deep pressure, tragiminal stimuli, vibrator and deep hugs.


At some point during the morning, the twins also bring the dogs downstairs, along with computers or silent reading books to go on the treadmill.  During the cold, wet days of winter, this helps them to not have too much energy...a young dog with energy that is not worn off, is destructive.  This helps ours to be better house companions!


The older ones also have to grab the piano when it is available, and get their other musical instruments practiced, get their penmanship done and do their silent reading between/around their computer school.

Justice working on one of his therapy items, while Callie is in the background doing another.



Callie waiting for me to stop taking pictures so I can listen to her read, while Brianna works independently on SOS (something she just started last week!)






Callie reading to the littles (a therapy activity).



By the time everyone is done, it is time for lunch (and sometimes the twins are not quite done at this point, but they are normally the only ones who have to get back to school after lunch, the rest of us are done).

While we eat lunch, I read aloud from an 'other' book, which could be just about anything!  We are currently reading a book called Beautiful In God's Eyes.

Then I head upstairs to help the littles get to sleep, while the older ones do a quick clean around the main house.  The middles then have free time, while the twins finish school before their free time.

About twice a week, I sit down and go over any corrections that are necessary for each child, and make sure that they are understanding things.

By this point in the day, we try to get a special project done.  It might be cleaning out the fridge, or changing animal bedding, going through children's drawers, extra laundry, cleaning our cupboards or the pantry, fencing projects, etc.

Then it is time for us to get dinner started, and our nappers wake up right about then.


If there is a bit more therapy (and there usually is!), we get that finished up, then.  Lately everyone has been into board games, so we have been playing 'smaller/shorter/littles' friends' games before dinner.  After we put littles to bed, we get the longer/more involved/olders games out!



Our days are full, filled with joy and music and laughter, and I wouldn't trade even a hard day for anything else in this world!  What a blessing it is to get to learn along side my children!