Young Womanhood Medallion

I received my first Young Womanhood medallion when I completed the old Personal Progress program back when I was a Laurel. Unfortunately, I lost that necklace years ago. On Sunday I was presented with a new Young Womanhood medallion for completing the current Personal Progress program. Since I am the Beehive Adviser, I had fewer value experience requirements, but I had to serve in Young Women for at least one year. I completed that year the end of August and I completed my last project last week. I love the Personal Progress program!

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

I realized yesterday that the idiom “like pulling teeth” doesn’t make any more sense than “easy as pie.” With about 15 minutes to go in Sacrament Meeting we discovered Adrian’s gums above his loose tooth were bleeding.

The tooth had been getting progressively looser over the last couple weeks so, clearly, it was time for it to come out. I took the boy and a tissue out to the foyer and, with just a slight tug, out popped his little tooth. Very, very easily. Pulling actually teeth is nothing like pulling teeth!


No Gluten for Adrian

When Ani was told she had to go gluten free, I quickly realized it would just be easier for all of our meals to be gluten free rather than make something special just for her and then worry about cross contamination. The boys have still been eating some gluten. Specifically, Hot Pockets, Hot Pocket Bites, and Ramen. Adrian was eating Hot Pockets or Hot Pocket Bites daily.

Once I was off gluten I discovered that a whole lot of weird symptoms I’ve had for as long as I can remember magically went away. I was told by multiple doctors that I was just a hypochondriac since no test found anything wrong with me. Of course this was before Celiac and not being able to eat gluten became well known so I was never tested for that. I just lived with the symptoms. Then Ani was officially diagnosed with Celiac and not long after I had to take a medication for a few days that contained gluten and all my symptoms came rushing back. Since it’s genetic, it’s pretty much a certainty that my “hypochondria” was actually Celiac the whole time (since then, my father has gone off gluten as well and some symptoms he had all his life and thought were normal, too, went away). A few weeks ago Jamie, who has also been off gluten along with Ani and me, knowingly ate regular pizza. He swelled up like he used to be all the time. At the very least he’s got some sensitivity to gluten.

So that brings me to Adrian. For the last few months we’ve wondered if he has Celiac, too. Genetics being what they are, it wouldn’t surprise us in the least to have a second kid with it. The last few weeks have brought some significant symptoms. The last few weeks also coincide with him eating more gluten containing foods than normal. So we decided we’d just have to take him completely off gluten and see what happens. He’s been off it for a week or so now and several of his issues have resolved. Poor kid. First it was oranges (and grapefruit), then it was watermelon, now it’s gluten. At least having a gluten free kid isn’t a big deal or overwhelming this time around!


Tae Kwon School


Once a week Ani and Cameron have a private lesson before our regular taekwondo class. We try to get as much school done beforehand as possible.


One day all Adrian had left for the day was First Language Lessons. I brought cards with subjects, verbs, and predicates with us to the lesson and set Adrian up on the floor to make sentences.


It worked great. He had fun with this lesson and was done before the end of the private. He was especially proud of the sentence that read “Goldilocks was purple.”


More Science Experiments

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve done a bunch of water experiments. We filled a jar to the brim with water and then put it in a pot with a couple inches of water and boiled it. The water overflowed from the jar because hot water expands.

We put ice in a cup of water. The ice floated because ice is less dense than liquid water.

We put a cup filled to the brim with water in the refrigerator. As it cooled, the water level went down because cold water contracts. We put another cup filled to the brim with water and capped with a piece of cardboard in the freezer. The cardboard cap was pushed up and formed stalactites as the water froze because water expands when it freezes.

We made a water cycle. We put a small mixing bowl weighted down with a rock in the middle of a larger mixing bowl. In the bottom of the large mixing bowl we added a couple inches of water. We covered the large bowl with plastic wrap and weighted it down with a rock so the lowest part of the plastic wrap was directly over the small bowl. We then placed it in the sun. Before long we could see the water had evaporated and then condensed on the plastic wrap. Within a couple days quite a bit of condensed water had “rained” into the small bowl.

We crushed a piece of chalk and added it to water. We filtered the solids out of the chalk water by running it through a handkerchief. This made very hard water. We put some water in each of two baby food jars and added washing soda to one of them to soften that water (the washing soda also made the water heat up). We added a tablespoon of soap powder to each of the jars of water and shook them up. The soft water produced more bubbles and the bubbles lasted longer than the hard water.

We filled a can with ice water. We added food coloring to the water. After a couple minutes, water droplets appeared on the outside of the can. These droplets were clear so they did not come from the water inside of the can. This is because the droplets came out of the water in the air.

We put an egg in a glass of water. It sank. We dissolved lots of salt in the water and the egg began to float. This is because salt water is denser than fresh water.

We did some water evaporation experiments. We put the same amount of water in two baby food jars and left one open and put the top on the other. The water from the open one evaporated faster. We put the same amount of water in two identical plastic containers. We put one in the sun and one in the shade. The one in the sun evaporated faster. We put the same amount of water in an olive jar and in a small plate. The water in the plate evaporated faster.

We wet two identical handkerchiefs. We waved one around and left it to dry under a fan. The other we hung up in a draft-free location. The one under the fan dried much faster.

We completed our hovercraft experiments. This time we used tape and paper and designed our own hovercrafts.

We floated a needle on a bag tag in water. Then we broke the “skin” by touching the water with a bar of soap. Soap reduces surface tension so the water could no longer support anything on top.

We put drops of food coloring in milk. Then we added a few drops of liquid dish soap. The dyed milk immediately started swirling.


Saturday we had our fall intra-school tournament. Jamie got a third, I got three seconds and a third, Ani got a second and two thirds, Cameron got a second, Fritz got a first, and Adrian got a second.


I have no idea what events any of those were in except Fritz’s first. He got that for board break. He did a double round kick so perfectly. He kept his knee up in the air in the right place and balanced just right while the board was put back together for the second break. I wish I had videoed it. The rest of us competed all at the same time in four different rings (Jamie and Cameron competed against each other because there were only 3 colored belt boys entered so they put the boys in with the men). My ring was crazy with something like 14 women! They’ve never had so many women enter ever. I felt sorry for some of the low rank women, though. About 2/3 of them didn’t place in anything. It’s not easy competing as a yellow belt against a brown belt (I was the highest rank… that’s just nuts!).


The Demo Team performed amazingly. They were seriously incredible. Facebook told me I posted the Demo Team’s performance in the September 2014 tournament a year ago today. Cameron was on the team then, but Ani wasn’t. Watching it I realized just how much these kids have improved in the last year. All the parents and instructors were so proud of the kids. Take a couple minutes and watch this performance. You won’t regret it!

Unfortunately something quite unsportsmanlike went on in the scoring. Our instructor (and program director) are the best in Victory Texas. They have the awards to prove it. People drive quite a distance (and past other Victory schools) to come to our school. As parents, we often get the feeling that some of the other instructors are a bit jealous of our instructor. We feel like on Saturday that jealousy was taken out on a group of 4 teens and 6 children, our school’s demo team. Every instructor doing the scoring (our instructor was not one of the judges) gave our kids 9.5. They gave other groups much higher scores for the most part and not other team got identical scores from every instructor. Our team ended up tied for last place. They tied because the instructor of the school we tied with gave her own team a much higher score than any of the other instructors gave them so that they would not come in last. The sad part of that is our kids learned that high degree black belts do not always play nice and aren’t always disciplined. Thankfully, while the team was upset by the unfairness of the fixing of the scores, they know they did well and should have placed in the top two had their scores been given accurately. Our instructor says to the parents at every belt testing there are only three things to say to our kids in competition or testing: Have fun, do your best, and I love you. Well, our kids had fun, they did their best, and we definitely love them, and that’s what really matters.


3 Week Down, 33 To Go

We have completed the first three weeks of the school year. So far, it’s going great.

We learned some vocabulary words and about the Plan of Salvation and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. (Ani has been to more days of seminary already this year than last year. It’s a nice thing to be healthy! They are doing Old Testament this year. She loves her teachers.)

We’re doing modern history this year so we started in the second half of the 1800s. We learned about Africa and India and a little bit about the US. We read a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Fritz was horrified at what men thought about women in the 1800s.

We’re doing physics this year. We’re using Elemental Science. The boys are loving all the experiments we are doing. We are doing 6-10 experiments a week. We learned about air pressure and water and made hovercrafts.

The boys (including Adrian who isn’t specifically taking Latin, but is around when we do it) have learned 5 verbs and 5 nouns and the amo chant and the first chapter maxim in Latin for Children A.

Art and Music
We learned about Georgia O’Keeffe and George Frideric Handel. We’ve studied several O’Keeffe paintings and listened to several pieces by Handel.

Cameron read Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and several poems by modern poets. He’s learning to write in cursive. He reviewed nouns. Spelling You See is worked great for him. He started the second level of Writing With Skill. He had worked on two-level outlines and notetaking. He’s started formal logic and vocabulary lessons. He’s completed three lessons of Math-U-See Algebra.

Fritz read Homer Price is has read several chapters of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He’s learning cursive and doing well with Spelling You See. He’s reading his own passages for narration now and doing lots of dictation. He reviewed nouns, pronouns, and verbs. He started vocabulary lessons. He’s almost done the third lesson of Math-U-See Delta. He loves division.

Adrian is still working through his phonics lessons and using Explode the Code. He likes Spelling You See. He is learning to do narrations. He doesn’t like copywork, but he puts up with it. He reviewed nouns and verbs. He’s almost done the third lesson of Math-U-See Beta. He much prefers the videos to doing the worksheets.

Ani’s school year didn’t really start until this week. She had her first Well-Trained Mind Academy classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. She absolutely loves her classes and thinks all of her teachers are great. They are challenging and have a lot of work to do outside of class. Balancing the workload with taekwondo classes (and now she’s been hired to actually work at the taekwondo studio) isn’t easy, but she’s loving all of it.

I Really Don’t Get Snooze

This morning I was driving Ani to seminary at way too early in the morning and she said she felt much more awake this morning because she set her alarm for 5:30 as usual, but hit the snooze button and didn’t actually get up until 5:40. For some reason this made her feel like she got lots of extra sleep rather than just 10 measly minutes.

This makes absolutely no sense to me.

I have never been one to hit the snooze button. It makes much more sense to me to just set the alarm for when I actually need to get up. Snooze does not make me feel at all like I got extra sleep. It annoys me because I feel like I could’ve just had 10 extra unbroken minutes of sleep. The snooze button is just something I really don’t understand.

The View Might Distract Us a Little

Adrian has decided school isn’t so bad and he will survive having to do actual work. He still complains a little bit, but it’s not at all the level it was the first week of school.


The other day he asked if he could do his language arts and math outside. It was nice out so I said we could. He warned me, though, that our view from our deck is very beautiful and might distract us a little.


As it turns out, it didn’t distract him at all. He worked hard, focused, and didn’t complain at all. He got his language arts and math all done in about 45 minutes.