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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/29/2019 in all areas

  1. 29 points
    Delivery day was yesterday. Lots of highs and lows on this one. Very grateful for the technology that will allow me to participate in family and life! Hard because it’s so THERE, right in the dining room. Turns out, I am not a good driver. 😉 ...And we need to change the bedroom door, but that’s minor. (And yes, that does say mph - they are shockingly fast, lol.)
  2. 24 points
    I am a person who is committed to always learning and trying to make life better and, to that goal, I spend a good bit of the last month of the year assessing the past year and how well I have done with cultivating new habits or goals, and committing to new ones for the coming year. So here are habits and goals I improved upon this year and I would like for others to share theirs. Early this year, I started setting my alarm for 5:35, instead of rising at about 6:15. (One thing I changed is doing away with our old, cacophonous alarm clock and setting my iPad on a lovely, gentle chime that gradually gets louder.) I used to drag myself out of bed after dh got out of the shower. Now, I am up before him. I make the coffee, and I read, sometimes come here or to FB, direct e-mails (that’s another habit; more about this in a minute), I consult my calendar and make To Dos. I do 20 minutes of Yoga - that’s new this year - and 15 minutes of meditation, also new. I have inconsistently also done either specific breast cancer exercises or strength training; I would like to organize this better and be consistent with it next year. I have also done sporadic walking daily but I am inconsistent with this, too. I no longer watch TV news with dh, which has brought more peace to our marriage. I was afraid of letting go of this ritual, because that was “together” time, which we no longer have, but it was worth letting go of because I simply could not help but get angry if we disagreed about political things. We begun a dinner once a month with a compatible couple; we rotate houses and we have a lot in common. Those dinners have greatly enriched our lives. The email thing: I talked about this a while ago on here because I’ve been so bad about email management. But I began a new habit. I check email definitely in the morning and definitely before bed and I address every unread. I delete, re-route, star for action or respond directly. Every single one. I don’t let my email get higher than around 30 unreads ever. I started going to the movies nearly every week, taking a page out of @Garga‘s book. Sometimes, friends join me, but usually I go alone. I have seen more movies this year, I think, than probably the past fifteen years totaled. I have continued to seek out at least one new experience every month (most months, I have several). Sometimes these are big, like going on a trip somewhere, but often they are small, like trying a new food or shopping in a different store. I think that’s everything. A lot of my habits this year were attached to waking up and what I would do n that early morning time. What about you?
  3. 24 points
    The stone child statue at the base of the monument is no longer holding a pumpkin. Now he is holding a Christmas ornament. Also, the flowers in the hanging pots are all dead. Which is not surprising, given that it's December.
  4. 16 points
    A short response - I haven't had any candy or potato chips since July 30. I successfully made it through the fall season without any candy corn! Yay me!!
  5. 12 points
    This one is kind of cheesy, but every year we get the boys Lego Mini-Figs for their stockings. Lego releases little single packs, but it's a mystery grab bag -- there are 16 in the series each time, but you don't know which one you're getting in the pack. There used to be little dots on the packaging so you could kind of tell if you were getting duplicates or not, and DH would spend a while standing in the store checking, yet we'd always end up with one or two repeats. This year, whether strictly ethical or not, DH ordered extras/bought extras, and last night we sat and felt all of the packages trying to identify unique pieces in each one to determine what they were. We were able, we're pretty sure, to identify every single one in the series and return the duplicates, so that, if we were accurate in our package-feeling, the kids will have all 16, no duplicates, for the first time ever. We won't know for sure until Christmas if we were successful or not, but I really hope so and think so.
  6. 12 points
    In the last 12 months: I renewed my commitment to continued daily mass attendance. I lost a lot of weight (210 to 143) to win my HealthyWage and $2200 and got healthier. Getting up at 5am 6 days a week and exercising for 30+ minutes 6 days a week and eating Whole30 every day. I have finally got to do some traveling. A week in Cozumel with a girlfriend. A week in Punta Cana with dh. A week in Branson with dh, 10 of 11 kids and my best friends. And recently 10 days in Curacao with best friends. I basicly started paying myself before bills and learned that travel outside the states is a LOT less expensive than nearly anywhere stateside. I started pt college classes for myself. It’s been brutal but I’m hanging in there. I still have no idea what I’ll be when I grow up.
  7. 11 points
    Verdict is a sinus infection- getting antibiotics.
  8. 10 points
    Yes we are finally there. Dd has just been taking it but we finally have her standing up to her. But my dd had been reluctant to do that. One because she doesn't want to be disruptive but also because she doesn't want anyone in trouble even the offender. But my dd is fiesty and she is finally finding her voice and realizing she shouldn't just take it. At least my dd has a reputation as being a sweet encouraging girl so no one is really buying the story that my dd is the bully. Thankfully. I think everyone besides the other girl's mother gets it.
  9. 10 points
    This year I started doing yoga. I needed to do some exercise, but I hate exercise. It needed to be from home and something I could enjoy. In April I found “Yoga for the Inflexible” on Amazon Prime, and amazingly enough, I stuck with it, I started out with 3x/week, but at the beginning of November I upped it to 5x/week. They are very gentle, 15 minute videos, but I have seen an increase in flexibility and balance. And Julia always tells me she is glad I am there at the beginning and that I did a great job at the end, and unfortunately, that is sometimes the only affirmation I get throughout the day.😂. I’m pretty surprised I am still doing it, since I have a lot of trouble keeping up with new things like that.
  10. 9 points
    I actually really, really like the teenage stage so far. Sure, they are still snapping turtles from time to time. But I snap back pretty good, and for every one of those moments there are plenty of moments sunning on the rocks and enjoying life. I got two of the easiest kids in the world, I swear. I am so very, very lucky. Snapping Turtles They slip out of their ponds in the morning, They see who can grumble the most, As they crawl to the table for breakfast, Where they sun over oatmeal and toast. They’re generally known as teenagers, But I know by the shells and the tails, They swim in emotions grown stagnant, And are clothed in their tempers like scales. Still I love them and won’t be dismayed, When they bite, snap, and splash me with tears, They’ll be human again, I imagine, Creeping out of the swamp of their years. Random Musings
  11. 9 points
    Oh, I am sorry that it didn't work out the way you wanted. I love to spatchcock my turkeys! My mother gets up at dawn to start her turkey. I put mine into the oven at 1 and we ate at 3. It was a 16lb bird that came from the local turkey farm; it lived it's entire life 2 miles away from my kitchen table!
  12. 8 points
    Good morning! Today's list is pretty short: Get everyone to co op, preferably with pants on. Make sure there's dinner when dh gets home. Stay on my feet as much as possible to encourage these contractions to organize into something productive. Oh, and I should probably change sheets.
  13. 8 points
    If you don't have relatives like this, you should count your blessings instead of implying other people are lying.
  14. 8 points should NOT tell him to go if you want him to stay. You should say, "I need you to stay, because I'm in a dangerous and unpleasant situation and need your support". If you want him to stay, say he should stay. I get that you were trying to be nice, but sometimes that backfires. I hope this doesn't sound mean - I only recognize it because I used to do it myself. He may very well have thought that if it was truly that dangeorus you would have of course told him to stay, and since you didn't, it must be okay to go. So please, ask for what you need. I know we as women are socialized and conditioned to not do that, and wait for our knight in shining armor to just guess and offer. But that isn't nice, not really, because in the end we are upset with them and have basically set them up to fail. Again, yes, he should have stayed anyway, but it seems like you need to stop expecting him to know, and flat out tell him. That advice, to be truly honest and hold nothing back even if it isn't "nice" was the best marriage advice I ever got. Because it would have been much nicer to flat out say "honey, I need you to stay home. I'm sorry, but I need you here" then rather than to now be unloading how upset you are. He might have been upset about staying home, but much less upset than he is now knowing he hurt you, right? And truly, it is in a way dishonest to say to someone they can go, then be upset if they do. I don't mean you were trying to be dishonest, I can tell you aren't that sort of person, but in the end that is what it is and realize that is what helped me to stop doing it. Hugs. I'm sorry, this probably isn't the time for advice on being more assertive, so feel free to file this away for later. But for now, do be honest with him.
  15. 8 points
    It’s not extremist to say “don’t drink until you’re legal”. It’s really basic and straightforward with a worldview that supports consistent respect for governing authorities unless the law is sinful or immoral or completely impractical to follow in the current age. That isn’t a culture of fear - nonsense and insulting. Responsible use by adults doesn’t somehow automatically translate to offering to children or adults under the legal age. We aren’t big drinkers as adults, either, but beer and wine and such is consumed sparingly and regularly. There is exposure to it, and a very basic ground rule - you can have some, if you want, when you’re 21. TADAAAA! 😒
  16. 8 points
    No. Sometimes it's about the gravy. Apparently.
  17. 7 points
    I really have no idea what my goals for this year were supposed to be. The year started off difficult and just got more hard and sad as it went on. However, I did accomplish a few things (some that don't need to be public): while I didn't meet my personal goal of reading 52 books, I have read 46 so far. I won't make my 52 goal but I would like to finish at least one, if not two more. We joined the YMCA and I have been consistently fast walking on the treadmill. We just got a new puppy after losing our elderly dog in April. This sweet puppy is certainly not a replacement for our other dog, and I miss our other one more than words can say, but, it is so nice to have a lovely wonderful sweet puppy. We have another dog, but this is definitely a 2 dog home, and was too quiet with only one. We found a new and wonderful church (happens to be a different denomination) and feels like it is where we should have been all along. We love it. We still need to meet more people and make friends but getting established is hard (we have only been members for 3 months). In many areas I failed miserably due to overwhelming sadness and stress and just trying to keep my head above water (still there actually). So accomplishing these few things (plus the ones that are private) count as wins. I just really pray that 2020 is far kinder to our family. Reading all of your accomplishments is inspiring. You guys are pretty amazing and have doing awesome things!
  18. 7 points
    Never would I ever look for, buy, and move into a new house one year after I already did all of that, lol. You could start casually scoping out other possibilities, and then show dh if you find something truly amazing. If it were me, it would have to be basically perfect to even think about moving again. A few random thoughts: That's not a terribly big house for 8 people. If you move to a smaller house now, you'll be looking for a bigger one in a few short years at best. The things you like about it are pretty big things. You can't change the bedroom layout, true, but I don't see a big difference between walking through two rooms to get to a bedroom and walking down a hall to get to a bedroom. This might bother you less if you fix a few other things. Buy some Corelle dishes and a Roomba. Or two Roombas, lol. If you hate Corelle dishes, only have the kids of dropping age use them. Webcams are cheap-ish, easy to use, and can help you keep track of kids both inside and out. You can also restrict the kids to certain areas of the house, they don't need to routinely wander all 3,300 square feet. Keep the 'always open' area on the small side. The oldest might have special privileges, either all the time or upon request. The brick wall can be made taller and unclimbable by adding wood on top (put the wood in a frame, bolt the frame to the brick). This can look great with good wood stained to match or coordinate with the brick. The added frame can always be removed in later years if desired. The house sounds like it has a lot of good points and I think going smaller now will only add more work in the next few years (you just moved, then you'd move again now, and then have to move again in the not-so-distant future). Do the things above to make your life easier, and then do a few more just to make yourself happy. You can make quite a lot of high quality purchases before reaching the equivalent of just closing costs.
  19. 7 points
    One time I read a cookbook that snuck extra veggies or beans or whatever into recipes to boost nutrition, and I thought that would be a great idea, so I made the chocolate chip cookies with chickpeas. My husband took one bite and demanded to know what was in them. I tried to hedge, but eventually I told him, and I kid you not, he still refuses to eat chickpeas. He would prefer I not bring them in the house, just in case. This was seven years ago.
  20. 7 points
    Because nothing helps the hurt when you’ve lost someone. and sometimes people hurt us and it takes time to settle. It’s ok to take time for that. Its ok to sit with this stuff for awhile. and it’s ok to sit down in a few weeks and unpack it all. “ I felt so unimportant to you. Like you didn’t care at all. When hard things happen I wish you’d ask what I need from you. I’m really bad about speaking upfor myself. Can you ask this when I’m struggling?”
  21. 7 points
    I’m not sure anyone talking about doing this with their own children on this thread was advocating for hosting underage parties for teens. I think everyone was talking about a taste or small drink at family gatherings. Those things are radically different in my opinion.
  22. 7 points
    Only if it was nearby or next to another school that we were visiting anyway. I can't imagine getting a plane ticket to go visit a school that was a big reach for any reason - financial or academic. I think it's very hard to help a kid have realistic expectations and still apply to these schools. It's much, much harder if you also visit.
  23. 7 points
    So the ONLY thing my 7 year old wanted for Thanksgiving dinner was rolls. It is the only thing he wants every year. But this year, he has Celiac. He likes soft rolls, not crusty ones. I was panicking and somehow happened onto this recipe. I have to say - they came out great! Soft and light and not at all dry or crusty! So figured I'd share as I can't be the only one looking for such a thing. Also, SUPER easy. Do them in the stand mixer, and weight the flour. Some reviews said they were too dense but I bet that is from using too much flour - definitely weigh it. It will be more like a thick batter than a dough - but that's how it is supposed to be, i promise. I used King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.
  24. 6 points
    We started 4 years ago when he was 12 years old with him writing at 8 words per minute regardless of typing or physically writing, and with him being unable to spell 70 out of the top 100 words. He could write for 3 minutes at a time tops. He had NO idea what a sentence was no matter how many grammar programs we did. He was still trying to remember how to write letters (yes, form them!) and he was still sounding out words like 'cat'. His phonics were fine, his phonemic skills were fine, he knew all the rules. He just could not encode his thoughts. Nothing was automated. It wasn't that I had not been working diligently on writing for all those years, but I think I just scaffolded so much, I just couldn't see it. And I believed his work was age appropriate because when he dictated to me it was just so good. I actually didn't really realize he was having trouble until he was about 10. I just though he couldn't spell and that he was a slow writer. By the time he was 11, I figured he had dysgraphia, and we had made a big naive push on spelling programs, copy work, and speed writing. None of it did a thing to help him, and only left him stressed. I was ignorant, with my head in the sand. His amazing skill at composition had completely masked his dysgraphia. At age 12, we started a new path. We abandoned physical writing and went full focus on typing. The goal was 40 words per minute before high school. This was wishful thinking. Dysgraphia is an *encoding* problem, and typing did not make encoding much easier. The only thing it removed was the need to remember how to form the letters. But he still had to get some letters typed that were reasonably close to get spell check to fix them. This took 2.5 years -- to go from 8 words a minute to 25 words per minute typing speed took 2.5 years at more than a hour per day year round!! This was with me sitting right there with him, teaching him how to encode - sounds, thoughts, grammar, punctuation. All of it. After we got him up to 25 words per minute, we switched from dictation to high interest research papers in geography that I have described here before. The high interest meant they were heavily scaffolded but it also meant that he *loved* them, and was willing to work on his writing for 2 hours per day, typing 2 paragraphs every single day. In the past 1.5 years he has written with lots of help 8 research papers that are about 10ish pages long each. And his typing speed is now at 40 words per minute, and he is only mis-spelling about 10% of words. It is through is hard work and diligence that he is where he is at now. So, the success that I want to share: In the past month, ds has independently written the most wonderful essay. He has modelled it off National Geographic essays. We spent 3 weeks 45 minutes per day studying this type of writing together. And then I helped him over 3 days to convert an experience he wanted to write about into a thesis of National Geographic quality. He started off my mimicking one Nat Geo essay paragraph-for-paragraph, but quickly abandoned this approach as he began to really get into his writing. The last paragraph where he brings it all together took him 3 hours over 4 days to write and rewrite and edit and re-edit, to try to bring the entire essay to a close. This paper was HARD for him to write, really really hard, but I think we have finally aligned his intellectual skill and his encoding skill. There is still much more to do, but we are now set on a good path to get him ready for university in 2 years. I am immensely proud of him, and have waited impatiently for the past week for him to finish his edits so I could post here. PLEASE DON'T QUOTE Where Tussocks Grow The car lurched. The dusty two track meandered its way across the tawny landscape, covered in patches of tussock and dry grass, in some places dotted by pines. Far in the distance, in every direction, the great snow clad peaks of the southern alps towered over the featureless plain, like giant sentinels constructed of ice and rock. Finally, after several minutes of the jostling ride, we turned a corner and beheld what we had come to see. Inside the sheltering arms of a worn river valley was an old sheep shearing station that had been active in the 1880s, called Quailburn Station. After several minutes of investigation, we noticed a hiking trail leading into a patch of forest. Escaping the sun, we entered. The forest was older than we had originally thought, far older. It was a remanent from over 800 years ago, when a forest like it had covered the entire South Island. Despite its age, it was remarkable cheerful. The alpine beech trees provided dappled shade and covered the ground with their tiny leaves. A little to one side, was a brook which tintinnabulated mellifluously over the rocks. However, after closer scrutiny, I saw small reminders of the forest’s age. Lichen covered the branches of the trees as well as the immense boulders which littered the secluded valley, and moss abounded on the creek’s banks. But then we beheld a scene of destruction. The steep sides of the valley were covered in the fallen carcasses of ancient trees, blown down by some immense storm. The obliteration was absolute. Only the trees on the banks of the brook still stood strong. But there amidst the devastation, almost hidden from sight, stood one small sapling. I then beheld another – the slopes abounded with new life. Despite the destruction, the forest survived. It thrived. Nestled in the heart of the South Island, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps, lies the Mackenzie Basin. Unlike many of New Zealand’s outstanding natural assets, the Mackenzie has been heavily impacted by humans, with a long history of extensive sheep farming and hydro-electric power stations. In my brief stint in the Mackenzie, I saw not only the superb rugged beauty of its landscape, but also the colossal impact that humans have had on its history. Many people forget that the broad expanse of tussock that covers the Mackenzie Basin today was not its original ecosystem. Almost a thousand years ago, before the Maori burned great swaths of it, a vast forest of mountain beech, much like the forest remnant I was walking through, covered the Mackenzie. However, the eastern side of the Southern Alps is dry, very dry. The great forest was burned to the ground and never recovered. But then down from the Alps they spread – a great flood of enterprising tussock flowed into the Makenzie, and they remained. To this day, the majority of the Basin is covered in tussock – and sheep. In 1855 James Mackenzie stole a thousand sheep and forced them, by himself, over Burks Pass into this wide expanse of tussock. This brash escapade earned him five years of hard labor as well as the title of folk hero. His name has been immortalized in the Basin. Although it took the shepherds several months to regain their sheep, they soon saw the valley’s potential as a sheep station. By the 1870s the sheep industry was thriving, with the largest property being Benmore Run. Quailburn Station was once part of Benmore Run, sheering tens of thousands of sheep every year. Surprisingly, the forest remnant I was walking in had not been cut down to construct the buildings, nor felled to feed the fires despite its proximity to the station. For reasons unbeknownst to me, it seemed unaffected by a thousand years of Maori and Pakeha influence. The great plain of tussock beside it was not so lucky. After 150 years of settlement, the tussock in the Mackenzie has been badly damaged, leaving sparse and stunted patches scattered across a landscape of mostly grass. Early on, the farmers realised that setting fire to the plain left behind scrumptious little shoots of newly grown tussock, perfect for nibbling by the sheep. These fires in combination with the constant grazing started to deteriorate the Basin. Its downfall, however, came at the paws of the rabbits. By the 1870s rabbits had infested large swaths of New Zealand, including the Mackenzie. They had been introduced for food and sport in the 1830s, but soon overwhelmed the country. In 1884 rabbiters at a single sheep station killed 244,000 rabbits. Despite this mass culling, the next year they killed an additional 270,000. Rabbits are voracious eaters and the quantities found in the Mackenzie were large enough to decimate the already struggling tussock. Farmers soon noticed extensive erosion on the bajadas. Assuming the loss of vegetation was causing this erosion, farmers planted pine trees on vulnerable slopes. To this day the descendants of those pines continue to spread across the landscape, in some places dotting the plain for kilometers in every direction. It was only decades later that geologists discovered that the erosion was caused by natural geological processes – not the lack of vegetation. Today, farmers and ecologists struggle with the impacts of decisions made over 100 years ago. Despite having a major role in damaging the Mackenzie, farmers today are diverting substantial resources into protecting their land from further degradation. Their style of stewardship conservation is mutually beneficial. Every year farmers cut down thousands of the encroaching wilding pines and kill hundreds of thousands of rabbits, protecting the tussock and ensuring the size of their pasture land does not decrease. If not for the assistance of the farmers, the Department of Conservation (DOC) would be swamped by the work required to maintain the great expanse of the Mackenzie, and the basin would languish. In contrast to this large-scale maintenance, DOC is focusing on restoring small sections of the tussock ecosystem. This land was sold to the government as it was too damaged to be economically salvageable. Some parcels were devoid of vegetation; others were covered in pines. In these areas DOC is restoring the tussock by enclosing the new nature reserves in specially-designed rabbit-proof fencing; removing all the pines and vermin from within; monitoring for infiltrating rodents and trees; and documenting the ongoing progress of the ecosystem. Without the influence of these pests, tussocks have been able to outcompete all other plants and revert to their original state. DOC hopes these reserves will form a network of seed reservoirs which will enable tussock to spread more thickly across the Basin. As we drove away from the Quailburn Historic Area, we beheld the Mackenzie Basin stretched out before us with Benmore Peak’s icy slopes glittering in the distance. A great plume of dust lingered behind us. As I glanced toward the setting sun, I beheld the worst pine-infested plain I had seen during my trip – the ground was obscured by scraggly trees, both alive and dead. We stopped the car. A small green sign, newly erected, read, “Ahuriri Conservation Park: Wetland Complex.” At the time we thought those who named the park were either delusional or hopelessly optimistic. I did not see any water, any reeds, or any birds; all I saw was wilding pines. But lurking in the tall weeds was a rabbit-proof fence. This “Wetland” was under construction. Like so many other damaged areas of the Mackenzie, it is a work in progress. It may take many years for the results to be apparent, but in time, like the small sapling in my forest, the tussock will survive and flourish.
  25. 6 points
    I heard they had their biggest sale day ever the other day (by number of items sold). I used to be a snot about 2 day delivery but not since reading about conditions in their warehouses. Now, I'm a proponent of take-your-time. I can wait a few extra days vs. harming workers' health. Kinda refreshing when I was putting in orders before Thanksgiving and Amazon said no delivery could be guaranteed on the Monday after Thanksgiving. I realized for things to get to me then (because I live in the middle of nowhere), they'd have to have people working on Thanksgiving packing things up. Nope. I can wait another day or two.
  26. 6 points
    In recent years, I have shared a Year in Review thread. This year is a bit different. The prompts are more about self and less about the year. Some prompts are easy, others will require you to look inside yourself. The key is to be honest. I'm already a day behind but will try to post daily. Day 1 - Five things that make me happy Day 2- What I fear the most
  27. 6 points
    They definitely have a learning curve! Congrats on the new mobility, though, and I hope it gives you safe access to your house and life and independence for many years to come. Seriously, there are many mixed emotions with changes in ability, but technology can smooth out a lot of bumps (even as it dings many baseboards). Your daughter is clearly getting a kick out of it though 🥰
  28. 6 points
    My kids are actually pretty easy. They have their challenges - ds has ASD, SPD and is gifted (and seems to be developing some OCD) while dd has ADHD and anxiety. But we work with what they need and things usually go well. When they don't, we take a break and regroup. We're all a bunch of introverts too, so time away often makes a HUGE difference when things get tense.
  29. 6 points
    That shouldn't be a problem. I mean, I can't see it as any different than sticking a live tree in your living room for two weeks. In fact, we cut our tree yesterday and it's up and decorated now.
  30. 6 points
    Good morning! Happy Monday!! I'm not sure what I will tackle today, but possibilities are: Animal feeding ✔️ Pack lunches, etc ✔️ Scoop litter Work DD work Ds to school and picked up after Both dc school Take Christmas tree to other work place Leftovers for supper Load and start dishwasher Make one gallon of tea Finish Christmas decorating Order some.presents
  31. 6 points
    Thank you all for your kind and sweet words re: my pictures.
  32. 6 points
    So, I couldn't resist. I am now convinced that any combination of 3 letters will lead to something unsavory if you type it into urban dictionary.
  33. 6 points
    We are enjoying our Trailguide curriculum and even made up our own game to practice latitude and longitude that's very reminiscent of Battleship. I give him a map and call out coordinates, he finds them as fast as he can and marks his map, then yells out which continent or ocean he lands in. It's really fun when more people play so you can race to the coordinates.
  34. 6 points
    Good morning! cut dh's hair two days' worth of manure cleanup (was gone most of the day yesterday and it was pouring rain when I got home, so it didn't get done) plan my week & think about meals tidy up house declutter - I'm in the mood to toss things clean out fridge water plants & start a new crop of microgreens dinner: baked potatoes
  35. 6 points
    I will also say that my older boy has developed deep insight into philosophy/ethics and literature through reading and discussion. He never wrote papers on these topics until his 12th grade year and he never took tests. He just read read read, and then we talked. He has been given very high praise in writing by 2 of his humanities professors at Uni, recommended for a by-invitation-only seminar, and asked to apply for the humanities scholars program. This is WITHOUT tests and only the occasional paper all through high school. We gave him the TIME to read and to think deeply. Space to be. This is critical.
  36. 6 points
    I'm not really there yet; my oldest is a tenth grader, but when I was applying to schools, as a fairly high stat student/ NM scholar, this was 100% my approach simply because it made getting merit aid so much more likely. It paid off for me; I got full rides (tuition, room, and board) at two colleges and full tuition at several others. I probably would not have gotten nearly as much merit aid at a school where my SAT scores and such were closer to range (Ivies, etc). ETA: While the school I went to wasn't probably the most rigorous school I could have gone to, I had some really good opportunities I wouldn't have other places (Honors program, small classes, mentors, wound up as editor of the student newspaper), and I got a really good education there. No regrets.
  37. 6 points
    Yeah, I think when you have people in your family trying to be 'cool' and all 'let the kids drink' and you are all, 'ah, no, we're delaying for a very good reason', whether that reason is addiction -related, or wanting to abide by the law or whatever, it makes you very jaded! The only people I don't get drinking pressure from are people who don't drink for religious reasons, or alcoholics who are currently sober. Like Melissa said, that's our culture - it's got a problem. I think CDC figures on the cost of alcohol abuse and dependency were around a quarter of a trillion dollars a decade or so ago - not sure what it is now but it's likely not less - I just don't see the same social and financial harm from caffeine to society as a whole. I think it's more comparable to cigarette use, honestly, in terms of harms.
  38. 6 points
    She's just reflecting the culture at large, which is a binge-drinking, harm denying, boozing culture. People sometimes ask dd if she is Muslim (brown girl not drinking, guess they can't think of another reason why), and they do seem to come at that with a respect for non-drinking if you are part of a religious culture, but if you are just a secular Aussie ? Thinks she's better than everyone else, doesn't she ? Boring. Baby. Scaredy-cat. I hate alcohol culture with a passion. (But thank you. You are right - it's also an issue of not respecting parental boundaries.).
  39. 6 points
    We did and I regret not focusing on some more realistic options. That said, it did kind of dispel some of the hoopla for both of us. There were some inane ridiculous students at very highly ranked schools. There were some engaged obviously intelligent friendly students at lower ranked schools. When we started comparing faculty and departments, the school differences were much more minor over all when you weren't sucked into the drama and intrigue of the overhyped ranking system. I will not do that so much with my 2nd for sure. That said, he was applying for music programs and that process was very mysterious and some students do get generous merit. It is much more clear now that we've been through the process (and my 2nd may want to do that as well). To be completely fair, he is getting half tuition music merit at the school he is attending and was offered some generous merit from other schools. That said generous to a school doesn't always equate to affordable or realistic. My first born was very high stat could have applied anywhere. He was at or above the 75% everywhere he applied. ED was not a game we could play. I also wouldn't assume schools are as need blind as they like to advertise and pretend. Look up the average income of the families attending these schools. I am not saying people don't get generous need based aid. They clearly do, but they also need a certain amount of money coming in the door.
  40. 5 points
    Thank you. I've been waiting for someone to get the ball rolling on this.
  41. 5 points
    Almost time for bed. 10,617 steps today, went to the gym and worked out, taught three rough classes. I really hope I sleep tonight. I feel like I will be able to so wish me luck. Just two more days and the week is over.
  42. 5 points
    I have one son who gets up at 7. I am usually just behind him at 7:30. He likes to make his own breakfast and I'd be in the way. They other niy is usually up by 7:45 or 8:00. It's not abnormal for him to be up at 10 at night writing. The early bird starts his school by 8 or earlier. The other by 9:30. They both get done at a time that suits them. The one who starts later spends his morning reading or writing. As far as I see it, the one will be good with 8 am college classes, the other may prefer 9am, and night classes might really be his thing. They can get up earlier if they must, but at this point I don't have any problems with their more or less natural rhythm. As long as it all gets done, and people aren't tired and crabby. ETA: Rise and shine or rise and whine, Booyah.
  43. 5 points
    I understand why autocorrect doesn’t know bougie—. But why oh why does it change its to it’s or vice versa always the wrong way, and other similar things. I especially hate when I’m searching for an author name, and autocorrect changes the correct name I put to something else, just as the search starts. Grrrrrr. 😏
  44. 5 points
    Caffeine. Then I have to put together my list to do today, and get after it. I'm working on making Tuesday and Friday light days--not much housework, and only done at the end of the day to simulate work next week and all of the rest of December. That's kind of hard. I want to do it now. But I have to practice ignoring it until seven, when I'd be home, and also focus on making the boys and DH realize that things do have to be done at the house even when Mom isn't here to do it.
  45. 5 points
    Same thing as washing the goat. I showered, and the goat disappeared! And in it's place is a Me, all shiny and clean!
  46. 5 points
    I forgot to mention I am valiantly attempting to read Edward Snowden's book- Permanent Record, but it is just not doing it for me. It's a slog and honestly he's coming across as a prig. I think he's about to be resigned to my DNF shelf. I also stocked up on thrillers on the Cyber Monday Kindle sale today, so now I won't be sleeping the rest of the month! 😃
  47. 5 points
    Made breakfast for dh Cleaned the kitchen Made phone calls Went through email Started laundry Decided on portobello fajitas for dinner Made a grocery list Saw two beautiful bald eagles circling overhead when I was out in the back yard
  48. 5 points
    No. I'm pretty sure she needs a contract with you in order for you to manage it, and since ya'll aren't signing anything, it won't be your problem. Make sure to share what sheets you get. I'm also looking.
  49. 5 points
    Ok, so do people really have that much storage space to keep toys for a decade or whatever, unused? For my space right now, there is just no way I'd even consider holding on to say, legos, which I may or may not want to have my grandkids that I may or may not have play with in an unknown number of years from now. Not when there is a decent chance those grandkids might not like legos, or want particular building sets that are en vogue then, etc. And if they don't want it, and i held it unused for a decade, there could have been other kids playing with it during that time, getting enjoyment out of it, instead of it sitting unused in a box in an attic.
  50. 5 points
    My kids have more than fifty first cousins. Dh and I have seventeen siblings between us. Unfortunately most do not live close enough to spend much time with. We do enjoy our family reunions. I do not buy Christmas or birthday gifts for nieces and nephews, that would bankrupt me.
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