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AFwife Claire

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  1. We adopted an 11 week old Newfoundland puppy back on Oct. 6 from a family nearby. Luna is pretty much a dream puppy--so sweet, doesn't bark or jump up, so good with kids, etc. BUT she hates walks. She would really be perfectly happy to stay always in our house or our yard! She romps around with the kids and is so happy! But we are a walking family. I love to take walks, and I want her to go with me! We have a harness for her, so nothing hurts her. As we leave our house or yard, she stops, pulls backwards, flops down, etc, and just doesn't want to go. As we get further away (after I lift her up, give her treats when she starts walking, etc, repeat over and over), she eventually resigns herself that she is indeed leaving our house area, so she walks along, but she will still stop a few times. It's definitely not an enthusiastic, lol. She clearly is just humoring me. She seems to have a good internal compass in her head, because somehow she can sense when we've reached the point in the walk where we are now walking back towards our house (and I have taken her all different directions, so it's not that she has memorized the route!), and at that point, she switches from reluctantly dragging along behind me to enthusiastically and steadily pulling in front of me. Then we switch roles. I stop to make her stop, try to get her to stay back by me, giving her a training treat when she does, etc., but it's tiring. Now she is only about 30 pounds right now, so I can hold her back, but soon she will be much bigger, and obviously I need to get this under control before then! DH wants to get a pinch collar for her, and maybe that would be helpful for the way back? I told him I absolutely would not use one for the way out, since that would clearly be self-defeating if she associated any pain with leaving for walks. We've driven places with her, and she still is the same way--except then she doesn't want to leave the van, and she pulls to get back to it. We just took a trip from OH to AL to visit our second son, and we stayed with friends down there whom she had never met. She was exactly the same way at their house--didn't want to leave their yard, and pulling to get back to it. She is a great dog in the car though! She's also really timid around other dogs, but I figure that will come. We're trying to expose her to a lot of different things. The family we got her from just had the puppies (10 of them) either in the basement or outside--really no other experiences. They had 3 kids who played with the puppies a ton, but that was about it, it seems like. They definitely never were walked anywhere, lol. Any suggestions? I have never even heard of a dog that doesn't want to take walks! She's just really not very curious, lol. That's good when it means she has no interest in getting into the trash, but bad when she doesn't ever want to go anywhere! Hopefully this picture will work. She is really so adorable and sweet!
  2. 1. I don't like fridges with bottom freezers because the ice maker only makes/stores a tiny amount of ice--and I really love ice. Now I'm having to buy at least a bag of ice every week to supplement! I miss my old side-by-side, which I never thought I would say! 2. Houses built in the 70s are dark, dark, dark, with no overhead lighting. I constantly feel like there is not enough light and I am straining my eyes to read. We have bought 2 ceiling fan/lights, but we need an electrician to actually wire the ceilings for them, and we have had terrible luck getting one to do it. 3. I need a sink with a larger area on the left so my big pots fit there, and the garbage disposal over there. Then the smaller sided can be on the right, and I can set things there that I want in the sink but out of the way. I had no idea my previous house had the perfect sink, but the house we're in now just has a standard sink, where both sides are the same (small), and my big pots don't fit, and the disposal is not on the side where I want to wash the dishes. Also, I need the faucet to be one that pulls out and sprays, without me having to hold a separate sprayer. I don't have enough hands to make that work! 4. I need more electrical outlets, especially in the kitchen. I have a long counter peninsula part that juts out, but there is no outlet on the end of it that sticks out, so I can't plug in my griddle or electric skillet or whatever. And I have very few other outlets, so I always feels cramped when using things like that. There are probably more . . . ?
  3. This is timely! My oldest daughter is also a 12 year old runner who started her period in January of this year, so in between cross country seasons. She has also been disappointed by her times this season. We've had a lot of change this summer (we moved to Ohio in August, but she's actually running with her old VA homeschool cross country team, so she's doing the workouts here with her sisters, and we go back to VA for meets), so I'm sure that's some part of it. But I had been wondering this very same question, because I would say she put on about 15 pounds over the course of this year, all of it in the right (womanly, lol) places, and she is still quite slim, but that has got to affect one's running, I would think!
  4. My third DS, who is now about to turn 17, was anaphylactic to milk. When he didn't outgrow it by 5, I thought he would just always be allergic to it. But as he grew older, I did notice the severity of reactions to incidental contact grew less severe, and then he ate something that had caramel in it when he was 9, and didn't react at all, not even getting sick to his stomach. (The caramel was homemade and it turned out, definitely contained milk.) So he had a milk challenge at that point. He was so nervous--I thought he was going to be sick before he even had the first tiny bit! But he did fine, kept going, and passed the test. On the way home, I offered him an M&M. He really didn't want to eat it, but eventually did. He definitely didn't ask for another one, lol. When I told my friends the good news, they were all excited for him--he can eat chocolate! Ice cream! All sorts of stuff! But it took him a very long time to be comfortable eating things with milk in it. And he didn't *like* ice cream and chocolate for a long time. He still prefers strawberry sorbet and non-chocolate candies like Skittles and Starburst, even 7 years later. But it is *really* nice for me not to have to worry about if something contains butter or milk or cheese or whatever, lurking away in there. Unfortunately he is still anaphylactically allergic to peanuts, walnuts, and pecans, so it's not like we can totally relax, but I think milk hides easier--or people aren't as aware of using it, anyway, not in the way that people now seem to be about nuts.
  5. We do wraps too. I put lunch meat, cheese, and lettuce in a cooler, along with fruit and raw veggies. We do this for cross country meets, etc. when we will be gone long periods and I don't want to have to drive anywhere else to eat. Bonus is it's not very messy. In fact, we took a military space a flight to Germany last February (10 of us), and we stayed over there for 2 weeks. I brought an insulated lunch bag with a little gel ice pack in our checked baggage, and we filled it with lunch meat and cheese (that we bought almost every day due to their teeny packages from the local grocery store) each day when we left to go sight-seeing. We had little picnics in our cars (plural because we had to rent 2 smaller cars to fit all of us, lol) in parking garages when it was too cold to eat outside! This saved us boatloads of money on that trip for sure!
  6. That Terminator zapper comb was what really worked for us. We brought lice to my parents' house one Christmas (3 of my girls had them), and my brother and his family were also there with their 2 girls, so we were *so* worried about spreading them. But we used the over-the-counter shampoo, used the Terminator, and wrapped their heads in coconut oil and saran wrap (and shower caps) each night. The lice were completely gone in a few days, they never spread to their cousins, and they never came back again either.
  7. A few years ago, I taught Latin Alive to a group of kids, most of whom had had several years of intro-type Latin (Latina Christiana, First Form Latin, etc.). I found it to be an extremely frustrating book, personally. There is definitely not enough review in the book itself. I made a lot of extra sentences, etc. for the kids to practice with, but there were many times where the book just didn't give enough examples of the concepts being taught in that section for me to make sure my practice sentence answers were absolutely correct. Also, the book also assumes that you know some vocab from earlier books from that same publisher (at least, that is where I assuming these words came from--they weren't in the glossary in the back of the book, so if I didn't know them from before, I had to look them up in a Latin dictionary). I had taught using Henle 1 to an earlier group of kids, and I found that year to be much easier and more rewarding, even though we did have to add in cultural details to make suer they were prepared for the National Latin Exam. With Latin Alive, I didn't have to add in those cultural details so much, but I didn't feel like the kids were as familiar with the actual grammar concepts, and they did not do as well on the exam either.
  8. I have an electric one that mounts under the (upper) cabinet, so it doesn't take up any more counter space. I am also left-handed, and I don't know why, but manual can openers are something I just have a really hard time with. I also seem to always strip the gears, and it is really frustrating. We do have a manual one in our camping tub. We just moved to a different house a few states away, and I was thrilled to see that it already had a mounted under-cabinet can opener! Otherwise, we'd have been ordering one from amazon, like we did when we moved into our last house, lol. I don't open a ton of cans, but I do use canned beans sometimes, and I use #10 cans of tomato sauce to make spaghetti sauce, for a few examples. #10 cans are SUCH a hassle to open with a manual can opener!
  9. Well . . . I personally think that the situation with your friend is completely weird. Many of my good friends here in Northern VA have larger than average families (between 5 and 10 kids), and your post does not describe any of them. It is not true for my family either (I have 10). My age spread is wider though--I had 10 in 17 years, and during times when I was feeling overwhelmed (after my first 4, for example, all of whom are boys), then we used birth control so there are some gaps (for example, almost 3 years between the last of the first 4 boys and the next child, #5, our first girl). We are (retired now) military, so we moved around, and family was not around to help out with babysitting. I won't lie--that can be tough, trying to find a good babysitter, especially for functions I couldn't miss. And I was pretty happy when my oldest turned 12, and I started leaving the kids for short periods (my oldest 2 boys, as well as my other children, were always super responsible, so while some people on this board have different standards, I was and still am perfectly fine leaving younger kids with older siblings who are 12 or older). I guess I would say my kids have been my helpers, in that they learn to do laundry, help with meals and eventually cook them, etc. I would not say our house is magazine-spread ready, but it is clean, if not cluttered with books and toys, and it is comfortable. I will say I felt more overwhelmed once my older kids started being in high school. I teach the science classes for our small co-op, and classes like AP biology take up a lot of my time. The guidance counselor process for my oldest took a lot of time as well (he applied to military academies and for ROTC, so there were a lot of extra requirements and things to do and keep track of). My youngest was born in September of my oldest's senior year, and it was at that point that I told my dh, "We need to be done" because it was too stressful to be stretched at both ends like that, with nursing, potty-training, etc. as well as teaching college-prep classes and doing college application stuff--and every stage in between. But I have never been like your friend, and I don't know anyone who is either. Maybe this is a unique area? Many of my friends with big families have advanced degrees themselves, so they are used to multitasking, doing many things well, etc.
  10. Absolutely. All my kids have held their younger siblings. I also let other children hold my babies. I have often told other moms that my babies are used to being held by children, so they have all been pretty chill and not high-strung about it, like some people were describing their babies on the other thread. I feel bad for kids who have no opportunities to ever hold babies, but dearly would like to!
  11. This thread is depressing to me! I have an iPhone 5 that we got in September, 2012 on the first day they came out (something we have never done before, nor after). My dh stood in line for it because he felt guilty. A few weeks prior, while we were at a wedding in St. Louis, our then 18 month old, DS#8, microwaved both our cell phones in the (eye level) hotel microwave under the counter with a dial to turn it on! ? Dh was the one who had "hid" our stuff in the microwave while we were swimming because well, paranoid reasons, lol. It makes a good story anyway, years later. Ha! But I've been so happy with my 5. I have no desire to get a different phone. What a hassle! My friends all have way newer ones, and it seems like they all have random problems and complaints, and they get new ones all the time. None of the ones talked about on the thread sound like something worth getting excited about. I don't really want a bigger screen or anything! My battery is pretty much gone (I just carry a portable charger, as well as car chargers), and it is definitely getting glitchier, so I know the writing is on the wall. It will be 6 years old in September--that is geriatric for cell phones! I hate change, and I hate being forced to change, even when I don't care about new bells and whistles. Ah well.
  12. My high school biology teacher used to say, in regard to things like this, "Eat the chicken and throw away the bones." There can definitely be nuggets of truth in many sources, and you don't have to go whole-hog over every single jot and tittle in them. It seems like a lot of people, and especially Christians, have lost the ability to discern and reason whenever the latest trends come along! Frustrating, when there can be some good advice in there, but you don't necessarily feel like the whole package is what would work for you/how you feel God is leading/whatever.
  13. We are in the process of (slowly) moving to Ohio from Virginia this summer. We have moved quite a few times before, but it's always been the military moving us, so I really have no experience at all working with moving companies. My dh has already started working in Ohio and is just back here on weekends, so I'm the one that needs to get the actual moving of our big stuff on the calendar. I have several questions, and I thought I would start by asking here. I don't want to look like someone who can be taken advantage of because I clearly don't have any idea what I should be expecting! 1. Do I just randomly call big moving companies that aren't just local, get some kind of estimates, and compare? Are there other things I should be looking at besides price? 2. I've been packing up stuff and sending it back to my parents' house with dh each weekend, but their basement is getting full. Do moving companies expect to only move stuff they pack, or should I continue packing my stuff up, and have them just move the boxes I pack (if that is even an option--again, for military moves, packers just swoop in and I have never packed anything for a move before!) 3. We are hoping to have our furniture moved out of this house mid-July. What is the usual timeframe of how far ahead you need to call to get scheduled for a move? 4. There are several big pieces of furniture we won't be moving--if/when someone comes over to give us an estimate, do I just point out those things? Tape a big piece of paper with an X on it on them? I don't want to throw away our couches, etc. until we are actually out of here, but I don't want them to confuse estimators! These are the questions I can think of off the top of my head! Thanks for any help you can give!
  14. Yes, indeed! I should message you to see what you know about groups, etc. Seems like most of my military friends have drunk the CC koolaid, and we're not going to go that route, so it's hard to find other groups.
  15. We signed a contract for a house in Ohio. It's in my parents' neighborhood, and it backs up to a great park, but it's half the size of our current house in VA, so it will be a bit tricky fitting all of us and our stuff in there! We haven't sold our current house yet, and we don't even have it on the market. Dh is working in Ohio and coming back to VA on the weekends to do work on the house--but he's exhausted. He and the older boys are replacing our deck (which definitely had to be done), but he is super discouraged that we will never get the rest of the stuff done. I foresee lots of fussing about what we can afford to hire out, but honestly, there is no way he can paint our whole house, and we also need to replace carpet, refinish hardwood, etc. We are planning to have all our furniture moved out of the house and into the new house after we close July 6, so it will definitely be easier to get all that stuff done then. (And don't bother suggest that I do the painting or whatever during the week while dh is gone--I can rarely measure up to dh's expectations for house stuff, and I absolutely am not going to bother in this already stressful situation! I'm focusing on getting all our stuff packed up, and that is going well, although, like someone else said, our stuff is multiplying...) We can afford the new house without selling the old one for some period of time, but I of course want to be out from under it. We've thought about trying to rent it to buy some time, but I don't know. With us not being together during the week, and dh being so exhausted and busy when he comes home, we're not communicating all that well, so it seems impossible to actually get any firm decisions made. I'm also trying to figure out homeschool stuff (co-ops and dual-enrollment classes) for next year, especially for our rising junior and freshman. I hate trying to navigate unfamiliar territory! I am looking forward to say a year from now, when hopefully things are a lot more settled and less stressful!
  16. Oh, that is so sad! We love his books as well. We've listened to many of them on CD on car trips.
  17. These are some great suggestions! I am reading reviews on amazon right now! I loved Orphan Train, so I'm very interested in another one by that author. I read East of Eden for a book club when we were stationed in Ohio. I still remember it, and some of the discussion points from the club, very vividly--it definitely made an impact. My oldest son read The Martian and recommended it, but I had totally forgotten about it. Thanks so much much! The car trip down will be about 10 hours, but I'm actually looking forward to all the time by myself, lol. Usually we take family trips, and the audiobooks are all kid-related (which I have enjoyed too!), so it seems like a real treat to have books just to my taste!
  18. I was going to search for this, since I know I've seen threads about this, but I thought I'd just ask again. Next Saturday I'm driving from VA down to AL to pick up my second son, and I was hoping for some good audiobook recommendations. What I don't like--lots of cursing or big sex scenes. I really have a hard time listening to much cursing--I can gloss over it a lot easier when I'm just reading it myself than I can when listening. Thanks!
  19. Yes!! I googled this, and it worked! Hooray! I had no idea this was even possible. Thank you so much!
  20. We have a Brother laser printer/copier/scanner for several years now that I've loved. It is time to replace the black toner cartridge, and I had ordered one (a refurbished one) awhile ago, so I used that. I've replaced all the cartridges several times now, always using off-brand cartridges, and I've never had any problems. But this time, the "change black toner" error message came back up as soon as I closed up everything, and the printer "thought" about it. So I ordered another replacement cartridge, from a different vendor. It wasn't from the brand I prefer, since that would have taken a week to get here, even with prime. That one got here today, I replaced it--and you guessed it, same error message still. Grrrr. So do you think it is more likely that both cartridges were just duds (which is theoretically possible--at least with the second one, it did get some bad reviews, and I can't remember about the first one), and I should just bite the bullet and buy the expensive name brand Brother cartridge, or that the printer is screwed up and will never accept anther black cartridge, in which case I certainly shouldn't waste money on a new cartridge! Electronics . . . what a complete pain in the patootie!
  21. Neither of my 2 older boys had a previous high school bio class before I taught them AP bio, but they did have a fairly rigorous junior high life science class. They both got 4's on the exam. My oldest took it the first year of the redesigned test, so we were really flying blind, and I was thrilled that the kids in my class got 4's. I was definitely more prepared when teaching my second son, and others did get 5's, but it was not his favorite subject, so not a huge priority for him, time-wise. He did all the reading, assignments, etc., but he didn't study as much as I wished!
  22. For the 2 kids we have graduated so far, we had a brief ceremony (presented diploma, which was freshly printed off the internet, said a few words, and then prayed over him) at the beginning time of our open house. We put that time on the invitation and indicated there would be a short ceremony then. Some people came for the ceremony, and some came later. I think we said maybe a 3 hour time span over all, and people came and went during that whole time. It was great fun!
  23. Yes. Our now-16 DS did trampoline for about a year at a local gymnastics place a few years ago (2 maybe?), and he had a ball. So maybe look into that? He learned a lot.
  24. I hate movies too. I see maybe one movie every two years in a theater. Last year was a big year because I watched Hidden Figures *and* Beauty and the Beast in a theater! But dh and I saw Greatest Showman on a date back in early March. And then we brought our whole family--kids from 19-3 (except our oldest ds who was away at college and not on spring break!)--to watch it a second time also in the theater! It is so rare to have a movie that isn't scary, littered with curse words, and filled with sex. We NEVER go to the movies as a family! It was so fun, and everyone really enjoyed it, even the 3 year old. There was enough singing and dancing to keep her attention! We bought it on DVD too, and the kids have watched it a few times already, plus they sing the songs too. Such a fun soundtrack! I just drove 2 and a half hours back from Delaware this morning, with it playing loudly in the car (since I was all by myself, lol)!
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