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Everything posted by pehp

  1. My m.o. is to choose a booklist for the year--typically a dozen books. Then we get through as many as is reasonable. Whatever we don't get to, I don't worry about! We can read them over the summer for fun, or shelve for next year. My only requirement is that I keep the daily lesson quite short, so I base it on TIME spent in the book, not page numbers covered. I limit us to about 10-15 mins of reading aloud per book for narrations at this age (3rd grade). Of course my son can read as widely/long as he wants on his own time.
  2. I have found that a salad with no grains or starchy vegs, plain grilled chicken (no marinades/sauces) and vinegar dressing (in other words, just vinegar) is my best bet. If I'm going to a place where I can't get that basic combination, I'm going to have an unsweetened iced tea or a coffee with cream and eat nuts I bring along or something earlier or later! I've given up sugar and grains. It's wonderful once you adjust!!!!!!!
  3. I watched about half of the first season but it never resonated with me (except a little bit about Max b/c I'm so familiar w/ high functioning autism). I think it was the lack of ability to connect with any of the characters very much. I just sort of found myself not caring. I actually felt badly about it because Jen Hatmaker talked so much about how much she loved the show, and I thought it would be amazing....but I just I was like, "eh". Maybe it gets better down the road?!?
  4. I just asked my husband, FWIW, and he at first said categorically NO, but then backed up and said maybe if pre-read you could decide...but he said one in particular, Subterranean, would not at all be appropriate. He says there is a lot of death/destruction in them, so proceed with caution.
  5. I definitely would pre-read and knowing what I know about his stuff I would not allow my 11 year old to read them. My husband likes his books....and I skimmed one on vacation one time. I was pretty underwhelmed by it generally, but there were some sex-related things--nothing really scandalous to my memory, but then again I'm only skimming. And I'm 38. Anyhow, my advice is to pre-read and decide for yourself!
  6. Well, I certainly believe it. I think children are just a gift to us and we are fortunate to have them--that's what I interpret "blessing" to mean. Blessings can sometimes be tough--look at the Beatitudes. Parenting can often be tough. :) There are lots of other blessings in life, too. What I do not interpret it to mean: that a couple who doesn't have children is not "blessed" (or, surely not!!, cursed) OR that this prescribes a maximization-of-blessings approach to life.
  7. I wash mine with hot water (often using a metal scrubber, but NOT an SOS pad--just a metal scrubber), dry it completely and then usually add more fat maybe about 50% of the time.
  8. I said never. Of course, I only have one child who can read!! :laugh: My attitude is that at the table, we eat and talk. (And we don't eat anywhere other than the table....unless I'm sneaking chocolate while watching Downton Abbey after hours.) I think this is a result of my upbringing...I just grew up eating every meal en famille, with a definite "no books" rule, and so cannot fathom a meal where people are reading things!!! So in my family, we eat each meal together, at the table, with napkins, and converse (unless I'm tired and am gazing out into space while my children converse....it happens often...but I'm halfway listening!). We have quiet times and other times when we lounge around with books!!
  9. He sounds a bit like my sister, who has severe ADD (I guess ADHD, she was just never hyperactive). I wouldn't force him into situations where he'll struggle, at least not at this age, without some good tools in his toolbox yet. He may need coaching. My sister has benefited from some coaching on social and executive functioning skills, but unfortunately she didn't get it as a child (only as an adult) and is too ADD to actually commit to it for more than a few weeks at a time. SO GOOD that you're proactive, noticing these things, and trying to help him NOW. This makes all the difference, IMO.
  10. My husband and I had a fabulous trip to Oregon back in the day. We spent several days in Bandon on the beach (glorious rocks!), a good chunk of time at Crater Lake (amazingly beautiful) and a few days in Sisters (near lava fields and such). It was great! And I think it would be a fun trip for a family.
  11. Ooh, just seeing this! Glad you had a good experience. I was going to recommend Jos A Bank. We have always had superior service there. I'm a seamstress and VERY particular about fabric, fit of suits, etc. and have been impressed with and pleased by the tailoring and service at our local store. There is one other store here locally that is the cream of the crop in menswear, but it's locally owned and sooo expensive (worth it! but beyond our means, at least if we're saving for college....). I really think for a 'chain' store you can't go wrong w/ J.A.B....at least we haven't!! Sounds like he'll be a sharp dressed guy!! :)
  12. Do you make lists? I live by a list (I mean, I don't adhere to it slavishly...if someone gets the flu or an old friend from out of town calls, I can ditch the list!). It really helps. I put everything on it, too....like tomorrow I'm ironing...calling the dr's office...knitting a few rows on a project....taking out the recycling. keeps me focused. I have noticed that if I don't know exactly WHAT to do with my time, or have directives that I can see, I'm more likely to sort of wander around the house aimlessly/procrastinate!
  13. Junk food + huge TV constantly being watched!
  14. A few days ago I taught myself feather stitching while sewing. Yay! I like learning new skills, as long as they're not too difficult to master.
  15. I consider myself busy, but not (generally) stressed. My to-do list each day is usually nearly a full 8x11 page long, and I tick the items off, but I'm not stressed. I guess b/c a lot of it is stuff I like (exercise, sewing, knitting, cleaning SOME stuff, reading, teaching) and I'm not running all over the place. I'm very careful with my outside-the-house time. Tuesday afternoons we do lessons + errands + grocery shopping (that's a busy day!) and Fridays my son has a science class in the afternoon (10 mins away) but otherwise during the week we don't "go". Staying home keeps me productively busy, but not stressed-busy. I also think another thing that helps is that I try to take rest time each day (even if it's just 15 mins) to read a book/take a bath/work on a creative project....but often longer than that! So for me, busy doesn't equal a bad thing.
  16. I don't think so! I did formal grammar in 7th grade. I got a full scholarship to a writing program for my Master's degree and then got a law degree and won best Moot Court brief, so I don't think lack of formal grammar in high school impaired me at all. I think, for the most part, that reading good books is the best teaching tool....some light grammar work is good, but definitely don't kill the love of learning. I will also say that I have a friend who LOVED formal grammar but has a hard time actually writing as a result (she's a writer)--sort of paralyzed by perfectionism. I'd rather be imperfect and still creating.......but, to each her own. :)
  17. I like For the Children's Sake for dipping your toes in, but I'd really recommend picking one of her volumes (Home Education is a good place to start) and just dabbling in it. I have my versions on the kindle, so it seems easy to read when I'm snuggled in bed at night, for 10 mins or so. They aren't quite as onerous as one would think. And honestly I'd also recommend a few websites, such as Ambleside and Charlotte Mason Help and Sage Parnassus, to get the feel of what's what. I'd avoid booklists/curricula/schedules and just read summaries of the philosophy of education itself and the approach. Charlotte Mason Help was my favorite back when I was starting to get into CM.
  18. At this stage of life I LOVE routine. I like that we're back in it now and that things are predictable again. Last week I was struggling because everything felt so "off". I don't like changing things up and am not especially flexible or spontaneous. I used to be much more so, but I think that I've just seen how much easier my life is with young children when I've got a routine going. I like vacations, but even then I like some predictability. I'm okay with spontaneity if I don't have to cook dinner and manage laundry!! :)
  19. Oh man. I was six. My parents had an amicable divorce. They remained such close friends after their divorce that when my mother died, when I was 23, my father was listed in the obituary as a survivor (we called him her "special friend"). He would come spend the weekend with us. They did it all "right" in terms of trying to get along, co-parenting, etc. They were very adult about it. I'm grateful for that. They loved us unconditionally and did not make it about us at all, or use us in any way. Really the way they divorced was the model for how divorced people should act, I think! I guess one thing I wish is that it hadn't happened. Even under "perfect" divorce circumstances with rational adults choosing to co-parent, it left a gaping hole in my heart, one that I only realized was there after I got married. my fear of abandonment was severe and took me completely by surprise. It's long since gone now, and I honestly don't know what they could have done differently or what they could have "known" that would have made a difference. I was assured always that it wasn't about me and I believed it, yet still, the brokenness was there. Part of me thinks that family therapy would have been helpful for all of us. My father attended therapy on his own, and my mother really didn't need any ;), but as a group/unit we could have benefited from it. Especially my sister, who did not escape her childhood as unscathed as I did. So, I wish they would have known/recognized the value of solid family therapy from the get-go. My stepmother back in my childhood was bipolar and she and my father had MAJOR issues which of course trickled down to his children at times. I wish she could have been involved in the family therapy idea too, although mostly I wish he'd thought twice before marrying her. She's not a bad person, but she was so mentally unstable that she made his life awful for about a decade. And I never quite knew where I stood. And finally, I really wish my mother had been wise about dating. She avoided dating for a long time and was extremely protective of us, but when I was 12 she became involved with a man and the relationship escalated rapidly, to the point where he was, for all purposes, basically living with us for a few months. She soon realized what a horrible mistake it was, but only after a lot of damage was done to the family psyche (he was not a good man). That burned her and she never really dated again, which makes me sad b/c I think she would have been a sweet wife to a good guy. But they went way too quickly and the fallout from that lasted for years. So--I wish my parents had known how much collateral damage can come from step-parents/boyfriends. My childhood has definitely informed the way I approach marriage. Even from a very fairly young age (late teens) I felt selective about every boy I considered. If I was going to marry, I was going to MARRY. And it has made me sensitive to the way marriage can impact children. I ended up marrying someone who is wonderful. I can't take credit for this (how do we really know how someone is until we're in the trenches with them?), but I'm as grateful as a stray dog who found a home. (And let this be the only time I analogize myself with a dog. :))
  20. Thanks! since I posted this I decided not to pursue it. Doesn't suit us, from what I can tell!!
  21. Oh, E.B. White. He is a joy. I particularly loved Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan.
  22. We did CC for 3 years. Tin Whistle is used for a portion of time during the year (about 25% of the time, I think). We never practiced at home. I never enforced it. I thought it was unimportant, particularly when I was paying for piano lessons and I had no desire to work on tin whistle. My children make a racket with the whistle, but that's it. I think you can do as you wish. :)
  23. This is exactly my scenario, and I have to say I love my Dyson canister. My husband bought it for me on Cyber Monday a few years ago. I'm smitten. Very lightweight, too. My father still uses the Electrolux that my grandmother bought in the 1960s, so that tells you something about that cleaner (at least as it was made back then!). A workhorse.
  24. This cracks me up. I totally agree. On my blog? It's all about the up close and personal pictures...I keep the mess out of the frame. But it's there!!! I guess I also don't fall into the 'house tour' genre anyhow, and I don't like it much. I prefer little vignettes of corners of rooms, not comprehensive tours of a house. I find the little bites much more inspiring!! ETA: I will also say this is why 'house' blogs annoy me sometimes. Because there are women for whom nothing is quite good enough....and it becomes about the thing/decor/whatever instead of about Life. Always apologies for the perfectly-decorated room because "that mirror is just not right" or whatever. Give me a break! :) I'm a big believer that we live our lives in our spaces whether they are 'perfect' or not. And frankly, I love looking at marble kitchen countertops, but I LOVE my laminate countertops. They are indestructible and perfectly neutral and paid-for. I un-apologetically adore them. They're not cool. I'm cool with that. (I also love my cultured marble bathroom countertop. There, I said it! The design police will arrest me, but it's true! It cost a fraction of real stone and it looks pretty to my eye, and that's all that matters. Paid-for is a good thing....:))
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