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Everything posted by pehp

  1. I will echo the expense of Volvo repairs. My husband came into our marriage driving a 1991 Volvo. We loved that car. It was still going strong at 375,000 miles when my husband ran over some metal on the interstate and ripped it apart. Fortunately he wasn't hurt, but there was no hope for the car. It was a wonderful vehicle, but yes, pricey to fix!! Our Hondas have been cheaper in terms of repairs. I also think that some newer Volvos (don't quote me--I just vaguely remember this from my consumer reports research when we were car shopping in 2009) aren't getting the good reviews they used to get.
  2. I am devoted to my Christmas cards. We send out about 100 each year, but the # is so high in part due to the fact that everyone in our (small) church gets one. I avoid facebook and don't post pictures of my children on my blog, so most people are not overrun with photos of my family. Plus I LOVE getting Christmas cards so much. I hope we never stop the tradition! I don't write a 'family update' letter though. Sometimes they feel obnoxious, even when they don't mean to come across that way. I'd rather write a little personal note.
  3. I am obsessed. I can already tell a huge difference in my life. It just feels more streamlined. I even empty my handbag every day. I never thought I would type those words. Picking up seems easier. I don't walk in circles picking up here and there. (And I was already reasonably tidy-ish, and well organized.) I've done clothes,coats, shoes, textiles, books (THAT took 4 solid days), business-y papers, all dishes and kitchen stuff, personal care items (makeup, skincare etc), candles, puzzles/games, hats/gloves, cleaning supplies, medicines/first aid type stuff, and probably something else I'm forgetting. I haven't yet done movies/CDs, toys, gift wrapping items, and my sewing/craft items...or my seasonal stuff. But it's coming! And soon! She is a genius.
  4. Welllllll, I don't get this from the Bible, but I don't buy them. I consider it a tax, basically, which primarily impacts people with lower incomes. I don't see it as a positive help to society overall, so I won't support it.
  5. Son, age 8, doesn't know. But he does want to live in a tiny tumbleweed house, have a ponytail, have 5 kids and drive a pickup truck. So I think he aspires to be a hippie. Daughter, age 4, is insistent that she wants to be a mommy. Her executive skills are so amazing that I foresee her running a household and then running for office.
  6. I air mine out with an open window in the room for an hour or two and then make the bed. It's my happy medium. The sheets are so much fresher this way! And I cannot tolerate unmade peeve. Cheryl Mendelson recommends this approach in Home Comforts and I find that it works well for me!
  7. We have purchased one new and one used car in our 16 years of marriage. We have gotten our money's worth of out of the new car. It's 16 years old and has 345,000 miles and my husband drives it 80 miles round-trip to work every day. We got a 5 year loan and paid it off in half that time. So. (Honda Civic) The used car has been excellent, but we've had a few more repairs to do on it. (Honda Pilot) I kind of love the 'freshness' of a new car, and knowing for sure that it hasn't been in an accident. We thoroughly researched our used car, and after we bought it discovered (via our mechanic) that it had been in an accident, based on a repair he noticed, that wasn't ever reported, so we never knew about it. Not a big deal--the car is great and we're very happy with it--but still. That annoyed me and isn't an issue w/ a new car. Like others...I would do an analysis...I don't think it's a cut and dry choice. A friend just bought a one-year old car that had been leased for a year and got a really sweet deal on it. Young enough to be fresh but old enough to not be priced as high--so that was good!
  8. In one way I did. I decided to attend law school simply because it seemed like the logical next step in the progression of my life, and I knew my parents approved of it. I am torn on whether that was a good choice. I didn't graduate with any debt, and may one day go back to the practice of law, but certainly do not miss it a bit. I am not sure it was 'dogma' that led me to it, but I was raised by a father who firmly believed women should work for a living and specifically believed that due to my intelligence I should either attend medical or law school (I toyed with both). He pushed and encouraged me a lot when I was young. My mother was more flexible on this point (mostly b/c I think she sometimes wished she could stay home, but never articulated it, although she encouraged me to attend law or medical school as well), and fulfilling that parental expectation was important to me when I was in my early 20s. My dad now accepts my role, because he sees what joy I derive from it and he appreciates the way we are raising our children. I'm grateful for that.
  9. Our church does this every year. My husband started it and seems to run it every year. ours is a spaghetti supper--for one plate of spaghetti + salad + bread + a drink, it's $6 and then you can purchase a dessert (about $1)...... Ours is from 5-6:30. People can come anytime during that time frame, but we don't have huge numbers--maybe 100 people total? Maybe more. Oh! We also allow people to carryout, which is helpful--lots of people pick up and go, or they can stay and dine, then we have a silent auction and another fundraiser after dinner. Have fun!!
  10. Somehow "mens' opinions on leggings" fails to actually qualify as "news" to me. Huh.
  11. I got rid of about 50% a few years ago before a major house renovation. Now I'm on a second pass, and this time I have two words for you: Marie Kondo. I'm a believer. This time (which will either be next week or the week after): all the books in the house will go in the schoolroom and I'll just start attacking pile-by-pile, using the "does it spark joy" criteria. I'm interested to see how it goes (will report back if there are relevant findings). I didn't regret it the first time--I loved the energy that came from less stuff, even if it's less books (and I'm an affirmed bibliophile!).
  12. Mine are in page protectors in a binder. I love this!!! (the cards are in the 4x6 type of page protector thingie, and printed recipes are in a full page.)
  13. My husband is exactly like this! I appreciate the trust and freedom. He has given input, once on a math curriculum (he's an engineer). That's it! Otherwise I have free reign. I admit that I kinda love it. If he micromanaged our days/schooling I would be insane. And I feel confident enough to make choices w/out his input most of the time. My husband's contribution to our homeschooling rests mostly in keeping a good support system for me, so that I can be healthy and sane. I appreciate this SO MUCH!!!
  14. Not in my neck of the Southern woods. But I will say that most people are probably aware of overstaying their welcome. Maybe that's it?? I tend to mentally think about how long I SHOULD stay somewhere, and work from that. It's not as scientific as that, but I do keep it in mind. So in other words, I won't stay at my grandfather's house for more than an hour when my children are in tow (that's when they get tired of visiting) but if it's just me I'll stay about 2 hours. I will stay about 2 hours at a friend's house, unless it's my bestie, in which case we will drink tea all day long and order out for dinner!!! I never leave abruptly, though! That Carolina Chocolate Drops song is true: "takin' half an hour to say goodbye."
  15. I just say we do school in the morning and are free to get together in the afternoon!!! I am pretty devoted to the routine, although it doesn't OWN me, but our social/free time is in the afternoon. Mornings belong to me!
  16. I think I do it successfully, but the success comes in making the philosophy my own and not sticking to book lists and other people's schedules! And since we are living in 2015, I utilize all the lovely aspects of modern life that help me teach my children. Understanding the principles is quite liberating because then you have the confidence to pick and choose what works best for your family! One issue I have with AO's booklists (there are several issues) is that they do sometimes feel archaic. If my child is disengaged from the material, it's not really a LIVING book for us. Sometimes that's b/c a book is being implemented too early. Sometimes that's because a book is simply not lighting the fire for my child. My child doesn't have to love the book, but crying when we pull it out (that happened once) means I have veered sharply off the CM path, IMO. It's a very happy and gentle way for us to move throughout my children's childhood. It's also fascinating to see them grow and engage with the material...folksongs, the natural world, excellent biographies, picture studies. I tend to take homeschooling one year at a time, never discounting that at some point my children may go to "real" school. But so far this approach has been so successful that I see no reason for school. We are learning so much. I am learning so much. And also remember that CM is just a philosophy. There are lots of ways to educate a child successfully. I'm not a legalist with religion, food or some point it may be in a child's best interests to take a different path. It's all about respecting the child as a person, and that always trumps the ideology.
  17. We read a couple days a week, and do not typically discuss (I may explain something that looks confusing). We also like to memorize. I don't like to deconstruct poetry too much. I like for it to work its magic on its own terms. Once my son is older--middle school?--we will start to explore poetry more, in terms of analysis. But not yet! And not too much, even then!
  18. I had a bad miscarriage a couple of years ago in the hospital. (Also had an emergency D&C after my first son due to major bleeding....very, very weak then.) I am sorry for your friend's loss. And the horrible care she received is outrageous! For me: acupuncture, massage, REST, and nutritious foods.
  19. I am hopelessly devoted to Garnet Hill's cashmere and cashmere-blend socks. Perfection! ETA: okay, that's for ME. If you're talking about children, I'm at a loss. I buy my kids' socks at Gymboree.
  20. Do you look at screens before bed? This keeps me up. The only way I have reformed my night owlish ways (I get up at 6) has been to...get up at 6. And get up at 6 again. And again. And no caffeine past about 10 am. I never have trouble falling asleep though (well, rarely), and usually a screen of some sort is to blame.
  21. Okay, here's our basic outline: 6-7:15: I am up, exercising 7:15-8: my time to write and drink coffee, eat breakfast 8ish: children are up (I do not wake them up--they get up on their own). 8-9ish, they have breakfast, get dressed, do chores (they have assigned chores each morning). I'm showering, helping them, putting in laundry, making sure the kitchen is ready for the day, making beds, etc. Ideally at 9 we start school but it's always later, like 9:30-10. Typically around 9:30. The key for me is that I cannot be distracted. I have to avoid the computer/phone and even the newspaper or books. I have to have my game face on!! It has a trickle-down effect and we're all more focused as a result.
  22. I do Charlotte Mason. It's a philosophy of education. So I choose my own books (based on a variety of lists, factors, preferences, etc.) but apply the CM methodology to my homeschool. AO can be a jumping-off point, but I would not follow it (or any other 'program') slavishly. I have reviewed a few of their suggestions and have not liked them, so I've crafted my own...there are SO many great books out there! Grammar should be fine, in my opinion. How much grammar do they actually do in public high school? I only recall one year of grammar, in 7th grade, and I guess there was some interspersed throughout high school (but I don't ever remember diagramming a sentence past 7th grade). I would be more concerned about science! For science, we do nature study/walks (very useful in building observational powers), interest-led books and an outsourced science class one day a week at a local math and science school. Science is important to me. I am Christian and am affirmatively old earth. Not sure how old your children are, but I think you'd do well to seek interesting science books and topics to pursue with them, and use documentaries. My children (8 and 4) are enjoying the Burgess Bird Book and the Burgess Book of Nature Lore. They are gentle introductions to natural history. Oh! Also Mother West Wind. Science is not my strongest subject, so I decided that outsourcing it to someone with expertise and passion was worth the money. And we are so fortunate to have that school here! As for the reading, I would just use your own judgment to decide how much to require each day. My son DOES narrate everything we read for school. Narration, to me, is the bread and butter of the CM education and I find it so helpful. You gauge comprehension by listening to their least I have found that this is a tool that works. You may wish to look at the PNEU timetables ( This is how I get my CM done in 2 hours per day...and we are doing the 3Rs, math, literature, picture study, singing, history, geography, recitation, Bible, natural world readings, son narrates 2 passages per day on average. He's 8 years old. Writing during the early years looks like copywork on paper, and oral narration (or picture narration or acting narration!). Then you move into written narrations when the child is ready.... I highly recommend Charlotte Mason Help and reading CM's books (the original series), if you can manage it. Oh! And check out Sage Parnassus, Nancy Kelly's website.
  23. I get up at 6 and workout. That's typically done by 7:15. Then I write morning pages, drink coffee, and by the time my children are up (8ish) am ready to feed them, take my shower and start our day with chores and so on. We usually start school between 9:30-10, and we are done by noon. My son (8 years old) is old enough to start (some of) his schoolwork on his own, and if his work took longer than 2 hours, I'd have him do independent stuff for an hour or so until I was ready to do 1:1 stuff with him. But since we can finish in about 2-2.5 hours, I don't do this right now. (Last year I had him do math drill, ETC and copywork while I was getting dressed.)
  24. I might do something like an instrument, a piece of equipment, educational toys, great books or supplies, but I would NOT do curriculum like math books or spelling books or that sort of thing. One year I asked the grandparents to get my son the CC timeline cards (b/c they were beautiful and he had said he'd like some....but he was FIVE). So my 5 year old was opening timeline cards while his 3 year old cousin was getting superhero stuff. Now, my kids don't do superhero stuff, but the contrast between "toy" and "parent-requested educational item" was stark. I felt awful for him and I vowed to NEVER do that again. He was the most polite 5 year old on the planet. He said thank you and smiled and was kind, and he looked at his cousin's toys with the biggest eyes. I felt like a loser. My children typically get books, interesting blocks/puzzles/games, trips/experiences and that sort of thing. We aren't big toy people and we aren't video game people.
  25. I changed my name, but thought hard about NOT doing it b/c my first name plus my husband's last name is really, truly ridiculous. People always laugh when I tell them my name. Anyhow. I was a lot like your daughter and sort of pushed against expectations, or at least I FELT like I did. But in the end, I took his name and I'm quite happy with it, even though my name is ridiculous. My aunt kept her name. She was always called Mrs. Jane Smith (her maiden name...not her real name, obviously) and their kids had hyphenated names growing up, which the kids themselves just evolved into their father's name as they became adults (it's just easier--they had two rather long last names). When I send them a Christmas card, I write Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Smith. It has never been a big issue, really. I have a couple other female relatives who kept their names, too--and are all formally Mrs. Firstname Maidename.
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