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  1. Purchase a mobile home park or apartment 6plex type building. Income coming in every month.
  2. 80% if my older children's college funds are in very safe level investment category. 20% is in the medium risk category. I have one in college now, one starting in fall, and one two years out. The youngest is in higher risk category for a bit but will move soon. He's 12. These are 529 plans.
  3. For my daughter now in local charter high school we have her on a lighter time schedule. We chose the school because it is challenging and we're able to keep her days shorter. As a freshman she went from 9:30 until 1:30. This year MWF she goes 9-2 and TR she goes 9-11 She takes about four classes a semester. ( her school has them take college classes as soon as they are capable so she took one college class first semester, two second semester, this semester she is in three college classes and one high school class) School has a very strict attendance policy which we try to follow. They know about her chronic disease so they give us a little room and she is often in nurses office between classes to rest. The expectation is she will go to classes and do the work. Yes she has chronic headaches, migraines, stomach pain etc but since these things aren't going away and are "managed" she needs to do the work. This is her choice, she is very bright and wants to be a biomedical engineer in future so she powers through most days, naps most days, and keeps a pretty quiet social life but has friends. She is now a sophomore and is doing well. Spring semester was rough last year as she got the flu and missed quite a bit of school and felt really awful for weeks but she made it through, did well in her classes so she's pretty proud of herself. Learning how to balance and manage self care, school work, health, etc is a challenge but she is making good strides and we're trying to help her find how much is enough vs too much.
  4. My daughter got an invitation to apply for their honors program before she got an admission letter. We assumed she would be admitted but funny even so.
  5. Congratulations! If you're thinking this is your last what if you use same letter as your daughter's so she has someone match her letter. Just an idea.
  6. I have three kids in this type of program. It is a high school that offers college classes and you can graduate high school with an AA. Oldest son started this school as a junior and not really ready for college classes so he graduated with about 15 credits and now attends Community College as he wasn't quite ready for the four year university he wants to attend. Something that was hard was he felt dumb because most of his friends graduated with an AA and he did not. So having the majority of the students either getting an AA or at least close made his achievements seem less which is too bad. At his age I had AP English and History and that is it. He had take 5 college classes to my 2. Daughter who is 18, probably a psych major, business minor, and a senior started in 10th grade. She will graduate with both high school diploma and an AA. For her it made her much more confident going forward. She had LD (dyslexia, auditory processing, etc) that made her question her abilities. The high school allowed her to take a combination of high school level and college level classes as she went getting progressively more difficult. It was a confidence booster for her. No cost to us. She was accepted to all three schools she applied for and asked to join into their honors programs. She will enter as a freshman. All adjustment of class rank happens after the first year of college according to the schools. She's eligible for all scholarships offered to freshman. I've encouraged her to explore a bit her freshman year and make it a goal to graduate in 3 years with a couple of minors if she wants. She's getting the AA because she just kept plugging along and was so close. This semester she's taking 12 credits. This is the most she's taken. Usually she took between 9-11 though at first she just took 3-6 credits a semester. We also felt for her it gave her some breathing room once she got to college so she didn't feel overwhelmed and could keep her load a bit lighter. Daughter who is 16 started as a freshman. She has a chronic illness which leaves her dealing with fatigue a lot. This program allows us a lot of flexibility with schedule, load, speed, etc. She should also finish with an AA in liberal arts. She is my math and science girl and will go into a STEM field. I've warned her that she may have to retake some courses and this program will not necessarily speed up her college experience but hopefully it will give her a firm foundation on which to build. We've offered to let her graduate early and start taking classes at CSU instead but she's in no hurry and doesn't mind that she may have to retake some of her coursework in order to have it count toward her major ie: biomedical engineering or genetics at the moment. She likes the more challenging classes, most of her professors, and is thriving. I could not offer what she needed at home and tutors weren't enough as we tried that in 8th grade. She doesn't get it from me. Keeping her academics high but her social interactions with a younger group of peers is a better match for her at the moment. I know some of the families have been disappointed that not 100% of the credits have transferred and that not all the kids just move right into junior level classes. We purposely chose daughters university because she got the most credit toward graduation from them. Her second choice would have been pretty good as well but the private university would have been the hardest transition so it went to the bottom of the choices, it was also the most expensive even with the scholarships. Maybe for her master's degree. I've really just let the kids set the pace. No expectation/requirement that they get the AA, as they can graduate without it. We just keep plugging along.
  7. I'm in the process of repainting the entire house. I've done all the kids rooms upstairs. Three have various shades of gray and the other a light blue. Husbands office is a rich medium blue I love. Rest of the house is currently a very old color by Kwal called Mushroom Basket. I've loved it over the years but I'm thinking I'd like something different. We will do all the work ourselves, we always do so when I think of doing it all and not loving the color I freeze. I definitely like a neutral background and adding color with art, rugs, and furniture. Currently my house is a bit too brown looking and I want to perk it up. Floors are hardwood (brown) and tile (travertine)
  8. I;m not a fan of the freestyle program, don't hate it but my weight loss has slowed way down. I am still losing though. I've been on weight watchers since May 2017. I have been very consistently following the program first Beyond the Scale and now Freestyle. I've double tracked on my fitness pal for a while as well. I'm down 27lbs. I also have been exercising consistently 3-5 days a week since July. I've lost clothing size and wear a smaller pant than I did 5 yrs ago weighing the same weight or a little less. I've found that really the leaders aren't much help with why our bodies won't give up the pounds. They are better at encouraging us to keep going.
  9. My daughter is currently taking ASL as her foreign language, she is dyslexic and learning a foreign language would be incredibly difficult. ASL can be a challenge as part of her LD is processing speed and the teacher is very, very fast expects them to quickly interpret her signing the class. I also have a son with a language based LD and a husband with a hearing loss. None did foreign language but ASL. Husband is college graduate with some masters courses, Son is at community college taking classes and daughter has been admitted to all three schools she's applied to with invitations into their honors program. None of the colleges are highly selective but they are excellent schools where she can thrive and not have too much pressure. My kids learn about other cultures in other ways. My four years of high school French did not make me fluent, nor did is really teach me their culture. I loved it but going to France showed me just how little I'd actually learned despite my A's and home much I loved the class.
  10. The newest Sienna is bigger than the older ones, more room. Friend with Odyssey always comments that mine feels bigger. Dh is tall and likes Toyota better, I was fine with either.
  11. I love my Sienna. This is my third. I've had a 1999, 2006 and 2013. I drove both until they had 200,000 miles on them. Currently i have 118000 on van. I think that they are roomier than the Honda van. Especially the second and third rows.
  12. My husband is 6'3" and I shop Kohl's, JC Penney for dress shirts, Lands End Tshirts, 2XLT is great and athletic cut or they are really, really wide.
  13. I'm continuing with Weight Watchers. I joined in May and have lost 24lbs so far. It is very slow going for me but it is working. About 25 more to go. I'm also working out, walking dogs, zumba, treadmill, Curves weights, etc. Just being more active but not over the top since I want a lifestyle I can continue once I meet goal weight. I've gone down 2 pants sizes and from XL/XXL to L on top and not so fluffy looking now. Feeling much much better as well.
  14. I think books by Deborah Gray and Karin Purvis are my favorite. I learned so much from them. Beyond Good Intentions was also good, by author that wrote 20 things adopted kids wished their parents know. At one point I'd literally read every book in print I could get my hands on. I figured knowledge would help, and it did but living it is so much more. Adoption is wonderful and hard. Happy and sad. I'm thankful for all my kids but man we've been through some tough times, others even more difficult. I'd also begin to build a support network. These people will be an invaluable resource and sounding board. I've been blessed by so many people along the way. Teen and early adulthood are doubly hard on the kids who were adopted. So many layers, like an onion. I love my life, my kids, and would choose to adopt again. There are times though I wonder how my life would be different if we didn't have the adoption piece to work through. FYI I have five, all were adopted under 1 from Korea. Kimberly
  15. Ours is going up $35/week. We get it through husbands employer. So total for us is $135/week includes medical, dental, vision for seven people. We have wonderful coverage. There were less expensive options but due to dd's chronic very expensive illness this is our best option as a family. Dh work specifically at this job for the insurance. We are self employed and found that buying insurance on our own was way too expensive and we couldn't afford it. Friends who are self employed found out their insurance was going up to $2115 per month with $10,000 out of pocket before anything kicks in to pay. She went out and got a job that offered insurance to help with that expense. Costs are out of control
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