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Sherry in OH

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About Sherry in OH

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  1. We pay $65 per year per scout. This includes national fees and a Boys' Life subscription. I'm not sure whether the troop or Council gets the remainder. We are encouraged but not required to join Friends of Scouting. Otherwise, no dues. Scouts pay by event. Scouts who participate in fund raising events have money deposited in their scout accounts. In the past we had the option of using money in scout accounts or bringing cash/checks to cover specific events. Our troop committee recently voted do away with collecting money for individual events. Instead scouts and parents are asked to keep a minimum balance in scouts accounts. The scout accounts will be tapped when parents gives permission for a scout to participate in an event. In the past, the troop allowed scouts grace in paying for events. No-shows who then don't pay are a problem even in scouting. Our troop encourages scouts to sell popcorn to support council. Yes, the troop gets a share of popcorn money, but other fundraisers net more for the troop.
  2. Before making a budget, do some inventorying and introspection What do you have in cupboards, pantry, refrigerator, and freezer? What meals does your family typically eat? List the ingredients needed to make those meals, including quantiies. What are your family's snacking habit? Do you need quick meals? Does your family like leftovers? Will they be satisfied with vegetarian meals or do they revolt if there is no meat? Are they open to new recipes? If you have saved them: examine grocery receipts, what are you buying that is so expensive? What foods are usually inexpensive in your area. Which of those items will your family eat? Does anyone in your family have special dietary considerations? (Peanut allergy, celiac, ...) Plan your meals around ingredients you have on hand. Ideally, shop to replenish your stores rather than for specific meals. Before buying a special ingredient for a meal, plan a second meal to use the remainder of that ingredient. Also stop to think whether the ingredient is actually necessary. For example, a can of cream of ... soup is a shortcut rather than an essential ingredient. Learn to make your own roux or white sauce. It is okay to limit access to some foods. Become familiar with the recommended number of servings per food group and the size of servings for each each age/sex in your family. Be sure to offer enough protein (usually the most expensive component of a meal) for each person to have their recommended servings, but let them fill up on less expensive sides. Water should be the default beverage. If your children are milk drinkers, offer it once or twice a day not at every meal.
  3. Is one of your older children hosting your youngest for the weekend out of the question? It could be a fun weekend away for your son and a chance to show off campus life for the older sibling. Otherwise, ask your SIL to keep him. Give your son enough money to treat his cousins to a movie and dinner. Invite your nephews to spend the next long weekend at your house. My primary concern about leaving a 14-year old alone for a long weekend is not his physical safety. A typical teen could probably cope in an emergency situtation. My concern is the isolation. Humans are social beings. Three to four days is a long to go without face-to-face interaction with others. Presumably he would have a cell phone and Internet capability. IMHO that is not enough. Even when not interacting with others, he is accustomed to them being nearby. Would he feel that he was losing face if he called his aunt and asked if he could stay there? Or would he pretend that everything was okay even if he were desperately lonely? If one of my almost 14-year old's friend's parents called and said they were going away for the weekend and would I be okay with my son staying with their son, I would offer to host their son instead.
  4. No possibility of walking or biking. It involved highway driving and it’s ~15 minutes away. For me, the bolded places the situation firmly in the no way category. If you lived in town and your son could easily walk to the home of a close friend or relative, for one night, sure. Mutiple nights, not unless he'd already spent a single night alone and felt comfortable staying alone longer. Even then, I'd prefer that he stay with a friend a relative or that one stayed with him. In your location, I would not leave your son home alone for an extended period until he has a driver's license and a vehicle.
  5. Foil dinners are easiest for novice campfire cooks. You will want a pair of long handled tongs and oven mitts. Pie iron sandwiches are also easy. At the most basic level you need a loaf of sandwich bread, butter or cooking spray, and whatever you want to use as a filling. Pizza sauce and shredded cheese are popular with children. So is pie filling. You can also use pie irons for egg in a basket or plain fried eggs. Search online for recipes that appeal to you. These range from simple grilled cheese to gourmet meals. If you are purchasing pie irons, get cast iron. (Be sure to season them at home before first use.) You could also try Dutch oven meals. Again you want cast iron. Prep your ingredients at home to save time and waste. Pre-cook and freeze meats, stews, pasta, and rice. You can also use frozen vegetables including frozen fries or hashbrowns. These will help keep other foods cold. If you will be using the same ingredient for several meals consider packing those ingredients in meal-sized portions. Take two or three clean basins or buckets for dishwashing. One to wash, one or two for rinses. If you want hot water, you will need a pot or pan to heat it in. An inexpensive aluminum pot is fine so long as handles are metal. Remember not to wash or rinse cast iron cookware. Do not store food in your tent. Keep it in coolers and sealed totes. Lock these in your car when you are away from your campsite and at night. Take trash, especailly any containing food waste, to the dumpster before going into your tent for the night. You do not want to attract skunks, racoons, or larger wildlife.
  6. Age 11 is the minimum age to join a troop without AOL or completion of 5th grade, however a scout does not automatically age out of Cub Scouts when he turns 11. He may remain in Cub Scouts until he earns his AOL (and bridges to a troop) or completes 5th grade, whichever comes first. This is what most AOL Scouts do. There is no harm in your 10 year old visiting the Cub Scout Pack. If the meeting time fits your schedule and he likes it, let him join. Whether or not he can earn AOL rank will depend on when the pack's AOL scouts bridge (he needs to be an active member of an AOL den for a minimum of six months) and how motivated he is. Many of the rank requirements can be completed at home. Not liking to be around younger boys is common for this age. In larger packs, Webelos and AOL scouts spend little time with the younger scouts. AOL is preparation for Boy Scouts. Scouts who bridge from a pack typically fast-track through the first rank (Scout) because they complete most of the requirements as AOL. If your son decides he wants to wait until he is 11 and join as a Boy Scout, get him the Boy Scout Handbook and have him start preparing. He can self-study knot typing using Youtube videos as guides. He should memorize the oath, law, and outdoor code. Can he swim well enough to pass the BSA swim test? If not, swimming lessons are a good idea.
  7. If he is a youth large or extra large, try a men's small. Once he is in men's sizing, Land's End has a decent selection of tall shirts. Oldest ds grew 3 inches between May and August. He is rotating through three pair of school pants. I am afraid that as soon as I break down and buy more, he'll grow again. Younger ds can wear shorts for another month or so. He will probably need a completely new winter wardrobe.
  8. My experience with JoAnn has been no stacking. Excepting the occasional % off everything, JoAnn coupons specifically exclude sale items and are labeled one coupon or discount per item. When the coupon would give a deeper discount than the sale price, I have been successful in asking that the clerk ring it up at regular price and then apply the coupon. Doing that with BOGO, I'd expect to get 60% off the first item and pay full price for the second. You can always ask the clerk though.
  9. If your sons' school provide email accounts, your sons may be able to sign-up for free access to Office 365. You can purchase Office Home and Student for $149.99 per computer. It only includes Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Outlook, Access, and Publisher are only available through subscription. Does the school require that they use Microsoft products?
  10. My children hated the Bumbo but loved the baby swing. I found a nursery rocker to be essential, actually I had two, one in the living room and one in the nursery. My children found rocking soothing. Baby gates or a pack and play become essential when baby reaches the crawling stage. Eventually she'll want a high chair or a strap on booster seat. Diapers and wipes/soft washcloths, burp rags. Something to use as a diaper bag.
  11. You should expect lessons to take longer each year, especially in the elementary grades. When your 10 year-old started violin lessons, she practiced just a few minutes a day and over time built up to an hour. The same is true for academic subjects. She should be spending more time on math and language arts this year than she did last year. Latin is also going to ramp up. GSWL lessons were designed to take just a few minutes a day. LFC lessons are longer. Either non-core subjects get looped, some get dropped or school days get longer. Think of progression in academic subjects in the same light as you do music instruction. You guide your children through their practice sessions correcting little mistakes as they play. You correct the mistakes immediately to prevent them from becoming ingrained. Your child finds some pieces more difficult than others and needs to spend more time on those pieces. She may need to spend days or even weeks focusing on a few especially troublesome measures. The same is true for academic subjects, especially the skill subjects. Expect elementary mathematics to be teacher-intensive. By sitting beside the child while she does her math exercises you can provide immediate feedback and correction. You can see when she needs extra instruction or practice and when she has a solid grasp of the material. Beast Academy has 4 books per grade level with 3 chapters per book. In a 36-week school year, that averages to 3 weeks per chapter. The first chapter of 3A is especially tough so if you are gauging progress by that chapter, don't lose hope. BA may not be the best program for your family. It wasn't for our family. My children loved the guidebooks, but preferred the format of MEP Primary for actual math lessons. I read aloud the 3-5 guidebooks and we worked through the problems in the guidebook together. Since I had the level 3 workbooks I used them as supplementary lesson material assigning selected pages when a child needed extra practice (multiplication facts) or the child had finished a math unit and I wanted to hold off on starting the next unit. Similarly, we read aloud Island, Town, one of the poetry books, and the Mud trilogy, but did not use them as our language arts program. My children preferred Town to Island.
  12. I think the problem is not so much that you are trying to do too much in a day as it is that you are trying to do too much at once. Multi-tasking isn't always the best strategy. What if instead of having your children do other lessons during music lessons, you had the 10 year old do silent reading during that time? The 7 and 4 year olds could listen to audiobooks or engage in play-based learning (pattern blocks or other puzzles, for example). If you want the children to complete workbooks, take a look at Critical Thinking Company's offerings. These colorful workbooks are intended to be completed with minimal adult guidance. The Language Smarts series could be a stand-alone Language Arts course. Prufrock Press's logic series, Kumon Cutting and Art books, dot-to-dot, and mazes are also fun ways for children to build on skills. Then after music lessons and a 10 to 15 minute break, start in on your core subjects. Rotate through the children. Music, math, and language arts may be all you can fit in the morning. That is fine. Read aloud during lunch or snuggle up on the sofa after lunch before moving on to content subjects. Accept that doing 2 hours of music in the morning is going to make your school days seem longer. Just remember to include some breaks during the day.
  13. A Crow Doesn't Need a Shadow: A Guide to Writing Poetry from Nature, by Lorraine Ferra.
  14. All of these can be considered electives and counted as part of his school day. Piano lesson and practice time are music, jiu jitsu and archery are P.E., etc. He may be able to some of the extras you are assigning your DD. Otherwise, what science do you intend to cover this year? Chemistry - The Periodic Videos are fun. Physics - see if your library has The Way Things Work DVDs (they are too $$$ for home purchase). My sons loved Eureka Physics at that age. Klutz LEGO Crazy Contraptions tie into physics as well. Biology - bird watching, nature journal, growing a garden ... He's in 4-H, encourage him to do a science-themed project. If he reads well enought to follow written directions, buy some science kits. (Alka-Seltzer and film canisters can occupy a boy for quite a while.)
  15. Teen girls do not shop at Eddie Bauer. Even when the style is right, the brand is wrong. So long as the jeans she wants do not violate her school's dress code, get the style and brand she prefers.
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