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    On the cold prairie near Laura Ingalls

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  1. I don’t have any worries about over exercising in general, but I would worry if my kid was over practicing one sport. My kids prefer to be active, and I love that they put together neighborhood games in addition to their structured activities.
  2. The best one....we bought our house a few blocks from the local public and parochial schools so my kids can get themselves to school and extracurriculars on their own. They are limited to extracurriculars offered at the school, with the exception of camps, out of town competitions, etc. This is actually a huge simplification with five kids in an 8 year span, and we are still extremely active and competitive in our extracurriculars.
  3. Like others, as many bills as possible are on autopay. For those that aren’t, I schedule payment from my bank the same day as the bill is received, including larger bills like insurance or property taxes. paperwork that comes home from school is immediately taken care of and sent back the next day. Any future deadlines are entered into our electronic Google calendar. we use a family Google calendar with different colors for each member of the family. I have an automatic email sent to me every morning that provides a summary of everything on that day’s calendar. if I want to remember something when I’m out & about, I email my personal and work email so I know I will see it later. we have a family group text so the kids all get the same information at the same time. my oldest four have cell phones with unlimited data. I can contact them at any time. We send a lot of pictures to aid in communication - which body gell, shirt, etc to buy my drivers each have reliable vehicles so we aren’t driving them around or dealing with vehicle issues. Those drivers drive their sibs and run errands. We all also have AAA to call with a flat tire, accident, etc.
  4. Grocery and to do items are written on sticky notes which I take with me when I leave the house. The sticky note goes on the vehicle steering wheel so I can see it, and then I transfer it to stick on my phone when I’m in a store. I need it in front of my face at all times or else I forget. My main clothing color is black so everything is mix & match. I prefer to have an open container + one extra in the kitchen. That way I don’t run out. My teens are added to my credit card as authorized users when they start driving at 16yo. That way they can run errands and help in other ways without worrying about transfer money between us. i definitely use my teens to run errands, shop online, etc.
  5. I wash everything together. No sorting ever. Sorting makes me crabby because it feels inefficient to sort. With five sports active kids, we run laundry every day. Not only do I run small loads to keep the laundry moving , but I also use a color catcher in all loads, just in case something decides to bleed. Hang drying everything is inefficient, but it’s dh’s preference and I do get extra steps in While hanging. I do think our clothes last longer by hang drying.
  6. This is my experience as well. Our clothes last far longer than they should. I wash everything together, and we line dry everything.
  7. For me, the key is that I don’t make a hot meal and they have to fend for themselves. Sandwiches start looking really good when you are cooking for yourself.
  8. We don’t use advisors because investing is easy to DIY. Our retirement money is invested in Target date funds at Vanguard. The funds automatically adjust every year. It’s a invest and forget it strategy with extremely low fees. As we get closer to retirement, I will learn about withdrawal options and tax money planning. Bogleheads has a lot of easy to understand advice.
  9. We have determined that the closer you stay to the beach, the better. The last couple of years we have vacationed on Sunset Beach, North Carolina and Tybee Island, Georgia. Sunset Beach was a great family beach about 30 miles north of Myrtle Beach, and Tybee is about 15 min from Savannah. Our kids aged 8-20 (at the time) loved both vacations. For both, we had to cross dunes to actually get to the beach, which felt like a hot, long process. Our second stay we picked an AIrB&B that was right off the beach, so the hot, long walk was as short as possible.
  10. I agree. I truly think your kids are following your lead, and I don’t think they are receiving the message you think you are sending. I think the message they are receiving is, “try to keep abusive, nasty grandma in your life no matter how much she abuses and offends you and others”. I truly don’t understand why you would allow this person to have any contact with your children under any circumstances. I think the message you should be sending to your kids is...we don’t interact or include someone like grandma in our lives. We don’t invite her to our house, we don’t read her emails, and we don’t solve her problems or clean up messes after her. We love and respect ourselves and Our family, and therefore, we do not allow that type of person the opportunity to abuse us.
  11. If this grandparent is so terrible, I don’t understand why she would be with your family on Christmas Eve. Anyone who caused as much anger as you have, would not be in my home or invited to join my life. Has your oldest dd learned that she should invite/include grandma despite her issues, just like her mom does? She she continuing the pattern of her family of origin? I think it’s unrealistic to invite grandma to her family of origin events but then expect the oldest to stay away from her. That’s a mixed message I also think it’s unrealistic to think a grandparent is expected to always have all grandchildren around or hosted at the same time. Adult grandchildren, especially, are on a different level than minor children. I also think it’s unrealistic to think a grandparent will have the same relationship with all grandchildren, especially if the grandchildren are widely spaced ages.
  12. This is similar to my thoughts about in-laws. I like my in laws, but I have enough mental load without including them. I maintain relationships with my side of the family, and I plan all my family things. If dh wants to do something with his side of the family, that’s his responsibility. I will certainly support him, but he needs to carry the load with regard to his family. i also often skip in-law functions. Once again, they are nice enough people, but every function is an all day affair and I don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth to handle it. I have five kids and a FT job. My life is busier than I can handle day-to-day. In-laws events often push me over the edge, especially since it seems they are during busy times of the year.
  13. Yes, exactly this. Working for net $0 during the daycare years isn’t about the daycare years. It’s about the long view to income potential and financial stability.
  14. I agree $100 bills are just money, but I do NOT see people using them all the time. It’s very noticeable when someone pulls out a $100 bill. We are higher income living in a rural lower cost of living area, and a $100 bill will draw a comment every.single.time.
  15. Yes, it would bother me. But....pulling out $100 bills is noticeable and will usually result in a similar comment. If I had a $100 bill and if I used it to pay for lunch, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to receive a similar comment, regardless of income levels or relationship of either party. In my experience, average person does not carry $100 bills for various reasons, including are harder to spend (many places don’t accept large bills). So...while it would bother me, I would have expected a snarky or joke comment.
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