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Everything posted by Meriwether

  1. At least 4,000, but books are hard for me to count. Do you count two-in-ones as one or two? Teacher's manuels? Scrap books? Do you count books on your kindle? I'm sure I have at least 4,000 volumes of actual books, but I don't think I could ever get an exact number.
  2. I chose monthly because "I Never Leave the House Alone" was just too depressing. The last time I went somewhere alone it was a prenatal appointment and Dh took off work. The boys (5 and 3) cried because I was leaving them behind. They thought they would miss me soooo much they would rather sit in a doctor's office than play with Daddy. I even took my kids when I went Christmas shopping. I had no one to leave them with so I blindfolded them while we were in the stores. My mom was horrified when I told her - but she didn't offer to drive the seven hours to my house to babysit.
  3. :grouphug: I'm sorry this was an off day for your family. Other people may not have seen what you thought they saw though. At our last house, a guy from the electric company had to come into our house every other month to read the meter. He would come about 10:00 in the morning (about the time I had gathered all the laundry up and thrown it down the basement steps). So he would walk through my kitchen which almost always had some dirty dishes, down the basement steps covered with laundry, and through the play room which almost always had toys everywhere. If I was lucky, the rest of the house was in decent shape and I was wearing something besides pajamas when he came. I was always mortified and vowed to myself to do better before he came again. After two and a half years of this, I apologized for the mess and he told me, "I'm always so impressed by your kids when I come." Huh. Like he'd never noticed the state of the house. I don't know if his wife was a terrible housekeeper or if he has a high tolerance for mess, but it bothered me a lot more than it bothered him. I let go of my embarrassment, and we always chatted for a few minutes when he came after that. I'm sure people who make service calls see all kinds. After a house like mine, an unmade bed probably doesn't make much of an impression. I hope tomorrow is a better day.
  4. Dd6 and Ds5 just started Taekwondo. It is 70 dollars for 8 weeks (once per week) for the first child and the price is halved for each sibling after that. 35 dollars for number 2. When Ds3 starts it will be 17.50 for him. If all 3 are still doing it when Baby Girl starts, she will be just 8.75. Based on the other responses, it sounds like we are getting a great deal.
  5. My 2nd grader uses Phonetic Zoo A and Grammar of Spelling 2.
  6. This is probably too juvenile for your son, but might help someone else reading the thread. When my siblings and I were little, the losers were always sad after the game. My dad started a tradition where the winner got tickled by the losers. We do this with our kids now. It takes the winner down a peg and gives the losers something to feel better about. We rarely have a child that feels badly after a game.
  7. I save it all. When I buy a textbook, I buy four copies of the workbooks so that all four kids will use the same edition (and #4 won't even be born for a few more weeks). So that's a little extreme.
  8. I haven't read the other posts. For us obedience is immediate, cheerful, and complete. If it isn't one of the three, they haven't obeyed. We don't always do a good job with this; both boys are having issues right now with both immediate and cheerful. It does help to have a standard that they are supposed to attain, though.
  9. We were in the same situation. We moved here in Sept. and weren't ready for snow removal. My husband actually considered the lawn tractor attachment or a blade for his truck. He also talked about a four wheeler with a blade. Luckily, our neighbor used to clear snow for the previous owners. They have a big tractor with a scoop on it. We would never have been able to take care of it (we've have several big snows and then 5 - 10 foot drifts) with just a shovel - the drifts pile up in front of the garage almost every day and I'm 8 months pregnant. Dh would have to shovel himself in and out twice a day. We decided it would be much cheaper to hire it done when needed than buy an expensive piece of equipment. You might ask around. A neighbor kid using his dad's tractor might help for a decent hourly rate.
  10. I have a meeting time with my two oldest. We do geography songs, lyrical science, some form of exercise (jumping jacks, stretches, etc.), bible story, and flash cards for sight words, vocabulary, and latin in addition to calendar type things. I want to add in animal classification, also. I have a chart with pockets, but I haven't made animal cards yet. I also want to do better with memorization every day, both verses and poems. I wouldn't necessary do all of this if I just had my 5 year old. A lot of it is geared toward my 6 year old and the 5 year old tags along. The 3 year old benefits, too, though - I hear him sing the songs to himself sometimes.
  11. I spend at least $2000 a year. Actual curriculum would be less, but I buy lots of books. Lots. I get a thrill when my reader picks up a science or nature or history book and learns something on her own. I have hundreds of books (mostly bought at garage sales and eBay in large lots) at each reading level, and I love when she grabs a stack to read on her own. And I buy everything I need for all four children. My oldest is in 2nd grade, and I have everything I need for all four children for 2nd. I would buy a lot of the extras even if my kids were in school. Actual curriculum, it probably averages out to 250-350 dollars per child per year.
  12. I had a friend request paper plates when I asked what she wanted for a baby gift. She had her third girl in a row and didn't need much else. I thought it was a great idea. I often include paper plates with baby gifts now.
  13. I studied in Spain for a semester when I was in college. One of the classes I had to take was a film class. It was awful with scenes in every single film that would be considered pornographic here. The prevailing opinion seemed to be that American films were inferior because they were "lightweight." That was the only negative stereotype that I encountered, and as I pointed out, I was equally unimpressed with their movies. So, to each his own. My sister and her husband have been living in Spain for the past 3 1/2 years. They have some Spanish friends, but their circle is mostly comprised of various expats from other English speaking countries. A few of the more outspoken ones have criticized America in general. One of the big things is energy usage. Energy is VERY expensive there and most people don't use a drier much even if they have one. They don't think it is fair of Americans to dry their clothes in a drier. I think at least some of this is due to jealousy at our cheaper energy, because some of them in particular would love the convenience of a drier. A lot of the Europeans (but definately not all) that she knows did not like Bush. But when I was in Spain, most didn't like Clinton. They probably won't like Obama either.
  14. Yesterday when I called my husband at work he asked me if I had sent our kids (6, 5, and 3) outside yet. He said it was pretty warm - at 10 degrees and snow coming down. Tomorrow it will be around -40 with the wind chill. Today it is blizzard like conditions so I'm not sending them out. When I went to school in Michigan, we had mandatory recess unless the temp was -10 or below. Parents were told not to send their kids to school if they were too sick for recess. I don't have a hard and fast rule for outside play. I won't let them go out tomorrow. Generally if it is too cold, they don't stay out long. A lot of what is considered normal depends on where you live. A friend of mine from Alaska moved to Kansas in the wintertime. He wore tank tops when it was 50 degrees outside. By the next winter he was more acclimated to Kansas and wore coats when everyone else did. The rule when I was a kid in Michigan was you couldn't wear shorts until it hit 60 degrees.
  15. Yes. Two actually. Dd6 does Veritas Press books - one chapter and one paper/project per day. She also does the Pathway Readers just because we like them. She has one more book to do for the 2nd grade, but I may hold that back for summer. The 2nd grade workbook pages are more time consuming than the 1st grade ones. I wouldn't say a reading program is necessary for her age, but it seemed a natural progression since we stopped phonics instruction. Over the past few months I've noticed a big improvement in some areas. She learned to read very quickly (she could decode almost any word at 5), but she has a very short attention span and wouldn't pay attention to the storyline when she read. I know a lot of people will say they should just read for enjoyment at this age, but she enjoys reading a lot more now that she has been in a program. She also does a lot of free reading in a day - maybe 45 min. to an hour in addition to school.
  16. My oldest will turn 17 about the time she graduates (May birthday). I don't think I'll be too excited about sending her away to college then. I wouldn't mind cc until she turns 18. The boys should turn 18 about the time they are ready to start college (fall birthdays), but to be honest, I wouldn't worry as much about them if they were away from home.
  17. My grandpop always said that the time you have for your children when they are younger is the time they will have for you when they are older. My parents spent a lot time with us kids; we knew we were important to them. My husband's parents, not so much. We spend 10x as much time at my parents' home. My goal is to develop a good relationship with the kids. When they, especially the boys, are grown, I want them to be independent enough that they don't need us, but I hope we'll see them regularly. I don't ever want to pressure them to visit. I want them to come out of love not duty.
  18. Congratulations! My sister just named her boy Jubal. He is the fourth boy after Jesse, Josiah, and Judah.
  19. My family came to the United States in the early to mid 1700's. They were passive, not involved in government. They did not fight in the Revolution on either side, they did not own slaves (but neither did they fight to free the slaves), most of them did not even vote. They came to this country for the RIGHT to worship as they chose. I have strong feelings on basic human rights, but what caught my interest in the thread was the idea of reparations. Should I feel guilt because my ancestors lived in a country while it allowed slavery? Should I be made to pay? My ancestors would NEVER have owned a slave, but they had a nonresistant religious belief. While I don't share that particular belief, they had a right to it. They wouldn't have fought if they had been enslaved themselves. My ancestors were persecuted in Switzerland. They had family burned at the stake or drowned because they did not baptize their infants. They left everything behind, abandoned their homes and property, to emigrate. Does Switzerland now owe them compensation? Another group of my "people", although not my ancestors, had been living in Russia. During an uprising (without looking it up, I would guess the Bolshevic Revolution with an emphasis on the word guess) they were given a chance to leave Russia with nothing but the clothes on their backs. While in Russia, they had developed a strain of wheat. They came to Kansas with nothing but Turkey Red Wheat sewn into the hems of their clothes and helped make the Midwest the breadbasket it is. Does Russia owe these people anything? Another group went to Brazil instead of the USofA. The Brazilian government gave them a nasty bit of ground to live on (I consider that generous actually because Brazil didn't have to invite them in and give them anything) and they turned it into lovely homes and farms. What does Russia owe them? Or are people groups only owed something if they don't adapt? A people who have been mistreated can be bitter or they can move on, but I feel only those who did the mistreating should be punished. The remaining Jews of Germany should have been given reparations by the German government. Plantation owners should have given the slaves reparations. But, really, should the Normans give England back to the Saxons? ETA: People have been displaced since the earliest of times. While individual actions (and even some movements of people) could certainly be labeled as wrong, the coming of Europeans to America was certainly not an exception to general history, it just happened more recently than some others. Just one example: Muslims controlled southern Spain for longer than the United States has been a country. Neither the Muslim takeover or their expulsion by the Spaniards was peaceful. So who should live in southern Spain? The Spanish, who lived there before and after the Muslims or the Muslims who lived there for hundreds of years. Were the Muslims wrong to want to live there? Were the Spanish wrong to want the land back?
  20. I live between 6 and 7 hours from my parents. I take the kids down 5 or 6 times a year - sometimes with Dh and sometimes by myself. My kids are 6, 5, and 3. I started driving down myself when the baby was an infant and the second child was potty training. It isn't always easy, but I really value the time with my parents and they love seeing the kids. They come up about twice a year. I wish they could come more often, but they live in Kansas, my brother lives in Colorado, my sister lives in Spain, and their parents live in PA and Indiana. To visit everyone, they'd constantly be on the road. They do fill up my van with gas when I go down so that I don't bear the whole expense. If your daughter wants you to come whenever you can, I'd go at least every other month if not more often. It is generally easier for the grandparents to visit the kids because then they don't have to load up all the baby things and drive with a baby.
  21. I haven't read all the responses, and I don't have an 8 year old yet, so take my reply with a grain of salt. My kids always act up more when I have morning sickness or the first month of breastfeeding because I don't have time/energy to do the fun things with them. And I don't handle misbehavior very well. I don't want to interrupt a feeding to deal with disobedience and when I'm sick I just don't want to move. This summer I found out I was pregnant two weeks before we found out we were going to be transferred. I spent the summer sick, sick, sick. Any time I felt well, I worked on the house to get ready for the move. My husband spent two months reroofing the house. He worked until 5 and then roofed until 9. My kids didn't have proper attention from either parent. And, boy, did it show. Then we had 1 1/2 months when Dh was working at the new plant during the week. We pretty much just saw him on weekends. I understand to some extent what you're going through. The only thing that helped in any real way was getting our lives back. If you CAN make some more time for fun things together (reading, activities, etc.) and your husband CAN spend some 1 on 1 time with him each day, it might help. But when I was in this situation this summer, we were trapped by circumstances that didn't allow for much interaction with the kids - so I'm not trying to say you should do something you really CAN'T.:grouphug:
  22. Congratulations! I just want to encourage you that I had my third when my oldest was 3 yrs. 4 mos. old. I can honestly say that it was easier with the three of them than it was when my oldest was a baby. The third spent a lot of time being entertained by the older two. If your oldest hasn't learned how to strap him/herself into a car seat yet, it might be a good skill to teach before June. Running errands (getting three kids strapped in and out at each stop) was time consuming and tiring. Same thing with shoes. Slip on shoes or velcro for the oldest helped me a lot.
  23. I haven't read all the responses, but my dad didnt' say anything (no sounds - they thought he might be mute) until he was three. The family was bilingual. When he was three they switched to using just English. He started speaking in complete sentences. Another boy I know didn't talk until he was 4. His mom had to really work with him when he started school because he was a late bloomer in language, but he is doing great now.
  24. That's why I said "more". Although some do accept federal money, those types of programs do have more local control than big federal programs.
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