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Everything posted by MrsBasil

  1. Code Name? I haven't played it yet, but I needed a game that was good for groups of a variety of ages and abilities and didn't take a very long time to play. The guy at my local game store suggested Code Names. They have a variety, including 3 that were picture based(Disney, Picture, Marvel). So almost no reading required. I bought Disney Code Name based on my kid's ages. He said it's super fun, great for groups, and can be played with lots of people. It's also a team game and a game takes about 15-25 minutes.
  2. I'm in the beginning process of what I hope will be a slow and steady long term weight loss and won't be putting the breaks on it for the holidays.
  3. The Weather Detectives by Mark Eubank was a hit here. It has suggestions for activities, a ton of facts, and a narrative story. Amazon has it for Kindle and our library used to have it.
  4. I like holidays, but I keep them in a way to continue liking them. I don't enjoy putting up a lot of decorations, but I like having a tree. We have a tree, we hang stockings, and because my husband likes to decorate for the holidays-he does all the other decor. If he didn't love it, we wouldn't do it. I make one or two kinds of cookies. We have our big meal on Christmas Eve and have a buffet of snacks, treats, and appetizers on Christmas Day. I like to cook(and eat) so this is fun and my kids have started wanting to help. We play board games on Christmas Eve, usually we get one new game that "mysteriously" shows up under the tree or on our front porch when no is looking. We drive around and look at Christmas lights sometime in the week leading up to Christmas. I have a stack of picture books we've collected and I read them aloud throughout December...although this year my son doesn't seem into picture books so maybe that will just be my dd and I. Find things your whole family can enjoy and do together. A movie, a book, or anything. It doesn't have to be fancy, hard, Pinterest worthy, what you did as a child at all. Just things that work for your family, including you! The closest to crafting I come is when I buy gingerbread house kits and let the kids have at it with the frosting and candy.
  5. I sent my kids to school this year. My son entered into 3rd grade, based solely on age. They did STAR and DRA math and reading assessments once school started to place them in reading groups, but all kids get tested. In my district the charters will test for placement, but regular district schools do not. I sent my kids to a small project based K-8 school and my son ended up knowing about 5 other kids from homeschooling. He said it was great to start the year knowing people already, so I bet your son knowing the kids from soccer will be great for him. There hasn't been a lot of need for transition help at school, he got into the groove pretty easily. I think that school is non traditional in many ways has helped him, they have flex seating, almost no worksheets, math is about 90% hands on....but the before and after school routines have been tough. We had to get expectations and practices into place after the first week of what to do with stuff coming home, lunch box care, remembering coats etc.
  6. We have school choice for all schools, several charters, a couple of private schools, and a couple of public schools that are lottery based. I think it's just becoming less common to live in the neighborhood where your kids go to school, so it's not as common to walk to school.
  7. Schools are going on lock down? My kid's district bought glasses for every 1-12th grader. My kid's school plans to have all of the kids outside to view the eclipse. I have seen FB conversations where people plan to stay inside all day. They are afraid their kids will accidentally look up. To each their own, I guess.
  8. They absolutely should cost money! I was typing while distracted and it looks like my meaning muddled. I was trying to reply to a post about library programs and rec programs being targeted to homeschoolers and the differences I have seen in my community. Library programs are free here, but almost never target to homeschoolers. Rec classes cost and some are targeted to homeschoolers, but it doesn't seem to be for the reasons the OP was asking about and I was trying to explain that. Also, some areas offer free rec programs and I was trying to limit my response to my area and experience.
  9. In my area we have a public library district and homeschool library programs are not the norm. There is currently a Friday offering, but it only started being offered after a very large charter school went to a 4 day a week schedule. There are some rec classes available to homeschoolers, but, like all rec classes in my area, they cost money. The teachers often get a portion of the cost or are otherwise compensated for the teaching. A not insignificant number are taught by people who are working on building their businesses(like dance teachers and a pottery studio owner). I could be wrong, but I imagine there's some motivation to earn money and expand their client base in this way. I mean, one of the dance teachers clearly loves teaching dance(or is a superb actress), but she's also trying to start a studio and asks to put the parents of the students on an email list about what other classes and camps she'll be offering.
  10. Rocky Mountain is amazing. It's a under 2 hours from Denver and, for right now, and 1.5 from Ft. Collins. But double check when you go. The shortest way from Fort Collins is Hwy 34, but 34 was wiped out during the flood in 2013. It's been opened for tourist season and closed or down to one lane during other parts of the year. You can get there via 36 too. Just check the CDOT website before your route it out!
  11. I used to. I would again, but so far I get HG like symptoms on the pills and vomit until I'm dehydrated for days. Not a great trade off. I have another appointment in a few months and I'd love to think of something. My period is, at this point in my life, a pointless, inconvenient, pain in the ass. Pre kids, I had 4 a year and that was pretty great.
  12. Fort Collins is a great city for dogs. Many of the restaurants allow for dogs on their patios. You can takes dogs and minor children to most breweries too. All of the outdoor areas in Front Range Village are dog friendly and there's a fenced dog park. Not the best for seeing anything cool and I think other than Doug's and Cafe Athens it's all national chain restaurants, but might not be a bad place to stretch your legs and let the dog run too. It's a pretty quick drive from the highway. We like to drive Hwy 14 and stop along the river. Rocky Mountain National Park is a fun place to visit, but it's about an hour off I-25. You can your dog into the park, but not on the trails.
  13. It's the first day of school for 1-12th here and school will go on as usual. It's also going to happen well before dismissal time though. The eclipse ends a little after 1 here, so I'm guessing those with schools closing or changing schedules are well east of me. I'm sending my kids to school this year and the school has already informed us that all students will have an opportunity to see the eclipse.
  14. Not at all horrid. I probably would have reported too. Full disclosure, I'm not much of an animal person and I'm already weary of the people in my town and their desire to have their dogs everywhere. All of our parks in town are supposed to be dog free, except the designated dog parks. Do people pay attention to that? Nope.
  15. My kids are going to public school this year. Older starts Aug 21 and the younger one starts the 24th.
  16. I had a hard time with these as well. I was definitely judging in places too. Regarding the Strider Wolf story, you might be happy to know that a a lawyer solicited donations and created a irrevocable trust in the name of both brothers. The trust has covered things like a working vehichle and rent payments. Hopefully having a little bit of stability will help the grandparents feel less stressed. The grandfather also had a job again as of Dec 2016. http://www.eagletribune.com/news/andover-residents-embrace-abused-maine-brothers/article_66998730-198a-5e92-9965-5205544301da.html http://www.pressherald.com/2016/12/23/after-attack-on-youth-donors-set-maine-family-on-new-course/
  17. Here's an interesting and somewhat less depressing one on an Tampa Bay restaurant critic's investigation into local and farm to table restaurants. http://www.tampabay.com/news/farm-to-fable-a-times-investigation-into-tampa-bays-local-food-scene/2273052
  18. Sure! Sorry about that. Here's the correct link. http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-murders-at-the-lake/
  19. It doesn't for me usually. There's an occasional fleeting bit of jealousy when someone takes a fantastic trip or buys an amazing new house, but I also feel happy for the person doing those things. I think a minute or two of, "Wow, I wish I could. do that/go there/have that" is normal for me. I don't dwell and I'm still extremely content with what I do have. I like people's pictures of kids and stuff they do. I mainly post pics of things we do and that the kids do. I have family all over and Facebook is absolutely the easiest way for all my relatives who want to see pics to see them. Also I find about regular events, free classes, deals, and all kinds of things happening in my community via FB. The other day I posted one of my daughter petting a cockroach at a library event. Once I sent the kids outside with foam swords, took pics because a couple of the things they did were cute, and posted about how they'd been fighting so this was how I had them work it out. It was meant to be funny and I made other people laugh. I can see how FB could breed discontent, but I don't think that's the fault of the people who do use it with little to no discomfort.
  20. Here's a few more. On the NFL and their attempts to appeal to children and their mothers http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/nfl-football-moms-kids/ On witch burning in Papua New Guinea http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/they-burn-witches-here/ On the man who murdered his daughter by throwing her off a bridge http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/features/the-long-fall-of-phoebe-jonchuck/ On the woman who used to run the Westboro Bapstist Twitter account http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/conversion-via-twitter-westboro-baptist-church-megan-phelps-roper The story of the pizza delivery man who robbed a bank with a bomb locked around his neck https://www.wired.com/2010/12/ff_collarbomb/ On a 20 something white nationalist and turning away from his upbringing. Might be somewhat political as it was written in Oct 2016, but the man's life story is what I found most fascination. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-white-flight-of-derek-black/2016/10/15/ed5f906a-8f3b-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html?utm_term=.8d3a27d5e1c5 A unsolved murder in the French Alps http://www.gq.com/story/alps-murder-chevaline On the underground practice of rehoming adopted children and the possible dangers http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1 A triple murder in Waco that was solved or maybe wasn't http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1 The life of a child living in poverty in Maine https://apps.bostonglobe.com/graphics/2015/11/strider/
  21. Me too! There's another story about the same investigator figures out another baffling crime. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/12/vanishing-blonde-201012
  22. I have a couple more! This story about a search for a person's identity and what it lead to(murder, more mystery, a genealogy search) is almost unbelievable. I don't want to give anything away, but if you like longform crime writing this is one to not miss. Very engrossing and sad story. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/05/13/finding-lisa-story-murders-mysteries-loss-and-incredibly-new-life/vCCxbYYUD63kjIoIMJQiWM/story.html This story about a woman's disappearance while hiking in Nepal was interesting to me. https://www.backpacker.com/trips/gone-girl-aubrey-saccos-disappearance-hiking-in-nepal And this story has stayed with me since I read it. Two Dutch women went missing while on a simple hike in Panama. The disappearance, search, and aftermath are well covered here. http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-lost-girls-of-panama-the-full-story
  23. I've read all the one shared. Here are some that have stayed with me. This one about a police officer who was abusive was chilling. http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/police-domestic-violence/ This one about a man pretending to be a member of the Rockefeller family. http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2009/01/fake_rockefeller200901 This one about the professor who shot several colleagues during a work meeting. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/02/11/a-loaded-gun This is one about a woman who was shot and killed. Her husband said it was an accident and that her young son accidentally shot her, but the investigation was...flawed. http://www.9news.com/news/investigations/blame/blame-jill-wells-lincoln-county-accident-or-murder/407010267 This one about a man with amnesia and the search for his identity. https://newrepublic.com/article/138068/last-unknown-man This truly bizarre story about a man killed in a hotel room and the investigation. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/05/true-crime-elegante-hotel-texas-murder I guess most of mine are crime, but I do read about other things!
  24. Firefly. So many, many times. Gilmore Girls Buffy Scrubs Parks and Rec Chuck...until they took it off Netflix And on DVD, Northern Exposure.
  25. I would bet that most of the hoop jumping is due to complaints about how easy it is to get assistance, how lazy people on assistance are, how much fraud there is, how many people are just avoiding work, and so on. It would be amazing if people didn't think this way and weren't demanding more hoops for people in need, but that's not the culture we have right now. I'm sorry your state decided to make getting coverage through the ACA so difficult, but I guess they think this is the best way. My state is much, much easier AND they expanded Medicaid to help more people qualify for subsidies to make insurance affordable. I wonder why our two states did things SO differently?
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