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Jackie in NE

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Everything posted by Jackie in NE

  1. This is what our local high school does. Why not just test them into a certain level? I think that the nature of working for the state makes it impossible to think, or work, outside the box. Not the fault of the public school employees. They're just doing their job, I guess. Just their job.... no more, no less. :thumbdown:
  2. I've always been the kind of person to work off a checklist, and make sure an application is completely finished before sending it in.... Then, at a seminar last night, a college admissions director told our group to just finish the common app and send it in, and update it later with letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. Does this seem like good advice? The accountant in me just doesn't believe this approach can be right. ;) I'm afraid this approach may indicate to the school an inability to complete things adequately, or follow directions. His reasoning is that the sooner you get that app in, the sooner the college can look at the prospective student, and the better your chances are at receiving scholarships. Dd now says she can send out several apps this weekend!! Comments?
  3. I think your dh is right. That's all. :001_smile: :grouphug:
  4. My goodness! I've never heard of such ridiculous treatment of a student! How can they get away with behaving that way? You'd think they would welcome additional students and work with parents to make it a good experience. This is a great argument for school choice, and school competition. They must be "the only game in town"? :glare: Sheesh!
  5. Yes, we feel poorer. Because we ARE poorer. Dh is working harder than ever to support us. He took a pay cut in '08, and then had to pump money into the company in '09 (He's a VERY minority stockholder in a small business). Our health insurance costs have gone up relentlessly. We have pure insurance now. No co-pays, no prescription help. We basically pay for everything out of pocket until the bill hits $25k. Then some insurance kicks in. Dh says it will get worse before it gets better. The grocery bill is kicking my butt, hugely. And fuel..... well between the ranch and just normal driving to get groceries, etc. it's amazing what we spend. We're trying to take a long term view. We try to do without whatever we can. Dd is headed to college, and it's hard to talk about what her dreams are, when it will all come down to $$. BUT, at least dd gets to go to college. At least we have money and/or credit to pay our medical/dental/vision costs. And we still eat very well, thanks to home-raised beef, lamb, and pork. We have talked, repeatedly, about giving up homeschooling, so that I can start working again. We've been homeschooling for 12 years. It is of great importance and value to us. But so is college for our dc. So is the ability to meet our medical needs. So is the ability to put food on the table. I know we are very fortunate. Dh still has a job, and we didn't have to sell the cow herd in the drought..... so we have a source of income for next year. But I'm afraid we are going to have to really bite the bullet in the coming years..... both as families and as a nation. For those of you who are less fortunate, my heart goes out to you. The next few years, even several years, I fear will be very difficult for all of us.
  6. In both Wyoming and Nebraska. We drive large, heavy vehicles, required because of where we live and the size of our family.
  7. Some Lutheran school constantly sends stuff to dd. She hollers "I'm not a Lutheran!" and throws it in the trash. Also DU (Denver University). Don't know why.... she would never go there. They have nothing she wants..... It does seem that they could have much more targeted marketing. Do they think our dc will finally throw up their hands and say "OK! You win! I'll go to your college!" Highly unlikely.
  8. I need new eyeglasses, and I'm kind of tired of paying the local independent optometrist. Is there a good place (read inexpensive, but with good quality) to buy eyeglasses on line? I have the prescription. I just need new frames and lenses. I will likely have these for a very long time, so I'm a little wary of buying from a place like Wal Mart. They will need to last. Thanks for your help, Jackie
  9. Roasted Chicken (home-raised) with roasted potatoes and green salad. Or I might skip the salad and have leftover vegetable soup instead....
  10. I have not read the thread, but I wanted to respond with why I cashed in my retirement. I had about 20k in a retirement account when I quit working to raise my dc about 18 years ago. I cashed it all in to make a business investment. Now, all business investments are not equal. Some are much riskier than others. Ours was about mid-level risk. I'm so glad I did. It started dh and I on our dream of ranching. That 20k has made a lot more money for us in cattle than it ever would have sitting in a 401k. Money is basically worthless right now. The Fed is trying to get people to spend, spend, spend, which is why interest rates are being kept so artificially low. This WILL have to change, and you will begin to earn interest on savings again. But who knows when. Politics. I would NOT cash in a 401k to meet living expenses. I would work at McDonalds first. I would only cash it in to make it work harder for me. Cheers, Jackie
  11. I've lived on ranches all my life (except for the last few years). I've known lots of ladies who shop for recreation. When I was single and working as a professional, I enjoyed shopping for suits for work, and nice clothes for evening functions But like Marbel, quoted above, now I have kids. Everything goes for them. There's no money left over for me, and yes, it gets old. But shopping is a burden. We're always scrimping, always trying to get the biggest bang for our buck. Someday, I'd like to be able to do some guilt-free shopping or traveling. Maybe once the kids are settled......
  12. I've never done this before, but we're having a garage sale on Saturday.... SATURDAY! I am woefully unprepared. I have tons of children's clothes, most of them in beautiful shape. For some reason, they were never really worn. Also cross country skis, a children's school table (really nice shape) with chairs. LOTS of other stuff that is in very good shape. I don't know. I want to get rid of this stuff, but I don't want to give it away. I am NOT a garage saler, so I really don't know how people price things. Can the hive help me out? Thanks!
  13. This. I've never even considered doing a lapbook. My oldest dd is very creative, and very interested in everything. It was easier to get creative with her.... she appreciated all my feeble attempts. The next 3 dc, not so much. Lots of blank looks and "are we done yet?" comments. They just are not as curious. It kind of makes schooling a chore. They also don't have very good retention of material. The other day, they were all staring at me blankly as I "presented" a history lesson. I broke into an impromptu skit, involving all of them. They laughed. They remembered. It exhausted me. I just haven't got it in me, iykwim. Hopefully it won't damage them too much. ;)
  14. ..... first because of what the school system is doing to these children, and second, because this poor little girl is back in public school. I truly don't understand how a parent could do that. :001_huh: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/opinion/sunday/a-terrifying-way-to-discipline-children.html
  15. ....:confused: :confused: It went straight into the recycling bin! :D
  16. This is what we have done. Dh and I were unable to continue paying premiums for "normal" medical coverage which provided for office copays and some help on prescriptions. I have 2 asthmatics, so our prescriptions are expensive. Dh and I settled on a catastrophic policy, coupled with an HSA. We arrived at the deductible amount by penciling how much exposure we could handle financially. Our # was $20,000. So we have a $20,000 deductible, and we basically pay for all medical costs we incur. We pay 100% of office visits. We pay 100% of our prescriptions, etc. This is pure insurance. We are simply insuring away the risk of being wiped out by a medical catastrophe. I've learned 2 things: 1) This has made us better consumers of medical care. For example, when my dd hurt her arm in soccer.... and she really hurt it..... we did not run to the emergency room. We waited a week to see how things progressed. We used ice and ibuprofen. When someone gets hurt, our policy is "let's see how that looks in two weeks". Contrast this with an acquaintance of ours whose daughter sat on the couch all week-end watching TV (the Dad's description, not mine), and then complained of back pain. She insisted they take her to the ER. They have medical coverage through the hospital; the mom is a nurse. Their ER visit cost them $25. Yeah, somebody had to pay for that. :glare: I also did a thorough review of everyone's prescriptions, and asked the direct question of ds's doctor: "What can we do without"? We did away with 1 prescription costing $170/mo. I would not have done this if everything was still "covered". 2) When I tell doctors that we only have catastrophic medical insurance, they reduce their fees. :confused::confused: So if it's covered by insurance, we all pay more????? This just seems wrong to me. What is the ACTUAL cost of the procedure?? When you charge those covered by insurance a higher rate, all costs increase!! I would love for someone to explain this practice to me. Insurance should be just that. Insurance. Most people look at insurance as a way to get all their medical costs covered, as in the case of the acquaintance I mentioned. I think we have a very high standard of care in this country. I also think that technology has progressed so rapidly that it has outstripped our ability to afford it. It's a very complex problem. The above is just our take on it. HTH, Jackie
  17. An OK glass of Merlot. It was on sale. (Coppola, I think). I really enjoy a glass of wine on a Friday night while I'm cooking dinner. The kids are watching a movie, and it's just so nice. and. quiet. :)
  18. It's not valid here in Wyoming, and honestly, this kind of alarmist thinking irritates me. My oldest dd has participated on public school swim teams for 5 years, and there have never been any "strings" attached. Everyone pays a fee to the high school ($25.00), and homeschoolers pay an additional fee of $100.00 to the state which is necessary because we do not attend the school. All this was communicated ahead of time. It is worth it to me to have access. There are no testing requirements. For my dd, the "fun" side theory did not apply. She is perfectly happy to be on the team, but school at home. Her interaction with team-mates has actually reinforced her desire to homeschool because she sees that her education is better, and she will be better-prepared for college. She really dislikes the drama of the high school scene. This is just my dd. Ymmv. Our district is always working to find more ways to accommodate homeschoolers. I'm sure they would love to lure more homeschoolers to enroll, but that hasn't happened with my circle of friends. In fact, the head of the homeschool/district liason office homeschools his children. He gets it. I think, if anything, access will be easier and easier in the future. The homeschooling numbers are growing, not decreasing. I think we are a force to be reckoned with. This is in Wyoming. My experience in Nebraska was not as good. The individuals in the school district were accommodating, but the district policies were more restrictive. It's a process. I think the more we engage in the process, the better the results will be. Just mho.
  19. Melissa, :grouphug: :grouphug: I'm so sorry. Fostering can be so very painful. My dh and I used to always say "If we didn't fall completely in love with them, we wouldn't be doing our job". It doesn't take the hurt away, but I hope it helps you to realize what a very important thing you have done for your dfs. For however long you have him, you can show him sweet, unconditional, consistent love. That is priceless. Sometimes the foster care system seems so blind. How could they possibly think reunification is in the best interest of the child in some of these cases??? But I have to tell you that your situation reminded me of ours with our dfd some 13 years ago. I could see nothing redeeming in her birthmother. She even showed up drunk for a visit once. The foster care office shrugged it off. I went home and cried. But they were reunited. The mom married a man (not the father to any of her 4 dc) who gave her stability and love. She had never had either up to that point. In the end she became a stay-at-home mom, and cared deeply for her children. Boy was I wrong. I hope every reunification turns out so well. I know they don't. I hope your situation turns out well. And it is not a bad thing to wish that she flakes on the visits. I always did. ;) :grouphug: , Jackie
  20. :grouphug::grouphug: Julie, You've received some really good advice here. I, too, have been in a similar place. This is where the "rubber meets the road". By that I mean, when you feel like you're deep in the pit of despair, you simply must take care of your own needs. You must ignore any external expectations about how quickly you should heal, or how much you should work, or how together you should be, or about whether or not to homeschool. You must do those things that truly feed you. If it's relaxation that will feed you, go there. If it's your relationship with Christ, then spend time there. You must learn how to take care of yourself. It is the only way to heal, and the only way to prepare for the future. Be selfish. If you don't nurture yourself now, it will take longer to heal..... I wish you all the best. This is a hard road, but you CAN come out the other side stronger and happier. Godspeed. :grouphug::grouphug:
  21. After reading this part of the thread, I just have to wonder.... have any of you imagined yourselves in a similar situation?? Just for kicks, let's imagine a situation where, as a homeschooler, you've been accused by several of your neighbors, (who just feel that you think you're too high and mighty.... too good for public schools, etc.) of emotional abuse of your children.... After all, you're not allowing them to be socialized, you're not teaching them the right stuff.... whatever! They say that you're breaking the law, and they keep saying it. You defend yourself. They can't prove their point. They continue to slander you in the local newspaper "saying" that "they know" you did terrible things. They continue and continue and continue. After all, they have unlimited funds (tax $$) at their disposal. You fight and fight and fight, all the while trying to continue the work you really value (homeschooling your dc). Finally, when there's no end in sight, you say "Enough is enough"! I'm going to have to give up homeschooling if I continue to spend all my time fighting these guys. I quit! Yes, I realize that there are holes in my analogy. But seriously, I'm surprised at those of you who equate hearsay, or unreliable testimony, with guilt. Especially Spy Car. You seem to be a proponent of guilt by association. NOTHING has been proven. We live in America. Some of you are way too willing to abandon the rule of law, and throw out the rights on which this country is founded. It's astounding.
  22. I totally agree with your dh. There is only so much of you to go around. If you spend it at AWANA, which will sap your energy, there will be less of you for your family, and they are your 1st responsibility. You don't have to do everything. It just doesn't make sense right now. Let it go.
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