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About BakersDozen

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. I hosted a Forensic Science class this last fall that was a blast!!! Oh my...we stabbed unsuspecting pumpkins with 15 different "weapons" in order to identify the "murder weapon", I set up an entire room as a blood spatter lab, we played with some seriously fun/toxic chemicals, ballistics/gunpowder, fingerprints, lip prints, teeth/bite marks, shoe prints/tread, paper/fiber analysis, I set up a full bone yard with 4 different skeletons/ was a hoot! I used the Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments along with Crime Scene Investigations: Real Life Science Labs for Grades 6-12 (not as impressed with this one but definitely needed it for a well-rounded class). I condensed the class to 14 weeks by combining like-topics. I also had the students read The Science of Sherlock Holmes and Blood, Bullets and Bones (both were fantastic). It was neat to hear that most of my students went home and ordered their own supplies for making iodine fuming chambers and such. The class was a whale of a lot of work but oh so worth it! Funny story: Some of my former students had their yards tp'd this last weekend. So the talk is of using their forensic science knowledge to figure out which friend is responsible for the "crime".
  2. Living just 2 hours or so away from The Canyon we know quite a few people who have hiked rim to rim but only with extensive, tough training. We also know a handful of nutso, young adults/older teen boys who did it in a day. How they pulled it off we have no idea but we have never encouraged our own kids to attempt such a thing. Hiking the Canyon takes really serious planning and endurance. I would not attempt it with children - heck at my age and with my "tennis" knees I wouldn't attempt it at all, lol! I'd be one who had to shell out a pretty penny to be rescued. This was the plan for the group of moms/teen girls who went a couple of years ago. My dd says she is so very glad they decided to spend an extra night at the bottom just exploring and relaxing before heading back up. For her the trek out wasn't so bad but going down...she's glad she trained for it.
  3. Not the only mama for sure, unfortunately. I was stunned when I found out that one of mine swears like a sailor, the F word being her personal favorite. My husband and I try to not swear whether it be the full word or "soft swearing". We do not allow our kids to say things like "freaking" or "What the..." We speak to them about the motive behind the swear word as we feel that is something to be aware of. But at a certain point we accept that our kids will say what they say, however they all know that they are not welcome to use bad language either in the home or with their younger siblings. As a Christian I have tried to instruct my children about what the Bible states regarding crude/coarse joking and speaking and the purpose for avoiding the same (to glorify God by the actions of His people). I believe that believers are to be set apart from what is in the world and the way we speak is a huge part of that. One thing I did when my kids questioned us many years ago about this topic was to compare our words with something else they readily identified - excrement. At the time we had 4 in diapers so this was very familiar to them, lol! I asked if it would be OK for us to take the poop and fling it around or at others. Of course not (although my boys did get a kick out of the gross factor). Our words, we told them, can be like excrement - foul and offensive. I don't even change a soiled diaper when others are present or in a room that is heavily used. I choose to not "soil" the area with my words, either. Now one of our more astute kiddos pointed out that poop happens in a toilet so can words happen at times that are OK? That one threw us for a loop but we did say that if I smash my hand I don't say, "Praise God, my hand just hurts so very much!!" It's more likely that a 4-letter word will be uttered...possibly shouted. I don't want to make swearing a casual part of our language. There are so many words we have to use...what is the attraction to swear words? And are we to be at a point where we do not care what others think and so throw around such words loosely/freely?
  4. I have used A Reason for Spelling with going-on-twelve kiddos with huge success. We start spelling as soon as they are reading 3-letter, short-vowel words (cat, run, dog). I've found that the program works beautifully with what we use for reading (McGuffey's) and ETC.
  5. I am well aware of that. I offered my post as a reference - to provide more information specific to this area even to within a few miles of where the grandparents live. My point is that there are other homes and other communities the grandparents could have and still can move to. So the grandmother saying that The Gardens was "all they could afford" is misleading, imo. The grandparents did not move to Prescott from a lower cost of living location just to raise their grandson. They could afford The Gardens and the HOA fees that come with it...finding another place to live should not be impossible given the prices and availability of homes here. It's been very interesting actually living where something is taking place, hearing the other side, etc.
  6. We also bought a home in Prescott 4 years ago. The price ranges were widely varied and there was still a great market for less expensive housing. I read that the grandmother stated that the Gardens was the only place they could afford but I would venture that was only for 55+ communities. So while her statement may be true it is, I feel, also misleading. Dump the HOA-fee community and there are oodles of other housing options here. As for finding another place to move, we just helped my mom find a 3br/2ba home that is single-level, handicapped accessible, in Prescott proper, million dollar views...$300K (approximately 2.5 miles from The Gardens). We looked at 4 other properties that were all excellent for senior citizens, all in the same price range. No HOA telling who can/cannot live with you. So the options are there. Prescott is expensive, but it's not ridiculously so, and if one lives in Prescott proper then sells and moves "out" more it is very feasible to come out alright financially. Dump the HOA fees and one can definitely come out better! This situation continues to hit home for me (and not just because I live in Prescott) but because my dh and I were ready to sell the home we just bought if it meant helping my mom. We still would. It would not be easy (time wise) but if it meant caring for her, we would move. We are also rule followers - we don't expect the rules to be for everyone but us. This is why we don't live in an HOA community...we'd be written up for sure! We like our kids' bikes being out on the front porch, we like to park our cars on the driveway, and we hang our laundry outside on the line. I think if we lived in an HOA where the rule was that senior citizens were not allowed and my mom needed a place to live, we would move rather than fight the rules we signed up and paid for. That's easy for me to say, though, as I/we are not elderly and in the last home we hope to ever live in. The whole thing still stinks. Having lived in this community for almost 20 years I could totally see lawsuits not just at The Gardens but with other 55+/HOA communities if the grandson is allowed to stay as more requests are made based on this one situation.
  7. My mom is in the process of buying a house by us. Right now she is in a rental and I noticed that the TVs are on in both rooms every time I go over and they stay on. My mom has never been a TV watcher (save for a certain news station which, thankfully, is not included where she is staying...) so this surprised me but now it makes sense! The sad thing is that her grandkids are sitting right there ready to help her/spend time with her and she ignores them. Oh well...
  8. I have used all 3 of those options. E-M was great for the variety of problems on a daily basis. SCWP is excellent for focused topic word problems and pushing kids just a little more. And SIP is really excellent for those who have completed/want something beyond SCWP. As I used SM as our main math program I use E-M as a twice/week fun math time or summer review work. If SM was not the main program I would use EM during the year for daily math warm-up/review and SM over the summer for focused review. Lol, was that in any way helpful or just confusing??
  9. I do apologize - I didn't realize the 15yob had been in the community w/his grandparents for much longer than I initially posted.
  10. Is it the group or the grandparents, though, who turned the kid's horror into a melodrama? (Again, not my question, taking from comments/arguments I'm following.) This was not known until the grandparents went to the media and had their grandson interviewed along with them. One guy used the word "exploit" for what the grandparents did...was he off base? This suggestion has been made repeatedly but a few are saying that this might set a precedent and where does it stop? 3-year old twins next month whose parents are gone? A 9-year old girl? Could allowing the young man to stay create huge ethical/legal issues in the future?
  11. I'm curious to know what the Hive thinks of a situation that is being played out where I live. The basic facts (which could be a trigger for some due to how the kid lost his parents...I apologize!) are: 1. 15yob loses his mom to cancer and his dad to suicide last year within a 2-week time span. 2. Grandparents, who live in 55+ community, take grandson . 3. Grandparents have been given notice that grandson cannot stay with them per HOA/community rules. 4. HOA has given family until June (I believe) to sell/move. I believe grandson has been there since October/November? Possibly before that... The community where I live is rather small and this situation is really causing a lot of drama and ugliness. What would you think about the situation? Is the HOA to blame? Should the grandson be allowed to stay indefinitely if the residents vote on it? Should the grandparents have just moved instead of bringing this to the center of the community's attention? Should the grandparents demand their HOA money back? Or sue? Should the HOA be responsible for helping the family move? Should we do away with HOAs and segregated communities altogether? (These are not my own questions rather a few of the many ideas/opinions being thrown around.)
  12. After dinner and maybe a game I watch the Bourne trilogy (only the first 3 movies are worth it, imo) without pause save for bathroom break and getting more food. My older kids can join if they want to (they usually do). It's my one and only movie indulgence all year long and I love it. So nothing sentimental here.
  13. Just a quick update. My mom is settled into the rental. She is...old. She has aged so much, it's astonishing. She's very quiet but her temper is still there. How do I know? On the ride home from the airport she read the political news of the day and made a comment that was grossly lacking in foundation or truth. My sweet 16yod who was in the back seat offered some factual information in her gentle, non-confrontational way. What followed was an interesting discussion about Bush, Reagan, Hoover, the Berlin Wall, Iranian hostage crisis, economy, and impeachment. For every comment my mom threw out, my girl solidly added facts that provided balance and insight. I was driving or I would have given her a high five. My mom sulked. When we got to the rental she immediately turned on the TV then muttered about not having her one news station (you can guess which one...). So we just said good night and left. I told dd I was insanely proud of how she eloquently and patiently responded (and pleased as punch at her knowledge base...yeah for Gov't/Politics/US History courses in high school!!), but that for her sake maybe let political comments fly right on by and do not engage. Had a friend and my dd not been in the van I'm sure my mom would have had a lot more to say if I'd tried to talk politics. Which I'm smart enough to not do with her.
  14. Oh goodness, no. She has rented a place for a month then will take things step by step. She won't even stay with us when she visits for 1-2 days. If she was actually living with us I think my dh would move out.
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