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Everything posted by elinnea

  1. Don't get bamboo. Dh insisted on bamboo and I absolutely hate it. It scratches very easily and because it is so light it looks dirty all the time. Seriously, I am constantly moping and sweeping and it looks good for maybe 30 seconds.
  2. I used to like fireworks but the renters next door changed my mind. They don't start lighting them until around 10:30 p.m. and then they keep going until 2 a.m. or later. These aren't "pretty" fireworks but just the illegal ones that make loud noises so that no one can sleep. Talking to them doesn't help, our yard is littered with rocket debris the next day because they fire them at our house. Sheriff won't do anything about it. Like someone else said I don't mind the public ones because they are usually on water here and there is a start and stop time. A total ban on private fireworks would be fantastic imo.
  3. My dd has this out of tune lap harp and I let her give "concerts" for anyone foolish enough to call my house, particularly around dinnertime. The German thing works too.
  4. Thank you, chiguirre. I did sign up for an online course this semester and I am loving it and doing well. It's really the financial part that I am struggling with. We have two in high school aged children so I feel like I need to put their college plans before mine and dh doesn't see a degree for me as a necessity at all. I guess it's probably not but I just really want the experience and the accomplishment. Going to college was a BIG DEAL for me. I begged my parents for help but they did not want to discuss it any further and it became a taboo subject. Being happy for my friends who got to go but also really jealous was hard. Lots of awkward conversations in my early 20's when people thought I was going to school and would ask what my major was. I keep telling myself things worked out fine, it's not that big of a deal and I should probably get over it but it's difficult.
  5. I was always a high achiever in school and it was expected that I would go to college. My mother even told me that I shouldn't be reliant on a man to support me. However, when the time came, my parents told me they couldn't afford it and that they didn't want to take out any loans. I can understand that but they didn't want to discuss alternatives. I was really confused, hurt and frustrated. All my friends went away to school and it was hard not to feel envious and left out when they came home and shared stories about college. I was working for minimum wage and asked my parents for a loan for a 2 year degree so at least I could earn more money. They refused. I ended up getting married and having kids. I have made the best of things but I would still really like to go to school although I'm afraid I don't see that happening any time soon. It's frustrating as three of my closest friends have gone back to get graduate degrees in the last year.
  6. Most of the radio stations have archived versions of their programming. All sorts of topics. http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/index.html https://www.ndr.de/radio/index.html http://www.br-online.de/podcast/
  7. We're all having turkey except for dh. He's allergic to turkey so he gets pork roast.
  8. That's a difficult question to answer without knowing the details and even then everyone is going to have their own criteria. For me, as a general rule of thumb, I'd say that when the relationship is causing me distress and pain on a constant basis then it's time to let go.
  9. I usually pay with a credit card and if a friend wants to help with a tip and gives me cash then I'll add that into the amount and pocket the cash. That way if the friend didn't give as much of a tip as I would have I can easily add it onto the total. If you're paying with cash and leaving it all on the table I don't think there's any way of doing it discretely so your options are either to let it go or to add another dollar and two and just say casually that you thought the server did a really great job.
  10. I think it's great that your relative wants to travel. I think every American should travel overseas at least once. However, given what you've shared, this trip doesn't sound like a good idea. I think the other posters have given you some really great advice. I don't think anyone wants you to be worried, I just sense a lot of concern from people that know what it's like to trav overseas and can see some potential pitfalls. My dh is European so we've done lots of transatlantic flights. Are you flying from the East or West Coast or somewhere in between? Is it a direct flight? Personally, I find flying to be highly stressful: going through security, making sure you're at the airport on time, sitting in a tiny enclosed space for hours and hours, jet lag, etc. I can't imagine throwing an anxious person into that situation and then adding bathroom issues on top of it. I don't want to discourage you entirely but I think perhaps you should try something closer to home first. Maybe a shorter domestic flight or how about a cruise?
  11. Do not buy Miele. Dh is German so we had to buy all Miele aopliances when we moved into our house because they are "the best". Worst decision ever! Have had the repair guy out for the dishwasher twice, dryer twice, washing machine twice, coffee machine once but it still doesn't work properly. How their customer service works is you cannot call the repairman directly. You must call Miele first. They will troubleshoot with you over the phone, determine that a repairman is needed and then they will contact the repairman to contact you. This usually takes a day or two and then they will send out someone in another day or two. The repairman is not allowed to stock most parts so they will HAVE TO SEND AWAY TO GERMANY for them. Then they will make another appointment and hopefully fix your appliance. The last time my dryer quit it took them THREE weeks to get it fixed. It was winter and I live in the PNW so line drying was not an option. I had to haul our wash to my mom's house. Not fun! I would love to replace all our appliances but they were so expensive in the first place that dh balks at the idea.
  12. Yes, typical. I wasn't too thrilled about the prospect initially but the nurse who came by was so nice and personable that it was a very comfortable experience and not bad at all.
  13. Hi Jenna, You have several options available, you can do an assessment or standardized test. Most years my kids have taken the CAT test. I administer it myself. Very easy! I order mine thorough Family Learning Organization in Eastern WA. They offer several types of tests and assessments. http://www.familylearning.org/testing.php . There are other options available for testing including testing through your local school district but we've only just done the CAT or assessments. HTH!
  14. Have you talked to the folks in charge? Just tell them what you've told us about how your kids enjoy the lessons etc. Maybe they'd be open to going back to the $50 rate particularly since you work there. Seems like it would be a better deal for them too to keep three kids at $50 each rather than lose three kids unless there are people lined out the door willing to pay $60. I've found that a lot of places are willing to give discounts but they just don't advertise that. Can't hurt to ask.
  15. My younger ds uses Sharpies to write his lane, etc. on his arm for swim meets. I was joking with him that he should just get a grid tattooed to his arm because he usually has to re-ink after a few races as the Sharpie is pretty faded. Hand sanitizer usually does the trick to take off any further remnants.
  16. Most of the activities you listed are things that my family would enjoy but not necessarily as a field trip. There are a lot of factors at play and I think that a lot of the other posters have hit on those. For our family my criteria would be: 1. Distance: I prefer not to have to drive more than 90 minutes max and prefer things that are about 30 min. away. The farther I have to drive the more special the activity should be. 2. Uniqueness: If the activity is something I can do with my family then I probably wouldn't do it with a group unless there was some other incentive such as a special rate, a place that you can only visit as a group, or a special activity just for the group. 3. Schedule: I prefer to go on field trips in the morning or early afternoon as my kids have a lot of activities in the late afternoon/ early evening.
  17. I have a Dutalier, it's going on 14 years now. I bought it when ds2 was born and had it shipped from the UK to Germany and then had it shipped to the U.S when we moved back here. It has a off-white sort of velourish cover and it still looks great. I love it and it gets daily use.
  18. It doesn't sound like a big deal to me and I have a German MIL that I can't stand, BUT your feelings are valid to you and that's all that matters. :grouphug:
  19. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I used to love cooking but now I find the whole process of shopping and planning and preparing to be completely overwhelming. Also the fact that dh can cook but is too lazy to and yet wants "something delicious" every night doesn't help.
  20. There are lots of different kinds of German dumplings and different regions will have their own ways of making them. From your description it sounds like a "Dampfnudel" although those are usually served with sweet toppings. Maybe Google "Dampfnudel", "Knödel" "Semmelknödel" "Klöße" and see if there is one of those that look similar to what you remember?
  21. No, you're not sensitive, I hate air fresheners with a passion. No need for so many either unless there's a body in the basement. In which case, I advise you to leave NOW. :tongue_smilie:
  22. For Tacoma that's probably fine but it kind of depends where in Tacoma he is going. My dh works in Seattle and the traffic going that way at 4:30/ 5 a.m. is already pretty congested. There is also the commute back home, again it depends on what part of Tacoma you're driving from. That said, Gig Harbor is a lovely area. The Key Peninsula is a lot less populated than Tacoma/ Seattle so if that appeals to you then it is a good choice. As milovany said a good base for getting to lots of different places in the Puget Sound area and also to the coast.
  23. As long as you're not afraid of a little rain there's no reason not to spend a lot of time outdoors in WA. Gig Harbor is a nice area. I live in Tacoma so I can't speak from experience about what sort of activities are available but I know they have a YMCA. Probably the biggest thing to factor in is where your dh will work. If it is in Tacoma then he will have to drive across the Narrows Bridge (toll) and the traffic can be pretty bad.
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