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About J-rap

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    Homeschooling for 15 years
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    Reading, Travelling, & Planning trips for others!

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  1. I get what you're saying, totally! I guess as my faith has evolved over the years -- and I'm a Christian too -- I find there are a lot of situations where there just is no good answer. I mean there IS, ideally, but the world is what it is. In those situations, it just seems that love has to come first. What act can I do that shows the greatest amount of love in that particular situation? That's what it boils down for to me, more and more, in these very difficult circumstances. So in the situation of offering a condom to a young person who's going to have sex anyway, or not offering it because it's against my personal beliefs... Well, it just seems like that first option is the more loving one, even though in my mind, it's far from perfect.
  2. Also, I don't understand how condoms are being equated with alcohol or even Tylenol. You ingest Tylenol and alcohol. Both can have very serious consequences if used wrong. Condoms are meant to take away the serious consequences and you don't ingest them.
  3. I think part of the issue though is that teens often are NOT mature enough to make responsible decisions about sex, isn't it? I'm firmly in the camp that believes that sex is a really lovely thing to be shared among two partners who are committed to each other for life. But I think even people who believe that -- maybe especially teens who are not yet mature enough to understand the consequences -- make mistakes, or choose differently in the moment. And a lot of people grow up not believing that at all, or come from homes that don't bother to teach them anything and the teens are on their own figuring this all out. So what do you do about those kids that don't get any guidance from home at all? I do think it's good and smart for a school to have a comprehensive sex ed program that discusses all of this, AND that encourages the option of abstinence, and reasons for it. But I really don't see a problem with having free condoms available either. I don't think it's going to cause a teen to change their mind about having sex one way or the other, but it might cause a handful of teens to do it more safely, preventing unwanted pregnancies and/or STD's. And let's face it, it doesn't make sense to me that some people who are adamant against abortions often don't support birth control for teens either, one of the main things that would help prevent the need for an abortion. Sure -- abstinence is the best answer, but isn't safe birth control the next best thing? I'm not at all giddy about abortions, don't get me wrong. I think they need to be well thought through and rare (as someone else put it). But come on then, we need a back-up option. This isn't a perfect world we live in, and it's a world where a lot of teens are going to make dumb decisions (which are not always their fault) that could easily affect their lives (and a baby's life) for the long term. So even though at first I didn't like the idea of a school having free condoms available, the more I think about it, the more I don't have a problem with it.
  4. For that first week, I'd find some project that she really loves (or thinks she might)! For example, if she loves art, go to an art supply store and get her paints (or whatever) and canvas and a step-by-step instruction book. Or maybe it's knitting or cooking or nature or guitar... Anyway, I'd try and get her excited right away about an exciting opportunity to do something that she didn't have the chance to do in school.
  5. J-rap

    Asking for exceptions

    Good thoughts. And I do think there are always exceptions to these types of subtle etiquette rules, which is why if I were the host and someone asked me for a substitute, I wouldn't question it at all. I think in those situations the host needs to be gracious. (If it's a young guest and the parent doesn't want their child to do that, then it's up to the parent to step in.) (Also, that's sweet about leaving just the right amount of food on the plate! Just enough to let them know you were no longer hungry. :))
  6. Yes, most certainly -- prayers and good thoughts for you and your ds.
  7. J-rap

    Supplements or Tips for staying healthy

    I do think it's mostly genetic. I know people who do everything right and still get sick all the time. On the other hand, I could do anything and rarely get sick. It's not fair, but it's the way it is. For those who are predisposed to getting sick a lot, I think eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting at least some light exercise can help. I think your body will adapt over the years and get stronger. I do think vitamin D and making sure to get enough iron can help.
  8. J-rap

    Asking for exceptions

    I think some exceptions are fine. I grew up in a family too polite to ever ask for exceptions. My dh grew up in a family that was always very bold about asking for exceptions in certain circumstances, but also polite about it as well. But I think everyone probably has some different ideas of what is okay and what isn't. In a restaurant, I'd have no problem politely asking for an exception. They can tell me no, and that's fine. When we're checking into a hotel, my dh always asks for a free upgrade. I used to get so embarrassed when he did that! But about 1/4 of the time, they tell him okay! I would have said no to my child who wanted to sit in on her brother's book club though, because I'd look upon that as a special event for her brother. I wouldn't want my child to ask for special exception food requests when guests at someone's house unless it's something they're allergic to or would make them sick. On the other hand, if a young guest asked that of me in my home, I'd go with it. I do want to be a gracious guest, but I want to be a gracious host as well. I think there are a lot of subtle etiquette type things that you can't always teach ahead of time. I think one of the best ways for kids to learn the subtle stuff is by simply observing their parents.
  9. J-rap

    Gymboree is closing

    That makes me sad too! We didn't buy a lot of clothes there, but I loved to browse, and when I did buy something there it was special and made it through 4 girls. Their clothes were a high quality soft, thick cotton, colorful and cute. I don't know where retail stores are heading these days. Even Gap is closing at the big mall this spring...everything in the store is 80% off now. Gap used to be one of the anchor stores at that mall! That's a real shocker. Macy's closed last year in our state's biggest city's downtown -- it was one of their biggest nationwide department stores. So sad! I often shop online because it's convenient and I live so far from stores, but if I have an afternoon to spend at an actual mall, I much prefer to shop at real stores.
  10. I'm generally pretty good at letting my adult kids run their own lives, while at the same time we are very close and have some unique circumstances that do require us to be more involved with each other's lives than some families. But sometimes, I do need to take a giant step back. Now and then, for example, I might have an adult child who has some really major stuff going on that seems devastating, and I feel like I can so easily see what needs to be done to fix everything! Ha. And, usually -- because we're a family involved in each other's lives 🙂 -- I do try and step in to help fix it in my own sometimes subtle/sometimes not so subtle ways! But more often than not, I eventually have to conclude that it's something that they're going to have to live through and suffer the results and learn by experience. That's when I have to accept that I can't fix it, and need to take the giant step back, because if I don't, either our relationship will suffer or my emotions will suffer! Taking that step back helps play down that frantic desire to fix it "before it's too late," and also helps me see the world as bigger and more forgiving, with room for mistakes. Putting myself into some completely different situations -- such as traveling, or getting very involved in a project that I enjoy and takes mind power -- for example, some kind of large home project or creative project or community project, helps a lot. It mentally distances me from my kids and helps shift my thinking to a different part of my brain.
  11. J-rap

    Dr. Hive - Allergy Management

    A rescue inhaler for both you and your dd is probably be a good idea, especially given your family history. OTC inhalers are probably not going to cut it. If it's something that has been building up over time due to constant exposure, you or your dd may also need a steroid to take down the inflammation in your lungs. An emergency inhaler can be used on top of that to stop the in-the-moment bronchial spasms. Sometimes general practitioners have prescribed inhalers to my kids without them seeing an allergist. Others will prescribe an emergency inhaler only if the diagnosis of asthma is on their charts. Some general practitioners feel qualified to make that diagnosis themselves though. (The first time my dd had an asthma attack, it was pretty obvious that it was asthma!) Others will require a diagnosis from an asthma/allergy doctor. It's frustrating that even though blood tests show that your dd has allergies and given your family history, your pediatrician won't at least prescribe the emergency inhaler for your dd. Recently, one of my dd's had bronchitis, and her general practitioner prescribed her an emergency inhaler even though she had no record of asthma in her charts. I guess the doctor could hear some wheezing. It could be that if you spoke to another doctor in your conglomerate (not a specialist) and explained your family history, they might be willing to prescribe your dd an emergency inhaler. I would recommend seeing an allergist at some point though. Asthma is not something you want to play around with! It's weird though how it seems to come and go during different periods of one's life. My sister-in-law had it mildly as young child, but it seemed to go away. Then when she became pregnant, it came back. My uncle had it as a child and then it mostly went away, only to return when he became elderly.
  12. We didn't have communication with our surgeon either, but we live in a small town and the surgeon was actually coming from a different state the morning of the surgery. (The speciality surgeons that come here are traveling surgeons.) It was all fine. They just told us to be there at such and such a time, and it was fine. The surgeon was great... He probably had done hundreds of these operations. I can't remember what we used for pain. The first 24 hours were terrible. I slept with my dd and just held her every time she woke up screaming in pain. (She was younger, but I'd do it with a 12-year-old too if she wanted me too!) After the first 24 hours, the pain subsided a LOT, and then it was just a matter of staying ahead of the pain and we were able to manage it. This was before I homeschooled my dd so she was still in public school. I actually don't remember her missing too much school. She was still on mild pain meds and special foods though for awhile, once back in school. I'd take some pain meds ahead of time, before the surgery -- with the doctor's approval. (At least Tylenol) And then whatever the strongest, safest meds are after that for the first 24 hours especially.
  13. J-rap

    Do I need to call an electrician?

    In our town, which is small so I know all of the electricians, I can call one of them up, explain the situation, and they'll be honest with me and give me their best guess over the phone (no charge for a phone consult!). Maybe you could do something like that?
  14. J-rap

    18 hr road trip, how would you do it?

    It partly depends on the ages of your kids and how much time you actually have. If you have all the time in the world, I'd break it up into 3 six-hour driving days myself. The first day, I'd start early when everyone is fresh and excited about the trip. Stop and have a picnic at lunch. You'll be at your destination by mid-afternoon. The next day I'd enjoy the morning wherever we ended up the night before, and not leave until after lunch. Then, I'd probably drive for four hours, stop for an early supper, and then do the remaining two hours. Then, just one day of driving left. I'd probably have a leisurely breakfast, get on the road by mid-morning, stop for lunch, drive two or three more hours, one more quick stop for coffee and a stretch, and get to my final destination before supper.
  15. I think it partly depends on your dishwasher. Our old dishwasher had the ability to take small food chunks and get rid of them somehow! Our new one does not. Anything chunky (that doesn't easily disintegrate in water) just ends up clogging the filter. So, of course I rinse my dishes. I don't need to rinse them until they look clean -- which I know some people do. But I do need to get rid of any food chunks (even fairly small ones). And, of course either soaking dishes ahead of time or scraping away "stuck" food like peanut butter or egg gives the dishwasher a better chance of doing its job well.
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