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Everything posted by waa510

  1. Please take this into consideration. If DC becomes a possibility, you can pm me for info about more affordable areas and some knowledgeable realtor friends if you're considering buying. Also, in our experience years ago, our Germany pay was based on DC pay-rates and were almost exactly the same so not sure if weighing pay will work out for you all! We ultimately chose DC over Germany but my kids were 1 and 3 at the time and we knew they wouldn't remember much and we wouldn't travel all that much as they were so young. While I'm not jazzed about DC by any means, it hasn't been too bad. The Germany option was a position in Wiesbaden.
  2. Also agree. My oldest jumped in at #5 and was completely fine. R&S reviews everything that's been previously learned, but adds another layer to it in the next level (from what I've seen so far). This makes it easier to pop into the series midway or to skip books.
  3. You are so not alone here. My oldest is pretty OK, for the most part. She's one of those kids pps mentioned that might whine a bit but then eats it happily after a couple bites. My youngest is a really picky eater though. Most of that stems from sensory avoidance issues. I've tried: Making extra of a meal I know she likes earlier in the week so that the following night(s) she can eat leftovers of that instead. I'll let her eat pb&j or even cereal sometimes for dinner if we've run out of "her" leftovers. Stress a healthier breakfast and/or lunch meal so if dinner isn't always healthy, it all evens out?? (That's what I tell myself, anyway!) This kid loves french bread, rice, salad, and any kind of pasta with red sauce. I try to have some of one of those available as a side dish so she doesn't flip out. We've taken to eating a lot of simple meals. Think cheap college kid food..but as healthy as possible. My kids love pizza..great, here's some homemade veggie pizza with all kinds of healthy things hidden in the sauce. My younger is so much better than she used to be. It's been really gradual but she's making progress to eating some new things. The key is to not make it a big deal and act like I don't care either way. But she's that kid about everything..needs to be her idea, in her own time and on her terms.
  4. Yes, this! My kids may be more clumsy than most others but they fell off the ripstick a bunch of times before getting a hang of the different hip motion that you have to do to ride it well. It's definitely a good workout but can get tiring to keep riding after a while. My kids borrowed neighbors' ripsticks for a while and really enjoyed them. IME kids in the 8-12 set really seem to be into them.
  5. We test as it's one of the options for Proof of Progress in my state, to get my kids used to tests as we don't really use them in our school, and to give me an idea of how we're doing. I use the test results to reassure myself, pretend to reassure Dh who has way more confidence in it all, and to keep on file in case of emergency w/ needing to put them into school suddenly I test my kids starting in 1st, per the state req. I didn't test my youngest when we didn't live here, but are back now so she'll be tested for the first time this summer. (I lived internationally and couldn't meet the reqs of getting and returning the test. That left online tests which wouldn't be a fit for my bad typers) For my oldest: CAT test for 1st and 2nd b/c I worried about test anxiety, it's cheap and wanted to get it out of the way. 3rd: ITBS to give me more info although it took up a lot of time and didn't learn much from it. 4th: nothing as we didn't live in VA 5th: probably the ITBS again, unless I can find something that'll give me a much better indication of where she is. I plan on calling Seton Testing to discuss in the next few months. Youngest: CAT test for 2nd. Her first ever test so want to keep it quick and easy. This dd lacks confidence sometimes so I'm treading carefully even though the test will likely tell me nothing of where she is, really. In hindsight, I wish I'd researched a test with a higher ceiling. My oldest is accelerated so she'll get such high scores that I don't really learn anything from the results. However, I'm also using the test to comply with state reqs so it has to be given on her current grade level. I may not be able to kill two birds with one stone if I want actually useful info moving forward. That just means more testing, more time used on testing instead of school and more $$ for these tests. Not sure where I'm at with all that. :/
  6. My kids have always been homeschooled but we've also always said that we may send them to b&m hs if that will best meet their needs/goals for college/future. Looking now, I'm leaning towards the fact that b&m won't work well for them but I'm trying to remain open to the possibility in case their needs change. This all changes though if we move to Dh's home state sooner rather than later. I've told Dh many times that the public schools in the areas he's considering aren't an option for me. The ones in our current county are supposedly great, but who really knows.
  7. Yes, we moved internationally in about 4ish..maybe 5. I'd have to count it out. We could've done it in 3 1/2 with a lot of struggle and a lot more cash. It wasn't bad at all, honestly. 5 months is plenty of time IMO. I say that as someone who was a bit of a hoarder but in a 1500 sq. ft. house at the time (so not a huge amount of stuff to declutter or sell) so YMMV if you have a lot of stuff or a gigantic house.
  8. I have the experience of living in a very high COL area so I can totally see where you're coming from here. Really. But having one bathroom b/w the 4 of us was a *huge* struggle and Dh was gone during work hours. We were saved by the fact that a) we had a community pool w/ bathrooms that were somehow left unlocked at almost all hours so we could run down to that (down a small hill) if needed for a toilet b) we were across the street from lots of stores so we could go there when the pool was closed for the season. This required a bit less of an emergency situation though. The kids always got precedence as they had less ability to hold it, we only used the bathroom for toilet/shower (no grooming, teeth brushing, etc as a pp also mentioned), and we staggered when we ate or drank things that may not agree with us (ahem, morning coffee) so no one had to "go" at the same time, if avoidable. I'd also hesitate b/c of resale value. When we were looking for a home, we really wanted to get close to Dh's work but all the homes in our price range were very old 1950s one-bathroom style. We saw those stay on the market for a *long* time b/c they don't really work for a lot of people. We are fine with <1000 sq. feet but we really need more than 1 toilet.
  9. I (and dh) moved my then almost 9 and almost 7 yr olds to Japan recently and it really wasn't a big deal. My kids had always lived in VA, in their minds at least. In reality, we'd moved a ton while we were in the military...they just had no memory of it b/c they were too young. We had an established group of people in Japan to tap into as friends for them, and we made sure the kids got out of the house a lot. I think it helped that my kids are really close to each other, we never tried to minimize the few things they missed about the U.S. and commiserated with them about it, they were given a ton more freedom than they had had in VA, and connecting them with the language/culture so they could meet even more people. Getting my kids connected into girl scouts which is one of their fave outside activities really helped too, IMO. I would've also added in church but it was too far away for a weekly visit. We tried hard to create a new routine of going to the same exact new place(s) on the weekends, etc. My kids are really creatures of tradition or habit so this helped them feel settled. (Ex. going to the bakery at the train station for date night sweets, local park every other Saturday to meet up with this and that friend) We also tried to keep everything we possibly could as 'same' as possible so that they had fewer things to adjust to. We also let my kids text/video-chat way more than we'd allow otherwise as a way of staying connected to friends/grandparents over here. That's all I can think of for now but I'll add more tips if I think of more. They really will be OK though. My kids are the kinda kids that look for me for guidance in new situations (which is so fun when I'm losing my cool ;) ) so staying excited, positive and happy around them also was helpful. YMMV. You can also look for military spouse/kids websites for ideas on how to help them better adjust as I remember finding them helpful. GL!
  10. Can't really advise on specific flip-flops (my feet need more support :( ) but the site is legit. I used to live in Japan. Never bought from the global market one (just the Japan one) but it should be similar. I can check with my friends in Japan to make sure all is still well, but this was just last year so you should be good.
  11. So the wild card child is in 3rd grade soon. Sigh. I'm struggling to keep her challenged and engaged. I never know what to do with this child! The plans so far: Math: Finish MM3, start 4 Writing: SCM Copywork, maybe TC? Not sure she'll be ready but she's finished WWE4 :/ She's in the weird in-between stage and I have no idea what to do with her. Kilgallon elementary wkbks? Bravewriter?? Spelling: AAS 5/6 Vocab: Wordly Wise 5/6 Science: tagging along w/ older dd's Physics/Chem plans Will do The Elements with her too if I can get her on board Geography: loves SCM visits to..series Logic: (wants to do this subject like older dd and this is her favorite subject :huh: ) Mindbenders series History: listening in w/ sister: Human Odyssey 2, coloring pages, videos, books Grammar: Finish FLL4 Art: library drawing books Music: she likes to read books about composers and musical instruments. We have story of the orchestra so may go into that w/her Silent Reading Time (or couch time w/ the pug as she calls it) to help build her fluency and comfort w/ smaller print More volunteer work thru church and Girl Scouts
  12. No, I don't use any real dairy. I use soy milk or almond milk for any baking or cooking things like creamy soups. For butter, we use Earth Balance and cheese is TJ's vegan mozzarella cheese for pizzas and daiya cheese for cheddar or colby jack for dh's sandwiches. I'm not familiar with paneer but google claims you can use tofu! I haven't tried it but it looks yummy. :) (TJ's sells extra firm tofu that I don't press b/c I'm supremely lazy) I use crumbled extra firm tofu mixed with nutritional yeast, garlic powder and Italian seasoning for ricotta cheese in lasagna, so it should work for other dishes like paneer! You could easily use Earth Balance on cooked veggies instead. Usually butter wouldn't be tolerated but I'm an extreme case of dairy/casein issues so YMMV.
  13. Yes, I was diagnosed with casein intolerance as a kid. Dairy isn't needed, nutritionally-speaking. I get being really hung up on it but my whole family has had none for over a year and we've survived! ;) And for probiotics: kombucha comes in all kinds of flavors and varieties now! There's a new company selling it at the WF near us and both of my picky kids love it. :)
  14. I'm irrationally annoyed at all the people who are posting on Facebook or other social media outlets about "having" to homeschool their kids now b/c of *insert political discussion that this post is NOT about*. I hate how they're suggesting it like it's a second class undertaking. "Welp, guess I have to *homeschool* my kids now! Can you believe that?! How terrible!" I know this is a stupid thing to be annoyed about. This probably has a lot to do with my Feb doldrums but I'm over people acting like the choice I make happily (not in Feb) and willingly is a crazy zombie apocalypse last resort. I wouldn't doom and gloom using public school on my social media page, in any circumstance, b/c that's just rude. Whew! I feel better.
  15. A bunch of stuff is going to carry over from 5th. Last year, we moved back to the States into an apartment, then into our home so life went a bit crazy. We did school a lot in the summer though to try to salvage the year. I'm hoping 6th can go much more smoothly! Continued from wherever we end up by the fall: Math: Dolciani Pre-A w/ AoPs Pre-A. Might add in Alcumus Writing: WWS1 w/ Kilgallon books..writing across curriculum History: Human Odyssey 2 plus timeline, notebook, videos Science: Holt Science and Tech Physical w/ Carbon Chemistry plus extras I like to add in Geography: Rest of the SCM Visits to...series Latin: LfC B Grammar: R&S 6 Vocab: SAT words workbook she loves Everything else: Logic: Fallacy Detective/Thinking Toolbox Typing: Hoping we can get to Dance Mat Literature: work thru Figuratively Speaking then ??? Researching this one still and really unsure. Maybe Lightening Lit or Progeny Press guides Art: Artistic Pursuits Music: No idea yet. Maybe music lessons?? Extras: Girl Scouts, art class, book club at library, adding in gymnastics and music if I can find the time!
  16. Trader Joe's sells vegan cheese if she's having a hard time giving up cheese. You can also buy lots of vegan snacks/condiments/grab-and-go stuff as those will all be dairy free. We do lots of stir frys, salads, sandwiches, subs, veggie pizzas, rice, soups, chilis and veggie curry. Rice and bean burritos could be frozen and eaten for breakfast or dinner time. You can buy bags of dry beans for her to soak and cook up, then freeze to be added to stuff as needed. I'd also look for Indian, Japanese or Mediterranean foods as those are traditionally dairy free.
  17. What a great idea! I have a hard time sustaining the crazy vigilance I need to have over my diet/exercise routine over the long haul. My goals: Lose another 20 lbs in the next 6 months Get in a workout every single day (even during Aunt Flo week which is a struggle for me) No eating after dinner Remembering to drink more than a few glasses of water a day (really bad about this!)
  18. I was diagnosed as a child with lactose intolerance by a gastroenterologist doing a hydrogen breath test. Be careful with eliminating dairy, if that's what you suspect. Casein (a milk protein) was also a trigger for me and is in hot dogs. For a long time, no one believed it could be dairy b/c I was reacting to foods with ' obviously no dairy in them.' :glare: The gastro had to work to educate my family on the different foods that dairy can be found in! Vegan recipes/foods are what I use to ensure that no sneaky dairy ingredients are included in my meals. Just an easy way of not having to check every.single.thing. put in a recipe.
  19. Food banks are very much needed and used in my area. There are (at last count) 37 non-church affiliated ones in my county alone because of the HCOL. I'd bring that up to maybe 45 with the addition of church-affiliated ones. They have rules about the frequency that you can come to collect items, but I don't know of any that have restrictions beyond that. That said, I know some people still aren't aware of all the food banks around here that can help. I keep cards for local ones in my purse so when people ask me for $$ for food in parking lots (happens almost every week all year round) I can point them in the right direction.
  20. Leaving all the lights on. I always know when Dh is home b/c the house is lit up like a Christmas tree. Every room downstairs is lit up while he relaxes on the living room couch. :huh: Clothes sitting right.next.to the laundry basket. Like the extra 3 inches was just a bridge too far! My kids will.not. make me late to stuff. I get them moving way earlier than I should need to so we can arrive to stuff on time, every time. People know if I'm late that something is really wrong. And people not flushing the toilet above the age of maybe 4. Walking into the bathroom to finding gross in there or worse, smelling something foul in the hallway, trace it to the bathroom and find poo in the toilet that's been chilling in there for who knows how long?! :cursing:
  21. If the HCOL area is Northern VA/DC area and it's the company I'm thinking of based on what you've said, I'd jump on it. Feel free to pm me if it's NoVA and I can give you some insight on cheap(er) areas to look at, housing wise. :)
  22. Earth balance butter is vegan and can be cooked or baked with. Tastes the same (IMO) too!
  23. Never tried those vegan eggs but flaxseed meal eggs are what I use and they work really well. You can either buy the flaxseed as meal or whole seeds and grind them yourself in a blender or food processor. (I usually buy the meal from TJs because I'm lazy) Add water, wait a few minutes til everything gels a bit and then add it to the recipe. Googling 'making a flax egg' gives you the instructions and ratios of water to flax. Only negative of flaxseed is that it can go rancid if not kept cold so just pop the bag in the fridge or freezer between uses. BTW, Minimalist Baker is a great blog for vegan recipes with few ingredients. :) GL!
  24. Every manipulative, book, etc. Rightstart sells can be purchased separately. So you can just buy the Basic Card Set you are missing, if you'd like. I think they're around $5.50-6.00 if I'm remembering correctly? I would call and ask if they have any returns or seconds although this time of year they typically save them for posting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you sign up for their e-mail list, they'll email you what they have available as it gets closer. You can also post WTB on the Rightstart yahoo page and may get lucky. It's difficult to make your own because of the uniformity needed for some of the games. Certainly doable but not worth it imo considering how cheap they are to purchase separately. The Math Games Kit is typically $60 (unless they've upped the price since I worked for them a year ago). You may be able to find the entire kit on that yahoo page too. HTH!
  25. The thrifty to low-cost range is about where we fall. I think we fall somewhere in between the two. If it's moderate or higher, then there's something special going on like out-of-town visitors, a birthday BBQ, Christmas or Thanksgiving. We eat vegan though (not buying meat//dairy/eggs here saves me at least 75/wk on groceries) so that skews things a lot, IMO. Lentils, beans, frozen produce and fruit for smoothies...all that stuff is really cheap. We also don't drink soda so we don't have that to add in. I also agree with pp about having the one who thinks the grocery bill can be lowered to do the shopping for a couple weeks. Dh and I disagreed on this point years ago too. I happened to get the flu one year which required him to go shopping with the kids a couple times so I could rest and he was honestly floored by the prices and bill by the end of the trips. Sometimes if you don't really get out there and see the prices it's easy to dismiss the actual costs.
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