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Ali in OR

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About Ali in OR

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  1. I've decided on Mud Pie for dessert--easy and I don't have a lot of time today. This is just a store-bought oreo pie crust, coffee ice cream, chocolate sauce, cool whip, then put in the freezer. I also need to bring something in the bread/pastry category to the church Easter breakfast tomorrow, so I'm researching lemon-blueberry muffin/bread recipes for that and trying to find my petite pain au chocolate recipe that I can make with just puff pastry and Trader Joe's dark chocolate candy bars. Thanks for the great ideas--June is our awesome strawberry time here in Oregon, so I may try some of the strawberry ideas then! ETA: Petits Pains Au Chocolat recipe--Epicurious:
  2. I'm glad that the gift tags from the Lego sets that Santa brought over the years always had my name on there in addition to the girls (Santa knows I love legos) so they don't get any ideas about legos being THEIR asset that they get to sell any time they want a little money! We are not selling any legos. I love all of the sets--many Harry Potter sets, the medieval village and castle, and now some winter ones that go out with the Christmas decorations. I will keep all legos unless and until I have grandkids that need them. I imagine Harry Potter legos will be popular forever as new generations fall in love with the books.
  3. I saved all of Singapore math and math manipulatives--I consider those tools of my trade as a math teacher. I was a sub last year in kindergarten classes, I'm an Educational Assistant this year in high school classes, and I actually pull stuff from my shelves to help kids learn. I saved a large portion of the history books we read over the years, as well as SOTW, History Odyssey, and Usborne and Kingfisher books of world history. Pretty sure at least my history-loving dd will want these. I have lots of kid lit too. Still have Latin for Children and Art of Argument (which I might use if I ever teach geometry just for fun logic of another sort). I could teach a grandkid to read with Phonics Pathways. And I'll probably always keep TWTM. I also have many Classical Kids CDs, Jim Weiss CDs, The Story of US, Magic School Bus DVDs, and Liberty's Kids DVDs. They don't take up much room and we loved them.
  4. I've been reading Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone trilogy. I actually read the first a year ago on spring break and didn't get back to the second and third until a year later! For a long time I was waiting for dd to finish the second, Siege and Storm, and I finally decided she isn't going to. I loved it and I am close to finishing the third, Ruin and Rising. My other read right now is excellent: Jean Twenge's iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy-and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood-and What That Means For the Rest of Us. I've been bothered all school year trying to figure out why there are so many more mental health issues in today's teens than when I last worked in a high school 25+ years ago. I've tried looking up articles and books on anxiety. I think this book finally explains what I'm seeing. Twenge has researched different generations during her career, also publishing a book on the defining characteristics of millenials. This book focuses on the next generation born between 1995-2012 (my kids)--the first generation to have always lived with the internet and be largely shaped by adolescence with an iPhone. This generation uses their phones 5-6 hours per day--time that used to be spent on in-person interaction with family and friends or at a job or even just getting enough sleep. All of these changes make their mental health more fragile than previous generations. And the changes have been dramatically quick--all dating from about 2012 when iPhone use became widespread. Really good book--she talks about other characteristics besides mental health (some good, some not-so-good), but the mental health aspect is the one I had already been thinking about. I think this book should be required summer reading for our staff. So I still have that one in progress too.
  5. I like baking and I love a good dessert. We've all been off sweets for Lent, which is a really good, healthy thing for us to do. I would like to stay at a lower level of sweets consumption (we had a bad ice cream every night habit). I know from past years that our tolerance for sweets is lower right now--if I make a cake, we'll all eat one piece and be done. And I really don't want a lot of leftovers. I do tend to like lemon around Easter and have done lemon cakes before. Mud pie sounds good. Could do brownies and ice cream. Maybe just snickerdoodles? Maybe just ice cream. Anyway, if you already know what you're doing for Easter dessert, share ideas here! The rest of the menu will be grilled tri-tip steak, green salad, maybe an orzo pasta side.
  6. Sunday: black bean soup, soft tacos with leftover grilled chicken (or quesadilla if you prefer) Monday: French toast, sausage links, apple salad Tuesday: Spaghetti and bacon Wednesday: pick up pizza after the track meet Thursday: grocery store fried chicken, green salad, something else Life with a picky eater.
  7. We replaced all appliances over about 15 months and went from white to stainless. We didn't want debt so we just bought them one at a time as we had the money--fridge then dishwasher then stove and microwave together. It was fine having mixed colors for awhile, and so exciting to get each new piece that worked correctly! The microwave was the only thing that didn't need replacing, but we just got a new one to match everything else (and it's by far the cheapest one).
  8. My extremely picky eater (now 16, hasn't grown out of it) would eat any grilled entree (burgers, hot dogs, chicken) and I wouldn't worry if that was all she ate. She wouldn't eat any of the sides you mentioned. For people like her I would add fresh fruit (but not mixed in a salad, not cantaloupe or banana, etc) and chips. This time of year, I would slice some strawberries, and if they're not peak flavor yet, I would sprinkle on a teaspoon of sugar. And everyone will devour it, not just the picky eaters! I think either dessert works. I personally would love the homemade ice cream with toppings, but the cake is easier if you need easy.
  9. Get a bag of Jimmy Dean sausage or turkey sausage in the freezer breakfast food section. Microwave 2 or 3 to add to some other simple item--toast, hashbrown patty, yogurt--whatever he will eat. My picky eater teen likes Portuguese sausage which we discovered in Hawaii. We found one of our grocery stores carries it. She's old enough to slice up half a sausage and heat it up on the stovetop herself.
  10. We have this set up and I love it. Nice to have everything you need to get ready for the day in one place. Also the toilet is in its own little room within the bathroom, so if one person is in there, the other can still get to the closet, take a shower, brush teeth, etc.
  11. We never made it to Moab but in our SW trip out of SLC we did Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon. Learned a lot about the geology at Grand Canyon, but probably liked Bryce the best. Zion was too crowded in July--it's probably great now. Sedona is beautiful too.
  12. We don't limit it, but we don't homeschool anymore either, so dd's out-of-the-house schedule is pretty full--leave for school at 7:30 am, after school sports, home around 5:30. Then she'll spend most of the rest of the time in her room doing homework, on her phone, drawing, etc. We're all introverts here so I get it. We all like that alone time. This dd loves it when I leave the house to do errands, just having the house to herself. We all like that here. When she doesn't have as much going on outside the house, I'll take her phone away if there's too much time wasted there, but otherwise I don't worry about it.
  13. I don't mean to offend anyone who uses naturopaths, but if they had gone to my pediatrician's office, they would be able to complete the diagnosis there--no need to go for an expensive hospital visit. When my youngest was 2 months old and was sick, not eating, fever, I took her in and her pediatrician was checking for various illnesses in order of severity. When the x-ray (done there in that building) showed a little pneumonia, he was relieved as the next step he would have taken was a spinal tap to check for meningitis. But all of this testing happened in his clinic. Dd started antibiotics and was much better by morning. But I fear this family's big lesson from this incident is never go to the doctor. This naturopath was in a difficult position as she (I think it was a she) has some liability and legitimate fear of lawsuits if things go wrong for the child. And she really didn't have the means to have enough information to know what the actual risk was.
  14. I do think fear of the medical bill is a valid concern if you know the child is showing improvement. It would be easier for me to decide against the parents if we had medical care for all at a reasonable cost in this country. But here many people have to take on huge medical debt for any trip to the hospital. Doesn't excuse the parents refusing access to the kids, but I do understand that fear. They're the ones who will have to pick up the cost.
  15. Our last visit to Disney World was, unfortunately, at the beginning of spring break (the only time we could travel). Crowds were bad enough, but the sea of strollers was ridiculous. I found myself getting very cranky and irritable and decided then that if your kid can't propel themselves through Disney, they aren't old enough to go. And this occurred to me precisely because most stroller users were not babies or even toddlers but 4-7 year olds. We didn't go to Disney until youngest had just turned 5. She lasted from park opening to closing without a stroller--it can be done! It wouldn't bother me much if it were just a few kids, but strollers just seem to be way over used. (and I know I'm a hypocrite, pusing my dd's wheelchair, but she truly can't walk, unlike most of the stroller users).
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