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Everything posted by Stratford

  1. You could also look at the Dr. Thorndyke novels/short stories by R. Austin Freeman. They would pair beautifully with a forensic science class (and often get more "scientific" than SH.)
  2. I work night shift every weekend, which means I sleep during the day on Sat/Sun, but have to adjust back to a "dayshift" schedule during the week. I have the best luck with Unisom - it's the only thing that helps me stay asleep during the day. I generally stick with benadryl/diphenhydramine or a half dose of Unisom for those actual nighttime nights that I can't get to sleep (or when I need help switching back to a "normal" schedule) as there's less risk of waking up groggy. Melatonin doesn't do much for me.
  3. This type of lease isn't typical in my experience (which, granted, is somewhat limited.) I wouldn't buy this horse and plan on keeping it for the long haul, it just doesn't sound like a good match for a kid that's looking to move up. (Minus the red flags you mentioned in the OP.) We've been pretty fortunate so far with horses, but we've had a ton of lease and purchase options available. We have leased, half-leased, purchased, and free-leased horses over the years. We have never gone through our barn to buy a horse, though we have had our trainer's opinion when looking. Right now, we own one horse and free-lease (just pay board/vet/insurance) on a second. The horse we own, my oldest will be able to ride for several years to come. My #2 is still growing and currently rides a pony, but that won't last forever. It's nice to have some options moving forward. I'd be nervous to put all my eggs in one basket and have to decide one long-term horse. And yes, it seems that more crooked people sell horses than honest ones, which is terribly frustrating.
  4. Class meets weekly for an hour. There are weekly reading assignments (looking at maps in an atlas, some websites or current event articles, occasional videos.) There are also discussion board questions and responses each week. Exams are actually essay assignments - three per semester - the guidelines for these were pretty broad and allowed for a lot of flexibility with topics. He probably averaged 2 hours a week outside of class. This was not his most demanding class this year, but definitely one of his favorites.
  5. We've had good luck with our school district regarding participation in sports and band; currently, DS participates in the middle school band. Initially, when we asked our district's homeschool liaison, she told us band wasn't possible, since it was a graded class and not a true extracurricular activity. However, when we contacted the band director, he gave permission with the caveat that DS wouldn't get a grade for the class. Not a big deal. It's been a great experience for him, and he plans to continue band through high school.
  6. DS took the class this fall with Mrs. Ostaff and absolutely loved it. He was reluctant to sign up - geography is "not his thing" - but had a great experience. The assignments were meaningful and the workload was reasonable - neither of us felt like it was busy work. He learned a lot, not just about geography, but current world events and history as well.
  7. Our pack is registering our first girls this week. We've had a lot of excitement around girls in scouting, the response in our specific pack has been overwhelmingly positive. Several parents have volunteered to help so far, many of which have girls too young or too old to participate - they're just excited and want to lend support. Our pack works closely with both a scout troop and a venturing crew, and the crew helps run our Lion den. Our venture crew is more than 50% girls, and I think the great experience we've had with them has really given people a positive view of girls in scouts. I'm excited for our scout siblings (who are already there and joining in) to have a chance to participate officially.
  8. That was awesome!!! Watching those boosters land was like watching a movie! It didn't seem possible that it was real!
  9. We've been with them a long time and have no complaints. We do everything online, which is how I prefer to do things. I've only had one instance where I had to visit a branch - closest one is about an hour away. (We received a large insurance check from a car accident and it was too big to deposit online. It's the only time that has ever happened. Sadly, we don't get ginormous checks in the mail very often.) They have great customer service. I had my debit card hacked one time and they were great to work with. They had closed the card before I even realized what had happened and refunded the stolen money within a day or two.
  10. I'm the night-shifter in our house. For the past decade (!) I've worked weekend night shifts 7p-7a. I'm on a regular day schedule during the week, so I do a lot of flipping back and forth. I was part-time (2 shifts) for years but have been full time (3 shifts) for the past 4 or so months. DH works a normal 9-5 schedule. He handles everything on the weekends - kid activities, laundry, food, church, etc. It took me years to let go and let him do his thing....I should have done it sooner. He's great. We try to keep dinner time consistent, so that we can all eat together before I leave to go to work. I don't have much to add to what people have written above. We haven't changed anyone else's sleep patterns due to my schedule. My kids are well trained at this point and tend to let me sleep without interruption. I use foam earplugs and a t-shirt over my face to sleep. The foam earplugs work well enough for me that I don't wake if DH needs to wander in our room for something. It used to take me a while to wind down, but I can fall asleep very quickly now. Don't be afraid to try medication to help sleep - I've tried most over the counter sleep aids, and unisom is my personal favorite. Without it, I can't get in a full "nights" sleep during the day (and I absolutely have to have that sleep. It's nonnegotiable!) I also take extra vitamins - especially D during the winter. I make an effort to bring healthy things to work to eat. If not, I tend to eat garbage all night long. (Puffiness from extra sodium, heartburn from greasy things....ugh.) Working nights is hard enough on my body, I try to cut it a break when I can. Best of luck to you and your DH. Hopefully you can find what works!
  11. My dad had high blood calcium levels for years with a normal range PTH level. He was ultimately diagnosed with a parathyroid tumor, which he had removed about 2 years ago. A co-worker of mine has also had high calcium levels and only recently had her first elevated PTH level. She is scheduled for surgery in the new year. According to my dad's surgeon, parathyroid tumors are frequently missed or misdiagnosed. This is my favorite page - I love the charts. If it's not helpful, feel free to ignore.
  12. My premium went up $10 a month, or 5%. This is coverage for myself and the kids. DH has his own plan through work, his premium went up about the same percentage. I am fortunate that my employer (healthcare organization) has their own insurance and it's both high-quality and affordable. Prior to this fall, when I went back to work full-time, we were on DH's insurance and paying double what I pay for a high deductible plan, plus what we put into an HSA.
  13. In the third grade, the entire grade built a dinosaur museum. We had massive paper mache models of dinosaurs, some were probably 8 or 9 feet tall. I think there were half a dozen models built, with backdrops painted behind them. We recorded a tape of dinosaur songs (which I still have), wrote papers/books about dinosaurs, did art project, and at the end of it all ran our "museum" for the school and acted as docents for a couple of days. We had a parents evening as well, where we gave tours and taught about our dinosaurs. In total, it took about 3 months to put together. We had tons of parent volunteers in during that time. Looking back, it was a tremendous amount of effort! It sticks in my mind, though, as a really amazing school experience.
  14. DS did CPO Earth Science in 7th grade. For 8th he's doing Derek Owens Physical Science. It's been a great fit so far.
  15. I am a bonafide klutz, I could tell you a thousand stupid stories. I was in third grade, week 2 at a new school. I tripped on an untied shoelace, fell face first, and skinned my entire face except for my right cheek. Ended up with a concussion and a week off of school and the ugliest scabby face (which fortunately healed without much scarring.) People were still mentioning this event to me when I graduated from high school. Speaking of high school, I had a pair of high heels that were determined to kill me. The first time I wore them I ended up flat on my back in a parking lot. I still have no idea how I fell. They picked the rocks out of my elbow, put me in a sling for a week or two, and I was good to go. Wore the same shoes to our senior awards night and tripped going up the steps to the stage. Twice. In front of about a thousand people. Threw the shoes away and stuck to flats. When I was in college, I had a connecting flight in the St. Louis airport. My flight was delayed and my connection time was very short, so I was running like mad through the airport to make it to my gate. They had those moving walkways, so I took it, thinking it would be quicker. When I realized it was passing my gate, I threw my backpack over and made a mad leap over the side....and landed on the arm of an airport chair. Half the crowd was making sure I was ok, the other half was laughing. I limped to my gate (they were paging my name!) and made my flight. I had a large, rectangular bruise on my backside from the chair that lasted for weeks, but my pride hurt more than anything else. I prefer my klutzy moments to happen without an audience.
  16. This year we've replaced our dishwasher, dryer, and hot water heater. We've been here nearly 10 years and the only things left to replace are the range and the fridge. Everything else has been replaced at least once, twice for some (dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater.) The freezer door on our bottom-freezer fridge is being held together with a tent stake. The door hinge broke and it's (of course) a part that isn't made anymore. I'm hoping it hangs on (literally) until next year. Am I the only one who feels betrayed by their appliances when they break? I'm developing appliance trust issues.
  17. DS is doing 3 online classes this year, each with a different provider. My only complaint is having to juggle 3 different systems/platforms, but obviously that's my fault. He's taking DO's Physical Science class, which has been a hit so far. It's the only self-paced class of the 3 but fortunately he's keeping a decent pace. My very average math kid is understanding the explanations very thoroughly and I'm seeing that translating into his math class. (Bonus!) We signed up last minute for WHA's Spanish 1 class. The teacher was very helpful in getting us set up quickly (we signed up the Friday before Labor Day and classes started Wednesday) and has been very responsive to questions. He loves the class and although I have concerns about the pace (they are moving quickly right now) he doesn't seem to and is keeping up fine. He's also taking the logic stage Geography class with WTMA. He's done WTMA classes before and we've always been impressed, this semester is no exception.
  18. Dh took a one-way flight with Allegiant this summer. He was concerned - due to the mixed reviews - but the price was ridiculously cheap so we figured we'd give it a shot. His experience was fine. No hiccups with booking or boarding, flight was on time.
  19. Mystery Science was our science lifesaver this year. The kids loved it (I used it primarily for my first grader, but the fourth grader tagged along and actually got a lot out of it.) The experiments were simple but effective and the materials were all normal household items. We paired it with library books and it was a great, simple year with good retention.
  20. Oh my! Kudos to you, you are MUCH braver than I would be!
  21. Recently we've been in the (terrible) habit of grabbing quickie things to eat while running around. Between work schedules, DH's grad school schedule, and kid activities, we're on the go more than not. Eating out is expensive! And we're getting chubby! Last Sunday I consulted Pinterest and my fridge and came up with some ideas for meal prep...all those pretty, healthy meals, lined up in containers. It took me 2 hours to put a casserole (for the picky eaters) and a dozen meals in the fridge (all of which include a ton of veggies, which we weren't really eating, unless french fries count?) I felt like Superwoman. The only dining out we've done this week was to buy lunch today during a preschool field trip (too cold to picnic.) It's a win. I think we need to continue this trend until life slows down.
  22. Ditto to the above posters. My DS took the class as a 6th grader and it was not overwhelming. The assignments were simple but valuable. Mrs. Upperman was excellent. We used the class as an intro to online learning and the format was easy to use, even for a kid with no prior experience.
  23. What a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations!
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