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About kirstenhill

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  • Birthday 04/09/1977

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    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  1. I didn't read all the replies, but the 3-in-1 creator sets are pretty cool, especially for a kid who maybe doesn't have tons of legos. My boys have found the minecraft sets to be more "breakable" and to have more pieces that aren't great for rebuilds into other types of sets. But my boys also love Star Wars and Ninjago sets as well.
  2. I need to come up with a list of activities for teens to vote on for choosing activities for a Christmas party. I feel like my ideas so far are more weighted toward the interests of girls rather than I am especially looking for ideas boys will like, but any ideas are fine. We probably don't have the set-up to do video games or movies at the party location, so that's out. Here's what I have so far: Christmas caroling or sing along Active games (dodge-ball or the like) Board games Party games (holiday themed pictionary, minute-to-win-it, etc) Decorate cookies White elephant gift exchange Pinterest worthy Christmas craft (not a little kid craft!) Photo booth with props Any other ideas? (Obviously we can't do everything -- so we are going to have the kids vote on top 3 activities and see what is most popular.)
  3. Minnesota is cold in the winter, but most of us here think that the absolutely beautiful weather in the summer/fall (and sometimes the spring too) makes up for it! :-) We live in Minneapolis itself, and know a lot of other homeschoolers. It's rare for us to get a negative reaction from anyone about homeschooling. We know a lot of 1 income/stay-home-parent families even outside of homeschooling circles, but obviously in some neighborhoods or suburbs the immediate local culture can be different. Most commutes aren't too bad, at least compared to stories I hear from friends who live in Chicago or other large metro areas.
  4. My 4th grader who does not love to read really likes these books. He likes that they are a fast read for him (maybe an hour or less of reading time), very adventure-filled, and often have boys as main characters.
  5. Someone at our co-op last year put a half-used Math-U-See workbook on a "giveaway" table with mostly the review pages left empty. I grabbed it, just to check it out. It has turned out to be the perfect independent work/math warm-up for my easily distracted second grader (I have him work on it for 10 minutes before his regular math -- usually about 1 side of 1 page). It would be a poor fit for a full curriculum for him, but as a warm up, the simple pages with lots of white space are perfect for him to begin learning how to work on math alone. I hope to snag another partially workbook of the next level somewhere...I don't think I like it enough to pay $40 for a new one just to use as a warm-up, but free was the perfect price. So, I guess half-filled math books in particular might be of use to someone else. But if I didn't have an easy opportunity to give away something half used, I would just recycle it. I have saved some other half-filled math workbooks from my older two kids in case they might work as review/warm-ups for my younger two. They don't take up a lot of space so I don't mind saving them.
  6. I've done both and prefer the texture from using canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling - 100% pumpkin in a can). I find that pumpkin I bake (even pie pumpkins) are kind of stringy. Even when puréed the texture isn't quite right to me.
  7. "Create your own superhero" (This is what my daughter is doing...not for lack of shopping, but because it is what she wanted to do): solid color outfit, with "cape" in matching color - aka a long scarf she is tying around her neck. She already had a mask that covers her eyes only, but you could cut a mask out of colored paper. Then she is taping a logo she created onto her shirt. She is "green planet girl" or something like that, since her super hero wears all green. :-)
  8. I can see how it would be annoying if people were often not really being moderate in want they were saying. I see it more often as a hedge against the obnoxious people who have a bit of a "holier than thou" attitude about the things they or their family abstain from. And it is just an yeah, not "literally" everything...but I think in the context of food it does kind of make sense, if that is the kind of diet you eat (not forbidding anything in particular). When someone says "everything in moderation" in the context of food, I don't think anyone is going to start thinking about smoking or violence or illegal activities in moderation. ;-)
  9. I hear it and use it mostly in relation to food...I don't really see it as being "selfish"? I mean, I guess it is a way of justifying some of the philosophy of how we eat, in contrast to some other philosophies. But if the subject of "does your family eat____" (insert some "unhealthy" food in the blank) comes up then it seems like a reasonable thing to say. Kid: Can I just eat a bunch of bananas for lunch? Bananas are healthy food! Me: Sure, they are a great food to eat, but you'll be missing out on other things your body needs if you only eat banana today. Everything in moderation! Friend: I don't let my kids eat _______, because it is just so unhealthy. Me: We focus on having a balanced diet overall, and not viewing certain foods as "forbidden". We say, "Everything in moderation" and allow a small amount of ____ for dessert or an occasional treat.
  10. My "other" is I generally think it is a good idea, and some years we have done it. But frankly I am semi lazy about it, hate the hassle, hate dealing with making appointments. Don't want to deal with having four crabby kids all at once, especially now that they aren't doing the nasal spray for kids (or so I have heard, anyway). I have one child who nearly faints nearly every time when receiving a shot, so no nasal spray is a big deal for this kid. I lean toward doing it, but whether or not we actually do it may depend somewhat on what relatively easy option presents itself for making that happen. Our clinic does NOT make it simple for whole families to get the flu shot...DH can get it at work, but to get the other five of us we would have to come three separate days, due to max of two family memebers per day allowed to be seen in the clinic...I assume because they are worried about too many cancellations if a whole family doesn't show. We didn't have a great experience one time we tried a nearby walk-in clinic, but maybe we'll try another.
  11. My guess is they may not have known. We've had activities where the schedule is supposedly "set", only to get an email from the organizer or coach saying something like, "sorry, the room was double booked so we have to reschedule." Or if it was weather related, they may know that a game could get rained out, but not know ahead of time when the rescheduled game will be until they hear from the coach. I'd say, unfortunate but not rude. Even at first grade, those parents committed their kids to the team and if all three are on the same team there may not be enough players without them. If it were me I might let my kid pick between the football game and the party...but not if I knew the team were going to be short handed without them.
  12. I agree with a lot of the tips here. My DD is doing The Narnia theme book in a class while I am having DS9 do SWI A at home. Testing the outlines is super important for him...he has been learning a lot thru that process of what works and what doesn't. When my DD shows me the outlines her instructor leads the class in doing, I am amazed at how many abbreviations and little "picture reminders" her outlines have. Most lines have 5 or 6 items, it is just that only 3 are words that count. DS rarely thinks of things like that on his own unless I "hint" at a good picture or abbreviation.
  13. I didn't realize I was such a meany, but I have had a kid with fever and vomiting who still did school recently. The one day he was so sick he couldnt stay sitting up for very long happened to be a Saturday, but if it wouldn't have been a Saturday, he would have gotten the day off. Otherwise, with a fever of 100 and vomiting some mornings, he just did his usual work in the morning and slept in the afternoon (honestly though, he didn't even ask for the day off). If my kids complain about sore throats, they get extra yummy drinks to help feel better (juice, smoothie, tea) and do school work with a drink beside them. If they have a headache they drink water and lie down for a few minutes, and if it doesn't go away I give them a Tylenol or Advil. If their tummy hurts and using the bathroom doesn't take care of it. I tell them to get a bowl in case they have to throw up and we move on. Maybe I'm actually quite the meany! I never thought about it before. I figure most adults just suck it up and do their work, and maybe stay home and work from home if they are too contagious to go into the office. I can only remember maybe three days in our 14 years of marriage that DH was so sick that he stayed home and it was truly a sick day with no working from home (not counting recovery from a serious accident requiring surgery...but even then he was working from bed as soon as the worst of the pain meds wore off!) I think I only twice got a true "sick day" where DH stayed home to take care of the kids while I slept due to being sick. So, I am not really apt to let my kids get out of schoolwork unless there is absolutely no way they can do it. We skip playtime, events, playing with friends, etc...but the schoolwork still gets done. If I had kids with chronic illnesses or health problems we would deal with it differently I am sure...but for just typical virus, cold, flu, etc we try and push through.
  14. We had the label switch thing happen to us a few years ago. We didn't get something we ordered, and then got a box of other random items instead. After checking our account, credit cards, etc and seeing nothing amiss, we contacted Amazon customer service. They gave us a free shipping label for the wrong items (they were of somewhat high value, so it makes sense they didn't just say "keep it") and resent the missing ones. When the missing package arrived we gave the UPS guy the box with the items to return so it wasn't much hassle for us to get it back to Amazon.
  15. Yes, that is what we bought. I found the DVDs used and then bought the PDF download of the student book, so I paid much less than the sticker price. I have my DS watch on the TV. He sits back on the couch with a clipboard to do the writing that is called for in the DVD. They do have Theme books that don't have a DVD. I think that might be slightly harder to do on your own if you aren't familiar with the method. The lectures are informative and interesting for DS9, and DS7 listens for fun! I am only "listening in" on parts of the DVD and that is enough for me to get the idea. I feel like I could easily teach a theme book after this if we wanted to do one.
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