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Everything posted by kirstenhill

  1. For my normal Aldi shopping (1 week's worth of food for 6 people), it's probably 45 minutes, including bagging. Unless they are super busy and I have to wait in line a while. Maybe a bit longer if I don't do a good job writing my list and have to criss cross the store a few times. Then if I have other stops (items I forgot at Aldi, restock on produce, stopping for things Aldi doesn't carry) -- it's 15-20 minutes in and out of another store. Target...forget getting out of there in less than an hour because I get sidetracked so easily. Hence, I almost always do drive-up/pick-up at Target. I started doing that pre-pandemic because it saved so much money. If I have to go to walmart for something, it also usually takes me a long time because I can never find anything there! I don't go often enough and the arrangement of the store never makes sense, so I end up retracing my steps a lot.
  2. DS14 is taking a year long "engineering design" class at public school that counts as his required fine arts requirement for graduation. They are going to be doing a lot of that sort of thing - CAD, engineering/architectural drawing, 3D printing, etc. This is the curriculum they use: https://www.pltw.org/our-programs/pltw-engineering-curriculum#curriculum-2
  3. Yes, I think this article explains it well. The choice of Murder 3 was talked about quite as bit as being unusual in this case, and then something similar was IIRC used in Derek Chauvin's trial, though he also got a conviction on Unintentional 2nd Degree murder, so I don't think Noor's getting overturned will really affect that one, since I assume even unintentional Murder 2 is a higher conviction than Murder 3.
  4. You know how younger kids will do the "mom, mom, mom, MOM" thing even if Dad is nearby? Here's the teenage equivalent. DS14 needed to ride his bike to school today, as his older sister (who drives to school) is staying after school and he needed to come home right away to get ready for his late afternoon activity. He was getting ready to go at the same time as I was driving away to take DS12 to his first day of classes at a homeschool tutorial. He literally sees me drive away. Five minutes later I see a text on my fitbit saying, "mom, my chain fell off". I'm assuming that he started biking and the chain fell off a little way from home and it's too messed up to fix on the side of the road. That happened with this bike once before. But, #1, why did he text? I'm driving, so I can't text. But, he doesn't drive yet so maybe he forgot that you can't text and drive. #2, Why didn't he call/text DH? I pull over to call him because DS12 is sitting too far back in the van to make the call for me. I've really got to learn how to do voice dialing. When I call him, I immediately start telling him to just call dad instead because I'm driving in the opposite direction with DS12 can't come rescue him. But then he asks if he can take his mountain bike to school so that he doesn't have to fix the road bike. Because...get this...HE IS STILL IN THE GARAGE! 😳🤷‍♀️😂 Arrggg...I'm like, "no, don't ride the [very expensive] mountain bike, just get dad. He is in the house. He will help you." He starts to say something about fixing the chain, but I reiterate to talk to dad, and I hang up. Getting home from dropping off DS12, I see DH and start trying to commiserate with him about why DS14 texted me instead of getting him. And he looks super perplexed. I peek in the garage, thinking he took the mountain bike after all, but no...it's still there and the road bike is gone. He must have taken the time to fix the chain and then leave. He never went to get DH. DH pointed out that DS14 definitely knows how to fix most chain problems. I guess he just wanted to save time by taking the other bike? I can't imagine it saved any time after having to call me. But...again...why did he text me at all when DH was clearly in the house! (And not even started working yet for the day, though DS14 may not have known that). I'm not mad...just....really befuddled by the whole thing! I need to figure out if he got marked tardy though...since if he was, I'm expected to call the school and give a reason. It's tempting to say he was late due to lack of common sense. 😁
  5. Our situation was a little different because it was a long-planned transition, though it did happen a year earlier than we previously planned. From the time DH and I were married and we talked about home schooling, he had a strong preference that we send our kids to public school for high school. DD and I had a really rough relationship her 6th and 7th grade years and a lot of conflict over school work, so it was a mutual decision that it was best for our relationship for her to go to school in 8th. DS14 definitely wanted to wait until 9th (and with COVID, it didn't make sense to do it any sooner, though he did take one public school class last year that was online for 75% of the year). I do miss them when they are gone at school, but for us, by 7th-8th grade, they were doing most school work independently anyway and spending most of the day working in their designated study space, so not really "hanging out" for most of the day anyway. And my kids so far haven't had to spend hours and hours studying at night (As I mentioned in the other thread, DD has a seasonal job and would be away from home for that). My DD took some AP/Honors classes and some regular classes, but not the full number of AP classes it was possible to take. We've still done some whole-family read alouds on weekends or in the evening (not all the time, but sometimes). We also listen to audiobooks on family trips, and times when DD and I were driving together (driving practice for her license and other trips like a college visit) we've picked audiobooks to listen to together. So we still have some interaction over books to read. I chose to read Frankenstein after she read it for AP lit last year, and it was fun to talk about it together! I give myself permission to read any books on my own I find interesting and find people to talk about those books with online, even though I am not reading high school level books with my kids. I've read several classics that I missed in high school/college and get just as much enjoyment out of reading them myself and finding other people to talk to them about, even if it isn't my kids. (Though sometimes I do give them reviews and suggest books they may want to read/listen to in their spare time or over the summer). 😁
  6. I have a freshman and a senior in public school this year. Our school just mercifully moved to a slightly later start time this year for the high school. It used to be 7:40 and now it is 8:20. My senior starts her day with a class at an off-campus location (district wide culinary arts program) and it starts 15 minutes later, so she drives every day and can leave at 8am to drop DS14 at school 10 minutes away, and still have plenty of time to drive five minutes further down the road to the other location. DD 17 has really only ever joined one school club (an art club, meeting 1 day/wk after school for an hour and a half) but has a seasonal job at an ice cream shop that is open mid-April to mid-October, so that overlaps 3ish months of the school year. She has typically had 30-60 minutes of homework per night on average, and an hour or two to do most weekends. Often for her this was math homework, because she is not super fast at math and preferred to do math at home where DH is available to help, and did other homework at school during study hall or lunch. She has no study hall this semester due to the off campus culinary arts class, so it will be interesting to see if homework time is increased. She usually tries to be in bed by 11pm on school nights. DS14 does a fall sport (community-wide club team) that has 3 days a week of practice in Sept-October. That starts at 5pm, but by the time he and DD get home from school (arriving home at 3:50), there so far is time only for 30 minutes of relaxing or homework before needing to eat a snack and get ready for practice. He is still doing lights out/no talking at 10pm with his younger brothers (they share a room) but I'll let him stay up to 11pm working in another room if needed as the school year goes on. He hasn't had a lot of homework yet, and he mostly has been able to get it done in study hall so far. He wants to join quite a few more clubs than DD was interested in joining, so I am anticipating that he'll have multiple days of staying at school until 5pm once clubs get rolling (and going straight from clubs to sports practice if any club meetings overlap the sport season). He is a fast worker on most subjects, so I don't anticipate him actually having as much homework as DD, at least his freshman year.
  7. Got my order from homeschool printing co. yesterday. And now...having done a week's worth of lessons on the thing I printed, I am now doubting that it is the right thing at all...LOL. At least the printing was cheap!
  8. I've been scrolling through NYC flooding pics on Twitter...the flooding in the subways looks like scenes of the compartments filling up in Titanic. 😳
  9. Immediately for siblings, because it saved is a drive back and forth to a couple of activities. We waited a few months for friends, and due to graduated liscense restrictions, it was six months plus before more than one friend (two friends is our family limit currently for DD17).
  10. In the cover photo the little monsters look so cute. 😍 I need to find a friend with younger kids and convince them to buy this so we can borrow it and read it, just for the cute illustrations. DS9 will finish BA5 sometime later this fall. My last kid to go through the series. It will be an emotional moment for me! (He's my third kid to go through the series and I'm a bit attached to the characters).
  11. This is my experience so far too. Site said 4-5, we're now at 6, almost 7 and I've gotten the notices that mine is almost up/next batch sort of thing. Luckily it's the kind of thing where I could just at home print the first few pages and hope it comes soon...but in retrospect I wish I would have ordered sooner, despite the fact that the site was saying I still had time.
  12. I just heard from my DD17 today (it randomly came up in conversation) that they say the pledge once a week at her public high school. I had no idea....I feel like that stopped in the schools I attended after elementary school. I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other, but I was pretty surprised they were doing it at her high school.
  13. In my Midwestern state there were many, many kids in the larger districts that were out for a year (on the calendar). I live in a smallish city, and our high schoolers were distance learning from mid-March 2020 until right after Easter 2021. The younger kids did get to go back hybrid a couple times during the year, but got pulled back to distance learning when numbers went up. Since kids in larger city schools seemed to stay with distance learning longer than small town kids, I feel like it adds up to quite a few kids who were out for all or much of the year. Eta: they recently released state testing scores from last year, and they plummeted - both our district specifically and the state as a whole. Not sure how much of that is because fewer kids took it, and how much was that learning was just that poor in the past year.
  14. I have a rising freshman who wants to do debate. I learned that our state offers 4 debate formats (that can all advance to a state-level competition) and they will each have different topics: policy debate (teams of 2), Lincoln-Douglas debate (individual), Congressional (individual - they are debating on a proposed law), and public forum debate (teams of 2 again, but the topic changes...monthly, I think). So there may be multiple topic options if the school competes in more than one format.
  15. This is really easy to do - no special server really required. There's an "open to LAN" button on the options menu, and that opens the world to everyone on the same wi fi network. Easy peasy, but only good if everyone is in the same place. I think a realms subscription is good if you want to only play with personal friends you've invited to play with you. My kids play on a couple of fully public servers and honestly have had no problems at all (they ignore the chat), but I get that not everyone is comfortable with that.
  16. Well, I agreed to take the baton of the homeschool mathcounts team that my kids were a part of last year....wish me luck! 😳 My 14 year old DS will be doing most of the actual coaching, as he participated the last three years and really enjoys helping younger kids with math. So I will get to be the planner/organizer/adult supervision and I am hoping he will do most of the leading in the problem solving practice with the team. We have three students so far including my 12 year old DS...hoping we can find at least one more for a full team!
  17. I have a small one I was given. Despite also having a microwave with a convection setting and a convection oven, I prefer the results the air fryer gives for tator tots and sweet potato fries. I cannot get them to the same level of crispiness in either of the other devices. I just run multiple batches to get enough to feed everyone - but at 8-10 minutes/batch it's fast enough to do that. My kids use it for heating up individual servings of french bread pizza, chicken nuggets, etc. I've never tried using it for anything other than frozen foods since I do like my convection microwave for a lot of other things, and I can do enough roasted veggies in it to serve everyone all at once.
  18. "Medically necessary" usually means concerns that will lead to medical diagnoses other than purely learning-related issues -- ADHD, Autism spectrum, mental illness, etc. So for us that meant that my middle DS's neuropsych for behavior concerns that could have been ADHD or autism spectrum related was easily considered "medically necessary" but we could not get insurance coverage for an exam for my youngest DS who primarily needed an evaluation for dyslexia/dysgraphia. Our insurance company had a form (to be filled out by the neuropsychological testing professional) and a document with a pretty clear list of guidelines as to what they considered "medically necessary" or not. So, you may be able to track down similar detailed information for your insurance company....maybe from a more helpful customer service rep or maybe from googling.
  19. Another question I would ask about the preschool job is if they've had many Covid related shutdowns to their classrooms and what their procedures are regarding classroom exposure. A friend who was working in a daycare last year kept having her room closed for Covid quarantine because one child would or a fellow staff member would get covid, then all the kids in that room would have to stay home for 7-10 days. (She was on a toddler room, so no masks for kids). They had multiple weeks over the course of 2020 where her room was shut down, so she didn't get hours and didn't get paid. That may not be typical, but it's worth asking about.
  20. I don't think I would necessarily have known if my mom hadn't been "into" them -- I think you could summarize it "toppings and spreads on bread or crackers" 😄
  21. Is something like canapes too similar to the tapas? (I've never had tapas, so I am not sure what kinds of toppings they have). But my mom used to make huge spreads of canapes for special occasions with all different kinds of toppings...they were really fun. She would do some on bread and some on crackers. These ones all have the same spread, but you could have different spreads as well as different toppings: https://preppykitchen.com/easy-canape/
  22. My older three kids responded pretty well at those ages to having a big basket of books to chose from (a science basket and a history basket) and picking something to read for 15 minutes from each basket (My youngest DS is dyslexic and still doesn't do much of any independent reading - I don't expect him to really read for learning content yet). I would go to the library and get a diverse range of books of different styles on a topic we were studying (illustrated picture books, books heavy on facts/pictures. graphic novels, etc). Sometimes I would have them look through a library stack/section with me before we left the library and I would ask them to pick out five books on a given broad topic that look interesting -- sometimes it would not be the books I thought they would be interested in! My three older kids all seemed to develop in their interest and ability to put sustained attention to a textbook in middle school. But none of my kids were very interested in a straight-up textbook style book to read before 6th grade.
  23. We do something similar with a more limited range of toppings/ingredients, based on this recipe: https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/mexican-chicken-and-rice-soup I heat the broth w/salsa and seasonings in a pot, then we have shredded chicken, rice, beans, avocado, cheese, etc on the side to create a custom soup bowl. It's one of my kids' favorite soup meals. We also do a "Create your own" with hot sandwiches -- one is a stromboli-type sandwich that starts with uncooked bread dough and toppings are rolled inside and baked into the bread. It ends up being a bit like pizza w/o the sauce, except that some "filling" combos that would be a bit gross on pizza work really well in the stromboli. A favorite is broccoli, ham, and cheddar cheese. It's not quite as customizable, but I do something that's a bit like a cheesesteak -- every person's sandwich starts with a basic layer of beef shreds or slices on a bun, and then my kids come by and add their onions, bell peppers, spicy peppers, mushrooms, and/or cheese. (ETA...the beef is precooked in the instant pot, and then I just "finish" the sandwiches by heating them in the oven long enough to melt the cheese).
  24. I think it also depends on where you live, and how many people you are connected to. Maybe I'm just lucky to not personally know anyone who died (definitely know people who would be more "Friends of friends" or "relatives of friends")...but I also think about the fact that the vast, vast majority of people I know personally live in only two states, that have only had 14,000ish COVID deaths combined between them. I also don't have a huge extended family in the older generations or personally know very many people over the age of 70 at all. So, I feel it is kind of unsurprising that I don't know any of those 14,000ish people personally. I definitely believe it is real/serious...I just don't have a huge circle of personal connections in communities that are more likely to be seriously affected.
  25. So, my DH works for the large corporation that makes the Binax tests...in a totally unrelated part of the company, but he was just telling me about this yesterday. We were both shaking our heads at it. It seems like it was one of those things that made sense at the moment in terms of pure profit motives but was not forward thinking at all. Here's a couple of non-paywall articles: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/westbrooks-maine-abbott-labs-refutes-new-york-times-report-that-says-they-forced-maine-workers-to-destroy-covid-19-test-kits/97-1e53be83-2589-41d2-a458-28a45d1d6e4a https://www.yahoo.com/news/bad-bet-covid-test-manufacturer-141615972.html
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