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Julie in Monterey

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Everything posted by Julie in Monterey

  1. I *love* new year's resolutions! 1.) Read at least one fiction and non-fiction book a month (this does not include education/parenting related books). 2) Date night with the hub on average of once a week, even if it is for a quick "coffee break" at a coffee shop or an evening walk. 3) Start swimming again for exercise working up to twice a week on a consistent basis. 4) Do art lessons weekly with the kids. 5) Start and attend a monthly mother-daughter book club. 6) Write my grandmother a letter at least twice a month (snail mail). 7) Give at least one person a compliment a day. 8) Begin and stick with a yearly cycle of focusing on a different value each month with my family. 9) Talk to my sister on the phone once a week. Once I write then down, they usually happen. Thanks for the idea to get me focused a bit earlier this year. Julie in Monterey
  2. I've had insomnia in periods over the past 12 years. Right now, I'm really struggling again. I never try to deal with it chemically (maybe I should). Mine is usually related to stress. Last night I went to bed at 5:30 am and slept until 9:30. Here I am up until 11:30 pm again. ACK! Anyhoo, what works for me (usually) is verbalizing and handling the stress, taking a warm shower and waiting about an hour after to go to bed. A HUGE thing for me, is to REMOVE MY CLOCK! I've found this is the most helpful. If you can't remove it (need to wake up with an alarm), at least turn it around. Clock watching can make you CRAZY (at least it makes me crazy!). I start to panic if more and more time passes and I'm not sleeping. For what it is worth, on some nights that I don't feel like I slept at all, my dh says he woke up several times and when he looked over I was dead asleep. This will pass. Hang in there and try to handle the stress if you have any. Julie in Monterey
  3. I did this rafting trip over 12 years ago. It was life changing. I spent three weeks sleeping under the stars and it that glorious canyon. If there is any way for you to do it. I highly recommend it! I did it before kids and one day dream of taking my children (so....expensive). For what it is worth, when I was 27 and did this trip, I was by far the youngest on the trip. I would say the average age was around 50. What you are doing now sounds incredible. Keep a dreamin.. Julie in Monterey
  4. Honestly, I would love a heartfelt handwritten specific thank you note more than anything. It is so rare that people stop and write something personal. Basically a note saying why their support was helpful and in what way (it allowed you to spend more quality time with your children) etc. I don't think anything more is needed. The pottery mug seems like it would set you back (at numbers of 50). If you felt really strong about giving a "gift", I think the chocolate in a clear bag would be just as nice. I am so glad you have a strong caring community around you. My husband is prior military and it is not easy. A sincere thank you to you and your family for your service. Happy Holidays! Julie in Monterey
  5. I'll be making that sausage dish on Christmas morning. Thanks for the recipe! Julie in Monterey
  6. :grouphug: to original poster. Sleeping issues can make you *ccc rrr aaa zzz yyy" or at least make me crazy. I've read up a ton on sleep issues in kids and here are a few things I've learned; 1) The No Cry Sleep Solution has some good sound advice especially if you can spend the next month or two slowly working on the issue. It takes discipline on mom and dads part to keep up with the process and not fall into old habits. 2) Children benefit from falling asleep and staying asleep in the same place. Imagine waking up in a different bed than you fell asleep in. This would freak me out...even if it happened each and every night. 3) Routine can be very soothing. At 5 a bedtime chart that the child participates in making can be a powerful tool. It could include what you all can agree on. Do each thing each and EVERY night, no matter what. A predictable routine takes out the "what will they decide tonight" issue about going to bed out of the picture. Many people like a bath, brushing teeth, 2 stories (while snuggling) and maybe mom or dad singing a song or two. Have the child turn on the night light and check off the chart throughout the process. 4) The key to any change or new routine is having conviction as a parent and doing it with love. I helped my girlfriend get her son to sleep on his own by going over each night for a week during bedtime. At six they were still lying down with him for up to 45 minutes each night until he fell asleep. It was cutting down on their time together as a couple and even stopped them from going out on dates (I can't imagine 6 six years of not going out with dh at night). I reminded her each night before the routine started that she was helping her son be more independent, he would be able to sleep over with friends and grow up like he was supposed to. For her, she needed me to remind her to be consistent and not get emotional, to be loving and firm. (we did this while her husband was away,...he often caved during bedtime). 5) Many children don't show signs of tiredness but benefit from 12 hours of sleep at that age (my 9 year old still prefers a 7:30 bedtime..waking up at 7am). Having a goal of climbing into bed at 7 for 2 stories works out to a 7:30 or 7:45 bedtime. My pediatrician recently told me most children on average get one or two hours less sleep than they need. Personally, I would put her in her own room in her own bed and make it fun and exciting..pick out new bedding, possibly a new nightlight and get that routine/chart in place. Be excited about it, telling her you know she CAN do it! I would also be prepared for some tears because it would be a big change and change is hard. I would even go so far as reward with stickers and even a special teddy after 3 nights alone. The key again is to stick with the program once you decide (including staying in her room all night). Have you ever watched Super Nanny? She recommends sitting in the room with your back to the child. It stinks for everyone in the short term but ends up with a good result. I'll put it this way, it already stinks, this way you'll have a better result. I so feel for you. There WILL be a time that bedtime is enjoyable for both of you. It is possible, you'll decide when. Hugs to all of you. I can tell you are a good mom. I hope something here works for you. Everyone does things differently. Julie in Monterey
  7. I'll be walking 22 miles in Big Sur International Marathon with 5 of my close friends. I wanted to do something that involved nature and exercise. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate. I wasn't interested in some big weekend away to Vegas or some big party. Just friends, walking in a beautiful setting (along Hwy 1 which boarders the Pacific Ocean) and lots and lots of talking (it should take us at least 5 hours). My close friend had a group of 15 women over for drinks and appetizers (friends provided both) at her house while her hubby did a fun question answer session that involved random fun facts about her and her life. Afterward, she took the group out for pizza. It was a fun way to celebrate with her. I also have gone with a friend (on her 40th) to a local spa for a spa day with her and another close friend. It was a great day for all of us, but pricey. I'm lucky I was able to afford it at the time. I usually go for a hike with friends on my birthday weekend and do a family dinner on the actual day...pretty low key. I think the 40th birthday is just an opportunity to stop and take stock..it's a chance to celebrate but also a chance to look around you and let those that you care about know it. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you'll enjoy yourself. My one point of advice is to share your wishes or just to go ahead and make it happen yourself. It gets tricky when we expect others to read our minds. Happy upcoming 40th!;) I hope you'll post what you end up deciding upon. Julie in Monterey
  8. Your kids are so young. School should be *filled* with fun. Try checking out the books, "Games for Math", "Games for Reading", "Games for Writing" by Peggy Kaye. They have all kinds of fun games for those subject areas...very easy to make. My kids made most of the game boards (out of simple materials) Often when my kids jet antsy, I ask if they want to play a game and sure enough we end up spending more time on more school. Cooking can be fun and a great way to work on reading, measuring and following directions. My main goal with kids at this age is to enjoy being home with them, creating strong readers and getting good habits in place. As an aside, when we get in a slump in regards to school, usually it has more to do with me. I am trying to do too many other things while I expect them to stay focused. Often, once I stop and sit down and commit to the lesson and the experience it changes the whole experience for the kids. As my kids have gotten older (6 and 9), I only answer the phone, check emails, etc on our shared breaks (every 45 minutes, we take a recess of 15 minutes). If I would have changed something sooner, it would have been this. When I am busy during the school day, it sends the message that it isn't all that important and fun seems to go out the door. I'm not saying this is what is happening to you, just that it's happened to us before. It is something to think about. Once a week we "do school" at the local bagel shop. We bring our own cream cheese and drinks so I'm only out for the bagels and it is a welcome change to our normal routine. We do history at the beach on Wednesday afternoons. As others say, a change of venue can make a big difference. Or even waking up and deciding to wear only stripes or purple or eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Keep in mind, the beauty of homeschooling is that you don't need to stay at home. Go outdoors and read to your munchkins or if it is cold, go to the lobby of a fancy hotel and read in front of the fireplace. Enjoy! Julie in Monterey
  9. My girlfriend is considering "jumping off the homeschooling cliff" after the holidays. She wants a packaged curriculum, something she can use to finish off the kids school year, something easy to jump into, that is thorough and will give them time to adjust to homeschooling. I've always pieced all of my stuff together (I have a 1st and 4th grader). She just isn't comfortable with piecemeal and they are different kids. So....any advice would be helpful. The curriculum will be purchased with charter school funds so it needs to be secular. Wait a minute, is Calvert Christian? If so, what do you recommend that isn't? Thank you in advance for any help! Julie in Monterey
  10. I *wish* I could take the credit. I only cut and pasted from the posts others have put here. I'm just "sharing the love." Pass it on next time you see this question asked. Julie in Monterey
  11. OH MY GOSH! My daughter is going to *flip out* when she hears the author of the book I discovered about mother-daughter book clubs wrote me a message! Now these message boards take on a whole level of WOW with us! Cindy, I was thrilled to see this book! I love that you took the time and effort to share your journey with others. I saw it, and thought to myself, "OF COURSE!" I'm not sure I would have thought of this on my own for some time. Since I picked up your book, a friend and I have gathered 4 strongly interested parties. I'm thinking 6 pairs might be a nice size to start with. Any strong opinion on a first pick? I want it to "hook" the group! I'll keep you posted here as to how it goes in January. Julie in Monterey
  12. Geeze, that's weird. I can't barely put into words how much support, courage and insight I've gained in the past 6 years coming here...from people I've never met. Just a random, thank you to everyone out there and especially Susan Wise Bauer and her team for hosting this amazing resource!! I've got to run now to use the time my kids are in their outdoor science class wisely. Julie in Monterey
  13. I would let him know that Santa is perfectly fine leaving a stocking and a gift (or not) outside. In fact, I'm sure his reindeers might appreciate a little food sprinkled out on the ground near the door (we sprinkle a bit of oatmeal with glitter on the ground for the reindeer). Perhaps a few carrots as well and a glass of milk for Santa. Last year we had to have our tree on the porch (long story..involves intense allergies). Nonetheless, Santa left all of our gifts under the tree outside. Have him mail a letter stating his preferences (grandma's house, outside, in the garage or no visit at all). Honestly, I never had this fear as I child but as a grown up, I get how weird it might be to have a stranger supposed to be creeping throughout the house while everyone is sleeping. Hope something here helps. Julie in Montery
  14. Both of my girls are avid and advanced readers. It's overwhelming at first. Your children's librarian will become your best friend. Our librarian understands that we want interesting vocab and writing but not mature concepts/content. Here is a list I compiled from various posts here on the hive. I have found it to a great list and spot on for what you are asking about. Enjoy the ride! The cut and pasted list is as follows; CHAPTER BOOK LIST FOR YOUNG/SENSITIVE READERS Series books · Animal Ark by Ben M. Baglio (30+ in series) ·The Borrowers Mary Norton ·The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (16 books) ·Chronicles of Narnia ·Dr. Doolittle ·In Grandma's Attic ·Little House on the Prairie ·Magic School Bus ·Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Paddington ·Janet Oke children animal stories ·Pippi Longstocking ·The Railway Children . ·The Ramona. Beverly Cleary. All of these are more challenging reads but still REALLY geared towards a young crowd. ·Wind in the Door series, some of Madeleine L'Engle · The You Wouldn't Want to be... series, the Remarkable Children series The Littles Series ·Catwings series by Ursula K. Leguin · *Authors ·Julie Andrews, and ·All of the Betsy-Tacy books, ·Judy Blume books. · Beverly Cleary- (Emilys Runaway Imagination, The Ramona and Henry Huggins series · Edward Eager ·Elizabeth Enright, ·Eleanor Estes (Pinky Pye, Ginger Pye, the Moffats series) ·Marguerite Henry ·Dick King-Smith Mary Pope Osborne Noel Streatfeild (Ballet Shoes, etc.), ·E.B. White books (Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little), ·David Macauley, Resource Nonfiction ·If your child still enjoys books written for her age (like Dr. Seuss or other books like that), don't write them off. It is often difficult with accelerated kids to remember how young they are ·Honey for a Child's Heart might help ·Illustrated Classics they have more complex language (so it's more of a challenge to read), but they're very good about editing content for young ones. ·lot of the Great Illustrated Classics books. Picture books that AREN'T beginner readers, but that ARE for that age--Kevin Henkes,My ds just plows through the picture books section when we're in the library, although we rarely take these home. ( ·Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett) ·Non-fiction!! My library has TONS of stuff on animals, plants, the solar system, how to build things, biographies. My ds devours these, and I'm much less worried about the content (except for the biographies--I do give those a glance). Seymour Simon is especially good for advanced readers at that age--he's got something on everything science-related. · · Milly-Molly-Mandy, · Mary Poppins, ·Winnie-the-Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner... ·The Cricket in Times Square, sequel, Tucker's Countryside · and The Wind Boy. ·The Secret Garden, ·The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame + The Willows in Winter _ Carolyn Haywood books like "B" is for Betsy...These are simple, old-fashioned and very sweet. Ds just read B is for Betsy this weekend and he loved it. I remember my mother reading it to me when I was five or six... Ds laughed so loud we could hear him downstairs. ·"Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars."- one of a series, for 6 y/o’s ·The Teddy Robinson Storybook by Joan Robinson ·The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye ·and our current favorite read-alouds: Happy Little Family and Schoolhouse In The Woods by Rebecca Caudill (we are very impatiently waiting for the final 2 books in the series to be reprinted) Mom to sensitive 5 yr old girl ·Tomie dePaola's 5 or 6 book autobiographical series ·The Julian/Huey/Gloria series, Ann Cameron ·The Swallows and Amazons series, Arthur Ransome ·Oh, "Shadrach" and other Meindert DeJong books! ·I was told "Hank the Cow Dog" books are good, but haven't had a chance to check them out myself yet ·Go to amazon and buy everything by Enid Blyton you can find. These are wonderful! ·Owls in the family ·The Good Times Travel Agency series · Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander (he has many others, also) ·Right now he's reading the Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood. He read "B is for Betsy" last week and loved it, so my mom mailed us a box of 20+ Carolyn Haywood books including books about Betsy and books about Eddie. Ds has read three of them this week and just loves them. They're very sweet and old-fashioned, with enough humor that we hear him giggling all the way downstairs. ;o) ·As for contemporary series, "The Secrets of Droon" (three modern kids find a secret passage into another world where they help a princess and fight an evil wizard -- I know that storyline isn't okay with everybody) ·Contemporary "Dragon Slayers' Academy" (silliness abounds -- a young boy named Wiglaf and his adventures at, well, DSA) · Mary Pope Osborne's "Tales from the Odyssey" series. (I found the first five of these at bookcloseouts.com and they were great prices -- but at a rate of two a day, they didn't seem that cheap when he was done. Yikes!) The first two series are pretty fluffy. Ds *loves* them, and I think they're harmless, but they're not exactly great literature. ;o) ·The Tales from the Odyssey books fit so well with our ancient history studies, that I think they were worth it. ·Clyde Robert Bulla has written a ton of historical fiction on a 2nd-4th grade reading level. "Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims", "Pocahontas and the Strangers", "Shoeshine Girl", "The Secret Valley"... I haven't read all of these recently, so I can't swear they're all appropriate, but there's nothing in the ones we've read so far. ·Meindert DeJong books. Right now we're reading "Shadrach" as a read-aloud, but ds certainly could read it himself without problem. It's a wonderful story of a boy just about his age (he calls himself "a school boy" but his mother hasn't let him go yet, because he's been very ill, and he resents being treated like a baby) from a loving though perhaps a little distant, by our standards, family in the Netherlands, and his deep bond with a pet rabbit. I can't describe for you how beautiful the prose or how sweet the story of this little boy. :o) There are lots of others by De Jong as well, that I remember loving from my own childhood. We're enjoying this one so much, I'll definitely be seeking them out for ds. · Ds is reading Harry Potter. I suppose that's a controversial choice on my part to let him. The Flat Stanley series are just lovely. A little more gentle and old fashioned than more modern books for that age range, but clever and lots of fun. I appreciate the respectful way the family treats each other. ·Oh, Alice Dalgliesh. "The Courage of Sarah Noble", "The Bears on Hemlock Mountain"... ·The Bear's on Hemlock Mtn ·Encyclopedia Brown · Homer Price, ·Burgess Books Betty MacDonald: "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" + 2 to 3 more in series American Girl books: Samantha, Felicity, Kit, Molly, Addy, Kaya, Josephina, Kirsten Half Magic (and other books by Eager) Picture book biographies by David Alder Bobbie Kalman books: history and science topics Indian in the Cupboard · Alice in Wonderland FREDDY THE PIG by Walter R. Brooks The Egyptian News The Greek News The Viking News The Roman News Good Time Travel Agency series by Linda Bailey "Time Cat" by Lloyd Alexander I, Freddy (I, Freddy) - Dietlof Reiche Warrior series by Erin Hunter (fantasy about cats) James Herriot's Treasury for Children Tales from the Arabian Nights The Wonderful Wizard of Oz + others Alison Saves The Wedding (Magic Attic Club) by Catherine Connor (10+ in series and some history topics) Cross Country with Lewis and Clark (Tall Tails #2) & Tall Tails #1 (Tall Tails) by Dona Smith Blacky the Crow byThornton W. Burgess (any of his books, 20 + including Old Mother West Wind) Mike Venezia - artist and composer books Noelle of the Nutcracker - Pamela Jane Cryptomania!: Teleporting into Greek and Latin With the Cryptokids by Edith Hope Fine Science books by Seymour Simon, Melvin Berger Beatrix Potter Websites to help you search for books by reading level and/or topic: http://www.bookadventure.com http://www.renlearn.com/store/quiz_advanced.asp The Great Mouse Detective and The Rescuers- both made into Disney movies that bear no resemblance to the books. Julie in Monterey
  15. "We used Singapore Primary throughout the elementary levels, and I ran the Challenging Word Problems about six months behind for exactly this reason. We reviewed everything, and after a long enough delay that I knew he had to pull it up from memory and not from recent discussions. On top of that, for the things that I think are really really important, we review annually (just before our year starts in September) until it just gets ridiculous: multiplication facts, basic algebra, map quizzes, spelling rules, science vocabulary -- anything I don't want him to lose from the years before." Mo :iagree:
  16. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I would love to hear more recommendations. I have another girlfriend who is totally on board. We decided that we want a firm commitment to attend and read the book each month. My book club is much more loose in terms of attending each month and even reading the book (I personally can't stand that!). We plan on meeting on a regular 3rd Thursday type of thing (thanks for the recommendation to do that) and also based on your advice, perhaps we'll discuss a 3-6 month list at the first meeting. Looking forward to another other ideas and encouragement you might have! Thank you ladies! I love the hive! Julie in Monterey
  17. Yeah! I have a few people joining me. Funny, we didn't have cable for the first 7 years of our marriage. It's ironic, we got it when my dad came out to help us renovate our house for a month. He loves his TV. We just never canceled (5 years later). We had the DVR and loved that. For those of you that don't have a DVR and want to control more of how you use the TV, it's a great tool to be in control of *when* you watch and passing up those commercials. I highly recommend it...it cuts down football watching time by at least an hour per game! Julie in Monterey
  18. I am so excited about this. The group will be made up 6-8 mother/daughter pairs. The girls will be between the ages of 9 and 10. We'll meet once a month over dinner. I've been in a book club myself for years. A few nights ago, I spent some time browsing at Borders and found a great book about mother/daughter book clubs. It sounds like such an awesome idea. We can't wait to get started! I often read a few of the books my daughter reads because she goes on and on about them and I *have* to find out what she sees in them. The girl has decent taste. Anyhoo, she is over the moon about the idea of this group. Anyone out there already doing this and have some ideas, great books or "lessons learned" type of advice for us? Thanks in advance for sharing! Julie in Monterey
  19. I'm tired of the box. There are many thought provoking shows but so so many time wasting, mind numbing things that I end of watching as well. The kids rarely watch live television and we use Discovery Education Streaming now. So... it is time that I spend my free time...being FREE! I'm already dreaming of all the time I'll be reading and doing those things I haven't been doing instead of watching the tube. Anyone want to join me? :D Julie in Monterey
  20. WOW! What an amazing role model you are for your children and for others here. Thank you for sharing with us. You are making me think of what I have been holding off learning and that maybe I should just jump in there. Last year I met a 76 year old woman at the pool (while we were doing laps). She learned to swim at age 70. I think it must be one of the bravest acts I can think of. Keep up the good work! Julie in Monterey
  21. Sounds crazy but I second the thought of putting it in a container filled with rice at least 3 days *without* trying to start it until the end of three days. Good luck! Julie in Monterey
  22. We have been making turkey this way for 9 years now and anyone who eats it LOVES IT! Stuff the turkey with; a cut apple sprigs of rosemary 1 lemon 1 onion rub outside with butter and cloves of garlic sprinkle with salt and pepper Cook in a turkey bag according to Joy of Cooking directions. We'll be trying the icing down of breasts after reading the information of a previous poster. Enjoy! Julie in Monterey
  23. We have an IKEA version of these universally sized blocks. We have about 400 I'm guessing. I highly recommend if you buy the blocks to purchase Kapla Blue Artbook Instructions by Kapla No customer reviews yet. Be the first. Price: $18.95 or some other similar instruction book. My kids have expanded what they have been able to build with the illustrations in these books. The blocks are awesome to use as a family. Well worth the investment for a "toy" to use over many many years.
  24. Time to let your 12 y/o decide what is for dinner and have him/her make it. :001_smile:
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