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Posts posted by LizzyBee

  1. I don't know about ADHD meds. But I know there is a fairly large and loud group of oncologists who learned that their hospitals are getting kickbacks for the cancer meds they prescribe, and they are pushing for the pharma companies to lower prices and stop paying kickbacks. Of course, they don't call them kickbacks.

  2. I'm a bit lost.


    So our oldest kiddos are working.  They did detassling this year, picking up rocks, and are now ready to take on part time "real" jobs.


    For the previous experiences we had them file EXEMPT.  We claim them (ages 19yo and 16yo) and if we paid a bit more in taxes or reduced a  federal refund a bit, that was fine.


    However, as both will have part time jobs and that could really add up, we aren't sure what they should do?


    If they claim one, can we still claim them?  Must they file themselves?  We're worried about impacting scholarships as well.


    I welcome any links, etc.


    Their earned income has to be reported on their own returns if they meet the income threshold for filing. You can only include their income on your return (on Form 8814) if their only income is from interest and dividends. But as long as they qualify as your dependents, you continue to claim the dependency exemptions, and they file their returns as dependents of another taxpayer.


    If their income might be small enough that they don't have to file a return ($6,300 if they only have earned income), you can continue to have them mark the EXEMPT box on the withholding form (W-4, I think?).

  3. We did. It was a little scary, but I'm glad we did it. DD14 was 2 at the time, and I considered getting an alarm on the door, but she was scared of the water so it wasn't a concern. Our pool is a 4 foot, 13,000 gal. above-ground permanent pool. We impressed on the kids that if we ever caught any of them in it without permission, we would take it down. I don't know what we would have "threatened" if it were an in-ground pool. 


    We live in a part of NC that is very hot and humid. Having a pool is the only way my kids would get to spend much time outside in the summer. When cousins and friends visit, the pool is great fun for the kids. I didn't get to swim much as a kid and I'm still not comfortable in the water, but my kids can swim in the deep end and aren't afraid of diving when they're in a deep enough pool. 


  4. How is everyone's summer going?  


    Hope everyone else is having an uneventful summer in the dance world.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks off with less running around.


    DD's team at Nationals danced beautifully but didn't recall. The U12 team recalled and placed 10th. We had only one solo dancer recall. They all danced great, but the competition is just fierce.


    This week is dance camp and Dan is kicking their butts. They've worked hard on strength and conditioning but he is ramping it up another notch. 


    DD had a PT appt on Tuesday, and PT is very happy with her progress. Her strength has improved much in the past year and she has no injuries at the moment. She has gained a little weight and filled out a bit. 


    We're going to the Nation's Capital feis this weekend. We have 3 comps in Oct-Nov where our teams are dancing in addition to solos to get ready for Regionals the first weekend of December. 


    Our summer break was shortened by Nationals, so it didn't really feel like a break. It's a five week break, but one week we were traveling for Natls and this week is camp, so we really only got 3 weeks off. 

    • Like 2
  5. The students at my daughter's dance studio roll their feet on golf balls to prevent it or to heal if they already have it. The studio owner gets it pretty bad, and her chiro does some kind of scraping thing on the bottom of her feet. At one point, she was told by her ortho dr that she needed surgery, but she was able to avoid it because of what the chiro did. She said that it was pretty painful, but worth it to avoid surgery.

  6. Yes! I loved these books, so I was happy when my youngest dd enjoyed them. I don't remember my older two being interested in them, though.


    My youngest is dyslexic with APD and a host of other initials. Not only was she reading at a Dr Seuss level at 9 yo, but she wouldn't listen to audiobooks either because her auditory issues meant that she got confused about what she heard and couldn't follow the storyline. I was trying not to panic, because it wasn't just that her reading level was so low; she was falling further and further behind in general knowledge about the world. She watched the Ramona movie at a friend's house and loved it, so I checked out every Ramona audiobook from the library. She listened to them over and over. It was an important stepping stone to reading for her, so that made me like them even more.  :)

  7. I agree with people who say waiting tables would give you more income than retail. I would expect to make $15 per hour minimum doing that. 


    Trader Joe's employees seem very happy to me--and it's contagious. I always feel happy when I'm in there. It's a good business model if you ask me!


    My daughter waitressed one summer and hopes to never do it again. She worked in an upscale cafe, but even with tips, she didn't make minimum wage. She did find out that the drunker people got, the better they tipped, but unfortunately, she didn't serve enough drunks to make decent money.  :tongue_smilie:

    • Like 1
  8. wow! I worked off/on for McDonald's for four years. No, they weren't great LOL. Not at all. But it was close to my house and I knew they would give me hours anytime I went home (I was in college) for summer, Thanksgiving, etc. I would say this has a great deal to do with who runs the place and the managers. I was one of the most dependable workers, came in to cover shifts all the time, only called in sick once or twice that I recall. I never wanted to be a manager there. They weren't great about breaks. You could work a 6 hour shift without being entitled to one. I think you had to work 7 hours to get the 30 min. lunch. As someone with hypoglycemia this was especially annoying. It was like the 15 min. break didn't exist. Maybe they were violating a law but that's how they operated.


    I'm sorry your experience wasn't great. I've known people in 3 states who liked working at McDonald's, and one of them actually did become a franchise owner. A friend of ours owns a few franchises around here (NC), and people say he's good to work for. But any job depends on the local managers regardless of how good or how bad the company is in general. 

  9. I've had friends who worked or still work for Kohl's, and the reviews are mixed.

    My daughter is working for Michael's this summer and she likes it so far. 

    I have friends who have worked long term for Walmart (still there) and they like it a lot.

    I've heard that Home Depot is pretty bad. 

    I hear good things about the more upper end grocery stores, such as Lowe's Foods and Harris Teeter.


    I've heard that McDonald's is good to its employees, and a good worker can move from entry level to franchise owner. One of my nieces has worked for McDonalds for over 10 years. She recently complained that they can't get good workers. People come in without the first idea of how to clean a table, clean the bathroom, or sweep the floor. She's a good worker and has been treated well.


    Any retail job will depend a lot on the management at your local store. Do you have any local friends who work retail who can give you the scoop at their stores?



  10. …...

    I'm flummoxed that it seems some people believe that it is the location's fault if you have an accident and fall, absent any evidence of negligence. 


    It often has nothing to do with fault. IME, most homeowner's policies include a provision for $1000 per person per event for medical payments with no regard to fault. It's known as a good neighbor clause. More than that, the injured party would have to prove liability on the part of the homeowner. 

    • Like 3
  11. I wouldn't be angry, because that's the purpose of the insurance. I might be irritated that a claim has to be filed if my rates increased afterward, but I hope that I wouldn't let it affect the friendship.


    As for paying for it out of pocket, one of my dancer dd's recent ER visits was $3,802 for the hospital, $232 for radiology, and $570 for the physician. They diagnosed a break, but orthopedist disagreed when we saw him the following week. Oh yeah, that was another charge. With a broken arm, the OP's friend of a friend will have several orthopedist visits probably followed by physical therapy. DD's PT visits range from about $120 to $200 depending on what they do that day. I don't know how anyone pays out of pocket any more. :-(


    ETA: IME, no-fault medical clauses in homeowner policies are usually limited to $1k unless the homeowner chooses a higher limit. So assuming no liability on the part of the homeowner, the person with the broken arm could still end up with some hefty uninsured bills.

    • Like 2
  12. Yeah, a couple of them though stated it made them sad to see that the bunnies were for dog food. I think it surprised them to read that. Is it common to buy pet rabbits as feed?


    I grew up on a farm where we had both dogs and rabbits, but I've never in my life heard of feeding the rabbits to the dogs. I don't think it's common. 

    • Like 3
  13. ….


    I feel for you. My mom just died. I am dreading, absolutely dreading, the flood of cards with that sort of crap in them. For "propriety", I think I will pay my housekeeper/Mom's former aide to write the thank you notes for all of those ones . . . and I'll just sign my name without looking. I'll have her make a list of names for me to keep, so I know who sent cards, but I won't read the ones that will piss me off. I was actually a comfortable maybe/maybe not Episcopal until Mom got sick a few years ago . . . Seeing the "true colors" of her crappy-shitty-not-real-friends at church all abandon her (while still happily taking her checks, no matter how garbled they were by her dementia) . . . anyway, I hate them all now. Hate them. (I admit there are a very few that were kind and loyal. VERY FEW.) I fear that they'll all show up at her memorial service (which we are pointedly NOT holding in a church). And, it'll be all I can do not to slap each one as they come through the receiving line. If they throw their God crap at me at my own mother's service, I WILL say something unsavory. I need to come up with a pointed but not vulgar response. I'm adding that to my To Do list. 


    ((((hugs)))) to you and your family while you are going through a difficult time. 


    Stephanie, I am very sorry for your loss.  :grouphug:

    • Like 1
  14. I am a Christian, but I would feel as you do. In those situations, I tell myself that the person meant well and is truly concerned about me. I do believe that most people are doing the best they can and don't realize how negatively they come across. That belief helps me forgive and let go of grudges.


    I'm sorry you're going through a crisis.  :grouphug:

    • Like 2
  15. I agree. I think that schools should let walkers leave 1/2 hour before they allow a car pool line to form. Of course, here, the car pool line starts forming a full hour before the end of the day. Strange, but true. 


    There's a public charter school here where the carpool line starts forming at lunch time. I can't figure how all these people have time to spend their entire afternoon in the carpool line. It's a K-12 school, but that particular campus is K-2. The parents could homeschool their kids in less time than they spend in the carpool line. 

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  16. We tried meds but dd refused to take them because they made her stomach hurt. She is extremely thin, so we couldn't risk having her lose weight from the tummy issues. We tried 3 of them. The first was fabulous because for the first time in her life, she could hold onto a thought long enough to act on it; the second was horrible for her moods and made her depressed (she went from Tigger to Eeyore), and the third didn't do much either way. If not for the tummy issues, we would have tried a higher dose of the third.


    What works for dd is keeping her busy and having low expectations for her ability to pick up after herself. She is an Irish dancer who has about 10 hours of class per week plus performances and competitions. When the studio was on break over Christmas, her ADHD was raging and we realized that she must keep dancing as long as she lives at home.  :tongue_smilie:


    She has discovered a love for baking, so that's another way she can channel her energy to something productive. 

    • Like 1
  17. A new trampoline park opened locally.  Someone was kind enough to schedule a homeschool jump time at a group rate that was almost half the regular rate.  40 jumpers were needed for that group rate.  67 people said they'd be there this morning.  Many of them confirmed they'd be there just in the last couple days.


    It turns out only 20 jumpers showed up.  47 didn't show up and of those 15 didn't even bother to contact the woman who organized it.  The owner was kind enough to still give them the great rate even though they only had half as many as requested.  And, thank goodness, he's still willing to give it another try in the fall in the hopes at least 40 people show up.


    Why do so many homeschoolers commit to stuff like this and then not show up?  I've heard time and time again of situations like this happening.


    Our local homeschool group has a rule that if you have two no-shows, you can't sign up for any more field trips. They will take extenuating circumstances into consideration, but they had to make the rule because the no-shows were making the entire group look bad to the point where some business owners didn't want to work with homeschoolers any more. In addition, they always collect money up front. That's the only way many people will show up. If you don't get your money to the organizer on time, you're removed from the list. The poor organizers have been yelled at and worse for not letting non-payers participate, but it's the only way to make the day run smoothly. (Some people actually expect the organizer to front the money and then trust everyone to pay up!) The rules might seem harsh, but they were made after many poor experiences.

    • Like 20
  18. I loved school and assumed I would have kids who also loved school. I never heard of homeschooling until a friend of mine pulled her kids out of school to homeschool them. I thought it was the weirdest thing I'd ever heard of and would certainly never do that.


    Then I had kids. I wasn't sure I wanted to send my kids to public school in the city where we lived at the time, but the private schools there were not in our budget. I started to think about whether homeschooling might be an option, and I bought The Well Trained Mind from a mail order book club.


    Then we moved to a small town the summer my oldest was five. We sent her to the neighborhood school and she did great. We loved her teacher because she had an amazing, unique ability to personalize assignments to the students' abilities. In a low-key way that didn't embarass the students, she'd take an assignment that said to write the initial and final sounds, and tell one student to just write the first letter and another student to write the whole word. Even in a classroom with more students than the law allowed, she was able to meet each student where they were. 


    Then my second child started kindergarten. She got a teacher who had taught preschool, but it was her first year teaching public school kindergarten. She was more concerned with making a good impression than the abilities and needs of her students. My dd's inability to perform to her expectations turned into a power struggle on the teacher's end, but my dd fortunately was oblivious to that because she doesn't have a personality that will engage in power struggles with anyone. As a volunteer in the classroom, I was pretty disgusted with the idea that kindergartners have to write three sentences independently, and God forbid that they should write one beautiful sentence instead of three short, choppy sentences, among other stupidities. I could fill a book, but suffice it to say that by the end of the school year, the thought of sending dd back into that environment made me sick to my stomach. I began to think that if I send her back to that school, CPS should just come take her from me because I don't deserve to be her mother. (This was based on dd's experience, not public school in general.) I broached the topic of homeschooling with my husband, and he agreed that we could try it.


    I originally planned to only take my middle dd out of school, but then my older dd begged me to homeschool her too, so we took them both out. We homeschooled both of them through middle school, and they went to a public charter school for high school. Over time, I figured out that my dd had auditory processing disorder and dyslexia, and it was confirmed by testing. Her dyslexia is relatively mild, so she was a puzzle to figure out.


    My third dd came along and she is severely dyslexic. She was homeschooled until last year. She wanted to try the public charter school that the older girls attended, and her standardized test scores were all within normal parameters for the first time. So she went to school for seventh grade, and almost immediately regretted it. She stuck it out for the year, but was outspoken about not wanting to go back this year. So we're going to try an online public charter school for eighth grade and see how that goes. I am hoping that we will like it well enough to use it for high school, but if not, we'll be considering homeschool options again. 

    • Like 1
  19. Another happy Barton customer here. These are not negatives, but just things to be aware of.


    We did LIPS just long enough to get dd to a point where she could pass the Barton screening test, then we switched to Barton. Well, even with the LIPS preparation, Level 1 of Barton was incredibly difficult for my dd. Level 2 (with letters on the tiles instead of just colors) was much easier. 


    Barton works, but it's a slow process for some kids. When my dd was 9 and we'd done LIPS/Barton for over 2 years, I was seriously starting to think my dd would never learn to read fluently. I remember being very discouraged. But by age 12, she was reading at grade level. It takes persistence.


    Your child might hate Barton. On days that my dd particiularly didn't want to do Barton, I told she'd thank me some day. I told her she would even thank Susan some day. I sympathized with her because I knew it was hard and I knew that the brain re-wiring that is taking place is physically exhausting and even painful. But if she was going to learn to read, we had to push through. She's 13 now and doesn't read as much as my older two kids, but she does enjoy reading. 


    When we first started Barton, we could only do 10 minutes at a time. My dd is severely dyslexic, so she hit the wall pretty quickly. It was a big deal when we worked up to a point where she could do an hour at a time. 


    One thing that helped with the tedium was for her to teach me some days. This worked best after we finished a level and then reviewed the lessons before moving up to the next level. And of course, it only worked after she reached a certain point in her reading ability. 


    I don't know what your child's background is, but my dd has an alphabet soup of diagnoses, and she needed occupational and speech therapy to go along with the right curriculum. She has graduated from all of her therapy, but she is an Irish dancer. Without that physical outlet and input, I suspect she'd still need OT. 



    • Like 1
  20. Well, I've had great experiences with ones in my area.  We've seen a family counselor, my oldest has seen both a psychologist and a psychiatrist, there were great resources from a social worker at our local hospital.  So are you really suggesting someone with a serious issue like a teen molesting little kids shouldn't seek out any professional mental health resources at all?  How do you justify that in your mind?


    I live in a medical mecca. People come here from all over the world for our medical facilities. But mental health is a mess, and I guarantee that if it's that bad here, it's worse in most other places. Friends of ours took their son to a facility said to be have stellar care for the mentally ill. They have good insurance, so they could afford the best. The reality was another story. The room was dirty, it took days to get him seen by a psychiatrist, *care* was just not an appropriate word for what happened there. He was safer at home (from himself) than in the hospital. One of the major hospitals in our city is undergoing a review of their policies because of the their treatment of a violent and dangerous mental health patient. The procedure apparently is to hold mental health patients in the ER until a placement in a mental health facility is available, a process which I think is not supposed to take more than 2-3 days. There's a severe shortage of placements, so this patient was held under guard in the ER for something like 20 days. Apparently, he was not treated appropriately, but at the same time, a regular hospital is not prepared to deal with long term violent patients because that's not their purpose. Our friends who had a self-destructive, repeated runaway daughter were never able to obtain good care for her. She would be held 48 hours to stabilize her, but there was never a placement available for long term treatment. Our friends who fostered-to-adopt are on the verge of a nervous breakdown from dealing with their violent young children with no support. They are desperate to get help for the kids and respite for themselves. There is money allotted for in-home assistance, but no-one will take the hours because the kids are just too hard, and there are not enough residential placements available. So the hospitals and doctors just send them home. For those who do find care, the quality can be a crapshoot. People who have been here a long time will remember the boardie whose daughter was traumatized by her mental health care; she was harmed rather than helped. 


    I'm not saying the Duggars couldn't or shouldn't have done much more than they did. I'm just saying that in most places in the US, the mental health system is woefully inadequate.

    • Like 4
  21. I don't understand the "separate beds for each kid" thing. I keep seeing it everywhere. If they are siblings. can't it be two (same sex) to a bed? I'm just wondering...


    It may vary by state, but in MD when we looked into fostering, each foster child would have to have a separate bed, but our bio children did not. 

    • Like 2
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