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  1. My husband passed away a few weeks ago, after a 3 month battle with cancer. We are beyond devastated. My mind is running a mile a minute thinking of how I do life alone, as a mother, and a homeschooling mother at that. I've been a homeschooling, stay at home mom for the past 14 years. Along with all of the other things going through my mind...one thing I keep thinking is we are here on the East Coast all alone. Though I am originally from the Midwest....I moved to the East Coast in my early 20's, and married my husband soon after. My husband is an only child, and all of my family is in the Midwest....so we've always been here with just our own little family unit..and that was fine. We built a life and we did fine out here by ourselves. We have casual friends...though we mostly centered on our own little family so we weren't super social...lots of people offer to help, just call when I need them...but the reality is, I have a hard time asking for help because I worry about bothering people. But now...I'm kinda thinking I don't want to be out here on the SouthEast Coast all alone. My 18 year old is off at college..and while I love that he is only an hour away from us right now...the reality is he doesn't need all that much time from us....college students go off to college all the time long distances from home. So it's really just me, 14DS and 10DS. I have a sister in Kansas City MO, who wants me to come to her area. I have two sisters in the Cheyenne WY area who want to come to their area. I don't see myself living that rural of a lifestyle..but Denver is only two hours away so I see that as doable. Husband also has some cousins that live in the Denver area who have offered to be a support system for us as well. Financially we will be okay for a while if we stick to a tight budget...I will eventually have to go back to work...I was already in college taking pre-reqs to get into Radiology Technology program. So I will pursue that still wherever we go. Homeschooling....not sure if we will be able to continue or not. We will for the next year...I don't want any more major changes in my children's lives...they've never been in school, and financially, again, we will be okay. But beyond the next year, I am just not sure. So questions about the Kansas City MO and Denver CO area. 1. Talk to me about homeschooling...how active is the area (especially for the high school years?)...are there large numbers of homeschoolers.....how easy are the regulations. 2. Cost of living...I've heard Denver is high...tell me more...what about Kansas City? What could one expect to pay for a rental house...2-3 bedrooms etc...that isn't a dump? We have two dogs, so I don't see myself in an apartment. 3. Best areas to live in? I think the North side of Denver is what I'd consider due to being closer to the Wyoming border...but what suburbs to consider and what ones to avoid? Or is there a better area than North side? Kansas City..my sister actually lives on the Independence side...so that is probably the general area I'd want to be in.....suburbs to consider and suburbs to avoid? 4. Schools...because again, I don't know what the future holds...we may not be able to homeschool for long-term. I've always thought Charter schools would be a viable option if we had to do public school (the in person charter school, not a virtual school)....we have a few good ones here where we live now...small, almost like a private school, yet free ......how is the charter school situation in the CO and MO area? Are there other options I should consider? I can't see myself enrolling my boys into a regular old public school....maybe....but not likely.....it would have to be an AMAZING situation or I would have to be just completely desperate for me to go that route. 5. What else should I know about each area? What question did I forget to ask? This would not be something we do right away. Most likely I would wait until after the summer so my college student can be home with us this summer, while we are all still in this grief process. I'm thinking early Fall is the soonest we would make any moves, after he is back in college. We will also visit the family I've mentioned a few time between now and then, and scout out the areas to see it all for ourselves.
  2. Thanks all! I am feeling much better today. We went to our credit union to see what help they could offer (we didn't expect much). As expected, they could not do anything about the payment since it had already cleared, though they did refund the overdraft fee as a courtesy. I called the credit card customer service again today. Today they could see the payment had posted. They advised me to fax in a letter showing proof the payment came from my bank, and requesting a refund. I did that immediately. I waited a few hours to give them time to process the fax. I called in and told my whole story again to the customer service agent, she put me on hold for about five minutes, and came back to tell my her supervisor had approved and processed the refund, and they would Fedex it to me. I should have it by the end of this coming week. Thank the Lord! I was so worried they would say too bad, too sad, they weren't going to give it back since it was owed. They actually were very kind and gracious about it. Of course, I am still not totally in the clear until that check is in my hands....I will probably call again on Monday to see if there is a tracking number. But I have a bit of cash from a few things I had sold earlier in the week. I get paid from my little part time job on Tuesday so we will have enough funds to put gas in the car and food on the table until our bank account is right. Bills can't get paid, but I will deal with that once I have the refund in hand. So I feel like I can breathe again and this WILL be okay...and a BIG lesson learned to be very careful when I submit online payments!!
  3. My older son was a baseball player from age 4-16...on rec ball teams, all-star teams, and travel teams....we've done it all. Though I don't disagree with giving all the kids a chance to play all positions in Rec ball, at that age.......that was not the reality in the leagues we played in. Even at that age...the better players were obvious...because there ARE players who have been playing since they could play...age 4....so by age 8....they likely have a few years of experience...and let's face it...some parents are just more into baseball with their children than others...and that was obvious too. By that I mean...my DH and son often practiced on their own several times a week outside of the once-a-week team practice. They both loved it. Typically the "better" players are just that because of the practice outside of the team. Once a week practice in a group setting rarely makes a better player. And even at that age, our league had all-star teams. What that means is the league formed one all-star team for each age group...they played an extended season and played in tournaments around our large city, and other areas of the state. So my point is...the teams that are going to win are the teams that put the players who can play at the key positions...and the other players take turns rotating in to the other positions (and at that age that typically means outfield). AND parents who have been in the baseball thing for a few years KNOW this and are going to get frustrated with a losing team because players are constantly rotated. So that sounds way to competative for age 8, I KNOW that. But that was the reality of the rec leagues that we played in, and against. Your DH's theory is correct, but it's not reality. I think there has to be a happy medium. A balance of this player is great at 1st base...so he plays a some innings there, and this guy is not go great, but he really wants to try it...so he gets a few innings at 1st base too. And whoever said that you should not be the back-seat coach is dead-on. My DH also coached a few years. He could not make every parent happy, and some parents were downright rude and disrespectful. Last thing he will want to hear is that negative feedback at home.
  4. I'm sick to my stomach....I scheduled a payment for a credit card and apparently I chose the "pay full balance" option that was just below the "pay minimum amount due" option. I didn't realize it and it came out of my bank account today. Almost $1000...and it was ALL of our money :0! Problem is, DH is in school full time, and working part time...I also work part time...we watch every dime carefully, and squeeze our pennies until they bleed as we scrape by...so this REALLY hurts. Had I realize it before today I could have cancelled the payment..but we didn't realize until suddenly our debit card was declined today. When we realized why I immediately called the card company to see if they could refund or stop the payment, but they couldn't do anything since it was in a "pending status"....taken from our bank but yet not credited to the card account yet...too late to stop it yet too early to do any sort of credit. Also it is a store credit card so it's not like I can just use the card to pay bills instead of the bank account..it is only good at THAT store. Goodness I have messed up. The customer service advised me to call back in a day or two when the payment has actually hit the account and they will advise from that point. So my question...has anyone ever overpaid a credit card by a HUGe amount and able to get a refund rather quickly? My fear is they will say that I am the one that did it (I did accidently select the pay full balance option) and it WAS owed on the card...so they won't refund it. I don't think I can dispute at my bank because again, it was something I did, accident or not. Tell me good news, please!
  5. We dropped my oldest son off at college for the first time last week and helped him move into his dorm. This son did attend public high school from 9th-12th. Although he has always been a bit of an introvert, he did find a nice solid group of good kids for friends (something he always lacked as a homeschooler due to his introvertness). His college roommate is a friend from school. The college is a large University just over an hour from home, so there are alot of people from our general area there. Another friend from school lives on the same floor. As we were there moving him in, a handful of guys my son and his roommate knew, stopped by to say hi. My son and his roommate left for a bit to go say hi to some other friends in another building. Though in the beginning of the college search, this time last year, we were encouraging him to go to a college a bit farther away, out of state, so he could be his own person, be whoever he wanted to be, and not be in that same "box" that he may have been known as within his high school. But now that we've moved him in, I have to say I feel much more comfortable knowing he already has a community there. For him especially, because he is a bit reserved (once he warms up he is fine but he is never one to start a conversation with a stranger). I just don't know how he would have done if he went to a college where he didn't know a single person. On move-in day, since everyone had their dorm room doors open as they moved in, I could see some people where it did seem like they didn't know anyone...their roommates weren't there yet....they were basically just staying in their room......it was just a whole different thing compared to the traffic coming in and out of my son's room. I kinda felt bad for those guys. (Maybe because I am a bit of an introvert as well....I can understand how difficult it can be to put yourself out there in a new environment.). I did remind my son and his roommate about what others may be going through and ask that they try to include others on the floor when they go participate in campus events over the next few days. So that got me to thinking.....as of now, we don't plan on putting our two younger boys into public school...the plan is to homeschool all the way through....so they may be the one who doesn't know a single person on campus when the time comes. On the other hand, I know there must be plenty of students in that position and they must survive and make a new circle of life at college. I know my son's college has a whole bunch of events the first 5 days that are all about getting out and about, and meeting fellow students, etc...but even that I picture as difficult...imagine going to this huge student event and not knowing anyone (I guess you may have roommate at least). My own college experience was similiar to my son's...lots of local people at a college that wasn't too far from home...so I don't know much different. It must makes me worry about ANOTHER factor of homeschooling that involves that stupid nagging socialization issue that gets even harder as they move into high school. Has your child went off to college without knowing anyone else there and was able to build a circle of life? It can happen, right?
  6. Boys! My husband and two sons were cleaning out the boy's bathroom. My husband asked my then six year old to "dump out the trash can"....intending it to be dumped into the big black garbage that was sitting, half-full from prior cleaning, on the bathroom floor. My six year old promptly turns the bathroom trash can and "dumps it out"...all over the floor. Shocking, yet hilarious! My son had no evil intent...he literally didn't know any different.
  7. Varied here. My son's high school graduation was on a Wednesday night at 7p. I wore a nice maxi dress with a denim jacket, my DH wore dark jeans and a nice casual button down shirt, 13DS and 10DS wore nice shorts and casual button down. I saw all types of clothes on other people in the audience though. Ratty looking jeans, and tshirts, all the way to suit and tie. I think we are at a point in society where it doesn't really matter so much. I mean, these days many churches welcome all kinds of casual dress and even mention that on their website "no need to dress up". Recent weddings I attend, I was surprised to see how casual people were dressed.
  8. I'd look at the recommendations from some of the potential colleges he thinks he MAY want to apply for. Both CS and Engineering are high tech majors and the basic $400 laptop typically isn't going to cut it. My son starts in August for Engineering and they had to "preferred" for his major (and he is just general engineering for the first year)...one was a Dell and one was a Lenevo...both were $1400+ price range. A Mac was on the a "acceptable" list, but not the "preferred" list for his college.
  9. Have you looked to see what the college recommends? Every college we applied to, and the one my son will attend in the fall, has a list of recommend laptops. They even narrow it down to the "preferred" one for some majors.
  10. And that is perfectly fine...though you may find it difficult in the future as it's not just Apple that is moving away from the cd/dvd format. Many computer companies are moving that way. We have several PC's in the house (cheaper than a Mac for kids) and they don't have cd/dvd drives either. Also do note that if you purchase music, say from iTunes (which can be done on a PC as well as a Mac), it's not lost just because the device crashes. It's always yours. Just log into iTunes on your new computer, or any computer ,and there it's in your library, forever yours.
  11. I work for Apple. There is ONE MacBook Pro that offers the CD/DVD drive. It's the only one that is non-Retina, and it's in the 13inch size. If you are on the MacBook Pro page, it's way on the bottom and the cheapest MBPro you can get. But the real question is WHY do you want a CD/DVD drive? I mean, almost everything these days is a download. You can get most any software as a download. If it's a software that you already own on disc...unless it's made for Mac, it won't be compatible. If it's to watch movies on DVD....well, honestly spend $30 and get a cheap DVD player...or get Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu etc to watch movies. In general, the MacBook Pro is more powerful, as it has much faster processors and more RAM. It's my personal opinion the MacBook Air is a pretty basic computer. I only recommend it to people if all they really want to do is use their computer for internet surfing/Facebooking etc. If you want to really do anything that requires a few programs running, the MacBook Pro is the way to go.
  12. Our Whole Foods has a meat special every Tuesday. Chicken Breasts (big fat juicy ones) are $2.99 a pound. Ground Round is $2.99 a pound. Though not organic or grass-fed, it still meets WF's standards, which is no chemicals involved in the animal raising situation. I imagine they do this because we have a Fresh Market that does the same thing on Tuesdays.
  13. Welll..the thing is, I've been anti-vaccination long enough to know how these conversations go...those who are against versus those who aren't....and I've already seen it in this conversation to a mild degree (thankfully it stayed pretty civil!). My question was directed to those that had been in a similiar situation as I am in. Though all the responses from those that chimed in were helpful, even if many had not been in the same situation at all, and even if it did feel like some were REALLY pro-vaccination and wanted to push me that way. I won't be pushed blindly. I am sorry you are confused. But I don't have to clarify my stance to you...and I won't. I always welcome you to do your own research on each individual vaccination though, and make the choice that is best for your family, while I do the same for my own. That should clear up any confusion for you. That we made the best decision for us, and you did the same.
  14. Thanks all....all very interesting information that you've shared. We haven't done Flu shots ever (and this son has attended public school for 9th-12th with 1600 students in the building). Of course, that will eventually be his choice, but right now, he's happy to go along with whatever....he doesnt much care to put thought in to it...he's an 17 year old male. We haven't done the Chicken Pox vaccine ever....I've never met or heard of a person who died from Chicken Pox. Uncomfortable, yes, death, no. And I am aware the adult version can be worse, and cause shingles. Still a no for us. The HPV...no. Measles, and Meningtiis...you've helped sway me..he needs to do those for sure. And mumps, sounds like something too. I will have to talk over the information with the health care provider we go to. I think you are right, I do need to make an effort to get his old medical records, just so we have it on hand.
  15. As we prepare for DS17 to head off to college (living in dorms) in August, one of the things we have to take care of is the medical forms and vaccination records. A bit of history...when he was a baby and toddler, we did all vaccinations by the Dr. recommended schedule (he was our first and we had no idea we had a choice, or should even MAKE a choice...very mainstream). By the time he was age 6, we were homeschooling and had met some "crunchy mama's" and we had our eyes opened up about vaccinations. We also were able to get a Pediatrician who was open-minded about whether families vaccinated. We stopped vaccinations at that point. When he was about 10 and started playing tackle football, we did get a Tetanus vaccination because it can be transmitted through soil and well, one is laying on the ground alot in football. He's been in public school for high school and we just used the state exemption form. No trouble there. We've also not really done well checks since about age 12 or so. He's rarely sick and overall we are a pretty healthy family (though he did get annual physicals for sports). My point is we've moved to a different state about 6 years ago, and haven't really been to a real Dr. since. I can only assume the last pediatrician in the last state may have his shot records....but at this point, I honestly have no idea what he has or hasn't had in terms of vaccinations. So now college. They want proof of certain vaccinations or titers...OR an exemption form signed. On one hand, I wonder if we should get titers done so HE knows what he's had done, as he moves into adulthood. Or if we should just do the exemption form, and let him deal with his own vaccination choices down the road when/if it comes up. Then there is the meningitis vaccination...I almost think that should be a YES because of the living conditions in dorms...and I know that the handful of times there have been "epidemics" in recent years have been in college dorm situations. But then my other anti-vaccination brain is still all like NO WAY, DANGER, etc. But how horrible if he did get meningitis and I knew we could have prevented that. If you've been more of a anti-vaccination type of parent in the past and your child went off to college, how did you handle the vaccination issue?
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