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Posts posted by Mom2pandc

  1. I am about as anti-debt as they come after fighting my way through debt and out of all debt over the last several years. I'm also a Dave Ramsey follower after following his financial advice for years and have completely flipped our financial situation into a very very positive one.


    I don't think that you can get ahead while in debt. You are feeling defeated by your student loans and saying you will never pay them off. Debt is debt. Trying to get financing on a car is not a good idea. You already stated you've been denied. That's for a reason. You have a lot of debt already! Adding more to the mix is not going to make your life better.


    Ask yourself, "if I had a paid for $15k car, would I go take out a loan against it for the whole value in order to put $15k more in my Edward jones account?" I'm guessing the answer is no. And it's really the same thing. If you finance the car, it's an illusion that you have kept the $$$ in your account. You owe the bank that amount.


    I would not touch the retirement accounts or college accounts, or your $10k savings/emergency fund. This isn't an emergency it's just a really big inconvenience that does need to be addressed sooner rather than later.


    So here are a couple suggestions

    1. If they total the car based on a dent, see if you can 'buy back' the car for a cheaper amount than the insurance check. Limp it along for a few months. In the meantime, I would TEMPORARILY stop putting money in retirement, college, emergency savings, and pile up as much cash as you can to put with the remainder of the insurance check and buy a van with that as soon as you get enough together to buy a cheap van. Then continue saving for another 6 months or so and keep moving up in vehicle until you're in a decent priced reliable vehicle by selling your current one and putting that $$ with the $$ you save.

    As soon as that's taken care of, jump right back into investing in retirement, etc. although part of me thinks you need to keep that on hold longer and pay the student debt off.


    2. Take the $ out of the inheritance to make up the difference of what you get from insurance. I would lower my price point to about $10k. You may have to look farther out or for less of a car, but you should be able to find something reliable for that price. It might not be super pretty, and it might not be exactly the kind you want, but you need to protect your investment and you also are in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt between house and student loans.


    I encourage you to pick up a copy of the total money makeover at the library. It has seriously changed our outlook on money and improved our marriage and financial life drastically. Honestly, if you try the method for 6 months and hate if, you can always go back to the way you are currently doing things.....what do you have to lose?

    • Like 1
  2. I use EveryDollar by Dave Ramsey. It is so simple and sleek. Not a bunch of extra stuff that I don't need. It isn't visually cluttered like some of the others I've looked at. It's easy to use both on the computer and on a smart phone. Both my husband and I can access it to assign transactions, check the budget, or make changes.

    I do pay the $99 a year for the plus to have it linked to my bank accounts. However, as long as I have done a budget and assign all the transactions to their appropriate categories, I no longer have to check my bank balance or balance my checkbook. The time savings alone of not doing those things is worth it to me because we use our debit cards a lot. Especially my husband who uses his several times a day during the week. I don't have to worry about overdrafts of our account if I didn't check what he debited and if I have big checks outstanding. It just shows up in the app and I drag and drop it into its category.

  3. Lots of pictures and video as you said. We've had a few incidents like a tree limb through the roof followed by heavy rain, and a faulty pump in the basement that flooded the basement. We were told we are responsible for mitigating the damage. Like we hurried up and had the roof fixed, called the restoration company out right away, etc. you can always ask the professionals what else they think you should do since they are familiar with working with the insurance companies.

    As others said, I would bring in your home owners policy right away as this is going to exceed your deductible fast if it's in the walls and floors.

    • Like 1
  4. I just started binge watching Limitless. Its a spin off a movie with Bradley Cooper that I have not seen, but you can understand the show without seeing the movie. Season 1 is on Netflix right now. I'm about halfway through and love it so far.


    Another one I was quite suprised I liked so much was Breakout Kings. There are two seasons total and it got cancelled but doesn't completely leave you hanging on an existing story line, rather they were going to start a new one and it ended. The killings and violence aren't in your face. The camera cuts away and it's more implied than shown which I appreciate. The second season was a little more violent than the first, but still much less than other shows and it's only for a short part usually. Not endless scene after scene if you know what I mean. It was a really good show in my opinion.

  5. I've been using emeals. I used it many years ago and it has improved a lot. I use the 30 minute meal plan and find that even though there are usually one or two (sometimes 3) recipes some of us might not eat it's still plenty of recipes for the week. I have enough saved in my favorites index (on the app), have leftovers, or we eat out once a week or so. I like the grocery list automatically updating when I delete a meal. We have so much less waste than when I tried to plan myself and then wouldn't get to a meal that week, or forgot what I bought an ingredient for. This way I put them on my list for the week and just go right down the list each day (occasionally I skip around, but it's less mental energy if I just go down the list)

    Emeals has a two week free trial. I don't know if others do, but that might be your best bet. Just try them for the shorter term to see what you like and what you don't. Even if the price per week is higher, it would be cheaper in the long run than paying a bunch up front for a long term and hating it.

  6. Emeals.com has a subscription option for 30 minute meals. We've been using it for 3 or 4 months now and love it. Even when I'm exhausted I know I can get a good supper on the table in less than a half hour. The variety is nice as is the flexibility to add meals I to your favorites and use them to swap out something your family may not like. They have an excellent app that compiles your weekly menu, an editable grocery list, and has the recipes all in one place. Even if you don't have a smart phone using the printable lists are simple too.

    I've saved more money on less wasted food than the cost of a yearly subscription. In fact my grocery budget has decreased quite a bit overall since we started using it. The food is 'real' too. Not a lot of prepackaged artificial ingredients in the mix at all. Sometimes the sides might be a box of something, but more often than not its freezer veggies or something along those lines.

  7. Last year my daughter was just turned 9 and in 4th. I got the apologia zoology 1, the student notebook, and the audio book from audible (it was cheaper to get it from audible). Then I had her follow the schedule in the front of the notebook but had her read along while she listened to the audio. That way she didn't get hung up on the words she didn't know or couldn't pronounce. Then she did the notebook pages herself. Sometimes I modified how many workbook pages she did, or had to help her with some of the terminology, but otherwise, it worked great for her to do independently.

    Audible has all of the zoology books on audio, and I got the second book for her, but her reading has improved enough she now prefers to read it herself even if it's at a slightly slower pace.

  8. Downtown south bend is kind of a mess right now with a street project that is taking one way streets and making them two way... The Mishawaka exit would be just a couple miles from the Grape Road area that has tons of food and shopping. There is a really nice river walk and park area closer to downtown Mishawaka. My family likes to park at Central Park on Mishawaka avenue and walk west along the river, cross one of the bridges (usually the one at Logan street) and come back on the other side of the river. If you do that loop its about a 3 mile walk but it's quite nice with lots of old rock structures that I remember playing on as a kid, Kamm island park, and the nice water features at Beutter park.


    There is one Bonnie Doon left in south bend, the one in Mishawaka closed. I can't think of any restaurants that are close to the park, but there are a couple of mom and pop type places, or regular chain type restaurants on grape road or McKinley. If you need an amazing donut, rise and roll on Grape road has donuts commonly referred to as Amish Crack donuts :). They also have a little Amish cafe inside that's serves sandwiches and stuff. I'd suggest there for lunch and donuts, then head to the park. 😀

    • Like 3
  9. I have a 12 year old who has been obsessed with bees since he was 9. He got his first hive last year and will be adding more this year. I will say it is a very expensive hobby. To start it was about $350 for the hive and a package off bees was $125. Late last fall the queen died, and I couldn't find a way to get one locally and had to pay $60 to have one shipped overnight from California. We were able to harvest 22 pounds of honey and sell it only because we needed to make room for the new queen to lay brood since it was full of honey. I think my son made about $160 from selling it.

    The hives will not last forever, they are wood and we've already had some issues with it splitting.


    It is very fun however! The bees are not very aggresive at all and most of the stinging so that have happened are because one of the kids swiped at the be in fear. We have a lot of space (22 acres) but it doesn't take much room at all, just don't block their entrance. My son has taught himself a lot from reading blogs and bee keeping forums. He also took a class that a local beekeeper was teaching for 6 weeks last year.

  10. My son is doing Apologia General Science this year and into next year (6th grade now). my 4th grader is doing the elementary series and I found the audio for those was less expensive if bought through an audible subscription. I noticed they also have the general science on Audible but my son opted to just read it. I have found the notebook to be a valuable resource because he can take notes and answer the questions as he finds them in the reading instead of at the end.

  11. Looking for advice as I'm a little confused since we've never used a literature based curriculum. I'm looking to use BF ancients next year for my 7th grader and I also will have a 5th grader. I'm not 100% that I will use it for both, but if I do, how does it work to have them use it at the same time? Am I destined to read it all out loud? Do I have them share the literature books? I can see that becoming chaotic to have them both using the same book to read it by themselves. Could I start the older one and have the younger start a couple weeks later so they are using different books? Also is it too tough for a 5th grader who is a good reader but somewhat reluctant?

  12. I've done the business math in our co op for the last two years. The first year I did two different classes but one had 12 and the other 15 students. We had 14 class sessions and were able to complete it but we all did one store together. I let some things be chosen as a vote and other things they took turns picking.

    This year I inly have 5 students and I'm letting them each do their own. It takes a little more time helping them with the math but both ways has worked well and I've gotten a lot of compliments on the classes.

    My classes were 5th and 6th grade and this year I have some 4th graders in it as well.

    • Like 1
  13. Why are you making him spend an hour on something he already knows?

    I'm not making him spend an hour on it. I give him 8-10 problems out of the problem set, some new stuff, some review of things he's missed before. And it takes him over an hour most days. When I look at him he's staring into space. When he misses half the problems after taking that long I question if he really does know it. When I review it with him he gives me a dazed look and says oh no the answer is ______.

    My tendency is to believe he doesn't know something when he's getting 50% of them wrong and it's taking a prolonged period of time. But when he can find his errors when I point the problem out, I am confused.

    If he truly knows it, it should take him 15 - 20 minutes. Hence why I'm questioning if it's a just a stage he's going through.

    • Like 1
  14. My ds12 is gifted. He was tested and all. He's the one track mind kind of gifted though. *sigh*. He's done Singapore math for the last couple years and after 5B I floundered on what to use. We started with MM 6 but it was mostly review. So I started him in Saxon 1/2. Mainly because it looked like a solid review and built some on things I know he already knows!

    He's currently on lesson 31 and I'm over here just beating my head against the wall. He knows the material but spaces out and takes FOR-EV-ER. I've only been having him do about every other problem because otherwise it will take him 2 hours instead of 1. Ive encouraged him to take breaks, walked him through it, etc. Then he will miss 5-7 out of 15. When I ask him to tell me how he did it, he usually says, oops, I multiplied that too many times, or whatever. And he finds his own mistake. It's driving me batty. If I am there walking through each one with him he does fine. He knows this stuff! But when the rubber meets the road and it's time to execute, he gets a blank look and is probably writing computer code in his mind or dreaming about his bee hives that he's adding next spring.

    DH wants to make him have homework (i.e. More problems to do in the evening) if he gets less than 80% correct. But DH usually works late and I quite frankly have other things to do!

    I'd love advice but right now I'm not quite ready to change curriculum again as I think it's more DS12's brain and not the actual text.

    • Like 1
  15. I would think of Saxon 6/5 as a 5th grade book, which gets a typical student to algebra in 8th if you don't need to do both 8/7 and Algebra 1/2. I have used both programs and believe Singapore is definitely accelerated compared to Saxon. I compared 7/6 and Singapore 5 and topics covered were very similar. My daughter easily went from Singapore 5 to a pre-algebra text.... I don't think you could do that after Saxon 6/5.


    Personally, I prefer Singapore, but I do have a kid who needs daily practice for retention, so she uses both programs. If you switch to Saxon, I would start her in 6/5 if that's where she places, or Saxon intermediate 5.


    With Singapore, what parts are too easy for her?

    As of right now it looks like she should start in the 7/6 book though. My son has also gone from Singapore 5 straight into pre algebra and thus far it seems to be fine. So I agree that Singapore is great. I guess I'm just wondering if the grass is greener. Haha. She flew through the whole fraction section in 4A and almost daily said it was too easy. Until we got to multiplying a whole number by a fraction. That actually took the 2 lessons for her to understand and now she's mastered that too. Looking forward with angles and the geometry sections I think she can blow through them. I am debating on just giving her the end of lesson reviews to see how she does instead of the 10 or so lessons that covers that.

  16. I switched my daughter (the one I'm asking about) into 2B from math mammoth when she was in 2nd grade. I don't find it too hard to teach. We liked it better than MM because it was a lot less cluttered. There were just too many problems per page on MM. Even if she wasn't doing all of them she had a hard time focusing on the ones she did need to do. Singapore is much more visually appealing to her.

    I have purchased the teachers manuals but rarely use them. Only if I find I'm having a hard time explaining something. For the most part we just work our way through the examples and then I turn her lose in the workbook. I'm not sure if I'm doing it completely "the Singapore way" but I must be doing something right. Haha!

    I'd say give it a try. You can buy just one half of the year and it's fairly inexpensive and they have decent resale.

    FYI I've been using the standards editions.

    • Like 1
  17. My dd9 is currently doing Singapore 4A. I'm struggling with if I should switch to Saxon for many reasons, one being the daily review might be beneficial for her. She completely understands the processes of math. She is, however, kind of slow with math fact recall. It is something we are working on, and she usually gets to the right answer, it just takes her time to rationalize her way to it...like she has to "prove" it to herself logically in her head before she says the answer, or writes it down. It's strange...like I can see the wheels in her head working it out.


    I gave her the Saxon placement test today though and to my somewhat surprise she breezed through the test that would place her in 6/5. She is halfway done with the next test and has gotten 11 out of 12 correct. It says if she gets more than 16 out of 20 correct she would be ready for 7/6. Looking at the remaining problems, I don't think she will miss 3 of them. She's taking a break to work on other stuff and will finish this up later though.


    I guess I'm a little taken aback that my 4th grader would be in a 6th grade level book. There are two things I don't want to happen though; it be too hard and she gets frustrated quickly or it goes too slow and she gets frustrated because it's too easy. That's what the battle with Singapore is right now. We come to sections that are just too easy and I try to bounce her through quickly but I don't want to make the mistake of moving her through too fast either.


    I sound like a goldilocks. I want it juuuuuusssst right. Lol.

    My main question is, if I decide to move her to Saxon, are the placement tests accurate?

    My secondary question is, is here some way for me to adjust Singapore to skip over the easier parts for her instead of making her do most of the lessons out of fear of her missing something that she will need later in the process. I have Singapore all the way through 5B and it would save money to just keep with it. But she's frustrated with feeling like it's too easy.

  18. I'm in the middle of KonMari. I did all the clothes, the papers, the books and movies, then I kind of went by room since the miscellaneous category is so broad. So I am doing like items at once (kitchen items, bathroom items, decor items in each room, etc.). I have made my way through the main floors of the house and my house is sighing with relief with the amount of stuff I have taken out and eased the pain of the floor beams.

    However, I'm now in the throes of the bane of my existence. The basement storage....where all things go to die or be lost forever. I did already pull out books and paper storage (we own a business and this category alone was enough to make me cry) but anyhow, I've lightened the load somewhat in that area. But I have a hodgepodge of holiday, memorabilia, old toys the kids want to save, and things I've hung on to for a garage sale amongst probably 150 other categories of miscellaneous. So in a fit of insanity I decided to completely empty the storage area. I mean completely. I've removed every bit of it to the finished basement family room and am going to stain the concrete floor in the unfinished storage area. Then my grand plan is to sort it all as it goes back into the storage area. I disassembled all of the storage racks even. I think there were 13 of them. And it's 14 years of stuff i felt I might use again someday or I kept for sentimental reasons. It is insanity. I've had a hard time starting the sorting, but in my defense we aren't staining the floor until next weekend, so I have no place to put the already sorted storage items. I did however take one car load our to the donation bin and several bags of trash today.

    All together I think I've probably gotten rid of 20 bags or more of stuff and probably 2 dumpsters of stuff that I pitched including all of the old business files.

    If any of you saw the towering stacks of rubber maid totes in my basement, you would weep, or laugh hysterically. At the very least it would make you feel better about where you are. But seriously imagine pulling out all of your items that you are storing for one reason or another and stacking them in a living space in your house.

    Even with the current chaos though, I can see the light. My main living area is so much easier to maintain. We still get the business paper clutter and the everyone-rushes-in-and-drops-what's- in-their-hands-in-the-kitchen problem, but it takes 10-15 minutes tops to tidy it back up. I can make my house presentable in less than 30 minutes when it's at its worst now. And that's mostly vacuuming and I'm pretty picky about what the house looks like if company is coming.

    Stick with it and finish. I'm confident you will feel lighter, and things will be easier to maintain.

    • Like 3
  19. I agree with the others....skip the lab kit and get the notebook. Inside the notebook is a schedule of what to do each day. It's outlined for 2 days a week and incorporates what pages to read, which notebook pages to do and what experiments are that day. Did is doing it 4 days a week to feed her animal love :)

  20. We just returned from that area (did went to Flip Fest gymnastics camp in crossville). My husband and I camped at fall creek falls and day tripped from there. Our favorites that we went back to with the kids after we picked them up from their camps are: fall creek falls, burgess falls, stone door and savage falls, and rock island. All are within an hour of crossville. There is a huge used book store in crossville that dd and I went to and if you make it to cookeville, just west of crossville, there is a restaurant called Bellacino's that was absolutely great. It's a pizza and grinder place. We met the owner the first time we went there and everything was so delicious and they were all so nice which seems to be rare at most restaurants we've been trying lately :).

  21. I had a scale that did the same thing. I think it was just old and tired (like how I feel! Haha). I bought a new glass and metal one from Walmart for around $30. It's by Taylor. It doesn't do the body fat, but has some calorie max thing that tells you not to exceed _____ calories per day to maintain that weight. I don't really use that function, but the accuracy is much better than my old one. I don't get any swings in weight from multiple times of stepping on or moving it over a bit.

  22. You might want to check out Teaching the Classics from Center for Lit. It shows you how to teach literary elements from any book including children's books. It also has a master list of questions in the back that you can pick and choose from. I also have their reading Roadmaps books that has book lists based on how many books you want to do a year and has lists for all grades k-12.

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