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Jen in PA

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Everything posted by Jen in PA

  1. I tend to make a big mixed grill on the weekend, and then sides that work well to mix and match. So I might grill chicken, burgers, hot dogs/bratwurst, hot sausage patties, boneless ribs, vidalia onion halves, and peppers. Frequent sides are green salad, fruit salad, baked beans, coleslaw, pasta salad, white bean salad, black bean salad, potato salad, and hummus with veggie dippers. I just grab various combinations and microwave as needed throughout the week. I also cook down chicken in the crockpot to shred and serve with nachos, make chicken salad, or top green salad. Boneless pork ribs in the crockpot can be shredded for sandwiches and to serve on nachos or as taco filling.
  2. I voted other, but my situation is a bit odd. I have Reynaud's Disease (diagnosed in my teens), but the worst symptoms disappear if my thyroid meds are at a good level. I have lasting nerve damage from the years my thyroid issues went untreated, and that can result in sensations of hot tingling areas when my exposed skin first comes in contact with really cold air. The flip side is that when i touch something really hot I usually get a sensation of ice cold somewhere on my skin. My wiring is pretty messed up. :laugh: I do pretty well overall in almost any weather, though. I actually enjoy the extremes, and missed them during the years I lived in California. I love it when the temps are in the 90s, and I don't mind shoveling when it is below freezing.
  3. 5 or 5:15 on weekdays. I can often sleep in until 6 one day per week, but that might disappear this school year.
  4. All of us really enjoyed Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (and read by the author). It is a bit under an hour -- very short -- and very funny!
  5. Have you ever had a c-section? I just went through very similar symptoms, and after having a pelvic ultrasound that showed nothing, it looks like my problem could be adhesions from my 2 c-sections. My last one was nine years ago, and I had no idea that issues could crop up after so long. I did not have the bloating issue, though, just pressure. I think the bloating could be a digestive issue.
  6. The Guardian. I have it set to the US edition on my PC and the UK edition on my tablet. I listen to NPR when I am in the car with DH.
  7. The public schools in our district are not an option -- both middle schools and the sole high school are so low-performing that students here have the right to state funds to attend other public -- and even selected private -- schools instead. Not many parents use this option, since that leaves them transporting their own kids across a few counties, but it does say something about just how lousy our schools are.
  8. What I have said to my kids is that even if they feel they have been invited into a neighbor's house, I feel like it is asking the adult in that house to be in charge of them. For neighbors I am friendly with, this doesn't feel like an intrusion, while with neighbors I am not that close to, it does. I have handled it more as an issue of manners than safety. Our situation is a bit unusual, though, since the households with kids near us are either foster families (who are even stricter than I am about this sort of thing) or grandparents raising children due to some very serious parental issues, which makes them pretty cautious as well.
  9. Three pairs of jeans at present, two of which are hand-me-downs. I only replace them if they get torn or stained beyond repair. I am more of a skirt/dress person. I have considered buying some nice black slacks since they sound so practical, but I can't see when I would wear them that it wouldn't make just as much sense to wear a skirt.
  10. Ok, the snap circuits set is this one, but I got it for $30 from National Geographic over the summer, and they don't appear to carry it any more. I also got the rock tumbler from them for a steal. The marble run is this one, and these are the juggling balls. The craft stuff for dd is just small things I have picked up over the year for her sewing and weaving, plus a velvet poster kit that Mindware doesn't seem to carry now. This American Girl dvd is the one I got dd. This is her Hello Kitty robe and bath set. Ds got this Captain America bath set. They collect Schleich figures. but the price has gone way up on the one I got ds. Dd got this one. Amazon is out of the spa kit, but this is the one I got. The games we got are Forbidden Island and Zeus on the Loose. Hope that helps!
  11. I am on the tablet now, but I'll post links when they clear out of the room with the computer. :-)
  12. I happen to have an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old girl! He is getting lots and lots of legos, the snap circuits deluxe rover, books, pajamas, and juggling balls. She is getting an AG doll and dvd, legos, a spa science kit, books, a robe, and some craft supplies. They are also getting things to share: a marble run, a rock tumbler, some new games, and yet more books.
  13. On Christmas Eve my kids gets pajamas and their memory boxes for the year. I used to do scrapbooks, but I never really enjoyed making those. Now I get pretty boxes at Michaels, and put all of their special objects from the year inside. We open them on Christmas Eve, and sit together looking through the cards, ticket stubs, certificates, field trip loot, and vacation mementos that I collected through the year.
  14. My dd got my stepson's hand-me-down ipod when she was 9. I was seriously annoyed that he did this without asking us first because I hadn't planned on that sort of thing until she was older. It has turned out to be more positives than negatives for us, though. It is set to my apple id, and she needs me to put in the password for every app -- even the free ones. She knows that it must always be available for parental inspection. She uses it to check her email, IM cousins and friends, watch Netflix, and listen to podcasts. The best part is that she can download ebooks and audiobooks through the library, so she is constantly loading it up with interesting things.
  15. :iagree: I have felt really overwhelmed the past few holiday seasons. I do everything I can to lighten the load -- get as much done before December as possible, keep decorating minimal, serve meals for company buffet-style, keep a lighter-than-usual schedule for school..... It still adds up. Every time I threaten to drop something I get puppy-dog eyes from the kids, who are attached to all of our traditions.
  16. For mashed potatoes, I only use real potatoes -- preferably done with a hand masher, skins on. I own a ricer, but find that I prefer my mashed potatoes on the chunkier end of the spectrum. I do sometimes buy the potato flakes to use as a gluten free substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes, though.
  17. Tomorrow I have to make the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. I have to assemble the stuffing components I prepped today, and shape and bake rolls from the dough I made today. Pies and other sides were all made in advance. No way could I do everything in one day.
  18. Pepsodent works for my kiddo who can't handle most mint toothpastes, but felt like he was outgrowing the Tom's of Maine strawberry. I think it tastes like wintergreen lifesavers.
  19. My 10 year-old dd loved the small loom I got her last year, and enjoys cross-stitch kits and knitting supplies. She still uses the oil pastels and sewing supplies she got last year. This year she is getting a rock tumbler that she wanted for making jewelry. She also likes legos, books, bath and beauty stuff, and clothes.
  20. What has she liked for past holidays? Does she have any hobbies?
  21. Country, but not a ton of people walk around here, mostly just kids going to each other's houses. I can see the post office from my house, and our next-door neighbors actually drive to it to get their mail (no home delivery here) rather than walk. On the other hand, in 15 minutes I could walk through the entire village and take time to visit the sheep, too. :D
  22. My kids usually get to pick a show on Netflix or Amazon to watch while they eat breakfast. DH and I get up a couple of hours before them, so we can't really do a family breakfast, and I find that it keeps them occupied while I finish up all of the things I need to get done before school starts.
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