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About Meadowlark

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. Hi Meadowlark!

    Long story, short: I'm a travel writer and -- finally -- have started my own blog. I use questions from readers like this one: and I'd like to write a post on your question -- except no identifying info at all!

    Let me know if this sounds good!


    1. Alicia64


      One more question: can you tell me what state you're in? That really determines so much. Again, I won't use your real name or your state -- I'll just call it the Midwest.

      Also, I grew up in San Fran, and it has changed drastically re: crime. It was a beautiful place to visit at one time, but I would not recommend going now. If you want more info., just let me know.

      Please don't think I'm charging for anything, this is totally free.


  2. Great question! We live in the Midwest, so have done most things in Missouri (but not Branson), Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois. My kids have never seen the ocean so if we flew, I’d prefer we go to one. What I think I’m looking for here, is somebody to say something like “We just got back from “xyz”, stayed at this Airbnb, and had a fabulous vacation. I could do that for somebody looking to go to Duluth or St. Louis for example. clear as mud?
  3. So, we're bringing the kids back home to homeschool. I really, REALLY want to take advantage of this newfound freedom and go on some sort of family vacation. I feel like we've been everywhere within driving distance, and I'm not afraid of spending a little money. But where? Ultimately, I'd love to find a last minute deal but know those might be hard to come by for 8 people. It could be something as simple as renting a condo on a beach OR even a cruise. I just don't know where to look to even get prices or ideas. Heeeelp? Thank you.
  4. Thanks for putting this into perspective. This is exactly the honest reality check that I needed.
  5. YES! You hit the nail on the head. Too bad we didn't see what was going on until it all became too much and we lost our cool at the wrong time. It's funny but yes, I do believe he got exactly what he wanted out of this situation. The goal all along was probably to treat these few kids so poorly, that they would leave. What's really sad is that again, this was not supposed to be a super competitive team. When they recruited us, it was all about family. They didn't care about the player's ability-they just cared about good families, work ethic, and commitment. That was said over and over again. But obviously after 3 years of losing over 60% of the games, they changed their tune. Funny thing is, they didn't lose the games because of the kids who never played. They lost because of countless errors of the golden kids (coaches kids!) who never sat out an inning. Ironic.
  6. Funny you say that because my husband and I both agree that we should've walked away after the first year. It was corrupt even back then. It IS hard to go from competitive ball back to rec league ball. But, I see the value in it too. Just for FUN, right? Unfortunately, we started down this travel path and it's hard to go back. On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to have my weekends back again? Oh, I don't know. We have a love/hate relationship with it. I do think it would be relatively detached, however-no doubt we will see this guy from time to time at fundraisers, etc. I guess it's about getting over our pride and doing what's best for our kid, OR standing up for what's right and showing our kids that we walk away from idiots who treat us like that. But then again, my younger son's coach is so far, everything we want.
  7. Each and every response is bringing perspective to this difficult situation. My dh is leaning towards walking away altogether. He just doesn't want to support the organization at all, given that it's headed by this man who has really shown us his true colors. I don't think I mentioned that he axed our son in a TEXT. And, he wasn't even at the game. And, my husband asked if he could speak to him in person and his response was that he didn't want to meet and he didn't want to talk about it at all. This, after 3 years of total dedication to the team that he created. Not once did we ever question him, or not show up, or not pay, or not be supportive of the team. He hasn't even been around this summer to see what this other coach has done, and how he's treated a few of the players. There are about 3 of us in this predicament because this coach decided that the only way he could win, was to rotate right field among 3 players. So that meant that each kid played only 1/3 of every game. And every other kid played every inning of every game. This might be fine and dandy if we were a tryout, elite team. But we're not. And furthermore, the team is not even good! Their record last year was 7-15. So it's not like we're so competitive that this is what we have to do to win the games. That's why it truly felt like they were pushing us out. Who would stand for that? Traveling and paying that much to go see our kid sit on the bench? Ridiculous. We would be fools to accept that. And, this head coach didn't even know the full story and why we might have "popped". At the last minute last year, he emailed us and told us that he would be handing off the coaching duties to the assistant coach for this past summer, because he wanted to coach is oldest son being that it was his last year. So he hasn't even been around the entire season to see what this other coach has done and who has played. Not saying our behavior warrants a pass, but if he a tiny bit of knowledge or even was willing to meet-he might not have been quite so eager to dismiss us. But then again, 2 other people got the same fate and so it probably wouldn't have mattered. And I think his decision tells exactly how valuable he believes me son is to the team. Regarding my younger son-he cares. Initially, we told them both that we were moving on. That we were a family and when someone kicks one of us, they kick all of us. Both boys were very sad, I was crying and the younger guy was crying. It was a tough few days. I know that he would jump for joy if we told him we'd changed our minds. But, he has moved on in his mind and would never expect it. But then the older son...I have no idea how he would take it. He tends to be an Eeyore anyway and his disposition is quite negative. Not to mention, lots of change here since we're bringing him home from school too. He probably feels like his whole world just turned upside down losing both school AND baseball. Mama guilt to the max. I totally get the idea of putting them both in the local rec league. After all, the old saying goes "don't complain unless you're willing to step in". I get it. Heck, it's 5 minutes from our house! That's the league we did prior to joining the travel league. It was...okay. Not great. The issue is lack of commitment and kids who didn't really want to be there or take it seriously. It bothered the kids and it bothered us. So that's why when this travel team was forming (and our son was asked to be on it!), we thought very hard and agreed to take it a year at a time. The first year was okay, but it was very clear that there were 6 kids who had played together the previous year and who all went to school together. We were kind of the outsiders from the start. Plus, my son is a lefty and so he is already limited to 1st, pitching and outfield. We don't even care where he plays, just that he's not on the bench 2/3 of every game. The next year was a little worse-farther travel, playing the elite teams which we obviously lost to. And then this past year was the absolute worst-different coach, not playing, etc. So, all in all, there is really nothing about this kid's experience worth saving. It was time to move on. But this next kid has a pretty good little team, a dream coach, and well, he will play. Plus as I said, the travel won't be as far. It could be a great opportunity for him. I guess it's the issue of whether we ALL need to move on, or put our pride aside and stay with the organization. Part of me says "to h$** with them" there's NO WAY we're staying. But the other part sees 5 years of really great baseball for the younger guy. Ugh.
  8. Please, be gentle. Our hearts are still hurting here. Long story short, our boys, 11 and 8, play(ed) on a travel baseball team. Not elite, try-out, or year-round. Just average (or better than average kids thrown on a team together). This was my older son's 3rd year and my other son's first year. We had become increasingly upset over what was happening with my older son's team. We were traveling farther, paying more, and seeing our kid sit on the bench more and more. It got so bad as to the last few tournaments, he played only 2-3/6 innings per game. The important thing to note here is that him( lefty) and the other lefty, are the only ones who EVER sat on the bench. For 3 years it's been like this although hit a low this year. Again, we are NOT a try-out team and of course we are biased, but we do not feel our son is any less of a player than any of the kids who have never, and I mean never, sat out an inning in 3 years. He works hard, has a great attitude and we work hard to get him to every practice. Well, we committed the ultimate baseball sin-we approached the dugout in anger, like a balloon that finally had to pop after noticing him benched 2 innings in a row. Well, because of that, he got kicked off the team. It's fine, not the way we wanted to go, we were going to leave anyway and we felt that by mistreating our son, they were pushing us out anyway. 2 other kids also go the ax, and they spoke respectfully and privately to the coach about their son's playing time as well. This guy just didn't want ANY feedback of any kind-like a dictator. It's just a corrupt and unfair situation that has many layers. Bottom line, coach (and organization head) is NOT a good guy. So, our dilemma is this. Our other son has a different coach who we really really liked this year. He had a great season. The thing is, we were all set to take BOTH of them out because of the situation with our older son. We wanted nothing to do with the organization (who is headed by my older son's former coach). We didn't want to give any money, or contribute in any way to a team that would treat us like that, and kick our kid out. However, we just got an email from my younger son's coach, and now I'm second guessing. It sounds like exactly what we're looking for in a coach and team. He wants to play more local tournaments and said he lobbied to be put in with teams more our speed. They start in January and there may even be an opportunity for Fall ball down the road. My younger son is a good little ball player and he has already been dubbed the "best catcher" by his coach. All in all, it will probably be altogether a much better and totally different situation. But, still affiliated with the team that kicked my kid out. The big question is-take both of them out based on the principal of it? OR, treat each kid and situation as individuals, and base our decision on what is best for each kid? 2 other factors to note- 1. There really are no other good baseball opportunities here. We are exploring options for our older son who has 2-3 years left, but it looks like the local rec league is all there is. And, it's dismal. But not as bad as sitting on the bench. 2. My older son would obviously be upset, but I don't know to what extent. He knows he was kicked out because of us, but he also recognizes that what was happening just wasn't right. Would it be totally heartless of us to make him watch his brother's games and be any part of the team that he got kicked out of (because of us?). Is that ludicrous to even consider? I don't want to throw away a great opportunity for my younger son, but I can't make a decision that would break my other son's heart either. I would appreciate gentle advice. Believe me, if I could rewind the clock, I would never let either of us approach the dugout that day. But then again, we wouldn't have put him back on that team anyway. I'm so emotional about this I'm not sure I've even thinking logically.
  9. So sorry it's taken me an eternity to get back to you! Basically, not really. I'm finding it really really hard to find reviews of the Aquinas writing program. Sarah (from MP) and I chatted a bit about HC, and she was interested in checking out the writing program too-and maybe some other classes. I guess my question is, what do you omit from the MP cores? Science? Classical studies? With not very many reviews, i'm really scared to try HC. Have you come to any conclusions about it? I thought about just trying out some classes for $1, and then going from there.
  10. Did you use the Tiner books for his only science curriculum? I was wondering if these books could stand on their own for science. What grade level was this?
  11. This is a fun thread. We switched gears a bit this year so here are my thoughts for grades K, 1, 2 Hits: AAR (now used for 5/6 kiddos!) CLE math for 2nd/3rd MP recitation MP Prima Latina So So: BJU Science 2 DL-I didn't have to teach it, but not sure they learned a whole lot really. MP's Traditional Spelling 1 and 2-wasn't super impressed but then again, it's spelling so not sure what would impress me CLE math grade 1-don't like nearly as well as upper grades Misses: Rod and Staff Math (grades 1,2,3)-waaaay too easy and boring for my kiddos after public school
  12. This is an old thread, but I'd love to resurrect it! Now that CLE has a new 7th grade book out, I'm very curious to hear how people are liking the 8th grade book. Thoughts please!
  13. I keep coming back to this thread because well, something about it is intriguing me. But then I keep thinking that it would probably be boring, or religious...but you've all addressed this so I don't know what exactly I'm afraid of. I keep thinking that being that it's CLE, something will be swayed in a way that I don't like. But I can't figure out what that would exactly be....So let me ask you this, what intrigues YOU about it?
  14. I’m hoping there’s someone on here that has stayed at a nice rental in Chicago. Not being familiar with the city, I don’t even know where to start. This is for 8 people who want to spend 3-5 nights exploring major attractions in Chicago. Needs to be really close to a bus line into the city. Thank you!
  15. I recently heard about their writing program and so have been looking at the recorded classes on their website. I wonder if anyone has any good or bad experiences with these classes?
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