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TianXiaXueXiao

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About TianXiaXueXiao

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. We use expat shield and it allows us to watch on BBC from US.
  2. I would have her evaluated for tmj disorder by a dentist and I would have her vitamin d and thyroid levels checked. I would also do allergy and sensitivity testing. I would take these measures before making big dietary changes. I suffer chronic headaches and ever since I started taking super doses of vitamin d due to deficiency, I feel like a new person! Seriously, I used to have daily headaches that disrupted my life. Now I'm only getting them when I sleep wrong or during menstruation.
  3. In CS Lewis' memoir about his youth, Surprised by Joy, the tarts (male or female) in his school were the ones who offered company and sex to the bullies who ran the show.
  4. Homeland Mad Men The Americans Six Feet Under Parks and Recreation 30 Rock 3rd Rock from the Sun Law and Order (original series) Outlander X-Files
  5. Praying for your dear daughter and for your mama's heart. Peace be with you.
  6. We bought with a 0 down USDA loan for rural communities last year. Our home was $237,000 in a HCOL area. Our monthly mortgage is roughly $1500.
  7. I am going to include a lot of background because it is helpful to see how we came to become a part our church which was the result of decades of church-hopping. I became a Christian at age 38. Before I was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church, I had been "spiritual but not religious" for most of my life. I was raised in a non-mainstream, non-Trinitarian, Gnostic religion that used the word "Christian" but was not Christian by definition since there was no teaching that Jesus Christ was truly the Incarnate Son of God. In that religion, Jesus Christ was merely a man who had attained enlightenment and had therefore become the model for the "perfect man." For the majority of my life, I accepted this as actual Gospel Truth. I understood myself to be a Christian and when I became an adult, I rejected the religion I had grown up in but I still believed that I had been taught the truth; I just didn't abide by the institution of the religion and it's rules, stewardship, and governance. As an adult I visited many protestant and non-denominational churches, and quickly discovered that they all had a completely different understanding about Jesus Christ than what I embraced, so I jumped around from church to church until I could find one that either had the truth or would accept me despite the fact that I held a very different fundamental understanding. Daoism was the closest belief system to what I believed about the world and the natural order, so I really embraced it as my core belief, but I didn't like leaving out Jesus, so my search for a church continued. After years of this church-hopping, I had finally arrived at the Quakers or Religious Society of Friends and finally felt that I could belong to a religion. The problem was that there was little if any talk about God or prayer in the fellowship hours after the mostly silent meetings. There was no formation for young souls and no formation for older adults as the local Friends Meeting in our town was solely devoted to advocacy for human rights and social change. After sticking around for a while and hoping to get something more spiritual from the meetings, I finally concluded that we were joining a club and not a spiritual body. I mean no offense to any Friends on the boards, as I am sure there are differences among the congregations. Not long after our Quaker encounters, we were mystically led (I have shared this story elsewhere on the boards and don't want to take up the time here) to attend an evening prayer service (known as Vespers) at the only Orthodox Church in town which I had happened to live next door to. As soon as I entered the Church, I knew I had finally found a true spiritual home. I was so drawn to the church that I no longer wished for a church that accepted my beliefs about Jesus Christ, but instead desired to understand why my understand was faulty and to change it. It was a radical shift to discard all of my previously held beliefs and to embrace a completely different theology that included not only the divinity of Jesus Christ, but the worship of the Holy Trinity, and the respect and veneration of Mary the Mother of God. A couple years after our baptism, we moved to a different state and to a region that had not just one, but many canonical local Orthodox churches. When we asked our former priest how to go about finding a new parish, his advice was much like what Patty Joanna shared above. He told us to find the smallest mission church, no matter the distance from our home, and dedicate our selves to that church so that we grow in the faith and service of others in humility. We struggled with this advice at first, but after being in the same small church for the last two years, there is really no other place to be. It is our community even though we drive 45 minutes to 1.5 hours one way depending on traffic and cross the state border to participate in the life of our beloved church!
  8. There are many different kinds of studio schools and many have attached dance companies. Our school has a company but they are performance oriented and not competitive for trophies, medals, etc. The options where we live are parks and rec, studio schools (like what we are in), and serious pre-professional academies. I think the commitment level is an important factor in finding the right approach to dance. If we had a lot of disposable income, I still wouldn't spring for the pre-professional academy unless dd wanted to be at the Academy daily. She loves dance but she also loves cooking, horse riding, painting, pottery, and swimming in addition to just goofing off with family and friends.
  9. Please forgive me. I'm calculating Pointe shoes and costumes into the cost. The classes alone are $400 per month.
  10. I probably wasn't clear. I am talking about a lifestyle now at this age. If my daughter were at the Russian ballet academy today at age 12 she would be expected to dance 2 hours 4 days a week and our monthly tuition would be at minimum $575. Too me that is pretty darn serious. Maybe there are other academies that aren't this dedicated but this is the option here. I think it is worth the money and time if one is truly dedicated to a life of dance. My daughter has a passion for ballet but she also likes having a more open schedule. As it is she dances 3 days a week for 1.5 hours and more during rehearsals. It's a good fit for dd and her teacher is a former pro so it's a a legit classical studio but not necessarily pre-pro. There is nothing wrong with going the pre-professional route for someone who doesn't necessarily dream of a life as a dancer, but just be prepared for lots of time and money committed to dancing.
  11. We decided early on that dd wasn't going to dance professionally, so we chose a dance studio in our small town when she was 5. She is a natural and strong dancer, so when we moved to a major metropolitan area two years ago, we seriously considered a Russian ballet academy, but after watching the documentary film First Position, dd realized that she likes ballet as a hobby but not as a life. We enrolled her in another small town studio where she gets a lot of love and support and she has some responsibility as a teacher's assistant. She still watches First Position frequently and has not changed her mind. I would only go with a serious classical ballet academy if you have a dancer who wants to be committed to dance as a lifestyle.
  12. We do our studies where we feel like doing them. The majority of seat work happens at the dining table, but sometimes it's on the couch in the living room and sometimes dd does it on her bed. She does computer based work in the office on the desk top because she is no longer allowed to use the laptop after dropping and breaking it not once, but twice. We also do work at the library and at coffee houses which is what I like to do the most. I would love to have a dedicated study with built in bookshelves and comfy big chairs but we don't have a spare room for that in our 3 bed 2 bath house. Our living room does have some built ins and that is where the piano is, so I like to do our studies in there, especially in winter (I dunno why).
  13. Same story here. We lucked out because we have grown to like our house. It has good bones and a decent sized lot. The neighborhood is safe and quiet. It's a 10 minute bike ride to dh's work and even though the house is smallish at less than 1400 sqft, there's enough room for all of us. We had to buy with 0 down and we are happy that the mortgage payment is still less than rent would be by a long shot!
  14. I used to fly to China for under $600 round trip with open ended return. In 2005 my ex's one way ticket was $300. Now it's a deal to find anything under $2000 roundtrip.
  15. Using your specs in my town yields 2 houses. They are significantly larger for the square footage but newer and on an acre. They are both listed for $1,265,000. There is one house that is older with a lot of deferred maintenance and only 2600 sqft going for $560,000.
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