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Everything posted by Rachel

  1. I wish travel wasn’t expensive too! I’m scratching the bug with my kids by attempting to visit all the state parks in our state this year. There are 47 (some are historic sites run by the state park system). It‘s taking us to parts of the state we have never been and we are learning a lot. The planning is a little tough, a lot of the little museums, visitor centers, and camp grounds are closed for the season. I have a couple camping trips planned with friends too but no big family trips this year. We went on three trips last year visiting family in various parts of the country. But it isn’t feasible to do that every year.
  2. I think stevia tastes best, but even a small amount upsets my stomach.
  3. I would check into getting base layers. I’ve gotten them for my kids from Walmart. I believe Costco sells them for kids too. This time of year all the outdoor brands are clearing out winter stuff so you may find them on clearance at REI, LL Bean, Sierra Trading Post, or any other outdoor retailer. There are some brands that sell them as 3/4 zip or v neck so they hopefully wouldn’t bother him. For fleece 3/4 zip tops, Childrens Place often has them for under $10, the fleece tends to be thinner than other brands but have held up well for my kids. I have found wool socks are much warmer than any other socks (my kids each have a couple pair and I keep track of them since they are pricey). If your son thinks they are too scratchy, get some thin socks or sock liners to wear underneath.
  4. Poor guy! This sounds like an all around difficult situation. I was hoping with you and his dad being at home it would be more comfortable for him. It took my good friend years to find an overnight caregiver for her medically fragile son. She is a single mom and so often I wish I had the training and ability to help her and give her a break, but I don’t. Becoming friends with her has really opened my eyes to the difficulties some parents face on a daily basis.
  5. This doesn’t answer your question, but as an alternative, could you have a caretaker watch your son at night so that you and your husband can get decent rest?
  6. I would feel weird about wearing one. I wouldn’t outright reject it, but I also wouldn’t go out of my way to make sure I had one for a regular service. We have a few yearly events that are more casual like a potluck, I wouldn’t mind for that because people are mingling. But for a regular church service there isn’t a ton of mingling at my church so it be be strange if people were wearing name tags. I did BSF for a number of years and reluctantly wore the giant name tag, but in that case people don’t go to church together and the small groups were intentionally organized so you weren’t with people you already knew. Name tags made sense in that situation at least at the beginning of the year.
  7. I read The Secret Life of Trees, it was a great book! I even talked my sister into reading despite her skepticism.
  8. I would say we spend on the low end compared to other families we know, but just piano is more than $500 per year per kid. Our kids don’t do really expensive sports: homeschool cross country team, summer swim team through parks &rec, rec league basketball, etc. But then you add in a week of camp, 4H, and other random activities and it adds up! Since you are planning for future expenses, maybe think about the activities your kids might particulate in and find out what they cost in your area. That will probably give you a more accurate picture.
  9. Well I disagree that walking in the woods is boring but....😉 I’m not familiar with the books you mentioned but here are some I enjoyed in the last year or two. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (actually many of his books are amusing listens although his new body book isn’t as funny as his travel books). There is some bad language. The Secret Diary is Hendrick Groen age 83 1/4 by Hendrick Groen (some language). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s read by Lavar Burton and includes recordings of some of Kings sermons and speeches. I know you said fun, I wouldn’t call this fun but it was informative and Burton has a good reading voice.
  10. I was in the same boat as you a month ago. My old phone (6s) was over 4 years old and I was constantly out of space. As in I deleted almost all the apps and couldn’t even get text messages anymore without deleting several. My husband and I decided when I replaced it instead of getting the less expensive model like I usually do that would eventually no longer be updated. Go ahead and get the newest one in hopes it will last even longer. I had been considering getting a new camera but decided to get the 11pro. Yes it’s expensive, but the photos are great. I’m not a photographer at all, my sister who has a degree in photography has been impressed with the pictures I’ve taken recently. My husband has the 11, the main difference in picture that I have noticed is wide angle shots. They are just better with the third lens. I almost switched to the Samsung Galaxy 10. It was about half the price and Samsung has had better cameras for awhile. You can also expand the memory. I just don’t care for Android as much and ended up going iPhone again. If you go to Best Buy you can compare them side by side and see which you like better. I seriously debated for a couple weeks making my decision. (I tried to attach a couple recent pictures but apparently the file size to too large and I don’t know how to reduce them.)
  11. Saying a prayer for you, your family, and your community.
  12. I didn’t grow up eating country ham but my kids cured them as a 4-h project last year and are currently doing it this year. The state fair speech topic was “how to prepare a country ham”. I found Clifty Farms website to be helpful. There are also several recipes and the Hot Ham dip is delicious if you happen to end up with 4 hams in your family. I don’t boil or broil mine. I have fried it, put it in soup, made red eyed gravy, and baked it. You also can just eat it but I don’t care for the texture that way. For baking, I did what my MIL has done for years. I soaked it for 24 hours, changing out the water every 3-4 hours or so first to remove as much salt as possible. Then I cooked it in the oven with maple syrup over the ham and water in the bottom of the roaster pan at a lower temp for 3-4 hours. I did make a foil tent over the ham too.
  13. I really like the American Girl book, for younger girls. It doesn’t actually talk about sex, just about body changes. The Care and Keeping if You 2 is similar but goes more in depth. There is mention of feeling self conscious of your body, but encourages you not to and talks about bodies being different shapes and developing at different rates. I read the book with my daughter so we could discuss, but it would be easy to skip that chapter. You could use it as a guide to cover what information you want to with your daughter, without actually reading it to her. There is a series of books that talk about birth and sex by NavPress. It used to be called Gods Design for Sex but it might be called Story of Me now. The earlier books focus a lot less on puberty and more on the birth process. How You Are Changing A guide for the Christian Family by Concordia Press is another resource. There is a version for boys and for girls, it is a lot more detailed than the books above. American Girl only talks about how a girl changes, this one talks about both sexes. There is also a lot more commentary from the Bible and the author’s interpretation of what the Bible means. I did not find anything overly objectionable, but some families may. I have not personally found a perfect book, I answer my kids questions as truthfully as possible. My kids seem to have a lot fewer questions than many of my friends kids, so sometimes I will bring things up even though the kids didn’t ask. I own several books and have given the kids certain books or read them together depending on their ages and questions at that time. I have found that reading a variety of books has helped me talk more openly with my kids but I don’t think I would just hand them any book without talking together first. If you want to go completely academic you could look up the Tanner stages of puberty online. It is strictly how the body changes and when.
  14. What about seeing if she can print records of curriculum she has purchased in the past from Rainbow Resource or wherever? It won’t show that the kids completed anything, but it would be additional documentation of the grades the cover school has.
  15. Huh, I’m going to have to have my husband try some.
  16. My husband does, father does, grandfather does. My FIL does not. I don’t think my brothers do unless they are dressed up. When I was a kid and we spent the night at our grandparents, we would often wear one of his undershirts as a nightgown. One of my favorite photos of him with me and my sister is him in an undershirt and jeans. I wonder if it’s more personal preference than age.
  17. I’m sorry Taryl. I hope the service offered some healing for you and for all your family. Grief can be so weird. It ebbs and flows and affects each person differently. A difficult part for me personally was that the world moved on but I didn’t. I’m continuing to pray for you.
  18. I think it’s sounds good either to invite MIL over or to do school there on the three days that are upcoming. If FIL is wanting this regularly and MIL is highly unlikely to have a real health emergency, it would be ok, but on your terms. Since people know we homeschool they have a tendency to think we are available anytime during the day. Most family members try to be respectful of that time but don’t really know how. So I just tell them we aren’t available before noon on school days. I try not to be too rigid about it, but exceptions to that plan have to truly be exceptions. It makes it easier for me to say no when something comes up, because something is always coming up.
  19. That sounds about right but they do quickly outgrow that stage and I think that female pups are generally easier to potty train. Could you possibly take the puppy to work if she’s crated? I know most workplaces aren’t conducive to having a puppy though. My husband was able to take our dog to work for about 5 months. He normally works in an office but it worked out that he was on a construction site at the time our puppy was little. The other 2 people in the job trailer loved having a puppy around otherwise it wouldn’t have worked. I loved that he handled potty training!
  20. I put them away, but I generally will rewear the next day. My husband drapes his over a chair or on our cedar chest. I’ve suggested he hang them off to the side in the closet but he’s resisted for many, many years.
  21. I don’t have any advice, but wish I could give you a big hug.
  22. Great book. Here’s a link to a talk she gave on it in Seattle. I felt the Q&A at the end is especially good.
  23. I agree with Mama Shelli, instead of one long loop I’d break your list into two or three smaller loops. For the chemistry I think I’d schedule one day for it per week, then maybe once a month have a “light” week in your other subjects and immerse yourself in the chemistry for the rest of the day. That way your kids are getting regular exposure but you also aren’t worrying about not getting it down. I think 50 labs in 8 weeks is a lot unless the labs really tie together and you can do several in a day. A friend who is a bit further in her homeschooling journey doesn’t do any science during her “normal” school year and then focuses on it during the summer. It works well for her family and she feels like they are able to go deeper that way.
  24. My hands get itchy dealing with boxes too. I’ve always assumed they were drying out from handling the boxes.
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