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Everything posted by Ripley

  1. I live in a part of the country where football is a religion. People here sometimes lose sight of the beauty of the sport, of sportmanship, and of winning or losing as a team - and nowhere is that more apparent than at hometown high school football games. It's great to hear this isn't the case everywhere. Great story, gave me goosebumps!
  2. Say it loud, say it proud! You are not alone. ;) I do balance it out with my other favorite, The Week, but on my way to those longer appointments on the porcelain pot ... US Weekly is the first thing I grab and stay long for. LOL
  3. I feel for you. But it ended up working out for me, and I hope it will for you also. My house went under contract two days after it went live. That offer fell through at the final walk-through a week later. The couple are both government employees and decided not to chance it with the uncertainty of a shutdown. I got to keep $8K in earnest money and we had other interested parties so it wasn't terribly upsetting. Second offer came through a day later - full price, cash purchase, and they wanted possession in 10 days. I couldn't have written a more perfect offer MYSELF! That offer ALSO fell through the day before closing when the buyer's grandmother flew in from Hong Kong to preview the home. Well apparently our address is unlucky. That netted me $10K in earnest money. So in 15 days on the market, I made $18K independent of a successful sale. It's now been on the market for 25 days. We had two separate couples come twice each this week, so I'm hoping for a contract by the weekend. Hope you find your buyer soon. Chin up, it can only get better.
  4. I need the offering basket. I have an aversion to technology, when it comes to my money. I avoid digital slot machines, electronic banking, auto payments, and even buying things online. The few times I've had to buy online, I've given cash to my ex-husband and he placed the order for me. He'd get annoyed if he had to do that for me weekly! My parish is also very modern and on top of new technology. Our (67 year old) priest actively pushes e-giving and holds twice-yearly drives to get the congregation signed up for the e-giving program. At our annual State of the Parish meeting he spends a solid 5-10 minutes driving home his belief that it's more convenient for the parish, and how it helps with planning and budgeting. But while I can appreciate that, for me it feels wrong to contribute in the open. What I give should be between me and God, independent of budget and planning committees, our Catholic school, and even the priest. I think the common assumption (at my parish) is that if you're not seen giving, you're an e-giver. It's more common than not here, so .... I don't think I'll ever get onboard with e-giving. If my parish decides to refuse my cash, I'll funnel it to another parish, a specific ministry or outreach, or just make a lump anonymous gift once a year when the parish wants new windows or whatever.
  5. Three cheers for closure! Enjoy the legalization of your freedom :)
  6. No, don't make DD2 go. But maybe help her assess the situation and guide her through the decision process. It will give her some assurance that she's being reasonable; and if elder DD starts getting upset, hurt, offended, or even starts in with a guilt trip, your DD2 has a better chance of staying reasonably strong in her resolve. It also gives you a platform to show DD2 how to navigate that inevitable point in a relationship - and it happens in every relationship - where the people we love disappoint us. It is important to realize that we can love people but still not like them (or support their decisions), and it doesn't have to doom the entire relationship. It sounds like one goal is to support the sibling relationship without running interference. I think the best way to do that is to be the sounding board and facilitator more than an enforcer. I wouldn't make excuses to avoid the movie, it may only delay the unavoidable shizzle hitting the fan that needs to happen between the siblings. It may also affect your relationship with elder DD negatively if she thinks you're "siding" with the younger ones. Which, of course, isn't wrong IMO but try being rational with someone who's determined not to be ;). Sorry to hear about your car and health issues - when it rains, it pours. I hope the storm is short-lived!
  7. My oldest started working at 12, and he was responsible for his social stuff and holiday/birthday gifts to family and friends. He also had to help pay for his dog. I covered food and vet visits but he was responsible for accessories, grooming items, treats, and the actual grooming (if he chose to outsource it, which he did on occasion). He's scholarshipped onto a competitive soccer team but he's responsible for any extra training sessions he wants or any camps he's invited to. It's also on him to replace or upgrade any related equipment he wants or needs, beyond what I buy to get him started each year. The exception being when he outgrows cleats. I replace those as needed but when he wanted "home" and "away" pairs, the second pair was on him! He also chooses to spend his money to add a sports package to our cable bill. I'm not paying for that LOL. He's a few years from driving, but he'll get a car from his dad. His dad and I will split the insurance for however long the boy is a full-time student. I'm undecided about the gas situation, but I'm thinking he'll get x-amount of money per month for gas and anything over that will be on him. I think I'm fine paying for his gas so long as he's driving himself (and his younger relatives) to their extracurriculars. I pay for his pay-as-you-go phone. He'd like a better phone but that's on him to purchase and pay for. So far it's been tempting ... but not worth it to him, either.
  8. We sometimes pressure ourselves into carving our plans into stone, when really it's okay to pencil them in and re-visit them later. Give yourself permission to ride out the uncertainty. Let life happen around you, and God will answer your question one way or another! :grouphug: as you consider this hard decision!
  9. JAWM? The ships go out to sea? I need to get out of the house more, I'm lost. LOL I believe manners are important. I do come from a background where slurping soup is considered mannered, but I am very much a "when in Rome" person with regards to which manners we display when. In your scenario and background, slurping would be ill-mannered and rightly addressed. But I feel that nagging is just as ill-mannered - whether it's throughout a single meal or just at every single meal. I think an occasional reminder is warranted, but any more than that and it turns the issue into a me-you dynamic. Then whatever history is there comes to the forefront and displaces the primary issue: good table manners. I think I'd be more in favor of a quick reminder or rundown of expectations before the meal - it might be better received and feel less personal. I have someone like this in my family. We understand his desire for good manners, and we even share them. But just like we sometimes like to slum it in a track suit there are times when function takes precedence over formalities. Sometimes the point of a meal is to consume the meal, not to showcase our good manners. I don't agree that we need to always be on our best behavior always, I just don't. But I do agree that one time to be on that best behavior is in a restaurant! The White House comment wouldn't bother me, as I find it kind of true myself :) but the next time they say that, remind them that we play how we practice. (Are they athletes or musicians perchance?) They may intellectually know how to eat with manners at the White House but if they don't practice those skills now they may slip up and let their muscle memory and ingrained habits take over without even realizing it. See what kind of argument that elicits back LOL. Maybe pick one meal a day, or one big meal per week, where you proactively work on the manners you desire to see in them. Consider it a daily/weekly etiquette refresher so they'll know in advance that it's primary purpose is to showcase manners. It will feel less like nagging to them and will meet your need to keep them fresh on your expectations. Let them also know that when you're convinced they have more good meals than bad, the need for these frequent refreshers will diminish ;) When dining out, make exaggerated displays of your desired manners and maybe it'll feel less like nagging also. Example, when the bread arrives clear your throat and make a production of placing your napkin on your lap and then look at them expectantly with a ridiculous grin on your face. Before soup is served, recite a silly little ditty about the direction of the spoon - as if speaking to yourself, even. When salad is served, do the same. Or again clear your throat, put on a silly smile, and with much ado grab the outside fork. Keep it light, witty, and it feels a lot less like nagging!
  10. My ethnicity is very near, dear and familiar so I read this thread with great interest. My ex-husband immigrated as a baby, so his ethnicity is still near and familiar also. I wonder if this is how it will be for my children and their children, as our descendants become farther removed from our respective ethnicities. I can't explain why but I hope at least one descendant is "into" the distant ethnic influence I brought to the family tree - I guess I feel like it connects the generations, however distant. It could be the rogue gene for green eyes or the stereotypical fiery temper or the appreciation for and heavy-handed use of garlic and onions ... that tie to a distant ethnicity is the common thread in an otherwise enormous and seemingly unrelated fabric. It's the tendril that latches us securely into a place on the family tree.
  11. I'm divorced. It's always been amicable. None of our close friends or relatives are divorced. The only other divorced couples we know, we know from work or our kids' friends' families - so not close enough to really know, but people tell us we're the exception. So, I don't know. I didn't go into my marriage thinking divorce was an option. As I said, nobody on either side of our families or within our circle of friends is divorced - it's not part of our scene AT ALL. I suspect most reasonable people marry with the intention of it being for good. I know I did, and I'm reasonably certain he did. :) It's such a multi-faceted situation, who knows why anyone does or doesn't choose it. I'd say the same for marriage, truthfully. So many things come into play, not least of all where we are at any given stage of our lives.
  12. Murphy's Law. I hate that Murphy guy, and I'm sorry your scouts are feeling the hit of this, too. My ex-husband is ATC. He went to work today, and we'll just wait for the backpay. Again. The last time this happened, it wasn't too bad - one mandatory furlough day per paycheck. The financial hit was spread out while we awaited backpay, he had an extra day off with the kids every other week, and I had a few unscheduled but much appreciated teacher in-service days. Here's hoping we're as "fortunate" this time around. We know other families are in it way worse :(
  13. Our only rule was lights out, stay in bed. Talking or singing or stuffed animal wars were fine, as long as it remained dark and within the boundaries of the bed. That's the rule my parents had for us, too. Some of my most fond memories are late night discussions and arguments, not to mention the creative genius we put into coming up with ways to drive Mom crazy by following the letter (not the spirit) of her nighttime rules.
  14. I like Buxom, which I used to find at Ulta but is now exclusive to Sephora. On the weekends I wore the lipstick- it lasted longer but felt more drying. When I worked, I used a Buxom lip pencil as an all over stain, then topped it with a coordinating Buxom lip gloss. The gloss had to be re-applied a few times during the day (after drinks and meals) but the pencil stained my lips well enough to carry me through re-applications of gloss. I recommended it to a co-worker who didn't like the brand at all, so definitely try before you buy. She had a reaction to something in the lipstick. Oh, and it tingles at first which she also didn't like.
  15. I retired at 37. I homeschool and volunteer in the community, we travel and my finances are comfortable and steady. My pension disappeared a few months after I retired, but I have investments and spousal support. I'll also have a portion of my ex-husband's pension (if it's still around) and retirement funds once he retires. He's eligible at 44 but plans to work until at least 50, which is when our youngest will either graduate or otherwise be escorted off of the family dole. We'll spend our 50s tooling around - traveling, family, hobbies - then get back to work at some point with a simple low-stress jobs that give us somewhere to go and some pocket money. I want to water the plants at Home Depot and he wants to walk dogs LOL. We plan to be involved grandparents, as involved as the kids will have us. Whether that's free caretaking or just showing up for baseball games and dance recitals. If ever I need to return to work, I had a career that would be relatively easy to break back into.
  16. I'll second the suggestion of Meals on Wheels.
  17. My son has a good friend who is a nice enough kid, but whose mom is a busybody and a gossip. She's nice enough, too, and I'm fine with maintaining a superficial relationship. I've used her as a teaching tool, and practice for my son. The lesson is this: respect and be civil to people, but be discerning in who you air (y)our dirty laundry to. I understand the need and desire to process life events with people on the outside. I do it myself. The OP is doing it herself, now, so surely she understands the need and desire also. But it's important to learn how to do that smartly. In my family this would be more about balancing emotion-reason than balancing friends-family. It's about feeling emotions, but remaining in control of them to the extent that you don't let them cloud your good reason. It's less about what is being shared and more about WHO it's being shared with - reason is the check and balance system that aids in that discernment. In my case, discernment keeps a busybody from spreading my family's business. That's the perspective from which I speak to my son. In the OP's case discernment helps her daughter to see the potential burden she's saddling her friend with (balancing friends-family), and also gives her pause to consider her own friends-family balance. That may be a perspective from which to approach it with her.
  18. For us, it's been Math-U-See. One child completed Alpha through Pre-Algebra, and is currently working on Algebra I. We supplemented with Key to Fractions during the Epsilon book because fractions were kicking his butt and he needed a break from the Epsilon book.The other child completed Primer through Beta, and will begin working on Gamma next month. We were given a RightStart game box, which gets played during free time but isn't necessarily used to supplement the Math-U-See.
  19. I used Easy Grammar for all of elementary. My student learned a fair amount, particularly in the early years. By 4th/5th grade he learned how to complete the worksheet without putting forth much effort - it was predictable and easy to "do" as opposed to to learn. He knew enough that he could diagram well (we supplemented with Voyages in English for 5th grade) and got a decent foundation. We switched to Analytical Grammar for middle school. He has to work more, which is a good thing, and is learning the material at a deeper level. He doesn't love it, but it's not the chore that Easy Grammar had become for him. He is learning well and requested to switch to its new essay writing program, too.
  20. My minimum is to listen to the audio during car rides. Instead of Q&A from the Activity Guide, we'd do on-the-spot questions or have a mini-discussion about what we just heard. About 75% of the time we'd follow that up with a reading of the chapter. My kids read it themselves, but if they hadn't been reading independently that percentage would've likely been more about 25% follow up. Then we'd add a few read alouds from the era at bedtime. No mapwork, no formal questions, and activities only if it were one of those rare days where the stars aligned and I had my act together LOL. I think the minimum depends on what you desire to get out of the program. What I needed out of it was a chronological, narrative history program - the questions, maps, activities were gravy. What someone else may need is the classical methodology it supports. If this is you, your minimum may not be desireable but I think you're covering the two most important parts. I find SOTW to be one of the easier programs for me to actually use (even at my minimum).
  21. This is what I do, and it seems to work well for (my) willing-to-readers. I have one bookshelf per SOTW era and each bookshelf is then shelved in chronological order from top left to bottom right. I also have a Please Do Not Reshelve Books sign and a basket for them to drop their finished books because I am that ridiculous about my organizational system LOL. These shelves house all related-era books, including literature. I do want them to learn to distinguish between actual-source material and fiction, so each book has a color coded sticker on the inside cover. Just one of those small, neon garage sale stickers that marks it as one or the other.
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