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Everything posted by beckyjo

  1. Way to go, Heart! I went ahead and sent in an application to a gas station right down the street. I figured for just a little extra during the month, I didn't want to spend $ on a commute or spend energy on self-employment taxes, etc. So, I have an interview Tuesday night; the manager actually contacted me within 10 minutes of me sending in my application, so that's a good sign, I think. DH is on the fence about me working, but he realizes we need $ quickly, so he's dealing. Our FSA money is out for the year, and we are looking at spending hundreds per month on medical. So, my job will pay only for medical to start; once my DD hits the max out of pocket, maybe that money can pay down some debt if it all works out. I don't know how I feel about it as I haven't worked in almost 15 years. If I don't get this position, there are about 3 or 4 stores right around here that I can apply to. DH contacted Comcast (our internet) today; he was able to get cable TV for the same price as internet only. So, although I was hoping we could drop the price, cable for the same price was okay.
  2. Other. We buy about 3 movies a year; we rent mainly (we have the library, Redbox, Amazon and Hulu). The Easter Bunny brings 1 DVD annually (this year was the Greatest Showman), and DH usually gets a digital copy or two over the year. We don't have a Blue-Ray player, but we do have a DVD player.
  3. Over the next year, my plan is to get the house to where we could sell it if we want. So, by next spring, we either sell and move to a new, shiny home or live in a finished, shiny home. First up is finishing the baseboard trim in the bedrooms (oldest is gone for the summer, so good time to do it). Next up is installing a new dishwasher (ours has been broken for a couple of months). Going to work all the way down the list. I want to do the garage over the summer since it'll be nigh impossible in the cold of winter.
  4. I have an old tupperware canister set that I use. One container holds 1 batch of ice cream perfectly. Similar to this:
  5. DH loves ice cream, so he got an ice cream maker for Christmas a couple of years ago. We use it weekly in the summer and about once a month in other seasons. Favorites: Vanilla, Cheesecake, and Mango Sorbet.
  6. Sigh. Our mall is going to be a ghost town soon. Sears, Bergner's, Gymboree, and Crazy 8 all closed; now Dress Barn is going away. The theater left for another location a long time ago. Also, Kmart and Shopko both closed in the area within the past year.
  7. I like to work from the size of my container when I'm overwhelmed with excess. Do you have a new spot (or a smaller space in this closet) that your blankets will live? You need to know the limit you can keep. Then, empty the area/container and then put back: 1) the item you would pull first from the closet (ie: your favorite item or two) 2) those things you need (ie: 1 blanket per bed or something) 3) those blankets you love (ie: sentimental) 4) anything else that can fit and you think you will use (ie: blanket fort, picnic, funky pattern you just love, etc). Then, your spot is full and you have to donate the rest. I don't keep hardly any toys, so I can't speak to that. I figure there will be new must-have toys by the time my kids have kids. The things I do have: Tonka Trucks (they aren't mine to declutter; they're actually my brother's), a dollhouse my dad built, and American Girl.
  8. beckyjo


    No, I'm not really an overly emotional person. I am normally cool and collected. Not to say that I don't feel emotions, but I'm not really a high ups/low downs kind of person - I'm very even-keeled.
  9. beckyjo


    Yes. There is one person who has earned it in my life. I have been told to forgive this person, but imo the deed is unforgivable. I am sure over time I will come to terms with it, and possibly I will gain some closure. I'm not there yet. I don't dwell on it because I refuse to let this person hurt me more, but yes, there is hatred.
  10. beckyjo


    Haven't read replies yet, but snooper is the one who is wrong. Unless snooper is worried about safety of writer or safety of others at the hand of writer, no one should be reading diaries (and I say that as someone who read a kid's diary to verify mental health struggles).
  11. I second everything Murphy wrote. He needs help, and he needs it quickly (your rights as a parent start to be restricted at age 12 for psych; they are gone at age 18). Does your local hospital have a psych evaluation line? Our local hospital calls it the 24 hour assessment line; it's a good starting point. Since the police are coming by, talk to them as well - they can usually direct you to mental health agencies/hospitals. That's a lot for you to be carrying. Do you have someone to talk to? A good counselor can help you process what has happened to your sweet boy. I pray for peace for you and your family and healing for your son.
  12. I'm a math and data geek so I crunched some numbers regarding households of 1 and 4. (data taken from and Assume a 40 hour per week, 52 week per year job for all figures below. Also, for comparison, free school lunches are served to kids under 130% of the poverty line and reduced lunches to kids under 185% of the poverty line ( The federal poverty level for a household of 1 is $12,140 annually. This breaks down to a hourly wage of $5.84 per hour. Current federal minimum wage (note some states are higher) is $7.25 per hour. This is 124% of poverty level. $15.00/ hour (the figure I see most often as a "fair living wage") is 257% of the federal poverty level for a household of 1. To contrast that with a household of 4. The federal poverty level for a household of 4 is $25,100 annually. Breaks down to $12.07 an hour (assuming 40 hours/week, 52 weeks/year). A family of 4 with one minimum wage earner ($7.25/hour) is at 60% of the poverty level. Two minimum wage earners (for a total of $14.50/hour) in the family would be at 120% of the poverty level. An increase to $15.00 would put 1 earner/4 person family at 124% of the poverty level. Two minimum wage earners (a total of $30/hour) in the family would put them at 249% of the poverty level. The household of 4 is very comparable in percentage wise to the household of 1 in both cases (current minimum wage/proposed minimum wage) if there are 2 wage earners. However, to be equal percentage wise, they have to have two people working. An increase to a $15.00 "living wage" would only bring the household of 4 to the current level of the household of 1 if there is only 1 wage earner. Major cons of this number crunching: it assumes the poverty level will be static following a minimum wage increase (although both households would change accordingly). I don't know that a "living wage" has ever been quantified in a percentage because it is more based on costs than wage floors, so I went with the figure I hear most often. **hoping I did the math right**
  13. I'm sure that's part of it; employers love to see more data points on a resume. Seeing a degree means that you can finish something. I think it probably has many different reasons; maybe different occupations' requirements these days have different reasons. Overall throughout the economy, there is a push for more and more formal education before starting the job. One example is my CPA; I am grandfathered in with only a bachelor's degree. The Powers that Be raised the requirement to 150 credit hour minimum shortly after I passed. Another example is when on one vacation where we did a lot of different history stops. We went through several Abraham Lincoln stops in IL. He was a post master, store owner, lawyer, boatman, surveyor, and POTUS all with no degree (or even any formal schooling at all - I think it was about 12 - 18 months he attended school). Possibly part of it may have been a push that happened from within the ranks of the workers. For example, nurses didn't used to have degrees; it was on-the-job training. They outsourced that training to a college; I think partly it happened because it's seen as more prestigious than no degree. So now, nurses require at least a 2 year, often 4+ year degree, and thus they are seen as a professional. Nurses now do a lot more of the medical stuff rather than the making patient comfortable (more blankets, walking them to bathroom). Those kind of things have been sent down the line to CNA's. I don't know if that is a cause or an effect though (were they asked to do more medical so wanted more formal education or did they have more education so they were asked to do more?
  14. I drove around on Sunday and collected my freebies/almost freebies. Fun shopping with less than $5. Kids were invited to movies; we used a gift card my mom gave us for their tickets, so $0. I then drove to Kohl's and used $20 Kohl's cash. I got a robe and pj's for middle DD, and a gift pack of bath bombs for youngest (stocking stuffer) - out of pocket $1.67. Then, I stopped at Bath and Body Works and got a free body wash (stocking stuffer). Ran next door to Justice, since I had reward $$. I got 3 pairs of panties for youngest (out of pocket $.96) and they gave me a free tote (which middle is using for Tae Kwon Do stuff). Finally, stopped at a new little lumber store (like a small home depot) and used a $5 off coupon for signing up with their rewards system and got 4 furnace filters - out of pocket $1.49. That's my kind of shopping. Regarding VIPKid: I've looked at it and thought about it and studied Youtube videos and thought about it, etc. I have a child with PTSD who is unpredictable, so I just don't know that I can block out a specific time. Their cancellation policy could be a problem if I end up with a raging kid and I have multiple classes booked for the day. I'm also kind of worried that they might be over-hiring and it would be hard to get noticed because it seems like it is THE thing to do.
  15. I've never ordered pet meds online. I use for cat food and litter. I have it set that every 10 weeks we get a (big) shipment. I've never had any issues. I do find that does do some personal touches that may sway people in their favor. Some examples: we ended up changing the cats' food recently, and I called to see about returning a bag of the old food we never opened, and Chewy gave me a full refund and told me to donate the food to a local shelter. I have received hand written notes once or twice thanking me for my purchase when I've thrown a toy or scratching post in my order; I've received one note shortly after talking to them about the food return and the note had the cats' names on it ("Glad Mayhem and Eclipse so enjoy XX Brand Cat Food. Thanks for ordering from us. Your packer, Doris.")
  16. We went through a house when we were looking to buy one time. It was a foreclosure, so they hadn't cleaned up. Their son, Zach, had written and/or carved his name on everything. Cabinets, doors, and walls all had a big ol' ZACH on it: It was even painted on carpeting in the family room. My guess is they were bitter about losing the house and the parents told him to go nuts.
  17. So the room behind would be behind the window if this were an actual pic? If so, that's gonna be tough because there isn't enough headroom on the edges to make a hallway. Is the house only 2 bedrooms - master and the double room? If there's a 3rd bedroom (and the room behind a room would be the 4th), I don't know if it would be worth it. Maybe get an estimate or two and give an allowance? We did that on one house that the previous owner had combined two bedrooms and we needed to move ASAP so didn't have time to put the wall back in.
  18. I'm hoping your house's new owners walk through the door today! Good luck! Selling is so stressful.
  19. Kendrick Castillo (the boy who died) has been all over my FB feed, but I have yet to run into the shooters' names or photos in a headline. That is a new change, and I do hope that it becomes the norm.
  20. I drive about about 500-600 miles per week; I fill up the car 2x-3x per week, once I get about 200 miles on it. My dd's DE community college is 24 miles from home. I drop off and pick up 4x per week. That adds up to 384 miles a week just getting her to and from school. Any evening activities are usually another 48 miles (she usually has one every other week or so). We have a minimum of 3 Dr. appts a week, which range from 7-25 miles away. So about 75-100 miles per week there. One kid's 1x per week extra curricular is 30 miles away (although I combine picking up DD at school with it). Then, add in youth group (19 miles away), robotics (18 miles away), library trips (10 miles away) and any other errands, I am always in the car! We live on the south side of a suburb, and DD's school is on the north side of the city, and all of the activities except one (Tae Kwon Do - less than 2 miles away!) are in the city.
  21. Dd's school's rule on age is anyone can enter who can pass the Accuplacer, but under 16 has a few extra rules. If under 16, student must: 1) pass ALL sections of the Accuplacer (eg: cannot place into any remedial classes.) If they do place into remedial, they must take those classes at their school before matriculating. If the student is over 16, they just start where they start, remedial or not. 2) provide 2 letters of recommendation, not from family members. DD provided 1 from a co-op teacher, and one from a sign language teacher. 3) get pre-approval from all professors before being allowed in the class. (The school actually does this bit. DD signed up, and the Running Start (high school) office went to the professor before final approval). Note: we don't have free or discounted DE in this area, so as long as you can pay, the cc is pretty happy to have you. They don't limit how many hours you take either, although DD can get guidance counseling through the Running Start office so they probably discuss it. She's never availed herself of it, as she and I hammer it out, and she has a computer science professor who sits down with her if she has questions.
  22. My oldest was 14, about a month-6 weeks shy of her 15th birthday. She started with one class - I and her little sisters hung out in the library or the student center. She didn't hang around campus at all that semester. She's finishing up her junior year this year, and all of her classes are DE. She's there pretty much from 9 am - 3 pm with an activity night or two. We have had very little problems. She did have a professor who wasn't happy with her age (which was weird because he had to approve her attendance since she was under 16), but it wasn't bad - just some subtle jabs during class.
  23. DD's community college ends May 17. It starts Aug 19. They do 16 week semesters with a week break in the middle (so 8 weeks on, 1 week off, 8 weeks on) and 3-4 weeks between semesters.
  24. I don't know about overall trends, but I ran into tragedy lit recently myself. Currently, I'm doing a unit study with my middle schoolers on Africa; I am having a hard time finding books that aren't only about extreme poverty and/or war. They read A Long Walk to Water, I Will Always Write Back, and A Girl Named Disaster. (Read Aloud and different readers for 2 kids). I ditched the final read aloud (Endangered series) because I don't want to give the impression that the entire continent is a war zone, and at any given moment you'll have to run into the wilderness to survive. We'll just work with the non-fiction from here on out.
  25. It had catchy music, but I could take it or leave it. I'm not a big one for re-watching anyway. That being said, my 12 and 13 year old dds loved it. The movie was their request for the Easter basket (Santa brings a book; Easter bunny brings a movie in our household). I have a book on Charles Stratton (Tom Thumb) on my to be read pile, but I haven't gotten to it. It'll be interesting to see how it differs.
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