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Everything posted by barnwife

  1. In our house, second grade is really simple. Read something (phonics or fluency practice), write something, and do something math-y. Everything else is gravy. We don't use a formal science or history. They are covered during morning time. I don't have a set schedule for morning time readings. I try to loosely read something historical and something science-y twice a week. But some weeks are heavy on history. Others are heavy on science. I'll even admit that this is more or less what third grade looks like around here. It's just the amount that changes. So I'd say to choose something for phonics/reading, math, and a handwriting (could also be copywork, if child is ready). Get in the habit of doing those. Then add in any extras from WTM or that work for your family.
  2. I did not grow up using coasters. But we only had drinks in the kitchen, and our table wasn't super nice. Heck, it's the same table my mom still uses and I can't tell that coasters haven't been used. For me, coasters feel like one more thing to keep track of and deal with and have to move when cleaning. Of course, we only allow drinks in the kitchen, so it's not a big deal. As for putting a guest's drink on a coaster for them, that would seem extremely rude to me. It would come across as treating someone like a child. I'd rather you hand me the coaster and say something like, "Oh, would you mind putting this under your glass?" (FWIW, I do look for coasters in other people's houses. If I don't use one, it's because I don't see one. So you handing me one wouldn't bother me at all.) I should mention that I am sure Ellie has fabulous manners, and that she manages to do such a thing gracefully. I just commented because I like to read about other people's experiences.
  3. I agree, everybody has boxes of stuff that they haven't unpacked from their last move or two. Don't let it bother you too much if it's out of the way. Also, don't worry about the two baby outfits or two boxes of photos, that's not what fills up the attic. It's a few dozen boxes of clothes and a few dozen more of household stuff that fills an attic. It is work to sort and get rid of stuff, not fun at all, but worth it in the end in time savings if you have to move or for your heirs. The best advice I can add is to look at it as a chore like scrubbing the toilet, try not to make it about the memories, that just bogs you down.
  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Eternal rest grant unto her and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
  5. Well, back in the day, I walked to school in kindergarten. There was a busy road, but I knew I had to cross it at the intersection with the crossing guard. It was about 6 blocks. In second grade, I would take our toddler neighbor (with his mom's permission) to the park to play. I'd plop him in the stroller and off we go. (There were a couple parks within a couple blocks of our houses.) That being said, my own kids struggle with crossing streets. However, we live in the country, so they don't have many chances! We drive everywhere and park in lots. I've actually recently become more intentional about parking places where we will have to cross streets to let them practice. I mean, our oldest is almost 9, so this is a skill that he should have. So it's very much child and neighborhood dependent. If the busy-ish streets have lights for crossing, I'd let the older ones try it probably and see how it goes. I may even let them take the younger to the park, if the 4.5 yo is good at obeying them.
  6. OP, I am so sorry for your loss. Melissa in Australia, I miscarried at the end of first trimester last fall, at home. (TMI warning!) For better or for worse, I was sitting on the toilet. While it made cleanup easier, the sound of everything falling into the toilet haunts me still. Hearing things plop into water is still likely to make me cry. I am quite sure there are people who think I am crazy due to that and the fact that they don't know about the miscarriage. Anyway, you are absolutely not ridiculous. Again, OP, I am sorry for your heartbreaking experience.
  7. I'll second the fume free oven cleaner for built up soap scum. Obviously the "fume free" is very important (it's a different chemistry than the lye of traditional oven cleaner), and the easy off works better than the walmart brand.
  8. I lightly salt them if the watermelon is only okay flavor-wise. Otherwise, I enjoy it in its natural state.
  9. Call a real estate agent, if they're not interested in the listing, ask them if they know anybody who would be interested in the listing. Properties like this sell all the time, somebody will know what they can do with the property. An agent will list it as is, describe it accurately, only accept no contingency offers, etc. to try to limit the tire kickers and hassle that comes with a property like this. Most likely there will still be buyers at the right price.
  10. Original roundup (glyphosate) is effective because it kills the roots. Killing the leaves with flame burning or chemical burning will not kill the roots of perennial weeds and they will come back. Glyphosate has to be used correctly to work, it's most effective against plants that are actively growing. It's not as effective against serious perennials as other herbicides. Quack grass, canada thistle, vines, etc. will come back after glyphosate.
  11. Landlord red flags: "american stafordshire terrier", "emotional support service dog", "always in a crate", "never barks", "elderly dog", right up there with "but WHY do you need a security deposit", and "can I pay the security deposit in two weeks". I'm a terrible judge of character, that's why I check references. Any responsible person will have no problem renting with a pet, if their references check out, that is, they had the dog for a while and the previous landlords didn't have any trouble with them or their dog. Not saying you'll get any house you want in a tight market, but there are plenty of landlords who will rent to a responsible applicant with references, but won't take any excuses in most other cases.
  12. If it was old-school, could it have been the Our Holy Faith series by TAN?
  13. I don't know what the darkening on your finish is. And I don't know anything about any of the products mentioned. If the "darkening" from under the rugs isn't visible when the floor is wet, I don't think it will be visible when it is coated with the right product. The test for any stain, or to see if you're done sanding on a hardwood floor is to wipe it with paint thinner. How it looks wet with paint thinner is how it will look with the polyurethane dry. I'd sand lightly with a fine sandpaper with a random orbit sander, either on hands and knees with a 5-6", or rent the one that has three 7" pads that you stand up if it's a huge area. Then clean the whole room meticulously so no dust falls on the surface, and put two coats of oil polyurethane over it. If you're just doing to sell, a simpler product makes a lot more sense on second thought, test a small section maybe? Being invisible wet means you have a real good chance of something fixing it nicely.
  14. Warning: Unhelpful advice ahead! Clearly, the solution is to move closer to church. Or to get rid of one (or more, I guess) children, but that seems rather extreme. Or you could send DH in one car with the kids, while you go in peace in another vehicle. Disclaimer: Our oldest isn't quite 9, so my advice is probably off the mark. Your post, however, will make me very grateful for our 5 minute ride to church from now on!
  15. I could have written this. In fact, my mother and I discussed this very article before I saw this post. Her response? "But I wash everything the chicken comes in contact with." I cannot convince her that when she washes it, there can be splatter that she isn't aware of yadda yadda yadda. And also, what does she think washing it does? According to her, it's not to get rid of germs (the cooking does that), it's to get rid of dirt! Again, no amount of me saying anything will convince her that if her chicken has dirt on it, she should be buying different chicken!
  16. I use ours for sandwich bread. We also use it for toast. Yes, it takes some practice to cut. No, I don't let the kids yet (oldest is almost 9). Yes, some pieces are oddly shaped due to the hole in the bottom. However, we seem to have survived thus far. Is it worth it? For us, yes, as we greatly prefer the taste. (FWIW, I use 2 parts whole wheat flour to 1 part bread flour generally). It makes it easy to overlook the odd shape or slightly uneven pieces (for us).
  17. Our town recently built a new library. I hate it. The children's section is the first section upon entering the library. Which would be fine, except the design funnels all noise straight to the adult section. I've heard people whispering in the children's section and then wandered to the adult section. The acoustics carry the sound perfectly. Also, they have no individual spaces for working. There are a couple giant tables (and I mean giant). There are some individual chair things with desks that are all right next to each other. So I can't go find a corner and be alone. I absolutely, positively detest that. And I am stuck with it forever, as I'll never see a new library here. Or tutors can't really meet privately with students. Further, the green color they chose is hideous.
  18. This is all fabulous news! About 5 years ago, someone close to us joined the Church at Easter. Frankly, it's a beautiful part of Triduum. The vacation soon after sounds like a terrific way to celebrate. Happy Holy Week!
  19. Well, I briefly considered it for birth #4, but didn't end up following through. I don't know anyone who has encapsulated it that I know of. However, I know of 2 people who have eaten it. I believe one cooked it in a skillet before eating. The other ate it raw. Absolutely neither of those options appeal to me. And yes, the placentas were buried on our property. All our kids were born at home, so we had to dispose of them somehow. I don't know exactly where any of them were buried. I was a little busy recovering, and don't really care to know.
  20. If you like your current stove and fridge, see if they are fixable. The glass tops can be replaced, you could even do it yourself if you wanted. Appliances are such a gamble these days with repair costs, which is mostly a function of a shortage of skilled labor. They don't wear out as often as in the good old days when people cooked HARD and appliances were more expensive (relative to income of course), but you never know what the repairs are going to cost.
  21. Well, our oldest is almost 9. I have yet to assign any specific books for reading. However, I have noticed that if I bring books home from the library, he reads them. Or at least many of them. I can't count the number of times I've started a RA, and he says "such and such is going to happen." And when I wonder how he knows that, he informs me that he already read it. As I know he reads a good variety of things under this system of me just bringing a ton of things home from the library (he, of course, checks out whatever he wants), I don't feel a need to change it yet.
  22. I have no ideas that haven't been shared yet. But...we also have tile floors. And our two oldest boys have bunk beds. We got them used, and one rung from the ladder is missing. I was so excited about that, because obviously that would prevent the toddler (recently turned 2) from climbing up. Yeah right. It took less than 1 day for him to figure out how to climb up. Of course, then he couldn't get down. I spent maybe a day getting him down every time he went up. Then I told him I wasn't doing that anymore and to figure it out. And he did. And so far, there haven't been any injuries (kids are almost 9, 7, almost 6, and 2). I know you said it isn't in your comfort zone. And it really wasn't in mine. But, for me, changing my comfort zone was way easier than any other option. GL finding something that works!
  23. First, don't be overwhelmed by everything in WTM! She never meant for any family to do everything in it! As pp said, it's okay to just do the basics with kids. FWIW, we have kids similar in ages (ours are almost 8, 7, almost 4, and 2). The only things I plan out are language arts, math, and speech (all have articulation issues). Our day starts with morning time. This is where we read something for history and something for science. Sometimes we read a handful of picture books too. Sometimes I read a chapter from our current RA. Morning time can vary from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. It depends on when everyone wakes up etc...Then we break for breakfast. After breakfast we do phonics/reading and speech before another break. Then comes table time, which includes math and everything else for LA. Then it's lunch time. I just rotate through kids for each thing. They know they shouldn't bother me when I am working with another kid (well, not the 2 yo). I have intentionally chosen programs that are "do the next thing" in order to decrease planning time (exception is Miquon math for littles). I don't plan our history or science stuff. Well, I choose a bunch of books and stuff them in a box. They are allowed to choose whatever they want me to read for sci. or history during MT from that box. That's all our "official" school stuff. The afternoons are then available for art projects, handiwork, gardening, or whatever. I agree with the pp in that you should choose one subject and start it. When that's going well, add another. I hope you find the rhythm that works for you and yours.
  24. I think the lists are great things to work up to. But trying to implement all of that at once would go over like a lead balloon around here. Frankly, I would choose one room/area to work on keeping tidy at once. And then I'd choose one or two specific things to work on within that area at a time. I am more neat and organized than the rest of my family. So I pick and choose my battles. For example, we have a corner of the living room where we keep blankets and extra throw pillows. I'd love the pillows to be in the basket in the corner, and the blankets to be folded. But our kids are little (oldest is almost 9) and they play with them constantly. It's just not worth my time and energy to enforce folding them in this stage of life. So while they know to return blankets to that corner, they are a jumbled mess. I also think giving them more leeway in the bedroom is a good idea. As for making beds, I hated doing it every day as a kid. Hated it. I hated it so much I once asked to be allowed to skip it as my birthday present. I didn't ask to skip that chore for a week or even a month. I asked for one day off. (To me it was win-win: I get the day off and it cost no money.) My mom freaked out. And I decided then and there that as soon as I moved out I would only make my bed when I wanted to. After moving out, it was..a long time before I made my bed again! So I really suggest not making that a battle. I hope you find something that works for you and your family.
  25. I wasn't aware of the flatter ceramic tops like the link. I'll guess there's NO WAY that custom is an option, but it wouldn't surprise me if you could find an offset 48" top, that's not that unusual.
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