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Squawky Acres

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Everything posted by Squawky Acres

  1. That is lovely that you are happy for your cousin and would like to help celebrate. It sounds like a beautiful event, and a nice way to re-connect with your family. As many have advised, I wouldn't let clothing get in the way of that. That said, I am puzzled about the variety of interpretations of "cocktail attire." It absolutely means a dark suit for a man -- no tails, but certainly a nice suit. If your husband does not have one already, it would be a very useful thing for him to own, and can be found inexpensively at a thrift or consignment store. Just be sure to leave time to have it tailored. You could probably find something quite festive for yourself at a thrift or consignment store as well -- knee or tea-length (full-length would be "formal" and not "cocktail"), or borrow one from a friend. And if you can't find something just right, a simple black shift dress can be dressed up with sparkly jewelry and strappy sandals or dressy pumps. I would hesitate to wear pants unless they were in a more formal fabric like raw silk and paired with a very fancy blouse and heels. Coincidentally, I learned after our wedding that my husband's Great Uncle had a similar situation. He actually did not own a suit, and had thought about not going, but instead he picked one up for $5 at Goodwill. He looked wonderful, and had a great time.
  2. I just had another idea. I wonder if I can ask our librarian if I could leave a few boxes in the back for a week, and just direct local homeschooling friends to the library so that they can browse through at their leisure. The library is very supportive of homeschoolers and might be happy to do that.
  3. Thanks. I like the library idea, and wish we had something similar, but I don’t live in a very populated area, so there are only a few homeschooling families in town and I know all of them.
  4. If she would be happy just having a few streaks, and you don’t mind the expense, you can get colored hair extensions done at a salon. They are removable. Our stylist quoted around $40 for a few streaks for my daughter. We tried the colored sprays for my darker blonde-haired daughter. They looked really good, they made my daughter’s hair stiff and sticky, and rubbed off on sheets and towels.
  5. Thank you so much for all of the suggestions. I'm thinking I will list a few of the larger high-value things, like my Nancy Larson science kits, on Ebay -- and then maybe snap rough photos and list out the rest and send it to my homeschooling friends or put it on Facebook to give away -- giving everyone a week in which to pick things up. I don't want to bother pricing things and holding onto them for the curriculum sales this spring, but maybe I can see if a friend would like to take the rest and sell it along with her own things at a sale.
  6. I need to get rid of boxes and boxes of homeschooling materials in order to find my dining room, and am feeling overwhelmed by the task. I am not very concerned with getting a lot of money for them, but I do want them to go to families who know what they are and can use them. The easiest thing to do would be to donate it all to Goodwill, but I am concerned that it might just be discarded, and wouldn't actually get to homeschooling families. I have also heard that I could sell it on Ebay, but that sounds time-consuming, and January probably isn't the best time to sell. When does everyone start looking for new homeschooling materials? Are there still nonprofits that accept boxes of homeschooling materials and send them to families who need them? I also thought of inviting over all of my homeschooling friends to just take a look and take what they want (and then maybe I would feel better about donating the rest?), but everyone is so busy and it might be difficult to schedule something like this, and I want it all gone right away. If I listed everything and made a local Facebook post, I'm afraid it would take a lot of coordination to get the right things to the right people. Please let me know if there is an easy (but meaningful) way to get rid of everything!
  7. We are new to Cross Country, but are finding the same thing. My oldest DD started running as a 10-year-old last year and seemed to be unstoppable -- out-running all of the older girls, and placing at the top for her team. This year, she grew another 6 inches and is looking more like an adult, and is now not the fastest on her team. She is being out-run by a few of the younger girls (and her little brother!). It has been very discouraging for her, but we were just attributing it to a lack of training this summer. It is encouraging to know that maybe it isn't our fault.
  8. Thanks - I'll check that out. I don't do much with video, as I like to listen while doing other things. But that is a good idea to check out her YouTube content.
  9. I just took a trunk-load of clothes and toys to Goodwill. I had been putting it off for a while, but it was so easy. Like going through the drive-through. I didn't even need to sort anything. I have been finding Dana K. White's books about home management and de-cluttering to be so helpful. She has a really fun podcast as well. I just finished listening to all of it, and was looking for others. I came across The Minimalists, who I liked at first -- but now I just find them smug and annoying. Does anyone know of an older, female, non-smug version?
  10. It is harder to care so much -- as I don't have *any* choice about footwear these days. There is so much ice and snow. Black rubber Bogs it is! Every day! Maybe I should get cuter boots . . .
  11. I run a grade 2-4 book club, and we have done: Mr. Popper's Penguins Frindle Because of Winn-Dixie Babe, the Gallant Pig Matilda Pippi Longstocking
  12. Stitch Fix didn't work for me either, but I loved Trunk Club the first time I got a trunk. I had an amazing stylist who spent some time on the phone with me and then picked out the most perfect, well-fitting, and high-quality wardrobe essentials that were exactly my style. Great jeans! The perfect black dress! An oatmeal heather cardigan I didn't know I needed. I am still wearing those pieces all the time. Then I got a note that he was no longer at Trunk Club, and I was assigned a new stylist who completely did not understand me. When I tried to tell her that $400 perforated navy blue TOE-LESS high heeled boots were not going to work for me in the winter in NH, she encouraged me to splurge and assured me they were classic. I think I ended up keeping one thing from that trunk, and then I cancelled. At some point, I might sign up for Trunk Club again, but for now I just like picking out my own things on the Nordstrom website and then sending back what I don't like.
  13. Oh wow . . . I am loving the "A Slob Comes Clean" blog and podcasts, and ordered both of her books! Thank you for the suggestion.
  14. THIS ADVERT HAS EXPIRED!

    • For Sale
    • USED

    Home Art Studio with Lindsey Volin DVD Curriculum (also called Home School Art Studio) -- 6 DVD complete set, includes: - Kindergarten - First Grade - Second Grade - Third Grade - Fourth Grade - Fifth Grade - Holiday Arts and Crafts All DVDs are in like-new condition, some are still wrapped. I couldn't figure out how to attach a photo, but I can send one if you provide an e-mail. We loved this art curriculum for K and 1st, but are no longer homeschooling and clearing out our shelves. Shipping TBD (I am new to this!) - I imagine I can send them by Media Mail for a small shipping fee, and a little bit more for something faster. For more information, please visit Lindsey Volin's official site: http://www.officialhomeartstudio.com

    $80.00

  15. I like the "every Monday" idea. That way I would be sure not to miss anything. We don't need to wait for payday either, so this *should* be really easy for me. It all comes out of the checking account, and there is always more than enough in it, so I don't know why I can't just pay the bills . . .
  16. I also just got an iPhone, and am eager to try out finance-management apps so that I don't have to manually enter due dates somewhere. I have heard that Mint is good at organizing bills due -- you have to log into all of your accounts through it, but it keeps track of due dates and reminders for you.
  17. It is comforting to know I am not alone in thinking this is difficult! One would think I could figure out how to do this -- but I have a lot of kids and distractions, and have trouble getting organized. I like the idea of setting aside a "pay bills" date twice a month, and trying to organize the bills into batches to pay on one of those dates. And then maybe I should try to make up a list of due dates. I guess they are all usually on the same date each month? I never bothered to look. For now, I am stressed and frazzled about credit cards as I just missed a payment and got charged interest and a fee. So I'm thinking I will put my two credit card bills on auto-pay for now, until I get myself organized. I don't love the idea of auto-pay, as I'm worried about what happens if there is a dispute with a company -- but for now, the more likely possibility is that I'll miss a payment and get more interest charges and late fees.
  18. I am having trouble keeping on top of my bills and paperwork, and would love to find out how everyone else does it. We have two credit cards, which we pay in full each month, and assorted other bills (phone, internet, oil, electricity, etc.), but I am frequently paying late because I can't keep up with all of the bills and statements and different due dates. Funds are not an issue, as I am fully capable of *paying* the bills (there is plenty in our account and bills are not a hardship). It is just my poor executive function skills that makes it difficult for me to actually get the funds sent out. Currently, I get a mix of paper and online statements, and I pay with online banking through my bank's website. Do you all use a mobile app like Mint to keep track? Set things on auto-pay? Is this difficult for anyone else?
  19. Oh that's so interesting. I had never thought of items as "household contributions" vs. gifts. I hope my husband hasn't been finding my useful gifts to him to be unromantic. Yikes! I have happily accepted All-Clad and Staub cookware as beautiful and extravagant gifts. That seems very romantic to me. But regular pans . . . maybe not so much. I think the key may be whether it is something you would think nothing of just picking up for yourself if you needed it. What about not mentioning your discovery, and then telling him about something reasonably-priced but romantic that you would really like to have for Christmas? That way he could still give you the pans which he thinks you need, and which might be very useful to have -- and he can also go pick up the something extra that is romantic. And then next year, tell him what you would like earlier.
  20. I don't think it is strange to request no gifts. I always write "no gifts, please" on our invitations for friend birthday parties, and had no idea that anyone would mind! I thought parents would be relieved not to have to run out to Target to have their child spend an hour trying to pick out the perfect $20 Lego set. My children have overly-generous relatives on both sides of the family, and receive an absolute mountain of stuff for every occasion. We wouldn't have room to deal with friend birthday gifts as well.
  21. School has worked out wonderfully for my intelligent, precise, and defiant--never-wanted-to-do-his-work 8-year-old. He really thrives with the structure, loves being with friends all day, and happily completes all of his school work with glowing reports from the teacher. It has really turned him around and helped me to appreciate that he is actually not a defiant/weird kid, but just that homeschooling wasn't working for him.
  22. I think your childhood sounds relaxed and peaceful, with lots of time for reading, daydreaming, and your inner life. I'm sure you were able to spend a lot of time playing and outdoors -- sheltered from stress and having to grow up too fast. I have found that young children do not always appreciate adventure and travel as much as we think they might. I grew up in a rural, middle-class (maybe poor?) family and also had a quiet childhood -- but it was the most perfect childhood ever. We read all the time, spent a lot of time hiking and outdoors, and only traveled by car to historic sites or to visit family -- no exotic air travel, Disneyland, or beach vacations. I loved just being left alone with my books and friends and my imagination. I had a loving family, and I was allowed to be a child. Later, when I lived in NY and had many friends who had grown up in their Park Avenue apartments in the city, a friend was talking about his childhood full of trips to Europe, a house in the Hamptons, trips to FAO Schwartz, yacht clubs, symphony concerts, and black-tie functions. And then he stopped himself and said that he didn't mean to make me feel bad about my childhood because he knew I didn't have those opportunities. I was amused by his pity, and said that I was glad he enjoyed growing up in New York, but that I had also had the most glorious childhood myself. I didn't mention that I secretly pitied the poor kids who had to grow up with all of the stress of wealth and city living, with nannies instead of parents and no back yard . . .
  23. Thanks. Continental Math League looks very inclusive in the grade levels, but I am trying to figure out how much support and materials would be offered to a coordinator. It looks like all they have are some books of practice problems from past years, but I don't know if that would be enough to guide me in getting a math club started. Math Olympiad looks very good and seems to have some more structure to it -- but it is just for 4th grade and up. I may look into that more, as most of our interest in a math club comes from a group of 4th graders (and my very determined 2nd grade daughter).
  24. We have a mix of public school and homeschool friends/accelerated learners in grades 2-5 who are interested in meeting a few times a month for a math club or math competition. We have already done Crazy 8s through Bedtime Math, which was wonderful; but the kids would like something a little bit more rigorous. Is there something available that would provide some structure for a reasonably intelligent but not especially mathy parent to run -- or something we could run through our local elementary school?
  25. I love ThredUp, and have found the clothes to be in excellent condition. I just order a bunch (like, 8 pairs of jeans if I am looking for 1 or 2), try them on, and promptly send back what I don't like and what doesn't fit. It can be tough to know sizes for new brands, but there is never a problem returning things. Just be sure to order enough so that you end up with a few things to keep.
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