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  1. Yes, but on the other side the water park would have been once and I'm sure they used the slip 'n slide more. 🙂 We are running the AC more. It's cool enough, but our dehumidifier doesn't kick in unless the AC is running and the house got swampy. This is at least workable. Today is thunderstorms and I'd like the humidity to clear out, but we'll see. Might have a few weeks' wait still.
  2. Falafels Shakshuka with chickpeas Stir fry (I do a chili, peanut, lime, soy sauce with spaghetti squash noodles that's really good) Flatbread pizzas (fig, prosciutto, and goat cheese is one of our favorites. Meat, but not very much) Butternut squash ravioli with pesto, bruschetta, and a summer salad Any sort of curry We keep meat down by adding it as an ingredient to various foods or using it as a topping for Polenta Grain salads Pasta Green salads Or offering a second, hardy food at the same meal: taco night gets beans and/or baked sweet potato rounds with cheese and jalapenos grains get squash and dark greens added
  3. We had this come up in middle school. DS read The Hobbit, and it's one of those books I just can't stand. I made it through about three quarters, but I bought a discussion guide to go along so that we were still able to talk about it even if it was a book I had no intention of reading on my own, ever.
  4. FWIW, my own mother could have written this about me at age 8. At age very-much-not-8-anymore 😄 , my friends often walk in a marvel at how organized I am. There is hope. 😉 It will just require a lot of scaffolding, patience, and routine. Having too many toys as a kid completely and entirely overwhelmed me. I didn't have a strictly designated place for everything so therefore, in 8yo logic, it didn't matter if I put things away or not. And, I found the idea of opening and closing lids to be too many steps for me to get things done efficiently. Then there was the last problem - my mom would scold me, and eventually blow up, and then I'd shove things places and call it good. Fast forward to adulthood and my own kids/home: -actual things are kept to a minimum. I keep a lot of blank space in my house - not so much to be sterile but enough to feel calm - so that I keep track of things better. We're planning out Christmas this year and none of us want more stuff except my own 9yo, so we're thinking about a single item for him, a family gift, and consumables. -everything has a designated place, but I have trouble seeing clutter still. Does that make sense? I can't walk into the kitchen and know anything more than "it's messy". My brain requires me to pick up each item in turn, decide if it belongs there, and then think about where it belongs. I can't just pick out what doesn't go and put it away. It's part of why I keep the blank space in my home. -very few things get lids. Open baskets, bowls, shelves. Anything that is a one step process to put away is my friend. -strict routine. Seriously, this is my best friend. My kids each have a routine that mirrors mine so we're all doing the same things as soon as we wake up and before bed. Wake up, make bed, tidy room. At night: bedtime prep, put laundry in the basket, tidy room. And if you think it's redundant to have 'tidy room' on either side of sleeping, you have not met my tired brain that skips over things at night. 😄 Nobody taught me any of this as a kid. I was expected to just fall in line with whatever worked for grownups and none of it stuck. It was only when I really needed to get a handle on my home that I developed my own methods that worked with my specific needs. Your dd will get there. I promise. It might not be for another 10 years or so, but she'll get there. 🙂
  5. Inappropriate work was a big reason why we pulled our oldest out of school. The inappropriate work load and type of work contributed to behavior problems, which led to other problems. This below, though, I could have killed one teacher. She asked for this assignment from the parents, asking us to tell her all about our kids at the beginning of the school year for her files. I sent in a nice, detailed letter that covered my kid's weaknesses and strengths, things I was worried about in the school day, and what I would appreciate a heads up on. At the end of the school year she gave all the letters to the kids for them to read and "treasure". Well, that's all fine and dandy but if I knew it was going directly to my kid I would not have written it like I would to another adult who was taking care of my kid for 8 hours each day. Gah. There were things in there he shouldn't have dwelt on.
  6. Savings this week: -did not take the 9yo to summer gym class. I'm turning the yard into a ninja course instead. The first stage was completed enough for him to have a blast on it. -I was right about my tiredness this week with school starting up. Yesterday I was so exhausted that I just went through the motions of cooking dinner. Thankfully I had put all the ingredients together so it was just a matter of grab, chop, cook. -We're celebrating my birthday this week. 🙂 Each year we just figure out what is best for everyone and pick that weekend to celebrate, so this year it's this weekend. We're not going out to eat. I'm making a dish that is my favorite but the rest of the family doesn't really care for (ground beef enchiladas), but dh ordered a cake from the bakery in town. I don't do ice cream but may pick up a carton for the rest of them. And I know, y'all are wondering why I'm cooking on my b-day. I could have dh do it and he would turn out something lovely and French that looks and taste amazing, but I really just want something that is homey.
  7. Gosh, yes. I used to work in a thrift store. The things people donated bordered on disgusting. For a lot, we were last chance dumping ground before they moved. I have a box I keep in my closet for thrift store items. Anything that is in re-sellable condition goes there. My kid's halloween costume from 2 years ago is a yes, his one from last year is a no. The older one has all the parts, the bag, and is in great shape. Last year's has pilling and pulled threads and is good only for around the house play. If it's not in good enough condition to donate it gets tossed. I live on a quiet road so putting things out for free doesn't work here. And I started really putting my foot down on what comes in the house. No party favors, no kids meal toys. Well, almost none. If you tell me Wendy's has the little building toys that look like rectangles, circles, and have cardboard shapes and heads, I may have to make a trip. We've been collecting those for 5 years or so because they're a great car toy. Just manage it all in bites. Do a corner of a room, then stop. When you fill a bag, throw it in the car for the thrift store.
  8. I use a website - It's free to play around with, low cost to download, iirc.
  9. I have granite countertops. I would not hesitate to set a pan directly on them. That said, we have a nice metal trivet with scrollwork that we use for our table.
  10. This. So much this. I will say I started to relax when ds got more confident and alert and responsive to the road instead of looking like he had a death grip and was scared of everything. Our hazards here range from young, puffed up turkeys who don't have the good sense to move to golf carts zipping across the main road to reach the other side of the course. It took him a while to deal with those things as they come and learn how to keep a good eye open. Even so, there is a well worn spot on the passenger side rug where I have tried to brake while calmly giving the kid instruction. 😄
  11. DONE-run to the grocery store. DONE-make breakfast DONE-do school Not Done. I may need dh's or Youtube's help with this-set up the ninja line DONE. (but I made him cry. 😞 )-tutor DONE-ride along with oldest to his work -wash a cot. Um, figure out how to wash a cot first, then wash it. -make dinner I'm beat. I've had a full day, and a stricken kid who is suddenly realizing that his computer-based education has given him plenty of knowledge, but little in the way of skills. We had to give up on completing a basic, single level outline because he couldn't pull the main idea of a paragraph without it being multiple choice. He came in today confident he was going to be fabulous and left feeling shaken. First day, we'll get there in the end, but I'm wondering if he's going to make a choice to go back to the easy path. It was a rough lesson.
  12. This has happened to us. Our package was routed to the American embassy in Russia because of a misread code. The embassy got the package to us 6 months later, but in the meantime we got Amazon to send a new one after talking to a live person. (It was the one and only anniversary gift dh has ever bought, so I wasn't giving up without a fight) My current package of books left the middle of the country and has been stuck on the far coast for a week. I'm not sure why they're there. It's the wrong direction. I can't do a thing to move them along and I'm dreading having to re-order and/or get a refund.
  13. On the list today: -run to the grocery store. We have leftovers of everything from last night except the main ingredient. For $4 I can stretch the meal out another day. -make breakfast -do school -set up the ninja line -tutor -ride along with oldest to his work -wash a cot. Um, figure out how to wash a cot first, then wash it. -make dinner
  14. I prefer cotton in the summer. Mostly because I'm too lazy to wash silk properly and I dislike linen wrinkles. Light, airy cotton works for me every time. I wear long sleeves and pants nearly all summer because of hiking and sun protection, so I try to keep it as cool as possible. It also works the other way, when I'm in and out of different environments I don't get jolted by insane air conditioning. Dh prefers synthetics and they work for him. He also wears a lot of shorts and short sleeves. Case in point, right now I have on jeans and a lacy cardigan over a cotton shirt. Dh is wearing basketball shorts and a jersey. Different strokes, different folks. You just have to go with what works for you. If you do choose synthetics they are not all built the same. Under Armour makes rather breathable ones. Things from Aeropostale that are filled with rayon are going to be miserable for the most part.
  15. And food prep is taken care of. Dh's breakfasts - I made a dozen breakfast burritos for the freezer. That should keep him for about 3 weeks. He works across from the grocery store and it has a fabulous deli/ready-to-go section. I'd like to keep it less tempting but still give him good things to take to work. I used half the breakfast sausage and chorizo, with the other half being cooked up anyway. The extra breakfast sausage will be used for biscuits & gravy next weekend before oldest goes to work and the chorizo for later burritos. Kid breakfasts - I made pancake/waffle mix. Just add egg, butter, and milk. Each batch will make about 6 large waffles or a dozen pancakes. Cherries - halved, pitted, and frozen. That'll be pie next month. I prepped the chicken for various meals: chopped for curries & chinese, breasts sliced for tenders and larger pieces to go with pasta. One of our quick meals is tenders and lemon couscous. Not particularly healthy, but doesn't take me long to get it going and anyone in the house can make it.
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