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About *Jessica*

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    Western NY

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  1. We have older versions of SanDisk’s MP3 players, similar to this. They have been fantastic, and have lasted years. I think we’ve had them since at least 2014, probably earlier.
  2. I’m trying to decide what to do with my middle child next year. He would be a 9th grader since we started him in K just after he turned 6. I might skip him ahead to 10th, though. He did Algebra 1 and hs-level Physics, Literature and History last year. This year he is doing Geometry, a hs-level Engineering class with an electric engineer, hs-level Biology class, and more hs-level Literature and History. It seems like moving him up would be the right thing to do. Regardless of what we decide to do, next year’s plan follows... English - Mom created History - The History of the Renaissance World Algebra 2 - YayMath! Chemistry - we own Timberlake Basic Chemistry, not sure what we’re doing otherwise (Edited to add: I just remembered that I have worksheets for CrashCourse Chemistry, so I will likely have him read a chapter in Timberlake, then watch the CC video and do the guided notes/worksheet.) PE - American ninja warrior-style classes, working out at the gym Spanish - second year Engineering - This year has been electrical engineering, who knows what they’ll work on next year! Entrepreneurship - He and 2 friends won second place in a local renewable energy competition this year. They plan to go forward and make their product a reality. I’m thinking of turning this into a credit. I will probably add Economics, which is a required 1/2 credit in NY, since they fit together so well and his 11th grade brother will be taking Econ next year anyway.
  3. When my boys were 9 and 11 the only activity I paid for (and could afford to pay for, anyway) was summer soccer. Then they got into guitar playing, and fortunately our income increased because the older they get the more expensive things get! Last year at one point I was paying more than $700/month for music lessons for all 3 kids. *gulp* We scaled back on music for the youngest because she isn’t as committed as her brothers yet. But I still pay more than $2,000/year for my oldest to take piano and guitar lessons. And now the younger two are into American ninja warrior-style classes, which easily adds up to over $500/year for a once a week class. Between music and fitness classes we pay at least $5,000/year. So, you might be able to make $500/year work at their current ages, just be prepared for it to increase as they get older if they find something that they love. My 16yo is looking for a job because he wants to add lessons from a second guitar teacher and we aren’t in a position to pay another $1,000 plus per year for one kid’s activity, particularly when he’s already our most expensive kid activity-wise.
  4. Have you tried Zevia? Some of their sodas have caffeine, but many don’t. They are sweetened with stevia, so calorie-free, and have no artificial ingredients.
  5. Thanks to your post I started reading and discovered that the “sinus” headaches I have dealt with for years are almost certainly migraines. Thank you! Maybe now I can find some relief! My mom had migraines and took injections for them, but my symptoms have always been different than hers so I assumed they weren’t migraines.
  6. One thing we take to co-op for lunches that is different than most of the suggestions so far is this soup, eaten cold. Keto Green Chicken Enchilada Soup The ingredients are 1 cups salsa verde (see example) 8 oz cream cheese, softened 2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 4 cups bone broth or chicken stock 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded It tastes great hot, but I always eat the leftovers cold because I think it tastes even better that way, and’s easy to eat on the go like that! We also make Cheesy Zoodles (a low carb mac ‘n cheese style dish made with spiralized zucchini instead of pasta) and those are fantastic cold.
  7. I always get a family gift that the kids open on Christmas Eve. Usually it is a board game, but this year I decided to get a set of “snowballs” for a snowball fight. My 85 year old grandma had so much fun with it! I knew everyone else would love it, but her enthusiasm was surprising and made the day extra special.
  8. These! They are so good. So good.
  9. I’m with Pawz4me. If my 14yo (and I do actually have a son who turned 14 at the end of July) was comfortable being left alone in the circumstances you describe, I would do it.
  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. What a terrifying experience; I am so happy that you made it through.
  11. I don’t! We don’t do vacations of the traditional sort. It used to be because we couldn’t afford to, but now it’s because it is ten times the work for me and nobody seems to enjoy it or appreciate it enough for it to feel worth it. We do staycations. We do day trips up to 2 hours in any direction and find something fun everyone will enjoy, or leave the elder kids home alone if they don’t want to go. We do plan to take each kid on a senior trip with just mom and dad, but we have family and friends nearby who can watch the other two to make that possible. Honestly, my ideal vacation would be my entire family leaving on their own vacation for a week while I stayed home. 😂
  12. Thank you for this! I watched a bit of one video and I can tell this teacher is one who my sons would like and learn from. We may just have to use some of those videos!
  13. 😛 She was so confused as to why I kicked her off my lap and then took her picture.
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