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Noreen Claire

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Everything posted by Noreen Claire

  1. This was my original plan but... it takes him so long and he whines. Ugh. I should probably just do this. Spelling is his weakest subject, so I let him print his work in the workbook and when copying his words; I don;t know if I should force the cursive for that.
  2. DS9 is about to finish Zaner-Bloser grade 4 handwriting workbook. His cursive is pretty good when he has a model and takes his time. His cursive is no where near automatic yet - he doesn't even like that his spelling book (Spelling Work Out level D) gives the words is cursive. He needs more practice! Here are his options: mom-made cursive practice. - I don't really have the bandwidth to come up with this right now. complete another trip through ZB4. - I can buy another copy. We did the 2016 version. I can buy the same one, the 2012 version, or the new 2020 version. work through a similar program. - I like the ZB cursive, but he could possible work through a simpler cursive. I'm not sure what that would be? something else - any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
  3. The furniture is easy to move - it's the school books and supplies, cookbooks, and misc. other crap that will be the hard part. But, it could all use a good sorting/purging, so it's not a bad thing!
  4. We do have a small table w/4 chairs tucked into the corner of kitchen where the younger 4 eat breakfast & lunch. Honestly, I would love to widen the doorway between kitchen & dining room, and redo the kitchen as there is not enough cabinet space, the oven is next to the kitchen door, etc... But, I have a bathroom that is in dire need of repair first, and we don't have the space in the budget for all that. When we moved in 3yrs ago, we turned the three season sun porch into a year-round tv & toy space. It connects to the living room towards the back, and is on the left side of the house. It isn't insulated and desperately needs new windows, but we make it work with a rug and thermal curtains. It had a non-working radiator when we moved in, which we had fixed and keeps it warm-ish. Currently, DS6 needs me for almost all of his work, as he is an emerging reader. DS9 is capable of a lot without me but insists on being in the same room with me while he works, so I don't bother trying to do work in the kitchen during school time. I'm looking forward to this changing in the future! ETA: DS23 lives in the finished part of the basement. When he gets his own place, we can use that space for other things.
  5. Had anyone ever swapped their dining room for their living room? We live in a 1940s Colonial, 1500sq ft including the finished portion of the basement. The right side of the house has a dining room (11'x11') in front and a kitchen (11'x16', sticks out a bit from the side of the house) behind. The left side of the house has a front-to-back living room (22'x11'). The stairways are in the center of the house. The kitchen and living room are separated by a short hallway with a tiny powder room at the back of the house. We are a family of seven, with five sons, ages 23, 9, 6, 4, & 2. There is barely enough room to fit all seven of us around the table we have in the dining room, a round pedestal meant for 4 with a leaf in it. Twice a week, one of my in-laws is here for dinner (they're divorced), so we will have either 7 or 8 at the table. We also do most of our schooling at this table. It just isn't enough room! I've been on the lookout for a larger, more rectangular table that could fit 8 people more easily that would also fit into the room. However, I'm starting to think that a better idea would be to swap the dining room with the living room. I could fit a much larger table, giving us more room to spread during school and also for when we have more family over on holidays. The downside would be that it would be a >20' walk from the kitchen to the table, rather than the <10' walk it is now. Is that really a big enough deal to not do it? The living room furniture would probably fit just fine in the dining room, we would need to rearrange some bookcases. (We have a ludicrous number of bookcases!) Anyone BTDT?
  6. Sorry, couldn't type this all out on my phone. This is a list from when my son started reading graphic novels two years ago. Several of these series have added more volumes since then...
  7. My 2019 plans: -Some form of exercise every day. I have a TRX and a rowing machine in my bedroom now, so no excuses about not getting to the gym. This would also include getting the littles outside for a walk after lunch on days that are over 35°F and sunny-ish through the winter. -More water, limiting myself to one diet soda with pizza on Friday nights. (I've done this before, but fell off the wagon hard.) -Vegetables and fruits at every meal and more vegetarian options during meals, with meat as a side dish, rather than the main course, as often as possible. -In bed by 10pm. I'm a night owl, but DH and the 9, 6, 4, & 2 yr olds are all early morning people. It's no fun to be grumpy morning Mama. I would try to get to bed earlier, but DS23 usually gets home from work around 9:30pm, and that's really the only time I get to talk to him these days. That's the plan so far!
  8. I like this recipe: It's from the Mad Hungry cookbook, which is one of my most used cookbooks.
  9. I tried to watch last night. I couldn't get past the idea that they scheduled their initial meeting/house tour at a time that their kids are cranky and needing to rest/breastfeed. I shut it off and watched Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat instead.
  10. That daily dozen is interesting, I'll have to check it out more! I'm shifting my mindset to 'life-improving' rather than 'weight reducing' this year. I've set up a TRX suspension trainer and a rowing machine in my bedroom, so now I can no longer use the excuse that I couldn't make it to the gym. My goals are: some form of exercise every day, vegetables/fruit at every meal, and more water. Also, I need to be in bed by 10 every night, but I'm struggling with that right now, as it's the only time I'm alone and it's quiet!
  11. Some of us use them, some don't. The younger boys are two-to-a-room, and there is no space for dressers. Each boy has a hanging set of shelves (sweater organizers?) that they use to keep everything except shirts. Shirts are hung on rods between the two sets of shelves, older boy at regular height and younger boy using an added rod halfway down. (Hope that makes sense.) DS23 has a dresser (it was my great grandfather's) but mostly his clothes are in piles around his room. That's a thread for another day. (grumble grumble grumble) DH uses a dresser for his underwear/undershirts/socks/t-shirts/sweaters, and pants/dress shirts/blazers are in the closet. He also keeps CDs and photo albums in the bottom drawer. Most of my clothes are in the closet;. My dresser has socks/underthings/PJs/workout clothes; several of the drawers are empty. It is also constantly piled higher and deeper with crap that doesn't belong there. I keep meaning to find a way to get the last of my clothes into my closet so that I can send the dresser into the basement for longer-term storage, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I would love to use the space for a comfy chair in my bedroom instead!
  12. I just upgraded after 10yrs using a 4.5qt tilt-head KitchenAid to a 6qt pro series and I'm in love! The motor is twice as strong and no longer struggles making double batches of cookies. I actually made a quadruple batch (10 dozen) cookies on Christmas Eve! I bought mine straight from the KA refurbished section. It was a great deal!
  13. My dad's birthday is in a few days- I'm going to see if my local Whole Foods carries these. They seem like something he would like. Thanks!
  14. I might try lowering the rack you use when you bake in a loaf pan. If the top is setting too fast, it may not give it enough room to expand, so it goes out the side. Baking lower in the oven might help. Just an idea...
  15. FTR I was a high school teacher previous to staying home after DS6 was born and I started homeschooling. But, in public high school, they don't let the kids evaluate you. I'm not teaching next semester, so I'm going to set myself a reminder to review the evaluations at the end of the summer and then try to not think about them again until then. They were, on the whole, positive comments. This one hurt, though. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words and reasoned voices.
  16. This was my first time as an adjunct professor. I taught three sections of the same course, which was essentially a review of algebra 1 & 2 topics. My evaluations from my students were posted today. Roughly 60% of my students filled out the evaluations and they were, for the most part, good. But, one student wrote: "I always felt lost in this class and unable to ask for help. I felt as though (she) was judgmental and not the most helpful when it came to doing our individual work." And now I have a pit in my stomach and I want to cry.
  17. I have no advice, sorry. But, having had to tell DS23's best friend at 16 that his mother had died from a drug overdose, I can only say that I am very, very sorry for you both. I will keep you in my thoughts.
  18. I've had water in my basement each spring since moving into this house three years ago. We have a sump pump in the unfinished portion of the basement, which handles things on that side. However, the finished side of the basement, where DS23 has his bedroom, leaks when the snow melts. This fall, we had monsoon season in the northeast and the water coming into the finished side of the basement was terrible. At it's worst, there were two days were I had to go downstairs every 30-45 minutes to pick up sopping wet towels and vacuum up several more gallons of water. 😵 We dealt with water from September through last week, when everything froze. We had gutters installed on that side of the house last week, in order to route some of the water that was going into the backyard around the other side of the house and downhill. There was also a leaking water main at the street, on the opposite side of the house from the leaking basement, that we finally got the DPW to admit was a problem and repair. It leaked water for the last 18 months, and I'm sure was not helping out with the amount of ground water. It was fixed on Tuesday. Yay! I've had several companies come to give estimates, as well as spoken to several other companies over the phone. Does anyone have experience with having a french drain-type system installed inside the perimeter of their basement? We have a fieldstone foundation, and haven't seen any leaks in the walls themselves, though we do have more drywall to remove and replace due to mold, so we haven't ruled it out completely. I really don't wan't to have to spend my bathroom renovation money on waterproofing the basement but, if I have to, I will.
  19. In Massachusetts, a student driver with a learner's permit cannot drive unless there is a licensed driver in the car who is also covered under the car's insurance policy. When I took my driver's test, I used my boyfriend's car (my parents both drove manual transmission cars) and he was my sponsor, sitting in the back seat. When DS23 got his license, he used the driving school's car and their instructor sat behind him (it was included in the price of his driving course).
  20. If you can stretch her lip that far without it hurting her, she has/had no latch issues, and has no serious speech/articulation issues, than it probably isn't an issue. DS4 had terrible tongue/lip ties which caused poor latching, bad nursing, losing weight, and making mama *crazy*. After it was finally dealt with correctly at 2mos old (laser correction *after* surgical correction), we realized that DS6 (then 2), also had tongue/lip ties. By that time, he had serious articulation issues (he was an early talker) and decay on the fronts of his upper teeth because of the lip tie. He had been a champion nurser, so we hadn't noticed before. We had him seen by the same pediatric dentist that fixed DS4's ties, and he was able to take care of the lip & tongue ties AND the tooth decay with the laser in under 10 minutes. Totally worth the 6 hour round-trip drive and out-of-pocket expenses. 🙂
  21. Just a quick addendum, for anyone who reads this thread later on... The readers from AAR were exactly what he wanted. He can read every word in the first book all by himself. He can read *most* of the words in the second reader by himself, though he is a bit slower because he's sounding more of them out. We use these as practice, behind the lessons in the OPGTR. It's working out well!
  22. Thanks, everyone! After reading way too many recipes online, I rubbed it with a salt/pepper/garlic/herb mix and let it marinate for a couple of hours. I seared it on all sides in my cast iron skillet and then put it in the oven for a while. Husband liked it very much, and has leftovers for lunches.
  23. My father gifted my husband a small (1lb) venison roast that I'm supposed to be making for dinner tonight. How do I cook this thing? I'm used to making giant beef roasts to feed a small army - this sucker just needs to feed my husband (the rest of us will be having baked mac-n-cheese). HELP!!! ETA: I do not have a crockpot, but I do have a (giant) dutch oven.
  24. Magnatiles! My boys have used them every single day for the last two years.
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