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Archive for September, 2008

Camp cheaper than home?

September 30th, 2008 at 09:41 am

No on the one hand I have to pay for the camp. 20 for two, two nights, 3 meals.

Plus there will be snacks, usually apples, slimjims, something for breakfast, and trail mix.

on the other hand if home those two would still eat the breakfast and snacks.

plus those other 3 meals, which certainly cost less than $20.

BUT if they were home we would go Christmas shopping, we have a few gifts to get and prefer not to go after Christmas. shopping always involves a bit of splurging, the less we do it the cheaper.

All in all I think it is a wash. Now GS camping at 30 EACH, is a good deal more expensive.

Dentist

September 29th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Well we got back from the dentist with two sets of healthy teeth. (only JC and GMC go yet)

and the bank account is $250 smaller.

I am so not looking forward to April when UE joins the dental crowd.

On the way we were listening to "The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe". We had just finished listening to the part where Edmund gets to eat the magic Turkish delight. I have always wondered just what Turkish delight was, ever since I read the story in childhood.

After the dentist we went out to eat, an old tradition from when I was a kid, the reward for the visit. The restaurant down the block was "Aladdins" or something like that.

Dinner was excellent, I have no idea what it was called, some beef thing, chicken thing, and lamb, plus some chili like soup, all with strange names, but all was good.

Then for desert Baklava, I never liked it, but I know my husband did so we got a variety of 4 kinds. (I never knew there were multiple kinds) Since there was a variety I figured I would try some.

I think I may have found something worthy of the praise Turkish delight gets in the book! It was heavenly! Fingers they called it, sweet but not sickeningly so, a tiny bit of crunch, but mostly melting in the mouth. I absolutely loved it!

PS I went to wiki: turkish delight

Feathers and flowers (phoenix)

September 25th, 2008 at 04:05 pm

Well the kids party is coming soon.

The final theme(s) is (are) flowers, easy and phoenix/feathers..not so easy. though possibly easier than fireworks. (we do combined because they are not that far apart in age and close in date of bday)

so far I have bright invitations combining the two. well they look ok to this non artist.

Craft for JC is make a flower with maybe tissue paper? with bumble bees from pompoms for UE.

A game of pin the tail (feather) on the phoenix UE, or bee on flower for JC.

But I still would like a craft for UE, he wants to make a feather hat... wonder how to word that so it is a phoenix thing?

Plus I would like another game....never found pin the tail to take long.

Any suggestions?

Also any hints on how to make a phoenix on a cake? I can do the flower fairly easy.

oooh I just saw a 'bouquet relay' kids all take turns running to fill a vase with flowers...

long rant on my job

September 25th, 2008 at 10:59 am

I am more scared by the idea that one cannot survive on one income than on the idea that I only have one.

If anything terrible should happen I can easily go get a job (I am a teacher we are always in demand here)

But if I NEEDED two, could I find quality day care? would I want to? Could I find a teachers job paying enough to afford two cars? two workers do not often manage with only one car (not in the suburbs)

Could I pump? you know I hate it (haven't bothered for three kids now). would I be able to find a contraption that does the trick, or would my children's health have to suffer? (don't get me wrong formula has saved the lives of children who's mothers cannot produce compatible milk, but it not the same)

Would I be able to homeschool or would my choices for education be limited by what I can afford or take for free from the govt?

Would I be able to supply a trip to disney land at the expense of having to wake up early every day?

Would I be able to participate in scouting, or would I become a dump and run parent?

Would I be able to have folk over nearly every Friday or would I be to burned out on everything to manage? I am not superwoman, I find my job of taking care of kids and house and scouts and CE hard enough.

And you know I will prolly get flamed for this, but if you don't like your kids and spouse enough to spend all day with them, why have them?

I like hearing them read to me, listening to them play outside with make believe stories (not enough to join them in said make believe, I am deficient in imagination) I can't understand the joy in parenting if you don't get to take HUGE chunks of time with them. My husband has been known to work 9pm-3am so that he can spend most of the day playing with them. (can't manage the dishes at the same time, but hey he is good at play)

Fortunately his job doesn't mind terribly when he is late due to explaining some fraction concept or word problem to the oldest, or listening to the next to youngest talk all about how two green ducks and two green ducks kes four.
Or listening to how the little dog is black with white spots so both Andrew and Peter will like it( story, we have no dog)

My idea of a great time is to take the kids to the playground or science center read to them, or with them, or listen to them read, or play a game with them.

This doesn't mean my whole life is my kids, I am ignoring them right now, one is ignoring his lunch (the milk is warm so he doesn't want to eat it) two are supposed to be napping and one wants to read to me....come back at 2pm, this is my time.

As much as I like my kids I also like my time away...but all day? everyday? that would be too much for me.

All day away from dishes or laundry that I could handle!

If I had the money to hire help, a nanny, governess or tutor would not be my pick.

A maid, chef then secretary, then if there is anything leftover...a tutor. no not even a nanny for diapers, though I do hate them. I suppose a nanny who did the dirty work while I got to giggle with the baby? Maybe.

Am I crazy to want to spend so much time with my kids? Am I the weirdo going about this parenting all wrong? Am I worthless because I can spend a day doing nothing more productive than spending time (and much of it is just that, time with no product) with my children?

I often hear "you can read?" "You can do fractions?", "you mean he is potty trained?" (only during the day) or "she is only 3 months old" (after rolling or while sitting)

So the results of my time are there, just not quite as easy to see as a stack of reports or a tally of sales, or todo list checked off. Does America in general really take more stock in a parents ability to make money than to prepare children for the world? This is not to say kids out of the home are not prepared. what do you think all that money and research goes to in schools daycares and the like?

I do it free, and I apparently am worthless because all I do is teach (and clean) all day.

the true job of a SAHM is to take care of house yes, but the fun part is to prepare children for the world.

Every job has it's boring parts, personally I would hate to be working at my husbands job, building a computer by putting yet another tiny screw in to add the SAME mother board with the SAME video card, so that when done I can type in the SAME password to load the SAME image?

No sorry not for me, though he does have his fun parts, he delights in solving a difficult problem (if they are all the same why doesn't this one work?)

It's a good thing I am home all day

September 24th, 2008 at 10:04 am

Tuesday is scout night, I take my family to scouts, all 4 of the kids. only the older two are in scouts, but there is no alternative for the other 2.

El spent the entire night in someone elses arms, ok I took her for 2 minutes to find someone else to hold her while I did scout stuff.

UE was shuffled between rooms to build a puzzle or play a game, all without me. and Other than the actual meeting GMC and JC were nowhere near me.

If I had been at work all day or they at school I wouldn't have had any time with them at all!

As it is, I need some help so I have less jobs to do in scouts. I can't do it all, and not even the loving support of my husband is enough. We need help if we don't get it ASAP, we are moving to a different pack that only wants two willing adults, not 5 or 6.

book tests

September 23rd, 2008 at 11:17 am

I found a While back a webiste that will test kids on books then award points that can be used for simple prizes..nothing to dramatic, some tattoos or an ebook.

www.bookadventure.com

The kids have recently been taking tests everyday, or rather I have been asking them to. In general they do quite well, but the options are limited...well compared to the library anyway. We come home with a stack of 15 books and maybe two will be on there.

It works better if you go to the library with a list but our way the kid reads 4 books and takes a test on one..not such a bad thing.

Anyway it is a free way to check comprehension of a book I haven't read. Important as I read less and less of my sons books. Never thought I would say that....

Junk email about junk email

September 22nd, 2008 at 09:36 am

Folks forwarding emails should be reserved for close friends who care, or at least ones you are sure will giggle.

Sening me a non forwarder an email reminding me NOT to forward is a pure waste of both our times!

Please please, stop using the 'all' function of your email, I highly doubt the wife of your old sunday school teacher wants to read yet another email petition.

even if you do think I will enjoy the read, please remove the 'forward or else' line.

Oh yeah, please please learn to use the Bcc function, B is for Blind, meaning others can't see it. unless we all need each others emails (IE scout leader ring) use Bcc (scout parents)
and no sending an email with a bunch of handles to congress wont do any good.

I made this

September 21st, 2008 at 03:30 pm

My dad pointed me to a cool 'scripting' program. He thought my son might like it, which is possible, I dunno boys been in trouble for two days.

Anyway I played with it and I made this little counting program.

scratch count

Actually kindof easy, but I need to figure out how to get sound to it so it actually counts.

New (to me) laptop

September 21st, 2008 at 08:27 am

Well the laptop is all loaded up and goes online....but the A key was broken, so I debated if it was better.

Turns out the key was fixed in less than 2 minutes! Husband just took it apart did something put it back together and voila, all better!

He says it was simple and he could prolly fix the other keyboard (but not the slow net). While I agree a minute is simple, I still have no idea how to do it myself. I would guess that many fields have 'easy' tasks that are only easy to the expert.

I have a 'stick' for my hair, it is just a smooth stick. aught to be simple, yet I cannot even sand down a derby car much less make a stick smooth enough to not snag on my hair.

Or sewing, I hear making curtains is so simple one would be a fool to pay for them, yet I cannot sew a straight line to save my life.

On the other hand sewing patches on uniforms is fast becoming quick and easy. As are buttons. patching pocket holes in my husbands dress slacks on the other hand, not to sure I managed that well.

One mans simple task is insurmountable to another.

sleep baby sleep

September 20th, 2008 at 11:38 am

El who had been sleeping through the night decided this past three to be up constantly...I am so tired, and I miss my happy baby. I dunno what the deal is, but I sure hope she goes back to sleeping soon!

PS babies who sleep are cheaper...Momma doesn't feel the need for expensive shortcuts as much!

The other story

September 19th, 2008 at 10:30 am

JC of course wanted to write a story as well..other than worse spelling and no spaces between words, she did rather well for almost 5 anyway:

Harry and Ron took their wands out. Dumbledore came and taught them how to make magic bracelets for Hermoine and Ginny.

story time

September 18th, 2008 at 08:47 am

We have been listening to books on tape, right now it is Harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. Aparently the children have Harry on the brain!

When I asked my son to write a story he chose "Harry Potter and the Dragon" After some spelling help and a bit of revision here is the story by GMC:

Harry was in the castle reading the "Monster Book of Monsters". Then Lord Voldemort appeared with a wand as bright as the sun. Ron followed behind, flailing his arms with his wand pointed at Voldemort.

Quickly Voldemort vanished. Harry Ron and Hermoine pulled out their wands, but nothing happened for hours.

After they put their wands back, the three of them went to professor Lupins office. They found a a tin snake. Ron slipped itinto his empty pocket.

Then they went to the quidditch field. When they got to the field, a dragon swept past them. The mounted their brooms and found some swords. They fought the dragon. It was Ron who noticed that Voldemort was riding on the dragon.

Voldemorts wand fell down down to Harry's hand. Harry killed the dragon but not hte evil wizard. Voldemort ran off to bring out the basilisk for another day.

Email on womens vote

September 17th, 2008 at 06:41 am

I received this in my email and thought it worth sharing. I too am one of those apathetic voters.



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.
Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed

nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.

Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing

went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above

her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks

until word was smuggled out to the press.

memory
........
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.

Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.

Sometimes it was inconvenient.
....
'What would those women think of the way I use , or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just
younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.'
......

but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think
a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

I want a new house

September 15th, 2008 at 11:24 am

I want a new (to us) bigger house. I do not need a new house, I want one.

One with preferably 4 bedrooms, one for boys, girls, us and his stuff.

a dining room would be nice as well to play games on.

I think moving would be a lovely way to declutter, though I imagine my husband wouldn't bother, he would just pack his stuff up, but regardless if we had a whole room just for him. I could close the door and ignore it...or invent some silly tale about how a bogart invaded the room and now we can't use it, regardless I wouldn't be tripping over his stuff, and the garage could again hold the car.

So how does one find the perfect house with a reasonable price?

Swimming in laptops

September 11th, 2008 at 10:08 am

So you might wonder why a middle class family with 4 rug rats has a ton of laptops but no debt for them.

I believe it is the phenomenon of the tech geek husband. You see he fixes a fellows computer issue, and then a few months later gets a laptop. Or he builds one for a friend, then gets it back two years later when the upgrade happens.

Plus he has two for work (one crashes on an application, the other locks up for something else, they humor him because he doesn't ask for top of the line, he fixes the old cast offs)

The desktops we did pay for 5ish years ago? Not sure on the date, as we hardly ever buy a whole computer at once, just parts. I think the last upgrade was 2 years ago, but the monitor was a pre UE purchase. yes I meant monitor singular, a dude with 2 laptops doesn't need a dedicated monitor, neither does his wife with her three. so two cases one monitor.
(which is dyeing, causing me to switch to the laptop unless I am printing, I have got to ask him to tell me how to print from the laptop.)

Nothing is top of the line, but all are serviceable. I gave the little laptop to the kids, not fast but works on the old kiddie games we have. plus they can set it all up by themselves (well not UE)

So there you have it, why we are swimming in free laptops.

Which is the most important letter?

September 10th, 2008 at 11:08 am

ou always here about U being an important letter, after all there is no 'fun' without U.

but then there is I, there is no I in team, but there certainl is in 'win' so I suppose the worth of I depends on what ou want.

I think E is the most used letter in the English language, making it rather important, or at least well used.

In m own personal opinion ' '(the one after x, but before z) is the most important letter. Wh ? ou ask? because it is the one that doesn't work on m ke board......

my interesting night

September 9th, 2008 at 01:17 pm

while it may not be everones pick for interesting, I enjoyed Firday night quite a bit.

we had 4 families over this time. Games of boggle, chess, apples to apples, uno, add emm up, and lego pirates were played. From the list you can see it was a kid centered night (they are not all) but since I like kids I still found it interesting.

Topics of conversation included parenting, politics, health, and some pop culture (ok fine so firefly is old culture, but still worth talking about)

All without really spending anything..ok there was the electricity for the microwave popcorn someone brought, and the apples, plus some asserted beverages, but allin all rather frugal fun.

Good thing it was expensive

September 8th, 2008 at 10:16 am

While we were at the store finding a present for my brother in law, we happened to pass by two things.

One was a game system similar to what my mother brought down on her last two visits.
My son never has the patience to listen to electronic voices telling him what to do. Even though he will play the computer or even his cousins game systems for hours, he will never sit to play a children's game. So he doesn't have one.

My daughter on the other hand sat down and actually played the thing, the games tend to start right under her level and go up through right above her level. so I thought it would be worth it for her. But I am not paying 70$ for one. I imagine an older version can be found on Ebay for less, but I hate ebay.

Then on the way out we passed a soft, pretty pink blanket. It would exactly match Els pink pig, and would be perfect for her. I was going to check and see if it was a throw (perfect for cribs) or a twin sized for when she was older when I saw the $70 price tag, IF I am not paying 70 for an electronic game you can be sure I am NOT paying that much for a blanket!

Now I am sure there are some items of high quality or maybe handmade, that are worth that much, but a chain store mass produced blanket? I doubt it is worth that.

Oh so the whole reason I am glad it is expensive..I didn't buy any of it! Well ok I did buy a bag of dark chocolate MnM's. they were only 2 bucks.

So what percent is that anyway?

September 6th, 2008 at 09:16 am

The recent post stating 36% total debt and 28% for house go me thinking of our percents.

The only debt we have is the house and car, (though I aught to go pay the car off.)

The total salary is easier so I will use that:

house = 26%
car = 9%

total debt = 35%

Guess my debt is 'OK' according to financial planners.

Though since our salary has increased dramatically that was not true when we bought the house.

total debt = 2.5 times his salary, wonder if that is too high.

And my number one question, how to get rid of the house debt faster than the 30 years? Sure we can pay off the car and then in a few years have the EF back up, but.....we will need a bigger car, so we need to use the car payment amount to save up for a bigger one, can't use it to the house.

I could cut a few bills, but I really don't want to.

Guess I should join the house debt is fine group.

How do you make a hallway feel bigger

September 4th, 2008 at 09:15 am

I think I read that mirrors work, but I don't know if I could find one.

The hallway is really small, the width of the front door frame and no more.

My goal is to paint it when I paint the living room hopefully this month.

BTW that free wallpaper job in the kitchen got done, looks AWESOME! I have such great friends.

I kinda would like to let the kids help with the paint in the living room, not the base coat, but I want some flowers, I think it would be fun to let the kids at JC's birthday party paint flowers on the one small wall.

I just have to figure out the base color, and I want something that wont make the hallway look any smaller than it already is.

Snowball of work

September 3rd, 2008 at 10:19 am

Between CE, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and my own life, I feel like all the work is snowballing or more like swirling around in some kind of tornado of TODO lists.

I keep grabbing as many things as I can and completing them (imagining some kind of video game bubble pop disappearance when done) but I still can only see glimpses of the rest of the world between the swirling work.

Like the itty bitt dinos in Turok, I just can't shake free. and all the slashing and dashing in the world doesn't make those Compys stop.

I beat em in Turok by using the sniper long range bow and arrow that and restarting whenever they swarmed.

So where is my restart button?

The cost of letting your children do what you never did

September 2nd, 2008 at 10:07 am

I never to my knowledge had my face painted, I also was told drinks at a ren fest were far to expensive and to suffer in thirst till we went to the car.
(don't even think about asking for food)

While I do agree both face painting and drinks at ren fests are too expensive, I also paid for them this last weekend.

We went with several drinks in the backback, just not enough for the hot day. So when the kids said they were thirsty we stopped and got the ridiculously priced bottle of water. When they were hungry and had alread eaten a smuggled in granola bar, we bought the overpriced breadstickcks, and soup.

I figure in these prices when I make sure we have enough to go, one friend told me she didn't think saving 20$ a month on the electric by keeping the air 4 degrees higher was worth it. For me that 20 a month over the last three months just paid for a very wonderful vacation being able to afford drinks, admission tips games and food. Since I most folk are not comfy at 76 anyway, why not make it 80 and be able to afford the vacation?

Besides the kids managed to learn a bit, GMC learned how to do a formal bow, and they all got to watch a medieval bell instrument. Can't remember the name, but I didn't get to see it (nursing El elsewhere) They also learned one reason why we don't bother to cool the house that well.

Oh yeah and we got to see some family....