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Archive for July, 2008

They keep doing that behind my back!

July 31st, 2008 at 04:30 pm

So last night for bed my daughter JC gets herself some PJs..that a couplke months ago she said she didn't want to wear because they were too big...

They fit fine now!

My son UE, tried to put a pair of shorts on the other day and complained they wouldn't work...he wore them just the week before!

I tell you they do this growing thing every time I look away, sneaky little twerps.

Cost of homeschooling

July 30th, 2008 at 04:15 pm

Average cost per year for a family of 3 children (infants are free to educate):

Paper and ink for printer: $75
Pencils and erasers: $5
Workbooks: $25
Field trips: $50
Scouts: $200

Watching my kids learn and knowing they have the best chance to fulfill their potential? priceless.

compare my 355 to DC's 20K...and you gotta wonder where all that money is going to?

cool quote

July 30th, 2008 at 12:35 am

What Plato thought no parents would ever do, turn over their own children to others to be reeducated, the parents of America did after World War II.

Text is the teenage myth and Link is
the teenage myth

if you wondered why plato wanted the kids...

In addition, Plato believed that the interests of the state are best preserved if children are raised and educated by the society as a whole, rather than by their biological parents. So he proposed a simple (if startlingly unfamiliar) scheme for the breeding, nurturing, and training of children in the guardian class. (Note that the same children who are not permitted to watch and listen to "dangerous" art are encouraged to witness first-hand the violence of war.) The presumed pleasures of family life, Plato held, are among the benefits that the higher classes of a society must be prepared to forego.

Text is plato and Link is

With the ever-present danger of tyranny accompanying military rule, efforts must be made to curb the guardians' natural tendency to lord over the citizens. Socrates suggests that the guardians be controlled through an education designed to make them like "noble puppies" that are fierce with enemies and gentle with familiars (375a). Education in music for the soul and gymnastics for the body, Socrates says, is the way to shape the guardians' character correctly and thereby prevent them from terrorizing the citizens. Thus, the guardians' education is primarily moral in nature, emphasizing the blind acceptance of beliefs and behaviors rather than the ability to think critically and independently.

Text is plato on education and Link is
plato on education

financially speaking I read today...

Dad: ok, found the "where the money goes" chart
1.7 billion for public education
me: how many kids?
Dad: about 120,000 under the age of 18
make it 78,000 school-age kids
over $20k per child per year

sorry he had other things todo before I got the link the the chart myself..but he did say:

Dad:got a site for the Mayor'
s office
Google says "this site may harm your computer"
Dad: This warning message appears with search results we've identified as sites that may install malicious software on your computer:
apparently they mayor's office is infested with some form of crudware

me: wonder what the IT budget is...

and then further research of Dad...

Dad: "Only 37 percent of tested students in District of Columbia Public Schools and the city’s public charter schools earned proficient or advanced rankings in reading in 2007, and only 32 percent reached those levels in math, Jennifer Comey told the city council. However, between 2006 and 2007, the share of all public school students testing proficient or advanced increased. In 2007, public charter school students tested slightly higher on average compared with DCPS students."
that is from a study by the urban institute

That was a quote he pulled, kids had me busy so I didn't get to ask for the link.

regardless I trust his research.

Monitor needing replaced

July 29th, 2008 at 08:49 pm

Our monitor is going bad, actually it has been going bad for awhile.

Right now it refuses to 'shrink' the view horizontally, so if I want to see the right side to close or minimize I have to move the 'box' to the left. and back when I want to read the left hand side of a document

And why don't I just resize the box? because the screen keeps changing its 'size'. one day you fit the browser box, the next you can't.


So should I shop now or wait for it to totally give up the ghost? or should I not replace it and suffer with slow as all get out laptop?

Not frugal, but worth it

July 23rd, 2008 at 05:11 pm

I am a jeans kinda gal. If I am not dressed up for church, or in PJs I am wearing jeans. So post baby I have the hardest time.

The last three kids I happened to own a pair of jeans that were two sizes to big, I squeezed into them on the way home from the hospital (mostly holding my breath, thankfully it was a short drive) then I relaxed into Pjs for the next week or so (when really recovering from delivery I am kinda in need of lots of rest)

Then I would get the jeans on and gradually I returned to my normal activity and normal size, the day I retired those jeans after each kid was wonderful. Yet always as I tucked them away in the 'maternity' drawer I gave them a gental pat of thanks for giving me those months of jeans, while still a bit flabby.

Last time the jeans didn't quite make it to retirement, they developed a hole in the zipper area that I couldn't patch, so I had to say goodbye.

I though I could be strong enough to manage after EL without the jeans, I was wrong.

Having no jeans that fit made me feel FAT. Unfortunately I am not one of those that is motivated by being too big, I lose weight, eat better, and move more when I am feeling fit and thinish.

So I happened to complain and explain why I feel fat this weekend, my husband took the next opportunity to buy me some jeans for this size.

It has only been 2 days, but those two days have been healthier than the last 6 weeks!

Not really frugal to buy jeans for what will hopefully only be a couple months, but man it feels so good, I think it is totally worth it.

A no spend day

July 22nd, 2008 at 04:25 pm

All that paypal-ing the other day was the first I spent in eons..generally I get to escape because I carry the baby, my husband spends.

But if we include his spending...well at first glance I would assume 2 or 3 spending days per week...

This month on the other hand is terrible. we had out of town company, so we went grocery shopping an extra time or two.

already spent:

Sunday-treated company to taco bell
Monday - grocery shopping to restock milk (and chocolate)

Projected spending:

Tuesday - grocery's to restock on veggies (we don't like the veggies at the other store.)
Wednesday - ??
Thursday - Fill up on milk and such for the weekend company (new ones)

Though this company is my mom, so she will prolly do the treating for any eating out we do. Not that she has to, just she tends to.

It doesn't look so bad now that I write it...4 days of spending. I wonder if I am right and an average week really is just 2 days. I should prolly keep track.

figured out paypal

July 21st, 2008 at 06:48 pm

I finally learned how to get to my paypal account. so I finally made a kiva loan...

I found it very hard to decide who to loan to.. so I picked one that was about funded, had a short repayment term, and had a 5 star rated partner.

I will let you know how it went in 4-6 months.

I also bought stuff.. so that paypal money is about gone.

itty bitty hands

July 18th, 2008 at 01:48 pm

My daughter wanted to play on the computer. The game she brought me to try was 'jump start typing'. I figured it wouldn't hurt to let her try.

Turns out the little lap top has the small keys very close together and she can mostly reach them all. So she can't work a mouse very well, but she can type like a champ! (well homerow keys anyway)

How dumb can Ebayers be?

July 17th, 2008 at 04:58 pm

While hunting up some product my husband came across a listing for $3 plus shipping, the picture included a price tag of $1.50. No not vintage, he went to the store the next day and found the exact package for about the same price.

Why on earth would anyone list something for more than the visible purchase price?

Now we have listed things with the price showing for less, and I often wonder if we get bids just because it is a 'good deal' (we didn't pay that price or anything)

Seriously do ebayers think before buying/listing?

toys for pizza

July 12th, 2008 at 02:22 pm

We had company last night and one fellow brought pizza, instead of chipping in any loot for the pizza my husband handed over some 'toys'. Technically they are miniatures for some game, but IMO they are toys. (dolls even, oh sorry action figures)

Sweet deal IMO, get rid of stuff he doesn't use, and score pizza in the bargan! (well actually I don't like pizza, but the kids and husband do, so they were happy)

Actually the fellow got more than a pizzas worth of toys so he paid us, earn money play games and eat pizza, it was a good night Smile

I 'need' a hard drive...kinda?

July 11th, 2008 at 06:33 pm

Well for the past year I have had to constantly clear the temp files and find dups to delete before I load up a new game, sometimes my husband does it for me and I can load two new games.

But then I also have to constantly chase files downloaded from the net to move them to the 'F' drive. (F is my other hard drive, where I store all of 'my documents')

So I have been wondering when I should give in and get a new hard drive.

Now to non computer geeks you can compare the size of my drive to a junk drawer, and the size of those sold in computers today to a walk in closet! Ok not that bad more like a full dresser compared to one small drawer. Of course my first computer had enough space to store data as a coin purse does to store junk. So small is relative.

For computer geeks I have a 20gig, looking at spending less than a hundred on a new one. (depending on sales and where I get it the size could vary)

BTW I am NOT a computer geek, I just married one.

Anyway, I am struggling with when to get that hard drive. On the one hand I use a lot of drive space for scouts, and the kids use a decent amount for games, ok fine and so do I. But on the other hand, I could delete the games and have that space for the scouts stuff.

but...I don't want to, so I am rationalizing how I 'need' a hard drive. Proving that relativly frugal/financially smart folk still have trouble with need vs want.

how do you pick a car?

July 9th, 2008 at 05:27 pm

When you look at a car on a website, from the dealer or manufacture, certain information is easy to find, other information is downright impossible for me to find (maybe it's just me?)

I figure if it is easy to find in most sites it is prolly a 'FAQ' type question. Most folk want to know. so based on my informal browsing of cars/vans/trucks.

Gas mileage is pretty important these days. straight after the name, and long before the 'base price' you can find the city/hwy mileage.

the availability's of CD changers, and ipod hookups, along with the number of ways to move each seat, is fairly important. one mouse over gives you these details.

But the one thing I need to many does it seat. that is hidden, I often have to search wiki, or hope someone in some area listed a car and thought it important on craigslist or ebay to find out how many seats in a car!

Why do people not care? I mean don't you think it is important to know how many you can transport in a car before you worry what the mileage is? the greatest little prius or whatever the gas saver is, doesn't do me one lick of good, with 2 car seats, and 2 boosters, plus a husband and self, there is no way I would pay any amount for it!

This is not to diss little cars, it is to diss makers of big cars who hide the number of seat belts for their they can convince me that because they have the coolest TV/video game hookup I should just buy there car even though I can only fit half my family in it? grumph.

Swim lessons

July 7th, 2008 at 05:03 pm

Our kids can 'swim' but they cannot really swim..they dog paddle, they get around, but they have no form.

So each year I consider the lessons offered at the pool. This year with me not able to swim yet, I really wanted to get them more chances to be in the pool, and lessons seemed to be the ticket.

The cost worked out to 75 for two kids for 6 lessons, semi private.

the first was just the two of them, this time it was my two and two others, still small still individual, and the life guard took extra long so that all kids got attention. plus since she is teaching form (I don't know how to swim) I can tell the kids to practice her way, while the other two take a turn.

I would prefer cheaper of course, but all in all I am pretty happy with the lessons so far. At least the kids are improving already.

Weight of the titanic according to GMC

July 5th, 2008 at 04:16 pm

For some reason GMC is building lego titanic this week and estimating the weight. He took a calculator formed some theory on how much each person would weigh, multiplied by number of people, and added in the weight of the life boats times 20.

I no longer remember the exact number he came up with, but since he forgot the weight of the cargo, hull and even the water in the swimming pool (pools?) he was quite a bit off. but it certainly was interesting to here his reasoning.

He then decided he could more accurately figure out the weight of the toy one he built by estimating the weight of the bricks and multiplying by the estimated number of bricks used. he came up with just over 6 pounds (it was a big contraption he built...)

Unfortunately we have no way of weighing them to see if he is right or not. we do have a small balance but the weights are only in 10 grams and 5 grams...not very helpful in determining small weights.

so what am I looking forward to?

July 3rd, 2008 at 05:03 pm

I read a list of 26 ways to find energy. along with typical 'avoid high sugar foods and the spikes/dips' there was also a few interesting tidbits.

like 'write down what you are looking forward to in the next month" apparently anticipation can give energy.

which brings me to my question..just what am I looking forward to?

At first I didn't think there was anything, I honestly could only think of work that needed done, but the more I thought the more I came up with...mostly the rewards of the work I have to do. I did come up with a few that I would love, but have no guarantee of, like JC learning to subtract with borrowing, or EL sleeping thru the night, and UE reading or GMC understanding algebra. Since I have no control of time on those, I figured they wouldn't give me much energy.

1. I can't swim, but I will be able to get in the pool in a few weeks, and I love helping my kids learn to swim.

2. Seeing my kids participate in the bike rodeo...actually I am NOT looking forward to the work of it, but I will love watching my kids ride.

3. Fitting into smaller pants. This may take work to achieve, but I have high hopes of success by the end of the month. (I finally have the energy for a daily walk, so there is hope)-not the right size in one month, just one size closer.

4. Baking. I like to bake, but while pregnant I really find it next to impossible. now that I am not, I have already baked a bit, and plan on more in between nursing sessions.

So there is my list, remind me to check back at the end of the month to see if all 4 wonderful things happened!

oh and now that I am all energized with anticipation..can I take a nap?

edited to add link:

Text is discover more energy link and Link is
discover more energy link

New mindless fun

July 2nd, 2008 at 05:36 pm

I found a website full of silly mostly mindless fun games..for those days when you really have no excuse not to be finishing your work but also no desire to do it. (or rather energy)

Text is kewlbox and Link is

The games are all free, and not as many ads as other sites. in fact once you are in the game, often it is the ad (like the MnM flip it game) so you don't have to worry about kids clicking ads.

Of course you do have to worry about them beating your to score Smile. (it is brainy fun to connect groups right? or mahjong)

But it is garbage....

July 1st, 2008 at 05:19 pm

My son decided in addition to a coin collection of real coins...he wanted to make some coins that he can do whatever he wants with. Since I am not partial to allowing someone to risk losing real money, I am ok with him having a fake collection.

He decided (wiht no help/input from anyone else) to take the tops of yogurt containers and make them into coins. Well first he asked for can tops, which I vetoed thinking they were sometimes sharp.

So one day he cleans up a yogurt top (not a real lid, a foil pull off kind) and writes a number on it, to make his 'coins'. He now has quite a collection of them, and is excited each time he or anyone eats yogurt. His sister is now in on the fun, rinsing her own lids off and writing her own numbers.

Meanwhile I am thinking "but it is garbage...." I am so not a frugal reusing earthy kind of person...I mean I do compost I do wish I had a garden, I do love walking outdoors, have a 'natural' lawn.....but deep down I am a city girl, who cringes at the thought of garbage being a toy.