Review This and That

reynzo-522685-unsplash My girl enjoying paddle boarding. Photo by Reynzo on Unsplash

“So what do you think?” I whispered to Mr. Divine as he suited up in a life jacket after the demonstration about how to use a paddle board.

“Not bad. The man answers questions with patients and tries to tell you everything you need to know. He explains potential problems and understands not everyone is at the same level.”

I nodded. “He runs a very tight ship. I like that.”

“So he goes on your list of people to approach about a partnership.”

“For now. I know you need to do your investigative wizardry to make sure the people who looked good were truly good.”

“I’ll get my man on it at once but for now let’s enjoy this.”

We spent the next hour playing on the paddle boards. The kids were truly enjoying themselves and after the time was up we went back to the car and got the picnic we had packed.

“So what did you guys think?” we asked the children. We hadn’t told them what we were going because we wanted an unbiased, unfiltered reaction.

Over the past few weeks, we had also been teaching them how to evaluate businesses, situations, events for business potential. Kylie was an ace at it so far but more than once Shane had revealed some truly amazing insights. In the quiet of the night when we talked, Mr. Divine noted that the children truly had the potential to dive into the business arena and do amazing and noteworthy ventures. They just needed to be trained to too at the things often overlooked by people on a daily basis. Believe me, they are getting the training.

Since the initial talk about making your money work for you, the children had been devouring information about business. Learning as much as they could about the stock market and how to choose stock. Right now, everything business caught their attention and they were always trying to come up with good business ideas.

“This guy is really good mom. Can we come again? He really knows his stuff.” They went on to explain what they thought about everything and why. The guys were on track and so were we.

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Money Lessons

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I had so much to learn about money and how to make it work for me. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I came home from visiting Noel to find everyone in the kitchen cooking. We got to talking and after I told them about the incident that happened while I was as Noel’s. It prompted a lesson about money and how to make it work for you. The conversation had the children’s full attention and when we sat down to dinner that was when the back and forth started.

As we settled down to dinner we continued to talk.

“So dad, explain how you made your money work for you?” urged Shane as we sat down.

“Well they are several methods,” he stated to tell us. “ Some low risk, some middle risk and others insanely high risk.”

“Which ones do you use?” asked Kyla as she poured salad cream dressing over her veggies.

Mr. Divine laughed. “All of them.”

Kyla smiled at his comment.

“I rotate my money between stock market investments, high yield accounts, money market and treasury bonds. I set money into fixed, high-interest accounts in cycles or fixed deposits.”

The kids looked at Mr. Divine confused as they waited for more of an explanation.

“So I have a business from which I get a monthly salary. From that, I established a budget. What I need to send each month to pay bills and survive and a little fun money. Then I have the money I plan to save and use for investment. I also have an emergency fund.”

As we ate he explained more. “For me, a cycle is every three months. I take the money I saved over three months then divide it into sections and invest it. Some I put into investments that mature in five years. Others go into the money market, another set into the stock market.”

The children sat there listening, and I could see Kyla had on her thinking face.

After Mr. Divine paused she started with the questions.

“So you have your investments set up that after the initial investment period you get a lump sum coming at you every three months. You can then re-invest it as is when it matures or add on money that you set aside to invest.”

Mr. Divine laughed in delight. “And you, my dear, are thinking like a successful business person.

We spent the rest of the night talking about investing and investments. How to manage them. The risks of the stock market. Making smart investments. Overextending yourself. It was an educational night. Not just for the children but for me as well.

The next day I dragged Mr. Divine with me to the bank. We looked at my account and the children’s accounts. Next, we removed three-quarters of the money from each account and make our way to the credit union and investment broker. It was time to make our money work for us.

Money Madness

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Talking over dinner.

When I got home from my visit with Noel, I found Mr. Divine in the kitchen cooking dinner with the kids. From the looks of it, we are going to having some type of stir fry chicken with baked sweet potato with salad.

“How was your day, honey?” asked Mr. Divine as he stirred the pan on the fire.

“It was good. In fact, the best word for it would be interesting.”

He paused mid-stir. “What happened?”

“Well, while we were talking Noel got her bank statement in the mail and that was when the drama got epic.”

“Over her bank statement?” said Mr. Divine. “What did they do?”

“Had five dollars extra in the maintenance fee charged to her account. Then when she finally found a number of calls on one would answer. She had to press the extension for wealth management to get an answer.”

Mr. Divine’s jaw dropped. “Yikes. That’s….unheard of.”

The children watched us, listening to my explanation of what happened. As I continued the story I could see Mr. Divine becoming very disturbed by what he was hearing.

“That sounds insane. When I call the bank I never have that problem.”

“And I bet your account is under business or wealth management and you have a specific person you talk to about your account. Someone who knows you and sees to your every need.,” I said as I climbed onto the stool in front of the bar top that extended from the countertop.

He nodded as he mixed the pasta into the chicken and veggies he had stir-fried. “I see what mean.”

“So what’s the huge difference,” asked Kyla as she cut vegetables for a salad. Shane handed her the leaves of lettuce he had washed and continued on to the other veggies and fruits he had on the counter close to him.

“The way bank staff deals with you basically. Your dad has a direct line to someone in the bank and they scramble to help him but when most of us call the bank its a different story. We have to hunt for a number firstly. Then we call and call but no one answers the phone.”

Kyla looked at me shocked. “Really!”

“Sadly yes,” I replied. “That why Noel is so against banks. Nowadays its fees, fees and more fees and little or no service.”

“So what can you do?” Shane dried his hands and moved to stand next to Kyla while he asked the question.

“It’s about being very strategic with your money. Making it work for you,” said Mr. Divine.

The kids looked at us confused. “What does that mean?”

Next Step

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My children love Berlin. Love, love, love it. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

While we were away indulging out wanderlust we were keeping track of the next steps we wanted to take in our lives but we were not about to let that distract us from having a good time. The news we had been waiting for reached us during our three-day stopover in Berlin. Kylie got several emails about grades, school and the scholarships she has applied for. From there we put things into place while we continued our trip through Europe. All the necessary information was forwarded to the schools the children wanted to go to so things would be in place when we got back home.

The trip became even more exciting now we got the news about the kids going to the schools of their choice. As we traveled we allowed the children to the take the lead more so they could strengthen their navigation skills in a big and times more complication environment. They helped each other, figuring out how to uses maps and find out information in a country where they didn’t speak the language.

“I’m really enjoying this mom,” said Kylie as she tiptoed and looked through the crowd to see more of the stalls set up at Kunstmarkt, a huge flea market in Berlin.

“There is so much history and culture here. I think going to school here would be a lot more interesting than the US.

Mr. Divine laughed at her remark. “That is probably very true. We can check and see if your university offers a study abroad program. Another option is to do your Master’s Degree or make sure your first job is in Europe.”

“Can I do that?” she asked excitingly.

“Yes,” Mr. Divine replied as she held his arm and looked up him in awe.

“It’s time for both you and Shane to dream big and discover the world. Strengthen your language skills and travel.”

The kids looked at each other and nodded. Their excitement visible. They both had their sights set on choosing a new skill they wanted to discover and develop, plus the fire to go after it. I can’t wait to see what language or languages they choose.

 

Discover Europe

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Artwork and architecture on a building in Milan, Italy.

Mr. Divine has brought us on a trip across the pond and when we drove out of the airport we were all smiles. Yes, the kids and I were beach babies, but we also loved to explore and discover. Right now we are in London with its blend of old and new all hidden in countless nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. It called to use us to explore. First, we took a tour on an opened top double-decker bus all around the city. From that, the kids took a note of the places they wanted to revisit.

 

We visited so many spots. Somehow we got in more than ten of the must see places to visit. As we bid London goodbye, Mr. Divine took a note of our sad faces.

“Don’t worry. We’ll be back again soon,” he assured us as we boarded a fast train to Scotland. When we got to Edinburgh we took in the crisp, fresh air, eager for more to discover.  We started on the Royal Mile and just rambled. After several hours we had visited The Writers’ Museum, Queen Mary’s Bath House, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Victoria Terrace and of course the Scotch Whisky Experience. The next day we took a day trip to  Loch Ness that also stopped at Glencoe and the best part is that it allowed us to discover the Highlands. The vistas we saw were truly breathtaking.

The trip didn’t end there, in fact, it had only just begun. We spent the next three weeks roaming through Europe. First, we went to Paris, then to Madrid, across to Barcelona, a stop in Marseille to see the views from the Basilique Notre – Dame de la Garde. In Monaco, we went to Jardin Exotique and Palais du Prince. We continued ongoing from one major city to the next until we had seen most of Western Europe.

We had the most amazing time on that trip and the truly amazing things we saw changed our opinions and impressions of the world. I’m sure there will be other trips like this in the near future and I can hardly wait until we all go to another. Along with the discovery and adventure, we enjoyed the togetherness and uninterrupted family time. It’s an experience we will never forget and are eager to repeat.

Summer Fun

 

SummerFun

Tell me we are going on a cruise and my cases are packed.

Oh Goodness me! I now realize how far behind I am about what has been happening so I’m going to try extra hard to get you, my amazing readers, back up to date about what’s going on. We all had an amazing summer even though things were in limbo. The issue that has us unable to fully sit, stand or turnaround, is that we’re waiting to find out about the children’s next step when it comes to school. To take our minds off for that complicated bit of information, Mr. Divine decided we should all go on a trip and indulge in some adventure.

The next thing I knew, we were packing to go on a two-week cruise of the Caribbean. It ended up being one of the most enjoyable parts of the summer vacation. Like I said, only one of them because my lovely husband always has something up his sleeve. Our days were spent going on various tours that allowed us to discover the most amazing locations. We saw so many unique places and discovered so much information about each island we visited, it captivated us.

Every day the kids were up early and ready to scamper off and discover. Sometimes we went out together or they would spend the day with the new friends they met on the boat. No matter what, we always had dinner together every night. I had some serious foodies for children and dinner was our time to try new things. It was filled with pure fun and laughter. Dinner was our time to talk and recap the day. We would plan what we wanted to do for the coming days and to seek out new adventures. Whenever possible, the children had to get in some beach time. They were true water babies and the beach makes them happy.

When that cruise ended we were all a little sad, but it ended with new friends and the potential for more adventure right around the corner. Let the fun begin.

Results and Choices

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What is next for my amazing children? Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

With Shane none too eager to go to school here and talking about being near his sister, we have held off getting his school stuff. The tricky thing is that by the time Kylie’s results come back Shane should have started in school already. Despite that, we started to look seriously for a school for Shane and we found two which were just a few miles away from the colleges that Kylie was most interested in.

To set things in motion we decided to take a trip to see the schools we were considering. We did the tours and were very happy with what we discovered. Mr. Divine also did some online research to see if he came across any dirty little secrets that the school administration may be attempting to cover up. Whatever he found it seemed like it was enough that he took two of the schools off the list. Luckily the schools were not on the top of Shane’s list. So we are all good. We also found out their policy for late start of the term and discovered it was not a huge issue so that settled things for us.

Two weeks later we got Kylie’s results and along with her two passes from the year before, she has gotten another seven at grade 1 and 2 to go with them. Her coach was overjoyed and was on the phone back and forth talking to the colleges that shortlisted her. He then informed her she would have to wait another few weeks to hear back from them about her chances of getting a scholarship. Her coach also went on to explain that with her improved swim times he chances were even higher for success.

During the week after Kylie got her results, she sat down with Shane and they each talked about their choices to try to narrow down what schools that truly wanted to attend. When the information came in they were both on tender hooks, eager to find out what was the next step in their lives and we could hardly wait to tell them.

Recap

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Kylie is happy in her new relationship. Photo by Kevar Whilby on Unsplash

My Kylie was all smiles when we picked her and her young man up at the mall after the movies. They were talking back and forth excitedly about the movie when they tumbled into the jeep filled with unconfined excitement. From there they told us all about what they watched. We took our time driving to Radley’s house to drop him off then we made our way home.

“So tell us more,” I urged Kylie as she sat in the back seat wearing a quiet smile.

“He was very kind and polite mom. He held the door for me…everything. He was a real gentleman.”

“That is good to hear,” said Mr. Divine.

“I watch what you do daddy. If they don’t match you then they are not good enough for me.”

My laughter filled the vehicle when I looked over and saw the look of shock on Mr. Divine’s face at Kylie’s comment.

“Kylie…” his words stopped because he didn’t know what to say.

“I saw how much happier my mom was after she got involved with you. I noted the way you behaved, treated her and I knew this was what a real guy was supposed to be like. So I looked for that type of guy.”

There was a peacefulness in her answer. “So far that is the way Radley is and right now we fit. We’ll take our time and see how things go.”

“That’s always the best way,” said Mr. Divine.

“When I met your mother I knew she was the woman I was going to marry but your mother needed time to get used to me. Never rush, let things come to you and in time things will settle into place.”

“Okay daddy,” said Kylie in a cheerful voice.

My little girl was happy in her new relationship and I was happy for her.

Tis The Busy Season

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Getting some cards ready for the coming season.  Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It’s a busy time for everyone as this year is winding down and we are off scampering in different directions to get ready for the festive season or finish off task we want to get done or get things in place for the new year. For me, it’s all three. I need to get the blog back on track to tell you everything that’s been going on in the past months and I’m trying to do a million other things. To solve my dilemma, I’ve decided I won’t be posting much this month, but I’ll be getting as many posts as possible written for the new year. There is so much to update you about and like I said before, I want to get it right.

Okay guys, this is all for now. The hubby and the kids have a game set up on the play station and I plan to kick some virtual butt. Till later guys. 🏖, 🌞 and 😃.

All About Sex

All About Sex

It was past time I had a detailed sex talk with my Kylie.  Photo by Michael Prewett on Unsplash

When we last spoke my oldest Kylie was about to go on her first date. To say I was more nervous than her was an understatement but I wanted to make sure I armed my little warrior before she went out. With that in mind, I had a serious talk her about sex. Not the slot A goes into slot B type conversation, but more of conversation about the feelings that go along with the desire to have sex. Some people may be thinking at sixteen, do you think you should be having a conversation like that with a child? Considering that girls are having sex younger and younger, I frankly think my conversation is past due.

I choose a day when Kylie and I were on the way to do some shopping. As we pulled up at the mall intending to go looking for an outfit for her to wear on her date I popped the question.

“Kylie what do you think about sex?”

“Mom?” she questioned. “What do you mean?”

“You understand the basics about sex?”

“I guess so,” she said with a shrug. “You hear stories at school but the truth is I rather get facts and understand more.”

I smiled. “Fact is always good. It was lack of knowledge that worked against me when I got involved with your father. One thing I can tell you is that your father is like a lot of men when it comes to sex. Selfish and only interested in their own pleasure. That is also the way how a lot of young men are as well.

We made our way inside the mall continuing our conversation.

“The thing is with sex and most women, not all, most, they associate or combine sex and love. They give or have sex with someone they think they love. With men, most, again not all, it’s about the pleasure. Their pleasure.”

She looked at me with a puzzled look. “Can’t women have pleasure from sex?”

I smiled at here. I loved how my child always got to the heart of the matter.

“The short answer is yes, but that yes goes along with so many different factors.”

Kylie gave me her ‘well keep talking’ look and as we shopping we kept the conversation going.