Sunday, May 31, 2009

Private school is expensive

Heather and I not thrilled with the state of the public schools here in Raleigh. Our neighborhood has been redistricted so we pass other schools to get to our kids and things don't match my expectations coming from a great school district in Pittsburgh. There are some great charter and magnet schools but they are pretty much entirely by lottery, so we have to hope we get selected. If our kids are not selected for a magnet or charter school, we can enter a lottery for our very nearby year round school or go to the traditional school. The other options, of course, are private schools or homeschooling.

We just recently have started to research private schools. We have a bias towards the nearby North Raleigh Christian Academy (NRCA) where many people we know have gone. We also have several secular schools like Ravenscroft. I actually found a great list of private schools that includes teacher to student ratios. The problem is we just have realized how expensive these can be. Excluding the new family fees, NRCA is about $8000 and Ravenscroft is $17,000 for grades 1-5. Since Madelyn and Anna will be back to back school years, this would be around $1350/mo for NRCA and $2850/mo for Ravenscroft. Wow! How do people do this? Ravenscroft is more expensive than my alma matter, University of Pittsburgh, is right now. Both are more expensive than Pitt was 10 years ago when I was in college.

Anyway, Heather and I were hoping we could figure out how to make this work but so long as we have a mortgage we don't see how we can. So, I guess for now we concentrate on getting rid of the mortgage and trying to get the right charter/magnet school.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The floor is on fire

As a kid, I had a great imagination. One of the things I used to pretend is that the floor was on fire and I needed to move my feet as quickly as possible to keep them from burning. This morning, I found myself playing a similar but opposite game.

So, we just remodeled our master bathroom. Pictures will follow this post. In remodeling, we added a new shower, new vanity, tile floors, and a new throne. We also debated adding a heated floor. See, my mom has one of these in her place and doesn't find it overly useful. After having talked with our contractor, he said they were very useful so long as you have a thermostat...which my mom doesn't have. So, we went with it. Installed is a Nuheat thermostat. Until today, I was questioning the value.

Well, last night got into the 40s here in Raleigh...for the first time since we had our new bathroom. Well, that floor got cold. Unfortunately, not all the floor is heated and, in fact, I need to walk to the "cold" section to get my towel for the shower. I found myself dancing over that ice cold the floor was on fire.

Tub and Toilet

heated floor thermostat

New shower