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Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

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We're All a Little Mad Here

We love spring!  The colors are beautiful and the warmth  and sunlight are so welcome after a long winter.  Even though this winter was late in coming, any length of cold makes for a long winter in our house. We (all of us)  don't care for the cold, and after the first snow of the season, we are done with that, too.  So, we welcome spring with open arms.  Our noses, however, are not so excited.  There is Zyrtec for that, though… and nightly showers… and nose sprays… and netipots if you are so brave.  I actually am pretty sure I'm drowning or practicing being water-boarded in case I'm ever captured by an enemy force when I use the netipot, but it is effective for cleaning out your sinuses.

This spring has been fun this year because of so many new things happening.  It's so poetic, isn't it? Spring is all new, and we are doing new things.  The oldest got to spend a week independently at the Woodrow Wilson Center.  The middle is finishing up her first year with the bass, and is participating in the youth and worship bands at church.  The youngest got to start horseback riding, and she tried out for the gymnastics team.  It's all exciting stuff.  It's nice to come out of hibernation, too, from the cold.  We are looking forward to summer  plans, and compiling our bucket list of things to do. 

I am going to be careful again this year and try to not over-schedule us, though.  Last summer, it worked pretty well to have a loose schedule with plenty of room for flexibility.  We try not to do too much. Sometimes, we're not so successful with that, and then we are all kicking ourselves for signing up for too much.  We especially like to take it easy over the summer.  Some families like to get busy over the summer, because there is more structure that way. We do need structure due to all the autism in our house (I say it with all the love in the world, too. I'm not being snarky!), so we try to have a general structure to our day.  So, instead of going to a bunch of activities that we are trying to fit in, we just follow a loose type of flow to our days. We have swimming most afternoons, we go to the library one day, we do our errands all on one day (at least we try to), and we do something fun, like a field trip, every couple of weeks.  Music and gymnastics continue over the summer. So, we do stuff, we relax, we fit in leisure, we fit in fun.   This summer, we are also fitting in homeschool (the girls are despondent). We will try to be consistent with schooling this summer just to see if we like it.  And to finish... more on that later.

This area (Northern Virginia) is both a blessing and a curse.  There are so many things to do- and so many things are free!  Traffic, though….  I recommend using the metro if you are traveling to DC, or even consider taking the train from Quantico, or any of the other southern stations.  Don’t go north on a Friday without expecting a huge amount of traffic coming back south.  It is worth it to reschedule to a regular weekday.  One summer I had the idea of “field trip friday”... We did that exactly once.  Friday traffic, man, is bad enough to make me lose my religion. We do field trips Monday through Wednesday only through the summer! 

Here is another bit of advice:  Pack snacks! Especially true for those fantastic free Smithsonian Museums-- they are extortionists when it comes to food.  I’m not exaggerating! This area is rich in history, and the great thing is that it’s not only Virginia History, it’s American History.  I love our Virginia-DC-Metro area; I really, really, really don’t like the traffic and the congestion.  

So, spring has sprung, again; I shouldn’t be surprised.  I always feel, though, every year in May, like I’ve missed something.  I’m sure it’s because I tend to hibernate for the winter months, and this year I got the flu, so I completely missed March.  Yet, here we are.  We’re finishing up the bulk of our homeschool stuff, and looking forward to our summer schedule.  

What plans do you have for summer?  Do you like trying new things in spring? 

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches poked her head into an exciting new program for teens interested in law enforcement.

pouches explorers

The long running Spotsylvania Sheriff’s cadet program has reorganized as a Boy Scout Explorer troop, said Sgt. Blackington, who took over the program in February 2017.

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