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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.

We're All a Little Mad Here


Don't judge...

I love makeover shows! It doesn’t matter if it is a person, a home, or a business, I love seeing before photos and after photos of just about anything. I can totally relate to the character, 'Cher' in the movie “Clueless” delightfully squealing, “Project!”

Maybe it is just the satisfaction of a completed goal, or project that makes makeover shows so appealing. Perhaps there is satisfaction in the completed task of anything that just makes those feel good endorphins course through a person’s system. Who doesn’t enjoy that great feeling of “well done,” or the anticipation of that fresh, new feeling that comes with cleaning up a living space, or room (or house, or body)?


new bed


I think it started with Extreme Makeover, Home Edition for me. I would cry each week for the several weeks I was able to watch the show (before I realized that crying actually incited migraines... ugh!). First of all, I could pretty much relate with every family that was being profiled- cancer, autism, rare bone disease, returning war hero... they all represented someone I knew or someone I was praying for. Second of all, the finished homes were just beautiful! I loved the stories, and I loved the beautiful living spaces. Next, I discovered Clinton and Stacy on “What Not to Wear.” I fantasize about them being my aunt and uncle that are just fabulous, and dote on me endlessly (hence, the fantasy). I actually picture them in my head when I have to buy new clothes. Usually, they are shaking their head “no” at me. I’m learning...




So, I’ve recently been trying to right size my life and wardrobe, my health and house, my menus (thanks, Deb!), my wants and needs, that type of thing. Because I have the benefit of experience (my youngest is thirteen), I know that my wants far exceed my needs. I know the value of patience. I know that good, nice furniture really could (and indeed did) wait until we were out of the toddler and preschool stage. Now, I am much more fully aware that my children don’t really need more than a few nice outfits, because they will surely be hard on the every-day outfits and they shouldn’t cost too much, because stains happen (and rips, and tears). Health is more important than fashion, and fashion really needs to be comfortable, and most of the neighbors could really care less if the flowers didn’t make it in the ground, or if the grass went a little long for one week (or three). Speaking of makeovers... our yard, for goodness sake, is a corpse... but I digress.




Recently we have had the extreme pleasure of having a bit of an extreme home makeover. I’ve been as giddy as a teenager in love! Our youngest is a teenager, and we scrimped and saved and waited, and decided that this was the year!! Can I just go ahead and highly recommend Lazy Boy and Bassett Furniture in Fredericksburg? These lovely ladies from each store came to my house and took measurements and totally put a plan together for the rooms we wanted re-done, or “made-over,” if you will. The only thing missing from my experience were the TV cameras. I got to finalize colors, and pillow trim (!), artwork, and rug selections. The before and after pictures don’t even do it justice, because, y’all, my (whole) house was a collection of mismatched, hand-me-down furniture! (Did I just say y’all?!?) So, the couch was a featured prop in my prom pictures (1989!?!). Oh my heavens, it was so time to trade up! I am happy to announce that we have very grown up and very new furniture in our living room and bedroom. Let me tell you, too, that it feels so good. And that couch... it is still in our house... it’s part of the homeschool room, now, and we even let the dogs on it. That couch will probably end up in one of my kids’ homes one day. It’s pretty sturdy.




So, extreme makeover, home edition, Kristen style, has been enormously fun and extremely rewarding. I’m still a work in progress regarding menu, health, wardrobe, cooking wise, but I love to write so I’ll keep everyone updated. Let me add, too, that waiting until the children are older to get nice furniture has been the best choice ever. Mostly because we can put mortal fear into them about drinks and food not being allowed on the furniture, but also because, I think, they actually understand the value of working hard for something nice. Hopefully, that’s it, anyway. It could just be that nothing is really broken in yet, so they aren’t just flopping around on the furniture in all their grubby gloriousness. We shall see.




Have fun, do a makeover, keep calm, and parent on!

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Cooking Autism

Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition.