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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



True to our (our, being my family) nature, we wait until the last minute to do practically anything. I say this knowing it is not exactly true, but sometimes true, and often true of me. I never would categorize myself as a procrastinator, however, if a spade looks like a spade, well... you know how it goes.

So, Tommy is home  and we are very happy to have him home. It’s great to hear his pounding feet in the morning, doing his laps around the dining room table, usually rocking out to AC/DC, Metallica, or Ratt (which, I don’t remember any Ratt songs, but apparently they aren’t too terrible). He wants to talk all. the. time. about things that I just don’t really get - time travel, the expanded multiverse, life in another dimension- those sorts of things. He also wants to constantly debate really important issues like why Disney bought Star Wars and ruined the canon of said series, and whether or not he can take a Navy SEAL in a fight (umm, no), and the wisdom of returning to a time of swords and jousts and fighting like gentlemen. I’m so tired. I love you so much. Please stop talking. More coffee. Please.




Anyway, Tommy announced last week that he is serious about getting his college degree, and wants to get started right away. As I’m writing this, school starts tomorrow. Last week, we went to the Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge, ID in hand, student number in hand, and two number two pencils (which he didn’t need) in hand to take the placement tests required to enroll in classes. We arrived on time and were first in line to take the tests.

“Can I help you?”

“I am here to take the AP test,” Tommy answered.

“Placement tests,” I hissed in his ear.

“OH! Placement tests I mean.”




Of course, I immediately thought that this was going to go downhill, I was pretty sure college wouldn’t be an option this go around. However, the lady managing the check-in desk cracked a smile as Tommy read all his information to her, and basically melted my heart when she assured me that she would, “take it from here, Mom, I’ll make sure he texts you when he is done.”

I love it when a plan comes together. I love it when people can tell you are a foreigner in a foreign land and decide to show you around and help you get on your feet. I love it when people are good to my kids... especially the twenty year old autistic one who is clearly trying, but is just a bit of a square peg in a round hole type of world.

He, very predictably, did not pass math. Like, at all. It's his struggle, and dyscalcula looks like a huge math struggle forever. English went way better, also, very predictably.

So, after testing we went up and met with the admission counselor.

“Tell me, Mr. Schroeder, what are you planning to do... here?”

“Well, I took my AP tests, and I’d like to go to community college and then transfer to William and Mary and get my Masters Degree in anthropology or medieval studies and become a museum archivist.”

“Placement tests... He took his placement tests. He wants to start taking classes... like one class, for now... I’m his mom, by the way.”

She also smiled at us, was lovely to us, helped us, and Tommy will be taking developmental math starting tomorrow. He wanted to get the evil math out of the way first. All math is evil, apparently, and wretched, and horrible. He decided on his own. I’ve got to say that I’m pretty proud.




I’ve also got to say that I’m pretty relieved. All the kids are set and school starts tomorrow. Danielle is taking some classes at Germanna, and Katie and I are conquering the Chronicles of Narnia this year in homeschool. It should be good. I need to get us (my kids, myself) back into a rhythm. So, summer rhythm is coming to a close, and school is back in session!



Whew! It’s been a long summer for this Mama.

Stay calm... school starts soon... 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.