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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

I am so not ready to get up any morning. I am never ready to get up, as a matter of fact, because I am not a morning person. One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that we don’t get up early, and we don’t ever start school before nine in the morning. None of us are morning people.




This year, however, I need to be on task. I am officially in the “final four.” The final four years of high school. My youngest is a highschool freshman, which means, hopefully, in four years I will be done with homeschooling. It’s a humbling feeling. It is also a very terrifying feeling.

This fall, my sweet sixteen year old (senior year!) signed up for three college courses. She is thriving so far, and enjoying the added challenge. Two of the classes are online, and one is at a local campus. She actually attends a class ON a campus. The first day, last week, I had a little bit of a moment.



“Um, it’s the first day and all... do you want me to drive you to the campus?”

Sweet sixteen year old gives me a look that is a cross between disdain, fear, and how-do-I-let-you-down-easy.

“Um, no, mom,” she answers, “I think I can handle it.”

“Of course you can,” I answer, with conviction.

Smiling, wanting to take pictures, wanting to give her space, and realizing all at once that my beautiful, homeschooled, still only sixteen-year old will be attending a class- an actual classroom class- with legal adults. Ugh. Parenting is so not easy. My hair has been falling out for ten years now.




Meanwhile, I’m still ushering Tommy to and from the community college armed with notebooks, passwords, student identification numbers, number two pencils, and a truckload of patience, not to mention some clonazepam... just in case. Meltdowns can come out of nowhere- mine, by the way, not his. This week, our adventures included a pretest. Tommy forgot his picture identification, and had more than one sign in for his math pretest, and, apparently, he was supposed to print a test pass. Luckily, we had an old ID in the glovebox, and the lady at the testing center recognized us from placement testing the previous week. God bless the testing center department at Northern Virginia Community College. Those ladies rock! After three login attempts, multiple email checks, and all of us cross referencing barcodes on lab programs, he was able to take his test.

“So, how’d it go?”

“Fine,” Tommy answered.

“Well, how did you do?” I asked.

“You mean my score?”

Duh. Yes, I mean your score. Your father and I are paying for this experience, that, for heaven's sake, you must pass.

“Yes, Sweetheart, your score.”


Silence. Pause. Flapping.

“What do you mean Seventeen?” I asked with a higher tone of voice. “Seventeen out of twenty? Seventeen percent? What is seventeen?”

“I think... but, I am allowed to go on in the course. Let’s go.”

Oh. My. Goodness. Bless. His. Heart.

Needless to say, I will be following up with disability services on Tuesday.




Katie and I are still happily tackling The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve had to explain not only some pretty hefty vocabulary words, but also British colloquialisms and a way of talking that occurred one hundred years ago, on a different continent, mind you. The character training, though, so far, is superb!!! Good stuff. C.S. Lewis had it all together.

So, I am slowly becoming a morning(ish) person. I’m trying to stay on task. I’m in the “final four” and happily (albeit a bit nervously) navigating some very new territory.

Keep calm, invest in minoxidil, 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.