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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

This season has flown by (of course. always, now that I’m getting older, everything flies by)! I can’t believe we are officially in the holiday season. I love it, too, it’s my favorite time of the year! As I’m writing this, my middle girl is outside carving her pumpkin with a group of friends, and my youngest is freaking out about not getting enough candy tonight while trick-or-treating. I’m mentally preparing for four fourteen year old girls to spend the night after trick-or-treating, and the sugar meltdowns that I am totally expecting to ensue. We shall see. Nevertheless, sometimes, love looks like sugar and sleepovers. It just works out that way, I guess.

My husband and I decided to fit in a crazy New York City trip this month. It was so last minute that it reminded us of being in our twenties again, pre-children, spontaneous, you know, back when we were fun. The plan was to execute a whirlwind, twenty-four-hour-round-trip-madness, no sleep kind of trip. We took the train up and back, fit in a show (not Broadway, but The Patriot Tour), saw the city, and got home in time for breakfast the next day.




The train, by the way, is awesome. We didn’t have to, like, pay attention and we didn't have to actually drive. We didn’t have to navigate traffic in New York City. We got to doze on the trip up, and (more importantly) the trip back. The train drops you off right in Penn Station, and a few short blocks away is Times Square. As soon as I realized, “oh my goodness, we’re actually doing this,” I totally had to consult the authority on things to do, which of course, is Pinterest.

After making a board of free things to do, I picked out a few things to tie into this particular trip. We were going to have several hours before our show, and many hours after our show... so, of course, the first thing to do was to go to the public library.

“We come all the way to New York, and you want to see the.... Library?”

“Well, yeah,” I answer like this should be obvious. We’ve been married for over twenty years. He knows how I feel about books.

“OhhhhhKaaaaaayyyyy...” He answered with a smile. “Let’s go!”




God knew that I had to be with this man because of many, many reasons; one most important reason is that I have ZERO sense of direction. Like, none. It’s bad. My kids are better at navigation and direction than I am. He directs us to the library, while I am extolling the virtues of books, and the great architecture and history that we will see there. for free.

Our next stop was making sure we knew the location of the Town Hall, and how to get in. No joke, there were several doors and only one of them was going to be open for the show. After verifying the Town Hall scematic, we went to lunch. I picked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I had a closet addiction to the show, Glee, and the diner the kids sing in is fashioned after this actual Ellen's Stardust Diner right in Times Square. It was so fun, the food was so good, and the wait staff was very entertaining. It was a bit loud, but my introverted, sensory processing challenged husband even said he enjoyed himself. And that the twenty-five dollar burger was worth it.




After lunch, we still had a few hours to kill. I suggested one of the things on my Pinterest Board that would involve a taxi. Who knew my husband was fundamentally opposed to taxis? I was shocked to discover that taxis were not going to be an option. So, we hung out in Times Square and people watched. Free entertainment, people. Very, very interesting sites in Times Square. It was even still light out.

The Patriot Tour was awesome. Hearing Taya Kyle, David Goggins, Marcus Luttrell, and Chad Fleming speak was both motivating and inspiring. Getting to meet them- actually shake their hands and thank them for their service and sacrifice- was even more amazing. Words can’t even express the feelings.




So, after the show, we had more people watching time, and lots of walking around time. The city, truly, never sleeps. Everything is lit up and busy. We had to hang out at the train station until three in the morning (also, very interesting people watching... very interesting indeed...). That part was hard, because we were really tired, and so not in our twenties anymore. We arrived home in time for breakfast, though, and actually can say we had a whirlwind-twenty-five-hour-date! We survived! I may still be recovering, but honestly, marriage has to be remembered in the course of parenting. Sometimes, love looks like a chance to meet and greet your husband’s heroes, and you’d do just about anything to make that happen with a very happy heart. Love also looks like libraries. Don’t judge.




Keep calm, invest in your marriage, never quit, 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.