Weekly Wrap-up: Beatersville and Crazy Daydreams

my crew

my crew

Last Friday we went out to Kentucky Dam for a walk. We hadn’t been out to the dam since sometime last fall so it was nice to have a different but familiar place to walk. Littlest walked the entire three miles at a pretty quick clip with the rest of us! We watched a crane, ducks and a few boats. Our most exciting moment was witnessing a hawk dive and catch a large fish and fly off with its catch. The moment happened so quickly that I didn’t get a picture. I find it amazing that we were all looking at the water and witnessed the hawk’s fishing expedition. We always see something amazing when we go to the dam for a family walk.

On Sunday we went to the Beatersville Car and Bike Show in Louisville. We always enjoy walking around and gazing at the assortment of classic cars. Next year is the tenth anniversary of Beatersville so it should be a good show. Oldest wanted his picture with nearly every car! This was also the first year he noticed how some of the ladies were dressed (or lack there of) and commented about it to me. We both agreed that some people really should choose some material other than spandex. I was personally quite impressed with the biker fella sporting a plaited beard right out of Middle Earth!!! His beard totally made the entire journey worth while for me. Guys with beards…I like’em…moving on now.

I was glad we had somewhere to go on Sunday. Our church’s youth and children’s ministers said goodbye to the congregation that morning. I knew that if we were there the kids and I would have cried all morning. So I am glad we were distracted with the trip but I still cried my eyes out that morning before breakfast. By breakfast’s end my crew had me in stitches. Littlest decided he was not going to be left out on speaking in Latin! I’m amazed by how much learning he picks up during school time! He told us “Angry birds are great” in Latin!!! But he

walk at the dam

walk at the dam

didn’t like the word for “great” in Latin and wanted to know how to say “cool” in Latin. We didn’t know…so he got mad at us and went off to pout. At the moment, my crew enjoys insulting each other in Latin. Of course they are creative with their insults since they do not know any “bad words” in Latin. The funny part is that sometimes Littlest will sometimes substitute Latin words for English words in his every day speech.

Tomorrow is out last day of the 2014-15 academic year. Tomorrow is Oldest’s last day as an elementary student. I have a Middle Schooler now! Wow!!! We have a big day planned for tomorrow. My husband decided we would all go out to breakfast together. We will also prepare our ancient history feast tomorrow for lunch(we will enjoy…hopefully…dishes from ancient Egypt, Israel and Rome). Oldest is writing his final paper for his writing (and history) curriculum. I let him combine his writing papers with his history curriculum this year (Beautiful Feet Books Intermediate Ancient History and Writing With Skill volume one from Susan Wise Bauer). He is in the process of writing his final paper on the life of Julius Caesar. I’m really proud of how hard he is working on this paper. He managed to finish this writing curriculum in one school year when Peace Hill Press recommends most students take two years to finish the course. I’m totally stoked!

Since we school year round the kids do not get a break from school this summer. So next Monday we will finish up some subjects while enjoying summer time activities and camps. We have Lego Camp and American Girl Camp coming up this summer and a trip to Lexington. Before I know it the summer will be over and our first official day of the next

on the way to Beatersville

on the way to Beatersville

academic year will be here…July 13th. As of tomorrow we are finished with three years of homeschooling!!!! I feel like we just started but we will begin our fourth year very soon. When we begin our next school year we will have a middle schooler, two upper elementary children, and one Kindergartener!!! I just want to bottle up time and stop it for just a little while.

This week my husband and I dreamed about hitting the road with a fifth wheel. Just us and the kids and the open road. The nomad in my soul just went crazy dreaming of living such an amazing lifestyle. Of course I am romanticizing it all right now!!! In my entire life I have never lived in one house as long as I have now…seven years. My previous record for living in one spot was six years and that was with my husband before we moved to our current home. Before my marriage I never lived anywhere more than two consecutive years…ever. I had to tell my husband that in all honesty if he was looking to me to talk him out of such a crazy idea…then he could not turn to me. I would only encourage him to break out from the norm and do something crazy. Personally, I would love for my kids to say, “Do you remember when our parents sold everything and we lived on the road for a whole year?!”  My poor kids have a crazy mother…thank God their father is sane and stable.( Look up Fulltime Families if you are curious.)

My post last week was very personal and I poured my heart out. I was saddened to learn that so many of you could relate to my pain. I just want you to know that how deeply appreciated are your words of encouragement. I am truly humbled and grateful to all of you who left comments here or on other social media, emailed, texted and even called to check on me. Your words left a beautiful balm over my hurt. Thank you.

Articles and posts I liked:

If only I could go to Rea’s Soiree. This is the lady behind Beautiful Feet Books…you know…our favorite curriculum!!! I actually got to meet her in April and was so tongue tied and in awe that I couldn’t ask her a single question!!! Total face-palm moment…massive epic fail on my part.

My husband and I were just talking the other day and wondering why Sparkles rereads her favorite books. I need to get her some better books…post from Sarah Seltzer.

Oldest is entering this stage of independent learning. Post from Lea Ann Garfias

I’m starting to realize this too…from Joy Shannon.

This was fascinating! Hopefully I can provide a better education for my crew than Latvia.

just dreaming of this and this.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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Weekly Wrap-up: Mommy School

preschool graduation

preschool graduation

Today, Littlest said goodbye to preschool. Every morning for the past three weeks he has been counting down the remaining days. He’s been a pretty happy boy today…unless you try to take his picture…then not so much. The moment he received his certificate he cheerfully announced, “No more school forever!” Once the ceremony was over he sat in my lap and repeated several times “only Mommy school for me”. Mommy school…I love the sound of those words in his voice. So sweet. Maybe I should change the name of our homeschool to Mommy School…no…not really. Wouldn’t that be funny on a transcript!!!

donut shop

donut shop

After the ceremony we went to lunch together. The only thing Littlest wanted for graduating preschool was a trip to the donut store. He wanted to pick out his own donut and enjoy it in the shop (we usually get everything to go when I am by myself with the crew). I let everyone pick out two donuts. Littlest loves the strawberry glazed variety. I decided to walk on the wild side and picked out a maple glazed donut with bacon crumbles! Those are really tasty! I thought about getting at least a couple of hours of school in but since today is National Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day (I learned about it on Facebook this morning), I decided we could take the day off. We

love my boy

love my boy

played outside, cleaned out the bunny cage and I managed to take a little nap while cuddling Littlest and watching Wild Kratts.

Our homeschool ran fairly smoothly this week. We love our new Bible study so far. I think this Bible Road Trip is going to be a good fit for us. Sunday morning I sought out our pastor for advise on reading material. I know my kids are going to ask tough questions…they always do. There are days I wish I had a theologian on speed-dial! I needed a good seminary level survey of the Old Testament…just a little something to help me understand our study better. I came away from his office with an amazing list of books. I really love that the list he shared with me come from many denominations. He

Oldest and Middle Boy playing with bunnies

Oldest and Middle Boy playing with bunnies

even shared a few books for my own personal use and spiritual growth. I’ve already found most of these online and will make my order next month. We decided to start a Scripture memory box with this study. I love this easy to assemble system from Simply Charlotte Mason. We start our homeschool day with our Scripture box.

We’ve enjoyed out first week of Sonlight’s human anatomy course this week too. The instructor guide suggested I ask the kids about what they want to learn this year. So, naïvely, I asked my crew.

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science books gift

Oi! Why! I knew better than to ask such a question!!! I will spare you their requests and speculations on the answers to their questions. It was one of those few moments in my life  when I laid my head on my lesson planner and asked God…”Why? Why am I here? Why are you doing this to me?” I kinda wanted to cry so I laughed instead.

Speaking of science. This week a friend gave us a huge bin full of science books!!! Several of these books were on my wish list! The box included a few experiment kits and everything you would need to put together an elementary science program. A few of the books are ideal for middle school. Wow! What a gift!!! Thank you

Only Mommy school, only Mommy school!

Only Mommy school, only Mommy school!

my sweet friend!!! As much as the kids and I treasure these books we would gladly give them back if you did not have to move away. I pulled several of the books for Littlest for his Kindergarten year. He is so excited to begin. Today he went through his new science books and put them in the order he wished to work through. He based the order of the books from favorite to least favorite color.

This past weekend was the first Top Gun Classic Car Cruise In of the year. So it finally felt like spring to me!

 

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Apples and Bonding Moments

 

apple fritters

apple fritters

Last Friday we enjoyed a visit from my sweet friend and her two Littles (you can meet Yoga Mom and crew here.) We managed to swap a few tales and enjoy each other’s fellowship between all the children underfoot. Middle Boy was so overwhelmed by all the company her built himself a fort and threw stuffed animals at anyone who got too close. Which eventually turned into a “storm the castle” type game. I could be wrong but I’m fairly certain that boy is a bit of an introvert.

apples and more apples

apples and more apples

I am supposed to be Yoga Mom’s accountability partner for exercising and all things healthy…but I wasn’t in the mood for carrots and celery. So I made her some fresh apple fritters and a homemade batch of apple butter. That makes me more of a culpable partner this week…Another friend also stopped by to drop her daughter off for a sleepover. Sparkles had been counting down the days for hosting her first sleepover and was over the moon. The girls decided to paint my toe-nails that evening a lovely hot pink, topped with a layer of matching glitter and accented with black polka-dots. Lovely…

Middle Boy and Sparkles

Middle Boy and Sparkles

In the mail I received my newest review assignment, Their Name Is Today by Johann Christoph Arnold. I wish I had read this book years ago!!! This book resonates with my soul and the kind of mother and advocate for my children I want to be. I’ve already started to implement some of what I’ve learned in the book and am looking forward to giving you my review. I am also excited about another book by a friend and mentor of mine that will be published soon. I hope to share more about it with you soon!

Oldest and Mustang at classic car drive-in night

Oldest and Mustang at classic car drive-in night

My husband and Oldest enjoyed and evening out together at the local drive-in. They took the old Mustang for a classic car night at the movies and watched American Graffiti. The two of them have been listening to the soundtrack together this year while traveling to Sharp Shooters practice. Oldest liked the movie and sang along with several of the songs. I received several text updates about their evening out. My favorite: “This is about as good as it gets for me as a parent…” Happy tears! Sometimes I get the feeling these are the best years…right now.

Oldest and Littlest

Oldest and Littlest

I am beginning to notice positive changes in our children’s relationships with one another. Oldest is gentler with his siblings and often volunteers to help me with Littlest. Sometimes Sparkles will perform a small act of service for her brothers or even me. Middle Boy and Oldest are really bonding together…which is a vast improvement from when they just tolerated each other. They all still bicker with each other a bit but there isn’t nearly as much fighting as their used to be. I’ve read about this phenomenon in homeschooling books. Totally awesome to witness this transformation happen among my own children.

Middle boy asleep in his fort

Middle boy asleep in his fort

We are having a slow week in the homeschool…really slow. Some days even I couldn’t focus! I ended up sending everyone outside to play a few times. Even though I had a ton (slight exaggeration…just a few bushels) of apples to process I went outside too. I snapped a few pictures of the kids playing together. We happened to be outside as the monarchs passed through on their long journey south…the first hint of winter. Oldest finished up his paper on ancient Egypt today and several of his projects. He built Ranofer’s home with the Minecraft game from “The Golden Goblet” and made a cookie map of the Nile valley area. Tomorrow he will do an art project with his name in Hieroglyphics. Next week he will move on to ancient Greece. Middle Boy fell asleep in his fort this week while working on his math. He and Sparkles fell in the floor laughing while reading about the plague in 1600’s London (Okay, on the surface that sounds really bad). The text (The Story of the World Vol. 3) describes someone going through town with a cart saying, “Bring out your dead.” So, all we could think of was the opening scene of Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie. For the rest of the day they sang songs of Sir Robin and were the Knights who say “Nee”. Oh joy.

Another blessed week.

 

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Invasion of the Germs and Sorrowful Sunflowers

My crew was sorely lacking in health this week…they succumbed to various germs. Schooling was fit in to whenever we had time and this weekend will find us working in the school room getting caught up on the subjects in which we fell behind. We are two weeks from finishing our first term (of five) for the year and I plan to finish on schedule. At the moment we are a day ahead of schedule and I plan to keep it that way. My mother plans to visit in October and I hope to be a few days ahead of schedule when she visits so we can afford the loss of days during her stay. Hopefully I will handle her visit better this time…most likely won’t but I can always hope.

Littlest fell asleep in my lap after a bath

Littlest fell asleep in my lap after a bath

Thanks to the fabulous Mrs. Melody my beloved and I enjoyed a wonderful Saturday afternoon out. She kept the kiddos for us and we went to the Cruise-in on our own. I actually got to ride in the Old Mustang with my man (a rare treat) and hang out with him and not have to worry about the mischief the kids were causing. We enjoyed a nice dinner together at Carr’s and then wandered around the Cruise-in looking at old smelly cars. Perfect afternoon!

On Sunday I watched over my new two-year old class at church and wished we had stayed home. They all had the “back-to-school” germ infestation and had gross…well…you know. Usually I have the sense not to go to church or any place public during “back to school week” but I forgot this year. My crew ended up sick this week…I was so frustrated but we just endured. Middle Boy had the stomach flu on Monday. Oldest was pale and miserable on Wednesday. Sparkles felt awful on Thursday. Crappy week! Hopefully I do not forget about the back to school germ fest next year! Yuck! But I am proud of my crew. Even in their sickness they still

deer eating the neighbor's corn this week

deer eating the neighbor’s corn this week

wanted to do their school work. We watched several educational shows on Netflix this week about ancient Egypt since that is what Oldest is studying at the moment. We’ve all decided that Zahi Hawass has the best job ever! I’ve enjoyed reading the books aloud for Oldest’s studies this year. I am glad that I did not just assign them to him to read on his own. I’ve learned so much the past few weeks about ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs of old. The books we’ve read through Beautiful Feet Books have really brought the history alive for me (and Oldest too). Sometimes I think homeschooling is as much about my re-education as my children’s education.

Littleest napping

Littlest napping

Littlest is a peculiar little man. Several times this week he has commented on the sadness of the sunflowers. The sunflowers are heavy with seed and can no longer shine their faces toward the sun. They are bent over like old-women…forever looking at the soil. Littlest thinks they are sad because they cannot find their seeds. They are looking downward searching for their lost seeds…always sad…no longer capable of gazing toward the sun. I’ve tried to explain to him that they cannot look at the sun anymore because they are heavy with seed but he just doesn’t understand. The sunflowers with their large hanging heads look sad to him.  He is right, they do look so sad. I meant to take a picture of them for you but I forgot…maybe next week.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Weekly Wrap-up: Let it Go and Other Desultory Moments

 

playing with forbidden legos

playing with forbidden legos

During a moment of purely motherly insanity I purchased the Frozen soundtrack for my sweet children. They now know all of the songs by heart. Sparkles can even dictate the parts of the movie that correspond with the non-lyrical parts of the soundtrack (why can’t they perform this impossible feat during school hours!?!?). I have witnessed untold numbers of dances and sing-alongs…even recorded one or two on the sly. One time, the four of them, spontaneously together burst into song (Let it Go) during math lessons at the dining room table. I just let them sing…too stunned into immobility to do anything about it anyway. Yet, despite the one-hundred plus times I’ve heard the song, I still want to cry and console myself with chocolate every time I hear Do You Want to Build a Snowman? 

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dodging traffic

Over the weekend we had the misfortune to attend the WORST classic car cruise-in ever…well…the worst I’ve ever been to anyway. There were many wonderful cars we wanted to look at and many we hadn’t seen locally anywhere else. However, the town hosting the cruise-in did not shut down the main traffic! It wasn’t safe to look at the cars because you had to dodge oncoming traffic. I was so disgusted…

Middle Boy  without fear

Middle Boy without fear

We had a blast swimming with our friends on Friday. Middle Boy even swam in a very deep pool for a while without water-wings. He did very well and I think most of his fear of the water is behind him. Littlest insisted Big E hold him in the pool most of the time. Anytime I came near he just yelled, “I don’t want you!” Littlest has been telling me for weeks how much he wanted to see Big E. I’m sure Big E had his fill of Littlest last Friday but to his credit he never complained and always indulged Littlest’s every wish.

20140530_103219 (640x480)The kids worked hard on math this week and even through the weekend. I have been pushing them to get through at least half of the previous grade level of math before our academic year starts in July. They have even been working on weekends. This week my husband suggested we take a day off from school work. I listen to my husband. even though I am the teacher he is the head of our school. The kids played happily on their day off. I had so much to do but ended up taking a nap…and it was wonderful!

20140530_103214 (640x474)On Wednesday a friend came over to discuss homeschooling. I’ve been praying for her family for a long time because she has wanted to homeschool but her husband was dubious. He finally (after years of praying) agreed. So my friend came over to discuss curriculum and laws and I gave her some curriculum and a pile of catalogs. Later today another family will be coming over to talk to me about homeschooling. I never expected to be a consultant…I am humbled by the trust others place in me and fearful of letting them down.

Oldest has turned a corner this week. He is working hard on his history and geography notebooks. Suddenly, he has taken ownership of his work and puts a great deal of time into his notebooks. I am so happy to witness this maturing moment in hard work. I am really looking forward to beginning the Logic Stage with him. These are the moments a homeschool mom lives for…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Beatersville, Armageddon, and the Return of the Twitch

I’m not sure I remember everything that happened this week and some I wish I could forget. I had some sweet tea several times this weekend and my lovely twitch returned to my thumb this time spreading further up my arm. I think I will have to stick with water and lemon even when eating at a restaurant…I was also a little stressed earlier this week which was the main culprit for the return of the twitch. I really thought it would take drinking a pot of coffee a day to bring the twitch back but it only takes a little caffeine coupled with stress to resurrect the twitch. Or if I could find a way to live serene like the Buddha then I could have all the coffee I want ’cause nothing would get to me…well a girl can dream! I do have this fear that eventually the twitch will return without the fuel of caffeine. I’m still working through the stressor and not yet ready to write through the turmoil of rejection…the words are still locked by emotion.

Friday night I went to a homeschool graduation. That was really cool and gave me a lot to think (and dream) about.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day to take our annual walk around Hematite Lake. The day was mostly overcast so it didn’t get too hot and there were fewer mosquitos this year. Littlest managed to walk most of the trail this year which surprised us. Even though it was a holiday weekend I had the kids complete four lessons of math. They have no fought me at all on this change in math curriculum and have stepped up to the hard work of completing two years worth of math in one year. They embraced the challenge without complaining. I’m really proud of their hard work and determination…but don’t tell them!!

Sunday we skipped church and headed to Beatersville! We left early and drove to Louisville to walk through the old neighborhood that hosts the Phoenix Hill Tavern and Beatersville car show. The place was crammed full of cars and characters…more than I could post on here. The cars were a little nicer and cleaner this year…not as many chopped up weird gothic art pieces as last year. The crowd was full of more car enthusiasts (like us) than Beaters too. Still, not a single Mustang. After strolling through Beatersville we traveled to Bardstown and stopped at My Old Kentucky Home and then found a Mexican restaurant for a

late lunch. Our lunch was a little strange in that Oldest could not eat all of his food (he’s usually still hungry), Sparkles finished first (we always have to wait for her), Middle Boy was calm (he usually bounces around everywhere…even under the table), and Littlest was happy the entire time (he always finds something to cry about). The arrival of Armageddon would not have surprised me at that moment!

After lunch we decided to drive home by the back road. A detour brought us near one of my brother-in-laws’ so we stopped for a visit. The kids had a wonderful time running around his farm, playing with kittens, and listening to coyotes. We ended up getting home very late.

The rest of the week went by in a blur of schoolwork…math, math, and more math. WE also worked through several weather science labs building a barometer (that really worked), experimenting with heat absorption, and making rain in a petri dish. We’ve moved on in our American History studies to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. This kind of history is hard for me to get through when the kids are still so little. I really have to gloss over so much…history is a brutal, math is easy. I cannot believe we will finish Beautiful Feet Book’s Primary Early American History next week…wow! I did discover Supercharged Science this week and I am so excited…maybe…just maybe this is the hard core fun science I have been looking for…I hope.

This week two families made the decision to contact us about homeschooling. I’ve invited both to “come and see”. Some things you just have to talk about in person. Homeschooling isn’t just another task you add to your list…this is a way of life. For me this lifestyle is a precious and sacred calling. Once I embraced this calling I no longer felt lost and adrift in life…I am where I belong, performing the task God has blessed me for. For most of my life (until I met my husband) I have felt like I was watching through a window on life…never a part of life but separated…outcast in a way. This way of life with my husband and children is home…no matter where we roam and I would not trade it for the world.

I’m at a decision point for my blog. I’ve nearly used up my storage space. So, do I delete a bunch of pictures and posts or pay for my own space? I’m not sure where to go from here…any thoughts?

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap-up: Hornets and Friendly Neighborhood Outlaws

We’ve enjoyed a week full of activities and this weekend promises more fun for our family. Last Friday Sparkles was invited to her very first sleepover with Mrs. Melody (she is also the crew’s piano teacher thus the music related nick-name) and another little friend. Sparkles had “the best time ever” and we didn’t see her until way after lunch time on Saturday. Sparkles packed her suitcase with all of the necessary things she would need for her sleepover: some stuffed animals, her special blanket, granola bars and an apple. I added a toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, pajamas and outfit…I know those things were not as important but I thought she might need a few of them.

I can remember staying the night with my aunts when I was little. My Aunt Opal ( pronounced “A’int”, because no one says “aunt” in Appalachia…not from my holler

anyway)  She used to let me fix her hair and she would make biscuits with chocolate gravy for breakfast. I also lost a tooth at her house once and she told me the craziest story about the Tooth Fairy’s visit I’ve ever heard! She also gave me my first beer when…well never mind that crazy story. I loved staying the night with my aunts when I was little. I really thought when we moved near family that my kids would have the same experiences with their aunts and uncles. That hasn’t happened but I am glad that God has provided our family with wonderful friends who have stepped into our kids lives. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor and role model for my daughter than Mrs. Melody…and the boys adore her too.

Saturday afternoon we traveled to Mayfield for the Top Gun Car show. I look forward to this car show every month during the warm season. Most of the time the same crowd and cars show up but usually there is a few new cars in the mix. This week’s show was a bit cooler than last month and I got a little chilled. I was disappointed the tractors didn’t show. A new group came to show their cars this time. I am not sure if they have a name but their late 1970’s to early 1980’s cars all had tiny wheels and fancy hydraulics. I would have gone over and taken a picture of their cars but one of them set out a really creepy Chucky doll on a skull spangled bicycle…

Monday night we went to the local Drive-in and watched Rio 2 and the new Captain America movie. The Drive-in is one of the cool features of this area. We usually show up a couple of hours early to get a spot up front. The kids love to play in the big ditch in front of the movie screen. Sparkles was delighted to find a few of her cousins were there as well! We were all too tired to bother with school the next day so we took the day off!

Wednesday night Mrs. Melody came over to stay with the kids so my husband and I could go to the Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss concert. The crew was delighted to learn she had never seen Frozen and they watched it with her after she gave them their piano lessons. The concert was really good and I was impressed with Willie Nelson’s stamina. Alison Krauss and Union Station were amazing and I especially enjoyed their portion of the show. She described touring with Willie Nelson was like hanging out with a “friendly neighborhood outlaw”. Thank you Mrs. Melody for  giving us the night out!!!!

This week in school we finished up the first book (Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling) of our geography study. We are loving this gently introduction to geography by Beautiful Feet Books. We also finished up the Colonial and Revolution period of our Early American History study as well. I’ll have a write-up of our activities and books up in a week or so. I cannot believe we are almost finished with Beautiful Feet Book’s Primary Early American History.

I am slowly working through next years lesson planning. The more I plan the more I just want to get started!! I think the kids are going to love this year’s book selections. This morning we were scared out of our school room by a visiting hornet!!! I have no idea how he found his (or her…I have no idea) way into the school room but we didn’t get much done today thanks to him (and a late start)…oh well…we’re not on anyone’s schedule anyway.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers