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I don't know what to title this and I do this every year, sorry

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Every year about this time I have a bit of a freakout. Mainly because it's winter and it's hard, but also because we have cycles of stress and depression that come about now. My husband has been in grad school our children's entire lives, finishing a masters, then we moved here, then he's had a couple of major setbacks, I almost died a couple of times, etc. - things have been rough and especially stressful and without an ongoing sense of normalcy, whatever that is. Our normal is struggle, I guess.

 

At the end of the day, we've done okay with it. I think though, that when the kids were little(r), I thought that this would get easier once they could walk and talk and choose things of their choosing and whatnot. That may have been true if we didn't have the internet. I don't know. We struggle with balancing screen time and motivation. That may always be the case. Most adults I know have that same struggle, myself included.

 

There's part of me that thinks they could probably play video games these next ten years and still grow up with an idea of what it means to have a productive life and still be able to read and form sentences and so on. Their whole family has advanced degrees and strives to engage in productive, meaningful work that benefits the larger community/world/culture. They'd get that message, I think.

 

At the same time, I'm not sure what precisely my job is here. I am a big believer in unschooling, but now and then a question comes up and I wonder. Right now I'm wondering if it isn't a good idea to make sure that my children are challenged. I hear other (non-homeschooling) parents talk and the things they value are really success in a well-balanced sense. They believe this includes rigorous academic scheduling and both cultural and physical extra-curriculars. There's a part of me that agrees with that.

 

As a child, though, I never had to try very hard to achieve that. I was readily interested in joining clubs and activities. My children are decidedly not, however. These days I struggle to get them into the front yard to play in the snow. That's the really exhausting part - my children would rather stay inside and play video games. They don't want to get ready. They don't want to put on shoes or head outside or get moving at all. I can motivate them but it's hard. I'm not always motivated to do so. Especially lately. I've been coping with some pretty severe depression and anxiety and I find it difficult to move or wake or work. I'm impressed with myself for keeping up with the house, for making appointments, for trying to plan anything at all.

 

I'm doing what I need to be doing to move forward with that. I've reached out to the homeschooling community here. My sons do not want to participate in the co-op days, so I'm searching for kids that aren't involved in that specifically. A lot of the other unschoolers live further away from us and those that we started out with which were closer dropped into school awhile ago. Regardless, I'm trying to plan the things I can and participate in what I can.

 

I just feel a little lost here philosophically, I guess. What am I doing? Where am I trying to go with this? What do they actually [i]do[/i] in school? Why do we as unschoolers paint this false dichotomy of unschooling/school? Isn't there some in-between? I'm sick of planning activities and my children not wanting to do the things or me primarily being the one doing the activity. When does that stop? There. I've hit it. There's my real question. I'll bold that so you can skip the whole first boring part.

post #2 of 29

no answer mama, i just wanted to give you big hugs and say i understand. i am a "kind of unschooler" myself.  i don't want my kids playing video games so i don't have them at my house. we also don't have tv. if we watch any youtube i do limit it and explain why (because i think it is bad for kid's brain, especially when they are young and developing. we didn't evolve in front of tvs and i do think our brains can't really handle it well. *I* take the responsibility for it when I explain why and yes, it is not true unschooling but i am not aiming for a badge in unschooling :))

 

i am learning for myself that i might not be a true, radical unschooler. i might just be a life learner and a mama. and that's okay. 

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I feel like I am a true unschooler. Most of the things that we say no to generally are really about our boundaries. Sometimes I say, "I'm not comfortable with this anymore." It's really imperfect. I see it as a dialogue. It probably actually looks a lot more authoritarian than my intention or philosophy says, but you know, we deal and work toward an ideal. Eh. shrug.gif

post #4 of 29

Sounds like you're suffering from a bout of Periodic Unschoolers Panic Disorder. Happens to all of us. It's easy to get fixated on the negatives, the lacks, the deficits, the gaps, and instead forget that (a) everyone has various "deficiencies" in their lives and (b) there are positives, benefits, advantages, and nifty things that our kids have in their lives that others lack. It's important not to make any big decisions while in the midst of an episode of PUPD. Once your freak-out is over and you're feeling more balanced and like you've got the big-picture view back, that's a good time to consider your options and decide if some adjustments are in order.

 

I would suggest a couple of approaches to help get that balanced, big-picture view back.

 

First, focus on journalling the good things that are happening. Pick something for each kid each day. Look under metaphorical rocks if you have to, but find something each day to jot down about each kid that you're pleased with. A curious question one of them asked, 90 minutes of intense focus and persistence in trying to get to the next level in a game, a gesture of kindness witnessed, a weirdly creative art installation made with balls of yarn. Whatever. Use technology tools to help if you like: a private blog, a camera. The idea is to appreciate what is happening, rather than being obsessed with what isn't.

 

Secondly, I would hold regular meetings with your kids to talk about family flow, dynamics, happiness, productivity and such. Not to complain to them about what you wish they would do, but to brainstorm together about ideas to make family life happier and more interesting, to solve problems, to discuss feelings. Bring to the table a nice snack, a rough agenda of things to discuss, and at most one "concern." Our agenda includes things like nutritional balance / meals, sleep/wake cycles, balance of out-of-home activities, learning interests, sharing housework, stuff like that. Rather than saying "You guys aren't helping with housework," I'll say "Okay, housework. How are we doing at sharing housework? Anyone got any thoughts or ideas?" Generally I find that my kids recognize the same imbalances that I do, but when they frame them instead of me, I get far more useful information and help in solving them and a much less defensive response. Or "Okay, next item: learning interests. How are things going? Do you feel you're learning what you should be learning? Is there something I could be doing or getting to help you with what you want to learn? Anything new you're interested in that I should know about?" Family meetings also give us a gentle, cool-headed opportunity to raise any contentious interpersonal issues. If there's a problem with persistent sibling conflict I'll say "Let's put that on our meeting agenda." And sometimes, rarely, I'll put my own baggage on the agenda. For instance if I feel the kids are being rude and unappreciative and my feelings are getting hurt on a regular basis, I'll bring that up. 

 

We do our meetings every week. That means we don't have to solve much at each one. We just pick one or two things to try to make progress with. Then we re-evaluate. 

 

For me the magic in family meetings is that it allows us all to see that we really are on the same side of most issues. We all want to be helpful, happy, appreciated, loved, well-educated, competent human beings. We all want to live happily together. We all want good health and enjoyable food and to feel grounded, curious, secure, energetic and proud of ourselves and each other. So really we are working together for all those things, not against each other. Knowing that my children actually want to be responsible, competent, thoughtful people makes me feel a lot less panicked about the things that crop up in the day-to-day that aren't necessarily serving those ends. I know that we're all going to keep working together towards the same worthy goals.

 

Miranda

post #5 of 29

 

Quote:
What am I doing? 

Being human and a mom! Unfortunately, both come with lots of pieces of BS. Total bummer if you ask me, but it does keep things interesting. wild.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
What do they actually [i]do[/i] in school?

Well, reading, writing, math, worksheets, tests and quizzes, lots of busywork, lots of shuffling to and fro, planning, time wasting, some art and music if you're in a "good" school, some PE. Games? Is that really what you want to know though? I bet it isn't...because you already probably had at least an idea of what they do there. The real question? Do you want forced education/curriculum for your children? Do they? Because that is happening there.

 

 

 

Quote:
I'm sick of planning activities and my children not wanting to do the things or me primarily being the one doing the activity. When does that stop? There. I've hit it. There's my real question.

So stop doing that? Maybe? I know how hard it is. It's instinctual in some ways in our culture. We're very "OMG activities, fun activities that are educational hurry up!" aren't we? It may never stop. Plan things you want to do. Ask them what they want to do. Ask them if they want to do an activity you are interested in with you. Unschooling is about life and interest and that learning happens 1. always 2. because we are interested 3. when something is useful, fun, or necessary to get us to somewhere we want to be.  In other words we ask "Why do this (enter whatever subject/activity here)?"  What's the reason? 

 

I like the idea of a journal of something you observed the kids doing that struck you in some way. It need not be "educational". Everything is. Hang in there.

post #6 of 29

:hug  My ds is a year older than your oldest.  I still do quite a bit of organizing activities.  There simply isn't that much he can access and make happen himself at his age.  There aren't neighborhood friends that he can just go see.  There isn't anyplace to go on his own.  I organize a weekly parkday because what we want the most is a regular get together with kids and having something on the same day every week has more success.  I'll host it when the weather is too bad for an outside get together.  I'd rather not host because it takes a lot more energy but I think it's good for ds to have kids over and he does like it.  This year, there is another family that can host, too, so I'm happy about being able to rotate.  The other main thing we do is exchange playdates with another friend.  They live pretty far away and we alternate weeks (and stay for hours because it's too far for drop offs).  So on a  good week, ds has 2 things which are basically unstructured play with other kids.  This week, we missed one of the playdates due to the other family's schedule but had a couple of bonus hours of snow play with a younger schooled child on our street.  Our schedules don't usually coincide and there is too big of an age gap for seriously satisfying interaction.  But we'll take what we can get.

 

Other than that, ds will ask to go someplace like a museum if it comes to mind for some reason.  Then I'll plan on going soon if it's a place we have a membership or reciprocity.  He's generally happy to go someplace if I suggest it, but not just outside to play unless we are meeting other kids.  And he doesn't like most organized activities which is good since we can't afford them, lol.  There is so much waiting and odd authoritarian instructors in even the one hour fun classes which turns him off.  I'll only suggest things that are easy, convenient, go at your own pace unless I truly think he would like it.  At home, he gets bored but then will start playing a computer game or building with legos or messing with some science stuff.

 

These days, I'm real pleased with how he is increasing his typing through the chats on online multiplayer games.  It's really a small amount compared to how much other kids his age write/type/text.  But it is progressing the same way his reading did.  He is asking for help less and less.  He points out when I mistype things so I know his spelling is taking off, too.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Quote:
I'm sick of planning activities and my children not wanting to do the things or me primarily being the one doing the activity. When does that stop? There. I've hit it. There's my real question.

So stop doing that? Maybe? I know how hard it is. It's instinctual in some ways in our culture. We're very "OMG activities, fun activities that are educational hurry up!" aren't we? It may never stop. Plan things you want to do. Ask them what they want to do. Ask them if they want to do an activity you are interested in with you. Unschooling is about life and interest and that learning happens 1. always 2. because we are interested 3. when something is useful, fun, or necessary to get us to somewhere we want to be.  In other words we ask "Why do this (enter whatever subject/activity here)?"  What's the reason? 

 

I like the idea of a journal of something you observed the kids doing that struck you in some way. It need not be "educational". Everything is. Hang in there.


The problem with stopping - which I've done before, for long stretches - is that I'm not really comfortable with what happens in its stead. I need to force us out the door or off the computer to make things happen. Even open-ended play, sometimes. I suppose I don't mind that, but it's effing exhausting. I suppose that's parenting. I dunno.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post

 

 

I just feel a little lost here philosophically, I guess. What am I doing? Where am I trying to go with this? What do they actually [i]do[/i] in school? Why do we as unschoolers paint this false dichotomy of unschooling/school? Isn't there some in-between? I'm sick of planning activities and my children not wanting to do the things or me primarily being the one doing the activity. When does that stop? There. I've hit it. There's my real question. I'll bold that so you can skip the whole first boring part.


Try doing less.  I kept asking DD if she wanted to do stuff, and she never really did.  I slowed down because she did not seem interested and the last time I asked if she wanted to go to the museum she was quite eager and we had a good time.

 

Finding the correct balance for out-of-the home activities can be hard.  If you do a lot out of the home, it can become commonplace and not sought after.

 

Otherwise, it is winter in many places, which is not always easy.  Find ways to celebrate the cocooning seasons - DVDs, books, winter cooking etc, and get outside when you can.

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Sounds like you're suffering from a bout of Periodic Unschoolers Panic Disorder. Happens to all of us. It's easy to get fixated on the negatives, the lacks, the deficits, the gaps, and instead forget that (a) everyone has various "deficiencies" in their lives and (b) there are positives, benefits, advantages, and nifty things that our kids have in their lives that others lack. It's important not to make any big decisions while in the midst of an episode of PUPD. Once your freak-out is over and you're feeling more balanced and like you've got the big-picture view back, that's a good time to consider your options and decide if some adjustments are in order.

 

I would suggest a couple of approaches to help get that balanced, big-picture view back.

 

First, focus on journalling the good things that are happening. Pick something for each kid each day. Look under metaphorical rocks if you have to, but find something each day to jot down about each kid that you're pleased with. A curious question one of them asked, 90 minutes of intense focus and persistence in trying to get to the next level in a game, a gesture of kindness witnessed, a weirdly creative art installation made with balls of yarn. Whatever. Use technology tools to help if you like: a private blog, a camera. The idea is to appreciate what is happening, rather than being obsessed with what isn't.

 

Secondly, I would hold regular meetings with your kids to talk about family flow, dynamics, happiness, productivity and such. Not to complain to them about what you wish they would do, but to brainstorm together about ideas to make family life happier and more interesting, to solve problems, to discuss feelings. Bring to the table a nice snack, a rough agenda of things to discuss, and at most one "concern." Our agenda includes things like nutritional balance / meals, sleep/wake cycles, balance of out-of-home activities, learning interests, sharing housework, stuff like that. Rather than saying "You guys aren't helping with housework," I'll say "Okay, housework. How are we doing at sharing housework? Anyone got any thoughts or ideas?" Generally I find that my kids recognize the same imbalances that I do, but when they frame them instead of me, I get far more useful information and help in solving them and a much less defensive response. Or "Okay, next item: learning interests. How are things going? Do you feel you're learning what you should be learning? Is there something I could be doing or getting to help you with what you want to learn? Anything new you're interested in that I should know about?" Family meetings also give us a gentle, cool-headed opportunity to raise any contentious interpersonal issues. If there's a problem with persistent sibling conflict I'll say "Let's put that on our meeting agenda." And sometimes, rarely, I'll put my own baggage on the agenda. For instance if I feel the kids are being rude and unappreciative and my feelings are getting hurt on a regular basis, I'll bring that up. 

 

We do our meetings every week. That means we don't have to solve much at each one. We just pick one or two things to try to make progress with. Then we re-evaluate. 

 

For me the magic in family meetings is that it allows us all to see that we really are on the same side of most issues. We all want to be helpful, happy, appreciated, loved, well-educated, competent human beings. We all want to live happily together. We all want good health and enjoyable food and to feel grounded, curious, secure, energetic and proud of ourselves and each other. So really we are working together for all those things, not against each other. Knowing that my children actually want to be responsible, competent, thoughtful people makes me feel a lot less panicked about the things that crop up in the day-to-day that aren't necessarily serving those ends. I know that we're all going to keep working together towards the same worthy goals.

 

Miranda


I wanted to tell you that your post was really valuable. Lots to chew on without the creepy feeling of judgment and whatnot that folks in my position often feel (whether its intended or not!).

post #10 of 29

 

Quote:
Or "Okay, next item: learning interests. How are things going? Do you feel you're learning what you should be learning? Is there something I could be doing or getting to help you with what you want to learn? Anything new you're interested in that I should know about?" Family meetings also give us a gentle, cool-headed opportunity to raise any contentious interpersonal issues.

Terrific advice, and though we didn't call it a family meeting persay, this is/was much our approach as well.

post #11 of 29

OP I couldv'e written your post except in the summer.  Here in Phx our summer is like winter in most of the world.  We are stuck inside, too hot to do anything. DS is sluggish, I become unmotivated.  I hope you feel better soon.  Hugs

post #12 of 29

I'm right there with you Anna. I get fairly depressed and unmotivated in the winter, and that is coupled with the reality that as I move more and more to whole life unschooling, overcoming the hurdles that I held on to the longest in the past (bedtime, video games), it has created a reality that means unmotivated mom ignores kids who only want to sleep and play vids. I too have to plan it, encourage it, go outside myself for them to go. And who loves going outside when it's practically forced (however nicely) on you? Not I. I feel really crappy because if I accept that my kids are happy to be in front of a screen all day, then *I* am free to wallow, sleep, knit, be forlorn, and go through my day hardly interacting with them. What kind of life is that?

 

I have no advice for you, only my support and commiseration. Thanks for starting this discussion, it is what I've been trying to say out loud for some years now.

post #13 of 29

My dream was to unschool my children.  I've wanted to since I read John Holt and the "teenage liberation handbook" in high school.  I started unschooling Oldest Daughter from birth.  She wanted to needed to learn.  She's asked questions, looked for answers since she could talk.  She's intense and driven, if I didn't know the answer, she'd ask me to look it up for her.  Once she learned to read at 3.5 or 4, she was off.  If she had been my only child, I would've patted myself on the back, though I was a wonderful teacher and wonder why it was so hard for all those "poor other mothers".

 

I've been in Oldest Son's life since he was two or so (he's a year older then Oldest Daughter).  He hates unschooling and always has.  When he was little, he'd beg me for work sheets, a lunch box and a schedule for the day.  I'd carefully put out different paints, crayons, and drawing paper to try and foster creativity and Oldest Daughter would jump right in.  Oldest son would beg me to tell him what to draw.  Finally in desperation I'd dig out the coloring book MIL was always sending us and he'd color away happily for hours.  He was a bright and imaginative kid when it came to free play, but he hated the idea our days were free.  He wanted to eat breakfast at 8am, park at 9am, snack and book at 10am, followed by lunch and quiet time.  From the moment, Oldest Daughter could write, he'd have her write up his daily schedule if I forgot.  Otherwise, he'd mope around unhappily and ask to watch tv.  He wasn't learning much (except what he gleaned off of PBS kids).  DH and I presented him with the exact same enriching experiences we gave Oldest Daughter and yet the gap widened between with each passing. 

 

Eventually, DH and MIL gently encouraged me to realized US wasn't working for Oldest Son.  I felt like a failure as a mother, a stepmother and a teacher.  MIL convinced me to try a curriculum.  Oldest Son was 8 years old, he learned to read in a matter of weeks.  He is a person who needs to know what the day will bring.  He loves knowing when XYZ are done, he can go ride his skate board, hang out with his friends, and try to beat the next level of Rock Guitar (or Halo IIV, Legend of Zelda shops at Target).  He wants to go to the museum with us, but he would never think of it on his own.  He's happy and neither of us feel like a failure.  One of my younger kiddos is just like Oldest Son and the other is like Oldest Daughter without all the intensity.  

 

For me a huge part of unschooling is realizing that it doesn't always work for us.  SO we move on and we try new things.

post #14 of 29

I don't know what to tell you, and I can't really give you advice because I don't know your situation. I can only say that I go through periods of "PUPD". I recently went through this with my son, and expressed my frustration to our Learning Consultant (we're in a provincial homelearners program). No sooner had I expressed this then DS went through a burst of learning and progression of skills. One of the benefits of our program is that I have to "observe for learning" as part of our weekly reporting, and I've found that being required to focus at various times of the day on what, exactly, the kids are doing ends up with me seeing learning happening a lot more than I would think were I not really paying attention (eg. I'm busy in the kitchen and they are playing). I say this to illustrate the point that sometimes we need to focus on the good, as someone above said, rather than only being able to see the negative sides of things. Not to dismiss your feelings as just you "not looking at it right", just to commiserate that this is an easy trap to fall into. 

 

As for your frustration regarding trying to get them interested in things, that is also a common feeling among unschooling parents, IME. I've always found that backing off and letting them be gives them room to show ME what they might be interested in, allowing me to pick up on their interests and comments rather than coming up with my own ideas of what they might like to do. 

 

Mostly I just want to offer big hugs. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now. 

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCM View Post

I'm right there with you Anna. I get fairly depressed and unmotivated in the winter, and that is coupled with the reality that as I move more and more to whole life unschooling, overcoming the hurdles that I held on to the longest in the past (bedtime, video games), it has created a reality that means unmotivated mom ignores kids who only want to sleep and play vids. I too have to plan it, encourage it, go outside myself for them to go. And who loves going outside when it's practically forced (however nicely) on you? Not I. I feel really crappy because if I accept that my kids are happy to be in front of a screen all day, then *I* am free to wallow, sleep, knit, be forlorn, and go through my day hardly interacting with them. What kind of life is that?

 

I have no advice for you, only my support and commiseration. Thanks for starting this discussion, it is what I've been trying to say out loud for some years now.

 

I tend to think that if I'm unhappy with what habits they're forming, it's sort of up to me to provide an alternative that's agreeable. I also just can't move to completely accept that things that I feel are genuine health issues are fully valid ways to spend one's time. I sort of just struggle with it. The games are here. The computers are here. And hell, I live in reality, where I enjoy that the kids are occupied and I don't have to entertain or deal with them sometimes.

 

I think that unschooling is so far out of the norm, and raising kids is so difficult and all-consuming, it's impossible for me to always feel like I'm doing the right thing. In fact, it's almost impossible for me to know what the right thing is. There is so much subtle pressure to do things differently and really, I think it's all a gamble. We don't know how this is going to work out. That cuts across all parenting for all people, but nonetheless, I think being an unschooling mother means that I'm bearing the brunt of responsibility for these kids. And I just don't know what to do from day to day sometimes. And I do get worried sometimes about things like handwriting and being able to do standard math, though not usually about the math. It seems that it's far easier when they're little to not worry, which is sort of backwards from how I thought it would be.

 

I have found a few things that seem like they will be cool for us. maybe they're just things that I deem necessary though. The thing is, I mean, really, the thing is that I get the sense sometimes that there is more that my children deserve in order to be well-rounded intellectually and in order to find the things that are meaningful and benefit the world and make them happy and all of that. And I don't just mean some arbitrary thing that was decided on by school boards based on an industrial model. I mean, they deserve cultural opportunities and time in nature and good literature and so on and so forth. Those things to me make up a good life. And I know they're not me, but I am responsible for them. I made them. And I can get them to these things some, but I have to motivate everyone to get out of the house, to sit and to read, to play a game, to do something fun. I find that the best work happens in groups. They do the best, most creative stuff on their own when they're with other children. I have ideas about how to create some of that, to both give them space and opportunities and decrease arguing and whining and my own frustration and terror about what they're doing/what they're not doing which usually causes the arguing and whining. It's all a struggle to get up and go though sometimes. I have trouble, now and then, feeling like what I'm doing and thinking and working on is actually good and worthwhile. Especially when I get weighed down with lots of errands and tasks of keeping up with our life. It makes it hard for me to focus on the children when I'm needing to clean or take everyone to the doctor or whathaveyou. I feel like that happens a lot. Sigh.

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

Any other thoughts?

post #17 of 29
WCM and annakiss...you have hit the nail on the head as to the very reasons I let go of my rigid attachment to a philosophy and started to trust my own instincts. I am the mom, homeschool facilitator, and yes, even sometimes the leader, the inititator of plans and activities. The buck does indeed stop here. If you feel something is off about your current homeschooling situation, maybe you are actually right. Maybe it is not just your "schooled mind" talking to you. Trust yourself.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
I don't think anything's particularly off and I don't ascribe to a rigid philosophy and do parent more instinctively. It's just that it's winter and no one wants to do anything and everyone's depressed. We've been having a rough several years and are going through quite a bit of change right now. It makes it even more difficult than usual to motivate. Sometimes at times like these, I return to the rigid philosophy and try to think about how to approach it. Usually I end up shouting, "My boundary has been reached!" in some fashion or another and moving us all along.

I just loathe this time of year and sometimes I loathe that everyone in my family has these different agendas. There's no real solution to that. It's just the inherent struggle of unschooling young boys in a technological society when you're desiring some sort of modern return to agrarian simplicity. You know, the idea is to just try something new, and try to see the good stuff. I dunno. I guess I just wanted to whine about it. I don't think these problems have answers. It would be nice if we could incorporate them into the philosophy somehow so we could feel good and vindicated in our behavior. lol
post #19 of 29
This sounds horribly superficial, but this year, I stumbled on something that greatly reduced my usual February PUPD: we traveled. Since the weather here can leave you weathered in or our for days at a time in February, we usually stay put. However, when a close friend scheduled her wedding and asked me to help, I jumped on the chance. Even though DP had to stay home and work and even though I had to make 18 hour trips alone with two kids, it was so awesome. Having a trip to plan and execute really helped shift all of us out of the February funk. We had a common goal that wasn't manufactured. I feel better going into March than I have in years.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 

My mother said we should go on vacation next fall or winter all together again to the beach. Sounds good to me. I wish I could take us someplace now, but we just can't afford it...

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