Unschooling Support Jan 08 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Come on in, the water's fine!

share your unschooling journey; hopes, dreams, fears, messes and chocolate pudding on the ceiling

(last months thread)

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#2 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Happy New Year! My name is Jessica and I'm the fumbling, stretching, growing unschooling Mama of 3. My oldest dd is 7, her sister is 2 and their new brother will be 1 month old tomorrow.

I'm so grateful for unschooling...especially during this chaotic time in our lives...but, I worry about my 7 year old dd getting lost in the baby shuffle. I'm trying to encourage her to choose some kind of a "project" that we can work on together and ensure that we can both anticipate and enjoy special time together on a regular basis. I'm trying not to get to attached to that idea, though, because I don't want it to become another source of stress. I need to make a concerted effort to be both physically and emotionally available to her on her timetable. It's just really hard when I have 2 nursing babies hanging off of me all the time! I'm a morning person and dd1 is a night owl...so I'm usually exhausted by the time she asks me to do something with her. Sigh. One day at a time, right?
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#3 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Happy first day of 2008 everyone!

We have a nice evening lastnight. We blew off some fireworks, drank some wine, watched the specials, and ate burritos and brownies. The kids are playing Star Wars Battlefront something or other that Ds got over the holiday. I just heard the following exchange:

Ds: "You suck at this game. But it's okay, there's a part coming up that you'll like more - do better at."

Dd: "I don't suck at this game! (mock horror that he'd say such a thing lol) What part is coming up though?"

Ds: "Hero something or other"

Dd: "Woot!"


Making banana bread today!

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#4 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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I'm lurking still.....

I'm a sahm mama to my special needs 2yr old. Just lurking and finding my way. I seem to fall more on the unschooling side these days.
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#5 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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Hi, everyone! This marks a momentous time for my family because dd1 is not going back to 3rd grade this week! She is so excited about staying at home where she can learn about what she wants! She's going to take a while to get out of that going to school mindset, but I'm sure once she gets into her rhythm, we won't be doing so much "school". Which I don't mind. I just don't want her to get bored.:
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#6 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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Welcome to unschooling Earthy Mama and Dd! Nice to have you here.

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#7 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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can I lurk? My DD is only 8 months but unschooling is one approach we are considering for the future....
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#8 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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woo hoo earthy mama!
welcome to the new lurkers!

DD is now teaching me to speak in a new language;
Jepa.

hello: kuleina
goodbye: sheida
thanksyou: gouda
I love you: shi' bailu
kiss: kaida

she told me how to count to 20, but I can't remember

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#9 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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Olivia had a sleepover last night with her two best friends. They stayed up until 7:30am and only slept an hour then. She fell asleep eating noodles at 2:30. I'm just going to let her sleep. She told me she had the best night of her life... she's 8.

The other two have been taking turns playing on the computer and planning for our first really cold weather of the season. It's going to be in the 50's here tomorrow. It's very exciting!

Joyfully- Laura
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#10 of 332 Old 01-01-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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HI! Guess what, I think we are unschoolers! WOOHOO!

I was homeschooled myself, and we went from pretty strict school at home, complete with a blackboard and school desks to fairly relaxed unschooling at the kitchen table or in the woods, whichever suited our purpose. I feel that unschooling my kids is just a continuation of my own homeschooling experience. It's great!

Dd got a nifty knitter for Christmas and she is about half-done a hat! It's a bit of a challenge for her but she is managing with a little help. I love watching her become absorbed in creating something. She loves it and it shows.

Marja: consensual-living, unschooling, piano-teaching, doula and mom to 3 creative, independent people:
DD, 8, DS, 6, and Baby DS born July 1, 2010 Married to DH for 10 years!
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#11 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Having just returned home with my 5 month old from the hospital, we caught up on opening Christmas gifts this weekend and eating our way through some chocolate, despite all being down with RSV. That's been our yucky news lately.

Oh, and I am new to this thread, although been around the forum a while--we are a family of unschoolers, our oldest is preschool/kindergarten "age". He recently has "graduated" from the bi-weekly co-op we had going. Now, it's more time indoors due to the weather and illness. Oy! When everyone is doing better, he and I are starting a small Lego club, having friends over to build with Legos and have a snack.

Lately, he has also been asking me and DH to count to 100. When I asked him why, he replied, "Because I want to hear how you do it!" Ever since he watched Curious George on PBS, he recognizes 0 and 100. He watches Netflix load up online, and online games, and announces when it gets to 100%, etc. I am pretty amazed at his picking up an interest in numbers which has lasted a few weeks. I am excited to see learning in action happening without formal lessons. It is especially exciting as I was public schooled, but have read many books, articles, and websites dedicated to learning, unschooling, etc. Very cool to see what I read happening in IRL.

My second son turns 3 on the 8th and we are deciding what to do for his birthday. He has requested a Snow Birthday (hmmmm) or a Star Wars bday, which has had last year. I am considering renting a Storm Trooper costume and wearing it to give him his gifts. Maybe call him Paduan or Jedi and give him a Jedi costume. That would make his week/month/year! We'll see what happens... Just exciting to think I have a five and three year old. That means I am getting old, LOL.

Anyway, back to reading posts........

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#12 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Hello. Unschoolers here.

My oldest was in a charter school for 1.5 years, and my dd was in for 5 months. Then we came to our senses, and brought them home...right to unschooling.

wwisdomskr, I was where you were 3.5 years ago - except with one more kid. My oldest two are night owls and I was getting up early with the little ones, I know just where you are and I"m happy to tell you it gets easier, it really does. You'll find your way.

We had a good night last night - stayed at home, had everyone's favorite snacks to eat. Got noise makers and party hats, my three year old picked out lei's for everyone. We watched the ball drop and went out to do poppers and some fireworks. They tried to make fireworks with Hot Tamales. Then we came in and watched Monster House...twice. My oldest stayed up for the New Years Party on Club Penguin, then came down to bed. (We're on the East Coast and apparently, CP goes by PST.)

Something I noticed this holiday season, is our holidays don't really feel much different than our regular days. I mean, there's a different focus and all, but not as much build up or something. I don't know how to explain it. Any other unschoolers notice this?

Looking forward to hearing more about you all.
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#13 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Hi! Lurking too...

DS will turn 3 in a few months and I'm getting preschool questions already. So... I decided to officially start "unpreschooling"!

Nothing will change except I can say "we're homeschooling!" when people bring up preschool.
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#14 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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I've missed out on the past few threads and I've missed them so I'm jumping back in here again!

Tonight is our last "vacation" night. DH has only worked four hours since Dec. 21, so it's been like one long weekend for the past week and a half. It's been a nice break from the patterns we've fallen into over the past few months and it's always nice to spend extra time with DH.

DS and I had a talk right before Christmas about making some changes in our weekdays. As we ventured into unschooling this fall we sort of let anything resembling a schedule fly out the window. I've been finding, though, that daily chores aren't getting done, we're not spending as much time outside as I'd like, and we're kind of fumbling around a lot of the time.

Our plan for tomorrow is to figure out a rough daily routine. I don't want to have set chores but rather a list of daily tasks which we all work on together. I want to encourage the kids to be a bit more active in keeping the house in order without implementing a bunch of rules and rewards.

We're also going to be starting a few more activities in January. There's a Wednesday afternoon phys ed group we've signed up for where the kids will be doing various sports. We're hopefully going to get into a Friday afternoon gymnastics class too. DS got to play on some equipment last night and he loved the beams and the bars, so hopefully the class will be a lot of fun for him!

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#15 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Hi everyone. It's our last "vacation day" too. We spent our New Year's Day hiking. Later we came home and DH hooked up his computer to the tv so we could all play games on it. Pretty fun, actually.
On our hike we saw all kinds of fun stuff. Felt the cold mazanita tree bark, checked out bobcat skat, searched for the water along a dry creek. DS didn't stop talking and asking questions...we hiked about 2.5 miles. It was nice. Not too many people. Not too muddy.

Tomorrow is our first day back to the grind (not really much of a grind, though...the nature of unschooling.)

Happy New Year!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#16 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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Nothing will change except I can say "we're homeschooling!" when people bring up preschool.

That reminds me of something my 6yo said today.

We were in CVS getting cold medicine for dh and the cashier was a really sweet older lady. She was trying to make conversation with the kids and she asked them if they were ready for school to start again.

Olivia just nodded and walked away. She's not big on talking to anyone- especially strangers. Mesa looked at her and said "We don't do school".

The woman looked at her and said something to the effect of her (Mesa) not being old enough to go to school. Mesa shook her head and said "I'm almost 7. We just don't do school."

I smiled and said my kids don't go to school, they stay home with me. She was very sweet about it and told me how brave she thought I was to keep them with me all the time and go against convention.

I'm always so weird about bringing up unschooling to strangers, but to Mesa it's just a part of life.

Joyfully- Laura
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#17 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 02:10 AM
 
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woohoo earthy mama!!

we are going to need more "school supplies" ds is having so much fun scribbling on notepads. We have made some up with scratch paper from printed things. But he likes the colored ones you can buy.
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#18 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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I posted in last month's thread, feeling pretty discouraged. Amazing what a few weeks can do in improving your outlook. I was wicked sick with bronchitis I think, and was in the midst of that, a whole mouthful of canker and coldsores, PMS, the WORKS, all at the same time. No wonder unschooling looked so discouraging! I went back and read my post and thought WTH? I should have remembered that I was sick and totally not responsible for my thoughts...like I heard an unschooling mom in a talk say once, that she had to keep a little sign on her bathroom mirror saying "It's not the unschooling, it's ____!" as a reminder that "life" happens and it is not always unschooling to blame and public school would not make it better.

I worked night shift Christmas night and Boxing day night, but still had a good Christmas with my family. I am going to be working a bit more in the new year temporarily covering a maternity leave, 14 twelve hour shifts per six weeks (for Jan for example, I am working 10 days this month, but it is a lot considering it is days and nights), and have taken an extra job as needed as a prenatal instructor a day or two a month, which is great for me as most of my nursing career is in maternity/l&D and I love it. Dh is slowly starting to work more, a few days a month as his stamina increases (he was diagnosed with sarcoidosis this year and this summer was literally knocked off his butt and literally only could walk a few min at a time, enough to make the kids something to eat or something...but appears for now to be going into a remission) The kids have been getting into such neat things. Dd, after being such a reluctant here-and-there writer (due to her "perfectionist" issues LOL and wanting to make the letters just perfect...those practice books with the solid and dashed lines a well meaning relative gave her 'bout made her blow a gasket!!! ) has discovered comic strips and is wanting to make her own as of late. So, writing is so much better when it is on her terms. Reading them is improving her reading too. And speaking of reading, I have always known that she can read more than she can let on and is willing to admit, and it was neat for dh and I to stand at ds door tonight seeing the two of them in bed with her reading "Max Drives Away" to him word for word by flashlight Cool! Sort of an unschooling Kodak moment It is also neat to see ds at the stage she was at a few years ago, discovering the alphabet, playing with the letters on the fridge, pulling me over to the alphabet placemat on the wall (dd's alphabet reference) and asking me to sing the ABC's to him. He also incessantly asks about the time, pointing the numbers out on the clock (it's 7, 2 mommy!!! ie- 7:10) Maybe we should have gotten the watch for him for xmas, not his sis!

I have gotten more on top of "planning" as it were (do unschoolers do that? Is that an oxymoron LOL) in my life, and it feels better. Ie-making a list of things that I have noticed the kids doing, making a note to look something up related to it, find a website, dig up a game, etc, I finally got a laminated world map up on the wall when I realized that alot of things we came across had a geography reference/bent...just following up more on those kind of things makes me feel more settled as an unschooler if that makes any sense. I sort of got away from that in the last 6 mo and coupled with the stress of dh's illness and me working more because of it (which can make me feel more disconnected from my kids if I am not careful) made me feel like I was flying too much by the seat of my pants and that unschooling wasn't "working", although now I know it was all along. I am also hoping to meet more homeschoolers this year...I heard David Albert speak last month, and met a homeschooler who lives 2 miles up the road from me! And who' s 7 ye old ds wants a buddy! Yay! Hoping that works out. I also found a much quieter "gym nite" for us to join which is good for dd's auditory processing issues, and a homeschooling gymnastics club once a month we will try.

Good to read about all your lives too, and to know there is support for us unschoolers out there...

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
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#19 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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canukgal, glad youre feeling better

greenthumb3, counting to 100 is exciting, but let me warn you, about a week after DD got bored of counting to 100, she started telling me to count to a million!!! recently we started playing hide'n'seek and she told me to count to infinity!!!

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#20 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 07:20 AM
 
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Welcome lurkers and new unschoolers, and Happy New Year everyone!

majikfaerie, invented languages are fun! My younger sister and I created one when we were kids, and we still speak it to each other sometimes. My kids have picked up a few words/phrases.

We're all getting over the flu here. It's been awful. Dh had been working 7 days a week for most of Nov./Dec., and we'd so been looking forward to doing some fun family stuff over the holidays. Instead, we spent his entire week off in bed.: I feel robbed! The illness started on Boxing Day, so at least we were able to enjoy Christmas Day together.

We have two 2 y.o. male guinea pigs who have been together since birth, but they've started to fight a lot. Last night, dd noticed one has a terrible bite wound on its back, so we separated them. Dd was angry at the dominant one, calling it mean and a bully. She got out her guinea pig book to look up wound care, and we discussed how it's normal behavior for one of the males to dominate and that it wasn't being "mean." Sometimes males will live peacefully together, but, unfortunately, ours won't. We'll be working on some new living arrangements today.
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#21 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 08:22 AM
 
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Oohh secret languages are fun! I made up a secret alphabet once. Maybe I should do it again

I had no idea male guinea pigs would fight, but now that you mentioned it it seems like a given. Territorial thing I imagine? I hope they get comfy new living quarters soon, and that the one heals nicely.

Dd is out cold in her half done, kinda redecorated room. Ds and I were just chatting and loading the dishwasher (yep, at half past 3 am lol), and now we are thinking about bed. I hope...

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#22 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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Ds and I were just chatting and loading the dishwasher (yep, at half past 3 am lol)
Knowing that you're in a time zone 8 hours behind mine, I was just thinking, "Gosh, she's up early (or late)!":yawning: We tend to be night owls around here, too, but usually not quite that late! Sleep well.

About the guinea pigs... Sometimes males will get along fine if they've lived together from a young age and, once weaned, have not been exposed to a female. Ours have always scrapped a little, but it's been getting more frequent and vicious. We feel sad because they look for each other when they're not together, but the submissive one's health is really at risk now so it's best to separate them. Dd has a friend who desperately wants a pet, but her mother is reluctant. I suggested offering one of the piggies to the friend, that way dd could visit it. She won't part with either of them, and my friend would probably disown me any way, . Maybe we could adopt a neutered female for each male to keep them company, except if they still fought I'd really have a dilemma!
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#23 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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Happy 2008 ~ Just subbing for now, back later!
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#24 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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me too subbing---have to write about our excitement later right now homeopathy appointment for me while they visit nanny---but they watned to bring their new science kits they bought (begged me to buy at the museum!) and 20Q which is really a fun game. we went 2 1/2 hours north to go to an awesome awesome museum on lake champlain. they had a blast. Funny thing is they had a bloodsucker exhibit (Which was hilarious ill write abou tthat later)and we learned about ticks and how they cause lyme--lol i said i was prime example of what can happen if you get bit by a tick the learning never ends Be back later!

greenthumb3--sorry about RSV my dd had it when she was only 7 weeks old it was nasty! hope all are recovering!

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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#25 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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canukgal, glad youre feeling better

greenthumb3, counting to 100 is exciting, but let me warn you, about a week after DD got bored of counting to 100, she started telling me to count to a million!!! recently we started playing hide'n'seek and she told me to count to infinity!!!

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
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#26 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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I just wanted to pop in and share my unschooling thought for the day:

As we were making the beds this morning (well, bed, since we only got one done!) I told DS about a friend's homebirth a couple of days ago. We discussed homebirths, the cost of hospital births, and our family's births. I love the fact that our homeschooling includes discussing birth options!

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#27 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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greenthumb3--sorry about RSV my dd had it when she was only 7 weeks old it was nasty! hope all are recovering!
Thanks for your concern--my son is doing better. It took about two days for his o2 levels to get where they needed to be to go home. The whole fam got RSV, but for oldest kids and adults it's just like a bad cold that can last for 3-4 weeks.

Now, if my DH would just feel better! Poor guy. Nomadmom, we certainly feel the pain of "lost" vacation, too. Winter, I'll tell ya!

And I am also itching to do some new things, meet new people, start a daily rhythm again. Mostly for my own sanity! I want to start a baby and me yoga class on Saturdays. Maybe in February...

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#28 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I was checking my e-mail, and im part of a free teachers samples list, and i found this, so i thought I would share.

for the fairy loving parents and kids, a colo(u)ring page http://www.doverpublications.com/tea.../teacher16.htm
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#29 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Oooh fairies are neat. Dd is sorta kinda doing her room in a fairy theme.

Rainy rainy here today. I have to remind myself that this rain is important and it's going to be all worth it come March/April when it's green and gorgeous out there.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#30 of 332 Old 01-02-2008, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wonderwahine, yay for faeries!!
and i love your use of the letter U.

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