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#1 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't even know where to start. My husband's sister came for a visit. Since I have known her she has lived in British Columbia, Kuwait and now Wisconsin. We don't see her very often. We live in Ontario, Canada. WHile she was visiting we had a little talk. I was pretty offended and sent her an email afterwards telling her how I felt. I am not sure if she has gotten it. She called today and talked to my husband. Here is what she had to say!!!!! "How is Cohen feeling?" (My son was sick)
Husband - Better. He is feeling much better now.
Sis - Did you take him to a doctor?
H - Yes we did and he is on antibiotics. (He wasn't fighting his cold. Had it for over a month)
Sis - What was wrong with him?
H - He had a sinus infection.
Sis - So are you getting him vaccinated?
H - Explained that we are delaying and doing it selectively.
Sis - Told him that we haven't researched it enough and had to let him go.
She then calls back and unloads everything.
Sis - I am concerned with the way your children are eating. They have to eat healthy.
H - They are eating healthy. My wife makes healthy dinners all the time. (We do not have junkfood in our house. My son is very picky. He is 2yo. We have chicken nuggets because that is the only meat he will eat!! Everything else is completely healthy right down to whole wheat everything.)
Sis - Your house is too messy for you to homeschool. (I think my house is fine! We may have toys on the floor and our house is not perfect but it is comfortable. We have a clean house. Maybe messy at times but hey..we have 4 young children!!)
H - You are overstepping your boundaries! He is getting upset.
Sis - You need more structure. Your children are not going to be able to manage their time if you don't have more structure and a schedule. If you are going to be homeschooling they should be sitting there at 9am everyday and doing the same thing. Math should be for a certain amount of time everyday. Even if they don't like it they should have to do it and for that required time.
H - They are well rounded kids who are very bright! They are soaking up everything like a sponge!
Sis - What is wrong with sending them to school? Was your childhood so bad? If you don't like your local school then you should make sacrifices for your children and move to find a better one.
H - We are sacrificing for our children. We are homeschooling. That is a bigger sacrifice than sending them off to school!
Sis - I am not the only one that feels this way. I am just the only one who will tell you. I know that we may not talk after this but I felt I had to say something. You haven't done enough research into homeschooling. Can I send you some research?

WHAT?????? I feel so incredibly sad over this! I dedicate my whole life to my children! My whole life is them and our house. Our house is presentable. We have a clean house. I feed them healthy foods. I don't get it!!! She attacked my whole life! I have researched homeschooling for 2 years now. How in the heck would she know about homeschooling? She doesn't even have children!! SHE DOESN'T HAVE CHILDREN!!!!! She doesn't think we should have more children because we won't be able to pay for their education. GRRRRRR!! I feel so angry and hurt I don't know what to do with myself!!
PLEASE PLEASE pick me up! Please encourage me. I really need some positive words right now!
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#2 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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She doesn't even have children!! SHE DOESN'T HAVE CHILDREN!!!!!

enough said.


Mama, you are their mama. You love them and you provide what they need: Love. All is well.

Her story doesn't make it your story. Trust your own children's joy.


Pat

I have a blog.
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#3 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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That is terrible. I'm sorry she was so nasty to you.

You know, a pediatrician once said to me, "I was the perfect parent...until I had kids." I really feel that is true because I get comments ALL THE TIME from people who don't have kids! My own sister even said, "When I have kids, they will never scream like yours do." hahaha....I love it. I told her, "Kids scream. That's life. Get over it!!"

She's due with her first baby (a girl) next week. I can't wait til she screams just once....lol I hope I get a phone call saying, "How do I make her stop?"

It sounds like you have a ton of love for your family. Isn't that more important than having toys on the floor? They are healthy and happy and your sister in law (and whomever else she was speaking for) should be very proud of you for that. I hope you continue to do exactly what you are doing and that you don't second guess yourself. You don't need people like that in your life. Take it from someone who knows!!

Hang in there momma!


Jen Burnett, DEM
Homeschooling mom to my 3 kids (10, 9 and 8)
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#4 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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Your SIL is making herself look like an idiot. I don't know if you should just ignore her or send her tons and tons of information about unschooling and diffferent HSing styles- of which "sit down at 9:00 AM ever day and do math for 40 minutes followed by 40 minutes of English etc. etc. ...." is only one method.

Well, if she's going to send you tons and tons of information about "the right way to homeschool' then I think you should send her even more information in response. But I'd try not to talk to her about it if possible, at least not until she's read the stuff you send her.

While you're at it, can you find some stuff to send her about how to talk to people with respect?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#5 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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I hope your husband never again responds to that sort of thing except to say, "This is none of your business." There's no reason for him to explain your choices to his sister.

Quote:
WHAT?????? I feel so incredibly sad over this! I dedicate my whole life to my children! My whole life is them and our house. Our house is presentable. We have a clean house. I feed them healthy foods.
You don't need to do this. You don't need to defend yourself. Your children are YOURS, your house is YOURS, and short of abuse the choices you make are yours and your husbands, end of story.

These kinds of boundary issues burn me up. :
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#6 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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Why is it- people who have never had childeren just KNOW how to be a parent. Then when they are parents, they struggle just like the rest of us!

I'm the mom of 4 small ones also, and let me tell you- you are doing the best that you can. You are doing a great job!!! Don't let some one who hasn't been there tell you that you aren't doing a great job. 'Cause you are!

First:-) If you LO will only eat Chicken Nuggets- YEAH! He's 2! Two Years Old- they cant be forced to eat broccoli! He eats more than just chicken nuggets, but SIL didn't see it, and if he doesn't who cares! Seriously! Is he growing? Healthy? Smart? Then there you go. What more proof do you need?

Second:-) Homeschool doen't have to be School at Home! SIL isn't understanding that you aren't running a public school from your kitchen table. You don't have to sit for hours on end. Most homeschool lessons are learned in the kitchen! the tub! the car! the dirt outside! WHERE EVER your kids are- that's where they will learn. Don't be fooled into the belief that "Stucture" is best. That may work for some people, but not for all people, and you will do what is best for you kids, regardless of SIL.

Listen, don't doubt yourselves because of something a family member says, or a stranger for that matter. Trust your intelligence, and your own personal convictions. Don't worry about how clean your house is, for mine is worse. Don't worry about structure, as it isn't what it's cracked up to be. Don't vaccinate if you don't believe in it. Don't allow someone to cause you such heartache, regardless of whom it is.
Hang in there, and get some distance from your well intentioned, yet clueless SIL.

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#7 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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Hang in there...

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#8 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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Perhaps your guys can thank her for her concern. Then ask her what she would like to contribute to your life that would be helpful? Will she be moving to a more exotic location again? Perhaps she would like to share the new area with pictures, local toys, legends, etc. She may be making a fool of herself, but a lot of us did pre-children. It might be a great opportunity to give her and your children a chance to develop a special bond that they might not get.

Dready Homeschooling Mom 

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#9 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 03:35 AM
 
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I received a similar attack from relatives a few years ago. They have 2 kids and obviously know more than me because I only have 1- even if they hadn't seen dd for a year. It started with an e-mail about my dd's eating habits at a family dinner, moved on to telling me homeschooling was bad and really deteriorated in the end to slamming our whole life, calling me stupid and my dd backward. I haven't communicated with them since.
I'm still homeschooling because it is right for my dd. We like our life.

You know your children best. You are the one qualified to make the decision for them. You know how much structure they need- if any. All the research in the world doesn't stack up to what you know about your own kids.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#10 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 04:19 AM
 
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She sounds like a real UA violation. Isn't it GREAT that you can pick your friends?
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#11 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 04:38 AM
 
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I could have written your post word for wor. I had a similar argument with my sis and mother last year. I ended up cutting off contact for a few months because none of them could get it through their head that I am the mother and I will make the choices that are best for my kids. My mom has come around now to at least act like a grandma to them and quit trying to take over parenting(we went through a time where she threatened to file for custody if I didn't send my kids to public school and medicate them more WTF!)

Don't try to defend yourself. Simply cut off contact until she learns to keep her trap shut and mind her business. I can see her speaking up if you guys ate at rotten ronny's daily, or your house was infested with bugs nad rodent due to mess, or if educating your children involved illegal activity like how to run a grow op. Otherwise she needs to learn to keep her mouth shut or miss out on being in your life.

Brandy Single momma to A(11), C(10), H(6) and I(2)
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#12 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 04:56 AM
 
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She doesn't have children?






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#13 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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I would take what she said with a grain of salt, as insulting as it was, but for me the part that would completely cancel out anythign she said was the fact that .....SHE HAS NO KIDS!!!!!......so essentially, in my "book" is clueless.

:energ y
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#14 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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OP

her comments are way out of line, and she should be told so! i'm a very gentle person and prefer non-confrontational situations, but her comments are so incredibly rude and narrow that i'm literally MAD for you! i would NOT thank her for her concerns at all. her comments are downright RUDE! she basically said you all live in a mess ....can't manage your household ...or teach your children ....and are bad parents! i am FLOORED!

big hugs to you mama. i know her statements hurt you - but IGNORE THEM.

homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7 blogging.jpg

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#15 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 10:43 AM
 
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My SIL sent an email to an HIV website to complain about the fact that we were adopting a child with HIV. In the letter, she included all the things that are wrong with us: vegetarian, no tv (at the time, kids are older now), we care about the environment (??), etc. Basically, she slammed our entire lives.

I ignored her for a year. I didn't answer emails, I stayed away from her when we saw her (although, as she said in the letter, at least we lived four hours away and she didn't have to see us very often). I honestly thought I would never forgive her.

And maybe I haven't. I am able to talk to her now, and sometimes even enjoy her company, but in the back of my mind I am thinking, "Well, I know what she really thinks of us." I don't discuss anything sensitive with her and I leave the room if talk turns to something I don't want to discuss.

If it were me, I would probably send an email and tell her that you'd prefer she keep her opinions to herself if all she is going to do is criticize.

I feel your pain.

dm
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#16 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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First I want to give you a big ole . I am sorry her words hurt you.

But take comfort in the fact she has no clue apparently from the things she said. She can worry all she wants but she needs to keep it to herself. I can not stand when someone has to bring in other people to make their point (everyone things so ect). It's pretty low and manipulative. I would have told her so. She doesn't sound concerned in the least she sounds self-righteous and judgmental.
She needs clear boundaries and either abides by them or she doesn't get to be a part of your life.

And finally weren't we all much better parents BEFORE we had kids.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#17 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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Re. non-parents berating parents, I always liked this quote from the funny article "Preparing for Children":

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.
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#18 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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I have a canned response for these things.

"Why is it that I am perfectly capable of teaching my children the fundamentals, like how to talk, walk, and use the potty ... but after the age of five, my children are suddenly too much for poor little me to handle?"

It usually shuts people right up.
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#19 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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I'd take it with a grain of salt. Of course she was out of line. But you sound like you're a great mom. Don't let her bring you down!

Busy mom and loving it... dd (2/03), ds (6/05), dd (8/07), ds (12/09), ??? due 5/12

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#20 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post
You haven't done enough research into homeschooling. Can I send you some research?
Can she send it to me? I am dying of curiosity here...what "research"?

My message to her would be this: different is not bad. You do things differently, and that is ok. Your dc are thriving and happy, and that is all that matters.

Attacking your children, your family, and your home, however, is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If the subject is brought up again, my response would be "We are not going to discuss this."
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#21 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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She sounds incredibly jealous of your life and feels the need to knock you down off the wonderful place you've made for yourselves in order to make herself feel better about her own empty life.


Angela

 

DD(20) Hair Stylist in Manhattan

DD(17) Dancer at the (real) Fame school

DS(13) Martial artist & experiential homeschooler

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#22 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm so sorry she said those terrible things about you!

I think the other posters gave you great advice - try not to let her bring you down. The best indicator to how well your parenting is working is your children. Are they healthy? Are they happy? Are they learning? My guess is they are. Just keep reminding yourself what really matters - obviously not her silly opinion.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#23 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SandyBeachBums View Post
Perhaps your guys can thank her for her concern. Then ask her what she would like to contribute to your life that would be helpful? Will she be moving to a more exotic location again? Perhaps she would like to share the new area with pictures, local toys, legends, etc. She may be making a fool of herself, but a lot of us did pre-children. It might be a great opportunity to give her and your children a chance to develop a special bond that they might not get.
I would tend to give her the benefit of the doubt at this point...only because she has no experience whatysover and it sounds that she may be speaking out of concern...out of total ignorance as well, but if this is the first time she's pout her face in your biz, I might *might* cut her some slack.

She doesn't have kids, and she's traveled a lot and lived all over. That's a very different world. My college roomie has been an expat for her whole adult life. She has lived everywhere, and she knows tons of children who attend very competitive, highly regarded international schools. It's all she knows. She was surprised about my hsing..her dh asked me some questions that I found offensive. But I realized he was coming from a very different world of international, cometetive folks with kids who are expected to preform a certain way and live a certain life. Not getting up late and feeding chickens, reading Harry Potter all day, kwim? His world is his world. I owe him no explainations for my life, and his experiences are real.

If, in the past, she has been a loving person, I would have a nice chat. If she is not a decent/kind person, I would tell her that your life style is not up for discussion ever again.
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#24 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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We dealt with this at a recent holiday party. My husband's friend has a fourth grade child who is in speech therapy. When I said that our son was on a waiting list for speech therapy, she immediately said that if he was in school he could get services right away. She went on and on about how smart he was and how frustrating it must be for him to wait. I told her that the therapist who has years of experience with this told me that they generally don't do therapy with kindergarten kids anyway, they wait to see if they outgrow the problems. She then said, "Oh no, if he were in school they HAVE to give him services." Apparently she knows more than the therapist does. But she's that way about all homeschooling issues.

Your SIL has no kids, even if she did, she does not parent YOUR kids. You make the decisions regarding your children, not anyone else.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
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#25 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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"I was the perfect parent...until I had kids."
LOL - I have said this so often since my child was born!

Mama, she doesn't know diddly. You don't need her approval. You and your dh are the parents. You know what's best for your children. So many intelligent people just "don't get it".
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#26 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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I can see her speaking up if you guys ate at rotten ronny's daily, or your house was infested with bugs nad rodent due to mess, or if educating your children involved illegal activity like how to run a grow op.
I disagree -- except about the illegal activity. Even if the OP's family DID eat at rotten ronny's daily, or have bugs and rodents in the house, it would still be rude and intrusive for the SIL to behave in the way that she did.

OP, . Your SIL DOES sound like a real UA violation. And yes, I did have some judgmental attitudes before I had kids, to the point where a relative once had to let me know that I was overstepping my boundaries, and that the decision we were discussing was hers and her husband's to make, not mine.

You know what? Ignorant and childless as I was, when my relative made it clear that I was annoying her, I shut up about the issue (except when self-righteously commiserating with my friends, who didn't have contact with this relative), and accepted that she was the parent, not me.

When your dh let this woman know she was over-stepping her boundaries, she just kept right on going. She didn't have sense to drop the issue. This is different from just being the "perfect parent" because you don't have any kids yourself. This is total disrespect for other people.

And your SIL's problem is HER problem. Don't make it yours!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#27 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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I always wonder what the heck these people are afraid of.

Honestly, I think it would be best to take the high road and not respond any more to her. If she comes out with something judgmental again, just stop it and tell her it is simply a taboo subject.

Oh, it would be so fun to get snarky though. Hmm, is she afraid when she asks your kids "how is school going?" they might actually tell her something interesting - instead of "we chased girls in the playground and learned to take our hoods off inside" (verbatim from my recently PS'd son).

I'm not trying to be harsh , but for some reason you let what you know to be absurd comments dig at you though. Be secure in yourself and let the junk flow where it belongs - into the trash and not your world.

Best of luck!
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#28 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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isn't it just lovely when relatives tell you how to do things the right way?

i am sorry your SIL has chosen to attack your ways. What a PITA it is to have that in your life. What you both choose to do is *your* choice. Nobody else has a say. Sheesh!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#29 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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I also agree with the OP. Many good ideas here....

You also might mention to her the next time you hear from her, "They make all kinds of alternative solution undergarments, and you would be happy to put her in touch with some info. on how to get those tight panties out from up her backside, because they are obviously impairing her otherwise reasonable judgement."

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself, just went a couple of rounds with mom and sil earlier today too. Check my siggy on how we deal with this. HTH
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#30 of 51 Old 12-23-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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I'm almost tempted to ask your last name, cuz I'm pretty sure we have the same SIL.


~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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