Saturday, January 5, 2019


It has been years since I have been here.  Facebook surely killed my blog, and Instagram has severely  wounded Facebook.  But even with all of that, I have returned to the place where my head might literally explode if I don’t get some of the words out so here I am.  Life is drastically different than what is says in my current “profile” and it will take a while to get all caught up.  We have lived many books worth of material since the last time I was here, and time will tell if I keep this up enough to get some of it out there.  Jonathan is grown and living in Pennsylvania  with a sweet girl named Kylie.  He is a front desk supervisor at the Westin Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Pittsburgh.  Madi is only months away from graduating from USF with her BSW.  She is in LOVE with a great guy from CHWC.  Our life has been an endless stream of initials... BSP, FTC, FPEA, FPMA... most of them no longer apply and new ones have taken their place.  Jake is the only child left at home (sometimes...more on that will surely spill out eventually), and he is a publicly schooled sophomore who plays the trombone.  He is not far from getting his license.  When I started this blog a decade and a half ago, I had to type from the stationary desktop through the dialup internet.  I am currently lounging on the love seat typing this frantically with the thumb of my right hand from my phone.  If I actually revive this thing thoughts on us currently inhabiting the dystopian world where we all live inside of our “devices” will surely come out.  Other topics will include the fine line between giving young parents the advice they want to hear and the information I have actually gleaned from 23 years of parenting (and 38 years of scrutinizing families); why I hate politics but am prouder than ever to not align with either major political party; an epic saga about 10 siblings and the reasons some of them sometimes live at our house; lots of stories about why parents need to actually have a relationship with their kids that encourages them to make wise decisions instead of relying on random adults to police said children (depending on when I get back to this I might have no earthly idea what this even means, but it was currently the impetus for me to dust off this old blog and spew words out into the atmosphere); and a plethora of why I could get so much more accomplished in life if I didn’t live so much of it in my head where I try unsuccessfully to apply logic and reason to situations that defy those things.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rough Draft Rambling

I guess if you are going to write you need to start somewhere.  I was going to start this the way I've started every post in the last year and a half and be like, well maybe I'll write something, but that's getting a little old.  Like all the other times I've written lately (by all I mean about four) (by lately I mean about a year and a half), I just found myself with the computer on my lap and an abundance of thoughts in my head so I figured I'd give it a shot.  Like everything else, you just have to jump in.  If at first facebook killed the blog, texting, especially group texting, has put the nail in the coffin.  When I have something that might be considered interesting to share I have different group texts and share with the people who I think will find that most interesting.  For instance as I'm typing this, I am also in a group text with friends discussing the most popular up and coming baby names.  For the most part they aren't names at all but a collection of letters thrown together intermixed with a couple words that how now become names like Briar, Wilder, and Ridge.  I could send the screen shot of these names that I've shared with my friends, but that would involve sending the picture to my computer via email and all together too much work so sorry, you'll just have to google it yourself.

The day before yesterday was Star Wars Day, I texted a different group of friends a couple of Catholic/ Star Wars memes (that word looks like the name my kids call my mother, but it doesn't sound that way).  Again it would be too much trouble to share them here, so again you've out of luck. So what am I here for?  I'm not sure exactly.  The only readers I ever had were friends anyway I usually see this people in real life and I can tell them my thoughts the ole fashioned way you know, with words.  Or I can text them or facebook them or instagram them (or even snapchat or twitter Both of which I have, but do not communicate with), so why blog? 

That is the question isn't it?  I spent a while a few weeks ago looking through old blog posts for  the days were parenting was more physically hands on.  I guess a good reason to keep blogging might be to show that even as parenting becomes much less physically hands on, there is still plenty to say about it.  Jonathan is quickly approaching 21.  He still sleeps at home each night, but between work and school (and sleeping) he's not around that much.  Madi is all done with school and officially graduates in 23 days.  I'm doing my best to not cry every second.  She will be living at the University of South Florida in Tampa in the fall.  She is raking in the scholarships, has a nice boyfriend, and is living the dream life right now.  Jake and the two boys we carpool to school with are in our backyard playing basketball right now even though it's only 1:30.  Jake only goes to school for two periods of band, one of the other boys only goes for three periods and does the rest on virtual school.  The third boy usually goes all day, but came home at 11:30 today, just because.  Come to think of it all my kids are living the dream life right now.  Jonathan gets to work at the happiest place on earth, Jake does a lot of band, a little theatre, and one lesson of math each day and that's pretty much school.  Having tow "grown and done that" kids I know that this is enough for Jake right now.  We talk all the time so the rest of his education is of the "talk schooling" variety.

I still haven't written much here regarding the passing of my brother, Rob, in September.  Two weeks ago my friend of seventeen years, Pam, joined Rob in heaven.  I'm having a hard time with that one too.  Most of the time I'm "fine" and then will randomly "lose it".  Like the other day when the computers were down and I was unable to get my free salad a chick fil a.  I literally almost cried.  There was more to the story, but we'll leave it at that.  (Maybe I texted you about it.)

Well I don't want to overwhelm you with too much information so I'm going to end for now.  See you later.  Maybe...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Well it's certainly been a long time

As usual I have been thinking about writing without actually doing it.  This morning I needed my computer to print out bookclub discussion questions (more on that soon).  There are five windows open on my computer right now.  Only this one is mine.  I don't want to close any of them because I'm not really sure who needs what.  There are so many ways that this could be a metaphor for my actual life.  Not the least of which is "only one is mine". This morning I woke up to the sound of the garbage truck.  A quick look out the window confirmed what I'd suspected...our garbage was not out.  And so the garbage will stew another week.  The turkey carcass (doesn't everyone have turkey as soon as November hits because you just can't wait for Thanksgiving?) and the carved Halloween pineapple (Madi's doing) will not be driven away in the big truck until next Thursday.  So to recap, the garbage did not get picked up, I was supposed to tutor this morning and now I'm not (maybe more on that too, we'll see), Jake usually has band at the school from 9-11:30 (Advanced band and Jazz band) today he does not, instead he will play for a pep rally from 3-4 (4ish, we're a little unsure, he is currently visiting neighbors and making phone calls trying to figure out how and when he can get a ride home).  Speaking of phone calls, Jake now has an iphone (go ahead, judge away). 

Ok let's get back to bookclub (I like that to be one word like breastfeeding and homeschooling --blogger is not too fond of that, but it does accept breastfeeding and homeschooling as one word (well not all together)-- you're welcome!)  Jake and Joe (and Tiffany and I) have a little bookclub where we try to read all the sunshine state recommended books.  Today we are meeting to discuss three of them.  Here's another metaphor for my life, we can't seem to get it together to discuss them one at a time, so knocking out three at once is the best way.  I'm pretty sure Tiffany and Joe are done with a fourth.  We are not. 

Jake is now back in the house, he does have a ride home, he's got music and talking going on and I had to move to the next room to even be able to concentrate on writing this desperately pathetic blog post.  There are too many windows open in my brain remember?  Sometime in the near future I might write a tribute to my brother, Rob, who lost his fight with melanoma two months ago.  That will definitely need more focus than I have right now, but I felt like I couldn't blog at all until I at least mentioned it.  Eventually I might write more about Madi being in the throes of college admission/ scholarship applications etc and how I am trying desperately to not lose it every time I think about how she will not actually be living at home this time next year.  Now "living a home" is of course a relative term around here because while Jonathan does indeed still live at home, what that means on many days is that he gets home from working at Disney at 3am, sleeps until noon, and leaves for work again around 3pm.  There are many variations on this, but that is a fairly typical day.  Yesterday Jake and I went to Disney after band.  In the evening we met up with Jonathan (who had just gotten out of work on a rare day shift) and Mike (whom Jonathan "let in" with his employee privileges) for dinner, then we met up with friends/ relatives visiting from Connecticut.  Madi had left home at 7:30 for all day dual enrollment classes at Lake Sumter.  After about 30 minutes at home in the afternoon, she had theatre and then a class at church.  She ended up getting home at about 10pm, so really living at home is kind of a relative term for her as well. 

While I am not really getting anywhere with anything actually going on around here, I'd like to think I'm doing a fairly good job at describing how I'm not really getting anywhere with anything actually going on around here in reality.  Time is flying so quickly and I'm just barely trying to keep up.  Because so much of Jonathan and Madi's lives go on outside of the house and away from me, I do have physical time to do some other things (mental time is a whole different story).  I have been tutoring a girl that is doing full time virtual school due to a medical condition.  It can be a challenge, but the financial compensation is significant.  She isn't feeling well today, so I am not there right now, but remember how I mentioned that Disney dinner last night?  Well I already spent the money I was supposed to be making today.  Bad idea!  I have also had a little time to try to figure out what I might want to do when I am no longer a homeschooling mother.  I really like learning stuff and teaching it to other people.  That's what I want to continue to do as I "grow up".  I am thankful every day for Jake and that I don't have to make any "career" decisions right now because I am not done with him yet.  Jake is 13.  Thirteen, in the past, has been a rough year.  Jake and I are in a good flow right now and spend a good amount of time with just each other.  I told him thirteen was going to be a good year for him.  I plan to remind him of that everyday.  He's been enough of a challenge most of the rest of his life.  He owes us a good thirteen. 

In addition to the tutoring, I am involved in quite a few things at church.  A typical week will find me there on Monday evenings, Tuesday evenings, one Wednesday evening a month (not including if I have to bring Jake there for his Wed class and Madi can't be there {as opposed to last night when Madi was there and Jake was not}), Thursday evenings, and of course Sundays.  Oh and one Friday morning a month for a mom's group.  (plus occasional mornings for daily Mass) Yes, we are still Catholic.  I know that schedule doesn't look very Catholic.  Maybe someday I'll blog about some of the things that I am doing there some of the time. 

My computer with all the open windows just told me to plug in to a power source.  Do you think that also might be a metaphor for my life?  Or yours?  Think about that one for a while.  Maybe I'll be back with more words of wisdom in another four months. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's summer

I'm sitting here in my newly painted front room (we did it ourselves), a storm is brewing, and I've got my laptop in my lap and I had the strangest thought...maybe I'll blog today!  I just got the time hop app (is it app or just ap?) on my phone yesterday.  Today it told me that two years ago today Madi was on her way to work her first day of summer camp at the rec. (that was incidentally also the last time Madi has eaten meat, the app didn't remind me of that, she did) The app told me that two minutes after Madi had stuck her head in to my room to say she was on her way to work (same place different year, different color shirt).  Time hop also told me that one year ago today Jake had his first day of band camp.  This was what I was looking at when Jake came bounding into my room to remind me that we needed to take a ride down to Orlando to pick up the book he needed for  band camp today.  More incidentallies... We had ordered the books we needed online, but one of them was the wrong version.  On Monday someone told Jake that he could have theirs from last year, on Tuesday that girl didn't show up.  By Tuesday afternoon Jake was sure he was going to get kicked out of two bands if he didn't have the right book on Wednesday.  He called two music stores looking for it.  Let me say this again HE CALLED TWO MUSIC STORES LOOKING FOR IT!!  Jake has no problem playing a funny character on stage in front of 200 hundred people or leading the psalms as a cantor in a full church or even singing two solos completely in Latin as was the case this weekend, but calling someone and asking about a music out.  He was pretty nervous about such a vast endeavor, but he did it and survived.  We got to the music store just before they opened and the $15 book only cost us $5 because I had some kind of a coupon on my account.  All that to say, Madi's still working at the rec and still a vegetarian two years later.  Jake is still in band camp one year later.  Time hop wasn't done yet.  It also reminded me that last year and the year before we were celebrating our little buddy, Dawson's birthday.  He is three years old today and we celebrated with him on Sunday.  Lastly, it reminded me that three years ago on this day we had just gotten back from California.  Eustis Rec...check, band camp...check, Dawson's birthday...check, but sadly we are not in California right now.  We will however be heading for an Alaskan cruise around this time next year, so that's something. 

I picked up a live chicken today.  That is surely something I wasn't doing last year or the year before that or ever in my life.  Friends of ours are away and Madi and I are tag teaming checking on their chickens.  When I went there today one of them jumped out of the coop when I opened the hatch to collect the eggs.  It's a long story and would have made a really funny video that may have even involved a stick and a shovel, but I eventually had to bite the bullet and pick up the chicken with my bare hands to get it safely back into its house.  I swear to you no chickens were actually harmed in the making of this blog post. 

There's the little guy on Sunday.

Maybe I'll be back with pictures from one and two years ago, or maybe I'll be back to blog again in five months.  Right now, I've got to go get Jake from band camp.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I got a bad cold last week.  Friday night we went to stations of the cross at church, and my nose did not stop running.  Thankfully I had a couple of napkins in my pocket, but it was not a pretty picture.  By Saturday, I was down for the count.  We were a part of a big youth room re-do at church while our youth minister was on a retreat (Madi was there as a leader and gave a talk on prayer).  Anyway, I didn't make it to the cleaning and reorganizing of the room or to the theatre to house manage that night.  Sunday I did everything I was supposed to do including church, and picking up Madi etc, more church, and then the big reveal of the now clean and organized, no thanks to me, youth room.  By Monday I was out of commission again.  Now coughing.  Since Tuesday (my FORTY FIFTH birthday), I've been functionally better, but still super lazy tired.  This brings me to right now, Saturday night a week later where I am laying in my bed, under the covers with my laptop... it is only 8:03pm.  This cold, or more likely 45, has hit me like a ton of bricks.  I've read 3 books this week.  They were Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Libray, Leaving Time, and The Mistletoe Promise. I am now reading Left to Tell which I have been borrowing for almost a year and finally finally picked it up today.  (I think I've been a little afraid of reading it.)  I have taken three hot baths today and I'm still sucking down cough drops like they are candy.  I am a limp noodle.  I originally pulled out my laptop to attempt to watch Parenthood on Netflix, but the computer was being too slow.  I've never watched any of that show, but have heard enough good things about it that it has landed on my "someday I might watch" list.  I am thinking The Fosters might also be on that list and maybe Blue Bloods or Breaking Bad.  I am not a Netflix TV watcher generally.  I am more a dvr-ed reruns I've seen a million times watcher.  Jake has gotten me started on Once Upon a Time.  I am almost done with season 1, but I don't think we've watched any of it for two weeks, and considering this has been the laziest week of my life and I still didn't watch that, I'm guessing it'll be slow going.  One bit of good news for my tired old soul is that Jonathan is miraculously only working until 9:15 tonight as opposed to the oft ending times of 1, 2 or 3am.  This is definitely exciting for me.  Madi is also out right now, but another bit of good news, she is just babysitting about 7 houses away, so no late night driving for her.  These are happy times!  

So aside from laziness, what's new?  My father averted a heart attack two weeks ago.  He had a few episodes of chest pains that culminated in a major episode that involved him "white as a ghost" according to my mother, sweating and in intense pain.  They called 911, and both parents spent that night in the hospital.  The next morning I joined them.  My father had a heart cath and they inserted a stent.  The cardiologist said it was not a heart attack (because there was no permanent damage), but angina (which has two acceptable pronunciations).  My father went home the following day.  He is back to work and as good as new.  Speaking of as good as new, my brother is doing fantastic at the moment.  Please keep praying for him, but he's better than he has been in way over a year (even for a long time prior to his diagnosis).  Their family is planning a trip to Florida in April and we could not be happier.  They have not been here since 2006!  Jonathan is going to hook them up with some good Disney deals. 

Jonathan is graduating again this year.  He will get his Associate of Arts degree on May 1st.  His further plans are up in the air.  They will involve work at Disney and a Bachelor's degree from somewhere, but then whens, wheres and hows are not set in stone.  He has gotten quite involved in the theatre productions at Lake Sumter including programming and running lights for their latest show, auditioning for a future show, and even late night karaoke at Applebee's, where he didn't sing, but did witness a bar fight.  A girl who rode space mountain three times the other night gave him her phone number.  Upon hearing the story both Mike and I asked if he was going to call her, and all three kids rolled their eyes because "of course you would never call someone in that situation, but you might text them". 

Madi is perfect at everything except completing her Algebra 2 in a timely manner (well and maybe history and chemistry too), and keeping her room clean.  She is kicking butt in her college classes.  It is so much easier to stay on top of classes when you see the teacher weekly and they are not a virtual person inside the computer (or your mother).  She is such a leader in youth group, such a good babysitter, such a good singer, such a good actress, such a good friend.  A man on her retreat this weekend told me she is "a leader and an encourager".

Jake went on an all day field trip yesterday with the band for a ten minute steel drum performance where he didn't actually get to play the steel drum just some kind of maraca.  From there he went to the down town Georgefest carnival with friends.  Following in his siblings footsteps, he left the house at 8am and returned home at almost 11pm.  This morning he and I got up at 7 so he could have a good breakfast, get all dressed in his band uniform for his first experience as a marching band member only to find out when we got to the school that they were canceling due to potential rain.  The parade went on sans Jake and the marching mustang band.  Since Mike and I were on our cruise during the fall concert, I have yet to see him perform in the band.  Hopefully nothing interferes with the spring concert.  He is unsure about band next year.  In some ways he really loves it, but we are spoiled enough that we are not big fans of all the school rules that are a part of being in a school band.  For example we were told he could bring any kind of back pack on the field trip, but then he had a mini anxiety attack over getting out of the car in the drop off line with a back pack that wasn't see through.  He was afraid the car line security would make an example of him.  Thankfully he made it into the bandroom unscathed.  Also school things like 6th period sometimes being the 6th period of the day and sometimes being the 1st period of the day, with little to no warning, or getting yelled at by said car line security if he tried to get in the car and the car in front of me has just left so now I HAVE TO pull up asap as opposed to Jake just jumping in.  These kinds of things don't happen at drop off for theatre or youth group or whatever.  We like loose rules, not tight ones. 

Prior to Jake's birth and when he was really little, we used to travel a ton with Mike for work.  Part of why we homeschooled from the beginning was so the kids could take advantage of all those trips.  The summer I was pregnant with Jake we went on a six week business trip to the northeast, came home for two weeks, and then went on a two week trip to Texas.  Changes in Mike's job as well as bigger kid commitments like theatre meant that by about 2005 or so we were no longer traveling much.  Well now Mike has a different job and Jake is the one with slightly looser commitments so he will be able to take advantage of some travel coming up.  In a couple weeks Mike, Jake and I will hit the road back to New Orleans (Mike and I spent 4 nights there last month).  Thankfully we were able to convince the big two to lighten their schedules a little and fly out and join us for the second half of the week, I am excited about that.  This summer will be Jake's 13 year old trip to NYC.  Mike's father takes all the grandchildren to New York for their thirteenth birthday where they can more or less do whatever they want.  Jake will be seeing Aladdin on Broadway.  (Madi saw Wicked and Jonathan saw Phantom of the Opera.)  That trip will involve all of us in New England where we are planning on less Connecticut and more New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  Then the farther in the future trip that we are planning is an Alaskan cruise for the summer of 2016.  Yay!!

Well I haven't moved from my spot under the covers, but now at least I can feel like I more or less accomplished something today.  It's all about low expectations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm still here...maybe

I know I'm a broken record (that only seems to play about once a month or less).  Sometimes I really think, yes...I am going to write.  Then I think... about what?  A lot of popular blogs have ongoing themes around cute things their kids say.  That theme doesn't always fly when your kids are 12, 16, and 19.  I read a fair amount of Catholic mom blogs, and am involved in a lot of real life Catholic living, but a lot of that also doesn't translate so well to the blog.  Went to confession on Saturday, Madi sang like an angel on Sunday...not really a page turner.  Some blogs have a lot of pictures of their kids' sports.  Jake's outside shooting hoops right now, but that's about it for that.  Theatre is our "sport", but most of the time I don't even get show pictures or videos up here anymore.  If facebook didn't kill the blog, instagram may have.  This blog started just before a major family illness (Mike, go back and see, I don't want to talk about it).  My father ended up in the hospital last week, and that played out a little on facebook to the tune of dozens and dozens of people praying for him, and only one person (on my fb and another one on my mother's) thinking it was all about them instead of about my father.  But I don't know that that is really big blog business.  I like to write.  I might have time to write, but what?  for whom?  Those are the questions.  I just realized that it is raining and Jake and the neighbor are still outside playing basketball (it's also pretty dark), maybe that would make a funny story, but I don't think I'm going to hash it out now.  Jonathan just texted that he is on his way home and it's Taco least for 3/5 of our family.  I'm going to go make tacos and eat my weight in tacos and junk food cause it's also Fat Tuesday!!  Maybe I'll be around during Lent...we'll see...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dual enrollment

Every time I start a blog post, I am tempted to say, "I am thinking about writing about...blah blah blah..."  I can never seem to write about something, I'm always stuck just thinking about writing about something.  I imagine this is because I'm generally torn between I'm not really a blogger and will probably never write again and I'm almost ready to write that book.  Today I've had a few different conversations that sent me down the path of I might have something to write about.  So here goes.  Jonathan is a homeschool graduate who will finish his associate's degree in May, a year ahead of schedule.  He will eventually get his bachelor's degree, but his plans for when and where are a little up in the air right now.  Madi is a homeschooled junior in her second semester of dual enrollment.  Let me say I am a huge fan of dual enrollment.  I am also a huge fan of the local state college where the dual enrollment (or in Jonathan's case enrollment) takes place.  I think we're well beyond the concerns of not saying our last name or giving away where we live in this space.  I'm pretty sure the three of you that will be reading this already know those things.  So Lake Sumter State College... I love this place.  My kids do too.  One conversation today was with a friend over the merits of AP versus dual enrollment.  The local public schools seem to tell kids that AP is far superior to dual enrollment.  I am pretty sure that as far as classroom rigor goes, this may indeed be the case more often then not.  On the other hand, consider the source.  If you stay at the school and take the AP class (and pass, and pass the test) the school looks good.  If you leave the school grounds to take a class elsewhere, not so much.  I know that there are very good AP classes at the local public schools and I know of plenty of kids to have taken them and will excel in their big name university educations because of it.  I don't deny that.  We have not gone that route.  As homeschoolers dual enrollment makes much more sense and because it is the direction we've chosen I'm here to praise it.  If you google dual enrollment versus AP courses you will see all kinds of pros and cons for each.  Dual enrollment goes more with homeschooling in general.  More freedom to choose the classes you want, when to take them, when to study, etc.  Some local state and community colleges may not be as rigorous as comparable AP classes (lots of online material points to the fact that AP students are usually at the top of their class while entry level college students are not necessarily), but you know what dual enrollment certainly prepares you for college because, guess what? it is college!  One of the websites even said that AP makes more sense for high school students because that class is often taught over a whole year instead of a semester.  Um well in college the whole thing is done in one semester so dragging it out doesn't really sound so superior in my book.  Here's the thing.  This is my same old argument about maybe mastering the more basic material is a better idea than doing harder work and not really "getting it".  Information is out there.  We pretty much all walk around with a small device in our pockets that can give us any information at any time.  Did the Union or the Confederacy win the battle of Shiloh?  I don't know, but I know how to find out really fast.  I do know who won the war though and I know factors that led up to it were around since the founding of our nation, my kids know those things too.  They've read and listened to many books about the Civil War and about lots of other things too.  They know about the battle of Gettysburg and they can almost word for word give the Gettysburg address, they know how long four score and seven years ago is, and they know how to look up any other battle or general or whatever they might need to know about.  Today when Madi and I were discussing her American History and it was time for a quiz, I had her do the matching of the people's names to what they did (who was John Wilkes Booth... kind of important), but had her totally skip the which battle was what part.  When a question of battles comes up on trivia crack, she'll have to make an educated guess and then google it later.  I seem to have gotten off track, but in my mind it is actually the same thing.  After lots and lots of years of homeschooling and turning out some pretty cool kids, I have to say that harder classes are not necessarily better classes.  And dare I say harder classes don't necessarily make you smarter.  My high school physics teacher was a genius.  I don't think I learned anything in that class.  There must have been some kind of a curve though because I must have gotten either an A or a B because that's all I ever got.  I've blogged before about how frustrated I've gotten when people have belittled something that I find worthy educationally because it isn't at a high enough grade level or reading level.  Does something have to be hard to read to give good information?  I don't think so.  I've also blogged at length about how conversation has been one of our main methods of education over the years.  This way of learning is carried out at Lake Sumter.  Jonathan is definitely an auditory learner, it is serving him well in his college classes.  He has been invited into and has joined an honor society phi theta something based on his excelling in his classes.  This is my blog and I've been his main teacher for most of his life, so of course I can say this makes me proud.  But really it's not my thing anymore, now it's his thing.  I really have a grown kid now and another one coming up right behind him (and before I know it that last one will be there too).  Jake at this point is thinking his high school learning will mostly take place inside the school building, so I am in no way saying that our way is the right way or the only way, I'm just saying I feel a little more at liberty to say what worked for us because we can now see that it really did work for us.  And since another one of my conversations today was with a public school mom who is pulling her 10th grader out of school next week, I was able to tell her the ways these things have worked for us, and how this once unconventional way of doing things has now become the thing that so many people want to know more about.  Our early homeschool days would probably be called delayed academics (with a heavy dose of talking), our middle years might be considered a little closer to the school model (but again with a lot more talking), and our later years will definitely be classified as pro-dual enrollment (and yes lots of talking).  Take it or leave it, I have no need to convince anyone of anything, but if you want my opinions on why we do what we do, I'm happy to tell people and maybe even sometimes write a little about it here in this very neglected place.