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Everything posted by Sahamamama

  1. This book is like that, though. I remember reading it in my tweens, and just not "getting it." Then in college, I had a professor who adored (like, practically worshiped) C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. She taught a course in their literature, but my schedule always seemed to conflict with it, so I never had that course. But I had her for other courses, and we used to chat after class. Anyway, she talked me into reading all their books again. For some reason, in my twenties, I liked the books better than I had in my tweens or teens. And they stuck with me, in ways that many other books did not. In particular, I came back to LotR when I was going through cancer treatment, C.S. Lewis while raising young children, and will probably come back around to L'Engle in my fifties. Give your boys some time. They may surprise you! :) Can you believe it? I hated The Hobbit when I was eleven. "Stupid book," I said. Silly me. :blushing:
  2. I was tired, but we did it all, LOL. I even decided to beat back the fatigue with exercise -- 10 minutes stretching, 20 minutes weights, 30 minutes super-cardio (don't be too impressed, I can't even run yet). But I was faster on the treadmill than I have been, so I think that "resting" this morning was a wise idea. For some reason, I couldn't get the engine turned over this morning. My endocrinologist put my Armour down way low two months ago. We told him it would be too low, but he wanted to begin there again, because I was messed up over the summer. I need to call him tomorrow and let him know I'm starting to feel it. Sinking fast, oh boy. I feel it first in my executive function -- like, I'm standing at the counter, trying to decide what to do with the carrot peels. For five minutes. Should I wash them and give them to the rabbits, or throw them away? Or peel the apples first, and then throw it all away? That is so annoying, you can't even imagine. I know I'm doing it, but powerless to just DO this or that. Total stall. I can feel the brain drain, too, from putting that kind of effort into what ought to be wham-bam decisions. This morning, I was staring at my socks and thinking through how to put them on. Sigh. Somehow, working out didn't happen just then. After the fog starts, my back begins to feel like it's on fire, starting in the same group of muscles, every time. Then the muscle knots. Then the greater fatigue, against which no willpower will ever overcome. I told my husband, "If I can't figure out how to call Dr. S. tomorrow...." He interrupted and said, "I'm calling him, and that's final." Dr. S. knows that my husband is my safety net, so when he calls, it's because I'm cognitively impaired to some extent. BUT, we did manage to finish today's work for Science, Bible, Reading, Math, Grammar, Composition, Spelling, Vocabulary/Roots, French, and Piano Practice. :) Plus laundry, plus cleaning (vacuumed the whole upstairs), plus I cooked three great meals for everyone! I'm not a slacker, I'm just hormonal. :lol: I'm also going up now to get ready for bed. Good night.
  3. I don't want to hijack this thread, but since Saxon-lovers are here already.... :blushing: If you wanted to (perhaps) transition from CLE Math (which we very much like) to Saxon (which we tried once in 3rd grade and didn't like -- we used Intermediate 3), when would you make that switch? My oldest daughter (6th grade this year, in CLE 600 series) would like to accelerate the CLE pace this year, so that by the end of 6th grade, she will have finished 705. Then, next year for 7th grade, the plan was to do the rest of the 700s and all of the 800s (except 701 and 801). She's nearly done with 603 now, and it's the end of September. If you've used CLE and/or Saxon, when do you think would be a good time to move to Saxon? I ask this because Saxon seems to have more "helps" than CLE in the upper levels. For example, there are DIVE CD-ROMs and also online courses (I think) using Saxon, whereas with CLE, it's the student, the text, and the teacher. So if we don't understand it, there is not really a back up with CLE. And Saxon seems to go farther in Math than CLE at this point (from what I understand). FWIW, my daughters (all three) really like the no-nonsense, get it done, incremental, built-in-review approach of CLE Math. If Saxon is similar, it may be a good fit, but I'm still a little gun-shy. :001_unsure:
  4. So this was a GREAT success! I used to take school work on trips, too, back in the days when I thought that was realistic, LOL. Now, I would view the hours of playing Monopoly as the best of the best of the best, and leave the school work home. We went to California for a MONTH last year. Took no school work. The girls played endless games of this and that with relatives, swam in the Pacific Ocean, hiked along the coast and in the mountains, went to museums and parks, ate great Middle Eastern food (in-laws are Egyptian), and learned some life lessons along the way (my MIL hates me, for example). They learned about hanging in and making the best of hard situations, how to travel a bit, and how to jump back into things when we returned to our own lives. The only thing we practiced out there was the choir music the girls would have to sing two days after coming home. And patience. We practiced lots of patience. Welcome back! :)
  5. I'm tired this morning. Why? I went to bed on time. I think I slept well. It could be the grayness of the day. We had bright, sunny, beautiful weather for at least 10 consecutive days. We were out in it every day. Today we are fogged in, but this is equally beautiful to me. I call these "Gray & Green Days." Love them. But... overall, I do better with sunshine. I need a Happy Light, perhaps. I still enjoy a rainy day, though. It works out so well that today is also Mandatory Nap Day, LOL. My girls need one nap per week, or they start to drag through everything. One nap + one early bedtime seems to do the trick. Anyway, we have Bible and Science in the morning, followed by the usual line-up of Independent Work and Tutor Time -- Math, Grammar, Spelling/Vocabulary (student's choice), Composition, Bible Memory/JBQ (student's choice), French (student's choice of assignments), Independent Reading (student's choice), and Piano/Recorder/Choir practice (student's choice). See how much choice they have? But nap is still mandatory. ;)
  6. I don't think so, but she does do that when we rub her jaw. This, I think, was a genuine snore. It was so adorable! She is our most vocal rabbit. She grunts, she squeaks, and, apparently, she snores. And she tooth purrs. :) Mr. Speckles Thumper (a dwarf lion mane, white with black spots and little black ears, so cute) does his fair share of snuffling, squeaking, and grunting when we pick him up. He is hilarious, and super alert. He thumps whenever we put a hot pan into the sink and it sizzles. He predicts the weather -- seriously, he starts to thump before thunderstorms. One night, I was here at the computer, and it was windy out. Speckles started to thump like mad. He wouldn't do that for no reason, you know? So, I moved the cages back from the window, got a flash light, and just then the power went out. The next morning, we learned that a small tornado had ripped right down the back strip of the neighborhood, tearing up large trees and damaging things and moving our neighbor's boat all the way down his driveway (it landed in the road)! We had little damage, except for a few dead branches that fell down, but Mr. Speckles is now our reliable weather-bunny. His fur is the softest and tickles like crazy. Clover Mae is our sweet, quiet, all-white rabbit. That may sound boring, but she is so sweet, she makes up for it. You could hold her for an hour, and she would just fall asleep in your lap. Many nights, when my husband is away and the girls are in bed, I hold her while I type one-handed (here). So if I make typos, blame Clover. I never in a million years would have thought that a rabbit could be so interesting and have so much individual temperament. Who would guess, when their brain is like the size of, what, a walnut? a peanut? a lentil? LOL. Then again, I wouldn't have known the adventure that is TWINS, unless I had my own set. Now, I think everyone should have a set of twins. Share the adventure! :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly:
  7. Latin past Prima Latina. Well, I'm not sure my oldest hated Latina Christiana I, but she didn't want to continue to the next level. It wasn't a hill to die on for me (this year, at least), so I let her decide. She'd rather focus on French. That said, all three girls do seem to enjoy studying word roots. We're using English from the Roots Up 1, only the cards. Yard work. I used to enjoy doing yard work, until I tried to get my children to join me. Out of the three, one hates yard work (bugs, sweat, dirt, oh my!), one will tolerate it, and another is my willing helper at all times and in any weather. Rather than fight it, I tend to simply assign lots of other onerous chores to those who will not happily help in the yard. If you don't want to rake and pull weeds, out in the sunshine and fresh air, that's okay. There are several tubs and toilets to clean. :nopity:
  8. Monday 9/26 Everything went well today. We did our chores and school work in the morning. We saw a large fox trot across the back yard. We saw the black cat with white socks, stalking vermin by the swimming pool. We saw the pinto gallop across the back field. It's a wonder we got anything else done! As I was cleaning up breakfast, the girls practiced their pianos (with headphones). I thought I heard humming, so I asked them to please stop (I can't stand humming all day long). "We're not humming, Mommy." Hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm. I still heard it. Maybe it's the doves on the roof? Went outside. No doves. Came back in. Still heard humming. It was coming from the rabbit cages. Yes, one of the rabbits, Blossom Joy, was so sound asleep, she was snoring. :001_wub: My parents came up around 11:30 am, and we had a lovely visit with them. Last week in our church's midweek ministry for kids, my twins made sets for playing kubb. While I was inside today, preparing lunch, the girls set up the kubb game and played with my mother. So I look out the window and see my mom (who is 80) playing kubb with all three kids, while my father (who is 84) was taking a sun nap. ;) After that, we had lunch (taco salad), then my mom gave each of the girls a piano lesson (she's teaching them whenever we're together). Then my mom cleaned me out of all the things I have purchased (so far) for the girls' Christmas presents. We do this every year. I get the stuff, set it up on the table with prices, and she gets what she wants. After the "Christmas shopping," we chatted the whole afternoon, while the girls crocheted or played games with my father. My husband came home this evening very happy about his work day. He is now making me some herbal tea. What can I say, ladies, he's mine. :001_wub: This was a perfect day. :)
  9. Most of the time, for the Genuinely Curious, I respond as you did, sort of "yes and no." I agree with you, that question is too complicated to answer meaningfully, without telling our story, and most people are not actually asking for that. They are simply on the outside, peeking in, and they wonder what it's like inside. So what I usually say is, "It depends on how a parent defines homeschooling, for herself and for her children, and what level of effort she believes ought to go into it. For us, yes, it is hard work -- for the girls and for me -- but then so is a good life in general. We hope we can go right on homeschooling." With someone considering homeschooling, I would probably still begin with the above statement, then see what follows from there. I like to give others the benefit of the doubt -- that they want what is best for their children. No one knows a child like a parent, you know? I think we need to begin with letting "newbies" or "wannabees" talk about their children, for it is from this that the most effective friendships and mentoring can flow. Who are these kids? Why do their parents think homeschooling will serve them best? IMO, this is a better way to begin, rather than launching into particular materials, curriculum, or co-ops, however much devotion (or revulsion) we have for them. ;) I might also mention some observations I've made over the years about the impact of number, spacing, and special needs of the children*; a family's available resources**; a parent's health and personal habits***; and God's calling+. * Number, spacing, and special needs of the children -- In this area, I feel as though my situation is the "easiest," out of all that I've seen. We have three healthy, neurotypical children, less than two years apart, all girls. I've watched my friends with only or "only" children (who may have older siblings, but are the only one at home), and I've watched my friends with several children spaced farther apart, or with boy-girl-boy-girl distributions. From my perspective, their situation seems harder. For one thing, I am only teaching two grade levels each year (the twins are neck-and-neck). For another, we do so much as a group. I try to imagine teaching, say, 8th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, and K all at once, and I'm like :leaving: . I'm not implying anything about such spacing, or number of children, or having both sons and daughters, or special needs -- except to say that I think it's easiest with two or three closely spaced children. This definitely impacts my daily existence, LOL! Two years ago, I babysat an energetic toddler for one day, as a favor to a friend. In the morning, the girls were all like, "Oh, we wish we had a baby brother!" By evening, they were all like, "Oh, Mommy, promise us you will not get pregnant." :lol: ** Family's resources -- In this area, we may be somewhere in the middle, so to speak. We are not able to enroll the girls in online or outside courses, but at the same time, we can always purchase good quality materials to use at home. This does create a certain kind of homeschooling environment, one that we have come to enjoy and embrace. While some families we know have their kids in multiple online classes, private tutoring, music lessons, sports, co-ops, and so on, we are at home, probably working on composition or math. If we were truly destitute, I would feel my primary responsibility to be helping to make ends meet. I would go out to work, and the kids would go to school. As it is, having to be somewhat frugal seems to increase the number of things that I either (1) drop (hello, Latin) or (2) directly teach (everything else). For now, this is working out well. *** Parents' health & personal habits -- For me, personally, this area was for a long time woefully neglected. I put my own health last. No longer. I decided this summer that my daughters need a living mother, more than they need a dead language. Something had to go, so it was Latin. If a parent's health is in some way a challenge, this doesn't mean the family can't pursue homeschooling. I do think that poor health makes everything harder. As to good habits, IMO, it is important to go to bed on time, to get up in the morning, to get to work, to establish good routines for learning. I think the parent is responsible for initiating these in the home. + God's calling -- The crux of it is, "Is God calling you to homeschool your children?" If he is, then he will make a way for the diligent disciple to do well with it. He will strengthen, provide, give wisdom, teach, and help us along the way. He will do a work within our hearts and in our children's lives that no amount of knowledge alone could do.
  10. Sunday 9/25 Worship at church Play outside, free time, crafting, bunnies Tea & conversation Monday 9/26 Regular chores, meals, laundry, pets, exercise, etc. School Work -- Science Morning, Composition, Math Grandparents' Visit Tuesday 9/27 Regular chores, meals, laundry, pets, exercise, etc. School Work -- TBD Afternoon Nap Wednesday 9/28 Regular chores, meals, laundry, pets, exercise, etc. School Work -- TBD Church midweek Thursday 9/29 Regular chores, meals, laundry, pets, exercise, etc. School Work -- TBD Choir Practice Friday 9/30 Regular chores, meals, laundry, pets, exercise, etc. School Work -- TBD Family Movie Night Saturday 10/1 High school football game -- go to watch our niece/cousin march in her marching band :)
  11. Several years ago, we tried BA 3A (but had also purchased 3B). My daughter hated it. She didn't care for the monsters, didn't like the busyness of the pages, didn't want to have to wade through cartoon strips to find the math teaching, and strongly expressed a desire for a "just tell me the facts" approach to math. I agreed with her wholeheartedly. I disliked BA, too. We went with CLE Math (from the Mennonites), which is probably about as far away from Beast as you can get.
  12. Our neighbors on the other side have about 20 guinea hens. It's a good thing we love the sounds they make, because we hear those all day and half the night. :) And yet another neighbor has a crazy donkey. Hilarious. It's like Noah's ark, all spread out. And behind the horses on the farm behind us (!) is a good-sized dairy farm. The cows and calves in the spring are a regular chorus of bawlers. The neighbor across the road has sheep, another has goats, and yet another has more horses. We have no garden, no crops, and three house rabbits. :lol: I guess we're still city folks. :blushing: We just look at the wildlife, we don't raise it, kill it, hunt it, pluck it, or eat it. People seem to think of NJ as a super-city (with mafia, oooooo), and some of it is, but I just laugh when I hear the stereotypes. Yeah, yeah, Doll. Waddayouse want fuh suppah? Crack cocaine or corn-n-tuh-may-tuhs? The corn-and-tomatoes for supper is classic (South) Jersey, but the rest is NYC. We do have drugs, sadly. All around and right under our noses, trafficked right up through the state. I'd rather have snakes. Anyway... back to the point here, ahem. :blushing: Today's agenda: Friday 9/23 Regular chores, meals, laundry, exercise, pets, hygiene, etc. Some extra cleaning -- the girls need to work in their rooms and work a bit harder on doing their chores thoroughly School Work -- Science, Composition, Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling, Math (review), Bible (review), Assigned Independent Reading, Literature (read aloud), Piano/Recorder Practice (their choice), Composer Study, Choir Homework Friday Fun -- tie-dye our autumn T-shirts; fruit smoothies (for the girls; I get a kale shake) :)
  13. Agriculture/food production is our third largest industry: http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/facts/ Our nickname is "The Garden State." Our farms feed Philadelphia and New York City. Where I live (NW NJ), we have signs on some roads that say, "WARNING: Active Bear Area." http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm They do live here, but we haven't had them on our property (that we know of). I've never seen tracks or scat, in any case. We have (once) seen them in the woods nearby, a mother and two cubs. Some people get black bears in their swimming pools. My cousins had to watch out for their little dogs. You really can't leave garbage out, but why would you do that in the country, anyway? Even when we lived in the city, we had raccoons and skunks all the time! One summer night, my husband and I were relaxing in the living room, with the front door open. I heard a sound on the front porch, looked up, and there was a large raccoon, just standing on his hind legs and checking us out (through the screen door). He stood there quite a while, then ambled down the steps, across the street, and into the woods. Early one morning, on his way to work, my husband was almost sprayed by a skunk hiding under his car. He came back in the house, all out of breath. "What's wrong?" "There's a skunk under my car!" LOL. Those were the days. :laugh: Life in the city. Now, out here in the boonies of NW NJ, we have all of that and more. Snakes. Assassin bugs. Black bears. Peacocks! Turns out, the neighbors across the road have peacocks. If you haven't heard the call of a nearby male peacock, in the dark, at the end of your driveway, while you're checking the mail with your tiny, 50-lumen flashlight, you haven't lived. Better than Alfred Hitchcock. Clears out sinuses, and all sorts of other things.
  14. We had a pretty good day. Someone is still struggling a bit, but we're working through it. Kids had choir practice. That's about it for our news. :)
  15. :leaving: That would do me in, too. I don't want to deal with a snake. My mother is even worse. She runs when she sees a snake on television. :laugh: We have about 24 species of snakes here, and two are venomous, the Northern Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake. You wouldn't expect to see a rattlesnake in New Jersey, now would you? http://www.wildlifecontrolexperts.com/snakes.htm We seem to have a steady population of Eastern Black Rat Snakes here on our property, all of which were discovered by me while doing yard work. This is part of why I now decline to do yard work. I feel that, in all fairness, I need to let my husband have his own opportunities for finding the snakes.
  16. Going by your photo, Critter, I think the school work is going to get a bit wet. Or muddy. Or both. Just sayin'.
  17. Yeah, it's a lifestyle. When my husband came home one day and said, "I'm going to Oregon for three weeks, and I'm leaving in two days," I was like :svengo: . Then I went straight to the laundry room and put in a load of his clothes, inventoried the food and toilet paper and handed him a shopping list, checked the gas level in the van, asked him if the bills were paid, etc., etc., etc. Off he went, three weeks away, but he did bring back some very nice blackberry jam! :) It's harder if he's in another time zone, especially Pacific (we're on the East Coast). We haven't done anything international yet. I think that with his "new" job now, he won't be traveling as much, thank God. I admit it, I was starting to wear out a bit. When it's just the girls and me, day after day after day, I feel like I'm not "enough." I begin to feel sorry for my kids, stuck with their tired, old mother all the time. Their father is the lively one, LOL. He's :biggrinjester: and :thumbup1: . I'm :toetap05: and :nopity: . Out of necessity, I think, but I don't know that a child could see it that way. Hang in there, Happy Smiley. This, too, shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass. :laugh:
  18. For Bible survey, I like William Hendriksen's classic text, Survey of the Bible. http://www.christianbook.com/survey-of-the-bible/william-hendriksen/9780801054150/pd/9674?event=ESRCG Berean School of the Bible also offers affordable courses, including one in OT Survey and another in NT survey. You might have to call them to see a catalog without having registered. I couldn't find a link to a course catalog. https://www.globaluniversity.edu/berean_bible_doctrine.cfm https://www.globaluniversity.edu/berean_costs.cfm HTH. Edited to add link for the catalog: https://www.globaluniversity.edu/admissions_catalogs.cfm BIB 212 New Testament Survey (description on page 24) BIB 214 Old Testament Survey (description on page 24)
  19. I highly recommend Garga's blog posts, but warn you to swallow your coffee before you read them. ;)
  20. I would simply suggest that, if you have not yet seen and previewed the books, that you do so. See if your library has them, and then spend some time reading the books. Hakim has a writing style that I don't care for, especially in a science text. She also puts forth a worldview that may clash with what you're used to in Apologia. I previewed all three books over the summer. I did not find them as engaging as I thought they would be, for all the rave reviews, but that could be because I have never really enjoyed her writing style. I'm looking forward to seeing what others suggest as alternatives.
  21. Oh, and we had a great day today. Science Morning was a smashing success. Composition and Math went well. Independent work was accomplished. Twins took a short nap, no complaints. Oldest had a quiet time, no complaints. Meals were good, kitchen is cleaned up, bunnies are nibbling hay, kids are in bed. My herbal tea is brewing, and hubby wants to chat, so I'm signing off. Tonight is Early Bedtime for All People. No tears all day.
  22. Yes, I am quoting myself. Okay.... here it is. My admission. When someone asks me, "Would you like to make meals for new mothers?" I have to resist the urge to say, "No, thanks, but if you have a meal ministry for tired, old mothers, I would like to sign up for that. I'm doing low-carb these days, and I can't digest raw garlic. Sauteed garlic is fine."
  23. Hey, this sounds like my life! :) Welcome to my crazy world. It's an adventure here. My hubby does this all the time. You kind of get used to it, more or less. We had to finally just decide to proceed with our plans, whether he is here or not. We also have to make plans that we can actually handle, indefinitely, when he is gone, because we never know when he will come home. He does come home, we just never know when. So I leave a lot of margin. A lot of margin. Survival Tip #1 is "leave a wide margin." Would I like to help out with the children's ministry at church? No, thanks. Would I like to help out with the prison ministry? No, thanks. Would I like to join a small group or Bible study? No, thanks. Would I like to make meals for new mothers? Sometimes yes, but mostly, no. Do I sign the kids up for tons of activities? Nope. Only church midweek (which is my sanity break) and choir (which I am willing to do because the girls like it). Do I plan field trips and outings? Not many. We are home, we work at home, we can handle life at home better than we can if we are running all over the place. Have we ever joined a co-op or cottage classes? Never, and with our life the way it is, we never will. He leaves for six days, you get to do ALL THE THINGS. All. So pace yourself, and use quiet times/naps to your advantage, if you can. You can't wear out, when your husband is in Mexico, KWIM? There is no cavalry coming to help me, I learned that a long time ago. I do pray, and God does help me, but human help-wise, it's all on me when he's gone. Hence, the margins. It's okay, though. Our resilience and determination can grow, like anything else. Keep it all as simple as you can, and you will be okay. HTH. :grouphug: Edited to add: Also, if this becomes a regular occurrence, you can teach your children to help you with "all the things." :) Laundry round-up, trash round-up, meal jobs, meal clean up, dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, stocking things around the house, cleaning sinks, bringing in and putting away groceries, simple yard work, folding and putting away laundry, caring for pets, personal hygiene, independent school work, and so on. Even when my husband is home, I insist that the girls continue with their chores, because if he's home too long (he's very helpful), and they get out of the habit, it's harder when he does disappear for me to carry the load alone. So when he's home, I'll ask him to help with BRAWNY and MANLY things, like, "Could you please carry the air conditioner down the stairs, Dear?" My nine year old can't do that! :laugh: She can unload the dishwasher.
  24. Thanks, Critter, I needed to hear all that. Now that I think about it, my oldest had the same reaction to Math about two years ago (4th). Now my twins will (at times, not always) become instantaneously frustrated with Math when something doesn't immediately click. I think there must be something about the age? Anyway, we talked about it yesterday, and I think today we can move forward. Now for my oldest (6th), it's Composition that brings on tears of frustration (at times, not always). She wants to get it all in the first draft, even though she knows this isn't how writing works. We talked yesterday about how writing is such a process, how every writer worth her salt gets feedback (I told her about you, waiting on your feedback! :)), and how we grow as writers by being flexible and teachable. We talked about our available options for writing instruction: (1) continue to butt heads; (2) work it out; (3) take an online writing course, e.g., WTMA Writing; or (4) go to middle school. She chose Option #2. :D So far, today is going well. I've exercised, the bunnies are fed, the kids are fed, I am fed, lunch is in the crock pot, supper is lined up, hubby is off to work, the kitchen is clean, and most importantly, I am on my second cup of coffee. Next up, shower, dress, put in some laundry, and get to work. We plan to have a Science Morning -- science video (Chemistry 101), science chapter book (The Mystery of the Periodic Table), science reading (God's Design for Chemistry: POM), and some Hands-On Labs (science tools; metric). After that, we'll work on Composition (oldest), Math (all), piano practice (all), and independent reading assignments (all). Today is mandatory nap day. :rolleyes: Once a week, they still need this. I'm hoping it helps with the emotional regulation, KWIM? If nothing else, it gives them time to be alone and quiet. Sleep or pray; either one is helpful.
  25. Camping in September? Aren't you in Canada? Isn't it like 40 below something up there already? http://www.explore-mag.com/the-top-25-campsites-in-canada (I'm sure it's beautiful, wherever you are). :D
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