Self-Care for the Homeschool Mom

self-care for homeschool moms

Self-Care for Homeschool Moms. Are You Taking Care of Everyone but YOU?

As we begin a new homeschool chapter, I have been chewing on what my first educational blog post of the year should focus on. I have many ideas for the future, but the one thing that keeps coming back to me is this — how is mom holding up?

Self-Care for Homeschool Moms, No Matter Your Season

Some of us are “seasoned” homeschoolers, whatever that means. Some of us are just starting out. I think I am in the “half-baked” stage — not done yet, and so I still need some more seasoning. So much to learn, and at times I feel like I need to unlearn some things so that I can have more flavor in our school. Life would be pretty boring if every family school consisted of the same ingredients. It’s something to chew on.

But, as we begin a new year, I am reminded of mom. Most likely, you are the principal teacher in your homeschool. I realize there are exceptions, and I’m not trying to exclude anyone; if this applies to you as dad, grandma, or whomever, then take it to heart. I know it applies to moms.

Self-Care Amidst Your Busy Schedule

As teaching moms, we get excited about new projects, new curriculum, methods of teaching, craft supplies, fun field trips, and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? We drive our troops to music lessons, practices, clubs, counseling sessions, play dates, Bible studies, birthday parties, service opportunities, jobs, and Grandma’s, not to mention the hours at the table, in the garden, reading on the sofa, or in the woods taking nature walks. And then, there’s often a husband who has needs and expectations too!

But, what about you, homeschooling mom? How do you meet your needs? How do you avoid burning the midnight oil to get everything done? How do you avoid burning out because you’re so busy doing good for everyone else that you forget about your own needs?

self-care for homeschool moms

Close to Home: Self-Care for Homeschool Moms like Me!

As I sit here on a Friday afternoon, reminding myself to guzzle more water to battle a nagging UTI, I just want to encourage you — not because I have it all together as a home educator, but because I see a genuine need in all mothers who tend to take on too much. My words to you are these: It is not selfish to take care of your own physical needs. 

Your family needs you, and you are very much aware of that. But, they need you healthy. They need you cheerful, and that’s very difficult to pull off when you’ve stayed up until midnight again. How do I know this? Well, because I’m living it! 

We are instructed to teach our children cause-effect relationships. But, we have to be real with ourselves and realize that bedtime is not just for babies; our bodies need water; and a little exercise and fresh air will do wonders for our attitudes as moms, just as much as for our children.

Home educating is no joke!

It’s not a tea party, and despite what some will think, we do much more than just sit around and do crafts with our children! We have real stresses. We worry about our children’s attitudes and characters — a LOT! We wonder about their futures, and wonder if we are doing it all right, because we don’t have a second chance. Often as we take on all of those unknowns, we find ourselves running around to grab at any perceived learning opportunity, maybe even to the detriment of our peace of mind.

At times, we even burn out, or come close to it! For more on this topic, see Homeschool Seasons, and Courage for the Worn Out Homeschool Mom

So, what is the answer?

I can only share with you what I am learning myself on this enjoyable, yet, exhausting road. These tips are not in any particular order, except for the first one.

bible study
  • We as home educators absolutely need our time with God! I find that I can get so edgy and driven with my children if I don’t have the softening influence of the Holy Spirit for myself! And, praying for my family particularly helps me to look at them differently. •Sometimes I wake up late, in a rush, and find that mid-morning, or sooner, I have to go close myself in my closet with the Lord to regain my perspective, and to just cry out to Him for help. Satan will capitalize on any chink in our armor, so putting on the full armor is so important! This is truly the best gift we can give to our children and husbands — a heart that has met with Jesus and surrendered, so that when we deal with them, we will treat them with grace. 
self-care for homeschool moms, resting
  • Sleep. I can’t say how much youneed, but I know when I need more of it! That’s when I get irritable about little things, feel like weeping over trifles, and start to feel fuzzy in my head the next day. I have gone through times when literally every time I sit down to read with my kiddos, I knock out. A little more sleep is needed! 
  • For me, practically, this means 

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Friday Friendship Feature #2

Friday Friendship Feature—A time to share an Inspiring Read

Sometimes I get to blog hop. I enjoy meeting new bloggers!

This week I stumbled across a wonderful post by Shannon, at From the Hearth.

The reason I enjoyed this read so much was because I see the truth of her words in our own family. I can say that our boys have been blessed with amazing grandparents. Our boys consider them to be among their very best friends. And that makes me very happy.

I really think you will enjoy this article, some of which I have included here. You’ll have to catch the rest over at From the Hearth, and while you’re there, you can see what else they’re up to!

Friday Friendship Feature #2

5 Things I’ve Learned While Watching My Parents Interact with My Kids.

We recently had the pleasure of having my parents visit for a little over a week. My kids adore their Grandma and Mebop (their name for grandpa), so it’s always special when we can all be together.

As I watched my parents interact with my kids during this last visit, I realized that there are a number of life lessons that I can learn from their interactions. Here are 5 of these lessons.


  • It’s often the little things in life that bring the most joy.

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Little Notes… (Am I my Brother’s Keeper?) Reblog

Little notes—Am I my brother’s keeper?

“Dear Mommy…”

What mom doesn’t love to find a little note tucked under her pillow, or between the bed sheets, to find in a quiet moment? Especially from a tender-hearted little boy, who has serious thoughts on his mind? It is enough to melt my heart! ❤️ 

But, when I opened the note, my heart felt sad by what I read: “I saw something bad.”  

I knew what he meant. He’d used this code language with me before. Something bad meant something impure that he’d seen — something that had made his heart and conscience uncomfortable. 💔

Instantly, my momma-bear instincts kicked in, and I began to imagine sordid details of exposure to the enemy that we have so earnestly tried to protect our boys from. Porn. 

When I talked to my son, I found it that it was not online images that he had stumbled upon (after all, we regulate that quite strictly). On occasion, he has written me little notes of things that he’s seen inadvertently while watching something legitimate on the internet with grandparents — those sidebar traps. This time, when I asked him, he seemed more reluctant than usual to tell me. I tried to pry it out of him, which didn’t work, nor did trying to guess. Brick wall. 

“Okay, Lord. You’re going to have to tell me how to handle this one,” I breathed. 

Finally, it came out.

~Moms–how would you handle this one? I know that day I was out of my comfort zone and out of ideas. But, thankfully, our God is so good! He has ideas, and He alone can soften the hearts of our young people. He has promised to give us (and them) a heart of flesh and to remove our stony hearts. I’m so glad. I’m glad my son came to me, even though initially, I wondered where we were heading! ~

Curious to know what happened?

(I wrote this for another homeschool site that I write for monthly).

Read on

You Might Be a Homesteading Homeschooler – Ridge Haven Homestead

Homeschooling…Homesteading…Can you do both?  Read this article that I published on  my Ridge Haven Homestead site to find out!

Since I blog on other sites, sometimes I like to share what I’ve written somewhere else. This particular article on homesteading and homeschooling is a good introduction into our current lives!


Our current projects

Our family has bitten off a homesteading project. It’s a whole-family deal, and definitely a life-changing process for us! We find that it goes right along with out homeschooling journey!

Sustainable homestead

We are doing our best to move towards sustainable preparedness, which simply means that we are going in the direction of being completely off-grid, while having a sustainable way to provide what we need. Sustainable means something that regenerates itself, like the sun, wind, or something that you can harness from nature. In other words, you aren’t dependent on buying things that keep your way of life going.

Desiring and striving

Let me just say, we are not there yet! We are desiringstriving, and taking steps to get there, though. So far, we are technically off grid, in that we aren’t on the power grid, but since we still have to buy gas to run our generators and propane to cook with, we are not sustainable yet. But, we only moved into our property a few months ago, we are in the middle of building our cabin, and are living in our RV while we do that, so we are making steps. Even just me typing this has been a great reminder to me of how far we’ve already come in our journey!

How Homesteading fits with Homeschooling

We obviously homeschool, and this year had been the most difficult in terms of “normal” school days and “typical” courses of study, but it has also been the most rich with real-life learning and mentoring experiences, so it has been such a blessing!

I thought someone may be curious to take a peek into our world, in case they wonder if they could survive such an experience. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look in the form of a Jeff Foxworthy-style laundry list. So, in the spirit of “You Might be a Redneck,” here’s my version.

You Might be a Homesteading Homeschooler (or the Teacher of one) if…

Read the rest of the post over at Ridge Haven Homestead

via You Might Be a Homesteading Homeschooler (reblog) – Ridge Haven Homestead

A Blast from the Past

Just for fun, I decided to import my old blog into this one. Many years ago, I blogged about the Adventures of the Little A’s. How little they all looked, and how big they’ve become!  We now have two teens, and one fast on their heels!

As I looked back over the memories I had posted about, I decided I wanted them all in one place, and I will be working on making this blog what I’d like it to be!  I will also be adding some content from another blog that I write for related to homeschooling ( )

I want to share things that have helped me in our homeschooling journey, along with stories will surely entertain you as you laugh about our blunders.

Thanks for joining me on our journey, and hold on for the ride–it’s always been a crazy one with the Little A’s around!

The toys are bigger, and boys are taller, and the experiences are becoming more challenging!  The Adventure continues…




Now–helping Daddy with gravel


Now–creative ways of cutting tree!


Now–roof trusses


Now–helping set trusses

Random ramblings…

I resolved to not do any running around for a few days, but only one day has passed, and here we are, on the run again! 🏃🚶🏃

No museums for us today, though! I did keep that resolve. Instead, we are attending a class on how to stay healthy or get back to health using water! Hydrotherapy! I have learned some of these principles, and put them to good practice, but could still learn better techniques, and I feel that it is important to let the boys start learning firsthand some of these principles. Sometimes, it really helps for the information to come from someone other than Mom! 😉

So, we get Sunday school again! But, Daddy is working too, and that was part of the bargain (albeit one-sided)I made with the boys!

The class was fun, but the boys thought that three hours was a bit long in such a beautiful day. We had seventy degree temps today–so beautiful for January!

I’m thinking that tomorrow we will practice the procedures on each other! That will be a good way to see what we soaked in. I haven’t decided if we will do it with water, or just do a dry practice! Either way, it’s a good idea to practice and get the kinks out before someone really needs the treatment!

Never mind. Monday came, and along with it, the drags. We dragged along, and I took on the role of Mrs. Drill Sergeant, Ma’am! These days make me tired, and the school day drags on and on. Grrr…. The boys just seemed to have the energy requires to crash into each other and fool around, but couldn’t quite muster up enough energy to focus. A few grumpies came out as well, and if we hadn’t been needing to get back into a regular routine after so many outings, I’d have called the day off for school! But, I didn’t feel like that was an option. Sometimes we just need to grit our teeth and dig in! We gritted a lot today!😩 I think that once we are back in the swing of things, we will improve on our time!

But, as a side note, it’s amazing what a fifteen minute walk can do to change direction and attitude.

We ended up making a scale model of the solar system. One yard equaled like 3,600,000 miles, Earth was a popcorn kernel, Pluto was a grain of coarse salt, and the sun was a kickball. We mapped out the distances, and plotted the space between the sun and the inner planets to the asteroid belt. After that, we’d have been off the property, across the interstate, and about a half a mile away, if we wanted to plot out somewhat accurate distances. That really put our size and position in space into perspective. We aren’t so big!

“What is man, that Thou are mindful of him” comes to mind.

Long as it was for school time, we did make it to the end of this day. Monday it was, for sure! I’m thinking that the Monday blues were accentuated by the fact that everyone was up in the middle of the night chasing the cat, who had escaped. She didn’t know she was lost, and she failed in Friend-making class. We thought she was gone for sure, but, finally, I spotted and grabbed her! But not before losing a good bit of sleep, not to mention the stress of thinking she was a gonner. 😿

This post is a little choppy and disconnected, but that’s kind of how our day went. It did end up well, just LONG with Daddy-O coming in late. Tomorrow’s a new one! 😉

I took some pictures of our planets and the boys mapping out the distances, but they won’t cooperate. You’ll just have to imagine!😳

Pictureless Wednesday

We decided to take a day off from field trips and experience a quiet, normal kind of a day.  No running around; just routine school activities.


It didn’t quite turn out that way!  I will spare most details, out of courtesy to you, dear readers, but let me just say that we got an education that day, just not a planned one.

We are living in an RV.  We have five people.  We have a black tank.  We had a clog.  And that, is where the schoolwork stalled and the action began for one day.  Dr. Dan so graciously (and might I add, unsuspectingly) offered to help us out.  Well, what should have been a five minute procedure turned into a two to three hour mess, and I stress MESS!  Before it was all said and done, we had an inside mess and an outside mess.  It’s hard to concentrate on creative writing when creative plumbing procedures are happening right outside, and no one knows how it all is going to come out!

Long story short, we got the job taken care of, without having to call in outside help.  Although I know that Dr. Dan and I would gladly have called in ANYone who would have done the job we did!  But, we got it all working properly, and I was just soaking the hoses and gloves in bleach water when the railroad working crew drove up.  How I would have loved to postpone that job to hand off to my dear husband, but, he arrived at the perfect moment, when it was all finished!  At least we know some ways to prevent, hopefully, and deal with, if need should arise, this kind of problem in the future.  So, education happened.

I didn’t have the heart to dig into the books after that.  We ate a late lunch, called it a day, and went gold panning–the whole family.  I panned my first pan ever, and struck it rich!  I found five pieces, tiny although they were!  I did have help from Hubby in panning out the first larger rocks, and he spotted several of the pieces after I got my first one!   We all were excited.    There is gold if you look!

The day rounded out with a very nice concert by Calvin Taylor, an extremely talented pianist.

We went from “Ewww!” to “Ohhh”, to “Ahhh!” all in the same day!  Not bad!

Monday in January.

It’s the first Monday of the year!

It’s the first day back to school after two and a half weeks off.

It’s Daddy’s first day back to work also!  image image image image image

Let’s just say we had a few adjustments to make and some links to work out in our homeschool day today.

Without going into any specifics, I’ll just say that we had a few bumps in our road.  Two boys grounded before lunch left me wondering what else the day might hold!   We had some drama a few times.  At one point I found myself wondering seriously if my better half would consider a trade–I’d go work as a nurse and he could do the schooling!  😷 This is the first time that thought has crossed my mind ever, and I knew it’d never work out here.  I even had the thought that I’d be willing to go work the railroad if I could trade jobs with him!

This day was bathed in a lot of prayer.  I knew that was my only hope, yet the day seemed to worsen!  For me, some, and for a couple of my boys, it got visibly more stormy.   And we all know that when one storm cloud arrives, it spreads.  ☁️

We we talked about it some, how the day got dark because of choices made, and about how we don’t have to allow one storm to make the whole day black.  I know all of us at one point or many gave in to those clouds of despair.

But, thankfully, prayer and choice finally prevailed.  A quick walk in the fresh air and an interesting history story seemed to reset the emotion meter.   Should have done that way before we did!  But, as I read, I noticed my little guys snuggling closer, particularly my one with the most drama today.   I had no idea that they’d enjoy an old American history story so much!  We all did!  So, while we all sat down listening to the adventures of Leaf the Lucky and his family of explorers, the tension melted away and peace returned to our home!

And the sunshine stayed!  Even through math, and the restrictions that a couple boys earned!   As evening rolled around, the two grounded boys had determined to organize their bunk room from top to bottom, and they did a great job with not one argument or negative word heard!   Let me assure you that this is a miracle here, and I marveled at what only God could have accomplished!

Tomorrow’s a new day,  We will no doubt have our ups and downs as usual, but one thing has been decided.  At least for tomorrow–I’m still the teacher!  ☔️

(I thought I’d just show you our Christmas trees and decorations.  We get a long season this year!)

Two Sabbaths, two meals

Recently, our family experienced some interesting contrasts, which we feel are important, and that we hope to learn from.

The first Sabbath, we and our friends went to a church in another city.  We drove about an hour, so took food with us to contribute to a potluck.  We had plans for the afternoon in the area, so did not plan to return home between church and the concert we were to attend.  Church was nice, and, as visitors, we received a loaf of bread from a local bakery  (“Raise your hand if it’s your first time here, and you’ll be given a loaf of bread”).  That was very thoughtful.

When church was finished, we realized that this church did not have a potluck, or fellowship meal, as they are more commonly called now.  We realized, to our chagrin, that we had so assumed that we could join the potluck, that neither we nor our friends had brought anything to eat our food with.  No plates or bowls, no utensils.  Hmmm…we discussed what we would do.  We had brought a crock pot full of chili, some chips, and we did have that loaf of bread that the church gave us.  Our friends had actually left without grabbing their food, and just had the bread.   While our family got sidetracked trying to catch one of the speakers to ask her a question, our friends decided to go ahead and leave, since we had to find seats at the next venue.

We sat there, wondering what would be our best move, and actually left the church without anyone saying anything to us.  Kind of different.  I had someone speak to me between Sabbath School and church, actually two people, but Mr. Friendly had no one say anything to him the whole time.   And one of the ladies who said hi to me told me that she would invite us over, but she did not have anything fixed.  How many times have I thought that on a Sabbath?  Many.  Anyway, after church to have no one say hi makes you feel invisible, like you don’t matter.

We know a man, a friend now, who came to the church we now attend, before we began attending, who came and went with no one at all saying a word to him, and he never came back.  He’s not uncommon, but is maybe more honest than some people who wouldn’t tell you their experience.   But that’s all it takes for some people.

While we were still at this church, I sat down on a bench right outside the doorway, with two of the boys, in a little courtyard area, to wait for Mr. Friendly to come out (potty stop for a Little A).  There were clumps of people surrounding us, chatting, and several people glanced our way, but no one spoke.  We are not offended, we just felt a little funny.  We all walked out together to our truck, not yet sure of what we would do for lunch, but still feeling a little invisible as other folks walked to their cars alongside us, still quiet.  It really made us think about our own church and our own observation skills towards visitors.

What did we do?  We contacted our friends, who had decided to stop by the roadside and eat with gratitude the one loaf of bread, shared between five people.  They quoted the verse that says “Bread will be given him, his water shall be sure…”  Thank the Lord for that one loaf of bread!

We followed suit and pulled off at a different location and thanked God for our feast–we ate chili fondue-style–that is, we ate our chili with chips instead of spoons, from the pot instead of bowls!  It was unconventional, but it worked, and it was tasty.  I almost forgot–we also had cold scalloped potatoes that we shared too.  And, as we looked in the glove compartment, we found a few plastic utensils, left over from a stop at Taco Bell some time.  So, some of us were able to use one of those instead of just chip dippers.  🙂

Why do I mention this?  Is it because we felt sorry for ourselves?  No, not really.  We did end up with plenty to eat, and saw how God can help us turn lemons to lemonade if we are flexible.

I mention it because I know that many of us, although we consider ourselves friendly, are really kind of unaware of others that we don’t know, and sometimes we like it that way.  How glad I am for a husband who notices new people, and makes it a point to go out of his way to speak to strangers.

It just made us think.

This past Sabbath, we were in a totally different situation.  We had been traveling, and tent camping some of the time.  On Friday afternoon, we pulled into a new campground, and barely had time to make a fire and set up the tent before Sabbath began.  So, this time, we had no food prepared, which wasn’t a big deal since we’d been eating cold food anyway pretty much every meal.   Haystacks were the daily fare, and would be lunch today too.   Except that we were out of beans.   And chips.  And olives.  So, we had lettuce, plus plenty of assorted odds and ends that we could put together.  But it wouldn’t be too normal.  I think we decided that cereal would be the best option, or try another church and our luck at a potluck.   But I don’t really like to show up with nothing to share, and perhaps a few eyebrows would have raised over Toasted Oats at the potluck table.  😉

As it turned out, when we woke up on Sabbath, everything outside had frozen, and so it felt way too cold for showers.  We all needed one (badly), but could not endure a wet head in that freezing cold air.   One look at ourselves, and we decided a day in nature would be a better option for us that day.   You know that feeling you get when you camp–like everything gets all smoky-smelling, dirt creeps under fingernails and makes you look and feel grungy, hair seems to do its own thing, etc, etc.   And someone forgot to bring shoes besides snow boots, so getting “cleaned up” seemed like a hard undertaking.

We drove to a beautiful ocean setting.  The drive was pleasant over rolling, hilly countryside that was so green that we were reminded of the Irish countryside.    The green hills ended abruptly at the rocky shoreline, again, reminiscent of Ireland.  We had to hike down to get to the ocean level, then just really enjoyed our day climbing over the jagged rocks, the boys collecting seashells, and all of us drinking in the beauty of the crashing waves.  We spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon at the ocean, and could have stayed all day except for the fact that our stomachs began to beg for attention  (they always do).

Because we wanted to drive to see Elmshaven, the home where Ellen White lived for her last fifteen years of like, we grabbed some quick snack-type food from the truck, then planned to eat a good meal that evening, after our tour, and after the Sabbath ended.

Elmshaven we really enjoyed.  It’s been years since anyone’s lived there, but it’s still set up like it was in the early 1900s, just like when they lived there.  You literally felt like you were sitting in a cozy living room, and not in a museum.  We got to see the big Bible (an exact replica) that Ellen held while in vision.   We prayed in the room where angels visited Ellen and where her workers and family members saw light glowing out of when she had a vision.  This was a special day for us, and this tour through Elmshaven felt like a nice way to wrap up this memorable day.

But we had a surprise awaiting us.  As we prepared to leave, our tour guide’s wife pulled me aside and said quietly, “Why don’t you meet me out back and I’ll take you to our home for a bowl of soup before you get on the road.”  I was shocked, honestly.  We had never met these people, and had just come for the tour, but they somehow perceived that we might appreciate a hot meal before heading back to our chilly tent.  We gratefully accepted, still in awe, really.  I pulled our boys aside and whispered to them not to act like little piggies and gobble up everything.   We promised them we could get something down the road if they didn’t get enough to eat!  I knew they were hungry, and these boys can EAT !!   In fact, my husband’s uncle recently remarked that they eat like farm hands, and I can’t deny it!

What amazed us about this couple who graciously took us into their home that night was that they had just barely moved into their home, like the week before.  They had very little furniture, and most everything they owned was still packed in boxes.  But the hostess opened soup cans and began combining soups to make a delightfully tasty soup, and with crackers, very satisfying.   The boys started out hungrily, emptying their bowls before I’d even gotten a taste of mine!  And I think that simple soup multiplied!  She kept on filling their bowls, although at first they hesitated about taking seconds.  But once she insisted she had plenty, the bowl cleared out rapidly, and I think each boy had four bowls!  So much for not eating like little piggies, but the lady really seemed to enjoy seeing them eat!

We had almost finished our soup, and the pot had diminished significantly, when the husband returned home after his last tour of the day, and wouldn’t you know it–he brought with him two more young ladies to share in the hospitality.   The hostess didn’t miss a beat, but went to find a few more cans of this and that, and soon had soup for everyone who had just arrived!  It was really neat to witness such generous people opening up their home to travelers!

So, here are a few things that I observed from this experience:

1)  You don’t have to have much before you share.  This family shared very simple things, but the warmness that was shared was not just from the soup!

2)  Your house doesn’t have to be fancy in order to share.  The kindness of this couple is what impressed us about them, not furniture, pictures, or decorations.

3) You don’t really need to plan every time before you invite someone over.  It’s OK to say “I don’t have anything special prepared, but I’d be glad to share what I do have.”

4)  You do need to be prepared, though, for the unexpected.  I can buy cans of soup and easy ingredients so that I have a quick meal to share with anyone, anytime.  I can store these things away, and be ready to invite someone over.  Yet, if I don’t have exactly what I’d like to have, I can still share something–popcorn and applesauce, fruit, soup, or even green beans or tomato soup!  I can learn to shop in order to have something quick to share! (this is something I need to work on)

5)  You do need to ask God to show you people who are new, who are traveling, or who are just plain lonely, and you need to listen and act on it.  (when I say you I mean me and you)

6)  I observed the need of having a meal every Sabbath for travelers and new people, even if it is just a very simple meal.  It doesn’t have to be at the church, but that is convenient.  We seem to be out of the habit of looking for visitors, as families, and inviting them over, but I think that we would gain a blessing if we would revive this practice as a missionary endeavor.  People will not come up to you, you will have to find them.   But, like our host and hostess, if we follow that prompting of the Holy Spirit, then we are cooperating with him in the blessing of others as well as ourselves.

When we had all finished eating and visiting, it was time for us to get back on the road.  As we bade our hosts good-bye, we told them to be sure to look us up if they ever passed through Tennessee, and we could return the hospitality.  They just shook their heads and said, “No, don’t wait for us.   When you have the opportunity, you just pass on the blessings to someone else. ”  

I think that pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

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