Sunday, September 18, 2022

Pray for Us as We Join the Pilgrimage of the Restoration


Later this week part of my family will be joining a brigade from our parish, students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, and scores of other pilgrims in the Pilgrimage of the Restoration, a traditional walking pilgrimage modeled after the annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to Notre-Dame de Chartres, France which will take a 60+ mile route from the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament at Lake George Village, NY to the Shrine of Our Lady’s Martyrs of New France at Auriesville, NY .


The pilgrimage is now in its 27th year, and, this year, will have a theme of
Restoring True Devotion to Mary, through Total Consecration of St. Louis de Montfort.  

As it has always each year, the pilgrimage will be
 "an exercise of penance and prayer, of contradiction and restoration, having both a personal and social character" with an intention of "restoration of the Catholic family, civil society and the specifically Roman spiritual and liturgical tradition".

Since this will be the first walking pilgrimage that anyone in our family has ever been on, we are a bit nervous about personal logistics, how to pack, and, to be honest, actually being able to complete the pilgrimage. Yet, we are also excited for this opportunity, impressed with the support the pilgrimage organizers provide on their website and blog, and confident that organizers, volunteers, and fellow pilgrims will work together to make this year's pilgrimage a successful one. 


If you would like to join us by jumping on as a last-minute pilgrim, you can register as a walk-on for the whole pilgrimage at the starting point or register as a Sunday-only pilgrim for the final day.

We would also appreciate any and all friends to participate from home and/or to join is in praying this prayer daily:

Pilgrim’s Prayer Pilgrimage for Restoration 2022
To be recited, at the request of Pilgrimage Chaplains, each day by every pilgrim: for the intentions of all pilgrims, for sinners everywhere, for the grace to make pilgrimage worthily together, and for the intentions of the Holy Father, Pope Francis & for all our spiritual Fathers & Mothers in Christ. 
My Lord and my God, take from me whatever keeps me from Thee. My Lord and my God, grant me whatever brings me to Thee. My Lord and my God, take my self, to live wholly in Thee.
~St. Nicholas of Flüe, 1447-1487


Thank you for for praying in union with us as we make our pilgrimage of penance, prayer, and singing to God for restoration.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Get a Homeschool Science Membership for the Whole Family {A Greg Landry's Homeschool Science/Homeschool Review Crew Review}

 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.


What happens when a former college professor and veteran homeschool dad spends about two decades teaching thousands of homeschooled students and hundreds of college students in the U.S. and worldwide Science? Whole families get to reap the benefits of Grade 1-12 Science resources with practical, self-paced courses as a part of Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.

Our family was introduced to Greg Landry's in 2021 when my son opted to review a half-semester Biochemistry and Microbiology class. Having met with success with that course, but then veered away from Science studies while concentrating on other things, my son has now returned to Greg Landry's Homeschool Science as he works to complete his high school Science credits.

When I asked him to write out his thoughts for this review, he shared the following.
What Is this Product?

A Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership includes access to courses for Grades 1-12, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, and online labs. Each high school level course contains pre-recorded video lessons and a pdf workbook. The workbooks have worksheets, note taking, and diagrams

Why Did I Choose this Product?

I paused my Science studies for a while and now want to finish all of my Science credits in one year. So, I chose Greg Landry's Science, because it has both sciences I need in one place which allows me to get used to the program and then use it through both programs instead of jumping to different ones as I usually do.

When I took Greg Landry's Science before, I found that lessons were easy to complete and more importantly to me, not time consuming. Unlike with other programs I have used, I can speed up and slow down the videos, which allows me to take things at my own pace.

This is a feature I like about these courses.

How Do Lessons Flow?

Let me take you through the process of a lesson. First you log onto your Canvas account, open the course you want, open the next video lesson in it, and grab some paper or the special note taking sheets Greg Landry provides if you have opted to print them out. Then, while watching the video, you take notes. After this you complete the worksheets and can also do corresponding labs from the online labs access.



Would I Recommend this Product?

I have recently realized that I prefer in-person lessons over online ones for subjects such as Science, so while Greg Landry Science is not my absolute favorite style of program, I still find it reliable and easy to use. It gets the job done, and, for this reason, I would recommend it to any high school age homeschool student and their parents who don’t have access or time for in person learning


Learn More

Greg Landry Homeschool Science

Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership offers you and your family access to over $4500 (if purchased separately) of Science and Virtual Labs for grades 1-12 plus things for Mom and Dad. For students in grades six or above, the courses can typically be self-paced with little parent involvement.


My approach to using the high school courses with my son is to let him watch videos, take notes, use the pdfs, etc. as he wishes to and, then, to check up on him by browsing his notes binder and using the optional downloadable True or False tests and require the online labs as well.


I am happy to be able to have my son finish his Science credits at his own now-quickened pace with Greg Landry's Science and recommend 
Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership as an effective resource that makes Science accessible for your family to pace through as needed. With monthly membership payments that decrease every six months, Greg Landry can become your Science "easy button".

Self Paced Online Homeschool Science Labs

Ten Homeschool Review Crew families have been blessed to review Greg Landry's Homeschool Science MembershipClick through to find reviews of each family's experience.

You might also like some of the free resources Greg Landry offers.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

When Your Child Goes Off to School, Pray

This past week, we moved through a milestone that most other families have experienced by the time their children are in middle and high school: sending a child off to school on a bus.

For my child, it was not that big a deal. For me, it was... hard. So hard. Even harder than dropping the same child off at school in the days prior. As I walked away from the bus stop, tears welled in my eyes and prayers in my heart. I prayed the Guardian Angel prayer, as I do every morning, but that morning I did so with far more urgency and emotion:
Angels of God, our guardians dear, to whom God's love commits us here, ever this day be at our side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Then, I began to pray spontaneous prayers, and, when I sat down at my computer, shared the following prayer that came to me so that friends who are sending their kids off to school might pray it, too. Perhaps you'd like to join us in praying it:
Dear God, please guard the heart, mind, and body of my child today and that of all her peers and those around her. Bring them safely to, through, and from their school. Encourage them to be filled with honor and respect and to be positive influences on one another's character. Protect them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, Lord. Inspire teachers and staff to speak and act in truth and kindness. Move peers to encourage one another and build one another up academically, emotionally, spiritually... Let all of them look to do small thing with great love, be courageous when they need to be, and be filled with peace and joy. Shield their eyes and ears from anything that would lead them into harm’s way or away from faith in You. As you always do, Lord, please use all things together for good. In Jesus' name, we pray. Lord, we trust in you. Amen.

May all school children, teachers, and staff be blessed with grace and mercy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Get a Discount and Add Dramatized Bible Stories to Your Day with The Adventum {A Homeschool Review Crew Review and Discount Code}


Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

If you and your family enjoy audiodramas and Bible stories then I recommend taking a listen to The Adventum, Volume 1, produced by Wise King Media. I have recently had an opportunity to review this fictional retelling of stories of Bible stories and am impressed with how they imaginatively make the Bible come alive with powerful background music and sound effects and a full cast of voice actors.

What Is The Adventum?


The Adventum, Volume 1 is an imaginative, immersive, and gripping retelling of Bible stories that takes families back to the Creation through Noah's family's experiences and when Abraham's experienced euphoric relief when God provided a ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac to stories of Jacob and Esau.


Available as a 4-CD set, like I received, or a digital download, The Adventum, Volume 1 makes the Bible come to life for families by taking the characters of the Bible, the Words of God, and some imagination to create engaging stories filled with music, sound effects, narration, and dramatic dialogue that immerse you in what it might have been like to live during ancient Biblical times.

The entire Volume 1 set is about four hours long, broken into segments of a few minutes to about 30 minutes, with an average of, I'd say, 20-minute stories.

In the tradition of all great audiodramas, The Adventum, Volume 1 uses high-quality sound effects, music, and dialogue to immerse you in action and adventure, making your listening experience almost like watching a movie in your mind with full audio.


What The Adventum Is Not



The Adventum audiobook series is not an audio Bible recording that only uses the words of Scripture. It does, however stay true to the characters of Scripture and, where the voice of God is used in the audioadrama, it's taken verbatim from the NKJV and NIV translations of Scripture. There is no artistic license taken with His words.

A Discount for You


If you'd like to listen to samples of the audiostories, make sure to go to The Adventum website where you will also see - at the time of this writing - that The AdventumVolume 1 is 50% off. Better still, The Adventum is offering free shipping for Training Happy Hearts readers! Just use the code advcrew22 at checkout!

Our Experience with The Adventum



The first time I listened to The AdventumVolume 1 I was on the tail end of a long roadtrip with two of my children. Both children enjoyed the stories with me and thought the imaginative retellings were interesting, but one thought that the sound effects were a bit too overpowering.

After that, because my children were rarely in our minivan at the same time this summer, I listened to the rest of the 4-CD set on my own on my way to and from daily Mass. Interestingly, on a few of the days I listened, the messages from the CD-set and those from the Scripture and homilies I had heard at Mass lined up, allowing God to use a combination of prayer, my time at Mass, and my time with the audiodramas to speak to my heart. (I love it when these things happen!)


Likewise, on a few occasions when my daughter and I were going for what I call walk-n-talks, she brought up things that she had heard or read during her studies and personal spiritual reading time and I found myself relating thoughts I had had after listening to The Adventum on those mornings. 

Thus, I can attest that the creative and immersive retellings of The Adventum impacted my thoughts and family conversations, and I am glad I have had the opportunity to listen to the CD-set.

How You Might Use the Adventum



The beauty of a CD-set like Adventum is the flexibility with which it can be used. It comes in a hard plastic case with sleeves for each CD that - through my experience - stands up to being shuffled about in bags and vehicles. Some ideas for using it are:

  1. Enjoy family listening time together by listening at home while you color, do chores, play with blocks, etc.
  2. Pair the audiodramas with history studies so that early Biblical history can come alive.
  3. Engage in Bible study time by listening to the audiodramas and then reading corollary Scripture.
  4. Dive into Lectio Divina with kids by keying into the Scripture passages that each story in the set was created from and then choosing another Scripture passage for children to read, meditate, pray, and contemplate.
  5. Prompt Biblically-inspired writing by having your kids pick Words of God from Scripture in other parts of the Bible and then create an imaginative retelling using real Biblical characters and stories much like The Adventum does.
  6. Share selections in a co-op or catechism class.
  7. Make long car rides seem to go faster by immersing yourself in the stories.
The AdventumVolume 1 seeks to inspire and captivate you through:
  • helping you identity with Bible heroes of the past - as real people with real struggles much like us
  • igniting a hunger to read Scripture.
  • sparking curiosity, excitement, and a deeper love for God.

Enjoy its immersive experience of the stories of Genesis.
 

Learn More


See how other Homeschool Review Crew families used The AdventumVolume 1 by clicking through the banner below.

audio bible stories

Listen to samples of this engaging Bible stories audioadventure
at 
The Adventum website.

The Adventum has more resources for your homeschool, to include four more volumes in this series and a growing collection of text and audio lessons, which can be found on The Adventum blog, and are directly connected to the the audiodramas

Don't forget that at the time of this writing you can get 
50% off  
The AdventumVolume 1.

Training Happy Hearts readers can also get free shipping by using the code advcrew22 at checkout!





You might also enjoy the additional four volumes of this series that are also available on the website, including Volume 5, which is ready for pre-order.



Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Win 4 Tickets to King Richard's Faire!



Disclosure: In exchange for this honest promotion of a favorite local escape, our family received complimentary tickets and a family 4-pack to giveaway. We cannot wait to return to King Richard's Faire for this 41st anniversary season!


King Richard's Faire-THE New England Renaissance Faire - is opening its 41st season on September 3rd and running weekends and Monday holidays through October 23rd in the enchanted woods of Carver, Mass.

Escape YOUR reality at King Richard’s Faire, New England’s largest and longest-running Renaissance festival! 

This year, King Richard XI and his lovely bride, Queen Anne are back to rule the realm of Carvershire along with their beautiful princesses and the royal court. 

Carvershire is a magical place, filled with handcrafted artisan wares to include
 beautiful handspun pottery, fabulous jewelry, and incredible face painting. You can also delight in period clothing, leather, armor, and moccasins,  be amazed by the blacksmith and forged weaponry, and revel in scented oils, perfumes, instruments, and handmade crafts as you make memories to last a lifetime.


In Carvershire, you can also please thy palate with fabulous food and drynk to include giant spit-roasted turkey legs, ringlets of fryes, and boules of chowder or or quench thy thirst with specialty cocktails, champagne, mead, brew, and drinks for the kiddoes, too. Vegan or gluten-free? No problem. There are options for you, too.


At the Faire, eight stages of exciting entertainment for all ages and a host of you will also find exciting rides and skilled games in the Gaming Glen.


At the Faire, you’ll be dazzled by acrobats, aerialists, and jugglers... captivated by minstrels, dancers and puppeteers... enthralled by fire-eaters, magicians and captivating canines.


Indeed, hundreds of talented performers perform non-stop for you throughout the day with the King’s handsome knights battling on horseback as bawdy beggars compete in mud, happy villagers engage you in the lanes, and frolicking faeries dance through the forest.


On the stages, you will find an 
original Broadway-style musical comedy for all ages; Sir Danny Drake, juggling fire and blade; the iconic El Zappo, real-life father to long-time performer and recent America’s Got Talent performer Jacques Ze Whipper; Pict Pipers (pipe & drums); and a succession of fabulous dog acts Magical Poodles (9/3-25) and Muttsville Comix (10/1-23), and Braveheart Beasts, an amazing horse show (9/24-25, 10/25-26).


Win Free Tickets!

You can enter to win a family-four pack of tickets good for opening weekend - Septemeber 3-5 now through midnight on the evening of the 25ht going into the 26th using the Rafflecopter below.

Please note: Giveaway ends August 25th at 12 AM EST and is open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the US only who are able to attend the Faire on the dates mentioned. Winner will be randomly selected and notified by email. Winner will have 24 hours to respond or other winners will be selected.  Final winner may request tickets be mailed to them or may choose to come pick up the tickets directly in person one town over from Carver.

The winning tickets are offered free of charge, no purchase necessary. 


Learn More


The realm of 
King Richard's Faire can be found at 235 Main Street (Rt. 58) in Carver, MA.

Visit kingrichardsfaire.NET for schedules, ticket sales, special celebration group sales, and much more.

Get social on 
Instagram/Twitter: @KRFaire #KRFaire and the Book of Faces: Facebook

Friday, August 19, 2022

Super Teacher Worksheets Support Struggling Readers! {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

  Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.


When my children were younger, I was introduced to the 10,000+ (now 20,000) printables that Super Teacher Worksheets offers and found them super helpful. Two years later, I revisited this winning resource with delight, but, then, my kids aged of it.

So, why would I have chosen to review another 1-year membership of this K-5th grade resource now?

Because I am working with a homeschool friend's struggling reader and having the worksheets at my fingertips to use for supplementary work and homework is super helpful!

Teaching Reading with the Help of Super Teachers Worksheets

Since my homeschool friend asked me to help her son with his reading, I have been working with him once a week using a loose Orton-Gillingham approach combined with phonetic readers and Super Teacher Worksheets.


Each week as I prepare for our meeting, I quickly browse the 
reading, writing, phonics, spelling, and sight words worksheets on the Super Teacher Worksheets membership website and print off ones that relate to whatever target phonograms we have recently worked on or will be attacking that week.

With these on hand, I am easily able to add extra challenges and fun to our lessons and to provide his parents with concrete exercises and activities to do between our sessions.


I love that I can quickly pull up and print a wide variety of worksheets which dovetail with whatever target phonogram I am teaching
on a certain day and that there are multiple offerings to support lessons. With the available printables, I always have a new challenge or review resource at hand to work on together in session or to send home with my friend's son for homework.


My friend's son seems to enjoy the printables, too! Often, when he comes back with his completed work, he is eager to see how he did on it and sometimes asks for more worksheets! I think he and his parents appreciate that the worksheets are clear cut, not overwhelming, and provide an ideal amount of practice and stretching of skills.

More than just ELA

At present, my friend's son and I are only working on his English Language Arts skills. However, should I be asked to expand what I am helping him with, I can also easily access math, social studies, science, holiday, and seasonal printables with thanks to my Super Teacher Worksheets. membership. (I have used worksheets from these other areas with my own kids in the past.)

It's fabulously convenient to have so many printables right at your fingertips with easy navigation.


With games, cut-and-glue activities, puzzles, mini-books, traditional worksheets, and more, there truly is something for everyone on Super Teacher Worksheets, and since Individual Memberships currently cost just $24.95 per year and offer unlimited downloads, the resource is amazingly affordable!

It's one-stop resource for worksheets for:

  • math
  • reading comphrehension
  • phonics
  • early literacy
  • grammar
  • spelling
  • reading and writing
  • chapter book units
  • science
  • social studies
  • PreK and Kindergarten
  • Holidays
  • parent/educator tools


There is also a worksheet generator where parents and teachers can create their own math problems, spelling lists, Bingo games, wordsearches, flashcards, quizzes, and more. What a time saver that is for busy educators who want to customize printables but not be responsible for totally designing them!

I recommend  Super Teacher Worksheets to homeschoolers, tutors, and teachers with K-5 students. It is an easy-to-navigate, super helpful resource that allows you to find premade printables or customize your own quickly.

Learn More



Find Super Teacher Worksheets on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.   

printable activities


Over 30 Homeschool Review Crew families have been benefiting from this comprehensive library of printable resources.  Get a  peak into more of the resources by clicking through to read all of our reviews as many of us chose different ones to highlight. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Check Out These Excellent Study Guides for 2 Classic Books {A Progeny Press / Homeschool Review Crew Review}

 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.




Do you have a child reading C .S. Lewis or Tolkien this year?  Then, I recommend you dig in with the The Last Battle Study Guide and Fellowship of the Ring Study Guide by Progeny Press. Each of these interactive literature guides is top notch!

Why Did We Choose to Use These Progeny Press Guides?


When we were offered the opportunity to review The Last Battle Study Guide and Fellowship of the Ring Study Guide, I jumped at the chance, for, even though I knew our summer was going to be busy, our past experience with Progeny Press guides has been so positive that I wanted to check out these ones, too.

Our past reviews of Give Me LibertyMy Side of the Mountain,  Redwall, and Frankenstein proved to me that Progeny Press can flex with whatever schedule we have and can offer us as little or as much as we want as we dive into pieces of literature.

A Little Bit about These Guides

Like most Progeny Press study guidesThe Last Battle Study Guide and Fellowship of the Ring Study Guide offer a wide variety of information and activities, which includes:

  • a brief author biography
  • background information
  • pre-reading activity ideas
  • exercises to help learn and use vocabulary words
  • focus on moral lessons and character values
  • study of literary techniques
  • a variety of comprehension and "digging deeper" questions
  • writing assignments
  • suggestions for further reading
  • a complete answer key

Plus, both guides are written from a Christian perspective.

Wonderful for families with multiple children, these studies
 can be used over and over again for multiple students in your families. (Just do a "save as" of the file for each child or print out multiple copies.) 


High School Students Can Dig into the Fellowship of the Ring Study Guide



The Fellowship of the Ring Study Guide is aimed at grades 9-12 and, when done in full, can earn a high student .25 transcript credits.

The classic Fellowship of the Ring book itself is not included with the downloadable study guide, but can be easily accessed online, taken from public libraries, or even purchased through Progeny Press.

With book and guide on hand, students can do the prewriting activities, then read the book in its entirety, then jump into the guide, Or, they can read a few chapters a week and do corresponding activities. Or, like my son, they can revisit a book previously read for enjoyment only and dig a little deeper into it with a more academic bent in mind. 

 

As students dive into Tolkien's tale of fantasy, hobbits, adventure, danger, loyalty, and courage, they can explore so many concepts, themes, and skills.

Literary techniques included in the study explore alliteration, anthropomorphism, assonance, comic relief, foreshadowing, homonyms, exposition, paradox, point of view, rhythm, rhyme, setting, and tone.  


As the guide discusses such issues as how to treat prisoners, 
ethnocentrism, fleeing from sin, praying, seeking counsel, self-awareness, and true friendship, it also shines a light on how God is in control, the Word of God guides us, and God provides strength. Character and moral issues are central to the guide.

Writing assignments and activities include art, a character journal, a crossword puzzle, debate, essays, mapwork,  a mini poetry element study, a travel account and more.


Of course, there are
 more traditional vocabulary and comprehension exercises, too.


One of the prompts my son dug into had him relating Gandalf to the Good Shepherd and had my son asking a strong question in the conclusion of his response's initial draft: 
Just like the good shepherd protecting his flock, Gandalf was willing to die for his sheep, the fellowship. This willingness to lay down one's life for one's friends or followers is a key part of a virtuous leader and a virtuous person. Will we, like Gandalf, or the good shepherd, be willing to lay down our life if it will save others?

Middle School Students and Older Can Focus on the Last Battle



Meant for grades 5-8, The Last Battle Study Guide can also benefit older students. It comes in a downloadable interactive pdf format and can be used in conjunction with any online or bound copy of the book.

Within the study, literary techniques dealt with include
 allusion, anthropomorphism, asides foreshadowing, idioms, metaphors, motifs, onomatopoeia, parallelism, and more.

Moral lessons, character values, and  themes include commitment, courage, discouragement, distraction, friendship, h
ypocrisy, loyalty, racism, respect, teasing, truth vs. lies, wisdom vs. foolishness, and more.


After a helpful synopsis of the book, activities, exercises, and writing assignment topics include art, comprehension questions, discussion, essays, letter writing, poetry, research papers, vocabulary exercises, and more.


One prompt that got my son thinking referred to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. As my son was drafting his thoughts about the prompt, he wrote:

While this allegory has been used to explain many things, such as education or the lack thereof and its effects on our nature, or the preference of comfortable falsehoods to a strange truth, in Lewis’ book, Lord Digory seems to be referring to a different idea. This idea is that of the items with which we interact vs. the perfect ideals of those items in the eye of the divine. Such as a rose which one could hold, smell and see, but which is missing a petal. That is the shadow. The true essence of a rose is that held in the mind of the divine, a perfect rose, more vibrant than any which exists on this earth, more perfect. 
In The Last Battle, Narnia as it was is destroyed, and a ‘new’ Narnia is found. But this ‘new’ Narnia isn’t new. It is Narnia as it should be, a perfect Narnia in the eyes of the divine. The ‘new’ Narnia are the real items, the old are the shadows on the wall.
I love that this guide had my son digging into thoughts like this and look forward to reading his final draft response.

My Son's  Thoughts on These Guides


When I asked my 16-year-old for his thoughts on these guides, he said:

These guides are useful and educational. I have read both books before for enjoyment. Now, I am revisiting them with these guides. The guides highlight aspects I did not notice before and make parts jump out that seemed less important on my first readings of the books. 

I found the essays had me researching other literature in order to glean more. This is valuable for me because I am thinking of going to a Classical Liberal Arts college.
I would recommend them.


I would recommend them, too. Whether your child has never read C.S. Lewis and Tolkien or is revisiting books, Progeny Press encourages active, engaged learning.

Learn More

Progeny Press study guides for elementary, middle, and high school students are are available for instant download with no shipping costs and work on Windows and MAC with a universally compatible PDF format.

The Interactive Study Guides should be opened with a free Adobe Reader program and, once opened, allow students to enter their answers directly on the computer, saving their work in progress. (You can also print the guides, of course, if you or your students prefer to work offscreen.) 

Multiple children?  
Progeny Press has you covered.  Any child in the family may use the guides - just save a copy for each child.

Want to grade your kids?
  A complete, separate answer key for parents comes as an included download and can help.

Plus, if you're not tech savvy, free technical support is available if you encounter any difficulties using the digital guide!

Progeny Press Literature Study Guides

Over 30 Homeschool Crew Review families chose from one of four guides recently, so you can read about experiences with guides for every grade level - by clicking through to find links to everyone's reviews.

Progeny Press

You can also find 
Progeny Press on:


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