Friday, January 28, 2011

Another List.

1. This list may bore you.

2. We've had a great January so far. We've been stuck inside for the most part, but what do you expect? I hear tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful 65 degrees though, so we're planning a family day OUTDOORS. Yay!

3. Because of cold weather and being stuck inside, I've been able to watch a lot of TV during naptimes. Two of my favorite shows are "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers" and if you haven't seen either, you are missing out. They come on the History Channel. Cause I am a dork. (I am also slightly addicted to pretty much any show on Investigation Discovery; you know, murders, forensics, that sort of thing. Awesome.)

4. Annnnd The Bachelor. What can I say, mindless reality television probably makes the best television. The Bachelor, to me, has now become hilarious and I pretty much fast forward through the "meaningful" conversations because, for one, how meaningful can they be when there are CAMERAS 2 INCHES from your FACE, and two, I'd much rather watch the one-on-ones of Michelle and the camera. Because like I said, it's just hilarious. And I know they all get caught up in the situation, yada, yada, yada, but I mean, COME ON GIRLS! How many seasons of this show do you have to watch to understand that HELLOOOO??! You are NOT THE ONLY GIRL THERE! He's gonna go on other dates! He's gonna tell you things you wanna hear. He's gonna "plan" (yeah right) the most romantic date you've ever been on and make you think you're the ONLY one. But hello?!? You're NOT. So please hold off on the tears and pathetic crying and the "I just didn't realize how hard this would be." Ummmm yes you did. You signed up for it. You DID NOT sign up for a 6 week tropical honeymoon with one amazing man. You signed up for a 6-week, no phone, no TV, no laundry, no housework, no brushingyourownhair stay in a mansion with 30 other women and 30+ camera/crew people. You signed up for what you've watched for 10 years now - drama, tears, heartbreak, amazing dates that no average man in the universe could dream up (MUCH LESS AFFORD!), roses that mean what? That you're the one? Hardly. PLEASE, LADIES. If you are planning to go on the Bachelor, go because you want to get away from life, to make some new girlfriends, to see parts of the country you've never seen, to do things you've never done (as in bungee jumping and zip-lining, not as in seeing how much tequila you can drink while sitting in a steamy Tahitian hot tub); do NOT go because you think some guy named Brad (who looks like Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is gonna change your life. Puh. Lease. THIS IS TV. PEOPLE. NOT REAL LIFE. GET.A.GRIP.

5. Now... whew... where was I? Oh yes, sitting on my couch, waiting for the next "most dramatic rose ceremony ever." Haha. Ok really...

6. No actually I was sitting at my desk, at midnight nonetheless, reading Reality Steve. Oh yes I did. And oh yes I love it. And no it does not change the quality of the show for me; just gives me a reason to relax while watching and know who gets sent home so I don't have an anxiety attack during that last commercial break. Thank you, Stevie, for your secret spy tactics. You're as good as gold... or as a Xanax.

7. So besides watching TV, I've been taking care of my wild Indian 2.5 year old who is hi-lar-i-ous. The other day I told her the story of Cinderella. She's not really into the whole princess thing at all but she seemed interested in the story. Later that afternoon she came into the kitchen with the broom and said, "Tell it to me, Mom!" I said "Tell you what?" And she said, "Tell it to me what they told Cinderella - sweep the floors, Cinderella!" So, of course, I say, "SWEEP THE FLOORS, CINDERELLA!" in my best evil stepmother voice, and she starts sweeping furiously. Then she says, "Tell it to me that I don't get to wear a pretty dress to the ballgame, just a dirty dress!" So I told her what she wanted me to say and she acted out the part of Cinderella. It was super funny. (And yes, I typed that correctly, she doesn't quite understand what the "ball" is so she calls it the "ballgame." Ha!)

8. Sam is doing great. He had his first surgery on January 20th with a urologist at Children's and everything went well. He's a busy bee with Early Intervention and has been doing pretty good. We're working hard at strengthening those core muscles by learning to sit up, doing baby crunches, ball exercises, lots of tummy time and practicing our rolls. We also do a lot of neck stretches with each diaper change, which he hates, but we gotta get this boy moving around! He is such a sweet, loving, chunk of a baby and I love him so much. I couldn't ask for an easier, more precious child, and although I'm pushing him to be more mobile, I'm definitely enjoying the fact that he's still cuddly and loves being held, cradled, rocked, etc. He's an angel baby.

9. I've been doing a lot of sewing, too. I finally learned to make pants with a super easy pattern from Etsy and it is SO SIMPLE! I've really been missing out and I'm just glad I learned so that I can make shorts and pants for the kids. Such a money saver and it'll be an easy way to make them matching clothes, too. I am going to try to post a simple tutorial online as soon as I get time and can stop long enough to take pictures in between stitches, but I would highly recommend Etsy for easy patterns. This one was sent to my e-mail account and basically you just print out the actual pattern, which is 3 pages, tape it together, and there you go! The PDF tutorial was also included and these will only run you $5-10. So worth it! And the best part is the instructions are step-by-step, super easy to understand and follow; AND your pattern is on regular paper, not that flimsy pattern stuff. There are no notches to match up, either. Perfect for sewing dummies like me. I've cranked out about 6 pairs of pants this week and appliqued shirts to match all of them. As soon as I can move closer to home, I am going to make my mom retire from teaching and we are going to open a store for children's clothing. Because have you seen my mom's stuff? If you haven't, you need to, because she's the most talented person I know. She has a new blog! Go HERE to see it.

10. I'm getting antsy and excited about the spring consignment sales. Giggles and Grace is only 3 weeks away! Woop woop!


I still have my Macbook for sale if anyone is interested or knows anyone that might be! Mint condition! $700.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life Lately, in list form.

I'll do this in list form, because none of these topics are related.

1. We didn't get snow here in BIrmingham, just 2 inches of solid ice. Which makes for soooo much fun. I can barely contain myself.

2. Last night Mary Ella and I made brownies from scratch because I happened to have all the ingredients in the pantry (I found the recipe on the back of a Baker's chocolate box. I used unsweetened chocolate.) I'll just say this - they are no better than regular brownie mix brownies. (Thanks to my neighbor Amber for letting me borrow a cup of flour.)

3. I wish I had a spray tan booth. I always feel better and skinnier when I am tan. This is terribly superficial and I am very aware of that.

4. Last year at this time I was wishing for some Dove Energy Glow lotion. I posted about it on my blog because they had quit selling it down here in the south, and did you know that within a few weeks I had received over 10 bottles of it in the mail? See, it's great to be a blogger. I am still so thankful to those of you that sent some my way! (I have since run out and now I want a spray tan machine.)

5. I am not sure what I ever did before having an iPhone. I am working on a "Favorite Apps" post.

6. I have turned my laundry room into a home office for me. I love it.

7. My neighbor Lindsey, who lives down the street, sold me her iMac for half of what she bought it for; just because she decided she wanted a laptop instead. So now I am selling my Macbook (laptop) for $700. It is basically brand spanking new (I mean, I've had it since April 2009) but I like the iMac better because it's easier to edit photos and the screen is bigger.) Anyone want a Macbook?

8. If I had extra money right now I would be spending all of it at the annual Ikea 60% off sale. I love Ikea. Love. Love. Love.

9. I have NO extra money right now because my dog came down with a horrible case of cellulitis right after Christmas. Her back right leg was extremely swollen and hot, and she was not putting weight on it. We finally took her to the vet and our bill was $468.00. Enter meltdown@thevet. Enter panicattack. Enter thankyouforgenerousparents who have helped us out.

10. For Christmas, my parents bought us a Best Buy gift card. We used it to buy a TV mount and we mounted our TV above our mantel. Now my mantel looks like crap. It used to be the prettiest part of my living room. I need help.

11. Because of #10 we also had to rearrange our entire living room. I like the new arrangement and have fallen in love with my house again because of it. Sometimes you just need a little switcheroo to rekindle the flame. But my mantel is still hurting in the pretty department.

12. I purged my closet on New Year's Day. I finally gave in and just told myself I will probably never be size *** again and I need to quit saving clothes in hopes that I'll get there. I got rid of a TON of stuff. It felt good. Afterwards.

13. I saw "Country Strong" with Jackie yesterday. I loved the characters, the acting, the SOUNDTRACK (wow!). But it was also weird and kind of dark and a little sad. I would see it again though. And I will definitely be getting the soundtrack. And a poster of Beau Hutton. Yes sir.

14. I watched The Craigslist Killer movie on Lifetime last night and then dreamed about it all night long. Scary. I still can't believe that actually happened to real people. So sad.

15. Mary Ella woke up early the other day and helped herself to my bag of Great Value Mountain Trail mix in the pantry. (Since she'e been in her big girl bed, she's become an early morning pantry raider as well. But usually she just gets her snacks - goldfish, poptarts, raisins, etc) I found her in her room, half the trail mix dumped on the floor. I asked her why she wanted trail mix instead of her snacks. She said, "I didn't want trail mix. I just wanted M&Ms." And after looking closely, I realized she had eaten every.single.M&M. out of the trail mix bag. Her teeth are going to rot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Resolutions

1. Get in shape. Lose weight. Be serious about it, so that this doesn't have to be a resolution in 2012. (I am off to a great start, by the way, with the help of an amazing iPhone app! I'll write about it in a different post, but it's already made a world of difference in my eating habits and my general mood!)

2. Stick with my new morning routine. This year I made it a resolution to get up extra early (5:30-6am) to have time to myself to do what I need to do; for me, this involves reading, a big cup of coffee, a laundry load or two, and some Today Show watching. So far this has also made a huge difference in how I feel throughout the day. Instead of waking up when I hear Sam, and walking half asleep to his room to get him and then starting my day off my feeding him/drinking coffee/trying to read at the same time, I am up a good 2 hours before he even makes a peep. It's been great to have some "me" time at the beginning of my day, to pray, read, and just sit!

3. Read. I want to read more books this year than last year. I've started with this book, "Don't Make Me Count to Three," recommended by a blogger friend Joy. I can't tell you what an eye opener this has been for me and what an amazing resource I know this will be for years to come. It's a book about discipline and it's loaded with scripture, insight, and encouragement. I would highly recommend it for anyone with kids, especially kids that are getting into mischief and entering the toddler stage.

4. Be intentional - as a wife, mother, homemaker, friend, etc. I don't want to go through the routines of my every day life without realizing that what I am doing has eternal impact, for my family and my friends and everyone around me. It's easy to get run down as a mother and think, "Geez, how can washing dishes and doing laundry and changing diapers and cleaning up spit up really glorify God?!?" Instead I want to use every moment with intention and use His word to encourage me and help me to realize that I am exactly where He wants me to be, doing exactly what He wants me to do at this time in my life.

5. Learn to make pants and shorts. With a sewing machine. Any tutorials or easy pattern recommendations appreciated!

7 Months

Sam Morgan is 7 months old!

Not too much has changed in the last month except that he has gained a lot of strength in his core muscles... and we haven't even started therapy yet! After we met with the E.I. people I decided to be a little more disciplined in his activity; so now, if he is awake and happy, he is in his exersaucer or the high chair or the johnny jumper. He did these things before, but I also let him lay on his back or on the boppy just as much, and now I'm hardly doing any of that. He has been able to play in his exersaucer for 15-20 minutes at a time which is really great for Sam. We're also doing some neck stretches during the day to help the range of motion in his neck muscles. He doesn't seem to mind any of it too much. We started Kindermusik this week and he laughed and smiled and "talked" throughout the class. He seemed to really enjoy the one on one attention and the movements, and of course the other sweet babies!

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He is still eating baby food 3 times a day and he LOVES food. I can't feed it to him fast enough. If I pause too long between bites he'll start panting like a puppy dog, like he's getting anxious. He also pants if I look away from him for a few seconds, just to get my attention. He's learned to make a smacking noise with his lips and a clicking noise with his tongue and he tries to repeat these things when I do it. He is on formula exclusively and is taking 4 6-oz bottles a day, usually at 8,12,4 & 8. He sleeps like an angel and still loves his crib aquarium. He also loves anything silky and likes to pull his silky blanket over his face, suck his thumb, and go to sleep. I know this sounds weird, but he also loves my hair. I guess because there's no way around my hair, because I am a Duggar. He loves to grab it and pull it to his face, and he'll treat it the same way he does his silky blankies; he'll grab some of my hair with his thumb sucking hand, then pull his thumb to his mouth and go right to sleep; it's comforting to him for some reason. Maybe that means my hair is silky smooth and healthy. Thank you, Pantene. :) And speaking of hair, Sam's is growing! I think he may end up having more hair than his sister. Wellllll maybe not.

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He likes to grab my face when I hold him close to me and I love it. He is a real snuggle bug; loves to be held close and loves to rock. I love that he's content just being held and I hope that doesn't change, even when he gets to be mobile. He laughs out loud when he's tickled, thrown in the air, or when Mary Ella makes certain faces/noises. He also laughs when I make car noises or make a fish face. He can "pat pat pat" on his books and can "find his toes" and will occasionally shake his head "no," not on purpose of course, but we all think it's hilarious and will ask him questions while he's doing it just to get a laugh.

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Sam's definitely a teething machine, although there are no visible tooth buds yet. He chews on everything he can get his hands on, and if nothing is within reach he'll chew on his hands or on his bib. I've figured out that the Gerber baby food spoons with the rubber ends are great for teething. Dab a little baby food on the end and he'll go to town. So far it hasn't made him too terribly fussy, just snotty and drooly. But he LOVES chewing on those spoons.

(This is from my iPhone, and he's wearing an old bib of Mary Ella's. Oops.)
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I love this little boy with all my heart! He is truly a good and perfect gift!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010: Part 2

On Christmas day, after the kids enjoyed their Santa surprises and watching the snow, we drove up to my grandmother's house for the Compound Christmas. We ate my family's traditional Christmas dinner - finger foods - and opened gifts again. Grandmother gave us a $25 gift certificate to Ricatoni's (which we used the very next night!) and she also gave me a Hobby Lobby gift card which I have already spent as well. My grandaddy made Mary Ella a wooden doll bed and it was one of our favorite gifts.

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My mom and her 2 younger sisters with their Vera Bradley bags from my Grandmother.
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My beautiful cousins, Annsley and Courtney

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This year my grandmother had the idea of hosting a "penny auction." Everyone brought auction items to put up for sale - the items ranged anywhere from home made goodies to gently used household items. I brought some butter toffee and some old Fossil wallets that were still in great condition. There were probably 50+ items to bid on. My grandparents gave everyone 100 pennies in a ziplock bag and everyone got a paper plate with a name on it. (When you wanted an item, you'd hold up your plate and we'd call out your fake "auction" name and your bid.)

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My grandaddy and I took turns being the auctioneer and we had the best time laughing our butts off and bidding on items we wanted. I walked away with a cute coffee thermos, a brand new cutting board, some chocolate covered pretzels, home made cheese straws, a glass clown figurine for Sam's room, and a few other small things. It was so much fun and I think we'll probably do it every year from now on. Even the kids had fun!

Just a quick funny story: My grandaddy bought my grandmother a laptop this year and she loved it. After she opened it my mom and her sisters all gave my grandaddy a present - it was a steno notepad (like the kind you write in), and they had cut out vinyl letters for the outer cover and it said, "Ike's Ipad" and had an apple logo on it. (If you know my grandaddy, this is hilarious. He's a farmer, and he likes things very "simple." No cell phone or anything. Doesn't even know how to use his TV remote and couldn't care less! He likes things the old fashioned way, just plain and simple. We always joke with him about "texting us" and getting on his "blog.") Anyway, he was telling everyone, "Hey! Look! I got me a Apple Ipad!" and he'd flip through all the blank pages and say, "Well would ya look at all these blogs! Look! Here's some twitters! And my facebox!" Haha! We were laughing SO hard. I wish I had a video of him.

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By the end of the night, this little elf was tuckered out!

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Anyway, the next morning Mom cooked a big brunch - breakfast casserole, tomato grits, orange rolls, and fruit - and we had Christmas with our family. This year was special because my sister is engaged to Chris Campbell and he was there with us to open gifts. (They are getting married in May.) This year since there were 6 of us big kids - me, Chad, Adam, Ashley, Betsy and Chris - we decided we'd draw names. Betsy got my name and bought me an awesome shirt at Target, and Ashley got Chad's name and she and Buzz bought him a dry fit Alabama polo shirt which he loved. Mary Ella and Sam racked up on gifts too! Toys, outfits, kitchen stuff (more Melissa & Doug toys - we love that stuff!), and lots of movies for the cold days ahead. Sam got a Fisher Price "tool bench" that I know he will love. And Betsy and Chris bought him a Bama shirt that says "Tiny Tackler." It's so cute. My parents were so generous and gave us a $100 gift card to Best Buy. They also bought Chad some shirts and some new scrubs, and they bought me Photoshop Elements! I'm so excited to learn how to use it.
My dad's parents came over that afternoon and we had round 4 of present opening. We all got new Alabama t-shirts and a few little things and Sam and Mary Ella got Alabama sweatsuits and toys. It was a really great day and I enjoyed spending time with everybody. The kids were exhausted by that afternoon and they took naps.

That night, my soon-to-be brother in law Chris brought his XBox Kinect over to the house and we decided we'd play a few games. We started off with bowling, and then moved on to soccer, ping pong and finally track and field. After everyone left Chad and I decided we'd go through every single game and try to beat the high score. Big. Mistake. I have NEVER been so sore in my ENTIRE life. I could barely move the next day. If you've never played Kinect, you need to at least give it a try. It's similar to the Wii except there is no hassle of having a controller to hold in your hands. You just move, and it does whatever you do. But do NOT try to become the high scorer in every.single.game in one night. Because you will regret it the next morning. And the next week.

Speaking of my soon-to-be-brother Chris, he earned bonus points this Christmas because he bought my sister this...

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Her name is Gertie, and she's a 6-week old Boston terrier; the cutest little puppy in the world! I was so proud to learn that I was finally an aunt on my side of the family.

And then... my REAL brother dropped the bomb on me... that I was REALLY going to be an aunt! YAYYY! He and my sis-in-law are PREGNANT!!! I am sooooo excited. You should have seen me when they told us the news. Well, I'm sure Ashley will post the video soon and I'll just go ahead and warn you, I was a wee bit excited. Just a wee bit.

My sister in law is BEAUTIFUL so I know they'll make a beautiful little baby. See?



Oh wait, she was a little sick in that picture. Here's a better one...



That's a better one. Much better.

Well, that's it for the Christmas wrap up. We ended up staying at my parents' for almost a week then came back and today have been relaxing, reorganizing, de-cluttering, cleaning, and getting ready for a new year! Yay! Resolutions and a 7-month Sambo post to come!

Christmas 2010 (Part 1)

Well, Christmas has come and gone and the new year has arrived! 2011! We are blessed to have such wonderful families and reasons to celebrate the holidays. We had a great Christmas and I've taken down all my decorations (sad!) and have started working on resolutions for 2011. I always love thinking of my resolutions and really trying to reach my goals; some years I do ok, some years I forget all about them, but it's fun either way to look back at the year and then set goals for the year ahead. Here's a record of our Christmas, just for me to remember. I was TERRIBLE about taking pictures this year, but I was trying to soak up the fun with my kiddos. (In fact, the picture you see below of the kids' loot from Santa was taken AFTER they had played with their toys, had destroyed the den, and had eaten breakfast AND lunch. I chose to video tape them instead of taking pictures, so when I realized I had never taken a picture of their Santa toys I freaked out a little and set it all back up, just the way he left it. Hehe...) Anyway...

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed Christmas with Chad's family at his parents' house. We ate the traditional Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and dressing and everything that goes along with it. We bought presents for all the kiddos (Mary Ella, Sam, and my nephews Brooks and Case) and we bought stocking stuffers for the adults. I had a calendar made on Shutterfly for Chad's mom with pictures of all the kids and I was surprised at how great it turned out! If you ever need a personalized calendar I would highly recommend Shutterfly - GREAT quality and very durable. Mary Ella loved all of her gifts, including some Melissa & Doug slice n bake cookies and an ice cream set, some PB Kids donuts and cupcakes, and a bunch of My Little Pony stuff from Aunt Keri Lynn.

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My nephews are the sweetest boys! Brooks is 6 and Case just turned 3. They are loving and cuddly (well, Case I'm sure WOULD be cuddly if I could ever catch the little rascal long enough to love on him! haha!)

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and they are so sweet to Mary Ella. They really are; they take good care of her and I know they always will! I had fun watching the kids play together and experience the joy of Christmas gift giving.

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We bought Brooks a Toy Story game for the Wii and his expression was so cute...

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Here is Sam and Grandaddy, Chad's dad. They look a lot alike! (Except Grandaddy prefers to have his hair longer instead of wearing it in a mohawk like Sambo. I have no idea why. Crazy Grandaddy.)

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Christmas morning was extra fun since Mary Ella was more into it this year. And of course because we had TWO sweet munchkins to enjoy it with. Mary Ella was asleep when we got home from MeMama and Grandaddy's house so we didn't make a big deal about telling her that Santa was coming that night. When we woke her up the next morning and told her Santa had come, she was like, "big deal!" She didn't really say that, but I think she had heard us talk about Santa coming so much over the past few weeks that she didn't really believe us. So we kinda had to bribe her into the living room.

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Santa was good to both Mary Ella and Sambo. He brought Mary Ella an Alphie, a new doll that she has named "Baby Charlotte,", a real shopping buggy, a Dora tent, some make up, a devotional book, a doll house, a pillow pet and a few other small things. The only things she asked for were a baby doll, a pillow pet and an Alphie so she seemed pleasantly surprised at the rest of her gifts.

I had the Alphie robot when I was a little girl. Do you remember it?

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She immediately loaded most of it into her shopping buggy right away.

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Her favorite gift of all was in her stocking...
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And I'm sure we'll have a real interesting trip to the dentist this year because of it.

Sam, thanks to some great consignment sales and his big sister's hand-me-downs, received a basketball goal, a riding toy, a few stuffed animals, some rattle and teething toys, books and some baby bongo drums.
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One of the best and most memorable things about Christmas morning was that it was SNOWING! This was the first white Christmas I can remember and the snowflakes were huge! We enjoyed drinking our coffee and watching it from the windows. I remember thinking, "This is like a movie!!!" and it was! It was a really magical day and I wish I'd taken more time to enjoy it, but we had to hurry with Santa and pack for Florence, so we didn't really get to soak it up. I should have at least taken Sam outside since it was his first snow! Oh well!

Ok, that's all I can post at the moment! More coming later...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

For the record...

I'd just like to say it. Just to hear how it sounds. So here goes...

I haven't been sick since last. year.

There.

Booyah.

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Here's to health (please LORD!) and happiness in 2011, from our family to yours!
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