Category Archives: family life

Still Here


WOW! I guess I took a little break there! I am having such a hard time getting back into the blogging groove. Some might say I should just quit. But Y’all, I LOVE my blog! I really do have the desire to do it, but I have lost the bloggal mentality. I only remember a long time after that HEY, I should have posted about that! And then it seems like ancient history, and I am so behind, and so forget it. I tried to do that November thingy to get back into the habit of blogging regularly, and we all know how that worked out.

I need to just do it, come in here to our big computer and write down some thoughts or post some pictures. I am going to try folks. It’s been busy around here with our full house, but BSF is on summer hiatus, and I don’t have 7000 trips planned this summer, so fingers crossed, jumping in!

We have had The Sickness around here for the last several months, all were hit hard, all were hacking, and some are having a second go round 😦

The Dane and The Boy took the kids back to the pediatrician today and found out MoonPie has a double ear infection, and Little Dipper has the RSV virus. Well, that explains a lot. Hopefully they will be on the road to recovery right quick!

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This is one of my favorite pictures of MoonPie recently, and it tells you a little about her mood lately.

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Girlfriend’s had a short fuse these days and this makes me laugh out loud!

There have been some dicey moments with this little peanut too, but he has been sick and was busy growing some teeth, so we will let that slide 🙂

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I have been trying to make progress eating keto, but things keep happening, like vacations, birthdays, weddings, lunch with friends, you know, LIFE. I am down 9 pounds from when I originally started, so I’m choosing to celebrate that. Here are two of my  favorite recipes of late. I took both with me down to Virginia to visit Mrs. Schmenkman for the 24th annual Memorial Day Extravaganza!! I think she was a fan. ❤ Here we are, celebrating 24 years of The Hootenanny, and over 30 years of friendship!!!

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I’m not sure if I mentioned that I never really lost much weight until I added fat bombs to my diet. They have been great to help me get in the extra fat, in addition to helping me satisfy my raging sweet tooth. So WIN/WIN in my book. Schmenky used a little scoop to make little balls, but I just eat spoonfuls out of the container. No one eats it besides me, so don’t be alarmed! I probably have 1 to 4 spoonfuls a day, because some days the heart wants what the heart wants.

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Now this is a great little recipe! I have made them many times and I just keep running out! MoonPie likes to share mine and even The Dane said she liked them, so that gives you an idea about their normal taste and texture. The first time I made them I did use the garlic powder, and they were good for a more savory, dinner type of biscuit, but I have not used it since.

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I make them in a muffin tin and I saw somewhere that they have about 1.8 gram of carb each. I usually have 3, sliced with butter and my homemade Truvia jam for breakfast and it keeps me full for a good long time. Like today, I ate at about 11 and it’s now after 5 and I am not sniffing for food. Amazing!

Well, I have given it a shot today, and hopefully I will remember to come in here tomorrow!




We thought we were going to be spending a couple months in Florida this winter, but that guy I married? Yeah, still not retired. He thought last year was going to be his last. He now says he will be done on or before January 1, 2020. It will happen some time, so I am just continuing on with our life, knowing that it will be a nice surprise when it finally arrives 😉

We did get down to our home in Estero for a couple of weeks though. I was a little bossy about the weeks, I knew the other Capri’s were planning on being at Capri P’s place on North Captiva Island the last week of February, so our trip needed to begin or end with that week.

We had a little trouble getting out of The Mitten due to an untimely bomb cyclone and Frontier Airlines cancelling our flight after we were already at the airport. By the way Frontier, still waiting for that notification!!! We were fortunate that Spirit Airlines had a flight to Ft Myers just a little later and were able to accommodate a lot of us disgruntled Frontier fliers. The two airlines had a difference of opinion on checked baggage weight, so we had a hurried rearranging of 10 pounds from my to be checked bag to our carry ons. Good thing we had room there! And off we went!

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We had planned to pick up our rental car and then stop for dinner, but our Spirit flight arrived a some later so we just went to our friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, did some shopping and had our first vacation meal at our place 🙂

Hello Cheeto’s, my vacation friend! Sourdough ham, cheese and egg sandwiches, YUM.

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We heavily used that Wal-Mart. Good grief, sometimes twice a day! Until we get our place situated, we seem to have many needs.

The weather was B-eautiful!!! One of the reasons we loved this community so much was it had a lovely pool and clubhouse. The last time we drove through with our realtor, we discovered there was a satellite pool at the other end of our street! I am here to tell you we have still never been to that big, beautiful main pool, we love this one, and it’s plenty big.

This was our “spot” for two weeks. There were never more than a handful of folks there at any given time. The constants were Elvis and Priscilla, 12-2, like clockwork 🙂

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On Wednesday we drove to Capri P’s marina and were picked up by Capri’s L and D and their honeys, Mr C and BFG!!! They shuttled us over to her island in style! Honey made us fresh fish and shrimp tacos and then the guys went fitchin’ and we gals talked and Schmenky and I cut hairs, because we wuz shaggy! The island was beautimous, as usual and old friends are even more so.

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We left a little early due to a possible weather event, but they dropped us off and got home safely.

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So glad we were able to visit!

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The Ab-Cat had been sending us the news from home. She had a needy cattan who couldn’t seem to get close enough to satisfy his need for attention.

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Snap chats with MoonPie!

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There’s our girls ❤

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On Saturday we drove back out to Capri P’s marina to pick up Mrs Schmenkman and Mr C, who had a super early flight the next morning and needed a lift to the airport. They became our first official overnight guests!

After being down a week, we finally got together with Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob. They had been over on the other side of the state grandparenting their littles 🙂

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And later that night we picked up Miss Mousey-Ann from the airport!! She is our vacation buddy 🙂

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Her idea of a great vaca is logging many hours soaking up the sun at the pool. She fit right in with Elvis and Priscilla! She swam and read her World War 2 book. She is eclectic. One day it was a little chilly, early 60s. We packed up to go to the pool as usual, knowing that the pool area is fairly protected from the wind and the sunshine was warm, and I kid you not, we passed residents walking their dogs in FULL ON coats!!! They were probably thinking we were crazy tourists.

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Honey slid right into that retirement mode. Puttering around the house, lounging at the pool,

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fitchin’ in the ditch behind the pool. He did not catch any but some big birds caught a few!

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We then proceeded to eat and shop and visit with Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis.

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Selfies are always a trial for us.

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Don’t remember what caused this fracas!

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Thanks for taking me on vacation Honey!

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We tried it again outside. It’s debatable which group shot is best, although Honey commented on this one his eye was doing that strange Marty Feldman thing that it did one time when we had a family picture taken for our church directory!!! It’s never happened before or since!

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Now both eyes are looking straight on!

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Way too soon it was time to go. We love our place.

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We gave it one last try at the airport, It’ll do pig, it’ll do.

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Florida 2019 is in the books and on the blog!

Pictures From the Winter


Our house has been busy this winter! The addition of The Boy, The Dane, MoonPie and Little Dipper have revived lots of words that we have not used on a regular basis. Words like nap, diapers, baby gate, paci, car seat, patty cake. Little words for little people ❤ Oh yes, and the words Elmo and whale are pretty big too.

Here are some pictures from the last couple months. We are enjoying watching the babies grow and reach new milestones. I am particularly loving watching Honey and remembering what a good Daddy he was to our little Furlings 🙂 Papa is MoonPie’s favorite and she is very happy when he wakes up!

SNOW! Kind of a new thing for her! It was SO DANG COLD shortly after they all arrived in January! Winter made such a scene the first couple weeks they were here!

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Fresh air and sunshine, does a body good.

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Trying on bunny ears at Target, as you do.

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Reading with her Papa. That Go Dog Go story was not like any one I read!!!

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❤ melted 🙂

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The Boy and Dane took the youth group on a trip to their old stomping grounds, Chicago! They took Little Dipper with them and we had a fine time with this little homemaker!

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She was good to ALL in her care too.

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She is one to enjoy a good snap chat session.

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Little Dipper is growing like a weed! He has been enjoying a mat on the floor while trying his level best to capture the dangly things that are there enticing him! He has become very adept at rolling from his tummy to his back, but I’m pretty sure it has not once been intentional 🙂 This was on his road trip to Chi Town, where he was quite the little trooper!

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We are so enjoying having this time to get to know them and love on their little selves! If you need us we will be right here jiggling babies, reading all manner of books and singing many songs, and loving every minute.

Babies in the House


Guys, we have a FULL house! The Boy and The Dane flew in for the last time from Seattle, Washington with their two children and lots of stuff on January 25! They all arrived sick and oh so weary. It was quite the feat getting themselves packed, their shipping container loaded, and I do mean loaded, apartment cleaned and their car shipped, all while wrangling a 1 1/2 year old, tending a newborn, and wiping noses and bottoms and possibly tears. 

Since they have been here, Mitten weather has been on full display. Snow days galore, some due to freezing temperatures where the wind chill was estimated at –50. There have been thaws, sunny days and then 2 ice storms. Pure Michigan.

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Honey was laid off for about three weeks in a row, one planned, the others unexpected due to a strike in Mexico leaving his plant with no parts. BUT, someone got their wall built! He wanted to give the kids a little more privacy in the basement, where they now all live. They put MoonPie in the spare bedroom, in hopes that she would sleep better without hearing Little Dipper’s nocturnal waking. They had planned on just setting up their bed and area in the tv side of our basement, but Honey decided to go big and attach a wall to the ceiling. It can all come down with no harm to the walls! It’s as sturdy as can be and has the added bonus of being warmer and more soundproof, a win/win! They Boy was so surprised! We call their new space Shangri-La 🙂    The picture looks like it’s metal, but it is some kind of insulation.

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It will be way better for all concerned when I have to go downstairs to work, somehow I don’t think they would want to wake up seeing me and my clients parading by!

We finally got to meet this little darling ❤  He probably had the easiest move of all.

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We spent all week passing that boy around like a football 🙂

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And were we ever glad to SQWUNCH our little MoonPie!!! She seems a little happy to have so many people looking at her and thinking everything she says is adorable!

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Back to the baby passing. Papa is an old pro.

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The Ab-Cat picked it up pretty quick! It’s been about 11 years since we had Little Goomba at this age!

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And here Mousey was snuggling one beebee and giving comfort to our big baby who is feeling a little out of sorts because of the loss of laps.

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I ❤ those faces.

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How do you spell mujj, muzshe? Kiss it!

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The Usher is around quite a bit and he has a little fan.

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This amuses me, The Boy puts MoonPie in her pajamas backwards, so she cannot unsnap them and get naked!

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They have her in many layers because our house is ….brisk. We have been turning it up a couple degrees for the children.

Abby is loving being an Aunt.

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This REALLY amused me. We received these alerts on our phones on the 2 coldest days. We typically keep our heat at 64, so we should probably turn it up!!!

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I have had the thought a few times that I should get in here and do a little blobbing, but I have been protecting our animals from poking fingers, reading books about animals and playing with plastic animals and giving a little gal stuffed animals. We will do what we can ❤

First List of the New Year


Hi Guys! I am trying to think blog-ally in 2019. I have gotten out of the swing of going on the big computer to post, as well as taking pictures to show you the usual this and that that make up a lot of my ponderings. Before and afters, documenting life, things we find humerous/ ironic, places we have gone. You know, the usual nonsense. Plus, Mrs. Schmenkman is back to blogging and reminding me to JUST GET IN HERE AND DO IT.

I was downstairs yesterday trying to get the too full basement in some kind of working order, because if you were not aware, The Boy and The Dane are moving in there!! I kept hearing a dripping/draining sound, but Mousey was doing laundry and I just associated it with that. As I got further back I heard a burbling noise, and that is just not a normal thing. I went into Honey’s workroom and lo and behold it was the water heater. Not spewing, but an unhealthy, more than a drip, gurgling. I hate to wake Honey up with bad news, but up the stairs I went. I told him on a very good note, the water was snaking into the very nearby drain, so YAY us for that one! Y’All, what IS it with us and water heaters??? This will be our 4th or 5th one in 20 years!! The last one was Halloween of 2013, handy to have that memory of date, made it easier to go back and find it on the blog, for reference purposes. DTE is coming sometime today between 8am and 4pm (nice narrowing it down DTE) and then we will have our old friend Mitch come and haul it out and install a new one. one kiss on the cheek from God in this whole thing, it was still under warranty til next December!!!! It would have been the norm for it to have expired last December! Thanks God, we really appreciate that ❤

Did I mention The Boy and The Dane are moving in??!! Oh, I did 🙂  Next Thursday they will board a plane at SeaTac for the last time and fly back to The Mitten with MoonPie and Little Dipper! We have been moving things around trying to make room for them and their belongings. Can’t wait to smooch those little faces ❤

We have confirmed what we already knew; we have a LOT of stuff in our basement. In our defense, we are a holding tank for a goodish amount of our children’s stuff, but we are absolutely guilty of contributing to the problem. The Ab-Cat would like to get her own place this year, there is talk of Mousey moving out with her best girl Chip sometime, and when The Boy and The Dane find a place to live on the other side of town, and everyone takes their belongings with them, we will see what we need to do! It is our goal to purge then, and prepare for putting our house up for sale and downsizing to a home with a much smaller yard and driveway. #goals. In the meantime, I have been going through some things and doing what I can.

Speaking of going through things, I have watched several episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. I enjoy a good before and after and found the process inspiring enough to light a fire under me to facilitate getting rid of things we don’t, nor will we ever, need. I went through some of the kids toys that we currently have in baskets, buckets and containers in our basement. Yikes! There is a lot of really good stuff down there! Through the years I kept what I considered to be the best stuff for the future grandchildren to play with. I know our kids loved to play with Beeve’s and my old toys. I went through all the holding implements, dumped them out to make sure there were no broken or small choke-ables at the bottom, and sorted by some loose categories. Play food and dishes, dress up clothes, little animals/characters/people, BARBIES and gear!, stuffed animals, Legos, Star Wars and Super Heros, so many BOOKS!,and Beanie Babies. Oh my goodness the Beanie Babies! I had a basket full and then found another whole tote full! Our kids loved them and played with them a bunch. Most were pretty well loved and I know for sure some of Mousey’s kittys have been through the wash. I think it will be so fun to see which toys the Grands gravitate towards.

Some of the toys made it into the ever growing Salvation Army donate pile, but only 2 things I actually threw away. A Pocohantas doll, that Abby got when she was in the hospital in 1995, because she had lost her arm, and a Pocohantas head where you can style their hairs. Mousey said she learned to braid on that head! No one was ever going to be able to comb that hair again #ratsnest  So what up Pocohantas??!!

They are predicting the first snowstorm of the winter this weekend. We really can’t complain, we haven’t even had many dustings. But this is Michigan, so the predictions are wild and anywhere from 1-8 inches. Pure Michigan. Honey works tonight (when the majority of the snow will come 😦 ) but then will be off all next week. There is some sort of strike in Mexico and that is causing a shortage of parts. Works for us!! The Usher has been looking forward to snow all winter! He works at a local community college and snow means overtime to him! Plowing and salting = that green paper 🙂

I’m going to leave on that note. Not going anywhere, just here, waiting on DTE, the snow, and our kids 🙂

Pre and Post Holiday


We are one week into the new year already! Happy New Year!

Today I’m here to say that I am two days into a better eating regimen, and if I’m being honest, just about anything is better than my habits from November on out. Friends, I’m not going to lie, it was a free for all and I was ready to stop with all the chowing. I say that, and I do mean it, but there was about once or five times yesterday that I thought it might be nice to have a piece of shortbread. Lucky for me I finished it the day before.

All aboard!

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Me and Honey.

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Honey said he wants to join me, but I have no idea what he does at work, so I am my own accountability partner. He and Ab-Cat are going to Schzezuan tonight and I am navigating the tricky waters of Birthday Club, so we will see if I am feeling proud of myself on Day 3. But like I said, anything will be an improvement.

Not sure if I will do full on Keto, but reigning in the carbs and eliminating sugar is a fine start.

I feel we need to head back to the middle of December, when all of the Christmas festivities started. This is our last leaders meeting at BSF. We typically have a luncheon for our leaders and we invite the church staff to join us. This is our pal Pastor Andy! I saw him earlier in the morning when he helped me track down some salad bowls from their locked kitchen and he was NOT looking quite so spiffy then! He said he changed just for us! You can’t beat a Christmas llama!!!

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The next day was our last class day for 2018. This is Davis, his Mama is on Admin and he is an honorary member with his own nametag and tasks! He likes to help me put out the cones and put chairs in a circle and hold the door open for our ladies. ❤ Here he is with his friend, Buckwheat.

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After class, Admin had lunch at our usual Chip and Dip. It was so nice to visit and relax! From left; Kalena, Trenda and Dear Sandra, and across the table are Sarah (Mama of our mascot Davis!) and Capri K! Class starts up again tomorrow, so yeah, this was a little bit ago! 😉

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Next we moved on to faux Christmas Eve with our Dear Friends the Hostler’s! Their daughter Nurse Lauren is married now and lives with her honey William in Minnesota. She was not able to get Christmas off so they came in early and we snuck in our annual Christmas Eve get together! Thanks for being our photographer Awesome Autumn!!!

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Medium Goomba came for cookie decorating again!

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Honey’s ….masterpieces!

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The Ab-Cat is always good for a bunch!

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We tried some pastry bags with thinner frosting for outlining. Mousey found the recipe on Pinterest and we will definitely use it again!

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Mousey and her friend The Usher were also in attendance.

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Especially enjoyed the pirate with one leg and the broken shark bit man! A+ for creativity!

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The Usher made good use of the peppermint sprinkles.

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This was Seymour’s favorite napping spot, some random present.

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REAL Christmas Eve!!!! We had carry out Lee’s Chicken and it was AWESOME! More games, more stories and a bunch of well fed folks 🙂

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I have not one picture of Christmas Day. Seriously, not a one. But we had a very nice day with Grandpa, my brother Beeve, his wife Stacey, her folks Sharon and Turk, and Medium Goomba, and The Usher. Merry Christmas Y’All! ❤

Zipping right along to New Years Eve, a fine fondue with the fam and The Usher. Oh, it was good 🙂

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These two were trying to recreate a picture they had taken their first time around. The Usher was around about 4 years ago and then he wasn’t, something about a ghosting by someone whose name starts with M. We are happy to welcome him back to the table.

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Same recreation process.

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Then we watched this until the ball dropped.

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Yeah, we are wild cats. And then I went to bed, because 12:10 was plenty of New Year for me.

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There you have the festivities of Christmas 2018, it’s a wrap!

The Little Dipper is Here!


Our family received a late Christmas present, Little Dipper made his appearance 4 days after his due date and 2 days after the holiday!!!!

The Boy and The Dane were anxiously awaiting his arrival, they were pretty ready to have him on the outside! If he had been anything like his father, he could have been born a week into the New Year!

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There were some contractions, some more waiting, and then The Dane said they were getting the ball rolling by breaking her water. He then made great haste to come into the world!!

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Awwww, I know honey, it’s a harsh start! Was very glad for The Dane to be able to deliver with the doctors she has come to know and trust.

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Hello Mama ❤

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What a punkin!

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Thank you Lord for another sweet baby to love ❤

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They are snuggled in adjusting to being a family of 4. Looking very forward to welcoming them to The Mitten on January 24 and meeting the new little grandboy 🙂 ❤