Category Archives: friends

Bonita Beach

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I mentioned that my friend CMB and her daughter visited us when we were in Florida. We tried for a sunset one evening and we got a pretty good one! We have always liked Bonita Beach and we certainly got lucky finding a parking place on the first try. One small upside of all of this Covid stuff, Florida was not SWAMPED with snowbirds and visitors.

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We did some walking, some shelling, some picture taking.

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It was a beautiful night.

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The only time in 6 weeks Honey and I made it to the beach! We tried again when Mousey was down but were not as fortunate in the parking situation, so we settled for ice cream.

I like his face ❤

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God is a wonderful Maker.

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Back to the Sunshine State For a Bit

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The last post from Florida had us doing a little home improvement. Here is the newly painted den, sporting its new color, Malabar. The whole time I was painting the white walls I was thinking, oh, it’s going to be toooooo dark. I have no idea what my problem was! I like it very much. Still no cutey-cute bedding, but it does have sheets and covers for now. Oh well, even Rome wasn’t built in a day. The room was ready to host CMB’s daughter Courtney, and that was a good thing ❤

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We also switched the previous queen bed out for a king. After a flurry of texting with Capri P, Mousey and The Dane, who evidently have a form of foam mattress, we decided on this one from Sam’s Club.

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There was a lot of packaging and it had all the air sucked right out of it!

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Starting to floof.

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Fully floofed! I have to be honest, it was a little lower than I expected, but I did sleep on it and it seemed quite comfortable. CMB said it was firm, and I can get on board with that assessment. She also liked the pillows we also purchased at the Sam’s Club, they were called Bellagio, which sounds faincy!

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I found this set at Homegoods and I very much liked the color. I’m so glad we didn’t wait to purchase it until Mousey arrived because we never saw another like it!

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Still need some art work and maybe a few more pillows, but it was also up and running to host CMB!

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The last few times we rented, before purchasing our place in Estero, were spent renting in Cape Coral from VRBO. We rented from a very nice woman named Becky Burroughs and her equally nice husband, whose name I cannot recall. Honey mostly dealt with Becky through texting and I mailed her the checks, so her name was in my brain. Becky and her husband had been buying homes and redoing them to use as rentals, and she told us that we were usually the first renters in a new listing, it just worked out that way! There were many things I appreciated about renting from Becky, and a few were full soap dispensers in the bathrooms and kitchen, also dish washer pods, cleaning spray and toilet paper! You would think that would be a given, but you would be mistaken. I find it extremely annoying when you have to go to the store on your first day in a rental to buy toilet paper. VERY chintzy! She actually had a closet that held all sorts of things that people actually stock in their own homes, which was helpful. Because when we make a mess, I would like to have the wherewithal to clean up said mess.

One of the things our family really liked about Becky’s houses were the SNACK BASKETS! In all of their houses, they had a basket full of yummy snacks and there was never much left when we left to go home! So when we were expecting our first guests at our new place, who happened to be Mrs Schmenkman and Mr C, Honey said we HAD to make a snack basket!! I present our Becky Burrough’s Snack Basket! I think they liked it 🙂

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I also wanted to have a little somethn’ somethin’ to snack on, but our oven was having an emotional breakdown of sorts. Honey bought several parts to right it, but it resisted being helped. The cook top worked, but no oven. One day I saw our sweet neighbor Jean, who has a delightful British accent, and was telling her of our oven dilemma and she suggested I could use hers. I totally took her up on that! She said she never uses it anymore and she seemed thrilled to help me out, we are now bonded for life 🙂 I paid her with a couple slices of Mrs Davis’ pound cake, our family cake, and she now tells me that she feels like we have been friends forever ❤

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In the new acrylic cake holder that The Ab-Cat and Mousey gave me for Christmas! I love it!

Goodbye 2020

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It was a brisk 25 degrees but Keelyody and I got in the first walk of the new year! It was cold and dark at 8 a.m., but we forged ahead and were glad that we did.

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As we walked, we talked, as you do, and decided that we walked a LOT in 2020! We had a lot of snow at the end of 2019 and called it quits in November with the expectation of more to follow. It was an early call, we usually walk into December. It turned out to be a false alarm, our winter was in fact milder than usual and we resumed walking in March after the governor of Michigan locked down our state due to the Corona virus/Covid-19/Plague.. Being outside seemed like such a relief. I am able to pinpoint the time as after the lockdown, but before the domestic violence incident happened next door at the end of the month. That sounds like a surreal statement, but there you have 2020 in a nutshell.

Walking was a big deal in 2020. I walked with Keelyody, Jip the Farm Dog, The Peanuts Champ, Honey, The Ab-Cat, Mousey and The Usher, and even with Mrs. Schmenkman when we visited with her and Mr. C this fall. A lot of miles logged on the soles of my shoes. And I have to say, it helped. It really did. Being out of the house, with no mask on, was glorious. Fresh air, exercise and social interaction are good things whilst in a pandemic.

Our last walk of 2020 took place on Monday of this week and here we are on Friday, the first walk of 2021. Here is to many more in the new year.

2019 in Review

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Man, that was a fast year!!! I had big plans to blog and capture all the doings and then we and a full house and life just kept on going at breakneck speed! Here are 19 of the highlights, and I seriously could have done 2019 highlights ❤

We welcomed The Little Dipper last year! He is now on the move and getting very personable!

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Spent time with The Capri’s in February on North Captiva Island, always a pleasure to be with treasured, old Friends. Old as in we have known each other a long time, because they say 60 is the new 40, right??!!

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I am Grammy of two!

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Always love to see my people laughing, it’s my favorite ❤

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Oldest to youngest, the extreme ends of the generations!

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Me and my Honey, all gussied up for a wedding. I still like that guy.

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The Boy GRADUATED in May from Moody Bible Institute!!!!!!! That’s 7 exclamation points because 7 is God’s number!!

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These two, the fun never ends ❤

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Heard The Boy give a Good Word for the first time!

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Thankful for my brother Beeve. I like his face.

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BUBBLES!!!

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So glad to have this family nearby. It’s still an hour drive, but WAY better than the other side of the country in Washington State!

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Happy to welcome The Usher to the family, he’s a keeper and we love him ❤

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Love this bunch a BUNCH!

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Have loved having Moonpie stay for some weekends! We took her to our Dear Friend Awesome Autumn’s costume birthday party!

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Love being able to babysit as needed, especially now that this guy is allowing his Mama out of his sight!

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Little Dipper celebrated his first birthday last week in Denmark, land of his Mama’s People!

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Our annual Christmas celebration with our Dear Friend’s The Hostlers!

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And Happy New Year from Ab-Cat and Awesome Autumn from their Roaring 20s party!

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Here’s to 2020, may it be the best year yet!

30 Days of Thankful- 20

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The year Mousey went to first grade was the first time in many years that I had some time to myself. Honey used to tease me that I had a part time job; going to lunch with my friends!! I still like to go to lunch with friends when available, but most Wednesdays after BSF leaders meeting, you can find me at Chip and Dip.

Some days we have a crowd, sometimes a few, occasionally just two. While all would say our love of chips and salsa bonds us, there is far more bonding going on as we talk about our families, our Bible study lessons, our struggles in life, big and small, and The One who guides us as we walk through this often difficult life.  God knits hearts Y’All!

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I am thankful for Chip and Dip, a fine place to talk, laugh, occasionally cry, and always enjoy good chips and salsa ❤

30 Days of Thankful-2-3-4-5

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We had a visitor last weekend! Our favorite Moonpie came to stay while her brother and folks went to a weekend retreat with their youth group. We were thankful for the time to spend with her, we miss having her around!!! She was so happy to see her Papa! They were snuggling 🙂

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And reading, and coloring. Goodness, I think I read about a hundred stories! A big thanks to the Ab-Cat for getting some other favorites from the library ❤ Hello Pete the Cat and Llama Llama.

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On Saturday night we went to a costume birthday party! Moonpie brought her own kitty cat costume and Mousey gave her some whiskers.

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She liked them!

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So proud with her lumberjack Papa, seriously, it was the least he could do.

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I really did have 2 kitty ears, the other is no where to be seen.

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The Ab-Cat was Rosie the Riveter, hair and makeup also done by Mouse-Ann, she is reason #3 of thankfulness.

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She looked adorable if I do say so ❤

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Mousey and The Usher were Velma and Shaggy from Scooby Doo!

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Moonpie was everyone’s favorite photo prop!

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The whole gang.

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And thankful #4 was the reason for the birthday party, our dear friend Awesome Autumn is now thirty, flirty and thriving!

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❤ ❤ ❤

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Party planners extrordinaires, Rae-Babe and Jon-a-fin, dressed as Mary Poppins and Bert the chimney sweep! ❤

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And joined by her sister, Nurse Lauren! Couldn’t be more thankful for these life long friends! #5

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Moonpie had a fun time looking at all the costumes, decorations, EATING, and licking the frosting off of my cupcake while shunning the actual cake.

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A wonderful time was had!

Still Here

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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!

First List of the New Year

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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

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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!