Category Archives: The Ab-Cat

First List of Summer

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Whew, had a little bit of the hectic going on the last couple of weeks. Mainly working. I told Honey that about everyone of my clients needed their hair done in a three week span! I had people stuck all over the place! Add that to all the bits and pieces and life was a little full. How about a little catch up list?

Honey is having one of those months where everything he touches breaks or is already malfunctioning. I despise these times! He already has so little extra time and having multiple things that need his immediate attention is stressful and annoying for him. I’m praying that God expands his time and gives him uncommon wisdom. Two cars are acting up, our pool has air in the lines that cause it to gurgle like the worst intestinal trouble ever, all the live long day, and worst case scenario would need lines replaced which involves breaking concrete and we do NOT want to go there!

Before any of this new stuff sprouted he was working on his dang hedge clippers that will.not.start. despite all of his vast mechanical abilities. In the meantime our bushes and hedges just grow higher and higher. There is probably more, but these are the most consuming at the moment.

The Grandpa went to Philadelphia to visit his son Larry and look what they did!!! Not too shabby for 79 years of age! Here they are in front of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. I know that because of the movie National Treasure, which I HIGHLY recommend! On a segue way, just like Job Bluth, amazing! He had a great trip!

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The Ab-Cat’s van is one that is needing attention, so I was dropping her off and picking her up from school on her last week before summer vacation. On the last day she asked if I wanted to come in and meet her “teachers”, the 3 teachers she goes between with her overage hours. It was wonderful to meet them and they said such kind and encouraging things about our girl! I loved walking through the halls with her and hearing the choruses of “Hi Miss Abby!!!”.

On the day I was coming into the school, she texted that I should get buzzed in, go to the office to sign in, and the ladies in there would tell me where to go.  When I arrived I said I was Abby’s mom and she was with Mrs. M. The woman said she could take me down there. When we got to the classroom the students were at gym, so only Abby and the teacher were in the room, I overheard Ab say “oh, there’s my Mom!”. The woman who had walked me from the office said “oh, you’re ABBY’S mom! I should have noticed that right away, you two look so much alike!!”. At that point I told the woman she was my favorite person of the day/ month/year for thinking that I could have been the mom of a second grader!!!!!

Jip the Farm Dog’s son Daniel Tiger plays baseball for Central Michigan University. Fire up Chips! In a very exciting turn of events he was drafted by The Colorado Rockies!!!!! Now, I am not well versed in sportal things, but even I know this is a BIG DEAL!!!! Someone created this scene for him to celebrate the news!

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Well done Daniel Tiger!!!!! And because Mom has been there every second of the journey, well done Jip the Farm Dog!!!!!

A bunch of past and present BSFers are going to do a Priscilla Shirer study this summer at our church. It’s called Discerning the Voice of God and I am really looking forward to it. Last years Armor of God was probably the most helpful study I have ever done, and if this one is even 1/2 as good I will be thrilled!

I spoke with The Boy and The Dane on the phone the other evening and they are both WAY ready to meet their new baby girl! The Dane had been to the dr that day and not much was happening. She is officially due on June 30, but she would be happy to go earlier! Her folks are coming from Denmark for the first 3 weeks of July and I’m guessing they would rather spend 3 weeks with the baby OUTSIDE of The Dane!!!!!

I still can’t decide if I should be Grammie or Grandma. Still pondering.

Ok, enough for now, enjoy your Thursday!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, it’s been a while! If you would like to join us, click on the link below to head over to Joyce’s. Glad to back with you!

From this Side of the Pond

1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country’s flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

I have never been to any of those places but would be happy to go!

We have a flagpole but it is currently without a flag. We used to have a light shining on it so you could leave it up throughout the night, but electricity was severed when we had The Great Sewer Debacle and Honey has never gotten back around to restoring it. Next year perhaps when he is RETIRED!!!!

Flag Day was also notable as my Grandmother’s birthday. My Uncle Bob texted me last night to tell me she would have been 104 today, unbelievable!!! Even more unbelievable is she has been gone for almost 25 years.

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One of my favorite people ever.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

A little of both. The red flags of health issues, the white flags of acceptance or resignation. This Temple Maintenance is a drag sometimes.
3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

I certainly used to be! I rarely listen to music in the car these days,

I sometimes listen to a Chris Tomlin or Matt Redmon cd while driving to BSF, and I sometimes finish the song in the parking lot before I head in. The odd thing is I always turn it off when I get back in the car after class! I guess I have too much stuff swirling around in my brain and it needs quiet!
4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What’s an expression you associate with your father?

I think a good dad builds into his children, and there are a lot of ways to accomplish that. You can love your children a lot, but if it doesn’t manifest itself in any practical, emotional or spiritual way, I don’t think success was achieved.

I think Honey was an overachiever in this area. He has always worked a ton of hours, yet he has parented lovingly and intentionally. There have been many years when our family was the only thing extracurricular he had time for! He has fiercely loved, cared for, advocated for, made time for, and intentionally invested in their lives in creative, steady, and fun ways.

He is not a perfect man, but I think all of our children would agree that they knew his love was firm and unshakable, he was committed to helping them in all areas, he faithfully provided for their needs, was able to provide many opportunities that he was never able to experience, and he spent much time trying to instill in them a sense of fun and creativity, a strong work ethic, along with training them in the way that they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it. Well done Honey!!
5. What’s one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

The only thing I can think of at the moment was our Mom would not let us have a house key in our younger years. It probably had something to do with safety or not wanting to have a ton of kids in the house if she wasn’t home, but all I can remember is sitting on the front porch waiting for her to arrive, and having to go to the bathroom!!!!!!
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post!

Speaking of good Dads, here is mine with his little Furlings!

Our kids had many happy visits out to my parents lake house, and swimming with this raft probably is one their favorite memories!! It is also one of my favorite pictures because I don’t know who had more fun on it, them or my Dad!!!! I love his face here and can hear his laughing!

I just showed it to him because he spent the night so I can take him to the airport this afternoon. He agreed that it was a fine memory in his museum of recollection!

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All his grandkids on our side. They love him so!

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And pictures of Honey and his kids! In front of The White House.

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At Kalahari.

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Playing Golf on one of our trips to Florida.

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And the usual rumpus that precedes a photo shoot!

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Happy Fathers Day to the Dads!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 1

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The Peanuts Champ, The Back Door Neighbor and I did something fun on Saturday, we hit up the 27th annual Ann Arbor Garden Walk! We went early because they were predicting some melting temps.

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Love that succulent.

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The first house had all these beautiful rock walls! The terrain in Ann Arbor seems to be somewhat steep. Probably not everywhere, but certainly most of the homes on the garden walk! Possibly to show the creativity of the gardeners! This house was steep in the front, hence the rock walls.

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Loved these steps!

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Children or perhaps grandchildren names woven into the grout, plus faithful pooch-i-doo’s paw prints.

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We have decided that we all have the boring kind of hosta and would like to branch out with these giant beauties!

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I have a few shepherd hooks that I don’t want to hang a pot on, it never occurred to me to hang something else!

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When I was walking with Mrs. Schmenkman on her favorite path last month, there was a pretty little tree that I just loved, some sort of variegated pink beech. This house had a huge glorious one! Heart emoji!!

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I love how they used this small sedum in this small space.

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I took several pictures of the second house because it had an awesome front porch and The Ab-Cat does love a good front porch!

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The owner said it was a great place to watch a rain storm!

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So FUN!

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I am also a fan of a stone pathway.

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This picture was for Honey, an add on with a granite top for your BBQ-ing needs. A possible option on his post retirement list of things to do!

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This house also had a screened in back porch, additionally delightful!

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Don’t mind me, just being NOSEY!

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And a swell patio. Lots of room to visit at this house!

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This house had a definitely challenging, sloping backyard.

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Heart this!

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Their yard abruptly ended here, backing up to a cemetery. Very quiet neighbors out back!

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They made good use of their space, very lush and green.

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Purty pot.

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This house did not slope.

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Another nice porch for Ab.

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We noticed several interesting things about this home. I am guessing these stones helped with a drainage situation. I like this because we also have a drainage situation in our back. I can copy like a BOSS!

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They had a small back deck,

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surrounded by this pretty scene.

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And then a much lesser slope down to this pretty patio.

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I took this picture to send to my SIL Karen who sells succulents. A bowlful of pretty!

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They had considerable shade so their fancy hosta were very content.

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Still content.

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This was along the side of the house next to the driveway. I actually have one of these pots, given to me by my friend Teri. I could use it as a herb pot!!!!! How cute is that??!

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This was a great idea. Cute little decorative area.

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Hiding the dumb hose on the other side!!! Pretty meets function, my favorite! This house was number one for me in the idea department.

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The Peanuts Champ pointed this out to us. It never fails, people work their tails off to have a beautiful yard and garden and the neighbors still have a Halloween decoration out!!! Good for a laugh!

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That’s it for part one, tune in tomorrow!

New Girl in Town

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The Boy’s good friend Elyk is a DADDY!!!

Just before I left for Virginia he and his wife, Pug Mama, went into the hospital to coerce their little girl to come out, after her threatening to make an early appearance for a couple months! It was a long day and night, but she finally made her grand entrance on May 23, a 6 pound 15 ounce little peanut with a full head of dark hair, just like her Daddy!

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She was precious at our hospital visit, a perfect little angel baby.

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Of course the girls and I passed her around like a football getting our baby fix!

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She was a little smaller than Mousey was, so hard to believe they are that little right out of the hatch!

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Welcome baby girl, you are loved!

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Congratulations Elyk and Pug Mama, well done!

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It was good practice for our own little granddaughter, expected at the end of the month!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, it’s been a looooong time! Life got a little hectic there, but it has all smoothed out now and I am ready to rejoin the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you would like to link up, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s, she will be glad to have you!

From this Side of the Pond

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm…
Are you a pack rat? Even if you’re not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what’s yours.

I think there are degrees of pack rat-ism, and unless you are a hard core, black belt packer I think it could probably be classified as a quirk. I guess there is a skill to hiding your tendencies.

I guess I fall into the category of quasi-pack rat. It’s really more that I am sentimental and keep things for that reason. I am a keeper of personal correspondence, pictures, and special things belonging to our children, that I have saved for grandchildren. No one would ever really see these things.

We have lived in our current house for almost 20 years and we have quite a collection of furniture, household items, toys, books for bigs and littles, plus we are currently a holding tank for our grown children. They all have some things set aside that they want to take with them at some future time. We feel like we want to purge, but we have held onto it for this long, we may as well keep it a while longer until the girls move out and The Boy collects his stuff that he didn’t take when he moved out to Washington state last summer. We DO need to get down in our basement and take stock, I’m sure there is a lot we could do without. Maybe when Honey retires next year. Put it on the list.
2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don’t?

I should know how to access new comments on my blog. They have changed the format on WordPress and I can’t figure it out! I can only get there when I get an email notifying me to approve a new comment. I have to say that I hate it when they change things like that, I know that is a strong word, but it is accurate. Their effort to make things more “user friendly” is rarely a help to me! Continuing on the blog topic, I should also be able to figure out how to upload a picture and have it go where I want it to go. Clearly this is asking too much.

There are a lot of things I should know how to do on the ipad, but I just muddle through until someone shows me an easier way.
3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

Unfortunately I do. It was very apparent when I did the Whole 30 diet in March. They acted like the cravings would be gone after 30 days, but I am here to tell you that they did not.

I use Truvia in my tea these days, and have had pretty good success baking with it.

Dessert is not a given when dining out. It’s more of a special occasion thing. I need to return to the one indulgence a week mindset I sported a couple summers ago. I really had to think about what I wanted. It was a good exercise.
4. What’s a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can’t imagine living without?

The iphone. Except for my Dad and one gal I know, Honey and I were the last people we knew to jump on the fancy phone band wagon! I was not, nor am I, super attached to my cell phone. Lots of time it’s in my purse and I can’t even hear it. BUT, I am very glad to finally have one, mainly for the camera, texts, directions, and the ability to check Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram if I am stuck waiting!

How else could I find out important news from Mousey on Snapchat?
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Or text Jip the Farm Dog my most recent purchases from our favorite flower place?

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Everyone needed to see this sparkling beauty of Mia’s misery on her trip to the vet.

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Or sleeping Sy. A good percentage of my photos are Sy related.

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Or our sweet Girlies!

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See? Couldn’t live without it!

5. What’s a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

I heard Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper the other day and it reminded me of a pre marriage road trip to Florida with my old friend Suzie! We heard a lot of Ms Lauper and The Heart of Rock and Roll and I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis and the News travelling down I75 on that vacation!
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post.

My Mother has been in her heavenly home for 7 years now but she was deeply loved here and fondly remembered last weekend as we celebrated the mothers in our life.

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We had a very nice Mothers Day weekend! The Ab-Cat took us to Longhorn’s for dinner on Saturday night.

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And then Honey took us to our favorite, Chip and Dip after church on Sunday. I told the girls I wanted a picture, and even though there was groaning, they humored me.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Catching Up

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Spring is shaping up nicely in The Mitten. Honey and I actually got out there one day last week and did some yard work, weeding, cutting back grasses and such. Mousey helped me empty our shed of chairs, wind chimes and the pretty shelves and other things that help us enjoy our patio. I was sitting on the front porch yesterday afternoon with the elder felines and young catten and decided that this week needs to be the first grass cutting.

But, I got ahead of myself, we need to go back to Easter weekend. We took a trip over the Ambassador Bridge to see The Canadians! They have been here, but it had been far too long since we had visited the land of Honey’s people!

Queeny B and Paisley!

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Paisley with her big brother Burke!

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Then Turtle, Kim and sons! Parker and Spencer are adorable!

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Finally Krazy Kenny, Honey’s sister Nanny Rachel, and Burke again. We need to do it again soon, those kids are SPROUTING too quick!!!!!

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Our Easter Girlies. I am not sure what animals they are, but I love it!

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We spent Easter Sunday at church and then joined The Grandpa, Beeve, Stacey and Goomba for lunch at a mediterranean restaurant, in a nod to our Savior’s place of origin.

I am hosting the Sharing Day fellowship for BSF admin and children’s leaders again this year. I have set a goal to have my flowers planted and arranged attractively in their places. It will either turn out great or cause me great angst. To help me get a jump on my plan, Jip the Farm Dog and I are heading out to the Favorite Flower Place on Thursday after BSF. She is, of course, buying flowers for her own yard. For some reason we have a great fondness for buying way too many flats and pots and then have to perform something like garden Jenga to get them all in the vehicle. We evidently like a challenge and take great pride in recalling our past successes!

Have a pleasant Monday.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Happy April! Click on the button below if you would like to link up. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, it’s a little early to be working in the garden up here in The Mitten. The backyard is still closed up for winter, pots covered, debris to be cleared, furniture in the shed. Heck, Honey’s snow plowing sticks are still in the ground and their services could still be needed! I’m going to say a solid 5, we are no further ahead or behind than usual, just dormant.

We have had a few nice days that caused the day lillies to poke their heads up for a looksee, but that’s about it. Once it looks like spring has sprung, the first thing we usually do is get the chairs and patio pretties out of the shed and start cleaning up the beds, cutting stuff back and distributing the pots back to their homes.

I do need to get on the stick and get my hyacinth bean seeds planted in the house so they can be ready to plant in the ground. They need to have a good head start so they can climb the trellis and have a party at the top! That’s my big plans.
2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?This could be love, laughter, friendship and memories. Not sown in dirt the traditional way, but beautiful, lovingly cared for, and treasured all the same. All grown in the garden of life.
3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Creator.

I don’t understand how anyone could think that all the amazing, beautiful, intricate things in our world could have just evolved out of nothing. The human body, our universe and its delicate balance, a mind complicated enough to build a computer, watch, or rocket ship and solve intricate problems. There has to be a Creator.
4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I don’t think you would know unless I told you, I have a pretty good poker face 🙂
5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like the color yellow, just not on my person. None is represented in my wardrobe or our home, but I love, love, LOVE it in the garden! I have many yellow day lillies and black eyed Susan’s, and have a special place in my heart for the sunflower because it was our oldest daughter’s favorite for many years.

My favorites lately are the cheerfully reliable zinnias!

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And happy million bells. They add so much.

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6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet or sandals. My flip flop days are long gone, plus that slapping sound annoys me.
7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

For so many years we were on vacation at Easter, it has only been the last couple of years that we have even been home. I find myself at loose ends and very out of practice! The only things set in stone are we will go to church and we will eat….something! Another tradition would be Easter baskets, I still do that for the girls.

We are studying John this year at BSF and we are almost to the crucifixion. I want to always remember what the Lord suffered so that I could have my sins forgiven and be made righteous. He sacrificed himself so that I could believe in Him and have my sins covered by His blood, and receive the blessing of His Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and refine me.

John 14:25-27

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His death and resurrection prove He has power over the grave and is fully capable of offering forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. That is something to celebrate!!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday from 2000, SEVENTEEN years ago!!!!! We were in Florida for Easter break. This is when we used to take the kids out of school for an additional week to have a nice long vacation! We are at Islands of Adventure here.

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Eleven year old Ab-Cat, nine year old Boy and six year old Mousey.

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We spent quite a bit of time at Seuss Landing!

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Back at the pool, their happy place!

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Thanks for stopping by, Happy Easter!