Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Within our Reach! {The Weekend Brew :: Five Minute Friday}

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Well, here we are.  It's late Sunday evening and I like "never" post on a Sunday...much less on the weekend.  But, I missed Friday's post - the link up to Five Minute Friday (which I love being a part of, by the way) and it feels so strange that I've missed as I have had a post brewing in my heart and mind all weekend with little or rather no time to get it out there.

As well, I've recently been invited to participate (when I'm able) in this particular link up as well.  The Weekend Brew - with Barbie, from My Freshly Brewed Life.  And, since I'm such a fond lover of coffee... I thought I'd take a seat with my cup of coffee (by my side) and allow 5 minutes (this is where the FMF part comes in) of my time to share some "encouragement" with you tonight.
**Disclaimer:  I am pretty tired, this evening.  This may make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Be forewarned.  :)

My Freshly Brewed Life.


(linking with both of these, tonight!)

***

Are you surprised that this may be yet another laundry related post?
I read the prompt for Five Minute Friday the other day, but as I mentioned - I had little to zero time to get anything in place.
As I read the prompt word - REACH - I knew my thoughts were, at least, headed in the right direction.

I was already out to the wash line once that morning.  The sun was shining so beautiful.  And I really do have to reach up, high, to get to the highest part and beginning of my line.  As I did that... I was thinking.
Here I am - reaching up.  Grabbing hold of something.  It seems like not much to hold on to  - I mean what is a wash line.  Thin and narrow... but a straight line?  Albeit; it is attainable.

These clothes will be pinned there - for a while - stationary as they may be.  But, holding firmly onto this place in time for a short while.  Soaking up the goodness of this radiant and warming sunshine.
My prayer-life is like all of this, in a sense.  I want it to be, as it were, the article of clothing ... set in place... on this constant line of grace.  Unchanging.  This line...it's always there.  Up high, yet within reach.

Our prayer shouldn't just get thrown to the wind in hopes it'll reach heaven.
Instead, right prayers, true prayer, will hold fast in hope to the One who is within our reach.  Unchanging.  Constant.  Unending.  Always there for us.  Attainable.

A verse had come to mind... while out at the wash line that morning.

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.  ~ Isaiah 55:3

We have to do our part.  Incline or reach toward.  He bends low and He {willingly} hears.

As well, verses from Psalm 86 - the whole chapter - (a prayer of David) speak to the surety we as believers have in Christ!
His steadfast love and abounding love...is so great!  Even the way He inclines his ear towards us...is faithful!

Now... these are promises we can pin to the line!

***
May you have a safe and wonderful Labor Day!
And Happy 1st day of September...to all.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Parsley pickin's

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There is great comfort knowing parsley has been happily a part of my flower bed garden...for all summer long!  Nothing quite like it.  Stepping outdoors and plucking off a "bunch" whenever needed...it's simply perfect!!

This goes for the basil too... but, that's already gone to seed and we know what I like to do with that? :)


Well, it's time to harvest, dry and store the parsley.

Before this guy gets to it all - first!
Actually, he and three of his best buds were having quite the feast this morning...
***
Undecided, still, exactly which method for  drying the parsley I would like to implement.

Any particular recommendation?

As well, I'm interested in hearing your favorite uses for parsley.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A moment to remember...

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The Best Day Ever!

***
This was Caleb's second day of school... and Aubrey's first official day!

We implored our son, "Listen Caleb... this will be Aubrey's first time riding on the school bus.. be sure to care for her...keep her safe."

He made me proud, yesterday!

It is hard to tell by that first photo there, that they were holding hands as they slowly crossed the street, together.  But the second their feet hit the driveway... they were off in a flash!  Racing to the front porch and Mama's open arms.  Well... I had to take a few photos first.

As you can see by their smiles... this was indeed... the best day ever!

And a smile - just as big - was thrown across my heart.  To stay.
This was a moment to remember.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Quotidian :: tis the season...

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Ahh!  Do you hear that?  Listen.  it's Silent.

Did you know that Silent and Listen are spelled with the exact same letters.  I love knowing that fact. I just read that on a poster the other day - and well, it stilled me to ponder it for a moment..

I say all this to say...
It's the end of one of the longest days ever!  A good day but a C.R.A.Z.Y. busy one to boot.  The sun has set in the west... I think the only sound I actually do hear are the crickets out in the meadow.  It's well after 9pm. I think it was around 8 pm and I was still getting laundry off the line.  Just a mere 12 hours before, at 8 AM,  I was standing at the end of my driveway with my son, ready to put him on the bus for his very first day of Second Grade!

Grandma Susie was here for the weekend.  She came sometime on Thursday.  Her goal was to be here long enough to see this big guy off on the Yellow 54 and she succeeded.  Of course, we had to take photos... and Miss A is ready and waiting to head off with Mama, later in the day, to her Kindergarten orientation. Tuesday (tomorrow!)  is her turn to make it an official bus rider, as well.  She's super excited about that - but even more so with actually heading off to school, school!  The real deal.  Not just a preschool...

But before the mid-day orientation took place.  We headed up to the garden (25-30 minutes away) for more of the same.  Green stuff.  Beans, cucumbers and a few beets.  ((I'm learning a thing or two about growing red beets.  They're something else!))  We were back home two hours later... ready to start cleaning these guys..
Someone asked me, recently, for the recipe for my beets!  Stay-tuned... I think a separate post will be along shortly to cover that...

But, through it all the washer was running and desperately so.. because, I don't know if you remember me saying something last week about us doing 1,000 + ears on Saturday, because we did!  We ended up doing 1,300  to be exact!  We ALL were a corny, muddy mess.  We had such a wonderful, steady - all-day-long-sort of heavy rain all day Saturday but that didn't stop us.  We had lots of willing helpers.. (no pics though)... and Scott and I came home with 53 pint/quart bags of the most Incredible, yellow corn there is to be had. That is the name of the corn as well... Incredible!  It lives up to it's name.  So yummy!

While the adults were working their tushes off and having fun... the kids were muddying up theirs and having fun, too!  Lots of puddles to be explored.  And three little wiped out children on the way home.  The bath time, that evening, never felt so good in all our lives.  There is nothing quite like a bowl of hot creamy potato soup and buttery, flaky biscuits on a cold and rainy evening.

We hoped for a quiet 3rd birthday for Jayne on Sunday!  We did sort of have one. It was a beautiful day. Both grandmothers were here and one Uncle and his girlfriend stopped by... but, all in all, it was a quiet day. Because most of the family was gathered together Saturday for the corn party - we took cupcakes along and sang for her there.  We just saved the actual gift-giving for her actual birthday.

So, I have a question for you.

Have you ever heard the word Quotidian before?  It means: of or occurring every day; daily; ordinary or everyday, especially when mundane.

Well, that is truly what this post feels like.  Like I'm sharing the daily, ordinary and mundane...
 It tis a season!

The Quotidian.

I love word and this one has caught my attention while reading this dear friend's blog.  She says it's not original with her but that the idea to make this a running blog post theme... well, it came from here.

I hope that neither of these ladies mind that I have adopted the the phrase to describe my blog post for today - because anymore if my posts (as of the past several weeks/Mondays) don't include a photo of laundry, picked flowers, green beans and a mug of coffee or tea in some form or fashion then something is awfully wrong... because that seems to be the story of my life here of late.  Well, coffee is a given.  There is no questioning that one.. and a photo isn't even necessary!  And so are flowers picked - a given, as well. 

How do you like the basil gone-to-seed as part of the flower arrangement?  Pretty nice, eh?

So, thanks for reading along today!!  I - like I said - I am surely enjoying the quiet moment of just coming to this place here this evening and putting out a sigh of relief that we're here on this side of the day.

To which I thank the Good Lord for his faithfulness..

***

Linking this post to HERE...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Change

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:: go ::
If you know me well, you know that I don't like change.  One way to tell?  I hardly ever... meaning NEVER... change a room around.  Our home pretty much looks the same since the day we moved in.  The furniture... yup! it still sits in the same spot(s).
Until fairly recent.
We've had to move some around for acquiring and moving in a piano.
Or, because a certain door needs to be opened to allow for better air circulation... don't worry that is only a summer thing and I'll change it back to the way I like the room, best!, for the winter months...
But... truth is!
I don't like it.  I don't like change.
Not one bit.

Several years I while working at our local Christian bookstore as a cashier, I was asked to relocate to a different department within the store.  That change did not go over so well for me.
I remember the angst it brought to my poor little ole heart. :)
And then, while reading in Proverbs, chapter 31 I think verse 25  I read the verse that said...
She is clothed with strength and dignity... she can laugh at the days to come!

Oh really?
It was one of those verses I used to browse over..

I began praying about being just this.
Clothed with strength and dignity.
Being so at peace, that I can or could laugh at the days or changes to come!

I wrote out a prayer in the margin of my Bible, and included several different dates.  Recording there that this prayer has served me more than once when it comes to changes I find occuring in my life.

I'll include it here.

Clothe my heart, Oh Lord, with strength and dignity...
I'm so afraid of change and facing new challenges...
Allow me to feel your power, courage and strength.
To take on and go forward with new experiences.
Help me Lord to take "risks" and to enjoy each new experience...
Knowing it is a total growing process.
There will be no fear in my heart!
I can laugh at the days to come.  Amen!
:: stop ::



Taking just five minutes to write, in a community, all on the same topic or word prompt.   No pressure!  No over thinking.  No need to fear what folks will say... there is lots of encouragement to be had!
 You're welcome to join in... click the link above to read more about Five Minute Friday!!
***

Have yourself a wonderful weekend!
Blessings to each one...of you, my readers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cucumber Appetizers

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I know I found this recipe suggestion, for Cucumber Appetizers, on Pinterest - so the credit idea is not my own.  And so, with that... I am grateful to someone else's ingenuity!  This is probably one of the greatest ideas out there... for easy entertaining.

Especially in the good ole summer time!

If you have a patch of cucumber that has decided to take over the garden or you've been gifted a bunch - you're probably looking for a few more ideas of what to do with these crunchy buggers!  For us, for me, I can only do up so many batches of pickles (we're picky about what kinds we like, as it is!) and batches of relish... if you know what I mean?

The photo shows these cucumber appetizers put together with a simple Chicken Salad.  


The steps of instruction are pretty self-explanatory!  But, I'll tell you anyway.
You wash your cucs and then peel one strip - several times around the cucumber - if you'd like.  This is just for pretty!
Then you cut your cucumber into closely the same 1" thick sliced chunks.  You'll most likely get 4-6 appetizers out of one cucumber persay.
Next you take a Strawberry huller or similar tool and scoop out the center of the cucumber - the seeds and pulp - but NOT GOING ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  You want to leave a solid bottom.
Fill with your favorite filling and keep chilled until ready to serve.
You can garnish with a few bits of grated carrot or toasted Pumpkin seeds, etc.  
Whatever you want to do!!  This is for your creativity!!  And there is a ton of "competition" out there as there are some really, really creative people out there!!


They're also great with a nice Tuna Salad or a Red Pepper Hummus.  I've had both, or all three of, these now, if you count the chicken salad... and each way gives this appetizer its own twist.  I can't decide if I like the hummus or the tuna better.

Get creative!  Like this..


The kids and I decided to try cucumber with peanut butter and raisins today.  It really wasn't that bad.  Not a lot to write home about - but the kids loved them... and who doesn't love peanut butter on everything? But, I think next time it'll be with a crunchy peanut butter.. for my taste preference!

The kids, they love their cucumbers just as much... so it paired way better than I ever expected.  I was glad nothing went to waste...for our trial today!

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

***
My next attempt might or will include some sort of cheese and or ranch-y something or another...

What is your favorite way to use up cucumber for fresh eating or pickling?

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Daybook in August

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FOR TODAY ~ The third Monday of August.

Outside my window... the longest line ever of kids clothes, drying in the sun!  I promise! With sheets and towels to follow.  As well, the meadow is full of sparkles as the dew drops have hit it pretty good this morning!  I also hear Mr. A. - our farmer-landlord - calling for his cows to come on in out of pasture.   It's all beautiful.

I am thinking... how blessed we are. We sure have had beautiful weather all summer long.  Speaking of Summer.  I'm thinking of...just how fast the Summer has gone by!  Amazed that school is right around the corner.  I'm thinking I'm a little bit excited about that - for the kids.  They're ready!!

I am thankful... for a place to plant some garden - after all - this year! and for the yield the garden is producing. More than we need, for sure!  It sure is loads of fun to share... and share I HAVE!

More of Aubrey's photo taking!!
In the kitchen... are, 7 more quart jars of canned green beans and about 5 more pints of relish!  Still on the counter waiting to get put away from last week.  They're put away!!  Nice and neat on the canning shelves. The week before - I had done about the same or more of each - plus Bread & Butter pickles.
BTW:  the beets are still in the ground.  My mom persuaded me to let them get just a tad bigger.  I'll most likely get to them this week... sorta planning on doing them tomorrow!

You know it is the thick of summer when meals consist of fresh sweet corn, cucumber appetizers (post forthcoming!) and sliced tomatoes (for BLT's) with chunks of watermelon for dessert.  :)  What gets better than that?

I am wearing... a pink and yellow striped tee shirt with a long blue jean skirt...

I am creating... quite the schedule for this week.  Jamming it all in before school starts - on the 25th!

I am going... to have drive Aubrey to her Kindergarten, this year, and then she'll get to ride the bus home - with her older brother.  Here is where I might be going today!  I've been collecting quite the van-load of items to be hauled off to the local thrift store!!  Good feeling...as always.

I am wondering... I got some loose-leaf tea the other day - upon recommendation from a friend.  It's called Herban Lyme Away, purchased HERE! (It's what is in the mug!!) ... I'm wondering how it will help "overall" in feeling better.  The truth is... I already am, even without the tea.  I've talked about the relapse feeling (from this tick bite and Lymes that I had contracted last year!) that I've had early on this summer... and how awful it's been.  I think that that is passing.. and how I know is by judging in how long I've been lasting - being in my kitchen all day - canning, etc.


I am reading... a few *new-to-me* blogs have caught my attention, recently.  I like to check in on them every now and again.  My Freshly Brewed Life, is one.  And, Remnants, is another!
I've met these through the Five Minute Friday link-up, that I have recently been enjoying being a part of. There are a couple of others, too!  Such as; Where Your Treasure Is  and Artful Homemaking.  Enjoy!!

I am hoping... to host yet another MUGS & MUFFINS (which includes a guest post, a great giveaway and a muffin recipe) - come September!!  I just wanted to spit a bug in your ear about it.  Stay tuned..

I am looking forward to... a Wedding in a couple of weeks.  My cousin, Sarah, is getting married and it's exciting to see my "younger" cousin all grown up and getting married.  Makes me tear up!

Around the house... lots and lots of drawings & various artwork pieces by a certain - near six year old. The other day she pulled petals off a few of my verbena flowers or was it the zinnia... and found a glue bottle - she was "remaking" her own flower(s) and gluing them on to paper.  Yes! I took a few photos of that, too!

I find dolls with toilet paper dresses held on with rubber bands.  Bracelets made out of plastic cups and scotch tape...
the girl keeps me on my toes!!  All of us, really!

I am pondering... a couple of things.  ((Are you ready? here we go!))
- Does my shy side ever come across as that I am snobby?  I think about that sometimes and it worries me.
- Am I teachable?  And, there is a difference between being teachable and being gullible.  You do know that, right?  lol!

A favorite quote for today... actually it is more like a favorite scripture right now...
In everything ... present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

One of my favorite things... listening to my son with a few of his "great ideas".  You know.. he's seven.  And, he's a thinker!  He'll often come up to me with - "hey Mom, I have an idea..." and off he is with trying out his latest and greatest invention.  What I love best is that Dad will get in on the idea - helping to make it happen - for him (Caleb!) to really see and test out his theory.

Fun times! and yes, unfortunately, there are some tears...

A few plans for the rest of the week:  We're looking at a few play-dates this week.  Also - canning red beets (most likely!), like I mentioned. I think Grandma Susie is coming in for a few days, from outta state. For real, this time. I say that because I think I mentioned this last time I posted for this daybook, that she was coming, and her plans cancelled.  But, Jayne's 3rd birthday is this coming Sunday!!  and Grandma just has to be here for that!  Of course...

Can you believe my baby will be three??  I can't either.

Oh, and I've been roped into making a tri-fold poster board display for my son's Scout pack...thanks to my hubby with his Cubmaster role... I'm happy to help!  IF that doesn't get done this week... at least it will till the end of the month or soon thereafter.

PS: I forgot to mention - we'll be having a Corn Party (1,000+ ears) on Saturday... up at my sister's place.

A peek into my day...

I've posted this photo before, once... but it is truly what my line looks like this morning!!

LOVE, love, LOVE!!!

Joining along with Peggy from The Simple Woman's Daybook...
Welcome to...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: The Heavens they {tell}...and so do the words of my heart!

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Welcome to Five Minute Friday.  Taking just five minutes to write, the real and the raw!  Unedited, no over thinking.. yet, completely inspired.  Please feel free to join in.  The door is open and you're invited...
See the link below for all the details!




The word-prompt for this week is:  TELL


:: go ::
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim
day after day
night after night
they pour forth speech, they display knowlege
There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
to the ends of the earth
to the ends of the world.
They tell.

Psalm 19 (paraphrased)

I took these photos the other day and as soon as I saw the prompt word I knew I needed to use them today and of course this scripture came to mind immediately.  They're partial verses from Psalm 19: 1-4 - mostly from memory.
So when I looked up to the heavens above, while and when taking these photos; the skies they were mysteriously ever-changing, a white and grey. Thick and tumultuous.
Strangely fierce and full.

If the skies are of the telling sort..then so are my words of my heart.

I had a horrific dream last night.  One that I won't share details about here, but
I had to tell my husband.

This morning..
and all during the day...
I had to process the words of my heart in and around this dream.

They had been like the skies I described...
they were telling.

Verse 14.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing unto you oh lord.
:: stop ::



Thankfully, it was only a dream!
(I never dream like this...so it was pretty heart-wrenching!)
So, so horrendous.
But.  On other hand... sometimes dreams really do have meaning(s) and are meant to grab our attention.
I thank God that this one was telling...
for both my husband and myself.

Just like the skies...on any given day.  They tell us something, don't they?
They proclaim and tell of the wonders of GOD.
Oh, may the words of my heart do the same!

***
May your weekend be a blessing to you and others!
Tell of His goodness...Tell of His deeds.
Tell what the Lord has done for you!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Wednesday Whatever and (all with) Aubrey's help!

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This is going to be one of those random, whatever, comes out of the mind and into the typing sort of posts!
Sometimes they're the most fun that way.
Sometimes it's up to the reader to keep reading (cause it's boring!)... and I don't blame them.

Anyway... here we go!
This photo was taken by my Aubrey!  Do you see the "hearts" in the ivy?  Love it!!!!
My near six year old LOVES to walk around with Mama's camera and snap away.  So, I let her, from time to time.  You know! - I can't put a cap on it and say just take five photos.  I try.. but what's the use.  She ran that thing until the batteries died.  Quite honestly, I'm surprised there was any room on that thing to hold any more "photos".  Either its' that or the fact that my battery truly doesn't hold for very long.  That's probably more the fact and reason she had to stop!
But!!  Whenever Aubrey does this and what she finds to take photos of ... always makes me smile. It's always the perspective that gets me.   Have a look!

Thumbs up to the green grass?  No, it's the nail polish she's lovin,  I bet.
View across the way... look at that sky!
Someone's version of picking flowers!
Making her mark!
Something "new" we added to the kids playset...out back!
Loving that nailpolish...still!
Her Selfie!!
This completely cracks me up!  And, those freckles... :) love them.

I guess it was Monday!  We had a lovely large yellow butterfly come by and hang out with us - at the washline.  As I was hanging up clothes, it's shadow falling on the grass at my toes was what caught my eye.  I told Aubrey - let's go get my camera - because it had been right there with us for a really long time, and so fun to watch. I was hopeful that I could capture it in photo form... here on the "flowers of the line".  I mean, I could have just picked it right up with my fingers... I was that close.  Just as I snapped...it fluttered out of view! and she took off...up over the tree...into the bright blue and out into the field.


***
So, I was quite busy in the kitchen yesterday!
First off.
It was raining all day.  Making it seem quite cozy in the house here.  But... I had five kids.  Two of which were not my own.  Keeping them "wrangled" and pleasant and consistently polite... was like capturing a greased pig with a rope made of jello.  They have those you know! (read; sarcasm!)
I make it sound like it really was out of control.  Honestly, it wasn't that bad.  Surprisingly, though! The problem was, was that I kept waiting for the ball to drop.  You know?  Only because, so quickly it can!

I had canned seven quart of green beans the evening before!  What irked me was that two didn't seal.  The one eventually - I forced it to.  But, it's in the lineup to use first.   So, those six remaining were sitting proudly in my kitchen inspiring me to keep at my next project.
This next project was to do up cucs (I probably had a basket full) for Bread & Butter pickles and another batch of Pickle Relish!
I ended up canning 13 pint of pickles and the batch of relish - gave me a yield of 4 1/4 pints.

One of the jars of relish was already gifted out to the friend who gave me some the cucumbers!
I promised her a jar of relish!!

I go again on Thursday Morning (Ahh...that's tomorrow already!) to pick more of the same!  And this time - red beets will be coming home with me, too.  That's always a fun project...colorful... and messy!  But, oh!!
We can't wait for Pickled Beets!  They're a true fav around our home!

So, yesterday, I was quite proud of myself... keeping up with the kitchen mess and all...while doing this canning project.  And, wouldn't you know - after a quick dinner of Baked Fish and Macaroni & Cheese...we ran out the door to head to our kids school for the final Summer Reading Book Blast...where they were serving up hot dogs and stuff!  Somewhere Caleb still had a hollow leg to fill and ate a hot dog to boot!  The girls thought they needed one, too!   Well, all that to say is, they agreed to share one and of course; they didn't. Meaning they shared but couldn't eat all of their halves.   Whatever!

But, what I was going to say is that somehow...somehow...overnight!... the kitchen was back to it's rivaling unkempt state.  I didn't do it.

I'll take the raindrops that remain on the windowpane and flowers picked by my girls the other day!  And, that could be a whole nother story.

***
I love my husband!
I'm truly a patient person I suppose, because over the course of time...in our marriage...we have had a couple of small kitchen appliances and gadgets lose their umph due to something broken or gone missing! and I haven't said much about it. Recently, somehow - he's gotten wind of these things, and since has gone out to some online appliance parts store and ordered me my new "replacement" parts.
One of them being for our large crockpot; something I haven't had to use now for what, five years?  Partly because I've worked around it.
But... now we're back in business.  Thanks to my husband for hunting down what I needed... and now I feel obligated to use this thing.

I need to make a dessert for an upcoming PIGnic!
Any suggestions for a crockpot made dessert?

PIGnic?
Yes, you read that right!

Scott, my husband, is now heavily involved in our son's Scout adventure... and because we have connections he was able to score a pig for a Pig Roast - a picnic - with Cub Scouts and their families, for this coming Saturday.

Looking forward to it!
***

Well, I have a lot going on today!  A lot and, as well, a lot of nothing.  I'm glad.
Caleb's going off to a friends' house this afternoon.  The girls and I have a few errands to run!

It's time to feed the munchkins some breakfast and further tackle the kitchen.  Oh, and that laundry from Monday - yes, that still needs put away.
Boy, my coffee sure has been delightful this morning.  More like necessary!
It's only 8-ish or so in the AM and I think I'm already on my third cup!

Talk to you later?
***
One final thing!

Do you like our latest in wall art?  I do.  I'd rather markers get put to use this way, on paper plates, instead of bodies and carpet.  But, once again!  A story for another time.  Maybe it's best to let it rest. :)

Thank you, Aubrey!!

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