A FLING IN TENNESSEE

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With my partners in the hunt for all things old and rusty and distressed, Shirl and Tina and I headed north to Franklin, Tennessee for a few days of fun, shopping, catching up, good food and …shopping.  This was the weekend of the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Show in Leiper’s Fork, TN, close to Franklin….close to Nashville.

First of all, Franklin is such a neat town…with lots to do.  Cute little shops and terrific places to eat.  We spent two days exploring the shops and discovering little antique stores…finding little treasures all along the way!  We all did some Christmas shopping…both for giving and decorating!  Here…a few pictures from around town.

 

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Look…It’s MY store…

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Great lunch here…

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The bottles say…FAMILY and FRIENDS…perfect!

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Acting silly in a Christmas store…we all bought a hat for our grands…but we had to make sure they were cute first!

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Oh, what fun this was!  Over 150 vendors from all over the U.S.  It was everything we love!  The grounds were beautiful and it was just delightful being out in God’s beautiful world!

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city-farmhouse-basketAll too soon, Sunday rolled around…

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…another fun adventure in the books…sweet memories made…and friendship bonds stronger than ever!  Till next time, friends!

 

*********Picture credits…..#1,9,14,17,18,19,20,21….The City Farmhouse…..all others…Tonja Owens.**********

 

A RESPITE *

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I have a several Pinterest boards (43 to be exact).  I am a collector at heart…not a hoarder…a collector.  Much nicer sounding, don’t you think?  There are so many things I read and think, “One day, I’m going to want to read that again.”  So, I save it.  The sayings and verses I pulled from for this post are titled ‘Things I Know For Sure’ and ‘Woman of God’ and ‘The Bible Tells Me So’.   I knew I would find within these boards just the right pics and words to help tell my story today!

This week, I have been battling some health issues.  Nothing that a lot of you haven’t gone through, but painful and hard to deal with anyway.  This is nothing I want to get graphic about in this forum, but there are times it is impossible to move or even breathe for several seconds.  Then it subsides.  But, I feel like I look like I’ve all of a sudden gone into a catatonic state.  Which can cause folks to stare at you sorta strange like.  You know if you just can not move your buggy out of their way IMMEDIATELY, they want to start a fight because you are interrupting their flow! Well!

I got some medicine which will take care of this, but I could not pick it up until Friday morning at 8:00.  Friday morning at 10:00, I was responsible for teaching the art of drawing pumpkins and then painting them with Kool-Aid to around 50 children…3 classes…teaching one  class at a time.  So…on my feet for a good two hours.  I was panicked thinking what these kids and their teachers would do if all of a sudden, I zoned out on them like a hippie from the sixtes stoned on weed.  (Not that I ever was a hippie from the sixties stoned on weed, but I’ve seen some people who were and they looked s-t-r-a-n-g-e!)

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I had problems all through the night before…and got little sleep.  But, before I got out of bed…and in the shower….and eating a banana nut muffin….and loading my car…I prayed mightily!  I boldly asked My Father to stop this process happening in my body for the time I was going to be working with the children.  I didn’t ask Him to take it away completely…just give me a break for a few hours…a respite.

I had to make a stop on the way to pick up some candy for the kids and sure enough…in the store…BAM!  it hit me!  This one stopped me for a full 30 seconds!But, I got into my car and prayed all the way to school.  Well, ‘begging’ may be a better word.  And, I told God that I would give Him the glory and praise if He allowed these classes to take place without me ‘zoning out’ in front of the teachers and most importantly, the kids.

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And, my friends, I am here to testify to you that from the second I left my car at school…I had not one, single pain!  Not even a twinge!  No need to ‘space out’ except for the fact that our room was covered in  pumpkins and we just may have gotten a little ‘high’ from the smell of all the Kool-aid.  We probably went through 50 packets!  Some of the kids even asked if they could lick the table!!!!

We finished our project and I was able to clean up.  Well everything except my hands!  They, I fear, are forever stained red and orange!  I tried everything to get it off…baby wipes, clorox wipes, soap, goof off,  fingernail polish remover, and finally a magic eraser!  The magic eraser worked the best!

What fun we had!  The joy of seeing the colors on the paper and experiencing a different type of art was such a good time!  I’m so blessed to be able to do this.

I gathered my bins of supplies and walked to the car.  After putting my supplies in the back, I went around to my car door.  BAM!  There it was, back with a vengence!  After I was able to move again, I got in the car, bowed my head, and thanked God!

Isn’t He amazing?  Isn’t He wonderful!  It thrills me to the bottom of my soul to think that the Master and Lord of the universe, who has whole worlds and heavens and oceans to keep an eye on…cared about me, a mere speck in the face of all humanity.  He cared enough about what I needed Friday morning to touch me and care for me.  He heard my prayer…along with the millions of people praying for oh! so much more important things than I was asking for.  He heard me, as He heard them all.

“…you have not because you ask not.”  James 4:2

And, that is why I felt compelled to share with you that He does listen and He does hear.  And, true, He doesn’t always answer our prayers just like we want Him to.  And, that’s where faith comes in…trusting that He knows what we need better than we do!  That’s a hard one, isn’t it?   I think He wants us to be specific when we pray, don’t you?  Generalities cover so much.  I think He wants to hear exactly what it is we think we need.  And, perhaps, being specific helps us to put things in a better perspective in our own minds.  Well, today, I was specific, and He so graciously granted my request.  I thank Him, and I praise Him…and I am humbled.

I end this post by sharing one of the most comforting passages of scripture to me.  A friend shared it with me years ago, when I really did feel I was being consumed.  And, truth is, sometimes I still feel that way at times.  I’m sure you do, too. We all have those time that it seems as if everything and everybody is ganging up on us and we are going under…FAST!  Remember this promise when you feel this way.  I know, for sure, it is truth!

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*…(res-pit)…a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying ; an interval of relief”

 

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD…

I had an early doctor’s appointment today.  And while I was there I kept running into people who I found interesting.  Nothing major…just little things I noticed today.

As I was pulling into the parking lot, there was a car in front of me…going very slowly.  I also noticed that a first parking place under a shady tree was about to come available.  So, I just sat and waited for the driver to pull out.  As I waited, I noticed Mr. Slow Driver pull on down and pull into a parking place.  Then he backed out of that space…slowly.  And, pulled into another.  Then he backed out of that one.  Next thing I know, he is heading back toward me…and sure enough…he whipped that old Buick into that first parking place…with me sitting there waiting…with my blinker on!    It struck me as funny..instead of irritating me.  I just went on down to the place he pulled out of first.  When he got out of his car, he must have been 90 years old.  I ended up walking with him to the office.  “Boy, you sure lucked up to get that nice shady spot,”  I said.  “Oh, Jesus was saving it for me!” he replied. I don’t think he even realized what he had done.  That was his space and he was going for it!  I held the door for him and the next door and then let him sign in before me.  Finally, he was all set.  I signed in and sat down.  “Thank you, Lord, for letting me be gracious to this old man..especially since it was YOU saving the parking place for him!!!”

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As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed a mother with her daughter.  The daughter had a little baby.  He was fussy and whining, and they were doing their best to pacify him and make him happy.  But, both were getting frustrated.  It wasn’t long before the Grandmother came out from seeing the doctor.  That baby saw her, let out a yelp and got the biggest smile on his face.  Little arms reached out to her, and she took him.  Immediately the whining and crying stopped!  He was where he wanted to be!  Oh, it’s great to have ‘grandmother power’!

I didn’t have to wait too long.  Then it was off to the lab.  Blood work every 4 months…and these old veins don’t get a bit more cooperative!  But, Ms. Lab Tech was so kind and happened to get my blood on the third stick…in my hand!  She felt so bad.  It takes so little to be kind…especially when you are causing pain!

As I waited there was a lady sitting in the room with me.  Somehow, we got to talking about how everything today is computerized. Helper Lady began telling me about how she helped several elderly people who had to do things online…and they had no idea even how to open a computer!  She said that she had found a way to help people while staying home to care for her mother.  Isn’t that the nicest thing?  It’s just the little things people do that mean so much.  Have you ever thought about what those with no computer knowledge  do in this day and time?  As she said, when our generation dies, that should not be a problem since everyone younger than us has grown up with computers.  Interesting, I thought.

Then, as I sat back in the lab waiting room, a older man from our church came in.  Mr. Joe makes honey and molasses and sells it.  It is divine.  We talked a little about Pop…they are in the same Sunday school class.  And, then he began to tell me how much better molasses is for you than even honey.  It was very interesting.  He is such a fine man, and I enjoyed talking to him.

He got called out and a young man came in.  He was huffing and puffing.  He was not happy.  Tired Man was having to wait too long.  He said he was tired and had worked all night.  I’m glad I wasn’t the lab tech going to draw his blood or the doctor or nurse who worked with him later.  This is for sure…it was a good thing he had a wad of gum in his mouth to chomp on, because he was that mad!  Good for him…not for me.  One of the most annoying sounds in the world to me is to hear someone smacking and popping and chomping their gum!  It is rude, people.  If you could only hear what it sounds like.  Not that this young man cared a bit!!!

And, this is the truth, so help me!  When he got up and left…a woman with a bag of knitting came in and sat down.  Y’all.  Y’all, if she burped one time, she burped twenty!  Not like hiccups…but those kind that my boys used to do to see who could be the loudest or the grossest!  And Burping Woman never even looked up from her knitting!  Never!

I heard a voice in the hallway that sounded familiar.  Sure enough, it was a girl that I taught at church…she and her children.  She has always been just a delight and is now a  drug rep . It was good to speak to her.  Our paths do not cross too often anymore.  Thanks for the smiles, CWH.

One more thing.  As I was still in the lab area, I overheard another Doctor tell his nurse that he saw an obituary for one of his patients in the paper this morning.   He told her to be sure they sent a card, and called the family.  I though that was so kind.

I finally saw my Doc.  He was happy, as he always is.  Got some new meds and some tests set up.

I thought it was just an interesting mix of people this morning.  No matter where you go, there are always people who are old and feeble, kind and helpful, rude and complaining.  There are always those that look for ways to help, and those who are kind and caring in the jobs they perform.  There are those who are rushed and ‘put out’ when things don’t go their way.   I think we all get that way at times.  I pray to become more aware of how other people perceive me.  There were 3 people I ran into this morning that knew me and knew I claimed to be a follower of Jesus.  Did the others I saw see that in me?  What kind of impression did I leave with them this morning?  I hope I was kind and patient and helpful.

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And, perhaps, those who were annoying to me this morning were facing greater battles than what was evident.  Who knows what they are dealing with daily?  Only God…perhaps their doctors.  I am not always patient and kind and helpful.  There are so many times I fail.  I have to ask for forgiveness and start all over again.

I will say, in my behalf…I exercised a GREAT deal of restraint with Burping Woman, and Gum Chomping Tired Man.

 

“Oh, these are the people in your neighborhood,

In your neighborhood,

In your neigh-bor-ho-od,

These are the people in your neighborhood,

They’re the people that you meet,

When you’re walking down the street,

They’re the people that you meet   each    day!       (from: Sesame Street)

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AUGUST 18, 2014

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And, here I go…adding numbers to the sixties.  Sixty-one?  Me?  How did I get here?  How did all the years before fade away so quickly?

Memories…I got ’em!  And, I wonder if I am the only one in this world who has random memories just pop into my head.  Sometimes, some long forgotten day or person will come to the fore front and I will relive a day or a feeling from long ago.  Poof!  Then it’s gone.  I wonder where those come from and what triggers them?  Please tell me that happens to you, too.  I will feel oh so much better!

I have been enjoying the day…just me and Levi.  He came in this morning and proceeded to sing me ‘Happy Birthday’.

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We made bacon eggs…but he said they were not like Pa’s.  And, they aren’t.   Don beats the fool out of his eggs before he cooks them…I mean, beats the fool out of them!  Me, I’m more inclined to break the egg right into the skillet.  Levi put them away, in spite of them not measuring up.

Our next project was to make brownies.  Yes…I know no one in this house needs brownies.  BUT, it IS my birthday, and it’s as close to a birthday cake as I am going to get.  He stirred…I cleaned up the floor.  But, they finally made it to oven.

While we waited for them to cook, we decided a little Play-Doh was in order.  I have a box full of all sorts of goodies to work with in the dough.  He had a ball.  He even made me a birthday cake.  A tiny one…bless his heart…with 3 candles!  I will treasure it forever!  (And, it is perfectly fine that he is still in his pajamas…so am I!)

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Brownies out…and cooling.  And, we proceed to the studio, cause Levi had spied some new paints he is dying to paint with.  Yes, I am that LuLu.  I believe that any art experience is a good experience.  Thankfully, Levi agrees.  And, Suzanne is happy cause I only buy washable paint.  Because even though I know neatness counts…when we get into a project…that’s the first thing to be forgotten!  Clothes and body parts should not get in the way of art!!!

Paintings go to the drying place and Levi and I go to the resting place.  I tell him since it’s my birthday, I get to take a nap with him.  He thinks that is such a great idea.  I do , too.  And, so we nap.  After he wiggles and turns and snuggles and flips and flops and kisses again!  It’s perfect!

Up from rest…and brownies to taste.  Oh, yum! They are the best brownies ever.  EVER!  We had 3!

******And since the very first thing this morning…before I even got up…my phone has chirped and chirped and chirped.  Levi began asking what it was after he heard several.  So, I told him it was my friends saying, “Happy Birthday!”  So, each time I heard a chirp, I would hear Levi say, “It’s your friend, LuLu!”  And, then he would ask me the name.    This happened about 125 times.  So, each and every one of you who sent me a greeting yesterday on FB or message, or text mail…was thought about and talked about by this grandmother and her grandson!  (Except the ones that came after 8 pm…it was such a busy day, that I hit the hay around then.  However, I got chirps until way after 11 pm!  What a blessing you were to me yesterday!******

Soon, Suzanne came to pick up Levi.  He went to the car and came back with the most beautiful carved  wooden pumpkin!  It is so cool!   Suzanne tested a brownie and then they were on their way to run errands and head home.  I sat down at the computer and began writing this account.  Don is out of town at a business meeting so it was quiet .  And, Alex has been quiet all day.

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Then I heard a car horn and in a moment…a knock on the front door.  (The garage is forever closed off to the elements now…SSSSSS! , remember?)  When I checked, it was Suzanne and Levi…holding a box of Gigi’s cupcakes!!!  So, I didn’t have to make brownies for my cake after all!  The cupcakes were so yummy and Levi was beside himself surprising me with them!  See the great pumpkin?

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I had sweet phone calls and fun cards and a wonderful day.  No big party…no big fuss made.  Just a quiet day, full of activity and full of love from family and friends.  Just the things that really matter… home and hugs and happiness.  And, chocolate…makes any day a little more special!

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JOY IN THE JULY JOURNEY

DOTHAN…July 1, 2014

As soon as my foot was released from its hard cast prison after 5 weeks…I progressed to an air cast.  Told to wear it all the time, except to take a bath, I took that to mean that big ole bathtub in the backyard would be fine, as well.  And, first thing Tuesday morning, I donned my swim suit and carefully waded into the pool.  Soon I was joined by the two cutest little boys in town, along with their mother and aunt.  Oh, we had such a great time!  Following are some pics from the day.

 

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Loving my new camera!

 

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It make pics underwater!  And, it will not break if you drop it!  Camera heaven!  Everyone has had a ball using my camera to make these great pics in the pool.  Today is the first day that I got to use it.  However, these underwater pics are courtesy of Suzanne…I have to practice a little more!  It probably would help if I could open my eyes underwater! 🙂

LAGUNA BEACH…July 2-3,2014

Oh what fun Don and I had with Suzanne and Adam and Levi for 2 days…We crammed as much in as possible!

 

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Sweet Levi is not a fan of the ocean.  He likes to run in the sand,  and pick up shells, but does not want to touch the water.  However, he loves to swim.  A friend had told us about a wonderful public water park here in PCB.  It is the Frank Brown Recreational Complex on Back Beach Road…just past the ‘Y'” going toward PCB.  There is a website you can go to learn more info.  It is a fantastic park.  Plenty of playground equipment, picnic tables, fishing, and 2 wonderful pools.  One is dedicated for children, but parents are welcome to go in with their little ones…there are all sorts of climbing equipment and sprinklers and slides.  Such fun.  And very well kept up.  $8.00  adults…$5.00 kids.

LAGUNA BEACH/ PANAMA CITY BEACH…..July 11-14, 2014

Joy and I, along with Tara and Lori and John Thomas took a long week-end trip to the Sandcastle.  We all needed a little break from ‘real life’…and the beach seemed to be just what we needed.  We ate out and slept in.

 

 

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John Thomas and Tara and Lori took in Shipwreck Island, and Wonder Works…while Joy and I took our time on the couch and the front porch!  To each his own!  They all managed a trek down to the beach and some swimming in the ocean…my foot said,” Stay right where you are…on solid ground!”  And, so I did!

 

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John Thomas and I did a little painting.  He painted a ‘goldie fish’ to grace the walls of the SandCastle.

 

 

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Suzanne and Adam and Levi joined us for the day on Monday.  We all headed back over to the Recreational Complex I mentioned above and had a wonderful day, playing and eating and swimming…with lots of fun and laughter!

 

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DOTHAN…7/16/14

Today Levi stayed with Don and I for the day while his parents were busy.  First Pa cooked Levi his favorite, ‘baconeggs’…and then they went to ride the toys.  Finally, a little newspaper reading was in order while they cooled off! 20140716_094116-1

 

 

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Then I managed to snap some good close-ups of the little man while we played outside waiting for Suzanne to come!

 

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JULY 21-24, 2014

Officially, this isn’t on my list, because I was not there.  But, family was.  And, since this is my blog, I get to make the rules!  Love how that works out!  Anyway, Jackson and Tina were able to spend a few days at the Sand Castle.  Word from them was a great time was had, even amidst the rain.  There was still swimming and fun to be had.  And, fried crab claws, too!  I only wish i could have spent some of the time with them.  They are so dear to me!

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Today Suzanne started back to school…crazy, huh?  So I’m back to Levi and Lulu time!  It has been such a fun day.  But, boy is our schedule ever off!  We’ve got some work to do to get back in our groove! Don is out of town, so Levi said he could not eat ‘baconeggs’…so we had bananas, toast and blackberries.  He was too excited to eat, I think.  Cause he knew what I had promised him we would do when he came to stay again.  Paint! art-quoteHe had seen my paints out and had been wanting to paint and I kept putting him off…but today was the day!  First, he donned his new painting apron.  Look!  He wrote his own name!

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We started with the watercolors.  He did well for the first time.  It’s not easy to remember to dip the brush into water between each color…but he finally got it.

 

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I title the above finished painting…”Just A Little Brown”. ( The bottom pic in photo below).   After he had finished painting such a pretty mix of blues and greens, he looked at it and said, “Gotta put some brown right here.”  And, so he did.  Wonder what that thought process was.  Maybe he just has an artist’s eye!

 

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His second attempt turned out beautifully, I think.  I think it looks like wet cupcake sprinkles!  Don’t you just love how the colors blend in together…no matter what color is used? Next we moved on to fingerpaint.  He was not quite as sure about this.  After he realized it was just fine to get paint all over his hands, he began to enjoy it.  We eventually moved it to the floor.  And decided the best picture of all was Lulu and Levi’s hand prints all over an old towel!

 

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We decided then that the best way to celebrate our art was with a swim!  And even Uncle Alex and Finn joined us for a while!  Such a beautiful day to be in this glorious world created by the Master Designer!  After all that and a quick lunch, I was ready to rest.    I was just happy to put my feet up!  Well…at least this little man got some dream time in.

 

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And so ends our short journey through the month of July, 2014.  Could life be any sweeter?  God is just so good and gracious to our family.  All is not roses and candlelight…and we go through our tough times.  Things happen that we want to run from.  We are affected by circumstances that we have no control over.  We still deal with illness on a daily basis.  But through it all…God brings the joy!  We are not thankful FOR all things we go through…but we are thankful IN all things.  Because the only way you get to appreciate the joy…is to taste some of the bitter.  The promises of God are always true and always steadfast.  He will never fail.  Thank you God, for allowing me to know this in my heart of hearts!

 

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JACKSON TURNS SIX

Early Saturday morning, Suzanne and I turned our car toward Birmingham.  The occasion…Jackson’s sixth birthday party.  We arrived before lunch and let Jackson dive right in to the presents we had brought from family in Dothan.

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A stop for a quick photo with Lulu, and then off to the YMCA for an afternoon full of festivities!

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The weather was just perfect for the party.  There was a wonderful tented area in the back for the cake and ice cream, and around a corner was a pool just fit for a group of 30! kids to spend a warm…quite warm…afternoon!  Jackson had requested a Lego Star Wars Party and Tina went all out to insure it was one of a kind!  Following are the cake…yes, it’s ALL edible!  Then the cutest accessories for the table that Tina fashioned herself!

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Colorful table cloths and loads of balloons finished off the decor!  It was a little boy’s dream!

 

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Then, on to the pool…

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Ian was called into duty by Jackson….

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…and to help little Levi…

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Someone HAD to do it…the ladies were too busy getting aquainted and visiting…under the only shade in sight!  It was wonderful spending some time with some of those who are so close to Tina.

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A picture of this new sweet family…

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We were all hot and tired, so pizza was the order for supper.  Tina kept the boys entertained while we waited for the delivery man to arrive.  ( Levi couldn’t wait, and we had to dig out some chicken nuggets!)

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Then none of us lingered long…our beds and couches were calling us all!  Levi was the first to awake this morning and that meant soon we were all to follow!  A few quick pictures and it was time for Suzanne to drive us back to Dothan!

Cousins…on Jackson’s sixth birthday

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My own two sweet ‘daughters-in-love’…

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I grabbed a quick moment with my boy…

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As we travelled, Suzanne and I replayed the fun we had at the party and the sweet time we had visiting with Tina, Ian, and Jackson….

Levi, however, had a better way to spend the time driving home!

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“God has given us these times of joy.”  Nehemiah 12:43