thankful, so very very thankful

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These mashed potatoes are soooooooooo good!

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I’m still using my Grandma’s potato masher.

fiesta potholders
martha stewart pot

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The potatoes were a snack for these fine young men.  (By the way, I took all these photos last week but didn’t post them yet).  Ethan had a week home from college.

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Rich was away on a business trip for five days.  I took this picture of the boys for him after their football practice….as you can see, Seth is full of energy STILL!

This morning he was showing me how his shorts didn’t stay up and I said, “Dressing you is like trying to dress a broom stick.” and he said, “That’s because I’m skinny.”

He also said, “When I grow up I’m not going to get married so I can still live with you.”  “You don’t have to get married but you could still have your own place,” I replied.  “I’ll be your neighvor.” he said.  (exactly how he pronounced it)

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WHAT???  All I did was walk out the front door when I discovered this very very cool green insect on the dresser on the porch.  Isn’t it amazing?

You can make discoveries at any time and any place.  Keep your eyes open.

I want to draw this bug.  Wouldn’t it be fun to draw this bug?

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I have a fascination with the Salem Witch Trials but this book was disappointingly difficult to read.  It put me to sleep every evening.  I finally put it down and read reviews on amazon — gratified to see the majority of them felt the same as I did.  I bought this book at Costco and will be returning it.

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The Trouble with Magic, by Ruth Chew (my latest read to Sarah book)
Little Women
The Little’s Surprise Party
Young Amelia Earhart
Tales of Peter Rabbit and his Friends
Heidi (full of illustrations)
Art book
Charlie Brown book

I love having books everywhere I turn here.

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Sarah reading to Mama.

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Seth reading to Mama (with Sarah next to us).

Little Bear books are the best.  You know they make me tear up?  Heartwarming stories.  And then she wrote Hunger Games, can you believe that?  (I did read Hunger Games and enjoyed it but got bored with the rest of the series, haven’t seen the movies.)

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Dress up

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Another homegrown pumpkin (we had four)

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Kids are the best

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a bunny bee and soft flower petals

(isn’t it so cute?)

To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions, but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of the them; to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts;  to covet nothing that is your neighbor’s except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can with body and with spirit, in God’s out-of-doors–these are the little guide-posts on the foot-path of peace.  

Henry Van Dyke.

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((David caught a snake.))  Yesterday Michael and Logan walked to our house to visit and said they rescued a snake from the road, it’s tail was run over so they put the hurt snake in the woods.  I was so happy with them.

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Our cats love sleeping in laundry baskets.

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DAVID!!!!  getting so tall and changing daily…..drinking that yummy raw milk does wonders.  He’s been on the Rip Stick (see it behind him) a lot lately.  He loves to go to football practice with his brothers and while they are on the fields, he is on the parking lot with the rip stick (for 2 hours!).  Last night he was hungry and made himself a little pot of rice for a bedtime snack.  He’s the best at making rice and has a scientific precise way of making it.  He’s also been eating tortilla chips and salsa on a constant basis.  It always amuses me to see the kids to through “their favorite snack” stages.  I remember when Grace would eat a can of corn every day.

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In a weak moment, I let Parker take a nap next to me.

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GLOWING GLOWING GLOWING…….the outdoors is simply dazzling.

“Early in the morning, my song shall rise to Thee.”

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Ethan and Tessa making pasta for dinner.

Is there anything more cozy than being outside and looking at the bright windows of YOUR house, with YOUR family inside???

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Last night Seth looked back at me as he was going downstairs to bed and said, “Mom in the morning I want eggs for breakfast,” and he pointed his finger at me like Gary George, and continued, “Fried.  Two.”  Then, a thumbs up.  I was smiling, “Okay Seth!”  So this morning I put a healthy amount of butter in a cast iron pan and fried him up two eggs, served with whole wheat toast.

He said to me, he said to me with his mouth full, “This is a good breakfast, mom.”

tasting goodness

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”  Psalm 34:8

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Enough snow fell on the day before Thanksgiving that the children have been able to go outside and play with their snow boards and sleds.  The sunshine was so bright yesterday that it hurt my eyes.

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Still, it is a pleasure to feel the cold on my face, and to breath in the fresh air.

I cautioned the children way too many times to steer AWAY from the trees and pond and road.

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David lined his boots with garbage bags.

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Our house sits on a hill, a hill steep enough for the children to go down……such a joy for them.

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Seth threw a snow ball at his Mama.

He had gloves on that were way to big.  In this family, they just grab anything and hope for the best.

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Hats, mittens, and gloves stress me out.

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We went for a walk around and said hello to the hens.

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The children slid down the rock like it was a slide and then I think the chicken tried it, too.

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David chased Billy up a tree.   Billy went carefully and silently around and around to find the best way to get back down.

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He is a smart cat.

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Thanksgiving 2014

I planned, I shopped, I fussed, I baked, I did a hundred little things, and then…….it was over.

I am a little tired and blue today, so I decided to blog about our wonderful day, to cheer myself up.

The Lord is good.

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My sister said that her heart was warmed, as David gently stirred the pot with her and talked about things.

Later, Jason told me he thought David was so smart and had an engineering type of mind.

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My niece Abigail peeled potatoes with Grace.  10 pounds of potatoes.

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With a cup of cheer in my hand and my handsome husband.  I am so thankful for Rich.  Today he caught me before I fell on the ice outside…it took me a few steps to gather my balance and he made me laugh by staying strong and saying dryly, “You okay?  This is just like walking with a newborn calf that can’t get his legs under himself!”

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On Thanksgiving Day, Abbie turned fourteen.

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Grace and Naomi played with their Bitty Babies.  Sarah’s room is still a total disaster from all the playing (searching for the doll stuff).  Aren’t they adorable?  I love everything about this picture.

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Handsome brother Isaac, and son Jacob.

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Michael came over, too, and there was a game of Monopoly that lasted for hours.

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Abbie and Cassandra

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My beautiful daughter Grace.

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Grace practiced her french braiding skills on Aunt Cassandra.

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Rich fell asleep after dinner and clean up.  Jason fell asleep in the recliner, too.  It’s the smart thing to do on Thanksgiving day.

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The children colored with the smelly markers.

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Then, it was time for birthday cake.  I’m so thankful that we were able to spend the day with Abbie.  She’s a beautiful young lady and we are proud of her.  It was a blessing to end Thanksgiving day with birthday cake.

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also remembering….

early morning phone call from brother Dave
weston got wet in the pond
we took family portraits for christmas cards
sarah wore a red ribbon
i burnt the rolls
but the pies were to die for
we lost sarah outside; it turned out she was with her brother E
aunt amanda made ethan proud of his muscles
laughing over the Andy Griffeth show
we cheered up aunt cassandra because she was sad and missing her family
rich was quiet all day until 9pm.  then he went for a run and then wanted to take me out shopping. (no)
jacob dressed up in a tie
food was wonderfully good, so was the drink
seth was especially energetic and was the child most likely to get reprimanded
ending the day with a nice phone conversation with mom and dad

*****

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, friends!
You are loved.

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“The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.”  Psalm 18:46

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness….”  Psalm 25:10

attitude of gratitude

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl

Oh Roald Dahl, you are such an interesting person.  I love how you take truth and get it down our throats with a spoonful of good humor.

Here are a few little happenings that I am thankful for:

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1.  A morning of sunshine

Got no checkbooks, got no banks,
Still I’d like to express my thanks –
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
~Irving Berlin

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2.  We went to the day spa, Sarah and I.

She was so fascinated by the yellow goo being squirted in my hair that I had to get out the phone and take a picture.  She loves watching me get my hair done.

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Rich told me to relax at the spa and I said, “Yes, but, how can I relax if I have Sarah with me?”  “Oh Shan, she’s adorable!  You let her get her nails done.  See if they can get her in.”

I did ask, but the ladies were all booked up so I asked Amy (my hairdresser) to take Sarah in the other room to pick out some nail polish.  While my hair processed I myself gave Sarah her manicure, including base coat and top coat.

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3.  Seth had a program at school so I buttoned him up in a handsome dress shirt (over a t-shirt).  I fussed quite a bit with the hair, too.  (you can sort of tell by the picture that he was ready to be let go again, right?)

Later, when Sarah and I arrived to school for the assembly, in walked Seth with the dress shirt OFF and looking all ordinary.

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4.  Breakfast at the diner.

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5.  My two oldest boys; Jacob (in back) and Ethan.

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6.  Michael and Seth (Sunday)

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7.  Reading books to silly Sarah.

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8.  The ice melted on Monday.   I sent Seth out on the porch to feel the air, “There IS no air!” was his observation.  It was a windless, warmish day.  When they came home from school we went outside.  Before I could stop them, Dave and Seth had their shoes and socks off in the stream.  It really wasn’t warm enough for it, and their little feet turned pink.

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9.  Dave caught a crayfish which was a joy because every other sign of life in the waters was missing (frogs, turtles, fish).

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How many of my friends are in the kitchen this week in preparations for Thanksgiving Day?  I’m in the kitchen as I type.  My body is sitting on the couch in the living room, but my mind is over there in the kitchen thinking about what I need to do next!

10.  Yesterday I made my roll dough using my Grandma’s recipe.  After the first rise, I formed the rolls.

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I placed them in their pans, wrapped them up, and put them in the freezer.  Tomorrow I will take them out, let them rise the second time, and bake them.

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11.  Yesterday we also did our big grocery trip for everything we needed on this list:

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I would rather stay in the kitchen cooking all day than go to the store!  So I was very happy to get it done.

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12.  We had a mini-thanksgivng feast yesterday.  Jacob and Ethan had to miss their football thanksgiving dinner because their game was moved up a day.  They were disappointed about it so I decided to surprise them.  When they got home from school at 2:30 everything was ready.  I roasted a butterball turkey breast, made (frozen) mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, corn, and cranberry sauce.  I saved out some of my roll dough in order to make a couple little loaves of bread, too.

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Not only did my children come home (Dave, Jacob, Grace, and Ethan) but also two extras.  I loved watching them fill up their plates and go sit down in the dining room together.

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13.  Last night was Senior night at the football game.  It was cold, but we had a lot of fun watching Jacob play his last game.

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This is one of those pictures that I look at and see him as my own little baby, behind those eyes and that face, he’s still there.

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14.  sisters

I hope you have a lovely day today!

There is snow falling outside and it will be a cozy day to make pies.

from Laura Ingalls Wilder

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  The weather is mild with rain in all forms; steady and pounding with big fat drops and rushing downspouts from the corners of the house, or as it is now; a fine, fine misty rain.  I need to go to the chicken coop this morning and will soon have rain-wet hair.

Rich is working from home today and is in his new corner office in the addition with a fire going.  Later on we plan on *one last shopping trip* before tomorrow.  I need EGGS of all things.  The hens haven’t been laying much these days.  He wants to go to Panera for lunch.

I’m washing some of the couch cushion covers, we have a dog and three cats and I hate the thought of the house smelling like animals…..the cushions are now all over the livingroom from Seth and Sarah making forts.  The dryer is going.

I’ve started the kitchen work.  Rich helped me scrub the counters and I made the base for my orange tapioca salad.  Once it cools I will fold in the whipped cream.  I boiled a package of ring pasta to make seafood salad, as close to Grandma’s recipe as possible (she didn’t write it down).  Oh how I miss family at this time of year and the way things used to be.

It’s hard to believe at times that I’m all grown up and making dinners like this for my little children and nieces and nephews.  Within 10 years, I will probably be a grandmother myself.   When I think of the children, all the cooking and cleaning is worth it because I know we are building lifelong memories for them.  Some of my memories of holidays as a child include so many LITTLE things; I found delight in the label maker we got to use for putting our names on the plastic cups, and sitting on the bar stools with Colleen and David to eat our plates of food, spinning back and forth now and then.  The holiday punch bowl.  That was fun and so delicious.  I’m hoping to find a bigger punch bowl today at the mall.

I’m thankful for my parents.  My mom’s cooking.  She will be here tomorrow to help cook, she is the expert.  I’m hoping she will do the gravy.  It’s not something I enjoy doing.  Ethan hopes Grandpa will bring his guitar so they can play together.

I was reading Little House in the Ozarks this morning and thought I would share a quote from Laura:

The season is over, the rush and struggle of growing and saving the crops is past for another year, and the time as come when we pause and reverently give thanks for the harvest.  For it is not to our efforts alone that our measure of success is due; but to the life principle in our earth and the seed, to the sunshine and to the rain–to the goodness of God.

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We may not be altogether satisfied with the year’s results, and we can do a terrific amount of grumbling when we take the notion.  But I am sure we all know in our hearts that we have a great deal for which to be thankful.  In spite of disappointment and weariness and perhaps sorrow, His goodness and mercy does follow us all the days of our lives.

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As the time approaches when we shall be called upon by proclamation to give thanks, we must decide whether we shall show our thankfulness only by overeating at the Thanksgiving feast.  That would seem a rather curios way to show gratitude-simply to grasp greedily what is given!

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When a neighbor does us a favor, we show our appreciation of it by doing him a favor in return.  Then when the Lord showers favors upon us, how much more should we try to show our gratitude in such ways acceptable to Him, remembering always the words of Christ, “Inasmuch as ye have done I unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder in “Thanks for the Harvest”  1921

Happy Thanksgiving!

and overflowing with thankfulness

Glorify the Lord with me
      let us exalt His name together.  Psalms 34:3

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(brother dave on vacation in jamaica)

Hello my friends!  We had such a good old ordinary weekend and I feel rested and recharged.  Hope you do, too.

I usually do a “this moment” post on Fridays but didn’t get around to it the other day so here is my picture:

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Brother Dave surprised me with a card and a giftcard to Starbucks.  Thank you, my brother and friend, I love you!  I only wish I could go to the Starbucks WITH you.

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Gracie took this picture of our almost full grown kittens, in the sock basket.  Poor Sammie (the black) got caught behind the oil tank on Friday night, the kids heard her yowling.  When Jacob tried to get her unstuck, she bit and scratched him so Rich had to do it.  She’s still limping around today.  Sherlock has to play by himself but they can still snuggle together.

So what are your plans for Thanksgiving?  We are having it here at our place with my parents, Amanda and Jason with their children, Nate and Melissa with theirs, a friend of Amanda’s, and brother Isaac.   I am going to make a big list today and get busy on organization……also, praying hard that the weather isn’t too bad for travel on that day.

I love Thanksgiving; giving thanks is a regular spiritual practice for believers, and it’s lovely to have a special day simply devoted to praising God and counting blessings.  It’s amazing how, in giving thanks, God fills up our souls with contentment.  Last night I took out some old homeschooling materials and did dictation/copy work with the boys.  Jacob said, “I want to do it, too!” so he joined in, even though he was already doing homework.  It was fun.

Seth (the four year old) was inspired by all the writing.

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He told me to write, “Dear Grandma” on it, and he pointed his finger to where I was to write.

 

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This was taken early Saturday morning.  I was sitting in the rocking chair all alone, when Caleb stumbled into the room.  He was still half asleep and wanted to be by me.  He tried to get in the chair with me but there was no room so he walked over to the other rocker, picked it up, and carried it all the way over to place it as close to me as possible.  It was just the most precious act of love from him (8 years old) that I asked Rich to take our photo.

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Seth asked if he could sit over by Michael during church and I said “yes”.  Jacob was there, too.  Mike took this picture of him during the prayer before offering……he wasn’t as angelic for the entire service, however.  He’s a Seth.

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Grace was going to sing in her school chorus at a church in town yesterday.  I took her early to practice, it was so very cold and windy that the town lost power and I had to go right back down to get her, the service had been cancelled.  We never lost power at our house, though, it was cozy and warm and Rich ordered a pizza for dinner.  These are the days of party sized pizzas that get entirely eaten by seven healthy , growing children with big appetites.

(Ethan S, how is your ankle??)

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I put on winter garb this morning to tend to the hens.

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The sun was coming up, shining on the now icy ponds.

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Ice in the stream, the air was icy cold, too.  I took this photo with red and stiffening fingers.

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Inside the house, Sherlock found the sunshine.

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Cats are the best.

Every good and perfect gift
is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change
like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in Him,
rooted and built up in Him,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:6-7

PS.  Seth just said longingly to me, “I wish I had fur, Mom.”

Perhaps when he’s a man, he can grow some on his chin like Uncle Dave!

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(image via pinterest)