Friday, February 29, 2008

And the winner is...

Well, I feel really pleased with my very first giveaway and I hope that you guys had fun reading all the fun candle comments.

The winner of the very first "By His Grace" giveaway is Marilyn (there were actually 17 comments on my post, but one was entered 2 times so I threw the second one out).

True Random Number Service
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:15
Timestamp: 2008-02-29 23:23:01 UTC


I will be e-mailing you to get you contact information so that you can begin filling your house with a wonderful new scent.

Stay tuned...a giveaway is planned around Easter...and I have a hunch you might like it.

Have a GREAT weekend!

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And so it begins...

The "busy" years have officially begun in the "D" house. D-Man had his first extracurricular activity yesterday...Gymnastics.

Now let me preface all this by saying this is a pretty big endeavor for old mom here because I don't just get to get in the car, drive a couple of minutes and let him take lessons. We have to get in the car, put on a movie and eat breakfast on the way because we must drive 45 minutes to make this all happen (and make it happen by 10 am.) That my bloggy friends, is a loving mommy.

Anyway, we arrived and I completed the necessary forms and paid the necessary money while D-Man "explored" his new surroundings with one of his friends and their mommy. And boy, did he ever love all the gymnastic "toys." He ran, he jumped, he ran, he ran, he jumped and he ran. Did I mention that he ran and jumped? If not, well, he ran and jumped.

But, all wasn't so rosy with D-Man when teacher instruction began because D-Man being I'm sure an abnormal 2 year old wanted it his way and only his way. I'm sure none of you with small children or those who have had small children have ever had this type of experience, one where the child exerts all the independence they ever thought they had or wanted to have at one particular moment. And this independece comes out as a few loud outbursts, some arm flailing and some dramatic faces.

None of you have ever experienced that, have you? Thought so...

Anywoo, after a brief calm down session in the bathroom, D-Man was ready to go and enjoyed all the activities of the day.

Will we go again? Oh yes!

And I will pray that all the mommies and tots there will either all be new or have developed a case of amnesia and won't remember the first time they met us. Oh, did I say that out loud?

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something old, Someone new

I was looking through pictures today of the last few months. I was doing this as much to reflect on our first months in this house as to find something to post about. I happened upon this picture of D-Man coloring in his playroom (aren't Color Wonder colors and coloring books the best?) This picture was actually taken in late summer of 2007, thus the shorts he is wearing, but has so much meaning to me even today.

The table that D-Man is sitting at was actually his Nana RA and Great Aunt J's table that their Dad bought them when they were younger. D-Man is named after their father and when we named D-Man, they felt it only right to pass along the table and chairs to him. D-Man received this wonderful gift for his first birthday and after some TLC from Husband, it was ready for use.

How awesome to have this kind of treasure to talk to D-Man about in the future? It has endured many miles in it's journey and has many more yet to come. Yet, through all of the travels, it will hold such a wonderful story that can be told for years to come.

D-Man may not know it's full importance today as he sits and "checks his e-mail" or "calls his friends" or "listens to his music" (I put all of that in quotation marks because this is what he says he is doing with all of his play gadgets), but someday, we hope that he can pass on the story and the legacy to his own children.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not to toot my own horn...

Guess who is featured over at BloggedIn-News & Networking? Yes, ME!!!!!! Wow! I can't even believe it. Shera over at A Frog in My Soup e-mailed me a few days ago. She co-hosts the "Highlights" section at BloggedIn-News & Networking and asked if she could feature one of my posts in her highlights section.

I replied faster than Darren McFadden can run the 40 yard dash and told her I would be absolutely honored.

So, go here and check it out while I do my happy dance a few thousand times! And also see the post below for a new Works-for-me Wednesday recipe!

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Works for me Food

So there have been those of my bloggy (and real life) friends who have been hinting that they would like to have some new recipes, those that come from me. Therefore, I am dedicating my Works-for-me Wednesday post to them, my in-need-of-a-recipe friends.

It is one of our family favorites and I love to let it cook in the crock-pot/slow-cooker for several hours to really let the flavors mesh. This recipe actually came from my mother and I promise you, Husband never liked my spaghetti until I made it this way. So, here goes...

Momma Lu's Spaghetti Sauce(Mom, don't you love how I titled it?)


1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 can mushrooms (optional)
2 TBSPs garlic powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 16 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes (optional, but I always add b/c I love the extra texture)

Brown the ground meat, onion, bell pepper and 1 TBSP of garlic powder until the meat is cooked throughout. Combine the meat mixture with the remainder of the ingredients in your crock-pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Serve over pasta and enjoy!
Let me know if you try it and how you like it! For other great Works-for-me Wednesday tips, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Titles on Tuesday

Thanks to all of you out there that recommended books for our newly formed book club. I'll keep you posted in upcoming posts on how we liked the books.

Now, on to the business at hand. Today's Titles on Tuesday selection is one from D-Man's collection. It is called Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. It was given to D-Man before he was born by some very dear friends of ours in Fayetteville.

At the time we received it, I didn't really think of the impact it would have on me after D-Man was born. But, then he was born, our life completely changed and I suddenly realized that from the start children are constantly changing, developing and growing so that they can "go" all those places in life.

The book begins by saying, "Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places. You're off and away."

Isn't this the positive spin we should give to each new day we are given? And to think, this wonderful life lesson we learned from the Dr. himself, Dr. Seuss.

So, stand up, hold your head high and remember that today is your new day! Go out and make the best of it all!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

My very first giveaway!

Hello Bloggy Friends!

Today is the day. The very first giveaway hosted at this blog! Oh happy day!

After reading the smell of a certain candle in the Queen B house last week, it made me think about hosting a giveaway that smells better than the Black Cherry The Queen B had to endure.

So, I'm giving away a "citrus sorbet" ginger jar candle from Home Interiors to get you ready for spring and summer.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite season and candle scent (including the brand). I'll leave comments open until 5 p.m. on Friday, February 29th (leap year Friday). Only one comment per person, please. The winner will be chosen at random from the entries. If you do not have a blog account, you may still leave a comment. Just be sure and leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win!

Happy Smelling!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Oh happy day and a soon to be giveaway!

Well, bloggy friends, it's Friday.

The day before Saturday.

The day after Thursday.

And, Husband is off again for the second weekend in a row! Woooooooooohoooooooooo!

I've told you before that Husband is in a profession that requires lots of medical knowledge. And he works many hours. Long days. Many hours. Many, many hours.

But, he's doing what God called him to do. Sit back, relax and I'll tell you his story.

Husband and I grew up in the same, rural town. We were in the same kindergarten class and shared the same group of friends. We went through all stages of growing up together, but only as friends. We began dating in the fall of our Junior year in high school and the rest as they say is history. We went to college together and married the summer before our senior year in college (another post, another time).

Our college years brought about many questions between the two of us concerning what we both wanted to do with our lives. We knew early on that marriage between the two of us was meant to be, but also knew that waiting to be married was the right thing to do. I knew right out of high school that I wanted to major in biology and minor in education so that I could some day teach high school students the ends and outs of science.

Husband, on the other hand, took a little different path. He began his college career as an Air Force ROTC freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. But, his major dislike for all things mechanical engineering soon caused a few tiffs between us and a change of heart for what he wanted to do in his life.

Seriously, it is a wonder that we stayed together that 1st semester because he was so unhappy.

Anyway, he changed his major to Pre-Veterinary medicine (and withdrew from the Air Force ROTC program because they didn't take Pre-Veterinary medicine as a major). And, oh my friends, was he ever happy! Happy, Happy, Happy! And we were so happy.

But God had other plans in mind. Plans that caused Husband to re-evaluate his life somewhere about his Sophomore year and turn toward a love of all things related to medicine of a human nature. For so long, he had run from human medicine because he wanted to do something totally different from his father, but God knew better. God knew he was suited for medicine; God knew he needed to be in medicine; And, God made Husband realize that changing his career was the answer.

Husband has told me and others that he truly believes that if he had not listened to God's calling and changed his career to follow a path of human medicine, that he believes he wouldn't be here today. WOW! What a strong statement, but a belief nonetheless.

Husband has so much faith and has taught me in the course of our journey to be completely dependent on God for the answer. Husband listened to his Father in Heaven and He didn't let him down.

So, that brings us to today. Well, maybe I've left out the 4 years of professional school that Husband excelled in and I supported him through. Oh, and maybe the 3 years of post-professional school training he did that he excelled in and I supported him through. But, all in all, we feel that God has blessed us, guided us and been true and faithful to us through it all.

And me, well, I'm where God wants me to be. Bringing up our sweet D-Man in a God-fearing home and creating a home for Husband to come home to each night.

Have a GREAT weekend and be sure and check back next week for a sweet smell in the form of a giveaway! Yippeeee!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The power of prayer

Husband and I have truly learned over the course of the last few weeks how strong the power of prayer is. We've recently experienced a trial in our lives that we never really expected to endure. Unfortunately, I'm not at a point where I can truly talk about the trial, but I am confident that I can talk about how the power of prayer has gotten us through.

One never really thinks about the power of prayer and how it changes our lives. When many are praying for the will of God to be done in someone's life, it can be felt. And Husband and I have definetly felt the power of prayer over the last few weeks.

I've often wondered why I get so lazy with my prayer life. How so many other things come first and get in the way? I can have a conversation with so many each day, but forget to just "talk" to my Father in Heaven. Why is this?



Feelings of inadequacy?

I'm sure they all play a role in those times when my prayer life suffers, but then God reminds me (sometimes gently, sometimes not-so-gently) that I need Him and only Him to make it through the good and the bad.

Psalm chapter 6 verse 9 says this, "The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer."

God hears our cries out for Him! Praise the Lord! He accepts our prayers and has mercy on us and lays out His will before us.

Psalm 17:6 always brings so much comfort to me as it says, "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer."

Oh how I'm comforted by the fact that God hears me (and all of us) when we pray and I know that He will answer me in his own way. Will I agree with every outcome that I am delivered? Probably not. But, I can find comfort in believing that regardless of whether or not I agree with the outcome, God had His hand in it and it worked out according to His will.

God is so faithful and gracious and all-knowing and He knows better than we do how our lives need to play out. By praying to Him and trusting in Him and having faith in Him we can make it through anything.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Guess what time it is?

That's right, it is potty training time here in the "D" House. Aren't those cheeks so cute?

He's going to hate me in a few years for this, huh?

Oh's my blog, right?

Anyway, we are embarking on this dark, scary, mystical new world. D-Man has done very well with it thus far.

We tell him that Lightning McQueen will be sad and cry if he gets wet. And this lasts for all of about oh 30 minutes if Mom and Dad fall behind on their job of racing to the bathroom every 30 minutes.

I wouldn't say that Mom (meaning me) is doing so well with it all.

Dadgummit, it takes a lot of time and patience and time and staying home and time.

I know, I sound selfish, but conquering this feat means we've reached another I'm-not-a-toddler-anymore milestone. And I'm just not ready!

Well, I take that back. I'm ready to not have to wipe his bottom anymore. And smell those awful diapers. And carry diapers in my bag. Oh, and wipe his bottom.

Ok, bloggy friends, I guess I just convinced myself that I am ready for this new adventure. Like it or not, it's coming out in the toilet. D-Man, lace up your boots and get your game face on because Mommy's not playing anymore.

I sound mean, don't I?

Check back, it could get ugly.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Titles on Tuesday: What do you read?

Today's Titles on Tuesday has dried up this week. I don't have a book to speak of. Instead, I'd like to ask all of you out there to recommend some books to me.

My mother-in-law and myself are starting at book club here in our small, rural town. It is a part of the women's ministry group at our church. We meet for the first time this week and I'm so excited to reveal our book! But, being true to the woman that I am and taking lessons from Queen B, I will not reveal the book we are reading until the night of the book club. You know, I've got to have my Oprah moment, right?

So, any suggestions for books to read? We are wanting to focus on mainly fiction by Christian authors, but will not rule out any suggestion.

Do I have any takers?

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Yes, spandex and all

I have a love (besides Husband) (oh and chocolate).

It involves both of my feet.

And many, many miles.

Many laugh at this love I have because they think I am clearly insane. But I know better.

Most do not understand how I can love it mile after mile after mile. But I do.

I've even competed a couple of times (half-way, that is). But competed nonetheless.

Yes, this love I have is running. Running mile after mile after glorious mile.

When one looks at me, they don't immediately think, "Oh she's a runner." Instead, they probably think, "Oh, she needs a diet."

But, nonetheless, it is a passion of mine and I've competed in two half-marathons and loved every minute of it. Well, maybe there were a few minutes when I was saying what (breathe, breathe) have you (breathe, breathe) gotten (breathe, breathe) yourself into? But, all in all, I love the sport and plan to someday run an entire marathon.

Here's a photo to prove that love as I run on a frigid March morning last year in a a race at our state's capitol. Yes, that's me in all black spandex. I should be listening to Johnny Cash, don't you think?

So what love do you have that others laugh at you for?

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Friday, February 15, 2008

They are much more than snakes and snails and puppy dog tails!

My day was made complete yesterday when D-Man said to me (without prompting from me or his Daddy), "Happy Balewentine's Day, Mommy!"

I hope you all had wonderful days as well. Mine with spent with my 2 favorite guys in the world and I couldn't have asked for more.

Anything fun happen for you yesterday?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pink Taz

I read a post last week at Big Mama's blog about gift giving on Valentine's Day and it made my mind wonder back a few years (cue the music) and remember the gift that Husband gave me the first Valentine's we were officially a couple.

The year was 1995. I was in the 11th grade and was a whole 2 months older than my also 11th grade boyfriend (whom I now lovingly refer to as Husband because he is none other than my Husband).

Yes, high school sweethearts (you all have permission to sigh longingly).

Anyway, Husband and I had only been dating a few months (2 1/2 months to be exact) and I was eagerly anticipating a wonderfully romantic Valentine's Day gift.

Forget the fact that Husband was a macho football player at the time and wouldn't dare do anything to jeopardize that macho standing with his high school buddies. I knew deep down in my 17 year old heart that romantic juices were flowing in him.

The day came and I watched as friend after friend, acquaintence after acquaintence went to pick up their surprises from the office or library. I waited anxiously for the note that gave my teacher permission to send me to pick up my treasures.

Finally, the note came and I was excused to retrieve all that was filling my thoughts with happiness (or so I thought).

As I made my way into the library, I saw hordes and hordes of lovely flowers and such. I made my way from table to table searching for that bouquet that I could call mine.

And then I found it...and what had been in my mind for days wasn't sitting before me.

Instead, I had what looked like these (a pair of them to be exact) but not of the wearing kind. No sir, they were of the helium kind, balloon that is.

They were floating around the library for all the world to see.

But, wait, there is more.

They were accompanied by none other than this, the tasmanian devil (of the helium variety of course).

Nothing says romance and I love you like a pair of pink boots and the tasmanian devil, don't you think?

What did I do, you ask?

I did what any girl who loved her man would do, I picked up my goodies and proceeded back to class and later spit out many words to Husband that made him realize that tasmanian devil and love aren't normally in the same sentence.

He's learned since then, but we remind each other yearly how pink needs to be in the form of flowers and not boots.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! May your day be filled with much love (and hopefully not helium in the form of boots or tasmanian devils!)

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For in Heaven, no tears will fall

I am comforted today in the trust that there are no tears in Heaven. Husband and I have recently been through a trial in life that has only made a strong marriage stronger, but made our faith in Christ grow exponentially.

Someday I will share the trial, but for now, words will not come out to describe it. But knowing that there are no tears in Heaven makes my heart a little more able to take the hurt.

Be comforted today and remember that:

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:7

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stamping Away!

Recently, Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer hosted a bloggy giveaway carnival. Basically, it was a way for many bloggers out there to get there name out by hosting some type of giveaway.

Kim at Close to my Heart hosted a giveaway and low and behold, I won something! YEAH! I won a set of acrylic "party" stamps and they are oh so cute.

Thanks Kim for hosting the giveaway and picking me!

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Titles on Tuesday

Good morning! Today is one of those mornings when I would love, love, love me a HUGE (did I mention HUGE) cup of hot cocoa with TONS (did I mention TONS) of marshamallows.

But, I'm on a diet with mom and my sisters (and they read this blog) so I had better not.
Someone out there drink a cup for me.

Ahem...back at the task at hand...Sorry.

Today's Titles on Tuesday selection is the most recent book that the book club I am involved in is reading. It is called Healing Stones by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn. If you are in need of some healing and are not sure who to turn to, this book reminds us that God is our only, ultimate, true healer.

The story tells of the life of Demitria Costanas, a married Christian College professor, who becomes inovlved in an affair with another man. When she realizes what she has made is none other than a horrible mistake, she begins her quest for a second chance with God and with her family.

There are many twists and turns in this book and it will keep you reading. Ultimately, it is built on the foundation that when we truly repent to God and ask for his forgiveness, He can give us a second chance.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

If I had a dollar (or more)...

To all of my bloggy friends out there, let me be the first to tell you...I am so ready for Spring!!!!

Warm weather...yeah!!!!!

Pretty flowers...yipppeeeee!!! can bet I need one!!! (Husband was just standing over my shoulder reading my post and asked what pedicures have to do with spring. Obviously his toes don't get out much when the weather gets warmer).

Body that looks like a million bucks...not exactly!!!!!

But, if my body was ready for all those great spring clothes, I thought I would show you some of my favorites that are out for the spring.

First, oh how I love this cute little cardigan from Anthropologie. Pair it with this cute halter dress also from Anthropologie and oh how cute I would feel. Remember, though, I could never pull off the halter dress without the cardigan, MUST WEAR TOGETHER!

And while we are on the subject of things to cover me up with, check out this jacket from Old Navy! Isn't it too cute? Pair it with this and this and top off with these (all from Old Navy) and you have an adorable outfit with some great pieces that can be worn with so many things.

Finally, something D-Man will be sporting this spring and summer are these shorts and the ice cream shirt from CWDKids. Won't he be so cute?

What's out there for spring that you are eyeing? Point me in the direction of more cuteness.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Montage of Randomness

What a week it has been!

The "D" house has gone through some major changes and trials.

But we've made it through.


With only a few battle scars.

And a few gray hairs.

So, to commemorate this week, I would like to give you all a beautiful bouquet of flowers to enjoy today.

Well, not really give them to you, but give you a picture to enjoy. Actually two pictures.

And while we are on the subject of pictures, remember that repairman that we hired? Well, he now does office work as well.

And he can multi-task.

And make a mess.

But we hire him anyway.

Ok, that's all the randomness I have for today.

Have a GREAT weekend!

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lie down and hit the button

A funny story came to mind as my mom told me she was to have a mammogram next week.

Gramma P (our neighbor before we moved) once told me that to prepare for a mammogram one should do the following:

*Lie down in your garage in a position where the mammogrammed parts lie directly under the door as it lowers.
*Next, have someone lower the door onto your mammogrammed parts.
*Raise the door.
*Repeat numerous times.

Oh my!

This is what I have to look forward to?

May I start tomorrow?

Yes, I'm joking, of course.

But, this got my thinking juices flowing.

And so I ask all of you out there, can you think of other ways to prepare for those we-shouldn't-talk-about-that procedures that will be endured later on in life?

Oh the mental pictures that come to mind!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Websites that work for me

Today's Works-for-me Wednesday is actually a themed one. Today, it is all about those websites out in internet-land that work for me. So, let me dive right in and let you know websites that I frequent that make my life so much easier.

The first site is called Fat Wallet. It is where I go before I buy any electronic or big-ticket item. It shows what sales, specials and deals various online sites and stores are offering. There is even a place that you can name your own price to an online store. The request is then submitted to the online location and they determine how much of a discount to give. I submitted a request when I purchased this and was able to get $35 off the already great price that was offered.

The second site is site. My favorite item that I bought from them was the one listed above. Another great one are these which we purchased for my son's playroom. They have been so kid-friendly and a wonderful addition to the area.

D-Man is really into the computer these days and Husband and I like to give him the opportunity to play educational games from time to time. For those games, we like this, this and this site. All are great and D-Man feels really grown-up when he plays his games.

And finally, I learned of 3tdesigns site many months ago from my high school friend who actually started it. We tried it out on our Christmas cards and absolutely loved them! If you need a baby announcement, birthday card or holiday card, you might check it out to see what is offered.

For other great sites enjoy by others, visit Shannon's site!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Titles on Tuesday

Today's Tuesday title is a book that strives to make you become the woman of excellence God designed you to be. It is called A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. It is actually a book that has been out for several years, but one I feel is relevant at any time in our lives.

The purpose of this book is to try and help you accomplish the following:

*foster a deep committment to serve and honor your husband
*pray faithfully for your children and teach them God's word
*create a nurturing environment at home
*grow in your walk with the Lord through the love of Scripture and in discipleship
*learn to reach out to others

I read this book several years ago, but feel that I am at a point in my walk with God that I need to read it once more. I would very much recommend it to all of you out there.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Man at Work

The "D" household needs repair work done from time to time. Often times, Husband can enable his natural "fix-it" ability and get the job done.

But, there are times when Husband is just not the answer.

Then we must call this one.

And he comes and surveys the situation and makes sure he has all his tools available.

He even comes whenever we call. Even if it is early morning and he is still in his jammies and socks (no shoes).

He sometimes even brings over the heavy equipment if our problem warrants such.

But, he can be a bit pricey and sometimes hard to deal with. We've learned, though, that a cup of milk and some homeade pancakes smooth over every situation.

If you need him in the future, you can call 55-CUTIEPIE and he will try and fit you into his schedule.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

And the well has run dry

There's nothing today that I've got to say.

Many thoughts flow, but nothing to show.

So have a great weekend I pray.

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