Archive for the ‘children’ Tag

04-29-2014 Journal Entry – Life in the Vault!   1 comment

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I mention my better-half in this blog often.  With Mother’s Day approaching I thought a salute to her would be appropriate.  She’s raised her three children, seen them graduate from college, and watched as they moved on with their lives.  She is and should be proud of such a major accomplishment.  Now since her nest has emptied it was time for the next stage of her life with me to begin.  It was time for both of us to readjust to a new and different style of living.

As I’ve gotten older I find myself looking back and reminiscing at odd times.  I have many wonderful memories that I reflect on occasionally and that was always part of my master plan.  Growing up I decided early on to build an archive of memories that I could enjoy after I was too old to create new ones.  I always pictured myself sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of my home looking back at all the fun I’d had in my life.  I looked forward to the day I could mentally relove any number of women and remember them as being even better than they actually were.

My normal approach to living was if something looked interesting I just jumped right in and tried to experience it.  Why not? I was slowly filling up my mental filing cabinet for use after my retirement. It made for a pretty cool life all in all but there were many bumps in the road as well. That was to be expected and those not-so-great memories also made their way into my mental “vault”, to lamely quote from a few Seinfeld episodes.

As a young and middle aged man I saw life in my sixties as something totally different from what it actually turned into.  When I was thirty I felt twenty, in my forties I felt twenty-five, and in my fifties I felt thirty-five.  It was in my mid-fifties when I first met my better-half.  I’d heard the term “better-half” used for years by others but I just thought it was something people said to convince themselves they’d found that elusive soulmate we all search so diligently for. Little did I know that I would all of a sudden become a real believer.  One can never know when that thunderbolt will hit but OMG when it does, it really hits hard. Things haven’t been the same since we met and I’m all the luckier for it. I felt like I was sixteen again both mentally and physically which was more than just a little scary at first.  But I adjusted.

I was forced into retirement much earlier than I ever thought possible thanks to the downsizing of the state government here in Maine.  I was afraid my master plan had been seriously compromised. Now I’m sitting on that famous porch of mine with my better-half, my cat, her grandson, his parents, and all of the new memories we’ve been creating over the last decade. The vault is full to overflowing, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I see many more terrific years ahead of us.

Of course, I’m writing this to brag a little but also to let all of you know that life can be good regardless of your age.  My fantasy now is to sit on that infamous porch when I’m In my nineties and hopefully remember the things I’m experiencing today, tomorrow, next week, and next year.  I imagine I’ll be feeling like a man in my sixties then which should be a weird and amazing turn of events. It’s incredible how our minds work  to help us to adjust to these constant life changes.

It will happen to you too . . . . . . .  Wait for it!

AND A HUGE HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MY BETTER-HALF.

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12-23-2013 Military Christmas Salute   5 comments

Since I’ll be taking a few days off from blogging to enjoy the family Christmas doings I thought something important needed to be discussed. Being a former soldier, the holidays have much more meaning than just just gifts, Christmas trees, and family traditions.  I’m all too familiar with  that lonely feeling when you’re away from home on Christmas for the first time and the dull ache it leaves in your chest.  There’s regular homesickness of course but being separated from your family, friends and comfortable surroundings on Christmas is a different kind of “hurt”.  I always think of our service people spread around the globe and I remember them everyday but even more so at this time of the year.  Here is a heartfelt poem from an unknown serviceman I received some years ago from a friend. It struck home with me then and it still does to this day.   It may have been a different war or different time but the feelings expressed remain the same.  Enjoy this and think of them tonight and never forget . . . .

Soldier On Watch

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear
“Come in here this moment, it’s freezing out there!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your arm,
you should be at home, this cold could do harm!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night”
“Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam
and now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I ‘ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
but my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
the red white and blue… the American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,

I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget

to fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled

is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

ONE SHOPPING DAY LEFT

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

EVERYUSELESSTHING WILL BE BACK ON 12/26/2013

12-14-2013 HIGH SCHOOL – 1957 vs. 2013   2 comments

I’m was never in high school during the 1950’s.  I just wanted to be clear on that point because I was in what is now called Middle school.  To say there are differences between now and the fifties is a huge understatement.  As mentioned yesterday, political correctness is responsible for accelerating that change. Here are a few hypothetical scenarios showing the differences.  When you first read them you might think the writer was exaggerating to make a point.  If you really look at it honestly you can see it’s not exaggerated at all.

* * *

Scenario 1:

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

1957 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2013 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2013 – Police called and SWAT team arrives — they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:

Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1957 – Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2013 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2013 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 – Mark shares his aspirin with a friend who also has a headache.

2013 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:

Pedro fails high school English.

1957 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2013 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 – Ants die.

2013 ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957 –In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2013 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

* * *

Do you honestly think it was exaggerated?  I don’t.  I’m glad for two things this Christmas season. One, that I’m not a kid attending school these days, and second, I have no grand children in the schools yet.  It gives me time to get their minds right before the liberal academics begin their propagandizing.

MERRRRRRY CHRISTMAS

11-10-2013 American Geography Trivia Quiz Answers   3 comments

It’s time for you to discover just how much you really know about these United States of ours.  While the questions were moderately difficult, they were answerable with a little thought and a basic knowledge of the country (in my opinion).  The answers are as follows:

1.  Florida and South Dakota.

2.  Hilo, on the big Island of Hawaii. It’s at 19° 42 N; Mexico City is at 19° 25 N.

3.  Hell’s Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Snake River, which reaches a depth of 7900 feet.

4.  I-10, I-80, and I-90.

5.  Eight.

6.  Hartford, Connecticut; Dover, Delaware; Boston, Massachusetts; and Richmond Virginia.

7.  Juneau, Alaska. It covers an area of 3,108 square miles. Rhode Island covers 1214 square miles.

8.  New Orleans

9.  13: The entire states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska; and parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

10. Boonesborough.

Lets end last week and begin the new week with a few laughs.  As you all know I’m a sucker for limericks.  I’ve made a point of collecting as many of them as possible, both funny and filthy.   Some I’ll forward along but even for the likes of me the language on some others is a little rough.

I thought today I would send a few your way written by children.  I was amazed by their creativity and the complexity of their work.

There was a young girl called Miss Muffet
Who sat down one day on a tuffet,
She’d sooner have had
A chair, I might add,
But sometimes you just have to rough it.

Two brothers called Reggie and Fred
Chased a fierce-looking wasp from their bed;
Said Fred: “It’s gone. How?”
Said Reg: “Don’t look now . . .
”But it’s sitting on top of your head!”

There was an old prophet called Jonah
who said sailing a ship from Ancona;
One day, in a gale,
He was ate by a whale,
and sicked up on the beach in a coma.

A jolly old fellow in red
Set his reindeer on full-speed ahead;
And all in one night,
Much faster than light,
Left presents round everyone’s bed!

There’s a witch in our village called Joyce
Who is cursed with a hideous voice;
But, please, don’t assume
She rides round on a broom,
She’s rich, and she drives a Rolls-Royce!

They’re well on their way to becoming the next generation who will eventually write all those dirty little ones I love so much.  Don’t you just love tradition?  I can’t end this posting until I give you one little off-color limerick to jump-start your day.

There was a young man named McBride,
who could fart anytime that he tried;
In a contest he blew
Seven thousand and two,
But then shit and was disqualified!

Have a great day!  For those of you in Israel, I hope you scored higher than you anticipated. Remember those bonus points I  mentioned.

10-21-2013   2 comments

I’ve spent most of my adult life working with an odd assortment of people.  I was an investigator in the Army which required me to interrogate people who spoke little or no English through an interpreter.  A difficult task at best since many times the interpreter only knew enough English to get by.  Years later as a police officer I was introduced to a host of criminal types, drug users, child abusers, and perverts.  The first and most important thing during those interviews and interrogations required a reasonable knowledge of the  subjects motivations and state of mind.  For the most part it was an interesting and emotionally draining experience.

I had an excellent rate of success in my endeavors because I was able to develop a quick rapport with my subjects in a very short period of time.  This remained the case through more than ten thousand interviews conducted in the years just prior to my retirement.  I felt I had the ability to interrogate, interview, and understand anyone regardless of the situation.  I was flexible enough to adapt to their way of thinking, find the problem, and fix it with a minimum of effort. Was I over confident?  I didn’t think so at the time but I do now. 

I finally met my match recently when I was dropped into a situation that befuddled me.  I had little or no experience with young children and when my step-grandson was born my education in dealing with people took a strange turn.  He communicates with his world of adults during this first year without language.  He uses hand gestures and a collection of facial expressions to get his messages across which continue to puzzle most of us.  He’s within a month or two from actually speaking understandable words and he’s currently babbling a constant stream of unintelligible nonsense.  It appears to make some sort of sense to him but leaves us adults dazed and confused.

My best chance of understanding him will occur once he decides to start saying something I can understand.  I decided to do a little more research into the mind set of a very young person who has no apparent life experience to draw from. How tough can it be I asked?  Where do I start?  I found the following article while surfing the Net and as soon as I read it I knew it held the answers I’d been looking for.  A simple and brief list of how the mind of a very young child is motivated and feels about the things and people around them. The list is funny but without a doubt as close to the truth as I could find. See what you think.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all of the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it
    automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

I’m going to post a copy of this list on my frig and read it as many times as necessary each and every time the little guy pisses me off or does something inappropriate.  This list explains everything in a way even I can understand.  Be patient, no screaming or yelling, and no punishing for things he doesn’t yet understand.  Just stand back and gently guide him in the direction we want him to go.  They’ll be plenty of time later for guidance and instructions once he can talk and reply.  Being able to speak and ask questions will make things  so much easier for us both (I hope).

Being the first born grandchild in a family is a nice place to find yourself.  I was the first born grandchild in my family and I milked it for all it was worth with my grandparents. I’m about to experience the whole thing again but from the opposite perspective. It should be interesting.

06-25-2013   Leave a comment

Why is it that we just love to entertain ourselves listening and watching young children.  I suppose it’s their innocence and honesty so effortlessly projected.  The recent rash of TV commercials containing one adult and four kids in a discussion group setting has captured everyone’s hearts.  The honest answers coupled with their totally innocent facial expressions is priceless.

I understand the desire of businesses to use these kids for commercial purposes.  If there were four or five adults sitting around talking most of us would click the remote and move on to things that were more interesting and believable.  Adults are never perceived as being honest, especially those involved in the making of television commercials.

Over the years most commercials involving young kids and adults have not so subtly treated the adults like idiots.  The kids are then shown as the smart and sensible members of the family.  This kind of posturing plays right into the younger demographics but I always thought it was a little insulting to us adults.  I readily admit that many adults are idiots but I always held out hope that it was just a small percentage.

This morning lying in bed in a semi-relaxed state I was quietly surfing the net when I came upon a number of sites listing actual letters from parents who were excusing their children from school.  These samples reflect the actual wording and mis-spellings that those parents used.  I’m sure the teachers who received these notes were as shocked as I was.  It’s hard to understand how a reasonably intelligent parent would want their notes to the school to read this way.  Enjoy them and then just slowly shake your head with your total lack of understanding as I did.

  • Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the shits. [words in ( )’S were crossed out.]
  • Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.
  • Please excuse little Jimmy for not being in school yesterday. His father is gone and I could not get him ready because I was in bed with the doctor.
  • My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.
  • Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.
  • Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.
  • Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.
  • My child was absent from school yesterday because he had a sore trout.
  • Please excuse my son for being absent yesterday. “He has a cold and could not breed well”.
  • Excuse my son. He’s been under the doctor.
  • Please excuse my son from being absent yesterday. “He had diarrhea and his boots leak”.
  • Please excuse my daughter for being absent yesterday. “She was in bed with very bad gramps”.
  • Please excuse my child from school yesterday. “He had a bad stomach egg”.
  • Please excuse my child from missing school yesterday. “I thought we had a 3 day weekend”.

I certainly hope that the children of these parents are smarter than the parents seem to be.  Bad grammar, misspellings, and a general lack of concern with making the notes read like they came from a thinking adult.  There are times when talking with youngsters is the most refreshing part of the day.  At least they’re honest and anything humorous they come up with is based on a lack of experience and not a lack of intelligence.

5-29-2013   2 comments

I’ve never had the opportunity to raise an infant and I think that’s why it fascinates me so much.  I’ve been around infants a few times in my life but never for a long periods of time. I was always a little intimidated by babies because I had no clue how to approach them or care for them.  They were more like little lumps of a person who couldn’t speak and in some cases couldn’t’ even focus their eyes.  I won’t even get  into the hazards of diaper changing and other cleanup chores.

When my ex-wife and I decided to adopt she was interested in adopting two sibling sisters under the age of six.  I was thinking to myself, OMFG, what am I going to do.  That adoption didn’t work out but luckily we later adopted a twelve year old boy.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and our life proceeded forward.

Many years have passed and at this late date I guess I’m making up for lost time.  My better-half’s grandson who just turned six months old has become a huge part of my life.  After watching his growth and development I can’t wait until he starts speaking.  I can tell he already has things to say but just hasn’t figured out how yet.  It won’t be long now and I’m actually looking forward to really meeting him for the first time with sound and words.

During my surfing on the net I found this collection of assorted quotations from kids under the age of six which made me smile.  That’s what I like about young children, they speak their truth.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  Just picture that cute little child standing in front of you with those innocent eyes and speaking the following:

  • Dear God, I read the bible. What does "beget" mean? Nobody will tell me.
  • The wind is like the air, only pushier.
  • One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
  • You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don’t hear it, you got hit, so never mind.
  • The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down.
  • Lime is a green-tasting rock.
  • Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils, while others preferred to be oil.
  • Dear God, My brother told me how babies are born but it just doesn’t sound right. What do you say?
  • Genetics explain why you look like your father, and if you don’t why you should.
  • In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H’s as O’s.
  • Clouds are high flying fogs.
  • Water vapor gets together in a cloud. When it is big enough to be called a drop, it does.
  • Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog’s tongue will kill the strongest man.
  • Dear God, My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?
  • A blizzard is when it snows sideways.
  • I’m being haive! — 2 year old son, when his mother told him told to behave.
  • Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. You can look it up.
  • A hurricane is a breeze of a bigly size.
  • Dear God, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house?
  • Daddy picked them up and looked underneath. I think it’s printed on the bottom. — 3 year old son, when his mother asked how his father knew the genders of four new baby kittens
  • I had a fraction in my neck and had to go to the hospital for a long time.
  • Dear God, Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There’s nothing good there now.
  • Mommy, you said it would be a shot; instead it was a needle!
  • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email.

In another few months these types of statements and questions will become a part of my life and I pray to God I can come up with the proper answers.   It could go either way.

12/01/2012   2 comments

Christmas is really a holiday meant for the youngest of us.  I get my biggest thrill out of watching the little children at this time of the year showing their genuine excitement and wonder.  Those feelings only last for a few short years before they begin to wan so we should really enjoy the holiday vicariously through our kids to get that true Christmas spirit back once again.  I still remember how upset I got when as a youngster  I discovered there was no Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy. It’s our job as parents to keep the dream alive for them as long as possible.  To help get us in the spirit I offer these “Dear Santa” letters that never seem to get old.  Some are new and some are old but they’re all are cute as hell.

**

Dear Santa, It’s not necessary to get me a toy, but if you do I would like a surprise (again). I’ve been some what bad so I understand if you don’t get me anything. I love what you got me last year. Thank you!

Dear Santa, Will you put a pickle ornament on my tree? How are your elves? I would like Cars 2 characters, the Cars 2 movie, the Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 games, the 3DS, 10 notebooks, 30 random airplanes and that’s it. Have a nice Christmas. Your friend, Matthew

Dear Santa, I would like a chainsaw. Love, Keenan

I hope I am on the good list. I hope the reindeer get enough food. Please thank the elves because they have been working hard. I hope you like my cookies. For Christmas I would like an iPad. I would like an iPhone too. Have a safe trip. From, Allison

Dear Santa, I want surprise presents. I want my cousin Berta to have a puppy and my dog to have a squeezie toy and a coat to keep my dog warm. I really want my little cousin Natalia to be nice and happy and get presents. I want a PSP game and a game for the PSP.I would like a DS. I also would like this Christmas to be awesome for the whole town. Sincerely Danna

Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like everything in the whole entire world, even girl stuff. Love, Tom

Dear Santa, I take great care of the toys you got me. All I would like for Christmas is for it to snow and for it to be a happy Christmas. It’s ok if I get toys. I do want them, but I want a happy Christmas more. I saw Rudolph last year. What is your favorite kind of cookies? We’ll make sure you bring a happy Christmas. Sincerely Camrynn

Dear Santa, Please give me a doll this year. I would like her to eat, walk, do my homework, and help me clean my room.
Thank you, Jenny

Dear Santa,
Thanks for the race car last year. Can I have another one, only this time one that is faster than my best friend’s race car? Ricky

Dear Father Christmas,
I wish you could leave a puzzle under the tree for me. And a toy for my sister. Then she won’t want to play with mine and I can have it to myself.
Merry Christmas, Cassie

Dear Santa, Can you make it snow a night? How are the reindeer? Hmmm… I would like a remote control airplane. I would like the movie Rio! I would like an iPhone maybe. I would like to make people happy at Christmas. Could I have surprise gifts? Merry Christmas Santa. Sincerely Katerina

Dear Santa, I think I’ve been really good this year. I hope you like our chimney. It is very wide. I hope you have a Merry Christmas! I hope you like the cookies. Santa, the main thing on my Christmas list is Kanani the American Girl doll. I hope you like my letter. I love you Santa. From, Natalie

Dear Santa, I want you to surprise me. My mom said when she was little she got surprised by you. So I am trying it this year. I can’t wait till you come. How hard do you work in your workshop? I hope you have a great Christmas. I am going to have a great Christmas. Sincerely Abigail

**

Things can’t get much cuter than this. I hope you and yours enjoy the holidays and prosper in the New Year.

HO! HO! HO!