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My Favorite Presidents’ Day Picture Books

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It’s no secret that I’m a complete picture book nerd. I may go back and forth about purchasing something I actually need…. but when it comes to a new picture book… I NEED it. Too often in the upper grades we look past picture books when in reality they should be some of the first places we look. Simply to hook the class or introduce a topic, picture books work wonders on engagement. Below you will find a few of my very favorite books that highlight a few of our country’s greats. Comment below if I missed one of your favorites, I always love a good book recommendation!

  1. Abe’s Honest Words:

Part of the “Big Word” book series, author Doreen Rappaport and different illustrators make what can only be described as the DREAM TEAM. If the covers weren’t evidence enough, notice how my top recommendations 1-4 are all books of this series. (Seeing how it’s February… you may also be interested in the Frederick Douglas, or Martin Luther King Jr. versions!)  Abe’s honest words is a wonderful depiction of his life and experiences. This story does a wonderful job portraying character traits like integrity and honesty.  Two traits that should be at the forefront of every classroom discussion.

2. To Dare Mighty Things:

Doesn’t this cover just make you smile! Probably one of my favorite illustrations to date. I love how the author effortlessly includes many quotes from the rough rider president. This is always a favorite because all though the name Theodore Roosevelt is well known, what he did for the nation and conservation isn’t! Students that love the outdoors, teddy bears, or have experienced sickness will connect with this lively president!

3. Jack’s Path of Courage:

This is another really beautiful story of overcoming self-doubt, rising to the occasion, and believing in yourself. Typically John F. Kennedy is remembered for his charisma and confidence. Not many realize that he encountered many health issues as a child that caused him to lack confidence. What a beautiful connection for a student to make that once they believe in themselves, there is nothing they can’t do. Not even President of the United States is too far out of reach.

4. Eleanor, Quiet No More:

I know, I know, Eleanor Roosevelt was not a president…. but in my mind, this First Lady needs a special shout out on this day. If ever there was a strong woman to make a connection with, Eleanor should be at the top. In her youth, you could have described her as more of a wallflower that found her friendships through books. Instead of dancing and socializing with friends, she chose to serve others and teach children in poverty-stricken areas. When she became the First Lady, to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her title was simply that a title. Arguably, Eleanor was the first do to something with that title, and her efforts to be an ambassador, civil rights leader, and activist were viewed as quite controversial at the time. If ever there was an example of “being the change you wish to see in the world” it would be Eleanor.

5. President Taft is Stuck in the Tub

If ever there was a book to make you giggle… It’s this one. Guaranteed to be a class favorite. For many adults, Taft will be remembered as the only person to serve as both President of the United States and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Most kids will remember the story about him getting stuck in the tub. It’s debatable whether or not the incident actually happened but this larger than life story is a lot of fun. If you are looking for a light-hearted read that guarantees giggles, this is sure to be a favorite.

 6. I am George Washington (Ordinary People Change the World)

This is part of the series, “Ordinary People Change the World.” Again because is February you may be interested in the Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, or  Jackie Robinson version. If so just click on the link for more info! The idea of these people that we consider heroes, also being just ordinary people, is SUCH an important message.  Not to take away from their extraordinary feats of bravery, or selflessness, but to encourage and empower our youth to reach for the same. These stories are very simple, and an easy read. They make history fun, understandable, and relatable.

7. I am Abraham Lincoln (Ordinary People Change the World) 

A great, and simple biography that follows Abraham Lincoln from childhood to his presidency and famous Gettysburg address. I also love how the book describes Lincoln’s love for reading and writing and why those skills were/are important. It also includes a simple idea of slavery being wrong, how all men are created equally, and if we know of something that is wrong we must use our voice to stand up to any wrong or injustice. It introduces these complex ideas in a very simple and easy to understand way, which I love and appreciate.

8. Nice Work Franklin!

Again I love a book/ story about a President of figure in history. We may recognize the name Franklin Roosevelt, cousin to Teddy Roosevelt, but often we don’t know the history. An absolutely incredible story of overcoming obstacles, not letting circumstances define you or what you are capable of. Franklin can be a hero for all, and a wonderful connection to be made for any students that have disabilities. A wonderful story about trying again and again and not giving up.

 

 9. So You Want to Be President?

I love this Caldecott winner. It is as educational as it is interesting. This book is filled with little known facts and fun stories about the first 42 presidents. The illustrations are really fun and feel almost satirical. There really is something in here that every child can find something to connect with. It’s fun to see the different sizes mentioned, upbringing, backgrounds, hobbies, musical abilities, and previous occupations.  This is a fun read that is sure to engage its readers.

10. George Washington’s Teeth

This book will forever be near and dear to my heart. The first time I was introduced to this fun read was in college in my children’s literature class. (Side note: This book lends well to creating a fun timeline to go over and arrange after reading.) The story is told in rhyme which always makes my heart sing. The history behind the story is really fascinating and eye-opening. Can you imagine?!?!?! Also, this book puts the well-known myth that he had wooden teeth to bed…. Read to find out what his “teeth” was actually made out of!

11. The Camping Trip that Changed America

Great story, and a great example of environmental activism. Teddy Roosevelt is known as one of the greatest conservationists, and this is the story where many of his efforts stemmed from. His horseback camping trip with a naturalist: John Muir stemmed the idea and need for national parks. The illustrations are really fantastic, this is one of those unknown should be well-known reads.


12. Worst of Friends

I LOVE THIS ONE. The tale of two presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and their friendship. I love how this story is told is starts out pointing out just how different and unlikely pals the two would make. They completely contrast each other but also balance one another. This book gives such a fun and tangible feel to history which is hard to do! There are also VITAL lessons and discussions to be had about friendship and how to overcome disagreements. The author’s backstory at the end is the real cherry on top.

 13. George Washington’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day is after all, actually George Washington’s birthday. It didn’t seem right to not include this fun little read. Did you know the story of the young George Washington and the cherry tree is actually an untrue story, created by someone wanting to illustrate the president’s integrity and need to tell the truth? Love the irony! This story highlights a young George Washington on his 7th birthday. Fun for young readers.

 14. Abe Lincoln’s Dream

Another sweet book, dear to my heart. I remember seeing Abe Lincoln’s dream for the first time in the public library and needing to read it. The illustrations and bold fonts were so different from anything around it. Did you know that there are several documented stories about Abraham Lincoln’s ghost at the White House??, and that he had dreams that many say predicted his own death. This is a fun, NOT SCARY, story that alludes to those accounts. A cute girl on a field trip sees Lincoln’s ghost and together go on an adventure addressing the current state of the union.  This is a sweet heartwarming read with some fun history and stories you should 10000x delve deeper into!

 

If your looking for more ideas or would like to share your own ideas please join our member-only  Teaching on Lemon Lane Facebook Group!

I hope you enjoy the books listed, I would LOVE to hear from you and what’s your favorite! Nothing brightens my day like being tagged in what you’re doing in your classroom on Instagram! Happy Teaching!

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#givethanks 3:7
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I'm grateful for refinement. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a little better everyday. Though my growth pattern is for every step forward there's a few steps back, somehow, over time, minuscule little by minute little, there's been progress. Though I don't see it in the day to day, I do see it in the years gone by and though it is slow, and the curve to my chart is gradual, it's there. I know this is due to Christ’s enabling Grace, available through His atonement. I don't think I'll ever quite have the words, the comprehension, or the understanding to adequately express my gratitude for this.

Art by one of my very favorites Emily Shay
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Had to share Emily’s words when she debuted this piece, ”The Refiner’s Fire.”
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”...And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals naturally contains impurities. However with those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
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Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all the impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9”
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(Continued in the comments)
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“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf ...

#givethanks 1:7
I've contemplated today what I would share and though I have SO much to be grateful for... There was no, ”aha!” ”that’s it!” moment!
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As I opened my photos to find a pretty picture to share I found a stream of these images from this morning that made me smile. It's not the picture perfect post, but it's our reality.
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Our reality is made up of a messy house, (that was cleaned today by the best daddy despite working full time from home.
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Our reality is made up of a boy that drags Alexa around from room to room to listen to his music like Chris Stapleton, or Jon Pardi way too loud.
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Our reality is made up of kids having more screentime than they should /taking pictures on mom's phone, left to fend for themselves or run to nana’s house.
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Our reality is a big sister giving her 8week old baby sister her brother’s medicine/ call to poison control...
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Our reality is an exhausted momma, wearing spit up as perfume, in an inside out nightgown, with who knows how long it's been since a brush has been in her hair, hair.
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Our reality is messy, and in the moment I'm not often thinking of how grateful I am for the mess.
But looking at this picture while the kids are sleeping sound... it’s like looking at things through a different lens.
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I'm grateful for the mess.
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LOVING this FREE coloring page to use with this weeks #comefollowme lesson. Head to the website for the link to this instant download and others 💛 ...

“There is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face,” President Nelson said. “There is, however, a remedy—one that may seem surprising—because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I am referring to the healing power of gratitude.” – President Nelson ...

FUN & Free Download to help you brainstorm and get into an attitude of gratitude as you participate in @russellmnelson #givethanks challenge! Head to the website for this week’s #comefollowme weekly FREE Resource Roundup ...

Repost• @comefollowmedaily
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Sometimes I wonder, how did the Jaredites do it?

How did they have the faith and courage to step in those barges with everyone they loved, leaving behind their home, stability, and any semblance of control.

No steering wheel to steer. No sail to direct. No windows to see. No air source in the depths. No idea where they were going. No idea how long it would take. No idea if they had enough food.

No game plan but prayer.

Can you imagine those moments where they were running out of oxygen in the depths of the sea, praying fervently that the Lord would lift them in time? Because I’m sure they were imagining it as they stepped into that barge.

How did they do it?
The answer, I believe, is that God had prepared them.

Ether 2:6 says of their journey, “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.”
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They had done this before. They had been in the barges. They had crossed over many waters, and had felt God direct them continually.

They knew God was with them. So, when their greatest challenge came, they were prepared.

How has God prepared you for your challenges today? What smaller waters have you already crossed to prepare you for the ocean you are now in?

Or, what smaller waters are you crossing right now to prepare you for the oceans ahead?

Remember, “God has already prepared the way. He is just preparing you.” (Tangie Ambrose).

Art by @yongsungkimart
Thanks to my friend, Becky Rowley, for the conversation that inspired this post ❤️
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Have you ever lost something, looked EVERYWHERE, all the while telling yourself “You don’t need to pray,” “YOU can find it,” ” We’re not to that point yet…” Only to get to the point of offering a desperate prayer, to find the thing you were searching for moments later, likely in a place you had already looked. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. From my wedding ring to my only set of car keys. As I reflect on those little miracles or moments of God showing me His hand, I think those moments carry more weight because I left myself to my own devices for so long. I knew when I sheepishly found them after praying that the finding was outside of my own capabilities. Again I think this was an example of my own veil of disbelief.

According to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), the Lord’s question was similar to saying the following:

“‘Well, have you any good ideas? What would you suggest that we should do in order to have light?’ …

“Then the Lord went away and left him alone. It was as though the Lord were saying to him, ‘Look, I gave you a mind to think with, and I gave you agency to use it. Now you do all you can to help yourself with this problem; and then, after you’ve done all you can, I’ll step in to help you.’”
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“Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.”
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This excerpt from Come Follow Me this week really struck me. As I thought about what it meant, I realized that too often I had fallen victim to my own disbelief sometimes in the simplest ways and moments. I think in part it’s how my “natural” mind works. I’m quite an anxious person and my mind always puts things in worst-case scenario, that way when best-case or mildly-acceptable case come along I feel prepared and even happy with the outcome. I think it’s a survival mechanism. Whatever it is, it’s the default setting for my brain.
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An instance that sticks out to me happened about a year ago. A dear friend of our family was going through cancer treatments for a cancer that he had beat once already. Things looked pretty bleak. My family had helped to organize a fundraiser that I was quite involved with. I did everything within my power to make things ok. Notice I did everything within MY power.
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My husband and I were headed to the temple to do sealings with some of his old mission companions and mission president. As we drove to the temple I broke down filled with dread and hopelessness as our friend’s battle with cancer seemed to take another drive.
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This brought the question… What’s the point? What’s the point in praying, if God already knows the outcome. Because God knows the outcome and it’s ultimately His will why even pray….. (read the rest on this week’s Come Follow Me Blog Post)
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Comment below your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think💛
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Fun Object Lesson for #comefollowme this week:
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Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?

If you are looking for a way to solidify this idea, it just so happens to be the perfect time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are one of my absolute FAVORITES.

If you’ve never planted bulbs before here are a few tips:

🌷Plant in a spot where it will receive full sun, or afternoon sun.
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🌷Tulips prefer well-drained soil.
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🌷Planting before a freeze is optimal, however, you will still have great chances with planting your bulbs in the winter. Tulips are surprisingly hardy.
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🌷The larger the bulb, the deeper it will need to be planted. Larger bulbs need to be planted around 6-8inches deep.
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🌷When you plant the bulbs the pointy side needs to be pointed up.
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🌷Leave them to their own devices and have faith that March will be made more beautiful because of your efforts!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Make sure to comment below.

As you plant, consider making a commitment to the figurative seeds you can plant and care for each day. Come March, when your tulips bloom, reflect on your actions and document the beauty that came because of your actions.
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“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, ‘If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me’ (Moroni 7:33; italics added). – Richard G. Scott ...

You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I’m no good at it, and again my good intentions outdo any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms.

One of my favorite ideas/thought process about gardening is the idea of planting seeds is a demonstration of faith. The ACTION of planting the seeds and caring for them demonstrates your belief or hope in the beauty that may come tomorrow.

As I read the heading form Come Follow Me this week, I was immediately reminded of this idea.

“Mormon and Moroni had faith that their record would inspire those living in the latter days. As you read Mormon 7–9, write the impressions that come to you about how you can apply what you are learning. “

Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?
📷: @spellandtell
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Have I Seen the Hand of God? FREE printable, November Gratitude Challenge.
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This fun download can be completed digitally by typing into one of the 30 squares each day for the month of November, or print out the page and write in one of the spaces each day.
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“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.” […] I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

-Henry B. Eyring
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New post with FREE Printable for #comefollowme this week! It’s all about making the effort o see the Lord’s hand in our lives every day. Download the November Gratitude Challenge and be ready to start come November 1st💛
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Art by Sammie Rose
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

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