Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grampie's Surgery was a Success!

My dad's surgery to remove his prostate cancer went very well yesterday. I had plans to visit him, but he was in a lot of pain, and I told my sister Mary Kate that we would come up today or once Dad became comfortable. I do not do well in these situations. If MK wasn't here, I could. I'm such a drama queen and sissy-girl when it comes time to do something like this. But, I'm working on it! I have had Sophia who is 9 and Nate, who is 7, here all week so that I can watch them and that lets MK focus more on MOM and Dad's needs. She'll leave by Friday and then I will become the primary care giver to Dad and to mom. I am just so thankful that the cancer had not begun to spread! We will have our dad/Grampie for a very long time! YEAH! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. WE love you! Dad is a survivor!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa wuz Here!

We had a great Christmas this year. This was the first Christmas that both Forrest and Sadie knew almost eveything they were getting. It was also the first year I didn't wrap a single gift! Forrest wraped all of Sadie's and vice versa. They didn't spill the beans about each other's presents either. I told them if they did, I'd take back their presents!

Forrest received a home gym that takes up a ton of space in his room. We bought it on Black Friday, so he's been antsy for it for a full month! Sadie was antsy for her Sperry's too. She also received an MP3 player and other goodies. This year it wasn't about the quantity, but the quality and you know quality costs $$$!

I cooked egg crackle for breakfast and a traditional ham dinner in the evening (that's excellent for me, who hates to cook!) We watched movies all night long. I love spending the Holidays hanging at the house with my family. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Merry Christmas too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me

I had my first mamagram a couple of weeks ago and was caught off gaurd when they called me back to do more testing. You would think I would have been nervous since my mom survived breast cancer back in 2003, but I wasn't! I didn't stress a bit. I went yesterday to do the further testing and the ultrasound found the mass to be a cyst. Merry Christmas to me! That was the best gift the Lord could have given me.
I didn't know the cyst was there until the tests found it. I am so thankful for all the advancement in technology and medicine we have available for our use. And I'm really thankful for BC/BS insurance as I didn't have to pay a penny for my visits!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On a Spiritual High

I have to share my love for our youth at church and the amazing time we had last night:

If you do not already know, I'm the Young Women's president and George is the Young Men's president at church. (We were both called to these positions within the last 5 months ) Every other month, on the third Wednesday of the month, we alternate a combined activity with all of the youth. This month was the YW's turn to host the activity and we chose to go Christmas caroling and have hot chocalate. I know some of the boys weren't too happy about going caroling, but George and I were so proud of the boys who did come to "endure" the caroling. Little did they know that it was too rainy and too wet to carol, so we went with plan B. We did sing a couple of Christmas carols to set the mood for the 5 minute Nativity video. After the video, we all made gingerbread houses made with graham crackers and then had some delicious hot chocalate with a "triple the serving" of marshmellows! The youth had a fantastic time! We as leaders had a fantastic time! I feel that we all bonded together in the Spirit of Christmas and increased our friendship and love for one another. We came home on a spiritual "high". We love our youth so much and are very thankful that we have the opportunity to serve them, teach them, love them and to be an example to them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

November Preparedness Goal Accomplished!


In the month of November, I set some preparedness goals for our family on the side of my blog. My biggest goal for the month was to dry pack all the bulk items I have bought and have been taking up space in the kitchen and livingroom. We borrowed the dry-pack canner from the church and tackled the task at hand. During the month, we dry-packed over 120 cans. It's so easy to use the dry-pack canner that Sadie did it all by herself. It was a great experience for our family.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Husband, the Handyman!





We have been wanting to put up beadboard for a while in the kitchen and the Thanksgiving Holidays gave us the perfect "excuse" to get it done. (You know the routine, family will be here, let's fix the house up ....) we were very suprised at how inexpensive the supplies were. It was only $150 for the wood/trim/glue and stain. The expensive part was having to buy the handyman a tablesaw! Once the saw was in action, the peices went up quickly. Forrest, Sadie and I stained the wood as George finished putting on the trim. I am blown away at the knowledge my husband knows around the house and everything else. No telling what labor would have cost us. We are so proud of our work!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Everyday is Thanksgiving

Everyday is Thanksgiving to me. I have the most wonderful family in the world. Each time we get together, our loves grows even more. I have such an abundance and out-pouring of love for my forever family and for my friends. I am so thankful for the Attonement of Jesus Christ that makes it possible for us to love at this magnitude. What a blessing it is to have been born of "goodly parents", who taught me correct principles, siblings who love and care for me, a husband who adores me and our children and is a great provider, and good friends who love me for who I am. What more could I ask for? For this purpose, Thanksgiving is everyday for me. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my family and friends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Thankful for Scrapbooking!

Find more photos like this on Feeling Scrappy Classes

My month-long scrapbooking class at Feeling Scrappy Classes ended yesterday and thought I would show you what I did! The class was a sketch class where the design team members provided a sketch and I would then use it as inspiration to create my own page. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Featured Scrapbooker

Feeling Scrappy
I am this month's Featured Scrapbooker at Feeling Scrappy Classes . It's a scrapbooking blog that has weekly challenges and also offers a four-week technique class every other month. I was shocked and excited all at the same time when I received the email congratulating me of this honor. Check out the fun that we have at Feeling Scrappy!

(You may access the direct link by going to the left-hand side and clicking on "Highlights" or scroll down to mid-page to the Monday, Nov. 16, 2008 entry)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall Acrobatics





I noticed the house was awfully quiet, so I went to see what Forrest and Sadie were up to. They were outside playing in the leaf pile they had made. Forrest would swing off the tree limb while Sadie would give him a big push. He would then let go and fly through the air into the pile. It was so much fun to watch! (Jumping in the leaf pile was soo yesterday!) Sadie, on the other hand, was too short to get the air she needed, but that didn't stop her. Forrest would help her reach the limb and then try to swing her, but he did more pushing than good. The best part about this fall acrobatics is that Forrest and Sadie didn't leave Carhartt and Benny out of the routine! While Sadie racked the leaves back into the pile, Forrest would chase down Benny,our 65 lb. standard poodle, pick him up and then throw him into the leaf pile. It was a sight to see! After Benny, Sadie would throw Carhartt in. Carhartt didn't seem to enjoy it that much, but Benny did!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Have a Coke and a Smile





George has always been into the coke memorabila and when the opportunity came to him to buy a coke machine, he couldn't pass! It's smaller than the average coke machine and was made in the mid 1980's. Doesn't the wood grain siding add character? It needs a little TLC and filling up with coke products (plus a Sundrop or two for me) and it's good to go! George has plans to move it in the carport once it is enclosed in the next month or so. The price is set at forty cents per coke and I'm not sure if George will raise the price or have it remain the same. It guess it will all depends on the economy!
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm Alive!

I'm alive! I survived my surgery last Monday. I arrived home Tuesday evening to begin my recovery. I was doing great until Saturday and had to revisit the hospital. I really appreciate all of your visits, cards, meals and phone calls you have given me this week. As I mentioned before, I have the best family and friends ever. I love you so much!

In other news, George, Forrest and Sadie also survived this past week. They have been very supportive and helpful and have really kept the house up! Not that I doubted them.... Besides taking care of me, they were able to have some fun. On Wednesday, they went to the Halloween festival at church and on Firday, they went trick or treating with our close friends, the Ropers. It was the 14th year trick or treating with them. We began the tradition in 1994, when Forrest was three months old and Cody was two months old.

Sadie receved her eye glasses on Friday. I am such a bad mom. She had been telling me she is having a little bit of trouble seeing for almost a year, but it wasn't enough "nagging" for me to make the appointment or she would remind on the weekend or a time where I couldn't do anything about it. So, I promised her I would make the appointment by the end of the week or I would give her $50.00. Nothing like pressure to get you on track! Sadie realy thought she was going to hit the jackpot. NOT! I made the eye appointment two weeks ago and we foudn out she is a little nearsided. I couldn't believe how many letters she was missing and it made me feel just as little as those letters! I helped her pick out the glasses. She totally looks the role of a teenager. Now I need to learn how to take pictures so that there is no glare from the glasses! Any suggestions?

Again, I want to thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. I will be forever grateful!


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's the Day

Today is the day I have been putting off for over 10 months. I go in for surgery at Crestwood Hospital at 7:30am to correct a prolapse. I found out the first of the year that I would need this surgery. I just had a partial hysterectomy last summer and was not happy with the news of another surgery. I tried to put it off as long as I could.

Of all the times I have been under the knife, this one I have stressed over the most. Maybe, it is because I know I'll be down for at least six weeks and a good six months for my body to recover. And, the only way to correct the prolapse is to do an extensive episiotomy. I remember the pain from having Forrest and Sadie. It's not a walk in the park! Don't you love being a female? This all comes with the territory with having beautiful children.

Forrest will have an advantage of sleeping in for another 1 1/2 hours everyday when I come home on Tuesday, as I will not be able to drive for 2-3 weeks and that means no early morning seminary! However, he will be doing home study until I can drive again.

I did have the time to get the house in order so that my family can exist while I lay helplessly on the couch. I do have to admit, I'm nervous about not being able to do any housework. Believe it or not, I have come to enjoy cleaning my house! Now it is up to George, Forrest and Sadie. I pray that they will be able to stay "ahead" and not fall behind in the next six weeks as I recover.

I will not be too bored out of my mind recovering for the next six weeks. I have set up a table with my scrapbooking supplies so I can participate in my online class at It begins today and is four weeks long. At least I can be productive in some way! I appreciate all of your prayers for me and my family at this time. I have the best family and friends in the world who I adore and love with all of my heart!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

6 crazies about Me

I was tagged about a week ago by Amy Boston and now my sister, Mary Kate. I don't know about you, but coming up with information about myself is really hard for me and I have been thinking about this ever since Amy tagged me (no Amy, I haven't forgot!). Here it goes!

1.Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 6 nonimportant things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. After several back surgeries in 2002-2003, I had the intrathecal pain pump implanted to give me a better quality of life. One draw back... When I go through any security checkpoints, like the courthouse and the airport, I buzz the security wand and they tell me, "You must kindly step out of the line please", How embarrassing! By now, everyones eyes are on me!

2. Lots of people in Walmart complain about not being able to be checked out faster. I do agree with them, Walmart does have problem there, but I do not let it bother me. I pick up the PEOPLE magazine and begin to read! By the time I'm done reading it, it's time for me to check my groceries out. SOmetimes, when it is really slow, I have thumbed through several magazines. Thank you Walmart for helping with my patience as I read your magazines!

3. I love to paint trim in the house. It is so relaxing and I think I have become beter at it over the years. If I do not have a good paint brush, I refuse to trim. When I'm in a tight spot, I cannot paint unless I have my tongue sticking out like Micheal Jordan. I get this from my Dad. He has stuck his tongue out a time or two growing up and now the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

4. I absolutley love to journal and doodle. I have been writing in a journal since I was 7 and havn't stopped. I have a journal for the kids that I write in for them, along with my own personal journaling. During high school, I used to doodle everywhere I could. It sorda helped my pay better attention if I was doodlingor taking notes. I love to writ me name everywhere. Sadie came home from school last week and showed me her sheet of paper that had her name written all over it and she said, Look mom, we both have the same disease!" YEAH! My girl loves to write her name! Crazy, I know!

5. I love tennis shoes. When Goerge and I were dating, he knew his wallet was in trouble when he saw a poster of all the NIKE Air shoes that were ever made at that time in 1990. Since then, he has bought me plenty of tennis shoes! Some girls go for sandles or heels, give me some NIKES and I'm happy.

6. I have to smell everything I put in my mouth first. Something about the smell, will let me know how it will taste. Weird, right? I bet someone reading this does the same thing to!

Well, these are my things you didn't or may not want to know about me. I tag anyone reading my blog! If you read mine, I would like to read yours!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Third Annual Skeet Shoot





Yesterday, we went to the ward skeet shoot at a member's house on the Flint River. George came up with the idea a couple of years ago when he was in the Elder's Quorum and it's been a hit ever since. Lot's of people were in attendance. There was skeet shooting, volleyball, horse shoes, canoes and great food. There was even a clean prota-potty with rasberry-vannila soap to wash your hands with! Forrest really enjoys shooting the guns each year with Dad. When the shot gun shells run out, he goes to the volleyball court. Sadie loves the canoes and this year she had her cousins with her to canoe and skip rocks together. The weather was absolutely prerfect. It was a huge success and a family event we look forward to going to each year.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fabulous Fall Break!




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Fall break was absoluely fabulous! The first part of the week we spent a couple of days with Granny and Grampie in Athens. We went thrift shopping and just had the best time hanging out. It was so wonderful! Forrest and Sadie love spening time with them. They really enjoy watching Grampie interact with their birds. Mom and I watched "Meet Joe Black". I love that movie! If death looked as good as Brad Pitt, I wouldn't be so afraid of it! Mom was so funny as we bagan watching the movie. She had recently told me that she had seen "Legally Blonde 1 & 2". I asked her where she saw the movies, (since she and Dad only watch FOX & BYU) and she said, "I found a really good movie station." When I asked her what it was, she replied, "Oxygen!" I thought it was so hilarious! It's not a new movie station, but it was new to her! (I love you mom!)

After spending a couple of days with mom and dad, we headed to Lagrange, Georgia to visit my sister and her family. We arrived Thursday and Mary Kate quickly put us all to work: ceramic tiling her sunroom! I've heard about sweat labor, but never thought I would be involved personally! Forrest and Sadie were very excited to play with their cousins Nate and Sophia and their new wiener puppy, Stella.

Friday, we went to the West's house for a cookout. They are an awesome family who is in MK's branch and has a son, Ryan, who is Forrest's age. The past year and a half, the two have really grown to be good friends. Their daughter Natalie, husband Jack and two-month old son Jackson were visiting from Utah. Jackson was too cute!

We took Ryan home with us for the next couple of days. He and Forrest were the "hard-laborers" for the weekend as they patiently and willingly answered our calls to move the entertainment center, bookshelves and packages of ceramic tiles
for us while playing video games. We were able to lay the entire floor by Saturday evening. Sadie was a great help too. She loved sreading the concrete and even layed a tile or two!

Afer the tile was finished, everyone went outside to ride bikes. Ryan entertained us with his unicycle. Forrest gave it a try and was able to stay on it a few seconds.

We were sad for Sunday afernoon to come. The vacation was over. Even though we were put to work (lol), we had a fabulous time! We made the four hour drive back to Alabama where George, Carhartt and Benny were waiting for us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two Thumbs Up in a 'Z" Formation

After reading the amazing Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyers, I was craving and wanting more! I decided to buy "The Host", also written by Meyers. I was skeptical at first, but after I read the inside book cover, I was hooked. This book is amazing! If you enjoyed the Twilight series, this book you will love! Stephanie Meyers makes the characters come alive and they become part of you. I'm not going to tell you anything about the book. Just go read it! If you have already read the book, tell me what you think!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Never Say Never!

Yesterday, I checked the mail and received my Sam's Club credit card statement. Normally, I do not open my mail for a couple of days, but since I have a zero balance on my Sam's card, I was curious to see what the statement said. As I unfolded the statement, I noticed purchases had been made and that the card was maxed out. I was for certain I had received someone else's bill. NOT! It was my bill! I freaked out! There was a $470 purchase in Bessemer, AL on Sept. 12 and a cuple of gas fill-ups totaling $50 in Tuscaloosa on the 14th. How could I have made those purchases as that was the weekend Forrest had his birthday slumber party?

You hear about identity theft and think, "It'll never happen to me!" Not me. I have always taken grave precaution because I don't want it to happen to me and to have all the stress, etc that comes with it. I have always been one to never purchase over the internet, to keep all my receits and to shred all papers that could possibly invite these evil fraudulent scumbags to my accounts and still, I'm a victim!

I immediately call Sam's Card and told the customer service lady my side of the story. She informed me that the lasrge purchas was for a Play Sstation 3 and a NFL Madden 2008. Oh, and the stupid scumbag(s) returned the game at the University Walmart, where I shop! They probably thought they would get cash back, but instead it was credited to my account. SUCKERS!She also said that they used a card in my husband' name. How can that be? We both have our card in our possession! The account was closed and is now under investigation. They'll check signatures, etc. I was told to wait until I received correspondance through the mail and to reply quickly.

I wasn't satisfied and as I was speaking to a friend, she advised me to call the police and file a theft report. The Sherriff's Deputy stopped by late last night and the report was filed. An investigator will call me next week. They can pull the video where the scumbag(s) returned the game. If anything, that will prove us innocent! I want to know how did they get a copy of our card? Was it an inside job? Onling job? Thank goodness we only wanted a $500 line of credit and not thousands! Even through all of this, I am calm. I know I didn't do this and what good will stressing do? I know that the Lord is with us in all of our trials. Now it's time to check our credit reports. Who knows, our family may be joining the dudes on the commercials, playing guitars and singing as they're selling t-shirts in a tourist shop!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Little Sister


I made this scrapbook page of my sister and her family in my online scrapbook class this last week. I cherish my sister Mary Kate and the realtionship we have developed over the past 15 years. We couldn't stand each other growing up, but as soon as George and I were married in 1993, our relationship began to change. She is the most unselfish, paient, loving and forgiving person I know. All of her life, she has put others before herself. She chooses the right in every situation possible. I have learned so much from her. When I think about her, she is my big sister. She is such a strength and a great example to me. I should be her little sister, not the other way around. Mary Kate has a great love for her Savior Jesus Christ, for her family and her friends. She has great compassion for her fellowman. She is a diamond in the rough. I'm very privilege to call her my sister.

Because MK and I didn't grow up knowing any of our six cousins, we both made a pack that we would always be close and that our children would know one another. They would be true first cousins, no matter the cost. Since then, we have logged in countless hours and countless trips back and forth to Georgia and Alabama. Our two families have gone on many vacations together. Because of the time and effort we have spent on developing our relationship, we can definately see and enjoy the fruits of our labors for many, many years to come!

Mary Kate was afraid since Forrest is almost eight years older than Nate, he wouldn't want to come to Georgia to visit her anymore. I had no doubt that Forrest would come with us. Forrest and Nate are static cling when they are together. Even though Forrest is a teenager, he would never abandon his six, almost seven year old "Buddy-Nate". Nate idolizes Forrest. They wrestle, play video games, play outside together and most of all, they stick together at all times. Their relationship will only mature over time. Nate makes it fun for Forrest when we visit. I look at my son in "awe" as he sweet talks and nutures Nate. Is this my son? Yes, it is!

No worries about Sadie wanting to come for a visit with her cousin Sophia. A Sadie adores Sophia and the feeling is very much returned. You can barelly tell the 2 1/2 age difference between the two, besides the physical appearances! I didn't think anyone of us would have a relationship with their Sophia during her first year of life. "Fia" would only go to mom and give everyone else dirty looks! I must say, I had my doubts! But she came around and Sadie and Sophia fell in love with one another. I love to watch them together. They're both very artsy-crafty and love to play pre-tend, dress-up or any other hands-on activity. They get so excited to see one another. Both are drama queens! I'm very confident this felling will never end!

One of my favorite joys of Mary Kate's family is her husband Richard. Our family wouldn't be the same without him. We have such a wonderful, unique relationship that I can't express in words. I smile everytime I think about Richard! I love how he gets so excited about us coming for a visit. Richard will call me a couple of times (as I'm driving the 200 miles to their house) just to let me know he's excited to have us come. He'll call Mary Kate during the day and ask her if she has cleaned the house and have groceries for when we get there. How sweet! Richard will take off work just to go with us shopping or to go with us to Callaway Gardens. He'll stay up really late to watch movies with us when he should be in bed. But most of all, I love how he loves my sister and his beautiful family.

Mary Kate, this one's for you! I love you with every fiber of my being! You're the best sister in the world! TJ
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UPDATE on the Walker's




Last weekend Forrest was bored and since we have been talking about adding an addition to our house (sunroom/scrapbook room)Forrest was antsy to begin taking down the back roof-decking and fence. With George supervising, he handed Forrest a sledgehammer and the demolition began. Forrest had a great time beating this wood down! It took him about 20 minutes to complete the project. When Forrest gets in a mood to help, we get out of his way! It's not often he initiates work, but we sure appreciate it when he does.

The kids are doing well in school. Forrest had soccer tryouts last month and is conditioning after school a couple of days a week. He loves physical exercise and always has. Sadie is really doing well in band. She is third chair with her flute out of eleven. They have challenges every Friday to advance. I can't believe how fast this school year is moving. Next week begins our fall break for a week. What will we do?

This past month, I have been involved in an on-line scrapbooking class at The class began Sept. 2 and ends today. The theme is "Sew Scrappy" with emphasis on using stitching/fabrics on scrapbooking pages. I feel I have definately got my moneys worth as I have participated in almost every challenge. Now that the class is over, I can put my attention back on the house! lol

A couple of weeks ago, George was called to be the YM President in our ward. I was called to be the YW President two months ago. This will be fun working together! I am very excited that George is Forrest's leader. Forrest needs the influence of his father more than ever now that he is a teenager. And next summer, Sadie will move up to YW. If you ask her, she is ready to move up now! Soon, we will make Wednesday night a family affair as we all attend mutual together. Also, this month Forrest earned his Deacon's Duty to God certificate and Sadie earned her Primary Faith in God award. I am very proud of my children!
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trees Gotta Go!





Back in July, the county came out and advised us to let them cut down our three huge bradford trees in our front yard that were all in the powerlines. They offered us $70 voucher for each tree (x3 trees) and they would even grind the stumps down too. Sold! That was back on July 21 and we haven't see since them until yesterday. They rocked and rolled and got most of the work down yesterday evening. Out house has a different dynamtic look to it. It'll take some time to get use to it. We'll take the vouchers to Bennett's nursery and buy some landscaping supplies for around the house. It had definately opened up our front yard. Change is always good in my book.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Net Fishing at Flood Lane





We first discovered Flood Lane creek about 10 years ago. We heard it was a great place to go mudding in George's Samarui. We'd go mudding every weekend. Mudding has long been replaced with net fishing. Our family loves to wade in the creek and try to scoop fish up in our nets. No telling how many times we have been to this creek. Since our plans fell through going yesterday, we piled in the Samarui and headed to Flood Lane. ( On the way, we stopped by Scott's Orchard and picked up some apple cider and carmael apples. Yummy!) George doesn't bother parking on the road and walking to the creek. He drives his little 4x4 down the bank and straight in the middle of the creek! Since I had the camera, I stayed at ground zero while George and the kids began to net. I love to watch how "into" they get! As you can see in the pictures, we take net fishing very serious! George and Sadie took off on one side of the creek and Forrest the other. Shortly after, Forrest is screaming, "I caught a bass! I caught a bass!" He runs to show me and then takes off running after Goerge and Sadie to show them his catch. I was able to snap a shot of Forrest running and all I could say in my mind was "Run Forrest Run!" We didn't catch much today, but we were able to net a few more family memories together at Flood Lane.
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