Puttering Week.


What is puttering? I like to think of it as joyfully playing house. You know, taking time to plop down with the girls for no real reason during the day. Going from room to room, to act out on all those ideas that have been festering in your head the whole long week before.

This week felt so slow compared to some of the other ones I have been having. Good times were had by all.

Here are a few pictures of nothing much (as you will see by the next 2 pictures) that I snapped this week.

You never know what you will find at Walmart!

No, this picture is not to show you how cluttered my fridge is. I found these faux push-pin MAGNETS at Walmart.

They really kinda made my day when I found them– plus I needed them badly. Plus, plus.

Here is one of the inspirations I worked on one night when G had a meeting. Painting this superugly door of ours.

I LOVE Sherwin Williams mis-tints. Fifty dollar paint cans for ONE DOLLAR? (ONE DOLLAR!! you can`t even buy a pack of gum anymore for $1) Yes, please!

I love to mix the colors myself– then end up with high-end, quality paint for cheap. Let`s just say I have a nice little stash-io in the one room in my basement.

Fresh flowers.

It is SO amazing how cleaning up an area, and picking a few little flowers and putting them here and there, is just utterly transforming to an area. I am a fan.

I mean, what is more unglamorous than a plain old black eyed susan? Yet they still “speak”.

Postcards are fun for anywhere everywhere as well.

Here is another BEFORE.^

The fireplace was looking pretty bad. It was painted when we moved in with a very low grade paint (learned my lesson there.)

Just started painting.^

Again, I mixed a little paint together to get the texture color I wanted.

AFTER. ^

The wall and the mirror also got re-painted– various shades of white on white. Very fun to watch it come together. Looks so much cleaner and prettier now.

Here is Laila at Anthro last weekend.

sigh.

Every part of that store is breath-tak-ing!

I wish I would have a friend there to absorb it with. Instead, I had my trusty, and very whiny, (but oh, so darling) Laila with me… The color schemes were so incredible. For anyone who likes decor/colors/design, Antho is the “Mecca”.

I saw light goldenyellow floors, aged and scratched to perfection. Lots of colorful, yet muted tones. Pale gold, the muted green my grandma had in her kitchen when I was little, rust, turquoise, lemon, navy. Botanical to the max. Herbs in colorful clay pots. Heavy industrial influence. Cameras, vintage fans, magnifying glasses, old books, big old lights like my grandpa Wenger had in his office– 30+ years ago. Heavy, aged, silver lettering. Ruffles and cardigans and blouses in cool colors like pink and pale gold.

sigh.

I want to live there.

But. BACK to reality.

Another thing that happened this week was this print arrived in the mail for me. I was lucky enough to WIN it from Arielle`s (A Beautiful Journey) giveaway. I like it so much, and it fits in my playroom perfectly. Feeling quite blessed, yes.

It even had a little message with it. It`s like a I also got a free autograph. πŸ™‚

Had some close friends over for a nice supper last night.

Did anyone else ever notice it`s so HARD to have people over and be a good host when you have little kids? I love having people over but honestly, I hardly do anymore. Last night was fun again…

I dropped this lovely little salt shaker a few days ago, and the antique lid just busted right off of it. I think it makes a sweet little bud vase now.

~~~

I came upon this story earlier this week. I thought of her for days. Prayed for the author of this blog many times. Her blog even inspired a long conversation at a coffee shop one night this week. I SO admire the way she SPEAKS OUT for the needs of what the world sees as “the least of these”. Moving story after story on her blog. Through ADOPTING, GIVING, and PRAYING we can all help heal these little kids.

~~~

(Don`t you love how her hair looks beautiful and fluffy, but mine is all sweaty looking? NOT COOL.)

ANOTHER huge highlight of my week was meeting Miss Clarita. She was traveling through the area with her little family and wondered if I`d meet her for a short meet and greet. (No, she didn`t really call it that.) I was very happy to! I will admit there was an awe factor there for me, I admire her blog immensely and find her soo inspiring. It ended up my girls and I got to meet her whole family. And her and I, sat in a gazebo and talk for what seemed like 5 min. while our girlies played together. I think we both wished for a LOT more time, but I counted it a real treat to get to meet her. She proved to be a genuine kindred spirit and I felt I could be 100% myself with her. (A must in my book.)

Here is Laila, Elle, Zoe and Olivia.

Three of them could be triplets. (If the one was big for her age.)

Galen saw this picture and said,

“It looks like 3 Lailas.”

The 2 oldest were a bit shy, but the 2 littlest were little hams (monkeys).

It was so cute, about 10 minutes after we met up, we were walking across a parking lot, and I looked over and saw Laila playfully pinch Olivia`s elbow and say,

“I like you.”

There is Miss Zoe in her famous dress. πŸ™‚

I want to cozy up my livingroom without spending many $. I was hugely inspired at Anthro, and here are my items so far that inspire the “look” I want.

I found the prints at a thrift store for 50 cents for the both of them. (!) I want to paint 2 frames pale yellow to frame them in.

The white flower is inspiration of a pillow I want to make replicating it. Probably a linen fabric with a larger version of that white flower sewed onto the top.

The yellow drawer pulls are for…. something.

The 2 jars and the grey thread represent colors and textures I want to incorporate.

I would really like to buy an old pale yellow couch or love seat– so if you see one?

I told myself I can`t even think of joining Pinterest (however one does that) until I “tend” to my blog. Well, now I posted. It looks so fun. Only time can tell.

Anyway! That`s what I had on my mind this week…..

What`s on YOUR mind? Any topic at all.

Jenny

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Repurposed Drink Table.

AFTER.

~~~~~

The other night, I was paging through the latest Country Living…

And came across this picture (above). I was so inspired, I got up from the couch, ran upstairs, grabbed a few things, came back downstairs, put it all together, and started drilling. πŸ™‚ I`ll show you what came out of it and how EASY it was!

{And by the way– how much do I love Country Living? This old home re-do was spellbinding. Call me, CL.}

To make a (side bar) Drink Table you will need:

electric drill

heavy duty stapler

fabric or pretty paper

2 screws

a stool (or any other kind of “legs”– get creative πŸ™‚

a tray, shallow crate, butcher block, etc. (again think outside the box!)

Here is Blondie with mine. It was SO much fun to make.

Just screw tray to stool, staple on burlap and PRESTO! (Is presto only for food? I may be confused…)

I am pleased as punch that out of a radiator and this drink table, I have a made a buffet area. My kitchen is a galley kitchen (teeny tiny) and so a place to serve food is a happy place for me.

A few perty tangs.

Glasses: 61 Surplus

Pitcher: IKEA

Burlap: Joann Fabrics

Tray: Target

Stool: Antique Mall

Flowers: my garden

From the top of the tray, looking down.

Let`s do that again!

The idea is to serve hot food above.

Where are the girls when I make stuff?

Right with me. After I took these pictures, they wanted to try the drink SOOOO bad.

Ok, sure.

I said (being stupid),

“Do my princesses want a really, reallyΒ  pretty, special drink?”…

…They both took a sip from the glass glasses.

Elle yells,

“It really doesn`t taste any different, mom!”

Laila crowed,

“It`s WATER.”

Yeah, cant fool them. Ever.

Here is another cool idea I found online. See the red crate in my header above (back behind the recliner)? That would also be a great idea for a drink cart. SO MANY ways you could do this…

Take it away, my friend!

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The Par-tay.

I`m not going to promise anything too thrilling here today. I have this thing lately where I feel a little lost when it comes to blogging. Why do I do it? I don`t even know. Do I feel the need to post an online diary? Nope. Do I like attention. Not really. Is it to make a connection with other women? Yeah, that`s part of it. Share my life and my faith in Jesus with others? Yes. I really like the art/self expression part of it, so I`d say that`s a big part of it for me. Likely.

Anymore, it seems like EVERYONE blogs– and I mean everyone. So why do you blog? And do you ever feel a little lost and uninspired like I do right now?

Thank you. Thank you for the nodding heads.

(And I see you with your head shaking in pity.)

Sooo….

Elle`s birthday. G and I woke her up. I was going to stick a BUNCH of balloons and streamers all over her room for her to wake up to. But then Scrooge Mom kicked in, and I lost the urge because I thought of how I`d have to get in the car (too hot out) and drive to Walmart… and also all the work it would be to clean it up.

So we gave her kisses instead, and she said she liked that WAY better anyway. Not really, but pretend.

Waking up face. I`m excited mom, but I just can`t see straight yet.

Laila: A sandwich box for a birthday gift… who`s ever have thunk it! Poor Elle, she seems so happy with it.

We had Elle`s grandma and cousins to the park a block from our house for a party. Yay, for leaving the house alone and taking the mess to the park. We just loaded the red wagon up and hauled `er down…

Party table. Easy just a few trinkets from Target and we’ll call it a party. πŸ™‚

I said before I was going to do a tutorial on her birthday shirt that I– cough!– made. Well, all bragging aside, if you ever make one, make sure the sequins are WASHABLE! Apparently these were not. The first time I washed this shirt all the pretty sequins turned to clear plastic, the color washed off. It looked so horrible and was so sad, that I threw the whole thing in the trash before I could have a chance to be too sad about it.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Ready for the little people.

My mom and sisters…

The little party fun-havers.

~Isaac, Gracie, Elle, Jacinta and Laila~

Tire swing. (Favorite caption ever.)

All the kids looks winded. Like they are just whipped. Now we’ll fill them up with cake and punch– oh, boy.

Our 4 year old Elle, who we love and adore. πŸ™‚

Rainbow cake.

The children playing “Ruth and Boaz”– not really– it`s a candy throw.

Umbrella from Gracie. HAPPY ELLE.

Since we are talking about children, I thought I`d throw a few of my recent thrift store finds on too. If you know me, you know I LOVE kid`s clothes. I would love to be a kid`s designer in my next life. Heaven? Unless we just wear robes…

But anyway. A few “hits” lately made me realize again how much fun thrifting can be.

Red Gap top: $1 @Β  Other Mothers

White skirt: had since forever

Red Gap shoes: $3 Other Mothers

Red flower pin: $3 Joann Fabrics

Yellow shirt: $3 Other Mothers

Grey skirt: $4 Walmart clearance

Gold Gap shoes: $3 Other Mothers

Headband: $1 clearance at the mall

.50 cent clip-on earring makes a great broach. πŸ™‚ I LOVE to make stuff with old baubles.

Guest room is done! Photos one day when I get one of those round Toits.

Haha, corny joke.

Going camping today for the weekend! Enjoy yours, Jenny

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Elle is 4!

Elin (Elle) Julia

Born July 16, 2007

I`m not even sure what to write. This picture brings back memories of how I felt when I first met Elle. They are so intense and happy– it`s like I can`t even contain the memory.

We waited so long for her. It might not be correct to say another person can MAKE you happy– but my baby Elle did.

Her daddy and I loved her in a way that is indescribable.

Jesus, you gave us the perfect gift.

How tiny and precious. Those little LEGS!

Serious, and yet witty– that`s my Elle, even way back then.

“Where`s my mom?”

Please stop growing up, mommy can`t stand it.

Her hair. She had a ton of it from day 1.

Hi, Sweetie!

2 years old…

3 years old…

Sillypants!

4 years old!

These old pictures made me feel really smushy and teary. Guess who I am off to find for a big huge hug!

PS. This was supposed to be posted days ago…

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White Dresser B & A.

Before:

My $10 dresser I bought from a man about to unload it at Save n Serve.

(Was that bad?)

After.

I have never had a redo take so long to completion. I redid her so many times. Tromped to hardware so many times.

The 70s drawers pulls. Lets just say that prying off those nasty rascals made me feel very carpenter-esk. Which felt quite nice. I do love my tools. Also putting on knobs is super fun, gratifying, easy.

Tip: To save money. In an old bin I had 4 knobs the same, and 1 odd one. I just bought 3 new knobs matching the odd one (see above). Resulting in 4 same– and 4 same. I kinda like the look it created.

She`s not perfect, but I love her just the way she is!

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Rainbow Cake.

It seems there is just so so much going on around here right now that I could post on… I REALLY shouldn`t be posting either… I guess tonight we`ll call it: my guilty pleasure.

Here is a little something fun and

COLORFULΒ  that we made over here this week!

I love the blog: A Little Sussy

(Source: Alittlesussy}

And low and behold, one day while perusing… I saw this gorgeous cake on her blog (above). See the whole inspiring post here.

I could so make that, I thought, like all good crafters do.

And by “good” I mean virtuous/thrifty/tightwadish.

Anyway– so I made a rainbow cake for Elle`s birthday, which was this week. It was fun, sort of easy, and took a lo-o-o-ong, long time to make.

Here is mine. πŸ™‚

OK.

So I am an adult, but cutting that thing open was just as fun for me, as the kids. It. was. so. cool.

Talk about Baker`s Rush.

Let me just say– how the colors turned out that well. I have no idea. I mixed the colors (food coloring) pretty blindly. Let`s say I feel lucky.

Eating it.

This is back in the kitchen mixing it up. It mainly took me so long because the little round pan was pretty expensive (Joann Fabrics) and so I only had one pan… baking each layer one at a time… Yes, that`s what sucked all the time.

It was a little more time in the kitchen than I like to spend.

Tip: Freezing it, kept it from falling over and worked GREAT for frosting the tall, narrow thing.

What IS it about this editing tint– that makes every picture look like a MEMORY?

I think it`s because alot of my childhood pictures are little square pictures, with rounded corners, and this brownish tint.

Oh, I love it so! Oh, to be a child of the `60s.

(And there it is!!)

This is the camera my mom had in all my childhood memories. Anyone else remember this 1970s era camera? I am so happy to say, I own one just like the one she used to have.

Leaving the rabbit trail now. Back to the party.

Laila pines.

Crown or cake?

Another FUN project for Elle`s birthday– the (age) 4 shirt made of sequins.

Again, easy, but took TIME!

Another day I`ll do a little tutorial on that…

Enjoy your weekend. Mine is a fun one. πŸ™‚

Love! Jenny

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I lovey you, my Girly-whirls.

“Thumbs up for carrots dipped in ranch dressing!”

~~~

We took a little break from things looking like this…

To get cleaned up and take a few pictures.

~~~

Yeah, that`s right, put yer foot in it. That`s my girl. Make yer momma proud!

~~~

“Mom!, I`m hooome… “

~~~

I love you..Β  and I really love your

PINKTOES.

~~~

Laila: “See mom, my arms levitate!”

The other one: “I`m kinda too busy too busy and whatever you are talking about– it sounds boring.”

I just made that up, they didn`t really say that.

(That was for the more gullible ones of you.)

~~~

Yup, rip that screen out. Push it, baby! Both hands, that`s my girl!”

~~~

A rare display of sisterly affection……

~~~

Porchy.

~~~

“So you think we could cross it?”

“Just look at it and pretend we were discussing pavement! I hear mom!”

~~~

I love doing little girls hair. Give me 5 girls and you wouldn`t have to pity me once. πŸ™‚

~~~

Oh, Elle, don`t you ever grow up! This girl fills my day with gut-busting laughter many times a day.

She is a unique, witty, brainy, observing, doesnt-miss-a thing, almost4 year old!

I can honestly say, in a lot of ways I can relate to her as a friend. (Galen would say she has my odd sense of humor.) (Sorry, Elle.)

~~~

Hi Laila Consuella Stinkerpants mommy`s baby baby baby….

When she looks like this: I have to call her pet names in baby talk.

~~~

Hello, 2 perfect little angels and your sweet, lovely, perfect attitudes that live at my house! Why is it– they look GOOD when their hair is combed?

~~~

More perfect attitudes!

CAN YOU BELIEVE these 2 little angels yelled so loud at Target last night that the whole store knew RIGHT where WE were? (No sneaking feminine products into my cart for me.) And then on the way home there was pinching… as far as they could reach one another across the seats in their car seats at least.

HARD TO FATHOM!

~~~

So, Elle, how`s LIFE? Tell me how you`re really feeling…. Keep looking up.

(Three things I hate when people say to me.)

~~~

Laila: So what`s with our mom lately…

Elle: Huurumph!

~~~

Happy Elle.

~~~

Elle: “Huh, that man looks like our daddy-man…”

Laila “Well, is he tall and overly handsome?… Oh, look it`s an ANT.”

~~~

Pretty bottles.

I love my girls.

Yes, I just let Laila drink straight creamer in a cup, so I could quick finish this post.

That`s all.

Over and out, roger.

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Guest room.

I`m painting and re-doing my guest room right now.

With this photo as my single most source of inspiration.

I love the clean, calm, minimal, fresh, mixed elements look it has to it. I definitely want to use the string lights, a scarf/dress form, the heavy worn clock, and some dark wood mixed in.

Any creative ideas?

With little money down?

We’ll see how it goes.

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July|4|11 in Photos and Stories.

{Long post…. }

~~~

We had a really socially full, really fun, July 4 weekend.

Friday night the youth met on our town`s square, where festivities were going on. We watched a Thunder Idol, where contestants sang for a table of judges in a well, American Idol style. It was super entertaining… The winner– excellent singer!– then was able to perform at Holmes County`s Thunder over Holmes Co. (Not sure where that was held.)

Then after that, the youth all came over to sit around in our back yard.

We live right in town, so we try our best to bring the country to town… It was quaint to sit and watch a fire– and hear live music drifting up from downtown.

Okay, so downtown might sound a little upscale for our town… but hey, it`s is downtown. Not sure what other word to use. πŸ™‚

~~~

Chilling with a guitar master.

~~~

More of the same…

~~~

Girls are sharing… πŸ™‚ Boys musing…

~~~

~~~

Saturday night, we had friends over and since it was a rainy day– we ate picnic food inside. There were kids and talking everywhere.

Was so good again to sit around and chew the flab– old friends style.

(That means Jenny feels free to open her mouth and say whatever, in an unedited way all night. haha)

We ended up sitting in our back yard then and watching the town`s fireworks. Was a fun ending to the night! I love making memories like that with our children and their little friends.

~~~

Sunday morning our small group had church in a pavillion and then a picnic lunch after. The children road bike around and played on the play place. again, fun to sit around with adults and talk about something and nothing. You know how that is.

~~~

Monday, July 4th we woke up and I felt the need to bring a little order sanity to our MESSY home– so I was running around stuffing in laundry, corralling up crumbs, and destroying sticky spots– when G said emphatically from the recliner,

“WHY are you working on July 4th?!”

Me:

“What? Why can`t I work today? You make it sound like it`s Sunday or something… this place is so GROSS.”

Then I thought it through and realized:

A. When your usually busy,Β  “always working on something husband” is sitting cozily and is in the mood to chill all day in the living room… for crying out loud!! join him!

B. Holidays are pretty rare so, USE THEM.

So I did and it was a GLORIOUS restful, lazy, connecting, conversational kind of family day.

(Can you tell I LOVE great conversation? I`d take it as a birthday gift. :))

~~~

Towards evening, we decided to pack up our little family, and drive down to Coshocton for the fireworks show there.

The patriotic daughter.

It was such a lazy, cruising kind of night. Since G and I weren`t super familiar with Coshocton, and we were way early for the fireworks show– we just ambled around.

I ran into CVS since I had a few deals to score there, then we ate some crunchy chicken at KFC.

After that, we just drove. And looked.

The downtown with it`s ancient, seedy looking buildings and empty cargo railroad dock.

The inner city living areas, some run down and sad looking. People going about life.

The urban homes near the fairground with their very “all-American” lives going on. A rodeo concert drifting up from the background.

We drove through a huge neighborhood (lurkers!) with very modest, but neat-as-a-pin homes. Flowers blooming in every yard. LOTS of backyard parties. Radios blaring, kids running around in red, white and blue outfits, picnic tables set up with food, grandmas playing corn hole, dads yelling at kids, beer in coolers, big Chevy trucks everywhere.

IT WAS SO STEREOTYPICAL, but it looked like such a great place to live!

We both commented,

“I could live here.”

We decided a playground would be great to kill the rest of the time with. So we pulled up to people twice, to ask where the nearest playground was.

They could never think of one.

“Just somewhere with swings.”

We said, trying to be as minimal as possible.

Nope, nothing.

Where do these kids go to grade school? They don`t swing at recess? You can`t think of a place with swings, Grandmas 1 and 2? In my rinky-dink town, I can rattle off 5 nice play areas. WHERE do your kids play?

We ended up stumbling on a tumble-down grade school, with a playground that to me, smelled like sewer the whole time we were there. I commented on it twice to G, but he never answered me with his take on the smell, so it could have just been me.

When we first got there, we were joined by 3 average-looking, tween girls videotaping themselves with a cell phone of sorts.

They seemed intent on catching themselves hanging about playfully on playground equipment, while taping one another. I think we frustrated them, because our girls kept running into their filming feed. At one point I heard the one girl singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm into the camera, so it could have been an American Idol audition taping.

We’ll never know.

After they left– we were joined by a couple no older than 15, the girl greatly pregnant, and the couple, quite affectionate.Β  They sat on separate swings but cuddle and canoodle they did! Did you know that is possible? We sure learned a few new cuddling techniques, G and I, that`s for sure.

Give us a park now, and we’ll show you fireworks!

The highlight of that playground experience, for me, was when G poked me and motioned, look, and I snuck a casual glance sideways at expecting snugglers– to see the boy was kneeling on the ground in front of her, and her on the swing. They were pressing their foreheads together and noses, maybe, I don`t know.

And there, standing beside them, was our eldest daughter taking notes intently with this glazed over look in her eyes.

Cuddlers had notes for our whole family!

We scooped up our innocent daughter and hurriedly left the park shaking our heads.

Just kidding– we laid out a blanket and stayed for the whole show.

Just kidding again.

~~~

After we left there, we stopped at Earl`s for ice cream, and set up camp in the grassy lot beside it.

~~~

These cones reminded me of a scaled down Rita`s. The cherry swirl part was a different texture, more icy, then the creamy vanilla part. It was a great cone experience. Well, the little I got of it. I was just going to eat Elle or Laila`s when they were done with it, (mom-style) but they both threw them in the grass after they ate the tops off (kid-style). Such a loss…

~~~

Happy little cone-eater.

~~~

I know my proffessional photography friends– cough!– ThelmaShannonDiane are probably thinking: CRAP SHOT!

BUT. But, that is the beauty of NOT being a professional photographer, you can keep a shot because you like the mood is portrays, and call it “art”.

As I`m doing with above shot.

I love how G is zoned out on his Droid, mom is off taking pictures, Laila is obviously pouting over there on the side, likely because Elle, who looks like her hair was done by a meat grinder, was picking on her in a hyper way. She looks hyper anyway.

~~~

This shot was an “Elle special”– she loves to take pictures with my camera.

It appears G caught a man in bad shorts in his cone.

~~~

Still waiting for it to get dark. When we first settled down in the vacant lot. It was pretty empty.

As the night wore on, big trucks pulled in on all sides. Earl`s parking lot filled up. There was a line out the door of the dariette, people want their ice cream and hoagies! People set up chairs everywhere by their cars.

I people watched in blissful awareness.

All the men in this town wear cargo shorts and t-shirts with manly jargon scribbled on them. The women all have a baby on their hip and like the classic, pony-tail hairdo. The kids are loud, sturdy, and loved. People talk loud. Sparklers are everywhere.

Did I just write a country song?

Well, that`s what the whole experience was like– watching a country song.

~~~

A fail attempt to get G to “take one with me on it”.

I look like a controlling disciplinarian mother on this picture.

…Which I actually kinda have a problem with NOT being. I bet that`s why my girls are so naughty. πŸ™‚

~~~

Better mommy moment.

~~~

Show has started!

We pictured them right overhead. They weren`t really, but still close.

As we laid there as a family on a skinny blanket way too narrow for all four of us, in a grassy lot among strangers, with fireworks booming wild overhead, I said:

(As I got kicked in the head by Elle, who was getting pinched for touching her, by Laila.)

“Wow, this would be so romantic if these girls weren`t along”

G said,

“Oh, amen– Stop it, girls!”

Those Cuddling Kids at the playground can`t top our chemistry.

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Camera fun.

~~~

~~~

I took a bunch of pictures of the girls outside yesterday…

Was kinda fun to play with the “rejects”, and pretend I have nothing better to do today. .

Now on to more constructive things for this morning– painting my spare bedroom. Wish me luck– I`m diving in.

Jenny

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