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Additions to the memorial garden

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Five friends and I made a road trip to Harrisonburg, VA, in the mountains. ABout a 2 hour drive.
The weather was cool, the sky was beautiful and we had much to catch up on!
All ladies from, work, some from past and some from present.

First stop....The Sugar Shack, for some warm doughnuts. emoticon They were really good and a treat from, driver friend, Karen.

Up the road and through the farmland, blue mountains rising up in all their glory.

Harpers statuary, was our destination, as these ladies wanted me to pick out something for Kenny's garden.

I found a nice bench, with birds and flowers.
God has always spoken to me through birds and this just struck me as the perfect thing.


So thank you, to Karen, Ann, Jackie, Peggy and Pat. emoticon

Karen's mom wanted to get me something, although she was not along for the trip.
Here is her gift for the garden.


We left, with a van full of people and parcels. I even picked out a little Cardinal for Mama.
I already have given it to her and did not take a photo. It is Kenny Cardinal, as we have a real one that has been visiting us, when we need him most and he has a certain way about him. emoticon
This one is sitting beside, her on the table.

We had a good lunch out, a nice ride home and I saw beautiful colors in the cirrus clouds, that I know were formed by ice crystals, but I like to imagine that Kenny was there above, sending aqua and pink and light green to play about the sky, in a spot that for some reason, I alone among the group could see.
A special show of love, from my special son.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISALOSING52 7/19/2014 7:17AM

    Sounds like a picture perfect day shared with friends. The bench is the perfect addition to Kenny's Garden and love the stone plaque, it is beautiful as well. I know Kenny is with you in all that you see and do. God's Blessings my friend. Enjoy each day in your garden with Kenny.
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JANIEWWJD 7/18/2014 12:33AM

    Beautiful blog!!! God bless you!!!

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MARLINDA5 7/17/2014 8:43PM

    Kenny was there for you - with the color in the sky.

The bench is so pretty - the birds and the flowers - perfect for the memorial garden.

Also the Garden Stone is very nice.

What a nice trip with your friends - very special for you and for them.

Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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CAROLMAID 7/17/2014 4:21PM

    So glad it was a beautiful trip filled with friends, love and joy!
I agree the bench....is the perfect thing. How pretty!
I can just see you sitting there in the garden and feeling Kenny's presence.
your friend,
Carol

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KAREN-IS-HERE 7/17/2014 3:23PM

    emoticon

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BOOKLOVINGGIRL 7/17/2014 2:17PM

    The bench is beautiful. Sounds like such a nice trip with friends. Such a sweet quote on the stone about a loved one becoming a memory, then a treasure. Precious and lovely!

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Comment edited on: 7/17/2014 2:19:21 PM

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CHANGING-TURTLE 7/17/2014 8:57AM

    Lovely bench will look good in Kenny's garden. Also like the stone with the saying that talks to the heart. Glad you had a nice trip/

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SHIRLEYX 7/17/2014 8:45AM

    Chris, you picked such beautiful additions to the memorial garden! What wonderful gifts from your friends. Also such a beautiful photo of Kenny. I hope that you have a really good and peaceful sleep tonight after such a good, but tiring day!

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GLORYB2014 7/17/2014 6:21AM

    Chris, I'm so glad you had a great day with friends and with Ashley. And it's super that you chose that beautiful bench for Kenny's Memorial Garden! I was hoping it would be a bench.

I also love the gift from Karen's Mom!

I know as you sit in the garden you can feel that special love from Kenny and that makes me happy!
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SPARKFRAN514 7/16/2014 11:20PM

    emoticon its hard to top what the others have shared the time with friends was special i can tell and the donuts had the calories removed emoticon
i can see you and Ashely enjoying sitting on the garden bench and the memory rock is beautiful had to copy the saying for my quote collection. what special friends you have and the sky was a special show for you to feel his love for you to remember him in a special way. you will have to share a picture of the bird you got your mom soon hugs to a special friend . emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 7/16/2014 10:07PM

    Perfect addition to Kenny's garden.
Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.
Nothing better then good friends.

Hugs Mary

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/16/2014 9:52PM

    What a lovely bench and trip! I have a bird thing also; in fact, lately several unique ones have appeared and made me smile as they are highly symbolic.

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GMFAY33 7/16/2014 9:49PM

    You have a great eye for beauty and your choices today again prove it. Enjoy the bench often as you visit with Kenny.

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MLC721 7/16/2014 9:23PM

    The bench is perfect for the memory garden. Like Booerdem said, it will a special reminder of Kenny and of this special day with your friends. The plaque is also just perfect for the garden. emoticon

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BOOERDEM 7/16/2014 9:03PM

    What a wonderful group of friends you have!! It sounds like it was a good day. The bench & stone will be special reminders of your son & of the day as well.
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FLSUNSHINE1931 7/16/2014 9:02PM

    Chris, the bench is perfect for Kenny's Memorial Garden. I love the Garden Stone and such a beautiful verse on it. So true.

So glad that you had a good day with the girls, and it sounds like the clouds, and colors were made in Heaven. God does paint some beautiful paintings that we often take for granite.

Get some rest, and thanks so much for sharing.

Hugs and prayers to you always.

Auntie M.
emoticon for sharing.


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Kenny's Memorial Garden

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Today, I feel brave enough to blog again.
As I edited my last blog, written on May 19th, I ended it with this....

Little did I know, that as we were visiting Papa, at Arlington, on this beautiful day, he was welcoming, my oldest son, Kenny, into heaven.
The two Kens are now together and Papa finally got to meet one of his grandchildren.
My heart aches, but I find comfort in knowing they are in heaven, full of love, happiness and peace.
I will see them both again.

So May 18th is a day that will be remembered as a beautiful day, visiting my father's grave while my oldest son, entered heaven.
A kind and gentle man, talented landscaper, lover of all animals. Generous and giving, brilliant in so many ways. I will miss his sweet smile and special brand of humor.

Here is a photo of Kenny (on right) and his brother Nick, planting a shrub, in a neighbors yard, this past year. They made a great team and I was blessed to work beside them.


It has been a difficult two months and seems like just two weeks.

Everyone has been so good, including my many Spark Friends. Thank you all for your thoughts prayers and comforting words.

I would like to share with you all a work in progress. Kenny's memorial garden.


Tucked in our back yard, many of our animal friends have their resting place here.
Kenny would like that .

There are several Rose-of-Sharon (Altheas) in the garden.


A beautiful white Crape Myrtle with cinnamon bark, is what I chose as the main tree in Kenny's honor.
It started to bloom on Kenny's birthday, June 24th! emoticon

In the Fall, it will be ablaze in Washington Redskin colors...his football team.
I will miss our jabbing back and forth, as I am a Dallas Cowboy fan. emoticon

My local garden center, is run by a wonderful family. When they heard the news, they told me to pick out any Japanese Maple that I wanted for the garden, as their gift to honor Kenny.

I chose a red weeping Japanese Maple.

There are Lantana(more Redskin colors), Coneflowers and Lavender, as well as Lambs ear and White Peonies. These are from another friend. Kenny always loved her yard, so much.

Tomorrow, friends will be taking me to the mountains, where there is a nice Statuary place.
We will have a road trip, a couple meals out and they will be giving me something that I pick out, whether it be a statue, bench or whatever.
A gift for the memorial garden.

I will make sure and put on a photo, when I have it in place.

A good Spark Friend from Tampa, Fl, Marsha, sent me some Milk and Wine lily bulbs for the garden. I look forward to next year when they show their beauty.
Another friend gave Dhalias...red ones, big as dinner plates! The rain is helping them grow this evening.

My daughter Ashley helped in the garden, as well as her father Andy.
Nick planted the Crape Myrtle for his best friend and big brother. All acts of love.
A healing thing to do. A healing place to remember the good times and talk to Kenny, to God and yes, the little animals.

He is here with us, always. emoticon

Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANIEWWJD 7/18/2014 12:36AM

    He will always be with you and you will see him again one day. God bless you for all that you are doing!!!!

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MARLINDA5 7/17/2014 8:37PM

    What a beautiful blog - I know your dad and Ken are together smiling down on you and with you as you plant the different flowers and tree for Kenny. The flowers are so pretty and bright.
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Prayers are continuing for you and your family during this time.

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SHIRLEYX 7/16/2014 9:49AM

    When I read your blog, I had to go back and look at the photos. The memorial garden is a beautiful tribute from one of the most loving and caring moms I know. I admire your positivity and ability to stay centered so much. I know that Kenny is so proud to have a mom like you.

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LISALOSING52 7/16/2014 8:22AM

    What a lovely garden memorial you and family and friends have made to visit and find peace and tranquility and loving memories of such a beautiful soul. I'm sure he is in heaven smiling. I know you will feel his presence when you are there. Enjoy your trip to the statuary and I can't wait to see what you pick to add to the garden.
Hugs and Blessings, Lisa

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BOOERDEM 7/15/2014 10:03PM

    What a beautiful place you & your family are creating in Kenny's memory!! You have planted many of my favorite flowers - lantana, coneflowers, lavender & peonies. May it bring you peace as you remember your wonderful son in such a special setting. emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 7/15/2014 9:38PM

    Chris what a beautiful blog thank you for sharing i know how hard it was for you to share with your Family the flowers are lovely and i can see Kenny working side by side with you. You know I am here for you and think of you every day. Have a wonderful time on trip with your friends to the mountain and sharing memories and meals looking forward to seeing what you choose for the garden .

 “Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry.” ― Dr. Seuss

found this one too think it fits your planned outing

You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!


Comment edited on: 7/15/2014 9:50:51 PM

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CHANGING-TURTLE 7/15/2014 9:27PM

    Lovely garden a good way to remember Kenny emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 7/15/2014 8:02PM

    emoticon beautiful blog .
Wonderful way to honor Kenny and keep his memory growing.. The garden is so lovely.
It is a lovely way to help the family get through all this.

I read with tears in my eyes, thank you for sharing with us . emoticon emoticon

Love Mary


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PICKIE98 7/15/2014 7:09PM

    PTL! He is a wonderful man with a wonderful family! The joy you all receive from God's natural beauty...

He probably is right there with you, itching to get his hands in that soil with you!! Hugs to you all...




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SLIMMERJESSE 7/15/2014 6:33PM

    What a beautiful blog and tribute garden! I read this with tears as I understand a mother's broken heart. All of his kindness is in his face in this photo. You can see all of those positive attributes you listed right there in his face and eyes. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos.

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FLSUNSHINE1931 7/15/2014 6:20PM

    Chris, what a lovely Blog, and he did have a beautiful smile, and know that he is smiling down while you work away in his Garden.

I pray that the blubs will grow and bloom beautiful in the garden, if not I have plenty more that I can send.

Thanks so much for sharing with us all. Nice that you have someone that is giving you whatever you pick out for the Garden, and a bench would be wonderful for you and Ashley to go and sit and count your blessings.

Much love and prayers coming your way, and yes he is at peace now, and still smiling away.

Hugs and prayers.
Auntie Marsha
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GLORYB2014 7/15/2014 6:17PM

    How beautiful Chris, both the blog and the garden! I am sitting here crying but the tears are for a mother who has lost her son and for the way the son (Kenny) was and always will be loved. You have a lovely family who all care for one another.
God Bless You and your family!
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HOLLYM48 7/15/2014 6:14PM

    What a beautiful memorial to your son. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sorrowful time in your life. May his memory be in your heart and in bloom in his garden.

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CAROLMAID 7/15/2014 5:51PM

    This blog and this Garden are so beautiful!!! Made me want to cry and smile all at the same time.
A full family effort too. Even better, as it's being made more beautiful by gifts from friends near and far.
Thank you for sharing.
Enjoy your daytrip to the mountains, shopping and the memories.
My heart is with you.
Kenny is smiling from heaven I am sure.
Hugs,
Carol

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Road trip and avoiding temptations.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday was the perfect day for a road trip. emoticon

Crystal clear air, soft white clouds in a blue sky, birds singing.

Mama, Betsy and I, usually head to Arlington National Cemetery , Memorial day weekend, however, last year there were so many more road closures and such a traffic jam, that we opted for the weekend, before.

Still a bit crazy with the traffic, but much better.

The Cemetery is celebrating it's 150th year! Such history, in this place. If ever you have a chance, this is a treasure to check out.

We gathered flowers from my yard, Mama's yard and Betsy brought some from the market.



Papa and Mama always had a beautiful garden. This was a perfect assortment to bring.
We also brought some for friends, buried in the next section over.

Here is my sister at Papa's resting place.
It was a little early for the flags to be placed on the graves, but still a nice sight. emoticon
Mama sat in the car and watched us go up the hill. She no longer can walk that far, with the slope, but looks on, knowing she will be there one day, too.
Overlooking the Pentagon, the Washington Monument ,seen now, only when the leaves have fallen as things grow, each year.
A Linden tree is nearby and the scent reminds us of times all together, in our yard.

We drove around a bit and even visited the Columbarium, which is lush with beautiful landscaping and fountains.

Afterwards, we had lunch in Alexandria at a restaurant named Bread and Chocolate. emoticon
First off, it smelled wonderful and you walk by the pastry case, filled with all sorts of wonderful treats.
I had read the menu, online and planned to have a Spinach Protein salad. Well, shucks, the menu had changed. Did I still have the will power to order another healthy meal?
I DID! A Western Omlete!
Dessert was next and we all did well, by having a small fruit tart and coffee. Yummy and my eating was still healthy and controlled.

Now Betsy had already noticed that I looked smaller... no weight lost, but I really have gotten flatter in a few areas.


It doesn't hurt to have a photo angle like this, either. emoticon

But, really. I have been "South Beaching it" for 5 days and it has helped tremendously!
I don't even mind not losing the weight, for I look and feel so much slimmer.
I am CRAVING healthy foods!
Salads are AMAZING!

Lettuce from my own garden, is the base, and it is the very best. I never get tired of it. emoticon

SO time together with my family, remembering Papa and our friends.
Sharing memories and a good healthy meal.
Enjoying life... a little bit flatter. emoticon

All good!

after the day....

Little did I know, that as we were visiting Papa, at Arlington, on this beautiful day, he was welcoming, my oldest son, Kenny, into heaven.
The two Kens are now together and Papa finally got to meet one of his grandchildren.
My heart aches, but I find comfort in knowing they are in heaven, full of love, happiness and peace.
I will see them both again. emoticon emoticon




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANIEWWJD 6/2/2014 12:36AM

    Beautiful pictures!!!! I'm so happy that you enjoyed your road trip. God bless you and have a beautiful day!!!!
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RAINBOWMF 5/20/2014 12:04PM

    Wonderful pictures and what a nice day you spent with your Mom and sister.
Never have a seen such lovely flowers.

Love Mary

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GMFAY33 5/19/2014 7:07PM

    Are those peonies? I love their fragrance but ours (when I was growing up) were always visited by ants.

Happy for you that you had such a nice trip but saddened by the news of your son.God bless you and your family. emoticon

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GLORYB2014 5/19/2014 2:42PM

    Gorgeous flowers and beautiful ladies! You really look wonderful Chris.

An emotional day for you all, I'm sure, but it's so nice that you three do this together every year!

Food temptation? You did Great, girl! At the meal with my sisters yesterday, I not only ate a small slice of their decadent chocolate cake but the hosts of the gathering gave each of us a slice to bring home! I froze mine! Wish I had more will power, like you do!

Lovely blog to read and so nice of you to share this special day with us!
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Starting again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 has found me 10 pounds heavier and losing and gaining the same 4, in teasing fashion. emoticon

Excuses can fly out the door, as in who really cares to hear them?

Being older? So what? Health issue? Everybody has something at some time.

SO, today is regrouping day... again, but I am not giving up! The tide will turn, just when you think you're done for!

Today I have restarted Spark Coach! emoticon Just a few minutes in and I am feeling encouraged and being given the tools to give it the very best!

I have purchased my healthy foods, for a South Beach, Phase one, two weeks of fun.
Delicious and nutritious and having had success, several years back, I feel confident that this is a good move, in the right direction, for me. emoticon

I have my workouts lined up. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
The sudden heat and humidity have me lethargic, but with a plan in place, I will get used to it and with water at arms length, all day long, energy will be pumping through me in no time. emoticon

My vision is firmly in my mind. Thinner, more energetic and reaching my goals, by going day to day, repeating the things that I know will work. emoticon

I will bust this 10 pounds apart! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

As always, my spark friends have my back and I can count on you to give me a kick in the booty if I need it, or to cheer me as I make progress. emoticon
Thank you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLB000 5/19/2014 5:31PM

    It is really hard to break through those set points. And it can be discouraging. Gain - lose, and on and on.
But you have a good plan in place and there is no substitute for that. It is normal to feel frustrated and discouraged. As long as you don't stay in that discouragement for very long and hold on to the vision. Sounds like you are staying focused and positive. I am impressed.
And don't forget to remind Chris she has done so well along to this point and is looking good. emoticon

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NOSNACKER-57 5/18/2014 9:12AM

    emoticon

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LITTLEKIM4 5/17/2014 8:02PM

    You are such an inspiration! You definitely have a plan, as well as the right attitude! I know you can do it! That pesky 10 pounds ain't got nothin' on you!

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MARLINDA5 5/15/2014 7:39PM

    emoticon

I know what you mean - not so easy to lose the weight anymore.

You have a great attitude and good goals. emoticon



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SPARKFRAN514 5/14/2014 9:29PM

    emoticon emoticon please don't start over lets just say yo u changed the flat tires on the wagon and headed out again that is what my plan is i don;t want to go back to start over that would mean i would be back at 198 pounds
and I am at 170 now ! that would give me 28 more pounds to get off again we can do it it just takes time and comment away we go to the finish line off we go emoticon emoticon emoticon lets bust five pounds for July party !!

Comment edited on: 5/14/2014 9:31:51 PM

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GLORYB2014 5/14/2014 6:59PM

    Way to go Chris! You'll bust those 10 lbs and more!! I KNOW you can and will!
I'm right beside you dear friend, cheering you on every day!
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PIXIE-LICIOUS 5/14/2014 3:44PM

    I have total faith in you. You've got this and I am cheering you on!

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GMFAY33 5/14/2014 1:17PM

    I wish I could be here more so that I could encourage you as much as you do for me. emoticon

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CAROLMAID 5/14/2014 10:49AM

    You betcha! I'm right there with ya with the same problems. Seems for the moment you do not need a kick in the pants. you've got a plan. Best of luck!

I'm stuck just like you and the only thing I keep hearing in my head is SP friends saying just keep going so that's what I'm doing......but something clearly needs to be tweaked as i'm just stagnating here on the scale anyway! LOL But I gotta at least be toned more....all this strength training and sweating has to be worth something! LOL

I'm sure the pounds will be dropping soon. Go Go Go! You got this!

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FUNLOVEN 5/14/2014 7:42AM

    I restarted Spark Coach myself to give me a "get going" boost. It is a wonderful program and even though we truly know all of the things that it tells us about every day it really can help one zone in and focus.

This second quarter of 2014 hasn't been going all that well for me. My inner child is having a terrible time giving up some of the things I do that aren't helpful to a weight loss goal. I always enjoy your blogs and today you have helped me feel stronger.

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ELRIDDICK 5/14/2014 7:00AM

  Thanks for sharing

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DEEKELLYE 5/14/2014 6:54AM

    It is frustrating to lose and gain the same x amount of pounds. The 2014 winter challenge I lost and gained the same 3 pounds and the 2014 spring challenge that I am currently doing isn't going so well. I am not giving up on trying to lose the weight. I know something good will come of this. Chin up buttercup! You'll lose the 10 pounds!

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Easter beauty for you to enjoy.

Sunday, April 20, 2014



Happy Easter, my Sparkfriends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELTER-PETS 5/11/2014 6:38AM

    Nice!!!! emoticon

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PATTIE441 5/4/2014 11:45AM

    Thank you Chris! These are amazing, and so are you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BILLB000 4/29/2014 12:30AM

    Wow... Chris. Look at the wonderful blog and photos I missed when I took time off. That should be another lesson for me....
Happy belated Easter to my friend. Love the colorful bushes. Also the mountain and hills pic.

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NICKYCRANE 4/22/2014 6:33PM

    What a lovely Easter greeting! Thank you!

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SPARKFRAN514 4/21/2014 1:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHIRLEYX 4/21/2014 11:07AM

    Beautiful photos. I love the mountains. Were the flower photos taken at your house?

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GMFAY33 4/20/2014 8:01PM

    Wonderful to see all those emoticon colors after many months of mostly the white of snow. Thanks for bringing it to me and any work you put into helping it to become so beautiful.

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MARLINDA5 4/20/2014 10:11AM

    Thank you for the pictures - very nice

Happy Easter emoticon emoticon emoticon

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