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Progress in Fairy Land

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I have made 3 fairies over the long weekend, and gotten a lot of sanding done on the window and door frames of the fairy house. It does me good to spend some time with the fairies as I work on their house. One of the things I have realized is that they do not want a staircase - they are fairies after all and have wings and a sense of fun. So I am planning a colorful pole, like a firemen's pole to slide down and a spiral vine they can climb up if they aren't planning on flying.

The Middle Sister

This picture shows the scale of the baby and Middle Sister

Big Sister

You can see her feet and legs in this picture.

Hanging out in the wren house.

I think I need to have a naming contest for name ideas.

I doubt that all of the crafting I have done counts for any kind of exercise, but on the other hand, I think it has seriously reduced my output of stress hormones. Nor has playing the ukelele probably burned many calories. The bass guitar is another situation all together. I think I have burned major calories playing the electric bass. That baby is heavy and it is an enormous workout for my hands as well. Also - another stress buster.

My sister has been doing a lot of research into our geneology and discovered that we are directly related to the man who originally procured Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Do you think we can get our land back? emoticon

Post some good fairy names for me emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JABULONESTAR 2/2/2011 11:33PM

    Chris these are beautiful :) You are so talented.

Keeping your hands and mind busy keeps you from thinking of food or at least it does me so I am sure that while you are busy making these wonderful creations it helps you towards your goals!

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MEOWMAMA3 1/29/2011 8:25PM

    Delightful! The details are precious. You are so creative! I opt for flower names like Delphinia, Chrysanthemum, Gardenia, Petunia (my mother's nickname for me...), Iris, .......etc.
Glad you have a winter stress distraction. Hopefully your busy days have been happy busy days! I haven't checked in with you in awhile. Thankfully these snow days allowed me to rest up and catch up on some of my schoolwork. I'm in total awe of your playing the bass guitar! It was a dream of mine in younger days after I sat 3rd row at a Return To Forever concert at Hofstra University. Stanley Clarke was incredible on that bass. Alas, I never learned to play an instrument. Does Stella sing along to the ukelele? I somehow can picture her doing just that! You have fun and keep chasing those winter blues away!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 1/29/2011 12:16PM

    I really enjoy reading about your project. I know that every fairy is made with loving thoughts and the recipient of your labors is a very fortunate young lady!

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KJE_3001 1/25/2011 8:24PM

    Love all the fairies! They're adorable!

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SOON2BEFITSLP 1/25/2011 8:22PM

    As a girl I always loved reading about fairies and watching movies about them. But often the fairies in these stories were both mystical and dangerous. Yours seem more friendly! I really do like the idea of naming them after flowers. Some names of flowers and plants that would be easier to pronounce may be Bryony, Ivy, Lily, Poppy, Dahlia, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Celsia, Basil, Daisy, Juniper, Fern, Sunflower, Honeysuckle, Snowdrop, Primrose, Iris, Lilac, Tulip, and Violet. There are TONS more out there! Good luck. emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 1/24/2011 5:49PM

    So precious, i love them.

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OLDERDANDRT 1/24/2011 2:22PM

    Nice fairies! How about naming them according to the flowers they wear! Daisy or carnation (Carnie), hydrangea (hydie), etc.! Wish I were so crafty. You can do just EVERYTHING!!


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MCGS62 1/24/2011 9:53AM

    emoticon Sister Fairy Jane ? She might be related to my grade school teacher.
Don't give them any yard sticks.

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NANHBH 1/24/2011 12:07AM

    Oh, so sweet! One of them definitely should be named Nancy - yes, definitely Nancy! OK, I'll try to think of something more original.
emoticon emoticon

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IUHRYTR 1/23/2011 11:36PM

    I continue to be amazed at your creativity Chris. You are truly gifted. I'll put on my thinking cap and see names I can come up with. They probably need to be simple enough for the young ones to pronounce yet also have an air of mystic about them. Good job! -- Lou

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VALERIEMAHA 1/23/2011 9:57PM

    What beauteous creatures!

In the Celtic lore we might have Morgan Le Fay as the oldest sister, middle sister Gwenhwyfar, and youngest Viviane....
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 1/23/2011 7:52PM

    What fun! Your little fairies are beautiful!

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MARY1313 1/23/2011 7:40PM

    blossom, Dulcina (means Rose), Nixie, Ana (Queen of the Fairies in Gypsy Folklore) Ariel.

You have touched on a subject I know a lot about. My Grandy Girls used to love stores I made up about Fairies!!! I had to find out some names for the stories!


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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2011 7:01PM

    Flora, or Fleur, or Fleurette (the baby?): they seem very blossomy in form and demeanour.

Or actual flower names -- Sweet Pea, Muguet, Mignonette, Hyacinth, Rosamund!!

These are so lovely. And you are having such playful and creative fun making them.

I do love your explanation as to why a staircase is unnecessary: of course!! no trudging for these will-o-wisps!!


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ABBY_G 1/23/2011 6:53PM

    Looks like fun! I love the many layered (and so colorful) dresses (or are they skirts?)!

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Constructing a Fairy House

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I needed a project so I have started building a dollhouse for my niece and my granddaughters, using the Corona kit, Aster. I love imaginative play and I can never really stick to a prescribed plan, so I am customizing to kit and making it into a fairy house instead. The kit is apparently not for beginners: I discovered that once I got into it. However, I am very carefully labeling all of the myriad little parts and taking time thinking things out before construction.

So far I have sanded and primed the ground floor and the second floor, and stuccoed the first floor ceiling.

I have never stuccoed before and was a little anxious about it as there is a lot of stuccoing in this project, but actually I found that it was fun.

I also popped out all of the door and window details and all of the timber framing details. Now all of those have to be sanded, primed, and stained. Once I got into this part, I realized that this probably wasn't the best choice for a novice. It's alright - I was wanting something that would keep my mind and hands active for a while. This'll do it!

I have been thinking a lot about the fairies who will inhabit the house, what they would use in construction, what colors they would be able to get from natural dyes, etc. The fairies needed to start coming to life, so I made my first fairy today, an infant.

I'm working on the baby's older sister now. The fairies still haven't suggested what kind of flooring they would have... I am wondering about small flagstones and moss for the first floor, but it would be so uneven. A smooth adobe with stencils and area rugs would be nice, but I am not certain yet how to make the adobe.

Between this project and my music, I hope to get through this frigid winter in a centered way. It has been oppressively cold and I haven't been getting enough physical exercise. I am enjoying being tucked in for the winter; as long as I'm busy, I'm happy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FT4EVR 1/23/2011 4:24PM

    Can't wait to see the final pics! What a fun project!

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LNSYLVSDOGS 1/23/2011 8:47AM

    This looks like quite a project, but will be adorable when all finished!

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MCGS62 1/23/2011 8:02AM

    I like te way you can use your imagination!
Now that I see the bayy fairy I thin ozzy was almost right.
he should have sung "Fairies wear booties and ya gota believe me"

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MARY1313 1/23/2011 12:37AM

    I love the baby fairy and I love that "the fairies haven't suggested" to you yet! Yes, I do believe in fairies.

Thanks for sharing!!!!

Mary emoticon emoticon

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NANHBH 1/22/2011 11:56PM


Absolutely adorable! You are amazingly creative!

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WATERMELLEN 1/22/2011 9:03PM

    Ohhhh, this is a lovely idea . . . imaginative, creative, a real stretch AND a real gift for the little girls!!

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IUHRYTR 1/22/2011 8:12PM

    Chris, I always enjoy learning of your, and your students', creative projects. I'm eager to see this one finished. -- Lou

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KJE_3001 1/22/2011 7:55PM

    That is such a wonderful project, and I am sure all the little girls will love it! When I was traveling last summer, I saw the coolest collection of old dollhouses in a museum. They were all made out of small, old curio cabinets, shelves, or similar furniture. It was really cool and made each one unique. So I think it's great that you are deviating from the instructions to make it special!

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I'm B-A-A-C-K!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My computer crashed. It has been an excellent and trusty computer, but something happened to cause it to crash. I finally managed to get it to the shop - fortunately it is still under warrantee so it didn't cost me anything more than two 20 mile trips to the repair shop. I was able to stop by the internet a few times on borrowed computers, but didn't really have the kind of time I need to do Spark justice.

What have I done in the time of my absence? Well, I have gotten my diet back on track, but exercise has eluded me. I haven't enjoyed walking in the cold this year. I think it is because it got so cold so fast that I never really adjusted to it. It gets dark so soon after I get home that I really don't want to make the trip over snowy country roads to get to the gym. Excuses, excuses - I know. I need to get myself back into a routine.

For fun, I ordered a doll house kit which, me being me, I am not planning to build just as prescribed. I plan to make it into a fairy house for my niece and granddaughters to add onto and play with when they are here. Instead of sticking to the plans, I intend to incorporate a lot of things from nature into it. Right now I am at the stage of just taking out the pieces and labeling them, but I also started building a little stone well with a working pulley. I am trying to decide if I want the well roof to be made from pine cones or moss. I'll post pics as I go along.

Meanwhile, the children at school wanted to make gingerbread architecture. On Tuesday they made their plans and made the dough. Wednesday, they rolled the dough, used the patterns they made to cut out their pieces, and baked the dough. Yesterday they put began to construct their structures. I am hoping for a snow day today, but if not, they can put on their roofs and decorate today,

The windows are made from melted butterscotch candies.

This one is going to be an abandoned shack.

Domo's Farm

A barn

Hagrid's Hut

This is Thursday's progress.

I also decided I needed a different focus with my music for a while to break out of my winter rut, so for right now I am focusing on learning to play the bass guitar more proficiently. Love that bass!

On the fur and feather front, Stella LOVES the snow but isn't getting enough exercise either. Bad Mom! Luna is getting bigger and more comfortable in her new home, Emmitt is Emmitt, and the chicken girls don't seem bothered in the least by the snow. They were out there trekking through the 4" accumulations, going on chicken excursions through the yard.

Glad to be back on line.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 1/29/2011 8:30PM

    I'm so glad you get to do these kinds of activities with your kids! You're lucky! I had a 3rd grade class studying structural science construct things with gumdrops, marshmallows and toothpicks (went along great with one of the Ms. Frizzle books as I recall). We made a suspension bridge, some houses, and a working carousel! We also had fun with a real messy "archeology dig" in a huge pan full of some kind of cake mix (I think???) with pasta "bones" buried under chocolate sauce "tar" when we had pen pals in California who had visited the LaBrea Tarpits. Ah, the good old days when learning was fun in Philly.

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PAPAGB 1/24/2011 2:38AM

    Hi! Just jumped in for a minute after 'not having time' for anything the last months. My wife and children and I (nominally) used to make gingerbread villages with the kid's friends. Then the friends and neighbors would take theirs home! A good memory of fine times in Saudi Arabia. Wish we had just a little of that snowy weather!

Keep on singing while you work!

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WATERMELLEN 1/22/2011 9:04PM

    "Chicken excursions" . . . love that!!

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/22/2011 4:11PM

    Missed you! Glad to see you're back. As for the routine - slow and steady, one new goal at a time. *hugs*

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STARLASUE 1/22/2011 9:00AM

    Welcome back. Busy as usual I see. emoticon

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MARY1313 1/21/2011 11:51PM

    glad you are back!


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KJE_3001 1/21/2011 9:49PM

    so glad you're back! i missed seeing all the fabulously creative things your students are doing. LOVE all the gingerbread houses.

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IUHRYTR 1/21/2011 2:58PM

    Glad to have you back, Chris. Wondered what happened. I admire the creativity you and your students continually show. It's astounding to see the various projects you get them involved with and what they design. Keep up the good work. -- Lou

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NANHBH 1/21/2011 1:56PM

    WOW, you lead an interesting life! Thanks for sharing your "fur and feather" report!

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MCGS62 1/21/2011 9:53AM

    Glad to have you back! The ginger bread houses look delicious--are you sampling them?
It is cold, dark, slippery, and dangerous out there and there are plenty of other ways to get exercise.
The dark and cold has dragged me down once again this year. What is strange is that I have a lot of energy for shoveling. Last night I shoveled everything including the street so that the plow would not fill the driveway back in on its way past.
Who needs a gym?
Great! this is the first thing I've written that smell check didn't find an error

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VALERIEMAHA 1/21/2011 8:52AM

    You never cease to amaze me girlfriend! Love those gingerbread structures-in-the-making! And walking in the blustery, cold, snowy winter -- NO THANKS! Can't you just let Stella go outside by herself to romp? Or does she need supervision/company???

OR you could turn winter on its head and look at the day like Ceres did (yeah, RIGHT!):



Comment edited on: 1/21/2011 8:56:40 AM

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Class Podcast Up and Running

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My class has been working with me and with a parent volunteer to develop a class podcast. After a lot of good energy and a lot of good work, we finally published Episode One today. They wrote the articles, did the editing, and designed the web page. I think they did a really good job. Check out the link if you would like to see and hear what they came up with.

We are planning to publish a podcast of a poem the class wrote together in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ('Peace Is...') on Martin Luther King Day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/16/2011 2:40PM

    Such a great idea to encourage the children to make a podcast-- so many different learning experiences!

also loved your update blog -- espcially the picture of Stella with her "nephew"!!

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LAGREBE 1/15/2011 8:10AM

    I wish I was a kid again with you as a teacher: podcasting, knitting!! School sounds so much fun! Great job!

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NANHBH 1/14/2011 11:43AM

    Nice photos!

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SOON2BEFITSLP 1/14/2011 10:53AM

    That was really great! The kids did a fantastic job. This is such a nifty class project! Hope it continues.

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/14/2011 1:34AM

    That was fantastic!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Man, that sports kid knows his stuff!

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IUHRYTR 1/13/2011 7:35PM

    Added the site to my favorites. Loved the funky background colors on the broadcast and I agree the sports reporter has an amazing voice. emoticon -- Lou

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/13/2011 5:51PM

    I've sent a link of this to my personal email so I can check it out at home with sound. :D

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OLDERDANDRT 1/13/2011 5:20PM

    Oh, Chris! I just listened to your school podcast!!! Wow! It was great!! Esp. that young man who did the recounting of the Sugar Bowl!! If it is his interest, I see Sportscasting in his future! I think it was extremely well done and executed! Looking forward to the next show!!


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A Quick Update:Knitting,Kitties,Chickens,Granddaug
hter,Weight...Oh My!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hi my friends,

Life has been hectic and I have had so little time to even log into Spark People. Here is a quick little update.

The children have been making nice progress on their knitting projects. Here is one very happy knitter with her finished kitty.

Aubrey and Eleanor enjoyed getting to know each other over vacation.

Whereas Lucy thought grandchildren were best viewed from trees.

Little Luna is settling into a comfy relationship with her extended family. Both she and Aubrey adore Jesse, and who wouldn't? He is such a sweet soul.

Stella had a fabulous time playing with her 'nephew', Jack the bichon. After more than a week with Jack, Stella is gooing through withdrawal since he returned home.

My youngest son and his girlfriend have been learning the art of glass blowing. I was an ecstatic recipient of one of the glass ornaments he made. This will nt be put away with the Christmas ornaments ~ it will be on display.

Work has been challenging, but things are looking up. I will be getting a much needed part time aide. That will really help!

I did gain 6 pounds since Thanksgiving and I know just what did it... too much sugar and not enough exercise. Once my 'children' and granddaughter went home, I went back to my normal healthy eating and have avoided sugar as much as possible. I am back down 2 pounds. Now what I need to do is find time to get to the gym.

I think many schools will be having a snow day today. Our school will be in session today, although depending on the accumulations throughout the day and overnight, I am less sure about tomorrow.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HANNAHV 1/17/2011 4:17AM

    Love your blog and the pictures are super! Silly Lucy made me laugh, does she know she is a chicken?

Well done dropping 2 pounds and returning to eating normal...I'm still struggling to get back.

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~MISS_TEA~ 1/13/2011 1:47PM

    Fun! I love the picture of the finish project! I guess I should have looked here first ;)

Looks like it was a great break and lots of great family time for all!

How amazing that your children are doing glass blowing. I had some friends that did lots of it and it is such an incredible thing!

I love the creativity you always seem to have oozing out of you. It is such a pleasure to read about!

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AQUAJANE 1/12/2011 10:46PM

    Such a fun blog. Still smiling at the picture of Stella and Jack.

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MARY1313 1/12/2011 7:44PM

    Oh Stella was wide open and so happy and in her element I could see it in her face! Kitty is adjusting to all the love very well. That project turned out great! you have some very devoted and smart kids Chris.

Yes, I have gotten off the sugar and back to the normal world. ack!

We have been snowed in since Sunday so I'm trying to do the treadmill instead of eat.

Thanks for a great blog!


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SIRIRADHA 1/12/2011 10:31AM

    Stella looks ecstatic with her buddy! It's always wonderful to see your pictures.

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    Great pics looks like you had good "Chris" time!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 1/11/2011 11:35PM

    Great photos! I think Lucy is really pretty!

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IUHRYTR 1/11/2011 7:11PM

    Fun pictures and cute pet babies. emoticon on the successful projects. -- Lou

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OLDERDANDRT 1/11/2011 3:59PM

    Love your pics!!! They all are soo lovely! Aubrey and the chick! What a great pair! And oh, that pretty kitty, lapping up al the affection!! SMart kitty!! Looks like Stella really had fun with her Bichon buddy!! I am sure she misses him like crazy!!
Love the hand-blown ornament! I'd have to display it the year through, too!!
Sorry about the weight gian, but this, too, shall pass! You're getting back into your healthy swing, so no sweat!
I have found that the only bad thing about school out for snow days is having to make them up when the weather is too nice to be in school! Ugh! Oh, well.
HOpe you are well! Love on those critters for me!! Esp. the DIVA!!

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MCGS62 1/11/2011 3:19PM

    Once again a beautiful pictorial that is warm and friendly to read!
I didn't know chickens could climb trees.
I'm sure your classes let out early it is 3 :00 here and we have an inch on the ground already it must have started around 10:00 there. Stay Warm!!

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/11/2011 12:58PM

    Love the pictures! :D It's great to get an update - you've been missed. :D

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VALERIEMAHA 1/11/2011 10:39AM

    It's always such a treat...and EYE CANDY...coming to your blogs! Lovely, LOVELY! And the way you run around, you'll have that excess baggage totally off in no time.
Rock on, sister!

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KJE_3001 1/11/2011 8:57AM

    What a fun holiday season!! Great job on getting back on track with healthy living after all the sugar...I think many of us are working on the same thing. So glad you'll be getting some help in the classroom, it will be great for you and the kids.

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NANHBH 1/11/2011 8:38AM


Nice phots - they really tell the story! Poor Stella, she needs a brother or sister! I hope you have a great day -- and not too much snow!

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MEOWMAMA3 1/11/2011 7:13AM

    Hi Chris! Great photo synopsis! Love the photo of Aubrey and Eleanor! And of course I love the knit kitty! Very sweet! How cool to have time for knitting with the kids!
Lucky you getting an aide!!!!! School marches on for me, one crisis, one little triumph at a time. I'm back on my Spark track and down 3 pounds from New Years. Yay! Enjoy the winter weather if you can. I love how it slows the world down for a bit. We'll likely have a snow day tomorrow, expecting 8 inches ending at tomorrow's rush hour. Happy Day!

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LAGREBE 1/11/2011 6:39AM

    All that happy news! Thanks for sharing!

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