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Yikes!  It’s been hot here this week!  We’ve entered the “dog days” of summer down here in Texas.  You know, the ones where it’s so hot that the dogs don’t even want to go outside!  The heat coupled with a lovely plume of Saharan dust that made its way all the way across the Atlantic just to make us cough and sneeze, has us unlikely to see much of the outdoors this coming week.  We have our first week of school down in the books.  Everyone had a great week, and is excited to be back to work!  I hope you have a great week planned.  Have a look around, and start your week out with a great read!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to week#3 of the July “You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

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WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the
July “You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zpslunlirxh.jpg

This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team’s blogs:

Miranda @ The Myrabev Life

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

Michelle @ Moms Are Frugal

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg



(These features were chosen from the June “You’re the STAR” blog hop)

Birthing Hope, Motherhood, Incarnation

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

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Happy Monday everyone!  Today, we start back to school after a short summer break.  The weather here in Texas just gets so miserable by July, that the kids can’t really play outside.  So, we start back to school early, and take our own break late in the fall when the weather gets nice again!  I hope you’ll stick around, cool off a little while you find something good to read!


 

___________________________________________________________________by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to the second week of the July blog hop called “You’re the Star!

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the July You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsqpqqlxbv.jpg

This week is CREATIVE feature week
Swing by the Creative hosting Team’s blogs:

Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic


Darlene @ Let It Shine

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, yarn work, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, painting, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg
(These features were chosen from the June “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Christy Headband Crochet Pattern by LiliaCraftParty


50+ Free Beach Themed Crafts & Recipes by Sew Historically
50+ Free Beach Themed Crafts & Recipes - Let's Go To The Beach!


Doll From Kids Drawing by Lalka Crochetka

Farmhouse Wood Bead Napkin Ring by Our Crafty Mom
Create Your Own Farmhouse Wood Bead Napkin Rings Our Crafty Mom #woodbeads #diynapkinrings #napkinrings #ourcraftymom

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Happy Independence Day!  I hope you have a great week this week, celebrating our country (for those of you who live in the U.S., at least!).  We have a bit of long-overdue family time planned for the week, so I’m looking forward to it.  Happy reading!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the July 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the July 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the June 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Gnome Fairy Garden by Debbie-Dabble Blog

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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Happy Belated Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  We spent Sunday together as a family, and had a nice day.  “The Kids” got their dad a cordless drill, which was mysteriously exactly what Daddy wanted.  I hope you’ll stick around, read some posts, and make some new friends!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to week#3 of the June “You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

__________________________________________________________________________
WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the

June “You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zpslunlirxh.jpg

This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team’s blogs:

Miranda @ The Myrabev Life

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

Michelle @ Moms Are Frugal

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg



(These features were chosen from the May “You’re the STAR” blog hop)

 

6 Ways To Turn Around a Crappy Homeschool Day by Home Made Lovely
tired homeschooled boy with his face in his books

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

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 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

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Welcome!  I know I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog here lately.  I’ve started teaching violin lessons again, and I’m relearning how to budget my time!  I hope you have a great week planned!  Thank you for starting it out with us!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the June 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:

Do you remember when you were young?  There was a big list of things your parents said to you.  They got under your skin so much that you promised yourself you’d never say them to your own children!  But, eventually, when you got older and you had children of your own, you found you may or may not have been able to follow through with those promises.

When you were trying to understand some great mystery of life, you heard, “You’ll understand when you’re older.”

When you were playing the funnest game you had ever devised, it was always, “Don’t jump on the bed!”  Or, “Clean up that mess!”

Then, you were presented with an awful-looking mish-mash of turnips, parsnips, and brussell sprouts, and you heard the dreaded words, “You have to try it.”

Then, there was always the infamous, “Because I said so!”  Which, of course, was good for any occasion!

This is just a partial list of things that I promised my future children I would never say.  I can say with all honesty today, that every single one of those phrases has escaped from my mommy lips.  But, far more disturbing is a different list of phrases that I started collecting through my parenting experiences on a farm.  I say a lot of things in response to situations I never thought would come up…I can’t make this stuff up!  Some are funny, some are sad.  Some will leave you scratching your head.  How on earth did that situation arise???  Well, I’m not sure!  But, here it is…my list of things I never thought to say I’d never say.

Read More…

 

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the June 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the May 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Growing Your Own Tickle Me Plants by Our Unschooling Journey

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 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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This week we have an Extra edition of the blog hop. I hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day!


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg
WELCOME to the May You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
(Sometimes we will have 5 Mondays in a month – these 5th special Mondays are called “EXTRA feature” days)
Meet all of your STAR Hosts


Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic
Darlene @ Let It Shine
Miranda @ The Myrabev Life

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School
Michelle @ Moms Are Frugal
Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn
Heidi @ Heidi’s Wanderings
This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories (except for this special EXTRA day – we will be featuring 2 extra). Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month.
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living, while remaining family friendly),
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc – anything family friendly)
WEEK#4 HOME – recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home – even history posts – all while remaining family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.comphoto ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the April “You’re the Star” blog hop)
DIY Chalkboard Table by Reviews, Chews & How-Tos

Coconut Shrimp With Tropical Dipping Sauce by Mrs. Kringle’s Kitchen

 


Oh, what a hot, sticky, miserable week it has been here!  It’s only May, and already the thermometer says it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk!  Fortunately, we got a little rain earlier today.  It’s shaping up to be a hot, dry summer…so we were very grateful for today’s break.  It will keep our crops growing just a little bit longer, and keep our cows out of the hay for a few more weeks.  God is merciful!


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the May You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that she had lost her phone.  She has been looking for it for a couple days.  Hopefully, by the time I finish writing this post and get up, she will have found it! 

It can really be frustrating when things get lost.  It’s even more frustrating when you look everywhere you can think, and you still can’t find it.  If you have small children who share your home, you must learn to think like a toddler if you want to find your missing item.  Maybe it’s your phone, maybe your car keys or wallet.  Maybe it’s the keys to the tractor.  So, for those of you who are lucky enough to have a toddler or preschooler living in your home, I’ve put together a list of the strangest places I’ve ever found my missing items…maybe it will help you locate that long-lost set of house keys!

1. The dishwasher

Thoroughly inspect every crevice of your dishwasher.  Look on the inside, look on the outside.  Check inside that little hollow area right under the door handle.  Bear hid my phone in that little hollow once.  I searched and searched for my phone.  It disappeared on a Friday afternoon.  We looked all weekend, but we couldn’t find it.  I was pregnant with Monkey at the time, and we decided it would probably be a bad idea for me to be alone at the house without a phone.  So, Monday morning, I loaded the girls into the car, and went to purchase a new phone.  All was once again right, and I had learned that I should keep my phone up in a higher location!  A few months later, we were giving the dishwasher a thorough cleaning.  I saw something weird in the gap underneath the handle.  I got a pair of kitchen tongs and managed to pull it out.  There it was…my long lost phone…found months too late.  It even still worked!  It became a decoy phone for the kids to play with.  It’s still wandering around the toy boxes to this very day.

2.  A child’s play purse…

…that is inside a stuffed animal backpack all crammed down together in the bottom of a dress-up box.  I can’t make this stuff up!  One of our dear children once absconded with the tractor keys.  For a week, my husband had to hotwire the tractor if he needed it (it just happened to be that time of the year when it was needed…often).  Daddy was mad!  We looked all around the tractor for the lost keys.  We knew one of the kids was responsible for the disappearance, but we weren’t sure which one…though we had our suspicions that it was Lizard.  We really thought they had been dropped outside somewhere, so we searched the entire yard.  I had the kids out searching every day.  One day, I had the girls inside cleaning their room, which looked like a scene from some sort of natural disaster stricken area.  Bear pulled out the backpack.  She looked inside, and pulled out the purse.  Lizard looked up and said, “Oh!  I wondered where this was!”  Then Lizard grabbed the purse and looked inside, wondering what sort of long-forgotten treasure she would find there.  Her face was priceless.  She looked up at me, and back down into the purse and sheepishly pulled out the tractor keys.  “I forgot!”  was all she said.  Then, she started laughing hysterically.  We showed Daddy, who was still a bit irritated, but glad to have the keys back.

3.  A bag of flour

This is one of Rhino’s favorite places to hide things.  Of course, being a family of seven, we don’t ever get the small bag.  Oh no…we buy the 25 pound bag.  I’ve pulled phones, keys, and toys out of the bag of flour.  It’s at that perfect height that just invites little hands to investigate!  Plus, it’s in a bag that’s in a box under the cabinet.  The multiple containers make it extra fun!

4.  Inside a table

This is Rhino’s other favorite place to hide things.  But, inside a table?  How does a small child put things inside a table?  Well, we have two tables that have an inside.  One is the coffee table.  It’s on wheels, so he can push it around the living room.  The top opens so that ideally, you can store blankets or magazines or books…whatever you need accessible but out of site.  It also has doors on the sides so you can access the inside that way.  Rhino likes to put things in the top, then locate them in the blanket stack from the side.  It’s a fun game…until something gets lost in the folds of a blanket.  Then, the mystery can quickly become a tragedy…especially if no one saw him put the item inside the table.  We looked for his “nice” for days once.  His nice is a little blanket that he always sleeps with.  We finally found it inside the coffee table, wrapped up in another, much larger blanket.

We have another table that folds up and stands against the wall most of the time.  It only comes out when we have company and need extra seating at meal time.  The chairs for the table fold and are stored inside the table.  There’s a little door on each side that opens so that the chairs can be removed.  It’s a neat little table that has been with me since my college apartment-dwelling days.  Since the children came along, though, many a small item has turned up inside that little table, sometimes fallen between the cracks in the folded chairs.  

 5.  In the tupperware drawer 

We were visiting my parents a year or so ago.  Rhino was toddling about with his sippy cup most of the afternoon.  When dinner time came, he was very thirsty, and really wanted some juice.  But, no one could find his cup.  We looked everywhere!  Still, no cup.  We finally caved and got out a fresh cup for dinner, but we still needed to find it before we left.  We didn’t want to forget the cup (we only keep a couple at home), and I’m sure my mom didn’t want to find the cup months later…no one enjoys that kind of surprise!

The next day, I happened to open the tupperware drawer (looking for something else, but still unfamiliar with they lay-out of my parents’ new kitchen), which was one of the lowest drawers in the kitchen.  Again, it was the perfect height for little hands to explore!  Low and behold, there was something bright orange showing from an upside-down stack of Ziploc containers (or possibly Gladware…who can tell!).  The color caught my eye, since everything else was clear plastic.  It was also odd for the stack to be in the drawer upside down.  So, I lifted the overturned stack, and there it was…the missing sippy cup!  Found at last.  We were all relieved.  


So, if you ever find yourself missing an item and you have little ones in the house, think like a toddler.  Look inside of stuff that’s inside of something else!  Your mom may have told you to look where you left it, or maybe to retrace your steps.  “It didn’t grow legs and walk off!”  Well, the moral of the story here is…maybe it did!  It just have grown some pint-sized legs and walked somewhere strange…somewhere strange and exciting-to a toddler anyway!

 

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WELCOME to HOME feature week of the May “You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your HOME week Hosts

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHome_zpspujeunav.jpg

This week is HOME feature week
Swing by the Home Hosts’ Blogs:

Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn

Heidi @ Heidi’s Wanderings

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories. Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month.
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#4 HOME – recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home – even history posts – all while remaining family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.comphoto ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the April “You’re the Star” blog hop)
Spring Mantel Done In Blue & Yellow by Vintage + Paint & More
Vintage Paint and more - Spring mantel done with a yellow fabric rag wreath, blue painted bottles with forsythia stems and a cute chalk board

 

 

Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Crescent Ring by Marilyn’s Treats

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the You’re the Star Blog Hop.  The weather is heating up down here in Texas.  The dewberries are ripe on the vines, and my kids are all scratched up from picking them every day!  I have 20 cups waiting to be made into jam, and they’re out picking more as I sit here writing.  Our peach tree and nectarine tree are both loaded, one of them has bent all the way to the ground.  I see many hours of sitting outside next to the canner in my future!


 

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to the second week of the May blog hop called “You’re the Star!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

It’s summer time in Texas.  It’s still early, and God hasn’t turned off the rain faucet or turned the oven to “broil” yet.  The neighborhood children are out of school.  It’s not so hot yet that they cannot play outside all day.  The grass is growing, the corn is tall.  The tomatoes are flowering, and there are little green tomatoes starting to ripen in the sun.  It’s the time of year when everything has sprung to life…

…and all that life has determined to kill something else.

Along with the grass come the grasshoppers, and if it’s green, you can bet they’ll be chomping holes in it.  They eat the silk off the ears of corn.  Weird caterpillars show up inside the ears of the sweet corn.  If we don’t harvest the corn soon, the whole crop will be gone.  There are strange looking bugs crawling all over the squash plants, eating holes in the leaves.  Stink bugs poke holes in everything.  They’ll leave bad spots in all those tomatoes that are still green on the vines.  The squirrel who lives in the tree next to the driveway will soon be up to his usual tricks.  He likes to come into the tomato patch and take one bite out of each tomato he finds.  He throws the rest on the ground to move on to the next.  The birds peck holes in the peaches.  Then there’s the chiggers…I’m pretty sure they’re trying to eat us.  They may actually succeed in eating a couple of the smaller children!  It’s summer, and it’s time for war.

If we move up the food chain a little, we’ll come to the lizards.  Fortunately, they crawl along the sides of the house every night, eating the moths that lay all those eggs that turn into the caterpillars that destroy all the plants all summer long.  Clearly, they ought to move from the house to the gardens.

Then come the snakes.  Oh, the snakes!  It rained last weekend, so they’re on the move.  It’s humid and warm…perfect snake weather.  The rat snakes are in the chicken coops, eating eggs instead of the rats that are eating the chickens’ food.  They’re long and look fairly intimidating.  These snakes are kind of cranky and do like to bite if their caught stealing eggs.  They’re not venomous…but the copperheads are.  Copperheads usually short and fat, but the ones we’ve run into this year they’ve been huge, and more the size of a really fat rat snake!  I’m convinced that there are snakes lurking in every patch of grass that’s any taller than the tops of my shoes.  There are water moccasins waiting to jump out should I decide to step off my front porch (some genius put a pond in the front yard!).  There’s a pit of vipers in that hole the dogs made under the porch…and please don’t trouble me with your version of reality that says, “If the dogs lay in that hole every day, there can’t be snakes in it.”

Sometimes, if you shoot a snake, babies will explode out of it.  Did you know that?  They don’t all lay eggs, some of them have live born babies.  If it meets my husband’s shotgun out by the barn in the dark, however, it’s all over for that snake…exploding babies and all!  That’s just how it goes during summertime warfare.

I sure wish we had a Rikki Tikki Tavi.  We do have 2 guineas.  Well, they’re not actually ours…they belong to our neighbors.  But they spend a lot of their time at our house!  Andrew keeps saying he’s going to try to talk our neighbors into getting some more guineas so they’ll eat more snakes, but I don’t think he’s done it yet.  I’ve been trying to talk Andrew into guineas for a couple of years now, but I suppose my arguments for guineas are just as effective as my arguments against chickens!  At least the neighbors got some that like to hang out here!  They just aren’t hungry enough, I guess.

That’s just how life is during the early summer here in Texas.  I never really thought about how strange this all would seem to someone who wasn’t “from around these parts”.  That's just how life is during the early summer here in Texas. A Guide to Surviving Texas http://familyfarmschool.com/surviving-the-early-summer-in-texas-a-foreigners-guide Click To Tweet

Several years ago, I worked with a girl who was a student from Germany.  One weekend, she had planned a trip with a friend to a rural property, where they would have a nice, relaxing weekend, and maybe float down the river a time or two.  The following Monday, back at work, I made the mistake of asking her how her weekend was, since I knew how much she’d been looking forward to it.  What followed was a rant of epic proportions!

“Texas is the craziest place I’ve ever seen!  All the wildlife here, if it’s not trying to kill you, it’s just trying to sting you and make your life horribly uncomfortable!”

She may or may not have used more colorful language than I just did.

“There’s snakes everywhere.  In the grass, in the water…everywhere!  There’s mosquitoes, and they’re not normal.  Some of them are like an inch long!  Don’t get me started on fire ants,” she was getting agitated now, and she pulled up the legs of her jeans to reveal hundreds of fire ant stings all over her legs.  “I found out about fire ants this weekend, I didn’t know about them before!  What horrible little creatures!  You have bees and wasps, too…”

“…and scorpions” I couldn’t help myself, I had to interrupt.  I was a little amused.  “We have scorpions too.  Always check your shoes before you put them on every morning.”  She looked at me like I’d grown a third head.

“See!  Everything here is trying to kill me.  And you’re all so proud of it!  Why do people live here?  It’s awful!  You have hurricanes and tornadoes…even the weather tries to kill you.”

“Well,” I was laughing now, “I’d never really thought about all that before, but you’re kinda right.  Texas is a pretty harsh place to live.  But, it is home.  I guess we are pretty proud of it, Texans are rather infamous for that.  It’s just home, and it’s just how home is.  I suppose if you make it through childhood here, you have something to be proud of!”


There’s lots of life out here right now, and the circle of life dictates that all of us have to eat.  So, if you come visit, catch a few grasshoppers, caterpillars, and weird bugs to help us save our plants.  Put them on the end of a fishing hook and catch us some dinner with them.

We’ll roast a few marshmallows over a fire in the front yard.  After all, the smoke helps to keep mosquitoes at bay.  Take a flashlight and a shovel if you go off by yourself (you can’t take the shotgun until you prove you know how to use it) so you won’t step on a snake in the dark.  Use the shovel to smash its head before it can bite you…or take more eggs from the chicken coop.

Be sure to keep your flashlight with you when you go to bed.  If you need to use the restroom during the night, you’ll need it to check for scorpions on your way…yes, even if you’re inside the house.  

It’s early summer in Texas, a time full of life in our home.  It’s a time of harvest…all the fresh produce we and the insects can eat.  In another month, the oven will be on, the rain gauge will be empty, and all that life will wither and blow away.  The dog days of summer will be oppressive.  So, we’ll say a little prayer of thanks for this time of the year.  Then, we’ll remind you to check your shoes before you put them on.  Scorpions.

 

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the May You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsqpqqlxbv.jpg

This week is CREATIVE feature week
Swing by the Creative hosting Team’s blogs:

Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic


Darlene @ Let It Shine

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, yarn work, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, painting, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg
(These features were chosen from the March “You’re the Star” blog hop)

1920’s Violets Ribbon Flower Tutorial by Sew Historically
1920s Violets - Ribbon Flower Tutorial

Make a Cool Graduation Champagne Glass Party Favor by Our Crafty Mom
Make A Cool Graduation Champagne Glass Party Favor Our Crafty Mom #graduationfavor #graduation #cricutmade
Grandma’s Utensil Solar Windchime by Chas’ Crazy Creations

Grandma’s Utensil Solar Windchime 

Royal Pacific Upcycled Note Cards by Coastal Bohemian

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Welcome to the first May edition of the You’re the Star Blog Hop!  The end of our school year is almost here, and I’m busy with preparations for Bear’s finals this year.  Our weather down here is also starting to heat up.  Our garden is starting to grow well, we have our first squash flower…so we’re hoping to have a fresh summer squash by the end of the week!  We could sure use some rain, though! 


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the May 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:



It’s summer here in central Texas…and it’s HOT!  But, with four mobile kids, being stuck inside all day, despite the heat, just isn’t an option.  So, today, I thought I’d write about some of my kids’ favorite outdoor summer activities.  Some are childhood classics, some are definitely ‘farm kid’ pastimes, and others will just downright make you cringe!  Keep reading, if you dare! 

1. Playing in the Pool

What kid can resist playing in the pool?  We make occasional trips to the “big pool”…you know, the kind where the water is higher than your ankles.  But here at home, we don’t have anything fancy like that.  We buy a wading pool at the beginning of each summer.  We still haven’t found a way to keep them usable from summer to summer, so we have to get a new one every year.

I spend many an afternoon watching the kids splashing around.  Their splashes keep me just cool enough to stand being outside!  They play all sorts of imaginary games.  Dolphins, whales, “fast fish” (whatever those are), crocodiles, sea turtles, and even the occasional mermaid…my front yard is full of aquatic wildlife when the pool is out.  My husband and I are constantly amazed by the amount of communication skills that go into a single game of make-believe!

Plus, we (and by we, I mean my husband) can give the garden a good watering when it’s time to empty the pool.  Nearly everything – even playtime – has to pull double duty around here!

2. Rope Swing

Sometimes, though, playtime is actually an object’s second duty.  Several months ago, my husband slaughtered a pair of hogs.  I know many who read this may find that horrifying, but that’s just how life out here works.  Meat doesn’t come from your grocer’s freezer…not originally, anyway.  But, I digress…

My husband put a rope up in one of the trees to aid in processing the hogs after they were slaughtered.  The next day, our kids came out and found the rope still hanging from the tree branch.  They didn’t see a hog rope, they saw a fun time!  My kids are weird, remember?  They stand on the side of my old truck, hold onto the rope and jump off, swinging across the yard.

Occasionally, only under proper supervision (they know they’re not allowed unless one of their parents is right next to them), they get to “foot swing”.  They put a foot into the loop in the rope and (usually) their Daddy swings them up, high and fast.  Their ol’ Momma has even tried it a time or two.  It feels like flying…at least until you can’t hold on any longer!

3. Giant Building Logs

The. Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever!

These logs were a collaboration between my dad and my husband.  My husband came up with the idea, and my dad brought them to life.  These are landscaping timbers cut into varying lengths.  Then, Dad drilled holes at even increments along the flat sides of the timbers.  Pipes can then be inserted by the builder through all the layers to make sturdy structures…much like Lincoln logs, but on a much bigger scale.

These logs have built castles, houses, boats, backyard fences, corrals…you name it!  If Bear is missing, you can almost bet that she’ll be outside building something.  The rest of the kids really get into it as well, giving her ideas of new structures to build.

4. Bubbles

What list of outdoor activities would be complete without bubbles?  I usually make our own bubbles at home with a little Dawn, water and sugar…otherwise, we’d go broke buying bubbles all the time!  The kids really enjoy blowing bubbles.  They especially like to chase each other’s bubbles across the yard in hopes of popping them before they fall in the grass or float over the pond.  Occasionally, a bubble will float past a dog who will try to catch it.  Sadly, the dogs never have anything to show in victory, other than a bad taste in their mouth!

5. Catch

I know what you’re thinking when you read that title.  But, you’re probably wrong.  Our Border Collie, Patch likes playing with the kids.  She also likes playing catch.  A lot.  She’s usually the dog that ends up catching bubbles.  But, Patch will try to catch pretty much anything thrown in the air…tennis balls, sticks, dirt, fertilizer (much to my husband’s consternation), and of course, balls of mud.

One of the kids’ favorite variations on this game is throwing small twigs or pebbles into the pond.  Patch will then take a flying leap into the water (what’s not funny about that?) to try to retrieve whatever was thrown in.  If was a stick, she’s usually successful.  However, if it was a pebble. she’ll swim around desperately trying to find it.  Of course, the children think this is quite hilarious.  I wind up with four sets of muddy feet and a dog covered in pond scum.  What joy is mine!

6. Pond Hunts

Our pond starts to dry up in the late spring.  If we’re lucky, we get enough rain during the early summer that our pond doesn’t completely dry out (our first year living here was 2011, and by the end of the summer the pond was bone dry, not even a muddy spot left!).  But, either way, it gets much smaller.  Our children often form a little roaming band and tramp around the pond bed finding interesting critters, or playing some imaginary game.  The game often degenerates into playing mud-ball catch with Patch.

Bear will often bring her nature journal and nature identification guide with her.  She takes great pleasure in finding, drawing, and identifying little creatures and plants that have made their home in the dried-up pond goo!  I’m glad they have fun, and I suppose it’s even a little educational.  But, again, it tends to end in mud-covered shoes, clothes, and dogs!

7. Mud Fight!

Ah, I’ve saved the best for last!  I know this one is likely to make many of you shudder.  But, this is, hands-down, my kids’ favorite game!  They run outside as soon as it stops raining (usually before if there’s no lightening) so they can get to the puddles before they dry up.  As you can tell from the pictures, they get gross!  But, it’s nothing a water hose can’t fix.  I suppose all that fun is ultimately worth the mess!  If you would like some tips on how to deal with kids and mud without losing your sanity, check out this post.

 


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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the May 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the April 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

French Country Lavender Pots by Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Beautiful French Country Lavender Pots DIY 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

___________________________________________________________________

Welcome to the first edition of the May You’re the Star Blog Hop.  I hope you’ll hang around, read some great posts, and make a few friends!  We’re finishing up our last few weeks of school around here.  I’m busy writing Bear’s finals.  The weather is heating up, and we’ll be taking a break to enjoy it for a few weeks before getting back to school in July.  By then, it will be too hot to enjoy anything outside!  But for now, it’s green grass, growing gardens, and some late springtime (and early summertime) fun.


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the May 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


It’s summer time in Texas.  It’s still early, and God hasn’t turned off the rain faucet or turned the oven to “broil” yet.  The neighborhood children are out of school.  It’s not so hot yet that they cannot play outside all day.  The grass is growing, the corn is tall.  The tomatoes are flowering, and there are little green tomatoes starting to ripen in the sun.  It’s the time of year when everything has sprung to life…

…and all that life has determined to kill something else.

Along with the grass come the grasshoppers, and if it’s green, you can bet they’ll be chomping holes in it.  They eat the silk off the ears of corn.  Weird caterpillars show up inside the ears of the sweet corn.  If we don’t harvest the corn soon, the whole crop will be gone.  There are strange looking bugs crawling all over the squash plants, eating holes in the leaves.  Stink bugs poke holes in everything.  They’ll leave bad spots in all those tomatoes that are still green on the vines.  The squirrel who lives in the tree next to the driveway will soon be up to his usual tricks.  He likes to come into the tomato patch and take one bite out of each tomato he finds.  He throws the rest on the ground to move on to the next.  The birds peck holes in the peaches.  Then there’s the chiggers…I’m pretty sure they’re trying to eat us.  They may actually succeed in eating a couple of the smaller children!  It’s summer, and it’s time for war.

If we move up the food chain a little, we’ll come to the lizards.  Fortunately, they crawl along the sides of the house every night, eating the moths that lay all those eggs that turn into the caterpillars that destroy all the plants all summer long.  Clearly, they ought to move from the house to the gardens.

Then come the snakes.  Oh, the snakes!  It rained last weekend, so they’re on the move.  It’s humid and warm…perfect snake weather.  The rat snakes are in the chicken coops, eating eggs instead of the rats that are eating the chickens’ food.  They’re long and look fairly intimidating.  These snakes are kind of cranky and do like to bite if their caught stealing eggs.  They’re not venomous…but the copperheads are.  Copperheads usually short and fat, but the ones we’ve run into this year they’ve been huge, and more the size of a really fat rat snake!  I’m convinced that there are snakes lurking in every patch of grass that’s any taller than the tops of my shoes.  There are water moccasins waiting to jump out should I decide to step off my front porch (some genius put a pond in the front yard!).  There’s a pit of vipers in that hole the dogs made under the porch…and please don’t trouble me with your version of reality that says, “If the dogs lay in that hole every day, there can’t be snakes in it.”

Sometimes, if you shoot a snake, babies will explode out of it.  Did you know that?  They don’t all lay eggs, some of them have live born babies.  If it meets my husband’s shotgun out by the barn in the dark, however, it’s all over for that snake…exploding babies and all!  That’s just how it goes during summertime warfare.

I sure wish we had a Rikki Tikki Tavi.  We do have 2 guineas.  Well, they’re not actually ours…they belong to our neighbors.  But they spend a lot of their time at our house!  Andrew keeps saying he’s going to try to talk our neighbors into getting some more guineas so they’ll eat more snakes, but I don’t think he’s done it yet.  I’ve been trying to talk Andrew into guineas for a couple of years now, but I suppose my arguments for guineas are just as effective as my arguments against chickens!  At least the neighbors got some that like to hang out here!  They just aren’t hungry enough, I guess.

That’s just how life is during the early summer here in Texas.  I never really thought about how strange this all would seem to someone who wasn’t “from around these parts”.  That's just how life is during the early summer here in Texas. A Guide to Surviving Texas http://familyfarmschool.com/surviving-the-early-summer-in-texas-a-foreigners-guide Click To Tweet

Several years ago, I worked with a girl who was a student from Germany.  One weekend, she had planned a trip with a friend to a rural property, where they would have a nice, relaxing weekend, and maybe float down the river a time or two.  The following Monday, back at work, I made the mistake of asking her how her weekend was, since I knew how much she’d been looking forward to it.  What followed was a rant of epic proportions!

“Texas is the craziest place I’ve ever seen!  All the wildlife here, if it’s not trying to kill you, it’s just trying to sting you and make your life horribly uncomfortable!”

She may or may not have used more colorful language than I just did.

“There’s snakes everywhere.  In the grass, in the water…everywhere!  There’s mosquitoes, and they’re not normal.  Some of them are like an inch long!  Don’t get me started on fire ants,” she was getting agitated now, and she pulled up the legs of her jeans to reveal hundreds of fire ant stings all over her legs.  “I found out about fire ants this weekend, I didn’t know about them before!  What horrible little creatures!  You have bees and wasps, too…”

“…and scorpions” I couldn’t help myself, I had to interrupt.  I was a little amused.  “We have scorpions too.  Always check your shoes before you put them on every morning.”  She looked at me like I’d grown a third head.

“See!  Everything here is trying to kill me.  And you’re all so proud of it!  Why do people live here?  It’s awful!  You have hurricanes and tornadoes…even the weather tries to kill you.”

“Well,” I was laughing now, “I’d never really thought about all that before, but you’re kinda right.  Texas is a pretty harsh place to live.  But, it is home.  I guess we are pretty proud of it, Texans are rather infamous for that.  It’s just home, and it’s just how home is.  I suppose if you make it through childhood here, you have something to be proud of!”


There’s lots of life out here right now, and the circle of life dictates that all of us have to eat.  So, if you come visit, catch a few grasshoppers, caterpillars, and weird bugs to help us save our plants.  Put them on the end of a fishing hook and catch us some dinner with them.

We’ll roast a few marshmallows over a fire in the front yard.  After all, the smoke helps to keep mosquitoes at bay.  Take a flashlight and a shovel if you go off by yourself (you can’t take the shotgun until you prove you know how to use it) so you won’t step on a snake in the dark.  Use the shovel to smash its head before it can bite you…or take more eggs from the chicken coop.

Be sure to keep your flashlight with you when you go to bed.  If you need to use the restroom during the night, you’ll need it to check for scorpions on your way…yes, even if you’re inside the house.  

It’s early summer in Texas, a time full of life in our home.  It’s a time of harvest…all the fresh produce we and the insects can eat.  In another month, the oven will be on, the rain gauge will be empty, and all that life will wither and blow away.  The dog days of summer will be oppressive.  So, we’ll say a little prayer of thanks for this time of the year.  Then, we’ll remind you to check your shoes before you put them on.  Scorpions.

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the May 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the April 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

French Country Lavender Pots by Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Beautiful French Country Lavender Pots DIY 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

___________________________________________________________________