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Welcome!  It’s the first week of Advent, and we have just started our preparations here around the farm.  We put up our lights and had cookies and kid-friendly eggnog for the first lighting yesterday evening.  It’s one of our family traditions.  My husband and the kids put the lights up on the front of the house, then they come inside and help me make Christmas cookies.  Then, after dark, we all get a couple cookies and a small cup of eggnog, and walk to the other side of our pond while my husband turns on the lights for the first time.  Then we sing carols on the driveway for a few minutes (usually until the kids get cold, which can sometimes take a while in Texas 🙂 ).  The lights reflect off the water in the pond, and it’s really beautiful.  Fun family memories!

I hope the beginning of this season finds you well!  It’s time to pull up a chair, link up those posts, and make a few new friends!


 

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

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


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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the December 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 November “You’re the Star” blog hop)

15 DIY Christmas Decorations by Piggy Bank Principles
These 15 Cheap and Easy DIY Christmas Decorations are idea for saving money at Christmas. Make cute decorations for your home or apartment by repurposing things you have laying around. Many items can be found at the dollar store. #christmas #diycrafts #christmascrafts #christmasdecor

DIY Farmhouse Coasters by Fresh Vintage by Lisa S

How To Wrap a Gift by Craftify My Love
How to tie a bow for gift wrapping

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 back!  What a crazy week we’ve had here!  We had a birthday, a visit from my mother in law, and a visit from my parents.  We had a lot of fun, but we’re looking forward to getting back to “normal”!  I hope you take a few minutes to relax and take a look around and make some new friends!


 

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

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


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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the October 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 September “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Easy Sew Fabric Pumpkins by Kippi At Home
Easy Sew Fabric Pumpkins from thrift store shirts

Pretty Paper Pumpkins by Create & Babble

Crocheted Boho Hoop Earrings by Craftify My Love

Stunning orange crocheted earrings that are actually super simple and quick to make

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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Rain! Rain! Glorious rain! We’re finally getting some rain here. It’s not enough to fill up the ponds, but it should be enough to get some grass growing for our poor cattle. I hope this Monday finds you well. Have a look around, and make some new friends!


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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg
Welcome to the second week of the September blog hop called “You’re the Star!

__________________________________________________________________________
WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the September 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.comphoto ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg
(These features were chosen from the August “You’re the Star” blog hop)
How to Dry Fresh Wheat Stalks for Fall Decorating by Faeries & Fauna

Wheat stalks in a fall vignette.

How To Do a Reverse Stencil Technique on a Mirror by “Fresh Vintage by Lisa S.”

Candles With Lemongrass by Hobby e Creativita

citronella candles

Easy To Make Mr. & Mrs. Scarecrow Mason Jars by Our Crafty Mom

Mr & Mrs Scarecrow Our Crafty Mom

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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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg
Welcome to the second week of the September blog hop called “You’re the Star!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

__________________________________________________________________________
WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the September 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.comphoto ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(These features were chosen from the August “You’re the Star” blog hop)
How to Dry Fresh Wheat Stalks for Fall Decorating by Faeries & Fauna

Wheat stalks in a fall vignette.

How To Do a Reverse Stencil Technique on a Mirror by “Fresh Vintage by Lisa S.”

Candles With Lemongrass by Hobby e Creativita

citronella candles

Easy To Make Mr. & Mrs. Scarecrow Mason Jars by Our Crafty Mom

Mr & Mrs Scarecrow Our Crafty Mom

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

 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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Well, it’s August here, and sure does feel like it!  It’s hot, hot, hot.  Despite a “6 inch” rain yesterday afternoon (you know, the kind of rain when the raindrops fall 6 inches apart!), we find ourselves still praying for rain.  I hope you’re staying cool in your little corner of the world!


 

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

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

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the August 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 July “You’re the Star” blog hop)

How To Make Edible Moon Sand by Magical Mama Blog
How To Make Edible Cloud Dough or Taste Safe Moon Sand - Magical Mama Blog
DIY Mermaid Hand Puppets by DIY Adulation

Collage of Hand puppets on wood background with text overlay: DIY Mermaid and Narwhal Hand Puppets

 

Summer Season Crochet Flowers by Lilia Craft Party

Create a Fun & Inexpensive Patriotic Tablescape by Our Crafty Mom

Easily Create A Fun And Inexpensive Patriotic Tablescape Our Crafty Mom #patriotictablescapebloghop #patriotictablescape #fourthofjulytablescape #redwhiteandblue

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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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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We’re in the middle of an unseasonable cold snap down here.  My husband and I always joke about when that last great cold snap will hit.  We’re about to start the second week in April.  Yesterday it was 85 and sunny.  After last night’s tornadoes, we’re sitting huddled in the house watching a dreary 45 degree mist fall outside.  You know what they say…”If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait 10 minutes!”  So, we’ll see what tomorrow holds.  All those itty bitty tomatoes are sure hoping we don’t have a frost tonight, though!

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

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


My dear, sweet, baby girl,

How has one year gone by already?  One year ago, you made a rather dramatic entrance into this world.  You’ve kept us on our toes ever since.

You weren’t content to do things like your older brothers and sisters…that just hasn’t been your style.  Just when I thought we had this “parenting” thing down, you’ve taught a little humility by proving to us that we haven’t actually seen it all!  Sometimes I just throw up my hands, because you have me completely baffled!  I’m sure you’ll probably continue down that path.  

It started out the day you were born.  We expected a 4 hour labor…just like all your other brothers and sisters had been (except your oldest).  So did the doctor.  He even had things all timed out when he started the induction so that he could finish seeing the rest of his patients for the day, then come back.  Boy, did you have different plans!  You were here after an astonishing 66 minute induction.  It set off all the blinky lights in the hospital and caused the doctor to break a lot of traffic laws.  The cops are probably still looking for him.

After you got here, you already had opinions of your own, and you had no problem letting us know about them.  You screamed at us at dinner time daily pretty much from the first day you came home.  You finally grew out of it about 6 months ago…mostly.  You still want your dinner on time, and you’re rather adamant about bed time too.  

You never did like a binky, or your thumb.  You never wanted to suck to sooth yourself like most babies do.  When you were mad, it really seemed that you just wanted to be mad.  You started fighting the swaddle months earlier than your brothers and sisters as well.  Oh, the things we tried to help you stop crying every evening at seven!  Your daddy walked up and down the driveway every evening while the rest of us ate.  Then, he’d come back in and get your brothers and sisters ready for bed while I nursed you and put you to bed.

You like food.  All kinds of food.  In fact, you like food so much, you gave up nursing early.  It nearly broke your poor mother’s heart.  But, I still pump every day, twice a day, so that you’ll still have some milk to drink.  When you see your cup come out, you still get excited.  But then, when I have to heat it, you get angry because you have to wait.  I keep telling you that if you’d go back to nursing, you wouldn’t have to wait for it to heat up…but so far, you haven’t listened.  

But, for all of your stubborn ways, you are still so affectionate.  Even though you went on a nursing strike at 10 months old, you still want to snuggle every night before bed.  You also give the sweetest little hugs and kisses. 

When I walk into the room to get you up from a nap, your giant, dimpled smile lights up the whole room.  You have an exuberance for life that is contagious.  You have a precious little laugh that makes your whole family smile with you.   

You often toddle about the house, getting into all kinds of mischief.  When discovered, you give us that big smile of yours and chuckle at us as if to say, “That’s fair…you caught me!”  Then you run away with your pilfered item as fast as your little legs can carry you.  Lately, you’ve been stealing carrots off the front porch as they’ve been picked.  As your mother, all I can do is shake my head and laugh.  Go ahead…eat that carrot.  I dare you!

You don’t say much yet, but you do try to copy things that we say.  One of your favorite things to do is throw something off your high chair then look up at the rest of us and say something that sounds suspiciously like “Uh, oooooooh”.  Then you grin while you wait for one of your dutiful subjects to start playing fetch with you.  Out of your 4 other brothers and sisters, you can usually find at least one who will follow your command. 

The other day, I’m pretty sure I also heard you say, “I love you Mommy”.  [*Daddy wants me to edit here that you most definitely said, “Love you Daddy”, not Mommy.]  Don’t worry, dear daughter, this little argument will continue for many, many years!

Happy Birthday my sweet little girl.  I’m looking forward to watching you grow up even more!  


Check out this video of Baby’s first taste of her birthday cake…with a surprise ending!

 

 

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the April 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)

Crochet Easter Bunny Garland by Sew Historically
DIY Crochet Easter Bunny Garland - Free Pattern

Make Your Own Bunny by Chas’ Crazy Creations

Repurposed CD Tower for Craft Paint Storage by Domestically Creative

Sometimes Simple Gifts Are the Best by Stone Cottage Adventures


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

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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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Ah…it’s the beginning of a fresh new week. It’s likely to be a busy one here. Baby is turning one! I can hardly believe it. I’m going to have to pick a nickname for her soon…she’s not a baby anymore!

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg
Welcome to the second week of the March blog hop called “You’re the Star!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share this post from my blog:

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the March 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!


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.comphoto ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg
(These features were chosen from the February “You’re the Star” blog hop)
Hot Chocolate Bar by White ArrowsHot Chocoalate Bar, Snowflakes, hot chocolate, marshmallows

Felt Clutch With Ribbon Closure by Keeping It RealFelt envelope clutch with ribbon closure tutorial

DIY Framed Botanical Prints by Repurpose and UpcycleDIY Framed Botanical Prints with Free Botanical Printables
Printable Ball Valentines by Somewhat Simple


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


*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.
*******************************************************
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! )

___________________________________________________________________

We’ve had a fun, not quite as busy as usual week here.  It was so nice to have a little time to breathe!  As I write this, my husband and kids are outside starting our tomatoes for the year.  I can’t believe it’s already time to start the spring planting!  This year is going by so fast…Baby is going to be 1 in just over a month.  Time flies…

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

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


In honor of the on-going flu epidemic, here’s a post from the Family Farm School archives:

Mommy Survival Mode

Right from the first alarming “beep” of the thermometer, my mindset has to change.  All of my current plans and items on my to-do list have to go on the back burner.  I have entered “Mommy Survival Mode”.  It’s a defensive place in my mind, I think, fueled mostly by adrenaline and Dr. Pepper.  I will lose my mind if I start thinking about all the things that aren’t getting done or the sleep I’m not allowed to have.  At the end of the week, the house will be a bigger wreck than it already was, I’ll be 2 weeks behind on laundry, and my face will not have felt the outside air in seven whole days.  I don’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time for the entirety of the ordeal.  But, it’s all worth it to make sure my fever-ridden children are as comfortable and safe as possible.

Fever is actually a good thing.  It’s one of  the ways our bodies fight off infections.  But, we all know that too much of a good thing can be dangerous!  And so it is with fevers.  It’s good to let our bodies turn up the heat just a little to make us inhospitable for those germs…but, as a mother, I have to make sure my kids’ immune systems don’t get carried away when they turn up the sauna.

One of our little ones is rather infamous for her ability to spike a 104 degree fever within a period of about 5 minutes.  It’s an impressive, terrifying thing to witness…especially when she’s already had as much acetaminophen and ibuprofen as she’s allowed for the next 2 hours.  We have had to resort to cold baths upon more than one occasion to cool her off.  She is the reason I cannot sleep when the children are sick.  It’s my job to check on them every couple hours to make sure no one’s immune system is cooking them.

So, what are the tools I can’t live without during my stay in Mommy Survival Mode? 

Good Drink

Find something your kids will drink.  This is so important.  When you’re running a fever, your body loses a lot of water and electrolytes…even more if there’s also a stomach bug in the mix.  Little bodies need to stay hydrated.  Plus, good hydration helps to keep a fever under control.  Buying enough Gatorade or Powerade, or especially Pedialyte to keep 5 kids hydrated while ill is rather cost prohibitive for our family.  So, we make up a little electrolyte drink ourselves with Kool-aid (made with only 3/4 the recommended sugar), water, and 1 teaspoon of salt per quart.  Now, if you want to avoid all the artificial dyes, there are a plethora of homemade sports drinks options you can find on a simple search.  Find one your kids like.  They’re all pretty easy to make, and so much cheaper than the commercially available alternatives!

Different colored string

All of our cups look the same.  Most of the time, that’s no big deal.  But, when something starts going around, cups start leaving the kitchen and going on to various end tables in the living room.  Pretty soon, I have no idea which cup belongs to which kid.  Since we have a bug going around, you can see why I might be rather concerned with making sure the right cup stays with the right person!  I could put a piece of tape and a name on each cup, but then there’s condensation, and the tape falls off.  I have several different colors of string that I use to make products available in my Etsy shop.  I assign a color to each child, then cut a section of string and tie it to the handle of each child’s cup.  Now, I know which cup goes with which kid.  It saves me from having to add extra dishes to my list of Mommy-I-needs.

Books and Movies

I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch reading stories when the kids are sick.  It’s always nice to have a few new ones available from the library.  But, of course, I’m bound to read the family favorites several times a day, too.  This can also be a great time to introduce your children to some truly great classics, like Peter PanAlice in Wonderland, or Treasure Island.  Of course, eventually, my voice is going to give out.  That’s a great time to have some favorite movies on hand.

Special Meals

When your kids have fevers, sometimes they just don’t want to eat very badly…even if you’re not dealing with a stomach bug.  Find some special things that are easy on the stomach to offer your kids.  Applesauce and bananas are great options.  Bananas are high in potassium, which can be lost due to dehydration during a fever.  Also, pancakes and biscuits are usually big hits in our house.  Last night, it was popcorn and spaghetti (with no sauce).  It was quite a bland dinner for my husband and I, but the kids ate something…and that was a win.  Nutritionally speaking, keep in mind that bending the usual rules when the kids are sick is ok.  A few days of carb loading isn’t going to do any lasting damage.  They need a few extra carbs to give them energy to fight the illness, anyway!  

An Extra Dose of Cuddles

This morning, I just sat on the couch and hugged my little Rhino for nearly an hour.  He was burning up, and I was sweating under all that extra heat, but it didn’t matter.  He needed me.  Most of the time, he’s a little bundle of energy, and has a hard time sitting still for longer than 30 seconds at a time.  But, when he’s sick, he still wants to just sit in my lap and cuddle with me.  For a little while at least, Mommy can still make everything better.  

Fever Reducers

Where would a list of Mom’s sick day arsenal be without a mention of fever reducers?  Good ole acetaminophen and ibuprofen can still work wonders for a sick child.  Sometimes, I have a little giggle at the transformation that occurs in a sick child half an hour after a dose of medicine.  This morning, Rhino got up, ready for his next dose of medicine.  I took his temperature, and it was an alarming 103.3, and he still had to wait another 30 minutes until he could have his next dose (remember, I had been up throughout the night, giving medicine or cool compresses as needed).  We made it through that half hour (and a little more), cuddling on the couch, with a wet washcloth on his head from time to time.  I gave him the next dose of medicine.  I settled him as comfortably as I could, and went to take a shower.  My husband hadn’t yet left for work…it was my last chance!  I finished, and said goodbye to my husband for the day.  Pretty soon, Baby woke up and needed to eat.  By the time I got done feeding her, and came out of my room, Rhino had on a backpack and was playing some sort of game.  When I came out, he proudly announced, “Mommy, I not sick anymore!” and gave me a huge grin.  I knew it was only temporary, and before lunch, sure enough, he was once again languishing on the couch.  But, these few moments give me hope.  Hope that this won’t last forever. 


By next week, my kids will back to their usual antics, and this will all be merely an unpleasant memory.  We’ll be trying to get back to normal, and playing catch-up on all the things we didn’t get done this week.  We will have survived another ordeal. 

Mommy Survival Mode, deactivated.


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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the February 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 January “You’re the Star” blog hop)

How To Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh by Magical Mama
magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Easy Valentine’s Pom Pom Wreath by Crafting a Family
Easy Valentine's Pom Pom Wreath
How to Make a Custom Puzzle by Just Measuring Up
Make a custom puzzle with a message
45 Free Valentine Printables by Let It Shine

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

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.*******************************************************

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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Brr!  What a cold week!  We certainly aren’t used to temperatures that stay below freezing for so long here.  My kids have been a little stir crazy, too.  I hope you’ve been staying warm.  Snuggle up and find yourself a good read!

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

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

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the January 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 December “You’re the Star” blog hop)

2018 Printable Calendar by Keeping It Real
2018 Calendar - free printable
Free Printable Gift Tags by This Autoimmune Life

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags
Snowy Windows & Mirrors by Chas’ Crazy Creations

Snowy Windows and Mirrors (and more) 

My Favorite Pillow Covers & De Stash Challenge by Stone Cottage Adventures

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

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.*******************************************************

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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