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It’s been another busy week here on the farm.  Baby was sick this week, so I didn’t do much except sit and try to make my poor fussy one feel a little better!  ‘Tis the season for germ swaps!  Thankfully, she’s feeling better now.  On to the party:

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

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

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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_zpsumokaegr.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)

Camila Fingerless Mitts Knitting Pattern by Lilia Craft Party

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments by Magical Mama
magical mama blog christmas tree cinnamon applesauce ornaments

Decorating Pumpkins With Non-traditional Colors by Purple Hues and Me

Fall Herbal Centerpiece by Gwin Gal’s Inside and Out Adventures



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

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
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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Well, we’re still under a self-imposed quarantine here at the farm!  Last week brought a brief lull in sickness for just a little Halloween fun.  Here’s my little tribe:

But, by Wednesday morning we had three new fevers.  Then, on Friday, Daddy came down with it too.  By Saturday, Baby had a high fever as well!  So, here we sit.  I’m the last one standing, and wondering how long my immune system can possibly withstand the onslaught!  Welcome to the party!  I’m off to take a bath in Germ-X and drink a gallon of orange juice!


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

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

Well, it’s getting to be that time of year.  The holidays are right around the corner, there’s so much to do!  But it’s also cold and flu season.  In our house, when someone gets sick, everything shuts down.  Once the first kid goes down, there are 4 more waiting in line to get it.  Even with the best prevention measures in place, chances are, that bug is going to make the rounds.  We just live too close to each other to prevent it in most cases.

We have quite a nasty bug going around our house at the moment.  Severe headaches, sore throats, high fevers…the works.  It seems congestion and cough follow the sore throat after a couple days.  Just to make things interesting, it seems to disappear entirely from about 2-5 pm every day.  But, boy, does it come back with a vengeance at 5:30!!!  Bear came down with it Saturday evening/Sunday morning (sometime overnight…I didn’t look at the clock), and we’ve been playing this game ever since.  Now, everyone else under the age of 35 has it, with the possible exception of Baby.  She had a fever Sunday evening, but as of yet, no other symptoms.  I’m unclear as to whether that was from teething or (crossing my fingers) she’s getting some passive immunity from nursing and has come through relatively unscathed.

Anyway, all this sickness started me thinking, “What are some of my best tips for surviving the inevitable viruses that pop up so often in childhood?”


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 November You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsumokaegr.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 October “You’re the Star” blog hop)

How to Preserve Acorns & Pine Cones for Home Decor by From Play Dates to Parties
How-to-Preserve-Pine-Cones-Ft3

7 Wonderfully Cozy Crocheted Afghans by Vintage, Paint and More….

Vintage, Paint and more... ripple afghan done in a snowflake pattern
Fall Wreath Tutorial by Penny’s Vintage Home


30 Fall Craft Ideas for Kids by The Usual Mayhem

fall craft ideas for kids

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

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
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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Once again, we don’t know how to keep our lives boring here on our little farm.  My  husband stepped on a screw while cleaning out chicken coops on Monday evening.  By the next morning, we were sure it was seriously infected.  My husband was barely able to walk.  So, off to the doctor he went.  He’s doing much better now, and can almost walk normally again.  But, I’ve been busy, busy, busy trying to help him out.  This coming week promises to be busy, but at the moment, rather boring!  So, here’s to hoping for a “boring” busy week!  Now, on to the party!


 

The effort to cleanup and rebuild after Hurricane Harvey will take an unknown amount of time and money.  If you feel so led – please donate (click button below):

Samaritans Purse

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


Since it’s been a busy week, I wasn’t able to post anything new this week.  So, in the spirit of the injury my husband received near the chicken coops, I’ve dusted off an old post this week.  My very first ever posted here on Family Farm School:


Six and a half years ago, our lives changed forever.  We bought a house in Middle-of-Nowhere, Texas.  Then we moved from our nice, conveniently located house in town to our new little piece of property that was an hour away from anything.  At the time, Bear was around 18 months old, and we were expecting our second.  I was so sick, and so busy taking care of a toddler.  Andrew had to do pretty much all the moving by himself.  I was useless!  What were we thinking???

Once we got moved in and at least nominally settled, we had to get to work on a way to keep our agricultural tax exemption.  We had always intended to stock the place with animals.  I only had one rule.  One rule, never to be broken, when I agreed to move out to the middle of nowhere: 

NO CHICKENS!!!

No chickens.  How hard is that rule to obey?  We could get anything else…cows, goats, sheep, horses, even llamas.  Just no chickens.  The possibilities were endless.  I always assumed we would get some cattle.  I mean, this is Texas.  Of course there would be cattle.

 But then, my dear husband started with the crazy talk…

He wanted to get…chickens.  Yes, chickens.  I thought I had made myself perfectly clear.  Why on earth would he want to mess with such foul, disgusting fowl which are useless for anything except feeding the local bobcat and coyote populations?  My uncle had chickens years ago when I was a kid.  I was certain that this one experience in my youth made me an expert on the matter.

Unfortunately, my husband did make some good points.  We did eat a lot of chicken.  We ate a lot of eggs.  We would know what was going into our food.  It would be cheaper to raise them than to pay full price at the store.  It was starting to become clear that I was going to lose this argument.  But, I held fast and firm to my decision.  

NO CHICKENS!!!

Eventually, after many conversations about chickens, I finally made my fatal mistake.  Instead of my patented “No chickens!” response to end one of these little talks, I said, “I don’t want chickens!”

“So,” says my husband, smiling mischievously, “You don’t want chickens.  But that means I can get chickens.  You won’t have to mess with them at all.  They’ll be my chickens, my business.”

I was nearly 8 months pregnant, and I was tired.  I finally conceded the loss.  

“Fine.”  I pouted.  “But understand me now.  I will NOT do anything with those chickens!  They are yours, just like you said.  I won’t touch those nasty chickens.  And don’t come crying to me when the coyotes get them!”

We had finally reached an agreement.

A few days later, my husband came driving home from the feed store with a box full of chicks that he had ordered.  Thirty of them.  Thirty!

They were kinda cute.  Even my hard heart had to admit that.  They were all fluffy and yellow, with all the little cheep cheep noises.  But I still wasn’t going to have anything to do with them.  Nope…no way!  Wasn’t gonna happen!

My husband had a big crate in the garage that he turned into a brooder for them.  It was fall, it was actually rather cool, and chicks have to be kept very warm until their feathers come in.  He put chicken wire over the top of the box, and a piece of plywood on top of the wire to keep the heat from the lamp in the box, leaving enough room uncovered for air to circulate.  He weighted down the wood on the top to make sure it wouldn’t come off.

The next morning, as my husband was leaving for work, he asked me to come out to the garage every few hours to check the brooder to make sure the chicks weren’t too cold, and make sure they had enough food and water.  Remember, that I was eight months pregnant.  The walk (waddle) from the house to the garage was no small undertaking!  But, the compassion for these poor little babies in my hormonal pregnant heart was stirred.  So much for being completely hands-off with the chickens!  My resolve had lasted less than 24 hours.

Tragedy would soon strike our household, however.  The third day after their arrival, after my daughter was down for her nap, I went out to check on the chicks.  My pregnant, hormonally-charged brain knew something was amiss the minute I stepped into the garage.  It was too quiet.  There were no sounds of cheeping and scuttling about as I approached the box.  The lid was knocked off, and the chicken wire was pulled up on the corner.  Oh, what a horrible, gruesome scene I found in that brooder!  Something had gotten into the brooder and killed every single chick save one…but when I looked, I didn’t see the live one.  It must have been hiding in the corner under the light.  I thought they had all been killed.  

They had not been eaten.  They had been eviscerated.  The perpetrator had extracted the parts he wanted with surgical precision from each and every chick.  The rest of the parts were scattered about the bottom of the box, untouched.  This MO suggested that a raccoon was to blame.  I cried and cried and cried.  It was too much.  My emotional state was already unstable.  I didn’t even want those silly chicks.  And now I had to deal with this grizzly murder scene.  I called my husband at work, and I cried at him for about 5 minutes before I could make any words come out.  Of course, this resulted in a panicked husband.  Imagine your very pregnant wife who is alone with your young daughter out in the middle of nowhere, calling you at work, unable to do anything but cry.  I finally managed to pull myself together enough to tell him what had happened.  He was also upset, but told me he’d take care of it himself after work.  When he got home, he found the one chick that had survived.  I held and cuddled that little chick while he cleaned out the brooder.  All those poor, helpless babies were just gone!

It was the first of many life and death lessons we would learn about how hard, and sometimes vicious life could be out here.  Andrew fixed the brooder up and made many improvements so this would not happen again.  He also went on a raccoon hunting spree, the first of several.  We got more chicks.  In fact, since there was one survivor, we had to get more chicks the very next day.  Our lone survivor would get too cold without some compatriots to keep him company.  Andrew built coops and fenced enclosures when the new chicks were ready to move out of the brooder.  Since then, we’ve grown our flock quite a bit.  We keep a permanent flock of layers, and hatch out some as replacements for our older layers, and some for meat for our family each year.  

I still don’t like the chickens.  I like raccoons even less.  And, despite all my big talk at the beginning, I was the one crying when predators got to the chickens.  Whatever my opinion on the matter, the chickens are here to stay.  I even have to mess with them occasionally.  Guess who takes care of them when Andrew is out of town?  Yep, that’d be me.  And guess who has to make sure their water misters get turned on every day during our scorching Texas summers?  Yep.  Me again.  I have to admit, I do like the fresh eggs, and producing our own food is pretty satisfying.

So…I deal with the chickens.

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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_zpsvodufzbt.jpg

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

Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic


Darlene @ Let It Shine

Anna @ Cuddlebug Cuties
Angel @ Sew Crafty Angel
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 August “You’re the Star” blog hop)

DIY Custom Fabric Rug by Penny’s Vintage Home

Tanzmariechen Marie Crochet by Frau Tschi-Tschi

“Under the Sea” Ornaments by Debbie-Dabble Blog

Star of Felt by Hobby e Creativita
Star of felt

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

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
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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This is my first week as a cohost for the fantastic “You’re the Star” Blog Hop.  I am so excited to be involved with this group!  I am really looking forward to reading your posts, and hopefully making some new friends along the way.
So, without any further ado…here it is!
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Please join us in welcoming our newest FAMILY cohost:
(click to visit her wonderful blog)

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

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

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

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

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsmtrqgy7g.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 July 2017 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

5 Best Ways To Add Privacy To Your Garden by Comfort Spring
Add privacy to your garden with fences, hedges, screens and plantings
Floral Design Using a Hay Bale for the Container by Penny’s Vintage Home

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

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

You're a STAR

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

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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