A Month of Photos From The Red Double Wide – Sept. 2015

Other than a sinus infection (yuck yuck yuck!) that lasted a couple of weeks, I had a really good September.  We’ve been enjoying the lovely fall weather and the garden is STILL giving lots of good stuff!


The cantaloupe is delicious!  We’ve eaten seven of them so far and more are coming.  I keep praying that the frost doesn’t come for a few more weeks so I can finish harvesting as everything continues to ripen.

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The girls are going to have some nice big pumpkins to carve. :)

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After raising meat chickens over the summer it feels like these little layers are growing slowly, but they ARE growing and will need to be moved to the bigger coop before long.

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I think at this point the Golden Laced Wyandottes are my favorites.

Golden Laced Wyandottes

We started to harvest the sunflowers that the wind blew over.  Most of them aren’t quite ready yet though.

Harvesting Sun Flowers

Jo’s puppy grew lots this last month!

Rebel - Shi-Chi puppy

Jo got her hair cut and her ears pierced.  My little tom boy is starting to care about hair, nails, clothes and jewelry!  WHAT happened!?

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At least she still wrestles with the dogs.

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Have a super duper October!

Fresh Tomato and Sausage Pasta

This has been my VERY best year for growing tomatoes!!  We are still getting an insane amount every day and it’s the end of September.  I love how this recipe helps to use some of our abundance of grape tomatoes.

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They are so fresh, sweet and absolutely delicious and they make this dish soooo very yummy.  I may have even eaten the left overs for breakfast the next morning.

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It doesn’t take much time at all to whip up this super tasty dinner.  Start by halving 4 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes and putting them in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish.  Drizzle a little olive oil on with some salt and pepper, stir that up then poor 1/2 a cup of Italian bread crumbs over the top.

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Place the tomatoes in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  While that is in the oven, brown 1 pound of Italian sausage (I used my Italian sausage seasoning recipe) and cook the pasta.  Drain the sausage and pasta then put everything into a big serving bowl with 1&1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese.  Give it a good stir and taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

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I know this isn’t the most eye appealing dish you’ve ever seen, but it makes up for it in taste…..I promise!!

Fresh Tomato and Sausage Pasta
  • 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes - halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 pound of pasta (any kind you like)
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ cups parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Stir together halved tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a greased 8x8" glass baking dish.
  3. Pour Italian bread crumbs over the top.
  4. Place in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. While that is in the oven boil the pasta in salted water until done, and drain.
  6. Brown the sausage and drain any fat.
  7. In a large bowl combine the pasta, sausage, tomatoes and cheese.
  8. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed.
  9. Dinners ready!

You can find a meat free version of this recipe here.

This post was shared at: Clever Chicks Blog Hop -

A Few Weeks Of Photos From the Red Double Wide – 8/31/15

August was a blur!!  Birthdays, dogs, 4-H books, fires, harvesting, dogs, the fair, starting school, butchering chickens, and did I mention dogs?  I thought about writing a post called “How to say no to more dogs”….wait, we don’t know how to say no to more dogs.  I guess the post should be called “How to spend $2,436.70 on dog food every month”.

(OK, I exaggerated a little, or a lot, but SHEEEESH!)

Anyway, here are a few pics of our crazy August.

DSCN6511 (640x480)The chicks I ordered at the beginning of August are all doing very well.  Four more months and we should have fresh eggs again, at least more than two a day!

DSCN6509 (640x480)I love grocery shopping in the garden!!

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We got a new food processor!!  Just in time to help with harvest.  Thanks Aunt Stella!!!!  We LOVE it!  (Can you tell by the look on Mary’s face?)

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This is Mary’s bantam hen “Tiny” and that is a small snake she has.  She stole it from one of the other hens and slurped it down like a noodle!  I had a little trouble keeping my breakfast down after watching that.

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In my last post I mentioned that we told Jo that she could have a puppy for her 11th birthday.  It took a little while to find one, but she did.

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I really don’t think he could be any cuter and she is IN LOVE!  Meet Rebel:

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Two days after she brought Rebel home, Jade came home and brought his dog.  He had to leave him with us because he couldn’t find a house or apartment where he could keep a pit bull.

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Seriously!? Who could not love that face!!

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We missed Gunner and are glad to have him back!  The other dogs missed him too and Rebel thinks Gunner is his best buddy.  They spend hours wrestling around the house…..highly entertaining for us!

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We had some interesting sunsets in August because of some horrible fires in the area.

Waiting to show her chicken.

Waiting to show her chicken.

The girls did AWESOME at the fair with their chickens!

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Mary got Grand Champion Market Chicken and Jo got Reserve Champion Market Chicken!  They both got blue ribbons in showmanship and Mary’s chicken “Tiny” (the one eating the snake above) was the Grand Champion of her breed!  They also did VERY well with their 4-H books. All that hard work paid off……literally.  They both sold their chickens at the market livestock sale and got $250.00 and $375.00…..for CHICKENS that only cost them 10 dollars to raise!!!!  We live in a great community with great people that support our kids!  Of course their Papa and Grandma also helped in this area ;)

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Photo By: Jo

The last day of the fair the girls and I enjoyed watching the rodeo and Jo took a bunch of pictures.

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Photo By: Jo

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Photo By: Jo

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Photo By: Jo

And then there is the cutest nephew EVER!

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The garden is still over flowing!

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Photo By: Digger

My sunflowers grew 13 feet tall!

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Photo By: Digger

This is the first time I’ve ever been successful growing cabbage!

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After the fair we started off our home school year with a field trip to OMSI. (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.)

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It was a great day and a wonderful way to start off the school year!!  We are easing our way into a full school week.  The rest of their books will be here next week so we will be in full swing after that!

Hope you all had a wonderful August too and are getting used to the cooler weather!

A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 8/8/15

What an crazy week!  4-H stuff, birthday celebrations, new chicks, and trying to freeze the insane amount of zucchini and green beans coming from the garden are the things that took up most of my time.  We ordered homeschool curriculum for the girls as well, and that got me very excited to start school in a few weeks!

We ended the week with Jo’s 11th birthday party, and she is over the top excited about her present.  We told her she could find and adopt a puppy.  She has been wanting one of her own for YEARS, and being the responsible young lady that she is we figure it’s a good time for a potentially life changing new addition.  Now, the task of finding the RIGHT puppy!

Here is our week in photos….

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Jo made a poster for the Cornish Cross chicken she is taking to the fair.  She took it to the 4-H meeting and did a demonstration about these chickens.  This was all her idea!

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Mary did her 4-H demonstration on chocolate covered fruit.  The strawberries were the most popular!

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Photo By: Jo

More beautiful sunsets this week!

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4 Golden Buff, 4 White Leghorn, and 4 Golden Laced Wyandotte arrived on Wednesday morning.  All healthy and happy and cute, cute, cute!  I always forget how ever so tiny they are.

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I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of baking all our bread again.

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I’m going to start grating zucchini in my sleep….

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I became very impatient and HAD to pick one of my watermelon.  It has got to be ripe by now, right?

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NOPE……darn it!  (the chickens enjoyed it very much though)

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So excited to see hundreds of busy honey bees in my corn rows!

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Have a great week everyone!

A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 8/1/15

Happy August!

We had a WONDERFUL last week of July. :)  The summer is just flying by!!  The wind stopped blowing and the temps went up again.  My husband and I are LOVING the warm summer nights and we’ve had some gorgeous sunsets!  We’ve also been enjoying lots of garden produce.

Hope you enjoy some photos from our week.

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My biggest pumpkin so far.

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Odie turned 11 this month (77 dog years!)

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Just about ready to harvest a couple watermelons with several more on the way!!

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Meat chickens.

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Lots of butterflies around this week.

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We went huckleberry picking.

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Near Mt. Adams.

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Made fluffy, whole wheat, huckleberry pancakes by adding a cup of berries to this recipe.

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Went swimming to cool off a bit and spent lots of time working on 4-H books, posters and demonstrations to get ready for the fair coming up later this month.

Have a great first week of August and stay cool!!

Huckleberries, a Mountain, and Sasquatch!

We headed up to Mt. Adams early yesterday morning with the goal of finding some huckleberries.

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I was a little ashamed when I realized last week that my almost 11 year old had never been huckleberry picking.  She asked; “What’s a huckleberry?”…  WHAT?!?!  Some of my favorite memories are of camping with my grandma and grandpa near Mt. Adams and picking huckleberries every year.

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Jo picking her first huckleberries with my sister.

I can now say that my daughters have both been huckleberry picking……sort of.  The actually “picking” part, lasted all of 10 minutes,…  for them anyway.

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When the picking stopped, the whining started….”What time is it?” – “I’m hungry” – “Did we bring something to drink?” – “Can we go back to the van?” – “It’s hot out here” - and,… well, you get the point.

I’m quite sure I NEVER acted like that as a child….at least not while picking huckleberries…..:)

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The first place we stopped had a lot of berries!  I really enjoyed myself,… despite all the whining.

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The purple fingers, the sound of berries hitting the bottom of my bucket, and the sweet, earthy smell of sun warmed huckleberries quickly brought back many good childhood memories.

After we ate lunch we moved down the road a bit where we found far less huckleberries, but we did find lots of wild blueberries.

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They were beautiful, but they really didn’t taste as good as they looked.  I decided to stick with the huckleberries.

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We stopped a few times on the way home so I could take pictures of my favorite mountain.

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I see this mountain out my living room windows everyday, but rarely get to come this close.  Oh, so beautiful!  Not nearly enough snow left up there after the impossibly mild winter and hot, dry spring and summer we’ve had though.

Guess what else we saw on the way home?

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This is my brother Jacob.  He is 25 years old physically, but mentally he’s about 4. (Don’t tell him that though.) Jacob loves SASQUATCH!!!  The entire time we were picking huckleberries, Jacob was stomping around the woods whacking trees with sticks and calling for sasquatch.  Yep,… you read it right.  CALLING for sasquatch!  It’s very funny and cute at first, but after a couple hours it’s just loud and…, well,… loud.  Anyway, after a whole day of searching for big foot he FINALLY found him!  He was soooooo excited, and absolutely loved the creepy red eyes.  He did inform us on the way home that;  That was not a REAL sasquatch, so we need to go back to the mountain so he can search the deepest, darkest woods to find a real one.  As of yet no promises have been made.  :D

What a great day!  I got enough berries to make huckleberry pancakes and a few batches of muffins.  My mom made a pie as soon as she got home.  She’s an overachiever.

Mary’s Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread (With NO Vegetable Oil)

It’s that time of year again, the zucchini is pouring out of the garden.  I love the abundance of this versatile veggie, and have many recipes to use them up.  Zucchini bread has always been a good way to use it up, but this one is a super duper amazing way to use it!  I’m going to freeze lots and lots of zucchini just so I can make this bread all year long. ;D

marys bread

It’s so moist and smooth and sweet and wonderful and it all came about by accident.  Mary is the one that first made this, hence the name: “Mary’s Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread”.  She had a recipe to follow, but we hadn’t been shopping for a while and didn’t have some of the ingredients, so she “improvised”.  We were all pleasantly surprised with the results. :)

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This is not only very tasty but healthier than most quick breads too!

Mary's Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread (With NO Vegetable Oil)
This will make 2 loaves.
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar (I use a bit less)
  • 1 stick melted butter (half a cup)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 and ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  1. Grease two loaf pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients until well combined.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min then lower the temp to 300 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the loaf pans and cool completely before cutting.

Another great thing about this bread is you have options!  I love options. :)

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You can add a 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips and have “Mary’s Super Moist Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread” (this is my girls favorite).

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Or you could leave out the cocoa powder and have “Mary’s Super Moist Zucchini Bread” and it’s still, oh so good!!

Wait, there’s more!….We made three batches of this last week (6 loaves).  Six loaves for four people is a bit much, so I froze 2 loaves and took them out yesterday for breakfast and took some to our Bible study.  They froze VERY well and I think they might have even tasted better from the freezer!?!? WHAT?

I have noticed that while this bread is delicious still warm from the oven, it’s very crumbly if you don’t let it cool completely first.  Its even easier to cut after being in a zip lock bag over night.  But, it tastes great ANY time. :)

A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 7/25/15

We had a pretty quiet week and very pleasant weather.  Mary had a WODERFUL time at church camp and didn’t want to come home. :)  I missed her and am glad she’s back!

Jo had to amuse herself while her sister was gone, so with her dads help she took apart my old banana seat bike that I rode and rode and rode as a kid.  She sanded it and is planning on painting it yellow.  She’s calling it the Minion bike. ;)

DSCN5755 (640x480)We got lots of wonderful tasting apricots (thanks Tom and Cathy) and I spent quite a bit of time drying and freezing them before they went bad.  yum!

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The meat chickens are now being let out everyday, they are hilarious to watch waddle around.

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We had a porcupine visit the tree in the front yard.

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We also had a rattle snake on the road in front of our house and a blue racer in the garden. YUCK!  Those were the unwanted guests, but we ended up the week with some wanted guests and had a bbq with the families from our bible study group!

I’m now getting green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, and parsley out of my garden.  I’m oh so happy with my garden this year!!

Have a blessed week!

Homemade All Natural Insect Spray For Your Garden

This post contains affiliate links.

garden bug spray

Uuug!  I have never had this much trouble with nasty little insects devouring my garden!  At first I thought it was due to my deep straw mulch.  My husband warned me before I put the straw in the garden that it would create the perfect environment for earwigs.  He was absolutely correct!  The little buggers love to hide in the dark, moist straw during the day and then come out and graze on my veggie plants all night!!  But I can’t blame the whole problem on the mulch.  We have earwigs and ants EVERYWHERE this year.  It’s just simply a bad year for bugs.  (Darn it!)  It’s so frustrating to watch all your hard work slowly disappearing!

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They seemed to like the squash, cabbage and kale the best!  I think most of the damage was done by earwigs, but I have also seen aphids and grasshoppers.

I got on-line and looked up MANY different natural and organic bug sprays.  I came up with my own simple spray that REALLY works!  My plants are looking MUCH better!

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This is an early morning picture and has lots of shadows, but I hope you can see the very bug eaten leaves and then the new growth in the center after I sprayed them!  I still lost some of the little plants that were just to far gone by the time I sprayed them but the bigger plants are recovering nicely.

To make this spray I used garlic, an onion, cayenne pepper, peppermint castile soap, peppermint oil and water.

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Start by chopping the cloves from one head of garlic and 1 onion into tiny pieces.  You can use a food processor if you have one.  When you have them all chopped up put them in a pot with 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.  Bring your concoction to a boil then remove it from the heat and let it cool completely.  Strain the liquid into a squirt bottle and add 2 tablespoons of peppermint castile soap and 5 drops of peppermint oil.  Shake it up and you’re ready to spray those nasty pests away.

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Spray early in the morning before the hot sun is out or just before dark.  Be sure to shake well before each use and spray the top and bottom of each leaf.  If you have any left over, store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Homemade - All Natural - Garden - Insect Spray
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and cloves removed
  • 1 good sized onion, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint castile soap
  • 5 drops peppermint oil
  1. Chop up all the garlic cloves and onion into small pieces.
  2. Put the cayenne pepper, water, chopped onions and garlic into a pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.(over night is good)
  4. Strain cooled liquid into a squirt bottle and add the castile soap and peppermint oil.
  5. Shake well.

I’ve only had to spray my garden twice, but we only had rain once and we don’t water with sprinklers, so you may have to spray more often if the leaves are getting washed off.  Try to avoid spraying directly on the part of the plant you are going to eat.

This post was shared at: Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop -

A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 7/18/2015

Here are a few photos of what we’ve been up to.  The week started off with much cooler temps (finally!) and it even rained just enough to make sweet smells and a little rainbow!

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The temps quickly climbed back up into the 80′s

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What better to do on a hot day than take a cool bath……he LOVES his baths.

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I’m so excited about all the baby watermelon in my garden!

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We got a big box of fresh peaches from a local orchard.  We made peach cobbler, froze some, and ate the rest.  Oh so good!

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How gross is this!  Unfortunately I’ve seen way more wasps this year than honey bees.

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The meat chickens are now big enough to let free range for a few hours everyday.

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We finally cut down the dead birch tree in our lawn….ok, not WE.  Digger cut it down and the girls hauled off the pieces.  I took pictures and supervised.

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This is Grandpa Clyde, and HIS favorite thing is mowing lawns.  He still comes out every Saturday (at the age of 96!) to help us with ours.

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Mary left today for church camp so we should have a pretty quiet week around here!  Hope you’re all enjoying your summer.


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