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Painting Girl!

My niece, Th4.

May 31, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Nutrition Data and Minutiae

Ever wondered how much Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, and Leucine is found in zucchini? Or whether corn meal is a good source for folic acid? Or how much fat is in an Eskimo Bar? (No, don't look!)

NutritionData.Com has more nutrition details available than I ever thought to research. It also provides complete explanations of the terms used, and cool Caloric Ratio Pyramids™.


May 31, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Being Said, Take 3

Kids take everything so personally.

C4 enthusiastically praised Hubby, "You did a good job stopping!" I guess he remembers the accident last month.

T7, heartfelt, "Thanks for getting us gas."


May 31, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More on Books. . .

We're on a roll here. . . Books, books, books. Tracy of The Secret of Living tagged me earlier this week with this book meme. Of course, I couldn't resist!

1) Total books owned, ever: Impossible to answer. Really, I'm clueless. Hubby and I used to joke that the reason we married was to join our two libraries. We seriously stripped our book collection when we moved overseas. I was shocked when we got back to the States to see how many we had kept. Right now we have about 50 shelves in 10 bookcases filled, and some boxes in the garage of books we don't want to put out for young, reading eyes.

2) Last book I bought: A couple of motherhood memoirs at the library book sale in Illinois. Actually, my sis bought those for me because I didn't have a dollar. The last book that I actually purchased was a book for my sister, Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful .

3) Last book I read: Finished? A Live Coal In The Sea by Madeleine L'Engle. Currently reading books on my booklist.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me.
1. The Bible. Right now I'm sticking in the Psalms. Again.
2. Berkhof's Systematic Theology. It leads my heart to worship.
3. I'm going to come back to this one and answer it more completely later.

5) Tag five people: Camille. Eric. Valerie. Brian. Mollie.


May 30, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Unlock the Prison Doors: A Mind and Media Review

I usually don't just open a book to page one and start reading.

First I read the back cover, skimming over the book reviewers' quotes. Then I read the front flap summary and back flap author bio. Then the dedication. And thanks and preface and table of contents.

I like to get my feet thoroughly wet before jumping into a pool, too.

So even before I started reading the main text of Unlock the Prison Doors: Keys to Breaking the Chains of Habitual Sin, I knew it would be hard to give Terry Barber's book a favorable review.

While Pastor Barber has many years of experience--and I especially respect the time he and his family have ministered in Turkey--his educational background is less than I expected. I'm autodidactic myself, so degrees are not everything to me. However, I am on alert when I don't see a degree from a seminary which I respect.

Then the first resource credited in the acknowledgements is Bill Gothard. The big Bill G., fount of principles and legalisms. My scriptural-principle-and-corny-diagram detector was on high alert after that.

And Pastor Barber doesn't let us down.

His book is divided into fifteen chapters, one for each of the "Keys" he's teaching, like Key Six: Spiritual Laws. In a Gothardesque way, Pastor Barber expounds on the "Cycle of Sin" and "Cycle of Righteousness," keys four and five respectively. Chapter seven even has a diagram including an umbrella of authority.

By this point I was unwilling to consider this book as a reliable resource.

Perhaps this is all simply a matter of expectations and perceptions. I was expecting a more theologically oriented book on sanctification, with sound exegesis and ideas on practical application on "breaking free from habitual sin."

Instead, this book is written in a warm and conversational style. Pastor Barber's desire to help comes through clearly. Yet, perhaps that informal touch comes across too strongly with the "Uncle Ebee" stories. I'd rather hear an author share from the heart their personal struggles with sin and how they found God to be faithful, than to hear folksy vignettes. In and example of victory over lust, I don't want to hear of a fictitious Uncle Ebee looking at a girl in a bikini. What about sharing the real struggles, dependence upon God, and breaking free from sin?

That said I do want to point out some good things in this book. First, instead of merely giving Scripture references, Pastor Barber frequently quotes the full text of Bible verses. How can a reader but be blessed when he is reading from the Word of God?

Also Pastor Barber continually points people to Christ, reaffirming the Gospel and our need for God. He didn't seem to fall into the trap of "Implement these Biblical principles I've discovered, and succeed!"

In summary, I don't doubt that God can use this book to help people. But it's not a resource I'd particularly recommend for a theological understanding of sanctification or real help in our struggle with sin.

This is a review of Unlock the Prison Doors: Keys to Breaking the Chains of Habitual Sin by Pastor Terry Barber. This book was provided through Mind and Media as a gift from the publisher.

Read more about this book at Diet of Bookworms.


May 30, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Books and Stuff. . .

We were still in Kyiv when Mind and Media (aka blogforbooks.com) first began. Of course I was intrigued, but waited until returning to the States before participating.

So, I was pretty excited to recieve my first Mind and Media book in Friday's mail. I chose to review it because the title and cover caught my eye. (Who doesn't judge a book by its cover?) Within moments of opening the book, I realized it would be difficult to write a glowing review. I'm disappointed about that. But M&M said go ahead and write a review. So I did.

Veering to another topic, Hubby's unpacked and organized most of our music. We worked and unpacked more boxes while listening to Skankin' Pickle tonight. This cd has great cover graphics, as well as catchy music.

And I finished reading the Madeleine L'Engle book Hubby picked up for me at a library book sale earlier this week. Her writing in this book doesn't have the musical rhythm that it does in other ones, but it still made me cry. Mercy, mercy was the theme and went straight to the heart.

Madeleine is one of the names on my short-list for a girl.

I'm also reading Lawrence Cohen's Playful Parenting and Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies right now. Both very uplifting.

I have my collection of cookbooks in the kitchen now. I didn't bring any to Kyiv with me, thinking I could rely on the old stand-bys that didn't need recipes as well as google. Boy, was I wrong. I inherited a tiny Betty Crocker paperback from a bachelor (along with a great assortment of spices!) And in time, found a couple to buy over there. Today I skimmed through Through the Enchanted Broccoli Forest. My, Mollie Katzen sure does know how to inspire one to enjoy cooking and eating! I love her writing style and her illustrations and asides.

We still had a very straight-forward tuna noodle casserole tonight. Comfort food.


May 29, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Eternal Father, Strong to Save,

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

This is one of my favorite hymns.

It stirs childhood memories, especially of the Chapel on Guantanamo Bay. We sang it as the closing hymn every Sunday at the Chapel. These are the original verses, but there are 20 or so printed in the Chapel hymnal.

I've wanted to teach it to my boys for awhile, and this Memorial Day weekend seemed a good time to do it, especially since I have a lovely version on cd that came with Hymns for a Child's Heart.


May 29, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sarasota EFest

This looks cool. But I don't know if we'll get to participate.


May 28, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Thai Night


The last night I was in Illinois, we went out for Thai at this great little restaurant in downtown Chicago. Oh, it was soooo good. My sis is in that regrettable part of pregnancy when she actually has an appetite, can keep food down, but then takes only a few bites before being full again.


Mom, Th4 and Me


Th4 and my Sis


May 27, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More On My Illinois Trip

My sister is halfway to her due date. She's beautiful and blissful. I got to see the ultrasound video and hear her story of her trek to Mexico to get it.

I got to go to Trader Joe's for the first time. Thought of Kristen and Zero Boss.

My Dad, brother, sister and I hung around the kitchen table and played scrabble. We laughed and played and challenged each other's word choices. Sis bought Dad a scrabble dictionary before we left.

We went to Borders. And the library. And the library used book store.

We drank coffee. And white tea. And lots of water.

We stayed up late telling stories. I got to see the faxed house plans for the house my Dad is building in Arizona. The site prep is done and I think they are pouring the concrete foundation this week. It's designed to take advantage of the geography and climate of where they live, and be environmentally low-impact.

Quite a difference from the house where my Dad is living right now. Dad places high value on architecture that is appropriate for where you build. He drive through neighborhoods shaking his head at some of the building choices. . .

One of the things Dad is incorporating into the house he's building is a Japanese soaking tub, and an amazing greenhouse just off of the bathroom.

My brother's thesis was related to postmodern living and the novels of Paul Auster. I've read The Red Notebook and am going to keep checking more Auster out from the library.

We went to Walker Bros. one morning for breakfast, a family tradition that began after I got married and moved away. The table next to us was full of Russian speakers who considered Short Circuit to be a classic American film.

My neice, Th4, is an amazing child. She exudes confidence and security. She is one of the most loved children I've ever known. (And her impishness reminds me of my sister when she was that age. . .)

Mom took my sis and I to the thrift store. Another family tradition.

Mom's apartment felt like an art gallery when I walked in. Acrylic paintings, found art, sculptures. I brought home an amazing mobile. It's hung in my kitchen window now, replacing another one Mom made that's now hanging in the bathroom.

Mom gave me a great mini-massage, too.

My sis remarked on how one of the girls she watches is only six, but always asking first whether foods contain artificial flavorings or colorings. That comment has really stayed with me, and reminded me of my earthy-crunchy past. I'm feeling the need to get back to the basics, food wise. Ukraine was great for getting fresh, homegrown produce. I miss that.

I'm really glad to be home. I'm really glad I got to have some reconnecting time with my family.


May 27, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




I have no idea why this was hanging next to the phone at my folks'. Definitely not their philosophy--though I've met some people whose it was. . .


May 26, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Home Again. . .

I arrived home this morning, to my boys running at me with hugs and "Mommy!" How wonderful! And Hubby's hug as he sleepily rubbing his eyes--he had waited up most the night for me.

This was probably the first long road trip I've taken completely alone. While I've been the sole driver before, I think this is the first one sans kids.

It was a good trip, though I made lousy time. That was okay. I listened the the radio loud with the windows rolled down. I listened the the Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. It's a book I'd recommend for listening, just as Like Water for Chocolate is better heard than read.

I thought about seeing if I could stop and visit at the Yellow Porch, but had trouble contacting her before my trip. It's okay--I enjoyed having my solitary time.

I took a morning nap in Franklin, TN, and marvelled that I was in George Grant's neighborhood. (Btw, his blog allows comments now!)

I stopped for gas at the Lookout Mountain exit, and thought of my Covenant College friends, like Kathryn--though she's home now and in my town! It's pretty funny--I thought of so many blogging friends as I drove near their cities.

My favorite part of the drive home was crossing the border into Florida. I rolled down the window and the air was warm and dark and humid. It smelled like so many nights when Hubby and I would drive between the coast and central Florida, barely able to see the road because of the fog. It's a romantic smell to me, reminds me of making out at midnight in his parent's front yard.


May 25, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



In Illinois

I'm at the library in Illinois, doing a quick e-mail check. I flew up here Thursday night, so that I could join my family for my brother's college graduation. It's been a very special time.


May 22, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Congrats, Johnny!

Mom, Johnny and Dad
May 21, 2005 Shimer College

Me, Mom, Johnny, Dad, Sister & Th4

May 21, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Being Said, Take 2

"You know who my favorite god and goddess are?" asked R6.

"No, who?"

"Zeus." Said in an of-course-Zeus sort of voice.

"And your favorite goddess?"

"Aphrodite. Most people like Athena best, but I don't know much about her. So, I like Aphrodite.



May 18, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Being Said, Take 1

"Boys, you're being so quiet and speaking kindly back there. Good job." I said to the boys who were riding in the back seat of the van.

"Actually, we're talking about hell," replied T7.


May 18, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Meditation Material

Psalm 37:3-8

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.


May 18, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pragmatism and Parenting

This is another great post from Chief-Executive Mother, on parenting and the heart of the Gospel.


May 17, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Noonie Page

Cheerleading the Breastfeeding Mother


May 17, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



This Week's Update

We bought a beautiful dark blue Plymouth Voyager today. I think the accident and the new vehicle were a blessing, and I know God is in control of it all. I'm thankful for The Other Guy's insurance company being kind, and that we were able to find a vehicle to buy.

J8 has a bad headache. He thinks it may be a migraine. He's had headaches since the accident. I'm glad we went to the chiropractor yesterday. I got a massage before my adjustment, to loosen things up. It was great. It's hard, though, to see my oldest in such pain.

Last night we went to the tennis courts at the park near our house, and played tennis. First time for me. *grin* It was lots of fun, and Hubby is super-patient with my novice abilities.

I wonder if I'd have better eye-hand coordination if I had played lots of video games when growing up?

Our new house is wonderful. Still unpacking. Not settled in at all, because of so many errands and getting things done with the smashed van.

We bought a bunch of shelves the other day from Target. Still assembling them. Hubby's salivating over the idea of having all of our books out and accessible again. It's so wild--we had in storage books I didn't even know we owned. I've already come across several books from my Amazon Wishlist, that we had in storage and I didn't know it--like this one. Our boooks were in storage for about 3 1/2 years, and the few special pieces of furniture and other sentimental things were in storage for about 5 years. How time flies.

My brother graduates from college this weekend. I'm a beaming sister.


May 17, 2005  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Not-Quite-Vegan Lunch

I thought of VeganMomma as I made lunch today--sliced portabella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with a sprinkling of mtnmama's special seasonings, on bread with a little mayo. (Okay, so lunch wasn't completely vegan. . .) On the side I served a field greens salad with flax seeds and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

It looked very appetizing, and I wanted to take a photo to share here, as VeganMomma does with her recipes. But, the camera was in the car and the family was hungry. . . Another time.


May 16, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Home Computer Sweet Home

After nearly seven weeks (and the installation of an American current power pack), we finally have our computer hooked up. We also have a lousy dial-up server *AOL, cough* while we wait for DSL. So, I'll still probably be online only sporadically. But Hubby and I are happy to have our very own computer back.

Right now, only the second of 173 e-mails is downloading. This might take awhile. I appreciate how everyone has been patient with us during transition. If you haven't heard from my lately--by e-mail or telephone--I'm not ignoring you! Just trying to catch my breath. . .


May 16, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Prayer of My Heart

Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,
Thou has opened a new and living way
by which a fallen creature can approach thee with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of thy Person,
the perfectness of thy sacrifice,
the effectiveness of thy intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion,
when under all the trials that weary me,
the cares that corrode me,
the fears that disturb me,
the infirmities that oppress me,
I can come to thee in my need
and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve,
lead, guard, supply, help me.

And here thy saints encourage my hope;
they were once poor and are now rich,
bound and are now free,
tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess,
but not more than is found in Thee, the divine treasury
in whom all fullness dwells.

To thee I repair for grace upon grace,
until every void made by sin be replenished
and I am filled with all thy fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened,
that I may honour Thee by my entire dependency
and the greatness of my expectation.

Do Thou be with me, and prepare me for all
the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity,
the losses of substance, the death of friends,
the days of darkness, the changes of life,
and the last great change of all.

May I find thy grace sufficient for all my needs.

From The Valley of Vision:
A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.


May 15, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Van Update

Our wonderful van we bought less than a month ago has been through the wringer, and the Other Guy's insurance company considers it a total loss. Sigh. Back to square one with a vehicle.

Thankfully, we have a rental through Monday. I sure hope we can find a replacement van before then.


May 14, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pentagon Plans to Close More Bases

One of the 33+/- bases slated for closure in 2006 is Brooks AFB, San Antonio, TX. I lived there for three years in high school/college. I feel sentimentally sad about it. This is the second base with a lot of memories for me that is closing.


May 13, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yellow Skies

Before you kill me honey, recognize
I'm your one-way rumblin' ride through yellow skies
I'm your sunshine truckin' man
I'm doin' everything I can to realize
The yellow skies

(I wanna go with you to heaven
I wanna drink you like a flower drinks rain
I wanna float you like a feather)

Were you crying in the kitchen
Did you paint the four walls blue
Was it something I said
Something that I did to you
Sometimes love is really sad
But you don't have to feel so bad all day
We can ride away

Let's go outside, open up our eyes
And exchange this cloudy room for yellow sky
I'm your sunshine truckin' man
I'm doin' everything I can to realize
The yellow skies

Saucers in the kitchen
Flyin' like U.F.O.s
It's a mystical experience
Mama never told me so
Sometimes love can twist your head
But you don't have to wish me dead today
Close your eyes and pray

Before you kill me Angel, recognize
I'm your one-way rumblin' ride through yellow skies
I'm your sunshine truckin' man
I'm doin' everything I can to realize
To realize
Open up our eyes
To the yellow
To the yellow

--Steve and Derri


May 12, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Through the Years

Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom!


May 10, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



We're Okay. The Van Isn't.

Today we were rear-ended while at a stoplight. The kids and I are a bit sore and will be soaking in epsom salts and visiting the chiro. But, thank God! We are okay.

The guy who hit us was really apologetic, and super gracious. He talked with the police officer, it was completely his fault, and his insurance will cover the damage.

The back door of the van is bent up, but the glass wasn't broken. The front is slightly banged up. My glasses flew off, and I couldn't find them for about 45 minutes. They weren't broken, either.

The adreneline rush had me shaking. I was still physically unsteady for about an hour. Mom B. wasn't too far away, and came and helped me as we waited for the officer to take care of the paperwork. Then she escorted me to Sam's to get a new battery. (Needed to be replaced--not sure if it was due to the accident or not.)

If we had to be in an accident, this was the type to be in. No serious injuries. Not our fault. And the other guy has a nicer car than we do and great insurance.

Update 05/12: Still working through in insurance issues. Still waiting for an app't with the chiropractor. Had a flat tire this morning, and bought two new ones. Transmission acting funny. A/C capricious. *big ol' sigh*


May 07, 2005  |  Comments (24)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Our New House Adventures

Welcome to wild reptilian west coast Florida!

While working at our new house, we had a snake in the pool. The kids (inadvertantly) killed a lizard. I stepped on a spider, and then had baby spiders swarm. And a turtle came to our front door.

It was really fun (except the spider part, and worrying whether the snake in the pool was a water mocassin.) The turtle was a box turtle--and at least a foot and a half long. I opened the door to let the gas man out, and there he was, right on our porch. I told the boys that our neighbor came over to welcome us. So they've been calling him Neighbor.


May 06, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Posts I'd Like to Read. . .

. . .but doubt will ever be written.

How I Overcame My Fears and Learned to Love Weird Foods.
Dogwood Blue
Update: She wrote it!

All I Needed to Know About Parenting I Learned from the Sopranos
The Zero Boss

To Breed or Not to Breed: And Other Questions the Bard Failed to Ask
Carmon, Shakespeare aficionado and Mother of Many

Push it Good, Push it Real Good
Knitted in the Womb

How We Adopted Triplets from Ukraine
Speaks Her Mind

Teach Your Toddler Latin In 100 Easy Lessons
This Classical Life

Babywise Author Issues Book Recall
Yellow Porch


May 05, 2005  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Thank a Midwife!

Today is International Midwives' Day.

I've had great midwives through the years, and want to thank them here.

Carol Wolfson and Cheryl Hollifield, Florida

Veronica Wagner, California

Alisa Voss, Texas

Tavish Brinton, South Carolina

Many thanks to you, and may you and your families continue to be blessed as you serve and nurture mamas.

(Via The Mommy Blawg.)


May 05, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Wow, wow, wow!

We have a place to settle down and live in Sarasota! I'm so completely tickled and excited. And it's more than I could ever ask or imagine. Really. Wow!


May 04, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



First Missing Tooth!

R6 lost his first tooth about 10 minutes ago. It's the bottom left front tooth.

As I snapped a photo, I got the "Warning: Battery Exhausted" message. Quelle drag. I'll try to get one later this evening.


May 03, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise Struggles -- Jenn's Story

I hated how weak I was. I hated to admit how much his crying affected me – tugged at my heartstrings. According to the book, I had to be strong and just do what was best for my child. Why was I having such a hard time with this? Didn’t I want to be a good parent? Didn’t I want a well-behaved baby?

Those feelings and fears are a motivating factor for many of the mothers I've known to use and keep using Ezzo's parenting materials. Read the rest of Jenn's story on how using Babywise impacted their family.

Jenn was interviewed by her local Fox affiliate, and the interview will be airing today, May 2nd.

Update: Read Jenn's thoughts on the interview. Read the interview transcript by going to http://www.fox2ktvi.com/, in the left sidebar click on "News" and then on "Fox Files." It's currently the top story.


May 02, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5 ESV


May 01, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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