Camp Half-Blood Week 1

It’s Kate’s last week of school!!!  I can’t wait for summer.  :)  She’s not as enthused which is how I got roped into creating this whole Camp Half-Blood thing.  I can’t lie though, I have been having a blast coming up with the plans.  :)

Basically, my plans boil down to:

  1.  Location: Camp Half-Blood
  2. God of the Week: Dionysus
  3. Field Trip: Zilker Science and Nature Center
  4. Craft: Lanyard lacing
  5. Food: BBQ and s’mores (and wine for mama!)

Our first week is going to be at Camp Half-Blood itself, so we’ll be doing some “campy” things.  Since we live on the surface of the sun in Texas, I wanted to do this week early in the summer so we could still go outside.  Also, it made the most sense as an intro week since the camp is their home base.  Our god of the week is Dionysus since, in the books at least, he’s been banished to the camp and is being forced to be the camp director.  I didn’t do a ton with him, but I did include a coloring sheet with some fun facts about him and our constellation of the week is the crown that he placed in the skies after he got married.

I figured that the nature center totally went along with the camp thing, so we’re going to go on a hike.  They also have done “dino bones” buried in the sand pit that I might make out to be monsters.  It’s also one of the locations for this cool outdoor adventure thing I found that I’ll try to blog more about later.  Lanyard lacing and s’mores just screamed summer camp to me.  Kate apparently tried the lacing thing at day camp last year and was unsuccessful, but I think she’s old enough now to love it.  If not, I’m going to play with it!  lol.

I’m not uploading the files for the book because about 1/2 of it is just drag and drop worksheets I found for free on the internet.  I talked a lot with Kate about what kinds of things she wanted included, and I think there’s a good mix of fun stuff and more academic stuff.  There’s a coloring sheet, a maze, a scramble, several writing prompts, some math problems, a logic puzzle, some information about the constellation of the week, mad libs, a word search and more.  Here are a few pics of some of the pages that I created.

cover pic

Here’s the cover.  I laminated it because I’m a huge dork.  :)

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I can’t wait to start!  Maybe I’ll even take pictures of our adventures and post a recap next Friday.  I mean, I wouldn’t hold your breath, but anything is possible, right?  😉

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We’re Going to Camp Half-Blood!

You guys.  Do I ever have a treat for y’all!  I’ve been racking my brain trying to find ways to keep Kate amused this summer during our daily therapy rounds, and then it hit me.  She’s absolutely obsessed with the Percy Jackson books.  The first one is The Lightening Thief and if you haven’t read it you should!  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

You guys may remember from my Letter of the Week posts, but I love themes.  We only got through about letter “I” and we spent more like a month on each letter, but Kate and I had so much fun with them.  In fact, I’m considering pulling some of them out and reworking them for the babies.  :)  But I digress.  Kate got me to read The Lightening Thief and I was forced to admit that she had found an actual, honest to goodness, good book series.  The books are set in the modern day, but the characters are “half-bloods”, which is to say they are the offspring of Greek gods/ goddesses and mortals.  And they go to summer camp.  SHUT UP AND TAKE MY  MONEY!  I bought them all for Kate and they’re all fabulous.  lol.

She regularly begs me to homeschool her for breaks and summer because she’s a weirdo  she loves school.  I typically tell her just to go play outside, but I do love me some Greek mythology.  Plus, the former teacher in me doesn’t want her to go all summer without doing any writing or math so I needed to come up with something.  Then I had the brilliant idea that we would spend each week in a different location from the book.  Metaphorically speaking of course.  (Although if someone wants to sponsor a RaptorMama trip to Greece, I’m all for it!)

A bit of background.  Last summer, I tried to get Kate to do one of those summer bridge books.  Despite her claims that she looooooooved school and haaaaaaaated summer and reaaaaaaally wanted to do worksheets everyday, she wasn’t really all that into it.    And I wasn’t all that into making her do boring worksheets every day.  Mia also has therapy 4 mornings a week, so I wanted something fun for Kate that she could do fairly independently.  Then it hit me.  Remember the road trip book I made Kate?  (Um, it just occurred to me that I probably never blogged about that.  Whoops.)  Well, anyway, I thought I could make her a little weekly workbook to go along with our location.  Win win.

I’ve decided to give our weeks a bit of structure.  Generally speaking, Mia has therapy from about 8-9 on Monday and Wednesday so there’s still a whole full day ahead of us.  On Tuesdays, she has therapy from 8-9 and then we go to an open gym class at Gymboree from 10-11 that’s about 30 minutes away.  And on Thursdays we have therapy from about 10-11:30.  Given that, I’ve decided that Mondays will be swimming with my mom at her neighborhood pool.  Wednesdays will be field trips related to the theme.  And Fridays we will “visit the oracle” AKA take the babies to story time at the library and check out some books.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be craft days and cooking days.  This is all subject to change because we also have a ton of dr’s appointments in the summer.  Oh, and in the books they get a bead for each year that they’re at camp, but Kate and I are going to do a bead for each week because we’re awesome like that.  I ordered some plain wooden beads on Amazon and she’s going to choose how to paint them to reflect our adventures that week.

Oh!  And this also ties into my screen time plan.  Remember the summer boredom buster that I trialed over Spring Break?  (Maybe not because I only mentioned it in a goals post and never blogged about it?  Basically, she earned points for doing outside challenges, desk challenges, or badge work.)  It worked pretty well, but Kate informed me today that, while she still loves Girl Scouts, she doesn’t want to earn any more badges by herself because it wasn’t that fun without other girls.  After I stopped sobbing in the corner, I pulled myself together to come up with a new screen time plan.  My goal with the first one was two fold.  One, I didn’t want her begging me for screen time incessantly because I knew it would drive me crazy.  Two, I wanted to make sure she was spending time outside and time being creative before she got screen time.  (In case y’all don’t remember, I’m a mean mommy and Kate really only gets screen time on the weekends for about 30 minutes a day or so unless we’re having a family  movie night.)  I think the boredom buster reminded her of how much fun she can have outside, because now, 85%  of the time, she chooses to play in the backyard or practice volleyball instead of asking for screen time.  #winning  But, as a motivator to finish her booklets every week, she will earn 5 drachmas (fake gold coins I had from a St Patrick’s Day theme) for each 5 pages she completes.  (Each booklet has 20 pages.)  She can also earn drachmas for doing extra chores, being helpful with her siblings, or just being delightful in general.  I’m thinking 30 drachmas + a clean room will equal 3o minutes of screen time.  I’m also thinking that I’m waaaaaay overusing parenthesis in this blog post.

Check back on Friday and I’ll share what we’re doing for the first week of summer.  I can’t wait!!!

This post contains affiliate links.  I think.  😉

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April Wrap Up/ March Goals

Le sigh.  It appears that I have become a once a month blogger at best.  Oh well.  Let’s see how I did with goals in April.

  1.  Finish cruise t-shirts.  Done!  I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time shirt maker, but I learned a lot and I think I could handle selling a few shirts on the side for some fun money.
  2. Finish blanket.  I had to knit like a crazy person, but I finished!  And she loved it.  :)
  3. Onesie.  Done!  Again, super cute and my sister was so happy with it.
  4. Camp Half Blood shirts.  Haven’t done this yet, but I did get the Camp Jupiter one done and the shirts ordered.
  5. Finish scrapbooking December 2015. Done!  Yay!  I also got half of January 2016 done.  Look at me go!
  6. Project Life.  lol.  Well, the productivity had to come to an end sometime.  Maybe this month I’ll get some Project Life layouts done.
  7. Edit Pics.  I pulled them off my camera, but still haven’t edited them.  Did I mention that my children hate naps?
  8. Scrap 4 current layouts.  I did 2 from December 2016 so halfway there.
  9. Donate cookies.  Done!  And we lucked out and got to give the cookies to the same awesome guys who gave us our tour.  I <3 Girl Scouts.
  10. Sell Stroller.  Haven’t gotten this one done yet.

Holy crap!  How is it May???  Need some goals…

  1.  Camp Half Blood Shirts.  I need to design, cut, iron, and deliver these.
  2.  Sell Stroller.  Need to photograph this and put it on craigslist.
  3. Camp Half Blood plans.  Oh my.  Kate is now obsessed with Percy Jackson and thus Greek mythology so she has requested that we “homeschool” Greek mythology this summer.  After talking to her further, we’ve decided to spend each week focusing on a different location from the book.  Fingers crossed I can get this together because it has the potential to be awesome.
  4. I took my birthday money and t-shirt money and actually booked some professional pics for our family!  It’s with  photographer who’s work I adore and I am excited beyond words.  Now I just need to figure out outfits!
  5. Finish January 2016.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
  6. Finish February 2016.  Pics are already printed so I just need to find some time to scrap.  :)  I really really really want to get to a place where I’m only a year behind.  More than that and I start getting confused.
  7. Project Life.  I’d like to finish October and November 2016.  There’s no way I’m getting this one done so I’m not quite sure why I’m putting it down.  lol.
  8. Plan Girl Scout camp fire day.  Y’all.  This seemed like such a good idea at the time.  😉  It’s this Saturday so I need to buckle down and get this figured out.  Probably tonight.
  9. Cut out name vinyl.  My neighbor asked me to cut out some vinyl for her kids’ room and even bought the vinyl.  I just need to get it done.
  10. Get 10k steps a day.  RaptorDad surprised me with an apple watch!  Squeee!!!  I’ve been doing pretty good on getting my steps so far, but I need to keep this trend going.  :)

 

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March Wrap Up and April Goals

I actually got a fair amount done in March!  Just not necessarily with the goals I had set, lol.  Let’s take a look.

  1.  Finish scrapbooking November 2015.  I actually did this!  Yay for me!
  2. Finish scrapbooking December 2015.  lol.  Nope.
  3. 4 Project Life layouts.  I actually did this too!  So, no catching up with scrapbooking or Project Life, but at least I didn’t fall further behind.
  4. Finish the dang cross stitch!  So so so so close.  And yet so far.  I am almost done, but I did not finish by my Grandmother’s birthday yesterday.  ::sigh::  There’s always Christmas?
  5. Finish the dang blanket!  This one has to be done by the 9th, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it.  I started on the final border last night and then I need to weave in the ends.
  6. Bluebonnet pics.  Well, they sucked but they’re done.  Getting all 3 kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time is way harder than it sounds.  And it sounds pretty hard.
  7. Summer boredom buster thingy.  We tested this out over Spring Break and it was a big hit!  I came up with 3 categories: Outside Fun (self explanatory), Desk Time (arts and crafts/ writing), and Badge Work (the next step of whatever badge she’s currently working on).  Then I come up with a “challenge” for each category. For example, her current outdoor fun challenge is to practice setting (volleyball) for 30 minutes.  Her current desk time is to write 5 letters home from Camp Half Blood as if she was Percy Jackson (her new favorite book series).   Once she’s completed 5 things, she earns 30 minutes of screen time.
  8. Move water table to front yard.  Haven’t managed to do this yet…
  9. Do 4 fun “educational” and/or crafty things with the babies.  Haven’t managed to do this yet either, but Mis is cruising along the furniture so I’m still calling this month a win.
  10. Plan something for the babies’ second birthday.  Mom to the rescue!  My mom planed a birthday gathering for our April birthdays and my sister made cupcakes for the twins.  It was low key and absolutely perfect.

I have so many projects that are “almost done” that it’s insane.  This month I’m tackling some of them!  That said, bring on the April Goals!

  1.  Finish cruise t-shirts.  Since I’m insane, I agreed to make 46 t-shirts for my step-mom.  I’m so close to being done, but I screwed up one of the shirts so I need to order another one.  The vinyl is cut and ready to go for the final shirt.
  2. Finish blanket.  Y’all.  I seriously only have 18 rows to go and then weave in the ends.  But it must must must be done by Sunday for my sister’s baby shower.
  3. Onesie.  Speaking of my sister’s baby shower, my grandmother wants me to make a onesie with some vinyl on it.  I have the supplies, I just need to actually design, cut, and iron it.
  4. Camp Half Blood shirts.  I’m too cheap to pay shipping for 1 shirt to replace the one I screwed up, so I decided to make a Camp Half Blood shirt.  I knew Kate would want one so I opened it up to my facebook friends and 3 or 4 people were interested.  :)  Now I just need to do the design work and actually make them.  Oh, and order the shirts.  lol.
  5. Finish scrapbooking December 2015.  This is a tall order, and I’m not sure I can make it happen.  It would be awesome though since it would mean finishing up a whole year and a whole book.  I guess I need to sit down and get to printing some pics.  Speaking of which, I need to order more photo paper…
  6. Project Life.  If I want to avoid getting even further behind, I need to do at least 4 weeks.  I’m on October 2016…
  7. Edit Pics.  I haven’t pulled pics off of my real camera since February.  Whoops.
  8. Scrap 4 current layouts.  Maybe from Spring Break?
  9. Donate cookies.  We have some boxes of Girl Scout cookies that we need to take to the fire station.
  10. Sell Stroller.  It’s time to say goodbye to the double snap n go.  ::sob::  I’m going to try to sell it on craigslist.

 

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St Patrick’s Day Shirts

Look Ma! I used my Silhouette!  :)  If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen these pics, but I wanted to blog them anyway.

Photo Mar 09, 12 39 56 PM

How cute did they turn out!  I found a file that I liked and then tweaked it a bit.  It turned out exactly as I envisioned.  Bonus points, my neighbor wanted shirts too so she “paid” me by buying all of the supplies.  Yay free vinyl!

Photo Mar 10, 12 57 55 PM

And here are my 2 cuties in their new shirts!  I’m so happy with how they turned out.  I might even try to take their pics with my real camera, though that would probably be pushing my luck.  lol.

And now it’s Spring Break!  Yay!!!  Maybe I should come up with a cute hashtag for our Spring Break adventures…  Hmm..

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March Goals

I was actually fairly productive in February!  Just not in a blogging way.  lol.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1.  Finish cross stitch.  I’m not done, but I’m getting closer.  This is the last month though!  I must finish it by April 2nd.
  2. Finish December Daily.  Nope.  Didn’t even look at this.  lol.
  3. Scrapbooking.  I actually got a lot done!  I finished September and October of 2015.  Whoot whoot!  Now I just need to keep the forward momentum going.
  4. Project Life:  Well, I’m almost done with one layout.  lol.  I really need to take some time for this.  I have some gorgeous kits I’d love to use!
  5. Ball up yarn and get started with the knitting.  I almost finished the border, but then I realized that I needed to buy another skein of yarn to do it.  This is time sensitive though!  Must be finished by mid April.
  6. Set up new planner and start using it.  I haven’t done this, but I did find a calendar that I’m writing things down on.
  7. Sell all the cookies.  We did it!!!  And I registered Kate for a week of camp.
  8. Prep materials for February Girl Scout meetings.  Done and done!  I also went to a full day training so that we can now have campfires with the girls.  Technically I think we can also backpack Bear Grylls style but I think we all know that’s not happening.  lol.
  9. Plan an awesome Spring Break.  Done!  We’re going to go visit family for a few days on the coast and then Kate and I are doing a mommy daughter camping weekend. (Don’t worry.  In cabins.  I think they even have AC.)  I even made Kate an awesome road trip activity book.
  10. Make Valentine’s Day shirts.  Done!  And I just ordered the stuff to make St Patrick’s Day shirts.  :)

 

Shall we set some March Goals?

  1.  Finish scrapbooking November 2015.
  2. Finish scrapbooking December 2015.
  3. 4 Project Life layouts.
  4. Finish the dang cross stitch!
  5. Finish the dang blanket!
  6. Bluebonnet pics.
  7. Summer boredom buster thingy.  That’s a technical term.  lol.  I have no idea what this will look like, but my plan is that it has ideas for things that Kate can do independently when she comes to me and says she’s bored this summer.
  8. Move water table to front yard.  Our front yard has a nice covered porch and our backyard has zero shade so I’m thinking of trying to create a little play area out front.
  9. Do 4 fun “educational” and/or crafty things with the babies.
  10. Plan something for the babies’ second birthday.  :sob::
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February Goals

I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t meet my goal of blogging more.  lol.  Nevertheless, I did get some thing done.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1.  Finish December Daily.  I didn’t finish, but I made some serious progress.  I’m currently working on pages 21 and 22.  (Since they’re front to back I always do 2 pages at the same time.)  So close!
  2. Finish cross stitching the base of the design.  Back stitching can be for February.  Well, I almost got this done.  I figure another 2 or 3 days and I will be finished with the base.  Which is amazing because I honestly thought there was no way I would finish this.
  3. Ball up yarn and finalize design for blanket.  Haven’t balled up the yarn yet, but I have finalized the design.  Time to dig out the needles.
  4. Scrapbooking: Knock out December 2015 and make a dent on December 2016.  I got 3 layouts done for December 2016, but none for 2015.  Whoops.  What I did do was August 2015!  It’s totally done.  And, I went ahead and printed the pics for September 2015.
  5. 8 Project Life layouts.  Well, I got 2 done?  lol.  I’m just falling further and firther behind with that project.
  6. 2 trash bags from scrap room.  Done!
  7. 2 trash bags from bedroom.  Done!
  8. Pack away Christmas stuff.  Done!
  9. Design and create Valentine’s Day shirts for the kiddos.  Still need to do this.  Especially now that it’s actually February.
  10. Design and cut out designs for our snazzy new water bottles.  Still need to do this.

Photo Feb 01, 9 53 35 AM

So what happened?  I’m usually way more productive in January.  Well, I’ll tell you.  Girl Scout cookies happened.  Raptor really wants to go to camp this year and if she sells 400 boxes than she gets $60 to put towards camp.  I foolishly told her this and that if she managed to sell the 400 boxes that I would cover the difference.  She is working her little butt off, but damn.  400 boxes is a lot of cookies!  Especially since we were out of town during the first week of cookie booths.  Still, I think the end is in sight.  She’s sold 280 boxes so far and she has 120 to go.  Fingers crossed!

I’m also taking a more active role in planning things for our Girl Scout meetings, at least during cookie season.  It’s been loads of fun.  :)  I’m really enjoying being more involved.  It does leave less time for crafty pursuits though.  That said, shall I set some February goals?

  1.  Finish cross stitch!  Yikes.  This is a project I’ve been working on for years.  I started when I was pregnant with the twins!  I’m not sure what I’ll start next.  Maybe I’ll actually do a cross stitch for my house.  lol.  This was also the last big unfinished project that I promised myself I would finish before starting on my quilt!
  2. Finish December Daily.  Only 3 layouts to go!
  3. Scrapbooking.  OK.  If I don’t finish at least one month a month then I just get further and further behind.  ::sigh::  So I really want to finish September 2015, print pics for August 2015, and do at least 10 current layouts.  I should be aiming for finishing 2 months a month, but lets be real, ain’t nobody got time for that!
  4. Project Life:  Since I’m focusing on scrapping this month, I’m just going to try to not get further behind with Project Life. That means 4 layouts.  Unclear if those will be September 2016, January 2017, or a combo of both.  I just know that I need to play catch up in a big way!
  5. Ball up yarn and get started with the knitting.  I’d like to get the bottom border (20 rows) done.
  6. Set up new planner and start using it.  Right now I have a million scraps of paper everywhere.  I need to get more organized.
  7. Sell all the cookies.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
  8. Prep materials for February Girl Scout meetings.
  9. Plan an awesome Spring Break.
  10. Make Valentine’s Day shirts.
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Cross Stitch Work in Progress

Y’all.  I really want to get this done before my Grandmother’s birthday in April.  I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I’ve been stitching like a bad woman this past week or so!  I figured I’d share a progress report here since I don’t have anything new and scrappy to share.

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I started on some of the back stitching already so I could break it up a bit.  I have a long way to go, but at least I’m making some progress!

I’m still plugging away on my December Daily, but I’m in a bit of a scrappy holding pattern until that’s done.  I need to do a major clean up/ purge of the space, but that just seems so boring.  lol.  Once that’s done, I think I’ve decided to go ahead and start my 2017 Project Life album and just work on 2016 at the same time.  I also need to make a serious dent in my back log of to be scrapped photos.

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Happy New Year! Goals and Reflections

Oh 2016.  What a year.  The highs, they have been high; and the lows, they have been low.  It’s been a wild ride!  This December, I found myself in need of perspective so I’m starting off the new year by rereading my favorite book of all time, Shogun.  One of the characters is teaching another about Zen Buddhism and I find that I need to reread those lessons every few years.  :)  As you can see, my copy has been well loved.  lol.  Pretty sure I “borrowed” it from my mom when I was in high school and never gave it back.

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In other news, I’m working on my annual January purge!  I finally accepted that I am not going to put the twins back in cloth diapers and I’m boxed them all up to pass on to another mom who is picking them up before I can change my mind tomorrow.  Hopefully this is the jump start I need to clear out all of the babies’ outgrown clothes and sort through our latest boxes of hand me downs.  I also really really really want to do a major purge/ reorg of my craft room and my bedroom.  We’ll see how far I get before I run out of steam.  :)

I made a goal this fall to actually finish some projects before starting new ones and I did pretty good on that front!  I finished a cross stitch project, a set of felt letters, and two stockings, all had been in my To Do pile for at least a year.  Of course, now I’ve got a whole new pile of projects to finish, but truthfully I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Some big ones are a surprise baby blanket for my sister, a massive cross stitch project for my grandmother, and 2 more stockings.  I also want to make some new shirts and stuff with my silhouette and maybe even try to sell a few of them to pay for my vinyl habit.  😉  And then, as always, my never ending scrapbooks.  lol.  On that note, how about some goals for the month.

  1.  Finish December Daily.  I’m on day 16 and I’m keeping it pretty simple so I feel like I should be able to knock it out this week.
  2. Finish cross stitching the base of the design.  Back stitching can be for February.
  3. Ball up yarn and finalize design for blanket.
  4. I’m skipping ahead a few months (I should be on August 2015), but since I have all of my Christmassy scrapbook stuff out, I’d really like to knock out December 2015 and make a dent on December 2016.
  5. I would also like to start catching up on Project Life.  Hmm…  Maybe I should go ahead and try to stay current with January while going back and filling in the gaps of 2016?  I’ll ponder that further,  Let’s just say 8 Project Life layouts.
  6. 2 trash bags from scrap room.
  7. 2 trash bags from bedroom.
  8. Pack away Christmas stuff.
  9. Design and create Valentine’s Day shirts for the kiddos.
  10. Design and cut out designs for our snazzy new water bottles.

So, some big goals, some small goals.  I’m also going to try to blog more regularly, but I know better than to make it a goal at this point.  lol.

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Christmas Pics

I finally took some pictures of the kiddos.  They aren’t perfect, and next year I am totally hopefully finding a way to have a pro take some for us, but nevertheless I’m glad to have something.  I even got a few pics of Xander that are actually pretty good.  :)

xander

The secret?  Candy canes.  lol.  Baby boy never sits still so most of the portrait type pics I have involve Mia sitting like a little angel while Xander is a blur running off in the background.  But he apparently loves candy canes.  :)

xmas-cards-2016

My other trick was to have Kate read them a book so that there was hope they would sit still.  It worked!

xmas-cards-2016

The hat was also a hit.  And you can’t see it since she’s sitting down, but Kate has on her red cowboy boots.  :)

xmas-cards-2016

This was a new spot for me to take pictures (but apparently a popular one.  lol.  We saw at least 2 actual photographers out there) and by the time I found the best spot the light was fading fast as were the babies.  And then my camera battery died.  lol.  I was going to drag everyone out again the next day to try again, but then RaptorDad pointed out that that was crazy.  So here they are!  My imperfect, but good enough, Christmas card pics.  You know, for the Christmas cards that we aren’t sending this year.  😉

 

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