Mama Chameleon

Sunday, December 31, 2006



Happy New year!

We have just had the first round of fireworks (9 pm), which our Topsy slept through.
He had a lot of fun till about 8:15 though. A local country singer had him dancing and jumping for about 6 songs. i think Topsy was actually the star of the show! LOL!

It has been raining all day, and was still drizzling as I walked the kids across the road and home. This is a short video ( a little dark maybe) of Topsy running through the most fantastic puddle!

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From us to you, Happy New Year!

Posted by michelle :: 10:04 pm :: 2 comments links to this post

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Job Hunting

I meant to show you this pic ages ago.
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What do you think it is, or what has happened to it?


OK, it WAS a potato, but it was used by a boy wielding a potato gun (or spud gun as we call it in Oz). Spindles got the potato gun for his birthday and it has proved VERY popular! Thanks Aunty Fiona, Uncle Phil and Reuben!

Also yesterday Diva was using some paints, and then youngest brother woke up and decided to do some painting too. There techniques were somewhat dissimilar!
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Now I wanted to get you guy's input here. I will probably never work full time as helping Hubby in the parish is quite time consuming and very rewarding, But...
Well, the BUT is that it would be nice to have some money to put aside to save up for a house (not that we need one yet, but for our future when we do not need to live in a church manse!) I don't want to do casual teaching until Tospy is at least in preschool, but I would like to do something at home that I could potter about with, a couple of evening a week. Any ideas? I have looked a little at online surveys, and read about how to avoid the scammers. The idea of surveys is not rivetting, but if it isn't a scam, I would do it. Any feedback on the survey idea, or any other ideas, girls? I await your wisdom!

Posted by michelle :: 10:41 am :: 5 comments links to this post

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Friday, December 29, 2006



Our Friday


Slowly the Christmas decorations are starting to be taken down.
The unseasonally cold weather is gradually heating up again, and we will venture out to swim tommorrow.
I have nearly completed my cleanout of the boys room. They cleaned out a whole bunch first and now I am in there doing the 'culling' phase of the operation.
The boys were given the board game of Warhammer Quest

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from Robby and Paul for Christmas, so each day I sit at the kitchen table and go one round with them. It is a hard game to explain. Roly is the wizard in the blue hat, Spindles is the dwarf with the yellow bundle, and I am the Barbarian with hardly any clothes on. (Roooarr! Heehee!) The elf is sometimes played by Diva.

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At present we are playing the dwarf's special quest, so we are helping him to get something out of the fire room.

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As we move around the board, we have to take on the trolls, etc that bar our way. We fight them by rolling dice, to see how we go. they have a certain amount of lives and so do we, though we can buy healing potions and bandages to bring our lives back up to the optimum. Quite fun really.

In totally unrelated news: our storytimes at night have undergone some changes lately. I have always read a 'Bible story' at night, plus a chapter or two of some kid's novel. But now that the kids are older, we all lie on the floor with our Bibles, and read either a chapter or half a chapter, depending on how long the chapter is) each reading about 8 verses. We are starting from the beginning, Genesis, and working our way through (using some discretion. For instance, we chose not to have our little innocents reading about Lot's daughters being incestuous with their father. Though to be honest, the skipping made Roly very curious, so he read it himself!). Hubby has come on board with this too, whenever he is at home, so that is fantastic, though at the rate which we are reading, I will probably be in the dementia unit by the time we swing round to Revelations.

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Novel-wise we are reading Five on Finniston Farm by Enid Blyton, as well as another one that I won't reveal, as it has divided lots of Christians over here and I do not want to debate or lose blog buddies over it. (HA! Bet that just got everyone curious! Cruel aren't I! LOL!)
I have always loved reading, as Robby and I never had TV growing up in Kenya, and I have always so enjoyed reading to the kids. Now we have three prolific readers in the family, besides Hubby and I. The boys read all holidays, and while they read they also listen to an audio book. Who ever said that males cannot multi-task?!!


Posted by michelle :: 1:41 pm :: 4 comments links to this post

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006



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Well how was everyone's Christmas?
Here is the lowdown of what transpired at our house
6:15 Spindles and Diva woke us, but they had to wait about 15 more minutes before I let them wake the othes. I will not wake Topsy next time. He immediately sat up smiling, all cuteness and pie, but he needed to head back to bed about an hour later. And because he is used to having a nearly half hour snuggle in bed with Mummy as soon as he wakes up, he wasn't interested in tearing up Christmas paper until he had a cuddle in bed and a bit of time to become alert.

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Roly declared it to be the Christmas ever (loot-wise!) They had about an hour to look at their things before they had to start getting ready for church.

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8:00 I popped a coffee cake in the oven just before we went to the early service next door. I usually make sticky buns for Christmas, but the bread maker is on strike, so Coffee cake it was.
9:15 After church, the kids pottered, Hubby went over to the next town to conduct another service, and I started making a pasta salad, and 3 bannoffee pies.

12:00-3:30 We had Chrstmas lunch with my Mom's dozen siblings and their families in a town about an hour away. Topsy was a terribly winger all the way there and all the way back!
We had a delicious feast of cold roasted lamb, pork and ham with a salad buffet.
Then we had nearly 10 desserts from which to sample, whilst catching on a bit of the family news.
Usually we all sit outside in my Uncle's back yard, under a big tent thing. and because it is so stinking hot in December, we drizzle water over the tent and end up having a big water fight.
But this year it was rather cool, and it rained sporadically.
The annual cricket game was played, but the water fight never eventuated.
3:30 Late afternoon when we got home we played with our 'toys' and munched on leftovers for dinner.
A very satisfying day all up!
I can't wait to hear how you all celebrated Christmas.

As for our pre Christmas highlights.... well it is all a bit of a blur now, but I do remember that last Friday night we had our own family Christmas dinner, just the six of us. For a couple of weeks we had been stockpiling bottles of apple and grape cider (the non alcoholic kind).
We had:
Glazed ham
Roast Turkey roll
Garlic Roasted potato and Sweet potato
Buttered carrots and beans
Peas
Cauliflour and broccoli in Cheese sauce

Yorkshire puddings
Gravy
Sticky Date pudding for dessert (this was requested by the kids and I was flattered since I too had thought that the one I made a couple of weeks ago was to die for. Flattered, that is, until Diva added "Yes can you please make it like the first one you made, not like the second one!' The 'first one' she was talking about was a bought Sara Lee that I had overcooked in the oven about four weeks back. Grr.!)


It was a gorgeously yummy dinner, despite having a bought dessert! :)

We had aalso planned to go into town, meet up with my cousin and her hubby and their kids at their house. They live in the epicentre of Christmas light central, so we were going to stroll around together. Well the day we chose was totally stormy with torrential rain. We still went out, and ended up driving around, with our windows down, fellas in one car, girls in the other. It was still fun, but the kids were dissapointed that none of the Santa Clauses were brave enough to stand out in the rain and hand out lollies!

and today, the day after Boxing Day, it has been a whirlwind of activity. Hubby and I agree that it must be a pre New yea's Eve 'spring clean' of sorts.
Hubby has totally changed the office around, furniture and all. i have gone through half of the clothes cupboards to chuck out donation stuff and sort out the rest. I have cleaned out the pantry and other kitchen cupboards. Diva washed walls, Roly scrubbed out the bath tub, shower and bathroom sink. And the boys cleaned off most of the junk on their desks in their room (doesn't sound like a lot, but that was a huge feat, believe me!) and cleaned up their bookshelves.
We all feel very accomplished. Topsy walked around the whole time, 'helping'.

Ok, all from me. Talk soon!






Posted by michelle :: 11:37 am :: 5 comments links to this post

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Monday, December 25, 2006



Happy Christmas Dear Ones all!

Posted by michelle :: 10:15 am :: 2 comments links to this post

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Monday, December 18, 2006



The Bloggin Blahs
Is anyone else finding it hard to blog at present?
It may be the heat or all the extra stuff on, or all the kiddos being home. I don't know what it is but finding time to blog is pretty hard at the moment, and when I do have the time, I am tired and blogging is the last thing I feel like doing. I have been reading you all, but I need to improve on my commenting. Sorry!
Anyways, here is just a short pictorial look at Spindle's laser party.
It went so well! The almost two hour trip was definitely worth it. Echidna Gully was certainly out bush, and the lady who ran the party did a great job. She would divide the kids into two groups (well actually she had Spindles and Roly pick off the kids to be on their teams. I am so dead set against that kind of team picking. It is so cruel, and it is the only bad thing about the party) and then she set scenarios for them, so they had set missions to do. There were 19 of us all up, though diva, Topsy and I gave the lasering a miss! Hubby and the other two Dads who volunteered to help transport all the kiddos up all played and had a blast. They actually said it was more fun than paint ball.
Instead of the hour I had set aside for dinner, I did the BBQ while the guys were experiencing their first hour, and then we ate in about 10 minutes. (The people who run the place suggested that, 'cause they said that a lot of groups are not hungry right after, rather just thirsty. And they were right.) Then after the quick sausage sandwich and the birthday cake, they went straight into the second hour. So we finished at 8 pm and got home by 9:45, which was good.
The laser day will certainly become an annual outing, though next time it will not be a party; that way everyone can pay their own way! :)
So without further ado: the slide show. I am not doing a fancy slide thingy, as some people's computers don't load them well.


Spindles protects his friend as he runs to safety.

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Spindle's best buddy strikes a pose for MamaC

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Getting the enemy within his sight.

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Taking aim.

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Hubby apparantly giving Diva a turn. (Just at the last moment, as in five minutes before the end, she decided she would like to have a go. I was not about to pay for five minutes! So Hubby let her have a go of his..... sort of!)

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Posing while under attack.

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Concentration.

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Flee!

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Some of the terrain.....

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Roly having a blast in tactics mode.....

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....but still has time for a chat with Topsy.

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Topsy taking huge strides....

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...trying to keep up with the big boys.

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Wrapping it all up.

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A day Spindles will never forget.

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Posted by michelle :: 8:47 pm :: 9 comments links to this post

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Thursday, December 14, 2006



Heart Tugging Moment

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This afternoon in the pool, I put Topsy up on the edge and while he clutched my thumbs, I counted "1..2..3!', and then swung him up and then down into the water. The second time I did it, I accidentally submerged him totally. I have avoided doing this, because he hated it at the Mommy and Me classes.
But this time, when he came up, water streaming from his face, he was beaming and immediately his little body struggled in my arms, desperate to get back to the edge of the pool to do it again.
Well, I must have dunked him almost 40 times, and he just LOVED it. About halfway through he began shouting '3!' with us (or rather 'teeee!!!') and he would grin and close his eyes tight as his face was about to go under.
My baby, foks!
My baby, the mermaid!
Oh and I practised my diving today, after coaching my own kiddos yesterday. I haven't done that in years. Always to self concious to practise in a public pool. But what can I say?

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It was as though the years melted away! *grin*
Our host also regaled us with a tale of one day, when her hubby was skinnydipping in the same pool, and some insurance man showed up un announced. Oh boy! To much information! And such a proper couple they are too!

Posted by michelle :: 9:42 pm :: 6 comments links to this post

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006



Just another Manic Wednesday, Oh Ey Oh!


Well today didn't start off great. When Topsy was having his morning sleep, we thought we would prepare for building a campfire, by watching a 10 minute instructional video. You Tube has this nifty mini-communty called Expert Village, which has hundreds of 'how to' videos. So cool! And free!

The problems started when Roly decided, 50 seconds into the video that he already knew everything there was to know about setting up a campfire. ( Having gone on an overnight trip with school in first term, with lots of adult supervision.) Diva who was desperate to just do some hands-on fire buildin', jumped on his bandwagon a bit. So less than two minutes into the video, I turned it off with a 'humpmmmpphhh! Alright Roly, you can make a fire from scratch, and cannot learn any more from someone who has taught it for 8 years? Alrighty then, well you show us how it's done!'
He started out very enthusiastically, and I gave him a limit of 20 matches.

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Well, all I'll say was that, he has come to realize that a 10 minute instructional video may be come in very handy. LOL!!! ( Oh and the reason I am using the video rather than teaching the 'how to' myself from our SAS survial book? I feel it would be a bit hypocritical, seeing as I have never lit a campfire all on my own.)
Well after Tospy's second sleep, we ventured to another friend's pool. Their own children have moved out of home, and they live right up amongst the hills, about 8 km from us. it is just a gorgeous place to live.
Well, the welcome was generous and the pool was exquisite. And to top[ it off, half of the pool was in the shade. Our hosts had a lot of pool toys.....

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which entertained us, almost as much as watching each other practise diving!

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And guess what? Our hosts have kangaroos, wild goats and reindeer in the hill on their property. What an eclectic mix, huh?
After dinner, even though we were exhausted from the swim, we dragged ourselves over to our Oasis for half an hour. The Oasis is a little disappointing at the moment, if I am being totally honest, seeing as someone has almost completely stopped up the running water with a deluge of rocks. And what meager water there is to play in, is made quite hazardous by the hovering throng of thirsty bees and wasps.
I am about to crash now, having put children to bed, and done a half hour on the manual treadmill (that my friend Funny farm loaned me).
I will probably not blog tomorrow. but on Friday night it is Spindles' birthday party, the laser one, so I will take tons of pics and show you how it went.

And then Saturday night is our Church Christmas party. We all just bring food for ourselves and a dessert to share. It is always held at the home of a parishoner who has a pool to keep all of the kids and hot people happy. It should be a ton of fun.




Posted by michelle :: 8:35 pm :: 6 comments links to this post

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Sunday, December 10, 2006



A Possible Plan

( Why this first paragraph is so big is beyond me! I have tried several times to alter the size but it reverts back to 'huge'. Grrr!)T's comment made me realize that I should probably clarify our holiday set up for the school year. The kids have four 8- 10 week terms. Then this year we have had two holidays of 3 weeks, one of 2 weeks, and this hot summer of 8 weeks.
Quite a lot, I guess.

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Which leads me into my post really.
This is a really long holiday, so we are going to start something I was planning to do with the kids next year. I may have already said that Hubby is not keen to send our kids to Scouts because of the bad rap it has had with child abuse.
I, though, am keen for the kids to learn some good practical skills. So, thanks to the World Wide Web, I have managed to find where I can order the Scout badges, as well as finding the set criteria kids must complete to achieve a badge.
The ones I have decided they can start to work towards are:

My faith
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First Aid
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Artist
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Collector
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Chef
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Camp Craft
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Water activities
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Don't you think that is kind of cool that the whole program is right there, badges and all, on the net? And for any concerned Scout fanatics out there, fear not, we are doing it by the book. Badges will not be given until the criteria is met!!
So anyways, I am enlisting friends who are experts in some of these fields to come and give us a couple of talks and demonstrations (Hi Funny farm! One day I may get you to show us some basic first aid!!). I am getting one retired man from church to take the kids through the process of making a rope ladder each. Another man will teach us how to make a fire from scratch. We have a video and a human resource (Funny's Hubby) to help us learn our basic knots. (a must for scouts!)
We have started to plan an overnight camp at a river in our friend's property, and for water activites, we will hopefully borrow my cousin's raft and float down the river at Gunnedah (where we used to live).
So hopefully all will go smoothly over the weeks. I feel a little intimidated , as I am not as planned as I would have been in the New Year, but oh well, I am seizing the day! I will have to give updates on how it is going. Hey, any ideas where they should put their badges, seeing as the kiddos will not be wearing a uniform?
Anyways, better go. It is Sunday night, not a popular time to blog, or read blogs and I am tired. Talk soon!


Posted by michelle :: 6:57 pm :: 8 comments links to this post

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Friday, December 08, 2006



The topic of cleaning

Well, it's official. The kids are on holidays (vacation). 8 weeks of holidays to be exact. Last night we left sleeping Topsy under the caring watch of a dear church lady, while we went with the kids to their end-of-year concert.
I wish I had taken a bit of video footage of it, primarily to show you how cute Diva is when she sings.
She is what you would call an earnest singer. Whilst the entire group of Stage One children sang 'I'm a Caterpillar of Society' beatifically, only one child felt the song with her entire body; bobbing rhythmically forward with each beat, mouth opened as wide as possible to form each and every syllable. that's our Diva! Other people also noticed her enthusiasm and mentioned it to us later! I am just glad that Diva is happy to be herself in front of an audience; that is exactly how she sings at church too, and at home! The girl just lurrves to sing! : )


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The boys were both in the concert too. They all had to wear their sports uniforms, and we noticed that Spindles was the only child in his Stage who actually had his shirt tucked IN!

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Apparantly with the new sports uniform, they have to leave the shirt untucked. Who knew? (Well, everyone but us, evidently!)

So, like I said, school is out. and this year, with the benefit of several years worth of previous holiday experience under my belt, I have made an executive decision. That being: the premise that having a good long rest is especially enjoyed and appreciated after a bit of good old fashioned work (aka: blood sweat and tears).
So after a day's reprieve, today after normal chores, I let the kids choose a room that we would begin to clean and sort from the inside out. They chose the kitchen. We got a fair bit done, though I would imagine that we will continue with the kitchen on both Monday and maybe even Tuesday.
There was a little reluctance at this executive decision initially, (read between those lines!) but when all was said and done, my cherubs agreed that yes, taking a break after a good job done, was extremely rewarding. LOL!
We had a swim at our friends pool this hot afternoon, during which said friend informed me that she would be paying for me to have a housekeeper come to clean my bathroom, toilet, and mop my kitchen floor each week. She has always had someone come to do hers, can't imagine life any other way, and she has really felt that this is a way she can support me. AMEN to that! I didn't even go through the polite motions of protesting feebly! I took that offer up and ran!


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Though I will be getting a different cleaning lady than the one I paid for a one off about 6 months ago. All I wanted was for her to do the toilet, the bathroom and the kitchen floor, but she had her mind made up, her agenda fixed. With the air of one going into to battle (yes I am messy, but not THAT messy, surely!) she advanced on my living room and proceeded to steadfastly vaccuum it to within an inch of its existance. I am talking: thorough! As in, under the couches, the rug, and into all those hard to reach places. ('I don't start a job unless I am going to do it well!' she said several times). After spending 45 minutes on that, she meandered into the office and did the same to it (the office wasn't even on my list, but she was a woman on a mission, and I felt strangely scared of her). In the end it cost me more than I had anticipated, because she stayed overtime to do the job 'thoroughly', and yet not a single room that I had asked to be done, got done! LOL!!!!

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So someone who lets me be in charge would be great.

Posted by michelle :: 10:39 pm :: 4 comments links to this post

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006



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It's Christmas time in Bloggerville!

I will post later, but this is just to let you know that my sister Robyn has not thrown her blog out the window, and left you all without saying goodbye!
No. Instead she is experiencing that strange Blogger phenomenon that they are calling 'Christmas at Blogger'.
So when you go to her site and see nothing? That is the vitual blizzard swirling around and obscuring her virtual blogging home.
NAaaah, nope.... I am not buying that cover story either!

They had better hurry up and fix the problem. I miss the girl.... plus, I am having Sudoku withdrawals!!!

Posted by michelle :: 8:23 am :: 5 comments links to this post

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Monday, December 04, 2006



Help Me: I want to be crafty!

Today I heard about a great idea for Christmas. Gift bags that you sew out of Christmas material. They sound a little like a simple pillowslip, but of course you can re-use them instead of throwing out tons of 5 hours wrapping worth of Christmas paper that has been torn off in 2 minutes. I really liked the idea, but the person who blogged the idea has only given the vaguest of decriptions, as if she is instructing a group of fellow seamstresses, of which I am not. I do not even own a sewing machine.

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*gasp*

So if anyone has ever made anything like these before, please clue me in...SOON!
I won't stay chatting. Just a humdrum day today, nothing thrilling. Though I did make my signature dish for our Bible study group tonight: Morroccan lamb tagine. I was a bit short of the key ingredient, but I put in a ton of veggies as well and served it over couscous.

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P.S. When I went searching for a pic of the reusable gift bag I found some pretty simple instructions, but please let me know if you have any tips, regardless.
Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 8:15 pm :: 6 comments links to this post

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