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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Words Compounded

Life compounded... It came on hard this week. Questions, anxiety,
lessons learned hard, hard lessons learned, mix-ups and fix-ups.
I felt like the gentle repairer. Repairing of hearts. Repairing of question
and issues and messes. Reaching out gently keeping my calm and yet
feeling all frantic inside. Never letting on. Never letting Go and then
the light comes on and I realize that Jesus took time alone. Jesus took
the time to rejuvinate and repair. I gathered and repaired in Prayer.
Giving me the strength for more.

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Big Project this week:

We are tackling the boys room. It is the beginnings of hoarding. Tackling it
a little at a time. How it got this way I do not know but its getting there.
We set a timer for so many a minutes per day and work. We will work till
it's done. Then comes the school supplies. Much of it I never touch. Why is
it here taking up space for things I do use. No more. The Great clean out begins.

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

Compound word practice:


Spirit struggled a little this week with the concept of compounds words.
Threw together a quick practice for him. Gathered math cubes and wrote
words with dryerase pen. Will do this again . Loved it for word work.
Spirit matched them into words and then we used I phone print out to
type them in and write them out .


You can get the I-phone @  Dragonfly iphone freebie


Relaxing this Saturday. Took a trip to our local market and strolled around.
A generous man gave the little ones two furry stuffy friends for free. So kind.
Grabbed huge heads of cabbage. Making cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and
sausage for dinner. Lots of good smells.


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

We created a ball pit for Sweet pea . A friend gave us a big bag of balls.
We put them in a little plastic pool. Sweet pea is relaxing soaking her feet
in her ball pit and sitting in her baby doll stroller. This is a few weeks ago
as this week the weather is cool and we have pulled out our fall

clothes.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teach With Love, Patience and Messes



My Children are Angels that God gifted to me for a little while.
I look across the lunch table at their eager eyes, messy faces and smiles.
Some days are complete messes, with literal mess and with messes of the heart.
 Some days are full of Joy to the top. They understood everything and they
behaved like the angels I know they are.  Some days are messes and Joys all
wrapped into one.  I am motivated by those messes. They motivate me to Love.
To love the entire spirit. To love the entire child. I was passed this U tube video
along for one of our cyber teachers. Be encouraged today. God only
gifted these precious children to us for a little while.



Their messes mean they are learning. Their mistakes mean they are created by
God and given Free will to choose. That is the GIFT.



Warm Blessings,

Nikki




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bible Breakfast


Mixing the pancake batter and stirring it for God. Gathering of
the crowd of children to share in His  experience. The smallness
of our holy place is not with lack of love. The first of our Monthly
tasting , food , love, and God. Bibles in hands eating his word.
Pancakes made with care and toppings added generously.



Cool whip, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, bananas, apples, blueberries,
carmel syrup, pancake syrup, m&m's and apple Sauce. All of Gods
Bounty . Gifts of Thanksgiving and pure Sweetness!! Imagine that a Monthly
Thanksgiving feast.



All these young faces who want to know the Truth. Who long for
friendship , Gods Friendship. The knowing. The pure knowledge of it and
us as adults having it to give. Something we can not ignore. God pushes
us to lead them. We lead them with Sweetness and his Word.


I bend on bended knee and breath in their smiles. They long to know ...

Matthew 4:4 But he answered "It is written , Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God"

God's word right from Gods mouth in their young to teen hands. It is written.
Each creates their bibles. As a rememberance. The symbolizum of Bibles
for Memory of....

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


To create yoru own bibles you will need:
Two chocolate candies (the ones wrapped in gold are better
but we could only find these in our local store)
The verse you'd like to share
Craft foam of various colors
Thing red ribbon for book marker
and Glue

Glue your two candies to a piece of craft foam. I choose
various colors since bibles today are not only black. Then cut
a rectangular shape around the glued candies. I laid them out
traced around them cut out the shape and then glued them . It's easier.
Then fold you verse in half. Glue the middle and edges and place on
your candies. Last add your ribbon and voila bibles.



My little Sweet Pea made 3 and has carried them around with her all week
so far. Some of the words are wearing off from her wet or sticky hands.
She loves her little Bible books.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bunny Pens and Thoughts

It's been a few weeks now since my dad had his heart attack. He has
had the best care and is recovering termendously. My dad and mom live
on a small farmette. Dad loves animals and that love of animals has fallen
to my children. Growing up I had various farm animals kittens, dogs,
chickens, ducks, horses, ponys, goats, and sheep. I'd call it a little hobby
farm since we didn't really get much from these little cudldlies. Mostly love.




When dad had his heart attack he was harboring several animals for my children
to love on. At that time he was unable to care for them so we quickly set up to
create some rabbit hutches. Daddy hadn't built them before but with his
wood knowledge and the internet some fabulous hutches were made. The kids
are so excited to have their actual rabbit stay with us. Each morning they
dress and head out to the pens to water and feed them. On occastion they
end up in the house during lessons and sit in their laps.


Each had to get their photo taken with their rabbit.

My thoughts this week are  on our Church family. We had several meetings
to hire a new Youth leader. This could make or break our church as we are
in a difficult place. Getting a wonderful youth leader would pull in the
younger crowd we are lacking at this time. The sunday school group we
have created is so fun and exciting. I enjoy taking my turn to teach. My
hope is for more children to enjoy what we are doing because we have created
such an amazing program. Since our youth numbers are lower I am taking
my teen daughter Princess  to another we call them "mega church"
many of her homeschool friends attend and so she wants to too. I will
post some photos tomorrow of our Special pancake breakfast we had for
the kids last Sunday.


In other news ... It is possible that Daddy may finally have found work. He
is to take a tour of the factory on Thursday and the decision will be made then.
Unemployment runs out in November so I am praying that this is it. As October
looms closer I realize it has been going on 3 years now since he had heart failure
and was diagnosed with diabetes. It has been a long road to recovery and
much struggle for work with so many restrictions. Praying hard this is the answers
to our prayers but if not God knows our plan and will lead us.



Last week Heart had her first car break down. She called rather upset but
we talked and she calmed down as her dad came for her. Her car is up
and running now. I am so proud of her accompishments and her hard work
in college. I know she will make a great math teacher one day.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First day of Autumn.



Autumn... Happy Fall to all of you . Each Season brings its own
Joys.  I look forward to making warm soups and hot chocolate.

I await the leaves to change colors and there is something about the
smells in the air. If you are looking for some Fall fun check out
some of my Autumn Pins, All things Apple and those big orangey
pumpkins . I love wearing the rustic oranges, burgandy reds,
various shades of brown and olive greens.  I thought it might
be fun to look back on some fall blogging too to help get
my creative fall juices going.

Let's start with some apple pies. So easy to create.
 Take a peek at the orginal Apple Pies post. Really simple to do.
Grab a paper plate, paint it brown, add your paper cut apples and cinnamon.
It's that simple and smells wonderful too.


Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at creating a Corn Buddy




Maybe you'd like to bring some fall in... How about some leaves in
a basket for some play time. Leaves in a Basket





Or perhaps you'd like to create some Paper Scarecrows


This will be our first Autumn in our new Home. We have spent so much
time getting it fixed up. It is an old brick farmhouse type of home without the farm.
We live on a little triangular lot right by a highway but the way it's set up it still feels
country to me. I have decorated it country inside and we work on a regular basis to
make home improvements. Little by little it is beginning to feel more like HOME.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday:  Lesson plans, Decorating the inside for autumn,
and heading to a baby shower

Sunday: Church and our kids pancake breakfast, Afternoon at home-
slip in a few planning things and then Youth group mtg. and youth group.


Have a Great weekend.

Nikki
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Wild West !!

I just loved doing this fun unit on the Wild West. We had a great time.
Planning it was just as fun as doing the lessons I planned. I got so involved
reading about the west that I often forgot to write down what I was doing.

We did a lot of reading from our History of US book but then after
we clicked online to u tube to hear the story of the west.
Below is part 1, 2 and 3.

Part 1 Heartland



Part 2 Heartland


Part 3 Heartland




Then we interviewed and imaginary Cowboy. This is his result.
(note my son is more artistic than a writer but we are working on his writing)
As you can see he created a construction paper cowboy and drew a donkey
to go along with it.




You can grab a blank news template  and other Writing Frames .

Below are some other links we used to do our study.

1. You can take a field trip and visit a Virtual Farmhouse. This wasn't
as well recieved as I thought it would be perhaps because we have so
many farms nearby it wasn't to exciting for my son .

2. Try your hand at Building your own Prairie.  This my son loved. He
enjoys animals and nature so he had a great time showing off his animal
knowledge. If you don't have the animal know you can use their field guide
with a click.

3. We spend some time listening to some Old time western radio shows.
This was a lot of fun. We would listen at differnt times of the day . As we
did chores as we completed art. Its fun to have a story told to you.

4. We spend a good bit of time looking over this website. Legends Of America
We found foods, recipes, poetry, phrases used , stories of outlaw, etc...
Really really recommend this site with your study.



We had a great time visiting the WEST...

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whats On my Clipboard?


Binder or Clipboard???  I admit to having several binders for various reasons
but I don't really like the bulky binders laying around. I prefer a clipboard
for my daily use items. I do have a homeschool binder. It is a great source and
reference to many good things. You can see my  Homeschool Notebook at the
link provided. I also have a Home binder which is less organized. I have to really
get to that, sometime or other. What I have come to loving is my Clipboard.
Today I will show and tell you what is on My Clipboard and why I love it.




If you didn't know, we cyber school. I love cyber schooling, but it requires
organization when you have more than one child in the school . In the past I would often
miss good online classes or I'd forget conference calls with Teachers. Not anymore. I
found this form from Holy Experience I am probably using it way differently than she
intended but it has been a great help to me. I use the top section for myself and then
the bottom areas are for each child. I just happen to have 4 at home and the bottom
is divided into 4 sections. I can write in each childs online classes for the week and
any of the special activities. This is always on top. If I read a new activity I write it
at the top of the page for placing into my calendar (which is in my notebook) on Friday
when I have planning time for the following week.


Next I keep each of the childrens planning pages. As we finish subjects
I mark them off. It keeps me on track. You can get those planning pages


The more I thought about it the more I like the weekly plan in view .
I wanted more at a glance pages for myself to stay organized. So I created
this food journal. Here you can mark your water for the week, your exercise goal,
(Mine is 3x per week that is all I can manage right now) , Your special goal ,
a food journal and food reactions if any that you may notice. I have GERD.
So watching what are my trigger foods is important to me.



The second one I created is a planning page for myself. A things to do page.
It is important for me to remember to take care of my study with God, My health,
my home and my family. This page has my bible memory verse for the week,
my daily bible schedule, church prep (sunday school teacher :) Homeschool
prep, home chores, phone calls and one creative project per week as it is good
for my well being. You can find both planning pages in my  file 4 Share.
The file is called This Week.




Not to be out done by photo taking. Sweet pea had me take this.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Monday, September 17, 2012

Measurement and the 3 Bears...




It's Measuring time here at the Miller home. Spirit and his cheerful measuring
self has gone around the house measuring all that he can see. We measured
things with our feet, we measured items with paper clips, with foam shapes,
with match box cars and finally our ruler. To end things I read Goldilocks
and the three Bears to him . I found this great idea on PBS kids showing
a prek measuring workshop. Spirit is in first grade not Prek
but the idea worked Great With him too.


I presented Spirit with three bears of various sizes. He choose the
bear he was going to create a home for. He choose the smallest one.
We measured the bear and then he had to measure his home to
make sure it was big enough for his bear.

This is his end result. He created a cave of sorts out of a cardboard box.
He found some cut pieces of wood on the porch from daddies bunny project
and he made a porch for his bear. He was really proud of the end piece.
I was proud of him as he did this project himself.




Not to be out done by big brother Sweet Pea created some beautiful
coloring on some extra cardboard .


Warm blessings,

Nikki


Monday, September 10, 2012

Hands on Approach to Counting

Counting and more counting. We have taken a hands on approach to counting to
100. I often find that Spirit can't sit still long enough to get to 100 and often
forgets what number he is on. At the beginning of our study he struggled with it
quite a bit but now we are counting rather smoothly with a few bumps at the
50, 60, 70, number change. I began by writing numbers to 100 on index
cards. So that I could create a number line from various start points. I often will
split the deck and have him try to count from say 53-71. He says the next number in
line before he lays down the next card. You can also play by keeping out a missing
number, name the number and then find it in a small group of choices.

Below is how we began counting. We took all cards 0-100 and layed them in a
line on the rug. Well, it actually curved all around the room since our room wasn't
large enough  it went into other rooms.  After Spirit drove his cars over the numbers
and counted as he went. As the game progressed we tried different ways of laying the
cards with lots of curves, spirals and eventally with various obsticales. When we first
began we only went to 50 but as the week went we drove our way right to 100.
This is a favorite in our house.


Above we crashed into a row of balls and used his bulldozer to
roll them out of the way.


We threw blankets on the floor and created speed bumps,
and trucks blocked the way for a crash collison.  We even
went over large sofa pillows.



We ended this round at 50 parking in are parking garage.


In the weeks that followed we counted by 5's, 10's, and 2's.
I have had to become creative in this endever as well. For the 10's we
do exercises counting by 10's. Jumping Jacks seem to be the favorite.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50. etc.. Hopping, push ups. sit ups, leg lifts, etc...

Counting by 5's I found this awesome video.


Spirit and I dance along with the children. When they start counting we had
to stop moving so he could concentrate but this has become something
all the children love. Even my 12 year old was dancing with us the other day.
Sometimes their dance is creative and doesn't follow the song but who cares
anyway as long as we are learning. We learned the 5s rather quickly but still
have kept this song as part of our morning routine.

Counting by 2's has proved to be a little more difficult for him. We used our
number line from above and our fly Swatter from our literacy boxes to swat
our twos.



Since counting by twos seems to be harder we also sing this video counting to 24.
Might as well start slow and work our way up. We have colored our 100 chart and
done various other activities. I do have some other ideas for counting by 2's coming
up so keep your eyes peeled.




If you have any ideas for counting by 2's, 5's, 10,'s to 100 please share.


Warm blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Literacy Baskets



I just love to read so much. I think I spend 90% of my day memorized in words.
I don't think I could live well without the printed word. I can't even describe the
importance to me. It's like a  hug, a cup of cocoa, a warm blanket or maybe a
nice hot quiett bath. It's that all rolled up in one. Suddenly I am an Amish women
in the middle of Lancaster county , a Pirate on the sailing seas or Ruth from the
bible trying to find her way and falling in love. Its everything. I can't imagine
not being able to read. We read labels in the kitchen, recipes, school assignments,
blogs, facebook, magazines, books, books on my Kindle, my bible, and on and on.
Don't be surprised if you come by and I'm walking around with one in my hand.

My 1st daughter Heart of the 5 was the easiest to teach to read. She just saw things
and knew what they were. She was reading chapter books by Kindergarten. Reading
was an enjoyable thing for her. In her high school days I remember her reading
in her room for hours. Now she is a college student and probably doesn't have
much time for leisure reading . I am sure as a student she reads
massive text every day. It's there the foundation was set and she is off
to a world of words.

My next daughter struggled so with reading. We would
sit for hours struggling over the words. I later learned she had dyslexia.
We worked so hard  to learn to read. The same occurred with my next in
line son. Over time with lots of practice they have been able to enjoy the
printed word. My Princess now is reading huge novels  and poetry
like Edger Allen Poe. It makes me smile when I see her walking with a new
book or when she asks me if she can buy one. Of course I ways say. Superboy
is more interested in comics but he is READING and that is what I care
about most.

So when it became time to begin teaching Spirit I wanted  reading to be
fun. It can be a struggle to sound out those words. It can get frustrating when
it doesn't come easy right away. We as parents know that it will come that it
like anything else takes time and practice. Young ones often want the result
now. I decided to try to find a way to make it fun now. So over the summer
I kept my eyes peeled and created this literacy basket. I have used some
of the items for math as well. Lets take a peek.

Starting from right to left...

1. Light up wands- I bought these at our local Party City. They have different
modes of lighting. It will light different colors and one setting blinks. We save
the blinking for the end. Spirit is to choose a all on setting for his reading time.
We use these as pointers to read text I place on the laptop, on pocket charts,
and books with larger print. These items really help my wiggly son because he
gets to hold something in his hand. As a reward at the end he gets to blink the wand.

2. These animal pointers I bought at Dollar Tree. When you shake them that make
a waaa waaa sound. We use these the same as the light up wands. With the exception
of shaking the wand when we read a passage or word correctly. These are a huge
hit. There are generally two of each because Sweet pea sees and wants too.

3. Next Fly swatters- This find was nabbed at Dollar General. I was shopping one
day and found the shape fly swatters. We use them to slap our sight words. I will
lay out a pile of words. I will say a word such as says and he slaps the word as
soon as he sees it. I have also used it when counting which I'll post later this week
or next.

4 and 5. Wooden Spoons and Magic wands- Same principle as the other pointers.
I like giving him a choice of which tool to use. I probably will add to the basket as
I find ideas when shopping. Once you begin looking ideas just jump at you.

Right to left again...

1. Moustaches- I bought our moustaches at the Dollar tree. I found Spirit loved
these when going on our trip to the beach. Surprisingly they kept him busy for
hours. So I picked up another pack so he can become a reading detective. He
loves imaginative play.

2. Glitter clappers- Bought at party city. We use our clappers for clapping out
word syllables or we clap out the sounds in words. Such as Pet /p/ clap
/a/ clap /t/ clap pet clap

3. Megaphones- These are Spirits favorite . The megaphones make
daddy nuts. Hee hee. We shout out our sentences on our pocket charts,
we shout out sight words, pretty much anything we want shout out. Again
Spirit loves this. I am giving his a license to shout in the house even.
I bought megaphones at party city but later saw them at dollar tree. I'd check
the dollar store first the price is nicer.

4. Clear glass star sunglasses- If we are struggling with a particularly
hard reading passage I might pull out the star glasses. It's just fun
to wear them. Make sure they have clear glass so your child can see the
words clearly. These were bought at party city.

5. Mini slinkys- Dollar tree find. These are used to do our word stretching.
Bug /b/ /u/ /g/  as you pull the slinky apart.

6. Color windows- I got these free as a review product. What is more
fun than changing the color of the text as you read. there are smaller sizes
for smaller words and passages. At this point we enjoy the large page
text windows.

7. Painters tape- Not shown is used to tape sound boxes on the floor.
Child can hop and say each sound of a word. Simple yet effective with
bouncy young children.


Last but not least is the reward. You can choose anything as a reward.
A snack, a sticker or a small toy. I went with Smells. Yes they are ordinary
chapsticks tubes in various flavors. I hope to find some others over the holidays
when this type of items comes in bulk packs. Instead of having these random
rewards cluttering my house we do smells. When a child does well with their lessons.
I rub a chapstick on their hands for them to smell. Even my high schooler likes them.


Do you have any reading tool ideas to share? I'd love to hear
what they are.


Warm Blessings,
Nikki
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School


Well  Folks... We are Back to school!!!! Can you hear the hurrays and hur---aaaahsss.
coming from the children. Ok maybe not so many hur--- ahhhss. Probably some
grrrrs in there to from the boy with the folded arms. Doesn't he just yell out. I'm
smiling but Don't think I'm going to like it. I can promise that he is sure he won't.

Last week was our first full week of school. I was so excited for it to start... ohhh
all those school supplies. I love planning more than implementing. No thats not true.
I love implementing when they smile nice and big. When I know they are enjoying
all the work I put into it. It's when you hear those grrrs that you are a tad disappointed.
In who or what I'm not sure you just are sad. All that work and time from family for
a not so great experience but I keep going and trying. It is soo worth those
moments just to grab those more than great Yeahhhssss.!!!!


Update: My dad is doing much better from his heart attack. He is back to
most of his regular activity now and can drive a car. He still has regular
therapy I believe twice per week.

Another uhhh ohhh: Friday mom was taken to the hospital with some
stomach issues. I think much of it was stress. The Dr. says this is a common
occurrence with couples when something traumatic occurs such as this.
Mom is home and doing just fine. They did all sorts of tests so we know
she is good and healthy.

Don't those two little ones look like they are hopping the school bus.
Well I bet they'd like a bus ride but our school is right here at home.
Pap (my dad) bought Sweet pea her little back pack. So she could
drag things to his house. Papaw brought Spirit his bag filled with school
loveliness. Love school supplies. Something about the smell or the feel
I have no idea why I have a love of office supplies. He brought things
for the olders too and bubbles for sweet pea... Oh her love of bubbles.
That is a story for another day.


Here is my first victim... urrr aahh student. She is an over emotional,
highly energetic and forming her independence 3 year old. Just turned 3.
This year we will be potty training which has become a I'll do on my own
time sort of thing. This gal is soo high maintenance. Till I get her through her
routine for the bathroom it's about time to go again. Don't accidentally add
anything because it will be ingrained in her next experience. I'll spare you the
potty talk but an example... Washing of the hair. First we have to fold a
wash cloth nice and neat and apply it to the forehead. You know so water
does not go into the eyes because if  it does we will be upset and not want our hair
washed. Next we apply water to the hair. Then we have to smell the
soap because once upon a time I bought a new kind. Now we smell it every time
and then have to wash with it. I mean have a little dab in her hand and wash her
hands. Ever hear of such a thing. Hand washing before hair washing. I guess
we don't want to get anything dirty in our hair before we wash it.
I always like to make sure all the soap is off her hands before washing
her hair because of rubbing the eyes. Then and only then can we wash
the hair and on it goes..... You get the idea.


This year for Sweet pea ....
This young lady will learn all about her body, Learn her colors,
her shapes, learn all about animals and  their homes. We will learn about
Jesus and his birth and  bible stories. Many other fun things. We will do
only a few minutes per day since my little angel likes free play more than anything.
We will do a story time, some songs and an organized activity. No more maybe less
if it doesn't work out for her. Until I see her interest grow because as of now she
is not ready. I want this time for her to be fun Mommy and me time . Nothing
to structured. Just be....


This is my Big 1st grader this year, energetic, moving, happy, giggly
silly boy. Did I mention moving and wiggly. Spirit will be using PA
Virtual for his studies as will all my student except sweet pea. I am proud to announce that
he took some testing and already is in a Grade one level and proficient in some
areas. Right on target...Ohh the things we will accomplish this year.

Math- Counting to 100, count by 5, 10, and 2s
Adding and subtracting skills

Language 1

Phonics- Advance

History - Ancient empires, Greece, India, and China

Science- Being a scientist, weather, animals, oceans animals,
habitats, green world and hour bodies

Art and Music

It is going to be a great fun year.


ANNNDDDD Nooooowwwww my artistic , hilariously funny, creative
but doesn't like anything to do with writing 6th grade son. This is the one.
This is the child I struggle to have enjoy school. Nothing. I mean nothing
I do is ever fun unless it is art.....

Fundamentals of Geometry and Algebra- we are already on chapter 4.
Math comes easily.

Language 6

Barton reading a spelling

Earth Science

American History- History of us. Cowboys to the 21st century

Current events

Art- Mondays art with Mom, Sketchbook Tuesday
and 2 other assignments per week. This is his biggest desire so I
will encourage it. Art everyday.

Music appreciation.



Introducing my high school princess....

First semester
Alg. Fundamentals 3
Spanish cultures
General English
Finding your path college prep

Second semesterGeometry
Earth Science
US History
Art


We decided since we weren't going anywhere with our backpacks on other than back in
the house that it would be funny to take a picture of us going in with our back packs.
So up the stairs we went.



We are sooo cool to HomeSchool!!!



First day activities:

Had a big breakfast of bacon and eggs

Did a scavenger hunt to find our supplies. New house new
organization. I wanted the kids to be able to find everything.

Made book marks for our books. I honestly have no idea
what they did with them. I have my creations but have no clue
where the boys book markers went to. Maybe maybe Maybe
I'll find it in a book.

and attended first day Blackboard collaborate sessions.



Welcome back to School.

Warm blessings,

Nikki

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Rejoice in the Lord Always.