Archive for September, 2011


A Hope of Publication

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In our home it wouldn’t be difficult to find a writer or composer, a photographer or three, or a designer, an engineer, an architect or a young inventor.  I could show you stories and poetry, music and lyrics, photographs, sketches, drawings and paintings, structures and gadgets built out of Legos, or Lincoln Logs, tin cans and wooden pallets.  Presently, there are few copy righted, less recorded and none published.  It’s difficult enough for adults to break into their field, but often it is even harder for a teenager to find a respectable outlet for their work.

We’ve made a recent discovery, though, and it’s one that gives us hope.  Aletheia Writing Magazine is a Christian magazine for teens, by youth, ages 13-19 years old.  Pronounced Ah-Lay-thei-uh, it is the Greek word for “truth” or “unveiling.”


Click graphic to read FAQs 


A one year subscription, published quarterly, costs just $26 when delivered to an address in the United States.  That’s four issues, 40 color pages, including shipping and handling.  My children found it interesting that many of the writers and artists, contributing to the magazine, have been homeschooled.  They were also pleased that they did not find this publication full of cookie-cutter stories and articles.  Yes, faith and hope are evident throughout, and the publishers state that they “will not accept work that contains profanity, tasteless violence, or inappropriate sexual content,”  but you can see the individual author in his writing or art.

You’ll find – stories, poetry, articles, reviews, photographs and contests.  Every issue features:  a Writer’s Challenge, the Featured Contributor, a book review, Glory to God for the beauty of nature, Ancient Ink, and an interview.  Aletheia Writing Magazine has made their entire Spring 2011 issue available for you to preview, for free.  It is full of energy, creativity and a bold freedom of expression.


Content page from the current issue – Fall 2011



Comments or Questions?



Aletheia Writing Magazine

P.O. Box 1602

Lansdale, PA  19446



You can also read other reviews of Aletheia on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog.


Although, we hope that a submission will be accepted for publication in Aletheia Writing Magazine, the opinions expressed in this review are my own, and were not coerced in any way.

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  





*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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No Risk – $500.00

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*   $500.00 Visa Gift Card  $500.00 Visa Gift Card  $500.00 Visa Gift Card  $500.00 Visa Gift Card  *



HSLDA needs your input to help them better serve you and the homeschooling community! Follow the link below to their short, six-question survey and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a                $500 Visa gift card.


The Home School Legal Defense Association survey and drawing entry must be submitted by October 9th, 2011.  What would you do with $500.00?  I answered a few simple survey questions and now I have a chance to win!  Hope springs eternal.  You don’t have to be a member of HSLDA to answer the survey questions and submit your entry.


Categories : giveaway, homeschool
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My Latest Discovery

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In some circles, I might be known as a curriculum junkie.  Did you know, they actually make t-shirts for us?  I’ve often joked that I could not have been a public school teacher because I would have spent my meager income on supplies, tools and visual aids for my students and classroom.  Can one ever have enough of these?  Keeping my class limited to my own children has kept it manageable, most of the time.  My heart races a bit at the beginning of the school year, when create-a-classroom and outfit-a-student items go on sale!  It delights me when I discover a new curriculum.  You might think that as long as I have been homeschooling there wouldn’t be much new to me, but you would be wrong.  Sometimes, I think I’ve lived in a cave!  There are new products being developed every day, and there are many that have been around for years that I didn’t know existed.  Students learn in different ways and what may work for one might as well be written in a foreign language for all the help it is to another; so, I’m always looking for the best fit for my crew.

My latest discovery is AIMS Education Foundation, with the emphasis on my, because they were established in 1981, giving them more than 25 years experience in education.  They are “dedicated to producing math and science materials that will engage students and build conceptual understanding.”



Thanks to The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, I recently had the opportunity to use and review Area Formulas for Parallelograms, Triangles & Trapezoids, for grades 6-8.  An 80 page teacher’s book with CD Rom access to printable pdf. pages.


This single book is a great supplement to our math curriculum and it retails for only $9.95.  (Even better is the Essential Math:  Measuring Dimensions, set of 7 books, that saves you 15% by purchasing them all at the same time.  It’s $59.20.)  There are 15 days of lessons, comprised of 5 components:

  1. Investigations  *  Hands-on activities.  Cutting-up parallelograms, triangles and trapezoids; forming, combining and manipulating to reinforce formulas and see their interrelatedness.
  2. Comics  *  Used as instruction and review of the investigations.  We expected “funny,” and were initially disappointed that these are not humorous in any way.  They are drawings, with text bubbles, depicting interaction between student and teacher.  Academic instruction using common speech.
  3. Animation  *  A visual summary of the important formulas and techniques.
  4. Problem Solving  *  Activities that help students apply and retain concepts.
  5. Assessment  *  An opportunity to test the level of understanding gained.



Visit their website at and read how AIMS got started.  You’ll find their store there, too!  It’s one of my new favorite places, with their Small Group – Homeschool Lab kit, that I found under Labs, Kits & Components,  for $122.95.


You will also want to browse through –



AIMS Education Foundation

P.O. box 8120

Fresno, CA  93747

Call – 1.888.733.2467



For classroom, homeschool, summer bridge, intervention or after school, explore the benefits of

AIMS Education Foundation for your family.  I think you’ll be glad you did.




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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True Leadership

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Who surrounds you?  Who are your friends, advisers and counselors?  Who have you brought in to your camp?

The head of a company, the Head of State, the head of the family, the head of the church; those in leadership were not born knowing everything.  They learned as they were growing.  One of the most important things I think they learned is that they don’t have to know everything, they just need to know what resources to have at their fingertips and how to use them.  They assemble any combination of books, DVD’s, CD-Rom’s, the brains (with bodies attached, of course) of those that do know, and more, to tap into and draw from as needed.

Parenting young children can be daunting, but honestly, there are a few people that have done it before and done it well.  If we are wise, we are willing to learn from them.

Five in a Row, for ages 4 – 8, by Jane Claire Lambert and her treasury for 2 – 4 years old, Before Five in a Row, is an exceptional guide and resource to have on hand, as you lead your child on the path before academics.



The basic, original plan of Five in a Row, is to have the parent and child read the same book for five days, in a row.  Lessons are centered around the book that is chosen for the week.

Before Five in a Row is similar in layout, but different.  There are 24 childrens stories listed in the Table of Contents and activities are centered around each of these.  The difference is that B4FIAR is not encouraging you to mold scholars between the ages of 2 and 4.   It is their goal to teach parents, building their confidence to notice and take advantage of teachable moments with their children.  They want you to know that “the most important thing to remember with Before Five in a Row is that learning in the years 2 – 4 takes place in PLAY!  So, all the activities in B4FIAR are play-based.”  They want you to recognize that you can create an atmosphere that prompts the desire to learn, in a young child; then, they give you the tools to lay the foundation that will serve your child throughout his life.

Classics and family favorites, many that you may already have in your home, or that are readily available at your local library, are used to introduce your child to the wonderful world of books.


  • Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
  • Yellow Ball
  • My Blue Boat
  • The Little Rabbit
  • Ask Mr. Bear
  • Blueberries For Sal
  • Goodnight Moon
  • The Big Green Pocketbook
  • The Runaway Bunny
  • The ABC Bunny
  • If Jesus Came to My House
  • Caps for Sale
  • The Carrot Seed
  • The Snowy Day
  • The Quiet Way Home
  • Play With Me
  • Prayer for a Child
  • I Am an Artist
  • Angus Lost
  • Katy No-Pocket
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
  • The Red Carpet
  • Corduroy
  • Jenny’s Surprise Summer


We were able to get seven of the books, right off the shelves of our library, the first day we looked for them.  Six more were checked out and we could have requested most of the others from surrounding counties.  So, besides the initial investment of $35 when purchased through Rainbow Resource, there is no additional cost to using B4FIAR.


One of the books that we picked up was If Jesus Came to My House, by Joan Gale Thomas.  This book was written in 1951.  remember this book as a child, my older children remember me reading it to them and my younger ones were excited to read it together.  We were talking about it on the way home from the library.  Questions:  Did anyone remember the book, the story, the illustrations?  Comments:  Isn’t it amazing how God can weave a thread of continuity through siblings that range in age as far as 25 years apart.  I look for these opportunities to keep them all connected to each other, and this one never crossed my mind!  Our discussion, centered around this children’s book is exactly what Before Five in a Row is about.  Using a story and then creating activities and discussions to shed light on the bigger world around them, kindling their interest and building an intimate connection between you, the reader, and your child.  With B4FIAR, the creating has already been done for you.

Each lesson gives you a brief summary of your chosen book.  If Jesus Came to My House is summarized as “an imaginary visit from a most special visitor brings out the best in the host and teaches him how to care for the people around him.”

The author of B4FAIR, Jane Claire Lambert, then guides you in time spent with your child. 

There is a Bible heading, with verses and their references that you can tie into the story. 

Sciencenot teaching how shadows occur, but having fun learning to make hand shadows.  Discussing how “over-size shadows can sometimes be quite frightening.”  (The little boy in the story was afraid of the shadows in the hall.) 

Imagining and Poetry – “Find the picture where the boy points out his favorite places in the house.”  Where are your child’s favorite places to pretend.  Convert cardboard boxes into special places of adventure and fun. 

Hospitality – reinforcing manners, etiquette, acceptable social behavior.  We had a tea party and practiced table manners.

Art – browse through each illustration.  In this book, the illustrations are done in pen and ink.  Who or what might you find on every page or not?  How do the pictures make you feel?  We drew a picture of a tea cup and saucer, a bouquet of flowers and a stack of toy blocks.  Then, we colored them while we discussed the boy in the story.  Among other things he imagined, he wanted to share a cup of tea with Jesus “and we would be as happy and as friendly as can be.”  He wanted Jesus’ blessing on his flower garden and wanted to “pick a bunch of all the best for him to take away,” and he wanted him to play with his nicest toys.  He knew he couldn’t do these things with Jesus, but he could share a cup of friendship with another, cheer someone “who’s old or ill or sad,”  with a hand-picked bouquet of flowers and “share with Jesus the nicest of my toys by lending them or giving them to poorer girls and boys.”  The time we spent together reinforced the lessons I wanted them to retain.

Fears – Mrs. Lambert says, “Just letting a child know that fear is a feeling that everyone experiences takes away some of its sting.”

Music – we often remember things better when they are tied to a song.  What song do you think of after you read this book, together?  Sing with your child often.

You can read every story and use every suggested activity or not.  Topics cover:  Language Arts  ~  Literature ~  Sayings  ~  Health  ~  Math  ~  Vocabulary  ~  Loving Relationships  ~  Shapes  ~  Games to Play  ~  Bible  ~  Science  ~  Recognizing patterns  ~  Details  ~  Order  ~  Art  ~  Maturity  ~  Memories  ~  Emotions  ~  Details  ~  Animals  ~  Silhouette  ~  Numbers  ~  Mothers  ~  Social Studies  ~  Kindness and Gratitude  ~  Comprehension ~  Observation  ~  Making Decisions and More.  These are opportunities for you to discover what can and should come before academics to make your child a life-long learner.

There are more than 140 pages in Before Five in a Row, and the last 40 or so are devoted to an additional “Parent’s Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness.”  This is your place to find further inspiration and encouragement, to spark your child’s curiosity and imagination and confidently lay that early foundation in their education and relationships.

  • Activities for Reading Readiness [Being Together Talking and Listening]  More than 20 activities.
  • Coordination [Large Motor (Muscle) Control]   Over a dozen activities.
  • Development of Small Motor (Muscle) Control   Half a dozen suggested activities.
  • Bath Time, In the Kitchen, At the Store, and Toys   40  fun ideas.
  • Visual Arts, The Literary Arts, and The Performing Arts
  • and Learning to See Through Children’s Eyes  –  Books & music selections “that will help you, as a parent to see life from the vulnerable vantage point of a child.”


“The stories and activities included in Before Five in a Row are carefully chosen so that your child will have plenty of time to spend with you.  Time to grow, and laugh, and love.  Time for you to listen to him and be understanding.  Plenty of time for you to help color his childhood years golden!”  ~Jane Claire Lambert


 Visit the website for Five in a Row, and see how they’ve grown to include Beyond Five in a Row, for ages 8 – 12, Above & Beyond Five in a Row, aimed at students ages 12 – 14 years of age, and other outstanding resources.

Bring your questions to The FIAR Forums


Read additional reviews of Before Five in a Row by my TOS crew mates at –


I think this book is a treasure for generations.



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Categories : homeschool, Reading, reviews, TOS
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FREE! Today Only!

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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is giving away a wonderful ebook, crock-pot cookbook, today only!



Molly Makes $7 Slow Cooker Suppers includes 140 quick and easy recipes!  It’s normally $7.95 and even then it’s a bargain, but today, it’s FREE!  Just enter code FBCPMOLLY at check out and you won’t pay a dime.


Click this graphic to view a 16 page Sample, pdf.

Stay up-to-date on all things happening at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and Store, by following (like) their facebook page.  Exciting events planned as they celebrate their 10th anniversary!



Niether, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, nor any affiliate, asked me to write this post.  I wrote it for YOU, because it’s a great deal and I think you should hurry and take advantage of it!  PK

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Time for Learning!

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“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…”  Ecclesiastes 3

Time to wake up!

image credit – Alice Lucchin

Time to sleep!

image credit – ToniVC

Time to prepare a meal and time to eat.  Time for Bible Study and a bubble bath.  Time for a picnic.  Time to visit the library.  Time for date night, family game night, movie & popcorn.  Time to do the dishes, mop the floor and walk the dog.  Time to sort, wash, dry, fold and put away mountains of laundry!  Time to multi-task and make the most of every moment.  Time to be all I can be!

image credit – fdecomite

Time for teaching and Time for Learning.

Time4Learning is an online learning program.  It’s web-based, which means there is no software to download, no CD’s to buy, and access is always available (from any PC with an internet connection.)  Therefore, it is most convenient.  Designed for grades Pre-K through 8th, as a complete curriculum or supplemental.  Using animation, interactive activities and printable worksheets, Time4Learning builds a foundation in language arts, math, science (1st – 6th grade) and history (2nd – 7th grade.)

This is a comprehensive curriculum.  Additional features include:

  • 1,000+ multimedia lessons
  • State standards-based
  • Independent grade level settings for each subject
  • Access to the grade above and below
  • Time-stamping feature on lessons (for attendance)
  • Online playground which rewards and motivates
  • Automated grading and reporting for portfolio use
  • …and much more!




Lessons are individually paced with the student’s ability, whether gifted, special needs, homeschool, test prep, summer bridge or remedial.  Three grade levels, for each subject, are available at once, enabling the parent to customize the program according to the child’s needs.  Unit assessments/progress reports are sent to a parent account and parents can personally change a child’s grade level, as they see fit.

My children are excited about using this program!  The graphics are engaging and the content, while uncompromisingly educational, is entertaining!  We do monitor the time spent on the playground games, and we have skipped over lesson content that we have found counter to our home teaching:  lessons and activities that speak of gods, goddesses, idols, Halloween, mythical beings and aliens, wizards and witches, and more, according to the relevance to the lesson.  “To each his own,” but if one has an awareness of what is being presented, one can make informed personal choices.

I found this simple to set up and I’ve appreciated the extras available to parents/teachers on the Time4Learning website:


A month of access to this program will cost you $19.95 for the first child you enroll and $14.95 for each additional child.  *So much less expensive than paying for tutoring, but presently too expensive for our budget.  I hope to see multiple-children-family-pricing in the future, to make this excellent program affordable to more homeschooling families.


 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Still not sure if this is right for your family?  Try a FREE, interactive lesson demoWant 30 days FREE?  Apply to review the  Time 4 Learning program.

Questions or Comments:

Call – 954-771-0914


Email –, facebook page



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Click graphic to find more Homeschool Crew Reviews.

*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  unless otherwise indicated, they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you for your comments!  I appreciate each one of them.  PK


Let the Games Begin!

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According to their website, Griddly Games is committed to “bringing innovative and engaging games to people ‘across the grid.”  They’ve consistently gained recognition for their ingenuity and creativity in designing games that are fun and educational.  Many of their games have won the Teacher’s Choice Award for the Classroom and the Dr. Toy Winner award, among others.

We like board games at our house.  I buy them new and second-hand.  Some have been given to us as gifts and some as hand-me-downs from children or families that out grew them.  We’ve even been known to create a few of our own over the years.  I have boxes with the games intact and then I have boxes or bags of pieces, to replace pieces that inevitably get lost.  The family that plays together gets to know one another better!  Chess, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, games of memory and concentration, Wits & Wagers, card games like War, Go! Fish and Golf, Yahtzee!, Boggle, Chutes and Ladders and Pictionary come to mind with ease.  Several have been played by all eleven of our children, at one time or another, while others are special editions or upgrades.  Griddly Games are new to our house, but Wise Alec has become a fast favorite.

Wise Alec is an educational trivia game “covering topics in History, Science and Spelling.”  Nature Nuts is a stand alone, nature trivia, travel game, and a Wise Alec expansion set.



The box has a magnetic lip on the lid that is excellent!  This is a no game board = play anywhere kind of game.  Slips into the beach bag.  Travels well to doctor’s and dentist’s offices.  Rides well on long car trips and suffers no ill effects when played sitting Indian-style on the bed.



Designed for 2 – 6 players, ages 8 and up.  In my opinion, it easily accommodates more players because in it’s simplest game the die is rolled, questions are asked & answered and points are tallied.  Plenty of questions for everyone!  Each card, Animal, Plant, and Earth has two levels of questions, novice and expert.  (The cards are a little thin and gloss-coated on the graphic side only; so, not quite as durable as I like.)  The Wise Alec cards pose challenges that may cost the player points or add bonus points.



  • Brain Teaser ~ Name 3 mammals  + 3 points
  • Action! ~ Make your best fish face  + 3 points
  • Yoga Time! ~ Do the tree pose.  Hold your arms above your head with palms pressed together.  Lift one leg off the ground so that your foot rests by your other knee.  Hold for 30 seconds.  + 7 points
  • Tongue Twister ~ Real rock wall.  Repeat 5 times.  + 5 points
  • Yes! ~ You do your 3 r’s:  you recycle, reuse and reduce!  + 2 points
  • Study Break! ~ Hop from side to side 15 times.  +3 points
  • Oops! ~ You put old cheese into the composting bin!  – 2 points  (We threw out one Oops! card ~ Your horse passed gas!  – 2 points –  It seemed like unnecessary coarse jesting and we didn’t want to encourage it.)
  • plus, Double Chance!, Roll Again!, and Still My Turn! cards.


We’ve learned something new every time we’ve played this game!  You’ll find the Wise Alec Family Trivia GameWise Alec:  Nature Nuts, retailing for $14.99,  Wise Alec:  Civilize This and Wise Alec:  Sports Buffs, along with other Griddly Games, at your local toy/game stores and at various online retailers.  Discover the fun at!




This graphic is from Kidz Zone.  A place for kids to play interactive online games and print coloring sheets!  A Griddly FREEBIE!



Griddly Games, Inc.

633 – 5960 No. 6 Road

Richmond, BC V6V 1Z1




This little cutie is the profile pic for Griddly Games facebook page.

Stop by and tell them Knee Deep In Grace sent you!


The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, my mates, have points of view to share with you.

Check ’em out and let the games begin!




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.



*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


Thank you for your time and your comments.  I appreciate you!  PK


Hog Wild!

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Several years ago, my nearly-city-born husband worked on a pig farm.  What an experience!  The smell permeated everything – your hair, your skin, clothing, the dog and the car.  But, being the positive force that he is, each time we pulled into the driveway he would say, “Ah, smells like money!”  Nothing else needed said, because we were quickly reminded that this was how our bills were being paid and groceries were bought.  I can say that we learned a lot about pigs and I’m extremely thankful that it was just for a season.   


Pig Pen – an enclosure where pigs are kept.

Pig-headed – stubborn or obstinate.

Piglet – a young pig.  Little pink friend of “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

image by Disney

Pig Lard – the rendered fat from a pig.

Pig Latin – a version of language formed from English by transferring the initial consonant of each word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable, usually /a/; so, Penny becomes ennyPay.

~ And our newest favorite ~

Pig Pile – “The Hog Wild Card Game” by R & R Games

This card game is designed for children ages 7 and up, but it was fun for the whole family.  The game box is thick and sturdy, the cards are high-gloss and my youngest daughter says, “The 40 plastic pigs are fun all by themselves!  Especially if we build Lego pens and fences.”  Created for 3 – 6 players, but adaptable to more, by adding another set of number cards and a Hog Wild card for each player after the sixth.  It takes a few rounds of play to accumulate the most pigs and win the game!  Along the way, the young players are reinforcing their number value; less than/greater than.

Pig Pile retails for $15.95 and is one of many great games by R & R Games.  You’ll want to check out:

Pants on Fire, where “Stretchin’ the Truth can be Hot Stuff!” for ages 13 and up.

And, new this year, Ticked Off.  “The game that gives you the opportunity to crush (and impress) your friends with your vast knowledge.  Beat the clock and beat your friends!”

Card Games

Family Games

Party Games

Kids Games

Strategy Games

and more.

You can find other reviews on Pig Pile


Flea Circus, a crazy game of cats & dogs, for ages 6 and up,

when you visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew BlogR & R Games is offering a 20% discount to anyone purchasing Pig Pile or Flea Circus after reading a TOS Crew review.  Use coupon code CREW20 at checkout, now through December 31, 2011.

Find family fun and entertainment at

Send comments, questions or ideas to:

Write to –

R & R Games, Inc.

P.O. Box 130195

Tampa, FL  33681

or Call –




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.




*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


Thank you, much.


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