Exploring Tennessee

From Aug 30 – Sep 6 –

We did a little shoe shopping and Abbi was happy to be a model.  I love these cute little Chucks but she went with some boots instead.

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Sporty Spice.  PE is her favorite class.  Surprised? Nope.

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Brent started painting the office.  From drab to fab.  Now we just need to get back on it and replace the floor and furniture.

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A little backyard Smores-ing.

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Somehow he finds this comfortable.

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Lilli had been learning all about the Native Americans of TN so over Labor Day weekend we drove down to Manchester to explore Old Stone Fort Park.  She’d learned about this park and its significance to our state and really wanted to visit.  And it had several hikes in it from our 60 Hikes book – so bonus!

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There wasn’t much to see inside the museum at all, so we pretty quickly headed out for about a 3 mile hike.

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The waterfall area near the front was really pretty.  We hadn’t brought swimsuits but lots of people were playing in the water and it looked like a lot of fun.

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Family selfie!

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The hike itself was really pretty – lots of ups and down, various creekside areas and of course some of the Indian structures left from years ago.

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I can’t remember exactly what this structure once was – I believe a factory of some sort (nothing to do with Native Americans).

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One of the creekside trail areas.  Only Lilli would hike in a Matilda Jane skirt.

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Some parts of the trail were way more primitive than I prefer!

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And a while in Abbi’s legs got “so busy”.  Once she’s bored, hot, and ready to be done – it’s time to be done.  It was a really nice park and a pretty hike.  Lilli was excited to go back to school and share the arrowheads she bought and tell her Social Studies teacher that she had visited the park they’d just been tested on.  Visiting Pinson Mounds is also on her list to visit since they also learned about it this year, too.

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Game Night

From Aug 21 – 25….

One of those days where you walk as fast as you can into work to avoid the storm that’s brewing.

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Lilli’s Social Studies class was studying about the ancient Indians of TN and she was convinced she might be able to find some artifacts if she dug around in the back yard.

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Abbi survived her first full week of kindergarten.  Having a big performance the Friday night of her first week of school probably wasn’t the best way to relax after such a tiring week, but she was excited to see her friend Stella.  We had to drop them off for a rehearsal and then go over to the stadium to see the performance.

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The girls walked out with their groups and they were excited to see us up in the stands.

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The girls did a great job with their dance – Lilli’s on the far left.

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And then Abbi did a great job performing with her group – second from left (of the little kids)

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They had such a great time and it was a really packed stand, too!

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Both girls during the finale of the performance.

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Afterwards – our little cheerleader.

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Abbi, Lilli, Emerson, and Emerson’s sister Miriam.  After the performance all the kids just ran around during the game.  I think they were mostly just enjoying playing with a big group of their school friends at night – but it seemed a lot like a preview of them being there at high school games and flirting with boys.  Lilli left and spent the night with Emerson and we took Abbi out for pizza.

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We went to the Nashville zoo the next day – and got lucky enough to pet a kangaroo.

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And a turtle.

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Our favorite spot in the zoo – the women’s bathroom that has a monkey exhibit in it.

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Fall is near when the costumes start coming out at Kroger!

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Give me a B-H-S!

From Aug 10 – 13….

And on Friday of the kindergarten phase-in week all the kindergarten kids went for just the morning.  Once again we had to take her that morning a few minutes after Lilli and Brent took the afternoon off to hang out with her.  On her very last day of school freedom they did a few of her favorite things.  They went to Carmax and sat in cars.

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They went to Petco and looked at animals (she was very proudly wearing her green kindergarten shirt.)

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They went to the mall and had a pretzel snack.

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And they even went to American Girl and got a little carrying bag for her doll.  Lilli’s had one for quite a while and we’d always told Abbi we’d get one for hers, too.  She also got a couple of new shirts and overall had a really fun “Abbi day”.

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For no apparent reason that night most of Brentwood had a power outage that lasted a few hours.  It was around bedtime but of course it scared the kids so they stayed up for a bit and enjoyed the primitive life of seeing by candlelight.

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He really loves laundry day.

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We didn’t have anything going on that Saturday so we let each girl pick a friend to come and play.  That was our first “dual play date” and it went really well.  For the most part the pairs left the other pairs alone and there was a brief time-out to the never-ending sister wars.  Abbi had her good friend from preschool over – Stella.  Stella also lives in Brentwood but is zoned for a different elementary but the girls will be back together in middle school.  Her mom is also the assistant principal at the high school so she’s a great friend to have!

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They had really missed each other all summer.  They were so sweet and picked right back up where they’d left off with each other.

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Lilli had her friend Kelly over for the afternoon.  It was a nice day and the girls all had a lot of fun on the trampoline.

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Lilli was already signed up for a cheer and dance clinic hosted by the BHS cheerleaders that Sunday afternoon.  When Stella was over that afternoon she mentioned she was doing the clinic – so Abbi asked me to sign her up last minute.  I was glad she found a friend doing it because it sounded like a lot of fun.  The cheerleaders teach them a dance that afternoon and the girls perform it before the game that Friday night.

They split them up by age so first the older girls come out – Lilli is far left in the next to last row.

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At the end of the practice they showed the parents the routine.  Abbi did a great job – she’s third from left next to Stella.

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First the older girls do part of the song, then the “middle aged” girls, then the youngest girls (Abbi’s group). I think it’s open for kindergarten through 6th or 7th grade girls.  Both girls LOVED the clinic and getting to hang out with “real” cheerleaders.

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And at the end they had them all pose for a picture.  It was actually our first time to go inside the high school or do anything on campus.

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And since it was a fundraiser for the BHS Dance team – they had these clever pictures for each girl’s mom to view.  Well of course we’re going to buy the cute picture! And they’re even smarter in that they didn’t photograph siblings together….two pictures – sold! They were also selling bows, shirts and more.  So of course both girls wanted a bow – just like the cheerleaders.

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And Abbi with her cheerleader – she thought she was just “beautiful”.

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The next day – Monday – was  a big day! Abbi’s first full day of kindergarten.  A whole day of school and she got to ride the bus to and from school for the first time.  She was definitely nervous but excited and ready.

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And off they go – two full years of the same schedule and the same bus!

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Welcome to Kindergarten!

From August 5 – 9…..

Every year our church has a special part of the service at the beginning of the school year dedicated to prayers of safety for students and they hand out Bibles for each new kindergartner.  And this year we had a kindergartner!

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She was mighty proud of her new Adventure Bible!

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I ran some errands and took the girls with me – they were handing out M&M fanny packs outside Kroger and they were all in.

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The following week was “Kindergarten Phase In” – a terrible week in our county where the big kids are back in school full time and the kindergarten kids go off and on – a total of two half days and a one hour entrance test.  They can’t ride the bus and there’s no extended care for them – a working families worst nightmare since all the summer camps have ended all over town.

On Monday we went for Abbi’s entrance test.  She got to meet her teacher – Ms Oland – see where she sits, see the classroom and the teacher gets to ask a few questions to see what types of things she already knows.  We got to walk around the classroom and see all the kids names in her class.  She didn’t end up with any of her best friends from preschool or church, but she did end up having a LOT of church kids in her class.  Her class started with just 16 kids (they’re up to 18 now) and 6 of them (including Abbi) go to church with her.  Three of those kids are in her same small group so she knows them pretty well and was glad to at least have several familiar faces.

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Proud to be a Lipscomb Bear!

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They’ve even started giving out these fun yard signs to all the new kindergarten kids and she was so proud of this sign. Such a cute way to celebrate the fun start of a school career.

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The girls started their new dance classes.  Abbi’s class was half Tap and half Ballet.  As much as she likes to dance she didn’t know anyone in class and she missed her old teacher from PreK – so she didn’t enjoy it.

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On the other hand, Lilli was all in to her new class – a mix of Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary.

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I did find a Drop In Mother’s Day Out program Abbi went to two days during her phase in week.  Their gymnastics studio runs a Mothers Day Out during the day and you can drop in twice per week for most of the work day.  A few of her old preschool friends also went and she had a blast.  After I picked her up one day we stopped in at Starbucks for a special treat.

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And finally it was time for her first half day of Bear Camp! On this day just the girls in her class went and spent the morning in kindergarten.  She was SO excited to finally have her own sign and asked if we could keep her sign forever.

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And she was very proud of her fancy new outfit from Justice.

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Posing with her kindergarten backpack before we left.  The kindergarten kids have to take these awful tote bags all year – I can’t wait for her to have something that zips!

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They all got to bring their favorite stuffed animal for the first day to help them feel more comfortable.

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That day Mrs Becca picked up Abbi – she was one of her old PreK teachers who does something else now and had that day free.  She picked her up from school and took her out to the movies and they had the best time.

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After the movie they went to the mall and played around in Ulta.  She even bought her this bright lipstick.  Abbi had a great time with her and loves Mrs Becca so much!

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We’d had a cat on our porch lately that we were trying to feed – and all of a sudden we started having this tiny little possum.  He was so adorable! We named him Charlie Puth and fed him for a few weeks before deciding it probably wasn’t great to have a possum hanging around.

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He really didn’t mind us watching him.

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And he didn’t mind us reading to him either.

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Welcome to 4th Grade

From Aug 5 – 10…..

The girls went for their traditional last few days of summer at Granny Camp.  Like usual it kicked off with a trip to Walmart to get all the junk food and sweets we won’t buy them at home.

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They had a great time at Granny Camp playing baby dolls and relaxing before the school year kicked off.

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And just like that summer break was over – for Lilli anyway – and it was time to get back to school.  Her year started with a half day on Friday.  She picked out a more casual look for her first day – one of the cold shoulder tops and some cute shorts from Justice.  She had me straighten her hair and of course we had to get several first day of school pictures.

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Such a big change from her first day of kindergarten! Just two more years and it’s off to middle school.

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Meeting her teacher for the year – Mrs Duncan.  She has Mrs Duncan for Math and Science, and swaps to Mrs Hintz for English and Social Studies.

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There are 28 kids in her class this year which just seems nuts.  Instead of 5 sections they only have 4 sections for 4th grading taking her class size from usually around 22 or so up to 28.

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But the most exciting thing was being reunited with her BFF Reese – they’re back in the same class again this year and so thrilled.  At the beginning of the year their desks were pretty close to each other.  She has a good group of girls in her class this year and has made a lot of new friends, too.  And the little boy who lives on our street is also in her class again, they haven’t been together since kindergarten.

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Since kindergarten didn’t start for several more days and Abbi didn’t have anywhere to be she came with me to take Lilli on her first day and help her get settled in and unpacked.  Abbi found it all very exciting – I think Lilli was ready for us to go.

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When we picked up Lilli from her half day we surprised them both with a trip to Above All to celebrate the new school year.  They have tons of ninja courses, trampolines and all kinds of aerial fun.  The girls love it.

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It wasn’t too horribly crowded so the girls were able to jump and flip and bounce pretty wide open in the larger spaces.

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This was the first time we’ve taken Abbi and she took right to it – we all love the trapeze – the girls make it looks so easy but it’s definitely a workout playing at Above All!

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The ninja area is always a big favorite for us all.

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Lots of good sweaty fun!

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That evening we had signed up to help break the World Record for simultaneous Smores Making.  The Girl Scouts in our area were having a big event to try and break a world record.  It was a heavily monitored event – tons of rules about when you could enter the area and exactly how it all had to be done.  The Guinness Book team was there and watching over everything to make sure it followed rules, so it ended up being a long event for a very short attempt.  We still don’t know if we broke the record.  The attempt was for everyone to be making it at the same time, so we spent about 2 hours getting ready for a less than one minute event to actually make only 1 smore each.

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By the time all the fires were lit they were all starting to go out all over the place.  The whole thing was kind of a mess.

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But we all finally got to make one Smore – and then eat it.

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Well, everyone except one person.  There was a minimum age requirement – that Abbi didn’t meet.  So she couldn’t make one or participate – which we didn’t know about before hand.  So, the agony of defeat was real.  And she wouldn’t even entertain eating one of ours.  But now that she’s a big Daisy herself if we ever do this again it should be a very different story!

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Fair Day!

From August 4 –

Going to the Williamson County Fair every year is always one of our very favorite things to do.  We usually go with friends, but this year with the way school started and the way the fair fell we had to go on a Saturday instead of one evening.  We got there as soon as it opened and bought the pass for rides for the first half of the day thinking it might be less busy (and it was).  We were all really excited to ride some rides, even if we knew they wouldn’t be quite to the Hershey Park level from earlier in the summer.

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There was no line at all for the Cyclops so I jumped on.  And ended up riding it completely alone which was so strange! And it’s really strange to want to scream when you’re the only person on a ride.  Definitely more fun with friends!

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Lilli and I rode the giant swings.

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And Lilli and Brent did the Ferris Wheel – I’ve never been a big fan of the open Ferris Wheel!

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Even though Abbi is definitely not a short girl there’s still quite a few things she wasn’t quite tall enough to ride.  So she would stand and sadly watch nearby…..

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It was just so, so hot – which is quite normal for the middle of the day in August in the South.  We wanted to ride nonstop but had to take breaks inside and would enjoy the farm stuff and other exhibits.  We hated missing out on the short lines but it was just blistering hot with no shade.

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We enjoyed all the animals and seeing all the different award winning chickens, pigs and more.  And these baby pigs were too stinking cute.

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The girls wanted to ride this little enclosed spinning ride.  It was so insanely hot inside it – it was basically like sitting inside an oven.

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One last picture in case we all passed out from heat stroke.

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Brent and the girls rode the slide – the slide is one of very few things I won’t ride.  I’m there for all the spinning and flipping – but not a bumpy slide.

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Once our ride passes expired we let the girls each play a game so they can win some major prizes.

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We went in and watched a horse show for a bit – but it was also like sitting inside a hot oven.

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And we spent some time inside the expo center and did some of the kid crafts and other games they had set up before we headed out for the day.  It was really nice to have an entire day to spend there, so often when we go at night we don’t see any of the exhibits or get to see as many of the animals as we did that day.  It was another great day at the fair and we can’t wait to go again next August.

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Pony Camp

From August 3rd –

They always have a parent show on the final afternoon of Camp Widji but we’ve never gone because it’s typically camp songs/chants and not really something where the kids get to show you what they did.  But, with them both doing things at the Ranch side of the camp this year the girls were getting to show off things they’d learned – which for Abbi meant showing up her new pony riding skills.  The camp isn’t horribly far from Brent’s work so he went to see them.

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Their showcases were at the same time so the nice counselors let Abbi skip so Brent could see both of them before the showcases were over.  I mean – how adorable!

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This picture made me want to get her a pony immediately.  I think we have enough yard for a cute little pony.  I’m so glad she had a great time.  This summer she’s doing the same Pony Camp again and several of her preschool and school friends are also going the same week so she’ll have a lot of friends to ride the bus with and be in the same group as.

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Over at Farm Camp Lilli got to show them everything she’d learned about working on the farm and the various animals she got to take care of – pigs, chicken, goats and more.

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And she got to walk him around the garden and show him the things they’d planted and worked on.

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And Lilli got THE big award – the Purple Pony goes to one boy and one girl in the entire Ranch camp and is voted on by the counselors for the person who is the kindest to all the animals and all the other campers.  It’s a huge award and Abbi was really jealous – not so much of the award and what it signified – but because it also came with a lollipop.

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Their end of week counselor notes:

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And Abbi’s from Pony Camp:

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We went to Kroger that night to see if we could get Abbi a lollipop.  This one had the cute little buggies so of course they each had to push one.

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We also ran in to At Home and Abbi found some chainsaws decor she could really get into.

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