The Whole Story   |   September 18, 2013

 Packing is always fun because you have a vacation or great adventure to look forward to and plan as you go over everything you will do and will need in your mind. Carlie made it twice as fun because she thought UNPACKING was even better and I got to keep packing things over and over with her help.

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 She had just learned to sit up just before we left for Maine and I was surprised to return to the living room and she had also learn to unpack.

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 So tiring planing for a trip! I put back up the hammock to rock her to sleep while I packed. It had been so long since we used it, she had forgotten about it and when I put her in she was a little scared. But as I swung her she started laughing and every time the swing changed directions and swung the other way she would giggle.

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 I had been hearing Carlie say, “Dada” every once in a while but never regularly. I kept telling John she could say it but she would never say it when he was home. Then on the Thursday we left for Maine she said Dada all day long and when we went to pick up John that night at the park and ride she was read to say Dada for John. He was so proud of her even though he was trying to teach her to say Mama. He put his glasses on her and she liked them and left them on! What a girl!

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 Our first stop on Friday morning.
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 Checking the weather.
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Carlie Jane waiting for John and I to set up the tent on our first night camping in Virginia.
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 Somebody over slept.
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 The view out the tent door was beautiful. This picture doesn’t do it justice.
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 Breakfast Saturday.
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 Carlie Jane’s first big girl seat at a restaurant.
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 On the road again.
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 Rule number one in map reading…Do not sit on the map you are trying to read.
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 Fast food 
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The road between Maine and Florida is never short no matter how you plot the rout. We did take a different way this time and though it wasn’t any shorter there were fewer toll roads and there were very few big cities which made the drive much more relaxing and beautiful. Most of the way we drove through the mountains. This picture of John and Carlie Jane was taken on the final morning of our trip up and Carlie looks exited to be finally getting to Grandmas and Grandpa’s.

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 She was such a good traveler and took long naps and slept at night too when we stopped to camp along the way at state parks.

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 At the welcome center to Maine, just over the border in Kittery, they were giving out fresh local apples and Carlie Jane got on her special “I love Grandma” outfit on.

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 The outfit never made it to Sedgwick! This is the park in Bucksport where we stopped for a short break.

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 She looks a little shocked or disappointed. “Is this all it is? Mommy told me Maine was such a big deal.”

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 Having a early morning nap with Auntie Pam.
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 Story time with Grandpa was always interesting the same book never read the same way twice.

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 Bedtime milk with Grandmie.
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 Rachel and Charity have chickens and I thought their chicken house was so cute! Charity made the rooster for the door and the color will match the barn when they get it finished and painted.

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 Here are the chickens. They are getting about six eggs a day now.
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 The little yard with wire over the top too so the hocks and eagles don’t take them.
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Carlie Jane’s first piano lesson. She didn’t learn all the notes but she got very good at turning the pages to find the right song.

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 Carlie loved the Curious George puppet but sometimes he kind of scared her because she couldn’t figure out if he was alive or just a toy.

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 Sweet potato breakfast.
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 Carlie Jane helped earn her keep by helping with laundry.

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 Auntie Charity was very good at getting Carlie Jane to sleep.
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 Learning how to give kisses.
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 One afternoon Mum thought it looked like the bees were going to swarm. So, Charity and Rachel went out to try to see if they could add a honey super and convince them to stay but by the time they got out there the bees were already moving back in.

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 Harvesting grapes and apples.
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 I just thought all these rubber boots standing in the shed looked so typical of home.
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 John put this bonnet on Carlie Jane so keep the sun off her head and neck but she looks concerned that it is on backwards. “You aren’t really going to take me out in public like this are you? And to meet Mummies friends no less!”

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 The duck pond at the farm where Charity works.
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 Can you believe these tomato plants!? 
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 Getting a bit of a bite to eat on the way up Blue Hill Mountain.
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 Finally reached the top.
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 Thursday is Matt’s day off and he and Vicki took us to Bar Harbor. We had a delicious pizza before heading out for some site seeing.

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 Brett was mostly busy catching up on his sleep. He is such a cute little man and he reminded me of how big Carlie Jane has grown.
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 Matt thought there was a very bad smell in the back of the truck when we stopped at Sandy beach. Matt and I got our babies out of the truck and Matt said, “No, My babies fine. It’s not my baby! Is it your baby, Nessa?” As we turned to head toward the beach we saw a man leaning against the car beside the truck laughing so hard at us having to check our babies and Matt’s comment. We went into one of the little shops on Bar Harbor and the shop keeper asked, “Are they handing out babies on the sidewalk today?”

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 Sandy Beach is always beautiful but after Labor Day it is also very empty. What a beautiful place! Right in the middle of a rocky shore.

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 Thunder Hole is a little cave in the ledge where the water rushes in at every wave and makes a thundering noise. That day is was pretty quiet and you would only faintly here the thundering but some days they even have to close that part of the park because the spray coming out of Thunder Hole is so high it can wash people away.

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The stoney beaches and very extreme tides fascinate John.
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 John, Carlie Jane and I went over to Grandma and Grandpa McFarland’s for breakfast. Gram always makes a delicious meal and her breakfast casserole, fruit dish, and homemade donuts were as good as ever! We spent all morning visiting and Gram got to give Carlie Jane her bottle. They were both happy about that!

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 My sisters found this tamoshanter and a kilt and thought Carlie Jane “needed” it. I know the kilt is missing in this picture but there is one that matches the hat. It does look very cute but when she wore it to church we had to take the hat off because she was making us laugh.

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 Ok, the sweater doesn’t match but it’s warm. She kind of looks like she’s wearing a baker’s hat in this picture.
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 The view from Grandma and Grandpa’s back porch. I lived in this house until I was about eight or ten and remember well watching the boats come and go all supper.

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 Grandpa loves old cars and has a little museum in his garage. He has a few old cars and all kinds of old toys and interesting things. He is always selling parts of it and replacing it with something else and adding to it so every time you visit it is always worth a walk around Grandpa’s treasure chest.

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 Carlie Jane loved looking at all the bright things and little toy cars.

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 Grandma and Grandpa have six Great Grandchildren now but only one little girl! 

 John and I went for an afternoon walk on the beach by my family’s cabin. It was a beautiful day and I picked up more sea glass.

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 More wild apples to try. You never find two exactly the same taste.
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 Lobster feed at Jay and Roseanna’s with my family. Dad, John, and Carlie Jane were watching the lobsters cooking on the grill.
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 Roseanna’s father is a losterman and provided the lobster for the evening! Yummy! Yummy!

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 Grandma,Grandpa, Matt, playing with Carlie.
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 My lobster!
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 April and Vicki admiring sleeping, Brett.
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 Carlie Jane and Brett got too tired and took a long nap while we had supper.
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 Pam and John having a nice chat…actually, Pam looks like she thinks something is rather funny.
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 Charity Rachel, Jay, Roseanna, Vicki, Matt and Dad and Mum sit around and talk away the evening. There is always so much to catch up on in a big family. 
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 Charity and Carlie Jane having a relaxing Sunday breakfast.
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 Boiled Dinner is always great but especial with kitchen help like this!
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 Charity made Carlie this new jumper while we were there and it fits her just perfect. Since Carlie didn’t get any boiled dinner she decided to help herself to a few crackers I guess.

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 Carlie never could figure out if Curious George puppet was alive or not and she’d stare at him in disbelief.

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 Cousin Brett was a big fascination for Carlie. He really was the first very little baby she has seen and she was very excited to see him from the first night we arrived.

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 While visiting at Matt and Vicki’s she loved to touch him but because we were so careful that she not pull on him or anything she would soon tire of it. She liked his toys hanging above his lounge though and would spin them for him.

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 Off to Bev and Tom’s of supper.
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 I really wanted to see my co- workers while I was home and Bev and Carol and Tom made supper for us one night and we had such a nice evening with them. Visits always seem too short and after the fact, I think of a thousand things I wanted to know about people I used to see everyday. What I wanted most was just to see them again and let Carlie meet them and that is just what we did.

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 Dad took a few days off work and we drove down to the Maine Maritime Academy and saw the State of Maine. I have always loved Castine and nothing has changed really there. Always so timeless with the huge old homes and the town full of the Academy students.

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 The view from the Bucksport Bridge observatory looking back down at the bridge.
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 The compass in the floor of the observatory was duplicated from one Champlain had drawn on his maps of the area when he traveled up the Pennobscot River on his way to Bangor.

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 Because there is so much granite in Maine many structures are built with it. The base of the bridge as you walk into the bridge tower has this Maine seal carved into the stone.

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Looking up…and up and up.
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 In the gift shop at Fort Knox, we found these moose antler headbands. We didn’t get it for her but she does look awfully cute! It’s just terrible the things we do to our babies while they are still too little to defend themselves and too innocent to know what is so funny.

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 The walls of the fort.
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 The Fort is made out of granite and was never actually used in a war but was built to protect the port because of previous battles that took place there.
 

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 The stone spiral stair case.
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 Dad and Mum have an apple cider press they got for Christmas last year but hadn’t used yet. They decided to have a apple cider pressing evening. Rachel and Charity went and picked apples from some of the wild apple trees around town. Cider is always best when you use many kinds of apples rather than just one kind. Our family always had the tradition of having apple cider and homemade donuts in the fall, especially during hunting season. When they guys would go out hunting it was tradition to have hot coffee, fresh donuts, and apple cider for them when they got home. So getting to make our own cider was a big treat. There were local farms that made cider and we would buy our cider from them but never had made our own.

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 We ordered pizza from Eggemoggin Country Store for supper and Kimber was very much hoping some one would give some to the baby so she could steal it from her.

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 The process of getting cider.
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 The little press
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 Cutting up the apples and grinding it up in our meat grinder.
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 Until the press was full.
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 This was the cider that ran off while we were filling the press before we even stared pressing it.

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 John taking his turn at the cider press.
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 The finish product.
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 The first taste test.
It was a little tart because it is still a little early for apples but it was delicious!!! We tried it cold and we tried it hot with cinnamon added.
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 Kimber liked the baby especial at meal times when there was lots of food flying. This little walker was used by all eight of us kids and Mum got it out and remade the seat before we visited so Carlie could use it too. She really liked it and she fit just right.
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While we were eating lobster at Jay and Roseanna’s house John was talking to Roseanna about lobstering and how they are trapped. She said she would see if her dad was going out again while we were still in Maine and see if John might be able to out with him for a day. To make a long story a little shorter, Mr Sherman’s boat was full and it wasn’t working out. Rachel and Charity still baby sit Becca’s flower girl, Addy Tripp, and her father is a lobsterman. So one evening when they were babysitting they asked Brian if he was going out in the morning and if he had enough men or could John go out with him.

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 He said he was short one guy and John was welcome to come.
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 They met at the dock at 0500 and headed out for a foggy day of lostering.
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 Brian said he could not remember many days that it had been so foggy so you couldn’t really see the land but it kept the sun off which is always helpful.

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 Rachel, Charity, Carlie Jane and I went down at four to see them come back and to pick up John. Jillian and the kids live right up the road from the town landing so when they hear Brian’s boat coming up the harbor they run down to meet him too.

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 Carlie Jane waiting for Daddy.
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 The little red lobster boat you can see off little distance is, Miss Jilly, Brian’s boat.
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 John, Brian, and Luke back again.
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 I think they said they caught about 500 pounds of lobster that day. 
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 Grandmie Limeburner and Carlie Jane.
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 Carlie Jane and Leah matched.
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 Uncle John and Little Brett.
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 Carlie interrupting choir practice on Wednesday.
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 Breakfast with Grandpa.
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 Kimber thinks she is Dad’s K-9 and ever time he leaves she wants to go with him.
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 Saying goodbye to Grandpa on our last day.
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 As Dad drove away I was telling Carlie Jane, “When I was a little girl, Uncle Matt, and Uncle Jay and I always used to beg Dad, or any of the officers who came over to our house, to turn on their lights for us and give a little Wwwhooop with the siren when they…” Just as I was telling her Dad turned on his lights and siren for her and her eyes got so big. 

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 Uncle Jay came over for one last visit on the morning we left.
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John and I were busy packing up the car but Carlie Jane and he played together for awhile. Layla was a little jealous of the baby getting her Daddy’s attention but never acted mean to Carlie.
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 Matt and Vicki and Brett came over that morning too.
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 This is a very big deal!!! Carlie Jane didn’t like Uncle Matt!  For whatever reason, whenever Matt would take her she would look up at him and melt into tears. Finally on the last morning she changed her mind and thought he was funny.

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 Back on the road again.
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 Pupping the tent for the first night…no the second night…the first night it was raining and it didn’t go that well.
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 Supper at Cracker Barrel.
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 “Of all the stuff on the menu…I have to eat mushed old green beans…not my favorite!”

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 A very chilly morning camping. 
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 She looked so cute in the extra big warm sleeping bag that I took lost of pictures.
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 She didn’t seem to mind to cold and was happier sitting up but with all those blanket she was probably warm no matter what she did.

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 Breakfast.
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 Very happy to be out of the car seat for a little bit!
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 The last night we camped in Tennessee and Carlie sat on her quilt while we set up the tent.
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 We had just gone to the car to get a few more things when I looked up and saw Carlie had laid down and was sampling a few of the grasses and leaves beside her blanket. I panicked and stuck my fingers in her mouth trying to see what she might have swallowed and John told me be glad it wasn’t a frog she had been tasting.

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 A beautiful evening walk!
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 This little pond was beside the camp ground where we stayed the last night and we went for a little walk along the shore.
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 Last night camping!
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 Trying out the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel.
“Just my size…or at least it will be in about a year.”
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 Home at last! A fresh Carlie Jane after her bath. Sitting down to read her new book before bedtime.

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 In her new bathrobe from her Aunties in Maine. Isn’t it cute!
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 Matt called Carlie the “Etrade baby” the whole time we were in Maine because he thought she looked like the babies from the commercials. So I had to add these picture for him! 

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Thank you for such a wonderful visit back home! Everyone made it all so nice and relaxing for us. We have so many great memories to add to our already large store.

4 thoughts on “The Whole Story”

  1. Vicki says:

    Wow Ness, that was a great post! You captured all of your memories and experiences very well! I love the picture of Matt and Carlie Jane smiling at each other….as you said, a once in a lifetime experience! Haha! We miss you all and hopefully will be able to get together again before too long.

  2. Ok, so I just had to comment on the ETrade baby comment!! Go to images.google.com, enter in "etrade baby" and see if you don't agree. Anyone else see the similarity?!?! lol

  3. Carol says:

    What wonderful pictures …it looks like you had a wonderful trip. Sure would have been nice to been there with you all. We miss your family so very much. Never got to see them when we took the grandchildren back the last time. I was not feeling well and didn't want to take anything in for little Brett to catch. In the Lord's time we will see you all again. Love and miss you. Thanks for letting us sneak in on your joy. HUGS..Mrs Pigott

  4. johnnfawn says:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed them! It was a wonderful visit as always and refreshed me. Wish we could have seen you but trust the Lord will work it out to meet again before too long. Love you and think of you so often. I love memory of the trip Matt, you both, and I made to Halifax several years ago. What a wonderful time we had.

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