Monthly Archives: April 2015

It’s been a great week. Coming home tomorow!

What an amazing week we have had! Some of us are ready to come home… some… not so much!

We went to Oxford today, met up with Christian Schnϋcker, Summit Christian Academy alumni, class of 2013! He has been here since January doing a study abroad! It was pretty fun when Elisha (senior) got to see his brother for the first time since January!

We started out at the open air market where we got ‘treasures’ and ‘eats’! Delicious, inexpensive eats.! THEN, we got a special treat, with Christian taking us on a beautiful walk through historic Jericho area then on to an incredible meadow, river, then past The Perch (another of C.S. Lewis’ meeting places), the thatched house and then what at first seems like 18 more miles of walking we came upon a very old small church! The Pilgrim Church of St. Margaret of Antioch Binsey. The huge trees, the cemetery in the yard of the church, the well that has become a place of pilgrimage, the small chapel itself that has about 17 pews total. The kids just sat around on the ground, under the trees, or near a tombstone and soaked in the serene beauty of the place! It was truly a highlight of the day for EVERYONE!

After a time of peace and reflection we headed back to The Perch for tea, cokes, and snacks! Then back into town, to check out The Eagle and Child (a famous C.S. Lewis favorite). We finished our time in Oxford with a little more ‘exploring and shopping’.

One of the best parts of the day is when we didn’t have to leave Christian in Oxford but he joined us coming back to London. He’ll be heading back to Oxford in the morning when we leave for the good ole U.S. of A.

Our last Debrief!

I want to say that having Mr. Brandon Marks on the trip has been such a blessing! I asked if he would share with the kids tonight! He started off asking them to share their dreams for the future. I’m not going to write what they each said, but I will tell you, this class is a class of young men and women who want to serve others! I love that!

Brandon (that’s what I call him) shared about his journey from high school through college to now! The journey of his relationship with Christ, when his life was mainly focused on himself and then that moment during a time of worship, when he allowed God to come in and healed broken places, give him direction and then eventually led him to Summit!

He told the students that even when they cannot see him, God is there working for them.  Only the things you truly trust God with, will be successful.  God gives you the wisdom you need for every situation in your life and equips you like you won’t believe.

Christian then shared with the group!  He talked about how we each go through ecclesiastical seasons of life… we each live a story.  He said that was part of why he wanted to come to Britain. He wanted to live a better story.  Each of the seniors have their own story, it’s very real for them right now.  They are coming up on their next chapter of their story. Will it be college, military, etc.!  One minute your story has complete joy you can’t explain to the next you are overcome with sorrow!  When I hear someone’s story I realize the importance of other people. You might know a chapter of their story or their full book.  Something I would have loved to have heard before now is other people are living a story too. Who you are is so important to everyone around you.  Lose your fear, find your courage to sing your song to the world – because the world needs to hear your song!

We ended with prayer and encouraging them that as they walk out their story, as they pursue their dreams, if they will seek the wisdom from God and allow him to guide them, they will find there is no equal.

We’ll see you tomorrow!  Thank you for all your prayers!

Date

Airline

Flight #

From/To

Depart and Arrive Time

19APR15

BA

190

AUSTIN/

LONDON (HEATHROW )

6:10 PM – 9:25 AM

(Arrive 20APR15)

26APR15

BA

191

LONDON (HEATHROW)

AUSTIN

11:55 AM – 4:05 PM

Love your kids!

Mrs. g

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Culture Overload

Here it is – the outline of our day!

  1. Baker Street – Sherlock Holmes … hotel and museum
  2. Beatles memorabilia
  3. Porky’s BBQ
  4. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (another FANTASTIC TOUR GUIDE)
  5. The Golden Hind (replica of a really old pirate ship)
  6. London Bridge (it was not falling down)
  7. Tower of London
    1. Dawson got to talk to Queen Anne (Naomi too and I’m sure others)
    2. The Crown Jewels
    3. The Torture Tower
    4. The Bloody Tower
    5. The White Tower
    6. The Beefeaters
    7. The Chapel
    8. Old Buildings and Towers
    9. The Gift Shops
  8. The City River Cruise (cruised the Thames)
  9. Harrods
  10. Sleeping on the Tube
  11. Debrief

These young people are amazing – I love them so much! I am going to miss them so much! During our debrief we (Mr. Marks and I) encouraged them to finish well. We talked about friendships, their dreams and the reason they were created!

My constant prayer is that they each will pursue God with all their hearts. Then they’ll see their hearts desires come to pass. They’ll live a life fulfilled!

Mrs. g

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London – Another great day in England!

We made it to our hotel, lined up our bags in the only room that was ready and headed into London via the tube! Oh and did I mention, where our hotel is? As we were driving on the road to here, looking out the window and seeing this huge stadium, we told the kids, “We’re about to drive by the Wembley Stadium, you’ve got a good chance to get a real good shot of it.” A couple of minutes later we pulled up to our hotel and … voila! We are RIGHT NEXT TO IT! AND… a shopping center … HA!

Our London tour stops today:

Big Ben               Parliament Buildings                     Westminster Abbey

Parliament Square Statues                         Lunch at a small upstairs restaurant … great food!

Churchill War Rooms! (AMAZING! )

St James Park (The Duck Pond)                Buckingham Palace (saw a changing of the guards)

I think we enjoyed the Westminster Abbey more than we would have partly because of Bill and the tour he gave us at the Westminster Cathedral. I know I did.

Seeing so many people interred or honored at Westminster was interesting, amazing, and at times confusing. So many kings and queens, people of royalty, poets, writers, evangelists, philosophers, and musicians…. And more!

We then headed to lunch and then the war rooms! IF you EVER have a chance to come to London you MUST look at the war rooms. Amazing! Many areas are still the same with a protective glass panel there instead of the wall so you can see ‘into the past’ and get a feel for a very tumultuous time and see the behind the scenes workings of a great nation and their fight against tyranny!

A beautiful walk through St James Park ending at Buckingham Palace! A changing of the guards, then at the soldiers’ barracks, in the huge yard area there was a rehearsal of some kind – 3 military bands, soldiers, dignitaries practicing!

Tonight one group went to the West End to watch ‘Les Miserable’. Mr. Marks took them in.

My group decided to forego going back into London and experiencing the London Eye (can you say tired of walking?)

Okay… I’m going to go on the Record … NO ONE HAS ICED, TEA LIKE THE GOOD OLD USA! I begged for one at dinner and I’m guessing it was 6/8th lemon water with 2/8th tea – like a weakened canned Nestea with lemon. I complimented them on it because it DID have a LOT of ice!   HA!

Tomorrow will be another day of going strong. And great times of interacting as a team, great conversations and really, it’s getting a little sad. It’s hitting them that this is just one more ‘last’ thing.

Pray for them and our moments of encouragement and our debriefing times tomorrow and Saturday.

Oh, and congratulations to Mrs. Castello and that new baby grandson!  It was also a great day in America!

Mrs. G

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Hey Y’all! We had a Texas Sized Day in Basingstoke!

The morning assembly was a hit! Our students are so talented! We did the whole assembly western style. We taught them to say, “howdy, hey y’all, ya’ont too? And Yeehaw!” We taught them “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Even our scripture verse took on a western bent. Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, some in horses “Yee-haw” but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.

The students of Kings school enjoyed it… we had geared our program to the younger kids but our students were on top of it and a few of them ran out into the audience and got the older students involved. I was so proud of them! Plus we pulled 7 of their students in to help hold the response boo, hiss, aww cards for the Melodrama of Wrangler Dave and Rustler Goliath!

Every teacher told me it was ‘wonderful’, brilliant, clever, etc. the classes loved the crafts we brought. Many of them were practicing their Texas accents and what they were going to say to their parents when they got home! LOL. I wish I would see and hear the results!

We also gave each student a bandana and the school some kick balls for the younger classes and 3 sizes of parachutes. We left our left over craft items which is also a blessing. Our team gave their teacher workroom Texas Longhorn candies and Jalapeno jelly for their break room! They loved it!

After the morning crafts with the elementary students we went and played games and visited for an hour with the 7th & 8th grade students and teachers. After craft time our theater students hung out with their theatre class where the students played an improv game and helped the students block their scenes. It was fun to see them jump in and help out all while making jokes and laughing throughout the class. All in all it was a fantastic time of ministry! I believe it blesses us as much as it blessed them. They asked us to stay in touch! And would love for us to come back!

In the afternoon we rested and yes… you guessed it… a few more shopped! : )

In the evening I took a few back to Winchester and we saw an incredible performance of Pirates of Penzance. Shakespeare style! Brandon’s team stayed in Basingstoke and had some mean competition at the bowling alley! It was a fun night!

We head to London at 7 in the morning!

Thank you for our prayers. Please pray for continued health and stamina. The weather has been beautiful but it supposed to start getting colder and rainy!

Have a great day … we did and tomorrow we’re going to again!

Mrs. G and the whole gang!

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One … CAN … change one!

One can change one –

Today we took an adventure tour to Winchester! It wasn’t just a fun day … it was an impactful day!

We checked out Winchester Cathedral first. The goal was to just go in and marvel and the majesty and grandeur of it and low and behold, 5 minutes after we got in, we were able to witness a ‘Turning of the Page’ ceremony held every 3rd Tuesday of the month. It was so beautiful. The priest, his assistant, an officer and, the 2 trumpeters!

On the first row were ex-military (many highly decorated) from the Royal Rifle Brigade of WWII. It only lasted 15 minutes but it moved us all. Our students interacted with a few of them after the ceremony, thanking them for their service.

Then ‘Bill’ came up to us and asked us if we were ready for our tour… long story short, we didn’t know if we were going to do one… are we EVER glad we did.

Bill had such a passion for God, his glory and the story of the Cathedral. We were ALL mesmerized! And I mean ALL! He could have talked all day and we still would not have wanted to leave. He made history come alive and he left us with this thought at the end. “No matter what you believe, a Cathedral has the power to drop you to your knees in awe!”   He was not kidding. There was a holy reverence felt by all of us! I don’t believe I’ll ever tour a Cathedral that has been built for the glory of God in the same way. One (God) CAN change one (Bill)  …. then …..  One (Bill) CAN change one (each one of us)!

We then spent the afternoon exploring and shopping … and shopping … and exploring … and shopping!

We returned back to our home base, had dinner then talked through tomorrow morning.

It’s a big day – it’s ministry day!

Please pray for us to work together as a team and to be a blessing to the school. We want to have fun and glorify God!

Our scripture is Psalm 20:7   “Some trust in chariots and some in horses (yee-haw) but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God!”

Our skit is David and Goliath rewritten as a western Melodrama!

Then we will go into the younger classrooms and do crafts that we brought with us!

We will also get to participate in their Physical Education classes! Or so we were told!

Thursday morning we will head out early to London!

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Basingstoke – We’re here!

Basingstoke – in the Old Town Centre, there’s quite a bit of history

We went to King’s school and met Russ Beese – the lead teacher, and got a tour of their campus! Okay, Mr. Chapman, you would be so stoked to be here… 15 years ago they held their science class in WWII bunkers that are in a field behind the buildings. The city has since taken over the land and no one can do anything with it. King’s school would love to buy it but it’s sitting in limbo. It’s a prayer point. King’s school wants to turn it in to a park, garden, etc.

They are really excited about us sharing on Wednesday morning and then working in the classes during the day! WE ARE TOO!   We can’t wait to hear the little voices with British accents. Please pray we’ll be a blessing to them! And the things we brought them will be a blessing as well!   Kick balls, parachutes, craft supplies.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Winchester – was at one time the capital of England! Even more Jane Austen points of interest… the 1000+ year old church!   Shops…. Boutiques…   shops…. (That’s for the girls that have already hit the mall just one block away!)

Tomorrow afternoon we will prep and rehearse for our Wednesday morning assembly and craft time and PE time with the students at King’s School

For dinner we went to a Tapas Restaurant … GREAT FUN! LOTS of FOOD!

We recapped our day quickly, everyone is very tired!

Thanks for your prayers!

Mrs. G

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What You Do Matters!

What You Do Matters!

“As we look back, that really is the theme of the week!” said Mr. Smith as he gave each person on the team a coin with that statement on it.

How true that is! This whole week has been filled with stories, monuments, displays and actions that show, truly, what you do … really … really matters!

We debriefed two days of intense emotions and as leaders we have been so proud of how vulnerable the students have been about what they felt from the experience!

The dedication and honor and respect shown at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

  1. The Story behind Robert E Lee’s home and Arlington Cemetery
  2. JFK’s eternal flame
  3. Honoring Max Gallop’s grandfather and grandmother who are buried in Arlington National
  4. Honoring the two soldiers when we witnessed their funeral that passed us by
  5. The memorials on the National Mall
  6. The Capitol tour
  7. Lunch at Bullfeathers
  8. The Holocaust Museum

Your student’s hearts are so full! It took quite a while to debrief, but it was worth every second. It was a fantastic time of each one sharing. Please pray for them as they continue to meditate on what we’ve seen and experienced and what was done in their individual hearts! They will possibly be thinking on it for quite a while. I pray they do!   I pray it has changed them to become people that will stand up against injustice. I pray they will become people that use their voice for those that cannot! I pray that they will stand – Even if they are the only one standing.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

~ Martin Niemöller Protestant Pastor

 

Thou shalt not be a victim,

Thou shalt not be a perpetrator

But above all, thou shalt not be a bystander

~ Yehuda Bauer

 

“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” ~ Simon Wiesenthal

“I had to help them. There was no choice.” Oskar Schindler

“The question shouldn’t be “Why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for trying to save Jews?’ The real question is “Why aren’t all the Christians here?”Joel C. Rosenberg, The Auschwitz Escape

 

This weekend as we celebrate Easter and the extravagant love Christ showed us in laying down his life for us,

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Being Easter week it has made it an extra special time to be here in Washington D.C. and experiencing day after day examples of sacrifice made by ordinary men and women!

This is a class of extraordinary young men and women! They have the potential to do great exploits for the kingdom of God! Pray that they do not lose what they have experienced and that they will continue to build on this experience because …

 

What You Do Matters!

 

Mrs. g

P.S. Sometimes after this trip it takes a little time for the students to process everything. Give them time but encourage them to share their hearts. Sometimes, their hearts are so full you are thinking, “Is he/she going to ever stop talking?”   Thank you so much for partnering with Summit and allowing your student to go on these trips! They are life changing!

 

 

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Freedom Isn’t Free!

Freedom Isn’t Free

The statement on the wall of the reflecting pond at Korean memorial really says it all … Freedom Isn’t Free! A price has been paid somewhere!

As we come into the Easter weekend, and we celebrate the extravagant love of our Savior through his death and resurrection it is an amazing time to be in Washington, D.C.!

Getting to participate in the Wreath Laying Ceremony is an incredible honor! Our four students represented well. Watching the precision and the dedication of the Tomb Guard sentinels inspired and challenged us all. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, Va. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore-the-Cemetery/Changing-of-the-Guard (To read more about their dedication – honoring the unknown soldiers!

Okay, back to what I was saying… If only we, as lovers of Christ put that much dedication and passion into our relationship with Christ and making his name known – to glorify God with everything we say or do! I want to be like that!   And I pray that these things we are experiencing will challenge our students to want to be like that as well!

After our wreath laying ceremony at 11:15am EST… we then went to Lee’s house and toured … then to the JFK eternal flame … then we had the sweetest privilege and going to the gravesite of Max Gallop’s grandfather George Duncan de Haas!   Mr. Smith read Mr. de Hass’ information which by the way was so amazing … we prayed then made our way out to leave and were caught by 2 funerals. So sobering!

Several people were saying, “I just want to go somewhere and cry!” “I don’t think my heart can take anymore!”

We had a very late lunch but when you’re surrendered by 1,000’s of grave markers of men and women who suffered much more than a late lunch, you just really didn’t feel like you could even complain! It just wasn’t right to!

We rested about an hour or so and then headed back out to the National Mall and visited the Vietnam wall. We had a few name rubbings from the Vietnam Wall and that’s pretty sobering as well! The Vietnam Women’s Memorial, the Vietnam Soldiers Memorial, The 5 branches Flag pole, The Korean Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial (This is where we read the 2nd Inaugural Address and then break up into our prayer teams and pray for one another! It’s a pretty cool time) Then we headed over to the WWII Memorial and then headed home!

As we headed back to the Smithsonian we prayer-walked for the Sunday Sunrise Easter Service that’s going to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial! I love that the story of Hope is going to be shared on the National Mall. Christ died for our sins and gives us freedom from eternal death to eternal life. How wonderful is that? But that freedom came at the cost of his life … Freedom Isn’t Free!

It was a long day and our evening snacks had worn off. All the restaurants close early in the area of our hotel. So it was a grocery store run and a sandwich/cookie/chips kind of night!

It was waaay too late to debrief – we’ll catch that up tomorrow!

In the morning it’s a Capital Tour and after lunch is the Holocaust Museum Tour! It’s going to be another amazing Day!

I’ll see if I can figure out how to post some pictures on this sight for you because I’ve got some great ones!

It’s too late to be trying to think clearly… If something doesn’t make sense… I apologize,

 

Mrs. g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strong Emotions In Just A Short Time!

Strong Emotions in Just a Short Time

I know I must say this a lot, but it is so true! It was an amazing day!

  • Mount Vernon –Potomac River Cruise
  • We Fight to be Free – Short Film at Mount Vernon
  • The Tour of George Washington’s Home
  • The American History Museum
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Debrief

Tonight’s debrief – it’s hard to put into words how moving tonight’s time of sharing was. The leaders and students were vulnerable with their thoughts and feelings about what they saw and felt.

I think what one student said really expresses what we were all going through all day long. “It was cool to see things that could bring such strong emotions in a short time.” It was so true, in an instant we could be laughing so hard and in the next moved to tears!”

Things shared during debrief: (paraphrased – because it’s hard to type that fast and get everything)

  • Challenged me to cherish what I have – I take so much for granted
  • We all need to do something – live our lives in a way that when others look at our life they are inspired by our life to live with purpose
  • I thought of Esther – God’s plan was going to happen with or without her, every single person here is a part of God’s plan, we need to do what He has for us to do with honor
  • When I came on this trip 9 years ago – I met God on this trip – You can too (spoken by a SCA alumni who joined us tonight)
  • Because we had already learned about some of these things we saw at the museum- it really added to the experience
  • I really liked the section about the Vietnam War – seeing all the artifacts – the stacked televisions with all the looping telecasts of that time
  • I don’t know what it is about this trip – but even though things like the museum and mount Vernon are touristy…. They didn’t seem that way … this seemed very personal
  • The Flag – it was so amazing – seeing it and then seeing the pictures of it in history
  • I didn’t know that George Washington was so awesome!
  • Actually getting to see parts of the 911 remnants
  • How much was given up so this country could begin. The hallway that represented POW’s… their treatment… it mean a lot … so much was given …for us!
  • The America Stories area – artifacts that represented people’s lives – Made me think about what is God going to do in my life
  • I really love George Washington more than I used to – Everything here is temporary –
  • George Washington – his character – how he’s remembered! It was inspirational, he was a man of honor, respect and discipline. I want to be remembered for things like that
  • It was cool to see things that could bring such strong emotions in a short time
  • I was reminded of my dad, writing me letters… the Korean War … means a lot to me, it was for me and my family
  • Watching the video, the families reading the letters … it made me cry. Thinking of the sacrifice. The families waiting for the loved one to come home, and some didn’t. The letters that were written to their families in case they didn’t come home. The sacrifice they knew they would maybe make and to have to write a letter like that. It made me very proud of the men and women in a very real way!

 

I just didn’t know any other way to share tonight’s session– and that’s just a small part of what was shared !

The meaning of sacrifice really got into their hearts today. God touched their hearts. And as Thomas said, “You allowed God to be involved and when he is… it changes you! For good!”

Tomorrow will be just as impactful!

It was a sweet and tender time! Pray for good rest and our hearts to be open to the plans God has for us!

In the morning we’re laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier! 11:15 EST   10:15 CST

Here are our 4 students (in no particular order)

  1. Gabrielle Cote
  2. Danielle Hannah
  3. Robert Mata
  4. Justin Boddeker

Tomorrow morning we’ll let them know the two that will be holding the wreath, however this is an honor for our whole team!

6:00am comes early – Time to say goodnight!

Mrs. G

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Because God Can! That’s Way We Pray!

Because God Can! That’s why we pray!

I’m reading this book ‘The Circle Maker’ by Mark Batterson. (Thank you Robin Stephens) He is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.

Here’s a paragraph from his book.

     Is there a limit to my power?

With God, it’s never an issue of “Can He?” It’s only a question of “Will He?” And while you don’t always know if He will, you know He can. And because you know He can, you pray with holy confidence!

 

When we pray at the base of the Washington Monument and ask God to direct every moment of our day … we pray and believe because we know HE CAN!

When we pray at the embassies for God to guide  leaders, end slavery  and strengthen the hearts of those being persecuted around the world … we pray and believe because we know HE CAN!

When we pray for heads of nations to listen to Godly council… we pray and believe because we know God can move in the hearts of those that don’t even know him … HE CAN!

When one of our students gets the opportunity today to witness to a very confused person, we can pray with confidence that it wasn’t an accident and that God can use that moment to draw the man back to him … We pray and believe that healing can come to the young man’s mind because we know … HE CAN!

It was such a full day! We’re tired and our feet are sore.

As we debriefed tonight it was mentioned how impressive it was that the students had done their homework on the different nations. The information they shared wasn’t just about freedom of religion, although as believers we care about that. But it was about education, water sources, peace, war, justice, etc. Praying on sight with INSIGHT is much better! Instead of a prayer that sounds like, “Dear God, please help the people in Eritrea… they need you! It was specific prayer for the needs of a nation!”

We start the day off early tomorrow – we board the Spirit of Mount Vernon River Cruise and enjoy the Potomac and then tour Mount Vernon! This is always a very powerful part of the trip (I know, I say that about a lot of things) (But it’s true) We watch the short movie, “We Fight To Be Free” Then tour his home then the grounds! Can’s wait till the students see the ‘three hole-er outhouse’ … it always gets them!

We’ll be watching the weather, we have two options tomorrow afternoon and evening. We’ll go to the Smithsonian’s or we’ll rest and then come back and do the memorials into the evening! Either way, it’s going to be a great day!

The kids are getting the hang of the metro – we tell them where we need to go and they are figuring out which line and which stop! That’s good!

Washington D.C. is such a melting pot of cultures and beliefs and ideas. It’s really fun to encourage these incredible young people to be thinkers, to be engaged, to care! The end result of the impact of this trip will be very different for each one of them. But what an honor it is to be here with them, experience this, and encourage them!

Man, I love this trip! I love my job! I love these kids! I love that they are all so different! Isn’t that the beauty of God’s creation!?!

Thanks for your prayers!  Please pray for the leaders.  It’s long hours and many amazing opportunities to speak life into the heart, soul and spirit  of these kids!  We want to take advantage of every opportunity!

Till tomorrow!

Mrs. G

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