Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We have spent the past two weekends at the beach along the Chesapeake Bay. The kids adore it. From the first time the little guy caught a splash of the waves he was hooked. He squealed and squealed with delight! All three of my kids love the water, and it is such fun to watch them play and explore along the shore.







Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun!
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Ordinary and Awesome
Momdot

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4th of July Fun and Yum! Lesson Plans Too

Monday, June 29, 2009



The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Really. I love Christmas, of course, and Halloween is loads of fun. Thanksgiving is loads of yum, but the 4th of July is just bright gleaming cheer in my book. I love everything about it. The hot weather, the barbeque's, the red, white and blue, the fireworks and patriotism. It is simply grand. The pinnacle of summer. To help you put some fun in your 4th I have compiled a list of resources to boost your holiday bang.

Lessons:
First, a little Americana, history, and a few little ditties for lyrical learning.

Crafts and Decorations:
Next, check out these adorable free to download crafts from Skip to My Lou.
Here's a free 4th of July Craft and Recipe ebook loaded with goodies
Make a patriotic hanging star from Kinderart (all ages).
Keep your cool with this patriotic flag fan.
Here are some easy fold and snip stars...great for decorating, or a project to keep kids busy while you rustle up the grub.
Sparkling Shakers. We made the last year and the kids enjoyed them.

Food:
And what to eat? Can't go wrong with ribs, potato salad, and slaw. For dessert, how about gingered blueberry shortcake or almond cheesecake tart?

And to top is all off, here's a recipe for Red, White and Blue Cookies:
Ingredients:
* 1 c butter
* 1 Egg white -- whipped
* 2 t Pure vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 c Unbleached flour
* 1 1/2 c sugar
* 1 1/2 t baking powder
* 1 t Red food coloring
* 1 t Blue food coloring
Method:
Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, egg white, and vanilla extract.In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix wet ingredients with dry until just moistened. Divide cookie dough into three equal portions. Tint 1 portion with the red food coloring; and another portion with the blue food coloring. Mix throughly. Form each portion into long bars and stack bars on top of each other using alternating colors (red, white, blue). Wrap dough stack in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Cut cookies into 1/4" thick bars. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Want even more?! Check out my post from last July 4th for extra goodies, or my post from Flag Day if you missed it.
Enjoy!

Red, White and Yummy, I Mean Blue Pizza

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For more great recipe swapping fun visit Anissa at Our Chaotic Life!
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This week, I'm going patriotic...but still sticking with my dessert theme, of course!

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 t cream of tartar
1/2 t baking soda
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 t vanilla extract
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
1 pint blueberries


What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, cream together butter and 3/4 cup of sugar until smooth. Add in your egg. Combine the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda; add to the butter mixture until just blended. Press the dough into an ungreased pizza pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with remaining sugar and vanilla until light and airy. Spread over cooled crust.

Arrange strawberries and blueberries in concentric circles. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

An Award and A Tag :D

One of my favorite bloggy friends Anissa, at Our Chaotic Life has bestowed upon me this lively award. Isn't it cute? I love pandas. She was very generous to pass this on to me, as she really is the comment queen. We're both taking the June Comment Challenge hosted by Harriet, at I Am Harriet, and Anissa blew through her 1,000 at the beginning of the month. I, on the other hand, am still struggling along with over 100 left to go, lol. I'll be squeeking by around midnight on the 30th! Anyway, thank you Anissa for the award and the encouragement!

I am passing the award on to: Sara Bonds at Ordinary and Awesome, Chris at The Mommy Journey, and Alicia at More Than Words.


She also tagged me. The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.

2. Tag eight other people. I am going to change it up and tag three people.

What is your current obsession?
blogging

What are you wearing today?
bermuda jean shorts and a coral t shirt

What’s for dinner?
Probably chicken, salad and baked potatoes.

What’s the last thing you bought?
groceries

What would you eat for your last meal?
blue moon ice cream

What are you listening to right now?
the lawn mower

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Ludington, MI

Which language do you want to learn?
Russian

What do you love most about where you currently live?
It's an older neighborhood with beautiful trees, winding roads and it's on the river.

What style is your current home decorated in?
Hmmm, eclectic with dog hair and fingerprints

If you were a time traveler what era would you live in?
late 1800s

What is your favorite color?
not sure, depends on what it's coloring, walls, clothes, carpet? Generally, I like blue, purple, pale yellow. But I'm an earthy girl when it comes to clothes and home decor.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Jeans

What were you doing ten years ago?
I lived alone in an apartment. I was a production manager at an advertising agency. I frequented cocktail hour and bought lots of shoes :D

Describe your personal style?
Sadly, I don't have one anymore. I'm really a jeans and tee or shorts and tee girl now. It's my mom uniform.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?
Save it for a trip to Ludington, MI.

What are you going to do after this?
Go outside and hopefully take a family walk once hubs finishes mowing the lawn.

What are your favourite films?
Breakfast At Tiffany's, Singing in the Rain, The Sound of Music...I like lots of movies, but the classics are always a treat.

Your favourite books?
Lately books about homeschooling.

Do you collect anything?
Not really. My husband insists I'm a pack rat though.

What makes you follow a blog?
If I enjoy the posts.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Go to the beach.

Ann's Question:
What makes you comment on a blog?
Interesting content.

Amy's Question:
What is your favorite thing to do when you have some free time? Blog

Anissa's Question:
As you know I homeschool -- If you could would you?
Do you agree with homeschooling?

My answer: I homeschool too. I think it is awesome, but can be very difficult. For most kids, I think the benefits are tremendous.

My question:
If you owned your own business, what would you sell/provide?

Now the 3 I tag:
Mimi at Frump's Findings
Jennifer at It's A Beauty Filled Life
Buckeroomama at Mamahood, Among Other Things


Quotable Sunday

Welcome to Quotable Sunday. I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend and I hope these quotes tickle your funny bone, or at least, make you smile!

"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
- H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
- Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

"Don't be so humble - you are not that great."
- Golda Meir (1898-1978) to a visiting diplomat

"His ignorance is encyclopedic"
- Abba Eban (1915-2002)

"Political correctness is tyranny with manners."
- Charlton Heston (1924-)

"Dancing is silent poetry."
- Simonides (556-468bc)

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
- Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)



For more Quotable Sunday fun visit:
.


Around the Web Roundup

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Here's a roundup of some recent educational resources I've found. I hope you enjoy them!

7000 pdf books to read online or download
United Nations Cyber Schoolbus - health game, flag game, urban facts and more
Easy Fun School - learn about Native American Tribes of the US
The Crafty Classroom - Japanese crafts - these are adorable
Blick - art lessons plans - search by grade level
Animals and Plants Alphabet Coloring Pages - these are beautiful
Activity Idea Place - Loads of stuff for young ones here - listed by category

Can you Pause for a Moment to Help Some Furry Friends?

Friday, June 26, 2009

This post was originally posted by Brandie at Free Sample Freak. I am reposting it here, with her permission, to help get the word out about these animals in need. Please read on:

This is terribly sad and was brought to my attention by my friends at Your Coupon Buddy. There is an animal shelter 60 miles south of Dallas, TX that is running out of food. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Tool, TX, www.hsccl.org, is unfortunately facing the decision of either having to euthanize these poor animals or let them literally starve to death. As of right now they only have enough food for a little over a week. My family and I are huge animal lovers and I also grew up outside of Dallas, so this is very important to me to help.
Couponing has saved my family so much and now there are some coupons that can help save these animals..literally. There are coupons in the June 14th SmartSource insert for FREE Mighty Dog Dogfood AND there are coupons for FREE bags of Purina Kitten Chow in the April 26th SmartSource insert. If anyone still has these coupons that you have not yet used them please send them to the address below. I have 4-5 of the Mighty Dog coupons, a few of the Purina Kitten Chow coupons and other pet food coupons that I will be sending as well.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you think that you will be able to send any in...and how many..so I have a count from Free Sample Freak readers. If you are a blogger and can blog about this, you will be doing a great thing!
To view the rest of the story please visit Your Coupon Buddy. Coupons can be mailed to:
Your Coupon Buddy
P.O. Box 181
Forney, Texas 75126



Thank you for any help you can give. If you don't have the coupons, retweet, post to your facebook or on your own blog. Any thing would be greatly appreciated!

Bella says two paws up to all my animal-loving bloggy friends :D

Friday Photo Flashback

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

This is my mom and dad in December of 1973, all decked out for the Command Christmas party.




Aloha Friday

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My question this week: The web has been referred to as "the information superhighway." When you spend time online what are you seeking? Comraderie? Frugal tips and deals? 15 mintues of fame on your own blog/website? Recipes? Your bank balance? It could be anything...just curious about what most often drives you to the web.

For me it's a creative outlet and bonding with other moms.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend...can you believe it's the last one in June?!



A Thousand Words Thursday

For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy.
Cheaper Than Therapy


One of my favorites...




Twin Muses

Thanks to my little sis' for encouraging me to open a Facebook account a few months back, I reconnected with my best friends from my school days. By this I mean elementary through high school and beyond. They had moved away a few years back and we lost touch. Turns out they both (they are twins) live nearby again. Hooray for me!

Anyway, on to the good part. They have started a company called Twin Muses to create "100% eco-friendly greeting cards crafted with simple elegance, profound words, and inspiring colors". Since I love supporting mom-owned businesses, and these are two of my most favorite moms, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce them here.

A meaningful quote is more than just a sentence or blurb, it can stick with you and become a mantra for motivation, strength, hope, courage and change. That's the idea behind these beautifully crafted cards. And since these little mamas, like most of us, care about the legacy they are leaving behind for their own kind, they have created all of their products from 100% recycled paper, processed chlorine free and printed with only vegetable and soy-based inks.

With inspiring quotes for all occasions, including the everyday, you are sure to find something to stir you. In addition to being available online, they are sold in most Whole Foods Stores and several eco-friendly retailers throughout the country. So go ahead and check them out. Who knows, maybe you'll find your new voice.

P.S. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. Leave a comment with your favorite quote here. And a link if you feel so inspired to post about it. Thanks!

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My son the bird whisperer...




My oldest has always been a big animal lover. Starting around 3 years old he begged to watch Animal Planet, rather than cartoons. Has always love visiting zoos, aquariums, museums...anywhere animal related. He can often be spotted in a tree or crawling on the ground to get a better look at an animal in or near our yard. We put a birdhouse right outside his bedroom window so he could watch them easily, and have often joked that he will be the next Steve Erwin.

So, when he called to me the other day to show me his bird on a branch, I didn't flinch. Had it been his brother or sister, I would have been shocked at the sight. But since it was Aiden walking across the street with a wild blackbird (I believe it was a young shiny cowbird) on a stick, I simply ran for my camera so that I could capture the moment (and then blog about it, of course!)

Link Up! You know you want to :D



Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun!
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Ordinary and Awesome
Momdot
(Trisha is vlogging now. She's hilarious! Seriously, go pee before you stop by, or you might wet your pants.)


Little People Wealth

Coupons Freebies Deals
I have to post some luv for Little People Wealth. If you have not visited this blog, you must! She shares great tips on deals and freebies, as well as guidelines working the CVS and Walgreens deals so you can buy household items for a fraction of their usual cost. She shares tips on couponing and lots of ways to save money. Who doesn't love that right? Another thing you'll find on her extremely useful site is a list of legitimate ways to make a little extra money online. No scams or get rich quick pitches. Just resources and sound advice.

I subscribe to her feed and really enjoy reading her posts. I recently entered a giveaway contest on her site and won a $50 Amazon gift card! How's that for a great deal?! Don't worry, you didn't miss out. She is currently running another giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift card :D So hurry on over and enter! Be sure to subscribe to her blog too so you'll never miss a deal.


Easy Lesson Enhancements Free to Download

Whether you are heading to the zoo, hitting the beach, attending a family reunion or hosting a backyard bbq, these resources seem like a great way to enhance some popular summer fun adventures. Check out these FREE products from Currclick:

The Timeline Project
Polar Bears Unit
A Dolphin Unit
All About My Family Notebook
The Watermelon Book



Jon and Kate Separate

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ok, I know a lot of blogs have posted on this subject and the media hype is ridiculous. I used to love watching this show with my kids and we enjoyed it as a family. I no longer want them to watch. The whole thing is heartbreaking. I feel for all of them, but especially the kids. No one on the outside can truly know what goes on in a marriage. But, from the viewers seat it felt like they were totally giving up. Not making the separation an opportunity to work on things from a different perspective.

I really only have one thing to say about the subject and that is that they both (Jon and Kate) need to read this book, then go to therapy; if need be, quit the show, and find a way to save their family.

Did you watch? What were your thoughts?


Science Is A Blast!

I wanted to order Aiden one of those Steve Spangler Geyser Tubes and just had not gotten around to it. Well, the other day I stumbled upon them at Michael's and for $4.95 (plus a 40% off coupon) I knew I could not resist. I was certain this mini explosion would be a big hit with him and this kit did not disappoint.

From Steve Spangler's website, here's how it works:

"As you probably know, soda pop is basically sugar (or diet sweetener), flavoring, water and preservatives. The thing that makes soda bubbly is invisible carbon dioxide gas, which is pumped into bottles at the bottling factory using tons of pressure. Until you open the bottle and pour a glass of soda, the gas mostly stays suspended in the liquid and cannot expand to form more bubbles, which gases naturally do.

But there's more... If you shake the bottle and then open it, the gas is released from the protective hold of the water molecules and escapes with a whoosh, taking some of the soda along with it. What other ways can you cause the gas to escape? Just drop something into a glass of soda and notice how bubbles immediately form on the surface of the object.

For example, adding salt to soda causes it to foam up because thousands of little bubbles form on the surface of each grain of salt. Many scientists, including Lee Marek, claim that the Mentos phenomenon is a physical reaction, not a chemical one.

Water molecules strongly attract each other, linking together to form a tight mesh around each bubble of carbon dioxide gas in the soda. In order to form a new bubble, or even to expand a bubble that has already formed, water molecules must push away from each other. It takes extra energy to break this "surface tension." In other words, water "resists" the expansion of bubbles in the soda.

When you drop the Mentos into the soda, the gelatin and gum arabic from the dissolving candy break the surface tension. This disrupts the water mesh, so that it takes less work to expand and form new bubbles. Each Mentos candy has thousands of tiny pits all over the surface. These tiny pits are called nucleation sites - perfect places for carbon dioxide bubbles to form. As soon as the Mentos hit the soda, bubbles form all over the surface of the candy.

Couple this with the fact that the Mentos candies are heavy and sink to the bottom of the bottle and you've got a double-whammy. When all this gas is released, it literally pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle in an incredible soda blast. You can see a similar effect when cooking potatoes or pasta are lowered into a pot of boiling water. The water will sometimes boil over because organic materials that leach out of the cooking potatoes or pasta disrupt the tight mesh of water molecules at the surface of the water, making it easier for bubbles and foam to form."

This is one science experiment that is a blast for kids and grown ups alike!

video

Sorry the video is horizontal. Damn that photographer!

Recipe Swap Monday

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Have you ever tried Amish Friendship bread? My neighbor gave me a starter kit for this and a loaf of bread. It is so yummy and the kids love to help make it. I have made the whole thing once and I'm on my second batch. It's fun to pass it on to friends with a homemade loaf of bread, a starter bag and the recipe. And I found the silicone whisks at Michael's for $1.

Amish Friendship Bread:

Important Note: Don't use metal spoons or equipment. Do not refrigerate. Use only glazed ceramic or plastic bowls or containers.


INGREDIENTS:

* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
* 3 cups white sugar, divided
* 3 cups milk


DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature or store in large ziploc bag (I do and it's easier. I also divide into ziplocs when giving to friends.)
2. On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
3. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread (see recipe below), give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

FOOTNOTES

Once you have made the starter, you will consider it Day One, and thus ignore step 1 in this recipe and proceed with step 2. You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.


For the baking the bread:

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter (see above)
* 2/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 eggs
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(You can add pretty much anything you want...3/4 cup raisins, chocolate chips, shredded zucchini or carrots, etc).
DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 (9x5 inch) loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine the Amish bread starter with oil, eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

For more great recipe swapping fun visit Anissa at Our Chaotic Life!
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Summer Fun Educational Resources

Summer Fun from Heart of The Matter:

Visit a farm (4-H Virtual Farms) www.ext.vt.edu/resources/4h/virtualfarm/main.html
Take a boat ride www.boatsafe.com/kids/index.htm
Embrace Other Cultures http://www.ipl.org/div/kidspace/cquest/
Organize a scavenger hunt www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/kids/scavengerhunt.htm
Write a fairy Tale http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/fairytales/
Learn how to sew http://cyberseams.com/
Bird Watching www.birdwatching.com/tips/kids_birding.html
Keep your brain going www.brainconnection.com/teasers/
Create your own holiday www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson018.shtml
Plan a Picnic http://www.the-picnic-site.com/


Quotable Sunday

For this edition of Quotable Sunday, I chose to focus on fathers and family. I hope you all have a beautiful day surrounded by those you love.


A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ~Author Unknown

Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name. ~William Wordsworth

One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. ~Ruth E. Renkel

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart. ~Adabella Radici

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown

Family: A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space. ~Evan Esar

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

There is no cure for laziness but a large family helps. ~Herbert Prochnov


And the last two for my husband. The biggest TJ fan I know ;)

The happiness of the domestic fireside is the first boon of Heaven; and it is well it is so, since it is that which is the lot of the mass of mankind. ~Thomas Jefferson, 1813

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson


For more Quotable Sunday fun visit:
.

Happy Father's Day Dada

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank you for taking such good care of us. You are the best dad and we love you!
\

For All My Female Readers...

Friday, June 19, 2009

I got this in an email today and it made me laugh. Just thought I'd share. Since it's Friday and all. Why not have a little light-hearted fun?

Words for Women to Live By:
1. Aspire to be Barbie – she has everything.

2. If the shoe fits - buy them in every color.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt.... A wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

4. In need of a support group? - Cocktail hour with the girls!

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days).

6. When life gets you down - just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

9. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

10. Don't get your knickers in a knot; it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. When life gives you lemons in 2009 - turn it into lemonade then mix it with vodka.

12. Remember where ever there is a good-looking, sweet, single or married man there is some woman tired of his crap!

13. Keep your chin up, only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest..

14. If it has Tires or Testicles it's gonna give you trouble.

15. By the time a women realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she's wrong.


Father's Day on the Net - The History of Father's Day

Father's Day on the Net - The History of Father's Day

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Aloha Friday

Thursday, June 18, 2009

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So my question this week is: What's the name of your favorite book from childhood? (If you are anything like me, picking just one can be tough...feel free to share any way you like. Aloha!)

My answer: One of my all time favorites is The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter, by Evelyn Scott. I was so excited when I'd found it had been republished and I ordered a copy for my kids, who also love it.



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