His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Before I Go To Bed....

I just want to give a quick update on Miss Alli. :)  Tomorrow will be 8 months since we got "the call".... and Wednesday will be 8 months since we have been together! Wow! Time flies... :)

Both Mike and I have been in awe for over 2 weeks about how Miss Alli is doing.  She is doing AWESOME!
We have achieved a new high. :)  

We have gone through a MAJOR holiday time, and she didn't even react at all. She looked forward to how we celebrated it, and enjoyed the entire week, and embraced her family. :)
What an awesome thing to be able to say!
This little girl has accomplished so many new high water marks. :)
I am so proud of her.
Tonight, we were ready to watch the Martin Luther movie and Alli has kitchen duty.
I was helping her, and she said, "It's ok mom. I've got it!

And then I said, "You know what?  I think you should go and enjoy the movie. I'd like to finish up for you!"
There was a big hug and she let me love on her, by finishing up.
WOW.... We are so blessed. :)


The Magic of Phonics

Alli could barely read when she came home to us 8 months ago.  She guessed everything, and I have no idea how she was able to do any kind of schooling. 
I started her on her phonics book in August.  It took her a while to master the long vowel and short vowel sounds.  She has since mastered them and is learning the blends, including what the sound is for oo, oa, ee, ea, etc.  She has been doing really well.
I was taking a video and daddy interrupted without knowing, which I think broke her concentration a little bit, but she held it together and did really well. 
It is harder than it looks to quickly go through words that change from long to short, short to long and mix things up.  Her reading in regular books has REALLY improved by doing these exercises over and over.  
This book is a reprint of Noah Webster's Handbook for Learning.  She really likes it too, and that helps. :)
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More of Ilse....

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A VERY Descriptive Song

Read the words to this song.  Heather Forbes played it at her recent BCI Live in Charlotte.
It is like the theme song for the hurting child. I never saw the song that way..... but wow. How powerful!
This song perfectly describes the hurting child. The child labeled RAD.
Thank you JJ for sharing this with me. :)

Happy Reformation Day!


Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses
by Dr. Martin Luther


ut of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
  1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
  2. The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
  3. Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one's heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.
  4. As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven.
  5. The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.
  6. The pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God; or, at most, he can remit it in cases reserved to his discretion. Except for these cases, the guilt remains untouched.
  7. God never remits guilt to anyone without, at the same time, making him humbly submissive to the priest, His representative.
  8. The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.
  9. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit, acting in the person of the pope, manifests grace to us, by the fact that the papal regulations always cease to apply at death, or in any hard case.
  10. It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.
  11. When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep.
  12. In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition.
  13. Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.
  14. Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least.
  15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair.
  16. There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.
  17. Of a truth, the pains of souls in purgatory ought to be abated, and charity ought to be proportionately increased.
  18. Moreover, it does not seem proved, on any grounds of reason or Scripture, that these souls are outside the state of merit, or unable to grow in grace.
  19. Nor does it seem proved to be always the case that they are certain and assured of salvation, even if we are very certain ourselves.
  20. Therefore the pope, in speaking of the plenary remission of all penalties, does not mean "all" in the strict sense, but only those imposed by himself.
  21. Hence those who preach indulgences are in error when they say that a man is absolved and saved from every penalty by the pope's indulgences.
  22. Indeed, he cannot remit to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be suffered in the present life.
  23. If plenary remission could be granted to anyone at all, it would be only in the cases of the most perfect, i.e. to very few.
  24. It must therefore be the case that the major part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of relief from penalty.
  25. The same power as the pope exercises in general over purgatory is exercised in particular by every single bishop in his bishopric and priest in his parish.
  26. The pope does excellently when he grants remission to the souls in purgatory on account of intercessions made on their behalf, and not by the power of the keys (which he cannot exercise for them).
  27. There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.
  28. It is certainly possible that when the money clinks in the bottom of the chest avarice and greed increase; but when the church offers intercession, all depends in the will of God.
  29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed in view of what is said of St. Severinus and St. Pascal? (Note: Paschal I, pope 817-24. The legend is that he and Severinus were willing to endure the pains of purgatory for the benefit of the faithful).
  30. No one is sure of the reality of his own contrition, much less of receiving plenary forgiveness.
  31. One who bona fide buys indulgence is a rare as a bona fide penitent man, i.e. very rare indeed.
  32. All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
  33. We should be most carefully on our guard against those who say that the papal indulgences are an inestimable divine gift, and that a man is reconciled to God by them.
  34. For the grace conveyed by these indulgences relates simply to the penalties of the sacramental "satisfactions" decreed merely by man.
  35. It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.
  36. Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.
  37. Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence.
  38. Yet the pope's remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission.
  39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, to extol to the people the great bounty contained in the indulgences, while, at the same time, praising contrition as a virtue.
  40. A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men's consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties.
  41. Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.
  42. Christians should be taught that the pope does not at all intend that the purchase of indulgences should be understood as at all comparable with the works of mercy.
  43. Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.
  44. Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties.
  45. Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope's pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.
  46. Christians should be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they are bound to retain what is only necessary for the upkeep of their home, and should in no way squander it on indulgences.
  47. Christians should be taught that they purchase indulgences voluntarily, and are not under obligation to do so.
  48. Christians should be taught that, in granting indulgences, the pope has more need, and more desire, for devout prayer on his own behalf than for ready money.
  49. Christians should be taught that the pope's indulgences are useful only if one does not rely on them, but most harmful if one loses the fear of God through them.
  50. Christians should be taught that, if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence-preachers, he would rather the church of St. Peter were reduced to ashes than be built with the skin, flesh, and bones of the sheep.
  51. Christians should be taught that the pope would be willing, as he ought if necessity should arise, to sell the church of St. Peter, and give, too, his own money to many of those from whom the pardon-merchants conjure money.
  52. It is vain to rely on salvation by letters of indulgence, even if the commissary, or indeed the pope himself, were to pledge his own soul for their validity.
  53. Those are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid the word of God to be preached at all in some churches, in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
  54. The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word.
  55. The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
  56. The treasures of the church, out of which the pope dispenses indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.
  57. That these treasures are not temporal are clear from the fact that many of the merchants do not grant them freely, but only collect them.
  58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, because, even apart from the pope, these merits are always working grace in the inner man, and working the cross, death, and hell in the outer man.
  59. St. Laurence said that the poor were the treasures of the church, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time.
  60. We do not speak rashly in saying that the treasures of the church are the keys of the church, and are bestowed by the merits of Christ.
  61. For it is clear that the power of the pope suffices, by itself, for the remission of penalties and reserved cases.
  62. The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
  63. It is right to regard this treasure as most odious, for it makes the first to be the last.
  64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is most acceptable, for it makes the last to be the first.
  65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets which, in former times, they used to fish for men of wealth.
  66. The treasures of the indulgences are the nets which to-day they use to fish for the wealth of men.
  67. The indulgences, which the merchants extol as the greatest of favours, are seen to be, in fact, a favourite means for money-getting.
  68. Nevertheless, they are not to be compared with the grace of God and the compassion shown in the Cross.
  69. Bishops and curates, in duty bound, must receive the commissaries of the papal indulgences with all reverence.
  70. But they are under a much greater obligation to watch closely and attend carefully lest these men preach their own fancies instead of what the pope commissioned.
  71. Let him be anathema and accursed who denies the apostolic character of the indulgences.
  72. On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant's words.
  73. In the same way, the pope rightly excommunicates those who make any plans to the detriment of the trade in indulgences.
  74. It is much more in keeping with his views to excommunicate those who use the pretext of indulgences to plot anything to the detriment of holy love and truth.
  75. It is foolish to think that papal indulgences have so much power that they can absolve a man even if he has done the impossible and violated the mother of God.
  76. We assert the contrary, and say that the pope's pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned.
  77. When it is said that not even St. Peter, if he were now pope, could grant a greater grace, it is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
  78. We assert the contrary, and say that he, and any pope whatever, possesses greater graces, viz., the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as is declared in I Corinthians 12 [:28].
  79. It is blasphemy to say that the insignia of the cross with the papal arms are of equal value to the cross on which Christ died.
  80. The bishops, curates, and theologians, who permit assertions of that kind to be made to the people without let or hindrance, will have to answer for it.
  81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity.
  82. They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose.
  83. Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed?
  84. Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love's sake, and just because of its need of redemption.
  85. Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative?
  86. Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?
  87. Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation?
  88. Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever.
  89. What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever?
  90. These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.
  91. If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist.
  92. Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ's people, "Peace, peace," where in there is no peace.
  93. Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ's people, "The cross, the cross," where there is no cross.
  94. Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.
  95. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.









Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Ya-Ya Time! :)

Christopher was sick, so Em's brought Ilse and Joey over so she could take Chris to the Dr.  I am getting some serious Ya-Ya time in. :)


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Small Miracles


I woke up to the sounds and events of the morning routine, and praised the Lord for each and every step he has guided us through in our lives.
Our morning starts with:
Sarah grinding coffee and getting it ready for the family.
Alli coming onto our bed to pray with us and snuggle for a few minutes.
Sarah coming in to say good morning and give us each a kiss and then waiting for us
to say the word "Yes".... the question is unspoken.   (May I use the computer)
Alli then gets up and daddy gets ready for work.
I go in and put my hand on Anna's shoulder and whisper "Good morning sweetie. I love you."
I kiss Erika on the forehead and whisper I love you's.
Then, I go in and start breakfast.  Today we had sausage and eggs.
Erika comes out of the room and daddy tightens her legs. That is a routine that is etched in stone. LOL She gets lingering hugs from both of us and I finish  cooking our meal.

Everybody chatters away, laughs and finishes their short stint on the computer.
The chickens are let out, laundry is sorted, the trash is taken out, everybody gets dressed and
daddy walks out the door. We all sit down for a small devotion... and that is how each day starts.

This was typical for each day all these years, minus one person. Miss Alli. 
And then, nearly 8 months ago, Alli came home.  Our morning routine changed drastically.
Alli did not come in for snuggles. She did not pray. She did not want to eat, and she did not want to join in on the morning routine.  There was a lot of accusation and yelling from one hurt little girl. She changed our routine for a while. :)  We had to bend and break out of our own mold, so that she could find the door to enter in.

It was sort of like bringing a new baby into the house.  You have to get used to the new routine or no routine for a while.  It isn't always pleasant.
In fact, there were days of exhaustion and later than normal bedtimes.  Sarah sometimes would sleep in late and Mike and I would grind our coffee as quietly as we could so nobody would wake up... just so we could have a moment before the day began.

 Alli was really trying, but didn't have the life tools to know what to do. We knew she was trying. We could see it on her face. I am so glad for Mike's insights into her.   We slowly guided her into a new routine over the months and things improved one day at a time. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.... and then 10 steps forward. 7 steps back. :)  You get the picture. :)
 There were trust issues,  OF COURSE THERE WERE!  She had no reason to trust us. She needed to see us in action.  She also  saw  sees, our imperfections.  She witnessed us tell her we were sorry if we were wrong. She witnessed her sisters love on her, when she rejected them. And when her sisters were wrong towards her, she saw us work with them too, to resolve an issue. She learned that it was ok to be wrong and apologize. You won't die from it. And if you admit you are wrong... you will still be loved anyway.  These moments sometimes took hours to work through. 

Mike and I have prayed a lot of extra during this transition time. We prayed for the girls who were missing their routine and for Miss Alli, who didn't know what she was missing.
I remember telling her... "You are no longer a visitor! You are a part of us! You are a Minich!"
 
And then slowly.... she started to turn a corner.  We could see it... I don't know if she could or not.
She was like a person afraid of the water. She would dip her toe in and stand on the side, satisfied with the idea of the water, satisfied with the wet toe, but too afraid to jump in and immerse herself. We knew, if she would just enter in, she would love it. But much of the time she would  shrink back in doubt and fear.

But there is something different going on now.  It has been moving in this direction all along. It is just easier to see now.
Instead of hours to work through something, it takes minutes.  Instead of us seeking her out, she seeks us out.  Instead of us initiating prayer time, she does. Her joy is joyful, without holding back. Her play is fun, without nervously controlling.
Her meal times are pleasant, without demand and her bedtimes are peaceful without harsh words.
Her relationships are strengthening and I even heard her talk about "when I'm older, I'm going to..."  and "Next year, we can...."   Those words are words of joy to me.  She isn't thinking she will be somewhere else anymore.  She knows she is home.  Our home. HER HOME!

We have seen her transfom and in the process, we have been transformed too.  Each of us, in a new way, has reached out harder and deeper and we have each grown in our relationships.
The Lord knew that we needed some transformation too... so he put us all together. :)

This morning.... when I heard the coffee grinder go off.... and I heard the patter of feet coming down the hall to wake us, and I heard the I love you's and we were all up and in our own little family routine once again... just as before... except with Miss Alli fully engaged, happy and entering in...... I praised the Lord a little extra. :) 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daddy and Sarah

All dressed up to go out for a special time. :)  She was so excited.  Can't wait to hear where they went when they get back.  He suggested Home Depot. You should have seen her face! LOL
Silly Daddy. :)
I think she had a great time! :)
They went to our little down town area and had fish, went to Sarah's favorite store ShoeMaker and Hardt, and then got a popsicle. :)  I love it that Mike takes the girls out periodically.  They cherish the time, and memories are being built that will last a lifetime. :)

A Picture for Alli

I have written a few times about Alli's trouble distinguishing "Roman Numerals" and "Ramen Noodles".
One of our readers very sweetly sent this picture our way. :)  Alli thought it was REALLY funny. :)
Thank you Claire. :)

Alli's Math Funnies

Alli is so funny.  She has confused "Roman Numerals" with "Ramen Noodles" several times.... But today, her lesson was, Write numerals for these words.
One and two thirds....
She said, "Mama, I have no idea how to write a roman numeral for 2/3! LOL

"Did it say write Roman Numerals? Or did it say write "Numerals"?
"Numerals".

She was very relieved! LOL

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Visiting Cows

The property behind us, used to be part of this property, but the owner sold it separately. :(  So, we have cow visitors now and then. Somebody leases it for pasture land. :)
Today, we had two visitors. They have been known to stroll on through, but we put a chain fence up to keep them out. I'm not sure if this guy is going to honor that chain fence! :)


Alli was feeding him a pear. They love to eat the pears off of the tree. :)

History Diorama

I posted earlier about Erika doing the background for the diorama.  They all finished today! I think they did a pretty good job. :)


History

The girls are working hard on the diorama.  Erika is in charge of the back ground.


Next will be the little house, wagon, and other fun things. :)

The Difference of TRUE FARM FRESH

I never knew there was a difference in eggs or how they tasted until we started raising chickens in 1998.
But just to show a real difference.  Here is a picture of a store bought ORGANIC FREE RANGE egg, vs. Our homegrown, ORGANIC FREE RANGE egg.  Guess which one is ours!
If you guessed the one on the right, you are correct.  Maybe we just have more bugs and worms to choose from ??

The Thrill of a Big Sister

Alli is a little sister. She loves being the littlest.  I have been enjoyed watching each of the girls take their roles in the family.   Anna, has especially enjoyed giving her little sister attention lately.  Today, she thrilled her by giving her a cut out in her bologna. :) And then, she spent time with her playing old fashioned days again. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kermit Funny

Pix Winston
 I just love true humor. :)



Look What Happens When You Study HIstory!

 They got into the trunk of costumes and pretended to be colonial girls! Scrub bucket and all! YEA!
 Even the baby doll is dressed up.

We should study colonial times more often! :)

Baby Chick Sounds and The Kitty

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Cute baby chick sounds....
Apparently the new chick is an issue for Mr. Kitty. :)  He has been STARING in that cage all day long and purring.  NO! She is NOT your lunch!

Em's and the babies

 I dropped over at Tim and Em's today on the way on my trip to the grocery store. It was a round about trip. :)  I love seeing them.  We were supposed to get together on Saturday, but I started feeling bad, so we cancelled. So I had to go and get my Ya-Ya fix. :)










I am so happy that I got to hold all my grand babies and that I got Ilse to SMILE! :)  She is doing really well.  She flipped herself over and I even got a coo out of her. :)  Yea Ilse!  And the boys of course are always adorable. :) 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ilse is 5 months old. :)


She is just precious! :)

A Visit at the Hospital

I wrote about Catherine and her girls here.  Today, was Francesca's surgery. It was a big one. So the girls and I , and our friend's daughter Marion packed up and went to sit with Catherine while Francesca has surgery. I remember when Tim had surgery. I sat alone for 9 plus hours during the surgery. I hate to think of somebody sitting alone. :(
THIS TIME..... I remembered the camera. :)
 Anna and her friend Marion studied fossils.
 Sarah and Alli had fun on the paint spots.
 Erika enjoyed crocheting.
 They all wound up resting on this couch.
And this is Catherine and me, resting on a giant caterpillar.
I really enjoyed meeting Catherine and talking about her wonderful family. :)  Pray for Francesca as she will be in ICU for now, and for Victoria's surgery tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Pictures of the New Baby Chick

 Miss Broody Britches is still sitting on 3 of her eggs. They should hatch sometime tomorrow.
We moved her to the dog kennel to protect the baby from falling out of the nest. Little chicks can get into all sorts of trouble! LOL

 It is hard to believe a little chick fan fit into an egg like that.
 Here she is resting on mama.
The cat is VERY amused! LOL The chicken growls at him everytime she sees him. :)

NEW LIFE!

Well, one little Chick has arrived. We were walking out to go to church, and I checked to see.... and there she was! :)  3 to go!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Fun

The girls decided to play soccer after their chores today. Having 4 girls makes for teams!


and .... WATCH Miss Erika kick that ball! Not bad for a double amputee with arthrogryposis! :)
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You Are Still Holy

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