China Girl

International adoption through the eyes of a new father.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Under the weather

Yesterday was a day from hell, poor Faye was sick last week and I was sick yesterday. We had planned on going to the zoo but I had to ruin it for the three of us. Feeling much better today but the only promblem is I got up at about 7am and I have to be at work at 6pm tonight, hopefully I will get a nap in. Alexandria is doing well, she is now sleeping through the night, she goes down at about 8pm and normally wakes up between 7-8am. What a relief to have a baby that sleeps. She is becoming such a little chatter box, she laid in her crib for about a half hour this morning just babbling away and when Faye brought her down for breakfast she just continued chatting away. Don't forget that amazing race to get her to say D-A-D-D-Y first is underway, I don't care if it is any resemblence of da-da-da-da-da, I want to be first (Just kidding mommy "wink""wink").

Today we have our appointment with the international adoption clinic, they will do all kinds of tests today and she will get any shots that are required. Not looking forward to this as I know they will draw blood and I can hardly stand this let alone having it happen to a baby. It will be nice to have all this done to make sure what was on our paperwork is true. You just see a bunch of paperwork for all of these kids it makes you wonder how much of it is true and how much is put in place for all of these children.

Being a first time parent is no easy task, we are still getting used to all the in's and outs of being parents but we are slowly but surely getting the hang of it. I like having a schdule, Faye is more of a fly by the seat of her pants gal. Faye will take that baby shopping and when she is ready to eat, they eat, and when she is ready to sleep Faye reclines that stroller and its nap time for Alex. I'm exactly the oppisite, I like feeding her at the same time everyday, putting her down for her nap at the same time, what can I say I like schedules. The best thing is, is that we have what appears to be a happy, healthy baby girl that is the sweetest little thing. Well have to get ready for that appointment. Todd>>>>

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


 Yes Grandma Winnie I love blueberry buckle

 Hey Cara what is that sign for more???

 Who is that with my tennis ball?
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Hope to start posting over there again, don't forget to check it out.

WHATTAJOKE-click here

Alexandria playing

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Up a little early this morning

But who cares, right??? Well Alexandria decided for daddys first days off work she would wake us all up at 6:30am, I know, I know it could have been 5:00am. You know we should be counting our lucky stars that she slept all night.

This child should grow up loving 80's music I think, that is all that I listen to anymore and pretty much anytime that I am sitting at the computer here lately it has been 80's. Right now I have my collection of Def Leppard mp3's going and boy I really find it great to hear this stuff, it's been a while. You figure that I graduated in 1989 and this was it back then. Well this will probably be it for her. Now don't get me wrong, I still listen to todays music, I just don't appreciate it as much. I can listen to songs from the late 80's and early 90's and actually take myself back to certain times that I never want to forget. Just like when I smell dial liquid hand soap (you know the original) it takes me back to basic training when I joined the Air Force. Never fails, my mom and dad have a bottle in their bathroom and everytime I wash my hands there it takes me back without fail. Do I miss those times?? YES. Do I want to go back?? NO. We won't discuss what Vanilla Ice memories I have, we don't need to waste time discussing that now do we???

All right back to the baby, she is doing much better, we have her on eastern standard time now, it only took about a week and life is getting much better. She naps and eats like a champion, and as all or most of you now know she is sleeping through the night. Alexandria still won't crawl and she doesn't show much interest either, I really think she will walk before she crawls. We are trying to give her lots of belly time, but she seems happiest standing holding onto the coffee table, couch or Faye and I. I just find it really funny that some of the babies were walking and crawling and ours is doing none of the above, I guess all in good time. Faye is talking about going and getting some professional pictures done here soon, don't know if it will be this week or next. Faye and Alexandria went and had lunch with our friends Laurie and Shelly and you should see the nice little things they bought for Alexandria. Thanks you guys the clothes are beautiful.

I hope all of our new friends that we met while getting our babies are doing well and that you are still following the blog. I have tons more pictures to share and hopefully everyone will enjoy meeting your babies along with ours. Please keep us updated with your progress, I know that it can be rough, but we would really like to keep in contact with you all. It really was a great time and we look forward to seeing you all again in the near future. I have been getting into the video and I have made it about half way through, as soon as I have a chance I will at least post the gotcha video, it is pretty good. Take care, Todd>>>>

Monday, April 24, 2006

Don't you just love pictures

  Faye & Todd & Baby Alexandria

  Daddy & Alexandria

 Alexandria w/ Grandma Winnie

 Fayes mom, Aunt Dion, Aunt Mickey, and Cousin Polly all came down for a visit this past Wednesday. Alexandria did very well meeting everyone. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pictures that Bryan and Rebecca sent to us

Thanks again

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Life is starting to return to some type of normal?

What ever normal is, right?? I have offically returned to work, and it went off with no major problems other than while at work last night I got the news that my mom had fallen and broke her arm. Great I said there goes all the free babysitting for a few weeks (just kidding mom). Faye thinks my mom is most upset over the thought that she won't be able to hold her grandbaby, which I seem to believe Faye. Sorry mom. My mom along with me have been waiting a LONG time for this baby.
Alexandria is starting to sleep through most of the night with only a little whimpering and normally goes back to sleep with no problems, we don't even have to go in there anymore. Baby monitors are amazing you could hear a spider fart through one of those things, I cannot believe how sensitive those things are (better not say anything bad about mommy under my breath).
A big thanks to our new friends Byran and Rebecca for forwarding some of the photos that they took of us while in China, they captured Fayes initial reaction when Alex was brought into the room on Gotcha day, the picture is priceless as far as I am concerned, along with a few others that really mean a lot. Once again thank you.
Really hoping to keep in touch with most everyone from our group, we seemed to have a really good (busy) time while in China, I have already asked myself if I would go back and I really have no honest answer other than I don't know. Was this a once in a lifetime trip or do we want Alexandria to have a sister? Well I don't know if I could handle that plane ride again, that is right up there in the top things that I really don't care if I have to do again ever. Like I said before, the older I get the less I want to fly, especially for 20 hours, we did well this time and had a good baby, I couldn't imagine it had Alexandria screamed for 10 hours, I would have went insane.
All in all Alexandria is doing much better, mommy has had her out all day so I could sleep. The only big issue that we still have is that she doesn't like to be set down while she is awake, well I have news for her, we aren't holding her until she is 5. We still have a house to keep, I really felt that it looked like a bomb went off in here the first few days after we got home, but we are getting it together and things are coming along just fine. OK I have to get ready for work and I need to get something to eat so I will talk at you all later, Todd>>>>

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Have about 20 minutes before nap time is over

The good, the bad and the ugly!!!!
Good-She eats like a champ
Bad-She doesn't like getting dressed
Bad-She doesn't like having her diaper changed
Ugly-She won't sleep through the night
Good-She loves to take a bath
Good-Loves being in her stroller going for walks
Bad-Hates being put down
Ugly-Doesn't like the high chair thing that much
Good-Loves mommy and daddy (we hope)

Well these are just a few of the good, bad, and ugly we just have to figure out the cure for some of these. We went and saw the pediatrician tuesday and she said everything was looking pretty good, though she is sending us to an international adoption clinic at Children's hospital for a through investigation. She seemed very confident that they will give her a through check up and all the test to ensure her vacinations are good. Bottle feeding in the middle of the night is "OUT" according to the doc, she says we can stop it now or later, well needless to say there has been a very unhappy baby at about 1 am the past 2 nights and all she does is cry and fuss which lasts for about a hour and a half and she goes back to sleep. I really believe that this girl cries until she is exhausted and falls back to sleep. Well when she goes back to sleep she sleeps great, we have to wake her up for breakfast which has been happening at about 7:30am. She eats and we get her changed and it's back to bed for the first nap of the day at about 9am and putting her down is like clockwork, she gets up at about 11am, we may have to wake her. Play time/lunch for the next couple of hours and then it is back down at about 2:30pm til about 4:30pm dinner/play time/walk/bathtime then she is ready for bed at about 8-9pm, we are trying to extend that out till about 9:30pm but she never lasts that long. First time parents of a 9-10 month old is a little trying, we still have lots to learn, but we are getting the hang of it. Well it is time to go wake the princess up (hopefully she will wake up in the next couple of minutes) will write again soon. Todd>>>>

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spending time with Nana and Grandpa

Have to get Nana and Grandpa in on the blog action. Dad has been looking for some pictures to show people at work with his grandaughter. She is taking well to Nana and Grandpa as well.
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See what I've been dealing with???


This is what I have to deal with everytime I set her down, I don't know how long it will take for her to understand that I (we) cannot hold her every second she is awake. I am waiting for her to throw up, she gets so upset. I guess she will eventually get used to being put down. Well see, Todd>>>> Posted by Picasa

Some more things that you should take

All right here is the number one item that I would have if we ever go back for another baby. Platex baby bottles w/ disposable bottle liners, I don't think that anyone told us about that and we saw another couple using them and when we got home, we bought one, what a time saver, especially for over there in China, saves all that time washing bottles. With limited space at the hotel, this is just plain and simple a super time saver. I'm sure if you ask others they will have the same opinion. Faye also brought up the fact that anything disposable that you can take is a good idea (changing pads, bibs, spoons ect.) If you forget them or baby messes you can just simply throw it away, we took disposable bibs and they work great and you just leave it when your all done. This will also buy you some extra time when your baby is down for a nap or you have to get up in the middle of the night. Less cleaning is definatly more time for youself and your baby. Just a quick thought, Todd>>>>

More and more and more

Monday, April 17, 2006


Some Pictures from the red couch and also some picutres of friends made along the way. Also need to give a big shout out to Miss Caroline (aka chunk momma) for being such a sweetheart on this trip. What a wonderful baby, thought they were out of their minds for bringing a 6 month old, but boy did they prove me wrong. It was a real pleasure traveling with everyone, we seemed to have a really good time and made some really good friends along the way. Take care, Todd>>>>
Matt and Tracy with Miss Rosie
Rebecca with Chunk Momma, she is such a cute baby
Red couch babies (Kicking and screaming)
Now look at these 3 holding strong (No cry babies here)
Bryan with Miss Lilly (Chunk Momma's dad)

All right we made it home (sorry about the delay)

Well we made it home, sorry been too tired and busy to blog. Seems that Alexandria refuses to adjust to the time change and that means that daddy has pretty much been up all night since we have been home. Well I am trying my best to get her to bed at a descent hour and pray that she sleeps all night, but nooooooo...............I have been up a minimum of 4 hours both nights and she wants to play. Well I cannot encourage playing at 3am so we sit and she cries, screams, tries to sleep, whatever else you do with a baby between 1am and 5am. We both managed to sleep in with Alexandria until almost 11am this morning, so much for getting her on any kind of schedule. Faye is sick, I am trying to get sick, things just are not going well for our first couple of days, but I know they will get better.

The trip home, what a nightmare for me. We took the first leg from Gaungzhou to Hong Kong with no problems at all. Then we got to Hong Kong and the whole seating issue got fixed (FINALLY). Well the next 15 hours was like a long nightmare, not because of Alexandria, just imagine being first time parents taking a baby on a 15 hour plane ride. Well we were assigned a window seat and a middle seat, that meant hardly any getting up and moving around for those 15 hours except when the nice lady on the isle seat would get up herself (I hate bothering people on airplanes). My knee felt like it was going to explode about half the trip. Faye did a pretty good job keeping Alexandria asleep for most of the ride. I couldn't get her to sleep most of the time. I did get her to sleep about 2 hours on my lap and that is about the best 2 hours of sleep I had gotten. Making bottles on an airplane trip is a complete mess, and changing diapers isn't the easiest of tasks. We initally were going to buy an extra seat, but then they laid the $800 price tag on us and we thought better of the idea. Some of the others in the group did buy the extra seat, I think that it was money well spent, that gives you the extra space and also a place for your baby to be changed and sleep. Just my opinion. The last leg of the flight was from Chicago to Columbus and that was probably the worst leg, thank goodness it was just over 30 minitues, all she wanted to do was fuss, we thought that she would go down and stay down, but I think all the pressure changes had her messed up. She did sleep a little, but fussed most of the ride. re we thankful to be home, yes we are.

Well she seems to be enjoying her new surroundings for the most part, she was freaked out by the dog the first day, now she is curious about him and touched him for the first time yesterday. I just know that she will take to him, he of course is jealous and wants all the attention that she is getting from us. But he is doing good, just tries to get attention when he can.

Grandma (Nana) and Grandpa got to spend easter Sunday with her for a couple of hours and I think that a bunch of Faye's family is coming to visit Wednesday. She seems to be doing well with others and I don't really worry about her bonding with Faye and I. I really believe that she had bonded well with both of us.

Well have to go, will try and write more later. Todd>>>>

Friday, April 14, 2006

Here's some pics, got the bucket working

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sorry about lack of photo's

I have no idea why my photo's aren't loading, I wish I could explain it but have no explanation. Blogger won't load them for some unknown reason and photo bucket is down for maintenance. This morning we had our red couch photos which was quite funny, has anyone ever had a sucessful red couch photo??? Will try and get the photo's posted but will probably not be for a couple of days when we are back home.

This is our last night and we have tons of packing and getting our stradagy together. I have already explained the flight situation, well that still hasn't gotten any better. We have to have our checked luggage ready for pick up at 9:30pm tonight and will have to live out of our carry on luggage for the next 24 hours. Really hoping everything goes smooth, but expecting the worst hoping for the best. We have to go to the U.S. Consulate today to finalize the whole adoption process, this will be our last official appointment before we leave. Looking forward to seeing everyone, and we will in due time. Please respect our request to wait until we get home and settled before visiting, we will be arriving home after a 20+ hour flight(s) and will more than likely all be tired and cranky. We will evaluate how Alexandria is doing and base her progress on how fast we get her into the introduction phase. Thanks everyone in advance for understanding this.

Have had a good time here in China, made some new friends and seen a culture first hand. All this traveling really makes you appreciate home all the more. I (once again) am very happy that our trip was only 10 days. We will miss some of the great people that we have met along this trip, but look forward to the reunions that we will hopefully have in the future. We will see everyone really soon and this will more than likely be my last post until we get home. Take care. Todd>>>>

Just a quick tid-bit (going to bed I'm tired)

Had a good day, Alexandria was pretty fussy all day, she really did much better with Faye than me today. Did some shopping which made Faye happy. Went to the Buddist temple and Faye and the baby got blessed by the monk, it really was a neat time, they are different people that love what they do. Got some great pictures and we just really enjoyed ourselves. After that we went to another mall, kinda on the expensive side, we did buy a couple of items, nothing to really write home about though. Tonight we went and had dinner with our friends and boy was it one for the record books. We ate at a Thai resturant and the food was good, but when it got interesting was at the end of dinner, we thought they put both of our bills on the same check, well they didn't so we almost skipped on our check (not our fault the waiter told us everything was on one even though we were expecting two). Next our friend Matt attempted to knock a table through the wall after slipping in some water that Faye and Alexandria spilled on the floor. After that I decided to steal someone else's stroller by mistake, I made it about 50 feet outside the door then realized it. No harm, no foul. Well were not sure how well Alexandria's ear infection is coming along, she like I said earlier is fussy and she has been rubbing her ears more and more. Please let them heal before the flight. Well we are both truly tired and Faye is getting ready to call United Airlines and have it out over our seating arrangements. Well we will talk again soon, and look forward to getting home. Todd>>>>

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's THURSDAY!!!!! OK only 2 more to go.

Today is not looking to be the best of days here in Guangzhou, the weather is very overcast, windy and cool. Looks like we will have to cover miss Alexandria up today. She is proudly sporting her Ohio State duds, only problem is everyone has been referring to her as a him (kinda strange since 97% of adoptions out of China are GIRLS). Anyhoo we don't have anything scheduled today until about 2:30pm and it is just about 9am. Today we woke up at almost 6am and we are now back down for a little nap, the benedryl that we have to give her is really causing her to be fussy and making her sleep. Cannot wait until she is over this congestion, she just sounds horrible in the morning, and that is a combination of her being sick and the air conditioning. Well we cannot turn off the a/c or we wouldn't be able to sleep, we try and keep it at a normal level but the hotel staff comes in and turns it all the way down when cleaning the rooms, I guess it is there way of trying to keep everyone comfortable. Last night was the first night we stayed out even remotly late (Ohhhh 8:30pm or 9pm) and when we got back to the room the beds had been turned down and everything was ready for us to climb into bed. Well we were so exhausted that we put Alexandria down and we went to bed, well when I woke up at 3am the room was FREEZING, I walked over and sure enough when they turned down the beds they turned down the a/c. Well normally I adjust it after they clean the rooms, well I didn't realize that they turned down the beds at night so it didn't dawn on me that they messed with the a/c again. Needless to say I will check it before going to bed tonight. Cannot wait to get home, as the time grow shorter, the hours grow longer.

Still no word on our airline situation, someone better fix it or there will be hell to pay for someone, because there are a lot of upset people with this situation. Hoping this baby will be as good on the airline as she has been so far this week. I don't mind a little fuss, I just hope it isn't a full blowen scream fest. I don't think that I can handle that for 12 hours. Please give me the quiet good baby on the flight, and let us all sleep for the biggest majority of it.

Well I'm a little tired, I may lay down and try and get me a little nap. Later Todd>>>>

Nap time for Alexandria

Well as you can see by the title, it is nap time for Alex and blog time for daddy. Today we had her medical exam, and the doctor says she is looking really good, her eye is clearing up and her cough is lessening, she also said her ears are looking better. I have about a hour and a half until I have to go and fill out more paperwork, but that is OK it is right here in the hotel. We went and did a little shopping and ate some lunch at a little park cafe, mostly american food and Faye found a place where she could get iced tea and actually eat the ice, they make the ice from bottled water (Remember you CANNOT drink the water in China). Faye was very happy to have a refreshing glass of iced tea. We are down to just over 2 days before we start heading home and it is a nice feeling, hotel life isn't for me. I think that we get to go have our baby blessed by the monks tomorrow and Faye is really looking forward to that, all the blessing going on the last couple of days, one more couldn't hurt. I think we are also going to a jade store (factory) I don't know if we will buy anything or not. If it is anything like the whole pearl market experience I may pass and let Faye and baby go if they want.

For those of you that are getting ready to come to Guangzhou, China it is very nice here, the morning breakfast buffet is excellent. I wouldn't miss this meal(the buffet is much better at the white swan than the one we had at the Kuntai royal hotel in Beijing), there is just about everything that you can imagine and it tastes pretty good (I stay away from the eggs due to them being so runny, I have no idea what the deal with cooking eggs is here but they always seem to undercook them. Be early to the buffet if at all possible, it is from 6am - 10am and it really gets busy about 8am. Remember cheerio's and congee are on the buffet, just bring a bib for your baby. Looks like the swimming facilities are excellent, I forgot my trunks, but all the kids seemed to like it, for families that brought other children. I may take Alexandria down to see what she thinks of the water. She has no problems with bath time. The clothing police thing is kind of a myth as far as I am concerned, it has been hot here and the humidity is insane, we had to put light clothing on her and no one gave us any flack. Now yes if it is cold bring heavier clothing, I highly suggest checking the weather channel on line and checking to see how the weather is going to be where you are going and also in Guangzhou. We did that and I believe we packed just right. Getting laundry done here is easy and the cost is I guess average, we had about 20 pieces laundered and it cost us about 15 US dollars. They really package the clothing really nice also when you pick it up. There is a 7-11 just down the street, we pretty much only buy water and cokes there (they sell water there by the gallon, it cost about 12 yuan a gallon or $1.50). All the rooms have hot plates for boiling water, remember to bring dish soap to wash bottles, you unfortunatly have to wash everything in the bathroom sink, space is tight on those counters. We have found that fast flow nipples work just fine, I don't think that we had to cut them, I had to cut one, but it wasn't a fast flow nipple. Now I am sure that different babies prefer different things. I haven't really heard of anyone in the group having any issues except one couple, they fixed that by going to a local store and buying a bottle that they use here in China and that seemed to fix their problem. Sippy cups, bring at least one, we didn't and sure enough Alexandria tries to drink from one, she doesn't really know how yet, but she is really trying. Make sure to bring some small toys for your baby to play with, Faye got some cheep little toys at I think wal-mart and she loves them, some of them make noise and some don't but we brought about 4 and it keeps her occupied for the most part. Well I'm getting tired of writing, just thought this might be some useful information for some of you. Take care. Todd>>>>

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Well let me tell you when this girl gets up in the middle of the night she wants to play, she gets up and we give her a bottle and then it is on. She absolutely refuses to go back to sleep for at least a hour and a half. That will probably get old very quick. We had to pay another visit to the doctor yesterday afternoon, the poor little thing was constipated, I guess the day before was just a fluke. Faye couldn't take it anymore listening to her grunt and groan, the prunes and apple juice just weren't cutting it. Well about 30 minutes and 15 dollars later she came back to the room with mommy just smiling. Yes it was a sucessful doctors visit if you get my drift. She is overall looking, eating, and sleeping very well and this is making Faye and I very happy. This child is God's way of letting Faye and I know that we can handle parenthood. Living with a baby in a hotel is no fun, we are just thankful that our trip is only 10 days long, I couldn't imagine being one of those families that had to spend 17-18 days over here. We went and ate at a local resturant last night and it was not good, needless to say we will not be going back (Faye is in the background trying to tell me that it was good - yeah right) Well I only have time for this little tid-bit have to go get the baby ready and go get some breakfast. Todd>>>>

P.S. If there are specific questions I can answer, email me and I will try and get you an answer.


Never have enough

Yet more pictures, hope no duplicates

Have no way of telling what I have uploaded and what I haven't

Knock on wood, we walked into parenthood without too many problems

Bless Alexandria's little heart, for such a sick girl, she sure is awfully good. Faye told me "If she's this good sick, what is she going to be like when she isn't sick" I just cannot believe how good she has been. This morning she was a little fussy, but other than that she has been very good. We hope to get the whole ear infection cleared up before the flight home. I told Faye that I am hoping that she isn't saving it all up for the flight. We have her in a pretty good routine, she is napping right now, and then she goes to sleep at 8pm like clockwork. Last night was pretty good, even though Faye was up half the night. Faye is a little worried about her cough and seems to wake everytime she does. I on the other hand slept right through most of it, the only time I would wake up is when Faye would get up to check on Alexandria. Funny thing what she sleeps with, she likes to have just a plain old wash cloth, we think that is what they give the babies at the orphanage and it works like a champ, when she get tired she will take the wash cloth and rub her face with it and within minutes she is normally asleep. Seems the only time she wants it is when she is tired. I'm sure in at least one picture you have seen her with some colored rings, those have been a life-saver. She plays with them, throws them, and uses them as her teething ring. I find myself checking constantly to make sure we haven't lost them. I really hope we don't.

****Just got some great news from Faye, she came back from downstairs trying to comfirm our flight home, and looks like United has managed to seperate our seats, this is really no surprise. I told her not to worry, it will all work out. Our friends who booked an extra seat for their daughter have 3 seperate seat, really nice. I hope the flight attendants have time to monitor a 9 month old. If you ever fly UNITED BEWARE!!!! This isn't the first time that Faye and I have had problems with them, if anyone knows someone or works at United, have them hook us up and get the seating issue fixed. ****

Faye and I went shopping yesterday and managed to buy a little 20 dollar stroller, Alex really seemed to like it as long as we kept moving, she really didn't care when we would stop for long periods of time. We bought 1 silk dress for her and 6 pairs of squeaky shoes (different sizes) Faye thinks their cute, I could live without them, but they are supposed to encourage walking I think, what the heck I will give anything a try. Faye isn't much for haggling prices, and I am all about it, I got everything listed above for about 25 dollars, I think it is a pretty good price. Some of the shoes are very nice. We haven't really ventured out, we hope to later today and we hope to try some of the local resturants, there is suppose to be a Tai place that is excellent. Today we also went to the pearl market, which is their version of a mall, the only thing is, is that all they sell is pearl, coral, and any other type of stone that you could make necklaces and earrings out of. and there is about 5 or 6 floors of nothing but these shops (hundreds of stores) if you want to buy clothes you have to go to a different mall. Faye bought a strand of pearls necklace and earrings, she hopes to one day pass them to Alexandria. We also went to the Chan Family museum which was OK.

Tomorrow is the medical exam, should be a really fun time. We are on the down side of things now and should be home soon. Hope everyone is well. Will post again soon. Todd>>>>

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just a few photos from the group we're with

Wanted to add some photo's from the group.
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