Our week in photos – Apparently I am a Time Lord….

When I am not being Mummy, wife, blogger, and working too….

Welcome to our week in photos, a run down of what we have been up to, in photos, from Instagram and Facebook. Apparently, according to the Find My Friends App on LSH’s iPhone, I went AWOL and left the UK, on Monday, when actually, I had only planned to go to Kingston to go shopping. It would seem that my alter ego is at Time Lord. I also ate breakfast on the go several days this week, trying to juggle care for Big Girl, still recovering at home, work and life.

Photoweek6th1We also had lots of good food. Cakes, treats at WholeFoods, a gift of a box of rusks from South Africa and I made a family favourite of toad in the hole (gluten and cows milk free, you can find the recipe here) cupcakes at a party, and of course random photos of metal giraffes (I want one of those for my garden) and a cat that likes croissants (are you surprised?)

We also lost a tooth, the tooth fairy is now bankrupt again, and Big Girl is on the mend, and almost back to normal after her operation two weeks ago, writing letters. Picture of Little Man looking oh so grown up, thrown in for good measure.

Photoweek6th5 Photoweek6th3 Photoweek6th2

LSH and I will be celebrating 13 years of marriage tomorrow, and we went out for dinner last night, to our favourite sea food restaurant. It was excellent. We both love sea food, including oysters, much to the horror of Little Man, who being rather enamoured with Octonauts, told me “you CAN’T eat sea creatures!”. The sticky toffee pudding was very good too! ;)


So, that’s our week. If you would like to see what other bloggers are sharing, then hop across to Make Do and Push

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Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday 6thApril

Posted in Silent Sunday | 12 Comments

Sat Cap – we don’t need no table manners…?

There really are no words, except for me to say that we do attempt to install table manners into our children, but clearly failed with this shot…


Maybe there’s a SatCap for it?

Then meander on over to Mammasaurus, where there are some men in v neck jumpers with oh so impressive Dynasty style man hair…

Posted in Saturday is Caption Day | 2 Comments

Friday’s Rant from the Soap Box in MY Living Room



Welcome to my Friday’s Rants from the Soap Box in my Living Room. A small space in the week where I can have a chunter about things that have made me twitch with annoyance or made me question if the world has gone mad or not….
I also  linked up with MummyBarrow for her Ranty Friday. You can find her blog and link up here if you’d like to join in. A good rant can be therapeutic.

So, I was going to rant about a recent trip to Pets At Home, today, but then an e mail arrived, allegedly from David Cameron, our Prime Minister, telling me all about how much money I would save, with his new tax cut on tax allowance. I used the calculator thingo in the link, and below is what came back….

Tory Rant

We pay a fair amount of tax, national insurance and other contributions. I work part time, and am self employed as well, and LSH works full time. According to this, we will get back, wait for it… £10/month, or just over that (I think it was £10.88)

As you can imagine, I was so excited, by this sudden marvellous boost to our monthly income, and started to work out what I could spend it on, then realised that with the rising cost of just about everything has risen and continues to rise(our water bill for the year arrived, today, I am not sure how they justify charging us so much for that, when they are rubbish at actually doing anything about the burst pipes, ancient sewage system and drains where we live and don’t seem very good at actually storing any water so we get letters threatening us of drought conditions if the sun comes out for more than two days on the trot – Thames Water, ahem, I am looking at your letter now and wondering if I can flush it down the loo or if it will block up the pipes and give someone at your company some work to actually do?!) So basically, we are no better off. OK, fine. We are not the only ones in the same boat, money is tight for a large chunk of the population and we are all feeling the pinch. The next bit, though had me steaming. Apparently, they would like me to take my £10 and support them with it?? £10 barely buys anything these days, and it’s pretty stupid, with the cost of groceries, living, travel, and other things, to think that anyone would feel they were “better off” with that piddling amount.

Safe to say, I won’t be “Investing” my hard earned back tenner, in them, nor will I be willingly giving it to any of the political parties, if I can help it. My Dad says I should treat LSH and I to a celebratory meal at McDonald’s, because that is all it would stretch to, maybe I will…Actually, we have decided to donate it to a charity, at least it will be doing something good.

Seriously? Who are they kidding? Why do they patronise us and promise us we will be better off. If they think I will be voting for them, or any of the other numpties (the Lib Dems have been round three times this week, I obviously don’t look scary enough when I open the door during happy hour (aka supper-time with two small children!)

So, that’s my little whine for the week. Pop along to MummyBarrow and see what’s got her goat. I think it’s a rant about table manners on TV.


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My tonsillectomy – By Big Girl

I have had sore throats for a long time. I have had to have lots of time of school, and when my throat is sore, I don’t feel very well at all, and I had to have yucky tasting medicine called antibiotics.

Mummy took me to see the doctor. He looked in my throat and told us that my tonsils were very big, and that I kept getting something called tonsillitis. He said I needed to see a special doctor, who might want to take them out.

We saw a special doctor, who said my tonsils did not look good, and that I needed to have an operation to take them out. I was a little bit scared, but I wanted to feel better.

Before I went to hospital, I wasn’t allowed to eat any food or drink anything. I was a bit grumpy about this, as I felt very hungry.

When we got to hospital, the nurse checked me and weighed me, and checked my pulse and temperature. She gave me a special gown to wear, and a hospital bracelet that had my name on it. The doctor came and told me what he was going to do, and then a special doctor called an anaesthetist came and explained what would happen when I went to sleep for my operation.

When I went to the operating theatre, I climbed on a bed, and the doctor put a mask on my face and I took lots of breaths and everyone looked all funny and wobbly. I went to sleep. Mummy held my hand.

I woke up after the operation, and a nurse was looking after me. Mummy and Daddy came to get me, and I went back to my room on a special trolley. I was a bit sleepy and tired for a while, then I was hungry and the nurse let me have Ribena to drink and biscuits. When I was feeling well enough, I had some pasta and some more to drink and then we had to wait until the doctor said I was able to go home. I went home late that night, and Mummy looked after me, because I didn’t feel very well for a bit, and my throat was very sore.

I have been at home for two weeks, and the doctor said I was not allowed to go back to school. I have been watching lots of TV, movies, and reading. My throat has been quite sore, but it is getting better now and I am missing my friends at school.

I am very glad I had the operation, I was fed up of getting sick all the time. It was a bit scary to go into hospital, but I feel so much better now.

Here are some photos Mummy took. 

TonsilsEmMe, eating my breakfast very early, I wasn’t allowed any food after that. In the hospital waiting to see the doctor and go to have my operation. Mummy looked after my bear while I was having my operation. I took a selfie to send to my Grandad and Uncle after the operation, to show them I was ok. Eating my dinner, I was SO hungry. Home and eating ice lollies, and soup. My class made me a get well card. Feeling well enough to go out and eat lunch. 


Posted in Big Girl has her say, Health | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Creative Kids – Hobbies and encouraging creativity.

My children are products of the 21st Century. They are very adept at using technology, that I would never have dreamed existed, as a child, the stuff of what science fiction programmes I watched. I love that we have such amazing things like the internet, smart phones, tablet devices, and the like for helping with entertaining and educating our children, I also like the “old fashioned” things we can do with our children so we do a lot of baking, and I attempt some crafting with them, although to be honest, I am not very good at crafts and usually dislike having to come up with creative ideas.

I want to foster and encourage creativity in my kids, though, so finding things they enjoy, that I can help them with, has been something I have been keen to do.

With Little Man, it’s not something we have really looked at yet, he loves all sorts of things, but isn’t really ready to take on hobbies, yet, at aged not quite 4, although he does love his dance classes, which I get great pleasure from watching. I suspect he will be like his Dad and be mechanically minded, he loves taking things apart, and is also beyond his age in his skill in puzzles, and is also showing signs of having some musical ability, so we shall see what he decides are things he would like to do.

With Big Girl, it’s been interesting watching her develop likes and interests. She is particularly keen on photography, and likes to borrow my digital camera and take photos, and in fact has taken some great shots, like this one. She is learning to hold the camera steady, and how to focus, and zoom in and out, and is getting really good at choosing what she wants to capture.

I am very keen to get her her own camera, at some point, and also look at whether there are photography workshops for children her age. I think she would enjoy and learn and lot from them.

She also loves writing, both at school, and at home, writing stories, and notes and I try and encourage her to write thank you letters, to friends and family, partly because I think it is polite, and also because I do think that as technology changes, writing, particularly letters, will become less of a skill children are taught. At the moment, she is writing a letter to a new pen friend, an activity that is keeping her very busy, and I am teaching her how to write about herself, but also to ask questions to the person she is writing to, to open up things to talk about. Whilst she has been recovering from her recent operation, and has been quarantined at home, gentle activities such as this have been ideal. You can see how hard she has been concentrating, and I have been printing off photos for her to send, as well.

Creative Kids April 2nd

Encouraging creativity in our kids is fun, and important. Next week, with the school holiday arriving, I am looking forward to relaxing a bit from our routine, but also doing some fun stuff with the children. We are going to bake bread next week, something we are very excited about. I will share the recipe we use, and I am sure there will be some photos of the action and results.

What do you do, to encourage creativity and hobbies for your kids?

Linking up with Mini Creations, over at Kidglloves

Mini Creations
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Why we chose to opt for an adenoidtonsillectomy

*Warning – unpretty picture of infected tonsils coming up, they are not Big Girl’s but pretty much are what her tonsils looked like when she was suffering from an actual bout of tonsillitis. When she was “well” her tonsils were that swollen, and only a small gap between them was visible. Her adenoids were also swollen, and could be seen, behind the small gap left behind her tonsils.


Big Girl had her first bout of proper tonsillitis nearly 2 years ago. She had in the past struggled with Spasmodic croup, which happened every time she was struck by a cold, and meant a trip to the doctors for medication, or me administering oral steroids at home. This had started to ease, and she was growing out of it, as is normal, most children grow out of it by aged 5 or so.

Her first episode of tonsillitis actually turned out to be Scarlet Fever, she started out with a sore throat, fever, feeling unwell, but woke up one morning with the classic sandpaper pink rash all over her chest and cheeks, and trunk. She was treated with antibiotics and resolved, thankfully, but from then on she had recurring bouts of tonsillitis, and in between, horrible colds, and reverted to episodes of croup, and also had a noticeable stridor, when she coughed or was upset from crying.

After a few bouts of tonsillitis, and treatment for it, I went to her GP and asked about the possibility of her having her tonsils removed. I was told that “most children grow out of it, it’s not severe enough, her tonsils are not that big, lets wait and see”. Most children do grow out of tonsil issues, and the NHS does take a wait and see approach, as research has shown that not all tonsillectomies are necessary. We decided to wait and watch.

Our tonsils and adenoids do an important job, and in a normal, healthy person, are part of the bodies initial defence and immune system.They don’t normally need to be removed. But as in our case, they were constantly enlarged and continually infected and were actually causing her health issues.

In January, Big Girl and I went away for a weekend to Butlins, and she and I shared a room. I barely slept for the two nights we were away. The snoring being emitted by my 7 year old was astounding. I also noticed that she was breath holding, and having episodes where she wouldn’t breathe for sometimes up to 15-20 seconds before gasping and breathing again. I had known she snored a bit, and it was a slight joke in our house, that she could snore as loudly as LSH, but it gave me quite a fright, to actually witness it, and hear it all night, so consistently, and I was very, very concerned,  and as soon as we were back in London, I contacted our GP, with my concerns. He was happy to refer me to see an ENT surgeon with her, and because the waiting time was so long, we decided to use our private insurance cover, provided by LSH’s work. We are very fortunate to have this, because if not, we would not have seen the ENT specialist until at least June, of this year. I was not prepared to wait that long. Having waited out and been pushed around by the health services for Little Man’s ears, and the horrible time we had, I was very firm that if we used all our cover, for this issue to be resolved for Big Girl, then so be it and LSH very much agreed with me. We also had the backing of our school,we had a letter stating how much time Big Girl had missed from school due to recurring bouts of tonsillitis, and each episode of missed school was due to this. Whilst she is still only at primary school, our concern was that she was missing important input and time.

So, off we trotted to see the ENT surgeon. He chatted to us, asked us questions, then offered us two options. We could try a course of very strong antibiotics, and give Big Girl six weeks to see if that resolved the issues, or we could opt to have her tonsils removed. I asked him what the success rate of the antibiotics was. His reply was 50%. He then examined her, and after peering down her throat, turned to me and said “Mrs Reekie, to be honest, I would say there’s a good chance those meds will probably not work, for her, those tonsils look horribly large and her adenoids are also rather large and probably obstructing her airway when she is asleep, if you are happy, I think we should proceed to have them both removed, as soon as is possible”.

I am not one to query when as doctor says things like “horrible”, “large” and “as soon as possible”. They don’t whip out tonsils for fun, these days, so we started the process to get them removed.

Last week, she had the operation, and had both her tonsils and adenoids removed under general anaesthetic. She, herself is going to write about what happened, and share with you about how she felt, so I won’t add any more details, but when the surgeon came round after the operation, his words were “I think it was a good thing we did that, they were huge,  horrible and pretty rotten inside and her adenoids were starting to obstruct her airway”.

We knew the risks, and I must admit, I had some serious wobble moments the week leading up to the operation, because it’s not a light decision to put your child under anaesthetic, the risk of bleeding, and then pain and recovery afterwards, but in my gut, I KNEW she wasn’t right, and that this would be something that was very much needed, so when he told us that, the relief, and also vindication were there, along with the parental guilt that she has clearly been struggling for a while, and that they really have been causing her issues.

It’s not just pain, and tonsillitis, that have been the problem. Because she hasn’t been sleeping well, due to her snoring, and likely mild sleep apnoea caused by the large tonsils and adenoids, she has been constantly tired, and not herself. My bright, bubbly, energetic girl has been pretty tired, whiny, clingy and just off for a good year. We partly put it down to her struggling with my having issues, a side effect of all the sleep issues of her brother, being 7 and struggling with the whole growing up but not being there yet, and also there have been some issues at school, with a teacher, who is not easy to be around, and we thought this was making her anxious and more tired too. She also complained constantly of aching legs and knees. I blamed growing pains, then got her checked out by the doctor who also blamed growing pains, and also the fact that she swims and does a lot of dance classes, and that it was just muscular. He did run some basic blood tests, and said there was nothing out of the ordinary, other than mild signs of an infection (she had a bout of tonsillitis ad the time of the tests so he blamed that) but it also turns out that children with chronic tonsil issues can have aching joints, so my poor girl was not just being whiny, she was really struggling. I have to say, I have been dealing with some major guilt since we were told this, I had no idea, and feel terrible that she has clearly been under the weather, but because we have been so bogged down with her brother and his sleep issues, now resolved that she has been rather neglected. The ENT surgeon did reassure me that it would resolve, much to our relief.

So, we took the risk, we opted for the surgical option. We knew that she would be in pain, and off school for two weeks, and that we would have to look after her, help her and also both take time off. Fortunately, she has had a text book recovery and almost 10 days post op I can tell you that once again, we have no regrets, that I followed my gut, and that we took action.

  • She is sleeping so much better. After the first night home, when her throat and airway were a bit swollen from the operation, the snoring has ceased. I can barely hear her breathing, when she is asleep. She is sleeping solidly for 12 hours a night, and wakes up happy and back to her old self
  • She doesn’t sound or look like she has a permanent cold. Even her teachers at school have commented that she sounded very nasal and congested, almost all the time, and she looked like she had a sinus infection. This has all cleared up, and the dark shadows under her eyes are slowly going.
  • She says she can breathe through her nose, and that things taste better.
  • The aching in her legs and knees is virtually gone.
  • Those tonsils were infected inside, who wants to have that inside their body.

I know some people have asked why we have chosen to go this route, and in fact I have had some private criticism, and also some face to face. I don’t usually feel the need to explain the decisions we make for our children, but as with what we went through with Little Man’s ears and the issues we had, I felt that sharing about our experience might help other people, as well as provide more information, hence this blog post.

Most importantly of all, Big Girl knew what was happening, we explained everything to her, we shared what we had been told, the ENT surgeon was very good with her and told her why he thought she needed the operation and she herself decided that she wanted it done, and seeing how much healthier she already is, and that I have almost got my girl back to normal, after such a long stretch of time, knowing she is already feeling better, and that this will have been huge benefit to her, outweighs the possible small risks and the inconvenience. She says she is very glad we did it, and that’s what counts. This option may not be the right one for your child, but for us, it was and we once again, have no regrets, and I would always encourage parents to go with their instincts, trust their gut, and if you are not happy or have concerns about your child’s health, don’t be fobbed off. We are very lucky to have a free NHS service this country, but cost cutting, time constraints and other issues mean that sometimes things are not prioritised, and we need to make sure we advocate for our children, to make sure they are getting the best and most appropriate care.

*Disclaimer: This post is a personal post, not medical advice  and as usual, I would suggest seeking appropriate medical information from a qualified health practioner if you have concerns about your child’s health*



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Another “day” I don’t like – Why I am “meh” about Mother’s Day?

Oh here she goes again about days that she doesn’t like celebrating….

Mother's Day

I know, I sound bah humbug, when I say that I am not really bothered or feel like I need a fuss made on one day, in the year. Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday has been taken over by the shops and media as yet another day to spend money on and once again I have had my inbox flooded with “buy Mum this for Mother’s Day” or “You know they love you if they get you this for Mother’s Day” nonsense. Originally Mothering Sunday was celebrated as a mainly Christian/church based celebration:

“Mothering Sunday is a Christian holiday celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians in some parts Europe. It that falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent. (For Orthodox Christians in Europe and elsewhere, the Fourth Sunday in Lent remembers St. John of the Ladder (St. John Climacus).) Secularly, it became an occasion for honouring the mothers of children and giving them presents.[1] It is increasingly being called Mother’s Day, although that has always been a secular event quite different from the original Mothering Sunday.[1] In the UK, Mothering Sunday is celebrated in the same way as Mother’s Day is celebrated elsewhere”

I am not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day unless we are religious, or that we shouldn’t celebrate it at all. I think it’s lovely to make a fuss of our Mum’s, or Grandmothers, or the women in our lives who have loved and nurtured us like Mum’s but I do think that like every other celebration it has become so commercialised and the frenzy in the shops and the media over it, has frankly, put me off.

We didn’t actually do very much this Mother’s Day. Not because anyone forgot, or because no body wanted to make any effort, but because I asked them not to. I was very happy with the glitter infused cards made for me, by the children, and the cup of coffee brought to me in bed, after I got an extra hour of sleep. We have had a long week, with Big Girl recovering from her tonsil/adenoid operation and LSH and I juggling care for her, whilst trying to keep on top of work and family life. I knew he was tired, wouldn’t have time to go shopping, or plan much, and to be honest, really wasn’t bothered. I did get to pop out for a coffee and cake alone, for an hour, but to be honest, I had to leave the house to go and get supplies for Big Girl, so it wasn’t just a trip out for me.

I personally think that society doesn’t celebrate mothers enough, and then all of a sudden we have one day in the year, when we are supposed to tell her how much we love her, and how wonderful she is, shower her with expensive gifts and then we go back to normal. Mother’s get a hard rap, a lot of the time. The media is constantly telling us how to parent, that we are bad mothers if we don’t work and contribute to society, or if we choose to work, we are vilified, we are continually bombarded with how to feed our kids, how to teach our kids, how to parent them, and we are the first to be blamed when society doesn’t approve of our children’s behaviour. Of course, we are largely responsible for our children, but you know what, being a mum is a damn hard job, and a bunch of flowers one Sunday in the year means very little.

Even our government is not mother friendly. They seem to be on a bender to get our kids in to school as early as possible for as long as possible so us mums can “go out and work, and contribute”. I am not anti working mothers, I am one myself, having also stayed at home, but I object to the way we are put into a box and that the government seems to forget that actually parenting and nurturing our babies is why most of us had them in the first place, and that we want to be able to look after them and be recognised for this and not put in a “go out to work, being a mum is second rate, doesn’t pay taxes” box.

Compared to some countries, we do give mother’s a reasonable deal, in terms of maternity leave and pay – when compared to the US for example, and health care and rights for women who want to take time of to have children has improved, and I am not asking for mother’s to be paid to be mothers (heck, the government could not ever afford it, anyway ;) ) but I do think that making a huge fuss, one day of the year, then we go back to normal, seems a bit pointless. I am not asking for rewards, or applause on a regular basis (although some days, getting to the end of the day, in this parenting malarkey, I could do with someone cheering me on, because it can feel like a battle that I am not winning) but I think we have lost sight of what being a mother is, and what mothers do, and it would be nice if we could be kinder, more supportive and cheer them on, not just on Mother’s Day.

Perhaps my slightly cynical view of this over commercialised day is because my own mother is not around, I probably see things with a tinge of grief. I appreciate more now, how tough being a parent can be, now I can’t tell her in person how much I actually appreciated her.

When LSH asked me, if I was really sure that I didn’t mind that Mother’s Day wasn’t going to be a huge fuss and a lot of effort made for me, I was honest with him, and told him I really wasn’t bothered. My words were “I have two happy, healthy (well almost, she is pretty much on the mend) children, who love me, and tell me so often, and you make me coffee every morning, no matter what else is happening, and you put up with me”, all the handbags, spa days, bottles of posh perfume, or expensive meals out, don’t give me that feeling of being loved. I prefer ordinary, regular moments of love and pride, to lots of fuss on one day.

So, that’s me, not too phased by our low key, and rather lacking Mother’s Day yesterday. It was just another day. I don’t begrudge other Mum’s if they wanted or got lots of fuss made, as long as they felt loved, and it wasn’t done “just because”. Mum’s or the women who mother, deserve love and recognition, all the time, not just one Sunday the Spring, because tradition dictates it.

So did you have a glamorous and fussed over Mother’s Day, were you treated like a queen and made a fuss of, or are you like me, and prefer minimal fuss, but more love every other day of the year? I would love to hear what you think and what you think the day should mean or how you celebrate or not?


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Week in Photos – Goodbye tonsils!

Last week I didn’t do a photo link up, because I had spent part of the week without my iPhone, and hadn’t taken any, so I am making up for it this week.

It’s been a big week. Big Girl had an operation to remove her tonsils and adenoids, or adenoid-tonsillectomy as it is called. (trying saying that fast a few times!) She wants to write her own blog post, at some point, and has asked me not to share, about it,  until she is ready,  but I can say that she was a rock star, handled it all so calmly, did so well post operatively, and is home, and recovering very nicely. We have had the odd bump, but she is doing well, and I can already see the difference now those “rotten and horrible” (the surgeon’s words) tonsils and “huge” adenoids are gone.

So it’s been a week of nursing a patient, juggling a bit of work, keeping a 3.5 year old boy occupied (I am so thankful for my lovely child minder and for friends who have helped out, or kept an eye on us and offered to help out, and for all the well wishes and messages, and cards, she and we have appreciated them!) I have spent a lot of time communicating with concerned Grandparents across the world, keeping them up to date, and also uncles and other family. I am very grateful for my little phone, I can update everyone with various methods of communication, so quickly. :)


Lots of pain meds needed, in the post op recovery phase. Selfie of Buttons the Beloved Bear. I cuddled him whilst we waited, when she was in theatre, and was very glad to hand him over to her, when we went to get her from recovery. It’s very hard, leaving your child in the hands of others, like that, even when it’s something you know needs to be done, and you know they are excellent doctors and nurses and will take care of her. We are glad it’s all over and done with now, and I am again reminded that parents who have to face medical procedures and frequent hospital stays with their children are amazing, and my heart goes out to them, in a way I never understood when I didn’t have my own children.

Other than that, we have had food, more food, rants about graffiti, the usual random cat photos, lost hairbrushes (I had to buy myself one, and hide it so it can’t disappear like socks seem to) and lots of ice lollies in this week of recovery.

          Photoweek3March30Photoweek4March30         PhotoWeek2March30

So that’s our week. Why not pop over to Make Do And Push and see what other bloggers are sharing too?

What we have been up to this week:

Monday – Giving up my iPhone was a fail

Tuesday – Reward charts for children, yes or no?

Wednesday – Creative Kids – First violin concert & Get Fit Mummy Weekly linkup 

Thursday - Anxiety is a strange thing

Friday – I had a rant about graffiti

Saturday – Alternative uses for Ice Lollies – Sat Cap

Sunday – A gin filled Silent Sunday

Posted in Our week in photos | 1 Comment

Silent Sunday


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