embracing life and letting God


Monday's Muse

In my effort to be productive today (i.e. work on the children's school lesson plans for the up coming year) I find myself wanting to play with my children as they play with new gifts, conclude a 'discussion' my mom and I had about a certain word, encourage my husband and daydream way too much.  This has, therefore, inspired a new post to hone my focus and bring some simplicity to my day.

I love simplicity...


Outside my window... A gorgeous blue sky with white fluffy clouds while a breeze blows through my giant Oak tree.

I am thinking... How am I going to get it all done.

I am thankful for... A loving, faithful, steady husband and children that were happy to see me home from a trip this morning.  Oh the hugs I got!

From the learning rooms...I am daily being inspired to be at rest, content, and welcome joy into my life from Ms. Lorrie Flem.

From the kitchen... Baked Ziti with Chicken meatballs.

I am wearing... My snugglies. That's pajamas at my home.

I am creating... A notebook for organizing all of the children's Webkinz certificates and cards. (binder and sheet protectors)

I am going... To accomplish one item of scheduling for our new homeschool year, TODAY!!

I am reading... "Pride and Prejudice", by Jane Austen, slowly and methodically.

I am hoping... well, more praying and believing for my aunt's surgery to make her Whole in Jesus Name and then for her to move here to our town.

I am hearing... Some real funky Wii music, my boys banging, stomping and jumping and my girl slurping her apple juice out of a measuring spoon. (don't ask, because I don't know, I'm just going with the flow here)

Around the house... I need to clean up the aftermath of the no air-conditioning fiasco.  No more camping out downstairs.
One of my favorite things... an open window over the sink while I cook and do dishes.  It reminds me of my grandmother. I miss her.

A few plans for the rest of the week: scouts, karate, pool birthday party and plan, plan, plan.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

From my heart to yours,
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As Promised...

... from my "Travel Kit's" review, I am posting pictures of my
'Blessings Box(es)' that I put together today for my two aunts. 

bless·ings [ bléssings ]

The acts or words of a person who blesses; a special favor, mercy, or benefit; a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness; the invoking of God's favor upon a person; praise; devotion; worship. 
The first Blessing I prepared was for my aunt who recently lost her husband. 

In a beautiful black and white damask box, I included Lavendar bath salts to soak the stress away.

Wonderful smelling "TwentyFourSeven Glam" candles.
(I put the candles back in their cute leopard print boxes but didn't get a picture-oh well)

New Indian River Ruby nail polish and cheery Currant red lipstick.

An uplifting book from Joyce Meyer "Peace".

Finally, Thank-you notes to thank all of those who supported her during her difficult time.

I also made a Blessing for my other aunt who is having foot surgery this week. 

A Restauracion Regalo*!
(*That's Spanish for Restoration Gift)

To a lovely fern tray I found on sale at Target I added
Fannie Flag's A Redbird Christmas to read as she keeps those tootsies all propped up. 

~You'll remember I reviewed this sweet little book on my blog post

A refreshing Cucumber and Mint candle.

Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub to rejuvenate her skin when she is well enough to pamper herself.

Powdered magnesium (in the teal paper) to assist her in rest, relaxtion and restoration.
(I am an avid believer in using all of the natural "blessings" God has given us to make us whole)

Last, I added beautiful floral Thank you notes and blank notes so that she can touch those in her life that love her so much.

[But] I would strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth,
and the consolation of my lips would soothe your suffering. -Job 16:5

To each one of these I will add handwritten notes of Scripture and encourgaement for them to read now and when a day may seem overwhelming.  I know that these were meant to be blessings for my sweet aunts, but I have to say I am the one who is blessed getting to be creative and give them these lovely gifts.
Under the Shadow of the Almighty,


For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. -John 1:16

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Travel Kits A Simple Way to Bless Others

Today’s the day!

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I am excited to bring you my first review as a Crew Member. Now, a lot of you may be thinking, “Well, if this for homeschool, I’m out.” Hold On!! Though I review for a homeschool group that Never means that these products are just for those who school at home. They can be for anyone!


by Donna Rees
From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Do you know a family who is taking a long trip and want to bless them with a “Special” gift for their journey? Are you traveling with littles, middles, and/or young adults? Need some great ideas on how to entertain your children while driving? Then treat yourself to The Old Schoolhouse  Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others.

Travel Kits is a compact encyclopedia of ideas to spark your creativity to bless others (& your own family) as they travel.  These fun gifts are a lovely way to add extra giggles and joy to any trip. Baskets, hats, boxes, even coolers full of fun for each member of the family.

Ms. Rees has taken every situation, age, and interest into consideration while sharing easy and fun ideas. She challenges you to Trust in the Lord to inspire you with ideas that encourage a harmonious trip. The blessings prevail in all of the thoughtful ideas she provides that seem to never end. It’s wonderful!  I do have to say there were times while reading I felt a tad overwhelmed at the gathering of the items to give.  But, once I changed my perspective and realized I can purchase as I go instead of making special trips, it really is not hard to pull these kits together.  The Flylady teaching in me wanted to say "only buy what you need, no more clutter." 

Included are many colorful pictures of example and ideas!

Ideas such as...
Taking a trip to the beach? Wrap each individual gift with special wrapping paper or colorful fabric from the dollar store; place each child’s gift in a sand bucket of different colors and put mom and dads gifts in a special basket or cooler with colas and candy/ boys buckets: floats to blow up later, match cars, and a new book/ girls buckets: swim rings for later, hair bows and clips and a book of Braids/ add to that cooler or basket for mom and dad: A new book, magazine and a travel pillow for mom/ a book on tape and a coffee shop gift card for dad/ and for the whole family a Radio Drama (like “Jonathan park” Series) CD’s or a new book to read-aloud and add a snack to tied them over between meals.

You will be amazed at the detail Ms. Rees goes into such as creative ways on when and how to dispense the gifts, where to find free downloadable recordings of books on tape, cool books of all kinds (classic literature, travel, recipes, even fun brochures), and website links galore. Her personal stories interspersed add a sweet touch and I love, love, the detailed picture instructions and the website she gives for Origami! (See page 39) I love, love, LOVE the ideas she came up with for “Charlotte’s Web”. Simply fabulous! (See details on page 45)  Don't forget your baking sheets!

I have even been inspired to go beyond with “Variations on a Theme” (Ch 12). I am making a “box of blessings” for a loved one who recently lost her husband. My idea is to put together a Pampering and Starting Fresh ‘basket’ with encouraging notes to bless her as she goes through this time of transition in her life. (Pictures to follow soon)

I am also putting together a large kit for another loved one expecting a baby in September. Since she is having a baby girl I have plenty of lovely hand-me-downs and new items to bless her. I am putting it all in a giant pink Rubbermaid storage tub wrapped in pretty ribbons. (Pictures to follow soon)

This book is just right for those of us who need a boost when it comes to ideas in being creative.  I know you will enjoy sharing many blessings with friends and family for years to come.  Enjoy!

You can find The Old Schoolhouse Travel Kits:  A Simple Way to Bless Others at The Old Schoolhouse Store.com.  The cost is $12.45 for this e-book.  You can preview samples and other products from this publisher here.

From My Heart to Yours,

All E-Books published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine come with a 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC
P. O. Box 8426
Gray, TN 37615

Age Range:  Adults (and children can participate or make their own)

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Reviews

I received this product free of charge for review purposes only. 
Reviews are strictly my personal opinion of this product.
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Blog Walk-About Episode 5

Today we journey with a homeschool dad, a mom who loves coffee, a highly organized mom and much more.  Let's walk!

Dad's Homeschool Blog
Love It!  We have a dad this week.  A retired Army Sergeant now serving God and his family as the stay-at-home dad and homeschooling his two boys.  This is his unique male take on the experience.  Be sure to read his first blog "Hello Homeschooling World!

These Are Our Best Days
A lovely Homeschooling mom to 3 boys and a little girl who is loving life and believes the Lord hand picked her husband just for her.  Her greatest desire is to grow in the Lord and be a living example for her children.

A Mosaic In the Making
A beautiful mom, who is often mistaken for a 20 year old, born and raised in the Midwest, now living in the Southwest, who loves Jesus, fell in love with her husband at the blink of an eye (after a year), homeschooling for 6 years and will continue as the Lord leads.

Wrightsboro Sonrise Center
Homeschooling adventures with her 3 boys - all on the spectrum.  She has 3 dogs, 2 fish, and as many birds as they can feed at their bird feeders.  She has been married to her husband for 14 years.

Crazy Homeschool Daze
Grab some coffee and sit a spell and enjoy wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister and above all else a daughter of the The Kind.  They live each day to the fullest, sometimes failing (don't we all), praising God they get a new start every day to try again.

Gold, Silver, Precious Stones
Homeschool mother of a boy and a girl, wife to high school sweet heart for 23 years, busy building in their children the knowledge that children are a gift from a loving Creator.

Ramblings of the Blonde Mother Bear
A homeschool mom who began homeschooling as a decision based in fear that transitioned to one walked in faith.  Though there were rough days, it was the best choice they ever made, benefiting their family and faith.

Life at Rossmont
A mom sharing bits and pieces of their homeschool journey with 5 children, in awe daily of their incredible talent, creativity, and imaginations, each one of her blessings possess.

Pink and Orange Coffee
A stay-at-home wife and mom to one great child, homeschooling in the classical tradition, trying to get her life organized and crafted.  Join her on her quest to b a bit more Martha and a lot less Sanford and
Son.  She also really likes coffee.

Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
A highly organized person who loves to help others organized.  They completed their 10th year of homeschooling and are beginning an adventure in dual-enrollment in the fall while she improves her skills working toward her master's in English.

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Titus 2 Tuesday

A Walk with Jesus

If you could take a walk with Jesus
Would you walk through fields of flowers
Sprinkled with the morning dew?

If you could take a walk with Jesus
Would you walk beside the sea?
Or would you walk out in the forest,
So you could rest beneath the trees?

If you could take a walk with Jesus
What would you say to Him?
Would you spend the time complaining
About your family and your friends?

If you could take a walk with Jesus
Would you grumble about your job?
Would you choose your words with caution,
As you walked with the Son of God?

Now before you give you answer
Give careful thought to what you'll say.
Though you may not have noticed
Jesus walked with YOU today.
-Author Unknown

If I only touch one
From my heart to yours,

Titus 2
BUT as for you, teach what is fitting and becoming to wholesome doctrine, the character and right living that identify true Christians. Urge the older men to be temperate, honorable, sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience of Christ. 

Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their attitude as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers, gossiper or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). 

In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently taking life seriously.  And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity, having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive, with dignity and thoughtfulness. And let your instruction be sound and fit and wise and wholesome, vigorous and irrefutable and above condemnation, so that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing discrediting or evil to say about us. 

Tell attendants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. Warn them not to talk back or contradict, Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior. 

For the grace of God ,His unmerited favor and blessing, has come appeared for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.  It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, Awaiting and looking for the fulfillment, the realization of our blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus ,the Messiah, the Anointed One, Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us by purchasing our freedom, from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people, to be peculiarly His own, people who are eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good and filled with beneficial deeds.  Tell them all these things. Urge (advise, encourage, warn) and rebuke with full authority. Let no one despise or disregard or think little of you, conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect.

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Monday's Muse

The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Some people never look and see
The miracles in the sky,

The magnificence of a sunrise
Or fleecy clouds drifting by.

They miss the glory of a sunset,
The lovely rainbow hues

And what could have more splendor
Than a starry night to view.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
And I thank you Lord for eyes to see

All the beauty and the wonder
You placed in the sky for me.

I stand in awe of your presence
As I gaze at the marvels you display

  For no human hand could ever form
Such a grand and glorious array.

No artist’s brush could ever paint
All the beauty that I see.

No poet’s words could ever describe
What that beauty means to me.

Poem by - Lora Cox
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Sunday's Sense and Sensibility

Sunday Our day to Worship the Lord

sense[ senss ]: Wisdom/ability to appreciate something

sen·si·bil·i·ty [ sènssə bíllətee ]: Capacity to respond emotionally/Feel

In the peace I sit here on our Sabbath day of rest, and I am so moved by His Presence.  "To the Ball"* is stirring me almost to tears with its sweet melody. I am simply moved by my Jesus.  How precious it is. How tender and loving.  God has truly blessed us this day.  The lessons and the trials and the tests never cease and yet we can have peace in all things because we have a Father who loves us deeply!  Hallelujah!

The Words from the Mercy Me song Word of God Speak is resounding in my spirit.

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

And how sweetly He has spoken today.  He has spoken most notably to the heart of my son in gentle prudence.  When our oldest was tempted to question why we need the Word of God [i.e. the Bible, church, worship...] and the teachings that come with it, the Spirit of God moved in my husband.  How great it is when we share wisdom we did not even know we had because of the Spirit of God within us.

My husband shared his heart and led him, to the best of his ability in Christ, to understand the importance, Above all things in our lives, of God ruling in our hearts and how the Word is everything!  My sons father was sowing seeds of love and faith.  There is nothing like watching a parent take the time to stop everything and minister to the Heart of their child.  This is our model, here on earth, of our Father minsitering to us, His children. 

But the lessons did not stop there. As we came together as a family to hear the Word of God ministered to each one of us the Lord spoke even further.  The Word of God, the Bible, is the mind of Christ.  It is what gives us the assurance of God's love for us Unconditionally.  The Words of The Lord to His children are seeds.  The more we read the more "seeds" are planted within our spirits.  The more seeds planted within us, the more "Fruit" grows up out of us.  As we read, daily, feeding our spirits the love, faith and peace of God the deeper the roots will grow.  The "plant" will become thicker, more lush and chokes out the sin of our souls.  There grows Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control!

This is being in Christ. We no longer live in the Flesh but live as Christ, with his thoughts.  The deeper the roots and the more lush the plant, the stronger the Faith.  Wow!  I don't know about you but that excites me.  I want more.  More of the Lord.  More of His Word.  More!! 

Once we completed this time of ministering my son illustrated this very lesson for us.  I am amazed.  It is truly astounding to see the Faith of God manifest in the hearts of my children.  Absolutely beautiful! This is what he shared with us and I want to share it with you.

From my heart to yours,

*soundtrack CD from Becoming Jane
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Blog Walk-About The Fourth!

It's Blog Walk-About Day here at My Own Sense and Sensibility.  Journey with me to discover more TOS Homeschool Crew members bearing their hearts on every day life.

Today we are visiting...

She is a follower of Jesus Christ, married to her best friend, and considers educating her 3 sons the hardest and most rewarding job she's ever had and that makes it a privilege and honor.

A Christian Homeschooling mom to 6 beautiful children.  Her blog is their journey God chooses to guide them through, the struggles they face and their accomplishments.

A homeschool mom who battles chronic pain with Fibromyalgia while leaning on God to give her the strength to endure it daily.  She is thankful to God each day, as she looks into her beautiful daughter's face, to bring her through.

Wife and mom who has a great desire to walk with Jesus, following His plans, and homeschooling.

Says that she is a work in progress who likes justice, is a romantic, a wife and a homeschool mum to 2 children and loving it.

A parent of 7 who is a book-lovin', home-lovin', family-lovin', stay-at-home mom who homeschools her children.

Blog based on curriculum, literature based studies, their experiences with homeschool and life, organization, scheduling and balancing responsibility.

Wife and Mother of 7 (2 in the Arms of Love) - they have been homeschooling for 8 years.  Through many medical ups and downs with their 4 children on the autism spectrum and her lupus, Heather says that the Lord is guiding them through and to Listen to Him. "He is the goal at the end of the homeschool journey."

Wife of 16 years to her best friend and homeschool mom to 2 lovely children.  They are very relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers who use their favorite parts of many homeschooling philosophies.

A full-time SAHM, married with 1 son who is a computer geek, loves travel and Disney World, is a photography enthusiast and is "testing out" homeschooling hoping that they will like it.

Enjoy!  I'll be back next week for more Blog Walk-About.

On my journey,

A Journey of Treasure
-by Raymond A. Foss

Like the Magi,
We are each on the journey
a quest for the king
Ourselves the treasure,
the metal, the myrrh, the offering
Following a star, a hope
A search for epiphany,
life changing meaning,
through loving adoption
by the living God.
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The Healing Power of Small Towns

A Review of

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
Author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

  "A Redbird Christmas" - though the title suggests a Christmas theme, portions of the story surround the Christmas season, but is by no means only a Christmas time book. It is for any time of year.  A lovely read for a weekend trip to the beach or lazing at home on a weekend morning or even a book club book of the month.

This book was given to me by my late mother-in-law just before her last great battle against ovarian cancer a year and a half ago.  When her illness got 'complicated' so did our lives and I set this pretty little narrative to the side. 

I have been reading Jane Austen and other more dense writings of late. So, I decided it was time to pick up something a little lighter and quicker.  OK, to be quite honest, I needed to actually finish a book and feel some accomplishment!  There I said it.  "A Redbird Christmas" was just the answer I needed for light summer reading.  And I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  It was not terribly deep just sweet. 

A man escaping the bitter cold of his hometown, Chicago, finds emotional and physical healing in a small river town in Lost River, Alabama. A baby bird left for dead becomes the one hope for a little girl lost. The beauty with which Ms. Flagg describes the lush landscape is astonishingly accurate.  The Spanish moss, magnolias, pines, maples and pecan trees come to life as time seemingly stands still.

Welcomed with open arms, Mr. Campbell discovers the exquisiteness of a southern ladies charm, men who befriend at a handshake and a town that stands by his neighbor in every need, no matter what inconvenience it brings to his or her own life.  The folks of Lost River share everything that is theirs and show him all of the secrets the river and the elements surrounding it has to offer. He finds he spent his life waiting for something to happen when all along it was right there in front of him to take.  In the end he learns that hope is real and God still does miracles in this sleepy little town. 
"All the years of catechism, and years of drinking had not done it, but now, sitting in the silence, away from 'the whirl of society and the noise of city life', he felt himself becoming one with nature.  For the first time in his life he was at peace.  He finally caught a glimpse of what [his new friends] had been talking about.'

I felt my heart coming home at the portrayal of familiar surroundings I know and love so well. 

Brown spindle beds and white chenille bed spreads.
Birds singing in the sunrise and light that fills a room with glory.
Welcome baskets with pecans and scuppernong jelly.
Old momma who isn't quite right.
Camelia bushes blooming in the winter.
Bungalow homes within walking distance of the post office and corner store.
Everyone knows you even before they have met you.
Fresh vegetables, pot-luck dishes, and the best desserts on the earth.
A neighbor that would drop everything to help another.
Family feuds.
A widow that opens her home for a stranger or a child with no family.
Life and death.

I simply felt at home.  Having spent every summer at my grandmother Cola Dean's house in Loxely, AL and traveled all over Baldwin County on mini field trips with her and my Aunt Sarah, I know these places.  They are engrained in my memory and remind me of some of the happiest times of my life as a child.  I am and always will be a small town girl at heart. 

To further preserve Southern tradition, Ms. Flagg includes delicious southern recipes named for the characters of Lost River, AL.  Fried Mullet, Squash Casserole, and Pecan Pie to name a few.  Yum! So, if you are looking for a quick and enjoyable read you will enjoy "A Redbird Christmas".

From my heart to yours,

Parental warning: There is some language in this book - the 'd' word mostly spattered throughout.
Disclaimer: I received this product as a gift. Reviews are strictly my personal opinion of product.
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Blog Walk-About, III

Blog Walk-About Day!

Come meet my new Crew friends just waiting to share their stories, tips, reviews, and wisdom with you.

Visit my new friends here...

An Online Blog Magazine for Moms with Recipes, Give-aways, Freebies, Reviews and Much More!

A faithful woman, who has been happily married for 13 years and has two amazing daughters. She spends her time homeschooling, hanging out with her homeschool support group, attending church activities, reading, watching tv, and spending time with my family and friends, and blogging.

A  wife and homeschool mother of 4, who holds many "titles." She loves sunshine and books and furry pets (especially all in one spot:) and finding opportunities to be creative -- with art, food, finances, and many more.

This delightful woman who is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife and a homeschool mom of two beautiful children.

Join this wonderful Follower of Christ, wife, mom, homeschooler, homemaker, and reviewer. 

Momof3girls wants to welcome you to her blog which is about her life-being married to her best friend, raising and homeschooling 3 little ladies and striving to put God first in all they do. Their daily life is always an adventure-but one she wouldn't trade for anything. Join her on their journey!

Christian, wife to 1, mom to 9, Nana to 9, and Mother-In-Law to 3, homeschooling, self-employed, business owner, Real Estate Investing, lovin' life kind of woman!

A Christian wife and mom to three kiddos who has homeschooled from the beginning.

...who loves the Lord her God with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. She says that He has blessed her with a wonderful husband and four amazing children. God has called her to be a homeschooling mom and they can't imagine life any other way.

A lovely blog with reviews of all ranges and touches of her daily life as a homeschool mom.


For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travels sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
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The Sparks Are Flying!!!!


1776 was a spectacular year,
and this is a smashing, save-more-money price!

Grab your subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine during their four-day Fourth of July sale, and check out the craziest price on July 1 only! Receive a 2-year subscription, free Homeschooling with Heart tote bag, and five FREE E-Books for just $17.76! While supplies last. U.S. and Canadian residents. July 2 through July 4 the unprecedented savings continue. The sparks are flying at TOS Magazine . . . join in the celebration and savings! Get the details here.
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