Joanna Young Jernigan

Well baby girl, you are ONE. Yes, mama is way behind in the blogging world. I used to do a really good job of blogging for Ashley and then this thing called, “life” crept in. It may also be because we moved to where we no longer had the interwebs, but we back baby!

What a year! Joanna you came into this world with a force. Literally, just ask your dad about it! I’ve shared with people that during my pregnancy with you, I was worried about our bond. Could I love you like I loved your sister? It’s those silly fears that the devil puts in your mind, but over time they manifest into real fears. He’s such a punk. As we all know, those fears were put to rest in the form of tears and joy as soon as I saw the doctor raise you up. Our bond was immediate and it was strong.

Also, while pregnant, I prayed for you a lot. Just like I did for sister. One thing I didn’t get though like I did for her was a scripture for you. I asked the Lord often, what would be the scripture I would assign to you and pray over you, but I just never got an answer. I had one for Ashley, Psalm 1:1-3, but I just heard nothing for you. That is, until 2 days before you were born. I was actually in labor with you, but just didn’t realize it. While still unpacking boxes in the playroom, I got a text from Chloe Jones. Chloe is the precious daughter of some dear friends of ours. She has taken Ashley under her wing since Ashley was 18 months old and we absolutely love her. She is an amazing young lady who loves Jesus and is such a role model to our girls. The text I got from Chloe said this:

“Hey Mrs. Laura! Couldn’t wait to share this with you…God gave me a vision about Joanna last night. I was holding her to where she was facing me…all of the sudden a sword came a went through her head. Of course, that freaked me out and I pulled it out of her head immediately…when it came out, there was no cut. Not even a scratch. Then immediately the Lord gave me the revelation…Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is alive and active, it’s sharper than a double edged sword.” I prophesy she will be very knowledgeable when it comes to the bible & be a strong woman of God. People will come to her for advice and the word of God will be alive and active in and through her. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for her! Just had to share this with you!” 

You could imagine my emotions. Overwhelmed by this word, it didn’t really dawn on my that it was my word for her. The word I had been asking for came to me through a 14 year old girl. Isn’t that like God? He does things in ways we don’t expect.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. Thankfully, they are so much better!

Anyone who has been around you knows about your, “Holy Roar” as we’ve nicknamed it. You are very loud and very sure about what you want and when you want it. I believe it goes with that word from the Lord. You are going to speak His word with authority and people are going to listen and be changed.

Let’s talk a little more about you right now. You didn’t like to sleep much for the first 6 months. Mama was exhausted all the time. I finally decided once you got to 50% in the weight category that you could -close your eyes- cry it out. Yes, I had to. Mama needs to keep her sanity. It took a while…like 3 more months for you to catch on that sleep was good, but you are doing much better…most of the time.

You are so loved by your sister. She can’t keep her hands off you. You let her know when enough is enough too!

So, I started this when you turned one and I’m finishing when you are almost 2 – thus the mom life!! Continue reading

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Dear Ashley….Once again, I’m WAY behind.

Dear Ashley,

It’s the beginning of November  which means in just over ONE month, I will have a preschooler. Yes, you will be 25  3 soon. The question of, “Where does the time go?” comes up a lot. People are always saying, I remember when she was born or I remember that 1st birthday party. Time does fly. But the time is filled with memories of each day and how it’s so neat to watch you discover this world. I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop. I LOVE being at home with you. People still ask me if I enjoy it, and my answer never changes. Yes, I love it. I have never thought twice about that decision and your dad can tell you, I am a worrier, so that’s a big deal! I feel like each year has been significant, but this year has been really special. You went from being a toddler that spoke a lot of random words and phrases to a little person who is soaking up everything mommy tells you. It’s so funny, sometimes, when you forget your role and ask me if I understand you, or that I need to obey you, or I need to say ‘Yes ma’am.’ To those I quickly remind you of who you are and who I am and how we need not forget that. You have so many funny things you say and do and your personality is just so much fun. You love music and to sing and dance. Right now, you are pretty obsessed with Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and also Lecrae’s “Nuthin'”. They get requested most often, but sometimes I can get you to listen to Passion or Hillsong or JUST SOMETHING ELSE, PLEASE!!

Because we are usually listening to those in the car, I can’t always get videos of them, but you know e v e r y word. You are a lot like your mom in your ability to memorize lyrics!

Here is one of your favorite songs

Since you are so good at memorizing things, I have started teaching you some scriptures. You may not fully understand the verses, but if you know them now, you will grow to understand them later. They will be so hidden in your heart that you won’t have any problems recalling them when you need them in the future. I do know you are grasping some of it because one of the verses is, 1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands. The other day, daddy was talking to you about obeying mommy and daddy and when he said that you said, “Like obeying God’s commandments?” That confirmed in my heart that you are not only memorizing the Word, but it’s taking root!
So far, these are the verses you have memorized:

  1. Acts 16:31 – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved #
  2. Psalm 145:9 -The LORD is good to all. #
  3. Genesis 16:13 – You are the God who sees. #
  4. Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! #
  5. Psalm 27:1 — Jesus is my light and my salvation
  6. Numbers 6:24 – The Lord bless you and keep you
  7. Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
  8. Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
  9. 1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands
  10. Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
  11. Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
  12. Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Most of the time we go over these in the bathtub because that’s when I can usually keep your attention long enough to go over them!

This summer we sold our house and moved to a new house that we are renting until we get our house built. During that time we also transitioned you into a big girl bed. That was one of the more easy things we’ve had to do and I was so thankful it worked out so well. I thought it may be hard since you would be in a new room and a new bed, but it didn’t even phase you. It’s a lot more fun now too because we can lay with you in your bed and read books and cuddle and pray at bedtime now! I love that time because it’s so sweet to hear you say your prayers and tell Jesus all you are thankful for. We still sing your two favorite songs each night as well, Jesus Loves Me and Jesus, Only Jesus. “You will come back, the highest praise….”

We are in your 3rd Season – as I call it – of ballet. You have fun while you are there, but I’m not sure if this will be something you love or just like. So we will see if your ballet show gets canceled or if your contract gets renewed for more seasons! This class is a lot more structured than Mommy and Me ballet. I was a little bummed when I learned that I had to stay outside of the class and watch you through a 2-way window now instead of participating with you. I guess that means you are growing up! You will also be participating in a recital in the Spring….That makes me giggle to think about! I think you’re probably one of the cutest ballerinas I’ve ever seen and I especially love it when y’all do your tapping!!

Working on Flexability

Costume Day

This was some at home dancing to Shirley Temple!

My little tapper!

I forgot to mention that this summer you took swimming lessons for the first time. As much as you love swimming and going to the pool, I thought these would be a breeze. BOY was I wrong!! The lessons were for 5 days and Day 1-4 you screamed almost the entire time. Now to give you SOME credit, you did participate in all the exercises, you just cried through them all. But something happened on Day 5 and it’s like you suddenly realized we weren’t trying to kill you and you had the best day!

Day 1

Day 5

I’ve made a list of some different phrases and words that are funny to us:
Paper toilet
Brike (Bright)
Heaby (Heavy)
Doc McStuppins
There’s not some more left
Bumpity Bump Bump
My eyebrows hurt (she has a headache)
Chicken House (Mexican food)
Eleben (when she counts)
T zero Y zero T A for Ashley (spelling Toyota on the back of my car)
Whipe (White)
I’m Pookey!!
I’m not a baby, I’m a little girl!
I don’t feel so bad (I don’t feel good)
Fowlers
Belt seat
Hipad
Daddy is my boyfriend
Mommy is my best friend
Anytime you see an “A” it’s always, “A for Ashley”

You are so smart and learning so much each day. I know I should be doing a lot more to tap into that, but you will have MANY years of school and so, I guess I’d rather you enjoy being a kid! We do work on your letters and numbers a good bit, though. You can identify most all of the alphabet and the numbers through 10. You are also starting to grasp writing them. You definitely have writing the letter A down!

As always, your daddy and I love you so much. You are the most precious gift we have ever received and we take being your parents as the greatest job God has given us. We always want you to know we love you, we are your best friends and advocates. We believe in you and know that the Lord has BIG plans for you. We pray every day that what we do always points you to Jesus. If we don’t do anything else, let that be said of us.

Here are some pictures since the last post!

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Easter Sunday 2014
Easter Egg Hunt with Blake and Brooks
Easter Egg Hunt with Blake and Brooks
Hanging with a fav, Miss Jodi!
Hanging with a fav, Miss Jodi!

Your first time to be a flower girl was this past April at Mrs. Katelyn and Mr. Luke’s wedding!

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Katelyn and Luke's Wedding
Katelyn and Luke’s Wedding

We spent many days and evenings at Alabama Baseball games to support Coach Andy!

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Last game at The Joe before they rebuild it.
Last game at The Joe before they rebuild it.

Daddy took you to meet Anna and Elsa for the first time and it was a magical moment for you! He said you slowly raised your little hand up and just pointed at them in amazement! Ever since that day, it’s been princesses non stop! 
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Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa
Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa
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Target Fun with Jane Allen
Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa!
Uncle Sean’s Wedding. Flower girl for the 2nd time.
Hily and Ashley
Hily and Ashley
Exploring the Compound with daddy.
Exploring the Compound with daddy.

Last days at our neighborhood pool before we sold our house.

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Exploring Huntsville with Chloe and Mrs. Debra
Exploring Huntsville with Chloe and Mrs. Debra
Lunch with daddy on the closing day of our house in Northwood Gardens
Lunch with daddy on the closing day of our house in Northwood Gardens
4th of July with KK & Pop
4th of July with KK & Pop

Serve Day with friends

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Buddies you made at Servday – Dante and Tristen
Swimming Buddy, Prueitt
Swimming Buddy, Prueitt
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Summer fun and birthday celebrating for Hannah with Emma!
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2 things you love: driving in the neighborhood and Taco Casa

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Ready to go visit Pop at work!
Ready to go visit Pop at work!
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Visiting Pop at Phifer Wire before he retired this summer!
Tell Me WHYYYYY? Singing Frozen!
Tell Me WHYYYYY? Singing Frozen!

Summer Fun at Seagrove Beach

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Making beach friends

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More Beach Fun with our Jernigan and Venettozzi Cousins in Pensacola!download (72) download (73) download (75) download (76) download (77) download (78)

Dream Team Summer Party

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Cheering on Cousin Blake and the Cowboys this fall!
Cheering on Cousin Blake and the Cowboys this fall!
Tailgating with one of our other favs, Miss Kara.
Tailgating with one of our other favs, Miss Kara.

Your very 1st Alabama Football game. We played Texas A&M and beat them 59-0! I guess we should take you to more games!! Roll Tide!
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Visiting the Zeta House
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Halloween 2014 – We went as Monsters Inc as a family!
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download (87) download (89) download (90) download (91)My beautiful ballerina

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ballerina

Shooting guns with Mrs. Kelly and Mommy

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Best Friends!
Best Friends!

Love Expressed

The question is not if you are a worshiper or not, because we all are worshipers of something. The question is what are you worshiping?

Pastor Chris gave us the best message I’ve ever heard about worship and why we worship God a couple of year’s ago. We got to talking about worship in my small group this morning and I brought up this message because it explains why worship is so important and why Satan hates us so much. We took his job as worshiper and he forever hates us because of this.

Check out the message and just examine your life. Do you truly worship God in the way He deserves?

http://www.churchofthehighlands.com/media/message/why-worship-is-important

What Does Worship Pastor John Larson Say About SUCCESSS — congregation of 27,000 and growing

I love my church and the leadership. The example they set makes me want to grow and be better every day in my own walk and ministry.

understandingWORSHIP

If you could get behind the curtain — so to speak — of one of the fastest growing churches in America, what would you see?  What is the key to their success?

 I personally love to study churches, to see what lies behind their success or lack of success.  I have been a worship pastor and very passionate about worship for a couple of decades.  I have led crowds of a few to crowds of thousands.  But in the last couple of years, I have been making a transition from being a ”player” to being a “coach”.  Eventually all of us should, at some level, make this transition.  It’s God’s design. Look at any team:  the coach may not be able to play as well as the players (sports, music, debate — any team), yet the coach is still crucial to the success or failure of the program.  The…

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You are 2 and I am way behind!

Well, baby, you are two now….actually you are past 2. I’m just behind.

Last time we left off, you were about to start ballet. We did that and it was appropriately named. “Mommy and Me” ballet means mommy does everything the teacher does in hopes that “Me” will follow along! Ha Ha! The best was when daddy had to fill in for mommy! If only we had video of that!!
You did really well for the first 30 minutes, the last 15, you were ready to do your own thing! If anything it was just so cute to see you in a leotard and ballet slippers! I just signed you up again, so we’ll see if 4 months makes a difference!

First ballet shoes
First ballet shoes
Getting ready for her first class!
Getting ready for her first class!
Excited!
Excited!
Ribbon Time!
Ribbon Time!

Image - Oct 17, 2013 10.14.24

Miss Hannah giving out stickers!
Miss Hannah giving out stickers!
Stickers for a good job!
Stickers for a good job!


All the holidays came and went quickly including your birthday. It’s so hard to believe you are already T W O! Saying it flies by is an understatement. I feel like it just all happens in a blink of an eye. Like I tell people, the days can seem long sometimes, but the months fly right by.

For your birthday this year, we Yo Gabba Gabba’d it up! I figured since it was such a love for so long, we’d give it one last hurrah! We had a blast and our house was JAM PACKED with people who really love you! I just never can fully grasp how it is that God has blessed us so much with the most loving friends and family. It was awesome, but at the same time I made the decision: No more birthday parties at the house! WHEW, it wears me out!
Never the less, it was your day and all about you, so mommy did whatever she could to make it perfect! Daddy is also a very good licorice cyclops maker! We celebrated early so that it wouldn’t be too close to Christmas. On your actual birthday, we had a night of Taco Casa, Krispy Kreme and driving around looking at Christmas lights with the Phillips Pham! That was a blast….not the lights bc they were lame, but definitely the company. One day I’ll explain to you about U-turns and why I’ll always giggle when I think of them!

Your birthday came and went quickly just like Christmas did. It seems like we anticipate all these things and then like a flash, they have come and gone! This year, Christmas was a bit more magical. I imagine, it will just continue to get more fun as you understand more and more. This year, you loved the Christmas tree. It was so fun just to watch you stand there mesmerized by the lights and all the ornaments. You also loved our lights out front and every time we would go somewhere, you would always talk about the lights. Christmas morning was fun as well. You still didn’t quite understand why there are presents or that they are even called presents, but you had a great time ripping them open and playing with some new stuff! After we opened our gifts, we went to Hily’s and Jeremy’s to see them and Blake and Brooks. KK and Pop came over there as well and we all had breakfast together. Every year, we have the same breakfast. It’s something I always look forward to. Every year during the holiday season, KK and I make Great Grandmother Perren’s Hiram College Sweet Rolls. They are so delicious! So on Christmas morning, we have those along with cheese grits, bacon and egg casserole. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s just something we’ve done since I can remember and I love the tradition of it. One day I will teach you how to make them!

We are in the new year now, actually in the second month of it. Did I mention I was behind?? Usually in January, your daddy and I go to Atlanta to serve at Passion. This year, they had to move the dates and it was a smaller conference so they didn’t need as many volunteers. We didn’t sign up in time so the slots filled up. It actually worked out because daddy had to go on a work trip and I was invited to go along! It was a cruise which we had never been on one….and probably never will again, unless it’s a Disney one because Disney does everything better than everyone else….but any way, we left on a Wednesday and you stayed with KK and Pop. I was able to talk to them and you until Thursday evening when we shipped out. Once we were at sea, our phones were roaming so we had to turn them off. From Thursday – Monday morning, I had no contact with you. That was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done!! That could be why I didn’t enjoy the cruise as much because all I thought about was if you were okay. Of course, I worried for nothing, but I just couldn’t help it! I missed my baby!! It’s funny to me because there are so many days I think about how much I could use a break and then as soon as I get one, I can’t take it! I have a problem, I am addicted to you! HAHA! Admitting that is the first step, right?

Well here we are in February, oh yeah, last week we had Snowpocalypse. The south got a sudden, freak snow storm that pretty much paralyzed us. Daddy was in Las Vegas for work and couldn’t get home because of it. People had to abandon their cars and walk places, babies were born in cars, Chick-fil-a was getting passed out on the streets….it was nutso! Meanwhile, you and I hung out at home and I decided I would try to potty train you. Dear Lord help me! It’s still a work in progress, but we’ll get there, I hope!

So we are updated on life. I always try to include something I’m thinking about for you spiritually and right now I’m leading a small group about praying for our children. I started it based on a book by Mark Batterson called, Praying Circles Around Your Children. The book is great and I’m hoping that what I’ve already been doing plus what the book talks about will help me in raising you. I may no longer work in a traditional job, but I do have a job and that’s to raise you in a way that glorifies God. I see so much favor on you and I know your little heart is already being prepared for mighty things, little girl. The Lord has HUGE plans for you and all I want to do is prepare the way. I believe in prayer, that’s why I’m on the prayer team at church and the small group Prayer Hub leader. I believe it has the power to change anything and everything. I believe that to be a successful parent, you have to be a praying parent. Ashley Kathryn Jernigan, you are covered, my love. You were prayed for long before you were even formed in my womb. I know your Grandparents prayed for you long before I even became pregnant. You come from a legacy of prayer and I believe that because of that, you will lead a life that honors and pleases God. That’s all that matters to me. It’s not about what you look like, what you wear, where you go to school, what neighborhood we live in, what car you drive etc. If it’s all about that, then it’s worthless.

1 Peter 3:-4 says: Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

That’s what it’s all about little girl. A gentle and quiet spirit that is SO precious to God. I love you and pray for you constantly.

Things to Remember:

Bes Best – breakfast – you love breakfast. Oatmeal, waffles, or a breakfast bar and fruit, TONS of fruit

Tickle Tickle – you love to come after us and say “Tickle Tickle” you don’t even touch us, but if we react in a way like we are being tickled you just laugh so hard

Jessie – You love the show Jessie on Disney which is about  5 years ahead of your time. You sing the theme song and it cracks us up! Hey Jessie! It feels like a party every day….

You also spent some time being OBSESSED with Vanna Banana on Veggie Tales. You have memorized the entire movie.

If you don’t like that something has happened, you’ll say HEY!!! – You crack your KK up with that one.

When we are leaving somewhere and you are saying goodbye, you’ll say BYE Y’ALL in the most southern of southern accents.

You love going to the gym and playing. You also love church.

Meemos are still the favorite food at this time.

You love to hug mommy and daddy. When I get you up in the mornings we first have a big hug. Whenever I am drying you off after a bath or changing your clothes on your changing table, you motion me to come close so that you can hug and snuggle me. The best part is the little pats you give to my back. They are so tender, it’s just the sweetest thing ever.

You are so smart it just amazes us. The things you know and say and remember just show how much potential you have. You are even going on your 10th day of wearing panties all day! Potty training was something that scared me, but you have been doing so well with it!

Here are some pictures from your birthday party and Christmas:

Yo Gabba Gabba Snacks
Yo Gabba Gabba Snacks
Balloons!
Balloons!

Ashley is 2

CAKE! Delicious strawberry cake made by Chris Harris
CAKE! Delicious strawberry cake made by Chris Harris

Ashley is 2Ashley is 2

Details
Details
Photo Booth Fun!
Photo Booth Fun!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Muno Straws
Muno Straws
Muno Straws
Muno Straws
Foofa's Fruity Punch
Foofa’s Fruity Punch
It's my birthday!
It’s my birthday!

Ashley is 2

So excited to see all her guests arrive!
So excited to see all her guests arrive!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Baby Luke!
Baby Luke!
Party People!
Party People!

Ashley is 2

Presents!
Presents!
Hey Sarah!
Hey Sarah!

DSC_0068Ashley is 2

Singing Happy Birthday
Singing Happy Birthday
Make a Wish!
Make a Wish!
Your daddy is crazy!
Your daddy is crazy!
Rare unicorn sighting
Rare unicorn sighting
The future Meadows and Kristen Bowers
The future Meadows and Kristen BowersAshley is 2

MMMMM CAKE!!
MMMMM CAKE!!
The messier the better!
The messier the better!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Giving Pop some love!
Giving Pop some love!
Jaquita!
Jaquita!
Love my girl!
Love my girl!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

The men-folk
The men-folk
Kerra Jane!
Kerra Jane!
KK, Hily and Parker!
KK, Hily and Parker!
Chloe and Ash
Chloe and Ash
Pop and Parker
Pop and Parker
Chow time!
Chow time!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Emma Grace!
Emma Grace!

Photo Booth Time!

Ashley is 2

BR is a Good Sport!
BR is a Good Sport!

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Pop and KK
Pop and KK
Hey look! It's DJ SEAN!
Hey look! It’s DJ SEAN!
The Perren boys!
The Perren boys!
The Smith Fam
The Smith Fam
Love you two!
Love you two!
Photo Booth!
Photo Booth!
The REAL Foofa
The REAL Foofa
The Hudgins nuts, I mean family!
The Hudgins nuts, I mean family!
All the cousins at Ashley's party!
All the cousins at Ashley’s party!
Loving her new kitchen
Loving her new kitchen
Birthday present from mom and dad!
Birthday present from mom and dad!
Post party cousin time!
Post party cousin time!

CHRISTMAS

Christmas Morning
Christmas Morning
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

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KK & Ashley opening presents!
KK & Ashley opening presents!

Christmas

What is it??
What is it??
I think she loved the couch from Aunt Hily and the Smith boys!
I think she loved the couch from Aunt Hily and the Smith boys!