Hello Log Cabin Lovers!

Welcome to Skokie Central United Methodist Church’s Log Blog.

This is a written journal of the progress throughout the renovation of our beloved historic Log Cabin.

Click on the links above to find out more about this environmentally friendly project and to read about our Log Cabin’s history.

Visit Central United Methodist Church for information about our service schedules, activities and find out how to locate us. Visitor’s are always welcome.

Central United Methodist Church is a diverse Christian community, keeping God central in hearts, minds and lives, through welcome and worship, support and service.”

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Central’s 3rd Annual Holiday Extravaganza in the renovated Log Cabin on Dec 10, 2011

Everything's Ready for Santa

Everything's Ready for Santa

Hello Log Cabin friends!   If you haven’t had a chance to see our renovated Log Cabin, now’s your chance.  Nothing more beautiful than the Log Cabin at Christmastime.  This Saturday, December 10th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is Central’s 3rd Annual Holiday Extravaganza.  This includes:

*  Our hugely popular “Santa in the Cabin” event (FREE for the kiddos!). 

*  A wonderful Craft and Vendor Fair with more vendors than ever

*  Lunch in our newly renovation Log Cabin Great Room prepared by our very own Church Lady Catering (menu items: chili, hot dogs, pulled pork and spaghetti.  Lots of choices – even for picky little ones!)

*  Bake Sale.  Why do all that pesky baking yourself? 

Kids FREE; Adults $2

Thanks for your continued interest in our beautiful Log Cabin!  We’re starting to plan for the next Phase of our renovation work, which will include making the Cabin accessible.  Yay! 

 

Shameless plug here…if you’re not busy in the evening, my husband Jamie and I will be singing with Park Ridge Chorale in “Rejoice and Be Merry”

 

The show will feature several gorgeous selections by John Rutter with full brass accompaniment including “Gloria”, “Rejoice and Be Merry”, “Candlelight Carol” and “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”.  For Chicago locals, “Suzy Snowflake” and “Hardrock, Coco and Jo” may bring back some memories.  I have the privilege of singing the solo on the exciting “Judah and His Maccabees: A Hanukkah Gospel Story” composed by our friend Karen Hart.  Jamie and I will also be joined by Zach Clark and Kyle Cartwright for a rousing rendition of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”.  Something for everyone, indeed!

 

Saturday, December 10th, 7 p.m.  

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

205 North Prospect Ave

Park Ridge 60068

 

Advance Tickets are $14 (adults), $12 (seniors), Children under 18 are free!  For advance tickets, call  Patti (847) 825-2216 or Penny (847) 823-3958.  You can also call me at (312) 315–5724.  Thanks!  Julianne

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The Log Cabin has been bustling post-renovation!

The Log Cabin has been bustling post-renovation! 

Wow…so much has been going on.  I thought, somehow, life would slow down ever-so-slightly after Phase One of the Log Cabin Renovation was complete.  Ah well…it’s all good!  And the Log Cabin has also been busy since it’s renovation! 

Scroll to the bottom to see a slide show of pictures from some of the events mentioned.

 Central hosted it’s 2nd Annual Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday, December 4th, 2010.  In spite of snowy weather, we had many visitors! 

  • Santa in the Cabin – Something about a low-pressure visit with Santa – in a cozy, historic cabin is bringing people back as a yearly tradition!
  • Holiday Crafts – Young and old alike enjoyed making the cute holiday items in Parlor A. 
  • Craft and Vendor Sale – Direct-Sale Vendors and Crafters had a variety of unique and beautiful items for sale.  Even Central Church got in on the action selling ornaments, cabin cookies, cabin cookie cutters, even original log slices!
  • Lunch in the Cabin Café – What could be better than sitting in the newly renovated Great Room by the roaring fire with a yummy bowl of homemade chili and a delicious hot dog (thanks Harriet and AmyLu!)?  Didn’t hurt that gorgeous snowflakes were falling and neighborhood kids were building a snowman right outside.  One man commented that it was a true Norman Rockwell moment! 
  • Bake Sale – Central’s Bakers prepared holiday treats galore. The Tiffin family supplied the most delicious homemade breads ever!  

Second City Brass graced us once again – on Sunday, December 12th – with beautiful, inspired music of the season.  What an amazing concert and a lovely reception in the log cabin.  Thanks, as always, to Carla Johnson for all the hard work and delicious food! 

Central Suppers – this is a small group ministry within Central Church.  Every few months, the Central Suppers groups change with the goal being to have several dinners and fellowship with a small group of people, so that you get to know each other better.  Jamie and I are in this group and thought it would be fun to have our December gathering in the cabin. 

New Year’s Eve Celebration – A wonderful family came to us through the Park Ridge Chorale (where Jamie and I sing).  During a concert, they “won” a raffle for a one-time free usage of the Log Cabin.  They asked if they could use the Great Room on New Year’s Eve.  It was open, so we said “why not?”!   This was one of the ways we publicized the availability and renovation of the Log Cabin.  (If you have any other ideas, let us know!)

Eagle Scout Ceremony and Dinner – Central Church is proud of the long-term relationship with Boy Scout Troop 72.  It was a tight fit, but this particular Eagle Scout insisted that his ceremony (with over 100 guests) was in the Log Cabin.  Congrats Eric W! 

Anatoli Torchinskiy Piano Concert – On Friday, January 21st, this gifted pianist gave Central’s Grand Piano a work-out.  What a talent!  A winter-themed reception in the cabin was another huge success. 

The United Methodist Planters – fledgling UM churches and ministry – held their celebratory luncheon (for 75!) in the Cabin on February 12th.  Many Chicago-area pastors and leaders were in attendance, including our beloved District Superintendent (James Preston) and our Bishop!  Once again, Carla Johnson provided a wonderful meal.  The church ladies greeted and served and cleaned up with smiles! 

And then a mere two hours later, Carla and crew had re-set the Cabin for its annual Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance!  Organized by Kathy Shine and Patti Downes, this event had about 40 people (couples and singles alike!) who enjoyed a catered meal in the Great Room.  After dinner, the tables shifted and the dancing began! 

The following weekend, on February 20th, Cub Scout Pack 173 (our Ben and Matthew and Sean Carey are all in Pack 173) had its Blue and Gold Banquet in Central’s Fellowship Hall.  The entertainment for the night was a juggler!  And where better for a juggler to perform than in the very high-ceilinged Great Room?!  Since it was billed as “interactive”, I was almost afraid to mention it to Carla – for fear she kill me – but it went off without a hitch and with nothing broken.  Even with 30+ kids “juggling” at times!  

On March 5th, Central hosted its Spaghetti Dinner in Fellowship Hall.  What a delicious meal and huge success for Central.  This event was attended by so many friendly neighbors and friends and we gave lots of tours through the Log Cabin.  Many folks hadn’t seen the cabin since it’s “make-over” and were very surprised! 

On March 12th, the Log Cabin hosted a wonderful 50th Anniversary Celebration for a neighborhood family.  These folks expected over 100 people to attend during their open house event at the Cabin.  They had musicians entertaining from the loft area which was just beautiful! 

On March 22nd, the lucky recipient of “Dinner For Ten in the Cabin” at the Taste of Skokie Valley last summer, held his birthday dinner in the Cabin!  We’re planning to offer this “prize” again, as we want to support the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and Skokie Valley Rotary for this year’s event. 

The weekend of March 26th found Central’s Youth Group “locked-in” the Cabin.  No details have yet emerged from that overnight event, but rumor has it they had a good time! 

Central’s very own Tiffin family hosted an engagement party on March 26th for their daughter Guinevere.  The Cabin looked so sweet with pictures of the couple as youngsters! 

**************

Crazy busy, right????  None of these events would have worked without the tireless work of Carla Johnson – who coordinates with people to find out what set-up they want in the Cabin and how to make each event just perfect.  Carla has been committed (and probably at this point would like to BE committed!) to the Log Cabin project from the beginning – donating her valuable time and expertise, in addition to very generous donations.  Central Church is so grateful for her service! 

COME SEE US! 

If you have missed out on any of these opportunities to check out the newly-renovated Cabin, don’t worry!  There are many chances coming up to see Central Church and the Log Cabin in action!

Friday and Saturday, April 1st and 2ndRummage Sale (all day Friday, Saturday until noon)

Saturday, April 9thPancake Breakfast – hosted by Boy Scout Troop 72

Easter Festivities – all are welcome!

  • Maundy Thursday Service – 4/21, 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary
  • Good Friday – Stations of the Cross – 4/22, outside, beginning at 6 p.m.
  • Easter Sunday – Kids Choir – 9:30 in the Log Cabin
  • Easter Sunday – Easter Egg Hunt – 10 a.m. Log Cabin
  • Easter Worship – 4/24, 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 30th – Central’s Spring Fling 2011 – All Day!

  • Crafters will be on hand just in time for Mother’s Day
  • Lunch in the Cabin
  • Springtime crafts for kids
  • Maybe another Bake Sale?
  • Plants for sale – as we’ll be approaching the time to plant for Spring – yay! 

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2010.11.24 We Are Thankful! Phase I+ Is Complete

Talk about Gratitude!  And what a day of Thanksgiving.  Central Church folks got to see the Log Cabin for the first time since its doors closed in April for the renovation.  In addition to the planned necessary upgrades – roof, log work, first floor electrical work and new windows and doors – we were able to pull off quite a make-over on the inside too! 

Everyone worked so hard to get the cabin ready.  It was quite a team effort and I’m very thankful for the dedication of our members.

Thanking the Crew

Thanking the Crew

Here are some “after” pictures and shots from our Log Cabin Celebration on November 21st.  During worship, we thanked the crew.  JR Graves (General Contractor), James Graves (Electrician), Bryon Perona (Specialty Contractor), Ann Clark (Architect) and Chris Neilsen (Chinker).  Only Rick Bott (Log Consultant) from our Renovation Dream Team wasn’t able to make the service. 

As I said in church on Sunday, without exception, these folks have wanted this project to be a success, wanted it to come in on budget and helped us solve every problem.  I feel honored to have worked so closely with them.  Every one got a gift bag with tokens of our appreciation – and so they’ll not soon forget us…Log Cabin notecards, Log Cabin ornament, Cabin cookies, even a cabin cookie cutter.  In addition, everyone got an original butt-end log.  On the cut end in the shape of a cross, it says SkokieCentralChurch LogCabin.  “With grateful hearts, we thank you.  November 21, 2010.”   With a picture of the newly renovated cabin front. 

I appreciate all the thanks on Sunday – not to mention the beautiful goodie basket and flowers!  But as I’ve said before, I didn’t do this myself.  We all did this – TOGETHER.  Central Church – and all the people who have supported the project financially, with prayers, or with sweat and hard work – deserve a big thank you.  THANK YOU!

Mayor Van Dusen speaks in the cabin

Mayor Van Dusen speaks in the cabin

Once we were in the cabin for fellowship and food (and what a spread Carla Johnson puts on – wow!), we gathered around the beautiful fireplace.  Pastor David, Pastor Yun (of Jesus-Love UMC) and Mayor Van Dusen all said a few words about the project and this great accomplishment.  Then we all said a prayer to re-dedicate the Log Cabin. 

We still have work to do – mostly to make the cabin accessible to all and to make it fully functional.  Here are the projects on the horizon:

·       Accessible Entrance from James Drive

·       Accessible connection between Church and Log Cabin

·       Remodeled and functional 2nd floor

·       Additional restroom (accessible) in former UMW closet

·       Updated Heating System and addition of Air Conditioning

·       Newly-designed Sunroom and Outdoor Patio

·       Memory/Honorarium Sidewalk

·       New kitchen – including floor replacement

·       Revamped storage areas

But for today…and maybe even a few weeks ??!, we’re going to sit back, relax and enjoy the work we’ve done.  We have so much to be thankful for!  

Did you all see the Pioneer Press article about the Cabin Renovation? 

Click on the link for the full story : http://www.pioneerlocal.com/skokie/news/2914390,skokie-logcabin-112510-s1.article

 I should also mention two UPCOMING EVENTS

1)  We are having our 2nd annual Craft and Vendor Sale AND our popular Santa in the Cabin event on Saturday, December 4th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Admission: $2.   Come on by!

2)  Second City Brass is performing in this year’s Christmas Concert for the Cabin on December 12th at 4 p.m.  What a wonderful way to kick your season into gear, as this group is so energetic and talented.  Suggested donation: $10/person. 

I also GoodSearch & GoodShop for Central United Methodist Church-Skokie. The money we raise will go to the building fund and the Log Cabin renovation. You can help us by searching or shopping the Internet with GoodSearch.com

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Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  -Julianne

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2010.November – Log Staining, Chinking, Window Installation, and Major Cleaning!

Hello Log Cabin Fans! 

November, 2010 – Much, much to report! Check out the pics of all hard at work and scroll down to read about what’s been happening.

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LOG STAINING AND CHINKING:  I was telling Kathy Shine, our Log Blog Master, that I don’t often break into a big “thank you, Jesus!”  But it seems He was looking down on us for this.  That dark stain was definitely not right.  And it was taking several weeks for new stain samples to arrive. 

In the meantime, Bryon was trying to find a new chinker.  The guy we originally

booked had some health problems and couldn’t do the job after all.   One day, I saw a big guy in a dirty truck pull up to the cabin.  He started talking to Skip, so I went over and introduced myself.  This was, indeed, a chinker coming to look at and bid on the job.  I mentioned the WR-5 stain.  He strongly recommended that we not use WR-5 since it is an oil-based product…which the chinking does not seal to very well.  (Insert sound of brakes squealing to a halt!) 

Long story, we changed our plan.  Now this guy (Chris Neilsen, who, for a time we were calling Chris Kringle…) is busily staining and chinking the log cabin.  It looks amazing.  We picked a rich brown.  Several folks have commented that now the log cabin actually looks like Lincoln Logs! 

WINDOWS ARE ALL IN:  We actually switched gears here too and installed the windows before the stain was applied.  Chinker Chris indicated this would be better.  Plus I was somewhat freaking out that nothing was happening for about a week!  This allowed us some time, too, to get the interior of all the windows (and doors) stained.  We won’t tackle the varnish project until after the holidays, but they look great already! 

CLEAN-UP, CLEAN-UP:  I’ve been practically begging church folks to help me clean the cabin.   It is just so filthy inside from months of work and it basically being  open – roof, windows, lots of peep-holes through logs. 

Bryon Perona and his crew are winding down a bit, with just a few more things to complete (the front porch, installation of the faux rafter tails and rakes). 

They also have to install the front door.  All the door hardware should arrive this week – so that we can lock (with a key, not a padlock) the front door. 

Now JR Graves team is coming in to, quite literally, bat clean-up!  The interior of the building has been re-chinked (thanks Richard!), closed up, and the

clean-up has begun!   Walter applied a clear, sealant coat to all new, exposed wood ceilings.  Of course, before he did that, he had to crawl around the ceiling and log beams to get all the dust and dirt off.  That was fun for him…not.  But it now looks amazing! 

I got the crazy idea to pull up the old carpet and tiles in Parlor A and Parlor C.  This was tough work – and thank goodness for strong volunteers who helped pull this off!  Even with no work at all, the old wood floors looked better than the dirty, taped-together recycled carpet and carpet squares (all of which were fine when they were installed…but they just got so trashed during this process!)  JR volunteered to bring in his floor buffer.  He did a once-over both floors to smooth them down a bit.  Then applied a clear coat to seal.  With the beautiful, new rugs we’ll put in both of these rooms, this was just what we needed! 

We have struggled through the renovation planning process with the ugly, old fiber-board Dining Room ceiling.  At the start, there was nothing really wrong with it, so we decided to leave it in place.  But it got very stained and dirty and moldy from water damage.  Not good.  JR and I saw there were wood planks above the fiber-board – so we just decided to pull it all down.  Another really messy, not-so-fun job.  But thank you to the Central Church guys who were willing to do it.   To keep the Dining Room looking similar to it original state, we simply painted the wood planks white – keeping the ceiling a bit higher and bright.  Volunteers from Jesus-Love UMC – the Korean congregation who shares our church buildings – have adopted the Dining Room.  They were busy cleaning walls and painting that ceiling last weekend.  They’ll be at it again this Saturday!  Thank goodness for ladders (lots of them) and drop-cloths! 

Now, while JR team tackles a couple other projects in the cabin – and James and Caesar try to finish up the electrical work in the Great Room, we just continue to clean.  Logs, chinking, floors – everything!  Look at all the pics of people helping.  It has been amazing. Our Open House probably won’t take place until after the New Year!  We’ll be sure to let everyone know. 

Thanks for your continued interest in our Log Cabin – and our almost completed Phase One Renovation! 

For those of you who have been following along on our Log Blog and are anxious to see for yourself all the improvements we’ve made in Phase One of the Log Cabin Renovation….come visit us on Saturday, December 4th when we hold our 2nd Annual Craft and Vendor Fair along with our popular Santa in the Cabin event.

The Log Cabin is located on James Drive (between Oakton St. and Main Street), just east of Kenton Ave. in Skokie, Illinois.

-Julianne Arvizu

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2010.October – Exterior Log Work, Windows & Doors; Interior Electrical Work

Hi all!  Wow….it has been another busy few weeks with lots to report! 

LOG WORK

From all accounts, it seems we fared better than originally planned in terms of necessary log replacement.  Only a handful of spots required FULL log replacement.  Half-logs were used in most places.  And in most cases, Bryon was able to re-use logs from our own cabin.  We liked this from a “green” perspective and also for color-consistency. 

All the dormers do have new face-logs.  We had a little hiccup with this work, as the guys originally put the face-logs on the front dormers on vertically.  They were trying to match the two gables on the front of the cabin, so I understand why they did it.  But our goal has always been to put the cabin back together like it used to be. 

I printed out a picture of the old dormers…and the guys had to re-do the front dormers…with the horizontal logs on top. 

LOG TREATMENT AND STAIN

The crew is done spraying the logs with the Penetreat – a solution that protects the logs from rot and bugs, etc.  The next step is the spray stain.  Early on, our committee agreed on a stain color.  In the WR-5 (also a log protectant), we only had a few choices and we all agreed the darker color would work best – in trying to blend old and new logs.  I was on site last week when Bryon started the spray-staining process.  OMGoodness!  Way too dark!  We stopped immediately and he’s going to get two more samples for us to see.   Luckily this part of the cabin is very hidden – and will eventually be covered up – when we do the lift between the cabin and church building.  We may also add a storage room here that would completely cover this “sample” wall.  Oh well! 

Dark stain sample

Dark stain sample

WINDOWS AND DOORS

We want to finish the log staining before we install the windows.  But Bryon decided that – to keep moving forward – the crew could install the doors (which can be more easily covered and protected during the staining process).  With the exception of the front door, all the doors are in!  Very exciting!  We will have to stain the inside of all the doors.  We also still need knobs, locks, etc.

Kenny, Adam and Skip work on door prep

Kenny, Adam and Skip work on door prepNew doors to the Great Room

ELECTRICAL

First, let me say we have the best electrical team ever.  James Graves and his right-hand man, Caesar, have been working so hard and doing a beautiful job getting us all wired and ready to go.  But eek!  Talk about domino effect!  This

Phase One of the renovation was to include minimal electrical work – basically

re-doing the Great Room and loft areas and moving the service.  Then with all the water damage, we decided to take the ceiling (and light) down in the hallway so that all the common spaces would be done – clean and safe, etc.  Well…that move hooked us into all the wiring for the first floor Parlor Rooms.  Since we can’t safely tie back into the old system, it is forcing us to complete the wiring for the entire first floor.  This would have been done eventually – and now won’t have to be done in the next phase – but….it wasn’t in our budget for Phase One.  Needless to say, we will be doing some extra fundraising to cover these added (but necessary) costs.  If you can make a donation with this in mind, we would be ever so grateful! 

 More to come…on some fun stuff!  I’ll show you our lighting fixtures – some old (and refurbished!) and some new (thanks to Carla Johnson!)  And some more details on our “spiff up the cabin” effort, which is now in full-swing! 

Just in time for Halloween - our latest critter find - a dead bat

Just in time for Halloween - our latest critter find - a dead bat

Thanks for your continued interest in our wonderful Log Cabin.  You’ll all be invited to our Grand Re-Opening Celebration in November.  I’ll post the date as soon as it is 100% finalized.   -Julianne

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2010.09.07 Log Work Begins

Hello All! 

Wow…can’t believe it has been a month since I posted an update.  Sorry!  Lots, LOTS has been happening at the cabin (not to mention my mom and one of my best friends and her 2 daughters moving up here from Springfield!). 

Biggest Log Cabin news:  THE ROOF IS DONE!!!  

DETAILS, DETAILS!  Ann, Bryon and I met recently to specify where each of the (faux) rafter tails and rakes will go – and how they will be detailed.  We also talked about what to do when the crew is removing or repairing the butt-ends (that’s real log terminology!) on all the cabin corners.  Should they be cut flush and neat – or remain random?  I really felt like we should honor the original design.  I could just imagine the workers back in the 20s laying the logs with no concern about whether all the ends were straight and pretty!  Ann agreed, which I always love.  Fun stuff. 

LOG WORK – Bryon’s crew has already power-washed all the logs.  Just cleaning them up makes the logs look rejuvenated!  The only ones that were a bit problematic were the logs that had been  originally inside the sunroom and back entry.  They were dark with brown  paint or stain, so the guys had to work harder to get the logs clean.   They’re still not perfect, but it will be fine. 

The guys also painstakingly removed all the old black caulking that was in between each log and chinking. 

Bryon also reviewed every log again to determine which ones need to be repaired or replaced.  They’ve replaced several full logs (which is very scary looking!) and have done quite a few repairs – where they removed the damaged wood and fit a half-log into place.  As soon as the log work is done, they will apply the Penetreat and WR-5 (with stain).  Then comes the installation of the windows and doors.  Each opening will surely be a project in itself – but they will make such a difference (and I can’t wait to get them all out of the dining room of the cabin!)  Last thing will be chinking – which probably won’t happen for a while – depending on chinker availability and timing! 

We’re starting to look forward to when this phase of the project is complete. 

My biggest nightmare is that people will walk into the cabin after we’re “done” and see the inside – with damaged, water-stained ceilings and all our old, shabby stuff and think “this is it – it’s done?”  So we’re coming up with a strategy to decorate and furnish the cabin – with the save-able old stuff and some donations.  New fabric and upholstery, a little elbow grease on some of the wood pieces, and lots of TLC will make the cabin feel warm and cozy and comfortable.  We’ll call it, um, “Adopt-A-Chair” and if you’d like to donate to the cause, let me know! 

More later…and I promise I won’t wait another month next time!   Thanks for the continued interest in our Log Cabin and support of the project.  As we did at Skokie’s Backlot Bash last weekend, we are “Building Community: One Log at a Time”.  Thank you!   -Julianne

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2010.08.06 Roof Update – Foaming is Finished

Hey Log Cabin lovers,  

Here’s a quick roof update.  We’ve been anxiously awaiting the Foam Guys – since the foam makes the roof almost completely waterproof.  We’ve gotten way too much water into the Great Room!  Ugh!   So the foam crew was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week and already had another job booked on Friday.   Wednesday morning thunderstorms made it impossible for them to work on Wednesday (they can’t apply the foam to a wet surface).  The weather was perfect on Thursday, but it was doubtful they could finish in one day.  Bryon and I were dreading another wet weekend and next week’s forecast of thunderstorms everyday.  I was not too proud to beg…and they promised to try their best.  Late in the afternoon on Thursday, they were still working on the west side of the Great Room.  Bottomline – they powered through and finished!  Yay!  So today (Friday), Bryon’s team was able to get most of the plywood sheeting over the foam.  This roof should be done next week!  Thought it would never happen!  Keep your fingers crossed! 

Have a great weekend!   More fun details next week!  -Julianne

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