yvonnedowns Adoption Day! How we love you Stephen Kabi Downs & John Mpandu Down! Woohoo! 3w
  •   whitneyanddaniel Congrats 🏼 3w
  •   wanderingwithmary Yay!!!! Congratulations beautiful family!!! Wish we could be there to celebrate with you all! 3w
  •   pvmal This is perfect! 3w
  •   susie.whitten Yay! Be there soon to celebrate! God is SO faithful and good! 3w
  •   betzb4 Congrats!!! Who ever styled those boys has got good taste @nina_baker_ 🏻 3w
  •   jenjohanson Congratulations!!! May Jesus continue to be glorified through your beautiful family 3w
  •   sarahkaterobey Congrats! I got to see a lot of the youth who I work with in foster care get adopted today too! I just cried the whole time. Welcome to your forever family boys! 3w

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yvonnedowns JuJu and I heading to Texas on a ride, chasing after her horse ranching dream.

My youngest daughter. How I love her. How I long for the Lord to heal her whole person. If it wasn't for her pain and suffering she wouldn't have known she had a passion for horses.

May she give Jesus to others with exactly how God created her and gifted her in the Body through her love for these majestic creatures.

I already miss her and we are sitting side by side on the plane.
  •   wanderingwithmary That's so amazing!! Have so much fun! 2mon
  •   tinaperry31 Beautiful ladies :) 2mon
  •   michellelalonzo I'm sure you get this a lot, but, the two of you look more like sisters than mother and daughter. Also, the best part about being a parent is watching God work out His marvelous plan in our children's lives. It is such an honor and a privilege to raise up godly children. Blessings! 2mon
  •   bry_cheeese Enjoy your mommy daughter adventure!:) ...don't forget to give out @nina_baker_ number to them cowboys;) 2mon
  •   kdemanby Beautiful ladies. 2mon
  •   betzb4 Love. And yes @bry_cheeese do give out @nina_baker_ number!!! 2mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Eyes are the window to the heart...both of your eyes shine happy! 2mon

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yvonnedowns Kylen Jabez Downs. 21 years old! This picture depicts you! Play, outdoors, with people you love. You are a joy to me! I love exactly how God created you in His image, so that you can give Him to people in a way that is unique to only you! What a privilege to watch your journey as you served during the Rough Fire near Hume, seeing before my eyes, your faith in Jesus deepen and a longing for more of Him. May your love for Jesus grow more and more each day. You are a gift to @ffdowns and me. @kylen.downs I thank God for you. 2mon

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yvonnedowns All the kids under one roof at home.

All 7 of us gathered together with our local Body to know Jesus more.

Cherished moments. Adult kids plus littles in one place happens only a few times a year.

Sweet gifts from the LORD. My mama heart is full. @ffdowns
We are blessed.

#ashlynandzanderbroandsis #kyturns21 #firsttimeinforever #celebratelife #celebratefamily

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yvonnedowns It was at this very place 25 years ago at Lake Retreat Camp in Ravensdale, WA, our story together began.

I called him Goose. He called me Frisco. He was 17. I, 15.

We shared the Gospel with kids, longing for their hearts to turn to Jesus, not realizing the full reality of New Covenant ourselves.

We walked a broken road. Ashamed. Confused.

Redemption met us in the person of Jesus Christ once again. Forgiven. His mercy flowed in ways I had never known.

Healing followed and along with it restoration. Grace. Beauty from pain, giving me a deep hunger for the LORD.

The cry of my heart, Jesus, I just want to know You!

Today, with our youngest sons, we stepped foot on this "beginning" ground where mere teenagers began a journey a quarter of a century ago.

Holy Ground. Sanctifying ground. Life changing ground.

One day we will get to tell them the whole story of God's matchless love of their Daddy and Momma.

My Gilgal.

God Most High has brought us full circle with something I thought was already complete. Glory.

If I had more than a few moments this day, I would have found the cement slab on the lakeshore where I sat that starry night, with the weight of reproach on my shoulders and sat with Jesus and wept with utter gratitude for His kindness, goodness. So undeserved.

Goose, I love you more than I can express. You are the man of my dreams.
  •   mrsnicoletto 🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼🏼 3mon
  •   themodernmanor So beautiful. 3mon
  •   tinaperry31 Beautiful :) 3mon
  •   pvmal What a gift you've just shared with us by recounting your story of grace! Thank you lovely! It's a better day because of that! 3mon
  •   traciindlecoffer I love you my friend! What a happy anniversary day!!! 3mon
  •   goletagrammy I just love your story, Yvonne! AND what a very sweet picture of you two! You ARE a blessed couple... 3mon
  •   jeffholt 2mon
  •   kellyvia Love! 1w

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yvonnedowns John Mpandu Downs, our youngest gift from God, turned 11 today!

What joy it is to celebrate his life, the first birthday he has ever had! In December John learned how old he was and that he would get his very first cake in September. This day was filled with much anticipation.

Me: John, what would you like to do for your birthday?

John: Can I have a peanut butter cake and papaya?

M: Absolutely

J: Can we swim and ride our scooter as a family? (Due to our "re evacuation" from Hume, no scooter today, since it's still on the hill.) M: Sure! Anything else?

J: Can we read the Bible as a family?

M: A million times yes (I could have jumped up and squeezed him and been a little dramatic, but concealed my internal screaming in delight, so as not to freak him out too much. Lord, my longing is that we listen to You as a family through Your Word. What a precious gift to me.) So as we spontaneously travel to Washington for the boys to meet and spend time with family, let me tell you, we will read God's Word together and soak up the Creator, the One who created John in His image for His glory!

I learn much from our newest Downs boys...that PEOPLE MATTER..so very much! Their greatest delight is to share in life WITH others, the normal daily things and significant moments.

I am filled with gratitude to Jesus Christ that He allowed people John loves deeply to come have peanut butter cake together, even with multiple changes of location and time due to the Hume fire and smoke. Savoring His goodness.

#prayforhume #downsfamilyadventures
  •   littlejaspers Happy Birthday John! Will be see you? 3mon
  •   anaprilday Happy birthday John!! 3mon
  •   aimj05 Happy happy birthday John! So blessed to have him yesterday! Praying his hunger for God's word continues to be contagious🏻 praying for your trip also! 3mon
  •   tinaperry31 Happy Birthday John! 3mon
  •   russianbymarriage what a precious gift! Happy birthday to your sweet boy!! 3mon
  •   nina_baker_ Did you just start your own hashtag?! So proud 3mon
  •   yvonnedowns @littlejaspers we are figuring out details but we are planning on seeing you somehow some way! Love you! 3mon
  •   yvonnedowns @nina_baker_ you can use it too. Special privileges. ;) 3mon

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yvonnedowns First day of school in America for these two precious boys!

Due to the Rough Fire and Hume evacuation they are beginning one week past the original start date. We are filled with gratitude for their teachers who will spend nine months investing in their whole person.

Stephen and John have been anticipating going to school since we became family in Uganda. They look at education as a huge gift because so many don't get this opportunity in their country.

As John put his hand over his heart to hear the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America, my eyes pooled, savoring the "firsts" we get to witness with these sons we never in our wildest dreams could have imagined. O the kindness of the LORD.

#prayforhume on this smoke filled morning and let's glory in the goodness of Jesus.
  •   anaprilday Love those two, love you!! 3mon
  •   kaycerv Oh I am tearing up, this is so beautiful. What joy! I hope they love their first day of school today! 3mon
  •   mamabenson Firstly, they absolutely BEAM with joy. Secondly, This is so beautiful and so precious it makes me cry! 3mon
  •   wanderingwithmary This is so incredible!! I am so excited for them!! 3mon
  •   nina_baker_ Those faces What a gift! 3mon
  •   susie.whitten Oh, thank you for sharing! My eyes pooled as I read this and my heart is full of joy! To God be great glory! 3mon
  •   jessie_bird37 🏼Praying for them and your whole family (ESPECIALLY with the fire @ Hume in which I say #prayforhume!)🏼 3mon

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yvonnedowns We are back at our Hume home! Tears filled my eyes as I drove down Ten Mile Road and witnessed God's mighty hand of protection of a place we love deeply, because it is here where thousands of people a year hear who Jesus is and many make decisions to follow Him with their whole lives! In awe of Jesus Christ!

Please continue to #prayforhume and the surrounding areas. Helicopters and planes have been working to put out an active fire near Hwy 180 and the Hume Road since we arrived.

Stephen, taking in this awesome sight!
  •   lyndikay Aw I wish I could have stopped to talk when I drove by the other day! Have an amazing time away 3mon
  •   littlejaspers Glad you are home at Hume. Continually praying for all the fires. 3mon
  •   michellelalonzo His mercies are new every morning. Praising God with you! 3mon
  •   jenjohanson Hi girl, praying for you guys and this amazing place we all love so much! May Jesus fill you all to overflowing as you shine Him!!! 3mon

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yvonnedowns @kylen.downs has had the privilege to remain at Hume Lake throughout the fire and witness the Lord of All at work in mighty ways, first hand. We have asked God to manifest Himself, to show us His glory. He has in more ways that I can possibly know! Savor a taste of His goodness with me... This morning as I opened Facebook and saw the picture and words Ky had posted, my heart burst in adoration of Jesus:

This morning the stillness of the camp is surreal. The number of firefighters on property is slowly decreasing in order to continue fighting the fire on other flanks. It's amazing to think about what God has done in almost a full week. I've been hearing a handful of stories about how this fire has changed people and lead them to God. Yesterday we offered a Sunday service to any of the firefighters up here. Only a handful showed up, but one of them left committing his heart to Christ. When you look out onto the lake it sits completely still, and its easy to understand how great God is and how amazing it is to watch his hand work all because of a single lightning strike. Continue your prayers and support for Hume and the firefighters that have done so much to protect this place.

Kylen Downs, I know Jesus more because of you. Daddy and I are so proud of the man you are!

#prayforhume #newlifefromfire
  •   kdemanby Thank you for sharing. 3mon
  •   yvonnedowns @kdemanby I did have a few tears of gratitude for many reasons :) 3mon
  •   littlejaspers Tears of gratitude here too for those same reasons. 3mon
  •   kdemanby @yvonnedowns yes. Many many reasons. The Lord is so good. :) 3mon
  •   anaprilday I read that this morning too, with tears in my eyes. Love that young man of yours. Amazed at how the LORD works, through it all. 3mon
  •   pvmal Thank you for sharing this. And thank you Jesus for beauty from ashes, literally. 3mon
  •   browningjb Wow!!!!! I'm praising with you! 3mon
  •   yvonnedowns @littlejaspers @kdemanby @anaprilday Grace. Grateful for you. 3mon

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Normal Yvonne Downs
yvonnedowns Believing the LORD to manifest Himself beautifully through the fire near Hume Lake, the many firefighters, staff who are still assisting on the hill...and asking Him to send rain and extinguish it!

@ffdowns, me, and our two youngest are down the hill safely. You have been so kind to check on us. We feel so loved by you. @kylen.downs is still there serving as a fire fighter. My sister is working near Dinky Creek on the same fire.

  •   jjcarli 3mon
  •   darlenehanson 🏻 3mon
  •   browningjb Oh my heart jumped when I saw this. Joining you all in prayer! 3mon
  •   littlejaspers 3mon
  •   paps5 Praying fire gets under control and Hume Lake is saved 3mon
  •   paps5 🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻 3mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Praying for safety, protection and God's amazing name to be known. He is good ALL the time. Sending a hug from afar...I know this place is so dear to your heart. Love you Yvonne. 3mon
  •   yvonnedowns @traciindlecoffer thank you! Adoring Good Most High! Kylen and other Hume personnel are still on the hill. Fire might be at Hume today at 4pm. Love you! 3mon

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yvonnedowns Our cabin home for the next 9 months! Hume Lake is a cherished place for our family-having had the privilege of raising our first 3 kids here and now our last two boys getting to taste the sweetness of this small community, witnessing thousands of guests hearing who Jesus is, playing in the forest and catching fish down by the lake, attending school they have been eagerly anticipating, of course, riding the scooter with @kylen.downs...and so much more...it is "Abundant Grace". How grateful we are for our dear friends who are allowing us to dwell here. Our desire is to know Jesus more exactly where He has us and give Him to every person we meet. 3mon

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yvonnedowns Grandparents are truly a gift. What a joy to have my Dad and Mom come visit us! The boys somehow got Grandpa to go on their electric scooter! Stephen and John delight to share whatever they have with others.

Mom and I could hear Dad say, "Slow down", as they rode together at top speed with the biggest smiles on their faces, not having a clue that 10 mph is fast when you have farther to fall. :)
  •   meghanalanis What fun!!! Those are some sweet memories being made :) 4mon
  •   lynettelf Love those smiles and that they get to share them with their Grandparents! It does our grandparents hearts good to be able to see them!! 4mon
  •   jessie_bird37 So cute and cool! Can you call me after 5PM today @yvonnedowns so that we can catch up?! 4mon

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yvonnedowns The "power" scooter has arrived...all because of your generosity! YOU made the boys' first vanilla lemonade stand a huge success. Over 80 cups were sold in an hour and a half and many of you didn't want change! You all are so generous. Some of you didn't even buy lemonade but drove across town to simply be excited with the boys and make a donation. @ffdowns and I are so grateful for your love and sacrifice for our family.

This enabled Stephen and John to get not only the scooter but also donate $300 to @solehope Phase 3- the building of the Outreach House, where people with jiggers can become jigger free and educated as to how to maintain foot health! Thank you @ashercollie and @drucollie for your commitment to the people of Uganda! #zerojiggers.

We are going to share the vanilla lemonade recipe soon with hopes that you would consider having your own lemonade stand to raise money for Sole Hope and making the dream of building the Outreach House a reality!

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yvonnedowns We are OPEN for business and ready to serve you!!! We will be in the front yard from 10-11:30am, $2 for 20 ounces of delicious ICED VANILLA LEMONADE! 4mon
  •   kaycerv Oh I just love this so much!! Wish I lived right next door so I could buy lemonade from them! ️🍋 4mon
  •   katecasaday Um, stop. 4mon
  •   jaynekathryne It was the yummiest lemonade ever! 4mon
  •   yvonnedowns @kaycerv I wish you did, too! I want to hear in person how the Lord has transformed you for His glory this year! 4mon
  •   yvonnedowns @katecasaday I know! So so grateful for the gift they are! 4mon
  •   yvonnedowns @jaynekathryne grateful for Romance Conferences! :) 4mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Yum!! Wish we weren't across the country from each other! 4mon

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yvonnedowns Stephen and John would love to invite you to their ICED VANILLA LEMONADE Stand tomorrow from 10am to 11:30 at our house. They have never done anything like this in their lives and have been talking about it with giddiness all week long.

The money they make will be going towards two things:

1. They will GIVE a portion of what they receive to @solehope, as they are raising money to build a permanent Outreach House in Uganda to help those who have jiggers. This is the very organization that helped the boys when they had over 300 jiggers between the two of them become jigger free! @drucollie and @ashercollie of Sole Hope hold a very special place in our hearts.

2. They will SAVE the other portion of the funds until they have enough to purchase ONE "power" scooter, so they can share it and have "fun fun" on it.

We are so enjoying teaching them about money in simple ways and that we have the privilege of using all God provides to Give, Save, and Live (they still think we are saying LOVE and so use that money from the jar to buy others gifts :) ). They continue to teach us much.
  •   amberrromo You all doing mail orders?? ;) 4mon
  •   jkschuler1 Oooohhhh, I love them so! Their smiles never fail to add so much extra joy to a day! 4mon
  •   wanderingwithmary Awe!!! I so wish I could be there!! 4mon
  •   littlejaspers Wish I could be there! 4mon
  •   susie.whitten Oh yum! Oh fun! Well since you are an hour away, save me one for when I come visit and I'll send a check for it now! precious boys! Great 'fundraiser' and lesson in finances! 4mon
  •   michellelalonzo Your boys radiate joy! What a precious gift. 4mon
  •   jessie_caw They are such handsome boys :) 4mon
  •   mindyaubin @yvonnedowns just researched jiggers..this is so unreal and I had no idea! Your boys are truly an inspiration. 4mon

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yvonnedowns This is the place we will live for the next 9 months. Gifts. Grace. So many. Too many to count. Overwhelmed by the kindness of God through His people.

It was here @ffdowns asked me to be his wife 23 years ago when we were broken and clueless how to live in God's love and power.

It was in this place I learned restoration of the heart and how to live fully and freely in Jesus.

It was here we raised 3 of our kids.

It was in this place the LORD gave me His love for all people.

It was here that I began to hunger for God through His Word and it became my life.

It was in this place Jesus gave me a deep passion to pray for and with and encourage women to truly grasp the whole Gospel so that we could link arms and live it together for His fame. ...the graces continue... It will be here that we will get to grow with our youngest boys, while getting to live in close proximity with their hero and big brother @kylen.downs.

This is the place we will get to know Jesus more, for a window of time, while the boys continue to learn of life in America, getting to go to Hume Charter School, and how God beautifully wove the Downs family together in a way we never could have imagined!

The beauty of our God Most High takes my breath away. How I adore Him.
  •   yvonnedowns Thank you @nina_baker for capturing moments like these, even if it meant you wouldn't stay dry. 4mon
  •   aimj05 So so special! Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of how Hume had been such a meaningful place for your family! And to be able to be there again!?!? Praising the Lord with you for that blessing! We will be up this week....hope to see you! @yvonnedowns @nina_baker_ you are awesome! (Hope you are up there this week too!) 4mon
  •   mommaofthefab5 @yvonnedowns James is the school psych up there!! He loves working with the school. 4mon
  •   garcmansion Your words are so beautifully said! Hugs to you! 4mon
  •   mamabenson Really?!!! I got chills reading this! Beautiful! Also this means I'll see you soon. Heading up next week for a week! 4mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Oh Yvonne~~~ my heart is full of gratitude and awe ...oh how sweet are the ways of our Father. Blessings as you journey the next steps at Hume!!! 4mon
  •   coriderksen Beautiful. 4mon
  •   nina_baker_ If only you and Stephen could have gotten to experience the speed of the green boat...so sorry 4mon

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yvonnedowns Road trip to Kelly, Wyoming! Firsts are great fun! The delight of the boys as they discovered what a "house on wheels" is!

The boys: there's a toilet, sink, bed, and refrigerator?! (Huge smiles on their faces)

As a new mom to older boys, my heart feels just as excited as they are. I'm discovering the gifts the LORD has given us with fresh eyes, like it's the first time I'm in a motor home soaking in the sights and sounds.
@ashlyndowns & @juju_bee14 we headed your way!
@ffdowns you are awesome, not only cause you passed the captain's test and fire investigator interview, or the fact that you are driving the whole way, but because God made you and I love the man He created you to be!

#downstetonroadtrip #favoriteplaceintheusa

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yvonnedowns Today, a monumental and joyfilled day for us as we celebrated our son's life...it is the FIRST birthday Stephen has ever had!

Stephen Kabi Downs turned 13 years old!

5 months ago we told him that June 8th is the day his mama brought him into the world.

Do you know how he wanted to celebrate? I asked him months ago what he wanted this special day to look like.

Stephen's response: May I have a cake?
Can I share the cake with people?

Me: Absolutely, anything else?

Stephen: can I have candles?

Me: yes!

Stephen: Can we sing the song (Happy Birthday)? And dance?

Me: (Holding back tears because of his preciousness and tenderness) Yes, we can do all of that! (For the last few months Stephen has been anticipating this day and tucked khaki pants and an orange Polo in the top of his closet only to be worn for this day that is like no other.) GRATITUDE flows from Stephen daily, and today was no exception. With delight written all over his face he expressed many genuine thanks, looking each in the eyes, for every card and gift. His joy was to share today WITH people. He even desired to serve everyone else cake first and kept asking others, "Can I get anything else for you? "

This most precious gift from the Lord teaches us the love of Christ. Selflessness. Tenderness. Thoughtfulness. Joy in the simple things.

@ffdowns and I are blessed beyond words.
  •   pammaw Precious 6mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Joy overflowing!! Happy Birthday Stephen Downs 6mon
  •   littlejaspers Happy Birthday Stephen! Auntie Eugenie wishes she could give you a hug and dance with you. 6mon
  •   garcmansion Just incredible 6mon
  •   gracekane_ Exploding with joy!!! Love that sweet boy!! Tell him I said happy birthday!! 6mon
  •   aimbish oh my gosh. I'm on the verge of tears. he is SO sweet!! happy birthday big guy! 6mon
  •   melissa_danisi I just love this one million. 6mon
  •   jeniferrumley Precious beyond words. Thank you Lord for amazing gifts like gratitude, thankfulness and sweet boys. Happy Birthday Stephen! You are loved:) 6mon

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Normal Yvonne Downs
yvonnedowns Nina, o how this picture captures you and what you are about! Joy. Laughter. Love. People. Jesus. Servant Heart. Being WITH.

It is your delight to bless others, every single day, even on YOUR birthday!

My heart is overwhelmed that you would invite some of us over, set a beautiful table, make US a four course meal, speak life into each of us and celebrate who we are to you, when everything in us wanted to do that for you. You teach me much.

You, @nina_baker_ , are a gift to me. You have sacrificed much, even traveling around the world to be WITH us as we were adopting the boys. You have a gift of presence that we receive with grateful hearts. How many times have you laid next to @juju_bee14 as she was in pain? Too many to count. We cherish you.

We celebrate your life publicly. You are treasured by so many. Thank you for loving Jesus and living in His grace.
#iftable #ifbirthday #neighborstable

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yvonnedowns These two, they are my daughters and my friends. They have no idea, really, how deeply I love them. My mama's heart is overflowing with gratitude that they love each other and planned their whole summer so they could spend it together!

Adventure! Julianne and Ashlyn are working at a Dude Ranch in Wyoming for the next 4 months. Seriously, who gets to do that!? I am thrilled for them!

God fashioned them uniquely and specifically so they could give Jesus to others in beautiful ways that show their individuality.

Julianne, the cowgirl, is a children's wrangler and gets to pour into kids and teach them to ride horses!

Ashlyn, the people person, gets to serve the guests their food and build relationships with them as they eat!

@ashlyndowns and @juju_bee14 you are a delight to me. I adore you. You are the biggest gift to so many. I love you both way more than the Tetons.
  •   julianne_jennings SO Lovely! In SO many ways 6mon
  •   littlejaspers Three beautiful and grace-filled girls. 6mon
  •   cole83 Sounds like so much fun! Excited for them. 6mon
  •   meg.musser More than the Tetons means so much coming from you!!! Lucky girls 6mon
  •   yvonnedowns @megried you know me well :) 6mon
  •   garcmansion Incredible 6mon
  •   traciindlecoffer I love this! Outer beauty...check. But the inner beauty shines bright from you three. 6mon
  •   traciindlecoffer Oops...sent too soon...;). What great memories your girls will make together. Love and miss you!! 6mon

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