Monday, April 28, 2008

And The Winner Is.....

I know it is a little late, but we were away for the weekend and then I got sick so I didn't get back to my blog on Saturday or Sunday. I apologize for the delay!

Here is the winner of my Bloggy Giveaway: partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

I need to hear from you within 3 days or I will draw another winner. Again, the prize is a grocery tote bag made from WalMart shopping bags crocheted into a tote. Great use of all those gazillions of plastic bags you get from shopping at the grocery store! I am in the process of making another one with tan and white stripes. Will post a photo when I get it done.

For more handmade items, please check out the Hope House Etsy store. All proceeds go to support single moms and teen girls in Mexico.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Best Writer I Have Ever Read (And I Read Alot!)

I just have to share with you this book and author that we have been reading for our devotion time together in the morning. A good while back, I borrowed this book off the shelf in my great aunt's house. When we finished reading all of the Jesus Freaks books, Extreme Devotion along with Heroic Faith (I HIGHLY recommend these), we began reading this book, They Walked With The Savior.

I have been totally amazed at how author Scott Hagan uses so many literary devices to paint such incredible pictures of the people and things that he is talking about! The book brings out many new and different viewpoints and ideas about people who encountered Christ and does it in a very unique way. Every day I am amazed at how much fun it is to read this book! If you have read my blog for very long, you will find that I don't often recommend books. I don't know why, since I read so many. But maybe because very few impress me this much.
I have found that Hagan has written another book along similar lines called They Felt The Spirit's Touch that I am planning to buy in order to read after this one. I am hoping to win a GC to either Amazon or CBD over on the Bloggy Giveaway that I can buy it with.
Just for your info, he has also written a children's book called "Big Bad Bible Bullies" that would probably be fantastic for kids! Let me know if you have ever read any of his books and what you thought. And if you do read because of my recommendation, I would love to know your thoughts.

My Favorite Recipe for Beef and Broccoli

I have made this a number of times now and I have to say it is by far my favorite recipe I have ever tried for Beef and Broccoli. The few times we actually get to eat beef, this is often what I make because I can use a cheap cut of beef and just cook it longer to get it tender. I found this recipe over on Recipezaar which is one of my favorite recipe sites along with
I served it with Jasmine Rice (one of my favorites) although I have also used brown rice in the past with just as good results (just need to start the rice earlier).

This is what works for me, how about you? Check out Works For Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer for more ideas.

"How To" for the Recycled Tote Bag

I have had many requests for instructions or pattern for the recycled tote bag that I am giving away at the Bloggy Giveaway. So, I will tell you that I got the idea completely from My Recycled Bags. Go check out her site, she has MANY wonderful and free patterns for creations using "plarn" (plastic yarn). I began with one of her patterns, but then changed it with the handle. However, I just checked her site today and she has a pattern for a tote bag almost like the one I am giving away that she made for Earth Day. So I am going to direct you to her site for a pattern and more info. Thanks, RecycleCindy, for your great patterns, instructions and ideas! She even has a tutorial on how to make "plarn", so check it out today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drumroll FIRST Giveaway!!!! (and the crowd went wild!!)

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival ButtonI have just learned about the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival and am so excited to join in on all the giveaway fun! So here's what you can win right here at my blog.......

It is a recycled, reusable tote bag made from plastic WalMart bags!! It is water proof and very durable and you can use it for groceries or books or whatever you like.

In order to enter the drawing, you must post a comment to this blog entry and tell me what you have learned from my blog. Review the old posts if you need to, but I would like to find out what interests you most about my blog. That way, this giveaway will help me to help you.

I will only ship to U.S. addresses, so keep that in mind when entering. Also, I need you to leave an email so that I can contact you if you win. I will draw a random number on Saturday, April 26th to choose the winner.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I wish you could all win!! For more great giveaways (I mean HUNDREDS of them), go on over to the Bloggy Giveaway Blog and check them out.

You can find more recycled, handmade items over at Hope House's Etsy Store.

Free Oil Pastel Art Set!

I just wanted to pass this info along to you that I found out about over at Money Saving Mom. You can get a free oil pastel art set from Pentel just by filling out this form and entering the promo code: SA2008. So go on over and get yours free, too!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sometimes I Feel (or Smell) Like I Am a Salad!

I have been "experimenting" - quite successfully, I might add - with some different products that are more frugal and more healthy for you. Like using olive oil as a moisturizer on my face (I love it!) and rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar (instead of conditioner). That one, I am not so sure about. Seemed very "staticky" after that one. Will have to try again to see if that is what caused it. I have been trying several different samples of shampoo bars and body bars that are full of herbs. feels like I am a salad!!

All of these natural items are really inexpensive and have been saving me alot of money. Most of them I have been very happy with and don't miss the commercial shampoo, moisturizer, etc. I am happy that I am using very safe products and have been encouraging my family to do the same (some will, some won't:-). My hair has never been cleaner or felt healthier! As soon as I try all the different soap/shampoo bar samples that I have, I will write a review of my thoughts about them. But I can tell you this, my skin feels so clean and is not dry. That is wonderful! Especially since I live in the desert and summer is coming on already!!

I guess feeling like a salad is not a bad thing, just funny! Any other frugal and natural products I should try? Just leave me a comment.

Check out the Festival of Frugality over at On Financial Success for more frugal ideas.

A Frugal Gift Made From Scratch

This week my daughter was invited to one of her best friends' sister's quinceanera (15th birthday party) which is a really big shindig here in Mexico. This was one of the fanciest I have ever seen - as fancy and elaborate as any wedding I have ever been to! Anyway, two days before it, she realized she needed a gift. So I got to work and in about an hour I was able to make this darling quilted wallet for her. (sorry for the bad photos:-)
My daughter chose the colors (teal and brown prints) and I used the measurements from a terrific tutorial that I found several months ago by That Darn Kat.These are the kinds of wallets that we are going to be making and selling for Hope House to help support the ladies and girls who live there. You can check out the purses and other items already for sale over at our Etsy shop.

Check out all the other entries at the Make It From Scratch Carnival over at Stop the Ride.

For more great stuff, check out The Homestead Carnival over on Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Using the WHOLE Turkey...well almost!

Yesterday, I was reading a post about whole turkey being a recession food and I, coincidentally, had a whole turkey thawing in the refrigerator. So, inspired by the frugality of it, I decided to cook the turkey.

Well, I just wanted to share how I used the WHOLE turkey (well, almost:-). First of all, I took out the raw turkey neck to give to my great big Akita. Did you know that raw turkey necks are great for dogs? Apparently, the bones don't splinter until you cook them. Well, my dogs LOVE them (and then they love me, too!)

OK, I don't use the WHOLE turkey because I still can't bring myself to use the stuff in the little paper bag inside. YUCK! Over the many years of my life (I am no spring chicken - pun intended), I have never had them served in a way that tasted good to me. Not in gravy or noodles or anything! So if you have some ideas for me, just leave a comment. But I sorta doubt I will try it anytime soon:-).

Then I roasted the whole turkey in my roasting pan for several hours with a little olive oil spritzed on and some 21 Seasoning Salute (from Trader Joe's - they should pay me for all the promotion I give them:-) sprinkled over it. This will feed us for at least 3 meals. After we ate dinner, I put the second breast in one bag and all the other parts of meat into another bag.

THEN (this is the new part for me:-) I took the carcass and all the skin, fat, bones, etc. and put them back into my roasting pan with some carrots, celery and onion, as well as some other seasonings like parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (sounds like a song, huh?). I then boiled it for an hour (it was late and online directions varied from 1 hour to 12 hours), removed all the paraphernalia (there is another more appropriate name for all of that, but I can't remember it) and put the broth into the refrigerator overnight.

So, today I am thinking about inventing a new recipe with barley and turkey and maybe even lentils and some veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery. I don't know, I am still mulling it over, but I am sure it will make some great soup! Any killer recipes for using turkey broth that I should try? Just leave me a comment - I will sure appreciate it!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, please visit Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yummy, Frugal and Pretty Healthy Swedish Meatballs

Last week I was looking for a different recipe to try with ground turkey and I thought of Swedish Meatballs. So I searched until I found a recipe that sounded pretty good over at Epicurious, modified it and served a very delicious and frugal meal! Here is what I did:

For the meatballs, I used some homemade croutons from whole grain bread, ground in the blender to bread crumbs, plus about 1/2 cup chopped onion. Then I mixed together one egg, 21 Seasoning Salute (from Trader Joes) and about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I mixed this in with the breadcrumbs and onions, then mixed in the about 2 lbs. of ground turkey. I formed these into fairly large balls and then browned them in a skillet with some canola oil. After that, I put them in a baking dish, covered tightly with foil and put them into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

While those were baking, I started the egg noodles to boiling.

Using the same pan, I added some more of the chopped onion and a little chicken broth to get up the drippings from the pan. Then I added the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth and brought to a boil. I stirred in a mixture of cornstarch and broth, whisking to mix and brought to a boil again. I removed from heat and added Worcestershire sauce, sour cream and dill.I drained the noodles when they were done, tossed the meatballs into the sauce and served over the noodles. It was delicious! For more Saturday Stirrings, visit Fiddle-Dee-Dee at It Coulda' Been Worse.
That's what works for me, for more ideas visit Rocks In My Dryer for Works-For-Me-Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Crunchy Waffles

I have recently acquired a waffle iron, so I have been trying out different recipes for whole grain waffles. The first batch had cornmeal and got mixed reviews because they tasted a little like cornbread. Not a bad taste, just strange. The second batch was good, but not very crunchy. The third batch, I came across a recipe on Food Network that I liked and an article about what makes waffles crunchy (by Pamela Anderson over on Fine and adapted the recipe a little. They were CERTAINLY CRUNCHY! Ok, maybe a little too crunchy, but at least now I know how to solve the dilemma. Next I am going to try the second recipe with some alterations to increase crunchiness. So here are the things I learned about making waffles crunchy:
1. Add cornstarch to the batter (as much as 1/4 cup to 3/4 cups flour to equal 1 cup flour)
2. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees when you preheat your waffle iron, then put the finished waffles right onto the oven rack to keep warm and crisp up a little more.
3. Use oil instead of melted butter - makes for crunchier waffles.

You may want to try one or two of these at a time so as not to have waffles that are TOO crunchy. But the tricks definitely work!

For more Kitchen Tips, go over to Tammy's Recipes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sometimes You Just Gotta Have Fun With Your Kids!

As my kids get older, it gets more and more important to me that we take time every so often to just play and have fun. The academics are getting more and more involved and we spend every day together doing school. We need time to "play" every so often. And that isn't as simple as pulling out some toys now that they are almost teenagers. So last week we were able to go to the county fair and just play!Yes, that is us upside down on some crazy ride that they talked me into going on! But a "carney" standing nearby bet me two stuffed dolphins that I wouldn't do it, so I was the winner in the end!We didn't do anything educational, we just had a blast riding crazy rides and hanging out together. It was a great day of bonding. We didn't even look at the animal exhibits or any of the science exhibits. I know, I should have taken advantage of the "learning" opportunities available at the county fair. But you know what? I think for this time in our relationship and lives, this was much more valuable than anything else. I feel blessed that my kids aren't embarrassed to hang out with their mom in public and that they actually like to do stuff together. I pray that will never change!As your kids get older, what are some of the things you do together just to spend time having fun? I would love to hear other ideas and experiences. For more homeschooling related items, please visit the Carnival of Homeschooling over at The Nerd Family's blog.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So Many Great Blogs to Read...I'm Running Out of Time!

I have learned SO much from so many great ladies on the blogosphere, that I just wanted to take a moment to share some of them with you. I try to start out my day by reading some of my favorites. I click through as quickly as I can, but my list keeps getting longer and now I have to spread it throughout the day. Here are some of my favorites, so you can check them out, too.

Like Merchant Ships - (from Prov. 31) "Join me as I practice cheerful frugality - discovering God's plenty, secondhand.

Money Saving Mom - helping you be a better home economist.

Stop the Ride! - living simply and frugally. Reducing debt by using online earning opportunities.

Motherload: The Blog

Tammy's Recipes - great place for all kinds of recipes, as well as Kitchen Tips Tuesday

Frugal Blog at

Homemaker's Cottage Blog

Passionate Homemaking

Biblical Womanhood - encouraging and equipping women

Rocks in My Dryer - of course! Home of Works For Me Wednesday

TipNut - Tons of great tips every day!

These are my top favorites to read every day. Hope you have a chance to enjoy them, too!

This is what "works for me", and you can find much more over at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Freezing Bananas - A Great Tip From a Great Friend!

A week and a half ago, a great new friend of mine told me about popping whole, not-peeled bananas into the freezer when they are starting to get too dark and mushy to just eat. And especially if you are not ready to use them in banana bread, muffins or smoothies right that day.

So, I took her advice and put four into the freezer. Just like that - no plastic wrap or anything. I have to admit I was a little skeptical and a couple days ago I decided it was time to make banana muffins. So I got the bananas out of the freezer a few minutes before I was going to need them. When I was ready for them, I just peeled off the peel and the bananas inside were beautiful! I was very pleased and they mashed up very easily for in the batter. I had to fight off my son - he wanted to use them for smoothies - because I needed them all for my muffins.

So next time your bananas are starting to go bad, just pop them in the freezer and you will have bananas ready and waiting for those baked goods and smoothies whenever YOU are ready for them.

For more Kitchen Tips, go over to Tammy's Recipes.

Great New CD by Matt Maher!

Some of you may be familiar with the song Your Grace Is Enough. You can listen over on his blog. This new CD called Empty and Beautiful sounds great and I am hoping to get a copy of it free for sharing about it with you all. Go over there and take a listen - great worship music!!

Today is Carnival Tuesday!

Just so you don't miss out on all the Blog Carnival fun, here are a few carnivals you can check out today:

Make It From Scratch! Carnival is over at The So Called Me

The Carnival of Homeschooling is being hosted by A Pondering Heart

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Some Spring Homeschool Encouragement

Hard to believe it is April already! Many of you are heading into the last leg of your school year, while others homeschool year around. Spring fever has probably got you wanting to play outside rather than hit the books. This is a great time to focus on nature journals, outdoor activities and outdoor science experiments. This is also a great time to study water – all kinds especially if you can play in it, too!

As the days are beginning to heat up, it is hard to focus. This is a great time to reevaluate your goals for the year, see what you have already accomplished and restructure your plans for the rest of your school year. Here are a few things to keep in mind and to help alleviate some possible frustration. First, the curriculum is only a tool. It should work FOR you, not frustrate you. Second, did you ever actually complete a textbook before the end of the year when you were in school? And third (and this especially applies to math), the first part of the next grade level is usually review, so your kids won’t miss out on anything if they don’t complete every page in the book.

Begin thinking now about what you would like to use next year. That way you can begin to gather your materials at the best prices either at used curriculum sales, yard sales, home school conventions and conferences, or online resources. Take advantage of opportunities to expand your home school horizons like workshops, conferences, magazines and other home school families. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, especially at homeschool get-together days, where you can reap from a wealth of experience.

Most of all, relax and enjoy your kids. The time you have with them will pass all too quickly, they will be grown and on their own. Rest in the arms of He who is our all in all and allow Him to lead and guide you through this home schooling adventure and make it a treasured time for you and your family.
(photo courtesy of

What a Burger ...the Simple Pleasures!

Ok, I must admit that any kind of beef in this house is pretty rare (and I don't mean how well cooked it is:-) But last week, the short term missions group that stayed with us left us some beef burgers and we thoroughly enjoyed them (they also left the mac-n-cheese).

This colossal burger had it all - two patties, three kinds of cheese, red onions, mayonnaise, lettuce, and jalapenos all on a homemade whole grain bun! Sometimes, it just doesn't get any better than that! So enjoy the simple pleasures when they come your way and be thankful every day in all things!

Hope House Welcomes Lupita and Her Children!

I would like to introduce you to Lupita and her children Diego, Ruby and Brenda (the baby). They will be moving into Hope House this week and be our first resident family. Lupita is 19 years old and a "widow". When she was 15, she met Francisco, who was 42 at the time. She became pregnant and while she was expecting, they began to attend La Sombra, a church pastored by some missionary friends of ours - Rich and Lori Barcelona. They accepted Christ and began attending church regularly. Unfortunately, Francisco was still married to his first wife and had children in another part of Mexico who were older than Lupita. They wanted to get married, but circumstances made that difficult and they were unwilling to separate, so they left La Sombra and began attending another church that embraced them and their unwed status. This last fall, I believe in September, Francisco had a series of heart attacks and then died, leaving Lupita and her children alone and with no means to support herself. Some neighbors gave her a house to use and she found some work here and there to feed her kids, but it has been tough. Then this past week, the family asked her to move out within 10 days. When Lori Barcelona heard about this, she called me to find out if Hope House was ready. I was elated to say "YES" and we would love to invite Lupita to live there!

Some of you may remember that Lupita was one of the first young ladies that we mentioned when we were first beginning to plan for Hope House. Today, I went to pick her up and bring her over to see Hope House. She is very happy that God has provided this for her and her children. She will most likely be moving there this coming Wednesday.

God is going to fill Hope House with those He chooses and we are waiting for Him to lead and guide us. All the details are not ironed out yet and there are still a few projects that need to be completed, but we are very excited to be able to help Lupita!

We still have some needs and we also need monthly support to begin to take care of the added expenses of getting Hope House running and filled with women, children and teen girls. We are estimating that our minimum costs will be about $2,000 per month more than we currently have coming in for Hope House. That would cover 4 or 5 teen girls and 3 moms with their children - about 15 people. Please pray with us that God will move on hearts to provide the funds to support Hope House!

Here is a current list of needs:
Washer and dryer
Shelving for storage areas
Bi-fold door for storage area
Windows/glass (currently there is only plexiglass in the windows)
Parts to repair evaporative cooler (before it gets too hot)
Exterior lighting
Walls and/or fence around property
Small playground for children
Shed to house washer and dryer
Plywood or T111 to block back fence
Books in Spanish and English

If you would like to donate any items or send funds to provide any of these items, please feel free to email me at

Also, we are having a Giant Yard Sale in Yuma, AZ this coming Saturday, April 12th, in order to raise funds for Hope House. I am specifically hoping to raise about $500 to purchase the Bible curriculum in Spanish and English that we are planning to use in Hope House. If you are in the area and would like to help, contact me. I could use all the help, and prayers, possible!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Stirrings with Pizza Burgers

This is my first time to join Saturday Stirrings over on It Coulda' Been Worse and I haven't posted a recipe for awhile, and since I don't have any new photos of dishes I have made recently (need to remember to take photos!), I thought I would reprise one of our favorites - pizza burgers! This was originally posted back on February 19, 2008.

My mom made the best pizza burgers in the world! And now I do, too. My family LOVES these and begs me to make them. They are SO easy and now that I use my whole grain buns and ground turkey, even healthier. So here, for the first time on the internet, the secret recipe!

Mix together one pound of ground meat (I prefer turkey, but beef is classic), one small can of tomato paste and one cup of grated parmesan cheese. Then spread this VERY thinly onto your buns halves.

Pop these under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until just brown. The meat cooks very quickly because it is so thin. Remember, it is red because of the tomato paste.
While you are waiting, slice up some tomatoes and get your cheese slices ready.
When the meat is cooked and slightly browned (be very careful not to burn them),
top with a tomato slice and a slice of cheese on each one (unless you are like my son and don't like tomatoes, in which case he just gets cheese).
Pop these back under the broiler for just a minute or two (watch closely so they don't burn) until the cheese is just melted around the tomato slice.

My children never got to meet my mom, but through recipes like this, they get to share in the nostalgia and hopefully get to know her just a little.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Frugal and Crafty Wedding Gift Idea

The daughter of another missionary family was married last weekend up in San Diego. They are dear friends of ours, so we wanted to give their daughter and her new husband something special, but still frugal - not much budget room to work with. So my ds and I made this lovely wall plaque for them.

We bought to bevel-edged wooden plaque at the craft store and then my son wood-burned their new family name and the year, as well as the flowers I drew for him. This is his new hobby and he is doing a tremendous job!

Then I painted and "washed" the plaque to give it some color and a rich tone. A couple coats of clear spray acrylic and voila! A beautiful and unique wedding present!
I know that I sure would have loved something like this when I got married, so I hope that they enjoy it as well.

For more Frugal tips, go over to Biblical Womanhood. And for other crafty ideas, check out Sew Crafty Friday over at Waiting For Him.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Play It Again, Blog!

Today, over at Rocks in My Dryer, we were asked to pull out one of our favorite WFMW blogs and "play it again", so here is one from February 2008 (I haven't been participating all that long):

I only drink one cup of DECAF coffee per day (helps me wake up), but I like flavored creamer in my coffee. Since I have been making my husband's half and half with much success, HE suggested that I ought to be able to make my flavored creamer in a similar manner. Since we live in Mexico, we can only purchase this when we go across into the states, so it is a matter of convenience even more than frugality.

Well, guess what I found over at The Motherload? She had experimented and figured out a way to make flavored creamer using sweetened condensed milk (she even has a recipe for making that from scratch). So I decided to experiment myself and try it with Lechera (the Mexican version of sweetened condensed milk). I put one can of Lechera, 2 cups of milk (1 1/2 like she called for was still too thick), 2 teaspoons of vanilla (the real kind from Mexico) and about 1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon (I am sure a liquid would be better, but that is what I had). I mixed that all up in my blender and it came out really great! I had a tiny bit left from my previous purchase to taste test it against and it is awfully close. And, just for the frugal side of me, it only cost HALF of what I have been paying for creamer. So it is a big savings, too!! Don't you just love that?

I am sure you could make all different kinds of flavors with a little experimenting and some of those liquid flavorings like they use at Starbucks. I like mine simple - vanilla and cinnamon.

A couple additional notes - I now use liquid cinnamon extract and it works much better! Also, Lechera is MUCH sweeter than the American sweetened condensed milk, so I add more milk to it. Some folks from the Southwinds group tried it, too, and liked it very much! And you don't really need to use your blender if you just shake it up REALLY well.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Finally...the After!

After 5 days of work, and a trip to Algodones (for shopping and wonderful fruit smoothies), we had a time to gather over at Hope House, see the finished product and reflect about the work, the week, the ways in which God had used each and every one of the group from Southwinds.
It was a very moving and emotional gathering - thinking about the women, girls and children whose lives would be touched and changed because of the work they had accomplished in the house this past week. Where there was once one large room, there is now a not-quite-so-large room, 3 bedrooms and an office. Both bathrooms received shower enclosures, as well as replacing all the damaged drywall and painting them. The exterior was given a second coat of paint all the way around.
They also worked in the kitchen, the back bedroom (which will be for the teen girls), the ceilings and they even completed some projects over at our house (aka The Burgan's Mexican Campground).This group worked together like they had been doing it for years. When one student tired of a specific job, there was someone else to step in and give them a break. I never heard of any fighting or arguing. They all enjoyed one another, as well as all the kids who gathered around Hope House. I never heard one word of complaint when asked to do something, or about taking cold showers (for more than one day that was the ONLY option), or dealing with our dogs, or camping outside. By the end of the week, many of them were exhausted and the smiles were not quite so bright, but they always were kind, gracious and loving to one another (and us!). During the week they were here, a number of incidents occurred in our neighborhood that we have not seen in the last 3 years that we have lived in this house, but God used each one to underscore something that Joe or I had shared with them about the realities of life here in Mexico. We shared about the fact that according to the Mexican government, 50% of homes experience some type of abuse and then several members of the group witnessed a man "under the influence" mistreating our next door neighbor who happens to be pregnant. We also talked about how many girls as young as 14 or 15 years old are getting pregnant and having babies. During the week, one of the teen girls in the group was asked by a Mexican boy if she had any children. How poignant was that?I cannot begin to express our thanks for all their labors, their love shown to us and the children around the neighborhood, and the great work they have accomplished for the Kingdom here in San Luis! THANKS A MILLION!

And we miss you already!!! Come back again next year (or sooner if you can)!!