Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thinning Carrots

I haven't blogged in quite a while, but now that we live in Alabama and so far away from so many people we love I wanted to get back into it.

This morning I took on the unglamorous task of doing the first round of thinning carrots in our two-year-old’s garden.  The only thing he specifically wanted to include in his spot was carrots for the profound reason that they are orange, which also happens to be his favorite color.  Carrot seeds are so tiny it’s hard not to sow them crazy close together no matter how practiced you are.  Put a two year old in the mix and his baby carrots are literally growing right on top of each other.  

Any time I play in the dirt I know I should wear gloves, but I feel clumsy in them, like I’m trying to garden with bubblewrapped fingers.  That obviously won’t do for a delicate task like thinning carrots.  Of course, the result of not wearing gloves seems to be a perpetual case of dirty fingernails.  The black sliver at the tip of each of my too-stubby-anyways nails makes my hands look like a messy child’s, and perhaps that’s fitting today.  Thinning carrots always seems to awaken the little kid in me who can’t help but root for each little seedling, even while the rational adult in me is plotting their demise.

I remember the first time I encountered the principle of thinning.  Our dad had torn up the rectangle of lawn behind our swingset, determined that us kids should have the experience of raising some of our own food. Before long each of us girls had been assigned a few rows to tend.  I was given custody of two rows of carrots (which I liked to eat) and two rows of radishes (which I didn’t, but felt reassured would grow quickly).  I was delighted when only a couple of weeks later a crooked line of leafy green tops gave evidence that my seeds had done something.  

I assumed that from that point on my only jobs would be a bit of weeding and maybe some watering.  Instead, I was caught off guard when only a week or two later my dad asked me to do something additional.  Something unthinkable and barbaric.  

He expected me to thin my carrots.

Oh my carrots!  They were beautiful, lacy-topped, perfect little seedlings.  They had poked their heads out from the dirt so faithfully, stretched their skinny fingers towards the sunshine, and done everything that had been asked of them.  And Dad expected me to brutally murder half of them.  When Dad removed the first one, discarding it casually to the side, I blanched.  The pale little root already looked like a carrot.  An embryo carrot.  And here it was being left on the lawn to scorch and wither and die.  

Explanations were wasted on me.  The garden was big, the dirt was plentiful, surely it could support all of my vegetables, not just the ones “chosen” to survive.

Finally Dad relented.  I would thin one row of each of my vegetables; the other I could do with as I pleased.  

The weeks went by and our garden inevitably shifted more feral, more jungle-like, as the summer progressed, with both vegetables and weeds crowding to fill what had seemed like a gigantic space in the spring.  

And there were my carrots.  

I can still remember my surprise the day I realized what a difference there was between the two rows.  The carrots that had been thinned were large, with wavy green tops, and shapely orange roots.  The carrots that hadn’t been were pathetic by comparison.  Lost in a thicket of wavy tops, the roots were skinny, stumpy and crooked.  

Maybe they would have seemed ok with nothing to compare too.  Maybe they would have been delightful for pickled fingerlings or something like that, but what I had wanted were big, classically-beautiful, carrots.  And the thinned row had fared better enough to impress even my stubborn child-self.

Much is made of the idea of “having it all.”   I think back on who I was as a student, eagerly signing up for every club, committee and cause.  It’s good when you’re young to sow crowded furrows of interests, to see which ones take, which ones grow.  

But as I’ve aged I’m finally seeing the value of thinning.  That gritty mixture of time and energy and emotional well-being that makes up the soil of life seems to stretch out forever in the spring but by mid-season becomes surprisingly finite.  It can only support so many carrots.

Some seedlings are scrawny and easier to discard.  Others seem to scream potential with every chlorophyll-filled cell in their being, their only fault being that there are just too many of them.  Choices.  Which demands on my time and energy will I nurture?  Which will I place aside so I can invest in the harvest I want most?

So today I stare down at the progress I’ve made on my row of carrots in Matthew’s garden, and it’s hard not to let out a little sigh.  Still, rather than dwelling on the pile of limp discards and the broken dirt where they used to stand, I want to shift my focus to the survivors.  In their suddenly uncrowded row they already seem to be stretching out, luxuriating in the extra space.  

I’m optimistic they will thrive.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My sister's business

I haven't posted on here in ages, but I did want to give a quick shout-out to my sister Karin.  She's finally making a real go of her AMAZING artistic talents and has started a little business doing custom drawings.  They. are. darling.  I can't even begin to say how much I love the drawing she did of our family (I actually had it turned into a bag!), and every time I see more of the work she's doing I'm just kind of amazed.

Anyhow, here's a link to her website:

You can also find her on facebook.  Check her out!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quilted Stockings

Last winter my sister Karin gave me a fabric "charm pack" made up of five-inch red, pink, and teal squares.  While I think the pack was technically a Valentines theme, as soon as I unwrapped it I had visions of Christmas crafts.  

The last few years I've watched sparkly blue decorations sneak their way into holiday displays with a mix of emotions.  On the one hand, I love the Christ-centered symbolism of the traditional red and green.  On the other hand, the blue seems to add the same fun "pop" to holiday colors that purple gave to Halloween a little while back.  I've toyed with the idea of making stockings for our family for a couple of years, and this particular collection of fabric just seemed so whimsical and wintery--complete with little heart and bird motifs--that in the end it was too perfect to pass up.  Of course, now I'm left hoping that blue sticks around as a seasonal color, otherwise in a decade the kids will be stuck with sadly dated stockings.  (Future 16-year-old Robyn: "Yeah, Matthew...back in the 'teens Mom thought teal was a Christmas color.  Weird.")

The stockings aren't huge (a charm-pack can only stretch so far :), but they do meet the important qualifications of being able to hold an orange in the toe with plenty of room for hidden pencils, candy canes, and toothbrushes in the upper.  And even if they have a few funny quirks (the risk of making things up as you go!) they must have turned out ok because I had this conversation with Robyn the other day:

Me:  What do you think?
Robyn: They're the best thing you've ever sewn.
Me: Really?  What about all your Easter dresses?  And Halloween costumes?
Robyn: Um.  Those are good too.  But these are the first things that look like they could have come from a store.

All right then.  And now that Christmas is taken care of, time to go work on some of those not-quite-store-worthy Halloween costumes. 
Bryan's favorite stocking.

P.S.  Big thank-you to my sister Karin for the most adorable charm pack ever and to my sister Lynda for the JoAnn's gift card I used to buy the other supplies for the stockings.   Love you!

Friday, August 30, 2013

MTC Remembered

Our MTC distric's name tags on suitcoats and sweaters.
So, two weeks ago Bryan came home from work with a surprise.  He had remembered an anniversary that hadn't even crossed my mind: 11-years since my first day in the Missionary Training Center.  I'm not sure how more than a decade has passed, but we had a lot of fun with the kids re-creating some of the highlights of being a missionary-in-training.

My companion for the evening: Sister Katie!
Bryan printed up name badges for each of us (complete with the "dork dots" they put on missionaries their first day) and we paired ourselves up into companionships.

Sister Robyn and Sister Amber--sisters indeed!

This companionship may need to be reminded of a few missionary dress and grooming standards.  Like shaving.  And wearing pants.
For dinner Bryan made up some of our MTC cafeteria favorites.  

Like crepes with pudding,
and an endless supply of chocolate milk.  
Neither Bryan nor I ever stayed in a normal dorm on college, which meant the MTC was our only real encounter with the wonder that is a chocolate milk dispenser--yum!!
We talked about what it's like being a missionary, and the girls put on a puppet show for us.

Paperbag puppets on parade.
And, since getting mail is a HUGE deal on a mission, Bryan even made up packages for each of us with a little treat inside.
Check out the return address.  Guess where Bryan went on his mission... :)

It was a fun surprise and a fun evening, but I have to admit, it's had one drawback: it's made me super nostalgic for the real MTC.  This morning it got so bad I actually dug up my old photo album and decided to scan in a few (kind of scary?) pictures from my days as a brand new missionary.

Opening my mission call on the phone with my parents.  (When you're called as a missionary it could be to literally ANYwhere in the world.  From your hometown to Outer Mongolia, it's pretty much all on the table, so opening your call is really exciting and nerve-wracking!)   Taiwan - Kaohsiung Mission, Mandarin speaking: woohoooo!
My parents weren't able to fly out to the training center in Utah with me, so I was dropped off by my little sister Karin and my grandparents.  Back then they used to do a meeting with all the family members and the new missionaries, and then at the end family would go out one door and missionaries would go out the other.  Without parents in the audience, it made that last goodbye a lot easier -- I was literally the first missionary out the door.  (Although if I'd known everything that would come over the next 18 months, I may have have found an excuse to linger a little longer... :)

Requisite picture in front of the training center that first day.
On a mission, everyone is divided into districts that work together and support each other.  A similar pattern is followed at the MTC.  This was our district at the beginning of the adventure:

Say "nai lao!"
Two of the sisters in our district already had a strong background in Chinese, so within the first couple of weeks they actually left the MTC in favor of having more time to serve as actual missionaries.  We also had two elders decide to go home within those first couple of weeks.  One was so extremely homesick he started having fainting spells.  One was our district leader.  I don't remember exactly why he left, although I do remember feeling incredibly sad when he told us he wasn't staying.

While it was sad watching our district shrink, between being such an unusually small district and staying at the MTC for so long (most foreign-destined missionaries back then stay for about 8 weeks to learn the language; between learning Chinese and having visa visa delays we actually ended up staying there closer to fifteen weeks!) we became a really close-knit group.  

I especially came to love my companion: the amazing Sister Julie Johnson.

Sister Johnson ready to gobble up our carefully constructed candy tower.  (When did we have time to do this??  The MTC schedule is super filled with classes, study, service, etc., and yet looking back at my pictures you'd think all we did was play!)
In 2002, elders (boy missionaries) waaaaay out-numbered sisters (girl missionaries) and some elders didn't necessarily take sisters very seriously.  Not the elders in our district though!  They were great to us, and in return we loved finding little ways to cheer them on.

Like a candy poster when everyone was feeling a little demoralized after the district leader decided to leave.

Or decorating the classroom walls with encouraging notes and hershey kisses...which were quickly rearranged to look like bullet holes.

Hit the deck!

Or making up a get-well goodie bag (with the Branch President's permission) for an elder in the district who was sick.

As great as the elders in our district were, the sisters on our floor in the dormitories were every bit as amazing.  I'm not sure anywhere on earth is as close to living in Zion as living in an MTC dorm.  At least on our floor, I never heard an unkind word, never saw a rule broken, never heard a complaint.  In retrospect, it's hard to believe living in a room with barely enough space for two sets of bunk beds and four small desks could feel so much like heaven, but it did.  Sister Johnson and I were at the MTC for much longer than the average companionship, between learning Chinese and waiting for visas, so we saw a lot of other sisters come and go while we were there.  And even though we were only in each other's lives briefly, each of them was a wonderful example of women devoted to serving the Lord and loving His children.

Not every moment we spent together was serious though:

Explaining to a sister from Asia how a tampon works.  
NOT goodie bags.  (Stool samples were part of the visa requirements...)
Someone's parents sent this fabulous spider for Halloween.  Sister Sonoda was not impressed.
Sharing sweet treats from someone's care package.  (Yay for Chinese pajamas--wish I still had some of those!)
When a new companionship would arrive, Sister Johnson and I got to decorate their door to help them feel welcome.  Sometimes we apparently got a little silly in the process...

Hmm...not sure if this counts as "quiet dignity"??!
Ooops!  We accidentally decorated Sister Johnson too!
Most of our hours were spent studying though.  Personal study.  Companionship study.  District study. Learning the gospel.  Learning the language.  Learning to teach.   We were blessed with great teachers and great opportunities.

I have no idea what this chalkboard drawing done by one of our teachers was supposed to mean.  I'm hoping it was examples of NOT good incentives??  Maybe???  
And then suddenly our 12 weeks were up and it was time for our district to scatter around the world.  

Except some of us didn't scatter.  

The three of us destined for Taiwan got held up by a visa problem, and were left behind.  Our poor branch president wasn't quite sure what to do with us--two sisters and one orphaned elder--but I think he knew us all well enough by that point to know we were dedicated missionaries who were, despite the photos in this post, unlikely to become distracted.

So he did something unheard of: he let two sisters and one elder be a companionship.  Elder Christensen obviously still lived in the elders' dorm, but other than that it was the three of us together.  At one point we were walking through 1M (the main building with the cafeteria and offices in it) and all of a sudden we heard a member of the MTC Presidency calling us to come talk to him--NOW!  We scurried over to his office, where he demanded to know what the heck we were doing walking around with a companion-less elder.  We tried to explain the situation, but he was unconvinced and we were terrified we were about to be kicked out of the MTC.  Thankfully he finally was able to reach our Branch President on the phone, and we were allowed to carry on with our day.  (Although we tended to travel in large groups of missionaries anytime we went in 1M after that! :)
Missionaries are never alone--you're always with your companion.  Unless you happen to be an elder with two sisters for companions.  Then you sometimes end up alone waiting for them while they're in the restroom.
Elder Christensen trying to fit in with his new companions.
For the first week in our strange companionship we continued to have teachers and meet regularly for classes.  As the visa delay dragged on, however, our former classroom and teachers were needed for incoming missionaries and we were shuffled off to an empty room and left to fill the hours with personal and companionship study as we saw fit.  Those were wonderful days!  I doubt I will ever again have whole days where it is ok to spend nearly every hour focused on the scriptures and understanding the gospel (well, and learning Chinese...there was that too... :), but I am grateful at least once in my life to have had that chance. 

And then it was over for real.  The week before Thanksgiving we finally boarded a bus to the airport.  But like most endings, that was really just the beginning of all the great/horrible/soul-shaping experiences that make up a mission, all of which the MTC helped us get ready for in ways that go waaaaay beyond learning a few phrases in Chinese.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Things did get better

While my previous post described most of the drama from our last trip to Maryland, the last couple of days we spent with Bryan's family were actually pretty fun.  (You know, once we got past the requisite car problems, camping catastrophes, and projectile illnesses... :)

As evidence that storms really do pass, here are some pictures from the end of our trip:

Eating homemade ice cream at Grandma's house.

Mmm!  Peach and blackberry!
Picking berries in Grandpa's garden.

We even got to play in the new pool Bryan's folks have put in.  And, while it was certainly a minor drama compared to the rest of our weekend, I did have a little bit of swimsuit sadness this trip.

Here's the swim suit (bought at end of year sale last season) and cover-up (made specifically in anticipation of our big beach trip) I had planned on enjoying on the trip:

Not a great picture--I took it after sewing the cover-up to make sure everything was hanging right--but I really like it turned out!
And here I am playing in the pool.  Yep.  I forgot to pack my swimsuit.  Going to the beach for the first time in years and I forgot my suit.  Aaaaaand, to top it off, when we went into town to Walmart they had just finished clearing out their suits for the year, so I got to rock a tank-top-with-built-in-bra on top of awesome hot-pink sport-shorts.  Oh well! :)

Check out Robyn's super swimming skills: she and Amber learned so much at swim lessons this summer!

We also took advantage of Grandma's Jacuzzi tub afterwards.

Rub a dub dub: how many kids will fit in a tub?
Making a goatee look good.
Meow! :)
Cute matching skirts made by Bryan's mom for church on Sunday:

And, last, but not least, an amazing "crab boil" eaten on the balcony with Bryan's family the evening of our anniversary.

Bryan and Kelly dump the boil out onto the paper.  No knives and forks for this meal!
Oooooh: Maryland crab, root beer, and the best husband in the world.  Life is good.
For all our misadventure, I can't get over how blessed we were through everything that happened on our trip.  It wasn't exactly how we planned, but we felt fortunate to have been kept safe, both on the road and during our camping.  We also encountered some of the nicest people you could hope to find, especially on the side of a road in Pennsylvania.  We had a great time with Bryan's family (more so AFTER the camping was over, but you know, it's all good) and even managed to find a replacement van while we were down there.  That seems especially crazy considering we spent *months* shopping for our Sienna and then somehow managed to find a used Odyssey that matched all of our criteria, that we were able to pay cash for, that was successfully vetted by a mechanic, that came with a one-year nationwide guarantee, and that was located just a couple miles away from where we were staying, all in a couple of hours over the weekend.  It was even the same forest-green color of our old van, which made my green-loving husband happy.  

So that's how we wrapped up the first eight years of marriage.  Here's to an eternity of adventures yet to come!!  

P.S.  Here are some pics of the new Odyssey.   (Mom read the post and wondered where shots of the new van were, so here they are, just for her. :)

Still green.  It's like they knew Bryan was coming...
It's more than a decade old, but it has low miles and there are some things I really love about the new van.  Like the deep cargo space in the back!
Expect to see this as the setting for future traumatic vacations.

We've outdone ourselves...

This has been a rough summer for relaxing.  Our camping hasn't been completely calm (see earlier post: "How to Become a Camping aFISKionado").  When my parents came to visit their car died and everyone got sick (see earlier post: "7734").  And when my in-laws came a couple weeks ago, sure enough, their car died too and was out of commission the entire weekend.  Still, optimism reigns around here, so were really looking forward to our trip to do some camping with Bryan's family on Assateague Island down near Maryland.

We made our reservation months in advance and have been counting down the days, excited to try camping on the sand, with ocean waves crashing just yards away, enjoying relaxing afternoons hanging out with Bryan's family, the children romping along the beach, gazing up at the stars in the evening while roasting marshmallows, and hopefully getting to see some of the island's famous wild ponies.  Yes!  A little bit of real R&R were finally headed our way!

Things started out well enough.  We were on the road early Wednesday morning, our Sienna packed to the gills with children, camping gear, and suitcases (we planned to finish the weekend going to church with Bryan's folks on Sunday.)  We were sure we'd be there by 3:00 in the afternoon, and since we knew some of our best weather was going to be that first day we planned to take full advantage by hitting the water right away.  Sitting there listening to the radio and chatting with Bryan, the kids giggling and enjoying the sheer joy of a roadtrip, everything seemed so perfect I could almost feel the sand between my toes already.

Early start equals early naps for the kiddos.  Love how Robyn is sleeping in this picture!

And then, about half-way there,
                as we were driving down Interstate 476 near Allentown,

                                                                                                  this happened:

With construction vehicles up-ahead, traffic had slowed almost to a stop.  We were rolling along at just under 5 mph when Bryan saw a Ford Explorer barreling towards us in the rear view mirror.  He had just enough time to make a split-second pull towards the shoulder when CRASH!

Thankfully, Bryan's quick thinking angled us off the road instead of into any other cars, and, other than some neck-and-back soreness, every single person involved was COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OK.

I'm not sure I've ever been so shaken up in my life, though.  The crash happened really fast, but the actual impact lasted long enough that while I was still moving forward in my seat I was able to swing my neck to look back towards the kids and it was a horrible experience: seeing them; wondering what was happening; wondering what was going to happen next.

Thankfully all that happened next was tears.  We slammed back into our seats and Matthew wailed.  It was the loudest, healthiest, wail he's ever let out, (which is saying something for him :).  The girls started crying a moment later, more scared than anything.  And then I started crying, for completely different reasons.

The other vehicle, thankfully driven by some of the nicest people you could ever hope to be in an accident with.
It feels kind of funny to realize that the most grateful I have ever felt was while stranded on the side of the road far from home staring at our smashed-in van.  Hard to express.

Anyhow, since everyone really was in good shape, we finally made the decision to continue on towards Assateague Island, looking forward even more to a relaxing weekend with family.  Between police reports, tow trucks, arranging rentals, talking to insurance companies, and all of that, we lost over four hours.  But what's four hours, right?  We were just happy to be ok and to be on our way.

Girls on the side of the freeway being super amazing as we transfer car seats to the emergency vehicles.

The sun was setting as we put together our tent, and it was pitch black as we ate our tinfoil dinners around 10 that night, but the next day held such promise we didn't mind too much.  (Although I could have lived without having to watch out for the million-or-so fist-sized, nocturnal, bug-eyed crabs scurrying slowly across the sand between us and the pit toilets...)

We couldn't wait to get a good look at the ocean the next morning and were up enjoying the seaside right at sunrise.

Bryan, Robyn, and Amber explore the beach by morning's first light.
Pajama-clad Matthew gets his first fist-full of sand.

Our campsite was literally right over a small dune from the ocean and it was beautiful!

Speaking of beautiful...who knew a *boy* could look so pretty? :)
We'd checked the forecast ahead of time and knew that the weather for the day was expected to be a bit wet, so we decided to hit the water right after breakfast in case it was the only chance we got.  (Spoiler alert: it was. :)

The girls splashing in the surf with cousin Lylia.

The girls loved everything about the ocean.  Matthew was less impressed, however, and after the first few minutes retreated up the beach closer to Grandma and Grandpa.

Matthew playing in the sand with Grandpa Gordon.  You can see the tops of our tents in the background.

Both the drizzle and the wind were starting to pick up as the morning went on, so we finally headed back over the dune to our campsite for lunch.

Trying not to let their lunches blow away.
As the wind became stronger and stronger and showers began passing through in earnest we settled into an afternoon routine:

Play in the sand:

Kind of cool picture Katie took looking down from the dune onto our site.

Play in the tent:
Coloring while waiting for a rain shower to pass.
Play in the sand:

Apparently sand-angels are nearly as much fun as snow-angels.
Play in the tent:

Playing with UNO cards while riding out another little storm.
Play in the sand:

Skies growing ever more ominous as the breaks in the weather grew ever more rare.
Play in the tent:

Everything took it's toll on Katie, who finally fell asleep in the tent.

You get the picture.  By late afternoon the winds were a STEADY, UNRELENTING 15 mph, with higher gusts.  Bryan finally anchored our tent down to a picnic table because, even with our long meant-for-sand-camping tent stakes, it kept getting away from us.

We knew if we could just make it through the evening, though, it was supposed to be clear overnight and glorious the next day.  Our chance to be at the beach in the sunshine was getting closer by the minute.

Showing off a tower of seashells.
Trying to keep the littler kids warm by the fire as we worked on dinner.
Taking advantage of a dry moment, we managed to cook and eat dinner in peace, but had to run for cover from yet another burst of rain before even doing the evening dishes.  

Bryan chilling in the tent after dinner.  

And then, as we're lounging in the tent, positive that surely this must be the last little wave of showers to pass through before the promised night-time clearing, there's a knock at our tent.

The ranger.  

Bad storm.  Heavy flooding expected.  Advising everyone to get off the island.  Tents don't stand a chance.  Oh, and it'll be here in 20 minutes.  

What insanity!!  If you've never broken camp in fifteen minutes, in the rain, covered in sand, with a bunch of little kids, constantly being whipped around by giant gusts of wind, and sand EVERYWHERE, you haven't lived.
View of our tents as we scramble to abandon camp, with storm clouds and the ocean in the background.   
One of the craziest moments was when Bryan was working on taking down the tent.  Katie was the last thing weighing down the tent, and as he scooped her up and moved towards the door the entire tent blew over with them inside.  At least it didn't carry them away Wizard of Oz style!

Amazingly, we managed to cram all of our hastily gathered gear back into the vehicles just before the storm hit in earnest.  

We did it!
Before we even got off the island you could tell the water was rising and things were getting intense.  Glad we listened to the ranger and decided to leave!

Bridge from Assateague back to Ocean City.
Exhausted from all the exposure and excitement, the girls fell asleep in the car almost immediately.  We figured we'd be back at Grandma's by midnight and settled in to enjoy the ride.  Because a drive with sleeping children is almost as good as a date around here.

Had to lift the camera over my head to take this picture: there was so much stuff frantically shoved between us and the kids we couldn't see them at our eye-level.
And then, a couple hours into our drive, we noticed two semi-trucks speeding down the left lane.  They passed us.  Then they passed Bryan's folks.  And as they did, one of them shredded a tire.

In the pitch black, at first we weren't sure what was happening.  We just saw sparks up ahead and started getting pummeled by debris that was smacking our windshield so hard I was scared it was going to shatter.  And within moments, we were all hanging out on the side of the road.  Again.  

While our vehicle was fine, turns out some of the shredded tire had managed to punch through the grate on Bryan's folks' car.  The front of their car was hissing and leaking like crazy, and for a while we thought we were going to have to leave their car behind until the next day, although thankfully the worst damage was to the air conditioner.  

And then, as we're standing on the side of the road, sure that we have finally exhausted the amount of drama even we can cram into a weekend...

Katie starts throwing up.

Because no Fisk family adventure would be complete without a little vomit, right?????  Sigh. We couldn't even reach her past all the camping gear and had to chuck towels at her from the front and pass water to her via her big sister Robyn.  At which point my mom texted the message,

"Maybe you should stay home next time?"

Maybe we should.  Especially since I'm starting to think that around here R & R should stand for Retch & Retreat. :)