Have Fun with Your Family

Harmonica FunHappy New Year! One of my goals this year is to find time to have fun with my family.

Last year my word for the year was “finish”. I had so many unfinished projects that I wanted to focus on finishing some of them. While that was a worthy goal, I found myself finishing things but starting so many things that I became a little overwhelmed with all the tasks left undone by the end of the year.

This year I picked a word that I feel would free me of some of the stress that I find myself under. That word is “boundaries”.

In December, I started reading a really good book entitled Boundaries: When to say Yes How to say No to take control of your life.

That book made me realize that I tend to over volunteer to do things. It’s not anyone else’s fault but my own because I haven’t set clear boundaries in my life to help me know when I need to say “No, I really can’t right now.”

So this year I planned to set some healthy boundaries in my life.

You know the Lord has a sense of humor, I honestly believe, because it really wasn’t part of my plans to hurt my shoulder which forced some boundaries upon me.

It is all good though because I finally went to a local health clinic today and the x-rays show that I didn’t break nor fracture any bones and I still have a good range of motion even though it hurts so with some medicine and gentle exercise I should heal in a few weeks.

harmonica funNow to the fun stuff.

My husband and I got new harmonicas for Christmas and we started a new goal this year. We are going to try to record ourselves playing our harmonicas together each week.

Here is a fun video of me opening my Christmas harmonicas. My husband and kids surprised me by getting me more than just the one harmonica I was expecting.

Here is that video:

I was really surprised. I think the biggest surprise for me was that none, I repeat, NONE of our six children told me about it. They kept it a secret and were very proud of themselves for it too.

Now I know you are waiting to hear us play some so here my husband and I are having fun with our first recording for this year. My husband is playing a Hohner 48 chord harmonica and I’m playing on a Lee Oskar Diatonic harmonica.

And here is our second video. This is after I hurt my arm so it hampered my playing a little bit.

And our latest video together still with my hurt arm. I’m glad to say that I’ve been given the “go ahead” about using my arm so my next video will be less encumbered.

It really is good to find things you enjoy doing with your family.

My husband and I enjoy playing harmonica together. Our younger children enjoy basketball and I will share a post about that in the near future. The important thing is to find something you can do as a family that brings you closer together.

Maybe for your family it is playing games or putting a puzzle together.

What does your family enjoy doing together?

I would love it if you shared what you do together in the comments.

 

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Improving Little by Little

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Our younger 4 children think they are improving our front yard. :)

We are experiencing growth here at Rock Solid Family.

In the past couple of months I have experienced what it is like to have a Consultant. Brenda McGraw is an excellent Mastermind and Consultant and if you have goals and dreams in your life that you need help to reach without giving up everything else important to you I highly recommend you contact Brenda. Because of Brenda’s help I plan to have my book finished by this summer. I will give more details on that in a later post.

Also in events over the past month we went as a family (minus our oldest daughter) to the World Missions Seminar. If you haven’t read those posts we are planning to move our family as Missionaries to Argentina as soon as God provides a church to send us. I learned a lot from WMS and will write another post soon with more about it.

And finally I want to share a book called The Art of Work by Jeff Goins which he is launching this week. If you are looking for your purpose and calling in life you will really like The Art of Work. It really changed the way I look at the things I’m doing and how it all ties together with my and my family’s calling. There is no reason we have to settle for less than what God wants us to do. The book launches Tuesday but he has a special going on for pre-orders. You can go to ArtofWorkBook.com to learn more about this special deal and the bonuses that go with it. This is the last day to get his book for only the cost of shipping plus the bonuses that come with it so I thought I would share that with you all.

I wrote a blog post for Ask God Today last Friday but was so busy over the weekend I didn’t take time to post about it here. So if you want you read the devotional I wrote entitled Barak: Reluctant Faith .

Oh and one more thing that I forgot to mention… For my homeschooling friends there is a Sonlight Curriculum Give-A-Way taking place. You can register for free and they will give you a special link to share with your friends. For every person that registers under your link you get another entry for the drawing. And yes if you register under my link I will get an extra entry too.

Finally what can you expect in the future from me and my Rock Solid Family? Thanks to some of the people and resources mentioned above I actually do have a plan.

One of my plans is to start a series of posts of Frequently Asked Questions. I’ll make a page to go along with this series so anyone can find the questions people frequently ask us.

Do you have a question for us? You can ask it in the comments or send us an email. Your question could turn into a blog post.

Thank you all for joining us as we improve and grow little by little through this year. We are all excited about what lies ahead.

Note: I’m an affiliate for The Art of Work book which means that if anyone purchases something with my link I may receive a portion of the proceeds.

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What is Tribe Writers?

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Some of you may have noticed the changes that have taken place in my writing over this past year.

In July of 2006 I started a little blog called “Thoughts from Stacie”. I wrote sporadic posts about things going on around our home. You can see how I left it at http://asmile4ever.blogspot.com. I had changed the name from “Thoughts from Stacie” to “Rock Solid Family”. I probably should take it back to looking like it was when I started but how I left it shows the transition.

I also wrote a few pamphlets, gospel tracts, and bulletins for our church.

I really wanted to make a difference with my writing.

I took a Children’s Writing course but I wound up dropping out. Discouraged after a few years at my slow progress, I was stuck and unable to see past where I was at.

Then in October of 2012 that all changed for me. I joined Tribe Writers.

Let’s take a look back over how far I have come.

This year I stopped waiting to be a writer and started calling myself one. I made myself business cards for my first writing conference.

I have found my writing purpose to help encourage and strengthen families.

I have written a book Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment. You can download it for free here.

I am in the process of writing an expanded edition of my little book. I also have several Children’s book written that I want to get into print in the near future.

I will be launching an exclusive newsletter on January 1, 2014. I will share a once a month anecdote of what is happening behind the scenes at Rock Solid Family. I want to keep my blog pertinent to my passion but still have a place to share what we’ve been up to with my serious followers.

Thanks to the boost I got from Tribe Writers, I am now daring to dream bigger dreams.

So… Why am I telling you all this?
I feel you have a message to share too.

Do you desire to find your audience and spread your message to your Tribe? Then Tribe Writers is the place for you!

Click on the picture below or on any of the Tribe Writers links to find out more.

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*All of the Tribe Writers links are affiliate links. Which means I get a commission if you join through one of my links. The money I earn will go into producing more books and resources for you.

I would highly recommend Tribe Writers even if I didn’t get any commission. That’s just an added perk for Tribe Writers’ alumni. :-)

Come join the community and see what Tribe Writers can do for you.

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How to Be Happy Every Day (Book Review)

Have you ever felt sad or depressed? Is your cup half empty most of the time?

Well it’s time to fill that cup up!

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Bryan Hutchinson of PositiveWriter.com has written a book that will help you do just that. Fill your cup up with happiness.

In his book, Bryan shares from his own experience how he came out of the mire of depression.

Happy Every Day – Simple Effective Ways to Better Days is a powerful book that is easy to read. In it Bryan gives simple, practical tips to live a happier life.

“Happiness is about perspective. It’s not just a feeling.” ~ Bryan Hutchinson

He talks about how to create happiness through helping other people and encouraging your children to live happier lives. Those are just two of the many examples and steps he gives to encourage us on our road to happier days.

This book is for anyone that finds themselves depressed or sad about different situations they may face in life. Happy Every Day doesn’t put you down for having those feelings.

Instead it cheers you up and helps you to realize that you are an amazing person and knowing that should make you happy every day.

Reward yourself for choosing happiness. Grab a journal and this book and start living a happier richer life everyday.

Have you read Bryan’s Book “Happy Every Day” yet? If you have tell us about it in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Better yet go ahead and write your own review. Bryan is hosting several contests over at his blog “Happy Every Day” Book Launch Drawings and Contests where you can Win Kindles and Gift Cards!  Let me know if you write a book description and I’ll be sure to read yours too.

For those who haven’t read his book, don’t miss out. You can get it on Amazon today by clicking here or on the picture below.

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Happy Every Day – Simple Effective Ways to Better Days

*None of the links in this post are affiliate. Even though I was offered a free copy of Happy Every Day for my honest review, I went ahead and purchased my copy. The price is very affordable and I want you to know that I wouldn’t suggest you buy something I wouldn’t buy myself. 

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Dear World, You Need A Lesson On Commitment

I am joining several other writers to reply to Josh Irby’s “Open Letter Challenge“.  On his blog he asked us to answer his free download an open letter from the world with a letter of our own. I thought it would be fitting to start my 31 Days of Commitment with this letter.

scottstacieDear World,

It is scary writing this letter when I don’t know how you will respond. I know you say that I have a message that you need to hear. Sometimes it is awful hard to give you that message. I know some people will respond positively to what I have to say but then again they are not of this world.

If I could get one message across to you and change one person’s life in the process, I would do my best to give you a lesson on commitment. That is the biggest problem you seem to have. You are very selfish. It is hard to see what is best for everyone else if you are only concerned about yourself and what you want.

You want someone to love you. You don’t necessarily want to love them back. You are looking for someone to meet your needs. It’s too much work to meet there’s.

Life is not all about you. Life is about commitment. You have to think of other people and how your actions will affect them. This is a lesson that you cannot learn in a normal school. This is a lesson that you will only learn from the example of others that live commitment out.

Look at someone that are committed to their spouse and refuse to stray from their commitment and you will see a good example to follow. I know it is hard to find people that are committed. It is beginning to look like it is really getting scarce in our society.

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“Where is commitment to be found?” you ask. I understand your concern and it is very valid.

Preachers and their families should be a good place to look to for modeling commitment in marriage. After all the Bible says they are to be examples.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having [his] children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);” – 1 Timothy 3:2-5 NKJV

Yet every time I see another preacher’s wife leave her husband for another man, or a preacher that runs off with another woman, I cringe. I realize that no one is perfect but preachers’ families live in glass houses. I know you are watching us to see if we fall. 

We are suppose to be the ones that you can look up to as an example of how God would have us to live. But if preachers don’t have commitment figured out, who will teach you.

That is why I am here. This is why I am writing this letter. I will love my husband and model true commitment for you.

If you will read what I have to say I will teach you. Even when you get mad at me. I will keep giving the message God wants me to give. 

Now take your fingers out of your ears. I know this is hard to hear. It’s hard to give up the things you enjoy in order to do what is right. That takes real commitment. But if you would look ahead at what the future could hold if you would only be committed to what you set out to do.

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Life is so much better when you put out the effort to get along with your family. I realize everyone has different circumstances. I’m not saying you have to be a doormat to get along. You can be strong. It takes a lot of strength to be faithfully committed. Especially with the mess you are in the midst of right now.

This is a hard letter to write but I realize you needed me to write it anyway. How will you ever know what you need if no one ever tells you? I will keep on writing. You need to hear what I have to say.

“Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? Where [is] the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” – 1 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

Sincerely,

Anastacia Maness

What would you like to tell the world? Will you strive to be committed? As always feel free to share in the comments.

Tomorrow I will be continuing to write on building commitment for the next 31 Days. Don’t worry I won’t be writing every post as a letter. :)

If you haven’t gotten your free copy of my book yet, you can download it here. My posts this month will be expounding on what I have written in my book. 

Thanks for listening!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Life is Like a Boat

You may be wondering where I have been. Well, life has been pretty busy lately and my blog has been down for right around a whole week. I have finished my book and will be sharing that with you tomorrow. But today I wanted to describe what my life is like.

My friend Pamela Hodges asked on her blog ipaintiwrite.com what life is like to us. She plans to put all submissions into a book. You can read more about her plans on the post “Tell me what life is like and be in my book“. I have been describing my life as a boat for a long time. So I’m going to share it with you today. And since I haven’t blogged in quite a while (try a whole month!!!) this post is very fitting as a prelude to my book launch tomorrow.

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

My life is like a boat. A leaky boat. It keeps taking on water.

I run over to one part of my boat realizing I neglected an area. I work diligently to fix the holes and bale out water.

Ah! Smooth sailing…

Then suddenly I look behind me… Oh, no! Another leak. In the process of fixing one area of the boat I forgot to see the damage in another area of the ship. I then have to run over there and fix that leak and bale out more water. 

There fixed! Life is good.

Uh oh! Yep, you guessed it. I’m constantly running in circles to fix up this rickety ship.

One day it’s the dishes starting to pile up. I get so upset about the mess that I work very diligently to get that mess cleaned up. It may take a few days but I’m back on target with the housekeeping. 

Then I turn around. Sometimes I don’t even turn around just someone warns me. You have a problem over here. Maybe it’s a problem one of my children are having. I leave everything else behind and focus on that problem. Great that child’s problem is solved. Even if it took a few weeks to resolve the issue, I’m happy with the results. 

But oh, no! I planned to have a book finished and given to you, my faithful followers, by the end of August. So I rush over to that part of life and try to get that resolved. I have so many things planned for my little part of cyber space. 

Anyway, you get the picture. And that is what life is like for me. I’m still on this same old rickety ship called “Life”. I’m beginning to see that it will always be this way.

I used to get very upset at the tipping and tossing by the waves. Once I accepted this ship that God has given me, I can now enjoy the ride.  

How about you? What is life like for you? Do you have trouble keeping everything in balance? Please tell me about it in the comments

Where am I at today on this boat? Well, the dishes are clean. The kids homeschooling got off to a pretty good start.

Where are the holes? Well, you have just witnessed me patching one up right now. I am finally posting this blog post after a month of neglect.
Over all? Life is pretty good since I have great ship-mates like you to share it with. :)

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.   ~ Mark 4:37-39 

~~ Anastacia ~~

 

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Embracing the In-Between

I had to fight back tears yesterday. My husband and I were talking about possibly letting our 15 year old son ride his bike a mile down the road where he works as an apprentice. There are days that it would be nice for him to have his own transportation. There are days when I can’t take him or pick him up. We talked about the possibilities and like any good father my husband also pointed out some of the risks.

Elisabeth has some big boots to fill.

Elisabeth has some big boots to fill.

I cried… just a little. I mean do I have to let my little boy grow up? He wants to start taking driver’s ed. If I’m afraid of his riding his bike down the road will I be able to handle him driving? 

Then I looked over at my baby that has just started walking this past week. I asked my husband, “Why do we even teach them how to walk? Before you know it they want to drive.” And my heart aches.

I  just read a book entitled “In Between” by Jeff Goins. He talks about treasuring the moments of waiting. The moments in-between now and the next big thing. Then I realized…I am there right now.

This is my “In-Between” moment. I’m in-between milestones. In-between stages of my children’s development. 

One child just started walking. One is about to start driving. And I can only stand here and watch as all this happens around me. 

I cannot slow down time.

My husband tells me that all of this independence and growth is a good thing.

I hear what he says. I know he is right… But… It is so hard to let go. 

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I must let go though. No more worrying over the inevitable growth that must happen. Instead I will embrace these moments in my children’s lives.

I am blessed to be able to watch them turn into the fine young men and women God has designed them to be.

How about you? Are you at an In-Between moment in your life?  Please share with us in the comments.

I highly recommend you read In-Between.  Learn more about it at InBetweenBook.com

 

~♥~ Anastacia ~♥~

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If I Only Had One Day Left

The latest picture I have of my Papaw holding his great grandson Jonathan born November 4, 2007.

The last picture I have of my Papaw, Clyde Clark, holding his great grandson Jonathan born November 4, 2007. Papaw passed away July 11, 2008

I recently read a book that was given to me by a friend and fellow Tribe Writer, Eva P. Scott entitled “20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course in Mastering Your Life Right Now” by Robert D. Smith.

It was a very good book. I can’t quite apply all the concepts because I’m in a different time of life than he was in the writing of his book.

For instance he was past his 20,000th day when he wrote the book. I am currently on my 13,324th day. (If you want to figure out which day you are on you can go to his website day calculator: Here)

I’ve got young children that still need to be raised. So I have to keep my situation in mind while reading his book. Not everything will apply to me.

But one of the things he mentioned in his book that really got me to thinking was to imagine everyday as if it were your last. 

If I really imagined that everyday was my last day to live, I’d never wash another dish again. I’d hide all the dirty clothes in a closet. Those things aren’t on the most important list for me. But they are things that have to be done and I cannot neglect them. 

It did get me to thinking though. What legacy do I want to leave to my children, grand-children, great grand children, great great great great great…? Okay, you get the picture.

Will I have a great-great-great…grandchild one day that will be just like me. Will she be going through the same challenges? Will she even know who I was? Do I know anything about my great-great-great…grandparents?

My paternal grandfather, Clyde Clark, wrote his story. He wrote his memories down during the years right before he passed away. I found the document he typed the other day. I could hear his voice in my mind as I read it. I want to turn his story into a book. It will be a book that many generations from now will read.

I’m not stopping there though. I want to write my own book. A book for my children and beyond. I want them to be strengthened long after I am gone. A continuing legacy of building a Rock Solid Family.

That brings me to my current plans. I must say that I feel like I’m always in the planning stage. It is hard to move from planning something to actually making it a reality. Well today is the day… No more procrastinating.

I have finally started my book. And you, my faithful followers, will be the first to read it when I’m done.

The working title right now is “Don’t Give Up: A Rock Solid Manifesto of Commitment.” I say working title because the title may change.

This summer is incredibly busy with family and church commitments. So I’m going to set a tentative launch date for the end of August. That will give me a month between the time all the summer activities end and the homeschool activities begin.

What do you think? Does the subject I plan to write on interest you? Is there anything you would like to see me include in my book? How about a future book? Is there a subject you would like me to write about? Please let me know in the comments.

I’m making my writing goal public as a challenge from a blog post by another tribe writer, Bryan Hutchinson of PositiveWriter.com. He encouraged writers to “write a post about starting on your path to achieving your dream, and then post a link in the comments.” You can read more about the challenge and his great advice here.

 

~♥~  Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~♥~

“Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!”

–Job 19:23-24

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My 10 Favorite Inspirational Quotes

There are so many good quotes in the world it’s hard to just pick a few. As a child I quoted everything from “Rain Rain go away” to “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.” I don’t use those childhood quotes so much anymore but I was challenged by a fellow Tribe Writer on his blog post at Positive Writer to write a blog about my favorite quotes.

It took me a while to come around to it but I decided I’d take up the challenge.

 

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Papa and Nana with the kids

As a grand-daughter of 2 preachers, a daughter of 1 preacher, a sister to a preacher, a sister-in-law to another preacher, and let’s not forget I am a preacher’s wife as well…


Obviously a few of my favorite quotes come from the Bible. Here is one such quote I like as a writer.

My tongue is a pen of a ready writer.“~Psalm 45:1

Sometimes I reverse it and say, “My pen is the tongue of a ready speaker.”

 

Ever since I was a child I loved the adventures of Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I still enjoy reading her books over
and over again. One of the biggest things I got from her books and think about when I make a new friend that I relate with is

If a person sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same taste in jokes – why then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph.”
“Oh, I understand,” exclaimed Anne, light breaking in upon her. “It’s what I used to call and still call in quotation marks ‘kindred spirits’.
“~Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery

 

Just like Anne, I find friends that even on the first meeting I realize are a “kindred spirit”. They are someone that understands me. Other people might look at me funny but a “kindred spirit” just knows.

 

Here is another favorite Bible quote:

Therefore if thine enemy be hungry, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.“~Romans 12:20-21

As a child I added a little emphasis to the “heaping coals of fire” part. Now I try to focus more on “overcoming evil with good”.

 

Here’s another Bible quote that I frequently use on the kids. This one you have to imagine Captain Kirk’s phraseology a bit.

The rod and reproof giveth wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother shame.” ~Proverbs 29:15

You have to understand that I’m not angry when I quote that one to my kids. I use that one when they’ve been goofing off while my back was turned. That’s my pre-getting-them-back-on-task quote.

The kids usually respond that I sound like Papa. But they do return to work after my sermonette about what that verse means.
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This next quote, I use while cleaning out my refrigerator, comes from my dad. I don’t know if he actually coined it but he is the only one I’ve heard use it.

When in doubt, throw it out.“~ Paul Clark

That probably goes along with “better safe than sorry.”

 

This morning I am up early during a 30 day challenge with a few friends that are also taking the challenge. We’re reading a book by another Tribe Writing friend entitled Early to Rise.

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Jonathan and Elisabeth

So this morning another couple of quotes come to my mind.

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6:10-11 also Proverbs 24:33-34

That verse is not saying to never sleep but it brings another of my dad’s quotes to mind.

Girl, you’re going to sleep your whole day away!“~ Paul Clark

I intend to not sleep my day away.

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My Parents: Paul and Janie Clark

Here is another I have had to repeat to myself many times.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. ~ Proverbs 29:25

 

I could go on and on with Bible quotes. I’ll just give you a couple more.

 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19

This one I think of whenever we don’t have the money to buy something we really need. God always provides.

 

Finally, one quote that I’ve given a lot of devotions on:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the
evil thereof.
” ~ Matthew 6:33-34

Do you have any favorite quotes? Leave a comment to share your favorites with me.

This post was ready to go last Friday but my internet wasn’t working. I plan to blog again before the week is out.

If there are any topics you would like to see me post about or questions you would like to ask just let me know. You can ask in the comments or contact me through my contact page. If you are reading this in your email you can also just reply to the email and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

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