Catch the Crabapple Fever! New Cookbook by Joy E. of NetworkforMoms.org (December 2012)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

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 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!
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Catch the Crabapple Fever!
My new Cookbook: Cooking with Crabapples: Tasty Recipes


Hello Friends:

I know everyone was busy shopping for all of those
great toys mentioned in my last article, but now it is time to get excited about the newest cooking trend!

Joy E. of NetworkforMoms.org introduces her new cookbook with delicious recipes for crabapples.  Ride the runaway crabapple cooking trend with 'Cooking with Crabapples: Tasty Recipes' by   Joy E. of NetworkforMoms.org.

These recipes allow everyone to enjoy crabapples in a delicious way.  The cookbook includes several delicious tart recipes in addition to some baked items. It also makes a great gift for any occasion!

Catch the crabapple fever!  Once crabapple season is upon us again, you can find crabapples at local farms in your area. Keep in mind that crabapples need to be put in your freezer immediately (or the freezer section of your refrigerator).  Crabapples will begin to break down, change color and lose their health properties if you do not freeze them immediately!

For the more industrious chefs: if you freeze a large amount of crabapples, you can make my crabapple recipes in the off-season as well!

Once all of you savvy cooks bake these crabapple recipes, I am sure that this cookbook will become a fixture in your kitchen.  The cookbook is on sale now for just $22.50 (shipping incl. U.S. only) and makes a great gift for anyone who loves to cook! **SOLD OUT, please check back!***


For those cooks who are into baking healthy fare, according to HealthBerth.com, crabapples are 'a good source of fibre, Vitamin C and minerals (especially potassium).'  In addition, according to HealthBerth.com, crabapples' other health benefits are: 'the soluble fibre may lower blood cholesterol and may help to protect against heart and circulatory disease' (You can read HealthBerth.com's 2010 article 'Crabapples May Protect Heart Health' at this link: http://www.healthberth.com/2010/12/crab-apples-may-protect-heart-health.html).

Happy crabapple cooking everyone!

Joy E.
Posted December 21, 2012
JoyE@NetworkforMoms.org
*Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me.

My happy daughter playing with her toys and looking forward to meeting Santa!

**If you would like to support NetworkforMoms.org, please click and shop with our sponsored advertisers in the right panel of this website.

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Toys for Babies and Children.....(October 2012)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!
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Toys for Babies and Children......

Hello fellow new moms!  I have put together a list of children's toys that make great gifts for the holidays and I wanted to share my list with my fellow NetworkforMoms.org buddies.  All of these are great toys for children to enjoy.  My daughter pointed out that a lot of toys can be expensive and felt it was better to have her mom suggest that her NetworkforMoms.org buddies just give one high quality toy as the main gift for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or a child's birthday!

I thought this was a great idea and wanted to mention it to my fellow moms.  It is better to invest in one high quality toy rather than lots of mediocre toys.


Here is my list of toys for my daughter, you may want to PRINT THIS LIST
for yourself:


Age 1 to Age 2 



First 100 Words by bright baby

For @ $8.00, you can purchase this colorful board book. This is how I used this book:
1. I identified the picture to my child.
2. I described the picture more accurately. For example  I said Red Car, Yellow Duck, Green Apple, Blue Chair, etc.

This book can be purchased at any Walmart :http://www.walmart.com/ip/Big-Board-First-100-Words/3931135



Hugs by iBaby

This iBaby board book can be purchased for @ $9.00. In this picture to the right, this book has baby animal characters that are attached with different colored ribbon, and fit into little sleeves on each page.
This is how I use this book:
I placed each baby animal into the proper sleeve with the Mama animal character and when I read each page, I pulled out each baby animal and said the name of that animal. Since it is all about hugs between mothers and babies, it is a very pleasant and loving story.  I love it! ;) This book can be purchased at any Walmarthttp://www.walmart.com/ip/Ibaby-Hugs-Tuck-Each-Baby-Into-a-Loving-Hug/13255645

If for some reason this book is sold out at Walmart.com,  here it is for @$10.00 with FREE SHIPPING!:
http://www.bookdepository.com/Ibaby-Hugs-Tuck-Each-Baby-Into-Loving-Hug-Ikids/9781601690203


Colors by bright baby

For @ $5.00 you can enjoy this beautiful board book. Colors has accurate terms that define each picture. My daughter has had fun enjoying all of the bright colors! It is so beautiful and she loves this book!  This book can be purchased at any Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/2673943

If for some reason this book is sold out at Walmart.com, here it is for @$5.00 with FREE SHIPPING!: http://www.bookdepository.com/Colors-Priddy-Books/9780312492472


Natural Wood Animal Blocks
by Hape Toys

According to the Hape Toys website these 'wood animal blocks 10+ months old.
are made of natural sustainable wood and safe water-based paint. Some of the blocks include pictures and patterns that let your baby build their own animal kingdoms.' Our daughter found this toy to be very entertaining and they gave us a chance to teach her about complicated shapes. These blocks are for children
You can purchase them here:  http://www.amazon.com/toys-games/dp/B005CUAKO4
If sold out, Hape Toys now carries their Maple Blocks set here: http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE0409/327.0



Block and Roll by Hape Toys

This stroller is under $60, and my baby has enjoyed it in several ways including as a stroller for support, a wagon for toys and she can arrange the blocks in many different size squares. According to the Hape Toys website, this toy's key features are:

'Problem Solving: Introduces logic, matching objects, spatial relationships, critical thinking, and an understanding of cause and effect.' 

'Advances fine motor skills: Promotes dexterity, hand/eye coordinating and manipulating objects.'

'Gross Motor Skills (Physical Skills): Boosts coordination, balance, and physical strength'. 
All of this information can be found on the Hape Toys website.


To order the stroller, call 1-800-661-4142 or click the link to purchase: http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE0371/327.0



Counting Stacker by Hape Toys

For @ $10.00, this NEW colorful stacker from Hape Toys 'really helps children to problem solve' (according to Hape Toys). This toy is for the 18+ month child.  According to the Hape Toys website this toy's key features are:
'Fine Motor Skills: Promotes dexterity, hand/eye coordinations, and manipulations.'












'Problem Solving: Introduces logic, matching, spatial relationships, critical thinking, and an understanding of cause and effect.'

To order the Counting Stacker call 1-800-661-4142 or use this link:
http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE0504/327.0




The Learning Curve Brands, Inc./TOMY - 
My Phone Toy (Stroller Toy)

My daughter loves this wonderful electronic stroller toy and it can be purchased for under $10!
This phone includes a flower shaped link that attaches to your stroller safety bar and your baby can use it as jewelry (they can slide it on and wear it as a bracelet!).

This phone is meant for children 6+ months in age. According to Walgreens, it has the following features:

  • Teethable phone plays music when the star is pressed
  • Includes bonus link
  • No lead, phthalates, or BPA
  • Safety tested 
    According to a February 14, 2011 article on Businessweek.com "For the younger set, Learning Curve's Lamaze Infant Development System brand debuts a new infant book line alongside its developmental toy offerings. Learning Curve's 2011 line-up encourages development, learning and most importantly, play, reinforcing Learning Curve's status as a trusted resource for parents and gift-givers alike." Learning Curve hails from Dyersville, Iowa and has been in business since 1987.

    Here is a link to where you can purchase this stroller toy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002LTVSL8/ref=pe_309540_26725410_item


    Age 2 to Age 3



    Chunky Puzzle of Safari Animals by Melissa & Doug

    This puzzle is available online for @ $11 and my daughter loves these shapes The chunky pieces are the perfect size for her little hands and are easy for her to hold. It is wonderful to have this puzzle with these particular animal shapes because it gives us a chance to teach her about safari animals that don't roam the New England countryside. My daughter received this for her birthday and has played with them ever since. Thanks Melissa & Doug! Copy/Paste this link to the puzzle: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/safari-learning-chunky-puzzle




    Zoo Animals Block Puzzle by Hape Toys

    This puzzle costs @ $15, and according to the Hape Toys website, 'this nine-block puzzle challenges kids to re-create six familiar animals. However, it is not always a 3 inch x 3 inch square shape: the giraffe puzzle is tall; the alligator is long.'

    The best way to have your child play with this toy is to arrange the puzzle and complete one of the animal characters, like the one shown below. Then tap your finger twice on each corner block of the puzzle: this will help to identify the corner pieces and help your child understand how to start the puzzle using the corner pieces first. We look forward to using these blocks and teaching our daughter about the different animals!

    Also, according to the Hape Toys website, this toy's key features are:

    'Problem Solving: Introduces logic, matching objects, spatial relationships, critical thinking, and an understanding of cause and effect.' 

    'Fine motor skills: Promotes dexterity, hand/eye coordinating and manipulating objects.'
    To order the Zoo Animals Block Puzzle call 1-800-661-4142 or use this link: http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE0421/327.0



     Choo Choo Tracks by Hape Toys 

    This magnetic marble maze comes with a magnet pen to pick up the marbles and move them around the maze.  This toy has a plexiglass front panel to prevent the metal marbles from rolling out of the maze or getting lost. This toy is for a 2+ year old and makes a great 'travel' toy as well!

    This maze won Learning Magazine's Teacher's Choice Award in 2009.

    Also, according to the Hape Toys website, this toy's key features are:

    'Fine motor skills: Promotes dexterity, hand/eye coordinating and manipulating objects.' 

    'Problem Solving: Introduces logic, matching objects, spatial relationships, critical thinking and an understanding of cause and effect.' 

    One of our goals is to have her move the red balls into the largest red circle and the blue balls into the largest blue circle. We like this maze because it gives us a chance to teach our daughter about controlling small objects. For @ $15, your child can enjoy this toy as wellTo order Choo Choo Tracks call 1-800-661-4142 or use this link:http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE1701/327.0



    Thomas & Friends Lights and Sounds Trike by Fisher Price

    This colorful "Big-wheel" is for a 2+ year old that is interested in learning how to ride a bike without the danger of falling. Includes flashing lights, sounds, music and “walkie-talkie” phrases.

    We can't wait for our daughter to have her first "car"! 
    The 'DORA Lights & Sounds Trike'

     





    To buy the Trike above with FREE SHIPPING, use this link below:
    http://www.diapers.com/p/fisher-price-thomas-lights-sounds-trike-113812?

    The Dora Lights and Sounds Trike is the girl version of this Trike, here it with FREE SHIPPING:  http://www.yoyo.com/p/fisher-price-dora-lights-sounds-trike-113705


    Age 3 and Age 4 

    I suggest these wonderful, colorful kitchen toys for both boys and girls. According to this recent article in USA Today.com "a child's age and interest should come before gender". Here is the link to the article "Using toys for both boys, girls may be good for kids": http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/09/toys-child-development-gender/1809313/

     Mighty Mixer by Hape Toys

    This toy is only $25 and Hape Toys also provides a video showing how the children (boys and girls) play with these kitchen toys.

    The Mighty Mixer won a Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award in 2011.

    According to the Hape Toys website, this toy's key features are:

    'Imagination & Creativity: Encourages imitative and imaginary play; promotes fantasy story telling, role playing, and creativity.'

    'Social Skills: The basics of communication, cooperation, and collaboration; encourages trust, friendship, and language development.'




    Pop-Up Toaster by Hape Toys


     This toy is only $25 and according to the Hape Toys website this toy's key features are

    'Imagination & Creativity: Encourages Imitative and imaginary play, promotes fantasy story telling, role playing, and creativity.'

    'Social Skills: The basics of communication, cooperation, and collaboration; encourages trust, friendship, and language development.'


     To order the Pop-Up Toaster call 1-800-661-4142, or use this link:
     http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/Pop-Up+Toaster/part_number=E3105/327.0.1.1.1014976.1014982.0.0.0?pp=8&



    Coffee Maker toy by Hape Toys

    This toy is only $25 and according to the Hape Toys website, this toy's key features are:

    'Imagination & Creativity: Encourages Imitative and imaginary play, promotes fantasy story telling, role playing, and creativity.'

    'Social Skills: The basics of communication, cooperation, and collaboration; encourages trust, friendship, and language development.'

     To order the Coffee Maker call 1-800-661-4142 or use this link: http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/Coffee+Maker/part_number=E3106/327.0.1.1.1014976.1014982.0.0.0?pp=8&



    Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel by Melissa & Doug

    This colorful easel is only $80 and is designed for a 3+ year old. It can be personalized with the name of your child on the front for just $1.99 extra!  The easel is double-sided and has a dry-erase board/chalkboard as well as a paint palate. The easel height can be adjusted, the paper-roll holder locks the paper in place and includes two plastic trays on each side to hold your child's art supplies (supplies sold separately, see below) There is some assembly required.  
    Copy/Paste this link to this fantastic easel: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/floor-standing-wooden-easel-art-and-crafts

    Melissa & Doug also sell the paint accessories in a set for @ $35 that includes the paints, brushes, etc., Copy/Paste this link:http://www.melissaanddoug.com/beginning-paint-set-easel-companion-set-art-and-crafts
    The easel paper is sold in a 2-pk roll for @ $13 at Melissa & Doug, Copy/Paste this link: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/easel-paper-rolls-2-pack 

    Age 4 and Age 5


    Jumbo Colored Pencils by Melissa & Doug

    This toy is @ $10 and comes with extra large colored pencils that are triangular in shape and allow your child's small hands to grip them more easily. 

    I had a similar set growing up and loved all of the bright colors in my pencil set.  I can't wait for my daughter to enjoy this pencil set!

    Copy/Paste this link to the colored pencils:
    http://www.melissaanddoug.com/jumbo-triangular-colored-pencils-24




    All Season House (furnished) by Hape Toys

    This play house is @ $200 and comes with all of the furniture shown. Additional furniture may be purchased at Hape Toys.  According to the Hape Toys website this toy's key features are:

    'Imagination & Creativity: Encourages imitative and imaginary play; promotes fantasy story telling, role playing, and creativity.'

    'Social Skills: The basics of communication, cooperation, and collaboration; encourages trust, friendship and language development.'


    According to the Hape Toys website, this toy has the following awards: 'Platinum 2011 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio' and won 'Gold in Parents Magazine Choice Awards 2011'.

    To order call 1-800-661-4142 or use the link below to purchase this modern play house: http://hapetoys.shptron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=HAPE3401/327.0



    Happy Clock by Hape Toys
    This clock costs less than $15 and, according to the Hape Toys website, 'your child can match the numbers to the proper place on the clock face and your child will learn how to tell time!'
    To order the Happy Clock, call 1-800-661-4142 or use this link:



     World Landmarks Puzzle Set by Melissa & Doug

    This jigsaw puzzle is $60 and is made with wooden pieces. The puzzle consists of 5 world landmarks. The landmarks' locations are identified on the back of each puzzle.

    We look forward to teaching our daughter about these landmarks while she enjoys these puzzles for many years. 

    Copy/Paste this link:
    http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/product8961.html?gclid=CNXkot7p4coCFY1ahgodu1YBIw#8961


    Age 5 and Age 6



    Food Groups - Wooden play food by Melissa & Doug

    These wooden play food pieces cost under $20. This toy includes items from the five food groups crafted of solid wood and includes four wooden baskets for sorting and storage.
     
    According to the Melissa & Doug website, there are 'extension activities that the parents can participate in to help their child learn about the four food groups':
    • 'Ask the child to identify each food item (other than condiments) and to categorize it by basic food group: meat, dairy, grain, or fruits and vegetables. Ask the child to place each food group in a different crate.'
    • 'Have the child identify the colors of each food item, and sort the items by color among the four crates.'
    • 'Help the child to assemble a balanced meal in each basket. Explain that each meal must have one item from each food group.'
    • 'Visual memory skills: Place 3-4 ingredients in front of the child. Let the child study them before asking the child to close their eyes while you remove one piece. Ask the child which piece was removed. Gradually increase the number of ingredients.'   
    To purchase the Wooden Play Food toy Copy/Paste this link: http://www.melissaanddoug.com/food-groups-set-play-food



    Bead Sequencing Learning Set Classic Toy by Melissa & Doug

    This toy is only $25 and includes stackable, brightly colored beads that can be placed on five hardwood dowels and matched with the pattern cards. This set includes more than 45 wooden beads and 5 double-sided wooden pattern cards. According to the Melissa & Doug website, 'the 10 patterns increase in difficulty to build matching, sequencing and fine motor skills.'  (For those moms that are artsy, once your child outgrows this toy, you could use the beads to make a necklace, bracelet or earrings!)
    ***Be aware that if you give this as a gift and there is another child in the home who is less than 3 years old, the beads will have to be kept in a Ziploc bag and out of the reach of small children.***
    Copy/Paste this link to the Bead Sequencing Learning Set:
    http://www.melissaanddoug.com/bead-sequencing-learning-set

    If they are sold out at Melissa & Doug, you can purchase them here: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Bead-Sequencing-Set/dp/B00021HBAO

     I hope my fellow moms have enjoyed my list of toys for my daughter and I can't wait to purchase these for her! As you can see below, my daughter is looking forward to her new toys and learning more and more every day! If you decide to give these toys as gifts, don't forget to mention NetworkforMoms.org!

    My happy daughter at her friend CJ's 1st birthday party, Marblehead, MA

    Also, for those interested in reading more about the benefits of toys, here is the link to the recent article about the educational benefits of toys. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/multiple_intelligences/educational-benefits-toys/

    Happy gift giving everyone!

    -Joy E.
    Posted October 17, 2012
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    Milestones.....(Part 1, October 2012)


    Milestones...(Part 1)


    My daughter has been growing and learning a lot since she turned one year old!  I wanted to share some of her achievements with my NetworkforMoms buddies. I believe that she has hit some of her educational milestones and thought it might be fun for my readers to enjoy her recent videos.

    Here is my daughter passing me her flower toy at 13 months and 9 days old.  She has been doing this for 2 1/2 weeks (and saying a few words as well!), and really mastering the task of passing back and forth objects. I just love to see her learn! Enjoy!



    In this next video below (sorry if the cell phone video is a little grainy looking), my baby is passing her flower toy to me several times.  She is learning at an exponential rate. I'm so happy that she loves learning!  I look forward to her developing her mind with her friends! Here is the video:


    It has been a lot of fun teaching my baby (as James Herriot's book was titled) about 'all things bright and beautiful' that the world is made of, especially nice people who care about children.  I have discovered that certain colors seem to attract and keep my daughter's attention. As a result, I notice that her behavior is more like that of an older child and other people have noticed as well.

    Recently, she enjoyed an exciting shopping trip with me and gave her mommy some fashion advice.  My daughter wants me to post a couple of pictures of her suggested 'MommyWear' fashions.  She loves the combination of green, yellow and especially, pink.












    I really love the outfit that my daughter put together for me and she always smiles when I wear it and stroll her around town. She wants to let my readers know that this outfit can be purchased at local Boston, MA stores.

    Here are the ingredients to this fashionable ensemble:

    Blouse: H&M on Newbury Street, Boston, MA
    'Chewbeads' necklace: www.Chewbeads.com 
    Cotton purple and yellow handbag: Sushma Handicrafts booth in the Prudential Mall in Boston, MA and don't forget to mention NetworkforMoms.org!
    Pink ballet socks: Pajama Party/Boxers Socks booth in the Prudential Mall in Boston, MA and don't forget to mention NetworkforMoms.org!
    Shoes by Alegria: Gold shoes and Black shoes can be found at www.AlegriaShoes.com 
    Jeans: by Sigrid Olson at Nordstrom's with a pink 'belly-band' by Belly-Jeans.com (you can see my article on Belly-Jeans here: http://networkformoms.blogspot.com/2012/08/welcome-to-networkformomsorg.html , scroll down until you see the belly-jeans logo) and if you use the service, don't forget to mention NetworkforMoms.org!

    My outfit can be purchased at Ann Taylor
    Also can be purchased at Ann Taylor



















    I hope that this information encourages my fellow moms to participate more in your child's discovery phase the day after they turn 1 year old.  Since my baby looked bored with her newborn activities and toys, I did not mind going this far with my wardrobe. Let's face it, we all want our children to be happy, smart and confident adults one day. Her mommy is one of those adults - and my daughter wants to be just like her mommy!

    This is just one of the small ways that, we as moms, can encourage our children and their friends to understand and appreciate colors. For all of my daughter's fans and friends, this is just the first in a series of posts that I will have here at NetworkforMoms.org that will include many ideas for babies and children who are learning about the world around them.  So stay tuned for more articles that will help your beautiful bundle of joy grow!

    Happy milestones everyone!

    - Joy E.
    Posted October 6, 2012
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    The Fall Crabapple Tart (September 2012)



    The Fall Crabapple Tart

    I decided to share with my NetworkforMoms.org friends a healthy old family recipe.  This recipe includes freshly picked organic crabapples . Crabapple tarts have been made for many years, but they always tasted too sour.. My mother made them years ago and hers had a nicer taste. I decided to make these tarts using my own recipe and they are delicious!  
    According to HealthBerth.com, crabapples are 'a good source of fibre, Vitamin C and minerals (especially potassium).'  Their other health benefits are that: 'the soluble fibre may lower blood cholesterol and may help to protect against heart and circulatory disease.' (You can read HealthBerth.com's article 'Crabapples May Protect Heart Health' here: http://www.healthberth.com/2010/12/crab-apples-may-protect-heart-health.html)

    I made these tarts as deserts and experimented with a few other ingredients to create new flavors for the tarts. My mother made her own pie crusts, but I used a store-bought crust for these. 

    For these crabapple tarts, I added granola, made by Cook's Farm and Orchard in Brimfield, MA. I also made them with unsweetened coconut as a garnish. Above is what the tarts look like before they are cooked.  (All of my crabapple recipes can be found in my new cookbook "Cooking with Crabapples: Tasty Recipes")


     The granola I used is a special maple syrup granola.  The maple syrup is made by the son of the original owner of Cook's Farm and Orchard, Marge Cook.  Her son, Simeon Cook, lives in Vermont and makes maple syrup for the granola for Cook's Farm and Orchard.  The granola is very tasty and added a wonderful flavor to my tart.

    (l-r) Gayle Aikey and Marge Cook of Cook's Farm, outside of the Prudential Mall
    Cook's Farm and Orchard hosts an annual Harvest Fest at the farm in Brimfield, MA.  The festival is September 22-23, 2012 from 10am - 5pm.  Here is the link: www.CooksFarmOrchard.com
     
    The festival is a fun day for families and includes the following activities:
    • Pumpkin painting
    • Face painting
    • Pony rides
    • Live Music: on Saturday and Sunday afternoon
    • There is also a bake shop open all day featuring hot apple dumplings, homemade apple pies and ice cream.

    This smiley face is made with my organic crabapple tarts and with Cook's Farm and Orchard maple syrup granola.  You can purchase the granola along with pies, jams, cookies and more at their stand:

    Tuesdays and Fridays: Copley Square across from the Fairmont Hotel, Boston, MA
    Thursdays: Outside of the Prudential Center Mall entrance on Boylston Street, Boston, MA

    They will be at these locations until Thanksgiving and don't forget to mention NetworkforMoms.org!

    Happy tart making everyone!
    Joy E.
    Posted September 17, 2012
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    "I can't wait to have my mom's crabapple tarts one day, yum!  Tee-hee!

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