Clove Hill Waldorf school in Colleyville - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 07-22-2013, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with Clove Hill early childhood school in Colleyville, TX (www.clovehillearlychildhood.com). I know she has previously hosted a parent/child program as well as a mother's day out. My baby will be starting there full time (8-4) when I go back to work soon. I have a great feeling about the lady who runs it, and my normally shy 5 year old took to her very quickly, but I would always love to hear others' experiences. This is a snippet that she wrote about her program:

 

"I offer a play based learning environment that draws from Montessori and Waldorf pedagogy. The small cottage school is in a woodsy, park like setting surrounded in nature. Children learn in an artful way through music, storytelling and movement. We celebrate festivals and offer community service together.Meals and snacks are homemade and nutritious with mindfulness to special diets. Clove Hill supports cloth diapering, attachment parenting, and peaceful parenting."

 

I know she used to be located in another city (I think Richardson) but she recently moved. I have such a positive feeling about her and her cottage environment, and I feel like my son will receive the loving and attentive care that he needs while I'm gone. It would be great to hear of anyone else's experiences though!


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#2 of 14 Old 07-26-2013, 07:42 PM
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Bumping for input. Anyone?


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#3 of 14 Old 08-18-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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following!

We might be moving soon to the Dallas area for a couple of years, -from nothern California-, and that is the only Waldorf type early childhood care i have found in my short research so far. i'm very interested to know about Clove Hill and if there are other Waldorf education resources for 2-4yr olds. thank you!
 

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#4 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't seen any other Waldorf schools in the area, but to be fair I was less looking for "Waldorf" and more looking for natural/cloth diaper friendly, gentle, calm caregiver for my baby when I have to return to work. We will be starting there in just a couple of weeks. I suggest giving Lisa there a call and asking any questions you may have. She is so sweet and loving towards the babies.
 


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#5 of 14 Old 01-30-2014, 11:15 AM
 
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Hi there, I just saw this and wanted to share my experience with Clove Hill.  I'm going to copy and paste the review I left for Clove Hill on Care.com; if anyone has any further questions, I'm happy to answer them.  Just let me know.  :)

 

(I gave Clove Hill 1 out of 5 stars on Care.com)

 

"After Lisa of Clove Hill contacted me through Care.com, I met with her and her husband and chose Clove Hill to be the child care provider for my 18 month old daughter. We were very excited and all seemed great on paper. However, things went downhill quickly. My daughter was to begin a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, which is one of the part time offerings for children attending Clove Hill. We arrived on a Monday that was one of the coldest days of the year- I believe it was about 16 degrees when we got out of our car that morning. Icicles were hanging off the mailbox. Well, I understood from the get go that the kids go outside every day - that was clear from the website. What I did not anticipate was how utterly FREEZING it would be in the little cottage where the kids were supposed to stay for the rest of the day. My daughter arrived at Clove Hill around 8am, and she toddler around outside for a few minutes, but was (understandably) very cold. I was with her because we were doing the Tender Transitions program, and I saw that she wanted to go inside the cottage. So inside we went, and Lisa said that the heat had been off until that morning, but that it should warm up soon. My daughter was so, so cold... Heck, I couldn't feel my hands or feet after about a half hour. Although the middle of the room did warm up some, it was truly not warm enough for any child to have to stay in all day. The cottage was very drafty and utterly freezing by the windows. My daughter was crying because she was simply very cold. After about an hour and a half, another little boy who was new to Clove Hill came in, and he was crying, too. Since it was so, so bitterly cold and now there were two children crying, I decided to take my daughter home. So that was day one.

On Day two, my husband went with my daughter. Luckily, it was warmer that day. He said that Lisa never attempted to change our daughter's diaper or to make any real efforts to connect with her. By this time, we felt that some serious red flags were going up... Normally, my daughter connects readily and easily with warm, caring people. But both my husband and I had observed at this point that Lisa was not very warm with the children, and that it was almost as if she wasn't even there in terms of the emotional support that she provided. We talked about it and attributed it to her Waldorf / montessori philosophy; we both knew that Montessori and Waldorf were very big on allowing a child to be independent and to honor their space and individuality. Still, though, we felt that a teacher could do all those things without having to be cold and unwelcoming towards the kids. We decided to see how things played out on Day 3, Friday.

Day 3 is when things got really, really weird. Again, my husband went with our daughter for the Tender Transitions program. We had already talked with Lisa about her providing breakfast for our daughter for that week. When my husband got there on Friday, there was no breakfast for her. My daughter was walking around outside eating mud, but Lisa seemed not to want to feed her unless the other children were there (which would be in about 2 hours). My husband gave hints, but then finally insisted that she get something for our daughter to eat. Lisa provided a snack of cherry tomatoes and bread which were obviously meant for snack time. Once my daughter had finished eating, Lisa mentioned to my husband that she had some concerns. (Keep in mind here that we had been there for less than a total of 8 hours at this point, and had never left her with Lisa alone.) Lisa said that she felt that our girl needed a parent to be there with her for the next week, and that she did not want to continue caring for our daughter unless someone else could be there. My husband was rather surprised, as he felt that Lisa would need to try to bond with our kiddo at some point, but he went out to his car to try to make some calls to see if her grandparents could possibly come help out. While my husband was in the car, our daughter apparently started crying, as any 18 month old with separation anxiety would do. Instead of comforting her, Lisa brought our daughter out to the car and said, "No, no, no. This isn't going to work." Lisa was visibly flustered and went back in and retrieved all of our daughters' belongings in her cubby and made them leave. We were very, very confused about what happened, so I emailed Lisa asking for clarification. She said that my daughter "lacked readiness" to attend her program, and so she kicked her out. This was, mind you, after we had been there less than 10 hours total. Luckily, Lisa refunded our enrollment and supply fees, but I SERIOUSLY doubt her claim to have years of experience in child care if she cannot tolerate some amount of separation anxiety in the kids in her care. We have moved on and found a great day care that my daughter already loves, thankfully. Beware- Lisa is not what she seems."


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#6 of 14 Old 01-30-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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My wife (kittykat2481) can go into further detail, but we experienced almost identical circumstances to GoofyInOk back in Sept.; ultimately ending with our son being removed from the school after roller-coaster of a two week period. Our infant son also "lacked readiness" to attend her school.

 

We began speaking with Lisa months before our son was born, with nothing but positive experiences (see previous posts). The first two weeks actually having our son attending was a completely different experience.  In the end, despite the incredibly short notice from Lisa, we too were lucky enough to locate a great school close by that has delivered the results we were originally anticipating here.

 

We apologize for not posting this sooner as it may have been beneficial.

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#7 of 14 Old 01-31-2014, 06:18 AM
 
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Wow Sam, I'm so sorry that you guys had similar circumstances.  It does make me feel somewhat better that we weren't the only ones that she treated that way (even though I obviously wish you hadn't had that experience) - my husband and I were left reeling, as our daughter is normally a very happy, sweet child, and we hadn't even considered the possibility that Lisa would give up on her so quickly.  We are both very, very lucky to have found schools that were a much better place for our children to stay.

 

If your wife does get the time to share a more detailed version of your experience, I would love to read it.  I have posted my review on Care.com, so if you could post yours there (or let me post it for you), that could help new parents to avoid this situation.  I have an account there if it won't let you post your review without signing up.  *Edited to add that the main reason I feel it is important to share these experiences with Care.com is that Lisa recruited us through Care.com, and in talking with her she stated that most of her new referrals have come to her through the Care.com portal.  Her reviews prior to mine were all great (one based solely on an interview, one from a parent who had her child in Lisa's care), so I feel that it is very important to give parents more of an idea of who they are really dealing with.


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#8 of 14 Old 03-10-2014, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyInOK View Post
 

Wow Sam, I'm so sorry that you guys had similar circumstances.  It does make me feel somewhat better that we weren't the only ones that she treated that way (even though I obviously wish you hadn't had that experience) - my husband and I were left reeling, as our daughter is normally a very happy, sweet child, and we hadn't even considered the possibility that Lisa would give up on her so quickly.  We are both very, very lucky to have found schools that were a much better place for our children to stay.

 

If your wife does get the time to share a more detailed version of your experience, I would love to read it.  I have posted my review on Care.com, so if you could post yours there (or let me post it for you), that could help new parents to avoid this situation.  I have an account there if it won't let you post your review without signing up.  *Edited to add that the main reason I feel it is important to share these experiences with Care.com is that Lisa recruited us through Care.com, and in talking with her she stated that most of her new referrals have come to her through the Care.com portal.  Her reviews prior to mine were all great (one based solely on an interview, one from a parent who had her child in Lisa's care), so I feel that it is very important to give parents more of an idea of who they are really dealing with.

This is Sam's wife. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I have so much to say, I want to make sure I hit all of the important points, and didn't want to try to do this on my phone.

 

I first spoke with Lisa when I was only 8 weeks pregnant. We spoke several times throughout my pregnancy, and my 5 year old and I visited her on more than one occasion. Then after our baby was born, I took him to visit a couple of times. This was all to make sure that she knew us as well as we knew her, and we would have a good idea of what each other's expectations were. Each time that I visited, she never had more than 1-2 children in her care, and we usually just sat outside on the porch and watched the children play. The week before I went back to work, I dropped the baby off with her for a few hours each day, so that he would have a chance to acclimate, and I would be available if she had any problems or questions. I was starting a new job the following week, and needed to feel comfortable leaving him with her so that I could focus on learning my new position. Each day when I picked him up, she said what a sweet baby he was and said there were no major issues, other than that he didn't want to sleep much while he was there.

 

I started my new job on a Thursday, the day the baby turned 12 weeks old. She had a couple of other children starting the same week as my baby, including a 6 week old infant, and while she had plans to hire an assistant, she had not yet, and was clearly overwhelmed. This was not the small group size I had witnessed and been promised all summer long. My husband dropped the baby off at 8:30am, and at 11:00 she called me on my cell phone (knowing I was at my first day, away from my baby, at a new job) and said that we needed to come pick him up because he was crying inconsolably. Of course, I started crying too (I had already been fighting it all day) and told her that I couldn't leave my new job. She said that we needed to come and get him anyway. So my husband picked him up, full of worry, because our baby NEVER cried. As long as he was fed and attended to every so often, he was fine. He was used to going with the flow, since he has an older brother who had been a very busy boy all summer. My husband took him to the doctor, sure that something must be wrong with him, but he was totally fine. We were so confused.

 

The next day she allowed him to stay until I picked him up around 2:30pm. She said that he was a sweet boy and that he was adjusting, and to expect it to take time.  I feel that I should add, that while it wasn't a deal-breaker for me, I was always upset by the amount of breastmilk she wasted. She suggested that I bring frozen milk to store in her freezer, and assured me that she could defrost it and divy it up into 4oz portions. Only, she would defrost two 3oz bags at a time, and pour 2oz down the drain. When I questioned her on it, she asked me to start preparing my bottles ahead of time, and to make them with 5-6oz, which I did (although I suspect that was more milk than necessary). She continued to waste 4-6oz of milk per day.

 

The next week, I hoped and prayed that everyone would begin adjusting and that things would get better. She had an assistant that was going to be coming a couple of days a week to help, and while she didn't really have any experience, she felt that she had a good heart and could be trained. One afternoon when I came to pick the baby up, I noticed a heating and air conditioning repair truck parked in front of the house. Surely she wasn't having A/C problems... I hadn't been called and it was nearly 100 degrees outside in early September. When I walked back to the schoolhouse, I was shocked to find my baby asleep in the cradle, and a man servicing the air conditioner. There was no fan, the baby was sweating, and it was sweltering in that room. It was always hot in there - much hotter than we keep it in out home - and I always suspected that that's why he cried. He was uncomfortable. But this day, the air conditioner was broken and it was not safe. I don't know why I assumed that if something like that happened, she could take the babies into her home until we could pick them up. I was honestly shocked that I hadn't been notified that day. That was one day when I would have welcomed a phone call. At that point, I was really seconding guessing my decision, but I was trying to convince myself that I was being crazy, and that I needed to relax.

 

Somehow we made it through that week, always with her saying that he was a sweet boy, and he was adjusting. On Saturday morning, I awoke to an email saying that after much thought, she had decided that we would need to seek alternate care. She really felt that our baby would do better with one on one care. Couldn't I just quit my job and stay home? That would really be best for him. If not, maybe I could get a nanny. I was so furious. How was it her right to suggest that I stay home? Trust me when I tell you that I didn't have my 12 week old in childcare because staying home was an option. And nanny's are expensive. And it takes time to interview and find someone that you trust. I had spent nearly a year cultivating a relationship with her. She told me that my options were that we could just not return, and she would refund our deposit, or we could come for one more week and she would give us a credit towards tuition for the amount of the deposit. One week. I spent a year planning on sending my baby to a natural, calm, small, Waldorf nursery, and I now had 1 week to find alternate care.

 

I came to her in tears, asking her to give my baby another week or two to get to know her. Two weeks wasn't enough time, and I just couldn't believe that he was giving her that much trouble. He never cried for us at home. She said that she was so sorry, but that wouldn't be possible. Also, as it turns out, she had to let her assistant go because she was losing another couple of children (I don't know if they left on their own, or if they were asked to leave). I suspect that she asked us to leave because 12 week olds require a lot of care and attention. She would often lay him in the pack and play with no mobile or anything to look at, and expect that he would just be content to lay there. He was at the stage where he was starting to bat at and grab toys, and he wanted something to do. The 6 week old just laid there, and the toddlers didn't need to be held and fed.

 

We ended up finding an opening at a major chain daycare down the road, and while they don't support cloth diapering, they have loved on and doted on my baby ever since. They ooh and ah over what a sweet, cuddly, funny guy he is, and he is happy to see their smiling faces every morning. It's not what I envisioned, but he's safe and happy, which is more than I can say for his short time in Lisa's care. I'm so sorry that you had to find out the hard way as well. I am literally still shocked at how things went with her. Now, we look back and try to find the humor in our 3 month old getting kicked out of daycare, and tell the story for the shock value that it deserves.


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#9 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 06:01 PM
 
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This is Lisa Grubbs from Clove Hill and I wanted to respond to goofyinok and your negative review regarding my program.  As a longtime provider in the field of Childcare I know I will not always be able to please all the parents who come to my program. However, I do try my best to do what is right for the child even if it upsets the parent. I have created the Tender Transition program to help children who may have difficulty with transitions especially those who have never attend care outside the home. I encourage parents to attend with their child to help build trust between caregiver and child. Some do well and some do not. If I see any behavior that gives me indication the child will have difficulty acclimating I will not hesitate to inform the parents. It is from my experience working with children, I have come to find which children will not do well. Your child had not been in care with anyone as of  the age of 18 months and did show fear of being left in care with someone she did not know. The 3 half days you chose to have her attend Monday/Wed/Friday would not be consistant enough to help so I made the choice to not continue care. It is not always an easy decision to make as well as tell parents. But as I said below I would much rather have an unhappy parent than a child who has anxiety about being in care away from home. It is unhealthy for the child as well as the group.  I have also copied my response I gave to you on CARE.COM for parents who may read the review and need to understand the full senerio.I also welcome any questions regarding our time together during your trial period.

Hello Alyson, I apologize for the delay in my response I did not realize you had posted such a harsh review. Its seems we both had different experience during the Tender Transition program your husband and daughter attended. The program has been a viable way to determine if the child will seperate easily and move into care away from home. It was very clear your child was not ready for seperation. I always move slowly towards children who are apprehensive to strangers. Its a very respectful approach and honors the childs emotions. There were moments where she would come to me on HER terms not mine which is what I encourage during our trust building time together which by the way is one of the reasons I did not change her diaper while you were present to do it on the first day. Perhaps I should have been a bit clearer to you when she was not feeling secure with me yet to allow me to change her diaper. I have encountered in my program since 2003 several children who attend and are not ready thus the reason for the Tender Transistion program. Parents attend with their child to help ease that transition. I will not hesitate to inform parents of the obvious.I would much rather have an unhappy parent than have a child attending who has anxiety coming to school daily which I find to be very unhealthy. I am very happy to hear you found a space that your dsughter WAS comfortable attending. Had I not suggested to you that it was not the right fit you would have not found your perfect fit. Sometimes it works that way even though you don't realize it at the time. Once again our views differ greatly in what we experienced those 3 days together. I wish you and your family well in your parenting journey!
PS. Yes, our heating unit happen to freeze up that day and we had to have it serviced as well as added an additional unit because of the unual cold winter we had. Unfortunately these things happen, you just happen to be there at the right time:)

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#10 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 06:25 PM
 
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Hello Kat, It was not an easy decision for me to make. Your infant is a dear little guy and I would have loved to continue caring for him. I did have other children in my group I needed to consider, your little guy was VERY colicky and required more than I could give him. I do babywear infants to help with closeness however it did not help your little guy. It was because of this particular senerio that I require parents bring their infants to our visits before enrolling. It was not fair to you with the time you put into your search for just the right care. I completely agree and I truly am sorry for the outcome. As I said before I would have loved to continue care for you and your family You have two great little guys!

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#11 of 14 Old 04-04-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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Lisa, I am not going to argue back and forth with you; this will be my last response in this thread.  That said, even if personality differences or differences due to Waldorf perspective or whatever was a factor, it doesn't change the fact that some of the behaviors we experienced while my daughter was in your care were inexcusable.  If the children were freezing cold in the cottage out back, most caretakers would offer up their homes to keep the children warm, safe, and comfortable.  You did not- you simply stated that we needed to purchase more wool clothing while our daughter "adjusted."  And not feeding a child who was hungry just because other children were not there to eat, too - that's completely and utterly inexcusable.  These children do not come to you for a happy fun tea party.  A caretaker who truly cares for children will be there with them through the good and the bad, through the separation anxiety and the colic and the tears.  I understand why so many children will not be "ready" for your program when all you can seem to accept is an extremely easy child who does not exhibit the typical, age appropriate emotions and responses to a new daycare setting.  

 

I honestly laughed when I read your comment, "Had I not suggested to you that it was not the right fit you would have not found your perfect fit."  Wow.  Just...  Wow.  So we are supposed to be glad about the way you treated us and our children, then?  I cannot pretend to understand your expectations for children, nor your apparent expectations for the parents whose children you have rejected.  Of course I'm upset, as I should be.  I am moving past the experience and am more than thankful for our current arrangements, and our lives are very good.  But I will not pardon your actions, and I do not recount anything at all about my review / post.  You may have seen things differently, but several accounts from several sets of parents do not concur with your view.


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#12 of 14 Old 04-07-2014, 07:59 PM
 
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I have used Lisa many times for my two very active boys.  At the time, they were 4.5 and 1.5.  They always were very happy to go to Clove Hill and Lisa did a great job of observing the boys to help me with some of their interactions.  Sadly, we moved, but I think I have found someone similar to Lisa here in Albuquerque (yeah!).  They always played outside, had a snack and did all sorts of fun things there.  I loved how they were dirty and exhausted (in a good way) when I picked them up (exactly how I expected).  I have also done Lisa's parent and child groups and have seen her baby wearing some of the babies there.  I completely trust Lisa.  She is a wonderful, sweet, down to earth person.


winner.jpg, cloth diapering, babywearing, AP mama to Aiden (10/04/07) and Rylan (12/20/10)  hbac.gif
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#13 of 14 Old 04-10-2014, 06:29 PM
 
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Allison, you are absolutely correct in expecting me to move the children to the larger house on the property in severe weather situations. However, this was not a severe weather situation. I always encourage families who are attending my program to dress warmly in layers for the weather because we do go outdoors. I have had a few families who do not come dress apropriately (as in this case) for the outdoors and of course find themselves in a very cold situation. Yes, the inside of the cottage was warming up slowly that morning so we did have to leave our sweaters on a bit longer than normal.  Also not having indoor slippers, I believe, contributed to your cold. I provide handmade wool slippers for the children, but do not have them for the adults. So dressing appropriately is the key to comfort in any weather.

I do provide seasonal nourishing breakfasts and lunch as well as two organic fruit snacks daily for the children in my care. Your schedule for care was 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. I serve breakfast around 8:30 and snack around 10:00 and lunch around 11:30 or 12:00 depending on the children and their appetite that day. During the initial interview we discussed the meal schedule and you bringing some familiar foods for your child during the transition so if she did not eat what I served she would have a backup. If you found your child to be hungry before our meal time I would have encouraged you to feed her. I have had children arrive after I have cleanedup for a meal and are hungry. At that point I do explain to the parents to either 1) feed their child before they leave home if they will miss a meal time with me or 2)bring a snack for them to eat to hold them over til the next meal. I find that to be a typical rule of thumb for any Center or childcare environment. If there were not a bit of consistancy in the schedule for meals I would be washing dishes and serving to 5 different childrens eating schedules.

 

I agree completely to your statement" A caretaker who truly cares for children will be there with them through the good and the bad, through the separation anxiety and the colic and the tears". I care deeply for the children who attend my program (and even those who do not) However, I have to know when I can help and when I can not through specifc behaviors I see in the child. Yes, children who are easily adaptable and are ready for childcare would thrive in my program. I have cared for children who had some seperation anxiety and they evenually worked through it, infants who had some degree of colic and outgrew it, children with behavior issues and we moved passed it and throught it all we do manage to have tea parties, fly kites, make mud pies, plant flowers and care for our bunnies:) However, as I mentioned before many things are considered to determine if it can work. I do appreciate your comments it offers me an opportunity to reflect on my program and mend areas that need improvement ( in this case, perhaps more indepth communication during the initail visit in regards to what readiness behaviors to look for) as well as highlight the ones that are working well! Well wishes to you and your family!

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#14 of 14 Old 04-10-2014, 06:45 PM
 
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Hey you! Thank you for the kind words!

I can't believe you moved to New Mexico! We were just there last week in Sante Fe hiking in the mountains towards Taos, I would have stopped by for a visit!

How is A??  What is little R like now?? Can you believe its been since last Easter since we saw each other? Time moves so quickly..... I hope you are loving it there, you certainly are closer to some mountain climbing now than you were in Texas:)

 Give the boys a hug from me! Have a joyful Easter.

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