Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ADMIT THREE

 

  Last year I wrote a New Year's post inspired by a blogger, Chris Brogan


Choose three words for 2014 that will help define your goals. 


And here I am again, reflecting on my three words for 2014. Since it's no fun to ponder by yourself, I asked the better half of my writing brain, Michele, to join me. You can read her three words at ODNT Headquarters


As for me, well, take a look …

Patience - In general, I'm not Mother Teresa patient. My patience has an abrupt drop off, much like the ocean. I think I have a handle on things and then …BOOM! I'm in over my head. Around Thanksgiving, I was inspired to gain control over one of my less than appealing parenting tactics … yelling. It was my "go to" method for dealing with the kids. Since then, I've held fast and steady. I'm proud that I conquered the yelling thus far. I'm hoping this will also help me also be patient with my own personal growth. 

Appreciation - I honestly don't appreciate what and who is around me enough. I really want to take the time to focus on and pay closer attention to the little things in life … and give them the credit they deserve. 

Simplicity - Keep it simple. Period. The. End.


What are your three words for 2014? 
You can share them in the comments 
or write your own post about them! 


Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Modeling the Magic

So the stockings aren't hung by the chimney with care.
In fact, they're hung just about everywhere.

The tree is bottom heavy and leans to the right. 
The ornaments clumped together are always a sight.


Those treasured collection of Nutcrackers you adore,
are haphazardly "marching" across the kitchen floor.

No more Pinterest perfect cookies set out on a plate.
They’re buried in sprinkles that challenge their weight.

Christmas card pictures where everyone smiles,
they’re way at the bottom of one of these piles.

Gift wrapping doesn’t involve pretty ribbons, straight edges and bows.
Now it's more tape than paper and the ribbon has tangled your toes.

Thoughtful Christmas shopping has now become a mad dash
As you gather what you can in the cart for your secret stash.

The serene sight of the crèche is not what it was in the past.
It’s now littered with Barbies and one of the kings needs a cast.

Christmas morning now begins at 5AM on the dot.
The coffee is strong with an extra espresso shot.

To compare these moments is something we all do.
Stepping back to take a breath is important for us, too.

Their twinkling eyes tell the story committed to our memory’s vault.
It’s up to us to fuel the magic and watch their imaginations exalt.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Christmas Chat with Mags

Me: "How was your last day before break, Mags?"
Mags: "Good! We drank hot chocolate and Ms. B read The Polar Express."
Me: "That sounds like a perfect day to me!"
Mags: "It was...except for what Tommy said."
Me: (deep breath) "Oh no! What did he say?"
Mags: "At the end of the story, he said something about Santa. Well, I'll just tell you. He said that Santa wasn't real."
Me:  "Oh, man. What did you say when he said that?"
Mags: "I looked him right in the eye and said, 'THAT IS JUST CRAZY TALK, TOMMY!'"
Me : (exhale)

The moral of the story: 
You better get your Santa on...or else. 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ketchup With Us - #32

Dear Friends,

It's the season of giving and Michele and I want to do just that. For this link-up, there will be no special assignments, no requests for pictures or videos, no 57 word jingles about your most inspiring elementary school teacher. All we're asking for this year is a holiday post, past or present, of your choosing. And perhaps a little help spreading the word to bring in a new linker or two.

Michele and I have a very special place in our hearts for Ketchup and we hate to see it go. So we might be changing the format a little in the hopes of breathing new life into it. Ideas are always welcome!

Merry Kwanukkah, everyone.

Michele & Mel



For a QUICK EXPLANATION of this link-up, click here. In short, Michele and I will post a picture or video with a prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. And, with each prompt, we'll feature a linker from the previous KWU. Which reminds me ...

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is ...

Andrea

RULES? WHO NEEDS 'EM?!!?

The rules are ... THERE ARE NO RULES! Just guidelines. And we'd be truly honored if you posted our button on your page and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel), Twitter (Michele/Mel), Instagram (Michele/Mel) and Pinterest (Michele/Mel).
ketchup with us
<a href="http://www.accordingtomags.com" target="_self"><img src=&#34http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s492/accordingtomags/th_a410bb31.jpg" alt="Ketchup With Us" width="125" height="125" /></a>


'KETCHUP WITH US' - Prompt 32 
 Please link up a holiday post, old or new. 
Piece of cake. But not fruitcake. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Nightmare Before Christmas Decorations

Me: "Please. Can we not this year?"
Chris: "Sorry. You know the rule. My grandma made them. They go up no matter what."
Me: "But they freak me out."
Chris: "Sorry. Rules are rules."
Me: "Who makes up these rules?"
Chris: "Santa."

You know you have some. Don't lie...or try to hide them.  That's right, I'm talking to you. Yes, YOU! The one with the "I'm the Grinch Who Stole Christmas" shirt and both hands behind your back. I can tell you're hiding them. It's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas decoration'. Are you familiar with this Halloween AND Christmas movie classic? If you aren't, no worries. It is just like it sounds. 

So, I'm asking you to share, because I know I'm not alone. We all have one, two or (shudder) three of them. They are the decorations that have served their time in Christmases past and induce nostalgia on sight. They are the ones that look like they were made by goopy, grotesque goblins rather than effervescent, elated elves. 

Feel free to post them on my Facebook page or do a post of your own. These poor, decrepit decorations deserve one more hurrah. I'll start.

On the count of three. Ready?  
One...two...two and a half...two and three quarters....

THREE! 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Story of a Wishbone

Mags: "That wishbone is a liar. It's not very wish-y."

Like most families, we dried out our turkey's wishbone and then let the kids snap it. It began with ... well, here ... let me show you...






The end

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bringing Out Your Inner Minion

Me: "Hey, guys, guess who started following me on Twitter?"
Mags: "Daddy?"
Me: "No, he follows me already."
Mags: "He does? That's thoughtful of him."
Me: "Think cute, yellow and ... bottom."
Mags: "The Minions! The Minions!"
Me: "Yep, Dave the Minion!"
Mags: "YOU ARE SO COOL! I gotta tell Tuck." (hightails it down the hall
"TUCK, TUCK, MAMA IS FAMOUS! DAVE THE MINION FOLLOWED HER!"

Our family LOVES the minions. So much so that Mags' 6th 
birthday party was all about them. 


In fact, Mags often announces her arrival into a room by hollering, 
"Bee-doo, bee-doo, bee-doo!"  

So when Michele and I were asked to help promote a contest involving 
minions ... and Twinkies ... we were all in! Check it out below!

To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of Despicable Me 2, Universal Studios and Hostess are running a fun campaign right now called “Dress Up A Twinkie Like A Minion.” It's fun to make and simple to enter! 

1. Download accessories to Minion-ize your Twinkie:
2. Create your Minion masterpieces.  
3. Upload a picture of your adorable, edible treat and  you could win a daily prize (Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray or a special offer from Hostess) or even the Grand Prize (a home theater system, a collection of 30 Blu-rays and a year’s supply of Hostess treats). 
 The contest ends 1/5/14. 

Honestly, my kids were so excited to get behind this. 
And since we're anticipating our first big snowfall of the 
season, this scene-tastic idea was forefront on our kids' minds!



It's beginning to look a lot like ... minions ... everywhere you go. 

You think I'm kidding? 


Look, Michele! We're minions! 
And I gave you a few inches over me. 
You're welcome. :) 

Good luck, everyone, and HAVE FUN!!






Sunday, December 1, 2013

Plates of Memories

Tuck: "Can I help you set the table, Mama?"
Me: "Sure. I'd love your help. Let's start with the dishes."
Tuck: "Are we using your Nana's plates?"
Me: "Yep. And remember, we need to be careful with them. They're delicate."
Tuck: "I promise I'll be very gentle."
Me: "It's over 50 years old. My nana got it when she got married to my pa."
Tuck: "You get plates for presents when you get married?"
Me: "Not everybody asks for them, but most people do. It's a tradition of sorts."
Tuck: "Well, you know, if you think about it that does make sense. I mean, when you get married and you have to live together, you're gonna need new plates. And since people eat everyday, these will come in handy."
Me: "True. Wanna hear something cool?"
Tuck: "Sure."
Me: "I ate off of these when I was a little girl. Every holiday we'd set up a huge table at my nana and pa's house and all of my aunts and uncles would come over to sit around and eat dinner together. Those are some of my favorite memories."
Tuck: "That's so cool."
Me: "These make me so happy. There are so many memories are in these plates."
Tuck: "Memories and people's spit."
Me: <sigh


KETCHUP WITH US #31

The past six weeks in our house have been bustling with wonderful family visits. Since Chris and I are both from northern snow states, we often celebrate Christmas early with both of our extended families. It keeps everyone from having to sit for hours and hours in busy holiday traffic. Plus, it never fails that a GINORMOUS snow storm moves in during our visits. 

As Michele and I were discussing our different holiday schedules, we decided it would be fitting that this month would include holiday greetings...and how we send them. What better way than post a fun holiday message on your blog to anyone of your choosing? Tuck and I had a fun time with our below holiday message. As you can see, our family wanted to wish a happy holiday season to an eclectic cast of characters. It was fitting that our Lego-loving son found a creative website to make your personalized Lego greeting. 



For a QUICK EXPLANATION of this link-up, click here. In short, Michele and I will post a picture or video with a prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. And, with each prompt, we'll feature a linker from the previous KWU. Which reminds me ...

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is ...

Lance

RULES? WHO NEEDS 'EM?!!?

The rules are ... THERE ARE NO RULES! Just guidelines. And we'd be truly honored if you posted our button on your page and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel), Twitter (Michele/Mel), Instagram (Michele/Mel) and Pinterest (Michele/Mel).


ketchup with us
<a href="http://www.accordingtomags.com" target="_self"><img src=&#34http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s492/accordingtomags/th_a410bb31.jpg" alt="Ketchup With Us" width="125" height="125" /></a>

'KETCHUP WITH US' - Prompt 31

Send someone holiday greetings. 

(WHO? Anyone! Friend, family, person you've never met. HOW? Make a video, hold a sign and snap a pic or just write a special message.)



As you can see, Mags and Tuck wanted to send their sweet friends at the ODNT Household a festive holiday greeting! We love you guys!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

SING ALONG

Mags: "Christmas Carols are the greatest songs ever made. Even when I don't know all the words, I just sing 'jingle jingle jingle' and you can't even tell I'm makin' it up."


Friday, November 22, 2013

A FISHY SITUATION

Mags: "This dinner is...ummm...what's that word? Oh, yeah. SCRUMPTIOUS! This dinner is scrumptious!"

So, hey. Guess what? It's November. How in the name of jellybeans did that happen? And, it's not just November, but a week away from Thanksgiving. Who has a turkey I could borrow? Kidding. We're excited to celebrate by eating ourselves into a coma with some of our funny extended family. Honestly, I can't wait to get cooking and fill the house with a multitude of delicious aromas. 

In fact, I haven't cooked in a while. This new schedule of ours leaves me coming home after Chris and the kids. So, the cooking torch was passed to him. (All the fire alarms in the house just breathed sighs of relief.) Enter Chris. This man o' mine is a resourceful fellow. He completes all tasks effectively and efficiently. No muss, no fuss. He didn't bat an eye at having this new chore of soothing our savage beasts with tasty nourishment. It can be a tough task. The kids don't let you get away with too much fancy food (like rice pilaf or quinoa). 

Needless to say he took on that battle of food wills head on. He's been making some easy and flavorful dishes over the past few months. 

I have to note one company in particular that has made it past the kid test time and time again; Gorton's. No matter what type or flavor we serve up from Gorton's...the kids gobble it down. And let's be honest, who doesn't trust the Gorton's Fisherman? 

Here are five WICKED GOOD reasons for you to dive in and try their product: 

1. He looks JUST like my Uncle Tim. In fact, I think we have the kids convinced it IS Uncle Tim on the box. Okay, fine, maybe not Mags, but DEFINITELY Tucker. He fell for it hook, line and sinker. <---See what I did there?

2. Their campaign speaks my language. Literally. I'm from Bahston and so are they! See? 




3. Their abundant variety of tasty seafood products are always a crowd pleaser in this house. And, also, their products for dinner always result in our kids making it into the "Clean Plate Club." Check it out!



4. Over the past three months of crazy schedule changes and big adjustments in our house, they provided us with some no stress, little mess, great tasting food to eat.

5. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course on their site, Gorton's, where they offer coupons. What are you waiting for? Print some off and try them yourself! You won't be disappointed.


Thanks, Gorton'sAnd thanks, Chris, for all you do!



Thursday, November 21, 2013

What's the Plan?

Me: "How does it feel to be six?"
Mags: "Pretty good. So far it's all going according to plan."




Monday, November 18, 2013

This Post Brought to you by the Number 6

Mags to me: WAIT. A. SECOND. You like baby orange slices TOO? It's like I don't even KNOW you!


There's a meme going around Facebook where you are given a number and then, you tell that many unknown facts about yourself.  Since it's Mags' sixth birthday today, I'm going to tell you SIX lesser known things about her. 


1. Mags slept the first six weeks of her life away. In fact, she slept so much, that I called the doctor on multiple occasions to make sure it was normal. 

2. She can sing the words to a song after hearing it only a few times.

3. Her favorite vegetable is spinach.

4. She can reenact, in great detail,  every single moment of her day from start to finish.

5. Before she was her verbose self, Mags used baby sign a lot. This lead her gymnastics teacher to think that she was deaf for the first two sessions of classes.

6. When she gets really excited, she'll do a little shimmy and shake with her bottom. It pretty much is THE cutest thing I've ever seen. 


See for yourself.





HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY (BIG) GIRL! 
BRING ON NUMBER 6! 

If you haven't already read it, check out Mags' three part birth story. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Two by Two

Remember our friends at Grace Hill Media? They're the ones who have enabled Michele and me to run promotions and giveaways with you guys for movies like The Conjuring and The Exorcist. Well, they're back again and this time they're asking us to help them promote Paramount's highly anticipated blockbuster Noah.

After visions of an apocalyptic downpour, Noah, the world’s only righteous man, is chosen to undertake a divine mission to build a massive ark to save his family and all of creation before the impending rains fall and the flood waters rise. 


Check out this impressive clip...

Wait a minute...that's not it! 
Looks like someone got into the Little People last night.
  
Vine + Chris + Little People collection = Silly Remake  

Impressive all the same, but here's the real trailer...


Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and God! Seriously, what's not to like?!!?
But that's not all. As the film's 2014 release draws closer, Grace Hill Media promises a fun promotion for everyone at ODNT and According to Mags. Who knows? Maybe they'll raffle off a couple of Rhodesian giraffe … or the ark!!!
Holy cow! I better go start gathering the animals. 

But not the stinky ones. Or the mean ones. Or the slimy ones. 
Or the bitey ones. Or the quilled ones. Or the...okay, fine! 
ALL of God's creatures are welcome. 
(Seriously, someone conviniently forget about the stinky ones.)

Ketchup With Us #30


In honor of Movember, Michele and I are talking 'staches. And the amazing men who wear them. We like to make things easy around here so we'll give you a choice. You can respond traditionally in word or you can just link a picture. It's entirely up to you.

One of the most genuine, tender, handsome guys I know snuck up behind me.  I turned around and got a sneak peek into the future. Soon enough this will be...but not today...I'm holding my eyelids open with tooth picks so I don't blink. 


For a QUICK EXPLANATION of this link-up, click here. In short, Mel and I will post a picture or video with a prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. And, with each prompt, we'll feature a linker from the previous KWU. Which reminds me ...

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is ...

Dana @ Kiss My List

RULES? WHO NEEDS 'EM?!!?

The rules are ... THERE ARE NO RULES! Just guidelines. And we'd be truly honored if you posted our button on your page and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel), Twitter (Michele/Mel), Instagram (Michele/Mel) and Pinterest (Michele/Mel).

ketchup with us
<a href="http://www.accordingtomags.com" target="_self"><img src=&#34http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s492/accordingtomags/th_a410bb31.jpg" alt="Ketchup With Us" width="125" height="125" /></a>

'KETCHUP WITH US' - Prompt 30

In 57 words or less … OR with just a simple picture … tell us about your favorite  mustachioed man.






Friday, November 8, 2013

An Early Morning Conversation with Mags

Me: "I'm going to vacuum under the table real quick. Could you please help me by pulling the chairs out?"
Mags: "Sure."
Me: "Thanks." (vacuum starts up with a roar)
Mags: "WAIT! WAIT! MAMA!"
Me: (shuts off vacuum) "What? What's the matter?"
Mags: "If you vacuum under here, how will I remember what I ate all week? See? There's my Honey Nut Cheerios. There's my taco. Right there is my toaster strudel and there's Daddy's stir fry he made." 
Me: "You could take a picture with the iPad of the smorgasbord under here."
Mags: "Great idea. Hold on one moment, my dearest Mama."
Me: (waits)
Mags: (returns with iPad, aims it under the table) "OH! What's that? RIGHT THERE!" (pointing
Me: "I don't know, it's all looks disgusting to me."
Mags: "Well, I don't know what THAT piece is, but I'm pretty sure I didn't like that one." (snaps picture
Me: "All set?"
Mags: "Yep. Done capturing some memories."
Me: "That picture is definitely not going to show and tell."

Anybody else have a four day pile up of food under their table? It looks like a few unassuming crumbs at first, and then...dun dun dun!  They coagulate to form the dreaded "FOOD BUNNIES." Much like their cousins, the "DUST BUNNIES," they can take over the floor under a dinner table in a matter of days. 

I've even heard of a dangerous new hybrid of "HOUSE BUNNIES." I think it may be an urban legend...much like spiders nesting in a person's hair. Supposedly, these bottom floor dwellers join forces to form a dust/food bunny hybrid under your fridge and stove. Keep your eyes out, people. And approach with caution. 


HAPPY FRIDAY! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Urban Dictionary: Furbish Edition

Tuck: "You know what I'm putting on my Christmas list?"
Me: "Legos?"
Tuck: "Yep...AND a Furby BOOM!"
Me: *mumbles* "What did I ever do to you except spend 6 weeks on bedrest and 3 days in labor and 3 hours of pushing and..."
Tuck: "What?"
Me: "Huh? Oh...I was just saying that's furbtastic, honey!"

FURBISH DICTIONARY
What Furby is really saying


FURBISH   PHRASES
 

ENGLISH   PHRASES
 
a-loh/doo?Play with me. Play with me! PLAY! WITH! ME!
Dah/doo-ayIt's 3AM. Who wants an adrenaline rush?
Dah/lee-koo/koo-/wah!My batteries never say die.
Hey/boo/loo-looThe joke is on YOU! 
Kah/may-may/u-nyeI love to wake your sleeping child.
Doo-moh/may-lah/kahShaking me will just make me angry!
May-tah/kahYou won't like me when I'm angry!
Kay/mee-mee/a-tahPotty mouth.
Dah/a-loh/nah/bahSunset or sunrise...I'm flexible.
nee-tye/kahGizmo is cu-kah!
Dah/noh-lahI will not be ignored!
Kah/mee-mee/noo-loo/wahI'm very happy to annoy you.
Kah/toh-loo/may-tahI see you with that screw driver.
Wee-tee/kah/way-lohIt's a Phillips head screw. SUCKAH!

Monday, November 4, 2013

These Monkeys are too Hip to be Square

Me: "Mags, may I take your monkey with me to New Orleans?"
Mags: "No way, Mama!"
Me: "I promise I'll bring her back in one piece."
Mags: "I trust you. But no."
Me: "I was going to take some..."
Mags: "Mama. No means no."
Me: "Okay, okay. No monkey."
Mags: "You know what we could do instead? Maybe we could FaceTime with her!"


It didn't take long for her to become a loved member of the "Nighty Night" society. She had all the makings of a star.  Her heart of gold and glitzy nature fit her new community perfectly. She had been waiting  for this moment where she found somewhere to settle in and feel at home. Finally, that time had come. With her guitar by her side, Star Harmonkey finally felt complete.


Who would want to leave that kind of community behind? 
Not Star, that's for sure.

But, Ima Bananerd, who came along for the ride from Planet Sock Monkey was another story. She had a thirst for knowledge with a streak of independence that couldn't be ignored. She was smart, sassy...and just a little bit clumsy. True to her nerdy form, she was matched perfectly with none other...than a Physics teacher. 


Like Ima, the physics teacher (we'll call her Mel) had a very spunky friend who lived far away and, as luck would have it, she was going to vist her the very weekend Ima arrived. And, even though Ima had just traveled all the way from Planet Sock Monkey, she snapped her suspenders, grabbed her backpack and her Phyics book and jumped into the open suitcase She never said no to learning something new. 

Ima passed the time traveling by listening to her Sock Monkey friend, M.O.N.K's, newest rap CD. She promised him she'd write a review of each of his songs. 

Before she knew it, the suitcase unzipped and Ima was greeted by not one, but TWO Patch Product friends. Magenta Beetsch and ANOTHER Star Harmonkey, also sent from Planet Sock Monkey , were ready to go when she arrived. The connection to these two was immediate. Star, being characteristically sweet, and Magenta, having a heart of gold and a funky style to boot, made her feel right at home. Being in a new city, Ima was anxious to write down her observations and collect some data for her research on city life. 


Throughout the next four days she traveled by car, bus, airplane and 
Street Car.


She ate native cheeses and developed a love for a delicious fried 
dough treat called Beignets. 


Ima also went on a spooky ghost tour. And perhaps a little more scary than ghosts, she tried a Lucky hot dog from a cart on the street. That was more her zombie Sock Monkey friend, Eaton Dedd's style, but when in Rome...



The whirlwind trip left her head spinning. Even though she was sad to leave her friends behind, she knew she would be able to FaceTime and text.  That, and she had a lot of fun memories to look back on and share. As her Sock Monkey friend, Long Sock Silver says, "We'll be seein' yaaaarrrr again real soon." 



Want to win one of these trendsetting little friends for the little monkey in your life? Michele and I are each giving one away right here. Our two lucky winners will get to choose from the six limited edition friends listed above. (More monkeys are coming soon to Planet Sock Monkey.) 

Entries will be accepted until the end of Monday, November 11, 2013. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ketchup With Us - #29

Mags: "Mama! Where did that bruise come from on the back of you leg?"
Me: "What bruise?"
Mags: "The HUGE one right there?"
Me: "Oh, yeah. Hmmm. Not sure."
Mags: "That's not normal."

There have been many a time that I don't know how I got a barrage of bruises. It's the life of a mom. We're all moving too fast and things like Legos underfoot and train tables directly at shin level won't get in our way...for long. I wish I could say that these mystery injuries came with being a mom, but I've always been a little bit...clumsy.  My poor dad can attest to that as he recounts one of my infamous childhood injuries. I swear the poor guy still dreams about my ice skating style...or lack thereof. 

He was just inches away from catching his overly ambitious daughter. The Winter Olympics were in full force and I was going to be the next Nancy Kerrigan. My dad referred to MY move as the "Triple Sow Cow Double Butt Slam." I was up, spinning and then...and then...KABOOM! Tailbone broken.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is ...



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

RULES? WHO NEEDS 'EM?!!?

The rules are ... THERE ARE NO RULES! Just guidelines. And we'd be truly honored if you posted our button on your page and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel), Twitter (Michele/Mel), Instagram (Michele/Mel) and Pinterest (Michele/Mel).

GRAB OUR BUTTON!

ketchup with us
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'KETCHUP WITH US' - Prompt 29

In 57 words or less, tell us about your DUMBEST INJURY ever. (Or, if you're like me, pick one of them.)