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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1 Results

If you missed Assignment #1 for the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge, be sure to read the details here.

So, how’d your day go? Here’s a recap of some of what I got accomplished:

I got up early, read my Bible, ran two miles, followed my morning routine, and got dressed — including makeup, hair, earrings, and even some perfume (which is something I rarely ever wear.).

No, my outfit was nothing to be too excited about, but then, I’m a pretty simple gal when it comes to clothes. In fact, what you see here is my basic standard “uniform” that I wear every day.

After our morning & afternoon homeschooling was finished and the chores were done, Silas went down for his afternoon nap, the girls went outside in the backyard to play, and I sat down to make my list of goals for the week.

{ was one of our read-alouds today for school. Guess what the children did during their afternoon play time? Yep, they spent it trying to build houses for themselves in the backyard!}

And then it was time to tackle my purse. Some of you may have expected that minimalist me would have a teeny-tiny purse.

Well, I actually have a clunker purse. It doubles as a tote bag and sometimes holds diapers, extra kid clothes, books, knitting stuff–or even my laptop. It just seems more practical to stick with a big bag right now since it can multi-task when needed.

But the problem with a big bag is that it can also hold more junk and unnecessary stuff. Gulp.

I pared all the stuff that was currently in there down to this and threw the rest of the stuff out or returned it to its proper place.

Much better!

And finally, I came up with seven items around our home to get rid of: three vases, some smell reducer thing that I have no idea where it even came from, two shirts that are worn out, and two books. All of the items are going into the garage sale pile except the which I’m passing along to reader, Cassi!

How you do on Assignment #1? I’d love to have you share your progress and success with us so we can be inspired. Either post a link to your blog post below or leave a comment with your update.

Other posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series

  1. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1
  2. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1 Results
  3. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2
  4. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2 Update
  5. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3
  6. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3 Update
  7. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #4
  8. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #4 Update
  9. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #5
  10. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #5 Update
  11. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6
  12. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6 Update
  13. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7
  14. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7 Update
  15. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8
  16. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8 Update
  17. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #9
  18. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #9 Update
  19. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10
  20. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10 Update
  21. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11
  22. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11 Update
  23. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12
  24. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12 Update
  25. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #13
  26. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14
  27. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14 Update
  28. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16
  29. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16 Update
  30. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17
  31. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17 Update
  32. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18
  33. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18 Update
  34. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19
  35. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19 Update
  36. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20
  37. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20 Update
  38. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Printable Checklist and Daily Email Reminders

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88 Comments

  • says:

    I am so glad you are doing this. I really need to get back into a new daily routine. I was surprised how much I got tidied in just 15 minutes. Of course I used my favorite “imagination” tip to really put some power into my pick up speed. Wow that is a big purse. One tip for the dish cloth knitting I saw you had in there, small projects like that store well in draw string bags (sold for shoes for travel) then you can throw it in your purse when you want and it won’t get tangled up in your other belongings and it will also be easier to transfer in and out when you want to.

  • says:

    Crystal…be careful!!! You are going to fade away to nothing if you get any more slender!! = )
    Nice purse!! That is big though!! Does it hurt your shoulder when you carry it? I end up having to use a backpack style purse or my shoulders hurt!

    • Crystal says:

      Haha, Martha! You’re one to be talking!! 😉

      If the purse has a lot of extra stuff in it, it can get heavy. But when it’s not packed with stuff, it’s totally fine!

      • says:

        Yeah, yeah…= )
        I have a unique budget system and have this heavy notebook I carry with me, I wish I could figure out a way to make it lighter!

  • Sherry says:

    My first day was a completel success! It felt so good to get all of that done and has inspired me to continue to work hard the rest of the month. I had my husband and child help out with the 15 minute pickup. Neither are crazy about cleaning *who is* however even they were on board for 15 minutes. Thanks!

  • Beth Anne @ Thrifty Living says:

    I was pleased with my quick clean up time too! I also went through my purse, made a goal list for the week, and finished up my menu plan. I love the feeling of having a plan with specific goals for the week…it makes me focus on the big picture instead of trying to do everything all at once.

  • says:

    Thank you for posting this, Crystal – I’m doing it for sure….. 😀

  • Dawn says:

    Your post was so timely. Last week our Ladies Fellowship did a session on organizing, couponing, and cleaning. I’ve done FlyLady in the past and for the most part have a pretty good handle on my home, but a lot of things I have let slide of late so to have this challenge will be a good encouragement for me. After reading it this morning, I decided after we completed school I would get to work, well, it was more like after dinner, but I can say I did my 15 minute pick up in the living room (which baffled my 16 yo son), folded two loads of laundry, and found 7 items to donate to the thrift store and/or toss. I didn’t do my purse because I’m pretty good at keeping it cleaned out every couple weeks and I had just done it recently. I never got around to writing a list, but had a mental list going. Looking forward to the coming days! Thanks!

  • Cassi says:

    I sorted out several things from my closet that were added to the rummage sale pile…tossed some broken toys when going through my little guy’s room-we just bought him a new (used) toy box so it was a good excuse to toss some things. There wasn’t much tidying up to do as we cleaned the house spick and span on Saturday for my youngest son’s birthday party on Sunday. I cleaned out my purse and found my receipt for my neosporen rebate so I can mail that and mail back Moneyball-great movie we watched it this weekend!
    Thanks for the book-I am excited to read it and then it will be added to the non fiction shelf in my classroom 🙂 We always want to expand our non fiction collection…it is only one shelf!

  • cassie perkins says:

    this is totally off topic, but i just can’t help myself. Where did you get your cami that you are wearing underneath your v-neck? I have the HARDEST time finding camis that go that high!! As a mom of young one like yourself, I spend most of my day bent over. This makes it almost impossible for me to wear v-necks and stay modest, if you know what I mean. Anyway, if you could share where your cami is from, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!! 🙂

  • Heather says:

    This sounds like fun-i need a challenge. It will feel like we are reorganizing together, only I’ll be a day behind you in following your list.

  • Tiah says:

    Tackled a bit of this after the workday. Thank you for the great idea and a month of purpose!

  • says:

    Crystal, where did you get that bag? It’s the perfect size for me 🙂

    Thank you so much for this series! I’m motivated.

  • Amanda says:

    I didn’t get to my purse, but I did clean out my Explorer which was in bad need of a clean out!

  • Roberta says:

    So I just saw this challenge about 30 mins ago and have wanted to do one of these with someone. So I made some goals for this week and then cleaned out my purse, wallet and diaper bag. My 7 items that I got rid of were lego containers that were holding instruction books and the extra pieces!

  • Laurie G says:

    I hope to get on board tomorrow. I read it this morning and was excited and then SURPRISE today the roofers showed up. Take all my days plans and throw them out the window. I had to talk with them and tell them where things were several times (wished hubby could have been home!). My oldest son was beyond distracted with what they were doing so finally I decided you don’t get a new roof everyday and he is a boy- so I sent him outside to watch (and he even helped them a little with pick up), so no school for him today. Sigh. We are woefully behind and the rest of the week doesn’t look stellar as we have some necessary interruptions.

    I have decided though to be content and not beat myself up. Youngest daughter did finish her school work, I did get dinner done somehow, my chores were finished also albeit very late this evening, and we have a new roof done in one day and paid for with CASH. 🙂

  • says:

    I’m wondering if you’re going to have us get rid of 7 things every day. Somehow I can see you doing that 🙂 I certainly didn’t think I would get to that today, but throwing out what I did was WONDERFUL. I’m trying to think ahead to getting rid of things for tomorrow just in case. I had NO idea what was going away today (we JUST had a garage sale!) but I ended up helping two of my girls clean their room, and they had so much to throw out 🙂 It’s SO much better in there now!

    My purse took all of 2 minutes; I haven’t been anywhere.

    Looking forward to tomorrow!

    • Sarah T. says:

      I thought the same thing! I’ve been purging for several months now, so I wasn’t sure if I’d find 7 more I was ready to get rid of. If I end up doing 7 every day, it’ll be a stretch soon. However, I love to purge, so I’ll do it with gusto!

  • says:

    I saw the Assignment this morning, but didn’t have time to look at it until now. Happy to say, I had done most of it. I just did my purses. I carry one that advertises my Pampered Chef business that carry most of the time and my other purse that I carry when I’m not in business mode. So I’m set and ready for tomorrow’s challenge. I know I won’t be able to get them done each day, but having an extra assignment with my usual lists might help me get ahead of the game. 🙂

  • says:

    Didn’t dress up but I did make a meal plan, make my goals for the week and threw out 7 things! Going to tackle my purse right now because I forgot about that one. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • says:

    Oh boy, I just saw this and I would love to try to keep up with you this month. I actually got rid of about 7 clothing items this morning, and I did a much needed purse clean-out a couple of months ago:
    I should pull a few papers that have collected in there out and I really should do the goals for the week, too. It’s hard to pick just a few goals when I feel like there are so many things that need to get done. I know I need to prioritize and not get overwhelmed with all of it. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in mind for us all for the rest of the month!

  • Kari says:

    I found today’s post around 5:30 this evening so I was already dressed for the day. I sat down and wrote out some goals for the week. I actually was already able to accomplish a couple of those things. I set a timer for 15 minutes and my daughter and I worked together to straighten the living room. During those 15 minutes I easily found 7 things to throw away or recycle and/or pass on to someone else. I then cleaned out the diaper bag. Funny thing about that…I realized I was carrying around an empty wipes container. That wasn’t going to be much help the next time I had to change a diaper while out and about!
    I am really looking forward to continuing this challenge over the next few weeks.

  • says:

    I didn’t do the whole list, but did tackle my purse, which was almost completely filled with Chick-fil-A sanitizing wipes, a dozen pens, and miscellaneous stale snack crumbs. Thanks for the nudge to get it done!

    • Sarah T. says:

      Heehee… I found a few of those too. I put them right back in, because they’re small and come in handy when you need them.

  • Lyndsay says:

    Thanks for the challenge! It’s great to see how much I can accomplish when I put my mind to it. This will be a productive 4 weeks!

  • Mrs T says:

    This is a really helpful blog! I do have a 16 month old daughter and for the most part, we have been following a routine that goes like the one I will write below. The hardest thing, was keeping up with the time for example, 7 am do this and 7:30 am do that. So this morning when I sat down to write it (just to remind myself) I did away with the time. I just listed what we will do and the order we will follow in the morning (from wake time to 12 noon) instead of putting a time limit on there. That way, we can be flexible and not worry about going 10 minutes over with something. So here goes:
    -Mom: Up/ Bath/ Devotions (quiet time)
    -Baby: Up/Pray with baby/Watch cartoon (usually Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)
    -Change Baby
    -Breakfast/Clean-Up
    -Play with toys/stuffed animals
    -Morning Walk (if the weather is nice – usually 45 mins to 1 hr)
    -Snack/Water/Rest
    -Watch 1 DVD of Your Baby Can Read and fpllow up with the corresponding book or flash cards/ or watch some other show
    -Baby plays in her room or in the basement

    NB:This is typically the Morning Routine (Sometimes things switch around but that’s OK, too). So it is pretty much focused on my busy little toddler. I try to catch up on emails or blogs or whatever else in between.

    As far as the cleaning out the bags, I recently did this – I only use a diaper bag right now. And I have been spring cleaning and finding things to either throw out or donate all last week. I know there is more to find though, but I was busy Freezer cooking 🙂 this afteroon. Thanks MSM!

  • says:

    I didn’t see this until this evening, but I had been busy cleaning all day long. I decided to join in and blog my progress too, so I did and I linked my post up above.

    I have just finished going through my daughters closets and pulling out the summer and putting away the winter and seeing what fit over the weekend (love having two girls!) I finished going through their shoes today and then hit the kitchen and swept/mopped/vacuumed. It was a busy day, but after being sick with strep and a ruptured ear drum, I’m ready to get this place back in shape, so I thought that blogging along would give me added incentive. 😉

  • Zoe says:

    Our school is having a re-sale boutique as a fundraiser. I found 6 dresses and 3 pair of heels to donate today and dropped it all off at the school. Thanks for the motivation to get it done.

  • AmazonsRock says:

    Since having a baby 3 weeks ago, the house and our daily routine have been on bare minimum mode. Today I woke up energized and ready to get things back on track for our normal. This was the best post I could have read. It encouraged me to follow through with my desires.

    I got everything and then some accomplished. In addition to what you posted, I reorganized the children’s movie cabinet and game shelf, I cleaned out the van, completed 3 loads of laundry, cleared the stairs of all the clutter, and cleaned up my e-mail.

    And probably the item I’m most proud of on the “to done” list is we parted with 38 items. All 5 of our big girls helped identify what could be given a new home, whether that was the recycling bin, trash can, or donation bin.

  • Renee says:

    Wow, I’d been putting off cleaning out my purse for waaay too long. I lightened my load by lots of church bulletins, receipts, 4 pens, 2 hair ties, linting kleenexes, and several grains of rice. How’d those get in there?! I set aside several clothing items to pass to the little boy across the street. I’ll get his big sisters’ hand-me-downs in return, but at least I’ll have a place to put them!

  • Kellie says:

    After a rough morning w/the kids, I finally got a shower in the afternoon and only got as far as taking your advice to wear something that makes me feel good. Then the rest of the day’s plans took over. Hoping to do one step better tomorrow! Baby steps…lol

  • says:

    I got all the assignments done and worked on a making progress on a few of my goals for the week. A weekly goal list rather than a daily to do list sounds so much better to me!

  • Leah says:

    Ok, here’s how today went:
    1. I got dressed today and it felt SO good! I wore jeans, put on jewelry, wore perfume, makeup, and shoes, and felt prepared for anything.

    2. I made a list of 10 goals for this week, including sending in my tax return and sending off a handwritten note to a missionary friend.

    3. I completed my morning routine, got up, made bed, brushed teeth, exercised, had Bible time, and dresssed for the day.

    4. I cleaned out my purse, it is way lighter now, and I’m thrilled to actually be able to FIND items in it now. 🙂

    5. I organized my shoes stash and found 7 pairs I didn’t need. My sisters were thrilled to have some “new” items to add to their wardrobe.

    This is so motivating, I’m already planning other areas of the house that need to be organized. Can’t wait for tomorrow!!

  • Socalgal says:

    I luv this post! It’s so motivating with the pictures and descriptions! How early do you wake up to run 2 miles? That is fantastic and inspiring! I really have to make an effort to add in exercise into my routine.

    • Crystal says:

      Yesterday I got up at 5:30 a.m. My children don’t usually wake up before 7:30 a.m. (yes, I’m blessed with good sleepers!)

      • Whitney says:

        I was going to ask the same question! My 3-year-old has an alarm clock that we set for 7. Otherwise he’d be up at 6:30. My almost-2-year-old is also up by 7 most days. I wish I could wake up that early and run 2 miles. It’s great to a have a nursing 5-month-old that sleeps through the night, but I can’t run in the morning (if you know what I mean) until after he nurses, and by then everyone is up!

  • Lori says:

    I’m very excited about this. I definately need to get into the habit of getting up and getting dressed. This morning when I saw this I decided I was going to do it, so I went and got dressed, then to clean up living room. My 2 year old daughter kept asking me to get her dressed so she could go bye bye, and I realized how sad it was that I typically only get dressed when we are leaving the house. I got my purse cleaned out and my Bible cover which was really getting bad, my daughter likes to pull out everything in her diaper bag every time we bring it home so its always clean. I didn’t find 7 items but I know I have already set aside lots of clothing to get rid of and just haven’t taken them anywhere.

  • Sarah says:

    Great ideas. Taking a little time every day helps me out.

  • Heather Speer says:

    I had started on some of these last week because I have been in the spring cleaning mode the past two weeks. I got rid of a lot more than seven things and had cleaned my pocketbook and diaper bag cleaned out. I want to start running in the mornings, but have a 3 year old and 1 year old and can’t figure out how to do it without waking up really really early so that my husband can stay with them {before he goes to work} while I run…any suggestions?

    • Crystal says:

      A treadmill. 🙂 My husband got one for me last year and it’s been one of our best investments ever. You might check Craigslist because it’s around this time that people start unloading the brand-new ones they bought with good intentions at the beginning of the year. 🙂

      I’ve also done exercise videos at home and that has worked well for me, too.

      Taking the children on a brisk walk with them in the stroller is always a great workout, too!

      • Heather Speer says:

        Thanks for the suggestions. I need to look into some exercise DVDs. I had some VHS ones, but we got rid of our VHS player a few months ago. We have no room for a treadmill so my options are running outdoors or workout videos. We also have a Wii, so I could possibly look into one of the workout “games” for on there. 🙂 I definitely need to get into a workout routine. I need to lose weight and I just need to get into better shape.

        • Jess says:

          Just dance 3 is a lot of fun and has a sweat mode. It can be a good workout and sometimes my little ones just hop along too.

  • says:

    thankfully, my purse was pretty cleaned out since i took all the receipts out friday 🙂

    I got rid of:

    1 sundress sold, made $2

    3 magazines dropped off at the laundromat

    2 pieces of junk mail trashed

    1 puzzle missing pieces trashed

  • Joanne says:

    I did fairly well today. When I made my list of goals, I made sure they were “doable”. What I mean is that instead of writing organize and clean bedroom, which is a huge mess do to it becoming a catch-all, I started with 1 task that I can accomplish: tackle boxes. I knew that if I put organize bedroom as a goal, I wouldn’t accomplish it. I also did a 15 minute clean and cleaned out my purse. I didn’t get to 7 items to get rid of so I’ll find 14 today:)

  • Claire says:

    Loved the suggestion to clean out our purses. I tackled it while getting some time off my feet (I’m 30 weeks pregnant), and it only took 5 or 10 minutes. I found three unused gift cards I had forgotten about and a number of really useless things in there that I was able to get rid of and lighten my load. With the extra weight of the baby any other lightening I can do is helpful. Such and easy and productive task (that I could do sitting down!). Thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    I don’t carry a purse because I know it would accumulate kid-related debris! My daughter had what turned out to be an all day play date and her mommy stayed for 4 hours in the afternoon talking! She’s an awesome work from home mom so I didn’t mind… but I also didn’t get anything done. The little girl is coming back today so I hope I can get a few more things accomplished!

  • April D says:

    I enjoyed this challenge. I have a hard time with altering my morning routine but I’m going to give this a try this coming week as I am off work for Spring Break. I did manage to get rid of seven items, including one ‘husband’ type pillow, 3 mugs, a blanket, and two books. I did a good job of cleaning out the kitchen over Christmas break but I have plans to tackle other rooms in the house over Easter break. I am itching to get into my daughter’s room:). Can’t wait until the next assignment-I’m ready.

  • Kara S says:

    Day 1 was a success! Cleaned out my purse the morning you announced this assignment. 🙂 Since I don’t have a garage or basement, most of the outdoors stuff gets piled in the laundry room. With the help of my fiance, we took everything out, sorted, labled and got rid of 12 items! Most of which went into the yard sale box, some in the trash (old sheets used for painting, etc). The best part? With focus it only took us 25 minutes!

  • Anny says:

    After doing my taxes yesterday, I had my lists of donated stuff which made it easy. To make it even easier, I am going to put it in the notebook as it goes in the bag each day. (I have a giant trash bag from last week that needs to be entered and head to the Thrift Shop). It will save me a huge step.

    I love what someone posted about their plastic bags of emergency items for the back of the van. Organizing those things into one spot will make my always driving 90 miles to the doctors van more peaceful and relaxing.

    Now for me to begin my challenge a day late because of our driving to the doctor visit yesterday 🙂

  • Kara S says:

    Hi Crystal! Day 1, Assignment 1 was a success! I cleaned out my purse (mostly lose coupons and recipes) at lunch. After work my fiance and I dedicated 30 mins to clearing out our laundry room shelves. Since we don’t have a garage or basement, most of our ourdoor items land here. We took everything out (a handy tip I got from you), sorted, labeled and found 10 things to throw away and 6 things to put in the yard sale box! Best part? It only took 25 mins!

    Looking forward to today’s tasks ~ 🙂

  • Honey says:

    I recognize your wallet-I used to have the same one;)

  • Danielle B says:

    Yesterday was a better day for us with following our daily schedule, even though it was far from perfect. We’ve been sick off and on for four straight weeks, this is our fifth week. We’re still getting over this congestion stuff, but we’re pressing on.

    Cleaned my purse out this morning since I didn’t get to it yesterday. I already have several bags of “stuff” that’s heading to the Goodwill, so I couldn’t find anything right at hand to add to the pile. It’s my goal for this evening to get all the Goodwill bags loaded in the van and have my husband drop them off tomorrow after work.

    Looking forward to another productive day!

  • says:

    Haha, I recognize that lotion in your purse! It was a freebie! I have one too! 🙂

  • says:

    Thank you SO much for this challenge. I really struggle with organization and keeping things clean (you can see from my before pic on my blog), but am really working on it. I have realized that challenges like this help me because I NEED accountability, so thank you for being a source of that for me 🙂

  • lily says:

    Roxaboxen! One of our favorites when my kids were a little younger – spurred many a creative day.
    Your’s may also like Christina Katerina and the Box:

    Unfortunately, they don’t have it at the library, unless one of the neighboring towns has it. Ours was a garage sale find.

  • Roxanna says:

    How DO you do IT? I don’t get it! I am a blogger (on a medical related blog) and blogging is a fulltime job — how do you do all these things and still post on your blog full time? (I mean the homeschooling alone in full time, let alone all the household duties)

    I read a post like this and feel like a complete failure. Not for lack of trying but I can’t seem to blog fulltime, maintain our life and homeschool fulltime too.

    • Crystal says:

      Please remember that I have a team of seven people who work for me. There is no way I could keep up the blog without all their help! They take care of hours and hours and hours of the behind-the-scenes work to free me up to just focus mainly on writing!

      So, be encouraged! You’re not a failure!

  • Mrs. R. says:

    Thank you for being so open and vulnerable, Crystal—again! It’s SO helpful to all of us. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    ok..This post series is an answer to prayer! I prayed this am for motivation to help me. Organization is SOOOO difficult for me! I saw your fb post and checked it out! Ok..simple steps. 1-cleaned my purse and church bag that was horrible!!! found a orange in there from I don’t know when! 2-straightened up the main area-cleaned bathroom 3-hit the basement and started what is a major project! 15 min turned into 45 which I had time for..thanks! Got lots of projects going!! Now off to clean kitchen, bedroom (15 min) and Basement again (15 min) Thanks for the purse! Organization is just so not natural for me!

  • Chrissy says:

    Crystal, what did you think of Unshaken? I’ve had it on my wishlist for a while as I have a personal connection to this particular story.

    The Compassion photographer with Dan Wooley was a man named David Hames. We grew up together in Tennessee…he lived in my neighborhood and we went all the way through elementary and middle school together. I’ve wanted to read the book but haven’t yet.

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