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"It's going to be quite a shopping spree, today," sighed Izumi, caressing John's hand.

"My Little Dove needs to make a nest for her hatchlings," he smiled, his gentle gray eyes gazing into hers.

"They seem happy together, don't you think?" continued Izumi, resuming her previous line of thought.

"I think AJ will be just fine," replied John, checking the clock. "If there are any wrinkles, they'll work it out. Every couple needs time to adjust to each other."

Later that morning, Terry showed up at the breakfast table outfitted for a long day at the stores.

"I'm wearing a comfortable pair of shoes," he informed them, nodding to his old sneakers, "loose shirt and jeans to allow for proper blood circulation, and a cell phone with sufficient video games to while away the hours spent in the checkout lines. Pass the syrup, please?"

"Good morning, everyone," greeted Abby, as she and Jake joined them at the table.

"We're having pancakes to ensure everyone has enough strength to make it through the day," joked Terry. "Are you ready for a solid day of baby nursery shopping?"

"I guess so," shrugged Jake.

"By the end of the day, you'll have cribs and diapers coming out of your ears!" laughed Terry.

"Oh no, Uncle Terry!" groaned Abby, spying his feet. "You're not actually going out in public wearing those stinky old running shoes, are you?"

"What's wrong with them?" asked Terry, in playful indignation. "They've got several more years of useful wear in them! Besides, they're extremely comfortable."

"They should be," teased Abby, "there's hardly anything holding them together!"

"Here's the game plan," said John, laying a map out on the kitchen table between the pancake platter and a pitcher of syrup. "Our first stop is Baby Bunting Bazaar, then The Baby Center, followed by The Baby Retail Outlet, Bouncin' Baby, Strollers Etc., and the Home Center."

"The Home Center?" asked Jake, with a grin.

"I know," laughed John, "it seems a little out of place on a day like this, but we need paint, wallpaper, carpeting, and light fixtures for the nursery. Abby, you and Jake take your jeep. Terry, you drive your pickup, and Little Dove and I will take the car. Lunch, dinner, and gas will be on me."

At this, Terry and AJ burst into peals of laughter.

"I meant," rephrased John, "that I'm paying for the gasoline!"

"Nice save, Dear," smiled Izumi, kissing her husband.

After breakfast, Jake helped Izumi clear away the dishes, while John and Terry put the camper shell on Terry's red pickup truck. Then they checked the oil on all three vehicles and made sure everything was in running order. When the baby crew was ready and assembled outside, John said a prayer asking God for success.

"I forgot my purse," declared Abby, quickly heading back to the yellow house. "I'll be back in a moment. Don't leave without me!"

"Jake, if she doesn't show up," Terry winked, "you can hitch a ride with me!"

When Abby had returned with her purse, the engines started and the small caravan of cars took to the road. John was the lead vehicle, with Terry next, and Abby last.

"They're nicknaming us AJ now," mused Abby, looking in the rear view mirror.

"I noticed," smiled Jake. "Do you mind it very much?"

"I suppose it's cute... in a way," she conceded, a little half-heartedly.
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