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Memorial Day + Kid Photos!

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Yesterday we talked to the kids about the meaning of Memorial Day.
How there have been many times where men and women have given their lives while serving our country.
“They did it even though they knew they could die?”-Sienna.
I want them to know the meaning of sacrifice and honor and being grateful.
I want them to pray for the families of those heroes.
The kids LOVE America. Chatting about it… singing about it…
Waving the flags and wearing the bows.
But today  most of all, we are thankful.
Today we are celebrating the lives of those who served our country so incredibly.
We remember our fallen Heroes. They are the reason we are free.
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 I wanted to capture this moment in time…these sweet faces and these ages.
My blog has always been my love letter to my kids…
and I want them to be able to look back and see this bond that they had.
They are a pack. They love each other and bicker and fight and then hug it out.
I want my kids to know how I love each of them so much.
That they bring so much joy and so little sleep to my life haha.
Sometimes I feel like there is no way I can be the mom I want to be,
I’m not patient enough or holy enough,
but I’ve seen God work in our family and help me to grow and trust in Him.
These are His little ones that I’ve been blessed to have these years.
How amazing that He invites us into this crazy adventure.
He wants good for us! He knows that family life is hard but He sees the blessing it can be.
We have amazing jobs as parents…to help form these little ones
and witness first hand the amazing things they can do in the world.
Thinking today of all the parents who have lost a child while they served our country.
Praying for their peace and that they feel loved today.
We are grateful for the years they spent forming their children
and fostering that desire to serve others.
I hope that my kids grow up to be just as brave.

I’m thankful for these years and for the oreos I got “for the kids.”
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SOPHIA.
Today she kept telling me, “MOM..I feel so big today. It’s weird.”
“Oh my gosh my legs are so long.”
“I look so old! Oh my gosh I feel so big today.”
HAHA. yes girl. you do. and it’s freaking me out.
How is she almost 8?! I started blogging when she was just a baby.
I might have teared up loading these photos in here because
I feel like I was able to capture this moment where she felt so beautiful and a big girl. 
She has the biggest heart and loves to take care of people. Especially Asher.
Sophia currently wants to be a Vet or a Nurse.
Which makes total sense because she’s always concerned
about people and wanting to help them.
I love seeing her learn and become confident.
She is particular and wants to do well. LOVES to read.
She asks A LOT of questions and wants to just chat all the time.
She’s an amazing artist and loves the weather, softball and whistling.
She has that sparkle in her eyes and such a kind gentle soul.
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SIENNA.
She is strong and sweet. Almost 6 this summer.
She went through a shy stage at the start of this year
and each day she has grown in confidence. She still isn’t sure if she wants all
eyes on her, but she definitely wants to be the star on stage.
She is a hoot. seriously. that’s the best word for her. She makes us laugh all day.
She has sassy dance moves in her bones.
She is super proud of her self learned skill of vocal warm up?? noises.
I have no idea. But we’re blaming the music teacher for that talent that is very loud.
and kind of sounds like a fiesta or mariachi band is about to happen.
Sienna is a Horse Girl. She rides and loves them. Even gives them kisses!
She is very caring. and detailed. She is an amazing reader.
Saw a movie about gymnastics and is obsessed.
Sienna has an amazing imagination and regularly turns into a spy while we are at the grocery store.
She loves fashion and if I let her she would wear ALL the accessories and tights.
I look at her and see her beauty shining from the inside out.
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MICAH.
He is pretty much always pumped about life. He loves to tell us he loves us.
Randomly throughout the day.
He breaks into an I love you mom song when he’s trying to get out of being in trouble.
He likes to smash and bash and then snuggle and snack.
It’s a miracle he has shoes on in this photo. Always takes them off outside.
He loves thursday. I’m asked every day “Mom is is thursday?” at least 4 times.
LOVES thursday. I have no idea why.
He’s starting to sing all the songs. It’s so adorable
and I love hearing his non whiny or LOUD voice.
I’ll never know how to do boy hair.
He loves flash and hulk smash.
Just starting to SHOW that he loves his little brother. lol.
He thinks Asher is the best. But daddy is even better.
He loves to play with his sisters and watch egg shows.
He is a warrior and has a strength about him.
He’s going to be an amazing man like his daddy when he grows up.
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ASHER.
This baby is pure joy. He was born average at 7 pounds and was a tank by 4 months.
20 pounds and then didn’t gain more than a couple pounds after that.
He’s 8 months now and he looks at you and it’s like he’s looking into your soul. lol.
He wants to be touched all the time. By mom mostly.
He LOVES being outside.
We are recently rediscovering his neck.
When his sisters get home from school he smiles so big and flaps his arms around.
Asher is finally starting to sleep through the night and I’m even more in love with him.
If that’s even possible. Sleep is magical.
This boy has no sharp edges. He’s my toasty marshamallow and
I love seeing him starting to interact more with all of us.
He’s added so much joy to our family.
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I took these photos with my Canon70d. (batch edited in photoshop.)
(Pretty much everything they are wearing is from target. It’s where I go. lol.)
I love this sweet crew and am thankful for the men and women who fought for our freedom
and have blessed us with the life we know today.
So thankful. And thinking of their families today
I’m sure they are proud of their heroes.
We never know how long we will have with the people we love.
It’s incredible to me the sacrifice of those who serve and served our country and their families.
Incredible. Hugging my little ones extra hard today.
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I hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day.
We are over here with sticky popsicle fingers, barbecue and giggle boxes.
I’m not sure yet what our summer schedule will be…
but daily naps is at the top of the must do list. haha.
We did that yesterday, and the rest of the day went so much smoother!
Bedtime was pushed back a little bit but it was worth being able to enjoy the
afternoon instead of struggling through with tired kiddos.
Quiet/reading time or nap times are a must each day.
We are excited for summer but with a full house, a plan is important.
I think we might even create our own color system like they used at school for behavior.
They were ALL about it at school…every day  “I got on green!” as soon as they walked in the door.
Freezer will be stocked full of popsicles for bribery.
Because I’m pretty sure that’s what all expert parents do.
PS. The girls started doing a random dance party in our kitchen yesterday so
we filmed a little end of school video that’ll go up at the end of the week! 
Thanks for stopping by the blog today! xoxo.
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Our Favorite Elephant & Piggie Books!

I’m a huge fan of kid books. I love love them!
We wanted to share some of our favorite Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems!
Sienna’s favorite is the NEW and LAST book in the series… The Thank You Book.
It’s as cute and silly as the others!
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My Aunt sent the girls a whole bunch of these one year for their birthday and they were a hit!
I love how they look on the bookshelf all lined up…such pretty colors!
Do you love kid books as much as me?? :)
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Our “Mo Mail” package arrived earlier this month and the kids were so excited!
Sophia immediately started reading to everyone The Thank You Book!
It came with fun things like stickers, t-shirts, tattoos and a huge poster.
A spinning wheel thingy to help them think about who they can say thank you too.
Just a fun box of goodies!
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The Thank You Book is all about Piggie wanting to thank EVERYONE.
But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone…someone important.
I love seeing the two personalities of the characters and their cute expressions.
It’s such a great book for early-readers.IMG_2052IMG_2041IMG_2057 

Sophia picked out her favorite Elephant & Piggie Book…
There is a Bird on Your Head!
(because it’s silly.)
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The author who created these characters
we have come to love is Mo Willems and he is a number one
New York Times best-selling author and illustrator!
His Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has won so many awards.
If you’ve looking for some great books for your readers check them out!
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Author Photo

You have the chance to win a fun prize pack too!
The prize pack includes your own copy of The Thank You Book,
Elephant & Piggie event kit and standee, 2 Elephant & Piggie tshirts!
(Open to US addresses only. Prizing provided by Disney-Hyperion.)
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can visit Thankorama.com to learn how to draw Piggie, download activity sheets and more.
My kids are always loving when I print out coloring or activity pages!
You can download and print your own “I Will Thank” Speech Bubbles!
(Pink or Grey) Share on social media and use #Thankorama!
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Thank you Disney-Hyperion for Sponsoring today’s post!

How to Get Baby to Sleep- Or Survive Trying

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Oh my friends.
These babies… they are seriously laughing at us.
They know how cute they are and how sleepy we are. lol.

It can be rough trying to figure out how to survive that early stage of baby fog.
You can read one of the million books about it or call your  mom!
But I feel like every baby and mama is different. You have to do what feels right for you.
I thought I would share our experience with the whole thing.
I’m not an expert. I’m PRETTY SURE we did it wrong every time. lol.
But I wanted to write this post just to encourage any mamas out there who are feeling frazzled.
It all works out.. eventually they sleep MORE!
Key word is more. lol.
I have 3 bigger kids and you can count on at least one of them waking up at night.
I’m pretty sure they take shifts. It’s a whole operation to crack us.
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I was blessed with friends who all have babies
who sleep through the night at 4 weeks old.
LIE TO ME. Don’t tell me that. lol.
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My babes never want to sleep through the night till 8 months.
Asher is seriously right on track….
Tonight, for the first time in almost 8 months…(June 2nd)
He slept through the night!!!!
It was amazing, besides the excruciating pain in my chest from not nursing all night.
holy cow.
Don’t hug me or touch me people. don’t even look at me.
I tip toed up this morning at a few minutes before 7.
Asher is in there just laying on his stomach with his head up looking around.
So adorable and cute It almost made me forget the months of mombie mornings.
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I’m pretty sure if I followed all of the advice that everyone in the world
gives you for getting your baby to sleep, He might have slept through the night sooner, lol.
BUT we just did what worked for us at the time.
The big breakthrough for us was when we moved the crib out of our room.
In most of our houses we have had to have the crib in with us because of space.
In this house we had asher in our room and then I hit the point where I knew that if I
didn’t let him cry a little bit more at night mommy was gonna cry.
all the time.
because I was going coo coo.
He was 6 months and it was TIME.
We moved Micah man into the girls room and moved the crib into his room.
I didn’t want all the boys together just yet. Micah is still a loose canon and
I didn’t need both boys up partying like rockstars all night.
Divide and conquer.
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That crib move was HUGE. He started sleeping longer chunks.
I think he just sensed that he was tucked away from us but safe and quiet.
It was great for Ben and I because even though it started off as only a few
hours still of sleeping solid, those hours felt very separate and a good break.
We had the monitor and we could just relax for a bit.
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We let him cry it out a few times each night…not long…
just a couple minutes…calm him down…help him know we are here but he’s ok.
This was a few months ago. He started sleeping longer and longer chunks of time.
I would put him down to bed around the same time as the kids…. Asher at 6:30….and big kids at 7:00.
I would nurse him and get him sleepy then lay him down.
The first time he would fuss I would typically let him cry a bit and he would soothe himself back down.
There was only a few times we had to let him cry longer than a few minutes…
but I knew that he was ok. He was dry, fed and sleepy.
He was waking up twice to nurse and be changed:
usually around 10 and 12…then would go back to sleep till around 5.
That was good for us…I felt a huge difference.
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But now LAST NIGHT he slept from 7-7 and it was insanity and amazingness
and I’m hoping that he can keep it up.
I remember when our sophia started doing that.
I would lay her in her bed and pat her back “night night” and she would
fall asleep right away and sleep till morning.
The rain clouds broke apart and the sun came shining into my world. lol.
It’s a game changer as a mama.
It’s around that time I would feel way more confident and capable as a mama.
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I think he grew another neck in his sleep last night.
Also his bottom teeth are just killing me.
literally.
ouch.
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I am cheering on all of you going through the same challenges
and just want you to know that YOU GOT THIS!
Be patient with yourself…and baby…
and know it’s ok to take a minute and just breath and re group.
Motherhood can be exhausting and we can be hard on ourselves.
Remember you are doing one of the hardest jobs in the world
but amazingly rewarding!
Enjoy the baby snuggles.
Eat all the oreos when he or she finally sleeps.
jk. that last part is horrible advice.