The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


Mini Moms

It's no secret that Chiara is a mini-mom in our home. It is a role she has walked into joyfully-not one we impose on her. It is her nature and has never seemed bother by helping out with her baby sisters (first Leah and now Emma). It is not a role that Mayah stepped into until Emma was born. Seeing her step up and want to help and nurture her baby sister was a breath of fresh air. When Leah was born, Mayah was just 2, and was not a fan of this new baby we had at all. In fact she basically ignored her until Leah was 5 months old. One small (and brief) downside to having babies so close in age. Over the past couple of months Leah has shown and increase in interest in Emma and in helping with Emma.  It is so sweet to see a relationship starting between these two.

I think about my three mini-moms and how helpful, caring, and sweet they can be.  I have three extra noses to let me know when Emma needs to be changed.  The two oldest move Emma out of harms way.  All three let me know if Emma is into something she should not be.  Three mini-moms who can get Emma to laugh...Mayah can get her to belly laugh like no one else! Three sets of helpful hands to refill Emma's sippy or get her more food/snack. 

Here are the three mini-moms on one of our nightly family walks with their babies (and one bear-bear).  Not sure they could be any cuter!
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Mayah's Hair

I love long hair on my girls! I know many moms who hate the upkeep of it so they cut it, but I just couldn't. Though, Chiara is donating her hair in a couple weeks, I prefer their hair long...while they can. We never really know how long Mayah's hair is because of all those curly locks.  I had no idea that those cute curls actually take her hair up several inches.  

This is the second time we have straightened her hair with the hot iron to see how long it is.  WOW!  Not only do the curls make her hair significantly shorter, but she looks so much older to David and I when her hair is straight.  

We have always said that the curls suit Mayah's personality perfectly....the straight hair is just not her.  Regardless of the style she is simply gorgeous.
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Pretty Pretty Princess with Kelli

Kelli will always be one of my "big kids", but to the girls she is the best baby sitter ever!  We are all still bummed that she calls Texas home now, but we do like love when she comes to visit!  A while back she bought the girls a gift from her childhood- Pretty Pretty Princess.  So thoughtful.  So Kelli.  The girls love it, so when she came by they had to play!  It warms my heart watching their interactions.  I could not ask for a better example for my girls than Kelli.  She loves the Lord.  Loves her parents.  Loves her siblings.  Giving.  Thoughtful.  Funny. (Well, she thinks she is! HA!)  I am thankful that the Lord saw fit to place her in my fifth grade class.
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Awana Ceremony 2012

This year we made the prayerful decision to change where we enrolled our girls in Awana. We are happy we made the choice to put them at Grace Church; this church suits our family and the reasons we have them in Awana.  Awana is a program to teach children scripture.  It is not about who is "the best" or meant to be competitive, but instead to encourage and lift up. 

It's hard to believe that we started in August and here we are at the end already.  I am so proud of all the hard work both girls have put into this.  Knowing they are learning God's Word and building friendships brings us JOY.  Another great benefit from Awana is giving my home schooled girls an opportunity to have a classroom setting.  They love their 'teachers' and leaders.  We do too!

Catching Mayah walking in.  She and her buddy Owen were the 2 oldest in Cubbies this year-promoting to Sparks next year.

Chiara and her big smile!  Her second year of Sparks; one more to go!

Cubbie Bear came to see the Cubbies get their certificates. 

I love that Awana recognizes the parents with a certificate also.  Mayah and her Daddy receiving theirs.


Chiara receiving her ribbon for Book 2.  

I think the real highlight of the night was that Miss Rebecca was back from college (before leaving on a missions trip to Cambodia this summer).  The girls adore do we!

Chiara with Sparkie

Mayah with Cubbie
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Walker in Training

Emma really has no desire to walk. She is a quick crawler and content being held. However, we have some walking time built into our days.  What cracks me up most about this is that her mouth stays open most of the time she is walking with her lion.  Hilarious.  As much as she reminds me of teeny-tiny Mayah this part is all Leah.  Leah had no desire to walk until after she turned one.  My only request is that she does not wait until Mommy is away in July to do it.  

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Gorgeous and Smart...Congrats David!

There is something about a piece of paper that makes everything official.David has been 'done' with school for a while now and we knew he finished with a 3.98 GPA, but getting the diploma in the mail made it REAL!!!!  He worked so hard to get this degree-not sacrificing his marriage or family (which grew by 2 kids while he was enrolled) to get it either.  He stayed up late, read text books on airplanes, wrote countless papers into the wee hours, and tolerated the ramblings of professors who made him shake his head and laugh out loud.

I am so proud of you David for your hard work and determination.  You did it!  

Love that sexy smile!  
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Mother's Day and Thoughts on Being Mommy

My first "Mother's Day" as a mom to four children girls!  It's already hard to imagine my very large belly last year at this time.  When I think about my first Mother's Day in Michigan with David and Chiara I can't really believe how much my life has changed! 

In our home we really don't celebrate "Mother's Day", but I would say it is "Mom's Day" or "Mommy's Day."  Many women are mothers, but being called "mom" or "mommy" is more than stating the fact that your birthed a child; those names come with a deeper meaning and greater relationship.  They are names that I cherish.  I know I will always be their mother, but being their mom/mommy is so much more important to me than that.  When I speak of my own mother she is always "mom" - implying a deep and intimate relationship, one that I cherish. 

My day started at 5:15AM with a morning wake up call from Emma Lynne.  The first thing I did on Mommy's Day was nurse my sweet baby.  Love.  She went back to sleep and so did I.  I was woken by David, Chiara, Mayah, and Emma (Leah had slept over my parents house to return at lunch time) with scrambled eggs, sausage, and COFFEE!  I love when David makes me tastes even better served in bed!  Mayah had picked some flowers from outside and both girls had made me lovely cards.  David got me a wonderful card as well....he really does a great job picking out cards!  Chiara stayed and chatted for a bit then fetched my laptop for me.  Ahhhh, coffee and blog reading.  Perfect.  I was in bed until after 9AM...unheard of!  David had cleaned the kitchen and had his list ready for the grocery store. 

After showering and tidying up a bit Chiara and I prepared the salad for lunch.  We had my parents and my grandparents here for a wonderful lunch and homemade tiramisu for dessert (totally gluten free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).  For dinner, David and the girls took me to our favorite place in town, Picazzos', which sadly is closing. 

Chiara and I prepping the salad

A fellow homeschool mom and friend hosted a "preschool" time for a few kids over the past month. Leah and Mayah went and the last craft was a Mother's Day Mug.

Love this.  Leah's hugs are not as frequent as the 2 big girls so this is a  precious picture!

Love this little peanut!

Emma is fianlly smitten with Nanny...only took 11 months and Nanny babysitting the Thursday night before this!

No tiramisu for Emma.....chocolate covered pretzels....covered being the focus apparently!

Me and my mom enjoying our tiramisu and great conversation!  

Me and mom

Me and my girls.....there is so much love on this one couch I am surprised it can hold us!!!!
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Emma Pictures

Here are some cute pictures of Emma Lynne I have taken this past month. Love her smile, her facial expressions, and her personality!

This is Leah's "doggie" and Emma LOVES it!!!!!!

I love babies wearing sunglasses.  She does not keep them on, but oh so cute!

At the annual Arthritis Walk at the Phoenix Zoo.  Last year I waddled around with her inside!!!!

Sometimes her face is so serious.

Love this one!!!!!  
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Changes at 7

It's starting. Chiara is showing more and more signs that she is moving away from being a "little" girl. She is slowly moving toward independence. Ugh. She has always been mature, in our eyes, and she is very smart, but this is different. She helps without being asked. She takes care of things and her sisters just because she wants to. My heart sings. She is also wanting more breaks from her sisters. She wants to listen to my IPod with the headphones on and sing along.....loudly. David and I find ourselves exchanging glances while she rocks out to The Chipmunks Soundtrack or Hannah Montana (yes, she is still cool in our house). Yes, we monitor everything that she watches, reads, and listens to, but we are giving her space too. She asks to listen to the IPod with headphones every day but she is not aloud to just use it. I see so many kids, little kids, who are already tuning out. We will not have that here. Chiara, so far, is respectful of the boundaries we are setting with her independence.

I am glad that she is changing and growing into the girl God created her to be, but I can't help but look at her baby sister Emma and think, "Wasn't she just turning 1?"

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Carefree and Three

Leah is our funny girl. The one who likes to get the laugh.  She is energetic, stubborn, very smart, left-handed, silly, demanding.....three.  I tell her all the time that she does "three" very well.  She reminds me of Chiara and Mayah so much.  She is a true blend of the two.  I am grateful for how very extremely verbal she is, but it can be her downside too.

Sunday she wore this beautiful dress "from Madeline" (her favorite part about it!).  I watched her in it all afternoon-she would not change after church like her sisters.  She does not prefer anything in her hair and it has these wavy locks....she just looked so whimsical and carefree.  I grabbed my camera and went outside to follow her around a bit.  David hates that she is constantly picking the flowers (I don't like it much either), but it made for some cute pictures!

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