Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Happy Birthday Ava!

Dear Ava-

I cannot believe that you are turning 8 years old!  It seems like every day and week that passes, you continue to grow and mature, but still…EIGHT!?  The last year has been amazing.   We transitioned from T-Ball to softball, sprinkled in a little basketball, and jumped right back into softball.  You dominated 2nd grade and finally decided you’d learn to ride a bike!  What amazes me the most about each accomplishment is how you do it.  It seems effortless how you fit in with others and make friends.  We’ve often wondered if you really like softball, or if you just like to play in the dirt and be with your friends!  You are an amazing big sister for Drew and Maggie.  I know that Drew looks up to you and loves to play with you.  He misses you like crazy when you’re at school.  Seeing the two of you playing together (usually in the dirt) always brings a smile to my face.  Maggie is in for a treat as she gets older!  You are the glue that holds the Hays kids together…the go-to playmate for Carli or Drew.  You are a peacemaker, sometimes a little too sensitive, but a joy to be around.  When you want something, you’re strong enough to work for it and you won’t quit until you get there.  I’m so proud of the girl that you are.   I take no credit for most of it, because I think it’s genuinely who you are…it’s just how God made you!  I love to watch you play…whether that’s softball, basketball, or playing in the dirt…you do it all well.  Your mom and I are proud to be your parents, and we’re thankful that God allowed us to be.  You really are an amazing kid, and I know you are going to do great things in life!   We love you, Ava!

With much Love,


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Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Firsts...

I'm not a birthday party mom.  I tried with Carli and Ava the first three or four years but I never really enjoyed the planning, stress and just the stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff!  So the last few years we started doing experiences for birthdays.  This year for Ava's birthday we decided to take her zip lining.  She was so excited to finally get go and to get to go with just Keith and I...that's right, Maggie spent the whole day with Mawmaw!  And we both survived!!

Keith took the girls to school, walked them in and forgot to walk Ava to her class.  Ha!  She was estatic!  They came home and I promptly left Keith with the littles and went back to the school b/c Carli was showing off their G/T projects that morning and was a wee bit upset that no one was going to come see her.  So I made sure to go and made Keith drop off Maggie b/c I figured I'd have a hard time doing that anyway.  

Carli with her poster and diorama.

She reluctantly agreed to take a picture with Ava's projects. 

But what's even cooler, is that our sweet neighbors came down to see Carli too.  The kids have developed a very special relationship with Mr. Joe and Mrs. Bobbie.  Carli was so pleased and proud that they came by to see her!

After making sure the other three kiddos were sufficiently taken care of, we loaded Ava up and off we went to go zip lining.  We took Ava to the New York Zip Lining Adventures out near La Rue.  She was so excited and smiled the whole way there!  Once we got there and checked in, she got a little nervous but she never let that stop her!

We did the six line zip line tour.  Honestly the first two lines were the hardest.  Ava made me go first every time!  She did so good though and by the end of the last line was ready to do it all again!!

I'm not sure we'd ever get Carli to go do the zip lining but Ava would go back in a heartbeat.  She had so much fun and it was a joy to just spend the day with her and see her enjoy herself so much!  :)  After our zip lining we went into Tyler for lunch at the mall (yep, she picked) and then to order her cookie cake for her class party on Monday.  We ended our Ava adventure day with letting her shop for her birthday outfit to wear to school.  If ya'll know me, it's a pretty big deal to go shopping with me!  Ha!  She's a good little shopper, pretty decisive which helped me survive!

We picked up Carli a little early from school, then gathered up our littles who had had a great day with Mawmaw and off we went to Rusk for some softball.  Carli and her Troup Bomb Squad came up a little short but she was all smiles afterward to get to go eat with Ms. Patty.  She also got to see Braleigh and Amanda and our favorite neighbors had come too! 

It was a busy, wonderful Friday!!

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Family Pictures

Sunday was the day that we got to finish out our group gift to Grammy & Pa at Christmas!  Full Family Pictures were on the schedule for Sunday evening!  Love Mrs. Laurie Gould and the amazing job she does with our kids to get some great pics.  Can't wait to see how our big group picture turned out!

Maggie found her giggles!

Drew and Pa found the cows!

My Pretty girls

And got a long needed shot of Pa with his youngest pun'kin, Maggie.

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weekend at Home

Carli's tournament in Waxahachie got rained out so we had a very rare Friday night at home with the whole crew!  When given the option to go out to eat or stay home, everyone wanted to stay home!  The kids choose to cook their favorite dinner:  nuggets, mac & cheese, and fries.  We threw in some crescent rolls and brownies too!  Ava helped with nuggets and rolls, while Drew arranged the fries and Carli made some brownies.  It was fun to have everyone involved and my kitchen was literally destroyed but we didn't care!  

After dinner, everyone wound down in their own ways.  Drew had a bubble bath while Maggie cooed and grinned at us.  The girls got to play on their kindles before bed.  We were all in bed by 9.  It was nice!!

Saturday morning, Maggie slept til 9!  It took four kids but I finally got on that sleeps!  The other three were up by 7!

Our sweet neighbors, Mr. Joe and Mrs. Bobbie, invited us to the BigFoot Bash at their store in north Tyler.  Originally I planned to take Drew but only to see the truck not to see it in action as it was scheduled right in the middle of nap time.  But with the whole family home and Keith to help with the bear that is Drew with no nap we decided we'd stay!  But first, we had a Bueno date much to Carli and Ava's delight!

I missed getting a picture with Mr. Joe and Mrs. Bobbie but they were busy!  There were lots of ppl there!  The kids had a blast climbing tires, doing a bounce house and free drinks and chips!

Big Foot started at 1 and Drew was so tired.  But he wouldn't leave so we stayed put and despite the look of complete exhaustion on Drew's face, the was so amazed by the monster truck!

We even took the kids to Toys R Us for their going out of business sale and picked up a few things for the beach in a few weeks.  Drew is so much fun in the toy store.  Lots of "WHOA!," "WOW!," and "Did you see this?!"  He's pretty good at understanding he can only get one toy, and it doesn't keep his amazement at bay!  We followed up the toy store with bundt cakes and then came home to grill steaks.  It was an awesome day!

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Shreveport, Bottles and Hitting

Keith was gone for work to North Carolina all week so Naggy and Pappy came to help a Momma out!  They were a blessing to say the least.  I was able to get a lot of work done and as a bonus even got to go on the girls GT field trip at the end of the week.  Naggy and Pappy got to see Carli pitch an awesome game and were a huge help with our every day chaos!  They even got Maggie to take a bottle!

Keith came home on Thursday night, so he worked from home on Friday to help out with the littles while I went to Shreveport with the two oldest.  This was the longest I had been away from Maggie.  So when asking how it was going, Keith sent me this picture...

Quickly followed by this one... 

With an update a few minutes later thankfully!  Finally, one of my four babies takes a bottle!

The girls trip was to the Shreveport Aquarium.

They got to touch starfish...Ava was all about it...Carli not so much!

This is what they call a Unicorn fish and I was told I needed a picture of it!

They got to touch stingrays too - well, everyone did but Carli!

After a picnic lunch we got to go see an imax movie about the ocean.

Then it was time to head home for a few minutes before packing for a softball tournament and hitting practice.  I think Pappy watched hitting practice...or he and Maggie had a nice conversation.

We are very thankful for the help of Naggy and Pappy this past week.  Grammy and Pa helped out a lot too with pitching lessons and helping to call Carli's pitches at her game.  It was a great week and for both sets of Grandparents we are thankful!!

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