Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from the Hays Crew!

This was Sunday morning's picture before church with everyone all dressed up (minus Mom who was still in her PJs behind the camera!).

Valentine's Day Morning:  Drew was super excited over his T-Rex balloon and heart shaped Fruit Snacks!  He roared and chased the girls all morning!  Carli was too cool for heart hair this year.  Ava on the other hand insisted we fix her hair b/c that's what we do!

I worked for a couple weeks on gifts for the girls and Keith.  It's a little more fun now that the girls both can read well.  I found an idea called Why I Love You from A-Z.  It's a little harder than it seems coming up with 26 DIFFERENT Adjectives to describe each girl and why from A-Z but I got it done.  :)  They may not appreciate it a lot right now, but I hope when they are having a bad day or stumble across it in a couple of years they'll know how much I do love them!  I also made Keith a very appropriate V-Day card and bought him a new camp chair for softball practices and games.

I'm a firm believer in it taking a village to raise a child.  So I reached out to our village and asked them to send a sentence or two about why the love the girls.  And boy did they come through for me!  They got hearts from Aunts, Uncles, Great Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents, Teachers and Friends.  If ever they doubt that they are loved, they just need to look at this picture!  I've got to figure out how to save these for them!

And then there was little Ms. Maggie.  For her first Valentine's Day, I held her a lot and sang to her and Drew "let" her watch Mickey Mouse with him.  :)  What else could a baby want?!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


It took 2.5 years but his sisters finally got ahold of him!

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Growing Girl

Maggie turned 3 weeks old last Friday.  She's still tiny to me but she is growing.  The newborn clothes are finally getting a little too snug; although, the 3 mth clothes still seem so big.  We've moved up to size 1 diapers.  Her little thighs are starting to get little rolls on them and if she holds her head just right, she has a double chin.  :)

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Just a day in the life...

We are slowly adjusting to our new normal...although we aren't going to lie, we are looking forward to February being over so that there are two less practices to go to and no more 8 am basketball games!  Ha!  

Drew is still in love with Maggie.  For the most part he has adjusted well.  He still has a hard time taking a nap without me laying next to him and me not cuddling with him in the recliner after but he's making it okay.  He loves to hold Maggie and he's getting pretty good at entertaining himself!

We are still a bit dependent on Grammy helping us out after school.  It's just a little less stressful to load up Drew, straight from his nap and Maggie to go get the girls.  Grammy has helped a lot and Keith gets them a day or two after school too.  I think next week we will bite the bullet and start picking them up ourselves...at least a day or two.  The big positive about Grammy helping is the girls get their Grammy attention fix and she also helps me in getting them to do their homework.  :)

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Hays' Babies

Everyone asks who do we think Maggie looks like.  It took me a bit but I finally pulled baby pictures from all the kids...so what do you think?!

Top is Carli & Ava
Bottom is Drew and Maggie

Here's one with their eyes open:

Top is Drew and Maggie
Bottom is Ava and Carli

And one with all the girls:

Maggie, Ava and Carli

To us, Carli is very uniquely her own!  Her face shape and cheeks are all hers and none of her siblings have that.  In person Maggie looks the most like Ava to us.  Especially her mouth and chin.  She may favor Drew a bit, but our vote is she favors Ava the most.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Why We Do Sports

I know lots of folks think Keith and I are crazy b/c of the amount of driving and time devoted to the older girls softball and other sports activities. Even more so now that we have a new baby. I borrowed this (link to original post at end) b/c it sums up perfectly why we do what we do. It's not about getting a scholarship to college or our kid being #1 in all they do...there's so much more to it than that. We have no illusions of the Olympics or such, but though it makes times hectic and we are tired being pulled all over the place...in the end it will be worth it. Read this if you want to try to understand why we do what we do...

"One of my friends asked "Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports”? Well I have a confession to make; I don't pay for my kids to to do sports. Personally, I couldn't care less about what sport they do.

So, if I am not paying for sports what am I paying for?

- I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don't.

- I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are "too tired" to go to their training but they go anyway.

- I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.

- I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body and equipment.

- I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.

- I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don't get that placing or title they'd hoped for, but still they go back week after week giving it their best shot.

- I pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.

- I pay for my kids to respect, not only themselves, but other athletes, officials and coaches.

- I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.

- I pay for my kids to be proud of small achievements, and to work towards long term goals.

- I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships, create lifelong memories, to be as proud of their achievements as I am.

- I pay so that my kids can be out on the field or in the gym instead of in front of a screen...

...I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for sports; I pay for the opportunities that sports provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!"


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Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Story Behind her Name: Maggie Reese

Ten years ago in January of 2008 I found out I was pregnant with Carli Lynn.  I really toyed with the idea of using the name Maggie, because it was my MeMaws but I didn’t!  Then Ava came along in 2010.  I thought about it but I couldn’t do it because all the cousins had talked about naming their baby girl Maggie.  They were older, they had first dibs.But ten years later, and plenty of little boys , but NO Maggie! thus I laid claim to the name Maggie.  Why you may ask were we all so obsessed with using the name Maggie?  Well, family.  Heritage.  Memories.  All of the above.  Let me tell you about Maggie Hawto Bennett AKA MeMaw.
 MeMaw was my Grandma’s mom.  During my life time, her home was with her daughter, my Grandma.  She was always helpful around the house, cooking, cleaning, sewing and crocheting.  Doing what she could to make life easier for those around her.  She was beautiful both inside and out.  My memories of her are few but precious.  She loved ALL OF US but my little brother, Anthony, gave her a purpose in life when she was able to do little.  When he was small she rocked, sang and played little games.  It wasn’t unusual for her to be found with him on his pallet either playing with him or trying to calm him so Grandma could finish what she was doing.  She was so patient.  She’d let him sit in her lap and just run his little cars all over her.  All while she listened to Andy & I run thru slamming doors being loud and crazy. She gave awesome hugs.  She loved God.  She loved her family.  She was the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman.  MeMaw raised four kids…three girls and a boy.     And most of all, she was the mother to my Grandma.  My Grandma who meant the world to me, who helped shape me into who I am today.  To me, the name Maggie holds so much more than naming a child after a great grandparent. 
Naming my baby girl Maggie, is an honor because the beautiful, Godly woman who she is named after left behind a legacy of family.

Another reason why using the name Maggie is even more special today than it was ten years ago, is because in these ten years Grandpa Herb shared with us his life story in writing.  In reading through it last year, I realized that Grandpa Herb’s mother’s name was Margaret Hays and she went by the name Maggie.  How amazingly special it is for our little Maggie to be able to wear the name of two Godly, beautiful women!  I cannot wait for Grandpa Herb to get to meet our little Maggie.  It will be such a special day.

Maggie’s middle name is Reese.  Keith and I agreed that if I picked the first name, he got to pick the middle name and so he did…Reese.  He says he picked Reese because it reminds him of me because I often go by Resa.  To him, it had meaning and so it was that our fourth child, our third girl came about to bear the name of Maggie Reese Hays.

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