Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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A WEE BIT OF HEAVEN DRIFTED DOWN FROM ABOVE

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YOU LIGHT UP THE WORLD WITH YOUR SWEET BIG BOY CHARMS

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You're So Precious to Me, Sweet as Can Be, Baby of Mine

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Aunt Sarah & TeraGanix

This beautiful lady right here was my saving grace nine years ago. When I had Carli, it was Aunt Sarah who willingly trained and answered phones for me so I could have a little bit of time adjusting to being a new mom. And she didn't hesitate the day I called her when I was six months pregnant with Ava and told her that my patience no longer existed b/c I had just hung up on a rude customer. She answered the phones that day and has helped us out ever since. She's trained every new hire, changed her schedule to help us when illnesses came up and is the voice of encouragement after dealing with that "one" customer. She's the most patient, compassionate person you'll ever meet and she's been TeraGanix's saving grace for the last nine years. Next week is her last official week to work with TeraGanix and I just wanted to make sure she knew just how much she meant to me all these years and to the success of TeraGanix. Thanks Aunt Sarah for every reassuring word, calm encouragement and even the once in a blue moon moment of frustration! You are a blessing!



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Friday, December 22, 2017

Ava's Writings

I love Troup schools and that the teachers make such an impact on my kids.  Ava brought home this paper after Thanksgiving break and I had to send it to Mrs. Ivy.  Every teacher should know what an impact they make on a kid's life.  I'm glad my girls have had so many already!


And then there are the pictures I get from Ava's teachers where Ava has to bring in the sibling rivalry and they just play right along!  Ha!  Mrs. Grigsby sent me a picture of this and then Mrs. Hultberg had it put aside to show me at the school Christmas party!



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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Future Teacher

Carli not only got her teacher to agree to let her go read to a 2nd grade classroom every Friday afternoon, but she got Ava and her teacher to agree to let her come to their classroom!  Ava's teacher sent me this picture with the caption:  Future teacher if I ever did see one!



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Friday, December 15, 2017

Happy Birthday to Resa!

Happy Birthday to the most amazing wife and mother I could imagine! She's good to us, good to others, and we're so blessed to call her "ours". Happy Birthday!


Love - Keith, Carli, Ava and Drew

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Fourth TIme Around

Ten years ago I splurged and bought two diaper bags from Pottery Barn. I have no idea who but someone told me I should not have put Carli's initials on them bc then I couldn't use them with any future babies. Let's just say, I took that as a challenge and these bags are 6 wks away from serving the 4th Hays baby...proudly sporting all four monograms! Thanks Aunt Carolyn for all your help in finding a spot to add just one more set of initials!



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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Putting in the Work

Got one pitching by spotlights in the backyard and one wkg on her squatting endurance while watching tv...



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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Moving into New Rooms

When we found out baby #4 was coming we starting thinking through options of bedrooms and where everyone would sleep!  After multiple visits and quotes, we decided adding on was not an option right now.  The girls "think" they want their own rooms, even though both refuse to sleep in the room alone when the other is gone!  So we came up with an idea for loft bed for them so they could have their own space as well as move their American Girl Dollhouse out of Drew's constant reach in the play room.  We also opted to have someone else build the beds for us due to time or lack thereof.  The results are amazing and the girls are so pleased with their new room!


We did opt to paint the beds ourselves which took a bit of time.  And with the help of Naggy and Pappy we added shiplap under the beds with some recessed lighting too.  It all turned out great!







We took the girls old beds and moved them to Drew's room.  He will share with the baby once she's old enough to sleep in a bed.  :)  Until then she'll bunk with Keith and I.  We changed out the background of the bookshelves to look like pallet wood and added back on the bed rails for Drew.  He's loving his new high bed!  I'll have to get more pics of his room once we get quilts done for he and baby.



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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gobble Gobble Slam, Wedding Showers and Bells

Started our weekend off with hitting lessons with Coach Jeff.  Ava started hitting lessons with Coach Jeff about a year ago as a tballer.  She was his youngest ever pupil and she's made sure to make an impression on him.  He's challenged her to do better, hit harder and yes...even run if she tries to bunt at a high ball.  He's made her cry and she's made him laugh.  It's been a journey for them both!  This Friday, Ava hit a goal that is a pretty big deal at Coach Jeff's...she hit the cow bell at the end of the batting cages.  The excitement from both Ava and Coach Jeff sure did make the sweat, tears and challenges worth it!  :)


Carli had a tourney in Cedar Hill on Saturdasy so after hitting lessons, she and Keith headed to DFW.  Carli was so excited to get her own hotel bed and not have to share with anyone!  Ava, Drew and I met Grammy and Pa at Chili's for dinner.  Pa treated Ava (and Drew) to a molten lava cake in celebration of her accomplishment!


Back home in time to play games and watch big trucks on kindles before I got my two minions into bed.  Sibling bonding at it's best.  ha!


We are still trying to figure out Drew's reflux and it turns out I think it's somehow related to pasta.  He ate so good Friday night, but he shared pasta with me and he and I were up very late into the night b/c of his reflux.  :(  Ava on the other hand slept like a baby pretty much all by herself in my King sized bed!  Our long night, meant Drew was a bit tired Saturday morning and when it got quiet while I was working in the kitchen this is what I found...


While Carli and her Texas Glory Team were playing ball, Ava, Drew and I got to go to see Ms. Patty, Kayla and Kinsey at Kinsey's wedding shower.  It was really good to see them and Drew had a lot of fun picking on Ms. Patty!  :)  And of coarse it's always a good day when we get to see Kayla!  Since he had an early morning nap, Drew knonked out all the way home after playing so hard at the shower!


Carli played in Cedar Hill this week at the Gobble Gobble Slam.  She pitched the first game and we were disappointed when she was pulled b/c she didn't keep an eye on her runners.  Once again, she pitched against the team that ultimately won the tournament.  But, this Momma swallowed her pride and saw through the fog to know...although it's hard there's still a lesson there.  Pa got to meet Keith and Carli at the tournament so he was able to go talk to her and get her to continue to cheer her team on and be a team player even if she wasn't happy with the decisions being made.  Ultimately, we can't control it all.  She came back after being pulled and got a hit to score two runs and eventually made it home safe sliding under a tag.

While Carli never got the chance to pitch again, she did play an awesome right field for a couple of games, throwing out a girl at third and almost getting on at second.  Overall she did have a good day and our goal for today was to be a team player no matter where you are...on the bench, on the mound or in the field.  Keith and Pa both said she achieved that today so that alone makes me one proud Momma!  The team ended up in 3rd place for this tournament after playing six games in one day!  Keith forgot to take any pictures...men!  ha!

Once again, Keith and Carli got home late Saturday which allowed us to be able to all go to church together.

And finally...love this picture.  "Brother & sister are kind of like Tom & Jerry. They tease each other. They irratate each other. But they can't live without each other."




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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Donating Hair and Losing Teeth

 I have been trying to get Ava to donate her hair since the summer but she just didn't want to.  But it got to the length now that even she was tired of the heaviness and knots while we brushed it!  So she asked if we could still donate her hair to a kid who might need it and of coarse I told her yes!  So we made an appointment and got to Mrs. Terri's house only to have Ava get cold feet!!  So I did what any good Mom would do...I told her I'd donate my hair with hers.  Oiy.  My hair has never been this short but we did it and she is so pleased and proud of herself!


Then on top of losing over 9 inches of hair she decided she'd lose her other top front tooth!  Guess we know what she'll be asking for for Christmas!  :)



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Monday, November 13, 2017

The Wasted of Most All Days...

...is the one without laughter.



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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Arlington Metroplex Fall Classic

Second Glory Tournament is in the books! Carli pitched against one of the teams that ended up winning the tournament.  She did a good job and ultimately this fall is shaping up to be what we were hoping - a good lesson to learn from!  Pitching is so mental and Carli needs that experience to grow.  She's got good mechanics so she's conquering the mental part of the game and figuring out...sometimes the hard way...that her body is a scoreboard.  How she reacts and her body language on the mound will ultimately translate to her teammates and their attitudes about the game.

Her stats for one game...faced 18 batters, 57 pitches with 34 of them being strikes.  walked 3 with 4 strikeouts.


Carli only got to pitch one game this tournament and she was disappointed.  While we wished she had gotten to pitch more, she did get to play in the field.  Her body language in the field ultimately probably helped in the decision in her not pitching another game.  It was disappointing and a very hard lesson to learn.  But fake it til you make it is not an easy lesson to get the first time!  She was disappointed but she got over after a good long talk and came back to cheer on her team and bat EH in the last game of the day.  They played 5 games in one day and made some huge steps forward together as a team.

Meanwhile, Ava and Drew spent Friday night with Grammy and Pa so they could go to Eady's 4th birthday party.  Ava started the day on a treasure hunt and found lots of cow bones...lucky me, she brought them home!  ha!



Apparently Drew just needed a good birthday party to get his appetite back that he had lost this whole last week. Whatever works!  He was in little boy heaven getting to see cows, pet them and Logan had A LOT of John Deere tractors to play with!  One happy boy to say the least!



A great Saturday for our whole crew!  Now we are blessed to get to spend Sunday with our church family.  Another perk of one day tournament!



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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Where's Ava's Turkey?

Ava and her very specific ideas really test our ability to communicate! But her Daddy came to the rescue and we finally figured out why we've been saving all these bobble heads for the past 12 yrs...it was obviously to disguise Avas turkey to be a softball catcher.



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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Catch of the Day!

Drew LOVES Alto days.  He talks about it all week and as soon as we get to Grammy and Pa's he is ready to go see the Moo-Cows, Cluck-Clucks and haul hay!  Then he spends the rest of the week talking all about the animals and tractors until we go back!  Pa got new chickens last week and Drew thinks they are awesome!  He has no fear unlike his sisters.  Pa said he literally runs through the houses grabbing chickens and proudly showing them off!  Finding such joy in small things!



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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Carli's first Glory Tournament

Carli played in her first tournament with her new Texas Glory team yesterday.  It was a one day tournament with 15 10u teams.  Pretty much, it was a whole different experience from what we were use to!  Their first game started at 9 am and we didn't leave until 7:30 pm!  There were four games squeezed into that day.  Carli got to pitch two full games and play in left field one game.  This was the first time the girls had all played together and for some the first time they had played kid pitch ball.  Overall they did well.  We didn't win but really we didn't expect to.  Many of these teams have been playing together and in tournaments all year long.  We had a mixed bag of experience and the girls just needed to get on the field and get comfortable.


Carli faced 47 batters and pitched 156 pitches this wkd.  Only gave up 4 Earned Runs and 4 bases on balls with 5 strikeouts.  Her pitching coach calls Carli a contact pitcher right now b/c she throws strikes and depends on her defense to help her get the outs.  She averaged a 63.5% strikes with 63% of the batters she faced seeing a strike on their first pitch.  Many times the ball was put into play and tested her defense.  Her defense was fully capable of getting the outs for her but nerves, error and a few times a bad call worked against them.  But that means there's room to grow.  And for Carli too, she's learning that her body language is the scoreboard.  So she's got to be able to show her teammates that she believes in them just as much as they believe in her.  Overall, I think she grew a lot this wkd.  She was put in some tough spots.  In one game, we had 2 outs and a legit blown call at 1st that would have been out 3 and turned around and gave up 6 runs on a multitude of errors.  Another game, we got a very experienced team held at 1 to 1 with 2 outs in bottom of second only to make error after error for them to take a substantial lead.  A lot of what the girls need, Carli and her teammates, comes from mental toughness and believing in themselves that is gained from game experience...the ability is there.  

Carli's siblings did a very good job cheering her own.  Drew even managed a 1 hr nap at the restaurant!  We had a great day and overall were pleased with the whole experienced.  We wanted Carli to gain game experience b/c that is something you just don't get from practice and this wkd she gained a lot!

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Ava and Monkey Bars

Three years ago, Ava fell off the monkey bars at her cousin's house and got a buckle fracture.  It took us almost a whole week before we really determined that she wasn't bluffing from the random bouts of crying and two xrays before they found it.  So when her teacher msgd me that Ava had fallen from the monkey bars at school on Tuesday and was still complaining about her wrist hurting we were a little concerned.

Cap that off with Drew escaping from the bathroom after his bath that same night and peeing on the concrete floors, followed by Ava slipping and falling in it resulting a hysterical crying - we kind of figured we better get her checked out.  It was the same wrist as last time, so that worked well for digging out her old brace and making her wear it until we saw the doctor.


Thankfully, the xray came back clean and Ava was told to use her wrist as she feels comfortable.  The swelling finally went down and she wore the brace the rest of the week.  She keeps asking to do the monkey bars again and is aghast when I tell her no!!  Oiy...
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

No Cavities Celebration!

Well, I threatened them for six months about brushing versus holding their toothbrushes in their mouths.  I made their lives miserable about not using ACT wash or flossing, with stories of cavities and rotten teeth.  And wouldn't you know, they go to the dentist and both walk out cavity free.  So I swallowed my pride and did what any good parent would do...gave them sugar and told them good job!  ;)



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Dental Cleaning

Six months ago the girls both had cavities at their semi-annual dentist visit.  He told them to make sure to brush for 2 minutes morning and night and to try to use ACT to help their teeth enamel.  They refused to use the ACT and I have two full bottles in their bathroom that has set untouched.  I kept telling them...the dentist is going to get on to you guys b/c you didn't do what he told you to do!!  Go figure, today they got glowing reports and no cavities!  Stinkers.  They were told to make sure they flossed better and keep up the good work.  Being the most excellent mom, I promptly took them to get Bahama Bucks after their cleaning...



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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick or Treating at Trane

I've gotten to be a Halloween scrooge the older my kids get.  I use to at least do a costume for the kids and actively go to the Church Trunk R Treat or a carnival.  This year, I just really didn't want all the candy, the money and time spent on costumes.  I just wasn't feeling it.  Thankfully, Grammy rescued us all by helping Ava do a Trunk at church and my kids were pretty content with that.

We actually almost forgot about the Trick or Treating at Keith's work.  Monday after school we managed to scrounge up some costumes and head over for some fun and games!



Drew was not a fan of all the dressing up - even the pretty princesses were not to his liking!  :)


Halloween night we actually had a few trick or treaters, despite the porch light being off and it raining.  The girls are picky when it comes to candy so our visitors got what the girls wouldn't eat.  Better than it going in the trash.  And our neighbors are pretty awesome too.  The Stricklands from across the way asked if the girls could come by to get some treats.  Homemade cookies and decorated Halloween bags.  :)  Mr. Strickland even dressed up for the night!




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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Texas Glory Scrimmage and Fundraiser

On Saturday Carli had her first scrimmage as a member of the Texas Glory 2526 team.  She was pretty excited to get her new uniform and sweatshirt.  She's really taken to the girls and showed absolutely no nerves about being back on the mound in a game situation.  Are we sure this kid is mine?!


The morning started off with a scrimmage against another 10u team.  Carli did really well on the mound.  As the lineup went on, she really got in her groove.  It was a good experience.  The batted through the line-up twice.  Carli struck out 10 of the 20 batters she faced.  She only walked 2 and hit one.  Not too shabby.  Carli's pitching coach has always said she's a contact pitcher.  This was a little rec team, so we really expect in the tournament next wkd for her to have more hits off of her pitches, but she's got a good defense behind her to take care of that!  Overall, she was very pleased and had a lot of fun!


After the scrimmage, the team had several fundraisers to do.  All the girls had gotten pledges for a hit-a-thon.  Carli had challenged her Daddy that she could beat him in money raised and she did!  They hit off the pitching machine, which Carli has never done until she joined this team.  I was pleased she got over her mental block about hitting off the machine.  She hit the ball 130 ft.  She actually hit one that would have gone further but she nailed the coach who was doing the machine!  Over all, Carli raised $448.50 in pledges and Keith raised $130.  Keith also participated in the homerun derby and got 3rd, hitting 3 over.  Carli got 3rd in the base running contest, running the bases in 14.8 seconds!

The best part of the day was that Grammy, Pa, Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Johnny all came out to cheer on Carli.  Their presence in addition to all our friends and family who sponsored Carli in her hit-a-thon was just an amazing example of the support system our girls have.  We couldn't be more blessed!




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Saturday, October 28, 2017

2017 Trunk R Treak

While we knew Carli would be busy on Saturday of Trunk R Treat, Ava was not and she very passionately wanted to do a trunk!  Her Momma really isn't into the whole dressing up for Halloween thing...the candy, the prep work, the trick-or-treating...but thankfully, her retired school teacher Grammy came to her rescue!  Ava and Grammy planned their trunk and I thought it turned out pretty cute.

Ava came up with the game and painted all her Monster cans herself with very little help from her Mom.  The game was actually a pretty big hit much to Ava's delight!  Grammy even found vampire emoji balls to use to knock them down!



Carli was able to make it back half way through and join in on the fun!  Grammy had some awesome d├ęcor and was much more creative than I could have been at this.  She even found Mewmaw's old wash pot and got some dry ice to use as a cauldron!  That was a cool feature that lots of the kids oohed and ahhed over!


 Drew and I spent a lot of time in the front of the car watching "big trucks" on YouTube and playing with a balloon.  Drew was not a fan of all the costumes!  Thankfully Pa and Keith brought Carli and they helped keep Drew entertained too!
 


Thanks Grammy for such an awesome night and all your work to help make Ava's "vision" come to light!

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