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Valentine's Day 2018

I already shared earlier in the month about our V-day traditions. This has become one of my favorite holidays...I'm a bit like a kid, though, and get excited for every celebration.

It did this mama's heart so much good to sit down and write what I love about my kiddos; they are such unique-fun-extraordinary people.  Life can get too hectic sometimes and I loose sight of what a joy they are. We have these little tin mailboxes, that I picked up at Target's dollar spot; Jeremy's been leaving little notes in them before he leaves for work. I think I'm going to start doing the same. There is just something about the written seems to have more power to change outlooks/attitudes than spoken words do.

The kiddos where all pumped to look for their hearts again. Mini Man always asks us to hide his really well and I think we succeeded this year. He was the last to find all of his hearts. We actually gave up on the last one. He found it a couple hours later when he w…
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American Girl Birthday

This past weekend we went to the American Girl Place to celebrate these three girls birthdays. They all have January or February birthdays and decided that instead of a party they wanted to have dinner with each other and their dolls at the American Girl Place. They all have hand-me-down dolls: Felicity, Kristen, and Samantha that they are very attached too. 
Too make it even more special we invited grandmas to join us. How cute do Maca and Little Lady look in their matching red coats?

I am so grateful that Little Lady has these friendships. I am still close to friends I met in first grade girls scouts. I'm hoping these three will also be life long friends. 

They are great girls who also come from families who also love the Lord. Their  moms are actually good friends of mine. It's such a blessing to know that her best friends are being raised in families with similar values. 

I love how Little Lady can be completely herself with these girls. They bring out a silliness in her …

What I've Been Wearing

It's been forever since I've sat down and put together one of these posts. I'm still taking outfit pictures, though. My family is so sweet; they pose almost every Sunday for family outfit picture; I'm much better at posting those on Instagram.

This outfit is two dresses layered on top of each other. Both of them where thrift finds. I love the pattern on the top dress, but it's a little too short for me to wear comfortably. 
My mother-in-law works at Banana Republic and she picked up this coat for me at a steal of a deal. I adore it; it's warm enough for hiking with the kids but also a bit dressy.

These two dresses ↑↓ are both from Antropologie. The one above is several years old. The one below  I picked up last summer. You can probably tell that I'm a sucker for bright colors, flowers, and texture. 
I always get complements on my gold shoes. They are actually a DIY.  Almost eight years ago Jeremy and I where in Florence (he was teaching an architecture stu…

Traditions & What We do on Valentine's Day.

We are big on family traditions and celebrations in our house. I've shared here before that I grew up in a chaotic unhealthy home**. There wasn't enough structure to have rituals and traditions. Naturally, I want to provide better for my kiddos. 
There are several reasons I think traditions are so important. They become a joyful constant in our lives despite the many chaotic changes that happen. They give our kiddos and us a time to look forward to when life starts to feel mundane. Most importantly, they create shared memories which create strong bonds. Holiday traditions and family rituals are an easy way to create a lasting family identity. 
In our home we don't just celebrate the major holidays like Christmas and birthdays. Minor holidays, like St. Patrick's Day and May Day, also get a bit of celebration. We have seasonal rituals as well. We use a chalkboard where at the beginning of a season we write down our plans: apple picking, ice skating, Shakespeare in the p…

Mitten Match

All of our snow has melted away, but we are still holding out hope for more. Living in Illinois means that most likely the next month or so will be full of dull gray days. Bright white snow just makes the gray more bearable.
We are going to continue doing some snow themed activities in our schoolroom in the hopes that nature takes the hint and gifts us with a real snowstorm. Today, we read a couple mitten themed books:The Mitten by Jan Brett andThe Little Kittens by Paul Galdone. Both authors are known for retelling classic stories with exquisite illustrations. Jan Brett uses watercolors to create realistic illustrations. Her books also commonly have border art that offers a new vantage point to the story or foreshadows a coming character.  Some other winter themed books by Jan Brett are:The Three Snow BearsandThe Hat. Paul Galdone's illustration are usually ink sketches with a watercolor wash. His illustrations are more impish and whimsical, but still are very rich in detail. His …