Harrison turns 3

It seems like I only update this blog two times a year– once on August’s birthday and once on Harrison’s birthday. I think that should change. Once I can add a few more hours to my days, I’ll be sure to start posting on the regular.

Today my baby turns 3. He went from a crying, sleepless newborn to a climbing on everything one year old to a running and yelling two year old, to a spicy, stubborn three year old. While some days or moments with Harrison are exhausting, we love his spunk, charm, and charisma.

Last year around this time we were worried about Harrison’s speech development. Needless to say, his vocabulary has exploded. He still has many improper usages of pronouns and past-tense verbs, but it’s just too cute to correct. “Me want my froggy. Me wuv you, Mommy.”

Throughout this year, Harrison has made his interest in sports/physical activity apparent to us. Tennis, basketball, football, baseball, soccer– give him anything he can throw, hit or swing and he’s happy. Watching big brother play tennis and soccer this summer and fall have been a highlight.


Harrison loves riding his scooter and trying to keep up with August. He’s happiest when he is outside or snuggling with his froggy and paci. He loves his “fuzzies” (frog, paci, and blankets). He can be so sweet or full of spice. He’s stubborn, but at times so compliant. To watch him grow in his love for reading books and enjoyment of coloring has been so fun. At times he doesn’t why we don’t hit our brother over the head with magna tiles. Other times, he just adores his big brother (everyday when we pick August up from kindergarten, Harrison runs to him and gives him a big hug!).


In all honesty, I’ve babied Harrison longer than I should. My heart just isn’t quite ready to see him fully embrace his new found 3 year old status. We still need to take his paci away, potty train, and move him into his big boy bed. My motto has been, “why fix something that’s not broken”? But I do know we have some big boy tasks that need to be completed. Maybe just a few more “nuggles” with his paci and frog, first?

Harrison Siders Bohle. I pray you keep marching to the beat of your own drum. Stand up for what you believe in and fight for what is right. I pray that you always seek the Truth and know how deeply you are loved. There are so many times when I listen to the news and wish I wasn’t raising kids in today’s society. I’m often then reminded, that I can teach you (and your brother) to resist. To rise above. To respect others and to demonstrate selfless love. To know that we’re all equal and deserve a fair shot at life. Harrison–my deepest hearts desire for you is that as you grow and develop you’re able to use your charm, spunk, and stubbornness to create a piece of Heaven here on Earth. Never stop fighting, Harrison, because someday that is going to change someone’s life for the better.

You are loved (so much), little brother.




August turns 5

Wasn’t it just yesterday that August was born? It seems like last week I was changing his newborn diapers and stressed over when to let him have his paci. And it seems like just a month ago when he turned one and started walking. Time sure does fly and somehow it is possible to keep loving this little boy more and more.

August has a deep love for learning, collecting facts, and knowing more about the world around him. This year we’ve answered more “why” questions than we could count. During bedtime stories I’ve learned more about dinosaurs, wild predators, and other wild animals than ever before. I’ve had to explain why some families look different than ours (two moms/dads, one mom/dad, divorced families, etc.). We’ve had to answer the “why” behind sickness and death. Along with the truth about Santa Clause. August desires fairness, truth and order. August requests to turn the radio to NPR so he can hear about wars, Trump and other current events. To sum it all up into one word…inquisitive.

While August has a very inquisitive and serious side to him, he sure loves to be silly. He has grown quite fond of the poop emoji and all things potty talk (even though it usually leads him into timeout). He loves putting all of the couch pillows on the floor, turning up some music and declaring a family dance party. His current favorite tune is Brother by Needtobreathe. It isn’t uncommon to find August caught up in a tickle fight with Chris or chasing around his brother trying to pull his pants down.

Serious and silly are two words to describe August, another one would be snuggly. This year August has grown into quite the snuggle bug. There’s nothing he loves more than grabbing his superhero book and snuggling up with mom to read a book. We often end our bedtime routine with snuggles. And if I allowed it, we’d snuggle for hours. He’s developed a more empathic heart. Noticing when someone is sick or hurt and expressing care and concern for that person. We’ve seen his heart for others come out in prayers requests or ideas of how to help others.

AugustThis year August has learned how to ride his two wheel bike without training wheels, has started swim lessons, played t-ball, and loves preschool. Before our eyes August turned into a boy– running, climbing, dancing and riding. All while promising that he will still give me snuggles now that he is 5 and just MAYBE even when he is a teenager. He does often declare that the only person he’d ever want to marry is me. Ha.

August Thacker–you are loved more than you know. I pray that your love for learning and knowing the truth never fades. Keep seeking truth in all that you do. Question when things don’t make sense and work to do what is right. I pray that you grow in your love for the Lord and your love for His people. Find ways to serve others, show love and shine your light. God has given you some amazing gifts, and I pray that you find ways to use those gifts throughout your childhood to further God’s Kingdom.

You are so fiercely loved, big brother.


Merry Christmas

Christmas is my most favorite time of year. I love the sights, smells, and celebrations. I love making special treats, wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, and creating memories. Mostly, I love the reminder of just how special is the gift of Christ’s love for us. This year I have been reminded in many different ways the humbleness of Jesus’ birth. How He came to Earth for ALL people. I’ve been reminded that Jesus was not a leader seeking power and riches. Rather He leads with love and humbleness that reaches everyone.

The lyrics  from Oh Holy Night have been running through my mind all Christmas season: “The weary world rejoices.” More so than ever, our world is weary. Weary of hate. Weary of racism. Weary of injustice. Weary of power hungry leaders. Weary of hunger. Weary of homelessness. The list could continue. But…the weary world rejoices in the brith of Jesus, whom can to make all the wrongs right and lead us to Him.

I pray that in your weariness, you are able to rejoice in the brith of our Savior.

While I have you here. Here is our Christmas card and annual Bohle family Christmas letter.

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Dear Family and Friends,

Another holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time for a Bohle family update. It’s been a pretty great year for the Bohle family, and we thought we would highlight our top 17 moments of 2017:

  • 17. Amanda started her 10th year of teaching. Since having kids, this is her first year teaching fulltime. Her days are full!
  • 16. Chris’ work at Hope College continues to bring him a great sense of purpose. His days are filled with teaching classes, mentoring, and creating new student initiatives. He loves the liberal arts still and talks about it alllll the time.
  • 15. August started 4’s preschool this fall. He loves school, learning, recess and his friends.
  • 14. Harrison turned 2 on September 30th. His birthday was celebrated in Grand Rapids at the Children’s Museum and going to Art Prize.
  • 13. Amanda trained, ran and completed the Riverbank 25K (15.5 miles). That is the furthest she’s ever run or ever plans to run!
  • 12. On the hottest day of the year, Chris completed his second half marathon at the Park 2 Park half marathon in Holland.
  • 11. August learned how to ride a 2-wheel bike this summer—without training wheels!
  • 10. Harrison has proven to be a thrill seeker. He figured out how to gain the most amount of momentum as he flies down our driveway on his ride-on scooter. It makes Chris nervous.
  • 9. After many semesters of hard work, Amanda completed her Master’s degree in Reading and Education from Northern Michigan University.
  • 8. Summertime in West MI—pool days, beach days, camping, biking…pure Michigan!
  • 7. August continues to declare he wants to be a firefighter or dinosaur bone hunter when he grows up. He even got to the Chicago Field Museum’s Jurassic Park Exhibit with Chris this fall.
  • 6. Harrison’s language and independence develops more each day. His current favorite phrase is, “NO, ME!” We have nicknamed him our “wild child”.
  • 5. The purchase of “Snow White Blazer”…aka our new minivan. We are officially a minivan family and unashamedly love it. I think Chris likes it more than I do.
  • 4. Becoming more involved in our church. Serving in children’s ministry and helping lead worship.
  • 3. “Monkey see. Monkey do.” Explains how Harrison fills his days—following August’s lead!
  • 2. Witnessing the bond of brotherhood develop. There has been no greater joy throughout parenthood than watching August and Harrison become not just brothers but best friends.
  • 1. Through each season, having an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for the love and provision of our Heavenly Father. May you experience the awe and wonder of the birth of Savior this Christmas season.

Harrison turns 2

A few short weeks ago, my baby turned two. I’m not sure how that happened, because he was just born. Somehow our sleepless baby has turned into a running, climbing, jumping, active two year old, who sleeps all night!   I very much view Harrison as a baby still. Whenever he does something new, I’m blown away by it, because in my mind, he’s still an 8 month old. As each day passes, he’s reminding me more and more how far from a baby he is!

This past year with Harrison has been so fun. Throughout his baby months, we really struggled with sleep, falling into a routine and adjusting to becoming a family of four. This past year? We found our jive. We have enjoyed watching his language s…l…o….w….l….y develop, to see him gain interests, and most of all, witness the bond of brothers.

Monkey see monkey do, is the key phrase that defines most of Harrison’s days. He looks up to his brother and follows his lead, which can be both good and bad. Harrison loves playing in the driveway on his “scooter” while August bikes around the cal-du-sac. Harrison loves playing catch, kicking balls, dancing around the living room, and creating a mess.

The part of Harrison that strikes me to the most? His personality. He  is a free spirit. He’s joyful, humorous, and has a sweet spirit about him. His eyes and smile can light up any room. He loves waving “hi” and “bye” to people and quickly makes friends. He LOVES and I mean LOVES his paci and froggy.

We. Are. Blessed.

Harrison Siders Bohle. You are a gift to our family. Your brother loves you deeply and longs for the day where you are clam enough to sit and snuggle with him. He loves being silly with you and watching you learn new things. Your dad and I love you fiercely. Your joy and sweetness add such great warmth and love to our family. I pray that you discover how deep our Father’s love is for you. I pray that you learn to fiercely love God’s people and work for justice. There is a great and mighty plan for you, Harrison, and it is a joy that we get to be part of it.

We love you more than you know, Little Brother.

Bohle Family Sept 2017-59

August is 4.

Wow. I can hardly believe that my little boy turned four yesterday. Four years ago our lives changed in a way I never knew possible. The past few weeks, I’ve been thinking back to when August was a baby, looking at videos and pictures from when he was Harrison’s age and remembering his newborn days. When he was a baby and toddler, while I enjoyed him, I longed for the day where we could talk, play games, and watch movies together. Those days are here and I can hardly believe it.

This past year has been one full of learning for August. It has become clear to us, that this little guy has a love for collecting information, learning facts and grasping new concepts (he must get it from his dad). He loves having chapter books read to him, and prefers a mystery more than anything else! Part of this learning has come from starting 3’s preschool this fall. Everyday, August asks if it’s a school day or not. He loves school and everything about it. He goes on Tuesday morning and all day Thursday. On Thursday they go on field trips to a local nature center. Learning aside, his favorite parts of preschool are his friends, recess and riding the bus.



I’ve often heard the term “threeanger”. This would be true for August. Wowzers. No one warned me that three would bring stubbornness, arguments, sass, and full on meltdowns. August has perfected the gift to negotiate and defend himself. It’s not uncommon to hear him coming up with a “deal” for how he can get another sweet treat. “I’ll eat three more carrots if you give me a chocolate treat”, hell say. He’s learned how to use our phrases and words against us; “You’re being spicy to me and I don’t like it” or “it hurts my feelings when you talk like that to me” my favorite: “it’s not nice to tell me no”. I keep hoping and praying that someday, he uses his gift to negotiate and argue for good. Because right now, it can be exhausting.

August has fully taken on the role of big brother. He always has an eye for items that Harrison should not have, stops Harrison from crawling up the stairs, tries to protect Harrison from danger or snuggles up with Harrison and says “hey brother, I sure do love you”. My heart explodes when I see a brotherhood forming between these two. Harrison greets August each morning with squeals of delight. Again, I pray, that this never stops.

A big highlight for August this year was having eye muscle surgery. He had both of his eyes operated on at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. With an amazing doctor, who knows August well, he has fully recovered and now has two eyes that are aligned. It does look like he’ll be rocking the Ray Bans once again to work on strengthening both eyes to work equally.

Everyday with August is adventure. He has an exuberant amount of joy and optimism. He loves going to the library, use his imagination, being with people, and of course…watching shows. And how I could forgot about Pokemon? He developed a love for Pokemon when Pokemon Go was big this summer. His ability to memorize names of Pokemon, know their powers and types, never ceases to amaze me. I am still trying to see the silver lining in Pokemon and find how it can be educational…like I said, I’m still trying.  😉 For now–we’ll just him dress up like charzard and battle us with his stuffed master ball.


There is never a dull moment when August is awake. He’s full of stories, questions about the world around him and requests to role play pirates, Pokemon battles or firetrucks. He’s starting to grasp the this world isn’t a perfect place. He’s asking questions that make me stop in tracks and realize that he is watching and listening to everything that happens. Now more than ever, I pray that he learns how to think critically about issues, seek justice, stand against hate and love like Jesus.

August Thacker–you have made parenthood way more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be. You have a wonder for the world. Never stop seeking truth, standing up for what is right and holding true to your convictions. You’ve been given some amazing gifts and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses them for His good. We love you, August and are so thankful that you are in our lives.


Merry Christmas- 2016

In annual Christmas tradition our tree is up, cookies have been made, local light tours have been taken and our Christmas has has been sent. As we wait for these finals days to pass before Christmas Day, we wanted to take the time to wish each of you a wonderful Christmas.

The Bohle Family Christmas letter has taken a new twist this year.

Much love from our home to yours.

Merry Christmas!

Eight years into the Bohle family being in existence and we are still experiencing many firsts.  This year’s Christmas letter is a collection of all life’s firsts in 2016.

  1. Chris’ exclusive authorship of the family Christmas letter. Yes that’s right. Chris here–and I am in charge of the letter this year. Save the laughter for the end. And don’t tell me whether you’re laughing because of the letter’s overwhelming hilarity or its piteous ignorance.
  2. August’s Surgery. This was one of the most taxing parts of our year.  Since March 2015 when August was first diagnosed with accommodative esotropia, we knew surgery could be in his future if glasses and patching did not work. August’s surgery was performed by the best Pediatric Opthamologist in this area (and there are not very many either!) at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This hospital is unreal–the level of care, expertise, and compassion is second to none.  We were blown away! He recovered very quickly. He is glasses free for now, but may need to return to glasses and periodic patching to keep strengthening his eyes.
  3. August attends pre-school for the first time! August is in 3’s preschool for ½ day on Tuesdays and the entire day on Thursdays. On Thursdays, they go to an outdoor nature center for exploration.  He loves it and comes home exhausted every day. His favorite part of the day is riding the bus and recess.
  4. Chris is a professor! I am now teaching 2 classes per semester in Hope College’s Leadership Minor. I have about 25 students per section, and this has rounded out my work at Hope in a really great way. I love it and the students. Are you feeling discouraged about the world these days?  These students offer much to be hopeful about (no pun intended!).
  5. We are attending a new church called Maple Avenue Ministries. It’s nothing big, flashy, or huge.  Just a small, multicultural, reconciliatory church that is focused on serving the city core of Holland. This place has blessed us and we hope to bless others by attending there.
  6. Harrison’s first steps. Who am I kidding though? His first steps are one of a million firsts for this little guy. His first wave. His first blowing of kisses. His first initiation of snuggling with mom and dad and brother. His first tantrum. Oh and he can climb down stairs now. Awesome.
  7. Another first for Harrison here…but it’s worth pulling out into its own line. His FIRST TIME SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. Yes, it’s true. After a grueling babydom, we exited the period of our life where we we consistently crabby, angry, exhausted, and lethargic. Praise God.  
  8. First flight for both boys. We took the entire family to Colorado Springs to see two dear friends from high school. Not only was the trip absolutely amazing, but the flight went well too! The boys had minimal meltdowns and they enjoyed the experience. As you may know, I have a severe and irrational fear of flying. Strangely, adding two kids to the mix distracted me from thinking about all of the terrible ways we could die while 30,000 feet in the air. They were oddly comforting. An opiate for the soul.
  9. Amanda’s work schedule. This is the first year Amanda’s teaching schedule has allowed for every Monday and Tuesday to be spent at home with the boys. This a very welcome change. She is still teaching first grade at Holland Christian and enjoys it very much. She won’t say it, but she causes those kids to love reading and learning. She is quite gifted.
  10. Every year during this season we are reminded of that special first Christmas, many years ago. We are reminded of the love of Christ that has been given to us through the birth of our Savior. May you and your family take time to remember that very special, first Christmas.

Much Love,

Chris, Amanda, August and Harrison Bohle


Harrison-12 months

This is a few days (well–a few weeks) late, but as my mother always said, “better late than never.” I can hardly believe that Harrison is a year old. The fall season sends memories flooding back to this time last year. The cool weather, the changing leaves, the anticipation of having a baby, bringing Harrison home and those first weeks at home as a family of four. The season of fall has forever changed for us. And I’m thankful for that.

Harrison has not always been easy for us. His first 7 months of live were pretty hard. Actually, they were really crappy. He hardly slept during the day. He would wake up at least 10 times a night. He had trouble falling asleep without being rocked and rocked and rocked. His head was misshapen. And our social lives were nonexistent. It was hard. We felt helpless. And alone (or at least I felt helpless and alone. Or maybe it was the sleeplessness kicking in).

We tried everything to get him to sleep more. Essential oils. Chiropractor. Elevating his crib. Warm room. Cool room. White noise. No white noise. Tylenol (oh the amounts of Tylenol we gave him thinking he was in pain). Reflux medication. Adding cereal. Giving formula. Changing formula. Buying expensive “magic sleep suits”. Swaddling. Not swaddling. Everything. His favorite place to sleep was in the Rock ‘n Play until he started to push himself out of it. Then he would only sleep in his swing (we should have purchased stock in D batteries), until the night I again found him falling half way out.

We were tired. We were exhausted and we are so thankful that we are past that stage. The first 7 months were some of the most challenging days we’ve had in our marriage. Sleep deprivation is no joke.

The saving grace through it all?

A sweet, content, happy, little guy. While he didn’t spend much of his infant days sleeping, he sure did spend them wide awake and content. I’m not sure how we would have made it without this saving grace.

A year later. We’re sleeping all night. Harrison takes naps. And we are so.thankful. Thankful that we’ve been given this amazing little guy to raise. He completes our family in a way I didn’t know possible.

Harrison at 1 year-


Likes: Food. Chasing balls. Chewing on anything squishy. Playing with his brother.  Stealing in delight at the firs sight of us or his brother in the morning. Splashing as hard as he can in the bathtub. Clapping. Sidewalk chalk. Swinging on the swing. Playing peek-a-boo.Exploring in the wood chips, grass, dirt, flower beds, etc. Crawling anywhere his brother goes. Pointing. Being thrown in the air by dad. Our phones (agh!).

Dislikes: Getting teeth. Dogs. Lawn mowers. The garbage truck. Having his toys taken away.

Milestones: Walking! He has been taking steps for awhile now, but he is becoming more and more confident with walking. Crawling is his preferred method of transportation.

We’ve caught Harrison saying “Augu” several times. We’re thinking he’s saying “August”. But he’s pretty stubborn with his talking.

He sure loves to explore and get into everything. For awhile I thought he was going to be less active than August. Boy was I wrong about that. He’s just as active with crawling and exploring, but more content doing it on his own terms. I feel like I chase him around all day cleaning up his messes.

We celebrated Harrison’s birthday this past weekend. He was unsure of the “smash” cake. But loved exploring all the new toys he got. We are loving this fall season with two young boys. Trips to the apple orchard, pumpkin donuts, painting pumpkins, and enjoying the crisp air outside.

Harrison Siders–we love you so much, little brother. You’re experiencing childhood while our nation is facing extreme amounts of hate, adversity, division, and fear. I watch the evening news and my heart aches for our nation. For your generation. Harrison–I pray that you know the profound impact your words will have on people’s lives. Use the gift of speech and communication to spread God’s love,  redemption and justice. I pray that you are a man of integrity. That you treat all people with dignity and respect–especially women. I pray that you learn how to think critically and are able to acknowledge injustice when you see it, while acknowledging your own privilege. Mostly, I pray that you come to know the love of our Savior. And with that love, you are convicted to love others the way God loves you. I hope and pray that you never loose your sweet, clam, content, “go with the flow” spirit. You are a gift to us and I know you’ll be a gift to so many in the days and years to come.

Harrison Siders Bohle. We. love. you.

Harrison- 9 months

9 months. Wow. Harrison is growing faster than I realize. Since summer has started, I’ve been able to slow down in our daily pace and really enjoy the laid back summer days with the boys. It’s hard to believe that Harrison is almost 1! It seems like just yesterday it was last summer and I was 7 months pregnant! Whew–time needs to slow down.


This month has been a big month for being mobile! He learned how to pull himself up, move from crawling to sitting back to crawling. When he’s holding onto something, he’s figuring out how to shuffle his way around. He’s eating more and more foods and growing by the day!



It has been so fun to watch Harrison’s personality develop. Overall, he’s a pretty chill little guy. He’s totally content to sit/stand and play by himself while August plays around him. He is way more content being by himself than August ever was.

He loves sitting in the grass/woodchips/etc. and exploring all the new textures around him. Tickles and peek-a-boo are favorites as well.

One of Harrison’s most favorite activity? Bathtime with his brother. He splashes, splashes, and splashes. His favorite places to crawl are under tables while chasing after balls. Shoes seem to be his favorite toy to chew on as well.


Harrison has developed and mastered a whine in protest of things he doesn’t like. This typically consists of diaper changes, getting dressed, being put into the carseat, wanting down or when a toy is taken away.

He does not like it when his big brother squeezes him too tightly, or tries to wrestle with him. Imagine that.

Summer Fun:

We’ve been enjoying these slow summer days at home. As a family, we took a long weekend to Chicago to visit friends and my brother and sister-in-law. Another weekend we went tent camping at the Holland State Park with some good friends of ours. Harrison was great during the day. At night? He was horrible. The second night there I ended up driving home at 1:00am with him. It sure was an adventure.

Other summer fun has included: pool days at MVP, stroller rides, trips downtown, watching big brother play at the park and enjoying a relaxed schedule.

Life with Harrison wasn’t easy for the first 6 months. While each day presents it’s own unique challenge, we feel like the days and nights with Harrison have become easy. He’s predictable. He sleeps almost all night (still wakes up once for a bottle), he takes two great naps. He’s content and happy. Thank you Jesus!!

Brotherly Love:

Man–there is something about brothers, isn’t there? August just LOVES Harrison. Here are some quotes from August regarding Harrison:

“Harrison, you are my best buddy ever.”

“I love you so much, Harrison.”

“Can I snuggle with you forever, Harrison?”

“I want to snuggle Harrison forever.”

What a jot it is to watch this brotherhood slowly form. Harrison greets August each morning with a smile and loud squeal. There’s not denying that they love each other.

Harrison- 10 months

We’re in double digits in months. How is it that this little guy is 2 months away from turning 1? He sure has changed our lives and we are so thankful that he has.

Likes: Harrison is one happy little guy. He fills most of his time awake by chasing around a little purple rubbery ball. For some reason, he loves this ball.

He likes watching his brother play and trying to join him in the fun. He loves tickles from mom and dad, swinging on swings and exploring new places. Overall, Harrison is happy as long as he has some toys to play with a food in his tummy.

Right now his biggest “like” is eating. The kid will eat anything and everything we put in front of him: peas, cantaloup, watermelon, hamburger, chicken, avocado, spaghetti, anything. This is new territory for us since from day 1 August has been a picky eater.

Dislikes: There isn’t too much that Harrison doesn’t like. He does not enjoy being put into his hot car seat or being hungry. Other than that–he’s a pretty content little guy.

Firsts: He is standing alone (for about 5-7 seconds), waving, clapping and has even murmured the words “buh-bye”a few times! His squeals are getting louder and he’s forming new sounds each day. His new favorite activity? climbing the stairs and playing in the toilet.

Summer Fun: We’ve been on the move this summer and Harrison has been such a trooper. He spent a week with Chris’ sister’s family while Chris and I took a child-free adventure to Nashville. We then went to Grandma’s house in Greenville and then to the farm on the east side of Michigan.

We’ve been enjoying mornings at home, afternoons at the pools and evenings of eating dinner on the deck. This summer has been good for my soul and I think for August and Harrison’s too. As summer draws to a close, we are cherishing each moment spent together.

Harrison Siders–I pray that your happy, calm, and joyful spirit continues throughout your childhood. I pray that you learn how much God loves you. I pray that you learn how to love God’s people. I pray that you grow to see the wrong in the world and desire to do something about it. I pray that you will use the gifts and talents that God has given you bring His Kingdom here on Earth.

We love you so much, little brother.