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.

Firsts: 

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!

 

Likes:

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.

Dislikes:

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.

8 Months

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Chris here.  I’ve decided to write the blog post for this month.  Partially because Amanda is busy finishing up the end of her school year and partially because I like to do these on occasion.

Let me start by making a note about feminism.  In short, I think moms get treated unfairly in our society far too often.  A few weeks ago, I was a part of a conversation where working mothers were passed over for work opportunities because it was assumed they would be too busy and wouldn’t want that additional professional involvement.  I spoke up to the group and stated that we should NEVER make this assumption about a working mother, and instead, we should allow her to decide if she’d like to take up that new role.  I’d also add that very few people would EVER make that assumption about me as a young dad.  As a young father, I’m seeing more and more the privileges that come along with being male and the obstacles women face everyday in the work force.

That being said, I have been so proud of the way Amanda has balanced her professional and personal life.  Amanda has done a slam-dunk job at teaching excellently while also contributing professionally beyond her classroom.  I’m proud of her and glad that she has the opportunity to be an amazing teacher, amazing graduate student (yes, she is enrolled in classes and has been for the past 2 years!), AND an amazing mom.

Alright, onto the kid stuff.

This is a new era for us.

Things have changed.

For the better.

I’ll explain soon.

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Likes:

  • Crawling! Harrison started scooting all over the place about 3 weeks ago, and while he is not on his knees yet, his army scoot is quite productive and cute.  We had about 1 week of the “sitting but not mobile” phase.  It was nice while it lasted.
  • His brother.  Harrison squeals in the morning at first sight of August.  It’s quite amazing.  I’m excited to see the bond between them continue to develop.
  • Harrison loves bath time.  He never cries, loves hanging with his bro during it, and splashing around.
  • I think Harrison has developed a healthy sleep association.  He has this little green frog that he has become quite smitten with.  He sleeps with it every day, and it definitely brings him peace.  I’m still perplexed about the physiology behind these attachment objects, and I am amazed how these little humans operate at such a complex level.
  • Eye contact and social interaction.  Still.  He is a pretty calm baby, but simultaneously social.  It’s a funny combination.  He is not nearly has hyperactive as August was as a baby.  He also isn’t quite as high strung.

Dislikes

  • Various solid foods.  He hates homemade green beans and peaches.  He has also been a little more skittish eating his bottles.  The latter is because he is distracted by social situations and his environment.
  • Stationary devices.  Harrison loves to move, and as soon as we put him in his ExerSaucer or his high chair he whines.  He just wants to wiggle!
  • He is showing the initial signs of developing separation anxiety.  Every once in a while when we try to give him to someone else, he will push away and throw himself into our arms.
  • There are no signs of cruising or walking yet.  And I’m cool with that.

Firsts

  • Sleep.  Consistent sleep.  We are FINALLY out of the miserable phase that occupied our minds during his first seven months.  Sure, those seven months weren’t all bad.  But we were constantly exhausted, anxious, and consumed by thoughts about sleep. It consumed us.  Harrison is now sleeping through the night with just one bottle feeding at around 3 am.  AND he sleeps every morning and afternoon for at least 70 minutes.  Sometimes it’s up to 3 hours!  This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
  • Crawling!  See above.
  • Pulling himself up.  Kinda.  With some extra leverage, Harrison has been pulling himself up on August’s train table.  In a few short weeks, we are going to need to lower his crib because I’m certain he will be standing on his own soon.
  • Harrison got his first teeth this month!  We were convinced he started teething at 2.5 months.  Well, we were wrong until now.  His two bottom teeth are halfway in, and it’s awesome.

And finally, August has fallen in love with the Snapchat FaceSwap feature.  Enjoy.

 

harrison- 7 months

A few days late, but here we go…

Didn’t I JUST write the 6 month post? When I sit down and think about the past month, I realize that it has gone fast. When we are in the thick of the day-to-day, it seems like forever.

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Likes:
Harrison has always been a pretty happy little dude. This month he has seemed to become even more content. He is one of the smiliest babies ever. You just make eye contact with him and he can’t help BUT smile.

It has been so fun to see what makes him laugh. He will laugh loud belly laughs at the most unexpected things–August swinging on the swings, people jumping up and down, August scooting down the stairs, etc. Tickles on the tummy and armpits are always a surefire way to get a good laugh out of him too.

He likes his baby food! Sweet potatoes, carrots, oatmeal, apples and pears seem to be his favorite. He’d prefer not to eat peas, green beans and squash.

Dislikes:
Harrison DOES NOT like it when people laugh. We’ve had friends over and whenever people laughed, he burst into tears of pure fear. It is the saddest yet funniest thing. 

Firsts:
Sitting on his own. This is something that August never did–just sit and play contently. By 7 months August was crawling ALL over the place and wouldn’t sit still. It’s so nice that Harrison will just sit and play quietly.

This is a big one–first night and nap NOT in the swing! The swing is officially put into storage. One night I went in his room when he was crying, only to find him flopped over the side of the swing. Since then–he’s been in his crib. Woo Hoo! We’re making progress!

We had a one week stretch where he was taking awesome naps, sleeping all night long and it. was. awesome. Did you notice how I said “one week”.😉

When the weather gave us a taste of summer, we took full advantage of it and went to the beach. Baby’s first beach day:

The Helmet!
I have a confession to make. I used to judge parents when their babies had helmets, “you didn’t give your baby enough tummy time. or. You’ve kept the baby in the car seat/stroller too long.” Well friends–I’m eating my own words. Harrison has a helmet.

We did everything possible to keep him off his tummy when he was awake. He still managed to rock a pretty funky shaped head. To protect him from any embarrassment in the future, we decided to  ensure he’d have a normally shaped round head by getting him a helmet.

I was pretty hesitant about how it would go at first, but thankfully it has been an extremely smooth transition. Now we’re hoping that he only has to wear it for a few months.

He’s rocking it pretty well:

The brother love continues:

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Harrison–you are so deeply loved!

harrison–6 months

There is a common slogan I hear in regards to parenthood: The days are long but the years (months–in Harrison’s case) are short. It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve reached the 6 month mark. If I write this blog with complete honesty, these have not been easy months for us. Harrison has rocked our world in ways we didn’t know possible.

Harrison has turned August’s world upside down… in the best way possible. August has fallen head over heels in love with his little brother. The other day he snuggled up to Harrison, sighed a deep sigh and said, “Harrison, you’re my best buddy.” Every night, without fail, August will come from taking his bath, into Harrison’s room and jump up in my lap as I am feeding Harrison. He will sit and snuggle with him as long as possible. August squeals with delight at the sight of his brother. He shouts with joy when Harrison has a new development. To say August loves Harrison, is an understatement. My heart is full. Their hearts are full. I love watching their brotherhood develop.

Harrison has been a bit of a pistol when it comes to sleeping. We’ve tried almost everything. Our list consists of: Rock ‘n Play, Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit, swaddle, swaddle with arms out, swaddle with one arm out, incline the crib, gently rock the crib, gas drops, teething necklace, changing white noise sound, patting his belly to sleep, cry it out, rocking to sleep, chiropractor, ibuprofen, changing formula, and his utmost favorite–his swing. The nights are getting better but nap times remain a struggle.

The stories I hear about me as a baby are VERY similar to the stories we are telling of Harrison. If he remains par for the course, I think we better brace ourselves for his toddlerhood/childhood. Rumor has it, I wasn’t an easy child!😉

The saving grace with Harrison? His sweet, happy, joyful demeanor when he is awake. The boy doesn’t know how NOT to smile. His bright eyes just exclude love and joy. His favorite way to laugh is by tickles on his belly. His biggest form of entertainment is his brother. He loves being with people and watching what is going on around him.

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Firsts:
Harrison has mastered rolling. He’ll start on one side of the living room and end up on the complete opposite side. He’s lifting himself up on straight arms and trying to bring his knees forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s crawling within the next month or so.

He’s become quite the little baby food eater in the past weeks. He’ll down jar after jar of baby food and oatmeal cereal. I can’t imagine what it will be like to feed two teenage boys someday!

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He also celebrated his first Easter. We went to Owosso for the day and celebrated with my (Amanda’s) side of the family.

Personality:
I mentioned earlier how stinkin’ happy the boy is. He is just so full of joy that it’s hard to remain too upset with him when he doesn’t sleep.

I also think we produce boys who don’t know how to sit still. August wriggled his way through babyhood and hasn’t stopped moving. Harrison is following in his footsteps. He will not stop moving!

Adventures:
This month I was in a wedding for a dear friend in Lake Geneva, WI. We made it a family affair and my brother and sister-in-law came with us for the weekend. During our night in the hotel Harrison REFUSED to sleep. We ended up putting him in the car seat, placing the car seat in the middle of our bed, Chris rocked the car seat while Harrison held my hands. The next night, we went out and bought a swing for him to sleep in. We returned it two days later. Someday we’ll laugh about this right? It sure wasn’t funny in the midst of it.

All in all–we love this little boy. Our days aren’t always easy with him. We struggle with how isolated we’ve become during the winter months. Through it all, my prayer remains the same for this sweet little boy. That he learns how to love God, knows how deep His love is for him, and then in return loves God’s people deeply. I pray he is a justice seeker whom strives to bring a little piece of Heaven here on Earth.

Harrison Siders–we love you.

harrison-5 months

Harrison is 5 month old. Almost half a year. I remember during his newborn days, thinking that March seemed so far off. And here we are in March. Time is going fast and he is changing so quickly.

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Firsts: He is officially rolling from back to front and front to back. He’s scooting himself around on his blanket and kicking his legs with vigor. He’s lifting his arms up straight while on his tummy. I’ve got this feeling that we might have another mover on our hands.

He’s laughing and squealing more and more. Toys are becoming more interesting, yet people remain his favorite.

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IMG_1382Harrison celebrated his first Valentine’s Day with a whole lot of love!:)

LikesHe has become very content this month (while awake that is). He LOVES being held and watching with whatever is going on around him. His biggest form of entertainment is watching his big brother play!

IMG_1299Playing with big bro’s train table

When Harrison was a newborn, I thought he would be more introverted and less active than August. I am thinking I was totally wrong about that. He is such an active little guy–always moving and wiggling. And social–oh my lands– is the kid is so social and aware of when people are around and paying attention to him.

Dislikes: We’ve tried first bites of oatmeal cereal only for him to spit it out (we really should try again). He’s starting to protest his carseat and being left alone.

IMG_1291IMG_1400We took him to the doctor this month, convinced that something was wrong with him. Only for the doc to say that he had a slight eye infection and other than that–nothing was wrong! 

Other Developments: At his four month check-up, I asked about the shape of his head because I was noticing a pretty significant flat spot developing. There is a decent chance that he will have to get a helmet to help round out his head. We’ve spent a good deal of time this month making sure that he’s not on his back while awake. We’ll find out this week whether or not he needs a helmet (let’s hope NOT because I’ve heard that can wreck havoc on sleep and well–I’m not sure how much worse it can get).

A major celebration is that we got him out of his Rock ‘n Play and sleeping in his crib (for the most part). Our next goal? To get rid of the swing! The swing seems to be our 4 am lifesaver!:)

Sleep: Sleep has been horrible. We’ve tried so many different things this month–ibuprofen, acid reflux medicine, essential oils, changing formula, infant chiropractor. None of them have been the magic bullet. He’s up A LOT throughout the night and will not/cannot fall asleep on his own. Without fail, he wakes up about 40-50 minutes after putting him down. It seems like he always wakes up after his first sleep cycle and cannot put himself back to sleep.

On a good night, between Chris and I, we are up 3-4 times. On a bad night, between the two of us, we are up 10-15 times. We. are. exhausted. I thought  by now, we would be out of the woods and I feel like it’s only gotten worse.

Needless to say–life with Harrison has not been an easy adjustment for us. We’ve been more homebound than we’d like. We spend so much time and energy getting him to sleep. Beyond our frustrations, we are so deeply in love with this dimply, bright eyed little boy. His happy, cheerful personality,  brings us such a great joy and completeness to our family.

Harrison–we love you deeply. We pray that your love for people drives others closer to Jesus. May your dimply smile bring joy to the lonely and your bright eyes carry the love of our Savior. We love you, Harry-booboo!😉

harrison–4 months

Harrison is 4 months old. It seems like forever ago that he was born. He’s growing and changing with each day that passes. He’s happy and healthy and we are so very thankful.

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FirstsI wouldn’t say there are a TON of new “developments” with Harrison this month, but he is changing more than I think we realize. He has discovered his hands and feet. Often times, his hands can be found inside his mouth. He’s starting to understand that these brightly colored objects we keep putting in front of him are toys–he’ll grab for them and somehow they end up in his mouth! ;) He’s starting to discover his “voice” as well. Lots of squeals, giggles, and other vocalizations.

This month he’s become quite fond of his Bumbo seat and exosaucer–both allow him to be upright and watch what is going on around him!

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Personality: Generally, he’s one happy boy. He’ll smile at the drop of a dime and will offer up a laugh with just a few tickles on his tummy. If people are around and providing some sort of entertainment–he’s happy. He loves watching what is going on around him–this is a similarity I notice between him and August. Both being VERY alert and curious to their surroundings.

LikesBeing held, watching himself in mirrors, tickles, laughs and of course… snuggles with mom, dad and big brother August. A major like right now is drooling. He’ll go through several outfits in a  day because they get SOAKED with drool. For several weeks now, we’ve thought he’s teething. Alas, there are still no teeth!

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SleepI’m hesitant to even write about sleeping since there are so many differing opinions on what’s “right”. But–the purpose of this blog is to document life with Harrison and to look back on these months to see how far we’ve come.

Let’s just say, Harrison’s days full of deep slumbering are over. We have struggled with sleep more this month than any previous. I’d venture to say–this has been the hardest month with him. We’re to the point where we should have him figured out and on a good schedule–and it’s just not happening.

It all started over Christmas break. Napping is sporadic. Peaceful bedtimes are a thing of the past. We’ve had some really bad nights where we are up with him every hour and some good nights where he only wakes up twice. I feel like we’ve experienced bad sleep in all areas of sleep (naps, bedtime and nighttime). There are naps, bedtimes and nights that are better than others. I feel like it’s all a cycle we can’t break–poor daytime sleep=being overtired and won’t go to bed=not sleeping well at night. Needless to say, we are hoping that this ends soon.

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He may not sleep well–but he’s happy and sure is pretty cute ;) 

Harrison Siders–we love you. Your brother adores you. Your smile and laugh bring us an unexplainable joy. You are loved.

harrison-3 months

I can hardly believe that Harrison is 3 months old now. I heard it takes a good 3 months for a family to transition into their new “normal”. Although I would agree with that, I feel like we are just now feeling the transition from a family of three to a family of four. It’s a combination of me heading back to work, a more temperamental baby, trying to nail down a napping schedule and an early bedtime. Although this transition hasn’t necessary been the easiest for us, we are falling more and more in love with our smiley little boy. My heart explodes with love for the two boys we’ve been given.

Firsts–We’ve had a lot of “firsts” this month! Harrison has started rolling over from his tummy to his back. August thinks this the best thing ever! It was so fun to watch August cheer Harrison on and laugh with joy as he kept rolling and rolling. I cannot wait to see what this type of brotherly love looks like when they are older.

We’ve caught glimpses of his first little laugh and oh my–is it precious. He’s becoming more and more smiley and strong–he’s lifting his head all the way off the floor and “standing” and sitting in his Bumbo seat.

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Harrison also celebrated his first Christmas. It was so fun to introduce him to so many family members. Next year, he will be chasing his brother around during all the Christmas celebration.  Needless to say, Harrison was the best gift we could’ve asked for this year. We are so thankful.

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PersonalityThis little boy is becoming very social. He’ll be screaming in his bedroom–we’ll go up to check on him and the second he sees us, a huge grin that showcases his two little dimples. Stinker. During our drive down to Southern IL for Christmas, he would be screaming in the car seat,once he would see us, all smiles! Someone doesn’t want to miss out on the fun.

Overall, Harrison is a happy little guy. He has a very similar personality as August (smiley, alert, social). He seems a little less active and a little more “chill”. I do think he has a decent amount of stubborn in him though!

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Likes: Snuggles with mom and dad, bath time, tickles, silly noises and not being left out! His most favorite place to sleep remains the Rock ‘n Play.

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Dislikes- His biggest dislike is his crib– I cannot figure out why he won’t sleep in there. For now he’s sleeping in his Rock ‘n Play. As long as he’s sleeping–I guess I’m okay with it!

Another “dislike” is creating dirty diapers! For the past 6 weeks or so, we’ve constantly been trying to get the poor guy to poop on a more consistent basis. He will go several days, have really bad gas and well..I’ll spare all the details!😉

Other Fun Stuff: We’ve been trying to figure out who Harrison resembles. I pulled out some of my baby photos and I think this little guy might take after his mom.

This past month has flown by.  We have found so much joy during this Christmas season as we celebrated as a family of four. Our lives have drastically changed but we are so thankful for our new family structure. We keep saying that this is all for a short season. I remind myself daily that babies don’t last nor will this time of transition.

As we enter 2016 we look forward to watching Harrison grow, August mature and Chris and I learn how to best parent these two precious boys.

Harrison Siders–we love you deeply.

 

August and Harrison both at 3 months.

august is 3

How is that possible? My little boy is 3. I will forever be able to vividly replay the day he was born. The anxiety I felt while walking into the hospital. The calmness of the day. The moment he came out with his first cry. All within a few hours, our lives completely changed. In a way that I never thought possible. A joy beyond words. And a love that pierces my heart.

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This past year with August has been one with so many memories. This little guy has burst out of his shell and has a developed personality that words cannot capture. He loves people, has a memory that is as sharp as a tack, he never wants to be alone and has developed an uncanny love for music.

One major event this year has been related to his eyes. In March of 2015 August woke up with a lazy eye. The same day he also started throwing up. After a trip to the pediatricians office we found ourselves driving to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for a CT scan to rule out a brain tumor. As you can imagine this sent us into a frenzy of fear and worry. One of our darkest days as parents. Thankfully, all tests came back clear. Many doctors appointments later August is rocking glasses and an eye patch. This month we also found out that he will likely NOT have to have surgery to correct his eye muscles.

IMG_6106(August and Chris in the ER waiting for CT results)

This scare framed the remainder of the year for us. Why were we sent home with a clean bill of health while other parents are sent to a hospital room with an unknown future. Life is fragile and we so often take good health for granted.

Some other major highlights of this year were: vacation with Chris’ sister and her family, visits from my brother and sister-in-law, trips to the beach, apple picking, pumpkin carving, announcing August’s promotion to big brother and welcoming Harrison into our family.

IMG_3992(Our big announcement this year)

IMG_4521(Celebrating the Fourth of July with cousins)

August loves his trumpet, firetrucks, crayons, paint, violin, and saxoflute. When he grows up he wants to be a dinosaur hunter, drum major or band director. He feels every emotion very strongly. When he is excited he is running and squealing for joy. When he is mad, he’s MAD. His days are full of outings to the park, reading books (Little Critter, “Dancing” Bears, Piggy/Gerald), chatting our ears off and asking us to tell him stories about his cousins and dogs. He’s also very proud about being a big brother who is diaper free!

This year he has learned and grown so much. I’ve seen my newborn turn into a baby then into a toddler and now to a kid. Now I see my baby as a little boy running through our cul-de-sac splashing in puddles, reciting books he’s memorized and discovering this world through his innocent curiosity. He’s always asking “why” and “tell me more about…”

This year we’ve also felt the weight of parenthood. Handling behavior we don’t want him to mimic. Teaching him the difference between good and bad, right and wrong. Finding consequences that work. Not giving into his every demand. Telling him “no” out of love. All while pointing him to the commands of the Bible: Love God. Love others.

August Thacker–I pray from the depths of my heart that you never lose your curiosity and desire to learn. Please, never stop loving people and seeing everyone as equal. I pray that you continue to be who you are and not care what others think. I pray that you are secure in who God created you to be. I pray that you use your God-given strengths to be a difference maker, a peace maker, and community changer. I pray you see the good in people and that you desire to learn from those who are different than you.

Please know that no matter what, your dad and I will be your biggest cheerleaders. We love you, August and are so deeply thankful that God gave us YOU– a spunky, sassy, funny, curious, snuggly little boy.

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet boy!

Bohle Family October 2015-42

merry christmas from the bohle 4

Every year I sit down to write our annual Christmas letter. Every year I wonder if this will be the last year I write a letter. Every year Chris insists that I carry on my family tradition. And every year I am thankful I take the time to reflect on the past year.

This Christmas in particular, I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about the Peace that was brought on that quiet Christmas Day. Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace. The world we live in today is so far from that truth and it breaks my heart. From racism to refugees to violence to injustice–so many are in need of the Prince of Peace.  My prayer for each of your families this Christmas season is that you feel a silver of the Peace that was brought into this world 2,000 years ago. And I pray that that Peace is spread to our neighbors, the hurting, the marginalized and the homeless. Because that is why He was born on that special Christmas night.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Family and Friends,

It’s that time of year when the Christmas music floods the speakers, the scents of balsam fill the house and the nativity scene reminds us about the miraculous birth of our Savior. It’s also when I sit down to reflect on the past year to write our annual Bohle Family Christmas letter. As I was thinking about a “theme” for this years’ letter, I kept thinking about how the number 4 has been a consistent number throughout our year. Here is our year in review, featuring the number 4.

4 people—The biggest change for us was becoming a family of four! On September 30th at 2:15 in the morning, Harrison Siders Bohle was born. Harrison took us by surprise, as he was about 2 weeks early! August loves his new title of “big brother” while Chris and I don’t love our newly found lack of sleep.

4 bedrooms—The number of bedrooms in our new house! Another major change for our family was purchasing our first home. For the first time in eleven years we have not lived in college housing. Our new title as homeowners finds us raking an endless amount of leaves, fixing broken doorknobs, and paying our first ever utility bill. We have an extra bedroom, so company is more than welcome.

4-2=2 years old— Two is the age in toddlerhood known as the “terrible twos”. Thankfully, they have been far from terrible. Two has been such a fun age with August. August can often be found running around the house playing his trumpet, wrestling with dad, chatting our ear off or catching a few snuggles with his little brother. Life is never boring with a 2 year old!

4 hours— The longest Harrison as ever slept.

4×2=8 hours—How long we want Harrison to sleep.

4 years—This is our fourth year in Holland. It seems like just yesterday we were moving from to Holland from Chicago. More and more we are feeling at home here in West MI.

4+4=8 years— Eight is the number of years Chris has been working on a college campus and Amanda has been teaching 1st grade. We are thankful to still work at Hope College and Holland Christian Schools. Both places consistently prove to bring great purpose in each of our lives.

May you find time to slow down this Christmas season and remember the greatest gift ever given—the gift of salvation.

Much Love,

Chris, Amanda, August and Harrison Bohle

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