Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, "these kids are growing like weeds" all the time. Of course, I just attributed it to sentimental parents and relatives. Now that I am a parent myself, I am witnessing first hand how this is true. I have been unpacking boxes of hand me downs and exchanging Jasper's clothes to Tymen and making some lists of what I need to pick up. Ruby's jeans look alarmingly like capris, which we just can't get away with in January. Even more than the physical growth is the way that I see them learning and thinking. Tymen has eased out of the endearing stage of referring to himself as "me". "Me love you, Mumma." "Me didn't do it. Japper did." Now he says, "I love you."

I am thankful for our days but note that they go very, very quickly. Ruby and I were talking as she got ready for bed the other night and she said in an exasperated tone, "This day just started! How is is over already??" I know the feeling. In some of our talks about what this year will look like, Ben and I have decided to be more purposeful about setting up days to go out and hang together. There are always errands to run and jobs to do so we need to set these days in black, permanent sharpies on our calendar and then pencil in the errands around those days.

So this was sledding day. Some wonderful friends we invited along for the fun and it turned out that they saved our bacon. Last year when we went sledding, we were able to handle our brood pretty easily. We are two to four now so our friends, Kellie and Jonathan and Kimberlee, hauled our boys up the hills, put them on sleds and schlepped our stuff around. Kellie even brought hot chocolate for the end. And brownies. We are definitely inviting them again :) .

Here's sweet marshmallow Ariella with her auntie.

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Ben took this one. Theo was sound asleep in the sunshine.

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Last year the hill made him nervous. This year he yelled, " I am a brave boy!!!!!"

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After hauling him up the hill several times, Kimberlee gives Tymen a mighty push, to his great delight!

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A little snow bunny catches a kiss or two from her daddy.

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Jonathan got all of us in this one.

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Then I handed off the baby and Kellie took some pictures of me sledding with the kids which I love. Thanks, Kellie!

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Then Ruby and I turned over. While we were at the bottom of the hill, Jasper crashed into us. You can see Ruby and I saying, "Ohhhhh." Poor dude.

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This is my favorite of the day. My boy asking me for a hug. My boy who really does feel better when he gets a mommy kiss on his owies. I know at some point, it will not do the trick but I am thankful for these days when it does.

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I am keeping the sharpie available.