It's been a good month at Chez Hamilton. I purposely slowed everything possible down this month and put effort into us enjoying our children instead of pushing them along to the next commitment. In all honesty, there is always plenty to do, but being deliberate in attempts to get out to the park, to have conversations, to laugh, to enjoy them was just what we all needed. Not surprisingly, some of the heart and behavior stuff that we'd been dealing with has come into line. These kids are growing and changing and I don't want to miss any of it in my busy schedule and lists of things to check off. Growing their hearts is our most important priority.

I'm having fun with this monthly portrait of each of them.  None of these are coming up in the contexts of "photoshoots" but just are cropping up by me having my camera nearby.

Here are the past months: January,February, March.

Here is April's installment:

Ruby. Ruby has been lapping up her new art class which she's been taking after school. She comes by that creative gene honestly and she's swapped stories with my dad about his days in art school. She's been having a lot of fun with her soccer team this month and has learned a lot from a great coach that's stepped in to guide the team. We love to go whoop and holler at her games. I love the conversations that we have together in the bits of time that we have one on one each day. Sometimes the content is pretty light but we've also jumped into talks of forgiveness and choosing to walk in the right way. I love that she'll talk to me about what's on her mind.

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Jasper. Man, this kid's laugh is so contagious. I just love this picture of him. I am not quite sure what witty thing I said but obviously it was pretty hysterical! Jasper's always been a lot like me, pretty easy to read what he's feeling and feeling things 100%. This is good sometimes but at times, he's had to learn to reel himself in and respond well to situations that he's not happy with. I feel proud of him for working hard to resolve conflicts with siblings by asking questions and not melting into a puddle on the floor, and choosing to be a blessing. My boy is growing up and this whole transition from preschooler to being an almost-kindergartner is happening pretty quickly.

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Tymen. Tymie is entering the world of superheroes and it's been fun to see that deep in the heart of this boy is the longing to save the day! He's a sword fighting, flying, conquering hero who is still enough of a softie to cuddle and kiss his mummy. I tell each of the boys all the time that they are the boy I've always wanted and I honestly feel like it's the truth each time. They fit us and our family so well.

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Theo. Could there be anything more wonderful than a little boy who smacks his lips for kisses regularly when he's leaving the room. Daddy will drop his work, roll onto the floor and kiss and squeeze that boy right up. He is a honey, waving at doggies and people that he sees when we are driving in the van, crooning, "Hi! HI!" He loves to be in the fray of the whole gang but he really loves his alone time with animals and books in his playpen each day too.

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I am thankful for our full and noisy nest.