Tymen and I had a date tonight to take his five year old birthday pictures (the actual date is on the 6th) and then we went for some frozen yogurt. I was reminded again that this boy fits perfectly in my heart.

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It's been a successful day of potty training, just two accidents and a whole lot of whooping it up, jelly beans and grapes. I think he was so ready and had been asking me to go potty but I needed to find a time in our crazy family schedule to have a whole day at home to do it. Hard to believe diapers are on their way out in our family!

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Ruby and I had a date to Hobby Lobby tonight. She hyperventilated down each aisle and was tempted to spend every penny in her piggy bank. Then on the way home we had a talk about convictions and keeping her heart pure. I LOVE dates with my kiddos!

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This morning I wrote on my facebook status:
It amazes me at times how quickly our boys will throw each other under the bus and then the next moment be playing hard together, thick as thieves. Brothers.

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Jasper is my homebody. I asked him a while ago what was his least favorite thing about school he sighed, "Recess." However, once I make him get outside, he loves it...and it's good for him.

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From breakfast in bed to a party with some awesome buddies to pizza dinner, Tymen is one blessed little pup. I am happy and tired, not quite as tired as I was five years ago today, though ;).

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Jasper "won" his first own magazine subscription at the school auction this year. Then his preschool teacher from last year gave him another stack. He carries them around everywhere and LOVES that he can write in them.

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We had a great first day of spring break. Sleeping in, French toast for breakfast, child labor (cleaning banisters and mirrors), a long trip to the park, a bunch of annuals bought at Carpinito's, book time, and bike riding and flower planting after dinner.

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I remember my mum and my Oma taking me to plant nurseries when I was little. I love to get my hands in the dirt and it seems we have a few more green thumbs in the family too.

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Every month I have the boys draw a person picture because I love how much body development changes...from heads with arms coming out to bodies with fingers and toes. This one tickled me. Tymen drew Opa and him with Opa doing back flips. And my dad, who will be 70 in two months, is the only one I know in his peer group who I truly could picture doing back flips. We are so blessed to have him.

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We spent a fun morning at the Des Moines marina with our friends. We took a walk by the boats, looked for boat names, and then let the kids muck around in the wet sand.

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This spring break, we've slept in every morning (wa-hoo!). Slowly, everyone starts getting up and we call them to join us in our bed until we are squished out. Tymen: still sleepy. Theo: told everyone the new walkie talkies and Captain America were MINE (they aren't), Jasper: seeing if Theo can figure out buttons, Ruby: reading Olivia but no-one is listening.

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I brought the boys outside to shoot a couple examples of exposure for the manual class I am teaching next week. Within seconds they were squeezing each other, hugging, laughing, complaining and blowing zerberts. Not quite sure I got the images I was needing ;).

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They love the one on one with him.

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I went to Ruby's class this afternoon to be "art mom". What a super group of kiddos :) We had fun making clay suns and got a host of really awesome ones.

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He knows we're all pretty much putty in his hands.

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I hauled my tripod out of the closet for the first time in about three years and played around with some different shutter speeds of Ruby jumping along on her pogo stick. Can't WAIT to teach my first "Shooting in Manual" class to four wonderful mamas on Saturday!

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It never fails to amuse me when I've kissed him too long, and he gets a panicked look on his face and shrieks, "Mo (no) eat me!!!"

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Turn that frown upside down (or use it as a phone?).

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I had the best time with these ladies! Indeed, this day felt way more like a girl playdate than work. It was my first "shooting in manual" class for those who wanted more after my Parent Photography Workshop. They were so personable, helping each other and engaging that the day went so fast. Jocelyn modeled for us for a loooong time and was the perfect girl for the job. We worked our way through a bunch of tricky things to photograph and they were tracking right along. I'd like to think it was all due to my amazing teaching skills ;) but I think the fact that they are sharp and creative girls who are highly motivated to capture beautiful images of their families factors in highly. Happy to do what I love with amazing people!

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The joy that our family gets from this little muppet is over the top. He is a "gift from God" just like his name means.

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Things I love about my girl today:
1. That she spent hours with her girlfriend making a diorama of Little House....just for fun.
2. That she reads big fat books.
3. That she was so happy to make fruit salad for the family.
4. That when Theo asked for donuts and I told him no and he yelled, "WHY??? Mama, WHYYYYY?"....she looked at me and we laughed our heads off.

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squeaky clean

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I took the three big kids on a bikeride/scooter ride after school today once they'd banged through chores and homework. Though these boys always tell each other they're not racing....it always ends up being a race.

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They love doing little kitchen projects like making fresh juice, fruit salad, and they've got popsicle plans too. (Ruby got that huge bruise on her forehead but cracking heads with another kid in her class...ouch!).

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This little man was pretty proud of himself for making it down the balance beam on Tymen's field trip today.
Thanks Roach Gymnastics and Cheer for a great class. Miss Jen was fantastic with the kids!

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He's got hi-ya sticks, light sabers and swords and will do battle with all of them. He gets this glint in his eye and tries to whack my rear end, a bad habit I am only enforcing by laughing (can't help myself). Then he laughs too and I kiss him.

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Not exactly my choice for bedtime reading but this makes me laugh. I married a geek.

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They've known each other since they were babies and they dearly love each other. We are SO thankful for the good friends that our kids have.

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I love that cheeky little grin of Theo. They have this game they've made up called "Bacon" that involves chasing, scooters, yelling, tagging and crashing.

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