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Dear Jakey,

Nine months has been a game changer. You are officially on the move, into everything and wanting to be with your brothers at all times. Apparently you think you are a big boy now. I have no idea where my baby went!

Moving  II  You started crawling on March 19. We thought you might drag one leg like Levi did (so funny!) but that only lasted a few days. Now you use both legs and are fast. You can get anywhere and into anything. On April 10 you decided you could stand yourself up too. So now you are pulling up on everything and your brothers are hiding all their toys. You love to be outside swinging, in your walker, or sometimes crawling around if I am nearby to pull everything out of your mouth. You are busy, busy, busy.

Firsts  II  Besides crawling and standing you had your first Easter, first four wheeler ride, first time riding in the front of the grocery cart (I can’t carry your car seat anymore because you are too heavy!), first finger foods (you love cheerios and peas) and are finally sleeping through the night (you usually still wake up once around five in the morning but that is so much better so we are counting it…woo-hoo!).

Growing  II  The fact that you are growing is pretty obvious.:)  Baby Tiny isn’t tiny anymore. At your 9-month checkup you weighed in at twenty-three pounds. You have so many baby rolls and your legs are so squishy. I love a chunky baby. Your hair is growing over your ears so now I have to try and see how long I can hold off before your daddy makes you get your first haircut.

Just like with your sister and brothers, I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. I can’t wait to see what you learn next, but don’t grow too fast. Love you to the moon, sweet boy.

Love, Mama

Jake 9 month collage

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  • May 6, 2015 - 8:53 pm

    Mary Ann - Jake is so darling. They grow up way to fast, right? He must bring so much joy to your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2015 - 11:10 am

    Toni :0) - Good gravy is he just so adorable!!! I love healthy and chunky babies. I think they are just the best. So much more to love!!! I grew a big boy, he’s now sixteen and in a size 14 shoe and nearly 6 feet tall! LOLReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2015 - 11:52 am

    Emily - his rolls are adorable! and his little smile just melts my heart! :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Brady - Geez Louise. Every time you post about this cutie it makes me start seriously considering a third child! And I truly thought that first picture was of Cora (based off the pictures you’ve posted of her, of course)–I had to do a double take!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2015 - 1:47 pm

    andrea - he looks just like joel! so cute.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2015 - 12:41 pm

    Liana - Love all the toe grabbing in the pics! And so wish I’d done monthly pics with my 3. What awesome memories!ReplyCancel

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We are four months into this year. It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already a third of the way over. A few days ago, as we flipped the calendar to a new month, I wanted to take a deep breath believing that surely this month will be better. It has been one of those seasons that has been full of a lot of really hard things. One where you start to think, “What is going to happen next.” A year that has been easy to lose sight of Truth and focus only on the circumstances around me. But God has been working despite my doubt and complaining and times of defeat. He gently reminds me to look up and look to Him.

This year we have been studying the life of Moses in BSF. It has been so good. Unfortunately I can see myself in those grumbling, disobedient Israelites far too often. I think, “Sheesh! How can they not remember how God brought them out of Israel? How can they not see God’s provision in the manna? How can they forget so easily and turn away from God? Can you believe how much they grumble?” But as I’ve studied this year, I’ve so often realized that this is me too.

The week Griffin went into the hospital for the second time, I was reading through Numbers 13-14. It is the story of the 12 Spies. Remember the little jingle from Sunday school…

Twelve men went to spy on Canaan. Ten were bad and two were good. What do you think they saw in Canaan? Ten were bad and two were good.

…or something like that. Well, lets just say that this time God taught me a little bit more than ten were bad and two were good.

I had finished reading this passage and I thought something along the lines of this…You know, I want to be a Joshua and Caleb when God is asking me to march forward and go somewhere that is a little scary or out of my comfort zone. I want to face those giants with faith not fear. But right now we are just here on the farm in the middle of Kansas. God’s not asking us to go anywhere. God’s not asking us to do anything really scarey. He’s not asking us to move or change jobs or go overseas to the mission field. So basically I didn’t think this applied to me. Haha.

That Wednesday night I found myself unexpectedly sitting in the hospital with Griffin again. We had just found out that the urine test they had done to check for neuroblastoma had come back with numbers that were slightly elevated. Bottom line, we were back in the hospital to rule out that Griffin didn’t have cancer that was causing the seizures. Unsettled? Fearful? Grumbling? Forgetting God’s faithfulness in the past? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This “desert” seemed all too familiar and we wondered why in the world God would allow us to return here again.

I sat in that room just waiting and staring at my precious boy. Wondering if my family was going to be able to handle whatever we would find out in the next hours and days. I thought we had figured things out. I thought we had ruled out all the scarey things. I thought God had already answered this prayer. But here we were again. And then I remembered Numbers 13…

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. Numbers 13:31-33

All the people we saw there are of great size.

The seizures, not knowing what was really going on in Griffin’s little body, the hospital…those were my “people of great size”. My giants. I realized God may not be asking us to physically move with our family but he was asking us to march forward through the scary possibility that we might have another sick child. It seemed too big…too much…like something we couldn’t handle. And it was too big to handle in our own strength. The 10 spies needed faith and courage more than they needed physical strength to march into the promised land. That is what we needed too.

The point at which the 10 differed from Joshua and Caleb was in their awareness of God. The 10 looked at the giants, then at themselves and concluded that conquering these people was impossible. Joshua and Caleb looked at God. -BSF Notes Lesson 20

The Sunday school song says 10 were bad and two were good. But what was really different about Joshua and Caleb was that they had a correct view of God. I wish I could tell you that as we waded through Griffin’s seizures and tests and hospital stays that I always kept my eyes focused on God. The truth is that it was crazy hard not to get overwhelmed by the circumstances and comfortably settle myself right in middle of fear. I was constantly having to refocus. Constantly having to choose to believe Truth…that God is who He says He is. As I read His Word and recalled His promises it allowed me to redirect my view. And do you know what? Do you know when those moments of true peace came? It was only when my eyes were on Him.

Some saw giants big and strong…Some saw God was in it all. Ten were bad and two were good!

So, as we begin this new week with new giants to face, this is what I am trying to remember…

When I am needing wisdom in parenting…march forward with my eyes on God.

When I am feeling sorry for myself and missing my best friend who just moved away (insert crying emoji)…march forward with my eyes on God.

When my heart is aching for those hurting around me and I don’t know what to do…march forward with my eyes on God.

On days when I am feeling exhausted and overwhelmed…march forward with my eyes on God.

This is my prayer for you too. Do your circumstances seem unbearable? Are you overwhelmed by the giants in your life?

Shift your eyes. Claim His promises. And keep marching.

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  • May 4, 2015 - 3:00 pm

    babykatesmom - Wonderful reminder, big giants or small He is bigger than them all. Sorry you are still walking thru this unknown with Griffin, praying for you all from Florida.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:04 pm

      Jess - Yes. I forget to look to Him even with the small giants sometimes. So thankful for His faithfulness. Thank you so much for praying!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 3:18 pm

    Jennifer Dewing - We, too, are facing our giants of seizures. Our 7 yr old had 2 seizures 3 weeks ago, after several yrs of nothing. He has a sleep deprived EEG test this Thursday. Hopefully it will shed some light on why those seizures occured.

    Yes, we both need to keep our eyes on Christ, for only with Him will we make it through.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:06 pm

      Jess - I am so sorry, Jennifer! That seizure stuff is scary. Praying the test Thursday provides some answers for you. So hard!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 6:11 pm

    Sarah D. - Everyday. I’m praying and marching every single day with you. xoxo.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:07 pm

      Jess - Sarah, I was thinking of your “marching through March” when I was writing this. So thankful for your encouragement as we keep marching together. Are you sure you can’t move to Kansas?? ;)ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 6:18 pm

    Megan - Oh no!!! I’m so sorry. I hope you get answers soon and that your giants are defeated one by one.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:08 pm

      Jess - I feel like we are getting some answers now. Thankful that the seizures seem to be getting under control!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 7:10 pm

    kimberly - I was just thinking of you & how you inspire me & challenge my faith. Praying for peace, answers, & healing for your baby boy.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 8:21 pm

    Deborah S. - Praying for you and your sweet boy. So thankful God is faithful to meet each of us right where we are.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:09 pm

      Jess - Yes, He always does meet me right in the middle of my mess. So thankful for that! Thank you for praying!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Lea - What a beautiful post! And, oh, those giants can so overwhelm us when we take our eyes off Him. I’ve been through some tough, tough times in recent years and as I look back I am in awe of how HE walked with me and gave me unbelievable strength to face the giants I had to face. Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:10 pm

      Jess - I am so thankful to be able to look back in awe of Jesus walking with me through things I know I couldn’t have done on my own as well. Such a great reminder of His faithfulness, right?!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 8:48 pm

    Bridgette Melton - YES! This is the perfect reminder for me tonight. I’ve been struggling with this same thing lately. Constantly waiting for my husband to get an internship and getting one after the other only for circumstances to change in the job and they not work out. And as the semester comes to a close and summer inches closer still without an internship I can’t help but loose sight of God’s plan for our family and how it is so much better than we could possibly imagine. It’s hard but your reminder to keep walking forward has touched me tonight.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:14 pm

      Jess - Oh, the waiting is so hard. And we think we have pretty good plans of our own, right?! Keep seeking Him and claiming His Truth for your family!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 8:54 pm

    Deb - Thanks for sharing. Saying a prayer for you and your sweet family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2015 - 9:19 pm

    Sandy - Praying for your sweet family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 8:25 am

    Nancy - You are so sincere and honest about your faith and fears. I pray you get the answers you need soon and for your entire family as you go through these trying times. I pray that God will supply the support you need to help with your kiddos at home while you take care of Griffin. Thank you so much for allowing your followers to walk with you through this journey. God Bless you all.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:15 pm

      Jess - Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement, Nancy!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 10:25 am

    Emily - We just finished our BSF class (in Ohio!) last night with Sharing Night. While I enjoyed the Moses lesson this year, I always thought it wasn’t really teaching me anything and I preferred new testament studies better. But then last night, and now this morning after reading your post, I realize that it actually taught me a lot! A lot about patience. A lot about grumbling. A lot about being obedient! Thanks for sharing! :)ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:16 pm

      Jess - Yes! Patience…grumbling…obedience…God has been working in my heart about all those things too.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 11:37 am

    Brady - I was JUST comparing myself to the Israelites a few weeks ago! I’ve been reading a book by Francine Rivers from her series “Sons of Encouragement.” It’s called The Priest and it turns the Bible story of Moses and Aaron into a novel and adds a bunch of details and points in there that I never would have thought of just by reading the Bible story. I was trying to figure out how it applied to my life and it hit me–I AM the Israelites. I gripe and complain and whine and worry constantly through this blessed life God has given me. Thanks for the reminder to stop and focus on what He’s already brought me through.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 2:27 pm

    andrea - It was a blessing to read this Jess, especially as we just had Share Day at BSF this morning! Thanking Him for the encouragement in your words. Will be praying for you all too.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:20 pm

      Jess - Thanks for praying! So fun that you go to BSF too. :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 2:49 pm

    Sarah - Praying for your family! I hope you get answers soon. You are an inspiration in faith and strength.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 3:10 pm

    Kristy - Jess thank you for sharing your heart. I know God used your post to speak truth to me. I have got to focus my eyes on Him and Him alone. Only then can I see clearly. I don’t know if you recall meeting one another several years ago when you came to speak to our women’s group on a Thursday morning in Wichita and we had a chance to go out to lunch afterwards. I would love the chance to reconnect again as you are such an encouragement to me.ReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:23 pm

      Jess - Hi Kristy! Yes…it is so easy to let our eyes shift and loose the clarity that only Jesus gives. And yes! I totally remember our lunch at Bella Luna. That day with your Bible study group was such a blessing to me. It would be fun to reconnect. Send me an email sometime!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 9:32 pm

    Deborah Pruden - Jess,
    I have found hope in your words for many years. I’m so so sorry that you are facing giants. I’m praying for your beautiful family that you will have answers soon.
    Love,
    DeborahReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2015 - 9:36 pm

    Shelia davenport - This was so timely for me to read. We are facing Giants .. My husband has been in the hospital , now my mom. I can easily be overwhelmed by the medical bills we are swimming in and the uncertainty of their recovery. Thank you for the clear perspective. Blessings and prayersReplyCancel

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    • May 5, 2015 - 10:29 pm

      Jess - I am so, so sorry about your husband and your mom. That is a lot of hard stuff and I can totally see how you would be overwhelmed. Keep your eyes on Him, sweet friend. I am thankful we serve a God who wants us to bring our worries and burdens and uncertainties to Him. Praying for you right now!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2015 - 6:38 am

    Toni :0) - Oh golly, so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling so much. I fervently pray you don’t walk another journey like before. I pay for wisdom and guidance from your doctors and complete healing of your precious little guy. Hang in there and thank you for posting. Been wondering how everything was going. You all are never far from my thoughts and prayers. God bless. xoxoReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2015 - 8:08 am

    Shawna - You are a beautiful writer Jess. Praying for answers, peace and healing for your sweet little boy. Prayers for strength to get your little guy and your family through these hard times. You are such an inspiration! God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2015 - 9:16 am

    Rebecca Ivins - Jess, you don’t even know me. I started reading your blog many years ago in January. I can’t remember why-but I think it was Angie Smith who requested prayer for you….and for Cora. The internet is super weird in that we can slowly get to know people who may never know us. My kids (now teenagers) prayed for your family during the storm. We triumphed during your pregnancy with Levi and then Griffin…and now Jake (I have a Jake too). We even talked about donating money to the beautiful play-ground and sadly, I never got around to it; though I always meant to…. They know your pictures and have uttered your family’s needs during prayers. This is the growing beauty of the Body of Christ…a collision with a world of technology. I am finally commenting now because this most recent post made me think of how we may never know the people that are praying for us-friends OR strangers. And then it made me think of my own life as a mother, wife, sister, daughter…..how often does the Lord intercede for me and I am unaware? How often are there angels and I am unaware? I don’t know- I don’t have anything super enlightening to say other than to HOLD ON. You just never know the silent prayers that go up for you. None of us do. Makes me realize again and again that, even in a storm, we have comfort. (Look me up on Instagram so you don’t think I am a creeper: @becky.ivins)ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2015 - 9:19 pm

    Mary Ann - Oh my young friend…I can’t imagine the depth of your fear and heartache wondering…hoping…wishing that things would be normal again, be ok again, be better. I will keep you in my prayers. I’ve had times in my life when I was so afraid, I could hardly take a breathe. Last Fall, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was the scariest, most invasive, most unbelieveable thing that ever happened with my health. I am the healthy one…nothing happens to me!! But it did. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. He loves us. He wants for us to be the best we can be. Those hard things we go through help us be more compassionate, more loving and forgiving, more humble, and more responsive to his teachings and his word. It doesn’t make the bad things go away or change what happens, but HE always provides us with hope. I hated going through my cancer treatment with my darling husband there with me but I had so many family and friends who stepped up to help. Angels were on my left and my right. I hope and pray you find the answers you need for your sweet Griffin. I will pray that a few of God’s tender mercies will find their way into your lives and your heart. I wish I was there close by to help you with your boys and to give you a hug. But I think there are many that are there with you that fill that need perfectly. HOPE-FAITH-LOVEReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2015 - 1:03 pm

    Nannie aka Connie C Maddox - You are such a Godly woman and a blessing to me. Praying for you and your precious family as I have done since Cora was sick. Thankyou for keeping me focused in Christ and not my giants.ReplyCancel

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daily grace pedestal

images from dayspring.com

The Daily Grace Collection is one of my favorites. I love the white…and the words…and the simplicity. I have several pieces from this collection, including the cake pedestal, so I had to share this deal with you too! Starting today, the Daily Grace Cake Pedestal will be on sale for $12!! This is a huge discount as this cake pedestal is listed at $40. So, stock up for Mother’s Day, summer weddings, birthdays, or grab one for yourself. To make this deal even sweeter, you can use the code MOTHER35 to get 35% off one item…you can apply this one item discount to the cake pedestal or any other item you are purchasing! And don’t forget that when you spend $25 shipping is free. DaySpring is the best.

This deal runs through Monday, May 4th. Happy shopping!

disclaimer: affiliate links included

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  • April 30, 2015 - 10:08 am

    C.C - Bummer…can’t get the MOTHERS35 code to work on the cake pedestal!ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2015 - 10:23 am

    C.c. - Got the code to work w/out an S …it’s MOTHER35ReplyCancel

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    • April 30, 2015 - 12:02 pm

      Jess - Oh no!!! So sorry I messed that up. Glad you figured it out. I corrected the code in my post. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2015 - 10:34 am

    Dena - Thanks for the heads up on the cake pedestal…. so glad I cked your site today! I ordered two of those (one as a gift for a friend) and a few other things.ReplyCancel

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Today and tomorrow (March 17th and 18th) DaySpring is having a $5 Easter sale. There are some really great deals and some fun things for filling Easter baskets. Everything pictured above is just $5!! Here are a few of my favorites.

$5 sale-mug

DaySpring has the best mugs. I love this new Mighty to Save mug. And what a good reminder as you finish up that cup of coffee in the morning…He is mighty!

Mighty to Save Mug – $5

$5 sale-color wonder

This was our first time using Color Wonder…what a great idea! My kids love using markers and with these there is no mess. We even brought this pad to church and I didn’t have to worry about the kids drawing on the church chairs. Griffin even tried. This 24-page color pad has pictures from the Beginners Bible. My boys loved coloring pictures from Bible stories that they knew. These would make great gifts or something fun to put in your kid’s Easter baskets.

The Beginners Bible Color Wonder Coloring Pad and Markers – $5 $5 sale-grace creamer

Do you remember this adorable cream and sugar set? I gave them as teacher gifts last year and they were a big hit. The sugar bowl is on sale for $5. This is a great deal! Snag one for yourself and a few extra for gifts too!

Daily Grace Sugar/Candy Bowl – $5

*  *  *  *  *

Here are the other six other items included in the $5 Easter sale. Visit DaySpring to see them all!

Really Wooly Plush Cora

(every kid needs a Cora sheep in their Easter basket! ;))

U-NEEK Set – Alliebird

Easter Jesus is Alive Children’s Activity Set

Easter Really Wooly Children’s Book

Pen/Stationary Set

Time of Refreshing Journal

disclaimer: dayspring affiliate links used

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  • April 28, 2015 - 11:43 am

    Melissa Joy - Jess, I just wanted you to know that you and your precious family have often been in my prayers over the last month or two. You are loved, even by those you’ve never met. May Christ’s grace be tangible for you today, with wherever your family is and whatever He has you doing. (((hugs)))ReplyCancel

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Dear Jakers,

Eight months was a rough one for our family but, just like always, Jesus was so faithful and we made it through. Griffin had to spend another night in the hospital for seizures and while I was trying to take care of him, I was pretty sure you were getting another ear infection. I was so torn as I needed to be with Griffin in the hospital but knew that would mean spending another night away from you. Thankfully Grammy was here to help us and take care of you. She even took you to the doctor the next day…sure enough, it was another double ear infection! No wonder you were cranky. While Grammy was staying with us she helped me sleep train you. I was so worn out physically and emotionally and I just couldn’t bare to hear you cry. We did a lot of snuggling but not much sleeping. So now you are sleeping in your crib in your room and taking two good naps. We are all feeling so much better about that! You are still waking up at night but hopefully we will get to sleeping through the night soon.

Don’t worry, there have been some fun things about eight months too. You have the sweetest two-teeth smile. You started clapping on April 13 and haven’t stopped since. You love being outside. You get so excited when I open the back door. We are all loving the nice weather. And you are still a big boy. You are wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 4 diapers. Oh, and I can’t forget that you said your first word…it was “dada” of course! I can’t wait to hear your sweet voice say mama.

Love you!

Mama

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  • April 22, 2015 - 4:28 am

    Michelle from Australia - I think his face is pure happiness. Gorgeous boy!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2015 - 11:30 am

    Brady W. - Oh my goodness! What a sweet boy–and he looks JUST like Cora. Glad to hear his Grammy got him trained a little better in sleep! It’s rough on everyone when a kiddo doesn’t sleep well. And praying for Griffin. Hope his seizures get regulated quickly. I work for a pediatric neurologist in Wichita, so if you ever have any questions (not that I’m an expert!), feel free to email me :)ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2015 - 1:46 pm

    Leiah - Glad Grammy could help with the sleeping! It makes such a difference. Funny, my teeny girl is 17 months, wearing size 3 or 4 diapers.ReplyCancel

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