Monday, December 21, 2015

A Little Request for Prayers & Car Seat Advice...

A picture from Bud's 4th Birthday Saturday night, posted to Instagram on Sunday:
Note to self: Next time DO NOT leave purse in car during high school hockey game, especially after getting paid for the month... Added to wish list: New drivers license, bank account, credit cards, replace shattered car window, new car seats, purse, wallet, chapel veils, favorite rosary, makeup, sunglasses, camera lens, and so much more... #workingondetachment #tryingnottoletitstealmyjoy

In addition to some last minute Christmas shopping (a little hard to do with all my credit cards cancelled... Thankfully most of it was completed before Advent while I was putting together the list of Christmas Gift Ideas!), writing Christmas Cards (might not happen now this year, at least not before Christmas), and mailing gifts to the rest of our Godchildren, there was so much I was hoping to blog about - two fun birthdays, more on the O Antiphons (the treats and chocolates have been a hit!), last minute Christmas preparations, and that post about the books on the boys' bookshelf that I started last year (you can find the girls books here) - but it is going to have to wait for now...

Instead I spent yesterday canceling our bank account and credit cards and itemizing the long list of things I had in my purse. My husband has been reminding me that my purse is NOT intended to be used as a safe or a suitcase! ;) My husband is right, I live out of that thing, especially lately with the boys' school and sports schedule! It is really weird to not have a purse anymore... Today we spent the morning at the DMV and bank, and are now waiting for a call to schedule the Suburban's window replacement and working with our home owner's insurance again - we are still recovering from a power surge last month that did lots of damage at home including killing the dryer

It's been such a huge hassle, but I keep reminding myself that it could have been so much worse... My family wasn't hurt and, even though some of the things I lost were special and not easily replaced, they are just things. I had been especially worried that my planner was in my purse, with our full schedule listed for the next few months, but thankfully I had forgotten to put it back when I took it out on Friday. (Thank you, Guardian Angel!) Nevertheless I did want to ask you to offer a little prayer for our family's safety and peace of mind.

One of the next things I need to do, now that we have access to our bank funds again, is purchase new car seats for our two youngest who just turned six and four this past week. It's been over four years since we have even looked at carseats and I was hoping some of you might have some suggestions/recommendations for us. The two carseats we have now were both gifts: a Britax (I'm not sure if it's the Roundabout or the Marathon and (I think) a pink Graco 3-in-1, both older versions of course.  I'm going to vacuum off the glass and look a little closer for the model numbers in the morning.

My question... If you had to go buy two new carseats with insurance to help cover the cost (they will pay the replacement value on new versions of the brands/models we have, we pay our deductibles and any excess if I choose different versions on all the items that were stolen) what would you choose?  I'm so tired right now and would love some help deciding if anyone has a favorite to suggest. Thank you in advance!

58 comments:

  1. Diono Radians. Slim design, steel frame. Can fit 3 across van back row. Love ours!

    2015-12-22 03:48:51

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    1. I've heard of them before, but we've never owned them. Clicking over to check them out now. Thank you! :)

      2015-12-22 03:51:12

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    2. That is amazing that you can fit 3 across the back row of a van. We needed these years ago! ;)

      2015-12-22 03:52:30

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  2. I really do love our Britax Frontier for our 5 year old. She'll be able to use it until until she's completely done with car seats, which is great. She's still using the 5 point harness, but it converts easily into a booster (with back). It's comfy, steel framed, and one of the best on the market. Our 3 year old is still in his sissy's old Britax Marathon (which we still love). God bless you and good luck with everything!

    2015-12-22 03:56:07

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! I'll have to check that one out too! I have loved the Britax we have, but I was worried that our youngest will outgrow it soon and need something else instead. It's crazy that our "baby" is four now! Happened so fast!

      2015-12-22 04:05:30

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  3. Oh Jessica....... I am so deeply sorry that this happened. I truly wish I could sent you car seats in the mail right now if I could....I wish I could do more for you but pray. I pray that whoever did this to your family has a change of heart. I'll pray for their conversion. I pray that Jesus gives your family peace (I can imagine how scared your children were to find their car had been broken into). *Hugs* It hurts my heart that this is one more trial you have to endure right now....

    2015-12-22 04:02:20

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    1. Thank you, Sonja! We appreciate the prayers so very much! Everyone was/is scared and it is probably going to take a little time for everyone to feel safe again... Our insurance company will help as much as they can with taking care of the rest.

      2015-12-22 04:19:34

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  4. I am so sorry to read this!!!!! We use Peg-Perego for infants, Britax for a convertible seat, and then Graco for boosters. This is the next booster we have our eye on and I think one of your children (at least) would be the right age and size. http://carseatblog.com/17526/graco-turbo-ss-unbox...

    2015-12-22 04:10:28

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    1. Thank you, Janalin! We actually had one very similar to that Graco for a long while. It was great for our older children who still needed boosters.

      2015-12-22 04:25:53

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  5. So just thought these are really neat http://multimac.co.uk/home

    2015-12-22 04:25:22

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    1. Where was this four years ago when we first needed an extra seat in our mini-van combined with so many little ones in car seats - that four-seat car seat is so neat!

      2015-12-22 04:41:53

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  6. So sorry to hear this--will pray for peace and safety for you all! I love our Dionos... after having had Britax versions for years, we have loved the slimmer line on these (though they're still really heavy, which is a good sign, but not good for switching them around). Our four-year-old can buckle and unbuckle himself in the Diono, but not the Britax--the buckles are a bit bigger and that extra ability for him is huge for me (when I don't have to help him). These are often about $195 on Amazon (I've bought three that way), but I see they're a little higher right now.

    2015-12-22 05:08:38

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  7. Praying for you and your family.

    2015-12-22 05:11:06

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  8. Sorry this happened; what a shame! We have to replace one car seat due to being hit recently. No one hurt. And thanks for the reminder about not leaving valuables in the car. My hubs is always reminding me and I get too comfortable now that we live in the country. Blessings! You are such a wonderful example!

    2015-12-22 05:41:36

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  9. So sorry to hear about this! I had the same exact thing happen and it is so heartbreaking. It was a hard lesson for me to learn (don't leave valuables in the car!) and I hated feeling unsafe in my own town. You and your family will be in my prayers!

    2015-12-22 05:55:27

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  10. Just to say, I will be praying for you and your family.... It still will be a wonderful Christmas:)

    2015-12-22 06:51:53

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! And, yes! It will still be a wonderful Christmas! God bless you and your family!

      2015-12-22 18:42:08

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  11. So sorry to hear about this, but thankful for the reminder to not leave my purse in the car. I do it all the time when I run my girls into the gym or around town. I hope things go smoothly for you with recovery. We love and use Britax seats since my third daughter was an infant, she's about to be 13. My baby boy (19 months) is in the Advocate Clicktight. LOVE this seat! It is HEAVY, so not ideal to move around from car to car. My 6 year old is in the Frontier model, with the five point harness. She is a petite girl and weighs just 32 pounds (on a good day) and I feel safe knowing that God forbid we were in an accident they would be safe in their seats. If only I could put my other children in car seats 😊 Hope this helps!

    2015-12-22 10:54:52

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  12. How many chapel veils do you need, Jessica? I was actually getting ready to mail one to you today - Merry Christmas! :) Are the girls in need, as well? So sorry to hear about this happening to you! The same thing happened to us a few years ago - not pretty! Prayers to St. Anthony - maybe someone will find your purse and turn it in! ( Mine was dumped a few blocks away - with my empty wallet! - but something in there had my ID info and I got some stuff back. Let's hope and pray that happens for you! ) ( This is Robin, from Robin Nest Lane, by the way. Wasn't sure if it showed you exactly who your commenters are! )

    2015-12-22 12:02:09

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    1. That is so kind and generous of you, Robin! I had 8 or 9 veils in my purse, including a couple that I ordered from you, but we did have a few of our older veils at home. I had also saved three of the veils I had ordered from you last year and they were all ready set aside to tuck into the girls' stockings later this week, before this happened. The white with black trim for Rose (her pink rose veil was stolen) and a brown veil for Chiquita (her favorite brown floral veil was also stolen - any chance you have more of that lace? I'd be more than happy to pay you for another if it is available!).

      Our oldest daughter was relieved that her favorite veil (the floral infinity veil you made, she's wearing it as a scarf in these pictures) was in her own purse, in our mini-van nearby, which wasn't broken into. We had taken two cars to town that morning, then left one for the day thinking I might want to leave the game early with the little ones. I ended up staying, which was probably a blessing, otherwise me and the little ones may have run into the thief in the parking lot, while everyone else was still inside... We purchased a new car for the first time in over 10 years a few months ago - one that finally fits our whole family - and, even though it's bottom of the line with no extras, you can't tell that from the outside and it makes me wonder if it was targeted for that reason, compared to our 10+ year old mini-van? I had been feeling so much safer driving it (our Sienna is starting to have some problems) but now I'm a little nervous about taking it back to town, once the window is repaired!

      My husband and brother, and the cop too once he arrived, all drove around searching the areas nearby and all the dumpsters, but they didn't have any luck finding it. Hopefully it will still turn up!

      Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

      2015-12-22 17:38:16

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    2. Oh my! That's too bad! And a newer car, too... St. Anthony will still be hearing from me, though! ;) Your hashtag ( #workingondetachment ) cracked me up. Funny, but not funny, I know... I do love that you're determined to not let this steal your joy! What a memorable life lesson for your children, to see you handle an awful situation with grace! Always an inspiration, you are! God bless you and your beautiful family! Merry Christmas!

      2015-12-22 18:47:55

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  13. I was so sad to read this post. I am happy that you are all safe. I have no advice on car seats since my baby is now 12. I will be praying for all you. God is good and all will be well. As you said, don't let it steal your joy. Peace Jessica. ♥Michelle

    2015-12-22 12:43:47

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  14. I am so very sorry, Jessica! How scary and frustrating, especially right before Christmas. If there can be a bright side, car seats do have an expiration date and have to be replaced eventually... so you are just going to be ahead of the game on that one now. Also. we can't underestimate St. Anthony for returning lost items. In college my roommate had a similar event. I told her about St. Anthony, but she was not Catholic and did not believe me. She was astounded a month later to find her wallet stuffed inside the opening to the gas tank (go St. Anthony!). Finally, if someone stole your rosary, the Blessed Mother knows about it. Hopefully she will have some impact for good on this person's life. After all, she is the most powerful woman in the world! God can take anything and use it for good.

    2015-12-22 12:45:28

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  15. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Jessica. My husband frequently reminds me of "smash and grabs," but I have left my purse in my car frequently at the dance studio. It's so heavy to carry around (you can tell your dear husband that all women live out of their purses). Is Rose eligible for a booster seat? They are much less expensive that full-size car seats. And I would imagine the car seats on your insurance company's list of acceptable car seats are pretty safe. After all, they are trying to avoid injury in an accident. If there is anything else I can help you replace, please let me know (rosary, veils?). God is asking much of you already in this year of Mercy.

    2015-12-22 13:16:12

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! :)

      No, she just had a big growth spurt, but still only weighs 35 pounds. Our little "pixie" as her daddy calls her! Here in our state she will need to be in a 5pt car seat until she reaches at least 40 pounds.

      I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

      2015-12-22 18:16:55

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  16. Sorry to hear about this. You will be in our prayers. We really like all that Britax makes. We have the Frontier, a harness to booster seat, for our 5 year old, and the Roundabout for the 3 year old. The older one also used a Parkway, booster only. All were so much better than any other we tried.

    2015-12-22 13:17:05

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  17. Someone probably said this already but at 6 and 4 I would just go with boosters. Our boosters are just whatever I could afford from Walmart....can't remember brand. So I wouldn't go by me on that. Just wouldn't bother spending the huge amount on a 5pt harness seat.

    2015-12-22 13:53:50

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    1. They are too small for just boosters, at least here in our state. Here we are required to use the 5pt harness until they reach 40 pounds and our 6 year old only weighs 35 pounds.

      2015-12-22 17:02:31

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  18. First off, I will offer a few sacrifices for the return of your purse. Miracles do happen, especially at Christmas! As far as carseats go, in our state a 4 and 6 year old can sit in a booster seat. We have seats (older model) of this (http://amzn.to/1O6n4ah)" <a href="http://(http://amzn.to/1O6n4ah)</a>(http://amzn.to/1O6n4ah)</a></a>. I like this seat for many reasons.

    1. The cover comes in many styles, making it fun for the child to choose one just for them.

    2. It's streamlined. We have 7 kid bodies to fit into our van and this seat fits perfectly.

    3. It has a built in water bottle holder that's actually built in and doesn't protrude from the seat, again it's streamlined.

    4. The cover can come off easily for washing, but actually I just put the entire seat in the tub and scrub it. It dries fairly quickly.

    5. It can be moved between cars in a second.

    I hope this is helpful to you. Merry Christmas.

    2015-12-22 14:32:27

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    1. We used the Graco Backless Boosters (the cup holders can be pushed in) for some of our older kids, but they all expired recently.

      2015-12-22 17:54:49

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    2. Yes. I was referring to the Evenflo No Back Boosters.

      2015-12-23 04:41:28

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  19. Keep them in five point harnesses--they are SO much safer, even if more expensive and more of a pain to deal with. http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/fivepointshield....

    2015-12-22 15:20:10

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    1. Yes, we are planning on sticking with the five point harness. Even though "Rose" just turned six she (and all our kids) are small for their ages, at least compared to the averages. She only weighs 35 pounds.

      2015-12-22 16:55:43

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  20. Dear Jessica, I am so sorry to hear that this theft happened to someone as generous and giving as you. We must pray also for the thief that invaded your property and privacy. When my husband's wallet was stolen we got Life Lock immediately after getting everything straightened out at the bank and credit card company, etc. Life Lock membership is not that expensive and they notify you immediately of anything suspicious. After such an invasion into your privacy it is a Godsend to have this protection in the world that we live in today with so much identity theft. I hope this helps. I remember how violated we felt thinking that a stranger was looking into our private world and precious photos my husband carried never to be seen again. My prayers are with you and your husband. May God Bless you with comfort as you deal with all of these emotions Dear Jessica.

    2015-12-22 15:57:56

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    1. Yes, I am praying for the thief too. The sermon at Mass yesterday morning - the Mass I attended, we split up to keep the little ones home and my husband took the rest to a later Mass - was about Trust, Forgiveness, and Mercy. It was just what I needed to hear and now focus on this last week of Advent. I'm planning to sign up for Life Lock this afternoon, once my replacement credit cards arrive. I actually had a priest recommend that I look into it earlier this summer when I was discussing blogging with him at a retreat we attended. My Dad suggested it last month. I shouldn't have procrastinated and just signed up... It sounds like a very good thing for us to have, especially now.

      Thank you, Debbie, especially for all the prayers!

      2015-12-22 17:11:14

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  21. This made me so sad and upset. Did the parking lot maybe have cameras? I keep a bag of little bags for each kid with their ballet shoes, wipes, diapers, etc, but carry my phone/wallet on my wrist. You made me think just now that I should shove that bag out of sight because it looks like it is carrying perhaps valuables, instead of mittens or hats. I would even contact the company that makes your favorite make-up and tell them how sad you are to lose their products to a thief. I would love to send you replacement veils or some scarfs I received from my husband from the Middle East if you'd like?! May God Bless you and Saint Anthony help with all that has been lost.

    2015-12-22 16:51:05

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  22. we have 2 recaro sport carseats for out 2 and 4 year old -- they are really comfortable! http://www.amazon.com/RECARO-Performance-Combinat... They make a booster too that would probably work for the 6 year old.

    2015-12-22 16:55:00

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  23. So sorry you're having to deal with this! I suggest taking your purse with you or hiding it out of sight (under some jackets, in the trunk) when you leave the car in public. My family had our vehicle broken into for a purse-snatching when we were parked during mass at a church in a town in Alabama, so you really don't know when/where it will happen! Praying for many blessings for you and your family during these last few days of Advent!

    2015-12-22 16:59:48

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  24. I'm so sorry this happened to your family. If you are considering a booster for your six year old I use and like the Britax Parkway booster. It has a piece that clips onto the seat belt between the child's legs (similar to a car seat) so the little one can't slip down under the seat belt. Helps keep the vehicle's seat belt positioned better. I also used the Britax marathon seats before the booster because my kids are tall but lean. They could still be in a car seat if weight was the only factor. The marathon was big enough that they still fit until they were ready for a booster.

    2015-12-22 17:02:32

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  25. I am so sad to read this post and am sorry you had to go through all of this. I can somewhat relate as I found out two days ago that someone got my personal information and took my identity to open up accounts in my name. Thankfully, we found out and were able to stop it but the person did steal money from someone else and put it into this account. Hard not to get angry at these people but a good time to pray for them to find the right path during this Advent season. I am sure it has been such a hassle replacing everything and I am sorry you had to go through it all… I am praying for you and your family and thanking your Guardian Angels for keeping all of you safe. Crazy world but thankfully you have faith and trust in God and will get through this ordeal. You and your family are truly a beautiful example of living your faith and I thank you for that and for all you do for your readers. I cannot help you with car seats as my youngest just turned 7 and is almost done with them! I wish I knew about all of these nice ones (especially the 4 car seat!) back in the day I needed it with my eight children!!! Wishing you a Blessed and Merry Christmas. God bless you.

    2015-12-22 17:03:20

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  26. Definitely the Diono radians!! They are fabulous seats, easy to buckle and tighten, then they convert to high back boosters that last to 100lbs I believe. We have three and completely love them!!

    So sorry about the theft. What a scary experience!

    2015-12-22 17:26:23

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  27. Dear Jessica, I am so deeply sorry this happened to you! That is so scary, and now so much work to take care of. Sending lots of prayers.

    2015-12-22 18:20:14

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  28. So sorry!! I just got a five point harness for my four yr old called Graco Tranzitions - I didn't misspell it just is a marketing ploy that I despise to misspell things! It's pretty narrow as we had to put three across in our car, but more affordable than Diono's ... If cost wasn't an issue I'd have considered a Diono - it was just hard for us to put the two yr old (and newborn) rear facing and still have leg room.

    Best of luck finding what works for you... And prayers for safety and a return of peace.

    2015-12-22 18:54:29

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  29. We love our Britax marathon clicktight. It is heavy, but so easy to install. You maybe don't move seats around so much, so that might not be as valuable, but we like it. We also have the Graco Mysize 65. It is nice, but harder to install and doesn't seem quite as comfy or intuitive to use. I'm a very frugal person, but have no regrets about splurging on Britax.

    2015-12-22 19:02:01

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  30. I am so sorry to hear about this. I can imagine if my purse were stolen and the window smashed, I would just cry and cry. It does make you count your blessings though. The fact that some poor person out there felt desperate enough to do this is also a very, very sad thing. God love you all. -Teresa in Kansas

    2015-12-22 20:01:47

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  31. Our favorite car seat has been the Diono Radian. So sorry this happened to you, and I will pray that things get back to normal quickly!

    2015-12-22 20:14:14

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  32. Diono Radians for sure!!!!

    Will be praying for you! So sorry! Same thing happened to me a few years ago (car window broken, purse taken, money etc.)

    2015-12-22 23:47:12

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  33. Another vote for britax, I bought a chicco next fit for my son and don't love it. I'll be getting another britax, prob marathon, when the baby outgrows her bucket seat. Many prayers for your peace and for the conversion of the person who did this. Perhaps all the beautiful sacramentals will give them pause and a change of heart.

    2015-12-23 00:09:37

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  34. Diono Radian!!! I recently splurged for a replacement and love it. With lots of little people in car seats and baby nine on the way, I plan to slowly replace all with them. They are heavy but wonderful!

    2015-12-23 02:39:49

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  35. My purse was also stolen out of my car several years ago at Christmas time. I decided to say a Hail Mary for the conversion of the thief every time I washed my hands. It helped me heal from the trauma of what had happened.

    2015-12-23 03:56:00

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  36. Oh Sweetie, I don't have time to read all the comments but goodness, my heart goes out to you! My purse was taken out of our van in September (I had conveniently left the doors unlocked for the thief) and I understand ENTIRELY what you are going through. Love to you, hon. May we always always keep our eyes on Him. ♥

    2015-12-23 14:31:36

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  37. I had my handbag stolen with everything in it, including a beautiful mantilla my Mum had given to me as a present. Also a Jedi keyring that I loved. Lol. (Bit of a Star Wars geek.) It's such a disturbing feeling being without your bag, but as you say Jessica I tried to pray for the two lads who stole it.

    Wishing you much peace and many blessings this Christmas. Gemma +

    2015-12-23 23:24:00

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  38. I'm so sorry to hear this. As much of a hassle at the worst time as I'm sure this is, you have a great outlook. Sorry I can't help with car seats, but I hope all is resolved as painlessly as possible. Wishing you all a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas! Casey

    2015-12-25 02:40:38

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  39. I've been researching carseats myself recently as our daughter has outgrown her carseat recently that is supposed to go to 65 lbs. She is only 54lbs and just 10yrs - she is small for her age (was only 3lbs at birth) and still needs a booster. We are going to go with the Britax Frontier (as some others have said they use and like, too) and one big reason for doing this, despite her older age, is her smallness and that a 5pt harness is safest until they outgrow it, I've read - then you can put them into a booster if they still need one. The Britax goes up to 90lbs in the harness and up to 120lbs in the booster mode. Plus, being a full seat, it has side impact protection and held to keep them more "in" - less wiggle room to go out of belt protection. I think having a 5pt and booster combo, it will enable the child to get some "booster practice" as well - you could have them ride in booster mode on occasion to get used to the new freedom that it provides until they are mature enough. Some kids are ready sooner than others. I've also read that kids shouldn't be in boosters until age 7 ideally, unless they are bigger or mature and ready. Hope your new seats work out well! :) So sorry to hear what happened to you, Jessica! Happy Christmastide!!!!! Hope you post pictures of your recent birthdays and Christmas soon - I always enjoy seeing you all at this time of year! :)

    2015-12-27 23:31:50

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    1. Thanks, Krista! We almost went with the Britax Frontier! I had it in my cart a number of times, but it was just too expensive for two of them. It looks like an excellent car seat. The seat we ended up going with only goes up to 100 lbs, but it does have the 5 pt harness and, considering that our oldest is 15 (with his drivers permit) and only weighs 105, I'm not too worried about any of our children outgrowing the seat in weight before they no longer need them due to height! lol

      2015-12-28 00:08:12

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  40. Yes, the Britax IS pricey and we contemplated going with something cheaper, but this was the only company that offers the 5pt harness for older/bigger kids and knowing that it's a safer choice, we decided to go with this one and then convert to the booster when the time comes, so it should last her until she's driving! LOL! ;)

    2015-12-28 00:16:27

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    1. I use to wonder if our children would still be required to use boosters when they started driving, but thankfully they all started hitting some big growth spurts in the past few years! The seat we ended up choosing only has the 5pt harness for children up to 65 pounds, but I'm thinking (hoping) that will be enough. Our almost 11 year old, who is too tall for boosters now, weighs 66 pounds, so we should still be able to use the 5pt harness for the little ones for years to come. Had the cost and space in the car not been an issue we probably would have gone with at least one of the Frontiers. Our 4 year old would have absolutely loved the "Cowmooflage" Frontier car seat to match his Wheely Bugs! :)

      2015-12-28 00:27:10

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    2. Yes, that's what we have presently - the 5pt harness up to 65 lbs and we wanted something similar since she is still small for her age - she is only 50.5 inches and 54 lbs - she's actually in the average 8yr old range! LOL on the "cowmooflage" - I showed that one to my daughter, but she liked the red one - goes with the 4Runner exterior color! :) Yes - good thing they are hitting those growth spurts! LOL! I think boosters are required up to 4'9" - I know some adults that are barely over THAT! I remember that wheels bug! FUN! Hope he had a great "Olaf" birthday! We just watched "Frozen" yesterday!

      2015-12-28 00:35:12

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