Busted

We all knew it was a matter of time before fearless Hank ended up with a broken bone.  The school nurse called me one morning saying Hank had fallen off the playground equipment and had hurt his arm.  He was pretty upset when it happened but that he had calmed down, could move his arm a little and he wanted to stay at school.  She also informed me a family physician had been in her office when it happened and examined him and thought it was most likely not broken.  We decided to do ice and wait 20 minutes.  I figured it couldn't be that bad if he wanted to stat at school.  Twenty minutes later the nurse called back and said I need to take him for an X-ray.
 Turns out it is near impossible to find an orthopedic open on a Friday afternoon!  We got the X-ray and Hank's pediatrician told us we need to go to the emergency room because he might need surgery. The X-ray said it was possibly broken and dislocated.
 Off to the hospital we went.  Where we waited and waited.  They finally decided he needed an MRI.
 As hard as Hank tried, it is near impossible for a 10 year old boy to be perfectly still for 30 minutes.  After the MRI and 6 hours of waiting, the ER doctor determined he did not need surgery and we could follow up with on orthopedic on Monday.
 Hank was starving so we made a midnight Taco Bell run!
On Monday the pediatric orthopedic said he needed a CAT scan to be sure he didn't need surgery.  Luckily we finally got to the bottom of it and Hank had an avulsion fracture where the tendon tore some of the bone off at the attachment point.
 While it was a pretty big bummer to start summer in a cast, Hank kept his chin up.  He said, " at least I can still dice stack!"  When we got home he tried to pull out his scooter and I asked him if he was trying to break his other arm!  The doctor said basically be a couch potato for eight weeks.  Ack!  Then I hear at school Hank was inviting everyone to step on his cast to see how strong it was.  This boy is going to send me to an early grave.  It is going to be a long summer keeping him still.

Mother's Day

I am so grateful to be a mother.  I feel I was meant to be a mom and is the greatest accomplishment of my life.  Some women would be disappointed to be "just a mom," however  nothing fills me with more joy than being with my family and raising my babies.  I am blessed to have these four as children and I love them with every fiber of my being.  I hope to launch them into the world with a foundation of love and that they lead their lives with the light of Christ as their compass.
 This year was extra special because my mom was in town for the weekend!  She picked up my Grandpa and we had a great afternoon together.  
My mom is the giver of all things.  She takes care of everyone before herself, she is always optimistic and cheerful.  No problem is too big for my mom to tackle and every storm has a rainbow waiting if you just walk with her under her umbrella.  She loves her family fiercely and I have learned so much about mothering from her.  Her genuine love for her kids and grandkids shines through to all that she does.  I love you mom.

Volleyball Season Finale x 2

Karlie's state championship volleyball tournament is a 13 hour extravaganza.  You play a regular 6 hour tournament and then based on your performance move to the final bracket for the championship tournament.  Add an hour here or there in commuting between places and it is a long day for the fans not to mention the players.  True love is when your husband wakes up at 5am to make you breakfast burritos to take on your volleyball journey because he knows you can't possibly choke down breakfast at that hour.  Since it was her last tournament of the season we also picked up a Starbucks treat.
Living in Arizona without any family around we have fully embraced the idea that it takes a village to raise kids.  We often can't be three or four places at once.  Luckily we have made a handful of dear friends that are like family.  Our close friends took Hank to lacrosse while Max went to Kaitlin's win or done tournament and I went with Karlie.
 Kaitlin's team managed to stay in for one match but lost the second.  She has almost got her over hand serve and had fun playing with one of her best friends.  It will be even more crazy if Kaitlin decides to do club volleyball next season!
Karlie's team ended up placing 15th out of 140 teams!  She still has one fun tournament but the real season is over.  Karlie is excited to try out for the high school team next year.  I think we are excited for summer and a break from sports!

10 Obstacle and Riddles Birthday Party

Hank wanted an obstacle birthday party this year.  Some of his friends are more athletic and some are more academic.  I wanted to make the party fun for both types of boys so they were going to have to use their brains and their brawn to win.  Max and I created 10 challenges the boys had to complete as a team to earn a birthday rebus to solve. 
  After solving the rebus they wrote the answer on a poster board to get the next challenge.
1. cupcake
2. balloon
3. candles
4. surprise
5. party
6. present
7. happy
8. birthday
The first challenge was to rip steamers apart through the lacrosse goal.  Then they had to launch water balloons from a bow into a bucket.  Next they had to each launch a water balloon over the pool.  I thought they would love sticking their face in a pie pan full of gummy worms covered with whip cream but it stung their eyes, got up there nose and made some of them gag.  Then Karlie slammed Hank's face in it and his nose hit the table which made hime cry.  Good times with screaming kids and gagging kids covered in whip cream!  
 After rinsing off in the pool they had to climb across the fountains without falling in the pool.  Then they had to use the water guns to knock over 10 empty water bottles.  The next challenge was to get 10 bags on the corn hole board.
The favorite challenge was bottle flipping and landing it 10 times.  They then had to each dig out 10 marbles with just their feet from an ice cold bucket of water.  Another challenge was to jump on the raft and all get across the pool without anyone falling off.  The final clue inside the piƱata was decoded to say Happy Birthday 2 You!
 Luckily for me Hank loved Kaitlin's cake so much he wanted the same thing but with Skittles instead of M&Ms.
He also wanted a surprise Skittles vault inside the cake.  That is one sugary cake!
It was a rowdy birthday for our 10 year old big guy who is all boy all the time!

Derby de Cinco

 Cinco de Mayo was filled with fun!  Max and I went to our first Derby party.  It was great fun to get all dressed up Derby style to watch the race.  Max's colleague was turning 60 and decided to have a Derby Party complete with Southern BBQ, Derby drinks, and sweet tea.
Going to the Kentucky Derby is on my bucket list so this was good practice!
 However, I am going to have to get better at betting.  I think my horse took last.  I am sucker for the underdog.  I am also going to have to practice my Mint Julep face.  While bourbon has its place (in Max's glass), tequila is so much better.  Maybe I could get a margarita and put a mint leaf in it and fake it till I make it.
 After the party we came home and made a Mexican feast and celebrated Cinco De Mayo with the kids.  Why would we celebrate a day even Mexico doesn't celebrate?  Why not have a reason to have a Mexican feast and margaritas?!  The kids love having fancy drinks too.  I guess Dr Pepper, Kool-aid, ice tea, and OJ in fancy glasses make it a party.
Life is so fun with these five.

RED FOR ED

A historic moment in Arizona education happened when teachers across the state went on strike to demand better funding for schools.  It started the Thursday Karlie and I took off for Vegas.  At first everyone was excited about the unplanned break from school.
On Monday of the strike we went to visit my Grandpa and take him to lunch.  The kids taught him to play the card game war.  They were shocked in his 93 years that he had never played war.  You can teach an old dog new tricks!  We put two bucks on the game to make it a little more fun.
We are all looking forward to summer so we can go visit Great Grandpa every week for a lunch date and a game.

 With all his free time Hank worked on dice staking.  It is not a trick but something he has practiced over and over and over!  By the end of the strike I wasn't sure if I could handle one more day of dice rattling.

He got more and more advanced as the week wore on.
If the teachers continued to strike we were thinking he might be ready for a job in Vegas. :)
We had an exciting field trip to the dentist.  The kids were really looking forward to going back to school at this point.
On the final day of the strike I took a gaggle of girls to the mall.  All of Hank's buddies were busy so he had to endure shopping at the mall with girls.  He suddenly thought school was pretty great.
It was a fun six days for my silly gooses and the teachers won an extra 100 million for funding and a 20% raise by 2020!  It was time to get our ducks in a row for the final few weeks of school. :)

May the 4th Be With You

As big Star Wars fans we love to celebrate May the 4th (May the Force) Be With You.
We started with millennium falcon, tie fighter, and X-wing pancakes for breakfast.  A little Star Wars Mac-N-cheese was in order for dinner.  The best part was watching Star Wars under the stars in the backyard!

Picture Perfect Prom

It is so strange to think of my little girl being old enough to go to prom.  Prom is quite different than when I went.  Oh man, I am starting to sound like my parents!  GASP. :)
 These days an essential part of prom is the promposal.  Some of the ways boys have asked girls to prom are more elaborate than many men asking women to marry them.  Hailey was thrilled when the boy she wanted to go with did the formal proposal and asked her with a cute little poster saying, "It would be really sweet if you went to prom with me!"
I had breakfast with Karlie in Las Vegas and then headed to the airport.  I was back home in time for lunch and a nail appointment with Hailey!
She had gotten her hair done in the morning by a friend of ours and Hailey did her make up herself.
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo she was a beautiful princess!

In the selfie generation the parent paparazzi was in effect with ladders and all.
Instead of going as a couple as kids did in the olden days, the kids now go in large groups on a party bus.  Most of the kids are just friends and not true boyfriend and girlfriend dates.  There were almost a dozen girls that did not have a date.  It is nice that it takes the pressure off of having to be a couple and they can all go and have fun.  But I was happy Hailey was going in a more traditional way.
Her date was so nervous he could barely open the box.  He finally figured it out and got the corsage on!
They were cute.  I told him to take care of my princess.
Hailey and one of her best friends looked so beautiful in their gold and sliver combo.  Belles of the ball to be sure.
The next morning when we asked Hailey how it went, she said if she had to chose one word to describe it, it was "perfect!"

Vegas Volleyball or Bust!

Karlie's club volleyball team had a 3 day tournament in Las Vegas. We took off on Thursday to have little time to play before the work began.
 Once we got checked into our hotel I told Karlie we could do anything she wanted for the afternoon.
 She wanted to check out all the hotels and walk the strip!  The gardens in the Bellagio were one of our favorite stops. 
She was also rather fond of New York New York with all of its shops and themed restaurants.  We stopped at the Hershey's store and shared a peanut butter brownie that was delicious!
 I know you see things through a different lens when you are with your kids, but I feel like the strip has gotten even more raunchy and sexualized than before - if that was possible!  I don't ever remember walking around in daylight seeing women with just pasties, a thong, knee high boots and feathered wings walking around.  I thought you had to go to a strip club to see that.  It felt horribly uncomfortable when I had some of Karlie's teammates with me and we stopped at the cross walk where a man in bondage was being spanked by women "dressed" as police officers.  The fake badge was one of the larger coverings on them.  Is this what it has come to?  I wanted to cover all of their eyes while we waited for the light to change.  They kept saying, "I can't unsee it."  I know it's Vegas, but really at 3 in the afternoon this is OK on a public street with families.  Pretty disgusting.  It made me grateful Hank and Kaitlin were not with us.
Not only was it more raunchy it was an especially rowdy weekend because we were staying in the Monte Carlo that is directly across from the Knights' stadium.  It was hockey madness everywhere with everyone celebrating 24 hours a day!  One night the Knights played and won and it was like a rave outside our room until midnight.  Waking up at 5 am was not the easiest.
Karlie however was thrilled by the lights, the gambling, and the fun people watching.  I am pretty sure we are in trouble with this one! :)  She can't wait to gamble, just like her Grammy and Great Grandpa.  Gambling does nothing for me because I hate losing money.  I showed her what a waste it was by putting ten bucks in the slot machine.  It was literally gone in under a minute!  She just wanted me to try one more time.  LOL
 After a fun afternoon of exploring the strip we had dinner and tried to get some rest for the 7am match the next morning.
 Teams from all over the nation came to compete and it was amazing to see the size and talent of many of our opponents.  I think some of these California teams must be using growth hormones.  They were some of the strongest and largest 14 year olds I have ever seen.  Needless to say we got beat most of our matches since our tallest player is 5'8''.
After one of the long days of losing the girls met up to ride the roller coaster at New York New York. Karlie is deathly afraid of heights and roller coasters.  She really did not want to ride but wanted to bond with her team.  The peer pressure won and she went, but she had me by her side!  We both decided roller coasters are way overrated, especially with your eyes closed.
 Karlie has fantasized about going to an all you can eat buffet.  She is our foodie and is always watching how to make new foods or restaurants to visit on Instagram. 
Karlie's tournament was the same weekend as Hailey's prom.  I couldn't miss her first prom!  My parents were kind enough to decide to take mini vacation to Las Vegas to help me out.  My mom can always use an excuse to hit the casinos.  They took over for me on Saturday so I could fly home to help Hailey get ready.  They were a life saver.  They got to be a part of Karlie's first buffet experience!  She attempted to try everything they offered.  We were laughing at her dessert line-up.  It is a good thing she was playing volleyball for 8 hours each day!
It was fun to have some one on one time with Karlie and get to hang out with my parents.  Neither of those things happen as much as I would like.
On our final night we did the ritualistic face mask and snuggled.  Forty eight hours in Vegas had been more than enough for me, however Karlie was ready to party on and still wasn't ready to come home Monday morning.  She got to take her first flight alone.  My parents put her on a plane to Phoenix and then they jumped on a plane to Denver.  It was quite the jet set weekend for all of us.