Wildcats Here We Come!

We usually do a back to school Benihana dinner every year to celebrate the start of another great year.  However, this year the days just kept flying by and we had not found a weekend to squeeze it in.  Hailey has been laser focused about getting her college applications in.  Her number one choice is University of Arizona.  She had her entire application submitted the first part of September!  About a week later the acceptance letter showed up in the mail!  After shedding a few tears, I decided to hide it.  I wanted to make it a special moment for her.  We found an early dinner slot we could all make on Sunday evening.
Everyone thought we were just going for our annual back to school celebration. :)
She was so surprised!!  We are thrilled she will only be two hours away and going to such a great school.  I am really struggling with the thought of her going off to college.  Every time I even think about it tears start welling up.  Hailey is such a wonderful kid.  Maybe if she were a little more rotten I would be eager for her to go. But she is a mature, loving, kind, smart, and a determined young lady that is easy to be around.  She follows all the rules, works really hard, and her love for us and God shine through.  It makes it rough to let her fly.
But fly she will.  U of A offered her really nice merit based scholarship too.  I think our Jo Jo is just about to launch.  We are officially a Wildcat family!  Congratulations baby girl!  You worked so hard and now it is literally paying off.  We love you to the moon and can't wait to see what you do in this world.
Bear Down!

Later Braceface!

Kaitlin reached a huge milestone in childhood, the day you get your braces off!
She has had to wear head gear the entire two years she has had braces.  She was so excited to sleep without it and to wake up without a neck crink.
It always shocks me how much older they look when they get them off.  Beautiful little lady.
Unlike her big sisters Kaitlin was a rule follower to the T.  She did not eat any of the things she was told not to by the orthodontist.  She especially missed popcorn.  I tried many times to convince her a little popcorn would not kill her but she stood firm in following the rules.
It was a day of indulging in all the forbidden fruits of braces.  She had Laffy Taffy, apples, popcorn, and corn on the cob.
I sure love to see her smile!

Back To School Dates

Every August we take each of the kids on a back to school date with just mom and dad.  They get to pick an activity and we spend the date checking in with them and seeing how school, friends, sports and life is going.
Hailey wanted Max to take her to Panic at the Disco concert.  They have a history of concert going together.  Max always makes it a party!  As a big senior Hailey will be applying to college soon and has a very heavy load to try and earn scholarships.  She is taking AP art, AP Psychology, College English 101, Honors Anatomy/Physiology, Economics, and Algebra III.  She also has a job babysitting after school everyday.  She has really become quite independent and we like to say she is practicing adulting.
I think she is actually a clever little monkey.  See, if she goes on a date with dad alone, then she has to go on a date with mom alone, thus getting two dates instead of one!  We went to get manicures and pedicures.  She is almost ready to fly and it kills me to think next year this time she will be heading off to college.  I know if we did our job right this is how it is suppose to go but I still don't like it. :(
Karlie has had the bunkbeds from when the girls shared a room.  She has been wanting a big girl bed for a few years now.  As a freshman we finally took the plunge and got her the bed she has been dreaming of.  We made a date of it by going to a new sushi restaurant.  Karlie loves sushi.  They had the sushi go by on a conveyer belt and you grabbed whatever looked tasty and then they add up your plates at the end of the meal.  I guess waiters will soon no longer be needed.  After lunch Max taught Karlie how to assemble her bed.  She is our go getter and wants to do everything herself.  The same attitude overlaps into her school work. She signed up for a very heavy freshman year load.  She is taking Honors English, Spanish 2, Honors Physics,  Honors Geo/Trig, Studio Art, and PE.  She has her sights set on Notre Dame and she is doing everything she can to make that dream a reality. :) 
For the 3rd year in a row Kaitlin wanted to go to a baseball game!  She loves baseball.  Unlike me that loves going to the game to eat all the ballpark treats, she actually loves to watch the game, especially Goldie. :)  Of course we pigged out on Sonoran Dogs and Churro Dogs too.  Kaitlin is the most organized and globally aware child I have met.  She always has pulse for whats going on around her and has her ducks in a row.  This girl is going places.  Her siblings tease that she is the police of the family and we call her the family manger.  Pops calls her the administrator.  If you ever want to know what the plan is, Kaitlin knows.  With that personality she keeps straight A's and starts to fret when they fall below 95%.   Middle school can be a rough time, however, Kaitlin is soaring along.  She is off to a great year!
Hank wanted to go golfing and to In and Out for his date.  I have never been golfing outside of a driving range.  My performance at the driving range encouraged me to be the driver of the cart rather than destroy the golf course.  I had so much fun watching my boys.  I can see why guys dig golfing so much.  Beautiful scenery, hanging out with a buddy, and playing a game.  I may have to take some lessons so Max and I can play when the kids fly the nest.   Hank is all boy and loves to do anything that involves a ball.  He is playing basketball, football, and lacrosse this fall.  He is a friend to many but has two main friends he is very loyal to.  Of all the kids, school is the hardest for Hank.  If only sports was a subject in school.  His PE teacher loves him!  We are hoping this year to really work on reading so he can take off in middle school.  His teacher challenges them to read a million words by the end of the year.  Hank has a big challenge ahead but I know he can do it.

August Fun

We have had a really wet monsoon season and it continued into August.  It has been a wonderful, cool relief.  We had one storm that was so strong we lost power for an hour.  That has never happened before.
The second week of school was Freshman Friday and Senior March.  I am so surprised in this era of lawsuits and helicopter parenting the school allows this tradition to continue.
The Seniors run through the main hallway throwing confetti, silly sting, baby powder and Freshman beware.  You will be trampled, thrown in trashcans, or worse.  One kid had his headphones on and apparently was clueless that the herd of seniors were storming behind him and he was literally trampled.  He needed the ambulance to come for a head injury.  Karlie knew better and avoided the hallway!  Some Freshman don't even come to school. :)
Hailey loved it!  Nothing like being the Big Dog on campus.
Karlie is loving going to the highs school football games.  Her squad got all dressed up for blackout night against our big rivals.  Unfortunately our team stinks and they have yet to win a game.  But that doesn't stop the girls from having fun.  Karlie is loving high school.
Kaitlin is following in her mama's footsteps and loves to bake.  For national peach pie day she got up early before school to make a peach pie.  She used a rolling pin from her Great Aunt Stephanie who recently passed away.  The pie was delicious!
Back to school means back to friends.  Many nights we seem to only have one kid in the house.  Max and I are party animals on Friday nights these days as we play Fiber and Uno!
Every August our church puts on a high energy RACE theme for middle and high school kids to get them pumped up about God!  This is Hailey's last year as a Black Lion.  She is handing the torch to Karlie and Kaitlin.  Hank can't wait until next year when he gets to participate.
August wouldn't be complete without the CSU vs CU game.  This year I picked up some bison meat so we could have bison burgers and grill the Buffs!  Unfortunately that didn't translate into a CSU victory.  There is alway next year.
I was thinking when the kids went back to school I would have more time to blog, but somehow I have less time.  Time flies when you are having fun.

Volleyball Queens

Karlie made the freshman volleyball team!  At a school with 2,400 kids the competition was fierce and she wasn't sure if she would make the team. 
We are so excited to watch her play as a wolf!
Kaitlin and two of her best friends tried out for the 7th grade team.  It is also very competitive.  Last year none of them made the team so they were all pretty nervous.
This year they all three made it!
It is going to be an exciting year watching my volleyball queens play for their schools!

27

 Twenty Seven years ago Max asked me out and to go to Homecoming with him.  I am sure glad I said yes.  I think it was the blonde mullet that did the trick!  It freaks me out that we were Karlie's age.  She will be going to her first Homecoming in September.  
So much has changed in those 27 years.  Max lost the mullet and grew a goatee.  I now highlight my hair blonde to cover the grey and could never squeeze in that same dress.
But somethings haven't changed like we still can't dance and you are still the one.  I love you Max.

Back to School 2018

I have a complaint to file with the school... They are encroaching on our summer!  Each year it gets shorter and shorter.  This year the high schoolers had registration a full week before school started.  It was very strange to be registering TWO high school kids, not to mention expensive.  Max loves to remind me how I told him when I wanted to to get pregnant with Hank that babies only cost diapers since I breastfed.  Yep, just diapers.
 Hank also had his meet the teacher night the week before.  You would have thought it was Karlie and Kaitlin's back to school night!  They had to see their favorite teacher Mrs. Q.  They loved going around seeing all their former teachers while Hank was having fun horsing around with his friends.  Somehow I don't think if he had a younger sibling he would be wanting to come back and hug all his past teaches.
The dreaded day finally came and the kids went back to school and.  😞  And boy was it a rude awaking.  No more sipping my coffee in bed.  No more fun adventures.  No more having to not share my kids with friends, sports and school.  No more noise in the house.
 Nope!  It was up at 5am to pack lunches and make breakfast.
For a special first day treat they each got to request breakfast.  Karlie wanted one of Max's fruit creations.  He spelled out DM with strawberries for her first day at high school. :)
 Kaitlin wanted braised eggs and a bagel.
Hank wanted chocolate chip pancakes.  Needles to say the kitchen was a mess!
Only freshman had to go in the morning, so Hailey slept in and we went to have a Senior breakfast together.  Her breakfast at Hash Kitchen was a masterpiece!
  I can't believe Karlie is starting high school!  Where does the time go?  This is the first time Kaitlin has ever attended school without one of her siblings on the same campus.  Hank is the big man on campus as a 5th grader and Hailey is the queen of them all as a senior.  This is quite a big year for MKHKKH.
 Autumn came over so they could ride together.  Middle school cuties. :)
 We are so excited to be starting the year with Mrs. Q.  She has been a favorite of all the kids.  Hank is going to have a great year learning with her.  She challenges all the kids to read 1 million words over the year.
 Hank's best buddy Nick and he have been in the same class every year since preschool.  This will be year 7 of the dynamic duo!  Good luck Mrs. Q. :)
 As I was getting ready to take Hank to school Hailey told me her heart was freaking out again.  Every fall and when she is stressed she has problems with a rapid heart rate.  We have taken her to a cardiologist twice and she has worn a Holter monitor to try and capture what is causing the increased heart rate.
Usually we can get it to stop with valsalva maneuvers, putting ice on her chest, or calm breathing.  This time it was unrelenting.  I couldn't even count it out.  We thought it calmed down and then it jumped right back.  She did this for almost two hours.  I wanted to take her to the ER but she was determined not to miss the first day.  When we got home after breakfast, where my watching was picking up her HR at 210, and put on the pulse ox monitor, it was reading high 180s.  We did some more  valsalva with me gently pressing on her chest and it finally came down.  However, at total rest it was still in the one teens.  I wanted her to stay home and go to the doctor but she convinced me to let her go with the pulse ox and if it went above 140 she would go to the doctor.   Luckily it never returned.  Hopefully we will get to the bottom of the this soon.
They all had a good first day and were excited for their annual chocolate chip cookie snack after school.
I never want summer to end but school brings routine and schedule back to our lives which is good for us.  I hope they have a great year!

Best Summer Ever

Kaitlin has a tight group of girlfriends.  Kaitlin and Melina have been best friends since second grade and Autumn and Kayla joined the club in 5th grade.  We have grown close with their families and love to all have a good time together.
These families are like family to us.  We know we can count on them for anything, especially a good time.  We went to the Fairmont Princess for one last summer celebration!
Cheers to the best summer ever and hopefully the best school year yet!


We Set July On Fire

I believe in making the most of every day so we try to live summer to its fullest.  I only have 10 weeks to play with my littles so everyday has to count.
 When we were home we were busy having fun with friends.  The kids played quite a few board games since the outside playing options are limited.
 We went to visit my Grandpa and have lunch with him.
 On the weekends we had fun playing in the pool with Max.
The last week of July the big girls headed of to high school mountain camp with the church.  I felt just a little bad for them.  We got home from Telluride Thursday night and they had to get on the bus back to Durango on Monday for camp.  Usually the church goes to California but this year they decided to change it up and went to the Colorado mountains.  The kids had fun zip lining, white river rafting, riding horses, and enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains.
While they were gone Hank went to a friends for a sleepover so Kaitlin had a rare night alone with us.  She learned it is great to be the only child with a visit to DQ and a pedicure by daddy.  It is terrible when your husband is even better at painting nails than you are. :)
Over the seven hot summers in AZ we have learned to find as many indoor activities as possible so bowling was on the list one especially hot afternoon.
We went to as many Friday morning kids movies as we could fit in.  Our favorite was Paddington 2.  I love buying snacks at Walmart and sneaking them in my purse to watch the dollar movie!  Hailey made it to one of the shows but my crew continues to dwindle so I have to pick up some friends to come along.  I was embarrassed to be crying my eyes out watching Paddington.  Rarely is a sequel better than the first, but Paddington 2 manage to do just that.
The last day of July was our saddest.  Bailey, our student we hosted for the summer moved out to return to college.  The girls grew so close with her.  They all cried their eyes out saying good bye.  She was a wonderful bright light in our house and we will miss her.