Not Her Mama's Brownies

My memories from Brownies are singing songs and making a pine cone bird feeder. I think Hailey's Brownies should be renamed Extreme Scouts. Hailey has one of the best troop leaders out there. She is always coming up with great field trips and lessons for the girls. From the pumpkin patch, having professional dancers teach the girls how to dance(my 6 year old may be able to do the cha-cha, but I sure can't), to rock climbing and horse camps, these girls do it all! Recently they went rock wall climbing. Hailey and one other girl were the only two to make it to the top out of all 17 girls! Yes, I am bragging. I was not there for the class and came to pick her up and she had to show me how strong she was. As I watched her ascend the two story wall, my heart began to have palpitations and I could feel sweat beading up on my belly! I was so excited and terrified for her at the same time. She showed great strength and determination as she was exhausted about half way up and kept going. With the other girls cheering her on, she continued to scale up the wall. They were chanting "go spider girl", while I could barely breath, much less shout to her to continue. The gym erupted with applause and cheers as she reached the top and my eyes began to water. I don't know if it was fear or joy. Watching her swing down was almost as nerve wracking. But I must say I am so proud of her even if it did take a few years off my life.

Final Day of Spring Break!

Can you feel my excitement? With all the doctor's, dental appointments, and trying to come up with a fun packed adventure for each day, I am ready for school to start again.

Yesterday Karlie had her 4 year check-up. She is perfectly proportional and in the 50th% for both height and weight. She passed her hearing and vision and all the drills the Dr. put her through. She once again proved she is my tough little lady and didn't cry until the nurse battered her with the third and final shot. She is such a trooper. We always make their check-up day a special day to recognize how big they are getting. So my sister watched the other two while Karlie and I had the morning together at the doctor's and then went out to eat at her favorite restaurant for lunch. I was so happy it wasn't McDonalds but a family owned Mexican restaurant. We enjoyed a nice lunch and split a sopapilla. What a treat to eat out with just one kid. It was actually enjoyable.

Today was dental check-up time. Neither of the girls had a cavity! Whoo-hoo! We went up on our brushing score from a D to C with Hailey and from a C to a B with Karlie. Those pediatric dentist are hard graders I tell ya. This afternoon is swimming. The kids are like fish in the water and love to swim. The only problem is me. I can tell you I am relating more to my friends the whales these days and the idea of parading around in a bathing suit in public isn't that appealing. The other challenge is that it will be 3 on one. Guess we will sink or swim.

Thursday 13~ April

1. April’s Fool’s Day is April 1st
2. Kaitlin’s Birthday is April 9th
3. Taxes are due April 15th. This also happens to be the day in 1912 that the Titanic sank.
4. Passover begins April 20th
5. April 20th is the 9th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy.
6. My Birthday is April 21st
7. Earth Day is April 22nd
8. Arbor Day is April 25th
9. The Daisy and the Sweet Pea are the flowers for the month of April
10. The Diamond is April’s birthstone.
11. The origin of the word April is either Latin Aprilis, which means “to open”, or derived from the Roman goddess Venus from her Greek name Aphros.
12. Both Aries and Taurus signs are in April.
13. There are 30 days in April.

Day Out with Dad and Day at the Zoo

Tuesday's big adventure was a trip to my Dr.'s office for a check-up and then a field trip to see daddy's new office and have lunch out with him. As we waited patiently for over half an hour for the Dr., I asked the kids if this wasn't as much fun as waiting in line at Disneyland to ride a roller coaster. Hailey had one of the best eye rolls I have seen. She will be a champion teenager in no time! My Dr. has seen me for all 4 pregnancies and he was shocked at how big Hailey was. They did think it was neat to hear the baby's heartbeat and enjoyed seeing Max. Lunch at Subway was the highlight of the day. Hailey remarked that, "it was the best sandwich" she ever had. I guess that mayo and turkey subway is really something.

Today we took a trip to the Denver Zoo. It was near 70 degrees today and was just lovely at the zoo. We saw all our favorites and took a ride on the train and the conservation carousel. Kaitlin had a 2 year-old style meltdown when she had to get off the carousel but quickly forgot about it as we shared a frosty. Kerrie and RJ joined us for the fun. It was a great day, but probably not as great as a day at Disney or on the beach. I suppose there will be other spring breaks for that.

Monday's Adventures

Yesterday was park day. We went to our favorite park that has a toddler and big kid play structure, a pond with geese, sand boxes, swings, and merry go rounds. After playing we took a walk around the pond and found a nice spot for a picnic lunch.

It felt so good to get outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. The girls even had a touch of pink on their cheeks last night.

The other big adventure yesterday was in the afternoon when Karlie was outside helping Max dethatch the lawn and decided she would pick up on of the mouse traps we had set months ago. Yep, you guessed it! She got her thumb caught in the trap. Amazingly she didn't break it! What was even more amazing to me, and a little weird was how little she cried. Max brought her in and I knew from the cry she was hurt. As we applied ice and ran her through the broken finger tests she cried. I started to cuddle her and Max returned outside to finish the yard work. She stopped crying and begged to go back outside with daddy! Can you say FREAK?? Who gets their finger caught in a mouse trap and only cries for a few minutes? I think we are going to have to enroll her in roller derby:)

Easter Day

We had a nice and low key Easter this year. The snow had a way of doing that. That old Easter Bunny is pretty clever. He sent my mom and e-mail that he hid the eggs at her house since it snowed and he was running behind. He had time to drop off some Easter baskets at our house but not hide the eggs. I wonder how much longer Hailey will joyfully accept these tactics??

We had salmon and bagels for breakfast then headed out to church. We spent the afternoon "nesting" for the new addition that will be arriving. We bucked all traditions for Easter dinner and had bratwurst, au gratin potatoes, broccoli and home made strawberry shortcake. Momma had a craving, what can I say?

He Is Risen!

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

Happy Easter! What a miracle indeed.

Spring Break!!

Today is the official start of Hailey's spring break. We are going to try and do as many fun things here in Denver as we can since we won't be taking any trips to sunny places or theme parks. Today's "field trip" was to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. There is so much to do and see that it is impossible to fit in all in on one trip, but we did pack as much as we could. The kids' favorite exhibits are the Discovery Zone and the wildlife dioramas. They are amazing. I think I like them more than the zoo because you can get so close and don't feel bad for them trapped in little enclosures. Each diorama has information about the animals displayed, some down to their type of poop! It is very interactive with all sorts of buttons to make the calls of the animals, fur to feel, boxes to peek in to see underground and much more.

The Discovery Zone is a kid wonderland. They have a giant bubble station, human body learning, magnetics, blocks, archeology, music and story time, microscopes, fish, puzzles, and numerous hands on demos. You could just go there for the day.

One of the other exhibits we visited was the Space Station. It has a Mars sand zone where the kids can get all sandy and wet while they discover how rivers and dams work. They also have an outer space play zone where they can put on astronaut suits and try to maneuver moon rocks with robots. They learned about light wave lengths and that certain gases give of different spectrums of light. I am sure they retained 100% of what the volunteer told them on this subject while they looked through their 3D glasses at the different gases. :)

Our final stop was in the Minerals and Gems caves. It was getting pretty crowded with school groups at this point, so we made it a quick tour.
It is a wonderful place to visit with kids should you ever visit Denver or have guest in town with kids.

Thursday 13 ~ 33 weeks

Yesterday I had another growth ultrasound so I have some facts about version 4.0 and me to share.

1. He is now in the 26th%!!
2. That means I don’t have to do bed rest or anymore ultrasounds! Who-hoo!
3. He is 3lbs 15 oz. (so where did the other 20 pounds come from? ☺)
4. He is still very breech.
5. His heart rate was 165
6. In 4 weeks if he is still breech they will try to manually vert him. OUCH. Been there done that with my first and not looking forward to it.
7. I have a bunch of non-invasive things I will try to get him to flip. Should be a good laugh at the very least.
8. The honeymoon phase is over. I am getting uncomfortable and my feet seem to get further and further away each day.
9. We got to watch him blink his eyes.
10. He has chubby cheeks.
11. He is still a he.
12. I am getting really excited to meet this little man.
13. I am getting really scared that I could have a newborn in the house in 6 weeks!

Karlie's Birthday Menu

As many of you know, our birthday tradition is to let the birthday person decide the menu of the day. This can be fun and interesting when you let a 4 year old chose! For breakfast we had green pancakes and eggs. Karlie wanted hers in the shape of a clover leaf. Lunch was a little odd. It consisted of string cheese, salami, drinkable yogurt, juice and candy. Hey, it was her day. We made corned beef and cabbage with parsley red potatoes. Karlie requested a side of green mac-n-cheese (green food coloring isn't as bad for you as red, right??). She ate a ton of the corned beef but wasn't too wild about the cabbage. I am sure as each year passes it will grow on her. Dessert was chocolate homemade cake with cream cheese frosting. This was the second cake in two days. For the first time ever, we ate the entire cake at her birthday party. Max made the both cakes this year!

The Cakes

The birthday party cake.
Her actual birthdDAY cake.

Karlie's Party

The theme for Karlie's Party was Tinkerbell Treasure Island. We had the kids dress as their favorite fairy, pirate, or princess. I bought paper mache boxes from Hobby Lobby and painted them gold before the party. Once all the kids arrived they got to decorate them with jewels, stickers and put their names on them. It was then time to go on a treasure hunt that would lead them to their loot. They collected prizes along the way to fill their boxes. The first challenge was to throw darts at balloons filled with play money. One balloon contained the next clue which was to dig in a sand box filled with candy necklaces, rings, and the next clue. They then had to get a tattoo to find the next clue. After walking the plank they earned wands and telescopes and the next clue. Each of them got sprinkled with Pixie Dust (it is still stuck in the girls' hair). The final challenge was to drink Fairy Fizz which was fruit punch mixed with pop rocks. At that point they earned bubbles and fun straws and the final clue that led them to the candy filled Pinata. It was a busy party but I think worth it. I had a two kids tell me it was the best party ever. I don't think I would go that far, but they seemed to enjoy all the treats. I found a bunch of great ideas party ideas at Coolest Kid Birthday Party Ideas.

Max made her cake. It was the first party that we ate ALL the cake, so we had to make another one for her actual birthday. Those pictures to follow in her Birthday Menu post.

Happy 4th Birthday Karlie!

You are a delight to have for a daughter. Your sweet face almost always puts a smile on mine. We love you Tink.

So It Begins...

My sister got her wedding dress this week, so that meant it was time for my dress to kicked out of mom and Snork's closet. My mom brought the dress over yesterday and the excitement and glee from the girls was amazing. They begged and begged for me to get it out to show them. Hailey was disappointed that I couldn't try it on for her. After unveiling the dress and showing them how it bustled, and putting the veil on each of them the wedding planning began. Karlie instantly went in bride mode and walked down the isle to her daddy over and over. He would lift the veil and give her a kiss on the cheek as Kaitlin and I hummed the bridal chorus. Hailey's eyes were a glimmer as she crooned, "I can't wait to get married." I followed with, "well, you have to be 21" and Max hollered, "31!"
I told Max we had better start saving now!

Thursday 13~ Facts About St. Patrick's Day

Since our little lady's big day is almost here, I thought I would share some St. Patrick's Day info.

1. It is always on March 17th and celebrates Ireland's universal baptism.

2. St. Patrick is the patron St. of Ireland.

3. He died Mach 17th, 461 A.D.

4. 34 million American's have Irish ancestry.

5. One estimate suggests that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.

6. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

7. An Irish toast: “May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.”

8. Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick's Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

9. St. Patrick is credited for converting Ireland to Christianity.

10. It is said he used the 3 leaf clover to explain the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

11. Legend says St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland, a symbol of driving out pagan ways.

12. The leprechaun is an Irish fairy that mended the shoes of other fairies and was aloof and unfriendly. If you found one you could steel his pot of gold.

13. Corned beef and cabbage comes from the traditional meal eaten in Ireland. Cabbage was a staple in their diet but they would eat Irish bacon with it. When Irish immigrants came to America they could not afford the bacon and learned from Jewish immigrants to use corned beef.

Religion Facts
History of St. Patrick's Day

Quote from Karlie

We were driving to school to pick-up Hailey today when I noticed a not so fragrant smell wafting through the car. I said, "Karlie did you toot?" She replied, "no it was the Whoopee Cushion." I said, "Whoopee Cushions don't stink." She said, "I put toot juice in it so it would smell." Well, I started laughing and the parental moment of trying to teach her to say excuse me was lost. Better luck next time. What charming young ladies we are raising!

Then and Now

Max's grandma sent this picture of Max and I at our first Homecoming together. We were 14! A little has changed between now and then.

1. Then we used have so much time on our hands over the weekend we had to "find something to do." This usually consisted of football games, Denny's with our friends, 4-wheeling in the Bronco, or cruising around town. Now we can't wait for that magical 8 o'clock bedtime hour when we can fall into bed after an exhausting day of doing too much.
2. Then when we danced, I could rest my head on his shoulder. Now we found my belly to be a bit cumbersome. We couldn't get close and his belt and phone kept hitting me making it an unpleasant slow dance.
3. We as a couple are about 50 pounds heavier now ( I won't tell who has gained what:).
4. A late night then was 2 a.m. Now a late night is 10 p.m.
5. Then we couldn't drive.
6. Then we couldn't drink.
7. Then Max had bleached hair with a tail. Now he has a goatee.
8. Then I was a natural blonde. Now I am hair salon blonde.
9. Then we were kids. Now we have 3.5 kids.
10. A lot has changed in 17 years, but one thing remains, I am still as crazy about him now as I was then.

Deborah Sampson

Hailey's class has been studying the Revolutionary War and the colonial times. In addition to taking a test where they had to identify the 13 colonies on a map, know information about important historical figures like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, the events of the Boston Tea Party and the Declaration of Independence, and American symbols of freedom; they had to prepare a power point presentation about an important person or symbol from that time period. Yes folks, a power point presentation in 1st grade. I didn't do one of those until college. Each 1st grader was paired up with a 5th grader who taught them how to do power point. Together they created the presentation the 1st grader would give.

Hailey chose Deborah Sampson, who was the first American woman known to dress like a man in order to fight in a war. The kids were asked to dress like their person when they gave the presentation. There was a Statue of Liberty, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, liberty bell, American Flag, and many other great costumes. What a great way to make history come to life for these little ones.

We went to the thrift store and found a man's suit coat that had gold cuff links and buttons and a frilly woman's shirt. I shortened the sleeves and rearanged the buttons to create the uniform. She borrowed Titus' pirate hat to complete the look. At the end of her presentation she took off her hat and undid her bun to let her long locks fall down and show that she was really a woman dressed like a man. It was so cute. Especially with that big toothless grin!

Thursday 13 ~ Things I Did Yesterday That Made Me Feel Like a Mom

1. Drive Hailey to a school a half an hour away so that she can go to a good school.
2. Sew a Revolutionary War costume for Hailey’s school presentation.
3. Sew and iron patches onto Hailey’s Brownie vest.
4. Mend clothes.
5. Take Karlie to the library for preschool reading.
6. Grow a baby.
7. Help out at the Brownie’s meeting.
8. Pack lunches.
9. Do a few loads of laundry (still not folded).
10. Make dinner.
11. Homework with Hailey.
12. Bathe the kids.
13. The nightly bedtime routine of P.J.s, brushing teeth, story time, get drinks of water, tissue, one more kiss and on and on....

So You Want To Party?

I was able to steal my sister Chrysti's pictures from Mel and Colin's wedding and put them into a slideshow to share. It was an amazing wedding and one heck of a party following. It appears the two things our family does well is eat and party. Everyone had a blast as you can see.

Dr. Mad Max's B-day Menu

I don't think Max's 31st birthday will go down in history as one of the best, but we had a pretty nice evening. The food was especially good and I out did myself eating. Big surprise. I ate so much that I couldn't sleep. Hmm. I think that might fall in the realms of gluttony, but we will just pretend its for the baby's sake!

Max has been leaving very early in the mornings, so I woke everyone up at 5:30 to share his first request of the day, fried eggs and toast. He was on his own for lunch. But dinner, now that's where it started to get good. We had his family's traditional homemade Mexican tacos. Deep fried corn tortillas, homemade salsa, beans, meat, avocados, cheese and lettuce. Max put away 6 tacos! Even though we didn't have room for desert, we still managed to eat almost half of his blackberry pie. If there is one thing our family knows how to do, it is EAT!

Then we opened presents. The girls were excited as though it were their presents. Each one brought him one to open and they gather around in eager anticipation to see what he would get. They were the most excited when he opened theirs, Jelly Belly's. Luckily Max is a generous guy and was willing to share.

Karlie ended up playing Captain Hook with the left over packing supplies. A fun night for a Monday!

Happy Birthday Max!

You are everything I could have ever hoped for and more in a husband and a father to my children. Thank you for sharing this crazy life with me. I love you.