Happy 11th Anniversary Max

When I look back at the last 11 years I feel so blessed. If ever there were a "soul mate", you define it. You complete me, inspire me, and balance me. I feel so thankful to have met you so young and even more so that I love you more passionately today than this day 11 years ago. You are an amazing man and continue to impress me with your work ethic, ambition, dedication, kindness, faithfulness, selflessness, and love for your children. Our girls will have a tough time finding a man to hold up to you and Hank has very large shoes to fill as he grows into a man. Max, thank you for loving me the way you do. I hope you see the smile through this post. I am excited to start this new chapter in our new house! I love you so very much.

Party Pooper

Our little Hailey is a pretty sick girl. She came down with a fever and ear infection on her birthday. By the time we had cake she didn't even feel up to eating any. Her fever continued to get higher despite the antibiotics. She has been running 103-104 for four days now. She has many flu like symptoms. She never even tasted her birthday cake. We are praying she will be well by her party on Saturday. If she has a fever tomorrow, it is back to the doctor for more testing. Please say a get well prayer for our sweet girl.

Happy Father's Day

To the funniest and most caring dad. You have always been there when I needed you and even when I didn't. You would give the shirt off your back to anyone in need and are always willing to lend a helping hand. You always seem to have the tool we need or the answer how to fix something. Your sense of humor keeps everyone laughing and your passion for politics provides us with many lively debates. Thank you for all you do to be our dad and Grampy. We love you so much and hope you are enjoying your day!

Happy 8th Birthday Hailey!

My Jo-Jo Bean, Happy Birthday! You are truly a joy to parent. You are so thoughtful, kind, and tender hearted. Your favorite things to do are ride Rocky, read, draw horses and unicorns, and climb trees. You seem wise beyond your years. You are everything a mother could hope to have in a daughter. We love you so much and cannot believe you, our little peanut, are already 8 years old! I can only pray the next 8 will be as wonderful.

Migraine -1 , Katie - 0

Yesterday I experienced my first migraine headache.  I was at gymnastics with the girls and my right eye started to see like I was looking underwater.  For a while I was thinking I needed to change my contacts, then after lots of blinking, I thought maybe I was zoning out and starring at lights for too long.  My sister Kerrie was sitting next to me and must have noticed my odd behavior of squinting and shaking my head because she asked what was wrong.  After 10 minutes of trying to fix my vision, I had come to the conclusion I had damaged my optic nerve or cancer had spread into my brain. LOL  I told Kerrie what was going on and she informed me I would be experiencing a migraine in about 30 minutes.  Both Kerrie and Chrysti suffer from migraines.  I was in disbelief.  I don't get migraines. 

Wrong.  Kerrie offered to drive me home and I thought she was being a little dramatic.  I mean, it is just a headache.  I am tough chick after all.  She left and I continued to run after the three little ones whose classes had finished while we watched Hailey finish.  I started to feel nauseated and thought the strange vision was making me queezy.  Twenty minutes later my vision returned to normal and all was well, for about 5 minutes.  Then this razor sharp line of pain behind my left eye dug into my brain.  Thankfully I was able to get home before it exploded.

When we arrived home the message light was blinking and I was hoping it was Max saying he had left early and would be home any minute.  Nope.  He had a frozen section and would be late tonight.  Perfect.  What did I do?  Tough it out like a real woman?  No!  I called my Mommy like a little girl and begged her to pick-up dinner for the kids and come rescue me.  Waiting those 15 minutes was pretty brutal.  Having my eyes open was so painful.  But keeping your eyes closed while trying to watch Hank is dangerous.  So in a half curled up position with my eyes mostly shut I survived.  But then Hank was poopy so I changed him.  Thankfully I have all those years of experience changing diapers because I can really now say I can change a diaper with my eyes closed!

My mom arrived and I made a B-line for bed.  After that I don't remember anything until Max came in to check on me about an hour and a half later.  I could now open my eyes and not be in pain.  I just felt sore.  I am so thankful that it happened at the time it did.  What if my mom couldn't come to my rescue?  I am also so thankful for Advil.  I love the person who invented it!

I had to look up information about migraines and see what the triggers were.  I had 10 of the 12 triggers.  I guess I was due.  So, the migraine won this round.  Hopefully it was our first and last encounter because this chick learned she is not so tough after all.

Happy Birthday Titus!

You are a daily reminder that miracles happen.  We love you and hope your mom survives your childhood.

Entropy In Action

For those of you who need to brush up on your physics, entropy is the second law of Thermodynamics.  It is a measure of the disorder of a system, or that in nature things tend toward disorder rather than order.  Hank is an excellent case in point.  You don't have to teach your kids how to make a mess, it just comes natural.  Why is that?  Why don't they come out wanting to fold laundry and make beds and put away their dishes?  No, they spill, and leave dirty clothes on the floor, and leave toys everywhere and make a mess, or disorder of virtually everything in their path.  Mr. Rudolf Clausius must have had children to study as he formulated his concept of entropy.
Take a closed system of Hank and a bookshelf with books on the floor.  Will the books be put nice and orderly back into the bookshelf?  We will examine why they are on the floor in a different case study in another post one day.
Maybe he will look at the books and study the best way to conserve energy as he cleans up.
Not!  He  pulls all the books into a big pile of disorder.  Unfortunately for me, I get a daily lesson in perpetual motion in attempt to constantly contain my little entropy makers. :)

Down With The Russian Olives

We had two Russian Olives in our backyard that had been the bane of Max's existence since we moved in. They drop leaves and pods constantly, not to mention Max is allergic to them. So every summer our despise for these trees grew. Their only redeeming quality was they were home to a family of squirrels. Finally, the one closest to the fence started to die. It became a liability so we looked into having it cut down. After two estimates at four and five thousand dollars, we began to rethink our hatred of the Russian Olives. The job was complex due to the shed and the fences surrounding the trees, making it impossible to bring any large equipment in for the removal.One day Max was bemoaning the blasted Russian Olives to a friend at work and learned that before he went to school to be a lab technician, he was an arborist for almost 30 years. He volunteered to come chop down the trees!
Dave and his son showed up with ropes and a hand saw. I was skeptical at first. Dave must be in his 50's and Nelson is only 15. How could these two and a hand saw tackle 20 year old trees?
Dave was like a monkey and at one point was hanging upside down as he sawed through a branch.  I was in awe of his planning and anchoring that took each limb down carefully and precisely.  By the end of the day this is what remained of our Russian Olives.

The next afternoon the rest of the trees came down.  Hailey counted the rings on the trees and learned they were 22 years old.  Now the hard part, chopping all the brush.  We rented a wood chipper and in a few hours had all of the brush chipped into the back of Max's truck.  I can still hear that thing grinding.
As Max and Snork took the chipper back, Snork was telling the guy now they just had to figure out what to do with the truck full of wood chips.  The rental guy asked them if they wanted to dump the chips at his house so he wouldn't have to buy any this year!  Score!  Now all that remains is some of the trunk pieces.  We have managed to give some away, but about half still remains.  I will get rid of these Russian Olives by the end of the summer!

At least they can't drop any leaves just sitting there.

And Zebras Think They Are Cool

When I told Karlie she didn't quite match, she responded that they were all stripes so of course they match! Luckily we had no plans for the day so my little colorful zebra could wear her fashion statement.

Bunk With the Beast 2009

This year Hailey's Brownie Troop decided to use the money the earned from selling cookies to do Bunk with the Beast at the Denver Zoo. It is a gigantic sleep over at the zoo. Our night started at 6p.m. after the zoo closed.
We had pizza for dinner and then team races such as this one where they had to change into the right clothes for the weather. It managed to be a typical crazy Colorado day with rain and then hot sun the next moment. We went on a night tour of the zoo and saw the animals as they got ready for bedtime. We also got to use night vision glasses to see how nocturnal animals see at night.
In the morning we were given a behind the scenes tour of the zoo kitchen. Our zoo leader Lauren was showing us the baby mice, grown mice and rats they have frozen to feed the various animals. We also walked into a giant refrigerator that contained nearly every fruit and vegetable imaginable. We learned they give the lions horses tails to chew on between feedings. I wasn't sure how our little animal lover was going to take all this, but she seemed to grasp that for some animals to live, others have to die.
Another lesson the girls learned was about how animals use their senses to communicate.  All the girls got a vial with a scent in and they had to try and find their pair.  Hailey used the bandanna they made to keep her head warm as it was a pretty cold morning.
It was so fun to have the whole zoo to ourselves and have a tour guide to tell us the animals names and how old they were and interesting facts about them.  We learned the elephants were 35 and 45 years old!
Bunk with the Beast was a great experience for the Troop and a special bonding time for Hailey and me.  What could be better than sleeping on a deflating air mat in a room of 17 second grade girls giggling and getting up to got to the bathroom all night long?

I was anxious about going because I have never been away from Hank that long and he would not take a bottle no matter what I tried.  I had visions of Hank screaming all night long and Max suffering along with him.  Not to mention the biology of the milk production system.  15 hours with no baby to remove milk made for a bit of an uncomfortable morning jaunt through the zoo.  The troop leader commented on how "perky" I was looking in the morning.  Somehow I don't think she was referring to my demeanor as I had yet to have my coffee. :0)  I don't know who was happier to see each other, Hank or me!  To my relief, he did take two bottles for daddy.  Boys.

Today's Treasure ~ Krusteaz Mini Pancakes

I always love a good find, so I thought I would start sharing things that make MKHKKH run smoother, help us keep a little cash in our wallet, make us smile, or delight us in any other way.

The first Today's Treasure is Krusteaz Mini Pancakes. They are in the freezer section of your grocery store near the other frozen breakfast foods and cost $2.50 at King Soopers. They are individually frozen so you can heat as little as one or as many as your herd, I mean kids, will eat. They are delicious! I even eat them. They can be dipped in syrup or jam since they are just right for little hands. In just 1 minute the kids can have a nutritious breakfast without the mess or fuss. I hate to admit it, but they taste better than homemade. They are also fortified with vitamins while grandma's recipe is not. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!

Kindergarten Here Comes Crash Karlie!

I am a little "hung over" from the last week of school. There were so many activities I am just now starting to digest all that took place. One of the highlights was Karlie's "graduation" from preschool. The kids sang songs and the teacher interviewed them about what they want to be when they grow up. The first girl said a cheerleader so every girl following her also wanted to be a cheerleader. However, the boys were a little more original with occupations such as a cow and a pig. When the teacher asked the little boy who said he wanted to be a pig what he would do all day, he replied, make more pigs! Got to love kid programs.
Karlie had some of the most amazing teachers that really loved her. She is on her way to reading thanks to their tireless effort. Karlie and Mrs. Jenn.

Karlie and Mrs. Amy.

This is Karlie and her best friend Sidney. These two are TROUBLE. I can already see that they cannot be friends in high school unless I plan to know the judge on a first name basis.

Karlie is so full of life and energy it took us by surprise how upset she was to be leaving preschool. She cried the entire way home and on and off through the evening. She cried about how she would miss her teachers so much and how Kindergarten couldn't possibly be as fun.
She cheered up when we told her Kindergarten was every day! Ready or not Kindergarten, her comes crash Karlie!