Old Friends

The kids and I decided to beat the heat a few days before Max could join us at The Villa in CA.   Thursday we got to explore Nana’s farmers market and start getting ready for our big trip.  On Friday we went to Tilden Park to ride the train and meet my best friend from high school, Debi!  We were neighbors and she predates even Max!  I was Hailey's age when we became friends.  Debi is a life long friend that I can pick up where I left off with and it feels just like when we were 16. 
It was so fun to meet her children and watch all the kids play.  Last time we saw each other I had two kids and she had one!  When Debi and I were growing up we always said we would be neighbors so our kids could grow up playing together.  It was fun to see it happen.  The kids were fast friends and had a blast riding the train, the merry go round, and running around.  Hank was thrilled to have another boy to play superheroes with.  We had a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 year-old!  
 Nana and Hank have a special train bond.  Anytime Hank sees a train he thinks of Nana.
  The weather wasn’t quite perfect for a day at the park but was a welcome cool after our typical 100 plus degree days.  I was excited to be in jeans and a coat again and the kids were having too much fun to feel the cold.  Thanks for meeting us Debi, Kailey and Thomas!

The Longest Day of the Year

 On the summer solstice, June 20th, the kids and I set out for California to see Nana and Pops.  It was the first time I have flown alone with the kids.  I was worried with 6 suitcases, 5 carry-ons and 4 kids; it might be the longest day of my life, not just the longest day of the year.  Happily, it went much better than I worried it would. 
The hardest part was getting through security.  Once we got to the gate, it was smooth sailing.  The kids were thrilled to see that they were going to fly on the Arizona One plane!
 It was a pretty smooth flight.  Well, except when Hailey spilled her drink in Karlie’s lap.  Oh, then there was the peanut on the floor near Hank, and then Kaitlin dumping her drink off her tray.  Just bumps in the road, or sky... 
 Hank was so animated and excited as we took off.  He would “Ooohhhh and WOW!”  The lady behind us commented on how excited he was as we landed.  I guess its better than screaming and crying as it would have been years prior. 

Over all it was a good trip and they were happy travelers, however, I will be happy to have Max with us on the way back.

Hailey's 11th Birthday

For breakfast Hailey requested creamed eggs with homemade bread.  I had forgotten about the homemade bread request and was up until 11 waiting for the bread to finish baking.  We spent the morning get ready for our big trip and then Hailey went to Max’s work for a special lunch date with daddy.

When she got home, the girls all went over to the neighbors to play.  Hailey left an 11 year old and came home a 16 year old!  Her buddy gave her a birthday makeover complete with make-up, clothes and hair.  I couldn't believe how old Hailey looked!  Yikes!  I think I will have to ban make-up until 18. 

Hailey loves Chipotle vegetarian burritos.  So, she asked if we could get Chipotle for dinner.  Sounded like a treat to me!  After dinner we had to race off to piano, but while the ladies were making music, Max and Hank were making brownies.  After desert it was presents time!  Hailey's gift included a gaggle of Breyer Horses, a student Bible, an overstuffed bean bag, the Flicka complete set, ear buds, Horse encyclopedia, drawing books, and new ring boots and helmet.  It was a busy day but we managed to make time for our birthday girl’s menu and celebrate what a terrific (and growing up way too fast!) kid she is.


Happy Anniversary Max!  Fourteen years ago we said, "I do."  As life moves on I realize just how lucky I am that we found each other so early and are still as in love as we were then.  It is as our friend said, we have an organic relationship.  It is alive, it grows together, and we each need the other to thrive.    Like air, water, and food, I need your love.  Your generous supply has created a loving, happy home.  Thank you for saying I do everyday.  I love you.

Happy 11th Birthday Hailey!

 Happy Birthday Hailey!
You are a beautiful girl from the inside out.  Your inner beauty is part of what makes you so lovely.  You have a loving heart, an imaginative spirit, and are years ahead in your maturity.  You are a loving role model for your siblings and make your Mom and Dad so proud.
 Eleven things that describe you are smart, creative, beautiful, artistic, tender hearted, loves God, loves horses, loves Siri, loves books, loves her family, and kind.  You are becoming quite the young lady Hailey.  
 Your sisters are lucky to have you to look up to and your H buddy adores you.
We are all blessed to have you part of our family and celebrate you today my sweet girl! We love you so much.

Hailey's Wet and Wild Birthday Party

For Hailey's 11th birthday party we went to a water park with three of her best buddies.

The Surfaris - Wipe Out
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The party favors were beach towels, sunglasses, and waterproof cameras.
When it is 106 degrees outside, the only thing to do is frolic in the water!
It was a major milestone for us.  We have never spent the day at an amusement park as a family.  Hank could skip his nap and we could play all day!
It was such a fun day for all!
Max thought to bring the umbrella and stand to make our own shade for lunch.  Teaching them to tailgate early. :)

The big girls ran around all over the park while we ran with the littles.
 We were playing in the wave pool and Karlie struck up a conversation with a boy.  I whispered to Max that I bet in no time, she would talk him into letting her ride on his raft.  Sure enough the two of them rode the waves together chatting it up.  Max had to go find out who this young lad was.  He was a boy from her class and quite sweet.  That Karlie, we are in SO much trouble!
We headed home for pizza and cake.  My first tween cake!
 Our little lady has grown so much.
 Her friends said the nicest things about her.  One friend wrote, "I hope your birthday is as much fun as you made my 5th grade and many years to come.  From the moment I laid my eyes on you I knew everything was gonna be ok."
 We had a wonderful day celebrating a wonderful girl!
Wish big!

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!  

To Snork, I am so grateful you chose to be my Dad.  Most Dad's don't get pick their kids but you did, and still decided to keep me.  I wouldn't be who I am today without your selflessness, support and encouragement.  I love you Dad and miss you more than you can know.

To Pops, my second Dad.  You have had a hefty portion in shaping me too.  I am lucky that I got to join your family at 14! You have been a guiding post in my life longer than you haven't.  Thank you for loving me like a daughter.
To Max, the love of my life and kind of father fairy tales are made of.  You bring the kids and me so much joy.  You always put our needs before your own.  You are there for the kids with support, hugs and kiss.  You are there for their performances and lend a helping hand with fractions and spelling test.  You play tackle with them after work and take evening walks.  You carry them to bed and read bedtime stories.  You make them special breakfasts.  They can always count on you and your love.  I love you baby.

I think the girls summed it up pretty well in their Father's Day cards they made.

Hailey wrote:
List of Things that Make Dads Great:
They play roughhouse
They spray us with the hose
They play with us in the pool
They clean the whole house for a surprise
They mow the grass
 They squash bugs
They treat us
They watch nighttime movies with us
They fix anything
They do chores
They dance with us

Yes, all those things are true about you.  But you do something special.  You bring LOVE into our lives.

Karlie wrote:
The best dad int he world has
1. careness
2. happyness
3. love
4. fun
5. funnyness
and last but not least, everything the best dad can offer.

Kaitlin wrote, "You are the best Dad ever."

Here is a little video our church did to provide a little humor for all you Dad's out there.