Artistic Aunt Anna

Last weekend Aunt Anna came to visit us!  She brought a delicious baklava, little treats for the kids and her artistic spirit.
We brought a buffalo skull home as our souvenir from South Dakota.  Anna had drawn and gorgeous design on a bull skull for Pops and Nana, so when I saw the bison skull, I knew we had to have it.  Luckily Anna was willing to lend her artistic hand to transform Dakota from just a skull to a wonderful work of art.
 I am completely crazy about it and can't wait to hang him up!
 Her artistic talents inspired Max to make the kids cut outs for their room like Hailey's Belle.
Hank got Batman!
 Kaitlin got the sweetest Hello Kitty to hang on her wall and Karlie got a Shamrock.  I will post more pictures once the K buddies are hung in their room.
It was a great weekend of crafting, eating, and getting a chance to hang out.  Thank you so much for coming to visit and for the beautiful art you gave us.

No Horsing Around

 Hailey has completed her first masterpiece.  When she was a little girl Aunt Anna drew a unicorn on Hailey's wall in her room.  She named her Belle.  Belle was very special to Hailey.  There were many tears when we were getting ready to move and had to paint over Belle.  We promised her one day Aunt Anna could repaint Belle in her new room.  However, her new room was very small and had no open wall suitable for the majestic Belle.
Hailey missed Belle and longed to have her grace her room.  As fate would have it, we would move again and Hailey's new room has a perfect spot for Belle.  She has become quite the artist and is especially good at drawing horses.  We encouraged her to draw Belle.  Max bought an 8 foot piece of plywood for her to sketch Belle on.
 She revised and revised, studied and fine tuned her until she was happy with Belle.
 Max used the jigsaw to cut Belle out.
 Then Hailey painted Belle.
Hailey did absolutely everything except cut her out.  I am in awe of her artistic ability at such a young age.  The proportions and 3D quality are so well done.
Hailey brought Belle to life once again.  The magic reigns on and our little artist is off and running!

Love, Marriage, Death and Broccoli

     I was driving Hank and Sage to school one morning and had to smile at Hank's stream of thoughts.  He beamed, "Sage, I love you."  Then he said, "When I grow-up I am going to marry you."  He paused for a minute while she flashed a dimpled grin at him.  Then he turned his attention to me and said, "And you will get rid of me."  I said, "I don't want to get rid of you."  He then asked, "Are we all going to die?"  I said, "Yes, one day everyone dies."  Hank replied matter of fact, "Not if I eat my broccoli."  Well, there is the future according to Hank.  Better eat your broccoli.

Call Me - Maybe?

Well, it happened.  Hailey got a cell phone this week!  She was showing me all the things she had learned to type in computers and lamenting how hard it was to get her fingers to speed up.  I said, "Let me show you how fast I am."  I typed, Today we bought you a cell phone!  She gasped and giggled and then hugged each of us.  :)
She is quite thrilled.  I must admit I am too.  She has yet to call me (totally 2001) but she has got the texting down.  I dropped her off early for computer lab one morning and was concerned if it had started this week.  Thanks to the cell phone, she was able to send me a quick text that she was in the lab and all was well.  Everyday she has been sending me a text on the bus.  Today she notified me that there was a food fight and some cussing going on.  I texted her back to duck!   Maybe one day I will get an actual phone call.  Maybe.

Home Run Weekend

We had a fun weekend trying to pretend it was still summer. 
  On Saturday we played in the pool all day.  It was so hot Siri was happy to just lounge with me on the floaty.  Usually we will get her in and she will just swim to the steps.  This time she turned around and swam to me.  She then would swim back and forth between Max and me.  I guess you could say we are in the dog days of summer!
 Harry Potter was on TV so we let the kids have TV style dinner.  They thought it was so cool!  Max and I did too, we were able to have an entire dinner without one interruption. :)
 On Sunday we went to the Diamond Backs game.  They beat the Washington Nationals 7 - 4!  It was a really fun game with lots of scores.  Karlie was thrilled that we finally stayed to the 7th inning stretch.  We ate popcorn, licorice, pretzels,  and cookies.
 After the games they let the kids run the bases.  This was so neat.
 Kaitlin is quite the competitor, she started out after Karlie but dusted her by home base.
 The H buddies coming home.
 A nice lady offered to get our family picture in front of the D-backs dugout.
 Then with the field behind us.  It was a great day at the ballpark.  Going to a game is really a fun family pastime.
We then finished off our day with apple pie for dessert.  It was a home run summertime weekend for sure!

Olympics 2012

 The kids really got into the spirit of the Olympics this year.  Does it really get any better than Gabby Douglas for a little girl (or a mommy) to watch on TV?  They were enamored with many of the events like diving, swimming, gymnastics and volleyball.  It was unfortunate they aired so late.  We ended up watching YouTube versions the next day on some of the favorites. 
 Karlie and Kaitlin kicked of the Olympics with rings made out of paper plates.  They they made gold, silver and bronze medals too.  The rings hung above our dinner table for the duration of the Olympics.
 Hank really took to Michael Phelps.  He wanted to wear a swim hat and put on his "boxers" so he could look just like him.
 Shoot for number one buddy!
 Karlie asked me which sport she should go to the Olympics for.  I love the endless possibilities when you are a kid.  The world is yours for the taking.  Go get em Karks!
The Olympics inspire us as people and a nation.  Kids all over America have been inspired to try a sport or to continue in their sport with the hope of bringing home an Olympic medal one day.  In America your dreams are the limit and once again we proved we are number one in the world with the most medals in Gold, Silver, Bronze and total!  USA-USA-USA!!!!!!


Yesterday Max and I celebrated 21 years of being a pair.  It completely freaks me out to think if Hailey were me she would be meeting her knight in shining armor in 3 years. Ack!  But what a blessing finding each other so young has been.  Its hard to identify me without Max.  We are me.  
We did a bunch of stuff for the first time to celebrate.  For starters, Max planned the entire date.  I am usually the one that organizes our dates.  All I did was get the babysitter and be ready in an outfit he told me to wear.  I had no clue what the night ahead would be like but was excited when he said bring tennis shoes!
Our first stop was the Scottsdale Gun Club.  Got to have a redneck date night when you live in the wild west.  It is the largest gun club in the nation.  Here in Arizona people like their guns.  
I have never been to an official shooting range.  We had a friendly competition with the target practice.  Max said his handicap was 2 fold because he has gone a few times with the guys from work.  I was the only one to hit the bullseye and beat him without the handicap. Beginners luck.
Next Max took me to the driving range.  We have never gone to the driving range together and I have never swung a golf club in my life outside of mini golf.  This is where my beginners luck ran out.  Karlie has a better swing than I do.  I struck out more than I actually connected with the ball.  Max gave me some good coaching but we will have to go many more times if there is any hope of ever playing a round of golf together.  I am pitiful!  While we were there I realized that we have really acclimated.  It was 112 out when we started hitting balls and we were laughing (at me) the whole time not even noticing the heat.  Who wants to sit in an air-conditioned movie theater when you can be out whacking balls?!  My kind of date!

Max wanted our date to be like the vacations I plan, from one thing to the next.  As soon as we were done at the driving range, it was off for our dinner reservation.  I had worked up quite an appetite.  We dined for nearly 2 hours while we ate our hearts out on bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, Cesar salad, and lobster ravioli.  As we requested our check, the waitress who loved hearing of our romance brought us a pistachio ice cream Sunday to share on the house.  Another first!  Neither of us have ever had pistachio ice cream.
It was a wonderful night of firsts, laughs, and food.  I can't wait for more firsts with my first love. 


     I nervously checked the clock often as I eagerly awaited for Hailey to get home and hear all about the first day of middle school.  The bus was supposed to arrive at 2:58 pm.  It drives by our house as it goes to the stop down the street.  At 3:09 pm I called my neighbor who's daughter rides the bus to see if I should start to worry.  She said her daughter had just texted her and they were on their way.  Sure enough, a minute later the bus rolled by.  I contained my urge to run to the bus stop and hug her and see how her day went.  Instead I folded laundry and tried not to pace.  At 3:17 pm I was wondering how a 2 minute walk could take so long.  I really didn't want to be that crazy, over worried mom.  But after checking outside a few times to see if I could hear the girls chatting, I caved and called my neighbor to see if Hailey had stopped over there.  No!  Hailey wasn't there and wasn't on the bus.  Her daughter figured I picked her up.  Panic!

     It was that terrible moment when all the blood in your veins constricts and you get an adrenaline dose so high you could scale Mount Everest.  With neck veins bulging and my heart racing I called the office.  Hailey hadn't missed the bus and was not in the office.  The very nice secretary put a call into all the buses to see if she was on the wrong bus.  TEN agonizing minutes later she reported that she was not on any of the other buses.

     OMG!  Now the panic really set in.  Where was she?  I began to worry she had gotten off somewhere else and was lost.  Was she on campus and not sure where the office was?  The secretary asked me to call any of her friends that she might be with.  I called her best friend and she wasn't with her either.  Serious panic.  At this point I am ready to call the police in sheer terror that my beautiful baby is walking out in the 115 degree desert heat lost.  At this point school has been out for 50 minutes and no one has seen Hailey since lunch!  The doorbell rang.  I dared not hope it is her.  It was!  I hugged her so hard the tears began to well in my eyes.  How could she have gotten home?  Oh, thank goodness she was safe!  My heart felt like it would bust with joy.
     Hailey had been on the wrong bus and realized it toward the end of the route.  An acquaintance from 5th grade asked her what she was going to do.  Hailey said she would just get off and try to walk home.  I repeat...  She was going to walk home in 115 degree heat with no water and not a clue where she was!  My little baby walking ALONE in the desert.  My worst fear confirmed.  Luckily her friend had more sense and said that she had to let her mom take her home.  I said a special little prayer of thanks for that girl. Without her I can only imagine what might of happened to my Hailey.  Needless to say we had a long talk about going to safe adults for help when we have a problem.  Any problem.  Ahem- like the bus driver when your on the wrong bus.  Hailey has the most wonderfully imaginative mind, she has a heart of gold, and she is a blessing to have a child.  I wish for one day I could live in her head where unicorns prance and mermaids swim.  However, the critical thinking portion could use some expansion. I am rethinking homeschooling.  Well, at the very least a cell phone.  The cell phone I proclaimed I would not get her until high school. Busted!

Back To School 2012

 Toady was the big day!  Back to school!
  I got up at 5:30 because I am a little rusty on the getting up and getting everyone cleaned, packed and out the door.
 This year we are trying the Bento style lunch box.  We are trying to decrease all the plastics bags, individual packaging, and hoping it inspires us to not pack as much processed foods.  The girls were so excited to help me pack up their lunch this morning.
 I wanted to document the fashion choices for the year.  Hailey wanted nothing more than "a real" pair of TOMS.  With middle school comes the desire for name brands I guess.  We went from store to store in the mall searching for much coveted TOMS.  Finally we found them at Nordstrom.  Gulp.  Luckily Target was having a buy one get one half off sale on kids shoes.  Kaitlin chose a pair of Hello Kitty sneakers, Karlie chose black and electric green sneakers, while Hank got Batman Converse!
 Along with name brands came another change.  Hailey took the bus to school today.  No longer is it cool or OK for Mom to walk you into school on the first day.  I knew this day would come but I still got choked up as I watched her walk confidently to the bus stop.  I can't wait to hear how the big first day of changing classes went!
 Karlie wanted a neon green shirt of course.
Sweet Kaitlin is still very much into Hello Kitty. :)
Hank thinks his Batman Converse and new "Skelly outfit" are the coolest things ever.  I must admit he is pretty dang cute.
 Hank will go to preschool 3 days a week now!  He was ready to get to work and gave me a kiss and said, "have a good night Mom!"
It might help that his best girl is in his class this year.
 Kaitlin's kindergarten teacher rolled up to 1st grade this year.  Kaitlin was thrilled to have her again and to see that many of her friends from last year were in the class too!  She hugged me and waved as she ran to the playground.
Karlie is now our big kid on campus as a 3rd grader.  She lucked out once again with an excellent teacher and her best friend in the class.  I am beginning to wonder about the luck of the Irish with her.
The girls were in shock when they saw each other.  They had not discussed or seen each other's 1st day of school outfits.  Just yesterday Karlie was wavering on what she wanted to wear.  Two peas in a pod for sure!
     Most of the moms I know were as excited for back to school as their kids were.  I always have the hardest time seeing them off.  As usual I held back all the tears until safely tucked away in my car with tinted windows and sunglasses on.  I had a pretty good cry.  I enjoy summer so much.  We have such a good time playing and hanging out with each other.  I am always sad it is over and back to nagging about getting ready, doing homework, and rushing around for their activities.  Seeing how mature my Hailey girl has become is really hitting me.  Knowing this is my last year of having a little person to play with during the day is also weighing on my heart.  I am so proud of how great they are all doing but going to miss them like crazy.  It is such a very short and sweet time.
     In times like these there is really only one thing to do...  Bake cookies.  I had intentions of having First Day of School Cookies ready for when they get home.  But there was no one to lick the spoon, or the spatula, or the cookie scoop.  Just me.  Then there was the bowl with leftover cookie dough in it looking left out.  So I had to cheer him up and lick every last bit until he was sparkling clean like the spoon, spatula and scoop.  Usually my recipe makes 2 dozen but this time only 21 cookies made it.  With 2 hours to go until the kids get home, I hoping there are still 4 left so each of them may have one.  Nothing like a cookie, or two, maybe three or even four to help with the back to school blues.