A Night In Uruguay

 One night last week we decided to have a Uruguay inspired dinner.  One of the best parts of traveling is getting a chance to taste the flavors and foods of the region.  
While Max was speaking in South America he had a chance to eat the most wonderful sandwich ever, the chivito.  It is so good, it is the national food of Uruguay!
 I picked up a Malbec from Argentina to pair with it.  We learned Argentina has the most acreage of Malbec grapes in the world.  The original grape vines were brought from South France in the mid 1800s.  In the late 19th century a phylloxera plague struck France and wiped out this specific variant of grapes.  The Argentina Malbec was very dark and velvety.  Perfect with a hearty sandwich!
First Max toasted the Kaiser rolls with Mayo on them in the oven.  Then he topped one side with Bibb lettuce and tomatoes.  He fried up bacon and cooked fillet Mignon in the same pan.  Then he added some thinly sliced ham.  Finally he fried the eggs, added olives and thin slices of mozzarella.  Do you see why it is SO good!?  Everything is better with an egg on it. :) 
So what if it is your calorie allotment for a week.  It is worth it!!
Dessert was imported (by Max) lemon cookies from Argentina.
It was a culinary visit to Uruguay without the 30 hours of travel each way!  I can't wait to visit Uruguay for dinner again!

First Day of Fall

Sunday was the first day of fall and while we won't be raking any leaves or putting our sweaters and boots on yet, there was a definite change in the weather.  In the morning it was as cool outside as it was inside our air conditioned house.  That hasn't happened in about 5 months!
 To celebrate, Karlie made pumpkin cranberry scones from scratch all by herself. :)
 It was so cool we could ride bikes, walk the dog and Rollerblade.
We have even started to pull out the fall decorations in our excitement for cooler days.  Karlie made cornbread muffins to go with our hearty fall dinner.  Welcome Fall!  Hopefully we will be able to turn off the AC in a month. :)

Good Times With Grammy

Grammy had a weekend getaway with us while Max was out of town.
She was here for a little less than 48 hours but we managed to soak up every minute together.  On Friday night we went to my Uncle Larry's football game and got a chance to see my Aunt Ann and Grandpa.  The kids loved running around while the adults had a chance to visit.
The next morning we went to the Arizona Science Museum and learned about weather, water, gravity, physics and digital advancements.  It was a whirlwind of activity for one morning!
 Then we hit Chipolte for lunch.  Finally another adult was around so I could have a beer!  Cheers!
Then we went to the mall for a little Grammy treat for each of the kids.  When we got home they worked on their rainbow loom to make bracelets for their cousins and Bubbus.
The girls worked in a manicure for Grammy too.
 The kids have been begging to have cake waffles, so we decided to have dessert, err breakfast, for dinner.
We hadn't had enough indulgences so Hailey made Oreo Pops for our official dessert. :)
It was so nice to have Grammy around.  If only it wasn't so short.  We are looking forward to her next visit.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to come play with us.  We enjoyed it immensely.  Love and miss you!

While The Big Cat Is Away, The Little Mice Will Play

Max has been traveling for work a lot this year.  Three weeks ago he was in Brazil for a week and he was in Argentina at the beginning of this week and is finishing up in Uruguay before he gets to come home.  I have learned that busy is better while he is gone.
While the big cat is working hard in South America at private island resorts and being wined and dined, the mice at home are playing. :)
 The rainbow loom has been a huge hit.  The little mice are making bracelets for everyone and every dog they know.
A typical morning starts out nice and quiet as in the above video.  Then it is off to school.
Kaitlin bridged to a Brownie this week!  Don't forget your favorite Girl Scout when it's cookie season.
After school homework, volleyball, horses, piano, violin, Girl Scouts, and karate manage to fill the time until dinner. 
 Before you know it, it is time for brushing teeth, stories and kisses.  Luckily Siri filled in for the nightly snuggles.  She even got in Karlie's top bunk to kiss Karlie good night.
The kids each get a night to sleep in Daddy's spot.  While we have all gotten more accustom to Daddy being gone, no amount of busyness can hide our excitement that he is done traveling for the year or our eagerness to see him!
I can't wait to see you!

Last Weekend of Summer... Sorta

We tried to soak up the last official weekend of summer.  We worked around the house and Max got to many of his Honey Do List chores while I painted part of our bathroom.
 We had to soak up some sunshine a good times by the pool.
 While we were by the pool, Hailey decided to practice her archery.  She is getting so good that she makes it look easy.  I thought I would give it a try.  She is a strong and accurate little lady!  It is much harder than I anticipated.  Hailey coached me and I eventually managed to hit the hay bale.  We had just finished telling the kids how them must stay behind the firing line when a freak accident happened.  The arrow bounced off the back wall and returned to strike me in the face.  I was a few feet behind Hailey watching her when it happened.  I thought I was going to lose my front tooth.  It bloodied up the outside and inside of my upper lip but my tooth was what hurt the most.  We are so thankful it hit me and not one of the kids that were also standing behind the firing line.  It was a near miss that showed us Hailey now must wear eye protection and the kids can't even be on the grass when she is shooting.  It could have been so much worse.  I just look like I have chocolate on my lip.  My girlfriend reached over this morning to rub it off and rubbed off my scab!  LOL
 I wasn't the only one to get banged up!  Hailey's arm was totally bruised Monday morning.  That bow gave us a smack down.
 Sunday was full of church, chores, homework, football and a night of watching Miss America with all my girls!  We still think Miss Kansas should of won. ;)
We sent off summer as busy bees with never a dull moment, just as summer was!  With it being 106 today, I am looking forward to cooler temperatures to come in fall.  We are all getting excited for warm, fall foods, wearing jeans and close toed shoes, and the festive fun that all begins in fall!

Karlie Becomes A Brace Face!

Yesterday Karlie got braces on!  For her last supper on Wednesday night she chose steak, cheesy rice and a whole apple.  
We had a dentist's nightmare for desert... Brownie Banana Splits!  Karlie worked on a giant pack of Starburst all day too, since she wont be tasting those for over a year.

 As she was getting her braces on I teased her that I always thought she had a big mouth.  :)
 She was all smiles right after with her neon pink and neon green rubber bands but by the time school got out she was in tears with pain.  Her braces are spring loaded and have already changed the shape of her mouth in less than 24 hours.  
Karks rarely cries from pain and she has been in tears several times with these braces.  I hurt for her.  I know it will be all better in another day, but my heart brakes to see her in pain.  I am hoping some smoothies and ice cream can cheer her up today.
Two brace faces down... Two to go!

MKHKKH's First Camping Trip!

The kids have been dying to go camping.  For Father's Day Max got a tent and a camping stove to get us geared up to go.  Our summer was so busy we didn't have a chance to go until last weekend. 
I guess one good thing about living in the burning hot desert is that September is still a prime time to camp.  We left Scottsdale with it being 111 degrees.  When we woke up the next morning in the mountains it was only 56!
Woods Canyon's Aspen campground is only an hour and a half away but feels like the Rocky Mountains.  We had beginners luck and I just randomly picked an open campsite online the week before we left.  It turned out to be a great site!  The only problem was we left Friday night after Max got off work and made a mad dash for the woods.  We were going to be setting up the tent for the first time... in the dark!  Can you say pressure!
 As we raced against the fading sunlight everyone worked to unpack and set up camp as quickly as we could.
 The Elk came by to check out the people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
 We had a lovely first evening after getting camp all set up.  We ate S'mores and gazed at the most stars the kids have ever seen.  Hailey was beside herself with delight when she could see the milky way!
 Three trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, Hank crying because he was cold, and trying to keep the dog from shivering made the sunrise awakening a welcome sight.
 Everybody was all smiles despite our fitful night.  
 Kids just love to be outdoors.
 We were all relishing being in pants, coats and wanting to be near the warmth of the fire.
 Siri is such a desert dog that she was even cold with her sweater on. :)
 The new camp stove worked too!
 Our campground had no cell service and no 4G.  It was wonderful to be completely disconnected.  As we were driving up Hailey asked nonchalantly, "what the password for the wifi was going to be at this place."  Clearly it is time to get these kids camping. :)
 We really enjoyed being in the moment and spending time together without the distractions of today's technology.  We played UNO, Candy Land, and war.

 You can dress a redneck up but he is still a redneck.  
My man proudly hung the US flag and brought all sorts of boy "toys."  Hank's favorite thing to do was look at the "Uncle Dave Knife."  Even the girls got into carrying knives around.
 In the afternoon we went to Woods Canyon Lake.  The kids all caught a fish!
It was such a beautiful spot and in walking distance from our campsite.
 While they are all fine with the worms...
 The fish are another story!  LOL
 A pretty good catch!
After fishing we took a walk along the Mogollon Rim.
 The views were stunning.  

I could of kept walking but our little campers were getting tuckered out.
 So we headed back to camp for dinner.
 The kids were thrilled to get to eat Spaghetti Os for dinner.  Max and I brought along homemade Pasole!  Everything revolves around eating when you are camping.
 My flower children.
 Siri really enjoyed camping with us.  I think she feels part of our pack now, although we will need to get a bark collar for the next trip.  She felt it was her duty to alert us to any approaching person, which is not good at a campground.
We had grand plans for another big S'mores night but the weather had other plans.  It began to rain and didn't stop all night.  The good news is the new tent was thoroughly water tested and we stayed totally dry.  The bad news is that we had to pack up in the pouring rain.  We were soaked to the bone.  But it couldn't rain on our parade.  We had a great camping trip and a little water was no big deal.  The kids are already asking when we get to do it again!