Easter

I always love Easter time.  It is full of spiritual importance, tradition and beauty.
 There is something magical about dying eggs no matter what age you are.  On Saturday we had a nice leisurely day of eating, drinking and dyeing eggs.
 Max tried to dye one of his eggs in his beer glass. :)
The next morning the kids were up bright and early to see what the Easter Bunny had left them.  Hank found the golden egg this year!
Lots of chocolate and sweet treats for my bunnies.
 Then it was time to get ready for church and the much hated tradition of family pictures.
 Much practice is required to get a good shot.  I think you could have heard the kids' collective groan all the way to California.
  So we forced them to smile and pretend like they were happy.
 It only took two different photo sessions with about 100 photos to get two good ones.
Happy Easter!
 But later that day we got to really celebrate.  We had brunch with none other than creamed eggs!  Then Nana and Karlie made the traditional lamb cake.
 He is so precious that it was hard to eat him.  As Pops pointed out, that is the point!  I hope to pass on this tradition to our kids.  My grandmother who came over from Germany made this same lamb cake with me when I was a little girl.  It is neat that Max's grandmother passed the tradition down to Jeanette.
While Chiviots are not a typical Easter dinner, they were SO good!   EDITED We had SO many feasts, I got my dinners confused!  Chivitos were on Saturday night.  Easter we had Nana's famous Mexican dinner.  Again a traditional family meal that we love... :)
Easter was a beautiful spring day full of celebrating with loved ones that He is risen!   We celebrated with traditions, feasting, and worshiping together.  I am so thankful for the blessings my 4 little Peeps bring to my life and that through God's grace they can have everlasting life.


Neon (Crash) Dash

 Over the Easter weekend while Pops and Nana were visiting us we ran the Neon Dash!
It is a 3.2 mile fun run in the dark where you are sprayed with neon liquid and powder.  MKHKKH had signed up to do the race before we found out Pops and Nana were going to be visiting, so we convinced them to join us!
 If they didn't think we were crazy before, now they have no doubts!
It reminded me of what concerts in the 60s might have been like if you were on drugs.  Lots of loud music and people dressed in tutus and neon painted faces.  No LSD needed.  LOL
 Nana had hurt her foot the week before they came and she needed to wear a boot and rest it.  I wasn't about to leave Nana behind.  Sometimes I should just let it be.   Instead, we rented a wheelchair.  A transport wheelchair that was by no means meant for running.  But Max was determined to run the race...
 I thought it would be great because I knew that Hank would be exhausted running that far and so late at night, so Nana's ride could double as the stroller.  Sure enough about half way through, Hank climbed up on Nana's lap and Max took off.  They were having a blast giggling as Max swerved and passed all the walkers.  We were all trying to keep up with the crazy man pushing Granny and son!  That's when I see Max go flying over the wheelchair with his feet high in the sky.  Hank's cries pierced above the loud music playing and water bottles went flying!  I couldn't even see Nana under all the wreckage!  I was imaging Hank got all of his teeth knocked out, that Nana broken bones and Max would have rearranged his face on the concrete.
 However, after assessing the damage, Nana was the most hurt with a nasty skinner on her knee and wrist.  She went into protective Grandma mode and curled Hank in a ball as she was pitched out of the wheelchair.  Hank didn't have a single scratch on him, he was just shaken up.  Max suffered a bruised rib but no asphalt burns.  I still can't believe there were no broken bones or busted teeth after seeing the crash.  Nana is the hero!  So much for trying to keep her injury free in the wheelchair!  I guess we will have to rename it the Neon Crash Dash!
Nana is a good sport and wheeled it off.  She trusted Max to push her WALKING the rest of the way.   However, it took much convincing to get Hank back on her lap.  :) We continued to get covered in neon and enjoy the rest of the dash.  Thanks for taking a wild risk with us Nana and Pops!  I hope your knee is better and you don't think we are totally reckless and crazy.  I promise not to force you into anymore weird races. :)

How Hank Spent His 6th Birthday

Hank was lucky this year and the kids had off school for Good Friday, which meant he got his birthday off.  Since Nana and Pops were visiting for the long weekend, Max took the day off of  work too.  Such a lucky boy!
 He did have to go to the dentist though and has one small cavity.  But that didn't stop him from smiling.
 He wanted cinnamon rolls for breakfast and shaped Mac-n-cheese for lunch.
 Hank requested we go for a family bike ride.  It was a gorgeous day and a really nice ride!
 For dinner Hank wanted breakfast.  So pancakes, bacon, sausage, and eggs it was.  He had a chocolate chip pancake with whip cream!  More like dessert for dinner. :)
We had so many cupcakes left over from his party, he was kind enough to choose cupcakes for his birthday cake.
His present from us was an RC truck.  (Hmmm, I am not sure if Max had anything to do with this idea??)
 The girls wrote some really nice cards for him.  I think Hailey is destined for Hallmark as a card and art designer.  Here is what she wrote:
Hank,
Batman, Legos, and Dune Buggies,
These things are what excite you,
But do you wanna know a secret?
Seeing you happy excites me too!

Rowdy, Dirty,
Everything a little boy is,
You are slow friendly and funny,
and we love you for it!

You are 6 years old,
What a sight!
Now that you are 6 years old, you need be told
Your future is BRIGHT!!

Love,
Hailey
Great Grandpa came for the celebration too!  Hank loves Great Gramps.
I think one thing was clear on Hank's 6th birthday.  He is surrounded by people who love him!

Laps For Learning

 At the beginning of the month the kids' school held a fundraiser to help fund their specials education.  With the continued cuts to education, the schools are forced to try to raise money to preserve special programs and the PTO pays for 6 aide positions at the school.
This year they had a fun run where the kids got sponsors for laps that they ran.  I was there all day to mark the kids' shirt for each lap they completed and encourage them.
 The kids were motivate by the prizes they could earn for sponsorships.
 The teachers volunteered to dress up as cactus, get pies in their faces, wear tuxedos to school, and just about any other way they could motivate the kids to reach more sponsorships.
 It was a really fun and family orientated fundraiser that helped the school and encouraged the kids to be fit.  The kids had a blast running for learning.
 Each of our kids ran 2 miles and helped raise almost $700!
 I told them I would buy them a shaved ice cone if they completed the 2 miles. 
 Nothing like bribery!
 Parents, teachers and kids all enjoyed the day.
 Hank's teacher dressed up as a superhero.

 Kaitlin's teacher rooted her on.
 That night they had a BBQ and silent auction to celebrate and try to earn a little more.  While it was a successful fundraiser and will help them keep some programs, the school is still forced to cut PE, art and music in half next year.  If we want to continue to be the leaders of the world, we are going to have to start investing in our kids and their education.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
 We rejoice that He is Risen! 
May hope, joy, and the spirit of God's renewing love fill you!

Happy 6th Brithday Hank!

Happy 6th Birthday Hank!
I always get emotional on your birthday.  I think back to how scared we were about losing you then and how much I loved you.  But with each birthday I love you more and am so grateful you are here and a part of our lives.  You have a kind heart, are fun loving, a bit rowdy, full of energy, and love all sports.  If there is a ball you are throwing it or bouncing it.  You give the best bear hugs and love to be Daddy's little helper.  You have a way of making people laugh and everybody wants to be around you.  So much so that we tease you are a frat boy in the making. :)  When I think of you, joy comes to my mind.  You fill me with joy and my heart overflows with happiness that you are the final letter of MKHKKH!  I love you Hank!

Zoo Trip

At the beginning of the month Hank's class took a field trip to the Phoenix Zoo.  This is the classic Kindergarten field trip and each of the kids have gotten to go on with their class.  However, I have only been able to chaperone Kaitlin and Hank's.
 This was going to be the last one.  Sniff, sniff.
 The animals were the most active we have seen thus far and almost seemed to be performing, as though to say goodbye.  The tiger roared at us!
 The zebras came for a close inspection.
 The monkeys playfully jumped over us.
 And the orangutan must have decided to put on his best show for the Kindergarten class because as soon as we showed up, he started picking his nose and eating it.  You should have heard the class erupt with laughter and "Eeewwwww,  Gross!!!"
So many parents were able to chaperon that only 4 kids in his entire class didn't have a parent.  So we had only one boy with us.   We had a wild time running all over the zoo with my monkey and his buddy.  I want Hank to stay this age forever.  Five year old boys love their mamas just about as much as their mamas love them! :)

Kaitlin's Colorful Rainbow Birthday Party

For her 8th birthday party, Kaitlin wanted to have a rainbow theme.  We decided it would be fun to tie dye shirts.
Rainbows were everywhere.
 Hank even sported the rainbow Mohawk he won at school.
 Kaitlin's rainbow cake has to be one of my favorite cakes of all time.  It was so easy and looked so pretty!
Decorating for it was pretty fun too.
 The rainbow party table was full of rainbow treats.
 We made eggless rainbow cupcakes for Hank and for anyone that prefers chocolate over vanilla cake.  They turned out so great and were also so easy!
 Rainbow lollipops and rainbow Gatorade.
 Rainbow cookies to snack on.
 Rainbow goldfish too.
 A rainbow of fruit treats.  These were a big hit with the kids.
Our first game was find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  The kids ran all over the back yard until they found the black pot full of rainbows and gold.
 We filled it with these little bags of rainbow Twizzlers and chocolate gold coins.  The person that found the pot of gold also got a real golden dollar!
Then we split the kids into two groups.  One group got their face painted by Hailey and her buddy Jess.

 Then they moved to the rainbow bracelet making station.
 The other group was making the mess tie dye shirts!
 It was quite the challenge to keep permanent dye off of a bunch of kids all squirting the bottles of dye everywhere.
After each group rotated through the stations, it was time for the famous Piñata!
 The kids all love this part of the party.  We stuffed the piñata with rainbow candies like skittles, starburst, jolly ranchers, and ring pops.  Even after the candy was out, the kids wanted to keep swinging at the Piñata.
 The final game was pin the cloud on the rainbow.  They are getting a little big for this game and were able to feel their way to the right spot, which made it impossible to determine a winner.  But Kaitlin still wanted to play this one. :)
 Time for rainbow cake!
 She is like a beautiful rainbow!
 This is what drives me to make their birthday as magical as possible.
Princess for a day. :)
Did I mention how much I love this cake!?
 It is prettier in pieces than whole.  I can't say that for any of my other cakes.
We had a pretty colorful and happy day.
 The kids went home with colored pencils, rainbow bracelets, bubble wands, and their rainbow candies.
 After washing and drying the shirts the next day, Kaitlin packaged their thank you cards with them.
We had a color filled, fun party for our girl that is like the gold at the end of the rainbow in our hearts!
Happy Birthday sweet Kaitlin!