7th Heaven

Being 7 is pretty great!  As I have moved from a baby mom, to toddler mom, to grade school mom, to  middle school mom, and now even a high school mom, I am savoring the last of my grade school mom time.
The best way I can describe Hank is like an adorable puppy!  He is full of endless energy and goes running everywhere.  Balls really excited him and he usually has a big old going on his face.  He laughs easily and usually ends up making those around him laugh.  We refer to him as the frat boy.  He just has that silly, confident air about him.
At school they have color clip chart behavior system.  Green is good, orange is a warning and, red is call mom and dad.  Then blue is really good, pink is amazing, and rainbow is out of this world.  We made a deal with Hank when he made it to rainbow it is an automatic trip to get ice cream.  This was a very rare and special occasion as a first grader.  Before Christmas it had happened twice this year.
Well, he has gotten it twice this week and 5 times this month already!  He is really at the top of his game as far as trying hard and doing his best at school and home.  I am thinking if this keeps up we are going to have to renegotiate our deal for our budget and health's sake!
He LOVES sports.  Max has an instant football companion.  They talk routes, stats and about players.  It is so novel and adorable.  A little Max.
Like a puppy he plays until he is pooped.  Every night he crashes.  Sometimes Daddy crashes too.  :)
He loves to play sports even more than watch them.  We finished up soccer and football and are near finishing basketball, with baseball on the horizon.  I sure love seven.


Scottsdale has a few events it is known for such as the Parada del Sol, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Arabian Horse Show, and the Barrett-Jackson car auction.  As we have lived here we have tired to attend each of them year by year.  This year it was Barrett-Jackson's turn.
The Optimus Prime semi truck and Bumblebee Camero are for sale this year.  We thought it would be fun to see them.  Barrett-Jackson is the worlds greatest collector car auction.  Last year it shattered all auction records with more than 130 million in vehicle sales.  It occupies 132 acres!  Of course they put the stars of the auction at the back so we had to walk through thousands of amazing cars.
If you can dream it, it was there.  Kaitlin and her buddy were drawn to all the pink cars.  :)
 There were no shortage of lucky green cars and motorcycles for Karlie.
 Hailey has a thing for old Impalas.  She didn't find her favorite year, but found many that would work.
Max and my favorite car was the new Ford GT!  What a cool looking car.  Too bad it cost over 400K!  Max will have to wait until his midlife crisis and we are done with college to get his beloved Corvette Stingray.  There were so many cars it became a bit numbing.  We are not big car people so the best part was eating funnel cakes.
We can cross Barrett-Jackson off the list!

Party On

Max had to travel a lot in January.  He was in Texas and then had another trip to Columbia.  Two weekends back to back without our MVP made for a long month.  We realized he is the wind in our sails.
 On our second weekend I asked the kids what we would should do for fun.  They decided they would put on a house party!  Karlie was the director and I wasn't allowed to help a bit.
I received my invitation and arrived to the party room that was decorated, had a stage and more appetizers than my New Years party.  They even made salmon cream cheese bites and whip cream topped strawberries!
There was a hang out corner where you were to decorate a banana.  Siri liked this spot quite a bit.
 Karlie had many games for us like freeze dance and karaoke.
 Kaitlin was so excited that we have matching sweats.  Got to love Marshalls.
 We were cutting a rug!  Dancing with the stars had nothing on us.  I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time.  Everyone really got into it!
If you need a break from all the action, they had set up a relaxation nook with the real party animals.
Hailey killed in at karaoke while I likely traumatized my children for life during my song.  It was such a delightful night.  Karlie is quite the party planner and director and all the kids were party animals.
While Dad was gone we didn't make to to church, we ate dinner at Costco and we were stuck inside due to all the rain.  We were in a real funk.
For National Popcorn Day we watched my favorite movie Grease.  But I missed dancing with my Danny.
 Luckily our two favorite teams were in the playoffs so we had fun rooting for them as they each won!  We were hoping for a Super Bowl match up.
However, it just wasn't the same.  Hank begged me to throw him passes and run his routes.  I tried my best but I always over threw or was late.  I couldn't remember the difference between button hook and crossing.  Finally he told me he didn't want to play anymore.  Max is clearly the life of our party!
 The only perk to Daddy being gone is they each get to sleep with me.
 We have fun chatting and snuggling.
 I suppose distance does make the heart grow fonder, but we certainly love having our main man home!

Another Year Older

This New Year I can see that I am getting older.  My prior new Years were always met with zeal and a firm resolve.  This year my resolutions are a little less ambitious and more about preservation.
  This is what resolving to take care of your skin looks like.  Something happened after 35.  My skin decided to rapidly age.  Suddenly wrinkles were everywhere, age spots, red spots, and enough peach fuzz on my face and neck to make a 12 year old boy jealous.  I learned I have Rosacia.  Now I have prescription medicine to combat that is applied morning and night.  I have learned living in the valley of the sun requires and additional commitment to preserve one's skin.

I have never been into high maintenance of my face, hair or nails.  I had only washed my face in the shower.  I never had a nighttime routine of washing my face and lathering up.  Ahh the days of youth.  Now I am scrubbing with this brush that is akin to a minigrindner for your face.  It is to help remove all the dead skin and stimulate your skin to look young and new.  Then I was working out and watching QVC one morning and was convinced I had to try Murad anti aging serum.  It would take years off my face.  I will say it does seem to help with the fine lines.  But what a pain!  A face wash, a serum, a night cream and then a daily moisturizer.  Oh then I have to add a moisturizer with sunblock too.  Before you know it I have been in the bathroom for an hour applying face creams!

Then the real fun comes with the little wax machine.  If I pay to get my face waxed, we won't be paying for college.  This little guy has paid for itself in two waxing.  So many mistakes.  A giant lump of wax in my eyebrow just about left me eyebrowless.  I look like I have just come out of sunburn that peeled when I am done, but at least I don't have a blond beard.  What the heck!? Could it be worth all this to try and slow the hands of time on my skin?  I sure had more fun back when I didn't care about my skin and had about an hour a day more!
If my bathroom isn't depressing enough, head into the kitchen at lunch time.  In no time it will be prunes for breakfast but at this point it is just kale smoothies for lunch.  Gag.  Chips are SO much better.  And trying to drink less wine, talk about a total buzz kill for the New Year.  Why is being good so much work.  There is a country song I identify with that croons All the things that kill me, make me feel alive!  The flip of that is all the things that persevere me, make me feel dead.  :)
So I had to have a few exciting and fun resolutions with all this being healthier nonsense.  Max and I completed our goal last year to hike 12 peaks in the Phoenix area.  It has given me a bit of a hiking bug.  Arizona has such a wild and unique landscape.  The prickly cactus paired with the red mountains and brilliant blue sky is a feast for the eyes.  I love exploring new places and challenging myself.  This year I hope to hike Havasupai Falls.
This doesn't look like it could really exist.  I have to see it!  It is a serious 10 miles in and 10 miles out in the Grand Canyon.  We would backpack and camp at the falls.  I am resolving to try and see this natural wonder before I am too old, it is too dangerous, my skin is too frail, and my bones too weak.
I resolve to keep on with our Family 50 and hit the middle of America and Washington this year.  We have 15 states left to visit.  If we are able to chip away these 7, we will be so close!  Our states trips have been some of our best experiences as a family.  We are excitedly planning our routes for this year.
I was recently inspired by our friend's family.  They are a Roman Catholic family from New Orleans.  Our friend has 12 siblings, with all of them still residing in Louisiana.  For his 50th birthday 8 of them and their families made it out to celebrate.  Our friends travel back to New Orleans regularly to maintain an incredible family bond.  It is hard to imagine with that many siblings that everyone would find time and make connecting a priority.  Another nod to my age, I really see the value in putting into your family.  While vacations with family are not in the same category as relaxing beach destinations, adventure filled trips, or exciting tours of Europe, they are more important.  In that vein we decided we would try harder to visit family.  There is nothing better than a strong family and I realize I must emphasize and teach that to my children so that they will hopefully carry on our strong and loving family bond.  We hope to visit as many family members this year as we can.  So look out, MKHKKH might be showing up on your door this year.

Kicking Off the New Year

Our final weekend of Christmas break was event filled.  If you had asked me to bet who would be the one to get stitches first in 2016, I would have bet the house on Hank.  I would have lost!  The day after New Year's Hailey went mountain biking riding and while doing a victory lap where she had made it up the mountain, she tripped and fell into a jagged rock.  When she got home she showed me her wound and Max knew he needed to clean it out.  It had denim form her jeans in it!  After he cleaned it, she took a shower and came to show me.  I took one look and said this needs stitches!  Max replied he was on the fence and if it was on her face for sure but it would probably be fine.  I wasn't buying it so he took her to urgent care.
Five stitches later and a PE excuse for two weeks, Hailey was a happy girl.
 After 3 hours at urgent care and a martini later, Max was a happy man.  My poor girl.  She is so tough.  She didn't shed a tear through any of it, while I had to fight mine.  I really think it hurts more to see your babies hurting than if it happened to you.
 On Sunday morning we got up early and drove about 40 minutes out into the desert to watch the sun rise.  I had done this as a kid with my Dad and I still have fond memories of it.
 There is something amazing and wonderful about seeing the light chase away the dark and the power of the sun as it peaks over the mountains.  We lucked out and had a spectacular morning with no wind and great clouds.  The light on the clouds made for a stunning sun rise.
 We sat on top of the Jeep with sleeping bags and blankets while we drank hot coco and ate doughnuts and cinnamon rolls.  Someone might have played The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow from Annie.  :)
I can't think of a better way to start the New Year.  We made it back home in time for church and fun day of football.
Max made his family's signature grinder and we had a nice afternoon doing nothing but hanging out.
Hailey played the piano while my dinner time circus ensued.  If our first weekend of the New Year is any indication, it is going to be a wild and beautiful year.

New Year's New

Celebrating a new beginning with a day of new is how we start the New Year!
 It is not very often that we have bagels and salmon for breakfast.  This was not brand new, but not the norm for sure.
 Notre Dame played right here in Phoenix in the Fiesta Bowl.  Karlie is bound and determine to go to Notre Dame and is already a die hard fan.  She took their loss hard and we all were rooting for them.  :)  I bet she will bring them good luck when she gets there.
We played two new games this New Year!  Hank got a street hockey set for Christmas and we had to have a family game.

It was H buddies against K buddies.
It was a friendly but fierce battle.  I am proud to say the K buddies brought home the inaugural win!!
 Everyone got new work out gear for Christmas.  We wore it and hope to wear out this year!
 The other game we played was Kubb.  It is a fun Swedish, wooden tossing game with "femurs and skulls" that make it like a combination of Bocce ball and Horse Shoes.  Daddy's team won this one hands down!  We can't wait to play more as the spring comes.
 In the afternoon we watched Minions as our new movie.  I can't exactly give it a good review as I fell asleep during it.  It might have been better if the Minions actually spoke instead of just made weird noises.  However, the kids didn't seem to mind it.
 We had a hard time coming up with a new food to eat this year.  Strange and exotic cheeses are always a good choice.  We tried a lemon, a chipotle habanero, and champagne cheeses.
We also got to try fancy cupcakes from GiGi's cupcakes that our friends brought to the New Year's party.  Wow!  They were delicious and decedent.
Last New Year's we wrote letters to ourselves and sealed them to open the on the New Year.  The letters reminded us where we were just a year ago and the things that seemed so important at that time.  We each wrote a few things that we hoped to accomplish and were happy to learn that we managed to accomplish most of what we had hoped we would.  We are getting ready to write our letters for 2017 and are full of hope and anticipation of what God has in store for each of us in 2016!