8 Seconds

 Last night was the night before the last day of school.  Hailey was studying for her hardest finals.  Max was in Florida for work.  I was bull riding!  It was our last chance for a Mom's Night Out before everyone flees for the summer.  My good friend I have been talking about riding a bull since the first time we visited Buffalo Chip Saloon and decided it was now or never!
The cowgirl in me has always wanted to ride a bull.  It might be those darn country songs playing in my head, like Tim McGraw's song Live Like You're Dying:

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying'

Well my bull's name was Bear and I went 8 seconds!
Or maybe it was Brad Paisley's lyrics : 
You think that riding a wild bull sounds crazy
And I'd like to give it a whirl

Then there is Garth's Brooks song Rodeo that has playing in my head since I was a teen...
Well it's bulls and blood, it's dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd, it's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle he'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps, it's cowboy hats
It's spurs and latigo, it's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain and they call the thing rodeo

Or maybe I am having a midlife crisis.  All are possibilities.
I love living in Arizona.  I think it might be the only place in the country you can decide to ride a bull as long as you sign the waiver, have jeans, close toed shoes, pay the small fee, and don't appear inebriated.  I can't say enough good things about Buffalo Chip Saloon.  They took care of my other wild cowgirl buddy and me so nicely.  They instructed us carefully and let us get our feet wet.  

After signing the waiver, going pee, and taking a shot of Fireball for courage we were ready to get loaded in the chute!  They released the gates and out I went ready for the ride of my life.  Bear was an old grandpa who gave me more of pony ride than a bull ride.  I kicked him a few times in an attempt to get him going.  So technically I can cross bull riding off my bucket list, but the unfortunate part is that I really liked it and want a bull with a little more spunk in him.  I shouldn't be able to gracefully dismount after the horn.  We have plans to go back and go bigger!

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

We finished up Hank's baseball season last week.  I am usually ready for the season to be over but we have had the most amazing spring weather.  I could sit at 100 more games if it stayed this way.
 It also marks the end of Hanks AAA career.  Next year he will have to try out for the minors and likely be separated from his buddies that he has played with for numerous seasons.  Max will likely step down as a coach as it gets a little more serious and intense. 
He is growing up so big.  :( A real chip off the old block.  I hate it but at the same time couldn't be prouder that he is turing out just like Max.
He seems to have a knack for catching like his daddy. :)
 Ben and Hank have been on the same team for 5 years.  I met his mom during one of our first practices when Hank was four.  I had to run the girls to piano and Max was out of town.  I saw Aimee with her sweet little toddler and thought she must be a safe person to trust my son to.  I asked her to watch over Hank while I ran the girls to music.  We have been best buds since and are very close family friends.
 I loved seeing my two favorite boys play ball together.  Max would often pitch when they didn't have a machine.  He nailed Hank once and he could barely shake it off.  But he said he would rather hit his own kid than anyone else. :)  Max was definitely more hurt than Hank.
Hank improved so much this year.  He had a big swing and struck out his fair share in the beginning but he slowly got better and even hit a home run one night!  He was awarded the "Dirtiest Player" at the team party last night.  Not because he is a cheat, but because he slides into every base he can and even practiced sliding in the dugout.  This ruined numerous pairs of pants.  It didn't help that his coach would tease him if he could still see grey at the end of the game.  Hank loves to get on the ground in every sport with baseball being the one with the most Hank to ground ratio by far.  He is all boy!
I love watching him play and am going to miss sitting on the sidelines watching the sweetest pastime.  It is more than just a game and is unlike any other of the sports he plays.  It is a good hearted game filled with all of his best buddies and family friends.
"Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world."
~Babe Ruth

Mother's Day

My greatest joy in life is being a mother.  I love Mother's Day not for gifts and to be waited on but because I feel like it is a celebration of the core of who I am.  The special attention is a bonus! :)
 The Friday before Mother's Day Hank's class had an Author's Tea where we got to read the book he published and a score of sweet Mother's Day love notes and crafts.  
In his book about me I loved when he wrote:   My Mom is good at making cereal.  My Mom is not good at turning on the TV.  I love when my Mom tucks me in.  My Mom is really good at making cakes.  My Mom loves ice cream.  My Mom does not like dumping sand out (of his shoes).  So funny and true! 
 I was showered with flowers and love notes at home.  Homemade notes mean a thousand times more than store bought ones.
Karlie made a book with my name making an acrostic poem and a poster about me.
K- kind

L- listener


Kaitlin also made a poster with reasons why everyone loves mama. :)
You make us feel:
loved, happy, important, safe
 Hailey's made me cry.  I love you because you demonstrate to me what a good person should be like.  I've never met another person that unquestionably devotes their time and energy to making everyone around them happy.  Love you!
Karlie made us berry scones for breakfast.
 We went to church and then the one thing I wanted to do was take a family bike ride.
 I love living in the wild west with my wild things.
 To finish of a most wonderful day Max made one of my favorite dinners, citrus shrimp.
Going to bed that night I was so grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a mother.  It is such an immense job that at times brings out the best of you and can also bring you to the breaking point.  There are times you wonder if you are qualified for the job and wish there were a manual to refer to.  Then there are days like Mother's Day where you think for a minute you might be doing a good job.  Holding them, loving them, nurturing them, and teaching them has been the biggest blessing in my life.  Max makes all my motherhood dreams come true with his love and support.  I feel like one of the luckiest mothers in the world.

Hank's Homerun 8th Birthday Party!

 My Mom and Snork were visiting for the weekend and got to experience a typically crazy MKHKKH day with a little extra crazy thrown in.  Hank had a baseball game in the morning.  He was able to play first base where he assisted with a number of outs.  He has a reputation for being on the ground in every sport he plays and baseball is no exception.  In basketball the parents on the side lines would have an over under for how often Hank would end up on the floor.  :)  I can not get his pants clean because he is sliding into every base he can.  He jumps on the ground every chance he gets.  
Hank hit hit first homer!  As he was running for home he took a head first leap for home plate even though he had no chance of being out!  He does make everyone laugh. Hank was so proud to join the home run club with Grammy and Gramps watching.
After the game it was time to rush home and get everything set up for his birthday party!  He invited his whole team for a Home Run Water Party.
The goodie bags were full of the boys' favorite things: Gatorade, sunflower seeds, Cracker Jacks and Big League Chew.  He wanted none other than a Baseball Cake.
We served lunch ballpark style with popcorn, hot dogs and nachos.
Junk food paradise for 8 year old boys.
After they were all fueled up, it was time to start the games.
First up was home run derby but you didn't know if Max was going to pitch a wiffle ball or water balloon.  Then as a surprise they got randomly sprayed with a  water cannon on 2nd base.
The favorite game was water balloon launch.  They loved trying to catch the balloons as much as launching them!
Then we played catch with water balloons to see who could get the farthest apart.
They loved losing as much as winning!
Next we had a relay race of squirting the balloons across the pool and then swimming them back and passing the gun to the next team member.
 It wouldn't be a party at our house without a PiƱata!
Kids love candy.
Our final game was water balloon fight. 
 I have to say this party would not have been possible it were not for the new water balloon filling tool.  I got this set at Costco for $15!
It allows you to make 100 water balloons in a minute.  We had almost 500 water balloons for 2 hours of a party and didn't run out.
The boys played non stop for over 2 hours.  Max and I were wasted but it was time to clean up and head out to the girls' volleyball game.   After their game we headed to In and Out Burger for dinner.  It was a home run kinda day!

May The 4th Be With You

We had a fun day celebrating May The 4th!  As big Star Wars geeks we had Star Wars themed food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!
Of course we wore our Star Wars shirts as we watched The Force Awakens.  I love celebrating with my Jedis. 

Kaitlin's Tie-Dye 10th Birthday Party

I am so lucky to have three young ladies in the house.  They are all becoming great bakers.
 Kaitlin wanted to help make her cake this year too!  Pretty soon I won't have to cook or bake a thing!
 She wanted a Tie-Dye theme, so we made a Tie-Dye cake inside by layering the rainbow circles in opposite directions.
 We then frosted the top with her favorite cream cheese frosting and used gel colors to make a rainbow ring of colors.
 Using a food paint brush Kaitlin slowly pulled the lines toward each other.
It turned out so cute!
A perfect 10!
She loved surprising her friends with the inside.
Kaitlin has a little squad of 4 best friends.  They have all had each other over for sleep over birthday parties.  Kaitlin couldn't think of anything better than getting to have all her friends to celebrate.  She planned out a busy night.  The first thing we did was go to Grimaldi's Pizza.  The kids love playing with the pizza dough.  Max and I remarked how easy it is to go out to eat.  We finally are starting to see why people do it!  When you can sit down, enjoy food that you don't have to plan, make or clean up, it is lovely.  No longer are the days taking shifts eating or trying to not let your toddler completely destroy the entire dinner table and floor with food and spills.  No more cutting up everyones food or trying to get out of the restaurant as fast a possible. Maybe there are a  few good things about them growing up. :)
 Next it was time to Tie-Dye beach towels.  I don't know what I was thinking.  These things were huge!  I bought a giant mix of Tie-Dye but it didn't come close to being enough.  We had to take a pause while I ran to Micheals for reinforcements.  Even with another entire pack that did 36 items, it wasn't enough.  But the girls are all easy going and ended up being pleased with their towels in the morning after they had set overnight.
 Then they watched the Peanuts movie before getting ready for bed.  Kaitlin is a sleeper and at 10pm she told me I need to come and make sure everyone went to sleep!  She is so sweet.  All little giggling girls were asleep by 10:30.
 Kaitlin is our next horse lover.  Hailey knew she would be delighted if she brought Stormy by to say Happy Birthday to Kaitlin and her friends.
 She was thrilled as were the girls.
Karlie is extremely allergic to horses and cats, so much that she can't be in the same room.  Hank has been allergic to cats, dogs and horses.  However, twice he has petted the horses and been ok.  We thought we try him sitting on Stormy and see how he did.
A few minutes later he was blowing up.  It was off to the shower and loading up with Benadryl.  Poor guy.  He was more sad that he was still allergic than how he felt.  I sure hope they come up with a cure for allergies.
The girls loved getting to sit on Stormy.
 Kaitlin didn't want to get off.  At least Mrs. Rose will have another helper once Hailey heads to college.
Beautiful, tender  hearted, and loving.  I can't believe you are double digits!  You are a perfect 10 inside out.  I pray this year is colored with joy and blessings.  We love you so much sweet girl.