Happy 13th Birthday Karlie

Happy 13th Birthday Karlie!
We are so lucky to have you as our daughter!  I think this is your lucky 13th year!  Here are 13 words that  describe you:
1.  Smart
2.  Beautiful 
3.  Sparkles
4.  Volleyball Lover
5.  Caring
6.  Driven
7.  Leader
8.  Green
9.  Loving
10.  Excellent sister
11.  Future Notre Dame Grad :)
12.  Cool Camping Chick
13.  Lucky
You are growing into a beautiful young lady that makes us very proud.  We love watching you play volleyball and your zest for life!  You are the life of the party that sparkles everywhere you go.  Your siblings are blessed to have such a loving and caring sister that has taught them so much.  We know you can reach any goal you set your mind to with your drive and leadership.  Your green, sparkling eyes remind us how lucky we are that God chose us to be your mom and dad.  We can't believe you are a teenager when it seems just yesterday we were holding you in arms.  You have brought good luck from the day you were born and we can't wait to see what your future holds.  We sure love you Karks!

A Day of Surprises!

Max took the day off work for his birthday.  I had a day full of surprises in store for him!
First up was a pedicure.  I figured it was time for Max to have his first pedicure.  I imagined them getting the mini grinder out to go after his calloused feet.  To my shock they spent more time removing dead skin off my running callouses than on his feet!
After the pedicure I took him a spring training game.  It was so fun to play hookie while the kids were at school.  We sat in the warm sun and watched the Dbacks crush the dodgers 15-3!
When we got home the kids had set my room for Max to go outfit shopping.  I had bought multiple shirts and pants (Max hates to shop) to choose an outfit for his next surprise. The kids got dressed up like we were all going somewhere.  I told him we had an appointment and to be ready for a fun night.  Then our friends started showing up one by one.
After everyone arrived we sang Happy Birthday and went outside where the party bus awaited us.  I had stocked it for the evenings activities.  Another first for Max, being on a party bus!
Max is an active guy so I planned and Amazing Race themed night where we would race around Scottsdale performing challenges with the guys against the girls.  The price for loosing each challenge was drinks or physical activities.  Each person could choose.  :)
 Max received the yellow envelopes with the clues and had to figure out where to go.  Since he is over the hill now, I decided to have a night of returning to youth and acting like he was a kid or at least a college kid for one night!
The first challenge was to go to CrackerJax adventure park to race Go Karts.  It was guys against girls.  First person to cross the finish line won for the team.  I dusted Max!  The boys all took a shot of Fireball.  :)
 Back at the bus Max had to reveal the next clue.  It was time to whack some balls off the top deck of the driving range.  We grabbed the two clubs I brought and headed up after getting 40 balls for each team.  After each person took 5 swings they had to choose their best swinger to compete in a silly challenge.
1.  Furthest hit
2.  Best wind up like a pro golfer
3.  Best yelling FORty
4.  Hit the ball with your eyes closed
5.  Best swing while your team sings Happy Birthday to Max.
The guys were beating us until the final round where the ladies pulled out all the stops to win bonus points and win the match!  We can sing so much better than the boys.
The next clue led him to the playground by our house where each team had to act like kids again.  Everyone had to slide down the slide backward, face first and then all together.
 I went first and almost knocked myself out when I hit my head.  I had to laugh the next morning when I had a bump on the back of my head.  A sure sign of a fun night!
Then one player had to push a teammate on the swings and do and underdog!
Two people had to hang upside down on the monkey bars for 30 seconds. 
Finally everyone had to go 8 seconds on the spring horses!
I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time.  The girls completed the challenge first!
 The next clue led us to the grocery store where each team had to choose their best shopper.  I had two bags that had women's clothing including giant bras and granny panties from the goodwill and a $20 in it.  They had to get dressed with all the items and run in the store and buy 4 items that spelled MAX 40!  These two were such great sports they had us all rolling in laughter as they raced though the store gathering embarrassing items. Luckily it was later at night and the grocery attendant found us humorous and did not call the cops at the crazy lady and the drag queen.
Once again the ladies won!  It was looking like the boys might have a headache in the morning.
 The final clue took Max to a Coyote Ugly style saloon where girls dance on the bar in daisy dukes.  En route Max and a girl team member had to play chubby bunny, yet another throwback to our youth. Max crushed the competition, so it was time for the ladies to pay up.  At the bar the funnest part was watching the guys try to out punch each other for the top score on the punching bag game.  You would have thought their family name rested on getting the high score.  The clock struck midnight and it was time for me to round everyone up and have them dropped off safely at home.  We had one of the funnest nights of our lives and I was so grateful to all our friends, many who were leaving early the next morning for spring break vacations, that came out and were willing to act like silly children for a night.  If his first day of being 40 is any indication, I think 40 is going to be fabulous.

Happy 40th Birthday Max!

40!
When I look at you I still see the 14 year old I fell in love with.  It is hard for me to believe we are celebrating your 40th birthday!  I would be undeservedly blessed if I got to be by your side for another 40 years.  You are like a fine wine and certainly get better with age.  I think with you, 40 is the new 30, and it's certain you are way more fun than 2 20 year olds!  :)  Here are 40 thoughts that come to mind when I see you.
1.  Family Man
2.  Believer
3.  Wonderful Dad
4.  Handy
5.  Doctor
6.  Humble
7.  Generous
8.  Loving
9.  Country Concertgoer
10. BBQ Master
11.  Poached Egg King
12.  Coffee Bearer
13.  Provider
14.  Mountain Biker
15.  Jeeper
16.  Desert Lover
17.  Macallan's Man
18.  Coach
19.  Running Buddy
20.  Homework Helper
21.  Pool Partier
22.  Can Fix Anything
23.  High School Sweetheart
24.  Serves Others
25.  Leader
26.  Strong
27.  Tall
28.  Dark
29.  Handsome
30.  Mine :)
31.  Role Model
32.  Smart
33.  Hard Working
34.  Margarita Maker
35.  Travel Companion
36.  Dedicated
37.  Loyal
38.  Makes Everything More Fun
39.  Wild West Gun Shootin Cowboy
40.  Makes All My Dreams Come True

Hoping to make your 40th a home run of a year!

Finishing Off February

Over the long Martin Luther King weekend Hailey went to the mountains for our Church's winter youth camp retreat.  She had been excited and anticipating it for months.  What is better than going to camp with all your best friends and no parents?
 She had a great time and came home completely physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted.  She is already looking forward to the summer beach camp.
 In honor of President's Day Hank's class did a patriotic play where they had to memorize and recite lines about America's beginning.
They sang You're A Grand Old Flag and God Bless America.  Hank was so funny.  He came home and told me how upset he was that he was in the very back for the dancing to You're A Grand Old Flag.  Trying to sooth him I said, "well maybe your teacher put the taller kids in the back."  He refuted, "No! Sage is the tallest person in the class and she is in the very front."  He then said, "I am a good dancer, I should be in the front."  Apparently Hank got my dancing jeans... Where just because we like to dance, does not mean we are good at it!

It is one of my favorite plays they do.  I just love their school.
 After a couple weeks of rest, relaxation and physical therapy Pops and his excellent nurse were flight worthy and ready to head home.  A celebration indeed of a successful new knee for Pops!
 Apparently all of our good behavior flew home with them because the next night a food fight ensued.
For the final day in February we had to really go wild for Fat Tuesday!  We had Jambo, King Cake soda, a modified eggless King Cake, and of course lots of beads and dancing.  I feel like our Mardi Gras celebration is always the kick off for our wild and fun spring of birthdays to come.  The kids love the cake and hoping to be the one that gets the baby.
 This year again no one got it the first night, so it was with the last piece of cake served to Max that the coveted baby was found!  I guess he is making the cake next year.
February was a crazy month, however I think it was just the warm up for spring!