And She Is Off!

Today Hailey got her driver's license!  
 Teaching her to drive the last 6 months I have been slowly getting use to the idea of my girl driving.  It is such a big milestone in your life.  The freedom to drive,  the thrill of taking a road trip, being able to just drive to clear your thoughts, and having the ability to be so independent.
  Driving is a big responsibility and privilege.  Especially when I found the cost to insure a teenage driver!  Looks like I have a free babysitter anytime I need. :)
 Watching her drive off for the first time alone is hard to describe.  You are happy, proud, scared, terrified, worried, did I mention freaked out??  Be safe my baby girl.

Fourth Fun

I woke up to find Hank making a Lego scene.  I love summer so much when the kids just have time to play.  The 4th of July was a day full of playing!
 Kaitlin and one of her best buddies had fun playing with the make-up.
 Hailey got into the patriotic make-up too!
 Firecrackers in the pool and after dark were in order.

 The kids love having Max throw them in the pool.
 They are getting so big, I don't know how he does it.
 He wondered why he was sore the next morning.
Kaitlin made a patriotic cake with just a little help from daddy.
Kaitlin and Melina made a restaurant for desert.
 The Candy Land ice-cream was especially fun with lollipops sticking out of it!
 Max put on a great show for us.
 Sparklers and Poppers are always the kids' favorite.
 Sparkle and Dab.  LOL
 We had really fun day playing and were grateful for all of our freedoms.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!
The last time we were home for 4th of July was 4 years ago.  The 110 degree heat reminded my why we always try to be anywhere else.  :)  We thought it would be fun to recreate our photo from then.  Boy have the kids grown!  I had to laugh as both Hank and Max have their same suits.  Hank can still wear a 5T swim suit!!  However, all of the ladies no longer have the same suits or could fit in them!  We were talking about trying to do this every four years and imaging the images of kids being absent as they leave to college and start families of their own until one year it is just Max and me in the photo.   Then husbands and a wife would be added and eventually grandkids.  Father Time is a strange thing.  We are so blessed to live in the land of the free because of the brave.  We are so grateful to have the freedom and joy to celebrate this day but never forget that our joyful celebrations came at a heavy price for many.  So proud to be American.  I love my country even if I don't love our leaders.  We can do better America.  I can only hope that in four more years our lives will be as blessed and that America will once again be what our forefathers dreamed we would be.


As soon as Max and I got back from hiking Havasupi Falls we headed to Karlie's final volleyball tournament of the season.  It was a four day festival in downtown Phoenix over the Fourth of July weekend.  We had gotten up at 3:30 am to try and beat the sun and heat for our 8 mile hike out of the canyon then had a 5 hour drive home and then another 6 hours of volleyball ahead of us!
Karlie's team played until 10:30 at night.  Max, my parents, and the kids had gone home at dinner.  I was a pretty tired mama and kept walking to stay awake.  That night was we left, Chase Field across the street began to shoot off huge fireworks at the conclusion of the Diamondback's game.  It felt like an perfect ending for a very long day.  The next day the girls played better and continued to play until the afternoon.  While they didn't win their division they placed 3rd.  Everyone was sad to say goodbye.  It was a really nice bunch of girls and parents, something it seems many clubs don't have.  Karie's passion for volleyball was further fueled with her time at Ignite.  She improved so much this season.  I can see she will be returning to play next year!