See Ya Later Brace Face!

Karlie got her braces off!  I am not sure how she could have grown up in one afternoon.  It was like she went form a middle schooler to a high schooler in a blink of the eye.  I wasn't entirely joking when I asked the orthodontist to put them back on.
I imagine that beautiful smile will open many doors for Karlie and hopefully will not break too many hearts!

First Day of Fall

 There really is no such thing as fall in Phoenix.  Around Halloween it finally flips into winter.  You go from highs of upper 90s straight to highs of 68 degrees!  However, on the first day of fall we had a bit of cool spell.  It was below 90 degrees all day.  I took the opportunity to go for a hike with some of my girlfriends.
That evening Hank went to a lacrosse clinic and it was actually beautiful and pleasant.  It made me yearn for Colorado falls.  It is the season I miss most.  This Desert Bird of Paradise is about as close as you get to fall colors.  Oh to have that crisp fall air and beautiful fall leaves.
 It was finally cool enough to have a lemonade stand.  The girls made quite a killing on a Saturday afternoon.  People start to come out of the summer hibernation and many neighbors stopped by to say hello.
But we can't get our hopes up.  We have to steel ourselves to the fact that this was a rare cool spell and the heat will be back to haunt us until Halloween.  But we sure soaked up the weekend of "cool" fall weather!

Gramps Birthday

My parents got to come out for a quick weekend trip around my Dad's birthday.  We are always looking for an excuse to celebrate so we had his favorite dinner, surf and turf.  Karlie and Kaitlin made fancy cupcakes too!
It was a very quick visit but we packed in as much as we could.  Wishing we could always be together to celebrate birthdays and life.

No More Monkeys In The Bed

Last week Max had to give a talk in Budapest, Hungry.  He had over 40 hours of travel and was only there for a little over 48 hours!
 The next day after Max left the big girls took off for a leadership retreat to Zion National Park.  They were both selected to be student leaders at our church!  They were so excited to get to skip school for their retreat.
 That left just the two little monkeys.  We decided to go to the Shrine Circus.  I can't remember the last circus we went to but I feel like it was when Hailey was a toddler.
 Protesters greeted us chanting,"Animal abuse is not entertainment!"  The circus was a bit sad.  I don't know how they afford to pay the performers and feed the animals.  Most of the kids' tickets were free and there were less than half of the arena full of people, most of them a mom bringing a group of children.  The girls were the most excited about the tigers while Hank loved the motorcycle tricks.  I was in awe of the human tricks.  The amount of balance and strength the performers had was amazing.  However, we all felt sad for the elephant who had to have piles of kids on her while she walked in a circle over and over.  She looked bored to death.  :(  With Barnum and Bailey's closing and the poor attendance at this circus, I don't see the circus industry lasting much longer.  That might be a good thing.
By Saturday morning I was fully back into sports crazy weekends.  Kaitlin had super Saturday for volleyball all morning and Hank had his first game of the season for basketball.  We left Kaitlin in the middle to run to Hank's game and then run back to her tournament.
I had been trying to get a picture of Hank for Max and they were all blurry, so I decided to video him and by luck caught this buzzer beater!  He was so excited!!
After our big sports morning Hank headed over to his buddy's house to spend the night.  That left just Kaitlin and me!  I can not recall a time that it has ever been just me and one kid in the house.  We hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  So we had a pizza night and watched Grease.  Then we did face masks and snuggled.  In the morning she wanted to climb to the top of Sunrise peak.  We ate muffins Kaitlin made for breakfast at the top.  She hiked over 4 miles!  Then it was church, store and time to pick up the girls from their retreat!
Siri looks like I did when the big girls got home!  Grinning form ear to ear to have all my babies safe at home.
We were just missing Papa Bear.  We all had Bible study groups so Max arrived home to an empty house but only for a little bit.  He was tackled with hugs when we got back.
The only good part of Max going away is that each night the kids get a turn snuggling and sleeping with mom.  The big girls like to just hang out and talk until its time to go to sleep and then they head to their rooms.  It is nice to get some alone time with each of them and check in with how school and friends are going.  I didn't particularly love Hank kicking or punching me in the night, but I do like it when he snuggles up and falls asleep on me.  No more monkeys in the bed until next time Daddy is out of town.