The minute we stepped foot off the plane we hit the ground running and we haven't slowed down since. Here's just a few of the happenings in July and August. Monsoon season is my favorite. Every evening the storms roll in, impressive lightning streaking across the warm summer sky and falling asleep to the sound of rain pouring down is sorta my favorite. And Kylie has a tradition of dancing in the rain.
I thought all my babies would come out with mops of black hair, surprisingly Maddox is the only one that fulfilled that dream. The rest had bald little heads with strawberry peach fuzz. Maddox's hair has sorta been his identity, his shiny soft locks always falling in his eyes. I decided I was finally ready to allow him to grow up and give him his first real hair cut. I thought I would be so sad, but it's hard when he looks so handsome. At first he was sad to see all his hair fall to the ground, but then decided he looked like the spitting image of Bruce Wayne. Jason was working late and Maddox couldn't wait to show him. He gelled his hair up then slept sitting up so that it wouldn't get messed up until his dad got home. The next morning I came home from the gym at 6:45 am and he was already awake, dressed and in the bathroom slicking down his hair with gel and hairspray. He couldn't wait to show his friends, and I really hope he got the gushing reaction he was expecting.
One thing I don't like about monsoon season is the wind storms. This time it blew one of our trees over onto the fence. We had to hire a tree removal company and as Ryder watched him scale the tree to cut it down from the top, he uttered in complete admiration, "he is the greatest guy ever..."
I love that Jayden is so willing to try new things. He decided he wanted to run for student council. He made these posters (with the help of his sweet sister) and rehearsed the speech he had written. Each class voted for one boy and one girl representative, he was running against 5 other boys and won by a landslide. So proud of him. He is a natural born leader and I love that he channels that energy in such a positive way.
He also decided to take up playing the trombone in the school band. He thought it might help on his college applications. Bless his heart, always a forward thinker. Love his ambition.
We have loved having My brother's family living so close. Little Claire has these two boys wrapped around her finger, actually we are all are. I just love seeing them oohh and aahh over her like she's the greatest toy ever.
I chopped my hair and went dark again. It feels good to have the old me back.
We have been busy with home improvement projects. So grateful for employees who distract restless boys when I'm about to lose it and allow them to help fill the paint cans. I wanted to hug her.
Elder Howard was one of our favorite missionaries in NZ and he just so happened to be from AZ. We were excited to attend his homecoming and see him on the flip side.
A few more of our NZ/AZ missionaries. Fun to see them and share stories, such good guys.
Flowers at the bus stop. This boy is such a lover, I'm already dreading the day when I have to share his heart with another girl.
My poor baby got stung by a wasp. Even after a week it still looked like this.
We have loved living close to a temple again and have tried to go often.
I was called into Young Women's as a Laurel advisor. I have loved working with the girls and especially spending more time with Kylie when we have combined activities.
Jayden skyping his NZ class. They sure miss all their friends and their friends sure miss them! Thank goodness for technology. I remember sending my best friend letters and the occasional exchange of troll dolls in the mail when we moved in elementary school but it always took such effort that we soon drifted apart.
And then these two got braces. It was like buy one get one free, except we had to pay for them both. $$. Can't wait to see their smiles in a few years, but for now they are totally pulling off the brace face/metal mouth look!
After a 2 year hiatus, Jayden was itching to get back into soccer and it was as if he had never left. He picked up right where he left off and became one of the top players on their team. He managed to score almost every game, even pulling off a hat trick in the last game and scoring the winning goal. He also switched off playing goalie, he did such a great job but it always gave me such anxiety because there is so much pressure on him! He sure is fun to watch.
Cutest little preschool craft. I love this age. He says the funniest little phrases, like "phewf, that was close", "aw shucks", "oh my goss" and "bingo", just to name a few. He also declared, "you almost gave me a heart attack!" when I went upstairs and he didn't know where I was. He has to know where I am at all times. I kinda love it and I kinda don't. Ya know, announcing every time you have to go to the bathroom gets a little old.
One of the worst parts of being back is all the scorpions. I don't think our renters did much about them while we were gone and we've had an infestation. We found them every where, like this one hitching a ride on Kylie's back pack when she was about to put it on
and the one hanging out above our bed in the light fixture.
We've had so many close calls that I knew it was a matter of if, not when, that someone was going to get stung. It just broke my heart that it happened to Ryder. He was wrestling with Jayden in the toy room and screamed in pain. I started getting after Jayden for being too rough, then through gasps he told me, "I got stinged!". I pulled back the drapes he was by and sure enough the devil's spawn came crawling out. Pure evil. We called poison control and besides elevating it with a cold compress we just had to wait it out. Six hours for the pain to subside, days or weeks for the numbness to go away. Rush him to the ER if his eyes start rolling in the back of his head or if he starts foaming at the mouth. He was writhing in pain, Maddox was hysterical and thought he was going to die and the rest of us had silent tears running down our cheeks as we watched him suffer. After Jason gave him a blessing (and showered him with treats from the store) he calmed down and after an hour he was up and walking on it. So grateful, it really was such a blessing and could have been so much worse.
Jayden has been handed the torch of yard work. Saturdays used to be his favorite day of the week, he has since changed his mind. But it's so good for him and I love seeing two of my favorite boys working out there side by side (while I sit inside the nice air conditioned house).
Here comes another haboob. Weird name, fascinating dust storm. They're pretty amazing to watch, but kind of scary to get caught driving in.
I swear we spent that first month in and out of dentist and doctor's offices as we got all caught up with everyone's check ups. This mister was a rock star at his first dentist appointment and wasn't shy at all about pulling up a chair and assisting with Maddox's cleaning as well.
My sweet friends that took me out for my birthday lunch. I've missed these girls so much and it breaks my heart that one of my favorites is leaving me to move to Utah and is taking her adorable baby too! So not fair.
Ryder drew this picture of him and Jason. He told me dad was the one with hair in his arm pits. The little tufts of hair growing under his stick arms is pure gold.
The boys had a half day for teacher conferences so I surprised them and took them to Chuck E Cheese. We hadn't been in years and it was a fun blast from the past. Kylie chose to go shopping on her half day. I swear that it was only yesterday that Chuck E Cheese was her cup 'o tea, it still floors me the way time just marches on....