Homecoming parade…

We’ve been attending the high school homecoming parade ever since we moved here. For such a large high school, it’s a pretty short parade, but they throw buckets of candy and my kids walk away from the parade with more candy than they do on Halloween. And when my kids walk in the parade, we provide bags of candy so we end up getting our candy back but with the special treatment of being thrown from a car and landing on hot pavement. 🙂

I remember the days of sitting at this parade with all five of my little kids running out to get candy. This year it was just Briggs and me. Bennett was at the Diamondbacks game with Steve. Hunter was at a soccer game in California. Cannon walked with the elementary school with a dia de los muertes themed float to highlight their spanish immersion program. And Hallie was in the parade on the pickleball club truck. Which left Briggs to scoop up all the candy on his own – he was not complaining.

We went to the homecoming game that night and they had so much more than a football game being played. Briggs and Cannon went from the military chopper to the bounce houses and then back to the chopper. They were entertained the whole night and probably didn’t even realize there was a football game going on.

I was more invested in the football game, but even more excited watching the Diamonbacks game on the phone of guy in front of me in the stands. The Dbacks had several good moments which prompted half the stands to stand up and cheer in unison – which was probably confusing to the football team who kept getting large screams of cheers when they didn’t do anything great.

We ended the night with a football win as well as a baseball win and everyone left happy.

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Tennis season wrap-up…

I worked so hard with the school to create a freshman tennis program. All the large high schools in our area have freshman teams in the fall and then JV/Varisty in the spring. With only 6 spots on JV and another six spots on Varsity, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for development in a high school of 3500 kids. A freshman program allows these kids to have a chance at playing before trying out in the spring against the senior boys twice their size with years of experience on them.

Hunter and his best friend played the #1 and #2 positions and competed in doubles together the whole season. They had some great chemistry and Hunter gained a love for playing doubles. (he prefers doubles over singles). And before we knew it the season was over. Tryouts for school soccer have already taken place and he’s moved on to the next sport.

I’m really hoping he sticks with tennis – he’s good even though it is a frustrating sport and a total mental game. Making the JV team in the spring will be a stretch. Ideally, he would spend the next three months pounding the court and improving. But he loves soccer. So he’ll fit in tennis in the cracks of his schedule and we’ll see where he lands. We’re just happy he had a freshman season to wet his appetite – hoping it’s enough to keep him coming back!

A big thanks to his friends who kept showing up for all the home matches – the best cheerleaders.

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Birthday festivities…

As luck would have it – Hallie turned 18 on one of the busiest Saturdays of the year! Between all the boys and their sports, I knew it was going to be hard to make her feel special on her big day. So I called in the best reinforcements. Hallie didn’t know it at the time, but we planned the best day for her.

She had friends surprise her by picking her up for lunch. They gave her the golden treatment complete with tiara and sash. I’m pretty sure if this had been the only birthday activity of the day – she would have been happy with the day. But I had more in store for her.

While she was out to lunch she had some little elves decorating her room. I was sitting at a soccer game giving Hunter directions to fill her room with balloons. He took that quite literally and he filled the room – no floor space visible. I was impressed to come home and find they didn’t just blow up balloons, they went through the party bin and found some banners and other decorations to add to the room.

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Hallie got home from lunch and didn’t immediately go to her room. So we just patiently waited until she felt the need to go upstairs and she was left speechless.

We had multiple soccer games that night so I worked with one of her friends to make sure she wouldn’t be stuck at home alone. Originally the plan was for them to use our ASU football tickets to take a group of friends. But I got a text two days before her birthday aborting the plan because the Diamondbacks were in the world series and had a game that night so they had a birthday/watch party. I figured a small group would gather and it would exceed her expectations. Later that night I received pictures from a sweet mother who spent some extra effort to make sure Hallie was celebrated. (Pazookies for everyone!) They had a large group (not all pictured) and hung out all night. Hallie’s wish for a Diamondbacks win was granted and she came home beaming. I couldn’t be more grateful for all these friends who spent the day showering her with love. Being tied up most the day, I was worried what her day would like and truth is it was better than I it would have been had I been home all day! They sure took care of her.

The next day we were all home and were able to open some presents and sing to her. I think she was most excited about the new Taylor Swift CD, 1989 Taylor’s Version. This was the very first CD Hallie owned and she played it over and over again in her karaoke machine. I couldn’t help but purchase the updated CD so she could jam out to it in her car old-school style. (She has since listened to it on repeat in her car and she’s raving about the convenience of CDs!)

I’m pretty sure she had the best birthday ever – it’s good to be 18!

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Freezer notes…

There are so many treats and candy flowing through this house, I have to laugh this even an issue.

Steve has a reputation for sampling all the kids’ treats and candy. He thinks there should be a 48 hour rule where treats are fair game if left unattended for longer than two days. And even with that knowledge, our kids still place a plate of brownies in the fridge with the unrealistic expectation they will be there later.

Hunter decided to make sure Steve knew his candy in the freezer wasn’t up for grabs. Hunter knows his dad has a sweet tooth for Reeces and he didn’t want to chance any “sampling”. Steve opened the freezer and found this note waiting for him:

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Soccer overload…

As if my parents didn’t attend enough soccer games with their own 5 children – they’re now watching the next generation carry on the game. There are very few people who would take the bait to come for a weekend when we had 8 soccer games (2 for Hunter, 3 for Bennett, 2 for Cannon and 1 for Briggs – none of which was tournament play). But there was very little hesitation for my parents and for that I am grateful.

Not only was it a soccer weekend, it was also Hallie’s 18th birthday and Halloween a few days later. They were fully immersed in our busy lives and I’m sure they were happy to go home and slow down just a bit.

On top of that we did some shopping, listened to Hunter serenade us on the guitar, attended the Halloween parade at the elementary school, walked to the Halloween house, worked on my mom’s memory book, watched the Diamondbacks in the World Series, hosted a dinner on Halloween, went trick-or-treating, and played soccer in the backyard.

We enticed them with a weekend full of soccer and sun but they ended up getting so much more. I’m grateful they were willing to make a last minute trip!

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