The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


Some HighLights from AZ Fish & Game Youth Day

I love being a homeschooling family....we can work out schedule to fit our lives. What did our lives dictate on Friday??? A trip up to Ben Avery for the AZ Fish & Game Youth Day!!! It is a day set aside for educators and home schoolers (yep, just about every HS family we know was there!!!!).  Perfect.  We usually attend this on the weekend, when it is open to the public, but this was MUCH better.  I love that David took the day off to spend it as a family.  Did I mention Perfect??!?!!?!

Just a few pics from the day...

No, this is not Mayah's first time....or second!  She loves holding the snakes and was bummed that she did not get to hold the large lizard.  May have to call our friend "Wild Man Phil" for some help there!

To my surprise...ok, not really, Leah insisted she was going to hold one too!  WOW!  Notice, Mommy and Chiara did NOT!  It's a snake!

Emma.  She did great.  Not a lot for her to do yet, but she is happy waving at birds, eating snack, and not being in a stroller.  Ever.

Off road girls.  Love the helmet!

Hilarious! Notice.  No Mayah.  She did not want to put on the hair net to wear the helmet. 
Snake, ok.  Hair net, not. 

Chiara is finally EIGHT at this event and can participate in the archery.  She loves it.  I love that even in line waiting my girl makes friends with another young girl-knows her age and probably her life story by the time she went up to shoot!

Strong.  Powerful.  That's MY girl!

If there is a tent we should do some tent dancing...right Emma?!  

Inflatable canoe.  Watching them I can tell their Daddy has taken them a time or two to REI and let them get in the kyacks! Naturals!

It was a great day.  I love that my girls love being outdoors and trying new things!
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Happy 8th Birthday Chiara

My sweet Chiara has turned 8. Eight? Yes, 8. 

She is mature for her age.  Thoughtful. Kind. Empathetic. Smart. Silly. Energetic. Helpful. Respectful. Yes, sometimes she is a bit too "big for her britches" (which she hears often these days), but it is a joy being her Mom and her teacher.  I love watching her grow. She can still be found dancing, or cartwheeling, around the house.  She sings loudly and has her own opinion now about what music she like and does not like.  She is becoming a country music fan and I must admit I am thrilled!!!!  She wants to do her own hair so I am cherishing the few times she asks me to do it.  She can keep a conversation on the phone (it was adorable to hear her talk to her friend Marissa in Maine!) though we are working on slowing down her speech so we can all understand what she is saying.  (I have no idea where this talking fast behavior comes from!?!?!)

I love how much she enjoys reading. Her goal each weekday is to get school work done as quickly as possible because she wants her play time and free time.  She does not enjoying writing, but she is good at it.  Let me correct that...she enjoys writing her own stories and books, but when the word "school" is attached to it her attitude toward it changes. 

She empties the sink without being asked.  She asks every day to get Emma out of her crib after nap.  She makes her own breakfast-usually an egg and cheese sandwich.  She enjoys baking and making meatloaf for dinner.  She loves, loves, loves any and every thing American Girl!!!  

I close my eyes and see myself in the operating room meeting her for the first time. Every memory as vivid as if it were yesterday.  I love this precious daughter of mine and I am honored to be her Mom Mommy.

Below are some pictures from her actual birthday and her family party at Nanny & Grampy's.  If you want to see her Birthday Photo Shoot you can check out my 4Beauty Website HERE. It should bring you to the Beauty page, but if not that is where you can find her pictures-at the top and bottom of that section.

Leah and Mayah made cards for Chiara.  I love how excited they get for one another!!!

David and I got Chiara a Betta Fish for her birthday.  "Cutie Carl Patrick, Jr" did not make it a week...thankfully "Cutie Carl Patrick, Jr II" is doing better!  Oye!

American Girl Kanani from Mommy and Daddy...she was a happy girl!

She got Lego Friends from her sisters and Papa.  Happy, happy girl!!!

A small piece of cake so she could blow out a candle on her actual birthday.

She wanted the organic gluten free chocolate cake we always make with a raspberry, cream cheese frosting.  Pink without food dye!  I was able to make it without any added sugar!!!  It was delicious!

Me and my gorgeous daughter (well, one of 4!)

Birthday Princess

Opening up the Saige (American Girl) book #2 from Nanny and Grampy.  We were thrilled to have Barbara, Rachel, and Nick there.  Along with Chiara's Great Grandparents and Scott & Sierra (who might as well be family!!!!)

Chiara with her grandparents.  As I write this she is up at their house for a weekend sleepover-by herself.  Special time.  She worked at Grampy's store for a bit on Friday afternoon, went out to eat and to the movies with Nanny after.  Saturday sounds like a craft fair and fun.  I am already ready to have her home.

Happy Birthday Chiara!
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Spring Is Here!

Yes, it is that time of the year in Arizona!  Warmer weather. Lots of play time outside.  I love it.  The girls really love it. 

I am so glad we bought this picnic table from Ikea a few years ago....and that my "babies" are all able to sit around it and enjoy lunch together.  I know some parents think being silly at the table is a no-no....I guess you should never come here at lunch time!  These girls laugh, love, and eat all together!

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Just another reason.......

.....I love home schooling my girls! I come into our school room to find this love note to me from Chiara and a love note from Mayah to Chiara!  I would not trade it for anything.

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Reid Park Zoo with Papa

We were so excited to have David's Dad aka "Papa" come for a visit this past February (he was even here for his son's birthday!!!!).  When we thought about it we realized it had been three years.....way too long.  We knew the two oldest would remember him, but we were unsure how Leah would react and we had a feeling Emma would be freaked out (she is going through her I only want my mommy phase).  Leah was not hesitant at all around Papa; I am sure talking on the phone and about him for the past few years has helped.  

We took Papa to Reid Park Zoo in Tucson.  We love this zoo!  The girls were excited to have him see it.  The weather was cool for us Arizonans, but Papa was enjoying the warmth compared to the many inches of snow he left behind in Minnesota!

David, Emma, and Papa.  She was a bit freaked out, but we made it work. 

The D'Amato men and our girls. Leah was not into taking ANY pictures on this day.

She did not want her picture taken, but she was happy to have her Papa here.  I love this shot!!!!

We are hoping it is not another 3 years before we get time again with Papa. 


Happy Birthday David!

 This past February we celebrated our favorite guy's birthday!  Another year older. Another year wiser.  When I look at David I still see us in our twenties...hard to believe he is heading out of his 30's!  He is going to get me for writing that! Ha!  He is a YOUNG and GOOD LOOKING 37 year old now.  More importantly he had his 5 girls here and even his Dad to wish him well into a new year!

 He had TWO celebrations this year.  One at home with us and his favorite meal0my delicious moussaka (a Greek dish) and another with my parents at his favorite BBQ place in Chandler.  He went to an outdoor expo with his Dad for the day and a three day weekend.  Not too shabby.

Leah and Emma looking along as Daddy opens his cards and gift

Papa enjoying the birthday festivities with us

  David has been asking his girls for a broccoli cake and this year we took him seriously....that was the cake he got!

 The gift from his girls. His half marathon in a shadow box! So proud of him!!!
You can read more about that HERE if you are interested.

Rudy's BBQ in Chandler...oh yes, I think we make Nanny & Grampy fans too!

Eating some ribs!

 Yes, Emma can always find a way to be covered in chocolate. 

My gift to my amazing husband. He completed his MBA and I had both degrees framed (the undergraduate diploma was previously framed). He received both degrees from GMI/Kettering University.

My parents bought him a remote controlled helicopter. The one he "always wanted".  Just proving my theory about who they love more! ;)

It was a great birthday for a great man. I am beyond blessed to be his wife and best friend. 
Much Love Babe!

My AMAZING Husband

The kid who was born with a hip disorder.  Wore braces on his legs.  Was told not to run-as an adult.  Has had a ACL repair to one of his knees. 

COMPLETED a Half Marathon.  Yes, 13.1 miles.  He ran. He made it. He is amazing.


After with his great friend Ronnie

The gift I made him to celebrate his accomplishment
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