We got home from our Thanksgiving trip last night. I've spent all morning reading up on all the blogs I follow who have new posts in the last week and most of them did:) Brandon is finally getting over his miserable cold but unfortunately the kids and I have it now and there is a lot of snot involved. I'm just glad we're home now and that it didn't spoil our vacation.
The kids and I flew to Arizona last Tuesday morning. My mom picked us up from the airport and we went to her house for lunch and naps. Then my sisters Sarah, Karen, and Robin came over, along with their kids (except for Gabe). My brother Ted also stopped by. It was SO fun seeing almost everyone immediately after arriving. My kids had a BLAST playing with six of their ten cousins and six of their ten B.-family aunts and uncles that day.
Jackson and Karen
Wednesday after my brother Spencer (15) and sister Claire (11) had left for school and my dad (Papa Stan) had left for work it was just the kids, mom (Nana Colleen) and I hanging out at home for a little while until my cousin Jill came over. We talked and talked and chased my kids around until it was time to feed them lunch and put them down for naps, at which time Jill made a run to Ned's Krazy Subs to pick us up some lunch. After we ate and talked even more, she headed out. That evening the kids and I ate dinner with Robin and family at their house. Jonah, who is only 6 mos. older than Henry, actually hit it off with Tucker, who is six. We had a sleepover at their house and had breakfast together before beginning Thanksgiving cooking.
Back at Mom's house we finished preparing our stuffing before picking Brandon up from the airport. There were 26 (!) of us there for the big meal with only my siblings, their spouses, and kids, no extended family! The food was FANTASTIC and the company DIVINE.
Gabe, Spencer, Claire
Charlotte, Elora, Ethan
Robin and Adam (with Adam's new beard!)
Jonah's favorite dish was the "pukin with marshplellow" (aka: sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows). He and Elora also both loved Mom's famous cranberry "salad". After they finished eating, Elora proceeded to go around the room sitting on various adult laps and mooching more food off of them. When the children's table cleared, Jonah went back to scavenge for any food left on the plates, which was plenty.
Jonah and Moqui having a tea party after dinner.
Six little boy cousins playing together.
Robin, Em, and Michelle.
That evening we met up with my dad's family at Aunt Susan & Uncle Steve's house for a pie potluck. Uncle Kent was there with his wife Margaret and my cousins Jay and Alex who still live at home and their son Lucas and his wife Annie were there as well. Susan's kids Mike (with wife Stephanie and their 3.5 children), Abbie (with husband Jake and 2 kids), and Cathy (with husband Ben) were there too. Uncle Bart was in town from Utah with his son Trevor but none of the others. And Uncle Steve was at home in UT with his clan, while Uncle Matt and his family were with his wife's family in California. We missed all the cousins who couldn't make it and had a ball chatting with the ones who were there.
Brandon playing kickball with nephews Chandler, Tucker, and Jack.
Friday morning we loaded up the Suburban and my family of four, my parents, and my two youngest siblings enjoyed a nice 4.5 hour drive down to Rocky Point, Mexico. After checking in at our gorgeous two-bedroom condo, we headed down to the beach for a little fun in the sun. The highlight of my day was seeing a hermit crab the size of two baseballs (one for the shell, one for the crab).
Saturday was more beach time and also some swimming in the pools. I picked up homemade tamales in town to share with everyone and dad, the kids, and I did a little grocery shopping at the Super Ley. A storm rolled in late that afternoon and the weather was cloudy for the rest of the day, but still nice. I had had fun shopping at a few local stores for sandals, etc. as well.
Sunday Dad went to all three hours of the LDS ward in Puerto Penasco while us heathens who hadn't brought any church clothes, played in the sand and water. We went to my dad's favorite place for lunch, El Pollo Papago. Martin, the owner, greeted us with a "Hello Stan" as we walked in. The chicken there really is the best and all the sides are delicious too, far better and healthier than a fried chicken place in the states. After lunch we went to the Michoacana for ice cream treats.
Monday morning, after a brunch of cabeza street tacos (freak out all you like but they were delicious!),
Brandon and I took the four kids to one of the rockier beaches to look at a few tide pools before the tide covered them all. Jonah and Elora loved chasing birds on the beach and stripped down more and more until they finally were skinny dipping.
The kids weren't as good on the trip back to AZ as they were on the way down and we also had a flat tire, but we still arrived back in Mesa in good spirits. I called Delta to try and change my flight to Friday or Saturday so I could spend more time with my siblings, cousins, and Grandma and see a couple of friends, but the change fee alone was $150. Ridiculous! I think if they have empty seats they ought to be more accommodating, especially when people are sick and shouldn't be traveling.
Tuesday Robin and kids and Teddy all came over for lunch before we had to catch our flights home.