Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thankful for vacation, family, and a day without rain.

Last week, our family was lucky enough to get to spend Thanksgiving week
in the warm sunshine of Arizona.

We do this about every two years and it is so much fun to spend

time with family we rarely get to see!

The first 4 days were spent with Connor's side of the family. His cousin, Lisa, was a fantastic hostess! She let us stay with her and her adorable twin girls- Kennedy and Miranda!

Nicholas and Nolan LOVED being with them. Hardly a moment went by that there wasn't the sound of giggling heard throughout the house.

Connor's aunt Marylou and Uncle Lloyd invited us over for a birthday party for Nicholas! This is a photo of the Javelinas (wild desert pigs) that joined the party on the back of their patio. Their house is on the outskirts of town right on the edge of the desert, so they get lots of wild visitors in their yard! You never know what you'll's so much fun!

Marylou made Nicholas his favorite chocolate cake to celebrate his 11th birthday. I've never met a family that is so good at making their guests feel so welcome. We ate like kings every night while visiting in Scottsdale.

Yup... That is a SCORPION!

Lisa told Connor if he took a black light outside at night he might be able to find scorpions because the black light makes them glow! She was pretty sure they would be hibernating because it's so late in the year and was hoping he wouldn't find any.

BUT... He found four of them in her backyard! She wasn't pleased. :)
He and the boys managed to kill 3 out of the 4, so that made her feel a little better.
They are so prehistoric looking and scary!

Nick and Nolan thought scorpion hunting was pretty cool. Needless to say, I did not.

Miranda, Nolan, and Kennedy hanging out together playing a game. They are such sweet girls!

One day, we headed to his cousin Don's place. He also lives in the desert and has the most beautiful yard of wild desert plants, cactus, and this LOVELY swimming pool. The boys wasted no time and hopped right in... even though the water temperature was only 65 degrees. They are true Washingtonians, not afraid of a little hypothermia!

Connor hopped in too, because it looked so inviting! I thought I'd better be on photographer duty...that was my excuse not to get in the frigid pool.

While at Don and Corinne's house, we were served yet another delicious feast and had a great time visiting with all of Connor's family. They are all so nice and welcoming!!

After four days in Scottsdale... we ventured a little bit south to Sun City to spend the rest of the week with my side of the family.

Nicholas' birthday was actually on Thanksgiving day this year! What a wonderful day it was...

Pocahontas joined us for Thanksgiving dinner!

Would your grandma dress like this for Thanksgiving? Mine did and I absolutely love her! She is a riot and a half. My grandma "salty" Barton is the most jovial, fun-loving, and lively gal in Sun City for sure! I only hope that when I am her age, I will be healthy enough to engage in the level of activity and have as much fun as she does.

My brother Scott, his wife Shelly, and their kids Grace, Kenny, and Hanna drove over from California to spend Thanksgiving with all of us.

We ALWAYS have the best time together.

Nick and Nolan LOVE their California cousins and when they see each other, they immediately get to laughing and having the best time.

We played a lot of games every day. Is it bad if your kids know how to play Texas hold'em before they're ten years old?

Nolan, Grace, and Hanna hamming it up for the camera.

These two are like peas in a pod! Nolan and Hanna are only 2 months apart in age and my goodness, they are so much alike.
Never have you met two kids that love to by goofy around the clock. They were laughing, singing, jump roping, and clowning around the entire time we were together.


This is Bella, my brother's adorable new puppy. She is a mini Australian shepherd and she is only 3 months old. I really wanted to put her in my suitcase to bring her home. I've never seen a better behaved puppy than Bella. She hung out with all of us at my parents' house and I never once heard her bark.

Grandma and Grandpa with all their grandkiddos! My mom and dad are the best. We had such a fun week with them. My mom is a great cook, and whipped up a tasty Thanksgiving meal. Her cooking always takes me back to my childhood. My dad has become quite famous for his ability to make the most fabulous margaritas. SO GOOD!!

Hanna, Nolan, Grace, Nick, and Kenny

It was a great week all around! Going to Arizona in November is like revisiting summer for a week. It was in the 80's most of the time so we wore our shorts and soaked up as much sun as possible knowing we'd have to come home to nasty, soggy, wet, and cold weather soon.

This Thanksgiving we were so thankful to have the opportunity to spend the holiday week with family members we don't get to see very often. We loved catching up on each other's lives, playing games, going for long walks in the sunshine, cooking together, and just plain glad to be with one another. It was a fabulous vacation!


PRP said...

Thanks for all the great pictures! Looks like you had a blast with everyone. Nothing beats a great family.

Connor said...

Wow! That's like a whole scrapbook in a single post! Good job, Kel...

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly, I loved looking @ your pictures of the Ariz trip! You do an amazing job with keeping family in touch with your blog. I do love it! We are going down for 10 days Feb 22nd for MaryLou's birthday. Thanks for all you do. Love Lee