in the warm sunshine of Arizona.
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.
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.