Saturday, December 28, 2013

What do you do in the wintertime, when it's 60 degrees outside?

I guess our trip didn't start out being 60 degrees.  We had to drive through Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.  The kids had a great first day in the car.  When there is nothing else to do, you can always resort to cannibalism. . . or eating your own foot.  The day was pretty uneventful.  The dog whined for the first three or four hours, but she got used to being in the car after a while.    
 We met Grandma Jill in Tremonton to give her her gift and say hello.  It was a short visit, but it was great to get to see her.

 We spent the night in Ogden at my Uncle Paul's house.  The second day in the car was a lot longer.  There was a car accident between St. George, Utah, and Mesquite, Nevada that had traffic nearly stopped for a long while.  The kids got really antsy, and needed a break from the car when there wasn't any place to stop for a real stop.  We survived, though, and ended up getting to Tucson at 11:30 with some really tired, but not asleep yet children.
Tucson is lovely.  We had some time to pass before Christmas, so we went to the park.
 B does not want to be held anymore.  He wants to walk, holding two adult hands.  This is what he does when we pick him up.
 We can't be at the park all of the time, so we played outside with cousins.  We stayed at Colette and Jacob's house for the first five days of our trip so that we could enjoy nonstop cousin time.
 Colette's tomato plants are producing like crazy right now, so the kids loved climbing up in her garden to look for ripe tomatoes.
 At Grandma and Grandpa's house, the trampoline is very popular.
 We took one evening to go see Christmas lights at Winterhaven.  All of my pictures turned out terrible.  The kids loved the soap machine that was making "snow."  My favorite moment was when Marie smelled some tobacco smoke and started discoursing loudly about how people should be more considerate than to smoke when there are children around, since second hand smoke is incredibly bad for kids.  As she was ranting, she walked Jared, whose hand she was holding, smack into a mailbox! He was more startled than hurt.  I'm still laughing at the timing of it.
 There were a couple of cold days, and it even rained off and on all day one day, so the kids had to entertain themselves inside.  Dress up was a new concept for my kids.  They loved it.
 Little princess was continually returning to the kitchen to make dinner.
 This giant ornament decoration played several Christmas carols, but the kids wanted to hear "Noel" over and over and over again.
 When the rain stopped, we went for a hike.  This landscape looks like it is painted.
 We stopped for a snack.  The older two kids went ahead with Todd while the small ones sat down to eat.  Eating and walking is way too complicated for the three and under set.
 We played outside in the yard some more when we got back.  Ryan likes to ham it up for the camera.
 That evening we went to Bud and Karen's house to meet their nine month old baby, Emily, and to catch up with Dan, Katie, Landon, and Cade.  We wish these friends did not live so far away.  If we could take all of our Tucson friends and family, and transplant them in Washington, our lives would be absolutely perfect.  We love Washington, but we really miss our Arizona friends.
 More outside time. . .
 . . . some video watching. . .
 . . . a lot of time staring at the fish (B says "Pis!"). . .
 . . . and then the weather warmed up, so we went back to the park.  That is a lot of cousins crawling in the sand.  I helped Grandma watch all of the kids one day while Todd and Justin went to Colette's house to help set up the new wooden play set in their back yard.  We had to keep the kids out of the way for two days while it was set up so that it would be a surprise on Christmas morning.
 B's favorite word is "Shadow," which seems to apply to all animals, and outdoors.  "Dadow! Dadow! Doh! Doh!"
 The kids cut out some gluten free sugar cookies for a while before they got distracted by the trampoline.  Little Ryan has Celiac disease.  His weight gain has improved dramatically since he went gluten free.  He caught up with Benjamin, and is officially back on the weight charts after his doctor's appointment during our visit.
Rachel and Jared carefully cut out their cookies.
 Annie, Peyton, and McKenzie were more interested in eating the dough.  When Eloise woke up, she cut out the last few cookies. She is an experienced cookie cutter, though, and doesn't eat very much dough when I am looking.
 It was still two days until Christmas, which meant plenty of time to play outside.  We do not get to see enough of these cute girls.

 . .  . and more park time.
I heard that Seattle had real snowfall while we were away.  It has been really nice to enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather as we prepared for Christmas.

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