Sunday, December 8, 2013

Giving Thanks

We were thinking that we would spend Thanksgiving here at home this year, but then got an invite to come to Arizona again. Luckily my brother, Rib, and his family had space available for us to stay at their place so we decided to make the trip for the second year in a row. It was so nice to get away. Staying at Rib's is always so relaxing, too. Their place is set up for the kids to have fun, and the cousins play super well together, so it allows the adults to hang out and relax. So great. 

All of us were excited to make the trip, and the sunset as we approached Phoenix was like a celebration of our arrival. Pretty stunning, even in pictures taken with my phone as the car whizzed along.

Thanksgiving day was spent with Rophone's family over at his sister's house. It's also where Pen elected to stay while we were there, so her Arizona vacation was actually very different from ours. At least we saw her a few times (much to her disappointment). It's nice and relaxing at Rophone's sister's place, too. It makes it so great that the kids have cousins they love to hang out with on both sides of the family.

I managed to do an impromptu photo shoot of some of the kids in the great light by the swing set. I wouldn't say that taking posed shots is my forte, but I think they turned out alright.

Bud felt a little stiff on the swing and decided he might feel more comfortable in a tree. Okay.

Big declined a turn on the swing, and Edith's attempt turned into interpretive swinging. She wasn't facing the correct direction to take advantage of the light, but there was no way I was going to ruin the moment by having her turn around. These photos captured her personality better than any posed photo ever could. I love them.

I love this shot of Edith and her daddy. They love doing things together.

The young cousins!

The 'stache. 

Looking at her dad before she goes down the slide. Being on vacation together is heaven for them. 

Older girl cousins!

The kids had fun jumping on the trampoline. I was fine just as long as I didn't watch them for too long-- having that many kids on the trampoline at once can be a bit nerve-wracking. 

They had a blast jumping with their Uncle Jordo. I laughed when one of the kids asked him if he's an adult and he answered, "No."

They also had fun on the trampoline with another uncle-- I love this set of photos I took while they were playing Duck, Duck, Goose. Big's celebration when he caught his uncle made me laugh. So much joy in that kid.

It was when they started to play Zombie Tag that I had to look away. I think I just get nervous because last year Big fell off the trampoline when his cousin was hitting him over the head with a turkey hat. Everyone escaped unscathed this year, however. I guess Zombie tag is safer than turkey hats. 

The time spent at Rib's house was full of active things to do, too. I think that's what I loved most about this vacation-- the fact that the kids were basically being active from the moment they got up until they went to bed. Perfect. 

We went to the park one morning and it was almost too hot and bright for me. I think Edith may have thought so, too. She was so happy to have a chance to wear her favorite outfit one more time, though, that I think it made up for it.

I especially felt the heat when we participated in an adults-versus-kids soccer game. It was a lot of fun, although I have to admit to being a little sore the next day. The kids had us in their sights, that's for sure. They played hard. I even ended up with a bloody toe! The kids played against each other at first while I snapped photos and it was fun to watch.

Big was a great goalie.

Edith was watching as I wrote this and told me that her cousin is her best friend. They were so cute together.

After all of that hard a play, relaxing a little was good, too.

We managed to get together with a few different friends while we were down there, too. There are a few more we wish we could have seen-- next time, hopefully! I made Rib and Jazz hands bring their family along to Soup and Songs with us. Soup and Songs is a yearly tradition held by an old bandmate of ours. People sing, play music, eat food-- it's a blast. Rib got roped into playing bass since our old bassist couldn't come (okay, I'll admit I threw him under the bus), and Rophone looked so happy and content playing it made my heart thrill. So good to see and participate in. Next time we'll be sure we can spend a little more time enjoying it.

I loved seeing our old friend, Hoolio. We need to spend more time with her the next time, too. Looks like the day after Thanksgiving we'll have to plan on a morning hike followed by Soup and Songs. Sounds perfect to me.

Our kids have had so much fun the past two years that they've decided we need to make going to Arizona at Thanksgiving a yearly tradition. Thanks, family and friends, for making our vacation such a blast. Looks like we may be seeing you again next year!


patti's place said...

Great pixs and blog per usual. I love reviewing some of your experiences visually.

jww said...

Oh my gosh, that looks SO FUN!!!! What a great trip!!! I do love all the photos, but I really enjoyed the Arizona scenery. What a great way to arrive!