Sorry guys. I have 18 days to document here so you can count on it being pretty lengthy!! Here are the pictures to start with! I took so many pictures. This is just a sampling!! I wish I had gotten more of the Gordon's and the Allen's. Next time, right? Oh - our camera broke. We should have our new one here soon! Yay!!
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The girls and I flew separately from Nathan on the way there and they did great! Especially considering we didn't get out of that plane for at least 8 hours. We had 2 layovers but we had to stay in the same plane - so we were stuck! The last leg of the flight was pretty miserable. We were all getting really restless AND my DVD player ran out of batteries. BUMMER!! We ate the yummiest pizza for dinner that night and it was SO great to see everyone!! Nathan's parents are in a smaller place now but I never felt like it was crowded. It was just nice to hang out! Kes was a huge grump that evening (what did I tell you???!) and we thought it was just because she hadn't slept at all. I now attribute her grumps to the fact that she was SO sick!! She had a fever the next day that ranged from 102.9 - 103.9 and a really croupy cough. I LOVE my pediatrician - she called in an antibiotic and steroid and totally saved us the hassle of having to go to the emergency room. The first couple days there were pretty lay low because of sick kids. The plan was to have a little all day "cousin" playgroup on Thursday but that was canceled. Kelyn and Britt still stopped by because they love me so darn much. =) Anika and I got a haircut and I finally got to see little miss Raylee!! She is so cute!! The next morning Kelyn came by for a couple hours and we took the kids to the park! The weather was just beautiful! I love winter in AZ!! We played some dodge ball and soccer with Alek and had fun chasing the kids all over the place! Then that night we dropped our kiddos off over at Kel's house (because shes the bestest and practically begged us to let her watch them. =) We had our first double date with Mandi and Steve and it was just glorious!! We ate at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant and then wandered Wal-mart. Once we got home the guys started watching the Simpsons so Mandi and I had fun laughing at them laughing at the show. They are so hilarious to watch laugh.
On Saturday we had family pictures taken! I'm excited and nervous to see them. The girls were NOT cooperating so I don't know if we got a single picture of them smiling. =) Jill did show us some samples on her blog. Wanna see them? I'm planning on sending out a New Years card with a picture of just the 4 of us. Haha!! Better late than never, right? I've only seen one of the four of us and I can't wait to see the rest! Thanks Jill!! It was great to see you!
After the pictures we went and got yummy Mexican food! Hooray for AZ and their plethora of Mexican restaurants!!! THEN we went and saw ENCHANTED!!! I can't believe I held out! It didn't disappoint. I absolutely loved it and am trying to scheme up a way to see it again. It was super cute. Here is the opening clip for your enjoyment.
Carolyne got really sick that day!! Her fever was even higher than Keslie's!! Luckily by the second week all the kids were doing better. Anika started doing a lovely eye blink twitch thing and we weren't sure what that was all about. We found out a few days later...
The first Sunday is a blur for me. I remember we watched The Nativity Story and I thought it was EXCELLENT.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
We had a very festive Christmas Eve dinner! It was SO good! My favorite part of the night was when the kids dressed up and acted out the nativity. It was so cute! Alek and Anika were Mary and Joseph. Kes was an angel. Drew, Ethan, and Taylor were wise men. I thought I had videoed the whole thing but I only got a snippet at the beginning! Bummer! We also had a paper airplane contest. The winner got $20!! My airplane was horrible!! Afton's was even worse!! Haha!! (love ya Afton!) We managed to squeeze in a visit to the Kivett family over at Grammy's house. They are all so sweet and it was so nice to see them! Aunt Jolee and Grammy gave the girls there very first barbies! Have you seen the Barbie movies??? They are SO good! =) It was fun to get all set up for Christmas when we got home. Anika and Kes were so excited to leave cookies and eggnog (Anika's idea - she loves that stuff!). OH - they also got new pj's from Nana and Papa West and they look adorable in them!
Christmas day was so fun. All the guys got mini- helicopters and we were spoiled rotten by Santa Claus. =) The girls got so many fun things! I got a cookbook called DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS and I have been telling everyone about it!! I've made 8 things so far. Chicken nuggets with broccoli puree, Mac and Cheese with pureed white beans, quesadillas with butternut squash, chocolate chip cookies with chick peas, and pita pizzas with spinach. All of it has been delish and HEALTHY, I might add! I had loads of fun pureeing all sorts of things today! I think I will make my own baby food my next time around! Anyway - Christmas morning was fabulous. I was the ONLY one that didn't get up and get ready so all the other girls were beauty queens and then there was me. Yikes!! Plus, I was wearing my lovely shirt Nathan bought for me from the Salvation Army. He was So excited about our shirts and then when we wore them everyone thought we were serious. I don't think we will make that a tradition! The rest of the morning was spent playing with toys, reading, and taking it easy! Later that afternoon we went over to Granny and Papa's house. We had such a great time! I wish we could have stayed longer. I can't believe how grown up my little cousins are!! I'm definitely going to need someone to send me some pictures because I didn't get any from that night!! (hint hint!!)
Dec. 26th - Dec. 29th
These days are kind of a blur for me. Some things that happened include:
* Anika waking up from her nap with disgusting, goopy eyes. Yup - she had pink eye. I have no idea where she got it and thankfully none of the other kids caught it. Yay!! Our doc. saved the day again and called in another prescription.
* I got to go to my favorite ribbon store ever!! I was in HEAVEN!! I got some really cute ruffle ribbon and sheers and some darling flowers! I've been in a bow making mood ever since!
* We went out to eat at Red Robin! Love that place!! Loved my burger and shake!!
* We watched The Bourne Ultimatum with Mom and Dad West and loved it again!
* We had a game night with Kelyn and Spencer, Mandi and Steve and us and Kel's house. Loads of fun and we ate cookies and mallow popcorn and donuts and icecream. PIGS! We had some good laughs!
* We went to the temple with Cam and Afton! I'm so glad we got to do that!
* We went out to lunch with Grammy, Aunt Jolee, Aunt Sharla and Uncle Tom. I'm so happy we were able to see them again! The girls really warmed up to them.
* Carol took all the girls out and we got pedicures!! Our feet were beautiful!! Kelyn thinks I have ugly, fat toes! What do you think?
* We had Taco Bell one of these nights. I ordered a tostada because they are nowhere to be found in CT.
* We played Dancing With The Star on the Wii and it was so funny! Nathan has the moves!! He's hilarious! It was fun hanging out with Mitch and Jordan that night.
New Years Eve Eve and New Years Eve
We had a fun New Years Eve Eve party with the Wests because Brooke and Scott were getting read to leave for Singapore and wouldn't be able to celebrate on the actual New Year's Eve. We did the toast at 10:30!! Luckily, our camera was set to CT time and it showed 1/31! That night was a blast!! We played Outburst and Disney Scene It. Afton and I had a duel (fencing on the Wii). We played my beloved game - The Animal Game. I love it! Then we played Afton's game - Snort. That one was lots of fun too! I had a lot of fun taking random pictures (as you will see on the slideshow). I was in one of Nathan's shirts and the collar makes my neck look really short. Oh well. =) It was such fun! When I was getting ready for bed my cell phone showed that I had 3 missed calls - all from my sister Tessa. Turns out that they up and decided to drive down!! It was my dad, Amber, Kensi and Tess. The next morning we went over to Britt and Dusty's house to say hi to them! Me, Britt and Amber played Rockband on their XBOX. I LOVE that game!! I'm having visions of girls nights at my house playing it. I think they have it for the wii! At least we could do karaoke!! I do have a video of us but I'm WAY too embarrassed to post it. =) I love my sisters. =) That afternoon everyone went swimming in the Wests heated pool. I was lame and didn't have my swimsuit. I was sure it would be too cold so I didn't pack one. The water was fabulous and I was regretting my decision! Nathan played some water b-ball with Cam and the girls had a great time floating around. My dad stopped by for a bit to say hi! It was great fun to see him! We got to visit for awhile and introduced him to bowling and boxing on the Wii. After he left we headed over to the Soter's for some New Year's eve celebrating!! We played half a game of Settlers and then switched over to Guesstures. The guys creamed us. Mandi and I - well...we aren't very good. =) We counted down, kissed our hubbies at midnight and then played Tetris!! It's always fun to hang out with them.
Jan. 1 - Jan. 4
Some of the happenings:
*Woke up early to say good-bye to Brooke, Scott, Drew and Taylor. We were so sad to see them go!!
* We were excited to share our newfound love of Southwestern Eggrolls with my Dad so we went to Chili's for lunch. He wasn't a fan and neither was anyone else. Bunch of weirdos!!
* After lunch we went and saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets! Loved it!! I love that Riley dude. He's such a crack up!!
* We then headed to the zoo to see zoolights with Mom and Dad West, Jordan, and Cam and Afton. They were so pretty and the girls had a blast pointing out the animals and the bugs.
*We went to Red Robin for dinner. This time I opted out of the burger. I had been having a lot of hamburgers and decided to go with a sandwich. It was so yummy!!
* We went on a shopping trip to AZ Mills mall and came home with scrubs, clothes, and caramel apples! They were the most beautiful caramel apples I've ever seen and SOOOO good!
* We watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3 that night.
* On our last day there I got to get together with Heidi and Mandi and their kiddos for one last rendezvous. I love those girls.
* That afternoon, Carol took us out to the new Santan mall play area and the girls had great fun climbing all over the bugs and trees. Then they got to go to The Build-a-Bear Workshop! They loved it! Anika chose a dog that she named Blue's Clues. Very original. Kes chose a bunny. Thanks Carol!!!
* That night we went out to eat with my side of the family again. We had Mexican food one last time. I'm so glad we got to see all of them and Kel and Spencer and Britt and Dusty too.
*DQ that night!!
*good-byes - no fun.
We love our families so much. We were there for 2 and a half weeks and both Nathan and I wished we could stay longer. Thank you guys for everything! Were missing you!
I've got other un-vacation things to post but I think I'll save that for later!!