Aug 3, 2008

Mesa Memories, Part II

We are finally home from our two-week, 2000-mile road trip. It feels good to be back, but I can't help but miss the fun folks in Mesa that made the last portion of our journey so fun and memorable.

Included in our adventures was a Dixon family photo shoot. The photographer was awfully patient with our large, loud, and sometimes uncooperative family. I could do an entire post on the fabulous pictures from that day, but I'll just put a {very} few here. I'm already imagining what photo collages I can put up on my walls...

Chloe constantly cracked me up. She speaks mostly in gibberish, interspersed by a few intelligible words. One of those is "baby," which she often used in reference to little Gavin. But toward the end of our visit, she started calling him "Gabby." Apparently now that we're gone she calls for Gabby all over her house. So cute.

One of Gavin's favorite things to climb on was the treadmill. It kept him happily occupied while I stole time on Granny's computer upstairs.

One afternoon Rachel and I took our kids to see "Horton Hears a Who" at the dollar theater. (Well, it used to offer one-dollar admission...but a movie is still a bargain for two bucks.) The big kids had a great time and Rachel informed me that the movie was a good one, but Gavin was NOT impressed with the theater experience and I spent most of the time in the lobby.

Granny met us afterward and we enjoyed a carousel ride at the mall. As you can see, Gavin liked that part better than the movie.

Gavin's getting a lot of press here. He was pretty ornery one afternoon and Rachel strapped him on for a ride that put him to sleep pretty quickly. I was impressed she was willing to cart around his 25 pounds while 7 months pregnant!

A major tradition at Granny's house is having Otter Pops at random times during the day. The kids also got used to ice cream after dinner and Smarties when they obediently got into their car seats.

One day we did some home-spun crafts. I made three batches of play dough, and that kept the kids happily occupied for quite a while. Who knew that play dough and Popsicle sticks could be so exciting? Devlin was particularly excited about his creation.

Chloe and the boys enjoyed some time in this little wading pool. It took about 15 shots to get most of the kids in the pool and looking at the camera.

Chloe kept spraying everyone (including the non-swimming adults) with the hose. I actually didn't mind too was about 108 degrees that day.

On Tuesday night the whole family (minus Garry) congregated to celebrate Angie's birthday and Ryan's missionary service. The dinner delicious, but still a little crazy with so many little people and a few ornery grownups (myself included). The night ultimately ended with Devlin smacking his head on the table. That resulted in a black eye for the poor kid. Sigh...

The next morning we bid farewell to Ryan. We got home from the airport just before 8:00 a.m. Gavin and I went back to bed, but Eric, Granny, and Rachel helped Devlin, Eve, and my boys make cookies. The had a wonderful time.

On Thursday morning, the party in Mesa came to an end. Boo-hoo! Granny joined the boys and I in the car to keep us safe. It was so fun chit-chatting all the way to New Mexico. We stopped in the bustling metropolis of Las Vegas, NM, for lunch and then continued on to Albuquerque, where we spent the night.

We stayed overnight with Rob and Andi Cutchen, some friends we made in Oregon. Even though they moved away four years ago, we've stayed in touch. It was fun to see each other again, even if only for a few hours. Our six kids under seven made for quite the full house!

Not pictured:
  • Eating Holly's famous popcorn (with lots of butter and salt, of course)
  • Holly and Granny peeling my crazy-bad sunburn
  • FHE in Angie's pool
  • Ryan's fun farewell party
  • Ryan getting set apart as a missionary (what an awesome experience!)
  • 15 somewhat harrowing hours in the car between Mesa and Colorado Springs
  • Granny driving all of those 15 hours because I was a tired zombie
  • Zachary barfing in Granny's Pepsi bottle (and not getting a drop of mess anywhere)
  • Our wonderful Albuquerque hosts, Rob and Andi
  • A joyous reunion with Garry
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