Nov 29, 2008

Top Ten Thanksgiving Trip Memories

We've returned from our fun-and-fabulous journey to the Valley of the Sun. To commemorate our trip, we give you our

Top Ten Thanksgiving Trip Memories.

10. Wonderful weather.
Zachary and Tyler spent hours outdoors on Granny's play set, throwing balls over the house (a perennial favorite than spans generations), taking walks to visit the neighborhood animals, going to parks with Gramps, and eating Otter Pops on the back porch at all hours of the day.

9. Celebrating birthdays.
It's rare for us to enjoy birthday festivities with extended family,
so this was a special treat.

Happy Birthday, Myron!

Our baby is one (on Sunday)!
Gavin loved opening presents and trying a slice of pumpkin pie.

Gavin also loved when everyone clapped for him!

8. Thanksgiving Dinner.

I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of the delightful Thanksgiving spread we enjoyed. {Fortunately, my Uncle Jeff took care of this here.} Mom's delicious turkey, patented stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, her famous rolls, plus fruit and sweet potatoes and green beans, all topped off with an array of delectable homemade pies. Yum. Thanks to Janeen, Amy, Angie, Rachel, and David for contributing their culinary talents, too! There's no place like home except Granny's!

7. Decorating Granny's Christmas tree.
Zach and Tyler thought this was the coolest thing, and I enjoyed sitting back and watching Granny, Gramps, and Holly reminisce over every ornament. The Dent-Dixon family has a tradition of gifting a new and unique ornament to each child every year. Hearing, "Mom! This one is my favorite!" and "Mark, remember getting this one in San Fransisco?" made me a little more excited to set up my own tree and walk down memory lane with my own ornaments.

6. The Orange Incident.

One afternoon found Zachary, Tyler, and Devlin making mischief. They apparently got bored in the vast expanse of Granny's yard and decided to pluck oranges from her tree. They took the naughtiness a step further and chucked the citrus over the fence and into the neighbor's yard. I can only imagine their reaction when instead of a "thunk" on grass or cement they heard "splash!" This must have started an orange-hurling frenzy. Later that evening, when one of the culprits confessed and we set out to clean up the mess, we found about 50 oranges floating in the neighbor's pool. Far from feeling punished, the kids had a ball cleaning up all traces of their treachery.

5. Gavin.

Gavin was so fun and happy in Mesa. He didn't have too many "stranger" issues with my family. Instead, he just made himself at home and puttered and played so contentedly. It was a wonderful break for me! And, incredibly, he slept SO WELL while we were there. He took two long naps every day, went to sleep without a peep, and slept in almost every morning until 7:30 or later (this is huge for us).

He loved our near-daily afternoon walks in the lovely weather, as well as a super-fun park trip on Friday.

4. The Turkey Trot.
On Thanksgiving morning, the boys and I (plus some other family) ran in the Mesa Mi Amigo's Turkey Trot. Holly, Amy, and Bryan ran the two-mile race, but the rest of us did one mile. It was super fun.

A family of Turkey Trotters: Zach, Heidi, Ty, Holly, Amy, Bryan, and Gavin.
Gramps ran, too! He just took the picture.

One minute before race time.

Tyler and Gramps crossing the finish line.

3. The car show.
On Thanksgiving afternoon, the men and boys of the family all went to a car show in Phoenix. Zach and Ty came home with enough literature to stock a library, plus lots of fun memories.

2. Grown-up Playtime.

Gramps gave a fabulous Family Home Evening lesson on building the bridges of life, complete with Lego bridges that spanned gaps in the table. I think he had more fun than the little boys. This FHE was followed by S'mores, a treat Ty has been begging to have.

Chatting with these fun folks, who are much more charming now than when we all lived together as siblings: David, Holly, Eric, and Angie.

Watching Eric's inner child come out as he pelted my boys with foam discs he shot from a gun. His antics were hysterical. He's responsible, too; he just bought and renovated his first house, which is very cool!

Garry and I enjoyed a lovely date on Wednesday night. We ate dinner at {Old} Rosa's and saw the new Twilight movie. We've both enjoyed all four books so it was fun to see the screen adaptation together.

1. Cousin Playtime.

These boys were inseparable and had a marvelous time together. Devlin literally tackled Zach with a fond "hello" when we arrived.

There was lots and lots and lots of this: story time!

All the cute cousins piled on a bench. Did any of the photographers get a better shot than this one?

Thanks for all the amazing memories, guys! We hope to see you again soon!

P.S. For another take on our fun week, see Rachel's (aka my sister-in-law's, aka The Wizzle's) blog here.
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