Monday, June 24, 2013

Making the rounds

First stop, Vegas.  The kids loved spending time with their cousins. We were planning on only staying two nights, but when we realized that we forgot the title to the Pilot in our storage unit Jason had to catch a quick flight back to Phoenix to pick it up.  That quick trip turned into a 3 AM landing when Southwest grounded all the flights across the country due to a software issue.  Just another hiccup in our plans, but we're used to those. 

Dinner with Grandpa Young is always an adventure.  The kids turn it into one big Fear Factor challenge to see who can eat the most exotic food.  Ian is the reigning champ and can down chicken legs like it's nobody's business.  He drew the line at the goose head, but after eating pig ear Jayden's competitive side kicked in and he had a go at it too.  It was more like a really thick bacon and he actually said he liked it.  Me? I stuck with fried rice and broccoli, thank you very much.  It was one big party weekend with their cousins, they spent the night with them then went hiking and swimming all day.  They hit the bed hard that next night and were filled with all sorts of good memories.

Grandma Ardis is their adopted grandma, she is Shawn's mom and has been a second mom to Jason when he was growing up.  She is so sweet to always spoil the kids and we're going to miss her!

We eventually made our way up to visit the Jolleys.  First stop was Enterprise, which is a little slice of heaven on earth.  Ryder rekindled his bond with Papa Jolley as if they had never been separated.  He affectionately refers to him as "Pop".  By the end of the day the kids were covered from head to toe in dirt and I just loved it.

We headed up to Cedar and Sunday was such a special day because we got to be there for Julene's homecoming from her mission to Moscow, Russia.  So glad it worked out that we got to see her before we left.  She is such a sweetheart and has grown so much over the past 18 months.  It was also so good to see other family who had traveled to down to be there for the event.  It was so good to be surrounded by family and fill my canteen before our two year drought.

Juleney jelly beany

my sweet grandma Jolley

Margaret and Jayden have a cute little relationship.  She doesn't play favorites, but if she did then Jayden would be hers ;)  I told Jayden that Margaret really likes him and he rolled his eyes and said "yeah mom, I know, she makes it pretty obvious".  He pretends like he's too cool for that kind of stuff, but he did give her a heart shaped rock afterall, so I think the feeling is mutual.

We were seriously missing Janessa and Dawn to make our sisterhood of the traveling pants complete

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson and uncle Micheal.  The kids refer to him as the "cherry tree Grandpa".

Sweet little Jayden shed a few tears when he had to leave Ian, Trenton and now Brenton.  I love seeing his sensitive side and his cute little relationship with his cousins.

Kylie and Jayci were of course unseperable, I hardly saw her the entire weekend.  They adopted Shannon and had the best time dressing her up and teaching her sassy dances.  I would like to say that Ryder had just as much fun with his little cousins, but he usually just whacked them on their heads with rocks.  We're working on that.

We celebrated our last night in the states, Fourth of July style.  I'm really going to miss the fireworks, bbq's, watermelon and all the sights, sounds and smells of one of my favorite holidays, so I'm glad we got to have our own little sparkler session.  I can't think of a better send off celebration.

It took us about 547 trys, but we finally got it.  And yes indeed, this weekend was filled with heaps and heaps of love.

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