Sunday, January 1, 2012

Trip to Arizona

The morning after Christmas, we woke up early and headed to Arizona. Alfredo had to work, so it was my sister Suzy, the girls and I. I drove. I don't really like to drive..especially long distances... and was feeling quite nervous about driving so far...even with Suzy with me. I've been very blessed to have a husband that loves to drive and have done very little driving outside of the Salt Lake/Provo/Ogden area in the past 10 years. But it really wasn't too bad. The girls had some new movies and toys from Christmas and the weather was great...the roads were clear and we hit only a bit of traffic. So it went smoothly. What a blessing!

When we got there, my parents had bought a few small gifts for the girls (we'd already opened gifts from them on Christmas Day)so we opened more gifts. It was like having Christmas all over again, on a smaller scale. Several days later, Michelle and Ella talked about how many times they'd gotten to open gifts this year and how it was like they'd had 4 different Christmases. Lucky kids!

On Tuesday, the girls and I just spent the day relaxing. Michelle and Ella had brought their electric scooters and they rode and rode them on my mom's circle. I read and Gabby played with her princesses and princess castle. We loved the warm weather.

On Wednesday, my mom took us to the MIM. I'm going to devote a whole other post to this.

Wednesday night my parents watched my kids for me so I could go to dinner with some of my dearest friends from high school. Kara, Kerie, Charity and I met at Claim Jumper and had a nice dinner and talked for hours. It was so nice to visit with them. Charity lives in Indonesia...she's a principal at an international Christian school there, and I live here in Utah, so we only see each other every several years. So it was great to see all of them and hear what is happening in their lives. Kerie sells Pampered Chef and kindly brought us all gifts. She gave each of us the latest seasonal cookbook and I'm loving it. I've made 4 recipes out of it and they've all been hits. :) She also gave me measuring spoons which I needed. Somehow some of the measuring spoons I received at my wedding 10 1/2 years ago have vanished. :)
After dinner, we got a little tour of Kara's house which was fun. Then we drove through an outdoor Christmas light display. Super fun! It really was great to see them.

On Thursday, I took the girls to go visit my college roommate Monica. Monica lived in AZ for awhile back when Alfredo and I first got married. But it had been years since I had actually seen her... in fact, I've only seen her first 2 children in person and she has 4...and the last time we saw each other Ella was a newborn. So our kids were strangers and at first they were all kind of shy. But soon they were happily playing together and later that day my kids asked if they could go back and see Emily again soon. Too bad we don't live closer. :( It was so nice to visit with Monica. She is very talented and makes all kinds of amazing things with vinyl as well as making lots of cute hair bows. She gave the girls several darling hair bows and she had made me 3 stacking blocks that say "Panamenos, est. 2001". So thoughtful!
**Even though I brought my camera along, I didn't end up taking pictures when I went to Monica's or to dinner. Oops!**
Thursday evening my parents, the girls and I headed to the Mesa Arizona Temple to see the lights there. It was beautiful. Different than Salt Lake, of course, but beautiful in its own right. I especially enjoyed the nativity scenes...and found it quite neat that they were played in English and Spanish.

Friday we spent the day somewhat lazily at my parents' home, just visiting. My mom let the girls help her plant flowers in the garden which they loved. We enjoyed watching the birds eat out of the feeder, especially the hummingbirds. The girls played on their motor scooters. And Gabby had an accident. Ella was riding the motor scooter with Gabby. She was going fairly slow and being careful. She tried to go up the curb onto the sidewalk and tipped just a bit and they both fell. They started to cry. When I ran over to them, Ella just yelled, "I'm fine. Help Gabby. She's hurt. Just help Gabby. I'm sorry that she's hurt." Poor Gabby was crying and had split her lip. She was okay and after we wiped off the blood and cleaned up the scrapes and got all the girls a popsicle, everyone was okay. But Gabby had several scrapes on her face and a split lip that took a week to heal because everytime it would be almost better, she'd pick the scab off. Poor thing!

Then Saturday, New Year's Eve, we headed back to Utah. I wanted to be back in time to teach the Sunbeams (the 3 year olds) on Sunday because it was their first week in Sunbeams/Primary...which is an adjustment after being in nursery where they get to spend a lot of their time playing. On our drive back we stopped at Glen Canyon Dam by Lake Powell to stretch our legs and see the dam.

Since everyone was tired after our long drive, we played Mario Kart on the Wii for a bit and then went to bed. I stayed up a little longer to read but even I didn't make it until midnight. Alfredo did go to his family's house for their annual New Year's Eve party, but the rest of us were party poopers. :)