Monday, December 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend...Finally

Yes, I do realize that it's been awhile. Have you been a bit busy too? Haven't we all? We had the best Thanksgiving weekend in recent memory.

Have I mentioned that we had lots of house-guests that weekend? You knew that Marianne was here; on Thanksgiving we were joined by our SIL Helen, our nephew Ted and his wife Johanna, and our niece Judy and her husband Merl...all from CA! Of course Sandee, Shawn, Jackson, Dylan, and Shelby were here too which made thirteen of us for a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Here are a few photos of the day.

They're Here!

I had everything ready so we didn't wait long before toasting to everything we are thankful for and remembering those who are no longer with us before having dinner.

After dinner we played the family dice game; I had a lap full of lovin' grandsons while we played the game!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Merl was always the first one up; not unusual because he's an early riser every day.

When the Cranes got here after Dylan's early morning hockey game, the guys went off-roading in the Tonto National Forest behind our house in Ted's & Johanna's Jeep.

Merl & Ted


Merl & Ted

Shelby's favorite treat is cheesecake!

Jackson's favorite spot is relaxing on our sectional!

This is where we spent the most of our time, from "The World's Best Cup of Coffee" in the morning until we drifted of to bed one by one at night we gathered at our kitchen table...everyone mentioned how much they loved this. For Christmas, Judy and Merl even sent all of us coffee mugs with our family portrait and this quote printed on them!

Our designated smoking area...sometimes I still wish, but never will.

Around two o'clock we all loaded up in two cars and the first stop on our itinerary was to visit the cemetery.

From there we went to the Phoenix Zoo. Years ago Ted, Sr and Helen had purchased four bricks that are placed on the entry bridge. One has their names and the other three have the names of their grandchildren at that time.

Marianne & Helen, along with the rest of us, searched until we located all four family bricks.

Jenna Busch, Jocelyn Busch, and Ted & Helen, these three bricks were close together. Patrick's brick was not close to these but we found it too

Patrick Sims

A family portrait on the bridge at the Zoo.

The next item on our tour was to drive past the house where Ted & Helen lived in Ahwautukee before going to Rustler's Rooste for dinner.

Helen & Judy enjoying the view of Phoenix from the deck at Rustler's Rooste.

Helen, I, and Judy were on the outside lookin' in at the rest of the family...giggle!

Oh look the World's Greatest Margarita...They Did It!

Judy and I shared one and thought calling it the World's Greatest was a bit of a stretch.

Who recognizes what this is? Anyone? At the back of the plate is a section of a rattlesnake skeleton. Yes, I ate rattlesnake. Oh c'mon, it was breaded and fried so what's not to like? Along with the rattlesnake, there are cactus fries here too.

By the time we finished with our dinners, it had become dark so I grabbed another shot of Phoenix at night from the restaurant's deck. Those white spots in the center were planes approaching the airport.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ted wanted to be on the road at 8:00, and they drove off just one minute after. Of course we were all up and gathered around the table for the last morning of drinking coffee and chatting.

After Ted, Johanna, & Helen left, Rich and Merl went hiking out of Lost Dutchman State Park. Here are a few of the photos Rich took.

Those are the Praying Hands above Merl's head.

Merl & Rich

The Superstitions!

They saw this Arizona Blonde Tarantula along the trail and Merl put his hand close enough to get some perspective in the photo. They are a very docile species of tarantula.

On the way back down.

There was still time to hang out and chat before they left around 2:30.

After they turned onto the next street, Judy and Merl stopped to take this photo which they posted to FB. Every time we drive past it now, I think "there's Merl's Saguaro!"

It was the Best of Times! We loved having them all here, we found out that our house is great for hosting guests just as it is, Sandee and Shawn loved visiting with them all again, and there were more good times in the days following while Marianne was still here.

I will try to do a summary of December before 2014 gets promises though!

Lovin' Life ~~ Building Special Memories with Family


  1. Those pictures are awesome! I wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing :-)


    1. Oh Barbara, I wish you could have been here too. Maybe next time?


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