This past week was our Spring Break.
We spent it in Arizona...and it went by incredibly fast.
Here's the run down:
Stephen and Emily rode with my sister (she had been here to spend General Conference weekend with us) to spend Tuesday and part of Wednesday with their grandparents.
It was their first time ever spending time away from the rest of the family, and also the first time spending time alone with their grandparents.
That same night, Pat and the other 4 kids and I headed over to Phoenix for a 2 day stint in a downtown hotel.
Pat had job related training for 2 days in the building across from our hotel.
Sent Pat on his way to work, got a phone call from him about 10 minutes later.
He was on the observation deck, waving away at us looking out of our hotel window.
It was a very fun way to start the day.
Nathan, Thomas, Bekah, Samand I headed out for breakfast.
(Have you ever noticed that the more expensive the hotel is, the less you actually get for free? No continental breakfast there.)
After an hour drive over to Mesa, and a call to my sister to look up an address, we finally found a Denny's and had a yummy, filling breakfast.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Target...a refreshing change from our local Wal-Pit.
(I always joke about needing to breathe Target air...and I got my fill this trip!)
I needed a new card for my TracFone, due to the fact that I had burned through a ton of minutes on roaming, so I felt quite justified in spending more time there.
The kids loved the toy aisles, and were impressed that there were different toys available.
After Target, we headed to visit Auntie Susan...who still teaches where I used to teach.
The 4 kids that were with me had no memory of me teaching (I stopped while Nathan was still in-utero), and were pretty impressed to see one of the rooms where I taught school.
We enjoyed meeting Susan's class, and after about an hour, headed out.
I was able to catch up with a roomate of mine from college...it had been about 3 years since we had seen each other, although we keep in contact via phone quite regularly.
The kids were able to run and play there, and so when we headed back to the hotel, there were no complaints.
We ate dinner with Auntie Susan, and amazingly, bumped into my favorite college professor (J'Anne Ellsworth Affeld) from NAU in Flagstaff...while eating at Cafe Rio in Phoenix.
Talk about divine intervention.
We headed back to the hotel, went for a quick swim, called to check on Stephen and Emily and headed off to bed.
Up early to pack all of our stuff and get it out to the truck before Pat needed to be at work.
It was stuffed into the cab so no one could access it easily...
Off for a quick breakfast (McD--yuck), and to see my sister.
We spent long enough there to watch a movie and give Sam a breathing treatment...(paloverde blooms wreaked havoc on 5 of 8 of us!).
Then off to Target again...(ahhh...fresh retail air...).
Chocolate (that I hoped wouldn't melt), a new lunchbox for Pat (that I had forgotten the day before), and a few other things rounded out the trip before we headed to Sonic for lunch.
We met Susan after her school got out (early release on Wednesdays), and we transferred car seats and chocolate to her car so that we could all make the drive to Superior (about 45 minutes away) to pick up Stephen and Emily.
That drive was calm, most kids napped the majority of one way...and then we headed back to pick up the truck.
Pat met us there...he had gotten out of work early, and he suggested we make a run up to the Chevrolet dealership to look at the Suburban we've had our eye on to replace his work truck.
We had planned on seeing the Easter pageant at the Mesa Temple that night, but we did have some extra time on our hands, so we headed over to the dealership and put all 6 kids into the Suburban to see how they fit.
After about a half hour there, we headed out for dinner, and went to meet my sister who had been saving seats for us on the temple grounds.
The pageant was beautiful...even with squirrely kids, and the kids even got to meet "John the Baptist" (he 's a good friend of my sister's roommate).
That night we headed to our friends home (Trent and Rachelle Allen)...they have 7 kids, and we lived near them in our early marriage...initially before kids...until we each had 3 kids.
Ahhh...just a relaxing morning with the Allen's.
We had stuffed eggs the night before for an egg hunt...but the kids were having such a good time together that we kept putting off hiding the eggs.
Pat headed out to the dealership to start negotiating for the Suburban...and I figured we'd see him by early afternoon with our new car in hand.
About 1pm, Pat called and said that because my credit score was higher than his (???), they were putting the car loan in my name, and I would need to come in to sign the paperwork too.
That was a bit unexpected, and so I ran in to take a quick nap before heading out...
We left about 3ish, thinking we'd be back within a couple of hours...
Rachelle graciously offered to watch the older kids, and we took Sam with us.
They had a ball, dyeing easter eggs, finally doing the easter egg hunt and playing on a water slide.
While the negotiations went well, it was 7 pm before we were ready to actually drive away from the dealership....(Holy cow...7 hours??? I think it's a new form of torture!)
We had decided to stay over with our friends again (thank goodness for their hospitality!!) rather than try to drive to Kearny (an hour away) to stay with Grandma and Grandpa.
By the time we got something to eat and picked up some food for breakfast and made the drive back, it was nearing 9pm.
We stayed up chatting, and headed to bed LATE....
After a quick cruise in the new Suburban with my good friend who had watched the kids the day before...we packed up and headed to Kearny.
We were caught in the backlog of an accident...but knew an alternate route to get around the pass where the accident had occured.
Although it took about an hour longer (wait time and drive time), we were able to get to Grandma and Grandpa's without any further incident.
That night we headed to a ward party and Easter egg hunt...
fun because we had lived there for 3 years...
The ward has changed quite a bit...but it was fun for the kids.
We were all exhausted by this point, and headed home to get the kids in bed for the first time before 10pm (New Mexico time) the whole break.
Left about 10:30am, (AZ time) and made a beeline for home.
Dinner early, a trip to the grocery store,
a batch of strawberry freezer jam, and off to bed.
Whew! What a "break"!