Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trip to Albuquerque: Just Hanging Out!

More about our trip to Albuquerque ...


All three boys were excellent travelers. Nathan was a cheerful rider, as long as we kept handing him different toys to hold.
Ian and Ryan did all sorts of activities in the car, and Ryan even took a few naps.

It was especially fun that we caravaned wth Jason, Amy, and boys. That meant that we got to run around together at rest areas, eat dinner together, jump around on beds together, and swim in the (super cold) hotel pool together. Fun memories!

While we did have some fun outings on our trip (see the last post), the majority of our fun memories together were made at or near Grammy and Papa's house.

The Backyard

The weather was just beautiful, so the kids were able to play with balls, vehicles, and other outside toys together.

Fun with Water ...

In the warmer afternoons, it was fun to play with water, like in the sprinkler ...

...doing crazy antics with water balloons,

...and playing in the kiddie pool.  Uncle Andrew rigged up an incredible contraption so that the cousins could "Tarzan" into the pool from a rope attached to a nearby tree. What a fun, creative uncle! Ian was the only one that could do this all by himself, but the others enjoyed trying it, too.

One day after it rained, lots of snails came out. Cody and Ryan were especially interested in these.

And of course, the kiddos had to splash in the puddles while it was raining another day.

The Playground

We made a few trips to the school playground a block away from Papa and Grammy's house. The kids had fun climbing, swinging, and sliding.

Grammy was swinging with Ian

Abby and Ryan wanted to bring their newly-strung bed bracelets with them to the playground


One thing our family loves to do is eat! Each family took a turn making a dinner meal for everyone else. We got to celebrate Papa and Aunt Amy's birthdays while we were together. We enjoyed some yummy pineapple upside down cupcakes that Amy made for Papa's birthday.

Andrew grilled us some yummy chicken one meal.
We always got to eat together at a big "banquet table."
Ian helped Grammy make some pancakes,
and all of the kids worked together to help made homemade ice cream. Here, they're pounding some peppermint candy to make homemade mint chip ice cream.

The kids helped to turn the crank on the ice cream machine as well. Ian had an extremely long attention span and did lots and lots of churning.

Nathan preferred to watch the automatic ice cream maker.


Before Jason, Amy, and boys headed back home, Uncle Andrew busted out some of his fireworks, including sparklers and poppers for the kids to try. Everyone was excited about this except for Ryan, who was really bothered by the yucky smell of fireworks and kept his hand over his nose most of the time.

On the evening of 4th of July, Uncle Andrew had quite a routine lined up for our family and the neighbors.

Notice that Ryan is on my lap, plugging his nose

Andrew and Abby preferred to watch the fireworks with their animal masks. :)

Planned Activities

Sarah, Amy, Grammy, and I had come up with some activity options for the kids as well for some of our "down time." Some of our activities included ...

finger painting,

stringing beads,
playing with vinegar and baking soda with pipettes,

digging for buried treasure (beads and candy),
X marked the spot (in the garden)

a nature scavenger hunt,
listening to Aunt Amy's childhood recording of "Inside, Outside, Upside Down" and doing a fun extension activity,

Adult Time

We also treasured our time in the evenings after the kiddos went to sleep and stayed up late into the night talking and playing games. One night the guys played video games.

A few nights in a row, we had some fun "anniversary time." We kids read Mom & Dad the letters that we wrote them for their anniversary memory books (and laughed and cried a lot). Then, we took turns asking Dad and Mom questions about their early marriage, parenting, life together, and advice that they'd give us. These evenings were some of my favorite memories of the trip. I only wished we would've recorded Mom and Dad's answers to remember them always! They shared some insightful, wise words -- and funny memories! What fun to celebrate two lovebirds!

Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, and Cousin Time

And, as expected, lots and lots of our time was just spent playing together!

Nathan's first bite of an Otter Pop

playing King of Tokyo

Thanks for being wonderful hosts, parents, and grandparents, Dad and Mom! It was fun to celebrate YOU by just being together. We love you! :)