Thanksgiving Catch Up

Here are the pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's house.

(It seems like I'm always a holiday behind!! hehehe...ah well.
I blog in spurts it seems.)

Daniel got a whole week off and we got a great deal on a van for the trip. It was soo much fun.
Sorry these are late Grandma!

We love you!

We started out the trip around 7pm but needed to drop by Walgreen's first for a milder antibiotic. Ethan had just gotten over a severe ear ache (they thought his ear drums would burst) but the day before we left I could tell something was wrong, so we took him in to Dr. Davis and got a prescription for another, milder, antibiotic. So here we are at Walgreen's getting the medicine and giving it to Ethan before heading out.

We were first scheduled to get a standard rental car but when we went to pick it up, they were all out and we got a dodge caravan instead - it was so great to have more room!! Here is Samuel with the whole back seat to himself. He slept most of the way.

Ethan on the other hand needed entertaining when he woke up. So here is Mickey Mouse performing LIVE in our back seat to a party of one even after Mickey drove through the night for 8 hours straight. Where did I get this guy? he's amazing!

But then Ethan found a way to entertain himself

Or perhaps he was getting hungry

And here's Mommy driving. I love driving in the morning.

We arrived in Scottsdale fourteen hours after we left and Daniel crashed for most of the day.

Grandma broke out all the grand baby toys as soon as we got there and entertained Ethan while we rested. She anticipated our every need and comfort and totally took care of us. It was so wonderful.

As soon as Nathan (Daniel's younger brother) and Papa Ed came home Samuel and Nathan played some ping pong to practice for the family ping pong tournament.

But then Papa Ed got a call from his company, offering him four box seat tickets to a Phoenix Suns game. It became a "boy's night out" and Samuel was so excited!! He'd never been to an NBA game before! Daniel woke up in time to go with them.

Here's their view of the arena.

And their seats!

Samuel came home and couldn't wait to tell me about the comfy seats, their private TV screens and especially THE FOOD! They had a private buffet in the back and a chef that would make their dishes to order. They got unlimited drinks, and to a twelve year old who doesn't drink soda at home, he just couldn't get enough.

Thank you Papa Ed!

National Anthem - reminds me of high school

Jump start, Go Shaq!

Samuel got a Ripley's Believe It Or Not book for Christmas and The Slinky Man was in there. Here he is during the half time show.

Shaq is atleast a head taller than this ref, he's so huge!

And you can't forget Nash. We love Steve Nash, not as much as our Spurs at home, but we still love him.

I had to choose these few pictures from the ton that Samuel took. You could tell how much he loved being at the game by the sheer volume of pictures he took.

Ethan in his jammies getting ready for bed.

Samuel loved getting the chance to learn more chess,a nd having more people to play with. And Daniel basked in the time off to actually relax and play and spend time with family.

And Papa Ed couldn't get enough of Ethan. He was with him as much as possible and they are so cute together. Two peas in a pod. Ethan had such a good time with his Papa.

Here's Papa Ed and Ethan tearing up the house with some wrestling. If you turn up the volume you can hear how Ethan is beatin' up on Papa so bad that Papa had to forfeit. :) (I think Grandma Marcia called him away.)

For one of our day adventures we had a picnic near the zoo. If you look in the hole you can see tiny people, that's how big the hill was.

There are the three generations of Johnsons in the big hole in the hill.

I was afraid they were going to fall, it looked pretty steep from where I was standing.

Here's Ethan the rock climber! :)

After taking the pictures I walked up to where they were and we ate lunch. Papa is great at feeding Ethan.

Then we went to check out the Botanical Gardens and Ethan got the sudden urge to do some pull ups.

He loves drinking fountains!

"Look Mommy! I'm so big!"

This is my favorite pictures of Ethan and Papa Ed, I think we'll get it framed and put it in Ethan's room.

We played a lot of games while we were there and Papa Ed did a great version of Michael Jackson's, Beat It, for a cherades game we played.

This is Ethan's middle-name's sake, Daniel's little brother, Andrew. Andrew is in his early twenties but got Menangitis when he was 4 months old. Ethan had a great time playing with him on the floor.

I loved seeing Ethan and Andrew interact, and especially getting video of it, so that Ethan can know who is uncle is when he gets older when his uncle might not be with us.

Ethan loved uncle's hair. Ethan also learned not to get his hands too close to uncle's mouth when he's hungry.

It was fairly warm outside so the boys decided to jump in the pool. You could tell it was still pretty cold from Samuel's reaction. Both him and Daniel chattering through their teeth that it wasn't too bad. They eventually got used to it and Ethan couldn't stay away.

Samuel got his game on in the pool with the dunkable hoop.

At one point Ethan got hit with the ball and instinctually went to his Daddy for comfort.

Definitely a Daddy's Boy

Next, we went to the Phoeniz Zoo and the first thing I saw when we walked in was the Carosel! I have a favorite picture of my dad and me on a carosel and I've loved them ever since.

Samuel had to hop pretty high to get up on the humming bird. And he loves the Suns hat he got from Papa

I don't think Ethan knew what was going on but he loved the motion. And he'll do anything if his Daddy is with him.

I LOVE the Phoenix Zoo!! More than any other Zoo I've been to. It was so open and the animals seemed happy in their habitats.

There's a cheetah right infront of Samuel's face.

This was a bamboon whose bum changes color depending on his mood. I loved that! I wish we had something like that for us. :) In this picture he's happy because he's being fed and his bum is brightly colored.

We paused for lunch and Daddy kept stealing Ethan's carrots.

There's a lioness, again, right in front of Samuel's face.

Ethan got tired around his nap time and Daniel was a trooper. He walked around for almost an hour with Ethan asleep in his arms. It was the cutest thing. His poor back, Ethan weighs atleast 20 lbs.

Here we are in front of an Eagle's nest that was easily big enough to sit a small human family. It was huge!

I think Ethan saw his Daddy making funny faces at him. This is his classic reach for Daddy.

And he loves making eyes for the camera.

Happy faces!

Daddy bringing up the rear!

This walabee has a handsome little Joey in it's pouch!

Ethan's first slide ever, with Papa's help

Ethan's giving papa a tour.

I think we were looking at monkeys in this picture

They had a petting area where we could pet and comb some goats. They were all shapes and sizes. Ethan was scared at first but with Papa's help I think he had a good time.

The zoo workers warned us as they let us in the pen that there were two grown male goats who had been fighting all day and that we should stay out of their way. I was a little worry but then I saw his eyes gleam up, he said this is the most excitement they've had since he started working there. Hilarious.

Our camera was dead but we made a last stitch effort to get this one. The screen didn't even turn on so we didn't know if we got it, but doesn't he look cute!! Our little hatchling.

Like I said, we played alot of games. But Twister was more like an event! The Johnson boys played: Papa Ed, Daniel, his brothers Paul and Nathan, and Samuel. I worked the spinner.

Papa Ed is one of the most agreeable people I have ever met, he has a way of putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable...until you compete against him, at anything! At which point he becomes the merciless master strategist that he is. He'll figure out a way to win and go for it, emotions and aliances aside. It's a work of art!

Look in the video at his strategy for twister, he's hilarious, you wouldn't expect it from him when you look at him, which of course is a part of his strategy, he he he...

He doesn't go for the colored circle that is closest, he goes for the one that will push his opponent off the board! Look at how he eliminates a much lighter Samuel from the game right away:

It was so much fun to watch! And they were all such good sports about it. Even if I'm not good at something I love playing a game with people who are good sports.

Ethan got to meet his uncle paul for the first time, who is teaching him how to play Clue in this picture

This is one of a few precious pictures I have of Ethan with his Grandma. I love this picture of her rocking him to sleep in my robe. Grandma Marcia is an incredible musician and sang to Ethan alot on the trip. And aside from taking care of everyone who was camped out in her house for a week, cooking, cleaning, planning Thanksgiving, not to mention her daily work outs and taking care of Andrew, she found time to play with and entertain her grandson, and he loved it. Like I said, we were spoiled.

This is Ethan in a cool high chair we were able to borrow from one of Grandma Marcia's friends. It came in really handy and was super easy to clean.

We ate lots of yummy food at Grandma's house.

Here is Papa Ed cleaning sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner!

The boys went and played basketball in the driveway one night. Samuel and Daniel against Paul and Nathan.

And here are the cheerleaders!! Yay!!! Go Daddy and Samuel!

Brother against Brother

They played pretty hard and Samuel ended up making the winning point! Go Samuel!

We had Ethan sleeping on the floor of the closet at night, but he got restless and wouldn't sleep the whole night through so we invested in a pack n'play which I'm sure we'll use in the future. Here's Ethan, again with my pink robe. It's very soft, he loves it.

Here are the Johnson boys again, playing a game, on Thanksgiving Day before we ate

Oh, and Grandma Margie and Grandpa Vance came over! She's so cute. She brought over the most delicious spinach balls. mmmmmm, good.

Daniel's cousins from Utah came down as well. Daniel and I spent Thanksgiving with them last year when we took that long road trip up to Idaho to clean out my storage unit from college. Ya, 24 hours in the car without stopping to get to Utah at 8 months pregnant - lots of fun actually. But we got to the Rick's house and spent Thanksgiving with them and had a blast. This is Brittney, and Ethan loved her - as you can see!

Here they are having some fun with bracelets. Ethan loves to look through circles and toilet paper roles and play peek-a-boo

This is Paul, Daniel's older brother, and his beautiful wife Laura, who is an accomplished dancer, photographer and cross-stich genius

We loved spending time with Grandpa Vance, Grandma Marcia's dad. They live in the Phoenix area and are so much fun to be with. Grandpa eminates wisdom and fun. He was the referee on all things ping pong.

Ethan loved bouncing with Grandpa!

Here's Papa Ed cutting the bird! It was so delicious! It was marinated and cooked just right!

Marcia and Nathan's ping pong game was one of the most exciting at the family tournament. Everyone played atleast twice. Aunt Marianne did a great job organizing it!

Here is Nathan and his concentrated pose!

Samuel and I watching the fun!

While Daniel was on Doodie Duty

More games!

When I first moved to San Antonio Daniel would introduce me to people and they would tell me how they always remember Daniel taking care of his little brother Andrew during church. I'm glad I got a picture of them together.

Papa Ed's serve was sooo fast! None of us could return it properly. Daniel says that that's the reason he won. If any of us could have returned his serve we probably would have beat him on the volley...again, the master strategist!

This was one of Ethan's favorite moments I think...to ride on Papa's shoulders as he ran around the house. In the video you can see his head and arms flopping all over the place as Papa ran. It was hilarious.

Sorry you gotta turn your head sideways, but you can still get the idea!

This is a once in a lifetime photo, Laura playing pingpong!!! I'll have to keep this as proof that she actually played.

Grandma Marcia teaches piano and had so many fun instruments to play with!

Around the time of our trip Ethan started to eat apples whole. Daniel happened to give him a whole one and he demolished it. It takes him a while but he loves it!

It'll keep him occupied for a while but I can't bring myself to take my eyes off of him incase he chokes on little bits of apple peel.

He loves anything in the shape of a ball. He's going to be a great ball player!

Big smiles!

And here is the champion ping pong player, recipient of the coveted "Golden Paddle" that will be passed from winner to winner at Thanksgiving each year.

We had such a wonderful time. It was a great break and wasn't stressful like some vacations are. You end up wishing you had just stayed home instead of going through all of trouble of going on "vacation".

Thank you Grandma Marcia! Feel free to click on any of the pictures to get a high resolution version to copy to your computer.

Now I'll start on pictures of Christmas and Ethan's first birthday...coming soon.


Erin said...

Wow, what a post! Looks like you had a great trip and enjoyed being with family very much! How fun. Enjoyed all the pics and stories!

Zack and Lizzie said...

Love it Joce!! I was wondering how your Thanksgiving went. Looks like you had so much fun. Ethan is growing so fast and tell Samuel I am completely jealous of him for being able to go to a Suns game and eat lots of food and drink all the soda he wants. Lucky. Love you guys.

Clayton and Camea said...

What fun! Wow that warm Arizona sunshine looks nice! We were in rainy WA for Thanksgiving.

Nick said...

Hello! Its nice to meet you! Of course you can follow my blog. I'm happy and flattered that you enjoy it that much. You're family looks like a lot of fun too. :) I love your pics. I would like to add you to my list of bloggers as well, if you don't mind. Its always fun when I can meet people that grew up with Nick. Well it was nice to hear from you!

marciamuse said...

Thanks for posting these pictures! We enjoyed them very much!

Paige said...

Hey! I just found your blog and it is so fun to see how big Ethan has gotten. When we moved he still seemed so little!