Friday, November 29, 2013

The First Thanksgiving

When we purchased Trent's family home we missed the fine print: "family gatherings will always be held in this house"! So in order to honor the agreement we hosted our first Thanksgiving! I'm not going to lie I was very nervous about taking on such a huge responsibility! There is a lot of pressure in providing such a monumental feast...especially when the guests have high standards based on previous experience! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite and family what could be better! But I love going to other peoples home! Fortunately, Trent's dad offered to help us with the Turkey and I am a good delegator so all the guests brought a portion of the meal. It ended up being a great day and everything turned out surprisingly well! This was also Laura's first Thanksgiving so it was an extra special day!

Grandpa Dan is a great teacher! Love watching these men in the kitchen!

Trent made a top for the pool table! It was the perfect setting for our 20+ guests!

Brendan is getting way to big way to fast! 

Anna and Miss Maddie!

Maddie and Laura got them honor of breaking the wishbone...Laura got the bigger piece! Hope she made a good wish!

I found the turkey crayon holder idea here...the kids loved decorating their place settings!

We love our cousins

The very best thing about Thanksgiving weekend..the ASU vs UofA game!

Laura's first ASU game and the best one of the year...and we won!!!!!

The kids were very helpful...removing the extra parts inside the cavity...gross!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

Love this holiday! I really think Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love the decorations, the costumes and of course the candy! I have been lucky to work in schools that still allow us to dress up and even have a parade (more and more schools are not allowing this tradition :( So my team and I dressed up as the grammar police! Because of Aiden's glasses we thought he would make a perfect Clark Kent and Anna wanted to be a goddess! Laura enjoyed her first REAL Halloween as even though they celebrate the holiday in Spain it is on a much smaller scale! She dressed up as a cheerleader from Glee! Very cute! In honor of the holiday we also went to a pumpkin patch and maintained our tradition of carving pumpkins (this was a first for Laura). 
And of course there was the Trick or Treating! The kids hit up most of the neighborhood and filled up a pillow case! I on the other hand was on a diet and did not eat one piece of candy! That was a first for me!!

Anna with her besties...Kylie and Paige

Anna with the most amazing teacher ever...Mrs. Ryland!! We are so lucky to have her!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Feliz Cumpleanos

In honor of Laura's 15th birthday we threw her a party! It is amazing how many friends she has made since her arrival! There must have been over 30 teenagers here! I had never thrown a party for a teenager so I wasn't sure what to expect! I had way to much food (duh I forgot that teenage girls don't eat in front of boys) and over planned activities (duh I forgot that kids just sit around and talk!). Even though they would have been comfortable just hanging out I did make them do some karaoke for my benefit and we surprised Laura with a pinata (Anna's idea!). Laura got a kick out of the blindfolding and hitting it with a bat as I found out this is not how they do it in Spain (there they just pull a string)! The night ended with a scary movie (in honor of Halloween)! It was a great night and I think everyone enjoyed themselves!! Hopefully this will be a birthdays she never forgets! (My one regret...we had so much fun I hardly got any pictures!!! Thank goodness there was a photo booth so we got a few...)

There were several boys at the party...he's the only one that would pose for a picture!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Road Trip

Over fall break we took a little road trip up to Flagstaff. The plan was to show Laura the Grand Canyon but our wonderful government decided to shut down all national parks until they could resolve issues with the budget! Ugh! The timing of it all was just crazy. But we didn't let this hiccup ruin our trip! There is still so much of Arizona that Laura needs to see, so we ventured out to Jerome, Williams, Flagstaff and Sedona. The weather was gorgeous and it was the perfect time to see the leaves changing colors! In just a few short days we were able to see so much!

I love the town of Jerome and it really is one of a kind! We walked through the ghost town, had burgers and shopped a bit. I could people watch in this town all day...Afterwards we headed up to Flagstaff for the night. First thing the following morning we wandered over to Bearzona. Such a cool idea! It's like a mini safari but with animals from the US! We loved seeing the wolves, bears and buffalo up close! This is definitely a must see! After that little adventure we drove over to Williams to have some lunch and Laura and Trent bravely took a trip on the zip-line. We then headed up to Snowbowl where we rode the ski lift up to the top of the mountain. I am not sure if I have ever been so scared :) It is one thing to go on a ski lift when there is white fluffy snow underneath you. . . it is completely another when there you can see all the jagged rocks! Because Laura and Anna were on my lift I white knuckled the bar and smiled so I didn't freak them out! I was grateful to not be on Trent's seat as he thought it was fun to rock it! Surprisingly going down was not nearly as bad as going up. I think it may have something to do with the prayer I made at the top! It also helped that the scenery was stunning! It is not very often that us Zoni's get to see yellow, orange and red leaves! After arriving safely back on the ground we went to downtown Flagstaff to eat and shop. We accidentally ran into this cute little cluster of shops on the corner of Birch and Leroux that I would love to visit again sometime. The following day we drove through Oak Creek Canyon (STUNNING, especially in the Fall) to Sedona where we took a jeep tour! I have been to Sedona several times and I have always wanted to do this. It was a great way to have an experienced guide share with us information about the land and rock formations as well as take us to places we might not have seen otherwise. I think Laura was impressed with the landscape of Sedona...beautiful! It was a quick but great trip and we were able to see so much of Arizona! Hopefully the Grand Canyon will open soon so Laura will get to see it before she leaves!

Searching for arrowheads with our awesome guide!
Amazingly each of the kiddos found one! I have my suspicions that this was not a coincidence!

I think Laura enjoyed the 4 wheeling the best!