Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 90 - Back in Canada.

With getting to bed around 2am last night, it was a slow start this morning. We managed to get up in time to have breakfast at the hotel, pack up again and get back on the road around 10:45am. The roads were great almost the whole way, except for a section in northern Idaho and a section in Montana. We had no problems crossing the border and got to our hotel in Calgary around 1am.

All photos were taken through the truck window, much too cold to openl!! ☺

After 90 days, we're back in Canada.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 89 - On the Road Again.

No one wanted to get up and face the reality of leaving Arizona. What a fantastic time we have had. How blessed we have been by this adventure! We are so very thankful. We had a very full morning of packing, loading & cleaning.... it took us longer than we thought (which is usually the case) and got out the door about 1pm. We went back to the post office and the line was still outrageous, but we stood in it anyway. We got the packages off (spent a small fortune on postage, lesson learned!) and finally began our trek about 1:45pm. It was 21 degrees and beautiful sunshine as we pulled out. We decided to drive up through Kingman and Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, Utah as we thought the roads would be better. David was disappointed not to drive up through Flagstaff and see some new sights, but he felt this was the safer route. The drive between Wickenburg and Kingman was very beautiful. We hadn’t been on this section of road before and it was very scenic. Lots of mountains, valleys and cactuses and there were thousands of Joshua trees at the higher elevations. We had never seen Joshua trees so densely populated. The roads were excellent all the way to Salt Lake City. All the mountains in Utah were covered with snow and the temperature was just above freezing as we unloaded the truck.

Goodbye shorts & flip-flops!

Joshua tree "forest".

We saw more of these 'stacked' rocks along the way.

View across from our hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Such beautiful mountain ranges.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 88 - Last day on ATVs...

This morning we got up & went to the post office to mail out Christmas packages and to pick up the trailer for the ATVs. After assessing the insanely long line (you’d think you were in Fort McMurray!) we decided to visit the post office tomorrow and just head to U-Haul. This took an unusual amount of time as we were also renting a storage unit there. Lots of paperwork and everyone was on “Arizona Time” so no rushing and always time for a visit :). Once we got that set up, we made our way back to the house. Quad & dirtbike were loaded up, a quick lunch was eaten and we were off. We spent a few hours riding; everyone had a great time. Joshua was still a bit light-headed, but still had lots of fun riding around. Sarah is getting to be a great driver too!! The afternoon came to an end and it was time to head back and the looming task of packing up was before us. David & Joshua made a couple trips to the storage unit to park the summer toys while the girls and I began to pack inside. We worked until it was later than it should’ve been and spent our final night in Arizona.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 87 - Harvest Baptist Church & a Sunday afternoon drive.

We enjoyed a lazy morning, easy breakfast and some sleep-in time. Everyone was feeling much better this morning and we were able to walk to church and enjoyed the morning service at Harvest Baptist Church here in Goodyear. What a happy church! We have so enjoyed attending here these past few weeks. We had a great chat after the service with the associate pastor & his wife. His wife was the kids’ Sunday School teacher. They have 4 children ages 2 and under (a set of twins in there) and were a very friendly & inviting family. After lunch we went for a drive to look at a few show-homes in the Goodyear area. It’s amazing how much cheaper housing is down here. We got home a bit late as we went and drove around Estrella Ranch after viewing some homes. It was a beautiful spot we’d like to check out closer if we’re back in this area again. Pancakes were the quick dinner choice and we munched on those while we watched Cake Boss on TLC. After dinner everyone pitched in to start on the packing & sorting that needs to be done. Kids went to bed, Joshua was feeling a bit woozy again (we’re thinking it might be heartburn?) so he made a bed in our room tonight. David & I continued to work on the packing as we plan to go ATV-ing tomorrow.

☃Merry Christmas☃

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 86 - Sunny Christmas Shopping

With the extremely late night everyone slept in much longer than normal; even the kids slept in until after 10am. We enjoyed a family brunch together and then David & I went out to finish up some final Christmas shopping and errands. The kids did some journal work, a few chores & played on the Wii. We watched Survivor together and then the kids were ready for bed. Unfortunately Megan’s late night continued to catch up to her and she was sick again tonight. Joshua began to feel woozy as well, we’re hoping it clears up before the hours we will be spending in the truck. Once the kids were settled I began to wrap Christmas gifts and David spent some time online looking at houses for sale in the area.
13 days until Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 85 - More Disney. Outlets & a late night drive home.

We had to pack up this morning & check out of the hotel before heading to the park for a few final hours. We took in some favorite rides, enjoyed a couple of park snacks & then left for Desert Hills Outlet Malls. The outlet mall was fantastic and we were able to find some outstanding deals. After a few hours there we left for Goodyear. It was a late drive and we arrived about 2:30am. By the time we got kids in bed and the truck unloaded it was about 4am. It was a great time at Disneyland & we look forward to a few more days in Arizona.
We didn't stand in lines this time to get photos with the characters, but they were all dressed up for the Christmas season.
Getting ready for the "wildest ride in the wilderness".
Kids have their hands up ready to ride the rollercoaster.
So far the only rattlesnakes we've seen (not counting the zoo).
Sarah's special purchase was Mickey Mouse Christmas PJs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 84 - We ♥ Disneyland.

This morning everyone slept in a bit more. Having such a full day yesterday and getting to bed around midnight forced a bit of a sleep-in. Joshua woke just after 8:30 in a panic that the park would be opening in 1/2hr and we were all still in bed! :)
Today we took in some shows: Aladdin, It's Tough to be a bug, and the Army parade. We split our time between California Adventure & Disneyland and left the park for a scrumptious dinner at Tony Roma's! Mmmmm...
Sarah finally got to see Santa - they had a little chat & then posed for a photo.
Jumpin' Jellyfish in California Adventure Park.
It's Tough to be a Bug was a good 3D show that had some great effects. The theaters are so elaborate and detailed, it's amazing!
A Disneyland treat! Sweet Cream Cheese filled pretzels.... Y-U-M! David like the jalapeno variety.
California Adventure at night. David did Screamin' in the dark - his favorite ride in CA!
Waiting for Daddy to get off the Screamer... and starting to feel a little weary.
I think I see a little BBQ sauce on Joshua's cheek from our yummy dinner.
As we stood in line at Blaster's, Megan began to feel sick. We left the line and David took Joshua. Her nausea continued so David took her back to the hotel (she didn't quite make it, poor thing). Joshua, Sarah & I stayed at the park and did a couple more rides and took in the fireworks show for our final evening there.
We got back to the hotel and Megan was feeling a bit better (that girl CANNOT do late nights!) and we had a snack and crawled into bed. Another great day at the parks. It was suppose to rain on us and so far we've had great, clear weather.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 83 - Disney from dawn until dusk :)

I'm not sure if it was the time change, or just pure excitement, but the kids were up at about 6am this morning! We tried to get everyone to try to sleep until 7am and then everyone was up, dressed & ready to go. Poor David is living on very little sleep just coming off of night shift, but has done extremely well at keeping up with the kids!
We decided to start the day with Space Mountain, a ride that we didn't do last time we were at Disneyland. Joshua changed his mind (and Sarah wished she had!) so just the girls went. Then the kids waited while David & I went on it so David could have a turn. Very cool ride. The top requested ride is still Big Thunder Rollercoaster, and we did that ride many times. In the afternoon we left the park and went to Costco to pick up some milk & a couple of flats of water. We also took in some shows: The Christmas Parade and Fantasmic. By 11pm when the park closed, we made our way back to the hotel and fell into bed, ready for sleep!
First ride of the day.
The castle all decorated for Christmas. It's spectacular in the evening with the lights.
Joshua cannot get enough of Splash Mountain... good thing Daddy likes it just as much. :)
Girls getting ready to go on Big Thunder (while the boys are at Splash Mountain.... again)
"The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness"
Ready for Big Thunder Rollercoaster.
The Army went by while Daddy was on the Maliboomer. Every now and then while you're in the park a parade or some form of entertainment passes by!
In California Adventure Park the kids also enjoy Mulholland Madness, another rollercoaster ride. A bit of a jerky one. You feel like you're going to be thrown out of the car as your round those crazy corners and bends!
The enormous tree in California Adventure Park.
The Christmas Parade.
The castle after the fireworks.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 82 - Disneyland here we come.

The kids were up early, running into our room to jump on Daddy with welcome-home hugs. They were excited and worked hard at getting us up out of bed. It took us a bit of time to get all the last minute things in order, pack up the food & get out the door... but we managed to get on the road shortly after 10am. We got to the hotel to check in about 4pm (yes, we had a couple stops along the way & lost an hour with the time-change) and got to Disneyland just after 5pm. We didn't realize the park closed at 6pm so we took in a couple rides & were able to watch the spectacular fireworks display. It was incredible! Made me stop & thank the Lord for my ability to see. After the fireworks, the park closed and we made our way over to California Adventure Park as we noticed it was still open. We took in a few more rides and Joshua was beginning to feel a bit woozy (we're thinking a bit of dehydration & the ferris wheel)... so after "Soarin' Over California" we worked our way back to the hotel. We had a bite to eat (Megan did a great job getting food together for our trip), and then got everyone to sleep. We have a full day at the parks tomorrow and we're all so excited & thankful to be back.
The entrance at Disneyland - so pretty with the Christmas Theme.
The garland down main street with an image of Mickey in the middle.
An ENORMOUS Christmas tree filled with decorations to the very top!!
3 Excited munchkins.
It got dark on us pretty quick. The castle looked so pretty. At the end of the fireworks it was all blue with white lights (photo didn't work out well). Sarah is already asking to see the princesses.
Over in California Adventure Park... at the top of the ferris wheel looking down at the Screamin' Rollercoaster.
We were chilly there as the sun went down, Joshua made a great choice & purchased a mickey, rimmed toque!
Outstanding Fireworks. At the end, it even "snowed" on everyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 81 - Getting Ready

Today was a very full and exciting day. We knew that Daddy was coming home and in the morning we'd be leaving for Disneyland!!
On top of that we were able to experience one of Arizona's rare rainfalls. WOW! The rain pelted down and the wind blew hard. It was insane out there.
We worked hard at school for the morning, Megan was busy baking muffins & monkey mix (YUM) and the other two were helping out with chores & packing. We stayed inside most of the day, although Joshua & Sarah went out briefly to feel the rain again and get good and wet!
David flew in on the roughest flight in his life; He said everyone clapped when the plane landed. We are thankful he is home safe.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 81 - A Day of Rest

Today was a great "day of rest". With no vehicle this week, it was nice that the church was close enough to walk in the sunshine & enjoyed the morning service. Sarah & Joshua went to Sunday school and Sarah is already wishing tomorrow was Sunday so she can go back! Cute. The afternoon we worked on Christmas cards together (it's fun that the kids are really helping me this year), built a fort in the living room and played a game of Catan (it has been awhile since we played), and even got to chat with Uncle Ben. :)
It was a good day.
The planning & setting up of the fort. By the end they had blankets all over, tunnels built... and even ate their dinner inside their creation :)
✈ one more sleep!!! ✈

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 80 - School continues...

We got up & got going on school again today. I know, SATURDAY SHOULD NOT BE A SCHOOL DAY, but... we have lots of days-off coming up! We worked until about lunch time and then the kids were itching to get outside to play. Megan got a special call from a Nanaimo friend that kept her busy for the afternoon, so that was special for her. We had a quiet evening and an early time of family devotions & bedtime. Need to catch up and bank some sleep time for Disneyland next week!
Funny how this house has 5 bedrooms, but Sarah & Joshua still want to sleep in the same room. Sarah, being her usual silly-self. She can always give the gift of a smile!
Joshua taking his turn at being silly.
Joshua must have taken this photo. If I leave my good camera out, I notice the last few mornings he wanders around and takes random shots. Usually VERY random, but I thought this was a special shot of Megan doing her devotions this morning. I wonder if she even noticed him taking the photo.

✈ two more sleeps ✈