For Labor Day weekend, we packed up the minivan and drove down to Thatcher Friday night to spend time with family. But first, we had to stop in Globe for some Mexican food at El Rey. (Yum...)
We stayed with my Grandma and her two little dogs.
Love Grandma. Don't love the dogs as much.
I think my little boys scared her poor dogs more than the pooches scared the kids. My boys have a serious fear of animals, especially bugs and dogs. Nevertheless, it was so good to stay there and to spend time with her and the rest of our Thatcher family. We had the back room to ourselves at night, with doors to keep the dogs out, and thick walls to contain a fussy baby's cries. Add in a very cold air conditioner and a large screen TV, and things were pretty good.
Saturday was filled with some early morning bird hunting for the men, and a trip to Wal-Mart for the rest of us. Sadly, no trip to the Gila Valley is complete without at least one trip to Wally World. Note to self: Do not pack in 30 minutes with rowdy children underfoot and expect to remember everything you are supposed to bring, like wet wipes. And pajamas.
We were lucky to get to the Gila Valley Temple while the kiddos played with cousins. What a beautiful and peaceful place.
Later that night, we bbq'ed, bathed kiddos and hit Sonic for some ice cream. With cream slushes and ice cream cones in hand, we drove down Main Street (that took a whole two minutes...) in the hopes that the little ones might fall asleep (and two of them did...Hooray!). We had the second rough night in a row with Mr. Three who was fussy and didn't want to sleep. We later discovered that he was, in fact, teething.
Sunday brought early morning church with the family and a traditional dinner of roast beef and pork, with mashed potatoes and summer fruits and veggies. After-dinner naps were on the agenda for some lucky adults, and a showing of Babe was on the schedule for the kids and the less lucky adults who had to go nap-free.
We had fun playing games with family that night, with an especially fun round of Buzz Word with the adults and a round of Blokus (in which I lost badly to my husband, aunt and cousin). Playing games together is one of my favorite family traditions (besides eating good food...).
Monday was all about picking apples. The trees were overloaded with fruit, and the orchard in full bloom after lots of previous rain. We saw many flowers and even a few huge mushrooms amidst the trees this year. The foliage was so thick, Mr. One exclaimed, "They really need to mow their lawn here!"
I kept looking at the setting and admiring the beauty.
Handsome Husband had a grand time taking photos and picking apples alongside us.
The boys couldn't wait to bite into some freshly picked apples.
Unfortunately, all of this blooming attracted lots of bugs and made the trails hard to navigate. After a short time, involving several dropped apples, a plethora of mosquito bites, light rain, lots of tears and much tripping over rocks, Mr. One, Two and Three were DONE. I hiked up to the car with the Three Grumpies for a seat in a bug free zone and we let the pro's finish the apple picking.
Daddy, Grammy and Grandpa got a lot more picking done without us, I'm sure.
After filling the car with apples and filling our stomachs with one last good meal at Grandma's house, we headed home. Happy for us, we had grilled pizza and corn for our return dinner. (Thank you Seth, Grammy and Grandpa). We went to bed tired and full and grateful for a chance to be together for the weekend.