Well believe it or not the fun in Arizona continued even after the Out of Africa park. The rest of the week was pretty awesome as well. Ben, Dad, and Brennan went out New Year's morning to shoot guns, including the new rifle we got dad for Christmas. They had a good time and it was a nice trade off for us, because they watched all the kids so we could go shopping! Shopping without a kids is a rare and wonderful treat. And just so I don't forget, I have to share this story. When we out on our childless excursion we went to Costco. When we came out we unloaded the groceries and then Mara and I both climbed in leaving mom to take care of the cart (yes, we are awesome daughters). Then we sat and watched as she tried to get into the small white SUV parked right next to us. It was locked, obviously, and she was confused. We were laughing hysterically and assumed she could hear us. She says she could but apparently couldn't tell where our laughter was coming from because she walked to the back of Mara's car and looked around, quite confused. Then she started to walk back toward Costco before she figured it out. Now the cart corral was not very far from where we were parked, so I really don't know how she got so disoriented. But it was dang hilarious.
While the boys were gone shooting we played a little Star Wars dance on the xbox.
Later we went to a near by park to enjoy the weather. Tatum was not having the best of days (a lot of pushing was happening) but it was still a fun time.
Jade loved holding Declan and was a great little helper.
This guy sure enjoyed his week in the sun. It wasn't anything he has experienced in his short life and he will have forgotten all about it by the time the sun decides to warm things up around here enough to go outside.
On Thursday we went on a fun little hike and then enjoyed a yummy lunch at Smash Burger. Unfortunately the girls decided to pass around a little bug while we were there and Jade had it the night before so she didn't enjoy the hike as much as she normally would have.
It was such a long hike we really just had to stop for a snack. ;)
For some reason as I was going through pictures I stopped on this one and thought, I have two kids?! Still seems a little strange.
Later that day we lazed about in the hammock out back.
Declan was brave and decided to join all those crazy girls.
Ben's parents have an orange grove at their house and they were kind enough to let us pick some to take home so we did that while Mara was at work on Friday.
On Saturday we headed out the lake for a cook out and to try out Ben's new boat (his Christmas present from mom and dad). The weather was perfect and we had a fabulous time.
These three could be completely satisfied throwing rocks into the water for a very long time.
Ben was busy preparing our Papa Murphy's pizza in the dutch oven (so easy and so delicious) and was kind enough to let these four take his ship out on its maiden voyage.
They loved it.
Don't worry, Ben got a turn later, I just didn't get a picture of it. I did photos of some of the spectators though.
After Church on Sunday we just tried to soak up as much sun as we could, went to see the new temple nearby, and played games.
Monday was our last day together. :( We just hung out in the backyard and had a lot of fun.
Jade, the picture of concentration, waiting for her mom to roll a tennis ball up the slide. She had to wait a long time though, Mara wasn't real great at it. ;)
The last shot I got of these two. They had their ups and downs but there is no doubting that they love each other. It's fun to watch their relationship grow and I really hope they can be friends forever. And you'd never guess they are over a year apart. Either Jade is a shrimp or Tatum is a giant. Or maybe a little of both. :) Also, awesome photo bomb Ben.
We loved our time in Arizona and are so glad we got to make the trip. A HUGE thank you to Mara and Ben for hosting us and making it a fun time!