My brother visited us in early September, and stayed for almost 2 weeks. He has visited us in Arizona before, but that was nine years ago.
Fair warning: this is a long post, with ridiculously many pictures. Please just consider this a peek into our family photo album, as my blog is the primary way I chronicle our family's happenings even just for ourselves.
Please click below to keep reading this seriously long post... :)
My brother brought an entire suitcase full of candies and gifts, so much so that he was hardly able to fit any clothes, which he had planned on buying here. :) The kids were thrilled to have someone play and be wild with all day, every day.
My brother is a toothbrushing fanatic. Coming to think of it, half his suitcase was filled with fun toothbrushes and toothpaste, to offset the other half, which was candy.
My brother bought the little kids who are still into dressing up some costumes.
We did school work during his first week here, but took the second week off to be free to do lots of fun outings.
During my brother's visit, we went swimming pretty much every day. In fact, because he is a certified diver, he rented some SCUBA gear and showed our kids how to use it in our pool.
Better watch out for these kids!
Of course, there was also lots of time for just "guy fun". My husband and brother hiked to the top of Camelback mountain several times, and also went to Thorbeck's, the oldest powerlifting gym in the US (I think? I don't even know what that means, ha!), as well as a fun family gym near us.
We took a trip to Globe, AZ where we visited some Indian ruins at Besh-be-Gowah, their botanical garden, as well as an old mining museum.
One of the big boys pretended to be touching a cactus, which Stephen immediately imitated, except that he left of the "pretend" part. Ouch!
The breeder-mobil, as I affectionately call my van.
My mother-in-law happened to be visiting for a couple of days during the same time. This gave us an opportunity to leave all the kids in her care, while just us three adults (my husband, my brother, and myself) kayaked about 10 miles down the Salt River. I hadn't been in several years, and not in over a decade with my husband, so that was a huge treat.
On the last day before my brother had to leave, we took a day trip to Williams, AZ to see Bearizona. The drive is about 3 hours each way.
Getting ready for a day trip, large family style
Watch out for Mama Bear!
On the drive home, we took the back route through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, which of course is breathtakingly beautiful during sunset.
If you have read this post this far, you deserve a medal!!