Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Vacation -- Evans Style

Every year on the day after Christmas, we pile the kids in the Suburban and take a road trip to Arizona to visit Derek's family. While we're there, the men and boys spend a few days riding their ATVs at the sand dunes, while the girls stay back at Grandma's for some quality girl time -- shopping, eating out, etc.

This year, we had the added bonus of a stomach virus that was making its way through the Arizona relatives. I thought we might get lucky and escape unscathed, but unfortunately, we were 3 for 5. Mallory, Derek and I all got sick. Somehow Parker and Alex managed to avoid it.

(Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that we had a wonderful phone visit with Nate on Christmas Day! He's doing great on his mission in Canada. It was SO GREAT to hear his voice!!!)

So while the stomach flu did slow us all down a bit here and there, we still managed to have a lot of fun with the fam. I didn't take as many pictures as I intended to, but here are a few depicting some of the highlights of our trip. One thing I don't have pictures of is our fun night out at the musical Annie. Mindy, Paris, Mallory and I went together to see it at Gammage at ASU. It was a top-notch performance. The only downside was I was starting to feel sick that evening, so my headache and body aches prevented me from enjoying it as much as I had planned. But that's okay. The girls loved it, and my uber-talented sister-in-law Mindy even sewed Annie look-a-like dresses for Paris and Mallory's American Girl dolls. :)


Here's my cute little nephew Luke....son of Danny and Denae. Whenever he would see me get out my camera, he would yell, "Say Cheese! Say Cheese!"

Mallory and Paris had so much fun. Here they are reading American Girl books together.

Danny took Spencer and Parker to Fuddrucker's to see if they were man enough to conquer the one-pound burger. Parker looks a little intimidated as he comes face to face with the massive meat, but 29 minutes later, he came away the victor. (Spencer and Danny finished theirs, too.) Parker's appetite is just now beginning to return. ;)

My mother-in-law started a tradition years ago where everyone in the family gets a walnut on New Year's. Inside is a dollar bill -- and for a couple of lucky winners -- a five-dollar bill or ten-dollar bill. That way, no one starts the New Year being penniless. :) Mallory and Paris helped Grandma fill the walnut shells this year. The first year I was in the family, I got the major award. Ever since then, it's been the one-dollar bill. I think it's about my turn to win big again. :)

New Year's Eve we all had dinner together -- except Derek who was feeling sick that night. :(  Then we played Rock Band and had a White Elephant gift exchange. I joked with Mindy beforehand that I always try to 'accidentally' leave the white elephants we receive at her house when we head for home. This year, Alex and Parker left theirs -- and not even on purpose. (Sorry about that, Mindy!) Parker was so disappointed to come home and realize he had left behind his fabulous Michael Jackson retrospective calendar. Yeah....I'm so bummed that won't be hanging in my house this year.



Denae's thinking, "I can sing "Walking on Sunshine" way better than that!" ;)

The kids all in a circle awaiting the white elephant exchange....The excitement in the air is palpable. ;)

Doesn't Parker look thrilled with his gift? Well, who wouldn't?


Mallory and Alex ring in the new year by blowing noisemakers and banging pots and pans.

We had a wonderful vacation....and were sad to leave the family and warm Arizona sun. Wish we could have brought some of that warmth home with us. BRRRR. :)

16 comments:

KRISTIE said...

glad you and your fisheye are getting along :)

Sharon said...

More great shots. Looks like a wonderful time.

Nicki, said...

did I mentioned - I WANT a fisheye. Your killing me girl! Stomach virus aside - what a wonderful holiday. Thank you so much for sharing the fun parts with us.

Nicole said...

Love all the fisheyes!!!

April O'neil said...

haha i love the pics very neat

Anissa said...

Great shots! We love guitar hero!
Love the look of the pictures.

Maria said...

What a perfect spot for the Snow Village! Or is it Dickens Village . . . ? Looks like the kids had a great time!

Mom2Drew said...

That walnut tradition sounds so fun and you're definitely utilizing your new fishy too-love it!

Jodar said...

The fishy photos are fabulous! What a great way to document the holidays. I am glad that you are feeling better now!

pat said...

Sounds like the Evans Fam Bash was a great holiday! Glad you got to talk with the Amazing Elder E--isn't that phone call the best present EVER?! Sorry about the stomach bug--but sharing is caring, right? ;-)

Reds said...

Glad you had a fun holiday!! You can tell by your shots that everyone had a great time!

Gypsy Girl(Brenda) said...

Great family photos with so much to do. We did a family "sickness" share except our was strep throat and I am the lucky reciepent of it today.

tori said...

Looks and sounds like a great time! Well, except for the sick part. :)

Kelly said...

Wow you are rocking the fisheye. Great use of it!

Denita said...

I loved looking at all of your Christmas photos! Great post!

7EVANS said...

LOVE it! Yea .... thanks for leaving the white elephant gifts ... you will be getting them back next year! hahaha!
I realized that I didn't even get my camera out the whole time you were here. Glad you documented some of it for us! :)
We had a great time while you were here. Paris is still going through "Mallory withdrawls"