Saturday, January 7, 2012

Desert Hike

We went on a hike in the desert down in Arizona one day during our trip to see our parents.  It was a lot of fun and we got some exercise and sun and had a great time.
                                                       Jacquelyn and I .

My brother Mark and his wife Angela.  We live so far apart we don't get to see each other much and this was a good opportunity to do something together.

This is the Pass Mountain and our trail circled around this mountain, staying mostly in the flat lands around it.  The trail was 7.4 miles and was rocky and strenuous.   We were quite tired by the time we finished and it took us several hours.  Fortunately it wasn't too hot and we had lots of water with us.

There was lots of cactus around, we where in the middle of a real desert.  This is a beautiful Cholla Cactus on the left.

 Some famous Arizona Saguaro Cactus, which get really tall.

 A large Prickly Pear Cactus, which is a very common cactus.

Some colorful lichen on the rocks.  How it could grow on rock formations in the desert, not even in the shade, is a mystery to me?

 The desert floor showing a vast and empty, desolate valley, stretching out from the mountain.

 A close up of the cliffs of Pass Mountain.  On the far side of the loop our trail took us part way up.

 Here we are, the happy hikers, about halfway done with the trail.  We had fun.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

We had three different Christmas celebrations this year with different groups of relatives.  Here are some picture from each in the reverse order from when they actually happened.

The last one was at our house in Puyallup which was actually closer to New Years Eve since we were in Arizona during Christmas day.

We had five of our children here and their families.  In this picture is Tianna, Amery, Layne, Mallory, Malachi, James, Andrew, Tucker, Jim, Evan.

Another group shot, with Bruce, Andrew, Evan, John, Ashton, Talitha, James, Caleb, Jacquelyn.

Mallory brought one of her favorite gifts from home with her, a talking toy dog.

Penelope is modeling some bead necklaces purchased from our traditional trip to the dollar store.  She was really sick and not feeling very good but got better as the days passed.

Talitha gave homemade blankets to several of the kids.  They put them to good use and made a fort to play in.  James is in the front and Tucker in the back.

The computer is always a big attraction, even at meal time.

Foosball is fun.  Evan and Ashton are having a game with Andrew waiting his turn.

 Dallen, Mallory, Tucker and James.

This is a unique picture because everyone likes to play cards so much and here you can see Jacquelyn with all three of her daughters (Tianna, Talitha, and Doranda who was sick too) and three of the five grand-daughters (Amery, Penelope, Scarlett).

 Now we move to Arizona to San Tan Valley.  We had a Christmas celebration there with the Ruckers.

 In this picture is Jacquelyn's dad with Duane's daughter Melissa and her boyfriend and Melissa's son Gabe.

Here is Conni's daughter Elaine with her son Elijah.

 This is a group shot with Jacquelyn's mother, Gabe, Conni, Elijah and Elaine.

 Another picture with Conni, Gen, Elaine, Elijah, Patti and Gabe.

 Jacquelyn with Conni's pet parrot.

For the third part of Christmas visiting we were in Mesa.  The first thing we did was have an Anniversary Celebration with my parents.  We went out to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse.  They have been married 64 years.

This is my brother Mark who came up from Tulsa.

 Mark's wife Angela.

 My Dad.

 My Mom.

 Christmas dinner at my parents house.

Mark, Angela, Jacquelyn and I went for a hike at the Usury Mountains Recreation area just to the north.  It was a 7.4 mile hike around a mountain and we had a lot of fun.

 We saw the annual Christmas golf cart parade.

And we had hot dogs and hot chocolate at the Recreation Center at Leisure World after the parade.

 We were also busy one day digging out tree stumps at my parents house.

Buzzards at Leisure World that roost in the trees and keep watch over everything going on.