Sunday, December 20, 2015

Our Arizona Family

We spent the first part of our USA visit in Arizona.   As we were preparing to land in LA after the 12 hour flight from New Zealand I was shocked to see how BROWN everything looked.   After over a year in a paradise of green, it was a big adjustment.   But once we had been in AZ for a couple days I was reminded that the desert has it's own beauty.

We had a bit of a bumpy re-entry as we had to deal with some car problems we had not anticipated, but once that was taken care of things were pretty smooth sailing.  

It was wonderful to see our family.  We had great visits with Darrin, Kris, Jacob and Troy in Maricopa.  Our annual tradition is to spend Christmas at their house.  They are always so gracious and welcoming when we stay with them.  This time I spent the the visit just savoring our time with them rather than taking photos.   but here are a couple  favorite picture of us from our 2012 Christmas visit.


We couldn't believe how much our grandson, Jacob, had grown since we had seen him last.  We are fortunate that we have been able to stay close with frequent FaceTime Visits, so we see him on a regular basis.  Still, actually getting to be there to cuddle, read books together and play with him was absolutely wonderful!

We were also really glad it worked out that we were there when we could be of the most support to Kris and Darrin.  Troy, Larry's youngest son whom they have guardianship for, had been in the hospital with a serious infection.  He was back home and doing much better when we arrived, but he needed to stay home a few days before the doctors would release him to return to work.  Both Kris and Darrin had to get back to their own jobs, after having spent much time away to be at the hospital with Troy during his illness.  So it was a good thing we could be there to stay with Troy during that time.

There are no words to express how grateful we are to both Kris and Darrin for how well they care for our sweet son with special needs.  We are also deeply grateful for Troy's successful recovery from the basal cell carcinoma on his face that was discovered right before we left.  Although the cancer and the radiation both have left this nose significantly damaged, because of Troy's cognitive delays he does not seem to be self conscious of his appearance.  We are just glad to have him doing so much better. 

Here are a couple of my favorite shots of Troy:

                                                                    Troy in 2010

Troy at Disneyland earlier this year.  Kris & Darrin gave us a wonderful calendar as a Christmas gift with photos of their family on each page from their Disneyland adventure.  We were so pleased to see how much fun they had!

We also got some time with Gabriel, Jacob's older brother who is our GREAT-grandson.  We took the kids to see Santa Clause and very much enjoyed the lights and festivities - FINALLY helping me to get into the Christmas Spirit .

We had less time with Greg, Larry's other son who lives all the way over in Casa Grande.  But even though our visit with him was shorter, it was great to see him too.

Now that the visit is over, I do wish I had taken more pictures to hold on to the memories. However, I realize it can be annoying to family to always have a camera in their face. In the future I'll strive for more balance, hopefully getting a few more shots than this trip, but perhaps less than I have in the past.   With or without pictures to prove it though, we really were so happy to see them all and love them all to the moon and back.

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