Petes in Phoenix!

After the reception on Saturday, which was beautiful, well-attended and enjoyable, I traveled up to Phoenix with Derek and Audrey to spend New Years with them. Tom joined me on Monday. We had a wonderful time. I enjoyed seeing their house and playing with the kids. Ryanna was kind enough to give up her bed for us. She slept in the play room in Owen’s dog sleeping bag. Perhaps that gave her the right to be our morning alarm clock. As soon as she got up she would open the door and come in and sit next to one of us. The first few days it was just me. She would sit there and talk, and pet my hair, or play with my earrings. She was always quiet and gentle.
Ryanna is a smart girl. We enjoyed watching her play her violin. She gets this very serious face when she plays, and often you can see her lips move as she counts the beats. She is constantly singing this or that. While Ryanna at Templewe were there is was something like “Baby you drive me crazy.” She is sweet with Owen. On the last day I took them to the park that is just a block from their house. She would include him, and heighten her voice even higher than it naturally is, to say things like “Come on Owen, Come with me Owen, Let’s go on the slide Owen.” She would swing from the bars and walk down the spiral bars. At home she loved playing imagination. Tom would jump right into it with her, pretending to be the voice of the dog or the baby doll, he told her stories that always included Princess Ryanna. She couldn’t get enough of him. I was impressed one morning when she and Audrey were playing a game where they would take turns giving an example of a word that started with the letter of the alphabet that they were on. Audrey would do A then Ryanna B and Audrey C and so on through the alphabet. Ryanna shadowed one of the two of us the entire time we were there. We enjoyed her kind company, her willingness to help, and her endless creativity. The day I took them to the park, we had also played outside for a long time, running and playing tag, hide-and-seek, basketball, and soccer. We also went for a long walk. That night as I was putting Ryanna to bed, she slowly ascended the stairs, and said “I’m so tired!” I think this time we wore her out.” (Though I have to admit I was beat as well.)
owen and Derek at Temple Owen is the smiliest kid I have ever seen. He has these huge blue eyes with long blond lashes. He will walk up to you meet your eyes and give you a huge open mouth grin. He walks everywhere and is fast. He is a good little soccer player. He loves being outside.While they were at the Foutzs he learned how to go down stairs. There are two places in their house where they have sections of only two stairs. He spent much of the evening going up and down them. He seems to have gotten it down. He went all the way down the stairs at his house saftely, and he was climbing all over the jungle gym with the use of his new skill. The only scary thing is that now he thinks he can descend onto any lower level. Which at the jungle gym might be a three foot drop. I loved watching him at the park. He got really excited about running back and forth across the jiggly bridge. He loved the slides and wanted to try everything. At one point he started to run away, I thought perhaps he was exploring until he turned around with his infectious smile and took off. I ran after him and he giggled and continued to run. He likes to sing, and play with cars, he loves marti gras beads, and play utensils. He is a good sleeper and a good eater. I couldn’t stop smiling while I was there, what a darling little boy.
It is always fun to spend time with Derek and Audrey. We played Settlers on two nights. The last night Audrey won all three times! Derek and I were continually loosing. Good thing we are better at selecting spouses than our spouses are! We talked a lot and laughed a lot. I love how much those two laugh.
(I think Christmas in Phoenix would be a great idea. The weather was beautiful and there is tons to do right by their house.)

One response to “Petes in Phoenix!”

  1. Thanks for your sweet comments and observations. You did a great progress report of my kids’ development. We had so much fun having you and Tom here. I really wish you guys lived closer–we could have fun like this all the time!
    Thanks for all of your patience and love for my kids, they adore both of you–probably more than me or Derek at this point.
    I would love to see all the photos you took while you’re here if you could email them to me, that would be awesome!!!
    I hope you have a great semester.

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