Monthly Archives: February 2013

Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 4- Party Time

Grandma Shirley gets some technological help from her granddaughter

Grandma Shirley gets some technological help from her granddaughter

The Driedgers got together for two meals during our Arizona reunion once at our condo here in Gold Canyon and once at Paul and Shirley’s condo in Scottsdale. The party at our house was on the day it snowed and as you can see in this photo it was chilly and people had donned the Arizona sweatshirts they were forced to buy here because of the unseasonably cold February temperatures. photography walkIsabella and her Mom Stephanie braved the cold  to go on a photography walk in the neighborhood with Hannah and me. sisters in law in the kitchenThe three sisters-in-law worked in the kitchen to get supper ready. who wants chili dogsUncle Dave manned the barbecue. “Hands up” if you want a chili dog. trying linda's delicious homemade salsaAunt Linda’s homemade salsa is delicious!scrabble with billDave played a little online scrabble with Bill in Leamington. Since Bill was the only Driedger brother absent Dave wanted him to feel a part of the action too. little arizona cowgirlGrace is checking out Isabella’s fashionable western wear purchased on an Arizona shopping trip.  happy birthday johnWe celebrated John’s birthday. He sang along and directed the Driedger choir’s rendition of Happy Birthday, while his daughter Hannah served the cake and his daughter Grace took photos. losing at euchreThere is no need to guess which Driedger brother won and which one lost this round of euchre. time for bedChloe let us know when the party was over and it was time for bed.around the pool in azAs you can see from this photo the weather was considerably different for our second Driedger party in Scottsdale. singing along to abbaIsabella is singing along to the Abba tunes playing on her grandma’s I-pad speaker by the pool. fashionable swimming trunksCheck out Uncle John’s colorful bathing attire. the hot tubShirley and Dave were having a discussion about movies and novels in the hot tub. chips anyoneShirley had made delicious guacamole and salsa dips but Chloe preferred her tortilla chips plain.the chefMike was the chef for this meal and he made fabulous appetizers- melon stuffed with herbed goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and grilled on cedar planks. The main course was different kinds of burgers with barbecued brussel sprouts which were absolutely heavenly. I had one of the vegetarian burgers Mike’s wife Stephanie had made and it was great! For dessert there was barbecued pineapple brushed with a sweet glaze and served with ice-cream. bathing beautiesNot sure what Stephanie and Hannah are so outraged about but it must be something one of their uncles said. euchre gameEuchre seemed to be the ‘game of the hour’ for this reunion week. Here cousins Mike and Hannah play with the uncles while listening to one of their cousin Bucky’s popular songs and donning shades for an added ‘coolness’ factor. Not that the Driedgers need any additional ‘coolness’. They are a pretty awesome family already.  

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Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 1- Spring Training
Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 2- Hiking

Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 3- It’s All Happening at the Zoo

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Driedger Reunion Arizona- Part 3- It’s All Happening At the Zoo

at the zooLast Saturday eleven of the twelve Driedgers holidaying here in Arizona spent a day at the Phoenix Zoo. king of the beasts

zebra phoenix zoo

IMG_1483

learning to use the camera

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riding the rocking horse
grandma and grandaughter
giraffe phoenix zoo
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camel riding phoenix zoo
great uncle and niece
flamingoes

brothers
If you enjoyed this post you might also like…….
Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 1- Spring Training
Driedger Reunion in Arizona- Part 2- Hiking

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Driedger Reunion Arizona- Part 2- Hiking

During the week my brother-in-law John, my sister-in-law Linda and their two daughters Grace and Hannah visited us we went on four very different mountain hikes. We climbed……
IMG_5707Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdalewind cave usery mtn azThe Wind Cave Trail up Usery MountainIMG_5658Silly Mountain in Gold Canyonbeautiful Graceand the Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstition Mountainsreaching the hieroglyphicsLinda always reached the summits first, though often Dave wasn’t far behinddave shows us the wayOn our first hike not everyone was happy with the trail selections Dave made and some vowed never to hike with him again, although they all did eventually. uncle and niecesDave takes a break with his lovely niecespointing out the hieroglypicsOn the Hieroglyphics Trail Hannah was like a mountain goat, scrambling right up to the petroglyphs and scaring her mother. marylou and lindaUsually I couldn’t keep up to Linda but did manage this photo at one rest stop. dinasour mtn from the heiroglyphic trailFrom the Hieroglyphics Trail we could see Dinosaur Mountain in the background where our house is located. mom waits for familyLinda waits for her family to catch up with her. hiking to wind cave azAlthough it was very hot the day we climbed the Wind Cave Trail as you can see from John’s flushed face……..cold in wind cavethe temperature in the Wind Caves was quite chilly and we all put our jackets back on when we reached the summit of the trail. family photoStopping for a Driedger family photo on Silly Mountain. IMG_5749In an incredible it’s a small world moment we met this man from Gimli Manitoba on Usery Mountain.He stopped us when he noticed Dave’s Winnipeg Jets hat. In the course of the conversation we discover he is a neighbor to my cousin Al and his name is John Driedger. My brother-in-law is John Driedger too- so John Driedger from Manitoba met John Driedger from Ontario on a hiking trail in Phoenix Arizona. grace and the saguaro“What’s inside that saguaro cactus?” Grace wonders.
dave is getting tired“Family hiking trips are tiring”, Dave says with a yawn. “Why did I decide to go hiking instead of taking a nap”, he wonders scratching his head. the end of the trailCelebrating at the end of the trail!

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Driedger Reunion Arizona- Part 1- Spring Training

at the angels spring training in phoenixThere are twelve members of the Driedger extended family in Phoenix right now and yesterday we all got together and went to watch some major league baseball spring training at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ball park.  Here Dave and our niece Hannah check out some of the players as they warm up. IMG_1435 Dave and his brother Paul discuss how the batters are doing. angels of annaheim stadium in phoenixThe Angels practice in a very nice facility. IMG_1430Our great-niece Chloe was more interested in making nature discoveries than watching the ball players in action. desert family photoDave’s brother John, his wife Linda and their daughters Grace and Hannah got a bird’s-eye view of the fielders warming up from a desert perch beside the diamond.watching angels fielding practiceDave and our nephew Mike opted for a little closer look at the action on the field.
watching the angelsMy sister-in-law Shirley scrutinizes the batters closely.
IMG_1436How big are those players’ muscles anyway Hannah wonders, while Grace takes  photos of her favorite players. reading david bergen's age of hope at the ball gameLinda only had a few pages left in David Bergen’s book The Age of Hope and figured she’d watched enough baseball and just had to see how the novel ended!chatting with the playersJohn visited with Vernon Wells who used to play for Toronto. eating a crackerChloe decided it was time for lunch and some people were ready to go shopping at the flea marketIMG_1414So we left practice and decided to meet the next morning at the zoo. echure on the patioIt was a beautiful day and when we got back to our place, Dave, Hannah, Grace and John had a lively euchre tournament on the patio. 

Keep checking the blog for further chapters in the Driedger Reunion in Arizona story. 

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Tigers Baseball

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It Snowed in Phoenix Yesterday

snow in gold canyon azIt snowed in Phoenix yesterday! According to one website the last time there was officially measurable snow in Phoenix was in 1937.  gold canyon snowBut as you can see from these picture I took in our backyard big flakes were coming down. It even looked like it was hailing for a time. 

snow covered mtnsThe Superstition Mountains behind our house were covered with snow. IMG_1362Cars were stopped all along the streets so people could take pictures of the unusual sight. snow on gold canyon mtnsThe snow still covered the mountains in the evening. hieroglyphic trail gold canyon

This morning we hiked the Hieroglyphic Trail and the snow was still there. cactus and snowIt was weird to be hiking and find little patches of snow in amongst the cacti. snowy superstition mtnsWe’re hoping it won’t snow again during our Phoenix stay because we are here for the warm sunny weather. It did however make for a unique experience to see the now familiar scenery decorated with snow. 

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It’s Freeeeeeeeezing in Arizona

Hieroglyphics in Arizona

Bits of Christmas in Arizona

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What Makes A Successful Teen Novel?

absolutely-true-diary-of-a-part-time-indianI have friends who love to read teen fiction. It isn’t just for adolescents! As the success of the Twilight and Harry Potter series prove teen novels can attract a huge adult audience. I recently read two adolescent novels from the New York Times bestseller list- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Absolutely True Diary of  a Part-Time Indian. In this post on the Vast Imaginations site for children’s writers to which I regularly contribute, I talk about the qualities the two novels have in common that might have contributed to their success. 

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Children’s Christmas Books- The Classics

Share the Magic

Reading Aloud to Teens

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Family Visit

hiking silly mountain arizonaMy sister-in-law Shirley and brother-in-law Paul who live in Leamington, Ontario were visiting us here in Arizona for five days last week. hiking with dave We got lots of exercise. One day Shirley and I walked to the grocery store and back together, over 13 kilometers and another day Paul and Shirley and I made a one way walking journey to the store but Dave picked us up for the return trip.chatting with fellow hikers on silly mountain We went hiking on Silly Mountain. Here Paul and Shirley chat with some fellow Canadians we met on the mountain trails.golfing at sidewinder The guys golfed four times and Shirley and I joined them for two of the rounds at the Mountain Brook and Sidewinder courses. I was pretty pleased with some of my shots but didn’t hold a candle to Shirley who was just whacking the ball and beat the guys on quite a few holessidewinder golf course On one hole it was hard to concentrate as we teed off because of all the yelping going on. We looked up to see a pack of six coyotes run away through the cacti. They were probably giving chase to one of the many rabbits on the course. happy hour on our arizona patio Every evening we had happy hour out on the patio behind our house, which gets the warm sun starting at about two o’clock in the afternoon.  Check out Shirley’s fashionable hat. paul's hatSince Paul refused to wear his cool hat I told him I was going to steal it from him. saguaro's at sunsetThere is a row of saguaros on Dinosaur Mountain behind our house that take on a rustic orange glow every evening as the sun sets. euchre gamesEvery evening in between happy hour and supper we played a best of three games euchre tournament with the men against the women. Even though I was a euchre novice, Shirley and I managed to win a third of the games. Paul did accuse us of having too much table talk, and Dave suggested that during some of our pregnant pauses before we made our moves, we were subtly communicating with each other. Shirley and I decided to just ignore their complaints and enjoy the games even when we lost. panhandler pub apache junctionOne night Dave took us to the Handlebar Pub and Grill, his new favorite restaurant in Apache Junction. They specialize in all kinds of hamburgers grilled over a fire and served with a mixed green salad or a blue cheese potato salad.beer tap handle collection They also have eighteen of kinds of beer on tap and the ceiling features this collection of beer tap handles. handlebar pub in apache junctionWe enjoyed our food and the country western music group that was performing. stuffed mushroom caps and melonOn Valentine’s Day Shirley and I made a special supper for the guys. I meant to take pictures of each course but only remembered to photograph the appetizers- stuffed blue cheese mushroom caps and melon wrapped with prosciutto. We also served a goat cheese, strawberry and arugula salad, steak and baked potatoes and a tuxedo cake for dessert.

Paul and Shirley left on Friday afternoon to move to their own condo in Scottsdale.  We will get together again this week after eight more Driedger family members arrive in Arizona for a visit, four at our place and four at Paul and Shirley’s. 

If you enjoyed this post you might want to read about our time with Paul and Shirley in Arizona last year……………

Hiking Pinnacle Peak

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Arizona

Golfing in Phoenix

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