New Primary Song

Here is the new Primary song for 2010 that is not in the Children's Songbook. This is a great side show... take a peek!


Jonathan's 1st Piano Recital

Jonathan had his first piano recital after 2 1/2 years of lessons this past Friday night. He was fantastic! He played 3 pieces: the first was Wake Up Call, next was Keep the Commandments, and the final piece was Jingle Bells. He played perfectly and we were so proud of him and all of the effort he put in to practice for his performance.

Jonathan with his teacher Lorie Martin and Trevor Martin. Jonathan and Trevor take lessons together every week and have been friends since he was 2 years old. Thanks Lorie for having the recital and being such a great teacher!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We were SUPPOSED to go as a family to hunt for a Christmas tree this year, but Jillian came down with a fever and she and I stayed home while the boys all went on the annual hunt again. Earl is such a sport! I don't think they were expecting to see so much snow! Of course, we don't own snow clothes (why would we???) and the boys thankfully had their heavy coats. I think the boys had more fun playing with the Knudson family in the snow than looking for a tree (except Jimmy who was miserable the whole time!). But they didn't let their mommy down and found a beautiful tree to bring home.

They had to drag the tree back to our truck! Thank goodness the Knudson's truck is a 4 wheel drive. Can you tell how relieved Earl is that the adventure is almost over?!?

Earl stopped on the drive back for a Kodak moment. Handsome boys!

Yes, it is beautiful! Jillian kindly redecorates it every day for us too!

Thanksgiving Adventures!

We started our Thanksgiving day with a BANG! Our power was knocked out for blocks because someone hit a power pole with their car. Thankfully we woke up in time to head out at 6:45 for the RUN TO FEED THE HUNGRY. Earl has participated for several years now and Jonathan and I joined him this year. We ran the 5k together (well, I dragged Jonathan for about 2 miles of the run) and Earl ran the 10k... his personal best time for a 10k at less than 51 min. We had a great time running with the thousands that participated. When we got home, we found our power still hadn't come back on, but we continued to get ready to head down to Fresno to visit our families for the holiday. About 2 pm, we still had no power, and were getting ready to cancel our trip (we didn't want to leave a freezer full of food and no power!) and Jonathan came to me and said he prayed and asked Heavenly Father to make the power come back on because he really wanted to go see his grandparents and cousins. I told him that sometimes Heavenly Father has other plans for us (hoping he wouldn't get his hopes up) and just minutes later, the power came on! My lesson in faith came from my 10 year old, and I am truly thankful for him and his faith!

We had a great time visiting family, shopping and just hanging out! Thanks for Aimee the family for having us and to Grandpa Earl and Dad for making great turkey dinners while we were there!

Ghosts and Goblins

I'm a little slow with my posts lately, so I'll do a few to catch up... Halloween has come and gone, and we STILL have candy leftover from the many parties and doors we knocked.

Jillian caught on really quick how the whole thing works... go up to a stranger's house, get candy, eat candy. It was great... for her! Of course, for days after, she carried around her pumpkin and I finally had to take all of the candy away. She was the cutest princess you ever saw! Who wouldn't want to give this precious little girl some candy!

Jimmy decided to wear his Buzz costume again this year (YAH! One less costume to buy or put together!). He loved it for a while, but after a few blocks of knocking doors, had to practically be carried home. The costume was wearing him down!

Here is the whole crew together. Josh was a ninja again this year (Cha Ching! Saved on yet another costume!) and Jonathan wanted to be a Grim Reaper (his version... not sure how much of a costume it was, but it worked for him!). Sadly this was the best picture I could get of all of them, but after the annual picture it was all smiles while we ran from door to door with our neighborhood friends.


What Did You Think???

Did you see the movie yet? What did you think??? Can you guess what team I'm voting for??? HEHEHE

My review: Much better than the first Twilight movie by far! Better special affects! And the muscles.... WOW! If I was 17 again, I would love to meet this guy! Earl thought it was slow and didn't have enough action (not surprising... he REALLY didn't like the first movie). I thought they didn't spend enough time in the film on the part of the book that takes place in Italy. But who are we to judge??? Just another "cult" member in the audience, drooling over the young boy muscles, and cracking jokes about everyone else on the side (I'm sure we didn't make any friends with the people around us :P). My cousin Louis calls us all "Twilitards"... yep, I own it. You can tease me all you want! I love the series of books! The movies... I'm ok with so far.


The Amazing Race

THAT'S MY MAN! I'm so darn proud of him! Earl set a goal to run a half marathon race on Nov. 14th and DID IT! He amazes me all the time! He is a wonderful example to me of setting a goal, working hard toward it, and achieving it! I am so grateful for him.

So happy to finish!

The award winning runners! Courtney (ran the marathon and qualified for Boston!), Ron, Earl, and Cameron! You men are awesome!


Another year... another visit to Bishop's Pumpkin Patch

It has been a tradition for many years (since we moved to the Sac area about 8 years ago!) to go Bishop's Pumpkin Patch. It wouldn't be fall if we didn't go... it's so much FUN! Every year we go, every year we take the same pictures. Here is a little from this year!

"Would you take the dang picture mom! It's too sunny!"

The kids love the hay jump!

Josh had too close of an encounter with a pillow a few days before and lost 2 teeth! He's officially toothless!

Never too old for the rocking horses!

Crazy climbing kids!

We ♥ Coyote Mountain!

Jill kindly jumped in a mud puddle while we were there! It wouldn't be a visit to the pumpkin patch if someone didn't end up with mud all over them!

Sweet Jillian

Adorable Jimmy (my little model boy!)

Jon's growing up too fast!

Josh ... he actually smiled for the pictures!

I love taking them to the pumpkin patch! It's one of my favorite things to do with them every year! Can't wait for next year!


A Date in San Fran!

Earl and I had a great day in San Francisco today! We saw the show "Wicked" with our good friends Ron, Rhonda, Tina, James, Rebecca and Cameron. We had a great time! We got babysitters for the kids and headed out late in the morning, drove to San Fran, saw the show, drove to Vallejo for dinner, and drove home. Our bums are a little sore from so much sitting today, but it was oh, so worth it! What a fabulous show! I want to go again!!!

I'm not going to say anything about the storyline of the show except it's about the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. That's all you need to know! It was fabulous... from the singing, to the actors (Patty Duke was in it!!!), to the costumes, to the storyline... and the one liners were great! My favorite one was "I'm generously selfish and deeply... shallow." Guess you had to be there and see it to appreciate it :) It was wonderful and I'm so glad we were able to go.


A Day in the Bay

Some friends of our's, the Graff family, were going to be in Martinez on Saturday and asked if we would come and visit them (they live in Arizona now and we haven't seen them since they moved), so we made a day of it with the family. We had lunch with the Graff's in Martinez, then headed over to Oakland and spent some time at the Oakland Temple.

We went to the visitor's center, saw some beautiful artiwork by Arthur Frieburg, the many many different volumes of the Book of Mormon in languages that I've never even heard of, the Christus statue, and then went for a walk on the roof of the temple and saw the beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. It was a blazing hot day... you would think it was cooler in the bay area, but not on Saturday!

Then we took a little drive over to the North Bay area to Stinson Beach. We aren't sure we can endure the drive again... Highway 1 is soooooo twisty and curvey! We all got a little sick to our stomachs. But the beach was wonderful and so much fun for everyone! Too bad we couldn't spend more time there. We needed a few more hours!

It was a lot of hours in the car but worth it! We had a good time together!
We need more day trips....


Summer Update

I've been a HORRIBLE blogger lately! It's more of a way for me to journal our family's "happenings", but I just haven't made it a priority this summer. So here is a recap of our summer "fun times"...

• Earl and I went to Spain! I know, I already blogged about that! But it was definitely MY favorite part of the summer!

• Earl was called as the new Bishop of our ward. We found out the day before we left for Spain, so needless to say, we had a lot on our minds the whole time we were there. It was great, though, because we knew we needed to "soak up" as much rest and relaxation as we could before REAL life hit us back at home. He is slowly but surely getting used to this new position and all of the many responsibilities that go along with it. He's not home very much anymore :( but we are so grateful for his dedication to his calling and the example he is to our family. We ♥ our Bishop!

• I took the boys to Fresno for a week in July. We stayed at my sister Aimee's house for most of the week and the kids LOVED being able to spend time with their cousins 24/7! It was fun for me too... I can't remember the last time I stayed up late at night chatting with my sister. She's wonderful and I wish we lived closer to all of them! We went to Wild Water Adventures, The Fresno Met Museum, swimming every day, and much more. It was nice to be able to spend time with some of our family there.

Fresno Met Museum... Bob the Builder Day!

Bath time after swimming with pretty cousin Maycee!

Making gumdrop castles with the cousins

• We took a little weekend trip to the bay area and went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, stayed in a HOTEL (the kids LOVE sleeping at a hotel!), then spent the next day roaming the streets of San Francisco with our good friends the Gomez family. Walked Pier 39, ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, walked along Baker Beach, got lost in the Presidio for a little while, then drove home late at night. It was a fun, fast get away for the weekend.

• I took the kids for a little day excursion with our friends the Knudson family to Bridgeport - a nice area along the river about 45 min. northeast of Marysville. The kids loved swimming, playing in the sand, jumping off the huge rocks into the river. It was such a great day full of friends, sun, relaxing in the water, and fun! We can't wait to go again... hopefully soon!

• School has officially started as of Monday this week. That's why I am blogging... I actually have a little bit of peace and quiet before they come home from school! Jonathan is in the 5th grade and has the same teacher he had last year, Miss Irvine (he loves her! She is great!). Joshua is in the 2nd grade and has Mrs. Faringer (he really wanted her for his teacher too! He looks so excited to start school, too. Doesn't he?!). We are all so glad to be back into the routine of school and looking forward to another great school year!

James HAS to be in the first day of school picture. He's sad that he doesn't start preschool until September :(