Christmas 2010

December came and went...
Here is a recap:

Jon had his first band concert playing the clarinet. He's really good! I think his piano experience has helped him to become a great clarinet player. Great concert!

Josh and Jimmy had their winter concert at their school. Unfortunately it was SO crowded at the concert that taking pictures was out of the question. But we got a few at home.
You gotta love the hats. Priceless!

On Christmas Eve everyone got to open one present. Of course, it was the one present that mom said they could open ;) New PJ's and slippers for everyone!

Jilly got a box full of Princess Barbies. She was in Princess Heaven!

And James got a bunch of Toy Story stuff from Santa! Go Santa!

Josh has been in his own little Lego world ever since Christmas...

Jon had his first "grown up" Christmas and got some snow gear (and a few toys! He's not as grown up as he would like to be yet!)

And no Christmas is complete without a good book to read (or listen to on your commute!)
Earl has a Gerald Lund fix for a few weeks with this latest set!
I knew I would get him to appreciate my reading bug sooner or later.

We enjoyed being at home this year and relaxing together as a family.
It's hard to get a few days off from the hustle and bustle of real life, and this Christmas was a true vacation from all of the crazy schedule!


The Happiest Place On Earth

This is the most anticipated vacation of the last 3 years.
Our kids would love to go to Disneyland more often, but we've made it a tradition to go every 3 years. But after this last trip, we may need to go more often!
We had a BLAST!

We took the kids a few days before Thanksgiving break began (Shhh... don't tell the school!) and drove ALL the way down to LA. Poor Jill had a pretty high fever the whole day, but thank goodness it only lasted for the day. She was rested and happy for the park!

After riding a few "scary" rides (according to Jill) in Fantasyland, we noticed the new Tangled Princess was meeting and greeting fair princesses, so naturally I HAD to take my little princess.

This was the most endearing conversation between two beautiful princesses! My daughter (and I) will never forget how Rapunzel greeted and talked to Jill like she was her best friend.
Did I mention it was ADORABLE!?

This is as close to driving that either of these boys will get to driving...EVER!

Jonathan had the chance of a lifetime to be in the Jedi Knight Training. He's convinced his hat helped him get picked. I'm almost sure it helped! This MADE the trip for him!
Notice the look of concentration as he practices...

...and the battle ensues....
He won of course! And graduated with honors from the official training!
Well done son!

Autopia stresses me out...

We ran ourselves RAGGED all day and about 9 pm we finally went to dinner. Jimmy couldn't even eat his food. He just put his head down on his chair and somehow didn't fall off after he fell asleep. Poor guy!

Day 2 - I decided to stick it out and wait to meet the princesses with Jill.
It was worth it!!!
Belle is one of her FAVORITE!

And Ariel IS her favorite!

And later we ran into Tiana!
We were in Princess heaven!!!

We ran into several of our favorite characters and got autographs...

And it just so happened our cousins from Fresno were going to Disneyland on the same days we were there... what a wonderful, happy, and fantastic coincidence!
Grandma and Grandpa Givens came as well and we all had a great time together on Friday and Saturday.

Daddy will protect his baby girl in that creepy Haunted House!
I love it when it's decorated for Christmas!!!

Mommy and Jimmy went on Space Mountain together SEVERAL times.
Jimmy's FAVORITE ride!
Notice who is in the front row in the pic below...

Joshua LOVES all roller coasters! He's my little dare devil! He and I finally got to ride Screamin' California for the first time and we loved it!!! On Saturday it was raining just a little when Josh went with his Uncle Matt and cousins on it one last time. Well... it started POURING while they were on the roller coaster and they got SOAKED!!! Great timing! They wished they had their ponchos with them!

Daddy and Jilly in front of the Beauty and the Beast flower (but you can't see the flower! Bummer! It's still cute to see them together!)

Sadly we encountered quite a bit of rain on Saturday and didn't take ANY pictures!
But we had a wonderful time! And I really hope we get to go again soon... especially with our cousins and gramma and grampa! We all have the same attitude when it comes to rides....
we GO GO GO GO GO! Ride as many rides as we can as many times as we can!!!!

And then we drove all the way home on Sunday.
The End.


The Great Race

Earl and I traveled with our friends Ken and Freyja to Santa Barbara to run the
SBI Marathon and Half Marathon!
No, we aren't crazy.... Just goal oriented!

Isn't he handsome?! I was playing around with the camera on the drive there.

Hi. That's me playing around again.

That's a picture of my shoes. I know. So interesting.
The black chip is my Nike+ chip and the pink is the race chip.
Let me just say how happy I am to have a working ipod for the race.
Earl wasn't so lucky. His ipod kept resetting itself and he had nothing to listen to on his nice, long, long, long run.

That's me at 4:30 in the morning getting ready for the race. Crazy!!! We had to be there at 5 am and then walk over a mile to the starting point. Earl had to be at his bus at 4 am to be bussed to his starting point. The race didn't start until almost 7 am!!!
BTW... don't wear your favorite Yoga capri pants to run 13.1 miles. They aren't spandex. You might sweat and look like you peed. I'm just saying.... I might have some experience with this one.
And BTW.... don't put your Gu in your bra and run 13.1 miles either. Just not a good idea.
I learned a lot from this experience....

That's Freyja and I after we crossed the finish line.
Laura - 2 hr. 19 min. 58 sec.
Freyja - 2 hr. 48 min.

Freyja got this great picture of Earl right before he crossed the finish line!
Earl - 4 hr. 35 min.
And he finished!!!!!!! I'm so proud of him!!!
And then Ken finished. We were getting a little worried about him, but he made it!
Ken - 5 hr. 50 min. (I think... correct me if I'm wrong!)

We finally got some food, showered and napped a little and the guys let us take them out for a little sight seeing. We were all a bit stiff, but we couldn't miss the chance to take in a few of the sights. Santa Barbara is so beautiful!!!

Ken and Freyja
Marathoner and Half Marathoner

Yep, he's a Marathoner too! I claim him as my own!

It was so much fun to spend the weekend together and accomplish this goal.
Don't we look happy?!
Yes, it's the Advil.

Art on the beach.... the guys working on it said they don't do it for the money. It's their profession. Niiiiccceee!

Goofing around....

Earl - "Do I have to put my shoes on and go home"
Laura - "Yes honey."
Earl - "Ah, man..."

We were all winners... or weiners... or crazy... whatever you may think.
And we are going to buy stock in Advil.

And he's off and running again.
Another Marathon - maybe not
Another Half Marathon - ABSOLUTELY! I can't wait!