Friday, December 31, 2010

Inspired by Brittany

It's true...I have Brittany to thank. You see, I am running the Boston Marathon this year for Brittany. I am currently raising money that will go directly to NBIA's research lab in California.

I have been running a lot lately (okay, nothing new).  But I have more importantly been running faster.  When I start to tire, I think of Brittany, unable to walk, talk or even move (except for her arm a bit).  I make myself go faster...because I am able.

Today I ran another 5k.  I took 35 seconds off my fastest time, clocking a 20:24. 

I am grateful for my ability to run...for Brittany.

Please make a donation (however small) for my neighbor (and friend).

Go here to get the details on all of the fun.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tate is Baptized!

Sunday, December 26, Tate was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  With a winter storm trying to roll in (to Garth's disappointment it didn't give us more than a dusting), friends and family joined us in witnessing the baptism of our fourth little darling, Tate Matthew.

Our good friend, Jeremy (and bishopric member), conducted the meeting and Ethan opened with prayer.  Big brother Calvin spoke on baptism followed by a sweet duet by Garth and Sommer.  Tate then entered the waters (according to Tate, cold waters) of baptism and was washed cleaned.  We then gathered together to hear Aunt Lisa give an amazing talk on the Holy Ghost, presenting Tate with a blanket to remind him of this precious gift.  I was lucky to welcome him into the primary as the Pres and Mom and Pop-Pop Gair closed the meeting with prayer.

Filled to capacity with amazing long time friends and family our hearts were filled with their love and support.

Thank you everyone for making this day so special for Tate (and me).

Christmas Day

It was indeed a Merry Christmas for the Porter Family!

 Dressed in their PJ best, the day was filled with plenty of joy.
 Ethan was overjoyed to add to his ventriloquist doll collection, receiving first the deluxe upgrade (hollow body and trigger moving mouth), Oliver Hardy.
 He was even happier when Grandma and Grandpa surprised him with Mortimer Snerd Super Deluxe (with the additional moving eyes).  He has been performing looking for Ethan's debut on a stage near you.
 Garth's joy was met after finding this tent under the tree.  The coolest opens up within seconds.  No more late night frustrating tent putting up episodes.  A perfect gift for our Scout Master.

 Sommer was thrilled to receive purple Uggs (Battlefield color)...Calvin was sad he didn't get a pair.
 Tate loved his Razor did his siblings.
 Ashton was found playing his DSi XL for an entire 12 hour period.
 Tate seemed to just want to rip open thanks to Pop-pop's tradition of wrapping everything single item in their stockings...Tate's wish was granted.
 These four lucky people received bed buddies!  Move over pillow pets...and make room for these guys!

 Ashton and Tate loved their bears...
We love our Grandpa and Grandma...thanks for always making the Christmas magic continue at your home!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve

We had our annual Christmas Eve Party and what a night!  It all began with a Mexican Feast...And ended with a Sundae Bar.

That might just do for an evening of fun...but everything in between was rather fabulous too!

The 12 minute Family Gingerbread Decorating Contest was a hit as family fought against family to take home the big prize...the Gingerbread Plate.  Honor went to the Jenkinson family!  Honorable mention goes out to the Starks, Porters and Turners!

The gift exchange for the little ones (and big ones) was great fun too.  We found that no child wanted to "steal" a gift from everyone just opened a gift and seemed happy enough.  But afterall, they were only $1 store toys.

The adult gift exchange was a complete opposite adventure tensions rising as gifts were taken time and time again.  A twist was presented at the gift was a complete "white elephant."  If you ended up with this gift you had the option at the end of the game to chose between to with the value of $10, the other $25.

In the end, Pop-Pop, with the final choice in gifts, took the gamble and succeeded in choosing the $25 gift card (and was required to take home the white elephant gift...which he then proceeded to wrap and present to Garth at our family gift exchange Christmas morning).

The night is never complete without the impromptu reading (and acting out) of the Christmas Story.  As Scott read from Luke, Garth (or the donkey) carried Mary (Madeline) on his back with Joseph (Coleman) following along (with small amounts of coaxing) to Bethlehem.  The sheep (all small boys) and shepherds (all large boys) gathered 'round, the "bread of life (the only "baby" we had available)" and wisemen (the teens) presented gifts to the Saviour.

We enjoyed spending time with all of you on Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve Dinner

 Last night we headed over to the Reiley's for our Christmas Eve Eve Dinner.  It was fun to have the kids get together with cousins...Sommer and Quinn have two classes together at school.

Lisa always provides the "poppers" keeping the confetti tradition (and crowns) alive and well.

The food was amazing and much fun was had.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow, Rudolph, Waterpark and Losing Suit

Virginia had its first snow fall on Thursday. After one inch fell, they closed the schools early for the day. And lucky us, there was no school on Friday...perfect for our trip to Williamsburg.
Grandma and Grandpa Gair joined us on another one of our crazy adventures...this time to the Great Wolf Lodge. And as always, we had a blast!

We didn't get a chance to sit with Santa but we did get to see Rudolph in the lobby and even had real snow fall inside.
The real fun was had at the waterpark. We were thrilled to run into three families we knew and LOVED hanging out on Friday. The men went on the Tornado where they defied all odds (and the weight limit by 300 lbs) and almost didn't live to tell everyone how much fun it was...
The ladies then went together and laughed (and screamed) so hard they almost peed their pants (I am not telling if anyone actually did..ewww gross).
But the true laughing fest began when someone had the brilliant idea to try out the "Wave Rider." I don't know how I ended up being the first adult to go...
It was pretty fun for the first 5 seconds until I got caught up in a wave and was thrusted backwards up to the top of the ride. That "thrust" caused the top portion of my suit to come off, which I quickly grabbed and put back into the right place. While so doing (and quite stressed), I hear Brooke yell from the crowd of onlookers (and there were many), "your butt is hanging out too!" After trying to get re-dressed and the poor young boy that was running the ride awkwardly turned away, I see Sommer laughing hysterically (not to mentioned the other ladies).
If this story sounds familiar, it is. Garth lost his suit at the Massunutten waterpark a few years ago, scaring both Calvin and Sommer for years.
I was totally impressed, that after my striptease, both Brooke and Nonnie gave it a go. Brooke mastered the ride only losing her suit slightly, showing off her back and lower bummage. Nonnie, being a Californian, rode the wave like a pro and didn't show any inappropriate skin.

The good news:
See those waves at the top? Well they blocked me from showing my private life to the camera.

Here is Garth giving the ride a try...and looking good.

Ethan was awesome too!

We had a super time. Loved the Magi Quest game...Sommer and AShton played for hours (ok and me too).
And now we can't wait to go back!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tate is Eight!

Tate had his big 8 year old birthday yesterday! He had his first sleep over with his favorite buddies, donuts (his request instead of cake) and all the junk food he could get his hands on.
He will be baptized on December 26!
Love you Big Guy!