Sarah was the first of the kids to arrive home and she flew into Long Beach on December 14. She had a look of shell shock on her face when we picked her up at the airport. This was a rough semester for her and the last month before finals was especially difficult. She worked hard and did well in all of her classes so we are all quite happy. I don't think anyone has been more grateful for a break that she was. She deserved the break and enjoyed in thoroughly.
We can't go to Long Beach and not drop in and say hi to Ben and Sharley so from the airport we went and picked them up and had Ben show us his new favorite taco place. It really was good and just talking about it I want to go and eat a couple.
The next person to arrive was Grandma Shaw. She flew in on Saturday, December 17. I don't remember too much exciting happening until the next week Wednesday, December 21 when Kira, Justin and their boys arrived. We never had a boring moment after that. Kira and Justins Christmas present to us was a trip to Disneyland and the best day for that just happened to be the next day. It probably wasn't the best idea for Kira and Justin since they didn't even have a chance to recover from their trip. The next morning we got up early and headed for Disneyland. It was a blast.
Grandma came with us and since we didn't want her to slow us down too much nor did we want to kill her we rented a wheel chair for her. I'm not sure where she is in this picture but Sarah decided to take a break. Do you notice how we're all bundled up? It was a very cold day.
Mom and Sarah on the caterpillar ride.
Here's my girls.
Me and my baby. How quickly they grow up. It seems like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms and now she is a real woman.
Evan loved the merry go round.
So did Evan's daddy.
Disneyland is very wheel chair friendly. Many of their rides have special cars designed just for wheel chairs. Evan was able to stay in his chair for many of the rides. Here we are in "It's a small world".
This ride was for old times sake. Before we even moved to San Diego we took the kids to Disneyland. Kira and Brandon were barely tall enough to go on the rides but Ben was still too small. I really wanted to go on Space Mountain but Kira was way too scared. I eventually convinced her that it wasn't all that bad and so we left Ben with Grandma, Lisa went with Brandon and Kira and I went together. As soon as the car started moving Kira started screaming and never stopped until well after the ride was over. I think it was a good ten years before she ever went on another roller coaster. Here we are going on Space Mountain again. Not much has changed though. She still screamed from the beginning to the end. An interesting side story is how Brandon reacted with Lisa. They were in the front car and half way through the ride, in a calm and very serious tone, Brandon says to Lisa, "I think, we're going to die."
Come on Mom, why aren't you on a horse?
Alice in Wonderland is really a freaky story.
Here is Evan coming out of "It's a small world". Does that kid look happy or what?
Hey, there's a four generation picture.
If you expand this picture you might notice snow flakes. While it was a cold day it wasn't that cold. They actually had a snow blower that blew out fake snow. It was little soap bubbles. Ben swears that they taste like cotton candy but what little I could get in my mouth, I'm not convinced. Ben and Sharley actually bought pizza and we met up with them in Down Town Disney for dinner. It was good to see them.
Let me tell you what a cool son-in-law I have. The boys (and Grandma) were great the entire day but come ten o'clock and they were getting pretty tuckered out. Justin insisted that Lisa and I stay with Kira while he took everyone else home. It was a lot of fun hanging out with Kira and we realized that this is the first time we've been alone with Kira since Brandon was born. Sarah likes to point out how it stinks being the youngest but I guess being the oldest also has it's down side. It really was special that we could just play with our eldest child. Thank you Justin.
Coincidentally Alycia came home for her friends wedding last September and she pointed out then that it was the first time that she's ever been home alone with Lisa and I. That was fun too. I love a large family and I wouldn't trade it for anything but I never realized how special it can be to spend time with just one child. I've spent one-on-one time with all of my kids but until Sarah was alone I don't think we've ever done two-on-one with any of the kids. It really is a lot of fun.
Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.