Thursday, December 31, 2009

My latest attempt at creativity

A friend of mine was kind enough to let me do a birthday cake for her daughter's party this week. I don't get a lot of chances to practice, particularly on girl stuff, so I had a good time trying some things out. I know it's not perfect but I think it turned out cute (and very girly!). The party is tomorrow and I really hope they like it.
Well that's what I did for my New Year's Eve Day and then tonight we ate fancy food, drank sparkling grape juice and played with fireworks. Now the kids are in bed and I'm headed that way too. Happy New Year to all. Looking forward to a very exciting 2010. If everything goes as planned it will be a year to remember, but I can't say anything more b/c it might just jinx it all. So here's to 2010 and whatever it may bring!

Snow Again?!?!

Yes it snowed again in the desert southwest. I don't mind the snow except that it makes traffic a mess, the kids always get runny noses, and there are wet clothes scattered all over the house. So maybe I do mind the snow. It's ok once in a while, but it has snowed 4 times this month and that is plain ridiculous. The boys actually had appropriate snow attire this time (thanks to Target clearence bins) so they were much happier to stay outside and play.
This is my attempt at getting a picture of the two of them together. Oh well.
Max hears his Nana talk about shoveling snow all the time so he thought he'd give it a try.

He built his very own snowman too! I think that's a pretty great snowman for a three year old Louisiana boy living in the desert!

Zach absolutely loves the snow! He kept picking up handfuls of it and rubbing it all over his face and then eating it. I guess that meant he liked it.

Zach just looks like such a big boy these days. Sometimes I wonder where my baby went.

We must have been very good!

I don't know if it was the being good, or the yummy cookies, or maybe Mommy kissing the big guy under the mistletoe, but Santa certainly was good to us this year (and so were grandparents!!). Most of our Christmas morning pics are on another camera, so this is all you're gonna get tonight! Enjoy
Zach got a ride on, rocking airplane this year. It is QUITE similar to the ride on rocking airplane Max got two years ago for Christmas. Oh well, he doesn't seem to mind the hand me down gifts. I have better pics of him riding that I may post one day.
Max got a bike from Santa. He loves his bike. He washes it, cleans it, polishes it, and walks it up and down the sidewalk. He does not actually ride the bike. I don't know if it's too big for him or too hard for him or if it's just Max taking his time getting use to something new. Only time will tell.

As luck would have it, Max likes Zach's airplane and Zach is obsessed with Max's bike. It's good that they can share!

Cookies for Santa

On Christmas Eve, we had a whole list of things to do toget ready for the big day.We ate fired chicken for dinner (b/c that just seemed to be the right thing to do), then we headed to the local light show. An insurance salesman with a big ole house set up a light show during Christmas to share with the community (bet his neighbors love him!). It's set to music and Santa comes out and everyone get a treat. Max and Zach absolutely loved it.
After that we headed home to make cookies for Santa. Max was being extra careful to make pretty cookies so Santa would leave him some Power Rangers. When the cookies were finished we read the story of Christ's birth (from a picture book, not the Bible, but hey the kids appreciated it). Then we headed off to bed to make sure we were sleeping so Santa could come.
Here are some cookie decorating pictures to enjoy.
Max was very serious about his cookie decorating. I don't know where he gets that from!!
Zach was very serious about eating as many sprinkles as he could find. Again I don't know where he gets that from!!

Hope Santa doesn't mind the double dipping!

The finished product. Santa got the best four cookies from the bunch and we snacked on the rest before heading to bed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

He's Here! He's Here!! Isn't he the cutest Santa you've ever seen?!? We dressed him up and took him to help deliver gifts to our friends and neighbors. Max also wore a Santa hat but won't take a picture.
Here are a few more pictures to enjoy.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Christmas Festivities

The past few weeks have been packed with fun holiday festivities (along with some not so fun ones). I got all the shopping done with time to spare, we got all of our gifts mailed off in time, I spent a bit of time on some homemade gifts (shhhh! it's a secret), we adopted some kids from the Angel tree (only for presents--not to bring home!!), had a few parties--one that came with the gift of stomach flu for all who attended, a few doctors appts which gifted us with asthma, an ear infection, and the promise of a root canal for the new year!! Here are some pictures to share fo the joyous season!! Max and Zach loved decorating the tree. They have been really good about not totally destroying it since too. All of the ornaments are shatter proof and it's a good thing b/c they both LOVE to throw balls!
These are some reindeer cupcakes I made. They were suppose to be for Max's school party but I signed up too late (due to stomach virus) and was assigned party bags instead. So I made these anyway and passed them out to friends and family from church. I also made party bags for all of Max's classmates, but have no pics.

Max has been quite crafty this year too. He made several things at school, some ornaments for the tree and this happy holiday puzzle--that we have made about 100 times since he got it. He has also memorized Twas the Night Before Christmas thanks to Grandma and Paw Paw sending him the book.

Here is the Gingerbread Train Max and Jeff made together. I was all crafted out so I skipped on this one. They had a good time though.

Wow! I'm glad all of this is out of the way so now I can enjoy the holiday!!

Christmas Decorations

We have some obnoxiously large built in shelves in our living room and the only good use I have found for them is Christmas decorations. So each year we fill one shelf with my snowman collection, one with Jeff's Christmas train and village, and the third with our Nativity. You can tell how big these shelves are with Max comfortable sitting up there helping Jeff set things up. This is my snowman collection. I LOVE snowmen!! Each year I try to only add one or two so we don't get completely overrun with them. I also have other snowmen scattered around the house and snowman pillows, blanket, cups, trays, plates, etc. It's so much fun and snowmen are always happy.
Here is Jeff's train and village. Actually you can see the train in this picture b/c it's in the back. The boys love to turn it on and watch it go around and around and around and around. Must be a guy thing!!

Here is our sad little nativity. It is sad this year for many reasons. First we couldn't find it in all of our holiday decorations. Then when we found and and opened it, it was broken. Two wise men lost their head, Joseph lost his hand, and baby Jesus was in 5 pieces. We managed to glue almost everything back together (expect we couldn't find Joseph's hand) but it just doesn't look as pretty as it did. And finally we got everything done and the background came crashing down! We can't make the background stay up for anything.

So this is what it looks like and will look like until we take it down next week. Hey, we tried!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the season to be crafty

Admit it--this time of year brings out the crafty side of all of us. Whether it's decorating, baking, sewing, or something else, Christmastime brings out the urge to make something homemade in all of us. I, too, get caught up in the fever of Christmas crafting. I am not very good at most of these types of things but I feel it is something that must be done.
I sat down with the boys on Friday and helped them make some Christmas ornaments. I would have posted pictures but they are for Paw Paw, Grandma Mouse, and Nana and I'd hate to ruin the surprise! We also made a Santa Countdown and painted a nativity.
I also made my contribution to the homemade gift category. Here are some pics of princess bags I made for my little nieces and then I stuffed them with all sorts of princess paraphernalia. I have to admit it was fun doing girly pink and purple sparkly stuff for a change. Max wants a princess bag too but Jeff said no!

And stay tuned for more Christmas craftiness! There are plans for Reindeer cupcakes, more ornaments and decorations, Christmas candies and yummy yummies! Note I said PLANS FOR, so we shall see. However, I think my biggest challenge this year will definitely be keeping Zach from climbing to the top of the tree!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Cowboy Snowman Guy

Max desperately wanted Jeff to help him build a giant snowman and he waited and waited for Jeff to finish his work so they could do it. It was very cute to watch my snowman expert of a husband teach my silly monkey boy the finer points of snowman building.

This is Jeff demonstrating the proper rolling technique to build base and torso or as Max calls them the butt and the tummy parts.

This is Max trying to roll the head. He did well for a little bit but then it fell apart. Not bad for a boy with 1/2 south Louisiana DNA!

Zakky of course had to get in on the action. Just checking things over to make sure it was done right!

A finished product!! No Desert Snowman is complete without a cowboy hat, right?!?!

About 3 hours after they were finished it started warming up. First his head melted and fell off and then his midsection met the same fate. I think his butt is thick enough to last till morning though. Max checked on him throughout the day to see how he was doing and kept singing "Once There was a Snowman" song. Yes it's the circle of life. He was a good friend and a good memory!

Winter Wonderland -- In the Desert!!

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!! It snows here in the desert about once a year. It's usually sometime around Thanksgiving and it usually signifies the last bit of precipitation until April. I love the snow for a weekend, but I'd never want to live where it snowed 6 months a year. Max thought the snow was great and kept saying, "As soon as it warms up, I'm gonna play in the snow!" Too bad it doesn't work that way!!
So here are some pics from the last two days. I would have posted eariler, but in the words of an old country song, "I was too busy being in love!"

Here is our backyard. I think we probably got about 3-4 inches in the grass and maybe an inch or so on the rocks. For those of you unfamiliar with desert living, 3/4 of our landscaping is rock and our little patch of grass is about the size of my living room/kitchen.

Here are the boys all dressed up to go in the snow. B/c I'm cheap and it only gets cold 5 days a year, the boys don't have winter coats. We dress in layers and use socks for gloves!!

Zach loved the snow. He didn't mind being cold at all and has spent the last two days either outside or looking out the window with puppy dog eyes, saying "Out! Out!"

Max enjoyed the snow for a little bit. He's actually happy in this pic even he doesn't look it. He gets cold really easily b/c he has literally no body fat to keep him warm. The rest of us sure don't have that problem!! He was very excited to build a snoman with his Daddy too. I will put those pics up soon.

Well it's finally beginning to feel like Christmas (although I'm sure it will warm up again before the 25th). There is something magical about snow. Max said, "Mom where is Santa?" and I reminded him that was still a few weeks away and he said, "But look it's Christmas outside!" They must just know!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zakky's Birthday Cakes!!

Here they are!! I think his cakes turned out cute. They aren't what I would call "professional" but they are fun. The top cake is a pull apart cupcake cake from a Wilton set I bought. It was very easy to put together and aside from some icing issues was very simple to do. The second cake is Z's own personal cake which I cut out of a 6" round cake and then built up the muzzle/nose portion with more cake. It was my firsst time trying a scuplted cake and I think I did pretty well.
Most importantly I hope Zach likes it. I can't wait till his party tomorrow to watch him dig in!!

Happy Birthday Bear!!

I cannot believe it is Zakky's 1st birthday! Actually yesterday was his big day but I didn't get a chance to post anything. Oh well, his party isn't until tomorrow so he still hasn't opened his presents or eaten his cake (I haven't even made his cake yet!). But that proves he is part DeGraff. We are known for stretching out our birthdays as long as possible!
So at 1 year, Zach loves to eat anything he can get, play with anything he can steal from his brother, say MaMa, Dada, Juice, No, This, and Ball. Oh and VVroom, vvroom and moooo!! He is starting the walking thing but he is still very wobbly and would much rather crawl or scoot. He loves to jump and he can now tackle his big brother and bring him to the ground! This is going to be fun!!
He grows more everyday and is going to outweigh Max very soon. I don't have his 1 yr stats yet but he's in 18 month clothes moving to a 2T!! Zakky is funny and easy going but very determined when he decides he wants something. He is learning to use his voice to get his point across and he still growls pretty regularly. I kind of hope he always does that.
Well we made it through the 1st year and now it's going to get very interesting. Zach and Max are going to be the best of friends and drive each other crazy, just like brothers should. And Jeff and I will be here to try and keep it under control!
Happy Birthday Bear! We love you!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


"I have to wear this mask on my face to keep the germs from getting into my mouth." -Max

Hope that works out for you buddy!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Theatrical Debute

Max gave his first stage performance in front of a live audience today. He was "Broken Arrow" the Navajo Indian in his preschools Native American presentation. His line was "I am Broken Arrow and I grow corn." Or something to that effect! He said his line very well and very loudly and he looked so grown up. Actually he looked really short compared to the other kids but he was big in spirit!!
All went well until he tried to walk off the stage the wrong way and was redirected and then got confused and panicked. And if you know Max, panic = tears. So he made it through is part and two songs before he was escorted to the back in tears. Poor little guy, he really did try and he was such a cute little Broken Arrow. He decorated his costume all by himself and was so excited.
I think a few more Primary programs and he'll be a regular professional! Great job Max!!

BTW--In the group shot, Max is the 2nd kid in the row.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Football Anyone??

Max has been asking for awhile if we could go to a football game so tonight we decided to take him to a local high school game as a tiny taste of live football. He was so excited all day to go. He took a nap and behaved at dinner all with the promise of a real live football game in a real stadium.

He was SOOOOOO into the game....for the first 5 minutes or so. Then he was more interested in walking up and down the bleachers and trying to get the mascots' attention. Then came the halftime show and he was hooked. Not on the players or the band or the music, not even on the cheerleaders. Nope, it was the flags! He watched those flags without blinking and begged for me to find a way to get one for him. Jeff was so annoyed! Ten bucks and an hour and a half of sitting in bleachers so Max can decide he wants to be a flag twirller. That boy never ceases to make me wonder!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Had A Dream...

Those of you who know me well, know that I very regularly have vivid dreams that I remember in the morning. I always have. Many of them are crude and violent in nature and they get worse when I am pregnant. I've dream everything from having my children repossessed by the hospital to giant green dogs swimming in my pool to my dad being a soldier in the Civil War.
Well last night I had a dream. It wasn't intense or vile but I woke up feeling as though I'd been crying all night. And this dream was about my mother-in-law, someone I don't recall ever having dreamed about. Anyway, the dream...
It was basically centered around the fact that my MIL recieved revelation from God that I was not supposed to be married to her son and we needed to divorce immediately. And the kicker was that I was in fact suppose to be married to my brother-in-law (my husband's sister's husband). No one in the dream seemed to think this was a good idea but it was understood that it must be done. Even Jeff, who seemed quite upset with me, agreed that it needed to happen but he refused to go to the wedding with me. I remember begging my MIL to find another way b/c I wanted to be an Orwin and she continually repeated that it wasn't meant to be.
So I wonder what this all means. Do dreams really mean anything or are they just what our minds do when we are sleeping? I think I have a very good relationship with my MIL and I can't imagine her wanting me out of the family. And I'd like to think Jeff wouldn't divorce me just b/c his mom said so. And I in no way have ever thought about trying to hook up with my SIL's husband--he's a great guy, but great for her not me.
Also am I the only one with Lifetime Movie quality dreams or is this a common secret of most?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween-Part 3 Toy Story Style


Halloween-Part 2 Trunk or Treat

Our church hosted its annual Trunk or Treat this year and I got to be the lucky one to organize it all. I thought it turned out pretty good and we had about 200 people so I'd call it a success. I also hope and pray I never have to do it again. After putting together last year's Christmas Extravaganza (3 weeks after Z was born) and then the Trunk or Treat this year I've learned one very important lesson--I don't like doing stuff like that!! I can't complain too much b/c I really did have a lot of help and everyone seemed to have a great time, but I'm not in a hurry to do it again. I was too busy at the party to take pictures--that was someone else's job--so here are some cute pics of Zakky instead. Enjoy!!