Here comes the....

Daddy: Here comes the mousie (walks his fingers up Joe's belly)
Joe: Laughs hysterically
Sam: The same

Daddy: Here comes the rabbit (hops his fingers over Sam's belly)
Sam: Laughs hysterically, now asks for the elephant
Joe: Laughs hysterically

Daddy: Here comes that darned old elephant (pounds his hand up their body and tickles belly)
Sam and Joe: More laughs until daddy repeats...

This is a game that my mama used to play with us and then my nieces. Somehow Dan picked it up and he plays with our boys. It makes them laugh equally and just as much as my nieces used to. It is so simple, but the joy goes on forever...

Ready for Winter

Friday, while the boys napped I decided to take down the Christmas decorations. These next couple of weeks are set to be pretty busy around here. Sam was sad when he woke up and asked where his Christmas "Treat" had gone. We decided to celebrate winter and he helped me make this snow scene.


4 Christmases in 24 hours...

As we celebrated Christmas this year I was reminded (by a devotional) that Jesus was born when shepherds were keeping their flocks. The world into which he came was dark as night. There were iron fisted military rulers, some were cruel. But Joseph and Mary trusted and Luke 2:7 " Mary wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger." Our world can be dark, discouraging and cruel at times. But let's trust and focus on the good times...

So, let's move on to our Christmas good times! It it just tradition. We begin at 6pm (after working until 5...) on Christmas Eve and wrap it up well, last night it was 8pm so that would make 26 hours later. I wouldn't change it for the world. I love having most of our family close, so we make the most of it!

Christmas #1 - The Walkers at my Grandparents Home.
My extended family still gathers on Christmas Eve. All 10 kids and their families still attend and it is one of my favorite times of the year. The gathering has changed some over the years, it used to last well onto midnight. But it is so good to keep this tradition from my childhood.
My favorite part was grandma's noodles (although Grandma is since passed) and seeing all my cousin's kids.
My niece Blake is the second oldest great-grand and she is holding Joe the second youngest great-grand. She read us the Christmas story. This story never gets old at Christmas.

Nieces Morgan and Jaelyn loving on each other.

Drew was talking to Santa on the phone.

Mama and the boys catching the excitement as the 50+ gifts beside us were passed out to the family!

Christmas #2 - Our Christmas
Short and sweet, but just as I had imagined it with 2 special boys. These boys have no idea how much joy their bring to our once empty Christmas morning. We kissed and loved on Joe and thanked God for brining him home to us for Christmas this year. I reminded Sam how special it is that he shares his birthday with Jesus.
My favorite part: Telling Sam it was his birthday and his reply was: "Where are all my friends?" Seeing the presents he kept saying Oh, my, my... and Joe squealed. Oh, another favorite, seeing daddy untwisting all the ties on all the toys!

Mama read Twas the night before Christmas to daddy and the boys. Poor Joe had fallen asleep on the way home, but it was tradition so awake he came to hear the story. He snuggled back asleep pretty quickly.

Sam was excited to leave cookies and milk for Santa.

The boys seeing the surprises that Santa had left for them.

Oh, I can feel the excitement.

Stockings are my favorite. My mama always made these special and I love having them filled to the brim (and then some...)

Mama drinking her coffee in an awesome Holiday Hugs mug from good friend Amanda. Much needed for a full day of fun!

Christmas #3 - My family at Scott and Chris's
We started meeting at Scott and Chris's before Will and I were married so we could see their kids open gifts. So, we just moved the time back a bit so we can open at home first. It works out great so we can still see each other on Christmas Day.
My favorite part was watching Scott show Sam and Drew the tractors on You Tube and Sam sit on Will's lap for an hour playing Thomas computer

Will Sam and Drew. Aunt Polly got Sam a Thomas computer and he loved it! Will is reading Drew and Sam a Thomas book.

The Wii from Christmas last year was still a hit with a new set of winter sport games. I played badmitton, figure skating and curling.

Blake scored big with a new car for Christmas. She's all set when she turns 16 in May...

We always meet mid morning and eat breakfast together. It was so yummy. We had biscuits and gravy, breakfast casserole and butter braids. Aunt Polly brought bug juice for the kids to drink. They loved it!

Jaelyn teaching Joe how to play with this Pooh spinner toy.

Christmas #4 - Grandma and Grandpa Grabers
My favorite part of the night was looking at old pics and remembering Jean's Christmas celebrations as a child. It was neat to hear that they decorated a tree from their land each year to make Christmas special.
Joe loved his little people town. What a hit. Both boys loved it and Gma and Gpa! Sam got a very special table and chairs that Gpa and Darrin made. I will post a pic when we get them home.

Dryce got magnetix sets. This was a lot of fun for these building minded boys. Joe was still taking his nap, good thing eh? I can see those little balls right in his little mouth!

Sam loved loved loved these crazy remote cars. He giggled so hard his belly shook!

More Thunder Tumbler fun.

Our Christmas meal at the Grabers is always extra yummy. All year long we are lucky to get "Amish" food (roast, mashed potatoes, noodles, corn, homemade bread). So on Christmas we always have something extra special. This year Jean went to our cousins butcher shop and told him she wanted the best he had. So we ate standing rib cooked on a smoked rotarsie for 2.5 hours...yummy. Needless to say, there was not much dinner conversation! We used the goblets from their wedding and had our traditional red slushy punch to drink. Thanks Jean (Donnie too)!

Grandma made my Christmas day baby his own birthday cake. He ate it like a champ!

Joe was loving on the fruit we had for dessert. Of course we had chocolate fondue to dip it in!

Dryce was ready to eat the entire red velvet cake!

Grandpa and Grandpa and the Grands!



Sam - Christmas 2006


I love remembering my boys on their 1st Christmas home as a family. Although, as I recall Sam liked being naked a little more than Joe does. Guess that extra padding Sam had helped him from shivering like Joe!


Christmas Card Wishes

from our blog to yours...
Let's just say if you have a blog you will understand why it is sideways. If you don't, as Sam would say, sorry bout it!

Our Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our Christmas home! This sled means so much to me because my mom used it every year on our porch and the ice skates were my dad's from a farm pond.

DH went and cut these branches. I love the look of real greenery. I feel some more coming on next year!

Oh our dear little tree from our old home. Sam's first tree, I suppose I will always love this little tree. It lights up our toy/office room now!

Our Guatemalan Nativity set. I have two Nativity sets for the boys to play with. I want to instill in them the true meaning of Christmas. Tonight as they sat on our laps before bed, I sang a few Christmas hymns (and no one laughed!).

Our fireplace and christmas tree. This tree was my tree growing up. We had it in storage until this year. It was so much fun getting out all the old ornaments. It has really made Christmas come to life. Sam calls it the big lights. I love having 4 stockings to fill, we are so blessed to have Joe home this Christmas. I used my mom's nativity set on top on the mantle and added some of my own touches! It was good to have a fireplace this morning. We woke up to a blown thermostat and the house was down to 60. Our good friend Merv came quickly to the rescue!

Of course the Fiesta dishes make the decs. I was also lucky to have my niece Morgan's candle to complete the look!

Homemade Ornaments are my favorite on the tree this year. Sam and Joe helped mama a lot!

Sam loved all the candy canes around the town, so we bought some of our own to add to our home. He loves the lights and always says their pink lights.

This window has the stuff for the kids to play with, although I must say that the entire house is pretty kid friendly.

And I saved my favorite 2 decorations for last. Dressed up and ready for Church on Sunday were we heard the Christmas Story read by our new pastor, Brian.


Loving the Tractor

Sam trying to give Joe a ride on the tractor. Try as he may, he doesn't pedal very well yet. We will keep working!

My not so patient man, trying to take this thing under control himself.

Yep, I am out of the wagon, now move out of the way Sam.

Oh, I can't reach the pedals. Guess we are stuck either way!