Snowman Family

Today brought a much needed day off, and while I should (could) have
caught up on blogging. I chose to have fun with the boys and a sweet
friend for the day Miss MonteLee.
We made one of these sweet snowman shadowboxes.
Seriously, a favorite craft so far...
I heard about it here and the tutorial is great.
And just knowing that I could surely find something at home to make this craft work...
I did not buy a thing.
I had found these sweet (needing a new life) pics 2/1.00 on summer clearance.
So a little injury (see it?) later, they were pryed open and shells popped off...

And then the fun part - questions from the kids...
We are cutting the gloves?
Can I pick the scarf?
Can we wear the same scarf?
Can I have a hat?
An orange nose?

Ours is a little variation on the original, but that is
what crafting is all about.
And so for less than one dollar, we have a new
look on our already DIY wall...

And we decorated today for a certain someone's
5th birthday party.
Someone here is five?
Yes, sounds like another post!


Night Before Christmas

Santa cookies and milk were not forgotten!
Sam reminded me that Santa likes pink milk...hmmm
All set, ready for our traditional bedtime book by daddy.
(Notice Joe is tightly holding onto his Thomas video that he just received-he slept with it)
But he was not happy that it was bedtime, pouted and didn't want to participate.
But we have found that most time with Joe
he quickly changes his tune if we don't acknowledge it.
And shows some interest at first b/c DH just kept reading.
I love Sam's eyes in this picture!

And then Joe leans in for more.

Until he was fully involved in the
Night Before Christmas.


Christmas Eve 2010

We spent the evening at the Walker homeplace.
My grandparents homeplace.
I love that we still gather here.
Almost everyone - missing one cousin and a great grandchild.
And some loved ones in heaven -gone too soon.
We spent the evening looking at the windows at the Christmas snow.
Falling perfect and making everything pure and bright.
We spent the evening listening to Blake read the Christmas Story.
This is a favorite tradition of mine.

We spent the evening in the company of our closest
family who are also our friends.

And when it came time to open our gifts,
it was all a blur
as it usually is!
There is just something heart warming
about watching my cousins' children enjoy each other.
I love that we still gather this way,
I love that my kids still spend Christmas Eve the same way I did.
Christmas Eve 2010

Old Surprises

Christmas Eve brought too much anticipation for little boys.
And they wanted a present early. So they helped me wrap their jammies.
But they wanted a toy so bad. So I had them each choose the other current favorite toy
and we wrapped those up as a suprise for the other...

And a super surprise hit it was!
Sam chose Joe's red fire truck
Joe chose Sam's toy train (that also belonged to DH)
And beloved toys became old surpises!

Gpa Greats

Gpa Greats.
That's what we call his place or "the farm"
We went to fellowship there Christmas eve eve.
And took Gpa Great a new birdfeeder.
DH said, I don't know if he will use it.
But we put the boys handprints on the bottom.
So he loved it.
And we got Uncle Larry a case of Mt. Dew
and wore our IU shirts
because he loves both of those things.
And then the games began.
Rook of course,
there is no other game for The Grabers'

Sure does love his Gpa Great
And this Cars game of Dryce!


Christmas Sunday

My boys were looking so fine for church on
Christmas Sunday.
I couldn't help but snap some pics of them,
but they were in a silly mood.
And this is what I got.

And then it got a little better.

And best of all for the whole family shot.

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Hug your loved ones extra tight this ChristmasTime.


Aunt Cindy

I know she a reader,
My Aunt Cindy.
Because if I miss a day or two, she checks on me.
I love that my aunts are readers.
And she is most likely cringing, because her name is in the title.
But after she see these pictures,
Of her granddaughter and greatniece and greatnephew.
I think she'll smile too.
It started out so innocent.
But somehow when Cindy is on the floor with the kiddos.
It turns into so much fun.
And even though they are blurry, you can see the JOY.
I can hear the laughter from Ella and Landry
- both the same age as Joe.

And I would love to show you the smile on my pretty Aunt Cindy's face,
but somehow it always had a child right on top of it!
She would rather I showed this sweet smile
from her granddaughter, Ella,

Thank you Aunt Cindy for taking time to play with
my kids the way you played with me!


Cricket County Christmas

Along with 25 other cast members, we put on a play at church last night
called Cricket County Christmas.
Am I ever glad that I have my first (and only) stage performance under my belt.
Check that off the bucket list {not sure it was there anyway?}
When asked back in October I didn't hesitate at all, I mean I could do this...
but as the time drew closer I became more and more nervous.
It was humbling though to put on a church play, we prayed before each
practice and that seemed to put all fear aside.
Our desire as the directors and cast was to put across the true meaning
of unconditional love at Christmas time through a nursing home farse.
It was difficult to know if the real meaning came across, spending so much time on your own individual lines. We worried that the play had too many funny parts that some might take offense, etc. But last night it all came together, and it was our best performace to date!

My sis in law Shannon and I . She was Grandma who came to visit and love all the nursing home residents - including me (I think) since I was a cantankouous old woman always in pain.

I had a lot of fun doing this with Shannon, she is a pro at plays and gave a lot of good tips. Don't worry, I have these pics under lock and key Shannon!
And these funny teenagers. They were so cute, greeted all who came to the play and also had a funny part in the play.

Arguing with the nurse, probably about my medicine.
My favorite part was watching the kids laugh at us!

Sam loved coming to practices,

he recites lines over and over.

think we might have a future here!

And my favorite picture of all!

What a great experience full of laughs and funny times with the cast.
All to glorify the name of the Lord this Holiday Season.

Cookie Palooza

Saturday morning we headed to Aunt Polly's for the annual cookie-palooza for the
Walker family great-grands.
That is the only way I know to describe it.
Polly has nearly all the cookies baked when we arrive so that no kiddo has to wait
to decorate to their heart's content.
I mean there were so many cookies, much to the kids delight of course!
Snuck a quick one of my nieces, Blake and Jaelyn

And even though Polly is sitting down on right in this one. This is the only time she sat down all day. So sweet of her to invite 20+ kiddos into her brand new home and let them decorate with very few rules. There were sprinkles everywhere!
Joe and Sam run to Polly when they see her, Joe calls her Poll-d. It is precious.
She has a train set in her back bedroom that the boys never forget!

My favorite thing of the day is seeing my cousins kids.
We see them for all the holidays and some inbetween, but I love that
my kids know my cousins kids. (On both sides for that matter!)
These are some of the Mike Walker Grands - Abbey, Brittany, and Corbin.

Oh that table is way to clean, must have been the beginning of the day.
See Ella piling on the sprinkles, told you there were no rules!

It takes a lot of frosting!
And concentration.

To make a mess this big!
Thanks Polly, we will talk about it for weeks!
And to top it all off, the boys left here and went to Grandma Jean's
to decorate so more cookies...sorry no pics, mama snuck in one last Walmart run!