Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Baking

Chocolate Chip Cookies (aka "Hownies" aka "Brownies"), from a mix.
Don't tell June and Jaci!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Snowy Day

There was a dusting of snow on the ground and the elementary school was on holiday, so we decided to take Graham for a spin in his new sled (Thanks Betsy and Deano!) over at the playground.

Graham is definitely a fan of a chauffered ride. And after both Daddy and Mommy took a turn, he decided he might be able to do it himself.

(It was a little heavy!)

I'd forgotten it can be tough to keep your mittens on... we spent a lot of time struggling with that. He was clearly dismayed that I was slowing him down for such a trivial matter!

I'd also forgotten how puffy snow pants make you walk like a zombie...

All in all, a successful winter outing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I have a vivid memory of going to make cookies with June at the Kennel when Grandma and Grandpa were in Hawaii. I must have been around 5 or 6 and it was so special. I am glad Graham is able to carry on the tradition with both June and Jaci. :) He really has those girls wrapped around his finger...

And there's only one way to burn off all the frosting!

Big thanks to June for sharing these pics from November and December with us!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joyful Noise

Turn down your volume before pressing play. You have been warned.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Maybe it was not enough sleep. Or too much sugar. Or both. But the antics continued as soon as we got home from church. Watch to the end of the video to see Abby's new dance move:

We finally hit the hay. And it was lucky for us all that Graham slept until almost 8 Christmas morning.

Opening the stockings was a lot of fun.

Jason found himself captive in the little house (again):

Graham with his new (loud) whistle. The dogs did NOT approve:

And Jason admired my new necklace:

Thanks everybody for a great holiday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Choir Boy

After much present opening, a delicious roast beast, and no nap, we made our way to church for the evening service. I was concerned Graham might be so tuckered that he'd fall asleep on the way, but that wasn't the case. He sat quietly and enjoyed the signing, piano and violin solo before the service even started.

(This was more than could be said for his father. Abby hadn't closed the sippy cup properly when she handed it to Jim back at home. By the time we got to church it had entirely spilled out of his coat pocket and all over his bum!)

The Children's Sermon was early in the program, and Graham jumped at the chance to join the other children (that he didn't even know) at the altar. He sat quietly beside Pastor Sara and when it was time to take a collection, she gave him one of the baskets. My first thought, "This isn't going to end well...." But he happily walked around the church with an older boy. Graham said, "Thank you," to those who dropped their Christmas note in his basket. He returned to the nativity scene as directed and was quite well behaved (and cute).

Once that part of the service was complete, the children from the Sunday School were staying in the front of the church to light the Advent Wreath. Graham was a little resistant to coming back to sit with us, so Sara told him he could stay and help. There was a little chuckling from the few people who saw him grab a song book from another kid.

I was lamenting the fact that the camera was downstairs in Jim's coat. Abby jumped in to capture the moment like a court reporter:

Jim (with wet bum) was near the front of the church-- he had a similar thoughts and ran to get our camera in the back.... adding to the circus atmosphere:

Now, this would have been a real sweet story if Graham had just come back to us when it was over... like all the other kids. But I told you it wouldn't end well!

As the kids scurried back to their families, the Senior Choir stood ready to sing the anthem. Graham took this as his cue to join them. Jim (fortunately) thought this wasn't the best idea. He instructed Graham that it was time to sit down. Graham clearly replied, "No," much to the delight of the congregation. So Jim scooped Graham up. Graham (unfortunately) started crying. Loud. With huge crocodile tears. I shrunk into my seat. Jim ran down the side aisle to take Graham to the nursery in the basement. I followed at a distance of 10 paces.

When we got downstairs, Graham (fully recovered) played with some fire trucks. Jim told me they'd spend the rest of the service downstairs quietly. I returned to my seat, relieved.

Not 10 minutes later, I saw them come back. As Jim tried to slip in next to me, Graham started yelling again. Insisting he should be sitting with Sara at the altar. We raced back downstairs (by now, I am sure even those who thought he was cute had had enough of our antics). I gave Jim a terrible scowl. He explained, "He came over and hugged and kissed me. He was asking for you! He promised to be good!" Honey, you were played by a kid who can't get enough of the lime light! :)

They did return for the last hymn, (ironically) Silent Night. Graham kept trying to blow out the candle. Then he knocked hot wax all over my bare arm.
Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.

Christmas Kiss

upload pictures

Christmas Eve at the Little House

We spent Christmas Eve at the farm with Grandma Jeanie, Grandpa Paul, Abby, Jase, Amanda and Ethan. The showstopper was an amazing little house. Jim made the PVC frame, and my mom designed and sewed the adorable cover. It even has a mailbox. Graham couldn't get enough. And made sure his Aunties and especially Uncle Jase spent lots of time on the inside with him. At 39" square, it was cozy.

There were so many wonderful gifts.

Mom made a melt-in-your-mouth roast beef and yorkshire pudding.

But the best part was spending time with those we love.

A video vignette of the day:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Farmers' Museum Winter Spectacular

Sunday night, we made our way up to Cooperstown to enjoy the annual Candlelight Evening.

The Museum is open from 3 -7 and all the pathways are lit with candles. Hot Wassail bubbles in kettles over open fires and you can enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride.

A late nap kept us from arriving early enough to enjoy the band and carollers performing, but it did mean a very close parking spot and no wait for the wagon ride-- so we actually went twice. Graham loved hearing the clippity clop of the horses hooves and the jangle of the bells on their harnasses.

We also ran into no one other than Kris Kringle. Sadly he wasn't received any more warmly than the Santas we saw earlier in the month.

Surprisingly, Graham really liked the Hot Wassail (which I am sure will please his Aunties to no end). Nothing like some Hot Wassail, eh girls?

Thank goodness for warm boots and snowsuits. It was COLD! After picking up some donuts and examining a few wagons in the barns, we headed home.

Here's some video from our wagon ride. The melodious voice you hear belongs to my adorable husband:

Happy Solstice to one and all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Every year I proclaim that I want to make all of my holiday gifts. And every year I run out of time. This is one project that did get finished :). I modified this pattern. The piecing was fussier than I would normally try, but I think it's the cutest little forest I've ever seen.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snug as a Bug

C.C. gets into the holiday spirit (as well as an over sized Santa hat) with a little help from Graham. I love this dog. She will tolerate anything for a little love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Valleyview Holiday Concert

While Mommy was out of town, Graham and I attended the Valleyview holiday concert at the schools Gymnatorium. Somewhere in this pic is Emily, Anna, Nicole, and Ally and Kouadio.
Make a game of it, see if you can spot them!

Not having much luck? Here, try finding them in this shaky clip (filmed Blair Witch style for dramatic effect!)

Actually, I was holding Graham in one arm and trying to film, zoom and include everyone else using the other. Afterwards we stopped by Wesley's to see the cats and have a cookie or two.

I didn't get a pic of it but the girls are starting to learn how to play in the band. Anna is becoming a flutist, and Emily is rocking on the trumpet! Keep practicing girls!

(but do it at your house!) ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

Jim's been trying to bribe Graham to put a good word in with the Big Guy for him. I don't mean the one upstairs. The other big guy. In the red suit. Things aren't going to well on that front.
The kid is obsessed with M & Ms.
I claim no responsibility!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Discovery Center

Grandma joined us for a surprise trip to the Discovery Museum in Binghamton. This entire complex is designed for the little ones, and has a miniature town built where the kids can pretend play. Here Graham serves us some yummy plastic treats at the Chinese restaurant.

The waiter was cute, but the manager was hot! (apparently oven warmed mustard is a specialty here.)

Next stop was a music store with plenty of things to try.

Grandma and I cashed in our over sized prize check at the little bank!

and Graham got to try out the cockpit of a fighter jet. You can't tell from this picture but the thing is loaded will thousands of buttons and switches. I have a new found respect for anyone who can fly these things.

and finally, the big attraction for Graham- the miniature Giant supermarket. Shelves and shelves of empty products and display cases, tiny carts and even an ATM. I felt like a giant myself walking around in here.

Here Graham talks cheese, and learns how fast money can go at the checkout.

On the way out, we saw Santa! Grandma paid to have his picture taken, but Graham wanted nothing to do with the big guy. Even the well played bribe of a candy cane didn't sway his affections. A quick trip to the vending machine however, and I was able to give Santa the extra help he needed. You can imagine the look of surprise when Santa pulled a bag of M&M's from his sleeve! Graham immediately changed his tune and ran up to see his old friend.

Here he inspects the bag to be sure they are in fact real M&M's and not some cheap knock off.

Satisfied with his gift he quickly returns the offending candy cane to the nearby elf.

Santa said meeting Graham was the funniest part of his day.