Happy holidays everyone!
What can I say, another year of exciting times and growth for the Graham family. I don’t expect to remember everything we’ve done this year, so I would recommend you looking up Stephanie or myself (John) on Facebook to keep up on the Graham happenings.
This Christmas, there won’t be presents under our tree, but the kids will be o.k. We are trading the traditional Christmas morning for a trip to Florida, visiting Disney and Universal. This was Jackson’s first trip to Disney and the entire family’s first trip to Universal studios to experience the magic of Harry Potter. We were there December 1st until the 10th (we got back today) and we all had a great time.
On another Christmas note, this is a big year for me as I published my Christmas children’s book, No Sweets For Santa. This story has been an important part of our family Christmas tradition for over a decade and I worked with a professional artist to create a special hardcover edition. I’m very pleased with the response I’ve received and have sold quite a few copies. It has kept me quite busy over the past few months getting everything ready for the printers. If you didn't get your copy, let us know, and we can ensure that you do.
Other things happening in my (John’s) life this year include many comic book conventions, lots of work (still at Target on the weekend shift), and trying to stay healthy. JT and I had a great visit with my mom in Phoenix this summer, which included a side trip to San Diego for Comic Con International. We had some wonderful father/son moments, particularly when we dressed up as Mario and Luigi one day at the convention.
Jackson has evolved from a cute playful 1 year old to a cute, independent, and often demanding 2 year old. He has become a big fan of the Playstation game, Little Big Planet, and loves to play it over and over. He is currently obsessed with Jimmy Neutron, and we made it a goal to visit the Jimmy Neutron blast ride in Universal Studio's just for him.
He is a very intelligent boy, and continues to amaze us with the things he knows, and the things he can do. He has known all of his ABC's (upper and lower case) since before he turned 2, and he has a knack for figuring out electronic stuff. We have high hopes for his future and the endless possibilities available to him.
JT is eleven and turning into quite the young man. He’s still into Origami, Legos, and drawing various pictures. Since the movie, How To Train Your Dragon, he’s entered a dragon phase and tends to draw more of those than other things. Here’s his written paragraph:
This year I did a lot of cool stuff. I went to California with dad over the Summer for a comic con and we saw my Nana in Arizona, (it was hot). We are having a Harry Potter party this week for the new movie, it should be fun.
Mackenzie is now a teenager. She turned the big 13 in August. Next year she will be in High School (EEeek!!) She still loves art, and music, and always manages to have good grades. Here is her paragraph:
year I am in 8th grade. My subjects are Language Arts, Algebra
(advanced math), Physical Science, and Social Studies. At my school I
am also in chorus, and I am in the elite singing group that I tried
out for and made it, we are called "the Accidentals". Another thing I am a part of
is our school band. I play the drums. This year I've had a lot of fun
with new friends and old friends and meeting them again. This year has
been fun but I can't wait for next year.
Stephanie went back to work this summer for the bank she was working at before Jackson was born. She works part time, but the hours are sometimes more than that. Her craft time has been severely limited, and that is difficult sometimes. She has also joined a book group this year, and has read a number of great books. She leads the music for the primary kids in church, and enjoys singing with Mackenzie in the church choir. She really enjoyed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studio's, and is greatful to have been able to spend some time there.
We all had a great time on our vacation. We spent 9 days straight in theme parks, 6 days at the Disney parks, and 3 days at Universal and Islands of Adventure parks. We decided that 9 consecutive days is a little much, and we need the next few days to recover from our vacation!
Stephanie will post some of our pictures in the next few days.
We are ready to finish out this month with the Christmas spirit, and enjoy each other, and serve others for the holidays.
We hope that all of you have a great Christmas, and wish you all a very Happy New Year!!
Love to All!!