Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

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:

Hi I am Mackenzie Rahne Graham. I am creative, crazy, and smart. This
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!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fabulous Fall!!!

Today was the PERFECT fall day! The air was warm, but a cool breeze would blow, the leaves were very colorful, and the smells were amazing. It was even better because we spent it together as a family, enjoying nature. Today was the 2nd annual Pine Grove Furnace Fall Festival in the Michaux State Forrest. The festival had live music, pumpkin carving, candle making, apple cider pressing, and hayrides, and the best thing is that it was all FREE! John had a few extra hours before work today, so we decided to enjoy.

Enjoying a little hayride through the woods.

Kenzie has totally embraced being a teenager, she doesn'twant her picture taken, so I have to take what I can get. This is what she does....

She is beautiful even when she is being stubborn!
She is flashing me the loser sign behind her rude!!

They were pressing fresh apple cider in some antique presses, Jackson got to help turn the handle, and then drink the results.

We still love each other after all these years!

They had a candle making booth, where we could dip our own candles, and see how they used to be made. (Just like Wheeler Farm, do some of you remember that?)

They had a bunch of carved pumpkins on a raft in the lake, apparently the night before they lit them and set it afloat in the evening. That would have been cool!

We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, that offers us such great experiences, and opportunities. We will look forward to this again next year!
Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Don't forget to pledge for John's book, it is open until Oct 31st

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Awesome video!

Check out this awesome promo video made by the artist Mark Mariano!
No Sweets Promo

Friday, October 1, 2010

No Sweets For Santa is back!

Do you remember my very talented husbands Christmas Children's book. Last year he self published it in a coloring book format......well, he is back at it this year trying to get it published in a hard back form. This book is going to be awesome! It is the same great story, with FABULOUS new art, and a ton of extras included....

The thing is, WE NEED YOUR HELP! John is trying to raise funds to get this book printed. Check out his fund raising site on, watch the video, and make a pledge! It is worth it, and will be a great Christmas gift.

I am Alive!!!

I know it has been months since I have posted anything, but I wanted to let you know that we are all alive and well, and more posts will come soon!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another whirlwind weekend

Last weekend was very busy. We left right after school got out on Thursday, and didn't stop until Saturday night. We went to Philly, then had a little jaunt down to Baltimore before heading home. Now my pictures are backwards, so we'll start at the end and work our way back from there. ( I'm too tired, or lazy to fix it)
Daddy and Jackson taking in the sights.
Saturday morning we drove to Baltimore to see a They Might Be Giants family concert. We went early enough to spend a little time in the Inner Harbor. We didn't really do a whole lot in the Inner Harbor, but it was a great place for lunch, and a little fun.
The kids have always wanted to do a paddle boat ride, so we decided they were old enough to go for a spin. I think they enjoyed it.
We had to take a picture at the Rams Head stadium where the concert was held. They Might Be Giants has always been one of John's favorite groups, and he and I have been to numerous concerts ourselves, but they have been geared toward children's albums for the past few years, and their concerts are geared to please the whole family. I honestly think that Kenzie and JT were the oldest kids there. There were tons of toddlers, and I think the average childs age was probably 4. Jackson enjoyed it too. He asks to listen to Giants when we are in the car, and he even sings along with the songs. Their songs are educational as well as fun.
The real reason for the trip to Philly was for John and JT to attend another comic convention. Kenzie, Jackson and I spent time sight seeing, and shopping. The whole family did have time to see some of the historical sights together as well. We spent some time in the gardens at Liberty Hall, and admired the buildings. We also saw a couple of other gardens near by, a rose garden, and magnolia garden.
We went to see the Liberty bell too. Pretty cool.
We took a stroll through China Town, and stopped in a few shops.
One of the best parts of Philly, is Liberty Park. It is a gorgeous park, with mini golf, a carousel, fountains, and an awesome modern playground.
This playground had an area for the littler kids, and some really cool jungle gym type equipment, that really looks like modern art. JT and Kenzie had fun spinning on this thing.... I am not sure what to call it.

Jackson just loved the slide, and I love what it did to his hair.
He also learned to swing himself on the bars. He is getting so big, so fast.
Everyone enjoyed the carousel. Kenzie picked the Elephant and the eagle (The nice lady let them keep riding multiple times)
Jackson and Daddy rode the seal, and the bench seat.
JT rode the eagle and a dragon horse thing. He made friends with this boy, whose mom ran the carousel.
John made friends too. It was a fun filled trip, hopefully one of many this summer!

The many adventures of the Graham Fam

The end of our school year was filled up with many, many activities. There seemed to have been something every few days,keeping us hopping.
Here is just a quick peek at a few.....
Band concerts. Both Kenzie and JT had concerts for us to attend.
Chorus concerts. This is Kenzie and Natasha after their chorus concert.
Meeting new friends. Jackson had the opportunity to meet some big fuzzy friends, and he loved every minute of it!

Loads of play! We went to our friends pump it up play place for a fun family jump and slide on giant blow up things
This is where Jackson spent some quality time with Elmo!

He also learned to drive. Scary, I know, he is only 2.

But you can tell by the giant smile that he had a blast.
School talent shows. Kenzie and her friends sang "Seasons of Love" from the Rent Broadway show. They did a great job, even after a few technical difficulties.
Testing out the new water toys on Memorial Day. Very important to make sure it works for the summer.
Girl scout closing ceremonies.
Memorial Day Parade. The middle school band marched in the parade and Kenzie played the cymbals.
We had many other activities, but I can't remember them all right now. This is just a beginning of our summer. We have many activities planned for the summer too, I can't promise to document them all.