Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The fun continues...

After the wedding we spent a few more days in Vegas. We celebrated Mason's 7th birthday. We played in the leaves.

And then headed home... still playing the flute. We had the car so jampacked with luggage, a large kitchen set (that's another post), other gifts, and a shopping spree at Lollipops & Roses, that there was little room for buster-boy.The little stinker kept picking berries off this wreath that was behind him and then looking at us and laughing. (p.s. The "Golden Puffs" were Adam's doing after raiding his parents pantry.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Introducing Mr. and Mrs.

Steven and Melinda Graham! The happy couple. We took a little jaunt to Salt Lake City a few days after Christmas to attend my little brother's wedding. That's makes 5 for 5, all Graham kids married off! Melinda, welcome to the fam. I am sure the photographer loved our seriousness in taking a formal family picture. (Jen and Ryan stayed behind because Jen was super sick with tonsillitis... so sad!)
Nora, Kenna, and Emily, the 3 pregos in the family! Yes, that is right, Em and I are due on the exact same day and people at the wedding could not even tell she was pregnant.
JUST MARRIED. A little carriage ride for the newly weds through the frigid downtown Salt Lake.
The real Bubble Boy!
For the wedding we were in Salt Lake and back to Vegas in just over 24 hours. David and Amy were nice enough to watch Charlie for us so he would not have to sit in the car forever. Apparently, Charlie really bonded with Albert, their dog. Amy told me that Charlie actually got on all fours and head-butted Albert just for the fun of it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas with the Koch's

A little Wii challenge. Hailey was some stiff competition for Adam in the hula-hoop contest. Adam came through and pulled out ahead... it's all in the backside!Brotherly kindness. Thanks for the help Albert.
So this game started out with Adam throwing the kids onto the couch and then it turned into this. Adam and Dave actually got carried away and made a full revolution and the kids were loving every second of it.

Charlie loved having wrapping paper roll fights with Uncle Michael.
Christmas Eve, fondue dinner... my favorite.
...And for dessert, a little Egg Nog. Charlie and Reese were lining up to take a sip, they kept coming back for more, thanks Dadoo!.
The two little buddies playing a few Christmas carols and entertaining the crowd.
We had a special program that consisted of excellent actors for the nativity scene. The cast: Mary(Hailey), Joseph (Noah), baby Jesus (Claire), Shepard's (Audrey, Jordan, Ben) a sheep (Clara), Three Wise Men (Bradley, Mason, Charlie-not a fan of the costume) and the Angel (Reese).
Speed slippers!! For years growing up a friend of the family would knit slippers each year for the kids and give them as a Christmas gift. After collecting many slippers over the years there is now a large collection. Every Christmas Eve the hallway floors are waxed, the slippers pulled out, and the slip-sliding begins, with only minor injuries each year.
Charlie and Reese on Christmas morning checking out their stocking goods. Charlie was a huge fan of his recorder/flute (by far his favorite gift). He would blow into it and then crack-up, he repeated that over and over, finding it funny every time.
Christmas day line-up.
A little blurry but I love this picture. Charlie opened his Elmo and he had a look on his face of pure glee.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa came to Grandpa Bill's house.

Charlie and Ben were loving getting spun around in the chair by Adam.
Charlie had to examine Santa and Mrs. Clause very thoroughly...
...the verdict, Santa is scary...
...and Mrs. Clause is pretty neat as long as she is holding a cool toy in her hands. After Charlie sat on Santa's lap and threw a fit Mrs. Clause started to sing some songs with everyone. She pulled out this light-up wand and Charlie became her new best friend.
The excitement of all the kids opening presents at the same time. (Santa brought Charlie Elmo slippers, which he LOVED.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The REAL Santa!

This picture of my Dad is framed and stored with all our Christmas decorations. I love pulling it out each year and seeing "His eyes- how they twinkled! His dimples- how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!" Shortly after Thanksgiving my Dad would start growing out his beard for the holidays. In his early years he had to paint in the white, but later on, the white beard was all-natural and the only thing painted were his eyebrows! My Dad dressed up as Santa for all the ward Christmas parties and the kids LOVED him. Christmas was his favorite time of the year!

November 30th marked the five year anniversary since my dad passed-away. It makes me sad to think that Adam never got to meet him. They actually remind me a lot of each other, especially their love for food. I know Charlie knows his Grandpa, not here on earth, but I am sure they were hanging out together in heaven before Charlie was born. Not only is Charlie named after his Grandpa, but he looks like him too! They both have a stocky build with no necks, round cheeks, and twinkly-squinty eyes when they smile.

Thinking of my Dad really makes me want to cherish this holiday season. I have many memories as a child of my dad crying on Christmas morning. Like the year our dog came running into the house with a bow tied to his neck, or the year we got a Nintendo from Santa even after mom and dad said "No way!" My dad was always standing in the background with tears of JOY, so happy to see his kids so excited. He also always surprised my mom with a special gift every year. After all the presents were unwrapped he would stand up and pull a gift out with my moms name on it. It was usually some jewelery or a plane ticket for my mom to fly to see her sister for a weekend. I cherish those memories. I bet my Dad continues to cry tears of JOY from watching his family grow and seeing the love we all have for him and for each other.


Charlie and I hit up Disneyland/California Adventure twice this week. First, with Charlie's good buddy Logan. We left first thing in the morning the day after it rained, the park was empty and we walked onto every ride! Charlie's favorite is the Playhouse Disney show with Mickey and friends. My "tough boy" actually got scared on many of the other kid-friendly rides we went on. (This picture was taken on our way out, by the look on Charlie's face can you tell it was nap time?) C is for Charlie.
L is for Logan.
The two friends holding hands on the car ride home.
... 5 minutes later!
A few days later Adam came with us to the Happiest Place on Earth. It's a Small World has been closed since we got our passes and it just reopened in time for the holidays. Charlie did freak out when we got into the boat but he ended up LOVING the ride! (I think he has been traumatized ever since we took him on Pirate's of the Caribbean.)
Disneyland at Christmas time, my favorite.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Train Ride.

We took Charlie to ride the train at Irvine Regional Park on Friday. The train goes through the park and ends at Santa; we did wave to Santa but decided to actually visit with him at the mall. Sleigh ride anyone?
Charlie LOVES wearing his mittens, he'll keep them on for hours. So between the hot chocolate he had and his favorite mittens we had one cozy boy!
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone, from Santa's cutest elf!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Card Party.

Here we are at the annual Christmas card party at the Toffoli's house. Charlie helped write a few Christmas cards along with writing on mommy and himself. Notice 2 things: the marker on Charlie's face and Alli's chin(s)... looks like I have some competition in the double chin category!
Cute Zachy-boy sporting his froggy gloves.
Heading to the mailbox with Grandma Graham.

A post mailbox trip game of duck-duck-goose. This picture was taken about 10 p.m. when the kids got an extra burst of energy. It almost looks like Zach is hitting Charlie but we all know that he does not have a mean bone in his body... Zach that is!

Party Pfizer Style!

Adam had his work party last weekend down in Long Beach. Everyone loaded onto two Duffy electric boats and we picked up food from different restaurants along the way. We all ate and enjoyed the view of Christmas lights along the harbor. It was such a fun evening. Here, Charlie is hanging out with "the Manager's husband" and other Pfizer offspring!