Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Boy!

Just a little shout out to the greatest Quad-Daddy, husband, friend, brother, uncle, son, grandson, nephew, coach and MAN of all time (at least in my books)! Happy, happy birthday Bill-boy! Hope your 29th year is just as blessed and happy as your previous 28 (except maybe 2006.....that year started out pretty rough for you with the whole car vs semi accident and traumatic brain injury thing. We can do without a repeat of that.)

Papa Goose and his 4 adoring goslings in the greatest city in the world (AKA Denver).....Let's hear it for those 6-0 Broncos! Pretty sure Billy would have Kyle Orton's baby.

I love you and you KNOW how much our children love you (anybody who has spent more than half a second watching you in daddy-mode can see that). Thank you for being so good to us. You have always had the ability to make people feel special and I truly treasure that attribute of yours. A person like you is ENTITLED to a "birthday week", as you so aptly bestow upon yourself. Better put your party pants on cause we're goin' to THE SIZZLER tonight!

Moni, Pi-Pi, Fo, Beaner, Train

P.S. A MASSIVE post to follow soon about our recent quad-less trip down to the swamp. Stayed's gonna be a doozie!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Denver Trip 2009

"You should have seen that play that B-Marsh made. He made the Cowboys look like the Keystone Cops."

We made our annual visit to Denver for the Broncos home game against the Dallas Cowboys. When the 2009 schedule came out, Ryno and I picked this one to attend. For those of you who don't know, Ryno is ALMOST as passionate about his Cowboys as I am about my Broncos.

The Graf Quad Squad left Friday morning around 8, and made our first scheduled pit stop in Grainfield to visit Aunt Laverna and her son Roger. Laverna got us lunch from the Pizza Shack in town. The kids managed to destroy her house in the hour and a half that we spent there. We had a good time visiting with her. She gave each of the kids a beanie-baby animal for the ride. They love making the sounds each of their animals makes.

Aunt Laverna watching Forrest play with the most coveted "toy" that she had. She was a lot more trusting of our kids than we were. She kept telling us, "They won't hurt anything." Trust us, Aunt Laverna, they can and they will hurt EVERYTHING! Apologies for the limited photos we took here.....we were too busy trying to break up fights over toys, keeping the kids corraled as much as possible so they wouldn't pull on and send one of her many collectable-filled glass curios crashing to the ground! Ever tried to herd a bunch of rabid squirrels that ingested methamphetamines? Me either....but I can safely say I may be qualified now after our trip.

After we left Laverna's, we gave the kids their noon cup of milk, and they all fell asleep....except Laine. He managed to be quite LOUD for the 2nd half of the trip to Denver. It wasn't a cute, babbling LOUD. It was a screaming, pissed off at the world LOUD. We all survived though, and pulled into Uncle Bill and Aunt Armella's around 4 p.m. They bought us some pizza from Pizza Hut and we ate and managed to destroy their house in the hour and a half that we spent there.

We arrived at the Schwartz hotel (my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Billy's house) around 5:45 p.m. The kids were quite happy to be out of the car and be able to stay in one place for awhile. Debbie, of course, had a wonderful pot of chili for us to eat when we got there. The kids were ready for bed that evening and we put them to bed in their pea pods. Almost the rest of the Denver '09 crew (Ryno, Angela, Lainie, Adam, and Slim) got into town around 10 and we partied the night away.

Aunt Debbie made us all great food, and made some GREAT bubbles.

Saturday morning Moni and I realized that we were going to need to make different room arrangements. When I rolled over and Pius and I made eye contact (at 6:30 in the morning) it was over for us. The kids were awake and NOT going back to sleep. Well, when the kids woke up, that meant that the entire house woke up. It worked out alright, though, Ryno and Slim had a tee time, and the rest of us had all kinds of college football to watch. Aunt Debbie made us her famous biscuits and gravy for a brunch. Saturday day through the night was a pretty lazy day. The Denver '09 crew was complete when my friends, Randy and Lindsay, and my cousin Randy Kaiser and Aunt Marlene rolled into town Saturday evening. We had a great time hanging out and playing games Saturday. The kids were a little crabby because of getting up early and taking a crappy nap in the afternoon, but overall they were pretty good.

Sunday morning, gameday, started off with me on kid duty while Ryno, Lainie, Angela, Adam, Slim, and Moni met Randy and Marlene for breakfast. Moni went to breakfast because I was going to the game and she was staying with the kids. Randy Stanley and Lindsay went to get breakfast, and Debbie, Billy, the kids, and I had some bacon and eggs. While they were gone I taught our little monkey, Pius, the greatest trick yet. For those of you who don't know or really even care, Jay Cutler is a not very well liked person by us Bronco fans. Whenever I say to Pius, "What does Jay Cutler say?" He puts his fists up to his eyes and says, "Waaahhh." It is awesome. It was a hit with all the Bronco fans we showed it to.

The game went very well with the Broncos shutting down Tony Romo and the Cowboys and winning a very exciting game, 17-10. The defense made a goal line stand at the end of the game to preserve the victory. It was the best game I've ever seen live. We had a pretty low-key night since we had to leave early Monday morning. Moni said the kids may have been the best they've ever been Sunday while I was at the game. What should that tell me? Maybe they were happy to see me leave.

Monday, the 1st half of the ride went pretty well with the kids...except Laine. He gave us 22 minutes of LOUD hell, but other than that, he and all 4 of them were very good. We stopped in Grainfield, for an hour break, but because I had to tend bar Monday night we had to hurry home

Overall grades for the trip:

Pius-"A" (Pius was the best behaved the entire trip, car ride and in Denver.)

"Touchdown Broncos!" Pius celebrating his "A".

Forrest-"B+" (Forrest had a rough few minutes on the ride, and him and Laine had to fight at least a couple times a day).

I know we've used this joke before, but I hope these are the only bars he is ever behind.

Danna-"C" (The Banana Princess was wonderful on the rides, but she had a couple princess worthy meltdowns a day).

I guess being a "mile-high" wore Danna down or something.

Laine-"D+" (Laine was quite the Laine. Probably 1 1/2 total hours of screaming on the rides to and from Denver, and he caused most of the problems at our various stops at our families' houses. He did have some very sweet Laine moments, though).

This picture, however, is after one of his tirades.

It was a great trip. Thank you to all of our family for the hospitality. We can't wait until next year. Hopefully the kids will be wiping their own butts by then.

B, M, P, F, D, and L