Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Merry Christmas

A few pictures to remember Christmas 2013:

Shaun and Bill once again hosted our festivities.  (Thank you!  I know we're quite the group!)  After celebrating Christmas Eve at Aunt Kathy's house, our family enjoyed time together in East Peoria on Christmas Day.  Although you wouldn't know it by looking at the pictures, the amount of Christmas presents changed a lot this year.  I decided for the family that it might be nice to do fewer presents and just have fun spending time together, both on Christmas and on a family vacation later this spring or summer.  I talked everyone into it, and I'm glad we did.  We had a few thoughtful presents and stocking stuffers for everyone, and then just relaxed, cooked, ate, played games, and did a puzzle.  

Forrest seemed to be exempt from the reduced presents rule.  He received so many fun and thoughtful gifts that we'll enjoy for a long time.  Some favorites already are the Sit and Spin, personalized book bag, books, and 4 wheeler.  (Yes, Shaun and Bill went there... and although I may protest, I secretly like it because it makes Forrest smile.)  Also, we haven't had a chance to get it out yet, but I know Forrest is going to like the water table Poppy and Gigi got.  

Grandpa and Grandma drove down in the afternoon for a visit and to enjoy our "Christmas Carnival." Shaun and I had fun frying up some carnival favorites including corn dogs and funnel cakes, both gluten free!  And Mom and Dad surprised us by renting a cotton candy machine.  That Jon G loves a good rental item.  It really was a fun day. 

What a blessing to spend the holiday with family!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fall 2013

My goodness, such lazy blogging lately that I have to lump entire seasons into single posts!

So what have we been up to?  Forrest and I have been enjoying our days taking care of the house, exploring, and learning.  Along with the usual, we have branched out this fall.  We now attend Wednesday story time at the library.  Many days we don't make it through the stories because the library staff stores their vaccuum within sight in their basement where story time is held.  Who can sit still when a delightful vacuum is just steps away?  Certainly not Forrest.  (Vacuums, rice cookers, mixers, toaster ovens... they all continue to be favorites.)

Also this fall, we have joined a Montessori parent-infant community.  We meet on Monday mornings for play time and snack with a few other infants and toddlers in a Montessori home environment.  It's so nice for Forrest to interact with other children in a safe environment with new things to learn and discover.  I've really enjoyed attending and have learned a lot myself.  Who would have thought to hang hooks at Forrest level so he can hang his coat independently?

Joshua continues to be busy at work, at his shop, and picking up extra shifts at the Prompt Care in Peoria.  He works so hard for our family.  Despite his long hours, he and Forrest still have plenty of time for wild activities, mostly chasing and climbing games, which Forrest loves.

For Thanksgiving, we stayed put in Monticello.  Joshua's Dad and stepmother hosted the entire family.  It was very convenient for us and allowed us the entire day to relax at home until dinner.

During an adventure to Schaumburg, we visited Ikea and Woodfield Mall.  Forrest was overwhelmed with joy to see the bin full of Mr. Foxes!  We now have three sets...  He also rode the escalators in all department stores and would have continued all day if we would have let him.  Very fun :0)

On to Christmas in three short weeks!