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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas cards

I LOVE receiving Christmas cards. It's so fun getting precious snail mail with all the adorable pictures. This year I simply hung a few rows of red ribbon with command hooks and then hung all my Christmas cards as they arrived.
the very beginning.  I had to add another ribbon and that still wasn't enough room.
starting to get filled in behind me
Yesterday we took down all our Christmas decorations and wow did it look bare.  And I hate throwing cards away.  But thanks to Pinterest and this great blog, I printed off a cover (she has several options that are easy to print), punched holes in all my cards, and now have a little book of our cards.
I've saved ours for the last couple years, so I'll go back and do these too.  Now each Christmas, we can get out our books of cards and use them as coffee table books.  I look forward to seeing all of our friend's kiddos getting bigger each year!
one of our cards this year
and the other one (I couldn't decide)
:) love and miss her!

last day in Peoria

Our last full day in Peoria was fun! Jenna gave Owen his first official hair cut. Well, she was able to get the back trimmed up before he totally lost it. The sides and top will have to wait.  I got one bad picture:
Then, my siblings left us to go get inked.  As in tattoos.  The full report about the words on their arms is written here.  Instead of participating in getting stabbed with a needle, we stayed home and Owen and Grandpa got to see the cows.  They got super close thanks to the apples and potatoes they were feeding them!

That evening, we headed to my grandma's house to celebrate Philip's 27th birthday.  We had a fabulous meal and Owen loved playing with all the OLD trucks and tractors that my dad played with when he was little.
Uncle Casey
Aunt Jenna
Happy birthday Philip!

our "Christmas"

My brother Casey wasn't able to fly in from Ohio until Monday morning, so our usual Christmas Eve tradition was pushed back. It was kinda strange having the first ever celebration in Peoria, but it was still wonderful nonetheless.

We went a little out of order this year.  Usually we do church, dinner, presents.  But because William had to head back and Owen needed to get to bed, we did gifts first.  Dad always reads the Christmas story and then some other small story.  This year, it was the Tale of the 3 Trees, a great story if you've never read it.  My dad also gives us a chapter of one of the books he's writing.  As he reads, I always have the Kleenex ready.  Then we go around and share something we're thankful for from that year and something we need prayer for in the upcoming year.  After that we pray and then can dig into the presents!
learning the alphabet with Elmo
Grandma had to get him some CAT trucks since she works there!
My highlight was getting money for a sewing machine! It should be arriving on Monday. I'm quite excited to get some beginning lessons from my mom and dive into a whole new realm of crafting! After gifts, we cleaned up the massive amounts of tissue paper and boxes and got ready for our tradition of a fondue dinner by candlelight. We heat fondue pots of oil and cook out meats: beef, chicken, shrimp, and pork. It always takes awhile, but it so yummy and fun.  It was a great Christmas!

And here's O playing with one of his awesome gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. Don't know how the video got "flipped."



Taking a quick break from the rest of my Christmas posting to say click the picture and try this recipe.  She (Rachel) calls it Crispy Baked Salsa Chicken and I must say it was fabulous.  Even Owen devoured a good portion of his chicken breast.  I made her simple seasoning to use in the recipe and look forward to using it on lots of other things as well.  My tummy is full.  Yum.  She has lots of other great looking recipes here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It was so fun watching Owen understand a little about Christmas. He woke up early, but we didn't waste anytime getting him downstairs to see his loot.  The star attractions were an awesome set of Thomas trains I scored on Craigslist, the wagon, and his new riding truck
Thanks Aubrey, Gabe, and Mataya for the awesome gift!  He loves his lunch box, train, and constantly is pointing to his new cow ornament.
We spent the morning playing and eating a big breakfast. We also got to Skype with William's parents and sister in Texas! We saved a few presents so they could watch him open a few gifts.  William and I didn't really exchange much.  It was too fun to watch Owen.  But I did get this super cute necklace with an O and E on it!
Then, we packed up the cars (we drove separately so O and I could stay longer) and got on the road to Peoria. For the first time ever, my mom hosted the Hoerr family Christmas instead of my grandma. It was a super small crowd which was quite strange, but nice and relaxed.  Of course, Owen got lucky and the cows we close in the field behind my parent's house.  He simply adores them.
in our red and green
One of the highlights of Christmas at my grandparents is the box game. My grandma said that last year was the last one. But my grandpa said he couldn't let the tradition die and took over the wrapping. Basically, there are tons of boxes all wrapped with heavy duty tape, paper, and twine. A die is passed in the circle and if you roll a 6, you get a turn to head to the middle, put on a pair of gloves and try to get a box open. There is money in the very last small box. I've never won before, but this year there was a small bill in one of the larger boxes which I found. And then William got through the final box! Hello dinner out. :)
Uncle Nate trying his to break the twine
We spent the remainder of the evening watching Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (don't waste your time) and heading to bed for our busy "Christmas" the next day.

Chirstmas Eve

On Saturday (Christmas Eve), Owen and I headed back to Champaign to be with daddy! We had to let him open one gift before we got ready for church. This is a pretty boring video, but we wanted MeMaw and PePaw to see him open his first gift from them!  It was the Little People's Noah's Ark!

We then went to the 4:30 service at church. It was so packed!! Please excuse the blurry family picture, it was the best of the few we got after church. 
When we got home, William and I had fun putting together Owen's wagon and setting out his train sets to get ready for Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Week

Is everyone else sighing a big sigh? It's over. :( All that build up and it's over. But it's been a really fabulous week with family and watching Owen actually experience Christmas. We spent this last week trying to finish a few craft projects. My wreath still only got half done. Maybe I'll post about that next year. :)

Owen and I did make these cute ornaments for William's parents and sister. I made them with my kindergarten class and let me tell you, making them with an 18 month old probably wasn't very smart. I just took a plain glass ornament and painted Owen's hand with white craft paint. Then I had him "hold" the ornament to get his handprint. Then, I took more craft paint pens to turn his hand into snowmen. Cute even though it took several tries to get a print worth using.

I have a slight problem being patient with Christmas gifts, so last Saturday (that would be the 17th) we let Owen open one small gift. It's a puzzle! Below that is how Sophie has spent the last month since the Christmas tree went up.
On Wednesday, Jenna was back in town to do some hair.  A few of us gals went to Pam's to catch up and decorate yummy Christmas cookies.
On Thursday morning, Owen and I headed over to Peoria.  It was a nice easy drive thanks to the early Christmas I bought for myself Owen - a DVD player for the car!  It was quite nice to listen to Old McDonald and not screaming.  We spent Thursday and Friday just hanging out at my parent's house.  We spent many hours playing with the hundreds of cars in the basement from my brother's childhoods.  It was a great way to lead up to our busy holiday weekend!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hi K!

Here's a great blogging story for today. You never know when you could meet new {potential} friends!

I usually scour Craigslist every few days just to see if there's any great kid deals. I saw a train table posted that was begging for me to come see it. Owen's been really loving his few trains lately and we could always use it at our "coffee table" downstairs when it gets finished someday. Plus, the family lived in Savoy, so it was a quick hike over there to take a peek.

We went over after lunch and met N who showed us the table in the basement. Pretty sure I'm going to get it, just have to double check with the master budgeter of the house. As I was going back upstairs and leaving, a gal who was in the kitchen with N's wife came out and said "you're going to think I'm really weird, but do you have a blog?" Come to find out she saw a comment I made on the babywise website, followed it through to my blog, was excited we were in the same city, and knew that I was going to have an Ellie (a name shared by her little girl). What a small world!

So this is a little shout out to K. We should definitely get together for a play date or outing with our little ones!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

picture progression

Owen donned his cute Christmas outfit a little early for church this week. Here was our picture progression from this morning:
I don't really want to take any pictures mom.
I mean, really mom.  No matter how cute my sweater is.
Ok seriously.  You're going to take my passy too.
Well maybe if daddy tries to make me smile.
I guess this isn't so bad.
Ok, I love you mom!
And a belly picture:

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