We ended November with a pretty wonderful Thanksgiving. We went to my stepfather's family Christgiving. Fortunately, they always celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving just so we don't have to add another Christmas gathering on the 24th or 25th of December. We also made a surprise visit to my Aunt Beth's, my step mom's sister. All in all a great, low key day.
We stayed here in central Illinois this December (last year we visited Katie and Jacob in Arizona). It was a very mild December allowing many walks and trips to the park, which is always nice with a very active 3-year-old! We began the month of December with Patrick's birthday and great friends. We held a frat-style-dance-surprise-party for him! It was so much fun and a total surprise to Patrick. I think he really enjoyed himself, until we arrived home and then he wasn't feeling so hot! I won't go into further detail!
Christmas is always a crazy time of year for us. However, it was exciting because it was our 1st Christmas in our new home!
It started out looking like this.
Loaded in the back of the truck.
The big reveal! Ignore the awake-ness of us all, it was early!
Next we were headed to my Aunt Sara's house where we ate awesome food, opened presents, spent time with family and played games. After we packed everything up we went to my mom and Brian's house for more present opening. We were planning on going to church on Christmas Eve but we were all exhausted and still had another full day ahead of us.
Christmas morning, we were at the Kirby's again, bright and early. There are always so many presents there. I think I received my two favorite gifts there. One being, a course on Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication. I love it! It really got me searching my Bible and wanting to learn more. I also received a Nook! Which has helped a lot on my history of the Bible searching. We then packed up and went to my dad and Barbie's house. Patrick received his favorite gifts there, Illini basketball tickets and a Kindle. I think my favorite gifts Patrick received were a miter saw and a table saw! Yahoo, let the home renovations begin! Matthew opened a big wheel which he loves! He even got to ride around outside, thanks to the awesome weather.
After my dad and Barbie's we headed to my Grandpa and Grandma Swisher's. We had a great lunch and enjoyed a fun white elephant gift exchange. Check out the awesome-ness I came home with + $25!
They totally do not go with anything in my house, but I love them, and I will find a place for them, hopefully!
We ended the day back at Kirby Acres for a pretty awesome prime rib dinner! We had a great two days celebrating our Saviors birth by enjoying time with family. The only thing I would of changed is making myself go to a Christmas service. Top of the list for next year!
I almost forgot! Christmas morning we gave Matthew our presents to him. We really only gave him two presents as we knew he would be getting a ton everywhere else. The first gift was this bad boy...
...the best photo I could get of Matthew.
I love this picture because my two full grown cousins are in the bounce house and Matthew is not!
To be completely honest when we showed Matthew the bounce house on Christmas morning he hated it. He did not want anything to do with it. I even told him we were going to take it back and he did not care at all. We were pretty let down. We thought it was going to be the best gift ever. After a few beautiful days and having friends over he wouldn't give it up for anything! I think it is really going to be great this summer. The other gift is a work bench we had been working on for a while, we just never got around to finishing it. We decided to make Christmas our goal and Matthew loves it!
Between Christmas and New Years we did take a trip to Chicago to attend a funeral for Patrick's grandmother. She passed away the Monday before Christmas. This will be the third funeral we have gone to Chicago for. It is always a weird event because of course we are sad at the passing of a family member, but it is also the only time we see our family that lives in Chicago. After the visitation and funeral there is always a luncheon and it is so much fun! I love catching up with everyone and seeing how their kids are growing, right along with Matthew. I wish we lived closer or made more of a point to visit outside of a funeral.
New Years day we went to my Swisher grandparents to visit with my Aunt Debbie and cousin Kristen who had come from Texas to visit. I enjoyed catching up with my cousin Kristen. She is probably one of the funniest woman I have ever met! I wish we lived closer.
Aunt Debbie, Grandma Peggy & Me
Benjamin, Aunt Debbie, Me & Kristen
For New Years Eve we went to my Aunt Sara's for great food, company and games. We were not planning on staying out till midnight but we made it and then came home and collapsed!
Cynthia and her best friend Sonya.
Claire and I.
Claire...12:01 am, time to go home!
We have had a few days of snow and took full advantage of them!
To catch everyone up to speed on our house progress. It is moving slowly but surely.
Let's start with the bathroom.
The last time I blogged about the bathroom it looked something like this:
There has been a little improvement made. We now have much better lighting and tile to put down under the shelving.
Now we just need to get around to actually laying the tile and framing out the mirror.
We have started to hang photos in Matthew's room. There are many more to hang.
Along the other wall in his room we have hung a wire to show off all of his art work he brings home from school and church. Excuse the current artwork. It is mine. For some reason when we start to paint at home he just prefers to sit and watch me rather than do his own thing.
We have also painted the kitchen and are getting ready to paint the dining room. I put up some sample colors on our cabinets to see what color I think will be best once I build up the courage to actually paint them. Sherry, from younghouselove recently painted their kitchen cabinets and they look amazing! It gave me a little bit of motivation, but I am still too scared to do anything. : / We also decided we were going to purchase new counters before we paint the cabinets. Sorry I do not have any photos of the kitchen currently. I tried to take some but the lighting is not very good so the quality was not good enough to post a photo. We are currently changing out all of our light switches and outlets. They were all a dingy beige and we are giving them a little update with brand new white ones. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference but it really makes a huge difference.
There is so much more I should have been sharing over the last two months but time got away and I know I have exceeded the appropriate length a blog should be!