Saturday, November 29

Downtown Dayton's Holiday Festival

Tim and I decided that THIS year was the year to try to get downtown, for their annual Holiday Festival.
We rode rides and had lots of fun!
. . .And it was quite a challenge holding onto BOTH boys, while the moving horses got me off balance!

James had a hard time holding on, but Peter loved the Merry-Go-Round so much, that he begged us to go on another ride, so off we went to the 'cars'! He held my hand while we waited in line, looked up at me with those big blue eyes and asked, "Mommy, can I ride this one by myself this time?" It broke my heart, . . . he didn't need me to be brave anymore, but I also smiled because I knew that he was growing up!

We went inside to warm up really quickly, and found an old fashion sleigh. So, we took advantage of the moment and got some cute pictures of the boys.

We got some hot chocolate to share and then got front row seats near the Christmas tree, in the center of downtown, and enjoyed all of the festivities around us.

James slept through the tree lighting, but Peter loved watching the big tree light up! It was the "biggest tree he ever saw!"
It was a full evening of FUN for us all!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Our Thanksgiving

This year, we were very blessed with a wonderful time with our family for Thanksgiving!

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For the Shaeffer Family Thanksgiving, we all met at my Aunt Janet and Uncle Mark's house. My cousin, Ben, made three amazingly delicious turkeys, raised on his own turkey farm (a real 'old fashion' Thanksgiving!). He had a 30 pound baked turkey, a deep fried turkey and a mesquite turkey. I have never seen so much turkey in all my life! We had our turkey with all of the traditional trimmings. For the first time, I made a home-made cranberry sauce. I also brought a sweet potato bake, with brown sugar crumbs and roasted marshmellows. Peter helped me make some lemon pound cake, for dessert. And, besides the butter splatter all over my stove, he did a pretty good job! We arrived at my Uncle's home, around noon, my cousins and I decorated the tables and Ben carved the turkeys, then we said grace and then enjoyed one of the best meals of the year!
My Uncle Mark and cousin Ben share a tractor together (since they're neighbors!), so we got to enjoy a hayride over hills and old roads in the country. It was wonderful smelling the crisp air and just being out with our family!
As most traditions go in our family, after a big meal, we all felt like we had 'bellies full of jelly', so we all napped or relaxed while watching the football game on T.V.

Tim and I took our sleepy kiddo's to bed, and got a little shut eye ourselves. Then, around seven, we headed over to Tim's parents house. My mother-in-law had just finished putting up their themed Christmas trees and decorations, so Peter and James got a real kick out of all the lights and snowmen all over the house. Dot has a lot to handle at her home, with the 24 hour care of my Great-Aunt Eleanor, so our tradition with Tim's parents are a little different. We typically go somewhere nice for dinner on Thanksgiving day, and even though it may sound strange, it is just as precious to us and our boys!
This year, we ate at Crackle Barrel, and had a delicious dinner with such a nice staff! All the waiters came up to our table to play with the boys. It was a really lovely evening.

The kids stayed with my in-laws for a sleep-over, so that Tim and I could get up at 3:30 the next morning, to stand in the crazy lines for black Friday's Christmas shopping!
It was a Wonderful Blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 25

Christmas Concert!

Basore Road Grace Brethren Church
5675 Basore Road
Englewood, OH

~Glorious Ruins~

Tuesday, November 18

First Snow

Even thought the boys were sick, the both enjoyed watching the snow fall this morning. It was so beautiful.
Peter asked a lot of questions about snow, and we talked about how slow it falls, compared to rain. James got a big kick out of the snow, and is even trying to say the word 'snow' now!

Here's my little, fussy James, through the door. He wanted to follow me outside!

Monday, November 17

The Feeling of Accomplishment!

This weekend was probably one of the busiest weekends I've had in a LONG time! Peter had gotten sick Thursday night, and I thought that was going to be the worst of it. . . .ahhh, not so much!

Friday: I had a early morning, starting with a doctor's appointment, then I cleaned the house and packed both the boys' things for a overnighter at Grandma's house. I had my best friends 30th birthday party at my house the next day, so I had to set everything up and make a potato chowder before I left for a Women's Retreat later that evening, where Kimberly and I were asked to lead song and worship for both days. So, I had a lot of programs, papers and music to get together and I had just enough time to run over to the UPS store and get some copies made of our Christmas Concert flyer's. Then, I met up with Kimberly, went over our plan of action for the evening, rehearsed some of our music, ate dinner at the center and then started our worship time. At around 9:30, Kim and I headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert and coffee. After a nice evening of catching up with Kimberly, we went back to our room to get some sleep before our next busy day.

Saturday: We had a early morning. Kim and I were asked to start our worship time around 8:30, so we had a quick breakfast and started our music portion of the day. We finished up the Women's Retreat, packed and checked out around noon. I ran home to finish up 'this and that' for Becky's party, made a tray of stuffed mushrooms and started my hot cider on the stove. The guest began to arrive promptly at 1:00 and we had a wonderful brunch with a small coffee bar, then we talked it up, played some games, had Becky open her gifts, made a fun craft and then had cake and ice-cream. It was a really nice time with all the gals! Becky was surprised and had a great time, as I did!
Happy Birthday Becky!!!

We then, drove (what seemed like) all night to find a Karaoke bar, but couldn't find one anywhere. So, we called it a night.

Sunday: I had to get up early to get ready for a long drive to Lewisburg, almost an hour drive from my house, to accompany Kimberly for special music at the Lewisburg United Methodist church. I left around 8:45 and got there around 9:40. And, because of my pit-stop, for gas, I missed our sound check. As always, we worked it out, sang our two songs and I played for a congregational song, and then I headed back home to record at the Moad's house (our small group family). I ate lunch at their house around 1:00, then did about a two-hour recording section. I ran home to get things ready for James' birthday party at 5:00. We were serving lunch for his party, so I had a couple of things I still needed to make. Luckily, his present from us was already wrapped, and I had already bought all of the plates/decorations/etc. We had James' 1st birthday party at 5:00 and it lasted until 7:00. We came home and, least to say, crashed. The kids went to bed on time and we had a nice time. . . sleeping.
. . . . . .but, not for long. At 5:30AM, Peter started yelling my name. Yep, he got sick. He continued getting sick through-out the rest of the morning, so we were out for the remainder of the day. I had a doctor's appointment that morning, at 8:40, so I went there and rushed back to help baby my Peter. And, even though I hate when my kids are sick, it was kind of nice just being able to stay home with my kids. Later that night, James starting getting sick too, so we had quit the weekend! Phewww. . . .we're done now and hopefully will be back on schedule here in the next day or so.

Tuesday, November 11

Our Ministry this Christmas

This year, we are joining in the Operation Christmas Child giving program, through our church. This was an excellent way to teach Peter about the art of giving and what a great example Jesus was, and what he gave to US! It took him a couple days, of seeing all the presents sitting on the counter, in a shoebox, to understand that these gifts for for another chid, that he has never met. . . and they were NOT for HIM! But, he is beginning to understand this idea very well, and we are proud of him for that.

Thursday, November 6

Update. . .

Well, I thought I would give a little update on our boys, on their growth and new everyday activities.

He is most definitely in his most active stage that we've ever seen him in. He tumbles all over the Family Room and Living Room. He is in a gym class with other 3-4 yr. olds and just loves it! He has learned so many new tricks with his little body and loves to show them off to Mommy and Daddy every moment he gets! We are still considering putting him into a preschool at the beginning of next year, but will continue to pray about it.
He does have a crush on a little 5 yr. old girl at our church and absolutely lights up when she walks into the room. It's so adorable, I could almost cry! He remembers the color of her dress and how she wore her hair. He'll make a great husband someday! (hopefully now for a LONG time, though!)
Peter will be turning 4 this March and cannot wait for his birthday. He knows that James' birthday comes first and he is almost more excited about James' first birthday than he is about his own. Even though we DO have those days where Peter will push James' buttons or drag him around too much, or give a little too much attention to him, he loves James very much and shows a lot of this in public AND behind closed doors.
Peter has finally understood that Daddy works second shift and is starting to deal with it in his own little way. Everyday that we have to run an erond, while Daddy is still at home, he asks if he will be home when we get back. Every time he hears the door open, late at night, he calls for his Daddy. It's sad to watch, but very sweet of him to think of his Daddy, even when he's not home from work yet. And, because Tim doesn't get home until he has been fast asleep for many hours, he still calls Daddy at work some nights, before I tuck him in.
We have a routine down now, I hope. Bedtime: Brush teeth, PJ's, 1 Book, Night-Night Prayers, Tuck and a Kiss. And his 'night-night prayers' would go on for hours, if we let him!
Peter can count up to 100 now, knows 8 Bible verses by heart, knows all of his lower case and upper case letters. He loves to sound words out and knows about five 3-letter words on his own, without our help in sounding it out. He is starting swim lessons and feels very brave about it. He has two chores everyday. . . making his bed and cleaning his room before bedtime. He also helps (kind of) with the laundry (mostly socks and underwear) and dishes. We love to bake cookies together and make breakfast for Daddy in the morning. He really is my BIG helper. He talks about becoming as big as Daddy someday and often compares the sizes of various things to Tim's height . . . it's really funny to hear!
On major mile stone that we have reached with him is his understanding of forgiveness and apologies. He is now 'getting it' on his own, without me having to explain to him, every time, 1-what he did, 2-tell him what he did wrong, 3-tell him what he should have done and 4-tell him to apologize to whomever he hurt/upset/disrespected. Now, we're still continuing to go through the 4 point speeches, but at least they're getting less and less often. He comes to me and talks to me about it now, which is a great relief, because for a while I was thinking "Is this REALLY ever going to STICK!!!! Is this worth it??" And the answer is "YES!!!" I have learned that, with Pete, consistency is SO vital.
I sat down the other day, after Peter and I had about a 5-6 minute conversation on a subject, I don't even remember what it was about, but I remember thinking afterwards, "Wow. That's my little baby that I just talked to, who sat down and carried on a mostly-adult conversation with me." I am amazed. To God be the glory.

Peter still calls this little guy 'baby James', I think he'll be that for a while.
James is not quit walking, but is getting closer and closer each day. He loves to walk, holding someone's hands. He has a little pair of size 3 shoes that his Grandma bought him, that fit him well and are definitely helping with his walking. He looks like a little man in them!
James absolutely adores Peter. James acts to Peter, as Peter does to his little girlfriend. He jumps and kicks his feet violently whenever Peter walks into his room to greet him in the morning. I don't think that James would even take a double-take if Peter started walking on water! That's how much this little guy loves Pete.
We often tease about his name, James, and make it a 'Jim' or a 'Jimmy', which we never intended on doing, and Tim does NOT care for it one bit, but it's fun to tease about with friends and family.
James loves his Daddy, but most certainly is a Mommas-Boy!!! And, I will openly admit that I really allow it too!!!! Peter was never the baby that cried for his Mommy when dropped off at the nursery. He never even looked back when he was out of our hands and in the hands of a complete stranger. James, on the other hand, notices when Mommy's not holding him, cries when it's not Mommy who he sees first thing when he wakes up and especially after nap. . .MOMMY and MOMMY ONLY! Tim thinks that I'm cradling him, and . . . I am. And I LOVE it!!!
James' nickname here is 'Monkey'. If it's there, he climbs on it. If it's too high, he'll try to climb UP it. If it's Peters, he takes it. If it's James', he'll throw it. If it's food, he'll cram it in his mouth. If it's (anything) on the floor, it's in his mouth and he crawls away in a hurry when I catch him doing this. He also knows how to shake his head 'no' and makes all kinds of funny sounds with his mouth.
He won't let Mommy get snuggle time with him, unless he's tired, but will give countless hours of it with Daddy.
James is a very sweet little boy and loves to give kisses to Mommy and Dee-Dee (Aunt Caralee). And, let me specify what I mean by 'kisses'. . . . I mean, hands pulling on our hair, mouth dripping with drool, open mouth kisses on/in our mouths and then shakes his head to spread the slobber around our faces. Sound gross enough?? Too bad, because it's the BEST thing in this world!
James will be ONE on the 23rd of this month and I cannot believe it! I am really excited to see what he does to his birthday cake, because (unlike Peter), James LOVES sweets. Ice-cream, cake, pies, you name it, he'll eat it. So I hope that he destroys the cake with his mouth!!!
To God be the glory.

We are very blessed with these sweet boys and wouldn't trade them for the world (on most days!)