Wednesday, November 30, 2011

20 months old

This little munchkin is 20-months-old today! I can hardly believe we'll be celebrating his 2nd birthday in 4 months. Jacob is our little clown and loves dressing up in anything he can get his hands on.

Harry Potter 3-D glasses
His pirate hat.
He loves to perform and will start blowing raspberries on the back of his hand at dinner if he thinks he can get by with it.

This is such a fun age developmentally. I remember Joseph's verbal skills booming during holiday visits with extended family and Jacob is no exception. He added quite a few words to his repertoire while we were in Indiana. My parents live about a half-mile from a train track which, given that they live in farm country in flat Indiana, you can see from the living room windows. Joseph has always been quick to jump on the couch at the first hint of a train whistle to watch it go by. This visit Jacob joined him with excited finger pointing and "choo choo!!!!" He also started saying "night, night" at bedtime and calling Joseph "Joe!" Not all of his words are completely distinguishable and some sound very much like others. So, we often play a little guessing game if he's not actually pointing at something . . . "daddy? doggie? blankie?" until we get a nod, giggle and clapping.

Jacob loves music and loud noises. He absolutely loves the drum and guitar he has already gotten for Christmas. (Thanks aunties.) I'm not sure if my current deafness has more to do with my cold or the drum pounding.

Jacob is still our early bird. We've had a few mornings recently where he slept past 7. I was hopeful. Alas, he was back up soon after 5 again this morning. He usually takes a good afternoon nap though so I really can't complain.

The biggest challenge at this age is discipline. He is a high-pitched screamer when he's mad (and sometimes just for fun). Since he is communicating a lot more his tantrums are also now usually because he's mad instead of just frustrated. We're trying to nip them in the bud and have been getting some great parenting input through a couple different Bible Studies at our church.

Jacob is our picky eater. I usually have to force a bite of something new into his mouth before he'll willingly take a bite. He may eat 2 pieces of pizza one day and refuse to eat it the next. The list of foods that I'm guaranteed he'll eat is short: applesauce, yogurt, bananas, oatmeal, pop-tarts, sweet potato fries. He will probably eat something if it's dipped in applesauce or ketchup. He is great at using a fork (when he wants to eat).

He is still our little Linus, dragging his blankie around with him everywhere and sucking on his thumb. It's still precious. Eventually we'll deal with it. :)

another fun Pinterest craft

There are so many fun ideas on Pinterest that I will never do them all. But, this one was super easy. I picked up this cute frame for $2 on the Kroger clearance table and then used a pretty piece of paper I already had. It became a great dry-erase board for our kitchen table and Joseph finds it useful for helping him memorize his Bible verses.

story time with Grandpa

This picture didn't really fit in anywhere else. . . but I just couldn't leave it out.

Indiana - Shetler Christmas

We also celebrated Christmas with our Indiana family while were there. We had yummy appetizers and roasted a beef tenderloin. I got the idea for the fun cheese & tomato tree from Pinterest.
The opening of the presents was more of a mass chaos than in previous years. Of course the little ones loved the boxes and wrapping paper most of all.

The following morning Scout & Jacob enjoyed a rousing game of one-on-one.
Jacob is our little hat lover and I was afraid he wasn't going to give up Uncle Jon's Notre Dame toboggan easily.


Grandpa put Joseph to work on the farm while we were there. He got to help drive the big tractor, rake leaves and then help spread them on the garden.

By the end of the weekend he was driving the small tractor all by himself! I'm not sure when he became such a big boy.

Unfortunately, I cut this video off just as he jumped off the back of the wagon into the pile of leaves.

Indiana - Shetler Thanksgiving

This was our year to head North for the Thanksgiving holiday. Traditionally we have shared our Thanksgiving meal with my dad's family. This year there were about 125 of us gathered at my uncle's church in Goshen.

Here is the buffet line. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the food!
I did get a picture of the separate table just for the homemade bread and Amish peanut butter. I could make a meal just off of this.
Jacob enjoying his sweet potato casserole.
Joseph enjoying his turkey and the various desserts with which Grandpa filled his plate. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Family Fun Weekend - Sunday

This was also our last Sunday morning at home. We have been attending our Saturday evening service at church but, as it has been discontinued, we will resume attending on Sunday mornings. We had our own pre-Thanksgiving meal complete with Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Baked Mashed Potatoes, Deviled Eggs, Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie. We couldn't nearly eat all of that in one meal so we had it the next night for dinner as well. (And carted a bunch of it with us to Indiana the following day!) I tried a new recipe for the green bean casserole - found here. It was so amazing!!! It called for fresh green beans and homemade onion topping but I used canned green beans and the traditional French Fried Onions. Yummy despite my shortcuts.

Family Fun Weekend - Saturday

I have a little catching up to do on our blog! Before our Thanksgiving holiday travels we had a free weekend at home. It was the first Saturday in 4 weeks that we (at least 2 of us) weren't traveling! We celebrated by taking the kids out for some play time at The Wonder Place.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big Orange Football

Yesterday Daddy got to take Joseph on a special Father/Son outing. They drove up to Fayetteville and watched the Volunteers take on the Razorbacks. Unfortunately it wasn't much of a game for Tennessee but Joseph really enjoyed the experience and Daddy loved taking Joseph to his first college game.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ready for Turkey Stuffing!

post-vacation activity

On our final day at the Disney parks I grabbed fresh copies of all the maps in anticipation of a fun activity with Joseph.
It was so much fun when we got home to go over the maps and remember what we did at each park. As we put little red stickers by each ride that we went on and the parades, etc. that we enjoyed, we got to relive our fun experiences.
Then I made a little cover sheet and clipped all of our maps together.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday - Hollywood Studios & Epcot

On Friday morning the majority of our group headed to the airport to return home. The rest of us packed up and condensed our group into just one of the rental homes. After we got all that taken care of our family headed back to Hollywood Studios. We wanted to do some souvenir shopping and watch the Car Stunt Show (Lightening McQueen made an appearance!) We also ran into this crew.
Then we headed over for a final evening at the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. On our first day at Epcot we were given the passport below.
Each country was listed along with their menu offerings. As you visited each country they would stamp your passport. We got a stamp on every country except for Belgium. The food was amazing with very few exceptions. We were so glad that our trip coincided with this festival.
We took a break on Joseph that last evening and got him his own stroller. The boys enjoyed the stroller races we had when the paths would clear a little.
Here are a couple of the temporary food booths brought out for this festival.

We also ran into Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in Morocco!!!
We had a wonderful time on our vacation. This is the third time Joseph has been to Disney World but probably the first time he'll be able to really remember it. Obviously Jacob won't so we'll just have to go again in a few years. :)

Thursday - Magic Kingdom

On Thursday morning we headed out for a day at the Magic Kingdom. We decided to take the ferry in from the parking lot instead of the monorail and the Ferry Captain provided chalk for the kiddos before departure. Eli, Johnny and Joseph left their names on the sidewalk. (Joseph wrote Jacob's for him as well.)

Joseph really enjoyed hanging out with Eli & Johnny on this trip.

We all rode the Dumbo ride as well as Winnie-The-Pooh, It's a Small World, Peter Pan and The Magic Carpet. Joseph & Daddy rode Space Mountain again and we finished it up with rides on Thunder Mountain.
We got a great seat for the parade.

One last family picture in front of the castle. Right after this a surprise mini-parade came through right in front of us and we got to participate in a street dance party with Mickey & Minnie. It was a great way to wrap up our day at the Magic Kingdom. After that we headed over to Epcot again to continue our world tour of the Food & Wine Festival and spend a last evening with Chris, Megan & Cannon before they headed home.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wednesday - Wedding, Hollywood & Epcot

Part 1 - the Wedding: As I wrote earlier, our original plan for tagging along on the Glaub Wedding/Vacation festivities was to watch this little (seriously cute) munchkin during the wedding. However we found our services (mostly Christopher's) needed elsewhere in the transportation department. Christopher ran shuttle service making sure that all the family members from our rental houses and various hotels got to where they needed to go on time. Did I mention that this wedding was at 7:30 am inside a theme park? Which meant that everyone had to basically be ready by 5:30 in order to get the shuttle. So in the end Megan took Cannon with her to the wedding and our boys got to sleep in just a little and we arrived for the reception at 8 am.

Fruit & yogurt parfaits at the pre-reception.

Our table at the reception. For favors everyone received bags of green and purple m-n-m s customized with Pat & Glenda's names and the date. They also made us all CDs with the music from their reception - an assortment of Disney and Muppet Classics.
Mickey Mouse waffles!
The cake designed by Pat. Notice the kermit & miss piggy on top.
I may also have not mentioned that the wedding was a Kermit & Miss Piggy wedding and took place at the Miss Piggy fountain in Hollywood Studios!
And guess who showed up at the reception!!!

Part 2 - Hollywood Studios: After the reception we changed into comfy clothes and headed over to Hollywood Studios (after a brief walk through Epcot to grab a frozen beverage.) We got to meet some more characters, grab a late lunch at the Sci-Fi Drive-In and ride the Toy Store Midway Mania (easily my favorite. ride. ever.).

Part 3 - Epcot: Around dinner time we headed back over to Epcot to meet up with Chris, Megan & Cannon and enjoy more of the Food & Wine Festival. (Thank goodness for those park hopper tickets!) As we entered the back entrance to the park we ran into Princess Aurora/Sleeping Beauty. Joseph was quite taken with her.

(whispered - "mama, she put lips in my book!)
We ran into a couple of other old friends too.

This was the biggest day for the boys and they were such troopers. We left the house at about 7:45 that morning and didn't get home until around 10 pm. Jacob caught a 1 hour nap in the stroller. I'm amazed that we didn't have some major meltdowns that day but they were seriously great.