Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy First Birthday Jillian!

It is so hard to believe that Jillian turned 1 year old today! We had a fun filled day of celebrating. We started off going out for breakfast with Grandma, Auntie Christy, Uncle Chris, Andrew, and Emma. Jill loved her Mickey Mouse pancakes and got nice and messy with the chocolate chips. She enjoyed opening some gifts before heading off to the Teenie Weenie New Year's Eve Ball. It was our park district's "countdown to noon" party for kids. They had a moonjump, crafts, dj, slides, merry go rounds, see-saws, popcorn, ice cream, and balloon drop at noon. There was also time to stomp on some bubble wrap too! Jillian made it until just before noon when she dozed for about a half hour and then woke up just before the party ended and was back in full swing. She came home to a yummy lunch and played some more while Joey napped, and then Nonna and Grandpa came over for dinner, birthday cake and more fun! Happy first birthday baby girl!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We had a very busy but fun Christmas. We host Christmas Eve, hang around Christmas morning to see what Santa left, then we headed out to church and Assumption before going to Grandma's on Christmas day. Joey and Jillian seemed to love every moment! Here are the pictures and our holiday in a nutshell...

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

Christmas Day

Joey with his bike, and Jillian doing laundry...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joshua's Journeys #47 Charge for CHARGE banner!

We received one of the nicest Christmas presents this year from Uncle Mark, Auntie Miya, and Nathan. They came over the other day and we had a very fun visit...its always too short of a time, and the kids play so well together. Joey was crawling around with Nathan, and Jillian was giving him the eyes. Nathan was giggling at Java, and they were so much fun to see all together. They gave Phil, Josh, and I one of the best gifts...they made two banner for the Charge for CHARGE 5K! They are huge, waterproof, and absolutely perfect! Such a thoughtful and meaningful thing for us, thank you so much! Miya even contacted the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation and talked to Lisa (one of the fundamental, key people at the Foundation) to help get things looking perfect. Thank you so much for this wonderful surprise! And shortly after the holidays we will be announcing the 2011 date for Charge for CHARGE, so get your calendars ready!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Before the Christmas festivities continue here I thought I'd update some pictures and holiday happenings. We had a fun visit from Uncle Mark, Auntie Miya, and Nathan last weekend, and of course among all the fun forgot to take pictures. I did get a few of the wonderful gift they gave us as posted above, but was negligent with the camera otherwise, the battery died and I am often forgetful when we are having a good time. The next day we had Uncle Paul, Aunt Katherine, Ben, Abbey, and Juliette over for a holiday celebration. The kids had lot of fun playing together. We also received some Christmas gifts for Jillian from Auntie Trisha, who we haven't had a chance to get together with, but will shortly after the holidays. As Jillian's Godmother she had the task of finding a unicorn type gift of which she did a magnificent job! The unicorn theme is the theme in her room, and reminds of us a lot of fun, as well as trying times in the NICU with Josh.

This week Andrew came over to play in the snow with Joey. They both enjoyed eating the snow, and we reminded them over and over not to eat the yellow snow! We also went over to our new park that was finished earlier this month (what timing!) and Joey loved it. Every morning he wakes up and lifts his shade to announce that the park is all finished. So he was really excited to finally visit it. We also were able to find Josh's tree that was planted by our neighbors for us to see. It is in a perfect location, and I was very comforted to see it back and in good shape. Speaking of our great neighbors, the Soles brought us some super delicious cookies (I personally love the chocolate ones, but the peanut butter are a close runner up!), as well as gifts for Jillian and Joey. Jill got a new spring coat which looks like it will fit her perfectly. They had gotten her her winter coat which she loves and I was so thankful for because time would've slipped away and she probably would've been wearing one of Joey's old boy coats! Joey also got a new hockey sweatshirt which he loves...he wanted to put it on immediately and shoot a thumbs up to the camera! Thanks! And Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joshua's Journeys #46 Christmas Trees In Heaven

Christmas Trees In Heaven
I began to string the tinsel across the branches of the tree,
And remembered the Christmas when you were here with me.
Are there Christmas trees in Heaven? I really need to know.
Does an angel sit atop the tree and is there any snow?
The house just seems so quiet, Christmas music brings me tears,
But I know that you're in heaven as these days turn into years.
One day we will be together, it was always meant to be,
Together up in heaven, for all eternity.

I came across this poem in looking for a Christmas gift for someone, and wanted to share it. Josh, wishing you were spending Christmas here, but can't imagine how wonderful the birthday party must be up there with Jesus.

Winter Fun

This weekend we had some winter fun! Joey has been back in action helping us shovel and enjoying the snow. Friday night the weather was the warmest we'd seen in a while so we took advantage and went to Cosley Zoo to see the lights with Nonna and Grandpa. Unfortunately we forgot our camera, but we had a good time looking at the lights and hanging out in the barn keeping warm with the animals. Saturday we headed off to the mall to make sure Santa was reminded of what Joey wants for Christmas (this was visit number two this year...we saw him at the tree lighting ceremony the day after Thanksgiving). Andrew, Emma, Auntie Christy, Uncle Chris, and Grandma also joined us. All of the kids did really well. Emma wasn't too sure, which set Jillian off a little bit, but all four sat together well enough for a few pictures. Joey and Andrew told Santa their wishes, and as we were walking away from Santa, Andrew asked me "So where do we pick up my green bike?" Such a character!

On Sunday Joey and Andrew went with their mom's on the Polar Express! It was a very, very cold day, but luckily we only had to stay outside for a maximum of 5 minutes waiting for the train to arrive. It was windy and frigid but worth it all. The boys got their tickets with their names on them, and later the conductor punched them similar to in the movie (Auntie told us the shape was a "t" for "train"). We got on the train and headed for the North Pole. The train ride itself was fun, but we were also read the story Polar Express on the way out. Once we got there we had a special surprise...Santa joined us and delivered bells to all the kids and sang songs the whole way back. Back in the train depot we warmed up from our short walk off the train with some cookies, juice, and water. Then we were allowed to visit with Santa again! We were in the line to visit Santa, but since we have already mentioned to Santa our wishes (twice!) we decided not to go again, but we did get a very neat snowman ornament with Joey's name on the front, and the back reads the date and states that it was from the Polar Express 2010. So where was Jillian during all this? Well, Daddy took her to the mall for a fun filled day as well. She indulged with Daddy with a snack of a soft pretzel, then lunch was a slice of pizza, and dessert a cookie! Daddy said he let her wander and just followed her around for a while and she was having a blast! They went to a few stores to look for a Christmas dress, but came back with a few outfits instead. Looks like they'll have to venture out again soon! A great weekend had by all!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving, Tree Lighting, and Winter Fun!

Yes, again very behind in updating. Joey is doing much, much better now, and ready for Christmas! Thanksgiving was a lot of fun at Nonna and Grandpa's. Jillian enjoyed her first Thanksgiving feast, trying absolutely everything, and both Jillian and Joey had a blast with Uncle Kevin, Uncle Mikey, Auntie Steph, Uncle Don, and Nonna and Grandpa. We can't wait for Christmas Eve to continue the festivities!

The day after Thanksgiving we headed to town center to see the tree lighting ceremony. When we pulled into our parking spot we were surprised to see our neighbors in the spot directly in front of us! So Jillian was cuddled and loved up by Aubrie, Mr. and Mrs. Sole, while Joey kinda stayed with Joey to watch Santa arrive on the firetruck to light the Christmas tree and then head into a heated tent (thank goodness for that, it was cold and windy!) and we were able to sit with Santa and Joey told him not once, but twice what he wanted for Christmas...a "choo choo table!" Thanks Aubrie, Dominic, Nicolas, Gigi, Mr. and Mrs. Sole for hanging out with us, and Mr. and Mrs. Sole for coming over for a little while afterwards, we really enjoyed your company!

Since it has been so cold outside on Saturday (11/27) we met up with Grandma, Auntie Christy, Uncle Chris, Andrew, and Emma at Chuck E Cheese's for some inside fun and games! Joey loved playing all the games, especially the car racing games. He also like climbing and playing on the free stuff which is always a bonus! Jillian fell in love with the little Merry Go Round, and would look at herself in the mirror next to her, kick her legs, and hold on to the pole while her horsey went in circles...too cute.

The following day we had our first Christmas celebration. We usually don't get together with my dad's side of the family sometimes until February, so this year we decided to aim for a pre-Christmas celebration! Joey and Andrew had a ton of fun running around Grandma's house telling everyone "monsters were chasing them!" Jillian played really well with Uncle Wayne, and we all enjoyed each other's company. Jillian got her first tea set, which Joey and Jillian love to play with, Joey also loves his car. Thank you for all the great gifts, and more importantly great company!

Finally, we have been keeping warm and in the holiday spirit. Joey has made some ornaments, baked some cookies, and enjoyed the first snowfall! He again is a great helper when it comes to shoveling, and his snow suit is nice and warm...he has a hard time coming back in when he is out in the snow! He loves throwing snowballs at Java, and trampling the snowman that Mommy was starting to make!