In keeping with 2020 holiday tradition, we stayed home this year for Christmas. We had to dream of sugar plums and vaccines in our own beds instead of the usual visits to the grandparent’s houses. Since everyone was remote we had video calls with both families to open presents and attempt some sort of normal holiday celebration. Luckily Santa is immune to covid so he still swung by Christmas day. He dropped off a lot of gifts but unfortunately did not leave any vaccine.
I hope everyone had an awesome holiday break! With the incredibly nice weather the few days around Christmas, we spent a bunch of time outside. It was hard to keep the kids outside with all of their presents inside but we managed to get to a few parks. Santa brought some excellent toys for the kids, Emery got some ice skates with ice skating lessons and Carter got an Ipad controlled Star Wars Lego set.
It was a busy weekend a few weekends ago. Friday, Emery’s Daisy troop made ornaments at the YMCA for the Ronald McDonald house. They got to customize a clear ornament with all sorts of sparkles and paint. Emery’s first one didn’t turn out very good but by the second one, we had the process down pat.
Saturday before Carter’s basketball game we all went to see Santa at the clubhouse. The kids got to tell him what they wanted and we stayed for a little breakfast. That night we went downtown Naperville and had an awesome dinner with grandma and grandpa Stubler.
It was pretty eventful in Davenport this year, Grandpa Wassmer ended up in the hospital for a couple nights. He’s ok now but gave everyone a bit of a scare. As usual, Ali was chasing so many squirrels she wore herself out. She was soooo tired she actually touched a cat!
At Grandpa and Grandma Stubler’s, we did our usual Christmas bowling and Grandpa let Emery drill her bowling ball. Grandpa measured her hand and then let her pull down the drill press. Bits of plastic were flying everywhere.
Merry Christmas! Santa was good to us again this year and helped us create more great memories with all of our family. We did the usual Davenport/Peru trek to the Wassmer and Stubler houses. As you would expect, the kids had a blast and were completely wiped on the way home. Even Ali was wiped! It has been almost a week since we’ve been home, and she is still catching up on her sleep.
Emery had 2-holiday performances this week! First was a Christmas program at Goddard and the second was a dance recital at Midwest Edge Dance. She was a bit shy singing at Goddard, but was really moving her little hips at the dance recital! All the kids looked cute in their matching Christmas outfits.
Last weekend the Wassmer clan came up to do some annual Xmas shopping. The ladies ran around all day, while Emery, Carter, and the Cousins had a blast at the trampoline place and worked up a sweat. At night, they spent more cousin time, plus with Grandpa and Grandma Wassmer making desserts and ornaments. The adults when out for a nice dinner to celebrate Lisa’s birthday.
Merry Christmas! Another great Christmas and holiday break is in the bags. To kick off the week long festivities we hung out with the Stubler side of the family to exchange some gifts.
Christmas morning we were at home to hopefully catch a glimpse of ol saint nick. We didn’t see him or his reindeer’s but he left some great presents for everyone.
We traveled to the great state of Iowa to spend a few days in in davenport with the Wassmer family. More gifts were exchanged.
On the way back from d-port we made a quick stop at the Super Bowl where Emery bowled for the very first time. She made it through about 6 frames before she threw in the towel, Carter on the other hand gave me a run for my money. He was extremely close to beating me.
A couple weekends ago, Carter and I slept downtown at the Museum Science of Industry for their annual Snoozeum. We explored the entire place all night.
It was a busy Saturday… my family came up to finish their Christmas shopping, Carter had basketball, Emery had a school program, and her very first dance recital. We wrapped up the day with dinner with my sisters.
It was a fun winter break this year. We started the week off with a visit downtown to the Winterfest at Navy Peir. Emery and Carter had a great time doing the bounce houses and looking at all the trees.
Christmas eve we opened presents and then went to Church. The service ended with a flurry of snow coming down from the ceiling. As you can imagine there was a herd of kids rushing to the front to try and catch some flakes. Santa came the next morning and left a whole mess of toys for the kids. Carter got his Lego AT-AT Walker and Emery got a new balance bike. To wrap up the Christmas weekend we did the usual holiday rounds to the family’s houses in Lasalle and Davenport. There was a lot more gift exchanging and eating food.
Santa was good to us this year which was a perfect way to wrap up a great year.
A couple weeks ago Santa came to visit us at our neighbor clubhouse. Carter was excited to share his Christmas list with him while Emery was looking for the closest exit.
Carter and I started the holiday weekend a day early and went to see The Good Dinosaur. Pixar’s latest creation wasn’t as good as their classics, but it still had a solid story. I’m sure it will make it into our library once it comes out on DVD.
Early the next morning Julie, some of our neighbors and I, all ran the Naperville Turkey Trot. This race has become one of our favorite traditions and we look forward to it each year. Our awesome matching socks gave me a boost, because I got a PR of 24:20!
Place Bib Athlete Name City State Age Gender Finish Time
699 757 MARTY WASSMER NAPERVILLE 35 M 0:24:20
1058 758 JULIE WASSMER NAPERVILLE 35 F 0:25:43
After the race, it was off to Uncle Jason and Aunt Anna’s house to pack in all the calories we just burned off. We enjoyed the 3 F’s: family, food, and football.
On black friday, like millions of other people, we celebrated capitalism by shopping a bit. Julie and I are not the “crazy” ones that wake up at 4:00 AM but we do try to venture out during normal hours and get some Christmas shopping done.
Sunday was all about the Christmas spirit! We set up the christmas trees, finished putting up the christmas lights outside, and built our gingerbread house. Our house is looking good and fully prepped for Santa. To wrap up the holiday weekend we went downtown to see the Naperville parade of lights which is always a specticle. Forget the floats, Carter and Emery just love getting the candy and of course, seeing Santa Claus himself!
Merry Christmas everyone! We took a few days and traveled back to both of our parent’s houses to hang with each side of our family. In Davenport, my whole family was in town so we did a little photo shoot along with the standard presents and dinner. In Lasalle-Peru we did dinner at Bob and Imogene’s with the family and of course Carter and Emery got more toys!
Emery had a wonderful first Christmas, there were good times with relatives, new clothes and girl-toys. Now she has more options to choose from other than Legos, trains, cars or standard boy toys. Carter was extremely pleased because he amassed a new stock pile of Legos. The Lego City in the basement is now almost twice as big. Fitting everything into the car was like playing an old school game of Tetris.
Carter has been down with a fever and a bug since last Thursday. For weeks, his class had been preparing and practicing for their holiday program at school. Even while at home, Carter had been singing and dancing them all around the house. So since his spirits were up, and we had the fever under control, we decided to sneak him out Friday night for a bit. They sang four songs, and as you can imagine it was pretty adorable. When they started jingling their bells, you could even hear Carter signing above his classmates. He was really into it. : )
Here it is:
We had a great Christmas holiday this year!
We followed our family tradition and went to church on Christmas Eve. It was a good service, but pure torture for Carter because like all kids he just wanted to go home and open presents. It was great seeing Carter tear into the wrapping paper like a maniac. Anyway, he was having so much fun Julie and I even let him open our presents. After all the presents were uncovered, and dinner was in our belly’s, it was time for a cup full of hot chocolate for dessert. Before we went to bed, we made sure to leave out cookies for Santa, and of course carrots for the always hungry reindeer. Then, we all went to bed with dreams of sugar plums dancing in our heads.
Christmas Day was full of fun with yet another set of presents. Carter woke up and excitedly ran downstairs to see what Santa left him. This picture pretty much sums it up. Carter was thrilled to see that he left the Lego City Fire Station he had asked for.
On Christmas night, the Stubler family came over to celebrate. We exchanged some gifts and had the traditional meal. Carter was especially pleased with the custom letter cookies Grandma made because they spelled out his full name!
Due to our upcoming baby arrival, we are not traveling for the holidays this year. Instead of doing our usual Davenport/Lasalle-Peru roadshow, we asked the Zaehringer family to come up for a little early Christmas weekend.
The weekend started with Carter’s holiday program at school, where him and his classmates sang a few songs together. After the program concluded, they made a craft, and had a cupcake. Then, first thing on Saturday morning, we went to Edward Hospital for sibling class for 3-4 year olds. Carter learned all the basics of taking care of his new sister. They made sure to highlight the need to not stuff legos in the babies mouth and not hold the baby up by their leg. He is going to be such a good brother. When we got home he was wrapping up his puppy in a swaddle blanket, just like they taught in class.
Immediately after class, we went to the clubhouse in our neighborhood to see Santa. The Zaehringer clan met us before we went back to our house for the afternoon. Carter had been talking about seeing Santa for days prior and was pretty excited to see him this year, but still ended up being shy when it came to sitting on his lap. He worked so hard on writing his own Christmas letter this year. Later that afternoon, the kids went outside to build snow forts and sling some snowballs around. The nice fresh 5 inches of snow was great for packing. We wrapped the weekend up on Sunday with a gift exchange for the kids and nice lunch planned by Julie. Grandma and Grandpa Wassmer stopped by so they could spread some spoils to all the grand kids.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We had a crazy week of fun, presents, and family. There were a few surprises and a whole lot of good times.
It started Friday night (21st) with a trolley ride through Naperville looking at all the crazy Grizwald-like lighted houses. A lot of the larger displays were timed with music that played over the trolley radio. Carter and his buddy Blake stared out the trolley windows in amazement at each house. I think they were just both happy not to be strapped into a car seat like a NASCAR driver. Those 5 point harnesses can be binding at times.
Saturday was the always long and loved trip to Davenport. The grandparents and one sister were the only ones on the guest list but my other sister Shelly surprised everyone by showing up. Shelly and Stephan were visiting family in St. Louis and drove up to celebrate Christmas with the Wassmer family. The other surprise was that my dad was sick as a dog and had to be quarantined upstairs for most of our visit. It really seems like the flu is going around bad right now. Sickness aside, the rest of joyful holiday night was full of hyped up kids and ripped wrapping paper.
Unfortunately Julie had to work on Monday so it was back to Naperville Sunday afternoon. This is the first year in a long time that we have been at our house for Christmas eve and Christmas morning. It is nice to be at home for a holiday as we were able to start some of our own family traditions. Now that Carter is older he was really into Christmas, and especially Santa this year. All with help from our friend Sam the elf, who was around the house the entire month of December. The standard child holiday emotions seemed way more prevalent. He was excited to leave Santa cookies and anxious to see what was going to appear the next day. On Christmas morning I thought Carter’s belly was going to catch on fire. He slid down the stairs so fast I had to run to keep up with him. As expected Santa dropped off a bunch of goodies to enjoy, including a big train table and Spencer the train, big boy underwear, a few others presents and a stocking full of goodies.
After all of Santa’s gifts were open we headed to LaSalle-Peru to hang out with the Stubler family. We went early so we could stop by the bowling alley to let Carter sling a couple balls with Grandpa. He enjoyed pushing the ball down the lane, but lost interest after 4 frames. The racing car video game turned out to be the most interesting thing to do. It was then back to the Stubler cottage for more presents and food. It was hard for Carter to sit through the meal with a tree supported mostly by presents. More wrapping ripping ensued and on the other side was a bunch of smiles by all.