Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A visit to Chicago

We started heading towards Chicago on Sunday morning. We drove halfway, about 6 hours, and stayed at a hotel in Rochester, MN. We took James swimming again and he didn't seem as scared this time. Monday morning we left for the remaining 6 hours of our drive to Oswego, IL to visit our good friends Ashlee and Glen Schneider. We hadn't seem them since Oct when baby Caleb was only 2 1/2 weeks old. He is growing fast and catching up to James. They are going to be best buds some day. But until they can both walk it will be Corinne and James chasing each other. They spent countless minutes going in circles after each other. It was so much fun to watch. Ashlee and I got to have lunch out and shopping one day, while the guys went to a Bulls game another. New Year's Eve Glen's parents generously offered to babysit the kids so we could go out for a little while. Once everyone was asleep we went out for drinks and dessert from 8-10. We then played games and all rang in the New Year together!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Keeping busy on the farm

It was too cold to see the cows in the barn this trip, but James kept very busy indoors.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas morning. We relaxed, watched Shawn and Tatiana open presents in record time, opened our stockings and tried to keep James from eating the wrapping paper. Huge challenge because EVERYTHING goes in his mouth! Robin made a lovely Christmas brunch before we headed to Appleton to spend Christmas afternoon with Todd's dad and Grandma Orpha

Hearing the story of Jesus

Playing his drums from Santa

Todd's dad family is even bigger than his mom's side. Many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Too accomodate everyone we rent out the community room in Grandma Orpha's assisted living facility. Everyone brings food to share and we sing songs and play bingo for fun prizes. Grandpa Brad gave James his first tricyle. It will be so much fun when James is big enough to ride it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Our annual tradition when we are in SD/MN for Christmas is to spend Christmas Eve with Todd's grandparents and Todd's mothers side of extended family. Robin has 6 siblings all with kids so it was a big group. James was the first great grandchild on this side and his cousin Kayla and husband Matt just welcomed baby Anika Marie on Dec 9th. So now there are 2 great grandchildren. It was so fun getting to hold a newborn. It just makes you realize how fast they really grow. Todd's grandma Rose always makes Oyster stew(Scandinavian tradition) and chicken noodle soup(for those that don't like the Oyster stew), and of course everyone brings goodies to share! We also enjoy a Christmas program in which Todd's grandpa reads the story of Christmas and we listen to Christmas music by all those that play instruments.

Great Grandma Rose and Grandpa Warren

Grandma Robin and Grandpa Steve

The Great Grandchildren - James and Anika

These are a couple of clips from the Christmas program. Todd plays the saxophone in the program every Christmas Eve we are in MN. The second clip is of Todd's Uncle Steve singing "Frosty the Snowman". James wasn't too sure about that part of the evening!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

Grandma Orpha

Today we drove from Minneapolis to Stockholm, SD to where Todd's mom and step-dad live. On the way we stopped to visit Todd's Grandma Orpha in Appleton,MN(Todd's hometown). Grandma Orpha will be 89 this March and has been a widow for nearly 20 years. She just recently moved into an assisted living home, but before that lived on her own. She is so full of personality and we really enjoy listening to all of her stories from back in the day. James is one of her 35 great grandchildren and we find it amazing that she remembers all of their names. We have found that James really takes to people that have glasses so it was no surprise that he gave Grandma Orpha lots of smiles. We are lucky that James hasn't had any stranger anxiety. He is very social, loves to be around people and is always smiling at strangers when we are out shopping or at a restaurant.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Vikings game, shopping at the Mall of America and swimming

We all drove to the MOA for lunch after James's morning nap. After lunch Todd and Justin took the light rail downtown to the Metrodome. Ashley and I stayed at the Mall until 3pm and did some shopping.

Todd at the game

Shopping with Ashley

Once back from the Mall Ashley and I took James to the hotel pool. I assumed that he would love it because he enjoyed my parents pool the end of summer. As soon as we walked into the pool area James got very frightened and started crying. It was the first time that I have seem him truly scared. His VERY scared cry was definitely different than his normal cry. He didn't cry long so I got him undressed and got in the pool. He didn't cry once we were in the pool but he was clinging on to me very tightly and wasn't exactly enjoying himself. Poor thing!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This morning we left for Minneapolis. I surprised Todd with tickets to the Vikings game with his brother Justin for Christmas. With the help of his mom and Justin we successfully pulled of the surprise. So this morning when we woke up to leave Todd thought we were headed to his Mom's house in South Dakota, but we really were headed for Minneapolis. He was very excited because the Vikings are naturally his favorite NFL football team, being a MN boy, and he had never been to the Metrodome for a game. Unfortunately, there is a blizzard in the Midwest today and the roads were really bad from Des Moines to Minneapolis with strong winds and sometimes white out conditions. We were determined to make it to the cities tonight because we had a non-refundable hotel room that I had booked. After 10 hours in the car we finally arrived safely in Bloomington at the Staybridge Inn and Suites. We love that hotel because they have awesome prices, 2 room suites(perfect for a baby that goes to bed early), and a great hot breakfast. I had arranged for Ashley and Justin to stay with James once he went to bed so Todd and I could enjoy an evening out. Originally I had planned dinner had a nice Italian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis but because of the bad weather we decided to find a place close to the hotel. We ended up at the Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed a nice dinner out, just the two of us! That never happens and we really enjoyed it even though we were only gone about an hour.

Justin reading James a bedtime story

Brrrr..... It is really cold and snowy here!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas at the Henson House

Since Todd and I will be gone over Christmas this year we celebrated Christmas today! James got his first truck from Uncle Seth which he LOVED as you can tell from the pics. He got some cute clothes and pj's from G-Ma and Papaw, some books from Aunt Abby and Uncle David, and some fun toys from Jack and Gillian! You can tell from some of the photos that James doesn't like to stop for a picture. He is too busy crawling everywhere to stop and smile.

Some things are just so funny!

James opening his first stocking.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All ready for Christmas

James recently went to visit Santa. He was really intrigued with Santa's beard.

We are all ready for Christmas at our house. The shopping is done, presents are wrapped, and the tree is up. James isn't very interested in the tree, but really likes the presents. He especially likes to eat them. Some of the presents now have James' signature drool marks!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our little Beaver, part 2

This morning I came in James' room to find him standing by himself in his crib. So now he can once again chew on the top rails. This evening we lowered his crib to the lowest position. He can still pull himself up to stand but to chew on the rails it is a little harder and I haven't caught him doing it since. Unfortunately, all of the crib teethers I have found are too thin for our crib and his crib is not straight across. I guess we didn't think of these things when we picked out the crib!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow Day with Daddy!

No school today for Todd or James due to the snow and ice last night. I went to work while they stayed home for the day. James loves the dishwasher! He spends lots of time climbing on it, standing by it and opening/closing the detergent dispenser. Too bad he can't load and unload!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Tonight we celebrated Mom's birthday at our house!