It was such a busy holiday season that I hardly know where to begin!
We did something this Christmas that we'd never done before. There were so many great sales before the 25th, that the 3 of us went shopping together. We showed each other 2 or 3 things that each of us wanted (in the real cheap price range!), found them on super sales and went ahead and bought the items. So, since I wanted a couple of purses and they were on sale, I looked and found what I wanted. Thus we all knew what we were getting from each other. No one could use their items or see them until they unwrapped them Christmas morning. It was much more simple, less stressful, cheaper, we all got what we wanted and there were no returns to make! It actually was fun to shop together this way.
Dan, Dawn and I had Christmas morning together, then joined Mom and Dad and one of our nephews and his wife, Caleb and Katarina, for Christmas dinner in Naples. We also entered into several rounds of Pit, a raucous game that is a Shoemaker favorite. All in all it was a good day.
Dawn was determined to squeeze, squash, cram and jam in every possible activity that she could during her Christmas break. So we were kept busy going here, there and everywhere. There were beach days, movies, shopping, girlfriend gatherings, times of hanging with friends, a volleyball club team sleep over, and lots of other activities.
Devon came home from CIU. That is a sentence with some finality to it. He is not returning due to lack of funds. He's disappointed about it, but is taking it in stride. He was able to get back on the crew at his former job. It's a company that pours / applies a specialty flooring for warehouses, garage floors, etc. It pays well and they seem to be able to keep business going even in this recession - and they like him and want him working with them. What a fantastic thing for a young man his age to have a job at this time! He's living with his grandparents in Naples for the time being. He's not sure what his future holds, but right now he's working and just trying to get his feet under him.
He decided to go camping with his cousin, Jonathan, over Christmas. They went to Peace River (about 1 1/2 hours north of us) where they fished for their meals, went fossil hunting (found a giant sloth bone, a mammoth tooth, quite a bit of shark teeth and other bones yet to be identified) and had a great time.
Dawn went to the same area over New Years with Caleb and Katarina. They enjoyed their time there as well. The water was frigid, the stars were bright, the fire was warm, the schmores were great and they sure were freaked out when that coyote howled his heart out just yards from their campsite!