Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Polar Express!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (although we still have no snow!)  Someone found my black boots the other day and thought they looked like "Santa's boots!"  So he completed his outfit with them!  Ha!
We've been having fun decorating, baking, wrapping and shopping our hearts out!
Last weekend we went on a very special train ride!
To say that Andrew is obsessed with trains is the understatement of the year.
And do you like the Woody boots to complete the ensemble?  He thought they looked like Santa boots too!  He insisted on wearing them with his jammies!

This is such a fun train ride.  The kids all wear their pj's and you ride to the "North Pole."  You even get hot chocolate and a cookie, just like the movie!
Now, one of Andrew's favorite parts of the movie is when the ticket blows away, and they chase it.  It goes on all kinds of adventures.  He loved this ticket he got.  I think he held it almost the entire time!
I love how the inside of the train was all decorated with greenery and lights, too.  So festive!
Of course we brought along our copy of the book to read on the ride!  Andrew also loves this book.  I swear he would watch the movie ten times a day if we'd let him!
Andrew and Ga Ga reading The Polar Express.
Ga Ga took Andrew as one of his Christmas presents...and I think it is probably going to be one of his favorite things!
He was watching the trains we passed along the way.
He was very serious and thoughtful as the train was getting started.  I think he thought this was big time stuff!
We all had a great time- of course the most fun was watching Andrew and seeing how much he loved it!
Although this took a close second...watching Craig sing carols with all the kids in his Santa hat!  Ha!
The hostess got a kick out of him!  She kept trying to sneak the microphone up by him so everyone could hear him!  He actually is an excellent singer!  But he never sings for anyone really, so he was getting embarrassed!  Ha!
Me and my Santa!
As we approached the "North Pole," they came out in chef hats to give out hot chocolate- just like in the movie!  No dancing around though!  But it was still really neat!
The cookies were soooo good!  And it was fun to introduce Andrew to hot chocolate!  Although I don't think he liked it that much.
Santa came to visit and gave each of the children a silver bell.  It was so special!
My favorite part of the movie/book is when he gets the bell, and that he can hear it as he gets older because he still believes.  I think that is the true meaning of Christmas.
Andrew loved getting his bell.  He totally related it to the movie and remembered that the boy got a bell, too.

We made it!
The kids were so excited because Santa was out the window and they all waved goodbye to him.

More caroling... Jingle Bells this time!

Andrew was being so silly with his bell!  He tried to hide it in his pj's!  Ha!  He was getting such a kick out of himself! 

Andrew did not want to get off the train.  He seriously kicked and screamed!  He wanted to do it again!  He just cannot get enough of trains right now.
So Ga Ga and Papa made it better by getting out the "Ralphie" train they bought on sale at the end of the season last year to go around their Christmas tree.  Andrew went nuts when he saw it!
He would not put the remote down and just kept driving it around and around the track.  He could have done this all day and night!

He asked Ga Ga if he could take it home with him!  But she promised he could play with it at her house, so now he wants to go there all the time!  The other day she picked him up from day care and he asked to go to her house and play with trains!  So she did what any grandma would do at that request!  She drove him straight to her house and he played with it for hours!  Mama got lots done that night home alone!  Ha!
After our day on the train and playing at Ga Ga's, my mom took me to a play for one of my Christmas presents.  We saw my all time favorite... "A Christmas Story!"  I was thrilled!  I probably watch that movie over 100 times every season.  I have never seen it on stage and it did not disappoint.  It was so cute!  I laughed and enjoyed every minute of it!
I made this smaller because the picture quality is not good- it was dark and I didn't have my big camera with me!  Ha!  Anyway, this is how they did the slide part where the kids sit on Santa's lap.  It was so clever!  Santa sat at the top and the kids slid down onto pillows!  It was so neat!
After our day on Saturday, we decided to make cookies on Sunday.  This is our family's secret recipe, and they are the best cookies in the world.  I look forward to them every year.  There is just nothing like them.  They are as close to "gourmet" as you can get.  
Normally, it is a 2-3 day project.  I always make up tons of batches of the dough the night before.  Then the next day I cut and bake them all.  Then I may frost them the same day or wait till the next day, or keep them in the freezer and do it when I can.  
Well, due to my lack of time these days, I went ahead and got brave.  I made four batches.  All in one day.  I started at 8:30 in the morning (yes, I do get up that early on weekends sometimes!  Ha!) and worked on them until 8:30 that night.  I was exhausted and thought I never wanted to see another cookie again!  Ha!
I quickly changed my mind when I frosted them later.  Oooooh it was soooo worth it!
Andrew decided to take a little break from helping to eat a cookie (or two!)

This weekend we are heading to Craig's parents to celebrate an early Christmas with his family.  Andrew can't wait to see all his cousins and his grandparents and great-grandmas!  We are heading out a day early to beat the snowstorm we are supposed to get on Saturday!  Maybe it'll finally start to look like Christmas once some snow is on the ground!

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