Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here Comes Santa Clause!

On Saturday we took our little one to see the highly-acclaimed Phipps Santa.  You have to make reservations in October for an appointment - but it is totally worth it not to have to endure the mall lines.  We stepped right on up!
Connor was pretty pumped!
I love how consumerism has not yet touched Connor.  Her Christmas Wish List was pretty simplistic.  A new blue blanket, sparkly shoes, a new butterfly pillow and a DOC doll (from Snow White).  I am sure Santa was a little perplexed with a "new blue muh-muh" request, but hopefully he can scrounge up something in his workshop!

For the first time Connor was all smiles (the last years have been tearful!)

Kirk and I were giddy on the sidelines as Connor and Santa were deep in conversation.  Connor reported that Santa asked how old she was.  She promptly answered "3!" and then "How old are you, Santa?"
Santa was pretty clever.  His answer, "I am not old yet!"

I can't wait to get this year's photo.  Electronic image is below.  We should have the printed ones very soon.  Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Go Tell it on the Mountain!

We have had back to back mountain weekends. Traveling so much during December has made for interesting Christmas preparation, but has strengthened sweet friendships - the biggest gift of all!

This past weekend we went with 2 other families to "The Polar Express" train ride and then to Suwanee, TN for the rest of the time. We had a ball. First up was our ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. The kids put on their PJs just like in the book and away we went. It was humorous to see the children so full of innocent glee while the haggard adults were wiped out from trying to get away from work, packed, and through traffic in time for the 5:45 PM departure on Friday.
All aboard! The Polar Express!
We were quite the crew with 5 children and 6 adults! Peppermint Patty was the volunteer leader on our train who read the "Polar Express" story while they passed around cookies and Yoo Hoo drinks (when was the last time you thought about a Yoo Hoo?!? - It was a blast from the past!)
With the kids all sugared up we chugged past Christmas light displays along the way.
And finally arrived at the North Pole! And guess who we saw welcoming us?
At the North Pole Santa climbed right aboard and rode back with us so each child had a chance to sit on his knee.

When it was our turn everyone was all smiles! Sometimes you never know if the excitement or fear will win the day with Santa.
At the end everyone got the silver bell for Christmas!
Afterwards Hailey was kind enough to arrange for us to weekend in Suwanee, TN at her parents' house. It was the most idyllic home in the woods overlooking a valley. We were very lucky to have such beautiful accommodation.
We didn't last too long inside on Saturday so out we went for a hike around the University town.
The University of the South at Suwanee was breathtaking. I never knew how scenic the area was. It reminded me of a European campus with the ornate chapel and stone architecture.
Back at home the children enjoyed playing with holiday stickers and decorating individual train cakes.
And playing with the many toys!
And watching movies with the Daddies.
And on Sunday guess what we awoke to?!? SNOW!
Oh what fun! Snow angels!
Connor got tickled with the snowballs and her spontaneous belly laughs had us all in stitches!
Many, many thanks to Hailey's family for sharing their home with us. It was a relaxing gift in the midst of the bustle of the season.