Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Santa Express

This year we did something I have been wanting to do for quite some time, ride the Santa Express! We arrived at the train station around 12:00 for our 1:00 departure.

We chose the 1:00 departure so we could eat lunch on the train!

Santa's elves also played games and sang songs with the kids. Here they are doing the Hokey Pokey.

After about an hour we arrived at the North Pole!

The Big Guy was waving as we rode by.

Can you spot Rudolph?

We stopped long enough for Santa to climb on board!

Mia makes friends wherever she goes. These two new buddies decided to get some fresh air on the open-air car.

We LOVED this activity and hope to do it again, maybe with some grand kids.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tree Lighting!

Normally, we are in California the weekend before Thanksgiving. And this is the exact time all the cities around us have their tree lighting ceremonies. But this year we went to Matt's wedding the weekend before so we chose not to go back to California for Thanksgiving. Now, we could attend a tree lighting ceremony!  We chose our very own town of Parker.

About an hour before the lighting we arrived. We tried out the big chair!

And all the ice sculptures!

I signed up for a carriage ride right before the ceremony. Our town offers these rides for free, but you have to be quick online as the spots fill up fast! The ride took us down Mainstreet and back again. It was a fun surprise for the girls.

Once we got back from the carriage ride it was time for all the trees, and the big Christmas tree, to be lit. After listening to the mayor go on and on and on he finally started the countdown. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Viola! Lights on! Of course I took no pictures.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Our Thanksgiving Week

The Friday before Thanksgiving I signed up to chaperone Anna's class to the zoo. I should have had more sense than to sign up to go on an outdoor field trip in November in Colorado!!! It was in the mid 30's for the trip, but it was Colorado so it was sunny!! We walked around outside for about 30 minutes and then we would go inside for about the same. All the kids were bundled up and it really wasn't that bad.  I did make Dan go with me because he had the day off.

The visit ended up being great because all the animals were out in the open. It was amazing. Usually we are there are on a warm day and the animals are lying in the back of their enclosures. I hardly took any pictures because I was in charge of five five year olds!

The girls had the whole week of Thanksgiving off. It just so happened that there was a homeschooling event on Monday.  The event was to take snacks and water to the homeless people that live around Denver Public Library.

The girls enjoyed the happy faces of the homeless as we gave them a water bottle and snack. The homeless were SO appreciative. The girls loved making them happy. 

Afterwards, we went into the library for a little checkers.

We had Thanksgiving at our house with about 15 people. I got this gingerbread house for the kids to put together while all the adults were chatting. It's my only picture from Thanksgiving!

We are normally in California for Thanksgiving and so we never get to attend any of the cities' lightings which almost all occur the day after Thanksgiving. So this year we trekked out to see our local lighting ceremony!

There are free carriage rides down Mainstreet.  We were able to sign up online fast enough to get a ride on the night of the lighting. 

It was fun to stay home for Thanksgiving for a change!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Matt and Lauren's Wedding

We traveled to California two weeks ago to see Matt and Lauren get married!

They got married in a beautiful venue in Oak Glen but there were no hotels there so most of us stayed in Redlands. Dar and Sean threw a little party on the patio at the hotel the night before the wedding.  The weather was perfect. 

It was wonderful to see Aunt Helen and Uncle Bob. She has taken on the roll of Mom to all of us since Mom passed away.

We got to spend some time with Paige before and during the party!

Mia was overly excited most of the trip but reading always settles her down.

I gave Mia and Anna the job of taking pictures this night which they took seriously!

This is the first time Jason, Nicole's finance, had met most of our family.

Avery is so sweet.

We all love Dawn's new haircut!

And Ben's hairstyle too!  

It's always special when I get to spend time with my sisters.

The next day was the wedding. It was gorgeous!  

Dar and Matt!

Lauren and Matt! Her dress was stunning!

Ben was the Ring Bearer! He did great.

I wasn't able to get a picture of Oli because my camera froze right before the ceremony. The reception  was a bit chilly but a lot of fun. 

The 20/30 something girl cousins were all together for the first time in a long time. Only Emma was missing.

That night Mia got a stomach bug and was pretty weak by the time we got to the airport. TSA noticed I was having a hard time carrying her (she is getting big!) and they offered us a wheelchair.

We have 23 nieces and nephews so there a lots of weddings these days. I love them because they are like a family reunion!