Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Lights and Decorating

In morning we made a gingerbread train. It was a mess, but the boys had a blast. Jack was determined to get it completely decorated. Will was a little less focused. In the end it was a team effort.


We met our friends for our annual trip to Tim's Pizza and lights on the square. Our waitress was very patient with the 17 kids in our group. The kids got most of their energy out chasing each other around the paths of the lights outside.  When we went to take pictures I didn't realize that Will's jacket had a reflective strip on it. How funny our these pictures?



Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Train Ride

The Polar Express has been one of Jack's favorite books throughout the whole year. I even tried to hide it once so I could save it for Christmas...he found it. So I knew the Christmas Train ride would be a big deal for our family. It has been a family favorite for the last couple of years, but it seems that these things get even more fun as the boys get bigger each year. We started our Advent Calendar so I put 2 Golden Tickets in today's envelope. Jack literally jumped up and down when he pulled his out. Will pulled his out and crumpled it up in his hand. I struggle with anxiety and control issues - Will is definitely my gift from God that teaches me to let go of the small stuff.
The March's ( and Allen's, some of our best friends, met us for the ride. It was only about a 45 minute ride which was perfect since our kids have tons of energy and sitting still for too long is a little unrealistic.
Jack, Brayden, Connor, Paige and Avery
Will discovered rocks today.

They are such sweet girls and so cute. They make me want to have a little girl that I can dress up! Probably not the best reason.

Boys just hanging out.

They look too big. I remember when they were newborns together.

Running up and down the aisles.

Notice what's missing from the Dads' pictures. No kids. Smart Dads.

What a cute picture with Santa. I think this is Jack's first picture with Santa where he looks happy!

Every year I read the Polar Express to the boys as we ride on the train.

Then we drink hot chocolate and eat goodies.

There was a pony ride after the train ride.

It was a great morning!! Happy boys with no melt downs. I love that at this age the boys get so excited about doing these fun activities.
We ended our day picking out our Christmas tree at Wisconsin Trees.  It's our 8th year getting our tree there. I love a tradition!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent Calendar

This year I decided my sweet boys (mainly Jack) would enjoy an Advent Calendar. Each day in December we will count down to Christmas by opening an envelope with a fun surprise - a note of what we will be doing that day or a sweet treat. I love the Christmas season, so it will be easy to incorporate some of our fun traditions into the calendar.

Here are some of the activities our family will include:

* Christmas Train Ride
* Build and Decorate a Gingerbread House
* Shop Together as a Family for Angel Tree Presents
* Go Get Our Christmas Tree
* Meet our Community Group for Pizza and See Lights on the City Square
* Bake a Decorate Christmas Cookies
* Breakfast with Santa
* Make Red and Green Home-made Playdough
* Watch Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer
* Watch Frosty the Snowman
* Make Ornaments
* Go Christmas Caroling at the Nursing Home
* Send a Care Package to Our Friend in Iraq
* Drink Hot Chocolate with Mama - Don't Forget the Marshmallows
* Unwrap and Read a Christmas Book (some will be books we already have)

The envelopes were pretty easy to make. I bought a big pack of Christmas cardstock, twine, and clothes pins at Hobby Lobby. It was all pretty inexpensive. I cut the brown paper into 24 (5 1/2" x 3") rectangles and glued them into envelopes.

At first I thought they were too small, but when you hang up 24 envelopes they take up a bunch of room. Then I decorated and labeled each one.

Jack was so excited this morning to start opening. Will just gets excited when Big Brother does. Jack is already asking when he can open the next one!