Saturday, December 20, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving at Grandma's house was full of fun- traditional fun and new fun!

On the day after Thanksgiving, my brother wanted to visit the Christmas Tree Farm owned by the family of his high school friend, Sean.  The intention was for my brother and his girlfriend to tag the tree they wanted so they could go back later and cut it down.  Well I guess Black Friday hysteria can extend even to Christmas Tree Farms because, once we got out there and beheld the charm of the beautiful mountain setting and ran around a bit in the fresh snow, we accidentally found... 
The Perfect Tree! 
And Sean cut it down for us, loaded it on the back of the gator, hauled it back to the twining station (he let the boys ride along in the gator, making him The Coolest Christmas Tree Farm Owner Of All Time In Perpetuity), twined it, and loaded it on top of the car.  It was pretty much Celebrity Christmas Tree Farm Treatment.  We were having so much fun that my brother decided to go ahead and cut his tree and my parents found a tree, too!  But only our tree rode all around town that weekend and all the way back to Ohio.
I was a little sad that this meant we would forego our annual trip to Timbuk but... well... the boys got to ride in the gator and... the perfect tree!

Saturday brought the Everett Christmas Parade with cousin Rachel in a starring role playing flute in the High School Band and a Santa drive by.

Then it was off to Roaring Spring to ride the Santa Train and get some more Santa face time.  This year we learned something new, courtesy of the hot dog stand that is set up at the train station for hungry passengers.  As we were waiting to get off the train at the end of the ride, Will noticed that Santa had made a dash for the hot dog stand.  
And that Santa likes hot dogs.  
With spicy mustard.  
So guess what we're leaving for Santa this year instead of cookies.

By the time we made it to the Amish greenhouse to pick our Christmas wreaths, Soren was so tired he found a spot to relax in a handy chair amid the poinsettia. Whew!

Like the bow on top of a particularly beautiful Christmas package, we went out for breakfast after church on Sunday and had
Reindeer Pancakes.

If that doesn't put you in the Christmas Spirit, nothing will my friends.

Santa! I know him!

Before Christmas Season kicked into high gear, Santa made a stop at our house to ring jingle bells, tell jokes, visit for a bit, collect our letters, and pull a small treat from his magic bag to remind us to be good (for goodness sake) so coal doesn't come out of that bag on Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blogger Catch Up- Trick or Treat

Oh Halloween Night!

Trick or treating with our dear friends, the Robinsons, is always the best.

When you ride home with a bag of Sour Patch Kids as a pillow, you can pretty much call that a successful night.

Blogger Catch Up- Pigeon Roost

We made our annual trip to Pigeon Roost Farm 
to play among the pumpkin patch.

It's a good thing Rick is so strong
We love picking pumpkins!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blogger Catch Up- Fall Foliage

Soren and I went to Bedford by ourselves for one weekend of the Fall Foliage Festival while Rick and Will stayed in Columbus so Will could compete in Piano Scale Olympics

We enjoyed the Antique Car Parade, especially the appearance of my Uncle Ronny in his famous El Camino

And Soren rode a pony, his favorite Fall Foliage activity

Blogger Catch Up- Fall

Our porch is small and was full of fall

Blogger Catch Up- Disney Cruise: Atlantis

Our last port of call was Atlantis in the Bahamas.  We spent most of the day splashing around with this cutie.

But there was plenty of time to explore the ruins of the lost city and enjoy the aquariums.

Will declined to kiss the dolphin when it was his turn for the photo op so we set up a little re-creation for him before we got back on the ship.

This blog post would not be complete without a shout out to the wonderful crew of the Disney Wonder who made this trip comfortable and easy and full of neat surprises.

Fair winds and following seas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Blogger Catch Up- Disney Cruise- Castaway Cay

We spent the next two days at Castaway Cay.

We rode bikes

And snorkeled with the sting rays

And generally frolicked in the surf and sand.

We did make it to the ship's Pirate Party that night

 but were too tired to go up on deck and enjoy the fireworks at sea.

I was a little sad about that until I realized that, by a lucky stroke of fate, we could watch the fireworks from the balcony in our cabin before diving into bed!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blogger Catch Up- Disney Cruise: Key West

Dawn breaks early on the high seas.

Rick and Soren slept in a bit (Rick being rather unimpressed with the magnificence of the open ocean, having been surrounded by it for 27 years) so Will and I enjoyed some quality time on the balcony.

Rick channeled his inner Don Draper at breakfast.

Then we were in Key West!

Where we gained a new appreciation for key limes

and conch shells

Blogger Catch Up- Disney Cruise: Embarkation

Soren is a very casual traveler 

but he always follows along with the airplane safety card while the flight attendant reviews the safety features of our aircraft.

On the airport tram

On the cruise line shuttle

Catching our first glimpse of the Disney Wonder

When we finally made it to the cruise terminal, we paused to add some pressed pennies to our collection, a tradition that Grandpa started a couple of Disney trips ago.

And then we were ready to embark!

We were immediately dazzled by the sights and sounds of the Disney Wonder.

The ship was decorated for Halloween on the High Seas!

We got down to business decorating our cabin door

and admiring the view from our balcony

Then we suited up (bathing suits, that is) and headed to the Launch Party.

That night we witnessed a scene that would become familiar: exhausted boys falling immediately into deep slumber the minute their heads hit the pillow.