Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Display

Oooohhhhh the kids were excited!  We'd made it through the week - successfully delivered presents and made it through the crazy parties.  And then, after some frantic packing and designing our Christmas cards so we could use our "about to expire" coupon, we were off toward Stanwood and the WarmBeach Camp's Lights of Christmas.
We met up for an early dinner with out adventure-mates at Five Guys - Yum!  The kids started off the night by opening a couple of presents - which they no longer need any assistance doing....

Matching jammies make all pictures better, I've decided.  And then they opened a gift I threw together of a collage of all of my favorite pictures of them.  In a year and a half, there have been some really fun ones!
And then we were off - it wasn't as cold or wet as last year, so we actually enjoyed walking around and seeing the lights - so many gorgeous lights!  The whole place is lit up and mesmerizing.  Everyone is friendly and patient with all the crazed children weaving in and out of the crowds.
We tried to get some posed pictures outside, but those really were futile attempts.  When you have a 5,4, and 3 year old, someone is always going to be a punk.
Our first stop was to Santa.  No line and a very friendly, yet somewhat odd, jolly old fella'.  He called all three of them up there at the same time - which was great for Lucas - he didn't even fuss!
They each took a turn - Ethan wants a watch (really?  since when?).
Nadia wants a bike (which I do believe she already has :) ).
And Lucas wants a watch as well (now this one I knew).
They all left feeling satisfied that they had given Santa something to work with and relieved that he didn't mention their several transgressions of the month.  I think Lucas was pretty nervous, but alas his name was on the nice list they had posted on the wall - phew!
Next stop was the toy shoppe where they made wooden spin art toys.  The boys both made trains (with wheels) and Nadia made a couple of ornaments.  I like the old fashioned toys - and the old fashioned prices.
We made it just in time to get a hug from Frosty, though I missed the picture shot...  Lucas even managed a high-five for the giant snowman!  Progress I tell you!
The whole place is filled with various dress up characters and different photo-ops - These two made a good snowman pair!
And Lucas enjoyed waving his snowman arm at the world.

The other big, important thing to our kids was the Polar Express train.  We waited in line for over an hour, patiently at times, not so much at others.  They all started to break down when we were one train away from getting on. But, we made it....
Lucas was the most excited - pure magic for him.  The super excited (but in a very controlled way, as it is Lucas) face was making my heart so full.
It was a five or so minute ride (after an hour in line), but worth it for the kids.
After that, they just wanted to head back to the hotel to watch movies and eat snacks.  They put on their new jammies and I made an attempt to get a good pic of all three of them.....

I tried.....  They snuggled up on the bed and watched all sorts of different Christmas movies while we adults took turns going out to see more of the lights and get yummy treats - gourmet snack waffles (I was the only one digging these, but they were goooood!) and fresh mini-doughnuts (always a hit!)
While we were hangin' out in the room, we opened the curtains so we could see the lights.  Of course, we were staying right in the middle of the camp, and one of the walkways was right in front of our room.  We had a good time laughing at how the people reacted as they passed by.  Most would look, some longer than others, and one man tried to take a picture - until his wife yanked him away.  I guess we did kind of look like an advertised display for their overnight package.  Especially with the matching jammies!

At 9 we could see they were all getting sleepy, so we trekked down to watch the storyteller with her last story of the night.  Nadia and Ethan listened well - Lucas was rolling all over the place, just tired, and ended up running back to the room with Brian.
The night went well, though Lucas and Ethan were both reluctant to go to sleep.  Every time I looked over Lucas was staring straight at me..  The next morning was the big camp breakfast in the mess hall.  Yum and yum.  Ethan got himself a giant bowl of Raisin Bran....  I don't think he ate more than two spoonfuls though....
The kids put together their wooden puzzles they got in the breakfast line and played on their "talkie walkies"  that we had brought.  Nadia and Lucas spent the whole evening before shouting to each other on them.  I'm not sure they ever actually talked across the walkie-talkies, but they could hear each other, so they thought they did.
And then it was back for packing up and heading out....  We were all ready to go and Lucas needed one more trip to the bathroom - so Ethan and Nadia went outside with Craig to wait for the golf cart that would take us to our cars...  We came out and realized Ethan had driven off in the golf cart with some other family. Craig's comment:  "He'll bring him back."  Yep, give the guy 20 minutes and he'll definitely bring him back!  And he did and Ethan could not have been more excited about his new job as a chauffeur.
We said our goodbyes to our friends in the parking lot and headed out.  We stopped at the mall in Northgate for some running around and shopping.  But by the time lunchtime came around we were all exhausted and grumpy and knew it was time to head home for naps.  And Lucas did nap - about 3 and a half hours.  We finally woke him up around 5 and he still had no problem going to be around 7.  That's my boy!
What a fun weekend.  A fun Christmas tradition and memory for us.  Can't wait till next year!
And now it is the first official day of Christmas Break and my children are already driving me a bit nuts.  Time for a project - or maybe two!  And throw in an adventure or two and we'll be set.  'Cause that's how we roll......

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