Archive for December, 2010

*LARGE* Christmas Recap

December 31, 2010

We had yet another wonderful Christmas with the boys and our family. I took a TON of pictures. It was hard to narrow to a small few so I narrowed it down to a large few.

Our Christmas Eve tradition continues with Grammy and PeePaw coming down on Christmas Eve, going to mass, having a nice dinner, then preparing for Santa to come.

Here is our little family before church… it’s my favorite one yet from the five years we have been taking this photo.

Here are some of the boys all dressed up cute in their Christmas outfits, getting cookies ready for Santa, and hanging out with their grandparents.

 

Before bedtime stories, Owen had to blow our “Elf on the Shelf”, Christopher, a kiss goodbye because on Christmas Eve he goes back to the North Pole until next Christmas season.

 

SANTA CAME! He left lots of presents and enjoyed the yummy cookies and milk!

 
Rise and shine boys! Time to see what goodies Santa left for you! Let’s see if you did enough to stay on the nice list this year.

 
Owen & Benny went for the stockings first, then dove into the presents. We had them each do one at a time so we could enjoy each boy opening their gifts and they actually did very well with that approach. This year I LOVED how the boys talked back and forth with one another while opening gifts. Each of them were just as excited for the other when finding out what was under the wrapping paper. This years hit gifts were the Shake Shake Bridge and the Thomas Glow in the Dark Track. As you can also see, Maxie girl loves to be part of the action on Christmas morning. WE LOVE HER! World’s Best Dog!

The boys have Pillow Pets and Maxie was always snuggling with them so Mike and I got Max her very own Pink Pig Pillow Pet. I think she likes it! =)

My mom got the boys the book “The Night Before Christmas” and she recorded her voice telling the story. The boys thought it was pretty neat.

As soon as all our family left, Benny started playing trains again, but he didn’t last 5 minutes and he was OUT! The little dude was one tired boy from playing all morning.

As you can see… it was a lovely Christmas. Another year past, more great memories!

Polar Bear Express Train Ride

December 26, 2010

The weekend before Christmas, the four of us joined Mimi and Pop Pop for a holiday train ride on the Polar Bear Express. With the boys being obsessed with trains, we knew they would be all about a ride on a real train. The ride did not disappoint.

The old train cars had so much character, we had assigned seats so it wasn’t a push-shove match to get on the train, and all the passengers and children were in the spirit of the season. When the musician played and sung carols, everyone sang along. The conductor read a neat story to the passengers, “The Christmas Wreath”, and half way through the train ride we picked up Jolly Old Saint Nick. He boarded the train, gave each child a copy of the book that was read and posed for pictures. Benny was afraid of Santa, but Owen wasn’t. Owen was however all concerned that Benny didn’t get a turn to take his picture with Santa… always looking out for Benny. He was OK once we told him that was Benny’s choice.

We liked this more than “A Day Out with Thomas” and I would very much like to do this again next year.

Breakfast with Santa

December 21, 2010

Last year I had several friends take their children to various breakfast with Santa events and it sounded so fun. I knew I wanted to do it this year with the boys. I got recommendations from friends and decided that the Breakfast with Santa at Hershey’s Chocolate World would be the perfect one for Owen and Benny because they love that place.

We got up bright and early on a Sunday morning and were at Chocolate World by 7:35am! The boys were greeted by Ms. Claus then Santa and his elves showed us to our table and welcomed our family to the event. One of Santa’s helpers walked around with his guitar singing and playing Christmas music and Benny was in aw. He would bop his head to the tunes and even started singing Jingle Bells when the song was played.

They do a fantastic job of organizing the event. Each family has their own assigned table, lots of yummy food and fun activities for the kids. They got to decorate their own “kissmas” cookie, meet some of the Candy Characters, play Hershey Candy Bingo, sit on Santa’s lap at the Candy Cottage, go on the Chocolate Tour Ride and the grand finale of the day was the 3D Show.

We really enjoyed our time at the event. It’s nice to do things like this with just the four of us. It really let us bond and enjoy the happiness, joy, and innocence of the boys as they experience the holidays.

Christmas Village

December 20, 2010

When Mike was a child, his parents took him to Koziar’s Christmas Village a few times. We were talking about it at Thanksgiving and decided to take the boys this holiday season.

We bundled up the boys, bundled up ourselves, and off we went. The Christmas Village is a big outdoor holiday attraction full of lights, festive decorations, and they have these little houses you can look in to see holiday displays.

You could go in a few of the little houses and one was for the big man himself, Santa. Owen was super excited to see Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas, but Benny just wanted to stay in the stroller. Owen was a good big brother though and told Santa what his little brother wanted too and even got him a candy cane from Santa so they each could have one.

The one thing we learned about Christmas Village is that this place is a POPULAR outing for families in December. We got there when they opened so it wasn’t too bad, but when we left, the traffic to get there was amazing. It was headlights for miles. I equate it to “Filed of Dreams”… if you build it, they will come. If we go back next year, I think we might go before Thanksgiving… less people and maybe warmer weather!

 

Ten on Tuesday

December 14, 2010
  1. We have a new member in our family! Mike’s brother, Bill, and his wife, Sara, welcomed their second daughter to the world. Carlie Elizabeth Thomas was born on December 11th at 11:11am. She was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 21 inches long. Just about the size Benny was when he was born.
  2. Bill & Sara didn’t find out the gender of the baby. We all guessed girl, but Benny guessed boy. Owen was excited to be right, but bummed when he found out we couldn’t bring the baby home to keep. =) He wants a baby sister, but sorry buddy… this baby sister is Abby’s.
  3. Last week we took Owen to the dentist for the first time. Yeah. I’m a slacker. He should have gone almost 2 years ago. Anyway… his teeth look great and no cavities, although she could tell he grinds his teeth.
  4. Owen was THRILLED to go to the dentist. I mean super excited. He was such a good boy. The hygienists loved him and wished all kids were as happy as he was to be at the dentist.

     

  5. Over Thanksgiving, Owen got Chicken Pox (a “gift” from a friend at school) and now Benny has them. Lovely. Even though they were vaccinated, they fall into that 12% who will still get a mild case if exposed. Luckily it’s just a handful of poxs, not a body full.
  6. My favorite blog I follow is that of mom extraordinare and fabulous photographer, Erin Cobb. The “Pig Bear” keeps me motivated to keep blogging for family and friends (and whomever else might be out there who has stumbled upon our home on the web). You should check out her blog. It’s wonderful. She’s a true inspiration for creativity, mom to mom advice, great Etsy finds, wonderful photography tips, and how to stay grounded through faith and family.
  7. It’s through Erin that I found this awesome “Flash Mob” from You Tube. I was having a grumpy day yesterday… a to-do list a mile long, home with a chicken poxed child, and coming down with a nasty cold myself. Then I saw this and it totally put me into a great mood and into the holiday spirit. Thanks, Erin!

    Oh – and for those who don’t know what a “Flash Mob” is, it’s when a group of people plan to meet at an unexpected public place and break out into song or dance randomly. Like on a recent episode of Modern Family – our favorite comedy on TV.

  8. Benny had his first trip to the ER. He was excited about something he saw in “Kung Fu Panda” turned around, tripped over his feet and hit his head on the hard part of the couch. It swelled and filled up with blood immediately. We were sure he broke his nose. Nope… just one big goose egg. At first he just looked like someone from Star Trek, but then the swelling went away and a few days later he had 2 black eyes. Poor kid. He’s had a rough few weeks.
  9. I know you are thinking it, but No – I really don’t have pictures of the damage. You can tell he looks a little funny in the pics I’ll be posting later from Breakfast with Santa and the Christmas Village, but I haven’t taken a picture of the black eyes.
  10. And I’ll close this Ten on Tuesday with a “Owen Funny”. The other day while I was getting ready for work he came and asked me for the “monies” (aka: loose change) on my night stand. The conversation went like this:

    Owen: “Mama, can I have these monies.”
    Me: “Sure, go ahead.”
    Owen:”I’m going to go put them in my piggy bank and save them for pays”.
    Me:”For pays? ”
    Owen “Yeah, for pays.”
    Me: “What’s pays?”
    Owen; “You know, to pay for things.”
    Me: “Oh. What do you want to pay for?”
    Owen: “Food”
    Me: “What kind of food?”
    Owen: “Mashed potatoes.”

    Seriously. I do feed my child. He just has an obsession with mashed potatoes right now. He’s not saving his $$ for a new toy or even ice cream or candy. It’s mashed potatoes. Just another day in the life of the Thomas Family.

Thanksgiving 2010

December 13, 2010

We spent Thanksgiving 2010 in New Jersey with Mike’s parents. It was super relaxing. Just like a Thanksgiving should be.

The boys played sooooo nice with each other and were totally submersed in playing with trains and monster trucks the entire time we were there. Mike and I looked at each other and said, “Are these our children?” Yeah… that is how well they were behaving which is the total opposite of what they have been like at home lately.

This year Owen said grace at Thanksgiving dinner and he read what PeePaw wrote all by himself with no help. That’s my boy!

Our “Elf on the Shelf” reappeared on the day after Thanksgiving. Right on time. Christopher is back in action and just like last year, PeePaw read the boys the book so they remembered what Christopher’s job is and the rules about his magic.

On the last day of our visit, Grammy got out an old toy of Aunt Susan’s. A marble race and they boys thought was the neatest thing. They would race each other and see how many marbles they could dump down at a time. I think the “Marble Madness” will be the first thing they ask for next time they visit Grammy and PeePaw’s.

Holiday Parade

December 6, 2010

At the beginning of this holiday season I decided I wanted to try to do as many things with the boys as we could. Our area has so much to do this time of year and we never take advantage, but that is going to change.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, the city had a Holiday Parade and we decided to take the boys. We got ready, hit up Dunkin Donuts, and got to the parade route just in time to get an upfront seat at one of the turns.

The parade wasn’t the greatest, but it was neat for the boys to see something different. Owen liked the clowns and Benny liked the big balloons. Maybe next year we’ll plan to take them to the Macy’s Day parade in NYC. Well see…. Stay tuned…..

Back in July I found out “Toy Story 3 – Disney on Ice” was coming to our area in November. I had t o get tickets because the boys just love Toy Story. When the tickets came in the mail, November seemed like an eternity away. In fact, we didn’t even tell the boys about it until the fall.

Well the day had finally come and the boys were super excited to see the show. Owen was also happy because that same weekend he had the new Preschool 2 Literacy Pet, Wallie, for the weekend so he got to take Wallie to the show with him.

Before heading to the Hershey, we asked the boys if they wanted to go to Chocolate World. Now we all know Benny loves Chocolate World, but we haven’t been able to get Owen to step foot in the door since he was 2 b/c he was scared of the singing cows on the ride. Well, Owen decided he wanted to go and he now has the same love for Chocolate World as his brother. He loved the ride, he loved the candy, and he loved his big fat cookie we got him too! This was a huge break through for Owen!

The show was great. We’ve been to almost all the ice shows in the past few years and this was our favorite by far. The costumes were great, the story line was great and the special effects were perfect. This was also the first time Mike came with us and it was just the 4 of us. A fun family afternoon…with sweet treats and some good old Disney friends.

Long time, no blog.

December 1, 2010

I have a lot of catching up to do. We Thomas’ were very busy in the month of November. We had Owen’s last Soccer Shots, went to Chocolate World, saw “Toy Story 3 Disney on Ice”, went to the city Holiday Parade, and had a fun Thanksgiving at Grammy & PeePaw Thomas’.

Hopefully over the next several days I can get back on track to get ready to blog all the fun Christmas things we have planned. Tonight, I’ll start first with Owen’s last Soccer Shots night.

Owen really enjoyed his 7 weeks of learning the basics of Soccer. He did OK… he’s much better at baseball and golf, but he had fun and that is all that matters.

On the last night they played a game until each team scored twice and he even got a little certificate. But, his last night of soccer was also Election night. I think he was more excited to tell Coach he was going to vote with Mom and Dad than to play soccer.