Saturday, January 04, 2014

Santa Sightings!

The first Saturday in December was quite a busy day for us filled with activities to kick us into the Christmas season! We started off the day early by going on the Polar Express! Every year the Metra train system puts on a Polar Express train ride that you can take. We did it a few years ago and thought it was cute so we decided that since Juliette was a baby last time we did it that it was time to do it again. We filed onto the train and luckily found seats together!

They gave the kids golden tickets, just like in the movie, and then the conductor came around to punch holes in the tickets.  He told the kids that since Mom and Dad didn't have tickets that we had to get off the train...they were not amused by this...

The train went into the city and they had fun activities to do along the way.  They read the Polar Express book, sang Christmas carols, and had a scavenger hunt that was really fun.  We had to look out the windows of the train and find various items (car dealership, McDonalds, river, bridge, police car, etc) along the way.  The kids got really into that activity.

Once we got downtown we had about an hour off the train before we needed to get back on to come home.  Luckily, there is a Corner Bakery right in the train station, so we had breakfast and hot chocolate and that put us in perfect time to get back on the train.

We even had some time to pose for pictures with the Christmas decorations set up in the train station.

Abbey was a big fan of this pink tree...she actually asked for her picture to be taken with it!  Normally it is quite the chore to get Abbey to smile for a picture!

On the way back out, guess who was in our train...SANTA!!!  The kids did really well.  Ben, of course, went to him without a problem and sat down to tell him what he wanted.  The girls didn't cry this year (progress), but did sit in the seat across from him to keep their safe distance.  They did tell him what they wanted though!  

And this might be the best Santa picture we have ever taken.  If you discount the hot chocolate mustaches and goofy hair, they are all smiling with Santa WITHOUT Paul or I in the picture with them!

It was a very fun morning.  As soon as we got back, we had to grab lunch and get Ben to his basketball game.  After that, Ben went to sing Christmas songs with the school choir at Barnes and Noble while I went on to the next event. 

Since I joined the School Council this year, I got put in charge of putting together a Cookies with Santa event at our school/Parish.  It was a big step for me as I have helped with a lot at school, but not headed up an entire event by myself before this.  I had a lot of help though and the event turned out great.  We had about 150 kids come, which was about 50 more than last year, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event, so I think it was a success!  We had Santa, cookies and milk and Christmas coloring sheets in one room.  I guess I was needed in this picture with Santa as the girls wouldn't go up to him without me.

Although after our picture the girls saw their friends going up to talk to Santa and then suddenly had no problems running up to talk to him and tell him how old they were.

Then we had three separate rooms where they could do Christmas crafts, which were all really cute.

It was a really fun event and I was very proud of how well it did.  But, it was a LONG day and I give huge thanks to my amazing husband because he took the kids to all the afternoon events while I set up and worked at the Cookies with Santa event.  Between set up, the event, and clean up, I was on my feet for about 4.5 hours and keep in mind I was about 8.5 months pregnant at this point.  So I was exhausted by the end with a pretty sore back too.  Paul ordered up some Chinese food and put the kids to bed while I put my feet up on the couch!  Thank you honey for all your support!
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