Friday night was the first night all week that no one in the family had something to do or somewhere to go. So after bathtime we loaded the boys into the car and drove around in search of Christmas lights. Connor LOVES the lights this year, and says "wook Momma!" whenever he sees any. Brayden always comments about how "beautiful" they are.
the boys before we left on our Christmas light adventure. Their daddy is one funny guy and can get them laughing like no other :) Also, please note the fact that we have no ornaments on the tree. We may just keep it that way this year at the rate we're going ;)
Saturday the boys woke up to find Bonner (our Elf) had come back from the North Pole. There wasn't anything super fancy about his arrival... just two new advent calendars for each boy. The boys loved getting a chocolate in the morning with breakfast (I actually highly recommend this little advent calendar, as it does the chocolate with a verse about the nativity and/or Christmas story). Brayden has enjoyed showing Bonner things (today he was showing him how he fake farts with a straw under his arm. Bless it.) that are going on in our home.
Saturday mid-morning the REAL fun began, as we went on the Christmas train with Santa for the second year in a row (you can see our trip from last year here). Last year was kind of chaotic because it was right around dinner time so they were both hungry and cranky. This year we went in the middle of the morning, and it went so much more smoothly. Connor was beside himself about going on a REAL train that went "really fast!" He was so enamored once the train started moving. We went with two other families that we are friends with, and all of the kids loved eating snacks, hearing the train "honk it's horn" and singing songs. Brayden even told me that he was so excited to go on a train with "all his favorite friends." It makes me sad that in 10 years they won't think going on a train with Santa is cool... I just love enjoying the holidays through their little eyes. Everything is magical... right down to the lights on a Christmas tree. It's definitely one of the bright sides of parenting.
They had little train sets set up for the kids to watch outside of the station, and even let the bigger kids control the speed.
He took being the conductor really seriously
After conducting the train, Brayden received a conductors hat, and more importantly, a candy cane.
I tried to get a good picture of these three before the train ride started. This was a good as it got. Also, the cowboy boots were completely Brayden's choice. After struggling to get him to wear a button up shirt and jeans (he wanted to wear a t-shirt and basketball shorts), I figured the shoes were a battle I'd let go ;)
Paige and Avery
The Allen clan
the big kids wanted to sit together. Love that Brayden has such sweet little friends
sweet Will was content to munch on crackers most of the train ride
Here comes Santa Clause! I was so happy to see the Santa Clause this year was REAL. All of the hair you see is HIS hair. Last year the Santa was slightly creepy, and reminded me of Elf when Buddy exclaimed "you smell like beef and cheese!" Thankful to not have a beef and cheese kind of Santa this year;)
the best we could get, candy smudges and all
Connor was kind of fidgety before the train started, which made me nervous we were in for a long ride. But the minute the train started, he was mesmerized. He spent a good amount of time looking out of the window like this. He'd occasionally look back at me with a big grin on his face and say "train go FAST!"
Every time the engine would toot its horn (or whatever you call that), the kids would all laugh HYSTERICALLY. It was hilarious, and I was SO thankful the horn was loud because the kids were almost louder.
this was Connor laughing when the train "honked"... so funny!
my friend Cari is so great with traditions. She read the Polar Express during part of our trip, and then gave the kids hot chocolate
We sang Christmas carols during part of the train ride, and the conductor would ask if anyone wanted to join him up front to help out in singing. Towards the end, Brayden told me he wanted to help. I was sad the big kids stood in front of him, so I couldn't get a great shot of him. He was so proud of himself, singing along to the words in the little program
I love this handsome boy! When he was done singing he came up to me with a big grin on his face and said "see mom, I did it!"
Obligatory post-train ride family pic. The boys look thrilled.
After the train ride there were all sorts of things to do outside of the train station. The obvious hit with my boys were the fire trucks and cars that they had on display. They even let the kids get into the big 18 wheeler and both of the fire engines (an old and new one).
the boys thought the horn on this little car was so funny
an old timey fire engine
then they had the big engine open... a little boy's dream!
it's absolutely impossible to get them to take a picture together.
Sunday was a typical day with atypical weather. We went to church and then played outside for the afternoon. When we got home from church Connor was too tired to walk by himself, so he just plopped down in front of the fridge and fell back asleep. Brayden was the sweetest brother and told me and Drew that we needed to be quiet, then he went and got Connor a blanket and sat there rubbing his back. These boys fight like cats and dogs, but seeing Brayden do this makes me know that he absolutely adores his little brother. I can't wait to see how he will treat the next baby... I'm sure he'll be just as smitten ;)
Hope everyone has a great week!