Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Fun

Christmas is my favorite time of year despite being overwhelmed, stressed out and tired. In the end, I still think it's worth it. We have a couple of traditions that we have developed as a family. We usually go to Bronner's Christmas World (The Worlds Largest Christmas Store) which is about an hour north of where we live. The boys pick a new ornament each year for the tree. We do that in November before the crowds get too crazy.

Last Saturday, we went to Midland with our friends to Santa's House. It was something new and different for us, but I think the boys liked it a lot. There were trains set up, a big sleigh with presents and it even snowed inside! They had a Christmas Train outside that we rode as well and the best part of all is that it is FREE. Rachel and I LOVE free. :)

The Boys with Santa

Alex and Santa

Evan and Santa
Lauren and Santa

Nathan and Santa

Rachel with her kiddos in the Sleigh

I am surprised it turned out this good. Wish Alex was looking.

Love this one of us!

Giant Santa out front

Waiting in the cold to get in to see Santa

The next day, we went to grandma's house to make and decorate cookies. This was always one of my favorite traditions as a kid and I am so happy that I still get to do it with my Mom and now my boys. Another fun but tiring tradition.

On Monday night, we went to  Wild Lights at The Detroit Zoo. It was really neat to see that many lights and Evan even got to go into the Reptile House. The boys rode the Carousel and had hot chocolate. My Mom and her husband came with us which was really nice. The only thing that I wish we could have changed was the weather. It rained. But because we bought pre-sale tickets there was nothing we could do but deal with it. We made the best of it.

Finally, yesterday we went to the mall and visited Santa again at Bass Pro Shop. I like going here - because again, they have a bunch of free activities for the kids.

Now onto the celebrations. Today is cleaning and starting on some food for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. I am hosting my family this year which I am looking forward to. It is a lot of work, but there is nothing like having a house full of people to entertain with bunches of presents to open for the kids. We are very blessed. So, with this being my last post before Christmas, From our family to yours: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chicago Series Part 4

Chicago Series, Part 4 - November 26, 2015

Our time in Chicago went fast, but we have truly enjoyed every moment of it. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that The Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum were both open on Thanksgiving Day. We considered going to The Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Willis Tower Skydeck, but figured that The Aquarium would be much more enjoyable for the kids - not to mention there were protesters all over downtown and we didn't really want to subject the boys to that.

So, to the Aquarium we went and it was pretty nice and not super busy - but busier than I thought it would be. If you are ever in Chicago, this is a place you have to see. We visited last year, but the boys were tired and we didn't get to thoroughly enjoy it. This time we got there shortly after they opened and spent 4-5 hours enjoying every bit of it. Needless to say, we didn't make it to The Field Museum because we wanted to head home and stop for dinner on the way. My favorite are the Beluga Whales. I could sit and watch them for hours. Evan really enjoyed the Shark Tank and both boys loved touching the starfish and sea urchins. As a treat, they each got to pick a stuffed animal from the gift shop. Evan picked a Beluga Whale he named Belugie (it is a girl) and Alex picked a Penguin we named Frankie. They LOVE their little stuffed animals. :)

After the Aquarium we started on our journey home. We stopped for dinner at The Cracker Barrel and had Chicken and Dumplings for Thanksgiving Dinner. We finally made it home at 10:30 that night. It was such a great trip and I think we will continue to enjoy trips to Chicago for years to come. Eric and I would love to take the train someday because we think the boys would love it! Thanks again for reading and following our journey here at Double the Love and enjoy our pictures from the Aquarium.