Our Elf on the Shelf (literally).
Trains and tracks and Sam.
John and books. Yay!
Peter philosophizing. Ha ha!
We went to the Cedar Rapids Nativity Celebration, which has become one of my favorite things to do each Christmas season. I love nativities, and they do such a good job with this event.
Can you see my reflection in the ornament? It's concave angle makes my stomach look pretty concave too.
Sam loves our dogs, and they love him (especially at mealtimes).
The sun was shining on our Willow Tree nativity set so nicely one morning.
Sam and I enjoyed an afternoon at the mall before John got home from school.
He was shy and sweet with Santa. It was so cute.
We went to the North Pole Express for the second year in a row. This was a must because Sam is still so into trains. It's based on The Polar Express, so you take a train ride to the North Pole where you get to meet Santa and do some fun activities. Sam loved it, but John is outgrowing it (as he kept reminding us!).
Sam and the train conductor.
Note the reindeer antlers on the train's headlight!
This picture is so funny! Check out Sam checking Santa out!
Happy Sam with his loot from the gift shop. This child is spoiled.
It was a fun and festive way to spend a December morning.
I made Christmas rice krispie treats.
I re-discovered rice krispie treats in 2013. They are delicious and fun and easy to make!
Speaking of ornaments, meet my newest owl ornament. Definitely cu-hoot!
We drove by a totally decked-out house. I love it that people do things like this!
The kids and I were eating dinner at the mall's food court one evening when a flash mob surrounded us and started singing Christmas carols. It was really neat!
In keeping with annual tradition, Peter spent hours making two batches of his Finnish coffee bread to give out to co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Even though each loaf looks like a placenta, it's really delicious!
I like this picture of the boys joking around. It's so nice when they get along and play well together. And it's happening more and more as Sam gets older.
This was the night after Christmas in Chicago at our hotel. We were flying out to Boston the next morning. John loves playing on the luggage carts. That's our monkey boy!
Our shoes lined up.
At O'Hare the next morning. The reason I included this picture in this post is because we were there that morning and then that night when we were at my mom's house in Massachusetts we happened to watch Home Alone 2 and this very "hallway" at the airport was in the movie, decorated just like this!
Driving out of Boston...it was good to be home again!
At least our flight from Chicago to Boston went well. A week later for the reverse trip it was a different story!
Do you notice what's funny in this picture? Besides my brother Ben? Ha ha, just kidding Ben.
But really, do you notice what's funny?
Well, this post is long enough so I will end it here. (More about our trip East in future posts.)
December certainly was full of many wonderful delights. No wonder it's one of my favorite months of the year!