Monday, December 24, 2012

Visit to The Big Man!

This year was my favorite visit with Santa as of yet!
We picked up my mom and met Scott, Shawna, & kids in Walnut Creek.
Connor came prepared with his letter he made at school.
"Dear Santa
I wish
to have
any Legos
and a
Star Wars
Angry Bird.
But wait, there
is more...trains."
When they first sat down Emma Kate discussed what she wanted with Santa...
A baby wolf.
(She played with a little stuffed fox she found one day at Macy's when we were shopping.
She called it her "Baby Wolf" and ever since then, that's all she's been asking for.)

Then it was Connor's turn.
He used his time to read his letter to Santa. 
Then Dom slipped in for a picture. 
My mom wanted to attempt an All Grandkid Photo.
I was skeptical at first, but it turned out hilarious! 
Poor Harley!
He was NOT a fan!
Here's my version of the photo... 
My kids said their good-bye's so that Harley and Abby
could be torured some more
could have some time alone with Santa... 
I LOVE that Santa was crying too!!
That picture makes me laugh every time.
And because I love crying kids with Santa pictures so much...
Here's another!
After sitting with The Big Man, we got our traditional frozen yogurt in 50 degree weather.
Come on, who can really be within 50 feet of a FroYo shop and not get any?!
While Harley enjoyed being free of the scary man in the big red suit! 
P.S. Connor has been really skeptical of Santa this year.
I HATE how kids talk at school!
We've had many talks about believing in things that we cannot see right before our eyes, as well as what Christmas is REALLY about.
And yet he insists on going to The North Pole to see it for himself as soon as he is able!
If only the magic could last forever.
Maybe at least another year?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Polar Express: Schwab Style

Looks like just an ordinary mini van, doesn't it?
Well tonight we transformed it into
The Polar Express!!
Every year we take Jeff's parents with us to drive around looking for
really neat Christmas light displays.
This year we added a twist.
Connor and Emma knew NOTHING.
I purchased a bell for each of the kids and Dominic helped
print up some Polar Express tickets.

While Jeff bathed the kids I set to work...
Hot cocoa for some, and tea for others. 
Emmy got chocolate milk in her sippy. 
Of course Jeff was the conductor. 
What? A picture of me?!?! 
When everyone/thing was in place and the kids were ready for bed,
the train whistle blew.
And tickets were passed out.
"What?!?!" Connor said. 
Tickets got punched on the way out to the garage station. 

They opened the van train door to find Ma and Papa waiting for the ride!!!! 
Dom was a good sport being scrunched in the back with Connor and I.
(It was cozy.) 
And we set forth with our beverages, bells, Christmas music, and smiles. 
We even listened to The Polar Express, read by Liam Nieson, in the car.
As the story began, Connor said to me, "Mom, you should really ask before you borrow something from me!"    Ha!
And for the next hour we drove around, finding really cool Christmas lights, lots of manger scenes, and re-discovering the magic of Christmas through the eyes of our children.
This ended up being such a cool twist of our usual tradition...
I think we might just do it again next year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Kick-Off

Yes, Christmas-time is now in full swing around the Schwab House!
We kicked off the season a week ago with our annual Christmas Train Ride
from Sunol to Niles. Jeff has volunteered for years at the PLA.
Every year the club spends hours decorating the train in lights and it has become a
family tradition to start out our Christmas season.
In fact Jeff proposed to me on this train way back in 2001!
So of course I have to get a picture every year of just the 2 of us:)
This year we thought to get some family pictures while the kids were still in good spirits, instead of after the ride when everyone is tired. 
OK, we almost made it... 
I am so excited to get both sets of grandparents with all their grandkids!
Love these shots! 
It was my niece, Abby's, first Christmas Train.
(Shawna had to work and didn't get to join us. Sad.) 
This train ride always reminds me how thankful I am to have our parents all live so close
to do these types of things together. 
And how blessed our kids are to grow up so close to them. 

I love this time of year. I love the lights. The music. The parties. Time with family and friends.
Starting new traditions for the kids to remember forever.
But mostly, remembering our Savior's birth and all the He does for us.