Friday, December 31, 2010

Annual Cookie Party

Every Christmas the boys love decorating sugar cookies (and so do I!) so we make it a little party each year. They do such a great job!

Santa sure did love them!

Christmas Fun

One of the things we love to do during Christmas time is go to the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park to see their light display. This year we thought it would be fun to invite a friend to come along, so Benny's little girlfriend, Maddie, and her mom came with us. Although we went near the middle of December, it ended up being the first night of the light display, so the line was incredibly long and took over an hour. But since the kids all had each other to play with it really wasn't bad. We finally got on the train and the kids had a blast with each other!

The light display, as always, was awesome. They really do a great job putting it together.

After the train ride, we rode the carousel...

and the kids got their boogie on to the live music.

It's always a good time at the railroad park! Merry Christmas!

Great Season, Dragons!

Joshua had a great first season of soccer! His final game was on December 11th. It was so fun to see his improvement over the season. He totally understood the rules of the game, and surprisingly, was a pretty darn good goalie. He had a lot of fun and got to make some new friends, so all in all, I'd say soccer was a success for him. Go Dragons!

Of course I had to make a cake to share with the team to celebrate a great season.

Great season, Dragons!

Polar Express!

Over the last couple of years we have really wanted to take the boys on the Polar Express train ride in Williams, Arizona, but we had wanted to wait until they were both old enough to enjoy it... not to mention that it sells out so fast we usually have missed our chance for tickets. I was determined to go this year, and actually remembered to book our tickets far in advance. What made it so much more fun was that we went with some good friends of ours whose 2 little boys are the same age as ours. I can't even begin to say how much fun we had!

Since all tickets are done by Will Call, we were advised to get to the station early in the day to pick up the tickets to avoid long lines. So we left that morning and drove up to Williams (about 40 miles west of Flagstaff) and got to the station at about 11:00. It was great because we were pretty much the only ones there.

We got to peruse the gift shop for a while, and try on some of the fun winter hats.

After getting our tickets we checked into our hotel. We opted out of the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel package and decided to save a little money by staying down the street at the Holiday Inn. I'm glad we did. Our room was comfortable, large, and much more secluded than the GCR. There had been a snow storm moving through a few days before. And even though a lot of it had melted, there was a big patch out behind the hotel... perfect for little boys to play in! So when our friends arrived at the hotel, we all spent at least an hour playing in a 1-2 inch deep patch of snow. It doesn't take much to entertain the little ones!

After playing in the snow we all headed back to our rooms to suit up in our jammies to head down to the train station. The weather was beautiful, and the station was less than 1/2 mile away, so we decided to walk down. It was great!

The Schnabels

Inside the station they had all sorts of activities for the kids. We attempted to go see Santa and take a picture, but both of the boys chickened out right when it was our turn. Benny decided a few minutes later that he wanted to try again, and worked up a little more courage this time, although he still didn't want to sit on his lap.

Josh still was not interested in visiting Santa, especially when he learned that there was coloring in the other room.

One of the other activities available was to make an ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. Both of the boys had a lot of fun making their ornaments.

After coloring, Benny went to visit with Mrs. Claus for a minute. Josh was still not interested. Oh well!

Pretty soon the train arrived!

The train ride was so much fun. We got to eat cookies and drink hot chocolate...

And we got to hear the Polar Express story.

And having great friends to share it with made it all that much more fun!

Pretty soon, we were at the North Pole!

Santa got on the train at the North Pole and came through all the cars, and gave each child a special gift. The kids were so excited for Santa to come!

The gift, of course, was a bell. If you can hear the bell, you still believe!

After Santa came through we spent the rest of the trip back to the station singing Christmas carols. It was a lot of fun.

The next morning we all met for breakfast at a little local restaurant with really yummy food. Thankfully they had a table big enough for all 8 of us!

Before heading back home, we stopped at a new wildlife park in Williams called Bearizona.

Bearizona is a drive through park, with all sorts of animals, including wolves and black bears.

There was also a walk through area with bear cubs, fox and bobcats. We got there right at feeding time so everything was awake and active.

And of course, these little animals!

It was a blast! I'm so glad we did it!

Open for Business

I have successfully completed my cake decorating courses, and I still really really enjoy making and decorating cakes. So, I have officially opened up my little side cake decorating business. Check out my cake blog at I've had so many fun projects already and I look forward to many more in 2011!