Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

Seth imitating Santa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Silver Dollar City Fun - Part 2

Seth was so excited to ride the Frisco Silver Dollar Line train. The tracks went through part of Silver Dollar City and then into the nearby woods. There were lit character boards throughout the way and they played Christmas songs.

Then, the train stopped on the tracks next to "Grandpa", who was sitting in a rocker next to the tracks. Grandpa told the story of Jesus' birth and as he did so, various character boards were lit up. It was really a neat touch to the train ride and Seth, who is fixated with "grandpas" loved it. He kept asking, "Is that my grandpa?".

After the train ride, we ventured up to the Mill Restaurant for a prime rib buffet. The food was pretty good and relished the chance to get out of the cold for a bit and sit. After dinner, it was time for the lighting of the Christmas tree. The lights on the gigantic tree would change colors and patterns, all to the beat of a musical score. It was so impressive. Too bad we were having trouble figuring out how to get our camera to take good photos of the lights at night.

The Mill Restaurant all lit up.

After the Christmas tree lighting, we hightailed it back to the train to catch another ride. We knew that the trip would be even more beautiful after dark with the lights. And Seth was eager to see Grandpa again!

Following the train ride, we lined up on Main Street to await the lighted parade. Here's a view up the street. Nearly every building and structure at Silver Dollar City has some kind of lights. They boast over 4 million lights total. It truly was beautiful. Sure wish we had gotten more decent pictures.

Brian & Mia just before the start of the parade. Seth is actually sleeping in the wagon next to Mia under the blanket. He fell asleep mere minutes before the parade started! In case you're wondering, Mia has some rock candy in her mouth, thus the blue blob!

I didn't get any pictures of the parade. For one, we were so enthralled with watching it that we just forgot. And two, we still haven't figured out a good camera setting to take photos of lights at night. We definitely need to fiddle with it.
Anyway, that's all for Silver Dollar City. We left shortly after the parade. And the following day, we left Sue & Rich's house at 5:30am and made it home in a quick 5-1/2 hours. We had a rocky start with 2 cranky kids, but then everyone settled in for the ride. We had fun but were glad to get home.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Silver Dollar City Fun - Part 1

After our stop at Bass Pro Shop, we continued our journey to Forsythe, Missouri where our cousins Sue & Rich live. We sat around their house chatting for the rest of the afternoon and then headed into Branson (a 1/2 hour drive away) for dinner. At Rich & Sue's suggestion, we ate at Mel's Hard Luck Diner. This is the home of the Singing Servers. The wait staff are local talent who actually have to audition for the job by singing. Each waiter or waitress is assigned a section of the restaurant to wait on and they all take turns singing songs. When it's their turn to sing, they put on their music, grab the microphone, and stroll through the restaurant. All of the wait staff were incredibly talented singers. We were assigned to Jason Yaeger's table. Jason was a Top 20 finalist on American Idol in 2007. He was so nice and brought the kids complimentary sundaes, telling them teasingly not to spread the word around. Mia was enchanted and had to get her picture taken with him. Isn't he a cutie?!

After dinner, we strolled through the Grand Village Shops outdoor mall. The mall was adorned with gorgeous holiday decorations, as was all of Branson. The mall was so quaint with unique shops and brick paths. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of Brian and the kids in the oversized rocking chair.
The next afternoon, we headed to Silver Dollar City. Unfortunately the weather was very frigid. We bundled up in several layers of coats and gloves and still felt chilled. Seth had fallen asleep on the drive over and wasn't happy to awake in such cold conditions, so we bundled him up in blankets until he got out of his cranky mood.
The official Christmas tree for Silver Dollar City. It's simply enormous!

Mia gets up close and personal with the local wildlife!

The kids loved playing in the large buildings at Geyser Gulch. There were many kids activities, but they loved the air guns the best. They loved shooting the soft balls throughout the building.

More to come on my next post!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bass Pro Shop Stop

This past weekend, we loaded up the van and headed to Branson, MO to visit Brian's cousin Susan & her husband Rich. They moved down to the area nearly 3 years ago and have been dying for us to visit. Sue thought it would be perfect timing.....we could also hit the first weekend of holiday lights at Silver Dollar City. We left Thursday night and made a stop in Litchfield at grandpa's house before heading to mom's house to sleep for the night. We were on the road by 6am on Friday and after getting through St. Louis ahead of traffic, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for some world famous donuts. There's nothing better than a Krispy Kreme hot off the assembly line! We continued on our way and all I can say is, thank heaven for portable DVD players. They really helped us keep our sanity with the kids! We stopped in Springfield, Missouri at the Bass Pro Shop. The kids loved seeing the live animals (fish, turtles, ducks, snakes, etc.) and trying their hand at an electronic shooting game.

Our neighbors have nicknamed Brian, "Crockett" and when Seth came along, he became "Baby Crockett". So, it was only fitting that Seth try on a Daniel Boone coonskin hat.
Seth & Mia checking out the giant gar & other fish in the large aquariums.
Brian helping Mia & Seth with the electronic shooting game.
Mia & Seth hanging out with the local bears.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spot On Decor

I redecorated Mia's room over the weekend. You can read all the details and see some photos on my stamping blog: http://www.firefliesandflutterbyes.com/fireflies_and_flutterbyes/2008/11/spot-on-decor.html

Needless to say, Mia loves it. Now if I can just get her to keep it clean!

Trick-or-Treat Gang

Though you've seen the kids in their costumes on a previous post, I figured I'd share a photo of our trick-or-treat gang. We invited several families over to our neighborhood to trick-or treat since they don't really live in a good subdivision. We wolfed down pizza, got dressed in our costumes, and set out on foot after getting this group shot. It was a fun night but it got off to a rocky start. I couldn't find Seth's costume when it was time to get dressed. We looked everywhere and I finally found it stuffed in a cabinet down in the basement! Who knows what 3 year olds are thinking?!