Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Magical Ride

There are so many things I love about this time of year...
  • I love putting the boys in the their pajamas and getting in the car to go look Christmas lights.
  • I love the The Polar Express replaces SpongeBob as the most watched thing on our TV.
  • I love going to the mailbox everyday to get Christmas cards from all of our friends to see how big their kids have grown in the last year.
  • I love playing Christmas music in my car and in my classroom.
  • I love that my kids are all in...hook, line, and sinker.
  • I love that "Merry Christmas" becomes the new "Hello".
  • I love that I have two lists on my refrigerator, that look very similar (wink, wink), and the constant adding to them daily.
  • I love wrapping presents at night when everyone is in bed.
  • I love that around the middle of the month my ears are on high alert because that is usually the time that Santa comes around our neighborhood on a firetruck and we run out to the street to greet him.  The last two years I have actually grabbed the boys out of the tub, wrapped them in a towel and ran out to the curb. (It gets below) 
  • I love that Rich and I devote our Saturdays to shopping because it is the only day of the week he is off.  There is nothing better than grabbing a coffee as we head out of town while making all of our lists for everyone.
I could go on and on...but this is better. 

On Tuesday night we kicked off Christmas in a HUGE way!  I have a student in my class whose dad is a firefighter and her mom called and asked us if we wanted to go out on the firetruck with Santa and pass out candy canes to all the kids in the neighborhood.  I of course said YES, YES, YES!!!!  I mean, we think it is a big deal when he just drives by our house and we get to run out and say hi...BUT TO GO AROUND WITH HIM??!!  Unbelievable!

What a treat this was.  It turns out that the best part of the night had a little to do with the big guy on the truck wearing the red suit.  No, the best part of the night was walking the streets of Lodi, passing out candy canes to kids of all ages and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  The looks on the kids faces were priceless and the joy coming from their parents was equally touching.  All in all...this was a good night! 

Here are the boys right when we got there!  So excited to see Santa and head out on the truck!

They said this year that they added more lights to the truck...I'm all for more lights.  I love me some Griswold decorations.

Waiting....just waiting to have at it!

Here are some of the kids...the ones we knew anyway...Maddie (my student), Lauren, Riley, Ryan and Matthew.  Did I mention that our friends the Flemmer's were there too???  Again...a good night!

At some point we had to break the news to Ryan that there was not an endless supply of candy canes for him, they were for ALL the kids.  Brent in the back trying to sneak out of the picture :)

And finally....he is here!!!  Now, because you know that Santa knows all kids and their names, it didn't take long for Santa to say hello to Matt and Ryan and let them know he has been keeping a eye on them.  It was PRICELESS!!!!

Right as we were heading out to our first neighborhood.  He was so excited!

Look at this hotshot hanging on to the ladder as we are DRIVING DOWN THE STREET!!!  This made me a little nervous, but the kids were giddy with excitement because they could sit on the side of the truck as it was going!! 

Mrs. Claus all festive and bright.

Ryan was reluctant to get down and pass out candy at first, but after the first stop he asked to go out.  He was pro...running from house to house passing out as many candy canes as his fingers could grab.

A look at the truck as I was walking on the sidewalk.

Matthew and Kendall as we were heading to our next location.

Coolest part about the old fire truck was that the kids could lay down under blankets and just chill.

At the end of the evening the kids wanted to go and tell Santa hello and maybe mention a few things to him.  Ryan had more than a few...I think he may have taken advantage of the situation.

This was the absolute funnest night and we really could not have had a better time!! is our new addition to our tree.  I am "whispering" because the boys haven't seen it yet, but we picked it up at the Mouse's House when we were there last and can't wait to set it up!!!  I had to take it for a spin to see how it shoots steam out the top and everything.  I love it.


And finally...last but not least...I was driving down Lodi Ave. the other day and almost got into an accident as I slammed on my brakes when I saw this.  At our house growing up on Debbie Ln, we had this EXACT scene in our front yard.  In fact, we sold it at a garage sale about 20 or so years ago.  I'm not saying that it is the same set...but it seems like it is so random that this is the only time I have ever seen it again and almost unheard of that someone else has this.  I have gone out of my way to drive past it several times because this is a snapshot of my childhood at Christmas.  I used to beg my Dad to hurry up and put them out in our front yard.  It may be cheesy, but I absolutely love it! 

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