Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Polar Express Weekend.... in Pictures.

We went to Arizona.

It snowed.

We suited up.

We played.

We drove.

We had dance parties.

And cookie parties.

We went to town...very slowly.

While Lexi serenaded us.

We had some Pizza at the Hut.

And were thankful that these kiddos and their parents made it safely there after losing their 2nd pair of chains that night....

We entertained the kids and snuggled up for some pics.

Then we headed to the Polar Express.

We played in the snow some more.

Then it was time to board.

We were all so excited... even baby Peyton was looking for Santa!

Haley could hardly contain her joy! Santa was coming!!!!

But first we had to have our cookies and hot chocolate.

Tanner decided to come over and see the ladies.

And we read the Polar Express together.

Jen and Carson read it too.

Woops! Got too busy taking other pictures and forgot to keep my eyes on Lexi who decided Tanner needed some Christmas kisses.

Alas! We arrived at the North Pole!

And there is Santa!!!

Then the conductor announced that Santa would be boarding the train! I love the look of anticipation that the girls had on their faces. PRICELESS! Even now as I type this, the magic of that moment is making me tear up.

Suddenly the door opened...and Haley whipped her head around as fast as she could....

And Lexi spotted him...





Santa gave each child the first gift of Christmas... a bell. If you can hear it ring, you believe.


Right about this point...our train broke down in the middle of nowhere... oops, I mean the "North Pole." The Conductor ran through in a flash... and someone kept trying to rev up the engine again while the "Chefs" were trying to start up some Christmas carols. After several carols (including the FULL version of 12 days of Christmas)...we got our power restored and headed back to Arizona. But you know...the craziness of it all didn't matter because we were with some of our closest friends in the world.

As we neared the station, we bundled up again...ready to head out into the crazy blizzard of 2009.

I'm serious when I say blizzard... we had to drive 20 mph...and it took us 4 hours to make the 50 mile trek back to our cabin between broken chains...broken windshield wipers...and 1 gas refill.

The girls were completely out by hour 3 of the trip home.

And I woke up in hour 4 only to find us slipping down a hill... I know this because my dashboard was lit up with the word "SLIP SLIP SLIP" over and over. Oh trust me when I say I was calling on the name of the Lord with ALL that was within me. We made it home... all of us... even though poor Kipp and Sarah ended up in a ditch and we had to go back for them... All of our poor kids just came inside the house and started crying... they had no idea what was going on. We were all just thankful to be alive.

We woke up to this the next morning. So beautiful. Actually, the word beautiful doesn't accurately describe how breathtaking I thought it was....

We waved goodbye to Arizona and 2 precious families...

We caravan(ed) home with Kipp and Sarah...which of course had to include a stop at Cracker Barrel...

And one at Starbucks...

And then back on the road towards home.

We had such a wonderful time with our friends. I feel so blessed that after all these years (We all went to college together and most of us were even roommates at one point or another)...we can pick up right where we left off...oh except, while managing 9 kids among us (one minor change since college.) Nevertheless, it was such a special weekend full of so many fun memories!