Christmas Morning!


For me, Christmas morning is magic.  It's a time be thankful for all our blessings (both big and small), to cherish family, and to celebrate the joy, wonder, and innocence of children.  I had the good fortune of watching the magic unfold for my little boy, who at 6 a.m., woke Mommy and Daddy out of a sound sleep to  go downstairs and see if Santa came...

Reindeer cookies (we made) for Santa...

Santa left gifts and a fully assembled motorized train track. 

Between the new track (and the existing train table), there's not too much space to sit :)

Enjoying the new train!

The infamous cash register (to his left).

Could this be a Leap Pad?

This year Santa left stocking stuffers too!

A Hot Wheels Mystery Machine...just like the one in Scooby Doo.

A quick photo break...

Another small train called the Santa Express.

Checking out the wheels of his small train.

Some more Christmas magic...

Santa left a dusting of snow!
This year was all about trains.  In fact the cash register and the Leap Pad (among other toys) came in a distant third and forth place to the choo choo trains Lewie received.  He's been playing with both his new trains nonstop except for when we take a break to watch The Polar Express (which has now been seen six or seven times) since the first viewing before Thanksgiving.

In the spirit of Christmas and The Polar Express, I do believe in Christmas magic...the bell still rings in this house!

To those who are grieving this Christmas--especially our beloved neighbors in Newtown--my thoughts and prayers are with you now and will forever remain in my mind and in my heart. May God embrace you and your families and never let go...

The Santa Express


Last Sunday, Little Lewie and I had reservations to go on "The Santa Express."  Since he's such a huge Polar Express fan, I knew he would be excited to go on a real choo choo train.  Even more, the train cars were from the early 1920's, so the ride felt even more authentic to the movie.

We rode with another little friend and his mom and had the joy of meeting Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even one of Santa's helpers.  The ride was fun, and we had a few funny moments to throw into the mix too.

At some point during the middle of the train ride, my son said he had to go pee pee.  Trains from the 1920's do not have bathrooms, and so we had ourselves a dilemma.  When the train stopped to turn around and go back in its original direction, I pounced on one of the conductors.

" son has to go to the bathroom.  Is there anyway he can just whizz off the back of the train car?"

Mrs. Claus herself halted the train and escorted us to a place where Lewie could exit the train...There was no shyness there, he was done emptying his bladder in a few seconds flat.  Problem solved.

On the way back, one of the conductors came onto the loud speaker and told us that we wouldn't be able to go up the hill and cross the dam that day.  "The rain is making the rails very slippery, and the wheels keep on flipping."

My girlfriend and I looked at each other and laughed.  "That's okay by me," she said relieved.  "I'd prefer not to go up on a dam anyways."  I couldn't agree more.

Picture of the train crossing the dam in good weather!
At the end of the trip, we went into the train station to listen to some Christmas music and check out their gift shop.  Lewie was enthralled with the motorized trains they had on display, so I never had a chance to look at their shop.  My friend, on the other hand, went and bought a simple toy train that her son picked out.

During the entire ride home, my son whined, "I want that toy train.  I want his toy."  The boys kept sharing it back and forth, but I had to keep reminding Lewie when his turn was taking a little too long.

After a special, fun-filled day on the train, Lewie's final comment to me was, " I don't want Santa to bring a cash register anymore; I want that toy train."  Ugghhh.  It looks like I'll be going back to the train station today (since it's only open on the weekends) to get the same little $6 choo choo train for him...  Santa's job is not easy; he needs a raise.

Us on the train...(It almost looks like we're on a school bus...)

Lewie and Santa...

Santa exiting the car...

The train station and gift shoppe.

The boys enjoying the moving toy trains.

Stationery card


Pinecone Greetings Christmas Card
Send Christmas cards personalized with your family photos.
View the entire collection of cards.

The Polar Express


I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again: I LOVE AGE FOUR.   Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to keep a log of all the funny, sweet, unique, and cute things my little boy has said, but I have to admit, it's been difficult;  these days it seems like everything that comes out of his mouth is cute...

Today, I'd like to share my favorites...

Looking at each other in the mirror.
Me:  "We've got the same noses, Lewie."
Him:  "Yes, but mine has polka-dots."  (Of course, he means that he has freckles.)

As he's swinging, "Mommy, the sun is following me."

While looking outside at the fog, "Today's going to be a froggie day."

While taking a bath...
Him:  "Mommy, is this my knee shoulder?"
Me:  "No, it's your elbow."

While at CVS Pharmacy, pointing to a toy cash register.  (Thank you CVS for including a lovely toy section)
Him:  "Mommy, can I have this?"
Me:  "I don't have the money to buy it right now.  Why don't you tell Santa that you want it?"
Him:  "Okay, but what if Santa forgets?"

Last week, he developed a very new fascination with The Polar Express.  Starting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Lewie found the movie, still in its original packaging, and asked in he could see it.  (To be honest, it was given to us as a present, but I forgot about it.)  I knew the picture of the train must have fascinated him, but I didn't think he'd actually sit (or stay awake) for the entire movie.  Well, let me just say that he did both.  My little boy, who had preschool the next day, stayed awake until 11 p.m. watching the movie!

I probably should have insisted that he go to bed, but I was just amazed at how this movie captured his complete and total attention; he was mesmerized!  The very next day, he asked if he could see it again and so it was played again and again during the Thanksgiving Day holiday.  Then my aunt decided to buy him the soundtrack, and now if he isn't watching the movie, then he's listening to the music in the car over and over again.  For those of you who are fans (or have children that are fans), his favorite songs are "The Polar Express" and "Hot Chocolate"--I  captured a video of him dancing to his favorite songs before bed.

Yesterday we went to the mall, and Lewie saw Santa.  In previous years, he could care less, but this time, he wanted to meet Santa.  He wanted to tell him all about The Polar Express.  I wasn't planning on having his holiday pictures taken so soon, but hey, when there's an opportunity, especially with kids, you have to take it when it comes.

We met Santa, and sure enough, he told him about watching The Polar Express.   When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Lewie answered confidently, "a cash register."  I don't know many boys that ask for a cash register for Christmas, but mine did.  I couldn't help but to laugh out loud.  I sure hope CVS still has it...after all, Santa can't "forget."