Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/29/09: Santa's Big Party at Charmingfare Farm

We actually made it this year to Santa's Big Party at Charmingfare Farm. Last year we drove all the way there to find out the ice storm knocked out their power. It was worth the year wait. The kids had a great time. There was a horse drawn carriage ride to the party, animals to feed, pony rides, and we got to see reindeers.
Here are Lauren, Haley, Aubrey and Evan with some of the characters.
And us with Santa.
Getting ready to board the horse drawn carriage to take us to the party.
The kids doing a conga line with the characters.
Santa waving goodbye to us.

Here is a slideshow of more photos.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

11/28/09: Holiday Express Train in Reading

We went on the Holiday Express again this year and had a fun time. We got to listen to the Polar Express story be read, eat cookies, drink milk, see Cookie Monster, Rudolph, Frosty, Dora, Elmo and Santa. Here we are on the train.
And the kids being silly.
Getting ready to go hanging out at home in their PJs.
Evan, Lauren and Bella on the train.

And here is a slideshow of other pictures with characters.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

11/25/09: In Memory of Auntie Alice: God Mother, 2nd Mom to me

On Monday I got the call that no one wants to ever get. My Mom called to say that her sister, my Auntie Alice called her and that she said "Help me Gilda, I think I'm dying, I can't breathe". Like a flash my Dad headed over and got my Uncle and rushed to the house. My Dad performed CPR but it was too late. We wouldn't learn this till hours later when my Dad returned home shaking his head saying "she was gone". I was in disbelief. I rushed out of work and ran home to pick up the holiday pictures we had just taken over the weekend thinking I would take them to the hospital as she always enjoyed pictures of the kids. It was too late. I had just spoken with her and she had talked of the beautiful Christmas dress she bought Lauren and how excited she was to give it to her. My Uncle will still bring that dress and every time Lauren wears it I will have a smile and tear in my eye.
I was very close to my Auntie growing up. She was my God Mother, Auntie and also a second mother to me. Having 3 boys she always told me I was the daughter she never had. She came to all my Dance Recitals and Baton shows, Graduations, special events, came out for our lunch on the first day of school, and took me Christmas shopping ever year around this time and helped me pick out just the right gift for my parents. We spent many nights at her house watching movies, talking and hanging out, and went to many family parties at her house. It was her house that I drove to first the day I got into my first car accident.
As I went through the wake and funeral in a daze it is still so hard to believe. Even as I went up to the casket and kissed my hand and placed it on her it was hard to grasp she was gone. She was not in good health but my memories of her were when she was young and spry. She wore the same dress to be buried as she wore to my wedding and as Ave Maria played in the church today (the same song she walked down the aisle at my Wedding to) at the Funeral as we walked behind the casket tears welled up in my eyes. As I spoke my reading trying to ensure I did not trip over the first sentence which contained Thessalonians I just thought of her looking down at me saying Gilda Joy you are doing good (because my Mom was also Gilda my family always called me by my 1st and middle name). I hope I made her proud.
Here are my God Parents with me in preparation for my wedding day.
And at the reception.
At my baby shower.
With Evan when he was born.
With Lauren.

So at this wonderful time of year. Make sure you give an extra hug and a kiss to all of your loved ones and friends and remember what the season is truly about. Some times we get so caught up in the gifts and everything else we forget the reason for the season is to be with family and friends.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

11/21/09: Edaville Festival of Lights

As always we had another fun trip to Edaville Railroad in Carver for the Festival of Lights. We also go back in the summer for Day Out With Thomas and have fun everytime we go. Here we are on the train during the day.
And now at night.
The kids with Santa.
Lauren, Evan and Aubrey with a huge Santa.

Here is a slideshow of some other pictures.

Monday, November 16, 2009

11/15/09: Disney Live Rockin' Road Show

Here we are at Disney Live Rockin' Road Show. What a fun show! Last year we went to Playhouse Disney Live and had a lot of fun at that too.
Mickey and the gang driving around looking for talent for their talent show.
Lauren very excited for the show.
Evan being shy.
Mickey and Minnie.
Lauren loving seeing Cinderella. She got very excited to see her.
Cinderella made it in to the Talent Show.
Dancing it up in the Finale.
Taking a bow.
The whole cast.
Taking a picture in front of the canon that was in front of the Lowell Auditorium.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

11/12/09: Holiday Events

As a follow on to my Halloween Upcoming Events post, here are some holiday events to go to if interested. Also note that your local town may have a Santa call form that you can submit and have Santa call your son/daughter. Santa's Village in NH also can send you a letter from Santa:

Edaville's Christmas Festival of Lights: We always enjoy this one.
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm Weekdays 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm Weekends Nov. 13-15 & Nov. 20-22 November 27 thru January 3, 2010(Closed Christmas Day) Friday night fireworks in December

Charmingfare Farm Sleigh Rides and Santa's Big Party: Last year we tried to go but they had ice and it cut their power.
Use Code: save2009 for discounts up till November 15th

Stone Zoo lights:
November 26 through December 30 (except December 25)
5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
ZooLights, a beloved holiday family tradition, returns to Stone Zoo on Thanksgiving!
Don’t miss this winter wonderland, which attracts thousands of visitors each year who get into the holiday spirit by strolling along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Upon entering the Zoo, guests will visit Yukon Creek, which not only features dazzling holiday lights but is also home to bald eagles, porcupine, lynx, a gray fox and reindeer. Children will want to make sure they visit with Santa, who awaits their arrival in Santa’s Castle. Jolly Old St. Nick will be available for photos through Dec. 23. After visiting with Santa, enter a magical holiday world filled with fairy tale characters and dancing plush animals. Santa photos and carousel rides are available for an additional fee.

Billerica Tree lighting: We enjoy this one.
Tree Lighting - Saturday December 5, 2009
4:30PM Entertainment

Breakfast with Santa: Lots of characters and Santa. Lots of fun and cheap.
Shawsheen HS Billerica 12/13 8:30-12 $5 per person

Burlington Tree lighting: Burlington Common
Sunday, December 6 5:30 pm

Breakfast with Santa: Burlington Marriot
Sunday December 6th 9-12 $15 per person

Polar Express in NH: We are going for the first time this year.
Lottery already complete, but tickets may be available on Craigslist or E-bay.

There are also Polar Express train rides in Reading which we enjoyed last year that is sold out and one in Newburyport and Woburn.

Disney on Ice: We love this every year.
I will be posting discount codes for this. Stay tuned or purchase through Ticketmaster.

Jordan's Furniture in Avon: Enchanted Village and Polar Express 4D Odyssey movie.

Santa's Magical Playland: In Lowell Rides, photo ops, light displays, etc.

Smolak Farms: Andover Have your photo taken with Santa or make gingerbread men with Mrs. Claus.
Memories are made at Smolak Farms….especially when it includes Santa and Mrs. Claus! Each weekend in December Santa will be visiting the Farm so he can hear what the good girls and boys have on their “wish list”! During the season, Mrs. Claus will join Santa on one special weekend to share cookies, stories and crafts with the children.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/9/2009: Little Miss Independent

Where has my baby gone?

It is almost the end of Parent and Me classes for me. Lauren is growing up. She will be 3 in April which is typically the age they do classes by themselves however she has already started. It started with Dance where they go in by themselves. Even in swim she won't let me touch her in the pool and wants to do it all by herself. And last night it was Gymnastics. The Parent and Me class we had been taking was cancelled but her teacher approved her to move up with the 3 year olds. I was worried she would want me with her but instead she ran off to class without a look back.

I know, I know, I should be happy. And I am, but with this one being my last it is just another stage that I will never go through again. I had tears in my eyes last night as I watched her in Gymnastics (as I hid behind a pole being worried she might run to me if she saw me) doing so well. Her old teacher and the owner came by to pat me on the back and tell me she is doing great and what will I do with the hour now. All I have left now is swim because they require she be three to do that by herself. Guess I will try and enjoy it while I can.

Other Moms tell me you have gone through this and that it is going to be ok.

Monday, November 9, 2009

11/8/09: UMass Lowell River Hawks Hockey Game

Evan's school sent home a flyer one day about tickets to a Hockey game for $5 each and Evan was free. Seemed like a good deal, so of course I bought the tickets. The kids had a great time (mostly eating cotton candy and popcorn, but enjoyed the game too). So here we are at UMass Lowell River Hawks vs the UNH Wildcats. Clifford the Big Red Dog was there.
And Curious George. (Man has Evan got the pose with characters down and Lauren is really into the hugging the characters)
All ready for the game.
Go River Hawks! Mommy went to UNH for her Master's but at their Manchester campus and wasn't so dedicated to rooting them on.
The River Hawks won!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

10/31/09: Trick or Treating

Well after all the fun events we did leading up to Halloween we reached the culmination with Trick or Treating. What a fun time!
We went with our friend Molly and Bella. Trick or Treat
The cool moon. What wonderful weather.
Trick or Treat.
Wow what a lot of loot we got.
With Neicy.