I'll start with our day last Friday. Mark usually gets home from work a little early on Fridays so we like to use these days to go places if we can. This is the day we planned to take the boys to the mall to pick out their ornament for 2007, have lunch and go see the Festival of the Trees. We met Mark at the mall at about 2:30 and headed to Mervyn's first as sometimes the Hallmark ornaments go on sale there so we thought we'd check...no sale and hardly any selection so off to the real Hallmark we go... after what seemed like FOREVER the boys finally made their choice...changing their minds a trillion times along the way (and with a little parental intervention) they ended up with some pretty cute ones, I think ....after telling us all day that he wanted to find a Spiderman ornament, Sam gets there and decides he wants a plain old snowman, WHAT??!!! We talked him out of that one because we knew once we got home he'd wish he had chosen the Spiderman after all...and he was SO happy with it when we got it home. Poor Joshua kept getting talked out of every one of his choices because they really made absolutely no sense...I mean, the whole REASON we pick HALLMARK to get their ornaments is because with their selection they can usually find something that fits them perfectly or goes along with something they've done or experienced throughout the year and that is what we explain to the boys before we even go into the store...yet without fail, Joshua's first pick is always something that leaves Mark and I dazed and confused and trying as hard as we can to change his mind. He wanted anything that did something cool, like light up or talk...he wanted a juke box that played music for a whopping $28!! Sorry, kid! We love you to bits but there's just NO WAY you're getting a $28 ornament! He wanted a weird hot wheels car that had flourescent PINK on top, and he wanted a Soccer ball that's about to score a goal....which would be fine, if he had or EVER has played SOCCER! He finally got his heart set on a basketball with a pair of shoes beside it that plays the sounds of a crowd cheering and that one was perfect, everyone agreed (Joshua is about to start Junior Jazz and Mark is going to be his coach... they are both so excited). Poor kids. I hope they remember how much fun we had when we got to go and pick ornaments and not that their parents wouldn't let them get what they really wanted. :) Mark and I realized that when the kids move out and take their ornaments we are going to be left with NOTHING, so we entertained the thought of picking one for us, but the one we really liked was $24 bucks and we just couldn't justify it. Lucky for us when we checked out the lady said "oh, if you buy 2 or more ornaments you get this little snowman ornament for free" YAY for us, our tree won't be completely bare afterall! :) So this is what everyone ended up with...
Joshua's Basketball and shoes:
Samuel's BLACK Spiderman (he was the black Spiderman for Halloween so this really was perfect for him:
Gabriel's Mickey Mouse (LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse beyond MEASURE)And little Will's "baby's first Christmas" ornament
This is the little snowman we ended up with:
Having just watched "A Christmas Story" with the boys we also really loved these: (I love their names!)
a Major Award: Ralphie Saves Christmas:
After we left the mall we headed to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. YUMMMMM! It was really really yummy, I'd forgotten how good their Chicken strips and fries were, it was a fun treat! After lunch we went to the Festival of the Trees. This is a really neat event that showcases incredibly beautiful trees that are donated and sold for THOUSANDS of dollars and all the money earned goes to Primary Childrens Medical Center. There were some really amazing trees. One of them even had a HUGE flatscreen HDTV that came with it, there were some that included a dinette set and chairs, one with a beautiful bed, and a star wars one that was INCREDIBLE, it had every figurine imaginable attached to the tree and then another HUGE pile of unopened figures that were included. One of my favorites was the giraffe tree, it looked like a giraffe had fallen into the tree with his head on top and his arms and legs sticking out of the front. It was really cute. Another one of my favorites wasn't a tree at all, but a "candy factory" that was DARLING! They also had some pretty incredible play houses for outside complete with carpeting, lofts, electricity and siding! How fun would that be!!! Here are a few of our favorites: (I know they all look like the same but I thought I'd share them anyway).
The Candy Factory:
This is what Will and Gabe did most of the time we were there:
One of the highlights of the day was when the boys got to stand in a GIANT BUBBLE! It was just a kiddie pool filled with bubble solution and a hoola-hoop attached to rope, who would have thought that could be so cool!! The kids really loved it and Gabe even tried it which surprised me because we woke him up from a DEEP SLEEP to ask him if he wanted to do it so he went from dreamland to bubble-ville in about 30 seconds. Right at the end he slipped into the bubble solution and got his feet drenched, the video only shows the first second of this, he was so cute about it though and didn't mind at all that he got soaked, he just laughed it off like it was no big deal at all. Whew.
As we left the festival there was a HUGE line just to get tickets so we were SO GLAD we had gotten there early. We got home about 8-ish and the boys got to go downstairs to watch the Jazz game with Mark, then they got to sleep downstairs so it was pretty much a perfect day from start to finish for the little guys. I hope they'll cherish the memories of this fun day forever, I know that Mark and I will.