We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

All Aboard The Polar Express!!!!!

Happy Holidays from my pride and joy!

I took these pictures Tuesday before my friend Janet came over from out of town with her family. It was really good to see her as the last time we had been together was at sissy's funeral. However, she gave me my birthday/Christmas present and now I'm addicted to Scentsy! I'm also bummed that I didn't get any pictures of us together or of her two kids.

Asa comes up with all of his own poses. He's a natural!

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, ready to leave for the Polar Express!!! There is a railroad that does a Polar Express ride about 2 hours from here so we went. We had always wanted to go but never got around to it. Last year sissy was too sick to go so we scrapped it. I think this will be a new tradition for our family but hopefully next year the whole family can go. Josh and Norm were working and Grama wasn't able to go.

The kids were very excited. Valentina kept saying "This is the best train day EVER!!!"

On the train with Beya and Papa!!! As usual I was waaaaay behind on things and we didn't decide to do this until Monday. I tried to get tickets for the "first class" train car but everything was sold out, we were lucky to get our riff raff coach tix. After I bought them mom and I both went online and read reviews of it. Everyone who had gone on the first class raved about it and everyone who went on the regular class panned it. Mom and I were kind of scared but were determined to make it fun for the kids, even IF the windows were fogged up, the car stunk and the chefs didn't speak English. Yes, those were actual reviews of it.

Valentina looks like she's been hitting the sauce a little early.

We were ready to have some FUN!!!!

Holding onto her ticket for dear life, waiting for the conductor to punch it.

The Hobo stopped to have his picture taken with Asa. He was a great Hobo. When he first came storming in, yelling, Valentina kind of freaked but then became very perplexed asking me "why is the hobo so mad? Why is he angry?" By the end of the ride she was calling him a "Ho Ho Ho Hobo!"

Here come the chefs with the hot chocolate!

So happy with her hot cocoa.

Oh yeah, this is fun!

"Is that cookies I see down there?"

Sure enough!

Still not letting go of that ticket!

Here's the conductor!

FINALLY getting her ticket punched. As you can see, I'm trying to document everything. I'm so lucky that mom bought herself a decent camera for her birthday so between the two of us taking tons of pictures we got pretty much every angle covered.

So happy to have his ticket punched.

The Hobo was so good about stopping for everyone to take pictures. The conductor was too.

"IT'S SANTA!!!! I KNOW HIM!!!!!"

Santa was also good about stopping to have his picture taken with the kids while he was handing out bells.

One of Santa's elves.

"Yeah! I have my ticket punched and my bell is ringing!"

Hugging his punched ticket and ringing bell.

Beya and Papa. Mom said it was the best day she'd had since January 9.

Asa covering his ears. The last song that plays on the movie always makes Asa cry. I can remember sissy instructing me whenever I would put the movie on for Asa that I had to stop it before the last song started or else he would burst into tears. The first year Asa saw the movie I think he was 2 and he asked for it CONSTANTLY, only he asked for "Po Press" because he couldn't pronounce Polar Express. Of course as we pulled back into the train station the song started playing so Beya told Asa to cover his ears.

All clear, the song is over.

As we walked back to the train station we had to get a picture in front of where it said Polar Express and the Conductor was kind enough to get in the photo. All in all I thought it was a great experience, not at ALL like the riff raff I told Holly we were going to be in :)

FYI, Asa took this picture. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet my online friend Kathy. She found my blog 10 days after sissy died and emailed me. Her sister died from breast cancer 22 years ago and she told me that it still hurts and holidays are still hard and life is never the same. She has been a great friend, someone who knows what I'm going through and she has also been a source of support to mom. She lives somewhat near where we went so mom came up with the great thought of calling her to see if we could meet. Again, if only my mind worked I could have planned everything instead of emailing her a half hour before we left! She was so kind, called me right away and even left work early to meet us. It was so good to see her, hug her and talk to her. She was so sweet, she had gifts for the kids! I told her I'm always a little worried when I meet online friends in person because you never know if they are going to be weird or "normal." Luckily Kathy is weirdly normal, just like us, haha.

After the train ride the kids were able to get special golden tickets.
All in all it was a good day and I only hope that the kids will have a good memory of it so they will want to go again next year.


Krystal said...

That looks like so much fun! I'm so glad that you all had a good time :) The kids are so very cute in their pjs.

Andrea said...

So fun! So good to see smiles on your faces.

And BTW, Asa and Kaylon have matching pj's this year :)

Love you!

Beya said...

I had such a great day. The best day all year!!!! My grandkids are so special! So is my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting these smiling pix of all of you.. Looks like a new family tradition, is what was needed.. So glad you had a wonderful time.

Love and hugs,


The Mckenzie Crew said...

LOVE the pictures - WOW! What a great time! You look amazing Cameo! The childrem's expressions on their faces are priceless!!Just LOVED seeing all of your beautiful faces!What a great time for all of you - you are amazing and I am so thankful for you!

Amarelis said...

Great to see you all experiencing happiness!! The kids are soo cute and you are a great mom and aunt!! You have a beautiful family!

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