They recommend kids wear their PJs (for fun and to stay warm), so that is why you'll notice all the kids are in PJs (under their winter gear).
We had a little time to kill before it was our turn for the trolley ride to the North Pole, so we hung out. Liv was easily entertained with my hat.
Ben, Adelaide, and Oliver kept busy with coloring sheets and letters to Santa.
Finally it was our turn to board the trolley! Ben picked out a window seat with Dad.
And Livvie and I snuggled in the seat in front of them.
The Gresholdts sat across from us. Everyone was ready to go!!!
They read The Polar Express to us on the trolley ride to the North Pole, and then when we arrived, there were reindeer, Santa, cookies, and hot chocolate.
After we visited the reindeer, we met Santa. Ben did SO much better this year. He sat on his lap, asked for a bike, and chatted him up a bit. Livvie happily went to him. She is too young to know differently and loves everyone anyway.
(Why does Santa look so angry in all these photos? Did no one explain to him that he should smile for photos? He was actually a very nice Santa, but from these pictures you would not know it.)
Then Ben got his bell. And one for his sister. We might need to hide the bell; Ben enjoys it a little too much.
Ben was entertained by the fire truck and two ambulances for a while. Then he was just cold and done. As were we all. We waited around for about 45 minutes before we finally boarded a trolley and headed back. Poor Liv was long overdue for a nap, freezing, and ready to go. But she never cried once. Such a trooper. That girl is the sweetest little thing.
Finally, we were headed home. We sang Christmas carols, and Ben started to thaw out and cheer up. He even sang along and brought out his bell. This pictures are from when we first boarded the trolley, when Ben was still cold and confused.
Mike was in the seat across the aisle with Liv, who had fallen asleep on him at some point in the line. She just couldn't hold out any longer. Poor little thing.
After that, we headed to Lesli and Mark's for some hot soup and garlic bread. Livve perked up for about 30 minutes, and then was just too tired. I tried to get a picture, but she was not in the mood.
Ben was happily playing with the kids, and cried when it was time to go. Lesli took pity on him and let him spend the night.
I think he and Adelaide are going to be trouble in about 10 years. These two are too cute together. I think they are either wresting or dancing here.
Look at those three faces!
Aw, young love. ;-) Look how happy Ben is to be with Adelaide. (And notice the PJ change -- he spilled apple juice all over his, so he borrowed some from Oliver. When Mike asked him why he spilled his juice, he told us "I wasn't expecting it." Indeed, Ben.
Livvie, on the other hand, was ready to go. When I got her home, I tried giving her a bottle, but she wanted nothing but her bed. She was out like a light a second after I put her in her crib.