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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Festival of Trees

We went to the Festival of Trees on Friday and have definitely discovered a new holiday tradition. The last time either Tim or I had been to the festival was when we were each in high school.  I have seen a lot of recent media and it seemed like an event that the babies would love.  I knew that my mom would love it so we were happy that she was able to join us.  We really had the best time. Neither Tim or I remembered it being so impressive - not only were the trees amazing, but they also had wreaths, quilts, gingerbread houses, and custom made playhouses.  We went on Friday morning and it wasn't too busy which was nice because the kids were able to move around a little more freely. For a girl who is not at all creative, the trees were especially impressive.  We all had definite favorites, I was primarily impressed by the classic designs while the kids were definitely more impressed by all of the toys and character trees.

Not sure why Luke looked so concerned

Ruby tells everyone that the Rapunzel tree was her favorite.

Tim's favorite

After this tree, we had to go home and watch The Grinch

Ruby was ready to enter the Candyland.

Luke couldn't stop talking about Star Wars

Did I mention the gingerbread houses? I couldn't believe what people had designed with gingerbread. Plenty of traditional houses, but I really loved so many of the not so typical like this camper trailer.

My friend designed and built this house.  She had posted pictures and I was excited to see it up close.

Not sure why Jack Skellington was there, but the kids loved it.

I had told the kids that Santa might be at the festival and they were thrilled to see him first thing when we arrived.  Luke went first and marched right up and started talking.  He told me he asked for a remote control Darth Mader (what he calls Darth Vader) car.  When it was Ruby's turn, she was much more timid.  She did talk to him, but didn't ever look comfortable and definitely wasn't willing to smile.  She told us that she asked for a candy cane - lucky girl, her wish came true immediately.

The entire Festival of Trees is organized and exists to raise money for Primary Children's Hospital. While we were there we went to the Kids Korner where we bought teddy bears to decorate.  The process was to decorate the bears and then give them back to be gifted to a child that was at the hospital.  It was a great experience to help Luke and Ruby learn about serving others.  When I first told them the plan, Luke tried to negotiate two bears each so they could give one away and keep the other.  We kept talking and eventually they both understood that the bears were for other friends who were sad or lonely and they got excited to make something they loved.  Since finishing the project, Luke keeps telling me that he thinks his bear will help a little boy or girl to not be so scared.  The bears will definitely be an ongoing part of our tradition - I loved having such a simple way to teach my kids to give back, and to have fun doing it.  
Grandma and Ruby spent a lot of time working on the bear's hair.

So many choices

Luke knew exactly how he wanted his bear to look.

The finished project

In this shot he's saying "smile bear"

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