Hello Monday! I don’t know about you…but we couldn’t have fit more fun into our weekend.
We rode the North Pole Express Train.
We celebrated Manda with a Fun Run and 5K event.
We went to the McKinney Light Parade.
We hosted a party at our house for our entire Sunday School class.
We are pooped…but it was fun.
And then if you’re looking for me this morning, I’m on Good Morning Texas making mini versions of some favorite entree recipes.
If I’m not asleep tonight by 8:30, it will be a Christmas miracle.
First up, we went on the North Pole Express with the Slaughters. We’ve never done this little train ride before (even though it’s right by my parents’ house)…we always just kind of forget about it. Back in October, Erika suggested we go and so we asked some friends what they thought about it and got really mixed reviews. Some people loved it and some friends didn’t like it at all…we took a gamble and bought our tickets (please note that 1 minute into the ride, Andrew and Tab declared we would never do it again and Erika and I pretty much completely agreed…sigh.).
The kids all wear their pjs on the Polar Express, so we dressed the five kiddos in matching pajamas. We ate yummy BBQ at a nearby restaurant before boarding the train. My big girl :).
The five kiddos enjoying their supper. I don’t know what was in the water here but I’m pretty sure 4 out of the 5 kids got into trouble while eating…
Erika and I kept laughing because we take the five of them everywhere all.the.time. and they’re super easy…but holy moly the combination of BBQ, pajamas, train rides and their fathers made them act like crazy fools!
I just love these kids so much. And yes, Ashby should be here too. She really should be.
We had to stand in line for 45 minutes before we boarded the train. Let’s just say the phrases “get off the ground” and “keep your hands to yourself” were said a lot. That’s a long time to wait in a line with five kids! I love sharing this craziness with Erika though :).
Getting ready to board!!
They’re so excited!!
Sweet girls on board 🙂
Mrs. Claus came by for pictures and gave each child a bell.
After the train ride they shuffled us into a pavilion to see Santa and his elves.
And then when it was all over, we boarded the shuttle bus back to the parking lot. We laughed and laughed about how this was our favorite part of the evening ;). The kids loved everything! Smith said it was the best day of his life. The adults thought it was waaaaaaay over-priced for what you got. I don’t think this is a tradition we’ll repeat next year, but I’m sure glad we did it at least once.
The next day (December 13), the city of McKinney declared it Manda Maxwell Day and we had a 5K and Fun Run to support our sweet friends.
Andrew and Kensington didn’t sign up to run, so they stayed behind and cheered for everyone…my boy said he wanted to run the 1 mile Fun Run, so we got all geared up! Thankfully, it was unseasonably warm on this day, so there were hundreds of people and kids out supporting our friend and enjoying the gorgeous day!
I love my sweet friend so much! Not only is she such a strong fighter (this is her 3rd time to fight cancer), she is the best wife and mama. She is such an inspiration to me.
My friend Kassie took this as we crossed the finish line…I’m laughing because Smith sprinted the first 100 feet of the mile and then stopped and said his legs were just too exhausted that he didn’t think he could finish…so, I put him on my back and ran the mile (with my 5 year old on my back) and then he hopped off and finished the last 50 feet on his own. Needless to say, I’m sore today.
He is so proud of his medal! I didn’t want to point out to him that mommy actually deserved the medal. And some Icy Hot.
Later that night, we bundled up and headed to the McKinney Light Parade with my parents. My kids found a spot on the curb and enjoyed peppermint bark while they waited.
10 years ago after we left Detroit, I wanted to move back to where I grew up because that’s what I knew in Texas, but Andrew said we needed to live in McKinney (a suburb about 20 minutes north of Dallas). I DID NOT want to move to McKinney. McKinney is also 45 minutes south of Oklahoma and as someone who grew up in the Irving/Dallas area, that sounded so far away. He just kept insisting that McKinney is where we would want to start our little business and raise a family…but I was not a happy camper about it. It was an hour from my family, it was a suburb and it was so far north. Needless to say…10 years later…I am so glad that I stopped pouting and listened to him. I cannot imagine raising my kids anywhere else. I really, really, really love my town and it’s been an honor to call it home this last decade. And yes, here in McKinney we are extremely proud that other people like it too…being named the #1 Best Place to Live in the US is kind of something we’re excited about :).
Papa Jay bought them a light up sword and wand…and they’re still eating peppermint bark.
Woohoo! The parade begins!
Lots of cheering!
See our banner…we’re proud people :).
Santa arrived with snow!
We had the BEST time at the parade! Such a fun little family tradition!
I hope you had a great weekend too! On the foodie blog today, the three recipes I’m sharing on Good Morning Texas today PLUS your Meal Planning Monday!
Click here to see all of the yumminess!