Monday, January 3, 2011

Confession Number 68: I'm All About the Traditions

I feel like I can finally take a deep breath (figuratively, not literally, I am 6+ months pregnant.  I gave up breathing deeply weeks ago) after our usual Christmas travels.  Each year this time gets so busy and hurried and I realized this morning after looking over my little piece of real estate on the World Wide Web, that I haven't shared one single Christmas picture with you.  So, if you tune in to stay in touch with our little family, you'll love the next few days.  I'm preparing a montage of Matthews Christmas Traditions, starting with our trip to the Christmas Train.  I hope you enjoy. 

I love creating new traditions with our family and holding on to older ones.  The Holidays are the perfect time of year to practice family traditions.  Not to mention we make memories that Kennedy and, soon, Baby Brother (he still needs a name, poor guy) will cherish for a lifetime.  One of the traditions we started last year was to travel to Dry Gulch to ride the Christmas Train and see Santa.  This year Weezie and Papa Lynn were able to join us for our outing.  I knew Mom would love it!  Aren't they the cutest thing?

I love going.  Dry Gulch is an area created by Church on the Move in Tulsa that leaves you feeling like you spent an evening back around the turn of the century.  The 20th century, not the 21st, although those weren't such bad times, either.  The old time, steam engine train takes it's passengers on a ride through the creation, birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The live scenes are awesome and it is the perfect conversation starter with young children.  Kennedy was able to absorb much more this year and I'll surely be praying for a bit more guidance on how to answer her questions next year. 

It wasn't nearly as cold as it was last year, which was quite nice.  We also changed our plans and went on a Thursday evening.  HIGHLY recommended!  The crowd was less than half with a super short wait for the main attraction.  Here are the girls showing off their boarding passes for the train....

Like I said earlier, next year I'll try to be more mentally prepared for Kennedy's questions.  During the crucifixion scene the narrator said, "Jesus cried out, Father, Father!" and in her three-year-old very worried voice she asked, "Mommy, why is Jesus crying?"

One thing I love about the Christmas Train is that they do a wonderful job in combining the Christmas Story with the story of Santa.  I use Santa as a teaching tool with Kennedy on the importance of giving to others, especially those who are less fortunate than us.  KJ has always been super with the Big Guy and crawls right up on his lap.  This year, she even got to chat with Mrs. Clause...

With the crowd being so much smaller this year, I felt like we could actually relax and enjoy the entire Dry Gulch experience.  We wondered through the shops and, of course, shared some cinnamon roll and hot chocolate goodness at Barnett Bakery.  KJ and Daddy even took a spin on the carousel...

It was a great night and these are memories I'll cherish forever.  We'll see how it goes next year with a 9 month old, but this night is truly one of my favorites of the entire season!

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