December 10, 2011

Polar Express 2011


I have been waiting for this day for months now.
Last year Sami, Brooke, Courtney, my mom and I all volunteered for the
Polar Express train ride.
It was one of the most special nights.
My aunt Pam and cousin Julie both got excited thinking about riding the
train for Christmas in 2011.
Julie's son Bennett is a super big train fan(atic lol).

So in September Pam reminded me about the train ride.
 I started planning that night.
I called and got 5 of us to volunteer and the day the tickets went on sale
 I got  tickets for the rest of the family. 

Julie and I planned a family celebration at my house before the train ride.
We wanted to give each family something to remember this night by.
So Julie and I,with Denny's help made Polar Express trains our her family.
Each year we will add a car with the year on it.

Of course I always go over the top with things, so the day after
Thanksgiving I started decorating our house.
Some people have said it looks like Santa threw-up at our house. LOL
I even had a slide show going of over 800 pictures of everyone in the family.
And had Christmas music playing on all 3 floors of our house.
Denny did a awesome job on the outside lights.
He always makes me proud when he turns our home into a ginger bread house.
I also did homemade peppermint ice cream.
It is my favorite kind.

Some of my family members would ask me about what the train ride was like?
As I'm explaining it, I would get so excited I would tear up.
Yes I'm sad, but I don't care I love this time of year.
Finally this day got here.
 We were missing Eric and Samantha as their girls have the stomach flu,
also missing Wes who got deployed this morning to Afghanistan.
I know they will all be with us next year.

Everyone got here about 3pm.
I had this all planned out in detail in my head for the
 perfect night and I wasn't disappointed.
We had a house full of people,
36 total. 
I loved every minute of it.
We did a gift change game and had tons of food and drinks.
Pam had a whole list of pictures she needed taken for the family calender.
Linda & Bruce's grandkids.
Some of Pam & Paul's grandkids.
Jim & Ruth's grandkids.
Jim, Linda & Pam.
Me & Kim.
Craig, Meghan & Ryan.

Jeanie, Julie & Katie.
Sami & Tino.
All of us.
Thanks Tino for taking the picture.

Then it was time for the volunteers to go to the train station.
We got to make the cookies for the whole train.
150 cute little bags with 2 cookies each in them.
All aboard!!!!
We had the family split up into groups.
Mom and Brooke were in 1 car and Pam, Sami and I in the other one.
Brooke and Pam read the story of the Polar Express in each car.

In mom and Brooke's car were
Ruth & Jim,
Jeanie, Kip, Evie & Jack,
Julie, Joel & Bennett.
Katie, Marty, Reece, Cash & Mattie & Delanie.
Jason, Kim, Courtney & Jake,
and Bruce.
In mine, Pam and Sami's car was
Ryan, Emily & Paige,
Meghan,Lily & Chloe,
Paul,Craig ,Denny, Chris & Tino.

We volunteers welcomed everyone onto the train and helped finding their seats.
Joel and Bennett
Denny & Chris got a front row seat to watch us crazy girls in action.
After everyone was on the train the conductor went around and said
"ticket please"
Then out came the hot chocolate and cookies.
Julie, Joel & Bennett.
Ruth, Jim and baby Jack.
Evie, Jeanie & Kip.
And with Jack.
Katie, Marty, Reece,and Cash .
Delanie,Mattie, & Evie.
Mom (Linda), Bennett, & Brooke.
 Jason, & Kim.
Linda & Bennett.
Joel & Bruce.
Grandpa Jim with Cash & Bennett
Emily & Paige.
Sami & Lily.
Ryan & Paige.
Craig & Lily.
Meghan, Chloe & Tino.
Paul & Paige.
Then the reading the of story.
I had to grab Reece for awhile.
We sang Christmas songs on the way to the North Pole.
As we got closer to the North Pole I think I got even more excited then the kids.
We all watched out the windows.
Grandma Ruth trying to keep Bennett & Evie from falling out the window. LOL
Once we saw the lights we knew we were about to see Santa.
He got on the train and gave each one of the kids a bell.
He started in the back train.
Bennett loved him.
Cash didn't really like him.
Evie liked him too.
Reece too.
Delanie.& Mattie
Don't forget about Jake & Courtney.
Then he came into our car.
Look Lily got her bell.
Paige liked Santa.
Chloe slept thru Santa.
Wow, I look like I'm going to wet my pants I'm so excited. LOL
After Santa said HI to everyone, we sang Christmas songs all the way back.
And again this year I got my car to do the "wave" a couple of times.
Love that part. LOL
When we got back to the station all we volunteers said good bye and
Merry Christmas to everyone as they got off the train.
People kept hugging me good bye saying what a wonderful time they had.

Bennett and the Conductor.
One of the best parts of the night was afterthe train ride, some of my family members told me
 it was even better then they thought it was going to be,
 and how much fun the kids and adults had.
Now they know why I was so excited about this.

To my fellow volunteers..
Thank you so much for doing this with me.
I love that all of us entertained people and played our roles as elf's perfectly.
The conductor came up to me afterwards and said we all rocked
as volunteers and people had a wonderful time.

To the rest of my family..
Thanks for once again letting me do the crazy things I love to do.
I had a wonderful time planning this day and it was perfect in
every way other then Eric, Samantha, Violet, Rosie & Wes not being here.
I know you all had to listen to me freak out about this day.
I would say I'm sorry but I'm not... LOL
You know that's just who I am.

I can't wait to do this Family Celebration and Polar Express every year.
I love you all so much and feel so lucky to have each one of you in my life.

Thanks Denny for living with crazy me for the last couple of months and all the hard
 work you did to make this day prefect.

It's the" I believe"
in their eyes that makes me love this night!

To everyone..


And to top it all off the Steam Train just posted on their Facebook
an email they got.

Status Update
By Chehalis Centralia Railroad & Museum
We love getting letters like this one!

"I just had to email you and tell you what an absolutely wonderful time we had last
 night on the Polar Express.
We took our grandson for the first time and he loved it and so did his
 parents and grandparents (us).

"We felt the whole staff on the train did an outstanding job and made it fun for all.
Santa was wonderful and took his time with all the children
 so we could get lots of great pictures with him as well.

"Fantastic job to everyone who put this together.
We were disappointed we didn't get in last year,
 but look forward to it again next year.

"Sincerely, Ken & Teri M."

Then posted on our elf picture was this ---
Wendy Carolan wrote-
We were passengers on this fabulous trip to the North Pole. We had a great time and would
 LOVE to do it again with even MORE grandkids in tow next year.
Thank you all for your efforts. You definitely helped us to make a wonderful
 new Christmas memory.

I couldn't have asked for a better or more perfect night.
Love you all