Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Pictures.

One of our traditions is going to see Santa Claus. From the time Butter was (nearly) two we've gone to see the same Santa. He is a wonderful man. He is very gentle, kind and tender. He is also a parents DREAM. And by that I mean: If a child asks for a dog, a cat or in our case a hamster he tells the child; "Santa can not bring live animals in his sleigh, they do not ride well and some of them would eat the other presents." When Butter heard this her eyes got big, and he went on telling her more "stories". (We later found out she was asking for a beanie baby hamster...which "he" did bring her but it was the WRONG one.) I now try to encourage them to ask for certain things...(Things I may already have picked up!) But Santa always says; "Santa can't make promises. But if you are real good and you listen to your Mommy and Daddy, Santa will bring you something really nice." Then he goes on to give them guidance and discipline. No talking back to your parents, go to bed when you are told, help out with chores and be good and nice to one another. Butter just eats it up. She is such a good girl wanting to be so good. Roo, well he is so shy, He couldn't even LOOK at Santa until he was given a candy cane. Crack me up, well here see for yourself.

Butter sat and watched intently while she waited, when it was her turn she went right up to him, gave him a big hug and sat on his lap! She KNOWS her Santa. (When we see the "mall" Santa, she says "That's not really Santa, Santa is at Gertens. He's just a helper.")

He always tells her how lovely she looks and how nice of her to dress so pretty to come see him. His attention to details is wonderful.

He is so patient with the shy ones. I always feel like an awful parent pushing my kid up to see a stranger, but I tell him..."Santa waits all year to see you, he wants to hear what you have to say." Once he gets his candy cane, Roo usually warms up.

Yes, I do dress us all matching, laugh if you will but I have an awesome scrapbook of these pictures year after year! Rob liked my hair, he called it "anchorwoman" hair and requested it everyday. (rolling my eyes) It's on my to-do list Honey! Right up there with iron your socks and underwear! I can control how my hair turns out like I can control the weather, I can't!

OH LOOK! He's looking at Santa! He is telling Santa about dinosaur. Butter is waiting for her turn to talk, sometimes that's hard to do once Roo gets on a roll.

Shhh, don't tell the kids we snuck a kiss, they'd say "that's gross!"
Sunday we decided to check out the James J Hill house. They offer tours and I got a pass from the library, which turned out I couldn't use during the holidays. (That was a $32 bummer!)
We decided to do it anyway, we drove in and had already told the kids about going to see a mansion.
This is the front. The side area there is the "skylight" for the art gallery. James J Hill was a Railroad big wig. This house was built in 1891. 36,000sq feet on five floors that include 14 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces and 16 crystal chandeliers.

This is the back side of the house.
We went on a dramatized tour of servant life and holiday preparations based on actual people employed by the Hill family between 1891-1921. The actors were fantastic and really brought to life what it was like. Butter would work her way right up to the actor and stand near them, always being the first to leave the room and the first to enter, continuing to stand near the new actor. She was evening asked to help, which she did obediently and was affectionately told she would most certainly have made a good employee!
It is difficult to describe the beauty of this home...I hope these pictures I got off Google image search give you a tiny glimpse...

This is the staircase. There was so much elaborately carved oak and mahogany...
On our tour we were unable to go upstairs, so we are planning our next trip back with that in mind!
This is one of the 22 fireplaces, would you believe several of them were GAS burning?!?
Just GORGEOUS! This is one has a twin across from it, these are in the reception hall.

This is the library outside of Mr. Hill's office where he took a call from Presidant Teddy Roosevelt in which he was told that his days of monopolizing the railroads were over!
Just look at these gorgeous floors!

This is the art gallery, with pipe organ. It has the two story sky light, and as you can see, just outside the room is the 100 foot reception hall! Being in this room was breath-taking, it was hard to believe youwere in someone's HOME...
I think we could have stayed all day and snooped around, unfortunately we were abruptly dismissed out the back service enterance! (Nothing like sticking to the SCRIP!) We found ourselves turned around outside and the kids saying "Where ARE we?" That was a good question, it was a far cry from the THREE door entrance we had when we came in. This was a very special treat for our family and we are already planning our next visit...I wish they did over nights! How fun would THAT be?


  1. I love seeing the pictures of kids with Santa...I miss those days!!!

    that mansion is gorgeous!!!

  2. That house is so gorgeous! I'm jealous. That's so sweet that your kids have built a relationship with their own "Santa". And I think you all look cute in matching outfits. : )

  3. what an incredible home!! :) we have Biltmore around here - i'll have to google it to see if the sizes are similar.

    santas that talk in 3rd person annoy me. not sure why. i wouldn't say to you "Brooke might get you a Starbucks gift card" so why should Santa? :P

  4. iron his underwear and socks...bwhahahah! you're a hoot. i matchy matchy my family too, so good for you and i love the photo of you all around santa. and the kissy sa-weet!

  5. What awesome pictures!!! Your Santa looks so much better than our mall one -- he's not even in the Santa suit!


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