Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crayola Experience

Yesterday we loaded in the car for a short drive to the Crayola Experience. It has been our list since we moved here and yesterday seemed like the perfect day to make the drive. We thought it would be slow since it was a Tuesday and it was the day before New Years Eve.
Let me just say...everyone else within a two hour radius must have had the same idea. It was a madhouse!
Our first stop was to see how Crayola crayons are made. We made red crayons during our show that we were able to take home with us. It was so much fun seeing the history and learning how they make something that has been used in schools and homes everywhere.
The Crayola Experience is four floors and each floor focuses on different products: crayons, markers, modeling magic and then the cafe/store.
This was a huge wall that was similar to a Lite Brite and the kids loved it! 
 
There was also a section where we could race our Crayola boats through tunnels, channels and paths. Barrett was a little bit too short but Amelia enjoyed moving both the boats along the river.
We finished up the day with making markers, designing with modeling magic and raising Daddy and Barrett to the bottom floor.
The girls took the elevator and the boys took the stairs. The girls lost because we had to stop at every floor..boo!
When we got home, Nannie and Jason wanted to go and see "Unbroken" so I got some alone time with the kiddos. We had such a great evening together!
I even got some one-on-one time with Amelia after Barrett went to sleep. We gave our self some new polish on our toe nails. Amelia was all about the purple glitter!
Another great day down in the books. It's so funny because the Crayola Factory was crazy busy and it was pretty stressful the entire time we were there but the second that we went to bed that night, we couldn't stop talking about how fun the day was and how much we loved the time together.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vacation Fun

Monday afternoon we went to downtown Harrisburg to explore the Whitaker Center. We went when Amelia was young but we haven't been back. Since both kids are mobile and they love to explore and learn, we thought it would be a perfect trip out of the house.
The Whitaker Center has three floors to explore but the kid area on the top floor was the favorite location!
Amelia LOVED the grocery store. She loved it when we would go shopping, put our groceries on the belt and then pay her for our purchases. I think she could have stayed there all day!
Barrett's favorite section was the water tables. They were low enough that he could reach in and play, splash and really get every inch of his clothing wet. HA!
The other levels were fun too but there wasn't as much hands on stuff for the kids so we didn't explore very long on the lower two levels.
We were surprised when we saw a Christmas tree display on a level and each tree had a train that went around it on a track. Barrett was mesmerized. He kept running up to the rope dividers and pointing.
We eventually made our way from the lower levels back to the top layer so we could play one more time at the grocery store and the water table. Since we visited on a Monday, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. It was so nice to let them run around and not have to worry about them getting separated from us.
Another great day of vacation...so thankful!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sesame Street Live

Jason requested his last vacation of his residency to be the day following Christmas and through the first of January. Groupon was offering a deal on Sesame Street Live musicals and I couldn't pass them up. Barrett LOVES Elmo and Amelia enjoys a good music show so I knew it would be a win-win. We took the kids to the afternoon show today and I'm so glad that we did.
Our seats were pretty close to the stage and everyone tried to line up the kids and adults, meaning that the adults sat behind other adults and the kids sat behind other kids. They were able to see the whole show with a great view!
Once the show came on, our little ones couldn't take their eyes off the stage. I'm pretty sure Barrett signed "more" after every song and Amelia made it a point to come over to tell Barrett that Elmo was on the stage. She was so excited to share the Elmo experience with Bear...it was so sweet.
Since we were on the lower level some of the characters came up and down the aisles during certain songs. We were in the middle of a row, thank goodness, because neither one of the kids liked being so close to the characters. They both got a little panicked every time they would come down off the stage.
The show was super cute. Grover's friend was visiting from India and it focused on how people are different but we are all connected in some way, some special way. The music was upbeat and so fun! Indian music and dancing is something that makes everyone want to get up and move. I love that we get the opportunity to introduce our kids to different cultures.
Sesame Street Live was a great family afternoon! So thankful for this time with our family...going to take full advantage of our family during this time together. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas...In Pajamas

Experiencing Christmas through the kids brings so much life into Christmas morning. Barrett woke up around 6am and we couldn't wait for Amelia to wake up...the wrapping paper was calling his name. We tried to get everything ready (camera, trash bag, etc) before they were both up and ready for action but the second that Amelia's eyes opened, she ran down the hall, went for the first present she could find wrapped in Frozen paper and started the unwrapping process.
I have no idea where she learned to just start digging through presents but she wasn't shy. HA!
Santa wrapped Amelia's presents in Frozen and Minnie Mouse and Barrett's presents in Cars and Spiderman. I love how easy it was for the kids to find their presents from Santa under the tree!
Jason was off, which was so nice, and we decided that we were going to stay close to home this year and enjoy our last Christmas in Hershey. It was so nice to spend a relaxing Christmas together, in our pajamas!
We showered mid-day but we just changed into a clean pair of pajamas to continue playing with all of our new toys.
Here are a few pictures of our play time...
I started thinking about Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve around 11am so I quickly rushed through the grocery store on possibly one of the busiest days of the year. NEVER AGAIN!
Needless to say....I forgot a few key ingredients. The ham turned out blah, I overcooked the rolls and the casserole is the dish that had some missing ingredients. Dinner wasn't the best but we were all together so we were trying to focus on the positives. I can't wait until we are closer to family and we can enjoy some good, family cooking.
Our last Christmas in Hershey was perfect, pajamas and all!
Merry Christmas from the Conway family!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Days Leading Up To Christmas

Since I work for a University, I get to take advantage of breaks during all the major holidays. Our Christmas break this year is twelve days, including weekends. Amazing, right?! 
The kids had the stomach flu for about five days and the first sign of relief came from Amelia on the 23rd. She had gone 24 hours without any symptoms and she was so excited when she learned that she was going to be able to go to her Christmas party at Ms. Bs. 
We got to enjoy a yummy spread, a Christmas concert (the kids weren't really in the mood), play time with all her friends and then the gift exchange. We were sad that Barrett didn't get to go to the party but we didn't want to risk other kids getting sick.
I wasn't able to get very many pictures of the fun because she didn't stay in one place very long and when she did, she didn't want to look at the camera. Can't really say I blame her...there were so many fun things to do!
December 2014 marks the last month that the kids will be in school. We've decided that since we are moving in six months that we could really use that money for our move to Cleveland. I know that the kids are going to miss that time but I'm hoping we can still visit and find another fun activity for them to do with kids their age during the week. 
On Christmas Eve, we headed to the mall. The kids love the free Christmas carousel at Bass Pro Shops and they have a fun, indoor play world that the kids enjoy.
We left the mall by 12:30ish so the kids could get in a nap before we had to start getting everything ready for Santa. The kids had to write their letters, make some sugar cookies and get to bed in a timely manner so Santa would have time to visit.
Christmas Eve traditions, Santa tracking and bedtime stories/giggles/jitters are some of my most favorite memories!
The Conway house is ready for Christmas!!