Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve with Friends, Christmas Lights, and Fireworks!

Some friends of ours have a tradition on Thanksgiving Eve where they throw a small pizza party and then head out to look at Christmas lights and fireworks. We were invited to join them this year!

Now, I probably don't have to explain how fun it is for our family to be invited over to someone else's house. Let's face it: two-year-old quadruplets are overwhelming in our own home. I don't expect anyone to voluntarily take that on at their house!

But Ron and Kristina have routinely reached out to our family, inviting me and the kids over for play dates, and even offering to host the kids for dinner and a movie so that Sean and I could go out for my birthday last month. So when they invited our family to join them for their pre-Thanksgiving tradition, we were thrilled to go.

In addition to our hosts and their four girls, there were two other families: Nick and Lauren with their three boys, and Michael and Stacey with their five girls. That means with our four kids, there were 16 kids!

Kristina had the whole place set up before we arrived. Big plastic tablecloths were spread over the floor so that the kids could eat their pizza and watch VeggieTales without making a big mess. She also had special thermal cups for the kids to fill with hot chocolate when we left to go see the lights, and bags for each family, filled with snacks, candy canes, and glow sticks for the road. I don't know how she makes it all look so effortless, but each thoughtful touch was sure appreciated it!

Even more amazing is that when the pizza place lost her order, she managed to pull together a meal for 24 people in five minutes flat by going through her pantry. It was really incredible!

Good company is not something we take for granted, and Sean and I both appreciated the adult conversation with other parents who have kids our age. As Sean would say, "They are good people!"
Ron, Nick, Lauren, Michael, Stacey, Sean, and Kristina

After dinner, each family loaded up in their respective cars, and we caravaned out to Christmas in the Park. Every year, one of the parks and rec departments in the metro area puts on a giant Christmas light display. People easily sit in line for over two hours during the Christmas season to get to drive through the free attraction. These photos don't even begin to show how fun it is! Just try to imagine a park that is filled with moving Christmas light displays....okay, you might just have to come visit and see it yourself.

We drove through that twice since there wasn't much of a line, and then parked to watch the Christmas in the Sky display. On Thanksgiving Eve, they do a big fireworks show to kick off the holiday season and the opening of Christmas in the Park. It was chilly, but seeing it with our friends was a lot of fun!

And then right before the fireworks started, I realized that we needed a family photo! As you can tell, the kids thought the glow sticks were awesome!
By the time the fireworks were over, we had some very, very tired kids, and Caleb was literally putting himself in his car seat. He doesn't talk much, but he can be pretty vocal with his actions. We headed home with a very enjoyable evening behind us!

By the way, guess what I learned??? If you put glow sticks in the freezer, it stops the chemical reaction and essentially saves the glowing. Then, the next time your kids take a bath, you can throw them in the tub and the warm water will immediately get them to start glowing again. Cool, right?! Bath time just went to a whole new level!


  1. What a great tradition - why should fireworks be just for summer!?
    And thank God indeed for amazing friends in the same season of life as us and with heaping amounts of understanding, patience...and thoughtfullness.
    I put glow sticks in the tub for my kids too - they love it.
    I also open up the tubes, mix in some glitter, mix/shake it all up in a mason jar and use it outside as "fairy lights". or I suppose it could be Christmas Magic during the holidays.

  2. What a great evening! 16 kids is a lot to handle, but by the sound of things it went off without a hitch. I'm sure the kids loved being around other kids their age as much as you and Sean enjoyed being around other parents of kids their age. Christmas in the Park looks amazing and I'll have to see if we can make a trip to see all the lights. :) Glad you guys were able to start a new and fun tradition.

  3. How much fun! We have a similar place not quite local (2-3 hours away) that does a big area of lights and all. One year we are going to make it there.

    It is always fun to get around other adults who get the fun of having kids the age you do. Glad y'all had a great time.


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