December 29, 2011

Gnomey Christmas to you & lighthouses, too!

Our two recent posts, we're going on a gnome hunt and Bronner's, downtown and chicken!!!, made this post possible.  We'll start with the lighthouses.  While we were at Bronner's John and the boys suddenly had to go to the bathroom.  Turns out it was a secret mission to buy me the very cool lighthouse ornament in the first picture.  It's so cute.  I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but it's all decked out for Christmas!  It's also blown glass, so we have to keep it on a shelf this year (and probably for a few more).  The second picture is the tag that came on it.  I love what it says!

this is the tag that came on my ornament from Bronner's

The next picture is two more matching lighthouses that my mom and dad got me for Christmas. The boys love them, because they just happen to be in their favorite colors.  They are also blown glass and have to be kept on a shelf for the near future.  With three rough boys, two 5 year olds and a 2 year old, they would never have a chance hanging on a tree.  We love them on the shelf, though.  The last picture is an overview of the whole shelf with all three Christmas lighthouses.

Now, on to the gnomes!  Our recent gnome hunt, in Frankenmuth, MI, turned us all into gnome lovers, even John.  Here we are on Christmas day with all of our new gnome paraphernalia.  They all had them peeking out of their stockings on Christmas morning.  They boys love them.  Jackson (our two year old) calls his "Santa".  I think it may have been John's favorite gift.  His represents his two favorite summertime activities--working on cars and Detroit Tigers.  

this is how many stockings were hanging by the chimney with care,
 in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there
after Santa stuffed them he had to move them to the floor

Gnomeo & Juliet
not the best pic, but the 2nd from left is a lighthouse
and the 5th one is my new gnome--love them!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2

 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
 21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

December 21, 2011

Frankenmuth part 2-Bronners, downtown and chicken!!!

Our last post was about our Frankenmuth gnome hunt.  None of it was lighthouse related, but it was pretty darn fun!  Frankenmuth part 2 does have some lighthouse elements.  There aren't any bodies of water in Frankenmuth, but we did manage some lighthouse activity.

Our second day was pretty exciting!  Our first outing of the day brought us to Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world's largest Christmas store.  The place is huge, the kids were in awe.

pee you Santa!

they had a whole section dedicated to lighthouses
this is just a small section of what was available

Lincoln found his favorite
standing in front of the nautical tree

We were at Bronner's for a few hours, the place is humongous and the boys were loving every minute of it.  After that, we had lunch, then Jax and John took naps.  

Lincoln and Spencer weren't interested in that.  So, we hit the town again.  The whole town was all decked out for Christmas and the boys kept standing in front of decorations and telling me to take their picture.  We also found a few more gnomes, of course.

After nap time it was time to strap the feed bag on. Frankenmuth is known as, "Michigan's Little Bavaria" and one thing they are famous for is their family style all you can eat chicken dinners.  There are quite a few other restaurants to eat at, but everyone that visits Frankenmuth must do a famous chicken dinner to truly experience the essence of Frankenmuth.  We chose Zehnder's on this visit. The story of Zehnder's is pretty remarkable.  William and Emille Zehnder opened for business on Mother's Day 1929.  They served 312 meals at $1.00 each on that day.  Another interesting fact is that their neon sign is believed to be one of the longest continually used neon signs in existence.  It's first mention is in the  October 1937 edition of the Frankenmuth News.  Now that's pretty cool.  You can check out their full story on their website.
It's great for kids, because since it's family style they have a lot of options.  Of course, the one thing they liked the best was the all you can eat cottage cheese.  We had to self impose a limit on that and make them eat some meat and veggies, too.

that's a whole lotta food

Jax making his fake angry face

Lincoln copying Jax
Drumstick, the Zehnder's mascot

We had a great family get away in Frankenmuth, MI.  I would highly recommend it if you haven't been.  Go for a couple days or even just a day trip.  There was still a lot to check out that we didn't even get to.  Does anyone else have any fun get away recommendations?  Any great Frankenmuth memories?  Any favorite all you can eat memories?  Be careful with those ones. 

December 17, 2011

Frankenmuth part 1 - we're going on a gnome hunt

John had been working a lot during October and November and the boys & I were really missing him.  We were already planning on going to Manya and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving, so we decided to take a couple days off before that and have a little family get away.  We decided on Frankenmuth, MI.  I hadn't been there in decades and John has never been.  It wasn't too far out of the way and we love to explore small towns.  The boys were super excited, mostly for the hotel pool.  John was excited for the famous Frankenmuth chicken dinners.  

Our first stop was to meet Aunt Joy (our sister-in-law) when we got close to Frankenmuth.  Fortunately, she was headed in the same direction and was able to take Lucky (our chihuahua) to my parents house for us.  Next stop, Cracker Barrel.  Over the years, that has become our road trip breakfast restaurant.  yum yum
at Manya & Grandpa's house

So, after Lucky and breakfast were taken care of, it was time to check in to the hotel and unload. Jax was ready for a nap and Daddy is always ready for a nap, so they went down.  Lincoln, Spencer and I were ready to get the party started, so we headed out to explore the town.  We headed over to the visitor center to get some ideas.  It's like they knew we were coming.  They have the coolest thing to do with kids.  They have a gnome hunt!  How fun!!  You get a gnome log and a map and you have to go hunt down all the gnomes in town and find out their names.  Most of them were in stores, but not all.  What a great way to promote the local businesses.  The moms get to go shopping and the kids are super excited to go in the stores.  As the only female in the family, that doesn't happen for me, ever.  A couple of our gnome names were illegible, but I was able to read most of them from our log.  I won't tell you where we found them, though.  That would have been enough to get my kids energized, but BONUS, for every ten gnomes you find you get to pick out treasures from the treasure chest.  We've had a thing for gnomes ever since we saw "Gnomeo and Juliet"  last summer.  

Schultzie & Clara
Kase Wedge
Tea Rose

Klaus von Winterstein
(a couple of the gnomes made Jax angry)


(Can you find the hidden Mommy?)

Phinnious Fudge & Melbert Fudge

Lincoln, Jackson and Spencer gnomes
Rau D. Konfektmaker
Choco Kimmel
(way up on top)

Choco Kimmel
(up close)




We found a few gnomes right away and did some other exploring before we went back to get John and Jax.  Then we headed to dinner at the Frankenmuth Brewery.  That worked out perfect, it was Tuesday and they happened to have buy one get one free pizza that night.  It was exactly what the kids were asking for and it was delish!  It had a very cool, yet kid friendly vibe to it.  It's one of the oldest breweries in Michigan and know around town as, "Das Good Bier".  I would definitely eat there again.  Then we headed back to the hotel for some pool time.  Stay turned to our next post for the lighthouse elements of this trip.

of course, I had to get a souvenir ;')