Merry Christmas! We have truly enjoyed our first Christmas in the Mile-and-a-Quarter-High City. One of the most enjoyable Santa experiences ever is on the Manitou Springs Cog Railway's "Santa Claus Special", where the ASPEN Car of the Cog Railway was decorated in the holiday spirit for a trip to one of Santa's villages.
Joined by the Elf King and Queen, as well as many of Santa's Elf helpers, we rode the railway up the snowy slopes of Pikes Peak to the Four Mile Siding -- where a North Pole village was set up, replete with hot chocolate and cookies.
For the ride back down to Manitou Springs, Santa read "The Night Before Christmas" and his helpers led us in Christmas carols. Truly an exceptional way to spend quality time with Santa!
Shelby has continued to dance, this year performing as a Russian Tea Cake in the Colorado Classical Youth Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.
Prof. Lawrence Jackson from the Univ. of Wyoming starred as The Russian, dazzling all with his presto tempo Trepak.
For Christmas Eve, we drove north to Renee's aunt Helen's house. Sophie wore her favorite polka-dot dress.
Cousins Lee & Michelle brought Baby Christine from Las Vegas. Since grown-ups don't know when to go to bed, it's a good thing Mom packed some warm PJs.
Reindeer hoofprints on the deck, remnants of carrots outside with cookie crumbs and an empty milk mug in the house could only mean that Santa had paid a visit to our new home. Sophie loves her Chloe doll and (once Dad gets some "D"-sized batteries) her ball popper.
Renee is truly a Rebel®...
... while Jarrett will be spending the next several weeks assembling the 5,922-piece LEGO Taj Mahal. We expect to see him about the time of the spring thaw.
And Shelby looks glamorous in her new Snuggie! (Oh, and she got a netbook too.)
Best wishes to you all for a joyous 2010, with many opportunities for fun, family and frivolity!