Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

Our 10' tree!!
On our way to the tree farm.
 This year we did something different.  For the past 20 years we would pack up the kids and go up north to get our tree.  This year Jason and Katie told us of a different place, so I invited ourselves to go along.  :)  I'm so glad we did.  This was the most awesome placed we'd ever gone to.  Located between Rio and Columbus was this tree farm...not just any ordinary tree farm but complete with a horse drawn wagon ride, gift shop, hot cider and Santa.
We followed Jason and Katie
 The fresh fallen snow from the night before could have added to our day but I think even without it we would have felt the same cozy feeling we received today.  The trip down was snow covered but we took it slow to enjoy the country side.  We pulled into the driveway of Miller's Christmas Trees we immediately fell in love.  The smell of the pine wood lots, wood burning in the barn keeping guests and Santa warm, natural wreaths hung and the sounds of the horses getting hooked up to the wagons. There parking lot was snow covered and our van gets stuck on spit...we weren't going to worry about that now...this was family day!!!
Preston, he's always bored in the van.

Ethan and Santa
Mark, Preston and Santa
Katie and Jason didn't want to sit on Santa's lap
Work gloves drying by the wood stove in the barn.
Karlie, Santa and Livi
Jason cutting down their first Christmas tree
Katie and Jason and their first Christmas tree
The tree we picked
 As we approached the barn we were greeted by an employee that gave us a quick run down of how things worked and what was available.  We decided to visit Santa first since we were told he was the real deal and the fake was at the mall today...Ethan was impressed.  We wandered through an old barn heated by wood stoves and there the jolly man himself was seated next to his own personal wood stove.  Ethan was speechless...incredible, I know.  Of course Ethan was first followed by Mark and Preston and finally Karlie and Livi.  Emily, Angie, Jason and Katie didn't want any part of we'll see what's in their stockings Christmas day.  After we peeled Ethan off of Santa we headed out into the pine filled fields.  This was probably the easiest of all tree findings we've done.  Every tree was wonderfully pruned...just right in our opinion.  They were a manageable width and height.  Seriously, the tree we got is only 5' wide at the bottom easily placed in the family room.  In years past some of them were 8-10' wide, that isn't easy to deal me.  This farm also offers rides out to the field on the horse drawn wagons to pick your tree but they were still hitching up the teams.  So we walked out to the fields.

Bringing it back
Mark doing the honors
Our tree next to Jason and Katie's

Measuring the tree

Shaking the tree

baling the tree
map of the tree farm
It's gotta go in!
From the inside

 Trust me...this isn't easy but this is how we bring our tree home...through the back of the van.  It does fit!!!

getting close

An added drawn wagon rides
 On to the highlight for everyone else...the horse drawn wagon ride!!!  This was such a treat!!! The sounds of the harnesses was the neatest thing.  It sounds like jingle bells on a sleigh.  They had 2 teams that would take guests out to the fields to drop them off and pick them back up with their tree.  We went just for the ride.  Karlie and Livi smiled from ear to ear with excitement through the 20 minute ride around the farm.  Our drivers name was Kristie and did a great job answering our at times dumb questions.  We were just so fascinated by the whole idea and venture she took us on.  I'm trying to upload a short video that I took that captured the whole experience.  What for it down at the bottom. 
Dick, Doc and Duke

 Back to the van...remember the van gets stuck on spit.  The people parked next to us got stuck with front wheel drive, so Mark and the kids pushed them out.  This however didn't give us much hope for the "Grahn Tour Bus".  The plan was me driving, little ones inside the van and Mark and the older ones pushing.  I like to think that my many years of driving a 15 passenger van helped drive it out of that snow with no problems.  Mark seems to have a different opinion.  :)
This family will be making a repeat visit to this farm next year.  Hopefully Aimee, Jacque, Heather and Hannah will be able to join us.   We love making memories for the kids by keeping this family tradition going.

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