Archives For Christmas

I talked my husband into bringing back a fun family tradition that we haven’t done for over four years.

We’re taking our kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. This will be the first trip for our youngest and a much-needed return adventure for the rest of us.

Prior to Christmas, I asked my oldest, who will be turning 11 in January, what he thought his favorite vacation was of all time. He and his brother have seen moose and mountains in Estes Park and visited Water World outside of Denver. Their one and only plane trip thus far was to Chicago, where they got to ride the historic Navy Pier Ferris wheel and explore Millennium Park.

I’ve shared before on this blog how I can feel him moving away from his childhood and reliance on me and his dad.

You can imagine my surprise when he responded that Great Wold Lodge was his all-time favorite place to vacation.

The more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. The drive there is relatively short for us, and once there, we don’t have to leave the lodge for anything. We swim, eat, sleep, and repeat. It’s uninterrupted family time, something we don’t make nearly enough time for these days.

I captured the moment my kids learned that we are heading to Great Wolf again. You can’t quite see the expression on my oldest’s face, but our middle son’s reaction basically says enough for both of them.

The Great Wolf Lodge website shows a 17-second video of a family riding down a giant water slide together in a tube. The caption beneath the video reads, “Your kids’ childhood goes by just as fast.”

I couldn’t agree more.

First year at GWL

First year at GWL

Second year at GWL

Second year at GWL

Third year at GWL

Third year at GWL

My how fast time flies!

My how fast time flies!

Created by Heidi Woodard

I don’t know you. I mean, I don’t really know you.


I have learned, by watching your example, that it is possible to be so passionate about helping children that you sacrifice personal gain.

I handed over my future to you. Three different times, I cried as I placed a defenseless creature into your care, got into my car, and returned to work.

I bawled even harder when the time came to move them from your house to preschool.

I witnessed your influence on my children as they began to rattle off their ABCs, color within the lines, and sing hymns of praise.

I am in awe that you are as proud of their Christmas program performances as I am.

I give praise that you teach them about God and how to love their friends and enemies.

I am grateful that you allow me to interrupt you at any moment of the day to check on how my children are doing, as if they are the most important people on the planet.

I ask for forgiveness for rarely reading the newsletters, study guides, and graded assignments you send home.

I thank you for recognizing strengths in my children and for pushing them to maximize their potential.

I thank you for organizing every PTA meeting, classroom party, and fundraiser.

I thank you for being willing to not only prepare my children for the real world, but also to protect them from it.

I thank you through my writing because it’s the best way I can express my heartfelt gratitude.

I thank you on behalf of every child whose voice is silenced.

I thank you for doing a thankless job.