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I’m not going to bog your browser down with a ton of pictures of the Christmas lights on the buildings, but for my final vacation post I wanted to share some of the magical moments with you. *smile*

I’m only sharing one picture of buildings, so you can get an idea of the amazing amount of lights throughout the park without overwhelming you or your browser. This is just two little buildings in the huge park.


In the picture below I wanted to show one of the trees. They had these cool lights that Larry and I watched for what was probably a freakishly long time. The lights had a pattern, so it looked like they were dripping. During the day it was like dripping icicles, but at night the trees were lit with some incredibly vivid colors, so the effect was so neat. The second picture is of that incredibly huge Christmas tree that has a full light show set to music. It had probably fifty light patterns, but this picture turned out the best. Look how small the people are compared (btw, there’s no way to take a picture of that tree without catching a bunch of other visitors in the shot. It was just that crowded and we went before the busy part of the season!).



They also had a parade twice with some lit floats, various lit characters, and whatnot. I’m sharing my two favorites from the parade below. I have loved The Nutcracker and Babes in Toyland ever since I was little, so I’m always drawn to the toy soldiers and Nutcrackers anywhere I go. This guy was SO tall and fantastical that I had to take a picture. It was like seeing one of my favorite characters in real life. *grin* I totally went fangirl when he knelt down and shook hands with a toddler that just stared with eyes like saucers. The second is of one of two adorable little guys that interacted amazingly with the crowd. The colors were so bright and uplifting that I’m hoping to try to match them in some soaps (I really want to make some product once I’m fully over this yuck I developed from vacation).



Last I just had to share about the blacksmith. While he waited for his next bit of metal to heat up he chatted with us. It turns out that he was making over fifty old fashioned nails for the church. They were going to give them during services as a reminder of the reason for the season. It was absolutely fascinating to watch him take a hunk of metal and manipulate it into a functional work of art. Seeing them get made gave me such an appreciation for the work that went into little things we take for granted in our daily lives that were a lot harder to come by in olden times. Combine that mental slap of appreciation with seeing this close representation of what would have been used in biblical times and I got overwhelmed with emotions to the point that I had to step into the shop to distract myself. It’s ironic that I have been into writing since I started learning to read, yet I can’t find adequate words to convey that experience. It feels like I described a splinter when it’s really a massive cut down to the bone. What a gift this craftsman has to be able to create/recreate items as it was done in history and to touch hearts with something so simple.


If you ever find yourself trying to decide on a vacation spot I totally recommend Branson, MO. I think it can appeal to most people. There are craftsman, a Titanic exhibit (we hope to hit that one next time), summer activities like go carts and mini golf, a wide variety of musicals and comedy shows, tons of recreated history (Shepherd of the Hills is just outside of the city!), and tons of comfort foods. We have gone seven times now, at two different times of year, and it’s always an incredible experience.

Thank you for sharing in this with me. It was a little break from the monotony of being chronically ill and being at home almost all of the time, and it really cheered me up. I hope I captured a little of that magic and brought some happiness to your life, too. Until tomorrow, happy pampering. 🙂


I’ve all ready missed a day in the NaBloPoMo. *sigh* I’m rather disappointed that I messed up, because I’ve been trying really hard. I have a decent excuse though. I slept almost completely around the clock yesterday. I think the lack of sleep from an uncomfortable bed, the massively increased activity during vacation, and then the cold triggering my sinus infection to really kick into gear all came together and my body just gave up the fight. Lol

I thought I might make it up to you with some total awesomeness. Warning, it’ll take a few minutes for this post to load because it’s more picture heavy than my usual posts. Anyway, we brought home some souvenirs and one from Silver Dollar City (SDC) is so adorable. While we were there we watched the glass blowers make four pieces. The first full demonstration that we caught was for a blown glass snowman. I have found glass blowing fascinating ever since I read about it probably fifteen years ago and the artistic side of me loves the creative process of it. They asked for color suggestions from the audience (red and white) to go with the otherwise clear glass, and slowly began to construct it, piece by piece.

First he takes a dollop of glass and begins to cool, shape, and blow it into the proportion that he wanted.

At this step he dipped the glass into shards of what actually dyes the glass. How cool is that?!

The other craftsman added a dollop of glass to make the next portion of the snowman, which the glass blower then manipulated and shaped.

At this point he had finished shaping the new part and was smoothing it.

They broke the connection to the blow pipe and set the partial snowman on the work table while preparing another stick to create a new attachment point, so that more sections could be added and worked on.

I couldn’t get shots of some of the work due to their positions, but they quickly got the piece attached onto the new stick.

The next step was to add some glass to be shaped into a scarf. He did some shaping and working of the piece, which I didn’t get pictures of, and then they added a top hat.


As the glass cooled from the manipulation the beautiful color of the top hat began to show, and he then moved on to an adorable little glass carrot nose.

Sadly the piece had to go into the annealing oven for 24 hours to cool at a slow rate, so I don’t have a finished picture for that piece. However, they had a few for sale in the shop in a variety of colors and styles, all handmade on the premises.



And we brought home one very unique little guy, too.


He has the cutest little crooked nose that really shows that it’s a handmade work of art. *grin* I’m really glad that we were able to swing another piece from SDC and our not-so-little snowman makes me smile every time I catch a glimpse of it. I hope our Frosty and the process behind his creation fascinated and cheered you up as much as it did me. I wish you a very happy and healthy week. Tomorrow I’ll share a little bit more about SDC and then I’ll let the subject go. 🙂

At Peace

Tonight I thought I’d share my favorite picture from today’s adventures at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. I’ll post more over the next few days, but my new phone went squirrelly and I’ll have to reprogram it, so I’m working off of my old limited access phone and can’t do much. It works out well though because one picture came out well from one of the most peaceful moments I experienced today. We went into The Wilderness Church and while I was standing at the front, looking out the huge window that overlooks some of the park, I turned and saw this amazing altar made out of a big log. The lantern light was casting a beautiful glow over it, with the gentle glow of the Christmas tree. It was so incredibly peaceful. We’ve enjoyed the beautiful twinkling lights, yummy foods, and handcrafted items, while this was a great reminder of the reason for the season. I wish you the same peace tonight.


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