I’m trying to make an effort to teach the kids about different holiday celebrations from around the world. We celebrated St. Nicholas Day on Friday, leaving shoes out the night before for St. Nicholas to leave a small treat in and reading a book called The Baker’s Dozen on my tablet.
And on Sunday we celebrated Bodhi Day, which is the Buddhist celebration of the day that the Buddha achieved enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree. We read stories about Buddha from the book Buddha at Bedtime and drank tea (see adorable photo above) and had red velvet macaroons as a completely unrelated treat.
Next up will be Friday when we celebrate St. Lucia Day – a tradition that Dan’s family did when the kids were little. Check out my pinterest christmas page for some St. Lucia printables and a link to a youtube video showing a St. Lucia Day celebration of lights.
If I’d thought of all of this just a tiny bit sooner, I’d be throwing in some Hanukkah celebrations also – oh well, maybe next year. We’ll see how long I can keep up the momentum – but at the very least, these three extra celebrations have been a fun addition to our holiday celebrations.
What religious and cultural celebrations does your family enjoy during the month of December?
It rained all day yesterday. I think I checked the weather at least eighteen times during the day, trying to figure out just how wet our Trick or Treating was going to get, in between doing last minute prep work on MM’s cardboard Tardis and making final preparations and plans for the novel I’m writing this month.
After an early dinner we watched The Smurfs: Legend of Smurfy Hollow and read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro while we waited for daddy to get home from work. I took the kids outside to take pictures of their costumes before the sun went down (and a few indoor pictures, too). They were very excited about Trick or Treating so it was hard to get them to stay still and focus. Add this to the rainy weather and it was not my favorite photography session, but I think I got some cute shots.
BB dressed up as a Little Mermaid – not necessarily Ariel as it’s actually a Melissa and Doug dress up outfit that a friend gave us. But if you asked BB she might tell you she was Ariel or a mermaid, depending on her mood. Either way it was sparkly and fabulous and came with a matching headband so she was thrilled. It was just chilly enough that she wanted to wear a jacket so actual trick or treating didn’t have quite the same effect, but of course everyone thought she was adorable, because – well – she is.
This is BB’s third Halloween costume of the season. She dressed up as Cinderella at a costume party at the beginning of the month but it was very small on her and it ripped by the end of the party. No sense stitching a costume that was already too small – and we had two other “dress up” costumes in our arsenal so I decided no harm, no foul.
And last week she dressed up as Rapunzel for our Karate school’s Halloween party. This dress is so pretty on her and she was just absolutely in love with it, so I wasn’t sure if she might want to be Rapunzel again on Halloween but she saw an opportunity to wear all three costumes and went for it. Clearly she’s already picked up on that rule that you shouldn’t wear the same dress to different parties! MM on the other hand…
MM probably decided to be the 10th Doctor shortly after retiring his costume for the 11th Doctor last year. He upped the ante though when he asked if we could build him a Tardis to fly around in while trick or treating. Once the idea as planted, we had to go for it. We really lucked out having a cardboard box that was just a tiny bit taller than him when stood up on one side.
A bit of blue paint, some signs printed online and the amazing good fortune of finding an outdoor solar light on clearance at Home Depot that looked JUST RIGHT and some blue LED replacement lights in the Christmas aisle of Menards… It all just came together with amazing ease. Dan even put in a shoulder harness inside to make it easier to walk in and some door handles to open from inside just using things we already had on hand. I think hanging the sign on the front door was probably the hardest part!
The costume itself is largely thanks to Goodwill where I found the suit jacket, pants, white dress shirt and clip on tie and probably spent less than $15 on the entire outfit which we can reuse for several years at any formal events we may attend as the suit is actually two or three sizes too big – thank god for belts! The shoes were from H&M, the sonic screwdriver was one of several that we already owned (did I mention we are nerds?).
It was an umbrella and light jacket kind of night as we left to go trick or treating, but not too bad overall. MM discovered that walking inside of a Tardis is harder than it looks (or maybe exactly as hard as it looks) so we only brought it to a couple of our closer neighbor’s houses that we knew would want to see it. I have to say, we were so thrilled with how it came out and seeing it “walking” down the street was exciting for all of us! Afterwards daddy took the Tardis back home and handed out candy and the kids and I continued our walk through the neighborhood until we felt we’d gotten wet enough for one evening.
The kids made out like bandits and since we didn’t get a whole lot of trick or treaters, we had a lot of leftovers of our own candy, too. Even with the giant bag of candy that I sent my husband to work with to share we’ll still have a chocolate fix or twelve for awhile, I’m sure. In the past we had each kid pick like 5-10 pieces of candy to keep each and donated the rest, but I decided to just throw everything into a “community bowl” this time and say “You have to ask before you can have any, but otherwise it’s first come first serve.” We’ll see how that works out.
How do you tend to handle the barrage of Halloween candy?
What did your little ones / or yourself dress up as this year?
To all of my American readers, wishing you a very happy 4th of July! I hope your day is filled with festive fun – parades, BBQ’s, fireworks, watching Die Hard movies – whatever way you like to celebrate.
We watched some local fireworks Tuesday night in our neighborhood and we have a great view from our own backyard – which was very convenient this year as little BB was so not going to be fun to tote around until 9:30pm away from home!
We had a great time relaxing in our backyard, playing with yard games and backyard toys, eating a few fun snacks (frozen chocolate banana bites were a big hit!), mingling a bit with neighbors and then finally watching the fireworks. We had a great view and the kids loved it – I was actually pretty surprised that both kids stayed up late enough to watch them at all, but they were up for the whole thing and even better – they slept REALLY late on Wednesday morning! I should keep them up hours past their bedtime more often!
Today we are keeping it pretty low key with plans to grill dinner and make a chocolate mousse – and that’s about it! In years past we have done more, but with no family in the area we are taking the excuse to lay low!
How does your family celebrate 4th of July?
Hello to Mommy & Me Monday Visitors! Pics of me and the kids (and hubby and the kids) are just a few paragraphs down! I’m combining my vacation re-cap with my Mommy & Me post – sorry about the lengthiness of it!
I hope you guys all had a fantastic weekend celebrating the Daddies in your lives! We continued our new tradition of taking a Fathers Day Weekend Camping Trip – this year we camped at the Jellystone Park in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin – one of the many little towns in Door County.
It was a fantastic trip overall, despite a few upsets like the very dense gravelly camp site that gave Dan a brief run for his money when inserting stakes into the ground for the tent (we had to use a hammer!) and the crazy thunderstorm Saturday night that happened just seconds after Dan went to brush his teeth before bed – lucky thing he doubled back for a poncho after feeling a few drops of rain because seconds later it was pouring and continued to pour for several hours. Luckily we stayed dry in the tent and the thunderstorm acted as nature’s white noise which meant we all actually slept better Saturday night than we did the night before!
Though we loved all the activities and amenities that Jellystone provides, we actually didn’t make much use of them. Friday night they had a movie playing in their pavillion but we ended up missing it because we had a late dinner at PC Junction and picking up a few extra supplies at the local Walmart. Saturday we sent the kids to bed early rather than partake in the Dance Party – but we still enjoyed listening to the music and were grateful to be dry in the tent when it started raining partway through the evening. They had mini golf and shuffleboard and an arts and crafts tent but we never did take advantage of those because we were visiting dairy farms, wine orchards and the little shops in town. All of these activities would have been great in a quieter town with less things to explore (or if it weren’t our first time in Door County) but we found that all we really needed / enjoyed were the fantastic bathrooms, the playground and the great general store. We also would have preferred a little more seclusion on the campsite. Things to remember for future camping trips!
Favorite memories included: Friday morning at Bay Beach amusement park – we stopped here on the way to Door County on the recommendation of a good friend and boy was that ever a good tip! This is such a great hidden gem of an amusement park. Incredibly affordable and tons of fun with just enough rides for our littlest and slightly bigger. The boys had an epic bumper car ride, BB and I rocked the carousel and kiddie rides and we all enjoyed a little train ride together before indulging in some ice cream.
Lunch at the Wild Tomato on Saturday – despite a brief rain storm and a long wait, the food at Wild Tomato is just unbelievably good. Breakfast Sunday morning at Al Johnsons was also really, really good. We loved the whole vibe – the grassy roof that goats keep trimmed, the traditional dresses worn by the waitresses, and the food! Their swedish pancakes were fantastic and we loved exploring the gift shop afterwards. The goats were not on the roof that morning but we saw lots of pictures and they have a live Goat Cam that you can check out on their website.
During the evenings Dan and I played cards while we waited for the kids to settle down for the night. A glass of wine, some citronella candles and time with my hubby – these were some of the best memories. We learned a few new card games together and we even made friends with the World’s Friendliest Moth who pretty much would not leave my side!
Overall, it was just a really great trip with a lot of good memories! We had a great time pampering daddy and came home Sunday afternoon to open presents and watch Hook together while eating some take out from Hy-Vee and relaxing after a long vacation.
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?
Just wanted to take a minute to wish my husband a very Happy Fathers Day!
You are a wonderful, caring, silly, helpful, fantastic dad – and an amazing husband. We are so blessed to have you in our lives each day. I hope you know how much we love and appreciate everything that you do for us.
I also want to wish my dad a happy father’s day! You are the original Best Dad In the World – I am so grateful for all the times you’ve been able to come visit us and all the help you have given me as an adult, not to mention the amazing job you did raising such an incredible daughter! Thank you for everything you’ve done for me dad – I love you!
I hope all my lovely readers had a beautiful Easter weekend. We kept things fairly low key around here. The kids wore their Easter finest, adorable new duds from my thoughtful MIL. I am just loving both looks.
MM’s fedora and plaid shirt are almost as bright and colorful as his personality. He has been wearing that fedora everywhere and he wears it well!
BB is rocking her new Easter dress and bracelet like a pro. I’m secretly loving the shoes on the wrong feet and I tried to photograph her in her natural element because trying to force a pose with her just doesn’t work these days.
The Easter Bunny was generous this year with a bug scope and a DK book on bugs, a bubble machine and lots of personalized coloring books, stickers, bookmarks and a puzzle. Oh and some candy, too, of course.
We did a small indoor egg hunt. The outdoors isn’t quite egg hunt ready just yet, though the weather was gorgeous. I hid twelve eggs filled with cereal around the house while the kids were getting dressed. The hunt was over almost before it began. MM wasn’t very fair to his poor little sister and found almost all the “easy” eggs I’d hidden in seconds before I could stop him, but he helped her find those remaining few eggs and both kids had a great time.
After the Egg Hunt, we had breakfast (Dan made a delicious quiche) and watched Dr Who reruns.
Isn’t that how everyone celebrates Easter? With a little David Tennant vs. The Master storyline? Can you hear the drums?
After breakfast, the kids helped Dan wash the cars…
And played with the new bubble machine. The weather was beautiful – one of the warmest days in months. My daughter went out in a sleeveless dress for the first time this year. I think Spring may finally be coming (knock on wood).
While the kids helped daddy outside, mommy dyed some Easter eggs. Last year I was really pleased with how my natural dyes came out, particularly the eggs dyed with pomegranate juice and vinegar. So this year I picked up a few small bottles of different juices to experiment with dyes.
The orange juice didn’t work at all, and my results this year in general were very different from last year, but I kind of like the marbled look. Last year I used hard boiled eggs, this year I used blown eggs. Last year they sat in the refrigerator over night. This year they sat in my sink for about 6 hours. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next year, but I had fun experimenting.
How was your Easter weekend? Memories not photographed include: lunch at the new Dairy Queen in town and eating leftover Chinese for dinner while watching even more Dr Who. :O) Basically, a perfect day.
I’d like to take a minute to wish myself and my blog a happy blogiversary. It’s been an amazing 5 years together with a lot of ups and downs and backspaces and image inserting. Blog, you have been through all the trials and tribulations of the last five years of my life as a mother and wife. You witnessed the birth of my second child, a move halfway across the country, the purchasing of our first house and much more. This past year you were there for the world’s best April Fool’s Prank, MM joining cub scouts and most recently our adventures in adopting our first dog.
You are my venting place, my family photo album, my soap box and the source of many lovely bloggy friends (thanks to all my pals reading this right now, you mean the world to me!). I cannot believe it has been 5 years already! Most of my hobbies don’t last nearly this long so consider yourself a well loved pastime indeed!
Maybe it’s just my new diet talking, but I am totally hoping for cake tonight but trying to convince myself cake isn’t necessary. But come on, your blog only turns 5 years old once, right??
Of course I should give thanks to the source of most of my blog fodder, my adorable children and my amazing husband (hi honey!!) – I truly would have nothing interesting to blog about if it wasn’t for them.
So here’s to 5 years of bloggy goodness and the hope of many more years to come!
(ps: ecards above were made using someecards.com’s create your own card feature – I had way too much fun making them!)
I read this post at Lena B., Actually where she interviewed her kids with questions about love. Their answers were so cute that I decided to ask my kids the same questions, wondering what their answers would be. Here are the results:
MM, age 6 1/2
1. What is your favorite thing about Valentines Day?
MM: Getting all the valentines and stuff
2. What does True Love Mean?
MM: I dunno…
3. What do you love the most?
MM: My friends
BB: um… cupcakes? They’re purple that I like mommy, purple cupcakes.
4. How old do you have to be to fall in love?
MM: A grown up … like 98 or maybe 27?
5. Who is your favorite couple?
MM: Like 2 cups? (then after I explain what a couple is) Scott & Taira or Julissa & Nicole (friends from school). They always do EVERYTHING together!
BB, age 3 1/2
6. What is your favorite love song?
MM: Call Me Maybe – that’s a good love song, right mom?
BB: The ABC song is what I like.
7. What do people do when they go on a date?
MM: They go places together and do lots of loooove stuff.
BB: They go in the truck, mommy.
8. How do people act when they are in love?
MM: They act like “oh this person is GREAT! I wish I could marry them every day!” I have no idea mom, I was just guessing, but don’t write that down okay?
BB: They cry, because they cry when they are sad but when they are in love they are happy & have red and blue socks.
9. How do you decide who to marry?
MM: You take out someone that you really like & then you marry that person.
BB: MM and me are marrying like you and daddy are marrying, okay mommy?
10. Do you think you’ll fall in love someday?
MM: Probably, everybody falls in love, right?
BB: Yeah MM & me could marry and you & daddy could marry, ain’t that a great idea??
So I think my big takeaway from this little interview was that MM kiiiiind of understands love but still mostly has no clue which really is just how a 6 year old boy should be. I loved his response about a grown up being either 98 or 27 – either way means you are OLD.
I loved how BB answered each question with absolute certainty even when she had no idea what she was talking about. There was no wavering at all. I also like that in her mind when Dan and I go on a date, we clearly spend the whole time just sitting in the truck until we get back.
I might have to ask them all these questions again when they are older just to compare the answers. :O)
Happy Valentines Day to all my bloggy readers. I just loved today’s post at Crappy Pictures. This pretty much sums up Valentines Day as a married woman, at least in my house hold. My husband has no problem being romantic, but sometimes he needs a reminder or two or he’ll forget what day it is (or what time, or what month). His office actually gives their employees a box of chocolates for Valentines Day each year – it’s like they know who they are employing. Forgetful programmers with very patient wives. :O)
It’s just about naptime and so far it’s shaping up to be a pretty relaxing Valentines Day. I thought about running errands or going on some big involved playdate but decided that the perfect Valentine to myself would be a little TLC.
I enjoyed a delicious latte in my new coffee mug and let myself spend as much time as I wanted photographing said coffee mug. I have a weird addiction to photographing my coffee and it makes my hubby roll his eyes and probably makes the people at the coffee shops that I frequent think that I’m either crazy or one of those foodie photographers. I hope it’s the latter.
I drank the coffee slowly and leisurely while scrolling through Facebook and checking my email and RSS feeds while BB watched the same episode of Doc McStuffins repeatedly (her request).
For lunch I made her a butterfly PB&J and put tonight’s dinner in the crock pot. A beer chicken recipe that smells amazing with a mac and cheese peace offering for the kids. We’ll have to eat quickly because the boys have a pack meeting tonight (very romantic, no?) but before they leave, I’m planning to give the kids their Valentines from the parental unit (me and Dan). I’ll share with you their presents in another post.
Dan and I exchanged mushy romantic cards and a few goodies last night after a very romantic family dinner at Uno’s (I’m in love with their pizza skins, it’s a rather scandalous affair). Tonight I’m banking on that box of chocolates and maybe a glass of wine if we’re not too tired tonight after the pack meeting. Basically, a perfect day. <3
Happy Valentines Day to all my lovely readers! I hope your day is filled with love, pampering and a little TLC!