Favorite Thing Friday: Favorite Holiday Traditions

SippyCupChroniclesFavoriteThingFridayI’m linking up with Jenny this week from Sippy Cup Chronicles for her Favorite Thing Friday.  She is doing a special holiday edition and asked for everyone to share their favorite ornament or decorations.  Well, I wanted to take that a step further and share with you a little of how we celebrate Christmas.  Some of our family traditions.

The first Christmas my husband and I spent together was in 1998.  Neither one of us really had much of anything to decorate a tree with.  We had to go out and buy all new.  I did get a few mementos from my parents to add to our tree that year.  But the rest we had to buy ourselves which included a tree topper.  Oh the first of many compromises we would make as husband and wife, star or angel on our tree.

We Had A Star That 1st Christmas

My husband won that year.  I shouldn’t really say won.  Honestly, I had so many memories wrapped up in our old family angel atop our tree when I was a child that I knew I could never replace that.  The struggles my dad had every year getting the angel to sit and spin.  Hearing how it was bought my parent’s 1st Christmas in Texas where my dad was stationed in the army.  It was as old as my brother.  There was just no replacing that tree topper and I didn’t want to try so I conceded to the star.

Life is funny though.  As the years went on I now insist that we have an angel.  My husband wants to go back to the star, but I keep saying no we need the angel.  There’s just something about having an angel on top of the tree.

We Traded In The Glass Ball Ornaments For A Mix

So remember those few mementos from my parents I had?  Well, I do still have them, but to fill in the rest of the tree I had gotten glass ball ornaments.  I don’t even have those ornaments anymore from our first Christmas.  I think they all broke over the years.

But as our family has grown so has our collection of ornaments.  We have so many now we can’t get them all on the tree.  Every year the kids each get their own ornament though.  Sometimes if my husband and I finds something that we really like we’ll get an ornament or two.  After all, someday our kids will grow up and move out and take their ornaments with them, we’ll need our own ornaments to decorate our tree with.

This year I have two favorite ornaments.  There is the one that a friend gave me shortly after we lost Celeste.  It was so sweet and thoughtful because she got it personalized and it even sort of resembles our children.  So the perfect addition to our tree and to make sure everyone is included.  And then there is the ornament we picked up on vacation in New Hampshire this year.  Seven reindeer to represent everyone in our family, including our little angel.  It’s perfect.

I do love all of the kids 1st Christmas ornaments too of course, but these two are my favorites this year and well, they will be prominently displayed on our tree for the rest of time.

Decorating The Tree

We all chip in to decorate the tree.  Even the baby who kept taking off and moving the same ornament around the tree several times.  It’s a group effort.  We pull out the ornaments and reminisce over them.  Maybe even shed a tear or two.  And we yell at each other and laugh with each other and be silly with each other.

Reaching up high to place the ornament

Concentrating hard

Such a goofball.

On or maybe off for the millionth time.

I love capturing these sort of memories.  Before I know it none of them are going to want to do this with us.

When All Is Said And Done

All of the lights are on the tree and all of the ornaments are placed.  Everything is cleaned up and it’s time to sit down and relax and look at the tree.  No other lights on just the lights of the tree.  Do you know what the best seat in the house is for this?  Well, in this house, much to my husband’s dismay, that would be under the tree.  I have yet to get my husband to try this, but looking at the tree from the inside up is a magical experience.  And one which my kids look forward to every year.

The Rest Of Our Traditions

Well lets see now that everything is up we have a stuffed reindeer named Snowball who reports to Santa what the kids are up to everyday.  Yes, it’s like the elf on the shelf only we have been doing this for many many many years longer and Snowball is not a creepy looking elf.  He mostly hangs out in our tree, but sometimes he’ll move ever so slightly.  Sometimes he leaves for a while to go report directly to Santa.

We also enjoy doing Advent calendars, visits with Santa, and then every year on Christmas day after we open our presents we go to the movies.  We pick a family movie.  It’s really our one movie of the year. Very rarely do we go to the movie theater for another movie because of the cost.  So this is a fun and special treat.  A much needed break too.

So these are my favorite holiday traditions.  What are yours?  Link up with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles to tell her.

Favorite Thing Friday 5/11/12

Time to link up again with Sippy Cup Chronicles for Favorite Thing Friday.  Be sure to go over there and see everyone else’s favorite thing this week.

Now here’s my favorite thing this week…

Curly Girly

That is a picture of my 15 month old baby’s curls.  They are much tighter after she has a bath, but I love this.  I know they won’t last.  All of my girls have had curls like this.  And their hair all has a little wave to it like mine.  I love the Shirley Temple curls though.  I often try to reenact it on my girl’s hair with curlers, but it never stays.  No matter what kind of product I put in their hair.  I’m going to miss these curls one day probably.

So what’s your favorite thing this week?  Go ahead and link up at Sippy Cup Chronicles to let everyone know.

Favorite Thing Friday 4/20/12

I’m linking up again with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles for her Favorite Thing Friday!  You can link up too.  Grab the badge below to add to your blog.

So this week my favorite thing is my first born!  The one who gave me the gift of motherhood nearly 13 years ago.

That beautiful young lady right there is heading right into the land of teenagers and she’s taking me along with her.  We get to experience so many firsts together.  On Sunday she will officially be a teen and we get to ride that bumpy train together.  I am looking forward to what the next year will bring her.  I can’t believe she’s going to be a teenager though!

Happy 13th Birthday to my beautiful first born!  I love you!

Favorite Thing Friday 3/23/12

Time to link up again with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles for Favorite Thing Friday.  Be sure to go over there and check out the other participants!  Grab a button for your blog too if you’d like!

Now onto what my favorite thing is this week.

This is my almost 10 year old daughter.  Tonight we are spending some time together.  Her school read the most for the public libraries summer reading program this year (well every year) and as a reward those children who actively participated get to go to the school for a night of fun and a sleep over.  An adult has to attend too and this year is my turn.  It will be nice to get to spend some time with my middle girl.  Find out what’s going through that head of hers.  See her friends and how she interacts with them.  I’m not too keen on sleeping on the gym floor, but what are you going to do?  There are sacrifices that need to be made when you have children after all.  Maybe I’ll get to take a nap tomorrow.

What’s your favorite thing this week?  Go link up with Jenny to let everyone know!

Favorite Thing Friday 3/16/12

It’s time to link up with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles for Favorite Thing Friday.  I’m just barely getting it in this week on Friday and that’s because I wanted to get a picture of my daughter in my newest favorite thing this week.  But it needed to be washed and put on her.


So remember last week when I shared my favorite thing was my awesome friends?  Well, one of those awesome friends had given me some Goodmama diapers to try out.  And at first I thought I hated them, but I’m really beginning to love them.  They are so absorbent.  They are fitted diapers which need a cover over them.  While she does have a very big puffy butt when she wears them it sure does look cute.  Unfortunately the cute design is covered up with a cover, but I’m really just loving how well it contains all of her biggest messes.  And she has been quite the wetter lately too.  So it has been helpful particularly in the evenings to save me from having to change sheets every morning.  If they didn’t come with such a hefty price tag I’d have 50 of them!

What’s your favorite thing this week?

Favorite Thing Friday 3/9/12

It’s that time of week again.  Time to link up with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles for her Favorite Thing Friday.  This has been a really rough week for me.  Started out with our one and only vehicle breaking down, finding out it wasn’t fixable by my husband and probably not even worth fixing, and then my husband was passed up for a promotion which he has been working for and totally deserved.  It might not be so bad if they were giving it to someone who knew what they were doing, but they gave it to someone who has to be trained.  It’s a huge mess because my husband made them all sorts of money in the past month and saved them a ton too with his work and this is how they thank them.

But that’s not what this is supposed to be about.  We’re supposed to talk about our favorite thing this week.  And in spite of all these problems I am so happy that I can say I do have a favorite thing and I felt it was more important than ever that I link up.  So let me get the business out of the way first.  Go over to Sippy Cup Chronicles and link up your favorite thing over there and be sure to add this button to your blog.

Now that that’s all out of the way here’s my favorite thing this week.  My friends!  All of my friends are great, but there are a few friends that I have met in unlikely ways that have turned into absolutely wonderful blessings in my life.

I have a new friend that I met on the internet.  We both know someone mutually and both agree that we wish we had never met her.  Except for the fact that it might have brought us closer to some really great people knowing her has just been a real waste of our time.  We don’t live far from each other and the other night she came over for the first time to bring me some cloth diapers.  Not cheap diapers either.  Just gave them to me.  I love that!  I love her!  We can commiserate about this waste of space person and talk cloth diapers.  And we have kids around the same age.

Then I have another friend who I met on the internet a very long time ago.  We actually met on the internet, but were neighbors.  She used to live behind me until we moved a couple years ago.  She has remained a great friend though.  Her and her husband.  When our car broke down and we were trying to figure out what we were going to do until we could replace the car these friends offered us their car!  They are buying a newer one and this one has some problems and we can’t fit everyone in it, but it would likely get my husband back and forth to work for a couple of weeks until we can get something else.  We have to wait of course until they get their new vehicle which we’re all hoping will be this weekend, but I am just amazed at the generosity.  Even with the problems that the car has I’m sure they could sell it and get something for it.  Or maybe they could donate it and have it as a deduction on their taxes, but they have opted to let us have it.  I have always known this was a special couple and they have really been there for us during some rough times and during the great times too.  I wonder sometimes if we can ever truly repay all they have done for us.

I don’t really know how I got so lucky to have so many great friends.  But they by far were my favorite and the highlight of my week this week and I feel so blessed!

Have you ever met someone in an unlikely place and felt truly blessed by the friendship you created?

Favorite Thing Friday 3/2/2012

I am linking up again with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chroniclesfor her Favorite Thing Friday. Be sure to head on over there and check out her favorite thing this week along with everyone who links up to Favorite Thing Friday.   And be sure to also check out her month long baby shower while you’re there. I am sure you won’t want to miss it!

My favorite thing this week is my favorite Dr. Suess book because of course it is Dr. Suess’ birthday.  And what kind of Dr. Suess fan would I be if I didn’t honor his birthday in some way?
Who Are You Sue Snue?
Filled with nonsense words and a great Dr. Suess rhyme that builds on each other; this book is exciting and funny and it’s one of my favorites to read to my kids.  Good thing they love it as much as I do too.  Ms. Susan Bocks Dutter Docks Berklummer Snue tell us what is it you want to do?
What is your favorite Dr. Suess book?