Hanging of the Greens

This year we’re continuing with some family traditions we started last year, and adding some new ones.

toys-for-tots

This is a new tradition for us this year.  We’re grateful for all that we have, and all that we’re able to give Hannah Rose.  We believe that one of the least important things about Christmas time is the getting of presents.  Sure, that’s lots of fun–don’t get me wrong.  But there’s so much more to the holiday season than that, or there could be if you open yourself up to it.  I believe whole-heartedly that in giving is as good as getting, if not better.  Of course, some of my friends wish I weren’t this way–but hey, my mom said I came hard-wired to give.  Generosity is a good thing.  It’s something we want Hannah Rose to learn, but more than learn–we want her to grow to enjoy being generous.

This year, she’s very much into Barbies.  Makes sense to my head.  I was her age when I started playing with Barbies, and I was a tom-boy!  So, we let her pick out a Barbie to give to Toys for Tots (Sponsored by the US Marine Corp!), so that another little girl can have something special for Christmas and hopefully a happier Christmas for it.  She picked out Christmas Morning Barbie.  Here she is with the Barbie, and then dropping it off in the collection.

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Hanging of the Greens–Troy Museum & Historic Village

This is our second year attending the Hanging of the Greens, and it was just as much fun this year as it was last year!  Hannah Rose made a craft project.  She wrote a letter to Santa, and mailed it at the historic post office.  We listened to a hand bell choir.  We watched as the blacksmiths made iron icicles for Christmas ornaments.  While waiting for Santa to arrive on his sleigh, Hannah Rose and Chris had a blast playing in the snow.  Afterwards, we headed inside for some Hot Cider.  Yummm!!

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Holiday Reading A Hit!

At first, Hannah Rose was a little perplexed when I explained what we would be doing with the reading at night…the whole unwrapping “surprise” books for story time. Once she got it all straight in her head, she was happy. But not as happy as she was each night when she got to open a “present.” She loved it! Have to admit, we loved the look on her face each night. It was precious. I think it’s definitely going to be a repeat tradition next year.

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Holiday Reading Tradition

Here in our household, reading is a big deal.  I’m a bonafide bookworm, and Chris is a big fan of books as well.  Every night Hannah Rose gets a book read to her as part of her bedtime routine.  Books aren’t just for bedtime, either.  We listen to audio books on the road, and read when we want–where we want.

Somewhere (I’ve no idea where) I came across an idea that we decided to make ours.  It’s a holiday reading tradition.

Here’s what we did:  We took Christmas books from Hannah Rose’s collection–one for every night she’ll be here for the holiday season, including Christmas night.  I wrapped each of the books.  Every night at story time, she’ll get to unwrap that evening’s book and we’ll read it!

We thought it’d be a great way to have fun, enjoy the holiday season, and reinforce the whole reading thing even more!  And it didn’t cost me any money!  We already had the books as well as wrapping paper left over from last year!

Sunday we’re going as a family to see the Nutcracker, so Saturday night’s story will be the Nutcracker!  And the story for Christmas night?  The Christmas Story…the story of the birth of Jesus.

I’ll let you know how it goes–but I think it’ll go well and will be something we do every year in our house.

If you’ve any great family holiday traditions, feel free to share!  We’re always open to great new ideas!

The Wicked Witch Is Dead!!!

Yay!!!  June’s over!!!!  I survived another one!!!  And onto July celebrations.  We have Hannah Rose for a good chunk of this month, so we’ll be rather busy.  But it’s a good busy!

Today, we’re going over to Chris’s parents for a 4th of July BBQ and some fireworks.  When we told Hannah Rose last night that we were having fireworks today–she literally started jumping up and down in excitement.  Funny that!

We’re bringing the dessert–decided to make cupcakes sans dairy or eggs.  Thought I’d get a jump on things by doing them last night, but they got burnt on the bottoms, so I had to throw the whole batch out.  I’m using Ener G to substitute for the eggs…and that works fine, but the cupcakes don’t rise as much as normal.  I just took out my “replacement” cupcakes from the oven, and they look much better.  (I doubled the baking powder and baking soda and so they rose a bit more than they did last night.)

Tomorrow we’re headed out to The Henry Ford Greenfield Village’s Salute to America.  It should be lots of fun.  We’ll get to listen to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and at the end of the night watch an inspiring fireworks display!

This month is also Chris’s mom’s birthday–followed by my sister Brandy’s birthday.  Brandy’s is literally the day after Kay’s!

The weather’s supposed to be great for today and tomorrow which is a relief–especially considering all the thunderstorms that have been taking place.  We had another Wednesday night.  Which just happened to be the night Chris and I decided to go out and do a bunch of grocery shopping!!  We’re almost home and Chris says, “The topper to this night would be for our power to be out.”  The center by our house had power, so we thought we’d be ok.  Nope.  No power and a car full of perishables!  John and Kay to the rescue!!!!  They let us borrow some fridge and freezer space to save our newly bought perishables.  We were fortunate, power was only out for about six hours.

With that friends and family–I’m out for now.  Hope you all have a great 4th of July, or rather by the time you’re reading this that you HAD a great 4th of July!!!

Party Central

Hannah Rose’s birthday party on the 29th was a great success!  She had a lot of fun.  We did it up Tinkerbell style!  Before her party she went over to Chris’s parents house so that Chris and I could decorate and surprise her!  She was surprised and happy; especially with all the balloons!  This little girl has a love affair with balloons.  Ok, perhaps I exaggerate for effect.  But only a little.  She did mention prior to her party that she wanted to blow up balloons for her party. 

It was an afternoon party, so we had some snacks.  I made some party punch–which was quite yummy if I may say so myself.  Chris’s mom liked it too, so I must be in the right! 

Here you can see the present table, heavily laden with gifts!  (The trunk you see under it is a trunk filled to the brim with dress up items!)

I just love this shot of her.  She’s wearing the party hat I made just for her.  (Which has has since further decorated and personalized. ~smiles~)

This is the new Princess bicycle she got from her mom for her birthday.  She looks so big sitting on it!!!

Here she’s unwrapping more presents.  She stopped to take some time to draw a “map” on the chalk roll we got her.  (I bought it from a talented friend who makes them and if you’re interested in buying one, let me know and I can put both parties in touch with each other!)

Here she stopped to read the book I wrote for her, I am Beautiful Because.  She had to look at all the pictures of herself in it.  Who can resist being the star of their own book?

Some have said it looked like Christmas–and yeah, it kinda did!

Here is her Tinkerbell birthday cake.  Chocolate of course.  The original cake I was making decided to not come out of the pan all the way so I had to resort to plan B.  Which turned out better than I had expected.  Hannah Rose enjoyed all the tinkerbell on her cake–and the pink roses.

Here she is with Daddy.  I had made a mental note to myself prior to the party to get pics of her with everyone there….do you think I remembered?  Yeah…no. 

Blowing out the candles–such birthday fun!

Next year I do believe we’ll be having more than just a family party.  She’s of the age now where she’s wanting other kids to join her at her party.  Sadly, not everyone could make it to the party.  Lots of illness going around, but Hannah Rose did get to see everyone eventually I think excepting perhaps her uncle on her mom’s side. 

Good times.

Birthday Surprise #1

Hannah Rose saw her new dresser and nightstand this evening when she got home.  (They’re awesome birthday gifts from Chris’s parents, John and Kay!!!)  I got a short video of her when she first entered her room and saw them.  (I was hiding in her room.)  She was too cute.  Immediately she starts personalizing both of them.  I had her fairies in the wrong order so she had to correct them.  Then she put her basket of baby stuff on the shelf of her nightstand!  She went through her drawers to see where all her clothes now live.  She was able to open and close the drawers by herself just fine.  (And they have drawer stops on them so we’re not afraid of them falling out on her.) 

She’s looking forward to her birthday party tomorrow.  Here’s the video and pics from this evening:

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Party Prep–UPDATED

Party prep is in full swing in spite of how I’m feeling.  (Not well.  Had to discontinue my antibiotics–side-effects, of course!)  Trying to avoid having to go in to see the doctor this weekend.  Crossing my fingers.

 Cake is in the oven and due to come out soon.  While it’s cooling I’ll make the icing, and then decorate it–which is going to take me more than a few minutes.  hahaha.

The house is pretty much in order.  I have to hide the wrapped presents.  There’s more on my to-do list, but I won’t bore you with all the pretty details.

Chris’s parents got Hannah Rose a new dresser and bedside table that match her wonderful bed!  (They are wonderfully generous–his parents!!!)  The pieces are gorgeous!  We’ve got those in place, and I put bows on them since Hannah Rose will see them tonight when she comes home with Daddy.  Charging the camera battery now so I’ll be ready to take lots of pictures tonight and tomorrow. 

 Back to the grindstone I go!!!  Just thought I’d drop in and say a quick hi! to y’all!!!  Happy Friday, by the way!

UPDATE:  Was going to do a Tinkerbell “head” cake–which would have taken me hours to decorate.  Did a practice one last month and it was all good.  Not all good today.  Tinkerbell’s face decided to stick inside the pan.  No idea why–maybe because this was important to me and it wasn’t practice.  Who knows?!?  So having to plan B the cake.  I’m still going to make sure she has a wonderful cake for her party, but at this rate, it’s not going to be home-made.  So, I’m off to search for a chocolate cake, cause she specifically said she wanted a chocolate cake.  Wish me luck.  I really need it today!!

 UPDATE 2:  I have a cake.  Chocolate at that.  Perhaps the day is going better now.  ~sighs~  OK–back to work.

Happy Easter!

We had lots of fun this Easter.  Saturday night we coloured Easter Eggs.  We went to our church’s Easter Service on Saturday afternoon with Chris’s dad.  Sunday Chris’s parents came over for Easter Dinner.  There was no wanting of Easter goodies in our home this year.  (Chris’s parents got Hannah Rose one of those HUGE baskets!)  Even Chris’s parents got some Easter Candy from See’s.  (Chris and I special ordered some See’s candies–they are no See’s Stores here in MI.  I hadn’t had See’s candies in years!)

Hannah Rose got to wear her special Easter Dress.  She picked it out herself from the Children’s Place.  In fact, she saw the dress across the store and made a beeline for it!  She wasn’t interested in looking or even considering other dresses.  This was the dress for her!

We had a good Easter, and we hope you all did too!!

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