December 2014
Monday, December 01, 2014
In Thanksgiving…
I love the holidays and the spirit of joy and thankfulness that the holiday season brings, not only to me but also my girls. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked all three of my girls what they were most thankful for this year and their answers surprised me.

My 8-year-old’s top three: family, food, and God
My 6-year-old’s top three: life, food, and family

While my two oldest daughters focused on the bigger items in life, it was my 4-year-old that reminded me that sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the best. Her top three: Elsa, Anna (can you tell she is a Frozen fan), and mac & cheese.

I hope all of you reading this blog today had a blessed Thanksgiving and that the rest of your holiday season is filled with not only the big pleasures in life but also filled with lots of the simple pleasures…and a side of mac & cheese!

What are you or your kids most thankful for this year? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Posted by Michelle
Monday, December 15, 2014
Happy Holidays!
During the holidays, like many of you, my family has several traditions that we try to incorporate in to our holiday fun.

1. Picture Taking
We take pictures throughout one day and make a slideshow for the grandparents. They love this gift, and so do I. We have been making these slideshows since my oldest daughter was born (put the ninth one together this week) and looking back over the years and seeing how the girls have changed is such a joy!

2. Baking
We bake cookies…my girls hunt through the cookie book and pick out 3-4 cookies/treats to bake for us and our neighbors. On the list this year: chocolate chip cookies, lemon-cranberry bars, brown sugar cookies, and cinnamon swirl cookies.

3. Hot Chocolate & Christmas Lights
We put hot cocoa in travel mugs and venture through the neighborhood one evening, admiring the Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.

4. Church
On Christmas eve, we go to Church to celebrate the birth of Christ. My girls make a special stop at the Church’s life-sized nativity to wander among the animals.

5. Getting ready for Santa
My girls each pick a special cookie and put it on a tray with eggnog for Santa. They also place huge, cloth Christmas sacks near the fireplace in which Santa places their gifts. We then read The Night Before Christmas before all the girls head up to bed.

6. Staying Up Late
On New Year’s Eve, my girls attempt to stay awake until midnight. The one night of the year they are allowed to stay up past nine. They make a list of activities and games to play to help them stay awake. So far, my 8-year-old has made it to 11:40pm (so close!). My younger two have only managed to stay awake until 10-ish.

And this year, we may have added tradition number 7—Gingerbread Houses.
We decorated two gingerbread houses at my daughters’ school. The girls had so much fun that I will definitely take them back to decorate again next year.

As for my girls, my 4-year-old’s favorite tradition is the presents, “the stuff that Santa gives us.” My 6-year-old enjoys making cookies just because she likes it. (I’m also pretty sure she likes sampling as we bake and having cookies to munch on over the following weeks). My 8-year-old likes to wrap presents because she “likes giving presents…it’s fun!” (that’s the spirit).

And in the spirit of giving, this blog post will be my last for the year so that I can give the gift of family time to my loved ones for the remainder of the year.

I wish you all the very best this year and next! Thank you for taking a few moments to read my musings and share your thoughts with me. It is a wonderful gift to connect with people all over the world.

See you in 2015!

What are your or your kid’s favorite holiday traditions? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Posted by Michelle