One Last Tradition

I've been completely inspired by my cousin in how we do sibling gifts at our house.  We tried this the last couple of years, but would simply draw names and each make one gift for that one person.  Well, this year I wanted to have the kids make something for each of their siblings.  AND surprisingly I found it much easier than doing just one gift per person.  Mass production??  Here is the list of things we made this year:

Addie covered sketchbooks with pictures, stickers and stamps.  We then modge podged them hoping they will last longer. 

Brooklynn made rainbow crayons.  This was trickier than I expected, but they still turned out cute.

John decided to tie dye shirts.  I learned I am not a patient crafter.  This one took longer and was much messier than I expected!  I don't think I'll be tie dying again any time soon!  :-)  I don't think we followed the instructions correctly or something....but the shirts turned out well enough.  John was happy with the results.

Joel decorated mittens with puff paint.  Loved it!

Ethan, recognizing that everyone else was making something with mom started to protest, "I want to make something for my brudders!!!"  So, I got out the water color paint, printed off some pictures and let him at it!  Yes, they are wrapped under the tree as well  (even though he told all the kids what he made them!).  :-)

This was my favorite thing to work on this week!  I loved watching the kids thinking of one another.  I loved the comments, "Oh!  I think so&so would love that"  or "She's going to love this!"   And then to watch Ethan want to follow in the spirit of giving, love it! 

So, now all the presents are wrapped & under the tree.  We're going to start making sugar cookies for Santa and then get our lovely dinner ready for tonight.  Then it's time for opening the first gifts of Christmas and the anticipation of tomorrow morning!

Merry Christmas!!


More Traditions

I love traditions!  As I said in my last post, that's what Christmas is all about at our house. Here's some more of what we do....

The Movies
My hubby and I watch Family Man every year.  It's a great movie to refocus us on what is most important in our lives.

Every Christmas seasons starts with Home Alone... the kids insist upon this!

Other must watch movies at our house: 
Santa Clause (with Tim Allen), Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas and Holiday Inn

If we fit others in, it's a bonus!

The Glass Pickle
12 years ago, for our wedding, J. and I received a large pickle ornament.  This began the tradition of hiding the pickle in the tree.  Whichever child finds the pickle, they get to open an extra (family) present. 

The Paper Christmas Tree
Last year, J. was reading somewhere in the Old Testament where the Israelites would travel back to a certain place every 7 years to remember who they were and where they came from.  He decided that our family needed to have a similar tradition.  Well, it just so happened that seven years before we had decided to save some money by not putting up a real Christmas tree (I refuse to buy a fake tree to put up every year, I need the fresh evergreen smell!).  So, we made a paper christmas tree and paper ornaments to put up on the wall.  It was fabulous!  Last year, to commemorate every seven years of being a Hathaway, we put up yet another paper tree!  We'll do the same in seven more years!

The Treats & a Bowl of Nuts
And, of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without the music and the goodies!  Our home is filled with the music of Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, and Celine Dion. 

Every year we also need to have a bowl of uncracked nuts on our kitchen counter.  This one I brought from my own family growing up.  It's a must!

And here's our family's special holiday treat recipe.  It's a recipe my mom adapted to create a yummy pastry. Enjoy!

Sour Cream Twists
1 c. shortening, melted
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. yeast (in 1/4 c. water)
2 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine shortening, sour cream, salt and vanilla.  Blend in yeast and eggs.   Add flour.  Mix.  Place in greased bowl and cover with damp cloth.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Spread on board or counter.  Place dough on sugar mixture and roll into a rectangle.  Fold into thirds (like a letter).  Roll out again.  Repeat 3times until sugar is gone.  Roll into a rectangle about 1/2"  thick.  Cut into 1"x4" strips.  Twist and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Glaze.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!


Christmas Stories

I know!  My posts have been few and far between.  I keep trying to write something intelligible, but then I stop.  Tonight I'm going to finish!  :-) 

Christmas for me is all about traditions!  I gave up a LONG time ago trying to do everything every year.  I think that was about the time I had 3 kids ages 3 & under and decided to make like 5 different kinds of cookies for everyone I knew.  I ended up spilling some of the cookies all over the inside of the oven!  My husband came home with the kids (and kitchen) covered in flour and his wife in tears.  That was when he put the ban on neighborhood Christmas cookie deliveries!  Since then I've (hopefully) tried to center our family on at least a few important traditions to help Christmastime be magical for them.  Mostly that entails Christmas stories and holiday movies.  

Here are some of our MUST reads each year.

A story of how love & sharing goes all the way around!

I LOVE Norman Rockwell, so when I saw this book I knew I needed it! 

This one is a MUST at our house.  This was the book my mom read to us every single year on Christmas Eve. 

We read this one each year and then share our own chocolate orange. 

And we always take a break from Christmas on December 23rd to commemorate the birthday of Jospeh Smith by reading this lovely children's book.

I saved the best for last!  Our overall favorite, the one I read every Christmas Eve! 


Piles and Piles of . . .


Dear Friends,
Have I told you how much I hate doing laundry?  Well, if not, I will now.  I hate doing laundry! 

Maybe it's my distaste for having things unfinished or needing to be done ALL THE TIME.  Bathrooms and other weekly tasks don't bother me so much because they're at least finished for one day.  But laundry is a whole different story! 

Maybe my dislike has excalated because I'm tired and pregnant.  Maybe it's more evident because we use thicker and more clothing in the wintertime, so it feels like there's more of it.  Maybe it's just that I will forever have a bad attitude about laundry  (you can't really like everything about homemaking can you??)

It was getting better when I had the two older kids doing their own laundry.  But then JW decided to go to school and threw that plan out the window (curse that public school once again!).  It used to take me only one, maybe two days to get it done.  I don't know where those days have gone.  And doing a load or two a day really doesn't work for me because I forget and then leave wet laundry in the washer for a day or two.

And along the same lines (since I'm on a roll) I hate mismatched socks.  And again, with wintertime it seems like they are everywhere

Okay, I'm done griping and will now go get some sleep.  :-)  You can all tell me your wonderful, beautiful and perfect plans for keeping your laundry down and I will graciously accept (even though I know I have tried them all!!).  Actually, will you please just give me sympathy and tell me I'm a great mom even though I don't like washing the clothes!!!!

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