Archive from November, 2013
30 Nov
2013
Posted in: parenting
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Revamping Our Thanksgivng Traditions

LEGO turkey

I’m crying uncle and throwing in the towel. Next year my family will be revamping our Thanksgiving traditions.

Not one of us really enjoys eating turkey or stuffing for that matter. This year my 9-year-old put a seed of doubt in our Thanksgiving traditions. Days before the big day, J wanted to know if we were eating turkey.

Me: “Of course, it’s Thanksgiving.”

J: “The pilgrims didn’t just eat turkey. They had deer, fish, lobster and turkey. There might even have been wild boar, you know, pig.”

Me: (gasp) “You want us to have a deer roast or pork on Thanksgiving?”

J: “I don’t know why it has to be turkey. We don’t even like it. Why does our tradition have to be everyone else’s?”

Me: My answer was the dreaded thing I don’t want them to fall into, “Because that’s what everyone does.”

Dictionary.com defines tradition as “the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice” and “a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices”. I can’t shake my short conversation with my 3rd grader. Why do I force my family to eat what every other American family is eating?

  • Because that’s the way it’s always been done.
  • We’re Americans.
  • That’s just what we do on Thanksgiving.

None of those answers are good enough for me. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I harp on my children to be who God intended them to be, no matter what society tells them. Then I tell them we have to eat turkey because everyone else is. I want Thanksgiving to be dripping in grateful attitudes and blessed hearts symbolized by a feast. I don’t want Thanksgiving to be about a turkey, whether or not you enjoy the taste of it.

Most of our Thanksgivings, in the 12 years we’ve been married, have been without any extended family. We spend most of the three major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter) with just us. I’ve been intentional about making our Christmas and Easter traditions something special for us, but Thanksgiving I’ve let be, keeping the turkey sacred. Thanksgiving 2014 will look different at out house. I’m going to have the kids plan the meal. I’m not sure what it will look like. Maybe we’ll be carving (cracking) the Thanksgiving lobster. I know it will be food picked and prepared with love. I know my kiddos will enjoy planning a meal outside of our American cultural expectations. They’ll be more grateful for a meal they actually enjoy eating and a mom who was willing to listen to their gripes and revamp our Thanksgiving traditions. Next year we can focus on how blessed we are and begin a new Thanksgiving tradition we enjoy and will pass on. Best of all, no one will ask, “Do I have to eat the turkey?”


 
Book Club Meets Movie Night
By     |    Nov 27, 2013
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Book Club Meets Movie Night

One of my favorite book club ideas for kids is to read a book together as a family and then have a movie night. The list of books made into movies is extensive. This book club idea works well for us in the summer. I have the kids help choose books to read together and then it’s easy to fit movie night in whenever we finish a book instead of fitting movie nights into crazy school year schedules. On our... [Read More]

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Croquet Mallets to Wall Hooks
By     |    Nov 26, 2013
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Croquet Mallets to Wall Hooks

I’d been storing broken croquet mallets for at least two summers. I thought I could use them for some sort of project but couldn’t quite pin an idea down. A few weeks ago, creative lightening struck. I decided to put my 11-year-old Webelo scout to work  to make wall hooks for the bedroom his younger brothers share. I didn’t follow good DIY etiquette and take photos of the process. I’ll have to do a better job of not just taking... [Read More]

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Please, Don’t Forget Christmas Cards
By     |    Nov 25, 2013
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Please, Don’t Forget Christmas Cards

I all-out begged a friend to send Christmas cards this year. Her reasons not to send were ones I’ve contemplated myself: postage is expensive, finding the time to buy or make a photo card adds stress and then time to send out each card equals more stress. I thought for all of three seconds that I wouldn’t send cards because the cost to mail them needs its own line-item on my household budget. This year friends who are local will... [Read More]

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Three Christmas Gifts
By     |    Nov 22, 2013
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Three Christmas Gifts

Several years ago, we instituted a ‘three gifts’ rule at our house for Christmas. The number of packages under the tree made my stomach turn. It was pure excess. I felt the meaning of the Christmas season was being diminished by the urge to buy the newest, shiniest thing. We picked the number three because that’s what Jesus was given by the wise men in celebration of His birth. My family celebrates Christmas, not for the boost it gives our... [Read More]

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Take a Trip — Disneyland
By     |    Nov 21, 2013
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Take a Trip — Disneyland

The idea of going to the same vacation spot more than once doesn’t appeal to me, unless that spot is Disneyland. I realize that Disneyland isn’t for every family, but I could be the Disneyland Vacation Club president. We’ve been twice, July 2008 and March 2012, both times with little kids. Every time I hear friends planning their trip I get giddy all over again. In 2012, Disney’s tag line was “Let the Memories Begin.” That sums up my take... [Read More]

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Keeping Perspective
By     |    Nov 20, 2013
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Keeping Perspective

I realize, more often than I’d like, the lessons I’m teaching our children are not absorbed they way I intend. It seems lately my teaching is a little off the mark. I find myself backtracking and getting a little defensive. Case in point: breakfast this morning. Our third grader has hypoplasia on one of his permanent bottom teeth. That tooth is noticeably discolored. Our reserved boy has been picked on several times regarding it, and he’s become increasingly self-conscious when... [Read More]

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Speech Therapy — Child Development Center
By     |    Nov 19, 2013
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Speech Therapy — Child Development Center

Recently I’ve been reflecting on our 6-year-old son’s path to overcoming speech obstacles with speech therapy. His therapy ended 18 months ago when he tested out three months before starting kindergarten. Therapy was an amazing process for both C and I. Happy. Joyful. Exuberant. That’s our third son. Very little dampens his spirit. We knew he was having problems with his speech. The “k” wasn’t there. We had him tested at our local Child Development Center several times and waited... [Read More]

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Not Looking Over Thanksgiving
By     |    Nov 18, 2013
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Not Looking Over Thanksgiving

We’re not looking over Thanksgiving at our house. It’s overshadowed by Halloween and Christmas…the mother of all holidays. We’ll openly inquire about what costumes our children are wearing or what presents we’re buying, but no one stands in line at pickup time asking each other what they’re thankful for. Being thankful is such an important concept to instill in our children, one that seems to be lost in the talk of who has what or what we want or how unfair our... [Read More]

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DIY LEGO Advent Calendar
By     |    Nov 16, 2013
Posted in: projects     |    2 Comments

DIY LEGO Advent Calendar

We’ve bought LEGO advent calendars in the past, which our children enjoyed. The problem is the expense of the calendars. Spending $30-$40 on an advent calendar isn’t normally in the budget. Last year, I decided to make our own LEGO advent calendar. The kids loved the idea, so I made another one this year. I began searching store advertisements the last couple of weeks looking for a LEGO set with 200-250 pieces and cost around $15-$18. Last week, I found the perfect set.... [Read More]

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More Than You Ever Want to Know
By     |    Nov 15, 2013
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More Than You Ever Want to Know

Possibly you’re about to read more than you ever want to know about me or even need to know.  I bet you’ve seen the lists of items you might not know about friends on Facebook. I find them incredibly interesting. I’m a details person, so I’m going to join the crowd and share 20 things about me. I’ve only lived in Wyoming and have deep family roots here, but we have no family in our town. I don’t eat red... [Read More]

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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas
By     |    Nov 14, 2013
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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas

All it took was my husband watching a Man vs. Food episode to prove that everything really is bigger in Texas, starting with donuts and pizza. We were in the San Antonio area visiting friends in June of 2012. Instead of just doing the stereotypical tourist stops, SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn and the Alamo, we hit Round Rock Donuts (north of Austin), and Big Lou’s Pizza (eastside San Antonio). Best. Choices. Ever. I assumed the Round Rock Donuts were going to be a... [Read More]

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