Halloween…sort of….

Well..it is Halloween…well, sort of….but there are no costumes, no school, no trick or treating…..everything has been postponed until Friday.  Hurricane Sandy has come and gone.  We were lucky….we had no damage in our area.  We never lost our electricity and we barely had any branches fall down.  A lot of New Jersey wasn’t so lucky.  So much flooding and devastation around the state….really scary stuff.  Half of our town is still without electricity..so they had to close the schools for another day.

It is very strange….being Halloween…yet…not Halloween.

Easter weekend….

We had a lovely Easter weekend…we dyed eggs..and had the worst batch of egg dye….waiting for the eggs to turn into any type of color…took a LONG time……

But it was still fun…..though some of the eggs looked like they hadn’t even been dyed.

We got out the Easter baskets and set out carrots and water for the Easter bunny……

And then Easter morning….everyone searched for their basket and eggs!

Banana Cream Pie…a tradition….

Last week was my husband, Christopher’s birthday….so it was banana cream pie time….a birthday tradition.  I only make this recipe once a year.   Tuesday and River had great fun helping me make it.

There are a lot of components to the dish and they helped do most of the work…from the cutting to the assembling.

It is always more fun when you have help in the kitchen!

I think Tuesday’s favorite part is the eating of the pie…..it is only good for a few days..so it has to be eaten quickly, which Tuesday doesn’t mind!

Making Christmas cards…another tradition….

So, another Christmas tradition, in our family, is making our own cards.  We love to think and think about what we will do for that year.  The card usually involves some type of photo of the children…..though one year we had them draw the card.

It doesn’t always go as planned or as smoothly as I had hoped…..but in the end, we always love them.  I usually work with the photo in Photoshop and print them out using Publisher.  Sometimes we get them printed at a print shop, but most times I print them out at home using cardstock.

After doing the upside down chin photos earlier this month for my blog, my daughter Tuesday, decided those would be perfect for our Christmas card.

For quite a few years now, we wanted to do a twist on the family Christmas letter….. and then finally we thought of MadLibs.  So, this year, we decided to combine the two ideas…and we made up a Christmas family letter in MadLib form.  It was  a lot of fun coming up with the letter…but it was hard to put it into the right format, so it looked just like the real MadLibs.

In the end, I think our Christmas cards reflected who we are as a family…..pretty goofy!

Yule Lads….

The Yule Lads have started coming to our house.  Another tradition.  Every year, starting on December 12th, the Yule Lads begin to arrive.  We love the little guys.

Each night, we read about the Yule Lad who is coming that night…we get out the little statue….and then the children leave a shoe in their window.

So far, we’ve been visited by Stekkjarstaur, who likes sheep, Giljagaur, who steals milk, and Stufur…who is the little short guy.

In our house, they are all very friendly, and they leave little gifts for good children.  (If you are bad, they leave you a rotten potato!)  Sometimes the Yule Lads do slightly mischievous things, like drink our milk and leave the empty container on the floor!

We haven’t talked too much about Gryla, the Yule Lads mother, or the Yule Cat, because they are a bit too scary.   If you are interested in learning more about the Yule Lads, there are a few good websites..but I love the book that we have entitled The Yule Lads by Brian Pilkington….the illustrations are wonderful!

Visiting Santa…..

Another Christmas tradition,  in our family, is visiting Santa.  After Tuesday was born, for the first seven years, we went to the same place and there was the same Santa!  He had a real beard….but wasn’t too friendly..but it was neat that he was the same Santa .  We were so disappointed when there was a different Santa…..with a fake beard the next year.    I don’t like the Santas with fake beards.  So, this year I called different places asking if their Santa had a real beard or a fake beard…they must get that question a lot…..because they didn’t seem to think it was strange.

I also don’t like it when they won’t let you bring in your own camera..that really bugs me.  Anyway, we found a local farmers market that had a wonderful Santa..and it was free (He was on a tractor, which was sort of funny).  You just had to bring your own camera.  There was no line and the kids had time to actually “talk” to Santa….a rarity.  He was so friendly and patient. River was so nervous and almost couldn’t get any words out..it was adorable.

This is Tuesday with Santa when she was a few days old.  The Santa was so nervous to hold her.  Here are some other past Santa shots…..

Christmas books….

Another Christmas tradition around here is getting out the Christmas books…and books are a big deal around here.  We used to have everyone pick out a Christmas book  to buy every year..but then we just got too many books.

Everyone has their favorite book and loves to be the first one to read it…..especially to River…oh, and to the cat.

I try to tell River that she has to read every book at least once..but before we start re-reading them.  That doesn’t always stick!

Bring on the Christmas traditions….

So this month…I think I might be talking a lot about our Christmas traditions…I’ve done it a bit in the past..but it might be more this year..so be warned.

One of our first traditions is getting out our advent calendar.  My mom gave this to us years ago and I love it because it is reusable.  I also love it because it challenges me to get gifts that are small enough that they fit into these little tiny drawers..which usually means candy or small amounts of change…which is a good thing..because to me the advent calendar is about little tiny things…..(okay..the first day I cheated…I put a little note in the drawer that said to look somewhere else..I got snowman candy bars and they wouldn’t fit in the drawer…but I couldn’t resist..they were delicious…white and dark chocolate with pepermint pieces!!)

We try to do the advent calendar first thing in the morning…when things aren’t too crazy…but River doesn’t always cooperate.  She likes to sleep in..and Tuesday and Quinn have to be off early for school.  So, we will either do it first thing in the morning…or right after school.  If we end up not doing it in the morning, it drives River crazy.  She spends the whole day asking why Tuesday and Quinn aren’t home from school yet!!