Less than a week till Christmas, and we got to celebrate last night with the crew who are helping me legitimize the “Mamacita” in my moniker – our church’s Hispanic Ministry. I had so much fun at the last big parties in June and in August, it seemed high time to host one at our house (many thanks to Fred for helping me pull it off!). So I prepared my best attempts at Roast Pork, Spanish Rice, Baked Plantains – and a nod to my own ancestry with some Wassel that was clearly a foreign concept to the group, but oh well – and we were off and running. Or eating, rather. Read the rest of this entry
Archive for the ‘ Family Traditions ’ Category
I’ve hit that mid-semester point where I’ve run out of my pre-planned home schooling stuff, so day-to-day prep is taking up most of my time and brain space. Hence my posting tardiness … just a couple weeks behind!
There is ONE thing for which I am not allowed to be late, however: our family’s quirky tradition of putting up our Christmas trees before Halloween hits. We made it again this year, with only hours to spare! (Wouldn’t have been so close if we hadn’t beaten all the stores selling the string-lights we needed!)
Now that I’m fairly sure Amy and Chris have discovered most of what we did to their home while they were away on their honeymoon, here’s the follow-up post. [If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check my earlier post about our custom of pranking newlyweds].
We’ll begin from the entrance point.
It turns out it was a wise idea for me to get a little time away on my own birthday because the twins’ birthday managed to become a “Happy 6th!” extravaganza that encompassed the whole following week!
Birthday Dinner at Pachanga Cocina Mexicana
We redeemed their free birthday meals at Pachanga the Sunday before their birthday. Sorry for the grainy pictures; I only had my cell phone camera.
Yes, the icecream dessert is about the size of José’s head:
The twins and I just fulfilled one of our favorite annual traditions, yesterday: going to watch the Blue Angels’ air show at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Were they to read that heading, BOTH of the twins would protest that they’re not babies. But they can’t read much yet; nor are they allowed on the Internet by themselves for blog perusal or any other activity. So “yea!” for me; I can get away with it this one last time.
Today is our kids’ 3rd “Gotcha Day.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the third anniversary of when we “got” them, the day we first met our sons.
January 22, 2007. Even when I’m old and senile, I’m pretty sure I will not forget that day. Two little men came toddling into the lobby of our hotel in Guatemala City, clutching their foster mom’s hands with one hand and photos of us in their other.
Tiny two and a half year olds (the size of one year olds by U.S. growth chart standards). Huge brown eyes, chubby cheeks, dark brown hair, bow-shaped lips.
It was another whirlwind Christmas at our house! We fulfilled an annual tradition on “Christmas Eve-Eve” in our house, driving to 34th Street in Baltimore to see the displays the homeowners there have assembled every year since the 1947 classic film Miracle on 34th Street debuted. A great start to the annual Christmas festivities.
When we got married, Fred’s mom assigned us Christmas Eve dinner as “our” holiday (his oldest sister Lisa has Thanksgiving with her husband … we’re still waiting for his other older sister Kathryn to get hers. [Hey Kath!]) Then Christmas Day begins with just the four of us here, a brunch at Fred’s mom’s, back to our house to host my side of the family, and then the end-of-day hang-out with friends so we can decompress and review the highlights (or funniest moments).
This year’s biggest surprise for the twins didn’t actually involve spending money. They’ve been dying to watch the Star Wars movies for quite some time now, but we thought they were a little young. Then this year they managed to check out every Early Reader book on Star Wars the county library system has to offer, memorized all the characters, and saved up their allowance money jointly to buy Lego Star Wars for the Wii, thus gaining knowledge of much of the plotline of the series. And for his final oral presentation at our co-op, Bear gave a persuasive speech about why he should be allowed to watch the Star Wars movies. And he had good points. Read the rest of this entry
Well, we’ve completed our Kindergarten Nativity Set project! And because my guys are too wiggly to sit through all the Bible passages that make up the story we celebrate each year, I paraphrased it for them and then added the pictures of the characters we just finished making. I’m dying to write a more humorous version because some of these characters (ok MOST of these characters) are truly funny-looking. But that’ll probably have to wait till next year when we pull this all back out.
For now, though, here’s the story of the First Christmas, foreshortened a bit by this Mama who’s about done spending time with hot glue and toilet paper tubes!
The Christmas Story
(Taken from Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2: 1-40, Matthew 2:1-21)
During the reign of King Herod of Judea, God sent an angel named Gabriel to the home of a young woman named Mary who lived in the town of Nazareth in Galilee.
He said to her, “Greetings, highly favored one! The Lord is with you.”
As uncool as it makes me, I spent Black Friday in its entirety cleaning carpets in our house. And Fred got called into work, so he didn’t do any better. But since that’s NOT probably what anyone wants to see or hear from our end, here are at least some cute pix from our Thanksgiving celebrations. Once I get a few moments to generate a “real post,” I’ll write again. But until then, here’s our crazy family (and a couple close friends) enjoying the holiday (the night before, and then Thanksgiving Day):
Our Thanksgiving Craft – Native American Headband Napkin Rings:
Today the twins and I fulfilled what has become a family tradition: setting up our family Christmas trees at the end of October.
It started in 2007, the year we brought them home. Because Fred and I had been hoping to get them here by Christmas 2006 or at least shortly thereafter, we never took down our trees. (We have two – remnants of our pre-marital days when we each owned homes.) Consequently, H & J came home on January 25th, 2007 to brightly lit trees and a bunch of wrapped gifts. They liked how pretty they were but had no idea what Christmas meant here, so they actually left the gifts alone until we felt ready to host the extended family for a belated Christmas party. In mid-February.