Tag Archive for fun times

Family Traditions & Collections

At the beginning of this year I had posted a picture on my “Renee’s Revelings” Facebook page with  my son, Bryan’s, collection of Christmas ornaments.  I have had quite a few traditions with my kids over the years, and wanted to share the ones that mean the most me.

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A lifetime of Christmas ornaments.

 

When I was a working mom, with four active kiddos I was always paying attention to things that I wanted to incorporate as traditions for us at home.  Holiday traditions, summer traditions, and just plain old family traditions.  Can you tell I’m a traditionalist at heart?

One of my favorite “traditions” was with the kids friends.  When any of them had a friend over for dinner they were always considered a guest in our home the first three times they had dinner at our table.  (I honestly cannot remember how I arrived at the number three.) After that I always told their friends you’re no longer a guest now you’re part of the family. Which was heart-warming for the friend, but my kids knew it meant I expect your friends to help out with serving dinner and cleaning up afterwards. I was usually the one doing the cooking.

During the summer months I had this tradition of taking the kids out for an ice cream after dinner.  The kids would be all bathed and clean and in their pajamas.  I’d say, “Hey let’s go get an ice cream!  Don’t change you can just go in your pj’s.  Pajama run!!!”  And then we’d all head for the car and the kids would be giggling all the way because they’d go out at  night in their pajamas.  Such fun memories.

Whenever we went to the beach during the summer I’d be sure and stop for an ice cream treat on the way home.  Are you noticing my  ice cream loving pattern here?  They still talk about the places we used to stop on the way home.  Such fun times piling everyone in the car along with all the gear for a day of sand and surf!

My holiday traditions with the kids are the ones that are the most precious to me, and the ones I know they will carry with them into their own homes.  Since my oldest daughter was a baby, and on her first Christmas in 1981, I bought her an ornament each year to commemorate the holiday.  The ornaments were the most precious of all of our family traditions for me.  Every year I would buy a special ornament for each one of the kids and paint their names and the year on each one.  I knew that one day they would be leaving the nest, and that collection of ornaments would go with them to start their first Christmas in their own houses with memories of their childhood.  Some years I would buy them all them same ornaments; Santa’s, or snowmen, or nutcrackers.  Other years I bought them ornaments based on a trip we had taken that year, or some place they had been, or a hobby they were interested in.   My oldest daughter has already continued this tradition with her own kids, and I hope she knows that she is creating memories that will last a lifetime.  That is precious to me.

As this New Year began and I was taking down our Christmas tree and the decorations I packed up my oldest son’s decorations for the last time.  I put them in a box with all of his other personal decorations that he will take with him to his own home later this year.  I will admit that I did get a little teary eyed during this process.  You see he’s the last one of our kids to take his beloved ornaments with him as he leaves the place he’s called home for over 25 years.  He’ll be getting married in the fall of this year, and have his own box of ornaments to decorate his first Christmas tree with in his own home.  That warms my heart knowing that his childhood memories and the collection of ornaments that he grew up with will live on each and every holiday season.

For me traditions, memories, collections, and pictures are the core of our family history. They are those little things that remind you of the warmth and the love of your home.  Or maybe certain traditions remind you of your parents, or grandparents.   The things that are important and special to you will last a lifetime, and are always the most meaningful.

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Crafting Time at Camp Grandma’s

It’s Summertime here at Camp Grandma and we’ve had a few crafty adventures over the past few weeks I thought I would share today.  We’ve been painting, coloring, blowing  up lots of balloons, squeezing in some swimming, and eating lots of popsicles and snow cones.  It’s been hot and humid here recently, and we all know how popsicles can cool the soul!

The first thing I did to make Camp Grandma a little special this year was I made a box, and each week when the Grand-kiddies come over (they are with me on Thursday’s and Friday’s) there’s some sort of crafty surprise or something fun to-do in that box.  This has been a fun way to start the day, as the kids look forward to finding out what’s in their special box.

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The first week the box contained paper plates, balloons, big crafting sticks, and some duct tape.  We used the contents that week to make and play Balloon Pong – which I had read about at Grandma’s Briefs.  I will admit that the grand-kiddies had fun blowing up all the balloons, but they had even more fun ping-ponging the balloons around.  They didn’t have a lot of success hitting the balloons to one another, so Evan made a contest of seeing how many times he could “pong” the balloon before it hit the ground.

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The next week at Camp I had put balloons, colored paper, scissors, tape, and the pattern to make balloon feet.    We were making balloon people.  They were so cute.  Madison really enjoyed telling me what she wanted me to draw on her balloon. Evan made his into a group of the Avengers, which I did not get a picture of.  Boo on Grandma. This crafty project was discovered by yours truly at Grandma’s Ideas.  The balloon crafts have been really fun, and just plain blowing up the balloons and using them like volleyballs around the house was a great activity too.

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For two of our weeks together we have done some painting.  We used tempera paints, sponges brushes, sponges, and I splurged on some thick watercolor paper for my little artists.  This is really the first time I’ve had a chance to paint with Madison.  She loved putting the colors on paper and painting with everyone’s favorite colors.  Madison’s favorite color is pink, and she know mine is purple.  She’s always telling anyone who will listen that her Grandma’s favorite color is purple.  Evan had fun being a mixologist, and discovering what colors he needed to mix to make other colors.  He had a lot of fun being the paint scientist.

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I am blessed to be able to have some special time with my grand-kids each week right now.  This time together creates memories that will last for a long, long time.  As they start to get a little older and as they move on to do their own independent activities, it will be good to know that we’ve had this time with each other.

Have you spent time with your grand-kiddies recently?  Did you get in any crafting time with them?  I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this summer.

Angels Baseball with the Boys

Travel Man and I squeezed in some time on Tuesday night to see and Angels game. Yay!!  With his crazy travel schedule we have had to learn not to plan our outings too far ahead, as his travel plans can change in a moments notice.  So we are learning to be more spontaneous than we normally would.  But it’s working.  We took our oldest son, Bryan to the game, and grandson, Evan.

The Angels were playing an interleague game with the San Francisco Giants, with CJ Wilson pitching.  We love baseball, so it’s always a treat to get to see a game live.  And Evan is getting into baseball more and more each year.  First inning, Albert Pujols hits a three-run homer.  A great at bat, and Evan is on cloud nine because he got to see Pujols hit a homer while he was at the game.  He knows who most of the position players are, and gets lots of questions about the game answered by his Uncle Bryan.  He’s like a sponge this year soaking in all of the baseball details.

Before the game Evan got a mini bat for a souvenir.  He told the employee at the counter that he could only spend $10, because that was Grandma’s budget.  When Evan gets back to his seat he tells me, “Grandma, we only spent $5, so we’re in your budget!”  Just too funny for me.  I was laughing for 5 minutes along with some “Grandma’s” sitting a few rows behind us.

Evan got lots of treats; churros, red vines ( I tried to call these red licorice, but got corrected), peanuts, a soda, a soft pretzel.  Not the usual Grandma meals, but hey we were at the ballpark.  Funny thing is he told his mother last night that we never fed him dinner! 

The first inning was so exciting, 4 runs scored, and 4 runs scored in the 4th inning, more excitement!  Right after the seventh inning stretch we get on the jumbotron!!  Evan had the funniest delayed reaction.  Bryan and I are pointing to the jumbotron telling Evan to look, and he was just in awe.  Then he got excited and started jumping up and down.  Just too funny because Evan had been dancing all night when they had the “dance cams” going in the stadium trying to get on the jumbotron, and then he did.  The 8th inning we score 3 more runs.  The Angels won this game 12-5.  Lots of offense, and fun times with Evan too.

Evan’s getting lots of lessons in reading the baseball stats from all of us.  Bryan is teaching him to read the stats in the newspaper.  Great way to teach a little reading, and the numbers and percentages.  If you have a sponge like Evan who likes sports this is a wonderful way to soak up some knowledge.

It’s always a treat when we get to spend time with any of the kids and with Evan along too.  Bryan is a baseball aficionado, and so knowledgeable about the game it’s always a treat to get to watch a game with him and learn something new.

Travel Man will be back on the road today to South America, so I’m thankful we got to have a trip to the baseball park while he was home.  It’s always a treat.

What’s your favorite summertime adventure?

 

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