Posts Tagged ‘tradition’

(DISCLAIMER:  this was written weeks ago and I totally forgot to post it!)

7 days and we are off to Michigan
14 days until Christmas

Tis the season for cheer, joy and love! And there is no better time to have children than Christmas time! I get more excited every year. A friend posed a question on facebook asking for ideas of Christmas traditions. It was wonderful to see so many ideas and certainly sent me into the holiday spirit!

Here are  some of the traditions that I hope to make a regular part of our holiday season. Do you have family traditions what are your favorites!!??

The great tree hunt–  each year we cut down our Christmas tree at a local tree farm.  And I always name them.  Even Ava asked this year, “what is his name?” Love that she already knows that our trees have names! (**This year was the year of 2 trees; Our first tree Ferdinand made it only a week and was no more gratefully replaced my my loving husband we welcomed Sir Edger the Nobel Fir)

Advent Adventures-  I love the idea of an advent calendar.  Since we will be heading east every other year I decided to start two countdown traditions.  Years that we travel, like this year, I wrapped 18 christmas/ winter books.  One for Ava too open each night until we leave for Michigan.  It has been a big hit!  On the years we stay west we will have 24 books!  When we remain home I would also like to do an advent calendar where each day the kids open a little box. Instead of a present it will be a season related activity; get a tree, make an ornament, bake cookies etc.

Elf on a Shelf–  I was so excited to start this tradition… so far I have not followed through but I will attempt again next year.  Ava just does not seem interested.  I must share however that Ava named our elf, Tony, after Larry’s good friend.  She LOVES Tony!!!!

Christmas Eve–  The girls will open two presents.  New Christmas pajamas and a new ornament to place on the tree. We will make and leave cookies and milk for Santa and of course carrots for the reindeer!  Also love the idea of having the girls choose an old or broken toy for Santa to take back fix and make new for another little boy or girl (Thanks Sharp family for that one!)

Presents-  Each girl gets three presents and a stocking full from Santa.  Three gifts because baby Jesus got three gifts and because that is enough.  I think it is a great reminder of the purpose of Christmas and limits that urge for more.  (again I must thank the Sharp family!!!)

May you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!

Advent Book Pile

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First Day

“The greatest gift you can give to your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” -anonymous

My baby started preschool.

I was ready, she was ready. That did not stop me from crying the first day when she disappeared up the stairs to her class. Where does the time go?

In typical Ava fashion first day of school pictures did not go as planned.  I was however, able to capture her morning gift.  A hand made felt heart I had sewn the night before. The girls will each receive a new heart every year on the first day of school to keep in their pockets.  My loves who take a piece of my heart where ever they go. For my independent munchkin I thought this gesture would be more for me than her. I was so glad  to be wrong.  She held it so tight and said, “thank you mama for my heart.  I love hearts.”  She cherished it all morning and all day.  It made my heart smile.

BFF Emma! So thankful they are classmates!

Mrs. Peach and Mrs. McBride enjoy my girl she is one special munchkin!

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Silent night was my FAVORITE Christmas carol when I was little. For several years of my childhood, the neighborhood where I lived, organized a Christmas carol evening. It was almost like a hayride, singing through the neighborhood. I would practice my carols for weeks…if only I could sing in tune…I LOVE to sing! The evening would end at someone’s garage where there would be hot coco and treats waiting to warm us up. What a lovely tradition, I had not thought about that in years.  Children bring amazing memories to the forefront while creating millions more… what an amazing gift they are.

I am pretty sure that brings me back to silent night, after all it is about a baby.  That song always seemed so peaceful to me and still to this day when all the house lights are off and the tree lights glowing, I hear it in the back of my head.  These pictures give me the same sense of peace and holiday joy that I hope my Ava will experience each year.

Grandma Fleckenstein's angel topping the tree and reminding us of love and joy...you have so many angels looking after you my darling!


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So I could not wait to attempt the Santa Cookie photo shoot this year.  I could just see the pictures with Ava in her adorable red checkered gingerbread man PJ’s, I mean how could this not be cute?  OK so there was one thing I failed to consider… Ava wanted NOTHING to do with the cookies!  Are you kidding me??  Here are the only four pictures I managed to get before she put the cookies down and was off!  I still am lost sometimes with my external flash sometimes it rocks and other times it is overly apparent that I have no clue to what I am doing!

Mmm...what are these?

OK maybe one..

Testing: one, two, three...

A BITE!!! Kinda... then she was off! Maybe next year!

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“I do not know how to cut down a christmas tree. When I look at it , I hope that it just falls down.” Sally Brown, Charlie Brown’s sister

As I have mentioned before I LOVE to name things, it is my quirky obsession.  So it makes sense then that our Christmas trees are also provided with a name.  It is actually how I find them at the tree farm.  Larry and I decide what the name of our tree is before we begin the hunt, that way I know who I am looking for.  After all a Fred hardly looks the same as an Alfred.  In the past we have housed several trees; Everett (before we moved here, how ironic), Cornilus, Rupert and Sebastian have all joined the ranks as honored Fleckenstein Family Trees.  This year it was Octavius that we searched out and found!  What fun!  Ava’s first Christmas Tree, since last year we were in Michigan.

Now I am not going to lie and paint this as a “perfect” family fun day although we will have wonderful memories.  A toddler in an open tree farm just means constantly on the go, go, go.  Which means we follow, follow, follow.  Larry and I were often in several opposite directions, and taking pictures chasing after a toddler is not always fun or easy.  In the end, it took much longer than usual to track down our tree.  But when it was all said and done Octavius was perched proudly on our car roof, Ava was smiling and tired and the memories were documented, whew!

What fun pics but as I look through this set I am once again reminded that I MUST train Larry to use my old camera.  After all as I continue to document and blog these memories I would like for Ava to look back and see me and her together!!!!

Daddy’s Little Girl

Daddy's Little Helper

Winter's Cutie

Such a lovable face!

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Note to Ava: Do what I say and not what I did…

Back in high school my friends and I would often skip off campus in the fall. This was not allowed until senior year of course but as juniours our black kilts could easily pass for the seniour navy versions as we scurried across the parking lot to our cars. Fall in Michigan is my favoirite season and my high school was just 8 minutes from a family run cider mill.  MMM…nothing better than hot cider, warm doughnuts and the thrill of escape.

Larry’s first trip home we went and just a month ago Ava got her first visit to the Franklin Cider Mill. I cannot wait until she is old enough to do some posing not exactly a site for free range toddler, but a memory nonetheless.

and her happy, cutie face always with eyes closed!

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Generations of Love

When my father in law first pulled out the old Fleckenstein family rolling giraffe I was not so sure it would hold the weight of a toddler.  The worn paint and wobbly neck shared the secrets of this toys story. He was loved and had passed through the childhood all four Fleckenstein children. Now gifted to Ava she too would have the quintessential Fleckenstein giraffe riding picture of childhood.  His arrival, almost a year ago, was uneventful as Ava was far to young for a ride.  He sat patiently in our garage until about two months ago when Ava they were first introduced.  He has quickly became a favorite place to sit, carry her milk cup or snack and even take her precious baby Elmo for walks around the house.  The tradition has continued and this toy has officially become a cherished part of multiple generations of Fleckenstein children.  With hope, love and a few small repairs he just may make it to generation three!

Because I never can choose color or not…

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