Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Family Traditions

So ... I was lovingly scolded by a friend into writing something new on my blog. :) Especially since my facebook status revealed that I was feeling "semi-organized" this week... It was, however, a busy week. On top of the usual weekly activities, our nights were busy as well. On Monday night Chad had an elder meeting at church, Tuesday night we had our small group, and on Wednesday night I hosted a "jewelry party" for my friend Diana, who is a Premier Designs consultant. It was a lot of fun, and for once I didn't get all stressed about the preparations, and whether my floor was clean enough, or the food was plentiful enough. Mostly, it was pretty easy! The best part is that I earned $350 in free jewelry. I can't believe that. I think I will get myself a watch (since mine is broken) and maybe I can do a little Christmas shopping too. Or then again, maybe I will just turn into Mr. T and wear massive amounts of cool jewelry ....

Anyhow, I thought I'd share about a new tradition for our family. Throughout the month of November, I wanted the kids (and Chad and I too, for that matter) to think more about their blessings and all they have to be thankful for. So I constructed a "Tree of Thanks" for our living room. Audrey helped me cut out colorful leaves from construction paper, and each day we all write down on a leaf something we are thankful for, and place it on the tree. By Thanksgiving day, our tree should be full of all the blessings God has graciously given us. Audrey especially is having great fun with this. She is also "helping" Carter think of things he is thankful for. (His first one was "Audrey", hmmm ...) But it has been kind of fun thinking about what Carter might say he is thankful for, if he could really talk ... ceiling fans, the letters "X", "A" & "O", the cat, stars .... all some of his favorite things!

Our Tree of Thanks. In its early stages obviously ... I'll have to post a picture of how it looks at Thanksgiving


We have also started having "movie night". Movie night has never been possible for us until recently, mainly because Audrey didn't really care to sit and watch a whole movie. But lately she enjoys picking out a special show for us all to watch together. Of course, this involves popcorn and water and lots of pillows and blankets. The funny thing to me is that while Audrey only recently would sit through a whole movie, Carter seems quite happy and content to watch a movie at age 21 months. (As Chad said the other day, he appears to be our couch potato child ...) He got up a few times to play, but he kept coming back to sit with me and eat some more popcorn. Last night we watched the Curious George movie, and the week before we watched Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins appears to be a favorite because Audrey has been walking around singing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" and "A Spoonful of Sugar" incessantly ... Carter tries to chime in but he mostly sings a word or two here and there! :) I personally LOVE movie night because the kids are happy to eat popcorn and watch ... and the grown-ups are happy too, whether they're really watching the movie or sneaking a little nap in while they have the chance .... (see photo below!)

Audrey kept saying "Wake up Daddy! You're missing it!"

6 comments:

ErinOrtlund said...

Both are great ideas Amy! I may steal them. ;)

Chris Ann Schultz said...

The tree idea reminds me of the Bible Club prayer tree we used in the fall at Cedarville, suggested by Mrs. Biddle, who was in charge. We discussed things Chantel was thankful for, after reading a Berenstain bears Count Their Blessings Book together, this past week. Chantel shared, Jesus, Blessing-our child in Heaven, Mommy, Daddy and Feliz (our dog) next on the list. I'm glad she got the 1st 2 right!
The movie night is cute. Chantel can sit through Anne of Green Gables. We just don't let her watch the 3rd one. They are 3 hours long at least. She's been to many movies since she was two and popcorn was the first thing she asked for refills on in the theater. Luckily we always bought the popcorn that came with free refills. We do our movie things during the day, since we need a break and Chantel never naps, unless she's really tired and in the car, not since she was Carter's age 21 months., apx. (2 1/2 at the most). Praise the Lord, she sleeps 10-12 hours. Now, more like 11. She seems to be a really scheduled person, waking early most days, at least we can unwind at night, after she goes to bed! :-)

nateandkatesmom said...

The tree of thanks is a great idea! What a wonderful (and fun) way to count your blessings! We also love movie night. I'm such a homebody....I'd much rather stay home and snuggle up on the couch with Norm and the kids than go out....especially this time of year, in front of the fire in the fireplace. We've had so much going on, I really look forward to the times we can just relax at home together.

Karen said...

These are great things. We do thank you prayers every night with Emma, but the tree is such a great visual for everyone. Maybe then we won't get the same thank you prayers every day. It certainly makes it more real. And movie night is one of the highlights of Emma's week. We just started including Rebecca a few weeks ago. Of course R just wants the popcorn and not the movie. Emma just likes to be cuddled on the couch with Daddy and her blanket. Good times and hopefully memories for the girls that they can use with their own families.

The Raudenbush Family said...

Hey Amy! Love the tree idea. Ashlyn would do the same thing: "Drew is thankful for Ashlyn." Is it just a girl thing? Glad to hear the jewelry party was such a success. I say splurge and get yourself stuff you wouldn't have gotten otherwise!

Allison said...

How lovely! We have a Thankfulness Tree too! Marah started working on it for a CC presentation last week, and we are endeavoring to add to it little by little before Thanksgiving. I will admit--yours is way neater than ours, which is on a foldable display board. Now, where am I going to put that thing after the end of November?!? Next year, we will do it on a wall like you did. You're such a good Mommy. Tell Audrey 'congratulations' on her first wiggly tooth! Good luck determining the going tooth fairy rate. Yup, as puritanical as the leaders of the Grant Clan are...there IS STILL A TOOTH FAIRY in our home!!! :)