Traditions

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Happy Fall Everyone!

I bet you thought I forgot about you?!? Life has been very busy over the last 6 weeks or so…all good stuff, but its been keeping me from sitting down and finding the time to share with you. Last weekend we went to the upper peninsula of Michigan. It was a beautiful sight to be seen. This is a tradition in our family. Lots of times we go to Mackinaw Island, or White Fish Point (my personal favorite, rocks…you get it!!) This time we visited the Soo Locks. Its quite amazing to see how much higher Lake Huron is than Lake Superior. There is a whole process they go through of “locking” the boat in an area until they can raise or lower the ship to send it out to the lake. I highly recommend the visit. After the day at the Soo, the kids came back to the campground for some trick or treating. That was a first for all of our kids and they had a great time. This was our first trip to the UP this summer, so of course I wanted to pack as much in as I could. Sunday morning we went to White Fish Point for some ship gazing and of course rock picking. After that it was on to Taquenenom Falls. There are upper and lower falls. So beautiful, so powerful and the color was awesome. A lot of nature to absorb. Sometimes the colors of the trees are just so spectacular its hard to take it all in. I would like to share a few pictures of our trip in case you have never been to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula!

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Notice My Little Rock Picker in Training!

Hope you get a chance to enjoy some fall beauty!

Peace,

Julie

Traditions

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, I started thinking about traditions.  Little One had a homework assignment over Thanksgiving weekend and we had to pick four of our favorite Christmas traditions for her to share.  As we worked on this assignment together I realized how special traditions are and how they connect us to our loved ones and give us that warm, cozy  feeling that comes with familiarity .  We have a variety of traditions  in our family,  some are tried and true and can’t be missed, and some have to be more flexible depending on circumstances that are out of our control.  I love traditions that have been around forever, but I also like creating new ones as our family grows and changes.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas traditions:

1. The Friday after Thanksgiving, our family (including my Mom, my brother and his family and Jules and her family) all make the trip out to the cemetery where my Dad is buried to place a Christmas wreath by his grave.  This tradition is comforting as it gives us a chance to honor my Dad’s memory.  We always follow this trip with lunch and the latest family friendly movie.

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2. Jules and I like to do some kind of crafting project.  For this year’s project we made hand-painted ornaments and the wreath for Dad.  I love spending this time crafting with my sister and look forward to it all year.  This year my Mom and Little One joined in on the fun!

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3. The girls, hubby , our pup Louie and I all like to take a drive and look at Christmas lights (this usually involves a stop for hot chocolate).

4. Baking cookies with the girls is a fun-filled adventure every year.

5. New Christmas pajamas for the girls- this is the one gift they get to open on Christmas Eve.

5.It might not always be on Christmas Day, but my siblings and their families and my Mom gather together  each year to celebrate Christmas. This involves lots of good food, games and laughs!  The only time I missed this celebration was the year we were in Russia bringing Little One home, which is a story for another day.

6. Hands down, my favorite tradition is going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church.  Sitting in the pew, surrounded by my family in the soft glow of candlelight singing Silent Night and celebrating the birth of Jesus is the best part of Christmas for me!

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How about you?  What are some of your favorite family traditions?  I would love to hear what you do and maybe get some new ideas for my own family.

~Blessings,

Jen