12 Days of Christmas – Sweet Memories

We took down our Christmas tree today.  I didn’t realize until today that it lasted all 12 days of Christmas.

Our real Fraser Fir was nick named Mr. FFR (fluffy, Fraser) by my kids, and yes, we name our trees.  It’s a thing…maybe just our thing? Anyway, Mr. FFR really lasted a long time.  Sure the needles were falling, but he really looked full and beautiful adorned with lights and ornaments until the very end.

Just look:

mr ffr 2018

Our tree in 2018

Every Christmas Tree Tells a Story

I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental taking down the tree with so many stories behind the decorations on our tree year after year.  Our grandparents and parents gave us so many beautiful ornaments from little on, and some of them have become our daughter’s favorites. My dad handmade wooden sled ornaments years ago.  My mom made both the angel that tops our tree and the tree skirt at the bottom.


Big Sumo Kitty loves sitting on the tree skirt my mom made.

Ornaments remind me of places we’ve lived or traveled – two more recent ones from the Grand Canyon and South Dakota.

There’s ornaments from Germany and Austria to remember my high school foreign exchange program and my semester abroad in Vienna. There’s a hang gliding Santa that my best friend gave me because I went paragliding in Switzerland.

One plastic orb holds freeze dried flowers from my wedding bouquet.

Another high heel ornament reminds me of our favorite girls’ nights with my sister, cousin and aunt.

Each one of us have ornaments from the year we were born – mine and Daddy O’s looking a little more well-loved than our kids’ numerous baby ornaments.

This tree is our life as a family.  It’s adorned with a whole lot of love through many years.

And then there’s  the ornaments and gifts that our kids have made.  Each year more ornament crafts make their way from backpacks and onto our tree.  Today, I have to confess, that some of the ones in bad shape (sticker, foam type) went in the garbage! Many, however, are part of our annual holiday decor.

christmas crafts from kids go mama o

Most recent craft – top left: hand print trees, reindeer painting (2018, Little Brother), reindeer flower pot (2017 Big Sister), hand print tree (Little Brother), ribbon tree (2017 Big Sister).

While most of these projects were made at school, I remember Big Sister making the reindeer flower pot craft in our basement inside of a patio furniture box that transformed into a “workshop / fort” for our her.  She had glue, paint, pipe cleaners and the flower pots all assembled in her work station down there.  In the end, she gave me, Daddy O. and her brother each a reindeer flower pot.  They turned out adorable, and we were proud of her for putting so much effort into these gifts.

The hand prints are getting bigger through the years, and I can’t help but wonder when they’ll stop doing these hand print crafts.  At seven and nine, my kiddos are growing up for sure, but still firmly believe in the magic of Christmas.  Big Sister wrote a letter to Santa for our elf Fred to deliver to him. Elf on the Shelf proved to be an amazing way to motivate the kids to get out of bed in the month of December. It was really fun and very sweet.

Here was a new event that Big Sister created at grandma and grandpa’s house this year:

jingle bell sing along

Big Sister’s first concert for family

What will next year hold for our family? How much longer will these sweet traditions last?  I can’t predict for sure.

And while some traditions fade away (and I may will be a little sad), I hope we’ll find a way to make new family traditions. Until that day comes, I’m just going to soak up and savor all of the sweetness and joy that this parenting gig can hold.

This is what I found on the back of Little Brother’s hand print craft:

thank you for being my mama

A sweet note just for me



Fly on the Wall: C’est la Vie

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 9
  • Little Brother, age 7

Since I have been writing these blog posts since 2014, I have my own Fly Post Page.  Check it out if you want to hear more craziness from my house.

Mixed up Lyrics

One night at dinner, my kids were changing the words to “I like to Move it, Move it” song.

Mom, your song should be, “I like to talk it, talk it. I like to talk it, talk it.  I like to …. talk it!”

Dad, your song should be, “I like to snooze it, snooze it. I like to snooze it, snooze it. I like to … snooze it!”

Big sister’s is, “I like to read it, read it. I like to read it, read it. I like to … read it!”

Little brother’s is simply the song, being an active little boy that he is!

Little Brother’s Funny Sayings

Mom, can you do a rainbow load of laundry?

This sounded so sweet. I wash a lot of the bright colors together, but never thought of it as a rainbow load.  It almost makes doing laundry sound like fun…almost.

Mom: Hey, can you help me make breakfast?

Little Brother: No, I’m in Legoland.

in Lego land

Busy building away

Little Brother refers to his comforter on his bed as a confronter.

A few weeks ago I bought a chewable vitamin.  They were an unwelcome change from the gummy vitamins they replaced.

Kids' Multivitamin Bottle

The horror – chewable vitamins.

Little brother’s reaction: I have to eat 150 of them.

And later –

“The world is against me.”

Wow…just wow.

Serious Readers

My kids really enjoy reading.  Sometimes bookmarks can’t be found.  As in this case:

quality reading material

Sometimes you just use a tissue for a bookmark

This is an example of the quality material they read.

These Kids

During dinner Big Sister said, “C’est la Vie.”

Little Brother responded: La Vie

Yes…it does sound like, “Say la vie.”

Big, Big Sister

My little girl turned 9 this month. Daddy O. recently commented to me that our daughter is now halfway to 18.


When I think about it that way, this parenting gig is going by way too fast!

Here’s a picture of her at her friend birthday party (they made unicorn crafts at Michael’s Craft Store).

Big Sister Unicorn

Big sister and her unicorn sleeping mask

She even wears more grown-up clothing.  I want to borrow these boots of hers.


Are these girls boots available in my size?

Me and Daddy O.

One woman from church said to me, “My friend and I saw you and your family in church, and we think you look like teenagers.”

Hmm…well, we are well past that phase.  Daddy O. is almost 40.

Here’s a recent picture of our youthful selves.

Mama O and Daddy O Sept 2018

Now go check out these other Fly on the Wall Posts:

Baking in a Tornado

Menopausal Mother 

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Spatulas on Parade


To all the Halloween Costumes I’ve Made

This year I’m going to end up buying both of my kids’ costumes. I failed today trying to make a re-wearable mummy costume. It’s fun to look back and see what costumes worked well. Happy Halloween!

go mama o

It’s the one time of year during which I wish I had better sewing skills. I mean, I can hand stitch things: sew a button or make a quick patch, but I do not own a sewing machine. I do, however, like the idea of making Halloween costumes for my kids when I can. In honor of such Mama O. made costumes, I dedicate this post and will share my AWESOME costume for this year.

To all the Halloween Costumes I’ve made, you’ve helped me find new ways to be creative and resourceful to ultimately make my kid’s happy. There has been frustration and exasperation along the way, but in the end, we’ve made it through the struggles and pulled it together in time for fun trick or treating.

The Creativity Costume Award

Way back when I started making Halloween costumes it was out of necessity. Exhibit A: Big Sister…

View original post 789 more words

Kid Problems

We’ve learned that gummy vitamins are not the best for kid’s teeth, so I bought a chewable kind.

My son’s reaction:

“I have to eat 150 of them.”

And later –

“The world is against me.”

Kids' Multivitamin Bottle

The horror – chewable vitamins.

#kidproblems #firstworldproblems

In reality, he’ll only eat 75 because they are shared with her sister. That might be a tiny bit of consolation.