Monday, July 3, 2017

A Family Tradition

The theme for the county fair this year is A Family Tradition and Gracyn always likes to make a collage of pictures that has to do with the theme. As she was picking the pictures I started to think it would make a great blog post as the reason I started this blog was to help remember all the things we did on our funny farm as a family growing together.

Here are the words she came up with when describing the pictures in her collage.

Farm - You can't describe our family without including the farm. We spend time each day together working and being together on the farm. From calf chores to picking up rocks we always find a way to spend some time with each other and find dad when he is busy keeping the whole thing going.

Wedding - Last year we were lucky enough to add two Kane girls to our family when two of our nephews were married. We had a lot of fun being with family and dancing to the music. We also took some time to get together and take a picture of everyone together. As our family grows it is amazing to get a good picture of who we all are.

Easter - Piñata - Every year for Easter the Kane family gets together to eat, hunt Easter Eggs, smash a Piñata, and enjoy a peanut butter rice crispy shaped bunny treat from the kitchen of Aunt Marcia. This year we decided to take another family picture on the front steps of the house in Quasky. The last time we took the picture seven people in the picture were not an official part of the family or even born yet! It is not as easy to organize all the people but still great to hear all the laughter not caught on film. The Piñata started as a tradition when we celebrated together after the holiday and Grandma picked a bunny shaped one up in the clearance aisle. Since then we have had bunnies, chicks in eggs, homemade brown bags, and Olaf! The 'bat' to break open the candy has been passed on from the Kane kids to Bryan or the McEnany boys to the Kane girls as the kids have grown.

Pumpkin Patch - Tire Swing - Gus @ Pumpkin Patch -  Corn Maze - Carving Pumpkins - Trick or Treat - Cotton Candy on Halloween - I did not realize we seem to pack a lot into Halloween time at our house! Sherban's Pumpkin Patch in Manchester seems to kick off our Halloween fun. The girls always love their turn flying through the air on the tire swing. And I always makes sure we get pictures behind all the wood props. The last couple years we have met my Aunt Shelia, cousin Cyndi, and her boys for the trunk or treat celebration as a practice run for finding all the pieces to our costumes. Two of the three girls have taken turns going through the haunted bus at the end of the trail of trunks. One has always been too scared to try it out - they must get that 'scaredy cat' from their mom who used to read instead of watch scary movies at sleepovers. We have also enjoyed finding our way through the themes corn maze each year. Luckily we have always found our way out! Then we pick out our pumpkins and have a picture with Gus the scarecrow before we go. On Halloween we Trick or Treat twice! We start by checking out the candy at my dad's store for downtown Trick or Treat in Independence before we snake around the streets and fill our bags for the first time. We finish the night hitting the streets in Walker - being sure to get cotton candy from the house on the corner with the delicious treat each year. Whew - I am tried just writing this...

Girl Scouts - 4H - The girls have picked some pretty good activities to be involved in outside of school. Despite the fact that I was worried about both of the girls selling Thin Mints and Samoas in February, they have both learned some fabulous communication and commerce skills. I am so glad they both have wonderful leaders to help them in their journey. This is our second year trying out 4H and the girls have had a great time attending meetings with hayrides, holiday games, creating crafts, and touring to see the animals other members have to show at fair - from rabbits to pigs to fainting goats. They have also enjoyed some time before fair working with their dad on some woodworking skills to create a flower box and hook hanger to share at fair. Gracyn continued her fashion events with a romper for clothing selection and shorts with a tank top and attached scarf for the $15 Challenge. And on Sunday all her hard work paid off when she earned a purple ribbon for her dance during Share the Fun!

Chucky Cheese - Hu Hot - Since Gretchyn decided she needed her birthday at Chucky Cheese when she turned 5 we have tried to get back there each year for some fun family time. Gwyn even kept her ski ball on the write track this year! And it was fun to watch the girls work together to earn tickets and eyes light up when daddy joined in to play like the big kid he is! Gracyn, Gwyn, and I have always enjoyed finding a time to enjoy Hu Hot together. But this year we finally got Gretchyn to join us as well. All I have to do is let her eat S'Mores for lunch - included with her own small fire at the table to roast the marshmallows. Now we can have our spicy dishes on the grill and she can enjoy a sweet treat all together.

Ice Cream Cake - Pie in Face - It is great to have a tradition that includes such a sweet treat as a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Each birthday my mom will have the girls pick out which character or activity they are enjoying at the moment to put on their cake for them and us. We have enjoyed Max from The Secret Life of Pets and a deer so far this year. This year also ended a tradition on birthdays for us as Gwyn had her 5th birthday party - the last that will just be family. Next year she will have friends from Kindergarten over to play with. So this year we broke out some extra fun when Aunt Manette brought out Pie in the Face. It was a little more fun to watch everyone else get pie in their face, but I did try it out against the birthday girl once myself. It was also fun to watch Gwyn play against Kane as we celebrated her party on his 18th birthday. There were giggles and finger licking all around.

Sister Smiles - Indoor Pool Pirates - First Day School Pictures - I have always loved to take pictures and with three smiling girls it is always fun to get them together and show of their pearly whites. With Gretchyn suddenly doing everything she can to avoid a picture it is a little harder to get them all together, but before she became photofobic we did get some good ones this year - one even with them just messing around on the living room floor and one as they say 'ay mate' before heading into the indoor waterpark at Honey Creek Resort on Lake Rathbun. But the ones that end up as my lock screen on my phone each year are the tradition we have continued from when Mark was a little boy - pictures on the front steps on the first day of school. It has morphed from just Gracyn when she headed off to preschool to all three girls together and one at a time as they proudly show off their new backpacks, outfits, and shoes. I hope they still have the same smiles when I have them standing out their on the first day of the Senior year.

Cheerleading Camp - This year was the first time all three girls could spend a day of Christmas break with the NL Cheerleaders at Little Lynx Cheer Camp. It was a quiet day for mommy, but a day of loud yells, floor pounding, and high jumping for the girls. And then it is always fun to go see them shout it all out at the half time of a Girl's Basketball Game in January.

Christmas Cookies - Christmas Card Picture - Moodolph - Christmas Concert Christmas - is another busy time of traditions and probably my favorite holiday of the year. [The six rubbermaid tubs of decorations in my storage room might be a good indication of this.]  We kick off the holiday season with cookie making with Mark's family. We all bring recipes, supplies, and something to make for dinner and turn the kitchen into a factory of cookie making and decorating. And because I love a challenge we always try to take our Christmas Card picture after we have had a busy day baking. This year instead of getting us matching shirts, we all wore a shirt with 'a few of our favorite things' from deer to tractors to Paris to fish to books. We had some words about sitting still and smiling, but then had couple that could be used for the card and a lot of goofy ones that tell the story of our funny farm. This year we even invited our version of Elf on the Shelf - Moodolph 'the reindeer in training' to be part of the picture. The magic of the season begins when he shows up at the beginning of December to keep watch on who is naughty or nice. He even leaves some gifts along the way - the favorite this year were the PJ's to wear until we see him again next season. We also dress and bundle up one night in December to go watch the girls sing and smile as they sing songs of the season. The tradition came to an end for Gracyn this year as she leaves elementary, but Gwyn will pick it up for her next year when she enters Kindergarten!

Since I could not get the actual collage to embed here in the blog [oh how touchy technology can be] I am attaching a link to the collage of pictures Gracyn made to capture these family traditions. We also created a candy cane word cloud to help explain what the pictures represented. That is embedded and linked below as well.

I am already excited for the theme next year to see what she comes up with to create!