Another Year of Traditions

It’s hard to believe that this little man is already 2 years old. He is changing and growing so very fast, seemingly entering new stages of development every time I blink my eyes.  He has a wicked sense of humor, a quick temper, a curious spirit and a very caring disposition. I love watching how he and Levi are becoming friends, or should I say, partners in crime.  Yes, the plotting and scheming has already begun…I can hardly wait to see what their teen years will bring. Calvin got a homemade birthday shirt, just like the one I had made for Levi. I have tried for the last 3 years to make a Waldorf style birthday crown for the boys, but for some reason I never achieve this plan. On a whim, I made Levi’s shirt and now I think I’ve turned the “birthday shirt” into our own little tradition.  I look forward to seeing them years from now…the faded stains of food and dirt reminding me of all the fun they had during that particular year of their childhood.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we are in the midst of creating our own family traditions, but the little things that we do carry a lot of weight and meaning in our lives. Recently a dear friend was at our house during the dinner hour…that time of day which I usually dislike the most.  I was bemoaning the fact that it’s often a struggle to get the boys to eat what I make for dinner…compromises are made and rules get broken more often than I’d like to admit in order to get them to eat at least something that I put in front of them.  Some days are better than others, but this was one of those “other” days.  Throwing my hands up in the air, I said, “See what I mean?”  Her response has been with me ever since.  She said, “Yes, but they will always remember that their Mom made homemade dinner every night.  They will have that as a good memory when they are older.” And she is so very right. She completely put my negative thoughts into perspective.  Twenty years from now they aren’t going to remember what I fed them or what they did or did not eat, but they will remember the smells from our kitchen, their place at the table, our song of thanks and the fact that Mama or Daddy were there to make dinner for them and that we ate our meal as a family.  Tradition at work. Speaking of traditions, it has become one in our family to make the same birthday cake for the boys each year. It’s a simple carrot/pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting. No nuts, nothing fancy, just a mildly sweet and very moist cake…perfect for little tummies (big ones too!) I started making this on Levi’s first birthday and for both of Calvin’s, so I’ve got 6 cakes now under my belt.  The recipe is from the Joy of Baking website.  My changes to the recipe have always been consistent…I don’t add nuts, I use have the amount of sugar (and this time I used honey), I use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and I add 1/2 cup of crushed pinapple.  For the frosting, I also only use half the amount of powdered sugar.  Comes out great every time!And try as I might, I just can’t seem to take a decent picture of this banner that I made last year for Calvin’s first birthday.  It was one of the first “recycled” projects I did. The squares are cut from two differnt pairs of jeans…one maternity and one pre-baby.  I figured that I would never wear either pair ever again, so why not turn them into something else?  I cut the letters from a few receiving blankets I used for the boys when they were infants and turned them into patches to iron onto the jeans. It was a low-sew project, indeed.  Having it hanging up again this year made the tradition begin its journey.

On a side note: Can you see that I have yet to finish my house painting project that I started in July? The walls still have patches of color on them in every room.  Might I have been completely dillusional to think that I could repaint my house while 2 small children live in it? Perhaps, but it WILL get done…some day.

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