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Entries in traditions (128)


Summer bucket list

It's the first day of summer. We closed the books on 5th grade last week (or actually, Calvin did, I have a lot of record keeping yet to do) and kicked off our summer schedule with a week of choir day camp. Summer isn't necessarily different for homeschoolers, but summer weather in the lovely state of Michigan is a great equalizer: it only lasts while it lasts. So with the kid away all day this week I've been updating records, late-spring cleaning the house, getting a variety of appointments out of the way, and making summer plans following a "what do you want to do this year" interview with my boys that resulted in a summer that looks like this:

Rooftop fireworks in Chicago

Mini golf

The splash park

Visit our zoo

Rolling Sculptures Auto Show

Kayak the river

Finish the local bookstore reading challenge (Calvin)

History of Zelda course with game play

Watch all the Disney movies in order

Can some summer goodness

Stratford, and Jen and Larry's

More fires and S'mores with our home firepit

Take more pictures


Celebrating 11, a photo essay


Carols at the spinet

Caroling in Christmas Eve Eve, that being December 23, is a family tradition three or four years in the making. We start the party with Christmas craftiness, this year it was baking brownies, last year decorating cookies, and the couple of years before that it was gingerbread structure architecture. Dinner is always a must, with some wine to loosen singing throats, and then we retire to the library to sing around the piano. It was the moving in of Jon's childhood piano that prompted the first party. We pulled out our newsprint song books, things that survived from my own childhood, and some music books from my grandparents' house to get us started, and away we went. This year Calvin played some of the accompaniment. 


Never too old

We have never perpetuated the myth of Santa in our household. This wasn't a planned thing, really, and we pass absolutely no judgement on those families who do have santa in their homes. When Calvin was about three years old he figured out for himself that the man in red was naught but a mythical creature, and we could not reconcile telling him he was wrong. Not everyone agrees with that way of doing things, but I can tell you that in our case it has not taken anything out of the holiday for him. In fact, he has always joyfully gone along with the story in a sort of carefree way that does him even better credit for the power of his imagination and ability to make believe. 

So when our homeschooling field trip group organized a Christmas party this week for all Santa enthusiasts, bringing in one of the best known, kindest, most magical Santa in our area (the beard is real), we couldn't resisit the pull of such a magical party. Plus the cookies and picture taking opportunities that went along with it. And can't you just see the joy in his eyes? 


Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: a photo essay