Christmas and New Year Traditions

I remember the first year my husband and I celebrated Christmas with our first born.  It was really nothing big, but the first thing I did was make a huge breakfast.  I tried to combine tradition we both shared:  egg casserole for my husband and cinnamon rolls for my family.  My Grandmother was known for her cinnamon rolls.  Every year starting after Thanksgiving, she would get to work making her famous rolls.  People would pay her to make some for their families!  The egg casserole my husband was used to had such a rich flavorful, fifties feel.  Easy, yet so very delicious.  I thought a great deal about that first “family” Christmas this year, as we celebrated our 16th year together.  Our baby is now almost 15, and we have added two kids since then.  I was wondering what traditions I have created for my own family, when my oldest said how excited he was for Christmas Eve.  “Mom!  When are you making the cinnamon rolls and egg casserole!  Also, the cookies should be made by now so we can decorate them between church services and watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation before midnight mass!”  I was excited to know that we as a family have created traditions without even realizing it!  And isn’t that the point of traditions?  Things you do without even realizing it!  I was worried that I was not trying hard enough to create fond memories for my kids, yet it was already happening without even realizing it.  No effort on my part, just warm loving memories that my kids are now appreciating.  My grandmother and husbands mom probably did not even realize that cinnamon rolls and egg casserole were tradition worthy, but they were so meaningful to us.  Truly it is the little things that make the most difference to us all.  No stress, just natural family oriented events that are filled with love.

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas Season and the most Happy and Healthy 2017 filled with fun memories and traditions created from love!


Scenes From Christmas 2016

We have enjoyed our time together this Christmas.  Honestly 2016 was a very busy and slightly overwhelming year.  Mr. Bits is finally back home after four long months, the kids and their activities have settled down at least for the past two weeks, and I have been working away on various projects.  All in all, the year has been good, but I am glad to have a fresh start!

Here are some pictures of our very quiet Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve Fun:  Two church services, decorating cookies and new pajamas!


Christmas Day gifts and rest.


After Christmas Snowshoeing.

After Christmas Hike on a Frozen River with our dogs!

Happy New Year Breakfast!


From our family to yours, Have a very Happy and Healthy 2017!


Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?



Jeep Wagoneer Memories


When I was growing up, my family had a Jeep Wagoneer. This car was what got us from Las Vegas to Oklahoma over the holidays. My memories of it are fond, yet funny. The Wagoneer had no heat or air conditioning, so traveling in the winter was an adventure. I remember one holiday, having to take our black lab “Pepper” with us. Early on in the trip, I spilled ketchup down the front of my shirt and had no napkins to clean it off. By the end of the trip, it was hardened with dog hair to it. That trip was cold, tiring and filthy. But memorable.

Now that we are getting closer to completing the skeleton of Betty, we have been thinking of cars to pull the trailer. For some odd reason, the first car that came to mind is the Wagoneer. My husband jumped on board immediately. Besides pulling the trailer, it would be a perfect car for our oldest to learn to drive. Another story for another time.

We found a Wagoneer for sale 3 hours south of us, and jumped on the opportunity. We drove down, and I must admit, I was dreading the drive back up. My husband and the boys decided that they would drive back together in the Wagoneer, while my daughter and I followed. I was not looking forward to following 65-70 mph up mountain passes. Many memories were rushing back! In true Wagoneer form, memories have already been created for my kids. Going up one of the passes, the jeep began to struggle, and finally died. My husband pulled off on an exit with nothing around, and as we trouble shot the issues, it came to me that he was low on gas, and it could be that the gas was not getting to the engine up the hill. An exit with a gas station was less than 10 miles away, so we piled in and got some gas to bring back. After putting gas in the car, we realized that it was parked up hill and probably need to be facing downhill in order to start. So my kids got their first lesson in pushing a vehicle! While we were pushing, my husband started the Wagoneer, but it was moving downhill, and I yelled for the kids to run!!! Jump in the car!!!!! Off they went to the gas station to finish filling up!

Wagoneer’s are made for adventures, and this one has been fun for us all. I have loved remembering my childhood, and the kids have loved creating memories of their own.

Here’s to memories!




Our old basketball hoop was a hunk of junk. It was not a permanent basketball hoop, which honestly caused a great deal of problems. It was constantly blowing over in the wind, which meant the hoop itself was an unusual shape. It was not round, but instead oval, and even rectangular. One day, we finally took it apart, but this left the kids without a net. For our oldest child, that is a big deal. He love basketball! So we began looking for a good deal on a permanent goal. The price for these is unreal!! 800 to a 1, 000 dollars. Something we could not afford! Some friends of ours had taken an old basketball goal down at their house. Their boys, are young, and they decided to remove it. The goal was totally old school playground. The long white pole, with a simple white board and rim. They offered it for free, and so we jumped on it. We had the pole powder coated black, we sanded the board and repainted it a nice bright white and repainted the orange square on the backboard.  All it needed after that was a new net, and it started to look brand new! It was a great project for the three boys to work on together, and cement into the ground. Now we have a basketball hoop installed permanently into the ground, and in the end it only ended up costing us $200!

There have been many games of horse and pig played on it since returning home from Phoenix. Nothing like a summer evening playing basketball!

Hope your summers are going well!



Cardboard Armor


It never ceases to amaze me what my kids can do with cardboard.  They have made so many things.  Dioramas, houses, cars etc.  Recently, Little Bit went to a girl scout camp that was centered around Mine Craft.  All arts and crafts had something to do with this game.  My children have not been allowed to play this game for quite some time, not because the game is bad, but because I caught them looking up how to videos for the game that were not children friendly.  They did not even ask to look them up.  So, we told them no more game, and for some reason, simply forgot about it.  All of us, including the children lost the desire for the game.  Until recently with the Girl Scout Camp.

DSC_0036 (3)

Our answer is still no, but they decided to play the game on their own, making the armor.  Oh my goodness, their imaginations are better than the game!  Middle and Little Bit made their armors, and have taken great care of them.  Every day they come out and lay with it for a while, outside with the dogs.  Somehow, the dogs have become part of their game as well.


I cannot help but think that this way may be better than the game.  They are playing, using their imaginations, and having a great time.  If the game was being played, they would be sitting in the house, and frankly missing out on summer.  I also am so happy to see Middle Bit, who is getting older, still wanting to play.  This truly makes my heart sing.

DSC_0034 (3)

Hope you are all enjoying your summer and using your imaginations!



Mother Daughter Time

Recently, Little Bit and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend by ourselves.  It just so happened that all the boys were at a Boy Scout Jamboree, and Little Bit had a Girl Scout carnival to attend.  I decided to use several gift cards that I had received over the past year.  Gift cards that I would  not do on my own, but with a little girl by my side, would be perfect.


The weekend started with an afternoon appointment to get a manicure and a pedicure.  The pedicure was hilarious because Little Bit is extremely ticklish, and would not stop laughing the entire time.  I think the specialist was slightly annoyed, as he decided just to paint her toe nails.  She was done in ten minutes, and sat there in the massage chair to wait for me.  It was pretty funny to watch her in the chair.  She has never sat in one before, so the giggling continued until she was silent.  She became so relaxed that I think sleep was on its way.


The next day was spent at the Girl Scout carnival.  We had a great time together and her friends.  She loves the Girl Scouts, and even though they may not be as outdoors as I would like, there are a ton of crafts, which is right up her alley!  The day was long, but so much fun.


Finally we went to a local painting pottery store.  We spent four hours painting our matching plates!!!  Four Hours!!! It was so worth it.  We relaxed and talked about so many things.

That weekend was so wonderful and just what we needed to continue our bonding.  Things have been rough for her lately, but when we have times together, I think it helps her recover from the tough parts a little quicker.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!





In January, another woman and I started a community meal in the basement of our church in our local downtown.  Our town has a very high percentage of homeless people and is probably more diverse than other places in the state.  We call it a community meal because all are welcome:  rich, poor, all religions, ethnicities and beliefs.  A meal in which we sit down together and eat.  It has grown from five to about 120 every Wednesday.  We make food from scratch, serve it on nice plates. It has become a family.  All together.  The sign when entering says:  “All are welcome here.  Only kind works and actions beyond this point.”

One day, a man who was strung out on drugs was sitting at the same table with three business men, two gang member and a family.  All of them were laughing and talking.  So many boundaries were broken that day.  The homeless man came up to me when he was done and told me that he loved my motto:  all are welcome.  He said it makes him feel normal to come to this place and eat with a variety of people.  You see, no politics are spoken here.  No gun control rights, no talks about who is running for office.  This is real every day life being lived.  People who are just trying to survive every day, and want to be remembered as normal too.

We can blame guns, we can blame politicians, we can blame each other.  What it boils down to is ourselves. Have we blamed ourselves?  Have we gone beyond Facebook, Twitter or Blogs to reach out?  We are living in a world that is full of hurt.  All of us have been hurt at some point in our lives on a deep tragic level.  How can we begin to understand what the other is going through if we do not reach out to one another?  Share a meal?    Stop treating others as if they are different than you.  Instead treat others with dignity, and they will respond in dignity.

I am a white woman living in America.  I have never experienced a bit of racism in my entire life.  I do not know what my black brothers and sisters are going through.  I will never know, but does this mean I never try to understand?

I am not in law enforcement.  I do not know what they see on a day to day basis, or what they go through.  But I can try to understand.

America, it is time to go beyond words.  It is time to reach out to one another.  It is time to remember that every day people live their lives, some more in fear than others.  It is time to start reaching out and trying to understand one another.  It is more than words, it is action.

I love this country, and all the people who live in it.  We are a family, who have our disagreements, but when push comes to shove, we come together.




Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: