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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Celebrating the Holidays

Friends and I are in the middle of a Happiness Project year, and it's been going really well!  We have about 20 ladies participating in monthly goals and monthly gatherings to talk about our progress and goals for next month.  It's been awesome and I've talked to three other people who want to start their own Happiness Project in their communities.  Have you read the book?
One of the ideas that comes from Gretchen Rubin's book is to acknowledge and celebrate the holidays with the immediate family.  This wasn't a particular monthly goal for me, but something that sparked my interest and decided to incorporate.  We celebrate the big holidays of course, but it's been really fun to take this idea and implement here for my own family - for lots of celebratory times. 
I thought I'd share a few of our latest celebrations.
I started with Valentine's Day.  David and I usually exchange gifts and the boys make their Valentines for school (well, boo, middle school kids apparently don't so Thomas didn't participate this year).  But this year I decided to do a little more at dinner time.
My kids LOVE any occasion with a balloon, and I of course love flowers brightening up my kitchen table.  Especially in freezing February.
Valentine's Day was a huge hit :)

And we celebrated Oscar's Night!
This was so much fun.  We waited for Thomas to get home from youth group before starting.  I got a black and gold balloon and sparkling cider.  Along with gourmet ice cream and biscotti, it was a great after dinner treat.

And then I handed out Oscar Ballots that I found online.
We all circled our predictions and I announced the winner (me!) the next night with a gift (new sewing basket) and we went over the results.

The fun part was watching the tail end of the red carpet and the opening of the Oscars, along with the first couple of awards, with David and the boys. 
Brennan said "there really is a red carpet!"  David cracked up when someone asked a celebrity who she was wearing.  I then realized that my 3 men have never seen awards shows.  They couldn't believe how long it took before they finally announced the first winner.  It was a fun, silly thing to celebrate.

For my math geniuses we had to celebrate Pi Day (3.14) with an apple pie and ice cream.  Thank you Kroger for making this celebration easy on me on a busy school and tennis night!

We headed to Mississippi on St. Patrick's Day, so I got a few fun things for the boys to wear in the car.  The Target dollar spot had adorable hats like this elf one, shamrock straws and necklaces, and other fun holiday items.

We had a shamrock plant for a few weeks that we took with us to Mississippi.  Thomas and Brennan were excited to see I hadn't forgotten about St. Patrick's Day with our trip to plan.

They had been looking forward to a Shamrock Shake for weeks.  We finally found a McDonalds that wasn't out of them!

March Madness!
My boys know virtually nothing about March Madness.  Points to Thomas for knowing it was college basketball.  David and I decided we'd all fill out brackets to get them interested and introduced, so on Selection Sunday in Mississippi we all filled out our brackets.

Brennan's last team just lost so he's out, but David, Thomas and I still have teams in contention (go Louisville). 
On April 9th we'll celebrate the winner at dinner with a gift selected for our winner (i.e. the boys don't want a sewing basket).
knows nothing about basketball but spent an hour on his bracket

First Day of Spring!
Carolyn makes this wonderful breakfast for us every morning when we are visiting in Mississippi.  To celebrate the First Day of Spring (a serious reason to celebrate in my book), I got the boys little seed kits and Starbucks fun.  They've never had their own Starbucks card, so I knew they'd be thrilled.  Plus they received free Starbucks drink coupons that we used when we traveled to Virginia and hit Starbucks with Nancy!

Target Dollar Spot is a great place for little trinket gifts like these seed kits.  
Daddy got a couple a coupon and kisses too
And finally, April Fool's Day.
I don't normally do much for April Fool's except telling the boys it's a snow day when it's really not, or telling them they have a doctor's appt after school and then taking them for an ice cream.
This year though, David and I threw together a little gift quickly for Monday morning.
They assumed it was something good.

Just getting ready for school.  Brennan wore a coat and tie because it was April Fool's Day.
They were so excited to open their present, but what is it??

April Fool's!  It was only Dad's underwear.  Thomas can't even believe we pulled this on him.

I don't know of any celebratory days coming up - real holiday or otherwise.  But I'll be on the lookout.  These last couple of months have been a ton of fun!

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