Festibond 2011

I absolutely love our annual Festibond family tradition. Nothing generates closeness, love, and enjoyment like this holiday we created a few years ago.

In preparation for Festibond, I did some baking with the girls. Each of them picked a treat they liked, and I baked with them each individually. Of course we also spent a lot of time writing our special Festibond letters to each other.

Sweethearts in love!

As we have done in the past, we went out to breakfast together. The Cracker Barrel wasn’t great, and I felt like we were being rushed. Next year we’ll look for a nicer, quieter place where we can enjoy each other as well as our meal.

The girls are ready to eat their breakfast at the Cracker Barrel

When we returned home, Brent still had to write his letter to me. We waited for him to finish before we gathered together to read our Festibond letters. Either he was having a hard time thinking of anything good to say about me, or I have so many great qualities that he didn’t know where to begin. ;-) Again this year the reading of the letters was the highlight of my Festibond. The thought and love expressed in each of the letters was touching. I loved how each of the girls’ and Brent’s personalities came through in their letters.

The following are excerpts from letters written to me:

Brent:

You’re going to be an amazing nurse. The girls notice your tireless dedication to your studies; your uncompromizing struggle to be your very best. It is a priceless example to the girls and the epitome of what it means to succeed, for which they will undoubtedly benefit throughout their lives.

Skye (12):

Your nursing skills are wonderful, especially because you are always studying. I like when you run tests on me. I appreciate that you take good care of us. It’s nice to know that there’s a nurse in the family.

Jenna (10):

You are talented at cooking. Every time I brought homemade treats to my fourth grade class, I tried not to brag that my mother made them. I eventually ended up bragging anyways.

Hayley (8):

You probably don’t remember this, but we went to Dad’s work while you were taking a nap. You went to work the night before and I rode the balance board and then talked to you on the phone. You said “Don’t fall off and break your leg,” and I said “Don’t fall off the bed and break your leg!” Now there’s a reason for you not to go to work at night. I miss you when you go to work.

Jenna gives Skye a hug after hearing Skye read her letter.
A daddy-daughter hug.
Hayley liked my letter to her.
A mother-daughter hug.
Jenna has discovered how much fun it is to punch her dad.
I love my Sweetheart!

After the reading of each letter, the writer and the person to whom the letter was directed would hug each other. I loved seeing the excitement and emotion on the girls’ faces as the letters were being read. Although there may be some things we change over the years, this tradition of the Festibond letters and hugs will always be the cornerstone of our holiday.

We ate our usual snacks which included slices of cheese, summer sausage, crackers, fruit, and baked goodies. We then played some of our favorite games: Uno Rummy Up, Pit, Hearts, and Guesstures. It was great fun, and interesting to see everyone’s different strategies and witness a little friendly competition.

Hayley and Jenna are ready to eat Festibond snacks.

After the games we watched The Smurfs. Jenna and Skye had seen it at the theater, and were certain that Hayley, Brent, and I would like it. Well, at least Hayley liked it. And although it was not my preferred genre, I enjoyed our time spent together and watching and listening to the girls laugh.

We ended the day making homemade pizzas on French bread. Brent and I were treated to a concert by the girls: Skye on the harmonica, Jenna on her violin, and Hayley on the recorder.

The girls perform a concert for us.

It was a wonderful day, and I treasured the quality time spent enjoying and appreciating my amazing family. I am looking forward to our Festibond dates, in which Brent and I separately take each of the girls on individual dates during the week surrounding Festibond. Stay tuned for blog posts about our upcoming dates! You can read Festibond posts from Brent, Skye, Jenna, and Hayley.

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