Once again, our annual family holiday tradition of Festibond was outstanding. This year we celebrated on December 27. For those who are unfamiliar with this tradition we started several years ago, its purpose is to create and strengthen our family bonds, both individually and as a unit. Festibond actually encompasses a month or so beforehand with our writing meaningful and thoughtful letters to each other. Then about a week prior to Festibond Brent and I separately taking each of the girls out on one-on-one dates, and the girls and I bake sweets. On the day of Festibond we go out to breakfast, come home and read our letters to each other, spend time together playing games and doing other activities, and snack throughout the day on a light buffet and baked goods the girls and I previously prepared. We’ve changed and added a few things over the years, but our dates and the letters to each other are the primary focus. Continue reading Festibond 2014: Kirsten
Jenna has been asking me all summer to take a family camping trip. It seemed that there was always someone who was busy (with work or other summer activity). Realizing school would start in only a couple of weeks, I decided I needed to plan something very soon, so I began preparing for a camping trip to Bradbury Mountain State Park for the 3rd weekend in August.
Together the girls and I decided on the menu and purchased all the necessary ingredients. I searched for foil dinner and breakfast ideas, and found a couple winners. I prepared the individual foil dinners ahead of time, but because I was working the two nights prior to our departure, I didn’t have the time I needed to get everything done that I wanted to. As it turned out, I did forget a few things, but we made do. The girls and I drove up to Bradbury Mountain State Park (only about a 45-minute drive north) Friday afternoon after I slept a few hours. My car was packed full, and the girls were good sports about the small amount of room they had. Fortunately my new Subaru Crosstrek has a bit more space than my old little VW Jetta! Brent planned on meeting us there that evening after he got off work. After the girls and I secured our spot and set up camp, Brent arrived…with the firewood and some newspaper. He got a nice fire going. He’s a regular boy scout. ;-)
On Sunday the 29th of December our family celebrated our seventh Festibond. This is a tradition we started as a way to celebrate and strengthen our bonds with each other every year. We love this tradition, and I hope the girls continue it after they grow up and move away.
Within the week prior to Festibond, Brent and I each take each of the girls out individually for a date. The girls get to choose what they want to do. We still seem to come up with new ideas every year. We have each written a post on our blog about the dates. I love having that special one-on-one time with each of my wonderful daughters. They all change a little every year (obviously), each one unique in their own way. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of my dates!
For Festibond this year we went to breakfast, went to a hotel, played games, read letters to each other, and swam in the hotel pool. I went with Mom in her car to the hotel and we laughed and talked while Mom made silly noises.
When we got to the hotel, we left Mom’s car and went in Dad’s car together to Sea Dog Brewery for breakfast. We took some pictures and talked. I got the two french toasts with strawberries which wasn’t very good. I found a hair in it and it tasted almost battery in the middle. Jenna ordered three french toasts with bacon and just two french toasts came with no bacon. So the restaurant wasn’t very good but I still was enjoying the time with my family.
This has been the best Festibond yet! If you don’t know what Festibond is already, Festibond (the word itself) is a mix of the words Festival, and bond. It means exactly what it sounds like. We celebrate the bond of our family! At the end of each year, we read or letters to each other (that we’ve written to each other beforehand), play games, and do other activities to bond with each other. This year, we went to the Marriott hotel in Portland, something we’ve never done before. Usually we celebrate Festibond at our house.
We spent a couple hours on Sunday morning polishing our letters and get everything organized. Kirsten, my mom, was sleeping most of the time. But that’s only because she stayed up late helping Skye and Hayley with their letters. Anyway, it gave us more time to get ready. My sisters even had time to have a tickle fight with me. It was fun, and I won the tickle fight, as I always do. I know everyone’s weak spots! Continue reading Festibond 2013 – Jenna
For my date with Mom we made a beautiful gingerbread house and went to see Anchorman 2. I had so much fun spending time with Mom, baking, and seeing a funny movie.
We made the gingerbread the day before so it could harden; we had just barely enough dough. The first thing we did on our date was lay out and unwrap the candy and melt jolly ranchers to make windows. I put a different kind of candy in each muffin tin, while Mom put some jolly ranchers on a cooking sheet and put it in the oven. After a while Mom took out the cooking sheet and the jolly ranchers had melted flat then dried for a while out of the oven. Once they were dry and solid, mom cut them to size and took them off the pan. We melted gummy bears in the microwave so we could use it as glue, and we fixed the broken parts of the house as well as put the windows behind the window cut-outs, which looked awesome.
As part of the Festibond tradition, Mom and Dad go on separate dates with each of us girls. It took awhile for me to decide what I wanted to do on my dates with Mom and Dad, but I finally decided that Mom and I should get manicures after going to breakfast. Mom scheduled an appointment with the Fabu salon in Portland.
We headed up to Portland early in the morning so that we could eat breakfast before our appointment. We were singing and dancing to her CDs the whole way up. For breakfast, we drove to Miss Portland Diner. I got the usual: scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, and home fries with hot chocolate. My mom got the Greek Omelet. We talked about various things and my mom tried making me laugh by copying all my moves and making faces. She loves to make me laugh.
Mom and I went to see a play for our Festibond date. We were originally going to see “Annie,” but by the time mom went online to buy tickets, they were sold out. Instead, we saw “The Snow Queen,” a seasonal play in Portland. Mom and I both like plays, ballets, concerts, etc. Before the play, we went to dinner at Sea Dogs Brewing Company.
Sea Dogs Brewing Company didn’t go as well as I planned. Mom and I had fun talking and laughing, but the pasta I ordered was really soggy and had too much sauce. Mom seemed to like hers, as she brought home the leftovers. It was fun, nevertheless. I have to say, the play went better and we bonded even more than we did at dinner. Continue reading Festibond 2013 – My Date with Mom
Hayley and I had our Festibond date planned for several weeks. She and I were going to make a gingerbread house together. She was very excited about it. We also planned on going to a movie afterward. The day before our date, we went shopping for candy. It was fun to plan our our house ahead of time, and then find the plethora of candy necessary to achieve our creation. We found a good gingerbread recipe and used stencils I’d printed out from a website.
We baked the gingerbread pieces the day before our date as well, because I learned that it would make the gingerbread more dried-out and sturdy. Skye kindly volunteered to take pictures, so most of the photos I give credit to her. Thank you, Skye!
It took Skye a while to decide what she wanted to do for our Festibond date together. Early last week she said, “Let’s get manicures.” I thought that was a great idea. I usually keep my fingernails really short because they annoy me when I’m typing. Fortunately I hadn’t gotten around to cutting them for a while, so they would look better with polish.
We started out our date last Friday the 27th driving to Portland with music blasting while we loudly and enthusiastically sang along. It’s a tradition of ours when we ride in the car together, and great fun. Our first stop was Miss Portland Diner for breakfast. We’ve been there several times, so we knew the food was pretty good. Skye had her usual eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast, as well as a hot chocolate. I ordered the Greek omelette, which was really good. Spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese make almost anything better. It was really nice sitting with Skye and talking about various things going on in her life.
Continue reading Festibond 2013: My Date with Skye