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My sons don't always have those goofy looks on their faces! They are holding up a photo of brother/Eagle Scout #1 and mimicking his expression so that I could have a photo of all tree of my Eagle Scout sons together! Since son #1 was in another state taking the Bar Exam, he couldn't be at son #3's Eagle Court of Honor.
Back in January, I posted about my 3rd son earning his Eagle Scout Award here. (I also gave you a recipe for a delicious chocolate cake that I made for him.) I warned you then that I would probably brag about him more when we had his Court of Honor and his Eagle was actually awarded to him. That is Eagle Scout Son #2 pinning his award on him. I am so proud of my sons! They are all good men. Scouting has helped them to become who they are. Here are some of the benefits I have seen throughout the years of being involved in Boy Scouting with my boys:
To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a young man must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of them are required badges, the 8 remaining are elective, to be chosen by the Scout from the over 100 badges available. My son, Jacob, earned 28. You can see them on the sash he is wearing in this photo as he waits for the program to start.
The emblem behind him is a picture of what the Eagle patch looks like. The young man on the right is a 10 year old Weebelo Scout who led the flag ceremony. They did such a great job! The young man to the left was the Master of Ceremonies and ran the program! Scouts teaches public speaking skills as well!
Because this was my last son to achieve Eagle Scout, and because this award really means a lot to him and because I am so proud of him, I wanted to decorate nicely and make the evening memorable for him, because getting your Eagle IS a big deal! Here are some of the things I did! If you are decorating for an Eagle Court of Honor or another Scout program, just click on the image and it will take you to a printable page.
I printed them on 4 x 6 photo paper and then cut them out. I used them in the centerpieces with old photos of Jacob from the time he was in Cubs until now. Here are some photos:
These were taken while we were decorating. We also used a smaller vase filled with red and blue marbles to hold flags. Thanks to my friend Rhonda who had the little vases and flags! The Sparkly stars came from Hobby Lobby's after July 4th sale. Later, we placed red bowls filled with red, white and blue Hershey Kisses in front of these vases to round things out.
This was the Eagle's Nest, where anyone who has earned their Eagle is invited to sit during the program. We hung a few of the Eagle's Nest signs pictured above on it, but didn't get a picture of the actual event (sorry). At the end of the program, my older son stood and invited my youngest son to come and join them in the Eagle's Nest, where they all shook hands and welcomed him.
Some of the other things we had on display were two frames that I made for him with all of his awards and patches from Cubs-Scouts from scouts and other events and his rank patches through the years mounted in them. He also received letters of recognition from the Governor, the Army, the Air Force, the Parks Service and NASA that we displayed, along with his Eagle Project binder.
Everything looked really nice, and I think my son was pleased with the result. But, I said that I wanted it to be memorable and I think the most memorable moments were made by my son when he handed out Mentor Pins to two men who had been his leaders and helped him along his trail to Eagle. One of them had been his Bishop in our ward of our church, which is the charter organization of our troop . He had been so helpful and supportive of the boys in Scouting and Jacob gave him his pin and told him and all of us that, "We could always tell that he loved us." Well, that choked us all up and filled me with gratitude that my sons all had leaders who were truly good men that they could look up to and who cared about them. As a parent, that help is golden.
Here it is! The last week before Christmas. That last stretch before the big day. Have you gotten everything ready so that you can spend this last week relaxing and enjoying the time with your family or do you still have things to finish up? Is everything in place for your Christmas Eve traditions? What does your family do on Christmas Eve?
Because we eat a big meal on Christmas Day, we always keep our Christmas Eve dinner simple. It consists of two kinds of soup served with crackers and other soup toppings. Here are the two recipes we serve:
We also like to drink Egg Nog, Hot Cocoa Bombs or Hot Orange Punch with our homemade cookies. We usually play games, we may watch a Christmas movie and we always end with singing to the tree.
Do you do Christmas stockings with your kids? I know families who do not, but they are a big part of our Christmas. We don't have a fireplace, so our children always would lay out their stockings along the back of the couch. When Santa would fill them, he would lay them on each person's bed. In the wee hours of the morning, when the children woke up, they were not allowed to go to the tree without us. But, they could get into their stockings. They would wake each other up and giggle and whisper about what was in them. Sometimes, they would even fall back to sleep for a little while. This gave Mom and Dad a little extra time to sleep, until the kids couldn't stand it anymore and woke us up.
If you haven't tried stockings for your family but would like to, yet you don't want to fight the last minute shopping crowds, there are still 2 days left to get your orders by Christmas from Oriental Trading. They have some cute, inexpensive choices and you will be able to afford to get one for everyone!
Not only does Oriental Trading have stockings, they are having a big sale on all of their Christmas merchandise. You can stock up on last minute stocking stuffers, ornaments and things to put away for next year!
If you have a little time to sew,Sew Like My Mom has a really good tutorial to help you make some special stockings for your family. Or, if you are fast at crocheting, here are some darling ones on ravelry.
I know in some places they use pillowcases instead of stockings. Whatever you use, Christmas stockings are a lot of fun. Do you have any special memories associated with using them? Please fill free to share them with us! Keep having a Merry Week!
I would have blogged sooner, but I was having technical difficulties! It is a wonder what restarting your computer can do!
Well, because my husband and I are getting very close to being empty nesters and our children are mostly all adults. We are in a transition period when it comes to the holidays. This Christmas, there was only one tiny child with us, Baby Adrian. He was a joy! Our other grandchildren are still in Kansas with their parents and they enjoyed a cold Christmas in Topeka! We missed them and our traditions were very different than the ones we have honored over the past 35 years. But we still had a wonderful time. Here is a picture story about our holiday fun. (At least the parts we remembered to photograph!)
Our tree. I always love the glow. Not as many little kids here, not as many gifts under it, but still beautiful. Every Christmas Eve, we all gather around it and sing carols. We call it "singing to the tree" because our oldest coined that phrase when he was very young. I think we are starting to sound pretty good!
Because there was no one to wake us up before the crack of dawn, we slept in until 7:00. As everyone made their way to our house from theirs, my husband said he was hungry, so we ate breakfast before opening gifts! Wow! That has never happened before! (Well, maybe once) It was really nice though. (I can't believe I posted a picture of myself in my Santa PJs on here!) We all had fun together and look at Little Adrian, he is so adorable. You don't think his grandpa likes him at all, do you? Jessica on the couch is expecting grandchild #7!
Lindsey and Austin demonstrate that stockings are still a big part of our traditions around here. You will notice everyone sitting on the floor because we are remodeling and got rid of our living room furniture. Everyone came in with their hot orange punch or hot apple cider. Believe it or not, it was actually a bit chilly in Phoenix this Christmas!
Look at that face! He loves his Daniel Tiger!
The Sunday after Christmas we gathered with Glen's siblings to continue the celebration. It was fun to see my great-nephew playing with my grandson. And look at my beautiful great-niece! We shared Cocoa Bombs with everyone of course! The following photos will show my children doing their Cocoa Bomb commercials! (They are a little bit crazy, but I love them.)
You will probably be thrilled to know that we forgot to take pictures of my anniversary, my son's birthday and of New Years Eve and New Years Day. I guess you can probably see that we didn't get much rest during the Holiday Break from school. I did remember to make sure that pictures were taken of my girls, son-in-law and grandson before they left. I hated to see them go. Here they are:
Well, mostly of Little Adrian. He is such a doll baby.
We are so blessed. My New Year Resolution is to be thankful everyday for these blessings in my life. I will try my hardest to complain a little less and to love a little more. I will give thanks to my Heavenly Father unceasingly because I know that it is from Him that my blessings come. Love is the best gift of all. Happy New Year everyone!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to seven so far. I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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