Making Christmas


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Traditions | Posted on 05-12-2016

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You know the well-intentioned sentiment from The Nightmare Before Christmas, where Jack Skellington and the Halloween Town folks “make Christmas” as best they can? That’s what it’s like around here during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Full of preparation and excitement and good intentions. It is my job as a parent to make a nice, fun, and memorable Christmas for my family.

Making Christmas
Time to give them something fun
They’ll talk about for years to come
Let’s have a cheer from everyone
It’s time to party

My husband and I have made Christmas for our children over the years. A combination of family traditions: cutting down the tree, baking cookies, Christmas movies and music, setting up the nativity scene, putting up lights, donating presents and time, counting down with an advent calendar, decorating the tree with ornaments from childhood, and visiting the mountain where there’s guaranteed snow.

This year, our Christmas tree was cut down, brought home, and dressed in lights. Then it sat for a week. Nearly naked. With no ornaments. Maybe this will be the year that lights will do. Why bother with ornaments this year?

Then. Guilt hit.

What about the hundreds of sweet ornaments collected over the years and so carefully wrapped in Chipotle napkins? Stuck in a bin for another year? I simply could not let this happen. The ornaments needed to do their part to make Christmas special.

What about the homemade ornaments our children have made over the years? The beaded candy cane. The teddy bear with the googly eyes displaying a photo of my son taken in Kindergarten (he is now 17). The Star of David made with popsicle sticks. The snowman made from a cinnamon stick. The Snoopy with the googly eyes made by my husband when he was in Kindergarten. What??!!

What about the special gifted ornaments? The starfish with pearls, gifted to me by my mother-in-law when we were in San Diego. The little drummer boy gifted to my husband at his birth. The glass icicle gifted to me by my husband. The painted horse my mother gifted my daughter while visiting Phoenix. The coyote “couple” singing hymns we were gifted when we got married. The glass frog ornament with a tutu I gifted my daughter in 2003. The set of three yellow Labradors my daughter made for me from clay. Angels. Owls. Mittens.

What about the prized purchased ornaments? The pea pod with the three smiling pea faces representing each of my children. The dozens of tin ornaments my mother and I bought in Mexico. The pickle my daughter and I bought at the mountain general store. Mermaids. Frogs. Poinsettias. A dolphin. A tomato.

Each ornament has a story. They are filled with memories that reemerge every Christmas season.

On Saturday night around 11:00 p.m., we had an impromptu family celebration. Let’s have a cheer from everyone. It’s time to party. We ate Skittles and hung our ornament–both by the handful.

All the while, making Christmas. Together.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Happy Mother’s Day


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Children, Love, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons | Posted on 06-05-2016

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At a pool, on a mountain, at a beach, on a football field, in a kitchen, in a garage.

At a park, in a garden, at home, in a city, in the snow.

In the hospital, on a dock, on a boat, in a cave, in the forest.

Here or there, Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere!


A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Babies, Birth, Boys, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children | Posted on 02-04-2014

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As I ponder the past nine years since my son was born, one word comes to mind:


People have told me: What a character! What a sweetie! What a ham! What a sense of humor! What a talker! What a blessing! What a joker! What personality! What a cutie! What a sweetheart! What a joy!

I could go on. And I will: So friendly! So polite! So kind! So happy! So funny! So lovable! So silly! So full of personality! So much to say! So cute! So joyful!

Family, friends, teachers, coaches, strangers. They all love him.

My son is full of joy. He brings us so much joy. When he walks into a room, he radiates joy. I so proud and joyful to be his mother.

Happy 9th birthday to my joyful son! If I had to pick one picture to capture one moment in time, it would be this one. As he soared above my head. Small enough to balance on my feet. Joyful enough to think it’s so much fun. And giggly enough that he nearly fell over. On the Labrador.


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Somewhere Over the Rainbow


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Children, Family, Holidays, Ideas, Recipes | Posted on 17-03-2014

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St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. And we kinda make a big deal out of holidays. Around here, we are party animals!

Three out of five people in our home still believe in the magic of leprechauns and squeal when we see rainbows. So, a perfectly magical rainbow cake was in order.

I used a recipe from Betty Crocker. However, instead of (ho hum) white frosting, we made it green. Duh! And added rainbow sprinkles for some St. Patrick’s Day flair.

Step aside, Betty Crocker. Somewhere over the rainbow is Pippi. Who spent two hours of precious weekend time creating a little magic. And the squeals of delight made it. Totally. Worth. It.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May you believe in the magic of rainbows.

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A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Step Aside Betty Crocker

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I Got a Rock


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Cookies, Cooking, Humor, Ideas | Posted on 17-09-2013

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While I thought my jumbo-cookie-baking skills were amazing, turns out, they dulled in comparison to a freaking giant ocean scene cake. You know, the kind you see on Pinterest. Here’s how it went down.

My daughter and her friends were in the back seat. The subject of birthday cakes came up. A totally fun topic for 10-year-old girls.

Girl #1: One time, my mom made me an ocean cake with waves and buoys and boats and mermaids and fish.

Ooooh! Awesome!

Girl #2: One time, my mom made me an ocean cake with a whale and a surfer and candy all around the edges.


My daughter: One time, my mom made me a giant cookie.


That conversation SO reminded me of Charlie Brown and his trick-or-treating endeavors. He got what? Yeah, a rock.

I’ll take a giant cookie over a rock any day. It’s all relative.

ocean_cake3 ocean_cake_3 ocean_cake_2cookie

The Girl Who Saw Fire


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Holidays, Kids, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 03-07-2013

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If you know me, you know I love the 4th of July. I wrote about that here. If you don’t me, now you know!

The 4th of July is the pure bliss that Summer is finally here. To me, it’s celebration. It’s family. It’s food. It’s fun. It’s fireworks.

To my surprise, my three children don’t all share my love of the holiday. My two boys are little pyros. But my daughter, not so much. A few years ago, with our children in tow, we went to a park to get a 360-degree view of the town’s fireworks display. Fountains glittering and sparkling. The sky was alight–it was awesome! But my daughter kept fidgeting and worrying, “Something is going to catch on fire. I just know it.”

No way! Don’t worry! Nothing is going to catch fire! I promise!

And then. About 20 minutes into the fireworks show, a ball of fire erupted down the road. We witnessed a mature fir tree suddenly ablaze and spreading. Firetrucks immediately came rushing to the scene. We sat there, safe, but with mouths agape.

That girl of mine. She saw fire coming. And she proved me wrong. It was a memorable 4th. Years later…remember when you knew that something was going to catch on fire?

However you celebrate this 4th of July, enjoy! And be safe, OK?



Happy Birthday To Me


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations | Posted on 30-09-2012

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Happy Birthday to me

Happy Birthday to me

Happy Birthday, to Pippi

I have eaten too much cookie

Here’s my doozy of a birthday cake (before we massacred it)…a ginormous chocolate chip cookie that Uncle Buck and I like to make.

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!




Clark W. Griswold: Meet Me Under The Mistletoe


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Pop Culture | Posted on 19-12-2011

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This year, I spread the Christmas cheer…a guest blog sent all the way to Australia to one of my favorite (favourite) bloggers there. Check out my latest post on one of my favorite (favourite) guys: Clark W. Griswold:

December is a Patchwork Quilt in our Home


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Family, Fun, Global, Love, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 14-12-2011

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We have family, local, global, and even extra-terrestrial holiday celebrations in our American home.

  • Aliens and Legos visiting our Nativity scene? All are welcome.
  • Hannukah Harry? We love him.
  • Tree ornaments from Mexico and India? Passport not required.
  • Mr. Hanky? He is a sure-fire hit in our home. We cackle with laughter over this Christmas poo.
  • American classic movies: Christmas Vacation? Elf? A Christmas Story? Check. Check. Check.
  • Mexican wedding cookies? Yep, I make ’em.
  • Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker? Going.
  • Visiting Santa Claus at the mall? On our list.
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir TV special? Celtic Christmas TV special? Two of my favorites.
  • Paper dreidels brought home from school? Game on.
  • Gingerbread house toppling over with too many gumdrops? Every year.
  • Winter solstice? We celebrate that too.
  • Advent calendar counting down the days of Christmas? It’s 11 days until Christmas, y’all.

In a previous post I wrote about Why Can’t We All Get Along (for the Holidays). It’s your choice. Mix it up. Or not.

We choose to mix it up and the result is a fun-filled, chock-full celebratory December quilt.


It’s the Little Things That Make Memories, Stupid


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Connections, Family, Ideas, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering | Posted on 14-11-2011

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Little things make big memories. Remember that.

I don’t think it’s always the mega family trip to Disneyland that makes the best memories for children. The term “making memories” is often too forced and there are sky-high expectations associated with “the annual family vacation.”

Y’all saw National Lampoon’s Vacation, right? Was it Walley World that Rusty and Audrey will always remember? Or was it the bits and pieces along the way–aka the journey–that will make a lasting impression?

I think it’s the little things that happen on the fly that might fuel the memories. Here are 17 little things that go on around here:, that just might make the cut:

  1. laughing at farts
  2. buying milkshakes on a freezing, rainy day
  3. lying in bed, side by side, reading
  4. having a proper burial service for our hamster, Popcorn, under the tree in our backyard
  5. hollering at the Canadian Snow Geese flying overhead: “HAPPY MIGRATION!” in the middle of the grocery store parking lot…at the top of our lungs
  6. listening to the coins and zippers clanking in the dryer (my daughter says she loves that sound as she drifts off to sleep. Maybe because she knows she is well taken care of with clean laundry?)
  7. butterfly kisses
  8. firecracker sundaes on the 4th of July. You put sparklers in a hot fudge sundae. Instant magic.
  9. whooping it up when Kevin from Home Alone kicks butt against the two bad guys. Kid power at its finest.
  10. doing the popcorn dance: punching the air as the kernels burst into popcorn into our popcorn popper (Oh and I highly recommend this brand available but I’ve seen it cheaper at other stores
  11. pop + popcorn + movie on Friday nights
  12. giving my daughter one of my favorite pair of earrings. Just because.
  13. pomegranates and egg nog in November. Always.
  14. singing “Do Your Boobs Hang Low” at the top of our lungs in the car
  15. French toast for dinner
  16. cutting out paper snowflakes and displaying them in the front window–each and every one of them–even if the holes are gaping and they really look like Charlie Brown’s ghost costume
  17. just talking and listening

What good memories will stay with truly stay with children as they get older? I don’t know…my kids are still young.

But don’t ya want to enjoy the journey? And the molehills will turn into mountains–on their own–because little memories add up. Big time.