Sunday, December 4, 2011

Continuing Traditions

Brian talked for years about how his Grandpa, Ken Wolfgang used to make wreaths every year to put up around the house. He used to go with him to pick the princess pine and then Grandpa would wrap the pine on wreath forms. So a couple years ago we decided to try to make some, cause the ones we saw at the stores were pretty pathetic. We went and picked the pine in Creekside on a hill and then went to Blue Spruce and found some more. I cut the roots and brown parts off of the pine and then twisted bunches with green floral wire. Brian then took the bunches and wrapped them on the wreath frame. I can't remember what year that was, but I remember having to go out 2 or 3 times to pick enough pine for 5 wreaths, 3 for our porch, one for Jen and one for Pat. But we haven't done it since and so our porch has gone wreathless.

This year, Brian and I decided we could do it again and start it as our own tradition. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we took all the kids and ran out to Blue Spruce to pick the pine. Bridgette and Noah each got their own bag and Brian and I showed them what to pick. The pine there is really dense so it was easy for them to find and pick. Bridgette also helped keep Linus happy who was secured in the stroller with snacks and toys. And by secured, I mean we were on a hill and I had him propped against a tree and the brakes set just in case. We were out for about an hour and Brian and I filled our garbage bags and Noah had his shopping bag pretty well filled and Bridgette had a nice little batch as well. Then the bags set in the car and then the garage for about a week.

We did get around to it though. Noah was a big help when we started cutting the roots and cleaning the pine up for the bunching part. He went through his whole bag! I wrapped the bunches and Brian put the bunches on the wreath frame. Noah's bag alone did almost a whole wreath! It took us about an hour and half and we had a finished wreath that went up on the porch right away. I spent some time during the day cleaning and bunching the rest of the pine and Brian worked on making the wreaths at night. Over the course of 3 more nights, we have 4 finished wreaths, 3 of which are on our porch and 1 will be heading out to Pat's to go on her door.

I was surprised that only going once got us enough pine to finish 4 wreaths and still have some left over to put around the front door. The kids had a blast picking the pine and running around in the woods. Noah enjoyed even helping cut the pine (we did it while we watched the Muppet Christmas Carol). I think this is going to be a fun tradition that as the kids get older will only get easier. I just hope they enjoy it and can keep it going.

Thank you Grandpa Ken!

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