I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist

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12 Days of Christmas Tradition ~ Day 3

One of the reasons I love the Christmas holiday is the traditions.

I love reviving old family traditions, and making new ones.  I love remembering fondly the things that I did as a child at Christmas time and the things I couldn’t wait to do again.

As an adult, I get to make sure our family participates in our traditions and make new ones.

One tradition from my childhood that I loved was the story of the Cinnamon Bear.  A local radio station would broadcast the story in fifteen minute increments starting around Thanksgiving and running through Christmas Eve.  The story debut in 1937 and is still broadcasted here in Portland, with the expectation of a few years.


I don’t remember listing to it in the evening (of course that doesn’t mean we didn’t), which is when it usually aired.  But I do remember my grade school teacher had the recording and each day we would sit as a group and listen to the story.  The story is about a pair of twins who wonder up to the attic to look for Christmas decorations and find themselves transported to a magical land.


In Portland Lipman Wolfe sponsored the radio broadcast and the Cinnamon Bear would visit the Lipman’s department store every year at Christmas.  When we went to see Santa at Meier & Frank‘s Department Store we would also head over to Lipman’s for a visit with the Cinnamon bear.  Over the years the store was bought out and eventually closed for good in 1990.


Sometime in the last 10 years, the Portland Spirit Cruise Ship started hosting a Cinnamon Bear Cruise.  The cruise ship is 150′ yacht with three public decks, it usually hosts dinner cruises up and down the Willamette River.


The Cinnamon Bear Cruise is a two-hour cruise that includes pictures with the Cinnamon Bear, story time and a magic show.  Kids also get to meet other characters of the story and become Honorary Candy Buccaneers in the wheel house.


When Ian’s first Christmas was approaching I was delighted to find that he gets to enjoy this Christmas memory I had growing up.  Even if his memory will be  a little more elaborate than mine was.


Even though we know what to expect each year when we go on the cruise, I still enjoy going and I hope my kids will for a number of years to come.


If you want to listen to the story you can do so here.




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What are your Christmas Traditions?



Menu Plan Monday Nov. 25

Not only is it the week of Thanksgiving, but ’round here it is also parent-teacher conferences.

I have been busy this week making some teacher appreciation decorations for my sister.  She is hosting a luncheon for the teachers at my nieces’ school.

teacher privew


She is making pies for them, and so I made little bunting flags for the pies.  I think they are gonna be pretty cute.


Sorry, not a lot of links to recipes with this plan.  The holiday kind of changes things up.  It’s a busy week so we are having some easy-peasy dinners.  Until the big one that is!

We are having dinner at my moms, and so we all contribute something for dinner.  I am a master of mashed potatoes.  Which is what I will be making.


Menu Plan 11/25-12/01

Mon: Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta with Italian Green Beans

Tue: Tacos with Spanish Rice

Wed: Dinner at my moms

Thr: Thanksgiving!! I am making potatoes

Fri: Leftovers 

Sat: Kitchen is Closed

Sun: Pork roast with veggies 


Happy Cooking


Need something to help plan your meals?  I use the Plan to Eat online meal planner.  Try it free for 30 days

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Find more recipes at I’m an Organizing Junkie

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Free Halloween Candy Envelope Printable

Ian’s school is having a Halloween party this week.  They are going to do a little trick-or-treat event, so us parents are charged with bringing treats in from our student.

Of course, I couldn’t just bring in some candy.


I made these cute little candy envelopes.  They fit one Fun Size pack of M&M’s, or similar candy.


These are perfect for giving to friends or neighbors.

If you would like to download this printable, you can here.


To assemble: cut out each envelope.  Fold along lines, four sections.

Have child write their name, or other sentiment in the white space on the back.

Tape the candy inside, use a dollop of glue under the pumpkin/skull to secure.

Happy Halloween


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This Halloween printable was made using graphics from Just So Scrappy and was prepared by Mama Sonshine.
This printable is for personal use only. You may print the items as many times as needed for your own personal use. Please do not forward, share, sell or distribute the files for any commercial purposes or claim as your own design. Please do not post this printable to your website or blog. You may link to this website, https://mamasonshine.com/, if you would like share this download.
Thank you for your cooperation.

This post is linked up to Not Just a Housewife

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O’ Christmas Tree

We got our tree last weekend and decorated it this week.

Our Christmas Tree

Ian got into all the decorations while I was feeding the baby, I guess he was excited!

How is your Christmas tree decorated, or will be decorated?

Is there a theme or designated color?  My sister does her living room tree in red and white like a candy cane.

Store bought ornaments, Hallmark, handmade, or glass bulbs?

On my tree consists of mostly Hallmark ornaments.  It was what I grew up with, my mom would buy a new one every year.  Each ornament had a story behind it and when we decorated the tree she knew every one of them.

It got to the point where she couldn’t fit them all on her tree anymore so she handed down a portion to us kids.  She gave us ones that were bought in honor of us, or ones that were our favorites.

I loved this one of a bear on a tricycle, the pedals and front wheel moved.  I would put it on the bottom of the tree and play with it.  Now it is on my tree and my son gets to play with it.

We have continued to purchase ornaments in honor of our family members, I will buy them for my mom or my sister when I see one they need.

But the best thing is that now I can buy them for my sons.  This year my mom got Ian a Darth Vader ornament that has a motion sensor and guards the gifts.  It says things like “You will peek again, it is your destiny” or “I find you lack of patience disturbing” Ian loves it!

Darth Vader

Baby Sid got his first ornament this year.  It is a Winnie the Pooh one that says “Baby’s first Christmas”.  We have Ian’s and my first ornaments up on the tree too.

Christmas Tree

I love the fact that the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments are dated, so we always know when we got them.  Ian helped to put a few on the tree but then he found his favorites.

Christmas Tree

The two seal ornaments never made it on the tree.  In fact he has them in bed (he has a small obsession with seals lately).  Baby Sid didn’t help decorate the tree, but he is pleased at how it turned out.  I think his favorite thing is the lights.

For me the best way to decorate the tree with ornaments that come with memories.  I can’t wait to pass them on to my children.

Happy decorating!