For the holiday today, Melissa and I decided that we were going to start a couple of new traditions for the family.  They may be too young to remember them this year, but we’re hoping that it’s something that they begin to look forward to (and then loathe as they become teenagers) and then look forward to again as they launch out on their own years later.  We started with a rousing read from Wikipedia about what Labor Day really celebrates and why we all get the day off to celebrate.  Ethan actually seemed to be more enthralled than Addison surprisingly…

We decided that Labor Day should start with a picnic breakfast at the park.  I think half the fun for Addison was the anticipation of coming downstairs this morning, seeing the activity chart for the day and noticing that there was a doughnut on it.  For a girl who is starting to read, she loves looking at the marker board when she wakes up to check her daily agenda.  When Melissa draws pictures on the board, her excitement level easily doubles.

We stopped by the supermarket on the way to the park and let the kids pick out their doughnut.  5 minutes later we were across the street at the park, and the festivities began.

Doughnut Picnic Kiddie Doughnut

After the doughnuts were gone, it was time to swing, slide, and dance off that sugar.

Labor Day 2014-5Ethan Peek

Whenever I have the opportunity to push Ethan on the swing, he loves it when I get him going and then reach around and tickle him.  Melissa caught a great picture here of him looking for me.

David & EthanEthan Giggle

Ethan loves to boogie, and he heard a tune and just started going at it right in the middle of the playground.  I think he was in the middle of “the Dougie” in this picture.

Ethan Dougie

After the park, we settled down in the backyard and started up our campfire to teach the kids a couple of favorites from our extended family traditions.

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There was Addison’s first Fluffernutter sandwich.  If you haven’t had a fluffernutter, it’s peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread.  Nothing special, except that it’s incredibly delicious for having only 3 ingredients.  If you kick it up a notch (thanks Emeril) and roast marshmallows in a campfire and then make the sandwich, it’s just plain amazing.

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We cooked Ethan a Nathan’s Hot Dog (are there any other kinds?) and taught Addison the art of how to cook over a campfire.

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I also brought in a truly Gaffordian tradition by showing Addison that a Bugle just isn’t complete without a little love from its friend EasyCheese.

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We also introduced the idea of the hobo pie to the kids.  We went out in search of the campfire pie cooking utensil today and found them at Menards for $3 each after rebate.  Couldn’t believe it.  (Probably still on sale if you want one.  In Fishers, it was on an endcap in the camping section.)  Addison picked out Peach pie filling and we made dessert in the campfire.

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After the kids had their rest time, we ended up dropping the rest of our plans since Ethan decided to create an art project all over his room using the contents of his diaper… showing us the true meaning of Labor Day.  We’re hoping the park and the campfire return next year as Labor Day traditions, and we’ll be just fine if Ethan’s tradition is a one and done.  My apologies that there are no pictures of the second half of Labor Day… #you’re welcome.