My aunt is staying with my Dad this summer. They are in several Bridge groups. It’s a card game that people over 55 probably played when they were younger. It’s good for the mind. I wish my generation still played cards. We play on our cell phones instead. Oh, the good old days.
We played cards when I was growing up because of my Dad’s influence.
I love thinking about my favorite childhood memories and wonder which ones will be my children’s favorites. Looking through the calendar year, it’s obvious we do the same things each month, year after year.
In the winter, we visit the mountains and do cold-weather things like skiing, sledding, ice skating, tubing, snow shoeing, snow hiking, making snowmen, drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles, and sitting by the fire. We sit in the hot tub and take a picture with bubble beards. The mountains keep Christmas lights up through January and it helps ease the winter blues for me to hold onto the Christmas holiday for another week.
We celebrate half birthdays in our house with a family party that includes cake and presents. We usually remember to use our You Are Special Plate for that occasion. When our kids turn 5.5, we have a 100s party to celebrate. The cake has 100 candles! (Most public schools have a 100s day party near the end of school.) We do ours for the 5.5 party instead. It’s easy to find cheap ideas for 100 items that make the party fun. We use the items in our homeschooling that day, so math involves counting and sorting 100 m and m’s, for example.
Also, each half birthday party includes a toilet paper roll fight. My kids LOVE this tradition. Daddy was home from work for my son’s recent 1/2 birthday. It was much more fun to have 2 against 2 instead of 2 against 1!
We only do friend birthday parties at age 5 and 10. After that is TBD. I find birthday parties stressful to plan, so I don’t do them. We try to do play dates with all our friends around the birthday instead.
We try to attend a college or professional sporting event or two each year as the budget allows (or when we can get cheap, nosebleed seats!). We love to run the 5K that is around our pro sports team stadium.
We do the same hikes each year while trying several new ones. One of our favorites has giant boulders for climbing. I love having photos from each year to show the kids’ growth.
We take advantage of the free days at all our local museums and gardens. We attend the community festivals.
We use a different method for decorating Easter eggs each year. I like the Resurrection Eggs and hope to be better about using them with our 3rd child.
My kids like to do nature sketching. It helps us observe God’s creation and see the beauty through the seasons.
We camp with friends each year and also do another tent camping trip or two. We love to eat the whole bag of marshmallows for s’mores despite how unhealthy that is!
We budget for beach trips since we don’t live near a real beach. We also visit the reservoir for “beach” trips.
We’ve only done one road trip, but we stretched it out so we could enjoy the towns and cities along the route.
We love to take family walks and do this as many nights of the week as possible.
We read picture books and chapter books to the kids before we pray the scriptures for them.
We don’t do organized activities until age 8. We focus on family-friendly activities prior to that. This helps our family be the top priority because our time isn’t stretched so thin. In addition, by the time children are 8, their natural talents and gifts are more obvious. My children learn to swim with us. They learn to play catch with us. I don’t think organized sports are necessary for our family prior to 8-10.
We always drive to see the fall colors.
We love to do overnight trips. Just one night helps get us out of the rut.
We like to visit a pumpkin patch that has loads of kid activities. We go to Boo at the Zoo for trick or treating since there aren’t scary costumes.
We decorate the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Wish we gave them an ornament each year. Think I’ll give them 10 ornaments when they turn 10….see, it’s never too late to start a new tradition!
We clean the house on Saturday nights as a home blessing and then watch a family movie. I use the lists from Common Sense Media’s website for movies the whole family will enjoy.
We can’t afford all of the above and expensive photographers, so we use JC Penny Portraits for our yearly Christmas card photo. I also take the kids for the toothless smile photo when they are 7. We have been very happy with their products. It pays to come dressed in clothes that coordinate…the photos turn out much better as the clothes are not a distraction.
I make a Year in Review Photo Book with collages I’ve made throughout the year. This way, the collages are mine, and I could remake them using any company at any time. Meaning: don’t make a book on Shutterfly. Make collages and upload them to Shutterfly to make the book! (I prefer AdoramaPix)
We take photos of regular life. Some of my favorite pictures are of my children sleeping. I love to peek on them when they are sleeping. Since I won’t be climbing into their bedroom windows when they are adults (idea from popular kid book), I will be glad to have these photos to view my sleeping babies!
We spend time with the extended family at the holidays. We’ve experimented with various recipes to find keepers.
The kids love to cook and bake with me. I like that I am encouraging a life skill in a fun way.
We love to make homemade smoothies for any occasion.
We pretend to be in a musical and sing everything.
We listen to audio books in the car and for alone time. We all listen to the same books so we can talk about the characters like they are our friends.
I’ll edit this post as I think of other things we *always* do.
Hi friend who inspired this post! 🙂 Thank you for inspiring me to write this down!