Hi! I am Jen, a stay-at-home mom to 4 wonderful kiddos ages 12, 9, 7, and 4. I have been married 14 years to the most handsome and incredible man in the world. I am very lucky. We live in the middle of the Mid-West in the country outside a small town. We have a little land and some chickens. I am a blue jeans momma, and love it. I love scrapbooking, reading, cooking, going on dates with my husband, traveling, and being with my family. I like crafting too, but I am an hour and a half from a Target/Joann’s/Hobby Lobby/Mall, so that side of me doesn’t get indulged as often as I would like. I live in a one grocery store town–with the world’s smallest super Wal-mart–and that is it. If Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, then we don’t get it. But we survive, and we love it. I blog over at Blue Jeans Momma about the all the sweet things in life including the bitter, semi-sweet, and especially the milk chocolate sweet. Come over and enjoy the sweet things in life!
A friend asked a little boy if they had any traditions, and he said, “no, we just do the same things over and over again.” So today I would like to post about some things we do over and over again every year–our traditions. I know there have been some great posts about these, and I hope you will come away thinking “We should do that!” or “What a great idea!” I have gone through our year and included some of our favorite family traditions–some involve nothing more than dropping some food coloring in some milk, and others, like our Easter Egg Hunt, involve a lot of work, but all are cherished by my family, and we hope you enjoy and find something you can do over and over again with your family. Remember life is sweet, and traditions make it sweeter!
March: Let’s start with today–St. Patrick’s Day. Go grab your green food coloring because you are going to need it today! Every St. Patty’s day we have a green dinner–Green mashed potatoes with green gravy, green Jello, green milk, green peas, green salad with green dressing, green beans. . .I think you get the picture. If it isn’t green, then it doesn’t get eaten for dinner. I always grab St. Patty’s day plates and napkins the day after when they are 50% off to use for the next year. Go Green!
January: On the first Monday night in January, we have the tradition of everyone making goal charts for
the year. We focus on different areas of goals–physical, mental/educational, temporal, and spiritual. Everyone is to choose at least one goal in each of these areas. Everyone is given a piece of paper to decorate and write their goals for the year on. We cut pictures out of magazines and decorate them real nice. Then they go up in our bedrooms on the closet doors to remind us what our goals are for the year. At the end of the year I take them down, we review them, and I put them all in their individual scrapbooks.
We live in Kansas, and January 29 is Kansas Day, so we celebrate it every year with a funny looking Kansas sunflower Cake. Celebrate the state you live in! Do you know when your state’s birthday is? If not, find out and celebrate. It is always fun to have an excuse to make–and especially eat–a cake!
February: The first Monday in February we decorate a family Valentine’s box. Everyone gets to decorate a side, and we make it really pretty! It sits out on the desk in our library and secretly gets filled so on February 14 when we open it as a family it is stuffed with love! We all make Valentine’s for each other. The kids love making Valentine’s for their siblings and us. They are so secretive about their cards when they make them. It is really fun.
March: March 2 we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by each member of our family picking their favorite Dr. Seuss book, and then we have a big Dr. Seuss Read-a-Loud as we go through our 6 favorite books. Love Dr. Seuss!
Easter: Since we have some space to spread out, several years ago I decided that we needed to have an Easter Egg hunt. My lawn was just begging for eggs to be hidden in it! So we established our Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck Luncheon. Everyone invited is to bring a covered dish to share and one dozen filled Easter Eggs per child. (No, I don’t fill 800 eggs for it, I just have to do 48 for my kids.) Then we have lunch, the kids play “Bunny, Bunny, Hop” (aka Duck, Duck, Goose) in our summer house while the dads hide the eggs, and then all heck breaks loose as the kids search to find a dozen eggs. It is really fun, and I have my friends’ kids ask me months in advance “Can we come find eggs at your house again?” Of course!!
May: For Memorial Day we always have root beer floats. Don’t know the significance of that. It is just what we do over and over every year.
August: Back to school parties–We have decorated t-shirts, made bags, notebooks, and had the guests bring their favorite after school snack to share. Lots of fun!
September: For Labor Day we always head to the city to the amusement park. You would think that Labor Day would be a busy amusement park day, but it really isn’t. The lines are super short, and the weather is always great to enjoy the day! My country kids LOVE the rides and plan all year what they will go on first when we get there.
October: The Monday in October right before Halloween we have our own family Halloween Party. For dinner we have beef pumpkin stew cooked in a real pumpkin. After dinner everyone has about 20 minutes to come up with a costume, and my parents usually join us. We decorate pumpkin sugar cookies, carve pumpkins, and play Halloween Bingo. The impromptu costumes are the best part though!
November: For Thanksgiving we don’t live by lots of family, just my parents, so we have lots of friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. This past year we hosted 20 at our home. We enjoy dinner, then head outside for FOOTBALL! After that my friend always shares her cute Thanksgiving story with us that tells us why we do this over and over every year, then we relax by watching a movie on a huge projector screen our friends bring. It is a long and full day that we love and are so grateful for.
December: December has so many traditions that you can write books and books about them, and people have. I will just name two of our favorites. The first Saturday in December is Mom and Dad’s shopping day. My parents have graciously taken my kids for the whole long day(and often over night) so my hubby and I can head to the city and get our shopping done. The last few years our goal has been to get the shopping done before our shopping day so we can more enjoy the day in the city without the kids–going to a show, a museum, and out to eat. We love this tradition. Also, the weekend before Christmas we head to the city as a family, but we don’t shop. No shopping is allowed. We just go to enjoy the lights, swim at the hotel pool, and, my kids favorite, get Krispy Kreme donuts. Yum!
I hope this has sparked some ideas in your head for things to do with your families to make life sweet, and I hope you will stop by and say hi at Blue Jeans Momma!
- Jen T.