We want to start some family traditions. We already have a few we’ve started and kept up over the years—before kiddos and since Blaise was born. I’ve always said when Blaise is five it’ll be time to officially start since memories will stick. He’s five. It’s time to add some more.
Let’s break them down into four categories: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually.
Family Dinner: Straight-forward, have dinner together every night.
Evening Walk: Go for a neighborhood walk after dinner. Rain or shine.
Bedtime Reading: Continue reading to the kiddos before bed.
Movie Night: Every Saturday night select a movie and watch together as a family. Popcorn included of course.
Game Night: Every Wednesday spend an hour or two playing games as a family.
Weekend Breakfast: Each weekend, one morning (Saturday or Sunday depending on that weekend’s activities) have a full-on homemade, fancy breakfast with the table set and all.
Biweekly Date: Start taking the kiddos on regular, individual dates. Either Friday evening or sometime over the weekend. Whatever they want to do. It feels like a math problem, who goes with whom in which order… Lora and Laine; Brian and Blaise; Lora and Saige; Brian and Laine; Lora and Blaise; Brian and Saige. When there’s a date, the other kiddos will have one-on-one sibling time. We’ll rotate Vaile in when she’s older.
Goals: Select one goal each to accomplish every month. And on the same idea, revisit the previous month’s goal.
Outing: Each kiddo picks an outing to do as a family. For now, that’s only two kiddos picking… we may have to rotate months by kiddo(s) once all four want to have a turn.
Dinner Out: Go to a restaurant once a month as a family. Rotate who picks where each month.
Outdoor Activity: Check off a local outdoor activity (hike, park, beach, etc.) once a month. And pack a picnic to eat along the way.
Baking Day: Pick a day each month to bake something tasty (rather, pick a day each month to destroy the kitchen). The kiddos can rotate each month selecting what we’ll bake.
Donation: Take the kiddos to buy items for local animal shelters and deliver. Alternatively, take the kiddos to Costco each month and have them select a few items and deliver to the food bank.
Let’s just get the obvious, standard annual events out of the way:
Birthdays/Interviews: Each birthday is spent however the birthday person wants, ending with a family party in the evening. The party includes the birthday person’s dinner selection followed by cake and ice cream they get to pick out at the store (or a homemade cake if they wish). Each kiddo who isn’t the birthday person goes shopping for decorations and a gift. Conduct an annual interview on each kiddo birthday.
Half-Birthdays: Continuing from my childhood, celebrate half-birthdays from age 5.5 (until age 10). It’s a pretty big deal to be an age and a half. And because I’m a January birthday, I think my parents felt bad I had to go from Christmas to my birthday within weeks, to not opening any gifts again for 11 months. Solution, celebrate half-birthdays. The half-birthday person gets to pick an activity to do as a family (bowling, miniature golf, etc.) followed by a dinner of their choice and cake (no decorations for the half). One gift is given.
Easter: Color eggs the Saturday before to hide along with baskets for Easter morning. Have a fancy family dinner Easter night on Nan’s China.
Fourth of July: Participate in the local parade, decorated bikes and all. Have a family dinner BBQ out back and then head to the local fireworks celebration.
Halloween: Visit one or two pumpkin patches to ring in the start of the holiday season. Enjoy kettle corn, pumpkin cannons, mazes, and select pumpkins to take home and carve. Carve pumpkins the weekend before Halloween. Brian will likely make a haunted house for the neighborhood. On Halloween, Trick-or-Treat at Brian’s work followed by neighborhood Trick-or-Treating Halloween night. Eat as much candy as possible for the next few days.
Thanksgiving: I have it in my head it’d be nice to rent a cabin for a few days over Thanksgiving and celebrate there. Until that becomes a reality, participate in a Thanksgiving morning 5K followed by a family day at home before feasting late afternoon. End the day with a holiday movie night, ringing in the Christmas season.
Christmas: So many things to do, I’m making a separate post.
Ideas for the rest of the year:
Pie Day: Make a pie from scratch on March 14. Consume.
Camp Orkila: Continue taking the kiddos to Camp Orkila Mother’s Day weekend. The little gals and I will start in on the tradition May 2017.
RV Trip: Plan an annual summer RV trip (yes, I said RV, haha) to somewhere for a week. A state park, beach, road trip with several stops… we’ll revamp each year.
Blueberry Picking: Exactly that, pick blueberries late July. Pick enough (one or a few trips) to freeze for snacks throughout the year. Make blueberry muffins, pancakes, whatever until we’re blueberried out.
Blackberry Picking: Keep up with our blackberry picking ways in August. Make jam from the loot.
Evergreen State Fair: Because I’m not a fan of the Puyallup Fair, attend the much more low-key Evergreen State Fair late August so the kiddos can have a fair experience.
Apple Picking: Hunt down an orchard to pick apples late September. The one we’ve been to sells out in a weekend so this may evolve into a weekend trip somewhere. After the orchard hunt, make applesauce with the picked apples.
Play Tourist: Enjoy a Space Needle lunch, followed by taking the Seattle Monorail to Pike Place Market sometime in the fall (after school has started for the masses).
Quarterly Weekend Trips: Embrace the Pacific Northwest and schedule weekend trips around the area each quarter (let’s say late February; June (before school gets out); September to celebrate our anniversary or go apple picking (see above); and mid-November. No trip farther than three hours away.