Yes friends it’s that time of year again. It’s time for me to share our fabulous family calendar. Actually I’m slightly late bringing this fabulous artwork to all of you this year. We are creeping up on the 20th year of this calendar being put together. Wow! That fact alone amazes me to no end. Just wow- another family tradition started by my parents. Over the last couple of years I was handed the editorial baton by my Mom to make sure the calendar tradition continues. This year’s calendar is especially poignant because my Mom was able to get back into looking through pictures and put a page together for us. Thanks Mom!! We’re so glad to have you back in the calendar making process. (My Mom’s page is the one with the red background.)
It’s awe inspiring to see this project come together, and see the pages come to life as they get emailed in. The process for the calendar pages goes like this. There’s a post on our family Facebook page where everyone can join in and sign up for the month they want to put together. Once all of the pages are assigned everyone is on their own to put the pages in place, and there’s a deadline for getting them turned in. We all do the pages in Picasa’s collage format. An easy way to get the pictures into a format that you like. It actually takes longer to collect the pictures than it does to put the collage in place. I always tell myself if there’s a picture or group of pictures I like I need to put them in a separate folder on my computer and collect them throughout the year. So far this great idea hasn’t materialized for me. My procrastination seems to get the best of me and I’m always scrambling to meet the deadline I set for the family!
Once all of the photo pages are done it is my task to add the family birthdays’ and anniversaries for everyone. My Mom chooses the photo that will become the cover for the calendar. After we have proofed and re-proofed all of the birthdays, anniversaries, etc. we are off to the printer with our masterpiece.
So without further ado I present to all of you our 2016 family calendar. A few of the months have definitive themes that are just treasures. My Mom’s page is a collection of the black and whites from her childhood. Family treasures and traditions just do not get any better than this. It will always be my hope that this tradition will continue for many, many years to come. Who knows maybe one day my grand-kids will be putting the calendar together! Cheers to family traditions once again.
This post linked to the GRAND Social
At the beginning of this year I had posted a picture on my “Renee’s Revelings” Facebook page with my son, Bryan’s, collection of Christmas ornaments. I have had quite a few traditions with my kids over the years, and wanted to share the ones that mean the most me.
When I was a working mom, with four active kiddos I was always paying attention to things that I wanted to incorporate as traditions for us at home. Holiday traditions, summer traditions, and just plain old family traditions. Can you tell I’m a traditionalist at heart?
One of my favorite “traditions” was with the kids friends. When any of them had a friend over for dinner they were always considered a guest in our home the first three times they had dinner at our table. (I honestly cannot remember how I arrived at the number three.) After that I always told their friends you’re no longer a guest now you’re part of the family. Which was heart-warming for the friend, but my kids knew it meant I expect your friends to help out with serving dinner and cleaning up afterwards. I was usually the one doing the cooking.
During the summer months I had this tradition of taking the kids out for an ice cream after dinner. The kids would be all bathed and clean and in their pajamas. I’d say, “Hey let’s go get an ice cream! Don’t change you can just go in your pj’s. Pajama run!!!” And then we’d all head for the car and the kids would be giggling all the way because they’d go out at night in their pajamas. Such fun memories.
Whenever we went to the beach during the summer I’d be sure and stop for an ice cream treat on the way home. Are you noticing my ice cream loving pattern here? They still talk about the places we used to stop on the way home. Such fun times piling everyone in the car along with all the gear for a day of sand and surf!
My holiday traditions with the kids are the ones that are the most precious to me, and the ones I know they will carry with them into their own homes. Since my oldest daughter was a baby, and on her first Christmas in 1981, I bought her an ornament each year to commemorate the holiday. The ornaments were the most precious of all of our family traditions for me. Every year I would buy a special ornament for each one of the kids and paint their names and the year on each one. I knew that one day they would be leaving the nest, and that collection of ornaments would go with them to start their first Christmas in their own houses with memories of their childhood. Some years I would buy them all them same ornaments; Santa’s, or snowmen, or nutcrackers. Other years I bought them ornaments based on a trip we had taken that year, or some place they had been, or a hobby they were interested in. My oldest daughter has already continued this tradition with her own kids, and I hope she knows that she is creating memories that will last a lifetime. That is precious to me.
As this New Year began and I was taking down our Christmas tree and the decorations I packed up my oldest son’s decorations for the last time. I put them in a box with all of his other personal decorations that he will take with him to his own home later this year. I will admit that I did get a little teary eyed during this process. You see he’s the last one of our kids to take his beloved ornaments with him as he leaves the place he’s called home for over 25 years. He’ll be getting married in the fall of this year, and have his own box of ornaments to decorate his first Christmas tree with in his own home. That warms my heart knowing that his childhood memories and the collection of ornaments that he grew up with will live on each and every holiday season.
For me traditions, memories, collections, and pictures are the core of our family history. They are those little things that remind you of the warmth and the love of your home. Or maybe certain traditions remind you of your parents, or grandparents. The things that are important and special to you will last a lifetime, and are always the most meaningful.
For my daughter, Hilary- wishing her a Happy Birthday month along with all the fun, hopes and dreams for a wonderful year ahead. A few memories, and lots of laughs in this collection of pictures.
I love that when I look at this collection I can remember each and every special moment. Family times are those forever times that you always want to treasure, and tuck the happiness in your pocket. Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!
Travel Man and I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with 17 or so of our family around the table for dinner. It’s so much fun when we get to have all of our kids with us at home for a big sit-down dinner. It’s quite a feat getting everyone to the table on time, but we did it and had so much fun. I’ve been known to get all mushy with my toasts of thankfulness. My grandson Evan always likes to pipe in and tell a joke to the entire table. It’s priceless and always makes us laugh.
Our old dining room table, with a total of 8 leaves, comes in handy for this time of year. I’ve written about our dining room table before it’s got quite a bit of history to it. This year my wonderful husband put together a table extension that will now allow us to seat 20 people at the table for any particular festivity.
This is my professional table-setter,my grandson Evan. He’s taken on the roll of helping me get the table ready for the past few years. He was upgraded to “professional” status this year!
Normally our entire Thanksgiving weekend would be spent around the house with our kids and grand-kids. This year we decided to switch it up and go camping for the rest of the holiday time after the “big dinner”. We took off for our destination in the early afternoon on Friday, and we headed back home Monday afternoon. We’re so lucky that Travel Man had some vacation time to use and that his job allows him to have the flexibility to plan for this type of trip. We’ve had such an enjoyable time relaxing, resting, reading, watching movies and playing Monopoly! And of course I brought some of the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. We had to get our fill of turkey sandwiches.
Now we’re thinking that maybe next year we’ll host Thanksgiving dinner right from our trailer (I meant to say our “glamping” residence). We’ll see about that in a few months. I’m such a traditionalist at holiday time I’m not sure if I could do that. Thoughts to ponder.
I’m hoping everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. I know I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays and spending more time with family. Cheers!