First Day of First Grade

So we started another school year two weeks ago.  I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks.  We got a bit of a late start due to our big trip back East (we did a LOT of traveling this summer) but it’s been good to be home and get back into the groove of things (even if the transition has been a little rough).  I just wanted to share some pictures from our first day back and our family traditions.

graduate Tshirts

I love these shirts!  We bought large ones and made the 2027 logo last year.  We are taking a picture of the girls in their shirts every year to show how they grow and change.  By the time they graduate high school in 2027 the shirts should be fitting a little better (tearing up a little thinking of them growing up so fast). 2028 Graduate

Want to make your own?  Just choose your year, download the pdf, and print it out on iron-on paper.

2026 Graduate

2027 Graduate

2028 Graduate

2029 Graduate

Need a different year?  Here it is in powerpoint so you can change the year: Graduate T-shirt adjustable year

And of course we take normal pictures too:

This is one of my favorite, just because they look so joyful

This is one of my favorite, just because they look so joyful


Another tradition is entering the school room.  I shut it down before we start school and work on getting everything clean and set up nicely (this was actually a huge project this year which I will blog about soon because I’m so proud of how it turned out).  This year I decorated the door a little to build up the excitement.


And then we have all of their new school books sitting out on their desks.  In addition to the books are all kinds of special treats–scented markers, new crayons, smarties candies–just some things to make the day special and celebrate their new beginning.


Half Birthday!

Yesterday we celebrated the girls’ half birthday.  We P1010970love holidays, well, I love holidays, so it should be no surprise that we celebrate half birthdays.  Today we had some fun family time playing games and watching a movie.  The girls did get a present–it’s usually nothing expensive, just something fun.  And the best part is that we enjoyed half a cake!  (I just baked a small cake cut in half to be double layers).  Oh and of course we had candles and sang “Happy Half Birthday to You!”

P1010967Some people think that this is over the top, but it’s not like we throw a big party or anything.  It’s just a family celebration.  And you know what?  It’s fun.  I am a firm believer that childhood should be fun.  It seems like it is getting shorter and shorter.  Why not make it magical and fun?

It is also a chance to celebrate your child.  You should be your child’s greatest fan and this is a great way to show that they are important to you.  But aren’t we ruining our children by constantly praising them for nothing?  Yes, I completely agree that we have a bit of a false praise problem.  There have been studies showing that college students are more narcissistic than ever before (just click here to read more) and praising them for doing nothing means that a child never learns the joy of a job well done (DSCN1842or click here).  But this is different.  It’s not praise just for living, it’s a celebration of milestones they’ve reached.  A family dinner is a great time to look back on how much they’ve grown and what new things have happened in the last six months.  Besides, it’s not like I’m suggesting you shower children with cake and presents every day.

I’m just suggesting you find what’s special for your family.  For us it’s a homemade cake and a small gift–nothing fancy, just family fun together.  And itP1010975 is fun.  The girls were so incredibly excited.  They insisted that friends attend birthday celebrations so they brought a bunch of their stuffed animals to the table and sang all kinds of songs.  Maybe for your family it will be a family outing or a day when the half-birthday child gets one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.

Whether it’s a half-birthday or something else, it’s important for your family to make its own traditions, find special things for your family to do.  It will make your children feel like they are part of something special and feel more connected.  While that is important when they are little, I also look at it as an investment in the future.  If your children feel a strong connection to their family, they are more likely to turn to you when there is trouble and they won’t seek those close bonds with others.  But equally beneficial is that it’s just plain fun.

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