Nothing makes me happier than seeing those pink blossoms bursting open on the trees around here. I just get so excited to know that warm weather is coming. But every time we enter a new season (or a new month even) I am always in shock about how fast time is going. I feel like the school year just started and all of sudden everyone is booking summer activities already! Is it just me or does it seem to be the older we get, the faster time seems to fly? I can’t be the only mom who just wants to freeze time some days (well, admittedly, not EVERY day ;)
However, in an effort to slow things down and really appreciate (and remember!!) the good moments, my family and I have started journaling together. We have created a DIY Family Keepsake Journal for each season (starting with Winter) where we answer questions and respond to writing prompts about our favorite activities, memories and funny quotes from the last few months.
DIY Family Keepsake Journal: Winter
My husband and I have been recording the funny things the kids say ever since they could talk. But we scribble them on post-it notes or scrap pieces of paper and they get lost in the chaos of life with 3 kids. And we wanted to go beyond that. We didn’t want to just remember quotes, but also game nights and cookie wars and other things that we have done together. In the past, we did a family memory jar, but it didn’t work well for reviewing it on a regular basis and the kids didn’t have a vested interest in it because it was all adult created.
So now the kids are making a Family Keepsake Journal with us. They are learning the importance of taking notice and appreciating the little moments. To be honest, things in our house aren’t always easy. All 3 of my kids have chronic health issues (as do I) and some days it gets to us. We get down and discouraged and we feel like things are always rough. But sitting down and talking through the good times and the fun things we did in recent months, is a real way to see that those are lies we are telling ourselves.
We are believing that things are always hard, when in fact they aren’t. When creating our Family Keepsake Journal we are remembering trips to the zoo, funny quotes by the toddler and nights of silliness and laughter. We see that there were moments of joy in there too. I think that’s a crucial skill to teach our children, to find joy through it all. Because life isn’t suddenly going to get easy for them as they grow up. “Adulting” is hard stuff. They might as well learn now that everyone struggles, life isn’t easy and it’s how they find and create joy that will see them through the rough spots (That and faith in Jesus, but that’s a post for another day! =)
So we have just begun our Family Keepsake Journal with winter and we have really had fun with it. Plus, unlike purchasing a book, this gives the kids the opportunity to create and personalize it themselves.
Journal (I bought mine in the Target dollar bins, but you could even just make your own with folded white paper and card stock)
Construction Paper, Glue, Scissors and Stickers (Optional if you want your child to decorate the front seasonally)
Printable Writing Prompts (Winter is available for download at the end of the post)
Start by printing out your writing prompts (available below) and cutting them apart. Glue the title on the front page and add your family members’ names and the year (you could add the specific dates if you want)
Read through the rest of the prompts and decide how you want to lay them out. Some topics will need more room and should get their own page and others can be doubled or tripled up. There are numerous copies of some sentences so that each family member can answer on their own if they like. You can always write in your questions for the children to answer. Do what works best for your family.
Depending on the age of your children, work with them to help answer questions and do the writing. Work on it over several days or take as long as you want to do it (but not so long that you forget what you did!). In fact, we put ours nearby and add funny quotes and anecdotes to it as they continue to come up.
Next, add pictures! While my son drew pictures by himself on this particular page, our favorites were when artistic Daddy joined in and we created a family page with different drawings (and perspectives!) on certain events. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could add actual photographs. It’s completely up to you because this is your family journal. Create, design and do it as it feels right for all of you! (But then send me a photo because I can’t wait to see how they turned out!!)
And before you know it, winter will officially be over (I’m ready!) and I will have the Spring journal writing prompts ready for you. In fact, if you sign up to receive the winter Family Keepsake Journal writing prompts, you will automatically receive Spring, Summer and Fall before everyone else!
Any questions or comments on this activity? Would love to hear- just comment below!