As I watch the boys grow up, all of those cliché expressions about time passing by can feel so true.  People always told me, “They’ll be all grown up in the blink of an eye,” and I see how that can happen now.  Although our two boys are both still young in age, my journey in parenthood that started 6 years ago, sure feels like it’s flown by.


I get all of these crazy ideas of how to preserve certain memories or moments in time, for their childhood years and beyond.  I start these “traditions” but admittedly, I don’t always keep up with them very well. Maybe one tradition will stick, sooner or later!


I think of it this way though – it’s never too late to start any kind of tradition.  If I miss a few years in between keeping up with these traditions, at least we have the years that were completed.  In the grand scheme of things, when we look back at these preserved memories, we’ll enjoy looking at whatever collection we made.  For instance, I used to try very hard to date pictures, artwork, and more with the exact date.  Now, I think to myself, if I have the right year, that’ll do!  That’s how I’m approaching it these days – I’ll do my best and be happy with what I accomplish.


So let me share with you a few of our family “traditions” of preserving important milestones or certain moments in time.


What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? – Take a picture at the same time every year, and ask your child what they want to be when they grow up.  You can keep things simple and use a plain white paper and write the words in marker. We used a small blackboard one year, and this year, we used a thought bubble, which I plan to use from now on.  To make it even more consistent every year, take the picture in the same place!


What I Want To Be When I Grow Up 2012

He couldn’t decide between astronaut and pilot in 2012.

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up 2013

This one was an interesting answer for 2013!

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up 2013

His first year participating in this question! So sweet that he wants to be like his older brother when he grows up!


Family Yearbook – This tradition actually has been a success! That’s because my husband is in charge of this and he is very organized – he always gets the job done!  He sifts through hundreds of pictures on our computer and decides which ones to include in the yearbook.  He uses to make the albums.  It’s always a fun surprise for me because I don’t actually see this yearbook, until it is completed and delivered to our home!  It goes without saying that I definitely wouldn’t have let him publish some of the pictures if I had anything to do with making them!

Family Albums

Our family albums or “yearbooks.”


Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss – I ask their teachers or other important figures in their lives (relatives, coaches, and so forth) to write a little message to them in the book.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was a brilliant idea!

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Anywhere there is space, ask teachers, relatives, coaches, and other important figures in your child’s life to write a special message.

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. A great book for both children and adults!

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Do this every year, and present it to your child when you are ready!

Make A Plate – The boys each make a plate around their birthdays.  We send off the artwork and they come back on plates that are actually quite durable!  We’ve bought our Make A Plate Kits from Lakeshore Learning and also at Michael’s Craft Store.  Amazon also carries it online.

Make a Plate Kit

A few samples of our plates.


Paper Time Capsules – I create prompts on sheets of paper and have the boys answer the questions at the beginning of the school year, and at the end of the school year.  I include pages where they can draw a family portrait, drawings, and make hand/foot prints too.

Paper Time Capsule

Paper “Time Capsule” from the beginning of the kindergarten year.


Family Portraits

Family portraits drawn at different times of the year.


I have many other pictures I could share with you, but I’m thinking  you get the idea! Here is a list of other ideas we have started in our family:

Holiday Cards – We make holiday picture cards with the kids every year to send out to family and friends.  I keep one for each of the boys, and write them a special letter on the back.  I usually include what we did during that particular holiday season, and special memories from that time. This way, they have a picture of themselves around the holidays too!

Snapshots – I was trying to do this at regular times throughout the year, but it didn’t work out that way. The idea was to write down visual snapshots of the boys.  I would close my eyes, and write down images that come to my mind that represent them best at that age.  I would include favorite sayings of theirs too.

Favorite Recipes – I type up family recipes or other favorites I find online, and keep them all in a 3 ring binder for them (and for me)!  I’ve seen some promising software or websites out there where you can create fancy albums.  Mine are all done on the computer, printed out, then put into clear page protectors. I got this idea from my college roommate.  Her mom gave her a big book of collected recipes when she went to college, and I never forgot that idea!

School Year Pictures – Save one copy of their school picture and put them side by side on a frame.

Birthday Book – Write in their “Birthday Book” – this one is all laid and purchased from the bookstore, but for some reason, I have a hard time keeping up with this.

Your Birthday Book

A Keepsake Journal all prepared for you with prompts and little pockets to keep suggested small memorable items.


Family Calendar – My husband uses a few of the same pictures from the family year book, and makes a family calendar as well.  He uses to make our family calendars.

Journal – Mom’s One Line a Day Journal – This one is more for me to reflect on the day, but it’s a favorite!  I try to write a couple of sentences every night before going to bed.

Mom's One Line a Day

I bought a pink one but I have seen it in blue also.


Here are some ideas that I have been wanting to start but haven’t  yet:

Book Dedication – Purchase a book, and dedicate it to them on their birthday every year.
Poem Dedication – Write an original poem for them or find ones that I like to dedicate to them.


All of this memory making can be so much fun but it can also be overwhelming at times when you want to keep up to date with it all, and have it all look nice too!  So as mentioned earlier, I try my best and will enjoy whatever it is that I complete over the years.  In the mean time, I will relish the present time with my little guys, because they really do grow up in the blink of an eye!

Hope you enjoyed this post!  Please share with us, any fun family traditions you have!  We would love to hear about them!


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