Birthday Time: How We Celebrate as a Family

/ Wednesday, April 11, 2018

We are in what I like to call “Birthday Season” in our home. We have one birthday in February, 3 in March, and then 2 in May! Although it is busy, it is a lot of fun and a homeschooling schedule gives us lots of room to enjoy ourselves. Here are some ways we celebrate:


small and low-key
Our large family "selfie" worked. . .
For my daughter's 13th birthday.
We tend to keep our celebrations small, low-key, and family oriented. We celebrate as a family:
Daddy, Mommy and the kids. Other family members are welcome to stop by as they’d like, but no
invitations are sent, no reminders to announce the day or any of that.


Back when our oldest children were little, we tried the traditional, “invite every kid you know to a
cartoon-themed party” and it just didn’t fit. While those types of celebrations can be fun, we
noticed our children were overwhelmed or uninterested in what we just spent loads of time,
effort, and money on. More importantly, we also realized that were teaching our children to have
unrealistic/unreasonable expectations on what they were entitled to because it was their
birthday.


So we scratched that and haven’t looked back! Burden lifted.


decorations


I got this idea from friends in college. When there was a birthday, we’d decorate each other’s
dorm-room door with balloons, streamers, posters, etc. So, I do that to my children’s chairs at
our kitchen table. I decorate that person’s chair with a balloon or sometimes I’ll hang balloons
from the ceiling over the place they sit in. We also decorate the kitchen area with birthday signs
and balloons and flowers.


favorites

 
Birthdays are day full of favorites: colors, movies, songs, meals, games, snacks, etc. We let the
birthday person pick those things for the day and it is such simple fun! Meals get really
interesting, especially when the younger children are choosing, but who doesn’t love pizza and
ice cream for breakfast?! Lately, we’ve been dressing in the birthday person’s favorite color
without saying anything about it, and we just wait to see if they notice it--a simple way to say I
love you.


no school zone


Homeschooling means you get to set the schedule. Some birthdays, we say school is off and
that’s that! Other birthdays, we’ve had some goals to meet in one or two subjects, but then we
cancel the rest of school to do whatever “favorite” thing is on the list. Every child, even the most
studious of children, love a day off from school or away from the routine. That is a gift that’s easy
to give.


giving and humility
My oldest daughter received a huge bottle of bubbles from one of her little sisters (#6) for her 15th birthday.
She was so sweet and gracious about it! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜Š

Having a lot of kids around means every moment is a teachable one. So, birthdays are a time to
practice celebrating someone else, and giving them our time and attention. We take our children
to shop for each other for birthdays at the Dollar Store, encouraging them to really think about the
person, what it is they like, and how the gift would benefit the other person. It is a fun challenge
that the kids look forward to every year.


On the flip side, the birthday child learns a lesson in being humble and grateful. Being able to
receive gifts and tons of attention in a gracious manner is a learned skill that goes beyond mama
making the child say “thank you”. We try to teach our children to truly be grateful for whatever
they receive, to look for the beauty and kindness in each gift, no matter how great or small. No
one owes you anything and so, when you get a gift, be thankful.


cake and presents


Some cakes are homemade, other are ordered from a bakery, still others have been selected
right off the grocery store shelf. . . it just depends on what’s going life at the time. One year, a
birthday celebration took place in the hospital because I’d just had a baby the day before! Two
of my children have birthdays one day apart, and we celebrated with cupcakes from the grocery
store.


So, we always have cake and it is our custom to celebrate and open presents once the
entire family is together. If my husband is at work, or one of the older children has an obligation
outside of the home, we always wait until we’re together before we eat cake and share presents.
Sometimes, that means we’re having cake for breakfast, which the kids love to do. Most times it
means we do it around dinner time, but the key is that we celebrate as a family. My husband has
a very special way he sings “Happy Birthday” to each of the kids and they get a huge kick out
of it and look forward to it each year.


pictures

So, my kiddos know every birthday means a mini-photo shoot. I take tons and tons of pictures.
If you hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram, you know it’s true! I usually take a “last” and
“first” picture. On the day before my son's or daughter’s birthday, I’ll snap a few pictures of their
last day at that age. Then, of course their birthday is their first day at the new age and I’m
snapping pictures all day. It’s what happens when you have a mama who blogs.


So that’s how we celebrate birthdays. We are grateful for each life God has placed in our home
and we have learned that showing appreciation doesn’t have to be costly, time-consuming, or
overwhelming.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your home?



We are in what I like to call “Birthday Season” in our home. We have one birthday in February, 3 in March, and then 2 in May! Although it is busy, it is a lot of fun and a homeschooling schedule gives us lots of room to enjoy ourselves. Here are some ways we celebrate:


small and low-key
Our large family "selfie" worked. . .
For my daughter's 13th birthday.
We tend to keep our celebrations small, low-key, and family oriented. We celebrate as a family:
Daddy, Mommy and the kids. Other family members are welcome to stop by as they’d like, but no
invitations are sent, no reminders to announce the day or any of that.


Back when our oldest children were little, we tried the traditional, “invite every kid you know to a
cartoon-themed party” and it just didn’t fit. While those types of celebrations can be fun, we
noticed our children were overwhelmed or uninterested in what we just spent loads of time,
effort, and money on. More importantly, we also realized that were teaching our children to have
unrealistic/unreasonable expectations on what they were entitled to because it was their
birthday.


So we scratched that and haven’t looked back! Burden lifted.


decorations


I got this idea from friends in college. When there was a birthday, we’d decorate each other’s
dorm-room door with balloons, streamers, posters, etc. So, I do that to my children’s chairs at
our kitchen table. I decorate that person’s chair with a balloon or sometimes I’ll hang balloons
from the ceiling over the place they sit in. We also decorate the kitchen area with birthday signs
and balloons and flowers.


favorites

 
Birthdays are day full of favorites: colors, movies, songs, meals, games, snacks, etc. We let the
birthday person pick those things for the day and it is such simple fun! Meals get really
interesting, especially when the younger children are choosing, but who doesn’t love pizza and
ice cream for breakfast?! Lately, we’ve been dressing in the birthday person’s favorite color
without saying anything about it, and we just wait to see if they notice it--a simple way to say I
love you.


no school zone


Homeschooling means you get to set the schedule. Some birthdays, we say school is off and
that’s that! Other birthdays, we’ve had some goals to meet in one or two subjects, but then we
cancel the rest of school to do whatever “favorite” thing is on the list. Every child, even the most
studious of children, love a day off from school or away from the routine. That is a gift that’s easy
to give.


giving and humility
My oldest daughter received a huge bottle of bubbles from one of her little sisters (#6) for her 15th birthday.
She was so sweet and gracious about it! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜Š

Having a lot of kids around means every moment is a teachable one. So, birthdays are a time to
practice celebrating someone else, and giving them our time and attention. We take our children
to shop for each other for birthdays at the Dollar Store, encouraging them to really think about the
person, what it is they like, and how the gift would benefit the other person. It is a fun challenge
that the kids look forward to every year.


On the flip side, the birthday child learns a lesson in being humble and grateful. Being able to
receive gifts and tons of attention in a gracious manner is a learned skill that goes beyond mama
making the child say “thank you”. We try to teach our children to truly be grateful for whatever
they receive, to look for the beauty and kindness in each gift, no matter how great or small. No
one owes you anything and so, when you get a gift, be thankful.


cake and presents


Some cakes are homemade, other are ordered from a bakery, still others have been selected
right off the grocery store shelf. . . it just depends on what’s going life at the time. One year, a
birthday celebration took place in the hospital because I’d just had a baby the day before! Two
of my children have birthdays one day apart, and we celebrated with cupcakes from the grocery
store.


So, we always have cake and it is our custom to celebrate and open presents once the
entire family is together. If my husband is at work, or one of the older children has an obligation
outside of the home, we always wait until we’re together before we eat cake and share presents.
Sometimes, that means we’re having cake for breakfast, which the kids love to do. Most times it
means we do it around dinner time, but the key is that we celebrate as a family. My husband has
a very special way he sings “Happy Birthday” to each of the kids and they get a huge kick out
of it and look forward to it each year.


pictures

So, my kiddos know every birthday means a mini-photo shoot. I take tons and tons of pictures.
If you hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram, you know it’s true! I usually take a “last” and
“first” picture. On the day before my son's or daughter’s birthday, I’ll snap a few pictures of their
last day at that age. Then, of course their birthday is their first day at the new age and I’m
snapping pictures all day. It’s what happens when you have a mama who blogs.


So that’s how we celebrate birthdays. We are grateful for each life God has placed in our home
and we have learned that showing appreciation doesn’t have to be costly, time-consuming, or
overwhelming.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your home?


Continue Reading



During Holy Week, we hear often about our Lord's actions on Monday. . .how He cleansed the temple, ridding it of the moneychangers who would impose extra financial burdens upon the people who were coming to worship. And then what happens next is just as beautiful!

He welcomes the lame and the blind and He heals them,  and He encourages the children, even the babies and nursing infants, to worship His holy Name.

I can't help but think of how many times I've been "blind" in my thoughts, "lame" in my walk with Him, yet He welcomes me, waiting to heal me. And in the midst of my child-like ways, he doesn't reject my praise, but accepts it and encourages it.

And, all the while, He's still healing me and cleansing this old temple of mine.
What a loving Savior, mighty and wonderful in His power.


After the Temple Cleansing

by on Monday, March 26, 2018
During Holy Week, we hear often about our Lord's actions on Monday. . .how He cleansed the temple, ridding it of the moneychangers w...
Celebrating the King of kings, our Deliverer!
Hosanna--Save now!
Praising God, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, bless His holy Name!

My youngest daughters (#6 and #7) after church with their palm leaves, making a ton of silly faces. One looks nice and spring-like, while the other decided to wear a fall weather dress, complete with a turkey on it and all! ๐Ÿ’—
๐Ÿ’ฎ๐Ÿฆƒ







There's nothing like standing shoulder-to-shoulder with one of your daughters (#2) in the kitchen, getting stuff done! As you may know, Sunday is my cook day--I make all of our dinners for the week. Here we were prepping for Jambalaya and Turkey-Burger Soup.



I hope you and your family had a wonderful Palm Sunday and that you prepare Him room in your hearts for this coming Holy Week.

Palm Sunday

by on Sunday, March 25, 2018
Celebrating the King of kings, our Deliverer! Hosanna--Save now! Praising God, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, bless His holy...
Sooo, the March Vlog is up and ready!!!! Join us as we talk Holy Week, Birthdays, marriage, and of course, we taste what's in our next treat box.




And they continued steadfastly
in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2:42

Here's a bit of a homeschool confession:
We don't routinely say the Pledge of Allegiance in our homeschool. In fact, we rarely say it at all. (Hopefully, most of you are still with me! ๐Ÿ˜Š)

We are not "unpatriotic" and are grateful to live in our country, so no worries. My older children know what the Pledge of Allegiance is and what it says, and my little ones will learn about it, too. However, we don't feel it's necessary to recite each day. Instead, we treat it more as a fact to know about our nation's history, or as part of a unit study/topic of interest when discussing our country, its laws, and government, etc.

Honestly though, at the end of the day, I want my children's strongest allegiance to be found in Christ alone. 

In the last year or so, we've begun reciting The Apostle's Creed with other Believers at Church every time we share in the Lord's Supper. And I thought, "Now that is something I wouldn't mind us saying each day as part of our morning routine!" So, we recite it most mornings after Bible study and Scripture memory. 

I am thrilled that my children are memorizing the doctrine of our Faith, and that we are able to discuss truth with them, helping them to understand, on a daily basis. Even my littlest ones join in, and ask questions. Just beautiful, y'all! The Apostle's Creed is also something we've studied over the years in our history lessons, so it's a good fit for our family.

If you're interested, I've made a free printable available below. It's nothing fancy and is very simple. Enjoy!!


Are you familiar with the Apostle's Creed? What things do you recite daily as a family?

The Apostle's Creed

by on Thursday, March 08, 2018
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 He...

Join us as we talk a little about our daily time with God, and take a taste test of a few treats from around the world!!!!


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