5 Reasons to Create Traditions in Your Family


I LOVE family traditions.  I love to create new ones and enjoy ones from the past!  There is something wonderful recalling traditions I have celebrated as a child and/or as a mom!  They can be anything you do consistently to celebrate an event, season, or just about anything special.  Sometimes we think about the holiday traditions such as cutting down a real tree every Christmas or a fun grill out with family on the 4th of July but there are other fun things when you think outside the box you can create as well.  For example:

Your family’s favorite pot of soup cooked on the first day it snows!

A pumpkin patch visit during the month of October!

A photo session of the family in the same place every year wearing the same colors (You will see the family grow)

A themed party for a holiday – An example would be a Thanksgiving feast all done up with things from the Pilgrims and Indians.  Homemade butter and a great story by the fire!

A special DVD or CD played the same time of the year

Back to School Celebrations with a special breakfast and new school supplies

Buying a new ornament for the tree every year

I know if you brainstorm you can think of something special to do with your family for a tradition!

There are 5 great reasons to celebrate traditions in your family!

  1. Traditions create wonderful memories – Traditions can create very memorable memories.  I know growing up as a little girl, there was nothing that excited me more than a family tradition that was coming up.  I would get the calendar out and mark all my special days that would be coming up on The New Year! I know my children also get excited when we are about to celebrate a tradition in the family, I know they will remember them always.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Charles R. Swindoll

  1. Intentional parenting at its best – Traditions cause you to be intentional.  You spend quality time on making them happen and while you are making the special memory with your kids, you can’t help but give them quality time.
  2. Helps you connect with your family on a deeper level – Traditions help bring out great conversations, food, laughter and a lot of togetherness!  Many memories your kids will have about aunts, uncles and cousins come from traditions.  The family usually bonds during these times like no other!
  3. Helps you pass down family values and your legacy – Traditions are a great way to pass down what is important to you.  An Advent Tree, thankful jar, church traditions, and sharing your faith often come from these special times and days. The Old Testament often talks about traditions and passing on a heritage to their children.
  4. It gives Your Family a Sense of Belonging – It is wonderful to have a sense of belonging somewhere. There are too many people in our world that have no one to love them, no one to belong to and we are very blessed to have family(even if sometimes it don’t feel like it) Children need this sense of belonging, especially as they go out into their world and face hardships!

What are some traditions that you celebrate? The holiday season is coming up and the perfect time to start a new one!

This is part of a 31 Days of Intentional Parenting Series I’m doing on my blog Together with Family!  You can sign up for the 31 Days Series to come straight to your email box daily HERE!

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Angela, Together with Family

Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day

johnny appleseed

John Chapman, often called Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. His father, Nathaniel Chapman, was a farmer and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Sadly, John’s mother died of tuberculosis during the war. His father apprenticed him to a local apple orchard.

John took his knowledge and expanded the business to parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia, becoming an American legend in the process.

Remember Johnny Appleseed with apple-themed activities this week.

~ Visit an apple orchard as a family, and pick up some crisp apples for munching later.

~ Make some caramel apples and roll them in chopped peanuts, coconut, colorful sprinkles, or mini-chocolate chips.

~ Buy several varieties of apples and slice them up for a blind taste test for your family. Members can vote on which ones they like the most. Try ones like Gala, Honeycrisp. Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji or Cortland.

~ Or try your hand at one of these great apple recipes that are beyond the normal apple pie or crisp.

Apple Pasta Salad

1 bag cole slaw mix

2 cups tri-color pasta

2 apples coarsely chopped (your choice of apple)

½ cup dried cranberries

4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small bites

coleslaw dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Mix pasta with cole slaw, cut apples, craisins and cheddar cheese. Add dressing to your taste. Chill and serve.

Harvest Pork and Apples

1 cup apple cider or juice

1-1/2 to 2 pound pork loin

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

salt & pepper to taste

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

½ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

Brown pork loin in vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once browned, place in a greased slow cooker, along with the apple cider. Mix apples and squash with the spices and herbs and place around pork loin. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Blessings as you celebrate,

Karen Ehman

Everday.Confetti.coverFor more fun ways to celebrate creatively with your family and friends throughout the year, check out Karen’s latest book Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide for Celebrating Hopidays and Special Occasions.

Teaching Children Responsibility

thebettermomParenting is hard work!   There are so many aspects to it, everything from discipline to helping our children make good food choices to winning their hearts!  We also want to make sure we are teaching our children responsibility.  We are living in a culture where more and more grown children are living at home and can’t seem to be able to move on with their own lives.  God has given us the task of parenting and although we will always be our children’s parents we also want to equip our children for real life living!  They are meant to go out and make lives of their own and we want them to be ready for that!

Chores can really help us in this area.  I hear many moms say, “it is just easier to do it myself” or “it is not worth the complaining I will have to hear”, trust me- I HEAR you!!  It is often not easy but we do our children no favors if we continue down this path because in the long run it will hurt them!

Our children can learn basic clean up rules at a very young age.  I recently had my one year old nephew over and he was helping me pick up the toys.  Actually they usually love doing it at this age so it is the perfect time to start.  Setting that precedent early helps you a great deal when they are older.

I write a lot about helping families connect on a deeper level.  Working as a family is a wonderful way to do this!  You may hear complaints at first but if you make chore time and time you all work as a family consistent they will adjust and great conversations can happen when you are cooking in the kitchen together or cleaning out the garage!  Reward yourselves after the big jobs and go out for ice cream together.  You are teaching your children the value of hard work and they will feel pride in a job well done!

Here some lists to get you started:

Younger children can:

Put Toys Away

Feed and Water the Pets

Wipe Down Table Tops

Dust (they love to use the feather duster)

Water Plants

Set the Table

Throw Trash Away

Sort Laundry (great lesson on learning colors)

As they get older they can do:

Meal Preparation – They can wash off veggies and fruit/ help you stir (If you are there of course), and get ingredients together.

Make their beds

Sweep Floors

Vacuum Floors

Collect Garbage (this really helps me on garbage take out days) 

Rake Leaves or Sweep Walkway

Pick up their Rooms

Help with Care of Baby (like making bottles and getting diapers)

Help Clean up the Yard

By the time our children our teens we want them to be able to:

Do their laundry

Cook some meals

Mow the lawn

Do basic car maintenance (like checking the oil and tires)

This is helping them be ready to go away to college or for when they get their first apartment or home!  They will be grateful they know these tasks and often you will find more mature young people who save money and get good jobs at a younger age because of their knowledge in this area!

Remember when you are teaching your children, it won’t be perfect.

But you know what?

It a better thing to be teaching your children about their future and preparing them for life than to have the perfect made bed or swept kitchen!  You are raising soon to be adults and they need you to prepare them!


Angela, Together with Family

Making Dress Up Time Fun With Your Children

Recently I was asked to take a look at a few classes from an amazing website called Craftsy. I am excited to share those classes with you here over the next year. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I heard of Craftsy. I didn’t expect to find such an extraordinary resource. But it is really an invaluable wealth of information.

Click here to see the class I took with Craftsy and enter to win your very own class!

Children Love Playing Dress-up

Children LOVE playing dress up! But how many of us moms are either unsure of how to make dress up time fun for our child or we feel like we aren’t so good in the creativity department? I can definitely identify with the latter. Children need to use their imaginations. With digital technology options all round, it’s easy to miss the personal face-to-face playtime our children desperately need.  IPads, video games, and T.V. can be tempting defaults for busy (and creatively challenged) parents. If you are feeling like you just don’t know where to start when it comes to creating these fun times with your child, The Costume Box is a fantastic resource to help spark the creativity. Anne Weil shares how to create a Costume Box. She teaches how to put together an adorable princess outfit for your girl with a tutu skirt, crowns, wands and wings. For the boys she instructs on how to put together an outfit for a prince or king including capes, a chest plate, a sword and more. I love how Anne Weil gets you off to a solid start on creating costumes that your child will enjoy for years.

One class participant commented, “I was hesitant to purchase this class but boy am I glad I did… It’s less than 3 minutes in and I’m ready to wake the kids up, dress up and have an adventure! Thank you for your inspiration. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this class and to all the fun adventures my kids will be sure to have. You seem like a totally awesome mom, thanks for sharing with all of us!”

Children Love Playing Dress Up

Craftsy’s, The Costume Box: Dress-Up for Holiday & Everyday is truly a class for every mom!

Like I have said over and over again, one of the best things about taking the class online, besides the valuable information, was the ability to start the class and pause the class whenever I needed to. When the kids were in bed, or when I had a few minutes during the day to spare, I would sit down and watch a bit of the course in the comfort of my own home. It was so convenient! Craftsy is the perfect solution for us busy moms who want to learn, but don’t have time to leave the house and attend a class.

Here is a little more info about Craftsy:

Craftsy offers online crafting classes, taught by world renowned instructors who love the craft as much as you do. Craftsy classes are online, so they are available to you anytime you want for as long as you want, there are no scheduled class times, so you can enjoy them entirely on your own schedule. Each class is taught by an acclaimed instructor and consists of several hours of HD-quality video content… but Craftsy classes are much more than just a video!

While taking a Craftsy class, you can:

Ask your instructor questions, upload photos, and get personalized responses

Participate in discussions with your classmates

Access supporting class materials – including recipes and helpful tips & tricks

Bookmark your favorite moments in the video so that you can easily re-watch them and take notes that you can refer back to anytime

The great thing about Craftsy is that there is a class for everyone! You can learn knitting, photography, cake decorating, sewing, cooking and more!

Today we are giving away The Costume Box: Dress Up for Holiday & Everyday class away to one of you!!!

Click and Enter to win below!!

If you are ready to check out Craftsy —->> enter to win your very own The Costume Box: Dress Up for Holiday & Everyday class by clicking here.


Ruth Schwenk

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Craftsy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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