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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gratitude all year long!

This year my family started a couple of new holiday traditions.  My daughter is almost 18 (only 8 more days) and my son is 15.   This year they both have school trips that are quite costly but too good of an opportunity to not go.  My son, Jake, plays the bass in his H.S. Orchestra and they are going to New York City in April.... $1400.00...cha-ching! My daughter, Isabella, is in Varsity choir and they are going to Washington D.C. in March.......$1250.00.... again cha-ching!!!!  Thank goodness we are able to make monthly payments.

Back to our new traditions... Due the kids being older and all of our busy schedules we decided that every Christmas, starting this Christmas we will take a little trip.  This year due to the cost of their "field trips" we just did an overnight trip to our state capital, Austin, TX (we live in San Antonio).  We still do Christmas with my parents early on the 24th of December and then go all together to our annual Christmas Eve bash at my Aunt Rose's house. We wait for Santa to come on Christmas morning at our own house as we have done since the kids were born. {This year Santa brought them cash to spend on our trip---- How did Santa even know we were going on a trip?}  I won't bore you with details about our "Christmas trip" but we went to Austin on the 26th and had a BLAST!  It was so fun spending time with just us 4!  We went shopping (Outlet Malls, Ikea, and even good ol' Target), sightseeing, and ate like it was the last time we were ever going to eat.  We really appreciated spending time with each other and hopefully this will be a tradition we will keep especially as my daughter will be in college next year.

Our new tradition for New Years is being grateful! After having so much fun together on our Christmas trip and talking about how grateful we are to have each other my kids and I decided to make GRATITUDE JOURNALS.  I know gratitude journals and being grateful for things are not  new concepts but writing down what we are thankful for is new to us.  Yesterday, on New Years Day, we made our own gratitude journals and wrote down our first entry.  When I say we, I mean my kids and myself because my party pooper husband didn't want to make a journal.....whateva! He'll be jealous of them eventually! LOL!  We put all the stickers, scrapbook paper, magazines, etc we found in one of my craft boxes and plopped them on the table.  Everyone grabbed a composition notebook (I bought several during the summer when they were a quarter each) and went for it.  Above you can see the one I made and my first entry.

We will keep our journals in our own rooms and every single day, before we go to bed, we will write down one thing we are thankful for.  We talked about it being  anything.... I'm grateful for my family to I'm grateful for my erin condren planner to I'm grateful for the beautiful weather..... really anything you feel grateful for that particular day.  At the end of the year on New Year's Eve Day we will take the time to sit together and read aloud what we were all grateful for through the past year. On New Year's Day we will all (hopefully my party pooper husband included) make new gratitude journals and start again. How awesome is that?  I hope we really stick to it!  I think this is such a great idea!  For my first entry (pictured above) I used some stickers to represent what I felt because I had them but I'm not planning on necessarily putting a picture with every entry.  Some days my entries may be a paragraph describing a moment, some days I may just write a single word.   Today my son got his braces off so I am predicting he will be he will be writing he is grateful for an extra beautiful smile.... we shall see.  Here is a pic of all of our journals.  I love how they are all so individual (and I love that mine has glitter letters!!!!!!)

Have you ever kept a gratitude journal?  Do you have any New Year traditions?  I love to hear all about them.

HAPPY 2013!


  1. I too have a daughter that will be 18, but in 3 days and a son that is 15!

    The Bender Bunch

  2. What beautiful gratitude journals. We all need to take the time to be thankful. Thanks for the reminder :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  3. This is a super awesome idea! One that I am grateful for! Thank you for your inspiration!

  4. Thanks everyone! I wish I thought about this a long time ago when the kids were little. It would be to see what they wrote in the past now that they are teenagers. :)
    Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies
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  5. Hi Lorraine:
    I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate this into my classroom.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions...

    Thanks, Dear!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  7. What a great idea! Keeping the focus where it should be! I almost want to do this with my third graders! Maybe they could write in them on Fridays about what they were most thankful for that week.
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