February 1, 2013

Favorite Friday #5: Special Days

I think I may have set the bar a little too high, thinking I was going to post EVERY Friday. Maybe it should have been "Favorite-every-other-Friday?" I'm still 5 for 5, but barely getting this one done. This week has been spent fighting off the nastiest of sinus infections while still trying to keep the house under control and the kids fed and clean. I really wish I'd planned a different post this week, because this one really deserves some time. But I'm going to try to keep it short in the hopes to get some rest tonight.

As you know, I'm not the most creative person when it comes to "inventing" my own fun games, family traditions, new meals, or anything else. I am good at pulling off other people's ideas though :)  And although I can't remember where this tradition came from, it's definitely one of our favorites. It's fairly easy to carry out and the kids love it.

We call it "Special Days."

For each month, on the date of our children's birthday, that day is theirs. For example, if one of our kids was born on July 10, the 10th of every month would be their "special day." 

Here's what happens on this day:

1. They get to choose what we have for supper. 

We have a special plate that they get to use for that night.

They can choose almost anything. There are some things I just won't buy. (Like frozen corn dogs!)

Our oldest chose pancakes with berries and whipped cream last time.
That, I can handle!!

2. We share what is special about them. During the meal, we go around the table and each family member must share something about why that kid is special to them. Sometimes it's a character trait, sometimes it's just something nice that kid did for them in the last month. You'd be surprised at some of the really great (and NICE!) things our kids are capable of coming up with!

It's super-simple, but they love it.

3. They get to go on a date with mom or dad. (We alternate months and also have a list of possible choices. These include things like: pie at Perkins, frisbee golf, hot chocolate and fudge at a local coffee shop, ice cream at DQ, etc.)

A new date option we just discovered: Rock wall climbing at the local university wellness center. We're enjoying this option right now because we all get some exercise and it keeps mom and dad from eating unnecessary amounts of fudge and pie!

This outing is the best part about Special Days. It helps us set up a planned outing to spend one on one time with each child. Since they get to choose the venue and get our sole attention, they feel valued and cared for. And we get to have conversations with them that we may not have had the opportunity to do on a busy evening at home.

We'll be the first to admit that we haven't kept a perfect schedule. Sometimes when a Special Day falls on a busy night with church or soccer practice, we have to reschedule. But if we're diligent about putting the rescheduled date on the calendar immediately, it's pretty easy to remember to follow-through. 

Shake date with Dad at Perkins
And how could we disappoint a face like this?!


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