Climbing The Family Tree – Free Printable

Family dinner with Superman’s side is 20 people.

I kid you not.  It’s a beautiful, loud, loving group, and when I first started coming as a newlywed, it was terrifying.  🙂  Family is so important, and we want our kids to grow up with deep and lasting relationships with our family – not just the 5 of us, but the whole big clans on each side.  Giving our kids a heritage of family ties?  Priceless.  To encourage this, I thought it would be fun to have this month’s family date day be a whole week of learning about and celebrating family.

Climbing the family tree, so to speak! 🙂

We started with a list of questions which we emailed out to the gang, and then we got to tabulate the results.  What followed was the fun of celebrating each of the unique people that are part of our lives forever.

Doesn’t that sound fun?  If you want to join us, read on!

Here’s where you start:

  • Email/Interview your victims loved ones.  My email said something like:

“Hi guys!  Alaina is going to put together a fun report about her family tree, and we need your help!  We are going to study YOU this coming week.  Can you pick a couple of questions to answer, and reply back so we can tabulate the results?  Stay tuned for an update after this week!  Thanks a million!


  •   Favorite Breakfast foods
  •   Favorite Lunch foods
  •   Favorite Dinner foods
  •   Favorite Desserts
  •   Favorite Thirst Quenchers
  •   Favorite Kid’s Book
  •   Favorite Way to Relax
  •   Favorite Songs
  •   Favorite Movie
  •  Favorite Movie Munchies
  •  Anything else you want to add! 😊”

We got such fun answers (to maintain family confidentiality, we can’t divulge the super secret results, but some of them were silly, some were expected, and some were surprising!)  You never know what you’re going to find, and it is so fun to celebrate the family that you have.

  • Now that you have all the results, put it together in one place – I recommend a binder.  You can print off one of these pages for each person: Climbing The Family Tree About Page, and just fill in each of the blanks.  The kiddos can draw a picture of the loved one, or one of the things that the loved one enjoys, and BAM!  You have a special, personalized book that will become a family treasure for years to come.

I’m over at EvenHeroesHaveBeds today…join me for some tree climbing, heritage-celebrating fun!

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When the Rain Comes – Date Night

I had the perfect date planned.

We were going to jump on our motorcycle and ride into the sunset and after a good 40 minute ride, stop off at a 1950’s diner for the best burgers that ooze ketchup and pickle juice down your hands. Mmmmm. As I always do, I micro planned everything three weeks in advance. Finally, when the day arrived I threw back the curtains to a glorious… thunder storm? NO!!!!!! My date was ruined!!!! Or was it? The whole point to dates is spending time with my best friend isn’t? So a little change in plans is sometimes required.

When the rain comes date night:

I’ll have to admit, when I saw the rain pouring down I contemplated throwing in the towel, but that’s just not how I’m made. If this happens to you, (or you plan a date on a gloomy day), a lot of cozy places come to mind like “coffee shop” or “patisserie” or “bed” wait what? All of these ideas are completely worthy, but when you do that, you’ll be spending your date with 9 other couples who are stranded as well (except the bed idea). So instead of heading indoors, go ahead with your outdoor plans. Grab a blanket to sit on, and another to cozy up in. Grab that burger lunch but make it carry out. Stop by the coffee shop and choose your favorite drink. Then head to your local park and set up your picnic in the gazebo. You’re sure to have a pretty intimate date since the other 9 couples will still by stuffed inside that coffee house waiting for the rain to clear up. Also, grab your rain boots and umbrella for a little puddle stomping if the urge hits. If you are photography lovers, bring along your camera too. Your camera has a timer on it so that you can take a few cute pics of your oh so romantic rainy day picnic, now those will be memories worth holding on to!

Who knows? Maybe the sun will peak out anyway
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Secret Agents – Operation: Random Kindness

In a place and time where entitlement and selfishness are rampant, we think it’s so important to regularly practice kindness towards others, especially as a family.  This month’s date is ridiculously simple and easy, and the kids love the sneaky aspect of being a “secret agent”!

We’re going to spy school for the day.  So strap on your .007 persona and some shades, and pay close attention!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is as follows:

continue reading over at (but first make sure you’re not being tailed!) 🙂

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“drive-in” date night

Date night you all! Let’s get old school and go to the drive in! Oh but wait, you can’t find a babysitter and your tiny-tots are a bit young to leave on their own? Never fear! Creative minds are near!! (Ok that was REALLY nerdy)

This was a really fun date that we got to “go” on this month, and it was really pretty simple too! We took the drive-in concept and brought it home. Literally.

We got our hands on a projector (usually you can check one out from your school, library, or church) and some speakers. Plugged them in to our laptop, and projected a Redbox movie right on to our garage door. Badaboom badabing simple date night here we come!!! I’ve got to tell you though, investing in a projector and speakers wouldn’t be a bad idea either! If you’re brave, rent it out to friends/acquaintances and you can earn a little cash to pay for it. Then a little more for a private concession stand. Win Win!

taking pictures in the dark is HARD

A couple of sleeping bags, some hot chocolate, popcorn, a licorice vine or two and we were pretty cozy. I was also able to keep an eagle eye on my sweet treasures by using a baby monitor with a camera. Seriously you all, there are some investments that are totally worth it, baby monitor with camera? GOOD investment!!!!! We had our “Drive-in” date after the kiddos fell asleep, and although we were 100 or so feet away from them at all times, it still felt like a legitimate date night! It was also pretty awesome to be able to watch something that neither one of us had seen before, and it added a little bit more to the believability. A note of caution though, be sure you trust your date with all your heart if you send them off to pick the movie!!!

Just a couple of crazies watching a movie like a boss

All in all though, it was fun to spend the time together, and that is what makes it a great date!

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Favorite Things Date


Hey ladies, it’s been a good long month since we chased pirates, and 2 weeks since we put the art in heart.  Are you ready to love on that family some more?  I hope so, ’cause this is going to be FUN.

You know, sometimes I think that my family just really needs to know that I like them.  You know?  Oh, sure, I love them.  But their sweet little hearts sometimes just need to know that their mama likes them.  Appreciates their quirks and personalities and interests.  And Superman?  He likes to hear it and see it, too.  You get my drift.

So, without further ado…

It’s Favorite Things date day, girl.

It’s all about their favorite things.  This will be a completely unique date, because of course, every family is going to have a whole different jumble of favorite things.  I’ll tell you what we did, and then you can get creative and spoil them with a special day!!!

We started off with their favorite breakfast…who can resist fun pancakes with chocolate?

I made a princess, a dinosaur, and a lion – just in case you were wondering.  🙂


And, of course, I needed a “J” pancake for my Superman – because my Joe is my favorite person.  If you knew him, you’d understand.  Seriously.

Then, after chores, we went outside hunting puddles.  So much fun…I may have even splashed in a few myself! 🙂

Then, we went to the playground.  We were all muddy within 3 minutes (in fact, I seriously doubt it took that long), but hey…when you’re little, mud is another favorite thing.

Three adorable little faces…definitely 3 of my favorite things!

And then home for lunch.  PB&J by special request.  They’re pretty easy to please.

Nap time was next, which is not their favorite time of day, but ranks pretty high up on my special meter.

Who doesn’t love “brown paper packages tied up with string?”

(Little gifts for everybody was a grand total of $10.  Like most young families, we are all about cost sensitive around here.) 🙂

Then, we had one of Joe’s favorite dinners, and after the kids went to bed, Joe and I started on Season 2 of Leverage.  My sister in law got us addicted to it.  Thanks, Amy! 🙂

So there you go…easy peasy, and by no means Pinterest-perfect…but lotsa loving for these special people!  Now, it’s YOUR turn!

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