Did I mention that our fourth oldest child just turned 6 this past Sunday? That means our family stars line up and we now have kids aged 4,5,6,7,8 and 9.

1. We have bought 6 different colored enamel cups (yes, like the old fashioned camping cups) for each of our kids. The kids drink out of them at meal time. This has three benefits:
a. The kids always know, after we set the table, where we intend them to sit (helpful especially when we have company).
b. We don’t have to wash cups nearly as often, and
c. The kid like having their own cup.

2. Make and keep traditions. As has been mentioned we have gone of a fall day trip each of the last nine years. And as also has been mentioned – we go to the north shore every year. And every January/ February, when we are getting a little cabin fever, we go to the Mall of America. And early every December, we go chop down a Christmas tree (of course we have several Christmas traditions). Choose your own – make them your family’s.

3. When our oldest was born, I typed up the story of his birth (every labor makes a good story.) I then started typing out interesting, funny or new things he did. I created a monthly list. When other children came along I created a new Journal for them. First Words. First loose tooth. When they learned to ride a bike. Funny things they’ve said. Insights they have shown.

In our family, I’m the one who does this journaling and my wife wants me to say that this is a good thing for Fathers to do. It only takes me about five minutes twice a week. I recommend it.

Now that we have been parents for 9 and a half years, this collection of journals is 267 pages long. If any of our kids ever get famous, I hope the biographers are grateful.