The story behind the Kinship Family Journal
The idea for the Kinship Family Journal started with a simple desire to document our life as a family. We had just purchased 20 acres in the countryside outside of Portland, Oregon, and found ourselves living a whole new life on the land. At the time, our four children were all under the age of 10, and I recognized that this was the moment to write our family story as we lived it out. But how?
I purchased a jumbo sketch journal. Not quite knowing how to start, I began by drawing a simple calendar that spanned two pages. I then left the journal open on a table with some sharpened pencils and a brand new set of colored pencils. It took a bit of leading by example for my children to get what their mama was doing. I made notes on the calendar page of weather and ordinary events, and then I ventured onto another page, making simple lists of books we’d read that month and favorite foods we had eaten. My middle son was inspired to draw a sh taco. Another son added some rainy weather illustrations. When we were out on our next walk, one of my children exclaimed, “I see the rst eagle of the year!” When we got back, he drew an eagle on the page I had titled Firsts.
By taking the time to document all the ordinary moments that ll our everyday life (the very rst of the da odils popping up in the spring or the rst time we bake pumpkin pies in the autumn), we create a more meaningful connection as a family and to our world around us, and moment by moment, we are writing our family story.
As with any project, the beginning may be modest. You may have to inspire your family and lead by example. I still assume this role as facilitator and inspirer, jotting down notes of firsts and favorites of the month, which act as gentle reminders for my children to draw out the details later. As the days go on, my children document life, as they experience it, in the family journal. It has become a well-worn habit.
The simple little idea of documenting our family story has blossomed into a truly authentic, collaborative project. The Kinship Family Journal has become a true family record with thoughtfulness and intent. Even though we are all living an extraordinary adventure, it’s in all the ordinary moments that the deepest connections lie and the true family story is told.