A Calendar Of Firsts

It is a capital plan for the children to keep a calendar––the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favourites, and will, every year, be in a condition to add new observations. Think of the zest and interest, the object, which such a practice will give to daily walks and little excursions.

Charlotte Mason, Vol. 1 p. 54


ETA: Setting Up Your Calendar Of Firsts

At the beginning of the year I came across Stephanie Ackerman’s Documented Faith Project.

Stephanie was using a journal to record “my life, my dreams, my prayers, my moments.  A place to document my faith sometimes monthly, often times weekly possibly even daily”.

I was really moved by this idea and immediately set to work, creating my own pages, capturing daily happenings, special moments, and so forth.


I added sketches, photographs, words, stickers and other memorabilia.


This diary helped me to develop my style of quick pen-sketches, with touches of splashy water colour.



I used a Moleskine Large Weekly Diary, which has days of the week on the left hand page, and a space for notes on the right hand page.

I generally use the left hand side page for little sketches and notes.


On the right hand page, I would glue in a piece of paper to create a larger sketch. (The paper of the Moleskine diary is very thin, & not the best for water colour.)


A lot of my sketches have been nature-orientated


Which has led me to thinking…What a wonderful format this would be to keep a Calendar of Firsts, as Miss Mason advised!

So my goal for 2016 will be to use this way of diary-keeping, to keep my very own Calendar of Firsts. I intend to do this in addition to my nature journal. I am planning to use the same diary; The 2016 Moleskine Large Weekly Diary.

Each week I will record the firsts of nature as they happen in my locality; the first Snowdrops, the first time the goldfinches visit my garden, the fist visit of the hedgehogs, and so forth. I shall still continue to record special family happenings, but the focus will be Nature-firsts.

This is something that could be kept individually, or a family Calendar would be a family treasure to return to year after year.

It would be wonderful to have you journaling along with me; do let me know if you would be interested in keeping a Calendar of Firsts yourself. I will post nearer to the time some ideas for setting up your journal, supplies, tips and so forth.


21 thoughts on “A Calendar Of Firsts

  1. Hi Lynn

    What a beautiful thing you have created, so personal, wonderful keepsake, priceless.

    I have been toying with the calendar of firsts idea for a while, we have tried with a poster and stickers this year which was not a great success. 2016 could just be the year under your expert guidance.

    Thanks for the wonderful post

    Best wishes


  2. I love your sketches. They’re so beautiful and fresh! We had a similar idea for Caledenar of Firsts some time ago, but hasn’t kept it up very much since September. You’ve inspired me to restart ours. 🙂

  3. Oh, how beautiful! I would LOVE to join you. As days are flying so quickly these days, I’ve been trying to hang on a little with an idea like this. I make a daily note of my children’s favorite memories and achievements and celebrations on a Phoebe Wahl calendar that hangs in our kitchen. We love going over that. And I started a “line-a-day” 5 year journal and have sort of kept up with that. I also downloaded the 1 second everyday app and that has been a lot of fun. BUT – streamlining all of this and combining it with art sounds amazing and what I’d like to try in 2016 with your inspiration and guidance. THANK YOU for offering to include your readers. 😉

  4. I am going to use your idea! Thank you so much for sharing. I believe I will add answered prayers to it somehow 🙂

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